Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Lots of Reading

I read, I read a lot and I normally read 3 books at a time.  But for some reason I find myself reading 5 at a time.




The first is William Manchester's biography of Winston Churchill The Last Lion: Defender of the Realm 1940-1965  1200 pages.  I've been reading this series for a while and finally made it to the last book.  I'm about 40% of the way through it.  It's so interesting, but heavy, heavy reading.  I never studied much modern history so I'm learning a lot about WWII.  I bought the hardcover copy of this to begin with, but with my broken wrist it was too heavy and I reordered it for my Kindle.  I read a bit of it each day and I'm up to the tank battles in North Africa.






The second is The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin 512 pages.  This book is the beginning book in a trilogy and won a Hugo last year as best science fiction/fantasy book of the year.  I'm enthralled, she creates such interesting worlds.  This is the second series I've read by her.  My daughter is a friend of hers and first introduced me to her writing.


The third is The Sea, The Sea by Iris Murdoch  528 pages.  I've known about Iris Murdoch as a writer for years, but I've always been a bit intimidated and figured she might be a bit too highbrow for me.  I knew this book won the Man Booker prize in 1978 and I've liked other books that had won this prize and decided to try it.  I'm loving it!  The writing is wonderful and such an interesting story, I'm never quite sure what's going to happen next or what is real or imaginary.








The fourth is The Book of Speculation by Erika Swyler 384 pages.  I'm a sucker for books about books.  This begins with a book being sent to a man who works in a library, he's told it might belong to his family.  It turns out to be the daily log of a small traveling circus from the late 1700's/1800's .  The story is told in 2 parts, one historical and one up-to-date.
The man's  house is slowly sliding into the sea, his mother and other female members seem to have all committed suicide by drowning and now he's worried about his sister.  And this is all tied to the book.  Really enjoying it.







The fifth is The  Prisonor of Heaven by Carlos Ruiz Zaf√≥n 304 pages.  This is the last book in a trilogy:  The Angel's Game and The Shadow of the Wind .  I liked the first two much more.  They all take place in Barcelona in the Franco era and they're a bit of a fantasy or maybe not.  Well written, but long-winded.


So that's how I spend most of my time.

Monday, February 27, 2017

I Meant to

The last time I added new music to my MP3 player and struggled for hours to figure out how to do it I swore I'd write it down so it wouldn't be so much trouble the next time.  Well the next time came and I hadn't written it down and even worse I had bought a different brand of MP3 and Mac had updated my iTunes about 3 times since the last time so everything was different.
I struggled, I Googled, I turned it over to my Mac and then I tried again and finally got it done.  Then I had to figure out how this MP3 player works.  It came with a teeny, tiny manual that I had to use a magnifying glass to read and even then there was information missing.
Again I turned it over to  my Mac, he figured it out and showed me how to do it.   I've used it twice now and it worked , so I think I know what I'm doing.
Now ask me if I've written down how to download music to it.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Nice Surprise

We have strawberries already and boy are they sweet!  We have to pick them when they're about half-ripe or the critters eat them before we can get them.  We picked the first one on Friday, left it to ripen a bit more on the kitchen counter and ate it today.  It was sooooo sweet.  There are a bunch more out there, but they're still white so I'll have to wait awhile to pick them.  What a nice surprise.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Five on Friday

We just got home from New York City and we're beat so this will be a quick five.

1.  Our hotel, NobleDen, was on the corner of China Town and Little Italy, we figure that's about as close as we'll ever get to heaven.  A boutique hotel, had only around 17 rooms.  We were on the top floor and had a balcony.




2.  The badger went with us and he really enjoyed the balcony.  But he got a bit tipsy and some of the photos are a little blurry.







3.   One of the meals we had in Little Italy was the best Italian food we'd ever had.  Garlic bread, Chicken Cacciatore and Spaghetti with garlic and olive oil.  We also had a House Salad that had the most heavenly dressing on it.  We were going to order 2, but the waiter said 1 would feed us both and he was right.



Our restaurant, small, but wonderful











3.  We rode the Hop on-Hop Off Bus to sightsee.  But we had to go to the Empire State Building to turn in our vouchers and pick up our tickets.  The hotel said we could take the subway, but we chose to walk, somewhere between 3 and 4 miles, on city streets and dodging about a million people.
Empire State Building from the back.  We didn't go up as we'd done that on an earlier trip to NYC



4.  We did the southern loop of the bus tour first as we wanted to see the Twin Tower Memorial.

The names of all who died there are written on the frame that goes around the memorial.  It was very moving.



5.  We loved walking through the Chinese markets each day.











That's just some of our adventures, what a great city, but I'm just a country girl at heart and I could not live in a city that big.
Do join Amy and the other bloggers at Five on Friday.






















Friday, February 17, 2017

Five on Friday

It's that time of week, time to join Amy and the other bloggers at Love Made My Home for this weeks Five on Friday.

