Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The Bag is Done

I'm considering sewing the swatch to the inside to serve as a pocket. It is fuzzy, though, and I did not see electric clippers at AC Moore today. Will try Joann's or wait for my sweater stone.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

A. turns the big One-Oh!

He so excited he's riding a fish! I'm not sure why. Because it was there?
We were in Charlotte for Thanksgiving, when A. had his 10th birthday. He had a really great weekend. Aside from the aforementioned fish-riding ...
...there was ice skating--in short sleeves, no less, although it just seemed so wrong to be ice skating in such warm weather. The balmy temperatures and bright sun resulted in a not inconsiderable layer of cold water on top of the ice--water C. got up close and personal with quite often because she was not quite comfortable on the rental hockey skates (no toe pick and weird sizing!).
And nothing says "birthday" like some rock climbing. Again, I am not sure why. Whatever--it was lots of fun! We checked out the brand spankin' new U.S. National Whitewater Center near Charlotte, and it turned out that there were some rather cool rock climbing walls there. I wish I could have gotten a good picture of A's smile after he reached the top on his first climb. :o)
Here he is at the top.
C. will not be outdone, and climbs some pretty good walls herself.
Here she is, at the top!

Monday, November 20, 2006

What we've been reading ...

We had to go get this at the bookstore the day this was released. A and I each finished it within a day. It took C a bit longer. Then we all had to listen to the audiobook version, just because we love Tim Curry's readings so much.

We took this on the trip to the mountains. Rich got it all to himself while I had to slog through the awful book chosen that month by my book club. Every time he laughed out loud while reading, I would get envious. Having read it now myself, I can say it is probably good that I did not read the discussion of bear attacks before our night of camping. But it was a very enjoyable book overall. I learned some interesting things about the Appalachian Trail.

C has flown through every Disney Fairy book, gobbling them up faster than Halloween candy. She can read one in a day. I wish I could persuade her that she is capable of reading harder books on her own (i.e., without a parent sitting next to her and taking turns reading paragraphs).

I recently "finished" this book--I can't say I read it, because I actually listened to it. I downloaded the mp3 from and kept a section of it on my little Rio player at all times. It took me several weeks of playing it in the car, during walks around the neighborhood, etc., to get through all 18 hours of it. Now that I am done, however, I have started it all over again. It was that interesting. The writing is very good--he takes some rather arcane science and makes it very accessible for the non-scientist. And the reading is good as well. A and I both really enjoyed it.

A has been working his way through E. Nesbit's work, and liking it very much. So far, he has read The Enchanted Castle, Five Children & It, The Phoenix & the Carpet, and The Story of the Amulet. He also re-read Kate DiCamillo's The Tale of Despereaux for today's meeting of the library bookclub.

And Rich is still working on the biography of Churchill.

Knitting progress report

Toasty toes, in my wool socks. They are machine washable (the socks, of course), and I let them go in the dryer for about 15 minutes on low, before pulling them to finish drying on the side of the bathtub. I love 'em.

About a month ago, I became completely obsessed with the felted purse pattern in the latest "issue" of knitty. It was so different from anything I had done before. I had to make it. Making the swatch was, um, an interesting experience, but I was not deterred. I changed from worsted weight wool to bulky, and then proceeded to splurge on size 13 and 15 Knit Picks Options needles (not the whole set!) to make the darn thing (love those needles, btw).
Anyway, here it is. The picture above shows the purse and I-cord strap before felting. The picture below shows it in the midst of blocking--stretched around a three-volume set of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire and toasting by the fire. Although I am very satisfied with the way it looks, it's rather fuzzy and I think it could benefit from the sweater stone. I just sent away for a free one. :o) Here are my other finished objects. The washcloths are going into teacher gift-packages for Christmas (need 3 more of those). The black/brown sock is for me (I am only halfway up the foot of the second sock), and the colorful sock is a going to be a gift (I am halfway up the foot of a second sock in that pair as well). The first was made with Regia Silk Color, and the second is with Cherry Tree Hill Farms Supersock Handpaint, supposedly in the Champlain Sunset colorway, but my skein looks nothing like what the website says.
Meanwhile, A. has asked to be taught how to cast on. When I taught the kids to knit last year, I did not teach them how to cast on. He and another boy at school who knows how to knit apparently are upset that their respective knitting teachers (their moms) never taught them casting on. A. says he wants to make his school teacher's washcloth for her Christmas gift basket and he wants to do it completely--from start to finish. So ... we had our first casting on lesson last night.

Oy, what a challenge! He is very nimble with his hands, so that's not the issue. With practice he is going to be fine. But it was incredibly difficult for me to take something that I do almost without thinking and break it down into explainable chunks for him. Anyone listening to us last night would have thought that I was an idiot: "You take the tail ... and then your thumb is here, no the other way ... wait, let me think, no you go left to right, wait, no, yes, hold it, let me try that again. Yes, left to right, but then right to left...." You get the idea. When I thought he had it under control, I left him to read for C's bedtime. Big mistake. When I came back, he was nearly in tears.

We'll try again tonight. I promised I would stay by him for all 45 stitches.

Thursday, November 16, 2006


Does anyone know what this picture means?

The BarBri bar review books are being returned to George and Chrissy, the friends who lent them. Rudolph's checking the contents of the bag.

Meanwhile, the pmbr Bar Review cds are being prepared for listing on eBay.

I passed the New Jersey bar exam. :o)