Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Home.... A book review.....


Home.....
A book review....

'Home' written by Marilynne Robinson takes place in the 1950's in the small Iowa town of Gilead. It is sort of a spin off from Robinson's earlier Pulitzer Prize winning book Gilead. In 'Home' the story takes place once again in the town of Gilead and Robinson has reintroduced some of the same characters.
'Home' is told through the character Glory. Glory, the youngest of eight children, has been abandoned by her fiance, and has come back home to take care of her aging and ailing father. As she sets about completing her daily tasks she notices that not much has changed in the house over the years. The same curtains are hanging on the windows. The same dishes remain in the china cabinet. The furniture and books are stuffy and old. The house it's self is in disrepair as is the yard and garden.
Glory also notices that things have not changed much with her father either. Life with him seems the same as it aways was except that he is much older now. He is a traditionalist who still has the same opinions and habits. He leads a very structured life. He still continues to morn for his son Jack who has left home many years ago.
In a twist of events Jack suddenly returns home. There is a sense of venerability about him. He is broken. Jack has always felt different than the rest of the family. He has always felt like he never quite fit in. He is an alcoholic and was considered a "hell raiser' in his youth.
At first Glory is not comfortable or happy about Jack returning home but eventually the two of them form a bond. He opens up to her and she becomes protective of him. Together they begin to repair the yard and garden. They also share the responsibility for caring for their father. Through their relationship and that of the father the reader is able to have a glimpse of what life might have been like in a small town in the 1950's.
Although Glory seems to settle into her life back home, Jack does not. He becomes restless, increasingly depressed, and at times at odds with his father who has different views and opinions about the world than he does. Jack wants to change. He questions if he can change but doubts that he ever will. The more he tries to conform the more restless and depressed he becomes. The father doesn't understand Jack. He doesn't understand why Jack is the way he is. We can also sense his pain and frustration.
I thought one of the the most poignant passages in the book is as follows:
"Glory said, "It's been hard for him to come here. You should be kinder to him."A moment passed, and her father stirred from his reverie. "Kinder to him! I thanked God for him every day of his life, no matter how much grief, how much sorrow- and at the end of it all there is only more grief, more sorrow, and his life will go on that way, no help for it now. You see something beautiful in a child, and you almost live for it, you feel as though you would die for it, but it isn't yours to keep or protect. And if the child becomes a man who has no respect for himself, it's just destroyed till you can hardly remember what it was-" He said, "It's like watching a child die in your arms." He looked at Jack. "which I have done."

Have any of you read this book? If so, I would love to hear from you.
You can find my other book reviews listed on 'Booking With Charli and Me." I hope you will stop by for a visit. While your there don't forget to see 'Brides Unveiled' on the side bar. It's a beautiful collection of wedding dresses worn by Hollywood brides in movies.
I hope all of you have had a lovely day ♥
With warmest regards, Carol

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Fourth of July Favors......



Fourth of July Favors

It's hard to believe that the Fourth of July is already upon us. Where has all the time gone? It seems like May and June has just been a whirl wind of wonderful and fun filled celebrations and events in our family.
When I think of the Fourth of July I think of birthday parties, family picnics, parades, and of course fireworks. We have always celebrated and deorated our home to ring in this truly wonderful holiday. I feel incredibly blessed to be able to enjoy all of the freedoms I have in this beautiful country of ours.
Our son Thomas was even born on the Fourth of July! Yep, he's a Yankie Doodle Dandy for sure! When he was little he used to think that all of the fireworks and parades were just for him :>)

This year we will be going to a family barbecue but I just had to make some favors any how for the grands. I usually make crackers for Christmas but I thought I would whip some up for the fourth of July this year. I filled them with all of the candy I picked up at the candy shop I told you about earlier this month. To make the crackers I used card stock that I cut in half. Then I glued some scrap book paper to the top and tissue paper to the bottom. I rolled them together, stapled them, filled them with candy, and then tied each end with a ribbon. These crackers are a little larger than the pre-made ones you can find in the store but I like them because you can put more goodies inside.









