Thursday, September 14, 2006

As summer draws to a slow but inevitable close I present the above picture of one of our hanging baskets in it's prime back at the beginning of August. We've had some rain in the past few days which has left these mini petunas soggy and straggly. They look pretty sad now.

Saturday DH and I went to visit my Mum at the retirement residence where she lives, which was having a family barbecue. First thing in the morning we'd had a heavy downpour of rain but by noon the rain had passed, although the skies remained heavy and gray until late in the afternoon. It was too cool and dull to sit outside for the barbecue so the crowd of people filled their plates and found seats in the diningroom or the activity room. We joined some friends at a table and had a great time eating and talking. Hamburgers, chicken kabob's, potato salad, garden salad and a truly yummy rice salad were on the menu. And for desert there was ice cream.

After we got home from the barbecue DH laid down for a nap, still recovering from the liquid portion of the previous nights meal at our neighbour's. I cross stitched and read blogs and basically just vegged.

Sunday I dug out my Autumn nick nacks and decorations and put them around the house.

Booking Through Thursday.....

1) Do you tend to read more books written by one gender over the other? If so, which one? Men? Or women?
2) Is this a deliberate choice? Or just something that kind of happened?
3) And (without wanting to get too personal), is this your gender?

Now this is an interesting set of questions. Off the top of my head I'd have to say that over all most of my favourite authors tend toward the female. But in the fantasy genre specifically it may be that the authors are more balanced evenly.

I don't think that it is a conscious, deliberate choice.

I'm female.

Cheers all.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Booking through Thursday....and...

1) We asked last week about what draws you to your favorite kind/genre of book. This week, we want to know--how often do you depart from that comfort zone? If you love mysteries, do you ever read fantasy? If you primarily read cookbooks, do you ever read a good romance?
2) How MUCH variety is there in your reading? Do you mostly stick to one type, with just the occasional toe-dip into a different style? Or do you generally read a variety of things, just, maybe more of your favorite style than anything else?

I really do try and mix up my reading genres. I could just read fantasy all the time but I don't want to become bored with it, and besides I do love other types of books. I never use to read mysteries but now one of my all time favourite writers is Elizabeth George who writes amazing mystery novels. I look at my list of books that I've read and if I see that I've been reading the same type of book for the last little while I make an effort to read something else. I browse through book review sites and if a book's description/review tickles my fancy I'll add that book to my "Get It" list. I don't care if it's fantasy, romance, mystery or general fiction. It's the story that I'm interested in.

We had a lovely evening last night at our neighbour's home. We were invited there for dinner in part as a thank you to DH who mows their lawn and keeps an eye on things for them when they are away on a trip or something. After a long hectic day at work it was just the ticket to start the weekend off right.

Our neighbours have a lovely yard, divided by a cedar hedge into two sections. One section is an area of grass surrounded by garden, with a little shed tucked into the back under a tree. They have one of those things that you can build a fire in, if you know what I mean? It's portable, and people can sit all around it and enjoy the fire from any side, and is great for roasting marshmallows over. The second portion of the yard holds the inground pool, and the walkway around the pool is paved with small multicoloured pebbles and that is surrounded by gardens. They also had built a glass solarium, which is big enough for both a seating area and also an area to eat. At one end is a gas fireplace with glass brick walls on either side of it. A lovely room.

We joined our neighbours, plus another couple for before dinner drinks (beer for everyone else and pop for me, I don't drink). Then dinner was served at a table set up in the solarium. What a spread!! Chicken cooked in the barbecue, baked potatoes, roasted veggies, rice and mushrooms, cauliflower, and Caesar salad. Wine with the meal for those who wanted it. For dessert, a cake topped with plum halves and served with a bowl of luscious whipped creme. Yummy!! Our neighbours and their friends are German so after dinner the Shnapps came out. Six different flavours of Schnapps!! DH tried two of them!!

We sat talking at the table for hours and when it got dark we realized that we could see flashes of lightning in the distance. This continued for quite awhile. Then, around 10 o'clock the wind started to pick up and the lightning spread across the sky in bolder, more vivid flashes. It was obvious that something was brewing and so we decided that it would be prudent to pack things up for the night. The other guest couple got in their car and drove off while DH and I walked home. Five minutes after we got home the storm struck. It was quite wild there for awhile and there was no point in going to bed since the thunder and the heavy rain was making too much of a din. It was fabulous! I love a good storm.

Finished reading Kushiel's Scion this morning. What a story. I hate when such a wonderful book comes to an end. But she's got two more in this series to write so I'll try and be patient and wait for them to come out. Cheers all.

Monday, September 04, 2006

The end of summer....

