Saturday, April 30, 2005

Thinking About The Impossible Crush

Joshilyn Jackson, of Faster than Kudzu, did a guest blog spot recently (on The Boyfriend List blog) called the Gradeschool Impossible Crush Boyfriend List. As with most of Joss's writing, it was hilarious. It got me thinking about my Gradeschool Impossible Crushes. Who were they? I'm told that when I was very small (pre-grade school, more like toddler age) I had a huge crush on Ilya Kuryakin of "The Man From U.N.C.L.E.". My mom said I'd lean on the TV and say "I love you Ilya". I don't remember doing it, but I don't doubt it. I DO remember having a mad crush on Robin, Batman's sidekick, in the old Adam West "Batman" series. Looking back on it, if I could go back in time and have a talk with my younger self I might try to gently explain to her that perhaps a young man who runs around in tights and has a butler who calls him "Master Dick" is not the best Crush Choice for a young girl. But at the time I thought he was dreamy. I used to pretend to be Dorothy from "The Wizard of Oz" ( I'm sure I chose her at least partly because of those sparkly ruby slippers) and I would make my childhood best friend pretend to be Robin who, in DebWorld, was not only Batman's sidekick, he was Dorothy's boyfriend. I have no idea why. I just thought they should get together. They (we!) would skip down the yellow brick road (made of paper or blankets or chalk on a sidewalk) singing "It's A Small World After All". Seriously. I couldn't make something that pathetic up. I also remember having a crush on Peter Tork from "The Monkees". While most of the other girls were swooning over Davy, I only had eyes for Peter and his dimples. I still have kind of a thing for dimples. But these days I appreciate brains to go with them. And I'm right there with Joshilyn in her crush on Mr. Spock from "Star Trek". Who the heck didn't have a crush on Mr. Spock at some point? What girl growing up in that era didn't think that if only Mr. Spock met her, he would finally feel love and, by golly, he'd LIKE it! writing this I'm noticing a theme. I always swooned over the sidekick/second-in-command instead of the star, didn't I? I have no idea what that means, but I find it interesting. Maybe I didn't want the star because I was too busy BEING the star in my own imagination, skipping down the yellow brick road in my sparkly, ruby-red slippers.

Friday, April 29, 2005

It's Just Another FotoFriday

I walked in the rain after supper yesterday and took my camera along. I have an Olympus Stylus, which is water-resistant. I love that feature. :-) The rain had actually slowed to a drizzle by the time I took the first photo, but it was overcast and late in the day, and I think the light is odd, but interesting. Colors look sort of intense, but flat at the same time. This is a photo of my mailbox, surrounded by a drift of wild mustard flowers. You can still see the redbuds blooming on the hill. J and I were commenting yesterday that this is the longest we can remember the redbud and dogwood flowers hanging on in years. The gravel lane you see winding up the hill on the right is my driveway. It's about a half-mile long. This is, believe it or not, the bottom of a turtle shell. Something must have gotten into a nest of tiny baby turtles, because we found several shells on the driveway, all about the size of a silver dollar, and all missing their occupants. :-/ None of my photos turned out very well, but I played with this one in Photoshop and thought this abstraction of it was fun. And finally, a close-up of the quilting I've started doing on the sun quilt. I'm quilting the hell out of the suns, but trying to do it in a loose, "scribbly" style. I want the quilting lines to look doodling with thread. I have no idea yet what I'm going to quilt in the background spaces, but figure something will come to me by the time I'm ready to work on that part. Yesterday I finished 3 large sun sections and 4 small ones.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

My Inner European

Those of you who have been reading RSR for a while know by now how much I love silly quizzes. This is one I discovered last night when I should have been sleeping.
Your Inner European is Italian!
Passionate and colorful, you show the world what culture really is.
Ok, is anyone at all surprised by this? If so, you shouldn't be. Italy is, after all, where they make Good Shoes. :-)

Factoid Follow-Up

I want to thank those who post comments to my posts. I love to hear your thoughts! Some of the comments about the Factoid Quiz have prompted this follow-up post. So here are my thoughts on: The Amazing Race I'm rooting for Joyce and Uchenna. Any woman who would shave her head just for the chance to stay in the game, when a) she isn't guaranteed to win the money and b) her partner is already bald and doesn't have to do it too gets my vote! I actually thought she looked good bald, but it still had to be a traumatic thing to do. So here's how I'd like to see things end this season: 1st: Joyce and Uchenna (see I just think they seem nice) 2nd: Meredith and Gretchen. I like him. I find her intensely annoying. To steal a line from Joey on "Friends", every time she moans "oooooooh dear" she makes me want to rip off my arm so I have something to hit her with. However I really admire their determination in getting where they are despite not being the physically strongest to start with, plus setbacks like injuries and getting all their stuff taken away. 3rd: Rob and Amber. Yes, they're rude, obnoxious, and selfish. But they're also lucky and skilled. I think they deserve to be in the top three. But I'd like to see someone else win. So in other words, I'd like to see them finish in exactly the order in which they'll be starting the next episode! Retiring to Northern California: The climate sounds perfect. But the cost of living compared to here would mean we wouldn't be able to afford a teensy hovel in a bad neighborhood in that part of the country! Unfortunately, that's what we're going to run into in a lot of different areas. The low cost of living in Kentucky is an advantage while we're here, but a disadvantage if we want to go somewhere else someday. Oh well. We'll burn that bridge when we get there. "Lamb: yada yada....": So far I'm finding it kind of slow going, but with some laugh-out-loud funny lines thrown in here and there. But I'm only about 50 or 60 pages into it, so maybe the pace will pick up a bit as I go on. Marshmallows: You're absolutely right, Kristen! I should've said I don't like unheated marshmallows. If they're toasted, or melted into hot chocolate or something, they're fine. And I like marshmallow cream. (Cream? Creme? hhmmm...) But to me, the out-of-the-bag texture of a marshmallow is like trying to chew on a piece of foam rubber. Bleah.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Doesn't Take Much To Make Me Happy

