Saturday, December 31, 2011


Happy New Year's everyone!

I looked back at this year.  On the blog front I sort of dropped off the planet in mid-October.  I only posted 156 days - my lowest since starting the blog (and the year I started I began in May)

My post from last New Year's Eve:

I'm already looking ahead to 2011.  I am going to try to do the 52 again.  Harder than that I currently have 12 projects on Ravelry that are either WIPs or UFOs (Works In Progres or UnFinished Objects) I don't consider stuff I've worked on recently as a WIP - it doesn't hit that status in my mind until its been out of sight for two or more months.  To become a UFO  it has to have been a WIP for a year or more.  A few of the UFOs were cast on in 2006 ( a year before I joined Ravelry) I guess 2006 is the year I became a knitter - I taught myself to knit in 2003.  But I started out only struggling through one project at a time.  I'd finish something, then pick a pattern, go out buy the yarn (back then it was Michael's. Ragshop and AC Moore- I had yet to discover LYSs or online yarn) most of the time I also had to buy the needles too. In 2006, I started working on multiple projects, and creating my first WIPs and UFOs.  So, 12 on Ravelry, 2 not on Ravelry, I am going to aim for finishing or frogging (frogging is unraveling and giving up on a project, saving the yarn for another project)  one of these a month during 2011.  Some are almost done some barely started, so one a month is the average I'm aiming for.

 To recap that - I did 46 individual projects this year - 6 short of the 52 I was aiming for.  I did start making hexi-flats for the Beekeepers Quilt , and I have over 100 flats now - But I need over 1000 to do what I want, so they didn't count toward my projects.

One note on those projects - Thanks to NerdWars on Ravelry ( a knit/crochet team competition) which has a "Giving geeks" category each round -  I have made and donated 8 knit/crochet projects to various charitable causes and also 4 ownerless projects.

As far as the WIPs and UFOs  go I frogged one of the projects not on ravelry and finished 3 of the one's not on Ravelry.

One Goal well reached was reading 24 books in 2011, I read 25 and 3 partials.
But tonight is New Year's Eve.  Time to look at and forget all the fall shorts of 2011 - bloggable and not.

I hope you all enjoy a safe and happy New Year's Eve and have a Happy, healthy, prosperous New Year!

We celebrate as always - Appy feast & board games!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Sensational Haiku Wednesday
Sensational Haiku Wednesday

Welcome to “Sensational Haiku Wednesday!”

Click here for info and background on this weekly event!
The basics:
Haiku is simple! It is 3 non-rhyming lines of 5, 7, and 5 syllables respectively (a great way to use your fingers!)

This week’s theme is: Debonnaire

Louis and Leslie

Dapper Maurice steals the show!

Gigi in Paris.



Monday, October 17, 2011

RIP Dan Weldon

Our thoughts and prayers to you wife, sons and family and friends.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Swap Goodies!!

I was in a swap on my friend Grace's blog.  My box is going out to be mailed tomorrow. (Grace's post office closes at 730 - mine at 4 - what's up with that?) So since my swap was done I opened my box from Kathy B.


A handknit cloth, the only brand of instant coffee I drink, a haiku, a lolly, 4 skeins of the Calypso yarn, a hank of ultra alpaca with a matching button! And the pattern for the Great Adirondack Scarf.

Thank you soo much Kathy B! I love it!! And thank you Gracie for running the swap!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Sensational Haiku Wednesday
Sensational Haiku Wednesday

Welcome to “Sensational Haiku Wednesday!”

Click here for info and background on this weekly event!
The basics:
Haiku is simple! It is 3 non-rhyming lines of 5, 7, and 5 syllables respectively (a great way to use your fingers!)

This week’s theme is: Rare

More precious than gems

Harder to pick than lotto

True friends are priceless.


you understand me?

know my foibles and not care?

love me anyway? 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


I got these mini skeins (bigger than the mini skeins I've been swapping) from defygravity on etsy.

There is Sesame St


And magic yarn.  It's called too many muppets... and since there can never be too many Muppets it can't exist.. but it does exist... but it can't ... but it does...


