Monday, March 30, 2015

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 3/30/15

Every Monday I try to join the many participants in this meme at Sheila's blog. It is a place to talk about the books you are reading or plan on reading in the coming week. So tell us about your current books, print, audio, or electronic and then link up at Book Journey .

This week I hope to finish Blind Your Ponies by Stanley Gordon West. It has been on my Kindle for nearly 2 years! I heard about it at my face to face book club and that is why I loaded it. I am really enjoying it, why did I wait so long? 

From Amazon

Hope is hard to come by in the hard-luck town of Willow Creek. Sam Pickett and five young men are about to change that.
Sam Pickett never expected to settle in this dried-up shell of a town on the western edge of the world. He's come here to hide from the violence and madness that have shattered his life, but what he finds is what he least expects. There's a spirit that endures in Willow Creek, Montana. It seems that every inhabitant of this forgotten outpost has a story, a reason for taking a detour to this place--or a reason for staying.
As the coach of the hapless high school basketball team (zero wins, ninety-three losses), Sam can't help but be moved by the bravery he witnesses in the everyday lives of people--including his own young players--bearing their sorrows and broken dreams. How do they carry on, believing in a future that seems to be based on the flimsiest of promises? Drawing on the strength of the boys on the team, sharing the hope they display despite insurmountable odds, Sam finally begins to see a future worth living.
Author Stanley Gordon West has filled the town of Willow Creek with characters so vividly cast that they become real as relatives, and their stories--so full of humor and passion, loss and determination--illuminate a path into the human heart.

Next up will be The Courage Tree by Diane Chambelain.

From Goodreads:

 Eight-year-old Sophie Donohue just wanted to be like every other little girl. Which is why her mother, Janine, reluctantly agreed to let her go on the weekend camping trip with her Brownie troop. But when Janine arrives to pick up Sophie after the trip, her daughter is not among the others. Somehow, along the forested route from West Virginia, Sophie has disappeared.Sophie is no ordinary 8 year old. She suffers from a rare disease, and Janine has recently enrolled her in an experimental treatment as a last effort to save her life - despite the vehement objections of her ex-husband, Joe, who believes conventional medicine is the only route to take. The only person to support Janine in her decision is Lucas Trowell, someone familiar with the herbs used in the treatment. Lucas has been encouraging Janine to keep Sophie in the program, and, indeed, the little girl has been showing remarkable improvement.
All her mother's instincts tell Janine that Sophie is alive, but time is running out. Without her treatment, it's only a matter of days before Sophie's illness will claim her life. As Janine, Joe and Lucas embark on a desperate search to find Sophie, envy and suspicion grow between the two men, casting doubts on each other's true motives for helping Janine.
Deep in the forest, another drama unfolds. Sophie has found refuge in a remote cabin inhabited by a woman who wants nothing to do with the little girl. She's desperate to help her own daughter, who has been wrongly imprisoned for murder and who, after escaping, is on her way to join her mother. Sophie's arrival puts in jeopardy her daughter's future, but the mysterious woman is as determined to save her daughter as Janine is to save Sophie. 
 Only one of them can succeed.

I chose this book for a challenge on Goodreads. I was to pick a title from another member's TBR shelf on Goodreads. I chose this one, because I had not read it and had heard so many good reviews of her other books. I also have liked many books on Noleen's list, so after checking the synopsis , I included it in the challenge. I know I will be keeping a box of tissue near. 

Both of these books, and a current sewing project, plus housework and cooking will fill my week. Next weekend is Easter and my grandson-in-law's 30th birthday. I will bake a GF cake and then they will be here on Saturday for a pre-Easter dinner as they are going to his grandmother's for Easter Sunday.

 Busy, Busy, Busy, Happy, Happy, Happy

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Spring has Sprung but not at home.

Saturday Snapshots is hosted by Melinda at West Metro Mommy Reads. Share photos that you or a family member took. There are a few rules. Check them out on Melinda's blog.

