Thursday, December 27, 2007

Recipe for a Happier Girl


10 hours of distance from daily stresses

3 days with family

2 sisters of silliness

800 presents

1 trip to the Mud Hut to paint pottery

1 cardboard castle

1 pizza-making brother

1 furry kitty cat

and 1 adorable niece.

Shake well, top with old friends and homemade sugar cookie icing, and serve with sparkling cider.

It's wonderful to be home.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Contemplating Stilettos as Weapons of Mass Destruction...

So, I'm at work now...but this is a good time to link to more pics because I'm fairly angry and need a welcome distraction. But first, a short venting about my stupid job:

a) Everyone else's jobs are SO much more important than mine that when either of my coworkers is gone, I have to do their work instead of mine. So I've only been at my desk 2 days this week. Yet despite the supposed expendability of my work, the boss is still unhappy with me for not having completed parts of it because (did I not say this already?) I'VE BEEN DOING OTHER PPL'S WORK ALL WEEK, LIKE I WAS INSTRUCTED TO DO!!!

b) My office (which has been only mine for over a year) is now going to be shared with an 80-something named Joe, who is supposedly helping organize our office. He'll use my office every Friday while I'm at Marcia's desk (b/c she gets every Friday off, but her work still has to be me).

c) Not only is this degradation to take place every Friday starting today, but my boss couldn't even be bothered to TELL me this was going to happen. I'd heard rumors from other coworkers, and then Joe just showed up and went in there this morning. Never a word from my boss.

After Joe-the-Usurper left this afternoon, I said to my boss: Um, thanks for letting me know my office was to be his office from now on.
Boss: What? Did you think you have an exclusive claim over it or something?
Bethany: No, I just thought I could have been told that it was gonna happen.
Boss: Well, fine. It's gonna happen.
Bethany: Thanks.

d) Also, today while I was on my "lunch break," I had to run from one end of the bldg to the other (in heels) to answer the phone 4 (four!) times because apparently having a Y-chromosome makes the THREE men NOT at lunch exempt from such a duty. Even when it's usually a call for one of them.

e) Apparently the Y-chrom. also renders them incapable of printing out a word document, and of creating a new user account on our website. Also tasks I was called away from lunch to do, without any sort of apology for the interruption. There's nothing like already-microwaved, leftover-to-begin-with french-fries which have gotten cold again. Mmm.... :(

I have to be honest, by the 6th interruption, as I sprinted past 3 offices of males somehow incapable of answering that phone, I was secretly kinda hoping one of them would suddenly trip and fall into the hallway so I could slam one of my sprinting stilettos down on him and claim it was an accident. I know it sounds mean, but I was just so frustrated. And all of these things happened after I asked for prayer on Monday night about my attitude at work. Needless to say, I'm not doing too well on that front...

Anywho, yay for (those people lucky enough to have) happy weddings....and for the ease of sharing digital images of them. ; ) Click on the link below to see them.

Jonathan's Wedding

Sunday, December 2, 2007


There will be more later, but here's a tiny glimpse of my weekend:

Monday, November 19, 2007

A Few Fall Projects

I've actually done several little home-decorating projects in the last few weeks, but I just haven't had time (or motivation, etc.) to post pictures of them. So, here goes:

1) Three-dollar throw pillow:

1 placemat on clearance at Target

plus one bag of stuffing, equals:

2) Part of my dining room, including the lovely crystal vase I received as a b-day present:

3) A fall wreath made for only 66 cents! (I found the leaves on sale for 15-cents a bunch at Walmart and I had plenty of wire hangers at home.)

3) And finally, pictures of my newly-painted bedroom

The before:

And the after-painting-but-not-yet-finished:

When I get the pictures and the curtains hung, I'll post actual "finished" pictures. : )

And, in addition to these projects, I've also baked my first pumpkin pie and started on my first pair of knitted socks! ; ) (one morepic--of the first sock--below)

Sunday, November 11, 2007


My room is painted. Pictures will come, I promise. I am still sleeping in the living room tonight b/c I haven't had time to move furniture back yet. I'm SO tired, and sore in lots of places (thighs--from going up and down, right hand--actually involuntarily dropped the paintbrush a couple of times from pain, lower back--prob from moving large furniture by myself). If anyone who reads this is a masseuse...I know what I want for Thanksgiving! Either that or lots of ibuprofen (which is currently buried in my closet, in a bag, behind the shelves to my bookcase, behind the large glass that goes on top of my desk, behind the filing cabinet...). Sigh. And now, to bed...or, to the mattress still on the floor in the living room....

