Sunday, January 21, 2018

Sunday Synopsis

The Last TudorThe Last Tudor by Philippa Gregory
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow! Philippa Gregory does it again! I always enjoy her historical fiction. Her writing puts you in the middle of the action, as if t you are in the tower, in the presence chamber, or on the block. In striking detail, she takes the most mundane characters, three relative unknowns (unless you are a British historian) and weaves a tale so detailed, so intense, that you can't wait to see what happens next. And when the story is over, you feel as though you've lost a friend.

The Last Tudor is the story of three sisters, Jane, Katherine, and Mary Grey, cousins to the young, Protestant King Edward VI, who was the son of Henry VIII and Jane Seymour. The sickly Edward, not yet 18 years of age, chooses not to name one of his half sisters, Mary or Elizabeth, as heir. The Privy Council turns to Lady Jane Grey, cousin to the King, whose grandmother Mary was Queen of France (sister of Henry VIII).

The devout Jane Grey finds herself Royal - for nine days, and a martyr for all of history. Catholic Queen Mary I, daughter of Katherine of Aragon and Henry VIII, his eldest offspring, takes her "rightful" place as queen, and Jane finds herself a prisoner in the tower, not only for refusal to denounce her Protestant faith, but for usurping the Crown. Little does it matter that it wasn't her choice.

The story begins with Jane, but there are two other Grey sisters with a claim to the throne, and this is their story, too: Katherine, the beautiful sister, looking more for love than religion, and Mary, also beautiful, but a dwarf who has little influence in Court. Mary I ruled for 5 years, and on her death, Elizabeth I became Queen and ruled for 44 years. The cousins remained threats through Elizabeth I's reign. The Last Tudor gives a glimpse into British life during the English Reformation and the English Renaissance, otherwise known as the Elizabethan Age. And because the heroines of the story defy the Queen's rule, there is also a glimpse into Elizabeth I's ruthlessness.

I highly recommend The Last Tudor, whether you have read any of Gregory's novels in the Cousin's War, Plantagenet, or Tudor series. One doesn't need to have any background with her other novels in order to enjoy this one.  And if you are lucky enough to get the B&N Exclusive Edition, you will also be able to read a letter from the author and a reprinting of the actual letters Gregory used in her research.

Happy reading!

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Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Thursday Thirteen

This Thursday Thirteen is brought to you by the letter N.

1.  Naps - I love naps!  I know that doctors don't really recommend naps, particularly if, like me, you have trouble sleeping at night, but I love naps.  I usually get to take a nap on Saturday afternoon.

2.  Nurse - We have three nurses in the family - My husband's oldest son, his wife, and our oldest daughter.  Have a health question?  At least one of them is bound to know the answer!

3.  Nuzzle - I love when the cat nuzzles me.  She's so soft and sweet.

4.  Newborn - I haven't held a newborn in a long time.  They are just precious.  Someday in the not too distant future, I imagine I'll have that opportunity.

5.  Nappy - This is what Britons call a diaper.

6.  Navel - My navel never popped out when I was pregnant with my twins.

7.  Night - I prefer night to morning.  I am a night owl. I get my best work done when others are asleep.

8.  Nest - Our nest will be empty soon.  One of the twins (the youngest) has graduated and will be moving on when she gets a job.  The other is back in school for about another year and a half.

9.  Nuts - I'm not crazy about most nuts.  I like pine nuts, peanuts, and cashews.  That's about it.  And probably, those aren't true nuts.

10. Native - I am a native Texan and proud of it!

11. Navy - The dominant color in my bedroom is navy blue.

12. Needle - I know how to use a needle to sew minor repairs in clothing and stuffed animals.  I can also sew a button with a needle and thread.

13. Neat - While my home, bedroom, even my classroom, aren't always neat, I much prefer when they are.  I love it when things are stacked neatly or organized neatly.  I do not like when my students don't write neat enough for me to read their papers.

I hope you've had fun visiting Forgetfulone today!

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Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Random Tuesday

I'm linking up with Stacy.