I'm still showing pictures I took on our recent road trip. The bougainvillea were blooming all over Phoenix. My son calls it "that pink sh-t". It has thorns and he hated trimming it when they had some in a rental home where they lived years ago. He still doesn't like it. It is very pretty, very showy and very pink.

This is the ocotillo plant that is pretty prolific in the Southwest too. I always thought it was a kind of cactus, but while I was looking up the correct spelling for this post, I discovered it is not a true cactus. There are several in the neighborhood park near my son and DIL's home.

 I am not sure what these tiny blue flowers are. I think vinca vine. I was walking the dog on one of our stops in Utah on our way home. I thought they were crocus as I approached, but they are not. The homeowner had lots of daffodils and tulips blooming already. I am ready for Spring in our neighborhood too. So far we have no buds on trees, no lilacs, and I haven't seen crocus or hyacinth in other yards. Today is supposed to be 75 degrees F. so something should begin to show up.

Until next time,
Stay Busy and Stay Happy

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Winterkill by C.J.Box A listen and a sighting!

Joe Pickett is a game warden in Wyoming. Making his rounds one morning, checking the elk herds, he hears shots. Not one, not two but many. It is not elk season and as he watches elk fall and the herd panic and scatter, Joe wonders who is doing this.  As Joe assesses where the shots are coming from and proceeds to approach the perpetrator from behind, he realizes it is the local forest service supervisor, Lamar Gardner. Joe takes Lamar into custody, and because he is a friend and seems repentant, and there is a snow storm brewing, Joe loads him into his pickup to head down the mountain. It is then, that the situation goes south.

This story deals with the growth of the "independent nation" cults flourishing in the West and the conflict between parental custody and foster care that occurs in all parts of our country. Joe's voice is always the one of reason and honesty amid the noise of greed and evil.

This is the first C.J. Box book I have read, but it will not be the last. Mr Busy has read the first two and while we were in Phoenix on the 15th of March, we visited The Poisoned Pen Bookstore in Scottsdale and listened to Mr Box talk about his newest Joe Pickett novel, Endangered. He spent some time talking about the writing process and how he researches his ideas. He also signed copies of his books. I bought the next in the series, Trophy Hunt and of course the newest one. Even though C.J. Box lives in Cheyenne WY and has spoken at our local library and book store in the town where I live, I had never been to see him. So it was a treat to be able to buy some of his books, so soon after listening to Winterkill.

Until next time,
Stay Busy and Stay Happy

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Saturday Snapshot 3/21/15

Joining up again finally. We are travelling today, home from 10 days in Arizona. Here are some pictures taken on our trip down to AZ and while we were there. Share your snapshots on Melinda's blog, West Metro Mommy Reads. There are a few rules, check them out at Melinda's site.

In northern New Mexico, on a side trip to Taos. We were not in a hurry to get to Phoenix, so enjoyed a little excursion.

Scultpure in the Ladies Room at 5Star Burgers in Taos. Love those purple walls.

Peach bellini at Fez , Sunday morning before the book signing with C.J. Box at The Poisoned Pen in Scottsdale.

We had pizza at The Mellow Mushroom on St Patrick's Day.

Lemons left on the front porch of our son's house. Lemons are falling off the trees all over here.
 I am beginning to see a "food" theme here.

We had a really good time.

Until next time
Stay Busy and Stay Happy

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Wondrous Words Wednesday 3-18-15

Wondrous Words Wednesday is hosted by Kathy at BermudaOnion's Weblog. It is a place to share or highlight words encountered when reading or listening.

My word of the day email from Merriam-Webster gave me this word:

controvertible:  adj.   capable of being disputed or opposed by reason.

After  a meal enjoyed at The Mellow Mushroom, I have controvertible evidence to argue the statement, "There is no such thing as a good gluten-free pizza ."

We are in Phoenix this week, and spent yesterday visiting friends from home, who snowbird here. Then we ( our son driving) picked up our DIL after her classes at ASU and had an early St. Patrick's Day supper of pizza and beer and wine at The Mellow Mushroom.

