Tuesday, July 30, 2013

“It’s Beginning To Look Like Christmas ….”

So yeah I’m late posting this week but I’m have a few things that I can tell ya about.  On Saturday “Boy Child” (aka bc) & I went with a friend to her have her new lens put into her frames with a small side note is that her eye doctor is down in the Otisville area.  Which is 2 1/2 hours in each direction. We did have a late start to the day which threw a bit of a monkey wrench in the works. So we had a nice scenic trip after stopping at McDonald’s for spot of breakfast and off we go.  Well then after what seemed like forever according to the boy child (who actual had his hand-held game system with him) we are finally on our way.  Now you have to realize, I gave the S.O. the information that I had, which was we were going to eye doctor. I had no prior knowledge of any other plans were in the works.

But we end up in Flint area to visit my friend’s family and see her new great grand daughter after an ice cream stop where the boy child got a scoop of Dinosaur Ice Cream.   From there we went to Frankenmuth for a meal at Zehnder’s for their famous Chicken dinner.  Oh MY!!!  There you get served family style and it’s all you can eat.  They have a frozen a raspberry lemonade that is divine … prefect for a hot, muggy day. 


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The appetizers are cranberry relish, chicken noodle soup, cottage cheese, coleslaw, garlic toast with chicken liver pate and garden vegetable spread, then tops those off with homemade white bread and Stollen bread with raspberry jam.  From there the meal comes along with Chicken, Mashed Potatoes, stuffing, gravy, maple glazed carrots, butter noodles. You can can more see info. (menu).  The boy child LOVED the butter noodles topped with the cracker crumbles.  we had to get more of those, and while he was waiting for those; the Zehnder’s Chicken came around and  took a picture with bc.  To say we ate well is an understatement. Oy Vey!!!  The bc even got to add 3 more scoops of cold ice cream & sherbet to wrap up his meal. 


We was soooooo stuffed that we more or less waddled out to the car.  From there my friend went on with another surprise.  We went to Bonner’s!!! 2 1/2 acres of everything Christmas!!! 

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We definite needed to walk off some of that dinner we just ate before geting back into the car for several more hours.  I took lots of pictures as this was my 1st time here too.  If you can think it, most likely they have it.  This place has eye candy from floor to ceiling!


Someone is already thinking about what needs to go on his list. And I’m trying to decide which ONE item will be the one going home with me.  The choices are limitless from occupation themed tress to country themes to wildlife and to Jim Shore’s.  They even had a Halloween display that captured bc’s attention. 

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I will bring you more photos in the posting to come as I took over 250 pictures … okay … it was closer to 300 pictures on that trip. One thing we did do was to grab one of the maps that is offered at the front of the store.  It’s so big they have signs all over the place handing from the ceilings which makes you look up.  We heard several families on cell phones to find each other. 

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There are sooo many ornaments… and not just the traditional ones that you would think of. 

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Well after much wondering around we finally headed out to head home.  We made it home just before 11 PM.  It was a long day. 

This week I spent time sewing on some things like testing a table runner pattern and doing some hand work on a piece for my partner in the Santa Sack Swap that I’m taking part of.  But for now I can’t show any of the photos on my WIP’s.  I been trying to get myself back into gear with that but I’m finally got the sewing machine out and working on things again.   I’m going to have a book review for you at the end of the week as I’m down to the last chapter. So I hope you’ll come back for that.  Of course there are lots of pictures to come back to see from Bronner’s. 

So I see you this upcoming weekend. 


Saturday, July 20, 2013

This weeks book in review, quilting, nasty storms and feeder visitors

This week I thought I would do things a little different and start out with doing my book reviews first. 

This past week I Read “Angels in the Fire” by Dann Stadler. This book was provided by Bethany House Publishers when it was released on July 1st for my honest opinion. So having said that, the review that follows is my own opinion and should be taken as such.  There was no influence from anyone associated with the book. 

Angels In the Fire

An Amazing True Story of Angelic Intervention in a Desperate Situation
The Stadlers' harrowing journey began with a midnight crash caused by a drunk driver. The odds they would both survive the crash were minimal--a testimony to the miracles that began that night and continued through months of surgeries and hospitalizations. The Stadlers struggled to rebuild their lives, only to face more heartache and loss. But through the hard times, their faith grew as God continued to save them from despair and bring blessings into their lives.
For everyone seeking a deeper faith or affirmation of their belief in a good God, this book will provide hope and the reassurance that God still ministers through his angels today.

