Thursday, October 27, 2011

Clothes on the Clothes line . . .

A lot of tiny pieces to draw and cut out and glue on this one but I'm really happy with the results.  I will have all my paper piecings with me at the Central United Church crop on Saturday if you want to have a closer look.


Clothes on the Clothes line . . .

A lot of tiny pieces to draw and cut out and glue on this one but I'm really happy with the results.  I will have all my paper piecings with me at the Central United Church crop on Saturday if you want to have a closer look.


Assini De Peppi

I asked my buddy Cailyn for this recipe because it is just so awesome.

Assini De Peppi

1 tin tomato soup
1 tin consome
1/4 c assini de peppi
12 oz of water

Heat together.  Add chopped up cooked bacon if you wish.

Book Review: Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua

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I loved reading Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua.  It is definitely a controversial book, but it is written in an honest and humorous fashion that is appealing and easy to read.

Amy Chua is determined to raise her two daughters in what she considers the stereotypical Chinese style.  She points out that you don't have to be Chinese to parent this way.  Chinese style parenting is about discipline and focus, preparing your children for the future, instilling excellent work habits and confidence and self-esteem resulting from accomplishment.  The Chinese parent stresses accomplishment in academics and extra-curricular activities.  This is extreme parenting.

Chua compares her style to Western parenting in which parents nurture their childrens' individuality, allowing them to find their own passions and creating a soft, entitled, untalented child unprepared for life.  Western parents believe self-esteem comes first and then accomplishment.

Chua has certainly created some controversy with these extremes.  But she learns that there has to be some compromise when her second daughter turns out to be very opinionated and stubborn, creating a collision of wills which, I am happy to say, ends in compromise.  Chua shares what she has learned about the rewards and costs of raising children the Chinese way.

Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother is funny, honest, shocking, controversial and a great read.  Perhaps somewhere between Western and Chinese parenting we will find the compromise which will lead us to parenting happy children who are ready to face the world when they are grown.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Product Review: The Sterling Counter Top Filtration System

For the past couple of decades we have been drinking filtered water.  Hal can tell you all the reasons why.  I asked him to stop telling me because #1 it gets boring after 20 years and #2 there can be a lot of gross things in tap water.  The apartment we are in now has fairly good hot water but our cold water is muddy, probably a result of travelling through old galvanized water pipes.  So the use of filtered water is even more necessary now.  Besides filtered water makes tastier tea.

Anyway, in our little apartment we didn't have room for our water cooler so we passed it on and purchased a counter top dispenser and we've been very happy about that except for the fact that I lose counter space in my very tiny kitchen.

When Hal began his new career it left me vehicle-less most of the time.  That makes it rather hard to pick up water when needed.  Definitely a downside on the whole jugs of water in the dispenser scenario.

Well that problem has been resolved.  Just before Hal left for his current road trip he installed The Sterling Counter Top Filtration System.  It takes up a tiny bit of counter right beside the water taps and it works so well. It actually seems weird drinking water and make ice from water that comes from the tap.  I've been using it for a couple of weeks now and I'm very impressed.  Apparently you only have to change the filters every 6 months to keep it working properly.

That's all I have to say about that.


Monday, October 24, 2011

Being Self-Employed


One of the few business sectors constantly expanding in today’s economy is the small  and home-based business.  The most difficult decision a person interested in becoming self-employed must make is what type of business will be the best fit for them and their family. 

So, a few years ago I wrote a book A Fresh Start  on getting started in a small or home business.  I didn't make a lot of money at it but I learned a lot about publishing and writing from this effort.   

Three years ago my husband and I found ourselves both unemployed, in our 50s and really not sure where to turn.  For the next two years we supported ourselves through odd jobs.  In my spare time I started writing again.

I started from the research I'd done for A Fresh Start, 95 pages of good solid ideas, and expanded it to almost 400 pages of small business ideas.  Some ideas are quite unique, many new listings have been added to represent our modern multi-media environment, and some are good old time-tested ideas.  I'm pretty sure that the perfect home or small business idea for you will be in here.

My husband is now working in a career he loves and I am thrilled to be publishing this book,  The First Step:  An Encyclopedia of Small Business Ideas , available in paperback and as an ebook PDF.

Please order one or several of my books at
Thank you.


Saturday, October 22, 2011

Book Review: Fyodor Dostoevsky


I have read the novels of only two Russian authors so far.  Neither was Dostoevsky.  Reading this autobiography by Peter Leithart has whet my interest and I will be downloading one or two to my kindle soon.

As for this autobiography, I have to say it was a very good read.  The author, Peter Leithart teaches theology and literature at the college level and his familiarity with his subject was very apparent.  The purpose of this book, I believe, is to show the ways that Dostoevsky's religious beliefs aided him at the best and lowest moments of his life.  Dostoevsky's Leithart doesn't try to hide his subject's vices.  He just documents them and how Dostoevsky was able to overcome these vices as best he could with the help of his family and his faith.

Dostoevsky was raised a Christian but his faith became deeply embedded during his imprisonment in Siberia.  This is where he came to really understand the the human condition and the suffering and need of the innocent and lower classes in Russia.  This understanding formed the basis of most of his writing.

The author's portrayal of Russian society and culture is very detailed and adds to the flow of the story, making actions of various characters easier to understand.

Definitely a good read.

September Scrapbooking Layouts





















September Scrapbooking Layouts





















Book Review: Promises to Keep



Wonderful!  The only problem I had with this novel is that it is hard to read . . . while you are crying. And it is hard to hold on to the book while you are clutching a box of Kleenex.

Some people might find this story predictable but I don't understand what's wrong with that.  I can predict what a friend is going to do next.  Since I got to know the characters so well throughout the story, of course I would be able to predict what might happen next.

The characters were superbly portrayed, even the minor characters.  I ended up rooting for all of them to find their own version of happiness.  The main character, Callie, has a wonderful home, two adorable children, good friends, a successful photography business and a gorgeous and loving husband who's only flaw seems to be that he works too much.  We all know that when things are going so good something has to go wrong . . . and it does.  Callie is fatally ill.

I'm not going to give away too much of the story because there is so much joy in reading the story yourself and I don't want to ruin it for you.

Don't forget the box of Kleenex.

Monday, October 17, 2011

A Big Exciting Announcement . . .

I've been talking about it.  I have posted a couple of links about it.  But it is finally here!!!!!!

But let me start at the beginning of the story.  A few years ago I wrote a book on getting started in a small or home business.  I didn't make a lot of money at it but I learned a lot about publishing and writing from this effort.  It is still available for purchase as an ebook PDF, as an ebook EPUB for Adobe Digital Editions Format or as a paperback.  The title of the book is A Fresh Start and the information in it is just as relevant today as it was when first published.  This book is also available for download on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, and on your computer with iTunes.


While I was attending university as a mature student I enrolled in a speech class to get over my fear of public speaking.  One of the speeches I wrote was about the things my mother used to say to my siblings and me when we were growing up.  I got a really great mark on the speech.  I am still terrified of public speaking though.  I had the speech published in book format.  I think it is just plain old-fashioned funny and a great gift for a special mom in your life.  Yes, it is still available for sale in an ebook PDF and as a paperback.


And now for the BIG EXCITING NEWS . . . 


It's finally ready and available for sale.



I started from the research I'd done for A Fresh Start, 95 pages of good solid ideas, and expanded it to almost 400 pages of small business ideas . . . some quite unique, many added to represent our modern multi-media environment, and some are good old time-tested ideas.  I'm pretty sure that the perfect home or small business idea for you will be in here.  The First Step:  An Encyclopedia of Small Business Ideas is available in paperback and as an ebook PDF.

Please support a local writer by ordering one or several of my books.  Thank you.