Saturday, September 13, 2008

New Job

I started working at the weekly newspaper in Snyder September 1. I believe I'm really going to like it. It's nice to be able to go to work and do your job without people complaining all of the time. The hours are good, and I get all of Friday off. I probably won't make as much money as I did working for the town, but that's okay, too. The working environment ranks higher than pay for me any day.

I've been pretty tired in the evening, so my reading time has suffered. I've only finished one book this month. I'm reading The Sea, The Sea by Iris Murdoch as part of the Ravelry Book Club, and I don't believe I've ever met a character that I disliked more than Charles. I'll keep reading, though, because I'm hoping he'll get some kind of payback at the end.

I've been picking up my great-nephew from Pre-K since school started in August. The high gas prices and budget cuts required the school system to eliminate the noon bus. I understand perfectly, but some parents really had to scramble to get their kids a ride to their day care. Everyone in the our family works, so I'm the one whose boss is nice enough to let me off for 30 minutes each day to pick Hunter up and deliver him to his sitter. Can't you imagine how strange I look with all those 20 something mothers waiting to pick up her child? There are a few grandparents, though, who have been called into service, so that makes me feel a little better.
These are pictures I took at the lake last weekend. The birds are turkey vultures. I was afraid to get any closer because I'd spook them.

The trees and the rocks kept getting in the way. I didn't want to climb out too far on the rocks because the rattlesnakes are still out. Besides, I had some lake ranger that kept watching me. I don't think there are any laws against taking pictures of a dam and a lake, but who knows since 9/11.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

My Name's Hidden Meaning

I found this on April's blog. I don't completely agree with it, but I bet my family and friends would argue the point.

What Linda Means

You are relaxed, chill, and very likely to go with the flow.
You are light hearted and accepting. You don't get worked up easily.
Well adjusted and incredibly happy, many people wonder what your secret to life is.

You tend to be pretty tightly wound. It's easy to get you excited... which can be a good or bad thing.
You have a lot of enthusiasm, but it fades rather quickly. You don't stick with any one thing for very long.
You have the drive to accomplish a lot in a short amount of time. Your biggest problem is making sure you finish the projects you start.

You are very intuitive and wise. You understand the world better than most people.
You also have a very active imagination. You often get carried away with your thoughts.
You are prone to a little paranoia and jealousy. You sometimes go overboard in interpreting signals.

You are balanced, orderly, and organized. You like your ducks in a row.
You are powerful and competent, especially in the workplace.
People can see you as stubborn and headstrong. You definitely have a dominant personality.

You are usually the best at everything ... you strive for perfection.
You are confident, authoritative, and aggressive.
You have the classic "Type A" personality.
Sandy asked a question about cleaning up after the goats and calf. Goat poop hasn't been a problem, but the calf manure is another thing. She requires a lot more work. It makes a great fertilizer, though.
I also don't know why castrating the goats keeps them from stinking. Someone told me it worked, and it does. We have a billy goat that's running loose with the cattle on the farm. You can smell him from 30 feet away. They say a mountain lion won't eat a billy because they stink. I believe it must be true because the cattle can't even stand him.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Newest Family Members

Yes. These are living in my backyard. The goats are my contribution to the green movement. They're suppose to replace the fossil fuel burning lawn mower. (They've been neutered, so they don't stink. In case, you're interested.)

The little heifer calf's mother died, so I'm going to bottle feed her until about February. She's about a month old now.

Some people call orphan calves "bums", but I prefer the term "bottle babies".

These guys aren't mine, but they live next door.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Summer and Teaching

I found the perfect quote in the book I'm reading that describes what summer meant to me as a teacher. "Summer was the advantage to teaching: your life was always a cycle, you always had closure, rest, and a new beginning to look forward to. Always starting over, you never had time to grow old." Taken from Southern Exposure by Linda Lightsey Rice.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Another Southern Fiction Novel

Donna Tartt tells the story of how a family tragedy can have a far reaching effect on the remaining family members. The main character is Harriet, a young girl whose brother was found murdered in her backyard when she is only a baby. To make matters worse, the killer was never found. Harriet's mother never fully recovers from the loss and spends most of her time in a drug-induced sleep. Harriet's father separates from the mother and has little influence in Harriet's life. Most of Harriet's upbringing is the responsibility of the family's maid, her grandmother, and her great-aunts.
As Harriet becomes older she becomes more and more obsessed with her brother's murder. A chance remark by the maid convinces Harriet that she knows who the killer is, and she intends to make him pay.
Even though the novel is over six hundred pages long, I never got bored with it. It kept me reading right up to the end.
Four of Five Stars

Friday, August 22, 2008

Today Show Book Club List

I love lists, and I especially love lists of books. This is my most recent addition of books I must read sometime in the future. I believe the numbers represent the order in which the appeared on the Today Show. (I copied this from a public libray site.)

