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Week of 20 May 2002

Latest Update: Saturday, 26 April 2003 08:54


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Monday, 20 May 2002

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Good day and welcome to Monday. I hope you a good weekend. As I predicted back in April when we had temperatures in the 90's we are now having a week of lows in the 40's at night and highs in the sixties and low 70's. 

Last night after a fine dinner of barbecued ribs on the grill with broccoli and cheese I started a new book. This is one that Bob had just read and said I might like. Well, he was right on this one. I could not put it down. Even though I went to bed at my usual reading time of 9:40 I will still reading at 12:30. I was tempted to sit up until I finished it but decided I better turn the light off and finish it later. 

The Scold's Bridle by Minette Walters is probably one of the best mysteries as well as one of the best books I have ever read. I could not put it down. The plot begins with the death of Matilda, a wealthy lady found dead in her bathtub with her wrists slit and her antique scold's bridle on her head.  

A branks or scold's bridal was a device used in ancient times consisting of a metal frame for the head and a bit to restrain the tongue, formerly used to punish scolds, a loose tongued or rude woman. You can read a very good essay about this type of woman's torture here. I am not sure from the description in the book which one of the those on the web site pictures is the one referred to in the book. In addition to the wonderful history of this particular device, which by the way was used on both Matilda and her daughter when they were growing up. Matilda used it for a planter. 

As the story unfolds Matilda's doctor is called after the body is discovered. It seems that Matilda's daughter and grand daughter are so horrible to Matilda that she had rewritten her will to leave her entire estate to her doctor. As police began investigating what looked like a suicide but is believed to be a murder, the likely list of suspects grows from the doctor, her daughter, and granddaughter to include some rather unsavory characters who in some way had connections with the victim. 

As I progressed through the book Walters would constantly bring in another exciting component of the story that just would not allow me to stop reading. You will either like or dislike many of the characters but at this point I have no idea who the killer is. Now, I am not as an experienced mystery reader as some others so I may have missed a clue somewhere that you would pick up. However, the writing is superb along with an action packed plot that keeps readers moving through the book at a very fast pace. Walter's even throws in some quotes from Shakespeare by her characters to add to the mystery surrounding the scold's bridal. We have not checked with the library to see if they have any of her other books but I do want to read them. I hope they are as well done as this one published in 1994.

No gym today. I am not completely over my latest sinus whatever? It did not become a full blown infection but I have been battling a sore throat and tiredness for the past few days that represent the common symptoms that I get when I know one is trying to take over my body. I felt much better yesterday but do not feel well enough this morning to work out.

I did promise Lenore I would take her to AC Moore craft store today. Donna comes today so she can bath and dress her and we can leave later this morning before traffic gets too bad. Tonight I have a home visit with a family that wants to adopt one of CBCR dogs that is being fostered in Asheville. The family live here in Winston and of course Duncan will get to go along.

 

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Tuesday, 21 May 2002

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Well, not much on the news front for today. I am working at home this morning so Bob can continue his work on the book. This afternoon I am going out to SciWorks for a just a couple of hours and then stopping by the library on the way home. I need to see how much is left and break it down which will not take all that long.

It is cloudy and cool again today. I think we set a record low yesterday morning and may have again this morning. Other than a small chance for rain it is to remain cloudy and cool all week. My parents are at the NC coast this week. It is cool down there as well but that will make it nice for walking along the beach and being outdoors. 

I finished Scold's Bridal last night just before bedtime. 

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Wednesday, 22 May 2002

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I made a quick trip out to SciWorks to have my picture taken for their next news letter. They are going to feature myself and and another lady who has been helping me with the library project. After I left there I drove over to the library to turn in books and look for some for us. I was also going to take down the book sale. 

However, the staff said people were still going in to buy books. Starting on Monday we always make the sale $5 to try and get rid of a lot of what is left. We decided to go ahead and have the sale run through Thursday and I would go in on Friday and clear up what is left. Bob and the dogs were surprised to see me back home by 3:00. I checked my mail and did some other things until time to start dinner.

Last night we just read and played with the dogs. I started another Inspector Thanet mystery by Dorothy Simpson last night then off to bed for an early night.

It is gym and grocery store shopping this morning. Lawn mowing and outside work this afternoon. It is a beautiful day with temperatures in the high sixties and a clear blue sky. It will be a nice day to be outdoors.

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Thursday, 23 May 2002

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I had an interesting phone call last night after I went to bed. My former supervisor, Mary, called to let me know that Linda was on her way to Duke last night to meet up with her team of surgeons for her heart/lung transplant. You may not remember my visit to Linda last year down in Charlotte. She worked for many years as a children's librarian here in Forsyth County. I would say that Linda is one of the top five best children's librarians I have had the pleasure to work with. Talent simply flows forth from her very being.

Although hampered by her heart/lung problems as she got older it never stopped her enthusiasm or positive attitude on life. Seven years ago she was approved as a candidate for a transplant but at the time doctors deemed her still too "healthy" to be at the top of the list. They also wanted her to keep her own organs as long as possible and still be able to function. However, she did have to leave her job as a librarian and remain at home. Even after she was forced to resign her regular jobs due to fatigue she continued to volunteer at her local public library. Her and her husband moved from Winston not long after she became physically unable to maintain the grueling schedule of a 40 hour a week job. She began writing more doing columns for her local paper, reviewing books, etc. She stayed as active as her body would allow her to.

