Sunday, December 22, 2013


We had what we call an ice storm. That means that icy, ooblecky, rain-like stuff fell out of the sky and coated everything.

Before they get in their cars, people have to scrape the ice off their windshields and then their tires. Trees fall over and knock down power lines. Streetcars can't use their overhead wires. And everything looks twinkly and shiny and treacherous.

I hear, though, that no one is in the grocery store! Maybe I'll just slip out (ha ha) and get some food. And one last present. It seems better than staying here where there are dirty dishes and laundry. Wish me luck!

Thursday, December 05, 2013

I'm going to start keeping track of books

I find that I get lots of my ideas about books to read from other people's blogs. I also find that with teenagers instead of toddlers, I have way more time to read! I don't fall asleep at 9 pm and I can read on holidays instead of chasing around and sweeping all the time. I'm not sure what happened in those years between toddlers and teenagers, but I certainly notice that now I have more time!

So, I am reading a lot. I see things I think I'd like to read; I put a hold on at the library; at some unspecified time in the future, the book will arrive. Sometimes I even forget where I heard about a book, some are revelations and some are, of course, duds.

This September I saw that there was a movie at TIFF of Thérèse Raquin, by Emile Zola. (I see they have retitled it In Secret.) It has that cute Tom Felton as a sickly and pale husband, who has to be disposed of by the lovely and talented Elizabeth Olsen and her tall, dark, handsome lover, Oscar Isaac. Now, I like a good movie, but I do like to read the book first, so I decided to read Thérèse Raquin, and in the original French. Heck, it's only 32 years since I got a BA in the subject, after all. It was surprisingly easy to get back my ease of reading in French, perhaps because this is a book about people who live in a city, hang around home, kill off husbands... all pretty straightforward vocabulary.

Chuffed with that success, I took on Madame Bovary.

In this book, I bet 17 different kinds of trees are named; 37 different fabrics; there are furnishings, kinds of clothing, architectural bits, carriages and medical terms. Sometimes I knew what the words meant but things still didn't make sense. I had an English translation nearby -- I still often wondered why he'd put that sentence just there. A bit more challenging, for sure.

I have a stack of other books by the bedside, and I even bought some more French books. Now, I think, a thriller in English, though. And starting today with Madame Bovary, I will put a list in the sidebar of books I have finished.

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Bonus December post

Ha, even though NaBloPoMo is over, I am bestowing upon you all a new post! And it is even about knitting.

I am doing the December challenge for the Socks from Stash group. The only challenge this month is to start and finish one pair of socks. I do have Arthur's green socks to knit, and my second mitten, but at the moment I am full of confidence about this. Because, really, how much do I have to do in December....?

So here I go, casting on:

These are the Undulating Rib socks by Ann Budd. The cuffs and toes will be green, and the pretty multicoloured stuff will be the main body of the socks.

I thing Ann Budd must be the tightest knitter in the world, because she knits the tops of the socks on 3.5 mm needles, and the rest on 3.25s. I am going 2.75 all the way, and wish I could go smaller to get a denser fabric. I haven't knit Elaine socks in a long time and am not sure how these will fit -- she is likely not as tiny as I imagine.