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Everything posted by LostSurprise

  1. I was going to suggest Duluth Trading Co. as well. Tall shops like Long Tall Sally (which can be ordered from online) also have long shirts (longer arms, etc.) Both are a bit expensive but watch for sales. As a tall woman I'm not a big fan of Old Navy.
  2. Irving annoys me. I've tried to like him. I actually threw Cider House Rules in the trash. I was that annoyed. And Widow for One Year (roll eyes). Irving has the gumption to say he never copies from reality..everything is original. Unfortunately, his people never seem real to me, especially the women. The Book of Imaginary Beings is so whimsical for Borges. I enjoyed it too. Losing Battles is all over the place. Love the prose. It was hard to care about the plot. Have you read Delta Wedding? :) My history geek can't watch National Treasure, but I didn't mind this. Of course it was incredibly biased. I felt the author did a good job setting the narrator up as a biased person who makes snap judgments based on physiognomy. He doesn't even get to find the information himself! It's all second-third-fourthhand anyway. I enjoyed the unusual take on the mystery genre and the questioning of history...how little is available to create the historical record..how the victor determines the culture and group memory. A fun little exercise.
  3. DS3 kept making me check my bee-status and post total. I changed it so I could stop checking. Nomad is part of an old tagline and user name I've had over the years. My life is overly-settled right now but it reminds me that I'm still a Nomad at heart. I can still be a Nomad within my mental landscape.
  4. I've been short on sleep the last 5 days for various reasons, and ds has been up or had medical problems every 3 hours every time I could sleep. And dh tore ligaments in his right foot so he can barely walk. He's no help at all right now. I'm exhausted, ds is totally unfocused on anything other than video games, and the other boys get out of public school this week so focusing my youngest is going to be nigh impossible. There is not enough coffee in the world for this. Hugs for everyone else.
  5. Whoever linked to Sir Arthur Rackham, thank you. I've been enjoying his illustrations today because of you. I read too many things simultaneously and am too moody this year for good output, but I finished up a bunch of things. A bit of Charles Portis (mostly his non-fiction). A bit of German Romanticism thanks to a rabbit trail from Borge's Labyrinths (Novalis' Hymn to the Night and others). Herland (feminist utopia). Some photography books. I loved Eudora Welty: Photos more than Ansel Adams: Classic Images...perhaps because it was more unexpected? Or more people/faces focused? Which reminds me of my feelings of Welty (loved beyond reason) vs. Faulkner (respected but not adored)...is it an aspect of the depth of the personal vs. high and majestic contrast? Inner-to-outward? Female vs. male POV? Fun to think about. I do love the faces though. I think Welty and I just live on a similar wavelength. It was fun to read her interview in the front of the book. And dh borrowed the next few Saga collections and told me I was safe to read them. I'm kind of disappointed that I did, although it wasn't as edgy as the first book. I'm just a fragile flower in the modern age, I guess. Mmm...reading Josephine Tey's The Daughter of Time and really enjoying it. The history geek approves. And some Peter Freuchen Eskimo stuff. Best to all of you this week. Read well.
  6. I live in zone 4b. As mentioned later, rosemary doesn't survive as a perennial in US zone 4. You would have to pot it up and take it in for the winter. I'm not a fan of landscape fabric, but these berries and mint do spread. Worthwhile IMO, but it takes work each spring and/or fall to cut them back. Also, canes tend to have some kind of thorn. Depending on the age of your children, you may need to take that into consideration. Yep, chives are just fine in zone 4. Oregano and mint are very strong perennials as well (but both spread..mint more than oregano..I can keep oregano in one place with minimal work but I pot mint). Parsley, dill, and cilantro can self-seed but are finicky. I love the little wild strawberries. So tiny! If you can find them they're fun. Currants and gooseberry do not spread as much as cane fruits (raspberry/blackberry) but are easier to grow than blueberry (which can be finicky about sun/shade/soil ph). They also grow in partial shade. Speaking of shade, fern fronds are edible (the early curls), and parts of milkweed. The greens of ox-eye daisies are edible, as well as dandelions, chicory, certain kinds of nettles, but I wouldn't plant them unless you know you like them. For trees, I'm fond of pie cherries/sour cherries and plums. They're harder to find then apple. Also, the University of Minnesota has a great cultivar for hazelnut (bushes). If I had more sun I would grow that. For annuals, peas and beans (especially runner beans) have very pretty flowers. They do need a place to climb and spread out, but a tent of scarlet runner beans is very pretty. Sunflowers take yearly prep, but they can also be pretty.
