Two book reviews

The Marriage Pact by Michelle Richmond…Published in 2017 My book buddy, Colleen, sent this one to me. It was her favorite from last year.

This couple gets married, they are in their 30’s and into their careers. He is a therapist or counselor and she is an attorney. Through a case that she is taking care of she has met this man and he finds out that they are getting married. Off handedly she invites him and his wife and he accepts because he just Loves weddings.
As a gift from these people a beautiful wooden box is sent to them. It is locked and on the outside is an engraved plaque with their names and the words “The Pact.” Instructions are not to open it until a certain person is with them. They get back from their honeymoon, and of course their curiosity gets to them and they try to open the box but can’t.
They set up an appointment with the person they are to meet with and one of the questions that is asked “Do you want your marriage to last forever?” So they sign the papers and get into this group that seems to know their every move. There are penalties if they do not follow the many rules of the book. The whole object is to keep the marriages together and it was founded by a woman who lives on an island off of Northern Ireland.
The group keeps growing, A couple has to be vetted to receive an offer to be accepted into the group. It has a lot of cash and connected people in it. For example they own prisons where they take a person, from a marriage, that is not following the rules and help them see the light. Some of the rules are, you have to plan a vacation twice a year, you have to buy a gift for no certain occasion once a month, you have to come home early enough to contribute time to the marriage. All good things on the surface but there are people watching if a person in the couple is not following it. They are reported to the council and given a phone call or paid a visit or kidnapped and taken to prison.
As time went on, and all the “incidents” kept snowballing, they decided they wanted out. More bazaar incidents happened and you don’t know until the very end if they made it or not.
I enjoyed the book but I am sure that I had a perplexed look on my face throughout the whole reading of it. “Why did you sign on! How could you not see it was weird!” It was a good book, and had good points to use in a marriage. Just the way they went about was bazaar!

Count The Wings, the life and art of Charley Harper by Michelle Houts Published 2018

Artist Charley Harper is a huge inspiration for me. His minimal realism style and humor I am very drawn to. His use of nature and the bright colors are wonderful. This is a very easy read because it was written for young readers ages 8 to 13. It is his biography taking us from birth on a West Virginia farm, his art, World War II, going to art school, finding his own style and his later years. I loved the more inside look at Charley Harper.

 

Books, Binging and Movies

For those of you who know me or have followed me, you know my love affair with books. I download some on my devices but I really do miss the feel of them. Here is a recent one that was purchased. Much of my Amazon points are used for books, and enjoy going in, buying it, getting them in two days (prime) and not paying a dime, Such a simple luxury for me. My goal list has decluttering on it, and I get a lot of inspiration from books. This should tell me to just “let it go”, which is hard to do sometimes.

This book was pulled out from a pile in my closet. Doesn’t this just have the cutest cover? I never finished it the first time, life just took over I bet. It has very thoughtful stories in it.

A pile of books by my bed. The top three are new. “The Red Tent” has become a favorite. It was read a few years ago but I wanted to revisit it again. “Still Me” and “Colonel Roosevelt” are the third books in a trilogy.

Favorites from workshops I have taken and biographys of Chip and Joanna and The Busch Sisters. My sister in law sent those to me….I love, love biographys! “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” needs to be picked up and finished. I must have gotten bogged down with something in it, and I like the book but it must have been a slow part.

This movie I was searching for on Amazon Prime and Netflix but it was not open for watching yet, so I just purchased the DVD. Very enjoyable, I have watched it twice so far. It’s a keeper. While searching I came across a documentary called Packed in a Trunk-The Lost Art of Edith Lake Wilkerson. It was very good also and I had to watch it twice to catch everything and answer questions. Movies we have watched as a family was The Expendables 1 and 2 but still have the third one to go. A group of mercenary’s headed by Sylvester Stallone are hired by people to do rescues in of course, unconventional ways. Lots of explosions and death but I think the amusing parts are when Chuck Norris, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis show up out of the blue. One of the ruffians looks at Sylvester Stallone and says “who is going to show up next….Rambo”? I didn’t think I would ever say this, but I look forward to watching number three.

