Monday, September 19, 2011

Levels of gratitude and Earl of Darkness

I am grateful for multiplicities of things every day...from the little things such as being able to move around without significant soreness (having had severe neck pain problems in the past it is always great to not need to visit the chiropractor in order to turn my head), absence of my intermittent migraines, appreciation for having air conditioning in 100+ degree summer heat, having a roof over my head and food in the house, my life...the list could go on forever.  I am humbled by the fact that one of the soldiers that I have met through the website thinks that she should be grateful to me.  I read that she and her fellow soldiers are tolerating heat that is 120 during the day with lows that are in the 90s and I feel that I should quit whining about it being summer in the high desert.

I became acquainted with her because she has started a library to give some of our brave soldiers paperbacks to read.  I sent her a couple of boxes of books and read about some of the other items that were being requested therefore I sent a small care package as well.  This brave woman is unable to see her family for months on end, has no store to run out and pick up a few things from when she runs out of toothpaste or shampoo and faces her conditions with cheerful tolerance.  She told me that she volunteers at a cheetah rescue facility and the picture on this blog is one of those that she sent me.  When I thanked her for sharing the pictures, she told me that this was the least she could do!  Such humility...from someone who shows us the meaning of selflessness and sacrifice.  And what do they ask for?  Snack cakes, something called Swedish fish...and dark colored hairbands (which, I discovered, are harder to find in local stores than I had expected).  I am humbled by making her acquaintance and by the knowledge that she is one of multitudes that make it safer for us to live our lives as we do.  I encourage others to take the time to adopt a pen pal and share good thoughts even if your circumstances don't allow you to send goody boxes.

Earl of Darkness by Alix Rickloff is the beginning of a series which combines the concept of humans with Fey blood and a plan to bring King Arthur back.  It starts with an earl who is desperately trying to save his estate and recoup his finances by marrying a rich bride.  An unreadable diary which is about to be stolen by a female burglar seems to be the key to the plan and causes the earl to become distracted by the one person who is able to read the diary, the burglar herself.  I am glad that I read the second book in the series first because I would have been really reluctant to do so given the horrendous villain named Lazarus who is introduced here and featured in the second book.  I couldn't establish a rapport with the main characters in this book because the hero is terribly hardheaded, has no qualms about establishing a sexual liaison with someone he has no intentions of marrying and is quite willing to force her to help him whether she is willing or not and the heroine is complicit in her own downfall even as she repeats her patterns but is singularly ineffectual at pretty much everything.


  1. My brother was in the army and while he was in the middle east he would tell me about the heat over there...I feel so bad for our troops over there during the summer heat. It gets hot here and I can't imagine it being hotter than this. A family friend is now in the Middle east and is in the Army and has said how hot it is over there.

  2. I get overheated easily and don't think I would be able to survive in those conditions. I can't imagine how I could ever become acclimated although I am sure that I would look like a short animated tomato all of the time!