Friday, May 29, 2009

Unconscious Mutterings Week 330

It has been a while since I have done one of these so I thought I would give it a go again.

1. Lisa -- Rinna -- what has she done to her face?

2. Hope -- Mendez -- miss you!

3. Irene -- My Sweet -- Pete Seeger

4. Tony -- West Side Story -- so sad

5. Anna -- Brazzel -- Bri's god daughter

6. Dolly -- Parton -- who else?

7. Laura -- and Luke -- General Hospital

8. Debbie -- Mumm -- great quilts

9. Wilson -- Owen or Chris

10. Paula -- Abdul -- isn't this obvious?

Friday Fill-in's #126

Let me begin by saying yay! It is Friday! Ok, getting on with it now.

1. It's cold and cruel how life will allow somebody who couldn't comprehend geometry to have a strong desire to quilt!

2, I love tomatoes but every time I eat them I think of the book "Fried Green Tomatoes".

3. My favorite health and beauty product is anything that will make me look less like an antique.

4. I love a nice long ride in the autumn.

5. Well, first of all you need to have a plan B!

6. Animals in Animal Crossing: those were the cast of characters in a recent dream and it was completely bizarre that someone of my age would have a dream about a video game!

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to a Netflix movie and the last night of Leno, tomorrow my plans include picking up new patio chairs -- all two of them, and Sunday I want to go to my DOK installation and have a relaxing day.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Booking Through Thursday -- Is there a book you wish you could unread? One that you disliked so thoroughly you wish you could just forget that you ever read it?

Well, I would have to say "no" to this question. In the first place, if I don't like a book in the first page or so, it never gets any further than that. I am not the sort that can just sit down and read anything, I have to like it.

There are, however, a few books that start out slow but I keep on going and, at the end of the day, they usually turn out to be can't-put-them-down-page-turners. I do believe in giving a book a chance so in order for me to give it up on the first page, it has to be something that I am really not interested in or just doesn't grab me at all.

There are a few books that I like, that I WANT to like but find getting through them similar to walking through quicksand. "London" would be one of these books. I enjoy it while I am reading it but it seems like it just takes forever to read a page. "London" is taking a sabbatical right now -- I will get back to it.

I have never, however, read a book that I wish I hadn't read.
Hand-piecing VS Machine Piecing

I have been doing considerable thinking about things -- things having to do with our way of life. I have been caught up in the "green" movement as of late and have noticed that AW is sort of joining in. Of course, I don't have a wind turbine in my back yard -- the HOA would frown on that -- but I have been trying to concentrate on recycling, reusing, repurposing and that sort of thing. I remember my mother telling me a little poem that was popular during the depression -- or was it World War 2 -- have no clue -- but I remember the poem well -- "Use it up, wear it out, make do or do without". I think that is pretty pertinent to today, don't you? Maybe if the last couple of generations had paid more attention we wouldn't be in the shape we are in, trying to back track and undo and all that.

So, what does that have to do with quilting? Well, obviously, it could bring to mind using worn out clothing and such as quilts but what I was really thinking about was how our foremothers did things that we don't do anymore and wondering if we are better off for it? I read an article recently about keeping in shape by keeping house. It told about how women used to never have to go to the gym because they didn't have all the labor saving devices that we have now -- they hung out clothing and beat rugs (ok, I never saw my mother beat a rug), they prepared food without the aid of food processors, huge mixers, etc. I mean, life was a little more hands on, wouldn't you say? Ok, about the quilting.

