Monday, May 30, 2016

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 5/30/16

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.

No books were finished this week either!  I am not sure what is happening!  So I am in the middle of Chesapeake Song by Brenda Lane Richardson and still have only touched Ghostly Paws by Leighann Dobbs. 

My only excuse is Saturday was the baby shower for my granddaughter. Company was in town from Montana, South Dakota and Colorado. I was cleaning, wrapping presents, making cupcakes, watching her son while she got her nails done, etc, etc, etc.  Reading was only in bed and by bedtime I was "wiped out" and fell asleep. We had a marvelous time at the shower. I will have pictures to share soon. 

Here are the cupcakes I baked and "built". 

It is a bit hard to see, but I saw the idea on either Facebook or Pinterest.  Dollar store wine glasses, with M&M in the bottom and cupcakes set in the top. I found "it a girl" printed, pink and white M&Ms on Amazon and then saw the cupcake wraps too. They look like crowns and really added to the look. Since my ordinary cupcake liners were only white, it worked out well. The holders to transport them were built by Mr Busy out of $$ store poster board and some bamboo BBQ skewers.  We just taped curly ribbon bows from Walmart to the corners.
If you attempt this idea, know that for 24 cupcakes you will need at least 2 lbs of M&M's. I was surprised!  Could have mixed with nuts I guess, but the grandma to be is allergic to nuts, the momma to be is Gluten Free and Dairy Free, so I just let the glasses be a little less that brimming with candy!

Oh, and two baby blankets were completed. 

 This one is roses, and polka dots, and checked fabric.
I love how it turned out.

This is just a self binding receiving blanket. Two coordinating pieces of flannel.

Reading took second place last week. Hopefully this week will be better. 

Stay Busy and Stay Happy

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Wondrous Words Wednesday

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.

Nubian   noun  ( as an adjective: pertaining to the peoples of Nubia)

                                 This sentence is from page 31 of Chesapeake Song by Brenda Lane Richardson. 

' Just behind her, a nut-brown teenage girl with a Nubian face, lids heavily lined, stares toward the dark windows of the limo."

1. a native or inhabitant of Nubia
2. a member of one of the group of dark-skinned peoples that formed a powerful empire between Egypt and Ethiopia from the 6th to the 14th centuries.  (Modern day Egypt and Sudan)

I haven't found many wondrous and unknown words this week. I haven't been doing a lot of reading. So here is another from my Word-of-the-Day emails. 

stolid    adjective

 :  having or expressing little or no sensibility     
 :   unemotional

which let me to another word that I do not use regularly: 

phlegmatic    adjective

 :  not easily upset, excited or angered. 

What wondrous words did you find this week? 

Stay Busy and Stay Happy

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The Hurricane Sisters Dorothea Benton Frank Book Club May 2016 selection

The Hurricane Sisters 
 Dorothea Benton Frank

I am a fan of Dorothea Benton Frank. I have never visited South Carolina but for some reason the Lowcountry interests me. It could be because it seems so different from where I am from, dry high plains desert, Wyoming. Ya think?

In this story, we are introduced to three headstrong women each with a secret and each with a contentious relationship to the others. Maisie Pringle is 80 and a bit eccentric. She still lives alone. Well ,not exactly, her daughter and son-in-law, Liz and Clayton have hired a younger man (he is 65) to be her driver. Skipper has a llama farm. What could be more eccentric than that?  They seem to get along well.
Liz and Clayton’s marriage has stale-mated in a classic way. She is involved in an emotionally demanding career, and her stock broker husband is basically absent and self absorbed. They have two children who refer to them as The Impossibles.  Ashley is an aspiring artist, living in the family beach house and Ivy, their son, is a kind, caring successful young man living in California with his partner, James.
Ashley’s personal life this summer includes a budding relationship with an aspiring local politician. She can see herself as the next Jackie Kennedy.  Porter sees her as his next conquest. Trouble!! Even though her mother is an expert in the field of domestic abuse, Ashley misses all the signs in her effort to fulfill her dream of a future in Camelot.

As the summer storms keep brewing, the stormy relationship of these three women and their partners and friends comes to a dramatic conclusion. 

I liked this book for the most part. At times I felt it was a bit stilted as each Mother/daughter relationship played out. I have a bit of familiarity about the secrets revealed and felt a little of it did not ring true. I will reveal no spoilers here, but I found Liz and Clayton hard to grasp. That being said, I liked the book a lot and will wait to post this review until my book club has their discussion Tuesday. 5-17. Just to keep you informed, my book club did not much care for this story. Several  said they "couldn't relate to the characters" because they were wealthy??  Don't we sometimes read books to live the lives others live, to see how the other half gets by?  Oh, well!  Like I always say, "It is good we all don't have the same taste in books, food, or men!" I recommend this book. 

