Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Starting Over

I finally realized it was time to clear out the book titles from 2008 and start anew. January has been a very slow reading month; it is time to get moving. So far this month I re-read The Tenderness of Wolves. I still love that book. If you like historical fiction, mystery and good writing, I highly recommend this one!

Last night I closed the covers on The Covenant by Beverly Lewis. I borrowed this one from my sister. She and I are both drawn to stories of the Amish. It was a bit like drinking a very large mug of chamomile tea. A bit soothing, not very exciting. I still remember that one of my favorite books in elementary school was Plain Girl. Look! I can't believe I found a link! It too was about the Amish and the troubles of those who fell "off the path". I remember I ordered it from Scholastic Books. I still remember its pink cover. It was one of the books I read by the light of my little bedside clock under the covers well after lights out. Oh, the angst I had over the plight of her older brother, Dan, and how he was in danger of being shunned!

Today I finished reading The Host by Stephenie Meyer. She is the author of the Twilight series. The Host is science fiction - a genre I have not enjoyed in many years. For whatever reason this one hit the right note. By no means is this "literature", but it is certainly entertaining. I think I liked it because it made me feel they way I did when I was fifteen and reading a really good book. A little adventure, a few aliens and an acceptable amount of very hot make out scenes. Just the right book for your average "teen aged" girl.

Big book week for me! I just finished reading The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. My god, this is by far the most moving Holocaust novel I have ever read. I feel I cannot breathe. We are thinking of using this in our middle school. No description of the atrocities as in Night, but so heartbreaking.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Fun, Fun, Fun

On my 101 list I stated that one fun outing a week was my goal and I must admit I am doing rather well. This weekend I took my daughters to Shea's to see the Broadway Tour of Rent. I love Shea's - such a beautiful building. The performance was outstanding. I, however, have been living in a bubble. This show was not for me. Too much anger and angst. But E. loved it. We finished the evening with dinner at Sonoma.

Today, my friend and I went to the The Reader. Oh my goodness, oh wow! I love anything that makes me feel. This contained lines that sent shivers up and down my spine. What kind of a woman has an affair with a 15 year old boy? What kind of a woman sacrifices almost everything for the secret she carries. And would a man truly carry so deeply one woman? But these questions are deliberately misleading. If you are looking for fast and witty, this ain't it. If you want to spend two hours feeling, it is. I do wonder if the book is better. Winslet deserved so much more than "supporting actress". She was it!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Dear Emily Post

Dear Miss Post,
Today I was ever so proud of my daughter. She never cussed, not even once when the woman driving through the parking lot nearly took the car door off as she used the parking spot next to us as a pass through. Indeed, darling daughter held the door open for this woman as we entered the same building. She even held her tongue as this observant woman signed in for her lab work ahead of us. Obviously, holding the door open implies that one wishes you to cut ahead, does it not?
If this happens again, should dear daughter politely hold her tongue in the face of such rudeness?

Sunday, January 11, 2009

One Day at a Time

In my quest to become healthy, I added weight loss to my 101 list. On Ravelry, someone pointed out this neat little site called Everyday Health. This website allows you to chart your food intake and exercise. The cool part is it lets you see where you are going wrong. In two days, I have been able to see that one huge "myth" I was carrying around about my food intake: sugar. I honestly thought that I was not eating any. I've been in total denial about what carbs do when they hit the digestive tract. Silly me. Tomorrow when I hit the market, I shall shop smarter.

Today my mom, sister, daughter, and myself went to the movies. This is also part of the 101 things. I love films and I never go, silly me again. Today we saw Doubt. Meryl Streep does it again! This film is based on the Pulitzer prize winning play. Good stuff, this. Great script and out of this world acting. Unfortunately, I was the only one who left thrilled. Apparently my companions were in the mood for a belly laugh and a bit of escape.
For that I would recommend what we saw last week: Slumdog Millionaire. Young Jamal is accused of cheating on a Hindi version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire. The film takes us through Jamal's life explaining how this uneducated child of the streets has such a knowledge base. This plot my friends, is what movies are indeed made of. And yes, you leave feeling better for having seen it.
Amelia is progressing. I would take a picture, but looking at 11" of something is like watching grass grow. I will show you what it looks like when I add the sleeves to the yoke. Although this is a simple sweater, it is providing me with some knitting "firsts".

Friday, January 09, 2009

It's the Little Things

I swiped this from Erica, who took it from Mary Ellen, who copied it from...
(Things I've done in bold.)

1. Started my own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than I can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland/world
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sung a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched lightning at sea
14. Taught myself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown my own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitchhiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of my ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught myself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had my portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had my picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a lawsuit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Rode an elephant

Now this list has me thinking. Almost all of these items are nothing above and beyond. The majority are not 'extreme' experiences that are outside the grasp of the average Joe. But almost all of them are happy things. They are the little things that create a very nice life. I think I like this list.

But then again, look at my sidebar. I am in a list making mood:)

Sunday, January 04, 2009


The Christmas Ghosts have come and gone and I have decided that two weeks home in the dead of winter is about one week too much. Complaining again, eh? Not really, but Christmas is a time of excess, especially for those of us who have a decidedly secular approach to the 'holiday'.

The Christmas Stockings for a co-worker were sent via the Santa Express thanks to the unexpected snow day.
After that I was able to knock off a pair of Fetching for myself from some Jo Sharp Silk Road Tweed. I was able get the pair from one skein with plenty to spare. I love these! Just the right thing for driving around, digging in the purse, etc. My girls found them a bit "Oliver Twist". I pointed out that Sarah Jessica Parker's character from Sex in the City wore them, but they still failed to be impressed with my trendiness.
I have cast on Amelia, and am about 3" in. I am making a real effort to stash bust. This is a Jo Sharp DK Tweed purchased many, many years ago. I did actually wash the swatch so I have faith that the stiff stuff springing from my needles will be one very comfy sweater. My goal is to finish it by the end of the month.
So back to work. We have survived colds, pneumonia, serious over eating, and outrageous cabin fever. Happy New Year, gentle readers.