Saturday, June 30, 2012

Auntie Nettie Reads A LOT 2012 - 2nd Quarter

If you are just finding the blog, please note that this list was maintained mainly so that I could remember what I've read this year. The record does not fully represent me or all of my interests, so don't judge my reading habits. My interests change quite frequently. Also, as a general rule, I don't do book recommendations or link to major retailers or publishers. Except for the ARCs listed below [thanks major publishers!], most of these books came from MY library or a public library.

Go forth, use your library card and READ!

[I'm sorry I don't know who took the photo and can't remember where I grabbed it from.]

In honor of the fact that Star Wars Day (May the Fourth -- Be With You) fell during this quarter, we present a photo of the 501st Legion and other Star Wars cosplayers catching up on their reading.

April/May 2012
Trail of the Spellmans (Document #5) by Lisa Lutz
Fair Game: An Alpha and Omega Novel by Patricia Briggs
books I forgot to write down...
The Rowan (Tower and the Hive, 1) by Anne McCaffrey (reread from my own library)
Damia (Tower and the Hive, 2) by Anne McCaffrey (reread from my own library)
Delicacy: A Novel by David Foenkinos (didn't finish)
One Book in the Grave (A Bibliophile Mystery) by Kate Carlisle
The Last Boyfriend (Inn at Boonsboro 2) by Nora Roberts
Black Hart (The Curse Workers No. 3) by Holly Black
Would it Kill You to Stop Doing That? A Modern Guide to Manners by Henry Alford
The Wedding Beat: A Novel by Devan Sipher
Rurally Screwed: My Life off the Grid with the Cowboy I Love by Jessie Knadler
Dream New Dreams: Reimagining my Life After Loss by Jai Pausch
The Witness: A Novel by Nora Roberts

June 2012
The Hollowers Insider: New Fiction, Facts, Maps, Murder, and More in the World of Rachel Morgan by Kim Harrison
I, Iago: A Novel by Nicole Galland
Timeless: An Alexia Tarabotti Novel (Parasol Protectorate 5) by Gail Carriger
Clara and Mr. Tiffany: A Novel by Susan Vreeland
Jane Vows Revenge: A Novel by Michael Thomas Ford
Deadlocked (A Sookie Stackhouse Novel) by Charlaine Harris
Austenland: A Novel by Shannon Hale
Midnight in Austenland: A Novel by Shannon Hale
The Language of the Sea: A Novel by James MacManus
Heaven is Here: An incredible story of hope, triumph, and everyday joy: A memoir by Stephanie Nielson with Amy Ferguson Hackworth
The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery (reread from personal library)

Happy Reading!

Previous lists may be found here.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Summer 2012: Island Hopping, Part 2

My island hopping is off to a slow start. Right now I'm doing training runs for future journeys.

Part of those training runs mean working on my diet and exercise regime. When out with the girls recently, my diet included the Island Grilled Trifecta of steak, chicken and shrimp. Very yummy!

Then I worked on my training regime by exercising my funny bone at a Treasure Island while I went fishing for gold at the gaming tables. I need the loot to fund future excursions with the girls and The Shushing Librarian, seen here dreaming about all the tropical locales she'll visit if she can just get a doubloon or two. I may have sprained my wrists and thumbs playing the games too -- but Yo HO, Yo Ho .... Avast ye hearties!

After an afternoon of fun, it was off to a giant floating bazaar, where we found an isolated oasis -- the Spice Islands of Penzeys -- where the real treasures were to be discovered; exotic pepper, cinnamon, saffron, vanilla blends, curries, Oh my! While I was running around filling my basket, the girls decided to leave messages about our adventures, to be later placed in bottles to be thrown out to sea.

I only wish that I had remember to leave directions to this, a magic Portal to all the Islands ever written about.

