Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Murder, She Read

As any of you who have read this blog in the past will know, or at least as you should know, I am a regular participant in the Goodreads Annual Reading Challenge. 

It's not like its hard to take part, you just set yourself a goal and get reading.  (In fairness, if you should happen to have what I affectionately refer to as a 'black hole of need' in your life (i.e. a husband and/or children...or a job) then finding time to read can be a bit tricky.) 

As I wasn't feeling particularly ambitious on January 1st, I settled on a goal of 50 new books for the year...which I surpassed on May 5th.  

Turns out, I'm far more ambitious than originally thought.

Looking back over the list of already completed titles I noticed an unintentional theme emerging.  Turns out my reading list is a little...murder-y.  

2017 Reading Challenge Book List
(limited to mysteries)

The Eyre Affair – Jasper Fforde
Evans Above – Rhys Bowen
Angora Alibi – Sally Goldenbaum
Crewel Yule – Monica Ferris
Cutwork – Monica Ferris
Hanging by a Thread – Monica Ferris
A Fatal Fleece – Sally Goldenbaum
The Wedding Shawl – Sally Goldenbaum
A Holiday Yarn – Sally Goldenbaum
A Murderous Yarn – Monica Ferris
Unraveled Sleeve – Monica Ferris
Moon Spinners – Sally Goldenbaum
A Stitch in Time – Monica Ferris
A Quiet Life in the Country – T.E. Kinsey
Maisie Dobbs – Jacqueline Winspear
Friends, Lovers, Chocolate – Alexander McCall Smith
Patterns in the Sand – Sally Goldenbaum
Framed in Lace – Monica Ferris
Crewel World – Monica Ferris
Death by Cashmere – Sally Goldenbaum
A Deadly Grind – Victoria Hamilton
The Sunday Philosophy Club – Alexander McCall Smith
The Secret of Chimneys – Agatha Christie
Partners in Crime – Agatha Christie
The Secret Adversary – Agatha Christie
Cocaine Blues – Kerry Greenwood
The Cuckoo’s Calling – Robert Galbraith
Sherlock Holmes: The Complete Novels and Stories, Volume II - Arthur Conan Doyle
Sherlock Holmes: The Complete Novels and Stories, Volume I - Arthur Conan Doyle
Endless Night – Agatha Christie
Crooked House – Agatha Christie
Agatha Raisin and the Walkers of Dembley – M.C. Beaton
The Quiche of Death – M.C. Beaton

The fictional bodies are stacking up like cord wood around here!  

till next time,

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

About that last post... wasn't published in January.  It was published three minutes ago.  I'm a slacker.

Well, it's not really that I'm a slacker, it's more that life shifts its focus and things fall out of your day to day routine.  And once they're gone, it's hard to get them back on the list of 'oh-yeah-I-need-to-do-that.'  It's just life I suppose.  Not a very deep or original thought, but there it is. 

And then there's my blog.  Once such a huge source of comfort and creativity for me.  Blogging really isn't done anymore, most everyone has switched to vlogging instead.  I'm not really comfortable in front of the camera, you just have to look at the pictures I take to figure that one out.  And I don't have the equipment needed for a vlog anyway.  Hell...if no one bothers to read what you have to say why put it out there in a video?  Who'd watch???  (Don't answer would be weirdos, I know.)

So that leaves me a bit stymied as to how I should handle things.  I don't want to end the blog, because I enjoy looking back at the old posts and pictures...but I'm not updating it as regularly as I could/should be.  This blog has always been real outlet for me...and it's so much cheaper than therapy. 

Anyway! The long and the short of it changes.

till next time,

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Happy Birthday, Blog!

Happy Ninth Birthday, poor neglected blog.   I'm still happy you're here...even if I don't visit much.

love and kisses,

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Fifteen Years

I originally posted these thoughts on September 11, 2008, seven years after that terrible fall day.  

Today, fifteen years after the events of September 11, 2001, I feel that these memories are even more poignant and valuable.  

Not only was America forever changed by these events, but we now live in a world that would be unrecognizable to the people we were before 8:46 am that Tuesday morning.

I dedicate this post to the memory of everyone we lost that day.  You are still missed.  You are still mourned. We carry you in our hearts.

Freedom Tower - One World Trade

Christine Lee Hanson was born on February 22, 1999. A bright-eyed and inquisitive toddler, she attended Knowledge Beginnings, an early learning center in Chelmsford, Massachusetts. She was the only child of Peter and Sue Hanson of Groton, Massachusetts.

At age two, Christine became the youngest victim of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

Christine and her parents were on their way to California for a trip to Disneyland and a visit with relatives when their flight, United Airlines flight 175, was hijacked and flown into the south tower of the World Trade Center.

The young family has been honored with various memorials throughout the United States. In 2002 Sue Hanson was posthumously awarded a doctorate degree in Pathology from Boston University, which has established an annual lecture to be held on September 11 in Sue’s honor. In 2003 Northeastern University established an annual lecture series and scholarship in Peter Hanson’s name, and the Boston University Medical Center dedicated a pediatrics treatment room to the Hansons. And in 2005, Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo opened the Hanson Exploration Station, a state-of-the-art educational and corporate meeting space named in the Hanson’s honor.

In 2003 an orchestral elegy titled Christine’s Lullaby was written to honor the memory of Christine Lee Hanson and you can listen to it here.

