Friday, July 31, 2009

Wicker Tray




Some items evoke such nostalgia and this wicker tray, is one of them. Just instantly loved it. The lady at the Thrift saw me pick it up and said, "Oh! I just put that out, I'm so glad you found it, it's lovely isn't it?" and I had to agree.

So here is my afternoon tea and apple cake, with a mis-match of china.

Have a great weekend.

Bye, Christy

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Spy Game, by Georgina Harding


On a foggy cold morning in 1961, Anna's mother drives off in the family car and that is the last she sees of her. The siblings, her older brother Peter and her are told that she died in a car accident. The same morning a spy case breaks, the case of the Krogers. Who seem to be ordinary people, living in suburbia, but this is at the height of the Cold War, and the Krogers are spying for Russia.

Peter becomes obsessed with spies and codes; their mother was from the eastern part of Germany, what if she was not who she seemed to be? She was a refugee, what if she were a sleeper or even an active spy too?

Peter weaves fact and fantasy, their childhood circles around this. But as adults, what do they now believe. Can Anna find out the truth of her mother's family history and place of birth? Does it have anything to do with Russian spies, or is there just as much another mystery to be uncovered.

I related to their childhood in the sixties, with all the period detail.

This is the first book I have read by Georgina Harding and I liked her style of writing a lot. So I will definitely seek out her other books.

  • Tranquebar: A Season in South India
  • In Another Europe
  • The Solitude of Thomas Cave
Christy

Monday, July 27, 2009

Sunday Brunch and Waffle Recipes





Last week was a hectic week with me working a forty hour week. I can't remember the last time I did that, as I work part-time. But because of various circumstances at work, and getting an important bid completed, needs must.

So I thought it would be just so nice to have Sunday Brunch outside together. Even Tinkerbell was there looking for a bacon morsel.

I have made these waffles numerous times and like the recipe. Here it is -

  • Basic Waffles
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp of baking powder
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  1. Separate egg
  2. Combine flour, baking powder, sugar and salt
  3. Beat together egg yolk, milk and vanilla
  4. Stir milk mixture and melted butter into flour mixture, until dry ingredients are well moistened. batter may be slightly lumpy
  5. Beat egg white until it holds stiff peaks, gently fold into the batter
  6. Pour batter into waffle iron, about 1/2 cup for two 4" waffles
  7. Bake the waffles until they are crisp and browned
  8. Serve immediately
I usually double the recipe and any waffles I have left over I keep for another day and toast them, I think they're great toasted with butter and jam.

  • Vary the basic recipe to create waffles for any occasion
  • Cornmeal - Reduce flour to 3/4 cup and add 1/4 cup cornmeal. Reduce sugar to 1 tsp and substitute 1 Tbsp oil for the butter
  • Oat Cheddar - Add 1/4 cup rolled oats and 3/4 cup grated cheddar cheese. Reduce sugar to 1 tsp and add 2 Tbsp milk. substitute 1 Tbs oil for the butter. This recipe makes 6 waffles
  • Onion - Chop a small onion. Heat 2 Tbsp oil in a frying pan, add onion and cook until soft about 2 minutes. Add 2 Tbsp chopped parsley and 1/8 tsp salt. Let cool. Add to ingredients with milk mixture. Reduce sugar to 1 tsp and omit butter.
  • Apple Spice - Add 1/2 tsp cinnamon and 1/8 tsp nutmeg. Peel core and chop an apple and add with the milk mixture
  • Banana - Add 1/4 tsp nutmeg. Slice 2 bananas and add with milk mixture
  • Cinnamon Pecan - Add 1/2 tsp cinnamon and 1/4 cup chopped pecan pieces
  • Lemon - Grate 1 tsp of the yellow zest from a lemon and stir into the milk mixture
  1. Onion waffles with tomatoes and melted cheese
  2. Ham slices over cornmeal waffles served with sauteed peppers
  3. Top oat cheddar waffles with your favourite chili
  4. Ice cream and chocolate sauce over banana waffles
  5. Cinnamon pecan waffles with apple sauce and whipped cream
  6. Sauteed pears and maple syrup and nutmeg over lemon waffles
Just a few ideas, to make a waffle into a dessert or meal

