Tuesday, September 25, 2018

{I've Been Reading} Otter of Death

Otter of Death by Betty Webb

When a zookeeper doing an annual otter count discovers one of her favorite animals clutching a smart phone instead of a rock, she hopes to return it to its human owner. Instead, she finds pictures of a murder. I jumped into the Gunn Zoo series with the fifth book -- because how could I not want to read it after seeing that cover art? -- and I'm absolutely going to go back to the beginning and read Anteater of Death. There's obviously a lot of backstory that I missed by skipping the previous four books, but it was easy enough to figure out what I needed to know about Teddy and her circle of friends and family. The mystery is complex and kept me guessing. I also enjoyed getting a glimpse into Teddy's life, with lots of time spent at the zoo interacting with the animals and at the harbor where she lives on an old boat.

The Dogfather by Sparkle Abbey

It's always fun to spend time with the characters of the Pampered Pets mystery series. This book, it's Melinda's turn and when one of the owners of a high end handbag shop located next to her own pet boutique is murdered, her former fiance is a suspect. I've read all but two of the titles in this series and  enjoyed them all. I was a little disappointed that the ongoing feud between Melinda and her cousin, Caro, didn't play a part in this book.

Disclosure -- The publishers provided me with advance review copies. 

Monday, September 24, 2018

This Year's Corn Maze

Yup, it's my almost annual post about how I like the idea of corn mazes more than I like actually trying to find my way out of one.... 

This year's maze was actually the best ever. The corn was swaying over our heads and my middle son and I were just about the only ones in there. Now and then we could hear cars or the tractor that pulls the hay ride, so we at least knew that we were close to one of the outer edges...but we never did  find the exit. By the time we'd accidentally looped back to the entrance I was just ready for it to be over.

I did find the exit to the Dark Maze for the first time in I don't know how many years...on my own because my sons had already left me behind in the darkness. And I found it before they did, so I think I should get some kind of bonus points for that achievement. Usually we try a few times and I wind up going out one of the emergency exits. 

The kids did all of the things and I did a lot of the things and I also did a lot of parent watching and knitting. It's kind of a toss up -- if you go on the first weekend of the year, it's a lot less crowded and thre aren't any lines, but there are also a lot fewer interesting people to watch.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Getting Ready for the October Stitch Alongs

I am SO excited about these two cross-stitch projects! 

Halloween at Hawk Run Hollow is a chart I got last Christmas. I really want to stitch it, especially after seeing everyone else's pictures and a shop sample -- but it's HUGE. Each section is about the size of the Home is Where the Horror Is sampler I just finished.

The Hedgehog piece is from The Hobby Lobby Incident, part one. I didn't know when I was going to stitch it, but I'm a sucker for realistic hedgies and all of the mushrooms and greenery make it even better.

Finding out that there are upcoming stitch alongs for both projects suddenly has me motivated!
Both stitch alongs start on October first. Info for the Hedgehog SAL is in this video. You can use any hedgehog design for that one. Details for the Hawk Run Hollow SAL are in this Instagram post.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Little Girl With Cosmos and my Constantly Changing Plans

The last time I posted about this project, my plan was to finish the flowers and basket and then slog through the whites and almost whites of her dress. After that, I was going to slog through the whites and almost whites on the curtains and quilt of A Little Girl's Fancy.

Then I spent an evening stitching on her dress and realized that those whites aren't that bad. They're a lot less fiddly then the color changes on the flowers, and definitely less of a hassle than figuring out those missing blades of grass.

It's all good as long as I'm making progress, right?


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