Saturday, December 31, 2011

December Book List

Books Read in December

178 - 01 Plain Truth, by Jodi Picoult (12/4) 
179 - 02 Tenth Anniversary, by James Patterson (12/6)
180 - 03 Jigs & Reels, by Joanne Harris (12/8)
181 - 04 A Thread of Truth, by Marie Bostwick (12/9) AUDIOBOOK
182 - 05 The Help, by Kathryn Stockett (12/10)
183 - 06 The Cat Whisperer,  by Claire Bessant (12/12)
184 - 07 The Body in the Gazebo, by Katherine Hall Page (12/16)
185 - 08 Spin a Wicked Web, by Cricket McRae (12/18)
186 - 09 Cat Sitter Among the Pigeons, by Blaize Clement (12/19)
187 - 10 An O'Brien Family Christmas, by Sherryl Woods (12/20)
188 - 11 June Bug, by Chris Fabry (12/24)
189 - 12 Black Sheep, by Georgette Heyer (12/26)
190 - 13 Beauty and the Werewolf, by Mercedes Lackey (12/29)
191 - 14 Cousin Kate, by Georgette Heyer (12/31)

SInce it's the 31st of December, my official book count for the year is 191 books read. Not a bad number, even if a majority of those were "junk" fiction. But not everything I read is junk.

My friend Winnie recommended The Help, and she was absolutely right that it is a Must-Read book. I loved it. I think it's one of my favorite books for the year. My daughter read it, and she loved it. Becka brought home the movie, even though we were both convinced it wasn't going to be nearly as good as the book. And we were right; the book is definitely better. But the movie is very, very good. 

I also enjoyed June Bug, by Chris Fabry, a lot more than I expected to. I picked it up purely on impulse at the library. The Lantana branch, which is the library I've been haunting since my move, has the New and Popular shelves alongside the checkout line. Which means that as I'm standing in line, I have the opportunity to grab a couple more books. The book started out slowly, and seemed to have a very predictable plot. And while the plot may have been (somewhat) predictable, the characters and relationships surprised me. I need to look to see what else Chris Fabry has written.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Organization is the key to a happy office


I've been at the church for three months (or close to it), and I finally feel like I have a handle on the job. It's a wonderful place to work. I still love the people I work and interact with. I have enough variety and creativity to keep the job fun. And there's never anyone throwing tantrums or making derogatory and/or political statements.

I've probably said all that before. But really, except for the fact that I miss my students and I don't make nearly as much money, this is a much better job for me.

Now that we've made it through Christmas, and before the financial report obligations of the new year start, I had a little bit of extra time. I decided to use it to rearrange my office. It's a big office, but everything seems to end up being stored in it. And really, there's no need for me to work in a storage closet anymore.

So I took a day, and with Rose's help (one of my wonderful volunteers), we cleaned out all of junk. Some of it was stored in the actual storage rooms. And some of it (four huge trash bags) was thrown out. Then we rearranged the furniture. I still want to get a small table with better chairs for meetings. Otherwise, I'm really happy with the new arrangement. The room seems so much brighter now!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Flowers in the Neighborhood

I have a funny story.

Yesterday, during dinner, the kids kept trying to get rid of mom and me (or so I thought). I don't have a dining room table, so we were sitting in the living room eating. The kids kept suggesting that mom and I go out on the patio to eat, since there is a table with two chairs out there. I didn't want our family dinner to be broken up into two groups, so I refused. After dinner, the kids suggested that mom and I sit outside and chat while we knitted, with them staying inside to play one of the games PJ had gotten. Again, I didn't want to break up our family time so I refused. There were a few more attempts to get me to sit outside without the kids, and I was starting to get annoyed. We have so little family time, why would I want to waste any of it?

When PJ was getting ready to leave, he mentioned the patio lights. I had asked him to come over the week before to help me hang lights on the patio, but time ran out before he could get down to me. I never did get the lights up, and there he was, offering to help take them down. Sigh.

