Calendar Poodle SAL

Friday, September 28, 2018


Hi friends! I received such an awesome surprise in the mail this week. All the way from Italy! Let me show you.
Our friend Ele from Busy Hands Craft blog crocheted this for me!!! Isn't she awesome!! Look how large she is!! I have named her Elena after Ele.😊 I just love her blushing cheeks and her pom pom tail and trim. Oh my! The love and work that went into making this girl!! Thank you so very much my friend for this precious gift.

And do you see the PINK poodle cross stitch card she also cross stitched me?! I love it. I have never seen that pattern. AWESOME!
How fitting that I am going to tell you about a series of books by a favorite author of mine who is Italian. She is EXTREMELY talented. I highly recommend any of her books.Her name is Adriana Trigiani. The series is: Big Stone Gap, Big Cherry Holler, Milk Glass Moon, and Home to Big Stone Gap. You should read them in order. Just a wonderful series. I listened to all these books on audio. The first three were read by the author. So cool. Loved that. Then the last one was not. That took me a while to get into. After you binge listen to the first three and are totally used to the author's voice, it is hard to accept a new voice.
Big Stone Gap
It's 1978 and 35-year-old Ave Maria Mulligan is the self-proclaimed spinster of Big Stone Gap, Virginia, a sleepy hamlet in the Blue Ridge Mountains.  As the local pharmacist, she's been keeping the townfolks' secrets for years, but she's about to discover a skeleton in her own family's tidy closet that will blow the lid right off her quiet, uneventful life.  Soon she finds herself juggling two marriage proposals, conducting a no-holds-barred family feud, directing the prestigious Outdoor Drama and keeping the town's dysfunctional Rescue Squad on its toes.

The crazy-quilt of characters includes Jack MacChesney ("Jack Mac" to his friends), the stoic miner with coal dust on his hands but love in his heart; Iva Lou Wade, the sexpot Bookmobile librarian; Theodore Tipton, band leader extraordinaire; Preacher Elmo Gaspar, the snake-handling Freewill Baptist; and Pearl Grimes, a coal-miner's daughter on the verge of a miraculous transformation, thanks to Ave's intervention.
BIG CHERRY HOLLER, the extraordinary sequel to BIG STONE GAP, takes us back to the mountain life that enchanted us in Adriana Trigiani’s best selling debut novel. It’s been eight years since the town pharmacist and long time spinster Ave Maria Mulligan married coal miner Jack MacChesney. With her new found belief in love and its possibilities, Ave Maria makes a life for herself and her growing family, hoping that her fearless leap into commitment will make happiness stay. What she didn’t count on was that fate, life, and the ghosts of the past would come to haunt her and, eventually, test the love she has for her husband. The mountain walls that have protected her all of her life can not spare Ave Maria the life lessons she must learn.
Big Cherry Holler
BIG CHERRY HOLLER is the story of a marriage, revealing the deep secrets, the power struggle, the betrayal and the unmet expectations that exist between husband and wife. It is the story of a community that must reinvent itself as it comes to grips with the decline of the coal mining industry. It is the story of an extended family, the people of Big Stone Gap, who are there for one another especially when times are toughincluding bookmobile librarian and sexpert Iva Lou Wade Makin, savvy businesswoman Pearl Grimes, crusty cashier Fleeta Mullins, and Rescue Squad captain Spec Broadwater, who faces the complications of his double life. Ave Maria’s best friend Theodore Tipton, now band director at the University of Tennessee, continues to be her chief counselor and conscience as he reaches the pinnacle of marching band success. 

When Ave Maria takes her daughter to Italy for the summer, she meets a handsome stranger who offers her a life beyond the Blue Ridge Mountains. Ave Maria is forced to confront what is truly important: to her, to her marriage, and to her family. Brimming with humor, wisdom, honesty, and the drama and local color of mountain life from Virginia to Italy, BIG CHERRY HOLLER is a deeply felt, brilliantly evoked story of two lovers who have lost their way and their struggle to find one another again.
Milk Glass Moon
Milk Glass Moon, the third book in Adriana Trigiani's bestselling Big Stone Gap series, continues the life story of Ave Maria Mulligan MacChesney as she faces the challenges and changes of motherhood with her trademark humor and honesty. With twists as plentiful as those found on the holler roads of southwest Virginia, this story takes turns that will surprise and enthrall the reader.

Transporting us from Ave Maria's home in the Blue Ridge Mountains to the Italian Alps, from New York City to the Tuscan countryside, Milk Glass Moon is the story of a shifting mother-daughter relationship, of a daughter's first love and a mother's heartbreak, of an enduring marriage that contains its own ongoing challenges, and of a community faced with seismic change.

