Saturday, March 31, 2012

Saturday Snapshot

Today is Saturday--and that means it's time for Saturday Snapshot!!   I get very excited when I get to randomly post any picture or pictures I want.  And there is even  a reason for it---Saturday Snapshot, as I mentioned.  Hooray for  Alyce from At Home With Books for hosting this fun weekly meme.  (as you can tell, it's one of my favorites)

Today, I bring you libraries, because.... well, I don't really know why... I just love them.  And a few weeks ago, I asked my friends,  30 of my closest friends to please take pictures of their libraries and send them to me.  3 of them did!!  I thought since they went to all that hard work, I should share.
THANK YOU FRIENDS for taking your time.

Libraries are having a tough time of things in this economy.  Some counties are cutting hours that they are open, cutting funding for books and tech material.
Kind of off subject, but we live in rural Nevada and we have a book mobile program to reach ranching communities that are 90 miles out and more.  We are in danger of losing our Bookmobile program.

Fun info about the Bookmobiles in the United States:
While bookmobile services have slightly declined over the past two decades, the bookmobile remains an integral part of the American cultural landscape. With the exception of Maine, all U.S. states offer traveling branch library service, with  Kentucky leading the pack at 98 bookmobiles!

I say  YAY Kentucky!!
and now...on to the libraries (whose funding I hope never gets cut):
(fair warning...there are lots of pictures)

First up..
the little library in my little town. Nevada.

Then we'll travel to California

then to Montana

About the "old" library:

The Old Library Gallery is a retail fine art gallery featuring original art work by Montana artists and fine craftsmen. We offer originals in graphite pencil, pastels, oils, watercolors, photography, jewelry, pottery, wood, cards, and unique made in Montana gift items. All work is by professional full time artists.Featured artist, Don Greytak, pencil originals and signed limited edition prints all begin here!The Gallery is located in one of the oldest historic buildings in town, a former 1914 two story brick Carnegie Library.

The new library is called "Havre-Hill County City Library". (Havre is in Hill County)

and off to Pennsylvania

The front picture of our library looks very much like other PA libraries built by Andrew Carnegie at the turn of the century.
the side view is where you actually enter the library and this addition has the majority of the books for as small as it is.
the old section is lots of wood paneling, big windows and cold, has the seating area, periodicals and adult fiction.

In the basement is the children's, books for sale room, and meeting rooms. you can't see but the edition has a southwest
look to it, with tiles at the top or something. Totally not in character with the rest of the building or anything around these parts.
it just looks wrong.

and back to Washington State where I grew up:

This is the new library--the new branch.
It's even open on SUNDAYS!!  I love a community who knows the value of being open when needed.

This tho, is the library downtown  (same town) where I would ride my bike all summer and do the  SUMMER READING PROGRAM.  I loved that so much.

Want to see inside the 'new' library?
Even tho I love the library where I live--this seems much more efficient than what we do.
We don't trust people to do express checkout.  (laughing at myself because I am on the library board here)

If I could pick my favorite look--it would be the older buildings or the brand new/modern looking buildings for the library.

Do you love your library?
If you send me your pic I'll post it. Or if you post it yourself, send me the link.

I love to see how they look.

Winner! Winner!

I didn't get all caught up in the Mega-Lottery this past week  (winning numbers pulled last night at 8:00 PST), because the lottery is illegal in the state of Nevada.  Seems silly, doesn't it?   But the casinos have heavy duty lobbyists working with our law makers to make sure we don't get the lottery.
We have this instead:

As I said, I didn't get caught up in the excitement  (I didn't even know it was going on) until 2 of my sons, who live outside of Nevada called and told us the news.  That they held the winning ticket!

I have not heard from either of them this morning.  I guess they are still out celebrating.  I would be if I had just won  $640 million.   But you know, I would surely remember my parents.   

Seriously tho....I  didn't even know about this mega million lottery!  I must take my nose out of a book sometime and see what's happening around me.  I understand (from the Handyman) that there are winners!!   3 of them?
Congrats to them.  I guess.  Statistically, they'll be broke in 5 years.     YIKES!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Book Club Love (and other ramblings)

In the past week, I've had 2 book club gatherings---the Lit Wits and Totally Lit--and since they are my favorite things ever, I thought I would share with you.

