Tuesday, July 31, 2012

July Reading List

Books Read in July

106 - 01  The Courtship, by Catherine Coulter (7/2)
107 - 02  Nice To Come Home To, by Rebecca Flowers (7/2) AUDIO
108 - 03 The Accidental Bride, by Denise Hunter (7/4)
109 - 04  44 Cranberry Point,  by Debbie Macomber (7/7)
110 - 05  Always Dakota, by Debbie Macomber (7/7)
111 - 06  Jenna's Cowboy, by Sharon Gillenwater (7/8)
112 - 07  Miss Match, by Erynn Mangum (7/11)
113 - 08  Heart of Texas Vol. 1, by Debbie Macomber (7/12)
114 - 09  Eclipse Bay, by Jayne Ann Krentz (7/13)
115 - 10  The First Adventure, by Tamora Pierce (7/14)
116 - 11  In the Hands of the Goddess, by Tamora Pierce (7/14)
117 - 12  The Woman Who Rides Like a Man, by Tamora Pierce (7/14)
118 - 13  Lioness Rampant,  by Tamora Pierce (7/16)
119 - 14  Coraline,  by Neil Gaimen (7/17)
120 - 15  The Scottish Bride, by Catherine Coulter (7/21) 
121 - 16  50 Harbor Street, by Debbie Macomber (7/21) 
122 - 17  6 Ranier Drive, by Debbie Macomber (7/22)
123 - 18  Dawn in Eclipse Bay, by Jayne Ann Krentz (7/22)
124 - 19  The Bachelor,  by Carly Phillips (7/22)
125 - 20  Family Affair, by Debbie Macomber (7/23)  **What a waste of time this one was...
126 - 21  Wonderland Creek, by Lynn Austin  (7/24) **Loved this book!
127 - 22  Pendragon, by Catherine Coulter (7/25)
128 - 23  Matched, by Ally Condie (7/26)
129 - 24  Alice I Have Been, by Melanie Benjamin (7/29) **Much better than her other book.
130 - 25  Crossed, by Ally Condie (7/29)
132 - 26  A Lady of High Regard, by Tracie Patterson (7/30)
133 - 27  74 Seaside Avenue, by Debbie Macomber (7/30)
134 - 28  Fifty Shades of Grey, by E. L. James (7/31) **Sigh. I wasn't going to give in...

Monday, July 30, 2012

Mary, Mary, quite contrary, how does your garden grow?

 I have a garden, and I've very excited about it. Maybe it's not a real garden, but I think that plants in pots still count for something.

Saturday I had gone up to see mom, and we ended up buying plants. One of mom's tomato plants had died, and she wanted to replace it. My two hanging plants had died in that last cold snap, and I've been meaning to replace the flowers. And I know that the cold snap was back way back around February, but it honestly  hasn't seemed that long ago. Then last week I got a notice from the complex office stating that the lease regulates patios to be kept neat and free of trash. I don't think that they meant dead plants, and the office manager assured me that the notice went to everyone and wasn't meant for me specifically. But I thought that since we were at the nursery for mom, I should probably get the replacement plants.

I picked out some pretty begonia for the one pot, and pansies for the other. When we got into the vegetable section, though, I put the flowers back. Because herbs are almost as pretty, and ever so much more fun and practical.

So now I have a tomato plant. It's a Sweet and Neat Cherry tomato, and it's been bred to grow only 12" tall and then the vines cascade downward. I think it will work out great in the hanging basket.

I also bought some mint plants. I love fresh mint in my tea, especially in iced tea. Then I was thinking that it would also be nice to learn how to make mint juleps or mojitos. First, though, I need to learn how to harvest without killing the plants.

Originally I only meant to replace the plants in the two planters I had gotten for Christmas. But I couldn't resist the sweet basil, so mom gave me an old planter she had in her shed. I'm looking forward to making fresh pesto.
I bought the plants Saturday, so Sunday I needed to transplant them into my planters. While I was at it, I repotted two of my violets and started a new cutting.

And to think that I have always been the brown-thumbed member of my family of gardeners. Now I've got the requisite dirt under my fingernails!

Not being able to sleep is terrible. You have the misery of having partied all night...without the satisfaction. (Lynn Johnston)

I think I'm going to give up trying to sleep any more tonight. I managed about 2 hours, so that's something to be happy about.

I wonder if the neighbors would mind if I did the vacuuming? I feel like I should do housework, instead of something frivolous like reading a novel or weaving. Otherwise I might not make the effort to sleep tomorrow night.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Weekend Brunch

There's something about the weekend that has come to mean quiche to me. It's so easy to make, and so very yummy. I like to have one ready just in case company comes by. (Oh, how nice of you to stop in unexpectedly. I'm afraid all I have to offer you for lunch is a broccoli-and-ham quiche and maybe some chocolate chip scones for dessert.) Okay, I don't usually get unexpected company dropping in at lunch time. But maybe if people knew I had quiche, they would come over to see me.

Just in case you want the quiche, but it isn't enough of a bribe to come visit me, you can find the recipe on our Family Cooking blog.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Oh, is that my phone ringing?

I went to knit night, but I didn't stay long. And it will probably be a while before I go back. Which is a shame, because I really enjoy getting out and socializing with my friends. Or rather, I used to enjoy going to socialize with my friends. Lately, and tonight in particular, I've been isolated at that table. The table that nobody want to be stuck at, and not just because it's at the end of the row.

