Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Overdue Post!

Here's a pic of my Handsome hubby and 3 of our 4 kids from a trip back in February. They had a blast playing in the snow!

I know that it's been a while since I've posted. Life has been crazy hectic and when i have a bit of downtime I usually stitch or read and have been neglecting this blog. I've actually read over twenty books this year! I think that putting a finger on the one I've enjoyed the most would be hard. Several Author's I'm fond of have new books out this year and I loved each one. Patricia Briggs and Kim Harrison are two of my favorites and reading the latest in their series is such a treat. Be sure to check out my crafty blog to see what I've been stitching!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Book Count and a Review

I have to admit i am a book addict. I love to escape into a book and I really don't care what type as long as it transports me, intrigues me or gives my mind a puzzle to ponder. We are so fortunate to live in an age when there are millions of books published every year and they are available for the same cost as a cheap meal!
Anyway, I do have a little Review for you...What the Dog Saw by Malcolm Gladwell. This is an excellent book for all you non-fiction fans! I have to say that this was worth buying just for the essay on Cesar Milano and his body language. I've long been a fan of the Dog Whisperer, but to get Malcolm's take on him was priceless! This book is a series of essays that he wrote for the New Yorker Magazine. They ponder questions and are amazing insights into things that I didn't even know I wondered about...have you ever wondered why there are thousands of varieties of Mustard, but only one of ketchup? LOL Worth reading!

Well at the beginning of this year I did set out with a little goal, to read 52 books in a year. One a week seemed easily achieved to me, as I can sometimes finish a book in a day if I'm not doing anything else. Well I didn't quite make my goal but you know, I came close! And that's me, with 4 kids a crazy schedule and a huge move this year! I'm gonna attempt the same this coming year so keep tabs here to see more reviews and my growing year list. I have a personal tradition to recover from the holiday stress by relaxing the day after Christmas and on New year's Day with a book, cover to cover. I don't do chores or nag the hubby or yell at the kids :) I just rest, eat and read! Ahhhhh! I already have a book I got for Christmas ( Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol) waiting on my nightstand to be read on New years day. Happy reading!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

My Girl's new thing and thanksgiving

Wow I'm so proud of my 12 year old! She has joined a Girl scout Special interest group on Backpacking. She just went on her second overnight hike. She's like a real backpacker with a pack and gear and everything! Things are going well although I am scrambling to get ready to host my first THANKSGIVING!!! I have to finish unpacking and get the dining room empty. Oooh and get the carpets cleaned. I can do this, but I'm so nervous and excited about it all. I'll be sure to post pictures if I pull it off!!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Book review

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society:
Well, it's been a while since I've run across such a gem. This book set in post WW2 England is written in that style like you've come across a packet of letters - all correspondence with a few telegrams thrown in. I'm not a particular fan of that type of reading, mostly because it takes great skill for the author to not have the letters be contrived or outlandish and at the same time keep the story from being disjointed. There is a tiny bit of both in Guernsey, but the style in this novel works in such a way that gives us a voyeristic view of the main character. It's like you know her in real life, without revealing her inner thoughts or being inside her head. She's your friend and a 'real' person. Of course it doesn't hurt that the main character is extremely likable. The WW2 stories are heart-wrenching but the bonds that form and the survival spirit of the main characters is cheerful and filled with hope. I highly recommend this book for a pleasant historical read with a happy ending and joyful feeling. The bibliophile undertone was a pleasant layer and it did make me hunger to pull out a Bronte book! Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Books update, life update

Wow, I had quite a lapse there! I have to say I've been negligent due to a few things. First, about 2 months ago, I discovered FACEBOOK. Ug. Talk about something sucking you in! It's not just the catching up on everyone you know, knew or are related too. They have games too. Suck you in games where you can only play for a short while and then you have to come back to play some more. I have to admit some days I was there every hour on the hour, trying to get to the next level. Yikes. Like I don't have enough to do with my busy life, 4 kids, moving and all that! SO I've gotten over the facebook thing. now I only go on when I have something to announce or to reach out to family for birthdays and such. Speaking of which... guess who just turned one!!! Yup! Grace Kathryn is One! or Gracie Kate. Here's a Pic!

So Yesterday we had quite the storm...the remnants of that Japanese Typhoon hit my part of California yesterday and it was a pretty good storm! Our beautiful Trellis in the front yard, that my Dad built was taken out by wind. It was covered with a thick trumpet vine that apparently was about all that was holding up the rotted out posts. That plus the fact that the leaves were so thick, when the wind got under it, up it went halfway across the yard. The hubby chopped it all up and cleaned up the mess right away, in the pouring rain, because my parents were coming over for dinner and he was worried that it would upset my mom. She was a bit sad about it, I think, but I'm sure it helped that she didn't have to look at the wreckage! Thanks honey!

