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Archive for September 2008

The Book of Art for Young People, Chapter 2

September 29th, 2008 — 8:33am

The Book of Art for Young People, by Agnes Ethel Conway and Sir Martin Conway
First published in 1909. Read by Kara Shallenberg.

Chapter 2: The Thirteenth Century in Europe


Before we give our whole attention to the first picture, of which the original was painted in England in 1377, let us imagine ourselves in the year 1200 making a rapid tour through the chief countries of Europe to see for ourselves how the people lived. The first thing that will strike us on our journey is the contrast between the grandeur of the churches and public buildings and the insignificance of most of the houses.

Come back next Monday for chapter 3!

(Impatient? Get the entire audio book for free here:

6 comments » | Audiobooks, Blog

Kathy’s stole: in progress

September 28th, 2008 — 12:37pm

Pattern: The Travelling Roses pattern for the main motif and an edging to be decided later. I’d love some edging suggestions! I re-charted the pattern with my favorite symbols (I’ll post that chart later) and am working three repeats across. It’s a 44-row pattern and rather complex in places (those rosettes!) and I haven’t been able to memorize it yet like I did the easy Print o’ the Wave pattern, so it’s slow going and no good for TV knitting or not-feeling-well knitting, which is why I haven’t made quite the progress I’d have liked to. But it’s so pretty! :)

Kathy (my lovely and gracious elder sister who will have a birthday soon!) chose Knitpicks Shadow yarn in the Midnight color. It’s just beautiful — very dark blackish-blue with just the faintest fleeting hint of purple and green when the light hits it right. Very elegant.

After three lengthwise repeats I did a rough blocking to make sure it’d be wide enough:


Looking good, eh Kath? :)

1 comment » | Blog, Handmade

Friday and Saturday

September 28th, 2008 — 10:48am

We celebrated Henry’s birthday on Friday (the day before his actual birthday), since he spends the weekends with his dad. Sally took him for a trail ride in Julian in the morning, so while they were gone I made him his favorite peppermint-chocolate cookies. When he got home we gave him his presents, which he liked, and then he and I played his new board game, Ingenious (great game!), and then I went to the dentist for my post-op checkup. My mouth is healing up fine. When I got home we all watched the new episode of The Office together, and then part of the new Survivor before Henry’s dad came to pick him up. A very nice day :)

Yesterday (Saturday) I played around on and did a French lesson and German lesson. Very cool site! I also corrected another 100 English sentences for Alexandre in Brazil and worked on the sleeves of my Hermia sweater:


Chloe came over in the evening and we started watching Mad Men from the very beginning and I stayed up wayyyyyy too late and I’m really tired today, ugh. But it was so much fun!

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Happy Birthday Henry!!!!

September 27th, 2008 — 10:16am

Happy 13th birthday Henry! You’re the greatest!

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No lace, Mrs. Bennet.

September 22nd, 2008 — 12:47pm

Feeling really wretched today. My mouth hurts and I just feel completely exhausted and wrung out, and I must have slept funny because my whole left shoulder/neck hurts. Bah.

I felt well enough to knit yesterday so I made a lot of progress on Hermia:

Worked the lace while watching Mad Men all day, and worked the hem while we watched a couple episodes of Season Two of Life On Mars (John Simm. Yum.). I split the yarn in half for the underside of the hem to reduce bulk, and instead binding off I just sewed down the live stitches. When the lace peplum is blocked I think it will have a nice swing.

Dan went out and brought me two tubs of mashed potatoes from Boston Market for dinner last night ’cause I’d finished my big homemade pot of soup and my carton of creamy tomato/roasted pepper soup from Trader Joe’s. He also took my iMac in to the applestore on Saturday because it developed a vertical blue line on the monitor. And we had three days left on the warranty. *whew* Apple has given me a new power supply and a new logic board for that computer, and now I think they’re giving me a new screen. Always buy Applecare.

I watched the 1985 BBC Pride and Prejudice miniseries on Saturday. It was really great! I liked the whole cast very much except for Mister Darcy, who was just thoroughly unappealing. And Lady Catherine de Burgh wasn’t much to write home about. But everyone else was very well-cast and I even preferred this Mrs. Bennet to the 1995 Mrs. Bennet.

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The Book of Art for Young People, Chapter 1

September 22nd, 2008 — 8:18am

The Book of Art for Young People, by Agnes Ethel Conway and Sir Martin Conway
First published in 1909. Read by Kara Shallenberg.

Chapter 1: Introduction


Now, the old pictures you see in the picture galleries are just like that, only the people that painted them didn’t invent the stories but merely illustrated stories which, at the time those painters lived, every one knew. Some of the stories were true and some were just a kind of fairy tale, and it didn’t matter to the painters, and it doesn’t matter to us, which was true and which wasn’t. The only thing that matters is whether the story is a good one and whether the picture is a nice one.

Come back next Monday for chapter 2!

(Impatient? Get the entire audio book for free here:

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September 19th, 2008 — 4:30pm

two wisdom teeth out today.