Monday, October 10, 2011

puff enabling

We were discussing hexipuffs (or in my case hexiflats) in the Go Fast Knit Left group on ravelry.  One of the other members , Beth said she wasn't going to be assimilated - but she had a scrap sock yarn if anyone wanted.  I wasn't sure if she was serious or not - but she was .  Look at what she sent me:


The 2 flats in front are already knit up from her gift ( I know I took a picture- I must have deleted it off of my phone before I uploaded it to flickr. I can't believe how generous she is!  I am sending her a package of feltable yarn scraps as she makes felted slippers.  She also sent a whole bunch of Werther caramels... I may have one or two left...

Sunday, October 9, 2011

I finished my Oscar hat!


It's for a chemo cap for  little kid.  Won't be mailing until the end of the month because I want to make a cookie monster!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Sensational Haiku Wednesday
Sensational Haiku Wednesday

Welcome to “Sensational Haiku Wednesday!”

Click here for info and background on this weekly event!
The basics:
Haiku is simple! It is 3 non-rhyming lines of 5, 7, and 5 syllables respectively (a great way to use your fingers!)

This week’s theme is: Flare/Flair*


A visionary

He knew what toys we would want

made reality.


Technology flair

A new take on work and play,

We will miss your dreams.


RIP Steve Jobs 

Saturday, October 1, 2011


I want to make a new purse.  I found these glass cow heads to use on it. But I don't know what color I want to make the bag. And I really love these, so I bought them all!

Does anyone have a suggestion for a herd of extra heads?  They are way too heavy for earrings at least for my ears.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Sensational Haiku Wednesday
Sensational Haiku Wednesday

Welcome to “Sensational Haiku Wednesday!”

Click here for info and background on this weekly event!
The basics:
Haiku is simple! It is 3 non-rhyming lines of 5, 7, and 5 syllables respectively (a great way to use your fingers!)

This week’s theme is: Dare

Go out with a bang!

 No regrets, should of/would of

check off bucket lists!


Don't let fear stop you,

Inaction worse than failure!

You know you want to!


DARE to go for it!

There are no life do-overs!

Use your life all up! 

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Lunch with Grace

Grace made me 2 hexipuffs.. with embroidery! And a 49ers punter monster( who is in surgery having a keychain attached to his head)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Sensational Haiku Wednesday
Sensational Haiku Wednesday

Welcome to “Sensational Haiku Wednesday!”

Click here for info and background on this weekly event!
The basics:
Haiku is simple! It is 3 non-rhyming lines of 5, 7, and 5 syllables respectively (a great way to use your fingers!)

This week’s theme is: Anticipation

Carpet ships today

22 hours plus 10

Be on Brauns Monday!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

I got this from my upstream swap partner KathyB

A: Age 44 3/4
B. Bedsize: king
C: chore that you hate: doing dishes - fortunately as long as I cook, Curt doesn't mind.
D: Dogs: wish I had one.  Australian Shephard, or Irish Wolfhound or Black Labradoodle.
E: Essential to start your day: I drink (if it were all DD) about 14 or 15 XL coffees a day, beginning at 245am.
F: Favorite color: Red, black, red, black red yes red
G:Gold or Silver. I'm a silver kind of girl - then again I don't like diamonds either..
H: height: 5'6 1/2"
I: instruments you play: Long, long ago, in a galaxy far, far away - ok just a long time ago I played piano, violin and glockenspiel
J: Job title : Inventory/recovery team mgr
K: Kids: the Angie
L: Live: Live hard, play harder and hope to die in your sleep
M: Mom's Name: Toyoko
N: nicknames: Ria, RiRi, Kiko, Flip
O: Overnight hospital stays: I need to be sedated at night in a hospital or I have the most psychotic panic attacks
P: Pet Peeves: Gum smackers, morons, bad drivers, lazy people
Q: Quote from a Movie: "this word________, I do not think it means what you think it means"
R: Right or left handed: Right - my left hand is there so my shirts fit and I don't walk in large unbalanced circles
S: Siblings:2
T: Take-Out food: sushi
U: Underwear: usually
V: Veggies you hate: I don't think I have one depending on how it's cooked - most often it is onions,
W: What makes you run late:  Curt - he can't grasp that i will get up and finish getting ready in time to be walking down the stairs when I say I'm leaving.  he takes me heading for the stairs as time to get his shoes, his jacket, his glasses whatever.
x: Xrays: Sigh more often than one would want
Y: Yummy food: yes
Z: Zoo Animals:cheetahs

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Sensational Haiku Wednesday
Sensational Haiku Wednesday

Welcome to “Sensational Haiku Wednesday!”

