Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Wondrous Word Wednesday 7-29

Sharing Wondrous Words found while reading is definitely fun and a learning experience. Diane at BermudaOnion's Weblog gives us a place to do that. Come join the fun. 

This classic bildungsroman tells the story of Philip Carey, a sensitive boy born with a clubfoot who is orphaned and raised by a religious aunt and uncle.
Yesterday, as I was reading the posts at First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros, I came across this word.   This classic bildungsroman tells the story of Philip Carey, a sensitive boy born with a clubfoot who is orphaned and raised by a religious aunt and uncle.

Sandra  at  Writing With a Texas Twang was sharing  her current read Of Human Bondage. She included the synopsis from Goodreads and even linked it to the definition. 

         noun  :  a novel about the moral and psychological growth of the main character. 

What Wondrous Words did you find in your reading this week?

Stay Busy and Stay Happy

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros - If I Stay 7-28

Every Tuesday Diane at Bibliophile By the Sea hosts this place to share a bit of the book you are currently reading or on you hope to read soon. It is fun to read about what others are reading and test the waters a bet to see if you might be interested in that particular title. Share the first paragraph or two of the first paragraph of the book you are reading and then link up at Diane's Blog. 

If I Stay
Gayle Forman
Penguin Goup 2009

7:09 AM
Everyone thinks it was because of the snow. And in a way, I suppose that is true.
I wake up this morning to a thin blanket of white covering our front lawn. It isn't even an inch,  but in this part of Oregon a slight dusting brings everything to a standstill as the one snowplow in the county get busy clearing the roads. It is wet water that drops from the sky - and drops and drops and drops - not the frozen kind. 

These first two paragraphs don't really give you an idea of the subject of the book. Maybe most of you have read this one or have seen the movie.


When I purchased this book at a local store the clerk asked me if I had seen the movie. I said I hadn't and that I usually liked to read the book first. The lady behind me, with a walker (so she wasn't young), said "Definitely read the book first, but see the movie too."   I am finally finding time to read the book and it is so engrossing, I am having a hard time putting it down to go to sleep. I will rent the movie too.

Stay Busy and Stay Happy

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Saturday Snapshots 7-25-15 Sweden Vicariously

Saturday Snapshots is hosted by Melinda at West Metro Mommy Reads. The rules are few, check them out at Melinda's blog.

I rummaged through my photos (there were very few) and decided I did not have anything of note to share. So I am sharing photos taken by my brother and sister-in-law on their recent vacation in Sweden. They were accompanied by their son and his wife. You may remember that last fall I shared photos from Seth and Mollie's honeymoon in London and Paris. Now they have traveled to Sweden. My sister-in-law has cousin in Gotland ,Sweden and so they spent several days visiting family, enjoying new foods and even picking strawberries. They also spent several days in Stockholm before flying home to Minneapolis for Seth and Mollie and Rapid City SD for my brother and SIL.

 This is a church in Gotland. My SIL's relatives helps maintain this one and I think 3-4 others.

 I am not sure where this deli is. It is  The Hairy Pig Deli, but they enjoyed the food there very much.

This is what was brought to their table.  Interesting I think. Don't your like the pig shaped bread or cracker. (At least I think that is what they are made of)

 My SIL post photos of hearts that she finds in nature and other unexpected places. She even found a heart shaped rock with a wild flower in Sweden.

 Another picture of food they ate. She commented that it was"Reindeer for dinner...please don't tell Santa!"

This photo was taken on their last day in Stockholm. I love the various colors on the buildings and the outdoor dining.

OK, so much for my photo trip to a place I'll probably never get to visit. Have you ever been to Sweden or Norway ( the land of my heritage)?

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Wondrous Words Wednesday 7-22

Linking up some new to me words from a recent read. Wondrous Words Wednesday is hosted by Kathy at BermudaOnion's Weblog. It is a place to share words your discovered while reading or just to highlight words you like.