So... going on day 2 of no school due to ice.  The kids also had MLK day off (not teachers), so they are going on day 5.  This is a traffic/weather camera near where I grew up.
Image Credit
Pictured is ice, not snow.  We so rarely get this kind of weather in South Texas.  The whole country is laughing because we're freaking out about freezing rain, but we don't have salt and sand trucks, or the right kind of tires, or whatever people up North use to make roads driveable in this kind of weather.

I remember my mom and I driving to the oral surgeon in icy weather.  It was about 30 years ago.  Cars were sliding all over the place, but I had three dry sockets, and I had to get there to get some relief.  I remember being scared out of my mind when a car slid coming thisclose to crashing into us.  So, world, laugh if you must, but I don't want to drive on ice.

And then there's this...

I truly dislike group texts!  I get texts from a group, some of whom I know, and some I have no idea who they are.  My husband and I were just comparing whose group texts were worse.  I think he won!  I wish someone could tell me how to leave a group text.  Makes me feel like this!  Haha!

Did I mention my beautiful daughter graduated (a semester early) with her BBA in Management last month?  I probably did... but it never hurts to repeat it.
  I'm so happy to have her home, even if it's not for long!

And that's all for today!  Stay warm, friends!

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Sunday, January 14, 2018

Oh, Facebook... There's that One Friend

You know what I don't get?  Why people feel the need to document their every move on Facebook.  Don't get me wrong... I post on Facebook.  I comment, I read, I watch videos, I occasionally post updates, but... I have a friend who seriously documents EVERY move she makes on Facebook.  First of all, it's not safe.  Friends of friends probably know more about her than they ever cared to.  And a criminal could have a field day with her information.  But, it just bothers me.

Here's an example.  She recently had a family tragedy, and while most people would want to keep it quiet and private, she posted a news article that was quite an unflattering recounting of the event.  And she continues to post pictures and quotes about the circumstances of the event.

They're making a trip to her dad's house a few states away.  New state, new picture and comments for everyone.

Got an allergy shot?  Here's your Facebook update!
Want to know what she's listening to on the radio?  Here's your Facebook update!
Got the car washed?  Here's your Facebook update!

And quotes and quotes about fairly tale love and happy endings (she's been married before and has a 15 year old daughter).  Maybe I'm just jealous that she found a fairy tale, but I read these "Oh, my true love" quotes, and I just think, "Blech!"

She JUST posted... "We booked our honeymoon!"  That's all.  Didn't say where.  I guess she wants everyone to comment and ask, and I did, but I deleted it.  I think she just likes being the center of attention.  Maybe I secretly want to be the center of attention.  We all just want to belong, right?

She's my friend, and I love her to death, but she overshares.  And it bothers me.  What does that say about me?

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Monday, January 08, 2018

Random Nonsense

Sunday Synopsis will return next Sunday with a review of Philippa Gregory's The Last Tudor.

I'm linking up with Stacy.
New Year - Back to work as of yesterday.  Our school didn't get out until December 22, yes, we had two days off before Christmas, but we had over a week after.  Getting out late, and going back late, that's how it's been done here recently.  Did I mention I don't like it that way?

My daughter has graduated and has been home with us, but she's also been spending time with her boyfriend and his family who live four hours north of us..  I think they will end up getting married, but she has to find a job first.  It's tough for young couples to get started in their lives when they are both recent graduates.

Now... BATHROOMS!  I've mentioned here before how much I hate public bathrooms, but I also dislike sharing a bathroom with my family.  We have one working shower right now, so unless I take a bath, we share the shower.  Someday, when I am rich and famous... no, rich OR famous, no, oh, who am I kidding?  Someday, though, I want to have my own bathroom.  It will only have MY germs and MY cooties in it, and I won't have to clean up after anyone else! Not only that, but I could decorate it any way that I want, and it would STAY that way! Ah, wouldn't it be lo-ve-ly?

I'm trying to decide which laptop case to get for my new school laptop.  It's a 13 inch (much smaller than my home laptop).  Our desktops at work are going away, so I need to make sure I protect my laptop because it will literally have EVERYTHING for teaching my classes on it.  These are two I'm considering:

Before you go, here is a video of sweet Claire Crosby and her dad visiting with Ellen and sharing a song.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

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