Click here for info and background on this weekly event!
The basics:
Haiku is simple! It is 3 non-rhyming lines of 5, 7, and 5 syllables respectively (a great way to use your fingers!)

This week’s theme is: Freestyle

Peter Principle

Rise to ones incompetence

Daily proof at work. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Lunch with Grace

if you've been around the blog awhile, you know about my friend Grace.  I met her on Ravelry, on the Morris County Knitters group.  There were 3-4 of us who used to meet in the afternoons, but life, illness and moving to Florida kind of broke up the group. Grace and I still meet up when we can.  Summers seem to not approve as they throw illness, injury and Angie in the way of our lunches.  So it's unofficially fall and that meant we were able to meet at the Spa, a real friendly diner like place near her house.

We had a lot to catch up on - so I did show Grace my sister's shawl, but I forgot my puffs and we were talking so much I actually didn't knit.  I like to "blame" her for my new addiction to hexi-flats (the Beekeeper's Quilt) and told her she should make me a puff or mini skein.   Well she showed up with a cupcake box:

That was filled with mini-skeins in little cupcake paper cups!


Two layers! two dozen!


Monday, September 12, 2011

WE are all Nerds... deep down

So some of you who read this, have read about NERDWARS.  It's a fiber arts (knitting, crochet, spinning, dyeing) I'm going to say challenge rather than competition.  It is a competition, it is mostly teams (those who don't want to be on a team for whatever reasons or those who don't play well with others are Ninjas,but it is more about challenging yourself.

 The various Nerddoms are pretty varied.  There are the ones you would expect - StarWars, Star Trek, Harry Potter, vampires, there's also comic books/graphic novels, there is serial books , there are the grammar nutcases (yeah totally will never be one of them) Every tournament there have been new teams forming, existing teams merging etc. I started tournament 1 on Team Bazinga- fans of the Big Bang Theory - and since it's a show about nerds it made tying any projects into the show pretty simple.  Then in tournament 2, I was lured into the world of Board games with Team Meeples.  

I didn't feel like I did all that well in T2, so I was going to be a Ninja for T3 - but then a new team came together, of Jim Henson fans!!  I am a Muppet!! ask my husband!  So now I am the team manager of Team Fraggle!

  And it turns out I didn't do as badly in T2 as I thought.  I only got halfway through my dissertation (a longterm project you can tie into one of the 6 challenge categories however you choose) but as I hit halfway I did get 50 points.  The monthly challenges fall into 6 categories: Giving Geeks (a charitable challenge) Team spirit ( not always about your team) Scientific (there have been some doozies here) Technical ( usually has you stretching your skills or trying something new) Nerd Culture and Intellectual.  Why I call it a challenge is that you can do one or all of the challenges, you can decide to do or not to do a dissertation.  While I only did a few challenges each month - I did complete at least one of each Category!!

REally it isn't as complicated as it sounds.. If you are on Ravelry come check it out!  Sign ups start Sept 15- Sept 27. (If you miss sign ups you can still compete as a ninja)

Hope to see you there! 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Honey Badger

I finally finished my modified Honey Badger socks! And made my first hexiFlat for my future Beekeepers quilt.  I will be making, a lot, literally hundreds of my left over sock yarn scraps.  I figure a couple years.

One of the groups I'm in on Ravelry is doing a swap of a puff and a mini skein of 15 yds.  Another group is considering a puff swap. And I'm swapping puffs with a few other friends as well.  More variety of puffs, and like a memory puff at the same time.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Sensational Haiku Wednesday
Sensational Haiku Wednesday

Welcome to “Sensational Haiku Wednesday!”

