Friday, August 29, 2008

Just Be Yourself

I've been dipping back in to the simplicity pool lately. Over a dozen years ago, I bought and read the book Simplify Your Life by Elaine St. James. I liked it then..... a lot. I picked it back up a few days ago and started thumbing through. Yep, I've done that. Yep, I've done that. No, haven't gotten to that yet. It was surprising to me both the things that I have simplified and the ones that are still all in a wad. And yes, I still like the book.

One of the hundred ways Ms. St. James gives to simplify your life is to "Just Be Yourself". She gives an exercise whereby you go through all the major parts/areas of your life and decide if and how each one would be different if the only person you were trying to impress was YOU. Some of the questions to answer are:

  • would you drive a different car? HELL NO. I just got this one and I don't care if it guzzles gas, I'm not giving it up. I LIKE IT. IT'S BIG and HOLDS EVERYTHING. Granted, I can't DRIVE it as much because I can't pay for the gas, but when I do drive it, I LIKE IT.

  • would you have a different career? Well, seeing as how I never really had much of one in the first place, I guess I'd have to decide if I really want one at all at this stage of life. Unless of course you count "puttering" as a career. I'm a terrific putterer.

  • what kind of house would you live in? Something that looked like it came out of a fairy tale or the English countryside....whimsical, fun, strange, but WAY comfortable. I'd like to be "different" in the third act of my life. Take a little 50s ranch and turn it into........ WOW!WHAT KIND OF HOUSE IS THAT???

  • how would you dress? Basically, like I do right now. After my 20s, I pretty much have dressed for myself ever since. For the last year or so, I was really in to dresses. Still like 'em. But now, I'm going back to jeans, white shirts (see profile picture) and boots. Or Keds. Seems to just fit the lifestyle better. Hard to wrangle dogs with something flouncing around your knees all the time.

So, if you were only trying to impress yourself, what would you change? What would you keep? I'd like to think that since those Yuppie 80s, we've all kind of relaxed on that "keeping up with the Joneses" thing.

Monday, August 25, 2008

The Ravelympics Afghan Does NOT Cross the Finish Line

So, as promised, here is the picture of my poor, pathetic little afghan. It tried to compete, to no avail. It's only about one-third done. At least I think I'll be able to have it finished by the time the Afghan for Afghan folks need them in order to be shipped.

I have a confession to make though. This afghan only saw the first few days of Olympic competition. I know. We were supposed to be WATCHING and knitting. And I did. In the beginning. But seeing all those buff, beautiful, young, supple, etc. etc. bodies on display all day and night got to be truly depressing. Except for the horses at the equestrian venue. Now, those I could have watched the entire two weeks.

Instead, I turned to my knitting standbys: movies. New ones, old ones; makes no difference. And yesterday I hit a bonanza. TNT was showing the complete Lord of the Rings trilogy. I sat down after lunch and just about never got up again. I love those movies. I loved the books.....several times. And they are just about perfect to knit by. No concentration required. Just look up to see Viggio Mortensen or Orlando Bloom every once in a while. And smile. Fingers keep moving. Brain goes on flight of fancy with the Middle Earth gang. Can't get much better than that. Now, if I'd had two weeks worth of those kinds of movies, who knows how big this afghan would be by now. Can you say "king-size bedspread"?

I have no idea what happened during the closing ceremonies at Beijing. I was sailing away with Frodo, Bilbo and Gandalf with a ship full of fairies in to the setting sun.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

No Ravelympics Medal for Me!

Okay, y'all. I'm out of the running for a medal. Not even a teeninsey one. I swear, I have worked on my little afghan religiously. Well, semi-religiously. But truly..... as much as I possibly could. And the Olympics are almost over and I've only got about 7" of the damn thing done. (But it looks pretty nice.) I will work feverishly up until the closing bell -- or whatever it is they're going to do to signal the end. And I will faithfully post a picture of whatever I've gotten done to that point. Maybe I can do some sprinting in these final days. ("My fingers get tired, " she whined and pouted.)

So, on to something else. Yes, I've been knitting, but at night when I crawl in to bed, I've been reading. And this is the book: The Night Journal by Elizabeth Crook. It's really good. And not too terribly long....about 400 pages. One of the liner notes says "A mesmerizing novel about four generations of women bound to a mythical legacy in the American Southwest." Ms. Crook has a web site: So, you might want to go check it out over there. I give it a "couldn't put it down till I finished the last 40 pages" review. And that was a couple of mornings ago while waking up with my coffee. The start of my day got delayed because I had to see how it ended. You probably won't like all of the characters, but that's what makes it interesting.

I have to go knit now. (Do you think I could get a maid, cook and kennel help for the next few days? I could sit and knit till my fingers dropped off.)

Sunday, August 10, 2008

I'm in the Olympics!

Actually, that would be the "Ravelympics" over at What fun!

For those who don't know, this is a knitting/crocheting community with LOTS of members. To celebrate the Olympics, many of the knitting groups are participating in their very own knitting Olympics. Started with the opening ceremonies and will end when the flame gets moved or covered or whatever it is they do with it at the end.

My group is Afghans for Afghans, a charitable organization that knits for the mothers and children of Afghanistan. I'm not "Ravelry" competent, so there are issues with trying to get a picture of my chosen event up there: a small afghan. There's all these instructions about how to post through Flickr and a couple of other ways. Egads! Not that I couldn't figure it out, but shit. It's like EVERY website has its own different way of doing things; 3 dozen pages of instructions... etc. etc. etc. I get tired of trying to decipher all that junk. I've got at least 2 or 3 better things to do. Couldn't I just upload the picture from my computer like I do normally? NO...... So, I'm posting the picture of my yarn here. And when I get finished (which I hope will be at the closing bell, but I don't know..........fingers will only go so fast and I do have to do a couple of other things like feed dogs, myself & husband, sleep....), I'll put up the finished product here. THEN, if I feel like mucking around with the how-to's over at Ravelry, I'll put it up there.

So, here's the colorway (multi/blue/purple)...... wish me luck in my event!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

All Hail Rock and Roll!

In the September/October issue of the AARP magazine...............YES, I get it. Furthermore, I actually read it. There is an article entitled "50 Reasons to Love Being 50+". Number 18 on the list is "Because our music rocks!". It lists 5 songs that the magazine's music critic says folks will be listening to until hell freezes over. These 5 are The Beach Boys "God Only Knows"; Aretha Franklin "I Never Loved a Man (The Way That I Love You)"; Booker T. & the MGs "Time is Tight"; Merle Haggard "Mama Tried"; and, The Beatles "Strawberry Fields Forever". They ask for people's picks for best songs ever.

While I like the songs they picked -- except for the MGs' song; I don't remember it -- there were two that popped into my mind almost immediately. One was by The Animals: "House of the Rising Sun". I can't even begin to think of 60s music without that one. The other is "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling" by the Righteous Brothers. I can think of lots more. Practically every song on the original soundtrack from the movie Dirty Dancing is a keeper. Especially that Solomon Burke number. Too hot.........

I admit it. When it comes to music, I say exactly the same sort of thing my parents used to say: "now THAT was music" or "they don't make music like THAT anymore". Stuff that I always swore I would never, ever say. But I don't care if it makes me sound 200 years old. They DON'T make music like THAT anymore. More's the pity. Because, yes indeed, our music ROCKS ON.

Think I'll go turn on my XM radio now.....60s on 6........70s on 7.