FOCUS!

I’ve never been a focused person. My mind just doesn’t sit still very long. As a child in school, I was always bored with it all and wanted to be doing anything else but sitting there.

I went to college – although I never wanted to. Today, at almost 64 years old, I still don’t know what I want to be “when I grow up”.

But, now that I’m “old” and retired, one thing has remained constant throughout my life. And that is arts and crafts. Growing up I always had a needle (sewing – nothing illegal lol) in my hand. Now, those interests have grown to include many other things.

Sewing

My mother taught me to sew when I was around 8 years old. I started sewing sleeveless shifts for my Barbie doll. Eventually, I learned to make my own clothes. Then I learned to quilt. Now, my sewing consists of quilts, pillows, tablerunners, and soon, project bags.

Counted Cross Stitch

When all is said and done, counted cross stitch is probably my favorite needle art. I have made countless projects.

Painting

One of my newer interests has been painting on canvas. I’ve been fortunate to have sold several paintings. Most of my work is abstract and mixed media. Can’t draw a scene, but I can throw paint around!

Art Journaling

I’m still trying to grasp this one. I enjoy it, but have not made any masterpieces. My BFF, on the other hand, is so talented at art journaling. I need to take lessons from her.

Photography

I’ve always loved photography and have a very nice DSLR. I really need to get out and take more pictures. My favorite things to photograph is anything I can use in my art, architecture, and macro.

Crochet

My mother was a prolific crocheter.  In her 97 years, she probably crocheted 70-75 of those years. She tried to teach me, but I didn’t “get it”. Recently we took a trip with my husband’s brother and his wife. She taught me to crochet and, oh my, I’m “hooked”. I’ve made pillows, baby blankets, scarves, granny squares, and the list goes on. I love it! My only regret is I didn’t learn 50 years ago.

Miscellaneous

I would be amiss if I didn’t include other crafts I do, although I don’t do enough of it. Those would include polymer clay, beading, card making, and scrapbooking. I also want to learn to solder.

Knitting

When I was in high school, the girls in the youth group at church knitted bandages for the wounded in the Viet Nam war. But, I haven’t knitted since. I watch a lot of podcasts on YouTube and want to knit so badly. And I really want to make socks! In fact, I’m so crazy, that’s what I want to start with, even though it’s not recommended that one starts with socks. But, I’ve never done the norm so, why start now, right?

And, if all of this isn’t enough, I also like to read, although I don’t spend enugh time doing so.

AND NOW…

And now for the purpose of this rambling. I’m wanting to increase my presence in the crafting community, mostly through blog posts, Instagram, and possibly, on Facebook. I’m going to try to do more frequent craft-related blogs complete with pictures. I will show more of my sewing and crochet projects – pretty much all I work on. And, I will post more on Instagram.

I am Darlene Shrader Terpening on Instagram. If you’re interested in seeing and talking about crafty goodness, follow me there. Oh, I also cook and bake so some of those pictures may show up there as well.

My crafty Facebook page is Darlene Terpening, although nothing is there yet. I’ll work on that!

Look for me! Looking forward to getting to know more of my crafty friends from around the world!

I changed the format of my blog and noticed everythinh is capitalized! I didn’t do that. I’ll try to change it for future blogs.

Book Review – The Madonna of Pisano

Touted as “A new twist on The Scarlet Letter”, this book held my attention from the first page. I felt it was a healthy mix of The Scarlet Letter (which I have not read, but will) and The Thornbirds.

 

Set in Sicily in the 1800s, it’s a story of rape, betrayal, disgrace, love, and forgiveness. It’s a real page-turner and will keep your attention throughout the book.

 

I received a complimentary copy from the author in exchange for an honest review and I honestly loved this book. I’m encouraging my husband to read it and will most likely offer it to the book club at my church to read. There are, to date, two more books in this series that I plan to also read.

 

Read it! You won’t be disappointed.

Book Review: The Most Excellent Way to Lead

I’ve had some pretty bad jobs in my life – well, all my life. There might be a few exceptions, but, for the most part, my working life was not worth writing home about. After reading this book, I discovered that my poor working experience was not due to the job, the companies I worked for, or the work I did, but rather because of the leadership style of the manager.

Before you think I’m a disgruntled employee, I’m not. I went to work daily with the attitude that I was working for the Lord and I worked my tail off to do a good job, because that’s how I was raised. Additionally, I’ve taken several management courses while working on a master’s degree and have read several management books.

This book was an eye-opener. The author, Perry Noble, who started a church in 2000 with 15 people meeting in a livingroom and now, just a mere 16 years later, has a congregation of  over 30,000, a staff of 400 and an annual $50 MILLION budget.

I think he knows a thing or two about leading.

In his book, Mr. Noble uses the standards set forth in 1 Corinthians 13, the “love chapter”. By using the guides set forth – “love is patient, love is kind, etc.” – he skillfully and successfully adapts those guides to leadership. Instead of ruling with an iron fist, creating fear and discontent in the employees, he rules – er, rather, leads – in love.

In one of his summary statments at the end of the first chapter (these summary statements appear at the end of every chapter), he says, “If we practice leadership by love, we will become leaders other people actually want to follow.”

If you’re a manager, or a manager-wannabe, I highly encourage you to read this book. It’s easy reading, yet packed with valuable information and insight – and love.

I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. And, honestly, it’s by far the best book I’ve ever read on management and leadership.

Before I Forget

Product DetailsSynopsis: “I know where I’m going. I’m still myself. I just can’t remember things as well as I once did. So on short trips, I work hard not to be confused. I’ll say to myself, ‘What are we going to do? How long are we staying?’ It’s like I’m talking to my other self – the self I used to be. She tells me, ‘This is what we need to buy – not that.’ I’m conscious of that other self guiding me now.