So this little character started my life of Binge watching. My Oldest, Sam gave to me at Christmas, this figure. I was very perplexed, I had no idea who it was. So I had him explain it and when he said Superhero I was hooked. I love Superhero’s! The Netflix account is his so I had not looked into it because I had an Amazon Prime account. Well this has opened up a whole new world. I had watched all they offered of Green Arrow, then Flash, then The Crown, which was fabulous! When I finished each show, I was kind of depressed for an hour, after realizing I have to wait till the current season is over to watch them in succession. I am now watching Flint Town which is pretty good too, but I can stop after one show, it doesn’t take over my life, like the others.

 

This pile here, is the last of my thrift store books from vacation last year.

This book has short stories, poems and beautiful artwork by G. Webb and Ron Evans.

Much to my delight, I have an autographed copy by G. Webb. What a find!

One example of the watercolor paintings. He has a gallery in Gatlinburg, TN.

This book I picked up in Northeast Harbor, on Mount Desert Island in Maine. She lived in Philadelphia and was a bit eccentric. Wouldn’t let me just look, I asked about an old botanical, she showed this, had an 8.00 price tag. Said she was surprised about that and it should be more. She was overwhelmed because she then had many more customers come in. So I picked this up and it’s pretty cool.

A former owner had an address embosser and he was H. Conrad Meyer, from Chestnut Hill in Philadelphia. I did a little investigating and found that he used to be the Vice President of Foote Mineral Co. which was closed in 1991 and is now a Superfund Site to be cleaned up. That’s all I could find though, but very interesting.

The plates as they are called, are very neat and it was first published in 1934.

This one was picked up in the Vermont thrift store. I liked it since our destination was Maine.

This also came from Vermont but I had visited Oregon earlier in the year. I hope to go back some day, there is so much to see that I missed.

Thrift Store Books

When on vacation this past July, one of our routes took us through Vermont, the green mountain state. I could immediately see why they called it that.

To get from one interstate to another we had to take this charming (I am serious) two lane road, which of course had the usual summer construction. The scenery and towns were so quaint and beautiful. We would not have gotten to see it on the interstate.

I don’t even remember the name of this little town but the next few pictures are a sampling of it. I loved the fence and the flowers and the white and black house.

This structure was so neat with the blocks of rock and the muted colors were fabulous! I even got the informational dog waste sign in the picture. I was taking these photos from the car, on a sunny day. That’s why they are kind of crooked and I did have to adjust the brightness and contrast to make it show how it actually looked.

This tells you we were near Vermont 12 and I don’t know if Suicide six is a ski mountain or what. There are also two other town names that may help. Before we hit this town though we came across an old bunch of buildings that had artist studios, a huge thrift shop, a pizza shop with a bar. We pulled off to take a break. It was the Bridgewater Thrift store in Bridgewater Vermont.  I had the best time there, came out with a heavy box and a heavy bag and spent $50.00!

I had been intending to get some art books to brush up on the old masters and I found four good ones at the total price of $11.00. Many religious pictures in this one.

This is a great one about Van Gogh.

I love the impressionist painters.

Another good one, my head will just be bursting with knowledge. I have more books to share, but will save them for another time.

 

Literature and Moving Pictures

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I wanted to share with you what I have been reading recently. I became interested in Theodore Roosevelt from the PBS documentary “The Roosevelts” which I have mentioned in the past that I loved. Teddy Roosevelt did so many things and was such a high energy man. I found this author, Edmund Morris, who wrote this in depth biography which is very good. It is the first book of three featuring different phases of Teddy’s life. This one is The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt and the other two are Theodore Rex and Colonel Roosevelt. I can tell he has done much research and when there was not much written about a certain topic then he will admit there is not much found about it. We are planning a trip to New York soon and my plans are visiting his home, Sagamore Hill, in Oyster Bay on Long Island. We are staying only an hour from it.

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I am a member of Art Fair Insiders, an informational site that lists through emails and a website are fairs to apply to. Also there are reviews of art shows and other helpful information. McKenna Hallett advertised about a book that she wrote about selling artwork and so I decided that It would be helpful to purchase it. It is thought provoking and made me look at the sales part of selling art. Her website is called My Golden Words.

