Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Wondrous Words Wednesday 10/29/14


Every Wednesday, Kathy at Bermudaonion's Weblog host this wonderful meme to showcase words we encounter in our reading. Join us and tell us about words you discovered.



from Half Broke Horses by Jeanette Walls

"His handwriting was elegant, if a little spidery, and his sentences were long and extravagant, filled with words like "mendacious" and "abscond".


Mendacious : adjective

: not honest : likely to tell lies
: based on lies

The sentence in which mendacious was used gave me no clue as to its meaning. I knew abscond but needed to look up mendacious.


"Cowboys who could ride anything, caught them and ran them on fear, spurring and quirting them too hard, taking pride in staying on no matter how desperately they bucked and fishtailed.

quirt : transitive verb

:to strike or drive with a quirt

        quirt: noun  - a riding whip with a short handle and a rawhide leash.

I thought I knew that the word whipping could be substituted here, but the word was unfamiliar to me.


from beth's book-nook blog. 10/25/14 - her Saturday Snapshot post. She is involved in a local theatrical production

"Wish me break a leg as this is our final weekend (and we are being adjudicated)."

adjudicated:  transitive verb

: to settle judicially

     intransitive verb

: to act as judge


I should have been able to discern the meaning because it sounds like "judicial". But I looked it up to confirm. 


Have you come across any word you did not know or were unsure of?  


Until next time, 
Stay Busy and Stay Happy


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

A Happy Read: The Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap by Wendy Welch

I am linking this review to the Nonfiction Reading Challenge hosted by The Introverted Reader.


The Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap: A Memoir of Friendship, Community, and the Uncommon Pleasure of a Good BookThe Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap: A Memoir of Friendship, Community, and the Uncommon Pleasure of a Good Book by Wendy Welch
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

As of this date, Goodreads says this edition has 500 pages. It does not, only 391. That being said I read this book in a fairly short time. I really became engaged to the character of this story, mainly Wendy, Jack and the cats, Beulah and Val-Kyttie.

Wendy Welch and her husband, Scottish-born Jack Beck, leave the Snake Pit of her current job to find a quiet, more relaxed life. Their search leads them to a struggling Virginia coal-mining town and a wonderful "old" house that seems perfect. They soon find that they are ill prepared for the logistics of their endeavor , but with grace and good old-fashioned chutzpah they soldier on.

As they struggle to build inventory, they find friends and a few foes that help them in their journey. Wendy Welch tells their story with humor, candor and love. This book makes me want to continue to support my local businesses and wish for a used bookstore, like Tales of the Lonesome Pine, in my hometown.


View all my reviews


Until next time,
Stay Busy and Stay Happy




First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros - Yellow Crocus

 Every Tuesday Diane at Bibliophile By the Sea hosts this meme. It is a place to share the first chapter and first paragraph or a few, of a current read or one you hope to start soon.


Yellow Crocus
Laila Ibrahim
Lake Union, Seattle - 2014


Chapter 1

April 14, 1837


Mattie lay curled around the the warm shape of her son when the unwanted messenger knocked. She stayed on her pallet, reluctant to end this precious time, and listened to the sound of quiet snores coming from her grandfather. She gazed at Samuel, pressed her nose close against his soft neck to take in his sweet baby scent. She gently wiped the glistening sweat away from his damp forehead and gave him a tender kiss upon his temple. Another intrusive knock struck the door. Mattie got up. Cradling Samuel so close that she could feel warm puffs against her breast, she shuffled across the packed dirt floor. Though she expected this visitor, had anticipated a knock for weeks, she dreaded this moment.
Once she opened the door, her life would be forever divided into before and after.

_________________________________________________________________________________

What do you think?   Would you read on.


Until next time,
Stay Busy and Stay Happy

Sunday, October 26, 2014

It's Monday!. What Are You Reading? Yellow Crocus & The Little Bookstore in Big Stone Gap


It's Monday! What Are You Reading is a fun weekly meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journey. Join us and link up your current reading list. I guarantee you'll add to your reading lists.