I started thinking about how we quilt these days -- fancy machines, fancy cutters and self-healing mats, long arm quilting machines and all sorts of rulers, guides and gadgets to help us out. Now, don't get me wrong, I wouldn't trade my Bernina for a needle and thread any day but I remember my grandmother and my great-grandmother (yes, I knew her well, she lived to be 103) sit and hand piece quilts to the music -- or the preacher -- on the radio. So, this morning, not feeling too perky, I decided to try it out. I mean, my first quilt block, sewn at the knee of the aforementioned great-grandmother, was hand sewn with a needle like a dagger so surely I could get the hang of it. So, a couple of scraps, a couple of needle jabs later, slight frustration with the fiddliness of the whole thing (but not any worse than with the sewing machine) I produced a completely lovely four patch. It lined up! The corners met perfectly! It was soft and unstarched, unironed and it was beautiful (more than the first block sewn about 54 years ago). I was more than surprised at the outcome. I figured that it would have to be ripped out, it would be crooked, it would be SOMETHING! It was, it was perfect and very satisfying.

So, now the question has to be -- how do you relinquish all the new-fashioned gadgetry for the old-fashioned satisfaction of producing something so good with so little. How do you put aside the need for instant gratification of producing a quilt in record time for the feeling of accomplishment with only a needle and thread. How do you slow down?

We have a lot in our lives and most younger women don't know any different but for those of us who watched our mother's mix a cake with a wooden spoon or watched our grandmother's quilt a blanket with only a needle, thread, and thimble or watched our neighbors plant lantana in empty coffee cans to decorate their old victorian porches (a particular habit of the same great-grandmother) I have say that "new" is great and I wouldn't trade it but I an appreciate it so much more by knowing "old".

So, now, the question is -- do I actually REALLY try my hand at handpiecing an entire quilt? Hmmm...maybe I will try just one more four patch and the answer will come to me.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

What is it about Pepper Berries?

There is a store not far from my house that carries Door Pottery. I love Door Pottery so a couple of weeks ago I decided to treat myself to a small vase to put on my dining table. It is blue, small and understated. I wanted something small yet unique to put in it. I preferred something real. So, off I go to my local Central Market and happen upon the perfect thing -- Pepper Berries.

They were so pretty and smelled delightful -- apparently. I brought them home and put them in the vase -- they were so cheery and colorful -- just the right pop of color to brighten up breakfast.

Enter, the cat.

The cat won't leave the pepper berries alone -- he rubs up against the vase (definite no-no), climbs on the table (sorry, not allowed) and now he has eaten the leaves. I hope they aren't toxic, or should I say WEREN'T toxic -- they have now been removed and I am on a quest to find artificial pepper berries that don't scream painted styrofoam or plastic. I really liked the look. But, I still have to wonder -- what is it about them that would make the cat go mad?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

For Today

Outside my window I see the fruits of my gardening labor -- geraniums, lantana, purslane, pansies, and heliotrope

I am thinking about all the catching up I have to do today

From the learning rooms I am learning about being less wasteful

From the kitchen I am learning that I like my own food more than restaurant food

I am wearing denim capris and a striped blouse

I am reading "The Shroud of the Thwacker" and "The Night Watch"

I am hoping that my new "schedule" will help me accomplish more

I am creating some Christmas gifts

I am praying all the time

Around the house I am seeing that I need another great "clean out"

One of my favorite things is time

A few plans for the rest of the week is to grocery shop, tend to the new plants, work on my quilt and try to keep to my new schedule!

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you

Monday, May 25, 2009

Happy Memorial Day to All!

Did everybody have hot dogs and chips and ice cream? We didn't. But, we did have a nice day out looking a new lawn furniture and looking for an outdoor wood rack that is apparently out of season at the moment -- guess you can only get them during the fall when people are buying fire wood -- not barbecue wood. Oh well, there is always THE INTERNET.

My blog is a bit discouraging, however, because I love my little hit counter that shows where people are coming in from and it seems the only one coming in is -- ME! Guess I need to ramp up the interest level a bit. That is a challenge but I will try.