Avalon, Alcatraz, desert islands, deserted islands, islands in the stream, Pangaea, Australia, Britannia, fictional islands, the Thousand Islands, Prince Edward Island, Lilliput, Lone Island, Liberty Island, Ista Island, the Emerald Island, Isle Esme, Hawai'i, Hallelujah Mountains, Hedeby, Tom Sawyer's Island, The Island of Dr. Moreau, Manhattan, Kokovoko, Neverland, Utopia -- and so so many more.

Stay tuned.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Summer Fridays 2012: Afternoon in the Garden II

Second Summer Friday, almost a repeat of the first.
Book. Bench. Botanical Garden.

With the additions of editorial work and no other agenda than to stretch out, I was delighted to head back to "my spot." After last week, I had brought a larger water bottle, a cushion, and a big shade hat. I thought I was going to be okay with sun protection with the hat and long pants, but I didn't have long enough shirt sleeves or sunblock, so I lightly burned my forearms. It wasn't quite a farmers tan.

It was a much nicer afternoon, so there more crowds in the gardens interrupting me in my little nook where I had snuggled in with a good long book. I must have been a picturesque sight, what with the hat and the book on the bench, because I glanced up and caught someone mid photographis clickus and then made it photographic interruptus ruinus. *No takee the photo of Auntie sans permission, thank you*

In a bit of forethought, my book of the afternoon, Clara and Mr. Tiffany by Susan Vreeland, was all about the craftswomen in the Tiffany Glass studios - previously unrecognized for their work on his famous windows and lampshades. I think Tiffany windows I think vibrant jewel tones, rich, lush, verdant hues of greens and purples, irises, wisteria, etc. Look at what my view was as I reading about the creation of those masterpieces.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Retroblogging 1980: June 27, 1980

June 27, 1980

Today I went to school.
At school we had a talent show and I was in it.

When I came home I practiced my piano.
Next Friday is the fourth of July our country's birthday.

Maybe tomorrow our tent will be in the store. Today is sunny.

Today for lunch we had sandwiches and crackers and juice then I washed the dishes there was a little so it was easy. Today I worked with mom that was my time with mom I have it allmost every day.

Mom was a teacher in Virginia when she and Dad met. After he finished up in the Navy, they moved West to Utah and settled down. Eventually I came along, but Mom was still, and is still, a teacher ... so thus we had little lessons, projects, and quizzes throughout the summer while we were little.

Who is not mentioned very often here is my youngest brother J. He's around, but not being quite 2 yet, he couldn't "play" or interact so much ... and I was the self-absorbed eldest, only daughter --- and what little brother can compete with the excitement of a talent show and a new tent?!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Retroblogging 1980: June 26, 1980

June 26, 1980

Today I went to school. At school sang songs and went outside and played games. After school I came home and practiced my piano. Tomorrow is a big day cause tomorrow is a talent show at school and I am going to be in it. Today is sunny. Yesterday we swam in our swimming pool. It was very fun. Dad came home for lunch. I had homemade ice cream. Dad made it. The last week of school is a surprise week of us.

Don't let this mention of a swimming pool fool you. It was a kiddie wading pool.

Of more important note -- Dad made ice cream? Where's my time machine? I want some in my mouth right now!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Auntie Nettie's Attic Merchandise 2012 - May

The month of May can be summed up as Momentous.

I had to take a blogging break just to keep up with the craziness that was going on off-line. From things from one extreme to another, the whole circle of life was represented--the miraculous, the mundane, the marvelous, the murky, the maddening .... things that made me want to sing like an operatic mezzo in one moment and to commit murder while screaming MERDE MERDE MERDE at the next.

There's a lot that I still can't talk about, things at both end of spectrum, but while that was all swirling around, I still managed to:

~ Work way the heck too much (which certainly didn't help while I was trying to deal with everything else going on). The stress situation with work has not changed, so what else can be said that hasn't been said before? I'm going to have to be the one that has to change things, and if you know me, you know I hate change. So .... um... yeah. Viscous cycle. Trying to deal with that.;
~ Go to a wonderful documentary, First Position, about a dance competition. Watching a documentary about dance in the company of dancers is odd. You don't know why they are commenting -- Is it complimentary? Jealousy? Cattiness? What do I know? It looked lovely to me.;
~ Rented an adorable Scottish indie with the Doctor, I mean David Tennant, called The Decoy Bride, and now I really want to travel to the Isle of Hegg and/or just listen to people with accents read anything. (Seriously. I would listen to the phone book being read if it's in a brogue. When does Brave come out?);
~ Have "A Day of Drama" (trademark pending) with Ms. Emily and Ms. Wendy in NYC, with an afternoon of Shakespeare, which did nothing to Tame the Shrew, especially if you don't feed a teenager on time or let her play in the Park;
~ Have a Quicky RoadTrip to CT wherein:
- My home-sickness was temporarily abated;
- I took my dam self to a dam place, as well as explored other places and did some retail therapy;
- I got to see my brother from another mother, his wife - a NYC travel buddy, and their kids; but
- Most importantly, I mourned with my sister from another mister and her family, upon the loss of their father, husband, and grandfather, participating in the rites and rituals of surrounding a such a momentous loss, and helped where I could.
P.S. Parkinson's SUCKS. RIP Mr. Neuger;
~ Drove back to NY in the wee small hours of the morning, so I could get over the river to help out at a Service Shower: a non-gift baby shower for a friend due with her third child/son wherein 3 adults and 2 children descended upon her home and proceeded to tape off and paint the converted large attic of her husband's family home-- and event that also included food, gabbing, some kvetching, lots of water, children running around, plus cats and dogs trying to get in and out of spaces;
~ Enjoy the freedom of having a car to do major shopping runs and explorations, but being glad to return it and not having the responsibility of insurance, parking, maintenance, etc.;
and finally,
~ Spend time at the "alma mater" doing a "trunk show" for Auntie Nettie's Attic and talking to the girls.

With all that going on, I only managed to complete the following:

ANA 2012-31: Color Block Scarf
(2 skeins Plymouth Yarn, Eros Drifters, Color 410, nylon)

ANA 2012-32: Pretty Pastels Scarf
(2 skeins of KFI Dazzle, Color 119, nylon)

Still in Progress:

2010: The same dang afghan that I haven't finished since 2010, and if you don't know what it looks like by now, just scroll back a month (or year) or two and you'll see photos. 

2011: Red Chenille Scarf - which I'm going to unravel and use for something else. I don't like the way it is working up.

2012: Pink sport yarn worked with skeins of white chenille
(as of 11/2012, no longer available, donated to Hurricane Sandy relief)

The shop is open. Really, it is. I am a horrible marketer. Just as I was about to take new photos for the site, I dropped Ms. RubyNikon and that was the end of that idea for a while.

I actually seem to do better with "train shows" -- aka trunk shows except I haul bags and bags of stuff on the train from place to place and people stock up on stuff. That being said - go to the site.

If you DO see something you like on here, please e-mail for me sizes and prices. If you are local, delivery/s&h arrangements can be made.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Retroblogging 1980: June 24, 1980

June 24, 1980

Today I went school and at school we did the square dance we did yesterday. Tomorrow Valerie if she can is coming to my house. Rodyn babysat us today.

When school was out I came ? practiced my piano then we had lunch, Jed when for a nap and ? washed the dishes and then I worked in my math and spelling books. Mom went visiting teaching so Robyn babysat.

then jed woke up and mom was home. Today is sunny.

Even when I was little my writing couldn't keep up with the thoughts running through my head. Can you see the pattern of writers block (the stilted repetitive entries) versus the times I actually had something to say and I couldn't quite get it on paper the way I wanted? No technology for me as an 8 year old. Paper and pencil was how I had to spit it out. Now days I could have had an iPad or something to peck at.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Retroblogging 1980: June 23, 1980

June 23, 1980

Today I went to school and at school we did a square dance.

This is music week and next week is art week, the last week of school.

When it was time to go home, I cam home and practiced my piano. Then we had lunch and I washed I dishes.

Then Jed worked with mom then went down for a nap.

Today is Sister Hayward's birthday. She goes to church in the 11th ward and sometimes goes to my ward. Today is sunny.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Auntie Nettie's Attic Merchandise 2012 - April

If you've kept up with this blog at all, or are new, it's fairly obvious that a lot of time has passed since my last crafting update -- in March. This recap of April's activities can be summed up as:

~ Work, work, more work, lots more work, intern supervision, special events, late nights, uncomfortable shoes, all kinds of work, but I should be chanting "I'm happy to be employed," -- yada, yada, yada, blah, blah, blah;

During April, I also:

~ Headed to the New York Botanical Garden with Christine to see the Orchid Show;
~ Shopped for a new formal outfit for the above mentioned special event, which just led to the organization of my closet and discovery that I already have over 35 dresses - not counting the cocktail suits, business suits, etc. I made some donations and then ended up wearing an old dress to the special event. And flats.;
~ Had a fun, unexpected lunchtime catch-up with the visiting Ironic Mother and her adorably tall and talking E.D. What a difference 10 months makes!; and
~ Made it through the evenings that led the publishing of yesterday's fieldnotes, which are the basis of the scientific paper: The Anthropological Analysis of Construction in the Urban Jungle and Its Effect on Auntie Nettie.

I should have gotten more that the following started and finished, but, as you might expect, my time was a bit constrained:

ANA 2012-28: Mint Green Baby Blanket
(Skein(s) of Bernat Softee Baby yarn, acrylic)
No photo of the completed project due to the injuries to Ms. RubyNikon
but like ANA 2012-23 in lilac as seen below
(2012-23 is no longer available, sold)

ANA 2012-29: Decorative Scarf in Blue and Pink
(2 skeins KFI Gioco, Color 18, polyamid)
(as of June 2012, not available, to be gifted)

ANA 2012-30: Rainbow Wrap Scarf
(2 skeins of Plymouth Yarn, Eros, Color 2014, nylon)
(as of April 2012, not available, gifted)

Still in progress:

2010: Multi-fibre, multicolored bane of my existence

2011: Red Chenille Scarf

More items are available via Auntie Nettie's Attic on Please feel free to click there for prices and availability.

However, not everything has made it over there yet. If you are interested in anything you've seen here, please feel free to send me an e-mail to check on availability and prices.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Tales of the Urban Jungle: An Observer's Notes

What transcribes may or may not be a true(ish) account of life in the Urban Jungle as observed by Dr. Auntie Nettie, in a month not too long ago.

Field Notes

This is is Dr. Auntie. The date is, well, it doesn't matter really. It's April 2012. I've decided to set up an observation post at my studio to record what's going on outside my dwelling to try and understand why I'm so cranky and irritable. I know that my typical Days in the Concrete City are tiring, but the migraine that has driven me over the bridge and tunnel has to have a root cause somewhere.

Maybe if I can keep an accounting, it will help exclude "normal" environmental factors.

Day 1:


Why, for the love of all that's good and holy, is there jack hammering going on RIGHT OUTSIDE MY WINDOW? Don't they know I have a migraine?

Dear Verizon: Why? Why with the jack hammering at 7:00 p.m. on a school night? WHY!? I can't hear myself think.

In good news: The jack hammering has stopped. The bad news? The heavy machinery is out. This does not reassure me.

Parking is already bad in this hood & they (the crews/equipment) are taking 2-3 spots. Will Verizon pay to park in muni lots? Holey doubt it. (Oh dear. Punning. This is not a good sign.)

Let's count the things wrong w/this situation: 1 digger. 1 floodlight. 2 supervisors. Hundreds of ticked off neighbors.

Dear log: Too many entries? Just wait. That work is near the pole with the cable/internet/wi-fi box. I'm just waiting for the hole to swallow pole, and pftt.

Just like a watched pot doesn't boil, additional supervisors don't speed up the action. But a hacksaw does! Sparks fly!

Been watching the action in the hole. Digger man annoyed. Supervisor crawled in hole & pantomimed how to do it. Me: JUST DO IT YOURSELF MAN!

Supervisor is actually shoveling! Well 1 of them anyway. The guy in the hole has the big stick. Literally. Depth gauge.

Aside from the previous break-ins, gang bust in front of the building, possible homicide in the building, and constant fires/false alarms/medical emergencies up&down the street, this is exciting stuff around these parts.

The neighbors who had to move their cars for the dig don't seem happy. Watching action w/arms crossed #offsideparkingregulationsnowineffect


In addition to the noise from the backhoe, the "conversation" of the crew, it's also hard to sleep/concentrate/take notes due to the strobe.

There is 1 backhoe, 1 floodlight, 2 cops cars, & approximately 10 guys now staring into a hole. Whoops. Been spotted! *ducking out of sight*

Possible captions:
"Who wants to start the campfire tales?"
"I say we bury the body right there!"
"How many..."

Possible captions:
"Dang. It ain't deep enough yet."
"I'm happy to be employed, I'm happy to be employed."

Possible captions:
"Let us pray."
"Friends, Romans, countrymen...I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him."

Can you imagine if I was using a good camera, instead of zooming my tiny Nikon to focus on a hole across the street & using no flash?

Now it's time to measure the hole; 2 to hold the tape & 2 to watch. Dudes. It's a hole. Do you need exact dimensions?

Coffee Break! or ... wait. I know. It's a HOEDOWN!

And ... there goes the supervisor into the vault (appearances may be deceiving).
Maybe it's the entrance to Gringotts?

I'm saying a prayer for the backhoe operator. He's digging a hole around a 6-12 inch metal pipe. HOPEFULLY not the water main.

Scarey situation. That's a bad vortex of pipes, poles, utilities, and WHAT WAS THAT CRUNCHING POPPING SOUND?!

With the hole and this being New York, I can't help but wonder who is going in the hole when this is all said and done. #concreteboots

This is New York. Don't forget, those probably are "union" guys.

It is awfully grave like. I may have to go & "deal with" them if this keeps going past 10. But dang, the cops are still there.

You know, for a communication company, Verizon is do a crap job of communicating why they are digging up and down my street at odd hours.

It's the PHONE company. Not the water company. How is a Verizon dig an emergency? There have been digs up & down the street for weeks. Why here? Why now?

Possible captions:
"What you looking at? You never seen 2 men in a hole?"
"Yo Joe. I said, back off my butt."

Possible captions:
"Bend over and cough"
"I hope she fuzzes out our digger crack"
"Three men and a cranky lady"

It be good if they were prepping to bury the lines, but who knows? Oh no. Now fire trucks racing down the street.

Holy What the Frell?! The jack hammering has resumed. At 10 frakking p.m.! I wonder if a cookie bribe would wrap it up for the night?

Possible captions:
"Guys. This is not what I meant by a threesome."
"What happens in the hole, stays in the hole."

Okay. The last one went a *bit* too far, but sleep deprivation/cacophonous din will do that to you. I'm about to find earplugs, face mask, and noise machine.

It's the lack of sleep, and noise, and disruptions, and I blame the men in the hole! They dug it. I went there. Make it stop!

Noisy din is dying down. Backhoe gone, after moving debris to dump truck. Now an "astronaut" is down there "running wire."

late night, Day 1

Crew sweeping up-my cue to go to try and get some shut-eye. This is {Auntie Nettie} logging off. Thanks for tuning into the most (*fill in adjective*) field log ever.

Notes: 3-4 Advil have no noticeable effects given noise levels and light intrusions into environment. Will turn on noise machines to try and combat any possible ongoing street noises.

