Saturday, August 30, 2014

Saturday Snapshots Oh to be in love and in Paris

West Metro Mommy ReadsSaturday Snapshots is hosted by Melissa at West Metro Mommy Reads. Log on to her blog to grab the button, read the few rules and link back to share your Saturday Snapshots.

I haven't been taking photos much lately. I seem to always forget to grab a camera and my cell doesn't take good outside pictures at all. But I did want to share one photo today taken by my niece-in-law. (Is that what you call the young women married to your nephew). They are on their honeymoon. Their wedding was the end of May, but they waited until now to go on their honeymoon. They have been in London and now are in Paris. I know there is controversy regarding the Love Lock Bridge in Paris, but I just had to share this photo anyway. Made me smile. They are so in love.

I am loving that she is sharing their travels with the whole family by posting on Facebook. They live in St Paul MN and my husband and I do not get to see them often. So it's fun to kind of peek in on their lives. 

Hope you are having a great weekend. Tomorrow we are celebrating our youngest great-grandson's 1st birthday. I should have lots of photos to share next Saturday! 

Until next time
Stay Busy and Stay Happy

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Wondrous Words Wednesday 8-27

Kathy at BermudaOnion's Weblog gives us the opportunity to share wondrous words that we have encountered in our reading or to share words we are particularly fond of. If you wish to join us, link up your wondrous words at BermudaOnion's Weblog and to quote another blogger, "get wordy with us".

This week I am listening to the audible version of The Invention of Wings  by Sue Monk Kidd. There are some interesting words used, but they are hard for me to make note of because I am listening and can't go back to the written word for spelling etc. I did catch one word though,

crenulated- noun    Sarah is speaking about "crenulated clouds".

Merriam-Webster online dictionary defines crenulated as : having an irregularly wavy or serrate outline

Also this week I was reading several blogs that shared the first paragraph of their current read and ran across this word quotidian. 
 It means:
1. occuring every day
2. belonging to each day or commonplace, ordinary.

Joann at Lakeside Musings was sharing about her current read, Why I Read: The Serious Pleasure of Books by Wendy Lesser.

 From the Goodreads summary :
"As she examines these works from such perspectives as 'Character and Plot,' 'Grandeur and Intimacy,' and 'Authority,' Why I Read sparks an overwhelming desire to put aside quotidian tasks in favor of reading.

and this one:  oligarchy   a government structure where a small and elite group have power

Sarah at Sarah's Book Shelves was sharing her current read, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot by David Shafer and the plot summary from Amazon.
"Three young adults grapple with the usual thirty-something problems- boredom, authenticity, and omnipotent online oligarchy - in David Shafer's darkly comic debut novel"

These words were all unfamiliar to me, but I am going to try to use them in my quotidian speech in the coming week. How about you, did you come across any new and unusual words?

Until next time
Stay Busy and Stay Happy

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

First Chapter First Paragraph Ttuesday Intros - The Invention of Wings

Diane at Bibliophile By The Sea hosts First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros as a place to share the first paragraph (or two) of the first chapter in a book you are currently reading or hope to start soon. Join us by linking up a post of your First Chapter First Paragraph to Diane's blog.

The Invention of Wings
Sue Monk Kidd
my edition is an audible. com version

Part One
November 1803 - February 1805

Hetty Handful Gremke

There was a time in Africa the people could fly. Mauma told me this one night when I was ten years old. She said, "Handful, your granny-mauma saw it for herself. She say they flew over trees and clouds. She say they flew like blackbirds. When we came here, we left that magic behind."

I've just started this novel. It is really good so far. I am sure it will continue.
Would you continue if you just read the first paragraph?
Have you read this one yet?

Until next time,
Stay Busy and Stay Happy

Sunday, August 24, 2014

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 3 new starts

It's Monday! What Are You Reading is hosted every Monday by Sheila at Book Journey. This is a very active meme and one sure to entice you to add to your list of books to be read. Join us at Sheila's blog and check out what other bloggers are reading this week 

I finished all the books I had been reading, so started 3 new ones this week. 

First on my Kindle:
This one has been on my Kindle for a while. In fact I think it was the second one that I downloaded. I am not a Stephen King fan. I have not read any of his other books, but I thought maybe I could get through this one.  I was a senior in high school on November 22, 1963 and I remember the day in great detail.  This book will fill two challenges that I am working on too. One is the 2014 Ebook Challenge hosted by 

Sarah at Workaday Reads  and the other is the Mega Mix Challenge II on Goodreads. I need a book with a title that starts with E to spell out the title of my favorite TV show. When I started the challenge I selected Downton Abbey. You wouldn't think it would be so hard to find a book title that starts with E, but I have had a difficult time. So creative license, Eleven/Twenty-two/Sixty-three!. 

