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  1. Title: The Ask and the Answer

Author: Patrick Ness

Publisher: Walker Childrens Hardbacks

Published: May 4, 2009

Number of Pages: 519

From: Johnson County Library

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

POSSIBLE SPOILERS

Isn’t much I can say about this except it wasn’t has good as “The Knife of Never Letting Go”; there just wasn’t the driving force behind the characters like with the first one. I had to really force myself to read this and in the end was left a little unsatisfied. The rating of four stars is being rather generous to be quite frank but I gave it such because it did continue on the tale in a manner congruent to the first story.


2 and 3) Title: Syren (Septimus Heap #5)/ Darke (Septimus Heap #6)

Author: Angie Sage

Publisher: HarperCollins

Published: 2009/ 2011

Number of Pages: 628/641

From: Audible

Rating: 4/5 – 4/5

POSSIBLE SPOILERS

I am writing the review for Syren and Darke together because they are part of the Septimus Heap series. I have enjoyed every bit of the journey following Septimus, Jenna, Beetle and the rest of the gang on their adventures throughout the first four books and these two did not disappoint. Sage once again masterfully takes us from character to character while telling the story. Syren finds us stranded on an island and we go through many of an adventure to reach the end and the truth. Darke takes place during the time Septimus is to do his Darke Magic training and many misadventures happen to our characters. This includes a journey to retrieve Alter who has been accidently banished from the castle. Darke was good but seemed a little plodding in points.

It is rumored that this series is to be a seven book one which would make sense since seven is such an important part Sage’s world. I am looking forward to see how she wraps it all up. Wonder when the release date is?

4) Title: Throne of Fire (Kane Chronicles #2)

Author: Rick Riordan

Publisher: Hyperion Books for Children

Published: 2011

Number of Pages: 452

From: Johnson County Library

Rating: 3/5

POSSIBLE SPOILERS

I really like these books but they just don’t hold up quite as well in my opinion to the ones based on Greek and Roman mythology. Riordan of course masterfully makes you believe that such could still exist in this world but for some reason I am having a harder time accepted the concept of Egyptian mythology co-existing for some reason. The journey he takes us on is nothing short of fast ride with something always around the corner. Looking forward to the third book of this series because no matter what I just can’t seem to get enough of Rick Riordan.

5) Title: Consigned to Death (Antiques Mystery #1)

Author: Jane Cleland

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Published: 2006

Number of Pages: 288

From: Johnson County Library

Rating: 4/5

POSSIBLE SPOILERS

Cleland knows her stuff about antiques it certainly seems. I like the characters and the mystery kept me guessing. The only thing I can say that will help Cleland write better is not to be so heavy handed and in your face with her red herrings. When I do my quick review of Deadly Appraisal, I will go into this a little better. Overall I really enjoyed it, enough so to want to continue on and follow the stories throughout the rest of the series.

6) Title: Hula Done it? (Passport to Peril #4)

Author: Maddy Hunter

Publisher: Pocket

Published: 2005

Number of Pages: 336

From: Johnson County Library

Rating: 4/5

POSSIBLE SPOILERS

I needed a mystery book that took place in Hawaii for this 50+1 challenge I am doing and so in walked this one. It wasn’t a bad book but it wasn’t that great either. That being said I was taken completely out of left field when I discovered what the truth behind the mystery was. I am sure it was planted somewhere in the back of my mind but so did not see it coming. This is unusual for me when it comes to cozy novels like these; I normally have it figured out from the very beginning. Hunter’s writing did capture my attention enough to want to explore some of the other novels in this series.

7) Title: Long Quiche Goodbye (Cheese Shop Mystery #1)

Author: Avery Aames

Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime

Published: 2010

Number of Pages: 309

From: Johnson County Library

Rating: 3/5

POSSIBLE SPOILERS

If ever a book out there is going to make you crave cheese than this is it. The mystery was second rate and not atypical for a novel of this sort. Aame’s world of the cheese shop seemed like I could walk right in and call it my home. I will definitely want to be spending more time here when I am looking for something to make me hungry.

8) Title: Explosive Eighteen

Author: Janet Evanovich

Publisher: Random House

Published: 2011

Number of Pages: 341

From: Johnson County Library

Rating: 4/5

POSSIBLE SPOILERS

I seem to be in this series for the long haul, no matter how outrages it gets. I will admit that Explosive Eighteen was a far cry better than Finger Lickin’ Fifteen or Sizzling Seventeen (I have seemed to completely skip over Sixteen) at least this plot made sense or at least didn’t make me cringe as much as the others. The ended did seem rather rushed and convoluted and I am not entirely sure if I understand how it all worked out. I am now curious how much farther Evanovich plans to take this series, I hope that she takes it to twenty and leaves it at that.

