Thursday, January 29, 2009

What's Up?

Oh bother, people, I have a blog, don't I? Someday maybe I should write a real post, eh? But here's What's Up today:

What I've Been Wasting Time Doing: Entering many giveaway drawings on the Bloggy Giveaway Quarterly Carnival-Thingy. I don't win anything, but I never give up.

What Needs Fixin' On The Blawg: My blog links are terribly out of date and don't really reflect my current blog-reading habits.

What I'm Listening To: John Mellencamp's Trouble No More album, via I-Tunes, probably uploaded by Natalie two computers ago.

What I'm Thinking: John Mellencamp will always be John Cougar or John Cougar Mellencamp to people my age. Who does he think he's fooling? And will he write a new version of "To Washington" for President Obama? And when John Cougar was John Cougar were cougars called cougars...and if you don't know what that means you will have to go research it for yourself because I couldn't find any links without stinky language.

What's For Supper: Chicken and Stuffing Casserole, carrot coins, and that's about it. "Carrot Coins" has such a school lunch sound to it.

What's On The Needles: One Row Lace Scarf in a bright red shade of TLC Cotton Plus. Beginner's lace with inexpensive yarn, because I need something bright to wear with a black outfit and I wasn't prepared to sink a lot of cash and heartache into it.

What I'm Reading: Too many blog posts and message board threads and not nearly enough real books.

What I Should Do Right Now: Get up from this chair and go finish supper before the at-work people get home.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Interview Time

This is a meme going around. The questions I'm answering were given to me by Cathy at It Will Be Funny Tomorrow. These are the rules, if you'd like to join in:

1. If you want to participate, leave me a comment saying, “Interview me.” (And your e-mail address if I don't already have it, please.)
2. I will respond by e-mailing you five questions. I get to pick the questions.
3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

Here are the questions Cathy asked me, along with my answers. Some of these were easier than others!

1. Name a person that you admire who has profoundly changed your life and tell us why.

My husband. It might be a little cliched to say this, because marriage is supposed to profoundly change us, so it's not unexpected. But, marrying Tom changed my view of myself in many, many ways. He has always seen potential in me that I don't see in myself, and beauty where I certainly don't see it. I admire him for, among other things, his strength, calmness, and tenacity and trust in God in the face of any kind of adversity. He daily deals with things on his job that would completely do me in, and yet he gets up every morning and faithfully goes in to do battle again. He brings that kind of tenacity and calm to our marriage and family and I would not be the same person I am now without him.

2. What would you most like to be remembered for?

I would like people to say when I am gone that I glorified God in my daily life, and that I was a godly wife and mother. I am very, very far from that ideal.

3. What is your favorite comfort food?

Fried meat (fried chicken, chicken fried steak, or fried pork chops) with mashed potatoes and cream gravy!

4. Tell us one dream you have yet to accomplish, and whether or not you think you'll ever be able to accomplish it.

I would like to visit Ireland, and at this point I don't have any reason to think I will be able to do that. Times change, though, so maybe in years to come it will happen.

5. How are you most comfortable sleeping (be as detailed or brief as you like)

We have a king-sized bed because I am most comfortable sleeping on My.Own.Side of the bed with nobody touching me! I sleep mostly on my left side, with a down-alternative pillow for my head and a squishier pillow to hold. I like flannel sheets in the winter, and flannel top sheet in the summer. I like the room to be cold enough that I can cocoon under my covers without getting hot. I prefer my covers to be untucked at the bottom so I can arrange them around me however I like without my feet feeling trapped. I like several layers of very lightweight blankets rather than one big heavy comforter.

If a cat is sleeping with us, I want her to be either against my back and not pushing or shoving or else over on Tom's side of the bed. I like the room to be as dark and quiet as possible but I don't need white noise. If Tom has to have the ceiling fan running I can tolerate it, but my preference is to not have it blowing on me. If someone else in the house has to get up before me, I prefer that they just go ahead and bang doors and turn on lights. I may or may not be able to sleep through that, but someone sneaking around softly closing doors, tiptoeing, and whispering will always wake me up!

Okay then, I guess you can see what's important to me in life...sheesh! :) I'm a picky sleeper, I admit it.

Leave me a comment if you want to be interviewed and I'll start thinking up some questions.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Things I Am Pondering Thinking About

•Is Colin going to need braces? I hope not, but his teeth are a mess right now, so it's hard to say. If we take him for an orthodontia consult they'll want to put a palate expander or somesuch on him. $$$

•How much I love my washer and dryer. My washer, in particular, is a technological marvel compared to what I've had before. It uses less water, but lets me do a full-immersion wash and double rinse if I want to. Best of all, it spins the clothes out so thoroughly that the washer and dryer finish their respective cycles in just about the same amount of time. I started doing laundry at 8:15 this morning and just now put the 6th load in the washer, a mere 6 hours later.

•How little I understand the economy. Or maybe how little I understand the true depths of sinfulness of the human heart.

•What to cook for dinner. It's looking like a Chicken and Rice night...heads up to the family members returning from work.

•If I make Pear Crisp with the pears that are ripening/spoiling in the garage should I follow the recipe and add the Craisins to it? Will they contaminate the whole mixture so that the Craisin Hater in our house can't eat it?

