An Open Letter to Whomever Smoked It Up in the Bathroom This Morning

To Whom It May Concern:

It's really offensive that you think it's ok to light up in the bathroom this morning. Yes, I know it's cold outside this morning. But I also know that, well, you're a smoker, and smoking is a voluntary activity. You maintain your habit for as long as you find it necessary - fine. But in doing so, you must accept the boundaries that come along with it. You know it's not ok to smoke inside, so you have to go outside. Comes with the territory, and no surprises there. YES, it sucks to be outside this morning. But seriously, you signed up for it!

I hate that you have this addiction in your life. I hate that you have a dependence on a substance that makes you choose between being responsible and getting your fix. I know it's hard to deal with. I know you haven't reached your breaking point yet. Light up in your car, your office, whatever. But smoking in a poorly ventilated, necessary, communal space is selfish and unacceptable. Your right to smoke wherever the hell you want ENDS at my nose, and my nose is entitled to using the bathroom any time I please.

Allergies to second-hand smoke are NOT voluntary. When I'm around a smoker or in a recently smoked-in place, I stop being able to breathe well after about 2 inhalations. I should not have had to choose this morning between using the facilities, and continuing to breathe. No one should have to make that choice, especially not because you just don't feel like going outside. You signed up for it, now get to gettin'.

You are rude and inconsiderate. STOP IT before I'm forced to call my vigilante husband on you.


another gushing book review of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

I just finished reading my copy of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.

I am so charmed and delighted by this book.  For so many reasons.

The way the story is told might not be completely unique, but it's masterfully done.  The novel is laid out in a series of letters, primarily written to or by the main character, Juliet Ashton, in the months immediately following the end of WW2.  Juliet is sharp, witty, insightful, good-natured, and completely genuine and honest.  She also has a nice flair, with the perfect amount of British indignation.

This book is uplifting without being insipid, and you come to revel in the tales and quirks of pre- and post-war life on Guernsey as the society, and the island, recover from and deal with the effects of war and German occupation.  I laughed OUT LOUD at least four times when reading this book - it's that charming.

I keep coming back to the word 'genuine' when reflecting.  Right now I am giddy with mirth and my writer's hat can't or won't be found.  Read it.  Just read it.  You''ll cheer at the end, and wish there was more.


booking through thursday

I like this one!  Play along here.

“What’s the worst ‘best’ book you’ve ever read — the one everyone says is so great, but you can’t figure out why?”

I've thought on this all day, and in addition to the previously ranted-against Friday Night Knitting Club, I've come up with these titles:

The Devil Wears Prada.  Overall, great, but miles too long.  The editor needed to wield a massive battle ax against the copy.  Way. too. much. bitter inner monologue.  I'd skip whole paragraphs or pages of complaining, whining, and ranting.  It's a shame too, because most of it was awesome.

Sam's letters to Jennifer.  I thought that novel was 100% 'touching, moving' tripe.  Plain and simple.  It was even too soft and predictable to qualify as decent vacation reading.  The only benefit I found to reading that book was that I could add another title to my books-read list. 

Most (if not all) Nicholas Sparks novels.  I made it through three of his books before deciding that he writes too well for me to be able to withstand the tragic deaths of any more of his protagonists, whom I'd grown to care about.  The Notebook made me weep, years before it was put on the big screen.  I've sworn off Nicholas Sparks.


Book Review: The Duggars - 20 and Counting!

Y'all know how I am a fan of the Duggars.  that's not to say that I agree with them 100% or would make the same decisions as they do.  They have their views and I have mine.  But I have a lot of respect for them and their choices (ps, they have 18 kids and they have never once received government assistance).

So, naturally, I was stoked to get my hands on a copy of Jim Bob and Michelle's book, The Duggars: 20 and Counting., which they wrote to give a closer look at their family and how they operate.  The book also has a bunch of photos, stories, and (yay!) family recipes.  Major topics include family history, including their business endeavors past and present; Jim Bob's political career; and a fantastic explanation of their systems and organization.  I found most helpful Michelle's detailed section on packing for a move/organizing storage.

A lot of the content is geared toward clearing up misconceptions and explaining their worldview - and this is why I love them - without judgment or condemnation.  Yes, they are conservative Christians, and yes they are extremely frugal and yes, they homeschool, but they take the position that their policies are what work for them, and they don't ever get preachy or arrogant.  A lot of people, for example, think they must have a ton of money.  The truth is, Jim Bob is a fantastic entrepreneur and they are both extremely frugal.  They are committed to a debt-free life, and they're prepared to accept the consequences of that.  It took them years to be able to save up for the house they currently own, and it took more years to get it completely outfitted.  Did you realize, for example, that they were in their house for more than a year before installing air conditioning?  I certainly didn't.  

I hear a lot of people criticize them for having too many kids, and how could it be possible that they were spending enough individual quality time with each child.  Well, I don't know about everybody, but I know that spending gobs of quality time every single day doesn't happen in most families, no matter how many kids there are.  And each parent does spend quality time with each of their children - moreso than a lot of parents do with their kids, I'd wager.  So I don't think that's a valid complaint.

Michelle and Jim Bob have made a concerted effort to teach their children discipline, character, and life skills.  They want each of their kids to grow up to become productive members of society, with the skills and know-how to succeed.  Whether you agree with their decisions or not, you can't miss the benefits of their commitment to God and to their family.


a recap and a capelet

Last time I updated on my knitting, I was finishing up a bag, plugging away on a bath mat, and looking forward to some socks.