 

 

 

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I really enjoyed this book and it has given me much information about just the art fair experience. I really just zipped through it and could relate to many things she wrote about. It included helpful tips about tools I should have in my supplies. It spoke about putting up and taking down in adverse weather and also leaving your art and tent overnight for two or three day shows. It was one of the most helpful books I found on this topic. Art Festival Guide by Maria Arango Diener. It can be found on Amazon and I downloaded it to my Kindle. Her art business name is 1000 Woodcuts and the website is here

 

We at our house have decided to watch a movie together every Sunday Evening.  I am going to give a list of what we have watched so far and my view of it.

  1.  Dirty Grandpa-Not exactly what we expected.  It had some comedy but was very crude.  It was a bit shocking at times.
  2. Saving Mr. Banks-This is the story about how Walt Disney came about making the movie Mary Poppins.  The movie turned out totally different than what I had visioned in my mind.  The author, Pamela L. Travers was quite a difficult woman.  The story centers a lot about that.  Many times you may feel like shaking her! The movie also brings out why she is such a difficult person to deal with.  This is a long movie and dragged at times.  I did like Tom Hanks as Walt Disney.
  3. The Nut Job-an animated movie that we enjoyed very much.  It had good squirrels and bad racoons.  A squirrel that was all about himself and ones that were saving the village.  It was super cute.
  4. Pursuit of Happyness-An older movie that was made in 2006 starring Will Smith and his son.  It has a great story and an uplifting outcome.  We had forgotten how many rough times Will Smith’s character had to go through.  It showed that tenacity is what a person needs to make it.
  5. Mr. Peabody and Sherman-This is an animated movie also that is really a history lesson too.  Mr. Peabody the dog is a brainiac and adopts a boy and names him Sherman.  They had invented a time machine that takes them to historical places and they participate in history.  Of course to make it interesting there were problems at the end, but it was fun and made us laugh. We also enjoyed this movie very much.

I also have been using my Amazon Prime which enables me to have many free movies.

  1. Take Me Home-A man who lives in New York City who is a photographer.  He cannot find work and eventually gets evicted from his apartment.  He has an old cab that is his regular car but decides to make money by posing as an actual cab driver and he picks up a woman who just found her husband about to have an affair with a co-worker.  She is an overbearing upset woman who tells the cabbie to just drive.  They eventually make their way to California with many mishaps and money problems along the way, because her divorced parents live in that vicinity.  It ends up her father passes away and the family is going to the funeral and she meets up with her husband.  I am not going to tell the ending but it was a very cute movies.  Nothing but entertainment and not too deep.
  2. Where Hope Grows-This is about a washed up baseball player who has a drinking problem.  He befriends a grocery worker in the produce department that has Downs Syndrome.  Everybody calls him produce because his badge says that.  The baseball player has a 16 year old daughter who has a boyfriend and may be getting in trouble with him because the baseball player isn’t watching her closely enough because of his own problems.  The produce worker is just the most sweet and saver of the day.  I enjoyed this movie very much.
  3. A Walk in the Woods-Robert Redford and Nick Nolte.  Robert Redford is an author who decided that he needed an adventure and wanted to walk the Appalacian Trail from Georgia to Maine.  His wife thought him a bit off and told him that he couldn’t do it alone so after asking many friends he came across one from college whom he hadn’t seen for a long time, and he said yes.  There were many funny parts, much beauty and I loved Emma Thompson hair cut.  She is Robert Redfords wife.  Nick Nolte is the college friend who is somewhat of a bumbler.  It was enjoyable.
  4. The National Parks-Americas best idea by Ken Burns-I am in the midst of watching this and on section two.  Theodore Roosevelt had a large hand in setting aside lands for the National Parks and it is also the 100th anniversary of the National Parks System.  I always liked Ken Burns the Civil War and Baseball.  I also am enjoying this informative documentary.  I am not sure how many segments but it does make me want to explore Yellowstone and Sequoia National Parks.  That’s as far as I have gotten.  If you like history I would recommend this.

That’s it and up to date.  It would have taken me too long to put in pictures.  Look up the trailers on You Tube and see if you might like to view these movies also.  Have a good one, and thanks for stopping.

