Marisa de Los Santos’ Books

Books: July 31, 2022

Marisa de Los Santos’ Books

I’m reading an author that I absolutely adore:  Marisa de los Santos.  She comes with some serious academic credentials, is a published poet, and is married to author David Teague who seems to write children’s books.  They have also written several books together, like Saving Lucas Biggs.

Santos has, if my research is correct, 6 novels. Four of these novels are connected in some way. The first of this series is Love Walked In, and I really enjoyed it.  The second book in this series is Belong to Me, and she’s hit this one right out of the ball park.  I found myself reading bits at a time so it didn’t end too quickly. I just finished I’ll Be Your Blue Sky because I could not put it down and read for many hours over the last two days. I’ll be starting I’d Give Anything today. And I’ve ordered Santos’ two other novels, as I’ll want to give these books as gifts.

Santos just has the most wonderful voice on the page—so interesting and different.  Someone in one of the reviews I read said that Santos introduces and follows three-dimensional characters, and I think that is true. Her characters are good, bad, beautiful, ugly, stupid and wise, all at the same time. These books are NOT romances, which the titles may suggest, though there is certainly much about the nature of love in them.  And, life. (And I don’t mean to disparage romances. These novels just don’t fit that genre.)

Here’s a gift for you today. It’s a gift for me every time I walk into the kitchen.

Yesterday I mowed, and the grass is brown in many places from the drought. So today I’ll water and pick raspberries—while listening and singing along to my music. While I cooked a meatloaf yesterday for dinner (middle of the day for me), I bought more of The Zac Brown Band’s songs, so today I’ll listen to them while outside.

Have a great Sunday everyone.

Tomorrow we head into August. The summer is flying by.

I’m Running Out of Amy Harmon Books!

Turkey Tracks: June 4,m 2022

I’m Running Out of Amy Harmon Books!

She published The Unknown Beloved this year, which I bought to read for myself.

I read all the time, but in recent years, my actual reading has been nonfiction and research. I listen to fiction on Audible or our local Maine library system when I sew—as I love, love stories. Friend Linda McKinney got me to read fiction again by bringing me about 5 of her Nora Rogers trilogies—through which I ripped as if I had been starving.

And then I found Amy Harmon.

Here’s the list of Amy Harmon’s books—from the front cover of The Unknown Beloved, which is apparently a murder mystery. I will read or listen to them all. And I will hope that she writes and releases another book soon. Her historical fiction is particularly nice. I was in tears through most of From Sand and Ash.

“The Peace of Wild Things”

Poems: May 4, 2022

“The Peace of Wild Things”

It is a rainy day.

That’s ok. I needed a rainy day.

Rainy days often cause for some reflection—and this day is one of those.

A friend sent me this Wendell Barry’s poem the other day—and today seems a good day to read and think about it. I had not read it in quite a few years.

The Peace of Wild Things 

When despair for the world grows in me

and I wake in the night at the least sound

in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,

I go and lie down where the wood drake

rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.

I come into the peace of wild things

who do not tax their lives with forethought

of grief. I come into the presence of still water.

And I feel above me the day-blind stars

waiting with their light. For a time

I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

—Wendell Berry

Jan Corson’s “Temperature” Quilt

Turkey Tracks and Books: February 24, 2021

Jan Corson’s “Temperature” Quilt

One of the projects in our Mt. Battie Modern Quilt Guild this past year was to make Temperature quilt during the year, starting in January 2020.

Jan Corson sent me pics of her finished Temperature Quilt the other day. And it is quite interesting and engaging.

Jan and I have been exploring methods and patterns in Jacquie Gering’s book WALK, which uses one’s walking foot to quilt. Jan used the information in the book to quilt her Temperature quilt.

The big “reveal” of several ongoing challenges will occur later this month in the Mt. Battie Modern Quilt Guild meeting. So pics of these challenge projects will be on the Mt. Battie Facebook page some time after the reveal.

WALK: Quilting With Your Walking Foot

Turkey Tracks: February 8, 2021

WALK: Quilting With Your Walking Foot

There are some quilts I make that just don’t want to go on the longarm. A longarm machine quilts side to side, so any kind of long diagonal line, or, even, a straight line that runs down the length of the quilt, would not work well with my machine’s 18-inch throat.

Jacquie Gering’s book WALK comes to the rescue of how to quilt with your walking foot.

