Thursday, 29 September 2016

Listening to my books - Lake Wobegon Days

The reading my books project is going fairly well, but I have started on something new.  Listening to books.

I have listened to books on tape - or CD - for many years, well over 20, perhaps 30, I am not really sure how long in fact.  I got out of the habit though, other things came along, these days I tend to "listen" to TV shows or podcasts on my computer while working.  The books that I did have on tape or CD languished and I haven't added to the collection for many years now.

The listening to books has had a revival lately though.  We have introduced Lady, who cannot see to read any more, to books on tape.  She cannot cope with CD's as they don't stay in the same place when you turn them off, whereas when you stop a tape it just stops.  She can also operate a little portable tape player even though she cannot see the buttons, she knows where they are.

So the search started for books on tape.  Charity shops, a giant haul on that well known online auction site and being lent or given them by other people.  Each one is carefully checked first to make sure it plays, then wound or rewound to the start of each tape and a large number stuck on each side so that Lady can make out which way round to put the tape in.  Lady loves them. They give her hours of pleasure, she can "read" on her own, at her own pace and in bed if she wants to as well which she likes.

Of course this does mean that there is soon a mound of books that Lady has listened to.  She will probably listen to them again, and in the meantime they sit waiting for her.  So I have borrowed a few of the listened to ones.  They are what now accompanies me as I sit in my office sewing or working.  As I go through them I will give you a brief review a couple at a time.  Here is the first!


Lake Wobegon Days written and read by Garrison Keillor

This was an really interesting listen.  I will always think of it when I look at and use the item that I was sewing as I listened to it in fact, I can just tell!  This was originally broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in 1989.  It was still just as good a listen today as it must have been back then.

Garrison Keillor is the author of several tales about the fictional Lake Wobegon and you can read more about him and the books here - it is well worth a read!  I had never heard of him or Lake Wobegon before, but if there are any more books by him in Lady's collection I will be hoping to borrow those.

I don't think that a time period for the story was given specifically, but I imagined it in the 1950's small town America in the Midwest somewhere, St Cloud which is in Minnesota is mentioned, so you can perhaps imagine what I imagined.

Stories of a Norwegian founding father of the town, picking tomatoes endlessly during the summer, of Christmases and decorations made by the school children.  All fairly run of the mill daily happenings, but interesting, well written and well read too.

I have no idea if you are ever likely to come across a way to listen to this, but if you do, take the opportunity.  It is gentle and easy and comforting and you will not regret it.


This is one of the posts that I wrote in August to be published in September but publishing it got delayed by my need to take a blog break.

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Anything to spare

Tomorrow - Thursday - we have a meeting with the hospital about Man and what the future holds for him.

Right now it isn't looking good.  Of course we knew that things were not good before his stroke and certainly haven't got better since the stroke, but yesterday things fell to a new lowest low and to be honest our hope is fading as quickly as man appears to be fading in front of our eyes.

So this is just to say that if you have any spare good thoughts or prayers that things will go well tomorrow to make sure that Man is cared for and looked after, even if that is against his wishes, to make sure that he is safe, we would really appreciate them.

I have a post scheduled for tomorrow and Friday so I will update you all next week sometime with how things went.

Thank you all as always for bearing with me, and for your support.  I returned to work today and was reminded of just how good good friends are, and you are in that category too, and I am thankful for all of you.

Amy  xx

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Mollie Makes Pretty Rose Cross Stitch -- except it isn't!!

Almost since I started blogging the most popular post on my blog has been this one - here - called Mollie Makes Pretty Rose Cross Stitch.

It was about using a kit that came with a magazine to make up a cross stitch picture.  I actually made it into a pin cushion rather than a picture.  I have no idea why it is so popular, but month after month, year after year, there it is, up there at the top of my most viewed posts list.

When I received another one of these kits, I assume again on Mollie Makes, I still didn't want to make a picture with it and I didn't want to make another pin cushion either.  So it hung around in my boxes of fabric and yarn for a long time.

While sorting through the yarn and fabric early in August I found it again and decided to do something with it.  Putting it together with a plastic embroidery hoop that I had from another - unmade! - kit I turned it into this.

A pretty picture with my initial - because my name really is Amy! - and a little border around the edge.  Ta Dah!

I simply drew the letter on to the canvas with one of those disappearing fabric ink pens and then stitched over it in two colours of the floss that came with the kit.  Then I added little crosses all around the edge to make the border, a little like a ring of flowers.

The back looks horrid, but I have covered it with a piece of felt to at least try and neaten it up a bit.

I have a couple of other kits that I have made up to produce some little pictures which I will also be sharing and then I will hang them all up somewhere in my office or prop them up on shelves around the house.

Do you think this post will make it to the top of my charts.  I wonder!


This is one of the posts that I wrote in August to be published in September but publishing it got delayed by my need to take a blog break.