Tag Archives: The Complete Book of Questions

sc in next 2 dc, ch 7, sk next 7 sts…

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Question 123 (The Complete Book of Questions by Garry Poole)
What’s one of your hobbies?

In many circles it makes me a second-class citizen, but I am proud to be a crocheter. (Having only purchased yarn in large craft stores in the past, I didn’t understand the depth of the discrimination against crocheters until I shopped in dedicated yarn shops in England. Lots of knitters believe that crochet, with its one hook, is not a “real” hobby.)

I wasn’t always good at crochet. My mom tried to teach me years and years ago, but I couldn’t seem to get past the chain stitch. I would sit for hours and make chains. Miles and miles of chains. It frustrated Mom to no end. “What the hell are you going to do with all that chain?” Ever resourceful, I coiled them up and made rugs for Barbie and Skipper. Lots and lots of rugs.

Years later, once I had a little more coordination and Mom had regained her patience, I asked her for a couple remedial lessons in single and double crochet and reinforced that instruction with some rather detailed diagrams from a how-to manual. But no amount of tutelage could regulate my yarn tension. Every single Red Heart project I tackled–scarf, afghan, dishcloth–came out as a trapezoid, or an hourglass, or worse. Embarrassed, I unraveled all of them, rolled the yarn into balls, and nearly gave up. Mom had some leftover less-stretchy cotton thread, so I picked up a small hook and attempted to make a doily. My tension issues weren’t to be blamed entirely on the yarn…my first couple doilies had a distinctive cup shape. Once I successfully produced several flat ones, I graduated to fillet crochet, which was a definite test of my newly regulated tension control.

Finally, I gained enough confidence to go back to patterns requiring worsted weight yarn and made myself a ripple afghan to take to college. Since it came out square, and did not fall apart after repeated washings, I decided it’d probably be safe to make my grandfather a blanket for Christmas. I’ve made and gifted a couple other adult-sized afghans since then, but by far my niche seems to be baby blankets.

You’d look at the size of them and think, “She could whip this up in a couple evenings while sitting in front of the TV.” But I am notorious for picking patterns that take FOREVER to work up. My current project, for example, requires three rows and about 90 minutes to add a mere 3/4″ to the overall length.

I’ve got twenty-three days before I’m supposed to present this afghan as a gift to my cousin’s brand new daughter. Saving a day to add the border, that’s 3.6818181818 rows per day. I usually have about an hour to crochet in the evenings. I’m no mathematician, but something doesn’t add up.

Gotta go…I’ve still got 2.3484848484 rows to go tonight in order to stay on pace.



Posted by on December 5, 2013 in Deep Thought Thursday, On Me, True Life



Good intentions…screwed

screwsQuestion 6 (The Complete Book of Questions by Garry Poole)
What’s something you intended to do today, but didn’t? Why not?

I intended to post some items for sale on craigslist, but didn’t.

The hubby was working through his to-do list and had come to “repair shed,” which required an extra set of hands. Well, ditching my to-do list didn’t help him get anything crossed off his, because neither of the cordless drills was charged and the screws we purchased specifically for this project weren’t long enough. By the time we’d done as much as we could (we measured and cut all the boards, and marked where the screws will go, once I get the right ones) and cleaned up the mess, it was time for lunch.

Then it was time to wash up and change clothes so I could head into town.

Then it was time to go to the AT&T store so they could fix the new phone I got last night so it would actually make or receive a call.

Then it was time to go to the eye doctor for my yearly exam (two years late).

Then it was time to go to Office Depot, Walmart, Hobby Lobby (OMG–it’s only the second time in my life I’ve ever been in there and I almost totally derailed the whole rest of my evening walking up and down the aisles drooling), and Lowes–to buy new, longer screws for the shed project.

Then it was time for Wine and Whine.

Then it was time to pick up Chinese for dinner on the way back from town.

Then it was time to eat–the hubby had nearly fainted from hunger by the time I arrived home.

Then it was time to finish and submit a job application.

Then it was time to wash off the war paint and find my jammies.

Then it was time to write and post today’s blog.

And now it’s time for bed.

So craigslist will have to wait till tomorrow.

Unless it’s time to repair the shed.



Oh, the places I’ve been: The US version

Question 366 (The Complete Book of Questions by Garry Poole)
How many American states have you visited in your lifetime? Which was your favorite and why?

Thirty-six. THIRTY-SIX!! I’ve been to 72% of the states in this country! I knew I’d visited a lot, but until today’s question, I hadn’t actually counted them. I’m sort of impressed with that tally, if you couldn’t tell. With only 14 left to go, there should be no problem crossing “See all 50 states” off my bucket list. 🙂

Of the states I’ve visited, I’d be hard-pressed to pick just one favorite. Each state is unique, and I could list a favorite quality or two from each one. But if I were to be sentenced to live the rest of my life in just one state, never allowed to cross out of its borders, I’d have to go with North Carolina. The Outer Banks are my absolute favorite beaches, especially in the off-season. I’m equally drawn to the mountains and lakes in the western half of the state…in short, no matter whether I’m in a beach or mountain mood, NC has it covered. Add in the decent climate and the friendly southern charm of native North Carolinians, and it’s a definite winner.

