Tuesday, January 15, 2013

If only I had a yard!

It's a garden gnome and a frog just chillin' out in the Florida sun. This has got to be the greatest, tackiest, yard ornament ever. I really want it.

My neighbors must be so glad that we don't have any personal yard areas. With the way I love anything   terribly kitschy, they'd have to form an HOA for sure!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Me, and the dead spider?

Congratulate me. This afternoon I finally mastered the split ring. (And shortly after that I mastered the skill of taking a photo one-handed while the other hand is tied up like a dead spider.) 

 In tatting, using a split ring lets you move the threads from one side of the ring to the other. For instance, in the daisy pattern I'm working on, the first seven rings are worked from inside the circle.The threads have to be moved to the outside of the circle on the last ring in order to attach the next daisy motif. For an experienced tatter, making a split ring is probably no big deal. But mastering this skill moves a beginner like myself  up to a whole new level. It's like a new knitter mastering cables or learning to follow a lace chart.

Recently I've finished a couple of tatted bracelets. The first one was very simple and delicate. The second bracelet was adapted from a bookmark pattern. 


Sunday, January 13, 2013

Bible Challenge

My church is taking part in the Bible Challenge. The goal is to read the entire Bible in one year. This means reading three chapters of the old testament, one psalm, and one chapter of the new testament every day. (There isn't any assigned reading on Sunday, since you get to hear the Word in church.)

As a child, I attended a Baptist church. I remember doing a lot of "Bible drills," where we would have races to see who could be the first to find a given Bible verse. I was pretty good - I won two Bibles! I also memorized a lot of verses.

In high school, my English class read the book of Job one year. (I've always wondered - was Job required reading back then, or was it particular to my advanced English class?)

As an adult, every once in a while I would make noises about wanting to read the Bible. But I've always read only what was necessary for church, or to teach my Sunday School lesson. So I've taken up the challenge. Actually, I started October 17th. I'm using the New International Version, rather than King James, because it's so much easier to read.

I've been surprised at how much reading the Bible has given me to think about. The old testament, at least Genesis, is filled with a lot of polygamy and slavery and sex. How did I miss that before? Abraham lies and says that his wife is his sister, so she is given to the king as his harem slave. Later, he has a child by her slave -- it's a regular soap opera! The more I read, though, the more layers I'm finding. I'm questioning things I was sure about, but I'm becoming surer in my faith.

  • Genesis (OT) - lots of geneology, that I tended to skip over quickly. Noah's story surprised me, so did the story of Sodom and Gomorrah. Parts of this book left me questioning my view of God (Tower of Babel, for instance). But by the time I got to Jacob's story, I found myself reading ahead!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

What's the story behind your name?

If I see hear more public-service ad, asking for help for the devastation Sandy caused, I think I will scream. Please, add "Hurricane" in the sentence.

Seriously, I've been thinking about my name a lot today. Recently I've heard several introductions where the person was asked about their name. "That's an interesting name. Why did your parents name you that?" or "There's got to be a story, with a name like that." In one case it was, "Were your parents hippies or something?" which came across a bit negative. But still, no one has ever asked me for the story behind my name. And I have a good story.  I really like the story of my name. So even though no one has asked, I'm going to tell it.

My mom grew up in a tiny little seaside town in New Jersey. As a child, and especially as teen, she spent a lot of her time at the beach. If you've ever seen the old beach movies with Frankie and Annette, you can imagine what it was like. Then she met my father (on the beach, naturally), and they were married. He was in the Air Force, so they ended up stationed on a base in the middle of Maine. Snowy, far-from-home, no-beach-in-sight, Maine. And of course I was born in the middle of winter. Homesick for her family and friends, Mom decided to name me after her beloved beach. I suppose I should be glad that she chose Sandy instead of Boardwalk.

See, I told you that I had a good story. I've even managed to include just enough facts to make it seem like it might be true!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Why did the duck cross the road?

