Sunday, January 24, 2010

Miss Me?

Hello kiddos, did you think I'd abandoned bloggerland?

Nah, just needed to take a wee break.  I've been busy at work and at home, and just haven't had the energy to keep up with everything online.  Then this past week I got sick with a horrible upper respiatory infection and was off work for three days.  I'm feeling better now, but what a doozy that was!

There are, however, two advantages to being sick:

1).  Coughing and sneezing burns calories and I've lost a couple more pounds.  :) 

2).  One can veg out in a semi-comatose state on the couch all day watching Turner Classic Movies and catch some wonderful gems one would normally miss.  Doing this I caught Little Big Shot from 1935, with Edward Everett Horton, Robert Armstrong and the delightful child actor Sybil Jason.

 Horton and Armstrong are hustling con-men who meet up with an old gangster pal of theirs one night for dinner; the gangster pal has brought along his daughter, our Sybil.  The pal receives a message that he needs to get out of town fast, but upon exiting the restaurant is gunned down in a drive-by shooting.  The con-men are stuck with his little girl on their hands and it becomes almost a bumbling farce as the two men struggle with how to care for her and what to do with her....but the two's hearts begin to melt and they change from being resentful over this unwanted burden to realizing they need her in their lives.  After some tearjerking drama they all end up happily ever after, the two con-men reformed and on the straight and narrow path.

Little Sybil was Warner Brother's response to Shirley Temple and thought she'd give some stiff competition as a money maker for the studio.  Song and dance chops aside, she really could act and is one of the best "criers" I've ever seen:

Sadly, she didn't turn out to be the stiff competition against Ms. Temple as the studio thought and she didn't make any more movies past 1941.  Still, she's revered as one of the great child actors of the era and once in a while her movies will pop up on TCM.  I'm delighted that I got the chance to discover her, as I'd never heard of her before.  I only wish I'd had the presence of mind to record this movie when it was on the other day, as it's not available on DVD.  It's definitely one I'm going to watch out for so as not to miss recording it again!

Something else that's been occupying my time lately is knitting.  Remember way back in October when I took some beginning knitting classes through the community college?  Well, probably not as I only had a couple people reading me back then, heh.  I only had three classes, but it was enough to teach me the very basics and from there I've been teaching myself to do more, through books and YouTube videos.

I just finished my first real project, a scarf.

It's not much to look at, but mistakes aside, it was a good learning tool.  I've started another project, a plaid dishtowel:

   This will be my learning project for working with two different colors.  It's slow going, but I'm determined to stick with it and not give up.  I'm famous for that, starting something new and then giving up right away because I can't do it perfect the first time out.  I can be the queen of black and white thinking sometimes, and I drive myself crazy with it all too often.

This is just the beginning though, I want to learn how to knit sweaters and hats and socks and all sorts of things.....and I want to learn how to crochet.....and embroider.....and sew.....and cross stitch.....and....and....and....  :)    I've created a monster.   Actually my mother tried to teach me some of these things when I was a child but I just wasn't into it.  And, my Aunt Bessie tried to coax me into having her teach me how to crochet all through my life, but I wasn't ready to learn that lesson yet.  Sadly she's passed away now and I regret not accepting her wisdom when I had the chance.   

There's a saying my husband is fond of quoting, "When the student is ready to learn, the teacher will appear."  Everything happens in its own time, and everyone comes to their own epiphanies in their own fashion.  Some are eager to learn from the outset, and some will learn their lessons the hard way, missing many opportunities along the way.  I've allowed fear and insecurity and complacency to keep me in a tiny little box of comfort for years, blind to all the things in life I was missing.  No more!  My eyes have been opened the last few months to so many things I could have been doing and experiencing all these years, and I'm tired of merely surviving.  I want to live, not just survive.  And it all started with getting up the courage to sign up for a knitting class.  :)

Of course all of this goes beyond simply knitting, but you get the gist.  I'm also trying to not spend my energy by looking back at all of those wasted years, full of regret and sorrow over things I can't change.  There are so many things I DO have the power to change from here on out, and that's what counts.  So what if I'm a late least I've gotten round to it.  Some people never do.

