Wednesday, July 25, 2007

This 'n' that

I've been working on a new quilt lately, and thinking more about the skipping steps problem. For this quilt, I went to a quilt store and chose fabric, instead of using what I already had, or someone else's scraps. I don't know if it is because this is a very special one, or because I paid more for the fabric, or what, but I'm trying hard to make this one nice. I keep calling my Mom to ask what I would do next if I were trying to do it right. I've ironed in between each step, something I NEVER did before. I'm redoing seams that aren't quite right, I'm double checking before I cut and paying attention to my seam allowances. I was thinking...maybe our Moms don't skip steps because they have more experience. The more I sew, the more I realize the importance of each step, and can see the difference in the product, and the more I think that I CAN take the extra time and do it right and still get it done. Maybe by the time Anna wants to sew, I won't skip steps either. It's been interesting to watch myself make this one.

I finished the piecing today, but the fabric I bought for the border doesn't look quite right, so I'll have to do a bit more shopping. I really like it. I hope the recipient does too. My only concern now that it's almost all put together is that it really looks like something that I would like. I tried to pick out things that she would like, but it ended up being very me. It's a good thing we're friends, I guess.

Today I looked up Over the Rhine on a whim, and they have a new CD coming out the end of August. It's playing on their record player on the website, and I love it. I've pre-ordered it. I just love the jazzy, saucy, dark room with candles and red wine feeling of it. Have a listen, maybe you'll love it too.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Book List

OK, I'll play too.

* Bold the ones you’ve read.
* Italicize the ones you want to read.
* Leave in normal text the ones that don’t interest you.
* Put in ALL CAPS those you haven’t heard of.
* Put a couple of asterisks by the ones you recommend.
* Put a ++ by the ones you started but didn't finish.

1. The DaVinci Code (Dan Brown)

2. Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen) **

3. To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee) **

4. Gone With The Wind (Margaret Mitchell)++

5. The Lord of the Rings:Return of the King (Tolkein)

6. The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Rings (Tolkein)

7. The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers (Tolkien)

8. Anne of Green Gables (L.M. Montgomery)**

9. OUTLANDER (Diana Gabaldon)

10. A FINE BALANCE (Rohinton Mistry)

11. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Rowling)**

12. Angels and Demons (Dan Brown)

13. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Rowling)

14. A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving)

15. Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden)

16. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Rowling)**

17. FALL ON YOUR KNEES (Ann-Marie MacDonald)

18. The Stand (Stephen King)

19. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Rowling)**

20. Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)

21. The Hobbit (Tolkien)**

22. The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger)**

23. Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)**

24. The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold)

25. Life of Pi (Yann Martel)++

26. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams)

27. Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte)

28. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (C. S. Lewis)**

29. East of Eden (John Steinbeck)

30. Tuesdays with Morrie (Mitch Albom)

31. DUNE (Frank Herbert)

32. The Notebook (Nicholas Sparks)

33. Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand)

34. 1984 (Orwell)**

35. THE MISTS OF AVALON (Marion Zimmer Bradley)

36. The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett)

37. THE POWER OF ONE (Bryce Courtenay)

38. I Know This Much is True(Wally Lamb)

39. The Red Tent (Anita Diamant) (Megan just gave it to me, it's on the stack)

40. The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)

41. The Clan of the Cave Bear (Jean M. Auel)

42. The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini)

43. Confessions of a Shopaholic (Sophie Kinsella)

44. The Five People You Meet In Heaven (Mitch Albom)

45. The Bible ++**

46. Anna Karenina (Tolstoy)**

47. The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas)

48. Angela’s Ashes (Frank McCourt)

49. The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck)

50. She's Come Undone (Wally Lamb)

51. THE POISONWOOD BIBLE (Barbara Kingsolver)

52. A Tale of Two Cities (Dickens)**

53. Ender's Game (Orson Scott Card)

54. Great Expectations (Dickens)**

55. The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald)**

56. THE STONE ANGEL (Margaret Laurence)

57. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Rowling)

58. The Thorn Birds (Colleen McCullough)

59. The Handmaid's Tale (Margaret Atwood)

60. The Time Traveler's Wife (Audrey Niffenegger)**

61. Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)

62. The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand)**

63. War and Peace (Tolstoy)

64. Interview With The Vampire (Anne Rice)

65. FIFTH BUSINESS (Robertson Davies)

66. One Hundred Years Of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)

67. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (Ann Brashares)

