Thursday, February 22, 2018


How Many Children Have to Get Shot?’ Father Asks Trump

Last week I couldn't post. I was too sad over the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school — and still am. It's hard to celebrate right now, even small things. So I'm not using the Celebrate the Small Things icon and links. Not today.

I suppose if there is anything to celebrate, it's the spirit of these young people who have taken things into their own hands to protect themselves since adults haven't done a very good job of it. But that's not a small thing. It's big. It's an awakening, a stirring of the spirit that may keep stirring through the land and wake the rest of us out of our apathy, our slumber, our leaving it to others to fix things. 

There have been so many shootings, and each time I've been aghast and outraged and motivated to write and call congress. But this shooting hit me especially hard. I'm just so sad when I think of it. So close to tears every time I hear one of these young people speak for themselves. Hearing how tired they are of all the recycled responses to what keeps happening again and again. Perhaps it's hearing their voices articulate what it feels like to be afraid to go to school now. I remember what it was like growing up in the shadow of the cold war, the nuclear bomb drills, crawling under our desks (as if that would give us a chance). But I never had to listen to what sounded like fire crackers in the hallway, while huddling on the floor behind locked doors, easily shot through, knowing this was not a drill. 

I have so much admiration for these young people who are not going to just go about business as usual. They are facing what the rest of us need to face: It's going to happen again if something real isn't done about it. America right now is held hostage to an organization that wants to sell more and more guns, and guns that are more and more dangerous. Our politicians are their puppets, now. They don't want to shake off an organization that can do so much to back their campaigns. And they don't want to lose that backing. 

So I am saddened over the loss of life and the terrible trauma to young people who should not have to deal with this. This is the generation that has grown up with continued trauma. Think about that. School shootings somewhere, every year, coming to a school near you — perhaps your children's school — again this year.

And I'm heartened by the caliber of this generation who is finally taking it on. We should have been leading the way. But they are leading. Now we should follow. 

Monday, February 5, 2018

Memoirs from Mrs. Hudson's Kitchen — A Rare Find

What am I celebrating this week? A rare literary treat for Sherlock Holmes lovers— Memoirs from Mrs. Hudson's Kitchen, written by Canadian author Wendy Heyman-Marsaw and edited by  JoAnn and Mark Alberstat.

Wendy Heyman-Marsaw
Mark Alberstat
Memoirs from Mrs. Hudson's Kitchen, is a treasure trove  for writers of Sherlock Holmes pastiches and fan fiction.  It's also sheer pleasure reading for those who simply like wondering about the fictitious people who lived at 221b Baker Street. Settling into these pages, it's easy to believe they actually existed.

Mrs. Hudson, readers will recall, was the patient landlady who rented rooms to Holmes and Watson. What's fun about this book is Mrs. Hudson's many observations on the habits of these gentlemen, what they preferred for breakfast, whether they took tea or coffee (coffee with breakfast, tea for special occasions), little gossipy tidbits like that. Obviously the landlady was an avid reader of Watson's stories, for she refers to various cases in little trips of her own down memory lane. Not surprisingly, her memories involve meals served, advances in kitchen gadgetry, recipes with instructions for preparing several recipes, and cleaning tips she and her maid, Molly used to keep 221b clean and sparkling.

Mrs. Hudson was well-read in general, and these memoirs provide her own slant on Victorian society, train travel, fashion, the history of certain buildings, and on Queen Victoria herself. We also get a glimpse into Mrs. Hudson's personal background — how she met her husband; how he died; why she never remarried. (Heyman-Marsaw provides a lovely portrait supposedly of Mrs. Hudson as a young woman.)

This delightful book both an enjoyable read and a truly useful handbook for anyone writing about the Victorian Era in general or Sherlock Holmes adventures in particular — all enhanced by newspaper photographs and advertisements of the time. Five stars to this fine book.

You can order Memoirs of Mrs. Hudson's Kitchen HERE
You can follow her on Facebook HERE or follow her on Twitter HERE

What are you celebrating today? Did you watch Victoria last night after the Super Bowl? Do you have a favorite book that provides examples of memorabilia and realia of a historical time?

Celebrate the Small Things  is a blog hop co-hosted by Lexa Cain at: Lexa Cain,  L.G. Keltner @ Writing Off The Edge , and Tonja Drecker @ Tidbits Blog(You can go to any of these sites to add your name to the links, if you want to participate.)