The long drive across Phoenix to the west valley, where they live, was capped off by dessert and 
a short  marathon of Longmire on Netflix. 

Until next time
Stay Busy and Stay Happy

Monday, March 16, 2015

It's Monday. What Are You Reading? 3/16/15

This week we are traveling so the reading is at a minimum. I could read while riding in the car, but feel like I then exclude my DH and time spent together. So we almost always opt for an audio book. This trip is a 1200 mile each way, so we checked out 2 books from the library. On the way to Arizona we listened to Winterkill by C.J. Box.

 It is the 3rd in the series, and I usually shy away from reading out of sequence, but Mr Busy has read the first 2 in the series, so I thought I could cope. It was fine. Then as it turned out, I was reading Cathy's blog, Kittling Books, the other day and she mentions book signings at The Poisoned Pen in Phoenix often. Since we were going to be in Phoenix I check the bookstore website and C .J. Box was doing a book signing on Sunday, the 15th.  My son, DIL and DH said they would go with me to the book signing. That was good because there was no way I was going to drive across Phoenix and try to find the store in Scottsdale. We got there, bought his newest book, listened to the interview with the owner and Mr. Box and then took our numbers for the actual book signing. I enjoyed it very much. Now, C.J. Box lives in Wyoming as do I and he has been at our local book store doing a signing, but I wasn't reading his books then. So it was kind of serendipitous that we are both in Phoenix on the same weekend.

I am still reading
 but not getting very far. Reading of a print book has been limited to bedtime and I have been tired enough to fall asleep after 5 or so pages.  Not very productive.

Until next time
Stay Busy and  Stay Happy

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

First Chapter, First Paragraph Tuesday Intros - Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore

First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros is hosted by Diane at Bibliophile By the Sea. Join us to share the first paragraph ( or a few) of the book you are currently reading, or hope to begin soon.

Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore  A Novel
Robin Sloan
Farrar, Straus and Giroux  2012

Help Wanted
     Lost in the shadows of the shelves, I almost fall off the ladder. I am exactly half way up. The floor of the bookstore is far below me, the surface of a planet I've left behind. The tops of the shelves loom high above, and it's dark up there - the books are packed in close, and they don't let any light through. The air might be thinner, too. I think I see a bat.
     I am holding on for dear life, one hand on the ladder, the other on the lip of a shelf, fingers pressed white. My eyes trace a line above my knuckles, searching the spines - and there I spot it. The book I'm looking for.
     But let me back up. 

I am anxious to get started on the book. I recommended it to my book club and they have decided to read it for discussion in April. I hope it is as good as the reviews I have been reading. This is also a library book, so I will add it to my list for Readers to the Rescue Library Challenge. 

I finished On Hummingbird Wings by Lauraine Snelling. You can see my review here on Goodreads. 

Stay Busy and Stay Happy

Sunday, March 8, 2015

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? - Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore, A Novel by Robin Sloan

Sheila at Book Journey hosts this opportunity to share what you are reading in the coming week. Write a post of what you are reading and link up at Sheila's blog.

I expect to finish
tonight. I will have a review in the next few days. 

On deck this week is 
This book is the April read  for my F2F book club. I won't be at the meeting in March, I will be in Phoenix. They will be discussing The Secrets of Mary Bowser by Lois Leveen. I have not read that book, I haven't been able to get it from the library and I am not willing to purchase it. I will read it in the future. I am looking forward to reading Mr, Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore A Novel by Robin Sloan. It has been on my to-read list for some time. If I finish this while away from home, I will choose a book on my Kindle. Maybe The Rosie Project or maybe, Bellman and Black. 

I hope to be able to post while we are away, but it will depend on how busy our family keeps us. "smile". 

Until next time,
Stay Busy and Stay Happy

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

First Chapter First Paragraph Intros - On Hummingbird Wings

Hoping to link up with Diane at Bibliophile By The Sea to participate in First Chapter, First Paragraph. Diane is having laptop troubles, so we will see if she can get her post to publish.