 

The Grief of Others by Leah Hager Cohen

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I received this book from my book buddy Colleen in December. I just recently finished it. As I have mentioned many times…I love books. So when I get a book it is a treasure.

 This book had a lot of sadness as you can discern from the title. It centers around one family that had the death of a new baby. It had a formative disease in the womb and the mother knew that the baby was not going to live long, only 57 hours after birth. The term was Anencephaly. The mother learned this during a routine ultrasound in the 5th month of pregnancy. She didn’t disclose this to her husband until right before the birth. They have two other children, a boy and a girl but this death has just affected the whole family in different ways. The story keeps unfolding and a daughter of the husband (from a previous relationship) comes to visit one day and stays for a while because she told them her mother kicked her out. She was pregnant and somewhat unknowingly brings the family together. I had a hard time getting into it at first, but give the story a chance because it starts making sense. I got very frustrated with the woman because she kept making excuses and was not appreciating what she had, but she eventually saw the light. I like happy endings and this book had one, but the family had many dark clouds over their heads before they saw the sunshine again.
I found the perfect poem to go with this story from The Best Loved Poems of the American People.
IF WE KNEW
If we knew the woe and heartache
Waiting for us down the road,
If our lips could taste the wormwood,
If our backs could fell the load,
Would we waste the day in wishing
For a time that ne’er can be?
Would we wait in such impatience
For our ships to come from sea?
If we knew the baby fingers
Pressed against the windowpane
Would be cold and stiff tomorrow-
Never trouble us again-
Would the bright eyes of our darling
Catch the frown upon our brow?
Would the print of rosy fingers
Vex us then as they do now?
Ah! these little ice-cold fingers-
How they point out memories back
To the hasty words and actions
Strewn along our backward track!
How these little hands remind us,
As in snowy grace they lie,
Not to scatter thorns-but roses-
For our reaping by and by.
Strange we never prize the music
Till the sweet-voiced bird has flown;
Strange that we should slight the violets,
Till the lovely flowers are gone;
Strange that summer skies and sunshine Never seem one half so fair
As when winter’s snowy pinions Shake their white down in the air!
Lips from which the seal of silence
None but God can roll away,
Never blossomed in such beauty
As adorns the mouth today;
And sweet words that freight our memory
With their beautiful perfume,
Come to us in sweeter accents
Through the portals of the tomb.
Let us gather up the sunbeams
Lying all around our path;
Let us keep the wheat and roses,
Casting out the thorns and chaff;
Let us find our sweetest comfort
In the blessings of today,
With a patient hand removing
All the briars from the way.
-May Riley Smith-
Enjoy the day, enjoy your moments.  Thanks for stopping!

Follow the River

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I was speaking with a lady the other day who was reading the new Mitch Albom book. If you have been following this blog through the years you will recall that I am a huge lover of books so anytime someone is reading a book, it always catches my eye to see what the title is. She and I really got into a conversation about authors we like and topics we like to read about. It was a nice talk for sure. She recommended this book to me and I went home and downloaded it onto my kindle app. It was every bit as good as she explained. The reviewers loved it also and said they could not put it down from the first page. I got it on Friday and finished it on Saturday afternoon. It is a true, historical story of the pioneers and the Indians. It is the story of Mary Ingeles who was a young 23 year old with a husband and 2 young sons and she was nine months pregnant. Their peaceful village was raided by Shawnee Indians and she was captured along with her two sons and sister in law. Her mother had been scalped and many others were killed. Her husband and brother had been working in the fields and missed the raid but they did see the smoke from the burning of the cabins and got there in time to see his wife and sons being taken away. The year was 1755 and the place was Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia. That is where their captivity started and they were following the rivers up to the Ohio River and ended up at Big Bone Salt Lick in Kentucky. Mary gave birth on the trail, set her sister in laws broken arm and soon after giving birth of a little baby girl had to get back on a horse to move on, all the while bleeding profusely. She had the where with all to try to observe landmarks for her journey back when she would plan to escape to go back to her husband. Because she seemed like such a strong woman the chieftain started admiring her and that gained her preferential treatment. She kept track of the days by tying knots in a belt and it was a long hard journey until they reached the Shawnee camp. The chieftain wanted to take her as his own but she refused this and eventually he took her two sons away and sold her to French Traders to work for them and sew shirts for trading. A German woman had also been captured in Pennsylvania and brought to the Shawnee camp which in present day would be at the influx of the Ohio River and the Scioto River in southern Ohio, near Portsmouth. Since winter was coming the French traders decided that they needed salt to cure the food for the coming winter. They took the women and other indians to go to the salt lick, this is where Mary and the German women were able to leave and start their 1000 mile journey along the river back to their civilization. Like I mentioned before, this is a true story and is documented to have happened. You will be thankful for your warm bed and abundant food after you finish this book. I highly recommend it. Please let me know what you think after you read it. Thanks for stopping!

