Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Books I thought I could not read

Do you know that feeling you get when you look at something and think I could never do that? I think that about some books. I am at my core a light hearted reader. I feel things way to much. I empathize to the max. I don't like dark, troubling books. I also don't like books that make me think too hard. No Laughing! I mean I don't get artsy, philosophical books. Yes, dear author you know 16 different ways to say the same thing and wow, you used all of them in this one paragraph. I would like to see the story progress now!

I always thought of classic books in this way. To difficult for my simple farm girl brain to handle. I thought that till I read Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen. It was a romance novel for thinking people. It had difficult language and foreign out dated customs to think about, but it had a happy ending to make my heart happy.

I so love happy endings to books. I guess I always thought classic books must have sad endings. I'm not sure where or when I came up with that, I just did. So that colored my perceptions of classic books.

I fell in love with Jane Austen after that. I think I have read all but her unfinished books. I think Pride and Prejudice is still my favorite. Who does not love Mr. Darcy's fight against himself?

The thought occurred to me that I might like other classics. I attempted a couple but did not put my all into it. D started to read Count of Monte Cristo and raved about it. So I thought what the heck I can slug through it for him, at least we would have something to talk about. I fell in love with the first part then bam, my story disappears and the author introduces new characters. What the heck? I want my people back, I love them not these new people, I don't know them and now I don't want to. D assured me that the old characters would come back and I would be happy just give it two more chapters. So I went back to reading, grumbling the whole time. Well it turns out to be true, the old ones mesh with the new ones the story goes on and I am better for having taken that journey. Man, I love that book!

Crime and Punishment is in the same category. D picked it out and read it, I did not want to read it. Now I am up to part 2 and am slightly mesmerized by the story. It is dark, depressing and violent. Much of the action takes place in the main character's head. So I'm learning to appreciate a different style of book. I can not say enough about the audio version I have from my library. Anthony Heald performs the book. I had difficulty in reading the book, it seemed to all sound alike in my head. Anthony seems to bring it all into focus for me.

Of course this means the next book for me will be Anna Karenina, since the hubby has read that one and recommends it. Sigh, who would have thought this little South Dakotan farm girl would be reading Russian literature in New York. I never would have believed it if you had told me then, of course the most unbelievable thing for me would have been that I left SD and did not move to Texas.

Thanks for the book love Hubby of mine!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Love at first sight

I believe in love at first sight. I am an incurable romantic. My mother has always accused me of being in love with the idea of love. I get all gushy inside at the thought of a wedding.

Now that I have weeded out anyone who might have a weak stomach. Those of you who are not afraid of a mushy story may continue to read.

My hubby and I met our senior year of high school. I knew before we started dating that I wanted to marry him. This posed a problem for me when we broke up in college. I questioned how I could have been so wrong. Turns out I was not wrong, we just needed time to grow up.

It used to bother me when D said marriage is work. Now I better understand what I think he meant when saying that. It is work. Everything that is worth anything in this world takes work to maintain. Why do we work at our jobs, hobbies and free time but expect marriage to be a walk in the park? Why isn't working on your marriage thought of as a desirable thing? Is it because romantic love is thought of as unconditional? I don't think love can be unconditional. I know I have conditions that would make me question my love. I would not let him beat on me, cheat on me or torture others with out questioning the worth of our marriage. I'm not saying any of those things have happened, I'm saying they are unspoken conditions to the limits of my love.

So even though we are high school and college sweethearts (Dang near the pinnacle of romantic love), we still work on being the best we can be. Some days it is more work (cough socks on the floor cough) and some days it is less work (telling me my scones are the best).

I still want him by my side in good times and bad, more than I can say. Love you Hon, for all that it is worth.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Going beyond my comfort zone

I am a shy person. You would never believe it if you think you know me. But I am. Those of you that do know me think back to our first meeting. Remember me saying much, or anything if our first meeting was in a large group? Large groups shut me down. I never know what to say or do.

My husband's work get togethers are certainly one of my personal circles of Hell. I try so hard to be witty but I just come off as trying to hard and super needy. My poor husband can not leave my side. I am a deer caught in headlights crossed with a bobble head, since I tend to smile and nod a lot in that situation. A bobble headed deer with huge eyes, it is not a good look for me.