I also found the darling little red and blue containers below at Michael's craft store. I think they make great party favors! I like them because there is a place on the side where you can tuck in a name or add a small quote of some kind. I added a ribbon, and then packed them with a small windmill, some festive pencils and candy.



What kinds of things do you do to celebrate the birth of our nation? I would love to hear from you.
I hope all of you have a great day ♥
With warmest regards, Carol

Friday, June 25, 2010

My little butterfly house and garden......



My little butterfly house and garden

I love butterflies! I've written about
them here in the past. I've had a
butterfly house and garden for many years now.
Some years I seem to have more butterflies than others but I always attract those pretty little white ones. I think they look so beautiful flying and flitting about in my garden and yard. I could sit out in my swing for hours watching them if I only had the time.

My butterfly house has been looking kind of ragged lately.
It has never been painted before so I decided to spruce it up a bit with a little paint. Then I add a few pieces of foam art in the shape of flowers, butterflies, and frogs. After adding the foam art I spray painted a protective covering on it. I have read in the past that butterflies are attracted to color so I decided to paint each side of the house a different color.

After I finished painting it I set it out in the yard to dry. Since I've put it back out in my garden I have been seeing a few more monarch butterflies so I think it just might be working.











My garden also attracts birds that love
to perch on my neighbors trees and chat away in the morning and evening. Bumble bees flourish in my garden too. I think it's very interesting to watch them as they go about their business. Charli loves to go out into the garden and sniff all of the flowers. I keep telling her if she isn't careful she is going to get stung by a bee.


The lilies are almost in full bloom now. They are one of my favorite flowers.








My butterfly garden is a a very peaceful place to visit. It's very serene. I also love it because I never know on any given day what I am going to see out there.
Do you have a butterfly garden or house? If so, I would love to hear from you. How do you attract and keep your butterflies coming back year after year?
I hope all of you have had a beautiful day ♥
With warmest regards, Carol

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Graduation has come and gone......


Graduation has come and gone.....


It's hard to believe the party and all of the graduation celebrations are over. My out of town company has left and things are slowly returning to normal. I was feeling under the weather for a few days but I am doing much better now.











Our grandson's graduation was wonderful! We are very proud of him! In fact, the whole 2010 graduating class at his school are a super bunch of guys and gals.
They're class designed and introduced the very first colored digital year book and it is totally awesome! It's nothing like the year books we had or for that matter our children had when they graduated from high school. These are not sparingly put together books with black and white pages. Instead this year book has over a hundred glossy type pages with many embelishments and it is truly a work of art.
These guys and gals also excelled in the sports department raising the bar for future classes to come.
These young adults are impassioned and have raised a phenomenal about of money for breast cancer awareness and research.
They also raised the money and then commissioned a local artist to sculpt a marauder out of wood. It will forever stand in the main hall way of the school along with a plaque indicating that it was a gift to the school from the 2010 graduating class. I have not seen it yet but I hear it's "very cool" indeed.
Way to go Mauraders!!!!

Now that school is out reality has set in. Michael has been fortunate to find a job through his father and is working ten hour days. He is already registered for college and has aspirations of becoming a police officer. Of course that all could change because he is still so young but we think he's set some good goals and is on the right track.


They asked me not to post they're pictures here on my blog but I wanted to share a little bit about the prom with you. Katlin, who is also a 2010 gratuate from the same high school, is a very smart and astute girl because she decided to wear a gown in they're school colors; dark magenta, or maroon and white. Michael wore a black tux and a dark magenta vest and tie. Katlin asked for white flowers so Anne helped Michael pick them out. The corsage was gorgeous! There were little crystals interspersed every where in and around the flowers and it was all tied together with dark magenta ribbon. The crystals sparkled in the sunlight and I can only imagine how pretty the coursage looked in the candlight at dinner or when they were out on the dance floor at the hall. I wish I could have been there. Michael said they danced every dance ♥ I get goosebumps just thinking about it. All of the hall decorations and flowers matched they're attire perfectly and everything blended very nicely together.


