I Continue To Start And Never, Ever Finish

Stolen from limedragon:

You're The Guns of August!
by Barbara Tuchman
Though you're interested in war, what you really want to know is what causes war. You're out to expose imperialism, militarism, and nationalism for what they really are. Nevertheless, you're always living in the past and have a hard time dealing with what's going on today. You're also far more focused on Europe than anywhere else in the world. A fitting motto for you might be "Guns do kill, but so can diplomats."
Take the Book Quiz at the Blue Pyramid.

Hmm. That sounds sort of like me. Except for the interest in war, imperialism, militarism and interest in Europe. It is however, a great title. And calendar appropriate!

Blog_pix_596 Wow. In no way is that yarn that blindingly bright. It's a lovely muted red in Rowan Wool Cotton and the pattern is  Elizabeth I from Tudor Roses. (Golden Gate is on a time out.) I took it with me when I went with my mother for her temporal artery biopsy (she has, presumably, temporal arteritis) but because she's on Plavix for her stents last May, predisone for the temporal arteritis for the last 3 weeks and the surgeon didn't think the biopsy was all that conclusive to begin with, she didn't have the biopsy. I'm happy about that. I was worried, as I could clearly see when I got home and realized that my gauge tightened up considerably while we were in the waiting room. Hopefully it's not going to skew the piece because I am not reknitting it.


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There was a widely bruited-about statistic reported last week, stating that 1 in 4 Americans did not read a single book last year. Clearly, we don’t fall into that category, but . . . how many of our friends do? Do you have friends/family who read as much as you do? Or are you the only person you know who has a serious reading habit?

Hmm. One of my girlfriends will read anything anyone gives her - she apologizes that it's fluff, but considering her life, she needs the fluff. My brother & sister in law probably read more than I do. My parents read (my dad has his books stashed in the medicine cabinet). I think most read at least one book last year, if not considerably more.

Look what I won from Bridget! Blog_pix_595

Aprons, A Horrid Seamline, & A Month of Booking Through Thursday

First: The Horrid Seam:


Ack. Although maybe I'll just frog it back a bit and see if I can fix it. I might be that I fooled around with how I was picking up the stitches.......or it might be knit flat. In any case I WILL PREVAIL.

I hope. It sucks, doesn't it. I know, I know. I'm frogging it. [sigh]

Check out all these aprons we found packed away! They were my great grandmothers, my grandmothers and I think a couple of my mom's so they'd date back to probably around the 40's? This one I thought was really cute and then realized it's probably really Blog_pix_581_edited_2racist.

Apron Two & Three:


Aprons Four & Five



and more:



and even more:


Btt2 August 9th Do you have multiple copies of any of your books?
If so, why? Absent-mindedness? You love them that much? First Editions for the shelf, but paperbacks to read? If not, why not? Not enough space? Not enough money? Too sensible to do something so foolish?

Yes, I've picked up my share of doubles over the years. Absent mindedness, books being re-issued with different covers (I hate that) and there were more than a few doubles of knitting books (contest coming up one of these days) and a LOT paperbacks by Jack Higgins and Louis L'Amour particularly. First editions for the shelf but paperbacks to read? I'm sure this'll horrify anyone who likes pristine books but books were meant to be read, not hoarded. OTOH, they're not meant to tear up either.

August 16th One book at a time? Or more than one? If more, are they different types/genres? Or similar? (We’re talking recreational reading, here—books for work or school don’t really count since they’re not optional.)

One book at a time. If I have more than one going, I've pretty much given up on the other.

August 23rd When growing up did your family share your love of books? If so, did one person get you into reading? And, do you have any family-oriented memories with books and reading? (Family trips to bookstore, reading the same book as a sibling or parent, etc.)

My whole family are readers, however the one book oriented memory I remember with complete clarity is the summer I turned 16. We were on a two month road trip from CA across Canada to MI, camping in National Parks, staying with relatives.

My brother and I in the back seat, when we weren't squabbling or singing "We are marching to the yellow gold, the yellow gold, the yellow gold. We are marching to the yellow gold......." (which for some reason drove my father mad ;) we had our noses buried in a book. (We might have played Crazy 8's too. We played one game we dragged out something like 8 hours). My father, with *his infinite patience was pointing out historic sites and/or scenery. I mumbled something along the lines of "Whatever" and he grabbed my book out of my hand and tossed it into the river we were crossing, huffing something about "......historic scenery.......once in a lifetime opportunity......you WILL enjoy and SEE these beautiful sights.......nose buried in a book........gah......."

