Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Who Has a New Toy? I Do!!

Hey there everybody!!

Apologies in advance for this post... I'm still fiddling around with photo layouts and uploading appropriately from Flickr, so if this comes out all wrong, I may have to delete it and re-post... with that in mind, I'm going to go easy on the wordiness just in case I have to re-post (*Note - I did, in fact, have to re-post, lol!!).

Not a whole lot has been happening in the Wright household... just your general day to day work and play.

Leah and I went to an Easter Egg hunt last weekend with one of her little friends from daycare and we had a blast. It was actually quite windy and chilly, but the girls didn't seem to mind - no pics from there, but stay tuned next week. We're going to the Mall and Tidal Basin in DC on Saturday (along with every tourist on the planet) with a small group my friends (and one of their daughters who is Leah's age) to get some shots of the monuments with the cherry blossoms, and enjoy what is supposed to be an absolutely spectacular day weather wise. So, maybe I'll have some pics to share from that jaunt.

Speaking of pics... I got an early birthday gift. :) It's something of a tradition in my house... my DH & I rarely manage to hold the gifts to each other as a surprise until the appropriate day. So, what did I get?? I got an awesome 100mm macro lens for my camera!!! Wahoo!!! I had been eyeing it for a while and saving my pennies, and mentioned it once to Ken as an offhand comment. Major points to him b/c he remembered. The day it came in, he got home from work and said "Would you like your birthday gift??" Silly man! Of course I would! My eyes about bulged out of their sockets when I saw the Canon box, lol!!

So, I've been playing around with it, and here are a few shots...

Tudor Rose scissors:

Sweet Roscoe:

And, of course I can't leave out stitchy macro shots, can I??

Here are a couple of not so close ups of where I am with Blessing:

That's it for me for this week... I am taking the day off on Friday (my gift to myself) and hope to get a serious case of Stitch A$$.

In light of the coming holiday I want to share something with you ladies. I've been (I apologize in advance for the digression) listening to the book Intervention by Robin Cook (Fabulous book, btw!! So interesting!), and as I've been listening (the subject matter of the book brought this to my mind) I've been reflecting that at times we women can struggle with our own value in the grand scheme of things... we are "just" homemakers, or (and I have caught myself saying this) "just" an f/t administrative assistant and mom. We go about the daily chores of keeping our families cared for and can sometimes lose the significance of the task we have been given amongst the mundaneness of everyday life and chores. And I've been thinking about Jesus choosing - upon His resurrection - to show Himself first (shockingly, for his time) to a woman and what a lovely demonstration that was to us women (aside from the Cross - obviously that is where His love is shown most beautifully to all of human kind) how well we are loved and valued by none other than the Lord. Just food for thought when your daily tasks might seem to be dragging you into obscurity. :)

On that note, I am wishing a beautifully blessed Easter (or, as we call it in my house, Resurrection Day) to all of you that celebrate the holy day. And to those of you that don't, have a spectacular weekend!!

Until next time!!!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Harper's Fairy

Hey there everybody! How's it hangin'?

This post is going to be light on verbiage, but heavy on the pics... no stitchy update this week, although I have made decent (for me) progress on Blessing. The reason being the fantastic pic presentation dear Siobhan manages on her blog. She let me in on her secret (it involves Flickr, and Picnik) and I've spent the time I'd normally spend taking a progress pic and getting it loaded onto the PC figuring out the whole process (I'm slow at everything, apparently). So! Without further ado, here's what I've got!

Saturday was a stunningly beautiful spring day in our neck of the woods, and the DH had the day off so we decided to take a family jaunt to Harper's Ferry, WV.

We told Leah where we were going and told her it would be beautiful, and we'd enjoy the weather, and seeing the sights. We were about 10 minutes up the road and she started talking about how much she was looking forward to seeing the fairies, and wondering what kinds there would be there... ummm... hold on... what? It took me a few minutes, and then... aha! Of course being almost 5 and a girl she would automatically think of the pretty, fluttery beings in the Barbie movies she adores (no need to explain that "real" fairies are "so not Tinkerbells" {to borrow a phrase from Karen Marie Moning}!!). She looked a little crestfallen when I explained to her the difference between "ferry" and "fairy", but said she was still game to go have some fun in the little town.

