Saturday, April 30, 2016

Saturday Snapshots Last day of April, Let's Bring on Spring!!


It's Saturday!  It's time to share snapshots!  Check out Melinda's blog at West Metro Mommy Reads for a few rules then share your photos. 

We had a bit of a return to winter in our area this week. Tuesday we got somewhere between 6-8 inches of wet wet snow. "We need the moisture" is on everyone's tongue. I know, but come on! It is nearly May!! 

 Our back deck!
Our front yard. You can see it really isn't sticking on the street. But Mr. Busy and our granddaughter's husband drove to Colorado this day (Tuesday) . DH said it was the worst roads he has ever driven on. I am glad I did not know how bad it was. I was worried enough as it was. 

These are roses in a friends yard. Pretty yes! 

 But I would rather be seeing these happy daffodils that are blooming in my SIL's yard.

 Or these two flowering trees she "spied" on her morning walk.


So come on Spring!  You can do it!!  No snow this morning, but dreary and overcast and promising rain. May 1st is tomorrow, so Mother Nature, let's see what you can do to bring on the sunny, warmer weather.


Stay Busy and Stay Happy


Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline ( audio)


Ready Player One
Ernest Cline 
audio version: read by Wil Wheaton
Published: August 16, 2011  Random House Audio



Goodreads Synopsis: 

It's the year 2044, and the real world is an ugly place.

Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes his grim surroundings by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia that lets you be anything you want to be, a place where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets.

And like most of humanity, Wade dreams of being the one to discover the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this virtual world. For somewhere inside this giant networked playground, OASIS creator James Halliday has hidden a series of fiendish puzzles that will yield massive fortune--and remarkable power--to whoever can unlock them.

For years, millions have struggled fruitlessly to attain this prize, knowing only that Halliday's riddles are based in the pop culture he loved--that of the late twentieth century. And for years, millions have found in this quest another means of escape, retreating into happy, obsessive study of Halliday's icons. Like many of his contemporaries, Wade is as comfortable debating the finer points of John Hughes's oeuvre, playing Pac-Man, or reciting Devo lyrics as he is scrounging power to run his OASIS rig.

And then Wade stumbles upon the first puzzle.

Suddenly the whole world is watching, and thousands of competitors join the hunt--among them certain powerful players who are willing to commit very real murder to beat Wade to this prize. Now the only way for Wade to survive and preserve everything he knows is to win. But to do so, he may have to leave behind his oh-so-perfect virtual existence and face up to life--and love--in the real world he's always been so desperate to escape.

A world at stake.
A quest for the ultimate prize.
Are you ready?
 


My thoughts:


I really enjoyed listening to this book. Fantasy and Science Fiction are not my usual reads. But I do watch some science fiction, Mr Busy and my kids and grand kids are fans. I did not grow up in the 80's, I was already an adult. I did enjoy the references made to movies and game consoles and music, though. I was raising teenagers in the 80's!

I was captivated by the narration by Wil Wheaton. He did a really great job separating the voices of the various characters. The setting has such a real feel. I think our future may be just like that, only I think (or hope) it will be longer than 28 years. Our younger generation already spends a lot of time in the virtual world. I would recommend this audio version to anyone who might be interested in this story of a world in the not too distant future and the young people that inhabit it. I cannot do a better review than this one already done by Sheila at Book Journey. Click on over and read her thoughts. Just FYI, she loved it and her recommendation played a large part in my decision to download this audio version.

Wondrous Words Wednesday 4-27-16



Kathy at Bermuda Onion hosts Wondrous Words Wednesday. A chance to highlight words you find while reading or occasionally by listening. Share your words then link up with Kathy's blog so we can all learn a new wondrous word.





from The Chili Queen by Sandra Dallas


calumny   noun - an untrue statement that is made to damage someone's reputation; also: the act of making such statements

Welcome was satisfied they were telling the truth and he reassured Emma, " I don't doubt you. I do not believe you capable of calumny where I am concerned.



definitions from the dictionary embedded in my Kindle: Oxford Dictionary of English

from Witch is When It All Began by Adele Abbott

skip   noun   - skip  Brit   a dumpster

"The second thing I did was to grab the book of spells and take it to the skip. 

hob and paintwork

"You'd better put it on the hob" my mother advised. "The splash guard will prevent you from damaging the paintwork."

