Needle Tart

If I'm not knitting or sewing something, I must be cooking something!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Book Review Ahead

Last week was PSSA week (the annual testing of the students) and the subs who help the support students spent a lot of time sitting in the secretary's office checking the tests and yakking. As a result we exchanged a bunch of books and here are two I read:
The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
Not the sort of book I usually choose to read, but I enjoyed it thoroughly. A young white girl in the American south (who had a traumatic baby-hood) runs away from home in 1967 and wind up living with a family of black bee keepers. I won't give you any more of the plot, but it was definitely a good read.
Twilight by Stephani Meyer
Many of you have already read this and seemed to enjoy it. Just one question. Why? I made it to page 275 out of 500 and just couldn't go on. The girl's character never developed. She's all "Why would I be special? I'm so clumsy and he's a god!!!!" and the vampire? Yecchh! All brooding beauty but no show of brains or developed character. One of the subs only made it to page 20 and gave up because it's a vampire story. I happen to lurve me some bloodsuckers so I hung in there. If you want vampires, try Vulnerable, or P.N. Elrod, Sookie Stackhouse and friends. Now those vampires have character. Whee!
On the health front, it appears I never did have asthma. I survived the heart tests and Dr. says there's no problem there. Now we're working on the theory that I am super allergic (There's something to measure in one's blood. The normal count is around 45 and mine ran 472. Hmmm) and have anxiety attacks tied to hormonal flux. What fun as I just turned 54 and you know what that means......

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Thursday, March 19, 2009

Who Was That Man?

So last Sunday I forgot to take the fabulous lesson plan I had written. I took the four canvas bags, the box and the kitty litter (we were archaeologists at Masada) but no lesson plan. I called The Husband and he agreed to bring it over. After he had dropped off the plans and given me a peck on the cheek he went out the door. One of my seven-year-old students looked up at me and asked, "So, was that, like, your dad?" Heh.


Thursday, March 05, 2009


I went to see the New Doctor on Tuesday. His take on the breathing problems is maybe, just maybe I was mis-diagnosed all those years ago, so let's take a look and see if there is something else causing the breathing problems. Interesting idea, no?
So far he has put me on his basic asthma regime (cause it sort of sounds like asthma, but seems I should be improving and I'm not) and also let's really treat my acid reflux. This means stronger meds than I have been on before, and no alcohol, no caffeine, no tomato products (ketchup, spaghetti sauce, tomato soup, etc) and no chocolate. Wait, what was that last one? Nooooooo........

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Sunday, March 01, 2009

Books and Things

I had a slight relapse (the school nurse sent me home) and have spent the last week or so just sitting around knitting and reading. Since Julie posted her list of thirty books The Husband and I kicked around a few offerings.
These are the thirty books or authors we would recommend:
1. The Design of Everyday Things by Donald A. Norman
If you have ever pulled the "push" door this will help you understand why and who to curse.
2. Joan Hess
Pick a mystery. These people are nuts and that is what makes them fun.
3. Lois McMaster Boujold
The "Miles" series is mind opening and the "Sharing Knife" series is good old romance.
4. P.D. James
Mysteries for intellectual snobs (and really good reads)
5. The Last Unicorn by Peter Beagle
The Husband recommends this (I hardly remember it)
6. Connie Willis
Anything she writes is fascinating. From an explanation for the black plague to revisionist history.
7. Cresent Dragonwagon
Wonderful cookbooks. She started with a soup book and has written a huge vegetarian book that covers just about anything you want to cook.
8. Mark Bitman
How cooking works and how to get the best food from the least work.
9. Bernard Malamud The Assistant
Another of The Husband's books
10. Moosewood Collective cookbooks
One of the book groups I turn to when I want to make something "different" Lots of multi-cultural foods, mainly vegetarian.
11. Madia Heater
Any dessert you want. Her chocolate cakes are wonderful, and you will need them if you read:
12. Frank Tallis
The Vienna mysteries. All set in early 20th centuray Vienna. Lots of visiting coffee houses and having a little snack.
13. John Allen Gardner
Science Fiction centering on the disposable of society.
14. Alexandre Dumas
Drama, Lost love, Looonnnggg books.
15. Asimov
He may not have been a good example of how to live your life, but he sure could write.
16. Sandra Boynton
Sing it with me, The Cow says moo, the sheep says baa, three singing pigs say La La La.......
17. Jack Kerouac
Another of The Husband's choices (Seriously, is anything written in the 20th century literature? or is it all concept no content?)
18. Conan Doyle
Classic. Everyone should read it.
19. P. N. Elrod
Vampire mysteries set during prohabition.
20. Amy Lane
More vampires, new worlds, just read them already.
21. Sarah Paretsjy
More mysteries. Modern day.
22. Leonard Wolfe
The Husband would like to recommend his auto-biography.
23. Michael Holroyd
The Husband says Holroyd's biographies of George Bernard Shaw and Agustus John are worth reading.
24. Donna Andrews
Hysterically funny mysteries. I wish my family was like this. Then again, maybe not.
25. Lyndsey Davis
Sam Spade in ancient Rome
26. The Ethical Assassin by David Liss
27. Carl Hiaasen
Sort of mysteries set in modern Florida. Hiaasen has strong feelings about what progress has done to his home state.
28. Dorothy Dunnet
Read the Lymond chronicles and you will know a bunch about the 1500s (I got an A in world just by filling the blue book with the plots)
29. Mark Twain
30. Herman Hess
The Husband recommends.
31. Rose Levy Beranbaum
Want to bake something? Use any one of her "Bibles"
32. Patricia O'Toole
The Husband recommends her biography of Henry Adams
33. John Keegan
Military History from The Husband (this will make going to movies more challenging. "That's not the right plane.")
There you have our list. You may remember that I had a box with 65 books in it to read this year? I just counted, there are 62 left. Someone is adding books.....

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