July 28th, 2008 | 2 Comments »

Breathing is becoming a laborious effort. No pun intended. Really.

Seriously, I can hardly breathe. At least while sitting. And I can’t stand for long, either. I’ve got an appointment tomorrow, and I’ll mention these things. Perhaps I’ll be placed on bed rest after all. Or not. I wouldn’t mind, actually. It might bore me to tears, but I’ve never actually had the luxury of any sort of extended repose. Of course, when one is limited such, it’s hardly considered a luxury, is it?

Apart from being exhausted and the inability to breathe, I feel great. Gadget might argue that I’m practicing selective memory, having not mentioned the frequent bouts of short temper and snappiness that punctuate most days. Enjoying the journey.

I even bought a couple of books last week, in a moment of inspiration, and guess what? I read them! Two books! Now, I’m not even going to attempt a review, lacking the confidence for such in the shadow of the bookie bloggers I adore. But I enjoyed them. The first was the curious incident of the dog in the night-time, by Mark Haddon. It made me chuckle and it made me cry. I think the main character was autistic and the author captured his perspective very well. Although what do I know of these things?

The second book was The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy. I had a bit of a time keeping track of the characters and hopping back and forth in time, but it was very good. Something that makes the heart ache. I sobbed towards the end.

I’ve also been meaning to make some baby angel fairy things, inspired by my March visit to Australia and Winterwood Toys. I’m calling them pea pod angels. Because they’re a gorgeous green. And they’re babies. And they remind me of peas in a pod. Sweet Pea Pod Angel Babies.

First, it took me ages to collect the bits and pieces and put the ideas together.

I didn’t have any clear thread, and the only fishing line Gadget has is for salmon. That is, it’s very thick, and not suitable for hanging the crystal. So I used plain white thread. Even so, I think it turned out okay. Not perfect, but still adorable. I stitched on, ignoring the boys and their “what are you doing? — why are you making those? — what are you going to do with them? — I don’t get it, what a waste of time… — why don’t they have any faces? –why?” comments. Boys. Hrumph.

I made three. They’re teensy tiny. Only a couple of inches long. I think they’re sweet. They make me smile.

May 4th, 2008 | 1 Comment »

Cyclone has taken to asking me whether I’m mad, when he does things that busy 3 year old boys like to do. Such as crushing styrofoam packing peanuts into thousands of pieces all over the floor. Are you mad? Three seconds later. Are you still mad? Another three seconds pass. Are you mad? Are you happy?

He likes to test me. Blowing bubbles in his soup. Are you mad? Blowing more, making a bigger mess. Eating with his fingers. Are you mad? Are you still mad? Are you happy?

In his world there are only two states. Happy and mad. I love how simple it is!

Unusual sounds coming from the living room. He heard me get up to investigate and I saw him scurrying for a place to hide under the table. He knew he was up to mischief!

Are you mad?

It’s been a quiet Sunday morning, if one can count all of the above as quiet. Which I can.

something pretty from Suse's garden

The best thing about Sunday morning is if someone stays up until 2:20 a.m. reading a book* that she started on Saturday evening, she doesn’t have to worry about going to work and managing to get through the day on too little sleep, especially when the resident 3 year old insists on her being up somewhere between 7:30 and 8 a.m. On Sunday, naps are a viable possibility (although not probable).

Of course, if an urgent call comes in from work, in which something has to absolutely be done NOW, well, that can put a damper on things. Luckily, I have my equipment at home so can get it done without going to the office. Now that would make me crabby, going to the office on a Sunday. It would also be nice if we got paid time and a half (or more!) for overtime, but alas, we do not. Even so, my job is a service oriented job, and it’s a rarity to be called to action on a weekend, so in the large scheme of things, I’m happy to be of assistance.

It’s also an excellent excuse not to go outside and pull weeds.


*Kite Runner – another Suse recommendation, and very good (even though it was predictable as to the villain and the outcome, I still happily gobbled it up).

April 20th, 2008 | 2 Comments »

I’ve read a book.  Seriously.  I know I mentioned it somewhere before, but much as I love books and reading, I don’t read, generally, because I am an obsessive reader and I just can’t stop once I’ve started.  So my whole life runs amok, because I’m not so good with that sort of self-discipline, and I just don’t read fast enough to devour a novel in an evening.  And I work and parent and and and…
The book is called Possession.  A gift from a friend.  Who thought I’d like it.  And she was right.  I stayed up as late as I could before my body gave out, then used the 3 a.m. potty wakeup as an opportunity to read some more.  And I couldn’t stop.  I sobbed all through the last few chapters.  Sobbed. And when I closed the book, I sobbed some more, just to let it out.  Then returned to bed at 6:30 a.m., only to rise at 9, no longer able to ignore the resident three year old who was quite ready to get up.  So what did I do?  I went back to the beginning and re-read many things I’d stumbled over at the start.  It was a slow start for me, and maybe just a bit too erudite, but I’m glad I stayed with it.

Maybe it’s the second trimester thing.  Maybe it’s the parent/child thing.  Whatever it was, I sobbed and sobbed.  But not in a tragic way.  Mostly in a good way.

Posted in books/literature
December 10th, 2007 | 1 Comment »

I pray. Why? Because the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. And I believe that.

I think about beliefs and why we believe the things that we believe. People kill and maim and fight wars over differences in beliefs. If I could project myself out into the heavens and look down on the earth, so as to get the big picture perspective, what would I see’ Would it make any sense’ I would ask myself, “Why'”

There is faith, there is tradition, and there is loyalty. I see fierce loyalties to things like sports teams, towns, schools, countries, religions. There is intellectual loyalty and emotional loyalty. I can understand intellectual loyalty, because it has a basis of reason. I am somewhat baffled by emotional loyalty. Why does it matter if Team A beat Team B’ Did they play well’ Did they play their best’ Do I have to side with Team A because they’re based in my home town’ What if I think Team B is the better team’ Will I be ostracized for favoring Team B’ Why does it matter if I’m a Star Bellied Sneech or a North-going Zax’ Loyalty is a very strange thing indeed.

There are those who are loyal based on tradition. Something is taught and passed on, and perhaps not ever questioned or understood, but held fast to all the same. This also baffles me. To me, loyalty is something that must be earned. Questioning is therefore essential.

There is patriotism. Now that makes almost no sense to me. Who can control where they are born? I’m GRATEFUL to have been born into a (relatively) free country. And I love the land of my youth. Because it’s the land of my youth. But I’m not patriotic in the sense that I think my country is better than any other country. What would give me that right? But to delve further into these questions would mean that I’d have to delve into politics and other things of which I am painfully and shockingly ignorant. And that wearies me. So I will let it rest that I am thankful to live the life that I’m living, where I happen to be.

There is a book movement sweeping the country, fueled in part by Oprah, I suspect. Eat, Pray, Love. I haven’t read the book, but for some reason, Mr. Gadget put Oprah on the other day, and that was the topic du jour. He then left the room. It was very strange on his part, and I sat scratching my head in bewilderment over his behavior, while listening to the women and their stories. I have seen the book in passing, and thought that it sounded interesting. Anything that starts with ‘Eat’ and ends with ‘Love’ must have some sort of goodness to it. One thing that struck a nice chord with me was the suggestion to write down the happiest moment of every day in a gratitude journal, and to ask yourself what you really, really, really want. (It’s an earnest way to probe.) I was going to start blogging my happiest moments each day, but am a bit wary, due to that nanomobololrorljrmormeoeremrmmooo hullaballoo. I know that these things can become tedious if one makes a commitment. (I’m not so good at commitments, I acknowledge, because I knew better than to sign up for nanonaonemoemrn and I’m just about ready to quit seeing my chiroquacker, which is mostly due to him wanting me to “commit to my health.” And while we’re on the topic of commitment phobia and true confessions, let me just say that I was filled with an overwhelming feeling of Good LORD, what am I getting myself into and WHAT AM I DOING???? and no I DON’T! I know not what when I uttered those two words, “I do.”) All that aside, I bought the book, and plan to read it. Perhaps over Christmas break. Either way, I’m making a deliberate effort to think of the happiest moment of my day each night, just before I fall asleep. It’s good to end the day on a high note.

I don’t know where I was going with this post. I started the draft eons ago. Maybe just to document that I am perplexed about life in general. Or not. I must have been inspired about something. But for now, I’m concentrating on each and every day’s happiest moments.