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Harvest Pancakes

I just finished eating the best pancakes I've ever made (and possibly the best I've ever eaten)! I was in the mood for something fall-ish, so I made pancakes. I thought briefly (after I'd eaten about 3/4 of my 2nd one!) about taking a picture, but really, a pancake looks like a pancake. It's what it tastes like that matters. However, I will share the recipe I came up w/ because they were SO good!

Bethany's Harvest Pancakes

1 cup of pancake mix
1/2 cup Pumpkin Spice Silk Soymilk
1/4 cup water
1 tsp Haitian vanilla (I know, it helps to have relatives in Haiti)
1 dash of nutmeg
1 dash of cinnamon
1 handful of chopped walnuts

Stir together, and cook as directed. Top with maple syrup.

Enjoy on a crisp, sunny autumn day!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Oh, the Horror! (see pic below)

Note: This post may not be appropriate for young children...or for Fun-Fur-yarn-lovers.

How I loathe thee, trendy Fun Fur!
Hideous, slippery plastic threads,
tangled mass of petroleum wasted
in a pompous novelty yarn of horror.

Like "slicker-binders" required in 5th grade,
with no inherent advantage, no noble goals,
except those of intrigue and slipperiness,
looking funky, and refusing to stay put.

A swift trap for needles and hooks alike
drawing innocent beginners
with artificial lushness, yelling colors,
and seeming luxury of shade and texture.

The one "fiber" in the basket
which refuses to stay wound
slinking out at night to play,
winding confusion around sleeping wools

The slick yarn beguiles trusty knitters
turning hours of work on well-designed patterns
into messy webs of fur and string
proclaiming themselves "modern."

A cold tangle of cheap knots
in flustered hands expecting more...
...more warmth, more agility, more comfort
than spun-plastic Fun Fur can bestow.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Guaranteed to Brighten Any Monday!

If you want to see the absolute cutest little girl EVER, click on the picture below. It is a video of my niece Kathryne singing Twinkle, Twinkle to me. She learns these songs in preschool, and then usually sings them to me on the phone. Sarah (K's other aunt) told her she was making a video for Aunt Bethany, so what she says at the end (as she reaches for the camera) is, "Bethany sing it," telling me it's my turn, like we do on the phone. This video is guaranteed to brighten any ole' Monday. : )

P.S.--Pray for this little girl. Her paternal side of the family has decided to contest the abandonment charges we filed. You can see how cute she is, but she needs to be securely in the custody of someone who will love her and take care of her, even in her ever-so-slightly-less-than-cute moments. Custody does not need to be given to someone who seems to care about her only from time to time, and even then only as a posession to be shown off.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The Perfect Tote...and Pants

It is clear that el tote bag-o is not going to be finished this week. Which is ok with me. I have decided I'd rather make it perfect than to make it by Friday. And, in addition to my perfectionist tendencies, I also need to average about 11 hours of work each day this week (except for Friday, when I'll be catching a plane). Yesterday I got I got 10:15. But I had a book group to go to tonight, and reading to do before I went, so tomorrow I'll make up for it. (Yes, I'll be skipping Wed. night church, but the book group I went to tonight is a church thing, so I think it'll be ok with God.) ; )

Anywho, I feel very grown-up today because I left my house by 7:11 this morning, went to Walmart and filled up with gas (ok, i put $10 in) before I got to the office at 7:45am. I also (later in the morning) took my new black pants to the dry cleaners, was fitted, and left them to be hemmed. Now, before anyone goes jumping down my throat about how easy it is to do simple hemming on unlined pants, let me just say: (a) please note that I have no sewing machine, (b) I'm not even sure if you use a sewing machine to do a whole hem (i've only ever repaired parts of a hem...which i did by hand), and (c) please also note the 11 hours of work per day, with hopefully a couple hours of eating/sleeping in between. And I know, I'm bound to have a willing friend who could do it. But maybe I wanted to have them done. Maybe I just like the idea of paying only slightly more than 1 hr's wages to save me a load of worrying and frustration...or trying to make schedules work out, and trying not to pressure a friend but to encourage them to get them done for me in less 3 days, or being unhappy if they're not what I pictured. And it makes me feel grown-up. So there.

