25 June 2016

Talking to Ourselves

When I was growing up, I often listened as my mom walked around talking to herself. I was always interested to hear how pissed off she was at life in general. I never thought anything about it. But then I started talking to myself, but then I wasn't listened to either. I was deemed too stupid to matter. So I talked to myself.

Now I see all these jokes about women talking to themselves and today I realized that the reason we talk to ourselves is that we aren't being listened to when we talk. We tell our children something and we have to say it about a dozen times and then yell it for it to get done. (Today, "put all dishes in the sink" was accomplished after I yelled.) We talk to our husbands and they don't listen to us either. If a woman says she feels alone, it is because she is talking to herself. She is listening to what she says and that makes her feel alone. When we are with each other, we listen, we empathize, we feel the pain. We know what the other person is going through.

I can spend the day out shopping for groceries (three different stores, the pain is real) and on one stop, tell the children to make sure all the dishes are in the sink and washed and come home, on another stop, and they are still lying around untouched. Did we leave that mess there? No, the kids and/or husband left it there. We remind them that the dishes need to be washed. Leave again and come home to find what? Dishes still lying around untouched. Now the yelling starts. You have spoken in nice tones all day, but now you are hurting and you are hot and you are tired and the chore you left is still undone. It is no wonder we yell (1) and talk to ourselves (2).

I know that when my kids talk to me, I stop what I am doing and pay attention. When my husband talks, I stop. It takes me forever to read a book when they are awake. Best reading time? Early, early morning or late, late night. During the rest of the time, I walk around talking and being ignored.

Just curious, does anyone else notice this at their house, too? I know I cannot be alone.

22 June 2016

June and Flying Past

June came quickly. My 1st full week of June was booked! Taking kids to meetings, to events, to fun things and to volunteer opportunities. We also built a bed frame, my youngest and I, but the older girls are too big (they are tall and over the weight limit) for the bed frame. I promised that we would continue to search for something like their sister's bed, but that it would have to be able to be for them. It is interesting that my middle is only going to be 13 and she is already taller than I am! I am not short by any shape of the imagination, but she is closing in on her father. But there are tall genes in the family, so she won that lottery.

The girls love to volunteer and do things. They don't like to stay home. That means I spend a good deal of time driving them where they want or need to go. Mom's Taxi has new meaning to me. We live in an area that doesn't have public transportation. That means for kids to get places, they have to walk (if that were possible) or they have to catch a ride with someone (but they usually are going different directions of their friends) or hail Mom's Taxi.

They are still working on their reading programs. They are carrying around books all the time. They read even if the ride is only 1/2 an hour long. They ask to go to libraries to get more books. My house is full of library books and I don't have a problem with that!

Most of the hot days, the pool across the street was full to brimming with kids and parents and parents are ignoring the kids (running, jumping, too much for a small pool) and then we got some really nice cool days. Love those kind of days. The windows open and the wind blowing through the house.

It is also time for churches to have their festivals, kids to go to camp and just so many things that are happening over the summer months.

 Just a few of the books we borrowed one week.

Summer is a time to read. I love to read and so do my girls. We tend to walk out of libraries with lots of books. But I recently saw this list of 100 Must Read Books and I saved it. It is interesting to see what others think are books that should be read.

 My oldest asked if she could have an art wall. I didn't see a problem with that and my wonderful husband agreed. So we told her to start by outlining what she wanted to paint on the wall. Then we would start searching out the paints for her to paint the drawing with. This is her finished project. Time for the paint. (She is very talented.)

Isobel's Afghan
Summer in Swanage
Rainbow Sherbet Afghan
Tiles Granny Afghan
Deco Columns Throw
Long Live the Queen Throw
Drop in the Pond Laprobe - what is cool about baby afghans or laprobes, they can be made bigger or left small.

Cat Bed
Crochet Cat Toy

Two Tone Baby Mitts
Watermelon Sun Hat
Teddy Bear Lovey (or a security blanket)
Baby Hug Boots

Cute Crochet Purse for Girls
Frozen Inspired Bag
Summer Beach Bag
SunDance Beach Bag
Wobbly Stripes Handbag
Wavy Messenger Bag
On the Go Knit Bag

Polar Bear Beanie (older babies)

Valentine's Day Hat
Wickerwork Hat I am uncertain about the tassel/pompom at the top, but this is when the pattern is so gorgeous, you know you can change what you didn't like.

Just for Fun:
Crochet Mason Jar Cozy - makes jars look colorful and fun, while providing a place to store pens or pencils.
9 Petal Summer Flower Motif - can be used for decorating or for hair accessories.

Best Crocheted Pot Holder - a friend of mine said this is the best potholder she has ever made and shared it with me.
Stars and Stripes Dishcloth Nice gift for American Holidays (4th of July, Memorial Day, Labor Day).

