Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Farm At Holstein Dip

The Farm At Holstein Dip

An Iowa Boyhood

By Carroll Engelhardt

Published by Bur Oak Books/ University of Iowa Press

Carroll Engelhardt, a Professor of  History at Concordia  College, Minnesota, grew up on a farm in the 1940s and 50s without the benefit of  the modern conveniences enjoyed by many other farming communities during the same timescale; his farmhouse home had no indoor plumbing, electricity or functioning heating, yet his childhood was filled with hard work and many happy memories indeed.

 Descended from Norwegian and German immigrants who settled in the beautiful and fertile Clayton County, a strong Protestant morality and work ethic dominated both the area and his own family.

Professor Engelhardt covers five main topic areas: Home, Farm, Town, Church and School, recounting his recollections and experiences relating to each. I had to smile at the description of his exceptionally thrifty, almost parsimonious father at home:
"Father feared additional fees for drilling a new well and excavating through limestone to install the septic system. This seemed so daunting that he refused to act. Living in the house for nearly four decades without running water, a water heater, and a modern bathroom inconvenienced Mother more than it did him."

The incredible details about farm life in Chapter Two will stay in my mind for a very long time; vicious bulls escaping, animals being slaughtered on the farm and daily seeing procreation gave him respect for all forms of life. Saturday nights saw them trooping to the local town of Elkader, whose delights constitute Chapter Three and lead naturally into school and church attendance and their impact on his life, covered in Chapters Four and Five.

This is an absolutely enchanting book, perfect for anyone who enjoys history, sociology, memoirs and/or rural life, and the stunning photos - especially of his grandparents and parents - give an evocative glimpse into a long-gone era.

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London Underground's Strangest Tales

London Underground's Strangest Tales
By Iain Spragg
Published by Anova Books/Portico
January 2013

Many books have been written about the history of the London Underground Tube system, but not one like this. 

A relatively short book of  202 pages,  it starts with the incarceration of  Mark Isambard Brunel in a debtor's prison; while there, he notices the tunnelling activities of a shipworm. This gives him an idea about how deep tunnels could be constructed safely and then the book follows a historical timeline of notable events in the subsequent history of the Tube, each covered in a few pages.

Did you know which Victorian author's novel, published weekly in a magazine,  caused  passenger numbers to plummet because of its subject matter?  Or that a river - the Westbourne - is channelled through a large pipe along the ceiling of the Sloane Square Station? 

Which famous person's body was carried to its funeral by Tube, and how many babies have been born Underground? One notable train delay was caused by talk about a vasectomy amongst the drivers! Other stories relate to ghostly apparitions and suicides. 

 Just about everything you could wish to know -and somethings you don't - are included in this riveting read, which is ideal for picking up and dipping into  as well as reading straight through.

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Friday, May 24, 2013

Busy Busy!

It's been a busy week at The Garden Window and will likely be busier still....

DD3 is off on a school Geography trip to Italy in the early hours of tomorrow morning, taking in Naples, Pompeii, climbing up Vesuvius (on her birthday!) and then heading to Rome, where she will visit the Catacombs of St Sebastian, lots of historic sites, St Peter's and the Vatican museum. This is half-term week, so DD4 will be home and I hope to do some fun activities with her to cheer her up, as she will undoubtedly miss her sister greatly.

This weekend is the local kite festival, so we will most likely head up to the Park with our own kites in tow and join in the fun, as we normally do every year. Hopefully, photos will follow soon!

We have two viewings of our house, which is up for sale, and my mother-in-law is also moving back to our town next week so we can keep a closer eye on her now that her health is sadly failing.

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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

A Wedding For Julia

A Wedding For Julia

By Vannetta Chapman

Published by Harvest House Publishers, July 2013

This is the third book in the Pebble Creek series, and possibly the best one yet.

Julia Beechy is approaching forty and cares for her elderly widowed mother in their home.  A talented cook, she has plans to convert their home to a cafe to serve the need of Plain and Englisch folk alike, but when she plucks up courage and mentions this hope to her mother, she is stunned to find that unless she marries, when her mother dies, the house is to be sold and the money used for Julia as long as she agrees to move away to live with her mother's relatives......

