Tag Archive | Reading



Today has been adventuresome. Not in any grand change the world way, but in quiet change MY world ways. First, I introduced a friend whom I mostly keep in touch with online to the beauty that is Mighty Text. Now he can be at the computer where he needs to be, but I can be where ever I want with my phone and still be in touch.

Then I read a couple of articles online that ended up relating (again) to that concept of “house.” Am I the only one who can actually FEEL it when new synapses are formed in the brain? The good news is, the picture is coming clearer without any striving on my part, just as I suspected it would once I acknowledged the promptings.

Then I went into my room, and moved this chair 18 inches to the left, so that it was beside a flat surface to hold my coffee cup on a cup warmer. And I put these things in the chair and took this picture. I sat and read for an hour, texting with my friend. I sat and knit on these socks while watching Classic Dr. Who for an hour (can you see the two toes yet? and can you see that I am doing the feet in ribbing?).

Then I put that post-it note on my new “idea wall.” I read an article the other day about this, mostly in relation to graphic design and business models. But I am adopting the concept for myself as a way to keep those ideas that will take time to come to fruition in front of me without obsessing on them. I’m looking forward to lots more post-it notes. And sketches. And swatches.

Where is my idea wall, you say? Over my zazen space. It is appropriate for now, but one day, when I really allow myself to be wildly free and creative, I am going to have a big wall, covered in corkboard and pretty fabric, and it will hold all my wonderful ideas until I get a chance to flesh them out. Like the two small boards I have now, only bigger…for bigger ideas. Long term things. Pieces of puzzles.

Tonight is the Super Bowl, of course: the one football game per year that I actually watch, mostly for the commercials and to rag on the half-time show. We’ve laid on supplies of party food: pizza, wings, soda, chips.

Later tonight, once the kids are in bed, I will sit in that chair with a cup of tea and journal. I really need to get back into my self-care groove after the weather disruptions of the past week. But, dang, it did feel good to sleep in. And also to stay up late.

Oh, after I took the picture, I started writing this blog post in my head. And then, about three-quarters of the way through, I realized I had forgotten it was Sunday again, and that I should be giving you a selfie. Oops.

New Adventures


First Anais Nin. First book read with a new reading partner. There will be hot-from-the-microwave Krispy Kreme doughnuts tonight, too.

Not snow


This is our snowpocolypse. You will note that there is no snow. This is 2-4 inches of sleet which has become a vast sheet of ice. The children, however, believe this is snow and they are happy. They made themselves snowboards from scrap wood, and I saw my 18 year old laughing as she slipped and slid and “sledded” on a lid from a plastic bin. Resourceful, my children. I took the pic standing on my steps at ten after six without flash. The colors here amazed me–I didn’t see all those blues with the naked eye.

School is cancelled for all the children and for me again tomorrow. Maybe I will get some things done. Maybe I won’t. What I am now concerned about is internship hours. I really should hit the homework hard and get ahead while we are locked in so I can devote more hours at work once we are back on a semi-normal routine. But it is nice, this hanging out at home with my children. Reminds me of how things were in my pre-divorce, home-schooling life. I miss knowing what goes on with them all day, and it is difficult for me to reconnect with the little ones when the three of them all come in the door at the same time, full of their day. Someone always has to wait, and by the time I get to listen to the last one, the excitement has often gone out of whatever they were bursting to share when they came in.

I’m still reading Minn but will likely finish it tonight. And maybe start Self-Reliance. I’m expecting a new book tomorrow that I will read with a partner, but I think I will probably not lodge a complaint with Amazon if it arrives late. After all, they did give me access to the beginning of the ebook with my paper purchase.

I think I will also cast on a pair of green socks tonight. I’d like to be delivering those on February 14th. And then will be gauntlets for an April delivery. And then the scarf for May. And in between my not-a-pair socks, forever constrained to boots. Or to being worn with my feet spread far apart, as one friend so graciously advised.

Alright, dinner is ready. Who’s hungry?

Oh, please ignore the mess in the yard. Sometimes we lose things out there. Anybody need a 16×4 snake audio? I’m not sure we have one, but we might.

A Reading Day


So this is my agenda for the day. A child’s book, 84 pages. I like these Holling C. Holling books, because I learn so much reading them. I used them when I homeschooled the children in the early grades to teach subjects like science, history, and geography. But reading them aloud is not the same as reading them for myself. Today I have learned about the vast amount of things in the bottom of the Mississippi, and also that pearl buttons come from clam shells. And that turtle eggs take 100 days to hatch. And I have remembered my last camping trip, and how the kids saw a box turtle sitting in the trail, and I told them just to watch, but not bother her, because she was laying eggs. And how we watched a baby alligator swimming for over an hour. And how I cooked hot dogs in the rain. I’m on page 56.

I had also planned to read Self-Reliance today. And finish The Law of Attraction. But, the internet has been distracting. And text messages have made me smile. Repeatedly. Soon it will be time to cook. And then later tonight, I am putting my head together with a friend to plan my next adventure.