Final Hezekiah shot:


Cat tree? I'm not sitting in a cat tree.


Honda Civics Are No Good For Hauling

....cat trees, at least. I didn't get a picture of either being carted around and I totally should have. The first cat tree was too big to fit into the trunk properly, so I drove home slowly with the trunk open (the store is like, a block or so away, all residential streets). The second cat tree turned out to be shaped pretty much completely like the bottom half of the cat tree I couldn't get into my trunk, so I shoved it into the back seat. Then I either needed to rip off the arms of the doors...........or leave the passenger side door open. Guess which one I chose?

Hez got a new cat tree because my darling graceless klutz fell off the tiny perch twice that I know of and tended to avoid climbing it. She liked to have the blinds up so she could use the window sill to get into it.  Not exactly what I was looking for in a cat tree, y'know? On the other hand.......today she was playing with the dangling birdie and fell through the opening in the top perch.......so it might just be her. Blog_pix_494

What? I can't believe you told them about that!

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Booking Through Thursday

  1. Have you ever written an author a fan letter?
  2. Did you get an answer?
  3. Did it spark a conversation? A meeting?

(And, sure, I suppose that e-mails DO count . . . but I’d say no to something like a message board on which the author happens to participate.)

This one is easy. No. No. And no. Evidently I don't write fan mail. I barely write thank you notes.

I finally finished Trollope's The Warden last night. The plot device pits clergy privileges of benefices (revenues that went with the parishes etc) and "modern social awareness". (Modern at the time anyway). Septimus Harding, a lovely minister much more inclined to play music is called on the carpet by his prospective son-in-law about his 800 pounds a year benefice that he receives managing a charity that takes care of 12 indigent old men.

It's a character study, but it's pretty broadly drawn. It was fun to see Charles Dickens as the character Mr. Popular Sentiment in the novel, sometimes I forget that they were contemporary in their own time. The relationships between Harding and his prospective son in law, his daughters, his actual son in law, the laywers and the church are what really drives the story. It's kind of lovely, pastoral and days-gone-by feeling, but it rings true nonetheless.   This was the first of the Baretshire novels, I'm looking forwrad to reading the rest and seeing how the family gets on.

There is some knitting news, but alas, I can't post it until I've given it. I've been working on the sleeve of the Golden Gate and every time I think I've got it going, I get off count. I keep switching between dpn's and circs, neither works out really well. I suppose if I ever just sat down and knit the darn thing, it'd go easier.

The house is being slowly pulled together, but clearly I CANNOT buy any more yarn or books. Unless I move to a bigger house.

What with bridges collapsing and other bad things happening, I want you all to BE CAREFUL OUT THERE! And may you all come home safe every night.

I Have Abibliophobia

But don't worry, it doesn't hurt. YourDictionary cracks me up. That's today's word of the day, here's the definition:

Word of the Day: Abibliophobia (noun) Pronunciation:[ê-bi-bli-ê-'fo-bee-yê]

Definition: The morbid fear of running out of reading material.

Usage: It is quite interesting that this word has popped up on the Web, the greatest source of reading material the world has ever known. Irony will never cease. Were there such a phobia, those subject to it would be abibliophobes, who would be abibliophobic. They would comport themselves abibliophobically, whatever that might mean. Suggested Usage: Words on –phobia originally referred to psychotic conditions but now we have extracted a word, "phobia," from the suffix and add it wherever we please: "Wylie is such an abibliophobe that he never leaves the house without several magazines under his arm." In a world where this word could refer to a psychotic state, we could say, "What better refuge from abibliophobia than the library?"

Etymology: Today's was probably a nonce word created for amusement more than linguistic use. However, it is constructed better than most nonce words and has survived and is flourishing in Cyberia. Greek a "not" + bibli-(on) "book" + o, a connector + phob(os) "fear" + ia, a nominal suffix. "Biblion" referred to a small book or scroll or section of a larger work, a biblos. The plural of "biblion" is "biblia," whence "Bible" from the Late Latin biblia sacra "sacred writings." —Dr. Language, www.yourDictionary.com

Which Author's Fiction are You?