And now for that sleeping part....

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Questions for my Knitting Friends:

Does anyone know where to get nice (affordable) handles for a tote bag (finished size 11x14 inches)? All I can find in stores are tiny little evening-bag-sized handles. The icords in the pattern are supposed to end up 22-25 inches long.

The pattern for this tote bag uses handles of i-cord. Problems:
(A) I'm a relatively new knitter, and I've heard i-cord is less than fun.
(B) I'd like to have this bag done in time to take it on a trip this coming Friday!
(C) Somewhere in my moving, I've LOST a ball of yarn! Therefore, I have a lighter celery-shade of green, which I'm using for the part of the bag with the novelty yarn...but I'm not sure if I'd have enough of the dark green for i-cord handles. I don't think the lighter color would work for handles--I think it would look awkward and forced.

Does it take more yarn to knit icord than to do regular knitting? Could I regular-knit handles? Could I crochet them?

Friday, October 19, 2007

Patterns, patterns, everywhere

I think you know you've been doing too much crocheting/knitting in the last 36 hrs or so when... browsing a mass-market clothing brand's website, your breath catches to see a category titled "Patterns." But you feel sadly disappointed (and slightly Laura-Ingalls-come-to-town) when you realize that they only mean *patterned* sweaters, not *patterns for* their pretty sweaters.

I promise a longer post perhaps tomorrow...or later today, really...

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Things for which I am grateful (a substantial, but not all-inclusive list)...

1) My grandma who lives in Florida is better. She was released from the hospital exactly one hour before her 90th birthday party, but she made it, and so did my mother and her two brothers, and about 55 other people! : )

2) The lovely red rug which I found on clearance for no apparent reason. (see picture below)
3) The new throw pillows for the couch, which I made myself for less than $3.82 each! More pics/story to come on soon as I finish stuffing the 2nd one.

4) My new apartment, which (after removing 2.5 million stacked boxes) feels luxuriously spacious for a single girl like me. : )

5) The friends in my church Lifegroup (who will hopefully come to my new apartment this Sunday).

6) Yummy candles and coupons for free Pumpkin Pie Lotion at one of my favorite stores!

7) Department store Bonus Time exactly the week I run out of both moisturizer and makeup! I know it sounds silly, but I feel I can't afford to pay that much for such non-necessities...unless it comes with twice as much make up for free!

8) Online scrabble. Should have a surgeon general's warning about addiction.

9) Lunch with my roomie's fiance, and a couple hours spent reminiscing about the past, and discussing plans for the future. There's nothing like catching up with good friends.

10) A long phone call with another good friend, who sends me lovely samplers of tea and stationery, and catches me up on all the newest marriages, books, and other fun stuff from A-town. ; )

11) My adorable niece. I've been sorting though pictures to frame today, and I am constantly amazed at how she can continue to get steadily cuter by the day. (see pic below)

12) My dependable, Texas-plated car Anabelle. Last night I accidentally left my purse in my car and didn't realize it until it was late enough I was afraid to go out and get it. Then, I had two separate nightmares about someone seeing the purse in plain sight, and breaking the back window glass of my car to get in and steal it (along with my credit cards, ipod, and identity inside). My first thought when I woke up was, "Oh drat, that was a dream! I'll have to call and cancel those stolen credit cards all over again!" Then I remembered that it might or might not have actually happened, so I threw on some clothes, ran outside with my keys, and... Anabelle was sitting happily in the shade, all windows intact, and my purse still on the seat.

And I am thankful. : )

Friday, September 21, 2007

Please pray...

To those of you who read this who pray, please pray for my other grandma--my mom's mother who lives in Florida. She was taken to the hospital this morning, and they just found out she has a combination of asthma and congestive heart failure, so they're trying to get her moved to the ICU. So please pray. My family doesn't need to lose two in the same month. Please pray.


Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Thoughts on Home

I think there are some things you just have to deal with in life because they’re not going to get any better. For example, it seems that I may never feel entirely safe while living by myself. No matter what neighborhood I live in, or how many locks are on my doors, my imagination will always be able to picture a scenario in which I die and no one knows for days. At night, after I turn the lights out in the front part of the house, I suppose I may always feel that I ought to tiptoe to avoid waking up unknown monsters who lurk in the darkness. I will probably never be able to bring myself to look out of the window at night because I just know that when I open the blinds or pull back the curtain, there will be a scary man waiting out there, with his face peering back at me through the glass. I will probably always whirl around when a strand of hair catches the corner of my peripheral vision as I brush my teeth. Or turn off the blow dryer, just for a second, because I think I've heard something.

