Warm Hats Not Hot Heads

  Blog pix 1889

  1. Happen ::stance
  2. Terribly ::dull
  3. History ::repeats itself
  4. Master ::class
  5. Petrified ::Forest
  6. Moan ::Wail
  7. Attack ::Mode
  8. Picture ::Perfect
  9. Students ::Teacher
  10. Potter ::Clay

Ellen of Twinset has thrown down the gauntlet for civility and challenged knitters everywhere to knit a hat that'd you'd be happy to wear to send it to a Congress member of your choice (provided they're not already taken) en masse on Feb 28th. She's hoping that "many other knitters will join in on our effort to introduce a bit more kindness into the political sphere with the delivery of handknits to our Congresspeople. Here is what you need to know.

I'm already trying to decide who to pick based on what hat I think they'll like and how long it's going to take me to make it.....

I have an FO!! Behold Untangled. Untangled I worked on it off and on this weekend and it went by pretty quickly. And best of all, it works like a dream.



Jericho on Tuesday Night 10pm CBS

Watch it. Or else.

In other news - other than one of my shows actually being uncancelled and airing again - YAY! I am going to live. Live! I can't tell you how wonderful it feels to breathe through my nose, not have my very own snot factory in full production and not be freezing and aching. The flu sucks.

Of course it's been replaced by working 24/7 but that turns out to be a better alternative. Who knew?

Blog_pix_800_edited Hezekiah fights the evil flu. Or possibly jute covered rattling balls tied together. Her new favorite toy. [Wipes a tear away] My baby is playing with toys! She used to run in fear from them. Now she takes no prisoners.

The lovely prizes I won from Carrie at the Barefoot Cobbler - is that mint box not the cat's meow? Blog_pix_802 And hey. There were

chocolates! (Were being the operative word....)

You Are a Ham Sandwich
You are quiet, understated, and a great comfort to all of your friends.
Over time, you have proven yourself as loyal and steadfast.
And you are by no means boring. You do well in any situation - from fancy to laid back.

Your best friend: The Turkey Sandwich

Your mortal enemy: The Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Oddly enough, my mortal enemy is my go-to dinner. I'm not that fond of ham sandwiches either. Where's the peanut butter? Loyal and steadfast. Quit giggling.

In knitting news, I cast on the right front edge of the V Pointed Charmer by Lauren Devecka Sunday night. The back, it is finished! And the sleeves! I'm really in love with this pattern. I did have delusions of knitting both fronts simulataneously until I realized that the V part of the name was the fronts and also I have left/right issues. Blog_pix_804_edited

Blog_pix_795_edited Hezekiah says that she is an angel. Also? Keep it down. A cat needs her beauty sleep you know......

Chunkster Challenge Wrap Up & the 4th of July

Firstly, looks what Felicia at Fluffy Flowers sent me!!

Secondly, watch Jericho tonight on CBS at 9pm. Write in how much you love it. Lie if you have to.

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Okay, clearly Typepad is not going to let me type between pictures. Grr. Check out all that patriotic spirit! I'm thinking there might be a red, white and blue theme......

Red hot at least. Adrienne and I made it to the pancake breakfast by 9am, lived through the line, waited the fifteen minutes for the parade to start on time at 10am - fifteen minutes after 10am when the parade still hadn't started we bailed for Peet's and an iced coffee. It was 92 degrees already. Yowza.

In knitting news - well, there is much culling in the land of Carrie K as the interiors of the house are getting painted and I'm taking advantage of it by redoing practically everything that I'm not relocating. Oh! I heaved the Norwegian socks after eight years of UFO-ness with one sock finished and the other to the heel flap because, well because I used Wool Ease before I knew any better. Oddly enough, I'm not even the slightest twinge of guilt. In fact, I feel relief. Now I can make them in decent yarn that doesn't squeak.

I like my yarn to speak to me, but I prefer it a bit more metaphorically.