Today’s? Remembering a dream from last night, in which Mr. Gadget and I shared on of those I – love – you – through – every – fiber – of – your – being looks, and kissed a long and beautiful I – love – you – through – every – fiber – of – your – being kisses. Even if it never happens during consciousness, at least the angels have reminded me that there is love. I’ll treasure that moment, even if it was only a dream. (Oh yes, there is love, but the expression in real life… …is not so sweet as the perfection found in dreams…)

And the husband, reading only fragments over my shoulder, says, “Who is James Five Sixteen?  Your blogging pal buddy friend that you’re writing secret messages to?”

Yes Dear.  That’s it.

February 24th, 2007 | 1 Comment »

I came across some boxes of books while going through things in the garage, looking for the next load of donations for the charity trucks that are making their rounds next week. They were part of the overflow when we moved my dad from the old shack where we grew up, and they’ve been here and there wherever I have been since then, but they’ve never made it to his new home. Realistically, he probably doesn’t even know they’re missing. He only has a few thousand books. Seriously, one time when we moved houses when I was younger, the weight of his books broke the axle on the moving truck. And that was in the 70s. One can (and he has) accumulated quite alot more books since then.

I’m torn as to what to keep and what not to keep, because I’ve decided not to reunite them. Bad daughter.

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It’s not every day that one comes across graded readings and exercises in old Icelandic, and stacks of quarterly journals of classical philology, but alas, I know not what to do with these, so they are in the giant give-away pile.

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I’m not sure what these are, but gosh, there is a full set and they’re dated 1854. Sämmtliche Schriften. By Gotthold Ephraim Lessing. Is it philosophy Language Philosophy of language I’m keeping these because they’re gorgeous, if nothing else.
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I like the weary looks of these as well, so they stay, next to the Sämmtliche Schriften set.
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My dad the linguist. He specialized in ancient classics — mainly Greek and Latin. This Latin course is a shambles, but it’s date is 1868, so I can’t help but keep it as well. Actually, I am keeping most of the Greek and Latin books. I love them, even though I can only stumble through them at less than a snail’s pace, and all I can do is pronounce the words, with very little understanding of their meaning at all.

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Some of the other keepers include religion, philosophy, calligraphy, and poetry. The Four Books has an English interlinear translation, so that may be interesting if I ever get to it. I feel guilty about the Korean, Chinese, Japanese, German, and French books that are in the give-away pile, though. They could be treasures, for all I know. I just hope someone who cares will come across them in a thrift store one day and be blessed by their great fortune in such a find.
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There are three huge bound volumes of the Illustrated London News, circa 1970s. I feel tremendously guilty about these, because I left boxes and boxes more of these when I sold the old school (another story for another time, but I once owned a 1910 red brick school building). I had limited time and space available for that move, so I had to decide what to leave behind, and sadly, they were amongst the abandoned. Vintage stuff of possible value to collectors, but I had to make a choice, so they were left behind. Not that I want those remaining. I’ll be putting an ad on Craigslist, to see if there’s any interest, and if nobody responds, they join the give-aways.
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The same goes for these. An entire box of vintage classical 45s. They’re translucent red, and oh, so pretty! But what does one do with 45s these days, other than admire them while thinking nostalgically of days gone by.  I am feeling so guilty right now.

Posted in books/literature
December 30th, 2005 | 1 Comment »

This holiday has really thrown me for a loop. I haven’t been this sick in donkey’s years. The good thing about being sick is that it has forced me to slow down; to stop. Just stop. I’ve spent many hours just thinking, praying, thinking, and praying some more. I think it’s been good for me. Of course the vicoden helps put me into that reflective frame of mind. It does an excellent job of taking the pain away. But I tend to get a sick-to-my-stomach feeling, too. That could be from the antibiotics, though. Either way, I’ve got meds to help me through and I’m on the road to recovery. I’ve written pages and pages in my paper journals, and I even read a book (Lamb, by Christopher Moore, subtitled The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal). The book was something that would probably offend some or many mainstream Christians, but I enjoyed it. Moore did his research well, which impressed me. It’s a down to earth and funny story. Okay, so the conservative Christian in me had a hard time with a few places here and there, but all in all it was well done, and I have to say I am impressed –the man had to have done some extensive study of scriptures to come up with the tale he spun.

