Monday, November 25, 2013

Thinking about color

I've been a bit obsessed recently with colors. My colors, to be more specific. My friend Polly started it, when she mentioned her Zyla colors. Of course, I had to know what she was talking about. She was talking about David Zyla and his book Color Your Style.

I dabbled in figuring out what season I am, many years ago. Most of the time I don't think a lot about the color of my clothes, as long as something isn't terrible, because I shop for fit. I end up wearing a lot of black, because it's available. But I was intrigued by what I could find out about Zyla on the internet.

So I ordered the book and read it. And then I made a couple of other people get it. And I have been spending an inordinate amount of time gazing into my own eyes. And at my veins. And at paint swatches. And Pinterest boards. I look at the palettes that Zyla has done in private consultations and I seriously think about spending money on such a thing.

I think that part of the reason this is so interesting is that, beyond color, Zyla delves into style and personality, by breaking each season into various "archetypes." I'm still working on figuring out what mine is. When I do, I'll share. He also tells you how to find various colors for yourself, using the aformentioned eyes and veins, as well as skin and hair.

So if you see me sitting in my car, staring into my own eyes, just know that I'm trying to figure out what color to paint my bedroom.

This sweater contains my "romantic" color. Too bad the style was bad!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Looking for suggestions again

Last year I asked for your must-read books. From your suggestions I crafted a reading challenge. A number of my friends joined me in this challenge, and I think it has been one of the more valuable challenges that I have done this year. I have thoroughly enjoyed the books that I have read for it and I intend to do it again next year.

Since I have several books in progress that I want to finish by the end of the year, and because I read one of my alternates, I know that one of my choices for this year will carry over to next year.

So again, I ask you, what books have you read that--for whatever reason--you would recommend highly. They can be serious or fun. Fiction, non-fiction, acclaimed or obscure. The only requirement is that you love them.

Please comment here and not on the Book of Face, so that I can keep track of your replies. Thanks in advance.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Reading troubles

I have a book blog, mostly to keep track of the various reading challenges that I engage in each year. I post the occasional review and sometimes progress reports and updates, but, in the main, it is my way of keeping track of what I am, or should be, reading.

I say "should be" because, for me, the challenges function as a curb. They, theoretically, keep me from reading too much fluff. They steer me toward some specific books, some higher quality literature, and more variety than I would likely consume if left completely unchecked.

Some years this works better than others. This year I am in a bit of trouble with my challenges, partially because I've been lazy, partially because I've had a couple of crazy busy times, partially because of my eye trouble, and partially because I have had lots of opportunity to peruse--and check out--the new books at the library.

Another problem is that I've had a couple of books that have really bogged me down. They've been slow going. I just decided that I've had enough of one of them. After half the book, I'm calling a halt. I won't count it for any of my totals, but I will check it off of the challenges that required this particular book, because I am DONE with it.

My sons don't understand it, but I really don't like Dostoyevsky. I didn't like Crime and Punishment. And I have now abandoned The Brothers Karamazov. In fact, I don't believe that I have as yet particularly enjoyed a book by a Russian. I can appreciate certain things about the book, but I don't enjoy it. I figure that I am old enough at this point to not spend any more time on a book that I am practically skimming to get through.

I am about 1/6 of the way through Middlemarch and am enjoying that, but for tonight I think I'm going to curl up with something completely different. Tam Lin and The Book of Three--both recommended and chosen for my "Friends" challenge--arrived last week from Amazon, so I think I'll choose one of those.

I may not do as well with some of my challenges this year as I thought I would. I hate not finishing them. But I also don't want to ruin one of the greatest pleasures in my life by turning it into too much of a chore.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Happy thing #30

This is my last promised happy thing. But it definitely isn't my last happy thing post. As I go through my days and weeks, I will be keeping my eyes open for the little things that make my life good, happy, enjoyable. . . .

It's fun to get compliments. And every single time that I wear this necklace I get compliments.
I don't have expensive jewelry. I am more than a little insecure about how I look. I am, and always have been, on the chubby side. I have had severe rosacea since I was 19. I have bad hair.

So, if I want to look good, I pay a lot of attention to my clothes and accessories. On a bad day, wearing this necklace is almost a sure pick me up. I love it, and it must look good, because even strangers comment on it. And I am just shallow enough that that makes me happy.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Happy things #29

My house. It has been, and continues to be a challenge. But I love it. It is more HOME than anyplace that I have ever lived. I love the creaky floors and the wonderful warm Beeswax color of the walls in my living room. I love the butler's pantry, the front porch, the brick, the linen press, and all of the windows. I love my neighborhood.