In the last several months Linda became much worse and was moved to the top of the list. In April she got her beeper that would alert her to the call that transplant organs were available and to drive from Charlotte to Duke immediately. Imagine living you daily life on a contingency plan of having to drop everything and rush to hospital 100 miles away on a moments notice.

Well, last night she got the call. Family members alerted closest friends and relatives who began to call other friends and relatives. Her surgery was scheduled for 5 am this morning. We are hoping and thinking good thoughts for her that the donated organs are a match, she pulls through the surgery, the transplants take, and she can resume her full life. 

I admire her courage and her bright, funny outlook on life. I hope it still lives on today. 

__________________

I am off to the gym this morning for body pump class since I missed Monday class. it is another beautiful day with clear blue skies and cool temperatures. I for one plan to work on projects and enjoy the day.

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Friday, 24 May 2002

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Happy Memorial Day weekend for all of you out there in the United States. It will be just another weekend here at the Thompson Techno Grotto. We do not have any special activities planned.

Yesterday afternoon I rode out to Rural Hall to pick up a display for the Astronomy club from our friend Bonnie. We had a nice hour and half visit before I headed back home. More on the display stuff next week but basically the club is setting up a display for a group of science teachers taking a week long workshop at a school here in Winston.

I am going over to the library some time today to break down the book sale stuff. That should only take a couple of hours. And, I have some other stuff I want to work on at the computer.

It is another lovely day weather wise. Blue skies and somewhat warmer with temperatures in the low 80's today. 

I hope everyone has a wonderful and safe weekend.

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Saturday, 25 May 2002

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Just a quick mention that Linda had the surgery and is now in the intensive care unit of the hospital. Doctors are now watching her to see if the transplanted organs will function properly and that her body will not reject them.

Yesterday after I finished cleaning up the book sale I stopped in to visit with Mary, my former supervisor who called me Wednesday night. Her office is located just two buildings up from the library in the old library building where I worked for 9 years. She brought me up-to-date on what she had been told about Linda from the family. We then chatted about our families and how they were doing and talked a little about the library system. I enjoyed the visit getting back home around 1 pm.

I spent the afternoon between playing outside with the dogs and working at my desk for a little while I also watched some of the golf tournaments for both the PGA and LPGA.

Last night I finished up the Dorothy Simpson mystery and started a historical fiction novel written back in the 60's. More on that later.

This morning I am off to my folks for a day of yard work. Dad has a couple of landscaping projects that he needs some help with. Since today is to be nice in terms of temperatures and sunshine I thought we would tackle those. For me, it is a great way to spend the day being outdoors doing good old physical labor. 

 

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Sunday, 26 May 2002

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Dust Bowl! I know I keep talking about needing rain but while working in dad's yard yesterday that fact really came to light. I was helping him reset some cement landscape edging along one side of his flower bed at the top of his bank. While digging a trench in which to reset them I noticed the ground was not just dry it was pure dust. The earth had absolutely no moisture to hold the dirt together. Instead it just crumbled to nothing. 

Later we were rebuilding a little flower box area around his light pole out front. In order to move it over we had to dig out some sod. The ground was so hard you could not even dig the sod out. Anyway, we got those two projects out of the way. And, as I said yesterday I really enjoy working outside on a beautiful day. While it was a little warm, temperatures in the low 80's, it was nice to be outdoors. 

I mentioned I am reading another historical fiction novel. This one Bond of Blood by Roberta Gellis. Among the interesting things about this novel is the setting. A month or so ago I reviewed Sharon Kay Penman's new book Time and Chance set during the reign of Henry II. Bond of Blood is set in 1146, just a few years before Henry II took the throne. Gellis uses the fictional character Lord Radnor and his young 15 year old bride Leah as the central characters in chronicling the political events of this era. Leah has been betrothed to Lord Radnor in a scheme by her parents Edwina and Lord Pembroke to unite the two families' lands in marriage. Once the marriage has taken place, Edwina and Pembroke will have Lore Radnor killed therefore making them king and queen of Wales. Gellis interweaves historical information about the food, customs, and clothing of the time period with the political events of history.

For example, while reading last night I learned some very interesting information on how women of that era determined if the salt and pepper being sold at the yearly fair was pure. And, the difference in the quality of the salt purchased for the high ranking members of the family and that used by the serfs and servants of the castle. This is the first book I have read by Gellis but I will check to see if the library has some of her other historical fiction.

Today is house cleaning/laundry day. There are two big races today. The Indianapolis 500 starting this morning and the NASCAR Coca Cola 600 tonight from Charlotte. I do not usually watch much open wheel but I may switch on the Indy 500 just to see how it is going.

I just had a phone call from Mary. Linda's lungs do not seem to be holding up very well. She is now sedated into almost an induced coma state to allow a machine to remove all the blood from her body and reoxygenate it. They are using a ventilator to breath for her. Mary said this will be on-going for three or four days and not to expect any other news until sometime next week.

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Copyright 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 by Barbara Fritchman Thompson. All Rights Reserved.