ootd 7/28/2016

ootd 7/28/2016

Mine is actually faded black denim and gray and cream stripes with coral shoes and earrings. Close enough! The cat is gray and the handbag is amazing close to the one I carry!

The Digital Gallery presents: The Dark Bird

The dark bird, the evil one, the crone's companion, the raven. I am fascinated with ravens. They are so quick and intelligent and beautiful.

A Raven's Moon
The Raven's Moon
by mrscharley

Favourate Animal - #9 Raven
Favorite Animal
by girlinthebigbox

Ghosts Cast No Shadows, Nor Do They Bleed
Ghosts Cast No Shadows, Nor Do They Bleed
by mrscharley

Raven Confused
by tajchy-milosevic

Ravens' Treasure
Raven's Treasure
by mrscharley

Raven's Horde
Raven's Horde
by elsiemarley22

Someone's been peeking into my thoughts...
Someone's been peeking into my thoughts...
by mrscharley

*quoth the raven, nevermore*
"Quoth the Raven, Nevermore"
by karineg

Lady Raven
Lady Raven
by lastchance

Well, I am very sorry to be late with this today. After yesterday's mess with the connection, I completely forgot that this was incomplete and unscheduled. I was in the middle of something else this morning when I remembered. So here it is for today. A wonderful display though, even if it is a bit tardy. This lovely bird guards the monarchy of England from the Tower of London. When I was there I heard the story of the ravens and really fell in love with them. I bought a stuffed raven (stuffed animal, soft and cuddly) and he sits here in my office looking over my shoulder. I was fascinated to see them roaming free on the grounds of the Tower. A fascinating place all by itself.

See you tomorrow with the review of a book that really was scary and written by my local TV anchor woman, Throw Away Girls. Enjoy your Thursday!
Judi and the Blue Cat

ootd 7/27/2016

ootd 7/27/2016

I'm working, but I'm taking it slow and easy and taking breaks as I need them. My neck and hand are still not too happy about sitting at the computer, but for short periods I can handle it. Then stretching exercises and planning for (deep breath!) the Fall!

Serene and Spa-like

Serene and Spa-like

The hardware and tiling of the subway. The elegance of a claw-foot tub. The soothing colors of a spa. And a hint of the forest. It all adds up to a serene feeling.

Summer Style

Sorry everyone! I've been having internet connectivity problems today. I've finally got my internet back and now you have Your Week in Fashion!

This is a "whatever week". I have one theme this week. "It's hot and humid, stick by the air conditioner". So here's this week's collection!

Summer Style 1
Is this blue? It wasn't supposed to be blue. This was supposed to be more a peacock color. I've been told I do a lot of blue, so I'm trying to do more of other colors. I'm trying!

Summer Style 2
See? No blue here! I'm getting better!
Summer Style 3
And you can't call this blue, either! White with touches of palest grey.

Summer Style 4
Hey, I'm doing pretty well here! Soft peachy tones with white!
Summer Style 5
Okay, so maybe I do this a lot, but it's not blue!
Summer Style 6
Yes, there's blue here. BUT, there's also this true red and white, too!
Summer Style 7
Do we have to count the denim as blue? This is really a red outfit!
Summer Style 8
Okay, I admit, this one is blue. But it's really a great outfit!

And now you have eight ways to survive a hot humid week! And for the most part, you can do it in colors other than blue!

See you tomorrow for a peek at a serene bathroom. Enjoy your Tuesday!
Judi and Blue Cat

ootd 7/25/2016

ootd 7/25/2016

Had a little accident on Saturday. I blacked out and fell. Having some trouble with my right hand and my neck. Of course, I'm right Handed! Life happens.

Wintercombe by Pamela Belle

30923166 Wintercombe by Pamela Belle
Kindle Edition, 624 pages
Published July 4th 2016 by Endeavour Press (first published September 15th 1988)
Copy of ebook provided by Endeavour Press and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I am not being compensated in any way. All opinions are fully my own. ~Judi E. Easley

GoodReads Summary:
Sometimes we find light in the darkest of places…

Tortured by a cold, Puritan father, Silence has learned to conceal her passionate nature inside a prison like shell of passivity. Her eventual marriage does not offer her the escape that she longs for and she craves some semblance of autonomy.

It is only the sweep of history that finally offers Silence the freedom she so desires. Civil war has raged and her sombre husband has been away for two years.

During this time Silence – now Mistress of Wintercombe – has enjoyed a harmonious time with her children. Yet this sheltered world is shattered when enemy Cavaliers invade, causing havoc in the town. Wintercombe, once a tranquil bastion of family virtue, is transformed into an unruly, drunken, and licentious garrison. As the ugliness of war continues, Silence must learn to shed the submissive nature that life has forced her to assume and draw upon the inner strength that she has always possessed. From this turmoil a still more subtle threat dawns in the handsome shape of Captain Nick Hellier.