Restaurateur, magazine publisher, celebrity chef, and nationally known lifestyle maven, B. Smith is struggling at sixty-six with a tag she never expected to add to that string: Alzheimer’s patient. She’s not alone. Every sixty-seven seconds someone newly develops it, and millions of lives are affected by its aftershocks.

B. and her husband, Dan, working with Vanity Fair contributing editor Michael Shnayerson, unstintingly share their unfolding story.

Part memoir, part caregiver’s guide, this work is a unique entry on the Alzheimer’s shelf. Crafted in short chapters that interweave their narrative with practical and helpful advice, readers learn about dealing with the day-to-day challenges of Alzheimer’s, family realities and tensions, ways of coping, and coming research that may tip the scale, as well as lessons learned along the way.

At its heart, Before I Forget is a love story illuminating a love of famly, life, and hope.”

I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I wanted to read Before I Forget because my mother suffered, if not from Alzheimer’s (she was never diagnosed), certainly from severe dementia.

Combining their own personal story with conversations with Alzheimer’s experts in the medical field with known facts and research – along with unknowns, this book is very helpful for any family member or caregiver dealing with Alzheimer’s patients. And, sadly, as the baby boomers continue to age and as people live longer because of advanced medical technology and people taking better care of their bodies, there will be even more people diagnosed with this dreadful disease.

One thing I learned reading this book is that a diagnosis could only come after a person died and an autopsy was performed. Now, because of PET (positron emission tomography), a patient can be diagnosed before death. This helps the clinical trials to learn what medications may help cure Alzheimer’s because the research scientists will only test patients with an Alzheimer’s diagnosis and, therefore, won’t waste valuable research time and money on non-Alzheimer’s patients. Sadly, Medicare won’t pay for a PET exam and the cost for a patient is $5,000.

I could go on and on about this book, but I won’t. Again, I highly recommend it to anyone with aging parents or for a man/woman who’s spouse is dealing wiith dementia of any kind. It will help you understand what’s going on with your loved one. I also recommend it to caregivers of any kind – even those who work in hospitals or nursing homes.

The Tank Man’s Son: A Memoir

24345781SYNOPSIS: In the tradition of “The Glass Castle” and “Angela’s Ashes” comes the most unforgettable memoir you’ll read this year!””What did it mean to be the Tank Man’s son? To grow up overwhelmed by my father’s presence and personality? It was as if I didn’t exist, as if I was just something else for my father to crush.””So begins the haunting memoir of Mark Bouman as he recounts the events of his childhood at the hands of his larger-than-life, Neo-Nazi father in brilliant, startling detail. From adventure-filled days complete with real-life war games, artillery fire, and tank races to terror-filled nights marked by vicious tirades, brutal beatings, and psychological torture, Mark paints a chilling portrait of family life that is at once whimsical and horrific–all building to a shocking climax that challenges even the broadest boundaries of love and forgiveness.An epic tale of redemption and reconciliation, “The Tank Man’s Son” is a literary tour de force that is sure to become an instant classic.

Excellent book! I was gifted with a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review. And, honestly, it was a fantastic book! The author, Mark Bouman, and his older brother, Jerry, his younger sister, Sheri, along with their mother, were subjected to daily insults and beatings – verbal and physical abuse – by their father/husband. He had an eccentric personality – he owned a tank! – but it was also very volatile. This book is about life growing up – without friends and no real comfort at home. It all ends good and I definitely recommend it.

As I was reading this book, it struck me how good of a home life I had growing up. I lived a sheltered life – and I knew it. I never knew how horrfic some kids had it – until I read this book.

This book was easy to read and had some humorous tales in it.

I give it 5 stars.

The English Girl

The English Girl: A Novel (Gabriel Allon Book 13)

This is definitely not a book I would have read had I known what it was about. That being said, I loved it!

I found this book at a library’s book sale and was intrigued by the title because, after all, I am an English girl by heritage. Well, that’s where the similarities end. This novel is about kidnapping, murder, international espionage, governments, lies, deceit, and so much more.

I have never read a book like this – and never knew I wanted to. But, once I started reading this book, I couldn’t put it down. I’m passing on this book to my husband because I think he’ll really like it. Good job Daniel Silva!

After I wrote this review on Goodreads, I found out there are more books with Gabriel Allon as the main character. I must read them all!

Book Review: Love Without Limits

Product DetailsThis book isn’t exactly what I thought it would be, but was actually better than I’d expected.

Nick Vujicic is an evangelist and motivational speaker who travels the world telling people about Jesus. Nick is unique in that he was born without limbs – no arms and no legs.

I’ve seen Nick preach on YouTube videos. He’s very entertaining, yet has a unique way of telling the truth of Jesus. He’s worth a listen!

At the age of 10, he attempted to drown himself in the family bathtub He’d given up his desire to live knowing how unique he was – and endured countless bullying because of his looks.

But, he read a scripture in John 9:As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.” After reading the scripture, Nick knew God had a plan for his life.

I picked this complimentary copy to read because I was curious. How could a woman love a man without limbs? I mean, he can’t hug her when she cries. He can’t really help around the house? What would sex be like?

This book answered all those questions – and more! Anything is possible when God is in it.

I thought this book would strictly be their story, but it was written to help us as well. It gave advice, it offered counsel. It was all about encouragement.

I highly recommend this book to any young marrieds or anyone anticipating marriage. Actually, I recommend this to anyone!