For the Chunkster Challenge I originally chose only Madwoman in the Attic to read but once I designated that book as my one Chunkster Challenge book, naturally I immediately stopped reading it. I did read Jim Butcher's Grave Perils (678 pages), Arthur Quinn's A New World: An Epic of Colonial America from the Founding of Jamestown to the Fall of Quebec (532 pages), the ever popular (this is what? the 4th challenge its fulfilled? Righteous.) Richard the Third by Paul Murray Kendall (602 pages), Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood (521 pages). They were chosen using the scientific method by checking my Books Read Excel sheet for books that fell in the time frame of the challenge and were over 500 pages.

Did I mention that you should watch Jericho tonight at 9pm on CBS? Naturally the new season of Dr Who starts on the Sci Fi channel at 8pm with a two hour episode.

My new favorite Online Dictionary, Your Dictionary. That's the word of the day. The email is more descriptive. I like that I can hear the pronunciation as I tend pronounce phonetically, as opposed to correctly.

Marvelous Monday

You Are: 10% Dog, 90% Cat
You are are almost exactly like a cat.
You're intelligent, independent, and set on getting your way.
And there's no way you're going to fetch a paper for anyone!

Stolen from Not Pretty To Watch....by the way, I'm not set on getting my way, I'm just unclear on the art of compromise.

Books: For the sake of simplicity and to help me keep the reviews and challenges straight, I'm just going to list the books I read during the month at the end of each month (or possibly at the beginning of the following month. It's July 2nd, right? Huh.). Also that way I'm not as aware that I can tear through three David Rosenfelt novels in so many days but it takes me three weeks to read Richard the Third.

Read in June: Open & Shut, First Degree and Bury the Lead by David Rosenfelt. I thoroughly enjoyed these books and there are two more waiting for me at home. Andy Carpenter is a defense attorney. He takes cases only when he thinks his client isn't guilty - eventually - and he has an unusual team to help him. A former client he freed from death row, a lawyer that can't handle the guilt of being a prosecutor or a defense attorney and in consequence, runs the Lawdromat, an ex cop turned private eye and my favorite of all, Tara, The Most Wonderful Dog in the World. I give them all an A even though the frame up plotline is starting to wear a bit thin.

(I've also decided to simplify my rating system, I think most people grasp A, B, C, D & F. Okay, I do. This is just a whole lot easier than the fiber/decimal system I was attempting.)

Richard the Third (1955) by Paul Murray Kendall and Princes in the Tower by Alison Weir are my June Non Fiction Five Challenge books. Richard also qualifies for the Reading Through The Decades challenge. (Oooh! Oooh! It's also a 2007 TBR book! Trifecta!) I really liked Paul Murray Kendall's restoration of Richard the Third's reputation. He made a good case that a great deal of the evidence against him was manufactured by Henry VII who followed him on the throne. Sadly Alison Weir shattered that feeling in her book, Princes in the Tower. I'm still not a Henry VII fan, but I'm interested in reading more about Elizabeth Woodville now. What was that woman thinking? I'd read the bio to prepare for the play, Richard III at Cal Shakes and boy howdy, Shakespeare definitely took the Tudor road. I know, oddly enough. I give both books A's.

Pride of Kings by Judith Tarr was for the Once Upon A Time Challenge. It  follows the first Richard and his brother John in their travails for the Crown of England and Brittany. No, they're not the same crown. Not even the same realm. It was a nice surprise to pick up another Plantagenet protagonist novel by happenstance.  Theme! A

A Midsummer's Night's Dream by William Shakespeare. I listened to the audiotape so I could finish my quest more or less in time and really enjoyed the experience. I actually followed the story (it helps that I know it) but normally I tend to zone out during audiotapes. It was the play version, so it was lovely to hear it spoken by the actors. Also for the Once Upon A Time Challenge.

The Literary Life and Other Curiosities by Robert Hendrickson was interesting, but not what I was expecting. (Judging a book by the cover as I did.) It's basically anecdotes, which were interesting, but hard to keep reading continuously. I made it about halfway through the book before I put it down. (Also? Anecdotes are easy to read continuously. Just not 800 pages of them). B+ (pts off for fooling me).