Journey to Rocky Ridge and Lawrence KS

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After having a nice breakfast and conversation with Innkeeper Connie Roberts and having inquired as to where the Mansfield town cemetery was located, I checked out and started my journey. As you can tell by this picture many travelers make their way to the grave sites. I think cemeterys are very interesting and historical. This one was set up in 3 sections. The oldest had so many headstones that were not legible at all because they were so old and the elements of time wore them down. The second section was probably only 100 years old and that is where the Wilder’s graves were located. The 3rd section is where the graves were adorned with flowers because there were family members alive to take care of them.
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It was well kept and the Ozarks were visible there. It looks like there is plenty of area for expansion too.

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Almanzo and Lauras headstone. It was nicely done to distinguish them from the others with well manicured bushes and chain to the rear. As you can tell visitors feel the need to put pebbles and coins on the headstone maybe to just leave a marker noting they had been there. I didn’t know them while they were alive but I feel like I did since I have read so much about them. This is where the human bodies were laid to rest and was a very serene area.

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Rose’s grave is right next to her parents with the same kind of pebbles. After speaking with the tour guide at Rocky Ridge I have a whole new view of Rose Wilder Lane. My view was that she was bossy and didn’t treat her mother very well. The tour guide said that to understand Rose more I should read her writings. She probably would be considered “gifted” in our educational system now. She had an insatiable thirst for reading, she traveled all over the world and for her time was the second highest paid journalist.

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Rocky Ridge farm was just a mile out of town which may have seemed like a little trek with a horse and wagon but I can see why they built on this land. When I am at places where historical figures lived I like to feel that this is where they walked and made their life, hallowed ground. I guess I try to feel their presence.

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I walked around the grass to be able to get a good picture of Rocky Ridge. Here is the wonderful home that was build over a 20 year period as they worked the farm and in town and as money became more abundant. My next pictures are from the front porch on the right side.

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This section of the house was built last and I am sure Laura came out of this door often to sit on this porch in the shade and catch a breeze.

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The wonderful view from the porch. Not too hard on the eyes. They did not allow pictures inside the house or museum. The house was left just the way it was when Laura passed away in 1957. The countertops were made low because Laura was not even 5 feet tall and Alamanzo was not a tall man either. They were very hard working, frugal, socially conscious people. I thought this was very interesting, that they did not like Franklin Delano Roosevelt because he implemented the New Deal and all the plans that helped the country get through he depression. They felt that everyone should make their own way and work through the lean times as is what they did exactly in their lives.

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After the tour of the farmhouse we made our way over to The Rock House that Rose had built for Laura and Almanzo to make their lives easier. It was a Sears and Robuck house and she hired high school boys to dig rocks for the house one summer. Many of the original fixtures, doors and such are still in the house. They lived in the house for 8 years with Rose living in the farmhouse. It had electricity, running hot water, and all the amenities that were not available in the area during the late 1920’s. As the tour guide said, it did make Laura’s life easier and in this house is where she started writing the Little House books.( The woman in the picture is named Misty Miller from Alabama and she was waiting on her ride to pick her up). The Rock House was build on the Wilders land of course. It was 3/4 of a mile away from the farmhouse and Rose and Laura walked a path back and forth over the hill to visit each other. Laura felt isolated from others while living here and missed her farmhouse which she and Almanzo had built together. Her heart was still there and also Rose had equipped it with the needed amenities of the Rock House.

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Rose also had a garage built for their Buick and Rose had taught both Laura and Almanzo to drive.

