Friday, September 21, 2012

Days gone by.....

As I sat here watching my little grandbaby playing on the floor, I wondered what things  would she remember from her childhood?  Would she remember the color of the carpet in my livingroom?  Would she remember the fabric of her Mom and Dad's couch?  Would she remember the smell of the grapes being harvested? It started me thinking of things that I remember from my own childhood.  I think my earliest memory is just an image of gray and red speckled 'something'. My Mom tells me that was the linoleum on the floor of the apartment we lived in when I was learning to crawl. 

I also remember my Mom's old electrolux vacuum ckeaner.  It looked alot like this one:
It blew warm air out the end and I used to follow her around while she vacuumed letting the warm air blow on me. I think I fell asleep sometimes, it was so warm and relaxing. I still have a couple of the attachments to that old cleaner.
Another thing I remember is riding our bikes outside, no helmets, in the street. We'd ride for hours, just up and down the street, down the hill through the covered bridge and see how far we could make it back up the hill before we had to get off and walk. This was before the days of gears.  We used leg muscles instead!. I also remember making "motorcycle's" out of our bikes by clipping old playing cards to the frame so they hit against the spokes. We thought we were really cool!
I remember helping my Mom sprinkle the clothes in preperation to ironing.  We used one of these:
You sprinkled them just enough to dampen them, then rolled them up in a certain way and after a few minutes they were ready to get ironed.  I know what you're thinking, and no, she didn't have to heat the iron on a stove. I'm not THAT old. We did have electricity in the 50's!.
Halloween was always a fun, safe time 'back in the day'. We worked for days making our Halloween costumes.  Not many people bought costumes in those days. We painted, cut, glued, sewed, salvaged and scrounged for bits and pieces. In those days it was safe to go trick-or-treating without a grownup along. The worst things we had to look out for were highschoolers throwing eggs or a loose dog or two.  There was one lady on our street that always baked the best cookies and we looked forward to them every year, at least I did.
I remember bundling up so much in the winter that you could barely move!  That scene from that Christmas movie was exactly how it felt!  And it never failed that as soon as we got all bundled, buttoned and booted, we had to use the bathroom!
I remember going to the dump with my Dad and finding all sorts of treasures.  Yep, in those days there was an area set aside for people to take their garbage and they just 'dumped' it. 
It was stinky and dirty but so much fun! We didn't actually get into the stinky stuff, just the stuff at the fringe. That's where everyone left their bigger junk cause it was too heavy to throw over the edge.  I think my sister still has some of the old metal lawn chairs my Dad found and repainted.  Like these:
In the summer, during a warm rain, we'd stand under the eave spout and 'take a shower'.  I think we ended up a little dirtier than we started but it sure was fun.
This time of year always reminds me of Saturday afternoons spent raking and burning leaves.  Oh, the smell of  those leaves burning.  I miss it. Our job was to keep an eye out for runaway flames while my Dad walked up and down the driveway raking and keeping the leaves in a row.
Maybe my memories have helped remind you about yours. What things do you remember from your childhood? Leave me a comment with your memories and we'll reminisce together.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Book giveaway no. 1

I've never done a book giveaway here so I figured it was about time. Of course, the fact that I have a stack of duplicate books helped me decide. How did I get a stack of duplicates?  Well.....There is this store near us called Ollie's.  Maybe you have one near you. If you do and are a reader, you HAVE to go there!  So, whenever I go there I always look through their tons of books and usually find a few that I know I haven't read before.  That doesn't mean they weren't already sitting on my shelves at home though. The same with Dollar General.  Ours doesn't have a large selection but they usually have one of two . That's how I ended up with 3 copies of one title.  I see popcorn a great price and go nuts!  Now you, dear readers, can profit from my nuttiness.  I plan to do a series of giveaways in the next few months.  Each giveaway will include at least two books of the same genre (fancy word).

For this giveaway I'm asking you to go to my Etsy shop then come back here and tell me what item in my shop you like the best.  Also, in the body of this blog post there are two words that obviously don't belong in the text. (My shameless attempt to get you to read this) You need to tell me what  the words are.  I also need some way to contact you so leave me your email (you (at) email (dot) com ) or similar. I'll use that random generator thingy to pick a winner.

So to recap, to win the books, do 2 things:
1- Tell me what item in my Etsy shop you like most
2- Tell me what 2 words don't belong

That's all there is to it!!  I'll bet you're wondering quack what books you'll win, aren't you? Here they are:
drum roll please.................................

The winner will get ALL of these historical Christian romances:
Sophie's Dilemma by Lauraine Snelling (Hardcover)
The Lightkeeper's Daughter by Colleen Coble
Bees in the Butterfly Garden by Maureen Lang
These books are all new. Bees in the Butterfly Garden was provided to me by Tyndale House Publishing.
This giveaway starts Sept. 17, 2012 and ends Sept. 30, 2012.  I'll pick the winner Oct. 1, 2012. Open to US mailing addresses only.
Feel free to tell your friends and their friends and their friends, etc. to enter. Hope you win!!! 
(P,S, I'm hiding all the comments just to keep it honest!)

Monday, September 03, 2012

Bees in the Butterfly Garden by Maureen Lang - a book review

This book review has been a long time coming.  I waited and waited, hoping that if I gave it more time I'd remember something that would make me like it more. I wish I could, but it just wasn't my 'cup of tea'.  For those of you who have read my reviews before, you know I like a book that draws me into the lives of the characters. I like descriptive narratives and engaging dialog.  I like to feel something for the characters.  I never quite got there with this book.  Now, remember, this is only my opinion.  You may really like it.  I hope you do.  I hope you give it a chance and really love it.  At first, I was really drawn to the title.  The main character is a young woman who designs gardens to attract butterflies. You'll have to read the book to find out what the bees reference pertains to.  I had an inkling about that but wasn't comepletely sure until I read the author's notes in the back of the book. I also like books that are obviously Christian in nature.  This one was kind of wishey-washey in that regard,  Usually , it takes me 3-5 days to read a book. This one took me two weeks.  I just couldnt get the hang of the author's writing style.  In my opinion, it was too wordy.  I did like how, toward the end, the author makes a point to emphasize the subtle differences between grace, mercy and justice. 
Here is what the publisher's website says about it:  
"Raised in an exclusive boarding school among Fifth Avenue’s finest, Meg Davenport has all she’s ever needed . . . but none of the things she’s wanted most, like family, or dreams of a future that includes anything other than finding a suitable match. So when her distant father dies, she seizes the chance to throw etiquette aside and do as she pleases. Especially when she learns that John Davenport wasn’t the wealthy businessman she thought, but one of the Gilded Age’s most talented thieves.

Poised to lead those loyal to Meg’s father, Ian Maguire knows the last thing his mentor would have wanted is for his beloved daughter to follow in his footsteps. Yet Meg is determined, and her connections to one of New York’s wealthiest families could help Ian pull off his biggest heist yet. But are they both in over their heads? And in trying to gain everything, will they end up losing it all?"

You can read an exerpt on the publisher's website HERE. I hope you give it a try.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. through their book review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed above are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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