I've been managing to post to ye olde blogge the past few days by a combination of determination and luck, so you probably haven't known, but I've been having horrid server problems for days now. This is not good. We internet addicts are not happy when we cannot get our fix! But today we had a visit from PatTheTechieGuy. Yay! I don't know Pat's last name, despite the fact that he's spent a fair amount of time visiting the Richardson household since we got our wireless 'net connection a few months ago, so in my mind he is PatTheTechieGuy and I'm always glad to see him arrive when I'm having server problems because he always seems to find a way to fix them, even out here on the edge of nowhere. So this afternoon PatTheTechieGuy and DearHusbandJohnny spent a lot of time moving ladders, and stretching wires, and doing tasks involving tool usage, and other ManlyMan sorts of activities and by the time PatTheTechieGuy left I had a working 'net connection again. YES!! We heart Pat. Pat has pretty eyes. Pat is the new black. (That is a blatant rip-off of some of Joshilyn's favorite lines. Hey, when you see a good one, use it!!) In the end, my receiver dish got moved off the house to a tree in the back yard. The more permanent solution will probably involve installing a pole on which to mount the dish, and digging a trench to install some wires inside conduit, and yada yada yada, blah blah techie stuff, but all that is in the future. I'll think about it tomorrow, at Tara. For now I'm just happy that I can POST again, and I can EMAIL again, and I can SURF again, and I can do it all without holding my breath, or crossing my eyes, or sacrificing a virgin chicken. I'm easily pleased, really. I just want what I want when I want it. Is that unreasonable? In quilting news, while I was waiting on PatTheTechieGuy to arrive, I managed to get the sun quilt top basted and ready to quilt. Stay tuned for breaking news as it develops. Maybe we'll even hear from Bob and Sylvia.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

A Quiz: "Factoids About Me"

I've really got nothing too exciting to report today, plus I have loads to do, so I'm going to share a little Factoids About Me quiz that Julie emailed to me yesterday. (That's just my name for it. It didn't seem to already have a name and I felt bad for it, so I gave it one. I'm not sure it's grateful.) I changed a couple of questions that had to do with who I planned to pass it on to and who I thought would answer first, because a) I don't plan to pass it on via email, so b) the second question becomes moot! However I'm kinda-sorta passing it along by posting it here, yes? So if it interests anyone and you're having a slow day in blogland and would like to post your answers, let me know in comments and I'll come read them! 1. What time did you get up this morning? Around 8:15, after having a weird dream about a friend of J's calling to ask him to drive to New York to pick him up at the airport! (???) 2. Diamonds or pearls? Neither! I prefer colored gemstones. (But if I had to choose between those two, it'd be pearls. But not smooth, round ones...I like odd ones like stick pearls or "rice krispy" pearls) 3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema? Uuuuhhhh...Oh yeah! I remember now, it was "Sideways". I even posted about it here, twice. Duh. 4. What is your favorite TV show? Current: "The Amazing Race" Ever: "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" (closely followed by "Firefly" and "Angel". Joss Whedon is a god.) 5. What did you have for breakfast? Heart Healthy cereal (or is it Healthy Heart?? I can never remember!), with dried mixed berries and milk; 2 cups of coffee, black 6. What is your middle name? Ann 7. What is your favorite food? Dessert! 8. What foods do you dislike? Organ meat (liver, kidneys, etc), pork rinds, pretzels, cabbage, marshmallows (it's a texture thing!), turnips, celery, melons, okra, radishes, black-eyed peas, Dijon mustard, milk (unless it's on cereal), black licorice....I'm sure I'm forgetting some. I'm a little bit picky. 9. What is your favorite chip flavor? Plain tortilla chips! Although I also love sun chips, and salt 'n' vinegar potato chips. 10. What is your favorite CD at the moment? "Wicked" (same as it has been for months...can't believe I'm not burnt out yet.) 11. What type of car do you drive? Buick Park Avenue (I find that mildly embarrassing to's such an old lady car! but very comfy...hehehe) 12. Favorite sandwich? Hot Italian-style lunchmeat sub (naturally, since it's loaded with unhealthy stuff...sheesh!) 13. If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation, where would you go? Europe (all over!) because I've always wanted to see it, or New Zealand because it looks gorgeous and one of my very-bestest friends lives there. 14. What color is your bathroom? One is "blue ribbon" blue, the other is a terra cotta-ish red. 15. Favorite brand of clothing? idea! I don't pay much attention to brands! 16. Where would you retire to? Not sure yet, but someplace with way less humidity, and way less winter, and way MORE sunshine year 'round. 17. Favorite time of the day? Sunset 18. What was your most memorable birthday? None of them really stand out more than the others. Most of them have been quite nice. 19. Where were you born? Cincinnati, OH 20. Favorite sport to watch? Pairs figure skating (and if you don't consider that a sport, than none! HA!) 21. Milk chocolate or dark chocolate? Yes, please. 22. Mountains or beach? Beach. But that's a close call. 23. What fabric detergent do you use? Cheer. What else would a die-hard optimist use?? 24. Coke or Pepsi? Coke, but only rarely (don't really drink soda much) 25. Are you a morning person or a night owl? Night Owl. 26. What is your shoe size? 8 or 8 1/2, depending on the shoe 27. Do you have any pets? Three nice dogs, one evil kitty 28. Any exciting news you'd like to share with your family & friends? I finished the sun quilt top! (And I have the backing sewn....I'm ready to baste! yes!!) 29. What did you want to be when you were little ? An artist or a writer. 30. What book are you currently reading if any? "Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal" by Christopher Moore Thanks Julie, that was fun! :-)

Monday, April 25, 2005

In The Beginning

PirateSusie asked (regarding the Sun quilt) "How did you come up with this idea?" Well, Susie, it was born in a phone sketch doodle. I'm not much of a phone talker, but when I do, I nearly always grab a pen and whatever scrap paper is handy and I draw things. For some reason, one day I was thinking about a traditional New York Beauty block and how much I like that shape, but how much I don't want to do the paper-piecing involved in making a NYB. Then I started doodling and I came up with this: And that was the birth of the sun quilt idea. Evidently I was also shopping for books and underwear that day, and planning to mail something. Aren't you all glad to know that? Ahem.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

The Top, She Is Done! (complete with design ramblings)

Bright Sun top finished!! Yeah, baby!! Well, are those of you who rooted for the gradated strips pleased? I love how it turned out. When I saw that particular mock-up, badly drawn as it was, it clicked in my head. The little quilt voice said "that's it". In case anyone is confused, the above pic is the actual quilt top, not a mock-up. It hangs straighter than the pic makes it look like it does. It's just a teeeensy bit too big for my design cloth, so it's fluttering off the edges! As promised, here are my thoughts on why I decided it needed more instead of stopping with the original center and why I chose what I did. The big problem I was having with the original center is that it seemed top-heavy to me. The lime stripes in the background are there to lead the eye around and I think that works. But the way I have the blocks arranged creates a strong diagonal in the upper left corner and in the original layout, I found that diagonal too strong. I felt like it overpowered the rest. I also got an email from MavRita pointing out that very thing, so I wasn't the only one seeing it that way. With adding more blocks to the right and bottom, it feels balanced to me the interconnecting maze of lime strips in the lower right can hold its own against that strong diagonal in the upper left. It's balanced without being symmetrical, which is exactly what I was after. Now of course I could have done that by just adding extra blocks without adding the strips in there. But I like the focus the strips add. To me, they read as a sort of "cross-hair in a scope" effect, adding some structure and focus. However, I was having problems with all the various colors of solid lines I tried. Red and green both seemed overpowering. Blue seemed cold and stark. When I tried shading the colors, though, I love the effect, as if the lines are moving from the plane of the suns back to the plane of the background. I like the fact that the sun motifs on the right and bottom are complete (even though parts of some are "hiding" behind others), while on the top and left, there are incomplete suns running off the edge of the design. To me, that makes it read like the upper left section is breaking out of a box. So....overall, I'm a happy camper. Now on to quilting decisions!

