Wednesday, October 31, 2007

October Wrap Up

Where on earth did October go? I cannot believe it's already time for another month-end post. Anyway, here goes:

I read:

The Emperor's Children by Claire Messud
I really, really, really enjoyed this book but I can't explain why. I enjoyed the journey immensely.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J. K. Rowling
I decided to re-read the series to get me to #7. I haven't read number seven yet, so don't tell me what happens. This one was fun, even for the 5th or 6th go round.

Ricochet by Sandra Brown
I enjoyed the 12 hours spent listening to this book, but that was due more to Dennis Boutsikaris than Sandra Brown. I enjoy Dennis as an actor and he did a great job reading this book. The story wasn't too bad. It had twists and turns and kept me guessing, but it ended on a bit of a syrupy, preachy note.

Play Dirty by Sandra Brown This book was as enjoyable as Ricochet even with a different speaker. There was no preachy ending to distract me from this one, though. I didn't plan to read two Sandra Brown novels back-to-back, but I did. I probably won't read another one for quite some time, but I will definitely read her again.

Power Play by Joseph Finder
Normally I have to stay up and work and the book keeps me company, but this time I had to stay up for the book and the quilting kept me company. Once the book ended (at 3am!!!!), I wasn't disappointed. I've never read anything by Finder before, but I definitely will again. Oh, and Dennis Boutsikaris read this one, too. I like Dennis.

The Burnt House by Faye Kellerman
This was my first book with this author, but the reading by George Guidall made it seem like old times. He's one of mine (and most other audiobook listeners) favorite readers. The story had some great twists and turns and kept me quilting. Another great quilting book. I'm getting spoiled.

Break No Bones by Kathy Reich If you've read this book, answer me one question....... Has the author ever read Harry Potter? Crookshanks? Harry? Hermoine? It could have been annoying, but it was subtly done and kind of cute. The story was nicely done, as well.

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
Not much to say. Too busy pursuing my personal legend. Whatever.

Divisadero by Michael Ondaatje
zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Slipknot by Linda Greenlaw
Harmless little book.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J. K. Rowling
Still good, even on the fourth time through. On to number 3!

Lisey's Story by Stephen King
This was a great way to spend 19 hours. Mare Winningham read the book and I loved her Pittsburgh accent. Snce there is no 'typical' Stephen King novel, I'm not sure what I expected, but I enjoyed this. The Mist is back on the bestseller list, so I'll have to add that to my ever-expanding t0-be-read list.

In addition to reading, I also:

1. worked at the First Dutchess Quilt Show. It's my local guild show. I demo-ed longarm quilting and bonded with my saddle stool. Quilt shows are so much more fun when you can sit for a portion of the day! Five of my customers entered quilts and two won ribbons. Several of my students won major ribbons for their quilting. It was a really nice weekend.

2. finished the 3rd season of CSI: Miami around the time my cold went away. So, the next time
you get a cold, take 3 seasons and call me in 1o days. You'll feel better by then.

3. had my ebay account infiltrated. Like I really want a copy of Grand Tourismo Racing game. Now I have no ebay account to be defrauded in the future. Just a friendly reminder that there are indeed stinky people out there who can ruin things for the rest of us.

4. went to the Sheep and Wool Festival and had a beautiful time. I was with some old friends and some new ones and already plan to go next year.

5. taught a quilting class locally. I love to teach quilting. (see number 6)

6. made the Machine Quilters Exposition catalog. I'm so honored and humbled to be teaching at the same event as the most talented quilters alive. If you dig through the sight, you may even find my picture. I'm not so very fond of that picture, but I guess that's what I look like most of the time.

7. finished 21 customer quilts. I know, fewer than last month, but most of these were queen/king and custom.

AND...... the very last thing I did in October ........

8. packed to go to Houston!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Turmoil

On Sunday night we had an unexpected guest drop by the house. He didn't get along well with some of the members of the family. There was a period of screaming and running and knocking over furniture. The chaos stopped just short of bloodshed. It ended when my husband caught the mouse while the two useless idiots cats watched. My kind-hearted husband released the mouse in the yard. I spent a good deal of time yesterday setting the sewing room back in order. Yes, the mouse was in my sewing room! How did I ever get so much fabric? And how does it get so dusty in there?