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Helen’s Babies, Part 12

September 15th, 2008 — 8:00am

Helen’s Babies by John Habberton, Part 12

Helen’s Babies, Part 12

Read by me!

And that’s the last chapter of Helen’s Babies. I hope enjoyed listening to it as much as I enjoyed recording it! Next Monday I’ll begin posting chapters from The Book of Art for Young People, a wonderful book about art history.

4 comments » | Audiobooks, Blog


September 14th, 2008 — 1:30pm

I’ve been coughing for a week now, and feeling really rundown so I’m not getting much done. Mostly I’ve been sitting around, watching Mad Men, and knitting.

I finished Dan’s laptop bag:

ravelry page

and Susan’s stole:
ravelry page

and I spent my Home and Hobby Special Award gift certificate on enough (I hope) Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece to make Alison Green Will’s Hermia for myself. Got started last night:
ravelry page

I think my cough is a bit better today, actually. Maybe I’m finally on the mend.

1 comment » | Blog, Handmade

Helen’s Babies, Part 11

September 8th, 2008 — 7:59am

Helen’s Babies by John Habberton, Part 11

Helen’s Babies, Part 11

Read by me!

(Impatient? Get the entire audio book here:

2 comments » | Audiobooks, Blog


September 5th, 2008 — 10:02am

Ugh, I feel rotten today, stuffy and coughing and whatnot. But at least I don’t have to go anywhere (if my family can just eat whatever is lingering in the fridge) or do anything important.

1 comment » | Blog

just stuffy

September 4th, 2008 — 5:00pm

My throat is a lot better, yay! In fact it’s only barely tender. Now my head is a bit stuffy, but I’d take a stuffy head over a sore throat any time. I’ve been using my neti pot several times a day, so maybe that’s why the sore throat got better so fast. Or maybe it was just a mild case of whatever-it-was. Anyway I think my neti pot is easing the stuffiness a bit, too.

Today we drove up to Henry’s charter school to meet with our consultant and pick his classes. He’s really happy that he gets to take two whole days of classes this year. He chose Science, American History through Interactive Activites, Creative Writing, Art and Music through the Ages, Musical Theater, Math, Student Government, “Games of Life” (life skills), and Health & Fitness.

You know you picked the right school when your kid looks forward to going back and wishes summer vacation was shorter :)

When we got back down to San Diego, we went to the Studio Diner and shared a peanut butter milkshake to celebrate the start of the school year, and then we went to the Mysterious Galaxies bookstore so Henry could buy the next Stephanie Meyer book, Eclipse. Then when we got home, I hung up a couple loads of laundry, cleaned up, dealt with ants, and played Agricola with Henry. We tied! He had a six-room stone house with five family members and I only had three clay rooms and four family members, but I had a fireplace and an oven and a pottery. I took a quick picture just before we started to tally up the scores:


As you can see, one of our house rules is that we give ourselves four extra turns (the face-down green cards). The game just feels so short otherwise! There are no new actions for those turns. We also played the pooled Occupations and Minor Improvements variation (seven of each in a common pool, restocked when a card is used), which worked well. Fun!

And now I have to go create some kind of dinner.

3 comments » | Blog

September 2nd, 2008 — 8:29pm

Chloe just let me know that has more than just a vocab quiz now — they have languages, art history, chemistry, math, and more. I tried German and it was too easy — zoomed right up to lvl 10 and stayed there until I got bored. Art History was easy up to about lvl 8, but then they started throwing non-European painters into the mix — but then there were a few in a row that I remembered from Art History classes and I got up to lvl 9!


Remember, for ever answer you get right they donate 20 grains of rice to the UN World Food Program. I’m glad Chloe reminded me about this site, ’cause I’m sitting here watching dumb TV and feeling rotten, so I might as well play web games for rice.


OK, I hate to brag, but hey I just got to lvl 10!


4 comments » | Blog

Sore throat

September 2nd, 2008 — 10:16am

I felt run-down all weekend and things didn’t taste right, and then last night i noticed that my throat had that dry scratchy feeling. And sure enough, came down with a bad sore throat in the night. Sigh. But Henry came home this morning from his long weekend in Colorado at a Morris Dancing event with his dad, so he’s here to keep me company. We’re playing with the WiiWare Aquarium (well worth the $5!).

Here’s a nice blogpost about LibriVox from a Catholic news site:

Librivox is a non-commercial, non-profit and ad-free project in which volunteers record audio versions of public domain books, and then release those recordings into the public domain. It’s a loose-knit, chummy bunch of folks who are so laid-back that it’s amazing that they have recorded hundreds of books for enjoyment by anyone who can play an mp3.

Read the post and see their LV recommendations here:

3 comments » | Blog

Happy Birthday Ken!

September 2nd, 2008 — 9:57am

Happy birthday Ken! Love you, hope you have a good day! Keep saving those endangered animals.


2 comments » | Blog

Helen’s Babies, Part 10

September 1st, 2008 — 7:58am

Helen’s Babies by John Habberton, Part 10

Helen’s Babies, Part 10

Read by me!

(Impatient? Get the entire audio book here:

Comment » | Audiobooks, Blog

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