Saturday, January 31, 2015

Saturday Snapshot #315 - Sunday in the Park

Saturday Snapshot is hosted by Melinda at West Metro Mommy Reads. Feel free to share photos taken by you or a friend, or family member, not pictures you may find on the web. Check out Melinda's blog for a few other rules and to link up your Saturday Snapshot. 

Last Saturday I was attending The Road to California Quilt Conference in Ontario California. My phone crashed on the plane to the conference, so I did not get any personal pictures. I took a class, shopped til I dropped, viewed some amazing quilts and spent a great time with 5 other quilt-minded friends. You can check out the facebook page here

We flew back home early Sunday and I was greeted by my DH and then my granddaughter and her family stopped by the house to welcome me home. 

We had a fairly warm Sunday last week. These pictures were taken by our grandson-in-law during an outing to the park. Our great grandson is nearly 17 months old now. 
 His new "fun thing" is to squat and say "down"....
 then stand and say "up".

His mom was pretty excited that he left his monkey hat on his head the whole time they were playing. I say he is a smart kid......he knows he stayed warmer with the hat on.

Now I am off to see the other Snapshots posted today.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Above the Bridge by Deborah Garner - Cozy Mystery #2

Above the BridgeAbove the Bridge by Deborah Garner
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

New York reporter Paige Mackenzie comes to Wyoming to find a story. She is a good researcher and hopes to maybe happen on a story her readers and her editor will love. She settles on the town of Jackson Hole, and as she becomes acquainted with a few of the locals, she wonders about a bit of suspense she feels as surveys the locale. The author does a great job at the descriptions of the beauty of western Wyoming.Although it is pretty difficult to describe in words the wonders of the Grand Tetons.

I liked the character development, even though it was pretty predictable. I found the insert of the time travel to be a bit too simple, too contrived. I am not opposed to time travel, but it seemed odd here. The ending to the story is exactly how I assumed it would be. Girl falls for boy, bad guys get their due and there is an open ending for another adventure for Paige.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Silver Star by Jeannette Walls

This book was the January read for my face to face book club. We all enjoyed the story even though we took exception to some of the characters.

Jean "Bean" Holladay is twelve, her sister Liz is fifteen and they are best friends. They need to be, because their mother Charlotte is a bit of a flake. Charlotte was and is a rebel. She is single mother now, but leaves the girls to find herself. Bean and Liz are used to being by themselves. They shop, eat chicken pot pies day after day and go to school. One day as they come home from school, the police are at their door. Although they ditch the cops, they decide it's time to go back to Virginia where there mother's brother, Tinsley lives.

They make their way across the country on a bus, and arrive unannounced at Uncle Tinsely's door. He takes them in, while they wait to hear from their mom. They learn a lot about their mother, her family, why she left home in the first place and they learn that though most people accept them and want what's best, not everyone in the town is their friend.

This story set in the 1970's is about love and family, relationships and triumph over tragedy.  It discusses social injustice, racial tensions soon after forced integration, and Walls treats the unstable, probably bi-polar, mother with just enough caring that we don't end up hating her. Bean is the narrator and at twelve almost 13 she is precocious and outspoken, while Liz is finding her way as a flamboyant, smart-as-a-whip beauty.

X 5

I enjoyed this book more that Half-Broke Horses also by Jeannette Walls, and I intend to  read Glass Castle very soon.  I gave this book 5 happy hands because it had me reading when I should have been sleeping.

I am linking this review to What's In A Name 2015, for the category" book with a color in the title.

First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday #415 - Above the Bridge, Deborah Garner

First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday is hosted by Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea. It is a place to share the first paragraph or two of a book you are currently reading or hope to begin soon. Join us to get a glimpse of what other bloggers are reading.

Above the Bridge
Deborah Garner
Published- April 2012 by the author

Chapter One

Just before midnight, Paige Mackenzie walked to the door of her room, twisted the cool, metal knob and stepped outside. She glanced around the half-filled parking lot and vacant sidewalk, peered up and down the street at the dark windows of nearby stores and leaned back against the inside of the door frame. Taking a deep breath, she exhaled slowly, a frosty cloud of white linking away from her lips and out into the late October night.
     Looking up, she watched the moonlight dissipate softly across the cloudless sky. It had been that way for several nights. As with each recent evening, she stood under the ceiling of stars and felt a gentle peace settle over her, one of many welcome changes in her life.

So, would these first two paragraphs entice you to read more?  The cover is what caught my eye and the fact that it was a "Paige Mackenzie Mystery". I am drawn, some days, to cozy mysteries. I started this book while away from home last week. I wanted a read that I could pick up quickly and that I would be able to put down as my schedule demanded. I am about 53% into the story. Mostly I like it, but it took an unexpected turn just a bit ago and I wonder where that will lead. That is the fun of a mystery, isn't it?

