Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

I guess I should start by updating you on my progress with this book:

bookpieI am ashamed to say I have not finished it!  Shame on me.  It is good.  It is worth my time.  It’s just that my reading time is very limited right now.  With Husband home, and gardening and sewing and such.  Plus writing my own PIE book…well I will finish it  ~ soon.  Of course in the mean time I have read other things.  But mostly “necessity reading”.  Plus a few little short novels from the library (thanks Connie for keeping me in cozy mysteries!).  Right now beside my bed are two books about British History (non-fiction).  Husband and I watched a movie called To Kill a King with Tim Roth and Rupert Everett.


It was the condensed version of the history of the reign and death of Charles the First of England c. 1645.   By the way, Oliver Cromwell was a bit of a turd, if you ask me.  Being Irish and Scottish, as I am, this is a bit of an understatement I suppose. Everything I have read about him calls him a “strict Puritan”.  No kidding. If by strict you mean crazy, wicked, hateful and cruel, then yeah. But my opinion of him is based on very limited knowledge.  However, I fear that the more I read of him, the less I might like him.  I am a fan (root word of fanatic but much different meaning in my opinion) of many things but fanatics disturb me greatly. Zealous is good.  Over-zealous, not good. I say that with a straight face as I purchase yet another apron pattern 😉 and squeeze one more book onto already over burdened shelves.

So when it was over, we scoured the bookshelves for British History volumes.  You have no idea how many books are in this little house.  And then how many are in storage.  We honestly could open a fairly well stocked library.  While I was gathering books, Husband was reading online about the era.  We HATE not knowing stuff, you know?  And our depth of history knowledge is VERY shallow.  History was never a priority in our schools but we tried and still try to rectify that in our homeschooling. But it has meant that we have learned along side our children.  Which is always a good thing. Our kids are always frightened at our lack of historical knowledge. And we are always amazed at theirs. Hence the number of books on the subject.  We were almost lost in the facts and twisting of them in this movie and had to get an historically accurate picture in our minds.  Like where was Charles I’s palace or palaces?? We had no idea.  We knew it wasn’t the present day palace.  Or one we recognized.  So we paused the movie and looked it up online.  Our quick look brought us to Hampton Court Palace which was the one shown in the movie.

800px-Hampton_Court_PalaceHome to many Monarchs and a fave palace of Henry VIII. Did you know Charles I was the only British Monarch to be executed?  I didn’t.  I am telling you, my knowledge of British History is sorely lacking.  Our time in London last October was just NOT ENOUGH.  I want to go back and visit more places.  The Tower of London was amazing and seeing Buckingham Palace was a dream come true but there is so much there.

I do wish movies of historical subjects, would be as accurate as possible and take as few liberties with facts as they can and still make it movie length.  But I suppose I really shouldn’t try to get the bulk of my history lessons from movies!

All this was to say, I liked the movie and would recommend it! I know you are all sufficiently bored now with our mundane Friday Night Movie Review.

Today, it seems I might have to replant some pumpkins.  I am pushing it really as it is getting late to plant and expect to have them ready by end of October.  But I hate also to give up too easy.  Our lack of rain has really hurt the germination.  We water, but it is just not the same as a good soaking rain every now and then.

Pumpkin PatchHere is my big patch chart.  I also have 5 raised beds planted with smaller bush type gourds and pumpkins.  Hopefully more will be up by the 15th so I don’t have to try to get more seeds out.

I plan to try and make Yorkshire Pudding today.  You know, Yorkshire Pudding is not pudding at all but a kind of popover.  Yeah, threw Husband off the first time they were served at work.  Pudding?  That isn’t a pudding.  That’s a biscuit.  NO a biscuit isn’t sweet! That’s a cookie!!! Yeah, everyone was befuddled! I will let you know how they turn out.  Who knows, maybe they will show up in a Friday Baking challenge soon!

I suppose that’s all for today.  Have a great weekend.

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Amazon.com and I have a wonderful relationship.  Many, MANY months, maybe even years ago now, I gave them my credit card number and when I find a new book I desperately need, I put it in my cart, hit the appropriate buttons and VOILA! In just a couple of days the book arrives ready for reading!  And I must confess, Amazon.co.uk and I have a similar relationship though we don’t see as much of each other as maybe we should 😉 Today is like so many others – Mr. UPS Man brings me a box marked AMAZON and my heart skips a beat and I rush to open it to see what is next on my reading list.



Isn’t she beautiful?  A LOVELY cloth covered (I hate book jackets!), mystery!  I quickly open it and it falls open to this quote:

Unless some sweetness at the bottom lie, who cares for all the crinkling of the pie?

