Archive for the ‘books & magazines’ Category

By now, everyone had either liked their holiday presents and are very happy with them; while others had to return or exchanged them. This year, gift cards were the big winners when it came to gift-giving. Gift card was the non-thought searching, easiest way to give someone who were either hard to give to, or didn’t know what they really wanted.

Has everyone gotten their holiday presents that they wished for?  Let’s surely hope so. This year, my request was for a simple present from the hubby but, none from the working, self-supporting child.

Well, I got what I wanted and then some. My Precious got me a gift card from my favorite coffee shop called Barry’s Espresso & Bakery. See this blog that describes Barry’s. I love Barry’s for its unpretentiousness. When I have cravings for Jewish food, I go to Barry’s. Challah bread is a must-have, so is the potato knish. And his pastries are super-delicious but not too expensive. And the soups are so original; one of which the Senegalese Peanut Soup, is my bestest favorite. I was really surprised that My Precious even knows what his mom likes. He always seem not to care about what mom does. But I think that’s where he’s at full attention, when you are off your guard. Or pretends that he’s the least bit interested in you and what you do.

Then Mr. Wonderful gave me these:


The Spirited Walker by  Carolyn Scott Kortge,  the book I requested. I wanted to read this to get me psyched up for my anticipated New Year’s resolution to walk seriously since I cannot go rowing anymore.

The other book, Dewey by Vicki Myron with Bret Witter, was a surprise addition to my Xmas presents.

I’ve already started reading the Kortge book. Dewey will have to wait a little bit, like the rest of the books on my long list of reading.

Then, both boys presented me with a whopping gift card from my LYS. The hubby said that the $ should be enough to stop me from further bleeding the bank account. Right………for the time being. hahahahaha!

As for Mr. Wonderful, he has his birthday presents, remember? And more Xmas gifts in the form of…..you guess it, bookstore gift cards. He already used one of them last night when he had to drag me to Borders. This guy lives on books as some men live ‘watching sports’ on TV. This is one thing that I really, truly like about my hubby. He’s not into sports, glued to the TV.

Oh, he has gotten a sweater that we have named FUD, short for fuddy-duddy. It’s an old fashioned front-zippered sweater that would look good on Mr. Rogers of the famed Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood TV show. The hubby loves FUD.

Now for My Precious. As all parents know, children are to be lavished with gifts that are on the verge of getting them spoiled-rotten. This year, we had to tone it down. But My Precious still got what he didn’t expect we would give. Gifts of Necessity. He, who is now self-supporting in every way, got the following gift cards from:

  • Market of Choice, his favorite grocery store
  • Fina Taqueria, a favorite local Mexican fast-food joint
  • Barnes & Noble, his favorite hangout (he’s a bookworm too!)
  • Local Movie House

My son has turned into his dad. Dad’s famous: ‘oh, don’t give me anything’ has been handed down to his son. His request to NOT give him anything this year fell on deaf ears. And I’ll tell you why My Precious does not need anything (he thinks). He only wants knives, custom knives to be exact. He knows there’s no way we’re going to spend money on such things. If he wants them, he has to earn his own money. So far, he didn’t get himself one, not that I’m aware of. Ever since he has lived away from home, he has been so budget-conscious.

He was pleasantly surprised with his gifts and was truly happy. I can tell, because he actually SMILED.


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Giveaway Preview #3

This is my 130th posting!

One more item being added to the 150th Post Giveaway box. It’s a great short read of a book. Here’s one review about it.

Three Bags Full by Leonie Swann

Please click here plus here for the other items that are being given away, as well as here to explain why I’m doing a giveaway.


It’s officially Christmas now, but where is Santa at this time?

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Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival was 2 weeks ago. Saturday, September 27th was the day I chose to go. Last year, there was a last minute decision to go and wound up going on a Sunday. So, it was a rush-rush trip culminating to excitement since it was the first time I went. Excitement meant buying.

This year, self-restraint was the goal. I didn’t want to be excited. Why? I wanted to exercise a little self-control. Just a little. The plan was not to buy, Buy, BUY those soft, luscious yarns, knitting tools and books, rovings, etc.

With that in mind, I went to OFFF with the goal of:

1. Checking out the animals. Spent a long time at the livestock corrals in the hopes of not getting tempted to a buying frenzy.



2. If I was to buy anything, it would be no yarn, no yarn, no yarn. I have a tendency to get excited upon seeing new yarn and buying them on the spot. Then come home and realize I have to knit a project out of them. I collect yarn like I collect stuffed animals. So, I bought these instead.


