Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Thankful

My husband said the other day, "This year has been the best year."

He is right.

So many big events happened this year for which I am grateful. My husband and I were able to retire from our jobs. We took an amazing trip to Europe. We celebrated forty years of marriage. We have a new grand baby on the way....


There are many other things I'm thankful for, too.

My great-nephew, Oliver, born at 25 weeks, weighing less than two pounds, 
came home after five months in the hospital and is thriving.


Our nephew came back from surgery to pitch in the World Series this year.

I get to enjoy the company of my almost-92-year-old dad, 
who still has his Navy uniform from 1945, 
and it, like he, is in mint condition.


Texas has gotten back on its feet after Hurricane Harvey.


My dislocated thumb has healed after I took a fall last spring.


I am filled with happiness when I think about my two wonderful sons, 
my two wonderful daughters-in-law, and my wonderful granddaughter.


Friends make life a rich experience.
I'm thankful for you all.


I'm thankful for my husband who, after forty years of marriage, 
can still surprise me and make me laugh.



For all of these things and many more I haven't listed, 
I am thankful.


What are you thankful for this year?

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Ten Little Reminders to Be Thankful
























Feel free to take any of these and use them on our own blog or print them out and post them. I made them on Canva.




Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. Each Tuesday That Artsy Reader Girl assigns a topic and then post her top ten list that fits that topic. You’re more than welcome to join her and create your own top ten (or 2, 5, 20, etc.) list as well. Feel free to put a unique spin on the topic to make it work for you! Please link back to That Artsy Reader Girl in your own post so that others know where to find more information.


Sunday, November 18, 2018

Nonfiction November: Reads Like Fiction





Hooray, Nonfiction November is here! Nonfiction November is a month-long celebration of everything nonfiction. Each week, we’ll have a different prompt and a different host looking at different ideas about reading and loving nonfiction.

Week 4 (Nov. 19 to Nov. 23)
Reads Like Fiction (Hosted by Rennie at What’s Nonfiction?)
Nonfiction books often get praised for how they stack up to fiction. Does it matter to you whether nonfiction reads like a novel? If it does, what gives it that fiction-like feeling? Does it depend on the topic, the writing, the use of certain literary elements and techniques? What are your favorite nonfiction recommendations that read like fiction? And if your nonfiction picks could never be mistaken for novels, what do you love about the differences?

Does it matter to you whether nonfiction reads like a novel? If it does, what gives it that fiction-like feeling? Does it depend on the topic, the writing, the use of certain literary elements and techniques?

Nonfiction doesn't have to read like a novel for me to enjoy it, but my favorite nonfiction books do. In nonfiction, the most important thing is truth. But the second most important thing is meaning, and I generally need story to get meaning.

And if your nonfiction picks could never be mistaken for novels, what do you love about the differences?

I love to read through books of information, like encyclopedias and dictionaries; no one would mistake an encyclopedia or a dictionary for a novel. What I love about reference books like these is the feeling that all the important things have been collected and shared in one place. 

What are your favorite nonfiction recommendations that read like fiction? 

The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great MigrationUnbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and RedemptionEncyclopedia of an Ordinary LifeThe Last Shot: City Streets, Basketball DreamsThe Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme CourtGod Save Texas: A Journey Into the Soul of the Lone Star StateThe Glass CastleLeonardo da VinciAntifragile: Things That Gain from DisorderWoman: An Intimate GeographyThe Roads to Sata: A 2000-Mile Walk Through JapanThe Year of Living Biblically: One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible

For Adults:
God Save Texas: A Journey into the Soul of the Lone Star State by Lawrence Wright
The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court by Jeffrey Toobin
LeRoad Trip: A Traveler's Journal of Love and France by Vivian Swift
The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson
Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Resistance by Laura Hillenbrand
Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith by Anne Lamott
Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
The Last Shot: City Streets, Basketball Dreams by Darcy Frey
The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls
Leonardo da Vinci by Walter Isaacson
Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
Woman: An Intimate Geography by Natalie Angier
The Roads to Sata: A 2,000 Mile Walk Through Japan by Alan Booth
The Year of Living Biblically: One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible by A.J. Jacobs
A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson

And let's add two more that I finished this week:
The Library Book by Susan Orlean
The American Wolf: A True Story of Survival and Obsession in the West by Nate Blakeslee


Herstory: 50 Women and Girls Who Shook Up the WorldRadioactive: Marie and Pierre Curie, A Tale of Love and FalloutRedwoodsThe Fantastic Undersea Life of Jacques CousteauOne Beetle Too Many: The Extraordinary Adventures of Charles DarwinBird Talk: What Birds Are Saying and WhyLet's Hatch Chicks!: A Day-by-Day Chick Hatching Guide for KidsDolphin Baby!Ella: Queen of JazzSchomburg: The Man Who Built a LibraryIf the World Were a Village: A Book about the World's PeopleLives of the Artists: Masterpieces, Messes (and What the Neighbors Thought)

For Children:
Herstory: 50 Women and Girls Who Shook Up the World by Katherine Halligan
Radioactive: Marie and Pierre Curie, a Tale of Love and Fallout
Redwoods by Jason Chin
The Fantastic Undersea Life of Jacques Cousteau by Dan Yaccarino
One Beetle Too Many: The Extraordinary Adventures of Charles Darwin by Kathryn Lasky
Bird Talk: What Birds are Saying and Why by Lita Judge
Let's Hatch Chicks: A Day-to-Day Chick Hatching Guide for Kids by Lisa Steele
Dolphin Baby! by Nicola Davies
Ella: Queen of Jazz by Helen Hancocks
Schomberg: The Man Who Built a Library by Carole Boston Weatherford
If the World Were a Village: A Book about the World's People by David J. Smith
Lives of the Artists: Masterpieces, Messes by Kathleen Krull








Wednesday, November 14, 2018

My Favorite Quilts at the 2018 Houston International Quilt Festival

Next year the festival will celebrate its 45th anniversary. I first went to the Houston International Quilt Festival nearly thirty years ago. Quilting has always been special to me. Grandma Ashley taught me to quilt when I was in college. She showed me how to use a template ("a tem-plate," she called it, with her beautiful northern Louisiana voice) to cut out each piece. Then we sewed each piece together to form a quilt top. We layered in some batting and a back, and then began to quilt the pieces together. That was my first quilt.

I've since made many more, and now there are all sorts of quilting kits and quilting machines and quilting computer programs. 

I still go to the Quilt Festival for one reason, though: to see the amazing quilts fashioned by people all over the world. 

Here are my favorites from this year's festival.