So, at that point where I’ve done all I can to make my home safe, I just have to sit back and admit that I live in a fallen world, and this world will never be a safe haven. Bad things happen to good people, even good people who pay good money to live in good neighborhoods and take all the advised precautions. I suppose it further reinforces the fact that this world is not my home. It is at this point that I have to say, “God, I’m about to close my eyes on this darkness, and I’m gonna have to just trust that you’ll either protect me while I’m temporarily here, or take me to the one place where I will feel safe and at home.” At the end of the day, that’s all I can do.

Saturday, September 15, 2007


Lots of things have happened in my life since last time I blogged on here. I did move to a new apartment, just down the parking lot from my old one, but much roomier, and with space enough for my washer and dryer. But, the most important thing that's happened recently is that my grandmother went to rest in the arms of Jesus. She was 90 (would have been 91 in November) and had a tiny bit of dementia, but was still as stubborn and hard-working as ever. She had been in an assisted living home in Chattanooga, and near the beginning of July, she started going down hill mentally and becoming more and more confused. Then, a sore on her leg got infected, and when my aunt took her to the emergency room, her blood pressure was 190 over something! Turns out (after further research) the home had run out of her medicines, and hadn't bothered to let us know, so my grandma hadn't had her blood pressure medicine or her Aracet (sp? it's for the dementia/alzheimers) in THREE WEEKS!!!!

So my aunt did what any good daughter would, and took her out of there immediately. She lived at home with my aunt (which is where she'd been before the assisted-living home) for about a month, but she was still really confused, and my aunt had to lock the doors to keep her inside, and it was really sad. Then, one Saturday the door was left unlocked, and my grandma got her clippers and went outside and started clipping weeds in her rose garden. (I should mention that my grandma loved working outside and clipping things more than anyone I know, so this was fun for her...) As she was clipping, she fell and broke her hip. They had to do surgery on Sunday, and the doctor said afterwards that it went really well. The only problem was she didn't ever really wake up from the anesthesia. She was in the hospital from Saturday, August 25th, when she fell, until September 4th. I went down on Thursday, August 30th, when they decided to move her into hospice care. My parents drove all day on Friday the 31st, and got there that night. They said if she'd had just the broken hip, or just the anesthesia trouble, or just the dementia, or just the pneumonia...but she didn't...she had all of them at once, and her body couldn't heal. We stayed at (or near) the hospital until Tuesday the 4th, when she started breathing quieter and quieter, and then, with my aunt, my dad, my mom, and me standing next to her, she stopped breathing and went home to be with Jesus. My siblings drove out on Thursday, and we had her funeral on Friday.

And then I came home to boxes everywhere, and catching up on a week's worth of missed work, and being alone again, and (I'm sorry to say) just not feeling up to trying to blog about it all.

So, at some point I'll get back to normal, though I don't promise that it's now or anytime soon.

This picture was taken about a year ago, when my baby niece was visiting Grandma at the assisted living home.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

I'm Still Alive!

I'm not actually dead...or still in Iowa...I've just been (and will continue to be) very busy. So here are a few hightlights from the last few weeks:

~ I went to Iowa, where I: drove a tractor, shot a gun, went to a tractor pull, rode a horse, and picked raspberries.

~ My lovely roommate, Katie, came to see me in Nashville! We: spent hours talking, painted pottery, found pretty clothes on sale, finished each others' sentences, and just had fun being "us" again.

~ I drove home to Texas, where I: saw my family, got my car inspected, visited with good friends, and helped with the release party of the 7th Harry Potter book at "my" bookstore! I ran a trivia contest, organized a covert operation to spy on Hastings (they only had about 200 ppl, compared to our estimated 800 or so), and then at midnight, I got to help sell more than 700 books in less than an hour on only 4 registers! It was awesome!

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Hi from Iowa

Hi from Iowa! More to come after I get back on Sunday night...

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Now in Color!