My words today are a few I found in Fifty Shades Freed, the 3rd in the Fifty Shades trilogy by E.L. James. There were a few others that I was unable to define, but I know all you word nerds would know them right away.  NO...NO...not those kinds of words!!   They were hyperbole and alacrity. 

 - a signature from a email.

Christian Grey
CEO & Hoplophobe, Grey Enterprises Holding, Inc.

This word was not in my regular dictionary so I checked the Urban Dictionary.

hoplophobe - someone with an irrational fear off firearms.

                         hoplophobia  -coined by Lt Jeff Cooper from  the Greek hoplites, or warriors.

a conversation between Christian and Anastasia.

"Well, Mr. Grey, I'm glad one of us is punctilious.

punctilious   adj    very careful about behaving properly and doing things in a correct and accurate way.

What interesting or new to you words do you find in your reading?

Stay Busy and Stay Happy

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros - Garden Spells

Linking up with Diane at Bibliophile By the Sea for this week's First Chapter First Paragraph.

Garden Spells
Sarah Addison Allen
Bantam Books 2007
A Division of Random House

           Chapter 1

Every smiley moon, without fail, Claire dreamed of her childhood. She always tried to stay awake those nights when the stars winked and the moon was just a cresting sliver smiling provocatively down at the world, the way pretty women on vintage billboards used to smile as they sold cigarettes and limeade. On those nights in the summer, Claire would garden by the light of the solar-powered footpath lamps, weeding and trimming the night bloomers--the moon vine and the angel's trumpet, the night jasmine and the flowering tobacco. These weren't part of the Waverley legacy of edible flowers, but sleepless as she often was, Claire had added flowers to the garden to give her something to do at night when she was so wound up that frustration singed the edge of her nightgown and she set tiny fires with her fingertips.

Have you read this one?   Would you read on?   Sarah Addison Allen also wrote The Sugar Queen, which I read in  February 2014.

I'm off to see what others are featuring today.

Stay Busy and Stay Happy

Monday, July 20, 2015

Wrap Up Post - What's In A Name 2015

Here are the categories and my selection, when I read it and a link back to my review

1. A book with "ing" in the title: The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs 1/12/15

2. A color in the title:  The Silver Star by Jeannette Walls 1/6/15

3. A familial relation: The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards 1/3/15

4. A body of water: Shem Creek by Dorothea Benton Frank 7/20/15

5. A city:  The Boston Girl by Anita Diamant   6/28/15

6. An Animal:  Blind Your Ponies by Stanley Gordon West   3/31/15

I am already looking forward to this challenge in 2016.  

Shem Creek - What's In a Name 2015 - I'm finished.

Shem Creek
Dorothea Benton Frank
Berkley Publishing/Penguin Group

from Goodreads:

Linda Breland has no experience managing a restaurant, but then neither did Brad Jackson, and he owns the place.

Meet Linda Breland, single parent of two teenage daughters. The oldest, Lindsey, who always held her younger sister in check, is leaving for college. And Gracie, her Tasmanian devil, is giving her nightmares. Linda's personal life? Well, between the married men, the cold New Jersey winters, her pinched wallet and her ex-husband who marries a beautiful, successful woman ten years younger than she is-let's just say, Linda has seen enough to fill a thousand pages.

As the story opens, she is barreling down Interstate 95, bound for Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, the land of her ancestors. Welcomed by the generous heart of her advice dispensing sister, Mimi, Linda and her daughters slowly begin to find their way and discover a sweeter rhythm of life.

And then there's Brad Jackson, a former investment banker of Atlanta, Georgia who hires her to run his restaurant on Shem Creek. Like everyone else, Brad's got a story of his own-namely an almost ex-wife, Loretta who is the kind of gal who gives women a bad name.

The real protagonist of this story is the Lowcountry itself. The magical waters of Shem Creek, the abundant wildlife and the astounding power of nature give this tiny corner of the planet its infallible reputation as a place for introspection, contemplation and healing.