Anne Rice is writing your life. Go you goth girl, go.
Take this quiz!

Quiz found at Jenny's Corner. Anne Rice? I love the Mayfair family but I haven't read her in eons.

Oh, I found The Spirit Animal Quiz at Crafting Jen's.

Since I managed to lose in my last post only the links of the people who nominated me and the letter "n" in nomination, I would like to thank  The Happy Haunted Turtle, Merrily We Roll Along and The Ravell'd Sleave (and Cottage46Knitter) for their undeserved nominations of me. Well, I'm probably still good for the Schmoozer award. Not so much the Rockin' Girl Blogger since I'm still not going to nominate anyone. How on earth could I possibly narrow it down to five? Ever one is rocking, however every one is possibly not a girl. (Oh, and I'm using blog names just in case you guys don't want your names out there.)

I finished Lady Audley's Secret and her secret wasn't what I expected nor do I buy it, but 1862  was a long time ago, thankfully. I am so HAPPY AND GRATEFUL to live in a time/country where if I marry some bounder and he leaves me, presumably forever, and with a toddler to boot, I'm not the evil one if I look for someone better. I thoroughly enjoyed the novel, I'm going to have to find another Mary Elizabeth Braddon book.

Just Wild About Harry

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Booking Through Thursday

  1. Okay, love him or loathe him, you’d have to live under a rock not to know that J.K. Rowling’s final Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, comes out on Saturday… Are you going to read it?
  2. If so, right away? Or just, you know, eventually, when you get around to it? Are you attending any of the midnight parties?
  3. If you’re not going to read it, why not?
  4. And, for the record… what do you think? Will Harry survive the series? What are you most looking forward to?

Answers: 1. Really? The last one? Harry is the kid with the scar, right? Or the one with the letter sweater? Am I going to read it? I don't know. Probably. I really want to read the last chapter first.

2. Definitely eventually when I get around to it. After all, I have to read the last......three first.  Midnight parties? At midnight? At night? Please, please, let me be sleeping by then.

3. I'm going to read it.......probably. Unless they kill off someone I really like. That's why I couldn't watch Serenity, after being one of the 25 people who actually watched Firefly before it was cancelled.

4. I think he'll live. It would be "edgy" and "realistic" that Harry die, but OTOH, it would really put a period to the phenom that is Harry, if he's dead. Future generations won't pick it up at all, I would guess.

I wish JK hadn't started that rumor, it's why I quit reading the series. I can handle death after a series bender, but not stretched out over a few years waiting for the books to come out.

In renovation news? If they finish today, I will eat the new  Harry Potter book before I read it. But they're really close. I just want my closet back at this point (because the coffee maker and the computer works. The things one needs to consider a house a home.) OTOH, they're really close. Everything is painted, crowned with moulding, new baseboard is in, the hall closet doors are framed in, the popcorn on the ceiling is long gone  - but the walls need touch ups, the closet bars aren't in yet, the TV wall mount had to be returned (because there is not a single stud on the wall that I wanted to hang it on - it backs a closet in the other room. Grrr. So now I need something else to put the TV on. Something big enough to hold it, but not a block of furniture. Basically a bookcase, I suppose.

Okay. Hopefully the next post will have more Hezekiah and knitting photos. She's been posing artfully in the cutest places - the fireplace, perched on the rolled up Oriental rug, in the top dresser drawer - until I pull out the camera and then she scampers off, the little pill.

Show Me a Man who puts Death Before Dishonor....

and I'll show you a man that can alphabetize. Sadly, Thankfully! I mean, no human sacrifices were necessary. 

Btt2 Booking Through Thursday

1.  In your opinion, what is the best translation of a book to a movie? I liked Sense & Sensibility - I was reading the book and saw the movie right before I finished the final few chapters which left me nicely spoiled for the movie but not completely ruined. And.....that's the only one that pops into mind.
2. The worst? Any other movie where I'd read the book first?
3. Had you read the book before seeing the movie, and did that make a difference? (Personally, all other things being equal, I usually prefer whichever I was introduced to first.) I try to see the movie first if at all possible because otherwise I tend to point out during the movie how they've compressed four characters into one and ruined the integrity of the plot and that so-and-so is horribly miscast and what? What? That didn't happen! (Or should have happened here.) Yeah. People who love me hate this. People who don't know me at all? Hate me.

