kcobweb: (Default)
I've had such a good weekend! Read more... )
kcobweb: (Default)
Whoa, has anybody else seen the commercials from the Corn Refiners Association touting the glories and benefits of high fructose corn syrup? Wacky.

In other news, I have my first shift at the library all-by-myself tomorrow. Whee. Let's hope the sullen teenagers don't want to venture out in the rain..... :) (The children's department means cute babies and toddlers..... all the way up to sullen teenagers who want to watch movies in the YA room. Oh joy.)

I'm gonna go cut out quilt pieces now. Yeah. Because then I can actually *make* something.


May. 26th, 2008 08:51 pm
kcobweb: (Default)
I recently discovered the community of [livejournal.com profile] whatwasthatbook - which aims to help people remember books they've forgotten the title of..... It's mostly YA/children's books, which is kind of fun, actually. Many of you would totally groove on this community. I posted last week, but haven't had any luck. I'll put my description under the cut )

Also, Geek Alert!

Also, I am now on Ravelry.com (first name, last initial). I befriended the people I knew to look for, but if you're over there, poke me.


May. 22nd, 2008 01:31 pm
kcobweb: (Default)
* Elena is being just dreadful today. I am the mean mean mean mommy who shouts and hisses and wants to slam doors. The little dear has simply *got* to learn that her actions have consequences, and if you yell and scream for X, that means you're damn well not getting X, as far as I'm concerned.

* That said, we did have a minor success this morning. Last week, [livejournal.com profile] galagan had a dentist appointment, and we thought we'd bring Elena along just so she could see what the dentist is all about. Didn't work: we got to the door of the reception area, and she took one look inside and screamed her fool head off. After liberal applications of propaganda books and videos from the library, we tried again (daddy had a cavity and had to go back). She protested again, but [livejournal.com profile] galagan told her there was a cool toy in the waiting area, and she consented to go see. She was willing to play with that, and she eventually approached the hygienist close enough to pick out a new toothbrush, but did not want to go see the cool dentist chair. She did meet the dentist briefly there in the waiting area, and he nicely said hi to her. We all agreed that just getting her that far was a rousing success.

* I had my first volunteer shift at the public library yesterday! Woohoo, shelving books! Dewey! I quite enjoyed it, actually. I brought a cart of new books down to the fiction area, ready to be shelved and they said "Oh, take any that you want. That's one of the perks of working here - we get first dibs." Oh gods, I'm so doomed. :)

* Someone just told me I really need to join ravelry.com - do I? I wish it weren't so yarn-centric - I'd like something more general-crafts. I don't know. Hmmm. Opinions/thoughts?

* I bought some nail polish the other day, because I liked the color and why not? Within just a couple of hours, there were already several chips. After a few days, I look like someone has been chewing on my fingers.... well, even more than usual. It's a mess. Bite me, Sally Hansen - you suck.

* We have a playdate this afternoon, assuming Elena cooperates post-nap, in her already-crabby state. Fortunately, just saying this kid's name is usually enough to get compliance.
kcobweb: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] galagan had the day off today, and Elena went to school - so the two of us had a day to ourselves. That never happens, and it was so nice! I had been planning on going to a yoga class - my first time in FOREVER - so he came with me, even though yoga is very much not his thing. It was fun, and I got a month-long unlimited pass at a super-special discount rate. Which - whee! yoga! This makes me happy.

Then [livejournal.com profile] galagan decided that all those Buddha images and namastes made him want Indian food, so we went out to lunch. Did a little errand-running too. Nothing special - just a chance to wander around and hang out together, which was really nice.

Someone at the yoga class had a cute bag for her yoga mat, and I totally decided I needed one (how hard could it be to sew a cylinder with a strap??). So I made one this afternoon. Google brought me this video for a no-pattern method. And it totally worked. It would have taken me about an hour, except I messed up the last step (I have issues with straps) and had to rip out the last seam and do it over. But - all done, and it's bootiful, and I totally want to make another one, now that I know what I'm doing. So I'm haranguing my sister via email to let me make one for her. Yay for making stuff!