Revisiting the Book Meme

I followed a link from the Happy Booker and found that the writer of the BookLust blog has done an illustrated version of the Book Meme I posted a few days ago. It's fabulous! I urge you to take a look!

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Dogwood Winter

After more than a week of blue skies and gloriously warm temperatures, Kentucky is now cold, gray, and rainy. Am I surprised? Nope. It's Dogwood Winter. My mother-in-law, Vergie, had all sorts of Appalachian weather hints she passed along to me. And one of the ones I've found to be very true has to do with the "mini-winters" that come along once spring starts. Think of them as like Indian Summer in reverse. There is Redbud Winter, Dogwood Winter, and Blackberry Winter, named (obviously, I suppose!) for the plants that are in bloom when these cold snaps normally occur. My journal quilt for April, 2003, was about this very topic and was called Vergie's Weather Wisdom. This weekend is Dogwood Winter here in northeastern Kentucky. That means only one more stretch of cold weather after this, then I can put away our jackets and sweaters and pull out the shorts and t-shirts, because warm weather will be here to stay for a few months. I know it's true because Vergie said so.

Friday, April 22, 2005

ASTADA Art Bra Exhibit

ASTADA Bazarre Bras (It seems to me these should be "bizarre" instead of "bazarre", but that's what the website says!) I really like some of these! Not like I'd want to wear them under a t-shirt or anything, but there are some fun designs. My favorites include... First Row: the black one with chains, and the "barely there" beaded one next to it Second Row: the one with the jungle leaves and the tiger peaking out Third Row: the jeweled, beaded, tasseled orange/gold "gypsy" one I really don't like the one with the spider and the one with the eyeballs, both on the bottom row. Those two are kinda freakin' me out. :-o My thanks to PirateJenny for the link!

Snapshots of a Walk

I go for a walk nearly every day. This time of year, when the afternoons are starting to get hot and humid, I usually go after supper. I'm always saying "I should take my camera", but almost never do. BUT...earlier this week, I actually remembered to take my camera on my walk! Yay me!! So now, in the "FotoFriday" tradition, I'm going to share three of my favorite photos from that walk. The lower pond in the late afternoon light. Notice the not-red redbud trees flowering at the edge. (Yes, there is an upper pond too.) Hickory leaves breaking out of their "pod". I think they look so cool at this stage! Very exotic...almost alien-looking. A baby oak tree. I think the red color of the new growth, combined with the early sunset light on the hills in the background, make this look more like a fall photo than a spring one.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Studio Tour (please form an orderly line at the door)

Since I've officially designated my studio as my favorite room in the house (and since Artful Quilter Ringleader Diane was talking about enjoying seeing pics of other people's work spaces), I thought I'd give you a little photo tour (mess and all!). Click on any photo you'd like to see larger. Starting at the entrance (look carefully, and you can see a glimpse of the dining room area of the great room through the doorway), here are floor to ceiling shelves holding books and fabric. The mess in front of the shelves is a combination of magazines I want to pull photos from before throwing them away, and books I intend to list on eBay or You can just see the very edge of the 'puter desk on the far right. Moving on counter-clockwise, here is the corner with the 'puter desk and inspiration board. I spend way too much time in this corner. Continuing the same direction, here is the next corner, with my bead/Tarot deck storage cabinet, and an old china cabinet (purchased at a yard sale and refinished by J and me), holding a combination of small finished quilts, fabric, and other supplies. You can also see my currently-piled-with-fabric cutting table, with more fabric on shelves underneath, and the beginnings of my sewing table. Johnny built my cutting and sewing tables. Next, a better view of my sewing table, along with the corner of the other bookshelf wall. Finally, here's a full view of the wall of bookshelves, with my hanging flannel design "wall" over one section. You can see the edge of the door on the far right, so that takes us back to where we started! Hope you enjoyed the tour of my favorite room. :-)

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Fading Away

Our oldest dog, Tansy, is an overweight, nine-year-old Golden Retriever mix. She's prone to all sorts of skin problems, including some nasty hot spots, so we've gotten in the habit of trimming her hair very short every spring and summer. Rather than paying a pro to do it, we bought some clippers and do it ourselves. She probably doesn't get the most even haircut in the world, but it's not too bad and she seems much more comfortable when we're done. So...a couple of days ago we decided it was time to give Tansy her first haircut of the season. Our youngest dog, Riley, who is a fluffy-haired Heinz 57 mutt, needed some grooming too. She's shedding like mad and desperately needed to be combed. So I left Johnny on the front porch with Tansy and the clippers, while I worked on Riley with an undercoat rake inside. A little while later, when I decided I'd done all I could do for the moment, I went outside to see how Tansy's haircut was progressing. May I just say, with complete sincerity, Oh My Gawd!!!! Johnny had taken the little depth guide thingy off the clippers and had simply sheared her sides nearly down to the skin (except for random patches that he missed!), while leaving the hair on her back its normal length. He'd given her a Fade cut! A really, really BAD Fade cut!! If she were human, the trauma of this haircut would mean we'd be paying for therapy for her for a very long time, or maybe getting a call to appear on the Jerry Springer show, or both. But luckily, she's a dog, and a very good-natured one at that. That's one thing you've gotta love about dogs. Most of them don't hold grudges. Here's a picture of Tansy with the man who did this to her. I guess I'm a bad "parent" too. If she were human, posting this picture on the 'net would probably earn me a chapter in her autobiography. And not in a good way.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

My Favorite Room

Diane, Leader of the Artful Quilters Web Ring asked the group What is your favorite room in your house? Why? I hate to be so obvious, but it's favorite room is my studio, which is also my 'puter room/library. It's what I would call my Favorite Things Room. It has my sewing table, cutting table, fabric stash, threads. It has assorted other art supplies, like paints, brushes, glue, collected paper ephemera for collage. It has floor-to-ceiling bookshelves on two walls, which contain both a great fiction collection and some inspiration books. The book shelves are where I set up my design "wall" too. I have brackets where I hang a largish piece of flannel from a rod right over the bookshelves. It has a jewelry armoire that used to belong to my mother, that now houses my beads and beading supplies and most of my Tarot card collection. It has the 'puter desk, my link to the outside world beyond rural Kentucky. And it has fun things on the walls, from my "idea board" (a bulletin board next to the desk, where I stick things that inspire me), to various quilts, antique ads, and other artwork on the walls...some things I've made, some things I've bought or been given as gifts. When my husband, or the dogs or cat come looking for me, this is always the first room they check. There are other rooms in the house that are larger, or more attractive, but this room is my favorite because it's just so very me. I said weeks ago I'd post a better pic of "Octopus Garden", the quilt Laume made for me, and since it ties into the Favorite Room theme, here's a pic of her wonderful quilt hanging above my 'puter desk. Click on it if you want to see a close-up of the quilt. "Octopus Garden" by Laume Zekas

What Kind of Girl Are You?

