Monday, February 29, 2016

February Month in Review

Goodreads reports that I  am one book behind in reaching my goal of 60 books this year. Since I have only read 8 books that really means I am 2 books behind if I aim for 5 books per month. January is here.


6. Here Today, GoneTamale by Rebecca Adler

    1. New to me author
    2. Women's Literary Fiction Challenge
    3. Cozy Mystery Challenge
    4.  Paperback
    5. Already Owned: TBR Triple Dog Dare

7. Deep Down Dark by Hector Tobar

    1.  New to me author
    2.  Non-fiction
    3.  E-book
    4.  Already Owned: TBR Triple Dog Dare
    5.  Read the Books You Buy Challenge

8.  The Liar's Club by Mary Karr

       1. New to me author
       2. Memoir  by a woman
       3. Paperback
       4. Already Owned:  TBR Triple Dog Dare
       5. Read the Books You Buy Challenge

I am linking this quick review with Kathryn at Book Date.

Stay Busy and Stay Happy

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 2/29/16

IMWAYR is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. Share what you are reading, what you read recently or what you hope to get to in the coming week and then link up with Kathryn at Book Date. It is a great place to see what is going on in the blogosphere and to add to your reading lists or piles of titles to be read.

It's Leap Year so today is extra time to read. I guess you could spend it doing chores but why not chose to spend it reading or maybe in the Northern Hemisphere, taking a walk in anticipation of Spring. I am not sure what it is like in the Southern Hemisphere, is it working it's way into Fall? Is it cooling off a bit? However you chose to spend your extra day, I hope it is a great day.

Today I will!

Finish: The link will take you to the Goodreads page-

Mary Karr

Last night I stayed up too long watching the Academy Awards and so only read about 10 pages again before my eyes got sleepy. I am not sure yet how I feel about this book. I won't write a review until after my book club meets for discussion. It is raw and gritty. It is a memoir after all, but wow it is unbelievably real. The life Ms Karr experienced and endured is something.  

I hope to listen and read: 

Jane Austen

My library had an MP3 CD copy of the audio version. I haven't tried yet to insert it into my laptop or CD player, so I hope it works. Speaking of audio books, I have discovered I somehow got a trial at and I do not remember signing up. And so then I did not cancel it after the 30 days and so I have purchased a new month.  I have tried in the past but do not like listening on my Kindle. I can't hear it well enough to do other things while listening and isn't that the point of audio books? I got a CG at Amazon for my birthday, so maybe I should invest in wireless/Bluetooth speakers. If I upgrade my phone in 2016, I will make sure it supports a reading app. Then it will be more portable. 

Also, on the horizon is to dig into:

V.R. Christensen

Happy Leap Year Day
Stay Busy and Stay Happy

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Saturday Snapshots 2-27-16

It's Saturday!  Time to share snapshots that were taken by you or a family member.
This meme is hosted by Melinda at West Metro Mommy Reads, so pop over to her blog and read the rules then link up your post. 

Today I am sharing pictures of our Great Grandson. Here he is working at the table on a toy given to him by his grandmother. Such concentration

Last week when we visited, he was cranky. Just getting over a cold and his momma thinks he has a back tooth coming in, cause everything went in his mouth. She finally gave him a Nuk toothbrush that has little hard nubs instead of bristles and then he was happy to cuddle with the dog.

A big giggle here as his daddy took his picture.

That's all I have this week. I did not get pictures of a Sew Day I attended. Lots of beautiful projects were coming together. Too busy sewing to get out the phone, I guess.

Until next time
Stay Busy and Stay Happy

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Wondrous Words Wednesday - 2/24/16

Kathy at Bermudaonion's Weblog hosts this weekly meme where you can share new words you've encountered or spotlight words you love. If you want to play along, write a post then go to Kathy's blog to link your post.

These words were found in the first few pages of The Liar's Club by Mary Karr. It is not a read for the faint of heart. It is gritty, unforgettable and the real deal.

"My eyes were belt-level with his service revolver and a small leather sap that even then must have been illegal in the state of Texas."

sap - noun

I could not find this word in any online dictionary, but I googled it and this is what I found:

The SAP is a blunt weapon, a self-defense weapon. You just put it in your hand and then strike a target with the head of it. Typical carriers would be prison guards, and police. Police sometimes would have PD stamped into the base of the head on the leather.
They come in different weights and lengths.
While a blackjack has a coiled spring, the SAP has a long piece of metal, flexible, and sometimes with a small, metal ball at the head.

The head is wider, but shorter than the handle. Often, there is a strap, on the handle end, to make it easier to hold on to the SAP.

"At some point the talk got heated, and Paolo called Mother a strumpet, for which Daddy was said to have stomped a serious mud-hole in Paolo's a_ _. "

strumpet - noun dated

a prostitute or promiscuous woman

This from the Urban Dictionary, among many other more graphic examples.

first used by Shakespeare to describe loose women - "Thou art a strumpet"

What interesting or wondrous words did you find this week?

