Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas!

We're in rainy Florida with Matt's family - Merry Christmas, everyone!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

a redneck joke

"You know you work in a redneck library if the alarm goes off because someone opened the emergency exit door to spit!" from my co-worker who just saw the whole incident

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Trees on Sky

I love all four seasons. I am fascinated with each of them, probably because of all that time spent in Florida, the land of one season - hot. I have favorite things in the landscape of each season. In spring, I love the blooming of one flower after another. In summer, I love how dusk seems to last forever, and how the fireflies glow against the masses of green things. In fall, I'm obviously fascinated by the leaves. And in winter, it's the bare trees against the sky.
There's something about the constancy and structure of tree branches that contrasts with the ever changing colors and textures of the sky. They show each other off beautifully, don't you think? I'm blessed to drive up and down, there and back in these foresty mountains that offer different sky scenes every day and my trees - stark and showy.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Slice of Life: Pie and Cat

It's so nice to have another free Saturday. I liked it so much, I made my favorite pie - sour cream apple pie - yummy! I also did laundry and ran errands with Matt, but there wasn't a rush. Aaaahhhh.
It's also nice to have a warm, fuzzy cat around. Here's Rainey in his favorite spot on our bed.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Not a people person...

I've been thinking this week about my interactions with others. And I've come to an important conclusion that many who know me have probably already come to. I'm not a people person - or, to be more specific, because I do like people, even some pretty strange ones - I'm not an extrovert. At all. Too much time with others, though I love them, drains me.

On Friday, I spent almost the entire day in working with others. I like working with others, but in small doses, you know? One of my libraries has been renovated and to put it all back together, we have to work as a team. A good portion of my work Friday was instructing the prison work crew in the Dewey Decimal system (and hearing about their, ahem, personal lives - they turned out to be mostly nice guys and pretty good shelvers). And people think working in a library is boring!

So, after the prisoners, I was pretty tired. Then, it was home to change, and head to the sunday school Christmas party. Lots of fun, but also lots of people.

You can imagine how relieved I was to get to spend most of Saturday by myself. I only had to talk to Matt, the bank teller, and the clerk at the $2 store. Nice - I got all recharged for the week ahead.

Monday, November 27, 2006

A beautiful day for a birthday

It's my birthday. I feel like I've been celebrating for days already-I've already received and opened presents from my wonderful family in Virginia while we were there for Thanksgiving. And I was treated to a wonderful Mediterranean meal by my parents.

I'm at work after being out all last week. I'm really enjoying working today. My co-workers are all out of the office, so I'm playing good music and enjoying the sun coming in my office windows while I plan upcoming events and read my e-mail.

So let's say hurray! for low-key birthdays.

Sunday, November 05, 2006


I did some this week. More working than usual, actually. I had a very successful teen halloween program and a successful internet program for older elementary and middle school students and their parents. In addition to the usual five preschool storytimes, collection development, planning, etc. I felt useful.

Matt and I continue to struggle with the place of work in our lives. We like our jobs. We like our church. We like our house. Most of the time, we like our cat. But we continue to feel off balance, out of whack, too often spread thin. Matt's job has been demanding long days and weekend time. I feel thankful for the flexibility I enjoy, even when I work weekends or evenings as well. But the very nature of my position requires being spread between too many places and people to serve.

We'd like to be more centered. Invested in one community. We're wondering when it could be right to bring a new life into our family. Matt's talking about a doctoral program again. I'm afraid of packing our life and our memories into boxes AGAIN. I'm looking at the people around us here, people I've only begun to know but that I love, and wondering how I can say goodbye.

"If you don't know what you're doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You'll get his help, and won't be condescended to when you ask for it. Ask boldly, believingly, without a second thought. People who "worry their prayers" are like wind-whipped waves. Don't think you're going to get anything from the Master that way, adrift at sea, keeping all your options open." James 1:5-8, The Message

Strawberry Swirl

Sounds like a wonderful ice cream flavor to enjoy in early summer, but it also makes for pretty sock yarn.Dyed by me, with Kool-Aid, Monday night.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006


We had our first frost here yesterday, so it's a good thing I finished a fresh pair of wool socks last week! These are the Jaywalker socks. I'm especially proud of them - they fit well, they are definitely INTERESTING to look at, and I dyed the yarn myself with kool-aid. You can read about that here.

