Tuesday, January 10, 2017

New Year / New Beginnings


Happy New Year??? We ushered in the new year a little chilly. Our heater decided that it didn't want to spend 2017 with us and went to that big appliance graveyard in the sky. It has given us problems here and there over the last few years, so it wasn't a complete surprise. It didn't make writing that huge check that began with an eight any easier, though. 

To make sure the technicians had enough working room, we had to do quite a bit of rearranging and sorting out - which I found strangely energizing. Some of that energy carried over into a good sort out of my stitching, sewing, reading, etc. room. I didn't realize how energy sapping that room had become because of the clutter and messiness. Anyway, all of this clearing and sorting delayed any stitching or other fun endeavors until a few days after the new year. But a new year is all about new beginnings - so I'm off to a good start.

While goals can certainly be a good thing, I'm thinking of steering clear of them this year. I do have some loose plans - more about them at a later date. 

I'm also going to be fighting against my tendency to jump on bandwagons and join challenges, _____-a-thons, SALs, KALs, etc. I'm attracted to them like a moth to a flame, and they seldom end well (as in not finishing). Although I'm sure there will be exceptions. : ) 

So far as the Goodreads challenge - I'm still on the fence about it - maybe? I am working on a list of books I would like to read this year so we will see. I did finally finish The Goldfinch which I always want to call The Nightingale. I love Donna Tartt's writing style and could have given that a five-star rating but I didn't particularly care for the characters and all of the drugs/wasted potential - very sad.

This is becoming very wordy, so onto a few stitching finishes! 


The Christmas Bird
With Thy Needle & Thread


The Bird Collection Part III
Heartstring Samplery

My blog may be changing a little. I've never really thought of it as an online journal before or really as anything but a place to put stitching/book related things but I'm thinking of including other things here as well. I appreciate each and every one of you who stops by, and I always appreciate your comments, so I hope whatever my blog becomes in the new year you will continue to visit and maybe even leave a comment.

Hope everyone's new year has gotten off to a good start!

P.S. Since I started this post we have had our oven catch on fire, so I think we will be shopping for a new stove in the next few days. Let's hope that is the end of our appliance adventures for a while.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Re-Connecting Again And --

Hoping - to climb out of my funk and find my words again because I've felt strangely empty and silent lately -- and the sooner, the better because it is after all the season to be merry!

Still trying to come to terms with - celebrating number fifty-five back in October. For someone who doesn't think in terms of age, it sure did knock me for a loop and I think is at least partly responsible for my funk -- I mean it's just a number, right? 


Knitting - the Best Friend Scarf. The yarn is from Brew City Yarns, and the colorway is Wine In A Sippy Cup. Both the pattern and the yarn are very aptly named. It's for my daughter who is one of my very best friends, and we have both been known to enjoy our wine, although, not out of sippy cups.


Currently Reading - The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie. I don't know if I've ever used the word delightful before, but that is the perfect word for this book! I'm very much looking forward to reading the other books in the series. I'm still trying to finish up the books I wanted to read for Book Bingo - only one more to go! And speaking of Book Bingo, I was very surprised to find my name picked in the drawing for a prize (an Amazon gift card) which I used to purchase -- more books!


Watching - Binge watched my way through Mad Men - for the ? time. Currently watching The Kettering Incident and Mozart in the Jungle on Amazon Video. I've only watched the first episode of The Kettering Incident, but have a feeling it may be a while before I get back to it as I'm very much enjoying Mozart in the Jungle. The music in it is making me wish we still had our subscription to the Philadelphia Orchestra.

Stitching - Recently finished Where the Bittersweet Blooms by Brenda Gervais.


Preparing for - Christmas? Just another reminder of how quickly time moves - almost ready for a new year.


Thanks for reading -- hope you are all in the holiday spirit and if you are interested, there are some good things here!

