STITCH LINES...... Ramblings on life as a mother, quilter, stitcher, gardener and lover of cats and fine chocolate....

Monday, October 20, 2014

October Pinks

Although most of the "October colour" we're seeing is the typical fall reds, oranges and yellows of the maples, the yellows and  golds of the birches and copper browns of the oaks, when I look in my yard, I'm seeing pink! Yes PINK! My large hanging basket of geraniums on the deck is still blooming like crazy and in the back perennial bed there are loads of blooms on the cleome, Japanese anemones and Japanese toad lily. The fall asters, which are getting lots of love from the bees, are adding lots of pink to the side bed, and out front the two hanging pots of rieger begonias continue to bloom profusely. Maybe this is Mother Nature's way of reminding us that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month...  Lovin' all the pink!! (Don't forget to get your mammies grammed, ladies!)
I'm linking to Mosaic Monday, now hosted by Judith at Lavender Cottage. Be sure to stop by.


"I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie-burner. I believe in kissing, kissing a lot. I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles." ~ Audrey Hepburn

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Thankful on Thanksgiving

This is Thanksgiving weekend in Canada and I have SO much to be thankful for! I am thankful for the beautiful day we are enjoying - the sun is shining, the leaves are glorious in their autumn colours, the birds and squirrels are feeding in the backyard (keeping Oliver well entertained) and we are smelling the turkey roasting for dinner this evening. Yummm... I am blessed with a wonderful family and I'm so thankful for them every day (even though I don't tell them that often enough!) We'll certainly be missing Laura at the dinner table tonight, but she is cooking her first turkey dinner ever (not without a few phone calls and emails to Mum), and they have invited company for dinner; I'm so thankful for the wonderful young woman she has become, and she loves to cook - bonus!
My blogging has been sporadic lately and for that I apologize to my regular readers, but I've been so busy with other things that blogging has had to take a bit of a backseat. I am thankful to be busy with hobbies that I love, harvesting the garden and preserving, and teaching commitments, because in my mind, being busy is SO much better than being bored with nothing to do. I feel so sorry for people who do not have hobbies, or activities they enjoy.
I am so very grateful for my good health. Other than a cold for the past week, which really is very minor in the grand scheme of things, I have no ailments or complaints. I am not on any meds. If you have your health, you have it made in the shade, as the saying goes.
I am thankful for my many friends. I am so blessed to have so many wonderful friends and I love each and every one. Yesterday we helped friends close up their cottage for the winter (actually it was hubby who worked very hard all day, I didn't do much other than help with supper.)
Then we enjoyed a delicious turkey dinner with all the trimmings and three choices for dessert! (Yes we ARE spoiled...) And yes, most of us chose to sample all three! What a wonderful way to end a beautiful fall day - a fire crackling in the fireplace, sitting around the table sharing food and wine in such good company, discussing books and travel, sharing stories and laughter.. it just doesn't get any better!
Finally I am thankful for the many new friends I have made through blogging! And what's better than having blogging friends? MEETING them! In the past few weeks I have been lucky to meet TWO friends I've made as a result of this blog. A follower who lives in British Columbia contacted me last spring to tell me she had been reading my blog for a while and enjoyed it because she grew up here and it was nice to see photos of "home." She suggested perhaps we could meet while she was home this summer/fall. It turns out we are about the same age and attended the same high school and church; once we met face to face I vaguely remembered her - a quick check in the high school yearbook for her photo confirmed the memory I was questioning. (Yearbooks are such a valuable resource as we get older! lol) It was so nice to meet Cynthia and her family and chat about quilting, photography and other interests. So, waving Hi to you Cynthia! Let's stay in touch!
More recently I met Kathy of Gratitude... Attitude... at Forty-Four Latitude (formerly My Maine Blog). After a failed attempt this summer, we "connected" and enjoyed a tasty lunch together. It was so nice to meet this sweet sweet lady in person and chat about blogging and other common interests. Kathy is a
wonderful photographer and shares so many beautiful photos of  Maine - be sure to visit her blog often and leave her some bloggy love in her comment box! She blew me away with the gift of this wonderful basket which she had put together- full of yummy apples, mini pumpkins, candy, mulling spices and Pumpkin Spice tea, fall potpourri and some wonderful examples of her photography- postcards, bookmarks and her book "Old Barns of Maine." How lucky am I?!! Bloggy friends are THE BEST!!
I have much more in my life that I am thankful for, but that's it for today.. it's time to go check on Mr. Turkey's progress... can you smell him?  No? Well, he sure smells yummy... and he'll soon be in my tummy... Happy Thanksgiving!


"Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you'll never ever have enough." ~ Oprah Winfrey

Monday, October 6, 2014

Another Good Read

I've been laying low the last few days trying to shake off a cold. Hubby was sick with it all last week and I was hoping I could dodge it... but no such luck. So I'm trying to get some extra rest and "be good" so it will leave quickly. I don't have time right now to be sick!!
All I have the energy for today is a short book review. I am "a few" books behind here, so this takes another one off the list... Faith by New York Times best-selling author Jennifer Haigh is a powerful and thought-provoking "family drama."
From the book jacket: "It is the spring of 2002 and a perfect storm has hit Boston. Across the city's archdiocese, trusted priests have been accused of the worst possible betrayal of the souls in their care.  In Faith, Jennifer Haigh explores the fallout for one devout family, the McGanns.
 Estranged for years from her difficult and demanding relatives, Sheila McGann has remained close to her older brother Art, the popular, dynamic pastor of a large suburban parish. When Art finds himself at the center of the maelstrom, Sheila returns to Boston, ready to fight for him and his reputation. What she discovers is more complicated than what she imagined. Her strict, lace-curtain-Irish mother is living in a state of angry denial. Sheila's younger brother Mike, to her horror, has already convicted his brother in his heart. But most disturbing of all is Art himself, who persistently dodges Sheila's questions and refuses to defend himself.
 As the scandal forces long-buried secrets to surface, Faith explores the corrosive consequences of one family's history of silence - and the resilience its members ultimately find through forgiveness. Throughout, Haigh demonstrates how the truth can shatter our deepest beliefs - and restore them. A gripping, suspenseful tale of one woman's quest for the truth, Faith is an anguished meditation on loyalty and family, doubt and belief. Elegantly crafted, sharply observed, this is Jennifer Haigh's most ambitious novel to date."

It seems with each of her novels I read, I enjoy Haigh's writing more and more. She is indeed a gifted writer. She gives attention to detail, uncovering info about each character bit by bit as the plotline is slowly woven together. There is an element of suspense as the reader, along with the family members, tries to decide whether Father Art could possibly have done the unthinkable act that he is accused of. Her writing is well phrased, she has mastered the use of simile and metaphor, and her characters are real- complex but totally believable. Haigh masterfully develops the characters and the plot as she unravels the dynamics of a family with secrets long hidden.
If you belong to a book club, this would be a great choice. Well worth the read, this is possibly my favourite Haigh novel.


"Reading was my escape and my comfort, my consolation, my stimulant of choice ." ~ Paul Auster

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Random Thoughts and a RAK

How can it be October already, and a week since I last posted??!! My days continue to be busy busy... Two days of teaching last week plus a day trip out of town, several appointments, a batch of jelly done, a wedding celebration, yada yada... It doesn't take long and another week has flown by.  I really don't have a lot to tell you about today and just have some random photos to share with you.... Back in June I told you my (first ever) orchid was blooming again- and guess what- it's STILL blooming! I wish all plants could have such long-lived blossoms. Here it is October and it still has the same 11 blooms!