Stay Busy and Stay Happy

Monday, January 26, 2015

It's Monday!. What Are You Reading? #415

Sheila's back and reading up a storm again!.  Join us at Book Journey to share what you are reading and to see what others are reading. This every Monday meme will most definitely add to your readings lists.

Last week I finished and reviewed  Curiosity Thrilled the Cat by Sophie Kelly. I was in California at a quilting conference and had intended to read 52 Cups of Coffee by Megan Gebhart. Well, electronically I had a very ugly week. On the airplane, as I put my phone on airplane mode, it began to cycle off and on, off and on. I dropped it into my carry-on and assumed it would eventually finished it's craziness and shut off. When we landed in CA, it was completely dead. I guess it continued it's hysterics until the battery ran out!  We could not check into our motel early, so our bags were secured in the concierges office and we all took a shuttle to the Ontario Mills Outlet Mall. Lunch at The Rainforest Cafe and many bags later, we checked into our room. I plugged in my cell and just assumed all would be back to normal. It was not, so I spent the rest of the week without a cell phone. I had tried to read 52 Cups of Coffee on the plane but discovered that the douwnload was not complete and in airplane mode I couldn't finish the download. So I opened a book on my Kindle that had been there awhile.
I was originally drawn to this book by the cover. I reminded me of the center of the town of Jackson Hole Wyoming. I wondered what it was about. So I started reading it and to my surprise the story is set in Jackson Hole Wyoming. Wyoming is the state where I live. I am enjoying this story, even though I was surprised at a small turn of events about half way through ( no spoiler).

I did get connected to the WiFi at the hotel and finished downloading. This will be a book I savor and probably will not power through. It is 52 small stories about people Megan had coffee with and the life lessons she took away from these conversations.

The night before I left on my trip I started reading The Goodbye Quilt
by Susan Wiggs. My kindle was packed, I had finished Curiosity Thrilled the Cat.  I had shared the First Chapter First Paragraph on Diane's blog quite awhile ago. It is a small book and I was immediately drawn to it. So this week, I hope to finish all three.
 I am exhausted from 4 days of classes, shopping, viewing amazing quilts, and wonderful lectures. We saw amazing quilts, I had hoped to share. We shopped at avenues of vendor booths, selling everything from longarm quilting machines to trims and pieces of sari fabric. We were entertained by Eleanor Burns from Quilt in a Day, we were mesmerized by Jenny Bowker and her stories of her life in Cairo and Syria and how she found and helped the women of these countries and came to know The Tentmakers of Cairo. Amazingly talented young men who are nearly starving because of what is going on in their world. She is also a talented artist and quiltmaker. You can check out her very low key blog at From there you could see her some of her quilts. 


Stay Busy and Stay Happy

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Cruisin Thru the Cozies #1 - Curiosity Thrilled the Cat

Curiosity Thrilled the Cat (Magical Cats, #1)Curiosity Thrilled the Cat by Sofie Kelly
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Back of book:  Small-town librarian Kathleen Paulson feels good about letting two adorable cats help themselves to her home. But as she's about to find out, it's their help she needs....

I read the second and third books in this "magical cats mystery" series, because they were a win from the Cozy Chicks blog several years ago. I really enjoyed those 2 stories. Even though the mysteries are stand alone in each book, it was enjoyable to learn the beginnings of the relationships in Mayville Minnesota.

Sophie weaves these somewhat fanciful stories of cats with magical powers so that they are almost believable. I really like the main character, Kathleen Paulson, her friends Roma and Maggie, and her neighbor Rebecca. Hunky Detective Marcus Gordon adds a bit of sexual tension. This is a G-rated book, though, so don't expect any steamy bedroom scenes!

I am doing a Cruisin Thru the Cozies challenge this year, so I intend to read the rest of the series.

View all my reviews

Stay Busy and Stay Happy

First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros - #315

Diane at Bibliophile By The Sea hosts this Tuesday meme as a place the share the first paragraph (or a few) of the book you are currently reading or hope to start soon. Join us to get a glimpse into what some other book lovers are reading.

52 Cups of Coffee: Inspiring and Insightful Stories for Navigating Life's Uncertainties. 
Megan Gebhart
Published by IRL Press, August 2014


"Who you are in five years depends on the people you meet and the books you read."
   I stumbled upon this quote in 2010 and it stopped me in my tracks. I was about to be a senior at Michigan State University and I could easily see how my friends and mentors had helped shape the person I had become.
    There was one person in particular who showed me the power of meeting new people. He was a student named Brett Kopf who shared an academic advisor with me and who was equally passionate about entrepreneurship. The advisor recognized how similar we were and had a hunch we would be great friends. He gave Brett my email address and suggested we meet. 

