Virtual Advent Tour – Day 16

Virtual Advent Tour – Day 16

Today, in a rare Sunday Post, I am participating again in Sprite’s Virtual Advent Tour! And, with just 8 days until Christmas today is all about Genevieve!

Dear Genevieve,

When your mom was little, she loved Sesame Street!

And, we would all watch The Snowman together – it was one of our favorites!

I hope you like these too!

Love, Nana

Friday Amaryllis Watch

Friday Amaryllis Watch

My amaryllis seem to be off to a better start than last year!

This week I can see lovely changes from the previous update!

We got an early start to the weekend last night! Steve is using his last vacation day for 2018 today!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Three on Thursday | 12.13.18

Three on Thursday | 12.13.18

On a morning when I need to get out the door to finish up some errands, so I can get the Christmas Things in the mail to the kids – your brain goes blank for a blog post, amirite?

So, this morning my things scattered!

Thing One:

If you have not read Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan novels (they are on my list to read!!) and you have not seen the brilliant adaption on HBO (you should… it is so lovely!) Perhaps you will love the Ferrante-inspired street art in Naples! I love how little the apartment buildings have changed. May we all have a Biblioteca Andreoli in our neighborhoods!

Thing Two:

I love the Man Booker long and short lists! And, Literary Hub posted an excerpt from this year’s winner, Milkman by Anna Burns. (I am on the wait list to read this, but I am intrigued!!)

Thing Three:

The New Yorker’s Dan Chiasson published “The Poetry I was Grateful for in 2018” and still, my list grows!

May your Thursday be full of good things! Want to see more lists? Head on over to Carole’s!

Unraveled Wednesday | 12.12.18

Unraveled Wednesday | 12.12.18

Greetings dear Unravelers!

Another Wednesday means updates on knitting and reading! This week one is sorely lacking, but the other is overflowing!

Such is life, amirite?

I have been doing bits of knitting here and there – I am about to start Day 8 of my ADVENTurer wrap (so yes, I am 4-days behind). But really, I have been knitting on more portable, less pattern intensive knitting over the past week – I have had some meetings and holiday-ish things to do where a more portable and conversation friendly project is better suited. Enter one Sockhead Hat. I almost have 4 inches of ribbing knit!

But, really… it is all about the books this week! I have so much fun to share with you all!

First up, I this article in The Guardian caught my attention. First because I have not read Fifty Shades – and really, I have zero desire to do so. I found Jeanette Winterson’s comment perfect: “Are straight women really having such terrible sex and terrible lives?” Ummm… exactly. But then as I read about the other books – my reading list grew in a most wonderful way! I have added Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino to my read list. Italo first came on my radar thanks to Michael Ondaatje who wrote that The Baron in the Trees was a book he read more than once! I loved The Baron in the Trees and I am looking forward to Invisible Cities soon! I have added a book or two of Janet’s to my read list as well!

I finished several books this week… several really good books!

I am on a bit of a George Saunder’s kick! I read Pastoralia and was rather amazed at this little collection of stories. I generally don’t like collections of stories, but this little book wowed me! The writing is brilliant! I stayed with Saunder’s and read Fox 8 and fell utterly in love with it! These books got 4 and 5-stars respectively! I highly recommend both of them! (My Saunder’s kick is not over yet as I am reading 10th of December currently!)

I simply devoured Delights & Shadows by Ted Kooser. Delightful. Moving. Thought-provoking. 5-stars!

In case you need more to worry about, pick up Michael Lewis’ The Fifth Risk. He lays out the massive ineptitude of the Trump administration in regards to the things that run our country and keep us safe. It is the stuff of nightmares, honestly. 3-stars.

I listened to Stay with Me by Ayobamy Adebayo and it was the most moving book this week! This story is not linear but as the story unfurled, I was wowed, floored, shocked… and the writing – beautiful! This was not what I expected, it was so much more! 5-stars – I highly recommend!

I also listened to Matt Haig’s How to Stop Time. What a fascinating idea… a person who ages s-l-o-w-l-y. Lots of food for thought in this tale about aging, life, relationships, and self-preservation. I enjoyed it tremendously and it got 4-stars.

Finally, I finished listening to the first book of The Dresden Files – Storm Front by Jim Butcher. This was recommended by my neighbor and I loved it! I am on the wait list for the second book in the series – and I think this series will carry me through a good bit of 2019! If you liked The Magician series, I highly recommend this series and I gave it 4-stars!

That is all I have for this week – what about you? What are you making and reading this week?

If you wrote a post to share, please leave your link below!

Inlinkz Link Party

There have been some updates to Inlinkz, if you have problems leaving your link – let me know! Thanks!

Virtual Advent Tour – Day 11

Virtual Advent Tour – Day 11

I am so happy to participate in Sprite Write’s Virtual Advent Tour again! This is my third year of joining with Sprite to spread some Advent Cheer as we count down the days to Christmas! Thank you, Sprite for including me again this year!

Today, I want to share with you a bit of a childhood memory – Firestone Christmas Albums.

In the 60’s and 70’s the Firestone Tire store sold the most amazing Christmas albums (for the whopping price of $1.00) and I remember sitting in the car while my mom ran into the Firestone store on Pine Avenue in Holland to get the latest album.

The albums had the best music sung by varied artists – these albums were my first taste at hearing the Vienna Boys Choir and the Columbus Boychoir, and opera singers like Roberta Peters, Risë Stevens, Leontyne Price… and Mary Poppins…err Julie Andrews, Gordon MacRae, The New Christy Minstrals, and Harry Belafonte!

I can remember getting home from school and loading a stack of records onto the stereo (which was the most behemoth piece of furniture!) and singing along with them – for hours on end! Which was made easier as all the lyrics were printed on the back of each album.

I can remember my sister getting so angry with me and threatening me with great bodily harm if I sung one more word! Ahhh, yes… the best of times! Haha!

I knew that I could find some of the albums on YouTube but imagine my delight when I discovered a Firestone Christmas Album playlist on Spotify!! Friday night Happy Hour was a bit happier thanks to this playlist!

The joy of childhood memories – maybe not such simple times but made sweeter thanks to music.

What about you? Do you have Christmas Music Memories? Please share them, I’d love to hear about them!

Mindful Monday | 12.10.18

Mindful Monday | 12.10.18

Bonny stirred my interest last week with her review of Fox 8 – luckily my library had it and on Saturday I picked it up with a few other books, including a volume of Ted Kooser’s poetry (Thanks, Honoré!!)

I have been reading and rereading the poems in Delights & Shadows… and they are wonderful! This is a book I have added to my “need to buy” list!

I share some words for thought today from Delights & Shadows:

A Jar of Buttons
by Ted Kooser

This is a core sample
from the floor of the Sea of Mending,

a cylinder packed with shells
that over many years

sank through fathoms of shirts —
pearl buttons, blue buttons —

and settled together
beneath waves of perseverance,

an ocean upon which
generations of women set forth,

under the sails of gingham curtains,
and, seated side by side

on decks sometimes salted by tears,
made small but important repairs.

Happy Monday!

P.S. The Google Doodle is most appropriate – today would be Nelly Sachs’ 127th Birthday. You can read a sampling of her poetry here!

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