Sunday, May 7, 2017

Barns, Grandkids, and Books

Over the weekend, we got to visit some of the grandkids (and their parents, of course). They're always so sweet and entertaining. A few minutes after giving the three-year-old a box of 'Frozen' Band-Aids, they were mostly plastered up and down her right leg. They don't last long, but I think she has fun ripping them open and applying them. And that's what counts.

All of the barn photos you see were taken on the way home, north of Highway 29, not far from Wausau, WI. There seem to be several barns that have an addition cantilevered out over a storage space or shelter for animals, as we've seen in Pennsylvania. Apparently that didn't catch on in Barron County, where we live.

It was a gorgeous day, and yes, the skies were THAT blue.

Oh yes, here's a collage of little Frozen Girl and her older brother, who is really into 'K'Nex,' a building toy we also had for our boys when they were kids. In the collage below, Mr. C. is holding Frozen Girl while she pops the bubbles that are blown her way.

He builds quite elaborate contraptions

These are the books that are currently lying around the house with hopes of getting read soon. I'm well into N.T. Wright's Paul For Everyone (Romans Part One), and I'm half done with Mrs. Milburn's Diaries, the fascinating diaries of a British woman who lived near Coventry and kept these diaries of the 'the war to end all wars' and of life in general in the village. 

The other night I was watching a PBS documentary on WWI, and the Lafayette Escadrilles were mentioned, so when it was over, I looked it up on Amazon (It's what's used right after Google, you know) and of the various books on the American fliers who flew for France, this one (First to Fly) by Charles Bracelen Flood looked the most interesting. I downloaded a free sample from Amazon for my Kindle, and now that I've read that and found it necessary to read the book, I'll either get it used on Amazon or get the Kindle copy.

Then there's A Fine Romance, by Susan Branch. Okay, I'm probably the only woman in blogland who had only recently heard of Susan Branch and had never ever read a book she'd written. Last week someone on Instagram had a photo of one of the pages of the book and it reminded me so much of my travel journals I create, that I was immediately smitten and of course bought the one about 'Falling in love with the English Countryside.' Of COURSE. Fortunately, the postman brought it just as we were leaving for Wausau, so I was able to take it along to read on the way. While reading it silently, I laughed so much that Mr. C. became more interested in my book than he was in continuing to listen to some political news, that he turned off the radio and Susan Branch entertained us as she recounted her travels in England (a subject near and dear to our own hearts!)

I found both the Georgette Heyer book and the Ken Follett book at St. Vincent's in Wausau (the treasure store!) when we went there with our daughter and the grandkids. I'd read Follet's book, Pillars of the Earth and liked it (a lot, probably mostly because it was about Canterbury Cathedral and Thomas Becket, etc. etc.). Besides, having read Erik Larson's book, In the Garden of Beasts, this WWII novel The Eye of the Needle definitely calls to me. 

I'm not a huge fan of Georgette Heyer, but I'm going to try her again. For a buck, I really can't go wrong. I'll lay it somewhere around the house so that I run into it from time to time and read a bit now and then.

I find that I love reading that way. Maybe I have readers' ADD or something, but I read Paul For Everyone early in the morning; Mrs. Milburn's Diaries is read while I'm eating my sandwich at noon; all Kindle offerings are read at bedtime or in the middle of the night when the kittens won't leave me alone anyway. (Mr. C. reminds me that our bedroom *does* have a door, but that seems so mean. Besides, I've got a lot to get read.)

So back to Susan Branch, I know there are fans out there, so what's your favorite Susan Branch book. And really? Are all of her books actually  handwritten and illustrated??? It's like reading a picture book for adults. Great fun!

Linking to Mosaic Monday   
and Tom's Barn Collective


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Anonymous said...

Hi Judy, Oh the grandchildren are precious. Glad you had a nice visit. The barns are amazing. We've had a lot of rain in Georgia, but today we are enjoying bright blue skies, also. Thanks for the book reviews. I've taken a break from the mysteries I usually read and have been checking out cookbooks from the library!
Hope you have a pleasant evening. xoxo

Empty Nester said...

Who is Susan Branch? I have never heard of her. Wait. I Googled her and guess what? I have a couple of her books. LOL I never pay much attention to the authors of the books my mother gives me at Christmas. I guess that doesn't count as me having heard of her. :) What a couple of cuties you visited with this weekend! How far away do they live from you? Molly, my youngest, used to do that with Band-Aids all the time. She's the one who teaches first grade and she has all sorts of character Band-Aids in her classroom. I'm sure they're for the kids. Sort of. LOL

Deb said...

Love your barn photos. I think you would enjoy a drive in our area where there are many unique-looking barns of every colour. Your grands are so cute. It must be such a fun time visiting. I love Susan Branch's blog but I have to admit I have not read any of her books.

