Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Looky what I got!

An Epic washer & dryer. Front loading. 4.0 and 7.0 cubic feet capacity!  I can at long last wash my comforters in my own home!! I can also dry a normal load of laundry in less than an hour & a half!

That is the first layout I have done in over 3 weeks. I haven't had much scrapping mojo lately but I'm feeling like if I can get through this week, I'll be in a better mental place to scrap. Plus we're going to Day out with Thomas Saturday so I'll have some fun new photos to scrap as well. That means I'll miss the NSD excitement & sales. I seem to miss it every year though so I am used to it.

I've been reading a lot instead of scrapping or crocheting. I'm about to finish my 20th book this month this afternoon. giving me 15 new reads and 5 rereads.

I've also been working on a Gandalf figure but I'm not having much luck. My stitch counter keeps falling out of the yarn & I'm not tracking what row I am on very well.  We have a long drive Saturday to the Thomas thing, so I'm going to see if I can do any better on the way there.

Friday, April 18, 2008

2042 books!

My Library Thing library is now completely up to date. 2042 books. I like that the 42 ended up in there without my realizing it. I actually have something about 1100 of those books in my possession currently.

Now that this is done perhaps I can get back to crochet & digi scrapping. I haven't done a single layout or picked up a hook this month.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Why hasn't anyone been murdered yet?

My parents were in town this weekend. The boys spent most of their time trying to get Grandma & Pa to put their books down & play with them, which they were perfectly willing to do. This meant that I could read a book in relative peace. 

I read Excellent Women by Barbara Pym in one day. It was glorious. Then, later in the evening I discussed the book with my family. It was a good read. Lots of detail, well drawn characters, with that cozy British village feel.  But nobody died & I found that very disconcerting. I have been reading a lot of mysteries lately & forgot this was just fiction. I read the first couple chapters with an eye toward guessing who the victim would be and speculating on possible motives by various other characters for doing away with this person or that person. But nobody was murdered. I was 6 chapters into the book wondering when the hell a body would turn up before I remembered this was not a cozy village mystery but a straight story. It left me feeling the book was a bit off. There was plenty of scope in the story for a murder, possibly even 2 or 3  (to ensure the murder's safety), lots of motives and some people who certainly could be believably driven to it. The main character was one of those 'excellent women' of village fiction, a spinster who just seems to get involved in people's live. Still, everyone persisted in remaining alive throughout the whole book. I liked the book, I was just slightly perturbed by it, but I think that was entirely my fault.  I'm going to have to read it again when I am not on a cozy mystery spree.

After I had this discussion it occurred to me what I had said. "I have been reading a lot of cozy mysteries lately." In other words - I HAVE HAD TIME TO READ LATELY!!!! and I didn't even realized it. I am an avid reader. I am the child of avid readers. When we get together with my parents, once the kids are in bed there is a 90% chance we will all sit around reading. Or talking about what we are reading.

I had time to read when Havoc was a baby. I could read when he was sleeping or nursing or playing happily in his bouncer or the floor. Then he started crawling and had to be watched, then he was cruising, then walking, then Mayhem was born and it started all over, only without the 'time to read while he was a baby' part because I also had a toddler.  I still had some time here & there, but there were other things I wanted to do with that time & working out how to spend it was tricky.  There was little money to buy books, having lost my income & gained two dependants.  My sanity was not up to taking a couple of toddlers to the library very often. (I find regulating my children's public behavior to be the most stressful part of parenting toddlers & preschoolers). I reread my existing books & occasionally bought a new one. But where once I would sit down & devour my new purchases in a few days, now a week could pass before I opened one book.

Some time in past 6 months or so something changed. The demons grew. They needed less supervision & were capable of longish periods of play that didn't involve me. Mayhem started school 3 days a week and I could go into a bookstore or a library and actually BROWSE childfree.  Their behavior, individually, has improved to where I am not on constant high alert. (together they are still demons). I have new books in the house and I have time to read them. Every day almost I have at least an hour after dinner to myself. Most days I can grab a few 15-30 minute stretches to read. I have to do it standing up at the kitchen counter in order to not be immediately climbed all over, but that is a small price to pay.  My to be read pile on my nightstand has 9 books in it, there are 5 waiting to be taken back to the library that I have finished. I have regularly been checking out and actually READING several books a week.

