Saturday, August 24, 2013

The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott

The Lost Summer of Louisa May AlcottThe Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott by Kelly O'Connor McNees
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this book!

The author takes fact and combines it with fiction to write a very enjoyable story. The story is the answer to the question, what if Louisa May Alcott had a true love.

I enjoyed the history woven into the story. The love story may have been fiction, but it left me wondering if more of it is true than realized.

This book is a very pleasant read. It would also make an excellent reading club book for women. I found myself pondering how much has really changed for women since Louisa was alive.

View all my reviews

Monday, August 19, 2013

A Fine Romance: ¬†Falling in Love with the English CountrysideA Fine Romance:  Falling in Love with the English Countryside by Susan Branch
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I love, love, love this book! I could not put this book down. I carried it with me every where I went.

Susan takes us along with her on a trip to England. I felt as if I were there with her touring Beatrix Potter's house, warming up from the damp rain in a pub drinking peach cider, navigating the roads driving on the "wrong" side. I did not want this book to end. Go back, Susan! Write more!

I am now going to read this book a second time. This time I will have my iPad next to me so I can read further, on her website, about all the places Susan painted a beautiful star next to. I will mark with post-its all the recipes I want to create in my kitchen. I will mark all the quotes I love, like Bette Midler's, "When it's 3 o'clock in New York, it's still 1938 in London."

I love the way Susan crafts her books. They are all beautifully handwritten, with gorgeous illustrations and beautiful photographs. They are more than books, they are works of art.

I hope Susan travels the world and writes more beautiful books. I would also love a book about how to create my own beautiful art journal.

Whatever Susan writes I will buy and treasure. I have enjoyed her work for 32 years and I look forward to enjoying it for many more years to come.

Thank you, Susan, for blessing us all with your gifts and talents.

View all my reviews

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Where's Wilbur?

Every August the State Fair comes to a town not too far from our home.

My husband and I have never been to the State Fair. Our children have never been to the State Fair.

Have you ever taken children to a carnival? The carnival comes to our town every year in June. Every year we took our children to the carnival. Carnivals are not a lot of fun for parents. Hence, we never took them to the State Fair in August. The June carnival was more than enough for us.

This year, the company my son works for had a tent at the State Fair. Sunday was a glorious day so my husband Gary and I decided to take a drive up to the fair to visit our son Rick.

See how pretty it was? Well, everyone else thought it was a great day to go to the State Fair too. Bumper to bumper traffic for miles. Gary gets cranky in traffic. So, he gets off the highway and takes the back roads whenever we get into traffic. The back roads can sometimes be a longer trip than just sitting in the traffic. I'm beginning to question our plan for this day.

Eventually, we arrived.

Can you see the Ferris wheel way back there?

There is something you need to know about me. That is if you don't know already. My favorite book in the whole wide world is Charlotte's Web. No child gets by me without reading or listening to that wonderful book by E.B. White about a spider named Charlotte that saves the life of a pig named Wilbur.


So, although my dear husband thought I was going along with him to visit my son, my real intention was to find Wilbur. I actually did mention this to him on the drive up as we meandered through country roads for miles in order to avoid the traffic. He looked at me, like I had two heads, and asked, "Who is Wilbur?" My love for Charlotte's Web never did impress him.

I swear I saw Fern and Henry Fussy on that Ferris Wheel. 

After we paid our $24.00, five more years we get in for the senior rate, we walked into the State Fair. Goal number one, find Rick. 

This was not an easy feat. This fair was huge! We're talking 145 acres huge! This was like trying to find a needle in a haystack. (pun intended)  I broke down and called him. 

"Where are you?"
"By the elephant." 
"Where's the elephant?"

A man overhearing my conversation pointed and said, "That way."

Off we went.

However, we I  found a few other things along the way. 

 Like this! The inside of this Wine Garden was decorated with sunflowers. It was gorgeous!

And this! How precious are those gingerbread men and ladies?

 And this! Stunning!

 And this! Who needs a Christmas tree? Just hang this on the wall and put the gifts underneath it.

 And this! Oh, I love that purse! Wouldn't that make a perfect iPad bag?

Eventually, we found Rick.

That's him next to the game wheel. The photo is dark, but trust me he is very handsome.

Rick had to work, and I was in need of a ladies room, so we didn't get to talk for very long. I left my husband with him while I went off to find the ladies room. On my way ...


Our daughter Tracy dreams of a Cinderella wedding. When I saw this I stopped dead in my tracks. I took a photo and sent it to her. She said that when she opened it she actually gasped. I gave her their business card and told her to put it on her dream board. 

We had a lot of acres to cover, so we walked on. Gary found some items that interested him.

It is difficult to see, but that is an antique motor Gary is checking out. A car motor, I think. Maybe not.

We walked through the motor museum and found these.

I was proud of myself that I knew they were boat motors. Those are lawn mowers in front of the boat engines. They were having lawn mower races at the State Fair, but we missed them. Darn!

We walked some more and found this!

Can you see the black seats on the truck bed? This was actually a ride. No, we didn't go on it. In the evening, where the monster truck ride was, there was going to be a demolition derby. The line to buy tickets for that was about a quarter mile long. We didn't get on that line.

We continued on and found another museum. Look in the back right corner of that little room. That is a washing machine. I am grateful I never had to use one of those. Thank You, God. 

This room reminds me of the quote by William Morris, "Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful."

Eventually, we worked our way back to the gate that would lead us out of the State Fair. As we were approaching the gate I said to Gary, "We forgot to find Wilbur! Let's turn around." He didn't like that idea and responded, "We will come back to look for Wilbur next year."

I do believe I found Templeton though. 

A few Charlotte's Web videos for you to enjoy.


Sunday Inspiration

Thursday, August 1, 2013

The Cutest Picture in the World

I love this photo! 

That is my father-in-law with my children. It was taken about 22 years ago. 

I love this photo!

It brings me abundant joy!