Possibly this explains why:

Your Score: The Chipmunk
Here's your results! Your spirit animal has a Nobility ranking of 7 out of 18.

Your spirit animal is the chipmunk. They are small and cute creatures who keep an exceptionally clean dwelling. They're not a very magnificent animal, but they make up for it in quickness, agility, and cuteness. They are a fairly common spirit animal, and nothing to be ashamed of.

***Wondering how this animal was chosen for you? These questions were carefully thought out to see how important you hold certain virtues such as: humanism, self-knowledge, rationalism, the love of freedom and other somewhat Hellenic ideals. Some of the questions were very subtle. Your score was then matched with an animal of corresponding nobility. However, you shouldn't think this was a right/wrong sort of test, but more of an idealistic values test. It's ok to not hold these values, you'll just get an animal spirit of lower stature if you do!***

Link: The What is Your Spirit Animal Test.

Oh lovely. A chipmunk. Next time I'm going to lie. Wait! I mean lying is NEVER right! Even if it spares someone's feelings. Why do I think a chipmunk is a lesser animal anyway? That's just......animalism? And it's wrong. So there. See if I pick healing for my super power now. Now it's all about mind reading. Maybe invisiblility.

On the plus side: Surviving a Zombie Apocalypse


Uh oh. I lost 3% somewhere. Probably that pesky spirit animal guiding me with his chipmunk nobility. Alvin!

ominated me and I'm totally not going to pass the torch on because I'm......a chipmunk! We're ignoble like that. Breaking chain letters, not nominating the required people, stealing memes -

In renovation news, there is paint. Here's a Before and a Slightly After Paint:

Blog_pix_471_edited_2 Blog_pix_477_edited

Hezekiah's take on the whole thing seems to beBlog_pix_483 "Get me out of here!" (That strip behind her is the new blue color of my bedroom. Hopefully it will be nice and icy and cool because at this rate, I'm going to have a migraine for the rest of my life.) (Not disabling, just annoyingly clingy).

There isn't much knitting or reading at the house. A word to the wise PRIOR to renovations, for the love of all that's dear to you, leave somewhere - anywhere - something chair-like to sit on and a working light that more or less works with the chair.

Caffeine. Not Enough In the World


Ha. I must've lied on that quiz. I love getting up early, and on occasion, I like staying up late. I DO NOT like however, combining the two. I feel like a zombie. Up until midnight two days in a row and wide awake at 5:30 am? I'm one of those people who need something like 8-9 hours of sleep a night.

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Today’s question - mine! So cool. Thanks, Deb!

What’s the most desperate thing you’ve read because it was the only available reading material?

Other than fishing/car magazines? The backs of cleaning products in my [insert blood relatives name here] because there was nothing else to read in her house. What the - - ? Related to me? This is what hell is going to be like.

If it was longer than a cereal box or an advertisement, did it turn out to be worth your while?

Well, yes, actually. I'm not sure I've ever really read the instructions or ingredients on your basic cleaning supplies before. Who knew?

And a knitting update: Blog_pix_439 The helmet! (Or De Helmutt) As modeled by Leo with his faithful sidekick, Wolf. I picked up the wolf mask at a Ren Faire eons ago, along with my ever popular reversible red on one side/black on the other cape.

De Helmutt took approximately 3 balls of chunky 100% wool yarn and is basically a giant heel turn with a flared edge. After fooling with him for a lot longer than it should've taken, I think I've got a pretty good feeling for the smoke ring/wimple that's up *next. (* Next being relative.)

Blog_pix_445_2 Here's my Jaywalker's "progress". In my defense, it's my Knit At Stoplights/carry around project (there's a great picture of me on it at knitting at the 40th Anniversary party last weekend) and it's being alternated with the Beaded Sock(s).