68. Catch-22 (Joseph Heller)

69. Les Miserables (Victor Hugo)**

70. The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)

71. Bridget Jones's Diary (Helen Fielding)**

72. Love in the Time of Cholera (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)

73. Shogun (James Clavell)

74. The English Patient (Michael Ondaatje)

75. The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson)**

76. THE SUMMER TREE (Guy Gavriel Kay)

77. A Tree Grows In Brooklyn (Betty Smith)

78. The World According to Garp (John Irving)

79. THE DIVINERS (Margaret Laurence)

80. Charlotte’s Web (E.B. White)**

81. NOT WANTED ON THE VOYAGE (Timothy Findley)

82. Of Mice And Men (Steinbeck)

83. Rebecca (Daphne DuMaurier)**

84. WIZARD'S FIRST RULE (Terry Goodkind)

85. Emma (Jane Austen)

86. Watership Down (Richard Adams)

87. Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)**

88. THE STONE DIARIES (Carol Shields)

89. BLINDNESS (Jose Saramago)

90. KANE AND ABEL (Jeffrey Archer)

91. IN THE SKIN OF A LION (Michael Ondaatje)

92. Lord of the Flies (William Golding)**

93. The Good Earth (Pearl S. Buck)

94. The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd)

95. The Bourne Identity (Robert Ludlum)

96. THE OUTSIDERS (S.E. Hinton)

97. White Oleander (Janet Fitch)**

98. A Woman of Substance (Barbara Taylor Bradford)

99. The Celestine Prophecy (James Redfield) (We listened to it in the car once)

100. Ulysses (James Joyce)

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Yum yum!

Anna and I made cookies tonight, and they are really tasty. Like little peach cobblers. Easy too! It's Martha's "Cookie of the Month"

Fresh-Peach Drop Cookies
~4 dozen

2 cups + 2T all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 stick unsalted butter, room temp
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 large ripe peaches, peeled, pitted, and cut into 1/4" dice
1/3 cup peach jam or preserves
2 T fine sanding sugar (I used reg. sugar)
1/8 tsp cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 375. Whisk together flour, salt, and baking soda.
2. Beat butter and granulated sugar with a mixer on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 4 min. Reduce speed to low. Beat in egg and vanilla. Add flour mixture, and beat until just combined. Add peaches and jam, and beat until just combined.
3. Using a tablespoon, drop dough onto baking sheets lined with parchment, spacing about 2" apart. (If not baking all of the cookies at once, refrigerate dough between batches, dough can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to two days.) Combine sanding sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle each cookie with 1/8 tsp. cinnamon sugar mixture.
4. Bake cookies, rotating sheets halfway through, until golden brown and just set, 11-13 minutes. Let cool on sheets for 5 minutes, and then transfer cookies to wire racks to cool completely.

New Music

Shauna had a link to this on her blog, and I really like it. I've been waiting for years for some new Christian music to fall into my lap (I'm not much for actively seeking). I think this might be a find! You can go here and listen.

monk & neagle banner

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

8 years?

Last night and this morning, he watched 9 episodes of Project Runway with my sisters and me.

He is still SO my favorite.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

7 party!

Saturday night we had the 7 party, and it was such fun. I think that everyone had a great time. It was a little warm and breezy, but by evening it was lovely. There were kids running around everywhere, playing games and having fun. I forgot how much fun big parties are.

We had seven layer burritos, seven layer sundaes, Seven up, prizes for the seven outdoor games, and a giant seven to take pictures with.

Here's my favorite prize. A sweet baby blankie with an appliqued seven.

It warmed my heart so to see this sandbox full of kiddos.

And this pool full of wild ones who couldn't resist.
Yay Croquet!

I hope no one minds if I post some family pics. I won't identify people, for the illusion of safety.

Here's somebody awfully cute.

On to the Seven pictures!

We had some VERY distinguished guests. And some regular ones.

So thankful for all of their company. It was great fun.

Monday, July 02, 2007


Heath's comment on the poem set me to thinking. A year ago I wouldn't have dreamed of writing a poem. I hated doing it for school, and didn't enjoy reading poems much. Poetry was something for other people. Snooty people, mainly. (Excepting, of course, Linda)

Then last year, when browsing in The Tattered Cover with Katrina while Anna slept in her stroller, I found a book of poems that I couldn't put down. I bought it on a whim and bravely took it to the cabin with me. That's brave because I was going to show it to Dad, and he's the smartest man in the world, and also literary-so if it was stinky, he'd tell me so. But he liked them, and so I discovered a world of accessible poetry. Good Poems selected and introduced by Garrison Keillor. Susan got me Good Poems for Hard Times for Christmas, and I've also enjoyed it. You should definitely read them.

The poems in these books are more about capturing a moment or a feeling than about any other grand thing. Maybe all poetry is about capturing a moment, and I was too busy feeling bad that I couldn't find the grand something that I missed it. Regardless, these poems make me laugh and cry and make me feel like I can also write poetry. And that it's alright if my poetry is not very grand, if all it does is capture a moment or a time or a feeling. It's a way to scrapbook emotion. And you know I love to keep things.

The poem-a-longs on Linda's blog have also been great fun. I wonder if there is a way to make kids feel this way about poetry while they're in school? I don't know. There are some wonderful English teachers, but kids are hard.

Here is an example from the book. I just flipped through and picked one, there are so many good ones.

I Stop Writing the Poem--Tess Gallagher

to fold the clothes. No matter who lives
or who dies, I'm still a woman.
I'll always have plenty to do.
I bring the arms of his shirt
together. Nothing can stop
our tenderness. I'll get back
to the poem. I'll get back to being
a woman. But for now
there's a shirt, a giant shirt
in my hands, and somewhere a small girl
standing next to her mother
watching to see how it's done.

Anyhoo--Check out these books! Write poems! It's fun!