And so, after a time we arrived...along with what appeared to be a large quantity of the population from the surrounding area (really, it was fine, crowded but not horribly so).

Walking into the town, we got our first peek at the dominating feature of the little valley:

This is a beautiful, old Episcopalian church (side note: my DH and I seriously considered getting married here b/c it is just so pretty, but couldn't - I can't remember why, but weddings don't happen there... or at least they didn't when we were getting married).

We decided to walk across the river on the footbridge to wander along the C&O (I think) canal for a bit. Here's a shot of the church looking back from the bridge:

I don't know if the placement of the church was purposefully planned so that no matter which way you look at the town it dominates the landscape, or if it was placed there to avoid floodwaters, or if that was simply the property the church had and so that was what they had to use, but no matter the reason, it is lovely from every vantage point.

We wandered along the canal for quite a ways (personal highlight: Leah coming across a very fresh pile of road apples {aka the final stage of horse feed}, shrieking that it smelled sooo ewwwwy, and running back down the path to tell me about it, then the positively priceless look on her face when I told her I don't mind the smell of road apples because it reminds me of the barn at Grandma Sheila's. Ha!!), and eventually Leah decided that the small branches that had fallen at the sides of the path needed to be thrown in to the river. Here's a shot of her gearing up for a toss:

We made our way back across the river, had a late lunch, then made our way up the hill to get to the church & Jefferson's Rock beyond it.

Along the way, I spotted this cool iron star nailed into the brick above a back door, and of course I had to take a picture of it:

So, up the awesome stone stairs we went to the church. Here's a shot standing right beneath it, just outside the courtyard fence:

And here's my Leah posing for the camera... she's usually really good about posing and giving me "real" smiles, (and I wish she would've done so here b/c the lighting is so good here I would've definitely been able to use this picture as my "school picture" replacements) but even though she's being goofy here, I still love this pic of her. Totally her personality shining through!

As we made our way up the hill past the church, we caught sight of the ruins of the original Episcopalian church... pretty amazing. There aren't a whole lot of genuine (and fairly well preserved even though they're ruins) ruins in the US simply because, well, we're pretty young. And I love me a good ruin! So atmospheric... can't you just imagine this on a misty, foggy morning as the sun comes up and you can really see the fog swirling around the stones (can you tell I read a lot of Nancy Drew as a kid??)?

Just beyond the ruin, I turned around to look back toward the church, and look what I saw:


Then we finally made it up to Jefferson's Rock - yes, Thomas Jefferson. He visited Harper's Ferry and presumably sat on that rock and described the view as one of the most stupendous in nature. And it is beautiful.

Jefferson's Rock is actually a couple of large rocks that once sat atop each other, but are now bolted into the ground and the top rock is supported up off the face of the base rock by large steel pillars.

And, of course, my DH & Leah - being the adventurous souls they are - had to climb up on top of the rocks. I was petrified the entire time. Petrified I tell you!!! You see, the top of the upper rock is probably 7 or so feet from the ground you stand on around the rock. You're thinking, 'c'mon Robin! That's not so bad!' Yeah, it's not, however if one were to fall off of the rock you've got a looooong way to fall (or at the very least roll) 'til you hit the bottom of the valley. It's got to be a few hundred feet, and I really don't think I'm exaggerating. My palms are sweating just thinking about it! Here is Leah on the top of the rock:

I was, of course, most comfortable when she was sitting down on her little derriere... but of course, the little daredevil haaad to try to give me a heart attack (I swear I felt my heart muscle squeeze inside my chest) and stand up on it and try to walk around. I kept the camera glued to my face, though... probably so I could use the photos as a defense in my murder trial (the murder of my DH that is) in the instance my baby girl was harmed... "Yes ladies and gentlemen of the jury... but did you see the photographic evidence of the idiocy the poor slain departed was engaging in with this poor mother's one and only child in the moments prior to the alleged unfortunate event??"