Bewildered and bitterly unhappy about all this, she accepts a proposal of marriage from the kindly, lonely Amish bachelor who delivers their groceries - Caleb Zook. Are liking, mutual regard and aspirations good enough bases for a successful marriage, or will it all go horribly wrong?  Julia's mother Ada is in failing health and now Julia faces having to provide increasing care for her as well as her marriage and her fledgling business and when one of Caleb's younger cousins is sent to live with them in a desperate attempt to keep Sharon out of trouble and to resolve her own problems, it is yet another worry for Julia to contend with.

Julia is strong-willed yet vulnerable and insecure in her new marriage, and I found myself talking out loud to her as I was drawn deeper and deeper into this delightful tale. Ada is a delightful character; her unswerving faith and love of quoting the Psalms at every possible opportunity is complicated with  the onset of dementia, and in many ways, she is rather a loose cannon, yet she manages to relate to the troubled Sharon in a way no-one else can. Caleb is a sweetie, prone to blurting out the first thought in his head without thinking of whether it adequately conveys what he really feels or not, and my heart ached for poor Sharon and her anxious parents.

The nail-biting ordeal they face at the end had me sitting on the edge of my seat, and the book ended all too quickly for me; the situation with Sharon seemed to have resolved itself a little too abruptly for me, but I absolutely loved this book nonetheless!

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A Home For Lydia

 A Home For Lydia

By Vannetta Chapman

Published by Harvest House,  2012

This is the second in the Pebble Creek series by Vannetta Chapman, and we get to meet a very strong character indeed in  Lydia Fisher, who helps her family financially by working as a housekeeper at a complex of holiday cabins in Pebble Creek. Fearless, outspoken and strongly protective of those she loves, she seems truly formidable when  Aaron Troyer ends up helping his family by taking over the running of the cabin business and has to deal with Lydia on a daily basis.

All he wants to do is farm, but he has to learn to run the business without alienating Lydia, who fears the effect that losing her job may have on her struggling family; the potential for misunderstanding each other's motives and actions causes unhappiness and mistrust. Can they learn to get along, and how will they deal with a crime wave that affects the business  and even threatens their safety ?

This book is not afraid to deal with many of the problems faced by Amish when interacting with the modern world and is a good counterpoint to some of the heavily romanticised Amish fiction books. Lydia has very real concerns and anxieties, all well-founded, and she is a very real and likable character who wants to be able to lead her own life while still honouring and supporting her parents.

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Sunday, May 19, 2013

Thieves Of Book Row

Thieves Of Book Row:
New York’s Most Notorious Rare Book Ring and the Man
Who Stopped It

By Travis McDade

Published by Oxford University Press, 2013

Crime is not the first thing one would necessarily associate with libraries, but libraries have been faced with the problem of thefts of their rare books ever since their inception and continue to do so.

 The scarce poetical works of a youthful Edgar Alan Poe open the story and we are introduced to Al Aaraaf - the first collection of poems published under Poe's own name, and although uneven in quality, it was highly prized for being incredibly rare with a print run of only 250 copies. 

One was enshrined in New York's Public Library, until a young man using an alias asked to see eventually ended up on Book Row, the home of a huge number of second-hand and antiquarian booksellers, some dealing only in highly specialised fields, others being general booksellers.  Some happily dealt in books whose legitimate ownership was rather muddy to say the least. There was a thriving trade in "sophisticating" books by a variety of methods; one involved taking apart several volumes and incorporating the most attractive and rarest parts of each to produce a volume which would be attractive to collectors.

Thieves Of Book Row details the activities of one particular and notorious ring of thieves who targeted the libraries - both public and university - of the East Coast and  sold the books onto other booksellers and collectors. This is a truly fascinating account of how books were stolen, often to order for specific clients all over the world. All traces of previous homes had t be removed, whether ink stamps, embossed stamps , perforations - all could be removed or disguised given enough time and money. But who were these thieves, and how were they eventually stopped? What could be done to improve the security of rare book collections?

 An investigator named G. William Bergquist took up the challenge to halt the activities of this gang,which was led by Harry Gold and his associates, and this is a gripping reconstruction of the battle of wits between the two sides.

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Friday, May 17, 2013

Mrs DoomHamster Has Landed!

After an interesting flight to Denver via the northernmost reaches of the world, Mrs DoomHamster is now safely in Colorado, reunited with her beloved husband  and ready to start her exciting new life there :-)

Quite whether America is ready for the Celtic DoomHamster is another matter altogether, of course............