First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Chesapeake Song

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.

Chesapeake Song
Brenda Lane Richardson  1993
Kensington Publishing Corp. 2001



October 1990

On her bed a suitcase gapes eagerly on its spine.The interior, pink silk, like a petticoat, soft intimate space inside a box for travel. It has been used once only on her wedding night, then yielding gowns for sleep and loving, grunts and sighs. Today she strips a dress from a hanger, pulls cotton undies from a bureau, and rushing toward the suitcase, tries to remember the fullness of that night. Instead she recalls the harshness of a life lived together: thoughtless acts, missed cures, words of discord from the jaws of an angry marriage. 

Would you read on?

Stay Busy and Stay Happy

Monday, May 23, 2016

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 5/23/16

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.

It has been a slow reading week. And a slow stitching week. We traveled to a nearby bigger city for an appointment with a neurologist. Mr. Busy has tingling in his feet. The diagnosis was peripheral neuropathy and likely progressive. There are some drugs but he is reluctant to start them. He hates taking pills and at age 71 takes no prescriptions for blood pressure, cholesterol, arthritis or anything. Pretty amazing. 

We spent the night with my sister and her husband. We always enjoy visiting with them. So we ate good food, and drank good wine and had good conversation. 

That being said, Still on my bedside table:

There are such good reviews out there for this title. And the writing is very good for the most part. It is a story about a black family in the 50's and 60's and more currently in 1990's. The one thing that has made it difficult is that the story of Seth, Virginia and their daughter Tamra in '51 and '64 is written in the past tense and the story of Tamra and Charles is written in the present tense. I find it cumbersome to read in the present tense. Why?  I am only in the middle of chapter 13 and the characters are certainly well established. So I will continue and report back later. 

Still on my Kindle: 

Have not started Ghostly Paws or any of the four selections. Spending some time in my sewing room, and I watched several episodes of season 8 of Grey's Anatomy. I am really behind and so want to reacquaint myself with all the various threads of the story. Some of season 8 I have seen and some I missed, so it is good to watch them back to back. 

I will have a review of The Hurricane Sisters soon. 

Hope you all are having better reading success than I am having lately. Summer reading on the porch or beach or at the cabin is just around the corner in the Northern Hemisphere and I would imagine those of you "down under" will have some time indoors on cooler days. Does your winter get really dreary?  

Stay Busy and Stay Happy

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Snapshots Saturday! 5/21/16

I'm linking up at West Metro Mommy Reads for Snapshots Saturday. All photos were taken by me or a friend or relative and are appropriate for all eyes.  Join us.

Today is our oldest granddaughter's birthday. She lives nearby, so we see her and her family often. A few pictures of her from the past.
Here she is at about four. She was in a small dance group and this is one of the photos taken.

This is a school picture, I think she was a 1st grader.

 This was taken at a Mother's Day tea. Teddy Bears were collected for the children's wind at our hospital. Trista is in the yellow dress. She is twelve here. Also is me, her mom and her baby sister.
Senior pictures were a big deal in 2004. 
Her mom had a professional photographer friend that took pictures. We have lots. This is one of my favorites. 

And this one is pretty current. Last year. I need to take more of her, but I focus on her son these days. She is weeks from delivering baby #2, a girl. We are excited. I will share more then. 

Happy Birthday, Trista!  She is 31 today!  

Sunday, May 15, 2016

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 5-16-16

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.

Still on my phone/Kindle:  I probably would have finished this one, but there was a bit of a snafu regarding listening while driving. Traveling with Mr Busy dictated that he listen and I re-listen to Ready Player One. Not that I minded, but it did cut into my own personal listening time. 


Really enjoying this one. It is so fun to hear her own voice and the voices of her guests. There is a lot of name dropping, but she is in show business and it is all about who and when and with whom. I love it. Must speak to my inner voyeur! 

