30 January, 2008
1. Go to the current book you're reading.
2. Go to Page 161.
3. Copy down the 5th sentence.
The family, rather taken aback, agreed, and then, somewhat suspiciously, asked me what I wanted.
That's from My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell. I'm reading the Corfu Trilogy right now, which is a collection of all three books he wrote about his family's years in Corfu. Wonderful, wonderful books.
The sentence is from passage where clever Gerry has worked out a way to get exactly the boy-naturalist supplies he wants for his birthday by targeting the wish lists.
29 January, 2008
What I like about this picture so far: the sky came out really well and I think the tops of the cliffs (chalky part) are going to really be good. The sand is a good color mix, and I think the carrstone boulders look nice and seaweedy.
27 January, 2008
Yes, chocolate was consumed. No, I did not rip my head off for ease of pouring candy down my gullet. I did take some pics of the kids at various points, but a few fun areas were off limits for photos. I will post them once they're uploaded, but for now, I'm just patting myself on the back for a road trip well done, and for unpacking the very same evening we returned. Whoo hoo!
26 January, 2008
25 January, 2008
24 January, 2008
I managed to get everyone sorted out and to school at this end, and get set up in our meeting room down at the base in good time. A fine time was had by all (I hope). Certainly, I had an energizing morning. We had some new faces, one soon-to-be-departing person, and lots of chat with everyone.
I forgot to eat a decent breakfast beforehand, but managed OK. Thank goodness I brought fruit along - that's proved to be very popular on the snack table.
Lovely image from this quilting site.
23 January, 2008
Toni left a comment about another post [my salt rant] that has me thinking. I blogged about it on my other blog, but I'm seriously contemplating her suggestion of a month without processed foods. Just have to wrap my head around portion control a bit more firmly, before I give up the ready meal crutch.
22 January, 2008
I learned a lot about tones/gradations of color. Still fumbling with the painting of water. Wouldn't you think it would be easier to paint water with watercolour? For me, not so much!
21 January, 2008
I got a lot of miscellaneous errands done, and had lunch and a spot of shopping with my buddy Chrissie (waves!). I'll blog one of my purchases another time, when I have good light to work with.
Meanwhile, a little foody musing. What is UP with salt in prepared foods, and why oh why must the makers be so heavy-handed with salt? I've leaned heavily on the ready meal in the past couple of weeks, and the offerings range from terrific (the new Tesco Light Choices, with much less fat and sodium) to deeply, deeply disappointing (tonight's Tesco Steam Meal - salmon, potatoes, and veg).
The meal itself wasn't bad, actually, although the broccoli couldn't stand up to all the cooking time. However, it contained 1300-odd mg of sodium, and tasted like someone had up-ended a salt shaker over it.
What has Susie learned from this, Gentle Readers? Apart from "Cook-your-own, already!" ? Look at the sodium information, too, when picking a food. Wow, it only took me 40-odd years to come to grips with that. I'm a quick study, I am.
20 January, 2008
19 January, 2008
I've got the perfect yarn for the French Market Bag from Knitty - it's a speckled spicy colored wool, with jolts of blue, but it's too busy for anything wearable. I think felting will blend the speckliness (is that even a word?) nicely.
Once I start it, I'll post a picture of the yarn.
18 January, 2008
17 January, 2008
Here is a list of the Top 100 Films of All Time. So, here's what I've seen . . .