Lady Linoleum has a daunting and impressive list of resolutions. I was thinking of putting some together, but am waffling now. Maybe tomorrow I’ll give it some more thought.

The year is coming to a close. I haven’t even made a post about our Christmas. That’s the problem with being sick. Too sick to even blog. What is the world coming to

My husband, the cool cat, every once in a while makes a comment that I must only post pictures of things that are important to me on my blog, and wonders why there are no pictures of him. “I see how it is,” he says. Of course, he won’t be looking over my shoulder when I post this picture, so he won’t know that he has, in fact, appeared on my blog.
My bestest boys, Santa and the slobber Elf (Christmas Eve at Grandma’s house). They’re both pretty cute, I have to say.

July 16th, 2005 | No Comments »

I found this list when I was trying to figure out what the Gulag Archipelago had to do with giant sea turtles (see galactagogue). I don’t know what it means, but I found it interesting.

If you have read the whole book, bold it. If you have read part of the book, italicize it. If you own it but haven’t gotten around to reading it yet, ** it.
1 The Bible
2 Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
3 Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
4 The Koran
5 Arabian Nights
6 Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
7 Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift
8 Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer
9 Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
10 Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
11 The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli
12 Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
13 Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
14 Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
15 Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
16 Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
17 Dracula by Bram Stoker
18 Autobiography by Benjamin Franklin
19 Tom Jones by Henry Fielding
20 Essays by Michel de Montaigne
21 Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
22 History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon
23 Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
24 Origin of Species by Charles Darwin
25 Ulysses by James Joyce
26 Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio
27 Animal Farm by George Orwell
28 Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell
29 Candide by Voltaire
30 To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
31 Analects by Confucius
32 Dubliners by James Joyce
33 Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
34 Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
35 Red and the Black by Stendhal
36 Das Capital by Karl Marx
37 Flowers of Evil by Charles Baudelaire
38 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
39 Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D. H. Lawrence
40 Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
41 Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser
42 Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
43 Jungle by Upton Sinclair
44 All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
45 Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx
46 Lord of the Flies by William Golding
47 Diary by Samuel Pepys
48 Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
49 Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy
50 Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
51 Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak
52 Critique of Pure Reason by Immanuel Kant
53 One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
54 Praise of Folly by Desiderius Erasmus
55 Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
56 Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X
57 Color Purple by Alice Walker
58 Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger
59 Essay Concerning Human Understanding by John Locke
60 Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
61 Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe
62 One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
63 East of Eden by John Steinbeck
64 Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
65 I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
66 Confessions by Jean Jacques Rousseau
67 Gargantua and Pantagruel by Francois Rabelais
68 Leviathan by Thomas Hobbes
69 The Talmud
70 Social Contract by Jean Jacques Rousseau
71 Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
72 Women in Love by D. H. Lawrence
73 American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser
74 Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler
75 Separate Peace by John Knowles
76 Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
77 Red Pony by John Steinbeck
78 Popol Vuh
79 Affluent Society by John Kenneth Galbraith
80 Satyricon by Petronius
81 James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
82 Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
83 Black Boy by Richard Wright
84 Spirit of the Laws by Charles de Secondat Baron de Montesquieu
85 Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut
86 Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
87 Metaphysics by Aristotle
88 Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
89 Institutes of the Christian Religion by Jean Calvin
90 Steppenwolf by Hermann Hesse
91 Power and the Glory by Graham Greene
92 Sanctuary by William Faulkner
93 As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
94 Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin
95 Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig
96 Sorrows of Young Werther by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
97 General Introduction to Psychoanalysis by Sigmund Freud
98 Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
99 Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Alexander Brown
100 Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
101 Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman by Ernest J. Gaines
102 Emile Jean by Jacques Rousseau
103 Nana by Emile Zola
104 Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
105 Go Tell It on the Mountain by James Baldwin
106 Gulag Archipelago by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
107 Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein
108 Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Peck
109 Ox-Bow Incident by Walter Van Tilburg Clark
110 Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
111 Are You There God, It’s Me, Margaret, Judy Blume
112 The Harry Potter series, J.K. Rowling
113 The Merchant of Venice, William Shakespeare
114 A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle
115 The Witches of Worm, Zilpha Keatly Snyder

Posted in books/literature