The internet, distracting. I have a love/hate relationship with it. I cannot deny that it is a massive time sink in my life. But I also cannot deny that the advent of such technology has enabled me to pull my circle of friends from far flung places and then keep up with them, almost in real time.

Which thought path led, this morning, to thoughts about laziness, and how invalid I now find the concept of not putting forth effort in interpersonal relationships. And how angry it makes me when people don’t. And then the side of me that doesn’t like to sit in anger had to remind angry me that maybe people who don’t put forth effort just don’t desire the depth of relationship that I desire. Maybe they would rather have easy than real. Maybe they are getting the quality of relationships they want, and I can’t judge them for wanting things to be more superficial. But I can say I think they are often settling, and settling is a miserable way to live a life. You only get one, so don’t settle. Work for what you want: in relationships, in calling, in art– in all you do, work for what you want. Do not let complacency, laziness or cowardice steal from you your one precious life.

I live a life of rabbit trails. I suck the marrow from the bone. I follow my bliss. All those cliches. But the thing is, living like this makes the joy rise up out of me and spill over. And in truth, I fail. I fail often, and I fail hard. But I don’t judge myself for that. I judge myself for the times I hold back effort. I judge myself if I have to ask “what if?” The last thing I want on my death bed is a lingering discourse with myself about what might have been if I had just tried.

Another Finishing Day


I do love finishing things. And I do have many things to finish. So far today, I have finished the cowl on the top left, picked up the Carrick Pullover which has been languishing for far too long, and started Seabird. It’s a quick read, and so I will be done with it today. Carrick will take longer; it needs two sleeves, two seams and a collar. However, I estimate that it will take less time than anything else I have laid out to do this year, with the exception of the scrap socks I decided to make the day I packed up the yarn. Those are worsted weight wool and shouldn’t take more than a week, even with classes and internship.

As far as Carrick goes, I am hoping it will fit properly. I’ve fluctuated a bit in size -both down and up- since I started it. Those of you who have done that will realize that the same number on the scale can look vastly different even on the same body. So, we’ll see. It’s a ribbed pattern and that will help. The instructions assure me that I am knitting the correct size. Usually I can pretty much tell, because I knit in the round. The sides of this sweater are seamed so I’m losing a couple of visual inches on each side where the pieces roll in.

After I finish Seabird, I should get myself set up to start using the new schedule I made yesterday. I was going to start it today, but I didn’t set the alarm. I am glad of that, because I woke up dreaming of my grandmother. We weren’t doing anything that I can remember, she was just there. Much like when I dreamed of Daddy a couple months ago. Comforting. I much prefer these gentle visits to the traumatic dreams I was having now and again. Of course, those were useful, too, as they pointed me in directions I really needed to go. But still. Not fun.

As I sit here writing, I am thinking about all the things that aren’t on my agenda for this year. No, I haven’t talked about all my plans yet, because I haven’t finalized them all. I think the main thing I still have to work out is what my exercise program is going to be. I’ve got several options and just need to figure out how I want to pull it together. I like the way I feel when I’m working out regularly. The best word I can think of is strong. Not just physically strong, but mentally, too. So, expect to hear me talk about that soonish, and we will leave the dusty guitar hanging on the bedroom wall for a bit longer. I reckon I can hold off ordering those accordion straps at guitar center, but I will probably be wanting yoga mat and maybe some weights. I want shapelier thighs before I get to my loooooooong socks. Well that, and the bubble butt I had when I was doing squats. Unfortunately, it is the sad truth that the only way to a squatter’s butt is…squats.

A Finishing Day


I woke up cold, hurting, and grumpy this morning. I think the three were related, right? Grumpy is just not my usual attitude upon waking these days. I needed to take the little kids to school this morning, and they were on two hour delay. It was nearly noon before I sat to meditate.

I did something different with that today. Instead of trying to quiet my thoughts, I watched them. I just wanted to see where they would go, because 1) I read the other day that’s one way to do it and 2) I was trying to figure out why I was so dang agitated. I know you are all just very curious about how my mind works, so I will share. It was flitting to all the things I feel like I need to do. And then it stilled itself of it’s own accord. So, I decided to give myself a finishing day.

I finished the gauntlets for my friend. I very rarely knit to request, so this was a treat. Well, actually, I used to rarely knit to request, but the last two projects I’ve made have been by request. Hmmm, I will have to think about that. Hopefully these last projects do not end up like the curse of “The Boyfriend Sweater.” Although it’s possible. I’ve knit now for five men total, and three of them are pretty much out of my romantic life. I thought I could escape by knitting small things, but apparently it is the act of picking up needles in general. If you believe in the curse, which I don’t. I just think it is amusing.

But if I had believed it, I still would have knit that sweater for my ex-husband. Not because I wanted to divorce him when I made it, but just because life is so much better for me now. I have freedom and I am exulting in it. Call me a self-centered bitch if you’d like, and I will sit here wearing my self-satisfied smile. I can take the hate. Wow, that went pretty far afield, didn’t it? Tangent is my language.

