Book Reviews, Projects and My Dinosaur Status

So many things to chat about today! Several projects were made this week, with specific purposes in mind. First, a dear friend is moving away, and I wanted to make her a special card. It will have a little gift inside. The card is a trifold, with stamped thread spools on the front with ribbon and a cord with a bow.

Inside, two sentiments let her know she will be missed, but is wished well in her new home.

I finished two fabulous books that I recommend highly! Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus – A woman with her own mind is way ahead of her time when the story begins in 1962. Women were supposed to be in the home and not in the workforce. At a time when women were not valued as having a brain, a chemist has the audacity to insist on her own career, her own ideas and credit for her own work. Hilarious at times, poignant at times, and deeply disturbing at others, 386 pages fly by as the reader is hooked. Her forced change to a cooking show, based on chemistry due to the need to support her family, is funny and at times thought provoking. Those who lived through the women’s movement in the 70s will remember some of these controversies, although the book takes place from 1962 to the late 60s, before the real movement began. I fervently hope there will be a sequel to this book, as I would love to know how the next decade treats the protagonist. I don’t often give five stars on a review, but this one I did. Highly recommend!!

The Clockmaker’s Daughter by Kate Morton – This is an engrossing historical novel told in multiple timelines with multiple voices across generations. Starting in 1862 with a revelation of a gunshot and secrets kept, the novel skips ahead to 2017 as a young woman finds a satchel belonging to an artist that provokes a memory and a mystery to solve. The story picks up in the 1920s and again in the midst of the second world war in London during the blitz. The characters are all connected in some way, and the unfolding of the history and the slow discovery of the secrets in the present day is just too good to put down. Highly recommend.

We saw Top Gun Maverick this week, and it is just what you would expect, lots of action, older characters and new hot shots with all the swagger of the original. I liked the storyline, the side stories, and was amazed at how the actor chosen to play the son of Goose looked like Anthony Edwards. Another note of interest, Val Kilmer, who played Iceman in the original, has been battling throat cancer in real life and they put that in the story for his character.

In the photo above, there are three squirrels enjoying sandwiches, one on the left on the upper rail, and the other two next to each other on the lower right in the grass. Jack is looking more and more like a Jackie, I think she is either pregnant or getting fat. I took several shots to be sure this was the squirrel with the nip in the left ear. Yep, its the one. She was sitting on the veranda looking in the door with paws folded so cute this week, she got her sandwich.

Oliver doesn’t seem to be getting nearly as chubby. Or is this an Olivia that has already given birth? No way to know.

But this guy seems to be a normal weight. Maybe this is Oliver. I just don’t know.

Joining the current century, this week I gave up my dinosaur status. My Sweet Babboo got me a smartphone and set it up. So, my flip phone that many have teased me about for some time is now history. I have the same number as I have had for many years, but now I can text! It will take a while to get used to this, but I did like that I had my calendar handy this week.

Of course that meant making a case for it. A fat quarter of a pretty Japanese print seemed like a good choice. I cut two pieces, 8×8-1/2 inches, plus a batting piece the same size.

Layer the pieces with the right sides of the fabric together, and the batting on the bottom. Sew all the way around the edge leaving an opening for turning.

Turn right side out, push out the corners and press, making sure the opening is folded inside as it should be. Sew all the way around the edge enclosing the opening.

Fold in half to create a pouch 4 x 8-1/2.

Sew the long side and across one short side, sewing on top of the previous line of stitching.

Voila, simple, and now I have a nice case for my new phone.

The size is great, the phone comes out easily, yet it is just deep enough to keep it inside when it is in my purse. Now, if I can just learn how to use it, LOL!!

This week I had some bad news from my dentist. A loose tooth was developing an infection, and would have to be pulled. Miserable from the tooth extraction, I spent two days sprawled on the sofa watching movies when I was not dozing from the meds. If you have Netflix, see Big Fish. It is a charming movie, much like Forest Gump with a man’s life told as a series of tall tales, as his son tries to figure out what is true about his dying father. If you don’t have Netflix, it is also on Amazon Prime, too – Big Fish. I did get some ice cream out of the deal, and by Friday, I felt a lot better. I’ll be getting back to the Quilt of Valor soon.