I started these back on September 7 and finished them on October 19th in celebration of Socktoberfest. If I can find the time, I'm going to dye up some more wool in kool-aid colors and make another pair because I like these so much!

P.S. Pictures were taken in my office on Friday. Hence, the picture books. :-)

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Quote from Matt

"I looked around and I noticed - the ratio of teeth to people is...not what it should be."

Friday, October 13, 2006

Back, with stripey tote goodness to share

We did go to Florida and I'm feeling fine, though not so much like a vacation happened. Just like something else got checked off the To Do list. The weather is gorgeous though. Lots to be thankful for.

And I'm finally getting around to showing off a knitting project I finished about a month ago. It's the felted striped tote from the book One Skein by Leigh Radford. I liked the pattern, although I messed around with the stripe pattern and sizing a bit. It took just over three weeks to knit, felt, and dry, while working on other projects at the same time. I used Knitpicks Wool of the Andes in five colors - chocolate, chestnut, cloud, blueberry, and chambray.

Here it is before going into the washer for felting.
(Book for scale).

And after felting, it wasn't drastically smaller.
(Again, book for scale.)

I think it's very cute for fall.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

I'm sick again

It was only two weeks ago I had a little cold, now I think I have the flu? Bleh. I would appreciate any prayers for my well-being. We're supposed to go to Florida tonight, but I don't know if Matt wants to take a sick girl on a car ride.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

So, so pretty

I wish everyone could be in the mountains today. Well, not really, because these two lane curvy roads can't take a lot of traffic, but it is so beautiful. Today it is so easy to see creation crying out in praise to God.

I rode out to a rural (it's all rural here, I guess) elementary school this afternoon for some storytelling and really enjoyed the drive. Imagine this: coming over a hill in the road to see two dogs galloping through a grassy mowed field with a backdrop of rising hills covered in undulating greens, golds, and reds.

I think we may have to have a fire on the porch tonight to celebrate this weather.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Meet Mr. Coffee

He has sweet, hot, caffeine waiting for us every morning. I had hoped we'd stave off the caffeine addiction until we had kids, but, alas, we're not that strong. We did however, buy the 1/2 caf blend so we're not jittery and Matt still usually makes sense. Combine an artistic (read:scattered) brain and too much caffeine and things get interesting around here. Right now, the coffee actually seems to help him be less scattered. Me, I add a lot of dairy to my coffee- I like it to be a light tan color - so I'm not sure I'm getting much from it, but it does taste good.

Right Now! (bathroom update)

Heehee! Look at what's happening right now! Matt is very calmly cementing (or gluing or whatever you call it) the tile to the floor in our bathroom. It's taken a long time, but this is definitely a big step.

Next - we grout!

Friday, September 22, 2006

i think i've been infected, but i'm not sure I care

Matt has a cold. He's had it for a week or so now. I think he finally managed to make me sick too. I keep sneezing.

Nonetheless, I am enjoying life. It's raining today (which I love), but for the last two days, the weather has been sunny, chilly pre-autumn delicousness. I have lots on my plate at work, which makes me happy and stressed. I finished another knitting project. You'll see that soon.

And, I might go shopping tomorrow.

Saturday, September 16, 2006


In the last few weeks, I've managed to complete quite a few knitting projects. I'm started using some of my lunch hour to knit, and I did a lot car knitting.

First, the Ballet Camisole from Magknits July 2006, using Knitpicks Shine Sport in Orchid. Started July 11, finished August 15. I like it. It's not my favorite thing ever, but it fits well. I had to change the strap shaping - it looked really funny when I did it the way the pattern said. No pictures with me modeling because my hair looks funny today.

Then, I finished two washcloths as housewarming gifts for my friend Randa, who just moved back to Florida. These were quick - I started on August 15 and finished September 1. I used the ballband dishcloth pattern from Mason Dixon Knitting and used this yarn because the colors reminded me of her:

They turned out like this:

And finally, on September 11, I finished the Two at Once, Toe-Up Socks From Knitpicks that I started on July 22. I would have finished these earlier if I hadn't had some frustrations with the heels. I followed the pattern to discover they didn't fit at all and had to re-do them.

