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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

Crouching Buzzard, Leaping Loon
Donna Andrews
The Overton Window
Glenn Beck
The Devotional Bible: Experiencing The Heart of Jesus
Max Lucado
Progress: 33 %
Cover to Cover: Through the Bible in 365 Days
John A Carroll
Progress: 42 %

Fun to the Very End

Revenge of the Wrought-Iron Flamingos - Donna Andrews

Yes, I do recommend this book. I love the funny things that happen and the wordsmithing. She uses a large vocabulary and there are moments that just make you laugh out loud. 


Just want a fun cozy mystery? This one is for you. 

Another Update....Lord of the Rings

Revenge of the Wrought-Iron Flamingos - Donna Andrews

I tried to click on the CD-ROM's icon to open it. A gray box popped up, saying, "Please enter the unbreakable top secret password."

"That's definitely Tad's sense of humor," I said. "In case we had any doubt which CD-ROM was his."

"I tried everything I could think of," Michael said. "Including all the Greek words I know."....

"I don't have to guess," I said. "that writing just told me. That's not Greek, it's Elvish."


"Or maybe Elven; I forget which is correct. It's been years. Ever read Tolkien?"

"Yes, but as you said, it's been years," he said. 

"remember the scene where they kept trying to guess the password to the door of Moria, and realized that it was right there in the inscription--'Speak friend and enter'?"


Page 211 of "Revenge of the Wrought Iron Flamingos" by Donna Andrews


I loved this quote and it was another that I read out loud to my middle who loves "The Lord of the Rings" and was tickled over a quote from a "Psych" book that she read where that was the stupidest password...password. 


She and Michael are working together to find out who killed Benson. He seems to have made a lot of enemies and many of them were in the area or close by. Tony, another crafter, is known for stealing other people's work and saying they developed along parallel lines, but his work is shoddy and poorly done. He had seen Meg showing a flamingo to her mother's friend at another fair and decided to make one, too and then compare to her work. Because his work is unoriginal and shoddy he is able to sell for less and people think they are getting something. 


I so enjoy these stories. So much happening and so many eccentric characters. 


Update: First Murder by Chapter 15

Revenge of the Wrought-Iron Flamingos - Donna Andrews

I love how Donna Andrews books are able to be read out of order because she doesn't just dump a murder victim on us, she gives us time to meet the characters and learn some back story. 


There are so many laugh-out-loud moments in her book. In Chapter 15, we are introduced to a new character, a deputy sheriff who comes from a big city in OH. You see in the small town of Yorktown, VA most everyone is related to everyone else. This big city deputy is from "Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, no Canton." Now I am curious is the in there just for Ohio readers or does it change like some songs do to other areas? I wonder this because it was funny to find a person from my neck of the woods (I am from near Cincinnati and have been to the other places frequently). 


In another moment, she gives some great history lessons on the Revolutionary War. For instance why you don't walk barefoot on VA battlefields (cacti). 


My all time favorite moment was when Michael and Meg go to the Cannoneers Camp and beg them to stop blasting the cannon all night long. As they discussed why they were doing it, the one man says it is to please Madame Van Steuben. Meg explains that in history, Von Steuben was the Prussian general brought over by Washington to get the men into better fighting shape so they could win the war. Then she explains to Michael that they are referring to this mother. The men are terrified thinking that they have offended the son of the woman footing their bill, but he laughs and loves the description. 


As I laughed out loud to this my daughter decided she needed to get into this book, too! 


Glad to Be Finished

Some Enchanted Éclair - Bailey Cates

I did enjoy the book, but it took me longer than usual. Partially due to illness, I got very ill and was sleeping on the couch for 3 straight days and nights. Partially due to my dad (at almost 80 years old) falling off a ladder and getting hurt, so I have been driving done (about 75 miles as the bridge over the river is being worked on and they closed parts of it and traffic is horrendous). I am just glad to be finished because it was a library borrowed book and I really needed to return the book. 