Day 2

Early morning:
The jack-hammering resumed at 1:30, 3:40, & 4:30 A.M.! The noise machine, face mask, & pillow over my head didn't help. Send Diet Coke STAT! TIRED. SO SO SO SO SO SO TIRED

[I had to leave the site. It was too dangerous to observe during daylight hours for two days in a row. Left to conduct experiments at other locations.

Upon return spoke to local police officer on scene. Apparently there was an "emergency situation." Again I say. HOOEY! PHONE COMPANY. NOT Water, Gas, Electric, etc. Though, had the wi-fi gone out, there would have been angry zombie pod people horde "helping" the crews.]

Evening observations:

It's turning into the set of the movie "
Holes." Now 2 pits, not to mention camping equipment. If Porto-pots show up...

Late night:
In good news, the bulldozer, dump truck & jack hammers seems to be gone. In bad news, the generator, cop cars, & tent city are still outside.

You know that scene in
E.T. when the family's house is surrounded by the creepy tents & it's all lit up at night? Yeah.

Possible photo captions:
"Every Mother's Nightmare"
OR "Faster than the speed of light"
OR "Take me to your donuts"

Day 3

Dear family: The construction and encampment continues. For the most part the noise is done, but the I cannot guarantee that it won't resume without notice, nor can I tell what the natives are digging for. I fear for my very survival. Tell the children I love(d) them.

Day 4

I am so fed up with this. Tents gone. Large metal plates blocking further exploration. Feel that there is a conspiracy blocking entrance to Narnia.

Day 5

Teutonic Plates not shifting.
If I were a car owner, I wouldn't want to go any where near potential future sinkholes.

Day 6
Am like Ostrich. If I ignore it, it didn't happen.

Day ?
Back hoes and bulldozers around, moving plates, dropping them randomly up and down. Dropping into beds of dozers. SO LOUD. Not at all annoying and scarey and at all freaking out all the yippy dogs and crying babies on street and in buildings. NOPE.

Does this mean it's over? What was the emergency that took all this production?

Day ??
AWESOME repaving job dudes. Let's just fill the GIANT HOLES with lose asphalt and tap it down. No one will ever notice that there was once a hole there!


Seriously! I know parking is tight, but do you really think parking there is safe?

Still later


Street is boring. Where's the entertainment? Where are all the straight guys?

Final notes: I think it is fairly evident why I have migraines and am cranky and irritable. Need to move to a building with better noise shielding.

Update as of June 2012

Fear the return of the drills and backhoes - as spray paint outlines are traced in squares at the sites of previous digs.

Markings on the street bear an uncanny resemblance to chalk outlines which mark bodies at crime scenes.

Can someone prescribe tranqs?

Can someone underwrite my stay in a four-star hotel?

Prognosis grim.

Diagnosis -- Hari Kari to Come

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Retroblogging 1980: June 20, 1980

June 20, 1980

Today I went to school

It is fun cause we ran races played tag and then we went to central park and played.

When we got back to school it was time to go home.

Today is sunny and nice.

When I cam home I had to practiced my piano.

Today is Friday.

My parents are nice.

I like friends.

I have four trophy.

Math is getting hard.

I love the earth.

Jed is my brother.

No, not Central Park in New York City. There wasn't instantaneous inter-dimensional travel in 1980 (or in 2012 darn it!).

Merlin Olsen Central Park in Logan, Utah.

Don't let the description of the park fool you about Mr. Olsen. He didn't "dabble" in acting; he had some creds ... If you watch reruns of Little House on the Prairie, then you've seen the lovable bear Jonathan Garvey.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Retroblogging 1980: June 19, 1980

June 19

Today I went to school.

Then I came home and practiced my piano.

Today at school we played games and ran races.

Today I worked with mom and maybe Jed took a nap.

Today at 6:25 am I think But my friend's mom had a baby girl at that time ......

Today Jed went to school and made ice cream.

I have a workbook that I can practice math and spelling in. It is fun.

It is sunny.