Thursday, June 20, 2013

OFF THE TOP OF MY HEAD: The Return of The Native by Thomas Hardy

So I was cleaning out from under the big child's bed and I came across the book The Return of The Native by Thomas Hardy.  It was probably a book the big child was supposed to read for class but it looked like it hadn't been read.  It still had the new book smell of glue.  I decided that I was going to try to read it.

I started reading the first few pages which was this long involved description of the heath that I just couldn't concentrate on.  In desperation I tried the experienced reader's trick of opening the book in a few different spots to observe what the text was like there.  I was able to tell that the story picked up a lot better at some point and that I would be able to read it.

First Impressions:

After the long description of the heath the story proceeds by introducing the colorful characters as they walk about this heath.  This sets the scene as a time before cars. Night falls and the characters do not go home but continue walking around the heath for a special holiday where they light a lot of bonfires.  A romantic tryst is made and people spy on each other as they walk up and down in the dark on this heath. Indeed a good portion of the story takes place in the dark and it reminded me of some stories by Shakespeare while at the same time being reminiscent of a few Woody Allen type movies.

There were lots of big words in the book that I hadn't seen or thought of in years!  However, I was delighted to have to concentrate closely to be able to read it and I actually started to enjoy reading the story.

The Plot:

The youngish Clym Yeobright returns to the so called dreary environment of Egdon Heath after living in glamorous Paris.
He sweeps the local beauty off her feet but then they get married and reality sets in for them. Romantic trysts, love triangles, and misunderstandings lead to tragedy.

What it made me remember: 

It made me remember how many things can happen to people emotionally as a result of arguments and/or misunderstandings.

What the Author wanted to say:

I feel the author wanted to say that reality often does not live up to our dreams, goals, and visions due to circumstances as well as other people having other plans.  In Clym Yeobright's case he blamed himself a little too much for things that happened.  He made himself a villain in his own mind. At the same time he proceeded with his goals although they were going to be slightly different from his original goals due to his personal losses.  Also by revealing the characters strengths as well as their weaknesses none of the characters came off as being more of a villain or heroine then any other. Everyone's faults were involved in the tragedy as the characters stories were intertwined.

Practical life applications:

1.  Don't go out and wander around heaths in the middle of the night during a rainstorm when you are emotionally distraught.  Stay home instead.

2.  Don't spend too much time dwelling about what if's in life.

3.  Wait a situation out a trifle longer instead of giving up because good news may have been delayed or may come in a "letter" soon.

Thomas Hardy is also the author of Tess of The D'Urbervilles among other books, stories and poems.  I had read Tess of The D'Urbervilles a couple of decades ago but didn't remember the author's name from then. 

The Return of The Native was originally published in the year 1878.  I read the Dover Thrift Edition published in 2003.  The story is set in the years between 1840 and 1850. 

Now it's time to find the movie!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

ONWARD: Sunday Stealing, Part Two

SUNDAY STEALING is a blog that hosts a meme every weekend that bloggers can participate in for fun and finding new blogs.  SUNDAY STEALING originated on WTIT:  The Blog by Bud Weiser.  This week's meme was taken from the blog DO THESE SHOES MATCH THIS PURSE? which is authored by Maggie.  No one knows where Maggie got this meme but the name of the meme is The Weird Question Meme.  For myself. I am learning that all memes could just all be retitled to something like, "The Highly Irritating Personal Question Meme."!  I have to admit that last week I left out the questions I did not care for...!

Here we go! The Weird Question Meme, Part Two

What is your ring size? Not what it should be.

How often do you wear jewelry? Almost daily.

When was the last time you consumed alcohol? Over 21 years ago,

Any big plans for the summer?  Lots of changes for this summer.

Do you prefer broccoli or asparagus?  I can't remember what asparagus tastes like.

What color are your bedroom walls?  Off-white.

Which Star Wars movie is your favorite?  None

How about Harry Potter?  What about him?

What was the last movie you saw in theaters? I don't remember!

Did you get popcorn or candy? Both

What is the most romantic text in your inbox? Spam

What is your favorite kind of hat to wear? Hat????

Have you ever played miniature golf on a date? Yes.

What's a phrase you overuse?  The word OK.

Do you always use good grammar?  I ain't perfect.

Do you have an accent or a speech impediment? That would be a yes.

What did you eat today? Nothing. Yet.

What do you do at work?  Read, talk, data entry, laugh, smile.

Do you know the rules to any sports?  Basketball! We got the basketball going on in Kentucky! Shout out to the U of L Cardinals that won the final four this year!

Do you pray?  Unceasingly.

To whom do you pray? "There's No God Like Jehovah."

What is the closest mountain to your house? I don't rightly know.

What do you need to do tomorrow?  Father's Day and Birthday Celebration otherwise known as Sunday Dinner.

Ta Da! We made it through the weird question meme. If you would like to participate in memes from SUNDAY STEALING go to

All meme material and all images used are from

Saturday, June 8, 2013

ONWARD: Sunday Stealing

Participating in Memes is a great way to come across blogs by interesting people that you might not find other wise. Sunday Stealing is a blog that posts a meme every weekend that was taken from another blog and modified.

This weeks Meme was taken from the blog DO THESE SHOES MATCH THIS PURSE?  To participate in Sunday Stealing memes go to

Here we go!  "The Weird Question Meme, Part One"

Do you wear slippers?    No, I always forget to wear themHowever, socks are in order.

How many pictures are in your living room? Technically there are two pictures in my living room, although one of them is in a corner on the floor.

Do you watch Brady Bunch reruns? Through the years I have watched so many Brady Bunch reruns that I feel like I was actually there!  And in essence I was there as I remember watching The Brady Bunch way back when it was on in prime time on Friday nights.  I am thinking prime time on Friday nights when I was six years old was The Brady Bunch followed by the show Bewitched, and following that was good ole Room 222.

Are you allergic to anything?  I took allergy shots as a child for about ten years.  My allergies are under control enough that I can largely ignore them the majority of the time.

When was the last time you called in sick?  Two weeks ago.

Have you ever been in a car accident?  Only minor car accidents.

What is you favorite snack food?  chips  and dips, etc!

Have you ever seen a tornado?  I have never actually seen a tornado, but I  HEARD a tornado when our town had one  several years ago.  I was busy repenting and praying in the basement!  We didn't have electricity for several days and several houses in our neighborhood where flattened.  However, on the actual street that I lived on it didn't appear afterwards that the least little thing had been blown over. Everything was in total order.

If you won a million dollars what would you buy first?  Dinner

Do you think it's cool to wear flip flop?  No, I do not think it is cool to wear flip flops! Flip flops are a pet peeve to me!  To me, flip flops fail to qualify as real shoes as they don't protect the feet from anything.  I also do not feel they are safe for kids to wear as they can't run in them and it is too easy to get unbalanced in the yard wearing them.

How many pairs of shoes do you own?  I own lots of shoes but I have a bad habit of only wearing one pair of shoes for several months.

Do you think you are a hypochondriac? No, I am not a hypochondriac but I often get sympathy symptoms when listening to someone describe their aches and pains,

Do you own a dictionary? I do not currently own a dictionary, but I do often consult Urban Dictionary online.

Where was the last place you went on Vacation? Um, I went to New Orleans about 13 years ago. 

Do you talk about your friends behind their back? Only to my mom or child.

Does your kitchen have a theme?  In the kitchen I have mostly  shades of light blue and white. There is a picture of a nephew, and a picture of my grandmother; they are both wearing blue shirts in their pictures. A collection of cherub and angel knickknacks are on the hutch and window sill.

...more to come.

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meme material from the same.