Click here for info and background on this weekly event!
The basics:
Haiku is simple! It is 3 non-rhyming lines of 5, 7, and 5 syllables respectively (a great way to use your fingers!)

This week’s theme is: Numbers

 Numbers are like the

alphabet for mathmatics,

And so much more fun!


I studied physics,

It uses math for its grammar.

Simpler than English.


I believe Math is

the language that God uses,

In all creation!


Monday, September 5, 2011

Swap Goodies!!


Check out my NerdWars Swap package!  Stacey (aka nordicgdss) did a great job of stalking!  She saw my Tony Stewart obsession and made me a great project bag with matching notions case


The cutest little Big Bang Theory buttons


and inspired by TBBT a Doppler shift cloth


There was also a Settlers of Catan inspired t-shirt, sheepfeet2 yarn that is destined to become hexipuffs, a cute "baaaaad girls" card, a Chewbacca thing, a pizza "pi" cutter (that the Angie wants)  chocolate covered pretzels and cookies from a place local to her. 

Many thanks again for a great package!.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

I used my sewing machine!

I was going to post this yesterday, but after going to dinner with Curt, I was so tired I fell asleep somewhere after the drop of the green flag of the truck race.  It seemed like everyone had taco's yesterday! (Ok Thom taco salad - but still) Even the Angie found a new taco truck on campus and said they made incredible carne asada tacos.  So i told Curt I'd treat him to dinner - and we went to Applebees. Yes, I know not the big name in tex-mex , but I wanted a waiter - which La Salsa doesn't have, and Chili's is far, and the new Mex place in the borough I just don't like.  We had the Ultimate Trio appetizer - mozzarella sticks, queso blanco dip and asian pork wonton taco's (they come in chicken Min!) Then I had steak/shrimp fajitas and Curt had steak/chicken.

But on to sewing.  I got a sewing machine before I got married.  I sewed a few straight lines,  but not many.  Then I got a swap partner who lives in Tallahassee,  FL.  And I got said partner in the middle of July, so thinking of something to hand make for my partner was giving me a blank.  I was going through my craft stuff, and I saw a kit I bought at some point in life for a reversible small tote bag.  And I thought everyone can use another project bag right?  So I put my sewing machine on the table. Wound a  bobbin without too much trouble and went for it.  

So here is side one which I am calling spring/summer

and this side I am calling fall/winter

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Honey Badger


In one of my Ravelry groups we are doing a knit a long called Honey Badger socks.  I modified mine because I don't like socks touching my ankles - and damn it - Honey Badger don't give a shit!  One sock down - one sock to go!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Sensational Haiku Wednesday
Sensational Haiku Wednesday

Welcome to “Sensational Haiku Wednesday!”

Click here for info and background on this weekly event!
    The basics: Haiku is simple! It is 3 non-rhyming lines of 5, 7, and 5 syllables respectively (a great way to use your fingers!) – join us and try it today!

This week’s theme is: School

Ahh kindergarten,

Seems like only yesterday,

not '97.


How's she a sophomore?

An apartment in the dorm?

Loving Temple U? 

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Irene that Biatch!

SO we are still dealing with Irene here.  I'm not complaining. Much.  We kept power through the storm and the  windstorm afterwards.  One tree out front lost a branch but it went the other direction, and we had n water damage.  Kept our cable, internet and phone (well I can't promise about the phone - I never use it)  

The problem is that both Curt and I have to cross several rivers to get to work.  You remember the song "over the river"  Well for me its 

Over the river and through the woods
to the big orange box I go;
Route 80's the way, I go out and play
Before the early morning glow!

WEll, Irene dumped a lot of water and the rivers all dumped into the Passaic which didnt crest until this morning.  The rivers have all been overflowing their banks some of them are 10 ft above the flood stage.  When they flood they have no compunctions about where they dump the water - and roadways are a frequent place for the water.  (As a funny aside - I had a texting convo with C as it took him my entire 31 minute lunch break to pass my store's parking lot- and then by 1230 he had to give up on his delivery and turn around anyway!)  So the off ramp I take to get to work is closed and I had to detour.  then going home??  This morning for the first time, the DMV flooded.  Route 46 gets closed pretty regularly- but never before the 46/80/23 split.  I actually walked onto the highway and took pictures!

