Thursday, March 27, 2008

Sorry so spotty lately, but my aunt is in the hospital and I've had a lot of school work, plus I have done a lot of crocheting, but:

On the Green Front My most embarrassing "green" moment. I went to Lane Bryant on Saturday to buy bras and Spanx, I left my bags in the car, and, when I came out, there were men working on a front end loader right out the front door. There I was holding 2 bras on hangers and a Spanx envelope. I was not parked very close either, but I just looked straight ahead and went to the car and got in. Maybe that is enough to make me not forget my bags again.


Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter

This is not the best Sunday to do a weight loss update since I just had chocolate pie at my aunt's house for Easter dinner. And it was good. I have started Weight Watchers, again, but this time I am going to make it. I am even counting the points for today's Easter lunch. I think everyone knows that Weight Watchers is the best way to lose weight, it just is not a quick fix, which is what everyone wants. I am doing Weight Watchers Online, . I am down about 1 lb. but have a long way to go. Lets hope I am giving you an update next Sunday instead of giving up.


Saturday, March 22, 2008

Saturday Morning Book Review

The Winter's Tale by William Shakespeare

If you like Science Fiction, you will like The Winter's Tale. You may say, "All of Shakespeare's works have some form of weirdness to them," and you may be right, but in the play the seemingly non-real elements take you by surprise. I did not enjoy this play when I first read it about 6 months ago because of the male chauvinist main character, but as I have had time to live with it and revisit it, The Winter's Tale has grown on me. In fact, I am writing a 12 page paper on different critical views from just one scene of this play for Literary Theory. There is also a very good video by the Royal Shakespeare Company of this work. You can find this play, like all of Shakespeare's works, in many ways; from, from Amazon (I will add a link on Favorites-Book Reviews), and in audio form from Even though the TV writers have gone back to work, please don't spend all of your time catching up on your favorite shows. Spend some time as a family reading the classics like they used to do before TV.

Happy Reading,

Friday, March 21, 2008

Sorry about yesterday. I had to take my mother to doctor appointments and that ended up taking all day. Nothing wrong, just routine. She did buy me 2 pairs of shoes for the trouble so I think it was a day well spent.

On the Green Front. I have found a website with the coolest eco friendly clothes. It is called Rooted to Nature and can be found at . They carry both men's and women's natural clothing and accessories, and they go to size 1x. I have contacted them about carrying at least up to 3x and they said that they get this request all of the time, but nobody makes 3x eco wear. If we can find them some they said to let them know, and they are working with manufacturers to let them know that there is a need that is not being filled. Maybe we can get something going for us less than petite individuals. They have a cool radio show that you can listen to from their site; I have not figured out if you can podcast it or not. If you figure this out let us all know with a comment. Check them out and give them some business if you see something you like.

On the Crochet Front I have got lots of pictures.
This is a picture of the blanket that I am making for my son. He and his friend wanted me to make them blankets for their graduations. They wanted something with a bowling motif, but I could not find anything and the one I was designing would have had way too many ends to weave and it just was not turning out right. This blanket is done in I Love This Yarn from Hobby Lobby. My son picked out the color and it will have a black border and is worked with a 5.5 crochet hook. When I have completed it I will post the pattern.
This is a eco friendly yarn made by Rowan, Rowan Pure Life. It is organic cotton and natural dyes. I am going to use it to make Ophelia from . I can't wait to get started on it.
This is Ty-Dy yarn in a green colorway and a pink colorway. I am going to use it for the Christmas scarfs that I make for a couple of people each year. I am using a pattern from the 2008 Spring Interweave Knits magazine. I will add a link to that on Favorites-Crochet.
This is my first Lorna Laces. I have no idea what I am going to start with it, but it may be a bag.
This is just some really cool yarn that I found, and I had to have it for my stash.
Leave me comments and let me know what you are crocheting or knitting or whatever else you do to be creative.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Happy Anniversary

Five years ago today we invaded Iraq. In that 5 years we have lost 3,990 American lives and have spent $406.2 Billion on the effort. I want you to think about this and let it sink in. What have we received for this loss of life and price tag? The US economy is tanking by the minute, investment banks are going under, the price for a barrel of oil is higher than ever, I think I want my money back. Yes, it is true that we have not been attacked again on US soil, but how do we know that they were even planning another attack this soon. Remember, these groups seem to wait between attacks and they do have to raise funds between attacks. Maybe it has all been worth it, but I just don't like war and I don't see anyway out of this one. Every month that we stay in Iraq it costs $12 Billion. I am sure that $12 Billion could help a lot of families who are being forced out of their homes because of foreclosure, or the people who are not able to afford their medicine and food in the same month, or the person who is forced to not have a medical procedure done because their HMO won't approve it. We have got to have a change and the only way we can do that is with our votes. Please, please, please vote this year and vote for change. I don't think we can make it another 8 years with what we have now.

