Friday, August 02, 2019

My Brain on Books XXIII (#reversereadathon)

I am reading for The Office of Letters and Lights the folks who bring us NaNoWriMo today as I love what they are doing for literacy with their Young Writer's Programs and because I've participated in NaNo every year since 2004.  I have been blessed to have it in my life and would like to give something back if only kudos and link love.  I'm putting this plug at the top in hopes some who stop by will check out their site and see all the great things they do to foster love of reading and writing and story in kids. 

This post will be organized like a blog inside a blog with recent updates stacked atop previous ones. I may be posting some updates on Twitter @Joystory and the Joystory fb fanpage. But this is where I do anything more than a line or two.  Including mini-challenges that don't require a separate post..   










3:33PM- Riding out the end with The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-ExupĂ©ry.  Might even finish it or at least come close.  This is another Primereads borrow.

2:22PM- Set aside ONE Thing and switched to  Letters to Alice: On First Reading Jane Austen by Fay Weldon (Audio via BARD )  . Had wanted to stick with ONE Thing via text-to-speech function on kindle but it stopped functioning when I tucked the device into the holster to walk around with it and I needed to fix my lunch so I called up my BARD library and selected the Weldon.  Reading about reading and why it matters couldn't be a better thon choice right? 

After I ate tho, I started reading Orwell's 1984 on Kindle.  Another Primereading borrow.  This is a re-read but the last time I read it was in high-school and that was decades ago.  And I've been seeing a lot of reference to in commentary on current events so I've had in mind to read it again for some time.  In fact I had borrowed it via Primereads in 2016.  One of the goals I set for thon late yesterday was to spend time with as many of those borrows as possible so I can have them back at the top of my currently reading list and get some of them finished soon as I have come across others I'd like to borrow but have maxed out the limit which I think is ten.

1:11PM- Finished the Mueller Report and am returning to ONE Thing.

11:22AM- Must confess I had a nap attack at dawn had to lay down and sleep until 11.  Am going to return to the Mueller Report and finish it while I eat and tank up on coffee.

2:22AM-  Set aside the Mueller Report with a couple hours left to pick up The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results
by Gary Keller.This is another via Amazon Primereading.  The advice imparted by Keller is something I need to take to heart.  Success is rooted in narrowing focus to ONE thing. My inability to do this is why I have over two dozen WIP in several endeavors.  Creative writing, fiber arts, research among them.  Two dozen would be as a raindrop in swimming pool in my TBR list.

11:55PM- Listening to The Mueller Report on YouTube at 1.75% speed.  Sometimes a full 2X as this is not my first time through plus I had started out reading with my eyes via PDF the week it was released.

9:11PM- Have reached chapter 71 and 65% according to Kindle..  Am reading this thanks to Amazon Primereading which allows you to borrow select items for free (well considering the annual cost of Prime 'free' is a relative term.

I can't believe it took me so long to get around to reading this.  It has been on my TBR list ever since the first time I checked out a tree copy from a brick and mortar library during the Bush administration--several times.  It is just the kind of story with just the kind of themes I'm most attracted to.

It's a coming of age story with spiritual themes and a page turning adventure with heart-in-throat scenes.  Pi Patel age sixteen, son of a zookeeper, is emigrating from India to Canada with his family and what is left of the zoo population they are escorting to new homes.  The cargo ship they are traveling on sinks and Pi is stranded on a lifeboat with a wounded zebra an orangutan, a hyena and a Bengal tiger.  Some of the most heart-in-throat scenes so far are those depicting what happens to bring the passenger count down to two--Pi and Richard Parker the Tiger.

In the years before their departure from India Pi had been exploring spiritual paths and could not settle on one so had become a serious practitioner of several including Catholicism, Hinduism and Islam.  He had studied under prominent spiritual leaders from each tradition.  These lessons and practices stand him in good stead as he struggles to keep both himself and Richard Parker alive for the more than 200 days they are adrift on the Pacific Ocean.