Then, to make matters worse, he brings up the flowers. I've been wanting hanging plants for the patio ever since I moved in. I've been hinting, and trying to find the money to buy them myself, but I just haven't gotten any flower yet. My ever-so-subtle son asks me how I like the flowers. "I don't have flowers yet," I grumble (or I would have grumbled, if it hadn't been Christmas - okay, I grumbled even though it was Christmas).
"Then those must be the neighbors' flowers I see," he tells me. How annoying can a boy be, not to tell whether something is on my patio or across the parking lot. But I went over to kiss him goodbye anyway, because after all it was Christmas.

And that's when I saw the flowers hanging on my patio. It seems my daughter conspired with my mother, and they managed to sneak two hanging plants onto my patio.

Sometimes, the kids are really, really wonderful. (Mom is really wonderful all the time.)

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

It was a very nice, although a little strange, Christmas. I'm used to being woken up early by the kids and unwrapping our gifts in our pajamas. It was hard learning to have Christmas with one of the children missing. (I hate that my oldest lives so far away). But this year, ALL the kids are grown.And Christmas changed completely.

Mom had to go to church (she counts the collection, so she had to be there), so we decided to have an early Christmas dinner at my place. PJ decided that he would wait to come over in the afternoon, with his grandmother. That left just Becka and me (my oldest still being in NYC). So Christmas didn't start in the morning, in our pajamas. Instead, we had time to sleep in a bit and to get dressed, keeping the holiday festivities waiting until the others arrived. It was still Christmas, with family and stockings and gifts and lots of food. Just calmed down a bit.

I'm not sure I approve of the children growing up.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

The first step is always the hardest.

My apartment complex has an exercise trail. Actually, it's more of a sidewalk that runs along the outer edges of the complex. There are two picnic areas along the way. (I'm not sure how that fits in with the exercise theme, but it's nice to know the grills and picnic tables are available.) There is also three spots with traditional exercise trail equipment: a chin up bar, a slanted sit-up bench, and these:

I imagine if I spent more time in a gym, I'd know what they're called. You stand on them and swing your legs, mimicking skiing. While I found it a lot of fun to do, I really don't understand why they're on a walking trail. I mean, you're already getting in the aerobics by walking. What other benefits can swinging your legs in this machine give you?

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

I'm carrying around an elephant

This is knitting up relatively quickly. If I actually concentrated, I'd probably be done by now. I probably should be honest and admit that I've slowed down because as soon as I finish the other half of the under-gusset, the ears and tail, I'll have to sew it all up.

* ~ * ~ *
Blanket Update:
216 squares in 319 days

(Status: I've now knit more blocks this year than I did last year.)

Monday, December 05, 2011

Sheffield Tawny Port

I like port. So when I needed a sweet red wine for my Thanksgiving cranberry relish, naturally I looked for a bottle of port. I found one from Sheffield Cellars that wasn’t too expensive, so I decided to try it.
This is a Tawny Port, which means it’s been aged in a wooden barrel (in this particular brand, an oak barrel). As it ages, the wood gradually turns the red wine a more brownish, or tawny, color. (This is, of course, a very simplified explanation, based on my simplified understanding. You should probably go google it if you want a better, more detailed explanation.)

The aroma was heavily oak and prune. Sometimes I have trouble distinguishing the subtleties in an aroma, but there was nothing subtle about these. I also found a faint mustiness that made me think of the Regency Romances I indulge in, where the men always seem to retire at the end of a meal to enjoy their port while the women go off to gossip together. This is definitely a man’s port (compared to the sweet port that remains my favorite).

The taste was sweet without being cloying, with black licorice and something that made me think of my PopPop’s pipe. It tasted like Thanksgiving, which is very weird considering (1) we don’t drink port on Thanksgiving because (2) we don’t really drink any wine on Thanksgiving.

I definitely liked this port, and I’ll probably treat myself to it again. I'm giving it three stars.
  • 1 star = It was okay but nothing special
  • 2 stars = It was good and I liked it
  • 3 stars = It was good and I'd buy it again
  • 4 stars = I really, really like it, enough to call it a favorite
  • 5 stars = It's mine, all mine! And I don't want to share.

Saturday, December 03, 2011

It's not Christmas without Cookies!

I ended up not spending the day the way I expected to spend the day. (And for the record, the way I expected to spend the day was not how I had originally planned to spend the day.) But despite the way things twisted and turned, it turned out to be a pretty good day.

Part of that was because I gave into the impulse to bake. I made chocolate chip cookies. I ended up with 7 dozen cookies, so if anyone wants to bring the milk I’ve got cookies to share!