A couple of weekend ago I stepped outside of myself. I attended an informal weekend at a Deaf camp. Apparently Deaf people are accustomed to seeing bobble headed deer. They welcomed us with out judgement.

Now my ASL (American Sign Language) skills are not well developed. I maybe know 5% of the signs and the real thing that throws me is that there seem to be many "accents." It is like handwriting in sign, no two people sign exactly the same way, or at least no two people I have seen. Some people look similar and are therefore easier to convert between and some are drastically different and are more difficult for me to read. Many signs may look similar but changing the motion changes the meaning.

Do you may see my meaning that even if I know a sign I may get confused and not recognize the sign?

So to sum up: I know only a small amount of the language, I may not recognize the "accent" of the person speaking and I may be confused and misinterpreting the actual words they're saying. So yeah to say I was out of my comfort zone is an understatement. That actually made the weekend easier. I don't think they expected me to make small talk. I was able to sit back and enjoy watching Deaf culture. So no pressure, I could choose to participate or observe.
On Saturday night we sat around telling stories and jokes. Most of which I did not understand. It was awesome to understand and recognize some of the stories. I even stepped out of my box and told a joke I had seen on the internet. I would never have stood up in a group of 20 people and told a joke to save my own life.

Thank you CM7 for showing me how to communicate and bond with others.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Sock family reunion

In an attempt to find my knitting mojo I held, today a knitted sock family reunion. I have for some time now wanted to get another picture of all the socks I have knit. The problem is with this is two fold. First, I wear my socks, so they are never all clean at the same time. Second I am to lazy to wash all the socks, let them air dry, gather them all into one location and troop them all outside to pose for pictures. Yes parents, I now feel your pain. No wonder all the old pictures of us kids were taken at Christmas time. We were too distracted to spoil their plans.

Today I freaked out my neighbors. If you saw your neighbor walk out of the house with this in their hands, wouldn't you look twice, then walk away faster?

I think I need a bigger basket next time. How about if they then arranged all these out on the grass and proceeded to take pictures? If you don't think twice about that, you must live in a knitter neighborhood or you're -10 on the nosy scale.

The moment I have been talking about. My knitted sock family picture. Two pairs are not washed, but I'm not telling which two. Thirty one pairs in about two years of knitting. Twenty nine for me and two for the hubby, none for anyone else. I think I might have sock construction down to the point that I might consider making them for other people now. But the socks are so pretty on my feet.

The funny thing is I say that my favorite color is deep forest green. You would think from the color choices shown here that it is red or a variation of red.

The red one at the bottom facing the wrong direction is waiting for his other half to be finished. "Knit faster I'm lonely."

Wow, does that mean that I will give anything a voice? Well, at least the socks did not have a conversation with each other while I was out there.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

My knitting mojo & silly cat tricks

Hey if any of you find my knitting mojo will you send it back to me. I keep thinking about what I want to knit and not starting any of it. This happened last summer also. It is like I don't love wool as much when it is over 70 degrees outside. Wool should be good for me any time of the year.

Speaking of wool love I have to tell you about our cat Gus. You'll remember he is the self proclaimed Momma cat. Turns out he also teaches himself new tricks. To show love to someone (usually D) he brings a yarn rat to you while yowling through said rat. Well when I started knitting more yarn appeared in the house so Gus thought it was for him. He now brings us balls of yarn in the middle of the night and leaves them at the foot of the bed. I swear if he had thumbs he would be a knitter and out knit me even though he sleeps 18+ hours a day.
This is my yarn, it is what I do. You would not understand, silly human.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

My most recent knit

These are gentleman's lozenge pattern socks from Folk Socks. Made out of Collinette Jitterbug fingering weight yarn. These took forever to finish. Mostly because I did not knit on them. Hard to finish something you don't work on. Picture taken at work, outside at lunch time. Don't worry I ate first then kicked off the shoes to do a little foot modeling. Oh and I am the only one that eats outside, I wonder why?

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Why I loved growing up on the farm

I grew up on a farm in rural South Dakota. I love the wide open spaces of the prairie. It still calls to my heart like no other thing I have found. I have felt my heart skip a beat when I see blue sky above brown/green wheat fields. My soul is never happier than when I'm looking at farm land. It happened in England when our train passed sheep grazing in a field. Any version of farming or ranching scenes mean home to me like no other. My inner child gets excited every time I see hay bales.

