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Archive for June 2008

Helen’s Babies, Part 1

June 30th, 2008 — 12:47pm

Helen’s Babies, by John Habberton

A new recording for you to listen too! This one is really funny. It’s probably a little funnier to teens and grownups, but I think kids will enjoy it too. I could hardly keep from laughing aloud while I was recording this one.

In this hilarious novel, Harry Burton, a bachelor white-goods salesman, goes to take care of his sister Helen’s two little boys for ten days while she and her husband are out of town. Helen says, “The children won’t give you the slightest trouble; they’re the best children in the world!” but, as you can imagine, Toddie and Budge are always up to something, and all sorts of comic mischief ensues. It just so happens that there’s a lovely young lady in the neighborhood whom Harry admires very much, but she always seems to be passing by when he’s deep in some terrible mess of the boys’ making… (Summary by Kara)

Helen’s Babies, Part 1

I’ll post another part here every Monday, but if you can’t wait just go to the catalog page and download the whole thing:

2 comments » | Audiobooks, Blog

Two Good Movies

June 30th, 2008 — 12:40pm

Yesterday Henry and I watched two very good movies. First was Murder on the Orient Express, the one with the all-star cast including Albert Finney, Ingrid Bergman, Lauren Bacall, Anthony Perkins, Sean Connery, Vanessa Redgrave, Michael York (Basil Exposition!), and many other faces you’d certainly recognize. I’d seen it years ago and of course read the book so I knew whodunnit, and Henry guessed before the end. We prefer David Suchet to Albert Finney as Poirot, but Finney was plenty good enough. I thought Ingrid Bergman was stunning in every one of her scenes. She’s truly an amazing actress. The only thing I don’t like about that movie is the goofy, annoying soundtrack, especially in the “train rushing through the snowy countryside” scenes. Ugh. But other than that, a fine and very entertaining movie!

Then, in the evening, we watched the 1990 Hamlet starring Kevin Kline (my name is Otto, it means “eight”) as Hamlet. It was very good. Though I found a lot of the cast competent but unremarkable, Kevin Kline was excellent and practically carried the whole play. What a great actor he is! Gertrude and Horatio were also strong and convincing but Ophelia was ghastly. We turned her down. We were more-or-less gripped for three solid hours. Hooray for Shakespeare!

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My Prize

June 26th, 2008 — 11:53am

One my entires in the Home and Hobby section of the fair, the lace scarf I designed, won not only first place but also a special donated award from a local yarn store (Common Threads, in Encinitas)! Yesterday was the Home and Hobby Award Ceremony at the fair. Henry and I had planned to go all day so I could enter the one-day Nimble Fingers knitting contest at 1, and then go to the award ceremony at 4, but neither one of us got enough sleep on Tuesday night and we both felt pretty crappy yesterday, so we decided to just head up at 2:30 to get there in time for the ceremony.

We got there in plenty of time and found the place, the rather fancy Turf Club on the fourth floor of the grandstand over the Fine Arts display. Chloe and Bob decided to meet us there, which was really sweet, since there was nothing particularly exciting or entertaining about it :) We had a printed program telling the names of all the special prize winners — Best of Show, Best of Division, Special Awards, and Donated Awards.

A trio of Home and Hobby ladies read the names off and handed out the prizes, and although there were a lot of names to go through it only took about half an hour for the whole thing. They mentioned that Donated Awards were special because a representative comes from whatever store donates the award and decides who wins that award, so it’s independent of the Fair’s judging process. And Common Threads chose just me and one other person. Oh, my prize is a $50 gift certificate to the store! They sell lots of lovely yarn, of course, and also knitting books and supplies, so it will be no trouble at all to spend that $50. And the fair sends either $10 or $15 for first prize (can’t remember) so that’s even more yarn money. Yay!

After that we all went to the infield and saw Henry’s collection and watched the Turkey Stampede, which was hilarious, and the we found food and sat in the shade and waited for the Hypnotist’s show, which was even better than usual, since he had some new material this year. And then Henry and I came home and went to bed, we were SO tired! But we got a ton of sleep last night so we both feel good today and we cleaned the house this morning.

