STITCH LINES...... Ramblings on life as a quilter, stitcher, traveler, gardener and lover of books, cats and fine chocolate....

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Purple Power

As I said a few posts back, my early summer garden seems to go through color phases, and we are just finishing off the "purple phase". Alliums, Irises, Chives, Jacob's Ladder, Cranesbill, Columbine, etc. etc. All in various shades of purple, bluey-purple and pinky-purple. Yep, we've got "purple power" goin' on!
And it's even spread to indoors! The orchid I bought last November is blooming again. This is the first orchid I've ever had so I'm very pleased that I have kept it going and actually coaxed a second blooming. I thought it might be years before it would bloom again... At this point there are three blooms and nine buds still to open.

Summer has finally arrived.... we are enjoying an absolutely beautiful weekend, sunny and hot. It's about time! Spring was cool and wet with many more overcast days than bright ones. I hope the weather is lovely wherever you are this weekend. Get out and soak up some Vitamin D! I'm heading to the deck with my book...

I am joining Mary at
Little Red House for Mosaic Monday.

Peace,
Linda

"Flowers... are a proud assertion that a ray of beauty outvalues all the utilities of the world." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Another Book Finish...

A powerful story, The Baker's Daughter by Sarah McCoy is set in both Garmisch, Germany during WWII and current day Texas. The main characters are Elsie Schmidt, the 16 year old daughter of a German baker and Reba Adams who is a journalist in El Paso. Although these two young women are years apart, they are both struggling with similar "life issues" - Reba is engaged to Riki, a border patrol officer, but is not certain he is right for her and in fact she is unsure that a life in El Paso is for her. Elsie is doing her best to cope with life in Nazi Germany but is not sure about a future with the high-ranking young soldier who wants to marry her. But he seems to be keeping her family safe in terror-filled times, and besides the family is worried enough about her older sister Hazel who is away from home with three young children in the Nazi Lebensborn program. Attending her first "adult" dance on Christmas Eve turns into a traumatic experience for Elsie when she encounters a determined Nazi Officer, then returns home to find a young escaped Jewish boy on her doorstep. She knows that helping him in any way will put her family in grave danger.... Reba's search for a unique Christmas feature story brings her to a bakery and she eventually forges a friendship with the mother/daughter owners...
I don't want to give away too much of the plot, but the author does an excellent job of transitioning back and forth between the two time periods and locations, and masterfully weaves together the two stories and characters' lives. The descriptions are vivid. Bakery settings in both stories seem to add a warm flavourful touch to the story, as you can almost smell the baking breads and other goods. Isn't it amazing how words can evoke the sense of smell? It's a story of love and loyalty, courage and determination, fear and prejudice. Recipes at the end are a bonus. If you have enjoyed reading other WWII fiction such as Those Who Save Us, The Book Thief or Sarah's Key, I'm sure you'll enjoy this book.
Now I'm off to bed to begin a new book...

Peace,
Linda

"We read in bed because reading is halfway between life and dreaming." ~ Anna Quindlen

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Catching Up and Rhodo Beauty




Things are finally taking shape around here and I'm beginning to see the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel. My vegetable garden is all planted and coming up - lettuce, spinach, beets and peas are poking through, the beans and carrots are taking their sweet ole time. The tomato and cucumber plants seem to be taking hold, putting down roots. I start my gladiola bulbs in flats, and they are all sprouted now, and growing lovely roots so in a few more days they'll go in the last garden row and that job will be complete. Except for the weeding and watering, of course...
My bedding plants are all in now too, as of today. I always feel like giving a huge Whoop!Whoop! when the planting is done, done, DONE.
I have also solved my camera problem. (It's about time!) I bought a new camera body today. When the same problem reared its ugly head yet again on the weekend, I knew it had to be the camera and not the memory cards. When the camera and I went crashing to the cobblestones last July in Prague, it obviously DID do some damage; I guess I'm lucky to have squeezed almost an entire year out of it after that disaster...



So I pondered whether to upgrade or simply replace, whether to switch makes... In the end I got a good deal on a new Pentax body, not the newest model, but newer than my previous one. It is slightly smaller and lighter (only slightly), has a larger display screen, more megapixels, and has video capability, so that will be fun to play with. Now I just have to work my way through the 328 page Operating Manual....  :(





I brought my new baby home this
afternoon and snapped a few quick shots around the front of the house to try her out. The rhododendron is in full bloom right now (and lookin' maaaahvelous darling!) and the hostas are looking great too, so here's a look at the first photos out of my new Pentax K7. This rhodo is just over six feet tall. It's hard to believe that just a few short months ago, the snow was up to about the five foot point on this bush.

Peace,
Linda

"All that in this delightful garden grows,
Should happy be, and have immortal bliss."
~ Edmund Spencer  

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Another Good Read

Me Before You by JoJo Moyes was recommended to me by my good friend Barb F. Isn't it great to have like-minded "avid reader" friends, who share their "good finds"?  I am so lucky to have many friends who love to read, so my list is ever-growing... All suggestions welcomed.....
Me Before You is well written and has a thought provoking storyline. After losing her job in a Tearoom, Louisa takes on a job as a caregiver to a young man who is a quadriplegic. She and Will come from very different backgrounds, and have quite opposite personalities, but eventually they manage to forge a friendship and come to trust one another. It isn't long before Louisa discovers that there is a reason for her new position being only a 6 month contract and this changes her feelings towards her new responsibilities. I don't want to give away the plot, suffice it to say it is thought-provoking and emotional. You will laugh and cry, feel hope and despair, and be quickly drawn into the character's lives. You can't help it, and consider yourself warned- it's hard to put this book down. And you'll be thinking about it a long while after you turn the final page....

