Monday, October 31, 2016

The Pie Pantry, Aylmer ON

Apparently my friends have been keeping this little gem a big secret.  I'm so excited, telling them about this wonderful bakery I just found and they all seem to know about it already.  That is awful, keeping deliciousness secret from me.

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Hubby and I are were out on a little road trip, checking on some of our letterboxes and doing a little TLC wherever necessary.  As we were driving through Aylmer we passed the The Pie Pantry sign on John St., found a place to turn around, and went in.

Just standing in the doorway and smelling the deliciousness was heavenly.  It was near the end of the day but they still had a reasonable selection of treats.  Hubby purchased two pumpkin tarts and I purchased a half dozen mixed cookies.  They were all delicious but my personal favourite was the melting moments shortbread, hands down the best shortbread I've ever had in my life.  (Sorry Nanna!)

I'm now looking for excuses to drive back to Aylmer every week . . . LOL.

Here is their website,, but the address is incorrect on the site.  Their correct address is 157 John St N, Aylmer, ON.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Baby in Balloon

Baby in Balloon

2.75" x 5.5"



May not be exactly as shown because each piecing is individually made.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

The House on Willow Street by Cathy Kelly

The House on Willow Street

Truth be told, I can't quite remember what I liked about this book but the fact that is on the shelf to review and not in a basket on the way to a second hand store suggests I really liked it.

I just read this review from Goodreads and it reminded me of all the twists and turns and excellent characters.  That's why I like this book.

The Irish seaside town of Avalon is a tourist’s dream of quaint shops and welcoming caf├ęs. Avalon House, perched at the end of Willow Street, was in Tess Power’s family for generations. Now Tess ekes out a living from her antiques shop while the crumbling mansion awaits a new owner. Her marriage and business may be floundering, but her affection for Avalon is undimmed. The same can’t be said of her glamorous sister. Suki left without a backward glance and married into an American political dynasty. Only a muckraking biographer could send her slinking back to Ireland to escape a scandal.

Postmistress Danae watches from the sidelines, doling out gentle advice while locking away her own secrets. Then her unconventional niece Mara comes to stay and draws her lonely aunt back into the world. As autumn gives way to winter, the four women encounter old loves, embrace new friendships, and begin to look beyond the past to the possibilities just beginning to unfold.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Otherwise Engaged by Amanda Quick

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Amity Doncaster is a world traveller who is used to adventure and risk . . . until she becomes prey of the notorious killer, the Bridegroom.  I am not going to say too much about this book.  That does not mean I didn't like it.  Actually the opposite.  It was a lot of fun and very suspenseful . . . and I'm afraid to give away too much of the story.  So in this case all I will say is if you are looking for a good read this book may be for you.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Surfacing by Margaret Atwood


Surfacing was Margaret Atwood's second novel and was published in 1972.  I actually have a 1972 copy of the novel.  The pages are browned and getting brittle.  Hard for someone my age to understand that 1972 was a long time ago because it doesn't feel that way to me.  But it was a long time ago.

I read Surfacing by Margaret Atwood a while back but I still remember it well.  Yes, I know, you either love or hate Atwood.  I prefer to judge on individual books and this one was exciting and stressful and very real to me.  

The main character, who remains nameless, is summoned to her home town in northern Quebec to find her missing father.  She travels with her lover and another couple.  Atwood dealt with issues of mental health, the environment and nationalism through her characters.

I think this is an excellent read.  Not an easy read.  But worth it.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

The Edge of the Fall by Kate Williams

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The saga of the de Witt family began with The Storms of War which I reviewed a few months ago at

In The Edge of the Fall, the saga continues.  The de Witt families is broken, unable to cope with their losses and all the changes that came with the end of WWI.  It is an excellent story of love, murder, betrayal and heart break.  I highly recommend this book.

I can't wait for the next book in the series.  Spoiler alert:  the de Witts go to America.

It is International Day of the Girl Child so reviewing The Dressmaker of Khair Khana by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon is rather appropriate today.

The author, a former ABC News reporter, spent years researching this story, traveling between Kabul, London and Washington. That is how she met Kamila Sidiqi, a young, educated Afghani woman whose life, and the lives of her sisters, was put on hold the day the Taliban siezed control of Kabul. Their father and elder brother were forced to flee to avoid arrest or conscription.

The Taliban did not allow women to work, go to school, or even leave their homes unattended. Under these conditions the family quickly went through their available resources and had to find a way to make a living that would not bring the Taliban or morality squads to their door. Kamila learned how to sew beaded dresses. With her young brother as her protection, she found customers in the markets willing to take her products. The whole family joined in the business and soon they were taking in employees and students. In this way they were able to survive.

Although I felt the writing was geared more towards a younger reader, I did enjoy reading it. I recommend The Dressmaker of Khair Khana as a good book and a chance to learn more about the Afghani women and their culture and resilience.