Saturday I started two new books. The Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap is the November selection of my F2F book club. It was recommended by the daughters of our oldest member. So we decided it might be worth a look. I put on hold a copy from our library and when I picked it up, it was a Big Print edition. Yea for me! I don't normally find books I want to read in Large Print, but sometimes it a rest for these old tired eyes. And I am really liking the story so far.





A book about losing your place, finding your purpose, and immersing yourself in what holds community, and humanity, together—books

Wendy Welch and her husband had always dreamed of owning a bookstore. When the opportunity to escape a toxic work environment and run to a struggling Virginia coal mining town presented itself, they took it. And took the plunge into starting their dream as well. They chose to ignore the “death of the book,” the closing of bookstores across the nation, and the difficult economic environment, and six years later they have carved a bookstore—and a life—out of an Appalachian mountain community.

A story of beating bad odds with grace, ingenuity, good books, and single malt, this memoir chronicles two bibliophiles discovering unlikely ways in which daily living and literature intertwine. Their customers—"Bob the Mad Irishman," "Wee Willie," and "The Lady Who Liked Romances," to name a few—come to the shop looking for the kind of interactive wisdom Kindles don't spark, and they find friendship, community, and the uncommon pleasure of a good book in good company.
The Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap will make you want to run to the local bookstore, and curl up in an arm chair with a treasure in bound pages.


And I downloaded Yellow Crocus on my Kindle back in August. I was needing to read a book whose title started with Y as part of The Mega Mix II Challenge on Goodreads. I know, I know but I like this particular challenge. It stretches me. I have read lots of books I would never have tried with out the challenges that I participate in. I had no real idea what this book was about, but it had a gorgeous cover and the title started with Y and it was not expensive to download. I am really enjoying it, so I guess I "did good"!!



Mattie was never truly mine. That knowledge must have filled me as quickly and surely as the milk from her breasts. Although my family ‘owned’ her, although she occupied the center of my universe, her deepest affections lay elsewhere. So along with the comfort of her came the fear that I would lose her some day. This is our story...

So begins Lisbeth Wainwright’s compelling tale of coming-of-age in antebellum Virginia. Born to white plantation owners but raised by her enslaved black wet nurse, Mattie, Lisbeth’s childhood unfolds on the line between two very different worlds.
Growing up under the tender care of Mattie, Lisbeth adopts her surrogate mother’s deep-seated faith in God, her love of music and black-eyed peas, and the tradition of hunting for yellow crocuses in the early days of spring. In time, Lisbeth realizes she has freedoms and opportunities that Mattie does not have, though she’s confined by the societal expectations placed on women born to privilege. As Lisbeth grows up, she struggles to reconcile her love for her caregiver with her parents’ expectations, a task made all the more difficult as she becomes increasingly aware of the ugly realities of the American slavery system. When Lisbeth bears witness to a shockingly brutal act, the final vestiges of her naiveté crumble around her. Lisbeth realizes she must make a choice, one that will require every ounce of the courage she learned from her beloved Mattie.

This compelling historical novel is a richly evocative tale of love, loss, and redemption set during one of the most sinister chapters of American history.



This week I also will put the finishing touches on a quilt for a challenge in my quilt group. I will post a picture after I do "show and tell" on November 2nd. 


Until next time, 
Stay Busy and Stay Happy

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Saturday Snapshot Halloween

Melinda hosts this fun meme on Saturdays. Check out her blog, West Metro Mommy Reads and check out the rules. There are only a couple. Easy Peazy!!


 I play Bunco, monthly with a group of ladies that I met when I was working. Some of us are now retired, some of us work at other places and some are new to the group and it is always in flux. Our October gathering is always held at the home of a very creative, wonderful lady. She decorate "over the top". Her grown grandson, studying to be an elementary teacher, lives with them and he helps a bunch. This year, Mr. Bones sat in a chair near one of the tables. See the spider painting on the wall, Jordan did that at one of those, paint-you-own places. Cool, huh?