If you are reading this and you AREN'T a girl (woman!!), there's also a "What Kind Of Girl Is She?" quiz you can take with a specific woman in mind. The quiz is from the writers of "Cooking to Hook Up", a new cookbook that is written with the idea of teaching bachelors to cook for their dates. (link below)
I am a hybrid of: Indie Girl Progressive Girl

Click on the pictures below to read more:

Indie GirlProgressive Girl
Take the 'What Kind of Girl Are You?' quiz at

I have to say, I found their results pretty accurate in my case! Thanks to Joshilyn for posting the link to the quiz. I love taking quizzes! :-) So...what kind of girl does it say you are? And do you agree??

Sunday, April 17, 2005

A Rose By Any Other Name?

Synchronicity in action: For some reason I started thinking this morning about book titles, and cover art, and how important they are, or aren't, to a book's success. I made my daily blog rounds, and when I checked out Faster Than Kudzu, I found that one of the things Joshilyn is talking about is the importance of title and cover art. Key Twilight Zone music, please. Her conclusion? Title and cover art are vitally important. My conclusion? Title and cover art are vitally important when you are a freshly-published, downy, new author who doesn't yet have a fan base, but become less and less important the better known you become. Let's take the Harry Potter phenomenon, for example. There is no doubt in my mind that at this point J. K. Rowling could announce that book 7 in the series will be called "Harry Potter and the Mutant Nosehair" and the book would still be a runaway bestseller before it was even written. People around the world would pre-order online. People would line up to buy the book from their favorite bookstore at midnight the day it's released. Websites and bulletin boards and chat rooms would spring up overnight speculating on such vital topics as "Who has the mutant nosehair?"..."Why did it mutate?"..."What does it do?"..."And does it, ferpetesake, have any effect on Harry's love life??" Admittedly very few books have the fan base of the Harry Potter books. But there are lots of authors who have a dedicated following, and those fans wouldn't think twice about what the cover looks like or what the title is. Someone on Johnny's side of the family --- a sort of cousin-in-law --- is a HUGE fan of Stephen King. She buys every single thing he has published and I feel certain that if he wrote a book called "Stephen King's Guide To Reading The Phone Book", she would buy it without even reading the description. Me, I gave up on Stephen King the day I finished the last page of "Pet Semetary" and threw it across the room in disgust. However I am a HUGE fan of Dean Koontz. I love his characters. The good guys are people I'd love to know in real life and the bad guys are so bad that I'm glad they live only in his head instead of next door to me. And I love his use of language. Mr. Koontz loves words, and it shows. I have a pretty good vocabulary and it's a rare fiction writer who sends me to the dictionary to look up a word, but he does it in almost every book. So I can say in all seriousness that if I saw that Dean Koontz had written a book called "Princess Sunshine and the Fluffy Bunny", I would buy it. Immediately. In hardback. No questions asked. However, once I opened it and began to read, I would expect it to be a distinctly Dean Koontz-ish sort of story. I would expect to discover that Princess Sunshine's full name is Princess Sunshine McPherson and that she is a mild-mannered bookshop owner with a quirky sense of humor, who was born in a commune to parents who did a few too many drugs before choosing her name, and that she now lives a quiet, ordinary life (trying to ignore jokes about her name) until circumstances thrust her into an extraordinary situation. I would expect to find that the Fluffy Bunny is actually a bloodthirsty, telepathic alien, disguised as a harmless earth rabbit in order to carry out a scheme to conquer the earth and that Princess is the only person who knows the truth and is trying to stay alive and out of a mental institution while she fights Fluffy Bunny's nefarious plan. Or maybe Fluffy Bunny is the code name of a sociopathic assassin who is out to kill Princess because she saw something she shouldn't have seen, and now she's on the run for her life. If, instead, I opened the book and found that Princess Sunshine was actually a princess named Sunshine and that Fluffy Bunny was actually a long-haired rabbit, I would be horribly disillusioned and for the NEXT book, the title would matter and I'd carefully read and consider the synopsis before plunking down any cash. I'd love to see some well-known authors test this theory, deliberately giving their books oddball names to see if they still sell. Mary Higgins Clark could write one called "Beer Barrel Polka" (in keeping with so many of her books being named for song titles or lyrics). Danielle Steel could write one called "The Secrets of Quantum Mechanics". Dan Brown could write "The Violet Lace Valentine". Of course, if my hypothesis is wrong, I don't supposed they'd appreciate losing sales because of my suggestion. And if an author is still relatively unknown, well....let's just say that if "Princess Sunshine and the Fluffy Bunny" was written by someone named Joe Smith, it better have a wonderful synposis, good cover art, amazing reviews, and glowing recommendations from trusted friends. Because although a rose by any other name would smell as sweet, sometimes a rose really needs to be called a rose...or else needs to hire a great PR person.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Another Sign Of Spring In Kentucky

Painted toenails peeking out of Boho Chic Blue Slides NOW, I'm going to go sew. Really.

Chocolate Festival

Johnny and I just spent a couple of hours at the Chocolate Festival in Washington, Kentucky. It's a nice little town about 15 miles from here and they have the Chocolate Festival the third weekend of every April. We had a nice time, but believe it or not, did NOT buy any chocolate! Almost criminal, I know. We taste-tested a couple of things, but none of the chocolate was making us think we really had to have it. We bought a couple of fried apple pies...a treat J's mom and my Grandma Keeton both used to make, but they're both gone now and I don't make them, so we sometimes buy them for old times sake when we see them at bake sales. Bought some hot relish. Bought some raffle tickets (to try to win a free hour-long massage session!). And my prize of the day was a lovely little blue and green art glass vase that I found on a flea market table for a mere $2.00. This is a picture of the vase on the railing of our back deck. I included the background so you could see how pretty the grass is right now...bright green, with "sunshine puddle flowers" scattered around, and the trees are just starting to leaf out. If you want to see a close-up of just the vase, click on the photo. Johnny's prize of the day was two lovely, healthy-looking cherry trees for a mere $5.00 each. He's out planting them right now. Now that I've had my morning of play, I'm off to sew more on the sun quilt!

