Wordless Wednesday

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Progress on the Dragon and a Walk With My Grandson

me and zach on the riverIt’s been work, work, work lately, (ok, I had a three-day weekend) but it was nice to spend some quality time with my daughter and grandson, Zach. On Monday Elizabeth and I had our cross stitch day. She did most of the cross stitch. I just could not concentrate for anything. I have to be relaxed to really focus on my work, and it was just not happening. You cross stitchers out there might know what I mean.

But Elizabeth is now on the dragon home stretch. I helped her do some of the beadwork on the moon.

dragon moonI still had a great time. Elizabeth brought over some fixings for taco salad, and I made homemade granola bars for a healthy dessert. Both dishes were delicious! I offered to take Zach for a few hours today, so she dropped him off at work. The old ladies there just love him, and he is quite the little charmer. He has been visiting there ever since he was a baby and loves to work the room.  It’s very touching at how their faces light up at the sight of a child. Even those with dementia seem to wake up a bit to smile and reach out to hold his hand or pat his head..

After we went home, my husband arrived soon after, and we decided to take a walk along the river.  It’s right by our home.  It turned out to be a lovely afternoon.

I love this picture of my husband and Zach looking out towards the river.

gpa and zachZach is quite the talker. He always has something to say and needs my attention, even during picture taking time.

zach and I on the riverI can’t remember what it was about,  but I’m certain it was of utmost importance. We went by the Delta Ponds and he oohed and aahed over the ducks and the geese. There were goslings and ducklings as well, so he got quite a show! It turned out to be a really nice impromptu day.

What I’ve Been Reading Lately

My husband loves his Kindle, so when he upgraded to a Paperwhite, he gave me his old one. It’s the one with page turning buttons on the side and the keyboard on the bottom. Now I have a Kindle, a Nook, and a dwindling library of real books. I’m not quite sure how to process that. The e-readers are a marvelous invention, but I still love real books. My husband reads a lot, and exclusively with his Kindle. We have been bringing our books to Goodwill, losing most in our last couple of moves, but I don’t think I can take much more of that. I love my books!

Anyway, rant over. Conclusion, there is no right or wrong way to read. Just read!

the gray and guilty sea

As Kindle freebies go, this one was outstanding. I love that the setting was the Oregon coast. I will be reading more of this author!

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A.k.a., Nothing Like the Movie. That’s ok, it was still great. It got very philosophical, but in an interesting way.

The Copy by Grant Boshoff. This was a kindle freebie novella that was quite clever. Yes, I saw the ending a mile away, but still, quite good.

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I started this one on my Kindle, but I may have to go out and buy a copy. I’m finding that I can read light mysteries and such on the e-reader, but for more advanced books, I need an actual hard copy. Happy reading to all!

 

Everything is Coming Alive!

Coming alive

After a couple of gray, rainy days, the sun is finally out and it is going to be in the 90’s this weekend! You can tell that summer is around the corner; the flowers are blooming like crazy and our tomatoes are doing great!

We live in a townhouse so we do container gardening. Very different from when we were first married and had a large plot with rows of veggies. But life changes, and we are both very happy where we are. You can surround yourself with flowers and grow veggies anywhere.

Here is our hanging flower basket outside our front door. It was much smaller when we got it, now you can’t even see the pot!

flower basket

I love my pansies. They reseed like crazy and have come up at the sides of our front walk. Very charming. They do better in the cooler spring weather, and now are starting to wind down for the season. I had to get a picture of some of them before their yearly summer demise.

pansies

We got three tomato plants this year including a Roma, Brandywine, and an Early Girl. We always get an Early Girl, they are just so reliable, even if they do not produce the largest tomatoes. The one we got was just a little runt, now look at it. I am a proud mama! Behind it is a geranium, another one of my favorites.

early girl and geranium

And my husband just spotted our first tomato….on our little Early Girl!

first baby tomatoI will be taking more pictures of my container garden as the season progresses. I’m very excited to have fresh, homegrown tomatoes again.

Happy gardening!

Sunday Salon: I Can Finally Read Regular Books Again!!

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Finally! I graduated from nursing school at the end of September and last Monday took my NCLEX and passed! I am a licensed nurse now! Yep. Nurse Jaimie on duty. So I put all my nursing, NCLEX prep, etc. books away for the first time in over a year.  My house looks like a normal home now!

Here are a couple pics from my pinning ceremony. My husband pinned me, he was so proud. What a wonderful night that was!

