Thursday, January 12, 2012

What I'm Reading

Every night before I go to sleep I spend 15 minutes to a half hour reading something.  Anything.  Lots of things.  I just cannot hit the pillow and drift off unless I'm super tired.  So I read until my eyes start closing, turn off the light and sleep.

I tried making a list of all the books I've read in the past year.  I went to a site called Library Thing and used their search function to list the authors and books I've read in the last decade, and topped out the 200 things you can put in for free.  If you want to list more you have to pay.  So that ended that.

On my nightstand right now:  Nights in Rodanthe, The Woman Who Heard Color, Legacy of Ashes - the History of the CIA, and V is for Vengance.  I started The Woman Who Heard Color but the beginning is kind of choppy, so that one sits while I read Legacy of Ashes.  I'm holding V is for Vengance for next week.  Then today a guy at work stopped by my office with a Steve Berry novel, asking if I'd like to read it.  Historical Fiction, you bet!  I can read several things at once and keep them straight.  If something gets juicy or really interesting I'll read that until it's done, but I'm good at multi-tasking.

My favorite types of books are (in no particular order) biographies, mysteries, detective novels, historical fiction, history, drama and comedy.  I think I've read everything Agatha Christie wrote, and nearly everything by Robert B Parker and James Lee Burke.  I love the victorian novels of Anne Perry and the ones by Elizabeth Perry, and I don't think they're related.  And Dick Francis wrote the best novels ever about horse racing.  I read Julia Child's bio before they made it into a movie. I've read all the Harry Potters, all the Nancy Drews, and all the Anne of Green Gables too.

Did I mention I like books about sewing and knitting?  Oh yeah, I love those, shelves and shelves of them.  I have two five-shelf bookshelves of books about crafting.  Embroidery, quilting, garment sewing, applique, knitting hats and mittens and scarves and on and on and on!  When someone I know needs a reference book, I probably have it.  I do use them, probably not as frequently as I should.  However, I did teach  myself to knit socks, do redwork and Sashiko embroidery, and Hawaiian Quilting, all with books I own.

I'm passing on the love of books to the grands.  They all get books from me for birthdays and Christmas, and I buy them books I can read to them and with them.  They love reading together.  I tell them "reading makes you beautiful".

I love book books, real books with paper pages.  I was given the gift of a Kindle when they first came out with the small version.  I like the size of it, and it beats lugging a bunch of books around on airplanes and car trips.   Sometimes the Kindle version of a book is free or less than the price of the paperback.  Sometimes the idea of a pile of books is nice and other times not so much.  On the Kindle at present I am reading the Biography of Benjamin Franklin, The Egyptian Cat Mystery, Here We Go Again by Betty White, and the Bible. 

I don't mind used books.  I buy used books quite frequently.  Downtown Books in Milwaukee has an awesome selection, as do a few other places.  And after all, the words are the same the 19th time they're read as they were the first time.

The library is also a good place to get books -- that is, if your card is current.  I have to check on mine, I think it may have expired.  Besides, they want you to bring those books BACK!

Here's my favorite quote about books:  Outside of a dog, man's best friend is a book.  Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.
Elizabeth Kubler Ross

Elizabeth Kubler Ross was a psychiatrist who was driven to work with children with HIV and with the dying.  She was a pioneer in the field of hospice care.  She passed away in 2004 but not before she wrote a book called On Death and Dying.  She believed that the five stages of grief - denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance - have to be worked through before anyone can find peace.

The quote above is listed on Favorite Quotes sites everywhere under inspirational quotes.  It tells me that while she worked with the dying, Dr. Ross must have really known how to live.

I believe everyone has a light.  That light comes from lots of places.  It comes from your love bank -- that is all the love you exchange with ALL of the people in your life, and it comes from your faith and beliefs.  You build it up when you do things that bring you joy, whether it's your work, your leisure activities, the people with whom you spend your time, and when you spend time by (and with) yourself.  Everyone needs that!

Fill your love bank regularly, just like you do your car's gas tank , but empty it often.  Share your joy.  Let your light shine!! 

Monday, January 9, 2012

Nancy Zieman Tablet Keeper

This month Nancy Zieman is asking several people to test her new Tablet Keeper templates.  Each day someone different is posting their results, sometimes making more than one size or design.  Of course the one Nancy featured was beautiful, they do great work up in Beaver Dam.  It made me want to buy the template set and get started!  (You think that was their purpose??  Nah...)

So this past weekend I spent some time in my sewing room looking for possible candidate fabrics for a couple of Tablet Keepers of my own.  I have a Kindle, an idea notebook, several other notebooks for which a cover or holder might be nice.

I found some quilt squares that were left over from projects that were started or abandoned.  I also located the 1/2 yard of blue print that I was missing so I might be able to finish binding the quilt I made for my bed a couple of years ago.  I'm using it right now with the edges serged off so they don't ravel.  Additionally I found the pattern pieces for a couple of projects.  These pieces need to be returned to their envelope at some point, in case they are to be used again.

I have lots of fabric sorted by type and color, most of it stored in these plastic boxes...
some big tubs, some small ones, but all very necessary.  We've had tiny livestock in the basement for the last couple of years.  Last year they started moving in for the winter, and to make room for themselves they chewed through the folded side of 1.5 yards of a silk and wool blend that I was saving for a jacket.  Why can't they develop a taste for polyester??? 

I moved several stacks of things around.  Moving things next to things sometimes results in interesting combinations.  Nothing was too inspiring.  Maybe I need to take a pile of things with me to Friday night sewing and look at them in someone else's sewing space.  Or maybe I have been too limiting in what I'm looking at.  A third possibility exists -- I may just have to agument my stash somehow.  I have a lot but maybe I don't have the RIGHT stuff!  (OMG, I'm truly crazy.)

My oldest grand came over looking for an "artifact", something "from history that's older than grampa"... we dug around and I found some antique linens that I picked up in Columbus.  We had to write down who might have made them and what they might have been used for so she could take them to history class.

 I wandered back to the living room.  I looked through a stack of books on the coffee table and started reading one.  Since there was no Green Bay football game, hubby was not shouting and pounding the arm of the chair, and I guess I took a little nap.  When I woke it was 5:13 p.m.

I still have no idea what I might use to make my Tablet Keeper.  But since my DD stopped over during the search, now I also have to make one for the Nook she has.  Once she locates the fabric she wants me to use...