Christy


The Journal of Helene Berr


Helene Berr kept a journal from April 1942 to February 1944. She is a recent graduate of the Sorbonne, with a love for English literature and plays the violin, she calls her 'selfish magic'; which helps her to escape the everyday oppressiveness of living under a Nazi Vichy government.

The time covered is the same as Anne Frank's Diary. But while Anne was hiding in rooms in Amsterdam, Helene was a student at the Sorbonne, however their fate was the same eventual incarceration at Bergen-Belsen, both being there at the same time and dying in 1945, only weeks before liberation.

Her father is a director of a chemical company and a decorated WWI veteran., her background is one of privilege. Will their fate be the same as poor Jewish refugees?

She writes of everyday things, friendships and loves, the ups and downs of youth. She thinks she loves Gerard, until she meets Jean Morawiecki, a fellow student.

Early on the petty anti-Semitic laws are upsetting and bothersome, but as time goes by the signs become more and more clear that this is a noose, becoming tighter and tighter.

She writes in reference to the wearing of the star. A friend Vivi Lafon says '"I can't stand seeing people with that on." I realize that: it offends other people. But if only they knew what a crucifixion it is for me. I suffered there, in the sunlit Sorbonne courtyard, among my comrades. I suddenly felt I was no longer myself, that everything had changed, that I had become a foreigner, as if I were in the grip of a nightmare. I could see familiar faces all around me, but I could feel their awkwardness and bafflement. It was as if my forehead had been seared with a branding iron.'

She writes of inertia and even covert duplicity of French Catholics around her. 'And she was right Catholics no longer have the freedom to follow their conscience, they do what their priests tell them to do. And the latter are weak cowardly and often unintelligent. If there had been a mass uprising of Christians against these persecutions, would it not have won the day? I am sure it would have. But the Christians would have had to protest against the war in the first place, and they weren't able to do that. Is the Pope worthy of God's mandate on earth if he is an impotent bystander to the most flagrant violations of Christ's laws?

Do Catholics deserve the name of Christians when, if they applied Christ's teaching, religious difference, or even racial difference would not exist?'

She often quotes from Keats, reads Winnie-the-Pooh and recites Rudyard Kipling's 'Rikki, Tikki, Tavi.'

Helene was indeed a gifted writer. This book, I have read, has been immensely popular in Europe, and I think, stands on par with 'The Diary of Anne Frank.'

Christy

Friday, July 24, 2009

What a Great Idea and a Giveaway


I have a friend who is always collecting bits and pieces to entertain. Usually thrift shops and puts all this together and comes up with a beautiful gathering.

I thought this idea was so creative. Gathering together old candlesticks, and painting them white for a wedding reception. See The Gahan Girls


Also there is a wonderful give away.



Christy

Skye, by Alexander Nicolson


Skye is a magical island both for visitors and even more so for those who are born there and have to move away. Alexander Nicolson (who produced a revised version of the Gaelic Bible and a collection of Gaelic proverbs in the latter half of the 19th Century, while also earning his living as a Sheriff in Glasgow) captures some of that in this poem.