This weeks words are:  Intense, Miraculous, Heart felt, Tissue worthy.

I have to admit this was a real tear jerker of a book as it was on of the most difficult stories that I’ve ever read. The intensity grabs you from the first page. It was as if I knew the guy they were talking about from my many years of being a waitress on the midnight shift.  It wasn’t unusual to be on shift when the bars let out and having the barflies literally fall in the door of the 24 hours restaurant.  Having dealt with these types on a regular bases had always made me leery and this book shows me that my fears weren’t unfounded. I could just “see” the scene unfold in my mind when Dann described the accident.  From there on the tissue box was close at hand as I continue to read the heart wrenching tale of Faith helps the Stadler’s through so much pain, their treatments that seem never-ending, the miracles of children, loss of parents. This book was so surreal for me that I wasn’t able to put it down until I finished it.  To see the photos included in the book allowed me to “meet” the Stadler’s thus putting a “face” to the story making it feel more personal to me.  this book comes to me at a time when I needed remember that one is never truly alone and that at any given time, a bit of Faith & Pray can be what is missing in one’s life when everything seems to be too much. 

I would give this book a 5 out of 5 stars.  It was well written.  You got to read how one family’s Faith got them through many battles big and small to become better, stronger people not only in the family dynamics', but also those in the community who lives that they touched too. If you need to see God’s work; just look around you with truly open eyes. The miracles are there to see.


Okay now I did use the plural form of books at the beginning since I managed to get another book in this week.  After reading such a tear jerker, I had to escape back to the world of fiction in my next reading endeavor. I was provided with an e-reader copy of “The Silver Chain  by Primula Bond.  This is book 1 in Unbreakable Trilogy that was released July 4th by Harper Collins UK, Avon.  via NetGallery.

Silver Chain

Bound by passion, she was powerless to resist.
One dark evening in London, photographer Serena Folkes is indulging her impulsive side with a night-time shoot. But someone is watching her – mysterious entrepreneur Gustav Levi. Serena doesn’t know it yet, but this handsome stranger will change her life forever…
Serena is fascinated by Gustav, the enigmatic owner of the Levi Gallery, and she soon feels an irresistible pull of attraction. The interest is mutual, and Gustav promises to launch Serena’s photographic career at his gallery, but only if Serena agrees to become his exclusive companion.
To mark their agreement, Gustav gives Serena a bracelet to wear at all times. Attached to it is a silver chain of which he is the keeper. With the chain Gustav controls Serena physically and symbolically – a sign that she is under his power.
As their passionate relationship intensifies, Gustav’s hold on the silver chain grows stronger. But will Gustav’s dark past tear them apart?

Words for this one: Flatly Erotic, Wordy, Let-Down

Well this book has was compared to “Fifty Shades of Gray” series and I had some expectations for it but hoped that it could hold it’s own. But what I found was that it was choppy, confusing, wordy and a let down.  To me the plot was too “cookie cutter” as it tries to compete with FSOG.  We have the poor little, previously abused, orphan girl trying to break out of her shell with her photographing in seemingly exotic locations such as Florence, Venice and London where she takes “voyager-like”  photos that she hopes to propel her into the “Up & Coming” Art field.  Enter stage left the Less-Than-Contrite, older, broody, male billionaire who will be her “savior” with his art gallery but for a price … of course!!  So we have Serena -- the not-quite-innocent girl barely out of school with something of a “oh woo is me -- feel bad for me – hand me the world” complex being led the big bad wolf of a supposed Hero -- Gustav -- with more then his share of mental anguish stemming his own fubar-ed relationship with his baby-brother-stealing-Dominatrix ex-wife. Oh yeah!! Not!  Gustav seems to come across somewhat like a grown spoiled brat and a controlling jerk when dealing with everyone around him, including Serena. It was hard to find any sympathy for him and truth be told if I had met Serena in real life, I’d would have to fight with myself from reaching up and smacking her on the back of the head, with a “Snap out of it & come back to the real world.  We don’t wait for a “Prince Charming” to get here ‘cuz he isn’t coming!”   