Friday, September 16, 2016

Finishes/Beach Day

I think back to the beginning of the summer and in retrospect that ambitious list we made of things we wanted to do this summer.
 Then things happened. First...the weather. Wow, it has been tropical here, and the mosquitoes are no joke! I don't remember July and  August disappeared in the blink of an eye. For most of the month, vertigo = a lot of bed time. And my father who has become less and less mobile had a fall. Many hours spent at my parents' house where there is no internet. You are in the middle of all of this acreage looking for a spot where you can get a fleeting signal.

I have finished a few things, though.

Rosewater by Janina Kallio

With Thy Needle & Thread's June Word Play - June's Door Bells

A small Lizzie Kate piece - Be Silly

And more recently the 1861 Antique Sampler from the In Friendship's Way book

I liked the colors Nan Lewis of Threadwork Primitives shared on Facebook - Onyx, DMC 869, Toasted Barley, Gingersnap, (my change) Camouflage, Baked Apple, and Tin Bucket. I wish I could photograph a true representation of the colors - oh well.

I was doing a pretty good job of being a one at a time stitcher, but lately, I've had a problem sticking with one thing. I think I may start Mermaid Fraktur by Plum Street Samplers

This summer has been a little stressful, so it was good to steal a bit of time and go the beach for the day. There is something so peaceful about the crashing waves and the sounds of the seagulls. I could easily live at the beach.

Love the mermaid


and the flowers




Me in the distance


It was a somewhat hazy day, but you can still see Atlantic City








We certainly got our steps in for the day - not sure who set a goal of 4000 steps lol???


I'm hoping to be home a little more and looking forward to visiting and commenting on blogs once again. I appreciate those of you who stick with me as blogging seems to be falling out of favor. And I apologize to those of you whose emails went unanswered. That is most inexcusable, and I hope you will forgive me. Also, do you know if you are a no-reply blogger? Sometimes when I try and respond to a comment I discover a no-reply blogger - just wondering.

Enjoy the remaining days of summer!

P.S. Am I the only one sad about the end of summer despite the somewhat extreme heat?

Monday, September 12, 2016

Book Bingo/Best Laid Plans

I wanted to read all of the books I chose but as you can see didn't even come close.


I really enjoyed what I read with a few exceptions-

The Woodcutter by Reginald Hill 
The Plague by Albert Camus

My favorites-

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer 
Life After Life by Kate Atkinson
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton
The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

Instead of Better Than Before in the Self-help square I read Taking The Leap: Freeing Ourselves from Old Habits and Fears. And I did finally finish listening to (after the bingo deadline) Centennial by James Michener another five star book - and more Michener in my future for sure.

I do plan to read the rest of my chosen books by the end of the year. I appreciate Mary letting me join in - it was nice to play along!

And I added a few new books to my TBR pile

A lot has been going on, but I think I'm  going to be home for a short while, so I hope to be back a little later with another post. And fingers crossed no more computer/internet problems!

Thanks everyone for reading along!

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Flag Day At The Potting Shed/Longwood

Sometimes I feel like all I stitch are Brenda Gervais patterns - but I love everything she designs. As a matter of fact, I ordered her new patterns just this morning. Not too long ago she offered a limited edition design called Flag Day At The Potting Shed.

My finishing skills are not the best, and neither are my photography skills, but here is my finish.


Here is what the kit looked like


I was a pretty monogamous stitcher for a while, but lately, I can't seem to settle on any one thing. I'm currently stitching the 1861- Antique Sampler from the In Friendship's Way book by Blackbird Designs. I'm slogging through the alphabet right now and don't have enough done to warrant a picture. And I'm hoping to start Miss Lila's House by Carriage House Samplings (an oldie but goodie) later today.


Seeing someone's finish of Miss Lila's House reminded me of just how much I love Carriage House Samplings patterns. Between all of the reading I want to do and all of the things I want to stitch where is the time??? And then there is life.

One of the things on my summer bucket list was to visit Longwood Gardens. My son took me for a belated Mother's Day visit on what could only be described as the perfect weather day. I'll share just a few (ha, ha!) pictures for today.