There were vignettes everywhere. I wish my phone took better pictures in low light. This is collection of tea light candle burners.

Even her guest bath was decorated, unfortunately I did not take my phone into the bathroom with me!  Hahaha!


Hope you all have a Happy Halloween,
Until next time,
Stay Busy and Stay Happy



Letter To My Daughter - Maya Angelou



Hosted by Jennifer at The Introverted Reader this annual challenge is a place to share all the nonfiction books you are reading. Link up with Jen at her sign up post and join the fun. This is my 9th entry in this challenge. I signed up at the Explorer Level = 6-10 books.





Letter to My DaughterLetter to My Daughter by Maya Angelou
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a quick fun read. Set up in short letter style pages, Ms Angelou tells about life lessons she learned but chooses not to give advice, or give a moral to her stories. It is for you or me to take these life lessons and apply them.

Maya Angelou uses her superb story telling skills, her command of language to share her life and the lessons she learned. I wish I could have heard it in her own unique voice. I loved listening to her large husky voice.

I checked this book out from our local library. But I know now that I must own this volume. I read this in one day, taking a few breaks to process and share what I read. I will re read and re read. I want it on my shelves!




Friday, October 24, 2014

Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter Four Stars




I read this on my Kindle and rated it 4 stars.





Goodreads Synopsis:

The story begins in 1962. On a rocky patch of the sun-drenched Italian coastline, a young innkeeper, chest-deep in daydreams, looks out over the incandescent waters of the Ligurian Sea and spies an apparition: a tall, thin woman, a vision in white, approaching him on a boat. She is an actress, he soon learns, an American starlet, and she is dying.

And the story begins again today, half a world away, when an elderly Italian man shows up on a movie studio's back lot—searching for the mysterious woman he last saw at his hotel decades earlier.

What unfolds is a dazzling, yet deeply human, roller coaster of a novel, spanning fifty years and nearly as many lives. From the lavish set of Cleopatra to the shabby revelry of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Walter introduces us to the tangled lives of a dozen unforgettable characters: the starstruck Italian innkeeper and his long-lost love; the heroically preserved producer who once brought them together and his idealistic young assistant; the army veteran turned fledgling novelist and the rakish Richard Burton himself, whose appetites set the whole story in motion—along with the husbands and wives, lovers and dreamers, superstars and losers, who populate their world in the decades that follow.

Gloriously inventive, constantly surprising, Beautiful Ruins is a story of flawed yet fascinating people, navigating the rocky shores of their lives while clinging to their improbable dreams.


My thoughts:

I fell in love with the Italian coast part of the story. I have heard so much about this part of Italy, it makes me want to visit someday. The idealistic inn-keeper, Pasquale and the family and friends he supported. The ailing young starlet, he is smitten by, seems to have an attraction to all she meets. All the main characters are pretty well developed. I felt like I knew them well, with the exception of Michael, who I did not like at all. A user and abuser of others. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes to indulge in looking into people's lives. It is a love story, yes, but a story about the people with maybe unattainable dreams that keep them focused on being their best selves.

I will be linking this review to


hosted by Sarah at Workaday Reads. I signed up to read 25 ebooks, this is number 13. I am afraid I will fail this challenge.

Until Next Time
Stay Busy and Stay Happy 


















Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Wondrous Words Wednesday 10-22-14




Wondrous Words Wednesday is hosted by Kathy at Bermuda Onion's Weblog, It is a place to share new words you have encountered or to spotlight words you love. If you would like to join us, then hop on over to Kathy's blog and add your URL to the Linky.


from The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

"Or rather, it was a productive and fructifying pain.

intransitive verb

: to bear fruit fructify

transitive verb

: to make fruitful or productive


from Merriam Webster Dictionary

"The fire seemed to live, go down or die according to it's own schemata.


noun

pl. schemata 

: an outline, diagram, plan, or preliminary draft 

: PSYCHOL. a mental image produced in response to a stimulus, that becomes a framework or basis for analyzing or responding to other related stimuli
from Your Dictionary  (the one embedded in my browser)