I know .. I know .. this is a work of fiction but to me it was just too….. humm … what’s the word I’m looking for?   Too overdone.  Yeah that’s it …. overdone. The plot, the characters, the erotic scenes, the whole bit with a British twist to it.  I think the story line was rushed and pushed out before it was smoothened out with hopes of catching the FSOG coattails to success.  Now I did manage to finish the book with the hopes that it might pick up and improve but sadly it never did.  So in my honest and unbiased opinion, I am trying hard to even to give it 2 stars out of 5.  As always with my reviews, although the publishing house provided the book to me – the opinion is mine and all mine without any influences associated with the making of the book and should be taken with a grain of salt.


Now that I have those done let’s take a look into my quilt-y world for this week.  The sewing machine is still in it’s time out but fear not!!! {Cues up dramatic music -- Dunt Dunt Da} I learned to …. wait for it ……   PAPER PIECE!!!!  And I got proof!!! LOL!  Last week when I was out with Ms. L. from my Wednesday morning group we had some little shop hopping in the Greenville/Lakeview  area.  We happen to be just doors from VJ’s Materials-N-More when we visited the Dime Store where they had the super priced flat folds.  I spent quite a bit there but I can say that all of it wasn’t even for me.  I needed some reds for a couple packages that I was working on and there was a print that will be the prefect frame for an embroidery piece I’m currently doing as a part of a gift bundle.  Anyways I digressed, we arrive at VJ’s only to find it closed for the day.  Slightly bummed we turned around to go only to come to realize that tone of the ladies we pasted was actually the owner.  She was talking to Ms. L. as I walked back to do a little more window peeking. VivianJane actually opens the door so we can take a look around.  As I peruse the shop, they get talking and it comes out that I’m looking to learn how to paper piece. After a few more minutes we get an invite to come back on Saturday for a lesson.  SWEETTTTT!!! So long story short…. we go back …. I get to learning and Viola!! This is what I did….


Ms. VivianJane pulls out the shop’s copy of Carol Doak’s “Show Me How to Paper Piece” that she made several copies for me and pointed me to the scrap basket.  As I work, she shows Ms. L. some other neat projects that would make great gifts.   Ms. VJ (as she is known) waits patiently as I learn from my mistakes and answers all my not-so-intelligent questions.  She has such a wonderful person that she makes you feel very welcomed in her shop like she and you are the best of friends from many years back. In fact her story is in the Michigan version of the “Country Register” July/August issue on page 17 for those of you in the area.  I can’t wait to do more shopping there. 

Last night we had a right down nasty storm roll through the area.  The sky turned a shade of yellow-orange that I’ve don’t think I’ve seen before. We watched the clouds roll in with high winds of nastiness and then it went quiet and sky went flat. 

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As in no cloud definition and the thunder was more of an continuous low rumble. It was eerie to say the least.  never seen rain like that … we was lucky but the neighbor lost half a fruit tree. That is the rain in solid sheets that make the picture to appear blurry.

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It did make for interesting cloud shots when I could get them afterwards.  I wished I had gotten some more of the pre-storm sky but by the time I found the camera… the coloring had changed again. 

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Right afterwards, I got a call from Ms. L.  who was checking to make sure we came through the storm okay.  She apparently didn’t get the whole “nastiness” but just a few little flashes, booms and little rain.  She processed to tell that another one of the girls in the circle had 3 or 4 come down on their place.  One just missed the house, another took out the duck house and pen and the was still a couple more down.  Ms.B. almost believes that a possible funnel cloud may have touched down near her.  How scary!!

Well with all that excitement I think I’ll just end by showing you some pictures of my little feeder visitors.  As always I love hearing from you – my readers. So please let me know what you think of this weeks post. 


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Sunday, July 7, 2013

Happy Birthday America!!

So this week has us celebrating our 237th year of our Independence from England and so we should take a minute to realize what that means to each of us.  Then we should think about all the people that died giving us our continuous Freedoms that we fought so hard to keep.  Now I’m one who believe that it is best to keep my religious, and political views to myself as they enviably lead to some heated “discussions”, but I do honor to realized that I have the right to opinions without persecution even if I keep my thoughts to myself. I’m thankful for the right to have the right to think as I do and the right not to voice said views.  So Happy Birthday America!!! May we continue to have the Right to Freedom!


