Thursday, December 29, 2011

Book Review

Excelsior Springs:Excelsior Springs: by Janet R. Reed

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Fascinating look at a town both in times past and current day. Excelsior Springs Missouri is about 40 miles from where I live and is known for it's many natural springs. In the late 1800's and well into the mid 1900's people traveled there from near and far to partake of the waters both in drink and for bathing. The waters were said to be quite curative.

The Elms resort, where I have stayed, is still operating and is a destination for anyone who wants to be pampered in both body and mind.

This book explains all the springs, where they were found, the businesses and buildings on their sites and the history of it all.

It also delves into the paranormal aspects of the town. Although I am one to keep far away from interest in such things, I do believe they exist and this town seems to have a lot of them.

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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Questioning Book Review

What? Are These the 20 Most Important Questions in Human History or is This a Game of 20 Questions?What? Are These the 20 Most Important Questions in Human History or is This a Game of 20 Questions? by Mark Kurlansky

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Can a book only pose questions and be a viable book? Can an author be so astute that he can write so many interesting questions? Does reading such a book get quite annoying after awhile?

Answer to all these is "Yes!"

This premise is so clever that it is hard not to appreciate it. The idea that questions are so integral to our continued reading and understanding is purposed. And, the idea that if we had bothered to truly find the answers to a lot of questions we would be in a much better place.

A fun read, but, don't you think I am happy to be finished with it?

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Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Hugs All Around

Lots of Lovely Hugs to all who Peruse my Blog.  Extra big ones to my friend Tami, who began her blog this year, Vintage Connections and to my dear Dianne, who just this month created her blog, Heirloom Aprons and Buttons.

"New" Hugs to new blog friends Laurie of Indulge Your Shelf and Mary Ann of  This Country Life and Susan of Sudios Studio.

No extra time or energy this morning to make those links click able above.  :)

Have the best day and week and enjoy what comes your way as  you can and deal gracefully with what comes your way that is a challenge!

Happy, Happy Christmas to all !!!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas Book Review

A Christmas Homecoming: A NovelA Christmas Homecoming: A Novel by Anne Perry

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I always look forward to these yearly little stories set at Christmas. This one concerns an acting troupe who are ensconced in a magnificent home in Whitby to hone a play written by the estate owners' daughter. A stranger appears at the door who has been stranded in the storm with his broken carriage. His stay livens up the troupe, but with tragic results.

I imagined that I was one of them, a guest in this huge home with the blizzard raging outside, but safe within.

Anne Perry writes about England in the 1800's. Always well written and delightful to read.

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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

New Blogger Shout Out to Dianne

My dear kindred Spirit friend, Dianne, has recently created her first blog, Heirloom Aprons and Buttons.
She has amassed a beautiful and unique collection of both and will be presenting them with a view toward both their historical value as well as their beauty.

Dianne is a remarkable researcher and strives to always learn the utmost of whatever topic she chooses.  Please visit and bookmark and continue to watch for her posts !

In Diannes' honor,  I am showing  a vintage Christmas apron given to me by my Grandma Blunt. It has a matching dishtowel.  I just adore the winter scene and each year when I pull it out at this season it takes me back to Christmas times with her and Granddaddy.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Two Christmas Book Reviews

The Spirit Of Christmas by Henry Van Dyke
The Spirit Of Christmas (1905)

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Beautiful story of the angel that for tells the birth of Christ to the other angels. Also, a short Christmas sermon of how to keep Christmas in your heart all the year. Two prayers at the end. Charming, beautifully written and recommended to all.

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Miracle on 34th StreetMiracle on 34th Street by Valentine Davies

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Delightful story that "proves" that Santa Claus really does exist! The movie makers closely followed this story when making the original film of the same name, although the book has additional little bits to make it even more fun.

Heartily recommended to all those who might not believe and especially for all those who do!

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Sunday, December 18, 2011

Book Review

Christmas at Cold Comfort FarmChristmas at Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Very good short stories, one of which is about the Cold Comfort Farm characters of her well known book of the same name. It is quite an art to be able to present the theme for a short story, introduce the characters and form them into people you want to know more about and then wrap the story up nicely. Stella Gibbons does just that and makes me want to read more of her work.

The people of Cold Comfort Farm are characters indeed and are presented deliciously. They make you glad that you do not live there!

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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Book Review

I Am Half-Sick of Shadows (A Flavia de Luce Mystery #4)I Am Half-Sick of Shadows by Alan Bradley

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Set at Christmastime in 1950 England, Flavia de Luce is a precocious 11 year old who lives with her father and two sisters in their huge old estate, Buckshaw. Alas, it is in decline and with no funds to aid them, they resort to renting out to a film crew who arrives to shoot a movie.

As bright as Flavia is concerning chemicals and poisons and making concoctions, she also still hovers on the edge of believing in Father Christmas and sets out to catch him in the act on Christmas Eve. A murder disrupts her plans, but she uses her detective skills to help ferret out the killer.

There is appropriate snowing and blizzarding and a cast of interesting characters to make this a lively read. We feel sad for motherless Flavia, whose sisters are rather mean to her, but also find her knowledge and abilities incredible.

A fun read with little bits of learning about chemicals and their uses along the way.

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Monday, December 12, 2011

Book Review

A Christmas Carol (Whole Story)A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What can possibly be said of this book that has not been said before? It is a classic among books and the epitome of inspiring stories that can change a life if taken to heart. All can profit from this book and find something in it to love.

Make time to read this story this year and ponder it's meaning.

With the most famous of quotes from Tiny Tim, I repeat, "God Bless us, every one!"

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Sunday, December 11, 2011

A Happy Christmas Wreath.........or Two..............or Three

There are lots of variations of fabric wreaths out there and I just sort made this one up this week. Gathered up all my red and white fabrics and cut pieces 2 inch by 8 inch. Just folded them over lengthwise and tied them onto a metal 8 inch ring.  It was fun seeing it come together and extra fun as Mister Rick took rotary cutter in hand and helped.  Gotta love that!  The fun thing about this too, is that it will carry over for Valentines Day too. 

I have totally too much fun creating little paper wreaths too. They are so simple and inexpensive too. A piece of double sided paper with Christmas music and Holly all done up in black and neutral is topped off with a center piece of old pierced metal and a big rhinestone jewelery piece.
This Paper of Holly was one sided, so I coated the inside with snowy glitter to finish it off.  Got a little too heavy handed with some green stamp pad, but I still like it. The middle is a Bakelite button topped with a pierced Pearl button.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Book Review

Jane and the Stillroom Maid (Jane Austen Mysteries, #5)Jane and the Stillroom Maid by Stephanie Barron

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Another intriguing mystery, 5th in the series with Jane Austen as the investigator with a classic touch. I always learn new little bits when I read these books about England of early 1800's. I did not know what a stillroom maid was until now. The one in this story comes to a bad end but not before she has concocted her potions for many others. Jane, her mother and sister are in Bakewell when trouble happens and in between the social happenings, Jane is intently endeavoring to solve the murder mystery, which, of course, she does with great aplomb. I love the depth of detail that makes up these delicious mysteries and I heartily recommend them to Jane Austen fans especially.

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