Friday, April 28, 2017

April's Reading List

I didn't get much reading done this month but I did enjoy a few books. So here they are...


The Fire By Night was one of my favorite kinds of books! It takes place in WWII so it's historical fiction. The story line switches back and forth between two Army nurses, one serving in Europe, the other in the Pacific. They are strong women with flaws and quirks but determined to survive and thrive in the worst of circumstances. I liked that the characters were different but best friends, and that not everything had happy endings, wars rarely do. I highly recommend this book!


House Rules is another Jodi Picoult book that has the crazy twist at the end like she usually includes. That being said, the twist was different than what I was expecting and the characters were very engaging. The story focuses on a boy with Aspergers Syndrome. All of the family members have strong story lines and I found myself really feeling for each of them for different reasons. If you like Jodi Picoult, you'll like this book. It was long, but I'm glad I read it, and I hope you will too.


Lilac Girls is the book I've been listening to on tape this month while commuting to work. Another WWII story from the perspective of three very different women, who endured very different experiences during the war. One was a Nazi doctor, another a Polish prisoner, and an American volunteer worker. The story seems to spend most of it's time with the American, but all three story lines are well developed and realistic. I'm on the last CD and I don't want this book to end, so that tells you how I feel about it.



I read The Zookeeper's Wife years ago with my book club. I see that it is in theaters now. I really hope I get to see this movie as the book was wonderful! Yet another WWII movie set in occupied Europe and the struggles of keeping the animals alive while running a safe house for escaping prisoners gets complicated. I would recommend reading the book before the movie if you get a chance.

While most of these books are all one theme, I honestly didn't plan it that way. I just requested some of these books at the library and I never know which ones will become available, or when. I have no idea which books I'll read next month, but I do already have a couple of books on CD in my car for the commute.

As always, I love to hear your book recommendations as well. Enjoy!!
Diane

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The Legend of the Lick Skillet Quilt Guild


Because you have asked where this wonderful name came from, I got the whole story for you and here it is...



Many years ago there was a small town in Alabama that was a frequent stopping point for folks traveling to and from Birmingham. It was a friendly little town that was known for it's hospitality. Hungry and weary travelers always knew they would be shown kindness upon their arrival. Now, the folks in this small town weren't necessarily wealthy, but they were generous. If anyone showed up at their door asking for food, even the most humble folks would say... You are welcome to share what we have, even if that means you can just lick the skillet. So the little town became known as Lick Skillet.


Once the United States Postal Service started delivering mail, they realized there were two towns in Alabama referred to as Lick Skillet, so this town had to choose another mailing address name. But lots of local folks whose families have been in the area for generations still refer to the times of Lick Skillet. The name is often reflected in other ways, even though it's not the official name of the town.


I can attest to the fact that these folks in this area of Alabama definitely are the KINDEST, most GENEROUS and HOSPITABLE people you will ever meet. They took such good care of me and fed me so well and made me laugh until I cried. They make visitors feel like family and they certainly live up to the tradition of their name.


I would like to thank each and every member of the Lick Skillet Guild for the amazing visit I had and I do so hope they will have me back again. This group is so wonderful!

Thanks for everything,
Diane


Sunday, April 23, 2017

Sunday Mornings...


Sunday mornings have evolved in our home over the years. There were the years when the three kids were little and we were on automatic routine for survival. Feedings, bathing, napping and loving on the little people seemed to consume every day of the week without much variation. It is a blurry but happy memory.


Then the years followed of the growing children and their many assorted friends who loved to sleep over on the weekends. I always wanted to be house in the neighborhood that all the children wanted to go to, and I think we achieved that. Every Sunday morning I would wake up to find six to eight smiling faces with crazy hair sitting at my kitchen table waiting for me to serve up platters of home made pancakes or waffles with all the fixings. These were my favorite years for sure! The sleepy, happy and hungry little bunch always scarfed down every morsel of food and then trampled off to the next activity they dreamed up.