I understood that paintwork was probably the painted walls, but I looked it up anyway.

hob   noun -    a flat metal shelf at the side or back of a fireplace, having its surface level with the top of the grate and used esp. for heating pans.

paintwork   noun -  painted surfaces in a building or vehicle.


What new and interesting words did you discover recently?


Stay Busy and Stay Happy


Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Witch Is When It All Began by Adele Abbott





Witch Is When It All Began  
Adele Abbott




Jill Gooder is a P.I., because her father was and she took over the business. She is not very successful at the present time, and so decides to take on a job to find a “serial killer”. At least her client thinks a serial killer murdered his girlfriend, the police do not. As in most cozy mysteries, the protagonist sticks her nose where it doesn’t belong. She can’t help it however, she has a job to do.


Enter a quirky office assistant, an adopted one-eyed cat, a police detective who seems to hate her, and a sister who is trying to hook her up with just about anyone. As Jill deals with all these characters in her life, she discovers that her biological mother is a Witch. That means she too is a witch, at least that is what her mother says from her deathbed, “You’re a witch!”

This is a fun story. I grew up watching “Bewitched” on television and this books reminds me of Samantha and Darren and their exploits. I was a bit put off by the slang words I did not know, but because I read it on my Kindle, I could look up the meanings without too much trouble. If you are looking for a light easy read, this is one for you. There are more installments in the series and I will check them out as well. I am adding this to my “Cruisin’ Thru the Cozies” challenge, hosted by Yvonne at Socrate's Book Reviews.

This also will fit for Read What You Buy and Women's Fiction Reading Challenge. A three-fer!! 


Stay Busy and Stay Happy







Monday, April 25, 2016

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 4/25/16



It's Monday What Are You Reading 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.


Finished but no review yet:



It was pretty good, but lots of terms and sayings that were unfamiliar. Luckily it was on my kindle, so looking them up was easy. 


Over 1/2 way : 


I have been listening on my phone ( a new deal to me) and carrying it everywhere. 5 hours left and I have it on 1.5 speed. I am loving Wil Wheaton's narration!! 

If I finish this one, I am not sure what to start next. Maybe - 

 It is the May book for my book club:


 This has been on my Kindle for a long time:


 I love Kristin Hannah and this is one that I have been wanting to start!


I borrowed ( or just took with her permission) this from my youngest granddaughter. She could not finish it, and I have not started it. But I want to read it before seeing the movie. 

Any suggestions as to which one I should read next?  


Stay Busy and Stay Happy


I am prepping for a Quilt Retreat the first weekend in May. Plus DH has out patient surgery on the 4th. Hoping to get some reading time in. Wish me luck. 

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Saturday Snapshots 4-23-16




Linking up with Melinda at West Metro Mommy Reads.  Join in the fun, share a photo taken by you or a family member or friend and link up at Melinda's blog. 


I am sharing photos today of some small boys in our family and their activities. Oh, and one of a recent activity of my own!

"Put me in Coach!"
 Little League has started!  My brother has been a Little League umpire since his boys were little. They are 35 and 24, and now the tradition continues with the grandchildren.



"You see a weed, he sees a wish!"


                                  This is my DIL's nephew. Isn't this just a precious photo.





                                                  "Sometimes you need to read the instructions.!"


And this precious boy is our son and DIL's grandson, our great- grandson. Gramma and pa sent him a kitchen, because boys need to learn to cook too. Our son is the cook in their family.



And finally, some cupcakes I made using an idea my SIL shared. My dear friend, Lynn in a quilter and an avid fly fisherwoman. I made these in honor of her birthday, yesterday. So easy, fish crackers, a pretzel stick and a squiggle of white icing on blue iced cupcakes.


She was tickled!

Stay Busy and Stay Happy

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Wondrous Words Wednesday 4/20/16


Kathy at Bermuda Onion hosts Wondrous Words Wednesday. A chance to highlight words you find while reading or occasionally by listening. Share your words then link up with Kathy's blog so we can all learn a new wondrous word.


Again, a word from Bossypants by Tina Fey. 



carrageenan:   noun -   a colloid extracted from various red algae (as Irish moss) and used especially as a stabilizing or thickening agent


They have endless time to fill, but viewers get kind of "bummed out" if they supply actual information about wars and stuff, so "Media Portrayal of Sarah Palin" and SNL and I became the carrageenan in America's news nuggets for several weeks.



