Woe! It’s Wednesday


If all went according to schedule, we’re in Hamilton, New York now, visiting the town where my father-in-law grew up. We hope to see his childhood home. My husband was there as a child but not since. We’re there with some other family, touring the town and seeing the sights. Hamilton is the home of Colgate University. There should be lots to see, people to meet, and memories to stow away.

We’ll be staying at the Colgate Inn.

Stories to come, I’m sure.




Book Talk Tuesday

I love these books. A cracking good mystery. A bit of romance.

They’re set in a fictional San Luis Obispo called San Celina. Benni Harper is a still-grieving widow at the beginning of the first book, Fools Puzzle. She’s the curator of folk art museum and a quilter. Each of the books is named for a quilt block. They should be read in order, for the most part.


The author, Earlene Fowler, does a great job weaving the mystery and creating unforgettable characters in the process. The latest is

Spider Web.

I haven’t read it yet, but I’m sure it’s just as good as the previous ones.

Earlene has also written two stand-alones.

The Saddlemaker’s Wife:


Love Mercy.



Woe! It’s Wednesday

Well, by the time this is posted (I hope. Unless I schedule it wrong again … see last week’s post for more info on that), I’ll have toured the White House and a Smithsonian or two. The Capitol building is on the agenda for today.


I’ve never been to the east coast or to Washington DC and I’m looking forward to seeing the sites that have played such an important role in our country’s history.


I’m excited and dreading it at the same time. I’m easily moved to tears when I’m surrounded by history and pageantry and symbols of sacrifice. I once burst into tears in the Sacramento Railroad Museum when we climbed into a simulated train car on the rails. It rocked and pitched just like the real thing. I think it was either a sleeper or a mail car. I may not remember the details but I do remember being overwhelmed at the thought that a whole way of life has disappeared from our culture.

We’ll see memorials to great Americans who are lauded in the history books and memorials to other great American’s whose names weren’t recorded in any book but who gave their all for our country.

I’ll be the one with the sunglasses and the tissues.


Book Talk Tuesday

I’m packing for a cross-country flight and vacation. For the first time since I got it, my Kindle will be the only book I bring. I’m kind of looking forward to the extra room in the suitcase. I can bring more shoes! But it’s going to be strange, too.

The books I’m looking forward to reading on this trip are:


Sons of Thunder Sons of Thunder by Susan May Warren


Stars Collide: A Novel (Backstage Pass)When Stars Collide By Janice Thompson



Book: What I Learned from a Simple Blessing  Heaven is For Real by Todd Burpo and Lynn Vincent

That should get me there. I’ll be reviewing these when I get home. Stay tuned …


Fiction Friday

The Bandbox Hat is on a brief hiatus. We’ll continue with Sarah Jane, Rachael, and Jesse in October. Which is good because I have no idea what’s going to happen next.


Woe! It’s Wednesday Redux

Boy, is my face red.


I often write my posts ahead of time and schedule them for the appropriate day, which is what I did for today’s post. Except I clicked the wrong teeny little square and it posted a day early.


What makes it more ironic is that I decided to go ahead and write ahead for the two weeks I thought I was going to miss and schedule them as usual, and I was going to delete that post, only to find it had already gone live.

Some weeks, that’s just how it goes.

What have you done in a hurry, thinking you were being so proactive and organized only to discover later that you messed it up?

I know you’ve done it, too.

Come on, ‘fess up!


Book Talk Tuesday


I’m not really into Amish fiction, but I read this one on a friend’s recommendation.

Amish Midwife


The Amish Midwife by Mindy Starns Clark and Leslie Gould.

Lexie is looking for answers. She was adopted into a Mennonite family in Oregon. With both parents now dead, it seems a good time to search for her birth family in Pennsylvania. Armed with a carved wooden box, some locks of hair, and a quilt, she arranges to work as a nurse-midwife in Pennsylvania.

A request from a friend of a friend brings her to Marta, a lay midwife with problems and secrets galore.

The authors did a good job weaving the various story threads together. I guessed the plot twists, but I still wanted to read how they explained the circumstances and they did a good job at that.

The Amish are portrayed lovingly, warts and all. The Plain lifestyle is neither patronized nor glorified.

I may just pick up another Amish fiction title one day!

Thanks again, Karen!

Woe! It’s Wednesday



I have nothing to complain about today. I’m too busy.

This will be the last blog post for a few weeks. I had to skip Fiction Friday last week. I have a very busy few weeks ahead and am taking a short break from blogging.

Posts will return on Oct 4th. Until then, play nicely with each other. Read. Hug a family member. Eat a peach.


Woe! It’s Wednesday. Cantankerous and Green

I’ve been doing some freelance writing on citrus diseases. Some of it’s boring and tedious but some of it’s quite fascinating.

I especially like the names of several of the diseases.