In other household news, we had company here at the little homestead for the 4th. All the little people (i.e.- the children) had a blast playing in the river and making lots of joyous noise. There was a huge bounty of food that laden the table for all to partake when ever the mood struck ya and the heavenly scent of grilled meats wafting all through the air in our little vista.  As the day progressed into evening, there was snaps, pops, and whistles as poppers, snakes and tanks were set off to the glee of the children.  As the night silently sneaks in, little eyes start to droop as the sandman creeps, as all settle in for the night’s reprieve. On Friday, things start all over again with breakfast of pancakes, eggs and bacon as the 3 mer-folk anxiously waiting for the phrase that allows them back into the river until lunch time.  The winds down drastically when the company leaves to the point that my men folk take naps to recoup.  Upon waking, my Other Half; suggest a trip into the village for 3 fish dinners for the night’s meal and I happily agree, even though we sit here with a fridge full of food.

Saturday finds the household trying to re-establish our routine when the doorbell rings.  It’s a friend of mind bearing a package for me.  Yippee!!! It’s here! A gadget just for me.  I decided that with the money that I made from the Tee - Shirt Quilt that I made, I would invest in an e-reader for my professional reading & reviews.  After doing a bit of research on Amazon.com, my choose was to buy a second-hand Sony E-Reader.  Since I don’t have an account, I gladly handed over the cash to my friend as they used their account to order it for me.


It’s silver and just a prefect fit for the palm of my hand.  It did come with the neoprene case and necessary cords, the only thing that it didn’t have was the manual.  I don’t really mind as I’m able play with it and figure it out. I now have 6 books for review on it, which will be a drop in the bucket for the device holds around 350 books at one given time.

This past week in quilting, I did manage to do a couple of things.  I continued to make additions to my hand appliquéing on the Challenge top even with company here.  On Wednesday during quilt group, with the assistances of Ms. D.,  I have a table runner all cutout for a pattern that I’m testing for Bea of http://www.beaquilter.com/ so there won’t a nice pretty picture of it until I received word from Ms. Bea saying other words. But what I can show you is the the fabrics that Ms. D. used out of her “car stash”.  I really love the combination we came up with and it didn’t cost me a thing!! LOL Got to love when that happens. I’m helping Ms. D. stash bust her overabundant fabric collection. Well I’m going to show ya 3 out 4 fabrics just so you’ll want to come back and see that 4th fabric once it’s all done.  Wink Wink Nudge Nudge.  LOL. 


And that wasn’t all. I managed to do some prep work for a piece embroidery for my partner in the Santa Sack Swap that I joined up with over at http://santasackswap.blogspot.com.au/ that Cheryll is running. 

OpeNs on JUNE 1st

We Started in June and we mail December 1st - six wonderful little gifts in a stocking, tote or sack.  I have already got some things in the works for this. In June I made a purchase, for July, I’m working on the ”homemade” element as per the rules so I’m feeling like I’m kind of on track for minute. 

So yeah, even with the holiday; I was able to do more than I excepted with the sewing machine being packed away. I think next week is soon enough to drag everything back out from the iron to the sewing machine and re-start the “must do” list that is currently next to my laptop and growing. Some of the things on the are quick & small items that once I cut them out & sit down with will take only a few minutes with but I do have to figure out how to do “foundation” piecing for one of the items. So that one will take a more than a “New York Minute” to finish. 

I don’t know how many people actually know this about me but I LOVE making Grilled Cheese sandwiches. To me a plain grilled cheese sandwich made with pre-packaged cheese slices just don’t cut it.  Actually I HATE those and have since childhood.  I couldn’t wait until I was allowed to use the stove all by myself.  From then on, my palette forever grew in my mind long before I found out there are shops that specialize in such gastric pleasures. This week I was playing with my taste buds when I can up with this tasty combination for a grilled sandwich.  I had some sauerkraut rye bread, some thinly sliced domestic Swiss cheese and smoked turkey that is almost thin enough - but not quite - to be considered to be shaved.  That would have been enough but for the fact that I had six eggs whites in a bowl from making my homemade Hollandaise sauce from the day before.  As I try to reach past said bowl for a tomato, the thought of tossing all those eggs whites down the drain make me cringe and I pull them out too. 

