Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Before I was a mom, when I could actually think in complete sentences, I used to read a lot. I was also an English major, so I thought this would be fun. Incidentally, I'm surprised The Worm Oroborous isn't on there, or Gormengaust. I guess they're too genre-specific.
Anyway, someone compiled a list of the top 106 books tagged "unread" on Librarything, and started a nifty little meme. Here is the plan:
Bold = I've read it for fun (I'll do these ones in orange)
Underline = I read it for school (these will be blue)
Italics = I started it but didn't finish (how about green)
Asterisk = I own it, but haven't read it (we'll keep the asterix)
Jonathan Strangelove and Mr Norrell
Crime and Punishment
One Hundred Years of Solitude
Life of Pi : a novel
The Name of the Rose
Pride and Prejudice
The Tale of Two Cities
The Brothers Karamazov
Guns, Germs, and Steel: the fates of human societies
War and Peace
The Time Traveler’s Wife
The Blind Assassin
The Kite Runner
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
Reading Lolita in Tehran: a memoir in books
Memoirs of a Geisha
Wicked: the life and times of the wicked witch of the West
The Canterbury Tales
The Historian: a novel
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Love in the Time of Cholera
Brave New World
The Count of Monte Cristo
A Clockwork Orange
The Once and Future King
The Grapes of Wrath
The Poisonwood Bible
Angels & Demons
The Satanic Verses
Sense and Sensibility
The Picture of Dorian Gray
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
To the Lighthouse
Tess of the D’Urbervilles
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
The Sound and the Fury
Angela’s Ashes: a memoir
The God of Small Things
A People’s History of the United States: 1492-present
A Confederacy of Dunces
A Short History of Nearly Everything
The Unbearable Lightness of Being
The Scarlet Letter
Eats, Shoots & Leaves
The Mists of Avalon
Oryx and Crake: a novel
Collapse: how societies choose to fail or succeed
The Catcher in the Rye
On the Road
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Freakonomics: a rogue economist explores the hidden side of everything
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: an inquiry into values
In Cold Blood: a true account of a multiple murder and its consequences
The Three Musketeers
The funny thing about this list is that there's so many books on it that I think, öh, I should read that!. Also, some of the ones I have read I took out of the libary three or four times before I actually finished it. I read the Three Muskateers when I was about 12, and I think I have about $5 of overdue fines before I finished it. Jonathan Strangelove and Mr Norrell I renewed twice and took out twice and had overdue fines on. Its brilliant, but not really a pick-up-put-down novel, which is what happens when you have little kids.
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
He's been tearing apart all the pop up books.Catch him quick, he's getting away . . . Curses, foiled again.
Seriously, though. Andrew and I made this today for our storytime librarian. Made with a piece of craft wire, a scrap of fabric, two balls of polyfil, the arm of a sweater and some embroidery floss. Super easy and fun. Andrew stuffed it, put the "skelleton"in and helped me thread the sewing machine.
Monday, April 28, 2008
Its pretty light and slim, which I like. It fits through the doors of the post office, and I can strap the boys in so there are no Aaron's diving out of the wagon and into traffic. Also, I figure we will be able to haul ourselves to the grocery store, then haul Aaron and the groceries back and make Andrew walk, which will be easier to manage than trying to convince Andrew he really wants to carry milk and cantelopes on his lap in the stroller . . . So all in all I'm pretty happy with it. The boys also love it, and had fun helping put it together last night. I did a test run with it today, and it was great. It will mean that I can walk around town this summer, and only use the car for big grocery shops and out of town adventures.
If it was just that, it wouldn't be so bad, but there's also this, which I picked up when I was in the city (I was actually looking for baby cord, which is a silly thing to do in April):
Not much to look at, but the bottom three are this lovely, heavy drapey cotton that is going to make me some great summer skirts. The brown is just a solid to go with the above fabrics (or one of my other many brown projects) and I was thinking of using the grey with this:
To make the skirt on the right with the contrast band. But it doesn't really match -- the grey leaves are more of a yellow-grey and the grey solid is more of a blue-grey. Arg. So I may make the little swooshy skirt on the left out of the lotus flowers, or I might make a ridiculously loud tunic or I might buy some Lotus dots to go with it (which would mean I'd have to buy more fabric, but of course I do still have to buy some hat fabric)
The blue cotton is for the short bias skirt (the short swooshy one on the left) and I might make the one on the right with the contrast band out of the green cotton with the beige for contrast. Or I might do something else with it. I love the swirly, retro-y ness of this skirt, but I'm not sure I could pull it off.
You know the Meyers - Briggs? Well, if you don't its a four-section personality test. You get typed in four different areas that make up your personality. I am an ENFP (which is a totally silly personality, which shocks you all, I am sure). Well, I am at my most "Perceiving" when it comes to fabric. The "P"means you like to leave your options open. I can hardly bear to cut and use my fabric, becuase it limits the possibilites for using it. Even though if I don't use it, it just sits there. But I love fabric in potentia as much or more as I do finished products. Silly, isn't it?
