Thursday, December 31, 2015

Best or not so good of 2015 - Books and other things

Last year I started a Good Things Jar with the thought to jot down good things that happened all year long and then read them either New Year's Eve or New Year's Day. I thought I had taken a picture of the jar, but I cannot find it. This is what it looks like now.

It is pretty empty!

Unfortunately, I did not stay with it. So in addition to lots of other things in my life in 2015, it was a fail.  I don't expect anyone to read or comment on this post. It is mostly just for myself. It seems I get very few views unless I have linked to a meme on someone else's blog. I am not sure how to change that, but one of my New Year's resolutions is to learn more about blogging.  I may try to find a local class, or find one online. I saw one on Wordpress, but I use Blogger.

I managed to meet and slightly exceed my Goodreads goal to read 60 books in 2015. I finished 64 books. So here are some of my favorites from 2015:

There were lots more, of the 64 books I read, 29 got 5 stars. I am either not very discerning or I had a great year picking awesome books! I must admit, I like most books that I read.

I did finish 4 of the 6 challenges that my quilt group hosted.
My DIL graduation quilt. 
Scrap Crazy Stonehenge quilt that was gifted to my brother. 
Stitching and beading are done for a Wallhanging. 

And the spool quilt top is done. 
Challenge 6 due on Jan 17th is the applique borders for this quilt. Unfortunately, my sewing mojo has disappeared recently along with my reading mojo.  My daughter suggested to do "something different, like coloring", she said. 

The other quilt related challenge that I did not complete was the pieced and stitched ( embroidered) borders for a quilt called Snow Flurries. 

The borders were paper pieced and the designs are drawn or traced. But I only finished 2 of the borders instead of the necessary four. 
Sorry for the blurry picture. My phone camera is not very good. 

Until next time
Stay Busy and Stay Happy

Monday, December 28, 2015

Cozy Mystery Challenge for 2016

I will be participating in the Cruisin' Thru the Cozies Challenge hosted again this year by Yvonne at Socrates' Book Reviews.  Last year I joined at the Investigator Level, reading 7-11 books. This year I will join at the same level, hoping to read 7-12 books. I did read 7 cozies last year and this year I am determined to at least meet that level, hoping to get closer to 12.

I just won a copy of Here Today, Gone Tamale by Rebecca Adler from Beth Fish Reads. I think it is the first in a new cozy series that has me psyched.

I hope that I will be able to complete all the challenges I have signed up for, plus the reading selections of my face to face book club.

Stay Busy and Stay Happy

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 12/28/15

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you are and about to be reading over the week.  It's an opportunity to visit and comment, and er... add to that ever-growing TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. 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!

I have lost my reading mojo!  I am blaming it on the holiday flurry of activities and subsequent letdown. I had to renew the library book that I have been reading all week. I am liking it, but by the time I get to it, it is bedtime and I can only read four or five chapters!  

This is my first Lisa Scottoline book but it won't be my last. I also put the reading of Emma on hold. I really need to concentrate when I read that one. I am thinking of checking out an audio version to read along. I did that when I read Wuthering Heights in 2012. 

Our daughter was here for Christmas and she introduced us to House of Cards on Netflix. Now we are hooked and have been binge watching when we get the chance. That could be the problem with my reading!

On Thursday I want to start reading my First Book of 2016:

How is your week looking? Are you a reading machine or are you too in a slump?

Stay Busy and Stay Happy

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Triple Dog Dare You! not really a challenge!

I have also decided to join in the Triple Dog Dare hosted by James Reads Books.  The dare is to only read books already on your TBR shelf until April 1st. The books must be on your shelf as of December 31st, midnight! There are a few exceptions and James makes it easy to manage to fit your needs. Check out the challenge, DARE at the link above.

I will keep a list on my 2016 Challenge page for this "Dare". Some titles may overlap to other challenges I am working on. I feel a bit smug in that I have already purchased all the books for my F2G book club reads, so I won't need that exemption!  "Score!"