This Is Not Chick LIt edited by Elizabeth Merrick. There were a few good stories in there although mostly I found them odd. A Ted Bundy-like character who gets caught up with an FBI made robot who's creator is in love with her. Joan of Arc as seen as a reality show. I think it's a sad commentary that stories have to proclaim they're not chick lit if they're written by women but I've noticed that for all the talk about stereotypes or prejudice, the first thing that happens is the Naming and  the Categorizing. Probably a human condition. B

A Disorder Peculiar to the Country by Ken Kalfus, I give an A. What a dysfunctional couple! Since they're divorcing, not too surprising. I just had to read the book when I read the back blurb: Marshall goes to work in the World Trade Center; Joyce has booked a flight out of Newark. On that grim day, when their city is overcome by grief and shock, each thinks the other is dead, and each is visited by an intense, secret, guilty satisfaction. The book is never quite what I thought it would be and I didn't care much for anyone in it, but in itself, a pretty fascinating slice of literary metaphor.

For the knitting crowd: this is two of the bins.

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Whew. The Longest Day of the Year is Behind Us

Blog_pix_430 Look what mrspao sent me! All I did was admire her stitchmarkers.......and she sent me stitchmarkers (that she made) not to mention a necklace (that she made), matching earrings (!) (that she made) - wowza! I was complimented on the necklace and earring set so many times yesterday, it was lovely. It was also a bit unnerving. Do I never dress up at all?

Check out the cute duck! and the coffee and the chocolate (which mysteriously has vanished), the lollypop, the pen and the lovely wool yarn. Isn't the name on the chocolate perfect? me me me.

Newonce The Once Upon A Time challenge has ended. I loved the quest, the idea, and I sort of fulfilled my quest. (I'm sure many many knights reported to the King "I was so close! and were richly rewarded.) Well, I was richly rewarded in the reading at any rate.;)

The Quest was: Quest Three: Read at least one book from each of the four genres of story (Mythology, Folklore, Fairytale, and Fantasy) and finish up the challenge with a June reading of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

I managed to read two books that covered all four of the categories, Emerald Isle edited by Andrew S Greeley that was short stories and Pride of Kings by Judith Tarr. Pride of Kings was about Richard I and John Lackland, sons of Eleanor of Aquitaine (not coincidentally one of my favorite historical women) and their struggle for the throne. As it turns out, they're both crowned, at the same time. One is King of Britain, one King of England. And yes, both quite different countries or should I say realms?

I could have gone without the romantic entanglements of Arslan, the Turkish boy that's the protagonist of the story. For one thing, they kept calling him a child and yet married him off. For another, his wife had the stupidest fight with him - well no. She had it all by herself. It ruined the book a bit, wanting to slap her upside the head.

So I didn't manage to read four books and the play. I managed two books and the play. And I barely squeezed in A Midsummer's Night's Dream - I listened to it on audiotape yesterday. Shakespeare sounds so incredibly lilting when spoken. For once, an audiobook truly enhanced the experience. Also? fairies are mean and people are fools. But entertaining.

Shamelessly stealing this list of questions from Katrina at Callapidder Days (with permission)

What was the best book you read this spring challenge ?

Pride of Kings by Judith Tarr

What book could you have done without?

Of the three? Clearly none. I enjoyed both books, if not all the characters and the short stories.

Did you try out a new author this spring? If so, which one, and will you be reading that author again?

I do have Orson Scott Card's Magic Street waiting for me. Unbelievably, I've never read a book of his. There were authors in Emerald Isle I hadn't read before, but for the most part, I was familiar with all of them. Judith Tarr wrote a time travel historical novel with Harry Turtledove called Household Gods that I particularly liked when I read it a few years back.

If there were books you didn't finish, tell us why. Did you run out of time? Realize those books weren't worth it? Did you come across a book or two on other participants' lists that you're planning to add to your own to-be-read pile? Which ones?

I ran out of time, but other than Madwoman in the Attic (references fairy tales and myths), I hadn't started any other book for the Once Upon A Time Challenge. And I always come across books on the other participants lists!

What did you learn -- about anything -- through this challenge? What was the best part of the Spring Reading Thing  challenge? Would you be interested in participating in another reading challenge this fall?

