Thursday, August 18, 2016

Hello and I hope your Thursday is lovely.

Part of the journey back to blogging is also part of my journey back to books.

Right now I am reading a good book with some good friends.   It is called Natchez Burning, by Greg Isle.  I bought it to read on my Ipad Pro from the Kindle book store.  I am enjoying the book even though it is fiction I am being acquainted with actual  racial crimes/events of 1960's Louisiana and Mississippi.   The book so far is dramatic and holds my attention.  The best part about this read is that I got to read with some of my original best friend book club readers. You all know who you are.

My sidebar has a list of upcoming books I am going to write about. However,  that was an attempt at artwork with my Ipencil for Ipad Pro.  I see that is it a bit shabby and not very clear.  So here is a more clear schedule.

September 13th, Composing Temple Sunrise, by Hassan El Tayyab
September 28th, Ergon - George Singer.

I will apologize in advance for my blog having changes here and there.  I don't recall very well how to navigate through  Blogger templates, but I will get the hang of it all soon.  I am sure there is a useful app on my Ipad.  For now, please bear with the oversized obnoxious picture of my forehead.   Also, blog tour etiquette and regular procedures??? I am out of the loop.  I will get a list of blogs to start reading and join in the gang and see what everyone is doing.

Lots of love and Sunshine.
Toni

Monday, August 15, 2016

Running and workouts - (a few weeks ago)

Today (Sunday), I faced my usual dilemma.  Do I get up and run early? (hasn't happened yet) or wait until the evening and run when it cools off ? That is usually not going to happen. Why? Because as it cools down I want wine. When Sunday afternoon arrives and the last bit of freedom before the work weeks steals hours and brain cells.

I want wine.

But as last weekend slipped away,  I found myself without a work out and all the promises of new workouts that never happened.  Two weeks ago I rode my bike for ten miles.  And I am sure that is a vague memory to my body.

So I got some motivation from a Facebook mothers running group and I decided to do a heat endurance walk.  When I left it was 98, when I got home it was 102.  Pavement jog walking. It went well and I sweated and feel wonderful.  And I added to my yearly mile count.  I am at 111 now.

I am new to running and when it comes to this whole generation of runners, I have much to learn. I used to think I was a runner, now I am beginning  to think I am a former jogger.  Anyway I have had five seriously wonderful running/jogging accomplishments this year.

I am finding that running can be a team sport even if we are all running difference races, with differnet goals and different reasons.   I am also learning the power of solo runs.  I call it therapy.

Running is my passion once more, and yet this time around I have obstacles.  Sometimes I wonder if the obstacles are there only to remind me how precious life is... How much it means to me to run..obstacles of age, weight and pain.

The newest gratification is to run/walk somewhere  that cars can't go!  To see a view that the highways obscure from us.  It has added a joy and a bonus that surpasses fitness and weight.  The views and the nature are indeed the most gratifying experience that I can recall.

So at this time, I find myself very interested in solo day hikes, runs.  This is hard for me because I am not the bravest of souls. There are wild animals and there are freaky humans.   And yet I do have to remember that people emerge from runs and hikes safe and whole everyday.  With a side note that the last time I went to a place that I felt unsafe,  I didn't even enjoy the run at all.  I feel I took away nothing.

It is safe to say that  part of my running journey is going to be on how I can run solo and not have fear.  Even if that involves a taser. I have pepper spray, and maybe even a self defense class will be in order.

Deep running thoughts.

❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Peeking In - Hello - A Real Update.

Hello all!

I am back with the best intentions.  (writing, blogging, reading books, sharing music).   I actually finished a book in the past few weeks.   Looking back fondly at my blogger days and blogger friends and finding a piece of me in there that I miss.

I won't inundate with pictures and try to catch up all in one post.

The book that I read a week or so ago was called Find Her by Lisa Gardner.
The book was recommended by my co-worker. Thanks Roch.