1. Citizen Kane (1941)
2. The Godfather
3. Casablanca (1942)
4. Raging Bull (1980)
5. Singin’ in the Rain (1952)
6. Gone with the Wind (1939)
7. Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
8. Schindler’s List (1993)
9. Vertigo (1958)
10. The Wizard of Oz (1939)
11. City Lights (1931)
12. The Searchers (1956)
13. Star Wars (1977)
14. Psycho (1960)
15. Sunset Blvd. (1950)
16. 2001 : A Space Odyssey (1968)
17. The Graduate (1967)
18. The General (1927)
19. On the Waterfront (1954)
20. It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
21. Chinatown (1974)
22. Some Like It Hot (1959)
23. The Grapes of Wrath (1940)
24. E.T. The Extraterrestrial (1982)
25. To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)
26. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)
27. High Noon (1952)
28. All About Eve (1950)
29. Double Indemnity (1944)
30. Apocalypse Now (1979)
31. The Maltese Falcon (1941)
32. The Godfather Part II (1974)
33. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)
34. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
35. Annie Hall (1977)
36. The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
37. The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)
38. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)
39. Dr. Strangelove (1964)
40. The Sound of Music (1965)
41. King Kong (1933)
42. Bonnie and Clyde (1967)
43. Midnight Cowboy (1969)
44. The Philadelphia Story (1940)
45. Shane (1953)
46. It Happened One Night (1934)
47.A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)
48. Rear Window (1954)
49. Intolerance (1916)
50. Lord of the Rings : The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
51. West Side Story (1961)
52. Taxi Driver (1976)
53. Deer Hunter, The (1978)
54. M*A*S*H (1970)
55. North by Northwest (1959)
56. Jaws (1975)
57. Rocky (1976)
58. The Gold Rush (1925)
59. Nashville (1975)
60. Duck Soup (1933)
61. Sullivan’s Travels (1941)
62. American Graffiti (1973)
63. Cabaret (1972)
64. Network (1976)
65. The African Queen (1951)
66. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
67. Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966)
68. Unforgiven (1992)
69. Tootsie (1982)
70. A Clockwork Orange (1971)
71. Saving Private Ryan (1998)
72. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
73. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)
74. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
75. In the Heat of the Night (1967)
76. Forrest Gump (1994)
77. All the President’s Men (1976)
78. Modern Times (1936)
79. The Wild Bunch (1969)
80. The Apartment (1960)
81. Spartacus (1960)
82. Sunrise (1927)
83. Titanic (1997)
84. Easy Rider (1969)
85. A Night at the Opera (1935)
86. Platoon (1986)
87. 12 Angry Men (1957)
88. Bringing Up Baby (1938)
89. The Sixth Sense (1999)
90. Swing Time (1936)
91. Sophie’s Choice (1982)
92. Goodfellas (1990)
93. The French Connection (1971)
94. Pulp Fiction (1994)
95. The Last Picture Show (1971)
96. Do the Right Thing (1989)
97. Blade Runner (1982)
98. Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942)
99. Toy Story (1995)
100. Ben-Hur (1959)
53 out of 100. More than I expected to have seen.
Consider yourself tagged if you want to be. Just copy, paste & bold the ones you've seen. (Then leave me a comment so I can go see what your score is. ;o)
16 January, 2008
About to get even better, when Torchwood series two premieres tonight at 9:00. Captain Jack Harkness. Mmmm. Excellent.
15 January, 2008
I started out on a grand note by ... forgetting to go! Fortunately, a phone call to me (happily picking up a birthday gift in Lynn, and planning where to head next) saved the day. I swooped home and grabbed my supplies and got there in time to dash out my color wheel. I didn't even miss the coffee break. Normally, I would have been mortified to the point of tears, but for some reason, I was very zen and cheerful about it, and even took the ribbing from the instructor with ease.
Wanna see my stick figures from today? Suuuuure, you do. This was our exercise: a little sky, some cloud, irrigation canals, a ploughed field. It was actually good fun, although I'm not thrilled with my perspective, or how heavy-handed I was with the paints in the sky, in particular.
The instructor is terrific, and I am so pleased I signed up for this course!
14 January, 2008
Today, I got everything done on my list, except eating breakfast (oops, better write it on my list). Had a good morning chatting and crafting with Chrissie, got my on-base errands run, and even did some laundry in the bargain.
David went to his new Cubs meeting and had a lovely time. He made this boat, with a friend. It came second in the races they held, so I guess it's seaworthy. Will have to test it in our bath.
Lily and I spent the wait at the library for the most part, and she slept on my lap in the car as well. It's juuuust short enough a meeting to make it a hassle to drive home and back.
13 January, 2008
I feel like I did something good for myself today.
12 January, 2008
This would cheer anyone up. It's the Chopping Broccoli song from Saturday Night Live of the 90s. The link is the official network one, and it won't work if you're not in the US, so you'll have to Google it. Trust me. Funny.
11 January, 2008
How about you all? How's your week been?
10 January, 2008
Well, Miss Lily saw the magic happening, and demanded we tidy her room. I took before pictures in hers (below), so you can see the difference.
Now, to keep it all this way. What's needed next is a MASSIVE de-toyification in both rooms. I'll tackle this when they're at school. My plan - remove 30-50% of all toys, bag them and put in shed. If anything is missed, we can bring it back in. If not, I take them to the charity shop in a month or two. There's sooo much stuff in each child's room right now, they just can't figure out what to play with.
