Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Yin and Yang

I saw a great movie (see below) and so it must follow that a pretty awful one must come next. The kids and I just watched The Golden Compass. Oy! First the good. It was a beautiful film, by which I mean that it had pretty settings, costumes and people, though the overall lighting and colour could have been better in a lot of scenes. In addition, it was well-acted, and I very much appreciated the lack of gore. That said, this is quite possibly the Worst Book to Film Translation Ever. I don't even know where to start. The whole thing felt choppy and rushed (probably because it was!) and so much was changed -- even the rival bear king's name! -- that it was ludicrous. Maybe it would have helped not to have read the book at all. Or maybe it would have made it more confusing. Not even the lovely Daniel Craig (what little there was of him) could redeem this story, which is sad, because it's a pretty compelling story in its book form. But during the film I just kept rolling my eyes and hoping it would end. When finally, mercifully, it did, it wasn't even in the right place. WTF?


Happiness is. . .

. . . a Good Movie. I'm so glad I grabbed this one at the library. A wonderful, thought-provoking story, beautiful people; what's not to love? It fits very well into my Jane Austen phase.

. . . a Good Book. I love the way Gregory Maguire can turn a phrase. I appreciate the writing as much as the story, and you don't come across books like that very often.

. . . a Good Reader. I mentioned earlier that I was listening to Octavian Nothing. At that point I was only a little way in and found it. . . interesting. Well, it's progressed from interesting to fascinating. Peter Francis James is a fantastic reader. In fact, I'm choosing my next audio book by looking for something he reads. I could listen to him all day.

. . . and a Basket of Warm Kitty >^_^<

Tuesday, April 29, 2008


What happens when your sisters volunteer at the library and are tasked to peel all the NEW stickers off the books.

He made quite a splash.

Wee little daffodilly things

and grape hyacinths

Never let anyone persuade you to plant an "ornamental pear tree." The blossoms stink like fish. This one was here when we bought the house.

I made a bunch of goodie bags for Mollusc's B-day.

And on Thursday, we went to a book signing by Erin Hunter at Nicola's bookstore in Ann Arbor. Our Line # was 185, so there was a lot of waiting around without even the hope of any books to be bought since it was the day before payday. Talk about torture.

We ended up walking down the strip to the pet store and seeing some very adorable kittens who came dangerously close to coming home with us. And I found an awesome scrapbooking store. Danger, danger! When we went back to Nicola's it wasn't all that long before we got to the front of the line.

Now we'll see if the pics are clicky.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Sew Tiny

So today was a sewing day for me. First I made something I can't show, cuz it's for Mollusc's b-day and sometimes she reads my blog. :) Then I tried a new (free) pattern and did this:

That involved a lot of swearing and picking out and restitching and, finally, chucking the thing across the room and starting over. Then I did this:

Size 0-3 mos

and this:

size 3-6 mos.

By then it was time to kick back

and have a cup of tea. Here's some for you. Hope you like Blackberry Sage. :)

Business As Usual

I was looking for funky little bag ideas (to sew) and found this on someone's blog. I really want to see it. I know the actual birth stuff will make me all teary, but in a good way. :)

Monday, April 21, 2008


The Friday Night Knitting Club: Very well-written, but I have a thing or two to say to the author because, well I can't say if you're going to read it.

Labyrinth: Worth the read. Kind of Da Vinci Code-y, but different. Also, it made me wonder about when we decided that it wasn't OK to burn people alive and why it was OK back in the 1200s. That seems like a black and white issue to me: no, it's never OK to burn people alive. Doesn't it?

The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation: I'm listening to this one now. It's. . . interesting. . . So far.

Wicked: off to a great (if surreal) start!

Also, the lovely and talented Frank called and said he's downsizing his library rather extravagantly and I could pick from whatever was available. Is that orgasmic or what? I'm pretty sure I spoke very loudly and at a higher than normal pitch for the rest of the conversation. ^_^ How weird is it that this Musical Theatre workshop Frank attended was directed by the guy who wrote the music and lyrics for Wicked (the musical)? How much weirder is it that a young guy in my class told me tonight that he's going to see Wicked in Chicago in a few weeks? Pretty Dirk Gently, huh?

We got pretty thrashed in class tonight, so that is all for now. I thought abuse week was last week, but I guess I was wrong. :-P

Sunday, April 20, 2008

So Much for That Idea

Oh well. I'll get this "clickable larger pictures" thing figured out one day. Maybe.


