When Alyssa and John were little, they used to receive a handheld game in their Christmas stockings every year. This was before the days of Gameboy and Nintendo DS - clear back to when a battery operated game was considered to be the latest and greatest thing on earth. I would start looking for the perfect handheld games in October because the games became part of our holiday traditions, and heaven forbid if Santa didn't add a new game to the stockings. Over the years Santa even found a little battery operated Battle Ship and a little tiny battery operated Simon. One of our favorite mini-games was the teeny-tiny Bop-It that fit in the palm of your hand (it was so cute!). After several years of giving the handheld games, technology took a giant leap and the original Milton Bradley battery operated games were replaced by much fancier battery operated toys like Gameboy and Nintendo DS - these cost nearly four times the cost of the MB games, and were not nearly as indestructible as the simple games we started out with.
Several months ago, I was looking for something and I stumbled across all our old handheld games. Surprisingly, they still worked. Even more surprising was that after fifteen years, we still have all those games. But the most surprising thing of all was that the games were actually where they were supposed to be: in the game cupboard! Bonus for me that my all-time favorite game, Yahtzee, was in the box. Since since then, I have played Yahtzee every single day. I keep the game right next to my television remote control, and I sneak in a game or two (or five or ten) during the television commercials. Jeff laughs at me because I love Yahtzee so much. But the thing is: Yahtzee is still fun, and I'm not one to set aside something that is fun just because it is old.
Something else I do while watching television is crochet. Sometimes I crochet just to be doing something because I can never just sit and look at the television - it makes me feel guilty. I blame this self-imposed guilt on my mother because she never just sat - her hands were always busy. So to alleviate the guilt, I have found that if my hands are busy it doesn't bother me at all to sit for hours on end glued to the TV. Thus, the crochet hook and yarn because I like TV! But since I don't always have a crochet project in the works, I often find myself throwing together a kitchen dishcloth or two. The reason I share this is because my kitchen dishcloth habit is getting out of hand. Last month I gave away 20 of the dishcloths. The month before that I gave away 10, and the month before that I gave away even more. I'm running out of people to give these things too, but I can't seem to stop making them. Currently, I'm looking at a stash of about 40 dishcloths... and I bought more yarn last week because perish the thought of running out of yarn.
Changing the subject since talking about my dishcloth obsession is making me feel a little out of control.
Books. Let's talk about books. I was unable to attend my book club meeting this month because I took a tumble down the stairs and have been struggling with neck and back pain. I told the girls in my book club that book club Tuesdays are jinxed for me - every time the second Tuesday of the month rolls around, something comes up and I have to scramble to make it to the meetings. I've missed the last two meetings, so I haven't talked about books for a long time. Next month it is my turn to select, and I really hope the jinx is gone by then.
This is a picture of the short stack of books I've recently read. I removed the not-so-great books from the stack since I don't like recommending the so-so stuff. Therefore, if it is shown in the picture, that means I liked the book well enough to pass along. I can't pick a favorite from the stack because I enjoyed them all.
There are a couple of books missing from this stack because I loaned them out. The first missing title is The Thirteenth Tale, by Dianne Setterfield. It is her debut novel and I could not put the book down. I LOVED IT! The following review pretty much sums up how I felt about the The Thirteenth Tale:
"This book was a spectacular read! I have read Rebecca, Jane Eyre, and Wuthering Heights and loved them all. The Thirteenth Tale is as good if not better than all of those classics. It is impossible to put down once you are drawn into Vida Winter's tale and it is impossible not to feel the shivers down your spine with the flitting ghost that always seems to be in the background of both the story and your own mind. It twists and turns, leaving you guessing and needing to know more. And it leaves you hanging on until the very last page, literally. It is definitely worth the reading and I can't wait until Setterfield publishes her next novel."
The second book that is missing from the stack is titled Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, by Jamie Ford. This is the book I have selected for book club next month. I was fascinated by the history and the story told by Mr. Ford. I'm anxious to discuss this with my book club friends. Here is a video tour of the hotel and its history:
So that's that - a few of the things I do when I'm not sewing. As I age, I find myself becoming more and more of a homebody. And I think the reason for this is because I can always find ways to amuse myself regardless of whether those things are cool or fashionable or in keeping up with the times. As long as I have some books, some yarn, and a game or two, I'm happy... just don't take away my sewing machine or my television, because those are two things I could not live without (and my iPod - I would miss my iPod!).