This book has Katie and Declan working on their relationship. Steve trying to give them the space to do it, while he still yearns to be with Katie. 


A movie has come to town and it has been causing some problems. People who are excited to see actors and actresses close up and others who want to watch how the "magic" happens. Katie's uncle, Ben has been hired to be security for the film. He is using firefighters who are off shift to help keep the area free of visitors. Simon, the movie's fixer, comes into the Honeybee and requests a catered meal for the movie people. The caterer he had hired has just been fired and he needs food for the cast and staff quickly. Lucy and Katie decide that they will take on the job, but after the first day of the "fixer" has been murdered using their knife they sent with a watermelon. 


Ben and Katie want to find who murdered Simon since it was on his watch and using their knife. They decide to work together and use all their resources. They even use the main actresses medium, Ursula, to help them try to contact Simon to find out who did this to him. 


I have lived in a few towns that have hosted movies (Newport, KY - "Rainman" and another that I can't think of, it had Molly Ringwald. Lebanon, OH - a Hallmark Christmas Movie). It is interesting to see the "magic" and it is always interesting to see how people are willing to let their lives be disrupted for a short time to host Hollywood Elites. 


I have some pictures taken on very hot days of August, where all the signs say Merry Christmas and there is "snow" on the ground and many of the storefronts made up for Christmas. 


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It was fun to see two seasons at one time in our small town. 


My 4 Cats, 1 Dog and Niece Cat

I had mentioned to another on here that we had adopted several cats and one dog. I thought I would just share the beauties. Yes, I do have 2 black cats, male and female. I have one black and white. He is a handful. He was rescued from a hoarding type situation and the owner had passed. He spent two years living in a cage waiting to be adopted. He would spend 2 weeks in the cage and 2 with a foster. I have 1 tiger striped kitty, that was being fostered at our vet's office. His mother was found dead in the road and he and his siblings were found in a field at about 3 weeks old. The vet and her staff cared for the babies and then put them up for adoption. He was the last and became ill all alone and no one wanted him. So we took him and nursed him to health and the male black helped love on him. The dog was also brought home from the vet's office. She was being attacked by other dogs in her 2nd home (yep, that's right we are the 3rd) so they decided that since she was the nicer of the dogs she would be easily adopted. My menagerie. 


I forgot to mention the niece cat. My sil was going through a hard time and the kitty showed up and loved on her and she decided to bring her in and care for her and get her vetted and she is very loving cat and very demanding. When my sil has to go out of town, I get to care for her. She adores my girls and loves them as they love on her. 


Adopted pets are the best pets, if you can see it on the black and white, he has a huge smile full time. 

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Not My Type

Finding Moon - Tony Hillerman

I do have a style or type of book that I enjoy. I will read things that don't fall into that type, but usually, I have a hard time getting into them or staying with them (takes me a long time to get through). I was having to listen to it as well as reading in order to get through it. I would find things to do that would prevent me from picking up a book. While the story was good (searching for his deceased brother's baby girl in Vietnam, Philippines, Cambodia), I just had a hard time getting into the book. I know that I may need to revisit this book sometime in the future. I do enjoy Tony HIllerman's books and have read many of them in my life (owning as many as I could) and borrowing others (when I started having children I made it a priority to buy them books and I borrowed, but I also taught them the wonders of libraries). 


If you are a history buff and want to learn some about Vietnam, Cambodia, etc, I would recommend this book. I used to read anything I could find on that time period, but right now, I just don't seem to be able to read these books. 



