Friday, August 26, 2011

Reckless Endangerment

Reckless Endangerment: How Outsized Ambition, Greed, and Corruption Led to Economic Armageddon by Gretchen Morgenson and Joshua Rosner is a timely, well-documented, tell-all book detailing the people and the agencies that engineered the housing bubble and its collapse. This might easily been subtitled "How James Johnson got away with Fannie Mae." If you're like me and you remember bits and pieces of what was going on from about 1995 up to 2008, this is a fascinating book that puts all the pieces together, AND gives all the information about what was going on behind the scenes that the average American didn't know about. Who did what; who was in whose pocket; what deals/scams were made; who knew and looked the other way, etc.

No hyperbole here - just a grim account of the facts and the reasons why the real estate and mortgage industry are in the state they're in now.


The Marriage Bureau for Rich People

Last Saturday morning, while rocking my grandson to sleep for his morning nap, I began reading Farahad Zama's novel, The Marriage Bureau for Rich People. The back cover billed it as a blend of Jane Austen and Alexander McCall Smith, so I thought it would be worth reading a few chapters, at least. Several hours later I was almost to the end of the book and found myself hoping that the author had written a sequel.

Forget Jane Austen - except for a female character who is sensible and hard-working and is clearly aware of where she fits into society - this book is much more akin to The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series, but instead of crimes and a detective agency, there are people looking for spouses and a match-maker (which might possibly remind one of Austen, I guess).

The novel takes place in India with Mr. Ali, a retired government worker, who starts a marriage bureau in order to have something to do. To his and his wife's surprise, the business becomes so successful that he has to hire a helper - a poor, but admirable girl who helps support her parents and sister with her earnings. Mr. Ali and his wife also have a son who gets into trouble protesting the government takeover of a small village. The novel is interesting and funny in places, but also gave me a glimpse of modern India.

Thankfully (for me), there are at least two more books in this series, and they're both on their way to me now.


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Baby Ripple Afghan

A few days before Bear was born, I started crocheting a Baby Ripple Afghan using the free pattern from Lion Brand's website. I used Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino yarn and a G hook, and I finished it up yesterday. It was fun to make, and I like the feel and look of it, but it's nothing without the sweet little baby boy it was made for!

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Saturday, August 13, 2011

Recipes from an Old Farmhouse

While re-reading a book by Miss Read, I made note of a writer she mentioned named Alison Uttley. Over the past year I've acquired a few books by Mrs. Uttley and have enjoyed them, as they are similar in tone to novels by Miss Read. She wrote fictionalized accounts of her childhood years in Derbyshire, England, and her books are pleasant and soothing to read.

In Recipes from an Old Farmhouse Mrs. Uttley provides a collection of favorite recipes from her childhood in the late 19th century, pieced together with reminiscences of holidays, family times, and life on the family farm.

It's a short little book, charmingly illustrated by Pauline Baynes (probably my favorite illustrator!) and will instantly transport one to a calmer, gentler, possibly more civil time.

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Thursday, August 11, 2011

So much baby, so little time...

They're home and he's now a week old. I didn't get to help Amy when our granddaughters were born, so helping Joan with Bear is a new experience for me - and one I'm thoroughly enjoying. My mother came and stayed with us for one to two weeks after each of our children were born, and she ran the house, took care of the children, and took care of me during that time. I appreciated it then, but I have a whole new and deeper appreciation of her great service to me and to my family now that I'm the go-to helper for Joan. And I'm grateful to God for work, for an opportunity to serve those I love.

There hasn't been much time for reading, knitting, quilting, etc., but these infant days are so fleeting that I'm not missing those past times - much.

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Friday, August 05, 2011

It's a family

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Baby days have begun!

At 6:39 p.m. last night Joan delivered her baby. Bear is 8 lbs., 5 oz. and is 21 inches long. Thank you for praying for Brandon, Joan, and Bear. He's beautiful (of course!) and his mama and daddy are quite besotted with him!

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Thursday, August 04, 2011

She's in labor

Please pray for Joan. Her doctor admitted her to the hospital yesterday and she has been there over 24 hours now. Labor is VERY slow and she's exhausted and a bit discouraged. We're hoping and praying for Bear's birth to be before this day is over, and we're all doing our best to trust that God will see her (and the rest of us!) through it.

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Monday, August 01, 2011

The 1st of August and we're waiting...

Joan's first due date according to the medical people is August 3. They later gave her a second due date of July 29, but I told her if she set her sights on that one she was probably setting herself up to be disappointed.

After a few tears, many prayers, and a mental and emotional "reset," Joan is now looking forward to her birthday, August 17, and hoping the baby comes before that date. The heat and the general discomfort of late pregnancy are not pleasant to endure, but the end will be here before we know it, and all the unpleasant bits will be forgotten in the rejoicing.

So pray for Joan; pray for Brandon; pray for Baby Bear. I promise I'll make the good news known when the little one arrives!

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