Friday Five

Friday Five: If it ain’t broke…

Notes appAs posted at RevGalBlogPals by yours truly:

It was a disappointing download. The new iOS 7 update took away the format I loved for the Notes app on my iPhone and iPad. I admit, these are tiny little First World problems. I will nevertheless miss the digital legal pad with the black brown font, in all its simplicity. 

In honor of the dear departed, please name five things in your life that need no improvement. 

Okay. Here goes.

1) Dixon Ticonderoga #2 soft lead pencils. They are the best pencils ever, with an eraser that lasts a long time. There is an “eco” version of them, and I know I should like it better, but nothing improves on the weight and feel of the original, lauded by Ray Bradbury in that summer reading classic, “Dandelion Wine.”

pencilsHe brought out a yellow nickel tablet. He brought out a yellow Ticonderoga pencil. He opened the tablet. He licked the pencil.

And later…

Douglas licked the yellow Ticonderoga pencil whose name he dearly loved.

Me, too.

(Not the licking.)

2) Dandelion Wine, by Ray Bradbury.

Really. It’s a very special book. I am going to look for it at the library.

I must have made 15 pairs of socks in this pattern. Whose were these? Not sure. For a swap, I think.
I must have made 15 pairs of socks in this pattern. Whose were these? Not sure. For a swap, I think.

3) Sock knitting.

I love knitting socks. They are totally portable and satisfying. I make them for myself, and for other people. Kathrynzj has three pair in her dresser drawer. LP has uncountable pairs. I have two, at the moment, but that’s because I pad around the house in my sock feet and wear out the heels.

My favorite pattern is Monkey, which I have memorized. I will freely admit I improved upon it by adding an Eye of Partridge heel, but with that tweak, it is perfect.

4) The Princess Bride. It’s my favorite movie ever. No other movie even comes close. A better movie would be … inconceivable.

5) “Come, O Fount of Every Blessing” is one of my favorite hymns, and it was a delightful surprise to find it on Sufjan Stevens’ Christmas album. His version cannot be improved upon, in my humble opinion. Here’s a live performance, in which he encourages the audience to sing along.

Friday Five, RevGalBlogPals

Friday Five: Silly Sentences

From my dear friend revkjarla, a prompt at RevGalBlogPals:

Because I am feeling silly, or perhaps, just out there, our FF is dedicated to creating silly sentences.  We all need a little meaningless creativity and humour, right?

Use these five words (in any tense) in a sentence:

if you give a mouse a cookie1. pulpit, puppy, wrench, word, mouse.

If you give a mouse a cookie, your puppy will want one, and if you have to go to the store to get it, you can avoid working on your word for the pulpit on Sunday.

2. weep, love, prayer, bassoon, chair

He sat in the chair playing his bassoon with love, like a prayer, and I wept.

3. heart, shutter, wish, turtle, walk

I shuttered my heart even though I wished for more; sometimes healing comes slowly, as a turtle walks.

(Oh, dear. These are getting serious.)

4. howl, worry, window, story, trust

Don’t worry about the howling at the window; trust the story God is telling in your life.

5. garden, hat, shepherd, laugh, sigh.

Like a shepherd with his flock, my garden hat protects from UV rays, whether I rise up and sigh or lie down and laugh.

Maybe that one should be a bonus haiku?

Shepherd’s crook, mother’s
sigh, gardener’s hat, baby’s
laugh: tools of the trade.

Friday Five

Friday Five: Independence Day Edition

Party Like it's 1776

Hey, it’s the Friday Five! You can find it at RevGalBlogPals, posted by Pat Raube, who writes:

In honor of the 237th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Indpendence, I invite you to participate in today’s Independence Day edition of the Friday Five! We’ll be looking at all kinds of “independence,” so please join in!

1. How does one typically celebrate your native /adopted land’s Big National Holiday?

Cookouts and fireworks! And parades, if you’re lucky enough to live near one.

2. How do you personally celebrate the holiday described in #1? Any unusual twists on the typical celebration? Is it something you enjoy or endure?

It’s our family tradition to watch our favorite movie, “1776.” My kids grew up knowing it by heart, and now I’m getting started on the new little brother, who remarked, “There’s a lot of singing in this movie!” That’s what makes it a musical!

3. What does the word “independence” mean to you, whether in a political or personal mood? How has that understanding changed throughout your life?

Independence means the freedom to think your own thoughts and hold your own beliefs, not to have them dictated by others. I was better at grasping this in the macro (forms of government) than the micro (family systems, ack!), but I’m working on the latter. Still.

4. When did you first feel that you, personally, had gained independence? Was there a ‘rite of passage’ you would like to share?

When I refinanced my house in Maine and did all the paperwork myself.

5. Tell us about your favorite “indie” film, music label, book store…

Slightly different answer. I love local yarn stores. They are unique as their owners. I love the odd choices in what is stocked to fit in a small space. On vacation or at conferences, I seem them out. I always go straight to the sock yarn section in hopes of discovering something new, and I am rarely disappointed.

Hampden neighborhood yarn
“hampden” by neighborhood fiber co.

The last new yarn store I visited on a trip was Lovelyarns in the Hampden neighborhood of Baltimore. I bought some great sock yarn made by Neighborhood Fibre Co. (click the link for a great indie story!) and named after that particular neighborhood. It’s currently on the needles and 3/4s of the way to a pair of cuffed socks for kathrynzj who patiently parked the car, scouted out a beer store and waited for me to finish shopping.

Bonus Question: Is there a time you remember going “against the tide” of advice or precedent, or in some other way? Or perhaps a time you wish you had done so?

I wish I had taken feelings about myself and other people seriously fifteen years ago instead of waiting so much longer. The capacity to self-delude is not a characteristic of independence.