Skye

My heart is yearning to thee, O Skye!
Dearest of Islands!
There first the sunshine gladdened my eye,
On the sea sparkling;
There doth the dust of my dear ones lie,
In the old graveyard.
Bright are the golden green fields to me,
Here in the Lowlands;
Sweet sings the mavis in the thorn-tree,
Snowy with fragrance:
But oh for a breath of the great North Sea,
Girdling the mountains!
Good is the smell of the brine that laves
Black rock and skerry,
Where the great palm-leaved tangle waves
Down in the green depths,
And round the craggy bluff pierced with caves
Sea-gulls are screaming.
When the sun sinks below Humish Head,
Crowning in glory,
As he goes down to his ocean bed
Studded with islands,
Flushing the Coolin with royal red,
Would I were sailing!
Many a hearth round that friendly shore
Giveth warm welcome;
Charms still are there, as in days of yore,
More than of mountains;
But hearths and faces are seen no more
Once of the brightest.
Many a poor black cottage is there,
Grimy with peat smoke,
Sending up in the soft evening air
Purest blue incense,
While the low music of psalm and prayer
Rises to Heaven.
Kind were the voices I used to hear
Round such a fireside,
Speaking the mother tongue old and dear,
Making the heart beat
With sudden tales of wonder and fear,
Or plaintive singing.
Great were the marvellous stories told
Of Ossian's heroes,
Giants, and witches, and young men bold,
Seeking adventures,
Winning kings' daughters and guarded gold,
Only with valour.
Reared in those dwellings have brave ones been;
Brave ones are still there;
Forth from their darkness on Sunday I've seen
Coming pure linen,
And like the linen the souls were clean
Of them that wore it.
See that thou kindly use them, O man!
To whom God giveth
Stewardship over them, in thy short span
Not for thy pleasure;
Woe be to them who choose for a clan
Four-footed people!
Blessings be with ye, both now and aye
Dear human creatures!
Yours is the love that no gold can buy!
Nor time wither
Peace be to thee and thy children, O Skye!
Dearest of islands.
Meaning of unusual words:
mavis=song thrush
skerry=an isolated rock, covered at high tide
aye=always

Little Boy Lost, by Marghanita Laski


-->

I finished this book well over a week ago, so If I don't write a review of this book soon I will loose the flavour of it.

The style of writing is excellent, and one wants to read on, her word pictures are beautiful.

Hilary Wainwright is a poet and intellectual. He was married to a French girl, Lisa. They have a baby boy, who he sees one time before leaving for England in 1940, WWII. She dies during the war and now after the war he comes back to look for his son.

The questions asked are. Will he be able to find his son? How will he know it is his son? And does he even want his son? These questions are the basis of the story, and turn the ending into a cliff hanger.

Haunting pictures of post war France are drawn, people are coming to grips with their involvement during Nazi occupation.
What was Hilary Wainwright doing during the war? And his ambiguous relationship with his mother.

Why did he take so long in coming back to France to look for his son?

Hilary's relationship with Pierre, the Frenchman who found this child and takes him on an unfolding journey to look for his son.
Some quotes from the book.

The residence of Madame Quilleboeuf.

"'What an extraordinary place,' said Hilary, standing in the entrance and staring at the grass growing between the cobblestones. 'This isn't Paris - it's some shabby village away from all the routes natioanales.' He added with a kind of delight, 'It's a splendidly romantic place to begin a search from."
"But at the sight of Pierre her great hooked nose and nutcracker chin came together in a wide smile and in a hoarse voice she said, 'So you have come back with your friend, monsieur. Enter!' "

Hilary's description of Monsieur Mercatel. "He looks like an Englishman, was Hilary's first thought, but he did not. He might have been a native of any country, this small thin grey-haired gentleman, kindly mouth, mild blue eyes, the cultured European of true goodness, but of no importance what so ever."

The following quote so sums up Hilary and his relationship with Pierre and what type of men they both are.

"And this led him to think about Pierre who had said that under the Occupation people had done what they must, and that what this was had been settled long before. He thought, Pierre is a better man than I. He has the liberal virtues that I profess and personally lack. I am an intolerant perfectionist; Pierre refrains from judging anyone but himself. And yet I am a liberal intellectual, and Pierre is devoting himself to the furtherance of illiberal perfection. But Pierre can be tolerant of me, but I can't be tolerant of him."

The mother superior talking to Hilary at the orphanage.