Christine is survived by her grandparents, Eunice and Lee Hanson of Easton, Connecticut, and her great-grandmother, Ok-Hee Kim of California.

A memorial website for the family can be found here.


2,996 men, women, and children lost their lives on September 11, 2001.


As I have mentioned before, there are things I don’t talk about on this blog. I leave my past where it is. I avoid what I find painful. And this is one of the most painful things I have ever been through. But I feel that it is time that I talk about this, and I hope that in doing so I can honor the memory of Christine Lee Hanson.


On the morning of September 11, 2001 I was getting ready for class. I was in my first semester at a local community college. It was a Tuesday. I had a 2600 level Environmental Science lab, a German language course, and a literature class that day.

As per my usual morning routine I had wandered around the house in my pajamas while eating breakfast and wasted a few minutes watching mindless television while waiting for my hair to dry after my shower.

I got up, and got dressed…jeans, sneakers, a tee-shirt and a hoodie…the usual.

I’m not sure why but it is an understood custom in my parent’s house that no matter what you were watching and no matter what time of day it was you put the television back on our local ABC affiliate station before turning it off.

So I did.

And I don’t really remember when exactly the tears started rolling down my face. And I don’t really remember dropping the remote from my suddenly limp fingers though I remember distinctly the sound of it hitting the floor and the cover of the battery compartment popping loose. I don’t remember when exactly I stopped breathing, but I do remember that when I started again I inhaled raggedly and choked on a sob.

I was just…numb. All I could do was stare at the television screen…at the images of horror happening live.

The phone rang. I turned and looked at the small black handset resting in the cradle. It rang again. It was my mother. Her voice was comforting, her words calming, her tone reassuring. I was fine, she was fine, WE were fine, go to class.

I drove mechanically, my thoughts swimming. I turned on the radio. News everywhere, more planes, more fires, the Pentagon, a field in Pennsylvania.

I parked and walked inside. The classroom was noisy. Friendly chatter, laughing….they didn’t know.

“Turn on a radio. Get to a news website.” I told them.

And they did.

And silence fell. And tears came. And a classroom full of relative strangers clung to each other for support, giving comfort, giving encouragement. More people filled the lab room, crowding in, watching, listening. What did it mean? What should we do? Stay here? Go home? We looked to the professor for guidance. She was weeping.

Somewhere in the room a pager went off. A student, a young man, tall, blond, upright, stood and walked to the door. He turned to the professor. He said he was in the Army Reserve and that they had just paged him. He had to report for duty. The professor clung to him for a moment, her grief in plain sight. The room was quiet as we all stared.

He turned to us. Slowly looked at each tear stained face. He saluted his fellow students, turned and walked from the room. I have never seen him again but I will never forget the look in his eyes that day.

All classes were canceled.

Students wandered the campus aimlessly…hugging friends, hugging strangers.

The American flag standing in the center of the campus danced on the light fall breeze.

I went home. I felt useless. I felt lost.

I felt lucky.

I lived in Georgia. My family had called from all over the country. We were all alive and accounted for.

I felt guilty…because I lived in Georgia and my whole family was fine.

The rest of that day is blurred in my memory. But I know that it was a day that seemed to have no end. Minutes dragged. Hours stretched. America mourned.

Television stations suspended broadcasting and went off the air. Black screens with messages of sorrow. Others cancelled regular programming to allow for new coverage to expand…30 channels…all live…all smoke and flames and sirens and rubble.

At midnight I turned the television off and crawled into my bed, feeling like I had been beaten.

The next day dawned.

And the next.

And the next.

Smoke slowly cleared.

Rubble was slowly moved.

And America rose from the ashes.


So, dear Christine, there you have it. My memories of that day pulled from their hiding place and put onto this blog. I’m sorry there isn’t more I can share. I’m sorry that time has clouded things and made me forget the details. But perhaps it is better for both of us that these feelings are somewhat blurred at the edges now.

I have books on my shelves at home that have the images of that day inside them. Maybe someday I’ll be able to open one and look inside instead of letting them sit there, side by side on that bottom shelf, and quietly gather dust. Maybe someday.

And maybe someday, if I’m lucky, my life will be blessed with a little girl like you. And I’ll hug her and play with her and teach her about the world just like your mommy and daddy taught you. And someday, when she’s old enough to understand, I’ll tell her about you and your parents. I’ll tell her what happened that day. I’ll hold her close as we look at those pictures and I’ll do my best to help her understand that we still don’t really understand why there are such bad people in this world. And I’ll do my best to tell her what this wonderful country was like before that day, back in the days when you ran on the grass under the summer sunshine and watched Blue’s Clues and Bear in the Big Blue House and drank apple juice and ate Cheerios.

I promise I’ll do my best, Christine.

But most of all, dear Christine, I promise that I’ll never forget.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Time Flies Like An Arrow...

...fruit flies like a banana.
Blissfully Unaware is 8 years old, today!

Monday, December 14, 2015

So, what with one thing and another...

Well, I went on vacation.  And it was lovely.  And there will be more about it later because I need to get my act in gear and get all the pictures off my phone in anticipation of entertaining blog posts and possibly getting a new phone! 

And then November just kinda got away from me.

Things have been busy! 

So...if I don't manage to get an update posted till after Christmas...well...oh well! 

love and kisses,
- HistoryDiva