We've had a beautiful week, mostly in the 70's feeling more like spring than winter and I have no complaints.  The garden is happy and everything is growing.

They Hyacinths are up out front, we have pink, blue and white.







And just look at my peas all growing in rows!







The Azaleas are in bloom.






Everything is growing






And my fifth thing is something I'd like your opinion on.  Valentine's Day I was watching the local news, something I only do to get to the weather and they led off with a sweet story about a couple who had been married for 72 years and still sang to each other (Let Me Call You Sweetheart), they were so cute.  They then followed this feature up with a lengthy report on domestic violence.  I thought the juxtaposition of these two features was horrible.  They didn't need to run the domestic violence feature on Valentine's Day and certainly not right after the first feature.  It was totally tasteless of them.  Am I being over sensitive?



That's my five, hope you have a great weekend.



















Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Laundry Room

This is my laundry room and the view from it.  Mac has turned it into a plant nursery and starts a lot of seeds there.  If I'd taken the picture a few minutes earlier you would have seen my ironing board.  i don't iron much, mainly pillowcases, and today was the day.
We've had a dribble of rain today and loads of wind.  Hate walking in the wind there are always branches coming down.  Today the trees were squeaking which means that branches were rubbing against other branches and that's not a good sign.
Time to go cross stitch again.


Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Happy Valentine's Day

It is a beautiful Valentine's Day!  We don't go all elaborate on Valentine's, but we do exchange cards and small gifts.  I don't want to say we're chalk and cheese, but we are chalk and chocolate.  Mac got the cheese, a wonderful Dry Monterrey Jack and I got the chocolates, Lindor truffles and Reese Peanut butter chocolates, both to be eaten very slowly so they'll last.

Worked out in the garden getting my cabbages planted, very, very late.  And the seeds were so tiny I'll be thinning them forever.
The sugar snap peas are up and I'm hoping the squirrels quite stomping on them.  They don't eat them, but they're walking all over them.
Mac has gone off fishing for a couple of hours.  He loves to fish and this is the first time he's gone in forever.  He's strictly a catch and release fisherman, it's the thrill of the hunt that he enjoys.
I baked us a tiny Valentine's cake, it's red velvet with chocolate frosting and we'll have it tonight.  Hope you have a great day.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Five on Friday

Time to join in with Amy and the other bloggers at Love Made My Home for our weekly Five on Friday.  It's been a beautiful week, till some cold air slipped in last night, but never fear, it will be back up in the 70's tomorrow.

My first item is a pillow I made.  At Christmas I saw, and Lord knows where, a pillow with a plaid stag on it, I loved it.  So I ordered a grey pillow cover, bought some plaid material, had Mac trace a stag on the internet, pinned the pattern to my plaid and cut it out, sewed it on my pillow and thought I was through.  Mac looked at it, said it was nice, but that I should have done a bear.  Well I had a small template for a bear, so back upstairs I went, traced the bear onto some card stock, cut out my fabric and sewed it onto the back of the pillow.  Now I'm well and truly done.








My Second is a Fall table topper I started last year and finally finished this week.




My Third is a small wooden heart box that I painted to store my treasures.








My Fourth is a gift from Mac, he went shopping while I was visiting the dermatologist.  He found this tape measure and knew I'd love it.  He said they also had a screwdriver, hammer and pliers to match.  Must have, just don't want anything else burned off to get them.







And my Fifth.  I have to begin by stating categorically that I don't, with 2 exceptions like musicals.  I find them maudlin, melodramatic and usually with mediocre music.  One of my 2 exceptions was on tv last night, GIGI.  My other exception is Camelot (I saw it live in Chicago with Michael York as Arthur) .  I love Gigi, so well cast, beautifully filmed and lovely music.  My two favorite songs are I Remember It Well sung by Hermione Gingold and Maurice Chevalier and The Night They Invented Champagne.  Mac likes this one too and he's even less of a musical fan than I am.







That's my Five, hope you have a great weekend.


















Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Melisandre

Today was the day for my semi-annual meeting with Melisandre, the lady with the blowtorch or in other words my dermatologist.  She burned a dozen or so places off of me, but said that they were all minor and that things looked pretty good.  I asked her if I was ever going to quit growing these things and she said probably not.  Oh well, I'm good for another six months.

Monday, February 6, 2017

A Sad Confession

I hate dusting, hate it with a passion, would rather clean toilets.  How sad is that!  But today I broke down and dusted our bedroom.  A room that has way too much wood  and fiddly stuff in it.  Armed with dust cloth, spray and a Swiffer I did battle and it's done.  My eyes are itchy and my nose keeps twitching because most of the dust ended up in them.  As I usually say, I could have built another cat with the amount of fur I took out of there.
Glad it's done, won't do it again till I start feeling way too guilty or I start having asthma attacks, which ever comes first.








The bears say that if I stir up any more dust they're riding out!