Wife, Mummy, Nurse: May 2016

23 May 2016

Through the Shadows #Book #Review

I recently discovered Karen Barnett and her book Through the Shadows. Through the Shadows is the third book in The Golden Gate Chronicles series (the first two Beyond the Ashes and Out of the Ruins).

In Through the Shadows, Elizabeth King hears of Donaldina Cameron's work to help Chinese girls escape brothels in Chinatown, San Francisco. Elizabeth, trying to escape her past and hoping that God will forgive her sins, volunteers to be a teacher to Chinese girls in the mission home where Donaldina works. Charles McKinley works for his Uncle Silas's law firm and is given the assignment of taking over the King estate; Charles also volunteers his time at the mission home in San Francisco.

Review/Thoughts: Once I started this book, I could not put it down. I started reading it on April 17 and finished it April 20. (I read it the day before and days after Drew's defense. So, I'm not sure if I needed an escape from the rest of the world at that point.) I did not read the first two books in The Golden Gate Chronicles before Through the Shadows, but I was still able to follow the story without any problem.

There were things I could identify with Elizabeth-wanting to do things for the wrong reasons, in hopes of redeeming myself. One of my favorite lines in the book is found on page 248:
Child, if you think you're to work off your sin, you've missed the point of the gospel. The new life comes free of charge. Nothing you do could ever earn you God's love.
This book ended like a typical Christian romance novel: The bad guys are defeated. Girl and boy marry. Sin is completely overlooked and forgiven. While it would be nice if this were to happen in real life, it often doesn't. Sin is still here. People do not forgive as they should. So, I found the ending slightly unrealistic, especially since the sin was so publicly announced.

If you want to get a copy of the book for yourself, buy it here or enter to win a copy for yourself. (Giveaway ends June 6, 2016.)

I was sent a copy of Through the Shadows for the purpose of review.
All opinions are my own, and I was not compensated in any way.
This post contains affiliate links.

10 May 2016

Berroco Vintage Colors

On Saturday, my children and I went to the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. The last tent I visited that day was All About Yarn. They are based in Columbia, MD. Every Sheep and Wool Festival, All About Yarn comes and sells various skeins significantly reduced. I'm not sure if the yarn is no longer made or it's not selling in the store. Whatever the reason, I stop by their tent every year. Most of the time, there's a line formed outside with people waiting for customers to exit, so new customers can enter. This year was no different.

When I arrived, I had to wait (but only for a few minutes). When entering, I decided that I was going to knit my sister's children skirts for Christmas this year. My sister does not like pink. Instead, she likes green, purple, yellow, and orange.

I bought Berroco Vintage colors yarn in carousel. Yes, it has pink, but not a whole lot. The rest of the colors are ones that she likes, and the yarn would go with many tops made for girls. It has acrylic, wool, and nylon and is soft. Plus, you can wash items made from this yarn in a machine. The one, tiny drawback: Do NOT wash in the dryer. Instead you are to lay it flat to dry. (Or so, I was told by another attendee at Sheep and Wool. She said that she learned the hard way.) I thought this yarn would be perfect for my sister's girls.

This is the BlogHer writing lab prompt for May 10, 2016. What was your most recent purchase? Show us a picture and tell us the story. 

What's the most recent purchase you have made? Were you at the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival this past weekend?

09 May 2016

My Brother and I

I've been rummaging through my childhood photographs, but I cannot find any baby pictures. I'm surprised because my parents took the most pictures of me, since I am the firstborn. I'll have to look through the pictures at my parents' house the next time I'm in Pennsylvania.

One of my favorite pictures is the photo of my brother and me. We are 18 months apart. As toddlers/preschoolers, we were inseparable. I being the older sibling as a wee bit bossy (notice my arm around his neck). I can just picture myself saying, "Hey Robbie. Come here and look at the camera?"

This is the BlogHer writing lab prompt for May 9, 2016. Show us your baby photo. Which features still look the same today.

05 May 2016

Broken Starbucks Mug

Christmas 2010 was spent flying to Northern Ireland for my cousin's wedding. When I go on vacation, I buy a Starbucks mug. 2010 was no different. Unfortunately about two years after buying it, the handle broke. Not wanting to throw it away, I decided to repurpose the mug as a pencil holder.

This is an unusual thing because when something breaks most of the time, I throw the thing away.

This is from BlogHer writing lab prompt for May 5, 2016. Do you ever keep old, broken items? Why? Take a photo of one.

04 May 2016

Test Knits #YarnAlong

April was a month of completing four test knits; three of which were started in April. I've sometimes received comments such as, "How are you able to knit so much?" When Justin is napping, Charis does her math, phonics, and Spanish papers at the dining room table. During this time, I knit.

I first completed was the sporty pixie bonnet. I knit the bonnet with Bernat Cotton-ish and Universal Yarn Bamboo Pop. (The pattern is not yet published on Ravelry. When the designer puts the pattern up, I'll post it here.) This pattern is for a dear friend due with her first baby in November. I knit the 3-6 month size hoping it will fit the baby in Spring, around St. Patrick's Day.

I'm busy reading American Girl books to my daughter (Addy and Molly). Plus, during the month of April, I participated in the A to Z Challenge about books I like (mostly children's, but a few adult books were thrown in too.)

What's currently on your needles? Join me over at Ginny's Yarn Along.

03 May 2016

Granny's Nursing Pin

Today's BlogHer writing lab prompt is to take a photograph of the oldest thing in our home. To be honest, I don't know what the oldest thing is. I have items from the 1940s, mostly pictures. We also have a tablecloth that was a wedding gift to Drew and me from one of my great aunts who received it as a wedding gift from my grandmother. 

I am the only grandchild who went into nursing, so I was given Granny's nursing pin after she died (September 26, 2005). Yesterday I posted a photograph of her from her nursing days. Today, I'm posting her nursing pin from the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast from 1942. Inscribed on the back is "M.J. Blair" (for Margaret Jane Blair). 

64 years later, I received my nursing pin when I graduated from Sewickley Valley Hospital School of Nursing.

This is the BlogHer writing lab prompt for May 3, 2016. Take a picture of the oldest item in your home. Tell us its story if you write a post, too.

02 May 2016

Family Photographs

National Nurses Week is four days away. Many people have had or had at least one nurse in the family. It's no different in my family. My Granny was a nurse, in Northern Ireland, during World War II.

When I decided to go into nursing, I was told my my grandparents, aunts and uncles, and parents, "You're following in your Granny's footsteps." She unexpectedly died before I graduated from nursing school.

I keep various family photographs in an old (at least 10+ years) Whitman's chocolate sampler box. I have a few photographs-two to be exact-from Granny's nursing days. The one below is when she was in nursing school.

Do you have anyone in your family in nursing? This is the BlogHer writing lab prompt for May 2, 2016. Open a storage box and snap a picture of one item in the box. Tell us why you saved that item if you also write a post.