On another front, we got our new generator and electrical hookups today, thus guaranteeing no extended power outages in the near future. When my husband showed me how to use the new equipment in the garage, I noticed what was possibly the same mouse (or a near relative of the mid-sized brown variety), now dead in a trap. Poor, poor mouse.

Monday, October 01, 2007

September wrap-up

I've seen a lot of people post their reading lists, so here's mine from September:

The Company by Robert Littell
This is one long book. It got me through many quilts, but did I mention that it was long?

Hot Stuff by Janet Evanovich and Leanne Banks
I did enjoy it, but it wasn't exactly memorable.

The Ruins by Scott Smith
I saw this on the NYTimes bestseller list and then downloaded it from the library. Knew absolutely nothing about it. Imagine my surprise when it was a Stephen King-like horror novel?!?!?!? Don't get me wrong, I love Stephen King, but it wasn't what I was expecting. I did like this book and it was memorable.

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
As I was listening to this book on my MP3 player, I was thinking, "Wow, this book sure jumps around a lot." Then I listened to the end, and then it kept going? My MP3 player shuffled the tracks. I actually liked this book, but maybe it was boring if you listened all the way through in order?

Body Surfing by Anita Shreve
I didn't really like Wedding in December. As in, I disliked Wedding in December, but I thought I'd give her another try. I'm glad I did. This was probably my favorite book in recent months. I'm not sure why I liked it so much. In case you were wondering, The Boleyn Inheritance by Philippa Gregory is still the best book of 2007 for me.

Crisis by Robin Cook
Loved it! I started this book maybe 3 months ago and couldn't get into it. I'm so glad I started it again. Did I mention that I loved it? I read a lot and can usually see the ending from the beginning. I love having no clue where the book is going so I can just buckle up and enjoy the ride. Still pondering the ending and the title. Did I mention that I loved this book?

Off the Record by Elizabeth White
I'm going to venture onto shaky grounds with this one. I'm in a book club at church and this was this month's selection. (I was sick and couldn't go to the club, but that's a little beside the point). I am a Christian and that's really important to me. Like probably most important to me. I don't have a problem with Jesus at all. I do have a few small issues with the Christian culture. Like, Christian books and Christian music and stuff. This book was a Christian book, but it wasn't very good. Most aren't. I have to say there have been a few books that have been very, very, good but that it's not the norm. It's interesting to go to the book club and hear people rave about the book. "This was so well-written," they'll gush. "Have you ever read a real book?" I want to answer, but I restrain myself. This book, like most others in the book club, was pleasant and harmless and somewhat enjoyable. I'll mail it to my mom and she'll just love it. Rant over. (Pun not intended)

Rant by Chuck Palahniuk
Um, what can I say? Chuch Palahniuk wrote this. Not quite as gritty as Choke. I still liked Fight Club best. Interesting and thought-provoking and very, very memorable.

The Afghan by Frederick Forsyth
I think I enjoyed this. I remember some parts. I guess it was enjoyable and passed the time, but my ears kinda glazed over. I'll have to read another Forsyth book to tell if it was him or the actor who read it that numbed my brain. My guess is that it was Forsyth. LeCarre does the same thing to me.

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In addition to reading, I also:
1. quilted 22 quilts for customers
2. taught a weekend quilting retreat for 19 ladies (FUN!)
3. taught a regular quilting class (while sick)
4. taught a machine quilting club (a week later, still sick)
5. got my daughter started in high school
6. got my son moved out to his own apartment
7. got terribly sick and skipped a week of life and by the time I woke up the season had changed!
8. watched 2 1/2 seasons of CSI Miami. I'm listening to the rest of season 3 while I work. I'll start reading again when I'm done.
9. started back to college, because I'm insane. Now you know it, too.
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Yes, I'm a huge calendar and list person. Why do you ask?