Eventually it was time to go (there were other lunatics waiting to climb up on the rock), but not before I snagged one more shot of this beautiful little pice of earth (from a position safely on the ground directly in front of Jefferson's Rock {this should give you an idea how high up we were}):

And, that's all she wrote folks... okay, so it wasn't light on verbiage after all. :)

Thanks once again for taking the time out of your busy days to comment on my last post!!! I love love love hearing from you all!!! I'll be grabbing lunch to go and trying to get caught up on all your posts while at lunch tomorrow (it may, of course, bleed into the evening... please don't be offended if/ when I don't comment on your posts right away! I dearly love all of your blogs, I just seem to get limited computer time these days.)

Enjoy the rest of your week!!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Ratted Out by my 4 Year Old & Loads of Stitchy Goodness

'Sup my homeys? Oh wait... It's St. Patty's Day, let me try again... ahem...

Trathnona maith!! (Don't get too impressed... I Wiki'ed that!)

Well, it's been another busy (but great) week in the Wright household... First up, the stitchy lesson.

Leah and I went over to Jen's house for our "slumber party" Friday night. While the girls played (and wrote a very short play based loosely on The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe - then performed it for us as well) Jen & I got started on the "everything Robin knows about cross stitching" lesson. Since all I know can barely fill a thimble, it lasted about 30 seconds. Haha, just kidding.

Really all I did was give Jen a few pointers on things that have tripped me up, then she was off to the races. The girls had gone to bed, and we had just started to stitch, when my little bug began having her normal problems with going to sleep (Seriously, I don't know how she doesn't spend her days dropping off to sleep every few minutes. Sometimes I swear the poor child only gets 1/2 hr more sleep than I do.) which were exacerbated by the fact that we were in a different house. I had put in about 5 stitches on my own WIP when she came downstairs for the umpteenth time, and I decided to go lay down with her for a few minutes (assuring Jen that I would be back down very shortly to continue our stitching) to help her settle in. And that was pretty much all she wrote for me, lol! I don't even remember my head hitting the pillow. I woke up in the morning, and went downstairs to capture Jen's first ever progress pic! And here it is (Jen said she started nodding off over her stitching and was having to frog a lot, so she pulled out some mistakes then went up to bed herself):

She got a great start, didn't she? Oh, and you may notice something about this photo... This is NOT a Prairie Schooler design. Nope, it's Little House Needleworks' "Blessed are the Peacemakers." I swear some days that if my head weren't attached...

Anywhoze... So we enjoyed breakfast with Jen & her girls (her DH was in GA {I think} to attend some NCAA action), then headed home, then back out again a few hours later to attend what would turn out to be the best young child's birthday party (for a co-worker's son) I've ever been to (keep reading... the event for which this post is named is coming...).

It was at this really great kids' fitness place called Romp n' Roll. It was fantastic, I tell you!! There was fun "equipment" (including short monkey bars, one of those swingy things like trapeze artists use, and a moon bounce), the workers were all high energy, kept the kids involved and having a blast with a mix of self directed play and "organized" activities. They played high energy dance music (but nothing inappropriate for even the tiniest tot) the whole time which the parents and the kids loved. The highlight of the fun was an activity called "Freeze Dance". The worker (I'm sure they had some sort of silly title like "fun director" or something like that, but I have no clue what it was) played some great music and had the kids dance however they wanted, then she'd stop the music and the kids would have to freeze or be tickled.

So! My co-workers & I are standing there while this is happening, chatting and not really paying a whole lot of attention to the kids. One of them looks at the kids and says "Oh my goodness, look at Leah shake her booty, LOLOL!!!" We look over, and sure enough, there she is shaking her bom bom (aka: what her momma gave her) for all she's worth! Of course everyone erupts into laughter and the phrases flying around were along the lines of "I've never seen anything so hilarious in my life" and (lots of this one) "Where on earth did she learn to do that, hahahahaha!!!" I just laughed along with them all (really it was pretty stinkin' adorable) and shook my head and said "Oh wow, I have no idea"! (No way the hours Leah & I have spent gettin' our groove on to the Music Choice dance channel could've rubbed off on her. Uh-uh, no way). So, I had pretty well played it off like "Oh, she was just born that way, I guess", when the little goof ball turned around, looked directly at me, waggled her eyebrows, nodded her head (all the while keepin' her little tooshie shakin', of course!) at me and did the Pulp Fiction!!! Oh, it was all over then. All my co-workers looked over at me and busted out laughing, like - "Now we know what you do, Robin!!!" Ha!!! It wasn't embarassing, just hilarious!

After the party we went home, then my DH (Ken) & I went out on our first date night in probably two years. We saw Alice in Wonderland and it was wonderful. Apparently, about 20 minutes after we left, Leah asked our neighbor "So how long do dates last, anyway??" Hahaha!

Bla blah bla... Let's move on to the "stitchy goodness" portion of this post, shall we?

I've only hit the stitchy chair 3 times in the last 7 days, so there's not a whole lot of progress on Blessing, but here is where I am:

I must admit, I'm still not loving the leaves, and will be very glad to be done with them, which I should be shortly.

The rest of this post is going to be slightly embarassing... you see... I have a problem. My stupid fingers keep adding stash to online carts, and more... and more... and more... Below is what I've gained while waiting on the two items I originally planned to purchase from Market. Good grief, if they don't come in soon, I may need an intervention!!! (All pics should be clickable)

First up is scissors... ah, glorious scissors! I got the Kelmscott 'Steweb' scissors, Kelmscott's 'Tudor Rose' scissors, and the non-shiny ones are the pair I found in my antiquing/ second hand shopping adventures a few weeks ago.

Next up are my BBD acquisitions - an older pattern book (I got it b/c of a gorgeous sampler that's in it that I spotted on Terri's post of her Guild's BBD Day), and several 'newbies' to the BBD line-up:

Next is a random sampling of other miscellaneous patterns, a piece of 36 ct. fabric (which happens to be the exact shade of the walls in my room), and the 'Primitive Little Gems' scissors:

And now for the Christmas patterns I picked up (Really Robin??? I need more of these like I need another hole in my head):

And, my CHS finds (I've already got Frederick, and if I ever actually get the birdie couple stitched, I think they'll go in the Master bedroom):

*Note: The little black and white baby photo in all of these stash shots is Leah when she was... probably 8 or 9 months old...

I have a problem, I know. And, I have more coming!!! The Plum Street Samplers 'Queen' charts, 2 half yd. cuts of LL, another pair of scissors, and some thread. Aaaah!!! If I have a prayer of getting all of this stitched, I'd better live to be a hundred, lol!

I do believe I'm done stash enhancing for a while (...ummm... maybe I should have the stitchy retail sites blocked from my PC), but there is one thing I really want to get sooner rather than later (maybe with some of my refund from Uncle Sam?) - The Needlework System 4 Floor stand. Yup. Serious dough for that puppy. But, I think I need it. I have been noticing some issues with my right hand/ wrist lately. Of course, it might not be from stitching (I do make my living doing a lot of typing), but I feel I 'just can't be too careful'. Plus, I'm hoping it will help me stitch a tad on the more rapid side. So, I know Vonna loves hers... anyone else out there have one and want to add their two cents?

Okay, y'all... I'm going to sign off now. Thanks so much for all of your wonderful comments on my last post!! It is always so encouraging to read them, and hear what you all have to say. I really enjoy writing this blog, but it makes it all the more meaningful when people read it and think enough of it to actually comment! I'm going to try to get caught up on my post reading and commenting tonight or tomorrow night (you all are posting so fast I can't keep up, lol!). Until then...

Stitch A$$ to all, and to all a good night!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Spring!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh, and stitchy stuff, too...

Halleluia, it finally arrived!!!!

I went outside Saturday morning, and glanced over at my neighbor's flower beds, and saw... daffodil babies! I whipped my head around to look for them under my tree so fast I gave myself a neck spasm, lol! And here are the little beauties (I don't think I've EVER been so thrilled to see them poke their heads out of the ground as I was that morning):

Note - This picture was taken in full darkness tonight (I haven't managed to get myself home in time to shoot a pic in daylight all week)... All I have to say is my camera has a heckuva on board flash!

