30 August 2007


There was a widely bruited-about statistic reported last week, stating that 1 in 4 Americans did not read a single book last year. Clearly, we don’t fall into that category, but . . . how many of our friends do? Do you have friends/family who read as much as you do? Or are you the only person you know who has a serious reading habit?

I've been thinking about this question all day today. Most of my very good friends (yeah, like I have so many ...) are readers, maybe not the same kinds of things, but they do read on a pretty regular basis. I can think of one or two who don't read much at all, but to be honest, they don't seem to pay attention to much of anything ...

My sisters were never as into reading as I was. As far as I know, they are now pretty regular readers, though I have no real idea how many books they may read in a year. I do remember that when my middle sister was in high school, and had to read for a literature class, that she would set the timer each evening for one hour. As soon as it rang, she stopped reading - even if there was just another page left in the chapter! This used to really amaze/dismay my parents. Now she reads things she wants to read, so I'm pretty sure the timer gets used for other things ...

A lot of the people I know who don't read much were actually turned off completely by it in high school or college, it seems. I will admit that if I hadn't been an obsessive reader when I encountered Paradise Lost, by John Milton, in high school, I may never have voluntarily picked up another book. (I got in a lot of trouble in class, when the teacher asked me what I thought about it, and I said it made me think that Milton deserved to go blind for writing something that boring and annoying. [I'll pause here while many of you gasp in horror.])

My late mother-in-law had a friend for a few years, Dick (or, as I used to refer to him, The World's Most Appropriately Named Man), who always used to be amazed that she liked to read. He would always brag that he "hadn't read a book since he finished high school." It showed.

I know a lot of people who say they read at work all day, so they are not interested in reading for leisure. I just figure they weren't big readers in the first place.

28 August 2007


Carol posted about this the other day, and at the time, I was slightly amused by it. However, I am now puzzled about the entire thing. Not that I think people wouldn't want to knit "icons," but I'm just not so sure that we needed a book. Well, Bridget, you may be saying to yourself, there are plenty of books being published that no one really needs. And I would be the first to agree with you (The Gospel According to Oprah springs immediately to mind).

And then I remembered that Rupert Murdoch is now the owner of the Wall Street Journal. One of the new network shows in the upcoming season features the cavemen characters from an insurance commercial. And every year, hundreds of people risk their lives running with the bulls in Pamplona, Spain, in an effort to be like Ernest Hemingway.

I'm just saying that sometimes, it makes me wonder why people think I'm the weird one ...

26 August 2007

It was the best of times ...

This past week, that is. I can't remember when I have enjoyed any one week so very much. I had a chance to make a trip to Baltimore and see some family, hang out with The Tim and the kitties, hang out with Sebastian, do a lot of knitting and a lot of reading, drink, watch movies, finally see "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix," and just enjoy whatever came my way. The weather was even nice (everyone else was complaining, but we enjoyed the cool)! The only bad part was yesterday, when we had planned to go to the shore for the day. I woke up with a migraine, which meant that I stayed home while The Tim, Seb, and his mom Karen got to go. I was miserable most of the day, so it was just as well, but I was still disappointed, once I felt better enough!

Alas, tomorrow it's back to The Worst of Times, aka work. Ick. But such is life, you know?

Check this out ...

My friend Sue sent me a link, to a poem called The Book of My Enemy Has Been Remaindered, and I love it! For all the wrong reasons, of course ...

And when you need a pick-me-up, you must turn to a fave:

Mr. Ed

24 August 2007


Kim had this meme at her MindFull blog, and I really liked it, so I decided to give it a try. I've seen it some other places, too, and supposedly it's harder than it looks.

Here are the rules:

* Use the 1st letter of your name to answer each of the questions.
* They MUST be real places, names, things ... NOTHING made up!
* If you can't think of anything, skip it.
* You CAN'T use your name for the boy/girl name question.
* If your name happens to start with the same letter as mine, sorry, but you can't use my answers!
*Rule I added for myself - use the first thing that comes to mind!

