Friday, February 29, 2008

Scrapping 1

I am off today to spend 24 glorious hours scrap booking to my hearts content. I am all quivery inside with excitement.

I didn't even know what scrap booking was until 2003. I have a friend who is a consultant for a major seller of scrapbook stuff and I innocently asked her what this "scrap booking thing" is that everyone is talking about. She had me over to her house and showed me the light and I have been hooked ever since.

It isn't for everyone and if you aren't inspired to do it then you shouldn't bother. However, it really strikes a cord with me. Who wouldn't want the opportunity to spend 24 hours scrapbooking with other like minded individuals. So, I am going to hunker down and try to finish up the scrapbooks that I am doing for the middle daughter, who is already in college. I am WAY behind on what I need to be doing as far as scrapping in concerned. When I put it that way, that I am way behind on what I "need" to have done, it sounds like a distasteful job but it isn't. I just have so many projects that are swirling around in my head that if I don't schedule regular "scrapping" times then I don't get work done and I get frustrated. Yes Ashley, I know that is really nerdy but I revel in my nerdiness.

So, I am off to crop with the rest of my friends. Talk to ya later.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

William F. Buckley

In honor of the passing of William F. Buckley, your word for the day is: Sesquipedalian
which means "characterized by the use of long words".

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Play Ball!

Do you realize that Opening Day for baseball is just over a month away. I quiver at the thought. I LOVE baseball. Can I say it again, I LOVE baseball. The months between Opening Day and the last pitch of the World Series are a desert wasteland for me.

Now, I didn't always love baseball. Growing up that just wasn't my thing, unless I could take a book with me and read. However, I married a fellow who grew up playing baseball and loves the game. The addiction has grown slowly over the years. We purchased season tickets the year that Jacob's Field opened, as a business expense you see. I went to 10 games that year and thought it was OK. At some point, after 1994, I was bitten by the "baseball bug". I don't know when it happened, I just know that I was infected and there is no cure. My dh will tell you that I watch more Cleveland Indians games than he does. Two years ago I taught myself how to score a baseball game and that just made the entire experience better.

I won't ever understand the real intricacies of the game but I don't think that it matters really. If I am not watching an Indians game there is always another game to watch or I can go to my husband's baseball games (he plays on two teams this year). There are infinite ways to feed the habit. You know that you are addicted when you are physically at the game, scoring the game AND listening to Tom Hamilton on the radio because you need the extra play by play and color to make the whole experience.

The only complaint I have is with whoever sets up the season schedule. What idiot wants to play opening day in Cleveland on March 31st!! Hello, we will quite possibly still have snow on the ground. The temp definitely won't be higher than 50F if we are lucky. Last year we had THREE games that were snowed out. Let us play on the road, someplace warmer, for several weeks and then have opening day. Snow and parkas are for Cleveland Browns games NOT Indians games.

Bible Study

These 5 "reminders" were from my Beth Moore Bible study last year. I thought that they were worth putting up.
1.God is who He says He is.
2. God can do what He says He can do.
3. I am who God says I am.
4. I can do all things through Christ.
5. God's word is alive and active in me.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

My Favorite Books

Someone challenged me to list my 50 favorite books. SO here you go. This is not an exhaustive list but just the ones that I came up with off the top of my head. They are not in order of preference just how they came out of my head and my database. Yes, I keep an Excel spreadsheet of all the books I read and have read. Yes I know it is obsessive. So what. Just read the list.