Then from The Chili Queen by Sandra Dallas


husbanded:  (husband as a verb)   to carefully use or manage something, as a resource

transitive verb: to manage prudently and economically,

"Afterward, he told her he wasn't looking for a place to stay at all, since he had little money and he husbanded it."


dishabille: noun

the state of being dressed in a casual or careless style
archiac:   negligee.

" She thought for a moment about remaining in dishabille for John's return, for she was curiously aroused."


Did you find any wondrous word this week?


Stay Busy and Stay Happy




Tuesday, April 19, 2016

First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Ready Player One by Ernest Cline



Diane at Bibliophile By the Sea hosts this Tuesday meme. It is a place to share the first paragraph in the first chapter of a book you are reading or hope to get to soon. It is a great place to see what others are reading and add to your ever growing list of title to explore. So let's share. Write a post and then go link up at Diane's blog.



Ready Player One
Ernest Cline
Read by Wil Wheaton
Crown Publishing 2011, trademark of Random House


Everyone my age remembers where they were and what they were doing when they heard first heard about the contest. I was sitting in my hideout watching cartoons when the news bulletin broke in on my video feed, announcing that James Halliday had died during the night. 

I'd heard of Halliday, of course. Everyone had. He was the videogame designer responsible for creating the OASIS, the massively multiplayer online game that had gradually evolved into the globally networked virtually reality most of humanity not used on a daily basis. The unprecedented success of the OASIS had made Halliday one of the  wealthiest people in the world.


Have you read this one. Would you give it a try. It is not my usual genre, but I have been a Star Trek fan for years and it is narrated by Wil Wheaton. What can I say?



Sunday, April 17, 2016

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 4/18/16


It's Monday What Are You Reading 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.


Listening to:

Goodreads Synopsis:
It's the year 2044, and the real world is an ugly place.

Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes his grim surroundings by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia that lets you be anything you want to be, a place where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets.

And like most of humanity, Wade dreams of being the one to discover the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this virtual world. For somewhere inside this giant networked playground, OASIS creator James Halliday has hidden a series of fiendish puzzles that will yield massive fortune--and remarkable power--to whoever can unlock them.

For years, millions have struggled fruitlessly to attain this prize, knowing only that Halliday's riddles are based in the pop culture he loved--that of the late twentieth century. And for years, millions have found in this quest another means of escape, retreating into happy, obsessive study of Halliday's icons. Like many of his contemporaries, Wade is as comfortable debating the finer points of John Hughes's oeuvre, playing Pac-Man, or reciting Devo lyrics as he is scrounging power to run his OASIS rig.

And then Wade stumbles upon the first puzzle.

Suddenly the whole world is watching, and thousands of competitors join the hunt--among them certain powerful players who are willing to commit very real murder to beat Wade to this prize. Now the only way for Wade to survive and preserve everything he knows is to win. But to do so, he may have to leave behind his oh-so-perfect virtual existence and face up to life--and love--in the real world he's always been so desperate to escape.

A world at stake.
A quest for the ultimate prize.
Are you ready?
 


Normally I do not read or listen to fantasy/science fiction. I am a fan of science fiction movies however. And I am enjoying this audio of Ready Player One narrated by Wil Wheaton!!!  Wil Wheaton!!  (do I sound like Sheldon Cooper?). 

On my Kindle:



Goodreads Synopsis:

When the going gets tough...
Private investigator, Jill Gooder, has been hired to find a serial killer because, as usual, the police can't buy a clue. Jill, the not so proud owner of a crazy, one-eyed cat, probably can't expect too much help from her PA/Secretary, Mrs V, who spends all day knitting.
And just in case all of that wasn't bad enough, Jill's just about to discover she's a witch.
...break out the custard creams.
 



I am anxious to get back to reading some cozy mysteries and this looks like it might be a good one. 





Stay Busy and Stay Happy






Saturday, April 16, 2016

The Chili Queen by Sandra Dallas


The Chili Queen
Sandra Dallas


Addie French's life hasn't been easy. But when she meets Emma Roby on the train to Nalgitas NM, she can't help but take this poor unsuspecting woman under her wing. Emma is going to Nalgitas to marry a man she has only corresponded with.  Addie is sure that Emma needs her help, and when the prospective groom fails to pick Emma up at the train depot, Addie takes her in at The Chili Queen, her brothel.   As their friendship develops or at least changes, secrets and schemes come to light. Each woman learns something about the other and the plot thickens. I wasn't completely surprised at the ending, and I enjoyed Ms. Dallas' writing. Her descriptive words take you to the desert barrenness of New Mexico and to the mountain towns of Colorado.  Although, Margot of Joyfully Retired           (commenting on my First Chapter First Paragraph post) was correct, I did not like the characters, Dallas did an awesome job telling us about each of them.

