Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Elephant Child

This is the most adorable thing ever.

The baby elephant chasing the birds then falling down and running to mom is so like a human toddler and yes I know that's anthropocentric but I am human so it's the only perspective I have.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017


I kind of hate that I neglect this blog so much now. I especially regret that I neglect to read other blogs. I used to enjoy this whole routine but I'm enjoying the other things I've been doing instead - reading, (a lot) sewing (not as much as I want to in terms of getting things done) and... um... Twitter. I find it to be a really convenient means of interacting with people online. I use my phone and my phone's always in my pocket so I can pull it out anytime I have a moment and often that moment turns into half an hour. So anyway, if you want to follow me I'm @uppityokie though, to be honest, I'm probably not that interesting. I mostly re-tweet stuff, including a lot of cat pictures.

I also have a sewing blog that I post on infrequently in case anyone's interested in that. I am almost done with a quilt top that I wish I would have finished early this past summer so I could use it now that quilt weather is upon us. And I have tons of other stuff I want to get done right now - several things for my granddaughter, another shirt for my husband (I have made several recently) and stuff for me too even though I really don't need more clothes. I need to get rid of a bunch of stuff to make room for the new stuff I'm making but there's really very little that I'm willing to sacrifice. I do wear it all, just some of it maybe not very often. But, though I don't need clothes, in terms of total number of garments I own, I do need more of certain things. This year I have decided more tunics and stretch pants. (I am stretch pants are awesome years old) I have some good fabric for tunics already but need to get some more of the good cotton spandex for pants. (BTW, for any British friends who might be reading this, by "pants" I mean "trousers." But you knew that, right?)

I have been wanting to comment about some of the things that are going on in the world. I've written whole blog posts in my head but just never get around to actually writing them. The world is such a freaking mess right now, sometimes I really want to start beating people over the head with a clue bat but, on the other hand, most of the time I feel strangely secure out here in my little sanctuary in the woods. It occurs to me fairly often that I'm really not but living scared all the time is just too tiring. Getting worked up over crap all the time is tiring. I guess some people don't have the ability to just ignore it all and live their lives but I don't have the ability to stay scared or outraged for long periods of time. I just can't. Maybe that's a failing but it does make life easier.

The leaves are just beginning to turn here. They have been late for the last two or three years. The peak of fall color used to come about the second week of October, sometimes earlier, sometimes later but now it's not until November. It's time for this video that I post just about every year. My favorite piece of autumn music with some beautiful autumn scenery.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Random Linkage

The Miss American Vampire Contest - a weird beauty pageant from the 70s

Greg Van Dye - very colorful landscape paintings

Cultural Snow - an interesting looking culture blog that I must take time to explore sometime

Harrison Ford Halloween - a few of Harrison Ford's Halloween costumes from the past few years

Hedgehog Goes Camping - cute

Leila Jeffreys - lovely bird portraits

Gentleman's Surprise Chair - plus 12 more beautiful and interesting items. I have seen pictures of this chair before and I want it.

Karen Knorr Photography - Beautiful animal photos in ornate interior settings. I love these.

The Real Mata Hari - Another case of what "everyone knows" being not true.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Oooo! A Book List!

Hello out there! Anyone still reading this thing?

I usually roll my eyes at any list of things I "must" or "should" do but I'm inclined to take this list of 200 Books Everyone Should Read at Least Once a little more seriously because, hey, it's books! Even if I don't agree that I should read them all (which I don't) it's still a good list. So, you can follow the link and read the whole list but I'm going to make two lists of my own out of it: books I have read and books I want to read.

Books I Have Read

Bleak House by Charles Dickens - I wasn't sure which list to put this one on because I haven't finished it yet. This is the book I'm reading right now. I'm 32 percent of the way through it. At first I found it charming but it soon became almost unbearably tedious and now I'm kind of between, "I can't take any more of this," and "Dammit I will finish this book!"