Speaking of blooms, a while back I complained that my morning glories had grown like crazy- I have them on an obelisk and it looks rather like jungle growth- but not one single blossom! Well, now that the cooler weather is here and a killing frost is likely not far off, it's now loaded with buds! Go figure! It has had the odd flower here and there, so figured I'd better share a photo before Mr Jack Frost claims it one of these nights..  Look at that  beautiful blue! This is yesterday's bloom so it's starting to wilt, but the only other bloom today is so high I can't reach it... Even the waning one is beautiful...

I'm working away on another miniature... many many little's a sneak peek... can you guess what I'm doing? I'll share with you soon... This little quilt was inspired by the backing fabric! Yep, you could say I'm doing things backwards! Stay tuned....

Yesterday I was the recipient of a random act of kindness. A dear friend sent me a beautiful bouquet of flowers. Just because! Isn't that sweet? They are gorgeous fall colours and I love them!! Thank you Linda!

I hope you are enjoying this beautiful fall day, wherever you are!


Life is the greatest journey you will ever be on....

Friday, September 26, 2014

A "5 Star Must Read"

Have you ever read a book and right from the first few chapters, thought to yourself, "This would make a great movie"? Such were my thoughts when reading One Thousand White Women: The Journals of May Dodd by Jim Fergus. Although this novel is fiction, it is based on an actual event in American history. In 1854, at a peace conference, Cheyenne Chief Little Wolf asked the US army authorities/American government for the gift of 1000 white women in exchange for 1000 horses. The white women would be brides for his warriors; their presence with the Cheyenne and the children born from these unions would help with their assimilation into white society. This request was, in fact, turned down and the peace talks collapsed, but this novel proceeds as if the "Brides for Indians" program actually went forward.
The story is told in the form of journal entries written by May Dodd, a young woman from a wealthy Chicago family. She had fallen in love with a "common man beneath her station" and bore two children to him out of wedlock. For this her father had her committed to an insane asylum, so when the opportunity came along to "obtain her freedom" by volunteering to be part of the Brides for Indians program, May jumped at the chance. She journeys west with a number of other "colorful" women to live on the plains with the Cheyenne. What follows is an amazing story of love, romance, humour, violence, sex, racism, politics... you name it, this book has it! Above all, it is realistic- you have to keep reminding yourself it is fictional. The characters are so well written, so well "developed", you quickly find yourself totally engrossed in their "adventure". You will laugh, you will cry, you will find yourself enraged at the way the natives were tricked and cheated. Fergus has done a masterful job of researching and weaving a tale that you will not want to end. This is without a doubt one of the best books I've read this year. Don't start it until you have a good chunk of time to devote to it, because you will not want to stop reading....
5 stars from this booklover.


"Books are the plane, and the train, and the road. They are the destination and the journey. They are home." ~ Anna Quindlen, How Reading Changed My Life

Thursday, September 25, 2014

More Quilts!

Okay, let's continue with more photos from the KVQG Quilt Show...

"Poinsettia Sampler" by Juanita Allain, winner of Best Machine Quilting ribbon

"Mother Daughter Baskets" by Alice Chancey. Best Hand Appliqué winner. 
This quilt was absolutely exquisite and was certainly one of my most favourites.

                   Closeup of  "Mother Daughter Baskets" Such beautiful appliqué and quilting!

"Double Wedding Ring" by Juanita Allain. 1st place winner, Large Traditional category.

"How the Light Gets In" by Mary Hawkins. I'm not always drawn to modern quilts but I loved this one! Mary has very successfully arranged her blocks with value placement in mind to show just how the light gets in.

"Mountain Shadows" by V. Leigh Smith and quilted by Wendy Billing. I really liked this one- she has done an interesting variation of the French Braid by varying the width of the strips and the orientation, to represent the forested hills of New Brunswick - very effective!

Somehow I missed photographing the card for this wallhanging so I do not have its proper title, but I know it is of an iceberg (from Antarctica I believe?) by the very talented Juliet Nowlan. My friend Sandi who journeyed to Antarctica last winter, said Juliet has captured the colours perfectly.


