Tuesday, September 30, 2014

a few brief updates

Book Report:

Have you ever read Daphne du Maurier's "Rebecca"?

One day last week when I was searching my much-appreciated online regional library for an audiobook to download, "Rebecca" popped up as a recommendation. I read it for school when I was about 13 and a few images from the story have stayed with me, but not much of the plot detail. After checking the brief sample clip to be sure the narrator would be easy to listen to (for me, the narrator can make or break any audiobook), I downloaded the novel for knitting entertainment.


I'll tell you what.
This book is a stunner.
That Daphne du Maurier really knew
how to put the words together.
And the narrator, actress Anna Massey, was brilliant.

I've listened for an hour or so each evening, while working on the second(!) orange sock. And today, while listening to the final part of the book, I mindlessly knit an extra inch
on the foot of the sock.
Hundreds and hundreds of tiny (unnecessary) stitches.

That's a pretty good book!


Weather Report:

I have not been talking or writing or thinking about Autumn yet. This is not denial. I know it's right around the corner, and I'm already working hard to prep for the season that will come after it. No, I love Autumn and will welcome it gladly, but I've had a strong feeling that we have not seen the last of Summer.

And sure enough, for the past three days we've had mid-70s. Truly Hot. It's been hard to sleep; hot and stuffy even with all the windows open.
This isn't even Indian Summer...it's just 

Not Yet Autumn.


Gardening Report:

A friend generously offered some of her perennial plants for my new border garden. I was thrilled! We had a lovely time chatting while she thinned numerous spots in her vast and varied gardens.

There is some question as to the exact identity of several of my new plants, as their blooms are for the most part gone. But they include bee balm (possibly in two colors!) and echinacea and hyssop and several other things. Now all are planted either in the new border garden or in one of the small flower-and-veg beds between the barns. 

Tansy! I'm told it produces light yellow flowers.
It took me about 5 hours to get everything in the ground and watered. Now I hope the plants will have time to develop new roots and get snugged in for a good rest, in preparation for a revival in the Spring.


Piper Report:

Piper went into fits of serious barking several times last evening. There was clearly Something In The Woods, and Piper wanted to holler at it but not chase it off. I went out twice and walked around in the dark - which Piper always finds great fun! - but couldn't see or hear the mystery critter. The goats were upset, but not all facing into the woods and staring the way they do when they sense a threat - no, they were all staring at That Dog Is Scaring Us.

I know the feeling, goats. My heart pounds when Piper barks. She rarely barks at all, and when she does, it is very sudden!

The more typical Piper: Not Barking.


and a Follow-Up:

I should add a little more about the rock and root...apparently not the best subject for a wordless post, sorry!

Here's the story behind the pictures.
I was digging a hole for one of the new perennials in untilled, hardpack soil, removing roots and stones as I went along. The "plant-end" of the root in the pictures snapped when I pulled on the stone. I might not have noticed it had it not been bright orange-pink;
probably my nemesis, oriental bittersweet.

Here's my interpretation: the root, perhaps when it was quite small, had begun growing into a tiny "fracturable" spot on the stone. As the root grew longer and wider, it forced the the stone to begin to break apart. The depth and degree to which the stone had begun to fracture was clearly associated with the progress of the root, with a wide crack on the "entry" side narrowing to a nearly invisible hairline on the opposite side. And on the non-root side of the stone (I'm running out of "sides;" but it's kind of a lumpy stone), on the other end of the stone, let's say, it is completely solid rock; there isn't even a hairline crack. I tried to show all this in the pictures by rotating the stone, but when I saw HelenB's comment about the potato, I realized a few words of explanation would have helped! I'll try to keep that in mind for the future.

Thanks for visiting and commenting...
I hope you are all having a lovely week!


  1. Well now that explains it lol I hadn't sussed it was a stone either but your right, its remarkable that the root survived and has lived to split the stone!
    I devise and make tactile resources for visually impaired bairns and listen to audio books as I make. I will look out for Rebecca myself now in the library lol I read that way back when I was still in school enjoyed it and Jamaica Inn too as I recall.
    The narrators voice and reading style can make or break an audio book although I guess that's a personal choice.
    Is that modest lady in the portrait hung at Chatsworth House, or maybe at Warwick Castle come to think of it? Im sure Ive seen her somewhere Ive been to recently!

    1. I think I'll look for Jamaica Inn, too :)
      If you hover over the portrait, I hope you'll see the info...if not, please let me know and I'll add a caption! It's "A Woman" (as in "portrait of") by Quentin Metsys, painted c1520. Holding up well, isn't she? But I bet she's thinking, "I wish this was an audiobook!"

  2. Anna Massey is a wonderful actress. I'm not surprised you like her narrative. Her father Raymond Massey was wonderful, too. And I agree that the narrator can make or break the book. Oddly enough, even the writer is not always the best narrator!

    1. I saw Anna Massey in so many things, mostly British television shows, and she was always so memorable! Did not know until I looked her up after listening to this book that she was in a film version of Rebecca, with her then-husband, Jeremy Brett. And she played Mrs Danvers!!

  3. I forgot to mention that tansy is a great insect repellent. Might even work if hung right outside the barn.

  4. I wish I could say that I wasn't thinking about autumn yet. But, here, we are thinking about the *end* of autumn ;)

    As for Piper's barking - I know that feeling. Our dogs have a particular style of barking when it's a threatening species outside, and we peer out all the windows to see what it is. We don't have goats to protect so we're not as worried as you must be.

    Thanks for the rock explanation!

  5. Rebecca was one of my favourite books as a teenager too

  6. Rebecca was one of my favorites...back in the day. I've not read it in decades but perhaps it's time to re-visit. Right now, I"m watching Johnny Depp in Dark Shadows...it's amusing.

  7. I have Rebecca in my "library" upstairs but I've never read it. I had heard it was supposed to be good and now you have me intrigued :)

  8. (for me, the narrator can make or break any audiobook),

    oh me too!

    Nice to see Miss Piper is taking her responsibilities seriously :-)

  9. The narration must have been really good for you to placed into a knitting trance. ha! So nice to have a friend share plants with you. Crazy what roots can do. Have a fabulous Friday. Tammy

  10. I too read Rebecca at that age and remember being thrilled by it, but sadly, I have forgotten the actual story. Maybe, I should find time to read it again.

  11. Oh, Rebecca is a good one - and a good old movie, too. I have so many books to read for the first time, probably won't re-read it right now, but I love the idea of listening on tape while I do needlework or draw! I may do that, thanks!

    1. I hope you enjoy it! I almost always listen to audiobooks while knitting. Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment :)


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