I just discovered how to change colors on my template!! Please note that I'm not done, but I just don't have time to finish at the moment. I know it looks like an Easter basket at the moment, but bear with me.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Felted Tote Bag Update

"Hi. My name is Bethany, and I'm a perfectionist." I admire those people who are comfortable with posting pictures of WIP (work in progress) projects (for examples, see: Betty's great series on designing knit patterns or Jen's many lovely socks). I hate letting people see the not-yet-finished project. I also feel like I work very slowly since I'm still learning, which only adds to the frustration. No one wants to see pictures of a 58 row project on row 8, row 12, row 30, row 42, row 50 and row 58. So I'm never sure when to post pictures and when to wait until I've gone "just a little further."
But here goes...

This is the progress I've made on my felted tote bag so far:
And here's a close-up of the pre-felted WIP (I'm really loving this color!):

The next step will be to add this yarn to the two strands of wool, so that it gets felted in by the wool and forms a band near the top of the bag:

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Moving Day???

The apartment I have my name on WAS supposed to be ready for me to move in on the 28th of July. However, I got a call yesterday that the people won't be out by then, so it is now opening about the 22nd of August. But I'm not holding my breath this time. And I'm not writing it on any calendars unless it has at least 3 questions marks after it: Moving Day???

I guess, on the upside, I have more time to consider paint options. On the downside, I could possibly be moving on the day my Katie flies to England. Which seems sad, even though it's not like we live together (or even in the same state) now.

Why does stuff like this matter so much to me? I keep thinking I'll grow out of letting things like this disappoint me so much. So I'm now moving in about 2 months, instead of in 1 month. It's not like anything about my schedule changes in August--I'm not on a school-year calendar. Why am I so disappointed?


Just a quick reminder that you should be careful in the hurry to catalogue all your yarn on Ravelry. Remember that SPIDERS LIKE YARN! Even yarn you've touched less than 2 weeks ago. Even yarn stored in an open, fabric-lined basket in your living room next to your favorite chair. Since the scary s-word above has been plural lately, the exterminators are coming today.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

8 Things About Me

Not so recently, my friend Kyleen tagged me in a meme...however, I am just now getting around to actually answering it. So here goes.

Eight random things about about me:

1) I still have two baby teeth. I had three until I got one pulled during my freshman year of college. My adult teeth have already grown in behind the two teeth that are left, so the dentist says there's no point in pulling them now.

2) I am afraid of bowling alleys. I have no idea why, but I'll tell you right now that repeated attempts to "overcome fear by facing it" have NOT worked. When I get there, I don't think I feel afraid, but after 45 min to an hour, my chest starts aching from being tense. I know everyone loves bowling, and it's a great family night, date night, youth group outing, etc...but I just can't handle it. I'm not sure if it's the darkness, the loudness, the smokiness (of most bowling alleys), or the fact that my feet never grew, so I still have to wear the hideous neon orange Velcro shoes, rather than just the ugly lace-up red and blue ones...but the point is I'd rather do just about anything else on earth.

3) I have been fascinated by geology my whole life. Yes, I have a rock collection.

4) I love looking at all sorts of mail-order catalogues--everything from Dell to J.C. Penney's, to Victorian Trading Company to Smith & Hawkin to catalogues of classes offered at community colleges. Did you know that even Target has a catalogue? They're full of gorgeous pictures of rooms filled with Target home furnishings. They come addressed to the guy that lived here before me (with a first name like 15 consonants long), but I figure if I bring it in from my mail box, it's mine. : )

5) I tend to kill about 1/3 of the plants I try to grow....despite my mother's green thumb, I apparently lack the ability to water on schedule.

6) My favorite flowers are the miniature-yet-highly-fragranced daffodil-type wildflowers that grow rampantly along the country roads in East Texas.

7) I am allergic to acetaminophen--yep, that's right--to Tylenol. However, I do not have any food or seasonal allergies.

8) I am one of those exceedingly lucky people who got chicken pox not just once, but TWICE--once when I was 4, and once in 2nd grade.


