Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Ten on Tuesday

This week's topic is a fun one for me as it involves one of my other hobbies, namely books!  Carole has asked us to talk about the last 10 books we have read, including reviews if we feel so inclined.  So here they are!

1. Be Careful What You Wish For by Jeffrey Archer.  This is the 4th book, of 5, in The Clifton Chonicles.  I have been waiting anxiously for this to be released and I was not disappointed!  This book focused more on the younger generation of characters as they have become adults.  Again the book ended with a great cliffhanger that has left me anxious for the 5th and final book of the series, although I have no idea how long I need to wait....
2. The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith (aka J.K Rowling).  Ultimately I enjoyed this book but it seemed to take me a while to get through it.  Cormoran Strike is an interesting character with an interesting background.  There may have been too many characters for my liking which seemed to take away form the pace of the story.  But in the end the outcome surprised me which I think makes a whodunnit even better.
3. The Yarn Whisperer: My Unexpected Life in Knitting by Clara Parkes.  This was a nice collection of essays that I lingered over for a long time, reading an essay here and there as it suited me.  Having had the pleasure of meeting Clara a couple times and spending a weekend with her at a retreat, I thought that she did great writing this book in her voice, if you know what I mean.
4. Me Before You by JoJo Moyes.  I. LOVED. THIS. BOOK!!!!!  It is a beautiful story of two people who have no idea of the ability they have to affect other people.  Some of their confinements are real and some, in my opinion, are imagined.  The opportunity arises for each of them to have a positive impact on the other.  Along the way they develop true and deep feelings for each other that neither of them expected.
5. Sycamore Row by John Grisham.  It had been several years since I read a Grisham novel, but my DH read this and couldn't put it down, so I decided to give it a go.  I'm glad I did!  I loved the character of Jake Brigance from A Time to Kill and this book features him again and also brings back many of the local characters from his town.  Although I had a pretty much guessed what the outcome was going to be, I enjoyed how it all came together in the end and I enjoyed spending time with these characters again.
6. Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple.  This was a fun book of quirky characters! What I loved most about Bernadette was that she was a character that was lost in about every way that a person could be lost.  Her story was told in part through correspondence with other characters, many of which had no interaction with each other.  Some parts of this story were truly heart wrenching and other parts were laugh out loud funny.  It was definitely worth the listen!
7. Visions of Sugar Plums by Janet Evanovich.  I love the Stephanie Plum books and this was the perfect light hearted book to entertain me during the holidays.  It wasn't as good as the numbered books, but thought provoking literature is not why I read Evanovich's books.
8. The Supreme Macaroni Company by Adriana Trigiana.  I've read everything this author has written.  If you are not familiar with her, she typically writes nice family driven stories. This book is part of the Valentine Series and picks up right where Brava, Valentine ends.
9. Deadline by Sandra Brown.  This was a typical romantic thriller by Brown, but sometimes that's just what you want to read!  Even better for me, I found myself surprised by some of the plot twists.  I love when that happens!
10. Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline.  This was a beautiful story.  The main characters are at very different stages in their lives.  Vivian is a 90ish year old women who wants to sort her belongings in her attic, although really she wants to visits the memories of her past.  Molly is a child in foster care in desperate need of community service to avoid juvenile hall.  When the two come together they discover they have much in common despite their age difference.  A true friendship develops between them and in a time of need for Molly, she turns to Vivian who gladly helps to the surprise of many.  This book made me think about the importance of GOOD foster homes for children in need and crisis, and how a bad one can have devastating damage for a child.

Currently I am reading The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce, and listening to Still Life with Bread Crumbs by Anna Quindlan.

Tell me about some of your favorite books recently.  I'm always looking for something good to read!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Scholar Athletes!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

It is also, by Proclamation of the Governor, NH Scholar Athlete Day!  This is an award for seniors who have lettered in at least 2 varsity sports, maintained a B-plus or better average, demonstrated good citizenship, and served as role models for their peers.

