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Saturday, June 20, 2009

Book: Airs Beneath the Moon by Toby Bishop

June has been a great reading month for me so far, I've been averaging about 110 pages per day, and that's much more than my norm, which is probably more like 60. Yes, I'm a geek, I keep track of my books read, and how many pages, and so on, I'm an Accountant remember, it's just what we do! ;)

Tonight I have just finished Airs Beneath the Moon by Toby Bishop, the first of the Horsemistress Saga. The winged horses are the pride of the Duchy of Oc, carefully bred to preserve the bloodlines, and bonded to girls who will be their riders for life, and who must remain pure or forever ruin their bonding. The girls and their horses learn many formations, that while beautiful to behold, are ultimately battle manuevers.

Far away from the grandeur of the city, into the farmlands of the duchy, a girl named Larkyn Hamley finds a little mare, roaming on her own. Unable to find it's owners, she keeps the horse, naming her Char. Before long it becomes apparent that Char is with foal, and while Lark has never had a horse before, she has grown up on the farm and knows a lot about tending animals. Unfortunately she is not able to save Char after the birth, but the foal is a beautiful little black colt, with wings! Lark stays with the colt, sleeping in his stall, caring for him in the absence of his mother, and creating a deeper bond than she was even aware of.

By the time the Academy of the Air is informed of this unusual winged birth, Lark and the colt have bonded so deeply, there is no choice but to bring Lark back to the Academy and begin training her. Lark faces the usual challenges of social class at the school, but manages to make a few good friends in spite of their differences. Her spunk is endearing, and her devotion to Tup unshakeable.

Duke Frederick, close friend of the Headmistresses of the school, is very ill following the disappearance of his daughter. His oldest son William takes the opportunity to begin furthering his own ambitions concerning the winged horses, having long been jealous of those that rode them, and the independence they enjoyed. Tup figures prominently in William's plans, and the Duke's son will go to great lengths to achieve his ends.

I loved horses when I was younger, and even had several for awhile, and there is something about riding that makes you feel like you're flying, so I could definitely relate to this story. A good fantasy tale that I'm looking forward to continuing in the next books out so far: Airs and Graces, and Airs of Night and Sea.

Please take a look at Toby Bishop's Website for more information on the author and her work.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Giveaway Winner: Dark Hunger Graphic Novel by Christine Feehan

Congratulations to...

Sarah Z

who will be receiving Dark Hunger, the graphic novel version! I'll be e-mailing you for your snail mail addy.

You guys gave me some very entertaining were-creatures, that's for sure! Iguana, sparrow, gopher and elephant I think are the ones that cracked me up the most!

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Water Gardening

We decided to try something new this year. We often take trips out to nearby Powell Gardens where one of their exhibits is an island garden where they have a lot of water plants. I've loved looking at their water lilies. They have large ones in a bigger pond area, but also large ceramic pots filled with water with other water plants in them and it looked easy enough to do. This year when the husband and I went to get our typical flowers for the front yard, we discovered they had water garden makings as well and thought, why not? So we came home with a huge ceramic pot, 2 water lilies, 2 water hyacinths and another plant called a Hippuris. Here is a picture of the next day after we brought it home:

Looks pretty sparse, and one of the lilies had leaves much too small to reach the surface, but hey, trial and error is a great teacher (oh yeah, and probably I should have done some reading up too, but hey, instructions are for whimps, right?) so we just thought we'd let it go and see how they did. Well after about a week, things were slowly getting bigger, and it seemed to be working all right. I picked up one of the water hyacinths, they just float on the top, and I saw some tiny white wormy things inching through the water, blech! Husband says yep, those are mosquito larvae, as expected, after all it is standing water. So away to the pet store I went, and now we have a couple resident goldfish on the prowl! I haven't seen any more wrigglers since, so they must be doing their job! Yay for feeder goldfish, pretty good return on a .75 investment huh?

So it's been about 2 and half weeks now, and here's what we look like:

Quite a difference yes? We may have to thin the water hyacinths down a little! Everyone seems happy, plants and fish! No flowers yet, but I've already had a lot of fun watching them grow, and feeding my little fishes! It really doesn't take much to thrill me. So, now you know why there are koi in lily ponds, to keep down the mosquitoes! I'll post more pictures in a few more weeks and see where we are!
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