2005 - In Review

And we're back!

I hope everyone had a glorious Christmas! We had a great one here at Chez Acre. Well, except for DH, DS and I coming down with a nasty cold the week before. That put a bit of a damper on the final preparations, but we're all about over it and ready for the new year.

Santa did well by all of us here. DH has new stylin' headphones for his iPod along with lots of wonderful new music to put on it and new books to read. DD has a new bike that should last her for many years, at least when she's not playing her new PS2 games or reading one of several books received. DS has a new GameBoy Advance and a half-dozen games to keep him occupied along with some new books and a "pitchback" for the back yard to work on his baseball techniques.

Me? I have a lovely new iPod Nano and have invested quite a few hours in Black and White 2. My desk is now outfitted with some Nightmare Before Christmas desk figures including a great little clock!

But on to a bit of review....

I'd love to post a great long list of all the stitching finishes I had this year, but I have a problem. I didn't keep a list. I had one going until March-ish, but after that I failed to keep it updated. I know it was a pretty good list given all the smalls and ornaments I did, but I just don't have a number I can post! I'll remedy that next year...I've already got the spreadsheet started. Overall I'm happy with the number of hours I put in, but not so happy with what I spent them all on. The WIPs that I began 2005 with are pretty much the same ones I'm ending the year with....that's got to get better.

I can say I read about 60 books, though. When I stopped tracking my stitching finishes, I started tracking my books!

As for my December Goals:
Start/Finish December Snapper (which will complete the entire project!) - Done!
Finish final Ornament RR ornament (another finish!) - Done!
Knit on socks and DD's tank - Socks, yes. Tank, no.
Stitch on:
Autumn Queen - Yes!
Christmas Elegance - Ummm...no.
Faerie Blue (have *got* to get this done!) - Nope
Ready three RAK gifts for January starts....(need to cut fabric for one and get floss for a second...third is ready). - Done!

I'll save the January Goals for tomorrow (though they are already posted on the left there) along with my long-term plans for 2006.

You may notice a bit of rearranging on the left side. I'll be adding thumbnails and progress bars for my "main" projects as I bring them out this year. A bit of a carrot/stick approach if it's posted for the world to see my progress. I'll also keep a list of 2006 finishes, so next year I *will* be able to take a final count.

I also plan to add the following footer to each post this year:

Stitched On: Autumn Queen
Reading (Home) : Dragon Rider
Listening to: Classic Radio Detective Shows

This is what the content of this blog is going to be. Stitching (including knitting), reading and what I'm either listening to or watching (movie/tv). No politics....no negative....just the small joys of life. I do hope to hear your comments!


On Hiatus

I'm taking a break from blogging until the end of the year.

I'll be back in January - the look will be the same, but I'll be focusing the content on what I originally intended in this blog: stitching, reading and movies with a big emphasis on the *stitching* :)

Until then have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


My Saturday (lots of pictures)

First, let me say that my children had no advance knowledge of Saturday's activities. I told them on Friday that they were to be up by 7:30, showered, dressed warmly and ready to go by 9:15 on Saturday morning. On Saturday morning I added that K (DD) needed her sunglasses, Z (DS) needed a hat and we all needed some bottled water.

We were headed to the Phoenix Zoo. Christopher Paolini (Eragon & Eldest) was there for a book signing and I had purchased of copy of Eldest for K to get us into the zoo (passes were included with book purchase) and for a good signing number (the store sponsoring the event gives out numbers to keep the stampede down).

First stop, the bookstore to pick up the pre-purchased book. I told K she'd probably figure out part of our day after this stop. Unfortunately the store had tried to be efficient and taken all the pre-purchased copies to the Zoo for pickup (though they didn't tell me that when I called with the order). Ok, it wasn't *too* far out of the way. We head to the zoo and find the "Will Call" table at the entrance.

They have no book for me. No book. No passes. No good signing number.

However, they do realize that I am most likely telling the truth and do give me a book, passes (with an extra for Z for my trouble) and the next number: 343. Ah well, at least there's plenty to see while we wait.

We arrive at the grassy area about 10:50 for the 11:00 start. Christopher (I'm sorry, I can't call a 22-yr old "Mr.") and company arrives on time and he starts a few remarks just after 11.

Christopher Paolini
Before you think "Wow, they got a really good seat!" This is our actual view:

Christopher Paolini

By the time everyone was settled, we were just past the middle of the crowd (more in front of us than behind). Worked great until he asked for questions....kids just don't yell loud enough. He didn't take very many, but promised to answer questions during the signing, which started around 11:30 with numbers 1-20. We decided to walk around for a bit and see the sights....

Zachary's close call

Z enjoyed the reptile house.

Nose in a book

K of course, had other things on her mind.

Burrowing Owl

Of course, the residents weren't all that impressed.

Mountain Lion

We think this mountain lion had her eye on Z for a snack. He didn't look at anyone else, but kept a *very* close eye on Z as we walked past.

Black Jaguar

So did this lovely fellow. As you can see here:

Black Jaguar - Snack view

We also visited a few bird areas. Z is getting friendly with this one (the bird is standing on one leg)

A Pair of One-Legs

By this time we figured we were close on the numbers, so we headed back to the grassy area. They were on 200, so rather than leave again, we bought some popcorn and settled in on the grass. I had my knitting, K had her book, Z just hung out. About 30 minutes later K got in line and Z & I joined her when she got within a dozen folks. Most people had the new book, but *many* had both of them and I'd guesstimate Christopher signed his name 1,000 times on Saturday. But he was friendly and smiling the whole time (ok, at least until he got to us):

Christopher Paolini signing Kylie's book

She had finally decided to ask if he'd read David Eddings' books (Belgariad, Mallorean) and come to find out Eddings' Ruby Knight was one of the first fantasy novels he'd read. He eventually read all of Eddings' stuff and he was still one of his favorites. He recommended Raymond Feist's Magician to her and complimented her dragon pendant ;)

Christopher Paolini & Kylie

*Very* nice fellow. I'm sure he would have happily chatted with K for much longer but of course, the other couple hundred of people in line wouldn't have appreciated it ;)

We wandered around a bit more with the kids getting into seeing all the animals:

Z as a turtle

K as a reading turtle

Thankfully K can read and walk at the same time.

We left around 3:30 and came home tired from all the walking, but it was a good tired. I wasn't too tired to finish K's "Hooray For Me" Gloves:

K and her gloves

They are made from Knitpicks' Sock Landscape Rocky Mountain Dusk and were amazingly easy to do. I'm making some for me in Koigu....

I must admit with all that walking, I slept *really* good Saturday night!


December Goals and a Few Finishes

Wow. December. Where has the year gone?

First, thanks to everyone for their hugs and condolences. I can't tell you how much I appreciate them all...words just don't come close. We are all doing well, if still a little subdued. For me, that's coming thru in a lack of focus...but getting back to work has actually helped with that.

On to more interesting stuff!

November Goal Review:

Start/Finish November Snapper - Yes!
Stitch Ornament for Blogger Exchange - Yes!
Stitch Bookmark for Blogger Exchange - Yes!
Finish Stitched Item for Blogger Lottery Exchange - Yes! (And I *won* the Lottery! I'm getting some gorgeous pieces)
Stitch on:Autumn Queen - uhh...no
Tropical Dream - Finished it!
Faerie Blue - uhhh...no
Knit on DD's tank and Diamond Fantasy Shawl - no, but I did get some sock knitting in

At least I got the "deadline" bits done....

December Goals:

Start/Finish December Snapper (which will complete the entire project!)
Start/Finish Ornament RR ornament (2) (one will be the final for that round)
Knit on socks and DD's tank
Stitch on:
Autumn Queen
Christmas Elegance
Faerie Blue (have *got* to get this done!)
Ready three RAK gifts for January starts....(need to cut fabric for one and get floss for a second...third is ready)


Having a long weekend extended by three days allowed me to stitch a bit more than I planned. Of course, I was too scattered to do big things...but I did get some small items completed.

Bent Creek November Snapper

Bent Creek November

Bent Creek June Snapper (finally finished this one!)

Bent Creek June

Both are on Light Sand Belfast with DMC.

Trumpet the Good News - Serendipity Designs (JCS 2005)

Trumpet the Good News

This is DH's choice from this years Ornament issue and is on Driftwood Belfast. Originally the horn was to be stitched with #8 gold braid and one strand of DMC, but that made me cringe. I used two strands of DMC and overlaid one strand of 002HL blending filament over the top. It's pretty sparkly!

