August 11th, 2003



Not so much going on in the office today, despite my boss being back from vacation. One can only surf the web so much, I've found. But I have some things to look up and find more about: ephemera sheets, altered books and scrapbooking fabric bit names.

We live "out in the country" and are surrounded by farmland, and all the fields right now are full of either amber waves of grain or haybales. What is it that is so comforting about the sight of a golden field dotted with huge perfectly rolled balls of hay shining in the late summer sun? Maybe it's the visceral knowledge that the harvest is coming in, and food will be on the table and the livestock will have something to eat during the winter. I have yet, however, to see the sure sign of the end of summer in Skåne: a big fat sugar beet on the side of the road.

Karin climbed into our bed at 5 a.m. this morning. She's learned, at least, to stay at the end of the bed, like a dog (haha!) instead of trying to squish up between us, thus waking us both and making me mad. :) Wonder what she'll do when we actually HAVE a dog?! She dragged her comforter in with her, and then wanted to take it with her to dagis today. Had a bit of an upset when I told her she couldn't, but managed to get away with it by blaming it on the daycare's rule of only stuffed animals and books allowed from home.

I'm nearly done with photo editing and new web pages for our Ek Family update. The only pictures from my birthday are beach shots. :)

English words/expressions I've had to explain in the past two days: unleashed, horsing around, takes the cake.
  • Current Music
    Smash Mouth—Walkin' On the Sun


I've spent the morning looking up altered books on the web, and I must say I don't know whether to be intrigued or appalled. I guess I have a deeply ingrained feeling that books should not be harmed or destroyed or "hurt" and some of the things I've seen are perilously close to all three. On one hand, I can see the attraction in taking an old, unloved, unread book that is headed to the dump and using it as an artistic background, but a great deal of the altered book examples I saw used famous, worthy, classic books. One altered book used The Scarlet Letter. One woman had altered pages in The Art of Albrecht Dürer with this comment: "To make a more visually pleasing (in my opinion) painting I covered up all the horrible stuff..." !!!

I've seen some pieces that were truly visually stunning, lovely, and fun and would be wonderful to have around to look at and touch. I guess my question is: why use a book at all (other than for inspiration, I mean)? Why not start from scratch and put your OWN book together?

All of these things inspire me to get creative, but I'm not sure I'd destroy a book, even one I wouldn't bother reading, to do it. Being the book fiend/friend that I am, it seems to border on my own personal form of sacrilege. Awfully ironic coming from someone who regularly dogears and breaks spines.
  • Current Music
    The Sundays—My Finest Hour


Some people may not believe this, but one of the few things that I really dislike about our new house is the dishwasher. Not just because it doesn't do a good job (or as good a job as I would do), or because something is wrong with it and it has to be re-started several times during the wash cycle, but because IT'S THERE. It's taken away one of my guilty pleasures: washing dishes. Oh, I admit it's nice to have it the morning after a big dinner party, but otherwise, on a daily business, I miss my suds. There's something purely therapeutic for me in handwashing dishes, and besides that, I'm good at it. I can remember my mom plunking my freshly washed attempts back into the dishpan, when I was a resentful 16-year-old, telling me to do them over and make the water hotter, this time!

When I was in high school, I was in 3 different choirs, and I used to practice, singing over the dishes while I washed them. I don't do that nowadays on the rare occasions when I get to handwash dishes, but I think about it, and the melodies are flowing in my head. :)

Strange what household chores some people find soothing, and some find purely "pest," as they say in Swedish. Besides washing dishes, I like folding laundry and picking up and vacuuming. I don't mind dusting or even cleaning the bathrooms, but the dirtspots on the floor have to be threatening to mutate before I'll mop. I HATE mopping.

Speaking of pleasures, I've been on a Festis kick lately. After being introduced to their Dandelion Apple juice by Angie, I couldn't resist trying every flavor, and now regularly spend a small fortune on bottles of the aforementioned DA, Dragonfruit (!) Pear, Strawberry Grapefruit and Cactus Lime. Orange is too common for me to bother with, and Cassis isn't a favorite. They also have a toxic-looking neon blue variant (Blueberry Lemon) which I find disgusting, but which my children delight in. Probably the blue tongues. Note to Festis manufacturers: 2-liter bottles would make me VERY happy. :)

All the photos, including those from yesterday's beach outing, are now edited and the pages are finished. I just have to write the "What's New" letter and then I can update our website. Dilemma: wait for the pictures due on Friday from the disposable camera we were forced to buy during vacation when the digital pooped out or go ahead if ready tomorrow?
  • Current Music
    Rickie Lee Jones—Living It Up