Friday, December 02, 2011

A Sugar Sand Moonstone

It was a beautiful day today. We’ve passed most of that hot, humid weather and it’s now cool enough to spend time outside comfortably. So after work, I decided to go letterboxing.

According to both Atlas Quest and LBNA (the two main letterboxing websites), there was a letterbox planted at Sugar Sand Park – which just happens to be near my job. It’s also one of my favorite parks in Palm Beach County. So that’s where I went.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to find the box, even though I followed the clues carefully. One of the landmarks listed has changed, and I suspect the box disappeared around the same time the trail was altered. (I mean, that just makes sense.) I did check possible locations based on where the missing landmark probably was, but despite poking around every Palmetto bush in the vicinity, I was not able to record a find.

I don’t really mind that I didn’t find the Moonstone. I still had a beautiful afternoon walking along a really nice nature trail.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

November Reading List

Books Read in November

157 - 01 Bookplate Special, by Lorna Barrett (11/3) AUDIOBOOK
158 - 02 By the Sword, by Mercedes Lackey (11/3)
159 - 03 Winds of Fate, by Mercedes Lackey (11/7)
160 - 04 Wicked Appetite, by Janet Evanovich (11/9)
161 - 05 Snow Angels, by Fern Michaels (11/9)
162 - 06 Provocative in Pearls, by Madeline Hunter (11/10) AUDIOBOOK
163 - 07 Smokin' Seventeen, by Janet Evanovich (11/12)
164 - 08 Full House, by Janet Evanovich (11/12)
165 - 09 No Ordinary Child, by Darlene Graham (11/13)
166 - 10 Scared Stiff, by Annelise Ryan (11/14)
167 - 11 A Single Thread, by Marie Bostwick (11/18) AUDIOBOOK
168 - 12 Slightly Tempted, by Mary Balogh (11/18)
169 - 13 Simply Perfect, by Mary Balogh (11/20)
170 - 14 Wedding Belles, by Haywood Smith (11/20)
171 - 15 Liar, Liar, by K. J. Larsen (11/20) AUDIOBOOK
172 - 16 Three Weddings and a Kiss, by Woodiwiss, Anderson, Chase & Kleypas (11/21)
173 - 17 Home Improvement, Undead Edition,  edited by C. Harris & T. L. P. Kelner (11/26)
174 - 18 Slightly Shady, by Amanda Quick (11/27)
175 - 19 Charmed & Dangerous, by Toni McGee Causey (11/27)
176 - 20 Raining Cat Sitters and Dogs, by Blaize Clement (11/28)
177 - 21 Beginner's Grace, by Kate Braestrup (11/29) AUDIOBOOK

I've read a couple of really horrible "why am I still reading this?" books this month. A couple of them were so bad that I finally did put them down before I reached the ending (but not before wasting several hours thinking anything to read was better than nothing to read). By the way, the ones that I didn't finish, didn't make it onto the list.

I did, however, read (okay, listened to and then read) a really wonderful book on, of all things, prayer. I had loaded it onto my ipod on a whim. Actually, what happened was that there wasn't anything I wanted to listen to available to download from the library when I had access to the internet. So I took the only half-decent thing I could, thinking that it would tide me over until the next trip to a hot spot and I could try for something better. The book surprised me. Once I got used to the awful cadence of the reader (la-la-la, la-la, la-LAA-la - regardless of the sentence being read), I found I had a difficult time turning off the ipod. The author is a chaplain to the forestry service in Maine, and is Unitarian in her theology. There's just something about her down-to-earth practicality in her approach to God that appeals. You just have to listen to a pastor who recommends the standard "Oh God, oh God, oh God" prayer for any crisis situation - crisis being freely defined by the person praying. I actually went to the library and took out a copy of the book so I could take my time when I re-read it.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

So what's next?

I finally finished the Phellogen socks. I still don't know why it took me so long. I loved the pattern. I love to cable. So the only possible explanation is that the socks unknit themselves at night so that I would keep working on them forever.

They do look much better on than they do in this picture, by the way. It was totally worth the time it took to knit them.

 * ~ * ~ *
Blanket Update:
207 squares in 319 days

(Status: Why am I still trying to give updates on this?)

