Saturday, May 30, 2015

Saturday Snaphots - Birds in my Sister's Yard and a tiny speckled flower.




Every Saturday, Melinda hosts the fun meme, Saturday Snapshots on her blog, West Metro Mommy Reads. The rules are few:  the photos must have been taken by you or a friend or family member, ( not something found on the internet), they must be appropriate for all ages. How much detail you share is up to you.  Post your photos on your blog then link up at Melinda's blog.

Today I am sharing photos taken by my sister. She lives in western South Dakota and stated with the first photo that it was a rare sighting of a female red crossbill.

This photo was taken in her yard, not sure what the container is, but you can see she hasn't planted all her pots yet. It has been so wet and cold. 

Feeding Frenzy at the backyard feeders  Red Crossbills
Also in her yard near an  old table built by her husband years ago and there are three feeders containing, safflower, niger and sunflower seeds. She said they seemed to like eating at her feeders. My sister is an excellent cook, so I agree. I like to eat at her house too. 


My brother's oldest granddaughter is five. She calls these little beauties, "wild speckled violets".  I do believe she named them very well.  She lives in Minnesota, I have not seen any in Wyoming, though I wish I would spy these beautiful little flowers. 


That is all my nature photos for today. What wonderful subjects have your captured lately? 

Until next time, 
Stay Busy and Stay Happy

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Wondrous Words Wednesday 5-27-15



Linking up at Kathy's blog - BermudaOnion's Weblog today to share a couple of words discovered as I finished reading Our Lady of the Lost and Found by Diane Schoemperlen.



verisimilitude  noun    -the quality of seeming real

When I taught writing, .............I would often emphasize how precision in the details helps create atmosphere, character and verisimilitude; how the color of a bedroom wall, the dirt on a third-floor window, the drape of a black silk skirt can all be used to draw the reader deeper into the fictional world, a world that should be, as John Gardner advised, a "vivid and continuous dream" in the reader's mind.


expiatory   adj     serving to expiate   (which led me to look up expiate)

expiate:
: to do something as a way to show that you are sorry about doing something bad
: to extinguish the guilt incurred by


I have never had a priest bestow absolution upon me and send me on my way with some expiatory homework: Say twelve Hail Marys.


What wondrous words have you discovered lately?


Stay Busy and Stay Happy


Tuesday, May 26, 2015

First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday - The Secrets of Mary Bowser - Lois Leveen


Link up with us at Diane's blog to peek at the first paragraph or two in some books other bloggers are reading. Write your post about your current or soon to be read and link it up at Bibliophile By the Sea


Today I am sharing the first two paragraph of the prologue to 

The Secrets of Mary Bowser by Lois Leveen.


Published by Harper Collins 2012



Prologue

Mama was always so busy. Busy tending to Old Master Van Lew and Mistress Van Lew, Young Master John, Miss Bet. But she was never too busy to riddle me. She said it was the first kind of learning she could give me, and the most important, too. Be alert, Mama meant. See the world around you. Find what you seek, because it's already there.
"I spy with my little eye, where the bird goes when he doesn't fly", Mama said one mid-day, her word floating on the Richmond heat as we carried empty cookpots through the yard to the kitchen.


Would you read on?  This is based on a true story, though no doubt it is historical fiction.  I am nearly a quarter way through and am mesmerized so far. 



Stay Busy and Stay Happy

Monday, May 25, 2015

My Monday Reading - and a plan for the summer!

This rainy Memorial Day finds me achy and tired. Maybe a perfect day to just read. I currently have a bookmark in The Secrets of Mary Bowser by Lois Leveen. It was the March read for my book club but we were in Arizona and so I did not read or participate in the discussion. A fellow "Page Turner" shared the book with me to read this summer. I am so far enthralled with Mary El's story.


Based on a remarkable true story, The Secrets of Mary Bowser is an inspiring tale of one daring woman's willingness to sacrifice her own freedom to change the course of history.
All her life, Mary has been a slave to the wealthy Van Lew family of Richmond, Virginia. But when Bet, the willful Van Lew daughter, decides to send Mary to Philadelphia to be educated, she must leave her family to seize her freedom.
Life in the North brings new friendships, a courtship, and a far different education than Mary ever expected, one that leads her into the heart of the abolition movement. With the nation edging toward war, she defies Virginia law by returning to Richmond to care for her ailing father—and to fight for emancipation. Posing as a slave in the Confederate White House in order to spy on President Jefferson Davis, Mary deceives even those who are closest to her to aid the Union command.
Just when it seems that all her courageous gambles to end slavery will pay off, Mary discovers that everything comes at a cost—even freedom.


