Monday, November 30, 2015

The Escape Artist by Diane Cahmberlain

The Escape ArtistThe Escape Artist by Diane Chamberlain
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Susanna Miller has lost legal custody of her small son, Tyler. Her ex-husband Jim and his new wife Peggy can provide him more financial security. No one however could love him more, and she will not give him up easily. In fact she has decided that she can't give him up at all. So she plans an escape.

Her longtime childhood friend turned lover, has no idea she plans to leave Boulder and him. She knows that letting him know anything puts him in position to lie for her and she can't do that to Linc Sebastian.

Although some readers have mentioned that this story feels far-fetched, I don't fell that way. I have an aunt whose own mother disappeared after her last child was out of high school and they have never heard from her since. That was a long time ago, and this story too was written in 1997, before 9/11. It wouldn't happen so easily these days. Although we hear about identity theft, I'm not sure about how easily you could get a driver's license etc. All in all, I enjoyed this story. I felt empathy for Susanna/Kimberly as she struggled to keep her story secret yet be open to the help of others.

View all my reviews

I am linking this review to Book Date's meme, It's Monday!  What Are You Reading?  ps: I am aware that the title to this post has a typo, but I have already linked up with Book Date so don't think I can fix it. (Embarassed!)

I hope to start Mr. Miracle by Debbie Macomber today.

And later this week, I hope to start Emma by Jane Austen for a Read-along.

I also have two other books from the library that need to be read too.

Every Last One by Anna Quindlan

and Every Fifteen Minutes by Lisa Scottoline.

Stay Busy and Stay Happy

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Weekend Cooking Thanksgiving 2015

I normally don't participate in this weekly meme. I cook mostly simple, tried and try dishes. No special ingredients, no special utensils, just 50 years of doing. This Thanksgiving our granddaughter and her husband and 2 yr old son were with us. She is dairy free and gluten free and now newly pregnant again.

This year I tried a recipe I saw on Facebook. An apple cider mimosa. It was posted from The video is here.  The recipe called for cinnamon and sugar with no proportions. I just spooned a teaspoon of each in a saucer. Next time I would cut back  on the cinnamon or blend it better. I used ginger ale in place of the champagne, because our DGD is pregnant. It was really yummy. And easy peasy!

Did you create something different this year for your Thanksgiving?  Did you rely on a tried and try recipe that never fails?  Share a post and link up with Beth Fish Reads.

Stay Busy and Stay Happy

Saturday Snapshots Festival of Trees

Most Saturdays I try to link up with Melinda at West Metro Mommy Reads to share some random snapshots from the last week, or month, or past. The rules are they must have been taken by me, a family or a friend, they can't be random public photos from the internet. They  can be any subject but must be appropriate for all eyes. 

Our community has sponsored a Festival of Trees every year for 24 years. The money raised goes to support the Campbell County Health Foundation, which includes Emergency Response Lifeline and Close to Home Hospice House.  I took pictures of some of the trees but not all. I used my cell phone, so they are not the best quality. 

 So simple yet moving. 

Stunningly Beautiful!

 Classically red and white but with snowman head and hands. 

 This one was sponsored by a local Steel supply. Completely cut from stainless steel except the top which is copper. Design and seasonal words were cut with a plasma cutter. Very cool.

 Lots of woodland themes this year. All very well done. 

This one was called Gone Glamping.  Aluminum tree, a cut out of a small travel type camper , cooler, red metal lawn chair. and lots of multicolored lights. 

 I did not much care for this one, but my granddaughter thought it was very cool. So I took a picture. Title is Nightmare Before Christmas. 

 This one was multicolored and each layer of color was decorated with a different theme. The bottom later is blue and patriotic, green is St Patrick's, orange = Halloween, etc. Original!

 For the last 12 years or so they have include wreath decorating too. They are stunning as well.

The plaque says  "we are all mad here". It was a Mad Hatter theme, 

There were lots more, Mardi Gras, Grinch, Toy Story, even one with a working model train. So may creative artistic people in our small city. There is no admission. All trees are decorated and donated by volunteers with sponsorship from various businesses. On Saturday there is a huge auction and the trees are purchased then, then mostly donated  to the hospital, or bank, or nursing homes. The Primrose Retirement Center where Mr Busy's mother spent her last 2 years, decorated a tree, it was purchased by a business for $1300.00 and then donated back to them to display in their dining room. 