46 west
46 West - the way I usually go home.  

46 east
This guy found the only way to travel 46 from the East

So- I am having a ton of trouble getting my trucks in.  Since receiving only works from 6am to 12am - I have to go in at 3am tomorrow to unload 2 trucks, because the vendors can't find drivers willing to deal with the traffic until the roads open.  AND  I MAY NOT GET MY CARPET TRUCK!!! THE HORROR!!!

When I finally did get to 80West  I had no problems after the first mile getting around the closed 23 exit - but I really felt bad for the eastbound traffic - today it was only stopped for 10 miles. Yesterday it went past 20 miles!

But hopefully now that the river has crested and it has been sunny and breezy the water can go down!

On a lighter note - my friend asked me if I thought that cats had their own emergency preparedness list.  The answer is clearly yes:

A. Make sure treat bag is water proof.  B. Stare out window. C.Realize that the zip loc that makes it waterproof makes it impossible to open without thumbs.  D. Stare out window. E. Curse fate. F. Do head count periodically on mousies.  G. Stare out window. H. Realize you can't sleep while ur mousies may be in danger. I. Stare out window. J. Begin moving mousies to ur peoples bed. K. Run around agitated- it may get u a treat & u need ur strength. L. Realise the best place for a mouse is where ur person will roll on it. M. Rearrange as necessary.N. Stare out window.O.  Watch your person totally take their thumbs for granted.P. Check to make sure your person closed treat bag correctly.Q. Realize a yes means you can't get at the treatsR. Stare out window. 

Monday, August 29, 2011


I decided yesterday's post was getting too long and split it.

Tuesday Min and I walked to a local place for breakfast.  I had a super yummy chorizo and ham hash with eggs and rye toast.  I am going to make this occasionally on the weekends!


We walked to the Post Office where we were in hysterics trying to decide how many times the woman behind us would sigh loudly before we left.  I didn't even come close with 18.  And she kept making REALLY LOUD phone calls - made worse by the echoing in the place.  So we knew she had to be somewhere, she wasn't expecting a line- even though she gave up the day before at a different post office because of the line, that she still needed to take a shower, that she wanted to wear her light blue shirt that wasn't pressed, and that she was going to be late!!

Back at Min's we watched one more episode of Decoded before I started getting my stuff together to ride home.  Then there was an odd noise, Fe began freaking out (ok not that uncommon for Fe) and then the entire house started rolling/shaking.  Min looks at me and asks if we are having an earthquake.  My answer can only be yes.  The construction workers on the scaffolding down the street start yelling.  We grabbed our phones and I can tell you the cell service and download speeds were very slow as we tried getting more info.  About 10 minutes later the tv started having news reports. My brother who lives in CA was picking on me for those reports- he asked don't east coast people know to take cover not wander aimlesly outside where stuff can fall on them?  The answer - NO, 

Thanks to traffic getting out of Philly ( I think all the people who left their buildings just went home because it felt like rush hour to me) I then hit rush hour in north Jersey as well (although bright side I did see another Braun's truck on Route 1 - i told you I have issues)  It took me a total of about 4 hours to make a 2 hour trip.  We were at my father in law's for a bit (sad that the Angie called him to tell him he was ok before telling me)  and then I was tired. and hungry. So on the way home we stopped at the diner for food.  Chicken picatta for me.  Really good.  I got to bed at 11pm- had to get up at 230am.  Can we say extra coffee??? 

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Angie's move in- a week late

Sorry- crazy week at work.  

Last weekend I took a 6 day weekend, Thur - Tue to take the Angie shopping, get her all beautified and moved down to Philly for school.

Thur - we got the new shellac gel polish, which supposedly doesn't chip for a couple weeks put on her nails.  My nails have the fiberglass acrylic on them so chipping really isn't an issue for my talons  We also had a great lunch at the Thai restaurant in town.  We always have a plan. One of us orders the drunken noodles lunch with soup, the other orders something else (preferably spicy, preferably something we haven't tried before) with the salad.  Then we share everything.  We decided that next time we would get a couple appy's so we can try a dessert after.

