Thursday, February 28, 2008

Book Search

Ok, all you out there in Knitting Land, I need your help. I have a birthday coming up and I want to put a knitting book (or two) on my wish list. I already have Mason-Dixon Knitting and love it. Anyone have a knitting book that they just can't live without?

That was how the post started.... but then the youth at church had a babysitting fund-raiser, and DaHubby and I stepped out for the evening. No, wait, it'll make sense, bear with me. By the time we'd braved the Friday night dinner crowds (does everybody in town wait till Friday night to go out to eat?? Ugh! I guess that makes it obvious how rarely we go out to eat on a Friday night), we had only a teensy amount of time left in child-free freedom. So, being the wild and crazy couple that we are, we went to B & N to browse through all the books we don't have time to read. I went first to the Knitting section. Admittedly, it's technically the Crafts section, but they could have one section just for knitting or maybe knit and crochet and they could call it Fiber Arts. I'm just saying. Anyway I looked at all of the knitting books they had that I hadn't already looked at or read from the library and I made a startling discovery about myself:

I don't think I WANT a new knitting book on my shelf at home.

Doesn't that make me some kind of knitting heretic? But I stood there looking at all those beautiful books with all those great patterns and helpful tidbits of advice and I was just overwhelmed by the realization that I have enough projects in my mental queue, and I don't want any more! I was stressing out right there in the middle of B & N!

After that, I naturally had to go soothe myself in the Military History section, which made it all better :) I found a new book about the WWII home front called, get this,
The American Home Front: 1941-1942. It's always a good day when I can find a new book about the home front (and dig that catchy title!).

The upshot of all this is that I'd rather not have knitting book recommendations at this time. Maybe when I get the multitudes of projects on my needles and in my brain under some control, I'll be able to find the space in my life for a new knitting book. Until then, I can skulk around on Ravelry and feel guilty that I haven't fleshed out my notebook any better than I have. I mean, really...we can put a man on the moon, but we can't find a way for photos to magically jump from our digital cameras to some usable form on Flickr without our intervention???

Friday, February 22, 2008

Another Bad Joke Friday

The last Bad Joke Friday was such fun, especially the contributions of Becky and Dale, that I decided to have another one!


Did you hear the one about the botanist who was trying to research some details about a particular kind of fern? He sent a request to all his colleagues, asking them to send him any information they had about it.

Unfortunately, he didn't word his request very well, and all the botanists he'd contacted thought he was looking for details about any ferns, rather than just the one species. So within just a few hours of sending it out, his fax machine was buzzing with piles of useless documents about all kinds of ferns - there were tree ferns and wood ferns, ostrich ferns and cinnamon ferns... but very few about the particular type he wanted.

So he sent another message to everyone:

If it ain't bracken, don't fax it.


Q: Why is a trumpet player like an Egyptian Ruler?
A: They have their Tutankhamen.


Q: What's a mummy's favorite type of music?
A: Wrap.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Goodnight Moon, or Why the kids were up late

A great big thanks to DaHubby for remembering the Lunar Eclipse last night (before it happened, no less!!). After church, we came home, told the kids to get ready for bed, then kept an eye on the clock. The kids do NOT keep an eye on the clock at bedtime, as their ultimate, nightly goal is to see how long they can fool the parents into letting them stay up just a bit longer, and this takes considerable energy and concentration on their part.

Then, at 8:45, after making sure they were all ready for shut-eye, we said, without any previous warning, "Put on your shoes and coats." It's so much fun to spring things on them! So out we trooped to the front yard, no doubt giving the neighbors something else to talk about. We discussed what causes eclipses and watched the moon slowly but surely turn dark and reddish. It was a perfect eclipse-watching sky, with only a few wispy clouds and a fantastic view of the moon.

As I heard the 7 am bus pull through this morning, I was so thankful that we homeschool, and can make our schedule adjust to things like a Lunar Eclipse.