The 2nd Book in Meg Langslow Series

Murder With Puffins - Donna Andrews

I'll start with the books can be read out of order (I found it hard to find many when I got to that in the order, but read what I could get in whatever order I could). In book two, Meg and Michael are finding it hard to find time alone. If they go to where Michael is staying, a couch in another professor's house, or where Meg is staying, her mother's house since the artist using her place refuses to vacate, they decided to go to her Aunt Phoebe's cabin on Monhegan Island in Maine. Michael is a professor at a University in Caerphilly, VA, where housing is so limited that it is hard for people to find a place to stay and end up staying in places they normally wouldn't (someone's couch). Since this is the 2nd time for reading these books, I was curious as to the place actually existing (family in VA and staying there for visits to family in VA and MD). It seems that there is a Caerphilly, but it is a park or country club, not an actual city or county. It does make the story go along well as there are points where hard to find living space comes into play during the future stories. 


On the trip over on the ferry, they realize that they chose the worst time to travel to the island. They are traveling through a hurricane that is winding down but comes back during their stay. Also, during their stay, they find her mother, father, brother, Aunt Phoebe and her mother's friend. They also run into the local that most people do not like. He has made himself a nuisance with the locals and shoots anyone he considers a trespasser, even if they are on the public path. 


When her father disappears on the island so he can watch the hurricane hit, she and Michael are sent to search for him. Then her aunt takes off after Resnick, also because she believes he is shooting at the birds (not her niece). Meg and Michael find Resnick dead in a tidal pool and pull him out and get him settled into the freezer at an empty restaurant. Meg realizes that her family is going to be the first ones looked at, although the whole island is covered with people who had a reason to want Resnick dead. She and Michael begin to search for who really murdered Resnick. 


These books are great because they have some very funny, improbable moments and yet, they increase vocabulary. I like them on Kindle because you can turn on the vocabulary booster and it will provide definitions on words that you don't know or read with a dictionary handy. I love that I can assign the books to my girls and they will learn some words that they didn't know before and in the process increase their own vocabularies. 



Cozy Mysteries with Birds in Title

Murder With Peacocks - Donna Andrews

I discovered Donna Andrews and her Meg Langslow mysteries with "Crouching Buzzard and Leaping Loons." I loved the title and the cover photo. It made me laugh. I borrowed it from the Lebanon Library and loved the story. Since I knew that this was not the first book, I began the quest to read all of the books. Which started with "Murder with Peacocks." 


It is summer and Meg is the Maid of Honor in 3 weddings, one weekend after another. The weddings start with her friend and partner, Eileen, who is flaky but lovable. The next wedding is her brother, Rob's, wedding and Meg doesn't like her future Sister-in-law, Samantha. The third wedding is her mother's wedding to Jake. 


As the Maid of Honor, she is given lists of things that the brides want in their weddings. Eileen wants a Renaissance wedding, involving velvet dresses for the bridesmaids and herself. Meg tries and fails to talk her out of those "costumes" and in the heat of summer she and the others have to wear velvet clothing. 


Samantha wants peacocks for her wedding so that it will be colorful since it will be the heat of summer and the flowers will not be as colorful. When Meg's mother hears about the peacocks, she decides she has to have them, too. 


As the lists continue and the work to prepare for the weddings continues, Jake's deceased wife's sister, Mrs. Grover, comes to town and is murdered. The most likely suspect has an iron-clad alibi. Then someone tries to kill Meg's father and then tries to kill all of them with a bomb in a box and many other things. 


As the body count goes up, Meg meets and enjoys the company of Michael, the town's dress shop owner's son. He is running his mother's shop while she recuperates in Florida. 


These books are great for encouraging vocabulary and have many funny moments. Spike is introduced as a neurotic small dog and Rob is a younger brother who doesn't want to be a doctor and is studying for the Bar Exam and writing a role playing game. 


So much fun. Enjoy! 


Algebra Books

Algebra the Easy Way (Barron's E-Z) - Douglas Downing

Every summer I borrow books from libraries near me to see if they would be good for us with the girls for school in the fall. This book is always brought home and I do enjoy Algebra. It is fairly well written and easy to understand. 

