Monday, March 9, 2015

Reading Update

The reading has slowed down a bit here. I find that sometimes I can whiz through books and other times, I just sort of stroll.

That was the case with this book this week.




The Inquisitor's Key by Jefferson Bass.

This author is one of my favorites and I normally devour his books. However, this one took place overseas instead of my Tennessee hills and there was a lot going on. It flipped back and forth between the 1300's and present time and I occasionally found myself having to back a little bit and reread to make sure I understood where I was.

There was a ton of history in this book. I enjoyed that. It's set in Avignon, France, the town Pope Clement I moved the papacy to avoid Rome. The details were wonderful and I felt like I was right there. It centers on a set of bones found in the old papal treasury and the identify of those bones. The archaeologist who discovered them asked for help from Miranda, Dr. Brockton's assistant and then she called Dr. Brockton to come to France.

The back and forth between the identify of the bones and the archaeologist's plans to sell them to the highest bidder (sneaky little booger) brings a lot of intrigue to the story. Also, the back and forth between the centuries gives you a clearer picture of how the story unfolds.

I enjoyed the book; I really did. I don't think Jefferson Bass could write a book I didn't enjoy. However, I'm so use to the settings of the book taking place here in Tennessee or in the neighboring states and I was just confused by the setting, although it did start off in Tennessee. My problem totally. I think you will enjoy this book if you like historical fiction.

I'm closing in on the halfway point of my challenge. It will be interesting to see how many books I do actually read this year.



The Light Between Oceans: M L Stedman

I finished this book tonight. It was so very good that I read it in 2 days. It has been on my to read list for quite a while. 

The story is about Tom and Isabel and their love, marriage and life on an island tending to the lighthouse. It is the most remote lighthouse sitting on Janus Island off the south-western tip of Australia, where the Indian and Great Southern Oceans meet. As one of the reviewers wrote "A moving tale....Prepare to weep." And weep I did. 

I love a story that draws me in and keeps pulling until I am totally immersed in the story. The love and troubles of this couple go far beyond anything imaginable. A heartbreaking loss is followed by the discovery of a tiny child in a boat. This child brings joy and happiness to the island but the happiness will be short lived. What follows is a study of right and wrong, compassion and determination and desperation, A great read and one I highly, highly recommend.

This is her debut novel. She is from Australia and I look forward to her next book. 

2015 Challenge - 25 books
Read to date - 11 books

Sharon 

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Where to Start, Part 2

The weekend birthday party was a blast but the week after.....not so much. I woke up on Monday (Jellybean's actual birthday) with a raging RA flare that continued to get worse into Tuesday (Elijah's actual birthday). Flares just do me in as it seems they settle in my arms now and the pain reaches points where I cannot move any part of my arm. It's hard to describe the pain and I am so thankful that it doesn't happen often. I can't imagine having to deal with this pain on a daily basis like my grandmother did. I can understand completely why she cried so much. And she was bedridden; at least I am mobile the majority of the time. Luckily this one only lasted 4 or 5 days and by Friday, I was able to get out and do some things, which was good because for the next 2 - 1/2 weeks, I was housebound. Unfortunately, I didn't get much crafting done because I felt so bad.

My dear Hubs came home on Friday (my birthday) coughing and sneezing and complaining with chest congestion. He was sick all weekend and I ended up with a bad cough and headache on Sunday. I tried to tell him I truly did not want anything for my birthday or for Valentine's Day, but I guess he felt bad so he shared his cold with me. On Monday, he went to the doctor and found out he had bronchitis. He tends to develop that when he gets a cold.

Then the snow and ice started. We got a little bit on Tuesday and then got slammed on Wednesday.  It was cold and the snow just hung on. In the meantime, I lost my voice. With all the bad weather, Hubs stayed home and ended up not working all week. Then we got more ice and more snow. However, we've had nothing here compared to the folks up north, some of them getting over 100 inches of snow.