The Bible
The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R.Tolkien
An Old Fashioned Girl by Louisa May Alcott
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Lover Awakened by J.R.Ward
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
All the Harry Potter books by J.K.Rowling
Anne of Green Gables by L.M.Montgomery
And If I Perish by Evelyn M. Monahan
The Forsythe Saga by John Galsworthy
D-Day by Stephen E. Ambrose
Code of the Woosters by P.G.Wodehouse
At Home in Mitford by Jan Karon
O Jerusalem by Larry Collins
God Is An Englishman by R.F.Delderfield
Leaving a Trace by Alexandra Johnson
Mythology by Edith Hamilton
Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh
Every Book It's Reader by Nicholas Basbanes
We Wish To Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families by Philip Gourevitch
Jurrasic Park by Michael Crichton
War Letters by Andrew Carroll
Dracula by Bram Stoker
Dream Man by Linda Howard
David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
A Year Down Yonder by Richard Peck
Shadow of the Moon by M.M.Kaye
A Room With A View by E.M.Forster
The Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth Peters
In This House of Brede by Rumer Godden
The Holocaust by Martin Gilbert
Nemesis by Agatha Christie
Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome
Wait Til Next Year by Doris Kearns Goodwin
The Chosen by Chaim Potok
Surprised by Joy by C.S.Lewis
Plain Tales From The Hills by Rudyard Kipling
Exodus by Leon Uris
Knitting Lessons by Lola Nargi
Death Comes For the Archbishop by Willa Cather
Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer
All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot
Drawing Life by David Gerlernter
Appetite For Life by Noel Fitch
Eight Cousins by Louisa May Alcott
The China Bride by Mary Balogh
America The Last Best Hope by William J. Bennett
The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury
Shogun by James Clavell
The Count Of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

Dad on his 70th

Today is my father's 70th birthday. Congratulations dad!!

I have thought a while about what I might post on his natal day. What do you say about a guy who is the best dad in the world. If your father is great too then we can debate that at another time but I am just telling you that my dad is the greatest. He is a man of many talents, sort of a Renaissance man if you will. He knows a lot about a lot of things and if there is something that he doesn't know about then he does the research until he gets the answer. Very organized, very thorough, very funny. That is probably what made him a good doctor. Nothing much got by him. Believe me, I would know because it was very difficult to get away with anything.

My dad is the fellow who took me to the doctor every month when I was so sick in High School. He drew my blood for my weekly blood tests and made sure that it was as painless as possible. He made sure that I understood what the tests were that they were going to do and what they meant. He never conveyed to me how worried he and mom MUST have been over a blood disorder that it took a year to diagnose.

My dad is the fellow that drummed safety into us.... and then stuck his hand under the running lawn mower to clean out a clog. Not smart, not smart at all. He still has all his fingers but it was rather disconcerting to see him do the "pain dance" as he poured alcohol on his profusely bleeding hand.

I received many things from Dad. My love of books and reading, obsessive organization, my temper (sorry dad but it is true), love of photography, love of food. More things than I can list in one post.

He is the man who:
- loved to pick up any comb that he found in any parking lot
- has an ongoing battle with all critters who would dare to eat his landscaping or dig holes in his lawn.
- did in his knee while skiing in Colorado...but saved his camera from harm. Excellent priorities!
- coined our family phrase "lower eschelon drone" while trying to straighten out a problem with some tickets ordered
but not received.
- is a closet pyromaniac. Loves to play with large bonfires at the cottage. Loves to play with the small flames on candles.
You get the picture.

I could go on but you don't have the time to read all my memories and Blogger might kick me out for such a long post. Anyways, I love you dad!! Have a great birthday. Eat a lot of cake and have a good glass of wine.

Your little Bookworm

Snow Day!!

Can you say SNOW DAY! I have to say that I love it when Beth has a snow day. Life is just slower on those days. I can't say that I have always loved snow days. When the girls were much younger I sort of dreaded them because then they were HOME all day. I am not sure when the change happened, maybe when they were all in school and the house was generally quiet most of the day. At any rate, there is no school today and so Beth has gone back to bed and I have given myself a snow day from Curves. I went out and shoveled the wet snow and got some exercise that way. I am sure that I will need to go out and shovel again at some point today as they are projecting that we will get a bunch more snow. The dog, of course, is over the moon about all that white stuff. That means that his mommie (that would be me) will probably go out later and throw snowballs at him, which is sort of like his nirvana. If I would take the shovel out and throw shovels full of snow at him he will be absolutely over the moon. He is a odd dog (more in another post I think). I think I will go and make a cup of Jasmine tea and read a book.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Monday morning stuff

