Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Irish Trilogy (Gallagher Family); Nora Roberts

All images found on Fantastic Fiction

Jewels of the Sun

Written by Nora Roberts and published by Jove in 1999, Jewels of the Sun is the first of Ms. Roberts’ trilogy about the Irish Gallagher family. This is only my second foray (after more than an eight year hiatus) into Ms. Roberts’ body of work. What I came away with is an appreciation for Ms. Roberts’ insight into how individual members are meshed into a unit bringing strengths and weaknesses and needs and love. Each novel in the trilogy stands alone and can be read singly, although the strength of the family bond won’t be so apparent.

Jude Murray is one of those women who has drifted through much of her life on the currents of what others wanted for her, what she thought others expected of her. Finally Fate intervenes and Jude travels to Ireland for some breathing room. There, in a stereotypical quaint Irish village, Jude meets the Gallaghers. The three Gallagher siblings run the local pub and are trying to build its reputation as a destination for authentic traditional Irish music. And so the dance begins. Aidan Gallagher and Jude Murray with music provided by a local myth revolving around a fairy prince named Carrick and a local girl named Gwen.

Deftly done, yet while I appreciated the familial relationships and Jude’s character, I didn’t really get hooked into the relationship building. Aidan is indeed yummy, and Jude needs to come out from behind the clouds, but together they just didn’t click.

Tears of the Moon

Second in the Gallagher family trio, this one revolves around childhood pals Shawn Gallagher and Mary Brenna O’Toole. It’s one of my favorite plotlines, TBH, the opening of one’s eyes to the truth that your childhood pal is actually the love of your life. My attention was grabbed from the start because Shawn’s the one who has to do the wooing and strategizing. Complications get thrown in by Mary Brenna’s younger sister’s hormonally driven meddling, and by Carrick and Gwen’s interference. I must say that by the end I wished that I too could meet an Irishman who sings beautifully and is more than happy to cook and sing at the drop of a hat.

Unlike the first book, the relationship in Tears of the Moon caught and held my attention from the first. In the previous book, each person had become real to me, so that in this book I enjoyed looking at them from a new perspective. I must say I found Mary Brenna’s idea that you could make a childhood pal into a “friend with benefits” without repercussions laughter inducing, and yet, coming from her it was somehow believable that she would think she could do this.

For me that’s the magic of this book: each person is unique and authentic and realistically captured and the eventual evolution of their relationship feels natural and satisfying.

Heart of the Sea

Featuring the final Gallagher sibling, Darcy, and an American developer named Trevor Magee, this book turned out to be the most problematical for me. The Gallaghers have decided to ask the American to become business partners and open a performance space conjoined with the pub. Trevor and Darcy spark right from the start. He has money and connections, which Darcy always claimed she wanted in a man. To her credit, once she has a man who actually has these things Darcy reevaluates her position.

My problems are mostly with Trevor, secondarily with Darcy. At first Trevor and Darcy are simply satisfying their mutual lust. Then he discovers she can sing and his attitude changes slightly to lust with a helping of potential business relationship. My biggest hangup with Trevor is that Ms. Roberts never quite convinced me he loved Darcy just for herself. I never felt like I watched him fall in love with her for herself. I felt that it took too long to figure himself out and then it was too neatly done. IMO, Darcy caves in the end. I was mad. I wanted her to make him cringe and crawl a little bit more. I needed Darcy to make Trevor grovel. Oddly, I also felt that Trevor was pressured too much by Carrick who was very desirous of finally achieving his goal after a disastrous temper tantrum centuries ago.

So- overall, the Gallaghers were a success. Like all multi book sets, and indeed most anthologies, each book had individual strengths and weaknesses. The second one worked best for me, but Ms. Roberts is certainly deserving of the legions of fans who consistently place her at the top of the bestseller lists. All of the books were well done, including the one that turned out to be *meh* 'take it or leave it' and the one that I had some problems with. These are the first three books by Nora Roberts I've read in over eight or ten years. I think my library list will be growing.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Five Quarters of the Orange; Joanne Harris

I’ve had this book for years, I probably bought it new, but it sat and sat. Until one day I finally pulled it down and read the first few pages and *wham!* I was hooked. Just like that. Often a book will have to wait patiently, very patiently, after it comes to live on my shelves until I pull it out to read it. As the song says, I have to be in the mood again. Otherwise, either I won’t finish it or it’ll be a wallbanger or I’ll pick it apart. Or I’ll trade it or give it as a gift without actually reading it. But- if I’m in the mood? At least it’ll have a fair shake, so to speak.