So we finally got rid of the snow and I was able to make my doctors' appointment on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week. Even though it was just going to the doctor, it felt good to be out of the house. Then we got another ice/snow storm today with highs only in the 20's after having a high of 70 F here on Wednesday. Weird!

So that brings me up to date. I'm working on a cross stitch piece and making baby hats for Taci. I'm also doing a CAL from Yarnspirations.com but I'm about 4 weeks behind on that as I haven't started yet!  OOOOPS! But I will.

I have one more photo of Jellybean that I HAVE to share. This one put a huge smile on my face. My goodness, I love this boy! My daughter posted this one on Facebook the other day.


Abby: "Who are you calling?"
Jellybean: "I talka Mimi."

Thank you for stopping by. I so enjoy your comments and I enjoy your blogs. I hope everyone has a great rest of the week and weekend. Spring can't get here soon enough for me.

Hugs,
Sharon

Monday, March 2, 2015

Reading Update

So at last count, I had read 4 of 25 books for this year. As of today, I have read a total of 8.

The Jefferson Key by Steve Barry. I am really enjoying these books by Steve Berry. He does a lot of research and blends history with fiction very well. I get lost in the books and that's what I love about a good author. In this one, there are a group of modern day pirates who are doing as they please because George Washington had given their ancesters a letter giving them freedom from persecution in perpetuity. Their ancestors had helped with the Revolutionary War by attacking English ships. Cotton Malone, the protagonist in these stories, has to find the Jefferson Key to break a code showing where the original notes to the Congressional meetings are hidden. Very well written. One of my new favorite series.

The Lincoln Myth by Steve Berry. Another highly entertaining historical fiction centering around Lincoln and the Mormons of Utah. There was an agreement between Lincoln and the Mormon leader at that time to leave them to their own devices as long as they would not participate in the Civil War. Another Cotton Malone story with lots of travel and mystery. One thing I specifically like is that Mr. Berry includes a section at the end of the book, explaining the parts that are true history and the parts that are fiction he devised. And these books make you stop and think how easily all this could have been true.

Wicked Ways by Lisa Jackson and Nancy Bush. I have always enjoyed Lisa Jackson's work but wasn't sure about this one. She co-authored this one with her sister and it was a little out there. As in women with "special" powers. There was a lot of death but nothing gruesome and the ending totally surprised me. It took a while to read, though, as it wasn't what I was use to. I'm not sure if I'll try another by them. There are at least 2 more in this series so we'll see.

And finally,

Miss Julia's Gift by Ann Ross. This was a short novella about Miss Julia and her new husband. She has to decide how to accept all the gifts that Sam brings her almost daily and how to give him something unique for Valentine's Day. A short, sweet story.

I am now reading The Inquisitor's Key by Jefferson Bass. I had it on hold in the digital section of the library and received it yesterday.

Today I received The Light between the Oceans by M. L Stedman.

I like having books on hold so I know I will eventually get them but boy, when they come in 2's, it means I have to get busy.

I hope you are enjoying my reading challenge as much as I am. And I hope I am stirring some interest in some books you might not have otherwise read.

Hugs,
Sharon

Friday, February 27, 2015

Where To Start, Part I

My goodness, this has been a month! Birthdays, RA flare, upper respiratory stuff and snow. Lots and lots and lots of snow. I feel like I'm spinning around and around and getting nowhere.

Where to start, indeed. So much has happened this month and I feel swamped with everything that needs to be said. Sooo, diving right in, I'll start with Jellybean's birthday.

On February 9, Jellybean turned 2! Can you imagine? It seems like yesterday that I was waiting and waiting for him to get here. He had a birthday party on Saturday, Feb 7, so Papaw and Mimi went down to Mount Juliet to celebrate with him and his family and friends. He had a great time. His Grandma and Grandpa Grainger were there along with Joey and Julie, friends of his Mama and Deda who he absolutely adores, my sister and niece and other friends. We had pizza and soft drinks before the cute pull apart birthday cake.


Time came to blow out the candle on the biggest cupcake. James wasn't sure about doing that. It was "hot" but everyone was encouraging him to blow. He was sitting at the table with all his grandparents and was next to me. I was helping him blow and accidentally, blew out the candle. How embarrassing! But he wanted the candle lit again and again and he got to blow it out himself. It was funny. Mimi stole his birthday blow out!


My niece and my sister standing in the back.



Papaw being a birthday unicorn!  :)


Mimi and her little man. Love this sweetie so much.

After the party, Papaw and I got a room so we could spend the night and spend some time with Abby, Doug and James. They live 200+ miles west of us and it's hard for me to do it in one day. We spent the evening playing with James, or rather, Papaw did. James grabbed him as soon as we came in and said, " Papaw, play blocks" and took off to his room.

 This little fellow is such a good eater. He isn't big on sweets but loves carrots, broccoli and cashews. He also loves bread and chips so when they have dinner, they have to wait until he's eaten before they bring out the bread or he will eat only that and not his meal. He ate two bowls of 'mole for dinner that night. I've never seen a 2 year old put away guacamole like he did.

We went back on Sunday morning for pancakes which is a weekly occurrence for them. James again grabbed Papaw to play blocks while the pancakes were finishing but when Mama said, "pancakes are ready", he came running down the hall yelling, "PANCAKES!"

All in all a great weekend. I loved every minute of it. I totally paid for it the next week but it was well worth it. 

February is birthday month for us. We have 4 birthdays in 5 days in our immediate family. Along with James on the 9th, Elijah, my oldest grandson who lives in Georgia, was 3 on the 10th. Abby's birthday is the 12th and mine the 13th. We also have 4 other birthdays in our extended family this month. I turned 64 this year. Wow, that sounds weird. I certainly don't feel 64. 

There's lots more to get into but I'll save that for the next post. If you haven't already discovered my daughter's blog, go by and read her recent post. Abby wrote a great post about her grandmother, my Mom. Her blog is http://www.abbycrafty.com/.

I promise I'll be back soon with another post. There's lots been happening around here, both good and not so good, but nothing terrible. I hope you all have a great weekend.

Thanks for visiting.

Hugs,
Sharon

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Just a quick post

I meant to do a post on Monday or Tuesday but I realized it was Jellybean's birthday party on  Saturday so I thought I would save up and do a really good post for a change.

Can you believe sweet baby James will be 2 on Feb 9????? He is growing so fast and is such a sweet, funny boy.

Back soon with the party pics and what's going on around here.

Oh, by the way, I have read 3 more books so I'm up to 6 now with 19 left. I'll try to do that in a separate post.

See you later,

Hugs,
Sharon

Monday, January 19, 2015

Something a little different

I'm reading! That's not such a big announcement as I read all the time, but with the cold weather has come achy joints, fingers and feet so I'm not doing much in the crafty department. This has left a lot of time to read the stack of books I have and the ones on my Kindle. AND I have discovered that I can borrow books through my local library to download on my Kindle so I have been in reading heaven.

I set up a 2015 challenge on Goodreads to read 25 books this year. I read quite a lot but I've not kept up with the number in a long time. This challenge is something I have wanted to do for a couple of years but procrastinator that I am, I haven't managed to get it done.

So far, I've read 3 books and working on 4 and 5. I typically read at least 2 books at a time. I have one by the recliner, one in the bathroom (am I the only one?) and my Kindle follows me everywhere. I never leave home without it, especially if I am going out and about with Hubs. I do a lot of sitting in the truck waiting on him to do his inventory shopping and the Kindle has become my best buddy. Shopping with Hubs take a large amount of energy and patience. The patience I have most of the time but the energy is in short supply now. And having to stand and wait for him to look at every, single, little thing and read all the info about it makes my back hurt. So the truck and Kindle are where I am.

