Friday, April 30, 2010
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
From the back cover: (Spoilers Possible)
"Set against the backdrop of two neighboring Southern towns, Sufficient Grace is the powerful, affecting story of two families over the course of a year, from one Easter season to the next."
One quiet spring day, Gracie Hollaman hears voices in her head that tell her to get in her car and leave her entire life behind - her home, her husband, her daughter, her very identity. Gracie's subsequent journey releases her genius for painting and effects profound changes in the lives of everyone around her.
A spellbinding work, Sufficient Grace explores the power of personal transformation and redemption, and the many ordinary and extraordinary ways they come to pass through faith, love, motherhood, art, even food. This poignant, poetic study of the human condition affirms the enduring importance of relationships and the strength we derive from them, Even though we sometimes have to leave behind an old identity in order to discover our soul.
Beautifully paced, filled with unforgettable characters, Sufficient Grace reveals the vital place that spirit and belonging have in every inner life - and in the every day world."
8/27/07: Though it was difficult to get through the first chapter & I even put it down for a few months (I bought it in March, 2007) this is the most beautifully written novel I have ever read. I don't think I've ever felt a read so much. It's now my top favorite read of all time. I actually felt blessed to have read it once I was done. Amazing!
4/30/10: Once again I've fallen in love with this novel, even more than the first time. I don't know why I had a hard time with the first chapter or so the first time I read it (as I mention above). Ms. Arnoult's writing is beautiful; simple yet vividly descriptive. Her writing and more specifically this story comforts my soul and heals my heart in unexpected ways. I slowed my reading to a crawl towards the end because I didn't want it to end again. A novel I will come back to time after time.
View all my reviews >>
Thursday, April 29, 2010
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
From the back cover: "The Quarry is another stark, intense novel in which human nature betrays itself against the desolate backdrop of rural South Africa. It opens with a chance meeting on a lonely stretch of road, when a man picks up a hitchhiker. The driver is a minister on his way to a new congregation in an isolated village and the passenger, a fugitive from justice. When the minister realizes this and confronts his passenger overlooking an empty quarry, the response is deadly. As the fugitive and the local police chief play out a tense game of cat and mouse, Damon Galgut gives us a devastating combat for man's most prized attribute: freedom."
This was an interesting, odd and compelling read. I doubt I would have ever read it had it not been this month's book club selection at the library and I'm glad to have had the chance. ***SPOILER Possible-->***The confrontation between the minister and the passenger mentioned above is not as it seems in the books description and really surprised me!<--End possible spoiler. Very moody. Simple yet vividly descriptive. Gives such a sense of isolation and desolation. View all my reviews >>
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Hello friends! Hope all is well with all of you. We've been away since last week, up at our 'home away from home' in the mountains. We got another property to cover ours so we could be away and not have to worry about the apartment complex at all (which is a very necessary break every so often). It was nice being away even though it POURED Sat night through Tuesday morning! Then the temperature dropped and we had snow & hail showers around dinner time last night. It got down to 32° too! More oddball weather this morning while we were packing up to come home. (Rain, snow & hail all at the same time while it was sunny in one direction and cloudy in the other).
Yes, that Is the resident Swan hanging out with us by the fire last night! She's taken quite the liking to us and seems to like to spend time near us even if we don't feed her (which we do often enough) though I know she's just hoping we'll feed her anyway. The resident Mallard couple stops by, often with her, as well but only during day light hours. She's a beautiful (and enormous!) creature.
Tomorrow's iv med day in the afternoon. I hope it doesn't wear me out too much as the book club meet up is also tomorrow, at 7pm and I'd like to go. (Have to be careful though - I'm supposed to avoid contact with & exposure to groups in enclosed settings immediately after and for 72 hours). Guess I'll just have to wait & see!
That's all for now! More catching up coming soon.
Posted via My Palm Centro.
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Friday, April 16, 2010
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Monday, April 12, 2010
Not only is this a long post, but, I'm very tired and my arthritis is Flaring something horrible right now, however, the seeds are sown and Dahlia tubers are planted! Happy Dance! (Y'all can do it for me since I'm in no shape to be shaking my groove thing right now).
Since the container re-arranging both out front & in the yard was finished in the last week or so (Hubby helped with all of the heavy lifting & moving without my having to ask!), pretty much everything is done, aside from a few odds & ends, so now I can wait and watch things bloom. (Along with watering & fertilizing as needed, of course).
Really, it's a bit strange to be... done.
Anyhoo, here's my gardening 'down-low' (prepare yourselves!)~
Annuals & perennials:
I made my own perennial & annual seed mix for the Dogwood raised bed using 3 different Wildflower seed packets & 1 perennial mix packet plus: Purple Coneflower, Blue Columbine, Johnny Jump Ups Viola's, Cleome, Black & Brown Eyed Susans, Zinnia's (Candy Cane Mix, Envy, Enchantress Rose & Lilliput), Petunia's (mixed colors), Mexican Sunflower and Vinca (Little Choice Mix). I may have thrown in some Bachelor's Buttons too. (Right now, I don't remember, lol!)