Indigo Rose - Peace Ornament (from JCS 2002 Ornament)

Indigo Rose Peace

During my last "stash reorganization" I found this ornament that I'd started back in 2002 [blush] and never finished! It was about 60% complete...so I finished it off. Originally charted on white Belfast and three shades of blue DMC, I used Needle Necessities Arctic Nights (116) instead. This would work well with just about any overdye, I think...

That's all for today!


Dear Grandad

**On Thanksgiving Day my Grandad passed away. He would have been 90 in January. I'd like to take a few minutes to share a few stories about this very important man in my life.

Grandad was born January 25, 1916. For years, though, we celebrated his birthday on the 24th of January. His mother had told him he was born just before midnight that night....and it wasn't until *much* later that he examined his birth certificate and found he was born after midnight...on the 25th.

Some of my earliest memories of him were out in his "shop" (in the garage). He had a hand-made creeper (you know, the rolling platform that mechanics use to slide under cars easily) that was about 18" square with big 4" wheels on the bottom. We lived in a small town in Michigan (New Buffalo) and Granny and Grandad had a two-story house on Lake Michigan. Their driveway was slanted down as the bottom story was actually a basement. This made for a *great* hill to ride that creeper! Many an afternoon was spent speeding down the driveway and praying that I didn't hit something in the garage..lol.

If I wasn't tearing down the drive, I was industriously hammering nails into a piece of 2 x 4. I vividly recall hammering a dozen nails into that bit of wood over and over. Grandad would pull them out just enough for me to hammer 'em back in. In this day and age, would *you* hand your preschooler a full-size hammer and have them whack away? LOL

I spent many a New Year's Day at their house. Grandad would setup three televisions in the front room (he had a tv for every room in the house for as long as I can remember) and I would watch the Rose Parade on all three networks at once. It was the only way to catch all the floats! Of course, it didn't dawn on me until *much* later that he actually set them all up to watch the Bowl games with my father and uncle....

As you have probably figured out, Grandad was into gadgets and he loved to tinker in the garage on pretty much anything mechanical or electrical (including cars). I remember helping him build a TV. Yup, a Heath kit TV with remote control. This was back when *I* was the usually the "remote" for my parents and we only had four channels anyway. The remote had three rocker switches - on/off, volume and channel up/down. It was the bomb! No one had remote control TVs!

Granny and Grandad retired from teaching (both were high school teachers - Grandad taught math and physics, Granny taught typing, shorthand and bookkeeping) and moved to Albuquerque in the late 70's. We came out to visit a few months later and moved about a year later.

I was in seventh grade when we moved and went from a small-town school where everyone knew me (heck, my grandparents were much loved in the school and had taught some of my teachers! Everyone knew who I was!) to a big city school where I was constantly explaining that I go by my middle name. First day in the new school I saw something I'd never seen before....algebra. I went to Grandad that night and he brought me up to date in one evening (we moved mid-year). Grandad taught me to love math....it's logical and beautiful and I still love it to this day. He taught me how to conquer the bane of most math student's existence...word problems. To this day I love working them. Many a night was spent at Granny's kitchen table going over my homework - algebra, trig, calculus, physics (yuck)...he could do it all.

Retirement didn't sit well with Grandad. They played golf daily and Grandad worked for short time at Cummins Diesel. He also had a deal with one of the pawn shops in town. He'd go in every few days, see if there was anything that needed fixing (radios, lamps, etc) and take them home to fix. In exchange he was able to add to his already sizeable tool collection or other odds and ends LOL

Every weekend would find us at the flea market at the State Fairgrounds. I can't tell you how many little desk lamps were found and brought home from there. Some were working, some weren't, but they were all welcomed back to the house and pressed into service either there or passed on to some other family member. Grandad always found a bargain or two....

Ok, one more and that's it....

Grandad loved Whitman's Samplers (chocolate assortments for non-US folks). There was always a yellow box it seemed, sitting on a shelf in the dining room. He would eat a piece or two a day and there was only one piece he would never touch. The little man. (In every box there is one piece of solid milk chocolate in the shape of a man carrying a box - it's their trademark). See, the little man was mine. Even if it was the last piece in the box, it would wait until I came over before the box would be replaced with a new one.

Granny and Grandad left Albuquerque and moved to Carlsbad, NM in the 80's. Every time I'd visit (either from California or wherever I happened to be) there would be a foil package in the refrigerator...with those little man chocolates. Granny would chop them up and sprinkle them on my birthday cake, or use them for a special dessert when I was there if there were a number of them...lol. When they moved to Phoenix a few years ago the tradition continued and just last year I was presented with the last of the little man candies. As Grandad's health declined over the last few years, the chocolate tradition went away (and my kids were trying to horn in on my little men anyway...)

I might have to get a box for Christmas and have it out for the family....but I'll save the little man for Grandad.

I'll miss you forever, Grandad.


Quick Update and a Pile o' Memes

DH Update - unfortunately he didn't get the contract position. I guess while the job was perfect for *him*, he wasn't perfect for *them.* Thanks for the good thoughts, everyone.

But he's perfect for *ME* and I'm happy with that.....

On to some meme-ing. First, a fun exercise from Anna's blog:

The Chart Title Quiz

1. Are you male or female? Big Girl Panties
2. Describe yourself: Happy Wife, Happy Life
3. How do some people feel about you? All is Calm
4. How do you feel about yourself? Contentment
5. Describe your girlfriend/boyfriend/interest: Two Hearts Unite
6. Where would you rather be? Cottages of England
7. Describe what you want to be: Angels in Disguise
8. Describe how you live: The Simple Life
9. Describe how you love: Be True
10. Share a few words of wisdom: Mother's Wisdom: Be Nice

Next, some meme catchup...

November 7th: What is your current "playlist?" OR: Real or imagined, what is the current soundtrack of your life?

DH and I reworked my iPod playlist recently to reflect my current musical "tastes" (I handed him CDs and pointed out which tracks….he ripped them to iTunes for me on the Mac LOL). Just a sample of what's included:

Marc Cohn - True Companion (my DH, always and forever)
Dave Matthews Band - Crash into Me (yes, I know…peeping tom…I like it anyway!) Johnny Cash - Orange Blossom Special, Ring of Fire
Squeeze - Pulling Mussels from the Shell
Tracy Chapman - The Promise
Bryan Adams - Summer of '69

Yes, I have rather eclectic tastes…..

November 14th: What do you do to give thanks for all that you have in your life? Is it a simple thought or prayer over a Thanksgiving meal, or do you make an effort to be thankful throughout the year? Is it something you consciously need to be reminded of once in a while, or something that's part of your daily routine?

I try to show my appreciation for people, especially friends and family, throughout the year. I thank the Lord for the simple joys in life and for keeping my life relatively simply in and of itself quite often (most often when I see or read of someone not as blessed as I am and as I feel I am truly blessed with my family and life, that is a daily practice).

Stitching Bloggers' Question

November 16th: How do you feel about staying totally true to a pattern? Do you feel that you have to rip out stitches to fix a mistake or do you feel it's acceptable to incorporate a mistake into the design?

I'm a firm believer in "fudging" wherever possible. If someone thinks they are going to hold my finished piece and the original pattern side-by-side for a stitch-by-stitch comparison, they can think again. If *I* like it, that's what matters ;)

November 9th: When comparing large projects versus small projects, which do you get more excited about finishing?

I like finishing things - the size doesn't really come into play. Yes, finishing a large project has a certain level of satisfaction that a small one might be lacking, but that is simply a function of the time and effort gone into it. However, small projects have their own satisfaction - especially if there's a new stitch involved, or I've made some "adjustments" to the design or if it is destined for someone special. I find great satisfaction in those, too. (Of course, the fact that I have 20 WIPs would contra-indicate my joy of finishing things…but we can ignore that, can't we?)

November 2nd: If you have stitched for a while, can you usually pick out the DMC colors you need from memory when you go to your LNS?

Yes and no. If it's a color I use frequently or if I'm missing a color from a certain family, I have no trouble grabbing the correct one from the shop. However, if it's something I *don't* use frequently, I need to rely on checking the number. Perfect example: I recently kitted a DMC ornament from the most recent JCS Ornament Issue and it called for "894" which was an empty spot in my floss box. I assumed it was a green of some sort (895 is green) and figured I'd just sub something close by. Imagine my surprise when I looked at my DMC color card and found it to be a rather distinctive pink…..no sub, I need to pick one up this weekend!

