Monday, May 30, 2011

Mr. Bug's Navy T-Shirt Memory Quilt: Finished

Better than honor and glory, and History's iron pen,
Was the thought of duty done and the love of his fellow-men.
–Richard Watson Gilder

One week before his birthday {which is two days before Christmas} I had the brilliant insane idea to make a quilt for Mr. Bug using old t-shirts from when he was in the Navy. Five months and one week {not to mention a fair amount of unpicking} later and it is finally finished!

There are six t-shirts, four sweatshirts, a turtleneck and the leg of a pair of sweatpants in the blocks. The sashing is made from the work shirts he wore on board the ship. I also used a bit of one of the shirts in the center of the quilt and also for the label on the back of the quilt. The label has his dates of service and his rank. I also put the emblem for a QuarterMaster on the label; in the Navy the QuarterMaster navigates the ship.

Below is the front of my favorite t-shirt {it sits in the bottom left corner; the back is in the bottom right corner}. The scroll reads We men of the USS Clark crossed the Royal Relm {someone forgot to spell-check} of the Honorable King Neptune, known to all land lovers as the Equator. When a ship crosses the equator, there is a big to-do aboard {read hazing} for all the sailors who haven't crossed before. Those who have set up an obstacle course and if you have to go through the course, you're guaranteed to be wet and miserable. Not only did they cross the equator, but they also went through the Panama Canal {denoted on the back of the shirt}. Mr. Bug was the navigator on duty when they went through. He says it is a bunch of hurry-up-and-wait, because you have to go through a series of locks and each one has to fill when you enter it, but I think it sounds really neat.

Mr. Bug wanted to include his insignia and some of the patches he collected over his years in the Navy. I used the front of one of his work shirts because the little emblem above the pocket was a pretty big deal to earn. I kept the pocket on just for fun. Below that I used part of a sleeve that has his insignia printed right on it. I pulled the navy blue insignia just below it off of a jacket; it would also be used on a dress blue uniform. The white insignia {which includes the QuarterMaster emblem} would be used on a dress white uniform. There are patches from the two ships he served on and the others are some he traded with servicemen from other countries.

I started this quilt with the intention of finishing it in the week before Christmas as a birthday surprise. It would have been a very different quilt had it happened that way. Because I ordered the wrong fabric for the sashing and back and had no hope of getting an exchange and finishing the quilt in time, I showed Mr. Bug what I was up to. As I worked on it, he gave input and pulled out the work shirts and a couple of other t-shirts that we put in the quilt. He also helped me with the placement of the blocks in the quilt. And I think it really turned out great! I'm so glad to have it finished and am excited for Mr. Bug to be able to have a tangible object to associate with those memories.

Here are links to each of the posts about the creation of this quilt.
Last-Minute Gift
Fabric S.N.A.F.U.
About the Blocks
Half-done is Well Begun
Quilt Top
Quilt Label in Progress
Ready for Quilting

Today's post brought to you by:

Myra's Ph.D Challenge

My 2011 Finishes

P.S. Click the button above to take you to AmyLouWho's for lots more Sew & Tell.

Various and Sundry Monday: Vol. 9

Fear is the lengthened shadow of ignorance. –Arnold Glasow

You'll Never Guess: Rainy Monday Music Spot
It is Monday—and it is raining again! Seriously. It has rained four of the last six Mondays {4/25, 5/9, 5/23 and 5/30}. What are the odds? Where you live, it might not be a big deal. But in Utah? It's not very likely. We've had the wettest May on record. I haven't turned the sprinklers on yet, which is astounding and the weather has been lovely and cool. And so we must have a little music about rain. I am running out of songs I know and like {Rainy Days and Mondays will not be a feature on my blog. Ever.} about rain. If it rains next Monday, I'm going to have to enlist the help of Google. Today, I'm going with a little Queensrÿche. I had the cassette {do they still make those :confused:?} when it came out in the 90's.

T-Shirt Quilt Teaser
Mr. Bug's T-Shirt Quilt is almost finished. The quilting is done. The binding is on. I am just going to put on the final details and then throw it in the wash. And hopefully the weather will cooperate for a bit this evening so I can get some photos of the whole thing. It would be awesome to post a finish before I go to bed tonight. In the meantime, here's a little teaser.

