Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Retirement

I retired earlier this fall and I have to say that I do not miss work. I miss seeing the folks I worked with, but I do not miss doing the work. I guess that means that it is a good thing I left! So, what have I been doing with my times since I retired?

I read a lot. A few of the books I read get reviewed in this blog--maybe half of them. I have been doing a lot of sewing. I made quilts for Natalie, Rob and Maggie in October, November and December. Right now I am working on a quilt for Baby Floyd Johnson, and I am thinking about the quilts I will make for Liz, Shelby and Jill in the upcoming weeks. I am knitting, but not as much as I thought I would. Probably because of all the sewing I have been doing. There really are a lot of things I want to make. I sometimes go to quilting on Wednesday mornings at the Seward United Methodist Church, and then I stay for the Knitwits meeting. The Knitwits make baby afghans for each baby baptized at the church and prayer shawls and lap robes which are distributed to those who need them.

Dave and I joined the YMCA in Fallbrook (a Lincoln neighborhood). Our plan is to go work out 2 or 3 times every week. So far our workouts have all been the Water Fit class. This is good because we have not hurt ourselves! We have been providing child care for Sammy, who has been sick several times this fall, and that has cut into our workout time. We also spend time with Eleanor. Dave sees her every day; I don't go as often. Maybe after the first of the year we can get back to our original goal, and also try out some of the other classes and equipment.

I spend quite a lot of time on Facebook, and reading various blogs and on-line news, as well as email. I recently "unfriended" about 20 people on Facebook. There were different reasons--some people I really did not know very well and rarely see, so I decided I didn't need to read their postings on Facebook, and some people posted things I found offensive, silly or just plain stupid. My favorite thing to do on Facebook is play Scrabble with my cousin Jim. He has beat me every single game that we have played, but I think I may have a chance in the current game--I believe it is game number six. Fortunately for me, he still wants to play!

One thing we have not done is travel. We talk about place we would like to visit, especially Mexico. Maybe next year.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Birthday Party

Granddaughter Maggie turned 7 years old on December 18th. She had a slumber party with her friends on her birthday and then the family party was on Sunday evening. Quite a bash--9 kids and 11 adults, and lots of loot for Maggie! She really would like to have a dog, but Mom and Dad say no for now, but she got a great stuffed animal dog from her Grammy Lynne. Not sure what she will name it yet.

I made a quilt for her, but didn't get a picture of it. She also likes frogs, so I picked a novelty fabric with lots of frogs on it--also turtle, lady bugs, worms and flowers. It is quite colorful!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Books and Movies

During the last week or two we have watched two movies and I have read three books. We watched "Invictus" and "Book of Eli" and liked both. Invictus stars Morgan Freeman as Nelson Mandela and Matt Damon as Francois Pienaar. The action takes place in South Africa in 1994-1995 as Mandela is trying the mend the country from the wounds inflicted by years of apartheid. The Springboks rugby team is an unlikely candidate to win the world cup, but Mandela sees it as a means to help bring the country together if he can get the team to play well and represent the entire country. Another part of the plot revolves around Mandela's security team integrating and coming together to protect their leader.  The title refers to a poem that Mandela thought of often as he was imprisoned for 27 years. Clint Eastwood directed.
Denzel Washington stars in the Book of Eli as the man who must carry the last copy of the Bible on a journey to the West to an unknown destination. He walks by faith not by sight in more ways than one. There is a lot of violence in the world due to a war that ended 30 years prior. A blast blinded many people and landscape is desert-like. There are confrontations and destruction along the way, most notably in a wild west type town controlled by a despot. Denzel Washington does a great job with this role. I remember some criticism of the movie as being religious when it played in theaters. Well, it is religous--it is about the last copy of the Bible for heaven's sake! I liked it.
I read Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood at about the same time I watched the Book of Eli. Oryx and Crake also takes place in a bleak future world where the main character, the Snowman (aka Jimmy) seems to be the only human left alive. He is not alone though because his best friend Crake has invented a new human-like species which Jimmy has managed to save as the rest of the people have died from a fast spreading plague. Most of the book is flashbacks as Jimmy tries to remember his words and his previous life and figure out how it all happened. Oryx is a beautiful young women who finds her way from being a child prostitute in Southeast Asia, to the US where she meets Jimmy and Crake--and we have a love triangle. It is a good story which is continued in "In the Year of the Flood" which I have already read, but now will have to read again.
Also on my reading list was The Comforts of a Muddy Saturday by Alexander McCall Smith. I thought I had read every single one of McCall Smith's books but then I saw this one on the shelf at the library. It is part of the Isabel Dalhousie series and takes place in Scotland. I would describe it as a "gentle" book. Lots of introspection by Isabel since she is a moral philosopher. Good story.
And, last but not least, "I Still Dream About You" by Fannie Flagg. I always like a Fannie Flagg book and this was no exception. Maggie Fortenberry, a former Miss Alabama, is the main character of the story set in Birmingham. There is some mystery, a lot of humor, and some great characters in this book. Although sometimes predictable I really enjoyed it, and it made me feel good!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Easy as pie