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DSC_0092Yesterday we finally were able to celebrate and among other things we did, ended up at Barnes and Noble. Oh my goodness gracious am I behind in my reading! I picked up a couple books but it was difficult to hold back. I wanted everything!

When I was standing in line the women behind us were chatting and one of them said, When I get home, I’m just going to read.” I thought, wow! I can say that now too!

I have  Nook too, and for a while, that was all that I was using. But now that the novelty has worn off I have started to buy books again. I actually like having both, each has it’s place.

Here are the books I got.  I am going to start The Dante Club today because it seems like a fun and fast read. I probably need to ease mysef back into it.

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Tigerlily’s Orchids by Ruth Rendell Plus More Stitching on Sail

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Stuart Font is having both an affair with a woman named Claudia and a housewarming party. A few months previous, he moved into an apartment complex full of interesting characters and he wants to meet, well, some of them. He doesn’t like the drama or the expense of his affair, but just can’t seem to say no. Like Stuart, some of his neighbors are obsessed with particular addictions, while others are victims of someone else’s obsessions.

Claudia’s husband Freddie is suspicious and places some monitoring devices on her computer. He confronts Stuart with his new-found information with a stick and attacks him. This “warning” goes unheeded, despite the fact that Stuart knows he needs (and wants) to end the relationship. He can’t stop. His neighbor Olwen is an alcoholic. I would like to say she is battling with alcoholism, but in truth, she has given herself over entirely to the disease. Her descent is both amazingly accurate and heartbreaking.

There are also a doctor and his wife, an ex-hippie who loves to study Milton, a homeopathic healer, three college girls, the woman who cleans the flats, and her husband, an as-yet not guilty pedophile who is straying into dangerous territory. He just can’t stop himself, and rationalizes every step he takes into further depravity.

On the surface, this story seems pretty tame compared to the usual dangerous and manipulative nutjobs Rendell writes about. Yet it is realistic, and you can see people like this in everyday life.  All in all, it wasn’t my favorite but it’s a pretty good read. For a great Rendell read, try 13 Steps Down.

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I had some time this weekend to sit down and do some work on Sail. The “a” and “i” are done and I’ve started working on “S”. Interesting note: The boat in the picture is dark blue while the pattern says it is currant. This is the DMC 902 color. I like the dark blue better so I went through my DMC floss collection and picked one out. We’ll see.

The weather has turned cool and grey again so my burst of summertime energy has waned a bit. Hopefully it will be back soon.

Sunday Salon – The Great Gatsby and TWO Finished Books!

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This weekend my husband and I went to see The Great Gatsby. It was terrific. Leo DiCaprio was amazing as usual, and the characters, like the book, were very nuanced. One-dimensional characters drive me up the wall. Here each one elicits both sympathy and disgust at different points, which made for an interesting show. The costumes, especially the women’s dresses and headpieces, were gorgeous! And the parties! I have to say, their portrayal of excess was just marvelous.

The actual movie-going experience was interesting. We had originally planned to go on Friday night but when we got there we found out that only the 3D version was playing. What the what? I thought they were just for action and children’s films. Little do I know. So we came back Saturday for the matinee.

So we got there and I decided snacks were needed. I got one popcorn, one diet coke, and one box of peanut M&Ms all for the low, low price of $15.00. Soooooo, next time no snacks. After the movie we were walking out and a group of about eight high school girls in front of us were discussing the movie as compared to the book. I really loved that;  it’s so good to hear young people chatting like this. The couple in back of us were talking too, so the movie really inspired some discussion.

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It’s been a great week for reading actual books. I finally finished Clara and Mr. Tiffany and would definitely recommend it. It is loosely based on a true story and was very poignant in some places. Women could not join the union and when their department took on an impossible task and completed it, the jealously of the men’s department was palpable. They almost shut them down. Thank goodness for the laws we have now.

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I also read The Night Watch by Sarah Waters. It takes place in London just after WWII and chronicles the lives of three women and one man. The story goes back in time, rather than forward and their secrets are slowly uncovered. It was a very well written story though I don’t think any of hers will surpass Fingersmith. I don’t think writing a real review is possible at this time, though it certainly deserves one. I have a paper on mental disorders to write so I’m just happy to read a good book that quickly. 

I’m looking through my TBR shelf but haven’t settled on my next read. I’m feeling exotic right now so it’s down to Empress Orchid by Anchee Min or Nefertiti by Michelle Moran.