124 hours of listening

I was inspired a number of months ago to listen to the entire series on audio book so that I could knit while listening. I will admit to planting a garden, kayaking, knitting, completing house work, falling asleep to, and doing nothing while listening to all seven books, though usually only one at a time. I’m not sure that anything would be accomplished if I tried to kayak and do housework at the same time, other than a new mess to clean.

It has been wonderful to listen to all seven books in a matter of a few months, rather than the many years it took to read and wait for the next installment. I have been reading a forum on a knitting site dedicated to the subject, I have read articles on the “interwebs” as other knitters seem to call it. After the seventh book was published, J.K. participated in a web chat that allowed fans to send questions in and hope for answers from J.K. about unsaid things from the series. Various sites host the transcript of the chat, this is the one I read first.

There seems to be much I should like to say about listening to this series, but I will take more time pondering the exact nature of my musings. I have just about decided to listen again to the series, I love the library 🙂 As I type this I am listening to Stardust by Neil Gaiman. My interest was piqued when the movie advertisements began. I have just gotten around to finding it on audiobook and listening. I have not seen the movie, but based on the first chapter, I cannot think it is the children’s movie that I nearly remember the ads depicting. I will have to watch it eventually so as to see the plot twists accounted for so that children are not perplexed.

Some of my favorite sites for extra info:

time spend listening ~ approx. 124 hours or a little over 5 days

  • Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone ~ approx. 8 hours
  • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets ~ approx. 9 hours
  • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azakban ~ approx. 12 hours
  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire ~ approx. 20 hours
  • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix ~ approx. 27 hours
  • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince ~ approx. 27 hours
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows ~ approx. 21 hours

In which I ponder photos

You may or many not remember that I found a few photo challenges almost two months ago. I purposed to participate by taking one photo a day of anything I desired. While setting about finding interesting things to take photos of, I would attempt to follow an alphabet challenge, changing letters every two weeks or so as well as attempting to capture color schemes that changed every two months. It comes as no big surprise that my interest is waning. More because I have limited subject matter due to gas prices rising beyond belief. I have intentions of spending an afternoon in downtown GR, but that would only serve one day/one photo. I can alter the challenge and include them in the color or alphabet if applicable. There are a few surrounding towns that may have interesting architecture, parks, and what-not, but I have to plan that as I don’t want to waste gas. A few weeks ago I fairly well ran out of ideas and finally failed to capture a photo for a given day which then dragged into a few days, possibly a week or so. In reading blogs/posts of others participating, I am not alone in this, however, they have completed almost 5 months of photos, not less than two. Such is life. I am still taking photos, just several a day and not everyday. I downloaded and cropped all the photos I have been hording, you can check them out here. This weekend I’ll sort them into the other two categories, ABC-along and PS3.0.

In which I attempt to tan

I wanted to go out on the river today. I had planned with Jason to meet him at Granny’s a little early so he could take me back to get my car after floating/paddling down the river. When I woke up I didn’t have enough energy to do it, so I decided to putter around the house. After it warmed up a bit, I decided to head outside to knit and listen to Harry Potter book 7. The sun was over the backyard, so when I sat down I faced the garden. It occurred to me that I should plant some more. I mustered enough energy, with the help of mt. dew, and went to work. I misspoke/mistyped in last week’s post, I didn’t have quite that many beds finished. Today I put in an herb bed, we’ll see how that works. I think I am going to leave the 4 ft by 4 ft next to it empty and transplant in case the plants are too big to play well together. I finished up the half planted bed and did a second planting of corn and peas. I also added some cantaloupe. I have one empty 4 ft by 8 ft bed. I am going to have to purchase tomato and pepper plants. Dad P. made a cold frame for me, but I just grabbed it this weekend. My tomatoes got too tall and too spindly and finished dying off on Monday. My peppers are making progress, just not enough. The brighter side, I have a cold frame ready for next year. Mom P has some beautiful plants from her cold frames. My first planting of onions and garlic are coming up nicely. My second go-round is so-so. The onions are growing nicely, until Jason’ tries to eat them. The garlic is trying to decide about poking through the soil. I tried to explain to Jason that my garden is a looking-at garden, not an eating-garden. He’s not buying it.