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The view of the Ozarks from the Rock House. Stunning in the fall I am sure.

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Their land went to the tree line.

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A new museum is being built right now and should be opened next year. I loved the museum because it diplayed so much of the items that we read about in her books. Pa’s fiddle, the china figurine, Mary’s quilt that she made and I could go on and on. In her 80’s Laura appliqued a morning glory quilt that was spectacular. Oh and the Our Daily Bread plate that was saved from the house fire of Laura and Almanzo’s home in South Dakota. I was also impressed the the wall display of all The Little House books in different languages. Children in China and Germany wanted to read about the pioneer spirit.

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Plaque outside of the wonderful bookstore that beckoned me in. I had read Pioneer Girl before I left on this trip. It was the original story that Laura wrote and that the Little House Books were written from. It had more adult content like drunken people and such. Not like adult content of today. It came out in December 2014.

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The ticket for my tour. A bookmark I received with my bookstore purchase. I love the receipt from the bookstore with the graphic of the farmhouse. The cashier wanted to know if I wanted a receipt and I said “yes”. After I got it I said I love the graphic and she said, “that’s someone who has too much time on their hands”. I thought it was quite special.

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I picked up this very small, easy reading book since I had stayed in Mansfield the previous night. It talks about the train, the bank of Mansfield and I just wanted to picture what this little sleepy town was like during that period of time.

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I picked this book because it has wonderful pictures of the inside of the houses and of things I wasn’t able to photograph. I also liked it that it was from the recipes that Laura used. It also had a picture of her recipe book, how she reused many different papers to compile them all. I made Farmhouse Stew last night and it received a good review from the family.

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This one I chose because it had great pictures of all the places where the Little House books take place. It took me on a tour without having to go, just like I am doing for you. that Cabin on the front is a replica in Independence, Kansas.

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So it was about 1:00 in the afternoon and I had a 4 hour drive ahead of me to Lawrence, Kansas. Got my GPS up and running and I was mostly on Hwy. 13 in Missouri to take me to Kansas. Observations I had along the way: Lake Truman is huge! I knew it had to be man made because there were dead trees in the middle of the part that I saw. Here is information I found about it. At one point on the lake were pelicans, I wasn’t expecting that. Here is talks about pelicans. Along the road I saw a dead armadillo, which is something I don’t come across in Indiana, mostly raccoon’s and deer. Here is tells about armadillos in Missouri. I got to my room in Lawrence about 6:45 and needed to get to this bookstore that I read about, from another blogger from Kansas. Here is the link to her amazing blog. The bookstore is The Raven and it was just 3 blocks from my hotel. As you know I love books and I love cats and this store contained both. As I walked up this one cat had slipped out with a customer and was hiding behind the potted plant outside the door. The clerk was having a bit o f a time getting him back into the store. Of course once she did the cat kept looking out the door planning his escape again. I saw cat toys on the floor so he and I got into a little cat play. I am sure he was glad that I came along.

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Then this other handsome fellow came out to see what it was all about. He was very pettable and joined in on the cat play also.

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This quilt was also displayed and I asked who had made it, some group in town she said. It had book covers on it.

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I had about a half and hour after playing with the cats to browse and make my choices. I fell in love with this book and it’s beautiful pictures.

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While I don’t like to make my watercolors to be used in a botanical book this had many good watercolor tips and pictures.

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The clerk included two bookmarks, each has a different quote from well known authors. She also gave me some good advice on where to get something to eat.

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Lawrence is a college town and Massachusetts avenue was a bustling place. Very interesting and I went to a brew house bar to place an order and took it back to the hotel. This is a building I passed and don’t know if it was a movie theater or a play house, but it was pretty.

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So Spring Hill Suites was at the end of my journey for the day. Very nice, sizable room. I watched the Republican Debate because I didn’t have to think too hard about anything. When you are driving by yourself you have to stay alert at all times so by the end of the day I was a bit depleted. It has been a great experience! To keep me awake and interested I am listening to audio books.  The first one I chose is Change of Heart by Jodi Picoult, 15 hours long.  Check back in for day three. Thanks for stopping!