My thoughts:

I fell in love with South Carolina and the characters of this story. Linda Breland, mother of 2 teenage daughters has decided that life in New Jersey is for the birds. She needs to go back to her roots and so she packs her daughters and her car and leaves her house and her job to head to Charleston, to Mount Pleasant and the shores of Shem Creek. 

Linda is brash, bold, and a bit irreverent. She is also fiercely loyal, a loving mother, a devoted sister and a downright valuable employee. Just give her a chance and she will have you falling in love with her. 

This is one of the rare books that put a tear in my eye. That never happens to me anymore. This story was mostly believable, had the ending I expected, but it took a few twists and turned that were unexpected. The minor characters, Louise, Duane and Mimi were likable and believable too. I do believe I have found a new favorite author.

It gets 5 Happy Hands 

This is the final entry in the What's In a Name 2015  challenge that is hosted by Charlie at The Wormhole.

If you click on the link above ( not the picture), it will link you to the gateway post and there will be the links to the various categories of this challenge. This is the first challenge I ever participated in when I started blogging in 2011 and it is a favorite. 

Until next time
Stay Busy and Stay Happy

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Saturday Snapshots - July 18 - Removal

Today I am linking up a variety of shots to Melinda's blog. The rules for this Saturday event are few. Read about them at West Metro Mommy Reads then link up you own photos to share. 

 A week before the 4th, you will remember that I posted pictures of our neighbors shrubs on fire and threatening our back yard.  We had previously decided to have a few trees removed, and this is the week the Tree Trimmers scheduled us. Our lot had 16 trees when we moved in. Lots of lovely shade, but had to grow most things. That is not the reason we are removing trees. They are dying, from age and from a disease ( according to the tree guy). The above picture shows the small tree almost gone.

 Here is Mr Busy sitting on our back deck with his coffee watching them take down the huge tree behind our garage. He says, "Work fascinates me, I could watch it for hours!". (haha)   He is retired you know. His dog, Emma, could watch him for hours. She hardly lets him out of her sight. He inherited her a little over a year ago, when his mom passed away and she attached herself to him immediately.

 This is the dying old tree in our backyard. You can sort of see the man lift extending it's blue arm so the tree trimmer can reach the top. You can't see the trimmer, but this one is young and female. She can really handle that chainsaw.

Thursday this week there was removal of another sort in my life.

In May I had a small red bump biopsied from my jawline.  The biopsy showed it was basal cell carcinoma, so on Thursday the dermatologist did the surgery. It was in his office and painless. The incision is about 2 inches long and he took 13 stitches. So I don't think there will be much of a scar, if I follow all the post-op instructions. It looks bad here, but today the compression bandage is off and there is just a 2.5 X 3.5 inch regular bandage. I am a red-head with freckles and spent lots of time on a motorcycle in past summers, so it was bound to happen I suppose. I am also a breast cancer survivor, so this is nothin'! I will be checked regularly for other skin cancer. And I will continue to use sunscreen when I go out. Always a good idea!

That's all I can share this week, 
Stay Busy and Stay Happy

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Wondrous Words Wednesday 7-15-15

Linking ups with Kathy at Bermudaonion's Weblog today. I have been very neglectful in tracking the words I find while I am reading. It seems that I am reading at night, in my bed and there is not a pencil or paper in sight. I have kept a small notebook on my nightstand in the past, but lately it is missing!  

So today I will share a couple of words from my Word of the Day emails this month.

July 15th

innocuous -   adj 

: producing no injury : harmless
: not likely to give offense or to arouse strong feelings or hostility :inoffensive, insipid
This one is not unknown to me, but I decided to share it anyway. After all, it is the Word of the Day!

July 13th
estival -   adj
: of or relating to the summer
This word sounds and looks like festival but Merriam Webster says this"
Estival and festival look so much alike that you might think they're very closely related, but that isn't the case. Estival traces back to aestas, which is the Latin word for "summer" (and which also gave us estivate, a verb for spending the summer in a torpid state—a sort of hot-weather equivalent of hibernation). Festival also comes from Latin, but it has a different and unrelated root. It derives from festivus, a term that means "festive" or "merry." Festivus is also the ancestor of festive and festivity as well as the much rarer festivous (which also means "festive") and infestive, meaning "not merry, mirthless."

So what are your estival activities this year? Are you gardening, or traveling, or spending most of your time chauffeuring children to and from their estival activities? 
I had to giggle as I wrote this, Word has underlined this word every time I typed it. It thinks I want to say festival!!
Have a great week.Stay Busy and Stay Happy

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros - Shem Creek by Dorothea Benton Frank

Every Tuesday, Diane at Bibliophile By the Sea shares the first paragraph (or maybe two) of the first chapter in a book she is currently reading or hopes to start soon. She invites us to join her. Just share your first paragraph and link up at Diane's blog.

Shem Creek
Dorothea Benton Frank
Berkley Publishing Group
  a division of Penguin Group
August 2004

A Post Card from Linda
Can I just tell you why I am so deliriously happy to drive all through the night from New Jersey to South Carolina? Here we are, boxed in between this wall of eighteen-wheelers on our left and right, in front and behind, in this little pocket of flying road, racing down I-95 at seventy-six miles an hour. My daughters are asleep beside me and in the backseat. On another night, I would be terrified out of my skin by the blasting of horns. But not tonight. Let me tell you something. These trucks are like huge guardian angels rushing us to safety and the rain is washing us clean. Life has been a little rough around the edges and it was time to break out. Yeah. A little rough would be one way of understating it. 
Oh, eventually you'll hear the whole story, because this is a long ride and there ain't much to do besides tell secrets and link about life. Thinking about life is what I had been doing for a very long time. I finally decided to quit the thinking nonsense and do something. I mean, I was even driving myself crazy from my own whining.  Then I came to this conclusion.  You don't like your life? Go get another one and the shut the heck up already, right?

So what do you think?  Would you continue with this one?

I am already hooked!  I have not read Dorothea Benton Frank in the past, but I like the voice of this Linda person very much. I am pretty sure I will like this one.

When I finish and write a review this will complete the What's In A Name 2015 challenge of a book with a body of water in the title. It is also a library loan, so it will add to my library list. Whoop! Whoop!!  3 in 1.

Until next time
Stay Busy and Stay Happy

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Weekend Busy, Weekend Happy

Today I am linking up with Sunday Post for the very first time.

Not much time was spent reading this weekend. Mr Busy and I attended a GWRRA (Gold Wing Road Riders Assoc) District (Wyoming) Rally in Buffalo WY. If you ride any brand of motorcycle you need to come to Wyoming to ride. If you like beautiful mountain vistas, you need to come to Wyoming to experience those. If you like to shop of artisan type gifts, you need to come to Wyoming. If you like to fish, hunt, camp and hike, you need to come to Wyoming.

We spent the weekend helping make the rally a success. We manned the registration table, sold various raffle tickets, helped tally poker stroll hands, helped serve up BBQ and all the trimmings. We enjoyed the camaraderie very much. This will probably be our last rally as Mr Busy has decided to sell our Gold Wing. We have been riding with this group since 1990 and that means that we are getting old. Not the oldest riders in attendance. That honor went to a guy from Nebraska, who is 88 years old. He rode from his hometown of Scottsbluff  NE to Buffalo WY with a couple from his local chapter.  He does ride a trike, a common sight these days, but he is pretty amazing.

I am still reading The Color of Water in July and hope to finish it soon. Then I will start Shem Creek,  by Dorothea Benton Frank.

I checked it out at our local library and I need to get it read.  It is #4 in the Lowcountry series, but the Goodread synopsis looks like it will work as a stand alone story as well.

