Friday, January 29, 2016


Pax by Sara Pennypacker  and Jon Klassen
Pax, a fox, and Peter, a 12 year old boy are inseparable. Pax was rescued as a two week old kit and raised by Peter.  Both boy and fox depend on each other totally.  When war breaks out, Peter’s father enlists.  He takes Pax back to the wild and Peter to his grandfather’s house 300 miles away.  Peter stays less than a day, not even through the first night.  Peter’s  one thought is to get back to Pax, who he loves more than anything, and who he knows cannot survive in the wild because he doesn’t know how. He sets off with what he thinks are the tools necessary to survive a 300 mile walk.  Pax has to learn how to feed himself and how to convince the animals he encounters that he is ‘good’ despite smelling like a human. As the distance between them closes both fox and boy learn the hardest of life lessons.
This is a story of self-discovery and growth and the parallels in the lives of both Pax and Peter could keep a classroom teacher busy for a month.  The parallels and comparisons between child and fox are there but subtle enough they won’t hit you in the face with obvious, making this story one that creeps up on you even when you aren’t reading it.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Odds and Ends

It's my birthday this coming week so daughter and SIL had all of us over for dinner and the afternoon.  The kids, of course, took off for their respective corners to play, Mikey and I partner up and we played and played and played.

 Lisa fixed a gorgeous crown roast of pork and everyone almost voted turkey off the menu for Thanksgiving this year.  This was succulent, delicious and a hands down winner dinner. Wonderful!
 Did you all see that moon Saturday night????  It was breathtaking. I do love the moon and miss seeing it as easily as we did at the lake.  Living in the forest kind of makes it look like it's in jail, behind all those trees. 
TA DA!!!!!  My VERY FIRST EVER hexie!  You heard right and those quilty friends of mine are laughing themselves silly right now, I know.  But truly, this is my first ever! I was so excited I didn't iron it first but just took the picture after pulling out the papers.   Cute, isn't it?
By the way, I AM quilting, I'm just working my way through the round robin quilt.  It's coming along but I don't work on it every single day.  Some days I read.
 My mangle is fixed!!!  I had almost given up.  It worked in South Haven but not after we moved here and I could find NO ONE willing to even look at it.  Everyone ran when they heard the word "mangle" and I knew all I needed was someone who could look at a motor and figure out what part wasn't working.  One day there was an article in our little home town newspaper about a new appliance man in town.  I called him and he said, "what is a mangle?" With that I knew I had my guy.  He was willing to puzzle it out based solely on the motor and gears.  This guy stuck with it and went above and beyond. He was my mangle angel. I do believe he lost sleep over it.  But finally, Wednesday he came, put in a new gear he found online and voila!  It works!!!
This was my mom's and I've told the story before about how she 'helped' from the grave with getting it from her house to mine.  I loved using this when I was growing up and was determined to get it operational again (finally.)  There's no excuse for wrinkles anymore!  (Too bad I can't run my chin through it.)

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

The Restaurant Critic's Wife

The Restaurant Critic’s Wife by Elizabeth LaBan

Lila Soto finds finds herself in a position she never thought she would be in.  Here was a woman with a high powered job as a hotel trouble shooter with a keen sense of order and logic.  She travelled the world fixing things for the hotel system she worked for.  And she loved it.  She loved the smell of hotels. She loved her suitcase.  She loved her life.  Then one day she finds herself the mother of a three year old and a newborn and the wife of a restaurant critic who takes his job so seriously I laughed out loud at some of his attempts at anonymity.  I also laughed remembering my own life as a young mother juggling small children whose idea of logic was very different than mine. As Lila tries to maneuver herself through a day, this woman who knew how to handle a crisis finds it wasn’t working in her own life.
I could say this was almost a funny, funny story until one realizes the humor isn’t all that funny when you consider at the center of it Lila’s angst.   She is secluded as a new mother because her obsessive husband won’t let her have friends, won’t let her even talk to people because they might be in the restaurant business and his cover would be blown.  He really is quite paranoid about it.
 His attempts to isolate this young mother who never thought she would BE a mother wrapped  in the cocoon of young parenthood finally takes its toll on Lila.  She starts to question everything in her life, most importantly, she questions her own identity as a person.  And, she starts to rebel.
Is it possible to say I had fun with this, at Lila’s expense?  No.  Because it was a good read.