Hey there!! It's been two long weeks since last I posted
a blog update and as usual I'm also sorely behind in my
commenting on all my favourite blogs (which includes
yours!). Time is a valuable and rare commodity for me
these days, and it runs away from me quick as lightning.
I feel bad about that, and very frustrated too. But we
can only do what we can do, and I can only promise to
try and arrange my free time better in the future. And
hope to win a lottery soon so I can quite work and
devote more time to the important things in life...
you know....like reading, stitching and blogging and
even (eeeewww...) housework.
I did finally manage to finish the third square on my
Prairie Schooler project Prairie Birds. I love this one
best of the three even though it also gave me the most
headaches to stitch. A plague of frogs don'tcha know.
I think I've settled on the next three that I'll stitch for
the upper row, and decided what order I'll stitch them
in, so I'll be starting that project tomorrow.
Meanwhile, at home, I had a few hours yesterday
afternoon to sit down and stitch and since I am
definitely off my rocker I decided to start a new
project. Do you recognize it?? It's one of those
amazing free designs from My Aunt's Attic and
I'm stitching it with Needleworx thread, which
I have been collecting for awhile now but have
never used before. It's lovely stuff. This will be
strictly a home project because I'm stitching it
on 32 count fabric and I really need my magnifier
to see this clearly enough to do a good job.
The lovely model in the picture who is helping
to show off my little start was a gift from my
Mom and was made by one of the ladies at the
residence where she lives. Cute, isn't she??
I had a little win on Ebay a few weeks ago and it
arrived the other day. Two older charts that
caught my fancy and that I'm terribly pleased
to have. Another seasons chart for my collection
and a chart with adorable bunnies in it.
Spring has been making tentative steps forward in
the past few weeks and we've had some lovely days
(usually on a workday of course) to enjoy. The
crocuses are done and we're now in the Daffodil
phase of the season. These are growing in our
front garden, which gets the warm afternoon sun,
and I'm surprised and delighted that this year I'm
getting a whole slew of Daffodils blooming. Usually
I get four or six flowers, but this year I'm getting
twice that number. It's very exciting.
DH has been home on vacation this past week, and
is off next week too, and he's been working in the
yard and garden whenever the weather allows. He's
cleared the leaves from the back gardens and now
we can see all the new growth coming up there, and
the spring flowers are starting to bloom. It's so nice
to see green growing things again. The grass is just
starting to change from it's drab brown winter
colour and patches of green are slowly spreading
across the yard. One day we'll look out the back
door and the yard will be uniformly green and we'll
wonder ... when did that happen???
Lots of reading news to tell you about. Here we have a
wonderful historical fiction by Anne Easter Smith. It's
her second book and was every bit as enjoyable as her
first which was A Rose For The Crown. She writes
about the time before Henry VIII, when Edward IV
The first book told the story of a young woman who
fell in love with (and was loved by) young Richard,
Duke of York who would become the infamous
In this book the story centers on Edward's
younger sister Margaret, and tells of her life and her
eventual marriage to Charles, son of the Duke of
Burgundy. In this story the author chooses to have
Margaret fall in love with Anthony Woodville, brother
of Edward IV's queen Elizabeth Woodville. An
intelligent and devout young woman, Margaret is
devoted to her family and loyal to England but her
marriage is not a happy one, her husband being a
brutal and autocratic ruler who sees himself as a
Caesar, intent on conquering and expanding his
holdings regardless of the cost to his people and
Anne Easter Smith writes with care to detail and
obviously does her research well before writing
each of her books. She brings that era of history
alive and paints her characters with attention to
accuracy, and with honesty and fairness. She has
become a favourite writer of mine now and I look
forward to reading her newest book The King's
A light read came next after the hefty (though riveting)
work of Anne Easter Smith. I picked up Debbie
Macomber's latest book which continues the stories of
the folks working and living around the shops on
Anne Marie Roche is a young widow who owns a book
shop on Blossom Street. She and three other widows
get together on Valentine's Day to celebrate the day
together and during the course of the evening comes
up with the idea of each one of them making a list of
twenty wishes that they would like to have come true.