  7. Are band movies (movies about a band being formed) the modern equivalent of musicals? Once made me think of The Commitments and I have God Help the Girl in my interlibrary loan order. Which reminds me of Hard Days Night. I have a strange affection for Flower Drum Song and The Mikado. I know how ridiculous they are, but I can't help myself.
  8. I watched a lot of musicals growing up. Singin' in the Rain Yankee Doodle Dandy Once Meet Me in St. Louis The King and I My Fair Lady The Music Man Mary Poppins
  9. To whoever wondered if Fringe got too dark...it ended well. Probably one of the more satisfying show endings, IMO. I agree that Orphan Black (CBC), Fringe (US), and Bletchley Circle (BBC) are worth a look. Orphan Black is the edgiest of the group. Probably more edgy than anything else I'm suggesting. Blandings (BBC, Wodehouse) Sherlock (BBC modern SH) Mr. & Mrs. Murder (Australian, light modern mystery) Elementary (modern Sherlock Holmes in NY) Leverage (light show with weekly cons ala Oceans Eleven) Older shows: Pushing Daisies Dead Like Me Freaks & Geeks
  10. I'm a fairly new knitter (6 months), and I think having a range of options for them to try during class is the best option. Allow them to chose and then buy what makes the most sense for them. If possible, make sure the project is on a larger size needle (6 or over). One of the difficulties of a lot of small circular projects is that the gauge is so small you're struggling with both the new process and working with a smaller yarn than usual. I frogged my first 2 DPN projects because I couldn't struggle with both aspects at one time. When I switched to a project with large metal DPNs, I had a much easier time. My first circular project was a hat on a size 8/16" circular needle. I wasn't sure I would like DPNs and I didn't want to invest in multiple circular needles until I knew knitting was something I would stick with. A hat was fairly simple and I could practice colorwork which was fun. I do like 2 needle circular knitting. It's pretty easy to figure out. I finished my MIL's slippers with it when I was struggling with DPNs, and I moved on to making a pair of socks with it. One of the nice things is that when you set it down it doesn't fall off the needles. Magic loop looks a bit complicated to me. I think both are great to show people in person (and maybe have a small sheet of pictures/directions or a link to a Youtube video to help remember). Many people don't understand flat photos of 3D processes very well.
  11. I think all we can do is help teach nutrition (which foods are nutritionally dense and which are high calorie for little nutrition, which foods 'stick' with you longer so you don't feel hungry, how to balance foods together, how to recognize hunger and fullness, how dehydration can read as hunger, how to keep drinking water throughout the day), keep food at home healthy with occasional treats, and encourage them to be busy and active. I was an overweight child/teen. My oldest son is overweight (and his brothers are either average or underweight). If I could give my son one thing I would help him understand that he can influence his weight. He can take control of it. I did when I left home and went to college. Sometimes it's hard to watch someone else struggle, especially if we see our own struggle in it. I often remind myself that if I push him or control him now when he leaves home it will be harder for him. Better that I give him unconditional love now, teach him the tools he can use when he chooses, listen, and make our home as healthy for all of us as possible. People will make their own decisions. Give them the tools they need. I also want to mention that sometimes food can be a natural comfort to people. Being a teen is stressful, both physically and emotionally. I don't want to withhold food just because it's hard for me to remember how really hungry teens are. I want to teach them to deal with their anxiety and emotions actively. I want to be a support...and I can't do that if I control or criticize.