Peace,
Linda

"Fiction reveals truth that reality obscures." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson


Monday, June 16, 2014

We've Had a Wedding!!

It's time to tell you why I have been blogging less lately, and why I haven't had as much time to visit around and leave comments. My beautiful daughter was married last weekend. It was a small, simple wedding. They didn't want a big splashy affair with lots of hoopla... If you have had a family wedding, you know how time-consuming it is, even if it is small, and along with that goes a certain degree of stress... lol  The wedding was in Moncton, so the goings-on there (the RCMP shootings) several days before, just added another level of worry and stress...  Now, nine days later, life is finally starting to feel "normal" again (whatever normal is).

I've been waiting for some of the photos from the pro photographer, Taniesha Ayer, and finally last night she sent 5 as a preview, so I decided not to wait any longer, and show you a few of those along with a few I took myself. I'll post more later.

So here's a peak at my darling daughter, looking radiant .... These first ones were taken by me as we got ready.



And here are a few taken by photographer Taniesha....




I love you Laura, and wish you and Dan a lifetime of good health and happiness....

Peace,
Linda

"Daughter -a beautiful creation, handmade by God, placed in the arms of a woman to raise up, love, nurture and treasure as a friend."

Sunday, June 15, 2014

In the Pink...

It seems we are "in the pink" around here these days. Am I the only one who seems to have a monochromatic garden right now? Pink, pink, and more pink! And the "purple wave" is coming next - giant alliums are blooming now, and columbine, Japanese irises  and chives are budded and about to burst open.... My friend Jeanna in Florida said she was looking forward to seeing some of my flowers, so these pink blooms are for you Jeanna!

Top Row, L to R: Flowering Crab, Rhododendron just coming into bloom today, and Dianthus waiting to be planted
Middle Row, L to R: Heucherella, Geraniums waiting to be planted and Bleeding Heart
Bottom Row, L to R: Impatiens, Weigela and Wax Begonia


I am linking up with Mary at Little Red House for Mosaic Monday.

Peace,
Linda

"Bread feeds the body, indeed, but flowers feed also the soul." ~ The Koran

Saturday, June 14, 2014

I'm a Bookworm....

Have I told you how much I enjoy reading? Yes, of course I have... more than a few times. Well, I've read a few great books lately, so it's time for another book review. Have you read any of  Sue Monk Kidd's novels? Perhaps The Secret Life of Bees, or The Mermaid Chair? If you enjoy her writing, you will want to add her latest novel to your Must Read list... The Invention of Wings. I thoroughly enjoyed it and would rate it highly. Set in the southern US in the early 1800's, the story follows the life of two young girls through to adulthood: Sarah Grimke, the daughter of a wealthy Judge and plantation owner is gifted a slave Hetty ("Handful") to be her personal maid, on her eleventh birthday. Neither girl is happy with this arrangement... Hetty doesn't want to be a maid/slave and Sarah does not want to have a maid/slave. How can one person "own" another? From there the story is set into motion as each struggle for their common goal of freedom - Handful wants freedom from slavery for both she and her mother Charlotte, and Sarah, a young woman "before her time", wants freedom from the sexist bondage and subordination of the times in the deep south. Sarah dreams of pursuing a career in law, but her father tells her this isn't possible because she is a female. This story is loosely based on the real-life story of Sarah Grimke who, along with her younger sister, became abolitionists and activists for women's rights. I won't reveal any more of the story but I will say this is historical fiction at its best. Well researched and well written, Kidd richly paints the story and weaves the characters together - they are so real, and will touch your heart. A story of strong women who weren't afraid to stand up for what they knew was right, the cruelties of slavery, courage and determination. 5 out of 5 in my books, and I think it would make a great movie! Are you listening, Hollywood?

Peace,
Linda

"I cannot imagine life without books any more than I can imagine life without breathing." ~ Terry Brooks

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Catch Up Time!

I'm back! I've had a little self-imposed blog break, but hope to be here much more regularly now. So much has gone on in the last few weeks, it's going to take me a while to get caught up! I guess the sensible thing to do is to pick up where I left off. Our Spring Choir Concert was a great success and for those of you who missed it, here's a little sample below. Following are links to three songs we performed, all written by award-winning composer Donna Rhodenizer of Kentville N.S.  Donna was in attendance, and it was such a thrill for us to have her there. We loved her beautiful music and hope we will perform more of her pieces in the future. I felt a special connection to each of these pieces - the first because I am a proud Maritimer and I do love the sea, the second because it is about a quilt (no need for explanation there!) and the third because it speaks to me about the importance of each person in a large group.. being a member of this Choir, and my Quilting Guild, I know that every person in a group makes a difference. I do hope you'll click on these links and give a listen...

http://youtu.be/u9jbaj5GlMM
 
http://youtu.be/U0nWsejbhfk 
 
http://youtu.be/JbGG85txbrI 
 
We are very pleased to donate the proceeds of our concerts to groups within our local community and after this concert, we made sizeable donations to the Hospital Foundation and Hospice Fredericton.  :)

Photo from Canadian Press/ Marc Grandmaison
Today here in my province we are mourning the loss of three young dedicated RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) Constables. They were senselessly gunned down last Wednesday evening in the line of duty in Moncton. All three were fathers of young children. Please say a prayer for the families of Const. Fabrice Gevaudan, Const. Doug Larche and Const. Dave Ross. I have two close friends who are retired RCMP, and they were there today at the Regimental Funeral service along with thousands of their colleagues to honour their fallen brothers. You can be sure I'll be giving them extra big hugs next time I see them, and thanking them for their service. So very sad....


Peace,
Linda

"The word 'happiness' would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness." ~ Carl Jung
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