We lived in a small farm house that my father's grandfather built. It's sole source of heat was a fireplace. It was so cold our water would freeze up at least once a winter. I hated hauling in wood, but am very good at stacking and carrying now because I wanted to make as few trips as possible.

I loved that farm as much as a child can love anything. I still think it was my first true love. We had the most amazing sunsets. The sky seemed so huge. The colors were amazing all swirled together and constantly changing as the sun gradually set. I used to try to capture the colors and beauty with my crayons. Turns out God has the best crayon set ever, more colors you know.

I think I spent most of my time on the farm dreaming. When you're away from it all you can really dream, at least I could. I used my imagination to entertain myself. I had conversations with every type of animal we had on the farm. I saw crops planted and harvested. I watched the seasons change. I hated winter. I did love being pulled behind a horse on the sled. Speed!

I dreamed of exotic places like England and Texas. To a small town farmer's daughter those places are exotic. Ahem, they still are to me, I did not loose my fascination.

I loved growing up close to the animals. Sheep, horses and chickens were my childhood friends. I think one of the greatest gifts my parents gave me was my own ewe. She taught me a rather warped lesson on motherhood. Sheep are a herd animal. They use smell to recognize their lambs. One night it was birthing night because half of the heard lambed that night. My ewe was one of them, but unlike all the other ewes she would not let the lamb nurse. She was a first time mother. Every time the lamb approached she would head butt it away. It was my job to hold her still to allow the lamb to nurse. I would try to reason with her while doing this. It sounded something like, this is your baby you have to take care of her, she will die if you don't feed her. I think it took a few days for the ewe to accept the lamb was not going to go away. Maybe she could not take another day of having a seven year old kid preaching about what a mother should do. For the record I am still pro baby feeding and anti head butting.
The thing I did not find out till years later, was that was not really her lamb. She was not acting like a mother because she was not that lamb's mother. Her lamb had been stillborn. My Mom and Dad put in a lamb from a set of triplets in with her. They did not want me to be disappointed and the lamb would do better with out having to compete for food.
Do you think the ewe was thinking "Can't you smell that is not my lamb you stupid kid?" every time I was lecturing her on what it means to be a mother? Funny how life works.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Reading list Update

Poor Crime and Punishment, I apparently do not want to know you.  I keep telling myself it is because I am listening to a book on CD in the car and that is where I want to read you.  Just keep telling yourself only 2 more CDs to go and don't let me wander off to the library.
I went to the used book sale at the library last weekend.  Two whole rooms of potential staring me in the face. I ended up only getting a few and am sorely disappointed in myself for not finding more. (There was not more that I wanted, but disappointment is disappointment) I picked up Galileo's Daughter, the Constant Princess and Pillars of the Earth. 
I started a book at home here that I am struggling with, The Princess Bride.  I always try to read the book before seeing the movie, because what ever is impressed on the brain first I always regress to being the real version.  Does not matter which came first on the time line, it is always my first impression that stays with me. I love the movie The Princess Bride, the book not as much yet. I'm finding his writing style difficult.  Lots of asides and things to pull you off the point. That should work for me but it doesn't.
I still love the line, "I don't think that word means what you think it means." 

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


I started this blog mainly to have a place to put up pictures of my knitting and send out some random thoughts into the world.  Well I still don't know how to put pictures into the blog, but I have the random thoughts thing down!  
I find myself thinking of topics to talk about here.  What do I think about this, or that?  Then when I sit down to do it pffft, nothing comes out.  So I think about some random thing and start typing.  I guess that is how I think, randomly.  Actually if you've had a conversation with me you have already seen my thought process at work.  I write how I talk.  I'm still not sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing.  I am choosing to think of it as my "style".  Oh yeah I use quotes a lot also.  
I read recently about an elderly Spanish lady that was a popular blogger because she had seen so much and discussed it in the blog.  I want my blog to be like that in theory.  I want to be able to talk about things freely.  I know in my heart this will not happen because all the world has access.  Shoot, I'm not even willing to smile at strangers on the street most days why would I invite them into my brain house.  
I also heard on Bones writing reveals more about the writer than the subject.  I guess I can see that.  How much of my true self gets out here?  Too much and I won't be able to look you in the eye next time we meet.  Too little and this really is an exercise in futility. 
Today's conclusion: I need more knitting content. 