4 comments » | Blog

Friendship Bracelets

June 22nd, 2008 — 5:26pm

Henry and I saw some friendship-bracelet-type things at the fair, and I told him we could make them ourselves. On Friday I googled and found a fantastic website: He’s got a basic tutorial to refresh your memory (how long has it been since you made a friendship bracelet??) and then a ton of patterns and techniques, and even a make-your-own-pattern generator thing! So Henry and I had a great time making some bracelets and I’m sure we’ll be making lots more. It’s a nice summer craft.

4 comments » | Handmade

Hot hot hot

June 22nd, 2008 — 5:04pm

Yesterday was a scorcher — 98 degrees outdoors and 92 indoors. Don’t believe me? See for yourself:


I sat in the shade in the backyard, stuck my feet in a bucket of cold water, and read for hours. It was nicer outside than in because of the breeze. Finished The Year 1000 and started 1215: The Year of Magna Carta, both excellent books.

Last Thursday, Chloe and Henry and I went to the fair again in the evening. So much fun :) There was a nice lady in the Gems and Minerals building wholet us sift through a tub of sand for pretty rocks, and she told us all about what we found and let us keep a rock:


And we walked through the cow barn:


And saw the sheep and goats, too, and watched the horseshow. We saw five-gaited saddlebreds! I’ve read about them but never seen them in action. Very cool to see the slow-gait and the rack! Oh, we saw a harness competition too, with only two entrants.

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The Fair!

June 16th, 2008 — 9:37am

Henry and Dan and I went to the Fair for a few hours last night, got there around five and stayed till around eight. I love the fair, and Henry does too. I don’t think Dan loves it quite as much as we do, but he does enjoy the crazy fair food a lot! :) We went up to Home and Hobby first and found out that, although my Cobblestone Cardigan didn’t win anything,


my Leftover Laceweight Scarf won first prize and also a donated prize from a local yarn store. There’s an award ceremony on Wednesday the 25th, so I’ll find out what my special prize is then. So exciting! My knitting has won a few 1sts and 2nds, but never anything extra.


We stopped by the yearbook competition and saw that Bayshore’s yearbook won 3rd! Yay Bayshore!


The we saw the Design in Wood building, and then we went over to the Kids’ Best tent and saw Henry’s Dragon Collection, which won 1st prize! Yay Henry!


Then we went over to the slicer-dicer tents so Henry could buy a cool leather bracelet that he spotted on Saturday when his dad took him to the fair, then we went over to the photography display, and by then it was nearly 8 and we were worn out so we came home, and then Henry and I popped over to Bob and Chloe’s house for a bit and watched “Barberland“, a great documentary on barbers and barbershops. Really, it was fascinating and very touching, and there was a marvelous mix of accents among the elderly barbers they interviewed. Highly recommended. Barbering is an ancient and dying art. Support your local barber!

It is so nice to be feeling better. A couple of weeks ago I couldn’t have managed the Fair at all.

2 comments » | Blog

Feeling better, YAY

June 15th, 2008 — 11:54am

I’m finally feeling a lot better, whew. I just have a slight little cough, not bothersome at all. And I think my thyroid situation is beginning to even out. I have a little more energy lately and I feel like doing things again!

Henry’s Guys and Dolls performance last Tuesday went beautifully. He was so awesome! I was incredibly proud of the entire cast, and grateful to their teacher, Karen, for helping them shine. I’ll post photos as soon as I get around to sorting through them.

I finished the Baby Surprise Jacket last week. It only took a couple of days to knit and was so much fun. Now I understand why everyone knits them over and over. The shaping is so very entertaining, and when people come over to admire your work you can ask them what they think it is and no one will guess — and then you do your two little folds and presto! Baby jacket!


