Wednesday, April 30, 2008

End of April

This month was National Poetry Month and Dana at Hidden Art, Carmon at Buried Treasure, and Sherry at Semicolon have spent the month encouraging everyone to enjoy poetry, not just for one month of the year, but each and every day.
We like poetry (Steve has written several epic poems) and have many books of poetry that we dip into almost daily. Recently I got some books of poems by Judith Viorst through PaperBackSwap and have gotten a laugh out of many of them.

In honor of the last day of National Poetry Month, I'll share one of Ms. Viorst's poems from her book Forever Fifty :

Wild Thing

I went for a walk in the sun without wearing my sunscreen.

I went out of town without making a reservation.

I placed my mouth directly upon a public drinking fountain, and took a sip.

I didn't bother flossing my teeth before bedtime.

I pumped my own gasoline at a self-service station.

I ate the deviled egg instead of the cauliflower with low-fat yogurt dip.

I bought, without reading Consumer Reports, a new dryer.

I left my checking account unreconciled.

I know that the consequences could be dire,

But sometimes a woman simply has to run wild.

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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Modern Quilt Wrap

A few weeks ago I got this kit to knit the Modern Quilt Wrap designed by Mags Kandis. It's for a friend who enjoys quilting. I'm having fun knitting the squares, but decided to stop knitting and start weaving in the loose ends already. The Rowan Kidsilk Haze is beautiful, but the ends flapping around get in the way and feel like spiderwebs. If I knit a block a day then I should finish before August, which is when I need to ship it in order to reach my friend by her birthday.


Thursday, April 24, 2008

Shopping at the Piggly Wiggly

Several times today Abbey told me she needed to go to Piggly Wiggly. Each time I replied that no one needed to go, as I had done the grocery shopping yesterday. She was persistant. Finally, late this afternoon I agreed that Abbey and Madyson could walk to Piggly Wiggly with their Aunt Sarah. They grabbed their bags and went shopping for miniature M&Ms.

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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

More Posey

I'm now to the instep squares of my first Posey sock. (As it turns out, this is a great sock to knit while reading.) I'm wondering if, when I finish the squares for the first sock, I should go ahead and start the squares for the second sock before knitting the sole, heel and toe of the first sock?

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Monday, April 21, 2008

Wedding shower gifts

Laura Dupre (who helps with the Bible study for the high school and junior high girls) is getting married this summer. Tonight there will be a kitchen shower for her. I knit two dishcloths and crocheted two hotpads for Laura. Joan and Sarah will buy her one of her wishlist items from Target, and Joan copied out the recipe for "Emergency Soup" for Laura's recipe file.

Emergency Soup (from Lost Recipes by Marion Cunningham)

4 cups chicken broth

1 carrot, chopped

1 rib celery, chopped

1 medium onion, chopped

1 cup small shell pasta

salt and pepper to taste

1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Put the broth in a pot and bring to a boil. Add carrot, celery, and onion and boil gently for 10 minutes, then add the pasta and simmer for 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper as needed. Serve in bowls, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Makes 8 cups.

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Saturday, April 19, 2008

The lake is full now

We went to the lake today for a few hours. I sat on the beach warmly dressed in sweatshirt and sweatpants, but the children and the dog all went in the water. This was not a stellar day in the nutrition department either - I fed them pizza, coke, and powdered sugar donuts. But they had fun and I enjoyed watching them play.

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Friday, April 18, 2008

Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left from Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning

While Steve and I were in the Bahamas earlier this month I finished Jonah Goldberg's book, Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left from Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning. It was informative and entertaining, and I'm glad I happened to read a review of it by Thomas Sowell that recommended it as a good book that few people would probably read - but that many should read.

Mr. Goldberg writes:
"There is no word in the English language that gets thrown around more freely by people who don't know what it means than 'fascism.' Indeed, the more someone uses the word 'fascist' in everyday conversation, the less likely it is that he knows what he's talking about."

"... 'fascist' is a modern word for 'heretic,' branding an individual worthy of excommunication from the body politic."

"The American fascist tradition is deeply bound up with the effort to 'Europeanize' America and give it a 'modern' state that can be harnessed to utopian ends. This American fascism seems - and is- very different from its European variants because it was moderated by many special factors- geographical size, ethnic diversity, Jeffersonian individualism, a strong liberal tradition, and so on. As a result, American fascism is milder, more friendly, more 'maternal' than its foreign counterparts; it is what George Carlin calls 'smiley-face fascism.' Nice fascism. The best term to describe it is 'liberal fascism.' And this liberal fascism was, and remains, fundamentally left-wing."

