Thursday, March 5, 2015

Sunny Thursday!

But snowy Wednesday...........
 I was really looking forward to this winter storm and it did not disappoint!  It rained in the morning and then turned to sleet which is this picture
but then it turned to snow and you couldn't see across the yard!
Big fat flakes the size of a quarter or snowed all afternoon and was still snowing when I went to bed.............
This was Nitty when it first started.......she loves the snow as much as I do...........
Shake it off!
it snowed............
and snowed........
and snowed..........I was in 7th heaven.............
and then this morning I woke up to this beautiful scene and the sky so blue and the sun shining so brightly......what gifts!
the only tracks were those made by the deer in the upper middle of the picture below.....can you see them?  They cross the street there to go to the lake right beyond those trees.
The birds uncovered the seed I had placed out there the night before.  I feed them every day between about 3 and 4 in the afternoon so they can go to sleep with food in their tummies to keep them warm through the cold nights.  There's plenty of water all around as the lake doesn't freeze and there is a natural spring too that feeds into the lake that doesn't freeze.  All within walking flying distance.  And of course now, there's the snow!

I'm enjoying the snow and the girls and I went out and did some "tracking" can see tracks so easily in the snow if  the girls don't run ahead of me and obliterate them! LOL!  I found out there's a "critter" living in one of the crawl spaces under the house as you could see the tracks leading away from the door.  Hmmm....I'll have to tell my Terminex guy as there is wiring, cables and pipes in there.  I wonder if that's why my cable in the family room doesn't work for my dish?
I hope you stayed warm, happy and well fed today!  Happy Trails!

Monday, March 2, 2015

It's Monday What Are You Reading?

 Wow!  These audio books are helping me get more reading done and at the same time actually enjoy some mundane tasks.  Plus, I need to read them and pass them on..........
The Rescue by Nicolas Sparks
I picked this up at a library book sale and it was very good.  As you can see it was an audio book.  The only issue I had was when they tried to do the voice of a child that couldn't speak very well and when the male reader tried to do a female voice it wasn't very convincing and took your mind off of the story line.  It was a good book though and I would give it a 4 out of  5.
 "When confronted by raging fires or deadly accidents, volunteer fireman Taylor McAden feels compelled to take terrifying risks to save lives. But there is one leap of faith Taylor can't bring himself to make: He can't fall in love.
Then, one day, a raging record breaking storm hits his small Southern town.  Denise Holton, a young single mother, is driving through it when her car skids off the road.  With her is her four-year-old son, Kyle.  Unconscious and bleeding, she---not Kyle---is found.  And when she wakes up, the chilling truth becomes clear to both of them;  Kyle is gone.
Driving the search for Kyle, the connection, the lifeline, between Taylor and Denise takes root. Taylor doesn't know that this rescue will lead him to the possibility of his own rescue from a life lived without love."

I have a cd/tape player in the kitchen and the bedroom.  This is what's playing in the bedroom but since I don't spend as much time in there as I do the kitchen, this one didn't get finished yet.

 I did finish this fiction book and it is the second book in the Cold Sassy series by Olive Anne Burns
She died before she finished it but her editor and a neighbor pieced it together and published it along with a wonderful history of her life and the REAL people of Cold Sassy.  I enjoyed the story of her life tremendously and  her husband's last name was Sparks....I wonder if Nicholas and he were related?  They were both writers.  She and her husband had a very interesting and wonderful life together and their sense of humor during some of their most painful struggles was admirable. I continue to love real life stories better than fiction.  I highly recommend this book for the non-fiction part and the photos of the REAL people of Cold Sassy.  5 out of 5

I finished this book, Call The Midwife by Jennifer Worth.
I like the PBS series on television except for all the screaming and overacting during childbirth.  I don't remember ever screaming or hearing anyone scream or carry on like they portray childbirth on t.v. And I wasn't drugged either just a shot to ease the pain but nothing to block it out.  Anyway, the book, as usual, is better than the movie but also more graphic but this is written by the woman who lived it so I was impressed with her writing ability and also the fact that these stories are true and were happening when I was a little girl.  I really was born in the "old days". If you're a mother you will enjoy it but if you haven't had children or plan on it in the future maybe not so much. LOL! 5 out of 5!

As for my tablet.........I read and finished Durable Goods by Elizabeth Berg.
" On the hot Texas army base she calls home, Katie spends the lazy days of her summer waiting: waiting to grow up; waiting for Dickie Mack to fall in love with her; waiting for her breasts to blossom; waiting for the beatings to stop. Since their mother died, Katie and her older sister, Diane, have struggled to understand their increasingly distant, often violent father. While Diane escapes into the arms of her boyfriend, Katie hides in her room or escapes to her best friend’s house—until Katie’s admiration for her strong-willed sister leads her on an adventure that transforms her life.
Written with an unerring ability to capture the sadness of growth, the pain of change, the nearly visible vibrations that connect people, this beautiful novel by the bestselling author of Open House reminds us how wonderful—and wounding—a deeper understanding of life can be."
 I had read The Art of Mending several years back and remembered enjoying it...I think.  I might have to reread it as I can't recall the storyline at all.  I did realize that I wanted to read more of Elizabeth Berg though.  So I got my first audio book on my tablet and hooked my headphones up to it and did crocheting and it was a pleasant way to spend some evenings doing 2 things I really enjoyed at the same time!
The narrating and the quality of the audio was great but the story just didn't ever go anywhere really.  It was good and kept your interest but by the time I got to the end I was like "that's it?"  But she is definitely a great writer and I do plan on reading more of her but she is also a writer that tells stories within stories and knows much about life and isn't afraid to write about it.  Her books are not "thrillers" though and won't keep you on the edge of your seat but she will touch your heart...many times over.  There are some writers that need to be "introduced" before you can truly enjoy their books and she is one of them.  I think I'm prepped to read more of her now.  3 out of 5 
Another thing....I love all her covers! 

