carved wood, aboriginal textile, old books, pottery, coffee . . . tractors??

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Out to Pasture

Oh, this book is a gem!

Written at age 85, Effie Leland Wilder's bright and lively portrayal of life at FairAcres, a retirement home in the south, gives a fresh, genuine perspective on end-of-life issues.  Packed with humorous anecdotes and sober musings alike, Effie also slips in so many references to poets and authors that I am making a list as I go, using my "bookmark" paper.

I was already hooked and eager for the sequel, Over What Hill?, when I reached the clincher:  her protagonist adores Ogden Nash, and any friend of Ogden Nash is a friend of mine!

I was introduced to Ogden Nash in 10th grade, I believe, while putting together a collection of poetry for an adventuresome English teacher's assignment.  His name alone, satisfyingly full of consonants, would have been enough, but I also loved his sometimes flippant subject matter and especially (betraying the rebel in me) his deliberate disregard for the rules of metre and rhyme.

Wikipedia alerts me to Effie Wilder's authorship of three other books:  Older but Wilder, One More Time, and Oh, My Goodness!  I am sorry to see that Mrs. Wilder passed away in 2007 at the age of 97.  I would have liked to write and thank her for her excellent literary contributions, perhaps strike up a correspondence.

I also wonder if she was any relation (by marriage, of course) to Laura Ingalls Wilder....

Sunday, September 4, 2011

The Young Victoria (movie)

First, I will say that this is an excellent movie to watch with your husband on your anniversary weekend away from the children.  Great story on love.  Great period costumes and shots of Buckingham palace.

The problem is that the director (or whoever's in charge of the general tone of a movie) doesn't seem to make up his mind till the end that the movie is going to be primarily a love story and not one of historical politics.  Up until the end (which is abrupt and not at all satisfying, despite the tiny, helpful notes on Albert & Victoria's history), we are set up for all kinds of social/political action, from housing for the poor to rearranging the palace machinations to parliamentary upheaval.

But nothing happens.  The movie, in that respect, is a complete tease.  It runs out of story long before we ran out of interest.  There is zero resolution to the historical aspects of Victoria's reign, or even to her relationship with Albert (except for the tiny helpful print detailing their descendents' royalty).  All we know, in the end, is that Lord Melbourne's tactical posturings do not prevent Victoria from marrying Prince Albert, and that he condescends to approve of him, rather after the fact.

I want to watch them age, meet their children, see Melbourne ousted, and see Prince Albert come into his own.  Show us more than costumes and great architecture.  Show us the what the Victorian era was all about.

So, sequel, anyone?

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Surrendered Wife

[first, a note to my Farmer:  don't read this one, honey - at least not till 2012.  trust me.]

becoming a "loose" woman . . .

Uptight wife?  This book, The Surrendered Wife by Laura Doyle, will loosen your clenched fingers and help you to relax again and enjoy the man you married.

Her subtitle, "A practical guide to finding intimacy, passion, and peace with a man" says it all. This book is truly practical, packed with examples from the wives in her "Surrendered Circles" and from Doyle's own marriage as well.  Reminding us that intimacy is our goal, not marital control, Doyle cheers us on to take care of our needs, admit we can't do it all, receive graciously, let our man be a man, and be a woman ourselves.

All this from a self-professed "feminist and former shrew."  Doyle acknowledges that the feminist manifesto did not work in her marriage.  She gave it the boot, has no regrets, and currently enjoys being cherished and pampered by her man.

A caveat:  if you have thought all along that you were doing a great job of appearing "submissive" to your husband and letting him think that he's holding the reins, watch out.  Your bubble is in danger of being burst.  Your man is smarter than you think - he likely knows just what you're doing, and lets you - because he loves you.  Give Doyle's theory a chance; you may gain more than you ever thought possible.

Trust pays awesome dividends.