Thursday, April 28, 2011

Surrounded by Purple

Purple Pansies! In my flowerboxes...

Monday, April 25, 2011

Photo Challenge 3: Purple!

I had no idea how much purple was around me when I started looking for it for this photo challenge. It holds up well in the desert sunshine, and provides a nice contrast to the eye, but the light washes it out and makes it impossible to photo with my point and shot camera. Purple is commonly used as an accent color on buildings, both residential and commercial. Perhaps that's because few of the native flowers are purple, and so it adds to the color palate. You'll just have to trust me that these are purple in real life.
 My neighbor's iron gate.
Opuntia englemanii, I think--let me check that. It is an Opuntia cactus, and there is one variant that turns deep purple if we get freezing winter temperatures. We had that very deep freeze several nights running this winter. so purple cacti abound everywhere right now.
 My neighbor's purple mailbox on an ocotillo post.
 Another neighbor's purple wooden door. I love this house. The stuccoed wall is a lovely faded pink, and the turquoise and blue door just pop out.
A favorite blouse of mine (turn your head; another photo uploaded sideways). I love the ribbon detail, and the purple is very rich.
 The building that used to be the day care at the university where I teach, and is now a student center. Believe me, it's purple.
 More flowers!
 One of my Guatemalan textiles. This covers my filing cabinets in my office.
 Okay, purple is everywhere, even my post-it notes (insert registered trademark symbol here).
And last but not least, purple Easter M&Ms.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The magnolia tree--the photo came out kind of dark, but when I adjusted it,

I didn't like it anymore. I like the purple combined with the gloom of

the overcast sky.

Our purple plum tree!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Are you psychic, Middle Sis?

ETA (by Middle Sis): I knew you were going to ask that. And yes, I am psychic. I know you are snorting and chuckling while you are reading this.  

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Purple Blast from the Past

Okay, I know this doesn't really count, but the content is so purple I had to post it.
Hydrangea & a nightshade!!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Photo Challenge 3: Purple

Okay, I'm going to toss out the photo challenge: the color purple. Because I know it's Big Sis' favorite color, and because I want to save clouds for this summer, maybe July, when we actually have weather and will have clouds. Right now, unremitting blue sky only for months and months. Nary a cloud. So purple!

So, sisters, take some photos of purple where you see it over the next 2 weeks, and then come back and post your photos. We don't really have to take 2 weeks, I'm just trying to provide some structure.

And keep your eye out on the clouds for this summer.

Middle Sis

Friday, April 1, 2011

Big Sis' March Reads 2011

This was a much better month - a grand total of 8 books, not the 2 or 3 I've been reading of late...

The Secret Soldier, Alex Berenson - The 5th John Wells story, this was the hardest one for me to get into; I'm not sure why.  John is called out of his retirement (well, he might not be retired, but he's not working for the CIA any more) to go to France to meet with someone who wants to hire him for his particular "skills."  The potential employer?  The king of Saudi Arabia, who suspects his own brother of plotting against him in order to ensure his/the brother's son steps onto the throne, rather than the king's own (disinterested) son.

The Pioneer Woman:  Black Heels to Tractor Wheels, Ree Drummond - The Pioneer Woman wrote a book about her love story with the Marlboro Man.  She started out posting the story on her blog and stopped somewhere around the wedding, I think, but her fans/readers demanded a more complete story!  So this is it!  It's written in the vein of a clean, non-smutty Harlequin romance - I had so much fun reading it!  If you want to read a great blog, see some awesome photography, get some good recipes, learn a bit about homeschooling, go to her blog at

The Gifts of Imperfection, Brene Brown - Brene is a human-behavior researcher and has written extensively about shame and fear.  In this book, she writes about living a wholehearted life - she's another author I found through her blog,  This was a good book; she helps you learn to stand up to the unrealistic expections of others, and of ourselves.

Now You See Her, Joy Fielding - I really like Joy Fielding's books, but this one, for some reason, wasn't as easy to get into as her others.  I never really like Marcy, the main character, but I'm glad I stuck it out - the ending wasn't what I expected, and that's always good!  Marcy lost her daughter two years earlier in a tragic drowning.  Apparently.  She was never able to fully come to terms with her daughter's death, and now, in Ireland on a trip that was supposed to be her second honeymoon (she's now separated from her husband), she thinks she sees her daughter.  I assumed I knew how the book would end - we all love a happy ending! - but I was truly surprised.  It wrapped up a bit too easily for my tastes but it was still an okay read.

Love You More, Lisa Gardner - D.D. Warren and Bobby Dodge are back to solve the murder of a state trooper's husband, and apparently the trooper is the guilty party.  The murder investigation is complicated by their frantic search to find the trooper's missing daughter.  Is the mother/trooper/suspect also responsible for her daughter's disappearance?  Did she really kill her husband?  I am a big fan of Lisa Gardner's thrillers!

The Night Season, Chelsea Cain - Another Archie Sheridan mystery, this time with a historical flood as the background for a couple of current corpses...  Here's just one tiny hint:  did you ever expect to read a mystery where the murder weapon of choice is an octopus?!?!  Gretchen Lowell isn't really part of this storyline at all, and that's okay...

Gideon's Sword, Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child - The authors have introduced us to a new main character, Gideon Crew, whose background is short and sweet - he spent years plotting revenge for the murder of his dad, and once that's accomplished, he's ready to just live in relative obscurity.  But that's not to be - he's contacted by a private contractor who works for our government and asked to do a job for them, and for our country.  While I don't like Gideon as much as I like Special Agent Pendergast (at least not yet), I'll give these books a shot - looking forward to the second one!

Live Wire, Harlan Coben - The description on reads:  "Edgar-winner Coben's 10th Myron Bolitar novel (afater Long Lost) is a perfect 10..."  I'm not sure I agree it's a perfect 10; there were several Bolitar novels I liked better.  But as always, it's fun to read a novel set in the locale in which I live, he does craft a mystery with a couple of twists and turns, and Coben brings some characters back from Myron's past...  As usual, it's a great read, just not my favorite!