cough. it’s been a while. can anyone else hear the crickets?

breakfast!!!

Somehow I found myself taking a break from blogging.

After almost ten years of fairly regularly blogging, one day I just stopped. It wasn’t planned, you understand. A couple of days passed, and then a couple more, and before I knew it, several weeks had gone by, and spider webs were starting to pop up in the corners of my blog.

Thank you, kind readers, who left comments hoping that I was well. Your thoughts were appreciated. I can’t really pinpoint as reason as to why the blogging well went dry, but it happens.

Life was pretty busy. There was study. There were two ‘grown up’ kids living in the house, plus an extra staying with us while looking for a job. The man broke a wrist and was travelling every week. One of us was working on her honors year at Uni and working. Another one of us was doing the ‘9 to 5’ thing in the city and keeping everyone fed and dressed. One of us was half-heartedly studying in between sessions of frantic gaming.

There was the gaming. Oh yes, there was the gaming. The girl introduced me to MMOs and I was instantly hooked.

the girl and I, looking mighty fine!

Oh yes, and I think I’m getting older too. I have a really horrible birthday coming up in a few years that I really don’t want to think about. Sigh. Not really sure why that encouraged me to stop blogging, but there you are.

I guess crafting and photography took a sideline for a time, and there didn’t really seem to be anything new to share. I lost access to my crafting room for a few months, and lost the urge to quilt (though I still sew hexagons every now and then).

The renewal for my blog subscription came up and I considered not renewing it, but I just couldn’t pull the plug. So much of myself has gone into the blog over the years, and although there is lots that is now dated, I think there is still some good content that some new readers may find of value and enjoy.

my girl, at her cousin’s wedding

Fast track forward a year and a bit.

There are exciting things happening around here. The girl is getting married at the beginning of next year.

The man has discovered long distance (read that as 100 km) running.

The boy is still half-heartedly studying in between sessions of frantic gaming. Wait. He was doing that when I blogged last. Hmmm … go figure.

And me? Well, I discovered that there was more to gaming than just Final Fantasy XIV … there was World of Warcraft. Oh, the worlds (oh, the pun!!!) that have opened up before me! Read that as ‘massive time sink’ … we have a new WoW expansion at the moment, which happens only every two or three years, and it is SO MUCH FUN!!!

But I think I feel a need to blog once again … I’m not sure what I will blog about, it will be a surprise for both you and me!

I think I need to do some dusting around here first …

Posted in family life, life musings | 2 Responses

2015: project 365, week 19 …

2015_Week19_SideA_695

2015_Week19_SideB_695

[Credits: ‘highlights’ wordart by One Little Bird. Font: Calibri.]

Posted in family life, project 365, sharing layouts | 6 Responses

2015: project 365, week 18 …

2015_Week18_SideA_695

2015_Week18_SideB_695

[Credits: ‘highlights’ wordart by One Little Bird. Font: Calibri.]

Posted in family life, project 365, sharing layouts | Leave a comment

2015: project 365, week 17 …

2015_Week17_SideA_695

2015_Week17_SideB_695

[Credits: ‘highlights’ wordart by One Little Bird. Font: Calibri.]

Posted in family life, project 365, sharing layouts | Leave a comment

2015: project 365, week 16 …

2015_Week16_SideA_695

2015_Week16_SideB_695

[Credits: ‘highlights’ wordart by One Little Bird. Font: Calibri.]

Posted in family life, project 365, sharing layouts | Leave a comment

2015: project 365, week 15 …

2015_Week15_SideA_695

2015_Week15_SideB_695

[Credits: ‘highlights’ wordart by One Little Bird. Font: Calibri.]

Posted in family life, project 365, sharing layouts | Leave a comment

2015: project 365, week 14 …

2015_Week14_SideA_695

2015_Week14_SideB_695

[Credits: ‘highlights’ wordart by One Little Bird. Font: Calibri.]

Posted in family life, project 365, sharing layouts | 1 Response

2015: project 365, week 13 …

2015_Week13_SideA_695

2015_Week13_SideB_695

[Credits: ‘highlights’ wordart by One Little Bird. Font: Calibri.]

Posted in family life, project 365, sharing layouts | Leave a comment

2015: project 365, week 12 …

2015_Week12_SideA_695

2015_Week12_SideB_695

[Credits: ‘highlights’ wordart by One Little Bird. Font: Calibri.]

Posted in family life, project 365, sharing layouts | Leave a comment

2015: project 365, week 11 …

2015_Week11_SideA_695

2015_Week11_SideB_695

[Credits: ‘highlights’ wordart by One Little Bird. Font: Calibri.]

Posted in family life, project 365, sharing layouts | Leave a comment

2015: project 365, week 10 …

2015_Week10_SideA_695

2015_Week10_SideB_695

[Credits: ‘highlights’ wordart by One Little Bird. Font: Calibri.]

Posted in family life, project 365, sharing layouts | Leave a comment

2015: project 365, week 9 …

2015_Week9_SideA_695

2015_Week9_SideB_695

[Credits: ‘highlights’ wordart by One Little Bird. Font: Calibri.]

Posted in family life, project 365, sharing layouts | Leave a comment

2015: project 365, week 8 …

2015_Week8_SideA_695

2015_Week8_SideB_695

[Credits: ‘highlights’ wordart by One Little Bird. Font: Calibri.]

Posted in family life, project 365, sharing layouts | 1 Response

2015: project 365, week 7 …

2015_Week7_SideA_695

2015_Week7_SideB_695

[Credits: ‘highlights’ wordart by One Little Bird. Font: Calibri.]

Posted in family life, project 365, sharing layouts | Leave a comment

2015: project 365, week 6 …

2015_Week6_SideA_695

2015_Week6_SideB_695

[Credits: ‘highlights’ wordart by One Little Bird. Font: Calibri.]

Posted in family life, project 365, sharing layouts | Leave a comment

2015: project 365, week 5 …

2015_Week5_SideA_695

2015_Week5_SideB_695

[Credits: ‘highlights’ wordart by One Little Bird. Font: Calibri.]

Posted in family life, project 365, sharing layouts | Leave a comment

sharing audio books – the outlander series, by diana gabaldon …

Outlander TV series

Perhaps, gentle reader, you watched the recent tv series, Outlander, based on the first book of the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon?

This series ‘follows the story of Claire Randall, a married combat nurse from 1945 who is mysteriously swept back in time to 1743, where she is immediately thrown into an unknown world where her life is threatened. When she is forced to marry Jamie Fraser, a chivalrous and romantic young Scottish warrior, a passionate relationship is ignited that tears Claire’s heart between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.’ [from here]

I’ve reviewed this book series here on my blog before, and after watching the tv series, I headed back to the books on my shelf, to dive once more into the world of Claire and Jamie.

outlander book series

But then I thought, wait … what about listening to an audio book or two? I quickly checked Audible to see if the books were available as audiobooks, and they were! Several were on sale at the time I checked and I purchased these and started listening to Outlander.

The book was narrated by Davina Porter, and I very quickly fell in love with her reading style and was so pleased to see that she has narrated all eight books in the series. I did some research and found out the following about Davina …

She admires authors who do their homework, like Diana Gabaldon. Davina’s readings of the Outlander series, for which she uses her Scots heritage to flavour the dialects of dozens of characters, have many fans. And they’re among her personal favourites. Gabaldon’s lengthy novels require careful preparation. An initial reading, which Davina always does, is followed by preparation of a day’s recording session, with careful anticipation of pages that may involve five or six Scots in a scene. She strives to bring each voice off the page and at the same time maintain a natural sense. A flexible voice, notes Davina, is essential for audiobook narrators, as is the ability to make quick changes and maintain a comfortable narrative level for long periods.  [from here]

This is the magic, for me, of Davina’s narration; she can narrate several character’s voices with no hesitation, with no pauses, and the listener knows exactly who is speaking. I love listening to the ‘Scottish flavour’ of the voices … should a character ‘speak’ with no introduction, I know exactly who they are. She has brought the characters and their world alive to me. She has narrated over 100 books, and I would have no hesitation in recommending a book she had narrated.

Listening to the Outlander series will take some dedication if you would like to listening to the series, as they are very long. I have 14 hours left in the last (to date) book of the series to go … all 8 books add up to just over 365 hours of listening pleasure!!! Here’s a rough breakdown of book sizes.

Outlander (Book 1) – 33 hrs
Dragonfly in Amber (Book 2) – 39 hrs
Voyager (Book 3) – 44 hrs
Drums of Autumn (Book 4) – 45 hrs
Fiery Cross (Book 5) – 55 hrs
A Breath of Snow and Ashes (Book 6) – 58 hrs
An Echo in the Bone (Book 7) – 46 hrs
Written in My Own Heart’s Blood (Book 8) – 45 hrs

So … anyone else game to listen to all 8 books? I believe there will be a book 9, though there isn’t a release date yet … something to look forward to!!!

Posted in book reviews, sharing books | 1 Response

2015: project 365, week 4 …

2015_Week4_SideA_695

2015_Week4_SideB_695[Credits: ‘highlights’ wordart by One Little Bird. Font: Calibri.]

Posted in family life, project 365, sharing layouts | Leave a comment

tutorial – lantern terrarium, by persia lou …

succulent lantern, by persia lou

[lantern terrarium, by persia lou]

Aren’t these lanterns lovely, filled with (faux) succulents that even I could ‘grow’ … I have a fondness for lanterns, and can see one of these in scandi white, filled with succulents, turning a corner of my home into an interesting space.

You can find instructions and photos at persia lou

I found these reasonably-priced white lanterns and succulents at Ikea.

Ikea - white lanterns

[white lanterns and succulents from Ikea]

succulents

Perhaps a weekend project? Enjoy!!!

Posted in fun stuff, shopping, tutorials | Leave a comment

sharing technology – bookbook travel journal, by twelvesouth …

bookbook travel journal 1a

bookbook travel journal 2

[twelvesouth]

Oh my, this makes my little librarian’s heart beat just that little bit faster!!! Technology plus books equals love!!!

From the twelvesouth website … BookBook Travel Journal looks like a vintage book, but it’s really a dapper, hardback leather case designed to hold your iPad and the essential accessories that go with it. Inside you’ll find a collection of pockets and adjustable bands that neatly organize and protect items like your power adapter, cables, USB drives, stylus, mouse, earbuds or high-end headphones. Say bye-bye to your backpack. Everything you need for the road fits inside BookBook Travel Journal. [from here]

Ok, did I mention that I had a birthday coming up soon? I love this clever mix of old and new … and when you’re not traveling, this lovely book can sit on a bookshelf, looking very classy.

PS. You can find it on Amazon!!!

Posted in fun stuff, sharing technology | Leave a comment