The scent of a few dashes of McCormick’s Mediterranean Spiced Sea Salt added to the the eggs whites as they cook begin to co-mingle with the delectable smells coming from the flat griddle pan as melted butter sizzles quietly as it marries itself to the fragrance of mild sauerkraut rye with slow bubbling ooze of the Swiss cheese with the smoked turkey that is on it’s own caramelizing. My mouth waters as the salivating sections come together to be plated with the simplest of side of a sliced tomato and a couple garlic-y dill pickles rounding things out.  This lunch would have been right at home in some fancy-schmancy gourmet sandwich shop. The biggest complement was when my Son C. came out from his room, looked over my shoulder to see what I was having for lunch. He proceeds to questioning me about the sandwich contents, he decided that he too would like one of these sandwiches.  After putting the culinary flavors together, C. ate it faster than a pool of piranhas savaging a large meal.  Now you must realize that C. is a tad bit of a picky eater, so it’s a HUGE deal when he wants something outside of his menu repertoire. 


I did get some reading done this past week & a half in between errand running, house cleaning and assisting in yard work.  There was actually 4 books finished.  I continued on with the Kim Harrison’s Hollow Series with books 2 – 4.  I truly find that I’m really enjoying the fellow Michigander books and seemly can’t read them fast enough. If you are a Laurell K. Hamilton fan of her Anita Baker series, run to get a copy of this series by Kim Harrison. I found them to be fast reads as I started book 5 just last night in bed while I waited for the sandman to perform his duties. 

                                      Kim Harriosn's GBUhcCover     kim Harrison's EWWBDhcCover    Kim harrison's FOChcCover

Now you would think these 3 books would have been enough to deal with my literary hunger but NOOOOO-OO-O, I had to add yet another one that I also finished.  This free book comes to me from Bethany House Publishers but the opinion that I give is purely mine and not associated with them, the author or anyone else necessary in the making of the book.  The book up for this weeks review is “The Quarryman’s Bride” By Tracie Peterson.

I have to say that my words for this one is: Thought Provoking.


The synopsis that Bethany House provided here reads:

Emmalyne Knox has always loved Tavin MacLachlan. But when tragedy strikes her family, Emmalyne's father declares she can no longer marry. Despite Tavin's pleas to defy the decision, Emmalyne refuses. In her act of obedience, she gives up the future she'd always dreamed of.
When Emmalyne's father returns to the quarry business years later, Tavin and Emmalyne meet again. And though circumstances have changed in both of their lives, they cannot deny the feelings that still exist. Can Emmalyne find a way to heal the decade-long wound that has fractured the two families...and change the hearts of those who stand in the way of true love?

Now while this is Not my normal genre of reading material, I found the story well written in my opinion.  This is the 1st book of Tracie Peterson that I’ve read, so I’ve nothing to compare to as I normally would.  The storyline was easy and smooth to follow, thus allowing me to sit down and read it in a single evening.

It evoked some thoughts of my own past and how things are with my own estranged parents.  This book allows the reader to ponder their own feelings towards God and how the characters and self used the power of prayer to fix the strained relationships within the family and how compassion, empathy, love and beliefs are needed in everyday life. 

The book transport’s you historically back to what life would have been like in the time when the nation was in it’s infancy stage.  The research that Tracie Peterson has done for the book gives you the ability to image yourself as a character in 1886.  She makes you feel the aching muscles, the loneliness of being sequestered out in the prairies when the 3 miles to the closest friends & neighbors are but a brisk walk away. The heartache and tragic that repeatedly visits the Knox family brought a few tears of sympathy I had for the woman of the Knox family and the hard almost-uncaring stiffness personality of Luthias Knox, Emmalyne’s Father. To be told that you are now being told you MUST honor God, that in the teachings of God; that you must honor your Father and Mother, that your life is no longer your own is devastating and at times, causes Emmalyne to question her Faith.   

Who doesn’t wish at times for that second chance to go back and mend a decision that was made? To change the consequences of said decision? To find that happy-ever-after that the fairy tales all talk about?  I found that I was able to enjoy the story for it’s self without the feeling of being preached at with every page turn. I also found it to be thought provoking and the storyline continues to pop into my mind at odd moments leaving me thinking along the way.  When I go to the library this week I plan to look for more books by Tracie Peterson as I would give this 5 stars out of a possible 5. 

Wow and here I thought I really didn’t have much to share this week.  Silly me … what was I THINKING! Am hoping that with the moving from GFS to Bloglovin’ hasn’t caused too many issues and that all my readers experienced a smooth transition with me. I hope to hear more from all of you as next time, I will previewing “Angels In the Fire” by Dann Stadler for Bethany House Publishing about a dramatic rescue based on a true story.