Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Needlework Tuesday - A block for the President

 For the past few years, the members of my local quilt guild have made blocks for our outgoing president.  She is always given an opportunity to let us know what type of block she would like to receive.  This year she left it wide open telling us she wanted the blocks made with batiks fabrics.   I selected this block, Virginia Star, from my EQ 7 software and sized it to 8inch finished.  It's an easy to make block as long as you take your time and press at each step.

Needlework Tuesday is a regular weekly post where I share the progress of my various needlework projects over the past week. I enjoy the encouragement that I receive from my readers and in return visit their blogs and cheer them on with theirs. You are welcome to grab the cute little mouse and create your own Needlework Tuesday post. Leave a comment with a link and I'll be sure to visit with you.

I didn't get as much stitching done last week as I wanted to.  As an occasional job, my husband is a pyrotechnician ( he does fire works shows).  This past week we celebrated Victoria Day.  He worked the show at the local park as well, he wanted to do his own, private show.  Fortunately a friend has a suitable rural property and she hosted it there.  It was the best ever backyard fireworks show.  It was exactly what you would find at a local park or community event, but it was private.  Hubby, brother-in-law and two nephews did a fantastic job.  I did take some videos and plan to post them later this week once I figure out how to add music.

 My one block wonder is moving along nicely.  I am so close to having all the rows assembled. Little happy dance happening here.
Since son was home for the past few days, I thought it was a good time to start on the second baby afghan that I am making for his friends.  He approved of the colours of this one as well..

For those not familiar with my son, he is a fitness and body builder photographer.  To view some of his amazing photographs, visit his page AGP Fitness Imaging

Thanks for taking the time to visit with me today.  The weather has been great here and I have been spending hours each day outside (still trying to dig out those dandelions).

Mister Linky is waiting below for a link to your current needlework post, and for a nod to my son, a post about your workout.

Saturday, 16 May 2015

The Coroner's Lunch by Colin Cotterill

If I am ever murdered and I get to choose the pathologist to perform my autopsy, I want it to be Dr. Siri Paiboun, the main character in The Coroner's Lunch.

Author Colin Cotterill has created a good man living in difficult times.  The year is 1975 and Laos is now communist run.  Paiboun, even though he is 72 and looking forward to retirement, is appointed as National Coroner. He has no budget, limited supplies and must report to an in-experienced judge who wants all results to follow the needs of the party.  In his favour, Nurse Dtui is an eager assistant and Mr. Geung, while living with Downs Syndrome, functions as far more than an orderly.

Early in his tenure as coroner, the results of several autopsies don't add up to the neat and tidy results the court wants.  Siri realises he has to dig deeper even if it gets him into trouble.  The spirits of the dead have come to him and pressed him to find the truth.  He can't deny them.

I liked Dr. Siri right from the opening pages. He exemplifies many of the characteristics that I believe in.  Truth, doing a job to the best of your abilities, making the best of a difficult situation are just a few.  Perhaps it is his curiosity and questioning nature that make him so real.

The story also has a set of characters that I want to meet again. The nurse and orderly assigned to the morgue add greatly to the story.  At first they seem unlikely aides, but as we get to know them, their dedication to Siri and the job become obvious.  Police Officer Phosy is Siri's police liaison.  He's a bit of a mystery, but seems to be united with Siri in finding the truth.

I learned quite a bit about the geography and culture of Laos.  It's a country I have no experience with and felt that Mr. Cotterill did a great job of bringing it to life for me.  I am looking forward to reading more about Dr. Siri and his investigations.

I listened to the audio book  from Oakhill Publishing.  Read by Gareth Armstrong. 8 hours 8 mins .

Dr. Siri Paiboun Series
  1. The Coroner's Lunch
  2. Thirty-three Teeth
  3. Disco for the Departed
  4. Anarchy and Old Dogs
  5. Curse of the Pogo Stick
  6. The Merry Misogynist
  7. Love Songs from a Shallow Grave
  8. Slash and Burn
  9. The Woman Who Wouldn't Die
Cover image courtesy Oakhill Publishing.

Thursday, 14 May 2015

SYNC - Young Adult Lit for Your Earbuds - Week 2

SYNC has another awesome summer of audio books lined up for this summer.  Each week sees a classic paired with a modern novel.  Many are unabridged, some are full cast readings, and each is a terrific listening opportunity. 

I have participated in this program for several years and have enjoyed the books I've listened to so far.  Some I have listened to multiple times.

You can return here each Thursday for a link to that week's books, or you can visit SYNC at this link and sign up for a message directly in your inbox.   Be sure to download the audio books right away as they are only available for one week, Thursday to the next Wednesday.

Please note: some books may have limited availability and not be available in your country.