Saturday and the Lit Wits!

                                         Our book: Henry's Sisters by Cathy Lamb.

Our Thoughts:  This book was enjoyed by all in the group, except for one.  She was not a fan of the writing style--fair enough--but for most of the group, it was a good choice.

We thought that exploring relationships was the theme running throughout the story, and relationship  and family dynamic always leads to good discussion.
We all laughed and got mad and sad, and well, we all cried at some point in the book---even the one member who didn't care for the writing style. The story trumped the writing style for  her  at that part in the book.  

We did not do any 'bra burining' as they did in Sheila's book club.  But I thought about it.  As that is where I got the idea for this book.  Good choice Sheila!!
The funny thing is,  I was telling my Lit Wits friends how I came to choose this book--from my friend Sheila in Minnesota, whom I've never met.  They always think that is so...interesting.  Then Theresa and I like to remind them that her friend Alison of Alison's Book Marks (from a totally unrealted parenting board), whom she has never met either, is friends with Sheila.   They had lunch with Adriana Trigiani last year at BEA!
We really freak them out with that one.   One gal made the comment, how do you become friends with someone on the internet?
See here.  (grins)

Saturday was supposed to be my turn to host the Lit Wits!!  But I didn't have a kitchen. Since this is the book club where we cook/eat,  I could not host, so thankfully Theresa stepped up and offered her home.  I said I would bring the food.

HOW you ask, since I just said that I don't have a kitchen  yet?  Okay, I have everything but the new counter top  (we stuck the old one on just to have a place to put stuff) and a kitchen sink.   So I can cook, but I have to do the dishes in the bathroom sink.

Anyway---I managed.  (even tho Theresa said I could cook at her house).
It was a brunch meeting, so we had ham, eggs for a gang, Swedish Visiting Cake and a fruit salad.  And of course a  white wine sangria, which you can find here. 

I so love my book club friends!   We had the best time---we began with an ice-breaker, even tho we know each other very well, it's just fun to do.
I asked the question--what is the first book you remember?  It was so much fun to reminisce and so funny to see  the age difference in what books we remembered.  It ranged from "Dick and Jane" to  "The Babysitters Club" to "Goosebumps."
It was fun, fun, fun to discuss books of our childhood.  (as well as Henry's Sisters)

The Lit Wits.

Then last night....Totally Lit!  (where I did not bring my camera) We, too had a great time discussing:

The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake.

The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake is a luminous tale about the enormous difficulty of loving someone fully when you know too much about them. It is heartbreaking and funny, wise and sad, and confirms Aimee Bender’s place as “a writer who makes you grateful for the very existence of language”
San Francisco Chronicle

An Aimee Bender novel or short story may begin with simple prose, but then a boyfriend devolves into an amoeba or a girl turns out to have one hand made of fire. Her contemporary fairy tales abound with surreal elements but always adhere closely to the language of emotion.
from Goodreads.

Totally Lit(erature) thoughts:
We discovered we don't like surrealism.

Having said that.....
most of us liked the writing style
and the language
and the setting
a couple of the characters

There are numerous reviews which are quite good, so don't take our word for it, check it out for yourself. 
But it wasn't our cup of tea.
We found the story really depressing and pretty strange.
To be fair, none of us knew what kind of book we were reading.
And as I said, we really loved the language and her writing style.

In keeping with the theme,  Shelly's daughter made Lemon Cake for dessert.
She was very happy to do so, and it was a happy dessert.  (which you will understand if you've read the book)

As always, we have a great time getting together and talking books.
Last night our  other question was,   "What is your favorite book turned to movie?"
That is always a good topic for discussion.

And I could just kick myself for not remembering my camera!

I love my book clubs!!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Saturday Snapshot

Really?  It's Saturday already?  I am amazed at how time flies.
I had planned a couple of posts this week.... but I never got around to it.  (I still don't know how some of you manage).  Anyway, it's Saturday already and I started the  day off with the best group of people ever!!

