30 September 2008

The Big Read

The Big Read reckons that the average adult has only read 6 of the top 100 books they've printed.

The Rules:

1) Look at the list and put one * by those you have read.
2) Put a % by those you intend to read.
3) Put two ** by the books you LOVE.
4) Put # by the books you HATE.
5) Post.

**1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen (re-reading right now!)
**2 The Lord of the Rings - J.R.R. Tolkien
**3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Brontë
**4 Harry Potter series - J.K. Rowling
**5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
**6 The Bible
#7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Brontë
8 1984 - George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
%10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
**11 Little Women - Louisa May Alcott
12 Tess of the D'Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
**14 Complete Works of Shakespeare (started and have watched a lot of the plays in the canon)
15 Rebecca - Daphne du Maurier
*16 The Hobbit - J.R.R. Tolkien
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye - J.D. Salinger
19 The Time Traveller's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
%20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
*21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
*22 The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald
%23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
#25 The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams - too existentially nihilistic for me!
%26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh - saw the film; it was great!
%27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
#28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
**29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
**30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
%31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
%32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens - just arrived from Amazon yesterday!
*33 Chronicles of Narnia- C.S. Lewis
**34 Emma - Jane Austen
**35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
**36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - C.S. Lewis - this shouldn't be here - it's a duplicate from #33
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
%38 Captain Corelli's Mandolin - Louis de Bernières - almost ordered this to preview for the kids; then read a bit online and decided it was most definitely not for the kids!
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
**40 Winnie the Pooh - A.A. Milne
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
%45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins - I have read The Moonstone
**46 Anne of Green Gables - L.M. Montgomery
%47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy - arrived this week from Amazon!
48 The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
*53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
**54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
*57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
*58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
#61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
*65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones's Diary - Helen Fielding
69 Midnight's Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
%71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens - also arrived this week!
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
*73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Émile Zola
%79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray - bought this week!
%80 Possession - A.S. Byatt
%81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens - started it
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker
%84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
*85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
**87 Charlotte's Web - E.B. White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
*89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle - I've read at least one, just don't remember which
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
#91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
*92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery - in French
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
*94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
*97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas - also in French
*98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare
*99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
%100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo - started to read an abridged French version


29 September 2008


Since Anna now lives in another state, I decided to join Facebook.  Now I'm completely befuddled and confused.  Can anyone help?

Pride & Prejudice Ball

We're taking Judith to We Make History's Pride & Prejudice Ball.  In honor of the occasion, Judith and I are making new Regency dresses to wear.

This is my fabric:

This is Judith's:

We'll start on her chemise and muslins while we wait for the fabric to arrive.


25 September 2008

Dress Details

I added a few close-ups of some of the dresses we have here. Click the 'My Photos' link in the sidebar.


21 September 2008

More Pictures

We got the camera back and I discovered tonight that Charissa left a bunch of shots on my card.  I've loaded a few to our gallery and will look at more tomorrow.  Unfortunately, there's a black smudge on many of them that I can't get out - I just don't have the software or the know-how to do a good job, but you can begin to see a bit of what we looked like that day.


18 September 2008

Breakfast and a Wedding Anecdote

For breakfast this morning:

We made a crustless quiche, adapted from our CIA Breakfasts & Brunchescookbook. I added sautéed leeks, breakfast sausage, green peppers, and grated havarti cheese, with a touch each of paprika, parsley, and sage. I also quadrupled the egg/cream mixture and split it into two medium-sized baking stones (one round and one square, both about 8 or 9"). I couldn't have done it without help from the kids - chopping, mixing, measuring, grating. I can't wait until it comes out of the oven in half an hour!

I love this idea, because I can add different fillings, cheeses, herbs, and spices and have some variety to our morning eggs - ooo, I just had a great idea - dollops of ricotta in the next one!
Anna and Drew were playing around with having the ceremony outside on the patio at the Red Mountain Multi-Generational Center, so they moved the wedding from 9:30 to 9:00 to try to avoid the heat of the day. They ended up deciding that it was still too hot, so the wedding was inside. But they left the time at 9:00. Well, we had to arrive for photos outside at the park next door at about 6:00 - yes, that's a.m., Dear Readers! We ended up being about an hour late, but the building wasn't open, yet. Neither were the public restrooms at the park. None of us had worn our dresses because silk wrinkles so badly, and Anna's dress, while polyester, wouldn't have looked its best.

But, how to get dressed? Charissa, our intrepid photographer, was about to lose it. Not only had we lost an hour, but we couldn't get everyone dressed! Mama to the rescue! We put the gown on Anna over her clothes. Once it covered her, she undressed underneath it, we zipped her up, and, voilá, a bride! Those of us who hadn't gotten dressed in one of the cars in the parking lot (I couldn't even think about the contortions that would involve!), did the same. Then, when the rest of my girls arrived, we performed Act II, but with a circle of bridesmaids and other female helpers standing as a wall of protection.

We have one snapshot posted, courtesy of Drew the Greater's boss, who has known Anna since we moved here when she was 8 months old.  Click on the 'My Photos' link in the sidebar.
Oh … breakfast turned out wonderfully!


16 September 2008


I just spent a few minutes enjoying the pictures from Tim and Nikki Finnegan's wedding, also on Saturday.  Chris had lots of snapshots to share.  

