Monday, September 30, 2013

A Dirty Life

A Dirty Life by Kristin Kimball is based on the first year the author spent living on a farm and becoming a farmer.  Kimball didn't grow up on a farm, or live on a farm, until she met Mark, a farmer.  She was living in New York City working as a writer.  He was farming on someone else's land.  Together they found a place to start their lives together, as farmers.  The first year had a steep learning curve for Kimball-she learned how to milk a cow by hand and how to work with a team of horses.  If you grew up on a farm or live on a farm, you will relate to some of the things Kimball learned the hard way (by experience).  If you don't have a lot of familiarity with farming, the story will make you appreciate more fully the resourcefulness and work ethic a farmer possesses.  Though this story is nonfiction, in some ways it reads like a wonder how Kimball will come to grips with the reality of her newly chosen profession.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

free things

It is always nice to learn about free things, and here are a few worth sharing with others.
  1. the website Duolingo-I read about this website on Susan Meissner's blog last spring.  Duolingo is devoted to helping people learn another language.  When you sign up, you can choose a language (Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, Italian, or English) you want to learn.  It starts very basic and you have to achieve a certain competency to move on in the practice.  I am using it to refresh (and hopefully improve) my Spanish skills.  When I finish all the levels, maybe it will be to time to work on learning some French. 
  2. Smithsonian Museum Day Live- I heard about this from my sister several years ago and have yet to take advantage of it, maybe because it is during the first month of school.  Next Saturday, September 28, you can get free admission for two to a variety of different museums around the country.  If you visit the website(click on the link above) you can type in your zip code or select a state to find out which museums are participating, choose a museum, and then get your free tickets.
  3. Imagination Library-This is a program available to children under the age of five who live in a variety of places around the USA, UK, Australia, or Canada.  Dolly Parton started the program in 1996 and it has expanded now to four countries.  It provides free books on a monthly basis for children until they reach the age of five.  If you go to the website, you can see if the program is available in your area. 
What are some of your favorite free things?     

Friday, September 20, 2013


This is my latest finished quilt project-one that I have already given away.  My original plan was to make it all pinwheels, but it felt too busy.  After consulting with my sister, I made a simpler block to put between the pinwheels.  It is nice to have someone to get advice from, and the result was satisfying.  

Thursday, September 5, 2013

The Tattered Quilt

The Tattered Quilt by Wanda E. Brunstetter is the latest novel I read.  It tells the story of Emma Yoder Miller teaching another group of students to quilt.  It takes place about a year and a half after the first book,  The Half-Stitched Amish Quilting Club.   Emma ends up with another diverse group students in this class, most with connections to the characters from her first story.  The characters in the story learn much about quilting, but also learn lessons from Emma, Lamar, and each other as the story progresses.  If you like stories with surprises, or stories about the Amish or quilting, look for this book.