It turns out pie is no longer easy for me. I used to make pies quite often and did not find making a crust all that difficult. Today as I was browsing through cookbooks trying to decide on dessert for Thanksgiving Day I decided I would make a pumpkin pie and a pecan pie. The recipe for the pecan pie suggested making it ahead of time and freezing it. I am all for getting things done ahead of time, so decided to do that this afternoon. I have no shortening on hand so found a pie crust recipe that uses oil instead. I messed around with that pie crust for about 45 minutes before I gave up and threw it in the trash.
I found a pumpkin cake recipe that my mom used to make so I will make that on Wednesday!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Meeting our deer friends

It is deer season, and Rob shot a deer last night. We have been watching deer run through our pasture all fall, well every day of the year, actually. Dave sat on the deck and took some shots at 3 different deer on Monday night, nicked one, but that was that. On Tuesday night, as we were heading south on Highway 15 toward Seward a large doe ran into our Honda. There isn't much damage, a large scratch in the paint on the rear passenger side. Dave was driving and I think we both saw the deer at the same time. There was no on-coming traffic, so he veered into the other lane, but the deer decided to keep running and must have kicked the car as she went across the road from west to east. I believe Dave something like "F#*^)@!' deer!!!! I think we were lucky she didn't land on the windshield!
Rob didn't want the deer, so after letting it hang from a tree in the yard all night, Dave has taken it down and is on his way to check it in. Then I think he is taking it Carole in Ulysses to process--that is what I am hoping. He did talk about cutting it up himself.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Seward County Dems

It was kind of an interesting meeting last night for the Seward County Democrats. We had a guest, W. Don Nelson, who is the editor of the Prairie Fire newspaper which is free to pick up at various places around town. I usually grab one at the library. Don came to have a conversation with us about setting goals for our group. He has a lot of political experience, having been an aide to Jim Exon, Bob Kerrey and Ben Neslon. He had a lot of good information to share with us and would be willing to come back again.
Once again, attendance was disappointing, with a total of 13 people there. When it came to picking a goal there were probably 13 different ideas. It might actually be easier if we had fewer people at our meeting from that regard. We settled on recruiting a candidate for the 24th legislative district for the 2014 election as one of our goals. We need to start now because our candidate would have to announce by 2012 in order to start raising money.
Personally I think we need to start working on the 2012 Democratic Caucus. It was announced in October that the Nebraska Dems will hold another presidential caucus in 2012. The caucus in 2008 generated a lot of interest in Seward County, so if that happens again it would be good to be organized and ready

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Catching up

I write blog material in my head almost on a daily basis. I don't seem to make the transition to typing it in 'Blogger' though. I wonder why that is. Now that I am here at the computer I can't seem to remember what I have been writing about in my head--it was quite interesting I am sure! I guess I'll just write about what we have been doing:
Dave and I joined the YMCA at Fallbrook and our goal is to attend the Water Fitness class 3 times each week. This week we will probably go 4 times if things work out right. Most of the class members are "seniors" and most people would probably think that you don't get much of a work out. Actually, we get a great workout--a lot depends on how much effort I decide to put into the work out, and I have not hurt my knees. Dave is usually the only man in the class, but he likes it too. There are different teachers on different days, so the workout changes. Afterward we sit in the whirlpool!
We celebrated Eleanor's 90th birthday on Nov. 6 and 7. It was great to see everyone, and I think Eleanor had a good time without getting worn out. She seemed kind of anxious and sort of cranky before the big day, so I am pretty sure she was worried about it. But, she had a good time, got lots of cards and gifts, and saw more of her family than she usually does. And now she is feeling pretty good and seems quite happy.
This past weekend Dave and I met our Minnesota friends Jeff and Sue in Des Moines. Jeff was a speaker at a meeting on Friday, so we met them at the Embassy Suites in downtown Des Moines. We went to the State Historical museum the art museum (both of those are free and very good), the zoo and the botanical garden. Des Moines has a lot of public art and has a nice downtown area. It was a good time.
Last night was my first meeting as president of Blue Valley Quilt Guild. It went pretty well. One down, 10 to go!
Tonight there is a meeting of the Seward County Democrats. I am going because I am the secretary, but the meetings are always kind of disappointing because the turn out isn't good, and it is hard to find people to serve as officers. And being a democrat in Nebraska is a lonely kind of deal.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

