Monday, August 31, 2009

Stephen Booth

I just finished "Scared to Live" by Stephen Booth which is the 7th in the series featuring Ben Cooper and Diane Fry.

I've enjoyed this series from the start 'cos the interplay and contrast between Ben and Diane is so interesting. She's from the big city - he's from the small town. She's from foster homes - he's had a loving secure family. He's very perceptive - she can be clueless about people's emotions.

Our local library has a "request" service where you can ask them to find or buy a book if they don't have it. So I was very happy that they purchased the paperback so I could read it (well, they didn't do it specifically for ME, but still....)

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Mr. Clean Magic Eraser

I have to clean since relatives are coming for Labor Day, so I bought a Magic Eraser since I had a coupon from P&G. and now I wish I'd known about them ages ago.

I'm amazed at how well this works. It cut through the soap scum (and maybe hard water stain) on my shower door with no effort at all. Then it cleaned up dirt on the textured handle of my refrigerator that I'd never been able to scrub off. I've also tried it on my glass stovetop for removing the burnt on grease - it takes a little more scrubbing, but is still MUCH easier than the other cleaners I use.

I started searching to find other reviews from people, and didn't find any negative at all (except that it is NOT to be used on skin).

So I'm slowly trying it on other surfaces since I don't know how abrasive it is and whether it will scratch. But so far, I'm VERY impressed.

I'm not in any way affiliated with Mr. Clean or Procter & Gamble

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Charles Todd

I just finished "A Matter of Justice" by Charles Todd. This is the 11th in the series featuring Scotland Yard detective Ian Rutledge. The books are set post World War I, and Ian was an officer in the war.

Rutledge is a very intriguing character since he's still suffering from the war (I won't tell you how) and trying to keep it secret so that he won't be dismissed from his job.

On the author's web page, there's a contest to win a collection of the Ian Rutledge books if you're interested.

I'm not in any way affiliated with Charles Todd's publisher

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


What can I say? I keep finding these addictive, fun ways to spend more time on the computer. I joined Winster to get My Points rewards so I can redeem them for an Amazon certificate to buy more crochet books. It was free, doesn't cost anything to play, and you can win real prizes, so I thought, what the heck?

I didn't know it would be so much fun 'cos you're playing to HELP each other, so it gives you these warm, fuzzy feelings of being friendly.

My favorites so far are Social Slots, Bingo, and Burger Buddy. If any of you have other favorites, let me know, since I haven't tried all the games yet.

If you join using my referral link, I do get additional points

Monday, August 24, 2009

Basket Bingo

I attended my first basket bingo fundraiser over the weekend. It was a learning experiment for me since my son's tennis team will be hosting one in October, so I thought I should learn how they work.

I wanted to see what kind of prizes were offered, how the games were structured, what kind of concessions were available, how they decorated, etc, etc.

It was REALLY alot of fun - I genuinely didn't expect to have so much fun !! The actual bingo games went fast (5 - 10 minutes each) then door prizes were drawn after each game. I took lots of notes and people were giving me suggestions ("When you have yours, make sure you do this or that.....")

This is not an actual picture of a bingo prize. No dogs were given away as prizes. I just thought it was a cute picture.

Saturday, August 22, 2009


I've always had to watch my weight (since I was a pudgy child) so about 8 years ago I started wearing a pedometer to help motivate me to get more activity.

My current pedometer is an Omron (the one shown). I stick it in my hip pocket and wear it everywhere. I don't always get 10000 steps per day but I do try. And it's especially fun to measure steps on days we play tennis.

Until we were in Cincinnati last weekend and the battery died, so I wasn't able to record steps. And I thought maybe I'd just quit wearing it for awhile.

That lasted MAYBE 2 days !! It's such a habit after so many years that I felt absolutely compelled to keep wearing it. So I guess that's a GOOD thing. I just wish there were more sites that would award you prizes for logging your steps - that's what motivates me most.

I'm not affiliated with Omron in any way

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Crochet with Wire (2nd Try)

Here's my 2nd attempt at crocheting an anklet with wire. I used 30 gauge wire, and all chain stitches. It's still difficult for me to see the stitches in wire, so I'm sure that will take more practice (and maybe one of the wearable magnifying glasses might help).

This barely fits around my ankle, so I thought I made the chain long enough when I started, but it tends to shrink a little as you add more rows.

I'm not giving up, though, and I'll post my next attempt.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Synovate Surveys

I just requested another $25 reward from Synovate surveys today - YAY !! Then I'll be able to buy some crochet books. If you haven't joined Synovate, I've been a member for quite awhile and have redeemed rewards for checks several times.

I also like this panel as they send quite a few product trials. Usually it will be full-size product that I'll use for 1 -2 weeks, then fill out an evaluation survey.

