Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Stitchin' Weather

Fall time is in the air - the scent is strong - and with that my fingers are itchin' to be stitchin'.

At work fall time for me means inventory season.  (Yes, that IS a season and not one that makes me grin!)  The days are long and dusty and weekends are pretty much non-existant.  The company I work for has seven retail stores up and down the Pacific coast line and three warehouses in three different states.  Being the inventory control guru, it's part of my job to make sure that the stores are in good shape and ready for their counts as well as going back to the stores on the weekends that their actual counts are scheduled.  All of that to say that even with the blustery fall weather, my stitching time is very little right now.  I have managed to squeak out a darling little pumpkin hat for Mazzy Kaye and have started a Working Man's Beanie for a Christmas present.

Last night I was wandering around etsy and came across this super sweet Alphabet Tree Girl embroidery pattern.  I instantly fell in love with the little girl reading in a tree;  picturing this darling pattern on a canvas bookbag.  The pattern found it's way to my shopping cart and I checked out.  When my pattern came in my email box just moments later, I read all the notes from the seller with glee which led me here to Nicole's blog, Follow the White Bunny, which in turn led me to Feeling Stitchy where I came across a super fun embroidery contest.

Covered in Stitches is a Feeling Stitchy contest that involves embroiderying a piece of art based on the cover of a book.  You can make your piece to look just like a favorite book cover or you can interpret that cover with your own imaginings.  The sky is the limit and what a wonderful contest for those of us who are not only book lover's but embroidery lover's as well.  Pop over to the Feeling Stitchy contest post for the rules and to see what the wonderful prizes are! 

I love to embroidery in the evenings and haven't done it nearly enough the last couple of years.  I'm super excited about this and have a couple idea's kicking around in my head.  It'll be so fun plus the finished pieces will make great Christmas presents for some other book lover's I know!

Sew tell  me - do you have any fall projects going on?  What are they?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Super Hero's to the Rescue

Super Noah, Guardian of the Galaxy, just turned 4!
Super Hero's were flying all over the park in the fight against evil.

The smallest Super Hero has the power of cuteness~

Not a single bad guy would have dared come near this bunch!

Happy Birthday, Super Noah!

Monday, September 05, 2011

Turn the Page...Tuesday

Where the heck did August go and how is it possibly time for Turn the Page...Tuesday again?  Sheesh!!

August was full of our daughters wedding and an eleven day work road trip, so reading wasn't top priority or even possible some days, but looking back, I am surprised to find that I still managed to finish a couple of books.  One of them was wonderful and one was painful.  Below are my reviews -
The Swimming PoolThe Swimming Pool by Holly LeCraw

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Hmmm...what to say about this book. It sounded interesting and I was looking forward to reading it - the plot was a seven year old murder that somehow was tangled around the lives of two different families, a clandestine love affair and summer on Cape Cod. Sounded intriguing. What I found was a disjointed novel describing the events that lead up to the murder, interspersed with present-day drama from the families involved. I felt that the author didn't do a good job of jumping from one time frame to another or from one character to another. It seemed very abrupt.

Betsy was the woman murdered; I felt nothing for her as her character was not given any time or depth. Marcella, the woman having an affair with the murdered woman's husband, is now, seven years later, having an affair with the murdered woman's son since his father had died of heartbreak after the murder. Can you say yuck? I kept reading, thinking the plot would redeem itself, but towards the end, I found myself just skimming so that the pain would end.

View all my reviews

Thankfully my next choice was wonderful!

The HelpThe Help by Kathryn Stockett

I loved this book! I usually mark my favorite passages and quote them in my review, but it would be simply ridiculous to tap out all 451 pages, now wouldn't it?

This book grabbed me right from the beginning and kept me turning pages long into the night. I'm really impressed with the writing style and the ease that the author takes us from one persons perspective to another throughout the entire story. I really felt that the characters all had a lot of depth to them, letting the reader either connect with a character or loathe them. Not being from the south myself, this isn't a lifestyle that I am familiar with, but Kathryn Stockett wrote the stories so that I feel as if I was there. She picked such a hard time in the south to set her story in. A time when racial tensions were running extremely high and horrible things were happening to both the blacks and the white "sympathizers". We meet Miss Skeeter, a young woman who was raised and loved by her family maid. Skeeter wants to find out what happened to the woman who raised her and she wants to make some changes that will make life easier for the black families in America. Being a writer, Skeeter sets off to interview as many maids as will talk to her, telling their stories about the hardships, and pleasures, they have found working for white families. Jackson, Mississippi is one of the most dangerous places at this time and Skeeter and the maid's that finally agree to talk to her for her book are in great danger everytime they meet. Emotions are high when the book finally goes to press. Will the people of their community read it? Will they know who the people in the stories represent, even though names have been changed? Was it worth the risk?