On Hummingbird Wings
Lauraine Snelling.
Faith Words, div of Hachette Book Group, Inc.

Chapter One

"But Mother is always dying." Why had she ever let the call come through? "I'm putting you on speaker." Gillian Ormsby clicked the SPEAKER button without waiting for her sister's reply. At least this way she could continue to flip the screens on the computer. Glancing at the clock, she mentally allowed Allison two more minutes before returning to the report in front of her.
  "No, this time it is really serious, I can't make her get out of bed."

Right away you dislike Gillian don't you?  Well, read on, I think you will change your mind. I am just about 1/3 of the way into this book. So far, it reads like most of Lauraine Snelling stories. Good character development, a story with a lesson and not a bit of sex, violence or bad language.  I have read quite a few of  Snelling's books and I am a big fan. Would you read on?

Stay Busy and Stay Happy

Monday, March 2, 2015

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

  I'm linking up with everyone at Sheila's blog, Book Journey to share what I am reading this week.

Last Friday Mr Busy and I drove to our hometown to attend the retirement party of my sister-in-law. We rented an audio book to listen to on our way. We are in the middle of :

Although this is the 22nd in the Alex Cross series from James Patterson, it does not feel like we missed anything in story. There is mention of Dr. Cross's first wife, but it doesn't change how we understand the story.  It is an intense murder mystery/thriller.

I am also reading
to fulfill a book challenge and also 

This one has been on my shelf for almost a year. I picked it up at Hastings on the clearance rack. It is really good. A story about two sisters struggling with the job of caring of an aging mother and trying to find their way. 

Also, yesterday was the day we had show and tell at my quilting group. See my post about that non reading challenge here

So, until next time
Stay Busy and Stay Happy

Quilt Chicks Challenge 2015 #6 Graduation Quilt

Yesterday the die was thrown again at my quilting group. My #6 UFO project is a graduation quilt for my DIL. She will graduate from ASU- Arizona State University in Tempe AZ.

For the last several years I have been collection fabric with words on it, it anticipation of making her a quilt. She will have a degree in Creative Writing, I think. Anyway she does lots of writing and reading.

I finally decided on a pattern that I think will showcase the word fabric. It is called BQ from Maple Island Quilts

Here are some of the fabrics and the front of the pattern. I will make a 12 block quilt, with 12.5 inch feature block.

Some of the fabric is a newspaper print, one is an old postcard print, one is sewing labels. Just lot of words.  I think I am going to call it Words Squared.  I will continue to update this post as I progress.  Wish me luck!


I have half the blocks assembled. I am having a bit of trouble. The patter assumes the fabric used in the large 12.5 " center blocks is non-directional, so I had to really think about how to add the side and bottom/top rectangle in order for the directional print of the fabric to remain readable. So it was not so important and it would have been easy to just use those prints as the odd ones, but the color balance was off if I did that. So here are pics of the first 6 blocks.

I hope to have all the blocks assembled before we leave for Arizona. Maybe even have some of the rows sewn together. 

On another sad note, our local quilt store has announced that it is going out of business. I am sad but not surprised. It has been nearly 2 years since the owner suddenly collapsed and died and keeping the store going has been a struggle for her husband and daughter. Jenn has two small children and running a small retail store takes a lot of time away from family. My hope is that someone, somehow, will decide to open another store.

I finished the quilt for our DIL and put it in the mail. I always keep my fingers crossed when I mail something as valuable as a quilt. I had it quilted by a longarm quilter in Sheridan.  Then it was bound and label made and off it went. She liked it. 

 Here is the quilt before it was quilted and bound.

 A close-up of the quilting. I sent some "words" that reminded me of my DIL to the quilter and she incorporated the words in the quilting. You can see the word, "books" here. Also included were, wife, mom, grandma, wine, daughter, love, and roses.
My attempt to get the whole quilt in a photo. Not very successful.