Mr. Goldberg traces fascism - liberal fascism - in America starting with Woodrow Wilson and continuing to the present day with Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. He explains thoroughly the differences between Nazis, the Italian Fascists, and American fascism, especially the events and policies during the presidential administrations of Wilson and Roosevelt.
He compares fascism to the ideals of the Age of Enlightenment and believes that those Enlightenment ideals are those which should inspire and guide, a belief with which I strongly disagree. However, that's a minor point he makes, and the entire book is well worth reading.

(This is the only book that several of my children have seen me reading and exclaimed - more than once - "I want to read that book when you're through with it." So Tom and Joan, it's ready for you both to read now!)


Thursday, April 17, 2008

Books, reading and grandchildren

One of the best things about having children is being able to share favorite books with them. I have read (and still read) aloud to all of my children, and as they gain proficiency in reading I love to share my favorite books with them, both books I enjoyed as a child and books I enjoy now as an adult.

Now I'm learning the delights of sharing books with grandchildren. Abbey will listen attentively to as many books as I care to read to her as often as I will. I carefully gather 6 to 8 picture books I think she will enjoy and read them to her, then we decide which ones to reread, sometimes rereading the same book three times in one sitting.

Yesterday I went to the book sale at the middle school and bought a stack of books for Hayley. When she came home from school (she's 7, and in the first grade) I gave them to her and her response was heart-warmingly enthusiastic and grateful. Best of all, without any input from me she selected my favorite from the pile and began reading it immediately. She read the first three chapters without pausing, then came to me and said, "Grandma, I REALLY like this book!" Later in the evening she asked me to please send her to bed a little early so she could read for a while before she had to go to sleep. (My Darling! Of course!!!)

And the book which has captured her attention? Stuart Little by E.B. White.

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Their eyes are open...

... aren't they cute? We have only two kittens now (the foster kitten died the first night). We'll keep one - the white one that looks like Delilah - and Tom will keep the black and gray tiger that was so expensive.

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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The fun has begun - Posey socks

Last weekend I finally started a pair of Posey socks. It took me several weeks to find a color combination that would work and I almost gave up on Koigu and thought of looking at other sock yarn, but then I found brown and turquoise Koigu KPPPM. It works for me.


Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The other Monkey sock

Last Thursday I finished the other Monkey sock and am enjoying wearing the pair. Great pattern, nice yarn, and I now want to make another pair in spring green TOFUtsie yarn.


Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Monkey socks

Last fall Sarah gave me a skein of TOFUtsies sock yarn in happy spring colors when she and Lars came to visit us. I've been waiting until I found the right time and pattern to use it. The colors and weight make it perfect for warmer weather socks, so I decided to knit it up while we were on vacation, and Monkey was just what I had in mind.

I knit the first sock in the airport in Atlanta, on the 2-hour flight to Nassau, and in our hotel room during the evenings. Then I started the second one while we were still at the resort, and knit for 3 hours in the Nassau airport. Now I'm finishing it here at home. The pattern is interesting and fun - I can see why so many knitters have made these socks!


Monday, April 07, 2008

Back from the Bahamas

We had a wonderful time in the Bahamas and we're very happy to be home again. We had rain only twice while we were there - the first evening we arrived, and the morning we left. Meanwhile, Alabama was getting soaked with wonderful rain.

While there, we stayed at the Atlantis resort on Paradise Island. The resort is huge, so every day we got in great walks. Steve swam in the ocean two days (while I read on the beach), and we enjoyed the aquariums:

and looking through the shops in the Marina Village:

and at the yachts in the marina:

The view from our room was stunning:

The food was unbelievably delicious, both at the resort and in Nassau. And we enjoyed wandering around Nassau on foot, in a taxi, and in a horse-drawn carriage. We visited two museums, the straw market, the government house, the public library, a bookstore, and window-shopped countless other stores.

Steve's company was very generous. They covered all the costs of this trip. It was great to see some of Steve's co-workers and their spouses (and some brought their children, too), and to meet others I had not met before. We had a very entertaining and relaxing time.

Best of all (for me!) I had three naps, was able to read three books, knit a sock and started another, and started a shawl.

We're both well-rested and ready to resume our normal duties!


Tuesday, April 01, 2008


Just in time before Steve and I have to leave, Delilah had her kittens. The first one, which was born early this morning, is solid white. (I suggested its name should be "Free" or "The Good Kitten.") The gray and black tiger was born this evening after a c-section. (I think Tom should name it "Visa" since its birth cost Tom a hefty sum.) Its other litter mate also born by c-section did not survive. However, while Delilah was in surgery one of the vets called and asked Tom if he'd take a week-old kitten whose mother had died, so Delilah also has a solid black foster kitten. (He should name it "Lucky.")



The weather forecast for the Bahamas while we're there is scattered showers and thunderstorms. I'm packing more knitting and two more books... .

It's supposed to be raining here while we're gone, too. That's good, because we still need lots of rain.