Why would he make keeping the tiger alive on a par with keeping himself alive?  Well that is a question that would take the whole book to answer.



4:44PM - 1)What fine part of the world are you reading from today? And what time is it where you are?
Longview, Washington USA situated in the V formed by the Cowlitz and Columbia Rivers.  Across the the majestic Columbia river from Raineer, Oregon..  On the north side of the majestic Columbia River approximately 50 miles from the coast and 25 miles from Portland, Oregon as the crow flies but drives about double that..

At my Mom's house.  The house I lived in from age 18 to 21 (or 1975-78) and again since January 2013.  See earliest posts under the label Lifequake for explanation.

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?

For Fiction: Life of Pi by Yann Martel
For Non Fiction: The Mueller Report

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?

spicy hot chocolate with a little piece of very dark chocolate

4) Do you have a #reversereadathon plan of attack?

mostly  as always I'm looking forward to free range reading.  The most important part of my plan for this thon is to not have a plan.  That's basically been my thon plan every time for several years now.  It much more fun that way.  Less stress.

also to follow advice i give to thon newbies and vets alike: Stay hydrated!

Get up and move once an hour.  You can read while you pace you know.  i like to stand on my mini-tramp with a ebook or audio book to encourage bloodflow in my legs and brain.

Blink.  Seriously.  Dry eyeballs can't see.  And the hands rubbing them can't hold books

5) Are you doing the readathon solo or with others?

i'm solo
Ode to Dewey
by Joy Renee
We Miss You Dewey




Read more...

Sunday, June 02, 2019

Waffle Love Shawl

Waffle Love Shawl by Joy Renee
H/T Fiber Spider YouTube tutorial for waffle stitch triangle
H/T Jayda Instiches YouTube tutorial for granny square hearts
Used 2 skeins Lion Brand Ice Cream Cotton Candy for Waffle Triangle and Caron Simply Soft for hearts and white boarder

I kept intending to get pictures of the boarder creating process but kept waiting until I was sure I was on the right track and that sureness never coalesced.  My process when I'm not following a pattern is something hit-and-miss that I call sculpting.  It involves a lot of frogging after experimenting. I will attempt to describe in words what finally worked:

After I was sure I had the right number of hearts per side I established how many stitches there were between the bottom tips when lined up with edges at the widest spot touching. 

Then I started a chain and attached to the top crevasses of each heart with a half-double and chained nine in between.

At the end of the row I chained 18 and then attached to the bottom point of the last heart in line with a single crochet and chained nine in between each again.

I completed the circle with another eighteen chains and joined where I began.  Then I went around the circle with half-doubles wrapped around the chain.  I did this by feel as one to one with the number of chains was too sparse but it seemed to average five or six half-doubles for every four chains between the hearts but choice was always affected by the double crochet that dips down to join the two hearts at the half way point between the crevasses. 

For the  18 chain loops at each end of the chain of hearts I crowded more half-doubles in per chain in order to create the right number of stitches so that joining them at the corners would not cause too much bunching up.  I never could get it to lay completely flat but finally decided i more than half liked the slight ripple effect anyway.

I made this for my MIL who was in hospital in March when I started it.  Her birthday was at the end of April and Mother's Day was mid May and I missed them all and now temps where she lives in Southern Oregon are probably in the 90s.  Sigh. Still, I hope to get this in the mail this week.

I'm thinking of making one for myself in shades of blue and I'm also liking the idea of all red hearts with all white boarder and waffle.  Or a reds and pinks variegated waffle with red and pink hearts and white boarder.  Oh no.  I need to stop visualizing them.  I already have too many projects on the hook.  As in I wouldn't be surprised to find they topped triple digits if I took the time to sort them all out and count them.

Read more...