There's a section of our parking lot that is single lane (divided each direction) with no room to pass. It's not a big deal, except if you're late for work and get stuck behind the duck. Especially if it's the duck with an attitude. Honking just earns you a glare from the bird. Yelling "Duck! Duck! Duck!" out the window earns you a glare from the neighbors. (And I really was just yelling "duck!")

Normal ducks  would try to get out of the way of a heavy, noisy car with a cranky, late-for-work driver. Those sensible ducks would realize that walking down the middle of the drive with the car inching closer and closer is not a good idea, and they would hurry to get out of the road.

Our duck, however, reacted by going even slower and slower as he walked down the entire length of the drive.

So why did the duck (finally) cross the road?
To get in the way of another driver, coming up the drive!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

My baby is 19!

My youngest child just turned 19. As a reminder that she will always be my baby, I gave her a stuffed animal. And not just any stuffed animal. It was a knitted elephant. I made the elephant because she collects elephants, even though I think she should still be collecting cows. (There's a story behind that statement; let me know if it needs to be told. Because I'm not above embarrassing my children for a good story.)

It turns out that elephants are knit flat in lots of tiny pieces, that then have to be sewn together at the end. And all of my knitting friends know how much I hate to sew things I've already finished knitting. There is still a pair of slippers in my UFO (UnFinished Objects) pile that took me less than 2 hours to knit and more than 2 years to seam. So the fact that I actually sat down and sewed this elephant together should prove that I love my daughter. And while I won't admit to having favorites, it is a fact that she's the only child I've seamed something for. (The other two have gotten socks, hats, mittens, and other seamless objects.)

I will admit that about an hour into the seaming, I started to question her place in my affections, motherhood in general, and even my sanity. Sigh. I really hate to seam.

But it was worth it. The elephant is adorable -- almost as cute as my daughter!

Sniff, giggle, cough

Even when I'm feeling totally miserable with a horrible cold (I hate winter!), the orange key to the Volunteer room makes me giggle. And the reaction of my volunteers, who have no idea why I'm so tickled, makes me grin even more!

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

It was one of those perfect English autumnal days which occur more frequently in memory than in life. (P.D. James)


I spent new year's day with my mom, and one of the things that we did (along with all the talking, laughing, eating, and knitting) was to take a stroll along River Walk on the St. Lucie River. It was the perfect day for a walk on the boardwalk. The cold front has moved on, leaving just enough brisk in the air to make it comfortable to be outside without forcing us warm-blooded Floridians into our heavy sweaters.

A pleasant side-effect of the recent cold front was our discovery of fall foliage. We don't often get to see the leaves turn pretty colors - they are usually either green, or brown and on the ground. As a result, we tend to romanticize the fall colors. Some of my best memories are riding with my grandmother into northern Jersey to see the leaves. But while I'm sure that the leaves were well-worth the long car ride, I also know that my grandmother would use any excuse to go exploring. As an adult, seeing the mountains of Kentucky turn colors in the fall was rivaled in beauty only by watching them brighten back up with flowers and greens in the spring. While I don't miss the winters (especially after the past several days of adding wool socks and heavy sweaters to my early morning/evening wear), I wouldn't mind taking a long car ride to see the trees dressed in reds and oranges -- and then stopping for some hot spiced apple cider at a roadside stand.

Anyway, mom and I were overly excited yesterday afternoon to see a couple of trees sporting colorful leaves.

Just for the record -- although the leaves were beautiful and we had a nice discussion regarding our shared fall memories, I see no need for Mother Nature to take the matter any further by bringing us winter weather. I am quite content to simply talk about snow, without any snowflake prompts.

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Happy New Year!

It's been a wonderful celebration, of both last year (2012) and the possibilities of this new year. I think my countdown was extremely appropriate:

I went from from Kenmore County

to Margaritaville.
So let's toast 2013 -- may it be happy, healthy, and filled with love for all my family and friends!