Pretty Peonies
I love Peonies almost as much as I love Tulips. I have 16 peony plants in my yard and every spring, I go around counting to make sure they've all come back. When they start to bud, I go around and count how many plants are going to bloom and how many buds are on each plant. They are all old enough that they should bloom this year, but there are three plants that don't have buds on them . . . yet. I still have hope. Of the 16 plants, I have 14 different varieties of peonies. Only two plants are repeats. It just so happens that my two Sarah Bernhardt peonies are the first and last to bloom each spring. One of them sits in deep shade right outside the front door and is the last to bloom each spring. The Sarah Bernhardt that is planted in full sun right outside my back door is the first. The buds are just starting to burst open. The flowers are the palest of pale pinks and the magenta veining on them is just gorgeous.

My Next Washer May Be a Maytag Maxima
We have a DVR so although I usually have the TV on while I'm sewing, I don't watch many commercials. I love technology. The other day while I was skipping through the ads, I had to stop and go back because I'd seen the flash of a quilt in a commercial and it piqued my curiosity. The colors in the quilt are so pretty and the way they used it in the commercial tied their product to an emotional response. Way to go, Maytag!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Sabbath Songs: You Raise Me Up

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
–Matthew 11:28–30

Friday, May 27, 2011

Favourite Things Friday: Ice Cream

Ode to Ice Cream
by Vada Sultenfuss

I like ice cream a whole lot.
It tastes good when days are hot.
On a cone, or in a dish,
This would be my only wish.
Vanilla, chocolate, or Rocky Road,
Even with pie a la mode.

I love ice cream; it is something I inherited from my mother. Creamy and cold, the perfect texture and taste sensation; ice cream always makes you feel better. If Ben and Jerry lived in my town, I would be their best friend, because those boys know how to make ice cream. I would probably get a job at their factory and be contented to receive my wages in pints of their delicious ice cream. Half-Baked is one of my most favorite guilty pleasures. It is the perfect blend of chocolate and vanilla ice cream with chocolate chip cookie dough and brownie bites in it. Simply divine.

I'm not a big fan of nuts in my ice cream, but other than that, how can you go wrong if it is ice cream? Growing up my dad's parents would take us to the 31 Flavors and I would pick either rainbow sherbet or orange sherbet. On a sugar cone. Still two of my favorite flavors. One April Fool's Day my mom served us ice cream for breakfast. As a teenager, my sister and I would go to the deli counter at the grocery store and get a scoop as big as your fist for 50₵. I'd usually pick chocolate peanut butter. When I lived in Brasil I had guava ice cream several times and absolutely loved it. I also had vanilla ice cream that came with raisins mixed right in while I was there. I know that sounds really strange, but the raisins somehow stayed soft and were the perfect compliment to the vanilla ice cream. Yes. I love ice cream.

Two weeks ago I found my favorite ice cream flavor ever. Milk & Cookies. One glance through the window on the freezer case and I knew that this incredible concoction was coming home with me. It is vanilla ice cream swirled with chocolate cookies, not unlike cookies 'n cream ice cream. But what makes this ice cream so perfect are the little bits of chocolate chip cookies AND chocolate chocolate chip cookies mixed in. Even the name is perfect. Mr. Bug and I ate a whole container in one sitting.

Over the last several years, I have had to make serious cut-backs on dairy. I still indulge in ice cream, probably more than I should, but as milk is one of the main ingredients I try to stay away. In its absence, I have found something that looks like ice cream and tastes like ice cream but is not ice cream. Häagen-Dazs sorbet has no dairy whatsoever and is a little bit of heaven on a spoon. The peach, strawberry and raspberry sorbet flavors are all really yummy, but I think I like mango the best. Sorbet is less than half the calories of ice cream with no fat but you still get that 'feel good' factor that ice cream gives you.

And now if you'll excuse me, there is a pint of Milk & Cookies in the freezer with my name on it.

Today's post brought to you by:

Thursday, May 26, 2011

I Must Ask . . . What Size Shoe Do You Wear?