The bag has been knitted, blocked, and adorned with buttons.  I haven't done the lining yet, because NEXT week is my sewing week.  Or something like that. 

Bath mat is done, but smallish because I decided I hated it and didn't want to see it every day, so it is now lining the dog crate.  This might actually be something I try to develop as an addition to my Etsy shop, and/or maybe do in support of the Papillon rescue I work with.  It really does make for a squishy comfy mat that would be great for crates because it's also 100% cotton and can be washed in the machine.  

I managed to finish both pairs of socks without losing my mind.  That ended up being 3 pairs of socks in about 4 weeks, which made me feel a little bit like I was going crazy for all the sockliness, but after NOT working on socks for about ...oh....3 days, I've already started plotting my next pair.  They really are super handy!

Because it had been SO LONG since I had anything that I was really eager to/getting paid to knit, I had this weird moment of knitters block.  I had tons of projects in the queue, but I couldn't get inspired to cast on any of them.  That, lemme tell ya, was weird.  After a day or two of hemming and hawing, I settled on the New Vintage Capelet, published in Spun Magazine and now available online here.  Mine is going to be AWESOME.  I'm knitting it from Lion-Brand Cotton Ease, which is a decidedly mediocre cotton-acrylic mix and can be found at most of the big-box craft shops like Michaels and AC Moore.  The colorway is Lake, which is a nice cloudy greyish blue.  I'm also planning to skip the giant collar.  I picked up this yarn sometime last year when it was on sale, and I paid with a gift card.  Sweet.  

Seeing as my stash is not all that big, this is going to be a great stash-buster and I'm looking forward to wearing it...hopefully before it turns April!

Seeing as I started it 2 days ago, I'm not very far along.  And seeing as it's cold and rainy out, the photo is less-than-good.  But you probably could have guessed that.


Rue La La and the Birkenstock sale

Today, Rue La La is having a sale on Birks and I am super stoked about it because my 10 year old Birks have fallen apart to the point of not-wearable and I'm hoping for a replacement.  It's only going to be happening through Friday, and it's invite-only.  Message me if you'd like an invitation or any other info!!!

PS, they've got some Lucky Jeans at great prices right now, too!  ($40-$50)


Manic Monday #158, but on a Tuesday

What would you do with an extra hour each day?

I don't know!!!!! I've received 9 or 10 extra hours each day, now that I'm not working (ack!) and I'm trying to figure out how to get myself on a schedule and stick to it.  We'll see how this thing goes...we'll see if the kitchen gets finished, the spring cleaning gets done, the car gets repaired, Eli gets his bath....  we'll see if it all happens :)

Do you wear a watch? If so, tell us about it. If not, how do you keep track of time?

I don't wear a watch, but I go crazy if there isn't a clock within eyesight.  I'm pretty good at estimating what time it is.  Knowing exactly what time it is gets a little tricky (and maybe drives my mr. prompty-prompt husband a little crazy).  I would seriously benefit from a clock in the bathroom, that's for sure...

If it was possible, would you want to know how many days you had left to live?

I've been thinking about this topic for a little while now, and I DO think I'd like to know.  What can I say, I've always been deadline-oriented.


a funny conversation

The night of a college group pizza party:

Ashley: I don't think I'm up for going, I feel pretty bad. I really want pizza though.

Brian: Well maybe I could bring some home for you.

Ashley: Awwwww you could bring me pizzas?  (but I was pretty fuzzy when I said this and I said some kind of mash up of 'pizza' and 'pieces')

Brian: Sure!  Wait, do you want pieces or pizzas?

Ashley: Whatever you can legally take at the end of the night. I'd hate for you to be brought down on pizza embezzlement charges.

Brian: Yeah, that would probably be the most likely circumstance of my downfall.


Tag Clouds for Blogger?

I've been trying to figure out how to add a tag cloud to the blog.  I've tried a few different widgets and they aren't working.  And I don't know why.  

You can help, yes?


WTB Used Bridesmaid Dresses

Another request for the dear readers.

Does anybody out there know of any websites where you can buy used bridesmaid dresses?

I am looking for a David's Bridal bridesmaid dress (style F13095 for the curious) to wear this July.

Any help?  Any love?


a knitting bag, a bath mat, and some would-be socks

HOKAY.  SO.  I've been doing some knitting lately.  And it's been awesome.  Kinda.

I finished knitting up the knitting bag.  (knitting knitting knitting can I say knitting one more time).  All that's left is figuring out how to line it with the material from my former 'knitting bag' aka repurposed cotton bag previously containing jersey sheets.

The yarn is called Little Lola, by Schafer Yarn Co.   This colorway is a really pretty greyish blue, with some slight and subtle variegation - more blue than the photo shows, and it's all much darker too.  (The lighting in my house is awful, and it's not much better outside, what with all of winter showing up here at the beginning of March and all. )  This is the GOOD kind of variegation.

This second photo shows it more accurately, although it's not as glossy as the flash makes it seem.

The pattern is Square Cake, from Knitty.  I may also sew some buttons in the diamond pattern like one of the pattern examples.  Who knows!!  

I'm almost done with the new bath mat.  It's called Absorba and it's from the first Mason-Dixon knitting book (a fantastic book of patterns, by the way).  The yarn is 100% cotton made by PIsgah Yarns, a good ol' North Carolina company.  It's pretty commonly available - I got mine at the Wal-Mart.  This is an example of the BAD kind of variegation.  I have learned that I like much more subtle shifts in color.  

Y'all haven't seen my bathroom, maybe I'll post photos once it's in its place.

Up next: SOCKS! for some really sweet girls