"Their voices blended into a threnody of nostalgia about pain


noun
: a song or poem that expresses sorrow for someone who is dead
plural thren·o·dies

: a song of lamentation for the dead


from Merriam Webster Dictionary



I found these and other in The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison, some others in Half Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls, and some in Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter.  I'll share the others in the coming weeks. 
This morning we get a chance to watch our great grandson. His mom has a dentist appointment. So no reading or even blogging will be done while he is here. He is soon to be 14 months old and a very busy little boy. 


Until next time
Stay Busy and Stay Happy

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros - Letter to My Daughter


Every Tuesday, Diane at Bibliophile By The Sea shares with us the first paragraph or a few a book she is currently reading or planning to read soon. Join her and the rest of us, and share the first chapter, first paragraph of you next reading experience. 





Letter to My Daughter
Maya Angelou

2008 -Random House

Dear Daughter,
This letter has taken an extraordinary time getting itself together. I have know all along that I wanted to tell you  directly of some of the lessons I learned and under what circumstances I have learned them.  



This is a book I have been longing to read since I first heard of it's publication. I checked it out from our public library and by the feel of the book, the way the pages turn, I think I may be the first one to check it out. That makes me sad.

On the back cover is this blub: " I gave birth to one child, a son, but I have thousands of daughters. You are Black and White, Jewish and Muslim, Asian, Spanish-speaking, Native American and Aleut. You are fat and thin and pretty and plain, gay and straight, educated and unlettered, and I am speaking to you all. Here is my offering to you."  

Have you read any of Ms. Angelou's other books?  Would you read this one?



Until next time,
Stay Busy and Stay Happy




Monday, October 20, 2014

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 10-20-14




This meme is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey. Come join the fun of visiting other blogs to see what everyone is reading. As Sheila says, "Fair warning...this meme tends to add to your reading list!" :)




This week I will finish up
and then I will link up a reveiw with 2014 E Book Challenge. 
I hope to have a review of The Bluest Eye and Half Broke Horses too. 


I hope to start The Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap: A Memoir of Friendship, Community and the Uncommon Pleasure of a Good Book 

It is the November selection of my local F2F bookclub.

And if I am unable to get my hands on this one, I will start Letter to My Daughter by Maya Angelou.



We have had unusually warm weather for October. Today it was 78 degrees. Sunny and not even windy. Very unusual. I am not complaining, any day that puts snow and cold wind farther away is fine with me!




Until next time
Stay Busy and Stay Happy



Sunday, October 19, 2014

Review : The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison



The Bluest Eye
Toni Morrison
Originally published in 1970
5 of 5 Stars




    This is the first Toni Morrison book I have read. It is her first novel, I don't know why I never read it in the past. The story is told by narrator, Claudia, a young black girl living in Lorain, Ohio in 1941. Lorain OH is the girlhood hometown of the author. Claudia tells the story of eleven year-old   Pecola Breedlove.
    Pecola knows that she is ugly. She knows this because her peers at school tell her. She knows because her family tells her. She know because the world around her tells her so. She longs to be beautiful and beloved like the blond and blue-eyed little girls who live in the big white houses in the other part of town. The houses like the one where her mother, Mrs Breedlove works. She prays and longs for a miracle to change her eyes to blue. The bluest of blue. 
   In that late summer of 1941, when the marigolds in the Breedlove's garden do not bloom, and indeed the marigolds in the whole town do not bloom, Pecola's life changes in a devastating and painful way. 

In Toni Morrison's afterword, she tells of how she first started the story and how it developed into a book. In early 1960, the black community was going through great social upheaval. They were developing the thought that "Black is Beautiful", but there were struggles toward that end. As Ms. Morrison exposed the aggression that could cause a child to literally fall apart, she struggled with the voices of Pecola, Claudia and Pecola's family. She struggled not to dehumanize the characters that tore at Pecola and ultimately caused her collapse. She tried to give voice to the mother, who thought she was doing all the right things, she struggled to understand a father who had no self-worth, and she struggled to give voice to a brother who rather than face his future, just disappeared. In the author's words she was not pleased with the voices that she heard. I however, think she did a courageous and wonderful job of allowing us to hear them.  I was moved, I was touched. I want to read more.   