I also started Copycat Killing, #3 of the Magical Cats Mystery by Sofie Kelly. This one has been on my TBR shelf for a long time. I decided I needed a book to carry in the car and I may need a diversion from the Stephen King novel. 

I really enjoyed the other Sofie Kelly book I read earlier in the month, Sleight of Paw. I own(or am owned by) a black and white cat, who looks very much like Hercules in this series. He cannot,  however, walk through doors. Thank goodness!. 

And just to round things out, because heaven forbid that I should have time to clean or sew, I decided I had better start on the first book in the fall lineup for my bookclub. We chose 

I read The Secret Life of Bees and bought the movie in preparation for this one. I have it as an audible on my kindle and given the trouble I had finding listening time when I was "reading" The Goldfinch, I wanted to give myself a time cushion. This one is only 13 hours as opposed to 30 hrs, so maybe I will be fine. 

Until next time, 
Stay Busy and Stay Happy

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Wondrous Words Wednesday 8-20-14

Wondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Kathy at Bermuda Onion's Weblog. You can share new words that you've encountered or spotlight words you love. Feel free to get creative!. If you want to play along, grab the button at Kathy's blog, write a post and then go back and link up using Mr Linky. 

I found a couple of words in my reading last week and so far this week. Not many though.

1. apse - N.  a large semicircular or polygonal recess in a church, arched or with a domed roof, typically in the east end and usually containing the alter.

from French Masquerade - a short story by Paulita Kincer

"They climbed to the second floor and Joanna thrust him forward into the apse where the stained glass windows soared above him so he could be bathed in the blue light."

I have not been to Paris and I do not think this is particular to Paris, but I still can't picture it in my mind. So I found this image on the internet.

Then I went back to the story to remember where Joanna and her Argentinian sailor actually were. At Sainte-Chapelle, a 13th Century Gothic chapel . This is what I found and now it all makes the image understandable. Gorgeous! I glad I searched further and discovered this image.

2. dichotomy - N.

Dichotomy is defined as a sharp division of things or ideas into two contradictory parts.

from Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah

"The dichotomy of the image was something Tully knew she'd always remember, but from the moment she got out to the plane until she reboarded the flight for home five days later, she had precious little time to think about imagery."

I should know this word, in fact I know I have looked it up before, but I don't use it and so I had forgotten its exact meaning. I knew the di- had to do with two, so I could sort of figure it out. But I needed to look it up again.

Until next time.
Stay Busy and Stay Happy

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

First Chapter, First Paragraph Tuesday Intros

Diane at Bibliophile By the Sea hosts First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros as a place to share the first paragraph (or two) of the first chapter in a book you are currently reading, or hope to start soon. Since we were camping and I was not able to participate last Tuesday, I will share the first paragraph in the first chapter of a book I finished while camping.

I See London  I See France
Paulita Kincer
isbn 978-1-304-69888-9

    "I've had enough, Caroline." He tossed the words down the stairs like an empty laundry basket.
      Obviously, that was a subtle signal my husband Scott needed some time alone. It's not like I immediately followed him up the stairs to continue the fight I'd started with a few well-placed comments about the leak in the bathtub not fixing itself.

You can read my review HERE.

And this week I am reading:

Firefly Lane
Kristin Hannah
St Martin's Griffin

They used to be called the Firefly Lane girls. That was a long time ago-more than three decades-but just now as she lay in bed listening to the winter storm raging outside, it seemed like yesterday. 
 In the past week ( unquestionably the worst seven days of her life), she'd lost the ability to distance herself from the memories. Too often lately in her dreams it was 1974; she was a teenager again, coming of age in the shadow of a lost war, riding her bike beside her best friend in a darkness so complete it was like being invisible. The place was relevant only as a reference point, but she remembered it in vivid detail; a meandering ribbon of asphalt bordered on either side by gullies of murky water and hillsides of shaggy grass. Before they met, that road seemed to go nowhere at all; it was just a country lane named after an insect no one had ever seen in this rugged blue and green corner of the world.