Or the Great Backyard Bird Count, for that matter. By the way, remember how I said that birds avoid our yard during the Bird Count? I think I need to amend that to say that birds avoid ME during the Bird Count! Saturday the kids and I went out and saw a grand total of 4 birds (2 species) in 30 minutes. This was about what I expected. Then Sunday morning, DaHubby and the kids sat there and spotted 15 birds (9 species) in 45 minutes. Ok, no problem, that's great. Then later on Sunday, while visiting friends out in the country, I sat for at least an hour with my binoculars and saw, are you ready for this? ONE BIRD! Out in the country! One lousy hawk that I never was able to positively identify. And that's when I began to take it personally. Monday morning we saw something like a chickadee and two geese, but I didn't have the heart to submit those "results" to the Bird Count.

I can see why the birds in our area might really like DaHubby, as he's the official feeder filler. But what they don't take into account is that, often I'm the one who brings the empty feeders to his attention. I'm the woman behind the feeder filler, for heaven's sake!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Survived another one (or, Why I don't blog very often)

Yesterday was our annual homeschool bowling party, organized by yours truly. Great fun was had by all. It is the only Big Event that I organize all year, and every year on the day after, I remember why---it's exhausting!! But, like I said, a great time was had by all, so it's worth it.

Today we start the Great Backyard Bird Count. I always wonder where all the birds go on this particular weekend. In years past we could look out and see dozens of birds at the feeder all week, then when the GBBC rolls around, they stay away in droves. Or would that be flocks?

Birding is one of those things (like knitting or homeschooling) which seem hard to do until you actually try it. I've been birding, with varying degrees of fervency, for the last, well, we'll just say for many years. (Don't you hate it when you go to count up something like that and realize just how many years it's been?) SuperCraftyDancerGirl is less enamored with her feathered neighbors than is her brother, but she is good at identifying species, especially on our walks. JrBravesFanatic's love of critters naturally extends to the bird community, and when he was younger he surprised me by being able to sit in my lap QUIETLY watching for birds to come to the feeder during our GBBC experiences. Da Hubby will believe everything I say about the birds we see, so that's always fun. Not that I am purposely misleading when it comes to bird info, but he doesn't quibble with me when I can't tell a Red-Shouldered Hawk from a Red-Tailed Hawk. Gotta love a guy like that!

Friday, February 08, 2008

Happy Birthday, Chuck! (One day late)

Yesterday was the birthday of Charles Dickens, one of my favorite authors as a child--well, ok, more like Jr. High and up. I wouldn't want to give the mistaken impression that I was reading David Copperfield in Kindergarten or something. I mean, I was a pretty sharp kid and all, but maybe not THAT sharp.

I think, aside from all the great writing, Dickens should be remembered for trying to change the world for the better. He didn't just write about things that needed to be improved, he put his money where his mouth (or pen) was and made a difference.

That should give us something to think about during this season of Lent. Are we being intentional with our time, our talents, our resources? The sermon at church on Ash Wednesday challenged me to get past the distractions in life ---- is there any way to do this besides minimizing the distractions??? ---- and.... then what? What happens when the distractions are fewer? Will I become a better steward of my time, recognizing waste when it happens and turning it into something that will bear fruit? Will I be better able to focus during my devotion time, instead of thinking about my plans for the day? Will I be more patient with those around me, setting aside my agendas (even when the agenda is knitting!!) to remember that the most important things in life are not things, but people? Will I wax philosophical on my blog on a regular basis???

I guess I've got 40 days to find out.....

Meanwhile, JrBravesFanatic just walked by outside the window. I can't say for sure, but it looked like he had a large clump of Spanish moss on his (knitted cap on his) head. Naaahhh, couldn't be!

Friday, February 01, 2008

Bad Joke Friday

Q: Why does a chicken coop have two doors?

A: Because if it had four doors it would be a chicken sedan.


Did you hear the one about the dromedary whose fur was an amazingly close match in color to the desert sand? He was almost impossible to see.

Some called him 'the invisible dromedary', but in reality he wasn't invisible; he was just really well camel-flaged.