Friday, April 15, 2005

Andy Goldsworthy

June, thank you for telling me about Andy Goldsworthy's work. I googled him and came up with some websites with photographs and I love what I see! For anyone who didn't read June's comments and/or may not be familiar with Andy Goldsworthy, he's an artist who works with natural, found materials like dandelions, or driftwood, or pebbles, or ice, and creates a sculpture, takes a photograph of it just after it's finished as a record of what he's done, and then lets nature take it's course, gradually changing and eventually destroying what he's built. Here are a couple of links if anyone else wants to take a look. Center For Global Environmental Education Images of Pantheistic Art 1

The Book Meme

The other day I followed a link from Manolo to end up at Suburban Housewife, where one of the things I found and enjoyed reading was a Book Meme. So I blatantly stole it. HA! So here, with only minor Debification, is the Book Meme. You're stuck inside Fahrenheit 451, which book would you want to be? I've never read Fahrenheit 451. It always sounded depressing and I'm not into depressing. But I know the general idea of the plot --- a future where books are outlawed and burned because they are thought to give people ideas which cause unhappiness and dissatisfaction, and people here and there to try to hold onto contraband books and try to memorize them so the stories they contain can be saved until a day when books may be allowed again. (At least I think I have that more-or-less right!) So I'm assuming, right or wrong, that this question is asking which book I would choose if I was responsible for saving one story from extinction. I think I would choose Replay by Ken Grimwood. It's not considered any great work of literature, but I figure there would be plenty of people trying to save better-known books. And Replay is one of those books that, the first time I read it, I finished it and sat there and said "Wow!". And I've read it several times since and still have the "wow" reaction. Have you ever had a crush on a fictional character? Of course! Hasn't everyone?? I've had crushes on lots of fictional characters, but one of the earliest I can think of was Calvin from A Wrinkle In Time, by Madeleine L'Engle. I loved the way he saw past Meg's surliness and geekiness to the woman she would become. The last book you bought is: gods in Alabama, by Joshilyn Jackson The last book you read: gods in Alabama! And it was FABULOUS!! I'll be reading it again!! What are you currently reading? The Serpent in the Crown, by Elizabeth Peters. It's the latest in the Amelia Peabody series. I normally love those books, but must confess I'm finding this one a little slow. Five books you would take on a desert island (assume for this list that you won't need any survival manuals or anything...your five books are luxury items to comfort you!): This is sooooo hard. I could easily pick fifty and not feel like I'd gotten all my favorites. But ok, I'm going to pick five and try not to think about the rest. (sigh) 1. Replay by Ken Grimwood (pretty much have to pick that one after my answer to question one!!) 2. Ingathering by Zenna Henderson --- a list of all her "People" short stories gathered in one place. 3. The Anubis Gates by Tim Powers --- another "wow" book for me. 4. Lightning by Dean Koontz --- "wow" 5. Summer of the Dragon by Elizabeth Peters --- my favorite book she's written under the E.P. pseudonym...pure fluff, but great fun Aaaarrrrggghhh....I just can't tell you how I'm wailing as I think of so many others I want on that list. Ok....calm down, Deb, it's not real.... Who are you going to pass this stick to (3 people) and why? Nobody, because that feels too "chain letter-y". But if anyone wants to steal it from me, with or without your own additions, I'd love it if you'd post a comment telling me you did, so I can go read your answers. I love to hear what books other people enjoy!

We Have a Decision

After sleeping on it, We (that would be the Royal We, meaning I) have made a decision on the sun quilt. We have decided it isn't done yet. (Sorry to disappoint those who like it as-is!) I've done some more sewing today. I'm not going to say just yet what I chose...I'll just surprise you with a picture one day soon, and when I do, I'll talk a little about why I chose what I did. Something to look forward to, yes? ;-) I want to thank everyone who took time to look and to comment, either here or privately. Hearing your reactions to the various choices helped clarify some things for me, so I appreciate your input.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Two more....

Because a couple of people have asked "what if the strips in the second one were a different color?", here are two more variations. Suns with blue strips Suns with multi-colored strips

To B or Not to B

Not to B(order)? If that is the case, I can start to layer and quilt. I finished the last four small blocks yesterday afternoon and pieced everything together last night. Oh, and Gerrie asked if these were fused and I meant to reply in another post and forgot. Yep, the blocks are a combination of piecing and fusing. Piefusion, if you like. Here's a pic of the quilt top if I decide to stick a fork in it and move on to quilting. To B(order)? Here is my attempt to do a mock-up in Photoshop of what this thing will look like if I do the expansion I had in mind. Keep in mind that my Photoshop "skills" (for lack of a better word) are far less than that of the average 12-year-old, so you'll have to use your imagination and pretend things like "the lines are straight" and "the blocks meet", and so on. I'm still dithering on this issue, so feel free to discuss among yourselves. Just be prepared for the possibility of abrupt and apparently illogical decisions, because, well...I do that sort of thing. TraLaLaaaaa.....

Signs of Spring in Kentucky

1. The Redbud trees burst from orchid-purple bud into glorious lilac-purple bloom. Why, you might ask, are purple-blooming trees called "Redbuds"? My theory is that they were named by the same person who thought yellow cake with vanilla custard between the layers and chocolate frosting on top should be called Boston Cream Pie. 2. Nearly every lawn has huge swaths of sunny yellow dandelions. I actually really love dandelions in their yellow flower stage, and hate to see everyone mowing them down. I think they look like puddles of sunshine on the lawn. I admit to feeling somewhat less charitable about them when they wander out of the lawn and into the flower beds and vegetable garden. 3. You drive 'round the bend and suddenly see Young Goats In Love, doing the HubbaBubba right next to the road. I bet that's a sight you don't see every day in NYC or L.A. least not in NYC.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Feat of Clay

Thanks to MavKarla for posting this link --- check it out: Feat of Clay Shoe Challenge Lots of creativity there! I love the winner, especially the surprise on the sole, but I have to give special kudos to the second place artist, Katherine Dewey. Not only are those shoes hilarious, they actually look wearable! If they were made from leather instead of clay, I would wear those shoes!!!! Of course, I freely admit I'm a little warped. :-)