Quick review:  I enjoyed the book.  It was compelling page after page.    There were many chapters while reading this book that were almost heart stopping.  I always felt very very eager to finish the book.  It was a great read to get me excited about reading.   If you like mystery, suspense, I think this is a book that you will enjoy.  It is a relatively new genre for me.  I bought this book and read it on my Kindle App on my Ipad.




I received a book in the mail from Algonquin.
It is called The Last September.  Thank you Algonquin.  I didn't request the book but it sounds good.  It got me in a really bookish mood and that is where I started thinking about my book blogger friends, blogger friends, and my Page Turner Book Club.  

Yes... I make soap, and yes I still play the violin.  I will share my violin stories and soap making adventures with everyone soon.  I have a few new adventures to share also.

Please forgive my blogging graphics challenges at this point.  I am really rusty.  I don't know what has changed or what is convenient for all to see.

Cheers for now, and I hope I see you all more than once a year. 






Tuesday, February 10, 2015

February 2015 - Quilts, Socks and Soap.

                                                       Happy February 2015

The new year came and the next thing we know it's mid February.  Time for updates all around!


Violin News - I am still found playing my violin about 7-10 hours a week.  I have made some progress and I feel happy in my violin journey, most of the time.  I have been getting some extra online tutoring, and support from my violin friends all around the world.  More on that on another post.

Last November I did play in a little online venue with my friends. Street Jelly Fiddlefest, LIVE show. Yep I did it.  There will be another Fiddle Jamboree on February 21st on Street Jelly.  I will be playing 6 songs.  It is a small time fun venue, online busking.  I don't do it for the tips, as much as for trying to fight the stage fright, and peer pressure.   What a nice group of friends.   More details in another post.







Soap News - After a much needed hiatus my best girl Jess and I are making soap again. We started this year off with three of our customer favorites.  Oatmeal Scrub, Lavender Vanilla,  and Rosemary Mint.  Also this year look for some new cute sample packs. We had a lovely batch for party favors at my baby grand daughters, one year birthday party.  

We are moving slowing back into soap production and still enjoying family time and hobbies.   Happy New Year and thank you to all of our soap customers and fans.  Thank you for all the lovely reviews and compliments all of last year.   We hope to make lots of skin friendly soap for you this year.





















Off the needles ... Knitting  -   I stayed busy with knitting through the holidays.  There were knitted hats, mittens,  cloth and soap sets, and in January a sweet lamb for Marley.  I recently finished a sock knit a long with my Wednesday Night Knit pals.   There are new babies coming at me left and right, so I will be making some blankets and booties.   I have a new Great Nephew on the way.




Quilting!!!!  I am obsessed with having some nicely quilted cotton items in my house.  So I am working on finishing my Irish Chain Quilt and I am on the verge of  starting my first full sized Quilt!!! EXCITING, and pretty much a dream coming true.    I am not in love with the process of making quilts.  But I want colorful homemade quilts in my house.... I like cozy and I LOVE QUILTS.




















New Diet - I  can be found Low Carb-ing this year.  I am feeling positive and eating a lot of spinach and veggies.  I can say that it is a good thing that 1/2 way into February and my resolve is still strong!!




My Hound -  Well he is always nearby on my quilting, knitting, and cooking adventures.  (not so much or the violin playing.. his loss).   I think he is so handsome!

READING... My reading brain is still in the tank.  I am struggling to get lost in a book.

My best wishes to everyone on your musical, craft, and creative journeys.  

Toni


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Hello everyone!
It has been a while since I put up a post.

The soap shop is doing well.  We make the soap and it goes as quickly as we make it.  Look for a new special Holiday scent coming soon.

In violin news, I can report I have a big smile on my face.   The online project that I have been working on, Thaxted with my friends at Fiddlerman.com published!!!!!    I am so pleased with the result.

Happy Fall and November.  

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Happy Fourth of July and Summer!


Happy Fourth of July.. and actually Happy Summer Days to all!