Anyhow, Ms. Harris has written quite a few other books, Chocolat perhaps most notably. While reading Five Quarters I was reminded somehow of Like Water for Chocolate, written by Laura Esquivel. In different ways each author emphasizes centrality of food and family, the lasting effects one event can have. Both novels are powerful. Ms. Harris’ character does not triumph until much later in her life, but I ought to save that for later, I suppose.

Five Quarters is narrated by a sixty something year old woman named Boise, Framboise properly. That was one of Ms. Harris’ unique touches, most of the narrator’s family members are named (in French) after foods. The one sibling who isn’t? Comes to a tragic end. I am getting ahead of myself though. The narrative moves back and forth between Boise’s present and one year, during World War II, that is the pivot of all their lives. Framboise, her sister and their brother live with their widowed mother on a little farm in rural France. Money is tight; they do whatever they can to make ends meet. Right from the start their mother is harsh, cold, rarely allowing finer feelings to surface. Then again, if I had no money, three kids and a farm to run I don’t know that I’d be able to show softer feelings either, TBH. Still, their mother is hard on them and appears to have more than a small touch of what is now called obsessive compulsive disorder.

In the present day Framboise has returned under cover to the farm, using her married surname only. She is a secretive woman. Like her mother, she shows few of her feelings: coldness, irritation, anger. You realize that she would be a difficult woman to live with, a difficult woman to love. Prickly and defensive, Boise is a woman who is more likely to wound you first to save herself from you wounding her. The best defense is a good offense. The question is: what happened to make her this way? What happened to the little family that Framboise has snuck back to the farm incognito decades later? Why after all of these years is she still hiding?

I talked out loud to myself while I read this- not a common occurrence for me. “O.M.G.” “You’re kidding!” “Wow. That explains a lot!” And, last but not least, “Boy, I didn’t see that one coming!” Because Boise was a kid during the flashbacks, you only have as much information as a kid could expect to have or reasonably expect a kid to figure out. And Boise, while smart and tough and resourceful, is still only a kid.

Five Quarters of the Orange is a wrenching, powerful read. Ultimately, it’s about personal growth and love and making peace with the past. A wonderful, wonderful book. Keeper.

Image found on Harper Collins

Saturday, August 23, 2008

To Hell with Love; Sherri Erwin

Like her voice, like the premise. Like mythology based romances. Skimmed through a lot of it, unfortunately. The plot goes like this: lonely interior designer wants to have a baby, but she’s single; Hades (Owen Glendower) is lonely too and he’s stuck in the Underworld with the shades & various others unsuitable for friends with benefits type relationships. The minions find the designer, set the stage & voila.

Spoilers ahead

Problem number one: Hades comes off as selfish, cold, unfeeling & out of touch with how humans operate on an emotional level. A user. I know, I know- not all that unusual for heroes in Romanceland (or real life for that matter). The God of the Underworld spends millennia with human beings, this characterization is unbelievable to me. Owen is portrayed as caring about the children in the Underworld, yet his feelings for Kate aren’t fleshed out. Also- Kate's desperation to have a child is offputting. Very.

Problem number two: Owen gives her an ultimatum about their future in the middle of a huge family crisis. This circles back in with number one, but also shows that her love is unrequited & his motivation is lust alone. It’s about forcing her to choose him- power. Not love.

Problem three: the hospital scenes don’t ring true in terms of actual medical practice or in terms of emotional truth. My hubby’s a CCU nurse, so my reactions to the hospital scenes may not be those of an ordinary reader. I was already having serious issues with the book by now, but the hospital parts dropped me right out of the story.