"She smiled, 'Ah, you feel it too,' she said, 'and I wonder whether you share the other rather strange feeling I had about this boy - that here was a child that would give one great happiness to help?' She peered intently at him, shading her eyes with a frail yellow hand on which the mauve veins stood out in swollen relief. But Hilary's face showed none of the sudden comprehension and hope he felt at her words, and she let her hand fall into her lap and added gently, 'And have you any idea whether he is your son, Mr. Wainwright?'"

"Monsieur Mercatel said. 'I have been wanting to tell you, monsieur, speaking as his schoolmaster, what I think of the boy. Whether he is your son or not, of course I cannot say. What I can say, is that he is certainly the son of someone like you.'"

"Hilary said vehemently, 'I couldn't bear to take the wrong child and then perhaps find my own later on.'

'But you will not.' said the nun, 'that is as nearly certain as anything can be. If this child is not yours, then you will never find your son.'"

"'Why? asked Hilary sharply, 'Why are you so anxious that I should take him?' She looked at him steadily for a moment and then said, 'There are many reasons. One is that I am deeply sorry for you. You seem to me to be lost and in need of comfort. I would not wish to withhold that comfort from you.'"

Hilary thinking while with the woman who he picked up.

"The chatter flared around him while he thought of the queer change Parisian women undergo between the delicate faun-like beauty of their youth and the predatory brassiness of their middle age and how seldom it was that one saw, as he could see in Nelly, the brief stage of transition between the two."

"Hilary said nothing. He stood there watching the child, feeling only hate for the creature who had put him in this predicament, through whose intervention he had made a fool of himself. The little coward, he was saying, the little coward."

"You see, Pleaded Hilary, I am incapable of giving. I dare not give and so I'm running away. I've finished with ordeals. I am fleeing to the anaesthesia of immediate comfort and absolute non-obligation."

I had two more quotes but I think that will give away the ending. The beauty of the well written word shines through.

Did I totally understand Hilary? No, as a mother I found him very hard to connect with. Academically I understood where he was coming from, but it did not endear him to me.

Did I enjoy reading the book and would I recommend it? Yes, absolutely.
Christy

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Spinach Ricotta Pie

This is my new food processor. I've always wanted one, so managed to find one on clearance.
I wanted to try making pastry in it. As for some reason I don't like making pastry. I saw the recipe Little Jenny Wren had for Spinach Pie and pretty much followed that.

This is the outcome, not bad, except for that little mouse got there before us again.
I did have a little mishap though, cut my finger pretty badly on those blades. I had sense enough to unplug it, but while I was getting the dough out, I just caught my finger. I won't do that again.
Christy

Skuyo and Eilean a' Cheo

The Vikings who came more than a thousand years ago, called it Skuyo, Island of Cloud.
Gaelic Poets names it Eilean a' Cheo, the Island of the Mist
I too hope to take some great photos
Christy

Greenbanks, by Dorothy Whipple


As you can see I'm on a run with Dorothy Whipple. Now I'm wondering whether I should save a couple of books to take on holiday, because I know she is always a good read. Greenbanks, the name of the house, starts in 1908, the copy write of the book I read was 1932. And concludes no later than the mid 1920's.

It is set in the town of Elton in the Midlands. This is the story of the Ashton family, Robert and Louisa, the parents in their forties, and their children. Rose and Thomas , who are both married, and do not feature much in the story. Letty is married to Ambrose Harding, they have Dick, a set of twin boys and Rachel, who live close by. Laura who lives at home and is dating and Jim and Charles who live at home, all are young adults.

Robert has aged well and has always been a philanderer. Louise knowing this, but keeping the peace and family together. Loise is the central character around which all the others orbit. Suddenly a big change comes when Robert and his lady friend are thrown out of a trap and he is killed. Ambrose takes over looking after Louise investments, Jim and Thomas decide that Jim will take over and run the family business, a wood yard and Charles, who all the brothers feel is a waster, but is most beloved of Louise, has been persuaded to try his chances in South Africa.