Saturday, April 06, 2019

My Brain on Books XXII

I am reading for The Office of Letters and Lights the folks who bring us NaNoWriMo today as I love what they are doing for literacy with their Young Writer's Programs and because I've participated in NaNo every year since 2004.  I have been blessed to have it in my life and would like to give something back if only kudos and link love.  I'm putting this plug at the top in hopes some who stop by will check out their site and see all the great things they do to foster love of reading and writing and story in kids. 

This post will be organized like a blog inside a blog with recent updates stacked atop previous ones. I may be posting some updates on Twitter @Joystory and the Joystory fb fanpage. But this is where I do anything more than a line or two.  Including mini-challenges that don't require a separate post..   









4:44AM - l am prepping this ahead and scheduling it to post at 4:44 AM which is also when my alarm is set.  That gives me time to get up and take care of biological business including fixing coffee and water bottle.

Am including the intro meme here so I don't have to spend the first hour preparing it as so often has happened before.  In fact much of it is copy/pasted from previous Thons.

I'm going to spend the first hour actually reading!

Intro Meme:

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?

Longview, Washington USA situated in the V formed by the Cowlitz and Columbia Rivers.  Across the the majestic Columbia river from Raineer, Oregon..  On the north side of the majestic Columbia River approximately 50 miles from the coast and 25 miles from Portland, Oregon as the crow flies but drives about double that..

At my Mom's house.  The house I lived in from age 18 to 21 (or 1975-78) and again since January 2013.  See earliest posts under the label Lifequake for explanation.

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?

For fiction:  Mr Spaceman by Robert Olen Butler   (Audio via BARD )        

For nonfiction: A Stranger and You Welcomed Me: A Call to Mercy and Solidarity with Migrants and Refugees by Pope Francis.  (Audio via BARD ) 


But mostly  as always I'm looking forward to free range reading.  The most important part of my plan for this thon is to not have a plan.  That's basically been my thon plan every time for several years now.  It much more fun that way.  Less stress.

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to? 

I'm looking forward to a great big salad from a salad kit. And a drink called a ginger soother..  and a 80% cocoa dark chocolate bar.  The three feel about equal but if forced to choose I'd probably go with the chocolate.  Unless i happened to be thirsty at that moment...

4) Tell us a little something about yourself!

I was raised in a cult that imploded over doctrinal disputes in the early 90s as I neared 40.  I then began to teach myself to think for myself.  The last few years there has been an internal struggle between the need to own my own thoughts by speaking them and the fear of doing so.  The fear has been winning.  First my blog posting fizzled out then all my other writing.  This is not sustainable.  Without my writing I am not I.  What's the use of knowing how to think for myself if my self won't own herself.  ...

I'm legally blind from RP aka Tunnel Vision with less than 2 degrees of vision left.  I can no longer read even large print with my left eye.  I now prefer ebooks for the ability to enlarge fonts and control line width so I don't loose my way between end and beginning of lines.  I used to read nearly 1K words per minute but now read slower than I talk.  Very discouraging.

But in the last year I've started listening to audio books via my access to LOC Talking Books and BARD.  And also via text to speech.  And often I speed up the delivery to between 110-175%.  I discovered that I listen better when i listen faster--better focus, comprehension and retention.  I think it's an Autism thing.  I've come across it in the spectrum memoirs several times since my diagnosis four years ago.

I intend to use audio predominantly this thon so I can crochet and/or continue my ongoing sort and organize project while I listen.  I'm continuing the ongoing project of getting projects finished.  There are dozens of them in various stages.  I have several with me that have been stuffed in a bag under my craft table for two years needing only to have their tails tucked, a tassel or fringe attached or a few snags fixed.  Am working on several late Xmas projects I hope to have ready for Mother's Day and/or some early summer b-days.  And a shawl for my mother-in-law whose birthday is at the end of this month.  And several projects begun as CAL last fall that are for myself so have gotten neglected since Thanksgiving when my attention shifted to Xmas.