I gave this book 5 stars.  The story is not a beautiful one, but the language used to tell the story is beautiful.  I will read more Toni Morrison.



Until next time
Stay Busy and Stay Happy




Saturday, October 18, 2014

Saturday Snapshots 10/18/14




 Join us at Melinda's blog, West Metro Mommy Reads to share your photos. There are only a few rules. They must by taken by you or a family member, not a random internet picture and they must be suitable for all eyes. So please join us.



Last Monday my DH brought me this small bouquet of fall leaves he picked up while walking the dog. In Wyoming we don't have lots of trees, or lots of colorful leaves, but he heard me say how I like the dark red or purple leaves. When you have been married 50 years, your "love language" changes. So I take these small gestures as proof that he listens to me, and he thinks of me. That may sound a bit "schmaltzy" but it is important to make note of your partner's way of showing the he/she cares.

Also, I think I shared this photo last year about this time. But it makes me smile, and 'tis the season.


So Drop In For A Spell and share your photos taken recently or not so recently.


Until next time
Stay Busy and Stay Happy

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Wondrous Words Wednesday - 10/15/14



Kathy at Bermuda Onion hosts this Wednesday meme. It is a place to share words we have come across in our reading or to highlight words we like. Join us at Bermudaonion's Weblog and see the words we find.


These two words are from Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L.James


"He seems kind, reliable and loyal. He has a avuncular appeal to me.


      adjective   The definition of avuncular is acting in a manner similar to the way       a person’s uncle would act, specifically with kindness and indulgence.

When I looked this word up, I realized I had at some point looked it up before. I did not remember the meaning though, so once again I consulted My Dictionary.


"I spy the green baize of the billiard table. "


         noun   a thick woolen cloth made to resemble felt and often dyed green,             used to cover billiard tables, etc.

I knew what this word was, given the use in the sentence, but I had never heard it before. I asked my husband, a guy who hung out in the pool halls in his younger day, and he did not know it either. 



The following word I found in Dream New Dreams by Jai Pausch. I thought I knew this one, but it didn't fit in the sentence. I was completely wrong. I had it confused with energized.


He didn't look exhausted or enervated, as he had been just an hour earlier.


       adjective   lacking physical, mental or moral vigor



I have missed participating in Wondrous Words Wednesday the last few weeks. I'm glad to be back here. I did pop in a read all the posts last week, but did not get a post up for myself. 



Until next time
Stay Busy and Stay Happy







Tuesday, October 14, 2014

First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros : Half Broke Horses


 First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros is hosted by Diane at Bibliophile By the Sea. Join us in sharing the first chapter or a few, of your current read.




Half Broke Horses
A True-life Novel
Jeannette Walls
2009 - Scribner/a division of Simon and Schuster


Those old cows knew trouble was coming before we did.
   It was late on an August afternoon, the air hot and heavy like it usually was in the rainy season. Earlier we'd seen some thunderheads near the Burnt Spring Hills, but they'd passed way up to the north. I'd mostly finished my chores for the day and was heading down to the pasture with my brother, Buster, and my sister, Helen, to bring the cows in for their milking. But when we got there, those girls were acting all bothered. Instead of milling around the gate, like they usually did at milking time, they were standing stiff-legged and straight-tailed, twitching their heads around, listening.
   Buster and Helen looked up at me, and without a word, I knelt down and pressed my ear to the hard-packed dirt. There was a rumbling, so faint and low that you felt it more than you heard it. Then I knew what the cows knew - a flash flood was coming. 


