Saturday, January 19, 2008

FOs and WIPs

FO: Aunt Rose's chemo cap, made from a super soft 100% merino wool by Water Lily . Ann Nordling pattern, but just knitted in the round with no fancy stitches, because according to, many cancer patients prefer hats without a lot of "texture" on their heads.

WIP: A chain link pattern scarf in "La Boheme" - a double-stranded yarn that didn't photograph well here. The color is African Violet - so there's a pale green, a violet, and a gold color that shows up as a rather unfortunate orange here. This is for me. :)

FO: My Step-MIL wanted PENS for Christmas. Ball point pens. :\ She also told me she likes butterflies. So in addition to ball point pens, I knitted her a butterfly dishcloth. Here it is while being blocked out with jars of elderberry jam. :)
I also made her a dishcloth called "Bobbles the Sheep" because they raise sheep out there in New York, but alas, I failed to snap a photo before shipping it.

Other things in the works: D's pair of socks (just about finished with sock #1) and A's Christmas sweater (an unspecified Christmas). But I haven't snapped photos of those yet. :)

And my SIL Penny gave me some SUPERCOOL sock yarn for Christmas, but I feel dutybound to finish my poor son's socks first, and make some serious headway on A's sweater.

And my other SIL Ruth actually SPUN me some yarn from the sheep at the O family farm in upstate NY! How cool is that? Now I have to figure out how much is there, and what to do with it. Hats and scarves come to mind. ;)

So I'd better get knitting.

christmas unwrapped

Continuing to empty my camera:

We had a Christmas tree so symmetrical it looked fake. I was sick, so the kids did EVERYTHING, lights, decor and all. I weakly waved my hands in the general direction of the tree, mumbling things about not putting all the ornaments in one place, be sure to put the lights both at the edge and deep into the tree, statements which largely went unheeded. They did a pretty good job, actually. Can you find the mole skin on the tree?

I always get a little brave around Christmas and decide to try cutout cookies. I let the kids do the work, because that's what it's all about anyway. (Making kids work. yeah. lol) S. has trouble getting out that stupid bell:

D. finds some sprinkles that are of unknown date and origin and slathers a Christmas tree cookie. I later remember that these sprinkles are leftovers from a gingerbread house making thing I did with my fifth grade students. In 1992. I threw the jar away.

On Christmas Day:
Daddy gets "coal" from D and S

"Samantha," meet S!

D is overjoyed with The Dangerous Book for Boys

Grandma Sandy, recovering from FOOD POISONING from Costco's samples (ghastly! Both she and my husband got it!) - her Christmas dinner consisted of red jello from Safeway.

Grandpa Larry, perpetual occupant of the green chair, opens a gift. Notice the Chairman Mao mug to the left? I knew it would come in handy someday.

Coming up: FO and WIP's!

better late than never

FINALLY I am sitting at the desktop computer and taking the time to unload 3 months worth of pictures! Do you want to see all 121 of them?

Okay, okay, I will be selective.

First, a LONG overdue acknowledgement and THANK YOU to my dear Rebecca, who saw this item, thought of me, and sent it to me from Wiscaaansin:

A "Box of Boogers," picked especially for me! Thank you! The kids have been pestering me to let them EAT them. Sounds just charming when you are out in public: "Mooooommm, can I eat the Boogers now??" :)

Second, it's not every day that we can get together, so here's a photo of moi, Rebecca, Crystal (pre-kidlet), and Lavonne outside Goldberg's Deli at the Factoria Mall (this is from uhh, October, ahem..)

And a tres cute picture of Crystal's and my kids, minus one kid:

Of course, other things happened in October, too, such as the annual Pumpkin Brains Scooping:

And then, The Big Event Itself: Trick or Treating in downtown Puyallup. And I would have you all know that I USED A SEWING MACHINE (yes i did!) and I MADE THAT PIRATE COSTUME. This was a major deal, I assure you. And nobody knew who D. was supposed to be---UNTIL he went to the assisted living place, Merrill Gardens - where of course, all the residents knew he was Harpo Marx!

In November I made a lovely cake for a woman who was marrying a guy she met online...guy being from HOLLAND. He had a cake topper specially made just for the occasion and was very thrilled to be able to have it on the cake.

Here is the simple, elegant design on the cake I made:

And here it is with the topper he brought from Holland. there are no words. none.

December deserves its own post. ciao for niao.

Thursday, January 10, 2008


Ah, it's been a great start to 2008! I've already been able to polish off five books. I grant you, most of them were on the light side. A. always encourages me to toss in some non-fiction so I will have better character, and he provided My Grandfather's Son by Clarence Thomas for me to begin the year properly. It was an easy, entertaining read - not in the sense of being light-hearted or fluffy - quite the contrary. But it was thoughtful and well-written. The path Justice Thomas took from backwoods Georgia, to segregated Savannah, to his experiences as the "token" black student at Yale (he has nothing good to say about the so-called prestigious university) - to life in Washington D.C. and the lies and liars that hold that town together. He tells his story humbly and with dignity. And he wrote it himself, not using a ghost writer. I recommend!

