Ready to Read

Ready to Read
Historical Novels -Bobi Andrews

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

HETTY'S SONG, THE DEATH OF THE SKYLARK

HETTY'S SONG, The Death of the Skylark has now joined my two previously published books -- The Sotweed Smuggler and Dear Mama, Love Sarah -- in print.

Now it's your choice. Either e-book Kindle or soft cover Print.

See reviews posted on Amazon.



YOU MUST MEET HETTY AND ENJOY HER AMAZING STORY!

Saturday, October 25, 2014






THE BLUES OF FALL







    
The Gulf Coast (Houston) has precious few really blue days. Summer 
is so humid,  the  clouds heavy and the blues paled, but when the humidity 
drops and the temps sit nicely in the 70's and 80's, we enjoy some of the 
bluest skies you'll ever see.  

We know not to expect the multi-red and orange colored leaves 
of New England, frosty Colorado mountain peaks rising in the distance, 
or rushing water gurgling over round river rocks. As the season 
develops, seldom do we have snowflakes larger than the barest of 
imagination, and the thinnest skin of ice sends motorists
skidding and school children home. Anemic snowmen are few 
and far between. 

But we do have marvelous weeds.  Lady Bird Johnson would
cringe at this description, but in our yards we sometimes forget
that some of these  nature-provided wonders are bonafide wild 
flowers. 

For my memory-challenged Alz husband Bob to press 
in a remembrance book, we gathered nine different yard flowers:  
flame-red hammili, deep pink knock-out roses, multicolored 
yellow, orange, pink and blue "squirrel-planted" lantana, 
rosy-red impatiens, a tiny yellow (no name) flower dodging the mower, 
lavender wandering jew, rustic red shrimp plant, iridescent purple
bougainvillea, and blue white-mouth dayflowers. A large yellow and 
purple globe droops from the banana trees, and a strange yellow 
elongated bloom hides within the large cut leaves of the 
philodendron plant shadowing the pond. New this year are 
entire fields of goldenrod along the neighboring road to the highway.

So I have a pretty picture for you.  Imagine the cloud-free blue, 
blue sky, a field of golden goldenrod and a smattering of the 
blue dayflower, the latter a small orchid shaped bloom the color 
of the sky.   Tallow tree leaf disks are the closest to turn to autumn 
colors and float midst the leaves and seed pods that have fallen 
from the mimosa tree into the koi pond providing a playground 
for skirtering and swishing orange koi gasping for air and playing 
peek-a-boo under the leaves.  Blue dragonflies, sometimes coupled
into twos,  dip and flutter between the overgrown arrow root 
water plants. Across the fence, a pecan or two thump to the 
ground arousing two scurrying squirrels under the watch of a
mockingbird and scolded by a blue jay.   

Now add a soft lounge pillow, a generous application of 
mosquito repellant, a good book, and a glass of chardonnay --  
Ah-h-h-h-h.      

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

CAREGIVER TOOLS FOR ALZHEIMER'S PATIENTS


Alzheimer's victims need to keep their mind occupied,
otherwise you can't imagine the mischief they can and
will get into.
 
Throughout the disease's progression, some of the mind
stays in the real world.  Problem is, we don't know
which part.  A bored, agitated patient is more than unpleasant
to handle, so its worth the effort to try to keep
them active at least in the first couple of developmental
stages. Don't look for perfection--just busy hands.

So far, I've had some limited luck with

1)         Pasting family pictures in picture albums.
2)         Organizing a coin collection (This has limitations if
                        they think they can get rich by selling
                        the coins.)    
3)         Keeping a calendar of appointments/activities
4)         Playing Scrabble with himself (spelling doesn't count)
5)         Writing short stories (or a few lines) about what he
                        sees in pictures.
6)         Looking at bird and flower books, to use with
                        adult coloring books (Avail through
                        Amazon.)

Any other ideas???


Saturday, August 16, 2014

GOTTA NEW PROJECT GOING!


After a hiatus from writing for six months tending to the early
medical needs of my husband, I'm settling in and blocking
time for writing.  I've missed my friends at my writers' group,
book clubs and stitchery group. 

I' M EXCITED -- I'm ten chapters in a new project and
my muse is going wild.  Some writers hate the research part of
writing a novel, others get started and can't quit gathering stories,
events and ideas. (I'm in the latter group.)