Every quilter has a masterpiece within.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Busy Days and a Quilt Show

I've been absent from blogland for almost a week! Eeeeek!!! It's not that I haven't wanted to be blogging, I've just been "beyond busy". So much going on this time of year, with trying to get the garden harvested and put to rest, freezing tomatoes and squash, doing pickles, Guild and Choir start-up, preping for my upcoming classes, etc. etc. I finished my 12 day crock pickles last weekend, did my Lady Ashburnhams today, got a large batch of spaghetti sauce done today, and now I have an apple pie in the oven and apple jelly underway. We're watching our provincial election results tonight - it's a very very close race at this point. At least we're enjoying the wonderful aroma of baking apple pie as we watch the lead seesaw back and forth...
This past weekend was the annual quilt show and sale by the Kennebecasis Valley Quilters' Guild. This guild is to be commended for doing a show of such proportions every year! Mounting a show is a huge undertaking and this group does it annually! They put the rest of us to shame! Some years are better than others and this year was exceptional. There were many many exquisite examples of the talent that is found in this group. There is always lots to see- quilts, some judged and some for display only, workshop pieces, challenges, small items for sale, a Quilters' Walk fundraiser, and of course vendors, not to mention seeing quilting friends from around the province. It's always a fun day to visit the KV show.... Without further ado, here are some of the beautiful quilts we saw.... in random order...

"Expressions of Morris". Best of Show, winner of  Lorna Peacock Memorial Award
and CQA ribbons.
Made by Diana Reid, Quilted by Bloomfield Quilters, Owned by Patti Monkhouse

A closeup look at Diana's beautiful applique

Beautiful applique AND beautiful quilting!!

"Reminiscence" by Diana Reid and quilted by Bloomfield Quilters.
Winner of 2nd place, Group Hand Quilted category.

"Braided Magic" by Sandra Daigle.  Judge's Choice ribbon

"Coloured Whole  Cloth" by Alice Chancey  Winner of 2nd Place, Non Traditional category.  This was quilted as a whole cloth quilt on a longarm machine, then was coloured with coloured pencils, finally painted with fabric medium to set the colour.  An interesting process!

"The Owl and the Pussycat" by Judy LeClue. This quilt blew my mind! It is a Zentangle design, done in ink. I wonder how many hours were spent with pen in hand....?  Winner of Judge's Choice ribbon.
Edit: I just found out this piece also won Viewer's Choice for Small Quilts category!!

These two photos show you the fine detail in the Zentangle work. Judy always does amazing work, and once again, she does not disappoint!!

I'm more than frustrated with Blogger problems tonight. I am having trouble adding photos - they will not add in order, but all want to end up at the top of the post. Somewhat like the mess-up with election results tonight... Ahh technology! Gotta love it... NOT   So I'm calling it a night for now. I'll continue with more show photos in my next post.....


"The best laid plans....

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Finally Finished.

My little "Not Quite Civil Pineapple" is finished! It is 8.75" square, with 447 pieces. It's taken me a while to get back to it. The concensus on whether to border it or not was roughly 50/50 - thank you for your suggestions/comments! My problem was that I had no yardage of any of the fabrics, since it is totally made from 1" wide (or less) strips that were trimmings from squaring up larger quilt blocks. Besides being very narrow, none of the strips were much more than 6 or 7 inches long. My friend Sandi Mac gave me these trimmings, and all her yardage for these blocks is in her other studio... in Florida. A little too far to go for border fabric! I had nothing in my stash that worked either (hard to believe, I know, for those of you who know how extensive my fabric stash is...) So I decided to just go with the old traditional finish of a Pineapple quilt and simply bind it. I have added a narrow corded piping in a light tan, before the olive green solid binding (thanks Lee for the suggestion of using a solid.) Solids are another thing I don't have many of in my stash, but this was
in a bundle from a George Siciliano workshop a few years back, and I thought it was perfect.
I bound it twice!  More than twice actually. The first time, after binding was all sewn on and I started to hand stitch it to the back, I realized I just had not made the binding quite wide enough. The addition of the corded piping adds another two layers of fabric in that seam allowance, giving you a total of nine layers- my binding just wasn't wide enough to wrap to the back over all that thickness and completely cover my line of stitching without looking like it was pulled too tight. So I ripped it all off and cut a wider binding. Stitched it all on again and had the hand-stitching 90% finished. At the last corner I realized there was an issue with the mitred corner of the binding - so I once again "unstitched" one entire side (and two corners) and re-did the corners and the joining seam. So it DOES feel good to be done! I'm pleased with it. It's not my usual colour palette, but it's a good exercise to step outside one's usual "comfort zone" occasionally. It's done. And "done is good."