Then the teenage years arrived and my husband and I found ourselves looking at one another over quiet cups of coffee and wondering if the people we had raised would ever wake up. We enjoyed sharing the news over coffee and savored the quiet time before the rumble of teens would descend the stairs, hungrier than ever. More pancakes and waffles would disappear as fast as I could make them.


Now with only two teens left (for a few months anyway) the Sunday morning routine has gotten even quieter. Hubby is often working and I make a cup of coffee after taking care of the three dogs and the kitty. I sit down to my computer and catch up on my blog reading while sipping my coffee. The boys will eventually get up and find their way to the kitchen because that is where the coffee is. The sleep over friends are much less frequent as sports, jobs, and schoolwork seems to interfere more these days.


In September, all the kids will be gone. Each off to their own schools and hubby and I will be left alone to cope with the peace and quiet. Luckily the dogs will still be here to love us and the cat will still be here to try and boss us around. I'm not looking forward the quiet. I will look forward the visits home and I will happily cook all the pancakes and waffles they can possibly eat.

Until then, I'll go back to my blog reading and see what wonderful things my quilting friends from around the world have shared this week.

Diane

Friday, April 21, 2017

A Garden Tour...


I was lucky enough to have lunch with these two friends recently. We enjoyed exploring the beautiful backyard garden of Mary Ruth's first.


The koi were happily swimming around in the pond. They are so big and so interesting. I could watch them all day.


There are lovely little accents every where you look. Not a single space has been forgotten.


And there are gorgeous spots to sit and enjoy the view.


The iris were beginning to bloom along with the azaleas and even the beautiful water lily!




video


Here's a little video of the waterfall feature. Thanks for the lovely visit Mary Ruth!

Diane

Thursday, April 20, 2017

On the Road Again...


By now you've probably heard of the major traffic issues in Atlanta. While traffic has always been a headache here it's worse now. LOTS WORSE.


So this bridge collapsed and while crews are working around the clock, it will still be months before it's finished. It's the major road leading north and south through Atlanta. The road hubby takes to work and the road I travel quite a bit due to my teaching.


And if that wasn't fun enough, the major East/West Interstate also exploded. Literally, all by itself!


So this is what I will probably have a view of later today as I head toward Alabama. I know it will be worth it to spend two fun filled days with a whole bunch of awesome quilters, and I've got books on tape to listen to in the car, but still...

Wish me luck!
Diane

Monday, April 17, 2017

Easter Colors


It was a quiet Easter around here. I was home alone piecing up a storm! I noticed that my scraps looked a lot like Easter colors. My hubby works most holidays and I knew ahead of time that my girl wouldn't be able to come home from school, and the boy's bought concert tickets ages ago, so that left me home alone with the dogs. And it was quiet and wonderful. We will schedule time together on another day, just like Christmas rarely happens on the 25th around here. The calendar is not what's important, the time together and the love is...and we will have plenty of that I promise!


I am prepping and packing for my trip to Alabama this week. I'm really looking forward to two days of workshops with the Lickskillet Guild. I had a great time my first visit with them, so I know we will have lots fun learning some new quilts this time!

I hope your Easter was special and that you have some good spring sewing planned!
Diane

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Thank You Cherokee Rose Quilt Guild!


I spent the morning with this fun guild! I have visited them in the past and was so happy to see all of their smiling faces again.


The best part was when Anna showed her version of Under the Mistletoe that I taught last year. I love her two colors on a white background, the design really pops!


When I haven't been working or teaching this week I've been sewing like crazy. I can't share the photos yet but her are some scraps,


And nothing proves you've been sewing like another empty Aurifil spool!


But I did make time to visit this cute new wobbly baby at the barn where Kelly works. This little guy is adorable and loved the attention!


And at work, Millie showed off her version of Crazy Daisy, the cover quilt on my book. There is no feeling quite like seeing someone make one of your my patterns and the joy it brings to them as well as the gorgeous quilt that results. I'll never get tired of that feeling.

So thanks to everyone who has made this week amazing so far. I'm getting ready for my teaching trip to Alabama next week, more on that later!

Enjoy every stitch!
Diane
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