Texas Quilt

Apr. 5th, 2008 08:22 pm
kcobweb: (red dress)
texas quilt

I didn't quite finish this in time for [livejournal.com profile] galagan's birthday - two days late!! I thought some of you would like to see this.

Speaking of which, we are going to Texas in two weeks! Any of you natives of Central Texas (ahem, [livejournal.com profile] kassrachel, [livejournal.com profile] nyssa23) have any suggestions/recommendations for us? We're staying in New Braunfels.
kcobweb: (santa hat)
Last night I was remembering the part of The Long Winter where there's a big snowstorm (okay, that's the whole book, right?) and the snow comes through the roof and when Laura wakes up in the morning, she is extra cozy, because the snow is piled on top of the blankets, and Pa tells them not to get up until he lights the fire and warms the house up. This morning, I was thinking about Darkover, and its very wintry climate. I'm sure my brain will come up with examples of other winter books as the snow continues to pile up.

There have been some ferocious wind gusts.

I'm crocheting more snowflakes, but it makes my fingers cramp up - with the fiddly little hook and the teensy thread and holding everything tight at the proper tension - so I need frequent breaks.
kcobweb: (onions)
I am:

--on my own for the next 4 days - [livejournal.com profile] galagan left this morning for Seattle. He runs in the morning: think of him then. I will *seriously* need a break by the time he gets back - I really depend on him coming through the door at 5 p.m. or so and helping out. Hopefully I can maintain my sanity and my calm till his return.

--making turkey soup from leftovers. Soon there will be *matzo balls* to add to it! Yum! (I've got lots of ideas for things to eat in the next few days that are non-galagan-compliant/friendly. Another is an old family favorite called Potato Sausage Supper.)

--herding cats: in my own little corner, in my own little way. I have charts and tables! :)

(Interruption: There's a commercial on right now for some video game - Assassin's Creed, I think - and the music is the same as the theme from House. Anyone else notice this? Every time it comes on, I think it's for House, and then, no such luck. Anyway.)

--about to felt a couple of Goodwill sweaters. Whee! New projects!

--so glad Elena finally fell asleep for her nap.


Nov. 21st, 2007 03:46 pm
kcobweb: (onions)
--I looooove food catalogs. I love browsing through them, in a window-shopping kind of way. I never buy anything from them. We had a Harry & David catalog the other day; today's mail brought a Wolferman's catalog. I used to be on Dean and Deluca's mailing list - all those cured meats and fancy cheeses! Yum, food porn. I find myself especially drawn to the basket o' varied goodies that these places do. Those things just look like yummy fun.

--I am having great difficulties with automated systems this week, but I think I finally got everything straightened out. I hope.

--I am recuperating from my admittedly minor cold, but everyone else in the house is coughing a lot now. Elena is majorly crabby. [livejournal.com profile] galagan is running a *marathon* in less than a week, and needs his health and his full lung capacity, please.

--Yes, a marathon. A full bloody 26 miles. In Seattle on Sunday. Is he crazy? You decide.

--I am finally learning how to knit, and am doing enough to make it stick in my brain. I like to learn by doing, and I have to figure it out myself (who's stubborn? whatever do you mean?). Because I'm stoopid, I'm using sub-par yarn with too-big needles, but I like the way it looks, and so I'll tell everyone that I meant for that to happen. :) Sub-par yarn is because it's recycled from an ugly child's sweater vest that I didn't want to put on Elena - so I unraveled it. Because it's unraveled, the plies are all coming untwisted and all that. Whatever. Like I said, I like the way it looks, so that's okay. And I'm just making a simple scarf, because I figured that if I knitted a million rows over and over that would be good practice for the general form. I've got knitting down, but haven't figured out how to hold the needles and the yarn and do everything at once while I'm purling, without a handy-dandy third hand. I can never hold things the way books tell you to. :)

--I have cubes of bread drying in the kitchen. I'm making stuffing from *scratch* this year! Woohoo!