This event always gets me in the mood to decorate and get ready for Christmas. Today my granddaughter and I will walk the aisles of the largest oldest craft fair in our area. We are looking forward to lots of looking. 

Are you finished with your decorating?  I know not all celebrate Christmas, but do you decorate for the holiday you do celebrate? I do not know. 

Until next time, 
Stay Busy and Stay Happy

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Wondrous Words Wednesday 11-25-15

Kathy at BermudaOnion's Weblog hosts this meme every Wednesday. Share a post of words you encountered in reading or listening and then link up at Kathy's Blog. It's easy and fun.

No new words for me this week while reading so I again go to my Word of the Day emails from Merriam Webster.

Saturday's word was fulsome.  I can't ever see this word and not think of Johnny Cash and his Folsom Prison Blues song from 1955.  OK , now you can guess how really old I am!  But fulsome, spelled this way means:

1. a.  characterized by abundance, copious
    b.  generous in amount, intent or spirit
2.  aesthetically, morally or generally offensive
3. exceeding the bounds of good taste, overdone
4. excessively complementary or flattering, effusive

Using some of the definitions:    I believe that we will experience a table fulsome with food tomorrow. And I expect fulsome praise for my gluten free brownies.

Did you find any wondrous words this week.

Stay Busy and Stay Happy

ps: If you are celebrating Thanksgiving, have a Happy one. And if not, enjoy your day tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros 11-24-15 Mr Miracle

Diane at Bibliophile By the Sea hosts this meme so we can share the first paragraph or two of the first chapter of a book we are reading or one we want to start soon. Join us by writing a post then linking up at Diane's blog. I hope to start this one right after Thanksgiving.

Mr. Miracle
Debbie Macomber
Ballantine Books 2015

Well, well, well, Harry Mills mused as he glanced around the campus of Southshore Community College. So this is Earth. Students darted across the emerald-green landscape, scurrying toward their classes. The December sky was dark and overcast, threatening rain. Not uncommon weather for the Pacific Northwest, or so he'd been told.
This is exactly what I expected,  he thought a bit smugly. Until now he'd had, shall we say, a Heavenly perspective. Yes, he was an angel, but  unlike Shirley, Goodness, and Mercy, he had the ability to mingle with humans without suspicion. What he enjoyed most was the fact that the humans were completely unaware of who he was and the work he'd been given. Harry was on a God-given mission - a trial mission that was the opportunity of an eternity and one he hoped would become a permanent job if he performed well. 

So would you read on?  Have you read Mrs. Miracle by Debbie Macomber?  I am looking forward to this story of Christmas love, traditions, forgiveness and the comforts of home. I'll be sipping Peppermint Mocha and enjoying the warmth of a new Christmas quilt.

Until next time
Stay Busy and Stay Happy

Monday, November 23, 2015

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? SSDD or SBDD !!

It's Monday again!  Where did the week go?  Time to post about what you are reading and link up with the rest of us at Book Date. Thanks Kathryn for hosting this weekly meme.

This week is almost a repeat from last week. I did finish Second Time Around by Beth Kendrick. My Goodreads review is here.

So that means I am now reading:
Ever After by Karen Kingsbury.

 I had hoped to be finished with this library book, but not quite. Seems as I crawl into bed at night and pick up my book I can only get about a chapter read and I fall asleep.

The holiday week is here and I will be prepping for cooking on Thursday. I have a cranberry salad recipe that has been our family holiday tradition for the 51 years we have been married. Mr Busy doesn't think it is Thanksgiving or Christmas without it. It is a bit labor intensive. Grind berries, set to sweeten, make jello,set to thicken, whip real cream, fold and then refrigerate. It is yummy though. That in addition to other baking and prep work, I probably won't get much extra reading in.

I hope to start Mr Miracle soon.
Sound like last week, huh.  Hence my blog title...SSDD ( same stuff different day) or more appropriately SBDD ( same book different day)  Ah, well!!!