So, after that point the weekend was a flurry of vitamin D absorption and fully disengaging from the iron grip of the winter hibernation I've been living under... I may even be moved to remove the "winter pelt" (as some who shall not be named, but who are HIlarious might say) shortly.

Saturday was gorgeous (it hit nearly 60 degrees!), so Leah and I spent a few hours clearing out and cleaning up the winter detritus from the front flower beds, and by the time we were done our front yard was 100% snow free! The back yard - being north facing, and 100% shaded until late spring - however, still has about a foot of snow. I think I lost my hydrangeas back there. :( The front beds were pretty well spared - the weight of the snow only decimated one (really, rather scraggly and ugly builder grade anyway) small tree/ shrub. Which, actually... is sort of okay with me. I might get my "Skyrocket" juniper after all!!

The fun continued on Sunday. Leah & I went with my friend Jennifer to the Woodlawn Plantation 2010 Needlework Show. Oh, was it ever wonderful! If you live in the DC area, you definitely need to make a trip to see it (it will be going on the entire month of March). Just lovely. How to even describe it... It's a beautiful (and appears to be well preserved) old manor house southish from Mt. Vernon. After you pay the admission (proceeds go to preservation of the plantation), and walk in... oh my. It's like a stitcher's dream come true. The walls in the central hall were nearly covered with the more traditional samplers (I hope I live long enough for my home to be even half so full - Siobhan, you've got a great start!!). Every room in the place was filled practically to the brim with needlework of all sorts. Embroidery, stumpwork, Japanese embroidery, needlepoint, crewel, blackwork, smocking, hardanger... I'm sure I'm missing some! Oh, and of course, cross stitch. It was very cool to see patterns I recognize, some I have in my stash, and some that are WIPs on your blogs. Let's see... there was Garden Glade, Janet Gibson's Sampler, And They Sinned, several Mirabilias (which of course, were Leah's favorites)... and so much more. Of course, there were also many that I had never seen before.

My friend, Jennifer asked me a lot of questions (she is not a stitcher), and it was wonderful, but at the same time humbling - oh, how little I know about anything other than cross stitch - and even that it was revealed to me that there are rather alarming gaps in my knowledge. It was really a good thing - I've been inspired to go find out more about this craft I love so much. At the very least read up on the other forms (I don't really have a desire to try many - if any - of the others), and get myself in gear and take some classes (online, or live) so that I can learn some stitches beyond the basic "x". I mean, really... expanding my horizons is a good thing, right? I've been looking at cross stitch books as well. One in particular I've been looking at is the Proper Stitch. Do any of you have it, and would you recommend it?

Anywho... Leah seemed to enjoy looking at all the "pretties" as well - I heard "Mommy, will you sew that for me?" more times than I can count, lol! She was such a good girl - I was so impressed with her! She really only had one mishap - she reached out to touch a beautiful ribbon embroidered silk bag (My heart squeezed looking at it, it was so beautiful... I wanted to touch it, too, truth be told!). Gah! I almost had a heart attack right there on the spot! The voice that came out of me when I said "NO!!" was foreign to my own ears, and it must have been even more so to Leah b/c she looked at me and I could almost see the thought bubble form right above her head. It went something like this "Who are you and what have you done with my mommy???" I was sort of surprised she didn't cross herself, lol! Oh, and don't worry, no beauty was marred.

After a while though (well over an hour - which was far more than I thought I'd get) she was "done", so my friend and I made our votes for "viewer's choice", and made our way outside. I challenged Leah to run laps around the "forecourt" as fast as she could to burn off some 4 year old energy, then my friend Jennifer took this wonderful picture of my sweet baby and I:

After we were done there, Jennifer & I decided to hot foot it over to In Stitches. I had never been, and since it is quite a distance from my home (due more to traffic, than miles) I wanted to take advantage of my proximity. Here's where it gets exciting, ladies!!!

