Book Review: The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt

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Recently I finished the first book that Edmund Morris wrote about Theodore Roosevelt. There are two others following his life. This book was in depth and it was obvious that the author did much research. The Prologue starts on January 1, 1907 and describes Theodore Roosevelt as President. People stand in line to shake his hand in front of the White house. He has a great sense of humor and a wonderful laugh. He loves being President and uses the word Dee-lightful often. He is a very courteous, kind and respectful person. He loves children, physical activity and his White House is very interesting to say the least. He was born on Octobert 27, 1858, his mother Mittie was from the south and was described as “such loveliness of line and tinting…such sweet courtesy of manner. His father, Theodore Roosevelt Senior was 27 years old, handsome, wealthy, gregarious and philanthropist. He loved and helped humanity and Theodore Roosevelt said he was the best man he every knew. This book starts at his birth and ends with the assassination of President William McKinley whom Theodore at that moment was the Vice President. When I was at Sagamore Hill I was speaking with a Ranger and said I was reading these books and he said that he had not because it seemed like a daunting task.He said he reads other literature but he would know TR so much better.   I recommend them if you love history. I am especially enjoying them because Teddy was born in New York city and it mentions many of the streets we were on and of course Oyster Bay. I look forward to moving on to book number two.

Always Something to take a picture of

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My husband and I have been on vacation this week. If you are friends with me on facebook you know this very well because I post pictures often of things I see or places we go. I like everyone to share in my fun. We were making a trip to New York City and this was our first stop because we didn’t want to drive straight through. This is Grove City PA…a nice little city that had a great outlet mall. For dinner this night we went to Elephant and Castle Inn, it had British food that was very good! I snapped a picture of this informative arm, thought that was pretty clever.

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Since it was sunday the mall had closed at 6 p.m. but we still walked around since we had been sitting a lot that day while driving. Also our dinner needed to be walked off. There was this CUTE building and from it was coming the wonderful scent of baking donuts! We will be staying at the same place on the way home and you can bet I will be paying this place a visit!

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I love little buildings! It is stone with a tin roof and look at those daylilies growing. It was adorable.

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The lush hostas and ornamental grass are just lovely!

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Look on the back….a waterwheel. I am looking forward to tasting these donuts.

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This pot of flowers was gorgeous. The different types of flowers were perfect and the colors just made me go…Ahhhh!

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I am going to use the colors in a painting, it is just beautiful.

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The green, red and orange of these daylilies was perfect against this white fence.

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In the middle of this mall is a wetlands. I was very impressed by that.

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That’s a willow tree back there and then I wonder if in the spring this area blooms with color. I don’t know but can just imagine.

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How handy this is…..a free, freestanding charger for your electronic devices. I just thought that was very generous. It just goes to show there is anything out there to take a picture of, even a mundane plug in. Keep checking back for the next installment of “The Hawkins go to New York”.

The Grief of Others by Leah Hager Cohen

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I received this book from my book buddy Colleen in December. I just recently finished it. As I have mentioned many times…I love books. So when I get a book it is a treasure.

 This book had a lot of sadness as you can discern from the title. It centers around one family that had the death of a new baby. It had a formative disease in the womb and the mother knew that the baby was not going to live long, only 57 hours after birth. The term was Anencephaly. The mother learned this during a routine ultrasound in the 5th month of pregnancy. She didn’t disclose this to her husband until right before the birth. They have two other children, a boy and a girl but this death has just affected the whole family in different ways. The story keeps unfolding and a daughter of the husband (from a previous relationship) comes to visit one day and stays for a while because she told them her mother kicked her out. She was pregnant and somewhat unknowingly brings the family together. I had a hard time getting into it at first, but give the story a chance because it starts making sense. I got very frustrated with the woman because she kept making excuses and was not appreciating what she had, but she eventually saw the light. I like happy endings and this book had one, but the family had many dark clouds over their heads before they saw the sunshine again.
I found the perfect poem to go with this story from The Best Loved Poems of the American People.
IF WE KNEW
If we knew the woe and heartache
Waiting for us down the road,
If our lips could taste the wormwood,
If our backs could fell the load,
Would we waste the day in wishing
For a time that ne’er can be?
Would we wait in such impatience
For our ships to come from sea?
If we knew the baby fingers
Pressed against the windowpane
Would be cold and stiff tomorrow-
Never trouble us again-
Would the bright eyes of our darling
Catch the frown upon our brow?
Would the print of rosy fingers
Vex us then as they do now?
Ah! these little ice-cold fingers-
How they point out memories back
To the hasty words and actions
Strewn along our backward track!
How these little hands remind us,
As in snowy grace they lie,
Not to scatter thorns-but roses-
For our reaping by and by.
Strange we never prize the music
Till the sweet-voiced bird has flown;
Strange that we should slight the violets,
Till the lovely flowers are gone;
Strange that summer skies and sunshine Never seem one half so fair
As when winter’s snowy pinions Shake their white down in the air!
Lips from which the seal of silence
None but God can roll away,
Never blossomed in such beauty
As adorns the mouth today;
And sweet words that freight our memory
With their beautiful perfume,
Come to us in sweeter accents
Through the portals of the tomb.
Let us gather up the sunbeams
Lying all around our path;
Let us keep the wheat and roses,
Casting out the thorns and chaff;
Let us find our sweetest comfort
In the blessings of today,
With a patient hand removing
All the briars from the way.
-May Riley Smith-
Enjoy the day, enjoy your moments.  Thanks for stopping!

Book Review-Billy Joel The Definitive Biography by Fred Schruers

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I love the Kennedy Center Awards and when I watched them in December of 2013 Billy Joel was receiving one along with Carlos Santana, Herbie Hancock and Martina Arroyo. When I saw Billy Joel I thought, what has happened to him? Where did his hair go? Then I was amazed to realize that he was 64 years old! I was trying to think where the time went. I lost track of him. I remember watching M-TV in the 80’s and his Uptown Girl video along with Innocent Man and then my life must have taken over. After watching the Kennedy Center Awards I was totally infatuated with Billy all over again. I couldn’t find out enough information about him. Early in 2014 my husband had gotten an email from The Palace at Auburn Hills announcing that Billy Joel was coming there for a concert, would I like to go? I gave a resounding yes! There were songs I had never heard before, And So it Goes for example. I thought that was one of the prettiest songs I had ever heard. When we got back home I downloaded on my phone all the music I could find from Amazon. I would listen to it going to work every morning. I was amazed at all the styles that he wrote in, blue grass, doo wop, and was again amazed. I ordered this book and am glad I did because it filled in blank spots for me. He is a genuinely caring person and a bit naive where he thought the best of everyone and he was taken advantage of.  I love his New York slang, especially the words chutzpah and schtik. The book ends with he and his newest romance of which he got married to on July 4th of this year. He just became a new father yesterday with a little girl, Della Rose. He is now 66 years old, has had a double hip replacement and is touring to sold out crowds. I was glad to see that he is open to collaborating with other musicians to make some songs and, to maybe write some music for movies. I personally would like to make a trek to Madison Square Garden to attend a concert there before he decides he doesn’t want to do it anymore. And that’s what he says in the book, he can make that choice. When it is not fun or if he doesn’t think that he is doing it well anymore then he will call it off. Thinking about it makes me sad. I can’t imaging a world without Billy Joel.