Monday is my grocery shopping and errand day. I knew that you wanted to know that. Anyways, I am always listening to what other people are saying or doing in line at the grocery store. Sometimes it is amazing. I overheard a conversation between two young women in the grocery store, both moms I would think from the flow of the conversation. They were commiserating on the high grocery bills they have every week because of what they buy. The "gist" of the conversation was that they buy so much because they never know what their kids want to eat or if they will like what has been prepared. Evidently if their children turned up their noses at what had been cooked then mom made something else. It took a lot for me not to lean over and say, in my best Dr. Phil voice, "What are you thinkin'!" This is a pet peeve of mine. Who says a mom who is doing the cooking has to have "Short Order Cook" written on her forehead. Ask my kids what my response was when they said they didn't want to eat what I had cooked. Go ahead and ask them! I think it went somewhat along the lines of, "Eat what is on your plate. That is what we have and do you see short order cook written on my brow? If you don't like it that is fine, you are entitled to your opinion but you will eat one bite of it. If you don't wish to eat you may be excused but there is nothing else to eat until tomorrow morning." Sounds harsh but my kids will eat just about anything now. Of course, they all have their dislikes (care for some broccoli Ashley) but they are adventuresome eaters even as adults or almost adults.

Another little pet peeve, while I am on a roll, is people who don't expend some energy to bag their own groceries. These same two women stood there and chatted while the cashier rang up items and then stopped to bag, then rang up more items, then bagged some more. All the time the line was getting longer. Can they not talk and bag at the same time? Can they not chat with the service person who is waiting on them? Grrrrrrrrrrr. Petty I know but I feel like venting.


Well, another Oscar night has come and gone and I didn't watch them. Why you might ask? Because I really don't care all that much and I haven't seen any of the films nominated (don't have a cow Ashley, just my opinion remember). I also have a hard time watching all the Hollywood self agrandizement.

Beside, the last installment of "Pride and Prejudice" was on Masterpiece Theater and Colin Firth is just too much to pass up. I may have that particular series on DVD but there was no reason to miss it on the TV too. So it was me, Colin and the lovely scarf I am knitting with Noro Silk Garden, colorway #87 (picture to follow eventually).

Sunday, February 24, 2008


I am currently reading "Out of Africa" by Isak Dinensen. I was struck this morning by something she said.

Camping places fix themselves in your mind as if you spent long periods of your life in them. You
will remember a curve of your waggon track in the grass of the plain, like the features of a friend.

I think that this applies to many places that I have been only once. Sometimes memories of places I have visited become so firmly planted in my brain, after only one visit, that I can recall them along with all the smells and feelings that went with them.

- I can remember the camping trip that we took to Washington state when Rob and I were in college. I remember the smell of the fire at each RV camp site, the way we laughed every night until my sides hurt. The house on the inlet that we drove by and I thought, "that is the perfect house for me. Sitting by the ocean, garden in the back. I want to live there." I can still remember what it looked like even after 25 years.
- I will never forget the way Ghana smells, or India, or Peru. Each country has it's own smell. India is heat and dust and exhaust and animals. When we are in the slums, in what ever country, there is the smell of garbage, earth, dampness. All melding together. Who could EVER forget the smell of the smoked fish vendors in the market in Kumasi!!!
- Walking the streets of Sydney, Australia and Wellington, NZ. The truly raucous St. Patrick's Day party that I stumbled on at 9 o'clock in the morning.
- the smell of night blooming jasmine in Florida at the place where we went to look at the Christmas lights.

I could go on and on but I guess that all I want to say is that memory is a powerful thing. Take a moment, wherever you are that isn't home, and try to implant the memory on your brain. Sit there, with your eyes closed and just listen to the sounds that are around you. Really look to see what is different from home. You will be amazed at what you will see.

Organize or go crazy

My girls will tell you that I am organized, or as one daughter so kindly referred to me, "Mrs. Uber Organized". I know that she said that with love in her heart. I make lists, I have not one but two calendars, I love files and I was born to spreadsheet.

I am an organizer. I hate clutter. I like to know where everything is and know that everything is in it's designated place. When I am stressed, upset, PMSing, happy or whatever, I organize. Heck, I had time this morning before church so I organized my office closet. Again.