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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Mrs DoomHamster Departs

Well, our beloved DoomHamster is leaving Wales today and travelling up to England, where she will fly out to Denver tomorrow to permanently rejoin her husband at long last.  The last two days have been filled with visits to family and friends to say goodbyes.

As you can imagine, her two youngest sisters have been very tearful last night and this morning as they said goodbye to her, for they will not see her again for another year.  I am travelling with her  - by coach - to the airport to keep her company while my husband holds the fort here with the young ones; we have a hotel room booked for tonight and she checks in for her flight mid-morning tomorrow.

I will be on the lunchtime coach trip back home to Wales while she crosses The Pond for a joyful reunion with Mr DoomHamster and the start of a new life and a new adventure together.

Prayers for safe travel for us both would be much appreciated...

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Saturday, May 11, 2013

NetGalley 2013 Challenge

My challenge for 2013 is to read and review at least 30 books from NetGalley over the next eight months.....

Wish me luck :-)

No 13: Cracked 
No 22: One Hen
No 27: Leap Write In
No 35: A Simple Song
No 37: The Letters
No 38: Finding Mercy

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The Lost Carving

The Lost Carving:

A Journey To the Heart of Making

By David Esterly

Published in the USA by Penguin/Viking, December 2012

My craft talents lie in knitting, embroidery and writing - I cannot paint or draw anything recognisable and have always been amazed and fascinated by those whose talents do lie in this direction. David Esterly is a master carver who writes with deep understanding and insight into the whole complex and highly creative process of carving.

 I can just about identify the sharp end of a chisel from the handle, but found this book to be utterly enchanting - a poetic paean -  from beginning to end.

The great  17th century Grinling Gibbons created much of the spectacular carvings of England's historic Hampton Court Palace and when a catastrophic fire  destroys some of his work in March 1986, Esterly is tasked with the daunting job of restoring what is salvageable and then recreating one masterpiece from an ancient glass-plate photograph.

It was not just a technical challenge but also an emotional challenge. To have to carve something as magnificent as the original, when it has historically been held that the incredible secrets of Gibbons' unique techniques had almost certainly died with him, is a prospect which would have terrified most people, but for Esterly, it became a rite of passage as well as a challenge; he set out to keep a detailed journal of his knowledge of the master-carver and the whole experience of working at Hampton Court.

Not only did he complete the work he was tasked to do and succeed triumphantly,  he created a piece of history and a book of his own. Gibbons' life and times are brought to exuberant life, intertwined with Esterly's own deep appreciation of the original painstaking craftsmanship and the forces which shaped and developed his own life and skills as well as Gibbons'.

Part memoir, part detective story and in part a technical treatise on carving, this is a tastefully illustrated, alluring and thoroughly captivating book which left me feeling sadly bereft when  I reached the last page.

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Crossing The Pond

Now that all family members have been officially told, I can formally announce that our precious eldest daughter, Mrs DoomHamster, has got her emigration Visa and will be flying to the US to rejoin her beloved husband next week.

It is going to be a bitter-sweet  last few days for us as a family; we are all thoroughly delighted for her and Mr DoomHamster to be reunited after a long separation, but we shall miss her as much as we have missed our dear son-in-law these last twenty one months..........

And so The Big Adventure begins...... prayers for travelling mercies for her would be greatly appreciated!

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The Pieces Of Summer

 The Pieces Of Summer

(The Discovery Part 4 of 6)

By Wanda E Brunstetter

Published by Barbour Books, May 1st, 2013

Things are becoming increasingly more difficult for poor Merry as we rejoin her in Part 4 of "The Discovery". As her pregnancy progresses, the lovely young "widow" slowly becomes resigned to the tragic loss of her  beloved husband and starts to make preparations for the birth of her baby and plans on how best to financially support herself.

Jonah continues to pay frequent visits, and her mother-in-law  Sadie is very unhappy, feeling it is much too soon for Merry to consider courting again. Sadie wastes no time in telling poor Jonah this, even though her husband Elam is much more open to the possibility that Merry might marry again.