I've had a mood disorder since childhood featuring depression, anxiety, panic and insomnia.  Several times professionals have considered the possibility of bi-polar but finally ruled it out definitively in late 2015 when they diagnosed me with High Functioning Autism aka Asperger's.  Over fifty years of feeling 'wrong' and not knowing why.  I've spent the months since reading nf about the autism spectrum and novels and memoirs featuring autistic individuals which has gone a long way toward helping me understand much that once confused and shamed me.  Since I have several of those books in progress I'll probably dip into them today.

5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to?

I would like to participate in the challenges and visit other readers which I've done little to none of the last several thons having got lost in the reading.

Advice to newbies and vets alike: Stay hydrated!
Get up and move once an hour.  You can read while you pace you know.
Blink.  Seriously.  Dry eyeballs can't see.  And the hands rubbing them can't hold books.


Ode to Dewey
by Joy Renee
We Miss You Dewey




Read more...

Saturday, October 20, 2018

My Brain on Books XXI

I am reading for The Office of Letters and Lights the folks who bring us NaNoWriMo today as I love what they are doing for literacy with their Young Writer's Programs and because I've participated in NaNo every year since 2004.  I have been blessed to have it in my life and would like to give something back if only kudos and link love.  I'm putting this plug at the top in hopes some who stop by will check out their site and see all the great things they do to foster love of reading and writing and story in kids. 

This post will be organized like a blog inside a blog with recent updates stacked atop previous ones. I may be posting some updates on Twitter @Joystory and the Joystory fb fanpage. But this is where I do anything more than a line or two.  Including mini-challenges that don't require a separate post..   







3:33AM (Sunday) - Have been reading The Life of Pi by Yann Martel via text-to-speech since midnight.  Have a good chance of finishing it by 5am which is thon end for me.  But i may be taking it to bed with me before the end which means I won't be updating again until I wake up.

As for the yarn work while listening to yarns--I made a few rows progress on the loom knit dress but ended up spending several hours working on a snarl that came out of the center of the cake when the working yarn got stuck and to get it free I had to pull out a clump of loops.  Still haven't got it unsnarled completely but I got it into a good enough state that it was safe to pack it for transport back to Mom's.  I would like to work on the Xmas gift for my husband again before I got to bed but my eyes are rebelling and I have a sense I'm prone to error so chances are that any progress I make is likely subject to frogging later so it's wiser to leave it be.  Am I wise enough?

11:11PM - Just finished The Miracle Life of Edgar MInt by Brady Udall  (Audio via BARD )

An amazing story.  Am so tempted to start it over so that I can read the first half with the ending in mind.

4:44PM - I guess I've been too wrapped up in yarn and yarns to think about updating.  The book I started the day with was Look Me in the Eye by John Elder Robinson.  It was my second read of this memoir of a man who was diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome in his late 30s.  The first time I read it tho was in 2009 over half a decade before I received my own diagnosis.  That time it was a library tree book.  This time it was an ebook that I had read to me with text-to-speech function.  I finished it before noon and then immediately started the second memoir about raising his son 'Cubby' who was himself diagnosed as a teen.  I didn't get past the first chapter tho.  I needed to stop for self-care.  After I settled again it was after noon and I started the novel The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint by Brady Udall  (Audio via BARD )  I'm nearly halfway into it--over 5 hours of the stated 14.  But I'm listening at 150%.  Not sure what that means precisely regarding how long I've listened and much longer to go but I think based on previous reads at this speed that it's approximately one third of the listed time based on 100%.

Meanwhile I've also progressed on two crochet projects.  One a blue and white winter scarf for myself that I began over two years ago and an Xmas gift for my husband that I began this week and estimate I'm a quarter done.  Tho not an afghan it is an afghan sized project so that is speedy for me.  I worked on it for two hours this morning while he was running errands and hope to work some more after he goes to bed.  Meanwhile I think I'm going to work on my loom knitted dress while I continue listening to Edgar Mint.