Booking through Thursday

November 10th: A slight twist on last week's theme...
What book (or books) would you like to see made into a movie? Why?

Alexander McCall Smith's 1st Ladies Detective Agency novels come to mind as potentially good movies. Strong characters and a good mix of character plotting and the odd bit of mystery thrown in for good measure. Of course, I also think a few more Nero Wolfe books should be made into movies…but that wouldn't surprise any reader of this blog, given that I've classed myself as a *huge* fan a time or two!

What book (or books) would you definitely not want made into a movie?

The Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon. To do this series justice, the *first* book would have to be at least 10 hours long. There is so much depth of story and character that to do it properly would be a huge undertaking. Not to mention that every woman that has read about (and fallen for) Jamie would have strong ideas of what he looked like…and how he would present himself on screen.

(Tomorrow, my "Musing on Movies" - I'm having to think on some of the answers).


Tropical Dream Finished!

I put on the last bead earlier this afternoon....

A few minor changes were made:

1 - Ivory Lugana (Bone was unavailable)

2 - The Dinky Dyes Sapphire is silk, not cotton (Jo ran out of the cotton at CATS where I purchased the threads!)

3 - Delica beads (256) subbed for the MH 3051's (I didn't have any in my stash...horrors!)

Back to my November Goals...I'm going to cut it close this month....


No Word Yet...and a Stash Report!

No word yet on DH's interview. Thank you all for your positive vibes....keep 'em coming!

And no, I wasn't surprised to be an "Evil Queen" LOL We all have a little evil inside of us...I just keep mine under control ;)

This week saw a bit of Stash Acquisition - books and stitching. Here's the report:


As previously mentioned, a new copy of Diana Gabaldon's Outlander (for the signing) and Anne Bishop's The Pillars of the World (I had the second in the series, but not the first).

Next, two knitting books: Debbie Bliss's Teddy Bears (so cute!) and Knitting Vintage Socks (some seriously cool ones, here).


Finally a bit of stash: Knit Chicks by Margaret Sherry


Requesting Good Luck Vibes!

Thursday morning DH has an interview for a contract position at my company....

I would *really* appreciate any good thoughts you can send our way! This would be a fantastic opportunity for him and I know he could really excel in the position.

In the meantime, I thought this was quite interesting....I plucked it from Terri's blog!

The Evil Princess

You are drawn to the sinister side of life and
gravitate towards darker things. You are quite
proud of your dark side and often flaunt it.
Your sinister nature and your willingness to be
cutthroat often result in you playing the

Role Model: Snow White's Stepmother

You are most likely to: Team up with an evil dragon
to spread terror across the countryside.

What Kind of Princess are You? - Beautiful Artwork (Original Music is BACK!!!)
brought to you by Quizilla

However, I apparently still need some work on my blog:

This site is certified 30% EVIL by the Gematriculator

And Margaret...Diana's going to be on "your" side of town again tomorrow night: look at "Tours" here. Foothills Library in Glendale


Too busy!

Wow...where *does* the time go?!?

Everything is going along fine in Arizona - DS is adjusting to his new school beautifully. He comes home happier and more animated than he has for weeks (per DH). Definitely more homework, though, and that's taking some getting used to for all of us.

I finished my Stitching Bloggers Exchange Ornament over the weekend....of course I can't show you until it reaches its destination. It'll be on its way soon. I also finished my Exchange bookmark but then found I'd lost the power cord for my sewing machine so "finishing-finishing" will have to wait a few more days until a replacement reaches me. I've gone back to Tropical Dream - let's see how close I can get to finishing this month....

Tonight was a tad more exciting than usual. I attended an "Author Talk" by Diana Gabaldon (of Outlander fame)! She lives in Arizona and held the talk in the NW part of town (about 50 minutes from me on the other side of town). As she mentioned several times....there's a reason she writes long books...she talked almost nonstop, LOL.

A few interesting tidbits she shared:

There will be two more John Grey books.
She's working on a new mystery series (totally unrelated to Jamie/Claire).
There will be one, maybe two, more Jamie/Claire books.

I bought a new copy of Outlander (trade paperback) for the occasion. It's now inscribed to me with "Scotland Forever" in Gaelic. A grand evening!


Happy Dance and the A List

Last night I finished Twisted Threads' Halloween Montage:

Halloween Montage

Note the nickel for size reference. It's over-1 on 32-count linen. I actually worked it 2-over-1 using continental (half-cross) stitch rather than make all those itsy-bitsy x's. Worked like a charm!

I couldn't have done it without my little Daylight Magnifier, though. I bought it at CATS this year and it was a blessing! Special thanks to the person who sent the kit to me last month...you know who you are!

The A List (11/7/05)

Have you ever participated in a random act of kindness for someone – either a stranger or someone you know? Or have you ever been the "target" of a random act of kindness?

Yes, on both counts :)

One of the more memorable ones I've participated in was in 2003 at my first Hershey CATS. Among the BB'ers that I met was a fellow, M. He had used waste canvas to cross-stitch a gorgeous design on the back of a denim jacket. Very impressive! He was a TW fan and posted on the BB, so fell into the group quite easily. At the BB dinner (if I remember correctly) he mentioned that TW's "Camelot Sampler" was the topmost item on his Wish List as it reminded him of a group of high school friends. There was something significant that had recently happened (one of them lost unexpectedly? I can't recall exactly) and it made the design even more special to him.

It didn't take much to come up with the plan. Teresa, Erin, Letha and I conspired to put the chart in his hands by way of Teresa's "Best of" Samplers Book. The look on his face was priceless! The spontaneity of the gift and knowing it would be appreciated made it that much more rewarding.

I've been on the receiving end a few times over the last years. Paw Printing's Blackwork Acorns arrived unexpectedly on my doorstep and I still have no idea where it came from. Recently, Dinky Dyes Southern Stars showed up without any sender information. I've also had RAKs that *are* known - last weekend I received a lovely card, bookmark and a bit of silk from Marilyn that brought a smile after a long, stressful week.


Chez Acre Happenings

This has been a busy week at Chez Acre.

Today, DS restarted his 2nd grade year at a new school. Ultimately, this is a Very Good Thing, but the *process* of making the decision and preparing him for the change was not easy.

About a week ago, we noticed a few more bruises than normal on his arms and legs. Now, of course, "boys will be boys" but this seemed a bit much. And over the last few weeks it seemed he always had some mark somewhere. A bit of judicious prying found that he was getting hit by balls on the playground...hard. He wouldn't tell us who, but we explained that playing ball shouldn't *hurt* - I don't care who you are playing with!

This was the last straw for us and this public school (several incidents last year that took a LOT of persistence on our part to get any resolution on). There's a Charter school less than a mile from us and I spent a few hours researching parent reviews, state reviews, etc and found it ranked "Excelling" consistently and was significantly smaller (160 students). The only "program" missing is band, but they do have an orchestra, which will serve my jazz-loving son if necessary. We visited on Friday, liked what we saw and after scrambling to outfit him with the appropriate "uniform" over the weekend, he started officially today.

Lo and behold he found students he had in class at the public school last year - he was very happy! The schoolwork is accelerated, so more homework for him (and us LOL) for awhile, but overall, I think it's a good move.

The other major happening involves another move. My dear grandfather has been moved to a Hospice home for 24x7 care. He (and my grandmother) are 90 and while she's just as sprite as ever, his constitution has deteriorated slowly over the last few years until he's too much for her to handle by herself. Again, lots of agonizing and research (primarily by my parents..I was the "sounding board") but in the long run, the best decision.

I'm still stitching away - I should have my Halloween Montage (Twisted Threads) done either tonight or tomorrow night. Still reading up a storm (see left). We saw "Wallace & Grommit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit" over the weekend (loved it!) and had a very yummy dinner at PF Chang's (best chinese food anywhere).

I'll try to keep a little more current....at least with the stitching and reading bits ;)


Catchup #2

Musing on Movies
October 18th

Movie trailers: some love them, others loathe them. What do you think of them? Do you make it a point to arrive in time to see them, or do you try hard to walk into the theater after they're over? Do you ever watch/download them on the internet? There is even a television show that that only shows movie trailers. Do you watch that show, or would you if it was available in your area?