I don't think I have ever seen a prom dress as beautiful as Katlin's. It was absolutely gorgous! I thought it might have been hand made but Michael said it wasn't. The dress was strapless and cascating down the front of it to the waist were tiny crystals and rubies. The bottom of the dress was gathered in places, as you can see, and brought together with delicate lacey magenta flowers with pink petaled centers and crystal. The leaves of the flowers had a ruby sewn on them. The dress was stunning. Michael said there wasn't another dress anything like it at the prom. Katlin is a beautiful, beautiful girl and the two of them looked fabulous together. I just wish they would have let me post a picture :>(


The commencement was wonderful. The speeches were all heart felt and personal. It was such an odd experience to watch our grandson walk across the stage in his cap and gown.











We had a super great time at the party. The food was delicious and so was the cake. I loved all of the decorations Anne and Mike put up. A couple of things they did that I really liked was Anne had maroon and white beads hanging on a flower planter rack and as each quest came into the yard they were given beads. She also made cookies with maroon and white M&M's in them. Ryan and Aayden surprised Michael and a few of his friends with a silly string fight.
But wait.... What's this?.......
"Heelloo!!! Aren't you forgetting something?"
"Peeps do you think they see us"
"I don't know Charli. Maybe we should howl."
"What kind of a party is this anyway?"
"Guys over here. Guys. Hey guys!"
"Geesh, they're serving the food!"
"Do you think they'll save us some?"
I hope all of you have been out, and about, and enjoying yourselves ♥
With warmest regards, Carol

Monday, June 21, 2010

Summer......



SUMMER SUN
by Robert Louis Stevenson

"Great is the sun, and wide he goes
Through empty heaven with repose;
And in the blue and glowing days
More thick than rain he showers his rays.

Though closer still the blinds we pull
To keep shady parlour cool,
Yet he will find a chink or two
To slip his golden fingers through.

The dusty spider-clad
He, through the keyhole, maketh glad;
And through the broken edge of tiles
Into the laddered hay-loft smiles.

Meantime his golden face around
He bares to all the garden ground,
And sheds a warm and glittering look
Among the ivy's inmost nook.

Above the hills, along the blue,
Round the bright air with footing true,
To please the child, to paint the rose,
The gardener of the world, he goes."

I hope all of you have a day that's blessed with sun shine ♥
With warmest regards, Carol

Sunday, June 20, 2010

HAPPY FATHER'S DAY!......



HAPPY FATHER'S DAY!
Charli and Me would like to wish all of our family and friends who are father's, step-father's, and God father's a very special and blessed day ♥

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Booking Through Thursday....


Welcome to Booking Through Thursday at http://btt2.wordpress.com/ A weekly post where book lovers such as myself get together to have informal discussions about literature and books. If you would like to join us, or you would like more information about us, just click on the above link to reach the official Booking Through Thursday web site.


This week our questions are as follows....
"Do you prefer reading current books? Or older ones? Or outright older ones? (As in, yes, there's a difference between a book from 10 years ago and, say, Charles Dickens or Plato)
My interests vary. It is my dream to read every classic ever written, but I, like many of you get caught up in all of the wonderful current books out there just waiting to be read. Every time I pick up a classic these days I am side tracked by an interesting book that has just come out. Most of the books chosen by my book club are fairly current or written within the last ten years, although, we did read 'Emma' last year. Right now I am in the process of reading 'South of Broad' a current book that I am enjoying so far. It's a book that was sent to me by Random House. I have made it a point a read almost all of the books chosen for the Pulitzer Prize. To have that honor I know the book must be outstanding and superbly written.
Happy BTT everyone!
My hubby, Charli, and I have a busy weekend planned. We are having out of town company and going to a party.
Oh no, look at the time! I better get going I have a lot to do!
I hope all of you have a beautiful and blessed weekend ♥
With warmest regards, Carol

Monday, June 14, 2010

Ryan's Spring Concert!....