You see, Jennifer is not a stitcher. I invited she and her girls to come along because I thought her two eldest - who knit very well - would be interested in seeing the show. As it turned out the girls had a birthday party to go to, but Jennifer decided to come anyway. Well!! On the way to the shop, Jennifer asked me if I would mind/ would it be any trouble to help her get started with stitching. Would I mind??? Would it be any trouble??? Clearly she didn't understand that verbiage of that sort is to a stitcher as waving the red flag is to the bull! :) OF COURSE I'd love to help!!!

So, in the end she came out of the shop with a small Prairie Schooler kit, a set of Q-Snaps, and a piece of 32 ct. LL Vintage Lt. Examplar (gotta start her off right!!). Leah and I are going to her place Friday night for a "slumber party"/ stitchy extravaganza. Ohhh, I can't wait! I'll be sure to post about that, and if she'll allow it, will post pics to go with it. Truth be told, I'm a little bit nervous. What if I tell her the wrong thing? What if I confuse her? Can I actually teach her? Who am I kidding?? But, regardless of my success or failure at explaining and instructing, I am sure she will figure things out just fine... She is one of the most intelligent women I know. Thank goodness! Takes some of the pressure off, you know!

Good grief, I need to end this post!

This week and last have been pretty hectic, so stitching time has been at a premium, but here is where I am with The Blessing:

Coming along quite nicely, all things considered (sorry about the craptastic pic.. I'll try for better lighting next time!).

Well, that's it for me for the night, folks! Thanks for all of your comments on my last post!! It was great to see input from you ladies re: audio books, and so great to see that so many of you share my love of books! So cool that we seem to have lots in common, isn't it?

Enjoy the rest of the week!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Waiting & Starting...

Hola mes amiga(o)s!

Well, my head is still spinning from tonight's LOST episode, so the "this will be my blogging night" plan may not have been the wisest decision, but I'm going to give it a shot anyway. Consider yourselves warned, though... I may be typing jibberish by the end of the post!

First, thank you all SO much for your kind words re: my room (and my finish)!! They were all so encouraging!! I really love my little nook, and am so glad you all do as well. If there were room for everyone, I would be setting up a stitching party, stat! Glenna, if I weren't afraid of hosing up your walls, I'd gladly dress up in my "paint fairy" clothes and pay you a visit. ;) It is the only room in the house where I can be ultra feminine, and so I decided to embrace it whole hog. Well... really, I wouldn't want my entire house to be ultra feminine and romantic in style, but one room gives me enough room to play to get it out of my system, and keep the rest of the house safe from frills and furbelows, lol! I can't wait until Leah is a bit older! Then we'll get to play "super girly" in her room, too (minus the princesses)... uh... hopefully!

She was definitely born with her mama's yen for decorating... she adores it already. I find bits of ribbon, rocks, pieces of silk flowers, My Little Pony Memory game cards, random sticky items on the walls, (etc., etc., etc.) allll the time. It's absolutely adorable (well, except the sticky styrofoam pieces on the walls... any ideas how to get it all off w/o ruining the paint and walls?). I'll ask her "Hey Leah, how did such and such get here?" And she'll go into this long drawn out (at times HI-larious, but always cute) explanation of how it makes whatever spot look prettier. Apparently, she doesn't think mama has much decorating sense, because the things that are most often "decorated" are spots where I've got a vignette set up... if there's nothing sparkly, pink, or otherwise girlified it must be improved upon, lol! I'll take some pics and post some time.

See, told ya! I think my name tonight will be Ms. Tangent... I shall attempt to control myself. Here goes... attempt #1 to remain "on topic".

OK, so the plan was to visit my LNS on Saturday to pick up the items I requested from Market (well... I asked them to get a few things, and I ordered online for a few others) (one of which being PSS's The Queen's Sampler) kit up the two PSS charts, head home, and get stitching... yeah... not so much. By the time my LNS ladies got to the PSS display, it was all gone. So, it's on order. Thus, I find myself checking gmail about 100 times per day looking for the ship notification of half my purchases, and gazing longingly at my phone, checking it for missed calls, sighing forlornly as I wait to hear that the other half of my stash enhancement has arrived at my LNS. Ah well. Stay tuned for the stash enhancement post!