~William King, The Art of Cookery (1708)

Ain’t it so?? I found this lovely while looking for a vintage cookbook I needed for research for my pie cookbook.  Ummmm got this instead since the only copy of the cookbook I wanted was $129, used and only in fair condition.  I am going to get my library to do an inter-library loan for me.

Anywho back to the book itself.  The back of the book says:

In his wickedly brilliant first novel, Debut Dagger Award winner Alan Bradley introduces one of the most singular and engaging heroines in recent fiction: eleven year old Flavia de Luce, an aspiring chemist with a passion for poison.  It is the summer of 1950 and a series of inexplicable events has struck Buckshaw, the decaying English mansion that Flavia’s family calls home.  A dead bird is found on teh doorstep, a postage stamp bizarrely pinned to its beak.  Hours later, Flavia finds a man lying in the cucumber patch and watches him as he takes his dying breath.  For Flavia, who is both appalled and delighted, life begins in earnest when murder comes to Buckshaw. “I wish I could say I was afraid, but I wasn’t.  Quite the contrary.  This was by far the most interesting thing that had ever happened to me in my entire life. “

I will certainly let you know how well I liked it when I am finished reading! Right now I am getting ready to go pick Husband up from the airport.  He has spent a week in Norwich, England for work and I expect some bit of pleasure, though he says it would have only been fun had I been there.  He does know what to say!

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As you all know we left Friday for BIG D. Yep, Dallas, Texas. And yeah, everything is bigger in Texas! I cannot tell you how many times one of us uttered that phrase over the weekend! I think I was most amazed with the size of some of the homes we saw as we drove out to Frisco to the IKEA store on Friday evening. More about that later. The whole point of me going was to attend EllynAnne Geisel‘s booksigning at the Dallas Women’s Museum.


As you all know her new book The Kitchen Linen’s Book: Using, Sharing, and Cherishing the Fabrics of our Daily Lives, is amazing!


All I can tell you is to get yourself a copy! The book signing at the DWM was lovely! Such a great turnout. I didn’t get a headcount but if it were my booksigning I would have been thrilled! EllynAnne had a vintage case FULL of beautiful linens and things to share with us. And the stories behind each one were just as beautiful. It just made me realize even more how much we need to cherish these kinds of things. Not because they are things, but because of the work of the heart that went into them. The time spent hand stitching…if those linens could tell us the tales! Most of the ladies brought linens for “show and tell” and to say a good time was had by all is an understatement!


Here’s a pic of EllyAnne and me at the book signing. If you have a chance, please go out and meet EllyAnne and see all she has to offer at her book signings…they are not just book signings…they are history lessons! She had some of the finest linens I have ever seen and touched. And the hearing stories that go with each are worth my time alone. But EllynAnne’s presentation, her Southern hospitality and North Carolina accent, her accessability – that all made the trip even more special! You will be hearing more about it later I am sure!

After the book signing, the family and I went on a walking tour of downtown Dallas. We were staying at the Hotel Indigo on Main Street and it was a perfect location for tooling around the Historic District on foot. We saw The Grassy Knoll,


heard some very interesting presentations about the Kennedy Assassination, toured the Dallas World Aquarium

img_2267and took LOTS of pictures!

Then on Sunday we headed out early and made it to IKEA when it opened at 10. WOW…lots of good stuff at good prices! Believe it or not I bought fabric! I will share all that with you in another post…hopefully a link to a post (hint hint Gesikah!) We were told my someone (no names) that we had until 12 noon (went a little over) so hopefully we will go back again soon and see what other goodies we can find.

Have a great Tuesday!

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UPDATE: I will not be making your surprise gift for this giveaway because my friend over at  GirlyAprons is donating a lovely tote!  Sweet! Thanks Michelle!


I would love to hear how each of you is honoring Earth Day.  Take a moment to leave me a comment and I will put your name in the now VERY VERY famous mason jar,  for something VERY VERY special for Earth Day – nope not an apron this time…though that would be lovely wouldn’t it?  Nope one of my other most favorite possessions – a book.  And not just any book – Walden by Henry David Thoreau.  If you have read it, leave your comment anyway, ’cause if you dont have a copy of your own you should…and if you do have a copy, and happen to win, then give it away to someone who needs it. Oh…and there will be a little something I made to help you celebrate Earth Day everyday…but its a surprise!

I will draw for it on Friday before I leave for a extremely exciting trip that I am going to make you wait to hear about until I return….with PICTURES!  And this trip is ALL ABOUT APRONS! Oh okay…go here and you will know why I am so excited! Scroll down and check out April 25.  Yep…I am as good as there!

