30 October 2012

Happy Halloween

May your Halloween be full of fun, your Trick or Treat bag full of full-size candy bars, and your night a reminder that it's always better to err on the side of whimsy.

19 October 2012

Confessions (full of links)

I used to be an interesting person.

I know this because I have such interesting links in my favorites.

Or else I have much more faith in my home-making abilities than I should have.

Example #1

I have been scrolling by this link on my work computer for a year and a half. Apparently, I seem to be deluding myself that I will actually quilt one day. But, that would mean pulling out my sewing machine and we all know that I am afraid of my sewing machine. And we will not mention the sites for finishing I have bookmarked.

Example #2
I don't think I have ever had a Macaron, but they keep popping up in my popular culture references. I favorited this link after watching the Paris episodes of Sex and the City. We also watch The Great British Bakeoff at my part-time job and they had an episode where they were making them. There is a part of me that thinks it's inherently unfair that, somewhere, people can eat blackberry-peppermint macarons, but I have never seen a macaron available in any bakery in the Washington, DC area. But, I am the person who turned on her brand-new, sleek, black, Kitchenaid mixer . . . and attempted to blend my spatula into cookie batter.

This looks more my skillset.

I'm too chicken to take this on.

But I can see using this one a lot; after all, who has room in their house for a fully-stocked bar?

But, I don't just want to eat and cook. OK, I'd be perfectly happy to eat and cook all day . . . when I am not singing random pop songs to a not-quite-4-month old. High on her list is "We are Never Ever Getting Back Together," by Taylor Swift and "The Way You Are," by Bruno Mars. 

By the way, here she is.

This was a month ago. She has grown a lot of hair since then. My mom loves this picture, because, as she puts it, "She's grinning and there is not a tooth in her head." LOL.

Anyway, as I was saying, at some point, I wanted to study more about Jane Austen.

So I bookmarked this site:
This one

I think I deleted others when I realized I live in Crazyville, not Pemberly.

One day, I'm going to take a chance and go through these links and do something from them. Make a little baby quilt, do some baking (if I can find almond meal in Metro Crazyville), maybe find a way to incorporate Regency style into my world.

Maybe 2013 will be my year to live fearlessly . . . or at least more interestingly?

12 October 2012


by By the Bay Needleart

And it's an autumnal one!

I just printed off the summer one--it came out while I was on bedrest, so I never printed it, but now I did. And I printed off the autumn one. I am hopeful I have the supplies in stash, since I am trying to spend as little money on stash as possible right now, but, if not, I know I have something that will do just as well.  This is just proof that I was right all those years I was collecting stash like they were stopping printing paper, only then my plan was to be a hermit on the beach and I needed it because I'd have no money.  Just call me a hermit in the country. Same issue, different locale.

I am stitching a little more these days. I seem to have been able to find a happy medium between the baby and my needs. She is becoming a bit more independant, or maybe it's that we have a routine now. I even managed to find the time to read her a book this morning! Go me! I usually stitch at lunch now or after she goes to sleep, and it's OK. It takes the edge off, LOL.  I need to get crackin', though, have an ornament to make this weekend to mail out, and then it is time for Christmas ornaments!

Well, have to run. I'll try to check in with some project photos this weekend. I hope everyone is having a joyful October.

10 October 2012

Book review: Cruel Harvest by Fran Grubb

I am starting a new thing on this blog. I love reading, I do a lot of it, since it's something I can do one-handed. Part of what I do now is review. Occasionally, I may post these on the blog. I'm not abandoning stitching by any means, this is just another facet of who I am.

Cruel Harvest is the memoir of Frances, who survived devastating abuse from her father until she finally summoned the determination to run away. The book is the story of her non-childhood, in which she was betrayed by so many people, from the father who beat and molested her and her sister, her aunt, who starved her because she felt she was full of the devil, to her mother, who abandoned her. She fights to survive, at times sacrificing herself to save her small half-sister, at times turning her head because she knew if she tried to help, it only made things worse. In later years, she calls on her faith in God to reunite her family and finally, forgive her father.

I won't cut corners, this book is hard to read. As a parent, it was hard for me to fathom how another parent could damage a harmless child in the numerous ways Broadus hurts his children. The part of the book where he beats Mary Anne is particularly heart-wrenching; I really felt for her, and I wanted to cry for her and, even now, wonder how her life turned out. I was extremely upset at the implied fate of Frances' baby sister, and worried about her baby brother. I found myself having to put the book down and walk away, to catch my breath and steel myself to read on. Most books don't affect me in the way this one did.

The one thing I did not like about this book was that she left the fates of characters hanging. I wanted to find out if Mary Anne survived, and the baby, and her Mother, but we are never told of their fates. I realize it is probably because she did not know, but Mary Anne especially, her fate tugs at me. And I don't like that the interim years are skimmed over. Perhaps another book is in the future, with more detail, but the brief glancing blow over her adulthood, after all the horror, it didn't do her recovery justice. I wanted to read more about how her faith helped her forgive, the process of accepting that the past happened, but I didn't get enough of that.

I would recommend this book, but with reservations. If you have small children, it's hard to get through, since most of the time, I wanted to be angry and fight for Frances and her siblings. But it does have a message worth reading, that one can get through even the worst abuse. One doesn't ghave to be a victim, they can be a survivor.

I received a copy of Cruel Harvest from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. The opinions I present are my own.
I do my thing and you do yours. I am not in this world to live up to your expectations, and you are not in this world to live up to mine. You are you and I am I, and if by chance we find each other, then it is beautiful. If not, it can’t be helped--Frederick Perls