1. Breathe deep before responding
2. Ask questions- engage in conversation - listen
3. Limit junk food
4. Fight the media monster
5. Watch for inappropriate playmates…and language
6. Work harder on healthy food
7. Let go – relinquish control; Encourage independence
8. Provide structure
9. Read, read, read
10. Play – games I don’t like or understand but he does
11. Learn about what interests him – be able to discuss them
12. Limit “no” – try for “let’s discuss”
13. Say “I love you”; “That’s great”, “good job”
09 January, 2008
So when I picked up mail today, my prize yarn awaited me, with this cute notecard and some tea (herbal, for the knitting mellow mojo). It actually arrived in my mailbox yesterday but I didn't get down to pick it up then.
Thanks, Kris - the charcoal and chocolatey tones will be great in socks. I'm picturing another pair of plain stockinette with the ripply garter top from these Broadripple socks. The ripple gives my sock a reason to stay up without the squeeze of ribbing.
Here's the yarn - isn't it cute? My camera is NOT cooperating with the poor lighting tonight...everything should be a warmer, brighter shade. The bluey-pink notebook/binder is watermelon pink, if that helps you to visualize.
But that wasn't all the luck. The laceweight and patterns that I ordered from Sonny and Shear (Kris's shop) just arrived today. The wool is Seacoast handpainted merino laceweight in the Sahara colorway. So soft. Soooo pretty.
This slightly blurry picture (no flash) shows the true colors of the skein. I want to marry this skein, just a little bit. Is that very wrong of me?
The two patterns pictured are FiberTrends designs. I'm thinking the Leaf Lace for this yarn would be a good fit. What do you think out there?
Great service from Sonny and Shear, from start to incredibly fast delivery, and the wool? The wool looks and feels amazing. I can't wait for my Addi Lace needles to arrive so I can start playing with it!
08 January, 2008
Mr. Malkoff is presently living MY dream life for a week - he's gotten permission to live at an IKEA while his apartment is being fumigated.
[Edited to add the link, above. Thanks, Lynn!]
The title is TheKnitFarm, after all. So let's talk a little knitting right off the bat. Here, I present a Finished Object. Here's that super-simple One-row Scarf. I used ALL the rest of the Noro Kureyon and am really chuffed with the result. The scarf's long enough to fold and wrap, ever so chicly. It is probably 7 feet long. This picture shows the colors really well.
I do need to figure out the timer on my camera, as the kids are not reliable photographers. And they're a bit short to model this for me.
Here are some things the kids got up to this weekend.
The parrot: I like it, it was fun enough, but it brings up "creativity issues" for me. David spent some time noodling around with this Chad Valley mini-mosaic set (vintage 60's, 2 pounds at a boot sale, and OOOOOH-so-much-the-choking-hazard; good thing the children are beyond that age). Being a person of order and structure, and dare we say perfectionism, he was determined to make the picture on the box rather than going free-form.
I think I would do well to throw away the box for this and some other crafts we have, since D often limits himself to pictured items. He has a good time, but gets frustrated if it's not "just like the instructions." Not so great for working the imaginative and creative juices. Thoughts, gentle readers? How to you encourage messiness and randomness in art? Or do I go with his preference for order? He's been this way since he began fiddling with paint or crayon or clay, and it's the same with building blocks or Lincoln logs.
This next craft project is Lily's - glitter paint and lots of it. She had a great time swirling it on, and I am a bit reminded of a butterfly. I like the swirling colors against the brown paper. They remind me very much of the yarn, which is Wendy Fusion in Allspice.
While I wait for my Addi Lace needles to arrive, I'm sticking with dead simple, and casting on another One-row Scarf, using this yarn. I think the colors look fantastic in the ball, and I hope they'll work well in a scarf.
07 January, 2008
I've found a really interesting blog through the post-a-day in 2008 movement. The blog is called "thirty-four words: a year of people who have touched my life" and as an exercise in writing, and thought, it is very interesting. Check her out here.
Feeling a big out-ge-wiped tonight; I was dizzy for a moment as I came in the door with the kids, so I think I will sit and take it easy with a cup of tea now.
06 January, 2008
Thanks to The Museum of Mid-Century Illustration for the awesome picture...
05 January, 2008
I am also utterly in love with this guy. Gentle Readers, it's David's birthday tomorrow and he's much much much older than I (all of a month, even). I wish more than anything that he would be here, and not in the desert, for his birthday. Failing that, maybe we can cheer him up a bit. If you read this, would you leave a Happy Birthday sort of comment on his blog? I'm sure he'd appreciate it!
Thank you so very much, and all that...
04 January, 2008
This is amazing. It's a link to a blog that posts the correspondence of an English soldier of the Great War, Harry Lamin, 90 years to the day after he wrote it. A descendant of his created and publishes the blog. Go back through the archives, which begin with the autumn on 2006. Neat stuff...