Fri - we both got spa pedicures.  Love the foot massage.  I actually got really bright pink polish on my tootsies (usually I stick to dark blood red sparkly polishes)  We then hit Pier one, Target, and Costco for back to school supplies.  The Angie is in an apartment on the fourth floor of the dorm she lived in last year so she needed more stuff-  She got a rice cooker/steamer (one thing she had issues with last year was rice - apparently the way the mealplan worked getting just rice at the Chinese place was an issue)  She got the Magic Bullet- she's been coveting it for a few years now - knows the infomercial by heart.  And of course every kid needs a leopard print broom!  Also bathroom cleaning supplies/tp/paper towels.  And 5 cases of 36 Poland Springs.

Saturday morning we went down to my father in law's to borrow his truck - and to get the bike he bought for $10 and refurbished for her to bring to school.  He figured that way if something happened, it wouldn't be as big a deal.  She then got her hair trimmed and blown out - and we finished her shopping at the mall and grocery store.  Sat night she went out for one last nite with her high school friends.

Sunday I had to go in to work for a meeting, blech,  and she finished packing and getting stuff into the truck and her dad's car.  SHe also spent time online finding deals and ordering books for the semester.  She has at this point sold most of her books from last year and several of her friends books (as well as some books people left behind during move out last year) 

Monday morning we left the house around 6am.  We did really well - missing the worst of the 80/287 traffic and got to route 1 early enough that we didn't really have traffic through there as well. (on route 18 I saw a Braun's truck coming the other way - yes I have issues - and it was C!!) We stopped for an extended hour long breakfast at Panera's off 95 in PA because we were running early and she couldn't check in until 10am. (but if we left a half hour later we would have had a problem being on time due to traffic buildup)  It was a fun breakfast as she told us a bunch of dorm life stories from last year we hadn't heard - and also some of the stories from her friends at other schools.

We got 2 parking spots a car apart on the street behind her dorm.  She checked in at 10:01.  We got all her things moved in, amd went to the other side of Philly to my friend Min & catphew Felix's house.  We had stored some of her stuff in the basement of Min's place.  We took the rest of Angie's stuff up to her- were summarily dismissed (really we've gotten used to it) and went out in search of lunch.

A picture Min took, when she walked us down - I think to make sure we got in the truck!

We had lunch at Chickie's and Pete's.  It is a fairly famous sports bar near the sports complex.  it is famous for it's crab fries- fries seasoned in Old Bay seasoning served with a cheese dipping sauce.  they were pretty good.  Keep in mind I really don't eat fries much.  I kind of expected a sports bar in a place like Philly to have a better/bigger/more varied beer list than what they had - so I had an unsweetened ice tea.  then I asked the waitress if I could have my burger done rare.  In my experience- if the answer is yes they fresh grind their meat, if the answer is no- they buy preground meat or frozen meat.  So even though it won't kill me to eat a medium burger- I don't.  I ordered a chicken club sandwich.  It. Was. Dry.  the chicken was dry, it was too bready for the lettuce and tomato to counter.  I had to ask for mayo - and use a lot. ( I kinda feel bad for Min - trying to think of places to eat)

We then did a turn through target, Modell's and Lowes.  At some point while CURT was driving the truck- the turn signals and brake lights stopped working.  He was going to get new bulbs- but they lit up with the head lights and when you set the alarm they blinked.  Min ended up calling her grandmother's..... boy toy??... who worked 40 years as a mechanic and crawled around under the truck, before we decided that the problem was the front end somewhere.  We were also looking for odorban or other spray to get rid of the mildew smell from her sneakers being soaked earlier in the week.  And Curt had given his multi-bit screwdriver to the Angie and needed a new one to try and look at the lights.

While in Lowes (because the camping/hunting sections in Target and Modell were sad) we got what we needed - and were trying to figure out if we could steal...

Chad - and where she could put him since he was kind of missing half.