On that note -- my newest obsession is ANIMAL CROSSING!!! My dd is on my friend roster and it was very strange talking to her over the television -- I felt like I was in "Poltergeist". But, it is fun and ridiculously addictive but then I knew that because I have been playing AC Wild World on the DS. I am going to have to figure out a way to curb this now -- hahahahaha!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

The Reader

Very good Netflix movie last night -- "The Reader". I have looked at the book but deferred to the movie -- I WILL be reading the book. The movie headlined some our today's best actors -- Kate Winslet and Ralph Fiennes. The young man that play a young Michael Berg was very good but I am not sure of his name -- should be better prepared when posting. I digress. At any rate, it was a disturbing movie from the beginning -- a late-thirty-something woman having an affair with a 15 year old boy -- made me a little uncomfortable. The plot progressed beyond that, however, into an even more disturbing subplot -- Winslet's character, Hanna, having been an SS guard who is on trial for the murder of 300 people. She is found guilty and lives out her life in prison. Obviously, she and Michael had parted ways but they find each other again and, while I don't want to spoil the ending, let's just say that it is very bittersweet. While the whole movie smacks of sadness, the end is somehow not so sad. It just shows how we never really know how people affect one another lives -- this being an extreme, obviously.

I would definitely recommend and this is the first movie, in a long time, that would prompt me to read the book.

Friday, May 22, 2009

England 2005

Yesterday I had lunch with my priest's wife and we were discussing genealogical research while traveling. She has never been to the UK and I would love to return to do some bone digging and photo taking. We decided it would be fun to go together. That conversation prompted me to glance through my photos from our trip and I ran across one of the cutest buildings I have ever seen. It is a pub in London and, although we didn't go in, I was quite taken with the photo and thought I would share. The architecture is great and being sandwiched between the two larger buildings is just postcard perfect.
I stole this from JLSHall -- it is so funny and it is SO how I feel right now -- I feel hibernation coming on -- in May? That can't be but it is clouding up and I have a stack of books and a good movie to watch so.....


Historic Bryan, TX

Recently we have had the opportunity to spend some time in Bryan, TX. Now, I have been familiar with College Station for quite a few years but not Bryan. On a recent trip to College Station we visited the historic downtown Bryan area. There were some cute shops, a nice antique shop or two and a very new age gift store. I thought I would share some photos that I took.
Friday Fill-in #125

1. moving is not a pleasant activity

2. live free

3. My best quality is my loyalty

4. The devil is in the details

5. In nearly 10 years -- opps, not going there!

6. To be thinner is what I need right now.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I am looking forwart to my netflix movies, tomorrow my plans include buying barbecue wood at Whisky Flats and Sunday I would like to spruce up the patio.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

If you like Leno, better watch quickly -- I think he only has a week or so left of "The Tonight Show" and then he goes prime time. I am not a fan of Conan O'Brien so what in the world am I going to do without the Leno monologue -- that is how I gauge what time to hit the sack! I am too old to learn new tricks! Oh well, on that note -- night all!

What book would you love to be able to read again for the first time?

I think the book that comes to mind that I would love to be able to read again for the first time was "The Diary of Anne Frank". I must have been about twelve or thirteen when I read it for the first time and knew that it was different from any other biography that I had read before. In the first place, it wasn't written about the past it was written in present tense and was the first time that I had had such a personal view of such tragedy and the person was approximately my age. It was controversial yet not inappropriate and it opened up a world to me beyond my own walls. Now, I had read other books about other countries -- I was partial to Kate Seredy's books and I inhaled anything to do with the United Kingdom. "The Diary of Anne Frank" was completely different in that it was a real person and it happened only a decade before to a girl my age. I could completely identify with her thoughts and feelings and empathized with her completely. I would love to be able to get the "first" impression of this book again -- I wouldn't mind being twelve or thirteen again either if just for a day.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Outside my window is the late afternoon sun
I am thinking that I need to start supper soon
I am thankful for today
I am wearing shorts and a t-shirt and some old birks
I am reading "The Shroud of the Thwacker" and "the Night Watch"
I am hoping that I get over feeling so tired
I am creating a quilt from fabric from New Zealand
I am praying incessantly for DOK
Around the house I am seeing lots of clutter that needs to be dealt with
One of my favorite things is Netflix
A few plans for the rest of the week include DAR and a haircut
A picture thought I am leaving for you

Friday fill-ins #124

1. If we had no winter I would probably be living in Hawaii.

2. Life is a perpetual astonishment.

3. If I had my life to live over I would do so many things different -- except my husband and my kids -- ok, I would train my husband better.