Problem four: Owen and Kate don’t end up together. Literally. Hades is in the Underworld and Kate and their child are alive on earth. Problem four is the biggest one for me. As far as I’m concerned the entire premise of a romance is that the central couple will be together at the end. Maybe not married. Committed. Deeply in love. Able to work on their relationship because they're together. Owen reigning in the Underworld watching Kate and his child on earth while Kate raises the child without him? Doesn’t fit in any way fit my definition of an HEA. Actually, Owen bargains with Zeus without Kate’s knowledge, a huge deal breaker for me, then leaves her to raise the baby she so desperately wanted. See also problems one and two.

Wallbanger. DNF.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Ladies of Liberty; Cokie Roberts

Written by the inimitable Cokie Roberts, Ladies of Liberty was published this year by William Morrow. As far as I’m concerned, it’s not to be missed. Factual and backed up by extensive primary sources,the ladies' own words via letters, journals and diaries, Ladies of Liberty feels informative and upbeat while giving readers a sense that you are hearing the truth behind the scenes played out by prominent politicians of the era. Ms. Roberts has a deft, light touch and the book is engrossing. It's relatively quick to read; although I went back and reread it when I had undisturbed time so I could better absorb what happened.

Ms. Roberts mentions early on that (and I’m paraphrasing here) while the men upon the political stage may have edited their words for posterity, i.e.: assuming someone would collect and read their words later, the women wrote to each other about the difficulties of traveling back and forth between the capitol and their home states, the heartache of leaving children behind when necessary, the gowns and jewels and entertainments that, even to this day, grease the wheels of politics. The ladies wrote of patronage ‘gifts’, the lack of adequate shopping in the scantily settled outback of Washington DC, they ranted about how the press was biased and similar issues. All of this benefits us with a fuller picture of how events unfolded, a more authentic, less posed image of what transpired in the early days of our country.

Ladies of Liberty takes place between 1797 and 1825, the terms of Presidents John Adams, Thomas Jefferson (twice), James Madison (twice), and cumulating with President James Monroe. The events of the day are matched with correspondence by relevant ladies: their wives, their daughters and well known hostesses of the day. Women who had strong opinions and some influence. These are not your stereotypical wilting wallflowers, preoccupied with feminine fripperies and child rearing. Oh no. Even the quieter ladies, the ones overshadowed by other prominent women or those whose male relatives try to stifle or try to ignore them, they too are shown to be influential and having a deft hand juggling familial obligations and political aspirations.

My eyes were opened significantly specifically in reference to President Thomas Jefferson and the role his daughters played in his life, as well as Sally Hemmings’ connection to Jefferson’s deceased wife. Previous to reading this book I often thought Jefferson’s role in shaping early American politics was painted in too rosy a light, but even so after finishing his sections I was more than a little astonished at my negative reactions to his attitudes and actions towards the women in his life. I’m not an especially deep scholar of American history and I was surprised by some of the things I learned.

Aaron Burr (and his daughter) was also given dimension and depth. Offspring used as political pawns is nothing new, I realize, but the extent to which some parents are willing to use their children and in laws to further their own purposes fascinated me. Alexander Hamilton’s widow was left penniless with a houseful of (10!!)children. Thus an activist and an advocate was made and Ms. Roberts details how ladies’ societies came into being, how they slowly became a source of power and influence for positive social change. President John Adams' wife Abigail was opinionated and, IMO, more than a little overbearing and tended to be meddlesome in the life of her son John Quincy and his wife. I doubt I'd like her as a MIL, TBH.

Excellent reading, highly recommended especially for those who don’t especially like history or those who slept through class. The book assumes a certain level of familiarity with early American history, to best appreciate Ladies of Liberty, a quick brush up might be in order. A quick zoom through an online timeline of the relevant historical period will help, but may not be strictly necessary.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Thursday 13 #47- Bumperstickers #4

Thirteen Things about Bookwormom

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Thursday 13 originated here. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! Click link in the title above to go to a list of other Thirteeners, compiled by Technorati. If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in the comments. It’s easy and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well. I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things.
Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

Part I is HERE. Then there's Part II and also Part III. Seen while I’ve been out and around lately

1.I had a life, but my job ate it

2.Born ok the 1st time

3.If you aren’t completely appalled you haven’t been paying attention

4.Caution: Blonde thinking

5.And your point is..?

