Wednesday, September 16, 2015

I Won, I won, I won!!!!!!

Look what I received in the mail today.  A package all the way from Wales from Pam at A New Life in Wales!!
Look at all the goodies.  The picture doesn't do the items justice.  Today is very overcast and dull (8degreesC) and this picture is taken on my bed!

First of all there is a very handy craft bag that is just the right size for a knitting project.

Then so many other things.  First of all a very pretty waist apron that my GD claimed as soon as she saw it.  She loves to bake and cook and is at present saving for a mixmaster like grandmas.
Also included was the cutest little pincushion, a rainbow wheel of quilting pins, a package of 5 different ribbons, some pink satin cord, 42-21/2" Moda squares-love the colours from pale grey to black,  a selection of squares from 'Stash of Pam' (I think), a selection of templates, Angel in a Heart Garland pattern, modern dresdens made easy instructions and a bookmark, phew!!!!!
What an amazing giveaway, and what's even more amazing is that it all fit inside a 13x8 envelope!!!
Thank you so much Pam for a wonderful giveaway. 
Oh, by the way, you have a very unusual address Pam, if I didn't read your blog I would never know that the package came all the way from Wales!

Bye for now.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Visitors for my birthday!!!

Today is my birthday and Cooper (and GD1) came to visit this morning.  He's sure grown a lot and he's only 4 months old!

We went out for supper for a fabulous seafood feast.  About 10 minutes after we got home this is what was wandering around on the front yard.  A bobcat!!!  

I hope he finds his way home back to Fish Creek Park and doesn't come visiting again!!

Saturday, August 8, 2015

2015 Books 8-14

Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
In her early thirties, Elizabeth Gilbert had everything a modern American woman was supposed to want-husband, country home, successful career-but instead of feeling happy and fulfilled, she felt consumed by panic and confusion.  This book is the story of how she left behind all these outward marks of success, and what she found in their place.  Following a divorce and a crushing depression, Gilbert set out to examine three different aspects of her nature, set against the backdrop of three different cultures: pleasure in Italy, devotion in India, and on the Indonesian island of Bali, a balance between worldly enjoyment and divine transcendence.
I found this book interesting in parts and boring and tedious in others.  There is a followup to this story-Weddings and Evictions, a memoir about her unexpected journey into second marriage.  I will read the second book (when and if I find it at a book sale) to find out what the rest of the story is.

The Valley of Amazement by Amy Tan
Shanghai, 1912.Violet Minturn is the daughter of the American madam of the city's most exclusive courtesan house.  But when the Ching dynasty is overturned, Violet is separated from her mother and forced to become a "virgin courtesan".
Spanning more than forty years and two continents, this novel maps the lives of three generations of women connected by blood and history-and the mystery of an evocative painting known as "The Valley of Amazement."  Moving from the collapse of China's last imperial dynasty to the rise of the Republic, the growth of lucrative foreign trade and anti-foreign sentiment, and the inner workings of courtesan houses, The Valley of Amazement interweaves the story of Violet, a celebrated Shanghai courtesan on a quest for both love and identity, and her mother, Lucia, an American woman whose search for penance leads them to an unexpected reunion.
This is a deeply moving narrative of family secrets, legacies, and the profound connections between mothers and daughters.
 I think this is the first book I've read by Amy Tan and I found it to be a good read.

Resistant by Michael Palmer
Dr. Lou Welcome never could have imagined what a sports injury would mean for his best friend, Cap Duncan.  Surgeons manage to save Cap's shattered leg, but the open wound is the perfect breeding ground for a deadly microbial invader committed to eating Cap alive from the inside out.  Meanwhile, hundreds of miles away, a teenage girl is fighting for her life against the same microbe.  The germ is resistant to any known antibiotic-and the government scientist tasked with finding a cure has been kidnapped.  And time has already run out...
Turning to the Centers for Disease Control for help, Lou uncovers a link to the Society of One Hundred Neighbours, a terrorist organization whose members are holding our own health institutions hostage.  Like the microbe itself, One Hundred Neighbours will stop at nothing to further its agenda.  Now, from the hospital corridors where anything you touch can mean your end to the top corridors of domestic power in this war against humanity, Lou must put an end to a terrifying epidemic-if it doesn't kill him first.
This was quite the page turner, I really enjoyed reading it.