Ryan's Spring Concert!

Recently my husband and I had the privilege of attending our grandson Ryan's Spring Concert. I especially love these school functions where the teachers and children work so hard to make it special for all of us who attend. Ryan did a fantastic job! We were so proud of him ♥ I had a video of the song his class sung which was really quite amazing, but as I have said before, I am having a lot of difficulty with blogger these days.
What struck me as I sat there watching the concert is what a difficult job the teacher has coordinating these wonderful and special events. He or she has to make sure that every child walks away from the experience just a little more confident and that over all the program is well received by everyone. Just think of the awesome responsibility! What does one do with the shy child, the undisciplined child, the overly zealous child, or the child, who like me, couldn't sing at all but was always the loudest in the group? Hat's off to our teachers, because I don't know how they do it, but they always seem to come through.
As we were walking through the school halls I couldn't help but noticed the wonderful murals that had been painted on the walls. Do any of these murals bring back memories for you?















Well, another school year comes to a close. Our little Ry is growing up so fast.
Pretty soon these concerts will be a thing of the past... sigh....
Ryan you did a great job!!!!
Thank you so much for inviting us to your concert. We love you little guy ♥
I hope all of you have had a lovely day :>)
With warmest regards, Carol

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Bandanna Day!.....


Bandanna Day!......

Good morning everyone! This is a very special day. Did you know that today is the second annual Bandanna Day right here in blog land? Bandanna Day was originally started last year by Sue and her gang, in honor of 'The Day Of Portugal,' which is a day to commemorate the death of Luis Vas De Lamoes, a revered Portuguese poet. Sue thought it would be fun to celebrate the day by dressing up all of our favorite furry friends and having a bandanna party. Last year the theme was blue and this year it's red. It's not to late to join the fun! If you have a dog, cat, chicken, or any other kind of animal please join us at http://theportuguesewaterblog.blogspot.com/ for a rooting, tooting fun packed Bandanna Day! Thank you Sue for hosting such a fun event ♥

"Charli, what on earth is all that noise?"

"Don't come in grandma. I'm still getting ready for the party. I'm looking for something. Now where are those glasses?"

"Well, you better hurry up. You don't want to late."

"Oh boy, I can't just wait to see all of my friends!"

"Charli are you ready yet?"


"Ok, I'm ready. Here I am"

"LOL, for goodness sakes Charli! How will your friends know who you are?"




"See, it's me but I have to hide from the paparazzi."
"The paparazzi? What on earth are you talking about?"
"Grandma, this party is gonna be huge! I bet it's gonna be all over the news. The paparazzi is gonna want pictures. Everyone is gonna be there! Come on we gotta go."
Come join Charli and me at Sue's...
Just click on the above link and you will get to meet some of the sweetest and adorable furry friends of ours in the whole world ♥
Happy Bandanna Day everyone! We hope to see all of you at the party!....
With warmest regards,

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Banners, Banners, every where!.......


Banners, Banners, every where!......