Let me present the Scholar Athletes from Bishop Brady High School.  A total of 27 students from a class of 90 earned this award this year.

I am particularly proud of this handsome guy on the right!  I'm also delighted that many of his good friends also earned this award, especially his girlfriend who is the young lady on crutches.  And yes, it's a sports injury....

Isn't Chandler a good boyfriend carrying her purse for her? LOL  When I found the kids before the ceremony started, he held up her purse and asked "Does it complete my outfit?" His sense of humor really makes me laugh!
Congratulations to all the recipients!  I know you'll all do great things in the future!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Ten on Tuesday

This is a fun topic this week!  Kudos to Carole and her dear Dale for coming up with it.

10 Things You Can Do Yourself But Get Your Husband To Do Instead 

I didn't have a picture of Tom doing one of Tasks, so I chose a picture of him doing one of his favorite things.... taking the dogs for a boat ride.  It doesn't matter how old a boy gets, it's still a great day when it's a boy/man with his dogs :-)

1. Clean up the dog poop.
2. Clean the cars. Pretty much every Sunday he washes and vacuums our cars. We had to install hot water in both garages for this express reason!
3. Let's the dogs out during the night if they need to go out.
4. String trims the yard.  I don't mind the mowing if the boys aren't around to help, but I stink at string trimming and have no desire to get better at it!
5. Rakes under the decks.  They seem to be a catch-all area for the leaves in our yard.
6. Sweeps the sand out of the garages.  It's amazing how much gets tracked in, especially during the winter!
7. Digs my holes if I want to plant something new, especially if it's on the larger side, like a shrub for instance.
8.  Scrubs roasting pans after big family dinners.  I'm one for letting it soak a bit, he hates dishes sitting in the sink.  Works for me!
9. Makes sure the trash gets to the dump, even though most weeks that means sending one of the boys to do it.
10. Makes sure that the snow gets cleaned up.  Again, this is usually taken care of by the boys, but if he's going to be away during a storm I always overhear "Don't make you mom snowblow the driveway.  Make sure you get it done BEFORE you go anywhere."

He's a good guy.  I'm definitely going to keep him :-)

Today is also a BIG DAY in our family.  My baby is celebrating his 18th Birthday!  I'm not really sure how it is that 18 years has sped by since he joined us, but he has brought us much joy over the years.  He is smart, confident, outgoing, friendly, and has the most wonderful sense of humor.  He is truly a blessing in our family and we are so very proud of the amazing young man he is becoming.


Sunday, March 9, 2014

The Podium

The Olympics have been over for a couple weeks now and the moderators of the Ravellenic Games have caught up on awarding badges for completed projects. I fell far short of my ridiculous goals, but I am pretty happy to have finished two projects and earned some badges!

My first set of badges are for my Team Plucky Project.

 These are for my completed Lazy Jacks Hat.  This is knit with a single skein of Primo Aran that I ordered for the November Plucky Fellas.  The color is Random Task, a color inspired by the movie Austin Powers, International Man of Mystery.
This was the first time I used Primo Aran and I loved it!  I would love to knit a sweater with it!

My next badge was for Team Spinning Yarns, although I don't think we ever officially registered as a team.
I finished the Make Mine Strawberry sweater for my niece.  She is a very busy 2 year old and getting her to stand still for a good picture is a bit of a challenge right now!  This is about as good as it gets!
It makes me laugh to look at how this fits her.  I had a moment of panic when I got to the sleeves that it was going to be too small.  Ummm, yeah.  I'm pretty sure it's still going to fit her through the summer and into the fall!

I almost forgot, the yarn is Pagewood Farm Denali 4 and the color is Violet Fusion.  It has an almost cotton feel to it so I'm hoping that it will have minimal pilling and will wear like iron.

The other project that got a lot attention during the Olympics is my Color Affection.  It's almost finished!  I only have 2 rows to go and the bind off!  I hope I'll be showing it to you later this week :-)