Monday, April 30, 2012

Still on track to read 100 books

Hello again. I thought I'd pop in with a little update as to what's been happening lately. First, I'll address the title of the post. I am, indeed, still on track to read 100 books this year. I am enjoying reading in a way that I haven't in quite a long time. Before grad school was probably the last time I was getting so much pleasure from reading. I read 10 books this month!

And even while spending so much of my time reading, I even managed to do a little crochet. It helps that we had a short road trip and while I can't read in the car because I get motion sickness, I can crochet in the car with no ill effects whatsoever. I will add a little bit about the road trip here in a moment. The crochet project is one I've posted about earlier, but it's now much further along. I need to work on it some more tonight so that it will be ready to WIP the 1st tomorrow (for my Harry Potter Knit and Crochet House Cup friends, you'll understand!). Here's where it stood before it got too dark to work on it anymore on the trip home:


I really love the way these natural colors are working in this shawl and it is going to be a nice large shawl to wrap up in. I still need to decide what kind of edging I want to put on it. I'd like something that will add to it but not be too lacy or ruffly or that. Something that looks rather organic and sets off the yarn and the pattern. No shells either. :-)

Now, about that little road trip. We went to Kansas City to go through the open house of the new LDS temple that was just built in Kansas City. I thought I was going to miss out, but then the open house was extended a week to accommodate all the people who wanted to visit. So Saturday morning we met up with friends and made the trip up to KC. The weather was lovely and so was the company.

Here's a picture of the temple (I think this one looks like a painting):


This temple is a medium-size one. It's not as big as LA or Oakland or Salt Lake, but it's a lot bigger than Oklahoma City. And it is beautiful.

Here's a picture of the front, including the fountain (which is also really pretty in it's own right):


And of course, being at the temple is always better with friends. This is me with my dear friend Linda. A gentleman asked us earlier if we were sisters. We chuckled a little, then we realized after looking at this picture, that maybe he wasn't so far off. I consider her one of my sisters by choice.


We had a pretty wonderful day, and I am so grateful I didn't miss the open house!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Still here . . .

Well, it's Wednesday. Two days until Friday, which is actually the Friday of my workweek, which is still a little strange to me after years of working odd shifts. And I'm very much looking forward to my weekend this week. I don't always, but I am tonight.

Maybe I should have titled this post Weird Wednesday, because that's what it's been. Not that anything all that unusual happened. In fact, I don't think anything unusual at all happened. It's just more an internally weird Wednesday. Much on my mind and things to ruminate over.

And yarn. Yes, yarn wanted to play a role in my life today. It wants to be a shawl. I'm kind of surprised it started talking to me today, but I'll take it. My yarn has been rather silent for a while now. Maybe it was the purchase of a new skirt, tank and sweater that made it decide to start talking again. The skeins that talked are a perfect match for that new outfit. So at least something prompted them to talk. Finally!

I don't have a picture of the outfit, or the yarn, and I really should take one, but since it's already 10:30, it's going to have to wait.

Another weird thing about today? I went shopping. Out of the blue. One the way home from work. I don't do that. In fact, I don't often shop. But today was weird. And that shopping trip (one store is all) was where aforementioned outfit was purchased. Along with a pair of light turquoise Chucks. A color I've been yearning for. And at a good price. Also, a totally fun new pillow for the basement couch. It has adorable birds on it.

So, I guess I have a job now. To take pictures of the fun things that made it home with me today.

Just wanted to check in and say that I am still here. Feeling weird, but it's Wednesday, so that's OK. Wonder what Thursday will bring?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Procrastination and other diversions

Well, I am not reading enough books this month to keep on pace for my 100 books goal. But I did just finish a book today and am ready to start a new one, but I am here instead, hence the procrastination in the title of this post. I do, however, have seven books checked out from two different libraries, so have plenty of reading material sitting on my bookcase. One will get started shortly. I do love reading a good book!

And on the note of good books, I also love listening to a good book when it's read well. And a book that is only available as an audio book? Well that thought was intriguing, and what made it even more intriguing to me was that it is the story of Macbeth. Yes, Shakespeare's Macbeth. Now, I love Shakespeare. Love. Him. Usually I don't want anyone messing with his stuff. But after I listened to a snippet of this book on Audible.com, I was hooked. It is read by Alan Cumming, and let me tell you, that Scottish brogue just makes me melt. The story is now nearly 10 hours long, rather than the just about 3 hours of the play. So much really awesome backstory and great detail you don't get when all you are reading is dialogue. Think of it as all the stuff you might see on a set or stage, but in finely wrought detail.

We've also had other diversions that have kept me from getting quite as much reading time in. Like a tornado. Yes, it was way too close for comfort. Like a half-mile away from my house. Luckily all we have to show for it is a (nearly dry) partially flooded basement after a few hours of no power and therefore no sump pump.

Here is the track the tornado took on Saturday, April 14. The link will take you to an interactive map of the tornado that the Wichita office of the National Weather Service posted on its site. Amazing really. And even more amazing is that no one was killed or seriously hurt in that tornado. There sure was some significant damage around the area though.

Here's just an example (photo from Kansas.com gallery of aerial photos of damage):


I tell you, it makes me feel like a little flooding is nothing, and it really is.

On the yarn front, nothing new is happening now. I really do need to get the toes on my socks finished so I can put a picture of them here. And that shawl I started what feels like ages ago. And probably at least a couple of those other projects that are sitting in my basket unfinished. As soon as I get anything finished, I promise to put photos of it here.