I just logged onto Goodreads and got a warning about the page not being private. I don't think it is a problem as there is no private information on there, i.e., credit car info, password, etc, but that bums me out. My computer is protected by a very good program and I accept it when it tells me that this sight might not be safe. So I guess I will do my challenge on my blog.  And really, what better way to keep up with it and to get input from bloggy friends about new books to read? So here goes:

So far this year, I have read:

1. "Killer" by Jonathan Kellerman. This is a thriller centering on his Alex Delaware character and a really good book. All the Alex Delaware books have been entertaining and this one didn't disappoint.
It concerns the court case of Sykes vs Sykes, two sisters, one of whom has a child and the other who is trying to get custody. Alex is threatened by one of the sisters and she ends up dead. A great book which left me guessing as to what was going to happen next.

2. "The Bone Yard" by Jefferson Bass. This author is one I really enjoy as he is local. He is actually two gentlemen. Dr. Bill Bass is a forensic anthropologist at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. He founded the Body Farm which looks at how human bodies interact with the environment and to help in identification at different stages. Jon Jefferson is a journalist whose work has appeared in several publications. In The Bone Yard, Dr. Bill Brockton, the central character, goes to Florida to help a colleague determine if her sister committed suicide and winds up investigating an old state boys reform school with a shady past.

3. "Sharp Objects" by Gillian Flynn. Ms Flynn is the author of the bestseller, "Gone Girl" which I read last year. She has also written "Dark Places" which I also read last year. Gone Girl was hard to get into but was enjoyable after I did; Dark Places was great from beginning to end. Sharp Objects is another great book which twists and turns and leaves you wondering what is happening next. I was so sure I knew the answer but was totally surprised at the end. I highly recommend all these books.

So there, the first 3, leaving 22 to read by year end. I am currently reading "Miss Julia's Marvelous Makeover" by Ann Ross. If you haven't read any of the Miss Julia books, you need to get started. They are simply hilarious. We fine southern ladies of an age can get into some real messes at times.

I'm also reading "Dragonfly in Amber", the second book in the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. I love historical fiction and these books have not disappointed me at all. A good love story never hurts and I am totally involved in Claire and Jamie's.

Please if you have suggestions of good books, let me know. I am hoping that the weather will cooperate and I will be able to do some crafty things soon. I have so many ideas running around in my head and there is one I really need to get started on so I can finish by Valentine's Day. So far, my office/craft room has only been used to read books which isn't a bad thing. It's nice and quiet in here and I'm away from the TV so I'm not tempted to turn it on. I don't read in bed anymore. I can't seem to get comfortable. When I get rich or win the lottery, I'm buying an adjustable bed!

That's all for now. I hope each of you has a great day/night wherever you are.

Hugs,
Sharon

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Welcome 2015

Happy New Year, dear friends. I am expecting good things of 2015. This past year was a very hard one for me and my family. Life goes on but sometimes, it hits a mountain and struggles to get over it. We have had several mountains this year with Mom's passing being the highest of all. She has been missed so greatly but I am starting to smile more when thinking of her. 2014 will always be burned in my memory along with 1981, the year we lost my Dad.

I have so much to tell you. A lot has happened this past month. Good things mostly for which I am so very thankful. So I'll get to it.

December started with a bang with 3 birthdays right off the bat. Ella turned six on the 2nd, Lilly turned 4 on the 10th and their Mom (my sweet DIL) had a birthday between them on the 5th. I always send the grandkids a card with money matching their age and then usually I will buy books. Ella is in kindergarten and she is started to read so I got her Level one books to help her with that. I am so happy that all my grandbabies like books and love to read or be read to. Grammy/Mimi loves buying books and will do so as long as they will let me.

I guess I should explain the Grammy/Mimi. All 3 of the Georgia kiddos call me Grammy. That's what we decided on when Ella was born and it's just a normal thing. Jellybean, however, calls me Mimi. Grammy was a little hard for him to say. I love it. Christmas was a hoot with 3 calling me Grammy, and James saying, "Mimi'. Ella thought it was funny.