Well, perhaps not officially but traditionally Labour day does mark the end of the holiday part of summer. Another sign of summer's end here in Ontario is
that it's the final day of the Ex. The Canadian National Exhibition. The Grand Old Lady by the Lake. Midway, Food building, Horticultural building, games, stuff for sale and all that sort of thing. And during the final weekend there's the air show featuring the Snowbirds. I have to admit that it's been many years since I last made my way down to the Ex since I'm not fond of crowds, I don't do midways and it can be expensive. It's the sort of place that you go to once in a blue moon, and that is enough for a number of years until your memory fades and you're ready to go back and experience it again.

Thanks to hurricane Ernesto this has been something of a dull, grey and at times wet long weekend. Saturday was suppose to be windy with rain, heavy at times. While it did rain much of the day and it did get breezy, the heavy rain and really miserable weather that we'd been bracing for didn't really materialize. It's been in the high 60's - low 70's temperature wise, which isn't too bad.

Saturday we brought my Mom over and her brother Allen and his step-daughter Annette came from Kitchener for lunch and a visit. Allen is younger then my mom and they haven't always been close by any means, but in the last five years they have reconnected and like to try and stay in touch and visit when they can. Since my mom isn't comfortable in a car for great distances due to health issues and Allen is blind so can't drive himself and has to rely on Annette to drive him places the times that they can get together are few. They had a nice visit.

Allen brought me some more old documents pertaining to my grandfather Fogden, his and Mom's father. Allen doesn't have kids of his own, and I'm an only child and therefore the only grandchild, so Allen has been giving me a bit of stuff that he's had from Grandpa and Grandma Fogden. Birth certificates from before the turn of the previous century, marriage certificates, WW 1 documents (including a citation which may be signed by Winston Churchill himself!!), and letters of recommendation from various people. My grandfather was also an inventor and I have papers and things relating to gadgets he invented for use in early airplanes.

All this is fascinating stuff, and I have to try and ascertain whether Winston Churchill actually signed that citation or whether it's just a stamp or something. I also need to find out how to preserve and store all this paper safely and yet have it easily to hand to look at. Many of the documents have been folded multiple times which I know is not good for them but also much of this stuff is also in remarkably good condition considering it's age. It gives me a thrill to handle something that has been around for 90-100 years. I wish that I'd known Grandpa Fogden but he died when I was four and I really don't remember him at all.

I have spent the rest of this weekend cross stitching, listening to the radio, reading blogs on the computer (hello everyone) and puttering around the house. Oh, and drooling over cross stitch stuff on the computer that I want to order. Am pondering joining the FOTM club from Silkweaver since I have very little in the way of material to stitch on and we don't have much selection around here to choose from. Those hand dyed fabrics and the sparkly fabrics are so gorgeous!! I also have a long list of patterns that I want, including many from Little House Needleworks that are a delight to the eye and don't look too difficult to stitch for an amateur like me. I'm waiting on delivery of four patterns from a LNS that I ordered on line but they will take 6 weeks to get here since non were in stock.

I'm getting into the mood for Autumn. The cooler weather and the end of summer vacation has triggered it. Autumn is my most favourite time of the year and this is reflected in some of my stitching preferences because I love the Halloween and autumn pieces that are available. Autumn for me is the time to start the indoor hibernating and nesting. And I love Fall colours.

Well, tomorrow will be a long and busy day at work so I'll be back when I can. Until then....Cheers all!

Sunday, September 03, 2006

1) What is your favorite kind of reading? Novels? Biographies? Mathematical textbooks?
2) What do you like best about your favorite kind of reading? What keeps you coming back to that kind of book? Following a gripping story? Watching characters develop? Being educated about things and places you didn't know about? Letting your mind relax into someplace completely different?

1) Mathematical textbooks?????? I have always loved fantasy. I read and reread C.S. Lewis's Narnia series over and over again when I was young and still hold it dear to my heart. I didn't realize that there were fantasy books for "grownups" until a friend recommended "The Lord of the Rings" and then Anne MacAffrey's Dragon books. I also love historical romances, and historical fiction, mysteries and biographies. And general fiction.

2) There are a lot of reasons why I love fantasy. The worlds, the peoples, the magical laws and traditions, and the creatures all created by an author out of their imagination. The more detailed the better I like it. An escape from the everyday world that we deal with and sometimes despair of.

Speaking of fantasy, I'm currently reading Jacqueline Carey's latest novel "Kushiel's Scion". Ever since I discovered Ms Carey's books a few years ago I have been a fan. She is an amazing writer with a tremendous talent for creating not only characters, but also a history and a world that are rich with detail. And her words are potent and vivid. She is one of my top favourite authors of all time now.