All of Trigiani's beloved characters are back: Jack Mac, Ave Maria's true love, who is willing to gamble security for the unknown; her best friend and confidant, bandleader Theodore Tip-ton, who begins a new life in New York City; librarian and sexpert Iva Lou Wade Makin, who faces a life-or-death crisis. Meanwhile, surprises emerge in the blossoming of crusty cashier Fleeta Mullins, the maturing of mountain girl turned savvy businesswoman Pearl Grimes, and the return of Pete Rutledge, the handsome stranger who turned Ave Maria's world upside down in Big Cherry Holler

In this rollicking hayride of upheaval and change, Ave Maria is led to places she never dreamed she would go, and to people who enter her life and rock its foundation. As Ave Maria reaches into the past to find answers to the present, readers will stay with her every step of the way, rooting for the onetime town spinster who embraced love and made a family. Milk Glass Moon is about the power of love and its abiding truth, and captures Trigiani at her most lyrical and heartfelt.
Home to Big Stone Gap
Millions of readers around the world have fallen in love with the novels of the New York Times bestselling author Adriana Trigiani. In Home to Big Stone Gap, she tells her most powerful story yet, full of humor and heart, wisdom and hope.

Nestled in the lush Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, the town of Big Stone Gap has been home for Ave Maria Mulligan Machesney and her family for generations. She’s been married to her beloved Jack for nearly twenty years, raised one child and buried another, and run a business that binds her community together, all while holding her tight circle of family and friends close. 

But with her daughter, Etta, having flown the nest to enchanting Italy, Ave Maria has reached a turning point. When a friend’s postcard arrives with the message “It’s time to live your life for you,” Ave Maria realizes that it’s time to go in search of brand-new dreams. But before she can put her foot on the path, her life is turned upside down. 

Ave Maria agrees to helm the town musical, a hilarious reunion of local talent past and present. A lifelong friendship collapses when a mysterious stranger comes to town and reveals a long-buried secret. An unexpected health crisis threatens her family. An old heartthrob reappears, challenging her marriage and offering a way out of her troubles. An opportunistic coal company comes to town and threatens to undermine the town’s way of life and the mountain landscape Ave Maria has treasured since she was a girl. Now she has no choice but to reinvent her world, her life, and herself, whether she wants to or not. 
Trigiani is at her best in this exquisite page-turner. Home to Big Stone Gap is an emotional and unforgettable journey that reminds us that you can go home again and again. 
I hope you have a super weekend my friends! I am still going to the physical therapist twice week. I see Leigh(my original therapist) half of the appointment  times and I am glad. She does super massage work. I am hoping this gets rid of the lingering problem in my neck.

Take care.  Til next time.

Stitching and praying,


MartinaM said...

Hi Vickie,
Oh, what a great gift, and really so big, and in your colors. I can imagine how much it pleased you.
Thanks for the tips with the books, I have to see if I get them here in Germany.
Big Hugs, Martina

Meg said...

Hi! That poodle is just amazing! Look at how she is the same size as your poodle! The colors are really pretty, too. How did your real poodle react?

Thanks for the book recommendations! I'm always on the lookout for my next read.

Have a great weekend!

Manuela said...

What a great gift for you. The poodle is very cute and in your colours.
Have a nice weekend.
Hugs, Manuela

Brigitte said...

Oh my, Vickie, such a wonderful gift from Ele. Amazing!

Linda said...

What an awesome gift Vickie. I love it.


Vicki said...

Love your new poodle! Looks like Henry likes her too...

Jo who can't think of a clever nickname said...

What an amazing gift! She is as big as the real thing too. The card is lovely and well done to Ele for finding a design you don't already have!

RJ said...

Vickie your new poodle is so adorable. What a wonderful gift...Ele is so talented. Does your sweet poodle have a name? She is so perfect for you. RJ

Ele said...

Oh Vickie I am so happy you like the poodle! When I saw this pattern on the web I immediately thought about you. It was fun to crochet it. Hope Henry is happy with the pink poodle too!

Carol said...

Ele's poodle is SO cute! I know nothing about crochet, but I bet that took a long, long time to make it... I can't believe how big it is! Really is the most perfect gift for you :)

gracie said...

Hello my friend. Finally getting back to reading blogs since The Brother return to RI. I love that poodle!

Margaret said...

Such a sweet and wonderful gift. And the picture with Henry! Adorable!

Stitchy Mc Floss said...

Thank you for the info on how to fix my so rock. Gosh, that is such an adorable poodle. I really love crochet, you can make so many awesome things with it. Wishing you a happy day sweet friend. :)

Astrids dragon said...

Truly a lovely surprise to receive in the post, and the perfect size! The card is adorable too. YOU are loved, dear Vickie.

Penny said...

What a perfect gift for you, Vickie! Ele did a lovely job on Elena and the card. I have heard of the books, and I've added them to my list. 🙂

Beth said...

What wonderful pink poodle gifts Vickie - very special and thoughtful. I very much enjoyed that A. Trigiani series - wonderful books!

Julie said...

Handmade gifts are the best... and this one is the best ever for you, what a treat.

moreofhim said...

Such a beautiful gift! I absolutely love that poodle! I am thinking I need to make one someday. :) One more thing on my list of things to do. lol Praying for God's continued healing touch on you!

Blessings - Julie

Lili said...

The crochet gift is amazing, Vickie!! The cross stitch card is so lovely! Hugs!

Kaisievic said...

A perfect gift for you and Henry - Ele is very clever.