I am linking this review to What's In A Name 2016 challenge and Kathryn's Women's Fiction Reading Challenge. 



Stay Busy and Stay Happy

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Bossypants by Tina Fey What's In a Name 2016 challenge

Bossypants
Bossypants by Tina Fey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I am a big Tina Fey fan. I have been wanting to read this book since it was published. I enjoyed it very much. You need to know that it is like reading SNL. Her sense of humor is what makes this book so good. You will learn a bit about her life, a bit about her husband and daughter, but mostly you will learn about her work.


View all my reviews





First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros - The Chili Queen





Every Tuesday is the day to share the first paragraph or two of a book you are reading or want to read soon. The event is hosted by Diane at Bibliophile By the Sea. Let's share!





 The Chili Queen
Sandra Dallas
St Martins Press  2002

one


As the train pulled into the shabby station
at Palestine, Kansas, the pinch-faced farmers and their wives in their rusty black-wool best lined up along the tracks like the teeth of a rake. In the Kansas heat, three boys slumped on an empty baggage cart in the shade of the depot, too listless even to tie a tin can to a cat's tail. A bitch in heat wouldn't draw a yellow dog under the sun, Addie French thought, as she shaded her eyes from the hurtful glare of the prairie, which was bleached the dirty white of worn underwear. She put a handkerchief to her nose, as if to block out the stench of sweat and barnyard and old pancakes that clung to the farmers' clothes. Although she had spent well over half her thirty-six years off the land, Addie never forgot the sour smells of the farm. She wiped her damp face and neck with a soiled handkerchief, leaving behind streaks of dirt on her wet skin.


What do you think?  Would you read on?  I am already enamored with Addie French and Emma Roby and I am only on page 13!



Stay Happy and Stay Busy

Monday, April 11, 2016

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? The Chili Queen and Ready Player One




It's Monday What Are You Reading 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.





Life may have been hard on Addie French, but when she meets friendless Emma Roby on a train, all her protective instincts emerge. Emma's brother is seeing her off to Nalgitas to marry a man she has never met. And Emma seems like a lost soul to Addie-someone who needs Addie's savvy and wary eye. It isn't often that Addie is drawn to anyone as a friend, but Emma seems different somehow. When Emma's prospective fails to show up at the train depot, Addie breaks all her principles to shelter the girl at her brothel, The Chili Queen. But once Emma enters Addie's life, the secrets that unfold and schemes that are hatched cause both women to question everything they thought they knew. With Sandra Dallas's trademark humor, charm, and pathos, The Chili Queen will satisfy anyone who has ever longed for happiness.
The Chili Queen is the winner of the 2003 Spur Award for Best Western Novel.



On my Kindle: 
in audible version


n the year 2044, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he's jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS. Wade's devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world's digital confines—puzzles that are based on their creator's obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them. 
   But when Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade's going to survive, he'll have to win—and confront the real world he's always been so desperate to escape.

Sheila at Book Journey raved and raved about this being soooo good.  I had to spend an audible credit, so this is one I picked. I also finally got a Smart enough phone that  I can listen to books. And I loaded audible on my phone, I hope to be able to listen while I get my steps in this week.


I will also be sewing this week, going with my Mr. Busy to a doctor's appointment and probably attending a funeral. I got word late last night , that my boss of 27 years (before I retired) had passed away. 


Stay Busy and Stay Happy


Saturday, April 9, 2016

Saturday Snapshots 4-9-16


Linking up with Melinda at West Metro Mommy Reads.  Join in the fun, share a photo taken by you or a family member or friend and link up at Melinda's blog. 


I took a couple of photos this week. We ( I really mean my DH) painted the guest bedroom this week.The photos were not good. Pictures of the painting process are not blog-worthy!.  I was striving for gray and no one I showed the photos to could tell it was gray. It looks white on the  photos and definitely blue in person. I am not pleased. So you will never see those pictures unless the decorating part of that redo ends up being better than the painting part. Ugh!

On a prettier note, here are some photos of a night-blooming cactus that lives in the yard of a friend in Glendale AZ. 








Stay Busy and Stay Happy