Brave New World, Aldous Huxley

Charlotte's Web, E. B. White - Does it count that I had this read to me when I was a kid?

A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens

Clan of the Cave Bear, Jean M Auel - Do not waste your time reading this book. It's awful.

Crime and Punishment, Fyodor Dostoyevsky - I have read this one twice, first in high school, mainly because I wanted to appear smart but I did find it interesting then, and then again just a few years ago.

Dune, Frank Herbert - Yes! Several times. I read the first 4 or 5 books in the series. First three are excellent, the rest were disappointing.

East of Eden, John Steinbeck - At least twice, maybe three times.

Frankenstein, Mary Shelley - Such a famous character I had to read the original. Actually liked it better than I expected to, though it is by no means one of my favorite books.

The Fifth Elephant, Terry Pratchett ? - I did read one novel by Pratchett. I think it was this one. It was okay, not really my cup of tea but I might try one of his other novels sometime because I do sort of feel like I should.

The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck

Great Expectations, Charles Dickens

The Green Mile, Stephen King - One of his better ones, I think.

Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad - Didn't like this one. In particular one detail kept bothering me. He kept talking about how silent the jungle was at night. Sorry, I know better. My back yard out here in the middle of nowhere is not silent at night and I'm pretty sure the African jungle isn't either. Besides that, there was just nothing about it that I found interesting or enjoyable.

The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams - A long time ago and I'm not sure if I finished it.

Johnathan Livingstone Seagull, Richard Bach - Yes! I loved this book. I need to get another copy. Somewhere in our several moves I let it go and now I wish I still had it.

Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien - I didn't love this one as much as I feel like I should.

Moby Dick, Herman Melville - Twice. I actually read it the second time because I hadn't liked it the first time and for some reason felt like I should give it another try. I think I "got it" a little better the second time around but still not one of my favorites.

Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck

The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde - It was okay.

The Stand, Stephen King - Didn't care much for this one.

A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens - Two or three times. Excellent book, with arguably the best first and last lines of any book.

To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee - I should read this one again. I read it when I was probably too young to really get it, I think.

War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy - I actually read this one because it has such a reputation for being a long book. I enjoyed it and it didn't seem unusually long to me because I have read other very long books.

War of the Worlds, H. G. Wells - I hate to say this but the movies were better.

Watership Down, Richard Adams - A lovely, unusual book. I want to read it again sometime.

1984, George Orwell

Books I Want to Read (An incomplete list, just the ones I most want to read)

Alice's Adventures In Wonderland, Lewis Carroll - I've seen numerous cartoon and movie versions of this and it has never been one of my favorite stories but my mom once told me it was one of her favorite books when she was a kid so, for that reason, I have always sort of felt bad that I never read it.

Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy - I liked War and Peace so maybe I would like this one too.

Captain Corelli's Mandolin, Louis de Bernieres - Have never heard anything about it but it's about a captain? and a mandolin? Sounds interesting.

The Color Purple, Alice Walker - Just because I've heard so much about it.

The Far Pavilions, M. M. Kaye - Because I like the title

Flowers in the Attic, Virginia Andrews - Because my mother mentioned it once or twice

The Old Man and the Sea, Ernest Hemingway

The Once and Future King, T. H. White

One Hundred Years of Solitude, Gabriel García Márquez - When I was in high school one of my classmates did a book report on this - the kind where you stand in front of the class and talk about the book - and I sort of thought I wanted to read it but never got around to it.

Ulysses, James Joyce - Because people have said it's challenging or "difficult"

The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Milan Kundera - Maybe. I like the title but...

In addition to those, I of course want to read anything by Charles Dickens that I haven't read yet and I want to read at least one book by Jane Austen. And I want to read at least one more book by Terry Pratchett.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Dogs and Cats

The world is a dumpster fire so turn off the news and watch this instead. (Disclaimer: I watched this with the sound turned down because I'm listening to something else.) The gray cat with the whole litter of puppies is too cute.