Ted Lasso and the Battle of the Books Contest

I’ve been captivated by the Apple TV show TED LASSO. I’ve almost finished the second season, and the third is streaming week by week now. I find myself laughing belly laughs outlaid somewhat frequently. The show is very different and I’m finding it refreshing. Lots of verbal nuggets to think about, for one thing. The characters are engaging and interesting.

Mike and Tami kept saying how much they liked this show. I have a new iPhone, so I get 3 months of Apple TV for free, and then it is about $7 a month. That’s a good deal, but there is, also, some good content there. I tend to switch out these streaming apps frequently, but I keep Amazon Prime and Netflix all the time.

Saturday saw me accompanying my 12-year old granddaughter to the finals of the Charleston County’s Battle of the Books–held at the new Wando Public Library, which is less than about 10 minutes north from me, depending on traffic lights.

Wow. That event was an eye-opener–in lots of ways. First, this library is awesome! It’s big, and it lends all sorts of items, among them sewing machines. A kiosk right up front had books for $1 that looked new–among them were 6 or 7 intriguing books on quilting. I came home with a new library card and directions of how to download the online app, “Libby,” which has awesome features. I can download audible books if I like.

The “battle” had 4 teams of 4 students who made it to the finals. Each team read 24 books, so each team member read 6 books. (I don’t know if the whole contest had the same books or if new books got added at different levels of the competition.). The librarians asked VERY specific questions about the books during 4 rounds–and the specific book for a question was not identified until the correct answer was posted to the big screen.

I listened and knitted. This project is my last ball of cotton yarn, which is a good thing as my pile of finished “towels” is overflowing its container.

The winning team answered something like 43 questions, out of a potential of 44. My granddaughters team answered 38 questions correctly. So I’d say all of these teams made a really good showing.

Dinner was at my oldest son’s house as they were leaving early Sunday morning for a college visit, and I was spending the night with them as I’ll be there for their two daughters and two dogs until Tuesday afternoon some time.

I have hand sewing to do while away from home. Yes, the quilt from hell.

And now it is Monday–and the start of a fairly busy week for me–with the possibility of the arrival of the longarm Friday.

One can hope, LOL.

But it’s all good.

Extraordinary Attorney Woo

I finished watching all 16 episodes of the South Korean drama series EXTRAORDINARY ATTORNEY WOO Tuesday night. It is hosted by Netflix.

What a treat!

Attorney Woo is on the autism spectrum. She has a photographic memory and is a genius with regard to South Korean laws. But, as she is autistic, it takes some time for her colleagues to appreciate her amazing skills as she is very different than they are.

However, over the 16 episodes, her colleagues not only learned to appreciate her, they have grown to love her and to work together to protect her. Happy endings are part of comedy and romance, and at least some courtroom dramas, and this series brings all these threads into a satisfying ending by the last episode.

The first two episodes set up the characters and then the series just takes off and soars. Each episode features a different legal issue and different issues for an autistic woman to learn to manage, but each episode also shows how the characters stretch and grow. A full range of emotions is present, and I often found myself laughing out loud or feeling really sad about how things are developing. And one learns a fair amount about South Korean culture along the way.

There are subtitles. But I think it is worth reading them in order to experience some of the very good foreign tv series that are now available on our streaming platforms these days.

There will be a season 2.

Below, is a link to Wikipedia if you want to know more:


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…