Sorry about the rant, but it is how I feel and I think on this anniversary it needed to be addressed.

On a lighter note, I will have a big yarn, crochet, knitting blog tomorrow. I will be taking pictures the rest of the afternoon to prepare.


Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Since I have not posted a book review in a while, I thought I would post a Saturday Morning Book Review today. The book that I am going to review is Kindred by Octvia E. Butler. It is a time travel book and the time that the main character, Dana, travels back to is the South during the time of slavery. Dana lives in 1976, she is black and she is married to a white man. As a white woman, this book has deepened my disgust toward my race and what they were capable of doing to other humans. This is not to say that if I had been born in the South during that time and this was all that I knew, that I would not have been part of the problem, but I would hope that somewhere inside of me I would know that this was wrong and work to make it right. This is a book that you will get caught up in and you will not be able to put it down, you have to know what happens next. This book is so intriguing because it looks at slavery from a black point of view, but from a modern perspective, yet it does so through a very captivating story. I think it makes this subject accessible to more people. The reason why this is such an appropriate book for right now is because of all of the racial topics being raised because of Obama's campaign. So in honor of his speech today, get a copy of Kindred and enjoy the story. If it also provokes inward thoughts, then sit a moment in silence and let yourself examine them. I think we all could use a little self-examination these days.

Send comments. I have added Kindred to Favorites-Book Reviews.


Monday, March 17, 2008

I am so bad. I have been so busy. I promise a long, regular post tomorrow.


Friday, March 14, 2008

I have a very busy weekend and I will not post again until Sunday night or Monday. Sorry, just busy.


Thursday, March 13, 2008

Quick post. Here are my latest completed projects:

This is my dear sister-in-law's scarf.

This is my dear sister-in-law's hat (not on my dear sister-in-law's head).

And finally, this is my dear niece's hat that goes with her scarf which I have already posted. It is the chocolate and vanila frosting scarf.

Post more tomorrow.



Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Good afternoon. Motto for the day: "He without sin, cast the first stone." I don't know if that is an exact quote, but close enough. It is from the Bible. I am referring to the Governor of New York who got caught with his pants down, so to speak. They say he was a tough guy and brought as many on Wall Street down as he could. He should have made sure that his own house was in order. I think it is kind of cool that the guy taking his place has been blind since birth. That goes to show that if a person tries they can do anything since running the New York is like running a country, and not a small one at that.

On the Crochet/Knit Front I am weaving in the ends of my sister in laws scarf. She also requested hats for herself and my niece. I will have to think on that when the scarf is completely finished.

On the Green Front Let's talk about plug-in hybrid electric vehicle or PHEV. How do they work and how long will it be before we can get one? Toyota is set to offer a plug in Prius by 2010 and the Chevy Volt will be debuting at the same time (I hope my dear van can hold out that long.) Both the Volt and the Toyota will be fueled by lithium-ion batteries. These are the type of batteries you have in your digital camera. They can hold a charge longer than normal batteries. These cars are charged by being plugged into a normal power outlet (I will be forced to clean out my garage, at least I have until 2010.)

"Each charge, which takes about four hours, uses the equivalent of 2.7 kilowatt hours of electricity, said Jaycie Chitwood, a senior strategic planner in Toyota’s advanced technologies group."

GM said that the Volt would be able to go about 40 miles on one charge, so even if you can not charge your car at work, at least one way to work will be on electricity so that should cut your gas usage in half. If you work close to home or just tool around town running errands, then it will all be electric. The only downside is the increase in need for electricity which could be produced in less than ecofriendly ways, such as coal. There are always trade offs so before you buy you need to do your homework. In the long run we would at least become less dependant on foreign oil.
Published: January 14, 2008

On the Weight Loss Front I worked out yesterday even though I said I was not going to. Today I am not going to. Yea for yesterday.


Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Today I have no pictures to post of finished crochet and knit projects. I am working like the devil on a scarf that my sister-in-law needs by Thursday, when it is finished I will post pictures.

On the Crochet/Knit Front I would like to let you know about a great new blog that I have found. It is called A Mingled Yarn and can be found at .
I have added it as a link in my links group. This blog deals with sewing, knitting, and books. Right up my alley. The blogger has some great original knit patterns for some beautiful tops. Check it out.

Long ago when I did my blog on goals for the year, I said that one of my goals was to have company more. Well we have friends coming in tomorrow and I am no more organized or prepared for this then I ever have been. Today is my housewife day and I am cleaning and getting the house ready. My husband and son are helping which is great.

On the Weight Loss Front I did not work out yesterday and I doubt I work out today, but I will get back on tract tomorrow, hopefully. I have really been watching what I eat.

Send comments.


Monday, March 10, 2008

On the Green Front This is interesting, the Vatican is going green and has named eco sins as some of the top sins.

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Thou shall not pollute the Earth. Thou shall beware genetic manipulation. Modern times bring with them modern sins. So the Vatican has told the faithful that they should be aware of "new" sins such as causing environmental blight.

You can read the whole article at

I am not sure how I feel about this. I am not Catholic, but I feel that environmental issues are socio-political issues not religious. I feel that if you do believe in God and you are a person of true faith, you will want to take care of the world that God has given us to live on, but that, like any other point of faith, is personal between you and God. Fight environmental damage by being an example and supporting political legislation that helps, but it should not be part of our churches. Weren't the pagan religions based on Mother Earth?

On the Green Front 2 Have you heard about drugs in the drinking water? You can find out all about it at,2933,336286,00.html . It is not enough that we are being drugged by eating meat that has been shot up with steroids, growth hormones and antibiotics, now we can't drink water either. Check out the article.

Send me comments and questions about any of these items or anything else on your mind.


Sunday, March 09, 2008

I am sorry about the late blog today and no Book Review yesterday, but I have got a lot of school work and other things to get done, which leads to:

On the Crochet/knitting Front My dear sister in law saw the Chocolate and Vanilla Frosting scarf that I knitted for my niece and she had to have one too. I have to have it finished by Wednesday. I am working hard.

On the Weight Loss Front I worked out at Curves 4 days last week and I plan to go tomorrow. I am really watching what I eat as well. At least I feel better. I am currently making some yummy bran muffins to have ready for breakfast next week. I just tried one and they are great. It was the Make Ya Go Bran Muffin recipe from How it All Vegan. I love this cookbook. There is one of the best brownie recipes ever in it and, yes, they are vegan brownies, not an egg in sight.

On the Green Front I had to take out a whole basket full of yarn and things that I bought at Hobby Lobby yesterday. I don't know why I can't seem to remember my bags there. I will have to work on that.


Thursday, March 06, 2008

Not much today. I joined Curves again yesterday and had a great workout. I am going to go here in a minute. I made lots of progress on my son's blanket and it is looking great. I also made some progress on my sweater and I can't wait until it is finished. More tomorrow.


Wednesday, March 05, 2008

I caucused last night. Some of you may have seen on the news that some of the Texas caucuses got a little wild, but ours was very orderly, just long. We were there until nine o'clock. I was chosen as a delegate to go on to the District Convention, I will report back how that goes. I still can not believe that Hillary took the Texas popular vote, because our caucus was overwhelmingly Obama people. I still wonder about the accuracy of the voting machines. We should go back to paper or have some kind of double counting system, like paper against machine. In accounting, which is my Bachelors Degree, every number has a check and a balance, shouldn't counting our votes be held to at least that standard?