(lots of in-progress photos on flicker and ravelry)

The yarn is Knitpicks’ Shine Sport, a cotton/modal blend (modal is beech fiber) and was just lovely to work with, and machine washable and dryable! I tumble-dried it until it was barely damp, then patted it into shape to block it. I used almost all of three 50-gram balls on #3 needles.

And I finished Mom’s striped socks:
(that photo is a bit washed out. The real green is a nice grass-green)

They’re made with Knitpicks’ Essential sock yarn, which is the only Knitpicks yarn I’ve ever used that I don’t love 100%. It has a funny, almost slippery feeling in my fingers. But oh well, it’s a nice inexpensive superwash wool/nylon sock yarn anyway.

I have more things to say but will save them for another post!

2 comments » | Blog, Handmade

trying to get better

June 9th, 2008 — 9:39am

Still sick (at the coughing up gunk phase, and boy does my throat hurt from all that coughing), but it’s Monday and I don’t have to drive anywhere or do anything major today, so maybe I can just rest and try to get better. Last week was so busy.

Thursday it was Henry’s big school day (9-2:30 and I sat at school and waited since gas is too expensive for me to drive home and then back again to pick him up), an oil change at Danny’s house, and then at night we went to a musical (Crazy For You) at the Starlight ’cause we had already bought tickets in advance and we decided we felt just barely well enough to go. It was fun, but boy were we tired afterwards.

Friday I did the grocery shopping, a million errands, and an oil change for Dan.

Saturday all three of us went up to Vista for an all-day homeschool archery tournament at Margaret’s ranch. Dan took photos, Henry had a marvelous time and won a make-your-own-arrow craft kit, and I sat in the shade and knitted and coughed. Again, fun but tiring.

Sunday was Henry’s dress rehearsal up at school for his performance of Guys and Dolls. More driving, more sitting around and knitting and coughing. It was fun to watch the rehearsal, though. It was a disaster (dress rehearsals are always a disaster, aren’t they?) but I’m sure the show will come together nicely. I’m really proud of Henry — he knew all his lines, has great stage presence, keeps his head up, has a nice clear voice and great diction so you can actually understand what he’s saying! Also he sings in tune.

So anyway today, I hope, I get to just lie on the couch and try to get better. In the last few days I finished mom’s green and black socks and started a Baby Surprise Jacket for a soon-to-arrive baby niece. It was going to be a Tomten jacket but all that garter stitch was boring me, so I switched to a BSJ, which at least has lots of interesting shaping. I’ll post photos later.

5 comments » | Blog

sick. sigh.

June 4th, 2008 — 9:11am

Yeah I felt tired and awful all weekend and then woke up in the middle of Monday night with a sore throat. Sigh. But by Tuesday afternoon it was just scratchy, so I think it’ll get better fast. This morning it’s still scratchy, but I think I feel a bit less awful.

Last night we watched the season finale of The Tudors. The actress who plays Anne Boleyn, Natalie Dormer, is really amazing! Anyway, very enjoyable show and looking forward to more in 2009. I think they’ll have to squeeze in more than one wife per season from now on, though, ’cause none of them are as interesting as the whole Anne Boleyn situation, or maybe they’ll rush through the rest of Henry VIII and get on to Bloody Mary. She should make good TV. Also watched the first episode of Season 3 of The Venture Brothers (to cheer us up after poor Anne’s execution). Hilarious, awesome show.

And my knitpicks order arrived! Yarn for four gifts — Wool of the Andes for a felted laptop bag for Dan, enough Shadow for two Print o’ the Wave stoles, and Shine Sport for a little Tomten jacket for Tab’s baby. I cast on for the Tomten last night and the Shine Sport is lovely to work with. I was a little bit worried… I don’t enjoy working with cotton yarn, but Shine Sport is cotton blended with modal (beech fiber) and it’s very nice indeed. Also got a #3 wooden circ and #9 wooden tips. And the total was just over $50! Yay knitpicks! That’s my whole fun-money allowance for June, but hey, it’s four new projects to work on and four nice handmade gifts for people I love.

2 comments » | Blog

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