Monday, December 27, 2010

Read this Past Week 12-26-10

 I was a busy reader this week.....nothing else to do with all the snow that came down over the weekend!!  We were very surprised that we got about 6 inches of snow starting on the 25th and ending late in the afternoon on the 26th.

 I found another book by Crusie and Mayer at the library.  I thought I would try another since I liked Wild Ride so much.  This was a nice story about a woman called in to direct the last 4 days of shooting on a movie set.  Of course it all turns to crap, haha... http://www.crusiemayer.com/dld/book.htm


 I really enjoy reading books by these guys.  It's always thrilling!  Cops and FBI agents fighting crime! http://www.prestonchild.com/books/feverdream/

 I forget where I found out about this book.  Probably from another blog.  I had never heard of this book before. It was written in 1948 by the woman that wrote 101 Dalmatians.  It was made into a movie http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0300015/.  I wouldn't mind seeing it.
The book is a diary written by 17 year old Cassandra Mortmain.  Her family lives in in a decaying castle in England.  They are struggling just to feed themselves.  One day her sister decides to make a wish on a angel/devil head that hangs over the kitchen door.  Next thing they know an American family with 2 eligible sons sweeps into their lives.  Changes ensue! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_Capture_the_Castle


 I picked the latest Ed Eagle novel by Stuart Woods.  Ed is a lawyer in Santa Fe who's ex wife is determined to murder him. http://www.stuartwoods.com/html/latest.html

I picked up another by this author. Mad Dash is the story of  Dash, who is going through a mid life crisis.  Her mother died a few months back, her only child has gone off to college and she is wonder what's left in her life. http://www.patriciagaffney.com/maddash.html




A few months ago I bought a copy of Outlander at a great used book store in a nearby town.  I reread it.  It's been almost 20 years since it was first published.  I had gotten the 2nd book in the series from the library.  I will be getting the rest this week.  It's like visiting a friend that you haven't seen for ages.
For those that don't this book, here's a review...

Monday, December 20, 2010

Snowflake Cushion

I have always wanted to knit more things for my home besides afghans.  I got this magazine about a month ago.  There are some cool patterns inside.  I find Debbie Bliss patterns easy to knit.  I have used some of her yarns also.  They're nice. 
 
In this magazine I found this pattern.
It's called Snowflake Cushion. 
I am not crazy about the red and black on cream color scheme.  I want something that will look nice on my sofa which is a light brown.





So I found these colors - country blue and chocolate.  I am using Caron Simply Soft.  I thought that by using an acrylic I could toss it in the washer if it got dirty.  Plus I have yet to find a yarn store here with a good selection of yarns.  At this point  (photo) I am only halfway done.  I wonder what kind of buttons I can find.  I love buttons. 

Friday, December 17, 2010

Books I Read The Second Week of December 2010

 I read 3 books so far this week.  We will start with the one I read yesterday.


It's the story of people that live in Cedar Cove, Washington.  Apparently it's the latest book in this series.  I haven't read any of the others.  I liked this book because of the stories about the different families.  Mack and Mary Jo found some old letters written to Joan from Jacob during WWII.  These were beautifully written letters.  Mack and Mary Jo wanted to find out what happened to this couple.


I really liked this book because it takes place during the reign of Elizabeth I.  It's the story of Rosamund Walsingham, cousin of Sir Francis Walsingham, principle secretary to the Queen.  She is just a simple country girl that gets drawn into the saga between Queen Elizabeth I and Queen Mary of Scotland.

I can't remember if I read any of her books before.  The name is very familiar to me.  I have not read any of Bob Mayer's books.  But I will now.  I really liked this book.  It's about an amusement park that is a prison for 5 demons.  It tells the story of the Guardia, the people that guard these demons.  They start to escape the prison and the "wild ride" begins.
http://www.jennycrusie.com/books/fiction/wild-ride/

Try out these books!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Prostitute's Ball by Stephen J. Cannell

I love this author.  I gobble up everything he writes.  I also loved the TV shows he wrote for.  You know them too. http://www.cannell.com/television-tvShows.php  Stephen J. Cannell died on September 30, 2010 due to complications associated with melanoma.  He will be greatly missed.

In this installment of Shane Scully's life, he and Alexa, his wife, investigate a triple murder.  He gets a new partner, Hollywood Hitchens, who keeps telling him that these murders will make a great movie.  As each thing that crops up in their investigation complicates solving the case, it does add to the "movie plot".
Here's a real review. http://www.cannell.com/vbook.php?id=23&rnd=591344&k=2140bb0e90e06e84f992fdbe93a50aab&b=5&p=1

I would love to see this book as a movie.  It would be very exciting.

Sophia's Scarf Part 2

Here it is.  I think it came out nicely.  It is made from an angora blend so it will keep her neck warm but won't make it roast if she wears it for a decoration!  It's very pretty!  Now I can get back to the pillowcover I started or finishing the hat hat I started for myself.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Sophia's Scarf

I started this the other day.  We don't know if Sophia has a scarf or if she does where it is....the joys of moving and moving and moving. I found the directions on a free knitting pattern site but I don't remember which one.  I used 2 skeins of  Patons Angora Bamboo http://www.patonsyarns.com/product.php?LGC=angorabamboo and a size 9 (5.5 mm) needle.
Diagonal Stitch Scarf:
CO even Number of Stitches.  I used 24.
Knit 5 rows. Start Pattern.
Row 1: K1, * yo K2tog, repeat from *, K1
Row 2: Knit
Row 3: K2, * yo K2tog, repeat from *, K2
Row 4: Knit

Repeat Rows1-4 until desired length, end with Knit 5 rows. BO
CO=cast on
YO= yarn over the needle
K= knit
BO= Bind off

This is a great pattern.  Very easy.  Can be used with cotton yarn for the spring and summer.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Victorian Literature Challenge

I was reading my friend Lindy's book blog to see what see she has read this week. And I came across this from a poster on her blog.  Hmmmm...looks good to me.  Here's a link, if you don't want to read any further.
http://subtlemelodrama.blogspot.com/p/victorian-literature-challenge.html  or to sign up.

Welcome to the Victorian Literature Challenge 2011

What you need to know:

This challenge will run from 01 Jan 2011 - 31 Dec 2011.


Participants can sign up at any time throughout the year.

Read your Victorian literature.


Queen Victoria reigned from 1837-1901. If your book wasn't published during those particular years, but is by an author considered 'Victorian' then go for it. We're here for reading, not historical facts! Also, this can include works by authors from other countries, so long as they are from this period.


Literature comes in many forms.


There are so many Victorian reads out there, including novels, short stories, and poetry. One poem doesn't count as a 'book': pick up an anthology instead!


Choose your books.


List your books before you begin, or pick up titles along the way. It's up to you! You can review them if you choose to, but it's not necessary. If you don't have a blog, that's fine! Link to a Facebook, or a page somewhere where you can list what you've been reading. If you can't link up, no problem - feel free to just comment and enjoy.
Spread the love.


Post the reading challenge on your blog - make your own post(s), or stick the button on the side of your page. The more the merrier, after all. Let's build a big community of Victorian literature lovers!

Choose from one of the four levels:


Sense and Sensibility: 1-4 books.


Great Expectations: 5-9 books.


Hard Times: 10-14 books.


Desperate Remedies: 15+ books.

So what to read for me?????  I am doing a search on the internet and here's some sites:
http://www.goodreads.com/shelf/show/1837-1901
http://www.goodreads.com/shelf/show/victorian
http://www.victoriana.com/directory/books.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victorian_literature
http://literatureinenglishunican.blogspot.com/2009/12/english-realism-victorian-era-1837-1901.html

I think I will start with:
The House of the Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Vanity Fair by William Thackeray


Maybe I will look on other people's lists. It wouldn't be fair to list books I have already read.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Love to Knit Socks Giveaway

Love to Knit Socks Giveaway


Love to Knit Socks

By Bronwyn Lowenthal
Bring out your inner fashionista with this book that features 35 stylish sock, legwarmer and bootee patterns. As always, knitwear designer Bronwyn Lowenthal brings her innovative and unexpected ideas into her designs. Have you ever made knit flip flop socks? I didn’t think so. You’ll find that and more in this creative book, including a surprisingly sultry pattern you won’t believe until you see it for yourself.

Win this Love to Knit Socks book!


http://www.allfreeknitting.com/sweeps/love-to-knit-socks-giveaway

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Book Review: Fresh From the Market by Laurent Tourondel

I borrowed this book from the library.  It's a gorgeous book with lovely photos. The book is divided into seasons.  I like that.  Make things easier if you have access to seasonal foods.
Each season starts with cocktails, which I have only seen in Sandra Lee cookbooks.  The seasons go through the usual courses and ends with a couple of menus.
The recipes look really good but I wouldn't be able to afford (or find) a lot of these ingredients he uses.  Wines and cheeses that I have never heard of.  Obscure mushrooms, whole suckling pigs, veal cheeks and hares....
Perhaps if I lived on Long Island or in NYC this would be a great book for me.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Christmas - Keep It Simple

As some of you know, we have moved three times since October 2009.  So we have very few decorations anymore.  What we do have is in our storage unit which is tiny.  I don't have the room to go through each box and look for things.


This is our tree.


I bought the tree and the trimmings at Hobby Lobby for about $18.  Everything was 50% off.

We live in a small apt. (on the 3rd floor - no elevators here) so we do not have room for a large tree. 
 Do we need a large tree? Not really. 
 It would be nice to have a real tree but I can't carry it up all these stairs.
Then having to buy all the decorations and carry them up.
And back down again after the holidays.

Why does our society always have to have the biggest and most expensive of everything?

Can we survive with just the basics?
Sure we can!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Crazies and Stolen

 Last night Frank and I watched The Crazies.  At first I wasn't crazy (haha) about this movie, thinking it was going to be scary and disgusting.  But it actually turned out to be not bad. Timothy Olyphant is the town sheriff and Radha Mitchell is his doctor wife.  A plane goes down and the people of the town are acting crazy.
 Here she is in a containment hospital.  Is she infected?

A crazy....


Sophia and I watched Stolen today.

 It stars Jon Hamm, Josh Lucas, Rhona Mitra and even "Dawson", yes James Van Der Beek.

 This is a movie that tells 2 stories at a time.  Lucas and Hamm have had their boys kidnapped 50 years apart. Hamm is a cop that gets called to a crime scene where a boy's body was found.  He thinks that it is his child but then finds out that the boy has been in the ground for 50 years.  It turns out that the boy is Lucas' son.  Who is the kidnapper???

Mitra is Hamm's wife who has been trying to put her missing son behind her.
The story is pretty good.  But it can be sad and heartbreaking.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Lucy by Laurence Gonzales

The other day I read this book.  I really liked it.
Jenny is in the Congo observing and researching bonobo apes when the military is at war again and invading the area she is living in.  A British man and his daughter live close to her and sets off to get them to leave the area with her. She finds the father dead and escapes with the 14 year old child, Lucy.  Eventually they get back to Jenny's hometown, Chicago and Jenny realizes that Lucy is only part human.
Pick up this book.  I think you will enjoy it too.

Here's a review from the NY times. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/06/books/06book.html

Friday, November 26, 2010

Baby Sweater

I made this baby sweater (I haven't mailed it yet) for a friend of my oldest daughter who just had a baby boy 2 weeks ago.  It was a very easy pattern.
 I found here. http://www.petitepurls.com/basics/b_garterhood.html
 I followed the directions except for knitting front.  I knitted both sides of the front after the split.  To me it's easier to knit both sides at once and then they are even.
Here's a photo of my knitting. You just need to attach another yarn to knit with.  I used the other end of the skein that I knitting from.  I also try to knit both sleeves at one time too.
Since this is a sweater for a new baby I chose to use an acrylic yarn so there is  no allergic reactions from yarn.  Acrylic can be thrown in the washer.  The yarn I used was Caron Simply Soft Eco.  It was nice to work with.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Beret Finished

 I finished the Beret last night. Sophia wore it all night and was out the door this morning with it on. Here are some crappy photos of her with the hat on. I ran down and got the camera out of the car this morning!! Maybe I will take a better photo when she comes home from school.