I plan to read The Ticket by Karen Schutte also and the following 2 titles in the trilogy. When Karl Kessel receives another man's ticket to emigrate from Germany he leaves behind his young wife and two small sons, all for the promise of the opportunity he covets. Arriving in America, Karl is obsessed with becoming the owner of a farm--to be his own man. When Karl's wife Katja steps off a train with their sons in the wilds of sparsely settled Wyoming, she questions, "Is this where I am to spend my life?" Katja soon discovers that it is not only the geography of her situation which will make her life difficult, as she gives everything her husband demands of her, but it is never enough.
In her debut novel, Karen Schutte spins a compelling family story, based on the true story of her own great grandparents' life in rural Wyoming. Her unvarnished narrative exposes the harsh realities of life in the last century.
"The Ticket" is an unforgettable and touching account of a true American family, filled with ambition, promises, love and loss, and ultimately, a legacy of survival. 
 



I hope it will be a great historical somewhat true account of the immigrants that settled the part of the country where I live. 

Also this week, we will begin some redecorating in our Master bedroom. So first that means cleaning the closet out to ready for paint. I am looking forward to downsizing and painting a sunnier cream or yellow color. I have a quilt that I made a year ago that I will use as my inspiration. 

Until next time
Stay Busy and Stay Happy




Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Wondrous Word Wednesday -

I am linking up with Kathy at Bermuda Onion's Weblog today. This meme is a place to share wondrous words encountered while reading. Or you could highlight words you like. Write a post and link up at Kathy's blog.


Again, I have no new words from my reading. I have encountered some unusual words while reading

but none that were new to me. So today I will share a couple from my Word of the Day email from Merriam Websters. 

from April 25th

lissome   adj.  1. easily flexed   2. lithe, nimble

My old arthritic joints keep me from being as lissome as I was when I was a teenager. 



May 15th

bowdlerize   verb  1. to expurgate by omitting or modifying parts considered vulgar  2. to modify by abridging, simplifying, or distorting in style or content. 

"Being an iconic classic, however, hasn't protected Adventures of Huckleberry Finn from being banned, bowdlerized and bleeped. It hasn't protected the novel from being cleaned up, updated and 'improved.'" — Michiko Kakutani, New York Times, January 6, 2011





Until next time
Stay Busy and Stay Happy


 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday - The Ticket - Karen Schutt


Every Tuesday I host First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros, where I share the first paragraph or (a few) of a book I am reading or thinking about reading soon.



The Ticket
Karen Schutte
Tate Publishing  2012

Decisions 1906

                                          Tell me not in mournful numbers, Life is but an empty dream!                                       For the soul is dead that slumbers, and things are not what they seem. 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         "A Psalm of Life"

                                                                                                                   Henry W. Longfellow

Karl Kessel stood alone on the main deck of the massive passenger ship, watching the churning mass of humanity below him on the Bremerhaven dock. Some were passengers, waiting to board and some were people who came to say a final goodbye or to simple watch those who were leaving on the ship to America.  Karl thought it rather curious that the line of first and second class passengers stood patiently in well-organized queues, speaking only in low voices to acquaintances. He compared them to the unorganized mass of third class passengers which seemed to seethe with anxious energy and anxiety. 


This is the current selection for my Face to Face bookclub.  The author was born and raised in the Big Horn Basin of Wyoming. One of our members met her at a book signing and recommended this book and the two that follow.

I hope to get to this one soon. Would you read on?


Until next time,
Stay Busy and  Stay Happy









Monday, May 18, 2015

Although I am not linking up with Sheila at Book Journey this week, I am using her button. I hope that soon, Sheila will feel able to again to host her wonderful meme. I miss her, and my prayers to out daily to her and her family.

Again this week I have made no real reading progress. Mr. Busy and I drove to  Ft Collins and back and listened to an audio book during the trip. We have 3 more discs to finish:
This is not the cover on the audio case, but I cannot find the edition on Goodreads or the Recorded Books site.  Dale Brown is one of Mr Busy's favorite authors. When we drive we pick a book he is interested in. It would not due, for his mind to wander or to get sleepy!  I can take this one or leave it. It is heavy on the the airplane descriptions and the use of pilot language.  The back story is a bit weak in my opinion.

I am still working through


My F2F book club is meeting tomorrow night, and for the very first time, I have not read the book. GUILT abounds!  I really wanted to read the selected read, The Ticket by Karen Schutt. 