When I feel bad I like to treat myself. Clothes never look any good... food just makes me fatter... shoes always fit. –Rose Feller, In Her Shoes

My feet have hurt me most of my life. When I was in college the doctor told me I didn't have enough cartilage between the bones and that was why. So I went barefoot whenever possible and wore sensible, comfortable, wide shoes — Dr. Martens to be precise — when they were necessary. My entire shoe wardrobe consisted of a pair of Docs, a pair of sneakers and two or three mid-height pumps. Don't get me wrong; I've always loved pretty shoes, but three hours each Sunday was pretty much all my feet could endure in anything other than supportive shoes.

About three years ago, I noticed that my feet didn't hurt so much all the time. So I bought a cute pair of flats and a couple of super high heels. I started wearing the flats all the time and on Sundays, I'd leave my heels on for an hour or so after church while I got dinner ready. As time passed, I started wearing wedge sandals in the summer and more fashionable, weather appropriate shoes in the winter. I've pretty much retired the Docs unless I have to trudge through the snow. I have decided that a little bit of discomfort is worth it for pretty shoes. Over the last month, I've started to wear heels to work three or four times a week.

Finding the perfect pair of shoes is so much fun. But it seems like the section for my size is always the smallest in the store with the poorest selection. Does anybody else feel that way? I've often wondered if it is because 8½ is an uncommon size and there aren't that many shoes made or if it is because it is a really common size and by the time I get to the store, all the good shoes are taken? So today I must ask . . . what size shoe do you wear?

Because shoe size is not universal but I only understand US sizing {even though I lived in Brasil for 18 months — I just tried shoes on until I found some that fit}, today's poll is in US sizes, but I've included this handy, dandy conversion chart so that if you live outside the US you can convert your size and vote in the poll. I'm interested to see how my foot fits in with all of yours.

Recently, I've started browsing for shoes on-line. I love it because at most sites you can narrow your search by shoe type, size, color, heel height and even price range. You can find exactly what you're looking for with just a few clicks of the mouse. Here are links to my favorites — but beware! You can get sucked in and spend hours upon hours drooling over the pretty shoes.
Shoe Dazzle

Oh, and before I forget, the results from last week's poll about whether you like beginning or ending a creative project best.

Thanks to everyone who voted and commented!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Where Did the Time Go?

Don't say you don't have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michaelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein. –H. Jackson Brown Jr

Mrs. P over at Quilting in My Pyjamas did a time and motion study earlier this month and I thought it was a pretty interesting idea. I've often wondered how much time I spend on things, so I pulled out a little notebook and began keeping track. And because I'm a visual person, I put it all in a pie chart so I could see exactly where my time goes.

I'm a little nervous to put this out there. I've debated back and forth about posting this because it kind of exposes my weaknesses. But since I accidentally deleted all the photos Mr. Bug took of the fishing expedition he and the Little Bugs went on on Monday, I've got nothing else.

To those who ask if I ever sleep, the answer is a resounding YES! I spent 37% of my time over the last seven days sawing logs. That averages out to slightly more than 8 hours a night. Sleep, my old nemesis, why must you torture me so?

The second biggest way I spent my time was sewing — I spent 17% of my week in pursuit of the fabric arts. That is as much as a part-time job. But if you consider that sewing makes me happy and is cheaper than therapy {or so they say :lol:}, it is probably a good thing that I spend about 4 hours a day on my mental health.

Family & household chores tied with how much time I spent at work, totaling 13% each. I divided up my household chores into sub-categories; food prep {and eating, because that is a necessary daily chore}, gardening, and then everything else {laundry, dishes, vacuuming, kids} in another category. I was too chicken to see exactly how much I neglect my children so I lumped homework and helping them get ready for school in the morning in there. There is some overlap in there too because food prep and laundry is for everyone. My work schedule over the last week has been more in line with the original amount of hours I signed on for, however, most weeks are more hours than that. I gave my commute to and from work its own category, which surprisingly only took up 1% of my time.

The computer was another big contender; 9% of my {non-work related} week. I broke that down into two categories because I wanted to see exactly how much time I spend writing blog posts. This week was a light week, and only 2% of my computer time was spent there. The other 7% was reading and commenting on other blogs, browsing the internet, and replying to e-mails.

4% of my time was spent in the 'miscellaneous' category. I put stuff in there that I didn't know where else to put, like the time you spend when you get home putting your keys and purse away so you can find them later, making a trip to the restroom, getting the mail and shredding all the junk and basically just getting yourself collected for what is coming next. It also includes T.V. time or anything else non-productive. That is kind of a lot of time to spend doing nothing.

