Thursday, June 30, 2011

In which I confess

I now have a Kindle.

Several friends and relatives have had e-books for quite a while and have shown me theirs. They shared all the details about the usefulness of such things. While I was happy for them, I just didn't feel like I needed or even wanted one.

Then back in March while I was packing a bag of books to go to the beach (I packed 20 - just in case - and managed to read 6), Penny called and talked about her Kindle while she was packing for a camping trip. I said, "So what books are you taking to read?" and she replied, "Just my Kindle. I have lots of books on it." That stuck with me.

In May I met some knitters in Mississippi and they talked about their Kindles and Nooks and about all the free books available for them.

In June we went to Virginia Beach and while there Meg and I got to visit. Meg had her Kindle. And she shared more details.

When we got home, I learned that Tammy was reading Anna Karenina on her Kindle while knitting. Then Penny sent me a picture of her knitting while reading her Kindle.

I told Steve that I might want a Kindle for Christmas. Or for several special occasions rolled into one.

Three days ago Steve had to leave on a business trip. Minutes before he left he ordered a Kindle for me which arrived yesterday. Before it had arrived he told me it was on the way (he's so sweet!), and I promptly "bought" 154 free books so it arrived fully loaded yesterday.

When I told Jacy that I now have a Kindle her response was, "Oh. Now you've joined the Dark Side." But I protested that I haven't done any such thing! I still read and acquire paper and ink books. In fact, some of the books I got for my Kindle I have on my shelves, but they're fragile and I don't want them to fall apart - like the "Rollo" books by Jacob Abbott. Or the "Makers of History" series also by him. Or my copies of Montaigne's essays that belonged to my grandmother and have her annotations in them. Or they're thick and unwieldy, especially if I want to read while knitting - like Tolstoy's novels, or Plutarch's book of famous Romans and Greeks.

But I think I may have found something that will persuade Jacy that my Kindle isn't all bad. She loved the "Five Little Pepper" books when she was younger, and she and I found many of the sequels in old bookshops and antique stores and junk shops over the years. I told her yesterday that I'd gotten three we didn't have (free!) , so maybe... just maybe... she'll take a look.


Monday, June 27, 2011

Lake time

No internet. Not much cell signal. No interruptions.

Books. Knitting. Picnic basket. Sunscreen.

What a Monday!


Friday, June 24, 2011

The Secret Knowledge

A few weeks ago I listened to an interview with David Mamet about his new book, The Secret Knowledge: On the Dismantling of American Culture. Before the interview was over I'd already ordered the book.

I've seen a few of Mamet's movies (my favorite is The Winslow Boy ), but until listening to that interview I didn't know that he'd become conservative in his way of thinking. His book tells all, and according to him, he'd "never knowingly talked with nor read the works of a Conservative before moving to Los Angeles, some eight years ago."

These are the collected musings of a man once a dyed-in-the-wool Liberal who has made a 180-degree turn, and who wants to convert others. He attacks the ideology of the Left, and explains how those lofty ideals work out in real life. He refers to and quotes Thomas Sowell (my favorite economist), Nevil Shute (a favorite 20th century writer), and Anthony Trollope (my favorite 19th century novelist). This book was destined to be a favorite of mine from the start!

My only gripe - if it can be considered to be a gripe - is that his thoughts move so fast that at times I had trouble keeping up with what felt like hyperlinks. Thankfully, he provides nice footnotes when appropriate, and an impressive bibliography that's worth keeping as a reading list for the future.


Thursday, June 23, 2011

34 weeks and counting

Waiting for something good and exciting is so hard, isn't it? Joan had a routine OB visit today. She's fine. Baby is fine. We just wait while he grows a bit more. Everyone has plenty to do to stay busy, but we're all beginning to wish the big day would hurry up and get here.

Recently my niece, Page, took pictures of Joan and Brandon for Bear's baby book. She did a terrific job. I'm hoping she'll be around when Bear is born and can take more pictures then.

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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Buttons and bibs

This is the summer of babies and I am knitting baby bibs like a mad woman. As soon as one comes off the needles, another one is cast on. Lately I've been letting them pile up a bit, then I take four or five and weave in the yarn ends, then sew on the buttons. All the buttons come from my late grandmother's large button stash, and it's fun to rummage around in the super-huge, short-bread cookie tin in which they're stored to find the perfect button for the particular bib. I need to knit about six more, then I think I can rest from bib-knitting.

Unless, of course, I find out that someone else is expecting a baby!

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Friday, June 17, 2011

More knitting for Bear

While we were in North Carolina over spring break, Joan and Brandon chose some yarn for me to knit a cardigan for their baby. I had enough left over to knit a hat for him, too. Joan also chose some cotton yarn so I could knit a few bibs for the baby, and before we knew she was having a boy, I started knitting a pair of cotton bootees - in fact, I was working on them in the waiting room while we waited to go in and see the ultrasound that showed us the baby was a boy.

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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Joan's handiwork

Thus far, for her son, Joan has knit a cotton beret, a cotton bib, a wool/cashmere/microfiber blend ear-flap hat, a cotton bunny-blanket toy, a wool/acrylic blend vest, a wool soaker, a pair of cotton slippers and a pair of wool slippers. Not bad for a beginning knitter!

As she's waiting for Bear's birth she's also taking piano lessons and learning how to use coupons more advantageously. Next up on her list is to sew a pillow cover or two for the Boppy she received as a gift.


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

We began at the beach

Our summer started two weeks ago and last week Steve, Sam, and I went to Virginia Beach. We were there for Steve to attend the PCA General Assembly, but we also got see several old friends, made some new friends, spent lots of time on the beach and in the water, and I had time to knit and read. It was a great way to begin summer vacation.


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Knitting for Bear

With about 6 to 8 weeks of pregnancy left, Joan is starting to nest. She's been knitting all kinds of things for her baby "Bear." This is becoming the summer of babies, so I've been making lots of bootees and bibs to give as gifts, and am enjoying the evenings Joan and I spend knitting together. Baby garments are so quickly made and so cute!

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