Thursday, April 24, 2008
The red is a very big, old ladies'pants suit. But it is 100% red silk, which I'm sure I can find a use for. The brown cords are probably to wear (those of you who knew me in BC will remember my other brown cords) but might be to make a bag out of. The purple cords are becuase I"m planning to make a crazy courdoroy / driving mat quilt. The sweater is 100% wool, so it will be felted and turned into a bookworm for our children's librarian to say thanks for a great year of story time.
I got this chalk board, plus a new badly damaged barn (to replace the other one I bought full of plastic animals that finally fell apart) at the preschool sale. How can anyone not want a five foot long black board to hand in their basement? Seriously. I am going to get so much more sewing done with this thing down there. It does need some touching up, however, so I may need to find some chalk board paint and the frame definitely needs sanding and repainting. Still, I was super excited to find it.At the catholic sale I scored these three lovely pieces of fabric. The two that are the same are about a third of a metre, which is great. I think I'll use on to trim a linen blouse I'm thinking o fmaking and the other will be used in something lovely when I or one of my friends has another girl (I think my long-distance-keep-in-touch friends and I are collectively 7:1 on the boys:girls front).This was my best score, though. This whole castle set, which can be completely taken apart and re-built when Andrew is older and up to that, plus four knights, a throne, two beds, a table (no chairs, oddly), a treasure chest, a cannon (anacronistic unless we are in Turkey or China), a crossbow, a catapult with chunks of logs that go together and then come apart to be shot out of said cannon, axes, swords, sheilds, armour, flags, a drawbridge . . . and some other odds and ends I haven't even checked out yet . . . wait for it . . . was $10. Yes, $10. Andrew, being an intense sort, was so excited about this castle. I bought it while he was in story time, since the Catholic church is right next to the library. Since we had walked, we had to walk back balancing it on the stroller. He wailed all the way home because he couldn't play with it immediately. But then he refused to take the short cut through the field in case the castle should be knocked over and broken. Then he played with it non-stop until Aaron woke up (I don't think this castle can handle 15 month old love, and at this point I don't think Andrew could bear to let his brother steal pieces and trail them all over the house -- there would be some serious altercations), then I let him keep out the knights. The knights stayed with him all afternoon. They ate lunch and supper with us (they are very shareful and all ate out of one bowl -- yes, their own bowl -- and gave Andrew their black olives, which are his favorite), took a bath with Andrew and are now happily sleeping next to him in bed. Apparently the three knights (the fourth one was given to Aaron so as to avoid world war three) are named Jacob, Jon and Noah. Jacob is the best fighter, Jon is the biggest and Noah is the smallest. I think the castle is a hit.
The only downside to the day was that I bought a bag of chocolate chocolate chip cookies at the preschool sale and ate almost all of them before I got home. But then, Andrew was in such a state that I had to carry him while pushing a sleeping Aaron in the stroller for 4 blocks, so I think I deserved them.
Monday, April 21, 2008
I do still have a ton of photos of spring to post. But since its snowing outside I don't particularly feel like posting them right now. Also I should get to bed, since the boys rise early and its 10:30.
The funny thing is that this is not the slick, HIT entertainment version of Wake Up Jeff, but the 1999 version that, I think, must be their first video. It is super low budget, and they don't even have the iconic long sleeved t-shirts with the matching "Wiggles"insignias, they just have coloured short sleeved t-shirts. Basically they have translated their stage show plus a few little extras onto a video put together on a relatively empty sound stage. And it makes for really strange viewing. They were obviously a performing group first, because they don't really do anything to translate their act to television. The thing about film is that you can be more subtle than you are on stage. You don't need to have a ginormous smile the whole time and be quite as expressive as these guys are. When they show clips of their live show you can see that they are much more comfortable in front of an audience than in front of a camera.
This also got me thinking . . . how do people actually become children's entertainers. Like, under what circumstances do four adult men decide they are going to put together a stage show where they play intruments and sing and dance and act goofy for five year olds. And how many pints were drunk when they decided it should include a giant dog, a pirate, a dinosoar and an octopus? Or were those just the costumes they could find / make? Are they childhood friends? Did they meet during a theatre degree where they happened to find out they all played instuments and liked being goofy? Were they doing their ed degrees to become elementary teachers and decided to give this a go on the side? . . .
Definitely time to get a new video from the library. I am Wiggled right out.
Here's the back story (there is always a back story or a theory for everything around here). Andrew is not the most independent of children. At three and a half he has been using the potty for almost a year now. Unfortunately I can not convince him that he could actually do this without my presence. If Andrew pees in the potty and no one sees it, did he actually get relief? Apparently not.
