Wednesday, March 21, 2007

I am my son's pancreas

I was taking a look at the JDRF web site yesterday and in one of the newsletters there was a column about how parents of type 1 diabetics need to give themselves breaks. A mom was quoted as saying something along the lines of "I get tired of being my kid's pancreas." Lightbulb moment. I never thought of myself as S's pancreas, but in many ways, that's what I am. I told S about it and he didn't seem to find the thought offensive. That's good. But someday, S will have to be his own pancreas. All the things I have to think about from hour to hour he'll have to remember. And that, I guess, is the real burden of diabetes. Not the diet, not the insulin, but the need to constantly be alert, to constantly be thinking about it.

Makes me want to go bury my head in a new book. I have Lydia Joyce's Voices in the Night up next. But first, some sewing.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Warlord / Elizabeth Vaughan. 2007

When I read the first book in this trilogy 2 years ago (Warprize) I remember being struck by two things in particular. The first one was how well Ms. Vaughan had built a new world that was both familiar and alien at the same time. The second thing was how well it worked to have this story told in the first person. As a reader, I like head hopping; I want to know what's going on in the minds of various characters. But here it really works to have one, and only one POV. For me anyway, what made this work was learning about Keir and the people of the plains at the same time Lara did; it was if we were on a voyage of discovery together. It even worked when I re-read Warprize just before Warsworn was released.

I've read a few other reviews of Warlord over the last couple of weeks. Lots of reviewers commented on the fact that Keir and Lara are separated for a good bit of the book. Well, yes, that's true, but I think it's mitigated by the fact that Keir is never far from Lara's thoughts. And when they have a brief, but intense reunion in the middle of their separation, it's pretty obvious that their feelings for one another are just as strong as ever. For a romance novel, it fits the bill. Since this series is as much about Lara's world as it is about Lara & Keir, it's not your stereotypical romance. So much the better. It's great to see them make adjustments to one another and watch their relationship grow. We don't always get much of that in more typical romances which seem to focus on conflict or misunderstandings.

Flat out, Beth Vaughan can write. Her prose is smooth; if there were any holes in her plotting I sure didn't see them. Her characters remained true to form, not just within each book, but across the trilogy. That has to be hard to do, unless one is careful while one writes. Beth paid a visit to Squawkradio last week and it was interesting to read her comments as she told us a little about how she writes. It sounds as if she hadn't originally planned on more entries in this series, but she has some ideas if she gets a contract. Here's hoping! And frankly, I'll be buying anything she writes; she's just that good at it.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Paper piecing fun

At the retreat 2 weeks ago one of the freebies we received was a sample paper piecing pattern from the company that does the "Little Bits" patterns, one of which I'm working on now. I decided to throw this together to see what it looked like. I like the way the colors went together,
so I put some borders on it and have it ready to machine quilt. I think I'll hang it down by the kitchen table as a spring or summer quilt. It's about 22" x 22". With luck I can spend some time quilting it tomorrow afternoon.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Got it framed

I don't think the picture does it justice, but I'm so pleased with how the frame turned out. It compliments the gold fabric so well. I'm not sure where P intends to hang it; I told him he could take it to work or hang it here at home. S wants him to hang it here at home.

Oma would have liked this. Makes me sad to think of stuff like that.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

His Secondhand Wife / Cheryl St. John. 2005

I haven't really been interested in reading too many frontier-set romances, and I'm not sure why that is. After reading this one and Maureen McKade's A Reason to Live I suspect I really should make the effort to seek out more of them. This is another of those character-driven stories that are my favorite. Noah and Katherine are two very lonely souls, and this book works for me because the author succeeds in letting us see who they are and why they're so lonely without resorting to melodrama or overblown prose.

As someone who's probably been reading way too many European historicals, one of the things that made this interesting to me is the pragmatism that undoubtedly ruled frontier living. When Noah proposes to Katherine, she'd been widowed for a relatively short amount of time. In a Regency or Victorian, it would be scandalous to marry again so soon, and I believe even illegal to marry one's brother-in-law. Yet everyone from Katherine's mother-in-law to the local preacher see Noah & Katherine's marriage as a right and expedient thing to do. I loved the stark contrast to what I normally read in a historical.

This was a short, easy read. It only took a couple of hours. But I was pretty absorbed from the first page. I gave it an A-. My only complaint was that somehow the final resolution lacked the emotional punch I'd been hoping for. It seemed too easy.

Friday, March 2, 2007

2007 quilting retreat; JD Robb

Well, here's where I spent last weekend--my butt firmly attached to this chair and this year I actually got to use both of my machines! My roommates, B&L, spent more time off talking or eating, so they weren't at our table much; without them for a distraction, I was able to focus and get a fair bit done. On Friday I finished quilting the tree skirt Oma left unquilted, and I got the binding sewn to the front, too. That's ready for me to whip stitch in front of the TV one of these days.

On Saturday I did the wolf quilt seen here. I am so psyched about how it turned out. I'm going to take it to a framer tomorrow and hopefully it won't cost an arm and a leg to be framed. I just think it would look a little more sophisticated in a frame instead of bound and hung the normal way. I'll post a better picture once I get it in the frame.

On Sunday I finally started the 2 new purses I've wanted to make. I quilted the panel pieces and I can start assembling them whenever I feel like it. And I started the paper piecing project I've wanted to do for ages. I've got that sitting by my Pfaff here at home and even worked on it a little the other night.

On another topic, this week I started reading the J.D. Robb books. Man, what a commitment lies ahead: 28 or so books, right? But the library seems to have them all. I am enjoying them, but I am strongly reminded, after only 2 books, why I really do not like to read mysteries. I hate being introduced to a character who is about to knocked off, usually in some violent, painful manner. I have become overly sensitive, I think. But there's so much buzz about Eve & Roarke that I hated being left out of the loop even more. So I'll catch up and then wait impatiently like everyone else for each new installment to come out. Sigh. Truth is, after only 2 books, I am addicted, lots of death or not. Eve & Roarke are compelling characters and they are going to be worth spending time with.

Then, of course, I'm left with my daily dilemma: quilt or read, read or quilt? And tonight I have a book to edit. No more procrastinating.