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S/V Mari Hal-O-Jen
Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
Yarn Along
December 1, 2010, 1:40 pm

Ginny at Small Things is hosting a Yarn Along each week. Since I'm in one of my knitting phases right now, I thought I'd join in the fun.

Except this week isn't so fun. See that pile of black in the upper corner? The fact that the needles have no stitches on them??? Oh yes indeed, thanks to a terrific movie last night (Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, I'd never seen it! I live on Keys Time.) guess what I get to do this morning?

As for the reading, a library trip is in order this afternoon so I've been tiding myself over with old Christmas magazines. I LOVE Christmas magazines! Especially foodie ones, mmmm...yum!

WIP Wednesday - Pink Mohair
November 24, 2010, 6:59 am

And I'm not talking turkey here!

I've found myself making baby hats and booties this Fall. I've never made a hat before in my life or knit on circular needles and find myself completely addicted now! The previous baby hats and booties that I neglected to take a picture of before the baby shower were knit out of an organic corn fiber that is terrific for babies and washing and is super soft. This particular set is knit from a mohair that I worry may be itchy so I'm thinking of lining the hat with another (store bought) basic infant cap.

But! The truly exciting thing is I'm busting through my stash! Yay! I've had this pink mohair since I worked in the weaving studio 10 or maybe even 12 years ago now. It was given to me then by the lady who ran the studio as it is simply awful to weave with and it is no breeze to knit with either! Time for it to go away.

BBC Books
November 23, 2010, 12:45 pm

So the dear BBC has put out it's own Book meme now. Since it's boring just to read through a list like this, I've added a few brief thoughts to certain books...

Have you read more than 6 of these books? The BBC believes most people will have read only 6 of the 100 books listed here. Instructions: Copy this. Bold those books you've read in their entirety, italicize the ones you started but didn't finish or read an excerpt.

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
Over and over again. Usually my January book selection along with B.Jone's Diary.

2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
Not entirely yet. My sisters will still be appalled.

3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
Several times, sort of a sleepy book till the end and then it pisses me right off.

4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
Need to start from the beginning and work to the end, missing a few of the latest ones.

5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee

6 The Bible
Thanks to my Biblical Theology and Ethics class in college, I truly can say there is not one single verse I've missed.

7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
I've just picked up a book based off the Bronte sisters isolation and how that possibly sparked their imaginations.

8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
Hal's favorite yearly read.

9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman

10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
Found a fabulous note-riddled edition in a thrift store down here, part way through now.

11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
Favorite read through was with Marianna when she illustrated each chapter of the book and we bound it into her own book.

12 Tess of the D'Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
I have a hard time with Hardy. He has a tendency to freak me out.

13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller

14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
Part way, obviously!

15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
Adore it.

16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
Sigh. Sorry dear sisters.

17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks

18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger

19 The Time Traveller's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger

20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
I've heard it described as one of the few English novels written for grown-up people. I should read it.

21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
Read it outside one summer under a tree - perfect setting.

22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
I remember closing the book and just being in a daze. I had to reread the ending to make certain I had read it correctly and I had! I wasn't expecting that!

23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens

24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy

25 The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams

26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh

27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky

28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
Mom's favorite book, I hate it.

29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll

30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
"There is nothing- absolutely nothing-
half so much worth doing
as simply messing about in boats."

31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
Brrrr... Loved the images.

32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens

33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
Many, many times.

34 Emma - Jane Austen
Nearly as frequently as P&P as it usually follows close on the heels of the later!

35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
Would an affirmative surprise you?

36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
First time by my 3rd grade teacher, the only nun in the school.

37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini

38 Captain Corelli's Mandolin - Louis De Berniere

39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
The book was painted, not written. The images created are so strong.

40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
To Marianna a long, long time ago now.

41 Animal Farm - George Orwell

42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown

43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez

44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving

45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins

46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
Many times, though not my favorite LM Montgomery book. Rilla wins that followed closely by a few of the heroines in the short story collections, then Emily and Jane.

47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
Again with Hardy!

48 The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood

49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding

50 Atonement - Ian McEwan

51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel
Thought provoking! Marianna just brought it up again this week.

52 Dune - Frank Herbert

53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
One that I've seen the movie before I've read it actually!

54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
Yes, of course. Seriously one of my favorites.

55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth

56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon

57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens

58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
I prefer Huxley's The Crows of Pearblossom

59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon

60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez

61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
Uggh. Steinbeck.

62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov

63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt

64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold

65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
Yay! Love Dumas.

66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac

67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
I thought I had, but it was Ethan Frome instead.

68 Bridget Jones's Diary - Helen Fielding
Adore Bridget! Always reread in January with P&P.

69 Midnight's Children - Salman Rushdie

70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville

71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
Started it but still have issues over having to watch the movie halfway through once a week at our piano teacher's when I was young.

72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
Read right before a trip to England.

73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
Have been reading and rereading it since I was a child. The dialect was truly difficult to get through then.

74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
Don't read on a plane. People will stare at you as you snort and giggle your way across the Atlantic.

75 Ulysses - James Joyce

76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath

77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
- Yay! It is my goal to one day own the whole series.

