Monday, September 29, 2008

A very aloha baby gift from Cherie

Tyfani and Cherie are holding the Hawaiian fabric quilt that Cherie made for Roman. I know Cherie is worried that word will get out and she will be obligated to make one for every nephew that comes along - well, that is what can happen if you do something wonderful! I really like this happy picture of two cute moms in our family.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Roman Kay Balzotti on his blessing day

Roman is one month old and was blessed today. He is wearing a family blessing gown made by Tyfani's aunt Marie and the vest on the gown is made from material from Roman's grandmother's wedding gown. He was exhausted after his socially demanding morning so we could never get a picture of him awake. What a sweet little baby boy.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Stay tuned - we are on TV!

This afternoon TV4 news came and filmed us talking about our tarantulas. It will be on the am news or Good Things Utah next week. I will post when I know or look at their website for the schedule It was fun to watch the boys - not so much fun to try and answer questions myself. The funniest thing that happened was when brave Haydon decided he would let the tarantula on his hand too. When it went up his arm quickly towards his face he had the greatest reaction. The camera man let him watch it over and over with us laughing. Since the camera was following the spider it missed Haydon's expression - but it was great.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Mary's Book Recommendation & My Review of "Where Memories Lie"

Mary can always be counted upon to bring me good books to read at Lake Geneva. No one, and I mean no one reads as much as Mary. She has stiff competition in her Akemann brothers and I come in about 10th place in this race. Despite my ability to read quickly, often a book a day while on vacation, I get distracted by walking the shore path, boating, swimming, eating, napping... you get the picture and my pace has to drop way back. Excuses, excuses. This abbreviated review is dedicated to Mary, who always makes me feel welcome since she brought the book - and fudge, over to Sybil Lane.

"Where Memories Lie" by Deborah Crombie (abbreviated for ADHD blog readers)
and sorry about the above picture - you all know where it came from!

Crombie writes a good murder mystery. This is the 12th in a series but stands alone well and is really the best one so far I think. Gemma James and Duncan Kincaid are British sleuths (my favorite kind) who are surrounded by interesting side characters. The author does a great job of bringing these new characters to life - before she kills them off.

In this latest novel elderly Erika Rosenthal asks her friend Gemma for help. How did her diamond brooch, missing since her escape from Nazi Germany, come to be for sale at an art auction house? Erica's fascinating story is revealed through her reluctant conversations in the present and through glimpses of the past through the eyes of a policeman in 1952. The plot weaves the two time lines togher flawlessly for the reader.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Grandpa Shows How It's Done

Grandpa let Mr. T. crawl on his hand to show the boys that it tickles but they weren't convinced yet and decided that they would just touch it gently but very quickly!


It is tarantula season here on Spring Oaks Drive.
Lucky for us!

Our home is perched picturesquely at the foot of the mountain so we have more than our share of wild - and I emphasize wild - life showing up in our yard and even creeping onto the front porch. The pictured tarantula which we captured temporarily to show Dawson and Haydon, was rescued as it was trying to cross the warm asphalt road one evening. It is now happily living somewhere behind our house. The boys were not quite ready to hold Mr. T (well he was big, and colorful, and hairy) but Dawson got pretty close.

Friday, September 19, 2008

My Book Club and "Vanity Fair" Reviewed - Yes I see the humor!

Our Spring Oaks neighborhood Book club has been going for about 15 years and we have read a wonderful variety of books chosen by the members. We have a "low impact" book club to keep it sustainable for a busy group of women. There are only 2 rules. The book should be "good" literature as determined by the selector, and it must be easily available, preferably at the library and at reasonable cost if purchased.
I have been asked many times about the books we have read and thought it would be good to post a list of some of these. Which I will do soon on this blog.
Of course we never all like the book choice but we are always glad to have the opportunity to get to know our neighbors better through the books they choose. This month we are reading "Vanity Fair" - a classic chosen by Deanne.

Book Look
"Vanity Fair"

Visiting Book Clubs in Springville
Spring Oaks Book Club - Neighbors who meet together and read together

Our host for book club this month chose "Vanity Fair" by William Thackeray. It is much more enjoyable to read or reread a classic and then discuss with a group of neighbors. As a school assignment you never appreciated great literature and they never served pie in lit. class while the professor lectured. - thanks for the peach pie Deanne. As she introduced the book our host remarked that the movie did such an injustice to the book by changing the ending but you can always count on the book to give the villain what she deserves in the end!

Like all Victorian novels it requires some patience to read the 800 pages and follow the large cast of characters through their various plots. Nineteenth century writers which included Dickens were serializing their stories in the newspaper. I suppose since each installment brought a paycheck it would be an incentive to draw out the story while keeping the readers interested enough to buy the next paper.

Thackeray engages us immediately in his story with the introduction of his main characters, Amelia Sedley and Becky Sharp. These two opposites of the feminine description keep us wondering what will happen next as we follow them down their converging and diverging paths of destruction. Often as we are being lulled by his descriptive story telling, he shocks us with an unexpected turn in the plot or an action by a character. His cynicism is similar to the other writers of his time and he shares their criticism of the cultural problems of their English society.

"Vanity Fair"is a masterpiece of Victorian fiction. As a neighborhood book club selection it is a good way to study this classic novel. It takes some time to read, but the discussion while enjoying good company and good dessert will make the reward for finishing even more delicious.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Banished words or phrases

Lake Superior State University authored its annual sweet list of words that should be banned due to over use and uselessness. I felt that it would be helpful to all of you to highlight a few of these random words to make them pop - so that you could avoid bad wordsmithing. Back in the day, we knew that we had to give back and make a difference in this post 9/11 world. It is emotional to create a perfect storm over whether brown is the new black. We could decimate information or push something organic under the bus and not worry about it. After all, it is what it is....Now wasn't that just awesome? I'm pretty sure awesome was banned years ago but who can resist using it in place of my 2008 nomination for over used descriptor- amazing?

Friday, September 5, 2008

Roman Invasion - Awake

He does wake up and when that happens we rush for our cameras and try to catch both eyes open at the same time. Apparently for a newborn this is quite an accomplishment. He is already back to his birth weight of 7lb 7 oz so we know he is awake long enough to eat.

Roman Invasion

Our new grandson Roman was born Friday August 29th. His parents are exhausted because he does not sleep well. When I visited yesterday I took these pictures to prove that he sleeps really well. He just has his days and nights mixed up! The beautiful monogrammed sweater was made by Aunt Alyssa.