January 25, 2015

Grow Your Blog

Hi my name is Dixie. Welcome to my blog! I'd like to thank all of those who are participating in the Grow Your Blog party, and my wonderful, much appreciated, weekly/monthly readers for visiting! And a very special thank you to Vicki for hosting the event.

Originally, I thought I'd use my blog to share some of my writing. ( If you wish, you can click the short story tab to read a story.) However, I soon discovered that a blog post amounts to a published piece of writing, so I decided to expand and share my knitting projects, my love of books, nature pics, my drawings/paintings, and other things that I enjoy, or I am curious about, or that I find interesting.  For me, blogging has been, and continues to be, a great learning experience and a fun journey.  And I've been lucky to meet and share the experience with some wonderful folks!

Do have a look around; feel free to stay as long as you wish, and please visit, again, anytime.

O, yes and there's a  *giveaway.*  It's open to old and new readers.  Actually ~ everyone, anywhere!  To enter see the details at the end of the post.
Two shawls that I finished knitting in 2014.

Also finished in 2014 ~ a Christmas bird painting and my personal favourite ~ a lady slipper drawing.

* To enter the giveaway for the original watercolour card pictured below, please leave a comment
 with your contact information. The winner will be chosen on Feb. 15, 2015.  Only one comment per person, please. 
 ~ The giveaway does not transfer reproduction rights.

 Good luck!   

January 23, 2015

Spotlight on Byatt

Besides fiction, Byatt  writes poetry and literary criticism.  Rhythm and wit coupled with conflicts that often astound, Byatt, a weaver of  unique novels, peppers her books with facts: historical, scientific, and specifically in the case of The Children's Book performance theatre: i.e puppetry.

While her erudition might lead one to assume that her subject matter only reaches the loft, she often brings to light the shadows that run amok in peoples' lives, including the well-educated, and the gentry who, like the poor, also suffer from poverty, (theirs--moral, spiritual) wrongheadedness and the human condition.

Of course, there are love stories such as Possession in which one character compacted and self- restricted eventually opens to the power of love. And in Babel Tower, a place where language was, in the biblical context, confused by the induction of different tongues, the story is framed by fairy tale   refrains of "it might begin" meaning, possibly, there is no right way into a story, or that the path is as intricate as our lives. But, more than that, it's a brilliant way to introduce character. Babel Tower begins with the story of the thrush; a bird admired in spite of its appetite and its limited tune. Attributes that, at one time or another, we may have noticed and dismissed in others to our peril. It's an intriguing, mysterious and thought provoking "it might begin." And it makes me think of the dark, foreboding woods, but I may have read too many fairy tales. Further, there's also a sense of foreshadowing, things hidden, upheaval and change.  

A.S. Byatt's novels promotes critical thought, educate and are, in the end, among the best books that have been written.  She has won many prizes, including the Booker for Possession and is, rightfully, a contender for the Nobel.

Jacket via Goodreads

January 12, 2015

Worth the Wait

After searching and not finding a recipe I liked, I almost forgot about making these delectable treats. Recently, I searched again and found a recipe that I thought would work.  So I dug out the new pan that I've been hanging onto since August and flung some flour about (I'm not kidding I painted the floor with it) and voila!  Luckily, and somewhat expansively, (let out the pants) these sweet cakes turned out even better than I hoped.

The added bonus: you can whip up the batter and refrigerate it for up to three days. Because Madelines are always best fresh, I baked the the batter I made over a two days.

Madelines ~ O, so tasty!
                                                        Hey, they are small. ☺                                

A bloom to brighten the day!


January 05, 2015

Book Picks of 2014

A New Year. Thank heavens! Although last year was not without good times and deep wells of gratitude, I am happy to begin the new year.

 I didn't keep a full record of the books I read in 2014, but I do have the Kindle list.

While well written, I found a couple of books I read extremely violent. (I'll confess to the unknown, until recently, phenomenon of skipping a few pages.)  However, those works of fiction did deal with historical fact. Another thing I noticed: mistakes in books. The short shrift. What a shame. Imagine having a book published only to find it riddled with errors!

Last year I used my Kindle a lot. Why? Well, it's not because I prefer that medium. It's because around here books have reached critical mass. (Did I say that?)

What's so great about a tangible book? Well, they never run out of steam.  Also, I enjoy the ease of flipping back when prompted by curiosity.  Thoughts like what was that great line? Or, I'd like to read that part again.

Kindle, other gizmos, or the real deal...which do you prefer?

I've picked 4 books for 2014. Two beautifully written re-reads that I own (to have and to hold) and two books that I borrowed from the library.  Generally, I make a few comments, without, I hope, giving away the crux of the story, but in the interest of brevity I've decided it's show time. 

Have a great week!
 Contemplating adding this book my critical mass.

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