Until next time,
Stay Busy and Stay Happy

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Reading Reading Reading

It's Monday! What Are You Reading is hosted every Monday by Sheila at Book Journey. This is a very active meme and one sure to entice you to add to your list of books to be read. Join us at Sheila's blog and check out what other bloggers are reading this week 

This week I was able to do a lot of reading. My husband and I spent 5 days camping in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Our plan was just to spend time together, doing nothing or at least not much of anything. We stopped at Prairie Berry Winery in Hill City SD and purchased a bottle of my favorite wine, Red Ass Rhubarb. We drove to Sheridan Lake and looked around the camping sites. I looked for chokecherries but did not see any, although my sister and sister-in-law have picked some recently.  And I spent lots of time reading! 

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I won this book in a giveaway on the Cozy Chicks blog a couple of years ago. My copy is signed by the author and I also received the next installment, Copycat Killing.  Although I found a couple of typos it did not distract from my enjoyment of the story. This is the 2nd in the Magical Cats Mystery series and there are some references in the story about the solving of the first murder, but this book can stand alone. I may, however have a bit of insight into the murder in the first book, Curiosity Thrilled the Cat.

Kathleen Paulson, is a librarian and owner of two previously feral cats Owen and Hercules. I should probably say, she is owned by the cats. Owen and Hercules are magical cats. Owen can make himself invisible and Hercules can walk through unopened doors. Kathleen talks regularly to her cats and they "talk" back. Their abilities will help Kathleen find some clues to the death of a former and much loved teacher in Mayville Heights, MN. Agatha Shepard's death has Kathleen and her friends, Maggie, Ruby and Roma searching for the cold-hearted killer. Of course, there is professional help too, from handsome Detective Marcus Gordon. Kathleen finds that keeping secrets is never a good idea when there has been a murder.

If you like animals, cats in particular and quirky lady protagonists, then read this fun cozy mystery. I liked it a lot and it was a good read as my husband and I camped in the Black Hills of SD last week. I am on to read the next one, The Copycat Killing by Sofie Kelly and then I will search out the 1st in the Magical Cat series

I will be linking this post to several memes today. Since the short story and book by Paulita Kincer are on my Kindle, I will add them to the Ebook Challenge hosted by Sarah at Workaday Reads. And for the first time, I will link up on Paulita's blog, An Accidental Blog for her Dreaming of France meme. 

I read this short story by one of my favorite authors on my kindle. 

I can't review this short story on Goodreads, they don't show it as a possible read. So here is short synopsis of a short story. 
Joanna's husband Simon has the flu. He quit kissing her on the lips. He turned away from her in bed in a fit of coughing. He moved into the spare room, and after a month he packed a bag and moved out of the house. Their only son Ben was going off to college, what could she do. So her friend Sylvia talked her into go back Paris to drown her sorrows in wine, museums and men with accents. Will the sights in Paris fill the void or will she realize she can't go back to the Paris that she remembers from her younger days? It is a short story with a happy ending, and I feel a prelude to the story that became I See London I See France

I See London I See France
I See London I See France by Paulita Kincer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Caroline Sommers finds herself suddenly alone with her kids when her husband of 15 years walks out in a huff. She begins to wonder what happened to the happy fulfilled women she was before she married and before she became a stay at home, homeschooling mom to three. She remembers feeling most alive when she was traveling, and impulsively sells her minivan ( after all it was bought with an inheritance from her grandmother) and packs up Jack, Maggie and Henry at travels to Europe. As she shepherds her kids to London, to Scotland then to Paris and Provence she finds herself wondering. Should she chose love or lust in the arms of a European man she meets in Scotland? Should she try to rekindle the unrequited love of an older Frenchman she met while in Provence 16 years ago as a college student? Or should she give the father of her children and the man she truly loved once a second chance?

Paulita Kincer gives voice to many of our concerns as wives and mothers. She does it with humor, and insight into Caroline and Scott's life. She touches on the importance of taking care of yourself, but knowing that the needs of your children are first.

This next week I hope to finish Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah and start on Copycat Killing by Sofie Kelly.
And I plan to ready the camper for our next outing, do some sewing and maybe, just maybe clean out a closet or two!  Maybe!

Until next time
Stay Busy and Stay Happy

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Saturday Snapshot ~ Dakotah by John Lopez~ Aug 16

Saturday Snapshot is hosted every Saturday by Melissa at West Metro Mommy Reads.  To participate in Saturday Snapshot: post a photo that you ( or a friend or family member) have taken then leave a direct link to your post in the Mister Linky portion of Melissa's blog. Photo's can be old or new, and be of any subject as long as they are clean and appropriate for all eyes to see. How much detail you give in the caption is entirely up to you. Please don't post random photos that you find online. 