After I finished, I washed up and sat down again to knit in the sunshine. Most of the exposed parts had been toasted on Monday, so I thought no harm. I’m trying to get some vitamin d naturally. I got a bit too much and am rather red. I’ll have to make a trip into town to get more aloe vera. My knitting is coming along. I have a long list of half started and want to start projects. I finished one reusable grocery bag and started another one. The second one has turned into a knitting bag for me, I made it too large, but I’m sort of please with it. I have to finish the handle on it, then I’ll try to remember to post pictures.

Merry Monday

Our family Memorial Day celebration involves heading south to Burley Park for a largish flea market. While I did not come back with any fleas, thank goodness, I found a few things. I wasn’t on a huge mission for anything I had to have, just small things if I happened upon them. I think this year was one of the smallest vendor turnouts I’ve seen in a while. I managed to purchase four books I didn’t need, one of them was an accidental purchase. It was in my hands when I was finished, so home it came. I’m sure it will be a lovely read either way, I have read that author before and non-fiction is good for me. One vendor had an assortment of knitting needles, yes, I had a sizer in my backpack so I could have checked the sizes for the needles, but it was unnecessary. I wasn’t looking for size, just type. I was looking for dpns (double pointed needles) or circulars. I managed 3 dpns for a dollar, which seems like a good deal, but one really needs four or five needles to make circles/tubes. I will keep an eye out for more in future trips.

My most interesting purchase was a Monopoly/Sorry wood box game set plus six other games-chess, checkers, cribbage, dominoes, playing cards, and poker dice. It is not a complete game by any stretch: several chess pieces missing, most of the cribbage pegs are gone, no playing cards, missing Sorry and Monopoly pieces. I may spend some time hunting extra replacement pieces, but I am afraid it will cease to be a good deal if I invest money to purchase more. The Monopoly game appears to be missing its dice, chance cards and hotels at the least. The board is a miniature size, but still playable if I find enough pieces. Anything can be a hotel 🙂

Jason and I also purchased some spoons. I’m not sure if I could have gotten a better deal at a box store, but we needed more spoons. I was also looking for random serving spoons. I only found them at one booth, but the woman was too busy to tell me how much she wanted for them, so I went on hoping to find others. When I tried to find her again, I couldn’t remember what row she was in and I was too tired to hunt too long. I will draw a map next time or exhibit patience and purchase them when I find them. I also found a tea pot for Mom P, she seemed to need another and this one called my name when I saw it. The last thing I came home with was a small sunburn, hopefully it will tan.

My friend Ruth met up with us at the park after a while, just about the time I purchased the game, so off to the Jeep we went to put the game away and retrieve a water bottle. Jeff and Jeanne were off on vacation, so it was Mom P, Dad P, Jason and I. Ruth arrived about the same time that Josh, Julie and Julie’s mom arrived.

We all headed home, minus Julie and her mom. Jason and I had the bright idea of putting on crockpot food before we left. At the end of flea market days, we are always tired and try to figure out what to make. We tried to plan ahead this year. We made venison stew/soup with fresh baked bread, salad and strawberries. I didn’t realize we were having strawberries, nor did I realize Ruth was coming home, neither of which is horrible, just inconvenient. Ruth is rather allergic, so I spent time washing up a lot. We played a game of hearts and the family departed. Ruth, Jason and I had a game of Quiddler then Ruth headed home 🙂

All in all, a fun day.

Tuesday’s Tug of War

Two mornings in a row I have been out of bed before 8:30, who knew I was capable. Yesterday I visited two clients with some nasty little spyware and viruses. I’m not quite done with either machine, mental note, only visit one client a day! I’ll return Thursday to one and Friday to another. I called the oral surgeon’s office last night. I like to leave a message so that if there is an open appointment, the receptionist can grab it for me, selfish, yes, effective, quite. I’m off to what’s trapped in the hole that used to house a tooth in a few minutes.

On the productive front, I have gotten some wash done and my garden is half planted. I need to catch up with Mom P. so that I can learn how to put the rest in, that or I can use a search engine of my choice and hope the sites I find have good information for Michigan. I have two 4×8 beds open and two 4×4 beds open. I want to put tomatoes and peppers in one of the large beds, possible one and a half, I’ll use the other bed to plant more of what’s already down in a few weeks. The smallish beds may become my herb beds, haven’t quite decided that.