6.I will honor those who honor me

7.Fight Prime time read a book

8.It is not our differences that separate us, it is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences

9.The last time we mixed politics and religion we burned people at the stake

10.Consciousness: that confusing time between naps

11.I brake for saucy wenches

12.Books not bombs

13.Women won’t admit their age, men won’t act theirs

New Post up

Over at Access If the romance genre were to have a library all to itself, dedicated solely to romances, which authors and which titles would be included? If you have ideas or comments please go on over & chat.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Weekend Events

Busy busy busy weekend. The hubby is off, the Anime Queen is visiting with her Gma & Gpa & assorted others for a week or so. Pianist is off to the beach with the other Gma & Gpa & assorted others. College Student is settling back in at Gma & Gpa's and has his sights set on the start of another semester at school. His wheels are at the shop being fixed and he's bought some of the books he needs.

Hubby and I are alumni of College Student's school. They've just completed renovations and major additions to the campus that will enlarge and diversify the studant body, so we wandered around ooohing and aaaahing and reminiscing. It was fun. I hope that the improvements will bring the school a brighter future and help them nurture the dreams and ambitions of generations of future students.

Unfortunately the town closest to the school isn't doing so well and its struggles are reflected in decrepit storefronts and overgrown homes easily seen from the road. When we attended school here the town thrived and bustled and hummed with activity. It's sad to see it now, honestly. I guess it's like watching a loved one go from healthy to gravely ill and no matter what you do, it won't be enough.
Fortunately, College Student and the assorted grandparents live two towns over in a bustling little burg, so the opportunities for jobs and shopping and nightlife.

We're still down here visitiing and catching up with the family news and letting Gmas cook for us (YUM!). On the book front, I bought a copy of Orhan Pamuk's My Name is Red for the Read the Nobels project I just joined. Image found on

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Thursday 13 #46- Beijing Olympics

Thirteen Things about Bookwormom

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Thursday 13 originated here. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! Click link in the title above to go to a list of other Thirteeners, compiled by Technorati. If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in the comments. It’s easy and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well. I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things.
Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

1. All of the empty seats in the arenas make me sad, no matter the reason. Olympians have worked so hard the seats ought to be full to capacity.

2. The perpetual smog is awful. I wonder how many Beijing residents have respiratory diseases?

3. Whatever version of the national anthem they're using, I wish we could use it over here. It's much nicer than what we normally hear.

4. Am I the only one to find the "Michael Phelps 24-7" channel annoying? Or perhaps I'm the only suspicious one who wonders if he's really clean. Then again, I do watch a lot of professional cycling, which everyone knows is full of doping. Regardless. Phelps' contribution to Olympic history is substantial, but for heaven's sake there are so many other athletes there, lets hear about them too!!

5. The airline commercial of the ocean animal orchestra is beautiful. The flying fish leaping out of the water in time to the music just brings it all together for me. The McDonald's commercial with the gloating little kids? Showcases all that is wrong with a society who allows kids to behave like that.

6. As my Lovely Sister pointed out, the ladies who bring the athletes to the podium wear beautiful floor length cheong sam. The floor length white dresses with blue appliques along the edges.

7. The U.S. gymnastics comments about Beijing falsifying birth dates and purposefully delaying scoring to favor their athletes sounds like childish whining over spilt milk, not to mention salacious. The US ladies did the best they could, don't belittle their efforts by griping and complaining.

8. According to the Washington Post the US 'hospitality house' is Beijing is anything but. You may need to register to see the article (free). Supposedly the U.S. house is only for VIPs and moneyed businessmen. In order to drum up business and contacts one presumes. Our reputation overseas is already so bad, the delegation could have shared good will and hospitality and friendliness by inviting regular folks in for a good time. Unfortunately our bad international reputation is being reinforced. Again.

9. The Belgium- US women's beach volleyball match was excellent. The Belgians gave as good as they got for the first set. It was fun to watch.