The title of my new story is "THE TIDEWATCHERS"  (circa 1760)
which begins with a young lad's experience in Wales watching his
Quaker mother tied to a stake in the bay at low tide and drowning
with other persecuted Quakers when the high tide rolled in. The vicar,
who ordered the persecution, becomes the boy's enemy and his
retaliation and misery lead him to runaway to London to become
a member of a body snatchers gang servicing cadavers to the famous
London medical community.  To avoid prison, he indentures himself,
coming to America to become a Baptist minister settling in Kentucky.
Through thick and thin, he has one friend, his dog, Vundermutt.

Thought I would share some interesting items my research turned up.

·        The death by tidal drowning began in early Egypt,
spreading across Europe and Great Britain for the
persecution of non-conformist religious
                           believers.  (Most often Mennonites and Quakers).

·         Barber-surgeons were medical practitioners who
picked lice from a person's head, trimmed and
shaved beards, extracted teeth, performed
   minor surgical procedures and bloodletting.

·        A barber pole (the red and white striped symbol
for barbering as we know it) was symbolic: 
The 1780 barber poles had a brass ball at its top
where leeches were kept, and a basin at the bottom
to receive the patient's blood.  The pole itself was
used for the patient to grip during bloodletting to
bulge the location of the veins. The red and white
strips represented the bloodied and clean bandages
which were washed and hung to dry outside the shop. 
The wind twisted the bandages together creating
the spiral patterns we see today on barber poles.
                           (Ref:  Wonders and Marvels.com)

·        The town of Stoke on Trent was actually a
combination of six communities banded together for
mutual interests and trade.

              The Town of Towcester was one of the oldest Roman
              towns and was noted  then as now for the manufacture
              of china and dinnerware.  Go to any
              department store and likely the origin of the
              companies displaying china was Towcester, England.

·        For several generations, body snatching was an
accepted and profitable business for medical and anatomy
schools. However the practice became corrupted by gangs,
and body snatching from ill-repute hospitals and graves
became subject to arrest and deportation.  Accusations
of murder in order to harvest a dead body was quite
common.

If any of my readers have information or interests during this
time period, I'd love to correspond with you.
bobbibob@sbcglobal.net




Wednesday, August 13, 2014

ALZHEIMERS -- A Demon on a Scooter


Four years ago when my husband, Bob, 
lost his mobility to drive a car, he found the
thrill of driving at our local Randall's
store: The in-store scooter!  His second 
favorite  hobby was eating so what better
match than going grocery shopping on a 
scooter.

The Randall's store is on the way to 
the YMCA where I exercise during 
the week, so it was a natural for Bob to be dropped off while I went to exercise and then I picked him back up on my
way home.   He soon became friends with the Randall's 
Store personnel--Max and Martho who would see him 
coming and get his scooter ready, Pam and Jan who checked 
him out often chiding him cheerfully on groceries not on
his sugar-free diet. If he forgot his pin number for his debit
card, it was  no problem for Pam and Jan to process a credit.  
Other employees who'd find him lost helped him on his way.

Another signature attraction was the "coffee bar" where he'd 
get his cinnamon latte (and frequently sneak a sweet treat.)  He 
was "Bob" to everyone and they all seemed to know when he 
was in their store.

Soon an hour was not enough, particularly after he patronized 
the coffee bar. Without much difficulty,  he could spend two or 
three hours in the store. Going to Randalls was the highlight of 
his week.

As his Alzheimers advanced, he no longer read labels nor 
stayed true to his grocery list.  I began  to be there before he 
checked out, and re-shelve  items not sugar-free and/or not 
needed.  When this became excessive, I would stay with him,
splitting the list and meeting him at the check-out counter. 
There came a time when he could no longer read labels or 
"find" the items on the list.  Sometimes "sweets" were the only
items in his basket. My  returning items to the shelves began to
bring on bursts of Alzheimer's temper, and he wandered the 
store at random on the scooter.

Although his continuation of going to Randalls is tenuous at best, 
I cannot express adequately my disappointment that this phase
of his life is ending.    

The kindness of strangers is not lost in America. Whether offering 
to help load groceries or reaching for an items from the shelf, 
many good and sensitive people helped make his "job" possible 
for over three years.   

To Randalls (Karl, its manager), Jan, Pam, Max and Martho
and all the others--a mere thank you is not enough.  I hope 
they know what a contribution they made to an elderly gentlemen 
who loved to shop!