Jim who is very much influenced by his fiance, eventually leaves home and marries her, much to his mother's relief, he always found fault with everything. At this time with the loss of Charles, Louisa decides to ask a lady Kate Barlow to come and live with her. Kate was befriended by Louise many years ago when she was just coming out, unfortunately she fell in love with Philip Symonds a married man and become pregnant with a boy, who she gave up for adoption. Kate left town and has been living as a companion, so Louise decides that maybe she can show her kindness by inviting Kate to live with her. Kate proves to be a prickly, frozen individual, so it does not turn out as Louise would have wished.

Laura has been dating Cecil Bradfield and taking little Rachel along as a chaperon, it seems they are quite in love. Laura though who has always been prone to be selfish and prideful, has a tiff with Cyril; which leads to a separation, that is not repaired. So in a silly mood of pettishness she decides to visit her sister Rose down south and meets George, a rather over weight but rich man and she marries him. Letty visits with Laura and basks in all the things money can buy as Ambrose is a penny pincher.

In reference to being married Laura says to Letty, "Oh, Letty said Laura, wiping her eyes. "You've got it boiled down to that, have you?" Letty still looked blank. "What's the matter?" she said. "Nothing .....nothing! Have some more keep - I mean cake. Let's plaster our souls with chocolate cake, darling. It will perhaps hold them together as well as anything else ..."

Rachel is a comfort to her grandmother, and is growing up..Ambrose feels that "He looked forward with pleasure to forming Rachel according to his influence."

Letty visits her aunt Alice regularly, hoping that some day she will inherit, and have some money of her own. "It's not really me, having the children and living with Ambrose,' she would think in bewilderment. 'This isn't my life really; it will all be different soon. I shall begin to live as I want to soon."

Charles who although set up quite well by his family money wise, decides to come back from South Africa, as he has a billiard room invention he wants to work on. His mother hears him playing the piano as she walks up the street home, she knows it's Charles and is delighted. The Invention does not pan out and his brothers ever glad to get rid of him find a job in the Far East for him. He isn't there too long when WWI breaks out and he comes home again, only to join up, the others being far to busy making money off the war to join up.

War brings changes in Elton. "The spoon of war stirred the contents of the provincial pan very thoroughly and Mrs. Spence called at Greenbanks one Saturday afternoon to ask Kate Barlow to join the Bandage Class." Ambrose with his solid good looks and southern diction, that fell pleasantly on Lancashire ears, helps in a figurehead position with the War Relief , Soldiers' and Sailors' Families Association. "I don't care what you do it for,' said the woman. 'But I'd like to know what yer mean by being late with my money, 'And it over. I'm waiting to go out.' 'Savages.' muttered Ambrose .... I love this comparison.

By the gate, under the laurel bushes there were snowdrops like little congregations of White Nuns at prayer....' It is March and news is received at Greenbanks that Charles has been killed in action. Laura comes home for the funeral, bumps into Cecil on leave and all is reconciled between them, leaving George out in the cold. Laura in her usual way leaves it to her mother to break the news to George. As she takes off with Cecil to seize happiness. He goes back to the front and she becomes a nurse and gets assigned to France.

Time moves on, the war ends. Cecil and Laura move to Kenya to live. 'But in spite of the fact that she did not come home, it got about that she had gone away with Cecil Bradfield. There was not the sensation in Elton that there would once have been. The war had blown most peoples ideas sky-high, and the pieces had not yet come down. When they did come down they would never fit together again as they had before the war.'

Rachel is now seventeen. She has passed all her exams with flying colours and has been offered a scholarship to Oxford. Her father will not think of letting her go, to be a blue stocking. It's interesting he says that as
Vera Britain http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Testament_of_Youth in her autobiography writes that her father said the same thing. Girls of that time were just not expected to go to college, just marry well. Rachel does not hold back in telling her father a few home truths, about how he has always spoiled everything through out their lives and that is why all the boys left, Dick to work with his uncle in the engineering firm and the twins to South Africa.