Back in Philadelphia, Nurse Susan is delighted to find that her John Doe patient, whom she has nicknamed Eddie,  has now woken from his coma but he remains amnesic though physically he continues to make a slow but steady recovery back to full health. He has no recall of his name, his background nor of his family, and relies a great deal on the frequent visits from Susan, whose sister Anne is assigned as his Physical Therapist. Worried about what will happen to Eddie when he is well enough to leave the hospital, and not willing to see him left penniless, jobless and homeless, the sisters decide to discuss the situation with their grandparents, who offer to let Eddie stay with them in return for helping out with odd jobs.

Our cliff-hanger for this installment is the rapidly progressing labour and imminent birth of Meredith's baby when she and Laurie are in their buggy on the way home from church, service, a long way from any help or even a phone to summon help...............

This is a thoroughly enjoyable read, and fingers crossed that Merry's boppli will make a safe if rather unorthodox arrival into the world!

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Friday, May 10, 2013

In Plain View

 In Plain View

By Olivia Newport

Published by Barbour Books, June 2013

This is Book 2 in the "Valley of Choice" series and follows the story of Annie Friesen, whose initial encounter with the Amish I reviewed here.

Annie is now immersing herself more fully into an Amish lifestyle as her relationship with Rufus Beiler continues to deepen. Her family remain bemused by her choice to abandon her successful business and modern lifestyle in favour of Plain living, and as she continues to become more Amish, Rufus' sister Ruth becomes more entrenched and settled in the Englisch world.

The arrival in the community of old friends from Rufus' childhood marks a strained period for Annie, as the unmarried daughters of this family are all accomplished young Amish women and looking to find spouses in the district; hospitality dictates that Rufus has to be polite and helpful to them even though his heart is well and truly given to Annie. Life becomes even more complex when his brother Joel becomes moody, secretive and involved with a group of other young Amish and Englisch boys who get themselves into trouble and danger, in turn threatening a valuable community project which would have united the Amish and Englisch folk of the area.

 Interspersed with all the modern day drama is the continuing story of the separation of the two strands of the Beyeler family during the American War of Independence and I was fascinated by the history of this period and how difficult it was for the Amish of the time who tried to remain neutral and pacifist in a time when  not belonging to one side or the other made you a traitor and a threat to both.

A highly enjoyable read, and one in which Annie's faith becomes deeper and believable when her position in the community comes under threat.

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Monday, May 06, 2013

Hymns Of Home

Hymns Of Home

By Bill Bunn

Published by Biting Duck Press, March 2013

I'd never heard of Bill Bunn, who is wellknown in the US for his columns and essays published in magazines and papers, but the fact that he has three children and likes to write about the joys, trials and tribulations of parenting and daily living was enough for me to want to read his book.

I am so very glad that I did; this short book of  twenty-nine absolutely delightful essays  was a pleasure to read from start to finish. I read "Away From The Manger" out loud to my younger daughters, who were reduced to hysterical giggles at the journeys the plastic Baby Jesus made round Bill's house. I was reduced to hysterical giggles when I read "Santa Giveth, But Anti Claus Taketh Away " as the problem of disposing of the goods which find their way into the house is a perennial problem in our home too........

Despite the constant wry humour, there is much wisdom and humanity in these essays, touching on our responsibilities to our children, taking joy in the small things of nature as well as the  absurdities of our daily lives. Short enough to pick up and read in a spare few minutes but robust enough to spend a day mulling over the depths contained therein, this was a great book and I am delighted to have made Mr Bunn's acquaintance and hope he writes another book very soon.

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Surviving The Angel Of Death

Surviving The Angel Of Death:

The Story of a Mengele Twin in Auschwitz

By Eva Mozes Kor and Lisa Rojany Buccieri

Published by Tanglewood, October 2009

This was quite a painful book to read due to its very subject matter. Beautifully written, it captivates the reader immediately.

Born to a prosperous Jewish family, the only Jewish family in Portz, Romania, the idyllic life of  Eva, her identical twin sister Miriam, their older sisters Edit and Aliz and their parents was abruptly shattered when their province was handed over to Hungarian control. Anti-semitism became widespread and violent, with propaganda films being shown in schools to incite violence against the Jews. The situation deteriorated rapidly when Hungary entered the War, allied to Germany, and the family's attempt to escape in 1943 failed and they had to return home. Life was difficult and they were soon moved to a tent ghetto, where torture and cruelty was rife.

