Friday, January 29, 2010

Book Review: The Green Book

I don't usually find myself reading kid fiction, but at my child's insistence (and he was extremely persistent) I found myself reading The Green Book by Jill Paton Walsh. My son loved it and it has a very fun twist at the end. If your child is at all into mystery or science fiction books, this is a quick read along those line. Fun, futuristic and fair.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Proof of Pregnancy (2)

It’s official, I’ve lost my mind. I can’t remember anything. I misplace things as soon as they leave my sight. I think I’ve done things I haven’t and redo things I’ve already done. I had my loved ones turning the house upside down yesterday for a parking pass I had already put in my bag. It was still there. I’ve been looking for my iPod for 4 days. I found it yesterday in the bag I thought I’d put it in all along. (the same bag – I found the iPod while searching for the parking pass) I can’t tell you how many times I’d looked in there without seeing it.

And then there’s the van. It just stopped running the other day. I thought maybe it was because I hadn’t put oil in it for a while. But then it seemed like maybe the fuel pump was acting up. Then after the shop had seen the van for several days, they called to say the ethanol content of the gas was way off and it has really gummed up the works. Yes. That means I filled up with E-85 the last time. I don’t have an E-85 vehicle. This is a problem.

There is no word yet on when or if the van can be fixed. God help me get through this pregnancy. I’m sure this is how Hayes feels all the time. Poor thing.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

First Baby Knits

I have been trying to decide which baby project to knit up first. I don't understand why it's taking me so long to decide, but for some reason, it seems like a monumental decision. (For the record, I told myself I was not going to put mommy-pressure on myself this time. Right.) I mean, whatever I choose can't exactly be gender specific at this point, and I will be giving birth toward the end of summer, so a girl needs to carefully consider these things.

I finally settled on the Saartje's bootees. A fabulous knitting friend of mine ran across this pattern and forwarded it to me. The moment I saw these adorable little shoes I knew I'd be making more than one pair. They will be terrific for early fall and these colors are really fun. And grandmom's vintage buttons are the perfect touch! I see many of these little lovelies in the future.

And for the record, I've started a little hat to match. I love using up my scrap yarn of cute little projects!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Proof of Pregnancy

As many of you know, our family is expecting a new little person round about September. I have been asked many times how I am feeling. And truly I am feeling better than I expected. (I almost hate to admit it, because my Karma is just that sensitive.) I have the occasional wave of nausea, but beyond that and a little sleepiness, I feel like my same old self.

That is, until the woman behind the counter at Archivers (a giant scrapbooking store in town, that holds two crops each weekend) decided she was French and would not, by any means, help me. I give you a copy of an e-mail recently sent to some friends (who I dearly hope to see):

Hello Loves,

I am planning to be at Archivers on Friday, but due to their SEVERE LACK of customer service, I could not register without a credit card (and since my debit card number was stolen and subsequently destroyed, and I only have an AmEx, I don't have said card). NEVER MIND that I have been there 25 times before and never once have I canceled, and no matter how many times I cross my heart and promise to pay, they will NOT put my name in the sacred book. (I could go on, but you get the idea.) So I will just have to take my chances that there will be a seat left for me when I get there. (To which the girl on the phone said, "I'm so sorry." As if there was NOTHING she could do.) And that won't be before 5, as RJH is flying in that day. (Cross your fingers that there are no delays because at that point I may kill someone.) All that to say, I plan to be there on Friday, but the universe may conspire against me. We shall see.... (I may be just a little hormonal.)

Amy H

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Vintage Children's Book: Need Help

I remember a book I had growing up which had directions for all sorts of things we could do with boxes and tubes that might otherwise be thrown away. I specifically remember directions for an alligator made from a toothpaste box. Does anyone else out there remember this book? I've tried a quick google search to no avail. I'd love to rediscover it if it's still out there somewhere. Perhaps it was titled "What Can I Do With A Box"? Although my memory is not very helpful on this.

Friday, January 15, 2010

The Delicate Nature Of Tea

I am a huge fan of tea. I can't stress this enough. I love tea. Yeah, I'll have coffee if there are no good tea options - for me, Starbucks is still that place (that's an entirely different post). But I'm kinda snobby about my tea. And one of my absolute, drop-dead rules is: my travel mugs and thermos are only for tea. No exceptions! There is nothing worse than preparing a beautiful mug of tea only to bring it to your lips and inhale a coffee/tea mixture. Gross. I only put tea in my travel mugs and my thermos. Period.

You can imagine my surprise, and disgust, at realizing that somehow this sacred rule has been broken. I had my tea all ready in my thermos for a long day on campus. It's a comfort to me, especially as the winter days around here have been rather brutal. As soon as I poured the first cup I knew I was in trouble. My tea was coffee flavored.

"Undone" may not accurately describe how I was feeling at the time. But all praise be to the internet. A quick google search revealed many tricks to cleanse an impure thermos. And I am giddy to report, all I needed was an eighth of a cup of baking soda and some hot water. I combined this concoction and left the thermos to soak for 30 minutes. That's all. No scrubbing, no residue. I rinsed it out and, voila! Today my tea tastes like tea!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Kindle Konundrum

I've been watching the advent of these electronic readers closely. And apparently I am not alone. CBS Sunday Morning just had an article about them this week. They claim that the book is sure to go digital. I'm an avid reader, and I love books. Perhaps, too much. Or perhaps I'm too much of a luddite at heart, because I am having trouble seeing the benefit of something like the Kindle for someone like me. I can't imagine giving up my shelves and shelves of books. How would I use one of these readers? Why would I want one? Is it really better than holding a hardback book in your hands and feeling the weight of the words on the paper? I'm just not sure.

If I were in a profession which needed me to call upon a range of books at one time, I could see the benefit of an electronic reader. I could also see the potential benefit of a student not needing to carry 50-pounds of books to class, or from library carrel to library carrel. But I fit neither category. I'm a mom and a housewife and an artist.

I do love my audio books and feel they fit into my lifestyle beautifully. I'm finally able to read and knit, or paint, or sew at the same time. But an e-reader? I'm just not sure....

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Le Parisien Publecite

This is a series of Parisian ads that ran in Paris. The tag line is, "Better To Read One Than To Meet One." I love them!

Friday, January 08, 2010

New Job

I'm getting excited to start a new part-time job on Monday. I'll be a note-taker at a local college for students with disabilities. I just happened upon it, but I think it's the right fit. (Ask me again in March and see if my story is the same!) So I'm anticipating a little less blogging in the near future as I try to wrap my mind (and my schedule) around this new gig. I'll let you know how it goes.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow

We are getting a real winter snow storm around here today and I have to say, I'm glad! I know it messes everything up, and if this happens next week, when I become a working girl, I won't be so happy about it all. But for me, THIS is winter! And it's been a while since we've seen this amount of snow. We are expected to get up to 5" throughout the day, and I hope they are right. I snapped this photo about 15 minutes ago. I'm hoping for some sledding, snow-angel-making, snowman-building, winter time. I know my little man is right there with me.

As for the girls, they've adopted a new space.

Apparently the bed in front of the fire wasn't close enough! Poor little short haired pups. And just so the record is straight - they have both taken their turn on the hearth. You can't blame them!

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Getting Organized

I am all about the organization around here. I love to have just the right system for everything. I have been overwhelmed lately by my wool/fiber stash, but with the Christmas crush to get all manner of gifts knit, I just didn't have the time to address the sorry situation growing in my studio.

But now it's the new year, and what better time than that to get my sh*t together? I found this old shoe organizer collecting dust in a closet and suddenly knew exactly what needed to happen. I combined it with this old TV stand (I am apparently destined to have one in my studio) so that the yarn is a little higher than dog-level. (Let's be honest, if they wanted to get into it, there'd be no problem whatsoever. But I'm hoping that having raised it this much, I can at least keep it from being on their eye-level, and ever so tempting.)

And I was able to clear enough space in my wicker trunk that all -- let me say, ALL -- my yarn is now in one place. And it looks pretty to boot! It's so inspiring. Now, if I could just finish that blanket . . . and pair of socks . . . and tunic . . . . I could start using up this gorgeous stash.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Back To The Grind

Well, it's time to get back to the pace of real life. The holidays are all over around here and school has started for the boy today. And yet, there are still these sorts of stories that make Monday just a little bit better. You gotta love it! (My thanks to for this one.)

Friday, January 01, 2010

James Taylor Rings In The New Year

Happy New Year All! I love this song. It's exactly how the new year makes me feel. And that James Taylor sings it? Perfect. Enjoy. And my your 2010 bring all the best to you this year.