So many books; so little time.

Three Day Road by Joseph Boyden (#33)

More Book Lust by Nancy Pearl (#32)

The History of Love by Nicole Krauss (#31)

Be More Chill by Ned Vizzini (#27)

The Breathtaker by Alice Blanchard (#19)

Broken for You by Stephanie Kallos (#28)

Bury the Lead by David Rosenfelt (#24)

Caramelo by Sandra Cisneros (#9)

'The Clothes They Stood Up In' and 'The Lady in the Van' by Alan Bennett (#5)

The Confessions of Max Tivoli by Andrew Sean Greer (#22)

Crow Lake by Mary Lawson (#7)

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon (#13)

The Dew Breaker by Edwidge Danticat (#23)

The Dogs of Babel by Carolyn Parkhurst (#12)

Drinking Coffe Elsewhere by ZZ Packer (#11)

The Emperor of Ocean Park by Stephen L. Carter (#1)

Fluke, or I Know Why the Winged Whale Sings by Christopher Moore (#25)

A Girl Named Zippy: Growing Up Small in Mooreland, Indiana by Haven Kimmel (#3)

Graceland by Chris Abani (#29)

The Great Fire by Shirley Hazzard (#16)

Heir to the Glimmering World by Cynthia Ozick (#30)

The Known World by Edward P. Jones (#17)

Nine Horses: Poems by Billy Collins (#10)

The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith (#8)

Paradise Alley by Kevin Baker (#6)

The Photograph by Penelope Lively (#21)

Raising Fences: A Black Man's Love Story by Michael Datcher (#4)

Shadow Baby by Alison McGhee (#14)

The Sleeping Father by Matthew Sharpe (#20)

The Time-Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger (#15)

The Way the Crow Flies by Ann-Marie MacDonald (#18)

A Window Across the River by Brian Morton (#26)

You Are Not a Stranger Here by Adam Haslett (#2)

I've read The Time-Traveler's Wife, and I have a copy of Fluke that I haven't read yet. I'll search the library for the some others that sound interesting.

I have a new job at the newspaper office in Snyder. It's just a weekly paper, so as long as I spell people's names correctly I think it will be a piece of cake. It will certainly be less stressful than the other job.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Ellen Foster by Kaye Gibbons

Ellen represents all of the children who are abused and neglected in the world. She is somehow able to withstand all her dysfunctional family has to throw at her and triumph in the end.
The story is told in Ellen's voice, and this girl is all things Southern. It can make it a little difficult to read at first, but the story is well worth the effort.
I found this one at the library last night while I was working and started reading it on the spot. What I didn't realize was I had found another Oprah Book Club selection. I'm drawn to Oprah's choices for some reason. I guess she and I have the same taste in books.
Rating: Four out of five stars

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Three Bags Full: A Sheep Detective Story

Three Bags Full
by Leonie Swann

rating: 4 of 5 stars

I purchased this book some time ago to read as part of the Ravelry Book Club, but I just couldn't get into it at the time. I picked it up again this weekend, and this time I couldn't put it down. I think I finally stopped trying to think like a sheep, and just let the story flow. Even though I'm not usually a fan of mysteries, the sheep's point-of-view made this a very fun read. I'm so glad I went back and gave it another chance.
I've had two visits to the rheumatologist this summer. This first time was for tests, and the second visit she went over the results with me. The tests indicate that I have lupus arthritis, and the doctor has started me on hydroxychioroquine sulfate (Plaquenil) which seems to be helping. It has to be taken with meals, and my stomach seems to require a LOT of food before it can handle the pill. The first couple of weeks it made me terribly sick to my stomach, but it seems to have leveled out now. Anyway I'm beginning to feel like a human being again.
I've begun doing a little crochet work again, but nothing on a major scale. Maybe this winter when there's more to watch on TV I'll be able to get interested in it again.
I quit my job at the City Hall. I couldn't take the people any longer. I will probably go to work at the newspaper office in a couple of weeks, but right now I'm enjoying my first vacation in a year.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Book Talk

Monday night was library night, but things were slow. Only two people came in during the entire three hours . I had a few books to shelve and then spent the rest of my time browsing through the titles and reading my latest book. I managed to finish The Same Sweet Girls by Cassandra King while I was there.