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Border Wars

I love it that so many people are liking the sun quilt so far and are taking the time to comment. But I've just got to tell you that y'all are cracking me up. I can just picture you out there thinking "A border? My god, no, NO! She's going to ruin it! We must STOP her!!!!" Naturally this awakens the perverse evil twin side of my nature. I have a nearly-overpowering urge to sew big, WIDE borders consisting of prairie points, and pinwheels, and fat little Sunbonnet Sue blocks in pink gingham, and baste them to all four sides of the quilt and proudly post huge photos. I figure anyone who isn't immediately stricken with hysterical blindness at this atrocity, will go utterly and irrevocably insane and will tear off their clothes and run away into the jungle, where they will establish a cult with themselves as the leader, until someone is sent in on a covert mission to destroy them, at which time they will lie there on the crumbling stone steps of their temple and look up at the darkness, picturing the sun-quilt-with-borders, and mutter "the horror....the HORROR....." before going to their death. (Quick! name that book and/or movie! Bonus points if you can name both!) Unfortunately I probably won't carry out this Dastardly Scheme because a) it sounds like an awful lot of work for a Sick Joke and I'm basically lazy; b) I don't think I even remember how to make prairie points. Of course there's probably a tutorial online somewhere. If there's a tutorial showing women how to pee standing up like a man (and there is!), then surely there's a prairie point tutorial. But looking for it sounds like a lot of work. (see also item "a" re: lazy); c) I don't think I own any gingham, and if I did I don't think it would be pink. Curses! Another Evil Genius Plan shot down in flames before it ever left the ground. I suppose it will just have to live on in my mind. And now in yours! Aren't you glad I shared? :-) This "stop the borders" campaign reminds me of something that happened when I was in college. I was in a painting class and the professor had set up a still life and instructed us to choose just a portion of it to paint. (So even though we were all working from the same subject, we weren't all painting the same thing.) I ended up painting an assortment of objects against a cloth background that was a sort of Della Robbia blue. I was working merrily along and one day during critique time, I mentioned in passing that my future plans included painting a fold into the background, because I thought the painting looked like it needed a line element there. The prof looked horrified. "Noooo!" she cried. "It looks so good smooth! It makes the still life read as a sort of landscape. Don't do it, you'll ruin it!" "No, nooooooo" chimed in the other students. "It's a mistake! You'll be sorry! The horror...the HORROR!" (Ok, they didn't really say the horror thing, but I had to throw that in there.) I paused. Could they all be right and I be so very, VERY wrong?? But the painting was STILL telling me, pretty damn insistently, that it wanted a line in that spot! So between that class and the next, I flew in the face of all advice and painted a fold line into the background. The prof walked in. Looked at the painting. Looked at me. Looked back at the painting. "Oh" she said, "I see what you mean. That DOES look better." The other students agreed. Well, except for Gary. But then, Gary didn't like me and if I said the grass was green, he'd say it was blue just to be perverse. And to be fair, the feeling was more than mutual. I'd have said his green grass was blue too. So Gary's opinion doesn't count. So really guys...I don't know if I WILL add a border element...I may decide you're all right and the quilt and I are wrong. But if I do add something more, I promise you I won't ruin it. It'll be FINE. Trust me. My instincts are good. Worst case scenario, I have a lovely selection of seam rippers and I know how to use them. ;-)

Sideways Again

Diane!! Thank you!! I get it now, I really do! After reading your "Sideways" comments on your blog and here, I understand now what my problem was with the movie, and I find I'm surprised at exactly what was going on in my head. My problem was that I lost hope for the characters. And this is shocking for anyone who knows me, because I am a relentless optimist, to the point of no doubt being annoying to others sometimes. Most of the time, if you show me that proverbial glass, I'll not only tell you it's half-full, I'll tell you I think I see someone heading this way with a refill pitcher and a bowl of freshly-sliced lemons. But when I watched "Sideways", the characters seemed so real to me, and so very lost, and damaged, that I think I gave up on them. I looked too far beyond the ending of the movie and projected my feeling that Jack would probably fall back into chasing women and destroy his marriage, and that Miles would probably blow things with Maya, and stop writing, and die alone in bitter obscurity. And maybe they would, who knows? But maybe NOT. As you pointed out, the THING --- the big thing I was totally missing! --- is that they were trying. By the end, they were both doing something that scared them --- commitment in Jack's case, and emotional risk-taking in Miles' case. It's that whole "the journey is more important than the destination" idea again, isn't it? I believe that, but I don't always remember it! And forgetting that gets me in trouble sometimes. So thank you to everyone who commented, and in particular thank you to Diane for showing me what I was missing. Now I think that I'll want to watch "Sideways" again someday, and that I'll see it differently, and appreciate it more. On a less philosophical note, it also made me really want to visit California wine country someday! I've never been to that part of the state and it looked gorgeous. Now...seriously...anyone care to take a shot at explaining the ending of "Hedwig and the Angry Inch"???

Monday, April 11, 2005

Finally, a Sun Report!

Only four small blocks to go and I'll be ready to start sewing blocks together. Yeah, baby! I'm still thinking about where to go from there. Melody paid me a visit (well, not ME, personally, which is good because my house is currently disgusting even by MY standards, but she paid Red Shoe Ramblings a visit) and said she thinks the suns dun need no steeenkin' border. I'm going to have to at least consider that idea, because I LOVE Melody's work. I think her quilts are Practically Perfect In Every Way. I don't think I want a traditional border, but I don't think I'm done when I get these blocks pieced together either. When I picture it that way, it looks unfinished to me. This thing is whispering in my ear that it wants something to the bottom and right of the current composition, but so far I'm not quite catching exactly what it wants. Stay tuned! In the meantime, here's the latest progress pic. Bright Suns Pic number 3,947.672 (or something like that)

Sunday, April 10, 2005

My Favorite Guilty Pleasure, Complete With Philosophical Rambling

Diane, owner of the Artful Quilters Web Ring (of which I am a brand new member - thanks, Diane!), asked the members of the ring the question "What is your favorite guilty pleasure?" I thought about it and several things came to mind and were discarded. They are things that certainly bring me pleasure, and that many people would probably believe I SHOULD feel guilty about...things like sugary or fatty food, trashy novels, "fluffy" movies, cheezy TV shows, a love of footwear, etc., etc. But the fact is, I don't feel particularly guilty about any of those things. I like myself. I like my life. I feel no particular desire to live on tofu and sprouts on rice cakes, or to read tomes of philosophy in the original Greek, or to watch documentaries on the life cycle of the fruit fly, or artistic movies with subtitles, or to listen to Gregorian chants. If someone really loves any or all of those things, then Yay, You! You go, Girl! (or boy, or man, or woman, or quadruped!) Me, I'm more of a fried chicken and coconut cream pie sort of woman. A red-shoe-wearing, romantic-comedy-musical-watching, Amazing Race-loving, trashy-novel-reading, "Wicked"-sound-track sort of woman. I eat leftover birthday cake for breakfast. I wear earrings every day and most of them are dangly and sparkly. I wear quirky, colorful socks. I sing silly songs. I make up rude and funny sayings from the initials on car license plates. I laugh a lot. I'm sure my attitude sometimes means that people won't take me very seriously. Hold on a minute while I pencil in a time to feel bad about that. How about 12:01 to 12:17 AM next Thursday? But here's the thing. If God told me I would die tomorrow if I don't change my ways, or that I could make big changes and live to be 100, I'd say "Ok, God, thanks for letting me know. See ya tomorrow!" I would get on the phone and call my family and all my friends. I would tell them what was happening, and ask any of them who could to get their asses to my house as fast as possible. I'd have a party. There'd be lots of food and drink for everyone, and I'd eat one entire coconut cream pie all by myself. I'd hug everyone and tell them I love them, and send them away with piles of fabric, and beads, and books, and all sorts of other things to remember me by. I'd regret causing pain to anyone I'd be leaving behind who loves me, but I wouldn't regret how I've lived my life. I'd rather live 43 years than exist 100 years. So just about the time I'm thinking of all this and thinking well, that's it then...I don't have any guilty pleasures, it hit me. I do! I DO have a guilty pleasure! I'm sure it'll seem like a let-down after all the life-and-death stuff above, but here it is. My guilty pleasure is a Starbucks Caramel Frapuccino. They're about a bazillion empty calories, which isn't the part that bothers me the most, but I'll mention it. They are hideously expensive. I mean, come on....approx. $4 for a coffee slushy?? Sheesh! And it's Starbucks, which is one of those companies like McDonald's or Wal-Mart that is spreading so fast and so far that it's taking on "plague on the earth" status in my mind. I could learn to make one at home. But do I? No. I march in, get in line, all the while thinking (and occasionally even muttering) about money and plagues, and march right up and say "Grande Caramel Frap, No Whip", and hand over the money, and watch and wait while someone else does it for me. Some small part of me, where there's a semi-dormant Trendoid gene gets a cheap little thrill at ordering in StarbucksSpeak and walking away with my treat. No ingredients to get out or put away. No blender to clean. No thought required. No effort required, other than the brief effort it takes to tell my conscience to shut up about money and plagues and empty calories, and just order, dammit. And it tastes soooooo good.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

