Friday, January 28, 2011

Political Books

My husband is much more political than myself. When it comes to political books or entertainment, I am interested.

Slate posted a story about favorite novels about Washington D.C. Cesspool upon the Potomac it may be, but intriguing nonetheless.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Now Reading

On the needles: mittens with color-stranded heart for upcoming holiday revelry.

I've been reading Elizabeth Zimmermann's knitting books. Written in the middle of the last century by this famous knitter, they've been reprinted in recent years. My library lends them out. This is a fabulous system.

Knitting Without Tears is full of advice for simple techniques, how to make your own sweaters and things come out right. But most of all, a reminder to enjoy knitting without all the stress.

Knitting? Stressful? If Grandma can do it, how is it stressful? The two words seem oxymoronic, until you try to make something out of two sticks and some string. It's HARD. It's WEIRD. It ain't EASY. So yes, a book is a wonderful companion when you are near the tears. Elizabeth has a style that is something like, "Don't sweat it, I've got a fix for that." In her Knitter's Almanac she narrates one year while filling a book full of techniques for various projects. I loved reading about knitting at night in a dark car's passenger seat. Or, how the temperature was 20 below at 11 am, the fire was hot and it was good knitting weather. Might as well get to it. Besides, my great-grandmother raised six children with an alcoholic wife-beater on a remote farm, and lived to be a rather happy old lady. (He died.) THAT'S STRESSFUL. Knitting? Not so much.

This is the kind of thing that I like, people. If you do, too, then check her out. She's been in your shoes, and what is more comforting than someone telling you you're not alone, AND having something beautiful to wear at the end of it?

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

More BEES!

I had written about honeybees and included a link to a video of swarming bees. Exciting!

Well, even more exciting than that is to learn from my mom that, "Swarming bees have stuffed themselves with honey prior to the swarm; it is physically impossible for them to bend and sting. While homeless, they DO have their queen to protect."

So, if you ever wanted to play with bees, find some that have just swarmed because they can't sting you. Although, I don't advise playing with bees because they don't need to be hassled by silly humans in need for entertainment while the bees search for a new home.

Go read a book or something!

Championship Grudge Match

My inner voice agreed with this article, which said that we would be better off if we listened to our inner voices more.

This is the story of my life! I think this is especially an issue with girls, who are taught to be nice, don't argue. Nothing wrong with that EXCEPT.....yikes. This presents a huge conflict, not to mention the propensity for dubious persons (and even not dubious persons) to take advantage of nice girls who smile pretty and don't know how to say no.

It's interesting how the article addresses finding the balance between being vocal and going too far, which is being aggressive. Again, an especially fine line for girls to find, who are too easily called the b-word and worse.

My challenge in life is to teach my daughter how to listen to her own good sense, practice polite manners, and yet also stand up for herself. It ain't easy being sugar and spice. I'm still learning this for myself...