 9) Title: Deadly Appraisal (Antique Shop Mystery #2)

Author: Jane Cleland

Publisher: St. Martin’s Minotaur

Published: 2007

Number of Pages: 307

From: Johnson County Library

Rating: 3/5

POSSIBLE SPOILERS

My joy to want to spend time in Cleland’s Antiques world certainly diminished with reading number two in the series. The whole plot was messy and I still don’t understand the motive. Like with the first one the red herrings were messy and heavy handed. The whole, I think it may be someone I hired – how can it be- which was featured in both the first and the second one was just cheesy. I will eventually pick up number three and give it a go. But if the third is as messy and red herring riddled I will be saying good riddance to this series.

10) Title: Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Author: Jonathan Foer

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Published: 2006

Number of Pages: 326

From: Johnson County Library

Rating: 4/5

POSSIBLE SPOILERS

I rarely see a book turned to movie without reading the book first and I knew this wasn’t going to be an exception. I wanted more from this book and the ended was ever so anticlimactic but that doesn’t stop me from summing it up as “rip my heart out, throw it on the floor, stomp on it into a thousand pieces , try to put the pieces back together, return it to my body – lather, rinse, repeat.” I am looking forward to getting the DVD from the library. I hope the movie does it justice but because of the visual nature that was the book I think it would greatly approve on the story and detract from it.


  1. Quilting

    I am sick of drooling over quilting shows and pictures and not being able to produce my own. There is just so much craft potential locked in quilts. I would love to be able to walk into a fabric store and do so much more than just goggle at all that potential. It could also be a good way to finally give my husband that blanket I have been promising him for like ever.

  2. Quilling

    Oh man, I have a feeling quilling probably takes a lot of patience and a lot of practice but I just can’t seem to get it out of my mind. It is another craft with so much potential that I must tap into. I think purchasing a quilling kit will be in my nearish future.

  3. Papercutting

    As with quilling I know this will take a lot of patience and practice but ever since I saw the Harry Potter paper cut (see above) I knew I had to learn.

  4. Digital Scrapbook Kit Production

    I have been doing digital scrapbooks for quite a bit now and have always depended on whatever items I could find on others blogs, websites and shops but knew I would love to finally start creating and producing my own products. I have tried a handful of times with little success (quality just never seemed that great) but I know that I have it in me somewhere. I guess for now all I can do is keep at it. I hope when I finally get successful enough at it I can start selling my own kits.

  5. Run Home Based Business

    I guess that would lead into my next order of business, run a successful home based business. The more and more I fill out applications after applications for jobs I really don’t want for wages that aren’t really livable I just think it is high time I did something for myself. I tried last year to get something started but for various reasons it never took off. Like with designing digital scrapbook kits I will just have to keep trying. I think a minor setback to my business plans is the lack of funds to purchase supplies to have enough stock available.

  6. Increase Grammar Understanding

    I don’t lack grammar skills per say, it just seems that the instant I sit down in front of computer my brain can’t translate them when I type. I would love to pick up a book or something to help it along. Getting a greater grasp will make my dreams of one day writing a book a little bit closer to reality.

  7. Sewing

    I guess to learn to quilt, you need to sew. I have a basic skill understanding but like with all things it wouldn’t hurt to get a better mastering of the skills. I would love to be able to make my own garments, purses and other items.

  8. Better Photography

    Photography is yet another skill I know I could work more on mastering. A lot of this item will include me taking more photos, because of course you can’t get better unless you practice, practice and then practice more.

  9. Jewelry

    I know that adding jewelry to my inventory for my one day home business would be a very grand idea. This would include resin jewelry, beaded and really anything under the sun jewelry wise. Plus it would be great to be able to create something that hopefully won’t irritate me. I would love to be able to wear more necklaces but I just can’t stand anything on my neck and most chains irritate me.

  10. Increase Soap Making Knowledge

    I have a basic understanding but I would love the supplies to be able to produce on a larger level. I would be doing mostly melt and pour items but eventually would like to dabble a little in some cold process soaps.

I am nearing my 10th year knitting and in that almost ten years I have traveled very far from the uneven gartered scarves of a beginner. In the last year I have created a love affair with cables, mastered (or at least became less afraid) of the charted pattern and discovered the joys of the magic loop. Socks were mastered a few years back when I discovered the method to knit two at one time which allowed me to master the block that is the second sock. Even with all this progress, I wish I could be doing so much more.

I feel that I probably would be farther in my knit education if I had the funds to purchase yarn but that is neither here nor there and really for another time.

Either way, here is a list of 10 projects that our eating at my soul to get produced upon my needles.

  1. Selbu Modern by Kate Gagnon Osborn

    I have done a few fair isle things in the past but nothing really all that substantial, when I saw this hat pop up on the Ravelry front page, I knew I had to knit it. It’s pattern offering a challenging yet not unmanageable romp through fair isle using fingering weight yarn. The weight I have year to manage in a knitted hat, most of mine have been in worsted. I would probably do it up in a nice jewel tone green with a winter white for the accent.

  2. <b>Brambles Beret by Amanda Muscha</b>

    This hat has been roaming my mind unknit since it first arrived on the Knitty scene. I constantly came back to it, wishing and hoping I had the supplies to knit it up. Now all that is between me and my favorite on Brambles Beret is the yarn, I am not really sure what color would tickle my fancy; it would really depend on the yarn for which I choose.

  3. <b>Old Fashioned Military Sweater </b>

    I have yet to find a pattern for this but I know there is one out there probably on the archive of vintage patterns, I located a few years back. The husband has been clamoring for a sweater for years, expressing quite often how much he likes the looks of the military sweater. I figured after pretty much producing no finished products for him (including a half-finished and long since abandoned blanket) it is more than I time to give him something. I have yet to knit a sweater, so I think it would not be my choice for my FIRST sweater but either way I am so ready to break my sweater virginity. This garment of course would be done up in an olive drab.

  4. <b>$5 in Paris by Anna Peck-Maliszewski</b>

    Now this isn’t technically a sweater but I feel it will be my first foray into the knitted garment. It just seems the right item to get my feet wet with. It may even happen in the suggest yarn because it is a very budget friendly yarn, one I have used for many a project in the past. Color wise I am thinking either a combo of a yellow and pewter or maybe even a Neapolitan theme. I guess time will only be able to tell me.

  5. Weasley Sweater

    If you are not aware I am in fact a Potternerd. You know, one of those who wasted many a hours trying to get into the Pottermore Beta (which I did on the fourth day using my phone’s internet), reads/watches constantly over and over the books and films and can pretty much recite every word. Yeah, that’s me. So it is only natural that in an ode to one of my favorite Potter knitters, Mrs. Weasley, I would break my sweater virginity producing a Weasley sweater. For the colors of the sweater, I am thinking a heathered gray with a nice maroon for the letter in which I would do a K for my first name.

  6. Heather Hoodie Vest by Debbie O’Neal

    I will admit right now that I have dreams about this garment. It often finds its way even when it is not wanted. I think it is the cables, the hood and the short sleeves that make it so desirable to me. It could be no other color than a nice shade of green that reminds me of new grass.

  7. <b> Central Park Hoodie by Heather Lodinsky</b>

    This is another item that the instant I saw it pop up on a ravelry search I knew it had to find a home in my closet. I am pretty sure it is the cables and of course a girl can never have too many hooded anything. I fear this would probably end up as a shade of green (can’t help it, my favorite color) but I would be up to entertaining a pink or maybe a brown.

  8. <b>Collins by Thea Colman</b>

    This cabled wrap sweater thing is absolutely drool worthy! I really can’t say much more beyond that. Color probably a turquoise or purple heathered yarn, but I have a feeling this maybe something I have a few different colors of (that is if the first one goes well).

  9. Intolerable Cruelty by Ashley Adams Moncrief

    This scarf has been on my to do list since 2007, I think it is high time I mark it off. There is just something so lovely about the lace on the back. You could almost have “interchangeable” ribbons to match your mood or outfit. Think it would be a black, especially if it was able to be interchangeable.

  10. <b>Bandana Cowl by Purl Soho</b>

    I really do not know why but for a while there I could not get this cowl out of my head. I visited its page on Ravelry like ten times a day and it also popped up everywhere in my dreams. I really do not know what color; I often think a self-striping would be nice or a buttery yellow or even just a nice pewter. I really can’t tell you right now what color it would end up.

To Be A Dreamer

I am a dreamer, there is no doubt about it…and as a dreamer I will never be satisfied for the ordinary. Monotony bores me, I can’t stand being surrounded by beige and I can never settle on what I want to do in the future. 

I am constantly changing my mind at what I think would be a good plan for the future…one day I want to be a occupational therapist, the next I want to write children’s books and tomorrow I will probably want to teach.  This constant movement from plan to plan probably is tied to my biggest fear of failing but a lot of it is because I don’t want to settle. I don’t want to pick something, go through the task of raising up and realizing I absolutely hate it. I am not afraid of the work, I love a good challenge, I just want to be satisfied after I exerted all the effort. 