The Nature of the Beast by Frances Fyfield
Amy Petty is dead.  But Amy Petty is alive...
When an intercity train from Kent to London crashes, it isn't only fate that decides who is killed: one passenger uses the opportunity for argument to spill over into murder, while another-blond, beautiful Amy Petty-sees the accident as a chance to leave her life behind.
But why would Amy Petty want the world to presume her dead?  Is it because of her husband, currently embroiled in a libel action against a national newspaper?  Douglas Petty, a former barrister, is rich, charismatic and evil tempered: he runs a dog sanctuary in a brutally eccentric manner.  Amy was to be his star witness; without her, his reputation faces ruin.
A brooding thriller of truth, betrayal and human instinct which I enjoyed reading.

My Secret Sister by Helen Edwards and Jenny Lee Smith
Helen grew up in a pit village in Tyneside in the post-war years, with her gran, aunties and uncles living nearby.  She felt safe with them, but they couldn't protect her from her neglectful mother and violent father.  Blamed for everything that went wrong in their lives, she suffered years of abuse.
Jenny was adopted at six weeks old and grew up in Newcastle.  An only child, she knew she was loved and with the support of her parents she became a champion golfer.  But she still felt that something was missing.
Neither knew of the other's existence until Jenny went looking for her birth family and found her sister Helen.  Together they searched for the truth about Jenny's birth-and uncovered a legacy of secrets and lies that overturned everything Helen thought she knew about her family.
Moving and inspirational, this is a story of the extraordinary bond of sisterhood, and a tribute to two women strong enough to let love, not bitterness, define them.
At times this true story is heartbreaking, especially when reading about the treatment of Helen as a child.  I did find it somewhat anticlimactic towards the end when all thy want to find out is if they are twins or not.  I think it would have been better if that fact wasn't printed on the cover.

The Silent Wife by A.S.A. Harrison
Jodi and Todd are at a bad place in their marriage.  Much is at stake, including the affluent life they lead in their beautiful waterfront condo in Chicago, a she, the killer, and he, the victim, rush haplessly toward the main event.  He is a committed cheater.  She lives and breathes denial.  He exists in dual worlds.  She likes to settle scores.  He decides to play for keeps.  She has nothing left to lose.  Told in alternating voices, The Silent Wife is about a marriage in the throes of dissolution, a couple headed for catastrophe, concessions that can't be made, and promises that won't be kept.
For me this was a very bizarre and weird story.  That's what I get for taking the word of a complete stranger standing next to me at the book sale.  She thought it was the best book she had ever read and was so sad that the author has died and there will be no more books from her.  I must have missed something!

Bones Never Lie by Kathy Reichs
It's the nightmare scenario-a serial killer is on the loose and is targeting children.  Dr. Temperance Brennan is unexpectedly called in to the Charlotte PD to consult on two child murders that are separated by a thousand miles.  Tempe discovers that the two cases have one link in common, and she's suddenly in the middle of her own personal nightmare.  Years ago, Anique Pomerleau kidnapped and murdered a number of girls in Montreal, and narrowly missed being captured be Brennan and police detective Andrew Ryan.  Now, Pomerleau has resurfaced in the United States, connected to two more victims in Vermont and North Carolina.  When another child is snatched, the reign of nightmares promises to continue, unless Tempe can take this second chance to stop a psychopath.
As Tempe's past and present collide in this nail-biting chase to stop the deadliest and most elusive of predators, Brennan has to draw her bitter ex-partner out of exile, keep the local and state police from one another's throats, and face more than just her own demons.
I enjoy all this authors books and this one, once again did not disappoint.  AND it left you with a bit of a cliff hanger!

Well, that's it for now.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Cooper Benjamin

This is eldest GD,s new baby. He is 7 weeks and 2 days old and is a Golden Retriever/Doodle.  He came for a visit today and was very well behaved.  He went to the bathroom outside, played and slept.  He's soooooooo cute!!!