YMCA . . . Havin' fun at the Y M C A

On Wednesday of this week Dave and I drove into the Fallbrook YMCA, which we can reach from our house in 30 minutes. For $5.00 (since we are seniors!) we got a day pass and used the swimming pools. Dave swam laps and I attended the Water Fit class. My right knee complains bitterly after I go to a Jazzercise class, and Dave really enjoys swimming, so we decided to go check it out. There is lots more to do besides swim, but that is what we are interested in doing right now. We have also talked about going to the Community Center in York and trying that pool, but I think the Fallbrook Y is such a great facility that we would have a tough time finding something we like better. We did the math, and if we both go 2 times per week we will buy a membership.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Baking Cookies

It has been ages since I baked any cookies, or anything at all for that matter. Dave has been hungry for peanut butter cookies and bought extra peanut butter, so this morning I baked! This is the recipe I used:

Peanut Butter Round Up Cookies
1/2 c. margarine, softened
1/2 c. shortening
(Note: I do not have margarine or shortening, so I used 1 cup unsalted butter)
1 c. brown sugar
3/4 c. granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 c. chunky peanut butter
2 c. flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. quick Quaker oats (I have regular--worked fine)
12 oz. pkg. chocolate chips

Preheat over to 350 degrees. Cream together butter and sugars. Add peanut butter and eggs; beat well. Add flour, salt and baking soda. Stir in oats and chocolate chips. Shape into balls and flatten with a flour dipped fork. Bake at 350 degrees fro 8 to 10 minutes.

Note: I found I had to bake longer than 10 minutes, and that I had to let the cookies cool on the pan for a few minutes so they wouldn't fall apart when I tried to take them off.

The cookies are good!

I found this recipe in The CLS Cookbook 2000. My mom must have had this book when she moved to Seward in 2000. It is from Central Lutheran School in Saint Paul, MN, the school I attended for Kindergarten through grade 8. The recipe was contributed by Suzanne Koppe.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

BVQG newsletter

I wrote a short article for the Blue Valley Quilt Guild October newsletter, so I decided to get a little more mileage from it and post it here:
        What Inspires You?
I like to ask myself that question now and then. The answers vary widely depending on my circumstances. A cup of coffee at 7:00 a.m. is very inspirational! Not so much at 10:00 p.m. I am writing this on a day that follows several days of inspirational fall weather. It has been absolutely beautiful outside—the colors and the temperature combining to make glorious days.
What inspires you to create a quilt? Seeing beautiful quilts displayed gives me lots and lots of ideas about things I would like to try myself. Threads Across Nebraska offered an opportunity to do that earlier this month. While there I purchased fabric (on sale—this is often inspirational for me!) and a book. I watched a vendor demonstrate a process I am anxious to try. I was inspired! At our meetings we get inspired by speakers who let us in on their sources of inspiration and their particular ways of getting the results they are looking for. One of my favorite parts of our BVQG meetings is “Show and Tell” where you show what you have been working on and we can see the results of your inspiration.
A deadline can also be the inspiration that pushes me to finish a quilt. What about you?  We have a deadline looking us in the eyes right now: Our “Bits & Pieces” Quilt Show is literally just around the corner. Could this deadline be the inspiration you need to finish a quilt or make something for our boutique? I know our quilt show will be an inspiration for everyone who comes to see it.
Working with friends is also inspirational for me.  I will miss working with outgoing president Diane Swartzlander and newsletter editor Katy Coleman. Thanks ladies for being an inspiration in so many ways for our guild. I am anxious to see what you will do next!  I look forward to being inspired by incoming vice-president Becky Wallroff and newsletter editor Mary Robbins. 

