Monday, April 30, 2012

knitting shenanigans

Last week my cousin was posting about knitting on her blog, which got me thinking about when I learned how to knit.
That was a long time ago, and I have fallen out of practice.
In fact, I never really graduated beyond washcloths and scarves. >_>
This is frustrating to remember, because I have so many things I would much rather knit than buy.
Like socks.
And washcloths and scarves, I guess, but since I already know how to make those...
Anyway, I purchased some yarn, a new set of size 10 needles (because I cannot figure out where my other ones ended up), and a little book for beginner knitters. The book is the best, because it actually has photos, and tells me how to decipher other knitting patterns. Win!

Saturday was a cold, dreary, and rainy day, so I situated myself on the couch with my new knitting things, a cup of coffee, and the television remote. Tarzan was on, so I watched that while I set about relearning how to knit.

After watching Tarzan, the Titanic mini-series, and the Royal Wedding, I had succeeded in completing a lovely little scarf for my sister Heidi! She loves blue and brown together, and there happened to be a skein of yarn that was these two colors, so it worked out perfectly. I hope she likes it. :)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

[gardening post no.1]

It may be a tad early to be planting much here in Wisconsin, but I thought I'd at least start a few herbs. In the past, I have always managed to kill what I try to grow when it comes to herbs, but I think that has to do with forgetting about them...
Hopefully, now that I have my own house, my memory will work better.
Or something of that sort.


Do you know what is an excellent use for old coffee cans?
Poking holes in the bottom of them and using them as pots!
Considering my husband and I drink a lot of coffee, I'm pretty sure I'm saving myself some money.

Just use a screwdriver and a hammer to pound some well-spaced holes into the bottom of the cans for drainage!

I have three other cute pots that I bought at Kmart the other day, so I used those, as well. I had six coffee cans, but I only used three of them for right now. I didn't have quite enough potting soil, plus I didn't want to plant everything and then, well...kill them. Blah.

So I planted the seeds of six herbs out of the many that I purchased.

Here is what I planted:
  • Spearmint
  • Stevia
  • Cilantro
  • Oregano
  • Sweet Basil
  • Cress
I have plenty of others to try out, but I had to start somewhere.

They all need full sun, so the deck is a great place for them. I'll have to bring them inside at night still, but hopefully not for long.

This is my favorite pot:

I planted the spearmint in here, since of course I'll probably use it to make tea. :)

Also, I adore my pink metal watering can.


Like I said, I sincerely hope and pray that these herbs grow well. I probably ought to invest in a "growing light" to put them (and other plants) under when I bring them inside, since there really isn't a place in the house that gets full sunlight other than in the late afternoon.


"I never had any other desire so strong, and so like to covetousness, as that one which I have had always, that I might be master at last of a small house and a large Garden."  ~Abraham Cowley, The Garden, 1666

Monday, April 23, 2012

[we only watch British television and old movies now]

Hi, long time no see.
Last time I signed into Blogger, I read the announcement about the design change that was coming for the "Dashboard" part of it. Now I find that it has changed and I DON'T LIKE IT ONE BIT.
It's more confusing than it was before.
Oh hey, kind of like Facebook.

Never mind that.
I'm almost serious about the title of this post. There's not much American television I like anyway, though there are a few shows I love, like Once Upon a Time, Switched at Birth, and Bones. Other than that, we tend to watch Doctor Who, Red Dwarf, Keeping Up Appearances, Mr. Bean, and other shows like that
Of course, one cannot forget the always stunning Masterpiece Theatre, especially the Classic part. Downton Abbey is my favorite, and last night I watched part one of Birdsong, which takes place before and during WWI. It was absolutely excellent, though I'm not sure how I feel about Eddie Redmayne playing Lieutenant Stephen Raysford . He always looks vacant and it's kind of weird. Clemence Poesy, who played Fleur Delacour in Harry Potter, is wonderful as the French woman Wraysford has an affair with. So far, having seen part one, I can say this is definitely not for younger viewers, as there is some graphic war violence and sexual scenes, and I would imagine next week's episode will be the same way. The make of this film might bother some people, because it appears to move through the scenes rather fast, with very little dialogue at some points, and an almost exclusively piano soundtrack, but it made me think somewhat of Scorsese's adaptation of Edith Wharton's novel The Age of Innocence. Something about the aura, I guess.
Other than that, I tend to watch a lot of Turner Classic Movies. Rarely have I watched something on there that I didn't like. It's probably my favorite channel.

I'd tell you what I'm reading, but that would infringe upon what I wrote on my book blog earlier today!


Since Mother Nature can't seem to make up her mind, I haven't done much gardening yet, though my purple tulips that I planted last fall look beautiful! I might mow the grass this afternoon, too, but I want to pick the myriad dandelion heads first. Maybe. I have a recipe for Dandelion Wine and I feel like trying it. Though I don't have all the ingredients yet, so maybe mowing will have to wait.

I have a lot of empty coffee cans that I am going to turn into pots for the herbs I'm going to plant, and I bought three cutesy pots yesterday, once of which is a huge teacup. I think I'll plant the chamomile in there!

My vegetable garden needs a lot of work...I can't even see the dirt for all the weeds. Eugh. Not looking forward to tackling that. Thankfully, I have plenty of time, since I don't want to plant my veggies for another month yet.


I had intended to include photos with this post, but perhaps I'll add them later, since I haven't actually taken any yet. Oops.

