Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Wondrous Words Wednesday - The Bell Jar

Wednesdays are wondrous in this part of blogland. We can share words that we found while reading or listening. My words this week are from my recent read , The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath.

roman-a-clef - noun : a novel in which real persons or actual events figure under disguise.

---and in fact, Plath was quite insistent that it shouldn't be published in America because it's roman-a-clef elements would be hurtful to her family and friends.

sepulchral - adj:  very sad or serious, very dismal or gloomy

"My!", I said, in the same sepulchral tone. "That was quick!"

animalcules - noun :  a minute usually microscopic organism; nearly invisible to the naked eye.

.... and Buddy's arms went on waving feebly as antennae from the other side of the field swarming with tiny moving animalcules like germs, or bent bright exclamation marks.

Join us at Kathy's blog, Bermuda Onion's Weblog. You will learn a new word or at least you can show off your vocabulary and say you knew them all!!!  "grin"

Until next time,
Stay Busy and Stay Happy

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros 9-29-15 Trail Mix

I am linking up this post with Diane at Bibliophile By the Sea. Diane offers a place to share the first paragraph of the first chapter from a book you are currently reading or want to start soon. If you read my Monday post and my last review, then you know I have been reading heavy depressing stories. I needed a change. As I was perusing my Kindle at bedtime last night I remembered I had downloaded Trail Mix by Paulita Kincer. Paulita is a fellow blogger and I have read her other books and enjoyed them. So I clicked it open and here are the first two paragraphs of the prologue.

Trail Mix
Paulita Kincer

Raindrops trickled down Jess' nose. Her sodden boots plodded along, squooshing the mud with each step. 
"Why did I do this?" She threw her head back, her face raised in lament to the sky. The hood of her rain poncho slipped off.  The empty forest around her offered no answer, just a steady rain. Then, far above the treetops, she glimpsed a bolt of lightning streaking toward a nearby mountain and heard an answering boom of thunder. She cringed and scuttled faster down the trail.  

I am going to really enjoy this book. Although Jess and Andi are the ages of my daughter, I remember being the mom of teenagers and college bound, unhappy with my then life. Not seriously unhappy,  just in need of a new adventure. How about you, does this book speak to you? Would you read more?

Until next time
Stay Busy and Stay Happy

Monday, September 28, 2015

Review: The Bell Jar by Sylia Plath

The Bell JarThe Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I am having a hard time giving this book a star rating. I finished it last night and then continued on with the P.S. features in this edition. A poem Syliva Plath wrote, a review of her life and more about The Bell Jar.

The Bell Jar tells of the descent into darkness of the brilliant, enormously talented Esther Greenwood. Like Sylvia, Esther's breakdown was slow and excruciating. The words are beautifully written, hauntingly real, understandably sad and poignant.This is not a feel good book.

In 1963 when this book was published I was a teenager, experiencing peer pressure, studies, and my first boyfriend. In 1953 when this book takes place, my grandmother was spending time in our state's mental hospital. Maybe that is why this book touched me so. As I read of Esther's experiences in The Bell Jar, I could not help but see my grandmother in a different light. I felt for her, I wish I had understood when she was still alive. My own life has endured depression and so have my daughter and my granddaughter. I truly believe that depression is a chemical imbalance in the brain and thankfully better treated now than in 1953, or even 1963.

So I guess it deserves at least 4 stars for the brilliant writing and capturing of the real feelings of depression. It made me think and feel some of the things I had "suffed" in the past. But no, I did not "like it", I did not "really like it" and I did not feel "it was amazing". Read this book at your own risk. Know going in that you will come out changed.

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It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

I am linking up with Sheila at Book Journey. It is Banned Books Week, so I should pick a banned book to read this week. Most are pretty heavy though, so I am not sure. What do you think?  Is there a banned book that would life my spirits?

I finished The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath last night. It had been on my TBR list since March 2012. Not sure why it took me so long. I cannot say I loved it. I cannot even say I liked it. Though beautifully written, it is not for the faint of heart. Depression is too close to me evidently.

Today I will start reading Flesh On The Bone by Karen Schutte. It is the next read for my F2F bookclub.

This is a depressing cover too, isn't it.?

I need to finish Fire On the Mountain by John McLean. It is residing in my car at the moment but I will bring it into the house and get it done. It is cool here today, a good day to read and sew.

Then I think I will treat myself to something lighter, happier. I am not sure what at the moment. Any suggestions? 

Until next time
Stay Busy and Stay Happy

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Saturday Snapshots Cousins Reunion 2015

I have been very absent from this blog. Life has a way of getting in the way sometimes. Last weekend we were in our camper in the Black Hills of SD. Or more exactly, the KOA in Rapid City SD.

Growing up I had 4 cousins. The children of my mother's only sister. We were as close as we could be living at opposite ends of South Dakota.  They lived "East River", we live "West River".  The river being the Missouri which divides SD nearly down the middle. Our parents made sure we spent weeks together in the summer and lots of Christmas holidays too. My dad was an amateur photographer, so there were lots of photographs. We always were stood in a line, stairstep style. Oldest to youngest. Bill, Jim, Judy, Jane, Kristie, Judd, Stan, and finally Jeff. So when my cousin Kris suggested a cousin reunion for 2015 we all latched on to the idea. She thought we should camp. Mr Busy and I agreed....then problems arose. My sister's husband is disabled and camping in the Black Hills would be a problem for them. My oldest cousin wanted to go to the BH to "scout elk", leaving little time for visiting or sharing. My other cousin's wife, hates to travel. Well, finally all were persuaded to attend. And we had the best time!

Here are some pictures:
 We used to visit Dinosaur Park in Rapid City as kids. Here we are arranged on the tail by age left to right. 

 Here we are farther on up the hill, arranged by height. Yikes, I am on the shortest end!

Some of the younger cousins could still climb the sculpture!  No so for me!

And this is a photo of all eight of us and our spouses. My brother Jeff, in the gray and black striped shirt, was the only one singe here. He lost his life partner, Rhonda in March. It was a bittersweet day for him. 

Thanks for following along with my ramblings. It was a wonderful weekend. We visited, ate, visited, took pictures, ate and sat by the campfire. Priceless! 

Until next time, hopefully more regularly now
Stay Busy and Stay Happy

Monday, September 21, 2015

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 9-21-15

Linking up with Sheila at Book Journey. This week I will continue with :

Also hope to get to start on

It's the Roaring Twenties, Jake and Raisa Kessel are married with two kids and a pile of growing debt. They need a change, some new pickings. They pack up for the bright lights and new opportunity in Port Huron, Michigan. 

My book club met last Tuesday and many of us had not finished the 3rd in the series. So we decided to postpone the discussion of it until October gathering. We are enjoying the stories, it is just that we are all busy. I like that we are all OK with a change of plans and no one gets too upset.

Til next time
Stay Busy and Stay Happy

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday- Second Time Around - 9-15-15

Every Tuesday Diane at Bibliophile By the Sea host a place to share the first paragraph in the first chapter of a book you are reading or plan to read soon. I am looking forward to reading this one.

Chapter 1
"The only way not to think about money is to have a great deal of it."  Edith Wharton, The House of Mirth

     "We all should have gone to law school." Jamie Burton plopped down on a white rattan rocking chair, kicking  off her flip-flops and gazed out at the lake.  " I'm telling you. Everyone who warned me about majoring in English was right. If I'd gone to law school, I wouldn't be flashing my decolletage for tips. If I'd  gone to law school, all my student loans would have been paid off, and I'd be swanning in the trinity of the Christians: Dior, Lacroix, and Louboutin.  If I'd gone to law school, I'd be ----"
    "Careening down the slippery slope of insanity," said Arden Henley, who had a framed J.D. diploma from Georgetown and a plushly appointed office in a prestigious Manhattan law firm. She'd hosted a girls' weekend reunion here at her family's cottage in the Adirondacks every Fourth of July weekend since they'd all graduated from college ten years ago. " You'd hate being an attorney. Trust me."

So, what do you think? Would you read on? I always enjoy Beth Kendrick's books. She writes with a witty charming sense of humor and often about the power of female friendships. I was introduced to her books by my daughter-in-law several years ago. My son and DIL live in Phoenix, as does Ms. Kendrick.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Welcome Back It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

I am so glad to be posting to this favorite meme. I have been reading but did not post very often about what I was reading.

This coming week is the first meeting of my F2F book club after our summer vacation. We will discuss the following two books.

I am a bit behind. I am nearly done with this one and enjoying it a great deal. Check out the The Goodreads Page for the synopsis of this story. 

I have not started this one, but I will. I won't be much help in the discussion, but I will listen well. I really enjoyed this first one in this trilogy, The Ticket. 

Also this next week I hope to start The Bell Jar
This classic is one I have been meaning to read for some time. Last week as we stopped by the library, I looked for it and there it was on the shelf so I picked it up. 

I have owned this book since 2000. I purchased a copy from the author when he spoke at a Fire Department Banquet that Mr Busy and I attended. At the time, Mr Busy was a volunteer fireman and was a member of the Honor Guard of his department. This Honor Guard presented flags at the dedication ceremony of the Fallen Firefighters Memorial in Glenwood Springs Colorado. It was a very emotional day. It has taken me this long to be able to read this tragic story. 

Until next time,
Stay Busy and Stay Happy

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Saturday Snapshots - Mr Busy's Hobby and what I did this morning

Mr Busy flies Radio Controlled Aircraft. He has been very involved in this hobby for the last 8 years. In addition to flying at a local air field, he is involved in the club that promotes the hobby. Last weekend the local club sponsored a Fly-In. An event where fellow flyers come from neighboring communities to join the fun. I took a few pictures. It was very hot last weekend so I spent most of the time I was there in the shade.
Some of the guys ( mostly it's guys who fly, but some young girls and my granddaughter have given it a try) fly helicopters. Off in the distance you can see a small subdivison ( neighborhood). 

Our young great grandson loves to visit the flying field. Here he is offering a bottle of water to one of the ladies who was sitting under the shade canopy.  Also, his favorite words that day were, "Wow" and "Neat"
This picture shows some of the fixed wing aircraft. The blue and white one is a jet. It uses jet fuel and it was completely hand built by one of the members. He flew it just before this picture was taken. To quote my gr grandson, "Wow" "Neat"  If you look real closely, in the right hand middle of the picture there looks like a gray triangular contraption. It is actually a stealth bomber built by the same club member who built the jet. I think he is an engineer in disguise.

This week a friend gifted me some free crabapples. What to do?  Make jelly, of course. I haven't made home made jelly of any kind in many years. My canning supplies have been given away. But I processed the apples, and this morning made jelly. Thanks to my granddaughter who loaned me her canner. I think I may be the first one to use it, but she planted a huge garden so she will be using it soon.

Don't you just love the little "ping" that happens in your kitchen after all the work is done?  :)

Stay Busy and Stay Happy

Friday, September 4, 2015

The Friday 56 - A Soft Place to Fall (Shelter Rock Cove #1)

I joining The Friday 56 today. I have played along before, but not on a regular basis. Here is an excerpt from page 56 of the book I am currently reading.

"He had wanted to square things with the woman with the sad blue eyes and, if he was being honest, square things with himself as well. It seemed he had been leaving nothing but loose ends behind these last few months. Something about her had reached deep into his soul, far deeper that a casual encounter in a parking lot would justify.He felt a connection, a sense of rightness that he'd never known before. "

Librarian's Note: This is an alternate cover for ASIN B007UCZ5WE

I was looking for a book that had a romantic chemistry between the characters, for a book challenge. Do you think I might have found it?  Understand this is an alternate cover, the regular on looks like this:

Sometimes it's hard to know where the story will go from the cover, don't you think?

This weekend we celebrate our middle great grandson's 2nd birthday. His grandparents, aunts and uncles will be there and so it will be a big deal. He is too little yet for his parents to plan a "friend birthday".  

Hope to participate in this meme again

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Quilt Chicks Challenge #6 Summer Stitchery completed, ready to piece.

The die was rolled on May 3rd for the next bimonthly challenge in one of the quilting groups that I belong to.  The die says #6.   I must complete the stitching and embellishment of a stitchery that I have planned to do for 3 years. It is a Crabapple Hill pattern. The original pattern is to be made into a pillow, but I want a seasonal wall hanging for above the living room couch. "FALL" has been done for a few years, SPRING is nearly complete, SUMMER is next.

This is the completed stitchery with one border on it. It completes the challenge as I listed it. 

 The same, just a bit different lighting.

Cruisin Thru the Cozies Challenge 2015 - #6

Here is another challenge entry for Cruisin Thru the Cozies Reading Challenge hosted by Yvonne at Socrate's Book Reviews

Perfect PoisonPerfect Poison by Joyce Lavene
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Peggy Lee's life has changed a little. She has given up her teaching job at and is devoting her energy to making The Potting Shed prosper. And she has been offered a part-time position with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department as a forensic botanist. Things were going along well, then Smith & Hawken open a storefront in the busy Charlotte Center City and became a competitor to The Potting Shed.

As she is attending a funeral and the required reception afterward she runs into and old friend, Professor Ruth Sargent, a forensic diver at UNCC. It is there in nearby Badin, NC that she is drawn into an investigation of a drowning at the dam of United Metals.

In typical Peggy Lee fashion, her curiosity and sense of duty and what's right, leads her into a clash of personalities and good-old boy types. I am enjoying this series of cozy mysteries. Each chapter begins with a kind of plant and a short botanical description. In this case, all the plants are water plants or other native North Carolina plants found near water.  Muskgrass, Trout Lily, Pumpkin, and Trillium are just a few. The books always end with gardening hints too.

I am looking forward to reading the next one, A Corpse for Yew.

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