Sunday, November 24, 2019

Book Review: The Dutch House

I definitely got lucky! I went to the library and found The Dutch House by Ann Patchett on the Lucky U shelf. This is highly sought-after books that one can borrow for only one week. I was on a waiting list for this book but was well over patron #150 on the waiting list. So finding it on the Lucky U shelf was quite a coup. I read it so quickly that I will be able to get it right back to the library and into some other lucky person's grasp.

I read this book in 24 hours. It is fabulous. The story covers a family over a time span of about 50 years. The story explores issues of inheritance, family values, how much do our family experiences shape us or haunt us, do we always live in their shadow or can we transcend where we come from, forgiveness, gaining insight into oneself, etc. I loved the characters and their ups and downs. I loved the family saga that also had its ups and downs.. so much to relate to and think about. Very well-written book to which I award five of five stars.

Monday, November 18, 2019

Stuff I Have Been Doing

In early October I had two quilts hanging in a local show. I took pictures, but then I got a new phone and managed to lose a whole ton of pictures in the process. Boo hoo. This is one of the quilts I hung (and that you have seen before). I wish I could show you some of the other beauties that were in the show.

In mid-October I helped with a "vacation Bible school" type event at our church. It took place during two traditional school days off when parents sometimes have trouble finding places for their kids on two work days. There were several fun activities and meals/snacks.

I have been sewing as I can fit it in, as usual. Two baby quilts and an unquilted top:

Lotto blocks for Sunshine:

My cousin started a new quilting group at her church, and I attended. I think I will be a regular participant; we'll see. Here are some pictures from Show and Tell at our first meeting.

Last week I was on a retreat with friends. I got a lot of tops put together; most had been prepped but never completely sewn together. It felt good to get them done.

And I have been reading! I had to do some marathon reading this weekend, to start and finish the book that my book club will discuss this week. I finished it today. Whew!

That's all for now, folks!

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Book Review: The Girls are Gone

The Girls are Gone by Michael Brodkorb and Allison Mann

This could have been an interesting story, but... reading it was a slog. Most of the book is detailed accounts of very messed up and convoluted court appearances. A seemingly happy family spirals into chaos when the mom decides to get a divorce and spews incorrect, harmful, and disdainful stories mostly about her ex-husband but even some about her own kids. Her attorney is on her same level of craziness. It's a mess for years as they fight for custody of the kids. For well over two years, two of the five children are abducted and hidden.

I felt voyeuristic, nosing into the details of this chaotic situation, especially since the family lives in a suburb not too far from me. I feel bad knowing all the dirty dealings that happened within their family (99.9% perpetrated by the mom). I also was bored with all the lengthy court descriptions, many times told in verbatim conversations. I skimmed over a lot of it.

An unsettling side point: the mom's ineffective/dishonest attorney is still practicing law in Minnesota. I don't understand why she has not been disbarred.

Tuesday, November 05, 2019

Thank You, Long Arm Quilters!

I love quilters who have long arms! Don't you? Of course, I mean long-arm quilting machines.

Another long-armer has volunteered to finish some tops. These will be going to Wrap-a-Smile. I so appreciate offers like this, because I enjoy making tops but not finishing the quilts. I do what I can to finish some, but I'm slow and very basic, and I can't afford to send them all out to be done professionally. So I rely on volunteer long-arm quilters to help save the day. When a new long-arm volunteer steps forward, I rejoice!

Today I sent these four tops to our new volunteer:


Mendota (made at the Sunshine retreat last June)

8-patch (I copied a block I saw at Covered With Love blog)

Random (made from leftover squares)

Also, my cousin has a new long-arm and is helping. I sent her this one recently. It is for Quilts Beyond Borders:

When these quilts are done, I will bind them and send them off to cuddle some kids.