  12. My mother is a lefty. She showed me standard English 'throwing' with the right hand, but when she knits herself she uses kind of an inverted English in the left hand (which is known as continental when held in that hand but she pitches or levers more like English more than picking which is what most continental users do). I don't know how to describe it, but she works with the left hand and forefinger and steadies with the right. She told me lefties often have to figure their own way to do things.
  13. Hannibal~I did actually throw this book at the wall while reading it...twice. Harris dishonored one of the major characters with this charade. After being ruthlessly boring for the entire novel he went to completely ridiculous in the last 70 pages. I'm not particularly fond of Wuthering Heights and some other classics, but at least I didn't feel disgust when I finished them...just annoyance.
  14. My mother has taught me crochet and knitting at different ages and different aspects have been clear to me at different times. When I first learned at 5 or 6, single chain crochet made sense to me. I think I could even do a double. I made a ton of "headbands" and the neighborhood kids made my mom teach them too. Within a few weeks I forgot how to crotchet. I tried a few times over the years and neither took. When I was fresh out of college she showed me how to knit and I knit on a "scarf" on and off for 6 months. I forgot how by Christmas and threw out the 4" scarf. Every 5 years or so as an adult I had her show me one or the other. None of them stuck more than a day or two. I have a hard time visualizing the actions and following through. The year before last my mother gave me my great grandmother's tapestry knitting bag and needles. She decided she preferred quilting. Last Halloween, ds4 was sick and needed a lot of watching over so I spent a week just watching knitting videos and practicing. I now knit daily. I don't remember how to crochet but it makes logical sense to me as a knitter. I just prefer the look and feel of knitting right now.
  15. Your state extension service (ag usually from the state college or the state dept of natural resources) has lots of good information. If it seems overwhelming see if they have a section for 4-H. That's geared towards kids so it really is beginner info. I really love gardening blogs. Do a search for "_____(your state or region) gardening blogs." A lot of people are just keeping track of their journey so you'll get a lot of information. Also, GardenWeb.com has a ton of forums for everything. You find something for everything. It's a great place to ask questions if you can't find anyone in real life to ask.
  16. Julia. One of my favorite girl's names as a child. I would love to be Julia. Past names were a mixed bag but almost all good. Flora (love it). Esther (huh)? Etta (like it). Tabitha (love it). I'd be happy with many of these names. I'm not as happy with the (very popular) nickname I went by as a child. Harper isn't so bad, but the rest are pretty common as well (Lisa, Tina, Heather). Dh: Luca ..... hilarious DS: exactly the same DS: Thomas DS: Malcolm DS: Christian
  17. Square foot garden is good. Less technical, but similar technique, is Lasagna Gardening. The Garden Primer (Barbara Damrosch) is also pretty good. I would say it had better general gardening information than SFG (which covers more about his raised-bed method). One book that helped me relax and just enjoy it was Ruth Stout's No-Work Garden book. You won't learn much technique there but she's so chatty and fun and gives you permission to just ignore certain things.
  18. Your state public radio may have a show for your area. They tend to be much more basic and people can email or call in with questions. The Master Gardeners have classes. You should be able to take a few in your area. Do a search for a _____ (insert state name) Gardening Book. Especially the ones that go month by month. They tend to go much more simply step by step.
  19. Tampons were always super uncomfortable and invasive to me. I tried them several times in college, and then again after my first two were born. Plus there's TSS. I knew a really fastidious girl in college (the kind of person who changes them contantly) who was hospitalized for 3-4 days for that reason. They just dry you out. Yuck. Not that pads are fun, but tampons were always worse. I went to cloth pads in my 20s and that made pads much more bareable. Switched to a cup after 3 kids, even better. (So here's a cup user who still doesn't like tampons.)
  20. I've always been amused that my SIL's unusual name came from a tombstone in California. MIL fixated on it. They're unsure if the person was male or female.