Stay Busy and Stay Happy

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Challenges for 2016- Read What You Buy and Women's Fiction Reading Challenge, What's In A Name 2016

This will be an ongoing post until I decide to stop and call it a page!  I am going to join a few challenges in the new year.......not too many though.

I will join Kathryn at Book Date  for her Read the Books You Buy challenge.

I'm joining at the 60% to 80% level = Maximizing Returns
Check out Kathryn's sign up post for the rules, if you want to join us. 
I am going to include the three books I purchased just recently to read for my F2F book club in 2016. 
Kathryn has decided that we can count books purchased as far back as June 2015. Other than those purchased at Amazon ( they keep track) I wonder if I can even remember when I purchased a particular book. There probably were not too many as I was really working on a Library Book challenge in 2015. 

Print Books:
1. Take Me With You by Catherine Ryan Hyde
2. The Liar's Club by Mary Karr
3. The Hurricane Sisters by Dorothea Benton Frank 
4.  The All-Girl Filling Station's Last Reunion by Fannie Flagg 

1. Deep Down Dark by Hector Tobar

And Challenge #2 is also hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. 

Check out the rules here.  This seems to be my favorite genre. I describe it as stories about strong women, ready to take on their life and the world. That is simplistic, but works for me. Because it is my favorite I signing up at the Fearless Level - 30+ books.  I will list them as I read them. 

1.   If You Stay by Courtney Cole  1-10-16 ****
2.   Across the Miles by Jill Buck  1-11-16 ****
3.  The Mermaid Chair by Sue Monk Kidd 1-23-16 *****
4.  Here Today, Gone Tamale  by Rebecca Adler  2/8/16 ***
5.  Of Moths and Butterflies by V. R. Christensen 3/14/16 *****
6.   Emma by Jane Austen 3/21/16 ****
7.  The All -Girl Filling Station's Last Reunion by Fannie Flagg 4/1/16 *****
8.  The Chili Queen by Sandra Dallas  ***** 4/15/16
9. Witch is When It All Began  by Adele Abbott  4/21/16 *** 
10.  The Hurricane Sisters  by Dorothea Benton Frank  5/12/16 ****   
11. Chesapeake Song by Brenda Lane Richardson 6/6/16 ****
12. The Cat Sitter's Whiskers by Blaize and John Clement 6/18/16 ****   

And of course I will do the What's In A Name 2016 Challenge. Hosted by Charlie at The Worm Hole. I have participated in this challenge for the last four years and I really like it. This year the categories are really challenging!

1. A Country - The Chili Queen, Walking Across Egypt, Jamaica Inn
2. An Item of Clothing - Bossypants, The Christmas Shoes, Man Repeller: Seeking Love, Finding Overalls
3. An Item of Furniture - The Mermaid Chair, Smoke and Mirrors, 
4. A Profession- The Storekeeper's Daughter, The Pilot's Wife, The Surrogate,
5. A Month of the Year - March, January First, May Day, The Dry Grass of August
6. A Tree in the Title - The Beach Trees, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Wondrous Words Wednesday 11-18-15

Wondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme where you can share new words that you’ve encountered or spotlight words you love. Feel free to get creative! If you want to play along, visit Kathy at BermudaOnion's Weblog, grab the button, write a post and add your link to Mr. Linky on her page.

There has been lots of unfamiliar words in the news in the last 5 days. I can't remember where I was reading, but the word used was caliphate. The sentence was talking about ISIS and said they want a caliphate. So I looked up the word and found a dismal description. 

Caliphate - noun

: the office or dominion of a caliph

So I looked up caliph.

caliph - noun

: an important Muslim political and religious leader

I am not sure I am any smarter than I was before. But there was one comment on the Merriam Webster page that linked an encyclopedia article. It's here if you are interested.

So no other new words in my reading. Merriam Websters word of the day is:

onomastics - noun

As a student of onomastics, Gloria liked to keep track of the most popular baby names across generations.

1  a : the science or study of the origins and forms of words especially as used in a specialized field
    b : the science or study of the origin and forms of proper names of persons or places

2  : the system underlying the formation and use of words especially for proper names or of words used in a specialized field

Did you find any wondrous words in your reading this week? 

Stay Busy and Stay Happy

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday - Ever After- 11-17-15

Diane at Bibliophile By the Sea hosts this meme so we can share the first paragraph or two of the first chapter of a book we are reading or one we want to start soon. Join us by writing a post then linking up at Diane's blog.

Ever After
Karen Kingsbury
Zondervan 2007


Two blue and gray fighter jets raced low over the neighborhood and looped toward the barren mountains in the west. Lauren Gibbs heard the vibrations in the subtle rattle of picture frames on the mantle, sensed it in the wood floor of the old house, felt it all the way to hear soul. Training drills, same as most days. She froze long enough to watch them, long enough to catch her fiance's attention.
    "They still bug you."
      It wasn't a question. Shane Galanter doled out the stack of plates in his hand one at a time onto the white linen tablecloth. 

What do you think?  Would you read this one?  Are you a fan of Karen Kingsbury like I am?

I will be starting this one tomorrow. And it will become number 23 in my list of library reads for Readers to the Rescue.and it will be another "E" title for my Favorite Book challenge on Goodreads, Love of Reading Group.

Stay Busy and Stay Happy

Monday, November 16, 2015

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 11/16/15

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week.  This meme started with J Kaye's Blog   and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date. And here we are! So tell us what you are reading, then link your post at Kathryn's blog. 

On my nightstand:

Second Time Around
has come into the house. It was being neglected out in the car. I am about 1/2 way in the story of Jamie, Brooke, Anna, and Caitlin and their second chance at life afforded by their dear friend. It's a story of friendship most of all.  

Also up this week is: 

This is the sequel to Even Now that I read a few weeks ago. I enjoyed the story of Lauren and Shane, who even as teenagers knew the meaning of true love. I am anxious now to read the continuation of their story. 

And last week I picked up a copy of Mr Miracle by Debbie Macomber. 

from Goodreads:

Harry Mills is a guardian angel on a mission: help twenty-four-year-old Addie Folsom get her life back on track—and, if the right moment strikes, help her find love. Posing as a teacher at a local college in Tacoma, Washington, Harry is up to the task, but not even he can predict the surprises that lay in store.

 I used to read Debbie Macomber a lot, but not so much lately. This is a Christmas novel that I will start in December. It will be a Hallmark Channel presentation too, but I probably will not get a chance to watch that. 

A busy week ahead:
Stay Busy and Stay Happy

Friday, November 13, 2015

Saturday Snapshots 11/14/15 Again with the Quilts

Every Saturday, Melinda at West Metro Mommy Reads hosts Saturday Snapshots. 

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 below. 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.

This week I will show the last of the projects that were mostly completed at our quilting retreat in beautiful Ucross, Wyoming. 

A lavender floral window pane quilt top.

I am not sure what this pattern is, but it is shades of cream, green and burgundy. It will have some words appliqued on the border.

This is Eileen's Five and Dime quilt. I made one last year in Christmas fabrics too. It is 10" squares and 5" charms squares that are them cut apart in quarters and reassembled at random.
Lynn made this table runner with matching placemats. Lime and purple appliqued leaves. She will donate it to the fundraiser at the John Paul II Catholic School in our city.

Maggie's Paper Dolls quilt. The center panel has trees, houses, a dad, a mom, a girl and a dog. It is all paper pieced. Maggie and her husband have one daughter, who loves dogs. So the theme fits them well.  Maggie will hang it in their family room.
This is Sherry's Spicy Swirl  table runner. It uses a 9 degree wedge ruler. The picture does not do it justice at all. It is just gorgeous, in shades of aqua and charcoal. It is a Christmas present for her daughter.

 This pattern is called Milky Way. Other of our member have done it in various colorways, but always with white stars. I really like this version of the brown stars. It sort of makes me think of a Milky Way candy bar.

 This table runner is called The Wright Way. It is sort of reminiscent of Frank Lloyd Wright windows.
Marva Jo embroidered these nine blocks of different crosses. Then put them together in a lovely wall hanging for her mother.

That is the final batch of projects done at the annual Loose Threads Quilt Group's fall retreat. Until next year, that's all folks.!