Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to the blogosphere! I hope you enjoy the time you spend with your family and friends.

I will be giving thanks for my wonderful family that is always my backbone, my friends that are endless sources of fun and joy and to our health and happiness throughout the year.

My favorite blessing is from Halcyon and it is a modified version of a blessing his Grandpa used to give, he was such a bright star on this little planet:

“Dear universe, thank you for the miracles in every moment. Help me to be aware of all my blessings and be a loving presence in the world.”

What are you thankful for?

Books: Her Fearful Symmetry

Her Fearful Symmetry

Audrey Niffenegger’s second novel is a ghost story that reads almost like a fairy tale.  Twin sisters Julia and Valentina are left their estranged Aunt’s London flat with the instructions that they have to live there for 1 year and their Mother, their Aunt’s twin sister, mustnt step foot in the flat.  The sisters are spoiled 20 year olds living in Chicago with Mom & Dad looking for the next thing to try and this seems like the perfect adventure.  This is their chance to grow up, and for one sister, she thinks it’s her chance to seperate slowly from her clingy, bossy twin. 

The relationship between the twins is strained with only Valentina feeling the strain as Julia the bossy twin decides their every move and every fashion choice.  They dress alike, they sleep in the same bed, they eat the same meals.  The character’s in their new flat slowly seperate the thoughts between the twins.  Aunt Elspeth is a ghost in their flat and makes herself known to the twins.  Elspeth’s lover Robert lives downstairs and starts an odd relationship with Valentina that makes Elspeth jealous and the upstairs shut in Martin gains relief from his OCD’s in befriending Julia. 

The relationships are well developed and thought out and the Historic Highgate Cemetery that the building overlooks even seems to be it’s own character in the book.  The book is told from many perspectives and the most interesting perspective seems to be when told from that of the ghost of Aunt Elspeth.  Manipulative in person, I believe she magnifies that quality as a ghost trapped in her flat. 

A beautifully haunting tale that I think most people with an open mind to spirits will enjoy.  You won’t think of ghosts in the same way. 

Four out of five milky white ghost like butterflies.

Beats: In Love with Patrick Wolf

PW

Patrick Wolf - The Bachelor

Have you ever had a moment where you question where you have been for the past 4-5 years?  I did, the other day when after seeing the name Patrick Wolf pop up on blogs that I follow I finally looked him up.  I gave an immediate “WTF Shana!” to myself.  How dumb was I to not grab up his music so long ago? 

Patrick Wolf is a brilliant musician who’s music is is so hard to place in one specific genre.   He jumps from one genre to the next, one song sounding folk-pop the next sounding industial and the next sounding like a prayer put to a gypsy beat.  He uses Northern European instruments like viola, violin, harpsychord and accordian that give his music this otherworld-like sound.  I can only compare him slightly by saying if you like the vast genres that are covered by say Radiohead or Bjork that you will most likely enjoy his style as well.  His songs cover subjects of self, nature, supernatural and do so on this magical level that grab you by the heart and pull you in beat by beat.  I imagine gypsies whirling dirvish to some of his songs and can see little goth kids do the speaker box dance to others.  I love every second but if you need to take a listen to just one or two songs off this album “Oblivion” with Tilda Swinson narrating just gives me chills and album title “Bachelor” make me feel Patrick’s heart is worn on his sleeve.  Take a listen, tell me what you think! 

Five out of five big Blue Morpho Butterflies for this hidden gem!!!

Book: The Monster of Florence

MoF

The Monster of Florence - by Douglas Preston & Mario Spezi

This book was not exactly what I thought it would be.  As a non-fiction book about a serial killer in Italy I thought it would be extremely interesting and would take me to the end of the story where a killer was revealed.  Instead it goes deeply into history of Italy and of the way cases are handled in Italy.  If you are looking for an answer….there is none.  If you are interested in getting hooked on a story and then never finding out the end…this book is for you.  An unsolved crime that spanned from the 1960’s until the late 80’s resulting in 16 deaths and many many suspects being held with no evidence.  Apparently speculation is enough to get you put in prison for up to a year with no charges.  And writing a book about the crimes while dissing the police effort is enough to get you put in the slammer and thought of as a suspect. 

This book frustrated me and was put down MANY times.  If I wasn’t reading it for book club I would have probably not finished it and when I did finish it I was angry at the result.  I think that is what Douglas Preston wanted though, he was frustrated as an American thriller author of fiction when he became intangled and then a suspect because he was pulled into the real life mystery.  I think he wanted us as the reader to be frustrated as well.  Mr. Preston you succeeded in the frustration and the anger at the Italian legal system.  Yes, it’s messy and nothing appears to be based on facts.  It puts the point across that should I travel to Italy I should stay out of trouble at all costs! 

I give the book 2 1/2 out of 5 butterflies.  A lot of the history not relating to the crimes could easily have been left out, it felt heavy and uneeded to get the point across.

Things That Make My Heart Flutter

Random Bits Of  Happy

SheWolf

“I want to stay as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can’t see from the center.”

Kurt Vonnegut

* Cemeteries.  I visited 2 cemeteries last weekend and had completely different experiences.  Friday night for our Anniversary, Terrell and I went to St. Augustine for a fancy dinner and decided to walk it off down St. George Street (it’s an old street in downtown St. Aug. that is closed off for foot traffic only, a tourist trap basically but has some really cool stores nonetheless) to end up at Hugenot Cemetery at about 8:45 pm.  We listened to some of the stories being told by the ghost tour guides and took photos of the cemetery at night and I had a light that appeared in my camera but not my husband’s!  We tried to be logical about it but none of the lights around us including the moon seemed to be causing the light and I saw it in 3 different areas.  It really was cool and I’m happy to hear what you think about it.  You can see the pictures here.  Also Saturday on Halloween during the day we went to a nearby cemetery that is rather old (and still accessible, Hugenot doesn’t allow you in the grounds unsupervised) and walked around reading the tombstones out loud to one another.  I took grave rubbings of the interesting ones, 1883 “Little Carrie” “Shall We Meet”, a really strange cat on a family stone, and some Masonic symbols on another.  It was a peaceful gorgeous day and it was nice without the noise and without any strange experiences unlike those from the night before.

* Walking on the beach at night.  Terrell and decided to drive up the coast to return home that same Friday night.  A1A was bright from the moonlight and we couldn’t help but find a spot to park so we could roll our jeans and go walk in the sand.  The moon and stars were so very bright.  We held each other tight and wiggled our toes in the sand.  It ended our night in such a beautiful way.  Terrell saw a shooting star.  Perfect.

*  Pagan podcasting.  I finally remembered to go find my favorite podcasters.  Without my laptop I have been a little lost and can’t wait until we have money again to purchase a new laptop.  I think it will be before the end of November, but regardless I used my Mother’s laptop to find out that Darkly Fey had decided to change things up a little and start off fresh with a more positive podcast name and using her real name for hosting.  So I have spent today catching up on Feithline Stuart and her SpiritsCast podcast and of course on Mojo & Sparrow with The Wigglian Way.  My work day has flown by listening to their podcasts that have little music breaks in the middle. 

 Quick Mentions:

* Practical Magic – I can watch that movie a hundred times and it never grows old.  * Sleeping with the window open, it makes you wake up all cold and cuddly.  * Kate Bush – Running Up That Hill * Leftover Halloween candy!  *Cool weather.  *Making lists for traveling.  * Getting ready to see family I haven’t seen in a while.  *Family Weddings.  *So You Think You Can Dance.  *Vanilla Noir by Bath and Body Works, it’s the perfect fall scent.  * Scarves to keep my neck warm.   * Crashing a Halloween party with a most awesome friend and meeting new friends at that party!  * Hamsa necklace with the prettiest irredescent stone to ward off the evil eye! *The photos I keep seeing in my re-found tumblr account

What has made your heart flutter this week?