Next I settled into The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, which was charming and very quotable. I loved the voice of the character Mma Ramotswe, and the very African flavor to the book. I plan to read more in the series.

At the same time, I checked out another book by Alexander McCall Smith, The Sunday Philosophy Club. I didn't care for Isabel Dalhousie as much as Mma Ramotswe...the main character was always sloshing around with some moral/ethical dilemma or another, pontificating on and on in paragraphs which I considered distracting. That was the point of the whole book, though--it being a novel about a philosopher-turned-amateur detective, I suppose there needed to be a fair amount of what I call "verbalrrhea."

And...still chipping away at the Newbery Project...I found a blog today that does what I've been doing! So I'll be checking in over there from time to time. At any rate, two nights ago I read the 2007 winner, The Higher Power of Lucky, by Susan Patron. I wasn't overly impressed. Lucky eavesdrops on various 12-step meetings and keeps hearing about attenders' "Higher Power" - and she's looking for one herself, because her mom's dead, her dad abandoned her, and she's being raised by her dad's first, ex-wife, who is French. The stepmonster is a good person, but Lucky is convinced that Brigitte is just taking care of her out of duty, and is really planning to catch the first flight back to France. I never figured out quite what Lucky's Higher Power turned out to be. Brigitte staying? Lucky herself, because of her survival skills in the Mojave Desert? Anyway, 2007 must have been a "meh" year for children's literature, because that's about how I felt when I put the book down on Tuesday night. Meh. That was number one? Meh.

Last night, Missing May by Cynthia Rylant. This had the same basic element as the previous book-- orphan raised by distant relatives - but this one grabbed me a bit more than Lucky did. Perhaps because I've witnessed how lost some people become when they lose a spouse - how they just literally give up hope and die of a broken heart - this book had a larger impact on me. Made me sniffle a bit at the end, but maybe that was the migraine headache I had.

I'm out of books. Better get online and reserve some!

School has been an absolute wash today. Nobody wants to do anything except stay at home and lie around, like those VeggieTales Pirates. I have just given the edict: NO DINNER UNTIL YOUR SCHOOL IS DONE. Dinner is going to be beef stirfry with rice, too, so there will be some sad little halflings if they don't get on the stick.

updating and need to notice this post :)

What I read in 2007 - I know this isn't an exhaustive list, because I don't always take the time to upgrade my template each time I finish a book. :)
Adding a few more that I know I didn't post on the sidebar:
The Beloved Dearly, Doug Cooney
Veronica Ganz (and) Peter and Veronica, Marilyn Sachs
Nancy Drew: The Secret of the Old Clock (#1), Carolyn Keene
Artemis Fowl: The Opal Deception, Eoin Colfer
Trickster's Choice (and)
Trickster's Queen, Tamora Pierce
  • The Martian Chronicles, Ray Bradbury

  • My Side of the Mountain*, Jean Craighead George

  • The Tale of Despereaux*, Kate DiCamillo

  • The Slave Dancer*, Paula Fox

  • The Bronze Bow,* Elizabeth George Speare

  • It's Like This, Cat,* Emily Neville

  • The View From Saturday*, E.L. Konigsburg

  • Maniac Magee*, Jerry Spinelli

  • Babe, the Gallant Pig, Dick King-Smith

  • M.C. Higgins, the Great*, Virginia Hamilton

  • Invincible Louisa: The Story of the Author of Little Women*, Cornelia Meigs

  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Jo Rowling

  • Living the Sabbath: Discovering the Rhythms of Rest and Delight, Norman Wirzba

  • The Seventh Dragon: The Riddle of Equal Temperament, Anita T. Sullivan

  • Abram's Daughters:

    The Covenant

    The Betrayal

    The Sacrifice

    The Prodigal

    The Revelation
    , by Beverly Lewis

  • Created to be His Helpmeet, Debi Pearl

  • The Bromeliad Trilogy:



    Terry Pratchett
  • I, Robot, Isaac Asimov

  • 2010: Odyssey Two, Arthur C. Clarke

  • Kidnapped! Robert Louis Stevenson

  • The Princess Bride, William Goldman

  • The Inner Game of Music, Barry Green with W. Timothy Gallwey

  • 2001: A Space Odyssey, Arthur C. Clarke

  • Franz Liszt: The Weimar Years, 1848-1861, Alan Walker

  • A Soprano On Her Head, Eloise Ristad

  • Music, the Brain, and Ecstasy, Robert Jourdain

  • Ramona Forever, Cleary

  • Call It Courage, Armstrong Sperry

  • Henry Huggins, Beverly Cleary

  • The Curate's Awakening, George MacDonald

  • The Lady's Confession, George MacDonald

  • Pride and Prejudice (yes, again), Jane Austen

  • Emily of New Moon

    Emily Climbs

    Emily's Quest
    , L.M. Montgomery

  • Ramona Quimby, Age 8

    Ramona's World,
    Beverly Cleary