Let’s go back to the gauntlets. I won’t tangent this time. These were made for a fairly large man. I am not sure you will be able to tell in the pictures, but I made them completely in K1P1 rib. They will fit him, but they also fit me. Well, mostly. There is no way to rib tightly enough to make a perfect fit for 11 inch hand and an 8.5 inch hand, but these are pretty dang close. I did not use a pattern, but designed as I went. I like doing that, because I feel like it adds to the finished garment. Custom made ought to mean custom fit. I’ll get to see how well I did Saturday after next.

Also, today is Wednesday. Wednesday is new book day. I picked a short one on purpose so I could finish it, which I have. That’s pretty much what I have accomplished so far today. Directly, I will start and then finish dinner. I may or may not finish a load of laundry.

Tomorrow the kids are back on their normal schedule, so I should have a little more silent time in which to do things. The three hour spread between last out and first in was just not enough to settle myself today.

52 Books


Behold! A selection of watches! Just kidding! It’s books. But not 52. Only 24.

I have had an ongoing love affair with the written word since I was 6 years old. In my life BC (that is, Before Children) I easily churned through 2,000 pages per week. It is very safe to say that I have missed reading more than I have missed regular meals and plenty of hot water for showering. It seems that there has been a shift in household dynamics in the past 6 months or so. All my children are now readers. They get the concept of, “just a sec, I’m reading.” This is new and different. It’s been roughly 25 years since I was able to say that and get the desired response, which is….waiting just a sec without whining or pouting. I’m able to read again.

In 2013, I read 50 books. I eeked the last one out on New Year’s Eve, but eek it out I did. This year, my goal is 52. Magazines count, as long as I read the whole thing. Textbooks count, with the same caveat. Books that I pick up, read 10% of and then discard also count. Because if the author doesn’t have my attention 10% in, if I am not emotionally invested or at least curious by that point, he/she hasn’t written a good book and life is too short to read crappy books. There are so many good ones out there waiting for a little love. There were 2 such discards last year.

I’d like, at least for the first 6 months of the year, to read primarily paper books, and ones that may or may not move with me. I gathered these up last night from various nooks, crannies, and shelves. Then I added them to my currently reading list at goodreads. Yes, I currently have 28 books in my “currently reading” list. Too few you say?

You will probably note the Holling C. Holling selections in the back. Yes, kid books count too, depending. I have many books here that I used when I homeschooled my children. When we stopped, I kept the ones that I wanted to read myself and I think it’s time I allow myself to do that.

Anyway, these are the ones I plan to start with. Some of them are underway already. My plan is to start a new one each Wednesday so I can talk about it on Thursday. Because, do you remember this?

Last night, I started You Can’t Keep a Good Woman Down by Alice Walker. This is a collection of short stories, and they are short shorts. The longest so far is about 15 pages, and the shortest was two paragraphs. Interestingly enough, it’s the two paragraph story that is still blazing in my mind this morning. It’s called “Petunia.” Read it if you get the chance.

This week’s BTT question is: “What were your favorite books last year?”

In fiction, History of Love , by Nicole Krauss. It is a beautiful story beautifully told, and earned a spot on the permanent shelf alongside The Time Traveler’s Wife. I also greatly enjoyed The Book Thief.

Nonfiction, Tao Te Ching and Thich Nhat Hahn’s Peace is Every Step. Both of these were game changers for me, and I plan to read them once a year every year for the foreseeable future.

Booking Through Thursday 9/18/2008 on the 19th


Autumn is starting (here in the US, anyway), and kids are heading back to school–does the changing season change your reading habits? Less time? More? Are you just in the mood for different kinds of books than you were over the summer?

One thing I missed while I was spinning my wheels yesterday was the Booking Through Thursday meme. I hate that. I don’t always answer the questions, but I do at least like to look! Fall generrally means more reading time for me, since the kids are in practice, and that measn I am held captive at the ball park for a couple hours three times per week. But this fall, I am doing more walking and talking during practice, and less reading than I did last year. And as most of you know, I am still reading magazines during practice, too. What all that means is that I am not reading as many books as I would like. Still. Though I did read on on the way home from Vegas that had me snorting with laughter.

My Horizontal Life is rip-roaringly funny in a way that only a book about sex can be. Unless you are one of those people who doesn’t get that there are very few things funnier than sex. And true, sex can can be joyful and intense and even serious, but it is also very, very funny. Seriously, take away the candle light and the lingerie, and it’s just…funny. Now I am interested to read her other book, Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea. It ought not to take more than 6 hours or so to read, if I can find 6 quiet ones to string together again, LOL! In real life time, it will probably take months to get through it, though.

BTW, have you noticed how the colors on uk books are so much different than the ones here? Much more subdued, as if they didn’t really on the brightness to attract readers, and instead relied on the words. Interesting concept, that.