4. I would like to lose 75 pounds inside of four and twenty hours.

5. If you have never been thrilled then are a sad, sad person.

6. To be interested in the changing seasons means you are either ready for spring or ready for fall -- at least in Texas.

7. And as for the weekend, on Friday we went to College Station, on Saturday we sat through a rather lengthy graduation and on Sunday we went to the Washington-On-The-Brazos State Park. And to Rudy's for barbecue.

Book gluttony! Are your eyes bigger than your book belly? Do you have a habit of buying up books far quicker than you could possibly read them? Have you had to curb your book buying habits until you can catch up with yourself? Or, are you a controlled buyer, only purchasing books when you run out of things to read?

Ha! This is sort of funny, actually, in a sick and twisted way. Yes, I admit it, I am a book glutton -- is there a twelve step program for that? I frequent the bookstores and love -- LOVE -- the bargain tables. I have enough books to last for the next five years -- maybe longer -- since I am a very slower reader and now have become addicted to Animal Crossing which bites into the reading time. Recently, I have had to curb my buying and I am proud of myself. I went to B&N looking for a copy of "The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane" only to be told that it hasn't been released yet, come back in a couple of weeks. So, I went looking and before I knew it, I had a couple of books in my hand plus several magazines. I stopped, checked myself and put the books back -- I rationalized -- why should I buy something just because I was THERE -- just wait for what I went there to buy to begin with. The magazines are a different story. My husband purchased a book which he THOUGHT he had and I purchased a magazine that looked familiar and sure enough, we both had copies of them so it is apparent that we are both sort of literarily dysfunctional and it will require a return trip to B&N and who knows what sort of pandemonium might ensure then.

Finally in Control Again! Unconscious Mutterings 329

Sounds powerful, right? Ah, but no, I have just been doing some house cleaning over at wordpress and livejournal. Now, don't get me wrong, I love both of those sites and they are great but I am a one blog sort of gal. Time to downsize and get things back in a manageable order. So, here I am back at blogger and now maybe I can post more instead of obsessing over which blog to use! This living in a society of excess has gone overboard when even the internet creates stress. Ok, well, enough of that -- now to catching up with the things I used to do and, for some reason, stopped doing. I will start with:

Unconscious Mutterings Week 329

1. vex -- agitate
2. relapse -- flu
3. twinkle -- Starr
4. crawls -- walks, baby
5. optimistic moment -- what, I don't understand!
6. cage -- hamster
7. superwoman -- NOT ME!
8. personal -- space -- get out of
9. vapor -- exterminator -- Victorian
10. grocery store -- ugh

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A New Day

From today forward I will be using this blog -- -- exclusively. I am sorry to leave wordpress but I must downsize. This was my first blog and I really like some aspects of it so I borrowed a website from JLSHall -- -- and created a new page that I like and hopefully I can keep up with it better.

So, feel free to visit anytime. I can't promise stimulating posts but at least it is pretty to look at.
The Jane Austin Book Club

Ok, I didn't read the book although I thought about it and looked at it many times. I did get the movie off Netflix, however, and we watched it last night. It was ok. AW didn't enjoy it and let it be known -- I didn't know a person could make so much noise rattling and crinkling a chip bag! In any event, I am sure this is one of those cases where the book is much better than the movie but, because I watched the movie first (going against my cardinal rule) I probably will never read the book. Sigh. One should really listen to one's own advice!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Happy Graduation to The Girl! Almost a proud recipient of an M.Ed. Yay!

Friday, May 08, 2009

My New Tupperware Bowls

Ok, went a little crazy buying Tupperware on Ebay but here are my new purchases -- you can read about them on my other blog: