Wednesday, January 31, 2007


Booking Through Thursday

  1. How many unread books do you have in your house, right now? (Your own books, that is--not ones that belong to other family members--and not counting things like school books, if you have them.) Clearly, an estimate will do. Reply here

  2. To the best of your recollection, what is the OLDEST unread book in your collection? How long has it been waiting? Reply here

  3. Do your TBR books (that's "To Be Read," if you didn't know) haunt you, make you feel guilty that you haven't read them yet? Reply here

1. OMG! Going just with the "fun stuff" that's right next to me as opposed to the vast majority of fun stuff which is getting stored.... I'd have to say 400.

2. Oldest as in time spent on my shelf .... well the obvious winner would be my Bible, but it's not like that is going anywhere. Second would be a couple collections of Emily Dickinson which I've hauled around for 25-ish years, but they aren't leaving either. So, coming in third is probably Fritz Leiber's Ill Met at Lankhmar which I've had for 10 or so years.

3. My books don't bother with merely "haunting," they *taunt* me. They also specialize in sweetly staring at me in an accusatory manner. They are especially good at guilt trips. But, when it comes to series, I am happy having at least 2-3 hanging out waiting for me because I dread "running out" of a good thing.

Reading finish: Tony Hillerman's The Fallen Man -- wonderful as usual.
Currently reading: Terry Pratchett's The Fifth Elephant -- well, duh, of course it's great
Bought last night: Hillerman's Shapeshifter and Hunting Badger and Rex Stout's The Rubber Band

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

And the trend continues....

... a little bit more stitching last night. I gave myself two nights off from a new RR that just arrived. I think I've done pretty well with the short bursts of time. :)

Last night I played with my M Designs ( ) personalized class sampler from Cross Stitch Pals BB ( ) reunion in Myrtle Beach last Fall. If you ever get a chance to take a class from Mary of M Designs you should! She's really lovely. I'm quite pleased with how the squash blossom necklace is turning out -- even though it's not all that much like mine and I have yet to decide how I'll actually put the blossoms on it. lol
M Designs Personalized sampler as of Jan. 29 2007
A kinda blurry (sorry) close up of the squash blossom thusfar:
close up of the squash blossom beading so far Jan 29 2007

Monday, January 29, 2007

Stitching and stash

Happily I can report that my arm is doing better. not good, but better. I think it just retrained me to use my lap stand :) Regardless I can show a little progress.

I did a little bit on my Vierlanden Mystery:
Vierlanden mystery Jan 28 2007
It's on cream, 32-count linen. The solidish-looking color is Carrie's Creations Threads "Maskerade" and the varigated color is Carrie's "New Vision." The green that I haven't stitched in yet is Needle Necessities "Grecian Olive." At the moment I'm only about 8 pages behind on this project. lol

Next we have a RR that I'd be done with save for the fat that one color was missing from the pack.
CSRR Fantasy2
I did the "rectangle" from about the wolf's neck down.

I also owe a picture of some recent stash... Don't be too jealous!
black jobelan, wild raspberry linen, apple blossom linen, parchment jobelan, and ivory jobelan
And Wichelt's hand dyed jobelan in "Lite Raspberry"
Wichelt hand-dyed jobelan -- lite raspberry

Friday, January 26, 2007

To Be Read Challenge

Ok, I'm lame. I tried to join the TBR Ring (see: , but I can't figure out links so I'll just play along on my own.

I found this actually t an opportune moment because I had just been reminded of the BBC's "The Big Read" (which surveyed the British for their 100 "best-loved" books). [see: ] Turns out I've only read 25 of them. I might feel bad save for the fact that I have become comfortable with reading only what I want to not what other folks think I should. So, most of the list I am happy to consign to oblivion. The 25 I *did* read were:
The Lord of the Rings
Pride and Prejudice
misc Harry Potters
Winnie the Pooh
Nineteen Eighty-Four
Jane Eyre
War and Peace
Tess of the d'Ubervilles
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
The Great Gatsby
Animal Farm
A Christmas Carol
Black Beauty
Crime and Punishment
Good Omens
Guards! Guards!
Night Watch
The Colour of Magic

Looking at The Big Read lead me to remember the MLA's list of the best novels in the English language. [see: ]
Of those I've managed to read 10. lol Apparently the MLA and I don't see eye to eye. The ones of the MLA's that I read were:
The Great Gaysby
Darkness at Noon
The Grapes of Wrath
An American Tragedy
Animal Farm
Sister Carrie
All the King's Men
The Call of the Wild
The Magnificent Ambersons

Back to the point at hand, the idea of hte TBR Challenge is to name 12 books (paper or audio) that you "promise" to complete by 12/31/2007. Yeah, I should be able to do that. I might even have to think of a suitable bonus for finishing extras. ;-)

My 12-ish are (in the order of photo convenience):
1-5. Tony Hillerman. The Fallen Man; Dance Hall of the Dead; Wailing Wind; Skinwalkers; Skeleton Man

6. Simon Green. Agents of Light and Darkness
green agents light

7. Roger Zelazny. This Immortal
zelazny this immortal

8. Jonathan Trouern-Trend. Birding Babylon: A Soldier's Journal from Iraq
trend birding babylon

9-11. James White. The Watch Below; Mike Resnick, ed. Space Cadets; Erodes and Ortiz, eds. American Indian Myths and Legends [as an aside if anyone knows of good audio books of Indian storytelling, I'd appreciate knowing about them-- all I can find are children's books]

12. Sean McMullen. Souls in the Great Machine
mcmullen souls in the great machine

13. Barbara Hambly. Renfield
hambly renfield

14. Chelsea Quinn Yarbro. Hotel Transylvania
yarbro hotel transylvania

15. Wil McCarthy. Collapsium
mccarthy collapsium

16. Patricia McKillip. The Book of Atrix Wolfe
mckillip the book of atrix wolfe

17. Syne Mitchell. The Last Mortal Man
mitchell last mortal man

18. Jane Lindskold. Through a Wolf's Eyes; or Changer
lindskold through_wolfs_eyes

19. Glen Cook. Old Tin Sorrows or Dread Brass Shadows or whichever Garrett, PI I'm up to now
20. Jack McDevitt. The Hercules Text
21. Jim Butcher. Storm Front
22. Simon Green. The Man withthe Golden Torque
23-4. Jasper Fforde. The Eyre Affair; The Well of Lost Plots
25-29. Rex Stout. Fer-de-Lance; The League of Frightened Men; The Rubber Band; The Red Box; Too Many Cooks
30-34+. Terry Pratchett. Wintersmith; Truckers; Diggers; Wings; The Carpet People; and whatever comes out this year.

And in case you think that might stress my library....
These are just the tree, mostly double-stacked shelves next to my bed. This doesn't count the boxes and boxes of books heading for storage. Sigh.

Hand-dyed fabrics

This week's SBQ, suggested by Danielle, was:

What company produces your favorite hand-dyed fabric? Are there any companies whose hand-dyed fabric you do not like? If so, why?

The permalink to this post is:

Welllllll, since just last night I got a box in :) My favorite hand-dyes are Wichelt's jobelans like African Violet (which is really yellow), Watercress, and my special favorite, Summer Sky:
Wichelt hand-dyed jobelan -- Summer Sky
That's Summer Sky. Isn't it wonderful??? :)

I also like Crossed Wing's Starry Night, Woodland, Whispering Pines, oh heck, I like all of theirs! See them at:

As for dislikes---actually I'd say that it's not that I dislike them, but rather that I have a healthy suspicion of them since I've had bad luck with the pictures not being *anything* like the actual product I receive --- Silkweaver's and Picture This Plus.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007


lol I wonder which one my BIL will be. ;)

I'm a Chevrolet Corvette!

You're a classic - powerful, athletic, and competitive. You're all about winning the race and getting the job done. While you have a practical everyday side, you get wild when anyone pushes your pedal. You hate to lose, but you hardly ever do.

Take the Which Sports Car Are You? quiz.

P.S. Stitching? Who can stitch? My arm hurts too much and I've been working 24-7. Sigh. Tonight is my night though, I think. Look for pics tomorrow!!!! :)

Monday, January 22, 2007

I hate wind

I mean I *really* hate wind. And I don't care what the online weather people say "current conditions" include more than 16mph winds! Ack!!!! Is it fair I ask you???? It snows, honest to pete SNOWS so it sticks in frelling West L.A. while I'm here in the Inland Empire in a windstrom for a week? Is this just? My weather karma must really suck.

It really did snow in West L.A. I saw pictures on the news of the park across from my office bathed in white. It snowed in Malibu! When I was discussing my utter awe of this with a (totally cool) librarian from UCR, I mentioned that it snowed on the ashes of Suzanne Somers house in Malibu -- we both agreed it was a sure sign of the impending apocalypse. What you don't believe me? you missed the news last week? Check out NBC San Diego's pics or the ones from the L.A. Times

This is a street near my hovel in L.A.:
westwood snow January 2007

This is Malibu:
malibu snow January 2007

Not much snow you say? You've had more? May I remind you this is Southern California!!!!!:
L.A. snow January 2007

Who, pray tell, knew L.A. even had snowplows?????
L.A. has snowplows???  January 2007

But noooooooo. I don't get snow. I don't get fun, rare, white, fluffy stuff to play in, I get wind. And I HATE wind!!! The windows all rattle. The house creeks. Branches bang. I keep waiting to hear the fence come crashing down. Oh and let's not even mention how every gust makes the plexiglass insert above the air conditioner just behind where I'm sitting right now rattle and make me contemplate how it could come flying at my head any second now when the duct tape that holds it in place gives. The swirly copper sculpture which hangs from the eve of the front patio is swinging so hard it's setting off the front motion-detecting security light and it (the sculpture) keeps clanging against itself.

What a great opportunity to stitch, you say. It's not like you can sleep. True, but my stitching is trapped in a dark corner I can't access easily (read: "at all") from where I am currently. Sure, had I had my precognition switched on earlier when I left that room with my computer to finish the online edits which my office needs first thing this morning, I would have taken the stitching with me. But, sorry, no, I forgot to gaze into the future just then.

Jeez!!!! The front door just blew open!!!!!!!!!!! Sure, no I *wanted* to stay up all night. As I pass my formerly sleeping sister on the way to close the door she asks if I'd been asleep. Asleep???? With the house rattling and the windows about to pop? Yeah, I was asleep. Uh huh. Not tonight, honey!!!!

Sixteen MPH, my fanny!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

The Dresden Files

Anyone else find it humorous that the U.S. Army is "sponsoring" The Dresden Files on the Scifi channel? :)

Well, I think I liked it. If given a chance I think it can grown into something good. I'll cross my fingers. I still wish someone would make a series out of Simon Green's Nightside or Glen Cook's Garrett, P.I. Oh well, beggars can't be choosers.

I'm in love

It's all my BIL's fault. Mr. Car Guy insisted on watching Barrett-Jackson Wednesday night. We've watched it every night/day since and I'm addicted. The cars are mostly beautiful. I'm learning my favorite sort of thing.... useless trivia. For instance,

I learned that Ferarris have horrid maintenance costs so they went "cheaply" (the two I saw were around $50K) . See? Fascinating, yet basically useless trivia since the chance of me buying a Ferarri, be it new or used, its dang slim.

Why am I loving BJ? Why might you? Well let's see, there's the sale of my personal favorite car the 1930 Duesenberg which went for just over $660K:
1930 Duesenberg BJ 2007  660K
Then there are the Great Auctions... like the CNN Hummer "Warrior One" whose proceeds went to Fisher House, a charity that operates houses throughout the country near military medical facilities to offer low-cost housing to military families while their soldier undergoes medical treatment. (A verey worthy cause you can check out at: ) It went for $1 million with an additional donation of $250,000 from a non-winning bidder who just wanted to help Fisher House:
cnn warrior one bj 2007 1 million
Then there are the Take-Your-Breath-Away auctions, like the one for the one-of-a-kind 1966 Shelby Super Snake which went for $5 million.... yes, I typed five million!!!!
shelby super snake 1966 bj 2007 5million

Aside from the trivia and the cars and their stories, the people bidding are fun to watch. I get to wondering about them and what they are like. Frankly a lot of them look like the might farm sorghum most of the year. That's no knock on sorghum or car guys, it's just they look low-key. I don't know what I expected car collectors to look like, but I guess I was thinking they'd be more over the top.

Anyway, I'm really enjoying my first Barrett-Jackson experience and I think I know where I need to go on vacation some year :)

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Wuthering Heigts, eh?


What Classic Movie Are You?
personality tests by

Dramatic? Romantic? What??? Not a word about sarcasm or smart aleckishness? I think they may be a bit off on me. Of course, being not so much the movie person (classic or not) I can't really offer them another option.

I have to show you my humor shot of the day. You see, my BIL on his Thanksgiving trip out here installed smoke detectors where the inspector told us we needed them. One was in my childhood bedroom which was really a large hallway to my parents room. So, he installed it there and we've found it works just fine. Every time we bake anything in the oven it goes off. Now the kitchen is 15-20 feet away from the smoke detector and so far we haven't burned anything. Still, it goes off. Well, today I'm out sorting stuff in my room at the very back of the house -- one closed door and probably 30-40 feet from the kitchen and I hear the detector go off. Well I crack up because I know my sister just started baking some cookies and now the alarm is going to go off every 5 minutes. I didn't really notice that it didn't go off again until I came in to pick up some more stuff for sorting and found:
Poor detector
The poor detector is now living on the corner of hte dresser in mom's room where I'm sleeping. I just cracked up. It solved the cookie-baking problem though.

Also today I found a cache of xs stuff and needlepoint canvases. I photoed the canvases. Sheesh I think there are another 40-50 of them. For instance:
sothwestern basket carrier
Sew Much Fun elepahnt
log cabin heart
poinsettia on gilded mesh
Ewe and Eye checkered tree ornie
I guess it's time I readjusted my stitching plans for 2007. Obviously this needs to be a finishing year!!!! So here goes --

In 2007 I would like to:
1. Finish 12 needlepoints
2. Finish 12 xs other than ornies
3. Finish in the neighborhood of 30 ornies

Let's all cross our fingers and hope real hard on my behalf, shall we?

And I close tonight by asking again.... Wuthering Heights?????....

Your Hair Should Be Blue

Wild, brilliant, and out of control.

You're a risk taker with an eye to the future.

Monday, January 15, 2007


Sorry to disappoint you, but I don't mean that I accomplished any stitching. Truth be told I did put in about a half dozen stitches, but that was about 10pm and by that time I was already tired and I think I found an error in my last color..... why yes, of course, I've already tied that color off. Thank you, Lord, for these little challenges. I know I'd be bored without them. Instead of trying to wake up enough to figure out whether I found a real error or not, I just closed up shop for the night.

The progress is in the cleaning here. My sister helped me figure out that despite the cold out there, I could use my room as a sorting and packing central if I got it cleared out. Clearing went well. Thanks to my sister's help, the upstairs is empty except for bookshelves and office furniture. She left me then to play with the new scanner they got for the family photos. I spent the afternoon sorting and piling and dumping then. I guess I made good headway. It doesn't seem like it, but Naomi keeps telling me I am. Could all be a plot to keep me with the program.

Tomorrow I hope to get the rest of that sorting down and clean up in general out there, then (if the winds have dimmed) take some furniture from out there over to the storage facility, and spend the rest of the daytime shifting "Ruth stuff" from the rest of the house to the sorting areas back there for final decision and packing. In all that sorting and packing, I want to get the recycling and trash bins filled. I'd hate to not take advantage of a trash day! lol Oh and my sister and I decided our goal was to get all my Christmas ornies/decorations sorted, wrapped, and boxed by Wednesday so they can go get stored.

I moved a few pictures tonight and I think it's long passed time I shared the one of SharonPA and I -- Sharon was kind enough to come and visit me in DC while I was at my sisters for Christmas vacation. She came down New Years Day and we had a lovely afternoon.
Me and Sharon on New Years Day 2007

I hope they are joking:

Your Irish Name Is...

Eimear McLoughlin

They might be right:

You Are 66% American

Most times you are proud to be an American.

Though sometimes the good ole US of A makes you cringe

Still, you know there's no place better suited to be your home.

You love your freedom and no one's going to take it away from you!

Hmmm. I wonder.........

You Should Rule Mercury

Close to sun, Mercury has very long days - and is rarely visible to the rest of the solar system.

You are perfect to rule Mercury, because you live for the present - and can truly enjoy a day that goes on forever.

Like Mercury, you are quick and elusive. Your wit is outstanding, and you can win any verbal sparring match.

Some people see you as superficial, but in truth, you just play many roles and have many interests.

A great manipulator, you usually get what you want from people. And they're happy to give it to you.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Hi honey, I'm home!

I'm just back to mom's from a whirlwind weekend at TNNA (The National NeedleArts Association)-- the big, annual wholesale show in San Diego. This year we shared the San Diego Convention Center with May Kay......the sidewalks of the convention center were decorated with pink opalescent cars of all makes and models (I suppose they were going to be prizes for lucky sales folk) and they even had life-size body cut outs like the ones they have at amusement parks-- you know the ones with the body's painted and the heads missing so you can "pose" as the person/character in question. I really should have stopped and had my picture taken as the ideal Mary Kay rep. Honest to pete it was funny to see the MK folks lining up to have their pictures taken behind the cut outs. lol Certainly the MK folks get high marks for convention neighbors -- last year we shared with an extreme boards sports trade show. They were nice enough people, but let's just say that for ever smoker that was at the Mary Kay show there were 250 smokers at the sports show and since you can't smoke indoors in San Diego that meant the sidewalks all along the convention center were one fluffy cloud of smoke.

