Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Recent purchases

My wonderful husband "brung" me home some goodies in his pickemup truck yestuhday. We found this delightful dining table during a shopping expedition last Saturday.

It is a lovely solid oak extension dining table. You're seeing the underside because it needs some minor repair work. You can see the not-so-good repair that was done by the previous owner. Chip will make a much better repair from solid oak stock. The table has a beautiful top, about 39" x 60". It has two extensions, each 15", that will make the table 69" x 39". That should easily fit our group, which can number up to eight with all the kids/significant others. I plan on buying a two seater bench to go in the bay window, and two "skinnies" should be able to sit in there. This table will fit into the breakfast room much better than our beautiful 60" round table, which, with a weather-proof cover, will go onto our patio, where it will be much enjoyed and used as well.

My dear husband surprised me with three other goodies--love that man!
Two wonderfully shabby metal chairs, and this darling plant stand:

And George is dutifully watching all:

Knitting Update

Nothing much really to report, at least regarding the Cabled Hat. I just am having a tough time getting back into it. I suppose the reason is that I am really enjoying knitting the Pram Coat, as it is very easy to follow, quite mindless in fact. I have finished the back, sleeves and collar, and I am nearly finished with one front. Not bad, for three weeks of knitting! I hope to have the left front complete today or tomorrow, and finish up the right front during another one of those all-day meetings that I have scheduled for next Monday.
Here is a picture of the Pram Coat, thanks to IK for the picture:
I have started thinking about buttons for this project, so pulled out the "button, etc." storage bin. I came up with a couple of possibilities.

The white buttons are probably what I will end up
using, even though I really like the metal buttons,
they are a bit heavy for the project. Since the
original picture shows some quite similarly sized
metal buttons, I will keep the metal buttons at the
ready. Once the coat is all washed, blocked, sewed
together, then steam blocked, the metal buttons
may be just perfect!

In typical distracted Barbieness, I have begun fingering yarns in anticipation of the "next" project. I am feeling a need to knit some layettes for the newborn nursery where I work. We do have some "walk-ins", and they typically have had little or no prenatal care, and quite often they are illegal immigrants and quite poor, or they are on Medicaid (and quite poor also). I have tons of pink and white and blue washable yarn in the stash, and some cute babyish fabrics to make some simple quilts, too. It will feel good to have a cute layette to give these moms and babies in need.

Books, books, books

I'm currently reading "The Power of Your Subconscious Mind" by Joseph Murphy--see link in the sidebar--and I can't decide whether it is hopelessly hokey or absolutely brilliant. Or whether the hopeless applies to me as in "hopelessly skeptical regarding the topic of religion".

I bought myself (as a birthday present) a couple of out of print Alice Starmore books, "Scandinavian Knitwear" and "Sweaters for Men". I can see myself knitting some of the designs from "Men", but the "Scandinavian" book is so hopelessly outdated, I can only see these being knitted with much reworking of the pattern.

I've been reading some good books lately, and then again, some not-so-good books. But they all have something redeeming or charming about them. I have a pile of books that are going to go either to my mom or Half Price Books:

"You on a Diet" by Dr. Oz:

I will keep this book in my library. It is charming and witty, and a great motivational book, as well as just a darned good resource. And I am currently striving to meet the goals in this book. (Doing well in the exercise department, and probably meeting the nutrition goals by 80%--just gotta cut out the soda, ice cream, cookies and chips. The plan this week is to replace the soda with water, replace ice cream with frozen yogurt, replace the cookies with fruit, and the chips with veggies. I CAN DO IT!)

"Man's Search for Meaning" by Victor Frankl:

Enjoyed this book immensely--the first part of the book relates Frankl's experiences in concentration camps, and then explains how he used his experiences to form the theory of logotherapy. It is a form of psychotherapy that states that our purpose in life is not to find pleasure, but to find meaning. Very deep, very stimulating and oh, so, thoughtful.

"Never Let Me Go" by Kazuo Ishiguro:

Really, really creepy--you start suspecting at the beginning of the story what is actually going to be revealed, but when it finally becomes altogether and eerily apparent, I was still shocked and somewhat disgusted. The book itself is beautifully written, and I will definitely be reading more of Ishiguro's books. I hope to pick up "Remains of the Day" next.

"White Noise" by Don DeLillo:

The characters in this book were so completely irritating that I gave up on page 54.

"Inside My Heart" by Robin McGraw:

Kinda fluffy, kinda funny, and just real down to earth.

"The Mermaid Chair" by Sue Monk Kidd:

I read "Secret Life of Bees" and thoroughly enjoyed it. This is definitely a recommended read, as well as "Bees".