I also accidentally made them really short - more like anklets. They're kinda cute, though.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

I've read some books...

I haven't posted about my reading in awhile, probably because I haven't done a lot of reading, probably because I don't have a lot of time for reading. Here's what I remember from the last few months:

Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett
I just finished this one, only because I got the audiobook and listened to it in the car. It was wonderful! A smart book about smart kids for smart kids. The story is hard to summarize, but two Chicago sixth-graders solve the mystery of a missing Vermeer painting using ingenuity and intuition. Recommended for kids and grown-ups.

Teen Idol by Meg Cabot
I can't help it. I like fluff. In this case, sweet fluff about a sweet Midwestern high school girl who writes the school newspaper advice column and has to keep the identity of a new student (he's the teen idol, in town to research a movie role) secret. She gets the guy in the end, but it's not what you would expect.

Sammy Keyes and the Hotel Thief by Wendelin Van Draanen.
This was a simple, fast-paced mystery. Seventh grader Sammy sees a robbery across the street through her binoculars. Unfortunately, the thief saw her too, and the police don't really believe her story. Through her own brand of adventurous sleuthing, she solves the crime.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Time for a new look around here

Like it? I got tired of the fancy green-ness and decided to go for something cleaner and hopefully more personal.

I am loving this four day week. It's Friday already. I had a great time with my former roomies last weekend, especially with Anna's little boys.

This weekend looks like it'll be busy too - we're helping friends move and attending a Sunday School picnic. (Huh. "Sunday School Picnic" reminds me of Anne of Green Gables. Remember when she couldn't go to the picnic to eat ice cream for the first time because Marilla thought she stole an amethyst brooch. I have GOT to get Matt to watch that miniseries with me.)

Maybe, just maybe, we'll work more on the bathroom.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Everybody's working for the weekend...

That's a little bit how it feels at our house now. I naively thought with summer reading over and Matt heading back to school things would get easier. But, no. He's already got rehearsals and meetings keeping him out late. I'm already packing my fall schedule with events at the libraries - plus travel! There's places we have to go and people we have to see and only weekends to do it!

The bathroom has not progressed much. We hired a guy to fix the ceiling, so we're onto the tiling process, but I'm starting to have my doubts about our ability to accomplish that as well. We'll see - Matt decided to work on it this weekend, when there's time to think things through and do it right, instead of just doing dibs and dabs in the evenings.

While he's doing that, this weekend I'm going to enjoy a reunion with the girls I lived with my senior year in college. Last weekend, we enjoyed my cousin's wedding in Florida. Next weekend, who knows what crazy scheme we'll be pulling off - maybe a completed bathroom?

I have managed to finish a couple knitting projects that I keep meaning to take pictures of. I'll try to do that soon...

Ultimately, though, we've started to evaluate our schedules and we're seeing more and more that our current situation isn't really working. Driving 40 minutes to and from work isn't so bad, but it eats up a lot of time, especially when Matt has extra after-school obligations. I've started to dread getting in the car at the beginning or end of the day, even though I like my job. We love our church, but we can't be involved in all we want to do because of scheduling.

We're looking for solutions. Please pray for us as we consider our future.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Bathroom Update

See? The walls are painted and the blue is pretty. Unfortunately, the ceiling is in very bad shape.

The paint just peeled right off - After we sanded, cleaned and primed. So, we're starting over with that.

The floor no longer is carpeted, which is progress. We've accepted the fact that this is going to be a loooong project.

Sunday, August 13, 2006


I was really excited when I asked Matt what he wanted to do this weekend and he said, "Well, I was thinking we could paint the bathroom." I have too many ideas about how to make our house prettier as a result of watching too many home improvement shows on TV. I was rarin' to go! Our bathroom had three strikes against it- ugly wallpaper (see photos below - although you can't really see it that well there), carpet (cheap carpet - in a bathroom. Really!), and popcorn ceiling.

On Friday night, we decided we could do it all in a weekend. All meaning we could remove the wallpaper, remove the popcorn ceiling, and remove the carpet, replacing said crimes against bathroomdom with pretty blue paint, pretty shell white paint, and pretty ceramic tiles. It would go something like this: Saturday morning, go to Home Depot. Get needed painting and tiling supplies. Remove wallpaper, remove popcorn ceiling. Primer all surfaces to be painted. Paint. Sunday after church, remove carpet, install tile. Oh, and replace the light fixture too.

