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Mary's Books

I have loved to read since I was little. I would borrow many books from the library and still borrow to this day, but I also purchase books (mostly for my kids) and freebies on Kindle. I read as much as I can daily. Sometimes I read several books at one time. I don't have a preference of paper book over an ebook, I just love to read. Keeping lists of what I have read is a good way for me to remember. 

Currently reading

Harry Potter's Book of Virtues: Volume 1, The Virtue of Work
Casey Robin, Connie Neal
Progress: 24 %
Murder at the 42nd Street Library: A Mystery (Thomas Dunne Book)
Con Lehane
Progress: 49/320 pages
Aunt Dimity's Good Deed
Nancy Atherton
Progress: 83/288 pages
Mint Chip Murder: A Donut Hole Cozy Mystery - Book 6
Susan Gillard
The Devotional Bible: Experiencing The Heart of Jesus
Max Lucado
Progress: 51 %
Cover to Cover: Through the Bible in 365 Days
John A Carroll
Progress: 60 %

Good Story and Vocabulary to Boot

Gone Gull - Donna Andrews

This is the latest book written by Donna Andrews (another is due in November or December). After finding her Grandmother, Cordelia, she and her family come together to help Cordelia on her latest enterprise to turn Biscuit Mountain into a Craft Get Away. People come for a week to learn a craft and have a week away from the cares and worries of everyday life. The problem that exists is that when she tried to hire crafters to come and teach classes, no one would come. Their experience with one her rivals had turned them off, but Meg coming in and backing the project, helped the crafters change their minds and come teach. All seems to be starting out well until someone is destroying other peoples work through vandalism. Then the murders start. Meg and her family help the local chief of police (with her help and blessing) to find out who actually is to blame for the damage and murder. 


So many new characters. Crafters with odd ways and behaviors that either endear or despise them, to students who are weird and odd or just irritating to the point of doing things to keep them out of the way. 


I love these stories for the fun and oddities, but also because of the great vocabulary that you can find. I mark the words, write them in a notebook, along with definitions and then use them with the girls for school spelling, vocabulary and grammar lessons. My notebook is overflowing with words. 

Cookie Baking!

30 Delicious Icebox Cookie Recipes - Lori Burke

The author pointed out that she made these style cookies because she could do this on weekends and refrigerate or freeze the cookies and make them anytime for her family. 


I love to bake and one of my fondest memories was making cookies with my mother, but she only baked in winter. She never baked cookies any other time. I try to make cookies anytime the mood strikes. We have a nice mixer (generous present from my friends/sisters) and I always have the necessary items for cookie baking. My girls love to bake, too and these will be great cookies to make with my girls. 



Will Someone Make These for Me?

Baking French Macarons: A Beginner's Guide - Lisa Maliga, Lisa Maliga

I love Macarons. So do my girls, but while I love to bake, I don't have all the necessary accessories required to make them. I also need to clear out lots of things so I can make room for those items. The recipes seem simple, but the author points out that it requires lots of patience and repetition to get them to look correct. Someday. This is a free Kindle book and I will keep it and maybe one day I will make them. 

Spelling and Rules

Express Review Guides: Spelling - LearningExpress

I found a new book that I am going to use this year for school. I found this book at the Midpointe Library in West Chester, OH and love this book. It breaks down different rules and explains them and gives all kinds of practice. My girls groaned when I assigned them a  lesson from the book. If you are homeschooling in the 7th thru 12 grades, check out the book. 

Green Water Bottle Covers

Crochet One-Skein Wonders - Judith Durant

Green Water Bottle Covers


About 2 years ago I made several water bottle covers for my girls, myself and nieces and nephew to keep reusable water bottles colder and easier to carry. This year, the girls and I and my husband have spent many hours at Kings Island and we have the drink plan. The girls and I went when the park was giving bottles to the people who had the all season drinking plan. So we would walk around and fill up our drinks and when they were on rides, I would hold the bottles. As the summer heated up, I decided to use my water bottle cover and it fit perfectly. My girls decided they needed to use theirs, too. So as we walked through the park, people who had the bottles and all season drinking started asking, just one or two a day. Yesterday, I had a record 5 people asking me about the covers. I also had given my cover to my sil with a reusable water bottle and I know that I need to make more, so I had to get out this wonderful book. 