Market Bags: This has become a thing...everyone carries their own bags to the store (I only do that for Aldi, because I use the plastic bags for my husband to carry his lunch and for the collection of dog poo). I do like the bags and think they are good for carrying some things, but somethings are just too heavy (and I do pack bags heavy).
Mesh Knit Market Bag

Irish Crochet Shawl
Old Hollywood Shawl
Amazing Mitred Shawl
Easy Dreamy Shawl
Small Fans Shawl

Squares: Squares can be used to create many different things, but most people think of using them in afghans. I have seen them used for purses, pillows, clothing (skirts, sweaters, shawls).
Gothic Square
Framed Church Squares
Meadow Afghan Square
Rainbow Granny Square
Heart Granny Square
Water Lily Square
Block Stitch Square (with Tutorial)
Owl Square - suggested use, baby afghan
Double Wave Square

Crochet Bunny - This is a really cute bunny toy.
Mini Octopus
Bee Geez fun toy for kids

16 June 2016

"All the Light We Cannot See"

by Anthony Doerr

Found this book on a table at the library. I picked it up and began reading. It is historical Fiction set during WWII (now for history buffs, or WWII enthusiasts, this is more than enough information to get you to pick it up). It is set in Germany and France, following, primarily, 2 children as they grow up during WWII and their respective roles in the conflict.

We follow Marie-Laure, a young blind girl from Paris, France to her uncle's place in Saint-Malo and Werner, a young orphan, from the orphanage to school, to fighting in Saint-Malo.

Marie is taken by her father to their uncle, Etienne, in Saint-Malo. But her father is called back to Paris and is then taken to a German Prison Camp. Letters come from the camp for her, but they appear to be propaganda.

Werner is found to be very smart and is given extra "lessons" and is then sent to war while he is still 16, being told that he had lied and is actually 18. It seems that he understands best how to find hidden radios and is put on team with a school friend who has been put in charge of the unit. They go place to place finding the secret radios.

Finally, Werner and the team are sent into Saint Malo to find a hidden radio, but Werner does not give them up...this is the voice of the man who broadcasted when he was much younger and he and his sister, Jutta, listened to the programs. He finds them on his own, but finds, Marie. He follows her and watches her, but she is being watched by another.

Very good story showing how people, no matter how far apart, are connected to each other. Very good information on the history of WWII in Germany and France.

11 June 2016

"The Chocolate Castle Clue"

This was another fast read. I am truly enjoying these grouping of books. This book has information on places that make chocolates and in three cases, the webpage for them.

Lee's aunt, Nettie, was once in a popular girl group that performed in high school and the local club. But it ended and the group broke up. They came back together for a high school reunion and were spending time together. When the widow of the owner of the club is murdered near Lee's house. When the group is asked for their whereabouts during the investigation of her death, they lie and Nettie asks Lee to snoop around to prove it. During this, she finds that there was more happening than just the widow's murder, her husband was murdered, too. But who did these things.

08 June 2016

"The Chocolate Falcon Fraud"

by JoAnna Carl

The town is gearing up for the film festival that will feature "The Maltese Falcon" and many others. But suddenly Lee's ex-step-son has shown up and his girlfriend has shown up also. They are searching for something special to win a prize from someone at the museum where they both are volunteers. But her ex-step-son is missing and when they find him, things just keep happening from the book/film.

But why is all this happening. Why did the captain of La Paloma come to their house and die on their doorstep and what did he bring with him? Lee's ex-step-son and his girlfriend are mixed up in it and they won't tell the truth, until finally something else happens.

Good read and very quick read. Cozy read and has some fun chocolate trivia in it.

04 June 2016

"The Chocolate Moose Motive"

by JoAnna Carl

I found this group of books because I choose books by Title, Author, Book Art or just because it is in the grouping of genre that I enjoy. Basically, I found this one because the title of another by this author caught my eye, I enjoyed it and this put the author on my to read list. Since getting all the books by her is difficult, I am reading them out of order. (As teachers taught my girls, "You get what you get and you don't throw a fit.")

In this story, Lee is in a store when she hears a man treating his daughter-in-law horribly. She wants to help the lady and puts herself in the way of the fight. Later in the parking lot, she and the lady crash and this causes Lee to want to know more about her. In the process, she hires her for a part time job and then because of the behavior of many, including the sheriff, she inserts herself into who broke into the home of her employee and her family. This leads to who killed her employee's husband.

Great read. I started on one night and finished the next morning. Fast read and enjoyable.

03 June 2016

"The Postman Always Purls Twice"

This book is by Anne Canadeo. It is a cozy knitting mystery. Her main characters are part of the Black Sheep Knitting Group. They meet at the shop of Maggie or the homes of the other members. I really thought this title was misleading. I was expecting a Postman involved in the story and Maggie came across as more prickly than she had in other books with the same group. I did enjoy the story and wanted to read the book as often as I was able to read it.

In this story, Maggie's shop is being used by a Hollywood movie group. From the moment they set up, accidents start to happen to the Power Couple (Jennifer and Nick) and their friend (Heath). This leads to one fatality. Maggie finds it hard to believe that someone as nice as Jennifer could be involved in all this, but it is with the help of her friends that they find the truth.

If you enjoy knitting and cozy mysteries, it is a good read. Enjoy.

