August’s Cheep Trills

Chirped by Tina and Cass

Unexpected Treasures

Sometimes Nature just plops a drop of sunshine in your path to brighten your day. I photographed a variety of perfect little mushrooms while hiking with my sister a couple of weeks ago. And I’ve never seen a feather like this – I’m guessing it’s from one of those purplish finches that love to nest behind our shutters. Since it was unaccompanied by ants, gore, or signs of struggle, I choose to think of it as a little present left on my doorstep. The cobweb was wafting in the breeze one dewy morning as my son left for his Continue reading

July’s Cheep Trills

Chirped by Tina and Cass

As you’ve probably noticed, we like to end each month by highlighting ten great things that we enjoyed over the course of the last 30 days or so. Whether it was a fun event we participated in, something we read for book club, a new recipe we tried, a craft that we loved, or an awesome life hack we discovered, taking the time to make our list helps us appreciate the good stuff and stay positive even through difficult or trying times.

Favorite Books for the Month

Ok, full disclosure, Cass and I didn’t actually finish/read July’s book club selections, but you’ll be happy to know that if our clubs didn’t think a book was really great, or we didn’t actually read it ourselves, we’re certainly not going to list it as a favorite! So we’ve gone back into our pre-blog archives to pull out two favorites from last year.

IMG_6166At the Edge of the Orchard, by Tracy Chevalier. Set in the mid 1800s, this novel introduces you to James and Sadie Goodenough, who headed West with some cuttings from the family orchards to stake their own claim… on the edge of a swamp in Ohio where their wagon got stuck. I loved being immersed in the brutal realities of frontier life, and was fascinated by the descriptions of cultivating and trying to maintain an apple orchard. When their youngest son escapes the crazily dysfunctional family to head to California, we learn all about the giant redwood Continue reading

April, May & June’s Cheep Trills

Chirped by Cass (and Tina)

This month’s favorites are a compilation from April, May and June since “life” got away from us and we are behind on posting our monthly highlights.  So let’s begin.

Favorite Books of the Months

June-booksThe Dry by Jan Harper is a compelling murder mystery set in a fictional, drought-plagued, small Australian town that I read in a day and kept Tina busy on the flights to and from the Galapagos.  She finished it just in time for the “you may now unbuckle your seat belts” ding, and had the flight attendant grilling her about who dunnit?!

Painted Hands by Jennifer Zobair describes the friendship of some young Muslim American career women and all the different ways that cultural traditions, stereotypes, political climate and well-meaning aunties shape their decisions and Continue reading

March’s Cheep Trills

Chirped by Cass and Tina

A new list of highlights from our month – things we’re happy about and/or would recommend!

March-books

  • Two Book Clubs, two books! A Long Way Home by Saroo Brierley, is the memoir that the movie Lion was based on –  the amazing story of a 5 year old boy who gets irretrievably lost in Calcutta, ends up being adopted by a family in Australia, and eventually finds his way back home to rural India as an adult using Google Earth!

The Boys in the Boat, by Daniel James Brown, is another true story, about how an unlikely  group of gritty Continue reading

Book Club in a Basket

Chirped by Cass and Tina

Book-Club-Basket

A book club is a great way to meet new people, share book discussions and experiences with a group of friends, and get you out of your overly quiet nest. Cass started her own book club in 2005, Tina has been in three different book clubs since 2001, for a while all at once! Our mutual book club participates in a fundraiser for childhood cancer. For one of their benefit events last spring, we put together a how-to “Book Club in a Basket” as a raffle prize. Maybe this post will inspire you to start up your own book club, give you some ideas for putting together your own great raffle basket for a cause you and your friends support, or add a little extra spice to your existing club’s next gathering!

Book Club in a Basket – A Starter Kit for Beginners 

So you want to start a book club? It doesn’t take much! Just a good book, a few friends who like to read, and your calendars. Next pick a venue, add some refreshments (or even some book-related props?), and you’ve got the makings Continue reading