I will be reading this book this week. Would you read on?  It is definitely non-fiction  and I am good with that. I have peeked into a few of the 52 chapters and I know I am going to like this one.

Until next time
Stay Busy and Stay Happy

Sunday, January 18, 2015

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? #315

Each Monday, Sheila at Book Journey sponsors It's Monday! What Are You Reading. The meme that we use to share what we read this past week and what our plans are for the upcoming week. It’s a great way to see what others are reading and add to your own To Be Read list. You never know where that next great read may come from!

This week I am reading Curiosity Thrilled the Cat by Sophie Kelly. It is #1 in The Magical Cat Mystery series. I had receive #2 and #3 in a giveaway some time back. I enjoyed them so much I wanted to read the first one. So I purchased it in paperback. 

It is a fun story about a librarian in Mayville Heights Minnesota and her adopted cats and the situations that she finds herself in. 

I hope to finish this book before Wednesday morning. I will be gone from home for the rest of the week. I am traveling with my kindle, so there will be reading. I will probably start on 52 Cups of Coffee by Megan Gebhart. This is the selected read for my face to face book club for February. Megan Gebhart is a local young women. Her mom is one of the librarians at our library and her dad is an accountant at a local business. Megan was born and raised in Gillette Wyoming and now lives in California. I am looking forward to this little book. 

I am sure I will have time to start something else, but I am not sure what it will be. I am attending Road to California Quilters Conference. I have never been and am really looking forward to the time to learn and shop and look at amazing quilts. 

So until next time, 
Stay Busy and Stay Happy

Friday, January 16, 2015

Review: Glory in Death by J.D.Robb

Glory in Death (In Death, #2)Glory in Death by J.D. Robb
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

There's been another murder!  Eve Dallas, NY Police Lieutenant, is assigned this case by her superior because she is the best. And because he trusts her to find the truth, no matter how onerous.

It is 2058, and although genetic engineering has weeded out most violent hereditary traits before they can burst forth, murder still happens.

With all the computer science that the future has to offer, Eve Dallas must still rely on her instincts, her people reading skills and her compassion. And she must trust the man who shares her bed. A man she has fought her feeling for, a man who loves her.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Wondrous Words Wednesday #215

I read this word, sibilant,  while reading the post for First Chapter First Paragraph Intros on Faith Hope and Cherrytea blog.

This is the second paragraph in the first chapter when I looked it up on Amazon.  I love the words in this paragraph, except to me the highlighted word seems odd. Am I just dense or is it whispered "sh" sounds?

"Armies of cedar and fir and hemlock marched up the foothills
of the Cascade Mountains, long limbs glowing with a peculiar shade of green I'd seen only once before:  when a six-carat emerald rolled across a stainless steel examination tray in the FBI's materials analysis lab.  That gem's green facets glowed with a hue so verdant, so luscious, it whispered sibilant promises in the ears of greedy men." 

sibilant :  having, containing, or producing the sound of or a sound resembling that of the s or the sh in sash 

The next two words I found as I started reading Glory in Death by J.D. Robb. 

perfidy: the act of betraying someone or something : the state of not being loyal

"So, she discovered my perfidy, and I had her lured to a dangerous neighborhood and ordered her throat cut"

avaricious:  greedy of gain :  excessively acquisitive especially in seeking to hoard riches

"The gray cat she'd named Galahad lay like a fat slug on the arm of the chair and studied Roarke's plate with bicolored, avaricious eyes. 

I should have known this as it is similar to "avarice". 

What new or interesting words did you discover this week?

Stay Busy and Stay Happy

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Non Reading Challenge Spool Quilt #2

Feb 8th The spool quilt top is done. It still needs the vine border, but that will wait for another day. 

Feb 1st. Here are some of the spool blocks and the background blocks on the design wall . Only 17 more spool blocks to construct and arrange. I won't begin to sew them together until I get them all complete. Then I can rearrange for color balance. 

The sun shining through the window throws a bright spot. I WILL get it put together before the deadline!   "smile"

Jan 13th,      The quilt that is one of my challenges this year. This photo is from the designers book. Isn't it awesome???

Last Sunday my quilting group met and finalized the 2014 UFO Challenge. Then the die was rolled to find out which listed challenge would be worked on and completed by the first meeting in March. Number 2 was rolled and my #2 is to finish the top without appliqued borders of a Spool Quilt. The pattern is in the book Friendship Strips and Scraps by Edyta Sitar.
 In 2013 the group, Quilt Chicks, made and exchanged blocks of color coordinated 1.5 strips that measured 3.5 x 4.5.  Then we all were going to put them together and we each would have a quilt that was similar but not exactly like the others. Sounds great, huh?  Well, I did not get mine done. Several of the members did get theirs done. This post will be ongoing until the top is complete.