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Retreating

Last Thursday through Sunday I spent with 10 other women at a Bed and Breakfast on Johnson Lake, near Lexington, NE. We are all quilters and this is our yearly retreat. I have been twice now, but some of the women have been all six years. We had such a good time! I am not that great at quilting, but most of the others are excellent at it, so it was inspiring for me to see their work. We sewed and laughed and ate and shared stories, and laughed and laughed. Slept some. I am looking forward to next year!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Scent of a woman

Not the movie.
My sense of smell evokes memories more than my other senses. I especially noticed this after my mother died and I was sorting through her personal belongings. Opening a drawer in a dresser, or even opening a photo album would bring her right into my brain. She was about the same size that I am and many of her clothes fit me. When I would put on one of her sweaters it was like she had wrapped her arms around me. The scent is not a specific cologne or soap or detergent; it is simply her scent. She died in 2004 and her scent has almost vanished.
My aunt Marge died last summer. We are using her bedroom furniture in our guest room, and when I open the door to that room, I am a young girl and I am back in her home.
Last week we moved my mother-in-law to assisted living in the retirement home where she has been for almost six years. It is a smaller apartment, so we have moved a lot of her belongings to our home while we are sorting out what she will keep and what she will give up. Her scent is here too, but so is she. I wish it wouldn't make me cry.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Overheard

"You shouldn't retire until your grandkids are in school and your parents are dead."

Dave heard this remark this week while he was at Jim's Home Health store with his mother. The remark was made by a woman who was also at the store with her mother and who Dave had seen earlier in the day when they both had their grandchildren at swimming lessons.

Some people would be appalled by that statement, but we both laughed hysterically when he repeated it to me because, well, it is hard to explain unless you have been there yourself.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Play some games

I think people should play more games, like card games and board games. It is fun and relaxing and relieves stress (for me anyway--I suppose some people might get stressed out playing a difficult game of scrabble) and makes me laugh (again that is my view--probably because I play games with 3 other women who make me laugh). Gamin' gals, 2nd Monday of the month at the Civic Center.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Renate Hiller - "On Handwork"

I just saw this video on Mason Dixon Knitting and it helps me to express why I love handwork!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Pender "Barn" Quilts


Click to see a bigger image.
Dave and I drove to Pender, NE today to look at the "Barn" quilts that are hanging all over town, and also out in the rural area, a part of the town's 125th anniversary, or Quasquicentennial. This project started when several women from Pender went on a road trip through Iowa and spotted unique quilt block creations painted on barns. They put their heads together, designed and made 8 of the quilt blocks to display in Pender. Their idea caught on and now there are 147 quilt blocks in Pender and 40 out of town. We took a few pictures, but it was overwhelming since there were so many. It seemed like there were more houses with blocks than without.
We also checked out the quilt show at the Legion Hall. A nice variety of quilts, old and new, were displayed.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Friday, June 11, 2010

Conversation with Austin

Me: "Hey, Austin, it looks like you are limping."
Austin: "Yeah, Grandma, my left foot little toe hurts. I cut it."
Me: "Oh. I am sorry to hear that."
Austin: (sadly) "It was my favorite one."

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Staying at home

Since I am on hiatus from my job I find I am spending a lot (most!) of my time at home. This has led to a large amount of sewing: I am done piecing a quilt for Dave and am considering how I will quilt it. His birthday was on Monday and the quilt was not finished, but he knows it will be soon. I am gardening quite a bit as well, and this morning I am making strawberry jam with berries picked this morning from our little patch. Since we found that we can stream movies from our Netflix subscription through our Wii to watch them on our television we are spending quite a bit of time watching movies.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Working out

I joined the local Jazzercize group this month and have really enjoyed it. I went a little overboard the first couple of times and paid the price with very sore knees, but I am feeling much better now. I discovered that I have to do a low impact version on routines with jumps, but I can do the skips, etc. I guess low impact means you have to have one foot on the floor all the time. It is a lot of fun and I have found that I have a lot more energy and sleep better too. I have not lost any weight, which is one goal I do have right now, but I think I am eating more--basically whatever I want to eat and not gaining.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Kintting today was awewome

