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.