  21. My father insists the names of his first 3 (out of 4) children came to him whole, in a dream, when he was 13 or 14 years old. The dream tapered off before my youngest brother was born (he was a surprise later baby when he did come). Back in the '70s, my father had a slightly joking/adversarial relationship with my mother's OB and they would joke about the sex of each of us and my father always turned out to be right, much to the OB's chagrin. Despite this family story, I do know he and my mother debated about the names, and my middle name is also a slight nod to my maternal grandmother's wishes. She was strongly pushing for me to be MaryAnn (one word). Both of her grandmothers were named MaryAnn. My oldest and favorite doll was named MaryAnn (she gave it to me). Whether my father won over all these discussions (probable) or his view shifted (also possible), I don't know. Definitely my middle name is the rather dull Ann. My mother did win out in some ways though. Everyone always called me by my very, very popular nickname. I only reclaimed my first name when I went to college.
  22. Games: Sushi Go!, Bohnanza, and Mustache Smash Read aloud for 8 year old girls? Encyclopedia Brown, Little House books, Amelia Bedelia, EB White books, Roald Dahl books, Shel Silverstein, Beverly Cleary books (Ramona, Mouse and Motorcycle), Mr. and Mrs. Green, George and Martha.
  23. DH and I both enjoyed Saga last year. It's really well-written, but it is probably about as far as I can go, personally. I'm not in a hurry to catch up to #27, or whatever they're at now. I read that the illustrator almost didn't do the first one because of the child trafficking, but after some thought she decided it was an important subject and went through with it. I'm glad she did. There was at least one point where I almost put the thing down, but her art was so over-the-top it felt more ironic and ridiculous rather than exploitive. She did a great job building it up for the punch, kind of like Ursula LeGuin's story "Those Who Walk Away from Omelas." I really enjoyed the humor about birth. It's a very adult comic (and I don't just mean the sex...tons of comics have sex/nudity/violence...the tone of this comic is older and more female-positive which is not standard in this world). I found it interesting that something as simple as a romance novel challenged one person's worldview the way it did. Do either of you plan on reading more of the series?
  24. I wanted to say I'm sorry for the death of a friend and the struggles with age here. DH's mother is near the end of a battle with early onset dementia and we struggle along with her. It's a good struggle. We love her and want to make things positive for her. When people lose their ability to communicate you put love in a hundred metaphors and hope that one of them catches. You hope to see the love received and reflected back for one moment. I think Vetinari is most Machiavellian. :) I think inspiration is about connection. Sometimes a poet is good but we don't connect with them (for whatever reason...different experiences, understanding, etc.). It's really a charge when you do connect with a poet, isn't it? I'm not a gambler at heart, but poetry is a beautiful gamble and I love when it pays out. I'm reading Jorie Graham right now. The Way Things Work is by admitting or opening away. This is the simplest form of current: Blue moving through blue; blue through purple; the objects of desire opening upon themselves without us; the objects of faith. The way things work is by solution, resistance lessened or increased and taken advantage of. The way things work is that we finally believe they are there, common and able to illustrate themselves. Wheel, kinetic flow, rising and falling water, ingots, levers and keys, I believe in you, cylinder lock, pully, lifting tackle and crane lift your small head-- I believe in you-- your head is the horizon to my hand. I believe forever in the hooks. The way things work is that eventually something catches.
  25. It shifts back and forth. Last time we had Netflix streaming it was pretty poor. I couldn't find much to watch. Up until recently Amazon had everything but the most recent season of BBC and HBO shows streaming free, so there was a lot to watch, especially if you haven't done cable extras in the last ten years. Movies cycled in and out with new ones coming in every week or two. Usually 1 or 2 newer or more popular ones and a wide range of other ones. The children's selections are particularly good (which is why we sprang for Prime actually). At the moment we're doing Netflix again, and I think at this moment there's more there for teens/adults. Honestly, I don't think the movie selection is much better than Prime, but there are different tv shows there so for a non-HBO watcher (me) there's more to watch now that all those BBC shows have been pulled from Prime.
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