Stay Busy and Stay Happy

Monday, February 22, 2016

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you are or are about to read over the next week or so.  It's an opportunity to visit and comment, and then, of course, add to that ever-growing TBR pile!  I started participating when it was hosted by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date. And here we are! Join us. It is a great way to see what others are reading.

In Print:

Goodreads Synopsis:

The Liars' Club

When it was published in 1995, Mary Karr's The Liars Club took the world by storm and raised the art of the memoir to an entirely new level, as well as bringing about a dramatic revival of the form. Karr's comic childhood in an east Texas oil town brings us characters as darkly hilarious as any of J. D. Salinger's—a hard-drinking daddy, a sister who can talk down the sheriff at twelve, and an oft-married mother whose accumulated secrets threaten to destroy them all. Now with a new introduction that discusses her memoir's impact on her family, this unsentimental and profoundly moving account of an apocalyptic childhood is as "funny, lively, and un-put-downable" (USA Today) today as it ever was. 

This one is the March selection for my book club, I am a bit concerned about the discussion that will follow the reading of this one. 

On my Kindle: I am just beginning this one. 

Goodreads Synopsis:

Of Moths and Butterflies

Archer Hamilton is a collector of rare and beautiful insects. Gina Shaw is a servant in his uncle’s house. Clearly out of place in the position in which she has been discovered, she becomes a source of fascination . . . and curiosity.

A girl with a blighted past and a fortune she deems a curse, Gina has lowered herself in order to find escape from her family and their scheming designs. But when she is found, the stakes suddenly become dire.

All Gina wants is the freedom to live her life as she would wish. All her aunts want is the money that comes with her. But there is more than one way to trap an insect. An arranged marriage might turn out profitable for more parties than one.

Mr. Hamilton is about to make the acquisition of a lifetime. But will the price be worth it? Can a woman captured and acquired learn to love the man who has bought her?

Stay Busy and Stay Happy

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Saturday Snapshots February Celebrations

Saturday Snapshots is hosted by Melinda at West Metro Mommy Reads. Share photos, one or many, that were taken by you or a family member or friend. Please, not a random photo off the web. The only other rule is that the photos be suitable for all eyes.

This week is a transitions week for me. Sunday was Valentine's Day of course. Nothing special was planned but we did go out to breakfast and Mr Busy brought me these flowers on Saturday. I am not a rose lover so these are some very pretty carnations from the grocery store. It IS the thought that counts not how much money you spend.

Our daughter sent us two commemorative Bronco cups. We will love using those.

And Tuesday is my birthday. A milestone one!  Two cards from a couple of very dear friends who I sew with. And some fun little gifts. A pattern for zippered pouches, a coloring book (you're never too old to color) and a To-Do notepad. It says Wake up, Quilt at the top and at the bottom of the list is Quilt, Go to Bed.

And I have joined Weight Watchers again, and so for my birthday, Mr. Busy bought me a FitBit. I have been wanting one and we picked it out yesterday. The first one went back to the store and I finally gave up syncing the second one to my phone and just synced it to my laptop. I will continue to work at getting it to work with my phone, but maybe my phone just isn't smart enough!

Oh, and I have started to journal. The white and black flowered book on my chairside table is a new journal.  I hope to at least track important thoughts, events and feelings and maybe even some mundane information like weather, and lunch dates, and when the dog went to the groomer. Life stuff.

Stay Busy and Stay Happy

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Deep Down Dark by Hector Tobar

Deep Down Dark: The Untold Stories of 33 Men Buried in a Chilean Mine, and the Miracle That Set Them Free
Hector Tobar
2014  Picador Movie Tie-In  Ebook

On August 5, 2010, 33 of the men that make up the A shift, enter the San Jose Mine in Copiapo, Chile. One man, Mario Sepulveda is late. He is hoping that maybe he will be fired, and that will make it easier for a friend to get him a job at another mine. Most of the miners live in the Copiapo area. Mario commutes from Santiago. As he walks toward the mine, a friend gives him a life and he arrives in time to report for his shift, only the supervisor Luis Urzua notices but makes no mention. Now all 34 men are beginning their work day.

Raul Villegas, driving a dump truck of ore to the surface, passes all the other miners on his way out of the mine. He is the only one to escape as the blast and collapse happen behind him. It is 1:40 pm.
At first, the rumble and the dust catch everyone by surprise and then they realize what has happened. The next few minutes they try desperately to determine where their companions are and if they are all safe. As the dust settles and they start a head count, all are accounted for except for Raul, the driver of the dump truck. All are uninjured.

