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.

Thursday, June 23, 2016


Celebrating a recent finish - Blackbird Designs Garden Borders. The colors at least in person are so pretty. I used my grandmother's initials. She always had such beautiful flowers and I wish I had inherited her very green thumb. 

Here are a few new acquisitions - with one exception there seems to be a theme.

And in the category of "I loved it so much," I bought it twice -

So...if, anyone, is interested I would be happy to send it along to you.

Thankfully, I seem to be back to 100% which is a good thing as we are a little behind on a few celebrations.

We are so proud of our son - he has worked so hard to catch up after his injury that required him to take some time off and is set to graduate with a 4.0 GPA.

We also celebrated his 24th birthday

And of course a birthday beer

Lola is celebrating another nap

Here's hoping there are some celebratory occasions in your future!

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

BOTNS Book Bingo 2016

I'm excited to be playing along this year! It's a good way to broaden my reading experience and read books I might not otherwise read - example - science fiction. It's also fun to know others are participating. After seeing other people's cards, I was a little nervous at what I might get. Here is my card - and overall I'm pretty happy with it.
Here are my choices for each block:
  1. Can You Keep a Secret Sophie Kinsella
  2. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society Annie Barrows
  3. The Woodcutter Reginald Hill
  4. The Plague Albert Camus
  5. Life of Pi Yann Martel
  6. Better Than Before Gretchen Rubin
  7. Mary Reilly Valerie Martin
  8. The Devil In The White City Erik Larson
  9. Fortune Smiles Adam Johnson
  10. The Book Thief Markus Zusak
  11. Life After Life Kate Atkinson
  12. Centennial James Michener
  13. ?
  14. American Gods Neil Gaiman
  15. The Pale Horse Agatha Christie
  16. The Da Vinci Code Dan Brown
  17. A Tale for the Time Being Ruth Ozeki
  18. The Opposite of Everyone Joshilyn Jackson
  19. The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie Alan Bradley
  20. The House of Mirth Edith Wharton
  21. Racing in the Rain: My Life as a Dog Garth Stein
  22. The Time Traveler's Wife Audrey Niffenegger
  23. Death in a White Tie Ngaio Marsh
  24. Insomnia Stephen King
  25. Goodnight, and Thanks for the Vodka Harpie, Karl Wiggins
Some of these are pretty lengthy, but I'm going to give it a good try and read all of them. I know most of you probably aren't interested in my summer reading plans, but this is a good place to keep my list. No danger of misplacing it. : ) 

If by some chance you are interested in trying for your own bingo you can find out more here. I was sad to hear their announcement on the future of Books on the Nightstand, but fortunately, I haven't even come close to listening to all of their podcasts. Thank you, Mary, for introducing me to this fun challenge! Hope you have some good reading included in your summer plans!

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Takes A Licking And Keeps On Ticking

I won't go into gruesome details because it would probably devolve into an ugly crying fit. A few weeks ago, I was involved in an accident that involved falling lumber. Sounds bizarre because it really is. It took a portion of my scalp and left me with a  concussion, and bruises from head to toe. I have to avoid the mirror at all times because I can't bear to look at myself. I haven't been able to look at a computer screen or sit under a bright stitching light for very long at a time or my head feels like it will fall off. And even writing this little bit has taxed my poor brain which feels stuffed full of cotton. Because somehow May is almost over I wanted to share this little design recently finished.
May Word Play
With Thy Needle & Thread

The weather is finally cooperating, and I'm hoping to feel well enough to get into my garden very soon. 

My daughter and son-in-law recently went to St. Croix to celebrate their anniversary which meant some time with my grand-kitties. 

As you can see, Nya, the little one, was none too happy about Kahlua getting some lap time with my son. It's funny how jealous she is. Reminds me of human siblings. : )

I'm hoping to visit blogs little by little and get caught up with all that has been going on. Hope you all have a great weekend!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Margaret Randolph

Looks as crooked as a dog's hind leg in this picture.