Yeah. That's how naive - and crazy - we were. Problems ensued, popcorn dust everywhere, holes in walls, not enough primer, blah, blah, blah. Here's where we were at Saturday night.

Small progress has been made since then. First, we have a much more accurate time line now. This won't be done for awhile. We also got some detailed tiling instruction at Home Depot. And tonight, the ceiling got painted.

More to come, now that we are done with our delusions of grandeur.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Summer Reading Done!

My life goes back to normal, but I will miss all those kids.

In other news, I slept through my alarm for 25 minutes this morning. Apparently, the white noise from the fan and the air purifier is now drowning out the alarm.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Another anniversary

As of August 1st, I've been at my job for one year. Being that this is my first full-time job doing almost exactly what I want, I was pleased to meet that mark. I hope to do bigger and better things next year. (I still have one more week of summer reading programs to go, though.)

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Socks! (Rib and Cable and Cotton Surf)

Last week, I finally finished my first pair of knit socks! These are the Rib and Cable Socks from the Fall 2005 Interweave Knits. I think I started them back in November. I finished the first one sometime after my surgery, when I was doing a lot of sitting around recovering. Then I didn't pick them up again until maybe two weeks ago? The second one was much faster to knit than the first. I also knit the second at much looser gauge than the first.

When I first started knitting, I thought I would never want to knit socks. Silly, I thought (of course, I was living in Florida at the time). But I've been won over. They're fun and quick! So I started another pair. When Matt was away the week before last he picked up some sock yarn for me. Regia Cotton Surf in colorway 5411.
I started these Saturday night using the Knitpicks Toe-up Socks on two circs.

The toes look so pointy, but once I put them on, they look pretty cute. They're going very quickly, so expect to see them finished in not too long.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Ignore the cramping in my right hand

There's been renewed knitting fervor around here lately. For quite awhile now, I have knit at least a few rows almost every day, but I haven't had much to show for it. The most successful thing I've knitted this year was a very simple baby sweater for a friend and the clapotis scarf.

But lately, I've been knitting a lot and feeling pretty confident about it. The first reason is that I received two new knitting books in the mail last week. Mason Dixon Knitting by Ann Shayne and Kay Gardiner and One Skein by Leigh Radford. Both have wonderfully inspiring, quick, and affordable projects that got me excited.

The second reason is that I'm doing 12 programs a week at my libraries right now and seeing a little less than 400 people. This is really fun and keeps me on my toes, but it takes a lot of planning and energy. So it's nice to come home to something as simple and ordered as needles, yarn, and a pattern.

The third reason is that Matt has been out of town at a songleading workshop this week, which somehow leaves me with more free time in the evenings. (I think because I'm not chatting with him, but it may have to do with less chores too.) I'm knitting like crazy.

So even though I should be finishing some old projects - I started a new one. I had the yarn needed to make the Ballet Camisole from the July issue of Magknits. Actually, the yarn is recycled from a project I decided I wasn't crazy about. I was happy with my knitting, but the end result just wasn't flattering.

The shaping on this tank seems right on to fit well, but we'll see. The good news is I just started on Tuesday and it's moving quickly.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Before I go to sleep -

I just want to say - I held two live snakes today. (Oh! I'm imagining how my mother's skin is crawling as she reads this.) And it was fun. They were small and kind of cute. Thankfully, I didn't encounter them in my yard but at the library, in the meeting room, under the supervision of the pet store lady who brought them to show to two of my day camp groups. It was all very exciting. But the tarantula did kind of freak me out.

Monday, July 03, 2006

I took Matt to work with me last week.

He really enjoyed it. He even wrote a special song for the occasion. The kids loved it. I sing with them all the time, but I can't play guitar and accordian and teach them the way he did.

And, the kids (especially the boys) saw a man reading. That's another example I can't provide on my own.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Because I thought I should share...

There's no one but me in the office right now, and I just did the numbers for this week of summer reading programs. I did 12 programs, covering 2 year olds to middle schoolers and 388 people attended (assuming I counted right, which I don't always do because those little ones can be so squirmy!). I'm pleased with those numbers - it averages out to just over 32 bodies per program. And I know there will be an extra group attending next week, plus others who signed up this week, but didn't come.