Sunday, November 27, 2011

You know how good I am at this.

I finished weaving the cloth for the bag, and I love the way it turned out. I could tell you that it's just a simple tabby weave on a 2-2 warp with an alternating 2-pick weft, but that would just be showing off my new vocabulary. Basically, I just did a simple under/over/over weave (aka tabby). I warped the loom with 2 strands of the red, then 2 strands of the blue and then I wove (the weft) using the same 2 stands of one color then 2 strands of the other combination.

It's amazing how quickly I was able to weave these pieces. The first one is 29" long, and the second is 72".

Now I just have to finish the project by sewing it all together. I wonder which will come first, the slippers or the bag.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Deep violets, you liken to The kindest eyes that look on you, Without a thought disloyal. (Elizabeth Barrett Browning)

I can't believe how excited I am over this.

You do see it, don't you? It's my first little bud. There will be more pictures when it actually blooms, I'm sure.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Thanksgiving Festival

I spent the day demonstrating weaving and spinning at the church's Thanksgiving Festival. I'm exhausted, but it was worth it. We (Melissa, Anita and I) had a blast showing off our skills and teaching the children how to drop spindle and wave. Actually, Melissa deserves most of the credit. She made up a bunch of spindle kits that she gave away to any child that seemed really interested in the spinnning. I kept being called away to fix this or that, or to take care of some minor crisis (the problem in trying to volunteer where you work is that they expect you to actually work if they need you), so it was really Melissa who did most of the demonstration and teaching. Anita and I were able to relax (in between the cries of "Sandi, I need you) and enjoy the day.

Showing my boss' daughter how to spin on the wheel

The amazing and wonderful weaver, Ms Anita

Demonstrating how to weave on my tabletop loom

Thursday, November 17, 2011

My new toy

I am now the proud owner of an electric spinning wheel. It's beautiful, with a remarkable mixture of handcrafted wood and modernized gadgetry. The idea of powering a spinning wheel with an engine (although a tiny one), also amuses me.

Sometimes, I have the most amazing luck. First in meeting, by pure chance, an amazing weaver who was/is willing to share her knowledge with me. (Thank you, Anita!) And then in her generosity in giving me her old wheel.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

I'm so blue

You know those kitschy t-shirts, "my parents went to ___ and all I got was this lousy t-shirt"? Well, my daughter went to NYC and all I got was blue m&ms. I would have much rather have gone on the trip with her. (And in all fairness, the opportunity was offered to me. Several times. Unfortunately, finances and logistics of a new job prevented me from taking the opportunity.)

But really. Blue m&ms. Everyone knows that the blue m&ms are horrible. I literally pick them out of the bag and get rid of them before hunting out the good flavors (like green, brown, red...). Sigh.

At least I'm going to get to eat a couple of "real bakery" cupcakes. (Mom was so tired when they got home from the airport, she left the treat from the girls at my house. And naturally they'll be too stale to give to her, so I might as well eat them.)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Lizard's Wild Ride

 I rushing off to a meeting, and noticed this on the hood of my car. Can you see it?

 It was a lizard, looking absolutely terrified. He had to have been sunbathing on the car when I left my apartment. I have no idea how he managed to cling to the hood as long as he did. But I was approaching the entrance to the interstate, and I knew that once I hit full speed the lizard was going to learn to fly.

 Instead, I pulled into the first driveway, and carried him to the curb. (I tried to shoo him off the car, but the poor thing wouldn't move. He was clinging to the hood, by golly, come speed or scarey lady.)

I felt bad that I had to leave him so far way from his home and his family. But just think of the story he's going to be able to tell his grandchildren of the wild ride he once took.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

St. Joe's is the place to go!

I'm a day late with this, but my favorite thing this week is St. Joseph's. More accurately, it's the people of St. Joe's. I spent a little over 8 hours volunteering with the most wonderful group of people. The church was hosting the diocese convention, and I went in to help prepare, serve, and cleanup the dinner.

And let me tell you, it was quite a dinner. Father Marty is an amazing chef, who I was told learned while in Italy. We (the volunteers) were able to sneak off and have a share of the dinner and it was incredible!