10. Enjoyed the dressage and the all too brief snatch of fencing and water polo. Watching it all on the 'puter just isn't the same. Then again, I'm likely to be older than the demographic they're aiming for.

11. Love the Cube architecture. You can see the 'bubbles' inside and out all the time. Fun and funky and apropos.

12. I read somewhere that during the ancient Olympics, the athletes were nude. Can I just say, that might make them more interesting to watch. Especially now that both men and women can participate. LOL ;)

13. The interview with the artist who designed the mascots and the "dancing/running Beijing" symbol? Was great. I love that the Chinese government chose a former dissident who had been jailed, but whose work is now seen as representative of China and Chinese culture all around the world.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Joining Up

I guess I don't have enough to read. Maybe it's simply that I'm getting bored and burned out with the genres I've always been loyal to. Maybe I feel like I need to tune up my little grey cells a bit, take your pick. Whichever reason you choose, I've decided to join the Read the Nobels blog. Nobel lauretes information here.I found them via Marg on Reading Adventures almost two weeks ago. I may also join the Pulitzer List as well, I've not decided.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

6 Month Stats/MidYear Synopsis

The linked list below runs from January 2008 through the end of June 2008. The list doesn't include four titles I read over the winter but neither listed nor reviewed but only mentioned in passing. I won't count them in my totals. I’m feeling hopelessly inadequate. :{

I checked my midyear stats for the other two years I’ve done them. End of June’07 46 books. End of June ’06 67.

This year is a scant 37. How pathetic can you get ?!

I checked the archives and in the January '08 posts I discovered I didn't post a reading goal for this year or an annual summary for 2007. Or, if I did, it's buried in a post and wasn't tagged. After a few minutes hunting and totting, I finished 64 books last year. In January 2007 I totted up 104 books read in 2006.

So, the goal this year is to, at a bare minimum, read more than last year (65+). Preferably I'd like to meet or exceed 2006's 104 books read. Not likely to happen, but it's always nice to shoot for the stars and land on the moon.

1. The Snow White Bride by Claire Delacroix Not reviewed

2. A Splendid Indescretion by Elizabeth Mansfield Not reviewed

3. Love Me Forever by Donna Fletcher Not reviewed

4. When I Fall in Love by Lynn Kurland Not reviewed

5. Love Came Just in Time by Lynn Kurland Not reviewed

6. A Well Favored Gentleman; Christina Dodd

7. Stronger Than Magic; Heather Cullman

8. Goddess of the Rose, P.C. Cast

9. Wicked, Shannon Drake

10. Even Vampires Get the Blues, Katie Mac Alister

11. A Lady of his Own, Stephanie Laurens

12. Much Ado about You, Eloisa James

13. Sword of Shame, Medieval Murderers

14. A Rose for the Crown, Anne Easter Smith

15. A Perfect Rake; Anne Gracie

16. Tangled Webs, Anne Bishop

17.The Invisible Ring, Anne Bishop

18. Perfect Waltz, Anne Gracie

19. Kiss of Midnight, Lara Adrian

20. A Kiss of Crimson; Lara Adrian

21. The Queen in Winter; Kurland, Delacroix,
Shinn & Monette

22. Dragon's Kin; Anne & Todd McCaffrey

23. The Duel; Barbara Metzger

24. An Invitation to Sin; Suzanne Enoch

25. To Love A Princess; Patricia Grasso

26. Just in Time; Judith Lansdowne

27. Kushiel’s Mercy; Jacqueline Carey

28. Mystic and Rider; Sharon Shinn

29. The Thirteenth House; Sharon Shinn

30. Dark Moon Defender; Sharon Shinn

31. Reader and Raelynx; Sharon Shinn

32. Wrapt in Crystal; Sharon Shinn

33. Summers at Castle Auburn; Sharon Shinn

34. Force of Nature; Suzanne Brockmann

35. All Through the Night; Suzanne

36. Just Perfect; Judith Lansdowne

37. Just Impossible; Judith Lansdowne

Total Books Read~
Chick Lit-
Historical Fiction- 1
Historical Mysteries- 1
Science Fiction-

Contemporary Suspense-2
Mythology- 1
Fantasy Anthology- 1
Time Travel- 2
Traditional Regencies- 1
Historical (Incl. long format Regencies)- 11
Paranormal- Vampire- 3
Paranormal- Faery- 1
Paranormal- Mythological Being- 1

YA Paranormal/fantasy-
YA romance-


Contemporary Romance- 1

Monday, August 11, 2008

July Synopsis

I’m late with this, in addition to the fact that none of them have been reviewed, but here’s the list nonetheless. Currently the plan is to write up the "Noras" in a group and the remainder individually. Listed in no particular order.