As for the 14 states I’ve not yet visited, I’d say Alaska and Montana are the two at the top of my list. There’s just something about rugged terrain, opportunities to see different wildlife, and low populations scattered across huge areas that I find very appealing.

Judging by the white areas on my map, I think an Alaskan cruise might be in order, followed by a leisurely drive across country from the Washington coast. Even if the hubby and I did nothing more than drive a straight-line course due east until we reached North Dakota, then made a 90º turn to head due south to the middle of Nebraska before heading due east once more to Iowa, I could color in seven more states (eight, including Alaska) on my map. That’d leave just six on my to-do list…


Hey, hon, whatcha doin’ during your furlough time?



Posted by on October 3, 2013 in Deep Thought Thursday, On Me, True Life



Please pass the tissues

tearsPhoto by Vassil on Wikimedia Commons

Question 741 (The Complete Book of Questions by Garry Poole)
What brings a tear to your eye?

Oy. What doesn’t? I’ve got to rank in the top 10 of the world’s biggest saps. Happy tears, sad tears, the waterworks seldom stop. The hubby is forever asking, “Why are you crying now?”

Is anyone old enough to remember that Folger’s coffee commercial where Peter comes home for Christmas? Total sob fest.

Other things that make me well up:

  • Budweiser Clydesdale commercials
  • Hallmark cards
  • children singing (especially Christmas carols)
  • onions
  • the national anthem
  • when tribemates’ relatives visit on Survivor
  • news stories of children being massacred in their classroom
  • when the autistic (parapalegic/blind/insert other physical or mental challenge here) equipment manager is called onto the court in the final minute of the game and sinks a three-pointer
  • Glory (seriously, from about minute 15 straight through till the end)
  • random acts of kindness
  • refugee camps
  • gut-bustingly funny stories
  • other people crying
  • Amazing Grace played on the bagpipes
  • good Samaritan stories
  • animal cruelty awareness campaigns (“Help a Little Donkey” was especially hard to watch)
  • proud parents hugging their contestant offspring on X-Factor/The Voice/American Idol/America’s Got Talent
  • a mother screaming, “You’re stupid,” at her child in the supermarket
  • flags at half staff
  • homecomings
  • farewells (and occasional until-we-meet-agains)
  • homeless people
  • happy endings
  • anything and EVERYTHING when I’m excessively tired



Posted by on September 26, 2013 in Deep Thought Thursday, On Me, True Life



Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jacks…

100B1311Question 259 (The Complete Book of Questions by Garry Poole)
What’s one of your favorite summer activities to do with family or friends?

In the summer, I love going to minor league baseball games with the hubby…it’s the best “summer” activity we do because it stretches from April through September! Great seats for little cash, steaming hot dogs, cold Coca-Cola, peanuts in the shell, better-than-average chances of catching a foul ball–it’s hard to beat minor league baseball for cheap thrills.

Before we moved overseas, we frequently went down to The Diamond to watch the Richmond Braves’ (triple-A affiliate of the Atlanta club) home games. Unfortunately, the Braves left Virginia the same year we did, and I feared that when we finally came back to the States to roost, our summer fun would be over. Luckily, the Flying Squirrels (double-A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants) moved into the vacant stadium for the 2010 season and appear to be making themselves quite at home. There were only two weeks left in the Squirrels’ schedule when we returned to Virginia last month, and with everything else on our agendas, we weren’t able to get to The Diamond for any of their final home games. But it’s only six short months until opening day…and steaming hot dogs and cold Coca-Cola and peanuts in the shell and better-than-average chances of catching a foul ball.

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Posted by on September 19, 2013 in Deep Thought Thursday, On Me, True Life



Grace I ain’t


Question 199 (The Complete Book of Questions by Garry Poole)
How accident-prone are you? Describe a recent incident.

I go through spells–not sure if it has to do with the phases of the moon or the alignment of the stars or just dumb luck–when I am literally a walking accident. At those times, there’s not enough bubble wrap in the world to protect me from myself.

Take that bruised leg in the photo, for example. I got that bruise at the gas station. And you thought the only danger at the pump was blowing yourself to kingdom come if your cell phone rings! I am proof that even the most mundane tasks can be dangerous. When I hopped out of the car to refuel, my upper body swung the door closed before my lower body got out of the way. Hence, the bottom corner of the door gouged the side of my calf.

It is one of those injuries that hurts like holy hell…but I couldn’t look at it or grab it or hop around cursing lest I had to explain to someone what just happened. I had to calmly circle to the opposite side of the car and insert my debit card into the pump, pretending it was the wind funneling between the fueling islands causing my eyes to water. With every penny that clicked by on the digital display, I had to pretend that I could not feel a hematoma swelling under my skin, threatening to burst free like an alien.

I wish I could say that this was the first time I’d slammed my leg with the car door. Or even the second. But I have run out of fingers on the first hand and have moved on to the second. I’d like to think that I’ve finally learned my lesson, that I shouldn’t be required to completely encase my lower legs in shin guards before getting in the car, but with my tendency to be accident-prone, I suspect the tally will soon require toes.


Posted by on September 12, 2013 in Deep Thought Thursday, On Me, True Life