I learned that I always bite off more than I can chew! But it's worth it to try. I think the best part of this challenge - and all the others, is reading everyone else's reviews and insights and stretching my reading habits a bit.

Interested in another challenge? I'm interested. I'm always interested. But I'm going to try to just keep to the ones I'm in now. (Chunkster Challenge to end at the end of the month, The Non Fiction Five Challenge, TBR Challenge, Reading Through the Decades.)

Blog_pix_389_edited What're you looking at? I'm not the one who brought knitting, books, and lunch in a Powell's bookbag and managed to leave my purse at home.....also a helmet? Basically a giant heel turn? Is it taking me a week to finish? It is not.

Feed me. The good tuno. No, wait. Some fresh salmon would be nice.......

Thursdays Are Not for Thinking

Thinking of titles anyway. (Oh, you should have seen how I spelled Thursday in that title. Gah.)

First! Go visit Fraro at Bellamoden and enter her contest (which is merely a feeble bid for comments and amusement on her part as she recovers from surgery). (The lengths some people will go to! Surgery! Might as well indulge her......)

Btt2_2 Question of the Week: No, not THAT kind of RIP Reading. In. Public. Do you do it? Why or why not? (Booking Through Thursday) (their new site)  (Personally, I think of Carl's RIP Challenge last fall whenever I see RIP now. Did you sign up for his Once Upon A Time Challenge?)

Yup, I read in public all the time. I read in restaurants, lines, in my car at stoplights (if I'm not knitting. And don't honk at me. It's annoying.) (Also, why is it that people will leave five car lengths in front of them at a red light so that they block the right or left turn lanes but will tailgate you doing 80 miles an hour?) (I may have asked this before. I may ask again. It's currently driving me crazy.)

GRRRRR!!! The rest of my post just disappeared. And evidently, the auto return key. Gah. Okay, here goes some weird spacing, mostly because half the post isn't showing up on my screen published. Joy.

And yes, I'm going to keep fooling with it.

If I knew HTML better, I could probably fix it in that edit.

I think I know why I'm so fond of non fiction. The titles! Take the one I'm almost done with,

A New World: An Epic of Colonial America from the

Founding of Jamestown to the Fall of Quebec.

Now that is a title.

I enjoyed this book. Arthur Quinn in his preface said he wanted

to write it in the style of Virgil's Aeneid and if I'd ever read that

I could tell if he succeeded, but alas, never read it.

So whether he managed to weave disparate tales together as

Virgil did, I don't know, but he covered a lot of ground and time.

I'd known about John Smith, George Washington, William Penn,

the Quakers, the Pilgrims, but not so much the Jesuits or the French

settlements. And even the stories I thought I knew, he expanded on. East_coast_032_3

I found the story about the Acadian Neutrals

particularly interesting. As far as I knew,

Cajun was a truncation of Acadian

and they lived in Louisiana.

It turns out that the Acadians originally were settlers of

Nova Scotia and that area,

were about the only settlers to live fairly seamlessly

with the Indians,

managed to stave off both the British and the French

for a few generations

but ultimately wound up being "resettled" elsewhere.

The Cajuns of today aren't strictly Acadian descendents,

they were scattered too widely.

Speaking of Joy (in more joyous terms), A New World is going to be my first

contribution to her Non Fiction Challenge,

despite the fact that it's not on my original list

and I started it in April. I'm Challenge Challenged.

It's also going on my Chunkster Challenge, at 532 pages

(counting the index which is cheating as far as I'm concerned,

but evidently I'm not above ([disclosed] cheating.)

In knitting news:

Blog_pix_380_2 I finished one Horcrux sock

and started the cuff of the next one.

I really love how this

Koigu yarn is knitting up,

so many multicolored yarns

look horrible in

anything but stockinette. I thought I'd get

farther on the 2nd sock than I did.

I pulled out a dpn with live stitches and couldn't get it back on pattern

by the time the lights dimmed at the Book Gala the other night. 

(Go out and buy Brian Copeland's Not A Genuine Black Man

(I had no idea what San Leandro was like in the 70's),

Frank Portman's King Dork (the scene he read that took place

in French class was hysterical),

Daniel Mason's A Far Country, Monica Wood's Any Bitter Thing and

The Whole World Over by Julia Glass. I haven't finished any of the books yet,

but if the readings and the discussion are any indication,

they're all well worth picking up.)