Chives! We ate some tonight. Yummy! It's not going to be long before we get some of those beautiful chive flowers.

Finally! Daffodils. :)

And some signs of life in the clematis vines:

I made a bunch of headbands on Saturday. There was one more, but the little girl I made it for already had it by this point. ^_^ All the light ones are made from vintage scraps I got from MuNKi's mom.

This was a Cuddle Quilt kit from JoAnn's. I liked having the fabrics already coordinated. I still had to cut the squares to the right size, and it was kind of a PITA sewing knits, wovens, flannels AND satins together, but it was fun. I love the fabrics. :)

I also made the triple-play peanut butter cookies again. They disappeared the same day, so that evening I tried Tea & Spice Squares. Nom, nom NOM! The glaze is confectioner's sugar and Bailey's. YUM!! I think these will become a Christmas staple. They are very gingerbready and have chopped dried fruit in them (in this case raisins and candied red and green cherries.)

Emmett decided to "help" Mollusc play RuneScape while the girls chomped fresh green beans (stolen from the chef.) Prawn is "wearing" a pop-up laundry basket in case you were wondering about the red stuff.

And last night, all 3 girls were collaborating in the game - one on a regular computer and 2 on laptops.


Overheard on Friday:

Prawn: **aah!** (surprise more than shock) A SPIDER!

Sluggie: It's BIG!

(a few minutes pass)

Fishy: NO SPIDEY!! Don't leave the Spi-Tanic!!!

(a few seconds pass)

Fishy: Prawn! Come see! The spider can walk on water!!


Thursday, April 17, 2008


~I'm listening to The Friday Night Knitting Club, reading Labyrinth and The Silmarillion. Next on the docket are Wicked and Rebel. (No one can say it's not a varied list, right?)

~The crocuses have bloomed and faded and the daffodils are open now.

~My kids have gotten their first sunburn of the year (where WAS that blasted sunscreen?)

~We're going swimming tomorrow.

~I'm putting together a patchwork baby blanket and in the last few days have made 4 pairs of shorts, several little bags and a dolly flannel robe. Xavier continues to rock!

~I feel very good about sparring tonight. Sparring to 1 point gets the adrenaline going and makes me nervous, but I didn't suck, so I feel happy.

Oh, did I tell you all about my "swimsuit"? The things available at Target and Wallyworld are so hideous that they defy description. I was kicking myself for not taking along a camera they are so bad. We're talking monstrosities of brown and avocado with ginormous hibuscus prints, and pink and brown things with huge ruffles, buckles and wooden beads. I feel the need to wash my eyes out with Daniel Craig just thinking about the things. **shudder** The new style seems to be the "backless front" this year. This amounts to something that looks like a one-pice from the front and a bikini from the back. This might not be so bad, were it not for the fact that some of the ones I saw (and, God help me, actually touched) were gigantic (but also tiny if you KWIM.)

BG and I were joking today about doing our own version. This would consist of a Sparring Banana and a posture enhancer.

Even if the available suits weren't hideous, it wouldn't matter. I can't wear one-pieces (unless I want to stay hunched over while wearing said suit) because I'm too tall.

So I ended up buying just a swim bottom at Wallyworld -- quite a gamble really, considering that I was then banking on finding a top at Target. My new swim bottom (which was found in the swim section, so hopefully it actually IS a swim bottom) is a pair of short black boxing shorts (think lace-up fly, etc.) Target yielded absolutely nothing acceptable in the top category, so I bought a black Champion C9 sportsbra. (My white ones are great for TKD. They also wick away sweat very admirably.) Yes, that's right, I've been swimming in shorts (or hot pants?) and a sports bra. In public. :-P

Of course the first time I went to the pool in this ensemble, there were men at the pool. Men! On a Friday morning! The audacity! Don't they know that the pool is the realm of mommies on Friday mornings? Clearly they had not read the handbook. (Then again, maybe they had. . .)

Considering that I have not shown my tummy to any men (well, besides MuNKi of course) since starting the process of growing children in my belly over 13 years ago, wearing a "swimsuit" that bared my middle section in front of men was a distinctly uncomfortable experience. I'm very glad of what TKD has done for my tummy muscles, but I was not banking on flashing them to men I don't know. (Well, any men, actually.) Usually BG and I have the pool completely to ourselves, so this was a shocking development. Fortunately I had a Prawn handy. The Prawn is never adverse to being carried, and even at 6 yrs old, she's still a featherlight 42 lbs or so, so I used her as belly camouflage until I could slip into the pool.

