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Sunday, June 19, 2011

23rd. Annual Spring Fine Arts and Crafts Show, Brookdale Park

Yesterday, a fine day to be outside, proved even better with a visit to the Fine Arts and Crafts Show in Brookdale Park, Bloomfield, NJ.  After a light breakfast at the Corner Bakery to start the day, it was off to the park to wander through the stalls of crafts people from all over the east coast.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Charity Quilt - "Light and Shadow"

This quilt is destined for donation to a local cancer support group.  I like pink as the color for cancer support groups.  It has a warm feminine quality.  The little flowers in the border fabric really appealed to me.  They soften the geometric construction of the body of the quilt.

The pattern is "Light and Shadow" by Brenda Henning for the Hoffman Fabrics Balic Pops line of fabric strips.  I will use the pattern title as the name of the quilt when I make the label.  I began to work on this quilt at the Spring Bed, Breakfast and Quilt weekend April 29 through May 1, 2011 in Wildwood Crest, NJ.  I finished it on June 7, 2011 at the Cozy Quilt Shoppe, Maywood, NJ quilting bee.  The quilt is machine pieced and machine quilted by me.

I made it with love, send it into the world with a hug, and hope that it will bring comfort to someone dealing with cancer.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Emily Alone by Stewart O'Nan

Emily, Alone: A NovelEmily, Alone: A Novel by Stewart O'Nan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It is hard to believe that a man could write so realistically about the thoughts of an elderly woman living alone, or that I could find the result so hard to put down.

My favorite chapter, "Kleenex," began and ended on page 76. In it, Emily prepares for a Christmas visit from her daughter and young adult grand-children.  When she uses the last tissue from the box in her bathroom, she travels throughout the house weighing tissue boxes and swapping them around before deciding where the new full box should go. "Only then, with order restored, could she go on with her day."  Priceless :)

Emily also contends with the neighbor's cat who leaves footprints across her car in the garage. Complaining to Betty, her once-a-week housekeeper, Betty asks, "You think that matters to him?"  Emily replies, "Oh, he knows exactly what he's doing. That's the way cats are, very calculating."

On page 126, Emily is recovering from strep and unable to eat better as advised by Dr. Sayid. Chastising herself, Emily thinks, "Selfish and deceitful, her mother would say - the worst thing a person could be." The complete opposite of Jesus Christ, the impossible model to which Emily spent her childhood being compared.

I suppose it's the feeling of being a fly on the wall in Emily's life that kept me going with this novel. And, I'm not sure that it would appeal to much younger people.  But, for me, I could laugh, worry, remember, and regret right along with Emily.

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