Even better was the way everyone just accepted me and made me a part of the group. Most of the workers have been long-time church members and therefore have long-time friendships. But from the very first person I met, I was made to feel that I was just as much a part of the friendship and fellowship as everyone else. By the time I dried my last dish (around midnight), I felt that it was one of the best days I'd spent in a long time.

And I don't even really mind that I can barely move today. (It was a lot of hard work!)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Warped and ready

The most difficult part of weaving is warping. Warping consists of cutting a great many long pieces of  wool and putting them, one at a time, through the loom so that they all line up properly.

Actually, I don't mind warping at the loom. I have a rather obsessive need for order, and threading the yarn piece by piece through the proper heddle can be relaxing. (Unless, of course, you get a bunch threaded and go around to the other side to grab them only to watch them drop backwards because you didn't allow enough slack.)  No, the problem I have is getting all the pieces cut the right length without tangling them up.

The trick to cutting the yarn is to use a warping board. And it's a trick that, until now, I wasn't able to use because that's the one piece of equipment I wasn't given. But, being the wonderfully adaptive and inventive person I am, I came up with an affordable warping board alternative.

I bought several large hooks for the wall. They can be moved around without leaving any marks on the wall, so they're perfect for  my apartment.

I even found the perfect spot for my "wall art warping board" -- in the entryway behind the front door. To be honest, I wasn't sure it was going to work. But I was able to measure off 90 pieces of Sugar'n Creme 103" long in just a couple of minutes. I had the loom warped in just under an hour and a half.

An hour later, I am well on my way!

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Beware of the Tinking Fairies!

With all of the knitting I'm doing on these socks, I really should be finished by now. I can only think of one explanation - my house is infested with "Tink"erbelles. Seriously. I think the fairies are sneaking into my knitting bag at knit and tinking back any progress I might have made during the day.

These are still Round 2 socks from the Tour-de-Force, and Round 5 is being released tomorrow. Those darn Tink-erbelles better skedaddle quick.

 * ~ * ~ *
Blanket Update:
207 squares in 312 days

(Status: How far behind am I going to get before I throw in the towel?)

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

I want a cookie!

It doesn't look like much yet, but this is the start of some really yummy cookies. Now I just need to decide if I'm going to make pumpkins, flowers, butterflies, or (Becca's choice) elephants.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Funf Riesling

 I'm blaming (crediting?) this wine purchase on one of my knitting friends, Sean. He had first mentioned this wine to me, pointing out that it would be worth buying just because the bottle was pretty and the name was cute. Supposedly I'm beyond buying wine just because of the bottle. But apparently peer pressure still works. Because when I saw this wine on sale at the grocery store as buy-one-get-one-free, I came home with the two bottles.

It's not bad. Slightly sweet, and very fruity, it seems like a nice cheap white wine that went well with the salad I had the first night, and with the leftover pizza I drank it with the next. I will say that I like the bouquet better than the taste; but then, I usually do.

So anyway, this was pretty good wine. I'm giving it two stars.
  • 1 star = It was okay but nothing special
  • 2 stars = It was good and I liked it
  • 3 stars = It was good and I'd buy it again
  • 4 stars = I really, really like it, enough to call it a favorite
  • 5 stars = It's mine, all mine! And I don't want to share.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

One out of ten isn't bad. Is it?

Things I planned on doing today:
  1. Go to church
  2. Warp the small loom for towels
  3. Unpack a couple of boxes
  4. Vacuum and dust the bedroom and living room
  5. Clean the bathroom (sharing with a teenager means this task is done almost daily)
  6. Write my thank you notes and birthday greetings (I owe 6 notes)
  7. Ply a skein of yarn on the wheel
  8. Make cookies
  9. Make a loaf of bread
  10. Plan next week
What I actually did today:
  1. Went to church
  2. Tried to warp the towels, but got frustrated when the yarn tangled for the third time
  3. Gave up and went to Starbucks
And I wonder why I never manage to cross everything off my "To Do" list. Sigh.

Today's Giggle:
Overheard at Starbucks: "Hey, you know what we could get while we're here? Coffee!"

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Playing Footies

My daughter had me in hysterical laughter. I was sitting in the living room, minding my own business, knitting as I watched the ending of some stupid show. I looked up just in time to see her strutting across the room in her brand-new footsie pajamas with a smug expression on her face. I couldn't help it. I burst into laughter, and didn't stop laughing until after I fell off my chair.