 In May, 1944, they arrived at Auschwitz, where Eva and Miriam were immediately selected because they were twins and sent to Dr Mengele's medical compound at Birkenau. They never saw the rest of their family again. Subjected to dreadful living conditions, near starvation and brutality from nurses and guards as well as the medical experiments performed upon them, their lives were in jeopardy from day to day.

One experiment performed on Eva made her so ill she was separated from Miriam and taken to a separate hut, where she was deprived of food, water and medicine. Her indomitable spirit and help from a tiny number of humane people helped her to recover from almost certain death, and it took all her courage and ingenuity to stay alive.

Miriam and Eva were eventually liberated by the Soviet troops when they were eleven, and they returned to Romania. Life for these youngsters was hard, living under communist rule in Romania, and eventually they managed to emigrate to Israel and later to America, which marked the start of  a totally new life which held promise and happiness as well as a desire to make sure that the dreadful events at Auschwitz-Birkenau and the other camps would never be forgotten.

This is a truly remarkable book about triumph over adversity and not allowing the horrors of what they endured to poison and destroy the rest of their lives. Very well worth reading!

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Fix-It And Forget-It Holiday Sweets And Desserts

Fix-It And Forget-It

Holiday Sweets And Desserts

By Phyllis Pellman Good

Published by Good Books, October 2012

I always seem to struggle with getting a suitable dessert which can be made in good time and not worried about when I am in the midst of cooking lots of other dishes, so I was really pleased to see that there is a title devoted just to desserts in the useful Fix-It And Forget-It series.

Ideal for busy cooks, we now have a cookbook of slow-cooker/crockpot desserts which can be prepared well in advance and left to their own devices in the slowcooker while other dishes are given attention.  With few exceptions, these dishes use ingredients easily available to the UK and American cook alike, though I will need to investigate and experiment to see if the prepared box cake mixes in the UK used in some recipes will produce the same volume as their American counterparts. I am sure my family will deal heroically with having to endure multiple repeats of desserts in this endeavour!

So what, I hear you exclaim, are the desserts? Well, there are fifty recipes (many of which are contained in the Christmas book of this series) and they range from Christmas Apple Date pudding and Apple Cranberry Compote to Lemon Poppyseed Upside-Down Cake and Harvey Wallbanger Cake, with some great chocolate based puds including Chocolate Fondue, Fudgy Peanut Butter Cake, White Chocolate Bread Pudding and Chocolate Covered Pretzels. Many of the recipes would transplant easily to festival cooking for all seasons, not just Christmas, and I am glad that this book has been titled for Holidays in general.

None of the dishes are complex, and the majority are very forgiving of being kept warm in the slowcooker for an extra hour without diminishing their taste or texture. The only problem I now have is that I really need to have more than two slowcookers to make the most of the recipes in this great series!

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The Joy of Pascha

Christ is Risen!
He is Risen indeed!

Wishing my Orthodox family and friends a joyous and blessed Bright Week, filled with the radiant joy of Pascha!

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Thursday, May 02, 2013

Hands On Healing Remedies

Hands-On Healing Remedies

150 Recipes For Herbal Balms, Salves, Oils, Liniments & Other Topical Therapies

By Stephanie L. Tourles

Published by Storey, November 2012

Herbal medicine is an absolutely huge field of study and  its very complexity may put many people off the idea of learning about how to use herbs.

Stephanie Tourles has produced an extremely useful book which seeks to enable the reader to learn about a relatively small number of  herbs and essential oils and be able to use them confidently and safely as topical remedies applied to the skin. Her three decades of experience of using herbs and formulating her own remedies has been generously shared with her readers, along with the knowledge passed down to her from her grandfather and her great-grandmother, for whom reliance on herbal medicine was a natural way of life.

She explains how the skin is structured and able to effectively absorb the medicinal components of herbal remedies and why locally grown (preferably home-grown)  and harvested native herbs are generally to be preferred to those from other parts of the world. Even the kitchen can be a valuable source of herbal remedies, and with just  basic ingredients, a huge range of remedies can be created which will help to heal many ailments, from warts to stretchmarks, eczema to gout,  body odour to colds and flu, and much, much more.

Each "recipe" is described clearly, utilising easily available equipment and including information about how long it will take to prepare, how much  it will yield, how long it can be safely kept for and very specific dosing instructions. I particularly liked the extensive section of remedies which can be used for babies and children, covering everything from cradle cap to colic massage oil, head lice treatment (and prevention!) to nappy/diaper rash. The problems of modern day living are are also covered and problems such as stress, exhaustion, headaches, insomnia and enhancing memory/concentration are discussed and appropriate  helpful remedies suggested.