What happens in the next few hours, and the days and weeks that follow is nothing short of miraculous. As luck would have it they are trapped near the Refuge. A sort of break room, with reinforced walls and a small kitchen. They are able to move up and down several levels but their escape routes are all blocked or the chimneys have no ladders. Several vehicles are operable, have gas, batteries and there is a large tank of water used for servicing the equipment.

Hector Tobar continues to tell the story and intricately weaves the personal stories of the miners and their families, the townspeople of Copiapo and the government officials of Chili with the details of the mine and what happens when "the mine pancakes." I found the story impossible to put out of my mind and it caused me to wonder if I would have been able to deal with the hardship that occurred. I'm not sure that I would have.

I would suggest reading this book if you like non-fiction and even if you don't. I have a few friends that normally do not pick non-fictions, but because this was a book club selection, they read it and enjoyed it. It is well written with wonderful descriptions of the surrounding area and the time inside the mine. I am also anxious to see the movie   THE 33.

Wondrous Words Wednesday 2/17/16

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, write a post then go to Kathy's blog and add your link to Mr. Linky.  Don't forget to grab the button while you are there. 

I have been a bit absent in this meme.  I haven't found many words in my reading lately. Last Wednesday I spent the day serving on a jury for our county circuit court. It only took one very long day, but now I am free from having to serve again, at least for this court and this term. It's not that I really mind, it is just that I have a hard time judging another's actions and trying to decide what turn their life will take dependent on the usually sketchy facts that the lawyers present in the courtroom.This is my third time serving in recent years. That being said, I did hear a word that I have heard every time I have served and never understood. I had  not seen it written so was unclear as to what the judge or the attorneys  were saying. The bailiff, in this case, was nice enough to help me understand.  It is from French - to speak the truth. 

voir dire

/vwɑː ˈdɪə/

an oath administered to a proposed witness or juror by which he or she is
 sworn to speak the truth in an examination to ascertain his or her competence.
the examination itself.

Have you ever served on a jury? I have friends who have not served in the 30+ years they have been in our community. Mr Busy has only been called once. Yet my name keeps coming up in the rotation. My daughter says I am the right demographic: mature, women, unemployed! Ha!

Stay Busy and Stay Happy

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intro - The Liar's Club by Mary Karr

Every Tuesday Diane hosts First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros where she shares the first paragraph sometimes two from a book she is reading or thinking about reading soon. Share a book you are interested in reading and link up at Diane's blog, Bibliophile by the Sea

The Liar's Club
Mary Karr
Viking Press 1995

Chapter 1

My sharpest memory is of a single instant surrounded by dark. I was seven and our family doctor knelt before me where I sat on a mattress on the bare floor. He wore a yellow golf shirt unbuttoned so that sprouts of hair showed in a V shape on his chest. I had never seen him in anything but a white starched shirt and a gray tie.  The changed unnerved me. He was pulling at the hem of my favorite nightgown-a pattern of Texas bluebonnets bunched into nosegays tied with ribbon against a field of nappy white cotton. I had tucked my knees under it to make a tent. He could easily have yanked the thing over my head with one motion, but something made him gentle. "Show me the marks," he said. "Come on now. I won't hurt you." He had watery blue eyes behind thick glasses, and a mustache that looked like a caterpillar. " Please? Just pull this up and show me where it hurts," he said. He held a piece of hem between thumb and forefinger. I wasn't crying and I don't remember any pain, but he talked to me in that begging voice he used when he had a long needle hidden behind his back. I liked him but didn't much trust him. The room I shared with my sister was dark, but I didn't fancy hiking  my gown up with strangers milling around in the living room.

What do you think? Would you read on?  Have you already read this one?   It is the next read for my face to face book club.

Stay Busy and Stay Happy

Monday, February 15, 2016

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? Book Club Selections Feb & March

I am linking up with Kathryn at Book Date for It's Monday!  What Are You Reading?  

On My Kindle:  Still but almost finished

Deep Down Dark: The Untold Stories of 33 Men Buried in a Chilean Mine and the Miracle That Set Them Fee
Hector Tobar

This week on Tuesday, my face to face book club meets to discuss this book. I am really enjoying it. It is from the title a basically feel good story. They do get rescued.  The author is a Pulitzer prize winning journalist, so the writing is good.

Print Book:
Our next read is The Liar's Club by  Mary Karr.

 I am looking forward to reading this one too. One of the members of our book club told me she found the book in the YA section at our library. I purchased mine at Amazon and haven't really researched it. Have you read it?  My friend says it is a dark book.

Stay Busy and Stay Happy

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros - Of Moths and Butterflies

Every Tuesday Diane hosts First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros where she shares the first paragraph sometimes two from a book she is reading or thinking about reading soon. Share a book you are interested in reading and link up at Diane's blog, Bibliophile by the Sea.