03 January, 2008
Yesterday was a good day. Let us not speak of the Great CarSick Lily Incident, which necessitated a stop at an uberTesco to reclothe her. I learned my lesson, and will start keeping spare clothes in the boot again. It was great to ride out with Chrissie as navigator, and chat along the M1 and various other roads. The Hobbycraft store in Stevenage was immense, and I brought home hundreds of popsicle sticks, foam stickers, paint, a mummy kit, and a few other fun bits. You name it, they had it in the kids' craft section. Yarn? Not so much. No sock yarn. No laceweight. Lots of bulky or worsted weight in interesting blends and textures, for that funky hat or whatever. Just not yarn that really spoke to me.
That's quite all right - I consoled myself with a trip through the laceweight "aisles" at the on-line shop, Sunny and Shear. I got some SeaCoast Merino Lace, and the Spinner's Lace shawl and Leaf Lace Shawl patterns on this page. Might I just add that the customer service from this store ROCKS!? I had an issue getting my address to enter correctly, and Kris figured it out, phoned me, and fixed it supah-fast. Fabulous.
I had more good customer service yesterday, when I emailed SchoolLink about a defective binding in a book we got for David for this birthday. Really quick response, new copy dropped in first class mail, and new copy WAITING on DOORSTEP when I got home from the school run this morning. Kudos there to the wonderful Royal Mail first class service, as well.
SchoolLink is a terrific company, something like Scholastic in the states, but with books for adults in their flyers as well. They are part of The Book People, I believe. New books are much, much less expensive through them than through the brick and mortar stores. And 10% of what you pay goes to the school of your choice - that would be Sandringham and West Newton, West Newton, UK, if you place an order, Gentle Readers.
Rosie, a blogger with local ties, tipped me off to a King's Lynn used bookstore that has a children's section as well. As soon as I sort the house into order, I'm taking myself downtown for a good long browse there.
Well, I've finished that cup of coffee. Off to find a sweater to wear, pick up my knitting, and take an hour more of silence, neat. Have a fantastic day in this brand new year.
02 January, 2008
01 January, 2008
This morning, we all slept in until 10:30. Ahhh, decadence, even if it was decadence with an extra two little warm bodies in the bed. David made it to midnight, although it was tough going there at the end. Lily conked out with a little more than an hour to go. All the Loony Tune Golden Collection cartoons in the world couldn't keep her eyes open.
I toasted the new year with cheap sparkling, D. with milk; we watched the BBC's showing of the London fireworks; and then we headed up to sleep.
I hope 2008 will bring many good times for our family - vacations with all four of us, fun with friends. I also hope to take baby steps toward healthier living all year. And boy howdy, I hope to do some killer knitting.
I have to say the Tut exhibit was (for me) a great disappointment because the mask, that golden Tut mask that is the iconic image of Tutankhamen, was not on display. Smaller versions, toppers for the jars that held organs, etc. were in the exhibit, but not the biggie. You'd never know from the posters, which are giant images of the mask. Had I to do it over again, I don't know if we would have gone, or done the British Museum's Egypt section instead. For me, it was all about seeing the mask, so I'm underwhelmed. The kids didn't have that same expectation, and they seemed to think it was all pretty cool.
We will go see the BM's Egypt section anyway, on another trip. There's enough in that museum to occupy a family for months of field trips.
Meeting up with my friend Michele, and her two boys, was the highlight of the holidays, for me. Michele, you are eerily, fantastically unchanged in appearance from our high school days. Where's that picture of Dorian Gray? As beautiful and smart as always, it's a joy to know her on adult terms. I'd post a picture but the ones of Michele and I have camera blur. David enjoyed spending time with the boys, especially her younger, who is the same age. Lily felt a bit shy, but seemed happy to hang about with everyone.
We had an awesome day out at Kew Gardens, where the weather gods cooperated to make it feel like spring. The greenhouses, and unexpected marine display, were great. The kids spent some quality time playing inside, as well, in the very nice indoor playzone.
All around, it was a terrific weekend, and we even got a daylight picture with the TARDIS (our hotel was a block away). I will post that one! Being home is a bit of a let-down, coming back to a post-Christmas house, and thinking about school and housework and all of that. I think I'd feel perkier if I weren't fighting some sudden stomach unpleasantness tonight. We'll see how tomorrow goes.
Edited to add - is it me, or do I totally have long, gorilla arms in this photo?