As the battle for England is matched by the struggle within her soul, it’s not long before Captain Hellier starts to slowly unlock the chains around Silence’s fragile, Puritan heart…

My Review:
I had read the summary in GoodReads and read other readers' reviews and comments. I was really looking forward to reading this book. Initially, the book didn't seem very thrilling, though. Where was the book that everyone had been so excited about? I hung in there and kept reading and quickly found out what all the excitement was about. 

Silence should have hated men. She had grown up with an abusive father. She had a neglectful and careless husband. The times were such, that women of her religion and station were disposable and worked to death. She was married to a man of a higher station and she really hadn't a clue how to fill that role. So she creates a place for herself in her own way. Three stepchildren who resent her. Four children she has given her husband. A house full of servents who don't accept her. And village folk who don't understand her ways. She's the outsider in every way. And her husband is supremely indifferent.

But now her husband and his oldest son are off to war to support Parlaiment. Unfortunately, the troops that come to be billeted at Silence's estate aren't Parlaiment's troops. They are the royalist troops, Cavaliers, the enemy. She's seen as a traitor and is almost tossed out of her own home. Living with the enemy is no fun. In fact, it's down right dangerous. Enemy troops can be lecherous and spiteful, free with their weapons and tempers, and threatening in every way imaginable. 

With her loyal maid, Mally and her children, Silence rises to each challenge. With some help, it seems from the Captain of the enemy troops as well. He's always putting in a good word with the manic Colonel, or redirecting his temper when it gets out of hand. The Captain, Nick, seems to be on her side. Or is he? For quite a while, she really can't tell whose side the Captain is on. Nick does manage to keep her and the children from getting killed or having her estate totally destroyed. And much to his surprise, he discovers his heart has taken a different side than his head. Though his head has smartened up with all that has happened throughout this war and has changed sides as well. Silence is just trying to be a good Puritan wife, but somehow her heart has taken its own course as well.

But the war is winding down and soldiers and troops are coming home. Including Silence's husband and his troops. Too many lives are in the balance, innocent lives. They must be sensible and consider others. So Nick and the few remaining Cavaliers march off into the sunset as George and his troops march up to the front door. Silence greets George a more independent woman than the one he left. This is a woman who has survived trial by fire. She is strong and will stand up for herself and those she cares for. You know that her marriage will not be the same now as it was before George marched off to war. Her children, her servants and the village have all joined her at various time to help her through. She in turn has done things to help all of them through. Silence has made her place here. She has been taken to their hearts under the most stressful conditions.

Would I recommend this book? Oh yes, to anyone who enjoys historical fiction novels and a good cry! In fact, I'm recommending this to my daughter, who's a history major and loves British history. Pick it up or download it and get lost in Silence's story. It is worth it!

ootd 7/22/2016

ootd 7/22/2016

My sister and I are hanging a quilt and some other things for Mom this morning. Then we're coming back here to do some planning. She and I both have closets and rooms that need some organizing and some storage areas that need unstuffing. We're going to alternate and work on both houses to get the spaces done. Now that she's retired, she's got more time to work on these things. Plus, she has some software expertise to teach me and I have some internet expertise (yes, I do!) to teach her. It'll give us lots of time to spend together and enjoy our sister relationship! 

Be sure to check out those Monday and Friday book reviews. There are some really good books coming up. Some just released and some soon to be released. I've started reading for NetGalley, so I read them before they get printed! There are some really awesome books coming up in the next couple of months! Enjoy your Friday and the rest of the weekend!

Ludwika by Christoph Fischer

28111034  Ludwika by Christoph Fischer
GoodReads Summary:
It’s World War II and Ludwika Gierz, a young Polish woman, is forced to leave her family and go to Nazi Germany to work for an SS officer. There, she must walk a tightrope, learning to live as a second-class citizen in a world where one wrong word could spell disaster and every day could be her last. Based on real events, this is a story of hope amid despair, of love amid loss . . . ultimately, it’s one woman’s story of survival.

Editorial Review:
"This is the best kind of fiction—it’s based on the real life. Ludwika’s story highlights the magnitude of human suffering caused by WWII, transcending multiple generations and many nations.

WWII left no one unscarred, and Ludwika's life illustrates this tragic fact. But she also reminds us how bright the human spirit can shine when darkness falls in that unrelenting way it does during wartime.

This book was a rollercoaster ride of action and emotion, skilfully told by Mr. Fischer, who brought something fresh and new to a topic about which thousands of stories have already been told.

My Review:
I read the whole book and then I read what the author based his book on, what he had for research and what he added for bulking out his story. This is quite an amazing story about this one young woman's life during the war. Her life is a story of constant loss and leaving. Of pain and death and not knowing. Of trying so hard for so little. Of never understanding why people should hate her for where she was born and who her parents were. Of never understanding why one person should be any better than another. Ludwika was a good person. To understand that, you have to believe in good and evil. If you don't, you will never understand the book.