Organic Kellogg's Beefsteak Tomato's, Rutgers Tomato's, Dark Green Zucchini/Squash, Chives, Bloomsdale Longstanding Spinach*, Mixed Colors Swiss Chard*, Tomatillo's* (green tomato's), Heirloom Large Red Cherry Tomato's*, Heirloom Crimson Cushion Beefsteak Tomato's*, Mesclun* salad mix and Petite Orange Marigold's, which are a natural pest repellent for veggies, especially tomato's!
*(Have extra seeds to sow every two weeks until Summer to stagger & extend harvests!)
For the arbor:
Climbing Plant Mix (Morning Glories, Cardinal Climbers, Thunbergia Black Eyed Susans, Nasturtiums and Sweet Pea's), Crimson Rambler Morning Glories and Heavenly Blue Morning Glories.
For some height:
Teddy Bear Sunflowers, Indian Spring Mixed Colors Holly Hocks, Summer Carnival Mixed Colors Hollyhocks and Crackerjack Mixed Colors Marigolds.
True Lavender in one of the porch pots and in a pot underneath the bedroom window.
Yes, I go a wee bit seed crazy every year (LOL!) but it really saves me So Much money! (Especially when every place I bought seeds this year has had them On Sale). And this year I've done even more perennial seeds than usual which will save me all the more in the years to come (as do all of the perennials I've had for so may years already). Total cost of all of these seeds this year? $40. $10 less than last year!
Everything else is coming back nicely and my Bleeding Heart is in Full Bloom now! (Pink, so pretty, an all time fave!) Other established perennials I have: Roses (2 pink, 1 orange/pink/yellow), Hosta, Iris, Butterfly Bushes (purple, white and deep pink), Autumn Joy Sedum, Dianthus (red), Black & Brown Eyed Susans, Lemon Balm, Grape Hyacinths, a Forythia, Early Sunrise Coreopsis, East Friesland Salvia, Purple Ice Plant, Raspberries (red) and Flowering Dogwood. (I've had the Autumn Joy Sedum, Raspberries and Purple Ice Plant for 8 years and the Dianthus for 6!)
Somehow after dinner I was able to bake chocolate cupcakes (using mix from Cherrybrook Kitchen) with fresh made sweetened whipped cream. (Just mix a cup of heavy cream, 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar and a 1/2 teaspoon vanilla in a bowl with a mixer on medium low for 5 minutes (or until it gets a bit frothy) and put in the fridge for 20 minutes to thicken a bit. It's no where near as thick as icing but it's Heavenly and tastes much better!) When in need of comfort food, one finds a way I suppose.
Just got a text from my bff who moved to WA today. They've landed safely in Seattle. I was able to stop by to say goodbye to her last night. Oddly enough, I didn't cry. (Well, until I got home that is!) But I'm glad I didn't since I know how tired and stressed she's been with getting ready for the move. She didn't need me blubbering all over her! I still can't believe she's gone.
Another long time best friend texted me earlier that she's 12 weeks pregnant. I'm so happy for her and her husband. They've been through such heart break in that area of their lives. (I'm keeping my fingers crossed for her!)
I feel like I'm standing still, being left behind.
I'm off to bed now though I really need a soak in a tub of hot, soapy water. (I just don't have the energy for it!) Hope everyone had a great weekend and has a great week!
Sunday, April 11, 2010
Saturday, April 10, 2010
Just before we had our own dinner last night, Waddles (the resident female Mallard duck) came a visiting with us and I was able to snap this photo just after feeding her some country white bread. (She prefers potato bread but 'any port in a storm' as they say). She's very sweet and will eat from your hand without nipping you, which surprised me.
Hope this brings you a smile as it did me and y'all have a great Saturday!
Posted from 'Home Away From Home' via My Palm Centro.
Wednesday, April 07, 2010
While it's nice to see that my purple Grape Hyacinths are the first to appear each Spring, it's my Bleeding Heart bush (pictured above) that I anxiously await to bloom each season. My first splash of Pink! And its' foliage is such a pretty green color. Makes me smile and lifts my Spirits as I watch it grow & bloom.
Posted via My Palm Centro.
Tuesday, April 06, 2010
Not where I belong.
Where do I belong?
Don't want to stay put.
Turning back to the soil to help me find my way.
Will I ever find my way?
Old before my time.
Straddling my youth & my fading youth.
Back to doing what's easy instead of what's best.
On-shore breeze is making it chilly.
Air is warm, ocean is cold.
The fog is rolling in again.
Posted via My Palm Centro.
Saturday, April 03, 2010
Posted via My Palm Centro