 

Serenity Painting

Painted Blossoms

As I think I recently mentioned that I had purchased this book because I was quite taken with her paintings. It is just a beautiful book that has so many elements in it. Fantastic flower images, great quotes, the basics of tools, elements, colors and inspiration. Then it also talks about yourself and creativity and nurturing this. It not only has inspiration from Carrie but other artists also. It can be found on Amazon of course, but I bought it from North Light Shop. I offers a lot of information for creative souls.

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I had purchased some more pastel acrylic colors by Liquitex recently and decided to put them to the canvas on this painting. Then I stenciled the sun with embossing paste tinted with paint.

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Here is is all finished and scanned in. What a difference scanning makes with the clarity and color! I also added my beloved poppies and purple asters. I didn’t want the word to take away from the flowers so I made it very quiet like the word but still getting the point across.

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My hollyhocks

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My moonbeam coreopsis

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and the balloon flower. I had so much fun with this painting!

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Newsy stuff….. I had submitted this painting “Happy Birds” to The Brave Girls Club because they are always calling for art with birds. This is for a daily feature sent out by email called “A little Bird Told Me”. Then they choose a feature that day. Mine was chosen for Wednesday and that was such a good feeling. I felt very honored! Have a fantastic weekend….and as always….Thanks for stopping.

Bread Monday

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I love to make bread and I do it the old fashioned way, mixing it by hand, kneading it on the counter. I picked up a magazine that has recipes for homemade bread a few years ago and I don’t think I used any of the recipes yet. So I pulled it out today and tried the first one. It was fabulous! Buttermilk-Honey Bread. I use Fleischman’s in the jar and keep it in the refrigerator. I also keep dry buttermilk on hand in the refrigerator.

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The front of the magazine in case you are looking for one also. I have so many great cookbooks but I find myself going to the internet to find a recipe.  I am going to try to use my cookbook collection more.

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The recipe and directions.

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All the ingredients except the flour.

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Two cups of flour.

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with the complete 7 1/2 cups of flour. Ready to knead.

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Dumped out on the counter with all the flour that didn’t get mixed in. It will get kneaded in. I also add a large spoonful of flour as I knead it if the dough is stickky.

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While I am kneading the dough I put hot water in the mixing bowl for two reasons. One is to heat up the bowl to help the dough rise. The other makes it easier to get the bread off the sides for cleaning.

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Here it is, soft as a babies behind. It will be going back into the warmed bowl.

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I also put a towel damp with warm water on top for more warmth. After 1 to 1 1/2 hours it has risen to double the size.

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One thing I would change in the recipe would be that I would make a third pan. It called for only two but 3 loaves could have easily been made.

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The recipe called for these slits to be made on the diagonal. It gave it a nice touch.

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Here they are, warm and golden brown, but the one on the right is too tall.

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A perfect loaf of bread. So good when it is warm. Give it a try, you won’t be disappointed. Thank so much for stopping!

Books

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I was taking inventory tonight of what books I have to read. I then realized I had 4 that I had started but didn’t finish. I think school and life took over. This will be the first one that I am going to finish. My dear friend Colleen sent this one to me. She worked at a high school and Jodi came and spoke. She got an autographed copy for me. This is a very special gift. She also sent a picture of herself and Jodi. I love autographed books, it’s a favorite of mine.

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I also started this one. I wasn’t too far into it and can’t quite remember what it was about, but it is on my list to restart and finish.

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I was pretty far along and there was a double murder and I still have no idea who did it. I will find out.

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This one was good as I recall. One of the main characters had a form of autism that was Aspergers and that is one reason why I started reading it along with it being a Jodi Picoult book. A very near and dear person to me has Aspergers so I was especially interested in this book.

Billy Joel

This was on my must read list and I just ordered it from Amazon. I am a Billy Joel fan and this came out in October.

Pioneer Girl

This was also on my must read list. It came out in early this year and it was so popular that they had to print some more copies. I ordered this and should get it by Friday. In September I am taking a trip to Colorado for a mini art retreat with Geninne. I am driving so I plan to stop at Mansfield Missouri where Laura Ingalls Wilder lived her adult years and wrote the Little House books. I am looking very forward to both. I will give my book reviews when I am done. Thanks for stopping!