On my nightstand:

Tamra Wells has loved Charles Lane since her early teens, and he has loved her. The only child of a school principal and his socially ambitious wife, Tamra didn't let love keep her from her goal to become a scientist. She went on to college and then to Paris where she worked for five years before returning home, a beautiful and worldly woman ready to marry Charles, a brilliant young man in a family that owns more land than any other African-American family in Nanticoke, Maryland. This passionate and elegantly written novel is the story of a man and a woman who love each other and have everything except what they really want: a happy marriage. It is also the story of two families that are strong and loving, yet have their problems. Seth Wells, Tamra's father, is a respected school principal whose drinking habits create tension at home. The family stays together, but Tamra like many children of alcoholic parents, suppresses an anger that she can't verbalize. Charles's father, Harlen Lane, is a man of tradition who expects his sons to follow him, and Charles does, forsaking his own dreams of becoming a major league baseball player, to run the family farm. He takes on the task with a vengeance, determined to expand the modest business into a major agricultural complex. Two successful people raised in stable families, neither Charles nor Tamra see how closely they mirror the patterns of their parents' successes and failures. Despite their early - and continuing - passion over the thirteen years of their marriage they find themselves too often angry and resentful to see their own children frightened by the tensions of their otherwise comfortable household. Does their failure stem from Charles's relentless drive to succeed in business? Does it take its toll from a death in the family? Is a lecherous relative a contributing factor? Or is it all simply the let down of a college-educated woman who fears becoming "just a housewife"? 

I finished The Hurricane Sisters and will have a review after my book clubs meets tomorrow evening.  Then next up is a collection of Cozy Mysteries from Leighann Dobbs.  There are four titles; Ghostly Paws, Bake, Battle and Roll,  A Zen for Murder, and Dead and Buried.  I am really looking forward to starting these. 

As I was searching for a cover that I could share, I discovered that a couple of these titles are not the first in the series. That may be a problem for my OCD self. I will see!!

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Saturday Snapshots - Mother's Day Retreat

Linking up with Melinda at West Metro Mommy Reads for Saturday Snapshots. Join us.

Last Saturday I was away from home at a 4.5 day/4 night quilting retreat with my quilter's group. I have posted pictures of the location before, but for those of you who haven't seen it, it is nice enough for a repost.  This year our theme was Hawaiian and everyone went all out with their decorations for the dining table and the special touches on the "forever luau " table (snack table).

This is Ranch A in the beautiful Black Hills of Wyoming/South Dakota. Actually it is located in Wyoming but the Black Hills spill over the state line of course. It is log construction, there are 8 rustic bedrooms and bathrooms on the upper level. There is a large kitchen, we cook our own meals and the lower level has a huge room with a rock fireplace where we sew. This year there were 22 of us.

 Friends Marva and Lynn with their design walls (actually flannel backed table cloths taped to the logs)  behind them
 Mimosas on the beverage table for one mornings brunch.  Some with and some with out champagne.

 The central dining table with flowers, a sandscape centerpiece and place cards that were tiny yellow rubber ducks on a paper pond with our name in English and a sort of Hawaiian interpretation.
 Snack table had fruit, sweet stuff, macadamia nuts etc. The decorations were great. Below is a piece of fabric on display. I think the name is  Fruit Ladies - whimsical bathing beauties featuring ladies with strawberries or peaches for their Big Bottoms  or something like that. It is a hoot!

 We had a great time, many projects were finished and I may have some photos next week of those. I can't show mine yet, they are gifts.  Shhhhh!

Stay Busy and Stay Happy

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Wondrous Words Wednesday 5-4-16

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.

I have not discovered any wondrous words in my recent reading. So I will share a couple from my Word of the Day emails from Merriam Webster. 

weisenheimer:  noun     smart aleck

I was just tickled to find this word this morning. It was one of my Mom's favorite words, when one of the four of us was acting up. "Quit acting like such a weisenheimer!"  she would say. 

moil:   verb     1) to work hard   drudge     2) to be in continuous agitation   churn, swirl

I can see me using moil to mean in continuous agitation.   I often moil about the goings on around me. Like the current political scene!

What words have you discovered recently? 

Stay Busy and Stay Happy

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros - Hurricane Sisters

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.

The Hurricane Sisters
Dorothea Benton Frank
Harper Collins April 2015


According to Liz

My husband, Clayton, and I were at the police station getting my mother, Maisie, out of jail for brushing up against the wrong side of the law. Her actual charges were still unclear. She claims it is not against any law in the state of South Carolina to take a llama for a walk on the open road. He was, after all, on a leash. The local police beg to differ, saying it is an act of animal cruelty, endangerment, and reckless behavior. Legal or not, it wasn't normal. I was glad they brought her in to the police station until I could get there because her behavior surely demonstrates a lack of sound judgement. Or not. Maisie was crazy like a fox and we all knew it. So I sat and waited while Clayton made it right between the Town of Mount Pleasant and Maisie by writing a check. 

So have you read The Hurricane Sisters?  Would you read on?  Have you read any of Dorothea Benton Frank's other novels?  