Saturday, July 26, 2014

SPECIAL ON KINDLE -- HETTY'S SONG

REVIEWERS have found HETTY'S SONG, The Death of the Skylark
to be a captivating heart-felt story of a young girl making the journey
from despair to triumph.

I INVITE YOU TO MEET HETTY --

AMAZON KINDLE SPECIAL -- $.99 THROUGH AUGUST 2.

"Hetty's Song, The Death of a Skylark, is set in the
late Victorian era when women's options were limited,
particularly Hetty's because her family's religious
background was very male dominated. Hetty's desire
to sing dominates the story line. She escapes her
stringent background & makes her way to the big city
& fame. Along the way she has many challenges.
The story line runs full circle & she is a survivor.
From start to finish, I couldn't put the book down."

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

PILGER, NEBRASKA, Small Town, Big Memories

The town of Pilger, a small village near Humbug Creek, in
Stanton County was largely destroyed on the afternoon of
June 16, 2014.  However, the memories of Pilger and of my family
roots can never be destroyed by a tornado.  Growing up in
Nebraska, tornados were a rather common threat, but often
limited to small, open farm areas.  But wind storms came each
summer. As a child, I remember the heaviness of a searing,
hot afternoon, the dead ominous silence while leadened storm
clouds formed and turned black,and the hurried escape to the
outside cave before the circling wind tore down trees in our
cottonwood grove.  On one occasion in the late 1940's, the
neighboring town of Winside was hit especially hard and I
remember seeing bathtubs in the field and stalks of corn penetrating
clear through telephone poles. 

Pilger is special to me.  It is where my grandfather and
great grandfather are buried. It is where on Decoration Day
(yes, that's what we used to call Memorial Day), my extended
family drove from Wayne and gathered in the Pilger
Cemetery placing on their graves large red peonies and multicolored
bearded irises, which we worried would bloom in time
for the occasion.  While older folks placed their memorials
and remembered, my cousins and I roamed the graveyard,
tangling sky-blue buffalo beans into long strings of necklaces. 

My great grandfather, Cephas Ellis, farmed near Humbug
Creek, but loved best fishing in the Missouri River.  It was
here, he, a converted Quaker, carried on his own lay ministry
and earned the affectionate title, Father  Ellis.  It was here
Gr Grandma baked those so-good cookies and believed that
God intervened and saved her husband from a broken ice floe
in the Missouri River when bringing their son's family from Iowa
to Nebraska during an especially frigid January.

Grandpa Charlie Ellis owned a livery barn, a gathering place
for boasting,  carrying on local gossip, and hearing the latest
news.  Now, you have to understand, Charlie (I was old enough
to remember him) was a special Charlie--a bronco rider, and
teller of great stories when the Indians inhabited the great prairies. 
He wouldn't have been Grandpa if he didn't fish at Two-Bit
lake and crank home-made ice cream.  He made for my sister and
me a special fishing pole from a broomstick, eye screws,
and an old reel to use during our annual fishing trips to
Park Rapids and Bemidji Minnesota lakes.  There was something
special about this fishing pole--it attracted bullheads better than
my brother's store-bought pole. Grandpa with loving patience
and with copper twisted above his forearm to take  the pain from
rheumatism, cared for my grandmother through years of debilitating
illness.  He was a man of good humor and extraordinary kindness.

Over the years, there have been many coincidences where I have
been reminded of my Nebraska roots.  In the 1960's my husband
and I moved cross country to Delaware.  As it turned out, our new
next door neighbors were from Stanton, Nebraska. Although I'd found
extensive Quaker records of Ellis's, during my early genealogy research
I was at a brick wall needing to discover the identity of my great
grandfather.  My brother returning home to Broken Bow happened to
stop by the Pilger cemetery where he found Cephas Ellis RIP waiting
to be discovered.   

My brother, celebrating his 84th birthday this year, has lived most of
his adult life in Broken Bow. My  Nebraska nieces and nephews frequent
Facebook and generously share their families and activities. The Pilger
Centennial Book published in 1987 has been a genealogist's dream.
The church organist in Sugar Land Methodist is from the same area in
Nebraska. And wherever Nebraskans congregate, the by-gone feats
of Saint Tom Osborn and the return of good fortune for the Big Red
Nebraska football team is to be forever hoped for.

My thoughts, prayers, and best wishes for the victims of the Pilger tornado
are in my heart.  God Bless!