Of Moths and Butterflies
V.R. Christensen
Captive Press Publishing 2011

Part One
People have very little idea how great are the injuries which imprudence draws on them, or they would not despise this homely virtue. Especially for young women is prudence required in the conduct of love affairs. There is no end to the tale of misery we could tell resulting from its want. Marriage would not be the lottery it is, if girls would exercise a little prudence. They should never engage themselves to a man of whom they know nothing - the past of their future husband ought to be clear to them.  
Laura, Valentine, The Young Woman's Book

Does this introduction to Part One intrigue you or are you turned off by the language?  I'll admit I really knew nothing about this book except it was by a Goodreads author, it was historical fiction set in the 1800's and the cover took my breath away.

Stay Busy and Stay Happy

Monday, February 8, 2016

Here Today, Gone Tamale Rebecca Adler

Here Today, Gone Tamale
Rebecca Adler
Berkley Prime Crime 2015

This is the first in a new Taste of Texas Mystery.  Josie Callahan grew up in Broken Boot, Texas. She moved to Austin for a newspaper job and was engaged. However, her life changes after she loses her job at the Gazette and her fiance unfriends her on Facebook, leaving her with fuschia pew bows and matching thank you notes. She packs up her Chihuahua, Lenny, and high tails it back home.  She'll help her Aunt Linda and Uncle Eddie in their Tex-Mex Restaurant.

After a night of tamale making with the  Wild Wild West Festival committee, a local jewelry designer is found dead next to the dumpster outside the restaurant. Josie falls back into reporter mode and immediately begins to look for clues to whom the murderer might be.

After the newest waiter, Anthony is arrested for the murder,  Josie enlists the help of her high school friend Patti Parez to track down clues she thinks will help exonerate Anthony and put the real killer behind bars. The local sheriff and his handsome deputy are none too pleased to have their help! She's a bit of a buttinski! 

I really wanted to like this story. I did like the protagonist, Josie Callahan. She is witty and loyal and a bit of a flake! I don't think the story was very believable in the description of the murder. I feel like the details that helped Josie solve the murder were left out  and other unnecessary details were rehashed. We did get to know a few of the other lesser characters who will probably resurface in the next installments. I will give this series another try. I think there is great potential.

I am adding this to my Cruisin' Thru the Cozies Challenge, hosted by Yvonne at Socrates' Book Reviews. 

Stay Busy and Stay Happy

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Saturday Snapshots 2/6/16

Melinda at West Metro Mommy Reads hosts Saturday Snapshots. Share some pictures taken by you or a friend or family member, not something found on the internet and then check in to see posts of other fellow bloggers. The only other small rule is content should be appropriate for all eyes. 

This week I haven't read much. It has been cold and we received more snow. I didn't even take pictures of that, I am tired of snow.  But I did try a new pattern that a friend showed me for a table topper or wreath. The pattern is called Fold'n Stitch Wreath by Poorhouse Quilt Designs. I picked up some fabric at JoAnn's and set about reading the directions. On Wednesday, my Loose Threads quilting group met and my friend Marva Jo and I worked on this project. 

Here are two views of the "candle ring" sitting on the coffee table in our living room. On the second one you can just barely see the dog sleeping on the couch! What a spoiled little Shih Tzu she is!

This project uses 3 fabrics and a stiff interfacing. I used Valentine fabric for all three. But my friend used a general red fabric for the edges of the squares and the same black fabric for the backs of the squares. Her inside white fabric was pink and red hearts on a white background. The white fabric has words. It says You're My Type followed by a red or pink hearts. Just one word of caution if you buy this pattern and want to make it. A directional fabric for the inside of the square is not a good idea!.  I made it work, but not without some "unstitching" and some head scratching!

I found a red candle in my stash of decoration, but I think it really needs a large red pillar candle or a red candle in a taller vase or jar. What do you think?  It was a fun project, Mr. Busy's first response was, "that's pretty" and then "how are you going to store it".  That is a dilemma. I think it will have to have its very own box.

Stay Busy and Stay Happy

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

First Chapter First Paragraph Intros - The Nightingale

Diane at Bibliophile By the Sea hosts First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros. It's a place to share the first paragraph or two from a book you are currently reading or hope to start soon. Share a book you are reading, then link up to Diane's blog.

The Nightingale
Kristin Hannah
St Martin's Press


April 9, 1995
The Oregon Coast

If I have learned anything in this long life of mine, it is this: In love we find out who we want to be; in war we find out who we are. Today's young people what to know everything about everyone.They think talking about a problem with solve it. I come from a quieter generation. We understand the value of forgetting, the lure of reinvention. 

I have had this on my Kindle for awhile now. I love reading Kristin Hannah. I've read lots of historical fiction set in WW II. I have been reluctant to read another. But my friends have been praising this one lately, so I will get to it soon. Tomorrow it has been out for one year. Maybe I will get to start it tomorrow.

What do you think? Have you read The Nightingale?

Stay Busy and Stay Happy