Friday, October 29, 2004

Office coloring

So what do you do when a colleague who's been out on maternity leave visits the office with her new baby and three-year-old and the three-year-old needs entertaining but you have not one child-friendly thing to be found in your cubicle?

Do a quick search for "coloring pages," happen on these cute hedgehog pictures by Jan Brett, find a pack of highlighters and an empty desk, and the child has something to keep her amused while her mother shows off the baby.

I'm sure the Internet abounds in such resources, but I've never had occasion to go looking before. The rain forest pictures look like they'd be fun to do, too.

Monday, October 25, 2004

Quote of the day
Every time we postpone some necessary event—whether we put off doing the dinner dishes till morning or defer an operation or some difficult labor or study—we do so with the implication that present time is more important than future time (for if we wished the future to be as free and comfortable as we wish the present to be, we would perform necessary actions as soon as they prove themselves necessary).
Excerpted from Time and the Art of Living, by Robert Grudin, in the current A Common Reader catalogue. The online version of the quote adds this line: "Disrespect for the future is a subtly poisonous disrespect for self, and forces us, paradoxically, to live in the past."

(The cover of the paper catalogue has a weirdly wonderful photo of a row of baobab trees from Thomas Parkenham's book, The Remarkable Baobab.)

Saturday, October 23, 2004

When I am an old woman I shall eat books

I made a quick trip this morning to the TKGA Southwest Conference & FiberArts Market being held at the Burbank Airport Hilton. I didn't go to any of the classes, but I did spend a couple of hours in the FiberArts Market. Wow. And this is a small event, I imagine, compared to the larger festivals I've read about. But I was overwhelmed as it was. So I fell back on what I know—buying books. I may have to go back tomorrow and buy some wool after I figure out what to do with it and, therefore, how much to get.

I really like the hand-spun and -dyed wool from Hand Jive Knits. I also enjoyed the Sheep City, USA booth (no website yet).

From Sheep City, USA:
Foot Notes: Socks to Make Your Feet Dance, by Joseph Madl (Philosopher's Wool)

Projects for Community Knitting, by Carol Anderson (Cottage Creations)

Natural Dyes and Home Dyeing, by Rita J. Adrosko

Vintage to Vogue: The Best of Workbasket Magazine.

Small Sweaters: Colorful Knits for Kids, by Lise Kolstad and Tone Takle.

More Sweaters: A Riot of Color, Pattern, and Form, by Lise Kolstad and Tone Takle.
From The Village Spinning & Weaving Shop in Solvang—definitely on my road trip list.
The Knit Hat Book, by Nicky Epstein.

Patterns for Guernseys, Jerseys & Arans: Fisherman's Sweaters from the British Isles, by Gladys Thompson.

Folk Knitting in Estonia: A Garland of Symbolism, Tradition and Technique, by Nancy Bush.

Two-end Knitting: A Traditional Scandinavian Technique also known as 'Twined Knitting', by Anne-Maj Ling.

Toy Knits, by Debbie Bliss.

Latvian Dreams: Knitting from Weaving Charts, by Joyce Williams.

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Weather report

It rained all night. First rain of the season.

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Today's book list

In stacking order, from smallest to largest, with a nod to Mental multivitamin.

Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight: An African Childhood, by Alexandra Fuller. Why? Because an aunt is reading the autobiography for her bookclub and asked me to read it and send her my comments.

The Writer and the World: Essays, by V. S. Naipaul. Why? Because it's by Naipaul, it includes essays of "Africa and the Diaspora," and it was recommended at Blog of a Bookslut.

Breaking the Fall: Religious Readings of Contemporary Fiction, by Robert Detweiler. Why? Because of the subject matter and because it received the American Academy of Religion Award for Excellence in Publishing.

King of the Two Lands: The Pharaoh Akhenaten, by Jacquetta Hawkes. Why? Historical fiction about Egypt by an archaeologist, an interesting woman who was married to J. B. Priestly, whose novels I thoroughly enjoy. An American first-edition, 1966, for $10.

The Shape of Living: Spiritual Directions for Everyday Life, by David F. Ford. Why? Because I feel like I'm being shaped too much by my full-time, corporate job. Ford uses images of flood and the computer to describe the sense of being overwhelmed. He states:
The issue at stake is the whole shape of living. To attend to that when we are being overwhelmed is no easy matter. But it is hard to imagine any adequate way of coping that does not try to answer the big questions about life, death, purpose, good, and evil. So the basic conviction of this book is that we need to attend to the shape of living. We do not need to drown in what overwhelms us, nor is the solution to fiddle with some of the details [....] [T]he main task is to stretch our minds, hearts, and imaginations in trying to find and invent shapes of living. It is a task as old as the flood and as modern as the computer. (pp. 16-17)
The Comforter, by Sergius Bulgakov. Why? Because I want to keep reading in Orthodox theology and the cover picture, an anonymous 1517 painting of Pentecost with the Holy Spirit pictured as dove with wings outspread. Last week, at her farewell party, my pastor had us quote with her these lines from Hopkins:
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.

Monday, October 11, 2004

Bus stop exchange

As I was waiting for the second bus on my three-bus route to get to work this morning (I had to leave my car at the mechanic's), I pulled out my knitting, a Jean Frost jacket in an easy black-and-white slip stitch pattern that looks more complicated than it is. A woman who was also waiting at the bus stop came over and admired the knitting. I asked her if she knew how to knit. She replied, "I'm Armenian. We do everything!"

Tuesday, October 05, 2004


I love how a random click on a link directs me places I'd probably not deliberately seek out that introduce me to an author or book that intrigues me and ties together other ideas I've been reading about.

For example, somewhere (I don't remember where) I saw a link to an article about a family who decide to live for a year and not spend money on things, except food and other depletable necessities.

I then looked around the site of the person who'd originally linked to the article. She homeschools her children following the book The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home, by Susan Wise Bower and Jessie Wise. I'd not heard of the book but know of others who use the classical pattern for their children's educations.

So I recognized a similar book title, The Well-Educated Mind: A Guide to the Classical Education You Never Had, when I read through the book catalogue from A Common Reader, which I had requested after reading a couple entries at Theory of the Daily.

The notion of being self-educated or, at least, continuing to build on my earlier education now that I'm working full-time again and am out of academia, has been on my mind. I've really been enjoying book sites, especially Blog of a Bookslut. (It amuses me that the site is blocked at work, not because it would distract people from their job duties but because of the title, I'm sure.)

To be continued....