Stay Busy and Stay Happy

Monday, May 2, 2016

April Month in Review

Again I am behind in my book reading goal. Goodreads says I am4 books behind. I have read a total of 16 books. Twenty would keep me on my goal of 5 books per month. Yikes. I had better kick it in gear, again!


13.  Bossypants by Tina Fey

     1. New to me author
     2. Libary print book
     3. Non-Fiction, Memoir
     4, What's in a Name 2016 challenge

14. The Chili Queen  by Sandra Dallas

    1. Women's Literary Fiction Challenge
    2. Libary print book
    3. What's in A Name 2016 challenge

15. Witch is When It All Began  by Adele Abbott

    1.  New to me author
    2.  E-book
    3.  Read the Books You Buy challenge
    4.  Women't Literary Fiction Challenge
    5.   Cruisin' Thru the Cozies Challenge

16.   Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

        1. New to me author
        2. Audio book
        3. Read the Books You Buy Challenge.

I am linking up with Kathryn's at Book Date for Month in Review.

Stay Busy and Stay Happy

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 5-2-16

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.

On my phone/Kindle: 


Amy Poehler is hosting a dinner party and you're invited! Welcome to the audiobook edition of Amy Poehler's Yes Please. The guest list is star-studded with vocal appearances from Carol Burnett, Seth Meyers, Michael Schur, Patrick Stewart, Kathleen Turner, and even Amy's parents—Yes Please is the ultimate audiobook extravaganza.

Also included? A one night only live performance at Poehler's Upright Citizens Brigade Theater. Hear Amy read a chapter live in front of a young and attractive Los Angeles audience.

While listening to Yes Please, you'll laugh, you'll cry, and you'll become convinced that your phone is trying to kill you. Don't miss this collection of stories, thoughts, ideas, lists, and haikus from the mind of one of our most beloved entertainers. Offering Amy's thoughts on everything from her "too safe" childhood outside of Boston to her early days in New York City, her ideas about Hollywood and "the biz," the demon that looks back at all of us in the mirror, and her joy at being told she has a "face for wigs"—Yes Please is chock-full of words, and wisdom, to live by.

Goodreads gives us credit for 8 pages yet I will spend 10 hrs listening to this audiobook. It seems a bit unfair to me.

Audiobook, Unabridged, 8 pages

Published October 28th 2014 by HarperAudio

Print Book:


Hurricane season begins early and rumbles all summer long, well into September. Often people's lives reflect the weather and The Hurricane Sisters is just such a story.

Once again Dorothea Benton Frank takes us deep into the heart of her magical South Carolina Lowcountry on a tumultuous journey filled with longings, disappointments, and, finally, a road toward happiness that is hard earned. There we meet three generations of women buried in secrets. The determined matriarch, Maisie Pringle, at eighty, is a force to be reckoned with because she will have the final word on everything, especially when she's dead wrong. Her daughter, Liz, is caught up in the classic maelstrom of being middle-age and in an emotionally demanding career that will eventually open all their eyes to a terrible truth. And Liz's beautiful twenty-something daughter, Ashley, whose dreamy ambitions of her unlikely future keeps them all at odds.

Luckily for Ashley, her wonderful older brother, Ivy, is her fierce champion but he can only do so much from San Francisco where he resides with his partner. And Mary Beth, her dearest friend, tries to have her back but even she can't talk headstrong Ashley out of a relationship with an ambitious politician who seems slightly too old for her.

Actually, Ashley and Mary Beth have yet to launch themselves into solvency. Their prospects seem bleak. So while they wait for the world to discover them and deliver them from a ramen-based existence, they placate themselves with a hare-brained scheme to make money but one that threatens to land them in huge trouble with the authorities.

So where is Clayton, Liz's husband? He seems more distracted than usual. Ashley desperately needs her father's love and attention but what kind of a parent can he be to Ashley with one foot in Manhattan and the other one planted in indiscretion? And Liz, who's an expert in the field of troubled domestic life, refuses to acknowledge Ashley's precarious situation. Who's in charge of this family? The wake-up call is about to arrive.

The Lowcountry has endured its share of war and bloodshed like the rest of the South, but this storm season we watch Maisie, Liz, Ashley, and Mary Beth deal with challenges that demand they face the truth about themselves. After a terrible confrontation they are forced to rise to forgiveness, but can they establish a new order for the future of them all?

Frank, with her hallmark scintillating wit and crisp insight, captures how a complex family of disparate characters and their close friends can overcome anything through the power of love and reconciliation. This is the often hilarious, sometimes sobering, but always entertaining story of how these unforgettable women became The Hurricane Sisters.

Stay Busy and Stay Happy