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February 6, 2013   

Deb's Blog

I've often said, "If I were Queen of the World I would____." Now, I'm choosing to share my Royal Insights... Please read my blog and respond with your thoughts.

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Dear :

As part of my "Year of Abundance" I am beginning to notice when I am feeling abundant. This past month, after completing a large and lucrative job, I awoke the next morning to find the song "We're in the Money" playing in my head. My brain has an extensive "play-list" and I believe my sub-conscious mind often sends me messages through a "morning song", a song that is playing in my head when I awake. Most of these "messages" are subtle and require some perusal of lyrics to understand the meaning. This one was blaring...and quite funny, I thought!

Beyond financial abundance, though, I am noticing that in January I have felt abundant in the area of time for reading. My new best friends, the St. Louis County Library Staff, have been seeding my evenings with delicious new book selections. At the Lin Ferry branch there are multiple display racks where the good librarians have placed some of their favorite "reads"/ their "staff picks" Between the staff's selections, the "best sellers", and the "Missouri" books, I have had delightful choices. And, I have read a bunch! Some of the year's best reading weather comes in January! 

Below are a few of my favorite January reads:

“Missouri Curiosities”, by Josh Young

A compilation of some roadside travel must-stops. I have somehow managed to miss Bonne Terre Mine, world's largest underground lake. I want to take the walking tour around the lake along the old mule trail at the water's edge (sounds fun!). Other options: one can dive in the clear illuminated "dive trails" OR tour by boat. I want to visit the Rolla "Stonehenge", have a meal at the "house of throwed rolls" (Lambert's Café in Sikeston), eat at the Caveman Bar BQ and Steakhouse, a restaurant in a cave situated about 100 feet above the Gasconade River in Richland, and "take the waters" at Excelsior Springs. I'd like to ride the ferry from Canton across the Mississippi River. And, if the Sheffler Rock Shop and Geode Mine is still in Alexandria (if the proposed highway project hasn't made their business go away), I'd like to pay a visit and dig for geodes. I'm inclined to pass on the "Kewpiesta" a 3-day long affair for Kewpie-doll collectors in Branson, but there are MANY wonderful museums, artists, and sights mentioned in this book. Definitely something for everyone!

“The Campbell Quest” by Patrick C. MacCulloch

is the story of St. Louis citizen of renown, Robert Campbell, fur trader, builder of the Campbell House (now, the Campbell House Museum in downtown St. Louis). The author is a Campbell descendant who learned about his famous forebears from doing the research for this book. The story of Robert Campbell's early to mid 1800s rise to wealth (he became the equivalent of a multi-millionaire in his day) is told through correspondence with his family back in Ireland, and family members' journal entries. Patrick MacCulloch has pieced together an interesting (and at times funny) story. The centuries have definitely changed re: the business of correspondence. We share our thoughts in writing rarely and when we do, it is often in abbreviated form (LOL!). Not so the Campbell family! Here is the sign-off from an 1834 letter from brother Andrew Campbell to Robert in America:
"...Be constant in your duty to the Almighty, say your prayers night and morning, and read the Scriptures on Sunday and may the Lord help, guide, and keep you is the Prayer of Your affectionate Brother,

I can't help but think we are missing something worthwhile when we abbreviate our loving feelings.

Also in the librarians’ “picks”

I found "Gathering...Memoirs of a Seed Saver" by Diane Ott Whealy. She and husband Kent founded the Seed Savers' Exchange, a non-profit dedicated to propagating, sharing, and storing heirloom seed of many varieties for future generations to enjoy. Only days before spotting this book at the library I had sent in a donation to the Seed Savers Exchange and become a member. When I saw the book, I knew I had to read it. The Whealys began this endeavor with passion, with youthful energy, and with no funds! Their dream was born of stories of seed being carried over from "the old country" by Diane's immigrant grandfather (Grandpa Ott's Morning Glories and his German Pink Tomatoes) and saved in the family's garden for generations. What Diane and Kent learned was that many other varieties of seeds had been carried over from many other "old countries" and that many were being saved, but many were being lost to future generations. The Whealys made the decision to save seeds, save the family stories, and to save future generations (from the dangers of genetically modified seed). This is a story of dedication and serendipity... all the right people showing up to help at all the right times... A wonderful story of a Big Dream realized!

And, lest you think I don't read for fun, I have recently enjoyed two very different but very engaging sci-fi novels: "The Age of Miracles" by Karen Thompson Walker and "Zero Time" by T.W. Fendley.

In "The Age of Miracles" a pre-teen girl takes on life changes: puberty, difficulties with friendships and fitting in, family conflict, and a change in the rotation of the Earth which leads to ever lengthening days and nights. As the science community struggles to explain the phenomenon and to predict what will happen next, the social community of the main character becomes distrustful of those who see life differently, those who stay on daylight time instead of clock time. This is a well-imagined scenario, but not sensationalized. No zombies or hoards of weapon-bearing individuals out to save themselves at others' expense. People adapt. Interestingly, 1960s fall-out shelters prove exceptionally useful as protection from solar radiation. This is thought-provoking science fiction!

Local author, T.W. Fendley has set "Zero Time" in Machu Picchu and surrounding parts, and in multiple time frames. Fendley tells a fantastic yet plausible tale of time travel with the Great Serpents, of the real meaning of the Mayan calendar, of crystal skulls containing the knowledge of the ages, and of dormant beings waiting in the Pleiades for a genetic cure to be brought back from Earth. If you have been to Machu Picchu or are drawn to visit there you will find Fendley's novel rich with details and "explanations". If you were not interested in Machu Picchu before, you will become so! I loved the archeological visuals: the crystal cave, the images carved into landscapes and only visible from above, spirit boxes containing DNA-sensitive pendants... The story is richly engaging and will keep your curiosity aroused all the way through.

Wishing you abundance in all forms!

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