Now it hasn't always been that way. Ask my mom what my room was like when I was growing up. It was so bad at times that she would just close the door so that my dad didn't blow a gasket.
See, my father is a very organized person and to see my room in it's messy state evidently made him upset. I wonder why? It's possible that the body of Jimmy Hoffa was under my bed somewhere. My room would have been a perfect Mafia dumping ground. No one would ever have found the bodies. I can now understand my father's unhappiness with the state of my room because I have a child who is just like me at that age. Never let anyone tell you that the Lord doesn't have a sense of humor.

I can't specifically tell you when I went over to the organizing side of things (some might call it the Dark Side muahahahahaha). I know that it was a gradual process that started in college and continues to this day. I can say that when my college roomie, Susan, introduced herself to me one of the first sentences out of her mouth was, "You WILL keep your side of the room neat. I don't like clutter." Alrighty then. Actually, that really helped me. I saw that it was possible to actually put your clothes away rather than hang them on the invisible hooks on the floor. It actually felt good to have everything put away. I could do it.

Nursing school and working as a floor nurse on a very busy Oncology unit helped too. I just had to be organized with every movement or I was sunk.

I will admit to "organizing relapses". The years when the girls were little are sort of an organizational wasteland. Who could find anything under all those toys. I was just lucky if I survived another day and got a load of laundry done. But, at a certain point I pulled myself up from the unorganized swamp, shook myself off and found an organizer. Actually, the Lord provided my first organizer because I really didn't know that I needed one! I was going to go grocery shopping, my list clutched in my hand and three kids in tow. I grabbed a cart in the parking lot and there, sitting on the kid seat was a small plastic binder that had a place for a pad of paper and a small calendar. There was no name in it or any other thing to indicate who it belonged to. I took it into the store and inquired at customer service but they said no one had come in to claim it and that I should take it with me as they couldn't be bothered (that store is now out of business, understandable with that kind of customer service). I didn't know what to do with this thing but I knew it was meant for me and I got myself organized. It felt good. Oh man did it feel good. Oh......I have the urge to organize. Must organize. Bye.

By the way, thanks Susan for kicking my tail into the organized world!

Friday, February 22, 2008


Sock yarn, sock yarn everywhere. This little pile represents the increase to my sock yarn stash that has happened JUST THIS WEEK, for the love of Pete. I have absolutely no control when it comes to sock yarn. There are some really soft Superwash Merino from KnitPicks, and several hand dyed hanks (that cost a arm and a leg), some Panda Cotton which is made with bamboo. Lovely, lovely.

I am relatively new to the art of knitting socks but I love it. To be honest, the urge to knit socks was one of the reasons that I took up knitting again. They are so much fun and when you are wearing a pair of hand knit socks people look at you like you are a genius. I try to encourage that part of it, I need all the help that I can get.

Another advantage of hand knit socks is that they are warmer on my feet and in my part of the country, in the good old wintertime that is a real plus.

You know that it is a serious kind of knitting addiction when you are willing to plunk down $27 for enough yarn to make ONE, yes I said ONE pair of socks.


Well, finally Blogger likes me again. They hated me today and told me I was SPAM! and a VIRUS! and all sorts of other nasty things. Not nice, not nice at all. I felt very unloved and unappreciated.

Thursday, February 21, 2008


I want to wax eloquent (well, maybe not eloquent) about the beauty that is Sudoku. Now, those who know me best will tell you that numbers and I have never been great friends. I have been known, in years past to look at the checkbook that I have just sort of balanced and say, "Well, that looks close enough." I am the reason why calculators were invented, because I don't have enough fingers and toes to do the knitting calculations that I need to do.