And lastly, Golden Gate!Blog_pix_440_edited  Knit and seamed at the shoulders, all the ends woven in - I'm going to try Barbara G Walker's knit from the top down sewn in sleeves and see how that works.......please, please, PLEASE! do not point out that the border appears to be hella wonky ......I actually attached the d--- thing, saw that it was off center by about 9 stitches, frogged it, re-centered it, reattached it, sewed the one side and was attaching the other when I realized that I ------ didn't do the garter stitch edging on the cast off end. It said "repeat rows 5-28" and I did. I did not bother with the "knit the 9 rows of garter stitch you did at the begining, stupid, to make the border symmetrical."

This is the cheese that I am in love with. I am so in love with it I would marry it (if there weren't human/cheese laws against it.) White Cheddar from Ireland. Yum. Blog_pix_432_edited (Thanks to Kristi aka the Fiber Fool for some photo pointers. And yes, this is the best one. Yes, I'm sure it's my camera. No, it can't be the photographer.)

Check out the Happy Haunted Turtle's haikus!

I think I've posted this pic of Hez before. I keep trying to get one with her pointing her paw but the camera is too freaking slow. Blog_pix_289

Tonight I'm off to two free events! Music in the Park at 6pm and then Beach Reads for the Thinking Guy/Gal at the Lafayette Library at 7:30. However the Lafayette Library is across the street from the Yarn Boutique.....so I might have to pick up some 8 st gauge sock yarn for Kristi's Mashup Madness socks.

Summer Solstice


This week's Booking Through Thursday question:

Since school is out for the summer (in most places, at least), here’s a school-themed question for the week:

1. Do you have any old school books? Did you keep yours from college? Old textbooks from garage sales? Old workbooks from classes gone by?

I've kept my old anatomy and physio books because it's amazing how handy they've been. I rescued a few of my parents college English textbooks because they're wonderful. They actually teach. With examples and everything. (Caveat: I'm certain that none of my sentence structure is condoned in any way. Y'know? lol) I don't think I had an English textbook in school, after gradeschool.

2. How about your old notes, exams, papers? Do you save them? Or have they long since gone to the great Locker-in-the-sky?

Long gone.

Today is the last day of Carl's Once Upon a Time challenge! At midnight, when hopefully I will have fulfilled the terms of my quest. Newonce_2

There will possibly be knitting updates. Someday. If I ever finish anything. Maybe I'll drag out my old UFO's and pretend I just started them. See if you can tell the ancient from the new!

Watch the final episode of Stargate SG1 tomorrow at 8pm on the Sci Fi Channel, if only to confound them for cancelling it. Although, please. The O'ri? B'oring.

Happy Summer Solstice! Spring is sprung.

Booking Through Thursday

Btt2_2 This week's Booking Through Thursday question is:

  • Do you read e-Books?
  • If so, how? On your computer, or a PDA?
  • Or are you a paper purist? Why?

I don't read e-books. There's something about holding a book and being able to flip through the pages at will that is irreplaceable to me. Maybe if I had something more portable I could read in bed with the lights off, but so far, eBooks haven't caught my eye at all.

And because I'm massively behind on BTT, just to catch up:

Do you have any foreign language books and if so can you (still) read them? Other than a couple of books that I plan on teaching myself Latin with - someday - no foreign language books at all. I used to be able to read the occasional French or Spanish passage but my foreign language skills have gone the way of the dodo without any practice.

It happens even to the best readers from time to time… you close the cover on the book you’re reading and discover, to your horror, that there’s nothing else to read. Either there’s nothing in the house, or nothing you’re in the mood for. Just, nothing that “clicks.” What do you do?? How do you get the reading wheels turning again? I was in exactly that mood the other day after finishing The Devil's Mode by Anthony Burgess! Nothing was clicking at all. I picked up a Margery Allingham mystery, 1968 by Mark Kurlansky (I swear, one of these days I'm going to finish that book!), a bio on John Dee, Every Book A Reader by Nicholas Basbanes.......the last two are the only ones I got more than a few pages read. I still haven't really gotten into either of them, but then again I've had a stupid (mildish) migraine the last few days and haven't done much of anything. (It seems to be finally going away, knock on wood.)

Where DON’T you read?? I don't read in the shower (but I do read in the bathtub), I don't read while I'm asleep (although I've probably slept on my share of open books), I don't read in the movies but I have left the theater a few times and read while waiting for it to end.