I'm not affiliated in any way with Synovate, and will not get referral rewards if you join

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Cincinnati Tennis

We went to the US Open Series in Cincinnati this weekend, and it was unbelievable. I can't wait to go again next year.

We watched the Ljubicic- Levine qualifier match on centre court, then saw the Safina - Pennetta semi-final on centre court, then caught part of the Baghdatis - Kendrick qualifier match, and the last set of the Black-Huber women's doubles semi-final.

My daughter got lots of autographs from the players - I had no idea we'd see so many.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Beth Pattillo

Ok, it's time for another Jane Austen-inspired book. "Jane Austen Ruined My Life" features Emma Grant as a Jane Austen scholar who visits England to meet with someone who claims to have unpublished Jane Austen letters.

What I liked most about this book was the premise that Jane asked her sister Cassandra to keep but hide all her letters, making them available to only a select group. She didn't want her personal life to trivialize her work. By keeping her private life and thoughts inaccessible, her works would be her voice to the world.

Historically it's said that Cassandra destroyed all of Jane's letters, so reading a plot line around the idea that the letters DO exist was fun.

I still have a few more Jane books on my bookshelf to be read, and I'll post about them here when I'm finished.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

US Open Series

US Open SeriesI wish there was more television coverage of the US Open Series, especially for tennis addicts. The men are playing in Montreal this week, the women are playing in Cincinnati, and I'd love to see it. We don't have Tennis channel in our local cable tv lineup (drat).

So far I guess my only option would be to subscribe to TennisTV but that's quite expensive. Plus, I'm not overly fond of watching sports on my computer since I can't stretch out on the couch or crochet while I'm watching, so I don't think I'd pay for that. If there's a free live stream, though, I'd love to watch several of the matches (but not all).

Monday, August 10, 2009

Alexandra Potter

Yet another Jane Austen-inspired book (there are quite a few). In this one, Emily Albright works in a New York bookstore and takes a Jane Austen tour/vacation as an escape from disastrous dating.

Of course, she meets this guy that she can't stand (you can guess what happens) but she also meets the fictional Mr. Darcy himself.

It's a fun book, but I wish Ms. Potter had done more with the whole fictional P&P book overlapping real world. Although Jasper Fforde covered that so well (and hysterically) in the Thursday Next books that it might be redundant if someone else tried it as well.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Annie's Attic Book Sale

I was so excited and wanted to share with other needlework enthusiasts that Annie's Attic is having a book clearance sale. They had books on the "projects" I'm trying to learn, such as crocheting with beads, and crocheting with wire.

I ordered 7 books for a total less than $6 (not including shipping), but I can't wait to get them.

I'm not affiliated in any way with Annie's Attic

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Laurie Viera Rigler

I didn't get Jane Austen out of my system yet, so I'm reading novels inspired by her fiction. The first is "Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict" by Laurie Viera Rigler. This is the 1st of 2 books in which Courtney (21st-century) and Jane (not Austen - early 19th-century) unknowingly swap bodies and lives.

The 1st one focuses on the early 19th-century swap. I thought the author did a very nice job of showing the difficulties of life then (only bathing once per week, the class system differences and rigidity, etc) while weaving in the romance and the time-travel aspects (reminiscent of "Big").

So yes, as soon the 2nd one is available in our library, I'm going to grab it and devour it. This book should be other half - the 21st-century swap.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Crochet with Beads & Wire (1st Try)

These are my first clumsy attempts at crocheting with beads, but I learned alot and want to keep experimenting.

The 1st try was crochet thread with beads. I used bead tips to hide the knots and to add the heart charm at one end, and the lobster claw fastener on the other end. Then I realized that I could have crocheted them with the beads, making it MUCH easier.

So I tried that for my next anklet using wire. I used 34 gauge wire, and it was pretty easy to manipulate. I'll definitely use more beads on the next one.

Of the 2, I much prefer the look and feel of the wire. I only tried simple chain stitches on this one, but I'll get more adventurous with single crochets on my next piece.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Paperback Swap - Book Club to Swap, Trade & Exchange Books for Free.I've been adding books to the Paperback Swap this afternoon. I love this site, and have been a member for quite awhile. My daughter was cleaning and had some brand new horse paperbacks that she no longer wanted, so I posted them for swap.

Just this week, I've ordered books from other members on macrame jewelry (you can see my earlier post about new projects that I want to start).

The swap works using book credits, and yes, I'd get credit if you joined using the underlined link (or click on the picture).

Monday, August 3, 2009

Crochet with Beads

Now I have TOO many projects that I want to start and learn. My daughter had a friendship anklet and when I looked closer, I thought "I want to try to make one". So I found some websites about crocheting with beads.

Then I found other websites that had friendship bracelets made by knotting or macrame. So now I want to try that, too.

Then I also found websites about crocheting with wire AND beads, so I want to learn that, also !!

I'll post pictures as I try these, but they all look like fun.
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