78 Germinal - Emile Zola

79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
I found an old gorgeous copy in that thrift store again. The endpapers are lovely and there was an old postcard tucked inside. I don't remember anything else about the book, it was that impressive to me.

80 Possession - AS Byatt
It came recommended from Melissa Wiley but I hated it 50 pages in. Some other time, maybe...

81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
Need to order/find a copy. the season is upon us!

82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell

83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker

84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro

85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
I actually really liked this book. I still have images of the house and the countryside in my head from it. I think I had a terrific translation which probably made all the difference in the world.

86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry

87 Charlotte's Web - EB White
Mom read this to Michelle and I at bedtime!

88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom

89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle I still have a book report on this from my homeschooled years!

90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton

91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad

92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery (in French & English!)
I'd truly rather read about the author's own adventures than the Little Prince's.

93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks

94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
Soon. Our library has a copy of Richard Adams Nature Diary, which I think would be cool to read simultaneously.

95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole

96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute

97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas

98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare
Michelle's favorite, I think.

99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
I don't like Dahl. He freaks me out too.

100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

So there we go BBC! Definitely more than 6 and this list gave me some new ideas for my To Be Read pile...

Veterans Day Parade
November 12, 2010, 8:57 am

Best shot we have of Marianna in the parade, she's on the far left.

And a better shot in front of my passionflower.
Cure for Rainy Blues
November 4, 2010, 2:43 pm

Today was a rainy, cloudy day. Plunged me into a deep longing for lilacs and daffodils, so yes, my sense of the appropriate season is still incredibly whacked. After brooding around, staring out of windows at the incessant downpour, I decided something had to be done.

So I adopted a soldier.

And the sun broke through the clouds.
Tuesday, except it is actually Wednesday
November 3, 2010, 3:00 pm

All day I've thought it was Tuesday. I've been writing and writing, really working through some ideas and now all I want to say is what a terrific evening we had last night. It was College Night at KWHS and we got to tour around an entire cafeteria full of college hawkers offering pens and other swag imprinted with mascots and such begging students to please, please come and spend tens of thousands of dollars a year at our institution of higher learning.

Anyway, the same Air Force Academy rep was there as last year and Marianna chatted away with him a good long while about her trip to Colorado Springs this past summer, then we toured a few artsy colleges, a couple Catholic ones and then spent time talking to Air Force retirees from a welding school about how they have zero regrets about their military service. And then they loaded her down with welding pens, magnets and carabiners.

Lots else happened yesterday that I cannot wait to share, but wouldn't you know the camera is not cooperating with the laptop again? So here is a Marianna photo from the aforementioned trip this past summer and then I'm off to pick her up from parade practice for the Veterans' Day parade.

Have a terrific Tuesday, or Wednesday if you insist. :)

My Datebook, November 1
November 1, 2010, 12:46 pm

Stop by Peggy's for more entries.

Outside my Window...
It's not so much what is outside this window but rather the fact that it is opened!

Open windows!!!

I am thinking...
It has been over a year since my last Datebook entry. Wow! Has time flown!!!

I am wearing ...
Blue and white polka dotted shift, red bobby pin in my hair.

I am thankful for...
The willingness of a teen to roll out of bed early to make it to Mass for All Saints Day before school. We stopped at our favorite bakery afterward where the baguettes were just being taken from the oven, delish!

From the kitchen...
Tonight we'll have cider marinated pork chops with baked autumn veggies.

Towards a Real Education...
I learned to knit on circular needles this week - so fun! Now I can't put them down.

I am creating...
Just completed my first ever baby hat on those new needles - super sweet, for some boating friends' baby due on Marianna's birthday!

I am reading...
Knitting patterns. :)

Around the home...
Candles in windows, on tables, in pumpkins. All smelling delightfully Fallish.

One of my favorite things...
Chili simmering all day making the house smell so yummy!

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week...
Meeting tonight at the marina, Mass tomorrow morning for All Souls, College Night at the high School, voting, Navy League meeting Wednesday, Friday is the World Youth Day Group meeting up in Big Pine, ugh I hate that drive and the fundraisers too.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you:

My Passionflower Vine now has Gulf Fritillary caterpillars!

This Moment
October 22, 2010, 2:05 pm

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.
Wishing everyone a lovely weekend!

*** *** ***

April's Shower of Photos
In Which I Reveal That I Am Now The Sort Of Person Who Dresses Their Dog In A Costume
October 21, 2010, 8:49 am

I'm afraid it is so.

But when you have such cute material to work with, how can you resist?

Besides, now that I'm unemployed I need to make money somehow, right? Mia netted us 3rd place with those so, so sad puppy dog eyes. But don't think I'm so cold and unfeeling that I took ALL the winnings for myself, oh no! It was a 50/50 break, I'll take the gift cards and Mia gets the organic ocean-flavored kibble and everyone ends up happy, happy, happy!
Waterspout at Sunset
October 7, 2010, 12:12 pm

I didn't realize how much I've been slumping around staring at the ground till that crushing weight was gone. I let the wind tousle my hair at sunset last night and looked up for what seemed like the first time in months - just in time to see a waterspout!

Nature Study

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S/V Mari Hal-O-Jen
Who: Capt. Hal, Jennifer, and our daughter Marianna, a great photographer!
Port: Boca Chica
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