I will be making more and giving them to my sils and keeping a few for me and my girls. 


Do you like to knit or crochet? What have you made that people ask for? 

Learning to Draw through Architecture from Around the World

Around the World in 80 Drawings: Let your pencil lead you on an amazing journey, with tips and inspiration along the way - A House, Rebecca Warfel

This is another book that I got for Kindles from Amazon. I got it either very cheap or free. I planned on using last year for Geography and Art but never got to it, other books got there first. So over the weekend, I reread the book and decided it was getting used this week. I know that my girls will love it. 


Breakfast, best and first meal of the day

The Around the World Breakfast Cookbook: 30 Incredible Breakfast Dishes from All Corners of the Globe - Taste the World with These Delicious Recipes From 30 Diverse Countries - Gordon Rock

I love cookbooks, and so does my youngest. We will read through them and find things we want to try and make. My issue that I ran into was that the author would list something, using the country's name for it, and not put a note about what other names it might be called. So I would try to find out what something was and if I could have that item and just become frustrated with the recipe. I only found 2 that I really wanted to try. It was a free Amazon Kindle book, so that helped. 

Too Much Stuff, Yard Sales and Crazy Relatives

Owls Well That Ends Well - Donna Andrews

Meg and Michael have purchased their home together and it is from the cantankerous Sprocket family. They won't clean it up, fix the major issues and want money from the sale of all the stuff in the house, without doing any work. 


So for months, Meg has been organizing, selling and preparing for a huge yard sale, to get rid of the items found in the house and getting her family to come in and help at the sale, allowing her large extended family to also set up tables to sell off things as well. True to form, people who want to go to a yard sale, want to start earlier than anyone else and have started ringing the door bell on her house at very early hours, while she and all the house guests are sleeping in sleeping bags on the hard floor because she and Michael cannot have any of their own items in the house, because the Sprockets will accuse them of stealing from the estate. 


One of the Sprockets (Barrymore) has shown up and said he is there at the wishes of the family to get their fair share of the sale. 


While all this is going on, Gordon (you-thief) has also shown up early and been doused with water for trying to gain an early entry. Gordon has many enemies due to poor business practices, a poor marriage, and just generally being a poor person. When he is found murdered in a trunk, found in the barn, locked, the first person suspected is a friend of Michael's is suspected. Meg feels that she needs to prove that he didn't do the deed. 


She finds that many of the people that were interviewed by the Police Chief, lied and she finds the truth and keeps going further along to find the truth. 


Another fun story, showing that having a yard sale can be very difficult and frustrating. People showing up before people are ready and people asking for lower prices on items because they are out to get a good deal. People parking wherever to get to the sale. 



"Stencil William Morris's motto in the front hall: "Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful." "
Owls Well That Ends Well - Donna Andrews

pg 263


I really like this quote because it speaks to keeping the clutter contained and at a minimum. No matter how hard I try to contain clutter, it seems to outwit me. I would have yarn and books and movies and photo albums, but my kids like their toys, yet (some of which are collector items) and there are many other things that are just overwhelming. I know one day I will be able to rid myself of some of the clutter and just get down to things that bring me happiness. 

Really Good Story

Murder under Cover - Kate Carlisle

I know that I am reading this series out of order, but it works okay that way. The stories are so well written that reading them out of order doesn't hurt the story you might be reading. I like series like that as I get what I can when I can and just start reading. 


Robin, Brooklyn's best friend, returns from a tour trip from India events just start happening. Robin meets a dreamy man from the Ukraine and falls madly in love and then wakes up with him next to her, killed in her bed. Derek, Brooklyn's boyfriend, helps Robin and Brooklyn to find out what is happening. 