Dorothy Whipple writes, 'Children make parents as wretched as parents make children; but children do not really believe that. They can't understand how it is that those whom they take for tyrants can be hurt by the victims of the tyranny.'

Rachel mopes around for a year and even her father has to admit, that maybe he made the wrong choice, and allows her to attend Liverpool University three days a week. Laura writes, can her mother intercede with George as she is expecting a baby and she must have a divorce.

Again Laura leaves it to others to sort things out for her. Letty and Louise go to visit George and this time he is only to happy to comply, maybe he'll be landed with a wife and baby this would upset him and his finances.

Who turns up one day at Greenbanks, John Barlow, Kate's son and guess who he falls in love with? Letty's aunt dies, will she stay with Ambrose?

Well of course I have sketched out the bare bones and one must read the book to feel the ambiance of Dorothy Whipple's writing. Now should I move on to the Lockwood's or take it back to the library and save it for another time.

Christy


Saturday, July 18, 2009

"The Strangest Place in the British Isles", H. V. Morton


Drove a bullnose Morris around Scotland.

Isle of Skye


Why did Morton want to see Skye more than anywhere else?

Morton believed Skye “the strangest place in the British Isles”. Some of that aura’s inevitably gone now it’s connected to the mainland by a bridge, but not the breathtaking views Morton described.

Isle of Skye




Looking for the perfect vista on which to end his journey, Morton wasn’t disappointed by the views from the top of the Cuillins. “The grandest and gloomiest view in all Britain” is equally majestic to all today, who understand how ‘gloominess’ was an essential element of Morton’s perfect landscape, evoking as it did remoteness and wildness.

I last visited the Isle of Skye over forty years ago, and remember it as a remote and wild place, with a landscape that evoked history. Dunvegan castle and Bonnie Prince Charlie.

We were camping with our caravan, and stayed at a campground that overlooked Portree, I wonder if it is still there? We took the ferry across from Kyle of Localsh to Kyleakin. I remember we had good weather, except for the drive through the Cuillins when it was overcast, and it's true the gloom was great.

Let's hope we have great weather for our trip.

Christy


Friday, July 17, 2009

An Innocent in Scotland. More Curious Rambles and Singular Encounters, by David W. McFadden


I am enjoying reading this book. David McFadden's style of writing is personable. He wants to visit his ancestral home and follow in the steps of H. V. Morton's route around the country. McFadden is absorbed by the landscape and especially the people.

He is a great listener and engages you in his time spent in B&B's, pubs and just where he meets people and has a chat. People tell him all sorts of things from what's happening today in Scotland, the past, land clearance by the Lairds, to the travel of Scots to far flung places of the globe. His erratic travels follow Morton's journey in the 1920's.

The cover says it's a good fireside read. It's a little warm right now for a fire, but on a thundery, rainy afternoon, it makes for a good read.

Christy

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Gallison New York


I was in a store looking through the cards and journals, when I ran across this Travel Journal, put out by Gallison, New York. I debated for a while, whether to get it or not, as I could always use a plain journal, but I rather fell in love with it. The layouts the quotes and tips on travel.

I took a look at the Gallison website and it is worth a visit for the lovely images and all that beautiful stationery.

So this is my travel journal for my trip to The Isle of Skye.

I just love stationery, pens and papers. Always have right from when I was little.

Christy

A Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides, 1773


James Boswell and Samuel Johnson Tour Scotland

We had tedious driving this afternoon ad were somewhat drowsy. Last night I was afraid Dr. Johnson was beginning to faint in his resolution, for he said, "If we must ride much, we shall not go; and there's an end on't. To-day, when he talked of Sky with spirit, I said "Why, sir, you seemed to me to despond yesterday. you are a delicate Londoner; you are a maccaroni; you can't ride." JOHNSON. "Sir, I shall ride better than you. I was only afraid I should not find a horse able to carry m." I hoped then there would be no fear of getting through our wild tour.