I had hoped to head to the river this afternoon to try out my new Otter, but a trip to Cadillac isn’t quick, I also need to go to the vet to pick up meds for the critters. As a result, I feel like I’m playing tug-of-war with myself. I want to accomplish a thousand things in a time span that can accommodate 10. I have knitting to finish, continue and start. That list just keeps growing. My first reusable grocery bag is nearly complete, I have to bind off two sections of 10 stitches. I don’t know how I want to do it, so I am going to try one method on one side and the other on the other side, then I can compare stretchiness.

Fatigable Friday

While trying to come up with a catchy title for my post, I was attempting to browse an online dictionary. I have finally discovered a flaw in online the dictionary, thesaurus, reference type site; you can’t open to a letter and browse the section. I desired an alliterated title, so I wanted to flip through the F section. I will keep looking for an online tool that will let me do this.

I spent some time last night mourning the loss of my father. I am sad that we are unable to reach a place where we can have a relationship of some kind. It’s not for lack of other wonderful male influences, I have many older father-figures in my life, but there is a part of a girl that desperately needs a daddy. I acknowledged a long time ago that while God designed me for that, I would not have that this side of eternity. I still have the desire, the wish, hope, dream. This topic came up because a friend of Jason & Jeanne lost her father in a motorcycle accident earlier this week. I had never met her father, but I had met her and my heart went out to her. I can’t imaging the pain of losing a loving father, but the emotion of losing my grandmother was raw enough to bring tears.

Today we attended the funeral. Her father was a retired firefighter, I have never attended a funeral for someone in that career. Beyond the countless men and women in many public service roles, the service ended with one last call and Amazing Grace a-al bagpipe. I’m one of the ones that appreciates the bagpipe and the talent behind it. The last call brought many tears to many eyes across the church. Central dispatch beeps the men, then they all turn the volume up and we hear the dispatcher call the deceased’s name several times. After the dispatcher is unable to reach the individual, she announced that he had gone home and sent him off with well wishes or thanks. I’m afraid I was crying by the end and don’t remember her exact words. The service leading up to that was beautiful, very Christ-centered. His wife read her testimony, which was really her husband’s and her testimony. Jason’s Dad went with us, we decided to attend the graveside service and return to the church for lunch with the family.

Upon returning home, Jason and I set to work on the raised beds in the garden. If I had to guess, I would say it was around 5 or so. I’ll post pictures later on Saturday or Sunday. I have onions and garlic pushing up through the earth. All of my beds are down with black dirt sitting in them and I nearly knelt on a snake. We put down some screen in the hopes of keeping out the moles and I didn’t trim it. I was kneeling down to work in a bed and Jason said in a serious tone, don’t move snake. The snake had gotten tangled in the mesh, so Jason carefully cut it out and set it free. It had lost some color, it may have been in the sun too long. When we finished work today, I made sure to tear off the extra mesh, I would hate for that to happen again, we came in the house around 8.

I need to spend a few more minutes on the last box. By the time I stopped, I was saying good enough with the amount of rocks still in it. I know I encountered more stones than I would have liked to when I planted the onions and garlic. I have determined that I am going to have too many tomatoes and not enough broccolis. My broccolis are refusing to stand up straight, too spindly. My sweet peppers are just starting to come up after weeks and weeks and weeks, I planted the sweet peppers and broccoli on April 21. My tomatoes are growing fast, planted those April 30th, along with the hot peppers and bell peppers, I think.

To wrap up the online reference discussion, I did discover that thefreecitionary.com site has a way to search for words that begin with or end with. I also found a rhyming dictionary and a few other tools that I book marked. I also subsribed to a word-a-day rss fee, maybe I will learn some new words.

Another outing

kayaksI spent the day running errands with my friend Patty. We had sandwiches for lunch and set about completing my list. I had several business supplies to track down-ink for the printer, invoice/receipt forms, and business card holders. I found the ink and decided to hold off on the rest. I made a quick detour to the health food store for some flour and went off to hunt yarn. On my way to hunt yarn, my eye caught a sign advertising a sale on canoes and kayaks this weekend. I stopped in and saw many pretty ones hanging in from the ceiling. I hit three different stores and didn’t notice much of a pricing difference for given models. I compared online and it’s all about the same, here are the ones I looked at closely. I’m leaning toward the Old Town Otter, the blue one on top, but it comes in other colors. I can’t see whether the foot rests are adjustable, the seat is. I need to see it, otherwise, I’m looking at one that’s not pictured-camo color Mainstream Sound 9.4.

