Thursday, June 5, 2008

Defiance by Valerie Hobbs

I just picked up Defiance by Valerie Hobbs. It is a very quick read at only 117 pages, but it packs a lot into those pages. A young man named Toby who just discovered during his vacation that his cancer has returned is hiding it from his parents. He found an old bike that he is riding around the rural roads and sees a cow that is really skinny. Angry at the cow's condition he follows a dirt road to a decrepit house and meets Pearl, an old lady that is living there. Toby and Pearl develop a relationship that revolves around poetry, tea and Toby learning how to milk Blossom the cow. Although Toby is determined not to return to his cancer treatments, he learns a lot from Pearl about life. When to give up and when to fight. A great read. This book gave me goosebumps. 5 stars.

In the Garden

Well it's the first week of June and it has been a very cool spring. The tomato plants are not very big, but there are blossoms on the plants so maybe we will have tomatoes after all.

I just harvested some radishes but forgot to take a picture of them . The lettuce is doing fine, but I did have to squish to death some caterpillars that were munching on the lettuce.

The sugar snap peas are growing, but no peas yet as you can see from the pictures.

I also took some pictures of the herb garden. The oregano is taking over, but that's ok because the bees love the blossoms. The chives are doing well. I am going to plant some more thyme but I can't find a rosemary that is hardy enough for zone 5. I also planted some oriental poppies that are gorgeous but don't last long.

Here is one of the poppies. Beautiful isn't it?

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Photos by Karyn Johnston

While my brother was visiting my mom and me in May, we had some professional pictures taken by a knitter friend of mine, Karyn Johnston. Karyn specializes in natural light photography of children and families. Her pictures are fantastic!

Karyn took pictures of the four of us, and also some of just Randy and me.

Thanks Karyn for capturing such wonderful images of my family!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Dog Sledding in Wyoming

Randy and I just got back from Jackson, Wyoming where we went dog sledding. It was somewhat different from what I expected, but still fun. We met a really nice couple from Washington DC and enjoyed a great dinner with them. Here are some photos taken from the back of the sled. During our lunch break we stopped at a hot spring where if you wanted to take off 3 layers of clothing you could frolic in the water but Randy and I just enjoyed the beautiful scenery.

I spotted a Clark's Nutcracker, a type of jay which I had never seen before. A life bird for me! Also saw a raven preening in the trees. Very cool.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

BAM Challenge #1: The New Policeman by Kate Thompson

A book about time and where it is going. This book has very short chapters that open with the musical score for traditional Irish music. It's a shame that the book didn't come with a CD of the songs! Set in Ireland, with the main character playing the fiddle since the age of five is captivating as is traveling to Tir na nOg, the land of eternal youth. Time is being trapped into Tir na nOg, and the fairies there are starting to age. Also time is being lost in our world and life gets more and more frantic. The short chapters would encourage a reluctant reader to keep going and the pacing is very quick. YA reading level. I read it in one night! I rate it 5 stars!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Gift of the Unmage by Alma Alexander

Gift of the Unmage, book 1 in the Worldweavers series by Alma Alexander.

Double Seventh, the seventh child of two parents who were also seventh children.
Amazing magical ability. As the world watches, Galathea Georgiana Winthrop fails every assignment, every exam, and every teacher that tries to find out her magical gifts. As a last resort her father sends Thea back in time to a Anasazi elder who doesn't exactly teach but simply walks...

When Thea returns with still no signs of her magic, she is sent to the Wandless Academy, a school for the magically inept.

There in a place of no magic Thea faces the battle of her life.

Check out Gift of the Unmage by Alma Alexander at your local library or on

Ages 12 and up. If you like Harry Potter or Diana Wynne Jones Young Wizard series you will enjoy this book.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Trying to be like Martha Stewart

I was looking through a book Christmas with Martha Stewart and was captivated by a floral arrangement of roses that looks like a christmas tree. Unfortunately the directions did not mention how many roses were needed for this arrangement. I thought 2 dozen. Nope. 3? No. After making 3 trips to the store and 7 dozen roses later this is it. I will mention that I didn't think to take a picture while the roses were in their prime. Here is how mine turned out. Not quite like hers. This is one arrangement I won't try again. Too expensive!