a good book (or two)

bury your dead

I’m behind on my book-reading goal for this year. I’ve been in a bit of a reading lull I guess. I have been reading the Inspector Gamache series by Louise Penny, which I guess you could classify as a “cozy mystery” series, but they’re much more.

Gamache is the wise and gentle head of the homicide division for the Quebec police. His team is tasked with solving murders all over the province, many of which seem to happen in the tiny village of Three Pines, located near the Canadian border with Vermont. The town doesn’t appear on any map, but it’s the kind of place I would like to live (except for all the murders, of course). There’s a cozy B&B, a bistro where the food all sounds delicious (seriously, I can’t read these books when I’m hungry), and the residents are quirky and charming.

I just finished the sixth book in the series (Bury Your Dead), and it was heart-wrenching and just a level above the previous books. A good mystery is my guilty reading pleasure, but these are more than just the mystery. The characters and locales are well-developed, and Penny is a gifted writer. I’m going to have to start rationing the last few books, so I can keep enjoying the series for the rest of this year.

One more recommendation: I recently listened to The Martianon audio. It kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time. I’ve never laughed out loud so much while listening to a book, and I’ve certainly never shouted in fear and frustration for the main character like I did with this story. The reader was fantastic, I’m really glad I listened to it rather than reading it. A brief synopsis: Mark Watney is a member of the second manned mission to Mars. It all goes terribly wrong, and he’s left for dead while the rest of the team escapes a violent wind storm. And that’s just the first few paragraphs. What follows is his struggle to survive, and NASA’s struggle to figure out a way to rescue him. There’s tons of science, which might sound boring, but is completely fascinating. In fact, that deserves the first ever gif on heylucy:
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lovely things

zimmerman

This is several years old, but I recently re-read this, about recreating an Elizabeth Zimmerman sweater. You can even buy the pattern (see here for more info). I pulled out Knitting without Tears and reading just a few pages was refreshing and inspiring. If you have any knitting fears, Elizabeth Zimmerman will wipe them away.

speaker1

This is perhaps silly and materialistic, but I really love my little Bluetooth speaker. It’s really light and it’s wireless, so I easily can carry it around from room to room and even take it outside. I have been listening to music and audiobooks everywhere. I looked at a lot of speakers, but I didn’t want to spend two or three hundred dollars. I also didn’t want to end up with something cheap and ugly that wouldn’t last. At $69, this was a little splurge, but a nice compromise. I’m not an audiophile by any means, but I think it sounds great for the size (about 5″ square by a couple inches deep). I also like that it’s not so “tech-y” looking. The “wood” is actually plastic, but you can’t really tell.

Fictitious Dishes: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

Have you ever read a book that included a description of a meal so vivid you could practically taste it? I love this project, and have added the book to my wishlist.

lilacs

Spring is my very favorite, but I’m very sad my daffodils were nearly non-existent this year. The lilacs, on the other hand, were magnificent.

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lovely things

I want to do more blogging, so I’m going to start with a tiny post of three things I like right now.

This charming instagram stream.

kheisti

Tiny houses.

tiny house

A pretty song I keep listening to.

I have been knitting like crazy lately, so I have a whole lot to say about that. I should be back with more soon!

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autumn to-do list

Now it really is starting to feel like autumn up here in the mountains, and the cottonwoods have the barest tinge of yellow. Something about the change of seasons makes me want to get some things done. I made a list, and I’ve already started working on it:

  • Wash and re-block hand knits.
    I pulled out a couple scarves, and they’re not dirty, just a bit crumpled from being shoved in a drawer all summer. A good blocking will do them all some good.
  • Take a crochet class.
    I went on Saturday for a class, and it was so helpful! I’ve done a little crochet on my own, but was never sure if I was doing it right. I especially never felt very comfortable juggling the hook and the yarn. In my class I learned a good way to hold them both, and I can single and double crochet quite well now. I even found a pattern for a ripple blanket and started on the first stripe. I actually had tried to do a similar pattern years ago, but I was never happy with the way it looked. I thought it would be a great project to use up leftover bits of worsted weight yarns. I’ll be working on it for a long time, but it will be a nice break to do a stripe here and there. 

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  • Make roast goose.
    So, I’ll be brief on this one. We had two mean geese. They were noisy and unpleasant and I found someone who was willing to “process” them for me. And now they are in the freezer. I’m still working myself up to it, but I found a good tutorial for when I am ready.
  • Get some more chickens.
    My girls aren’t laying much, and two of the six hens are now six years old, so it’s time for some fresh young hens. I’ll let my old ladies enjoy the rest of their days in our yard, though. They don’t try to nip at me when I feed them.
  • Finish website re-design/cleanup.
    I want to keep things clean and simple around here. I’ll probably do  a little here and there on this one, but I’m still not in a mood to spend my evenings in front of the computer.
  • Learn to use Lightroom, and organize my photos.
    I’ve started doing this too. In fact, I’ve even switched to shooting in RAW. I’m not totally sure what that even means, but I’m doing it! 
  • Bake a cake (flourless, of course).
    Done, and it was good, but I’m still searching for a really good grain-free cake recipe. I used this recipe, and it was dense and moist, which I expected. It was just a little too sweet for me (which might have been the pears I used, they were very ripe and sweet), and a little heavy. But it was so fun to bake again. I won’t be making it a regular habit, just a now and then treat.  

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  • Make a scarf from a piece of Liberty fabric I’ve been hoarding.
    This should take about ten minutes, I’ve got a yard, so I think I’ll just cut it in half and sew it end-to-end for length. 
  • Make a sweater for Pulley
    He doesn’t have fur like the other dogs, I think he’s going to need some warm clothes for the winter. 
  • Start making soup.
    I need to find some new soup recipes. Do you have any good ones? 
  • Knit the perfect cabled sweater.
    I want something cozy and slouchy. This might be just the thing. I have to decide what kind of yarn to use. 
  • Buy a lot of pumpkins and decorate the porch.
    I’ve got two so far, but I’m going to need some more.

Bonus items:

The Autumn pin board.
I also just needed to share the fact that you can follow an astronaut on pinterest.

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lovely things

lake waterI think I need to make this a regular post topic: things I found this week that are lovely and inspiring.

I love this crocheted trim on a cozy blanket. I’m going to take a crochet class this fall, and finally learn how I should properly hold a crochet hook.

This site is full of beautiful video and photography of the Serengeti lions. Navigation takes a minute to figure out, but there is lots to explore. I hope I will have to opportunity to go on safari again someday, South Africa was one of my favorite places (not that I’ve been to so many places), and I’d like to see more of the African Continent.

I’m not huge into Halloween, but I do like pumpkins. This is a fun and easy way to make a really cute, carved pumpkin. I might need to do this next month.

We’ve been watching Hell on Wheels on Netflix. I’ve especially liked the music, so I did a little digging and made a playlist on Spotify with some of the songs from the series.

The photo is from my vacation last month, I love how the lake was calm and almost ombré striped.

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cool things

Here are some things I’m thinking about right now:

::One:: Oyster is like Netflix for ebooks, and I’m thinking it could be pretty cool. It’s currently iPhone only, and you have to sign up for an invite. I put in my request a week or so ago and haven’t heard back yet. I’m looking forward to trying it out, the design looks really nice. I prefer reading on my Kindle, but I’ve read plenty of books on my phone too.

::Two:: I often listen to music while I work, and have several Pandora stations to choose from, depending on my mood. Lately I’m enjoying my Django Reinhart station. It’s cheery and soothing and I like the vintage sound.

::Three:: I went on vacation the last week of August. It was a family reunion at a beautiful lake. I will make you look at all my vacation photos eventually (I’m currently learning to use Lightroom and want to edit them all first), so here’s just a sneak peek:

boat house

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