Which explains the lack of new layouts or crochet projects.....

Friday, April 11, 2008

I'm a know it all

take the quiz here

and see how well you do.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Photo of the Day - Week 14

March 31 - the Island of Sodor today

April 1 - I'm not sure who is hauling who

April 2 - beautiful day to play with the hose

April 3 - setting up the castle for defense

April 4 - what trains do when there is no track

April 5 - Curious George comes for a visit & helps make banana muffins

April 6 - Curious George learns to play cow racing.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Yarn woes

I've been out on etsy looking at the lovely hand dyed yarns. They are all so pretty my hands just itch to reach through the screen and touch them. Problem is, odds are my hands really would itch if I touched the yarn but I have no way of knowing for sure without actually touching. Sniff... all that lovely yarn and I can't have any!

I just bought some Vinca superwash sock weight wool in a beautiful blue off of etsy. That's supposed to be the really soft stuff and it is soft ish on my hands, but a little scratchy on my legs and I'm afraid to make it into socks for fear I'd never wear them.

I have a wool sensitivity & it extends to cover mohair, angora, llama, and alpaca. I'm allergic to dog & cat hair too, so I'm assuming its just an animal sensitivity.  Some wools, etc, are just a bit uncomfortable. I could wear them as a cardigan or shawl, assuming it didn't constantly touch bare skin. Most wools make me itchy and give me hives. Some make my eyes swell shut.  Its not the lanolin, which most wool lovers immediately point to as the culprit, I can use lanolin lotion with no problem. Its the actual animal hair itself. How it is processed can make it easier on me. I have no idea how any of the wool yarn I encounter is processed, I just know I find things itchy when others marvel at it's softness.  Making it impossible to buy yarn without touching it.

I want some nice, lovely, quality yarn to crochet with. I've been working on my afghan which is Red Heart acrylic, and I'm ready for a change. I'd love some silk or bamboo yarn but I'e only seen blends with wool that I can afford. Maybe it would be fine but I can't drop $11-15 on a maybe.  I wish there was a yarn store around me so I could go and and get all touchy with they different yarns & then have some idea of brands & blends to look for. I'm making the drive to the big city tomorrow for Mayhem's hearing screening (he failed the doc's office test, but he can hear & possibly was not paying attention so the full screen is called for). There is a yarn store near the screening place. If Mayhem is in a good mood and not too grubby I may be able to check it out.

I want some nice yarn to play with.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

How I know I am old

There is this tv commercial running lately. It's for a cell phones or maybe for cell phone service. I'm not sure because the commercial content itself distracts me so much I pay no attention to the logo.  It shows 2 people, one sitting outside on a park bench & the other sitting in a home, on a sofa. They are both holding cell phones and texting one another what are assumed to be romantic messages, given the doodles shown over their heads.  Here is why I don't know what exactly is being sold & why I do know I am old. Every time I see that commercial I cannot help but say "Why don't they just CALL each other? They are holding PHONES in their hands." Obviously they have nothing going on to prevent them from actually speaking to one another. They are alone. They are not doing anything else.  Why would you text someone in that circumstance? I can see texting if you are someplace where you cannot talk easily - someplace really noisy or someplace really quiet. I can see texting specific information that doesn't require extraneous conversation - a phone number, the amount the parking fine turned out to be. I can see texting useful or important info if you know the recipient is not in a position to take a call - in a meeting or at the dentist.  But why, why why why, would you carry on a random text based conversation with someone when you are both sitting alone, doing nothing and HAVE PHONES IN YOUR HANDS?? I can see the usefulness of texting, I can even see the fun in randomly texting your significant other affectionate messages, I can even sort of understand texting 'what up?" to your friends but I don't understand the need to fully converse with it.  I don't understand why the recipient of 'what up" would text back lots of info that would then be replied to with more info. Why wouldn't the recipient just call back?

So, obviously, I am old.