No matter the atmosphere, we were all in needlepoint heaven. There was needlepoint like you wouldn't believe. OMG. We picked out some lovely things for the shop. For instance, it seemed every designer had stunning/adorable/cute/funky/beautiful houses (and a bunch had "3-D" canvases so that you end up with fully-stitched houses, churches, shops, etc). Some simply beautiful florals are going to be coming our way too. Oh and animals... there were such cute animals to be had. The Christmas stuff is always to die for, but there seemed to be even more perfect Christmas choices than ever before... ornaments and stockings galore! New threads, you ask? Of course! Rainbow Gallery has some great new colors of Splendor coming out and some cool new fuzzy threads, and we're testing some samples of brand new flosses that look very promising. :) There were great boxes, purse options, shoes, ohhhhh one vendor had color and cuff canvases for denim jackets!

My Personal Highlights: Goofing around with the designer from Gimmies -- she's a hoot and a half and her husband is a treasure [if you've never seen a Gimmies canvas, you should take the time and no picture can do justice to how well they are painted and how fun they are --- some of her vast collection of adorable critters can be seen at: and I have a finished cardinal ornie on my webshots completed projects and several unstarted canvases picture in my webstos "needlepoint stash" alblum], shopping with Wichelt who was so patient with me wanting everything they had, staying at the Wyndam Emerald (great rooms -- lame restaurant staff), watching the shop group sit around cross-legged on the convention floor in a corner working out which 13 picture and logo nail files to order.

The lobby art at the Wyndam-- plexiglass and wind chimes....
Wyndam Sand Diego -- The Emerald lobby
Wyndam San Diego lobby
Wyndam San Diego lobby

My Gimmies cardinal:
Gimmies cardinal needlepoint
Some Gimmies I have to do:
Gimmies dragonfly
Gimmies painted bunny
Gimmies road runner
Gimmies gingerbread star
Gimmies cool heart
Gimmies owl
Gimmies penguin?

And yes, I was bad. Really pretty darn bad. I didn't buy everything I liked, but I bought plenty! What did I order? Well, I'll have to get the formal list out, but off the top of my head....
1. a beautiful half-round silhouette ornie of the 3 wise men on camels
2. a nifty state of California ornie
3.Bothy Threads' Cut Thru Rocket (which goes with their Cut Thru Princess Palace I got at Myrtle Beach from the lovely ladies of Counted Stitches)
Bothy Threads Cut thru' Rocket
Bothy Threads Cut thru' Princess Palace
4. some awesome Valerie Pfeiffer birds and flowers
5. some beautiful Beau Geste Radko ornie/canvas combos
6. a small collection of some of the world's most adorable and/or stunning ornament canvases
7. a specialty frame for a Ewe and Eye canvas I already have
8. a headband canvas which I can't wait to BEAD!!!!!
9. a few wonderful Gimmies... of course! lol

Well, I guess I better get to finishing stuff, huh! I sure better be a much faster stitcher in 2007!!!!!

I left the show at about 1:30pm to head back the the Emerald to meet up with my sister and BIL who flew in from D.C. We headed straight to Old Town (if you've never been to San Diego, you should come and definitely go to Old Town and dine and drink your way through Mexican food). The chips and salsa were excellent and my raspberry margarita was nearly a smoothie it had so much fruit in it. The dinner was adequate though not great, but sitting outside under a sunny afternoon sky in ***January*** with strolling mariachis was worth pedestrian Mexican food.
My sister and some cool flora at Old Town San Diego -- say "hi"
Sis and flora
rbehling1916 While I was taking this picture I think my BIL was taking a picture of me taking the picture. We'll see what shows up in my email tomorrow. lol

Now that it's tomorrow morning in DC the three of us are here at mom's. I cleaned and laundried while they grocery shopped so we're set for a week of sorting and packing.... again. Wish us luck!!!!! My sister really wishes I had goals for the week. It's such a huge job that it's hard to have them, but I suppose I'd like to:
1. get the last of the trucks that we haven't opened (2) or fully explored (another 2) fully gone through
2. to get my Christmas ornaments (the non-stitched ones) sorted, wrapped, boxed, sealed, and stored
3. to pull out and sort/rummage what's left in my room still and get some staging areas set out in there
4. to take another load of books over to the Eaton Collection
5. to get the furniture I know I want at the moment into storage
6. to find the missing Fenton boxes so I can get the last of those boxed and stored

That'll do for a first night list. lol

By the way, you should really check out the Mars Themis website for the images they are collecting daily from Mars --- One of Friday's was especially nice -- they simply called it "Landslides" but it also has a nice, small crater too .....
themis landslide