--I will also be making green bean casserole, because that is our do-or-die Thanksgiving dish here. Tomorrow happens to be the.... 11th anniversary of our first date, which in 1996 was a Friday. Thanksgiving was the following Thursday, and [livejournal.com profile] galagan showed up at our door with a green bean casserole. He and I have had it every year since. :)
kcobweb: (Default)
I am coming down with a slight cold - currently treating with heavy doses of tea and sucky things and cough syrup. I hope Elena isn't coming down with it, because she was, um, kind of nasty after waking up from her nap today (45 minutes of near-constant screaming).

I discovered this pattern and tutorial yesterday, and have been obsessing over it ever since. So cute! And soooo easy!

So - I realized that Thanksgiving is sneaking up on me. Anyone not have plans? Wanna do something? Otherwise, we'll just have a quiet day at home - I'll make one or two of my favorite dishes, one or two of [livejournal.com profile] galagan's, and we'll call it good. That would be okay too. :)

Thanksgiving is (for me) the traditional start of the holiday season. Since I'm hosting my first Christmas this year, I'm already thinking a lot about this - making ornaments, as above (though I've been working on some other ornaments since high summer), planning holiday cards already (I want to get them out early this year), pondering food options (always fun)...... I think Christmas may end up like I just described our potential Thanksgiving - a few of everyone's favorite dishes.
kcobweb: (booksnob)
Vaguely interesting day - I've instigated a minor family drama, which has my sister fretting, my mother pointedly Not Talking About It (but rather upset), and my father telling me to do whatever I need to do. Nothing dire, not to worry. *sigh* Families.

Bright spot: I tried to make something crafty for a new project and I think I figured it all out. So now I will be extra-cool.

a new meme - it's so true! )

ETA: shiny new icon! Thanks [livejournal.com profile] kouredios!!!
kcobweb: (Default)
It's been a lovely weekend. )

And now I'm *still* trying to decide what to make for dinner. Any suggestions? Must be veggie-friendly. Major points if it's made from ingredients that are already in our possession. *grin*
ETA: It's gonna be Chickpea Stew. Why o why do I always have such difficulty deciding what to make? I'm a looooooser.
kcobweb: (red dress)
The Road from Coorain, by Jill Ker Conway - this is the first memoir Conway wrote, set before True North, which I read a few weeks ago. It's about her childhood, growing up in the Australian outback on a remote sheep station. Gorgeous lyrical descriptions of the countryside - she clearly loved the place so much - and yet it sounds so alien and different to me. As with True North, she talks a lot about intellectual ideas that caught her attention at different phases of her life. She went to the University of Sydney and studied Australian history (particularly perspectives of the outback) - and from there started studying American frontier history (which is what took her to Harvard). She talks a lot about the anti-intellectual attitudes of Australian society; later the historical parallels she draws between the American and Australian frontiers made me realize that I've always seen those same attitudes in the American West too (to a lesser degree).

In other news.... We applied for a passport for Elena a few weeks ago (7/25), and were told that it would take at least three months to get it (since we're theoretically only going to Canada, that's okay). It came in today's mail: less than 2 3 weeks processing time. What a surprise - go, US guvmint!

I bought *underwear* for Elena - she's nowhere near ready, but I thought it would be nice to have it on hand to show her. We need to buy her a real bed too. Sheesh. She's getting so big.....

She is definitely working on prepositions and pronouns right now, and will say a sentence and try them all out in succession. Her favorite book today was "How Does a Dinosaur Count to Ten" (by the wonderful Jane Yolen) and after a handful of readings today, she can now identify all the dinosaurs shown in the book - Tyrannosaurus Rex, Ankylosaurus, Triceratops, and so forth. I think my favorite in there is Dimetrodon, though Wikipedia tells me it is not a true dinosaur. Whatever.