4:44AM - l am prepping this ahead and scheduling it to post at 4:44 AM which is also when my alarm is set.  That gives me time to get up and take care of biological business including fixing coffee and water bottle.

Am including the intro meme here so I don't have to spend the first hour preparing it as so often has happened before.  In fact much of it is copy/pasted from previous Thons.

I'm going to spend the first hour actually reading!

Intro Meme:

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?

Kelso, the sister city across the Cowlitz river from its sister-city Longview, Washington USA which itself is situated in the V formed by the Cowlitz and Columbia Rivers.  Across the the majestic Columbia river from Raineer, Oregon..  On the north side of the majestic Columbia River approximately 25 miles from the coast and 50 miles from Portland, Oregon as the crow flies but drives about double that..

I'm spending the read-a-thon weekend at my husband's apartment tho I still live in Longview at my Mom's house.  The house I lived in from age 18 to 21 and again since January 2013.  See earliest posts under the label Lifequake for explanation.  Maybe by next thon It won't be just a weekend visit.  One can hope.

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?

For fiction:     The Miracle Life of Edgar MInt by Brady Udall  (Audio via BARD )        

For nonfiction:  The Geography of the Imagination: Forty Essays by Guy Davenport. (Audio via BARD ) 


But mostly  as always I'm looking forward to free range reading.  The most important part of my plan for this thon is to not have a plan.  That's basically been my thon plan every time for several years now.  It much more fun that way.  Less stress.

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to? 

I'm looking forward to the surprises my husband brings home tomorrow morning or afternoon.  He always did the thon food shops for me from 2007 to 2012 when we lived in Phoenix Oregon.(except for a couple times when I was in Longview helping my sister with our Mom's care) and he always managed to surprise me with items I hadn't asked for but ended up enjoying more than most of what I had asked for.

4) Tell us a little something about yourself!

I was raised in a cult that imploded over doctrinal disputes in the early 90s as I neared 40.  I then began to teach myself to think for myself.  The last few years there has been an internal struggle between the need to own my own thoughts by speaking them and the fear of doing so.  The fear has been winning.  First my blog posting fizzled out then all my other writing.  This is not sustainable.  Without my writing I am not I.  What's the use of knowing how to think for myself if my self won't own herself.  ...

I'm legally blind from RP aka Tunnel Vision with less than 2 degrees of vision left.  I can no longer read even large print with my left eye.  I now prefer ebooks for the ability to enlarge fonts and control line width so I don't loose my way between end and beginning of lines.  I used to read nearly 1K words per minute but now read slower than I talk.  Very discouraging.

But in the last year I've started listening to audio books via my access to LOC Talking Books and BARD.  And also via text to speech.  And often I speed up the delivery to between 110-175%.  I discovered that I listen better when i listen faster--better focus, comprehension and retention.  I think it's an Autism thing.  I've come across it in the spectrum memoirs several times since my diagnosis three years ago.

I intend to use audio predominantly this thon so I can crochet while I listen.  I'm continuing the ongoing project of getting projects finished.  There are dozens of them in various stages.  I have several with me that have been stuffed in a bag under my craft table for two years needing only to have their tails tucked.  Then I have several small projects, a hat, two scarfs and a headband with bow each at least half done with stitches/patterns that take little to no thought.  I also have my husband's Xmas present to work on after he goes to bed.  And a dress for myself that I'm loom-knitting.  When I started it in August I hoped to finish by my birthday in mid November but if I don't make significant progress on it this weekend I may have to adjust my expectations.

I've had a mood disorder since childhood featuring depression, anxiety, panic and insomnia.  Several times professionals have considered the possibility of bi-polar but finally ruled it out definitively in late 2015 when they diagnosed me with High Functioning Autism aka Asperger's.  Over fifty years of feeling 'wrong' and not knowing why.  I've spent the months since reading nf about the autism spectrum and novels and memoirs featuring autistic individuals which has gone a long way toward helping me understand much that once confused and shamed me.  Since I have several of those books in progress I'll probably dip into them today.