I hope April has treated you well. After all,

April is the cruelest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
- - - T. S. Eliot "The Waste Land"

[another unexcused absence]

Who reads this blog anyway?
No one, just me.
So I don't know what the point is.
Currently I don't have any excuse not to update this blog regularly, though, so I suppose I'll do my best and hopefully get at least a few followers.
That last bit is unlikely. :/


Guten tag, everyone! I realize that I never did get around to reviewing The Hunger Games trilogy, but time got away from me as I was planing my wedding and trying to move all my effects (mostly books...) to Wisconsin. That was quite a chore, whew! But, as this is not my personal blog, I will stick to books.
What I will say about The Hunger Games and its subsequent books is this: the first book was excellent and I couldn't put it down, so enthralled was I by the tale and Katniss' views on it. Actually, I just loved Katniss. What a strong female character! Her name was perfect, too. Catching Fire was equal to its prequel, but Mockingjay seemed to me to fall short by the end. I read all three books in rapid succession without putting them down except to continue normal life functions, but by the time I reached the end, I realized the ending just wasn't what I hoped would happen. I have felt this way before about other books, but I don't know. I probably should read the trilogy again, especially since I have yet to see the film (which I don't have high hopes for, but there's a post on my personal blog about that kind of thing).
Maybe once I've reread the books, I'll feel differently. At any rate, I'll be able to give more clear reasons as to why I felt this way, since I can't really remember why at this point.


All right, so I obviously read more books between reading The Hunger Games last summer and now. I'm having difficulty remembering what I read, though I do remember reading The Time Traveler's Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger, last December. But of course, that was after my wedding. My head has been a little clearer since then. I probably did some rereading of favorite books or something like that. I can't remember, though I wish I had kept a better record. That's what this blog was for, by the way.
Funny how that didn't work out.

This year, however, I have been blissfully reading almost nonstop. Seriously. Not being in college anymore has finally given me the time to "catch up" on missed reading opportunities from the last five years. Yep. I'm enjoying it immensely, especially since the weather hasn't been all that nice yet. When the weather does finally get nice, I might try some audiobooks so that I can still basically read while I do yardwork. (They work well for housework, too!)

Okay, so what have I been reading this year?
Well, here is the complete list of what I've read since 2012 began.

One trip to the library found me checking out these:

  • Lolita, by Vladimir Nabokov (Strange, but good. I like his writing style quite a lot.)
  • The Camel Bookmobile, by Masha Hamilton (Excellent novel about introducing literacy to African bush tribes. I seriously loved this book. It only took me a day to read.)
  • Island of Wings, by Karin Altenburg (I can't say enough about this book! So I won't say much. It's historical fiction, based on true life missionaries that went to the outermost part of the Hebrides, St. Kilda, in the 1830s. Of course, now there is yet another place on my travel list!)
  • The Girl With No Shadow, by Joanne Harris. (This is the sequel to Chocolat, which I adored, so of course I had to pick this up! It takes place in Paris and is as lovely a modern fairytale as anyone could ask for. I want so badly to visit Paris, and this book reinforced that feeling....)
  • Memoirs of a Geisha, by Arthur Golden. (Lyrical, beautiful, and compelling. This book took me almost a week to read, since it's rather long, but I was in love with it the entire time. It has made me want to learn more about the life of geisha in Japan. Also, the film does not do it justice. It's choppy and doesn't make much sense.)
 The above books were all really good; the only one I had planned on checking out that day was Lolita, the rest were just really lucky finds!

I went to the library again last week and here are the books I will be reading next:

  • A Game of Thrones, by George R.R. Martin (Already started this, and so far I'm not super enthralled or anything, but it is definitely promising. Besides, fantasy is my first love when it comes to reading.)
  • The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern (I feel like this was inspired by Ray Bradbury's Something Wicked This Way Comes, so I'm probably going to have a lot of preconceived ideas about this particular novel, since I love, love, love, Bradbury. Anyway. It looks good.)
  • City of Bones and City of Ashes, by Cassandra Clare. (I haven't read any YA supernatural fiction in kind of a while, other than The Second Life of Bree Tanner by Stephenie Meyer which almost doesn't count because it's Twilight related, so...yeah. People on Tumblr love Cassandra Clare, and these were in at the library, so I guess that's reason enough.)
  • The Host, by Stephenie Meyer. (Okay, yeah, I know. But this isn't Twilight related, and it's technically an adult novel. I want to see if she's actually a good writer, since Twilight isn't that great, story or writing. [Yes, I liked them, but they're my "fluff" reading.] The premise of this one is intriguing, too.)

Apparently I was on a historical fiction kick during my first visit to the library and the second time it was back to fantasy. Interesting. I suppose the first book I pick up will always have some bearing on what else I check out.

I am also reading through the Bible, which sadly fell by the wayside...I need to keep up on this!!! I have no excuses. At least not good ones. The other book I am slogging my way through is The German Genius, by Peter Watson. I'm only maybe 150 pages in, and it's almost 1000 pages long. But I figured maybe I should try reading some nonfiction again, and my husband had bought this last year sometime. After he bought it, it sat on the shelf in the living room looking all enticing and interesting and since he wasn't reading it yet, I decided to.
Then, of course, I got a Kindle.
And went to the library.
Don't get me wrong, going to the library wasn't a mistake or anything, but I have so many books to read already!!!!! Speaking of which, I just bought a signed copy of The Fault in Our Stars, by John Green, which is another wildly popular YA novel about dealing with cancer, so I will probably read that after A Game of Thrones. It will probably only take a day anyway.

Whew, that was a loooooonnnnnnnng post. Sorry about that.
Now, I will positively try to remember to review A Game of Thrones when I finish it.
Thank you and have a good day.