She is so-very-proud of those silly footsie pajamas. And yes, I am jealous of the utter coolness of Footsie Girl.

Friday, November 04, 2011

Monster Pops

Cake pops are NOT my favorite thing. They're yummy, especially after they've have a day or two to set properly. But they are a royal pain to make. I have no idea how Bakerella does all those gorgeous shapes and designs.

The important thing is that mom and I had a lot of fun making these together. My kids might be too old to play in the kitchen with me, but at least my mother is still willing to have a little culinary fun together. Although I had to let her lick one of the beaters instead of keeping both of them for myself.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Preparation is all the work

Tuesday I decided I wanted to warp the tabletop loom for kitchen towels. If I warp it this week, I should have enough time to get two towels woven before I have to warp the loom for the demonstration I'm doing at the Thanksgiving Festival on November 19th.

Of course, I didn't think to print out the waffle pattern for the towels. No problem, I said, I'll just run over to Starbucks for a couple of minutes so that I could copy it down. Yeah, maybe if I had settled for just the tabby pattern (shown in the bottom right of the photo). The waffle weave was a lot more involved than I thought it would be.

Now I'm wondering if I'm going to be able to warp it AND weave it in the week and a half I have available. Especially since I still have to ply two fingering weight skeins of yarn that are taking up my bobbins. (The demonstration is for both spinning and weaving - in pilgrim costume, no less.)

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Missing MoJo

I haven't been doing very much knitting lately. I'm not sure why. For a while I was blaming it on the move. After packing up my stuff, and transporting the boxes, then unpacking everything only to return to the old apartment and repeat the process again each day; I was just too tired and sore to think about doing anything at all.

Now that the big move is over, and (most) of my stuff is put away, I'm slowing picking my fiber back up. And it is about time.

I had managed to finish the first round of the Tour-de-Sock. I really liked the Calaba pattern by Regina Satta. I thought it was a fun knit. I was surprised that the Penny Rose yarn striped the way it did, but it went well with the cables.

I did get knocked out of the competition in the second round. Not only did I not finish the pair in time, I'm still knitting them. I missed round three entirely, and it doesn't look like I'll get to knit round four. (Even though I'm out of the competition, I can still knit each round in order to earn points for my team.) 

As you can see, I still have a ways to go with Round Two. The pattern is Phellogen by Glenna C. I'm using Knitpick's Stroll, which is supposed to be a tonal but seems more like a variegated to me. The socks are really pretty, but the cables are kicking my butt for some reason. It's frustrating. But now that I'm finally on the heel, and the end is in sight, I think my pace is finally starting to pick up.

I really do need to get my knitting mojo back. Not only do I have to catch up on the Tour-de-Socks, I also have a cabinet full of UFOs that I need to get finished. I just don't have the room anymore to accommodate this many projects!

 * ~ * ~ *
Blanket Update:
207 squares in 305 days
(Status: Is it still an "update" if there's been nothing to report for weeks?)

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

It's starting to feel like home

I'm not very good at decorating. You would think that with all my crafting skills I would have picked up on how to make my house look pretty. Unfortunately, I can't manage to pull it all together. (I can't accessorize outfits, either.) But right now, I'm really liking the way my living room looks.

Just don't look at the other side of the room...

What am I going to do with all these boxes? There's no more room to put anything!

Monday, October 31, 2011

October Reading List

Books Read in October

148 - 01 Waking Up In Dixie, by Haywood Smith (10/5) AUDIOBOOK
149 - 02 Death Qualified, by Kate Wilhelm (10/14) AUDIOBOOK
150 - 03 Ravishing in Red, by Madeline Hunter (10/18) AUDIOBOOK
151 - 04 The Oathblound, by Mercedes Lackey (10/20)
152 - 05 Oathbreakers, by Mercedes Lackey (10/22)
153 - 06 Arrows of the Queen, by Mercedes Lackey (10/23)
154 - 07 Oathblood, by Mercedes Lackey (10/24)
155 - 08 Arrows Flight, by Mercedes Lackey (10/28)
156 - 09 Arrows Fall, by Mercedes Lackey (10/30)

I think there were two, maybe three, other books I read in the beginning of the month. It's been a rough two months. September was spent commuting back and forth from the new job (1 hour each way), plus school, plus hunting for an apartment. I took off from school in October, which should have made things easier. But it still ended up being just as bad. I was still making the commute, plus I had to pack up everything for the move to my new apartment. There was a lot of stuff I had to sort through, since my new home is much smaller than my old apartment. On top of that, I decided that of course I could enter a knitting competition. Not such a good idea.  I made it through the first round, but I was eliminated in the second round.