5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to?

The most important difference is actually sleeping the night before which was made necessary by having not slept Thursday night because of packing and anticipation.

Stay hydrated!
Get up and move once an hour.  You can read while you pace you know.
Blink.  Seriously.  Dry eyeballs can't see.  And the hands rubbing them can't hold books.


Ode to Dewey
by Joy Renee
We Miss You Dewey




Read more...

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

Froggy Day

To Frog or Not to Frog
Early this morning I began the section section of Havana and got four rows in before I realized that I'd taken my foundation single crochet row to the pattern and began Row 1 on top of it.  In other words I started following the patterning using MC instructions for CC colors and visa versa.

I dithered for more than an hour over whether to frog it out and redo from the beginning of row 2.  But I had no heart to either do it or decide not to.  So I set it aside and went back to work on another project begun several weeks ago and went to town on it all morning and again in late afternoon.  At some point I decided it was time to pull out the first one of the several now nearing completion.to compare and measure only to discover there was a significant discrepancy in size between the first and the rest.  The first being the correct size and nearly one fifth smaller. 

Somehow I'd allowed three different sized hooks to end up in the project bag and was pulling them out willy-nilly.--I, J and K.  I'd been using K for awhile and I know for sure I had not selected it intentionally.  But since I use I and J frequently and often dither between them at the beginning of a project I can't remember which one I settled on when I started that blue Bruge lace piece.

Measurements are important for the functions they have in their project.  So there was no choice but to frog them all. Three total including the pink which I was nearly done with before I realized I hadn't got pictures first.

Looking at the picture now I'm asking myself what was I thinking not winding that thread as I pulled it out.  It might have worked out if I'd wound it up directly off my lap without disturbing it.... But now?  That's going to be a mess.  Tomorrow tho.  Not tonight.

And I've now decided that one froggy day is enough so I will not start tomorrow off by frogging those four rows of Havana part 2.  I'm just going to go with it and let the rainbow play at being MC for one panel.

Read more...

Monday, October 08, 2018

Havana CAL - Rainbow Complete

Havana CAL Day 8 Row 25

Havana CAL Day 7 Row 21
Saturday began with having to take out most of rows 16 and 17 and put them back in to fix two snags and the curl caused by accidentally switching hooks from H to G or 5.0 to 4.25mm. I was able to add two more rows to the end of row 19 before quitting in the wee hours of Sunday and then Sunday afternoon added two more rows while away from home. Today, day 8, I added rows 22-25 which also completed my 12 color rainbow plus one white.

Have stopped to contemplate my plan to reverse color order to make a mirror image of it as that would take it to 48 rows. Still like the idea well enough to go the extra rows I think. But I'm too excited about the week 2 pattern to wait so I'm going to start it first and go back and forth between them.

I'm going to be working each week's pattern in separate panels as I"m making a cape or cardigan instead of a blanket. This also has the benefit of keeping the project portable until time to assemble it.

Read more...

Sunday, October 07, 2018

Sunday Serenity - Rainbow Bag Progress Report

October 1st - Rainbow Bag

August 1st - Rainbow What?
Even before I entered the Quilter's tote in the fair August 1st I'd targeted this project as the next one to get priority focus.  And it did for over a month until I got captured by CALs.  3 so far.  3 more tempting me. 

It is also time to shift focus to Xmas gifts and since this Rainbow bag and the Havana and Ubuntu CALs are all for me their priorities are going to have to shift down several notches.  But I don't want to quit on any of them--just slow down.  Maybe a few rows on one of them everyday as a reward for that day or the previous day's significant progress or completion of an Xmas gift.

The 3rd CAL is Xmas gift related which is how I justified joining and will be the only way I'll justify joining any more before January.

Read more...

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