I do know that my ultimate goal is to work from home…what I am doing while working from home is the big answer. Every time I try to imagine myself in a cubicle or something along those lines, I start to feel claustrophobic. The rules, the regulations, the monotony just start making me itchy.

Now I just need to find the money to start that career…when you can’t find satisfaction in the now, how can you get to the future….I don’t want to settle…I was taught that I could do whatever I want, and as a dreamer, I want just that. 

First order of business…GET BRANDON TO GET A JOB…he, out of the both us, has a greater success for finding one that pays decently because he has more work experience and no degrees (those are not the windows to making money like we are told)….

To be a dreamer is hard in this economy…I hate to give up my dreams.

 

Fulfillment

I have spent a lot of the last few weeks or so doing a lot of soul searching trying to find a balance in my life that has felt very off for awhile. What really pushed me into wanting to find something, anything to help fill this gigantic hole that has been developing within was the learning of the suicide of a locale weather man. His story of dealing with depression reminded me of how I felt during my battle, a battle I am still fighting every day.  A battle I have felt grow more and more harder to find that control I once had due to the stress of having no money and everything else that has been piling on my plate over the last year or so.

There are only so many interviews, job applications and job searching one can do before you just become so disenfranchised by the whole process that throwing in the towel sounds like the best route to take.

Am I being picky about where and what I apply too? Yes, I am, I know I shouldn’t but every time I try to imagine myself slinging burgers or stuffing sacks with purchases by brain freezes and the panic sets in. Do I think I am entitled to something better, I wouldn’t say yes and I wouldn’t say no to that question but really it is more of want to live the American Dream. We, as in between the ages of 18-25 were all raised, at least in America, to believe that doing good in school, finishing college and receiving that degree would open all doors and entry-level or not, it would be something we would want. 

What do college grads have to look forward to now? Working odd hours for minimum wage, if they are lucky to even land a job in the first place. A few strike gold and get something right out of gate but those success stories are beginning to go the way of the dodo bird. Heck, I who always felt college was a MUST right out of high school are starting to impart advice to soon to graduating seniors to possibly take off a year and work in-between…that work experience will be more valuable to you than any piece of paper you can receive…..or it seems to me now.

I was fortunate to able to go to school full time and not really worry about money. I did do an odd job near my freshman year of teaching English to the kids who came over to the U.S. to receive a degree here. It was one day a week and the pay was minimum wage which was a whooping $5.75-6.25 at the time. I also made a little money here and there selling hand knitting scarves and other wares. I really should have done the part time thing and work 30+ hours a week.

Can I blame my parents for not properly preparing me for the dangers of the world? You might be able to argue yes, but I am sure they did not foresee the crisis we are in now and circumstances are never stable.

Since this post is about fulfillment, maybe I should write what I think would fulfill me.

I know that my ultimate goal now is to receive my Masters and hopefully my Doctorate at the same time. This would more than likely focus on educational psychology or something in that general area. I also hope that is something I could do from the home or be flexible enough to allow me to be with any future children I will have with my husband at least up until the age 5 when they go off to school.

I know being able to work towards this goal will finally put a little step into my desire but the rub is, how will I pay for it? There are always loans/scholarships etc which I would use but I don’t want to rely on them.

Will I ever find something to fulfill my day? Crafting works now, but there is only so far you can go with little to no money. What will the future hold? I just hope it changes soon, I like living where we are living now and it would literally KILL me to move back into a tiny ass apartment that I really can’t make my own. I really need to buck up and take whatever crappy, undervalued/under-appreciated/underpaid job comes my way….I wish it wasn’t that way

This is a great freebie for Halloween so get over to Sprouting Seeds Studio and give it a download (click link below to go to her website)

http://www.sproutingseedsstudio.com/2011/10/freebie-halloween-2011.html

Here is what I did with it-

I am really excited to see what she comes up with when she goes to do the Dandelion Dust Designs, I have loved all her kits since I found her about a year ago.

 

I promise you that next month I will be better about getting this up as soon as they are released, I just keep finding putting it off easier…I know…BAD BLOGGER…BAD, BAD BLOGGER. Lol.

Lo and behold, I present you My Boy

This was a fun kit, perfect for any special boy in your life. Since I don’t have kids, of course I would present the male furbabies in my life.

So hop and take a gander at this kit and the blog freebie she released, go, now: http://www.sproutingseedsstudio.com

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