Part of the deal with this, I think, is that I can't seem to find nice pants without snap waists. Little girls get all sorts of cute little yoga pants and skirts that just pull on, but little boys, with their slower fine motor skills development, are somehow stuck with zippers and snaps. I decided that it was time to figure out how to alleviate this situation and make things quicker and easier when summer comes and we're outside a lot, so I don't have to leave Aaron to play in traffic (which he most definitely would do) while I take Andrew to the bathroom.
I did the tutorial in Flikr because its kind of image heavy, so it just seemed easier. You can find it right here .
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Also, at supper, Andrew was talking about how he was going to have a baby soon. Dave gently broke it to him that he couldn't have a baby in his tummy because he was a boy, and Andrew broke down into tears. Not just his usual fake wail, but real, heart-broken, gasping for air sobs and tears. Poor boy. Dave tried to explain to him that he could still HAVE a baby, he just couldn't carry the baby inside his tummy, but that didn't help.
I should have plenty of time to do that this weekend, since its supposed to snow.
Sunday, April 13, 2008
"Ecclectic. Crazy. I've been told that I dress like a homeless woman by one of the "Stepford Wives" in town. (Let's just say that I don't do well at soccer games.) "Who says that to someone?" I asked her back. "I hope a stylish one?" I was astounded.
"So here I am looking at her in her Halloween-inspired sweater, with a big pumpkin on the front, and I'm thinking that I would rather dress like a homless person that that!"
A kindred spirit. No wonder I love her fabric so much.
The interview is in the back of Quilter's Home May/June 2008, which I thought I would try, but shan't buy again. It is very silly and slightly annoying. Apparently it is "For the new generation of quilters", but that seems to be the generation that is in their 40's and 50's, so I guess I'm part of the NEW new generation of quilters? Anyway, any magazine that is written almost entirely by one guy and who likes to call me his little chicken and insist that I become an art quilter and suggest that someone wrap their chairs in batiks (eww -- I hope he was joking) is not selling any magazines to me, boyfriend. And also he doesn't include Denise Schmidt on his list of "Most Influential People in Quilting". Silly magazine. Perhaps I should subscribe . . .
Sunday, April 06, 2008
Which I lost in December. Yes, you did read right. Sometime in December, when I was packing small children and groceries into the house at the same time I dropped my keys on the driveway. Then I got distracted with dirty diapers and putting away groceries and seperating meat out into meal-sized portions and breaking up fights. Then I forgot that I had dropped them at all, and went to sleep for the night (most likely while putting the boys to bed, so without any of my night time tidying routine completed). Then it snowed. Then my neighbours kindly decided to clear both our driveways with their ATV with a snow scoop on the front. Then I realized my keys were missing.
This was not just my car keys. This was the mail key, my bike key, the key to the United Church (a precious and much coveted commodity), and the house key. The full set. I scoured the house from top to bottom looking for them. I rummaged through all the reusable grocery bags about a hundred times looking for them. I feared that I had used disposable plastic garbage bags, then thrown out the garbage bag with the keys in it when I seperated out the meat. Then I sort of assumed they were somewhere on the lawn and didn't worry too much. Until I locked the keys in the car with it running one night in February. At which point I did the whole search again, but Dave was merciful and called a tow truck to unlock the car.
Since things started to thaw a little bit in March, I have been vigilatly looking for the glimmer of a purple clip hook every time I went outside. I have been searching for the black edge of a plastic car door unlocker. And this morning, as I hurried the boys out to the car for church, there it was. Half of a car door opener peeking out of the snow, tantalizing me. I yanked on it, and out of the snow came . . . my keys!
I am so glad to have my own keys again. Dave is also glad I have my own keys again becuase this means that a) we can start locking the door again, b) I will check the mail more regularly and c) he doesn't have to constantly ask where his keys are when I forget to put them up on the key hook I installed so I wouldn't lose my keys.
Off I go to make the house happy again.
Thursday, April 03, 2008
As many of you are already aware, Andrew has a tiny dramatic streak. Yes, he has been feverish for three days, but one does tend to lose their patience when every time anything puts pressure on any part of his body it is greeted with a wail of "ow! ow! ow!". Yesterday he was really sick -- like, lay around all day and slept and didn't eat kind of sick. Today he is slightly better -- just better enough to be extremely demanding but not better enough that I can get upset with him for it.
I have discovered that it is easier to have a sick toddler and healthy preschooler than it is to have a healthy toddler and a sick preschooler. Here is why: you can carry a sick toddler around the house with you and still manage to preapre meals and entertain your three year old. But when your toddler is healthy, he wants to get into everything and go everywhere (outside, into the basement, in the bath, up on the table, etc) while your preschooler just wants to lie in one place, preferably in front of a television with you beside him.
The one upside to this is naptime. Both boys have been napping late morning, giving me a bit of breathing room. And Andrew has been waking up at 7 or 8 am instead of his usual 5 or 6, which is blissful (left to his own devices, Aaron will "sleep in" until 6 or so). Ironically, I haven't felt this well rested in quite a while.