It seems like banners are becoming more popular than ever in this blog world of ours. Myself, I just love them! I think they are very charming. Last year I found several at Home Goods, one for fall, and another one for Easter. Recently I came upon a web site that not only sells them, but also sells garland and wreaths as well. They have quite a variety of other lovely items for the home and you can get some wonderful ideas for projects to make if you are so inclined. If you would like you can access the link here http://www.oldeglory.co.uk/index.html
Prior to finding the above link I wanted a banner to dress up my home for the Fourth of July. I have noticed all of the beautiful banners some of you have been making. Bloggers that come to mind are Vee, Becky, Queenie, and Anne. Anne, at http://peekaboostreet.blogspot.com/ recently made a very pretty Fourth of July banner and posted it on her blog.
The banner I decided to make didn't turn out exactly like I wanted but I like it. I like it in spite of the fact that my hubby says as far as he is concerned it has nothing at all to do with the Fourth of July LOL However, I think it does because the colors of the material are red, white, and blue so there. What does he know any way :>)
I didn't feel like dragging out my sewing machine so I used two way tape instead. I had most of the material already because I was going to make a basket of hearts when they were so popular a year or so ago.
I used a napkin as a templet. I thought the triangles turned out rather large. If, and when, I attempt something like this again I think I will use a hankie as a templet instead.
Because of the way I folded the material it has a finished bottom. I used quilt binding to hold the triangles in place and hang them to my fireplace. After I folded the triangles I taped the unfinished edges between the two sides of the quilt binding. Then I punched a hole into each side of the binding and hung it to the fireplace with those small plastic hooks used for picture frames.
Banners can be hung just about any where including over curtains, stairways, across windows, and over door ways. They can be used for just about every occasion and sometimes just because........
I would still like to make a heart someday. Who knows, maybe this winter we could have a blog party where we all make a heart and post it on our blogs the same day :>)

I have been having a lot of trouble posting pictures on my blog. It seems to take forever and I cannot get a video to post at all. Last week blogger was shut down quite a while as they were trying to fix the problem. Today things seem worst instead of better. I can only hope they get it straightened out soon. Have any of you been having problems?
I look forward to seeing what all of you have been up to.
Charli is at the groomers getting all dolled up. Our grandson's prom is tonight and we are all very excited.
I hope your day is beautiful and blessed in every way ♥
With warmest regards, Carol

Friday, June 4, 2010

'Like being a kid again.... Only Sweeter!'....



'Like being a kid again... Only Sweeter!'
That is the motto of the 'Doc Sweets' Candy Company LLC'
How many of you can remember going to your local mom and pop grocery store or drug store when you were growing up and getting your own special bag of penny candy? Well sometimes some of the candy cost a nickle but I don't remember it costing much more than that. I do remember standing at the counter indecisive as to which kind of candy to choose. Decisions, Decisions, Decisions, those were the days! Let's see... Would it be Candy Buttons, Smarties, Lemon Drops, Jaw Breakers or Bazooka Bubble Gum? How about Turkish Taffy, candy cigarettes, candy sticks, or two of my favorites, Mary Jane's and Squirrels?

Recently I wanted some candy in red, white, and blue wrappers for some favors I'm making and I knew just where to go. I headed over to 'Doc Sweets' Candy Company' which is located in Clawson, Michigan. The company was established in 2008 and is one of Michigan's largest candy retail stores. 'Doc Sweets' Candy Company' has won the Daily Tribune's Best of the Reader's Choice Award two years in a row. It was also voted best candy store in Detroit, in Hour Detroit Magazine. I have included a link to their web site here.... http://www.docsweets.com/

As you can see there is candy every where!













I thought these sweet little baskets were very cute. Children must certainly have a ball in this store!
One of the things that most impressed me about the store was this...
When you buy candy by the pound you only use the scoop once. Each red plastic scoop is individually wrapped. The scoop is only used once and then it is disgarded into a disposal waste basket. I didn't ask, but my guess is that they recycle them like they do at the shows when you are asked to dispose of your three-D glasses after the movie is over. I don't usually buy candy by the pound unless it is already weighed and wrapped. I hate to go into a store and find the scoop laying all over the place.

In addition to candy, they sell 'Doc Sweets' Candy Company' tee-shirts.
































The staff is very helpful and friendly too. I had a great time picking out my candy. It was like taking a trip down memory lane :>)
The only down fall to my trip to the candy store was one howling little schnauzer who insists on going every where with me and then gets indignant if she has to wait in the car. Can any one guess who that might be?
Well, Now I'm off to paint my Butterfly house.
I hope all of you have a wonderful and blessed weekend ♥
With warmest regards, Carol
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