The good news is that I am now living much closer to work, so the drive is much nicer. I still have several boxes of things to unpack as soon as I can figure out where to put them, but the new place is feeling more and more like "home." I have a patio, which I'm very excited about, and even a sunny window with a ledge for African violets! I don't have internet access yet at the house, but I'm hoping to have the money to add that soon. In the meantime, I've got a terrific Starbucks just down the street so I'll be hanging out there a couple of afternoons a week in order to update the blog. I may even get the podcast back on air soon!

September Reading List

Books Read in September

139 - 01 Homespun Bride, by Jillian Hart (9/1)
140 - 02 Hired: The Boss's Bride, by Ally Blake (9/1)
141 - 03 Pumped for Murder, by Elaine Viets (9/3) 
142 - 04 Nobody's Baby But Mine, by Susan Elizabeth Phillips (9/8) 
143 - 05 The Manning Sisters,  by Debbie Macomber (9/18)
144 - 06 Murder is Binding, by Lorna Barrett (9/22) AUDIOBOOK
145 - 07 Full Scoop, by Janet Evanovich and Charlotte Hughes (9/27)
146 - 08 Bookmarked for Death, by Lorna Barrett (9/28) AUDIOBOOK
147 - 09 Family Blessings, by Fern Michaels (9/30)

You might notice that there isn't a textbook listed this month. That's because I really disliked the English Composition II textbook that we used. It was focused on pop culture writings, which I image was an effort to appeal to the typical college-aged student. I didn't get most of the references, which just made me feel really old. On top of that, I thought it was a bit like when I try to be "hip" with my teenagers and only come off looking like an idiot. After the first two weeks, I gave up reading the assigned chapters. Instead, I only read the essays that I had to respond to in my homework. I felt like a total cheat, but that was better than suffering through "modern" writing that just annoyed me.

Monday, September 19, 2011

I love my new job.

I have a big office that came with a computer...

...and a great view.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

I hurt.

Fibromyalgia is horrible! 

But Fiber In was totally worth the pain.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Fiber Fun!

We made it to Orlando last night, just in time to check into the timeshare and then go out to dinner. We did manage to get a little knitting done, with thanks to Peggy who volunteered to be our designated knitter. (The bottle of wine, Dr. Heidemanns' Riesling, was delicious!)

This morning we enjoyed coffee on the balcony before heading off to Fiber In. I was very glad that we were on the second floor. It seems everywhere I go now, there's a duck looking for my knitting.

(I did tell you that story, didn't I? The day that I took the bus to pick up Becca's car, I had to transfer at the VA Center. The ducks there are very aggressive, and one of them came up and bit my toe. I was wearing sandals and had old nail polish on, so I think that the duck might have been nearsighted and mistook my toe nail for dropped food. When he bit my toe, though, it scared me and I dropped my dpn. The duck grabbed it and waddled away with the dpn in his beak. I spent the next bus ride just holding my knitting since, for the first time ever, I had chosen to leave the extra dpns at home. Darn duck!)

 Fiber In was wonderful. I love being with other people as fiber-crazy as I am. There were spinners, and knitters, and hookers (aka crocheters). There were probably also some weavers, but since looms are difficult to travel with I didn't manage to find any. And I resisted, by virtue of being totally broke after buying the tires Thursday night, from adding to my stash. Although I was tempted.

I did get to show off my Hide-the-Horrible-Hairdo hat in the hat parade.

Peggy and Mom, two of the Fiberista Foursome.

And Rebecca.
We had such a great time, we've decided to do a Knitting Retreat / Women's Weekend. After looking at the calendar, it will probably be in the middle of January. We're thinking that Bonnet Creek Resort in Orlando sounds like a perfect plan, although Daytona would be another possibility. I'm already counting down the weeks!