01 June 2016

Another Book Challege

I love to read and when I find challenges for reading I like to keep them for my own personal challenge. Last year, I tried to complete a challenge, but it didn't work for me. There were quite a few that I was unable to complete on the list. But I completed quite a few of them. I decided to try it again. I may change some of options to something that I can achieve. But I think I want to keep this one for next year. 
01. [ ] A book based on a fairy tale
02. [ ] A National Book Award Winner (NOTE: Because this award is relatively new, we will allow finalists and well as winners, in order to give you more options.)
03. [ ] A young adult (YA) bestseller
04. [ ] A book you haven’t read since high school
05. [ ] A book set in your home state (or province/territory)

06. [ ] A book translated into English
07. [ ] A romance set in the future 
08. [ ] A book set in Europe 
09. [ ] A book that is under 150 pages 
10. [ ] A New York Times bestseller 

11. [ ] A book that is being made into a movie this year 
12. [ ] A book recommended by someone you just met 
13. [ ] A self-improvement book (Note that this can be on any topic: finance, health, etc)
14. [ ] A book you can finish in a day 
15. [ ] A book written by a celebrity 

16. [ ] A political memoir 
17. [ ] A book at least 100 years older than you
18. [ ] A book that’s more than 600 pages 
19. [ ] A book from Oprah’s book club 
20. [ ] A science-fiction novel 

21. [ ] A book recommended by a family member
22. [ ] A graphic novel 
23. [ ] A book that is published in 2016 
24. [ ] A book with a protagonist (main character) who has your occupation. 
25. [ ] A book that takes place during summer

26. [ ] A book and its prequel 
27. [ ] A murder mystery 
28. [ ] A book written by a comedian 
29. [ ] A dystopian novel 
30. [ ] A book with a blue cover 

31. [ ] A book of poetry 
32. [ ] The first book you see in a bookstore 
33. [ ] A classic from the 20th century 
34. [ ] A book from the library 
(Knowing that not everyone in this group has access to a public library, we will count books found at a local Little Free Library, purchased at a library used book sale, or found on a Goodread friend’s bookshelf)
35. [ ] An autobiography 

36. [ ] A book about a road trip 
37. [ ] A book about a culture with which you are unfamiliar
38. [ ] A satirical book 
39. [ ] A book that takes place on an island 
40. [ ] A book guaranteed to bring you joy 
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I looked farther on this and found some suggestions for these categories: 
Books based on Fairy Tales
1. The Best Fairy tales and Retellings
2. Based on Fairy Tales

NY Times Bestseller -- GR lists
1. New York Times Bestsellers
2. New York Times Fiction Bestsellers

Young Adult bestsellers
1. NYT Bestsellers for Young Adults
2. Your Favorites -- 100 Best Ever Teen Novels

A book from high school
Since some of you may not remember what you read in high school, feel free to choose a book from my Read in High School shelf or from the following lists:
1. 50 Books to Read in HS
2. I'm Glad Someone Made Me Read This Book
3. Best School-Assigned Books
4. Required Reading in High School"

Books Becoming Movies in 2016 
(Please note, some books listed on the first list were actually released in 2015. You'll need to verify whether any book listed will indeed be released in 2016)
1. Books Becoming Movies in 2016
2. 20 Books Becoming Movies in 2016
3. Book to Movie Adaptions for 2016

Self help books
115 Self-Help Books Everyone Needs to Read
2. Self-Help: Health, Mind, Body Books
3. GR Self Help
4. Barnes & Noble Self Help Books
5. Best Self-Help Books for Women
6. 25 Best Books on Self-Improvement

Book by a Celebrity
1. Who Let These People Write a Book
2. Celebrity Authors

Political Memoir
1. American Politics
2. Political Memoirs

Oprah's Book List
1. Oprah's Book Club Picks
2. Wiki list

Science Fiction
1. Best Dystopian and Post Apocalyptic Fiction
2. Best Science Fiction & Fantasy Books
3. Best Science Fiction of the 21st Century

More than 600 pages
1. Size Doesn't Matter -- The Long and Large Classics of Literature
2. Big Fat Fiction: Best of the Heavyweights

Set during Summer
1. Books Set During Summer
2. Summer Beach Reads: All Stories Set in Beach Towns
3. Summer YA
4. Best Contemporary Romance Set in Summer

A "prequel" is a book written after the first book in a series, but which actually takes place before the first book. I Couldn't find a good list for this one, but this list comes close. 
1. Prequels

Book by a Comedian
1. Books by Comics
2. Written by Comedians

1. Best Dystopian and Post Apocalyptic Fiction
2. YA Dystopian Novels

Blue Cover
This one shouldn't be difficult, but in case you do need suggestions:
Books With the Blues

Best Poetry Books

20th Century
Best Books of the 20th Century

(NOTE: "Auto" means the person wrote the book about his or her life; it cannot be a book written about someone else. You'll need to check books on some lists to make sure they are Autobiographies, as some lists lump them all together.)

1. Best Memoir and Biography
2. Memoirs by Women
3. Biography and Memoirs that are Better than Fiction
4. Young Adult Trip Novels
2. Road Trip
3. Fiction Books ABout Route 66
4. Best Road Trip Novels

1. Best Social and Political Satire
2. Best Satires
3. Best Satirical Fiction

Island Setting
1. Books Set on Islands
2. Desert Islands