August 27, 2007

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by JK Rowling

I can't remember if this was the 3rd? time I read this book or how many times I have, but this time I think I enjoyed it more. Maybe after reading the end, you notice little things that you didn't before, or maybe you just appreciate the rebellion more, because that's the part about this book that I love, the clash between Umbridge and Harry, the DA, the teachers and in this book I think she finishes what she set out to do in the fourth book-turn this from the children's fantasy story of the first three books, into a complex, young adult series that truly creates it's own world.

The book isn't perfect. There were many things that annoyed me about it and I thought Rowling could have done better on. But those are minor. The story itself and the magical (literally) world Rowling weaves and builds upon is so rich and detailed, at times familiar but you always want to be there. In this volume of the series, so many things are told, patches of the story are filled in that weren't before-the background of Sirius, Snape and Neville. Harry learns of his fate, and this sets up the end of the series. It's maybe the most important book of the 7, the turning point, and it's one of my favorites, 4 and 7 being the others.

I'm debating on starting 6 right away or waiting a bit. I haven't decided.

August 13, 2007

New Charity

Yesterday I volunteered at a kennel for a group that rescues greyhounds that have been retired from racing and finds them good homes. It was dirty, sweaty and smelly work, but the dogs are so sweet. I don't know how they manage. Anyway, I was struck that some of the animals only had a thin sheet or a piece of rug or an old bath towel to lay on. I will start making some little mats for them, as soon as I can. I've got to look through my stash and see what is there.

Plum Ripple Stitch Afghan

This afghan took a while to finish. It was originally intended for my friend Sarah. We'd been good friends in high school and during college, though we attended different ones, me down in NY and she up in Maine. But she called me one day about 6 months after I graduated from EC and she told me she was engaged and 2 weeks later they eloped. I expressed my concern, as she'd only known him 3 months. I didn't hear from her for a long time after that and I thought she was angry at me. Finally she emailed me back 3 months later. We talked a few times, but then she stopped calling or writing back to my emails. I was about half done with her afghan at the time. I put it away because I was sad thinking about her whenever I worked on it. 2 years later I found it in a bag and covered with cat hair at my parents house. I finished it and loved the finished product. It is done in "ripple stitch" as the pattern called it. Basically, one sc and 3 dc in a cluster. This makes it very thick and cushy. It's done in Red Heart in Deep Plum. Sadly, it doesn't really match my decor so I have it stashed away in my closet. I'm really not sure what to do with it, and it still gives me a little pang when I see it. I miss my friend. I sent her a Christmas card every year for years at her mothers house. It never came back but it was never replied to either. Last year I finally stopped. Sarah, where are you? Your afghan is waiting, and so am I!