What did you accomplish this week? Read any good books lately that are not murder or crime plots? Anything new on Netflix?

26 thoughts on “Book Reviews, Projects and My Dinosaur Status

  1. Thanks for the heads up on the “chemistry” book. I might have passed it up thinking it was more of a text book. I will be getting that one. These newer styles of phones really grow on you very quickly. 😃

  2. Rheanna

    Glad to hear you are feeling better! I remember seeing Big Fish in the theater many moons ago and enjoying it. I recently read The Way We Weren’t. It’s a good beach read. Marcie, a hospitality specialist, on a whim drives away from her life and ends up being found on the beach by Flint. Marcie reminds him of the daughter he lost and Flint begrudgingly allows her to stay in his home as she works out her life. Well written and easy to read, but with well thought out characters.

  3. sheryl harrison

    I loved Big Fish! Secondhand Lions, about 2 elderly uncles raising their young nephew, is a movie Big Fish fans would enjoy. The nephew doesn’t know these uncles when his mother leaves him and like the son in Big Fish, he doesn’t know what stories are true. I love and highly recommend Secondhand Lions. I recently watched it again with my grandkids.

  4. cute card and pictures. Yay for a smart phone.
    You might want to add a tab and a clip of some sort so it can clip onto something in your purse inner edge. I lose my phone in my bag…. anyway, welcome to the texting world.

  5. karenfae

    I’m smiling here at your going from a flip phone to a smart phone – it will take some getting used to for sure – I sometimes miss those old smart phones but I do like texting and messenger on the phone.
    I will check out the books

  6. Sue Hoover

    I loved the movie Lions too. My daughter loved it and so did my parents. The movie was enjoyed through 3 generations!

  7. I’m wondering…How do you feed the sandwiches to the friends? Do they come to you or do you just sit it out somewhere? My Grandad used to feed pecans to the squirrels at the Court House in Canton, Mississippi under the huge magnolia trees before the storm blew them away. One snipped his finger.

    1. I toss the sandwiches to the squirrels as they sit on the sidewalk below the veranda.  I don’t allow them to get one unless they are on the sidewalk.  This keeps them (and their fleas) away from me, and the food only gets given out when they are here.

  8. What a delightful card for your friend. And since reading is a good deal of what I do due to health issues, thank you for the book recommendations. Squirrels are one of my favorites. Always look forward to seeing Oliver and Jack/Jackie having their sandwiches. I am still in the dinosaur days with my flip phone. Have enough trouble dealing with computer so scared of changing to a “smart” phone. Plus my husband still has a flip phone too. Keep us posted on your progress. Pleased your recovery went well with your tooth extraction. Wishing you and your Sweet Babboo a great week.

  9. Julie

    My DH still has a flip phone. It’s too Star Trek for him to part with it! Sorry about your tooth. Hope you’re feeling better soon.

  10. What a sweet card for your friend! That will be a keepsake for her, I’m sure. I just put the Chemistry book on my holds list at the library. I definitely enjoyed The Clockmaker’s Daughter – anything by Kate Morton, really! I’ve been reading Nine Women, One Dress for tomorrow’s book club discussion, and like it a lot. It’s kind of a different storyline – 9 different women, all sort of connected by this one “little black dress” that is THE dress of the year. It’s turned out to be a fun read – I’ll be interested to see what my group thinks of it. You’ll enjoy that new phone, once you learn what it can do!

  11. lois92346

    Thank you for taking the time and effort to write this blog in spite of being under the weather. I always enjoy your book recommendations and photos of your squirrel family. I wonder if we’ll get a glimpse of tiny little ones in the grass with their mama? I LOVE the fabric you chose for the phone case. It’s lovely! Your idea for the case would work well for my Amazon Fire tablet. Wishing you a speedy and complete recovery.

  12. Jean McKinstry

    Smart phones, so handy, we wonder what life was like without them. Lovely case, and the family having their sandwiches, Makes me think of Paddington and his afternoon tea with the Queen .,

  13. Evie H

    Glad you’re feeling better. Dentist visits are never fun! I, too, just got a smart phone (not by choice) and truly miss my flip phone. I have yet to really “use” that smartie, but I know I will eventually, if only because of necessity. Thanks for all the goodies you impart.