I love movie trailers. I always arrive at the theater in time to see them and if for some reason there aren't any, I'm disappointed! I occasionally watch them online for movies I'm particularly interested in (Harry Potter being the latest example) but don't go further than that.
I will add that I'm not all that thrilled with the increase in commercials at the theater. The slide show is fine, but car commercials are just annoying in the middle of a set of trailers.

October 25th

Halloween is fast approaching. Let's try another genre question. What are your favorite horror and/or suspense films? What horror/suspense films do you think are terrible? Do you tend to watch a lot of them, or do you avoid them completely? Do they give you nightmares and/or continue to "creep you out" for days, or are they gone as soon as you leave the theater?

I don't do horror movies. Years ago I saw "An American Werewolf in London" and it gave me nightmares for years. I have never seen the last 25 minutes of "The Exorcist" or "Silence of the Lambs" and refuse to watch "Poltergeist." I'm sure they are good but I'd rather watch something else thankyouverymuch. DH and DD love a good horror movie…they are welcome to them!
Now, suspense is a totally different category. I thought "The Sixth Sense" was fantastic (even though I figured out the twist early on). Any Alfred Hitchcock movie falls into that category as well. "Jaws" isn't bad (but I thought the book was more suspenseful than the movie).

November 1st

What upcomimg films are on your "must see" list? Why are they must see? Is there anything coming out soon that you have absolutely no interest in seeing? Why not?

"Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" is at the very top. It's a tradition for Mom, DD and I to see it on Opening Day and that's the plan this year as well. I'll probably take DS not long after.
The only other November film is "Walk the Line" - I've been a fan of Johnny Cash for as long as I can remember. This probably won't be in the theater, though, as I'm the only one in the family who wants to see it. "Zathura" looks interesting - I love "Jumanji" but I'd hate this to simply be "Jumanji-in-space."
In December there are three that I'd love to see: "The Chronicles of Narnia", "Memoirs of a Geisha" and "Hoodwinked" (which I didn't even know existed until I clicked the link for December releases…). Narnia is a must-see for the theater but we'll see on the other two.


Monthly Goals and a Meme Catchup

Monthly Goal Review for October:

Start/Finish October Snapper - Yes!
Stitch next Ornament RR (x2) - Yes!
Stitch on:
Autumn Queen - Yes!
Shiraz - Yes!
Tropical Dream - Yes!
Buy new yarn for Pi (not liking what I've got) - Yes! - also bought enough for the Diamond Fantasy Shawl which got started rather than Pi restarted...

Yup, I finished 'em all! Let's set the bar a tad higher for November:

Start/Finish November Snapper
Stitch Ornament for Blogger Exchange
Stitch Bookmark for Blogger Exchange
Finish Stitched Item for Blogger Lottery Exchange
Stitch on:
Autumn Queen
Tropical Dream
Faerie Blue
Knit on DD's tank and Diamond Fantasy Shawl

I did start a small Halloween piece over the weekend (Twisted Threads Halloween Montage - it was a gift!) so once that is finished, I'll dive into the goals for the month.

Now for the Meme Catchup - The A List

One would think that I could manage to get my *own* meme answered on time.

Yeah…well…the rest of us know the truth!

Monday, October 31, 2005
Happy Halloween!
As I pour bags of Halloween candy into our traditional "trick-or-treat" bowl in preparation for tonight's visitors, I can't help but think back on the Halloween celebrations of my childhood. Maybe it's the smell of chocolate that brings them out?

What are some of your most vivid Halloween memories? What treat did you hope to find when you got back home and dumped out the spoils for review?

I have two costume-related Halloween memories from childhood. The first I must have been around 7ish. My princess costume that year was made of a blue tissue paper dress and a wig of golden ribbon, made up into fat sausage curls. There's a picture somewhere of me in this costume but I vividly recall the rustling it made as I walked.

A few years later, I went to school costumed as an Oreo Cookie. Mom cut large (and I mean hard-to-walk-large) cardboard disks and painted them to look like the cookie. I had a white turtleneck shirt on underneath and had the circles hanging from my shoulders like a sandwich board. I remember being rather disappointed I didn't win the school costume contest..LOL.

Growing up, the best candy to find was Sugar Babies or Milk Duds. Those were pulled aside and secreted away from the "main stash" so no one would steal them from me. This year we're handing out Junior Mints, Dots, Whoppers and Tootsie Pops :)

Monday, October 24, 2005
It’s Traveling Time!
We all find reasons that we have to travel – whether it be for a family vacation, or for a work situation. But have you ever traveled for the specific purpose of going to a fun convention? Maybe it’s for a hobby, for a favorite television show, movie or comic book, or even for role-play gaming.

What convention did you go to, how much time did you spend there, and is it something you would do (or have done) again?

In the last four years I've attended 8 CATS shows and 2 Stitching Retreats (each between two to five days):


Dallas, TX
Riverside, CA
Santa Clara, CA (twice)
Burbank, CA
Hershey, PA (twice)
Nashville, TN


Tulsa, OK (Stitchworks)
Myrtle Beach, SC (Lazy Daisy Retreat with TW, JAS and KW)

In all honesty, I'm not sure how many more of the CATS shows I'll do. They have gotten smaller each year and while I love seeing the friends I've made, it's depressing when there are fewer and fewer each year. If I do any in 2006, it'll be the Vegas show in April - and only because it's closest to me. As to a Stitching Retreat - I could easily do one of those a year! Just need to find a good one ("good" defined by having people I know also attending and either a location or designer of interest).

Monday, October 17, 2005
Books Anyone?
There's nothing quite like a good book. Of course, there's nothing quite like a really bad book, either, but that's usually another story (pun intended). ;)

What was the last book you read that you would recommend to someone else? Is there a book you recommend consistently to anyone that will listen? How often do you pick up a book for pleasure reading? Can you read multiple books at one time?

I recently finished Diana Gabaldon's newest: A Breath of Snow and Ashes. I would recommend that series to anyone that enjoyed a full, rich, story that is a little bit of history, romance, fantasy and suspense all rolled into one. It's simply marvelous.

However, my most recommended book is Anne Bishop's Black Jewels Trilogy. It is true fantasy and fantastic.

I read something every day. I don't think I can just read one book at a time anymore. I choose books for "situational reading" anymore - one type of book for the bus (interesting or fun, but not requiring a whole lot of concentration), one type for reading before bed (easily picked up and put down) and anything that doesn't fit in either category will get an odd evening at home or maybe become lunchtime reading here at work (those things that require more concentration). If it's unusually engrossing ("can't-put-it-down") then I might read it exclusively until it's finished (Breath was almost like that….almost because I put it down with less than 200 pages to go, simply because I didn't want it to end!).

Happy Halloween all!

Yes, there's a slight change on the graphics - I missed my daisies! Many thanks to my graphic designer, G. You know me so well :)


Odds and Ends

Well, it's been so long since I've made a significant post I don't quite know where to start...I suppose a couple finishes might be a good place ;)

Bent Creek October Snapper:

Only two months left of these monthly designs (ok, I admit, 2.5 as I have yet to finish June's).

JCS Retro Ornament RR - this is Rose's ornament (Threads thru Time's Joy to the World from the JCS 2001 edition)

After finishing these earlier this week, I spent the rest of the week working on TW's Tropical Dream:

This was taken earlier today...thanks to another football game, I've actually gotten the next 3 rows below the scene done and am working on the "waves" :) Once that is complete I'll pick up Shiraz Sampler for the rest of the month (to finish off the October goals).

I've found the top of the dog's crate in my bedroom a pretty good place to lay out my pieces for pictures. It's under a window, but there aren't any shadows cast and the light is quite even. Of course, I usually end up with an audience:


Nero went for his first grooming this week, so he once again looks like a schnauzer and not just a ball of fur. Duchess also had a bath and haircut:


That's it for pictures!

I finished a couple books this week as well.

A Breath of Snow and Ashes by Diana Gabaldon - I'm sad because I finished it, not because of any great tragedy at the end of the story. Another who-knows-how-long before we get the next installment. #3 in the series (Voyager) is still my favorite, but I think I need to reread the series from the beginning to verify that ;)

The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd - a coworker recommended this tale of a young white girl and her experience in the 60's in the South.

I also had lunch this week with soon-to-be-former-Arizonan, Margaret. Why is it that we can spend two hours chatting non-stop at lunch and I feel the time has flown by!? LOL We should be able to squeeze in one more lunch before she goes, though ;)

And I can finally say that summer is officially over in Arizona! How do I know this? Because there is no longer free chilled bottled water on the city bus in the afternoon. Come on "winter!" :)


I'm fine...

