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Book report

Feb. 13th, 2012 | 05:42 am

The back right corner of the Goodwill store is where the books are.  There are shelves against the wall on adjacent sides of the corner and two free-standing shelves.  The books are loosely organized by subject and the prices are pretty darn good.  It's a tempting section of the store.  There is also a big table - maybe 4x8 feet - the top of which is devided into bins with 6" deep sides.  The bins hold LPs, movies on sale and books that are on sale.  The prices on those books have been lowered yet again.  The paperbacks are 33 cents and the hardcovers 99 cents.  Well, you can imagine how tempting the bins are.

The other day I bought an over-sized paperback out of the bins.  It had nice cover art and the teaser on the back cover convinced it was worth taking a chance on for 33 cents.

The book is Winter's Tale by Mark Helprin.  I think it would be called fantasy.  Whatever it is, I will finish reading it today and I'm here to tell you that Mark Helprin can write.  The book is pure entertainment.

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Feb. 11th, 2012 | 05:31 am

I inherited lots of photos from my parents.  Boxes and boxes of photos.  There are also stacks of them in frames and many old albums.  Most of the photos are unlabeled.  They have been taking up a lot of shelf space in my guestroom/library for several years now.  This last week I decided to go through them and label the places and people I know.  I got them out and set them on the kitchen table.  Four cardboard boxes, four shoe boxes and a paper bag.  The albums and stacks of framed photos I left on the shelves.

I took the photos out of one of the shoe boxes and began labeling them one by one - or throwing away pictures of flowers and such.  The timeline of the photos was all over the map though and I decided after a while that doing them that way wasn't the best.  I was also beginning to feel the magnitude of the job.  I decided to move operations into the sewing room and to attack the problem differently.  I've begun stacking photos in same-kind piles.  The neat stacks are less alarming than a sliding mountain of photos and it will also sort them to some extent by time.  Once that is done, I will put them back in the boxes and put the boxes back on the shelves.  I will label them but I don't want such an unruly mess in my sewing room for months.  I plan on spreading out all of one kind at a time.  (3x3, black and white photos with scalloped edges, for example,)  I will choose which of those I want to keep, label them and put them away.  

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Sewing room

Jan. 7th, 2012 | 06:50 am

My New Year's resolution is to Sort.  I began with my sewing room because I thought it would be easy.  Now things are muddled up to what the universe must have looked like at the beginning when chaos reigned.  The sewing table, the cutting table and all the chairs are piled precariously high.  There is nothing on the floor because I have a sheltie who applies the Canine Salvage Law to anything on the floor that's chewable.  I can't find anything because of the natural law that if it's in a pile, the thing you want will be near the bottom.

On the plus side I made a great discovery.  My quibble with donuts is that they have no substance and they are too sweet.  I much prefer bagels because they're chewy.  Well, yesterday I bought a couple of small loaves of artisan bread that had been marked down to $1.00 each.  I was really hungry when I got to the car so I tore off the end of one and ate it.  Oh.  My.  Gosh.  SO good.  It's bready and chewy and just slightly sweet.  The one I ate part of is the Chocolate Bread.  I've since discovered that a slice of it just barely toasted will cause the chocolate chips to soften slightly.  Mmmm!  The other one - Cranberry Walnut - I put in the freezer to try later.  The labels say these are All Natural Panne Provincio Artisan Bread.    

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Oddness continues

Nov. 1st, 2011 | 09:09 am

When I went to bed last night, the screen on my new phone said I'd missed two calls.  I'd walked up to get my mail at one point and also went out to the garden to forage for supper.  It was possible that I had missed two calls even though I had no messages.  Not likely though because I can hear the phone in the kitchen when I'm in the garden.  But possible.  I got up early this morning because I was awake.  It was around 4:30.  The little screen still had the message about the two missed calls.  (Note to self:  Read the manual and find out how to clear that.)  A couple of hours later, I went upstairs to get dressed and make my bed.  The little screen on my phone now said I'd missed three calls.  The downstairs phones - all the phones are on one line - work just fine.  I had NOT missed a call.  The manual told me what to do to review the calls or list them or something like that.  I was curious to see if it would display phone numbers.  I pushed the button and, of course, cleared the screen.  I hate being a muggle. 

