Saturday, May 30, 2009

One More for the Bookshelf

I just finished my book club's June pick: Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen. No one will accuse this little book of being fine literature, but if you do need something to give you the teen tingle of unconsummated lust you'll have a fine time. The book centers on the issues of the two Waverly sisters, a crazy apple tree, and a crazier relative. It was a bit like eating a bag of chips one at a time.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A Mellow Memorial Monday

I finished this one over the weekend. I have had Little Bee on order at the library for quite some time now. There were two very good marketing ploys that made me bite: the publisher refuses to tell you what the story is about and that it would be the new book club "must read".

There is no reason to "not tell" so I shall. Little Bee is a 16 year old Nigerian orphan. Because of or in spite of the interference of a wealthy, clueless, professional couple on the beach, she and her sister experience untold sufferings at the hands of the soldiers. If Sarah and Andrew had stayed behind the compound walls as they had been told, or better yet in London where they really belonged, this story would not be told. Really, there would be no story at all. It is worth the time, but I promise - it will not leave you feeling better.

Yesterday I re-read Patty Jane's House of Curl. The problem was that I was not certain I had previously read this until I was about tow hours in; as I had less than that to go, I plugged on. Need a totally mindless read full of Steel Magnolia overtones? Help yourself. I am bringing it to knitting tomorrow night.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

My View on the World

I love my birch tree. The October storm nearly made it history, but luck was on our side. The birch has spread across my front room window, its leaves pick up every wisp of wind that blows across the yard.
And this is what you will find under the birch tree. Nineteen years ago I started with five Lilly of the Valley plants. They have become so prolific they are threatening to choke out everything else in the garden, but I cannot make myself dig them up - the smell is so intoxicating.
So if you are in my neighborhood, come on over...they are free for the taking.

Tomorrow is a 'free day'. The kids have school, but I do not:) Color me happy. I hope the dog is as excited as I am to get things ticked off the 'to do' list; he gets to go to the vet. Me? A day of hedonistic delights: pedicure, hair and tea group. Ok, tea group is really not hedonistic. No matter how hard I try, I cannot get those girls to add a little something with a bit of punch.
Enjoy your weekend.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

It Never Gets Old

Last month's book club pick was To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. I believe I have read this book over six times and I can honestly say, it never gets old. If you have somehow managed to get through your high school years without cracking this one open, do yourself a favor and hit the library.

I believe I have said that we read for 20 minutes in study hall each morning. Now, I have an very 'interactive' reading style. Just as some of you talk to the television, I talk to the book and apparently my laughter was beginning to annoy the little critters. "What the heck is so funny?" "Good book?" "Why do you keep laughing?" How do you explain the humor of Scout explaining the social hierarchy of the town on her first day of school through one boy's lunch issues? Or the fact that the teacher scolds the poor thing for knowing how to read before she has been 'properly taught'?

So go back and re-read this one. For a change, the required reading list was right!

And Finished


Ishbel (rav link) is my first lace project and I must admit I was really afraid! I really dislike working from charts, but thankfully this pattern had the lace bits written out. This was made from one hank of Noro Silk Garden Sock yarn (rav link). Noro is not my favorite pick: it always contains a color you are not counting on, no matter how much you poke into the skein. In my case it was a ton of blue. If I had it to do over, I would manipulate the colors so that the stockinette section contained all the blue and the lace would be predominantly green.

Monday, May 11, 2009


One Mason-Dixon Moderne Baby Blanket for little Baby Kent. I really love the way this came out. My version is much smaller than the original, but I truly did not want to purchase extra hanks of yarn for the small bits left in the pattern. Each color used one hank of Plymouth Encore - always a good choice for baby gifts. SmartyMags lent me the bit of turquoise needed for the border. It matched the little flecks in the white and light blue sections.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

My Day

Today I got to pick the family fun - the joy of being the mommy on this day. My choice was the zoo. Now that may seem an odd choice on an overcast blustery day of 43, but I think I was waxing nostalgic. When the kids were little, Craig and I would take them at least once a month. And lately, I have been missing little people holding my hand.

The zoo is a little gem. The trees were in full bloom.

And I love the buildings! The elephant house dated at 1912, begins the tour with a great sense of history.

This pelican carving is above the door to the current reptile house. I still remember my first trip to this building. We went to the zoo for my first grade field trip and the reticulated python left me terrorized; I had nightmares for over one week!

This shot was taken inside the new M&T Rain Forest exhibit. This was the first time the family had seen this. It really is impressive. I love the monkeys and they were having a grand time playing to the crowd up close and personal. The exhibit also contained some beautiful plantings that provided the perfect backdrop for the colorful birds.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Best of the Day

There is honestly nothing better than a day spent with your family and a good friend or two. Today was one of Buffalo's truly beautiful days! With the sun in our faces, Emma and my friend Sally hit the Elmwood Strip. We did a little shopping at Half and Half, Urban, Talking Leaves and a few other cute shops along the way. Walking down the street with so many smiling people just puts a spring in your step. In addition to boosting the economy we got to see a "Silent Peace Protest", and a really cool idea: Buffalo First Game Day Saturday!

I will be the first to admit I am map challenged, and the amount of time I spend in the city is minimal. But I am proud to say we were able to make it to Five Points Bakery to scout out Melissa and Kevin's new business. I am so impressed with their concept. They are making every possible attempt to purchase locally grown ingredients. You would think it would be an easy prospect considering the number of farms in Western New York, but Melissa and Kevin were saying that the search took them some time. If you head over, go early! By the time we made it over, the only items left were cookies and some awesome pizzas. We picked up a steak and dandelion with caramelized onions for our dinner. They will be baking bread three days a week, so you know where I will be on a Saturday morning in the near future!

Then it was off to lunch at Betty's. Have I ever told you how much I love rice and beans? My taste buds were in heaven. This was my first visit, but not my last. You will find me in the very near future working my way through the menu.
Now time to take the poor old dog for a walk before the sun goes down.