I guess I don't have any more photos to share today. That kind of makes me sad. Unless I can see if there is something I took a picture of and don't remember and can share it with you just for fun. Let's see . . .

OK! This is a good one. Typical thunderhead building in the Kansas sky.

And while scrolling through those photos, I did find one more recent diversion. I still occasionally pick up a shift at the newspaper where I worked as a copy editor. One day recently (a couple of weeks ago) I had just gotten into the newsroom, sat down and logged in, when we were told there was a fire in the building and we had to get out. Well, there were no fire alarms going off in the building, so how could that be? Come to find out, they were going off — in the basement and the first floor press room, but not the second or third floors. Oops. We got out and what with the fire danger of a newspaper building on fire with all that paper and ink and all kinds of flammable materials (you should see those reporters' desks!) there were a whole lot of fire engines that reported to the scene. At least 12 I believe, and at least 25 firefighters. Here are the two we saw in the back of the building:



I guess that's enough excitement for the month of April. Can I hope it ends on a quieter note?

Saturday, April 07, 2012

Princesses and such

OK, I admit it. I am a total sucker for princesses. I know all the reasons we shouldn't encourage little girls to want to be princesses, but honestly, who doesn't have at least one princess they love? My favorite is Cinderella. Always has been. I don't know if it's the fairy godmother (always wanted one of those myself, actually) or just how hard she worked before the prince found her. I mean, she rode to the ball in a pumpkin and nearly got crushed in it after the ball when she almost missed her midnight curfew!

So I was out buying batteries for the Wii Fit balance board (and a cute green cover for it too, by the way) and found this little princess, who I immediately knew needed a home on my desk. Isn't she cute? She makes me smile when I look at her.

I also found the best sandwich container ever. OK, so I love my Wonder bread one and have used it forever.

And I do love it, but sometimes a girl just has to have some options. So I got this one so I have some options:


Yeah, I know, more princesses. Not sure why I was so overcome with the desire to add some princesses to my daily stuff, but I was. And what's really weird about it is that I am so not a girly girl.

Jeans, Converse, T-shirts. These are my favorite things. In fact, my daughter does a What I Wore Wednesday on her blog. If I did it, it would look the same all the time, with the exception of the color of my Converse. Today they are white. Yesterday they were green. The day before they were red. I also have orange, blue, green plaid, purple, red and gold plaid (go 49ers!!) and some others. Love them. LOVE. Them. And my jeans. Oh, I adore my jeans. So, yeah. Not such a girly girl. But apparently I still love my princesses.

Friday, April 06, 2012

A crazy week

And I feel like I have little to show for it. Those weeks are frustrating to me. I did work all my regular hours at the library, plus I picked up two shifts at the paper, so that's where a lot of my time went. Then one whole afternoon went to mowing the front and back lawns (ick!). Needless to say, I haven't done much reading (other than on my lunch hour) or played much with yarn (at all!).

But I did finally figure out how to add a page to my blog, and now I have a place to track all the titles of books that I read in my quest to read 100 books this year.

I am way off pace already this month. Not even one book read! I am halfway through one and cheated and put it on my list already because I know I am going to finish it—probably tomorrow (or maybe even tonight if I get off the computer and go read!). I have a start on another one. And lots more in the queue.

Also, I really want to play in yarn at least a little bit. I started another Eva's shawl and have worked on it a little bit here and there. Here's a picture of it (it's not great, but you get the idea):


Tomorrow I teach a beginning crochet class in the morning, then should have a little free time. Wonder if I will read or crochet? I have another shawl pattern that I desperately want to make and the yarn is all wound and ready to go. I guess it's time to load up another audiobook that I really want to listen too. Oh, wait! I just recently bought the complete Lord of the Rings on audiobook (not the dramatizations, the real books) on CD. Maybe I should upload those and listen. And I need to get The Hobbit too. Must.

Off to peruse my Audible library and see what catches my interest (if anything can beat out Tolkein).

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

100 books — this year!

So I have set a goal to read 100 books this year. When I realized that I am reading a lot more than I have in a long time, I figured, "Why not?" I will admit right up front that a few of those will be audiobooks. I refuse to let my membership to Audible.com go to waste! But I don't think there will be all that many. I love sitting down with a good book too much.

And of course, the fact that my books-to-read list is growing exponentially since I began working at the library doesn't hurt at all either. I need to have some motivation to get through at least *some* of the books I want to read. I am also finding myself using my Goodreads account more often now too. It's another good way to track (although I haven't put everything I've read this year on there) what I'm reading and what I want to read. Sometimes, though, when I read one of those fast, fun cozy mysteries that only take a few hours? Well, those don't always get put into Goodreads. I get finished with them before I have a chance to enter them.

Also? War and Peace is off my to-read list for this year. Just doesn't work with this particular goal. :-)

Here's a book I just started today, after it was highly recommended by a couple of friends:


It's the first in a series of mysteries set in a small Canadian town. I checked it out from the library before I went to lunch. I have to say, it is pretty incredible to be able to have tens of thousands of books just a few steps from my desk. Every day. (OK, except weekends.)

I have to say that this will likely cut into my yarn time this year though. I am OK with that. I have missed reading more than I realized. But that's why a few audiobooks are a good idea. I can knit or crochet and "read" at the same time!

That's pretty much it for now. I have a book to get back to!

Oh, I guess I should tell you where I stand in reaching my goal. As of today, I have read 25 books. One-quarter of the way there.