Salix discolor -- aka pussy willow or glaucous willow -- is in bloom.# # # # # # #
I made two green potholders for Joy's Table Scraps Challenge. That's a subset of the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.
I pieced the backing for the batik stars flimsy I made earlier this month. I got it sandwiched and basted and I've begun the quilting.
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I read two good books this week.
Missing and Endangered is the latest in J.A. Jance's series about Joanna Brady, sheriff of Cochise County, Arizona. Like other long-running series, it's somewhat formulaic but there is a comfortable familiarity with the characters. Joanna balances running the law enforcement department with being a mother and wife. She is dealing with two cases: investigating the murder of a local man (of course it's not as clear-cut as it seems to be) and the cyberstalking of her daughter's college roommate.
I noted this passage and emailed J.A. Jance asking what the organization is. She replied a few hours later: "Thanks for writing and thank you for being a long term fan. The organization I had in mind was P.E.O. I’ve done several live events and a couple of zoom fundraisers. As a high school senior, I received a college scholarship that made it possible for me to attend the University of Arizona. Although my scholarship wasn’t from P.E.O., I really appreciate what they do." Her Wikipedia entry says that at book signings she asks that donations be directed to various causes -- some $250,000 raised over the past decade! I shared this on the P.E.O. Sisters Facebook group and someone from a Phoenix-area chapter said that Jance has been the speaker for their annual fundraiser.
Susan Conley's novel Landslide is a compelling page-turner in a much different way as she describes how a family deals with a crisis.One autumn in Avery, Maine: Jill Archer is trying to hold things together. Her husband Kit sustained severe injuries in a fishing accident and is hospitalized in Halifax, a seven-hour drive away. Jill's worry about Kit magnifies her worries about everything else: loss of income, housing, the decline of offshore fisheries, her sporadic work as a documentary film-maker, her ailing parents in a northern mill town. But foremost is her worry for their teenage sons Charlie and Sam. They are manifesting their own fears for an uncertain future mixed in with just being 16 and 15. Charlie has a girlfriend. Sam is in a band, is smoking pot, and blowing off school.
The first-person, present tense narration emphasizes the emotional waves (to use an ocean metaphor): there's a crisis, then a too-brief calm, and then Charlie or Sam or Kit says or does something and Jill must keep paddling to keep from being swamped.
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