Saturday, October 30, 2010

When's the weekend getting here?

Answer: for me, sadly not until after 5pm... I have to be at work until then.

Friday, October 22, 2010


I haven't had much time to read this fall, but I did pre-order seven books by my favorite authors that were due out before Winter Solstice, so that they would magically arrive in my mailbox without any further effort on my part.

This did not, precisely, work out as planned.

Barnes and Noble is still working out their protocols for pre-orders, so I kept having to go in and say, "Yes, I know that this book won't ship for another two weeks, but I still want it...." I eventually complained and the problem went away almost immediately. (Hooray for the Help Desk at BN - apparently they actually do stuff, unlike the nitwits at Amazon. I have never gotten an intelligent response from Amazon.)

Yesterday, All Clear by Connie Willis and Cryoburn by Lois McMaster Bujold arrived! Since I still haven't read Blackout, I didn't start with the Willis (although she's one of my favorite writers.) Instead, I carefully did enough work that I could justify taking the evening off, and then settled in.

It's pretty good. It isn't AWESOME like A Civil Campaign or Memory, but it's definitely worth reading. I suspect that I'll like it much better once I read it again, slower.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Bella's mittens, but fingerless

Actual knitting content!

My cousin admired the grey and dark blue sets of Bella's Mittens that she saw me making over the summer. She requested cranberry red, elbow length, and fingerless ("hobo style" my aunt calls them.)

I am now almost to the bind-off point of the first mitten, but am stalled by a serious conundrum: should I go back to ribbing for the last 1/2 inch? I'm currently waiting for her input on whether the top should be tight, loose, or tight-but-stretchy.

Flash-distorted color here: it really is quite close to cranberry. (I get a huge kick out of looking like a wooden porcupine attacked my hand...)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Ten on Tuesday: 10 things in my freezer RIGHT NOW

Alas, I now am sure about why I signed up for Ten on Tuesday: it forces me to blog at least once a week.

1) frozen yoghurt, in "vanilla" and "pomegranate" flavors
2) all-natural grape popsicles
3) peas
4) puff pastry
5) chopped spinach
6) edamame, both in and out of the pod
7) veggie burgers, about 5 different brands and styles
8) two shrink-wrapped pieces of salmon in chili sauce
9) samosas
10) coconut milk (which was once in a can, but doesn't keep well after opening, so I put it into 1/4 cup containers and froze it.)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Ten on Tuesday: 10 Ways to have fun on long car rides

1) Food and drink. Something that's neat to eat, not too horribly unhealthy, and easy to share. Grapes and bite-sized pretzels are ideal.
2) If somebody else is driving, a good book.
3) Or knitting.
4) Or crocheting. (My husband does most of the driving.)
5) Books on tape if it's just grown-ups in the car.
6) Read aloud from a "Miss Manners" book - it always makes us laugh, and sometimes triggers a good discussion.
7) XM radio - often it's the only way to follow the Red Sox when we're traveling.
8) Bring some math problems to work on with my husband.
9) Drive at night. You will see the countryside from a different perspective.
10) Have a DVD player for the kids. Seriously, it's the only way to stay sane with small children on a long trip.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Ten on Tuesday: 10 reasons to love Autumn

Given that I am currently at home, with a fever and something flu-ish, I am not loving Autumn. But if I stretch my imagination...

1) Watching the leaves turn. I spent my early childhood in upstate NY and those colors still captivate me, every year.
2) Substantial soups are back in fashion.
3) Making fresh bread is suddenly a GOOD idea, because it warms up the kitchen (as opposed to summer, when everyone whines at you for heating up the kitchen.)
4) For that matter, baking anything is praise-worthy.
5) Cooler nights means snuggling up under the comforter and blankets. (I sleep MUCH better when I'm slightly cold.)
6) I sleep better. (See above.)
7) My summer's knitting begins to be appreciated. Wool socks, anyone? Fingerless mitts?
8) It's apple season. Apple pie, apple gallette, apple turnovers, cider, cider doughnuts, hot cider with spices, apple bread, apple muffins...
9) and it's pumpkin season. Pumpkin soup, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin bundt cake...
10) Winter is just around the corner.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Recent Reading

Eon: DragonEye Reborn by Alison Goodman: whoever wrote the cover copy should be fired, because I actually put this book BACK on the shelves after reading the insipid description of the plot. I mean... really? 16 year old girl disguised as a boy so she can ride dragons... haven't we been here before? And yet, after reading several rapturous reviews, I finally borrowed my cousin's copy and couldn't put it down for a whole day. It's vivid, brutal, fascinating, and almost nothing like your typical fantasy novel. I'm eagerly anticipating the sequel! (due out in April.)

The Bird of the River by Kage Baker: set in the same universe as The Anvil of the World but requiring no background knowledge to enjoy, this book is surely one of Baker's best. There's no world saving here, just the shaping and improving of a few lives on a slow-moving river boat. The writing is wonderful and the romance is both subtle and heartfelt.

Shadow Pavilion by Liz Williams: I think this is the fourth of the "Inspector Chen" series. I had forgotten most of the plot of the previous book, which made it a bit harder to dive into this one, but overall it was a terrific story. The entire series just seems to get stronger as it gets longer.

Next up? I've got a couple novels by Ruth Rendell waiting to be read, and the library is ordering me another five mysteries by Ellis Peters over Interlibrary Loan.