Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Perfect Score

Is anyone really surprised?

Another fun Serenity test can be found here.

Love that movie.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Reading Frenzy

I can't actually bring myself to look at any of my cross stitch. I was happily stitching on JG the night of the fire. I know I packed it away and even zipped up the bag it's in, but I get a nervous feeling in my stomach when I think of checking on the damage to my stitchery. There was soot inside the plastic cabinet holding some of my silk fibers. Right now we just don't have a clean spot for me to safely spread out my fabrics, fibers and other supplies to determine the extent of the damage.

The result of this situation is that I am reading like a woman possessed for the first time in years. I'll update the margins when the hotel connection is a bit better, but for now, I'll just tell you what I've been reading:


Ancestors of Avalon by Diana Paxson--Nice story, but I wanted more details. The good was that it wasn't predictable. The annoying is that there was an editorial error--an inconsistency between the cast of characters and their descriptions in the front of the novel, the early portion of the novel, and the end. Not about something that goes to the heart of the novel, but just significant enough to annoy me.

Sourcery or Cecelia and the Enchanted Chocolate Pot by Patricia Wrede and Caroline Stevener--One of my favorite books at the moment. It is an epistolary novel set in (I believe) Regency England, well, the England of Jane Austin. However, in this world, Magic works and is even part of Society. There are several mysteries about which two cousins decide they "must do something" while one of them tries to enjoy (or survive) her Season in London. Wonderful story and I also recommend the sequel, The Grand Tour.

Post Fire:

Eragon by Christopher Paolini--Excellent fantasy adventure. Amazing that it was written while he was fifteen (but so predictable that a successful home schooler could manage it). Brilliant story. I think the first three chapters are the weakest parts of the book, but it is such a terrific tale, that such a statement is barely a criticism. I will be reading the next book, but I'll wait for the paperback edition (so they match).

Redwall by Brian Jacques--I've always been curious about this series and this current blitz provided the opportunity to start with the first novel. Wonderful tale. It took me a short time to really enjoy it (I picked it up after I finished Eragon), but it was not long until I was entranced. I have read so much fantasy adventure that it was a teensy bit predictable, but I thought the story telling was beautiful. I'll need to keep reading the series. The trick is deciding which one should come next since the series does not appear to be entirely chronological.

The Mercy of Thin Air by Ronlyn Domingue--my list so far should indicate that I probably read far too much of young adult fantasy genre. I generally dislike many of the "adult" books I find because they seem to try to pass off a weak story with a few salacious sex scenes as "literature." While amusing, I don't really find them all that entertaining. I could go on for pages about all the highly acclaimed novels that I just find dull and highly forgettable. I found the Mercy of Thin Air thanks to my most recent Chinaberry catalogue--their descriptions are fantastic because they are written by people who truly love books. I picked Mercy up at BN the other night (sorry Chinaberry--don't worry I'll be shopping with you as soon as this fire mess is resolved but for now I need some instant gratification).

Oh my heavenly stars what a wonderful book. It's a love story. It's a love of life story told by a ghost. It floats back and forth between the present and the past. It is tragic. It is hopeful. It is thoughtful. It is really very special. I want to re-read it soon.

I'm currently reading Artemis Fowl: The Lost Colony by Eion Colfer--yes back the the young adult fantasy genre but I just love this series so I can't help myself. I'm about halfway through it and it is excellent. And it's about time there was someone to provide Artemis with a bit of a challenge.

On the fire recovery front, we are in our fourth (and hopefully last) hotel. Our house is still out of commission, but we will hopefully find a temporary home in the near future.

One of my bosses complimented me on my fortitude or strong spirit or whatever. I don't feel strong. I just feel lucky. The only two things from the house that had any value sleep in the hotel room with me every night (they are the ones snoring). Everything else is replaceable. I'm okay with not knowing where my work clothes are. Or where my tennis shoes went. It's inconvenient, but not horrible.

We're doing okay, because we're together.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Briefly back

The house has been declared uninhabitable--poor thing. It still looks good, but the electrical innards aren't what they are supposed to be. So we are scrambling to figure out how/where we will live for the next month.

We have managed the last week on the kindness of friends and family. Big thanks to Cathy and Steve for giving up one of their weekend days to help us clean and move large items.

Thanks to my Dad and Brother for coming up and for bringing two of the three cousins so that Angie could frolic and play and just feel normal.

Thanks to my Mom for helping out, even though she drove me just a bit crazy. She was/is well intentioned and we probably could not have gotten through the first few days without her. Did I mention she drove me crazy? (Sigh)

And thanks to Jen and Purvez who helped us with our second and third hotel rooms. Probably our fourth too, but we're not quite there yet.

And more thanks to the people at work. No one in my coc checked on me, but my co-workers have been kind and supportive.

I don't know how we will manage the next few weeks or months, but every time I look at Angie and Chas, I'm filled with gratitude that the very worst did not happen.

Our latest hotel (#3) was not accurate about it's internet capabilities so blogging and boarding will be minimal. I'll be here when I'm able.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Small House Fire

That would be our house.

I'm still a little shaken right now so if you want details, Dear Husband's blog at NEO Babble has the story. (Link is in the side bar).

I can only add that I don't think I've moved that fast in quite sometime.

And I am greatful beyond words for the Fire Department, the Police Department and several of our neighbors.

I may still burst into hysterical tears at some point out of sheer stress.

But today, the sun is shining, the sky is blue and my little family is still together and breathing. It's a good day.

Sunday, September 03, 2006


One of my husband's good close friends is very ill. As in, edge of death, life threateningly ill. Chas saw him briefly yesterday at a hospital in Pittsburgh. John was being life-flighted to the Cleveland Clinic either yesterday or today. Chas did not have a good report to give regarding John's status. It is actually an understatement to say that we are very frightened for him.

He has two small boys and a wife who loves him dearly. John is just one of those basically very good human beings and the world definitely needs him to stick around.

If you are so inclined, please send your good thoughts his way and if you pray, please include John and his family in your prayers.


Stitching Summary and September Goals

Well, between the conferences, the wasp sting and the cold, I did very little stitching last month. Just a bit here and there on many projects, I don't think I reached a single actual goal though. So close on many of them.

Two women have recently finished JG and posted their photos at the Chatelaine BB. Just Gorgeous! I am re-inspired to stitch on JG and at least finish the darn final corner ornament and zen garden. I was so close to finishing it last month actually and then I became sick. I stitched a bit on it tonight. The corner ornament is almost done to the same point as all the other ornaments and I'm working on the final zen garden. I'll try to put some nice progress on it tonight and see how it looks tomorrow. I'm still in love with this design and am just barely restraining myself from adding some of the special stitches now.

Here are my September Stitching Goals:

Chatelaine goals:

1. Finish stitching the last zen garden and corner element in JG.
2. Complete the black and blue border in JG and the bonsai pots and red branches in the corner ornaments.
3. Stitch at least one bridge and water section in JG.
4. Stitch one blue and gold corner ornament in WG
5. Stitch one set of grey pillars in WG
6. Stitch one section of greenery in the WG
7. Stitch on Springtime Roses
8. Do the Dragonfly freebie in purple for a friend.
9. Put some stitches in Midi 1.
10. Complete GTK parts 7 & 8
11. Purchase finishing instructions for GTK.
12. Stitch one crane in JG and don't worry about the black background for now.

Non Chatelaine Goals:

1. Stitch at least 30 ten by ten squares on Santorini.
2. Stitch on one of my HAED Wips during every Wednesday QS SAL.
3. Just stitch something on my Japanese Lady for mom.
4. Final charting on my friend's sampler.

Much less variety than my usual list, but I'm trying to focus a bit this month. I have too many wips.