So far my swim bottoms are not holding up that great. They threaten to slip off when I swim forwards (though backwards is safe) and are fading after only 2 trips to the pool. The "swim top" on the other hand, is performing admirably. Though I'm still a little afraid of that space-age techno-fabric wicking away the entire pool when I jump in. O_o


Monday, April 14, 2008


~It's been so long since I made clothing that when I made shirts for the Bigs on Saturday, I cut out the sleeves wrong, so the stretch doesn't go around the arms. :-P Fortunately, they are wispy girls and can still wear the shirts. ^_^ Now I just have to get the FOE on the necklines without screwing it up. When I got out the FOE yesterday, a bunch of it had died an untimely death. I guess it had been curing in my stash for far too long.

~It was snowing when I woke up Sunday morning. Bleh.

~Strangers only come to my blog to look at my sister's panties.

~My appreciation for Jane Austen continues to grow. What a brilliant woman!

~My appreciation for audio books continues to grow as well, since I can "read" without guilt while I do otherwise completely mundane and painfully boring tasks.

~We're back to "abuse week" at TKD. Urg. But I feel good when I'm done (once I can breathe again.)

~Xavier is wunnerful!

~I had my picture taken with a little boy from my Monday evening class today. Awww. :)

~I got an adorable (hand drawn) picture of myself from a little boy in my morning classes last week.

~I have been exposing my children to the Young Ones. (Irresponsible parenting, say you. They'll finally understand all the things I say, say I. ^_^ )

Sunday, April 13, 2008


If I see one more Postman Pat reference in the next 24 hours, I think I may just lose it. I mean, really, WTF??

Oh, and apparently "they" have just discovered a nude portrait of Mozart.

Oh. New?


Thursday, April 10, 2008

Come On In and see the NEWS!!!!!!

I made that yummy creme de menthe cake from the Chinaberry cookbook again. It's gone already.

But you can still have a virtual bite.

Then I made these from the King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion

They're basically just oats, brown sugar, corn syrup, butter and vanilla, with chocolate chips, cocoa butter (my substitution for shortening) and walnuts on top. They didn't get a great reception, but they're disappearing anyway. They seem better on the second day.

For our Ancient History class, Fishy made a scale model of the Ark. (Noah's, not "of-the-covenant.") He was going to make it out of Play-Doh, but changed to this paper print-out model when that proved too awkward. Whether you are into arky stuff or not, I find it fascinating that there are hundreds of cultures around the world that each have their own world-wide flood legend.

It's really hard to glue something made of paper that's so long and thin. ^_^

Sluggie compared 3 flood legends from different cultures (China, Egypt and Greece), Mollusc drew a scale model of the ark, and Prawnie made a lapbook about Paleolithic People.

I have a new project in the works: a Wheel of the Year quilted wallhanging. I have yet to decide whether it will be circular or octagonal. I want to be able to turn it throughout the year so that the current season's wedge faces right-way-up.

So far I have these fabrics for Mabon, and Imbolc or Ostara:

And finally, the BIG NEWS! Meet MY NEW BABY Xavier! He is soooooooooo lovely. He sews like buttah. I'm in love. :) The adoption fee was only $75. His mother had to give him up because he had too many siblings. He's currently slightly disabled because he has no feet, but I plan to remedy that tomorrow if possible. Welcome, Xavier!!

My other machine (a Singer from Sam's) has served me well for at least 11 years with no servicing at all. My big girls will inherit it, but it needs reconditioning, because right now when I use it, it goes DONK DONK DONK DONK DONK instead of hmmmmmmmmm. They have yet to name it, but I suspect it will be something like Boromir or Aragorn or Legolas. ^_^

Friday, April 04, 2008

A Fungus Among Us

Whose woods these are, I think I know

because they're right behind my house.

When in the woods, every Boy must have a Stick.

The object of today's search:

And another example:

We also happened upon the scene of a grisly murder:

It looked as if some ghoulish thing had been decorating for Christmas.

If you care to peek, you'll see a beak (or at least half of one.)

All around the site, Nature went on as if nothing had happened.

Though the apartment dwellers were wise enough to stay indoors.

We decided to leave that world,

and venture into Eldemoss

a magical place of bridges and sacred pools

and corndogs growing wild.

But all too soon it was time to cross the dead marshes

and leave that world for our own.

I'll leave you with a picture of another fun guy (on my thigh.) His name is Bruce.