Okay, I’m back. And do I ever have a lot of catching up to do. But first, here are some books I’ve read and will recommend (or not!) to you.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. Of course, you’ve heard of it. You may have already read it. And soon you will be able to see the movie. Beautifully written and creatively designed, the book is action-packed and a real page-turner. Hands down.

BUT! I have a real problem with children fighting children, to the death! Not only that, these kids were selected at random and forced into the “arena” by the powers that be. Yep, adult powers that be. And there’s more. The “arena” (remind you of the gladiators in the Coliseum?) is made available via television to all the populace, who are urged to watch all that grisly “entertainment”.

I think you know my opinion of the story by my description above. The writing and creativity are beautifully done. The concept, however, stinks. Please don’t tell me this is somebody’s idea of what our future holds!

Thank Goodness, I’ve also recently read Garth Stein’s The Art of Racing in the Rain. This is a page-turner, too. Not on the edge of your seat page-turning, but you hate to put the book down. Don’t let the fact that a dog is the protagonist turn you off, because Stein has used this angle very cleverly, intelligently, and usefully. It works! The dog’s master is a race car driver, and the book is filled with the winning techniques of that sport. The mastery of race car driving is used as a life philosophy by the dog and the master.

The story is poignant often, sad, infuriating, funny and beautiful. I highly recommend this book as a great read.


Easter 2012–my resurrection

Easter Day was an appropriate day for me to resurrect myself from the surgical knee business. And so it came to pass.

Because of several health issues that beleaguered us recently, my family decided to forego the work and stress of a house-bound dinner and celebrate Easter together at the brunch at Gatherings at the Senator’s Mansion. What a brilliant decision!

Chris and Lisa Steubing, owners of Gatherings as well as the Daisy Flour Mill, run a well-oiled, elegant, and simply scrumptious organization there. (At both places, actually.) Our seating (for 12 adults and two toddlers) was reserved for 1:00 p.m. And, of course, we were seated at 1:00 p.m. Spotless white linen tablecloths, adorned with deep purple napkins, spring flowers, and Easter decorations welcomed us. Our window looked out to a hand-carved wooden peacock, done by Chris Steubing, I believe, and a promising flower garden just beyond it. His forsythia and hyacinths were in full bloom and the color was glorious in yesterday’s bright sunshine. All this in a word, ambience!


And then there was the food. OOoooooo, the food! Breakfast foods—bacon, sausages, scrambled eggs, stuffed pancakes, individually made omelets to your requests, were followed by luncheon/dinner selections:  baked ham, stuffed pasta in buttery sauce, seafood (salmon, scallops, crab…) in a delicious sauce also, potatoes and so many different offerings I can’t remember them. There were long, fresh green beans that were fantastic, a Waldorf salad, sliced fresh fruit, pickled stuff… on and on. Off to one side, there were the roast beef and lamb stations with the attendant chef to carve yours exactly to your liking.

The dessert tables are beyond description. Conjure your most delectable daydream and it will be there. Cheesecakes, chocolate death, cream delights, cookie bars of all kinds and descriptions, down to simple cinnamon bread rolls…all there to force painful decisions on your part.

Normally, I would say the food is what it’s all about, but that isn’t the case for me here. Of course, the food is wonderful and plays a huge part in why I’m there, but it’s the Steubings who make the day for me. Chris and Lisa are always so warm and welcoming. I just walk in and they make me feel special. They’re such hard workers, as are their whole family. There are Steubings throughout the staff there, but you have to look fast! While making everyone feel taken care of, they (the staff) are buzzing here and there taking care of everyone.

So, Easter was a huge coming out party for me this year. Thanks to my family for being there with me and thanks to the Steubing family for making me feel special.