My name: Bridget

1. Famous Singer/Band: Beatles
2. Four letter word: Book
3. Street: Broadway
4. Color: Blue
5. Gifts/Presents: Bubble bath
6. Vehicle: Bicycle
7. Things in a Souvenir Shop: Banner
8. Boy Name: Brian
9. Girl Name: Bonnie
10. Movie Title: Babe
11. Drink: Beer
12. Occupation: Bookie
13. Celebrity: Brad Pitt
14. Magazine: Bride (ugh)
15. U.S. City: Boston
16. Pro Sports Teams: Boston Bruins
17. Fruit: Banana
18. Reason for Being Late for Work: Busy trying to figure a way not to have to go ...
19. Something You Throw Away: Bread crusts (actually I give them to the birds ...)
20. Things You Shout: Bastard! (ok, I only really shout this in my mind)
21. Cartoon Character: Betty Rubble

Kim, if you are reading this, I realize I didn't even come close to having any answers as good as "Kachinas," but I did what I could!

Feel free to consider yourself tagged, if you are interested. If you want to do the meme, but don't have a blog, feel free to put your responses in the comments.

23 August 2007


Using a suggestion from Erin today:
When growing up did your family share your love of books? If so, did one person get you into reading? And, do you have any family-oriented memories with books and reading? (Family trips to bookstore, reading the same book as a sibling or parent, etc.)

My parents were both voracious readers - books, magazines, newspapers - I don't think there was a room in the house without something to read on some surface. I can remember that every Christmas, I would receive at least one book as a gift, and Santa always put a book of some kind in my stocking. I think my mother got me more actively involved in reading, as she would often say, "Why don't you go read something," when I was bugging her. The funny thing is, I can remember one time in the summer, when I had gone to the bookmobile, and brought home a book I was dying to read. I plopped on the couch, and was still reading at dinnertime. Ate dinner, and then back to reading. About 8 p.m., she said to me, "Oh for God's sake, would you put that book down and say something??"

I can remember trips to the library as a kid, which were a big deal. My mother would take us, and she would go her way, and I would go mine, walking through the aisles and looking at books that looked interesting. This was at the old library building in our town, which had the large marble steps at the entrance, and rooms with high ceilings. It was just what I thought a library should be ...

Shocking events!

This morning - brace yourself - both Garden Kitty and Jetsam were cruelly put into cat carriers, and taken TO THE VET for a checkup!!! Can you imagine such a thing happening in this country? Well, trust me, there was lots of moaning (GK) on the way there, while there, and coming home. Jetsam actually growled at the vet - we'd never heard him growl before! Fortunately both of them got clean bills of health, but oh the trauma of it all ...

Garden Kitty was just happy to be home, where he never ever has to see anyone else but us again:

They gave me a shot! And took my temperature!

Whereas, other family members appeared to have, um, moved on:

I wonder why they don't set this out for me all of the time? It's so pleasant here ...

22 August 2007

Happy Birthday (plus 1 day) and Happy Anniversary (before it's over)!

OK, so I'm not as organized this week as I would have been if I weren't on vacation ...

Yesterday, someone in our house turned Sweet 16:

Happy Birthday, Tess!

Yes, our very own Bunyip is now 16 years old. Part of the reason this post is a day late, is because neither The Tim nor I could get a very good birthday picture. The thing about Tess is, that even on her best day, she looks pretty scruffy, and is not pleased to have her picture taken most of the time (whereas the others show up and actually start posing!). But she is our sweetie, and even if she does have a website set up to fund our demise at her hands (paws?), we love her and hope she'll be around to run that website for many more years.

And then today, my sister Mary Ellen and my brother-in-law Patrick (who we recently saw in Baltimore) are celebrating their 37th wedding anniversary! These days, that is quite an accomplishment for anyone. But they are the best, and we love both of them to pieces.

Happy Anniversary, Mary Ellen and Patrick!


... only makes me realize how much working cuts into my day. Sebastian was with us on Monday and Tuesday, and it was so much fun to just hang out with him, especially since we haven't seen him for six weeks while he was at camp. And it's been so great to just do what I want to do - or don't want to do - as the mood strikes. I have actually gotten things "fixed" to where I can begin knitting again on the Shamrock Shawl, and my other project is going along quite well, too. I have tried a couple of times to take an in-progress photo, but it just is not happening. I'm making a string beach/market bag, from a Rosie's pattern and some Adrienne Vittadini Nicole yarn in a blue color. It's fun to work on, and I'm zooming along on it. I had the pattern for a while, and then when I finally got around to buying the yarn, it was on sale - even better! I may have to get more of the yarn, and make a couple for birthday or holiday gifts.