I've got a lot of blog reading to catch up on, hopefully this week won't be so busy for me.  I hope you've all been well!  :)



  1. Super post! I do hope you are feeling much better. Cute little gal - wonder what the thinking was with those short, short dresses?!

  2. Well done you on learning to knit. I learned when I was about 7 years old, my mam and a neighbour taught me although they found it a challenge as I am lefthanded and they were both righthanded and therefore could only teach me to knit that way. Now I haven't a clue how one would knit lefthanded but I don't need to!

    I see you popped by and posted a comment on my blog, I do hope you also picked up your award I gave to all my followers for my birthday.

  3. Oh there you are, i was starting to worry :)
    Well done on your knitting, i'm learning to knit and sew too! I'm just learning the stitches at the moment, but hopefully i can start something soon. Mr V's mum is fantastic at sewing so i'm learning from the best! xx

  4. Packrat: I know! Husband was commenting on the same thing as we watched an old film short last night that had little girls in it. I know it was the standard of the day for girls that young, but couldn't they have been a little longer? lol

    Jordiegirl: I'm enjoying it so far, I just wish I'd gotten an earlier start. I have a lot of learning to catch up on! I'll stop by your blog for the award, thank you so much! I've been so out of the loop lately.

    Stefanie: Cool, we can compare notes as we learn. ;) My ex-mother in law was a seamstress, by hobby not by trade, but I could have learned so much from her if only I'd been open to it. Grr.

  5. So glad to have you back! I've missed your posts.
    Sorry to hear you were sick - I'm sure there are pleasanter ways to lose pounds (although, I've been running so maybe not...)

    Hooray for your scarf! I can't wait to see what other marvelous projects you come up with.

  6. I'm glad you're feeling better! Way to get back into the swing of things with a great post!

  7. I did miss you! I'm glad you learned how to knit, it fills you with such a sense of accomplishment. It's hard not to feel good when you can make fabulous things! :)

    I have never seen Little Big Shot - Unfortunately I don't get TCM :( I will definitely look for it...

  8. Glad to have you back! We all need a break every now and again.

    I'm impressed with your knitting! I'm the world's worst knitter! I even managed to bugger up a single-colour scarf!

  9. GINGERELLA! ...glad to hear you are better!!! One of the few 'up' sides of being sick is that you can 'catch up' on movie watching...last time I was sick, TCM had a Elenor Powell 'power block' of movies going, and that was pretty cool...

    And knitting is cool...of course, I have no idea how to do it, but any 'lost art' type activity is cool to me...for all I know, knitting is making a comeback! Aaaaaaand, Ginger was quite the knitter as well!!! (you knew I had to throw VKM in there SOMEWHERE, right? :-] )

    Great to see you back on the blog!



  10. Emma: Thanks! Yeah, I'd rather hit the treadmill than be sick....well, both are bad really, lol!

    Sally: Aw, thank you! :)

    Laura: I can't wait until I can actually make fabulous things and not lumps of knots, heh. I'm suprised at myself for sticking with it this far!

    Richard: Thanks! And, just the fact that you attempted knitting at some point is cool, not many guys would do it (or admit they had if they did)!

    Huey: Hey, you. :) I was watching Shall We Dance the other night and wondered, in the scene where she's repairing the dog sweater and the other passengers think it's for a baby, if she was really knitting or not. It went by to quickly to tell, of course.

  11. Hope you are feeling better honey! It looks like you accomplished a lot! Thanks for the comments on my Sherlock Holmes post. You have to see it, it was a great movie! Kori xoxo

  12. ...yep, she most likely was, or at least she could 'go thru the motions' for the movie quite well - there is a pic of her and Kate sitting together between takes on the set of 'Stage Door', both knitting... I might just post that one on the ol' blog soon... or, try to get my photobucket deal going...

  13. Lovely, wonderful post, sweetie!

    That little girl is adorable and extremely talented. I'm glad you shared her with us. I'd never heard of her, either.

    I'm glad you're feeling better and it sounds like you made some great plans for the future.

    No point in looking can't change a damn thing. Now, the future? That's another story!

  14. Brilliant scarf :) I love that colour blue!

    Glad to hear your feeling better


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