James Boswell, Ninth Laird of Achinleck (1740-1795). Scottish lawyer and diarist.

Christy

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Lil Bit Brit Lit, a Literary Log Blog


I decided to collect together all the book reviews I have done on my blog. I guess it started with the Shelfari being blocked and wanting to keep a record of what I've read and enjoyed and just make it handy to view.

So this collection will be a literary log blog, Lil Bit Brit Lit. I'm enjoying going back and seeing what I reviewed.

Christy

Monday, July 13, 2009

Starburst on my Laptop


I booted up my laptop and yes there was a galaxy of stars right on the screen. Oh dear! What's happened now. Something is definitely wrong. I ask my boy and he says "Yes dad and I noticed it yesterday". "I guess you didn't want to tell me". "Yes we were all in on it even L. that's his friend."

Well mum's the last to know and it's my computer. On my last laptop the screen just went black, cut out for several years and then came back for a month and hasn't been back since. You have to connect it to a regular computer screen to work with it. At least this is not right in the middle. But how long will it continue like this, or get worse.

Christy.




Sunday, July 12, 2009

A Weekend in the Pennsylvania Countryside

It's always fun to go away for the weekend, and visiting my friend A. means a trip to the countryside. Hubby couldn't come, so it was just Rob and I. We left about 8:30 pm as I had to work that day, come home get things together, you know how that goes.

I always think of Pennsylvania as a State with a big city at either end,Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, east and west and not too much at all in the middle, except Harrisburg the capital, but that's not so large. Some mountainous areas, lots of trees, therefore the name Penn sylvania; which means woods. My preference is for the rolling vista of countryside farms as you see below. Lots of old towns, very time warped, some more picturesque, some more run down.

Pennsylvania was where they first found oil in the States, it didn't last for too long, but the coal mining is still here. A lot of coal is still mined in the state, but with modern methods not so many people are employed in mining. The other big industry was steel. Andrew Carnegie and Pittsburgh Steel, but of course that's pretty much come to an end.

It started off with farming and there are still many lovely farms, especially with the Amish, that have kept it a tradition.


Typical older Pennsylvania country town.


Views of the Pennsylvania countryside and farms.




This boat looked so funny against the skyline, like it was going to launch off down the field.


Man made lake.


Chez M.


This is the guest room at my friends, which I call Chez M. With my own private door to the garden.





My bedside reading while away, with a mug of tea.

As you can see I'm doing a little reading for my trip to Scotland and the Isle of Skye.



My suitcase and carpet bag. The carpet bag and little snap case, I bought in Bury St. Edmunds many years ago. The suitcase I found in the thrift about a year ago. As you can see my carpet bag and accessory case faded. I don't know why, it wasn't kept in the sun. It was the colour of the suitcase.


Christy

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Shelfari Blocked

Last year we caught a virus in the computer; which took hours and weeks of work to set straight. So we invested in a spy software programme to watch for this.

It seems that it is blocking out my Shelfari widget. It says that ones are using Shelfari widgets to steal credit card numbers and passwords.

So no more Shelfari. I was using Amazon, but does not work with programmes I'm running on my Blog. What other book shelf type widgets are out there for Blogs, suggestions?

Christy

Crochet Bag


My sister BB crocheted this lovely bag for me, which I received at the end of last summer. I love it. For my use I decided it needed a little more form. A frame and lining, so this is what I did.


First I fell in love with this Japanese style crane brocade for the lining.




This is the bag flap lined.


This is the frame I made.


Lined the frame with a soft batting, stitched around the top.



Then lined that with the brocade lining, sewing on an inner pocket.


I'm please with the finished bag, and think I did my sister's lovely crochet bag justice.

Christy


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