I've also been trying to decide on yarn for my Clapotis, before the KAL starts on September 23. Of course, I've seen some that I just think is gorgeous, but sadly I am neither independently nor dependently wealthy, and cannot plop down $100 or so for yarn! However, Carol is coming to my rescue, offering to dye some yarn just for me. I told her that would be great, as long as it has all 23 of my very favorite colors, and cost no more than $5 ... then she suddenly claimed that she was going on vacation ... hmm ...

And speaking of the KAL, we have 40 people participating at this point, a few not just from other countries, but another hemisphere! Every day this week, I've gotten an e-mail from at least two or three people who want to join us. This is more popular than I have been since ... OK, I've never been this popular. (And fortunately, I've never cared, 'cause otherwise I'd probably be spending my money on therapy rather than yarn!)

I think I'm caught up now. Or at least close ...

20 August 2007

Contest Winner and Weekend in Baltimore

We had a great trip to Baltimore this weekend. We arrived home early last night, after taking an alternate route to I-95, due to all of the construction. It worked out really well, as the other route was scenic, and there was hardly any traffic. It even stopped raining after a little bit!

And the winner ...

First of all, let me say that I really had fun with this contest, and reading all of the comments that you left. I revved up the ol' random numbers generator this morning, and it chose number 47, which was [drum roll, please] - Carrie K! Congratulations Carrie, and thanks to everyone who joined. It really was as much fun to run the contest, as it is to win one.

After only one year, I feel like I have made so many friends, and so many good friends (Carrie among them)! The funny thing is that occasionally, I realize that I wouldn't know most of you if I walked past you on the street, which really amuses me.

Weekend in Baltimore ...

Not exactly "Weekend at Bernie's" but it had its moments:

My niece Amanda, and her husband Pat (we stayed with them)

Their kitties, Clancy (left) and Chumleigh (right), were an excellent host and hostess (Chumleigh is the one who actually invited us!)

Saturday night, after getting back from a nice Italian dinner, we had a little party on Amanda and Pat's roof deck. Cool lights, no?

We had the chance to see our great-nephew, Zachary:

(Left) Zach and his mom Liz look at the lights

(Right: Zach and Aunt Amanda dance

(Below) Zach hangs out with Uncle Pat

We were able to celebrate Michael M's birthday, a summer tradition.*

(Below) My sister Mary Ellen and Michael M.

My brother-in-law Pat, Michael M., Tim

Tim and Virginia (Michael M.'s girlfriend); that's Amanda's hand and wine
glass blocking part of Virginia's face ...

On Sunday morning, Amanda fixed a great brunch for all of us, and then we headed to see Liz, Greg (her husband), and Zach's new house:

Tim, Liz, and Zach in Zach's room, right before his nap

And finally:

What is wrong with this picture?????

*Michael M's BD is in February. But every year, when we see him in August, we sing "Happy Birthday" - usually so that the restaurant will give him (and us) a free dessert. This year, we just sang it for the heck of it ...

17 August 2007

A quick Friday post

I'm a day late with my Booking Through Thursday posting, but better late than never:


One book at a time? Or more than one? If more, are they different types/genres? Or similar?
(We’re talking recreational reading, here—books for work or school don’t really count since they’re not optional.)

Let me see ... I guess for the most part, I am monogamous. Usually because I have a hard time keeping track of more than one book at a time. I read all kinds of stuff every day, but if a book has any involved plot, or a large cast of characters, I enjoy it much more all by itself.

Besides, a lot of the time, I'm reading for part of an evening or a day, and knitting for another part. Keeping a book in mind, and paying attention to a pattern is plenty!

Off to Baltimore

Tomorrow, we are off to Baltimore for the weekend, to see some family, laugh, eat, and drink. It should be a lot of fun, and then once we're back, both of us are on vacation next week! We may take a couple of day trips, but even if we stay put, I'm looking forward to just not having to go to work ...

