Friday, August 31, 2012

August Reading List

Books Read in August

135 - 01  Fifty Shades Darker, by E. L. James (8/1)
136 - 02  Fifty Shades Freed, by E. L. James (8/2)
137 - 03 The Sherbrook Twins, by Catherine Coulter (8/3)
138 - 04 Lyon's Gate, by Catherine Coulter (8/4)
139 - 05  8 Sandpiper Way, by Debbie Macomber (8/4)
140 - 06  A Cedar Cove Christmas, by Debbie Macomber (8/5)
141 - 07  92 Pacific Boulevard, by Debbie Macomber (8/5)
142 - 08  The Name of the Wind, by Patrick Rothfuss (8/9) *This is a must-read-over-and-over!
143 - 09  Wizards Daughter, by Catherine Coulter (8/12) *The first Coulter book I didn't like.
144 - 10  Forbidden Falls, by Robyn Carr (8/12)
145 - 11  Hired by the Cowboy, by Donna Alward (8/12)
146 - 12 The Billionaire Wins the Game, by Melody Anne (8/13)
147 - 13  Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck (8/15) *It's as good as I remember it being.
148 - 14  Moonlight Road, by Robyn Carr (8/16)
149 - 15  Fairy Tale, by Debbie Macomber (8/17) 
150 - 16  Bride for a Night, by Rosemary Rogers (8/19)
151 - 17  Chasing Fire, by Nora Roberts (8/19)
152 - 18  Eight Keys, by Suzanne LaFleur (8/19)
153 - 19  Convincing Alex, by Nora Roberts (8/20)
154 - 20  The Search, by Nora Roberts (8/21)
155 - 21  1022 Evergreen Place, by Debbie Macomber (8/21)
156 - 22  1105 Yakima Street, by Debbie Macomber (8/21) 
157 - 23  1225 Christmas Tree Lane, by Debbie Macomber (8/23)
158 - 24  Christmas in Cedar Cove, by Debbie Macomber (8/24)
159 - 25  Wild Man Creek, by Robyn Carr (8/25)
160 - 26  Hidden Summit, by Robyn Carr (8/26)
161 - 27  Dakota Born, by Debbie Macomber (8/26)
162 - 28  Buffalo Valley, by Debbie Macomber (8/26)
163 - 29  Be My Valentine, by Debbie Macomber (8/27) *This was one of those "why did I keep reading it?" books for me.
164 - 30  The Unsung Hero, by Alison Roberts (8/28)
165 - 31  Trust Me on This, by Jennifer Crusie (8/30)
166 - 32  Promise Canyon, by Robyn Carr (8/31)

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

I should just keep moving

I had planned this post out in my head, while walking on the treadmill. I was going to talk about getting into the habit of going to the gym, and how much fun I was having. I think that it might even become my newest obsession - even it it is just a tiny room with a few pieces of equipment the apartment complex provides. I was also going to lament over the fact that I have no idea of what I'm doing. Then I would brag that I have recently leveled up in Fitocracy. By the way, I now have a real-live friend on the site. Technically, everyone who posts on the site is alive. But one of my friends is someone I know off of the computer as well. This is wonderfully motivating, which is why I planned on suggesting that everyone join me on Fitocracy. Think of how much fun it would be to encourage each other, and to compete against each other on challenges. I also planned on bragging about my new sneakers (which is why I took a picture of my feet). New sneakers doesn't sound like much, but this is the first pair I've owned in over two years.

All in all, I had a long post planned. Unfortunately, I sat down for 15 minutes after getting back from the gym.I don't think I'll be doing anything, even something as easy as typing, a while. I hurt!

Monday, August 06, 2012

Apples to Apples

I don't know why, but I've been in the mood for a beer recently. The problem is, I just don't like beer. So I've settled for hard cider.

Cider is actually closer to being a wine, than a beer. It's made by pressing apples instead of grapes, but the yeast and fermentation is similar to the wine-making process. It's referred to as cider, by the way, in most countries. During prohibition Americans started making a non-alcoholic version of cider that became popular. The term "hard" was added to distinguish the non-alcoholic from the alcoholic variety. (I thought that was an interesting piece of trivia.)

My cider of choice is Angry Orchid, but I thought that might be because the grocery store carries that brand. So when I had the chance to go to the Wine Store, I picked up something different. It's Spire Mountain Draft Cider, made in Washington. It has a really great aroma, very applish with a light lemon. I could sniff it all night. The taste is slightly sweet and a bit tannic. (Do you use tannic to describe cider? Or should I just say that it has a little sour aftertaste.) It's easy to drink, and I find that I finish the bottle very quickly. I probably won't buy this brand again, though.

Maybe I should try to make my own hard cider.