The three shots below were taken Thursday evening at the Dakotah Steakhouse in Rapid City South Dakota. My sister and brother-in-law took us to dinner to celebrate our 50th Anniversary. It actually was in June, but we finally got a chance to drive to Rapid City to visit. The sculptor is a South Dakota native and his sculpture are made up of found objects. This is an American Bison with an eagle on his side.

 Can you see the eagle beak and feathers?  Also the wheat shafts in his talons? It is great fun to look at his sculptures and find the objects he used.
If you have a chance look up his work on the web. John Lopez Studio. His work is amazing.

We were camping in the Black Hills of South Dakota this week, so I was away from technology. I did not take many pictures, but we had a great time, just relaxing and driving through the beautiful Black Hills.

Until next time,

Stay Busy and Stay Happy

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Saturday Snapshot Flowers and Fruit

Saturday Snapshot is hosted every Saturday by Melinda at West Metro Mommy Reads. She gives us a place to share pictures that we have taken or have been taken by a friend or family member. 

To participate in Saturday Snapshot: post a photo that you (or a friend or family member) have taken then leave a direct link to your post in the Mister Linky below. Photos can be old or new, and be of any subject as long as they are clean and appropriate for all eyes to see. How much detail you give in the caption is entirely up to you. Please don’t post random photos that you find online.

My sister walks every day in a wilderness area not far from here home. It is her time of personal reflection and she is starting to be come quite the photographer. She has always been an avid gardener, so she is drawn to growing things. These are pictures she shared recently. 
 Chokecherries ready to be picked and made into jelly or syrup. Yummy. We are staying with my sister and her husband this coming Thursday night. We may get to sample some jelly. My fingers are crossed!
 I do not know the names of these two flowers, but aren't they pretty. Growing wild in her neighborhood.

Until next time.
Stay Busy and Stay Happy

Thursday, August 7, 2014

What's In A Name 2014 - Completed

I joined this challenge again this year. It is one of my favorite, if not THE Favorite.  Charlie at The Worm Hole did an amazing job this year, picking categories. 

The challenge runs from January to December. During this time you choose a book to read from each of the following categories (examples of books you could choose are in brackets):
  • A reference to time (Eleven Minutes, Before Ever After)
  • A position of royalty (The People’s Queen, The Last Empress, The Curse Of The Pharaoh)
  • A number written in letters (The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, A Tale Of Two Cities)
  • A forename or names (Rebecca, Eleanor & Park, The Unfinished Work Of Elizabeth D.)
  • A type or element of weather (Gone With The Wind, Red Earth Pouring Rain)
Late in February, Charlie added a sixth category: book with a school subject in the title ( The History Boys by Alan Bennett, Angelology by Danielle Trussoni, Mastering The Art Of Soviet Cooking by Anya Von Bremzen. 

Tonight I finished the 6th book to complete this challenge. Since January 1, I read:

  • A reference to time : A Time to Dance by Karen Kingsbury
  • A position of royalty : The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen
  • A number written in letters: One Thousand White Women by Jim Fergus
  • A forename or names : Peony in Love by Lisa See
  • A type or element of weather: The Scent of Rain and Lightning by Nancy Pickard
  • A school subject:  The Driving Lesson by Ben Rehder

Thanks Charlie for taking over this challenge. It was great. I will look forward to 2015. 

Until next time,
Stay Busy and Stay Happy

The Driving Lesson : What's In A Name 2014 - Bonus

The Driving LessonThe Driving Lesson by Ben Rehder
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I did not know what to expect after the first paragraph. But it turned out to be a wonderful coming of age story about a grandparent and his 14 year old grandson.

Charlie Dunbar is the only son of Glen and Sarah Dunbar. Charlie is what I would call a typical 14 year old. He knows right from wrong, but he can be "bullied" into making a wrong choice by someone calling him names. So starts the journey of Charlie and his Opa.

As they travel across country from Abilene TX to Seattle WA and stops in between, Charlie "Bud" and his grandfather learn to trust each other, learn to be honest with each other and generally have a great time.

This story touched me. I am a grandparent. I wonder if I would have made the choice Charlie's grandfather made if my diagnosis had been terminal? Would I have been brave enough to share with a young, almost adult grandchild. I doubt it. This is a great story. I cried, I laughed and shook my head in amazement. I recommend it for all.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros - Distant Heart

Every Tuesday Diane at Bibliophile By The Sea hosts First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros, where she shares the first paragraph or (a few) of a book she is reading or thinking of reading soon. I love to join this meme as often as I can. If you want to join in the fun, go to Diane's blog and link your post, for all of us to read.