About the Violin:
  • I have been practicing my Star Spangled Banner - much easier and prettier than last year.
  • I have been enjoying a bit of fun playing some "fiddle" type tunes.  Stiches in my Britches.   A friend sent me a link to jam along with a video. I think it will be fun.  http://youtu.be/1iyfy--v1Mg I can't wait to get up to speed and get some toe tapping. 
  • I am still working on Thaxted, from Gustav Holst's Jupiter, a project on the Fiddlerman.com site.   Goals after Thaxted are to get back to a version of Swan Lake, and a few other songs.
Georgia Peach homemade olive oil soapAbout Soap:
I made a new soap. Georgia Peach, with a hint of clove.  It is lovely and so summery fresh.  To order Click Here.



About Books:
I am so thrilled that I am reading with my old book club and some dear friends.  We are reading  The Fall of Giants by Ken Follett.  We had a July 1st start date.  I am enjoying the books so far. I am also reading Pillars of the Earth by the same Author at the same time.  This will be a test on my brain.  


About Knitting:
I am working on Vodka Lemonade.  I call it Vodka Pink Lemonade.  I will start the sleeves this weekend.  I can't wait to see it finished.   It has been an enjoyable knit, mostly cruising and an occasional lace reward to break up a lot of stockinette stitch.   I found a little crochet pattern that I might work into something spiffy and fun for my newest grand daughter. (My Niece brought this to my attention). So very cute right?

I am planning on having a great Summer of knitting, violin, quilting, friends, and grand children.  I do have a busy work schedule this summer, so the hobbies and fun are carefully budgeted in to my life. With extreme pleasure, of course!  Any great plans that you would love to share?

I hope to have some new soap and new songs under my belt the next time I check in with everyone.  Maybe even a few summer escapades to share as I am now a bicycle rider....( to be continued.........)

Sunday, June 8, 2014

What Happened to May?

May slipped by.... and now the first week of June has blinked by as well.  Summer is here to stay.  I don't mind. I am used to California, after 48 years I am seasoned triple digit survivor.

HomeGoodsByToni has a Facebook Page. Welcome all.   My partner and daughter is usually the voice behind the page, but if you  tag me I see the comments and respond also.  Like the page to hear  about the great specials each week.

HomeGoodsByToni had a soap event in May. It was at Bounce U, a fund raiser for Make a Wish Foundation. It was our first official public appearance. We had a blast, new scents, and soaps and a lot of happy soap buyers.  Pictured is Jessica, what a cutie.
















Violin News:  I am working on a project with the fine friends at Fiddlerman.com on "Thaxted."  I will keep you all  posted.  I might even have a video by June 20th to share. Yes, that is a deadline, go ahead give me a bit of pressure.  I have a nice online friend helping me get the "Fiddle" and the "Jig" in to my Swallowtail Jig. So he gave me a little song called Stitches in my Britches to play. It is really fun.  I might have a clip on that one soon also.  I am playing 45 minutes to 1.5 hours a day.  I see progress at times and other times it feels I am not making progress. 

On Memorial Day, I thought it would be fun to see how well I could play The Star Spangled Banner. Last year I learned and practice for 3 months to make a somewhat sketchy video to post in a Fourth of July Forum.  This year I pulled out the sheet music and had it decent in about 30 minutes.  That is progress I told myself.   That lead to a binge of pulling out sheet music from songs from a year ago and playing them, and I have to say I feel happier in the whole over all progress.  Especially since songs from a year ago had the music marked with the letter number over the note, and I had learning tapes on my violin.

 Spring and Summer has brought forth some mediocre gardening and flowers. But I am enjoying the fruits of the labor of my watering.

and a bit of mediocre photography also.

On the craft front:

A sweater  is emerging from my needles, and a cheerful quilt is on the way.
More about the projects later.  I am behind in blogging.   I'd like to sit down and read some soon also.   I 'd love to hear from everyone.   Have a great week, thanks for stopping by.

Toni