We were all able to get together for Christmas at my sister's home on the Saturday after the actual day. I'm always happy when all my chicks are together under one roof. Christmas was a happy/sad time this year. Not having Mom ensconced in her rocking chair, smiling at everyone, (especially the babies) and ruling the roost *smile* left a hole in our celebrations. However, there is nothing like small children and the joy of presents to put a smile on your face. We opted for snacky things as opposed to a full meal and we all ate and snacked all through the night.

Watching those little ones open their presents is the highlight of Christmas for me. I believe they were all very happy with their presents. The Georgia grand babies got Kinetic sand (a box for each) and a Kindle to share from us. Sweet Baby James got a VTech Zoo playset with animals that make all kinds of noises. Thank goodness my daughter and SIL are easy going people. Of course they both checked to see that they could be turned off right away. The zoo was a big hit, apparently, because Abby said he had played very well with it and she and Doug had been able to have a complete conversation. Mimi done good!!!!

I was very blessed with gifts. The adults, as a rule, don't buy for each other. My daughter, however, made everyone something. She is a wonderfully skilled knitter and her projects are always so beautiful. She had made some felted slippers for her and her hubby and I told her my toes got cold, too. So Hubs and I both got felted slippers. Oh. My. Goodness. How warm these things are. I have worn mine every day since Christmas and have finally gotten warm feet in the winter. Yesterday I had to run some errands and when I came back, I put my shoes away in the closet and was just wearing my socks. After a while, I noticed my toes were really getting cold. Then I saw that I hadn't put on my slippers. BEST CHRISTMAS GIFT!!!! Hubs likes his also. He has never been much of a slipper wearer but he really likes these. They are soft, comfortable and very warm.

There were some small presents for me and one was wrapped sort of wonky. When I opened it, there was a charm on a necklace that said, "Grandma". Ella is in kindergarten this year and her school had a Christmas fair/store type of thing so the kids could buy presents. Her parents gave her money and she bought presents all by herself and the teachers helped wrap them. Doug and Trisha didn't even know what was in the package because the gifts came home already wrapped. I adore this. It just warms my heart so much that my 6 year old granddaughter thought of me and bought me this all by herself. Can you tell I am proud and happy????  I have ordered a new chain for the charm as the chain that came with it was a little too tight for my chubby neck.

Lilly did a drawing at preschool and the school had them made into Christmas ornaments. Lilly's has a flamenco on it. The body is her hand print and it has her name and the year. I treasure things like this.

James gave Papaw and I a photo magnet for the refrigerator. I love looking at that sweet face every time I go into the kitchen.

My sister had decorated her tree this year with Mom's ornaments. It was so sweet and sad to see all of them hanging on the tree.  After all the presents were opened and things were winding down, we took turns picking an ornament for ourselves from the tree. We started with the oldest (me) and went down to the youngest (James) and then reversed the order. We all ended up with special ornaments that were a part of Mom's Christmas tree decorations. It was a bittersweet moment and Stacey, Abby and I had a good cry afterwards. Those ornaments will have a special place on my tree for years to come and then I will be able to pass them down to my children and grandchildren.

Sorry there aren't any photos. I haven't had a chance to take any. I'm working on changing my office to my office/craft room and it has kept me busy. I promise photos will follow. Tomorrow is a stay at home day because of the weather and I will get things photographed and try to do another blog post soon. It's really cold here in Tennessee right now. The temperature has been only in the twenties and is going down to maybe single digits tonight with a wind chill of 0 degrees, I do not like cold weather. I could tolerate winter if it didn't get so gosh, darn cold. I will just have to keep reminding myself that warmer days are coming.

Before I leave you, I want to tell you about my daughter's blog and Etsy shop. I am so very proud of her and have to let everyone know what she is doing and making. Please visit her blog and leave a comment. Tell her I sent you.  :)  She will really enjoy it. Her blog is www,abbycrafty,com.  Her Etsy shop is AbbyCrafty. Drop by for a visit.

Thank you so much for visiting. I hope you are having a wonderful year so far wherever you are. All of you mean so much to me and I love having you for my bloggy friends.

Hugs,
Sharon