On other notes, I have been reading and stitching. Check out my crafty blog for that update. As for books I've been reading a bit, two of my favorite authors, Patricia Briggs and Vicki Peterson. Both have good series and the latest installments don't disappoint! I love Patricia Brigg's characters and her Alpha Omega Series is full of memorable ones. Vicki Peterson's Zodiac series is really cool and unlike most stuff out there. Her main character is an angsty dark gal who becomes a superhero. She fights the Dark side in modern day Las Vegas and her alter ego is a rich society bimbo al la Paris Hilton. It's funny and quirky and all about good vs evil. Love it! I just had a friend turn me on to Madelyn Alt and I've read 3 in her Bewitching Mystery series. The main character is funny and relate-able. The mystery part isn't very complicated so don't expect to be stumped til the end, but Ms. Alt is methodical about doling out the clues, so that is a fun read. I particularly enjoy these because of the undercurrent discussion the main character is having with herself, coming to terms with her strict catholic upbringing and the realities of the 'magickal world'. Religion is a hot spot for me, so I particularly enjoy self explorations and discovery of that nature. More on THAT on another day. Also I am toying with doing some TV show reviews, I am becoming more of a TV watcher than I have been in the past and am really enjoying a handful of shows lately. Perhaps I will talk about them a bit in a future post.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

The Move

The MOVE has finally happened. I want to say that with joy and relief, but it really comes out as kind of an exhausted whimper. I think the actual days of the move were the hardest in my life and that's coming for a woman who has had 4 kids! The hubby and I were getting up at 5:30 every morning and working every moment, gulping down food and working, working working until 10 or 11pm and just dropping into bed. Honestly the days are a blur now and I cannot remember specifics, just dirt and sweat and strained muscles. I can say with a positive attitude though that things are starting to settle down now and I am grateful for the whole thing - but mostly grateful that it is behind us! Unpacking and finding homes for all of our stuff has been a happy chore and one I do a bit each day. Cleaning the new house is also a simple and happy thing - having less stuff is really paying off because maintaining the house is much easier. I am enjoying getting everyone settled and used to the new place. Of course I haven't had much leisure time to read, so no book review for you today, but as I unpack my library, I'm sure to start something!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Update and Book Reviews

Ahh Summer... I wish I could say that I've had a restful and joy filled summer, but alas I have not. I have never worked so hard in my life. Hauling bike after bike out of the garage, box after box onto the truck, off the truck, up the stairs, sweating and dirty and shaking with exhaustion,falling into bed only to get up and do it again. I want this move to be over! We are getting there - I think we might make it before the end of summer! LOL! So I haven't had much time for stitching but over the last month I've read a handful of books, so I thought I'd give you a handful of reviews! First I read "Eden" by Carolyn Davidson. This is a Historical Romance set in the old west, one of my favorite genres for quick, comforting reads. This one really disappointed me. The plot development was patchy and the heroine was not at all developed as a character - she wasn't someone I sympathized with or even really liked. Sigh. The only ray of hope in this book was the dark spark of personality in the Hero - but even he was tainted by lack of development. This book wasn't worth your time. I followed that up with another of the same Genre: Dorothy Garlock's "Leaving Whiskey Bend". Dorothy could definitely teach the previous author a thing or two. The plot was a bit transparent at times and I was disappointed that she revealed the sneaky murderer about halfway through the story instead of letting us figure it out, but hey- its a romance not a mystery. The characters were memorable, developed and believable. Perfect for a light read. Next I read the first in a new-old series: New to me but actually published a while ago. The book was "The Royal Treatment" by MaryJanice Davidson. She's a chick lit writer with sassy, funny books that have a bit of happily ever after in them. Anyway this series, she twists reality a bit and re-writes history to make Alaska become it's own country instead of part of the USA. What? Yea, weird but it makes sense in the books. LOL. Anyway MJ delivers her usual sass and laughter with this first book. The characters are laugh out loud funny and you'll identify with the heroine even if you don't think like a 20 something gorgeous girl. Definitely worth your time! After that I re-visted my old friends in Janet Evanovich's 15th Stephanie Plum book; "Finger lickin Fifteen". Janet is always great for a laugh and her characters are really like old friends. I hope she's still writing these 10 years from now and I will faithfully buy every one I enjoy them so much! The last book I read is a non-fiction book by naturalist writer Ted Kerasote called "Merle's Door". This is basically a biography of his dog Merle, who is a character in his own right. The author builds his case for human relationships with dogs and Merle is certainly a unique and wonderful individual probably partly because of the life he led with Ted. I'm sure that some dog owners won't agree with Ted's take on how we should train and keep our dogs, but that won't detract from this enjoyable read - warning tear jerker ending! If you love dogs or dog stories read this one!
Hope you all are having a wonderful summer and get a chance to pick up a good book. I, on the otherhand am going to be spending my spare moments with my newest addiction: Facebook and the Mafia Wars and Pirates games.. I know, silly but addictive! luv ya - Jackie