Debbie of her A Quilter’s Table blog recommended this book, and you can see her work with this kind of walking foot quilting in so many of the quilts in her gallery.

What I learned immediately is how to figure out exactly where the needle is when the walking foot is installed—so that it is easy to make clear, precise lines AND to echo curves. Some of the quilting designs are just…amazing.

If you read this blog at all you know that I love learning curves—especially quilty learning curves. So, you will not be surprised to learn that I’m going to quilt “My Pips” with curves made with my walking foot.

RBG: A Life Lived Fully

Turkey Tracks: September 28, 2020

RBG: A Life Lived Fully

I grew up and married in the days before Ruth Bader Ginsberg began to change the American culture with regard to discrimination of all kinds. I could give you lots of examples of where I was not only “lesser than” the men who formed relationships in my life, but under their thumbs, which meant I was considerably less free than these men were.

Now I’m 75, and I am having a really hard time believing that we have returned to a time where much of what was changed can be made to revert. And, that a solitary white woman who thinks she has the right “truth” might be the fulcrum that makes this reversion possible.

We are all now faced with the power of a minority of white male politicians to change our lives in ways many of us cannot imagine. In the end, I do not think they will be successful, but the burning question is how far away “the end” lies.

Here’s a screenshot of a poem that might have been read at RBG’s funeral service and that holds something different: the power of love to change a culture in ways that are healthy for all human beings.

RBG will be powerfully missed and is powerfully loved by so many people in this country—precisely because she understood the power of love.

Curtis Sittenfeld’s Deliciously Wicked and Interesting Books

Books: August 8, 2020

Curtis Sittenfeld’s Deliciously Wicked and Interesting Books

I totally enjoyed Curtis Sittenfeld’s novel AMERICAN WIFE, which writes an imaginary “history” of Laura Bush and her life with “W.” I’m sure I blogged about it here some years ago.

I just finished listening to RODHAM where Sittenfeld reimagines an alternate life for Hillary Clinton—one in which she does not marry Bill Clinton. The New York Times reviewer liked it, but noted that the novel covers much of Clinton’s life that others have detailed and that Clinton herself has covered in her memoirs. Since I have not read any of this material, I was not bored with the book. On the contrary, I really enjoyed it. Sittenfeld is capable of a deliciously wicked sense of humor. She flays out Bill Clinton repeatedly and holds up Trump for outlandishly funny mocking.

I’ve read SISTERLAND and enjoyed it, but it didn’t really stick with me the way these books on American presidents’ wives has.

I’ve put her ELIGIBLE into my Audible feed. This novel is a rewrite on PRIDE AND PREJUDICE. It should be fun.

There are other Sittenfeld novels as well…

Books, Documentaries: Michelle Obama’s Memoir, BECOMING

Books, Documentaries: June 18, 2020

I woke up this morning to the news that yet another young African-American man/boy was found dead—hanging from a tree in California with a rope around his neck.

This news follows news of the past few days that three white policemen in Atlanta found an African American man passed out drunk in a car in a fast-food chain line. They wound up tormenting him, chasing him, shooting him in the back, and not calling for medical help while one stood on his shoulders while he died. When the officers were charged, other Atlanta police called in sick to protest.

Later today, the Supreme Court ruled that the Trump Administration did not follow the law when they tried to get rid of the DACA cohort. Trump, the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, responded with images of shotgun blasts in people’s faces: “These horrible & politically charged decisions coming out of the Supreme Court are shotgun blasts into the face of people that are proud to call themselves Republicans or Conservatives.”

These events are just from the past few days. And I didn’t even cover John Bolton’s book which details even more corruption and lawlessness that the GOP has chosen to ignore and/or facilitate.

I am so exhausted and so sad. I don’t recognize this country any more. The past 3 1/2 years have been hell on earth as EVERYTHING I hold sacred—truth, honor, integrity, service to others, faithfulness—has been…debauched and disappeared.

I, for some reason, about a week ago started listening to Michelle Obama’s memoir BECOMING, and as painfully hard as it to hear in places, I have really enjoyed living in her mind for a bit of time. For one thing, the memoir pulls together her history, the history of her part in Obama’s campaign, and her/their time at the White House. I’m still listening, but I’ve heard enough to think that this book is one that is meant for this moment in time.

I highly recommend it.

Michelle Obama’s Memoir, BECOMING