I'm laying out a new quilt - it's from a piece of alphabet fabric, and will theoretically be for Elena's big girl bed. So I'd better get sewing.
kcobweb: (reader)
Following Foo: the electronic adventures of the Chestnut Man, by B.D. Wong. We are big fans of BD's, and he was here in town a few weeks ago doing a one-man show ([livejournal.com profile] galagan saw it and agreed with the review we read - a good actor, with not-so-great material to work with). Anyway, I looked him up on Wikipedia or imdb while he was here, because I was curious about some random question, and noticed that he had a child with his partner, and had written a book about it. So here we are. What actually happened was that BD and Richie (the partner) had a surrogate mother carrying a twin pregnancy for them, and she went into labor 11 weeks early; one twin died, and the rest of the book is about the struggles of the other twin in the NICU. BD was writing email updates to his family and friends, and those updates are the central kernel of this book. The early NICU parts made me cry - I have a friend who had a baby that early, and it's just awful and hard and scary. Overall, BD should learn to trust his material - he has a great story here, but he doesn't seem to believe that, and so he tries too hard. It ends up feeling rather gimmicky and overdone. (Plus, he feels compelled to include some of the glowing email responses he got to the original updates, and takes every opportunity there to name-drop.)

Aside from reading, I finished my denim quilt! It's a raggedy quilt, which means the seams are exposed and have to be clipped every 1/4 inch. Your cutting hand really starts to hurt after a while. Then you wash it and it gets all frayed. I've planned this so long in my head; I can't believe the actual construction went so quickly. Yahoo! Now, what should I do for my next project.....? (I have half a dozen things already in progress.)

ETA: links to pictures of the quilt
kcobweb: (sheep)
I started a quilt project at 1:00 p.m., when Elena went down for her nap.

A conversation just now:
me: (waving a block in the air) Look! I'm already on the last one! This goes so fast when you're using the sewing machine!
galagan: (kissing the top of my head) Welcome to the 20th century.
me: .....actually, the sewing machine was invented around 1850.

This is even more amazing when I realize that I have been *planning* this quilt in my head since at least the year 2001. Yeah, I'm slow.

* * * * * * * * *

The last two days have been stunningly gorgeous and yet cool and breezy. Just how I like my summers. Un-sweaty. And we had the most beautiful drive yesterday through parts of Western Mass - [livejournal.com profile] galagan would not let me navigate, and just played at taking roads that headed generally west and north, so it was slightly random. Aaahhhhh, back roads. And Elena enjoyed all but about 15 minutes of the trip. We're raising her up right! :)

* * * * * * * * *

I thought earlier today I was going to die shortly (random leg pain = BIG warning sign on hormonal birth control = blood clot that might travel to your lung and kill you) - but I have since decided that it was just a sore muscle. Most likely. Don't worry - I'm not stupid. If it continues to hurt, I will call the doc and have him tell me it's nothing.

* * * * * * * * *

How'd it get to be July?

* * * * * * * * *

I feel random and non-sequitur-y today. And boingy.

But now I can hear my dear sweet (also boingy) child jumping up and down in her crib (that would be the signal to come get her - it's better than crying, anyway).
kcobweb: (red dress)
Clues in the Calico: A Guide to Identifying and Dating Antique Quilts by Barbara Brackman - Yes, I read some actual non-fiction. This was an amazing book - it is considered the definitive work on this topic - and somehow it's out of print. I will have to check it out permanently from the library, perhaps, just because I want it around to consult on a regular basis. She covers how to estimate the age of a quilt - based on pattern, fabric, design, colors, etc. - different clues you can look for. I'll try to keep this short, but I'll cut it in case. )

This book made me want to collect antique quilts. There's an expensive hobby. :)

We went out and ran errands all morning, and Elena was so well behaved and so patient. And when we got home she Just. Lost. It. There was a lengthy period of screaming before she fell asleep for her nap (I *think* she's asleep now). I'm so glad she's reasonably well-behaved in public, and that she's comfortable enough around other people to be friendly (when appropriate) - but I wish that the flip side of that weren't that she has total meltdowns on a regular basis at home.

On the other hand - I'm going away for a weekend BY MYSELF very soon, and leaving said child home with her daddy. So Excited.
kcobweb: (Default)
All fannish types of various persuasions should go check out [livejournal.com profile] doll_shop for teh cutest dolls evar, including various Austen characters, House and Cameron, Wimsey and Vane, Doctor Who, Snape..... This chick is awesome, *and* she takes orders!!! :)

(I do NOT. Need. an Elizabeth Bennet doll. Or the Wimsey/Vane pair. But, oh the cuteness!)