Friday, July 3, 2015

Backyard update

 These flowers are not from my garden, they are a beautiful bouquet that my sister sent to our aunt.
 These are my hanging baskets sitting in basins getting a good drink.  It is so hot that they dry out really fast.

 This is all that is left of the blueberry bush.  I cut it back this morning, ready to be dug out.  There were no signs of any flowers and I should have been getting berries by now.  I couldn't budge it, but hopefully DH will be able to dig it out.  
There were also lots of daisies here as well.  They are now all in the green bin.  They spread like crazy and were even coming up in the lawn.
I don't know what I'll put in this corner as it is quite shady.  The shed (white) faces north and the fence faces east.The tiger lilies like this corner as they are coming up in between the fence and the raised bed in the rocks.  I don't want those either because I have lots in the front yard.
The green in the lower left corner are onions, in a half barrel, that I grew from seed last year and left in over winter.. I was amazed that they survived but they did!

 The pink roses are doing really well.
 I love these red roses.  The picture doesn't do them justice, they are a very deep red.

 The yellow roses are just about finished.  There were several hundred on the bush but last such a short time.
 The pots and planters have all filled in nicely.

 The lilies have just started to flower in the last few days.  Although they are beautiful I am quite disappointed with them.  When I planted them 2 years ago I had pale orange, deep orange, white, deep burgundy and yellow.  I got them as cuttings from a friend so I know that the colours were there at that time.  Now they are all pale or deep orange.  I googled this and apparently this is quite common that the colours will revert to orange!

 The peonies were beautiful for a few days and there were over 75 blooms.  Unfortunately we had two thunderstorms with heavy, heavy rain and the peonies were trashed and there are only a few bedraggled blooms left.

The weather is supposed to cool off this coming week, so hopefully we'll get the blueberry bush out and a few other outside jobs done without sweating to death!!

Bye for now.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Backyard today

My backyard is looking pretty nice at the moment.  I was too late to take pictures of the purple/black irises, allium and a few others as they have finished flowering already.  Sadly the flowers don't last very long.

 This is a beautiful Martha Washington geranium.  I got 3 of them and this is the darkest shade.
 First time I have bought a hanging pot of strawberries.   There are lots of flowers and quite a few berries but I don't think I'll end up with $8.00 worth!!
 Solar lilies.
 These are my solar lilies and they look gorgeous when they are lit up at night.
 My one and only flower on the clematis.  There should be a lot more in a week or so.
 This is a wind spinner that my BFF gave me for my birthday last year.  Very little wind today so it was barely moving.  Yesterday it was very windy and I thought it was going to take off!!
 This is my peony plant.  As you can see, it is huge.  I'm 5'7' and it comes up to my shoulder!  There are approx. 75 buds and will be gorgeous when they all open.  The flowers are white.  I'll have to remember to take a picture when it is in full bloom.  Sadly these flowers only last a few days.
 This is my blueberry bush.  I've had it for about 5 years.  The most berries I've had is 10!  This year it has shot up, the branches are 8-10 feet high.  All the white is fuzz (not bugs) which are turning into leaves.  No sign of any flower buds.  If there are no berries this year I'm going to dig it out and put something else in it's place.  It's too bad as I love blueberries.
 The rhubarb is growing like mad and is ready to pick.
 Two tomato plants coming along nicely.  They have a few flowers.  In the front pot are pattypan squash.  The red things are plastic spoons that I stick in to show where I planted the seeds.
 More squash.  I think these are either green or yellow zucchini.
 Persian yellow rose.  There are over 200 buds on here.  
 Very pretty pansies.
 Lots of petunias, lobelia and other bedding plants.
 Another Martha Washington geranium and more petunias and lobelia.
 Striped hosta and I can't remember the name of the ground cover.
 I think this is pink dianthus.
 Blue/mauve iris.
 Flowering succulent
 White iris.  Very dainty.
That's most of what is flowering in the backyard today.  I'll have to remember to take more pictures when things are further along.

Bye for now.