Whew! I had a great time today with my knitting buddies. We visited The Yarn Shop in Lincoln which has expanded to quite a large shop which includes a great little cafe, The Pink Sheep. They were so hospitalbe: they rounded up some chairs for us--there were 8 of us--so we could sit together, knit, drink coffee or tea, and then order some lunch. I had the spinach and artichoke quiche, a fruit plate and and applesauce muffin. Yum! Yum! Next we went to the Lincoln Weavers' Guild meeting place since several of my knitting friends also weave and we were close by, and it was an awesome place. There were over 70 looms set up with projects that were in various stages of completetion. Since I know very little about weaving, this was quite an eye-opener for me. Great day with great friends!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

World of Work

Almost every day I think of something that I could write about in this space, but then I don't. Some reasons why this happens may be that when I have that thought I am on my way out the door, or at work, or in the car and then I forget about it when I get back home. For the next eleven weeks I anticipate that I will be at home more and that I will be writing more. I will also be doing more gardening, knitting, sewing, and I am going to learn how to spin. I will have more time to visit my mother-in-law and to spend time with my grandchildren. I will make it to more Jazzercize classes, workout with the Wii and go to 'Happy Hour' at the gallery night club on Thursday evenings. I will spend time at the swimming pool, do some fishing and some camping, read more books and watch more movies. Maybe I will volunteer at the library and the Red Cross. All of this is possible because I am off work for the summer. Granted, I only work 20 hours a week when I am working, and I could certainly do most of the things I have just listed as well as work those 20 hours. But, I don't.
Let's see what happens.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Knitting Olympics

If you are a knitter you may have heard of the "Knitting Olympics" . The winter version is taking place right now, because, of course, the Winter Olympics is taking place right now. I am not an official participant, but lots of knitters join the group at Ravelry or Yarn Harlot.
I guess this could be somewhat controversial since the Yarn Harlot has been doing the Knitting Olympics longer, but was going to not do it this year due to the heavy involvement of the new Ravelry group. But her faithful blog readers urged her on and she is running the competition again. The gist of it is you pick out a challenging knitting project before the Olympics begin. You may swatch and adjust for needle size and yarn preference, and then as the opening ceremonies begin, you cast on. Knit like crazy for the duration of the Olympics and finish by the time the closing ceremonies are on TV. Participants who finish their project get a button for their blog, and bragging rights among other knitters.
I am working on a sweater that I would like to finish by the time the Olympics draws to a close, but I just don't have that drive to finish that I would had I been an olympian. My problem was that I had already begun the sweater, so I couldn't use it for an olympic project and would have had to pick something else. I already have too many UFOs (unfinished objects) around the house in both the knitting and quilting venues, so I am not a participant this year, but I am cheering on those who are knitting their way to gold.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Everything is Illuminated

We rented the movie Everything is Illuminated and watched it Saturday night. Here is the trailer.
Jonathan, a young Jewish American man, goes on a journey to Ukraine, looking for the woman who saved his grandfather's life during WWII. Reading that sentence makes it sound pretty somber, but it really isn't. Jonathan's traveling companions are a young Ukrainian man and his grandfather, and the grandfather's dog, Sammy Davis Jr. Jr. The young man serves as the translator, but he is not so "primo" with his English, and the best parts of the movie are when the cultural divide is bridged.
We gave it 2 thumbs up.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Been a while (again!)

We have another wintery weather forecast for tonight and tomorrow. The weather has been getting us down in the dumps. I know it is February and it is still winter, but most years we get a few breaks: some warm days where the snow melts and the sun shines. Some winters we don't even get 3 inches total in snowfall. I did hear someone say that the cold, cold temps we had earlier in the winter might kill some of the insects that have become such a problem for gardners. Hey, I am trying to look at the positives. And, sometimes it is really very beautiful outside; like when the fog freezes on the trees and everything is ghostly white, and then sparkles when the sun comes out. But the sun doesn't come out very much.
Anyway, to beat the winter blahs Dave and I have taken a two short overnight trips. A week ago we went to Nebraksa City and stayed at Lied Lodge. It is a beautiful spot, even in the winter. They have a great swimming pool, and wonderful food. My only complaint would be that it is kind of expensive, and the room we got on this visit was not that great. (Note to self: do not stay in Room 320 again--immediately ask for another one if the hotel desk clerk tries to give you this one.) We should have asked for another room right away, and I really can't say why we didn't. It had a murphy bed--can you believe that? It was not comfortable, and there was extra furniture that was kind of in the way. I guess that was to sit in if you put the murphy bed up in the wall. After supper we sat in the bar, which was cool, and then in that wonderful lobby with the gorgeous fire place. The next day I went for a long walk around the grounds and tried to find the tree adventure place. I finally saw it off in the distance, but I was pretty cold by that time and decided to walk back to the hotel. I wanted to find out if it would be a good place to bring the grandkids sometime.
Last night we stayed at the Embassy Suites in LaVista. This is my favorite hotel. We got two rooms that were adjoining and had all the grandkids with us for at least part of the time. Dan stayed overnight to help with crowd control. If I could take the swimming pool from the Lied Lodge and move it to the Embassy Suites in LaVista, that would be the perfect hotel. The Embassy Suites hotel pool is fine, (but not as fine as the one at the Lied Lodge), the hot tub is great, and the breakfast tasted really good. We did it up right, had room service for supper, watched cartoons on the TVs (we had four televisions in the 2 rooms!) and generally had a good time.