Okay - I'll do it. Here are two of my favorite passages-

Minny is one of the maids that Skeeter is interviewing. It took awhile to talk her into it, but she finally decided to do it. Skeeter has to be really careful with Minny, making sure that she doesn't scare her off. In this passage, Minny is talking to her friend Aibileen, who Sketter is interviewing as well.
'"Oh, fore I forget, Miss Skeeter wants to come over early Tuesday night," Aibileen says. "Bout seven. You make it then?"

"Lord," I say, getting irritated all over again. "What am I doing? I must be crazy, giving the sworn secrets a the colored race to a white lady."

"It's just Miss Skeeter, she ain't like the rest."

"Feel like I'm talking behind my own back," I say.

In this next passage, we are listening to Minnie again, after a tough run-in with her mean husband.
' "I guess I got to go," I say, even though I'd rather spend the rest of my life right here in Aibileen's cozy kitchen, having her explain the world to me. That's what I love about Aibileen, she can take the most complicated things in life and wrap them up so small and simple, they'll fit right in your pocket.'

If you haven't yet read "The Help", pick it up. You will be so glad that you did!
Today I took myself to a matinee showing of The Help.  Like all movie's, they left out a few important parts, but all in all they did a really good job of following the story line and I really enjoyed the movie.  Yeah!

Pop over to Adrienne's Some of a Kind to find out what others have read this month...Where had your reading taken you?

Saturday, September 03, 2011

The Bride Wore White

September 3rd and a hint of fall in the cool breeze blowing this morning reminds me that summer is almost over and has gone so fast.  Fall is my favorite time of year, so I'm not sad, just looking back in wonder of where the time all went. 

(Riff walking Brittany across the footbridge to give her away)

Much of it was taken up this year with wedding preperations for our daughter, Brittany. August  13th found much of our family gathered on Puget Sound as Brittany and Chris promised to love and cherish each other for the rest of their lives.  Chris' Aunt Karen and Uncle Sam's house provided the spectacular setting for the perfect wedding day.  The weather was absolutely perfect, the flowers divine and the guests charming.
(The happy couple shortly after the ceremony)

Chris' Aunt Diana did an incredible job taking wedding pictures.  What a talented lady. 

Thanks so much to all who made the festivities.  It was such a wonderful day!

"Dance Little Jean a prayer that you had was answered today;  your Mama's marrying your Dad."
~Nitty Gritty Dirt Band

Friday, September 02, 2011

Waiting Room Friends

While sitting in the waiting room in Internal Medicne at OHSU waiting for Shilo today, a son wheeled his Mom into the room, parking her in the empty spot next to the chair I was sitting in.  We said our "Hello's", me making the assumption that she was the patient and her son was bringing her to her doctor appointment. 

Soon a nurse popped out of the patient room doors and called out a name.  As the son, in his 50's, got up to follow the nurse through the swinging doors, his Mom called out, "David?  Do you have your list of questions?"  "Yes Mom", he answered holding up a notebook.

David's Mom, probably in her 70's,  now looked at me and said, "It's a Mom thing."  I chuckled knowingly, since Shilo and I had just had a similar conversation when she was called back.

I then continued to read my book.  My new friend, glancing over, stated, "Darn!  I forgot my book today."  I asked her if she would like me to find her a magazine.  She just smiled and good-naturedly said, "No thank you.  I'll just sit here and pout." 

Very shortly, Shilo emerged from the nether-regions of the clinic, I said good-bye to my waiting room friend and we were off.

Heading to the car, I told Shilo about our conversation.  She laughed and said that it sounds like a picture of us in 30 years or so. 

Sometimes those short moments with strangers can add so much to our lives.
Have you made a waiting room friend lately?