Thanks for this fun challenge (DARE)............!

Stay Busy and Stay Happy

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Saturday Snapshots Christmastime 2015

Saturday Snapshots is a place to share photos taken by you or a friend or family member. The only other rule is that that must be appropriate for all eyes.

Today are a few pictures of family Christmas time.  Our daughter and one granddaughter live in Fort Collins Co. Our oldest granddaughter and her son ( our greatgrandson) visit with them the week before Christmas. One adventure that took was a visit to Old Town in Ft Collins. The photo below is our youngest granddaughter and great grandson ( Auntie S and Joe).   Not sure what they were looking at, but both were delighted.

  This is our oldest granddaughter, baby J's mother. The fire pit in the center of the square is a new addition this year. Still cold enough for gloves, and a lap blankie.  They were preparing for a horse drawn carriage ride.

Here is a picture of the whole bunch in the carriage getting ready for the ride . Every one looks so happy. 

This showed up in the MAIL a few days before Christmas. A lovely table centerpiece from my DH's side of the family.

Hope your week was wonderful however you spent it.

Til next time
Stay Busy and Stay Happy

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Every Wednesday, Kathy hosts this meme to celebrate wondrous words we find while reading, or listening or in our other day to day lives. Share your recent discoveries and then link up at Kathy's blog, BermudaOnion's Weblog.

Both of these words were found while reading Every Last One by Anna Quindlen last week.

"This tree is probably a hundred years old and it's probably not going to get much older. It's a shame; it is a glorious tree, the kind that looks immutable."

immutable:  adj
1) unable to be changed
2) not capable of or susceptible to change.

This word though not new to me is one I do not use often. I like the sounds of it and I need to get more familiar with it so I can use it more easily.

"That foolish man, with the bright blue eyes and his seductive grin, might have thought he was doing it out of expiation, but if he did it  it was because he knew it was the perfect form of torture."

expiation:  noun

1)  the act of making atonement
2)  the means by which atonement is made

Do you sometimes have to work at using a new word in your day to day language?  Is it worth it?

Until next time
Stay Busy and Stay Happy

And Merry Christmas to all who celebrate it. Happy Holidays to those of you of different faith.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros - 12/22/15

This isn't the last Tuesday of the year to share a first paragraph but almost! Today I want to share the first paragraph of the first chapter of a book I hope to read very soon.  I bought this book for my Kindle in December 2013.

Across the Miles
Jill Buck
December 20th 2013

Chapter 1

              Emily and Julia stood outside the over packed car. Everything Emily currently owned was stuffed inside the station wagon. The beginning layers had been neat and orderly and then later items had been stuffed in wherever a spot could be found. It had felt like an impossible task, but now it was done. On the front seat were Emily's packed bag, some snacks and a bunch of CD's, some of music and others of novels, for her to listen to while traveling. It was like she was ready for a summer vacation, except they both knew this was no summer vacation but something a lot bigger.

So am I the only one who buys books and then doesn't read them for two or more years?  I am guessing we all suffer from this dilemma. Would you continue with this one? I am intrigued now that I have reread the first paragraph.

Share the first paragraph of a book you are reading or maybe will read soon. Then link up with Diane at Bibliophile By the Sea.  It's a chance to check out the first chapter and the first paragraph of a lot of titles you might not have considered.

Until next time
Stay Busy and Stay Happy

Monday, December 21, 2015

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 12/21/15

Join Kathryn at Book Date and share what you are reading this week. Just share a post about what you are reading then link up at Book Date. After you finish that be sure and check all the other posts, I am sure you will find more than one new title to add to your list of Books To Read. I know I always do!!

Today I am just getting started on Every Fifteen Minutes by Lisa Scottoline.

Here is a link to Goodreads. Every Fifteen Minutes.