This weeks pairings:

 Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
 Dodger by Terry Pratchett

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Shopping for the Billionaire by Julia Kent

This is a delightful, romantic story collection.  From the minute mystery shopper Shannon Jacoby meets billionaire Declan McCormick while her hand is in the toilet in a men's room, I was drawn into their lives.  As soon as I finished the free version of part I, I promptly purchased the five part collection.  I needed to read more of their story right away.

Shannon works for a company that provides mystery shopper services to a wide variety of companies.  Much of her work is managing shoppers from her office, though she does 'shop' for a number of their top clients.  She is a unique character and sees the world from a different perspective than most leading women.  She experiences the best and worst of a wide cross section of the population yet still maintains her cheerful outlook.  This had me liking her right from the beginning.

I was a bit slower for me to adore Declan, but as he shed his professional persona, I could see the trustworthy and loving man hiding beneath.  Finally, there is Shannon's mother.  She is a firecracker.  Each time she entered a scene, I had no idea what to expect from her other than it might blow up the situation.  She is energetic and funny as can be.  A great addition to the story line.

I could have rushed through this story, but I decided to take my time and let it develop over the course of a week or so.  I wanted to savour their building relationship.  There is a sixth book in the Shopper series by Julia Kent, Shopping for a Billionaire's Fiance,  that I'll be ordering soon.

Thanks to Chapters.ca for use of the cover image.

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Needlework Tuesday - Using Materials in Unusual Ways

 On Sunday, we celebrated Mother's Day.  Instead of taking my mom out to dinner, I decided we'd eat at her house.  I make several salads and some desserts, and asked my son to pick up some cooked chicken.  We had a lovely time, then we packed up everything and drove across town to my sister's house.  She had to work that day, so she appreciated that we brought dinner with us.  Then we all had dessert together.

My mother gave me a surprise gift that one of her friends made for me.  Using an assortment of threads, she crocheted this dish cloth.  What makes it unique, is that she used one strand of thicker cotton and combined it with several strands of sewing thread.   A very imaginative way of using up threads that are a colour you generally don't sew with.

This has me wondering what other materials I have been using in different ways.  Nothing is really coming to mind at this moment, but I'm sure that given a bit of time, I'll come up with some good ones.  Perhaps you have some projects that fit into this category, I'll love to hear about them.

Needlework Tuesday is a regular weekly post where I share the progress of my various needlework projects over the past week. I enjoy the encouragement that I receive from my readers and in return visit their blogs and cheer them on with theirs. You are welcome to grab the cute little mouse and create your own Needlework Tuesday post. Leave a comment with a link and I'll be sure to visit with you.

I have been trying to work on my One Patch Wonder for a bit each day.  Each day might be a bit optimistic, but I am trying.  As i finish a block I put it back in it's correct spot.  Some are even sewn to their neighbours.  I'll post it again when more visible progress has been made.

My yard is calling to me.  It is covered in those 'yellow' flowers and our jurisdiction doesn't allow the use of pesticides any longer.  We tried using Weed Be Gone, but it only seems to have resulted in a great flourish of yellow.  It's back to hand digging.  Yard work and needlework doesn't work together in my mind.  Using thick leather gardening gloves does help keep the fingers clean, though every now and then I do forget and end up with grubby hands that are hard to scrub clean.  I worry about the dirt transferring to my projects.  Oh well, I suppose the fresh air can't hurt, except for the maybe the pollen tsunami that the  media says is heading our way.

Mister Linky is waiting below for  a link to your needlework post.

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Along Came a Spider by James Patterson

This is a cunningly crafted story that kept me listening long after I  should have moved on to other tasks.  Along Came A Spider is the book that launched the highly successful Alex Cross series, which now spans more than 20 novels.

We first meet Detective Alex Cross when he is investigating a brutal murder of a family of three in Washington, D.C.  He is soon called away to deal with a high profile abduction of two nine year olds from their private school by one of their teachers.  The teacher, Gary Soneji, turns out to be one of the most loathsome characters I have encountered in a book. 

This abridged version was read by Alton Fitzgerald White and Michael Compstey (cover shown is from the unabridged version).  The reader for Gary was so effective, then when I heard his voice, I actually cringed. 

Author James Patterson has created in Alex Cross, a man I could respect.  He is thoughtful, considerate and of course, highly intelligent.  He is a trained psychologist who has seen some of the worst that man can perpetrate against each other, yet he hasn't lost his compassion for those he encounters in his work and for his own family.  I look forward to reading further books in this series.

If you like characters such as Gary Soneji, you might enjoy the Color of Evil Series by author Connie C. Wilson. 

Thanks to Hachette Book Group for use of the cover image.