Guess you might be a bit curious about what I am doing.  Planting.  Yep.  Working in my garden.  In my flowers.  Doing as much outdoors tomorrow as possible. Rachel and I have a big day planned for tomorrow.

Click to play this Smilebox photobook: Earth Day

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We have arrived at DAY 3 or better yet, GOODY 3 of NotQuiteJuneCleaver’s April’s Green Spring Giveaway! Just so you know ahead of time, I am waiting on one of your goodies to arrive by post so you may or may not know what it is before the giveaway on Monday.  But it will be worth the wait!  It is being donated to this giveaway by my dear friend Tina over at My Victory Garden…so you know that will something special, and Springy and green! But for today’s addition: Think retro, think cooking, think collectible…should I show you a picture???  Oh, okay, here you go:


I mean, come on, is that a great cover or what?  Man, I want that table and stool!  Used to have both! Jessica when you read this you will remember the kitchen stool I am talking about.  We just discussed it recently when we were looking at old photos.  I have to find another!  SO Retro!

Okay, you know what to do here! Want another chance?  Leave another comment.  This time tell me about your first memory of baking something ALL BY YOURSELF.  Here is my memory.  I was in high school we lived in the house I live next door to now, commonly referred to as “the yellow house” – no longer yellow, no longer in the family.  Anywho, I decided for some reason, maybe to try to impress my boyfriend, whose mom might have rivaled any baker I had ever heard of, I decided to bake bread.  Yep, crazy for your first baking project, but I like to jump right in!  Anyway, when The Boyfriend who happens now to be The Husband 😉 came over he was VERY impressed.  And for good reason, that might have been the finest loaf of bread I have ever baked.  It was perfect.  Beautiful!  We ate the whole loaf that evening.  As far as I remember I never baked another thing until after we were married for a while.  That was pretty much the only entry in my Kitchen Resume at the time.  I couldn’t boil and egg when we got married.  But after I had my own kitchen I quickly got the hang of it. With his help.  I think he was just born with the “cooking gene”.

Alrighty, see you happy people later.  Happy Spring Holidays, whichever you celebrate!

I have to get rolling this morning.  We have company coming for supper this evening.  Homemade waffles are the menu.  With the traditional syrup or whipped cream and a variety of fresh berries.  YUM.  I will try to snap a few pictures if I remember.

I know this weekend will be a busy one for everyone, so if I don’t see you around before, I will talk at you Monday and announce the winner.  Boy, this mason jar is getting full!

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at the pie tin for the giveaway:

pietinI am VERY curious about why it says “deposit” on the tin.  Anyone have any ideas?  Curious, don’t you think?  Anywho, there you go…a peek at the tin that will go in this month’s giveaway box.  Pretty cool I think.

I had a very productive day yesterday to spite my melancholy mood over Husband’s departure.  I made this LOVELY apron for a friend.


A friend who has been more than patient with me over the past month.  I just could not get it done while Husband was home.  She understands – her husband works the same kind of shift mine does.

Also we had Michelle and her girls over for supper and a movie.  Brats with macaroni and tomotoes (my brother reminded me of this childhood favorite on his facebook list of favorite foods) and this beautiful strawberry pie that Rachel made for us.


It was just as delicious as it was beautiful! It was a graham cracker crust, custard filling with fresh strawberries and a glaze…OH MY!

And the movie: The Secret Lives of Bees.

lifeofbees2_500I LOVE this movie.  First of all LOVE bees. But you all knew that I think.  I LOVE Queen Latifah.  I loved the book ( I read it when it first came out), LOVED the house.  LOVED how it turned out even with all the heartaches. I grew up during this time in our history…the injustice was hard to watch but it was very honestly portrayed.  The South in the ’60s was a very volatile place.  My hometown was no different.

Okay, that is it for today.  I have to get busy!  I have lots of things to share on here but for today, this is it!  More soon.  Have a great Wednesday!

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Finally! The March Giveaway! Two of my favorite things…books and aprons!


and one of my OOAK NotQuiteJuneCleaver aprons! Here’s a sneeky peeky of it:


If you are interested…rules are as usual…leave me a little comment – this time a little different. Tell me your favorite housewife’s hint. AND you might mention why you need a NotQuiteJuneCleaver apron! Good Luck! The deadline is Monday at noon CST. I will announce it shortly there after. Soooo…if you want your name in the now VERY famous NotQuiteJuneCleaver Mason Jar, you know what to do!

Oh…and note the post before this one. Fun Fridays Ahead!!!

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