"Little Shop of Whores" mean "Horrors"

C'mon...I can't be the ONLY one who feels like I'm saying "Little Shop of Whores" every time I try to say "Little Shop of Horrors". As mentioned earlier, I went to Cincinnati Thursday to see a performance of this show at the Aranoff Center. I went with my sister and brother-in-law (Sandy and Andy), and Andy's sister, Cheri. I'd seen the movie version years ago (didn't remember much about it to be honest), but this was the first time I'd seen it live. I loved it! We had a blast. I think I'm going to have to buy the CD. We were sitting in row BB, toward one end as it curves toward the stage. So we were technically in the second row, but the first row ended just before our section of seats, so it was like we were in the first row. Andy, who is quite tall and was in the end seat, could put his foot out and touch the front of the stage. This is the first time I've ever sat that close to the stage for a live performance and it was a really interesting experience! Like anything, it had its good points and its bad points. Unlike sitting farther back, where you tend to see an overview of the stage, there was no real way to see the whole stage at once from where we were. You had to move your head around a lot, like being courtside at a basketball game, and during scenes where there were several characters on stage and a lot going on, I sometimes felt like I didn't know quite where to look. But it was so cool to be able to really SEE the performers. To be able to see their faces clearly, to see the details of the costumes and the stage sets. To be able to HEAR their voices...not just on the sound system, but the way you can hear someone who is talking or singing just a few feet away. VERY cool. But there turned out to be a downside to that close contact with the performers too. When Andy made the reservations, I said half-jokingly "Wow, we'll be able to feel their sweat flying when they spin." Ok, to be fair, I didn't feel any sweat. BUT. The guy who played the Audrey's sadistic dentist boyfriend? He turned out to be a spitter. Not just a little bit of a spitter, like when you see someone with some spit bubbles at the side of their mouth. He was a sprayer. He was center-stage, singing his big number, and the lights were on him and we could SEE spit-spray coming out over the audience, like someone had turned on a lawn sprinkler. I was looking at those poor people who were front and center and feeling so grateful that I wasn't one of them. Then it happened. He started moving right, toward our seats. OH MY GAWD. We all looked at each other in horror and panic. I really considered grabbing my mini-umbrella out of my purse. Really! It wouldn't have helped Andy, who was on Sandy's other side, but Sandy and Cheri and I could've hidden behind it. We were all cringing and giggling hysterically, and I'm pretty sure some of my "omigawds" and "oh shits" got muttered out loud. I didn't want to hurt they guy's feelings, so I hope if he could see or hear us past the stage lights that he just thought we were REALLY into the comedy of the song. It WAS a funny song. But not that funny. I can't really tell you for sure if I got any spit-mist on me or not. I didn't FEEL anything, so hopefully he at least didn't get my face. And if anything landed on my beloved beaded black kitten-heel mules, well, I really don't want to know. Everything I was wearing except the shoes got thrown into the hamper as soon as I got home, just in case. Sandy, Andy, Cheri, and I made a pact. Even if we have the chance for front-row seats in future performances, we're not going to go for anything closer than four rows back. We figure that should be out of spitting range. And to the young man who played the dentist in the April 7 performance of "Little Shop of Horrors" in Cincinnati --- if you ever read this, I'm sorry, I don't mean to be cruel, but....EEEUUUWWWWWW!!!

My Sideways Opinion

I went to Cincinnati Thursday. I had plans to go see "Little Shop of Horrors" (more on that later), but got to town early and finished some errands with time to spare, so I decided to go see a movie until time for Sandy to get off work. There's one of those "dollar-saver" second-run cinemas near her house, so I went to see "Sideways", since I'd been hearing so much about it and was curious. I've just got to say, I don't see what all the fuss is about. To be fair, the acting is good. Maybe even excellent. So I can see people praising the performances. But the movie itself? I would describe it as "odd and depressing, with occasional bursts of mostly-dark comedy". I actually laughed out loud in a couple of places, but most of it made me feel sad. And I hated the ending. The movie seemed too long to me (I kept finding myself checking my watch during the last hour), and yet I wish they'd made it a little longer because it seemed to me that the story ended about one minute too soon! I won't say why in case anyone is reading this who hasn't seen it yet. I was left sitting there saying "uuuhh....that's it?....that's the end?" and I heard a woman not far from me turn to her companion and ask that very thing. So if you're reading this, and you loved "Sideways", maybe you can explain to me why. What am I missing?? Because there must be something there I just didn't get. And if you can explain the ending to me, I'd love that. And speaking of ambiguous endings, can anyone explain the ending of "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" to me? I'd be ever-so grateful. Thanks.

Magnificent Mermaid Name

I want to thank everyone for the nice comments on the mermaid doll and for the name suggestions. I've decided her name is Marlena. (pronounced mar-LAY-nah) It starts with "Mar" as a tribute to her creator, Martha, and also sounds sultry to me, because it makes me think of Marlene Dietrich. She's still sitting on my scanner for now, so I can see her as I type. She's so pretty. :-)

Thursday, April 07, 2005

I'm an English Genius? Go Figure!

I love online tests and I found this one thanks to Julie. Here's a link in case you want to see if you too are an English Genius: The Commonly Confused Words Test (I don't like how the results are formatting here, but when I try to fix it, I'm just making it worse....never mind, I'll just live with it!)
English Genius You scored 100% Beginner, 100% Intermediate, 100% Advanced, and 86% Expert!
You did so extremely well, even I can't find a word to describe your excellence! You have the uncommon intelligence necessary to understand things that most people don't. You have an extensive vocabulary, and you're not afraid to use it properly! Way to go!