Margaret Randolph
The Scarlet Letter

And there doesn't seem to be anything I can do about it. I feel like something the cat dragged in and just don't feel up to fiddling with it. I had promised pictures of some of my recent stitching acquisitions, but they will have to wait. Our crazy weather wheel stopped on 87 degrees today which has only added to my misery. And part of my day was spent trying to toll these two back home.

They (Victoria on the left and Rio on the right) are firm believers that the grass is greener in the neighbor's field. They also like to visit their old stablemate, Sally. Sally decided that she had a thing for a little pony that lives down the road and left home one day never to return. The neighbor says she is no bother and doesn't mind having her there. 

My sweet son found my book list and ordered the top two on the list. He says they are a gift in return for my chauffeuring him around when his truck was in the shop. I know several people recommended the audio version of The Tsar of Love and Techno, but well, you don't look a gift horse in the mouth. I guess I will just have to struggle through the pronunciations. 

Some recent library loot.

I've finished After the Parade and am currently reading Mink River, which seems to either rate five stars or one star - heavier on the five stars, though. So, I guess I will either really love it or maybe not so much. 

Now I'm going to crawl back in bed with my furry cuddle bug Lola and hope to feel better soon. Thank you for visiting!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Springtime Frolicking?

Well, it has been more like wintertime frolicking. Frolicking being what you need to do to stay warm lately. These two bunnies are doing the only springtime frolicking around here.
Spring Frolic at Bunny Hill
With thy Needle & Thread

I think these bunnies are a lot cuter than the ones I see in my yard. Going back to my son's fear of spiders - I've been known to act just as silly over rodents. And for me, rabbits are just big ole constantly chewing rodents. Before we move on to knitting, I want to assure you that I am not crossing over to the other side (knitting) completely. In fact, I have been quite active in adding to my stitching acquisitions recently. : )

One knitting finish to share
Stockinette Stitch Shawlette
Purl Avenue

Not the most exciting knitting but I found it to be very relaxing. Tassels were optional, but I'm not a tassel kind of person.

I'm currently working on a couple of other things.
Churchmouse Classics Basic Socks

This pattern was recommended to me by Mary as a good first sock to knit. And she was right. I always let the heel put me off of even trying to knit socks but found it to be a lot easier than I thought. And I'm just as excited about my heel as I was about thumbs. I will definitely be using this pattern again. Maybe not on size 1 needles, though. : ) The good thing about them is they make beautiful, tiny stitches, but the bad thing about them is they make beautiful, tiny stitches which make me feel like I'm knitting and knitting and not getting anywhere.

I've also been working on 
Linen Chevron Cowl
Purl Avenue

Right now it just looks like a wrinkled mess. I'm using the suggested yarn, Shibui Linen - I'm not really loving it but getting more used to it. I've been listening to the Serial podcast season 1 while working on this which has been helpful in ignoring the yarn. I want to finish this so I can start this
Rosewater by
Janina Kallio

I may be in love with the color of this yarn - Composition Book Grey. Not at all well represented in this picture.

On the reading front, I'm glad I stuck with 11/22/63. The ending was one I can live with. And I didn't realize it was a mini-series until a couple of you pointed it out. I'm content having read the book and probably won't watch it, though. Currently, I'm reading the second book in the Louise Penny Inspector Gamache series. Interesting to find out that the first two books have been made into movies. I'm looking forward to reading the next book in the Jane Austen mysteries by Stephanie Barron. Thank you, Vickie, for recommending these.  I'm so behind in my reading - not sure why and not happy that Goodreads points out just how many books behind schedule I am. I think that I might not set a reading challenge goal next year. I want to enjoy my reading even if it is at a leisurely pace. : )

I've been having some issues lately - (1) medical...the kind that makes you put on your special going to the doctor/hospital undergarments...and (2) computer...the kind that makes you want to pull your hair out, so I'm a little behind on my blog reading. Hopefully, I can catch up in the next couple of days. I appreciate those of you who follow along with my little blog! Hope your days include some fun and some springtime warmth!