Comments, comments ...

Well as of this evening, I have gotten 47 comments since I posted about my contest to celebrate the first anniversary of my blog - I'm amazed, especially since they are not all the same people commenting all of the time! I've been enjoying keeping track of things, and hearing from so many people. It really has been lots of fun every day, seeing who else wrote what.

Remember, you still have a chance to be in the drawing until midnight on Sunday.

That's it for now. Hope all of you have a good weekend!

13 August 2007

!etinU srednaH tfeL

Or, as those of us in the know would say, Left Handers Unite!

Today is Left Handers' Day 2007 - the subject line above shows you how I wrote when I first learned how to make my letters and words as a little kid. It made perfect sense to me, and I could never figure out how come my mother would say, "Well, that's fine, if you're near a mirror!" I still write that way on my calendar at work sometimes, so nosy co-workers won't have a clue (unless they are also left-handed, I guess) ...

**Note to Paige G - thank you so much for the kind comments, I appreciate them very much! Send me an e-mail if you decide you would like to join us in the Clapotis KAL - it's not a requirement to have a blog or website, etc.

12 August 2007

A finishing up weekend ...

This has been a busy weekend, in a good way. I managed to get the laundry done yesterday, and the cleaning done this morning. Last night I finished Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, which I enjoyed, though I was very sad at some of the courses of events. Without giving away anything, I do have three words: Neville Longbottom rocks.

Then between last night and this afternoon, I finished the knitting part of the Baby Kimono and blocked it:OK, I realize that variegated yarn on a flowered comforter is not the best combo, but you get the idea. Once it's ready, all I'll have left to do is sew the side/sleeve seams, and add the ties. The construction of this was really a neat technique to learn, so I'm glad I took the class, even if there isn't anyone immediately to receive it as a gift.

I was also able to get the blog set up for the Second Wave Clapotis KAL, and get everyone's name on the list. We may have more people join, but at least as of tonight, it's up to date. I think we have a good group of knitters, at different levels, so I think it will work out really well.

Contest update

So far, 25 of you have left comments, and been entered in the contest I'm having to celebrate the one-year anniversary of my blog. Remember, you have until midnight on Sunday, August 19 (a week from today), so there is still time, if you want to have a chance to win the $20 Barnes & Noble gift card. It may amuse you to know that The Tim was aghast at my statement that I would use a random number generator to choose the winner - he was certain that I was just saying that, and was going to throw pieces of paper on the floor, and let one of the cats choose. He was amazed when I told him there were online random number generators. HA - for once (quite possibly the only time), I knew about something online that he didn't!

And just so you know ...

If one more person tells me it's not the heat, it's the humidity, I'm going to lose it. Yes, the heat is made worse when the humidity is high also, but I'm sorry, when the temperature goes to 90 degrees or above, it's the HEAT. It has been, to use one of my mother's expressions, "hotter than Billy be damned."

And that's hot.

09 August 2007


Do you have multiple copies of any of your books?
If so, why? Absent-mindedness? You love them that much? First Editions for the shelf, but paperbacks to read?
If not, why not? Not enough space? Not enough money? Too sensible to do something so foolish?

I don't have very many multiple copies, as far as single copies go. I do have some individual paperback versions that are also included in hardcover collections of individual authors, though not very many. We have a few first editions, but we treat them like our other books, and have been known to actually read them!

The only book that immediately comes to mind that I own two copies of "on purpose" so to speak, is The Cloister Walk, by Kathleen Norris. I bought the paperback, and read it at a time when it really helped me, even though I was reading it for pleasure, without thinking it would have such an effect. A couple of years later, The Tim bought me a hardcover copy that was remaindered. Every once in a while, I think I'll donate the paperback copy to the library book sale, but it seems too much like a friend to let go. So both copies exist on the shelf, side by side. I pick them up and read parts over again from time to time (it's that kind of book, you don't need to read it through all at one time).

(Sadly, I have only one copy of "The Fabulous Mr. Ed." But that makes it all the more special...)