I will admit I was not prepared for the ending, until the ending. Then it all made sense. I will state that I felt bad for Robin throughout and did have to say to my 14-year-old daughter that she could not read this book. Mostly due to the content being a little too old for her. She likes to read cozy mysteries, too. 

— feeling big smile
""Here I was carrying on about a stupid turf war," she griped, "and you all were playing "The Spy Who Shagged Me." Not fair, Wainwright.""
Murder under Cover - Kate Carlisle

pg 269



This made me laugh out loud. 

Instant Pot - Sitting in a Box


My sil gave me an Instant Pot to make things with since I cook more than she does and I will experiment with recipes. Since I knew that I was getting this item, I found a few free books that had recipes for it. I only found one or two recipes in this book that I was interested in trying with the instant pot. Wish me luck. 

Sex, Drugs and Rock and Roll

Prairie Tale: A Memoir - Melissa Gilbert

In the beginning of the book, she discusses how she got started and why she wrote this book. She tells how she was adopted and as the book goes along how that affected her life and how she viewed herself. She talks about how she felt playing a role that she couldn't even begin to understand and how she felt in those roles. She talks about how she met and dated and was engaged to the men in her life. At times I felt that she was name dropping and other times you felt like you were working through her issues to become healthy. 


It was a very good read and at times it was interesting to see behind the scenes of filming on so many shows. It was interesting to note how she went down the rabbit hole to addiction and what made the trip go faster or how she drug herself out of the rabbit hole. 


I read the book by Alison Arngrim and enjoyed it, so I thought it would be interesting to see another side of the "Little House" stories. 

Wow! Just Wow!

Riders by Veronica Rossi (February 16,2016) - Veronica Rossi

These beings have attempted to find a key, that will allow them to control other beings and go into the world and make slaves of others. Gideon was training to be a part of the Army RASP, when during a training exercise, his chute failed. When this happened he hit the ground and died, but the other members of the RASP worked on him to bring him back. He went to the hospital and was sent home with many broken bones. He got better faster and was then found by Daryn, who is a Seeker. Together they gather the other riders of the Four Horsemen and together they gather to become a group. 


The story was fascinating and looked at how they come together and how they trained and helped each other and grew and learned about themselves and each other. 


I started the book one night, staying up until after midnight reading it (only about 2 hours) and it is a library book, my daughters brought home for their book club. Every now and then they get a book that when they discuss, I feel like reading and seeing what the story is about. So this led to my only reading when I could get my hands on a copy of the book (theirs). 

Geography for Homeschool

Jaw-Dropping Geography: Fun Learning Facts About Spectacular Stonehenge: Illustrated Fun Learning For Kids - Jess Roche

I know that this book seems young for 7th through 9th grades, but it is a good starting point to get them to research more. It is more of a reference and quick read. Last night I prepared this lesson and a few others to help teach my children how they are going to do reports this year. I also was using it to help them learn note taking habits that would help them as they progress. I know that eventually they are going to be doing some online college style lessons and they will need these skills. 


The book was cute and quick and full of information well organized so that it was easy to relay the information to the girls. 

Reading progress update: "Riders"

Riders by Veronica Rossi (February 16,2016) - Veronica Rossi

My girls are in a Teen Book Club at one of the local libraries and this book is the next one for reading. The girls were excited about it and were discussing it and so I borrowed it, in e-book format, from a library, too. It is told in the first person, with flash backs to what had happened. The kid being interviewed was in the Army and part of RASP (paratrooper) when he was involved in a horrific accident while doing a practice jump. His chute doesn't open and he "bounced" and was brought back by his friends and comrades doing CPR on him in the field. He healed super fast and found a bracelet on his wrist. When he goes to his sister's apartment, he is found by a young woman who takes him on the adventure that he relates while strapped to a chair. 


He and four others are the Horsemen and they are brought to help the young woman stop a catastrophic event. 


When I first started this book, I read until I couldn't keep my eyes open. I read when there isn't anyone around asking me questions or I have to put the book down, mostly because I have been getting into the book and enjoying the story. I want to find out who the other Horseman is and what they are protecting and why they are being held in the rooms, separate from them and who actually has them.