Today I am sharing the first two paragraphs of the book I just started yesterday. It is a book I picked up from the clearance shelf at our local book store and it will help me complete The Mega Mix Challenge II that is sponsored on Goodreads by the Love of Reading Group.

Distant Heart
Tracey Bateman
Avon Inspire - an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers

Toni held her breath, biting back the scream that fought to tear itself from her dry, aching throat. Bronze, nearly naked bodies sat regally, cruelly, atop painted ponies, as fearsome as the masters who rode them. Under a flag of truce these warriors had ridden into camp; wanted to make a trade. And, unless Toni missed her guess, she was the one they had come to acquire. 
"Don't worry." Standing next to Toni, her friend and traveling companion, Fannie Caldwell, slipped her trembling hand into Toni's damp palm and nearly squeezed the blood from her fingers. She spoke with a confidence Toni was far from feeling. " Sam and Blake will never let them take you. Even if they have to kill every last one of those half-naked savages." 

This book is in the Christian fiction genre, so I am anticipating an easy touching read. What about you, would you continue with this book?

Until next time,
Stay Busy and Stay Happy

Monday, August 4, 2014

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 8-4-14

Every Monday, Sheila at Book Journey hosts a weekly meme that allows us a place to showcase the books were are currently reading or plan to read soon. It also gives us an opportunity to check in to see what others are reading. Join us and share your current reads.  Warning though!  It will add to your want-to-read list!

This week I am reading
Toni Rodden has escaped a life of prostitution and vows she'll never let a man control her again. After months on the wagon train, she's finally earned her place, albeit grudgingly from some, and has found a surrogate family in Fannie Caldwell and her two siblings. For the first time she can taste freedom and the possibilities of a new life. But as Fannie prepares to marry wagon master Blake Tanner, Toni realizes how alone she is and questions whether she'll ever find acceptance, or true love.

Despite Toni's conviction that no man will be able to see beyond her marred past, Sam Two-Feathers, the half-Indian wagon scout and acting preacher for the train, seems to know of a love that forgives sins and values much more than outward appearances. Will Sam have the confidence to declare his love? Will Toni be able to trust in a love that can forgive even the darkest past?

So far, it reminds me of One Thousand White Women by Jim Fergus.  Cheyenne Indians, Wagon Train, "soiled dove" woman afraid of being given to the savages!  I picked this book from the clearance rack at our local bookstore and did not realize is was #2 in a series. I hope it is a stand alone story, if not I will have to stop until I can read #1   Defiant Heart. I'm a bit OCD about that!  :)

I hope also to read on my Kindle :   The Driving Lesson by Ben Rehder. It will help complete the What's In A Name 2014 challenge.  Check out that challenge now being sponsored by Charlie at The Worm Hole.  
Charlie Dunbar had big plans for the summer break, but becoming a fugitive was nowhere on the list. Even more unexpected, his partner in crime is his own ailing grandfather. Now they're on the run, trying to make it across the country to see a special kind of doctor, while the world becomes mesmerized by their journey. They are the subject of heated debates on cable news channels. Thousands of people voice their support on Facebook fan pages. And Charlie's own parents appear on live TV to plead for him to come home safely. But Charlie isn't ready yet. He's determined to get his grandfather to Seattle. The only question is, will the police stop him first? **Recommended for ages 13 to adult.**

I finally finished listening to The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. It was 32 hours on my Kindle. About half way through it became a real chore. I loved the beginning, and the ending was beautifully written . The whole book was written well, but it was too too long in my opinion. 

I also finished The Potting Shed Quilt by Ann Hazelwood.  I liked this cozy mystery story, but the writing was a real distraction. What a contrast between these two books!

This last week was a bit quite in our house. Our granddaughter and her husband and baby son, finally were able to move into their house. I miss the activity and the happy baby smiles and noises. But that being said, I was able to finish a table runner and placemats that I have been making for our son and DIL. I participate in a quilting challenge too. I know I know!  Crazy, right?  Anyway, my quilting group has an annual challenge where we sign up to commit to to complete 6 previously unfinished projects. We donate 6  $1 bills to a pot and then if we complete our selected project for the current 2 month period, we get the dollar back. If we fail, the dollar get donated to the "kitty" and at the end of the year we will draw from the collection of names of those who finished.  Not big bucks, but the challenge is in  the peer pressure to complete not the money involved. It has been fun and most of us have gotten our projects out of the UFO box and completed. A really good feeling!

Until next time
Stay Busy and Stay Happy