There is still a lot to do, but we have made so much progress. And even on its worst days, my house makes me happy.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Happy things #28

I love scrapbooking. These are two of my favorite pages that I did this weekend. The first one is an absolutely simple, unadorned page of fantastic photos of some of my favorite people. The second is the opening page of my Patrick book, and I think it's perfect.

I got 40 pages scrapped this weekend. That makes me happy.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Happy things #27

Yes, I missed a day.

But that's because I was busy having a happy birthday.

 Look at that sunrise!

 If you want a clue about what the inside of my head looks like....

 I went for a lovely walk around the camp in the breezy fall weather.

A room full of scrapbookers.

I look forward to this weekend all year long. Knowing that it's coming makes me happy, being here makes me happy, and adding the work that I get done here to my books will make me happy.

Friday, November 08, 2013

Happy things #26

Eighteen years ago today I gave birth to an extremely happy thing. Adorable. Hilarious. Smart. Goofy. Loving.

And as he's gotten older he has shown himself to be hard-working, honest, and determined, without losing his goofiness and sense of fun.

I can't believe that my sweet baby is 18!

Happy birthday, Andrew!

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Happy things #25

This is my bed. I just climbed out of its warm softness and fired my computer up again so that I could write this blog post. (I knew that if I blew it off, I would hear about it from my sons. They are very good at holding my feet to the fire.)

And, in moments, I am going to climb back in. It is a very comfy bed. It makes me happy.

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Happy things #24

This was my walk home from work today. Yes it was drizzling. Yes it was grey. Yes the colors have faded and a few of the trees are bare. But it is still fall, and fall makes me happy.

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Happy things #23

A couple of pictures of Bethany and Evan in their kitchen when I visited in August:

Three years ago today Evan and Bethany went on their first date.

While they were off enjoying the first evening of their changed relationship, I sat in my car waiting for Jonathan to finish at the Civic Theatre and made a guest list for the wedding. That's how sure I was that this was a perfect match.

I was right.

For a mother, seeing your child happily married to a compatible spouse who shares her faith has to be one of the happiest things there is. And it's a special bonus when the rest of the family really, really likes him, too.

Monday, November 04, 2013

Happy things #22


I tried to find a good picture, but any group picture leaves too many good friends out, so Jacqui gets to symbolize all of them.

And I decided that the incredible friends my kids have are every bit as much a happy thing as my own incredible friends, so it's good that a couple of them are in this picture.

I have been blessed with an abundance of wonderful friends. They live all over, from next door--literally--to the other side of the world. They are all so different, and I love each of them.

Sunday, November 03, 2013

A brief break from happy things

This weekend was the first of two scrapbooking retreats that I attend in a row. Something happened this weekend that I don't recall ever happening before at any of the multiple retreats a year that I've gone to over the last nine or ten years.

Political conversation.

 Not just once. Several times. In various groups of people. And always mainly about the Orwelliffically-named Affordable Care Act.

To me this is more proof that, unlike other government actions and overreaches, this one is hitting real people where they live. When a bunch of middle class, mid-western women--who seem far more interested in TV shows and pop music than politics--who are on a getaway weekend to indulge in a hobby, are so bothered by what their government is doing that it keeps coming up, something is wrong.

Very, very wrong.

Happy things #21

I love a new hat. I wore this one to church today, with a new dress, too.

Saturday, November 02, 2013

Happy things #20

This is our Godson Arthur. Today I have been getting to enjoy watching his mother scrapbook lots of pictures of him.

He is a very happy thing.

Friday, November 01, 2013

Happy things #19

 There are two happy things here.

The one that I intended to capture was all of my stuff ready to go for  the first of my two my scrapbooking retreats. Each fall, I attend retreats two weekends in a row. I look forward so much to the time with my friends and the chance to get some work done on my scrapbooks. (And this weekend, the retreat is at a bed & breakfast, and the hubby joins me, too.)

The second happy thing is the cat. She just rejoined the family after spending over a month living in the basement after some fairly traumatic treatment after a fight. (She is still partially bald and has a wound that hasn't completely healed.) She is friendlier than she has been in years, and seems to enjoy being around people again.

And she still climbs on top of whatever is on the floor.