Monday, June 8, 2009

In support of my Husband

I can not tell you how cool it is to watch my husband cross the finish line. We spent part of Sunday at Tour de Cure for Diabetes. D rode a 50 mile bike ride for the event.
He is totally in love with biking now, has been for a little over a year. It is great to see someone you love doing something that they love. Remind me of this statement next year when he wants to do the 100 mile ride.
The bad part was after the fun count down and start of the ride, there is not much to do but wait for them to return. You know how much I like waiting. Don't worry I came prepared. I brought a book, my ipod, my sock that I am knitting on and the wife of another rider. Hey L you know who you are. Knitting and my friend made the time fly by. Two hours passed before I even knew it.
It was great to see all the people coming in to finish the ride, but it was awesome to see the Hubby sail in. Love you biker man.
PS: He has awesome biking calves now, check them out if you get the chance. Just don't stare too long Ladies.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Making lists does not control me but it makes me happy.

I love making lists!  Even more than that I love crossing things off lists.  I will write things down on a to do list that I have already done, just so I can cross them off. 
Turns out that I am an accomplishment driven person.  I like tangible evidence of where my time went.  I would not call myself a goal oriented person, but I like to see that a task has been finished.  What better way to do that than a little line through a word?  
I do not call myself a goal oriented person because I drop projects like hot potatoes.  I am also comfortable not doing anything, I can simply be at home.  D was trained by his mother (A lovely lady) to have an agenda.  She had a list of things to get done on any given day.  I don't think I was raised that way.  We had chores we had to do every day but I don't remember listing them out.  They were just things that had to be done every day.  Maybe that is the difference between city and country living.  The animals still need to be feed one way or another. 
Freaked me out the first time he asked me what was on my agenda for the day.  Uhm shower and get dressed.  I will have to get back to you after that.  
I don't really have a daily agenda I have a list of things that should be done sometime in the future.  I don't think I like deadlines.  Deadline such a drastic word.  You mean I will be dead if I don't finish laundry today?  No, but I might have to get creative with my wardrobe soon.
I have things that stay on my list for a long time and I have things that go on and come right back off.  Sometimes I cross things off that are not done, I just come to the realization that I don't want or need to do them any more.  
I guess lists are a way for me to bring order to my life even if I don't live a particularly orderly life.   

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

It is a Tuesday now

Another mild headache today from work.  Drama today.  Sometimes I hate the beginning of the month.  Again I used that as an excuse to not go to the grocery store.  Believe me we are all happier that I did not go.  I hate grocery shopping.
I still managed to make dinner.  It always amazes me that I can make dinner out of what I call "no food in the house."  Guess it comes from growing up on the farm.  I can remember cans of veggies being stored under my bed when I was a kid.  Maybe that is why I get late night cravings for peas. Now I just need to develop an evening craving for exercise and all would be right with the world for a time.  

Monday, June 1, 2009

How to tell it is a Monday at my house

So I wake up late this morning, yeah it is a Monday.  My Hubby sometimes goes into work early and it is quite an adjustment after the weekend.  Gus (one of our cats) thinks this is a sin against nature and proceeds to tell me so very loudly at 4 am.  Told you he can go in early.  Gus is what we refer to in this house as "the Momma Cat".  Don't get hung up on gender roles here he is a he, he just has an overload of maternal instinct that he directs towards D and me.  The truly funny thing is he is at his heart an independent cat.  We say his theme song is Joan Jett's "I Hate Myself for Loving You."  
So I tell Gus that I have two more hours of sleep to go and to leave me alone Dad went to work. Yes I am one of those people that think their animals understand what they are saying. Have you been to my house?  It is true, because Gus crawls back into bed with me and proceeds to go back to sleep taking me with him.  Good Kitty.
When I do wake up I take in for breakfast two pieces of bread.  The last two pieces.  At work I develop a Monday headache and decide to not go to the grocery store to buy more bread.  I choose instead to come home and fire up the bread machine because buying bread on Monday is too much work for me.  To top it off I use hamburger buns from the freezer to make garlic toast to go with dinner.  If we had hamburgers with the buns 10% of the time around here I would be surprised.  
Oh wait I think I hear my bread machine, I know I smell it. Later