My book club, Lit Wits, met for a brunch meeting.  It was so much fun.   Of course, it's always so much fun when getting together to talk books.
I will tell you more about that later  (Hopefully a whole week won't go by again)but for now, I wanted  to share a couple of photos on   Alyce's  "Saturday Snapshot meme".

As you know, we've been putting in new cabinets.  I didn't  change the layout of the  kitchen I just wanted a different look.  And our friend Larry built new them for us.... they are solid wood, not particle board  (or what ever they did for the old cupboards).
Book club was supposed to be at my house this morning, but as you can see....I wasn't able to  host.

We laid the old counter tops  back on top of the new cabinets ....but we are getting new ones.  They  don't  fit...we extended the counter a few inches out.  But for now, at least we have something to lay our keys on.  (I still have no sink, that kind of sucks--doing dishes in the bathroom sink.)

and remember.....all the mess you see in the background ---usually isn't there,  the mess is usually 'inside' the cupboards.  (I say that jokingly---for the most part) 

Remember---the cabinets used to be yellow  (think Mary Englebright)  or look here.

but now... they are oak.

Larry, signed the drawers!

I had just started to put glasses back in the cupboard when I thought I'd take a picture.  I should have closed the cupboard door.  Oops.

The Handyman and I are having a difference of opinon.  Dark counter tops or lighter ones?   (Pay no attention to the old ones)  Dark or Light?  Light or dark?

Monday, March 19, 2012

It's Monday--What are you Reading, Musing and Meet me on Monday (whew, that's a mouthful)

It's Monday, What are you Reading  is a fun weekly meme hosted by  Sheila from Book Journey, where we share what we have read, are reading and what we hope to read. 

Well,  I am half-way thru  "It" by Stephen King.  I really, really am enjoying it.  I just love his writing. But I've had a some road blocks in my reading time--company last weekend and we began to take out our kitchen cupboards this past weekend.  Half-way thru is still over  500 pages tho.

I just started an audio book,  "Looking for Salvation at the Dairy Queen" and am really loving it.  Funny thing is that I have checked it out of the library a couple of times but had to take it back before getting it read (I do that a lot), so I was really excited when I came across   "5 audios you don't want to miss" from She Knows Book Lounge.  I downloaded it right away.

Sometimes you have to return to the place where you began, to arrive at the place where you belong.

It’s the early 1970s. The town of Ringgold, Georgia, has a population of 1,923, one traffic light, one Dairy Queen, and one Catherine Grace Cline. The daughter of Ringgold’s third-generation Baptist preacher, Catherine Grace is quick-witted, more than a little stubborn, and dying to escape her small-town life.

Every Saturday afternoon, she sits at the Dairy Queen, eating Dilly Bars and plotting her getaway to Atlanta. And when, with the help of a family friend, the dream becomes a reality, she immediately packs her bags, leaving her family and the boy she loves to claim the life she’s always imagined. But before things have even begun to get off the ground in Atlanta, tragedy brings Catherine Grace back home. As a series of extraordinary events alter her perspective–and sweeping changes come to Ringgold itself–Catherine Grace begins to wonder if her place in the world may actually be, against all odds, right where she began.

I must say, that it is a total  360 going from IT to Looking for Salvation at the Dairy Queen in one day.  But I am liking them both.

Then this is what we've been doing this past weekend in the Friday Friend Kitchen....

They are taking out all my cabinets!!
But the nice thing is, our new ones are just sitting in the garage.
The Handyman has to do some tiling under the new ones, grout and then tomorrow we will begin to bring in the new cabinets.
Musing Monday this week asks:
Would you choose to review a book if its description sounded interesting but the cover was terrible?
Um......I must say I love a good cover.  Cover art can be so gorgeous, that I am swayed by a good cover, but that doesn't necessarily mean I wouldn't pick up a less attractive book, if it sounded good.   Not necessarily, but most likely, if they were side by side, I would pick up the one with the better cover.
But then (book covers, as well) lies in the  eye of the viewer.
I was reading      "Henry's Sisters" while at my son and daughter-in-law's,  and she said she probably wouldn't read that book because of the cover--which I thought was very pretty.  So...generational differences or preferences in art, make a difference too.  Like I the eye of the beholder.
What about YOU?
and last but not least   Acting Balanced's  "Meet me on Monday" Questions are:
1. How do you like your eggs?