However, there is one time where numbers and I are the best of friends and that is when I am playing Sudoku. Perhaps it isn't because there are numbers involved but just because the puzzles are so logical. You should never have to guess. I could, and do, play Sudoku every day. It is a part of my overall plan to make sure that my brain doesn't shrivel up and atrophy by age 50. I always take a book of Sudoku with me when I travel. I have worked puzzles in Ghana, Dominican Republic, Peru and India. Hello, my name is Debbie and I am a Sudoku addict.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Acorn Mittens

What is that you are asking yourself, I know that you are. Well I will tell you what it is SUPPOSED to be. It is supposed to become a mitten. But Deb (you say) you have never knit a mitten before. Yes, that is correct but there is a first time for everything. I didn't know how to have children the first time either and I still attempted that. Look how well they turned out!

I saw the mittens, already knit up in my LYS and I knew I had to try. It would be easier, I think, if the directions were written out a tad bit better but the Acorn Mitten and I are struggling along together. They are being knit with a Andes 100% wool yarn, Color #12. There is snow on the ground right now so the thought of toasty warm mittens is nice. These things may not get done until Spring but I can then just anticipate using them come fall. Lovely.


I love the days that I have my yoga class. I just feel so relaxed for the rest of the day. I started taking yoga about a month ago, just one day a week to increase my flexibility, increase core strength and as a stress reliever (not that I have any stress mind you). It is the next step in my quest to be healthier.

I started working out a Curves almost a year ago and what a difference it has made in how I feel, as well as my weight! Ashley (the oldest progeny) had been urging me to join the Curves by our house and I finally gave in. Ashley had been working out for several months, loved it and was looking great. Something had to be done because I was beginning to look rather "square". A few years ago I had a "Scarlett O'Hara" moment, shook my fist at my scale and said, "As God is my witness, I will never be ruled by my scale or a diet again." I still stand by that. I am totally anti-diet because by their very nature they run for a finite amount of time and then you think that you are all done once you have reached that elusive goal. You abstain from foods you love (and then that is all you think about), you set unrealistic goals about eating and weight and once the weight is off then you go right back to eating just the way you had been eating. No permanent change in lifestyle.

Now, I am a snacker by nature. Some people eat when nervous, happy, upset. I like food. What I have going for me is that I like lots of healthy things. There aren't too many foods that I don't like. Well, liver aught to be outlawed but that is for another post. So I had an epiphany, if you will, last March. I want to live to a ripe and zesty age, until the Lord calls me home. I want to go out kicking and screaming, glass of wine in one hand and Dove chocolate in the other. But to do that I needed to look at what I was eating and just make it healthier. I am not a fast food person, I cook most of our meals from scratch, I just needed to cut down on things. Also, my doctor took a look at my blood pressure and cholesterol and said it was change the diet or start on medication. I am a terrible pill taker so I had to choose the other option.

By gum, it has worked. Over the past 11 months I have lost 12 pounds and almost 20 inches. Pats on the back for me. Now I think I will go and have some M&M's. Just because I want to. Just a few.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Monkey Socks

Are these not the greatest socks (at the moment). They are "Monkey Socks" and I would give credit to the designer if I could remember her name at the moment. I love knitting socks and these were very easy. I want to cast on another pair but I have too many other WIP to finish at the moment and then I want to cast on the mittens that I am doing for Knitting group, and then there is the Noro Sild Garden scarf that I want to do, and then.......

Actually I just need to stop posting for the moment and go and clean my kitchen. I can see already that this blog is going to be like a toy that you get a Christmas, you just want to play with it all the time to the exclusion of everything else.


Just thought I would try out a picture to see if I can actually make this thing work for me. I know that you want to see the animals that own us.

This is Maxwell, the most wonderful dog in the world.


Okay, okay. I will finally give in to the pressure and start a blog. No trend setter I! Not that I think anyone will actually read this thing beyond Ashley and perhaps Susan and Stacy. We shall see how long I keep it up.I would guess that what you will see here is a lot about books, knitting, scrapbooking, my life, an occasional thought on politics. Who knows what I might come up with. You will just have to wait and see.

I heard the phrase yesterday, "Begin as you mean to go on" and so I will try to do that. I have been thinking about starting this forever. I just can't get it out of my head so I guess that it just has too be done. I don't think I will blog every day and I will try not to get discouraged when no one visits (gads I sound like a depressed high schooler!).