Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Happy Halloween

Yes, I know Halloween was ages ago...we went out of town and I got behind on things.  Still, they looked so cute that I can't resist sharing a late "Happy Halloween" from Little Wolf and Little Ghost:

May you enjoy your myriad mini candy bars for many long months to come!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Merry October!

The following is an excerpt from Rainbow Rowell's book, Attachments.  I do love October.  And this was such a fun book.  I should read it again...
From: Beth Fremont
To: Jennifer Scribner-Snyder
Sent: Thurs, 10/14/1999 11:09 AM
Subject: October, at last!
Callooh! Callay!

<<Jennifer to Beth>> At last? October is half over. And what’s in October anyway?
<<Beth to Jennifer>> Not “what’s in,” what is. October. My favorite month. Which, by the way, has only half begun.
Some find it melancholy. “October,” Bono sings, “and the trees are stripped bare . . .”
Not I. There’s a chill in the air that lifts my heart and makes my hair stand on end. Every moment feels meant for me. In October, I’m the star of my own movie—I hear the soundtrack in my head (right now, it’s “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes”)—and I have faith in my own rising action.
I was born in February, but I come alive in October.
<<Jennifer to Beth>> You’re a nut.
<<Beth to Jennifer>> A hazelnut. A filbert.
October, baptize me with leaves! Swaddle me in corduroy and nurse me with split pea soup. October, tuck tiny candy bars in my pockets and carve my smile into a thousand pumpkins.
O autumn! O teakettle! O grace!
<<Jennifer to Beth>> I do love tiny candy bars.
<<Beth to Jennifer>> Merry October!
<<Jennifer to Beth>> All right, Merry October! Why not?

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

NaNoWriMo 2013

So, yeah, that time of year again.  I'm a registered NaNoWriMo participant and I'm doing some writing, but I'm really not feeling it this year.  I met my word quota the first day of the month, and it was okay.  But then I didn't write at all on the second day, trying to decide if I hated the novel already and ought to start on a different idea before getting too far into the month to turn back.  A whole category of my characters was really creeping me out (and they weren't supposed to be creepy, so that was a bit problematic).  I wrote a little on the third day and had sort of a brainwave on the fourth day, an idea that could save me from dying of boredom if I do continue with this story.  I think I will.  I think I can.  Even if I hate it at the end of the month, it'll be good to have gotten it out of my system because this is a story idea I've been banging around in my brain for years...and I need to eventually write it or move past it.  Or both.  So, onward intrepid novelist, I tell myself.

(On the subject of brains: "Mom, do you have brains?" Essie just now asked me.  I told her I do, but...honestly, they're kind of mushy at the moment.  Very uninspired, dusty little brains.  Oh, well.)

Meanwhile, Millie has entered the Young Writer's Program again this year and she is doing great.  She is over her word count goal every day so far and is actually writing story...remember how last year she spent most of the month describing her characters?  I can't wait to see where her novel goes over the course of thirty days.  Good girl.   

Wednesday, May 29, 2013


Essie's names mean rainbow and star, so I made her a rainbow star quilt.  And it's finally done, thank heavens!

(The star pattern, by the way, is Sparkle Punch by Oh, Fransson! in Fons & Porter's Love of Quilting magazine.)

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Pretty, Pitfall

When Essie was a year old or so, she put her head through the banister railings on our stairs.  And couldn't get it back out.  When she realized she was good and stuck, she screamed bloody murder.  And even though I rushed over to pull her to safety (it was easier to turn her sideways and work her little body through than to try to force her head back the way it came), she took a really long time to calm down.  It was one of the few instances of true terror I've really seen in her; she's been pretty gutsy when it comes to climbing and jumping from inappropriate objects and other physical things that make me wince to watch.  And even though it was traumatic, an experience she Did Not Enjoy, you wanna know what she did?  After I finally got her to calm down and take a breath and notice that she was, in fact, still in the land of the living?

She went back to the stairs, slowly, almost like she was in a trance. She took hold of the railings in her little hands and started to pull her head closer...and closer...and closer in slow motion.  It was almost hypnotizing to watch.  She just could not stop herself.  So I did.  It's a lot of work to console a terrified one-year-old, and I didn't feel a particularly great urge to do it again so soon after the first time.  I think somewhere deep down she was probably grateful (if a one-year-old can be grateful...maybe not) to not go through the experience again.

So, this was two years ago.  Why am I writing about it now?  Because I suddenly realized I am just like that.  I used to sew.  Somewhere along the line I started to understand something about sewing: I don't really enjoy doing it.  I have been reduced to tears and stirred to rage by my sewing machine on more than one occasion.  Once I sewed right over my finger and had to stop and disassemble my machine before I could pull the needle out.  I've cut myself with my rotary cutter and only narrowly escaped spraying blood all over my sewing project.  I've often pondered whether I might enjoy sewing more if I had a dedicated space for it, somewhere I could leave it all spread out and just close the door on it and come back later when I needed to.  But I've just got my dining room table and the growing suspicion that a separate sewing space might not even make that big a difference.  And yet...I just cannot stop myself.

Remember my goal to do things this year that I really enjoyed?  I was doing well with that, truly, until we bought a set of used bunk beds on Craigslist for the girls and suddenly, like I was in a trance, maybe even in slow motion, I set aside my knitting and my writing (I'm actually well ahead on my read-a-book-a-week goal, so that one's fine), and started sewing!  Because I made a quilt for Millie when she got her first twin bed, and Essie was going to get the same, come what may.

Let me be clear.  I love giving a homemade gift to my girl.  I even love the quilt (or I will...it's not done yet) and I'm glad she'll have it.  From me.  Especially for her.  But someone please stop me next time, m'kay?  Or we'll have to go through all this again, and who wants that?  Talk me down from those stairs, distract me with some other bright, pretty thing.  I'll be grateful.

In the meantime, here is a peek at the (wrinkly, blurry) quilt top.  Still have to quilt and bind it, though (praaaay for that part to go quick, please, if you love me.)

Friday, May 3, 2013

Harry and Basilisk

I have some catching up to do here, don't I?  For now, though, it's just...Harry and the Basilisk, by Millie:


Harry looks how I'd feel if I was faced with a giant serpent spraying blood and gore from its eyes while trying to impale me on its poisonous fangs.  Ginny seems to be dreaming happily enough, though.  Small mercies, I guess.

Monday, February 4, 2013

The Raven

Another poem on YouTube...I don't know anything about these people, but I do like their version of The Raven, by Poe, quite a lot: