Being in the hospital threw a monkey wrench in the works as far as any Dia de los Muertos celebrations went here at Casa Kittling. I didn't even get a chance to put up my offrenda, and I had some cool new items to display.
Before I get into that, however, here's a brief update on my leg. The doctors are very happy with my progress and I'm done with visits to specialists. The wound care nurse's last visit was yesterday. I no longer have any scabs on my leg, just plenty of brand-new skin. (You know the scabs are bad when your husband comes home from work and you tell him, "One the size of Alaska fell off today!" Denis told me I should have had one of them bronzed.) I can sit with my leg hanging down for extended periods-- unlike being forced to have it elevated practically 24/7 for weeks-- but when it gives me a little warning sign that it's had enough, I grab a book and go stretch out on the bed in the sun. Tough life, huh? Especially since I'm another step closer to being off house arrest.
Now to get back to my Dia de los Muertos offrenda-that-wasn't. One of the new items for it was a chicken which, if you know me, may seem a little odd. I loathe the creatures for more than one reason, although they certainly are tasty. So why a chicken? It has everything to do with my mother and something that happened to her when she was a little girl.
One Sunday, Mom was given chicken duty again. That old hen came running, and without thinking, Mom whacked the bird hard upside the head with the feed pan, killing it stone cold dead. Mom knew there was no way she could cover up her crime, so she slowly made her way into the kitchen where my great-grandmother was. "What are we having for dinner?" Mom asked. "I don't know," my great-grandmother replied. "What sounds good to you?" "Chicken," Mom said, looking down at the floor. "That sounds good to me, too. I'll finish this up and go out and kill one of the hens." "You don't have to. I already did," Mom said, swallowing hard.
My maternal great-grandmother wasn't an easy-going sort of person, but guess what? That whipping Mom was expecting never happened. Perhaps Great-Grandma was as impressed with Mom's honesty as I was when Mom first told me about this when I was a little girl. What do you think?
On to the links!
►Books & Other Interesting Tidbits◄
- Where do you read books? Mark Athitakis reads at the mall.
- The first personality test was developed during World War I.
- A bookstore employee wrote this on her Facebook page after a "little old lady" shocked everyone at the cash register.
- After 137 years of service, Bisbee's Copper Queen Library has been declared the best small library in America.
- It turns out chocolate is a lot older than we thought.
- The New York Times has updated and expanded its bestseller lists.
- A brief history of personalized bookplates.
- If they'd only had the ROBOTIME Miniature DIY Library House Kit when I was little!
►Channeling My Inner Indiana Jones◄
- The stinky reputation of 17th-century Versailles.
- An ancient "Talayot Sword" found in stone megaliths is revealing a lost civilization in Majorca.
- What can be learned from the bottles that weaned prehistoric infants. An additional article from the Smithsonian.
- The remains of a Roman fort have been "unexpectedly" discovered beneath an Exeter bus station in England.
- Watch experts reweave a damaged canvas on a 1907 painting using surgical sutures and sturgeon swim bladders.
- This map shows the scale of 16th- and 17th-century Scottish witch hunts.
- There's new research on the trippy stuff that gave Viking berserkers their crazed power.
- An ancient "shipwreck graveyard" with tons of loot has been found in the Aegean Sea.
- A family in England has dug up a Jurassic fossil that was hidden by their god-fearing Victorian ancestors for 170 years.
►Channeling My Inner Elly Mae Clampett◄
- A sleeping octopus changes color while dreaming.
- Even shy cats are bonded to their human caregivers.
- When Karl met Karoline (two Abyssinian ground hornbills).
- An angry walrus mother derailed a Russian naval expedition.
- Zambia's lions roam areas previously believed to be uninhabitable. (They're probably just trying to get away from us.)
- Adult sea otters are adopting orphaned babies at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
- The color of a giraffe's spots reflects its social status, not its age.
- Meet Tawanda Kanhema, the photographer who's single-handedly putting Zimbabwe on Google Street View.
- Chief Standing Bear, who fought for Native American freedoms, is honored with a statue in the Capitol.
- Dashiell Hammett, "America's smartest and most literate detective story author."
- For the first time in its 147-year history, Yellowstone National Park has a female chief ranger-- Sarah Davis.
- The memoirs of "Diamond Doris" Payne, international jewel thief.
►The Happy Wanderer◄
- The world's largest privately-owned giant sequoia grove is for sale.
- Deadwood, South Dakota is getting a brothel museum.
- The mysteries of Budapest.
- For Sale: Nineteen Frank Lloyd Wright houses, including his last (which is here in Phoenix).
- Researchers have discovered the tallest known tree in the Amazon.
►I ♥ Lists◄
- The Seattle Times asked for readers' favorite crime fiction authors, and readers responded.
- According to readers, these are sixteen books that inspire real change.
- The top ten cities in the world known for their booze.
- Readers of The Guardian pick the best books of this century.
- The top ten escapes in books.
- Twelves pulse-pounding Deon Meyer books.
- Twenty-three killer crime movies of the 21st century.
- The six best book covers of September.
That's all 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!