Although the other three ladies take to Anne Marie's
idea with enthusiasm Anne Marie herself is reluctant
and finds it difficult to come up with even just a few
wishes of her own. Still grieving over the death of
her husband Anne Marie's world is rocked by the
revelation that her husband may have had an affair
and a child with another woman.
But when she fulfills one of her wishes, as a volunteer
at a local public school as a lunch buddy to a young
girl named Ellen, Anne Marie slowly begins to over
come her grief and despair as she comes to care for
Ellen and opens her heart and her home to the lonely
The book also follows the stories of the other three
widows who make up their own twenty wishes, and
characters from previous Blossom Street books make
appearances along the way too.
These are pleasant, easy to read books, with somewhat
predictable stories. But they make a nice light read
and you can't help but get caught up in the lives of
each of these women as they begin to rebuild their
lives and find love again.
This is the first book that I've read by Kate Atkinson.
I'd read excellent, enthusiastic reviews of her books
in magazines and on line and was curious to find out
for myself what she was all about.
This book features a reoccurring character by the
name of Jackson Brodie who accompanies his girl-
friend Julia to the Edinburgh Festival where she is
appearing in a play. Brodie witnesses a road rage
incident that almost sees a man killed by the base-
ball bat wielding driver who rear ends him, and
from there the story evolves in a series of coincidences
and connections that weave together to bring the book to
a satisfying conclusion.
The journey to reach that conclusion however did
give me cause to consider ditching the book,
unfinished, on several occasions. I very, very
rarely leave a book unfinished once I've started it
and since I'd committed myself to the time (and
money) to get this book and start reading it I
kept on at it. And in spite of myself my curiosity
The story is told from the view points of a half
dozen of the characters, including Brodie's, and
what a miserable bunch they all were. Everyone
was depressed about their lives, everyone hated
their jobs or felt them to be superficial or inadequate,
their spouses or partners unloving and distant, and
so on. I found myself getting depressed just reading
about them and I found it very hard to care what
happened to them. And as the coincidences and
connections built up, and the sometimes illogical
actions of some of the characters (Brodie) came
into play I got frustrated and annoyed.
But I wanted to know what would happen next.
Well written? Absolutely. Sneakily addictive?
Apparently. Satisfying conclusion? Yup!!! Dark,
dry humor as well. This is a book that would be
worth checking out and sticking with but it might
not suit everyone's taste or style. I have a second
book by this author to read, and I will read it...
someday, but right now I want to get another
Debbie Macomber, or perhaps a Nora Roberts
book to pick me up and lighten my mood.
Easter was spent with my Mom who arrived here
early on Sunday afternoon for lunch and then we sat
and watched Mamma Mia, which Mom thoroughly
enjoyed. My SIL joined us for a roast beef dinner
with all the trimmings later on that afternoon.
Saturday of last week we were at a birthday
party for the 8 year old son of friends and had
a great time with good people and incredible
Somehow, during the entire 3 day long Easter
weekend I never had the time or opportunity
to put needle to thread. Very frustrating.
Along with a number of you folks out there I've
started to make a few lifestyle changes to try and
get my health and weight into more acceptable
lines. Inspired by Dani I joined Weight Watchers
and am making slow but steady progress, although
it's early days yet.
I have also started walking after dinner
every night and have been doing that for about a
month now. At first I was a panting, wheezing, leg
benumbed mess at the end of each walk, but after a
week or so my stamina began to improve and the
dizziness (!!) went away. Now I'm starting to add
more steps to the route I walk to make it longer and
more of a challenge.
I have a long road to follow (no pun intended)
before I reach my target weight, but I keep
reading Dani's blog for further inspiration, as
well as the blogs of others also making these
changes and goals in their own lives, and I hope
to actually see some changes in my appearance
To those of you who are making these changes
and following this path as well... my heartfelt
best wishes and deepest admiration go out to
I guess it's time to finish off this post for another
week and get on with the day. Hope you are well
and have a great week with time to do all the
things that make you feel good and lovely Spring
weather to do them in.