  14. Melanie

    So sorry about your tooth! My sister is going through the same ordeal. I laughed at your giving up the dinosaur flip phone. I traded mine in for, guest what? a new flip phone! I really am not into texting but understand the other positive features, like the ease of taking a picture and storing it. Maybe next year I’ll give up the dinosaur, but I’m not ready yet. I may be the last of the hanger-oners! LOL Enjoyed your book reviews and the movie reviews. Glad you’re doing well!!

  15. Sandra B

    I, too, used my old flip phone, and would still be using it, but it stopped making any noise when I got a call, so if I wasn’t looking at the phone when it rang, I wouldn’t know a call came in. So, I switched to an iPhone back in December. I didn’t get a new one, but took my husband’s old one. He had kept it when he got the latest version for his birthday in November. Anyway, I still miss the old flip phone, but do have to admit some of the features on the iPhone are wearing on me!
    Always love seeing the squirrel pictures…so cute!!

  16. Nancy L. Wells

    Thanks for the phone case info. I, too, am in the same place of a first “smart” type phone and agree with the sentiments above and yours, Carole, about learning it — didn`t even get that experienced with the flip phone I had. (I chose it initially as an extra for when away from home and might need a phone) — I still have a landline — the main use — I don`t change easily with the times in some ways, mostly because of the costs of new products usually unless a real need. Am not a heavy phone user anyway, but am intrigued with what is available with a smart phone — a bit challenging, however. My new phone was a free promotion offer with Comcast when I was trying to lower my bundle costs. Had to let go of some channels, which was a consideration, but I am adjusting and am not a heavy T.V. watcher, anyway. I have been a long time listener to good talk radio, which has great variety of listening/learning about many things — input from listeners and good guests on all subjects and wide programming options on the dial. The program hosts are interesting and nice folks for the most part, too. One can be doing other things with radio listening, so I like that – (when one lives alone.) I do follow several things of interest online (computer), as well, which takes more visual attention sometimes, but can listen to things there, too. A break from all of it is good, too — lately a good change for me. I listen to music or just have some quiet in the mix. Hoping to do more sewing again, as I have been too removed from all that too long. Always enjoy your emails over quite a span of time now since I came across them — forget how, now. So, thank you for your variety of sharings. I like them all. Nancy

  17. I wasn’t going to go to Top Gun but then I found out that Jon Hamm is in it. JH in a uniform is something that I probably can’t pass up!

  18. Those books sounds really good, I’ll be looking for them at the library. Sorry about the rough week with the tooth, glad to hear you are feeling better!

  19. Donna Hindle

    Our kids were always teasing us about our flip phone also. It is a trac phone that we got because our grandkids insisted we needed one in case of emergency. Have had it for several years and accumulated massive minutes because we never needed to use it. Our son decided we needed a newer model that would be easier to use. Haha! Can’t figure it out and the darn thing rings all day long, numbers unknown to us. But, we have over 7000 minutes that we can use. Yippy!!

    1. SusieJacuzzi

      I’m still a dinosaur and proud of it!! I have a tracfone for emergencies and a landline and that’s all I need! I do not want to be glued to my phone all day, I’m trying to get away from ringing phones. The only thing that may make me get a smart phone is all my friends who are annoyed they can’t text me.

  20. I love Big Fish! I’m just sorry you had to see it in less than peak condition! I just came out of the stone age with my phone when Rick gave me a smart phone last August for my birthday. I don’t have a case for it — I should. So far I haven’t dropped it. Do you have an etsy site where you sell those? And thanks for the book recommendations. I just published my book post for May this afternoon. All good. (Loving the squirrels and very impressed you can tell them apart!)

  21. Susie Paradis

    I’m happy to find I’m in good company here, I’m a dinosaur, too! Still have a tracfone and a landline, and landlines are soooo much more reliable, especially in rural Maine without much coverage. What irritates me are all the people Assuming that of course I have a smart phone and I text, and I take pictures with it. It’s such a disconnect when people say, “That’s a good picture, what kind of phone do you have?” Huh? This is a weird world…

  22. I read The Clockmaker’s Daughter a few months ago and enjoyed it. Currently reading The Chocolate Tin by the same author. Not far enough in to pass judgement – ask me next week 😁😁

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