04 August 2007


Second Wave Clapotis KAL

A couple of months ago, I mentioned that I was completely blown away when I saw Liz's Clapotis, knit with some of Carol's Black Bunny yarn. I said I thought I might try knitting one in the fall, and if anyone thought they wanted to join me, to let me know. Several people e-mailed me, and said it sounded like a good idea to them. So I told everyone that I would think about some possible start dates and be back in touch.

According to several sources, the autumnal equinox this year occurs on September 23, and I thought, what better time to begin a fall knitalong? So I contacted the people who expressed an interest, and it seems like that date works for just about everyone so far. Therefore, the Second Wave Clapotis Knitalong will officially begin on September 23. We are leaving it open-ended, so no one will have to worry about being a slow knitter, and finishing by a certain date. If you are interested, and would like to join us, send me an e-mail at the address on the sidebar, and I'll add you to the list. At this point, I haven't really thought much beyond the start date, but I'll let people know details once I have some.

Carol, when I mentioned it previously, you commented that you wanted to dye some yarns if there was going to be a KAL - so you'd better get crackin'!

Contest, contest!

I realized the other day, that a) my StatCounter showed over 10,000 visits to my blog, and b) that on August 20, it will be the one-year anniversary of starting The Ravell'd Sleave. So I decided to have a contest in celebration of those two facts.

The rules are simple: just leave a comment between today, August 4, and Sunday, August 19. On August 20, I'll use a random number generator to choose a winner. The prize will be a $20 gift card from Barnes & Noble. That way, it's fair to both knitters and non-knitters. And I am all about fair (unless, of course, it's going to work against me).

Coming soon to a poorhouse near you ...

Rosie's and Loop both had sales today. Really good sales. Because I think it's important to support neighborhood businesses, I made it a point to go to both ... but that's a story for another day ...

"There goes my college fund ..."

02 August 2007

Fan mail from some flounder?

As Bullwinkle used to ask Rocky, remember?* Anyway, here's today's Booking Through Thursday question:

Have you ever written an author a fan letter?
Did you get an answer?
Did it spark a conversation? A meeting?
(And, sure, I suppose that e-mails DO count . . . but I’d say no to something like a message board on which the author happens to participate.)

I have written many fan letters in my mind, which have led to friendly relationships with many authors, also in my mind.

A while back, I did review a knitting book here, and the author left a comment! That was very cool, and a thrill, to be honest.

I once read an interview with Steven King in some library publication, and composed a letter where I told him just how much I loathe him. It was really quite a good piece of writing on my part, I must say. I didn't send it though, because I realized it was bad enough I'd spent time reading the interview and writing the letter, no way was I going to spend the money on a stamp!

In the mail

Today was the mailing day for the Sockapalooza 4 packages. I got nearly halfway to work this morning, and realized I'd left the package sitting on the couch at home ... but because he is a real sweetie, The Tim mailed it for me when he was out running some errands. So it's on the way to its intended recipient, and it's up to the postal service now. Being that it's headed to the West Coast, I figure it will probably get there more quickly than if it were heading across the river to New Jersey!

Speaking of mail, I got the best little gift in the mail today, from Carol's oldest son (I'll call him Poindexter to preserve his anonymity) - and I have never even met him! I'll scan it and do a show and tell soon. And Poindexter, if you are reading this, Thank you very much, it really made me happy to receive it. :-)

Know Your Cuts of Lamb t-shirt

I linked to this in a previous post, from someone else's blog, and have gotten all kinds of comments and e-mails from people asking where they could get one. If you go to the website for City Knitting in Grand Rapids, Michigan, there is info on prices, sizes, and ordering. They also have tote bags with the design. I had sent an e-mail asking about it, before the info was posted to the site, and got a really nice note back from Lorilee, the owner. Then I got a note from Barb saying she called them to place an order, and when she mentioned that she was in Pennsylvania, the person she spoke to (I'm guessing it was Lorilee) said, "Oh is this Bridget?" I laughed out loud when I read that! Me and Gerald Ford, both famous in Grand Rapids ...

*(No Tim, it's NOT "Fan mail from some foreign flounder," no matter how many times you try to convince me. And while we're at it, Lassie was waving goodbye!)