I'm especially motivated to tell you about this in hopes that some of you have created artwork related to my own books, of course, b...
DISCLAIMER The H. L. Burke Random Interview is not like other interviews. The questions are all over the place. They have no purpose. Th...
DISCLAIMER The H. L. Burke Random Interview is not like other interviews. The questions are all over the place. They have no purpose. The...
Saturday, December 24, 2011
Sunday, December 11, 2011
Friday, December 9, 2011
I have mentioned my crochet habit a few times, mostly incidentally, but it's a little more than a habit. In fact, it is a serious addiction and I can't concentrate if I haven't had a yarn fix. I may also be developing wrist strain and though Matt mocks my "callouses" I swear they are there.
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
I'm taking this from A Classic Nativity Devotional compiled by James Stuart Bell with the justification that Henry Van Dyke (the original author) has been dead nearly a hundred years so it has to be public domain, right? I hope so. If not, my bad, but this really is something I felt like sharing.
- to forget what you have done for other people, and to remember what other people have done for you;
- to ignore what the world owes you, and to think what you owe the world;
- to put your rights in the background, and your duties in the middle distance, and your chances to do a little more than your duty in the foreground;
- to see that men and women are just as real as you are, and try to look behind their faces to their hearts, hungry for joy.
- to own up to the fact that probably the only good reason for your existence is not what you are going to get out of life but what you are going to give to life;
- to close your book of complaints against the management of the universe, and look around you for a place where you can sow a few seeds of happiness?
- to stoop down and consider the needs and desires of little children;
- to remember the weakness and loneliness of people growing old;
- to stop asking how much your friends love you, and ask yourself whether you love them enough;
- to bear in mind the things that other people have to bear in their hearts;
- to try and understand what those who live in the same home with you really want, without waiting for them to tell you;
- to trim your lamp so that it will give more light and less smoke, and to carry it in front so that your shadow will fall behind you;
- to make a grave for your ugly thoughts, and a garden for your kindly feelings, with the gate open?
- to believe that love is the strongest thing in the world-
- stronger than hate, stronger than evil, stronger than death-
- and that the blessed life which began in Bethlehem nineteen hundred years ago is the image and brightness of the Eternal Love?
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Lately Coryn's favorite story has been Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are? by Dr. Suess. It is a classic book. She likes the page about the man who sleeps a few blocks worth of twisty stairs away from his bathroom. She won't let me leave this page until she has traced the route from bedroom to bathroom with her finger. My personal favorite page goes, "And suppose that you lived in that forest in France where the average young person just hasn't a chance to escape from the perilous pants-eating-plants! But your pants are safe! You're a fortunate guy. And you ought to be shouting, "How lucky am I!"
Thursday, December 1, 2011
I actually like my paper to be mismatched. I think it looks bland when all the paper under the tree is the same pattern or color or what-not, so most years I pick out two contrasting papers. Last year it was silver with candy canes and green with holly leaves. This year, however, the exchange on base only seemed to have two pricing options, 69 cent paper and 6 dollar paper. Of course, being cheap, I was going to only buy the 69 cent variety (though I had to run the rolls under the price scanner to make sure what I was getting was 69 cents. . .as usual everything was mixed around and mislabeled or simply not priced) and of that there were only two prints that appealed to my particular aesthetics, both of which happened to be light blue with snowmen. Of course, they were different snowmen. One had cartoonish snowmen and the other more artfully drawn snowmen in hats and scarves playing musical instruments. Still, even if they were different snowmen on slightly different paper, they were still very similar. .. but oh well. I had enough paper left over from last year to wrap a few small presents and get some variety in there, and my family back home would be sending presents, normally already wrapped, so I bought the two snowmen rolls and headed home.
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
My husband worked Thanksgiving and the Friday after it, so we had our Thanksgiving festivities (a small meal for the three of us) on the Wednesday of that week. It was uneventful except for Coryn once again proving her appetite by asking for seconds of everything except green beans and thirds of stuffing and then still wanting to dive into the pie immediately. She ate more than I did, and I'm supposed to be eating for two.