What do you think? Would you read on?  Have you already read this one?
I am reading it so I can discuss with my book club. They read it several years ago before I joined and they have chosen to read another of her books, The Silver Star in January.  I just want to be informed if they make comparisons or references. I an excited to read it.



Until next time.
Stay Busy and Stay Happy

Sunday, October 12, 2014

It's Monday. What Are You Reading? Walls & Walter


This meme is brought to you by Sheila at Book Journey.  Click on over and join us in sharing the book were are reading this week, or at least hope to get read.



I finished reading :

I have not written a review as yet. It is still swimming around in my head. I did like it a lot, not because the story was wonderful but because the writing was beautiful.




This week I will start a print book, that I picked up from the library. Half Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls .

Lily Casey Smith, this novel's feisty Texas protagonist, is a frontier teacher, a rancher, a rodeo rider, a poker player, and bootlegger. In Half Broke Horses, she survives droughts, tornados, floods, poverty, and whatever else fate can throw against her.
Based on author Jeannette Walls's grandmother, Lily is a plausible character because she has a voice that synchronizes with her history.

This novel lives up to the still gathering acclaim for Walls's novel The Glass Castle.



On my Kindle, I will be reading Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter.



The story begins in 1962. On a rocky patch of the sun-drenched Italian coastline, a young innkeeper, chest-deep in daydreams, looks out over the incandescent waters of the Ligurian Sea and spies an apparition: a tall, thin woman, a vision in white, approaching him on a boat. She is an actress, he soon learns, an American starlet, and she is dying.

And the story begins again today, half a world away, when an elderly Italian man shows up on a movie studio's back lot—searching for the mysterious woman he last saw at his hotel decades earlier.

What unfolds is a dazzling, yet deeply human, roller coaster of a novel, spanning fifty years and nearly as many lives. From the lavish set ofCleopatra to the shabby revelry of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Walter introduces us to the tangled lives of a dozen unforgettable characters: the starstruck Italian innkeeper and his long-lost love; the heroically preserved producer who once brought them together and his idealistic young assistant; the army veteran turned fledgling novelist and the rakish Richard Burton himself, whose appetites set the whole story in motion—along with the husbands and wives, lovers and dreamers, superstars and losers, who populate their world in the decades that follow.

Gloriously inventive, constantly surprising, Beautiful Ruins is a story of flawed yet fascinating people, navigating the rocky shores of their lives while clinging to their improbable dreams.




Until next time, 
Stay Busy and Stay Happy
















Saturday, October 11, 2014

Saturday Snapshots - October 11 - NEW Quilt Show




Saturday Snapshot is hosted by Melinda at West Metro Mommy Reads. It is a place to share photos taken by you, a friend or family  member, not random ones found on the web. They must be appropriate for all eyes. 
Last Saturday I attended our local Quilt Show. This year I was not on the committee, so I just enjoyed the creativity of the people in our community. Below are some of the entries that caught my eye. 


Small memory crazy quilt by Barb B. This was an original design for her granddaughter. Lots of scraps and embroidered memories on this one!

Lynn's fabulous quilt with embroidery and pieced blossoms. Crabapple Hill pattern

Over the River and Through the Woods in teal and cream instead of the traditional black and beige. 

Close up of an embroidered snowflake, blinged and beaded on Lynn's Snow Flurries quilt.  

A different take on a regular T-shirt quilt. It was made for a member of the Rodeo Club and used some of his western type rodeo shirts that are sometimes won along with a ribbon and bragging rights. 

This one doesn't show up well, but it was grey, cream/yellow and aqua. Very pretty in person. 

Needle-turned applique album quilt, in saturated pastels.
Some of the pictures are quilts made by people I did not know. Saturday during judging, the name of the quilt was not revealed. Only after judging and awarding ribbons, was the information tag opened so you could see who made the quilt and if it was professionally quilted or quilted on a home machine. 

I entered some projects but none were winners. I did not expect them to be, but wanted to support the committee and bring entries. It makes for a good quilt show if there are lots of things to look at. 


Until next time
Stay Busy and Stay Happy

Judy