My spare time this week is being taken up by a last-minute craft, a baby shower gift for my cousin's wife, Blair. I started this thing three babies back when I made a bear as a gift for the first baby on my father's side of the family. The trouble is, that was a girl bear, made for Alison, and Blair absolutely loved it. She was made of the curtains in my pre-married apartment, in colors of olive, gold, burgundy, and pink. Blair begged for me to make her one, I told her there was one way to get one and if she wanted to go there, she was welcome to do so. Two and a half years later, it's bear time, but .... it's a BOY. No rose bear for Blair, yet.
On the reading front, with my hand often busy, the recorded book is a good thing to have but it is still not my favorite. I would have been finished a long time ago if I liked it more, the woman has a grating voice, bad news for a narrator, and makes the german characters sound like they have marbles in their mouths. There are a few things about the content of the book I like very much, but I'll save those for when I've completed the book and reviewed in in full.
The second book on my list is a book I've had for a while but it was a surprise to me when Julian pulled it off the shelf. Isabella Beeton was a Victorian woman whose columns in her husband's magazine became THE housekeeping and recipe book for basically the entire English speaking world. Next to Fannie Farmer, with her standardization of the measuring cup, Isabella revolutionized the way we keep house by writing down every single thing we need to know (for that time) from grooming a horse to dealing with payment of the house help. Her original book has been abridged, printed and reprinted a plethora of ways and times over the past 130 years. I downloaded the original, 1,000+ pages Book of Household Management last year for free on my Kindle. It is a fascinating read, if you like that sort of thing.
This book was added to my collection about a year ago on a whim to help me get free shipping from Amazon. Julian's been building a bookcase and happened to notice its author. Upon closer inspection, it is a SUPER abridged version of the original book that is packed with the best recipes and a 33 page essay for "the Mistress" that covers everything from how to respectfully retire for the evening when hosting company and judging the character of a potential hire. Love, love, love this book... and who knows, maybe I'll scrape together a rabbit pie or swish a jug of syllabub. And last but not least, I like it because it's pretty, and who doesn't love having a pretty book laying around?