Rose said...

You have me curious about Susan Branch...will have to look her up. That Diaries is a book I would love to have...have you seen the show or read the book Nella Lasts' War? I bet you would like it...

Lea said...

Pillars of the Earth is one of my favorite books! I have read it several times. The Eye of the Needle is good, too.
Great barn photos!
Have a wonderful week!

Rose said...

Oh, I love your barns! Got so detoured with the books I forgot all about them...almost.

Michelle said...

After this comment is written I am looking up Susan Branch. Not familiar with her. I read just about the same way you do...several books going at once. Depends on what I'm in the mood for.

Tom said...

...three great subjects. Judy, such a nice collection of barns. Tuesday Grandma and I go to our 6-year-old Granddaughter school's Grand-Day. Thanks for stopping by, you have been missed. Take care and stop back when you can.

Small City Scenes said...

Glad you had a nice visit with the Grands---always fun--mine are almost grown up now. 17 to 27. Where does the time go??
Very different looking barns but very nice.
I love books and have a front room full of read and ones in waiting.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Thanks for letting me know about your reading habits, because it is nice not to feel alone. That's how I read too. At least a couple of books going at all times. One on Kindle and usually one from the Library (of the kind that Bill calls 'real books'). I don't buy many at all these days except for the Kindle because of our small spaces. I have some reference books, birding and travel books on our shelves in both houses and I browse them often.

Had a couple of Susan Branch books back when we sold out to travel. Daughter probably has them now. Beautiful books yes.

Vee said...

Darling and smart grands!

Books...never waste my time on a book I do not like. If I am not well into it after chapter two...into the bin it goes, sometimes rubbish and sometimes resale. Life is short. Too many good books to waste time on a dud.

📚I am intrigued by all your books with the exception of the one you yourself are not sure of having not liked some past work.I have only read one shown here...A Fine Romance. Yes, Branch's books are all that way or all the ones I have are. I was particularly charmed by that one and loved those laugh aloud moments, most especially the driving experiences.

Since I definitely believe that Paul is the gentiles' apostle, I am pretty sure that one would be a fine book to read.

Now have you read the gentle series of books by British author Elizabeth Goudge? They are so charming and insightful and just plain good reading. And do you also love James Herriot's books? I think you must as the Anglophile you are.

Maggie said...

Judy, I didn't realise you were such an Anglophile but I can tell from your choice of books and your post last week on Durham that of course you are!
I haven't read any of Susan Branch's books but my lovely friend Sarah @ Hyacinths for the Soul is SB's biggest fan and has a wonderful collection of things she has produced.
You might enjoy this post that Sarah wrote last year after meeting Susan at a book signing.

Happy Mosaic Monday.

Sandra said...

I spent maybe 30 seconds trying to figure out why you would freeze bandaids.. I have no small children and it did not connect that it was from the movie. I did get it finally and then felt like you would think I am still under the rock I mentioned in your last post.
they are both adorable and that is some intricate contraption he built. I am the total opposite of your reading habits and types of books so not much to comment on.

Arlene @Nanaland said...

I like that Susan Branch book because I always wanted to visit England. I will say I came to parting ways with Susan during the election. I had read her blog for years but the rant that she posted just before the election had me leaving the blog. Life is too short to be aggravated.:) I had to laugh at the frozen bandaids. I can only imagine.:)

living from glory to glory said...

Hello... Your post title says it all for me!! What a cutie, those kids are! And the barns are what we love to see in your posts. But seeing the kids is special! I will be busy for a while in the Spring so reading is not something I do much of. But in the winter, it is my go to...
"Happy Mothers Day" All WEEK... LOL

Terri D said...

Glad I'm not the only one who doesn't know who Susan Branch is. Will have to look her up. I LOVED Pillars of the Earth and Eye of the Needle is a favorite movie (didn't read the book). Love those photos of the kiddos and chuckled at the whole box of Frozen bandaids going on her leg! Happy week to you!

Creations By Cindy said...

Judy the band-aids and the grandgirl cracked me up! Awe, I know you enjoyed the babies...and your children! LOL! Love old barns. Hugs and blessings, Cindy

Snap said...

Wonderful barns! I giggled when reading the story about your little "frozen" grand. Too funny! Yes, all of Susan Branch's books are fun and filled with her illustrations ... even the cookbooks! Happy Monday!

Deborah Montgomery said...

Well I didn't get through your post before I was over at Amazon looking up the Mrs. Milburn book! I love finding new authors, and this seems like one I would enjoy. I also usually have several books going. I don't know why but Susan Branch doesn't appeal to me as I would think she would. I'm all into all the stuff she writes about, and I love cozy homey things, so not sure why. Anyway, her book is gathering dust on my shelf. Like Vee says, there's so many others to read! Love the barns as always. xo Deborah

Lorrie said...