Pat Conroy has called her books “hilarious and wise”, noting that they are “funny, sexy and usually damp with sea water.” Anne Rivers Siddons said of Sullivans Island that it “roared with life.” Now Dorothea Benton Frank takes us back to the Lowcountry to introduce a whole new cast of characters whose lives will surely move your heart.Linda Breland has no experience managing a restaurant, but then neither did Brad Jackson, and he owns the place.
Meet Linda Breland, single parent of two teenage daughters. The oldest, Lindsey, who always held her younger sister in check, is leaving for college. And Gracie, her Tasmanian devil, is giving her nightmares. Linda’s personal life? Well, between the married men, the cold New Jersey winters, her pinched wallet and her ex-husband who marries a beautiful, successful woman ten years younger than she is—let’s just say, Linda has seen enough to fill a thousand pages.
As the story opens, she is barreling down Interstate 95, bound for Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, the land of her ancestors. Welcomed by the generous heart of her advice dispensing sister, Mimi, Linda and her daughters slowly begin to find their way and discover a sweeter rhythm of life.

What kept you busy this weekend? Did you read or play?

The Color of Water in July by Nora Carroll

From Goodreads: Hemingway Point and The Color of Water in July are alternate titles to the same novel.

When Jess spends the summer in her late grandmother's rambling Victorian summer cottage, she uncovers heart-rending mysteries and lost love. It has been seventeen years since Jess has last visited the elite lakefront summer club where she had spent the summers of her youth. Now, she returns with her photographer boyfriend who wants to write an article about the distinctive old house. Sifting through old letters and pictures she finds in a hidden trunk, Jess unravels long-hidden family secrets. Including, just maybe, the secret to her own heart. In this vivid, cinematic debut, Nora Carroll tells the story of love lost and found in lyrical and evocative language that touches the heart. Sure to please readers of Anita Shreve, Jodi Picoult, and Lou Ann Rice.

My thoughts:  The Color Of Water In JulyThe Color Of Water In July by Nora Carroll
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I thought when I started, that this was going to be a chick lit summer read. It is all that and more. Nora Carroll tells a story of Jess from the when she spent summers at the lake with her grandma Mamie at 17 and then again as she comes back to the elite cottage community with her boyfriend, after her grandmother's death. She tells of story of family, community, and hidden secrets.

Without giving any of the story away, there were twists and turns that I did not see coming. I thought I knew how the story was going to end, but I had no idea how Jess was going to get there. I really like the format of the story, with the POV going back and forth with Jess at 17 and again at 34. Then the details were filled in with Mamie telling the parts that Jess did not, could not know.

I have not read Nora Carroll in the past, but I will in the future. 

View all my reviews

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Saturday Snapshots - Longmire Country and Gold Wing Motorcycles

Saturday Snapshots is hosted each week by  West Metro Mommy Reads . To share a photo or a few  there are a few rules, check them out at Melinda's blog.

Mr Busy and I are spending the weekend in Buffalo WY, nestled beneath the beautiful Big Horn Mountains. We are attending a GWRRA District Rally. We are not riding our Gold Wing this year, Mr.B's back and hip are giving him trouble so we did not take the chance on two wheels this time. 

This in the wine and beer list that is on each table. The cafe is a tiny place and our table was at the window and we could look out to watch Clear Creek run by. It was heaven. 

 We are in " Longmire Country".  Craig Johnson, who writes the Longmire mystery series, lives just down the road. So the local merchants take some advantage of his celebrity.  We had breakfast this morning at The Busy Bee Cafe.  The coffee cups, in addition to advertising the cafe, also make it known that you are in Longmire Country.
Just incidentally, the coffee was great, the Quiche of the Day (vegetable today) was out of this world. It came with a side of fruit , which was great too. My DH is across the table, you can barely see that his t-shirt sports the Wyoming bucking bronco cowboy on it. Though this one has the cowboy on a Gold Wing Motorcycle. Apropos don't you think? 