I, however, have none.  'Why no snapshots?' you ask.  Well, let me 'splain.  No, there is too much.  Let me sum up…

Anna and Drew had two photographers, both professionals and both eminently talented.  However, one of them had need of a camera, because hers was broken.  She borrowed mine.  So, I had no camera with which to take pictures, and thus, I have no snapshots.  

We'll be getting it back soon because Eliza lost a top front tooth today and we must get pictures!

Life Continues

The wedding was beautiful!  Anna was a stunning bride.  There were a few stories that made the day charming (not too embarrassing!), which I'll relate later.

I finished my dress at 2:00 on Saturday morning.  Then I had to get up at 4:00 on Saturday morning to get ready.  (Our new family rule: no weddings before 11:00 a.m.)

Drew and Anna are honeymooning at a timeshare at Big Bear Lake in California.  (I can finally let that cat out of the bag!)

We're getting back into a normal routine; or at least, we're trying to figure out what normal is now.  I scaled back the younger kids' school work this week and next week is a planned Sabbath week.  Since we started so early in August, I can take it easy this week and not feel like we'll be working all next summer to catch up.  

I'm still pretty tired, but I don't want to take afternoon naps and then not be able to sleep at night, thereby throwing off my circadian rhythms.  So it's early to bed, not so early to rise for awhile until I regroup.

Catching up on cooking, cleaning, and organizing the house.  And planning my next sewing projects: the Hawaiian shirt Drew wanted for his birthday in June (he's so patient!); a couple of cotton day dresses from Eliza and Melody's wedding dress patterns; a lambswool and cashmere blend, navy blue, winter shawl (beautiful and warm!); a reversible brown with polka dots wool jacket with removable long sleeves; jammies; a regency gown for Judith (which she'll help make - home ec. dontcha know?); and maybe one for me, too!  (The Pride and Prejudice Ball is coming up soon! - ignore the weird dimensions on the website - it's pretty cool even with the weirdness!)

I posted a link in the sidebar to my formerly called .mac, now MobileMe (hate that name! - how narcissistic can I get?) Photo Gallery.  I posted some of my rose and miscellaneous flower photos.  I'll let you know when I've got wedding pictures posted.

I guess that's it for now.  I've got some boxes to sort through.


08 September 2008

Officially Brain-Dead

I'm running on empty…empty of brain cells, that is.

I forgot to change the presser foot when I switched stitches and broke a needle.  I rarely break needles, but when I do, it's a doozy!  This one went in four or five different directions, one piece hitting my arm.  I was wearing glasses, so my eyes were protected.

So, I walked away from the sewing machine and spent a few minutes reading a chapter of Northanger Abbey to the kids.  Once they're finished cleaning the kitchen, I'll read another and only then will I consider sitting back at the sewing machine.

We're all coming down with colds, so we've started on oregano oil and grapefruit seed extract, per a friend's instructions.  Jona's also acting as my second brain.  Before I do anything, I run it by her to make sure it's not too foolhardy or complicated and will really get me the results I'm aiming for.

By God's grace and strength, I will make it.  Prayers are always appreciated.  I also have some help coming tomorrow: Jona and Karen, mother of the maid of honor.  Jona reminded me that, except for my dress, we're down to those piddly finishing details, much hand-work, and that I'm almost done.  And my dress will be pretty simple as I've already done so many.  That was encouraging!


07 September 2008

Adrenaline and Grace…

…that's what I'm running on right now, mostly grace!

For those of you who are wondering how the wedding sewing is going:

Eliza's flower girl dress - done (and beautiful!)

Melody's dress - done (looks so sweet on her, but needs Static-Guard)

Sussy's bridesmaid dress - done (lovely)

Bonnie's maid of honor dress - done (She danced around the room when she tried it on and didn't want to take it off so I could hem it.  That felt good!)

Jessica's bridesmaid dress - done (and it looks adorable)

Judith's dress - still need to hem the lining and the skirt and add a couple of bows

Rebekah's dress - still need to mark the hem, trim it, then hem the lining and the skirt

Christy's bridesmaid dress - appliquéing the Celtic braid along the top (yes, I'm insane!  Don't ever make a decision when you're dead tired to satin stitch instead of straight stitch), then need to fix the hole in the lining (from the part that got cut off because it got caught behind the appliqué - oops!), then install the zipper, sew the back skirt seam, whipstitch down the lining, mark the hem, then hem the lining and the skirt

Mandi's bridesmaid dress - install the zipper, whipstitch the lining, mark the hem, sew the hems, then complete the embroidery on the bottom of the skirt

my matron of honor dress - measure and cut the skirt, fold the pleats, attach it, the lining, and the zipper, whipstitch the lining, add the embellishment, mark and hem the lining and the skirt

I'm taking a break from Christy's appliqué to write this.  I'm googly-eyed from staring at that tiny satin stitch and so thankful for non-prescription reading glasses!  But I need to get back to it, soon; she's coming over tomorrow to mark the hem.

On an emotional note - as hard and exhausting as these last few weeks have been physically, the Lord is carrying me through.  I should be snapping my kids' heads off, angry at everyone, and weeping all over the place from pressure and tension, but I'm not.  A couple of times I've cried, but it's all physical.  I'm not emotionally weepy.  I have friends here and around the world who are praying for me and I so appreciate it.  The Lord is too good to me!

Well, back to the sewing machine.