3. Certain things have been bought outside of the main building of the fairgrounds. I cannot show you what they are. They are meant for the 150th posting contest. Actually, I decided that it’s not going to be a contest, but a GIVEAWAY. I realize I’m not good at contests, much less create/organize one. TOO MUCH WORK! Remember, I’m lazy, lazy, lazy.

4. When I went into the main building, there were tons of temptation. I had my son follow me around to stop me from buying. Also, he kept asking, ‘how long did you say you were ONLY going to stay?’. That made me feel guilty. (Being raised a Catholic, GUILT TRIP is part of growing up. It never left me.) But in the end, I had to buy these.


So, my son and I stayed for close to 4 hours. I wanted to stay longer ’cause I promised another blogger I would meet with her and her friend. After some miscommunication with previous email exchanges, we finally met. Only it was so brief. I wish it had been longer. They’re one of the nicest and very friendly knit bloggers I’ve ever met. One is Naomi; the other Ellen. They’re from Seattle. I also wished I had taken their photos (or maybe they didn’t want that) since I had my camera with me.

Northwest Blade Show 2008

The reason why my son was with me when I promised not to drag non-knitters with me to trips like this, is due to the fact the day before, we both went to the blade show up in Clackamas. Here’s proof of what I bought.


Both of us refrained from buying unnecessary stuffs. My Precious only bought one knife. He was sad that balisongs were no-show at this show. That was even the case at the April 2008 Eugene show. Organizers for both shows decided to showcase and push the custom knives more. Very expensive but such exquisite craftmanship! Balisongs were not money-generators; although, they can be expensive at best (over $200 to $1000).

Anyway, we stayed overnight in Milwaukee. Wanted to stay away from Clackamas thinking all the blade enthusiasts were booked at hotels nearby. Milwaukee is about 15 minutes drive to Clackamas. The show was really smaller in size than last year’s. We didn’t stay too long to our dismay.

The following day, being Saturday, we only had to drive about 25 minutes south to Canby where OFFF was. But we took our time and had a wonderful breakfast. Highway 99E was scenic, with the road hugging Mollola River. That was a pleasant surprise.

Thus, September trips had been successfully planned and executed. Now, what does October holds?

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My Typical Summer Lunch

Crispy Roast Pork House Salad

Crispy Roast Pork House Salad

I bring this dish to work. It consists of salad greens topped with cold rice noodles with onion, basil, bean sprouts; and best of all…..CRISPY ROAST PORK! Oh my, I’m in such a state of swooning!

A local Vietnamese restaurant has been serving this meal forever, but I just discovered it this summer. The dish is plainly called HOUSE SALAD. Now, I’m so obsessed just thinking about it, that I begin to shake if I don’t go to the restaurant longer than 2 days. It must be due to the addicting Spring Roll Fish Sauce that comes with the salad. If I have no self-control at all, I’d say I will drink that sauce straight up. How do you explain that, huh?

Crispy Roast Pork

Crispy Roast Pork

For now, to satisfy my obsession, I’d buy 4 days worth of the salad; leave them (with booby traps) in the employee refrigerator at work. So then, night work becomes bearable, because I’d look forward to these nightly lunches.

About the booby trap: I rubber-band each container 4 times in a clockwise manner; write my name on each of the containers and also write in big bold letters: STINKING FISH SAUCE, OPEN AT YOUR OWN PERIL!

Usually, no one opens my lunch boxes because I bring exotic food most of the time and no one dares open them. If they did, people will not touch them again, either because of the exotic smell or out-of-this world looking food items. hahahahaha!

Iskandals may have a better visual description of Crispy Roast Pork. I trust her photos.

Blueberries Galore

Blueberry Shrubs

Blueberry Shrubs

Haven’t baked any blueberry pies yet. My family just loves to take them by the handful and eat them before I had time to bake even one pie out of them. But there’s plenty more and one day soon, I will bake one.


Reminds me of Lampaii that my sister owns. The thing about the sheep picture is that the sheep looks soooo big compared to the person below it. That person is a child.

The sheep looked resigned or content falling backwards.