Friday, August 03, 2012

A little fiber bling

I've gotten a reputation at work for never throwing out anything that can be reused or remade into something useful. It comes from my years at the ADT, where I was expected to come up with fun crafts and projects at very little cost. It's hard to stop looking at everything from the "save a penny" viewpoint, even though I'm in a much more affluent environment
So I get teased a lot by my volunteers. Today was a good example of that. We were working on mailing out the monthly newsletters, and managed to use up two rolls of closure stickers. Grace* held up empty cardboard tubes from the packages and asked me if I was going to paint them and turn them into bracelets. I gathered up all my dignity, and assured her that I had no intention of making them into painted bracelets.

Silly girl.

I took the tubes home, got out some of my hand spun yarn, and turned them into pretty fiber bracelets.

*I've come to realize that it's inevitable that I talk about my volunteers, since they play such a big role in my everyday work life. In order to preserve at least a little bit of their privacy, I've decided to give blog names to my everyday volunteers. (I'll have to wing it with the once-a-month volunteers, since there really are too many for me to keep track of.) I considered using Vol#1, Vol#2, etc but I couldn't decide who was my #1 volunteer. So I'm going with Faith, Hope, Charity, and Grace.

Thursday, August 02, 2012

I love getting mail!

I only have 1 1/2 skeins left to knit on the cabled shawl!
Today turned out to be a very nice day. I've been struggling at work, between the lack of sleep (that's left me unable to focus and without any patience) and the diverse and unrealistic expectations that occur when you are working for a committee rather than a single boss. I could function despite the lack of sleep if I had only one person to answer to, since I wouldn't have to translate which "top priority" was actually a "top priority" and not simply a whim brought on by a random conversation in the grocery store. Similarly, if I could just get a good night's sleep, I would probably find the random instructions amusing rather than insulting. So far I've managed to keep in mind that this all shall pass, and rainbows will appear and butterflies will once again poop on my head. (I know that didn't really make sense, but I'm living on 2 hours of sleep a night.)

Anyway, despite my grumpy impatience, today turned out to be a very nice day. I received TWO thank you notes in the mail. Family members of two (of the three) memorial services I helped plan this month wrote to let me know that they appreciated my help. Both notes were very flattering, and sweet, and made me cry. One note (from the young boy's aunt and uncle) included gift cards for a night out -- totally unnecessary on their part, and unexpected, but greatly appreciated. What I really liked, though, was that I did my job well enough to have made a difference. When I worked at the ADT, I knew I was making a difference in people's lives. It's nice that even as just a church secretary, I can still do that.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Desperately in need of a fiber intervention

I sorted out my Works In Progress, and there are more than I realized. A lot more! I obviously have KADD (knitter's attention deficit disorder) with OS tendencies (obsessive startitis). Here is a list* of the projects I sorted out:
  1. Cabled cotton shawl - this is what I'm actively working on, and that I carry in my pocketbook
  2. Pink & gray baby sweater - only needs the buttons sewn on/baby has already outgrown it!
  3. Plarn doormats
  4. Earth colorway lace shawl with beads - not started yet
  5. Striped toy- need this for Christmas
  6. Candy print baby sweater - not started yet
  7. Monster pants - this is a promised gift that hasn't been started yet
  8. Ryan's arm warmers - he's already finished his tour of duty, sigh
  9. Silver potato chip scarf
  10. Black socks - not started yet
  11. Prayer shawl
  12. Animal hat - not started yet/need it for Christmas
  13. Wheat wool hat - not started yet/need it for Christmas
  14. Sheep sweater - just needs to been seamed and button band knit
  15. 12x12 square - not started and the deadline is approaching quickly!
  16. Pink chemo cap - not started yet
  17. Rose chemo cap - not started yet
  18. Skype socks in Jojo - not started yet
  19. Modea baby hat
  20. Woven towel sets - just need to be hemmed & 1 dishcloth knit
  21. Christmas towel sets - not started yet, but obviously needed for Christmas
  22. Cari's yarn to be untangled
  23. grey baby bib - only needs the button and patches sewn on
  24. girly baby bib  - only needs a button
  25. lime shawlette - needs to be blocked
  26. blue shawlette - needs to be blocked
Some of the projects aren't exactly WIPs, since I haven't started them yet. But since they've been promised or are needed as gifts and I have already have the yarn and patterns, I should count them as projects to do before I can go out and find new knitting.

I'm going to need help. Please don't show me your wonderful project, or the yarn that you bought - I'm too easily tempted. It would also help if everyone refrained from getting pregnant, cancer, or engaged until I get caught up. Thank you.

*The list only includes the projects I've sorted out so far. There are two more Rubbermaid tubs that I've decided to ignore until this group is finished. And it doesn't take into account any of the Spinning In Progress projects. Yes, it's definitely KADD with strong OS tendencies.