Tag Archives: books

Four Great Summer Reading Books and A Favorite Thing

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In the summer I’m always excited to compile some books to read just in the summer.  Summer evokes the idea of vacations and relaxing and what better way is there to relax than with a book? Aside from knitting.  If I can’t relax with my knitting these days, I’ll be darn sure to be relaxing with a book.  Books are my second favorite obsession hobby.  Summer is about halfway over, but there is still plenty of time for you to add to your list. I have four great summer reading books to recommend to you today!  And then I’ll tell you about a favorite thing….

The Books: (Click on book pictures to go to Amazon)

#1) Britt-Marie Was Here by Fredrick Backman :  A great book about a quirky woman who ends up in a small town and has to figure out life, as well as how to get along with the town.  Funny and also poignant.  I laughed, I cried.  (This author also wrote A Man Called Ove, which is on my nightstand.)

#2) Today Will Be Different by Maria Semple:  This is the author of Where’d You Go Bernadette (which I also really liked).  This one is also funny and poignant ( I guess I like that in a book).  A look at a woman’s life and marriage as she goes about her day trying to find out why her husband isn’t at work.

#3) The Matchmaker by Elin Hilderbrand:  I love her books lately.  Light reading with small town drama and romance-y things.  Her books take place on Nantucket and this one is about one woman who grew up there and can’t leave.  She is known for her matchmaking skills and that’s where the small town drama and the romance-y things come from.  Definitely a good beach read.

#4) The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware: I’m currently in the middle of this but can already recommend it.  Soooooo good. It is a mystery/thriller about a travel journalist who gets an assignment to review a luxury cruise.  Things are great until she witnesses a woman being thrown overboard…and the cruise continues on as she tries to tell someone what has happened.  Again, I’m only partway through, but it’s pulling me along and I can’t wait to see what happens next.

My New Favorite Thing:

I actually have a new favorite thing that goes into an old favorite thing!

The new favorite thing is Starbucks’ Dulce de Leche Frappuccino.  So. Good.  The perfect beverage for a warm summer afternoon while you are working on your blog. And to go along with last post’s on-the-go beverage container recommendation, I’m telling you about my old favorite in-the-house beverage container.  My Tupperware 16oz Impressions Dripless Tumblers & Straw Seals .  They are perfect for an icy drink that needs a straw.   I have had them for years and they really hold up.  I even got a new set last year because I loved the colors. If they tip over they don’t leak!  Not even through the straw hole!  Tupperware commercial over. (I really do love Tupperware.)

In completely different news, I’m getting ready to make my first zucchini bread of the season!  Stay tuned…

 

 

What’s Wrong With This Picture

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So, after my last post, (which, I know, was a long time ago, and so this post is your update) I got right to work on my Sleeping Owl Tea Cosy and finished it!

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So cute right????  (Still needs the orange felt beak…)

However.  What’s wrong with this picture???….

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Oh. Em. Gee.  I was so excited about finishing the knitting and the duplicate stitch, that I just sewed that tea cosy right up with no consideration for the fact that it needed holes for the handle and the spout.  Jimminy crickets I was so mad!!!

Then, me being me, I thought about just leaving it:

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Yeah, that wasn’t going to work.  So, I snipped the seam and picked out the part where the handle and spout should be….

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(My spout is very short so you can’t see it.)  Looks much better and not hobbling anymore.  And will look even better with a beak.

In other news, I also finished my recently started Lotno Shawl:

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Love this one too.  I’ll be teaching it as a class at The Spinning Room in July!

I also put the pocket on my The Pocket Hat and it is done:

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It’s just so darn cute – who doesn’t need a hat with a pocket in it????  Trying to figure out how to do this and the owl cosy as classes at The Spinning Room this summer.  They  likely need more that one class session which is hard to do in the summer because lots of people take vacations etc and can’t commit to two weekends.  So, stay tuned if you are interested.

In doodlebug news, we went to see the tulips in Albany, which they have every year for the Tulip Festival:

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I enjoyed the tulips but aside from being enthralled with the statue of “Jesus taking people to heaven” (which was Mr. Doodlebug’s interpretation of the statue, which was apparently Moses, according to the nice gentleman with a very thick accent whom I could not completely understand as he told us about Moses getting to the promised land and I’m not sure what he was doing with the other people in the statue) the doodlebugs just wanted to get to the playground that was nearby.

They also had some VERY engaging things happening outside their door one day recently:

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This reminds me of the joke my dad always says about lots of workers getting paid to stand around and watch one guy work. (I  think there actually is a guy in that hole.)