I like books with happy endings, you know HEA? This is not my typical book. No HEA here. They all die with all their problems unresolved. It is brutal. But every once in a while, I choose a book like this to read for some reason. Maybe I think they're good for my soul. 

I acquired this book from Bookbub (Amazon) for very little. All opinions are fully my own. I am not being compensated for this review.
Judi E. Easley.

ootd 7/21/2016

ootd 7/21/2016

Still have book reviews to write and need to get a good start on next week since the painters are coming back on Monday. Have a great Thursday! See y'all tomorrow for a book review on a book that tore at my heart strings.

Just Shapes

I gathered up a bunch of pieces that are made up of just geometric shapes more or less. So let's see what they look like!

This is how rainbows play!
This is how rainbows play!
by mrscharley

Rock the Rainbow
by cindy-faye
The Growing Season
The Growing Season
by mrscharley
parting is such sweet sorrow
Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow
by jazzy
It's just the way we roll...
It's just the way we roll...
by mrscharley
the abdication
The Abdication
by jazzy
What is it made of?
What's it made of?
by mrscharley
7534 - surreality
by subhurbhater

Hope you enjoyed the shapes and ideas presented here as much as I enjoyed finding them for you. I do so enjoy going through all the artwork on Polyvore and putting together a grouping to share with you. There is such a variety of work on there and such wonderful artists.

Have fun for the rest of your Thursday and we'll see you tomorrow with the review of a book that was really hard to read. One woman's experiences in Poland during the war. It's the recreation of a real story.

Happy Thursday!
Judi and the Blue Cat

ootd 7/20/2016

ootd 7/20/2016

I got enough done yesterday while the painting was being done, that I can take the day off. Too bad I can't just kick back and relax! I have an appointment and I am Sarah's ride for her two appointments. So, I'll be on the go all day! Maybe she'll buy me lunch? But we're using her car, so maybe I'll buy her lunch! See you tomorrow!

Working from Home

Home Office

ootd 7/19/2016

ootd 7/19/2016

I've had all the fun of reading books I've bought and galleys I've gotten from NetGalley for review. Now, it's time to catch  up and write all those reviews!

14 Bright Looks to Energize Your Summer!

Fourteen, yup, fourteen looks this week. I got a bit carried away and I had lots of items to work with this week, too! So I just kept putting outfits together. Hey, the more, the merrier! So let's see how bright these are and how you are going to take my ideas and make them out of your closet.

Summer Brights 1

All shades of true red.
Summer Brights 10
White jeans set off brights quite well. And aren't these shoes funky fun?! Wish I could still wear heels! I love these ! They are over the top with the yellow animal print and coral trim!

Summer Brights 2
White capris are just as good as white jeans. I love all the firey color in the tote!
Summer Brights 3
Just like a slice of sunshine!

Summer Brights 5
Pretty emerald green and some red tossed in for fun!

Summer Brights 14

Summer Brights 4
White makes brights look crisp, but black makes them pop!

Summer Brights 12
This slice of lime makes it tart and juicy!

Summer Brights 6
Fresh as the sea!
Summer Brights 11
Brights, patterns and stripes, modern and trendy.

Summer Brights 7
A tall drink of cool water and a flash of true red!
Summer Brights 9
There's that modern trend again, brights with stripes!
Summer Brights 8
You didn't miss it here, did you? I know it's a bit subtle, but I know you're pretty sharp, too. AND, you know how much I love stripes of any kind. So, I didn't think I'd need to mention it.

Summer Brights 13
Wow, is this fun, or what? And I love these shoes! If they were really flatforms, I could wear them!

Okay, if you've been around my blog for any time, you know what to do next. If you're new to the blog, I'll tell you what comes next and why there is no shopping information on any of these items.

I'm not providing you with a shopping guide for these outfits. These are my ideas and my style. I'm not going to give you the information to go out and buy outfits so that you can look like me! What's the point in that? You want to look like you, right? I'm giving you ideas about how to put together things so that you can look through your closet and put things together to get a certain look, not a certain outfit. That's what style is all about. You do it your way. You put your own twist on things.

Let's take the outfit with the white jeans and orange-yellow tank top. You are going to a BBQ. You don't want to be toddling around in those funky heels and you aren't a heels person anyway. You wear sneakers most of the time. Okay - presto! Sneakers. You don't like leather handbags. They are too heavy and they cost too much. Presto! A great fabric tote! You like simple earrings. Okay - presto! Simple yellow and coral earrings! Your take on my outfit.

presto change-o

So, that's why you won't see shopping info on my blog. This is what's out there done in my style. This is how I interpret it. Now, how will you do it your style? As the "late, great" said, Fashion is what happens four times a year, style is what you do with it. So, here are my ideas. Go style them your way!

See you all tomorrow for a peek at a home office look. No, not mine. Mine's being moved (again) and painted. Once it's done, I'll share photos. Happy Tuesday!
Judi and the Blue Cat