Archive for May, 2010

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest – Review

May 25th, 2010 Posted in Book Review | no comment »

I had a love/hate relationship with The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest, by Stieg Larsson.  There was no question that I was absolutely compelled to read and finish the 3rd installment of the series. I loved the first two.  But, I stalled out several times on this 600 pager. I actually stopped reading at one point, read a different book and then came back to it. I would have never considered doing that with the others.

While I love the story and the main characters who remained constant through all three books, Larsson frequently got lost in his background and bios when introducing new characters. I found myself growing impatient and speed-reading or (I hate to admit it) completely skipping pages to get back to Lizbeth and Mikael.  Granted, some of it was necessary to fully understand what Lizbeth is up against in this story of her trial and retribution in Stockholm. But, there was some serious deadweight in the mid-200’s of the book.

If you’ve read the first two installments from Stieg you MUST read The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest. Be ready to power through a few spots and you should be satisfied at the end of the journey.

Banks Tournament Champions

May 19th, 2010 Posted in Fun Photos - Sports, Joyful Moments, Sports | no comment »

Joe’s Sherwood Scorpions baseball team won first place this weekend at the Banks Junior National Tournament.  The boys played very well and deserved the top prize.

Joe made the difficult decision to only play a portion of the championship game so that he could make it back to Newberg for an important soccer tryout. He played an amazing 4 innings that helped lead the team to victory. Hits, slides home, awesome bunts, RBI’s, double-plays…Joe did it all this weekend.  Then, he proceeded to get to Newberg and hustle his way onto the U12 Classic Team. It was a competitive tryout this year, and Joe showed he has what it takes.

Great weekend, Joe! I’m very proud of you.

Deck Report: The Bones

May 19th, 2010 Posted in Yard Happenings | no comment »

The deck has some bones now. We’re getting a much better feel now for what it will be like and how it will change our views from the house and the yard.  An interesting surprise is how much room we’ll have under the deck. We’ll have to get creative with how to use that space.  If you have any great ideas, send them my way!

Note: I love how our builder tapered the ends of the support beams. Nice touch.

Deck Report: Permits and Holes

May 13th, 2010 Posted in Yard Happenings | no comment »

The deck is really happening!  After finishing the design, we hired a project manager/builder.  He took care of the permits, some minor engineering adjustments for stability and then work started yesterday. Right now I have a pile of lumber and holes, but it all looks beautiful to me. While the builders continue putting up the bones of the deck, Brian and I need to hurry to a composite deck showroom and pick out our surface material. I have some ideas, but maybe I’ll be swayed by other options once I see them all in person.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society – Review

May 5th, 2010 Posted in Book Review | no comment »

Odd title. Lovely book.

The Guernsey  Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrow, topped my “to read” list for many, many months.  Finally, I won over the Lit Ladies Book Club and it became our April selection. Oh my, this is a fantastic book and so deserving of all of the praise it’s received.

I thought I new what to expect. I knew it was a fictional collection of letters describing the German occupation of the Channel Islands (Guernsey specifically) during WWII.  While I did learn about the German occupation and the horrible sadness and aftermath for the people and lands of Europe, I also was given a great story.  For me, the book was about a woman finding where she truly belonged in the post-War world and how to find happiness after all of the destruction. Very romantic in the discovery of a new home, new friends, new family and love.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is written entirely in correspondence letters and telegrams.  Writer Juliet receives a letter from a Guernsey native, Dawsey, who’s found one of her old books and her address. He writes to her inquiring about the book and sets the Guernsey story in motion. I loved reading the letters. How wonderful it would have been to receive them and write them.  We are so used to instant gratification with our emails and Internet and iPhones. The anticipation of the post must have been incapacitating! And, the content must have been so much more rewarding for have waited.

I plan to pass this book on to my son (age 13). I think he’ll enjoy the story and the clear and personal portrayal of WWII. I know it gave me such a sharper picture than the bombs and trenches we see in movies. I had never really considered all of the little details that made enduring and recovering from war so difficult. I don’t want to spoil them for you though 🙂 Go read it for yourself.

Oh, and don’t skip over the acknowledgement and afterward sections at the end. Both are great and the afterward almost made  me cry.

Happy Birthday, Sam

May 2nd, 2010 Posted in Fun Photos - General | no comment »

My baby is 8 today! Sam is enjoying his birthday to the fullest. A sleepover with his bestest two buddies, doughnuts for breakfast, presents and Red Robin for dinner. Fun, fun, fun.

Baseball Photo Season

May 1st, 2010 Posted in Fun Photos - Sports | no comment »

I’ve been posting daily tips on how to get great youth baseball photos on my photography blog and on Facebook. Check ’em out at or look up Angie Windheim Photography on Facebook.