The town-wide garage sale and library book sale was a couple of weeks ago and to my disappointment I only found four books.

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Last year I found twenty-four.  And that one on the bottom was an end-of-the-day-so-it-was-free “find”.  I love Martha and maybe she can convince me to have some kind of appreciation for house cleaning. HAHAHAHAHA!

And most recently, Paul and I went to the Brimfield antiques show/flea market where we frustratingly walked 17,000 steps (according to our FitBits) and found hardly anything to buy.  I got a bottle from this guy:

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Because it’s purple.

And not from this guy:

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Because they are filthy!

Ok, but what is most interesting about these purple bottles is that they started out clear! Bottles made before World War I have magnesium in them and that reacts with sunlight to turn them purple.  So cool.  I knew purple was cool.  This is yet another reason.

We saw, as we usually do, the filming of one of those find-something-at-a-flea-market-and-make-it-into-something-else shows:

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I then I got these:

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To have Paul make them into something like this:

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…for my yarn room.  Best yarn room bling ever!

(Also, I tried to tell the owner of this booth that he would get a lot of sales if he made signs that said “KNIT” or “YARN” and that he may not know it but there are A LOT of people out there who knit and crochet.  Probably at least as many as who buy his “BEER” signs.  He said that he gets lots of suggestions for signs that don’t work out. And he said, “Do you know how long those ‘LAUNDRY’ signs have been here?”  Like THAT was completely a fair comparison.)

A Lull

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I’m in a knitting lull.  Things have been so busy with babysitting and teaching knitting classes and working at the yarn shop and going to car races and doing house stuff, that I’ve actually been too tired to knit.   And that One Way Tee disaster has made me not really want to work on that yet anyway.  When life calms down a little, you’ll see more knitting.

So today you get a smorgasbord of things…

Before we went to Ohio, it was my sister-in-law Beth’s birthday, so the doodlebugs and I made her some strawberry rhubarb freezer jam, because she loves strawberry rhubarb things:

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Then the next day, we made her some strawberry rhubarb oatmeal bars (which I forgot to take a picture of).  Miss Ladybug did not want to taste the jam, even though she loves strawberries and anything sweet.  It was red and not purple, and she only likes purple jam, the kind that goes on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.  Mr. Doodlebug loved the jam.

Two Book Reviews:

1) Liberty Falling (Anna Pigeon) by Nevada Barr: As usual, an exciting mystery, which takes place at the Statue of Liberty.  Plus I really like the main, recurring character, Anna, whose personality you learn more about in each book.

2) The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie: A Flavia de Luce Mystery by Alan Bradley: I loved this.  An 11-year-old girl (in 1950s England) who loves chemistry works to solve a murder mystery.  The story is told from her point of view, and she is very funny.  Several times I laughed out loud at the sometimes subtle humor.

Also, I finally got more veggies planted in the garden:

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In addition to the tomatoes, there are now peppers, eggplant, broccoli and baby watermelon.  However, it has been so cold lately, I don’t think the tomatoes have grown since I planted them.  Hopefully the weather will be more seasonal from here on out.

And there was another ice cream outing:

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Paul and I will use any excuse to go out for ice cream.  This time it was to celebrate his 8-year anniversary of returning to GE (when we moved back from Vermont).  Hooray for him.

That’s it for today!

More About Books

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Just a couple more things about books today, in case you didn’t have enough about books last time, and since nothing too terribly exciting has happened this week.

1) Books I’ve read recently, before I break into my new stash:

The Girl on the Train
by Paula Hawkins. Excellent. Reminded me of Gone Girl with it’s on-the-edge main character.

Open Season (A Joe Pickett Novel)
by C.J. Box. I’ve recently discovered him and I like his books. Suspenseful mysteries that take place in the wilderness with a recurring character who is a game warden.

The Chase: A Novel (Fox and O’Hare)
by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg. A new series that, similar to the Stephanie Plum books, is fun, funny and exciting.

Guilty Wives
by James Patterson. Suspenseful and exciting, it takes a turn in the beginning, just when you think you know where the story is going.

Gray Mountain: A Novel
by John Grisham. It was only ok. I haven’t read a Grisham novel in a long time. I probably won’t pick another one up for a while. The story was just the same old small-town-lawyer-battling-the-big-guys thing and I was a little bored.

Liberty Falling (Anna Pigeon)
by Nevada Barr. Just finished this one last night and really enjoyed it. Her books take place in national parts and have a recurring character who is interesting. Supsenseful!