And as a rememberance, my son gifted me with this beautiful vase from the gift shop.


Afterwards, we had the best lunch at Two Stones Pub - just a wonderful day all around!

We are having the worst storms today - no wonder with the weather we have had lately, so I feel like I've been trying to beat the next power outage with this post.

Hope you all are finding ways to enjoy your summer despite the weather! Thanks for reading along!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Book Bingo Update And A Trip To The Bookstore


While I'm not as quick a reader as some, I am making progress and for the most part enjoying what I'm reading. I am wondering though - have I chosen any short books?

So far, I have finished - (disclaimer - I am not a reviewer!)

Square 21 The Art of Racing in the Rain     4 stars

I almost wanted to back out of this one. I just can't take sad stories involving animals, especially when just given a terrible diagnosis for one of my own. But I'm glad I read it. I absolutely loved Enzo! Yes, I cried in places, but I also laughed. A favorite quote from the book -

“To live every day as if it had been stolen from death, that is how I would like to live. To feel the joy of life, as Eve felt the joy of life. To separate oneself from the burden, the angst, the anguish that we all encounter every day. To say I am alive, I am wonderful, I am. I am. That is something to aspire to.”

Square 22 The Time Traveler's Wife     5 stars
Science fiction - not my thing at all. Very pleasantly surprised at how much I loved this book - found it hard to put down. Even at 500 and some pages I didn't want the story to end. But of course it did and with many tears. 

Square 23 Death in a White Tie     4 stars
Mysteries have always been my favorite type of book. It's a mystery well written by one of the classic queens of mystery.

Square 24 Insomnia     4 stars
Again, going way back, I have always had a thing for Stephen King's books - only author who has made me read with my back to the corner. I enjoyed this 890 +/- book very much and even cried at the end.

Square 25 Goodnight, and Thanks for the Vodka     3 stars
Humorous and laugh out loud funny, but unfortunately, somewhat ruined by the graphic details of her sex life and there was more than enough of that in 582 pages. I did feel compassion for her but there were quite a few times I wanted to reach through the book and just slap her for the way she let people take advantage of her. I can feel my blood pressure rising as I type this. : ) 

Square 20 The House of Mirth     5 stars
I still find myself thinking about this book. Edith Wharton painted some beautiful pictures with words in this story. At some point I had a feeling about the ending, but was still surprised / shocked and moved to tears. I would love to read more by this author.

Square 15 The Pale Horse (Re-read)     4 stars
I don't usually read the same book twice. Glad I did - another well written mystery written by another queen in the mystery world.

Square 10 The Book Thief     5 stars
My son had bought this book some time ago, so it was at hand and I thought why not? And what a great choice for this square! Another book that was hard to put down. And again involved a combination of tears and laughter.

Square 5 Life of Pi     4+ stars
Woke my husband one night laughing at the description of a seasick orangutan. Unfortunately, the laughter didn't last long. Fell in love with Richard Parker. I am so not a movie person (unless it's an oldie) but find myself thinking about maybe...possibly trying the movie.

Square 4 The Plague     3 stars
Not much I can say about this one. Not sure if it is really the book's fault or maybe just the timing of reading it. 

Currently listening to and enjoying very much Centennial - it's another biggie! 
Currently reading Life After Life.

With everything going on in my life and in the world I feel so ready for a funny, uplifting book! Looking at my list of books I'm not sure anything fits the bill, so I may have to take a brief break and find something that does.

When my son asked if I would like to take a trip to the bookstore the other day - after I got done rolling in the floor laughing - I said of course! As much as I love the bookstore you would have to see the mall area to understand why I don't visit more often. They are building and adding so much around it that it makes the trip quiet an adventure. And not one of the fun variety! 

This is pretty much how I felt upon arriving.

But I wasn't deterred from making a few purchases.

The Trouble with Goats and Sheep just for the title alone, although it does sound interesting.

And I hope no one is offended. I usually don't go anywhere near politics... but...??


Where is the stitching you may be asking? Back soon with an update.