We are having a great time, which is why I am a bit late posting to today's Saturday Snapshot. We go home tomorrow. The final day of the Rally is today, there is dinner and closing ceremonies tonight. 

Off to check out all the other snapshots for today. 

Stay Busy and Stay Happy

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros - The Color of Water in July by Nora Carroll

Every Tuesday, Diane at Bibliophile By the Sea hosts this fun way to share a bit of the book you are currently reading or a book you want to read soon. And even more important is the chance to take a peek at what others are reading to see if you might find one you want to try. Be warned!  Your TBR list could grow a lot.

This week I am reading a book that has been on my Kindle for sometime. I was attracted to the cover at first. Then I read the blurb on Goodreads.  However, you know how it is. So many books, so little time, and I did not get to it right away. Well, along comes a reading challenge in the Goodread's group, Love of Reading. One of the categories is to read a book with one of the following words in the title: "July", "Flag","American", "Day", "Sun", "Nation", "Patriot", "Duty","Freedom", " Birth", "Red", "Blue", "White" or "County".  There were lots of books to chose from, but I had this one already downloaded on my Kindle and so it is the one I chose.

The Color of Water in July
Nora Carroll
Published March 2011 by Amazon Digital Services
  (first published in a slightly different form with the title Hemingway Point)

Jess age 34
Chapter One
There must be a precise moment when wet cement turns dry, when it no longer accepts footprints, or scratched in declarations of love; on ordinary moment, unnoticed, just like any. But in that moment, the facts of life can change.
At the age of thirty-three, Jess thought she knew everything there was to know about leaving places: getting on a plane or stepping into a car, and moving forward, on to the next thing. 
She had not yet learned the art of going back. 

So would you try this one?  I am wondering why she is going to need to go back?

Check out the Goodreads synopsis HERE.

Until next time,
Stay Busy and Stay Happy

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Saturday Snapshots The Bad, the Ugly and the Good of the Season 7-4-15

Saturday Snapshots is hosted each week by  West Metro Mommy Reads . To share a photo or a few  there are a few rules, check them out at Melinda's blog.

On Thursday this week, Mr. Busy and I were watching Longmire. ( His Father's Day gift, the season 3 CD).  The window were open, the evening was warm, there had been fireworks earlier in the evening. They are prohibited in our town, by the way, but I don't call the PD because it's dark and you can't really tell who is setting them off or exactly where they are coming from. I got up to get us some ice cream and noticed a orange/yellow glow. I moved to the patio door and saw flames leaping into the sky at least 18 feet. I yelled at Mr. B to call 911.

About that time, I heard sirens so knew that someone already had called the Fire Department. My husband decided to use the garden hose in the back yard to wet down the tree that stands directly behind our garage and about 2 1/2 feet from the neighbors hedge.  ( He is a retired volunteer fireman).

Long story short (Mr B says I lay every nail in the railroad when I tell a story ), this is a picture from across the street of our house. I had the dog and my purse and my cell phone , just as the FD arrived. The neighbors juniper shrubs were on fire from a smoke bomb the kids had rolled down the street.

This is about 5 minutes later and you can see there is just smoke , the fire is basically out. We did not lose anything, nor did our neighbor (except his hedge) and no one was hurt. So all is well, but it was close to our house and our neighbor's. Thankfully the FD responded quickly and there was no wind.

In the daylight it doesn't look  quite so scary, but you can see the burned remains of the hedge surrounding the front yard of our neighbor's yard. The large tree on the right is ours, and located directly behind our garage.

                                  On a happier note        Happy 4th of July. 
 This is a quick snapshot of our buffet, inherited from my mom when she moved into the nursing home. I try to decorate it with signs of the season each month if I can. I made the scrappy table runner to fit. It is only 36" across, short for a table runner.  The other things are just candles and a picture that were elsewhere in the house.
This is a little banner that I made last year. It makes me smile and hangs by my front door.

I hope everyone has a safe and happy weekend. Let's make memories and smores!!