Thank you so much for taking my test. I hope you enjoyed it! For the complete Answer Key, visit my blog:

My test tracked 4 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:
You scored higher than 64% on Beginner
You scored higher than 72% on Intermediate
You scored higher than 79% on Advanced
You scored higher than 91% on Expert
Link: The Commonly Confused Words Test written by shortredhead78 on Ok Cupid

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Hot Stuff From the Cold North

I got Good Mail today! Mr. UPS Man pulled up in his big, beautifully ugly, brown truck and handed me a box and inside was a gift from my friend Martha, who lives in Alaska and is an amazing quilt artist and bead artist and now apparently a doll artist! Martha had to have been working on this prezzie for a while, but she kept verrrrry quiet about it. I wish I could put a link here so you could see more of her work, but she doesn't have a blog or website. (Hint, Hint, Martha!!!) She is SO gorgeous. The doll that is. Well, Martha too, actually! But in this case we're talking about the doll. Here, take a look. And here's a close-up so you can see the face and hair in a little more detail. Look at the eyes! The wild and wicked beautiful red hair! The sparkly jewels! The also-sparkly skin! The wonderfully mossy rock she rests her fine and sexy self against! Is that not just Too Cool for words?? She's exactly who I would want to be if I were a mermaid. She's currently hanging out on top of my scanner while I decide where she's going to live permanently. I also need to decide on a name. Martha didn't name her, so I'm listening if anyone wants to offer suggestions. Thanks, Martha, you made my day. :-)

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

"gods in Alabama"

Y'all remember yesterday when I mentioned receiving a copy of "gods in Alabama" and said I figured once I started it I wouldn't want to put it down? Well I was right. I started reading it this afternoon and that's where the rest of my day went. I LOVED it. I was sure I would and I was so very, VERY right. As soon as I finished it, I had to scurry off to write a review at to encourage everyone to go buy it, buy it NOW, so Joshilyn will have mega book sales, and hit the bestseller lists, and someone will buy the movie rights, and she'll be encouraged to write many, many more books I can read and love. Because of course it's all about making ME happy, yes? So since it's nearly midnight here in the land of 'tucky, and since I accomplished nothing today except buying groceries, grooming one of the dogs (Riley...she looks lovely), and reading "gods in Alabama", here is a copy of the review I posted to Amazon, which should show up on their website in the next couple of days.
I picked up "gods in Alabama" at around 4:00 this afternoon, only planning to read the first couple of chapters before cooking dinner. Instead I had to force myself to stop long enough to cook and eat and then immediately went back to reading, and finished the book just a little while ago.
I loved the characters. Arlene has been described as rough-around-the-edges, but I felt great affection for her. Maybe that says something about me as much as it does her, but I found many things to admire about her. And many of the other characters are at once outrageously quirky and yet very true to the spirit of people I've known in the South (which includes most of my relatives and many of my friends!).
The plot kept me turning the pages, wondering what would happen next. It was complex without seeming contrived and some of the twists surprised me. I love when that happens. :-)

This book is a keeper that I'll definitely want to read again, and I'm already looking forward to Joshilyn Jackson's next novel.

Oh yeah, and in case anyone is little white pills needed today, and therefore no CGB in DebWorld. Yay!

Monday, April 04, 2005

What have I been up to the past few days? Well I'll tell ya...

For one thing, I meant to update ye olde blog sooner, but it just hasn't been happening. The past couple of days I've been fighting an allergic reaction of some sort. I have no idea what's set it off - I almost never do! - but my stoooopid body keeps trying to break out in hives. So I take a nice little white pill which pretty much stops the hives but turns my brain into cheese grits. Sleepy cheese grits. (I spent a little time this evening looking through a new cookbook trying to get inspired to try something new for dinner this week. Can you tell? It didn't work.) Then the pill wears off and my brain begins to feel like some thoughts are pushing their way through the cheese and I start to itch again. It isn't pretty. This may mean a visit to a doctor, and that's a Bad Thing in DebWorld. Oh well, anyway, on to more pleasant topics. I spent the weekend visiting my friend Nancy and her hubby Ron. Other friends Bev and Brenda were there too. Bev, Bren, and Nan are all quilters, so we talk quilting a lot, but we also just giggle and eat and shop and eat and drink and eat and have a good time and eat. (Did I mention that Ron is an excellent cook? No? Well, Ron is an EXCELLENT cook.) AND, to make things even better, Morven called from New Zealand and we passed the phone around for a nice long time. That was just wonderful. Nan and Ron are dairy farmers. Here's a pic Bev took of Nan in her working uniform. Don'tcha love it?? And here are Bev, Nan, and Brenda in the living room. Notice the quilts lined up along the wall. Nan made all of them. Aren't they loverly? The one on the far right, behind Bren's chair is the newest one. Nancy made it for a challenge project our little group did. It's called "Not A Peacock". Here's Brenda's quilt for the same challenge. It's called "My Favorite Flowers". And here's my quilt. It's probably hard to tell in this pic, but the applique blocks on mine are all done with sheers, so they're translucent. Mine is called "Mermaids From Hell". I tried and tried to think of a nicer name, but I just can't. Even if I call it "Golden Angels Descending From Heaven While Throwing Rose Petals and Singing Hymns", I'll still mentally be calling it "Mermaids From Hell", so why hide it? Speaking of quilts, my earlier estimate of when I'd have something picture-worthy done on the sun quilt was WAY optimistic! I didn't touch it today. It was all I could do to manage chores like paying bills and doing laundry with the whole CGB thing going on. (CGB? quickly they forget.) I don't expect to be able to work on it tomorrow either. But if I can avoid the whole "waste a whole day seeing a doctor" scenario, I plan to resume work on Wednesday and hope to have some photo-worthy progress to report by the weekend. And ooohOoooh! I'm excited to report that today I received my copy of "gods in Alabama", the debut novel of the fabulous Joshilyn Jackson. Yay! I can't WAIT to read it. I'm trying to clear a block of time because I just KNOW this is going to be one of those "I don't want to put it down 'til I'm done" kind of books. Ok, that's about all the brain function I can squeeze out for now. We'll hope for better things tomorrow.

Friday, April 01, 2005

When The Sun Doesn't Shine, Make Suns of Your Own

It's been cool and gray and raining all day today, which is normally the kind of day I HATE, but today it has motivated me to stop being such a LazyAss and actually get some work done. I have the sun sections finished on a half-dozen more blocks now. Barring complications, I should be ready to start sewing the blocks together by Wednesday or Thursday of next week. Then I have a kinda-sorta idea for a border, but need to do some sketching and playing on the design wall before I go ahead with that. For anyone who was waiting in breathless anticipation (snort!) here's an updated sun quilt pic. Bright Suns Gettin' Brighter