I rarely seem to make it to GR to use the 40% off coupon at one of my chain stores. The coupon publishes every other week, the opposite of my schedule. Since I was down with wisdom teeth removal last week, I decided to head to GR some time this week to take advantage of the savings. I have to say, it takes some doing to make it all work out in the end. I’ll call that chain, Store H. I signed up for the paper flyer from a different store, we’ll call that Store J. There is yet another chain craft store in GR, we’ll call that Store M. Store M didn’t have a flyer this week, nor a coupon, Store J usually has a coupon for every two or three week period. The coolie thing about stores is competition. Competition is good, so the stores accept coupons that are supposed to be good at other stores. Store J doesn’t have anything I want right now, well, ok, there’s stuff I want, but not badly enough to buy it. Store M has started carrying large skeins of cotton yarn, 350+ yards for about $8. Now, I don’t want to pay that much, so I used my Store J coupon there. Store H has some packages of yarn that I covet. If I use a coupon, for about $15, I can get three skeins with 450+ yards of cotton. Here’s the fun part, the store has a strict one coupon per person per day policy. I can’t rationalize two trips to GR the same week to save 40%. The lovely lady suggested I get a second person to make my second purchase. I drafted a complete stranger to buy my second treasure. Luckily, I had cash with me so it was easy. She laughed over the whole thing and said at least she’d have something interesting to talk about later.

I also found some yarn to use to make some socks for a friend of Granny’s as well as a neat hand spade that has metric and standard depth marks for planting. I can’t wait to plant the garden.

Sleep? Who needs sleep?

I was presented with a challenge last night at music rehearsal. We are singing one of the songs performed by the Newsboys, He Reigns. In the ending section of chorus repeats, there are two counter-melodies wandering through the melody. I will admit, I know the verses and chorus and when I listen to my WOW cds, I do it for enjoyment. I can turn off the extra and just hear the melody and harmony, sometimes to the exclusion of interesting extras. During rehearsal, a couple of the other singers took the first counterpoint and I stayed on harmony. I don’t know what I said, but said something smart-alcky and our leader said there were actually two counterpoints. There is the one easily found and there is a part that the gospel choir sings. So I stayed up a little to late last night figuring out the part that I might could sing if I can get my act together. My plan is to practice the song at least twice a day every day until we sing.

Before I set about learning the extra part of the song, I worked out an advertising poster. I’m quite excited to offer my help to the community. I went through several redesigns of the poster, even tried to find the design from the business card, but couldn’t. I put my editing skills to the grind and came up with a poster that coordinates quite nicely with my business cards. I’ve got one ready to hang up and four more on the printer.

I went to bed rather “early” this morning and made for a rather tired trip to GR today. I’ll write about that later.

It’s official

Spring is here. My plants are happily growing under their light, I have broccoli plants, chives, dill and what I think is a hot pepper plant, only one smallish sprout. The cat grass has sprouted and Duke as bitten the tops off of all the blades. Maybe the boys won’t mind pre-chewed blades. Birds are returning, the blue jays have invaded again, finches abound and cardinals zoom past my living room windows off for an adventure. Most of my winter friends have moved on to warmer places or found their own food supply. I spent a few hours on the porch this morning, snuggled under a blanket reading. The sun was peaking out from behind the clouds, Daisy Mae vigilantly keeping guard near my feet, lest any birds or butterflies drop in for a visit. Today is a new day, full of possibilities.

Knitting Websites

Knitting Sites with patterns:

  • Knitting Daily – an Interweave site with patterns for free and purchase, as well as weekly informative emails, and resources to purchase.
  • Knitting Pattern Central – bookmark site of patterns, free
  • Knitty – online knitting zine with patterns, articles, etc., come outs quarterly

Knitting Helps

  • Knitting Help – full of instructional information and videos to aid your knitting endeavors
  • The Knitters Bag – this page is a list of instructional videos for may stitches

Other Random Knitting Sites: