Friday, September 22, 2006


Hard to believe it's been so long--5 months--since I last posted here. Part of the reason is that I wanted to post pictures of projects I was working on, so I kept putting it off. Unfortunately, after our move in April, the printer--which handled the photo editing--refuses to be recognized by the computer. If you try to access it, it says there is no printer, but if you try to install it, it says it's already there!!!!!! I also tried to upload to the Microsoft program on the computer itself, but it kept saying "the scanner or camera is already in use"(?????) Then, of course, I got really busy at work, finishing stuff for the Kane County Fair, planning and working at the Art Show in Elgin, reading books for three Adult Summer Reading Programs, and trying to keep unpacking at the new house. And my husband--who said he would fix the problem--got extremely busy, teaching a Summer Math course as well as taking an Organic Chemistry course AND working as a software consultant. This semester, he is working full time and teaching 2 classes at Harper--you can tell he's retired (!). Meanwhile, my camera is filling up with pictures of projects, artists, and our trips to California and Arizona this summer.

Currently I'm working on socks-to-be-felted from Cat Bodhi's Socks Soar on Two Circular Needles--so far it's been easy enough (I never made socks before) but I'm running out of the wool I started with; they'll probably end up two-colored. For my AAUW craft group we've been making "Gingham" coasters from plastic canvas and I'm making a box to hold them. Also, as part of the 50th Anniversary of Elk Grove Village , local artists and some of our staff were asked to decorate black metal book ends. I got mine late, but got several ideas and finished 2: one decorated with blue and white flat-bottomed glass marbles (on sale this week at Michaels and Hobby Lobby) and one with broken discarded cd-roms in a mosaic effect (very cool!). I'm still working on an embroidered set and probably a pieced one as well ("Broken Dishes"). We'll see. So far 22 sets have been finished and are on display at the Library. We may have a silent auction for them on October 15th at the Open House.

Sunday, April 02, 2006


Of course, I also read Romances, too. In keeping with the just-finished season, I read a couple of Christmas-related books:
The Brides of Christmas, a collection of three novellas by Jo Beverly, Margaret Moore, and Deborah Simmons, all set in the Middle Ages--all three were interesting and touched on different aspects of the Holiday celebrations of the period
To Marry at Christmas by Kasey Michaels--a reprint of a story from the 80's, really too sugary for today's tastes (a department store buyer and the son of the owner meet and at once (it seems) decide to get married)
A couple of the books were by very popular authors:
Red Lily by Nora Roberts--the conclusion of the In the Garden Trilogy, a nice finish to the ghost story and the romances
All Night Long by Jayne Ann Krentz--good romantic-suspense occurs when a young lady returns to her hometown at the request of a long-ago friend only to find her dead and the mystery of her own parents' death re-opened.
The rest of the romances read since January were historicals:
In Pursuit of a Proper Husband by Glenda Garland--a widow is attracted to the widower husband of her deceased friend, but secrets get in the way of their romance in this well-done Zebra Regency
Alas My Love by Edith Layton--a former street urchin, sent to Australia, has returned to England after amassing a fortune and sets out to find his possible family in this well-written story by the always reliable Ms. Layton; a most unusual hero
Noble Destiny by Katie MacAlister-- another wacky "Regency" by the very amusing MacAlister, full of outrageous characters and malapropisms, misunderstandings and sensuous romance
Just Say Yes by Myretta Robens--charming story of a vicar's daughter who is attracted to a land steward who is really a Lord.

Since I started this topic, I have read a few more books:
Let It Be Love by Victoria Alexander--the latest in the Effington Family stories has moved on to the grown children of the original Effington characters; here Jonathan reneges on a promise to marry a desperate young lady, but then falls in love with her while they write a sensuous book about Gods and nymphs
This Rake of Mine by Elizabeth Boyle--a schoolteacher meets up with the man who had ruined her reputation by kissing her in public years before and gets involved with spies and murder as her three young lady charges attempt to match-make; I didn't like the hero at first, but he became more likeable as the book went along
Forever by Jude Deveraux--a Kentucky girl with the power of "True Persuasion" helps a Montgomery to solve the mystery of his parents' disappearance years before, while confronting witches in this unusual paranormal romance
Shadows in the Dark by Elaine Cunningham--a former vice cop now PI specializing in finding lost children is herself sought by evildoers as the heiress to enormous Powers (strong hints as to her heritage come from a character called Ian Forest who owns a club called Underhill) [a real page-turner!]

Tuesday, March 28, 2006


I turned in my log sheet for the STDL Winter Reading Program and got a nice lined notebook and attached pen as the prize.

Most of the books I read seem to have been mysteries (including the Native American related ones for STDL). I've taken a liking to the Aaron Elkins mysteries and read three since January:
Curses!--Gideon Oliver takes part in a dig at an ancient Mayan site in the Yucatan Peninsula where a previous scandal at the site 5 years before is revisited when a dig member is killed
Icy Clutches--Gideon Oliver investigates when the remains of victims of an avalanche in Alaska are discovered
A Glancing Light--museum curator Chris Norgren takes on verifying the authenticity of recently recovered art stolen by the Nazis in WWII
I also read a couple of books by Donna Andrews from her Meg Lanslow series (very funny):
We'll Always Have Parrots--when the unpopular star of a fantasy tv series is murdered at a fan convention, Meg must cope with escaped monkeys and parrots, rabid fans, temperamental actors and writers, and a fencing demonstration (in skirts) as she tries to find the culprit
Owls Well that Ends Well--Meg and English professor/actor Michael have bought a house "as is" (full of junk) and hold a gigantic garage sale that becomes a media circus when an antiquarian bookseller is found dead in an antique trunk.
I read, finally, as well, the latest books by several popular authors:
The Cat Who Dropped a Bombshell by Lilian Jackson Braun--not much mystery, but still a cozy read as the town of Pickax celebrates its sesquicentenary.
Murder at Five Finger Light by Sue Henry--Jessie Arnold is stranded on a lighthouse island with a few other people while a murderer stalks them; lots of surprises.
S is for Silence by Sue Grafton--Kinsey Milhone investigates the disappearance of a woman and her car that occured in the fifties, 34 years previously.
I also read (and enjoyed) the latest [before March, anyway] in the Blackbird Sisters series, Cross Your Heart and Hope to Die by Nancy Martin--impoverished socialite Nora's obnoxious Society column writer boss is found dead on her porch and her mob-connected boyfriend is a suspect. I liked Veronica Heley's latest, too, Murder by Committee, an English cozy featuring Ellis Quicke, a widow finding her way as an independent person and still trying to rescue her selfish daughter who has been involved with a shady entrepreneur who is murdered. Lastly, I read a first novel by Elizabeth Becka, Trace Evidence--a Cleveland based forensic specialist, Evelyn James, gets personally involved in the deaths of two young girls, one who has been drowned after being thrown in the river with her feet encased in cement and one who has been strangled after escaping her cement shackles; not too gory, but very intense ending.

Friday, March 24, 2006


For the Elk Grove Winter Reading Program we only had to read three books: one set in the past, one in the present, and one in the future. For the first two I read two Christina Dodd books:
My Fair Temptress--impoverished former belle is assigned to teach an apparently foppish weakling how to be a "man" and win a wife
Close to You--conclusion of the Prescott trilogy, TV reporter is being stalked by the man who killed her parents and separated her from her siblings when she was a baby.
For the third I read
Jack McDevitt's Seeker--27th century antiquarian Alex Benedict and his pilot Chase Kolpath look for a derelict ship purported to belong to a long lost colony from Earth.

Some of the other books I read also fall into the SciFi/Fantasy categories:
Mel Odom's Lord of the Libraries--the exciting conclusion to the Vault of All Human Knowledge series wherein ex-Librarian Juhg and Wizard Craugh rescue Grandmagister Wick and prevent the Goblinkind from overrunning the world
Christopher Paolini's Eldest--continues the quest of reluctant Dragonrider Eragon to help dwarves and elves to vanquish the renegade Dragonrider, King Galbatorix
Catherine Asaro's Charmed Sphere--mages Chime and Lord Fuller use their flawed powers to help save their kingdom from their ambitious neighbor and his own evil mage
Mercedes Lackey's and Rosemary Edghill's Music to My Sorrow--unseligh elves, corrupt tv evangelists, mesmerizing rock bands, grasping parents, and more confront Bard Eric Banyon and his friends

A couple of the books I read don't really fit into a genre:
A Year in the Merde by Stephen Clarke--humorous fictional account of a British executive's attempt to work at a French firm and to live in Paris
The Rule of Four by Ian Caldwell and Dustin Thomason--four Princeton seniors attempt to help solve the mysteries of a famous Renaissance book [that actually exists] while coping with school deadlines, women, social duties, and a murder [fascinating page-turner; I read this while in France and on the plane home]


Wow! It has been a while since I posted here. I did finish Daniel's sweater in January and sent it to Iowa by mail. However, I don't think he has put it on yet (he's 3). His mom says she'll use it instead of a coat when the weather is a bit warmer.

Because we are getting ready to move and I was preparing to go to France for my youngest daughter's wedding--listening to Pimsleur tapes, scanning old magazines to-be-tossed, packing some stuff up, and reading over-due books--I haven't done much craft/needlework except for my AAUW Craft Group project which is a felt penny rug with a lighthouse and sailboat motif from the August, 2003, issue of Create & Decorate Magazine. Even after 2 meetings, I only have all the pieces cut out and a couple of them embroidered onto the background.

I have read a LOT of books (36) since January, though. The Schaumburg Library's Winter Reading Program had a theme of Native American characters and writers. The six books I read for that were:
Arthur Williams' Missing at Tenoclock--small-town Colorado female deputy is forced to take over a murder investigation when the Sheriff is killed
Jake Page's Stolen Gods--blind New Mexico sculptor helps solve the murder of an art gallery owner who dealt in historic Indian artifacts
James D. Doss's The Shaman Sings--newcomer sheriff investigates the vicious murder of a young graduate student at the local college in a small Colorado town
Chelsea Quinn Yarbro's Ogilvie, Tallant, and Moon--lawyer uses his shamanistic abilities to relive the last hours of a murder victim's life [recently republished as Bad Medicine]
Scott Young's Murder in a Cold Climate--Inuk Canadian Mountie travels by plane, helicopter, dogsled, and snowmobile in an effort to solve the murder of a prominent man
Kirk Mitchell's Cry Dance--BIA officer Emmett Parker and FBI rookie Anna Turnipseed search for a cold-blooded killer who mutilates his victims amidst Native American confrontations with opponents of reservation casinos

More on the books read later.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006


Andrew in his new sweater. It's lighter weight than Billy's and only took me three days to make.

Billy in his new sweater. The sleeves are, indeed, WAY too big, but he likes it. If I get a chance (maybe this summer), I'll redo it.

Both boys in their sweaters.

I started Daniel's in the car on the way to Iowa and worked on it on Saturday while watching TV at the house...but (of course) I ran out of one yarn with just the top of the second sleeve and the neck to go (sound familiar?). So I'll have to finish it here and send it in the mail. It's royal blue, medium blue, and off white.

I recently finished Donna Simpson's The Gilded Knight--lame, impoverished ne'er-do-well tries to persuade his deceased cousin's widow to vacate the entailed estate she lives on, but a blizzard keeps him snowbound with her and her gravely ill daughter, enabling him to learn to know her better as well as to re-examine his own pointless life, leading to love and personal reform (a kind of bittersweet story, with a potentially happy ending); Catherine Asaro's The Last Hawk--Sauscony's brother, Kelric, doesn't die in battle, but crash lands on a planet ruled by women, where he is forced to remain for 16 years, a catalyst through his Quis playing skills causing great societal changes and war (another intense story, hard to put down, though the end is very sad, if heroic); and Charmed Destinies--three novellas connecting romance and magic by Mercedes Lackey (dark view of medieval life with a great revengeful ending), Rachel Lee (cute story about a future/modern couple magically co-dreaming the same adventure while at work), and Catherine Asaro (interesting tale in which a girl discovers her mage abilities by finding a long-lost heir to the kingdom).

Tuesday, January 10, 2006


After much "frogging" and using different yarns, I finished it.

It is heavy, but actually doesn't look too bad. I don't think the yarn changes are too glaring.

I have not been doing any craft stuff since then--a week ago--until Sunday, when I did start a sweater for Andrew, but I only have a couple of inches done. Blogging, reading, and packing up Christmas stuff have taken a lot of time. And, I worked this past weekend. This sweater will be in brown shades.

I am currently taking down the tree; I packed the ornaments yesterday. I brought in the outdoor lights this morning and am packing them; I'll get the tree lights later today. Here's some pics of the tree as it was:

I've only read a few books since Christmas. Lynn Kerstan's Dangerous Passions was quite good, another in her Black Phoenix series, though leaving the reader with several unfinished plot threads. I also like Nora Roberts' Blue Smoke even though a lot of characters died nasty, horrible deaths. Rita Mae Brown's The Hunt Ball was a nice relief, more picturesque than scary or gory. Lady Savage by Donna Simpson was very different, depicting the struggles of upper class Regency era characters to survive on a deserted Caribbean island after being dumped when their ship was hijacked.

Sunday, January 01, 2006


The frustration continues since I have now run out of two of the three yarns used in the sweater. I have substituted, but the colors really don't match. So, the top of one sleeve and the collar will be "slightly" different. Oh, well.