It's all very exciting. Must go plan more for Monday...

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Fun with Koolaid and wool

A few weekends ago, I became obsessed with dyeing some plain ivory sock yarn I got last fall. I researched kool-aid dyeing online - here and here. And then I followed a very useful tutorial about making the yarn self-striping.

And then I went to work. I started with three "shades" of kool-aid: Lemon Lime to make a light, bright green, Berry Blue to make a light blue, and Changin' Cherry for a blue green. I only used one packet of each because I didn't want really bright saturated colors.
I used Knitpicks Color Your Own Merino Wool.
I divided a long loop of yarn (I wound it around two dining chairs about the width of my kitchen apart) into four sections - two small sections to be green, one large section to be blue, and another largish section to be blue green. Then I mixed the kool-aid with water in mason jars and popped it all in my crock pot to slowly heat.
When the dye was absorbed, I rinsed it all in a colander. Looks like bizarre spaghetti, huh?
I hung the yarn up to dry, then wound it into a skein. Here's a variety of glamour shots. I'm not sure the lighting in any of the pictures shows the colors totally accurately, but you get the idea.

Someday it will be a nice pair of stripy socks.

Saturday, May 27, 2006


We ran off last weekend to Savannah to celebrate our third anniversary. Our celebrations for our first and second anniversaries were quite small. This bothers Matt more than it bothers me, so I let him spoil us this time. (Of course, there was pre-planned saving involved and some monetary gifts from family.)

Savannah is beautiful and historic. And hot. We didn't do any of the trolley or ghost tours, but we walked over the entire historic district, I think. The only disappointment was that First African Baptist Church wasn't open for tours on Saturday.

So here's the pictures.
It's all pretty like this. So many pretty plants and great architecture.

An example of that architecture - The Cathedral of St. John the Divine. It's also pretty amazing inside.

The house in the middle is Flannery O'Connor's childhood home. I wrote a paper about some of her short stories in college, so I was somewhat interested in this. We thought it was open to the public, but it's a private residence.

We stayed right on Forsyth Park. This large fountain in the park seemed to be a very popular place for pictures. We saw several wedding parties.

The photo is blurry, but this is us in the courtyard of our inn the night we had our fancy anniversary dinner.

And that's where we stayed. It's the Forsyth Park Inn, and we'd recommend it. (You can also see me standing in front of the palm tree.)

We REALLY liked historic Savannah. So much that we were dreaming about moving into one of the homes in the historic district, even though that is an impossible dream given the prices. Still, a great weekend getaway.

Friday, May 26, 2006

I ate bear last night.

I think that speaks for itself.

But I will explain - we are visiting churches again because the one we were going to just isn't right and we knew it but it was easy to go there. We like the big baptist church and were given tickets to their annual Wild Game Dinner last night. It sounds hideous, but it was fun. (Well, not the bear part. That was kinda gross, actually. And I couldn't even look at the frog legs.) There was entertainment and the most well organized system of serving people I've ever seen.

But I don't recommend the bear. And I'm still not going hunting. Ever.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Happy Anniversary to Me! To Me!

Today I have been married to my sweet, funny, easily-distracted-by-televisions-in-restaurants, blue-eyed, long-legged, probably dyslexic, musically talented (especially when making up songs about the cat), patient-even-when-I'm-hungry-and-tired, all-around-wonderful husband for 3 years.


Saturday, May 13, 2006

My new needle case

I had knitting needles floating around my knitting basket and I didn't like having to dig around for them. I've seen needle cases online that I liked, but they're pretty pricy. (See an example by clicking here.) I also have seen instructions for making your own needle case, like here. So I made my own, and I didn't follow any pattern, just looked at some pictures and thought about what I wanted. Even though my sewing skills are not great, I'm pleased. Here's the inside. (Sorry the picture is not good.)

You like my rockin' fabric choices? The outside green and white fabric was a remnant I got at a thrift store. It's a fairly heavy-weight fabric, like canvas, almost. The inside pink print is a light-wieght cotton that Matt's mom bought for me about a year ago. And the green ribbon that matches perfectly? I found that in my ribbon box and have no idea where it came from.