I love books about the South and Southern women. Some of the best books I've ever read have been about the modern day South. Beach Music by Pat Conroy is one of my all time favorites. Another that I love is Sweet Tea and Jesus Shoes, and if you've never read the Sweet Potato Queens' Book of Love, you sure need to give it a try. If you like that one then you'll probably love God Save the Sweet Potato Queens and Sweet Potato Queens' Big-Ass Cookbook (and Financial Planner). (I do think that you have to be over 40 to truly appreciate the Sweet Potato Queens.)

I belong to two book groups on Ravelry that I'm enjoying very much. One group is Book Challenge and the other is the Ravelry Book Club. Book Challenge keeps track of the books the group reads each month and adds them to a list on Some of the members give great reviews of the books they read, and my to read list grows a little more each day. With the Ravelry Book Club I've read novels that I might not have read otherwise. The Thirteenth Tale and A Thousand Splendid Suns were both excellent books. Now we're reading Here Be Dragons which has been a little more difficult for me to get into. It's certainly not going to be a quick read like the other two, but I will finish it. Next month we're scheduled to read Middlesex which is another example of a book I might not have heard of or read without the Club.

Thanks for the comments. I wish I'd posted about my problem earlier, but I've always had a difficult time sharing information like that. It's great to be able to talk about it with y'all. Luckily, this new medicine and the Extra Strength Tylenol have helped the pain and swelling in my hands. It makes me sleepy, though, and I'm a little woozy right now. Maybe I'll have a good night's sleep for a change.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Golden Oldie Doesn't Crochet Anymore

I wonder if I can change the name of the blog because I don't have much hope of crocheting again anytime soon.The arthritis pain has developed in my hands, and I can't hold a crochet very well anymore. Right now I'm using the two finger typing method because it hurts my wrists to type properly. The pain seems to be getting worse instead of better, and I know that I can no longer delay a trip to the rheumatologist. Of course it will probably be the end of May or the first of June before I'll be able to get an appointment. The Snyder doctor gave me a prescription for Tramadol, but it doesn't have much effect on the pain.
I have been doing a lot of reading lately rather than crocheting and watching TV. With the writers' strike this season and so many reruns and reality shows on TV instead, I had pretty much lost interest in any of the shows I once watched. Books have become my obsession rather than patterns and yarn.
I volunteer at our little local library on Monday evenings from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. A few come in to use the Internet and I've even checked out a few books for others, but the majority of my time is spent reading or browsing through the shelves. It's a very pleasent way to spend an evening.
I don't have any special type of novel that I'm reading right now. I just go with whatever strikes my fancy. A few retired teachers I know only read the trashy romance novels (their words, not mine), but I have to have something that has a good story to it. About the only thing I won't read is nonfiction, especially those self-help books. I think I'm beyond help, and I don't need a book to make me feel inadequate.
I hope the rheumy can help me deal with the pain. It's hard to imagine having to feel like this for the remainder of my life. My mother suffered from arthritis in her later years. I never knew how badly she hurt until I begin experiencing the same symptoms. I wish I had been more sympathetic to her condition.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Homespun Hat

This isn't where I intended to start the post, but blogger decided for me. I don't have the energy to try to figure out why, so I'll just type here.

I completed another hat for me. It's done in Lion Brand Homespun with a P hook. Since the yarn is doubled, it's very fast to make. Now I need to make a scarf to go with it. According to the weather reports, I'll probably need it this week. Winter has finally come to Oklahoma.

I'm going to get out my fat jeans and iron them for next week. (My fat jeans are the ones big enough to comfortably wear insulated underwear with. ) Thank goodness I'm allowed to dress very casual at work. Otherwise, I would have frozen to death weeks ago.

I haven't had a cigarette in 11 weeks and 5 days. (I can't seem to quit marking off the days and weeks like that. For some reason I feel the need to keep track of how long it's been since I last smoked.) I'm not taking the Chantix anymore either. The insurance company never approved the prescription, and I ended up paying for the first four weeks. I don't think I really needed it in the first place, but I was so afraid that I would smoke again. The Chantix was a kind of talisman to help me not smoke. I've found that sugarless candy does the same thing, and it's a whole lot cheaper.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Another Cap

Caps and scarves seem to be the only things I finish lately. This one is knitted and was actually started before Christmas. I finally finished seaming the back and weaving in the ends.

I splurged ($3.50) and bought a model for the caps I've been making. Caps photograph so much better on her than when they're just laid on the table. The cats would love to get their claws in her, though, so I have to keep her hidden most of the time.

The pattern is from Bernat's 9 Family Designs-Bonus Book. You know-one those little booklets that Wal-Mart has displayed near the shelves of yarn. (I do wish they would offer some new ones.)

Yarn: Bernat Softee Chunky in Nature's Way