2. Who is the last person you spoke to on the phone?

3. Do you have a place you keep 'junk' in your home?

4. What is on your 'spring cleaning' list?

5. What blog post have you written recently that you'd like more people to know about? (don't forget to link it up)

My answers are:
1. I like dippy eggs.  I like to have basted or poached eggs with a runny yolk to dip my toast in to.
3.  Right now, junk is all over my dining room (we cleaned out the kitchen cupboards).  But really, doesn't every one have a junk drawer?  (or more in my case.) 
4.  Cleaning out and reorganizing my kitchen cabinets---I have  4 sets of measuring spoons.  FOUR SETS.  nobody needs for sets of measuring spoons!
5.   What blog post have I written that I'd like  more people to know about?  That strikes me as funny, because  I don't think I am dependable enough to write every day, every week, or am that good, that people flock to read me.
I  just blog because I get some weird satisfaction in doing so.  Not for any other reason.  I just like to.
BUT having said that....  My beer steamed mussels!  Because it's Lent and Fish on Fridays and all that...and they are really good!      (it was hard to choose, because they are all so... random. )

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Saturday Snapshot

Happy St. Patrick's Day! 

Last week I was surprised by my family with a  get-together (at my house).  So I had some of my grandkids together.  (all the 2 year olds)  It was fun to watch them play together.
I have to say tho....that one forgets things.   (That would be me)

I had been working on making one of the spare bedrooms  a kids room, and I had bought a plastic, over the door shoe rack  (the kind with pouches for the shoes)  and I hung it on the wall and organized  crayons, fat in one, thin in another,  markers in one, colored pencils, scissors,  paint, paint brushes,  glue sticks....all in their own little pouches, to be taken out one at a time when used on the new color books and construction paper I had also purchased.
I was so excited and proud of myself for having such a neat way to organize the craft projects  (I found it on pinterest)....silly me.

3  2 1/2 year olds.    Three   two and a half year olds.

yeah, about that  crayon organizer?  It was empty in less than 2 minutes.   All the crayons, pencils, markers etc in a Lego bucket being brought down the stairs.  Crayons held in little hands just itching to draw on the walls,  scissors  hankering  to get into a cousins hair,  watercolor paints aiming for  the kitchen cabinets.  
You get the picture. 

We had to gather all the supplies and  put them out of reach.  We were not popular for a while.

But then.....Granddad  ( you know him as the Handyman) took them outside and all was forgiven.   And once in the garage,  their gambling addiction took over and the bells and whistles of our slot machine held their interest.  (its their favorite thing ever).

We had the best time.

I am linking up to Saturday Snapshot, hosted by  Alyce from  At Home with  Books.  Stop by her Blog and she will fill you in on all the details. 

Friday, March 16, 2012

What's going on

I'm sitting here this morning drinking my coffee  (The Handyman made Folgers this morning.  He got up first.   I make  Dunkin' Donuts if I get up before him.  He REFUSES to use the DD!  He says you can't tell the difference....but you can.  It's an ongoing dispute between us) and my mind is in a fuddle.

We had camera class last night, and the instructor threw in MATH.   WTH?   WHAT THE HECK???    I don't do math.

The Handyman, who sits across the aisle from me, was laughing at me.  He knew I totally  lost.  LOST I TELL YOU.

These are my  handwritten notes from last night...
F stops  & shutter speeds
critical role in exposure

E=I x T
x   n     i
p   t      m
o   e     e     (shutter)
s    n
u   s
r    i
e    t
       y    (aperture)

That's exactly what (and how)  I wrote in my notebook!!!   E =  I x T

That's algebra.    And I have no idea what it means.


In other news.... LOOK AT THESE!!

My new cabinets!!   Hand made by Larry Storm.  (they are sitting in my garage, while we pull out our old cabinets (starting this weekend) and Larry is making me a COOK BOOK SHELF! He is the coolest.  PLUS, I have some cool nooks and crannies now.  Not me with the nooks and crannies--silly--but the cabinets.   I love them.)