When Karl Kessel receives another man's ticket to emigrate from Germany he leaves behind his young wife and two small sons, all for the promise of the opportunity he covets. Arriving in America, Karl is obsessed with becoming the owner of a farm--to be his own man. When Karl's wife Katja steps off a train with their sons in the wilds of sparsely settled Wyoming, she questions, "Is this where I am to spend my life?" Katja soon discovers that it is not only the geography of her situation which will make her life difficult, as she gives everything her husband demands of her, but it is never enough.
In her debut novel, Karen Schutte spins a compelling family story, based on the true story of her own great grandparents' life in rural Wyoming. Her unvarnished narrative exposes the harsh realities of life in the last century.
"The Ticket" is an unforgettable and touching account of a true American family, filled with ambition, promises, love and loss, and ultimately, a legacy of survival. 

I will keep plugging along, but this has been a difficult week. But I will not get too guilt laden about it. It is more important to take care of myself and get back to normal.

Until next time
Stay Busy and Stay Happy



Saturday, May 16, 2015

Saturday Snapshots 5-16-15 Last Week was a Work Week.



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 at Melinda's blog. 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.


 We spent last week helping our oldest granddaughter and her husband get their condo in Ft Collins Co ready to sell. That included finishing the laminate flooring, painting of the kitchen and living room and master bedroom and walk in closet. Above is my DH and youngest granddaughter working in the kitchen.
Packages of flooring and tool boxes in the middle of the living room. 
DGD and family slept on the floor and in a pack 'n play in the baby's old room. It did not get painted. 
Step ladder at the ready for painting the nearby wall. 

Staircase upgraded and with a new finish. 

Baby J.  had a nap. He was sooooo good, spending nearly a whole week in a construction zone. My job was to play with him, take him to the park and for walks and generally keep him out of the way. Whew, was I tired when we got home. Chasing a 20 month old is a "lot of work"  :).
He was happy to play in Great Grandpa's tools. I spent lots of time in "distraction mode". If you have experience with a budding "terrible 2's" you understand what I mean. 

Only minimal reading was done, At the end of the day, we were too tired to do much reading. So I am still reading "Our Lady of the Lost and Found." It is informative and fun.

On the trip down to Colorado and back, we listened to Storming Heaven by Dale Brown. We are still listening now that we are home. It is a 14 CD set.  I have not read Dale Brown before, but he is one of  Mr. Busy's favorite authors. It is OK, very airplane language heavy and this story is about a terrorist in a plane. Very spooky, written in 1994, but it brings back memories of 9-11.

Until next time
Stay Busy and Stay Happy ( and tired)



Tuesday, May 5, 2015

First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday - Our Lady of the Lost and Found

 First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros is hosted by  Diane at Bibliophile By the Sea. It is a chance to share the first paragraph or two of your current read. It can even be the first paragraph of a book you hope to begin soon.  Today I am sharing the first paragraph of : 


Our Lady of the Lost and Found
Diane Schoemperlen
Penguin Group 2001


Signs

Looking back on it now, I can see there were signs. In the week before it happened, there was a string of unusual events that I noticed but did not recognize. Seemingly trivial, apparently unconnected, they were not even events really, so much as odd occurrences, whimsical coincidences, amusing quirks of nature or fate. It is only now, in retrospect, that I can see then for what they were: eclectic clues, humble omens, whispered heralds of the approach of the miraculous. 


I am already at the 7th chapter of this book. I am enjoying it so far. It was in a box of "please take one of these" from a member of my book club. When I asked her about it, she shrugged her shoulders and said, "It wasn't bad" .  Not a glowing review, but I like the way it is written (first person) and I like the language. Would you pick it out of a box or from a shelf? Would you keep reading?


I may not be back home by next Tuesday. We will be helping our granddaughter get her condo ready to sell, not sure if she had disconnected the internet yet. My phone is only 3G so it need WiFi too. We will see. Until then,



Stay Busy and Stay Happy


Saturday, May 2, 2015

Saturday Snapshots May Flowers are Here!




I'm linking up with Melinda's Saturday Snapshot meme with some proof of Springtime in Wyoming. The flowering crab tree pictures were taken by me and  the tulips are in a friend's yard and she said I could share her photo. 





 Flowering Crab Apples trees are blooming all over our town. This picture was taken Tuesday as I was walking to my book club gathering. I got to be up close and personal. The pink ones are just starting to show color, the light ones first and then the dark pink ones. By next week or maybe even tomorrow ( it was 70 degrees today) our town should be ablaze in pink and white.


Some yards have tulips too.
These are in the yard of a friend. 

I'm sure we will see more and more May flowers as the month progresses. Next Saturday we will out of town, in Ft Collins CO, visiting our daughter, youngest GD and helping our other granddaughter and her husband get their condo ready to sell. It will be a busy 5 days, with Mother's Day thrown in.  I think we will celebrate our two GD 's May birthdays as well, while we are all together. 

I should have lots of pictures to share after that adventure. 

Stay Happy and Stay Busy