It's that time of year again, and while most of the rest of you are celebrating Halloween, I'm celebrating the Day of the Dead-- Dia de Los Muertos. Of course, I do live in a perfect part of the country for it, but it also helps that I like the artwork and I prefer the significance of honoring the dead over playing tricks.
|Kathryn Seger Brookshier|
The photo you see to the right is of my maternal great-grandmother, Katie Brookshier. Katie was a tiny thing-- four foot seven or eight. My mother (who wasn't as tall as I) could hold her arm out, and Gramma Brookshier could walk underneath without touching.
Katie had a difficult life growing up, and she had to hire herself out as a housekeeper/cook when she was quite young. When she married my great-grandfather, she became a devoted wife and mother, raising nine children out on a farm outside the village where I grew up.
Katie had a knack for healing, and whenever anyone was injured, sick, or giving birth, folks in the area would automatically say, "Go get Katie." My mother inherited Katie's healing ways. She also courted her grandmother's wrath by hiding and watching Katie make some of her prized foods-- like biscuits that were so light you had to nail them to the plate so they wouldn't float away. Katie was known as a cook, and even when her health meant that she had to move into town, she kept a big garden-- and she had to use two canes to walk. She'd use one cane to poke a hole in the dirt and the other to put the seed in the hole and tamp it down. She had one of those little 1920s-style iceboxes, and folks always said she could pull enough food out of that thing to feed an army.
I wish I'd known her. She is the one person in my family whom I've only heard spoken of with great love and respect. This Dia de Los Muertos, I honor you, Katie.
►Books, Movies & Other Interesting Tidbits◄
- The magic of TV adaptation: an interview with Ann Cleeves.
- A British book dealer was slain for his first edition of The Wind in the Willows.
- A very interesting article about Philip Kerr's Berlin Noir trilogy.
- The neighborhood bookstore's unlikely ally? The internet.
- The genesis of the cover for Sarah Domet's debut novel, The Guineveres.
- Some of history's most beautiful combs.
►Channeling My Inner Indiana Jones◄
- Roman bullets tell the story of an 1,800-year-old attack on a Scottish fort.
- World War II shipwrecks show how close war came to the U.S.
- The message in a bottle found in a Dundee shark gut.
- A fake painting that sold for £8.4 million signals the presence of a highly skilled forger in the arts market.
- See inside the incredibly ornate residence where a banker from Pompeii lived 2,000 years ago.
- The discovery of a dog's tooth gives evidence of a 250-mile journey taken 7,000 years ago.
- She found this chest in a castle's attic, and the centuries-old artifacts amazed her.
►Channeling My Inner Elly Mae Clampett◄
- A twelve-year-old girl is abducted and beaten by men, then three lions save her life. (Be very glad that you are not young and female in Ethiopia.)
- Tracy Johnson captures the multi-colored magic of hummingbirds.
- A man found a tiny creature in a bag of mulch....
- This little hyrax frequently returns to thank the people who rescued her as a tiny orphan.
- Yikes! Florida deputies rescued a bald eagle from a car grille.
- Believe it or not, urban bobcats are pretty cool cats.
- The largest living thing on Earth is mostly hidden from view.
►The Happy Wanderer◄
- Route 66's best kitschy roadside attractions. (Denis, Daisy and I saw #6 this past June.)
- This tiny guesthouse filled with books is the perfect woodsy escape in upstate New York.
- The world's largest floating bookstore.
- The twelve best national parks to visit for fall colors.
- A travel guide to Arizona's coolest small towns.
- And while we're on the subject of Arizona's coolest small towns, here's an article about Bisbee's best historical landmarks, shops, and restaurants. I'm looking forward to our next stay down there.
- IN the remote high desert of New Mexico is one of the late twentieth century's most significant works of land art.
- Artemisia Gentileschi, the woman who took revenge in oil.
- Chasing the sun: Annie Maunder, the woman forgotten by science.
►I ♥ Lists◄
- Eleven desk accessories every book lover needs in their workspace.
- Seven delightful Dickensian words.
- The funniest living writers choose the funniest books in the world.
- Thirty-six fabulous home libraries showcasing window seats.
That's it for this week! Don't forget to stop by next Friday when I'll be sharing a freshly selected batch of links for your surfing pleasure.
Have a great weekend, and read something fabulous!