Crafting and Reading!

Well, mainly crafting; I don’t count all the Nancy Drew books I have been going through as heavy reading, as I can read one in a couple hours.

New Christmas ornaments are going into my store; slowly but surely. Yes: I said the naughty “C” word, and believe-you-me, I could wait about 11 1/2 more months for it to get here if it were up to me.

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I will have some baby onesies (bookish-themed, of course), in the next couple of days, as well as personalized book boxes for anniversaries and other gift ideas.

If I had more patience with my Cricut machine, I would be a lot farther along than I am. Luckily, my 17 year old is awesome at weeding vinyl letters 😉  I am also working on some more book bags, with a variety of images available.

There is not much in it at the moment, but you can find my Etsy store here: Books and Opinions Etsy Store

What is keeping you from reading at the moment?

The Bee Friendly Garden – Doug Purdie

The Bee Friendly Garden – Doug Purdie

I found this beautiful book on my library’s new release shelf and had to snatch it up! I love bees, and everything about them. I am actually spending this weekend building Mason Bee houses in the numerous coffee cans I have been saving up, just for this purpose.

The Bee Friendly Garden Cover Image
Cover Image

Although the author is based in Australia, and the bees discussed are native to Australia, many of these bees can be found in all countries. There was even a few paragraphs mentioning a bee project that took place in Michigan, so being in Michigan, I found that exciting!

This book includes sections on how bees pollinate plants, how and why their populations have been decreasing everywhere, and how we can help slow this terrible situation down.

Many varieties of herbs, flowers, and fruits and vegetables are discussed in great detail, as well as telling you how the bees pollinate them (yes, there is more than one way for a bee to pollinate a plant), which ones the bees prefer, and what kind of soil and sunlight each plant requires.

The Bee Friendly Garden Chapter Page Image
Chapter Page Drawing

The section on building homes for bees had other great information that I had not come across in my journey of learning how to build good, sustainable bee houses.

The pictures in this book are absolutely gorgeous, and seeing all the bees, insects, and plants has me definitely ready for the last of this Michigan snow to just melt already!

My apologies for the low quality pictures, I had to take them with my phone and send them to myself…..

 

Public Life = Sickness

A day and a half at work, a funeral visitation, a funeral the next day, and eating at a restaurant means I wake up today congested, coughing, sneezing, and just exhausted and achy. Glad to be spending the next two days in bed with a book, and consuming lots of fluids and vitamin C. I had groceries delivered this morning, and made a huge bowl of my favorite chicken salad with lots of grapes and clementine oranges. Of course, I have to eat something healthy with potato chips…

Generally I can kick this type of stuff pretty quick, so am expecting to be feeling back to 100% by Monday morning.

What am I reading? I am more than halfway finished with Judas: The Relic. This is book 2 in the Judas Trilogy by Roy Bright, and just as fantastic as the first one!

Meet Author Sam Westhoek!

PLEASE RIGHT-CLICK ON THE LINKS TO BE TAKEN TO THE VARIOUS PAGES! 🙂

Sam Westhoek waited until the midpoint of his life to start writing in earnest.  He felt it best to first experience our world to its fullest.

TJ Weeks - head shot

His various travels have taken him to: farms and cities in Europe; amidst lush humid bayous on the Gulf Coast; across the grandeur of hills and plains in Texas; atop arid mile-high mountains in California; slogging through insidious moon dust in the Arizona and New Mexico deserts; under the variegated curtains of the aurora borealis in Iceland; through tropical fields on the island of Terceira in the Azores; and horseback riding amidst the aspens in the high country of Colorado.

Through it all, Sam has loved and lost, and learned to love again.  He has currently settled in the middle of the country, in the middle of the state of Missouri, with his wonderful wife—his best companion.  All five of their children have started their own lives, so again there has been loss and gain.  Sam has been an encouraging force for writers in his community, hosting events for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) for the past few years.

He hasn’t settled on one particular genre in which to spin his tales, so don’t be surprised to find him published in a niche you least expect.  His favorite genres are sci-fi, fantasy, historical fiction, and even poetry.  His stories strike a chord with a wide range of ages.  Turn a page and find something new each time.

Do yourself (and Sam) a small favor by taking a few minutes to sample each of the works in his growing repertoire.  The Previews are free.  If you use Kindle Unlimited, you can read his works for free.  Conversely, you could invest in the craft and bless yourself with a copy of one of his ebooks or paperbacks.  What a nifty symbiotic relationship!

Oh, and if You like a particular work, tell a Friend.

AND IF YOU ARE NEAR THE AREA; DO NOT MISS THIS!

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Short and Tall Tales: Moose County Legends (Cat Who Short Stories) – Lillian Jackson Braun

Having long been a fan of Lillian Jackson Braun’s Cat Who mysteries, I was pleased to finally find this book on the library shelf. I discovered these fantastic stories about 20 years ago (or more) and have read all of them; most more than once.

Short and Tall Tales cover image

Jim Qwilleran is a journalist who moved to Moose County, 100 miles north of everywhere, after receiving a windfall of money from a benefactor. He and his two Siamese cats, KoKo and YumYum, solve mysteries all over Moose County and its adjoining counties. The characters through all 20+ books quickly become familiar friends you want to spend the day with.

This set of short stories is based on tales from local residents about some of the long-held beliefs and superstitions that have made Moose County what it is. I read this book in about an hour, and it is a great addition to any nightstand for some quick reading before sleep!

Are you familiar with the Cat Who Mysteries? How did you like them?

You can find this story here: Short and Tall Tales: Moose County Legends

One Foot in the Grove (Olive Grove Mystery Book 1) – Kelly Lane

I found this book sitting on the end of the library aisle, waiting to be sorted. I love cozy mysteries and this one did not disappoint. I also got the second book, and the third one is due to be released this March.

One Foot in the Grove cover image

I read both of these books in about a 24-hour period! I now have a vested interest in the life of a fictional character. I have to say, it has been a while since I’ve had that, or had to wait for the next book in a series to be released.

The story takes place in Abundance, Georgia, and is full of Southern charm, as well as recipes at the end.

Eva Knox returns to Abundance after being gone for 18 years. She left her fiancé at the alter and never looked back. Her return has several residents running the gossip mill in overdrive, none too happy about her return.

Taking on the job of PR manager for her father’s olive plantation and olive oil business keeps Eva and her two sisters going non-stop. The dead body she trips over, as well as her own personal issues she is working through will keep you turning the pages on this mystery! She needs to convince the town detective that she did not kill anyone, which leads to her own investigation, along with the help of local sheriff and ex-fiancé Buck Tanner.

I am so glad I spied this book on the sorting shelf, and cannot wait until the next one comes out!