I finally managed to stop procrastinating

and attached the bodice insert of

Golden Gate and naturally it was pretty easy.

I did have a little trouble

attaching the left side of the insert (possibly the right)

because it turns out that if you hold the yarn in front on one side,

you need to hold it in the back on the other.

And yes, the instructions said this.

And yes, I read the instructions.

What, reading and comprehending are the same thing?

It's sweeps! Stargate SG1 had my favorite plot last Friday,

parallel universes.

Samantha was married (and divorced) from McKay! Too funny.

Heroes is really back. I'm sad that it's wrapping up the season so soon.

I want to know who dies! Nathan?

It does look like he gets sacrificed for the "greater good".

Jericho last night was great. New Bern

(the neighboring town) has pretty much forced Jericho

into a turf war.

I do hope the show next season focuses more on

how the town rebuilds post apocalypse rather than

who dropped the bomb and why,

but I'm really hoping that Hawkins doesn't get sacrificed to that end.

Is Lost replaying the same episode for the 3rd week in a row in the 9pm slot?

I thought so last week and last night, I'm almost sure. Phhht.

I actually watched Crossing Jordan.

Lily's life is not that compelling to me. Or Jordan. Or Woody.

I can't decide if I want to watch the pilot of

Gray's Anatomy spin off tonight or not,

but who am I kidding? I watched it last week (off and on)

even when I was sure I was going to heave shoes at Izzie

(I just flipped the channel when she or George came on.

Callie deserves so much better.)


Hezekiah, pretty much

steadfastly ignoring me.

Happy Birthday Dear SIL, Happy Birthday to Yoooouuuuu!

She hung up on me this morning. I think she's finally twigged that I will insist on singing happy birthday and no, I can't carry a tune. Or more likely, I woke her up out of a dead sleep after she worked late last night and she assumed I was calling my brother.

Anyway, Happy Birthday to my favorite SIL!

And since she's the best writer I know,  I thought it would be appropriate to list my Bythedecade 15 Books/15 Decades 3M is hosting.   

  • 1848 Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte
  • 1857 Barchester Towers by Anthony Trollope
  • 1862 Lady Audley's Secret by Mary Elizabeth Braddon
  • 1870 The Mystery of Edwin Drood by Charles Dickens
  • 1886 Little Lord Fauntleroy by Frances Hodgson Burnett (or:
  • 1887 She by H Rider Haggard
  • 1892 The Gentle Art of Making Enemies, James McNeill Whistler (non fic)
  • 1907 The Fifth Queen by Ford Madox Ford
  • 1911 The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
  • 1920 The Outline of History by H G Wells (non fiction)
  • 1934 Appointment in Samarra by John O'Hara or:
  • 1938 House of All Nations by Christine Stead
  • 1948 The Plague by Albert Camus
  • 1957 The Cat in the Hat by Dr Seuss
  • 1967 One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • 1974 The Madwoman in the Attic by Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar (non fic)
  • 1988 A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking  (non fic)

Nonfictionfive_3 And for The Non Fiction Five Books Joy is hosting:

  1. The Gentle Art of Making Enemies by James McNeill Whistler
  2. A Perfect Prince by Ann Wroe
  3. The Madwoman in the Attic by Satndra Gilbert and Susan Gubar
  4. The Queens Conjuror by Benjamin Woolley
  5. Mathesemantics by Edward MacNeal

Talk about overlapping challenges.

UFO challenge- March:

Mmip_220 Remember this? Its Jacket of the Twinset? Well, Its no more. Now Its been frogged and renamed Golden Gate (originally called Lace Edged Elegance by the designer Lois Young in the Summer 1999 Knitters magazine.) Golden Gate, so far:Mmip_402

Not the greatest shot (yes, that is the passenger seat of my car) but at least you can see the orange Golden Gate Bridge color in the sun. Yarn: Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool.

Oh, and I finally got the chance to use Scout's Messenger bag yesterday. It holds everything and more. Mmip_404