happypathbookclub

our book club reads happy books!

Holiday Cheer

I find myself complaining a lot lately when I have a day off. I complain that I didn’t get everything I wanted to get done accomplished. I complain that I didn’t have any fun. I just complain!

This past Thursday, I took a vacation day and I accomplished everything on my “to do” list. The list was pretty short: enjoy the day and have fun!

The main event of the day was the Langhorne Borough Holiday House Tour, run by the Four Lanes End Garden Club. This is an annual event in Langhorne, but my first year attending. What a great event! I went with my Mom, a dear friend, and her mother-in-law. The houses were spectacular – I wavered between wanting to go home and decorate my house and thinking I wouldn’t even bother. I could never get my house as beautiful as these houses! We weren’t allowed to take pictures, but I took a few outdoor shots:

 

holiday house vic

plant langhorne

All the houses were beautiful, but if I had to choose just one to live in, it would be this charming farm house:

house tour farm

We had lunch at the Langhorne Hotel.

Crab cakes – yum! It was a great afternoon, spent with great company. It filled my head with lots of great ideas, which I probably will never do! I’m realistic – although I love beautiful plants and flowers, I am more of an admirer than a creator in that area!

And my head is full of other things I want to create because of what I did next. My husband and I took a one hour ride to Byrne Sewing Connection.  My husband was there a couple of months ago when I had a “quilting emergency”, and I’ve been wanting to get there ever since. Their hours and my hours never seemed to coincide though. Since they are open till 7 on Thursdays, I figured I would take advantage of my vacation day and take a ride “just to look”.

Ever since my “quilting emergency” I have been contemplating the idea of a spare sewing machine. That idea morphed into the idea of getting a strictly straight stitch machine that would be better for free motion quilting. I had been doing some research. And that led to this:

jane

My brand new Babylock Jane sewing machine!!! I had to overcome a lot of guilt to buy this machine. (notice the perfectly good Brother machine in the background!) But after a weekend spent quilting on it, I must say I am so glad I got it and I only regret not getting it sooner. Three exclamation points do not really express how happy I am with it.

So that was my super fun vacation day, but as chance would have it, the fun did not stop there. While I was on the house tour, I got a text from my daughter. Did I want to “Run the Lights” at Shady Brook Farm on Friday? You bet I did! I had never seen this light show and it was so fun to run through all the holiday twinkling lights:

shady brook

To quote my good friend  the Grinch:

“What if Christmas, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas …perhaps…means a little bit more!”

Ok, my Baby Jane came from the store, but what really got me into the spirit of the holidays was spending some fun time with people I love!

grinch

I hope everyone else is taking time to enjoy the holiday season too!

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Soup to Nuts

Last week was book club again and this was an extra special night – it was soup night! Thanks to Beth for hosting the night and making three delicious soups: Chicken noodle, Cream of Potato, and Carrot Ginger. I must admit my favorite was the Carrot Ginger. (or was it Ginger Carrot?)

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This is not Beth’s actual soup because I am so bad at remembering to take pictures, but looking at this picture makes me want to eat that soup again, especially on this rainy day!I would be soup-er excited if Beth shared this recipe here, but I understand if it is a “secret recipe”. (I don’t have any secret recipes, do you? I guess I’m so excited if someone likes something I make  enough to ask for the recipe that I give it to them! It is a rare occurrence.)

I’m not sure which “nuts” the title of this post refers to: was it the cocoa coated nuts we munched on or was it our nutty selves for not discussing the book too much? I admitted that I did not like the book (And I just realized that I still have I not mentioned the title!) The title of this book is “Does This Book Make Me Look Fat?” by Rhoda Janzen. When we read a book that some people like and some people don’t, I think it is an opportunity for an interesting discussion.

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So here is my review: I read Janzen’s previous book “Mennonite in a Little Black Dress” and enjoyed it. For some reason I had a very hard time getting into this book. I enjoy reading non-fiction, especially memoirs, but reading this book made me realize that, fiction or nonfiction, I like a story when I’m reading. This book had very little story, although some pretty big things happened. Rhoda got breast cancer and got married. I found myself wanting to hear more about this, especially about how she met her husband, who seemed so different from her. There was a lot of philosophical writing about religion, which I found kind of boring. I guess I am not a deep thinker!

I would love to hear what the people who liked the book have to say!

The busy holiday season will be upon us soon – I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving (and Hanukkah if you celebrate)! My holiday season got off to a great start yesterday! Stay tuned – more details to follow!

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It Should Have Been My Arm!!!

Catchy title brought to you by Lauren – thanks Lauren!

This month’s book was “The Husband’s Secret” by Liane Moriarty.

the_husbands_secret

And here’s a hint: the husband’s secret isn’t that he’s  bought a beautiful bouquet of pink flowers for his wife!  This best seller is an over the top story of murder, betrayal, infidelity, a (super!) creepy mother in law, and of course, maternal guilt.  The book examines the secrets we keep and those that we reveal, the grudges we hold and the grudges we let go of,  the guilt we live with, and the forgiveness we choose to extend (or not!) to ourselves and others. In short, it has it all. So many things to discuss! We all agreed that we would have read that letter in a heartbeat (what took Cecilia so long!) and the secret Tess chooses to keep at the end was the right secret to keep.

There were no  hot cross buns to munch on, but the delicious baked goods Kathy provided were even better. Thanks Kathy!

One thing we didn’t get to discuss at book club, this description of Cecilia i found on Shelfari: “The perfect mom, homemaker, volunteer, Tupperware sales rep.”  Take out the word Tupperware, and I think we can all think of a certain book club member who fits this description! I’m sure her husband has no gruesome letters tucked away for her, though!

I  don’t consider myself that much like Cecilia, but one scene in particular I could relate to. When Cecilia feels her life crumbling around her, she goes into her super organized Tupperware filled pantry to try to relax.

My house is a mess and I have the opposite of a super organized pantry, but I couple months ago, I did this:

Pat's Iphone 810

and this:

Pat's Iphone 809

And this:

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and this:

Pat's Iphone 812

This is all my quilting fabric that previously was stashed in various boxes, bins, and closets throughout the house. I spent the weekend sorting and folding while watching TV. (Can’t remember what I was watching, but I have a feeling it was something inspiring and intellectually stimulating – Like Season 1 through 4  of “Arrested Development”!) I won’t say it was best weekend ever, but I will say I enjoyed it a lot! And I find myself going in there occasionally, opening the drawers and admiring my handiwork. So I guess I do have a little bit of Cecilia in me after all!

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