After going back to Min's house to hang with Fe a while (and Curt was not being a good male role model but I forget why)   We walked to a Thai restaurant for dinner - and Curt finally tried Thai food - and it didn't all have peanuts- and ... gasp.... he liked it!  When we got back, he headed home and Min and I (and Fe) settled down to some knitting (ok when Fe wasn't needing some attention) and Brad Meltzer's Decoded.  I think I'm almost through season 1!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Book 18 for the year

Did you ever hear that quote about the wind off a butterfly's wings causing a hurricane in across the globe?  Seemingly inconsequential things causing other things.  The interwebs are like that.  Ravelry is really like that.  On Ravelry I have friends that, even geography aside, I don't know that I'd ever have made friends with.  A relocated midwest raised public health professional? A stay at home mom then wife, who's 10 years older than me? 2 librarians separated by 1000 miles?  A child social worked?  A minister? A Floridian IT pro?  A Hummer driving CPA?  Becoming friends with these people - some of whom are RL friends now, allows me to be exposed to all different things.  One of the groups I am in on Rav was reading and discussing Let The Great World Spin by Colum McCann.  Let me say that if I had to read this for school when I was younger - I wouldn't have.

The book starts out with the true event in 1974 of a tightrope walker who walked between the World Trade Center towers.  12 characters, who have nothing to do with the walker - other than mostly being in NYC at the time - are unwrapped through the book.  An odd priest, his brother, 2 hookers, A judge and his wife who have lost a son in Vietnam, her group of friends who also lost their sons in the war, 2 artists high on coke, a Guatemalan nurse, a phone hacker in California.  In the beginning of the book 2 characters die.  The other characters all have their disconnected chapters.  In Parts 2 & 3 the characters begin converging, their lives connecting in invisible ways.  We learn of the 2 dead characters through memories, impressions and flashes back in time.  

The first 3/4 of the book is depressing, full of despair.  The seedy, the illegal, the drugs, the people trapped in their lives by their decisions, or by the decisions they were born into.  Trapped by world events, city events, random events.  It is pretty hopeless.  A hooker's child, despite her mother's attempts to stay clean, to get a real job, the mother fails and eventually her daughter falls to drugs and prostitution. The priest wrestles with and fails his vows. All starting to be connected outside of the rope walker.

The last part of the book takes place in 2006, through the eyes of a woman who was a child mentioned, but not in depth in the beginning.  She has taken the sacrifices of others on her behalf and seized the opportunity.  She still is fighting her demons, but is starting to win the battle.  Many of the original characters are gone, one is dying.  Yet somehow in her, we find hope. 

I had set a goal in January of reading 24 books in 2011.  Last year, I started reading more, but not consistently.  I wanted to begin reading again,  I used to love losing myself in a good book.  This book was #18 for the year.  Technically  I am 3 books ahead of the pace I need - although with both my siblings getting married and other things in life I think I need to have 22 read by the beginning of November. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Sensational Haiku Wednesday
Sensational Haiku Wednesday

Welcome to “Sensational Haiku Wednesday!”

Click here for info and background on this weekly event!
The basics:
Haiku is simple! It is 3 non-rhyming lines of 5, 7, and 5 syllables respectively (a great way to use your fingers!)

This week’s theme is: Home

Looking in his eyes,

Feeling his arms around me,

My heart feels at home. 

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Lancaster Beer & Wine Gallery

On our way from Kitchen Kettle Village in Intercourse to the outlets on Route 30, we passed a winery tasting/store place.  Two weeks ago they opened an upstairs, The Barn Bar, connected to Rumspringa Brewing Co. a Brewery in Bird-In-Hand. We decided to stop in.  We decided to forgo the dessert offerings - although they really looked tempting, since we were planning on dinner at Cracker Barrel.  We ordered the beer sampler - their 4 regular brews and their seasonal offering - a heffeweisen that was a bit on the fruity side.


To go with that we ordered the cheese/sausage/pretzel plate


The golden and the stout were excellent.  the IPA was actually one I would consider drinking, surprising for an IPA.  I really, really liked the Red Caboose Ale so I bought a decorative glass growler - which held over 1/2 a gallon and had it filled with the Red Caboose.


Altogether a perfect lunch for a date day!