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.

Clean Water Festival

Apr 28th, 2010 Posted in Fun Photos - General, Fun Things to Do, Sherwood Schools | no comment »

Yesterday I had the pleasure of chaperoning Joe’s 5th grade class to PCC-Sylvania for the annual Clean Water Festival. The Clean Water Festival is designed for 4th and 5th grade students to learn about water and how it relates to our world. Water experts from Oregon and Washington work with 4th and 5th graders to explore water science and watershed ecology. It was very fun and educational day. We played a salmon migration game, wetland bingo, watched a “green” magic show, learned about the Missoula Flood that created the Willamette Valley and found out how much water we use just by brushing our teeth. It was pretty cool. During lunch, the kids got to be inside a giant bubble. We also played with the worms in a worm bin, saw the bacteria in a drop of unfiltered water and laughed at a giant jar of the objects found in sewer pipes (the guy at the booth said that all sewer guys keep collections…too funny). Of course, all of that was a hit with the kids.

The festival is every year, but there is a limited amount of space. I highly recommend applying to attend if you have a 4th or 5th grader.

Farm to Fork – Review

Apr 26th, 2010 Posted in Fun Things to Do, Good Eats - Restaurant | no comment »

OK, now this is the way to celebrate a girlfriend’s birthday! We started by going for a late breakfast at Farm to Fork in Dundee. It’s very cute and as Karla would say, it’s very “yum.”  As the name implies, all menus are fresh daily, and ingredients are locally sourced within 200 miles of Dundee. I had the daily special frittata which was awesome. Also on the tables was a fantastic skillet with a mushroom gravy, some to-die-for French toast, some sort of yummy brioche toast with egg and gruyere cheese and, and, and. Nobody tried the trout hash, but I have no doubt that it’s excellent. For six of us, the total bill was $65.  Priced well, fresh and creative. I’ll definitely be taking Brian there soon.

We ladies followed up our late breakfast with some wine tasting in Newberg. We went to the Fox Farms, Hip Chicks and Chehalem tasting rooms. I, being the designated driver and current avoider of yeast, abstained from the tastings, but sniffed some very nice pinot noirs, checked out some excellent art and enjoyed chatting with the girls. Newberg is really blossoming on First Street and we all agreed that we should attend the next First Friday Art Walk and tastings on May 7th from 5pm-9pm. A pre-Mother’s Day night out? We’ve decided Mother’s Day begins on Friday and ends a midnight on Sunday 🙂


Apr 24th, 2010 Posted in Random Thoughts | no comment »

After much persistent begging by Joe, we finally built a hutch and added bunnies to the Windheim farm. Scratch and Oreo, two darling little girls, came home with us yesterday from Critter Cabana in Newberg. Oreo had been the sole bunny of the store for several weeks (we visit the store often since music lessons are next door).  Brian mentioned that maybe we should get two bunnies, but we were having trouble locating a second female. Well, as we’re leaving with Oreo, a lady comes in to drop off an 8-week old, girl bunny!  It was clearly fate, so we bought her before her feet ever touched the ground at Critter Cabana.  She’s very sweet, but hasn’t been as handled as Oreo…hence, the name Scratch. She likes to snuggle and basically scratches when you try to put her down. Oreo is a nibbler. She’s already put some air holes in Sam’s sweatshirt. Good thing they are so adorable. The boys are completely smitten. So am I. And, Otto (dog) and Smokey (cat) are even pretty cool with it. Should be a fun adventure.