I remembered a small addendum to my second-birthday post. We've been trying to teach Elena her full name, and if you ask her, she will say "Eh-LEHN. Ta-hop ta-hop. CAP. *pause* winger."

Her middle name is Katherine. Not Ta-hop Ta-hop.

She also counts her toes. Yesterday she apparently had 11, but today it's back to 10.

I'm starting to get out some boxes and pack stuff. Just now was the craft stuff - yarn, fabric, etc. Do you have *any* idea how many old jeans, T-shirts, and clothes I have cut up, the pieces just sitting there waiting for some magic project to turn them into something interesting and/or useful? No wonder I have to quit my job - I need all my time to wade through all this crap I've saved. I'm just incapable of throwing this stuff away. Sheesh.
kcobweb: (sewing)
A link for [livejournal.com profile] sanj and anyone else who enjoys Harry Potter and Jane Austen. Ron/Hermione, anyone?

And for the crafters out there, I highly highly recommend The Reader's Digest Complete Guide to Needlework. I have the 1979 edition, and the project photos are garish and hideous in that late-70s way, but the book itself is fabulous in the breadth of what it covers (embroidery, crewel, smocking, crocheting, knitting, quilting, patchwork, applique, tatting, rugmaking, lacemaking, macrame.....). I got mine at a garage sale a while back, and pulled it out the other day for technique ideas for an experimental bathroom rug I'm making (sort of like this) - and can't put it down. I keep opening up to random sections (the lacemaking and tatting sections are especially fun, because I know nothing about them) and just reading and reading and looking at all the pictures of examples. So cool. If you are interested in doing anything with a needle (besides sewing in a straight line, which this does not cover), then you should buy this book.
kcobweb: (sewing)
My friendslist seems to be erupting into spontaneous applause today just at the fact that it's September. Yay September. Let me join in - I'm thrilled that summer is over and fall is *almost* here. Woo.

[livejournal.com profile] galagan took the afternoon off yesterday, and we drove to Brattleboro, Vermont. (Why Brattleboro? The answer is mostly because we could.) It was a gorgeous day - and I even spotted a few stray branches on those Vermont trees starting to turn colors. Note that yesterday was still officially August, which seems Too Early for These Things. Not that I'm complaining. We drove into New Hampshire purely for Elena's benefit - it was her 21st state. Yes, you read that right. (Before the grand cross-country drive, she had been to *6* states though. That effort really pushed her into new territory. She has been to more states than she is months old - that would be 18, next week). Anyway, we wandered around downtown Brattleboro, which is very cute and quaint. Elena did not want to walk though. She's in a phase where she will only walk 10-20 feet before falling to her knees and whining.

Today's big accomplishment has lots o' back story. Back story cut for patheticness and rambling )
kcobweb: (quiltblock)
Ngh. So tired. Last night, we turned out our lights about 11:00 and no more than 2 minutes later, I thought I heard a cry. Sure enough, E was awake and didn't want to go back to sleep. [livejournal.com profile] galagan got her to doze off, but not fully sleeping; by the time I got her completely off to sleep it was Very Late, and then *I* couldn't get back to sleep. So we *all* had spotty interrupted sleep and are all a little irritable today. I think my ability to survive throughout a day on low sleep levels is improved because of all the practice I've gotten this last year - but she doesn't do this much anymore, so we're getting spoiled again with regular amounts of sleep. Hopefully tonight will be better.

The good news is, I finished the requilting of my old crazy quilt last night, watching the finale of Texas Ranch House on PBS (that was some crazy show, too). When [livejournal.com profile] saltcod was here the other night, I showed it to her and we decided it was an example of how far I've come and how much I've learned about quilting in 10 years. :) Maybe I'll post a picture at some point - that quilt and the new one I'm working on.

It's Cinco de Mayo! [livejournal.com profile] galagan is bringing home ingredients for fajitas. Yum.

ETA: new icon! Whee!


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