#1  Jan 12th

 All the stripped pieces are laid out on my cutting table. Most have the background strips sewed to each side. Below are two naked strip sets, one blue and one beige and to the left of these are a pink spool and a purple spool with the top and bottom pieces that make it look like a spool.

Monday, January 12, 2015

First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros #215

Diane at Bibliophile By The Sea hosts this Tuesday meme as a place the share the first paragraph (or a few) of the book you are currently reading or hope to start soon. Join us to get a glimpse into what some other book lovers are reading.

Glory in Death
Nora Roberts writing as J.D. Robb
G.P. Putnam  1995

I .    
The dead were her business. She lived with them, worked with them, studied them. She dreamed of them. And because that didn't seem to be enough, in some deep, secret chamber of her heart, she mourned for them.
A decade as a cop had toughened her, given her a cold, clinical, and often cynical eye towards death and its many causes. It made scenes such as the one she viewed now, on a rainy night on a dark street nasty with litter, almost too usual. But still, she felt.  
This is the second in the "In Death " series by J.D.Robb. I did not think that I would ever read these book written by Nora Roberts as J.D, Robb, but after giving the first one a try, I decided to continue. Have you read these?  Or have you ever nixed an author or genre, just because and later had to "rethink"?

Stay Busy and Stay Happy

What's In A Name 2015 Review: The Friday Night Knitting Club

The Friday Night Knitting ClubThe Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Georgia Walker is a single mom and a successful yarn shop owner in New York City. Her shop Walker and Daughter has a variety of customers. Some have become very good friends, some have been friends from the very beginning. As Georgia's shop continues to grow and her pre-teen daughter decides to become the next Food Network star, some of her more quirky customers gather to form an impromptu knitting club. Then the fun begins.

This is a story of female friendship of the awesome kind. Women of all walks of life, single, widowed, married and from various backgrounds, come together to share talk, snacks and even a bit of knitting.

Kate Jacobs develops characters so that you feel like you would know these women if they knocked on your front door. You really like them. Some you wish you could shake at times, but they are great friends and really support each other.

This is the first in a series of books and I am anxious to read the next ones.

View all my reviews

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? #215

It's Monday is a meme sponsored by Sheila at Book Journey. Join a "zillion" other readers who share what they are reading at Sheila's blog. You'll find a new title for sure!

This week I have been reading
It had been on my list of books to read for a long time. I just happened on it while perusing the library shelves last week. Have you read this one?

 I also picked up a copy of 
I will be starting this one soon.  

These are probably all I will get read this week. I downloaded some new ones to my Kindle but I am saving them for my trip to California in 9 days. I will be attending Road to California Quilt Expo. I am really excited. This week my Bunco group meets here at my home. That means I must clean rather than just dust, and plan a menu. My face to face book club meets the 20th, then I will review The Silver Star by Jeannette Walls.

I'll check in next week

Stay Busy and Stay Happy

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Saturday Snapshots #215 Dreaming of Spring

Saturday Snapshots is hosted by Melinda at West Metro Mommy Reads. Come join the fun. Visit Melinda's blog, grab the button, read the rules, post your photos and link up at West Metro Mommy Reads.

I am so-o-o-o tired of snow on the ground. So today I am sharing some photos from my late mother-in-law's garden. In her later years, she didn't garden as much, but the tulips and daffodils are perennials, so they came up without too much work.  

I know we have weeks and weeks until Spring really arrives, but today these pictures make me smile. Now I am off to see what pictures others have shared.

Stay Busy and Stay Happy

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Wondrous Words Wednesday #115

Join us at Kathy's blog, BermudaOnion's Weblog to share new words you discovered while reading, or new words you encounters somewhere else.

I haven't encountered any new words in my last few reads. So I went back to my Kindle, where I read Unbroken and checked the notes section. Here are a few others I had highlighted while I was reading.

torpor n.   a state of physical or mental inactivity: lethargy

"Back on Hawaii, he sank into a cold torpor."

This word made me think of stupor and I guess it is similar. In fact the Merriam Webster dictionary uses this definition of stupor: a state of extreme apathy or torpor resulting often from stress or shock.

anodyne   adj.  not likely to provoke dissent or offense; uncontentious or inoffensive, often deliberately so.

"Among Louie's friends, no one would remember what Sasaki studied at USC, but they all recalled
his quiet, anodyne presence; saying almost nothing, he smiled without interruption."

alacrity   n.  brisk and cheerful readiness

"Mac suddenly shot his hand up and snagged the bird by the leg in midair, the handed the squirming animal to Louie, who was amazed at Mac's alacrity. "

What interesting words did you come across in your reading recently?

Stay Busy and Stay Happy