Mar 26, 2009

I'm here!

I don't want all my blog friends to think I've disappeared. My lack of blog posts lately isn't a lack of interest - it's a lack of time. March was probably one of the busiest months I've had in more than a year. But - ta da! - it's over and life is back to normal. Stop by my Quilting on a Budget blog for two great giveaways! First, a giveaway of a spankin' new blog template design for your blog, compliments of Acornglue.com. She does some purdy stuff over thar, including the new Quilting on a Budget blog design. Giveaway ends on 03/28/09. Next, for my quilty blog friends, run - do not walk - and click over for the quilting book giveaway. The book is "Link to the 30's: Making the Quilts We Didn't Inherit" and it is WONDERFUL. Beautiful traditional quilts just made for scrap quilting. One of the best quilting books I've seen in a long time - and I'm not just saying that because I'm giving the book away! Mr. B made his standard Wednesday appearance yesterday.... and oh... my... gawd... can this child talk. I mean - non-stop talking. I swear, my ears were ready to explode. I know he's simply practicing all the new words that are flying through his little brain, but holy cow... I felt like my ears were going to fall off! LOL We went out to run errands and about every 10 seconds a new question erupted from the back seat: "Umma, why is there a pile of dirt over there?" "Umma, where does that road go?" "Umma, why does Umpa have to go to work today?" "Umma, does Joey (the killer cat) have a winkster?" (Don't ask.) I can put up with all the questions but not when he asks the SAME question over and over and over. I actually put my foot down a little and told him he could ask all the questions he wanted, but he could only ask a question ONCE and then he needed to listen to the answer so he didn't have to ask it again. Whew... What I've Been Reading I have been reading some really great books, which is always a plus! I read Wally Lamb's new book The Hour I First Believed. Wow, is all I can say. That man can write. I've read a lot of reviews that put this book down because the reviewer thought the book was strictly about the Columbine shootings and that the sub-plots of the book (the main character finding a family diary, family history stories, etc.) were not in keeping with the main plot of the shootings. But once you recognize the book is NOT about the Columbine shootings, but is about the effects major life events have not only to ourselves, but to family members that follow us, the book makes much more sense. This book may have to move into my Top 10 Books of All Time list. I also read T.C. Boyle's new book The Women: A Novel. I don't know the reason, but I have been fascinated with Frank Lloyd Wright my entire life. I know I recognized and appreciated his architecture as a child. I've read several biographies on both him and his wives, and T.C. Boyle's book was in line with everything else I've read about this amazing man. It took me awhile to be pulled into the book (at one point I considered not finishing it, but because Boyle is one of my favorite authors, I couldn't put it down out of pure respect for his writing!), but once in, it was a terrific read. He tells the fiction-based-on-fact story of Wright's four wives/partners. An in-depth look at the every day lives of people who made the headlines simply for their (then) socially unacceptable lifestyles. Two other good books read: Family and Other Accidents by Shari Goldhagen. I'm happy to see this book available on PaperBackSwap.com for all you PBS members. Also, Outtakes from a Marriage: A Novel by Ann Leary (wife of actor Dennis Leary). Both good "sit out on the deck and soak up some sun" books that I thoroughly enjoyed. What I'm Listening to I always always have an audio book going. For me, Mp3 players don't mean music, they mean being able to do my housework or do sewing with an audio book playing in my ear! I own a Sansa e280 (8 gig) and usually have five or six audio books on it at any one time. This is a sweet little player - small in size, great sound quality, and plays audio book files (that's important - not all Mp3 players play audio books, including iPods!). Jeff bought both of us one of these almost a year ago, and I have used it every single day since the day it arrived. And look! Amazon has these on sale for less than half of what I paid!
Whether you already own an Mp3 player or buy one to listen to audio books, do ask your local public library if they have free online downloadable audio books! If not, also check out the prices on Audible.com. I'm currently listening to American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld. I am thoroughly enjoying this LONG audio book (I listen ONLY to UNabridged versions -- which means it is word for word as the author wrote it.) Here's Audible.com's review of this book (which says it far better than I can!):
On what might become one of the most significant days in her husband's presidency, Alice Blackwell considers the strange and unlikely path that has led her to the White House and the repercussions of a life lived, as she puts it, "almost in opposition to itself."

A kind, bookish only child born in the 1940s, Alice learned the virtues of politeness early on from her stolid parents and small Wisconsin hometown. But a tragic accident when she was 17 shattered her identity and made her understand the fragility of life and the tenuousness of luck.

So more than a decade later, when she met boisterous, charismatic Charlie Blackwell, she hardly gave him a second look: She was serious and thoughtful, and he would rather crack a joke than offer a real insight; he was the wealthy son of a bastion family of the Republican Party, and she was a school librarian and registered Democrat. Comfortable in her quiet and unassuming life, she felt inured to his charms. And then, much to her surprise, Alice fell for Charlie.

As Alice learns to make her way amid the clannish energy and smug confidence of the Blackwell family, navigating the strange rituals of their country club and summer estate, she remains uneasy with her newfound good fortune. And when Charlie eventually becomes president, Alice is thrust into a position she did not seek, one of power and influence, privilege and responsibility.

As Charlie's tumultuous and controversial second term in the White House wears on, Alice must face contradictions years in the making: How can she both love and fundamentally disagree with her husband? How complicit has she been in the trajectory of her own life? What should she do when her private beliefs run against her public persona? AND HERE'S SOMETHING TO LAUGH ABOUT/WITH
That's all for today -- did I make up for lost time?

3 comments:

Karen said...

Hurray! I was missing you Joan! Good to hear you're back. The video of tha baby was great.

Mos and Nikou said...

Hi there,

This is a great blog of yours, Your site is very informative and I can relate to your posts. I'm also a housewife. I have just started my own blog: TheShanghaiExpat. Please feel free to visit and let me know what you think for a link exchange.

Cheers,
Nikou

tipper said...

Glad to hear all is well! I know what you mean about busy-just not enough hours in the day to get it all done!

The girls use to ask questions like Mr.B and sometimes they would ask the same one over and over : )