I'm supposed to tag some people who haven't done this meme recently, so...Sheila, Sarah, Jen, Betty, and Jeremiah!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Exciting Things About Which I Haven't Had Time to Blog

1) My dear car broke down on me--a first in my life. I've decided that it's not because she's a bad car, it's just that she's young and still a little on the silly/irresponsible side. Turns out there was really nothing wrong except the battery died and so the rest of the car freaked out. So I've decided to name her Anabelle, after a 2-yr old horse I once knew with a similar disposition. : )

2) I finally got my eyes checked. Turns out, I have 20-50 nearsightedness, and astigmatism in both eyes. So I got contacts on Friday, and I am AMAZED at what (apparently) everyone else can see! It's incredible--I can see shadows of blades of grass while driving down the road! I can see individual stitches on the wall hanging that's across the hall from my office from my desk! However, the carpet in my office makes me dizzy b/c I can now see the pattern in it, rather than just a blur, and it's millions of tiny brown squares, and it makes my stomach feel queasy if I look at it while I walk. But the rest is all good.

3) I put my name on an apartment--number 2007 (which seems appropriate this year). It doesn't have a fireplace : (...but, it will have vaulted ceilings (read: no being awakened at 4:30 each morning by the ppl above me), and more windows, and a place for my washer and dryer, and a big balcony that does NOT face the parking lot. : ) I'm getting excited already! Now, to choose what to paint, and what colors...

4) Last week, from Sunday to Wednesday, I helped out at my church's Vacation Bible School. VBS has been one of my favorite parts of summer since I was 3 (really!), and I was SO excited about it! I got to work in "The Marketplace," which means I dressed in a biblical-times-type costume, and ran a craft booth for the kids. I helped kids from 4-years old to 5th grade make fish windsocks out of colored 6x9 envelopes and crepe-paper streamers. It was SO much fun! It was also fun to get to hang out w/ the other workers (many from my lifegroup/singles class) and to get to know some new friends better.

5) I got an email this morning from an old friend of mine, whom I haven't talked to (until this morning) in about 3 years! He is a Canadian, who has recently married an American, and is going to be living in the states for a while. He was a grad student when I knew him in college, and he persuaded me to take the Beginner's Biblical Greek class that he was teaching. Three years later, I graduated with 12 hours of Koine (Biblical) Greek, and 6 hours of Classical Greek. And I am SO grateful that he got me started on it! I am also grateful to find that, even after 3 years of not communicating, a good friend/hero/intellectual crush can still make me feel all happy inside!

6) Friday night I went with my friend Dana to an AWESOME American Artisan Festival! It was in a park downtown, and there were rows and rows of booths, brimming with handmade crafts. While a few were homemade-looking, the vast majority were simply beautiful! I saw every type of craft: from leather-works, to wooden inlay, to pottery, to glass blowing/etching, to hand-painted silk, to photography, to painting, to sculpture, to these fun purses and other sewing creations by Beth Howard (see also pic below, stolen from her blog)...

Beth Howard's booth at the festival

...and even
these lovely paper-decoupage tables by Lara Moore.

I am seriously IN LOVE with these tables!!! I have decided that if I ever finally own my independent coffee-shop/bookstore, I will definitely be calling Lara and her people to provide the decor! These two were my favorite artisans, along with a wonderful potter who had no website but made beautiful bowls and vases.

7) Finally, I have to admit that I love hearing about adolescent dramas (as long as they're not mine). We have a recent high school grad (a boy) working in our office this summer, who is the son of one of our office staff, and who used to be almost-sorta-not-quite-dating a girl who worked here last summer. (Are you still with me?) Well, as it happens, this girl is doing an internship elsewhere (out of state) this summer, but...she has a twin! The girl also got a new boyfriend, with which--we think--she hoped to force the boy into some sort of jealous declaration of his love. However, instead, the boy has started spending suspicious quantities of his time w/ her twin!!! Today, the boy, his mother, and both twins (the one is in town just for the weekend) went to lunch together. Upon returning, the mother has confided to me that she can only conclude that the 3 of them should all move to Utah together and practice polygamy! The whole situation is way more entertaining than your average sitcom!

8) I finally got my invitation to join Ravelry!!! I have now done so, so please befriend me if you're on there. My Ravelry name is WordThreader (as my blog name won't fit, and all other names that I thought of (or that friends thought of) were already taken). I have already located (and friended) Betty and Jen, but I'm not sure who else is on there so far. I am SO excited about it, and I cannot wait to get home and start cataloging my stash! : ) I have always loved organizing, so Ravelry will be the perfect site for me!

Monday, June 4, 2007


So my hopes did not come true. The apartment I wanted really is already rented to someone else. : ( So I am back to square one. I took the list of apartments of that size opening about the time I need, and drove around looking at all of them. I've narrowed it to the top two...but it's not like the top two favorites. It's like the top two maybe-I-could-live-here-for-a-year-or-so apartments.

So, to add to my melancholy, I've just spent the afternoon looking at pictures of the house in Abilene that I fell in love with 3 years ago. So, I thought I'd post a few on here, just to show you why I'm so reluctant to rent a regular-ole'-apartment here. Sigh. Here goes...
(click on the pic below)


Visions of another Gypsy Summer

I'm sorry to say there is no happy post pics of a new yarn or fun party. I'm uber frustrated at the moment by some housing issues.

There wasn't a problem, and I wasn't in that big of a hurry...until I got a letter on Friday, saying I needed to let my apts know by that exact Friday (!!!) whether or not I was renewing my lease!!! So I called to tell them I'd received the letter late, and started shopping on Saturday. Those of you who know me well know that, for some reason, housing is a big deal to me. I get very emotional about houses/apartments/real estate in general. I spent lots and lots of hours of my life searching the streets of Abilene until I found the perfect little cottage. Now, I'm searching both streets and Craig's list, but so far it's been a disappointment all around. I've found nice things I can't afford, ghetto-style housing I could afford (but wouldn't want to live in), and a few that seem closer to ideal.

I had actually decided on what I thought would be the as-close-to-perfect-as-possible option on Saturday. I took the time to go look at it on Sunday afternoon (as Bridget suggested), and deemed it The One. However, I called the office twice on Sunday afternoon, and there was no answer. I called once this morning, but no answer. And then I called again at 1pm, and...the apartment I had looked at (the one I'd been given stats for, the one which included both a friendly porch and friendly neighbors...) has already been rented!!!! It wouldn't have been so bad if I hadn't already fallen in love w/ it...or if I hadn't been calling about every 6 hours for the last two days trying to rent it. Or if, when Bridget returned my call and left a voice mail at 4:55 saying she was locking up and I should just call back on Monday, she'd mentioned (or even hinted) that it might be too late already!

I'm leaving work a little early and going by the office this afternoon, to double-check that the girl wasn't just bluffing this morning, telling me it was rented already just b/c she was bored or something. I keep hoping (though rather irrationally) that Bridget had somehow read my mind (b/c I can't remember the exact wording of all the messages I've left her) and somehow she could tell I wanted it and has put it on hold for me, and that's why Ashley says it's unavailable. She just doesn't know that I'm the one it's on hold for. I just keep hoping.

So if any of you read this this afternoon, please send up a prayer or two that my visit to the office this evening goes well. I'll keep you posted on the continuing saga. Thanks in advance for the prayers!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007


(magic flash sparkles not included)

At Threaded Bliss several weeks ago, Sheila was giving away free yarn. Somehow she'd ended up with loads of this horrible stuff called "Rumba" by Katia (see pic). Rumba is the sound made when lots of tiny rectangular animals get trapped inside pantyhose stretched vertically...well, maybe not, but that's what it looks like to me. Rumba is slippery nylon thread-ish stuff with little random rectangles at about 2 inch intervals. I took a navy blue ball of it home (like the one labled 5 in the picture below), but had NO idea what I (or anyone with good taste) could possibly make with it. To tell the truth, I hated Rumba just as much as Sheila did, but it was Free Yarn, so I took it.

On Memorial Day, I had made plans to go to an exhibit at the Frist Center with a friend. I found a white sundress in the back of my closet, but I knew I hadn't seen the belt/sash thing that came with it since I moved. So I decided to make my own belt. I went to my yarn stash, and just began putting colors together. And...(drumroll, please)....

I found a use for Rumba!!!

I made a belt/sash out of one strand of the very-odd-and-almost-frightening Rumba and one strand of simple-and-sturdy, plain-ole' cotton. Surprisingly, I kinda liked it. I just did a long crocheted chain, and then two rows of sc1, ch1, sc1 in 2nd chain from last sc. I made both the sash and the necklace in about 1 1/2 hrs, all while watching the local news!

It's just further proof that Free Yarn is always a good thing!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

goodbyes...and other friends...

Last night at church, I said goodbye to one of my new Nashville friends. Lori is moving for happy reasons: because she's getting married in December, and her fiance has already started a youth ministry job in Knoxville, and she's gonna live in their apartment and get it all fixed up so he can move in in December. But she's leaving a large, Lori-shaped hole in our singles group that will be kinda hard to fill.

On Sunday afternoon, we had an official goodbye party for her (click on the picture above to see the rest of them), at a house w/ a pool in Murfreesboro. It was good to be able to see Lori and say goodbye, but it was equally good because it reminded me that I also have many friends here who are least for the moment.

And one more pic, just for fun!

Monday, May 14, 2007

A Few Definitions...

...for Knitting Between the Lines

  • As a new knitter (though long-time crocheter), I sometimes feel like a little kid, trying desperately to color (or knit) within the lines...but still lacking the practice needed to make my pictures (or projects) look like "everyone else's."

  • As an avid reader (and former English major), you could say that my knitting often takes a backseat to my reading habits (though with the lovely invention of audiobooks on ipod, I can sometimes do both!). Therefore, my knitting is "between the lines."

  • As a girl who loved to play "secret clubs" and "spies," I also appreciate the history of knitting secret codes of stitch patterns during the French revolution...such as in Dickens's Tale of Two Cities. Some knitting projects can actually hold clandestine meanings--if read between the lines.

  • As a Christian (and former psychology minor), I appreciate the traditional definition of "reading between the lines"--to see what isn't there in black and white. Hopefully, my knitting/blogging experiences will help me pause more often for contemplation of these truths, and to grow in unseen directions myself.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Good News/ Bad News

The good news is that I finished the ipod nano cover I was making for my friend Elizabeth's 13th birthday in less than a week! I gave her the cover, and also helped her load songs onto her new ipod, the night before she left for her big school trip to Washington, D.C. It looked great, if I do say so myself! It was pink, to match her ipod, and it was made from this yarn, which has natural antibacterial properties...just right for a 13-yr-old's ipod cover.

However, the bad news is that I committed that irreversible sin in homemade gift-giving...I completely forgot to take a picture of the completed project before I happily gave it away!!! So I have nothing to show for my work...unless I happen to sneakily take a pic of it one day when I'm over there. But, I do plan to make one for myself (since I have LOTS of extra yarn, and it did look really good on my silver ipod nano), so I guess I'll just take pictures of the second try. I hope it doesn't go the way of many of my project ideas--supplies purchased, I then find something else I'd rather do, and the supplies end up buried in my stacks of yarn, lonely and forgotten...

Perhaps I'll confess my intentions to crochet another to the Threaded Bliss group tonight. Maybe they can nag me about it until I get it done. Tonight I'm going to work some more on a lovely felted tote bag knitted in a beautiful shade of heathered dark green Cascade yarn.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Top Seventeen Things I Did This Weekend...

1) Flying to Dallas (I love to fly...and I love airports!)

2) My very first American taxi ride (though I have ridden in taxis in Indonesia, Uruguay, Argentina, France and England)
3) Learning that my roommate Katie got engaged on Friday night!!! (Isn't it sparkly?)

4) Seeing my friend Kaela for the first time in 6 months (and she brought chocolate!!!)

5) Seeing my friend Chan for the first time in 9 months!

6) Random road trip with Kaela and Chan to Abilene to see the ring/my newly-engaged Katie.
7) Lunch at Ann Thai Kitchen on Saturday with Katie, Kaela, Chan, Eric, and (briefly) Jeremiah

8) Shopping at Zida, where I got these gorgeous earrings!

9) Seeing Abi and Leigh Anne

back at Katie's adorable flat

10) Getting to ride on Mark's shiny red motorcycle

11) Seeing Jack Maxwell's Jacob's Dream sculpture--funding courtesy of our graduating class, and some wing details courtesy of my friend Chan (who was a student of J. Maxwell at the time of its creation)

12) Seeing Wicked with Kaela (and discovering that I do still fit in the dress I'd bought, but had never worn)

13) Waiting outside of the stage entrance after the show, and collecting autographs from each of the cast members!

14) Going downtown Fort Worth to Sundance Square

15) Wonderful (real) Mexican food at Mi Cocina

16) Browsing til closing time in the Barnes&Noble with the giant horse statue

17) A lovely walk down windy streets under trees filled with dancing lights
All in all...the best three day trip I've ever had!

Leigh Anne, Me, and Katie (roomies from last summer)