Monday, January 26, 2015

Life Hack #10: How much does _________ cost me a year?

I wanted to find out the cost of contacts versus glasses by figuring out how long one bottle of contact solution lasts, but you could apply this method to everything from cereal to sticky notes.  Just write the date on the item when you start using it, and then note how long you used it when you threw it away.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Weekly Round Up

This week I....

... joined a book club
.... watched my husband make a YouTube video for Charlemagne Beard Oil.  (The green screen was still drying from being steamed--he didn't use it that way!)  It was a ton of work but he learn a lot.  You can check out the finished result here.

.... set up the desk in the bedroom with stuff for making Alex's book.  I am determined to finish that thing!
...realized that with three freelance writing projects happening at the same time, the blog is going to get neglected....
.... stopped by Out of the Box to check out my friend Evert's glass art.

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

It begins!

Yesterday we started planning for our 2015 garden!

We are using a lot of left over seeds from last year.  We'd stored them in the fridge, but not in a air-tight container, which I discovered yesterday was what we were supposed to do.  We're starting enough seeds indoors, though, that we will know pretty quickly if we need a Plan B.  I hope.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Candle Quotes

Some quotes from Betty Oppenheimer’s The Candlemaker's Companion: A Complete Guide to Rolling, Pouring, Dipping, and Decorating Your Own Candles.  

Reading the book, it was very clear that the author doesn't just have a hobby, or even a business – she has an obsession.  Ergo, the book is thorough and meticulous.  Since I fall in the category of crafters who don't like to buy things and enjoy the challenge of making do with what we already have on hand, there wasn't much I could use in the book.  But if I ever decid to get into candle hot and heavy, I would head straight for this text.

And now, the quotes:

In the Middle Ages, Church donations could be made in the form of wax, known as wax-shot or wax-scot (p.7)

Formal candle maker guilds were in place by the 13th century, and the candle makers in them were  separated into tallow chandlers (those who made candles from animal fats) and wax chandlers (those who make candles from beeswax). In fact, the Paris tax rolls in 1292 listed some 71 chandlers (p. 8).

In the days of old, beeswax was mixed with a lead compound and used as a base make-up by wealthy women to enhance their beauty.  The women kept this white paste dry in the summer months by shielding the face from the sun with a fan.  This way, the ladies could “save face.”   Of course, they were careful never to express mirth so they would not “crack a smile.”   And women who poked their noses into other peope’s business were told to “mind their own beeswax” (p 26).

“How far that little candle throws his beams!  So shines a good deed in a naughty world!”
~William Shakespeare, Merchant of Venice.

“There are two ways of spreading light; to be the candle of the mirror that reflects it.”
~ Edith Wharton, Vesalius in Zante

Hope, like the gleaming taper’s light,
Adorns and cheers our way;
And still, as darker grows the night,
Emits a brighter ray.
~Oliver Goldsmith, The Captivity: An Oratorio

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Book Bag

The last time I was sick Belovedest picked out library books for me.  He used his Master's in Library Science skills to do some research, I think, and it was really sweet of him to make the effort to find books he thought I would like.

Much Ado About Murder
Short story mysteries with a Shakespearean twist.  I didn't get all the way through these before the book had to go back (and so did I--to school) but I really liked the variety.  They feature a bunch of different authors and many approaches to adding the Shakespeare twist. In some, Shakespeare is a character.  In others, Shakespeare's character take the stage again.  Some actually take place within an actual Shakespeare play.  Very clever!

Murder, She Wrote: Death of a Blue Blood
Thin gruel.  The depth and complexity I'm used to with Agatha Christie or Ngiao March is entirely missing.  I kept thinking--why isn't this working?  What is missing? The plot is clever, the characters interesting, there's description.... it just didn't work.

Queen of Hearts (A Royal Spyness Mystery)
My husband picked this one because it was supposed to be for Downton Abbey fans in the off season.  While I didn't connect it that closely with the PBS series, I liked the lively and engaging characters and the twists and turns of the plot.  And, call me old-fashioned, but I like that while every other character seemed to be sleeping around, at least the main character didn't. I want to read more of these.

Stealing the Mystic Lamb: The True Story of the World's Most Coveted Masterpiece
Look, ma, non-fiction!  This book tells the fascinating history of the world's most stolen piece of art, and in the process, quite a bit about the practice of art theft particularly from conquering armies.  The pacing is uneven, but hey, it's history and sometimes nothing happens for a couple hundred years.  I enjoyed it and would recommend it. The ending is a suspenseful race against time and against incredible odds.  There's quite a bit about the Monument Men in there.  The book really made me think about the incredibly difficult choices people have to make when their country is being occupied and they have no idea how long it will last.

I'm currently slogging through War and Peace.  It may be awhile before I post about books again!

If you pick up any of these, please let me know how you enjoyed them.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Sunday Thoughts: Listening

“Speak, for your servant is listening.”
-- 1 Samuel 3

I'm not saying I do a very good job of this, but it does seem like an excellent idea!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Are you blog famous?

Here are some photos I didn't get around to posting because I was still fighting with my Mac.
Whenever I think I've struck a truce with that computer, 
I find something else that I have to work around....