Sunday, March 3, 2013

My column for March

While I have been reading a lot this winter, I have to say I just finished book 4 of the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon that I mentioned I am re-reading. I used to think people were nuts to read a book a second time when there are so many books to be read. But I have to say, I have loved every moment of it. I read the books back in the 90's up to about 2005 and there was many months between them. By reading them back to back the story just flows and I pick up story lines that I think I missed before as I had forgotten a lot about one book by the time I got to the next one. So if you have a favorite series of books I strongly suggest that you take the time to read them again. I think you will be surprised.
Now I did manage to read a couple other books along the way.
Cruel Harvest
A Memoir
Fran Elizabeth Grubb

A dark tale of despair, this story based on Frans childhood, back in the 1950's. I didn't know what I was getting into with this book even though the title was a big clue. It is an incredible story of survival and forgiveness, but also very disturbing. That a father would drag his family all over the US to work as migrant farmers is bad enough, but his physical and mental abuse to his family is outrageous. Fran learns as a little girl how to hid her pain and make herself invisible to avoid her fathers hand. This book would not be for the faint of heart as it is pretty explicit in its telling of the story of Fran. What is the most amazing is that she was able to forgive her father at the end of the book and find her own joy in life by letting this horrible past not ruin her life forever.

The Gilded Cage
by Troy Soos

The time and place is 1893 in New York City. Marshall Webb is an independent writer for The Harper Weekly newspaper and Rebecca Davies is a “spinster” from a well to do family. She runs a shelter for women who have been the victims of abuse or casts out of society with no way to support themselves, with no help from her wealthy father. The story deals with the depression that is gripping the nation while crime bosses run the government even using unscrupulous methods to get their votes. Secret land deals and Wall Street swindles are just a part of the City Hall's political machine. Rebecca gets entangled when she invests some personal money in an effort to raise capital for her shelter and looses it. Marshall works to link some of this together and uncovers some of the criminal factors in the city and writes about it in the paper and helps get reforms moving to make life better. Apparently this is a second book written by Soos about Marshall and Rebecca. The first book is Island of Tears, dealing with the immigration experiences at the turn of the century and how they were treated. I think it would be interesting reading.

Thought for the day: “You cannot do a kindness too soon because you never know how soon it will be to late” Ralph Waldo Emerson

My new little project board

My little project board I made the other day.  24x24  light padding on one side and just wood on other side.  My cutting board just fits on the wooden side and give me a solid area to cut my fabric.  The padded side will work for arranging quilting squares and what not.  Pretty handy.  I am making some little place mats where you arrange 2 inch squares of fabric on this fusible grid. After you iron them in place you turn it over and stitch tiny seams up each line of the grid and then across.  Then you have perfect corners of your little quilt blocks.  Finish off with some quilt stitch and binding.  And I said I wasn't a quilter.  Paah!