This is a truly fascinating book and I defy any reader *not * to be intrigued, engaged and then seriously consider giving the  remedies a trial. I've bought a supply of beeswax and am looking forward to trying out some of these remedies!

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The Backyard Sheep

The Backyard Sheep

An Introductory Guide to Keeping Productive Pet Sheep

By Sue Weaver

Published by Storey, 15th May 2013

Living in a fairly rural part of South Wales, I am used to seeing sheep. When I walk the dog, we see sheep in fields on a daily basis, sometimes with lambs, sometimes newly shorn, and sometimes the fields are empty and the sheep have been moved to fresh pastures.

 I like seeing them, and always stop to admire the local flocks, but I know very little about them, other than that orphaned lambs can be bottle-fed and become very tame and that sheep fleece is turned into wool of many different weights and textures. This title piqued my curiosity; I simply couldn't imagine keeping sheep as garden pets, and just had to find out more...

I loved every single page. Each page I read spurred me on to read more; this book is chockablock crammed full of wonderful and utterly absorbing sheep lore. From their incredible history of domestication from man's earliest days, right through to the traditional way of counting sheep, Part One takes us on a whistlestop tour, teaching about how sheep think (they are actually really quite intelligent), react and behave, identifying the different breeds, and then having convinced the reader they really do need to have pet sheep, choosing a breed and where and how to buy your very first sheep. Differing breeds  produce very different types of wool, come in many different sizes and resistance to heat, parasites and there are specific breeds for dairy production as well as meat production.

Part Two covers the daily routine of looking after, feeding and caring for your sheep in sickness and in health, providing safe fencing and appropriate housing shelter for your new pets. They may also need safeguarding from predators in certain parts of the country, and dogs, donkeys and llamas can be used for this purpose.Once you are well and truly in love with your sheep, it is inevitable that you will want to raise another generation of sheep from scratch, and this is amply covered by Part Three, entitled - unsurprisingly - "Making More Sheep"! From hiring a ram, feeding your pregnant ewe and then helping her have a safe delivery to the basics of lamb care are described here, including how to help at a difficult birth.

Making use of sheep products is the theme for Part Four, covering how to milk your sheep and sell or use the milk products, how to get top-quality fleeces from your sheep and how to train and tame your sheep. Two recipes for  soft cheeses are included, which look absolutely delicious.

On a sadder note, Appendix three covers Emergency Euthanasia, a difficult and unpleasant topic. Readers should note that this book is mainly geared to an American market and that euthanising a seriously ill or injured pet sheep in the UK should be left to a registered veterinary surgeon and not undertaken oneself.

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Sewing School 2

 Sewing School 2

Lessons in Machine Sewing

By Amie Petronis Plumley & Andrea Lisle

Published by Storey, 15th May 2013

Longtime readers will know of my avowed antipathy to all things sewing, with the exception of my beloved cross-stitching projects.

With one daughter using sewing machines in school, I decided it was about time to think about digging up the ancient sewing machine in the garage and actually learning how to do something creative with it, rather than just dusting it periodically. I looked at worthy tomes in the local library which put me off, as they were all aimed at people who actually do already know their way around a sewing machine - which I most definitely do not!

This book proved to be absolutely ideal for me. A step-by-step pictorial guide, full of colour photographs, it is the next best thing to having a sewing expert sitting with you and showing you every step of the way.  From the basics of choosing and using a sewing machine, understanding what all the parts are called and what they all do, techniques of sewing and choosing the best stitches right through  to picking the perfect fabrics for your chosen projects - this book has it all.  Written in a simple,direct, clear style without in any way talking down to the reader, it even shows you what to do when things might go wrong.

There are eleven chapters of lessons, gaining in complexity, and then twenty sewing projects to tackle, again in order of complexity. These are very much geared to the interests of children, though many would appeal to adults too - making a quilt, a secret message  pillow, a wall-pocket for bedroom storage, a backpack, bunting, an art case, cuddly toys, a patchwork scarf and a water bottle holder, amongst many others.

A simply super book for encouraging youngsters to tackle machine sewing, and it may even persuade me to overcome my fear and get sewing too!

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