Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Summer Vacation

I’m really enjoying my summer vacation. Every day I wake up and I think, "Wow, I don't have to go to work or grade papers today!" I really needed this break.

Yesterday I finished physical therapy for my tendonitis. I’m doing everything they tell me (a LOT less typing, daily strengthening exercises, medication, etc.) and hoping for the best. To keep away from the computer, I’ve doing lots of needlework (counted cross-stitch and needle punch) while watching DVDs and TV shows Mom or I taped during the school year, and reading.

I've also had time for several visits to my favorite needlework shop, Stitches 'n' Things, in it's new location (Fenton). God, I miss having it just a few blocks away! It's worth the drive though, since they have the best products and service in the state. It's fun to look at all the new patterns and see what everyone is working on. Of course, I've bought quite a few new patterns and all kinds of supplies.

You may be wondering why doing needlework doesn't aggravate my tendonitis. It's because I have two cool stands so I can work without holding the frame in my left hand: a floor stand for larger pieces and a lapstand for smaller pieces. (I'd link to the company but their site is down. I hope they are still in business because their products are excellent!) Right now I'm working on lots of little projects involving my favorites things to stitch: cats, Halloween, and Christmas.

The cats are great about keeping me company, especially when my husband is at work. Sophie likes to lay on my lap (when she’s not bouncing around like a kitten!) and will do so even if I’m doing needlework. She likes to get under the frame and bat at the thread! Saffron has never been very cuddly, so when she is in a cuddly mood, it’s special. She likes to stay where she can see me and some days doesn’t want to me out of her sight. On those days she even follows me to the bathroom!

I’m also working on some long-awaited research projects. I'm expanding the Frodo paper I presented at last year's Mythcon (the annual conference of The Mythopoeic Society). As part of my research I'm reading part of Christopher Tolkien’s History of Middle-earth (12 vols. of his father’s notes and drafts of everything); Vols. 6-9 are the drafts of The Lord of the Rings. I’ve found a few things that apply to my Frodo paper, but it’s just fascinating watching JRRT’s writing process and watching the story develop from the children’s-book-sequel to The Hobbit into the book we know and love. Some weird bits from the early drafts:
  • Frodo’s original name was Bingo Bolger-Baggins (thank God JRRT changed that!)
  • Aragorn was originally a Hobbit ranger called Trotter
  • Treebeard was an evil giant who was responsible for Gandalf’s delayed arrival in Rivendell
  • The Riders of Rohan were servants of Saruman
  • Aragorn married Eowyn
Weird, eh?

Speaking of books, only a few more days until Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I know what I'll be doing this weekend! :) I can hardly wait to see what happens, and if I guessed correctly (refer to my post on HP).

Books, Cats, Needlework ... life is good.

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