On the Green Front If you have not signed up for the Ideal Bite e:newsletter yet then shame on you, but just in case you have not I want to share their article on filing your taxes, April 15 th is not that far away. Here is the article and, remember, go to and sign up:

Need happy pills to get you through tax filing?
The BiteChin up. Filing taxes online makes the ordeal a lot less suicide-inducing. If we all do it, we'll save major paper and postage - plus filing online slashes the (typically taxing) wait for returns.
The Benefits
Easy does it. Web programs and PC software guide you through the filing process. Bonus: no standing in post office lines with other last-minute filers.
Rapid returns. If you e-file, you can expect to get your return in about half the time it would take with paper.
Not wasting W-2 much paper. The IRS processes over 2 bil sheets of paper each year. E-filing means fewer forms, and getting your refund deposited directly in your account saves even more paper.
It's accurate. The IRS says e-filing is 99% accurate, versus about 80% accurate with paper.
Personally SpeakingWe admit that saving the environment didn't cross our minds when we first e-filed - we just want our refunds, stat.
Wanna Try?
IRS E-file - 24-7 federal filing online; free if you make less than $54,000/year. (Note: the IRS may send you info in the mail with a code you need to enter on its site.)
Federation of Tax Administrators - see if your state offers online filing.
TurboTax Deluxe Online - tax software that makes filing even easier than IRS e-filing. Also: simpler, free edition for people with straightforward assets and income ($60/federal and state).
Tax Incentives Assistance Project - if you saved energy at home or with a fuel-efficient car purchase in 2007, you could be eligible for a tax credit.
Mint - free, online money management software so you can prep for a richer 2009.

Look into filing your taxes in a more "green" way this year. I have used Turbo Tax forever, , and I love it. We get our refund back in about 2 weeks with direct deposit.

On the Crochet/knit Front I got to knit a lot last night at the caucus, there is a lot of just sitting around. I kind of liked that part. Let me know what you have on your hooks and needles.

On the Weight Loss Front I am going to go and rejoin Curves this morning and make myself go. I think I felt better mentally when I worked out there, even if it was just a couple of times a week, just because I had to go and I had to sign in. It sounds stupid I know, but weight loss is a mental game. I will let you know tomorrow if I really do it.

Send comments.


Tuesday, March 04, 2008

I voted and my dear son voted for the first time. Proud mama moment. The lines were not long, but steady. I may go back and caucus tonight, I have not decided.
At the college I attend, they are having a Women's Studies week and since I am getting a certificate in Women's Studies as well as a Masters in Literature, I attended the key note address last night. It was titled Women and Shame. The speaker said it was far better to feel guilty than it was to feel shame. Next time you do something that you feel bad about don't say to yourself, "I am stupid (or bad, or whatever)," say "That was a stupid choice I made (or bad choice or whatever)". She said that in her eight years of research, that just that change in mind set makes a big difference. She also said to use the "stupid choice" phrase instead of "you are stupid" to your children. I got her book and will be reading it and when I am finished I will review it. But I wanted to give you a little taste while it was still fresh in my mind.
On the Crochet/knit front This is my first knitting creation. I have named it Vanilla and Chocolate Frosting. It is a scarf and I made it using the knit stitch or garter stitch holding one strand each Vanna's Choice Chocolate and Yarnbee decorative yarn for one half and Vanna's Choice Beige and Yarnbee decorative yarn for the other half. I knitted each color way until I ran out of yarn. I used number 10 needles. Very simple yet very cute, fun and warm.

You could make this with many different color choices and call it strawberries and cream if you used red and white or peaches and cream or I even thought of Neapolitan, using the chocolate and vanilla and then adding some pink and a decorative yarn in between. I don't know why I am mixing yarn and ice cream, but what could be better. Find some yarn in your stash and give this a go. If you make something, send pictures.
I have another blanket for my son's friend on my needles and I have my son's blanket on my hook. Both of these are of a bowling motif that I have created, when I am finished I may publish the patterns, because I could not find anything anywhere that had anything to do with bowling. I do my best yarn work in the bowling center and I am sure there are others out there with this interest.
I am also going to start a cute sweater today for the She-Knits podcast March/April KAL, but I am going to crochet mine so I hope Sharon will open it up to be a KAL/CAL (for my dear sister in law, that is Knit Along and Crochet Along, if you would ever break down and let me teach you how to knit and crochet you would know these things.) I am going to do the Textured Cardi on p. 20 in the March/April 2008 Crochet Today and I am going to use Vanna's Choice Pea Green. I will have links for these things in Favorite-Crochet.
Have a good day and if you are in one of the primary states, GO VOTE!

Monday, March 03, 2008

Have you seen this Jack Nicholson add yet? Supposedly it is to support Hillary, but how could he be serious. There are clips of two of the vilest characters in the movies, the Joker and his character from The Shinning, and we are supposed to feel good and vote for the person the Joker likes. Get real. Is this a plant from someone who wants to get rid of Hillary. And the end line about "saluting" a woman in the morning, this is the Commander and Chief of the strongest military force on the planet and Nicholson wants her to be "saluted" in the morning. As a strong upholder of women's rights, this offends me to no end. Check it out at:

Mind you I am not a Hillary supporter, but this is off the charts bad.

