Wednesday, November 15, 2017
I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review. An intriguing, fun read that turned out to be an emotional roller coaster ride with action, science, magic, fantasy and a world war. The characters were well drawn and it was easy to suspend disbelief because of the thorough and sensible descriptions of why the magic worked. The plot was well written and I blazed through the book, wanting to know what happened next. I'll keep an eye out for further work from this author.
Thursday, November 09, 2017
I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review. This fictionalized account of the friendship between Mary Pickford and Frances Marion was both fascinating and informative. Frances Marion was a talented screenwriter who got her start with Mary Pickford during the early days of silent films in Hollywood. The story is interesting and I think the author captured the realities of a friendship between two strong women who struggled to balance careers, marriage and motherhood during a time when careers for women were rare. The novel is also a portrait of a century of change, following the beginnings of movies from the early and innocent days of creative art through the times when the industry became big business. I enjoyed the story, the setting, the characters and will look for other books by this author.
What I'm spinning: Plying merino singles with gorgeous hand dyed alpaca
What I'm knitting: This and that
What I'm crocheting: Slip stitiched bags
What I'm reading: See above
Current sounds & sights for spinning along: Six Feet Under
Wednesday, December 28, 2016
|Hillbilly Elegy by J. D. Vance|
The young writer brought up some very interesting points about the economic and social situation in America's Rust Belt but very few answers as to how to deal with the enormous problems in the area. Like the author, I'm not sure there are any easy answers. One of the many points I found interesting was in the last chapter, where he acknowledges the enormous amount of help he received through his life from many people, especially the support of his grandparents. I often hear people that consider themselves self-made claim that they never received help from anyone. I suppose it depends on if you think help is only financial. Branching out from this was the question of how to offer support to a social group that is isolated in poverty with few examples of success as inspiration and few mentors to show the way out of the crippling situation. Vance points out how little he knew about the world how to succeed, even after a stint in the military and four years of college. He also mentions how helpful knowing the right people can be in career and life choices.
The constant message that Vance received as a child was that he and his culture weren't good enough and that the choices of the white working class don't matter. His grandmother, an amazing woman who did her best despite struggling with an alcoholic husband and children with enormous issues, tried to counteract this idea but was only partly successful. Vance's time in the Marine Corps did the most to change his attitude, although he constantly reinforces that he felt himself lucky to have had the support of his grandparents and I think he is right. Their support, along with the many other people that helped him throughout his life, helped him overcome a childhood of trauma due to an absent father and a mother who never overcame drug addiction.
This is not a book with answers to the problems of the working poor in America, but I think the book gives a fairly accurate portrayal of the complicated attitudes and issues. There are some valid criticisms of the book; some think he blames the poor for their own misfortunes and he does have a pessimistic view of how much the government can help. What stands out to me is the despair of the families and town, the struggles with addiction and hopelessness. At the end of the book things have deteriorated, both in the town and in his mother's personal life. To me, doing something to help has got to be better than standing by and doing nothing.
Wednesday, August 10, 2016
|Completed Quill Shawl|
|Poirot and his shawl|
|Reyna Shawl in Unplanned Peacock's Peacock Sock Yarn in Gummi Shark colorway|
|Chinese Tile Scarf in Queensland Collection Uluru|
What I'm spinning: hand dyed angora singles
What I'm knitting: ZickZack by Christy Kamm
What I'm crocheting: Still hibernating
What I'm reading: Murder and Moonshine by Carol Miller
Current sounds & sights for spinning along: Broadchurch on Netflix
Wednesday, July 20, 2016
|Painting the French doors|
The French doors were stockpiled back when we were going to build a shop out in front of the old farmhouse. There is also some lumber left from that project and friends Peter and Kathleen gave me some corrugated plastic awhile back. Aside from some hinges and a little hardware, plus some paint, I had everything I needed to put up a little building.
|The support for the back wall of the bunny house|
|Front doors of the bunny house|
|Rabbits in residence|
|Knightley visits with German Angora Quark|
|Hen and her two chicks|
|Rose and baby Clara|
What I'm spinning: hand dyed angora from the rabbits
What I'm knitting: Finishing Reyna shawl and starting the Chinese Tile scarf
What I'm crocheting: Everything is still hibernating
What I'm reading: The Sweetgum Ladies Knit for Love by Beth Pattillo
Current sounds & sights for spinning along: Miss Fisher Murder Mysteries on Netflix
Wednesday, June 08, 2016
|Goat Girls Just Want to Have Fun|
|Martha and her little Jessie|
|Sweet Rose and baby Clara|
|Little Clara, growing up fast|
|Yarn Room at Greenberry House|
|Helper dog Knightley|
|Spinning dyed angora fiber|
|Hand dyed carded angora fluff|
It has been lovely to get back into spinning angora again and I dyed enough to spin singles to ply with some merino that I worked on last winter. I'm planning to start on a new bunny house this weekend and maybe then I can get some good pictures of the lovely rabbits from Woolybuns up in Connecticut.
Spring is heading into summer and there are warm and busy days ahead. With so many projects I've not done my usual flower beds and pots, but maybe I can get it done later. My peonies haven't bloomed yet but some of the irises are trying to fight their way through the weeds. I really need more hours in a day!
|A sweet picture of Emma, just because.|
What I'm knitting: the final rows of the Quill shawl by Jared Flood
What I'm crocheting: everything is hibernating
What I'm reading: The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro
Current sounds & sights for spinning along: The Gifted by Ann H. Gabhart (for book club)
Wednesday, May 11, 2016
|Rhododendron blooming at Greenberry House|
|Greenberry House at Olde Liberty Fibre Faire|
I didn't get pictures but this past weekend I attended Maryland Sheep and Wool, for the first time in several years. Knightley found the whole thing overwhelming on Saturday and when the sun came out we left to keep the boy and some rabbits transported by Chris from over at Woolybuns safe from overheating. We went back for a short time on Sunday before it got very crowded and Knightley handled the situation much better. As my hearing aid dog, he really needs to deal with lots of different situations and we have been tied down because of work and Dad too much lately. I need to make more effort with him. I did buy a beautiful Shetland fleece at the wool sale; more about it in future posts. Also more about the rabbits as well! I had a wonderful visit with Chris, and that was my main reason for the trip.
|Goat girls waiting for babies|
What I'm spinning: hand dyed angora for plying with merino
What I'm knitting: Quill shawl by Jared Flood
What I'm crocheting: Everything is hibernating
What I'm reading: The Glass Palace by Amitav Ghosh
Current sounds and sights for spinning along: Cleopatra: A Life by Stacy Schiff
How the diet is going: Let's not talk about it.