Summer Reading

Finished reads:

I have read the following books that I have pictured here:

  • Ordinary Days: Family Life In A Farmhouse by Dorcas Smucker Dorcas is a local author who is gaining popularity and fame because she is such a wonderful, down-to-earth, matter-of-fact writer telling tales about her family and farm life. I have yet to meet her.
  • A Spring Without Bees: How Colony Collapse Disorder Has Endangered Our Food Supply by Michael Schacker Humankind would be doomed without these essential little creatures. Actually, I chose this book over Six Degrees (a book I originally included on my summer reads list) as it looked more interesting. It did not disappoint.
  • Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell I love, love this book! It’s about making split-second decisions that can make or break. I wanted to read the author’s other book, The Tipping Point, that was a recommended read mentioned in A Spring Without Bees. It was out of stock at the local library. Blink was available, so I opted for read it. And boy, was I glad of the choice!
  • Solving Deer Problems; and Deerproofing Your Yard & Garden are basically a must-read to get more information on arsenal in controlling these voracious, nonetheless harmless creatures. The other night, just as I was taking off my driveway, I had to let a stag (3-4 point horns) crossed the street. When I looked and focused on where it went, there were 4 more much bigger stags waiting for that one to cross. Then one mid-afternoon (in broad daylight!), a doe with 2 very cute babies) ran crossing the street.

On-going Reads:

  • Falling Man by Don Delillo A novel based on the 9/11 incident of the fall of the World Trade Center. I came upon this book based on a recommendation of another book from the same author that blogger Dispatches From Utopia had mentioned on her blog.

Still waiting on the sidelines:

Jake and Tom Saying Hello

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Let me remind you that it’s summer. Time to relax, slow down, be lazy, read tons of books and forget about knitting. Oops! Did I just say….forget about knitting?

I haven’t. Forgotten. But wish to. The Cap Shawl project is only about 3/5’s done. It’s slow going. It may take another week or so before it’s completely done. Actually, all other knitting projects were dropped to concentrate on the shawl. That was not the original plan. The shawl needs to be finished by end of July as there’s a grand scheme for August in terms of knitting. Like, give ALL my yarn stash to charity.

Noooooooooo! I must be delirious, I didn’t say that, did I?

To divert myself from the humdrum of lace knitting (don’t get me wrong, I truly love lace knitting), I went about checking out what books I’d interest my brain with.  Going through my book stash, I found this book that I have read about 6 months ago. If you are into fiber, yarn, wool, sheep……….YOU JUST GOTTA READ THIS BOOK.

It’s called Three Bags Full by Leoni Swann. It was originally written in German; and I guess was so popular it had to be translated into English. Oh, I just love this book! Why? Coz I never could imagine someone would make SHEEP as smart, witty heroes. Swann must love animals, especially sheep.

So, go get that book, either from the library, internet or bookstore. The book is a short read; just a little more than 300 pages. GO……GO…..GO!

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Early Summer Reading Plans

I’ve been thinking about what summer reads I should get myself into.  Ambitious as I am when it comes to reading, I usually wound up with several books read enthusiastically at the beginning, then either abandoned for either:

  • lack of excitement in mid-portion; or
  • a necessary diversion came up; or
  • totally forgotten because of brain-drain (forgetfulness more like).

Like UFOs (unfinished objects) with knitting, it’s UFRs (unfinished reads) with reading. I have accumulated URBs for the past few years I’m not too proud to admit. Anyway, the start date for reading will commence Mid-June and hopefully, finish these reads by the end of July.

  1. This summer, I’d absolutely want to read Mouse Guard Winter 1152 by David Petersen(complete 6-issue mini-series only available around July 2008). I cannot wait; I wish they’d hurry with the publication. The Mouse Guard website will explain the story. It’s labeled under graphic novels. I would not recommend it to very young kids as the photos, absolutely gorgeous as they are, are also very graphic with provocative violence; plus the stories are not Disney-like. Maybe more Narnia-like. I have read Mouse Guard Fall 1152 last year and was transfixed. I am hungry for more. See….I’m still a young reader at heart.
  2. The other book I’d like to get my paws on: Six Degrees Could Change The World by Mark Lynas. It tells what would happen to our world if there’s a shift of six degrees; or even one degree. Check his website and comments about his new book. Some comments are negative. Why? It must be scary with what he’s describing in the book. I’d like to go into reading it with an open mind.
  3. Then We Came To the End by Joshua Ferris. I hope this would remind me of the cult movie, Office Space, or the TV series, The Office. We’ll see. It’s supposed to be hilarious and at the same time serious reading.

I hope everyone out there would give ‘reading a book’ a chance this summer. I know my family will. HAPPY READING, FOLKS!

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