"Setting a goal is not the main thing. It is deciding how you will go about achieving it and staying with that plan." ~ Tom Landry

Monday, September 15, 2014

What's New at the Zoo?

A few days ago we took a little day trip to Moncton and visited the zoo at Magnetic Hill. We hadn't been there in years, so it was time.  They acquired a new pair of Amur tigers earlier this year and I was anxious to see them. It was the perfect day for a visit- not too hot, just pleasant temps for strolling around and we saw all the animals except the lions who apparently are either shy or were sleeping in. (Well, truth be told, I guess I didn't see ALL the animals, as I did not enter the reptile exhibit. Nope, not going to look at snakes if I have a choice...)
Many of my photos, of course, were taken through wire fencing. I would have liked a longer lens, and no fencing in my way, but then again, I do understand the whole safety issue. I wasn't about to risk becoming someone's meal for the sake of a better photo! lol  So I apologize for the light streaks across some of the photos (out of focus fencing.) Without further commentary, here are some of my favourites.

There were lots of birds. Clockwise from top left:
Black Swan, Marabou Stork, a female Mallard duck, and an East African Crowned Crane.

Of course, we enjoyed the primates too. They are always entertaining...... Clockwise from top left: Colobus monkey, Gibbon, Ring Tailed Lemur, Mandrill

If you have some patience and a little luck, you can sometimes catch interesting expressions or poses... here are a few....

A Ring Tailed Lemur yawwwnnnnnn
"Now what was I going to say.......?"

And a few more animals...  Clockwise from top left: Duck, Irresistably cute baby goat, Otter getting ready for a slide into the pool, and Sulcata tortoise or African spurred tortoise.

At the end of our "tour" we finally found the Amur tigers. A new tiger enclosure is under construction, so they are in a temporary space nearby. They both appeared  bored with the whole thing and were napping; no amount of pleading, whistling or other sounds would even get them to open their eyes let alone raise their big beautiful heads.... so this is the best shot I could get. Guess I'll just have to make another visit someday...

The Amur tiger is an endangered species, native to far eastern Russia. It is the largest of the cat family. These cats are solitary animals and are only found together during mating season or as young cubs with their mothers. They remain close to water sources and are adept swimmers. Their striped coats provide excellent camouflage in tall grasses.

All in all it was a good day at the zoo. I am linking to Mosaic Monday, now hosted by Judith at Lavender Cottage. Be sure to pop by and see what others have done for this weekly mosaic meme.


"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened." Anatole France

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Yummy Greek Salad

Here is the recipe I promised a few days ago. The dressing is quick and easy and you likely have all the ingredients, except perhaps the feta. At this time of year when I have lots of cucumbers and tomatoes in the garden, this is the perfect recipe for a colorful salad to accompany supper. This dressing recipe came from the Mennonite Girls Can Cook blog a few months ago.