They are gorgeous.   And will be replacing these:

Which at the time, when I had a French  Country look going on, were nice too.  Now there is no yellow or red anywhere in my kitchen.
And I have a new floor and  a new stove.    and no huge basil plant on my counter, or other clutter.  ~smiles~

BUT  back to the cabinets!!!

One night, about  8 weeks ago,  we had our friends the Storms over to dinner, they were admiring the new tile floor the Handyman had put in.    Then Larry said,  you need to do something with your cupboards.  I said,  I know, we're going to paint them.
He said, don't do that, I'll build you some.
He said he was bored this winter and needed something to do....we just supply the materials.  (He built their home from the ground up by  hand, so we knew how talented he is)....

.....and the rest is HISTORY!!!   Yay Larry!!  Yay Larry!!

These following two pics were taken when he was just beginning.

Thank you Larry....SO MUCH!!

I can't wait to show you when they're all done!!
(you as in  YOU dear reader)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Booking Through Thursday

This week's BTT question is:

Have you ever used a book to instruct someone of something or is there anyone for whom you would like to do that? (I don’t mean a text book for a class, but a work of fiction or non-fiction that would get a certain message across either through plot or character). What is the book and what do you wish to impart?

Interesting question.
I think fiction can teach so many things--without being preachy.  That is why readers are usually  more open-minded and are usually  more empathetic towards others.  ( usually )

I can think of lots of books that are very 'thought-provoking'.   One that has always stuck with me is  "Mississippi Bridge" by Mildred D. Taylor.
I'm not sure how I would use it to  instruct someone, but I think if you read it, you would never be able to get it out of your mind.    On the surface, it looks like a simple child's novel,  juvenile fiction-- and it takes only an hour to read.  Once you read it tho, you will understand how deep a story it is.  It's a very multi-layered and profound story.  I can't even begin to do it justice with my description.  So I won't.
Just read it.  I dare you! I challenge you! Read it.

It will never leave you.

What would I wish to impart?   That life is never as simple or as black and white (sorry for the pun--if you have read the book) as it looks from the outside.
You've heard that term "what a mile in my shoes?"   
  That is this book--somewhat.  I told you--it's multi-layered and deep.  And hard to explain.   You just have to experience it.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Chocolate Chip Cookie #5

Contrary to popular belief, I haven't fallen off the face of the earth....I am still here.  Just been crazy busy and it'll take to long to explain, so let me just say--I have made more cookies!  And these are out of my book  (the book I'm working my way thru)

What can I say about these cookies?
This is what I wrote in my cookbook:
GREAT straight out of the oven--20 minutes after
A bit dry the next day, but still a good taste.
Add a glass of milk and you're good to go.

I followed the directions exactly--even down to this comment:
the success of this recipe is dependent upon rolling up your sleeves and mixing everything with your hands.

It was kind of weird, mixing it all with my hands, but I did it.
And the cookies were good.  They were made with shortening.  I just used regular Crisco (not butter flavored) and they tasted great.
I know some of you are saying  "yeah, so?"  But to me, butter has a better flavor, or so I thought.  I was surprised, but pleasantly so
  I think butter makes a flatter cookie tho, these had a great look.

Chocolate Chip Cookie #5

4 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups brown sugar, firmly packed
2 cups shortening
3 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
12 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped nuts

In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugars, baking soda and salt. Add shortening, squeezing and kneading dough thouroughly with hands.  Add eggs and vanilla, and continue to knead  by  hand until dough is firm.   Add chocolate chips and nuts.
Form  1-inch balls of dough and place about  2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets.  Bake at  375 degrees for about  10-15 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool 2 minutes before removing from baking sheets with a spatula to wire racks to cool completely.

I'm still making my way thru  Stephen King's "IT".  I haven't read for a week almost tho.  I had family come.  A houseful of family.  I was only expecting  4 and ended up having  8.
It was so much fun.

As my almost  3-year old grandson says:
I be back!

Friday friend recipe number 274 and 275-Grapefurit Shrimp Salad and Crispy Potato Chicken

  My Friday Friend Cookbook Countdown #274 and 275 My Mother-in-law's Grapefruit Shrimp Salad and Crispy potatoes . and you know all th...