A fun collection of photos, Judy. The band-aid story is one I can relate to, as band-aids are considered jewelry for some littles I know. Sweet story. I saw the movie, The Eye of the Needle, many years ago, and found it quite chilling. Susan Branch is a favourite author of mine - her books are all hand illustrated. A Fine Romance is the first one of three in which she tells the stories of her life; her other books are recipe books filled with delightful illustrations and recipes. I keep my eye open for any used books I see as they can be difficult to find. Her blog is a must-read on my list.

This N That said...

I love old barns..I guess most of them are old these days...Sweet bandaid story..I almost never read..No time and they become addicting and I don't get anything else done..Have a wonderful week..

Debbie said...

Your grandkids are soo precious. We too have had some of those band-aid adventures, lol. Why do they all love things like that? lol such simple pleasures. I have only read one of Susan Branches books called Girlfriends Forever which one of my lifetime girlfriends gave me years ago for my birthday. I LOVED it. Soo much so I am amazed I've never read another. I think I am going to have to change that. You have an interesting bunch there to chose from Enjoy the rest of your week!

Pamela Gordon said...

Sweet photos of the grandkids. They do love bandaids on themselves. The Susan Branch book sounds delightful. I need to use Amazon. I've never ever ordered anything on line. lol Have a great week!

Carla from The River said...

Hi Judy,
I am a huge fan of SB! Yes, her books are all hand written.

I also enjoy the photos of your grands and the barns of Wisconsin. Did Lucy get her hair cut?
Have a great week!

Cheryl said...

I have been known to tuck Band-Aids into Christmas stockings or birthday packages. Even a few years ago, I gave Bekah (even though she is out of the Band-Aids-as-jewelry phase) a box of Jane Austen bandages. Such fun! (And the box was cute.) :)

I love book recommendations. Even though I don't read nearly as much as I used to read, I keep a handy supply around and try to always keep something going, even if it is slow.

Lynne said...

Such fun to see how the "kiddies" get caught up in the current kiddie things going on.
"Frozen" bandaids, I would say, hatmless . . .
I wonder, bet great grand Oakland would enjoy bandaiding herself.

I like your group of barns with peaks, colors, varying roof lines.

I have never read her books or purchased anything Susan Branch.
Although I had heard of her.

Pillars of the Earth was one of my favorites. My "reads" never get smaller.
Of late, I read library books, because it keeps me more disciplined in a way . . .
Staying to the time frame, scheduling what I want to read. Returning the books.
Now though it is outdoor time of cleaning, thinning, pruning, planning, planting . . .

Happy Mother's Day Judy . . .

Preppy Empty Nester said...

Love those gorgeous photos of the barns. Your grandchildren are positively precious. The only book that I have read, or remember reading, is The Eye of the Needle. I loved it. Enjoy your week, dear Judy.

Tanna said...

Okay, I'm embarrassed. I've not heard of Susan Branch until your post. I have read The Eye of the Needle. ;) Beautiful barns and grandbabies, Judy!! So precious! Band-aides were a BIG favorite around here for several years. They seem to have lost their appeal at the moment. ;) And, I can still hear the refrain, "Let it go. Let it go." with all the little hand motions to go along. LOL! Have a wonderful week. blessings ~ tanna

NanaDiana said...

I love Susan Branch's artwork but have never read any of her books. She is quite fascinating, I bet. Your grandkids are as precious as always, Judy.

I love your pictures, Judy--especially the barns and countryside around you. xo Diana

Anonymous said...

Wonderful barns. Oh how I enjoyed reading parts of A Fine Romance out loud to Dear and how we howled at the experiences that were so much like our own while driving in the U.K. Hope your week is going well.

Judith @ Lavender Cottage said...

I love seeing the barns in your parts, such character and different from our plain ones.
The grands are sweet, I miss having little ones and how humorous they can be.
I've not read any of Susan Branch's books but know there are many who enjoy them.

Mrs.T said...

Susan Branch's books are wonderful -- I own several -- and her blog is lovely too. She has some freebies available there also -- like bookmarks and such to print, and fun wallpapers for your computer desktop. And she often does very lovely, very generous giveaways. I part ways with her on politics too (as Arlene mentioned above) but I love her writing. We share many of the same interests.

And Judy, I always love your pictures of barns and have pinned many of them to my "Barns and other country places" board on Pinterest.

Grands are adorable too; guess that almost goes without saying.

Sylvia said...

Judy, Thanks for sharing. A good book is always a treat. I enjoyed your post. Sylvia D.


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