Greek Salad

equal amounts of chopped cucumber, tomatoes, red onion and green pepper (I use red pepper too, when I have one on hand) I try to cut them all roughly the same size.
Kalamata olives, optional
feta cheese

3 Tblsp. olive oil
3 Tblsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 large clove of garlic, minced
1 tsp. lemon pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. dried basil
2 Tblsp. crumbled feta

Place all ingredients in a jar, cover and shake well. Place in refrigerator for at least an hour before serving salad, to let the flavours meld.
Shake and pour over vegetables just before serving. Toss and top with crumbled feta, to taste. Serve.


"We all eat, and it would be a sad waste of opportunity to eat badly." ~ Anna Thomas

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Silver on PEI

It's been a busy few days. On Sunday I made a very quick trip to Prince Edward Island to watch my nephew's son Nathan play in the GOLD medal game at the Peewee AAA baseball Atlantic championship game!!! They won on Saturday to advance to the first place game!!!!! Way to go guys!!! We were so very proud of the team for doing so well.
To get to PEI from New Brunswick you drive over the awesome Confederation Bridge, a 12.9 kilometer (8 mile) bridge which spans the Northumberland Strait. It is the longest bridge in the world which spans ice-covered water. (Of course it's not ice covered at this time of year.) It took almost four years to construct, at a cost of a billion dollars, and employed crews of more than five thousand local workers. It opened in May of 1997. I still marvel at its design and construction every time I drive over it - it is truly one of Canada's top engineering feats of the 20th century.

Nathan's Mom and I stopped at The Lobster Barn in beautiful Victoria by the Sea for lunch- one MUST eat lobster while on PEI so we had lobster rolls for lunch. (We won't discuss dessert, ok?)  We both agreed this was a great spot to eat - we recommend it highly.
And the other thing one must consume while on "the Island" is an icecream cone at Cows. So of course, we did that too. So good....

Back to the team. They played a great game, leading for most of it, but sadly they lost by 5-4 in the final inning. So they settled for silver medals instead of gold, but that is nothing to be ashamed of. Second in Atlantic!! Pretty darned good I'd say! Way to go Nathan!! This was his first year of playing competitive ball... I'm sure he was tired when he got home after four days of games. And this week he has hockey try-outs. At least he doesn't have  a chance to get bored....
Yesterday I made another batch of jam, and I have a large batch of crock pickles underway. I've been busy picking, stewing and freezing tomatoes too. The garden is winding down and I'm busy harvesting and preserving what I can. I spent today doing all those fun things like laundry, ironing, scrubbing bathrooms, etc. and then Choir started tonight. Tomorrow we're off on a little day trip. Thursday is supposed to be rainy and I plan on spending the entire day in my studio. Can't wait.... No rest for the weary! Tomorrow, I'll give you the Greek salad recipe.


"Nothing can subtract hard work from success, only add to it." ~Manjunath Harlapur

Friday, September 5, 2014

The Power of Suggestion and This 'n That

Ahhh, the power of suggestion.. it's an amazing thing! We have a friend who is traveling in Italy right now. She sends a brief "journal entry" by email each day so we can follow her travels and adventures and yesterday she was telling us of the amazing pizza she had in Rome. Well, that got my mouth watering for some homemade pizza... Are you the same? Can the mere mention or suggestion of a certain dish make you begin to crave it? I decided to "go with it" rather than "fight the feeling!" With lots of fresh garden veggies to go with it in a Greek salad, how could I go wrong? I make my pizza a bit different than you do, no doubt. I try to make it a healthy dish, so no pepperoni, salami or meats of that sort. I cook lean ground beef, add my tomato sauce and spices to make a thick meat sauce, spread that on my homemade dough, then top with lots of veggies- typically onions, peppers both red and green and lots of thickly sliced mushrooms. In the last few minutes of cooking, I top with cheese - tonight it was parmesan, mozzarella and old cheddar. "Just picked" tomatoes and cucumbers along with peppers, red onion and fresh basil were sooo good in the Greek salad. We devoured it all before I even thought of taking a photo. I promise next time I make the salad I'll take a pic and give you the salad dressing recipe. It's quick and easy with simple ingredients you'll have on hand. My tummy is so happy right now.. can you hear me purring??? Sigh.... Just as good as any meal in Rome, I'm sure...  :)

Great nephew Nathan is in Charlottetown this weekend for the Peewee AAA Atlantic baseball Championship. They won their first two games against Kentville and Halifax, but lost today to the PEI champs of Summerside. Hopefully they will rally for the place games tomorrow. Go Nate!!