1.Jewels of the Sun, Nora Roberts
2.Tears of the Moon, Nora Roberts
3.Heart of the Sea, Nora Roberts
4.Lord of Scoundrels, Loretta Chase
5.Five Quarters of the Orange, Joanne Harris
6.Ladies of Liberty, Cokie Roberts


This Charming Man, Marian Keyes

Edited to add:
7.Komarr; Lois McMaster Bujold
8.A Civil campaign, Lois McMaster Bujold
9.Diplomatic Immunity, Lois McMaster Bujold


Name / Username:

Name Acronym Generator

Found first on Midwifemuse, link on sidebar.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Olympic fever

Am totally mesmerized by the sheer splendor and beauty of the opening ceremonies. I thought the Greeks would be hard to outdo, but the Chinese aesthetics are awe inspiring. Politics and environmental issues aside for the duration of the Games.

Go here for beautiful photos! Or here.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Thursday 13 #45- Miscellaneous items on today's to do list

Thirteen Things about Bookwormom

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Thursday 13 originated here. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! Click link in the title above to go to a list of other Thirteeners, compiled by Technorati. If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in the comments. It’s easy and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well. I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things.
Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

This week is a last minute list of some of the various things I managed to accomplish today.

1. Scrubbed out the bathroom

2. Good thing I did because the painter came by today to put the first coat over the primer.

3. Sorted through two of the bookcases. I now have enough shelf space so that everything stands upright. No extra piles on top or in front of books.

4. Also sorted through my keepers and decided some of them have to go too. Especially if I can't remember reading them or why I wanted to keep them in the first place.

5. Surfed the 'net looking for lists of who's been named to the Olympic road cycling teams in many of the European countries. Somehow I expected there to be a nice convenient list someone else would be kind enough to post. Uh yesh- I went back looking for the legs photo for #7 & the LIST is here.

6. Then again, I was sidetracked looking at photos of cyclists and China on Velo News.

7. Um. Gerald Ciolek's legs are YUMMY. Just sayin'. Thought the photo was on Velo News, but now I can't find it.

8. Beijing appears to be quite smoggy and the air pollution seems intractable.

9. I read somewhere that the Chinese gov't shut factories down for weeks to improve air quality. As much as I applaud their efforts, a gov't that can do that in the first place and be obeyed? Frightens me.

10. Washed dried and folded three loads of laundry.

11. Made dinner.

12. Picked Anime Queen from the Golden Arches.

13. Finally remembered that today is Thursday and I need to put up a post!! It was only 11:40 pm. I refuse to admit I might be disorganized or a procrastinator.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Langston Hughes

Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.

Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow.

Found on

Friday, August 01, 2008

Cause to Celebrate

The repairs to the bathroom and kitchen floor are done!! YAY!!

But- my allergies are here full force. Good thing Pianist isn't here, he'd be miserable. Oy, the dust and dirt and mold spores (from the damp wood under the linoleum) floating around in the house. I changed the AC air filter. It was caked with dustbunny fuzz and dirt. Uck. I cleaned everything as best I could with warm soapy water and a few drops of bleach to kill the spores, but it'll still take several days to settle out. Then I'll have to clean up all over again. :(

The guys were pretty thorough, I think. I'm no professional, but it's a damn sight better than the standard repair crew the landlord sends over here. This crew says most of our issues stem from neglected plumbing repairs. I already knew that, as I've put in several requests but they won't send plumbers. Only the maintenance men who steal my flowers and are barely literate. So heaven only knows how long these repairs will last. I'll enjoy them for now though.