Sometimes, that about sums up my day.

I’ve been cantankerous (not quite the same, I know, but bear with me). Turning green over someone else’s blessing. And stubbornly holding onto my own way, my own view, my own selfish best interest.

Citrus diseases are spread through insect pests or transfer of plant material.

If I let the pest of jealousy nibble at me, I turn green. If I let old grudges fester and compost, the resentment spreads.

If I never smile at the barista or bank teller or courtesy clerk, I may be spreading my cranky mood when I could be spreading smiles and happy thoughts.

Time to apply some insecticide and kill the little pests.


Book Talk Tuesday: The Quilter’s Apprentice

I’m interested in quilting and books and knitting and books and scrapbooking and books.

A friend recommended The Quilter’s Apprentice by Jennifer Chiaverini.


The Quilter’s Apprentice


I have read (and loved) Earlene Fowler’s Benni Harper mystery/quilting series, so I gave Chiaverini a try.

Sarah is new to Waterford, Pennsylvania. She and her husband moved for his job, but Sarah is having a hard time finding employment. She wants to try a different career after several years of number crunching as an accountant.

Cranky Mrs. Compson offers Sarah a job helping get Elm Creek Manor, Mrs. Compson’s ancestral home, ready to put on the real estate market. As part of her wages, Sarah bargains for quilting lessons and history stories. She and Sylvia Compson become friends. Sarah hears many stories from Sylvia about growing up at Elm Creek Manor. As Sarah also makes friends with some of the other local quilters, she decides to reconcile her new friend with her past and to keep Elm Creek Manor as it was meant to be: a home and a refuge.

The characters felt a bit cardboard-ish at first. The crotchety old lady with a hidden heart of gold. The naïve young wife. The family secret with two members not speaking. But as I got into the story, the characters did loosen up and became more human.

I enjoyed The Quilter’s Apprentice and I will read others by Chiaverini.

Thanks, Karen, for the recommendation!


Fiction Friday: The Bandbox Hat


Previously: Jesse has come to see Sarah Jane and her brother and sister-in-law. He said Rachael, their long lost sister, returned to town with him.



The Bandbox Hat

Chapter Nine



I stood. “Rachael came with you? Where is she? Still at the motel? Let’s go!” I made for the door but no one else got up or even stirred. Except for Anna who’d been standing already. She sat and tucked her heels under the edge of the wicker chair.

I paused with one hand on the screen door and surprise flicked my consciousness. “Did you hear Jesse? She’s here.”

Jesse held up a hand in that placating motion I found so irritating. “She was here.”

I knew it was too good to be true. Rachael home again after all this time. I trudged back to the rocker I’d occupied. “What happened?”

“She called Peter this afternoon,” Jesse said.

“Oh.” Realization and fear crowded the fear out of my heart. “Let me guess. Cassie answered the phone.”

Jesse nodded. “She left immediately. She caught a bus out of Rosedale before I knew what happened.”

Cassandra Jaeger had been Rachael’s best friend in high school. When Rachael left town without a word to anyone, she’d been the one Peter turned to for help with the baby and to listen to his broken-hearted questions. It doesn’t take a meddling tratscher to guess what happened next. Peter and Cassie had been married eight years and added another boy and a baby girl to their family. Little Jonathan[CLP1] , although not so little anymore, was a proud big brother. Peter asked that my family not be intrusive into their lives and we obeyed. We, or at least I, figured one of these days Jonathan would want to know about his mom and the rest of his family and we’d get to know him later. So far though, he seemed oblivious. He’d race by me on the playground without a second glance. I was just one of the teachers, not his aunt who loved him before he was born and sang him to sleep when his mom walked out.

“Did she know Peter remarried?” I asked.

Jesse shook his head. “I don’t think so.”

“This is ridiculous,” Anna said. “Surely even Rachael was not so deluded to think she could waltz into town after all these years and Peter would beg her to come back and that everything would be the same.”

I whirled. “No, but she didn’t have the fact that her former best friend has stepped into her life rubbed into her face either.” I turned back to Jesse. “How could you let this happen?”

“Me?” He stood, a shocked expression on his face. “I just offered her a ride up here.”

“Exactly.” My voice shook and I moved back to the door. I wouldn’t give either Jesse or Anna the satisfaction of seeing me in tears. “Both of you took off out of here as soon as life didn’t go according to your plan. Then you think you can pop up like some … some Whack-a-Mole and wave your arms and smile your killer smile and everything will be like it was. Well, I have news for you Jesse Hofer: Life went on. And we’ve done just fine without you. Just fine.” I pulled on the screen door but I hadn’t paid attention and the bottom edge hit the toe of my shoe with a loud thwack. It bounced back into the opening and rebounded out again. I flung it open, then dashed through and up the stairs.

[CLP1]nephew – Rachael’s baby