If it tells me I've missed more calls tomorrow morning, I'll call the phone company.

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So here's an odd thing

Oct. 31st, 2011 | 12:05 pm

A while back (months ago) I noticed I had a cricket in my bedroom.  It only made its little chirrup now and again, so I wasn't sure.  Then it dawned on me that the sound was coming from the phone by my bed.  Later I noticed that it tended to happen about 5 in the morning.  The sound was so quiet that I'm sure I wouldn't hear it if I were asleep.  That was pretty odd and I wondered what it could be.  This morning while I was making my bed, there was a ghost ring from the phone.  Very, very quiet.  I thought maybe something was wrong with the ringer, picked up the phone and said "Hello?"  At which point there was a quiet hanging up sound.  I bought the phone from the thrift store several years ago just to have a phone for the upstairs.  I have no idea what was going on this morning, but I went out and bought a new phone from Walmart and threw the other one away.

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Oct. 31st, 2011 | 08:54 am

May we have your story, Ross?

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I'm a woman, I can do this

Oct. 31st, 2011 | 06:40 am

On my left, as I sit here at my desk, is a land line phone.  It's a big, black phone with a dial.  On my right is beautiful, sleek Samsung Intercept cell phone.  Muggle phone and everyone-else-in-the-world-uses-one-like-this phone. 

It's going to be a steep learning curve. 

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Read this book. Please.

Oct. 22nd, 2011 | 10:10 am

At coffee hour after church last Sunday, the wife of our priest told some of us that she had just finished a good book.  She said it was so good that everyone should read it.  Someone said, "Okay.  We'll all read it and then we can talk about it."  Ellen asked if I'd like to be first.  I said, "Sure" and she gave it to me.  I just finished it (it's only 268 pages).  Ellen is right.  EVERYONE should read this book.  It describes how health care systems work in other industrialized democracies around the world.  It's informative, quite readable and important.  The author is T. R. Reid.  He is a longtime correspondent for The Washington Post and former chief of its Tokyo and London bureaus, as well as a commentator for National Public Radio.

The book is, The Healing of America:  A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care by T. R. Reid.

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An impossible thing

Oct. 19th, 2011 | 05:52 am

Some time back I bought two 100 gram skeins of undyed 100% Peruvian wool.  They were inexpensive and I thought I would try dyeing my own self-striping yarn.  You've all seen pictures of someone holding up their hands, 18-20" apart, with yarn looped around them and another person winding a ball of yarn off off the looped yarn.  These skeins had to be wound into balls like that.  If you try knitting off the skein, the yarn gets hopelessly snarled.  I decided I liked the undyed cream color just the way it was and had wound one skein into a ball months ago.  It takes me two or three hours because there are 440 yards of yarn in one of those skeins.  Last week I decided to dye the slip cover for my comfy chair and bought some denim colored dye.  This was a perfect opportunity to try dyeing the remaining skein of yarn.  I tied the loops of yarn together quite tightly in eighths and dyed the yarn.  (Note to self.  Do not wear a cream colored pullover while spending an afternoon dyeing yarn and a slipcover and also cutting up a beet as part of supper.  The pullover came through unscathed but I was a nervous wreck.)  The yarn dyed beautifully with flecks of cream where the strings were tied.  Most satisfactory. 

Here is the impossible part.  When it came time to wind the yarn into a ball, I couldn't find either of the two ends.  I finally just cut a strand and began winding.  It was annoying because now there would be two strands - of unequal lenghs - instead of just one.  Except there wasn't.  There was just one strand.

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I want one of those

Oct. 18th, 2011 | 07:56 am

I'm a fan of Big Bang Theory.  They video chat with each other on their computers sometimes.  I would so like to do that with my children once in a while.  I know nothing about computers.  Obviously, there would need to be a camera on each computer.  What else is involved?  Does it cost a bundle of money other than the cameras? 

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