Just busy and staying off the computer and stitching more at home!

One bit of important news...

On Wednesday, I went to lunch with a couple of coworkers to a downtown Mexican restaurant and found that they sell Mexican Coke! It was *very* tasty with my chicken flautas, just needed a bit of lime to make it complete heaven ;)


More this weekend, including a few pics of small finishes and small dogs...


It's Tuesday....somewhere

It's Tuesday somewhere in the world right now, so that means a selection of memes to do....

The A List

If you could watch only one thing on television and had to give up every other show, what would you watch (not counting the news, since you could get that from a newspaper)?

Only one show? It's not like I watch a bunch, but it still would be hard to pick just one... Survivor? No, it is losing its appeal right now - it doesn't get good until the "merge" anyway. Amazing Race? Hmmm....good, but how long can you watch people sniping at each other and not get annoyed (there's always a team or two that gets on my nerves! LOL) Criminal Minds? Nah, way too depressing. Good, but depressing. Same goes for NUMB3RS and Invasion.

Let's see, that leaves.....baseball. Atlanta Braves or Arizona Diamondbacks, please :) If it *must* be a series, than the one I watch more than anything (and about have memorized) A&E's Nero Wolfe.

Stitching Blogger's Question of the Week

When you have almost finished a pattern and start thinking about the next one to stitch, how do you select it? (a list, most recent purchase, etc.)

Whatever happens to be yelling the loudest which may be something recently purchased or even a design I've seen finished by someone else.

Musing on Movies

What is your favorite movie snack? Do you usually get something to eat and/or drink at the theater, or is it a rare treat? What snack (if any)do you usually eat while watching a movie at home?

Movie theatre = popcorn. Always. I simply cannot enjoy the whole "movie-going" experience without some popcorn and a cold drink. If I'm at AMC, it's a Coke, if I'm at Harkins or other non-Coke theatre, it's lemonade or Hawaiian Punch! If I happen to be craving something sweet as well, my first choice is Red Vines, second choice is either Jordan Almonds or Milk Duds.

In fact, I'm planning to see Corpse Bride on Friday night and I can already smell the popcorn....

For home watching, there's not usually a snack as we watch a lot of movies and many times I'm stitching or knitting while I watch.

I'm going to hold off on Booking Through Thursday....I don't want to dig out a book right now. LOL


I was bitten...

The organization bug bit me on Saturday.

It all started when Daughter requested a package of colored index cards and a book ring on Friday afternoon. She needed them for her English class - a suggestion from her teacher to help with studying vocabulary words.

On Saturday, I included a trip to Staples in my regular errands and dutifully found the pack of multi-colored 3 x 5 cards. 300 to be exact. Then my eyes spotted an index card case sitting nonchalantly next to the cards.

I started thinking...a dangerous thing.

The past few weeks, I've had several opportunities to dig into my stash looking for either a fiber to supplement an Ornament RR or a certain bead or metallic for a quick stitch. What I found is that I don't always know what I have in the fiber/bead/metallic areas of the stash. Those items are in a series of drawer units without a whole lot of organization.

What if I kept an easy-to-reference list of exactly what I have for the most common elements handy? Something I could pick up and drop in my purse for a trip to the LNS or just pull out as I'm perusing the latest JCS Ornament magazine?

The answer was right in front of me! Daughter didn't need 300 index cards so I knew I could snag at least 100 of them (and not use but a fraction of that) and use them to list beads, cottons, silks, metallics and odds and ends (five dividers in the case, five colors in the pack). Easy to update, easy to carry and *very* easy to drag along to the LNS if I needed to.

Later that afternoon I pulled out my bead drawer, my trusty labelmaker, the index cards and the case. I filled my 3 20-container cases with Mill Hills, half-filled my "flip-top" box (the 2" ones - 24 fit in a bigger box) with Delicas and made a list of all the MH Treasures lurking in the drawer. I also created two copies of each card of Mill Hills. One for my case, one to lay in the top of the container for an easy glance when looking for something specific. I put the bead number on the bottom of the tin. Another card for Delicas (not in the case as I put the label on the side facing up in the box), another for MH Treasures (still in their packaging, but now in a recloseable bag in the drawer) and finally one for the odds and ends of crystals I have purchased to use instead of the way more expensive MH Treasures.

Remember, this is only what I have *in my stash*. This doesn't include stuff that's already kitted for use. I ordered more cases today as I might be energetic enough to pull beads from the pre-kitted stuff and organize it.

After dinner, it was time to do the fibers. Six drawers plus two filer boxes of silks, cottons, metallics and various other bits. It took about 4 hours to sort, store and catalog it all with Daughter's help. Here's what I now have catalogued:

GAST - 30 colors (several duplicates....gee, go figure)
WDW - 16 colors
Needle Necessities - 29 (3 skeins of one color...sheesh!)
...10 other brands (Dinky Dyes, Stranded by the Sea, Blended Needle, Olde Willow...)
Watercolours - 9
Wildflowers - 7
DMC/Anchor Perle - 29 assorted balls and skeins
Waterlillies - 19
Silk n Colors - 22 (I have at least this many more in kitted designs)
Gumnuts - 23
...at least a dozen other types (Dinky Dyes, Soie Crystale, Silk Mori, Splendor, NPI...)
#4 Braid - 34 colors (but how did I get 5 spools of 202HL?!?!)
BF - 17 colors

...you get the idea.

So, what was my first thought when I got a sale notice from an ONS today? "I know what I have now, so I can order a few colors to fill out the sets!" Yeah. I resisted...LOL.

Just so you don't think I was taken by my organizing fit in order to avoid my current WIP, once I had everything back in its freshly-labelled drawers, I finished off my current Ornament RR piece on Saturday night and have been working diligently on Autumn Queen today while watching the never-ending Braves v Astros playoff game (unfortunately not with the outcome I was hoping for...)

Gee, I bet I could catalogue my fabric...or at least all the stuff I have kitted...hmmm...maybe next weekend's project!


Time for Pictures!

I know, I've been promising pics for days...I really have a few to show.

I've also learned that the dogs' crate currently taking up roughly 15% of my bedroom floor space is *perfect* for laying out pieces for pictures. The light from the window is just the right angle to keep from having shadows *and* I don't have to bend over to take good shots (it's a big crate - has to be for three dogs!)

Ok, finishes first:

"Retro RR" Ornament from JCS 2002 - Glory Bee's Sweet Christmas (as we announced our choices to the group, might as well show it off here!)

Round 10 Ornament RR:

This one isn't announced so you only get a link

The Monthly Bent Creek Snapper:

September in DMC on light sand Belfast..just like the others

Ok, now for the "In progress" shots:

Mirabilia's Autumn Queen on white Jobelan (picture doesn't look white....I was losing the light):

She's coming along nicely, methinks.

TW's Tropical Dream on bone 20-ct Lugana:

Yes, the border is straight, why do you ask?!?


Beans and Memes

Just a quick clarification - I rather doubt the entire crop of black beans is in jeopardy (though I suppose it's possible). EPL does some magic to them to make them sweet and spicy and I would think it's their special version that's not available. But I *really* appreciate all the comments and support!

Now for the weekly memes (forgive my lack of formatting. Blogger's post screen doesn't play well with our Mac!):

The A List - Disposable Time

So, how do you spend your "disposable time?"

After carving out work and sleep there ain't much left. I do have dinner with the family every night, but I'm not always the one cooking, freeing up quite a bit of time during the week! Disposable time I consider "me time."

True "me time" is spent stitching, reading, surfing boards and blogs (ok, and a little shopping) and playing the odd computer game (Pharoah, Atlantis, Lego Star Wars....). And if I don't have a bit of that daily, I admit, I get cranky!

Stitching Blogger's Question of the Week:

Have you ever just quit a project while in the midst of it? (We're not referring to UFOs here, rather projects that you know that you'll never work on again.) Why? What did you do with it - throw it out, give it away, put it away?

Yes. If my opinion changes on a project, I have no problem "readjusting" its future. While I've not actually tossed one out, I have 'reclaimed' the fabric for my stash or some future project. I've given projects away, sold them and do have a couple simply put away to see if the opinion swings back sometime in the future.

You just never know ;)

Musing on Movies - National Past Time

What are your favorite sports films? What sports films do you think are terrible? Do you tend to watch a lot of sports movies or very few, or do you avoid them completely? Which sports (if any) do you watch on television? Are those the same sports you enjoy as movies?

Favorite Sports Films: Bull Durham, The Natural, The Cutting Edge
Terrible Sports Films: ....for me, anything hockey or basketball. I'm sure there are good hockey and basketball movies, but as I don't care for hockey or basketball well....
Watch Sports films? I don't search them out or avoid them. But if it's baseball, I'll give it a second look every time ;)
TV Sports: Baseball is #1 with football a distant second. The Olympics would be on there, too. And yeah, I guess there's a correlation given my first two favorites, eh?

Booking Thru Thursday - Nearby

Pick up the book that is closest to where you're sitting right now.

What are the book's title and author? Phantom by Susan Kay

Turn to page 127. Locate the third paragraph, first sentence. Type that sentence here: (uh oh) "I waited just long enough for him to turn back to me, then I plunged the knife up into the obscene, wobbling mass of flesh which concealed his gut."

Does the sentence make sense out of context? I believe so...not a pleasant picture, but a picture nonetheless.

Seeing it sitting here by itself, out of the book, is it funny? Sad? Strange? Does it make you want to explore its source? It makes me *not* want to read it, even though I already have and loved it!

Are you currently reading this book? Why? No...already read it. It's waiting patiently to be passed on to my mother here by the front door.

That's it for this week!


Too Close to Home

Note: It is not my intention to make light of the devastation that Hurricane Katrina and Rita have visited upon anyone. I just didn't expect it to strike quite so close to home....

Tonight, DH and I took a quick trip to a great fast food restaurant to grab dinner for the family. It's called El Pollo Loco and they do the most wonderful grilled marinated chicken that we drive 15+ minutes to pick it up for dinner. It's fantastic.

The second-most fantastic thing on their menu is their black beans. Now, you must understand, I really don't like beans. I don't care if they are green, lima, yellow, wax....heck, even jelly beans I'm picky about (black or Jelly Belly only). So the fact that I will *crave* these spicy black beans is quite an amazing thing.

We order: 12 pieces of chicken, flour tortillas and 2 large black bean sides (cole slaw must come from KFC).

"I'm sorry, we don't have black beans anymore."

WHAT?!? No beans? What am I going to do? How can I rollup just *chicken* in the tortilla (usually a smear of beans goes on the bottom). This is sacrilege!

We drive around to pay and I can't help but question why on earth these are no longer available.....

"Hurricane Katrina. They are made in Louisiana."

Ah. I see. It's all Katrina's fault that I must forever be denied the one bean in the world that I really really like. Too bad I already gave a chunk for hurricane relief. I wonder if I can divert that to "Save the Black Beans" instead? Nah....probably not...


Monthly Goals

Let's Review...

September Goals:

Start/Finish September Snapper - Done
Stitch next Ornament RR (x2) - Done x2
Start Shiraz Sampler on Labor Day - Done
Stitch on:
Tropical Dream - Yes
Faerie Blue - Uhhh...no.
Autumn Queen - Yes!
Knit on DD's Tank - a few more rows done

October Goals:

Start/Finish October Snapper
Stitch next Ornament RR (x2)
Stitch on:
Autumn Queen
Tropical Dream
Buy new yarn for Pi (not liking what I've got)


What does it mean....?

What does it mean when my blog posts are nothing but books read, movies and tv watched, hints of stitching and the odd tag or meme?

That my life is downright calm right now.

But you know what? Given all that's happening in the world...I thank the Lord every day that it is! Wonderful DH and kids and dogs that are only minorly challenging is just the way I like it. I am a blessed woman (and not just because I'm sneezing....allergies, ya know).

That said, here are the highlights...


Finished Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella - the ultimate chicklit book. A very fun read and the fact that it is set in London just made it more fun for me.

Started Valhalla Rising by Clive Cussler - After watching Sahara the other night (loved it!) I did a search in the "lending cube" at work for Dirk Pitt novels and found this one. I think I might have to raid the library next as I'm really enjoying the bit of action adventure. Of course, it's also the first book I've read where the *author* is one of the characters....

Also started Yarn Harlot: The Secret Life of a Knitter by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee - it's a series of short bits, so a good evening-just-before-bed book.


Sahara - as mentioned above....loved it!!!

Hitch - watched this just last night and laughed out loud. I do like Will Smith (yes, I know he plays the same character in every movie....but it's one I *like*)

Invasion (TV) - kinda creepy but I'm liking it still after two weeks

Criminal Minds (TV) - Mandy Patinkin. 'nuff said.

NUMB3RS (TV) - they are so good at giving a little "twist" toward the end to keep ya guessing.

Amazing Race (TV) - Ok, the fact that a family I liked was eliminated in the first show and two that are like nails-on-a-chalkboard made it to the next leg isn't encouraging. But it was cool to see the kids beat the grownups!

Survivor (TV) - The toughest season yet.


Umm...nothing new to report here. Still working on Autumn Queen....I'll do my usual monthly goal post and finally *get some pictures up* this weekend. Really. I swear!


From Ann:

7 Things I Want To Do Before I Die:

Visit London
Visit the Louvre
Visit the Smithsonian
Master enough HTML for a killer webpage
Finish Stroke of Midnight
See my children graduate college
Spoil my grandchildren

7 Things I Can Do:
Make amazing cheesecake
Drawn Thread stitching
Make my children giggle
Make my spouse gasp
Find the answer if I don't *know* the answer

7 Things I Cannot Do: (but might someday)
Make pie crust from scratch
Roll my tongue (nope, don't have the right genes)
See more than 6" clearly without my glasses
Go long without a Coke (a day...but that's it)
Willingly eat meat loaf or green beans
Be cruel to anyone
Remember all the birthdays I want to....

7 Things that Attract Me to Another Person
A good smile
Gorgeous eyes
A Sense of Humor
A Quick Wit
Practicality (to a point...)

7 Celebrity Crushes:
Shaun Cassidy (when I was a teen!)
Scott Bakula
Sean Connery
Alton Brown (for his cooking!)
Marc Cohn (his voice)
Harrison Ford
Johnny Depp

7 Things I Say the Most:
"And you expect this *when*?"
"Have a wonderful day!"
"Yes, dear"
"Woobie" (DD) or "My Sweet Babboo" (DS)
"I love you"

7 Bloggers I Will Tag:

...nope! If you'd like to be tagged, go right ahead, but I ain't namin' names....

Enjoy the weekend everyone!


Meme-r, Meme-r

Technically, I'm a day early, I know. But as most of you won't *see* this until Tuesday, it won't really appear all that different in the grand scheme of things.

Oh wait, I'll be missing one of my sources....bother...I'll have to catch up tomorrow on that one..

But first, one comment from yesterday. I did think of emailing blog entries, but as the prohibition is on *blogging* itself, that's kind of stretching the limits and well, I *do* like my job. We'll see how long it takes for this first rush of inspection to pass. In the meantime, I'll still write my entries, email 'em home and then post from there :) Not like I have earth-shattering news anyway!

On to da memes...we have a new player beginning this week...(you might say I know the authors).

The A List

Why do you answer memes? Or read other people's answers? What memes do *you* read?

I answer memes because I like to think it forces me to answer questions that I might not otherwise share on the blog. Come on, I can't talk reading and stitching and life *all* the time without sounding terribly pompous and downright boring!

I do read other people's answers essentially to learn more about them and see how their answers compare to mine :) I love when I find someone that answers like me and love when someone I feel I know comes up with an answer I'm not expecting.

As for which memes I read/answer - let me give you the examples!

Stitching Blogger's Question of the Week

What is the most challenging specialty stitch you have ever stitched?

First that comes to mind: picots in hardanger. I'll use a bead before I willingly do a picot ever again!

Booking Through Thursday

Abridged and edited
  1. Are abridged books a good thing or just plain awful? - Only as a way of tempting someone to read the *whole* book or as a help for reading comprehension (a la Cliff's Notes)
  2. How about books that are edited to modernize them? - No! No! No!
  3. Is dated language part of the charm of a book or an irritation? - Part of the charm...the environment...the whole "escapist" idea...
  4. Have you ever read an abridged or edited version of a book? - I seem to remember my mom having the odd edition of a "Reader's Digest Condensed books" but I cannot tell you a single title I read.
The only other *regular* Meme you'll see here is Musing on Movies. Unfortunately it comes out on Tuesday, so I'll have to catch up tomorrow.

I still read the Friday Forum questions, just none have called to me lately ;)

Until...well...sometime soon!