2) It was all about mixing up the colors with the doodlebugs:

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Great book called Mix It Up! by Herve Tullet.  It’s fun and interactive.  He also wrote Press Here.

Click on any of those links to get them on Amazon.

There has been lots of knitting but nothing to show you yet that would be exciting.  Hoping to finish up some things this weekend to show you Monday.

 

Problems. I have them.

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…..it’s a problem I have.  Twenty-three books to put on my shelf of many, many other not-yet-read books.  In my defense, these only cost $8 at the library book sale (it’s for a good cause, for gosh sake) and the town-wide garage sale.  And I have the room on my shelf, so really, who cares, right?  Except that I had to physically restrain myself from purchasing a new book at Barnes and Noble, mere days after having obtained these new-to-me books.  That’s really where the problem comes in.  I’m pretty sure I could be putting that money toward something else a little more important like bills.  Ok, and then there’s this:  The next book I chose to read the other day?  It’s on my Nook. [Ooh, and I just finished Silent Witness by Richard North Patterson which was a really good lawyer/courtroom/murder trial book in which the lawyer defends a childhood friend and his past comes back to haunt him.]

And if we’re being honest, it’s really not the only problem I have.  We all know I have that other problem, which is eerily similar, about yarn.  Why, just the other day, I purchased this yarn…..

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….simply because I got it into my head that I really want to put a zipper into something so I should find a simple cardigan pattern that would be “quick” to knit so I could do that, and since I already had three skeins of that yarn at home, I wouldn’t need to buy that much to get the yardage I need and oh, wouldn’t you know it The Spinning Room had the same dyelot and if I don’t buy it now, it will get bought up tomorrow by someone else and I’ll miss out and my whole idea will be completely ruined.  Seriously.  It’s not like I don’t have yarn. I just didn’t have the perfect yarn for this particular idea I had.  And it’s not like I don’t have other projects to work on and that chances are this will not get done for some time.  And then there’s the idea, again, of putting that money somewhere else like bills.

But it’s going to be great because I found the perfect pattern:

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……. which I will likely start after I finish those eighty million other projects I’m currently working on.   Like the Baby Sweater on Two Needles (February),  for which I have just finished the sleeves and am working on the body:

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(So, really, kind of almost done.)

….And my Maluka shawl for which I have the border done and now need to work on the body:

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….And in the mean time I also “fixed” Paul’s worn-through felted slippers:

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(Done using a sort of weaving sock darning technique I saw on YouTube once.)

Now that I think about it, maybe these aren’t really problems after all.  There is probably a saying out there that someone else has already said that says something like you can’t ever have too many books or too much yarn. So, it’s all good.

Christmas Week Tidbits

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Whew… What a week.  Holidays are so busy!  I’m giving you some tidbits of my week and we’ll return to regular blogging (if there is such a thing) next time….

Holiday Baking:

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Burned edges due to my not seeing the directions circled in red.  The middle was yummy!

Having a cold muddled my brain apparently, so I quit while I was ahead and didn’t make what I really wanted to make:

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I can only imagine how it would have turned out.  So, maybe I’ll make a middle-of-winter-we-need-some-cookies-and-cocoa cookie tree in February.

Pre-Holiday present giving and present preparation:

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The doodlebugs playing with magnifying glasses that Aunt Liz and Uncle Paul gave them.

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Making chocolate dipped and sprinkled pretzels for the grandparents and Miss Susan (my mom).

Holiday Gifting:

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My mom was the perfect recipient for the mismatched mitts.  She loved them.

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I got a popcorn popper – the kind you make with oil and butter drizzles down on the top!.

So we ate popcorn while playing Uno with Paul’s family:

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The popular “toy” that wasn’t a gift:

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An infrared temperature guage that Paul picked up on the way to my mother-in-law’s.  He bought it to take the temperature of the garage floor in preparation for painting (which didn’t happen – don’t ask).  It was used to measure the temp of the Christmas tree, the presents, foreheads and food.

Holiday Eating:

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My Aunt Christine’s famous clam puffs.  I ate many.  Oof.

My nephews in prime position for dessert:

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They are so cute.

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The desserts at my mother-in-law’s house.  Also oof.

Holiday week knitting:

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More on these later.  (I’m up to my ears in Ravelry, looking for new projects to teach classes on.)

Christmas week reading:

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1) Excellent murder mystery.  2) Excellent young adult but good for adults book. It made me cry. 3) Just started.

Check out this cartoon:

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Ha!

How was your week?