On the Crochet/knit Front I finished a scarf this weekend. I will post more tomorrow after my family goes and votes. This is my sons first election and we are going to make it a family affair, even though after we arrive at the polls I will be going to one primary and my dear son and dear husband will be going to the other. So much for family unity.

On the Green Front I blew it Saturday. I had to make an unexpected trip to Targets and I got 4 plastic bags. You should have seen how much I was making the poor clerk put in a bag. So now my total is 11 for the year. I only have 13 left and this is just the first of March. I am going to make this work and achieve my goal.

Send comments specially if you are in one of the states voting tomorrow. Let us know what it was like at your polling place.


Sunday, March 02, 2008

Sunday Weight Loss Report

I have nothing to report. I am just watching what I eat and trying to exercise 5 days per week. I just completed one of my favorite yoga practice, Hip Tranquil Chick Podcast #92, found at or at itunes. I hope it was enough to clear my head to study Literary Theory.

I want to thinks Amanda, a very dear friend, for her comments on our presidential constitutional discussion. Go back to Friday and read her comment. We are all here to help each other learn because it is only with knowledge that we can move forward and make the right decisions.


Saturday, March 01, 2008

Saturday Morning Book Review

The Little Guide to Your Well-Read Life: How to Get More Out of Books in Your Life and More Live From Your Books by Steve Leveen

This is an amazing little book. I listened to it yesterday and I have so many things I want to do now with my books and my reading. This is the first person I have encountered who feels about and uses audio books the way I do. I am going to do the review a little different today. I am just going to post the notes that I took as I was listening and then I am going to tell you some of my thoughts.

Do you need more time to read and gain a larger life?

Take advantage of audio books

Leveen interviewed people who read to see how they chose their books and how they found time to read.

At mid-life Leveen found that the classics are not dry and hard to read.

There are over six million books in English.

To have lived a well-read life you must be in book love all your life. It is not based on the number of books you read.

You must live your well read life. You must choose the books you read. The right book can change your life and help you change the world.

How to choose a book.

How to create your reading library.

What books to check out of the library and which to buy.

Don't worry, its not too late to read the classics. If you read them when you are older, you bring life experience to your reading.

How to get more out of your reading. Engaged, active reading.

Leave a foot print in a book, write in them (another reason to buy your own books.) This will help you retain what you have read.

Why read a book if you are not going to remember anything from it.

This is an amazing book. Everyone who loves books has got to get this. Even if you don't think you like books you need Leveen's information on audio books alone.

If everyone took this approach to life and reading, I can't help to believe our world would be so much more civilized. You could have a mini book discussion while waiting to check out in the grocery store or waiting in a doctor's office. More people would have read more widely. It would just be great.

Those were my notes while listening. Although this book deals with however you enjoy reading books, I loved Leveen's love of audio books because I share it. My dear son and I found audio books at the beginning of our homeschool adventure. We were going to so many classes and get togethers, we were always in the car and plus we were both reading the same book for what ever book group he was in at the time. I wanted to read the book as well so that he would have someone to talk to about it as he read. You have no idea the joy of discussing a book, any book, with your child. You can use it as a teaching tool about how to live in the world because that is what books bring us. Now that I have returned to school to get my Masters in Literature, I download audio books of everything I am having to read for class. I listen as I read the paper copy and take notes. There is nothing better than listening to Shakespeare read by the Royal Shakespeare Theater or listening to Zora Nell Hurston, read by someone who knows how to make the dialect flow. You just can't get that beauty by reading in your mind. Plus I think the combination of visual, reading along with the paper book, and oral, listening to the audio book, creates a retention that you just can't get any other way. Yesterday when I was listening to this book, I took my knitting to Starbucks, got a cappachino, had my note book and pen at my side and listened, knitted my second sock and made notes. It was so much fun and so relaxing and so inspiring. Do yourself a favor, get this book and read it then get an audio book and try this for yourself. You will thank me.

You can get audio books from Amazon and from and I have added this must read to Favorites-Book Review. You can find out more about this book and Steve Leveen at

Happy, happy reading,