Monday, February 02, 2015

Books 2015

Books read in 2015

Coming of the Storm - W. Michael Gear and Kathleen O'Neal Gear

Starship Troopers - Robert Heinlein

King Solomon's Mines - Henry Rider Haggard

Ruth - Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell

Memory:  How to Develop, Train, and Use It - William Walker Atkinson

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Books 2014

Here is the list for this year.

I wish I had time to comment on these.  Perhaps, I will do that this year.

The Man from Beijing by Henning Mankell

Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James

The Secret Man: The Story of Watergate's Deep Throat by Bob Woodward

The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie

Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat: Why It's So Hard to Think Straight About Animals by Hal Herzog

The Man with the Iron Mask by Alexandre Dumas

Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens

Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeons Journey into the Afterlife by Eben Alexander

The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton

The Girl Who Fell from the Sky by Heidi W. Durrow

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

The Book of Forgiving: The Fourfold Path for Healing Ourselves and Our World by Desmond Tutu and Mpho Tutu

Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxes

All the King's Men by Robert Penn Warren

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

The Light in the Forest by Conrad Richter

Concert Masterworks Part 1 with Robert Greenberg

Concert Masterworks Part 2 with Robert Greenberg

Bellman and Black by Diane Setterfield

Concert Masterworks Part 3 with Robert Greenberg

Eugenie Grandet by Honore de Balzac

Concert Masterworks Part 4 with Robert Greenberg

Burmese Days by George Orwell

What Maisie Knew by Henry James

Understanding Movies:The Art and History of Films by Raphael Shargel

The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana by Umberto Eco

Maurice: A Novel by E.M. Forster

Masterpieces of the Imaginative Mind : Literature's Most Fantastic Works with Eric S. Rabkin.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Pictures of the Boys

Dear Stevio, Caleb, and Jack, Oh how I love being with you. Nana

Start your own Shutterfly Photo Book today.

Monday, April 15, 2013

McConnico Cemetery

Dear Garner McConnico,

This is what things look like now.

McConnico Meeting House is no more at this location, but the cemetery remains.  Surely you would be surprised at how the stones, so straight and few when you lived, are now askew and broken and many.

The storm of 1909, referred to in the sign must have been quite a tornado, for even the neighbors at Taproot Farm are still talking about it.
The acreage, known as “Nolencrest” was first deeded to John Nolen in 1807. He built the first log house on the farm. The land was farmed in succession by John Nolen, Littleberry Nolen and Stephen Nolen, when in connection with the battles around Franklin the log house was burned in circa 1863, gun fire exchanges are evidenced by Civil War bullets found in the garden. The house was rebuilt as a two-story home on the same location by Milton Berry Nolen, whose family lived there until the tornado of 1887 removed the roofs of every building on the farm except the Springhouse in the cove. The two-story house was wind-damaged beyond repair. Dr. William Stephen Nolen, his wife and five children rebuilt the home and lived in it until the second tornado on April 29, 1909. Once again the home was damaged beyond repair. William “Billy” Nolen rebuilt the house as it stands today. This was the fourth Nolen residence built on the same site.
So your friends and descendants of the Primitive Baptist Church moved to what might be a safer spot, where they are still flourishing and worshiping on Sunday mornings, for I saw them yesterday. The parking lot was small but full and a tall woman was carrying preparations for the post-service coffee in the back door.

As you can see, someone has been caring for the cemetery in a fashion. They have carefully punctured the earth with white pvc pipes and placed silk flowers at each stone. Some of the stones are legible still, but many are not. Still the caretaker respected all and left a token. 

 I think that it must have been a descendent of the Nolens, for, as you can see, Littleberry Nolen's grave has been refreshed with a new marker, while, though your family's marker was lifted from the tall grass, is broken and old.

Your friends, the Beech family, the Cox family, the Waltons, and others, each remain, guarding different corners of this property.  Some installed fencing topped with iron spears, fancying, I suppose that this would guard them from storms, or haunts, but in the end, even I and my camera climbed over and stole the images that I have posted here.

The folks at the Ramada Inn reported that a visitor, presumably a Nolen with pvc pipes stayed at their establishment a few years ago and worked diligently to bring order to the discord that years of neglect  had wrought upon the cemetery. But even that work is suffering the blasts of time.
Yet, I appreciate what I imagine is an ongoing tribute from the neighboring hotel, a three flag salute at half mast. Perhaps, they are saying with me, that in spite of the passing of time, the McConnicos and company are not yet forgotten.

See slideshow of additional images.

My regards,


Sunday, March 17, 2013

More on Best Dressed Cardinals

Dear Vatican Watchers,

First captivated by the Onion's photo essay entitled, The 8 Worst-Dressed at the Papal Conclave, I was then mesmerized by a fleeting couple of images shown during the pope's first prayer during his first public address. Perhaps the cameraman closed his eyes and incidentally focused the lens upon the back of the elite at the vatican window. Why this set of images didn't get any media play, is beyond me.

Note: Little signs of the new pope's personal styling choices include his decision to appear on the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica without the red mozzetta — the telltale short cape of the papacy.

For more on the stylings of the patriarch and his compatriots, check out the Style Page in the Catholic Register.

And for more fun with the kids, try out these vestments for your papal dolls!

Do you wonder whether we'll see this puppy (the Papal Tiara) pulled out for special occasions during Pope Francis' casual reign? I'm kind of doubting it. 


Thursday, February 14, 2013

Books and Studies, 2013

This is just a listing of the books I'm reading/have read this year, 2013.

The Snows of Kilimanjaro and Other Stories by  Ernest Hemingway

The New Testament Part I by Bart D. Ehrman (The Great Courses)

Life Lessons from the Great Books, Part I by Professor J. Rufus Fears

Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne

The John Updike Audio Collection (Short Stories) by John Updike

My Lady Ludlow by Elizabeth Gaskell

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by  Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

A Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne

The Modern Scholar: Upon This Rock: A History of the Papacy from Peter to John Paul II by Thomas Madden

The Professor by Charlotte Bronte

The Diamond Necklace and Other Stories by Guy de Maupassant

 Life Lessons from the Great Books, Part II by Professor J. Rufus Fears

Adventures in the Unknown Interior of America by Cabeza de Vaca

Following the Path by Joan Chittister

Don Quixote de la Mancha Volume I by Miguel de Cervantes

Don Quixote de la Mancha Volume II by Miguel de Cervantes

The Moving Finger by Agatha Christie

Argo: How the CIA and Hollywood Pulled Off the Most Audacious Rescue in History by Antonio Mendez

Marcelo and the Real World by Francisco X. Stork

Tortilla Flat by John Steinbeck

Earth Afire by Orson Scott Card and Aaron Johnston

Tuesday Club Murders by Agatha Christie

I, Claudius by Robert Graves

The Illusion of Separateness
by Simon Van Booy

One of our Thursdays is Missing by Jasper Fforde

Mrs. Pollifax and the Second Thief  by Dorothy Gilman

Mansfield Park by Jane Austen

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

A Death in the Family by James Agee

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Books of 2012

This is just a listing of the books I'm reading/have read this year, 2012.

 State of Wonder by Ann Patchett

 Truth and Beauty: A Friendship by Ann Patchett

The Prodigal God by Timothy Keller

For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway

Executive Orders by Tom Clancy

The Story of Painting by Sister Wendy Beckett

Henderson the Rain King by Saul Bellow

The Art of Reading by Joseph Luzzi

The Power and the Glory by Graham Greene

Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad

The Rising of the Ashes by Tahar Ben Jelloun

The Burglar Who Studied Spinoza by Lawrence Block

Silent Day in Tangier by Tahar Ben Jelloun

Cousin Bette by Honoré de Balzac

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

Vanished Smile: The Mysterious Theft of Mona Lisa by R.A. Scotti

Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life by Richard Rohr

Absolute Friends by John le Carre

Dickens Women by Miriam Margolyes

Home by Toni Morrison

No Excuses: Existentialism and the Meaning of Life by Robert Solomon (The Great Courses)

The Divine Comedy:  Inferno--Purgatorio--Paradiso  by Dante Alighieri

Prague Winter: A Personal Story of Remembrance, 1937-1948 by Madeleine Albright

The Private Patient: an Adam Dalgliesh Mystery by P. D. James

Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte

The Two Destinies by Wilkie Collins 

Short Stories of Dorothy Parker

Mrs. Pollifax, Innocent Tourist by Dorothy Gilman