Fun Saturday Science

Vacuum Bazookas, Electric Rainbow Jelly, and 27 Other Saturday Science Projects. - Neil A. Downie, Jim Wilkinson

I am a homeschooling mother and my husband works 3rd shift so I am constantly looking for ways for him to do things with our children that will encourage them to work on something together, learn something together and build a bond that will last a lifetime. Creating memories. 


I loved this book and I gave it to him and he enjoyed it, too. I think this will make it into the school year, with school on weekends. 


Tunisian Crochet

Tunisian Crochet Encore: New Stitches, New Techniques, New Patterns - Sheryl Thies

I have been working on my first ever Tunisian piece and loving it. I love how it looks and how quickly it works up. I found this book at Mary L Cook Library in Waynesville, OH (I love my local libraries) and found only 2 patterns in it that I really enjoyed and want to make. They are Ruffled Interlude and Six Part Harmony. 



If you like to crochet, check out the book there may be something for you in it and it does have a tutorial for how to do Tunisian Crochet in the beginning and some of the patterns do have explanations, too. 



Liberating Knitting

Knitter's Lib: Learn to Knit, Crochet, and Free Yourself from Pattern Dependency - Lena Maikon

This book helps beginner knitters to begin to design their own work, teaches them a little crochet and helps them to feel more comfortable making things. They use a variety of materials and tools. It is actually quite interesting, but I was not fond of some of the patterns. 

How to Save Money on College

Cracking the AP Chemistry Exam, 2016 Edition (College Test Preparation) - Princeton Review

I am trying to do as much AP work with my homeschool crew as possible to help them save money on college. I borrowed this book because I wanted to see how it breaks down. It is interesting as it shows explanations for answers and the girls know how to research and can find more if they have questions, or I can help them find the answers. I do think this will make our list of books for school. 

Home School and First Aid

Acep First Aid Manual - Gina M. Piazza, American College of Emergency Physicians

At the beginning of this month, we were staying in Virginia in a hotel (we were visiting family) and on the last morning of our stay, the fire alarm went off and taught us that our Fire Plan was good for the house, but not for a 6 story hotel with fire alarms blaring at an ungodly hour ("I only recognize on 5 o'clock a day" Hawkeye from M*A*S*H) and the kids were just unable to function...they went on remote to the elevators with us yelling at them (to be heard over alarms) to come to the stairs and then to the nearest exit (they were headed for the main exit). We made a plan for traveling and have followed it since. 


So when I was at the library checking out books for my summer of books (I start planning school for next year over the summer) and I found this book. I remember that every time I go to get my certification from the Red Cross, there have been changes. Most things stay the same, but there are many things that are changed, so I think this book is going to be part of our school this year. 

So Many Super Cute Things for Kids

Amigurumi on the Go: 30 Patterns for Crocheting Kids' Bags, Backpacks, and More - Ana Paula Rimoli

I wish I had found this book years ago. My kids would have loved a lot of these things to carry with them for school or just on a trip. I will remember this book and know that I borrowed it from Mary L Cook Library and make these for littles when there are more in the family. 

Using Up Stash When Cold Sheeping

Stashbuster Knits: Tips, Tricks, and 21 Beautiful Projects for Using Your Favorite Leftover Yarn - Melissa Leapman

Here are some fun words for knit/crochet words:

Stash - All our yarny goods

Cold Sheeping - That is where your spouse (or you) decide that you have too much yarny goodness and you are not allowed to bring in new stuff unless it is a gift or for a special item that can not be found in said Stash. 

SABLE - Stash Acquisition Beyond Life Expectancy


Right now I am SABLE, but I do have a daughter who likes to knit, too. I also have started my nieces on the path, as a result I have allowed them all access to my stash, so I am uncertain for how SABLE I will be once they start knitting crocheting full time. 


This book has patterns that help to use up the stash so that you can decrease the amount and maybe go shopping for all the new yarns. It has some fun patterns and teaches some color work.