I've had a very busy week with a lot of things that just had to be done. Sewing was not in the cards this week, but I'll be back at it tonight or tomorrow for sure. My LQS is holding an Open House tomorrow and I'm teaching a few new classes there this fall, so had to get that all organized, supply lists prepared, etc. I still have some shop samples to make... Never enough hours in my day...

I've fallen behind on book reviews as well. So I'll finish off tonight with a short review of The Far Side of the Sky by Daniel Kalla. This is the story of  a Jewish family who flee Vienna following Kristallnach in November 1938. Widowed Doctor Franz Adler escapes with his young daughter and sister-in-law (whose husband was murdered by the Nazis) to Shanghai, one of the few places offering sanctuary to Jews at that time. Adler struggles to settle and make a life for his family in Shanghai, a large city demarcated into military zones among the Japanese, British and American forces. Just as they begin to get used to life in a very different culture, Japan enters the war and aligns with Germany. The Adlers and thousands of other Jewish refugees must deal with the challenges and restrictions of life in China where Japan is now in charge! It becomes clear that Germany has not forgotten those who fled....
While this novel is historical fiction, there is also romance. Dr. Adler eventually finds work volunteering in a refugee hospital and meets Soon Yi "Sunny" Mah, a half Chinese, half American nurse. He recognizes her abilities and agrees to mentor her in surgery. They work together to try and better the lives of many starving Jewish refugees. I won't give away any more of the story, but suffice it to say this was another book that was VERY hard to put down.
This book is a must read for those interested in learning more about WWII and the Holocaust. I knew nothing of the nearly 20,000 European Jews that fled to Shanghai, nor the fact that the city had a large Jewish presence that went back many years. Kalla has written an outstanding story with a fast moving plot. Although most characters are fictional, they seem very real and the author has done an incredible job of weaving together a fictional story with real historical events. It's a story of love and loss, courage and resilience, hope and survival. I couldn't turn the pages fast enough.  
Daniel Kalla, a Vancouver ER physician, is well known for his medical thrillers (Pandemic, Resistance, Of Flesh and Blood to name a few), none of which I have read, but you can be sure more of his writing is now on my list.  The Far Side of the Sky's sequel, Rising Sun, Falling Shadow will be number one on my "Read more Kalla" list. In fact I just put it on hold at my local library.


"You can be too rich and too thin, but you can never be too well read or too curious about the world."  ~ Tim Gunn

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Green Bean Yumminess!

How is your vegetable garden this year? Mine is certainly not the best it has ever been, but not the worst either. Some things have done very well (not the tomatoes, sadly). I do have an overabundance of cucumbers (as always), and right now lots of green beans. Just in case you too have lots of beans, I thought you might like to try a new quick and easy recipe. This was available at the Dietician's booth at the local Superstore a few weeks ago. I sampled it and it was sooo good, I knew I'd try it at home. There are no amounts- just do it to suit your own taste.
Cook green beans just until tender crisp. While they are cooking, mix equal parts of fresh squeezed lemon juice with your choice of oil (I used olive oil, she use grapeseed oil). Actually I used slightly more lemon juice than oil. Add some freshly grated lemon zest and fresh chopped herbs - basil, dill and mint. Pour over hot beans, toss and top with some crumbled feta cheese. Yummmmmy!!


"Food is our common ground, a universal experience." ~ James Beard
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