Speeding through the Bookshelf

In the last few days, I finished Wilbur Smith's River God and Mary Janice Davidson's Undead and Unwed.

At several hundred pages, River God took most of the week on the bus. I really enjoyed it and I can *not* believe it sat two years on my shelf waiting patiently to be read! I really must get the next two - The Seventh Scroll and Warlock.

Undead and Unwed was a very quick read. One day on the bus and then an hour on Saturday morning and it was done. Fun read, kind of "chick-lit meets vampire" with the main character a rather unique vampire with a weakness for designer shoes. There are several sequels so I'll be adding those to the library for some fun reads.

Mom dropped off Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella and that's the new bus book.

Stitching-wise, I've finished my ornaments for the month (2 RRs worth), finished off my September Snapper and am planning to spend the rest of the month working on Autumn Queen.

Pictures? Uh yeah....I know. One of these days I'll get my FTP software installed on a new computer (either the Mac laptop or our new PC) and upload them so you can see....I *am* taking them at least!

Work has implemented new internet security policies that prohibit blogging, so my entries may be a little sparse until I get used to blogging from home all the time rather than here and there....and evidently ezboard posts are being snagged in the web as well, so while I will be reading some, I won't be posting much during the day. I rather like my job ;)


Meme Island

Musing on Movies

Remaking old TV series into movies is all the rage right now. What is the best small-to-big screen adaptation you have seen? What is the worst? Is there one that you liked, even if it didn't follow the original series at all? What TV show deserves the "big screen"
treatment? Who would you cast?

::thinking:: Movies based on TV shows that I've seen.....

Um, there aren't many. In fact, the only onesI can think of offhand are the numerous Star Trek movies. Heck, the ones with the "original" cast are better than the TV show. That's just my opinion, of course ;) Otherwise I usually avoid the big screen versions as for the most part, I've yet to hear really good things about them.

As for a TV Show that would "translate" to the big screen...first to mind is "Monk." You've got to keep the cast, though, I can't imagine anyone else in those roles. They do a great job with the series, but an "expanded" plotline and a deeper mystery would be great for a movie.

Oh! I did see "The Powerpuff Girls" - does that count? Same cast, same style, just really really long....

Booking through Thursday

What are your five favorite books of all time? Why did they make the list?

All books made the list because I can (or have) read them over and over and love them anew each time:

Gone with the Wind - Margaret Mitchell
Dragonriders of Pern (the first three books) - Anne McCaffrey
The Belgariad - David Eddings
Black Jewels Trilogy - Anne Bishop
Tuesday Club Murders - Agatha Christie

What's the earliest book you can remember? Do your family read? Who encouraged you to read?

Never Tease a Weasel by Jean Conder Soule I had it memorized for years (not so much now...)

My mother read and I vividly recall her keeping all the lights on in the house when she was reading Stephen King's Salem's Lot sometime in the early 80's. My grandparents were both school teachers, so I had *lots* of encouragement and a good-sized library growing up.

Reference books—do you have any? Why do you have the ones you do? Do you use them?

The standard ones: dictionary, thesaurus, quotations
The not-so-standard ones: a host of computer-related books, egyptian hieroglyphics and various accounting and finance tomes (the latter school-related).

Stitching Bloggers Question

Do you stitch for events like weddings, engagements, or other things that might not last? If you have been unlucky and the two people broke up, what happened to your stitched gift?

I've only stitched two wedding samplers. One for my current DH and myself (it's safe for the long-term) and one for my brother and his bride earlier this year. I've got confidence in that one, too.

I did find out that my XH "disposed" of a stitched piece of mine by selling it at a garage sale. I suppose if I had actually *liked* the piece it would have been significantly more upsetting. As I wasn't all that thrilled with it, I'm just glad it went to someone that would hang it in their home and enjoy it.....even though I've no idea who it is!



In honor of International Talk Like a Pirate Day...a wealth o' pirate bounty!

My pirate name is:

Captain Anne Flint

Even though there's no legal rank on a pirate ship, everyone recognizes you're the one in charge. Like the rock flint, you're hard and sharp. But, also like flint, you're easily chipped, and sparky. Arr!

Hmm..methinks I like this one better:

MSN Pirate Name Generator:

Arrrrgh me beauty, send the name Annette to davy jones's locker! You will commandeer your ship as :

Jolly Jeannie

(Tisn't the prettiest nickname, tis a nickname none the less)

The ultimate Pirate Glossary!

Avast, ye bilge rats! Fair winds be at yer back until the morrow when we set sail for Meme Island!


But I Only Needed One....

I've been on quite the reading kick since I'm riding the bus again. Let me just say it is an absolute *pleasure* to be able to get thru a decent sized book (300+ pages) in less than a month again. At home I only read just before going to sleep (unless it's something absolutely gripping) and that's usually no more than 15-20 minutes. On the bus it's no more than 3-4 days to get thru the entire book.

While I plan to sort thru my "unread" shelves this weekend to take better stock of what I have on the waiting list, I knew of one book I wanted for both DH and I to read. So off to AmazonUK yesterday to pluck it from my Wish List where I'd stored it a few weeks ago. Falco on his Metal by Lindsey Davis is a three-book "omnibus" in the Didius Falco series. I already have the first two, so these are the next in the series.

Why AmazonUK? Because AmazonUS says they are out of print. Uh huh. *I* know better. They don't even have the three-book omnibus.

Now, I wouldn't want this book to make the trek overseas all by it's lonesome, so I added The Little Book of SuDoku to the package.

The problem with ordering from the UK is the delivery time. It takes awhile to swim across the Atlantic and then that long cross-country trek to Arizona. What's a girl to do?

Why order a couple more from AmazonUS, of course. Free shipping and all that (and as I type this I realize I should have gone with Barnes & Noble instead...their free shipping is faster! Bother!)

Oh well, here's what's coming:

Dragon Rider by Cornelia Funke. I saw someone reading this on the bus and did some research. Looks like a great book for me as well as my two dragon-loving children.
Undead and Unwed by Mary Janice Davidson. Been on my Wish List forever after recommendations on the Stitching Readers BB.
The Chalice and The Blade by Glenna McReynolds. Another from the Readers BB (Yes, Haze, you got me again!)
SuDoku: More than 200 fun and challenging Japanese number puzzles by Tammy Seto. Yeah, I know. It's an illness. But it was in my "Gold Box" specials so at least it was at a discount!

Additionally, I got an email that a pre-order has now shipped:

Yarn Harlot: The Secret Life of a Knitter by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee. I read her blog every day without fail and it never lets me down....she's is a gifted writer and absolutely hilarious!

So, yeah, I'm set for awhile.

Now if I could just adjust to my new glasses....I've graduated to bifocals and while my distance vision is fantastic, I still have to get the hang of focusing close up.


A Finish of a Different Kind

I know, I mentioned yesterday that I might have a finished piece to show off today.

Unfortunately, I have two *other* kinds of finishes to relate. One good, one not so good.

The good finish: Furies of Calderon by Jim Butcher. If you like good epic fantasy with good vs evil, otherworld politics, inventive magic, then this is definitely the book for you! I had been reading it on the bus to and from work (about an hour a day total) and simply couldn't put it down when I got home last night. I had only 100 pages to go and there was a battle raging! I had to see how it played out (and wasn't disappointed...at all).

Next bus book: River God by Wilbur Smith. I've had this on my shelf for over two years based on comments on the Stitching Readers BB (yes, Haze, you can claim this one LOL). I know I bought it back when I was riding the bus before!

As for the not-so-good finish....

A moment of silence please for my home computer. After DH noticed some questionable odors being emitted this week by my 4-yr old system, we made the decision to "put it to sleep" last night. I had spent time this past weekend burning irreplaceable files to CD (ok, *DH* did the burning, I just organized the files) so all that was left last night was exporting my address book and favorites and forwarding critical emails to a temporary address. (Still need to consolidate the data to some text files for easier backup...).

Once I was happy I'd gotten everything, we shut the computer down, pulled the hard drive and reinvented it as a "secondary" drive on DH's new computer. We wiped its files (reformatted) and renamed the partitions for its new role.

It was a great computer and never balked at anything I asked it to do. A true machine and I hope I gave it a happy life.

As the plan is to reduce the number of computers in the house, there will be no replacement. We're hoping to get by with just a desktop and laptop, both of which are quite dependable and current.

Now for the fun of reinstalling all my stuff!


My Favorite Memes

With the debut of Musing on Movies, Tuesday will probably become my "Meme Day" for awhile. I do so few anymore, I'd rather just put 'em all together in one post!

These are a few of my favorite things
"My Precious"~~The Lord of the Rings
What are some of your all-time favorite movies?
Why are they your favorites?

In no particular order:

Gone With the Wind - the grandeur, the romance of the South, the amazing work of Leigh, Gable, de Havilland and the rest of the cast. A timeless movie that is just as good today as when it was originally released.

The Red Violin - the score is phenomenal and the story is captivating. We rented this movie on a whim not too long after it was released to DVD and were utterly amazed that we had missed it in the theatre! One of my most recommended movies as not many people I know have seen it.

The Incredibles - my all-time favorite Disney movie. *Just* squeaks by Sleeping Beauty (still my favorite in the "classic animation" category). Perfect for kids of all ages.

The Court Jester - classic comedy. *Real* comedy - not the mean-spirited, low comedy found in many contemporary releases.

Mr. Blandings Builds his Dream House - another classic comedy. Multiply the numbers in the movie by a factor of 10 and you could release it today and hit home ;)

Midnight in the Garden of Good & Evil - is it the stunning Savannah location? The twist and turns of the true story? The fact it's amazingly close to the book? Not sure why, but I love this movie!

..I'll stop there!

What are some of your *least* favorite movies?
Why don't you like them?

Any "slasher" horror movie - don't waste my time.

Any Adam Sandler movie - or any "comedy" that gets its laughs from someone else's physical or emotional discomfort.

ET the Extra-Terrestrial - I hate this movie. Too saccharin-sweet and utterly predictable.

I'm hopelessly behind on my next Meme, so this is an older question...

Booking Through Thursday
  1. Which 3 authors would you invite to a dinner party (they can be dead)? Shakespeare, David Eddings and Agatha Christie

  2. Why? They each represent one of my favorite genres of books. While I couldn't pump William or Agatha on their plans for their next release, it would be great to hear their opinions on my favorites!

  3. Would they get along? I would hope so!

That's all for today! Tomorrow I might have pictures to post as I've finished one of my ornament RR pieces...ooooo....


So...What Do You Think???

Do not adjust your monitor...this is still Annette's Acre.

I've just got a new look :)

*Many* thanks to the Design-A-Blog folks for the lovely new graphics and layout. I admit, I was a bit on the picky side, but they were nothing but helpful!


Odds and Ends

First, a WIP pic from last weekend's Monochrome SAL:

This is Dinky Dye's Shiraz Sampler done in their Yallingup Cotton on antique white jobelan.

Just over one skein for this much done. The whole sampler takes 6-7 total. I love the colors.

For now, I'm back to a couple Ornament RR pieces and then my September BC Snapper is up.


I finished a couple books this week as well. First A New Attitude by Charlotte Hughes. Not bad, but rather lacking in an overall sense of "purpose" - things just happened to the main character without much of a final goal in mind. I mean, it's fairly obvious she's going to get together with the other main character, but I would think there would be some other grand finale, you know?

Next I finished Knit One, Kill Two by Maggie Sefton. This is a new author and the series is set in a knitting shop. Other than the constant use of the phrases: "artistically arranged boxes" and "soft and inviting" when describing the products in said shop, it was worth keeping an eye out for the next installment. It includes two knitting patterns and a recipe for cinnamon rolls that looks pretty good. Not as "out of left field" on the solution as Monica Ferris can get, which is a bit easier to take.

The bedside book is now Love Overboard by Janet Evanovich. It's one of her early romance-type books she wrote prior to Stephanie Plum's series. Should be quick - and definitely a "light" read.

The bus book is more in line with my usual reading material: Furies of Calderon by Jim Butcher. 15 pages read on the commute this morning and I'm ready to take it out at lunchtime today to keep going. Wonderful magic base and twists in just the first pages. I love his Dresden Files series, so it's no surprise I'm drawn in already here.

Of course, what I *wanted* to start was Diane Gabaldon's Fiery Cross as a refresher for A Breath of Snow and Ashes coming out in two weeks. But could I *find* said book yesterday? Of course not! I found all the others in the series, but not FC. Bother. I'll hunt again this weekend as I rather doubt the Evanovich will take long to finish.

And in the course of pulling links for all the above titles, my Wish List on Barnes & Noble *and* Amazon has been expanded.....LOL

Game Hunt

I'm also on the lookout for a new PC game. DH has upgraded his PC and we can start looking at some of the new games out. My PC will still play Pharoah and Pandora's Box, but it won't play Black & White (B&W wasn't written for XP), which is a great game as well. There's good news, though! Black & White 2 will be out soon (Oct. 4) and DH's PC will easily handle it :)

A few others I've spotted that look interesting:

Dragonshard - out September 20th. D&D and real-time strategy. A potentially winning combination - ok, at least for me.

Egyptian Prophecy - an oldie, but still looks good.

Agatha Christie - And Then There Were None - Oh yeah, classic Christie! I do know the solution of the original story, though. According to the reviews it won't help me..LOL

Civilization 3 - I go back to this one again and again...and wonder if maybe I should give it a try...

Any recommendations?


The Results are In....

No pneumonia!!! (Everyone breathe a sigh of massive relief to match mine...LOL)

But, I still have a horrible cough, so another trip to the doctor to see what they can do so it doesn't end up worse...


Here we go again...

With one exception, it was an excellent weekend.

I watched several DVDs (The Aviator, Finding Neverland, Constantine, Chef! Season 1), I stitched (Shiraz and an ornament...pictures soon) and lounged around at home happily.

The exception?

That would be the cough. That got progressively worse over the weekend.

My doctor suspects another round of pneumonia (have had chest xray - just waiting for confirmation). My appointment this morning was pre-scheduled for a totally unrelated matter but when she heard the cough...well...that's where she started.

Stay tuned...more tomorrow....


Monthly Goals - September

August Goals Recap:

Start/Finish August Snapper - Yes!
Stitch next Ornament RR - Not received until 8/30 - but it should be quick
LOTS of progress on Faerie Blue - Oh yes!
Have a blast at Nashville CATS! - Of course
Finish DD's Knitted Tank - uh..no

I also finished Butterfly Lace, so that should count for something...

September Goals:

Start/Finish September Snapper
Stitch next Ornament RR (x2)
Start Shiraz Sampler on Labor Day
Stitch on:
Tropical Dream
Faerie Blue
Autumn Queen
Knit on DD's Tank

Ambitious, but we'll see how it goes....


SuDoku Seduction


It started out innocently enough.

Once a month there was a pseudo-SuDoku puzzle in my "Brainteasers, Puzzles, etc A-Day" Desk Calendar. (The next one is September 7th)

Within two months, I had looked forward to find when each one fell in the month for the remainder of the year. They were by far my favorite puzzle in the calendar.

Then someone posted this link online: WebSudoku. I printed a half-dozen puzzles and worked thru them in a relatively short time (hey, I was at work...)

Then another link: DailySudoku and I have religiously printed the daily puzzle and worked it (as best I could) each day. I'm thrilled when I manage to finish a "Hard" puzzle and am pretty consistent with the "Mediums" right now.

And on Amazon I found: Sudoku Easy by Will Shortz. Handy to figure out strategy, but they are almost *too* easy now so I need to order this one.

Also found a free app for my Treo (Palm device), so I can play anywhere...

And now rumors of a UK-published monthly magazine......

I'm doomed. Doomed I tell you! But I can count to 9 *really* good!


A Question Answered and Upcoming Stitch-Along

First, Isabelle asked about the Butterfly in Butterfly Lace....

I made it :)

It's essentially organza ribbon, fusible interfacing, some tiny wire and a bit of silk (stitched over the wire outlines) for the wings. The body is Rainbow Gallery Nordic Gold braid and the head a small gold pearl. The antennae are made of Kreinik braid.

Very tedious. But very pretty results....

Upcoming Stitch-Along -

The idea of a "Monochromatic SAL" has taken hold on the RotationBB this week. Several folks have single-color designs waiting not-so-patiently to be started and they are coming out this coming weekend, September 3-5. It's a long weekend (Labor Day) for the US but as usual, we have participants around the globe!

For me, it's my newly acquired Shiraz Sampler from Dinky Dyes to be done in DD Yallingup on white fabric.

For those without a usual monochromatic design, they've chosen a project that has lots of one color "family" to join in.