Friday, February 5, 2010


These slides are from several weeks ago when Dave decided it was time for our donkey to get out into the pasture again.

Here are some pictures I took today while I was out snow shoeing. Heck, if we are going to have 5 more inches of snow, I might as well enjoy it!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Book Review: That Old Cape Magic

I finished That Old Cape Magic by Richard Russo last night, and I must say I really enjoyed this book. Russo is a great story teller and a lot of what he wrote about in this book resonated with me. The story unfolds over a year's time and there are plenty of highs and lows for the main character, Jack Griffin. At the start of the book he is driving to the wedding of his daughter's best friend. The wedding will be in Cape Cod, a place with plenty of memories for Jack, since that is where he and his parents vacationed when he was a child, and the place where his parents really thought they should be living, but it was always out of their reach. He has his father's ashes in an urn in the trunk and while he is on the Cape he plans to scatter them. His wife is driving separately, and they plan to meet at the B and B where they honeymooned 30 years earlier. Most of what he and his wife planned for and thought their lives would be has come true. But, was that really his plan? Did he make choices for the wrong reasons? Did she? These questions start the process that almost unravels his life.


A second wedding, his daughter's, takes place a year later, and he has the opportunity to get back on track with his family, wife, job and friends. Russo writes so well about the deeply sad and also hilarious moments during that year. I will be reading more of Richard Russo's books.


The other think I did yesterday was strap on the snow shoes for a longer walk around the yard and pasture. With temperatures in the 30s and almost no breeze, it was wonderful. I am looking forward to going out again.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Time for a good mystery

Yes, the reading continues. You have looked outside, right?

Next book from the library book bag: Shroud for a Nightingale by P. D. James. It's an Adam Dalgliesh mystery, which means the new Scotland Yard is on the case, and it will be solved within a short time--less than a week most likely. The setting for this murder mystery is Nightingale House, an English nursing school. The first murder takes place in a classroom with a dozen people watching as the student nurse is mistakenly administered poison through a feeding tube as part of a teaching demonstration.

The next body is another student nurse and she is found in her sleeping room, another case of poisoning, this time nicotine. Adam and Sgt. Masterson have to sift through the evidence and get past the prevailing opinion that we are looking at a murder followed by a suicide. Of course, Adam is in danger--an attempt is made on his life, but his great detective work is rewarded with solving the murders, although the murderer does go free.

If you are looking for a classic murder mystery that is well written, pick up any novel by P. D. James and you will be well satisfied.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Another book

I finished another of my books from the library: La's Orchestra Saves the World by Alexander McCall Smith. He is a pretty prolific writer, and I think I have read most of the books he has written. I suppose he is best know for his No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series.
La's Orchestra is about a woman named Lavendar (La for short) Stone and is set mainly during WWII in England. It is not a mystery as are most of McCall Smith's other novels, but is a quiet story of an ordinary woman and how she got by during a time of war. One of the things she did was to start an orchestra made up of local people and some airmen from the nearby military base. She felt that music would help in a time when everything seemed rather hopeless, and it did. Another part of the story is how the Poles were treated by the English during WWII. There is a romantic interest for La in the person of Feliks Dabrowski, a Polish serviceman she meets while helping with the war effort by working on a local farm.
I liked this book, but did not find the characters as interesting as those in McCall Smith's other novels.