For knit night, we gather around a long row of small tables in the front of the coffee shop. Naturally, sitting at one of the center tables is best since that puts you in the middle of the action. That's where I feel I belong. It's where all the cool knitters (I know, it's a redundant description) sit. Instead, I've been finding myself stuck at the far-far-as-far-away-as-possible table. I think if a vote were to be taken, the table would be moved two stores over. And even then there would be a scramble to sit on the other side of the store away from it.

Just to be clear, the knitters are good people. And they would never intentionally snub someone, or tell someone that they weren't welcome in the group. But they're also human, and have normal self-preservation instincts. Which means that sometimes it becomes a matter of every knitter for themselves. I just don't have the patience that I once did. So tonight I found myself pretending to get a phone call (it's easy to fake hearing the phone ring when the other person is partially deaf). And then I lied* to my friends so that I could have a polite way of escaping. I don't know who became the next sacrifice once I left. I'm not sure I care right now - it is, after all, every knitter for themselves.

Luckily, the Saturday group (although composed of the very same people) is felt to be too cliquey and as such has been able to stick together at just the one table. So until things change, I'll be getting my fiber-fix on Saturdays instead of Thursdays.

*Editing to note that the lie mentioned was that I had to leave right away. The rest of my explanation was true. I might have been desperate enough to use it as an excuse, but I'm not so depraved that I would invent a relative's illness.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

I'm getting too good at this.

Today was the third funeral we've had this month.

And to think that I thought it would be fun to have the pastor away for the summer.

Do I have the authority to deny any future vacation time for my boss?

Monday, July 23, 2012

Old enough to know a bargain

I went to the movies with a friend tonight, and when I bought my ticket the girl gave me the senior discount. I've never even been asked if I was a senior before this, and this girl just assumed that I qualified for it. Sigh. I can't decide whether I should be excited that I got away with a cheaper ticket, or depressed that I looked old enough not to be carded.

Oh yeah - the movie that we went to see?

Oh. Yeah!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

True love by page 123, and all of life's problems solved by page 217.

I've managed to have a quiet weekend. I really needed a couple of quiet days, after just finishing an extremely stressful week, with another stressful week to look forward to. I did manage to do a little bit of housework and I completed some training for my new business, but mostly I just relaxed and escaped into the world of junk romances.

Friday, July 20, 2012

He was just a boy.

Yesterday I was asked when I was going to start updating my blog again. Today was probably not a good day to come back.

Today, I helped bury an 18-year old boy. He was loved by his mother and father, adored by his brother and sister, admired by his friends, and liked by just about everyone. There were over 400 people at the service. For many of them, the teenagers, this was the first time death was personal and real.

It was a senseless, unnecessary death. (And yes, any death of a child is senseless and unnecessary.) He was a good boy. He attended church with his family (most of the time). He even volunteered at the church on occasion. When his family needed him, he helped out. (And there were many times this past year that the family needed help - it's been a really rough year for them.)  He was also a normal teenager. He had fights with his mother and father, and with his siblings. He stayed out late with his friends. He drove fast. But he always came home.

Until this past weekend, when he couldn't come home anymore. He couldn't come home because he was riding too fast on his motorcycle and didn't survive the crash. And his mother will never be able to hug him, or tell him that it's going to be alright because it won't ever be alright again.

I had to help his mother plan the funeral service. I organized the music, and the scriptures, and helped sort out which photos to include on the service bulletin. I typed the sermon for the pastor. I coordinated the donations that their friends and neighbors gave to help pay for the expenses. And I held his mother's hand and cried with her.

The entire week, as I tried to do my job with love and compassion for the mother and father, all that kept running through my mind was thank God I never had to face this. Pray God that I never have to suffer this.

The funeral was today. I stayed late, finished up the paperwork and helped clean up the sanctuary. Tomorrow, my life will go back to it's regular routine. I'll probably sleep late, meet some friends at Starbucks, maybe complain about how unfair life is. His mom will wake up, only to remember that her son is dead. She'll know how unfair life is.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

June Reading List

Books Read in June

091 - 01  16 Lighthouse Way, by Debbie Macomber (6/3)
092 - 02  11th Hour, by James Patterson (6/5)
093 - 03  The Heiress, by Catherine Coulter (6/8)
094 - 04  Mad Jack, by Catherine Coulter (6/10)
095 - 05  A Cowboy's Touch, by Denise Hunter (6/10)
096 - 06  Candlelight Wish, by Janice Bennett (6/10)
097 - 07  Wyatt: Return of the Cowboy, by Cathy McDavid (6/10)
098 - 08  Fools Rush In, by Janice Thompson (6/12)
099 - 09  Rainshadow Road, by Lisa Kleypas (6/14)
100 - 10  Change of Heart, by Fran Shaff (6/14)
101 - 11  204 Rosewood Lane, by Debbie Macomber (6/18)
102 - 12  The Fairy Godmother, by Mercedes Lackey (6/22)
103 - 13  311 Pelican Court, by Debbie Macomber (6/24)
104 - 14  First Grave on the Right, by Darynda Jones (6/28)
105 - 15  Again the Magic, by Lisa Kleypas (6/30)