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
I love eggplant. Living in Japan, I usually end up using the smaller "Japanese eggplants" but the taste and texture is nearly identical. I learned one time when making Eggplant Parmesan that Coryn also likes eggplant. She kept taking the chopped, raw eggplant I had sitting, waiting to be breaded and fried. Now if I find some on sale or I have some around I want to use up, I just slice it and give it to her on a plate and she'll devour it.
Thursday, November 10, 2011
This time of year, I do a lot of crafting. . .mainly because it is starting to get cold and making something keeps Coryn away from the television when I don't want to brave the park. Also, I don't like throwing things away. Everything has so much potential, and I have a little bit of hoarder in me. . .for instance, I recently caught myself saving the paper wrappers my Stash tea bags come in because they were such pretty colors. . .I did actually use one or two of them for gift tags.
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
As I've mentioned earlier (or at least as I meant to mention earlier; I may never have gotten around to it. . .or just dreamed I mentioned it.) I don't like to start Christmas until after Thanksgiving. I'm trying to find exciting Thanksgiving preparations (though I recently found out my husband is going to be working on that particular holiday, thank you, Marine Corp. . .oh well, at least he'll be in the same country as me. It could be worse) and Coryn has been walking around saying, "Gobble, gobble, gobble," which is cute.
Sunday, November 6, 2011
Coryn has been excited about the holidays since before Halloween. She is starting to remember things from year to year and the moment one holiday ends she is asking about the next. Sometimes I have to stop and think about what she means, like when she started asking just after Easter about going around our midrise to get candy (trick or treating). Other times she's pretty clear (she has been asking about her birthday consistently since her last birthday). Now we're onto the big block of Holidays. We got through Trick or Treating and the Christmas decorations are already flooding the stores.
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Last Thursday was a crazy day for us. It was the day of our second annual Costume Ball, aka Halloween party. I love doing these parties. Last year I put one together for the first time and learned three important things:
Sunday, October 23, 2011
Friday, October 14, 2011
I've been crocheting non-stop lately. I'm supposed to be building up my stock for a craft fair next month, but I've gotten a lot of special orders and since those are guaranteed sales, I move them to the front of the line. Most of the time special orders start out as a challenge. Someone sees something I've made and ask, "Hey, can you make ___ too?" Sometimes I give a cagey answer, like "maybe" or "if I can find a pattern, I'll have to look into it." I've had too many instances of people asking me if I can make something and then when I finish it and show it to them they don't express interest in buying it, and that drives me crazy, so unless they state that they'll be willing to pay for it when they make the inquiry, I don't usually bother crafting it (though I may send them links to patterns to give them an idea that I can do it if they are so inclined). A lot of times if I make one for that person and then post the picture on my Critters Facebook Page other people will ask me if they can order one too. That happened with my dinosaurs. I have made six so far for orders after the one initial order. I've also made a few hats, which aren't part of my usual repertoire (I was planning on selling only critters, scarves, and Christmas stockings at my craft fair table, any more and I think it will be too crowded.), but I have gotten orders for a "Hello Kitty" and a "Boots from Dora" hat. . .and my next project is a dinosaur hat, though I'm taking a break to make Coryn her own dinosaur.
I've made a ton of toys specifically for Coryn, but I know she doesn't like seeing me make something cool that she really wants only to sell it to one of her friend's mothers. She's watched me make the dinosaurs for the orders, and now she wants one of her own and I'm finally taking some time off from commercial orders to make it. She wants it to be purple. I just hope it doesn't look too much like Barney.
I have an etsy shop but so far I've only used it to sell special orders to people I know who live too far away to hand me cash. I posted some items there, but their time on Etsy expired without any sells. It's the sort of thing no one goes looking for, but when they see them they generally want one, which works well for me at craft fairs.
Sunday, October 9, 2011
Coryn's favorite book from our last library trip is The Twins' Blanket by Hyewon Yum.
I think even if she didn't know about jack o'lanterns Coryn would still want her own pumpkin. I remember last year (she was two and a half) when they first got them in at our commissary she was in awe of the large, orange globes, and even more excited when I let her pick out one to take home. However, when we got home, the first thing she did was ask to eat it, and I realized she had no idea why we'd gotten a pumpkin and just assumed since it came from the produce section of our commissary that it must be some sort of large apple. It took some convincing to get her not to take a butter knife to it. Over the course of carving the pumpkin she got a few tastes of it, and she knows better now.