This week I'll be reading The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult.  I had started it as a library book but didn't have it finished so I took it back.  It's on my tablet now and I started reading it all over again.  It has a Nazi Germany theme so I wasn't sure I could handle it and some of it is very tough but she's a great writer and keeps you moving through it until you come out on the other side...unharmed.  I should probably finish this week.

For my non-fiction choice I am going to read a book I picked up somewhere at a sale...library, garage, not sure where but it's old.  Enos Mills of the Rockies by Hildegard Hawthorne and Esther Burnell Mills.
 "Enos Mills was a famous guide and interpreter of the Rockies and author of many successful books on the country he loved and understood so well."
The book I have was copyrighted in 1935 but the inscription below was dated 1945.  I'm not sure what relation the autographer was to Enos but hopefully the book will tell me.  I love nature books and the back cover lists 15 books that he wrote.

 As for the audio tape in the kitchen..........I'll be listening to Embraced by the Light by Betty J. Eadie
"The most profound and complete near-death experience ever!" "The inspiring NYT's bestseller read by the author."
So, that's it for this "book journey" edition and be sure and stop over to peruse all the people linking up with Sheila today over at Book Journey

Happy Trails!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

YOP Week #35

I missed last week but you didn't miss much! LOL!  The only problem with being strict with myself about "finishing" things is that it gets boring for my blog readers as it's the same old projects.  If I would sit and knit and/or crochet all day I would move ahead faster but I have other fish to fry and most are way ahead in my priority list.  But I do knit on my breaks during the day and I take quite a few at my age and I crochet at night while I watch t.v. or listen to a book on tape.  
On the knitting front, the blanket is coming along really well!  2 weeks ago when I blogged I was just starting block #31 and this week I am just starting block #41 out of 55!  I am seeing a finish off in the distance and being this close there's no chance of me putting it there?

My plans are to finish and then back it with a dark brown "minky" fabric I've had my eye on.
The only problem is I've never lined or backed anything knitted before.  I've seen it done though and it really looks wonderful.  I'm just not sure how?   Pre-wash the fabric to ensure there's no shrinking and leave enough fabric all around (1/2 inch?) to press a hem and then blind stitich all around?  If anyone has done this please tell me as else I will be "winging it".
I've also been slowly catching up with the preemie hats and I'm just finishing up January......
I spent some time organizing them and making a list by month of how many and what type was needed to fulfill my requirement.  Then I woke up this morning and realized it is now March!  I need some more yarn too.  Get a move on, Sam!
Feeling so good about my "stick-to-it-iveness" I found myself needing a little joined a  BAL (blanket along) over at Cherry Heart and actually today is the official start so please go over and join if you feel the urge.  She also has a group on Ravelry for it and all the information including the free pattern is at the above link.  Here's my humble start........the picture is Sandra's hexie blanket called the Weekender and that is exacly what I am doing.  The BAL is for any  blanket you are working on or have set aside and it doesn't have to be her pattern.  It's just a group to encourage us all to finish and/or start those blanket projects.  My plan is to work on my blanket of blocks above during the week and then on the weekends (get it...The Weekender?) I'll work on the hexie blanket.
I ended up doing my first hexie 3 times before I got it right.  The picture above helped tremendously.  I am so poor at following directions and she had a chart also but I haven't learned how to use them...yet.....I think it was one of my YOP skills this year...or it should have been.  Now that I sort of know how to make one maybe I can go back and understand the chart.
I put a big order in to Deramore's as my Stylecraft DK was never a big collection but it will be now!
I'd been saving my "allowance" for awhile now to place an order and it was free shipping to the U.S. even so I felt very "puffed" as my friends in the U.K. say or is it "chuffed"?  Regardless, I am very excited  for it's arrival this coming week and I will share pictures as soon as it arrives!
I'm also learning a new technique today (hopefully) with Cherry Heart's JAYG (join as you go) instructions.  That's why I only have the one hexie done as I need to be spending some time on that technique today.  The only problem with "join as you go" is you have to know your color placement right away where as when you join later you can lay them out and see what arrangement looks best.  I did take a tip from Lucy over at Attic 24 that she does for designing her blankets and their colors.  She wraps some yarn around a clip clothespin (you use the clip to keep the end of the yarn from unraveling) and she marks the number/color of the Stylecraft DK on the end.  I need more clothespins before my yarn arrives this week! LOL!
I hope you all had a great week and Happy March!  We're having snow, sleet and freezing rain today so it's a great day to cozy up and do some handwork.  I have spaghetti sauce simmering and putting a great smell in the air!  Happy Trails!
P.S.  I finished a bunch of books this last week too so stop by tomorrow for "It's Monday, What Are You Reading".  I'll have some reviews and stop by Book Journey who is the hostess of the Monday reading group.  There are hundreds of reviews on her site and Monday's are when her fellow reviewers all link up.  So, if you're wondering what to read next, Sheila will lead you to just the right book!