It was a really quick knit especially since I have been knitting the continental way. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XuRLFl36tDY
The worst part was using double pointed needles at the end. 
So don't let this scare you away from trying this pattern!!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

All Day Beret

Here's a photo of the beret from yesterday.  I took it with my phone. I think it looks really cool.  Sophia asked if I would get it finished today.  I will try.
I am using the yarn that the pattern is written for but you could use any #4 yarn.  This yarn called Bamboo Ewe is a blend of bamboo and wool.  It knits very nicely.  The only thing I don't like is you cannot throw it in the washer.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

All Day Beret

I am knitting this hat for Sophia. http://www.stitchnationyarn.com/Patterns/free-pattern-all-day-beret.html
It's an easy knit in the round hat.  So far it's looking very pretty.  I will post a photo of my work. 
The camera is in the car so i have to remind Frank to bring it up tonight.

Friday, November 12, 2010

New Blog

Join me at my new food blog....http://isgrocooks.blogspot.com/

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The End

Our shipment was finally delivered to my mom's house last Saturday. It was picked up in Italy in May.
Maybe when I get my computer back I will blog some of the photos that I never got to post from Sicily.

But since there weren't many people reading this blog, I doubt if I will continue.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Last Post for awhile

Telecom is turning off our telephone/internet connection this week. So I won't be able to post until we get back to the US!
Thanks for visiting....
9 days to go.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Went to the Beach

Over the weekend we went to the beach in Falcone. They have sand on the beach instead of the gravel that is everywhere else. On Saturday it was chilly due to the wind. Here's a little video to show you how windy it gets here!

Friday, June 4, 2010

The Castello Part 3

These are photos taken from the inside of the Castello.


The courtyard


A beautiful mosaic


Under the tower


A Cross.


water!


The Sacristy


Cannon balls???

I did not get any photos of the inside of the church because
there was a service going on. It was beautiful as usual!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Festa della Repubblica


The Festa della Repubblica is celebrated on the second day of June, and it commemorates the institutional referendum of 1946 when (by universal suffrage) the Italian population was called to decide what form of government (monarchy or republic) to give to the country after World War II and the fall of Fascism.

After 85 years of monarchy, with 12,717,923 votes for and 10,719,284 votes against, Italy became a Republic, and the monarchs of the House of Savoy were deposed and exiled. This is one of the most important Italian public holidays which, like July 14 in France and July 4 in the USA, celebrates the birth of the nation. A grand military parade is held in central Rome.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Castello Part 2

The restaurant we went to was near and named for a local castello. In the last post was a video as we drove up the mountain towards it. Here are some photos of it.



The castello


The other side


sign - look at the date!


The Tower

Some shots of the inside tomorrow!

The Castello

Monday, May 31, 2010

Yesterday's meal


Yesterday the whole family went out to eat at this restaurant
in S. Lucia del Mela.
It's up in the mountains. Beautiful location.


The whole restaurant was set up for banquets. Must be a busy time.
We were seated on the left side of this room.
There was a huge room upstairs.
A very nice place.


Of course I didn't think to start taking photos of
the food until after the antipasto course.
The next course was this delicious shrimp risotto.
The food was served by the wait staff. They
brought around platters of food and served everyone.


Then we were served pappardelle in a Marsala wine
sauce with mushrooms. It was very good.


Next was the first meat course. This they brought out on plates,
one plate for 2 people. On it were spiedini, sausage, lamp chops and lemons.
This meat was grilled. Delish!


The next meat course was agnello al forno (baked lamb)
with potatoes and carrots.


This was the wine we drank along with water and coke.

After a bit they brought us fruit cups and
then some of us got cake, which I didn't care for.

Then coffee and amaro.
We were all so stuffed! It was a great day even though
We had to miss the Formula One race.