This year we picked out a smallish one because I didn't want to spend a lot of money on one this early (last year we got one about a week into October and it was moldy over a week before Halloween. Oozy black moldy. . .) but there is always a chance that they won't get more in after their first shipment in which case you are stuck buying early or risking not getting one at all (we ended up getting a fake Christmas tree last year because they never restocked even after the ones they had were all dried out; they just assumed we were desperate enough to buy dried husks, I guess.). I think she liked having one that she could carry on her own and it was a little bit easier to clean (Only a little easier because it had as many seeds as the big one she got last year, I swear).
She told me she wanted it to be a “sad” faced pumpkin and even asked for “drops” running down its face. I'd never carved pumpkin tears before, but she was right, it really brings out the sadness of the pumpkin, though I have no idea why he is sad. She named him Quincy, after a boy in her Sunday school class (I have no idea if he is also a sad pumpkin). We lit a candle and took his picture a few times. . .then I kept having to put it back because she would run off with it or move it, lit candle and all.
Growing up a lot of our friends weren't allowed to “celebrate” Halloween, but I've always been fond of the holiday. A lot of our harmless traditions come from pagan roots, and I'm not going to stop using the word Jovial because it refers to a Roman god, and I'm definitely not getting rid of my cat because some ancient Egyptians might show up at my door requesting to worship her. Sometimes I feel we give things a power over us by making them taboo. I remember being in a church for a social event with some other home schoolers and having one of them question why a Christian church had a pumpkin (not a jack o'lantern, an uncarved pumpkin) as part of a table display. As if somehow pumpkins have magical powers or pagan significance. Now, I'm not condoning all aspects of the holiday. I don't even like scary movies and I have seen people get carried away on the scary or occult sides of decorating/costumes. However, I remember reading stories where Puritans made jack'o lanterns in the colonial days and I figure if the world's most infamous witch hunters didn't see them as “occult” than they are a fairly harmless tradition.
I guess the main reason I like Halloween is because it allows for a lot of self-expression. I got to design a pumpkin and choose a costume (usually hand craft it as well). I normally knew what I wanted to be by the end of July. While I tried to work as much creative expression into all my holidays as possible (hand drawn Christmas cards and Valentines, figuring out what that weird wax pencil that came with the egg coloring kit was for on Easter. . .wax resists are fun.), with Halloween I could completely rewrite myself for a day and go in character if I really wanted to. I still like to dress up. Last year I went as a Star Trek crew member (original series, male costume because I didn't feel like a mini-skirt. . .though I feel justified in this decision because of the creepy man-in-a-female-uniform who haunts a few background shots in Star Trek: The Next Generation season one. . .google it some time. It's true. I figure, if Picard let a man romp around in a short skirt on his Enterprise, some lenient captain in Kirk's era must've allowed a girl or two to wear the pants.). This year I'm a generic pirate, even purchasing a maternity pirate costume rather than constructing something. Lazy, I know, but I still want to dress up even if I don't have the energy this particular year to make up something more elaborate.
Sunday, September 25, 2011
"Perfect," said Claire.
Saturday, September 24, 2011
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Sunday, September 18, 2011
Squish Rabbit by Katherine Battersby.
Friday, September 16, 2011
Most people find loose change at the bottom of their washing machine. Me? This morning I found a crochet hook and my mailbox key.
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Sunday, September 4, 2011
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Copy more of the recipes I have on loose paper scraps into my new recipe book?
Do some stretching to relieve neck tension?
Write something (technically, I'm writing something right now . . . hey! I must've made some sort of decision). . .
oh wait, eat something, I'm hungry.
No, I'm not, I'm thirsty and that is tricking my mind into thinking I'm hungry.
I should probably take my contacts out now. It's getting late. I wonder when Matt is going to want to go to bed tonight.
Duh duh duh duh duh duh duh duh BATMAN! (I've been wanting to say that all night)
Nothing on TV right now so at least I'm not wasting time doing that, though if I were I could also be crocheting at the same time. Wow, that would be awesome. . . I think a drink of water then stretching is going to win out. Yeah, definitely need to work my neck and back before bed or I'm not going to sleep to night.
Off to youtube to search for prenatal relaxation stretches. See you later!