Sunday, November 14, 2010

Books I'm reading in November

With fall comes school (work) again, less time outside, fewer projects, even  fewer blogs and cold weather. At least I am still reading. Some evenings, it's all I can accomplish to come home, collapse and read. But reading is my oasis!

Kate Morton tells the story of three women within four generations of a family. Story weaves into story, layer upon layer. Morton combines Gothic settings, Dickensian characters and modern times in England and Australia into a plot involving past relatives of the current character.  The mystery she is unraveling of a 4 year old left on a dock in Australia in 1913 pulls the story together. I am anxiously awaiting the solving of the mystery!


Haven't started this one yet. It was written in 2002. I know I have read something of hers before, but can't remember if I liked it or not. This was recommended to me, so I will add to this once I start it. It is about three college friends, and follows the rest of their lives. Setting is modern and southern.

I am actually listening to this on CD after reading it about a year ago. I needed some car book time.  One of the most entertaining books I have read for awhile. It is great on CD, characters are so colorful! Another "Southern chick lit" book. Mary Kay Andrews has several books using the same characters, but you do not have to read them in any order. They all make sense. In The Fixer Upper, a young woman is fixing up an old mansion ( my dream) and everything, of couse, goes wrong. I love it!

After the leaves have fallen......

This is a reprise from approximately 1 year ago.

Mom and I went for an afternoon drive today and had a little adventure.  We drove to a nearby lake with sunny, 50 degree weather. While the leaves were already off most the trees, we still saw some of fall's bounty. The nice, fat buck was too fast for me to get a picture of, and so was the coyote, who was fat and fluffy.  There were all kinds of berries, though, once we really started looking.

Mom is 90 and she was telling me stories of walking to school, seeing lots of bittersweet in the ditches along the way.I  mentioned I would love to have some, I wished we would see some in all the wooded areas around the lake. She kept saying if there was any we would easily see it, it is so bright. Then we did!!

It was right along the road, easy to get to! I picked, and Mom sat in the car and laid it carefully in the back seat.

Couldn't reach this bunch, but there was plenty within reach.

There were lots of hedge apples on the ground.
The woods were full of beautyberry bushes.

In the ditches, the honeysuckle vines still had berries, and the crab apples were full of fruit.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Tis The Season For A Few Scarecrows.....

The old town area puts up scarecrows every year at this time. Merchants are encouraged to participate in a scarecrow contest.  I walked around Sunday morning and snapped away. To my surprise I met my heartthrob just hangin' around downtown........

 Actually,there were a lot of men just hangin' around.

These next two pics are the display the eclectic decor shop put out.

 The Doll Shoppe added this lady.

You can see the Doll Hospital Ambulance in the background.

Doesn't she look like someone you know from the back?

Ok, I'm  going to say it.......We ARE in Kansas, Dorothy!

I am joining Chari for

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Books I'm reading in October

I am really excited about a book I just got directly from one of the authors. Beyond the Fence Line, The Eyewitness Account of Ed Hoffman and the Murder of President Kennedy is by Casey Quinlan and Brian K. Edwards.

I had the opportunity of being in  two classes with Casey Quinlan this month. We are both teachers. Like him, I am an avid follower of all the theories of what actually happened the day Kennedy was shot. I was in grade school, but old enough to know it was very serious. The twin towers tragedy  and the Kennedy assassination are two things my generation remembers and can tell you where they were and what they were doing when both horrible events occurred.

I am also reading Hell's Gate by Linda Fairstein. I read her Lethal Legacy (see August post) and loved it. The same character Alex Cooper investigates human trafficking in New York City. Fairstein's legal thrillers interest me also because she includes so much history about NYC. She also doesn't overdo the description of the violence that is necessary in the story line.


Why My Third Husband Will Be a Dog 

No, no! I didn't write it. I just listened to this book on CD in the car. Written by author Lisa Scottoline, who usually writes great legal thrillers, this book is from her Philadelphia newspaper column. I wanted to hear this book, as opposed to reading it,  because she actually reads her own articles on the CD. These articles are light and humorous and entertaining. I am such a fan of her books (read them all) that I was excited to hear her personal  stories. In addition to writing great humor, Scottoline is good at telling or reading her work as well. Worth taking the time to LISTEN to this one.

In my continued following of artist John Singer Sargent (see September post), I am reading Sargent's Daughters by Erica E. Hirshler.

Sargent had no children, however the title refers to the daughters of Edward Darley Boit, whom he painted. It is an odd, mystical portrait and there is much discussion in the book about the four daughters, what became of them, and  why such a portrait has continued in popularity into today. Hirshler  tells a complex story of the lives of the family, the time period and Paris of that generation. There are many side stories woven into connections with painter and subjects. Sargent's Daughters feels almost like a  mystery novel, but it is  a true piece of writing.  

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Some do it yourself Halloween

Daughter #2 sent me a link to a website that had free Halloween labels she had used to make some little treats and decorations. So after looking at the labels, off I went to the Dollar Tree for some treasures.

From the Dollar Tree I got (for a dollar each) the magnifying glass, spools of ribbon, black picture frame, bag of skulls and glass bowl and scent burner.

This glass jar was from Dollar Tree as was the dollar candy corn. I printed out the free label and burned the edges before gluing on the jar.

I made this one with a Mason jar I had, spray painted the lid and added bow and bigger label. I made this one for a gift, so I added peanuts to the candy corn. Never had that? Oh, my gosh! Tastes just like a Pay Day candy bar!

More free printable labels.

This one is from an old chemistry bottle. I have lots of old chemistry equipment, I think I will start eariler next year and do a whole witch laboratory!

Little skeletons from the Dollar Tree fill this jar labeled witch hazel. It says it relieves the most painful itches in a bewitching way. Yep, even took their skin off.......

Have fun and don't forget to unplug the smoke alarm when you burn the edges of your labels!!

Please visit these two websites for the free Halloween labels: