Monthly Archives: January 2007

Thar she reads – 2006

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The annual wrap-up for my reads during the last year. All books were finished in the month they are listed.

January

1. Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norell by Susanna Clarke
2. Devil in the White City by Erik Larson

February

3. The Code of the Woosters by P.G. Wodehouse

March

4. Random Family by Adrian LeBlanc
5. Yarn Harlot: the secret life of a knitter by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee
6. The Club Dumas by Arturo Perez-Reverte
7. Assassination Vacation by Sarah Vowell

April

8. Dewey Decimated by Charles A. Goodrum
9. What’s a girl gotta do? by Sparkle Hayter
10. Watermelon: a novel by Marian Keyes
11. Freakonomics by Steven Levitt
12. Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez **

May

13. Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood **
14. Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
15. A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore
16. Little Children by Tom Perrotta

June

17. Heat by Bill Buford
18. I Know This Much is True by Wally Lamb **
19. The Eight by Katherine Neville

July

20. A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson
21. Eventide by Kent Haruf
22. The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver
23. Garlic and Sapphires by Ruth Reichl **

August

24. Twelve Sharp by Janet Evanovich
25. The Grave Maurice by Martha Grimes
26. Bel Canto by Ann Patchett **
27. The Dante Club by Matthew Pearl

September

28. Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom **

29. The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion
30. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by David EggersOctober

October

31. My Life in France by Julia Child

November

32. In a Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson
33. The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova

December

34. Hogfather by Terry Pratchett **

The total number of books read is somewhat on par with last year’s accomplishment – 33 books. In 2006 I finished 34 (you can see all of them as a group here), this calculates to about 2.75 books/month. I am a bit surprised that I didn’t plow through more as I always have an audio book going. However, I also read a crap load of pregger’s books that I did not keep track of. So, in reality I have upped the ante a bit. I also have made a habit of not counting knitting books as “reads”. There were many of them digested in 2006.

I read a bunch of 1/2 books. Books that I read half of and just could not keep it up. Bee Season was one of these, Some Lie and Some Die another. My approach to reading is pretty organic. I cannot work off of a list, if I am not into a book I just can’t read it. No ifs ands buts about it. Sometimes there are great books that I just never get off the ground. Other times they are not great and I will never tackle them again. Either way I have taught myself not to feel bad about it. For surely, it is not my responsibility to allow every book into my head!

Of those listed above the titles I would call “Highlights” are:

Random Family by Adrian LeBlanc

Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood

A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore (audiobook)

Eventide by Kent Haruf

The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver

The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion

The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova

Happy Reading in 2007

** = books read for bookclub. If there isn’t a title for a month than it means I hated it and didn’t read it. ;)

Trudy does Tiajuana

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We received the following message* from Chad, the proud recipient of Trudy the Tetrahymena.

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Chad went on to give us a science lesson..

“Did I ever tell you the history behind the name “Tetrahymena.” They have a mouth with four membrane lips or “hymens”. Perverts. Actually I started to explain that once during a talk ….not thinking of the connections to the female anatomy….the place was roaring and I was really red in the face.”

I love Chad and I am so glad he is married to my BFF. He is the coolest ever.

* The original message came via text in an email message. In my quest to win the “Who is a bigger nerd: Chad or Wendy” contest I put it in the format you see here. Complete with a stamp from Mexico! If I had more time I would have added Trudy to the postcard. Sitting in the beach chair with a boat drink. I rock.

The Naming

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Robby gave me a very sweet Christmas Present this year. A charm bracelet with a bootie charm. The bootie has the babe’s initials etched on the bottom.

When we began talking about names we decided that we were going to keep the name to ourselves until after the baby is born. There are a few reasons for this.

First, while we are pretty sure that the name we have chosen will be the name of the baby we want to wait until we actually meet her to be extra special sure the name suits her. (Incidentally, when Rob gave me the bracelet I questioned how we could change the name if we needed to. He said we could just get another charm made with different initials! He’s a smart one, that Rob.)

Second, knowing the sex of the baby takes a tiny bit of the excitement out of announcing the birth. So, keeping the name a secret gives a bit of suspense to the whole thing. This applies mostly to us, we get a kick out of having a secret. Secrets are fun.

All of the guesses that have come our way recently sparked an idea.

We are going to hold a contest on this here blog!

This is how it works:

1 – You can enter by leaving a comment on this post (or any other post) with your idea of what the first and middle name may be.

2 – You can enter as many times as you like until the birth of the baby. This could be anytime between now and the first week of March! YOU MUST LEAVE A COMMENT TO ENTER.

3 – We will NOT tell you or anyone else if you have the right answer.

4 – After the Lil’ Bookish is born we will announce the winner (or winners). There will be a prize for the person that gets the FULL name right (first and middle) and a prize for the Most Creative Entry.

5 – The prizes are TBD…they will likely be yarny in nature.

Ready for your hint? Here are the initials…

361086724_063263e270S.C.R. (the R stands for the last name, please don’t try to guess that…we have to have some level of privacy ;)

Smarty, the dummy, steps in

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(Yarnpants t-shirt available here. The chances of me fitting into this thing right now are slim as a jim. Smarty saves the day!)

-~-

Tonight Stitchy McYarnpants will enter into the museum of her people – The Museum of Bad Art.

There she will talk, show us squeaky (like nails on a chalk board) acrylic garments, and pull out the scariest clowns this side of the Mississippi.

I’ll be the one hiding in the corner….simultaneously cheering my girl on while cursing her and her ingrate clowns.

Hope to see you there!

Git me some Learnin’

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I am a visual learner. I CAN learn from a book, but it’s hit or miss and largely dependent on the kind of book (or website). I do best with diagrams unless I have a firm grasp of the language of the craft. Many of you learned to knit from a book. There is absolutely no frigging way I could have done this. I admire those who can, because there are fewer hurdles in your quest for knowledge. I learned from a teacher (a great teacher) in a formal classroom atmosphere. It was one of the best things that I have done for myself.

I have been craving knitting knowledge lately and thinking that a workshop or a class might do me some good. I really want to develop my skills, learn new techniques and tricks, and be challenged but also be given the tools to tackle that challenge. Because without the tools I’d just get frustrated.

Take, for example, cabling without a cable needle. I have read multiple tutorials on how to do it as well as watched videos and peaked at detailed illustrations on the web. I just didn’t like it or wasn’t doing it right or just found it frustrating. So, I kept on keeping on with my cable needle. Not a bad way to do things, for sure.

You may know by now that the television show Knitty Gritty has moved to HGTV, a channel that we get. Knitty Gritty and DVR combine to make a powerful knitting force. I can fast forward through the fun fur, teenie boppers, fake laughing, and other irritating aspects of the show and distill it down to bits of incredibly useful information. Ms. Annie Modesitt was on a few weeks/months ago (episode 210, first aired Spring 2005) and during her time on the camera she showed how to cable without a cable needle and – I got it! Instantly. Soon after I found myself in the car on our way to my parent’s house in Upstate NY for Christmas. I was making mittens for my mom and wanted to set a cable down the middle of the back of the mitten. Alas, I was unarmed with the traditional cable needle but I found I didn’t need it. I had instant recall of Annie’s technique and I was able to flawlessly execute it to a successful mitten finish. No hurdle, no frustration.

As a result I am on a quest for knitting knowledge. A google search didn’t really yield any opportunities. My LYS has a few but none that I am really interested in taking. I am in the process of searching through the archives of a few local listservs. In the meantime – how have you all found workshops, classes, or other non-traditional learning opportunities? I know wool festivals are great places for these types of things….but spring is a long way off and with the new babe I am not sure when or where I’ll be able to travel!

Maybe I should just take this class at my local community center – I sure don’t know how to pearl! ;)

353976640_c39693c651

Git me some Learnin’

by ,

I am a visual learner. I CAN learn from a book, but it’s hit or miss and largely dependent on the kind of book (or website). I do best with diagrams unless I have a firm grasp of the language of the craft. Many of you learned to knit from a book. There is absolutely no frigging way I could have done this. I admire those who can, because there are fewer hurdles in your quest for knowledge. I learned from a teacher (a great teacher) in a formal classroom atmosphere. It was one of the best things that I have done for myself.

I have been craving knitting knowledge lately and thinking that a workshop or a class might do me some good. I really want to develop my skills, learn new techniques and tricks, and be challenged but also be given the tools to tackle that challenge. Because without the tools I’d just get frustrated.

Take, for example, cabling without a cable needle. I have read multiple tutorials on how to do it as well as watched videos and peaked at detailed illustrations on the web. I just didn’t like it or wasn’t doing it right or just found it frustrating. So, I kept on keeping on with my cable needle. Not a bad way to do things, for sure.

You may know by now that the television show Knitty Gritty has moved to HGTV, a channel that we get. Knitty Gritty and DVR combine to make a powerful knitting force. I can fast forward through the fun fur, teenie boppers, fake laughing, and other irritating aspects of the show and distill it down to bits of incredibly useful information. Ms. Annie Modesitt was on a few weeks/months ago (episode 210, first aired Spring 2005) and during her time on the camera she showed how to cable without a cable needle and – I got it! Instantly. Soon after I found myself in the car on our way to my parent’s house in Upstate NY for Christmas. I was making mittens for my mom and wanted to set a cable down the middle of the back of the mitten. Alas, I was unarmed with the traditional cable needle but I found I didn’t need it. I had instant recall of Annie’s technique and I was able to flawlessly execute it to a successful mitten finish. No hurdle, no frustration.

As a result I am on a quest for knitting knowledge. A google search didn’t really yield any opportunities. My LYS has a few but none that I am really interested in taking. I am in the process of searching through the archives of a few local listservs. In the meantime – how have you all found workshops, classes, or other non-traditional learning opportunities? I know wool festivals are great places for these types of things….but spring is a long way off and with the new babe I am not sure when or where I’ll be able to travel!

Maybe I should just take this class at my local community center – I sure don’t know how to pearl! 😉

353976640_c39693c651

The cleanest belly button in all the land.

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Thank you all for the lovely compliments on my belly and button. Many asked where I am now if I was THAT big then (the picture was taken in early November). To put it mildly – I am huge. I’m up 30 lbs and am measuring a week bigger than the baby’s gestational age. I am carrying low and my midwife tells me that she in hanging out in my uterus as if it was a hammock. All limbs all the time. She is a maniac.

None of this is wildly off the charts. However, coming from a girl with no hips and no ass it is quite a bit to get used to. And the boobs. Well, as you all know I could go on and on about the boobs. I have one letter for you – F – and we’ll leave it at that. My male cousins and guy friends (who are in the majority) got a big kick out of the boobs (and the industrial bra clasp) during our recent trip home. My aunt told a story of a friend of the family who, upon learning about this particular “perk” of his wife’s pregnancy, demanded to know if he could keep them; as in, after the baby came. They really are a marvel and I’m just happy to share some joy with those who get a kick out of that sort of thing. Because really, if I didn’t, I’d probably cry.

The state of the belly button is another item that is a curiosity. I have an, in my opinion, abnormally cavernous belly button. I thought at first that I would definitely pop and have an outtie. In fact, I was looking forward it. When else are you going to have an opportunity to rid your body of the third grade belly button gunk that is just soooo far down there a spelunker would have a hard time reaching it? Alas, I’m not sure an outie is in my future. However, we can see the origin of the belly button and I am proud to say it is the cleanest it ever has been in my entire life. Sweet little belly button.

In other news – the impending due date – 48 days away is now referred to as the Great Motivator. Have a pile of garbage in the basement to recycle/toss/donate? Get pregnant the urge to GET RID OF IT RIGHT NOW will cause it to disappear. Have your radiator’s been clicking and clacking waiting for someone to change their valves so that they may heat without voice? Get pregnant and the thought of the clacking disturbing your PRECIOUS SLEEP will motivate you right to the hardware store. We have a list people and we’re not afraid to use it.

Out of sweet little bellies and buttons come sweet babies. ‘Member this sweater…

Well, I came across this picture the other day. (does anyone else have a box labeled “2006” with every piece of paper in it that you did not have a place for when it entered your house? This box consumed an entire evening this week. Sorting, shredding, filing. Oh the paper. The up side is that I found stuff like this picture; the downside is that I now am able to estimate our taxes for the year. Blech.)

346849101_3988b0ec34

The sweater put to good use…Daisy loves it and so does her momma – hurray!

The cleanest belly button in all the land.

by ,

Thank you all for the lovely compliments on my belly and button. Many asked where I am now if I was THAT big then (the picture was taken in early November). To put it mildly – I am huge. I’m up 30 lbs and am measuring a week bigger than the baby’s gestational age. I am carrying low and my midwife tells me that she in hanging out in my uterus as if it was a hammock. All limbs all the time. She is a maniac.

None of this is wildly off the charts. However, coming from a girl with no hips and no ass it is quite a bit to get used to. And the boobs. Well, as you all know I could go on and on about the boobs. I have one letter for you – F – and we’ll leave it at that. My male cousins and guy friends (who are in the majority) got a big kick out of the boobs (and the industrial bra clasp) during our recent trip home. My aunt told a story of a friend of the family who, upon learning about this particular “perk” of his wife’s pregnancy, demanded to know if he could keep them; as in, after the baby came. They really are a marvel and I’m just happy to share some joy with those who get a kick out of that sort of thing. Because really, if I didn’t, I’d probably cry.

The state of the belly button is another item that is a curiosity. I have an, in my opinion, abnormally cavernous belly button. I thought at first that I would definitely pop and have an outtie. In fact, I was looking forward it. When else are you going to have an opportunity to rid your body of the third grade belly button gunk that is just soooo far down there a spelunker would have a hard time reaching it? Alas, I’m not sure an outie is in my future. However, we can see the origin of the belly button and I am proud to say it is the cleanest it ever has been in my entire life. Sweet little belly button.

In other news – the impending due date – 48 days away is now referred to as the Great Motivator. Have a pile of garbage in the basement to recycle/toss/donate? Get pregnant the urge to GET RID OF IT RIGHT NOW will cause it to disappear. Have your radiator’s been clicking and clacking waiting for someone to change their valves so that they may heat without voice? Get pregnant and the thought of the clacking disturbing your PRECIOUS SLEEP will motivate you right to the hardware store. We have a list people and we’re not afraid to use it.

Out of sweet little bellies and buttons come sweet babies. ‘Member this sweater

Well, I came across this picture the other day. (does anyone else have a box labeled “2006” with every piece of paper in it that you did not have a place for when it entered your house? This box consumed an entire evening this week. Sorting, shredding, filing. Oh the paper. The up side is that I found stuff like this picture; the downside is that I now am able to estimate our taxes for the year. Blech.)

346849101_3988b0ec34

The sweater put to good use…Daisy loves it and so does her momma – hurray!

341384775_4a4411b83e