•What would make our microwave door stop functioning properly? It has one of those "push button to open" kind of deals, and it's taking two or three firm pushes followed by prying at the door with a fingernail to get it opened.

•Still pondering the craft projects. I think I'm going to attempt thick socks with worsted weight yarn before making myself go blind using the thin sock yarn. I might also make myself a decorative scarf...the kind that looks good rather than keeps warm. Natalie got me a black top for Christmas and if I wear it with black pants I'll need something to inject some color or people will think I'm from New York.

•Trying not to think about the new Consumer Protection Act that might/could/will totally screw up the American manufacturing sector. Said sector is out there, it's just composed right now of very small businesses. To my little pea brain it seems like the best course of action would be to regulate and test toys and products coming from China, and encourage small American manufacturers to create alternatives.

•Wondering if the item above means I should be stockpiling fabric, yarn, etc.? Those things will probably have to be certified, too, right? Which should mean that they'll be getting ever more expensive. I have a pretty healthy stash of cross-stitching supplies, but not much in the way of yarn. Well, maybe the government is showing me which way to go with my crafting? Hmmm....

•Considering "raising the bar to walk effortlessly underneath":

Monday, January 5, 2009

Crafting Conundrum

As I head into 2009, I've been pondering what direction my crafting efforts should be taking next. I know, I know, a bunch of you just said "She's yammering indecisively about crafts again...kill me now!"

Here's where I am, crafting-wise. I am currently crocheting an afghan/throw to put on the back of our loveseat. It's a simple repetitive pattern, just a giant granny square that changes color with each round. It's creating exactly the effect I want, but it's not terribly stimulating or challenging work. Obviously every project can't be challenging, though, or I'd never be able to watch TV.

In cross-stitch I have one project currently in progress and one completely kitted and in my work bag. The one I'm currently working on is a Prairie Schooler alphabet piece featuring fruits and vegetables. As soon as it is done I will frame it and hang it on the little piece of soffit that conceals the range vent above the kitchen cabinets.

The other piece I have ready to start on is Fleurs de Provence by Sweetheart Tree. It's a lot more intricate stitching than the PS piece, which is why I have them both in my bag at the same time. I am supposed to be switching off between them, but I haven't been in a "difficult stitching mood" for a while, I guess.

But now I'm wondering what, if anything, I should work on after these things are done. Or what I should slot into each category when I get the item from that category finished. After pondering this for some time, all I seem to come up with is problems. For instance...

Knitting: I'm a beginning knitter, but having finally mastered purling I could stretch my skills by moving on to something (ANYTHING!!) other than dishcloths. But...I don't wear sweaters, Tom doesn't wear sweaters, Colin doesn't wear sweaters, and Natalie buys or knits the sweaters she wants. None of us wear mittens, and gloves are beyond my comprehension. We have plenty of hats right now, although that might be an option in the future. Tom and I each have a scarf and that's really all we need; Colin would like a scarf but would not wear it and would probably lose it. I attempted socks yesterday, and discovered that I can at least begin socks...I can use dpns and I can work in the round, but I may go blind and batty in the process. So...maybe not socks, either.

Crochet: Again with the issues of sweaters, mittens, gloves, scarves, etc. I could make an afghan for the big couch and one for the chair, but I'm not sure if we really want that much afghan-age in our decor. Maybe.

Cross-Stitch: My walls are starting to fill up to the point of Tasteful Simplicity. Now, I know with cross-stitch it is possibly to create an attractive look of Massed Groups of Needlework, and I actually like that look. But I'm in the in-between point, and I'm not sure if I have the decorating skills to choose the right pieces to stitch to begin moving in the MG direction.

Which brings me, in all three categories, to the point all crafters reach eventually...the point where we begin to think about crafting for gifts or profit. I'll rule profit out right away. Right now I'm not interested in the kind of time pressures and extra work that would be involved in marketing any of my crafting. I doubt that the market would be there in this economy, anyway.

Giving away crafts is a really, really touchy thing. Basically you are giving something either to decorate a person's home or to clothe them, and they have no way to return it if it is not to their taste. I know my immediate family well enough to craft for them. (See above about all the crafted things they DON'T need.) I've also cross-stitched one piece for my mom, and she liked it and displays it. Beyond that, though, I'm afraid I'd be wading into treacherous waters. My dad wears sweaters, so if I were to develop some Sweater Skills he would be a possible victim recipient.

Ideally, I need to have a bunch of friends and relatives start reproducing soon. Babies are the best victims for knit and crocheted objects. Baby afghans are fun, fairly easy, and almost all new mothers like them. (Or are really good at faking appreciation.) Beyond afghans, there are little knitted bibs and sweaters and other sweet things which look cute and are not huge time commitments. Here again, though, I think the crafter has to pick her victims carefully. I don't know if any of the young women I know are like this, but I have heard of young moms who would never put something homemade on their child. And, of course, there are always taste issues. We who craft usually think of ourselves as having good taste...but one person's zesty fun purple and lime ripple afghan is another person's nightmare.

So, that's where I am at now. Fill my house with more afghans? Make sweaters for people who don't wear them? Find some needful and beautiful item to make that I haven't thought of yet? Bribe my friends and relatives to have children?

Any ideas?