I am also continuing to read Emma by Jane Austen. I have never read it and a fellow blogger, blogging at Dolce Bellezza was doing a read along. I thought, what a great way to read this book and get to experience what others think. It is taking me longer that most of the other read along participants. But I will continue and I will get to the end. I am pretty sure I won't review it other than to maybe share my own thoughts, but it won't be until 2016 for sure.

Emma: 200th-Anniversary Annotated Edition (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition)


With its imperfect but charming heroine and its witty and subtle exploration of relationships, Emma is often seen as Jane Austen's most flawless work. Now, with the BBC's superior adaptation, this captivating story is sure to win the hearts of countless new fans.

Beautiful, smart, rich-and single-Emma Woodhouse is perfectly content with her life and sees no need for either love or marriage. Nothing, however, delights her more than interfering in the romantic lives of others. But when she ignores the warnings of her good friend Mr. Knightley and attempts to arrange a suitable match for her protegée, Harriet Smith, her carefully laid plans soon unravel and have consequences that she never expected.

So what are you reading this busy week of Christmas? Or maybe you don't celebrate Christmas and are having an ordinary December week. Either way, hope your week is awesome and you get to have some time to do what you want to do. 

Until next time
Stay Busy and Stay Happy!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros Dec 15th Every Fifteen Minutes

First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros is a place to share the beginning of a book you are reading or one you hope to read in the near future. Write a post and then link up with the rest of us at Diane's blog, Bibliophile By the Sea.

Every Fifteen Minutes
Lisa Scottoline
St Martin's Press 2015

  I'm a sociopath. I look normal, but I'm not. I'm smarter, better, and freer, because I'm not bound by rules, law, emotion, or regard for you.
    I can read you almost immediately, get your number right away, and push your buttons to make you do whatever I want. I don't really like you, but I'm so good at acting as if I do that it's basically the same thing. To you.
  I fool you.
  I fool everybody.

What do you think? Would you read on? Have you already read this one?  There is a quote in the front of the book that got me thinking.

              Unexpressed emotions will never die.
              They are buried alive and will come forth later in uglier ways.
                  --  Sigmund Freud

I haven't started this book yet, but I have a hunch that the first two paragraphs and the Freud quote are connected.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 12/14/15

Kathryn of Book Date is the current host of It's Monday! What Are You Reading?  Share what you are reading this week or hope to start and then link up with the rest of us at Book Date.

This week I am plodding along reading Emma by Jane Austen. I joined a Read Along hoping that reading with others would entice me to read this much loved and talked about book. It is still slow going for me. I never read it as a teenager, I took American Literature in high school and I did not go to college. So this is my first exposure to Jane Austen. I really want to enjoy this book, but it is difficult to read. Any thoughts?
I even bought the 200th Anniversary annotated edition. I did find the reading of the introduction by Juliette Wells and the tips for reading Emma did give me some insight. I also appreciate the glossary and the list of unusual spellings.

I also want to start on Every Last One by Anna Quindlen. Lots of you liked this one.

Until next time
Stay Busy and Stay Happy

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Saturday Snapshots Dec 5 2015 Old Fashioned Christmas Card

Saturday Snapshots is hosted by Melinda at West Metro Mommy Reads. Go to her blog, read the few rules and shares some photos from your life. 

My Dad was a amateur photographer. In those days it was mostly black and white film. He built a small darkroom under the stair in our basement and sometimes let us help. It was like magic.

This photo was made into a family Christmas card. I have one sister and two brothers. My youngest brother was born in January 1955 and I think he looks about 2 here. So I think this is Christmas 1956. We all have names that start with "J", Judy, Jane, Judd and Jeff, so this card said Merry Christmas from Lorraine, Tommy and the 4 Jays.  My mom borrowed the capes from the children's choir at church and I remember my mom standing on a chair so we would all look up at her.

I would be fun to get a similar picture now, but the boys are taller so they would have to be in the back or sitting on chairs in the front. I will have to approach my siblings to see if they are up for recreating this one.

This is the closest I have, it was taken at our mom's funeral in July of 2012.  Judd, Judy, Jane and Jeff.

Until next time