Since I didn't get to get going on (or even get my hands on) The Queen's Sampler, I pulled this out of the kitted up and ready to be stitched stash:

It is Examplar Dames Design Co's The Blessing, and here is the model photo:

Isn't she lovely (great... now I have that Stevie Wonder song playing on a never ending loop inside my brain)?? I've been wanting to start her for a while now, but kept putting other things ahead of her - I have no idea why, because I really love this. The only thing I'm a tad disappointed in is the leaves on the tree... the chart calls for WDW Noel, but the model photo color looks nothing like Noel. As a whole, the rest of the model photo colors look pretty true to life, so I'm wondering if it was originally charted to use a variegated thread that no longer exists and so the chart got changed but not the model? Meh, whatever... I still love it. :) I'm stitching it on 40ct LL Vintage Light Examplar with the called for WDW threads.

I started it late Saturday night (after a fabulous day w/ my DD), and have worked on it at lunch both days this week. Not tremendous progress, but I'm pretty happy with where I am. Especially considering the "condition" that has struck me recently (and, I might add, has shown no proclivity toward mercy)... Sudden Onset Stitchy Narcolepsy. I actually think it's the chair, b/c the same thing used to happen to me when I'd rock Leah to sleep in it - I would crash (and crash hard) in the chair, so much so that all I could do once I got up from it was to stumble (and hope I didn't fall down on the way) into my bed and fall straight back into a deep sleep. The more I think about it... it used to happen to my DH as well.... Ooooh, here's a theory: Maybe someone prayed over it before it shipped... something along the lines of "Lord, please bestow a peaceful and rapid descent into sleep for all those who use this glider." Yeah... that would pretty much cover what's been happening, lol!!

A couple of you asked about my audio book selections... well, here goes (Disclaimer: I'll try my very best to be brief... but once I get going on books and all things related to them, I have a hard time stopping.):

I must admit that in choosing audiobooks I don't typically go for the "high brow" "real" literature. No, not at all. I go for what some might call "trash lit". I prefer to call it fun, light reading. A few of my particular favorites are: Karen Marie Moning (I actually have all of these loaded on my iPod)... I really do love her stories (esp. the Fever Series!!), and I like the guy that narrates most of them - Phil Gigante (more on narrators in a minute); Mary Balogh, Stephanie Laurens (mostly her earlier stuff, though), Lauren Willig, Lisa Kleypas, Judith McNaught (when they aren't abridged), and Julia Quinn. I will also listen to others as they strike my fancy while I browse the library shelves. But typically, just very light stuff where not a lot of thought is required. If I want to read something more mentally hefty, I tend to actually pick up the book and read it. #1 I read much more quickly than the narrators = less time taken away from other things, and #2 if the book requires mental muscle I can't divide my brain sufficiently to stitch and listen at the same time.

Now my thoughts on narrators (I think it was Berit that mentioned this?) - I tend to prefer male narrators over the females. I think the main reason is that they seem to manage female voices far more believably than woman narrators manage male voices. That said, if I like the story enough, I can get past most performance flaws. There is one, though, that if present I simply cannot get past. And that is pacing. If the narrator is too slow I cannot listen. I have stopped listening to a few stories b/c of this - one was an absolutely wonderful book, but I juuusttt... coooouuldnnnn'ttt.... ttttoooolllleeeerrrate (you get the picture) how slowly the guy was reading. I have two favorite (and one that I cringe whenever I see her name on a title) readers: Phil Gigante, and Jenny Sterlin (she read all of the Laurie R. King Sherlock & Mary Russell books [well... all the ones I listened to] - that's a really great series, btw. very very well written, I thought). My least favorite? Ann Flosnik. Ugh. Like nails on chalk board. However... she narrates all the books in the series I'm listening to right now, and I'm able to involve myself enough in the story to somewhat ignore her voice. Anyway, blah blah blah... someone stop me, please!! :) Do you all have any favorite audio books and/ or narrators? I'm always up for recommendations!!

Well, folks, that's it for tonight! As always, thanks for taking the time to read, and comment. I savor each and every one. :)

Have a great week!