Daily personal hygiene {showering, styling hair, applying make-up, getting dressed, putting in contacts, etc.} took up 3% of my week.

And finally, for someone who claims to be a fairly religious person, I spent a meager 3% of my time on religious-related stuff. I can see a huge amount of room for improvement.

I am going to continue to keep track of how I spend my time. Maybe I'll update you monthly, maybe each quarter, or maybe not at all. But I'm interested to see how my numbers change in the next year, because seeing on a chart exactly where I spend my time is a motivator to me to spend it more wisely so my chart looks more balanced.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Various and Sundry Monday: Vol. 8

If you knew that hope and despair were paths to the same destination, which would you choose?Robert Brault

Rainy Monday Music Spot Again: 3 AM
Living in a desert state, rain is a fairly uncommon occurrence, which is why I always have to give you a weather report. I'll bet we've had an entire year's rainfall in the past month. And I just can't get over it. It is so amazingly beautiful to me. I know that so much moisture is causing rivers to overflow their banks; flooding is a real danger for parts of the state. But to me each drop is truly a miracle and I am loving all this rain. I don't know if you love rain as much as I do, but I would share it with you if I could. Since that's not possible, how about a little rainy music?

Déjà Vu All Over Again
If you read P.'s blog, you'll know that she spent Saturday out in her gardens, and when 6:00 passed she was in the kitchen feeling the after-effects. I oohhed and ahhed over her pansies and drooled over her hostas and realized that I spent my Saturday in exactly the same way she did, right down to the aching muscles {boy are my gardening muscles out of shape!} and making dinner while the world was supposed to be ending.

So, I decided to post a few gardening pictures of my own. But I don't have pansies this year and my ground cover choked out the astilbe and the snails have already started chewing holes through the hostas.

I managed to get a shot where the damaged leaves are hidden, but I'm a little fed up with the snail population in my garden. Last year they ate my favorite hostas — the first perennials I bought after we moved here — to the ground before they'd barely begun to leaf out and killed them dead. Luckily, I gave my neighbor some cuttings a few years ago and she said I could have some back. But still. I'm not to happy about it and I'm beginning to wonder if Snail Bait is actually something that attracts them and makes them all happy so they want to stay and invite all their little snail friends. For a really beautiful garden, make sure you go check out P.'s post.

Full Steam Ahead
I'm making progress on Mr. Bug's T-Shirt quilt. I got the label finished up and put into the back.

I've also got about ¾ of the marking on the quilt top done. Nothing fancy — just straight lines, but I decided that since I have to mark it, I wanted to mark it on the 30˚ degree angle instead of the 45˚.

I'm off to finish marking it and hopefully I can also get it pin basted before bedtime. I'm excited to be nearing another finish!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Sabbath Songs: Never A Better Hero

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
–John 3:16

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Tweet Tweet Complete

Once you accept the fact that you're not perfect, then you develop some confidence. –Rosalynn Carter

I put the last stitch in it Thursday night and threw it in the washer before I went to bed. Tweet Tweet is finally finished!

Here's the embroidered tag, which I seem to have decided is the way to go for labeling a quilt even though it takes a while. You can see by the date on the tag, that I'd intended to have this quilt finished at least three weeks ago. But it just didn't come together and there was a lot of unpicking involved in getting this quilt done.

I branched out a bit in the quilting {right click for a closer view}. I'm a novice machine quilter and only have a few things under my belt, like the meander. I've done feathers before and love them, so I had to do them on this quilt. The swirls are something new for me. I loved doing the small swirls in the brown sashing so much that I did them in the bigger sashing and all the way around the outer borders.

And here's a shot of the whole quilt {right click for a closer view}. I haven't decided what I'm going to do with this quilt. I'd intended it for a baby gift, but when I found out that the baby was already getting three quilts from family members, I decided to do something else. I'm not sure if I'll save it for a baby gift another time or donate it to the NICU or another charity. In any case, it is good to be done.

Today's post brought to you by:

Amy's Creative Side My 2011 Finishes

Friday, May 20, 2011

Favourite Things Friday: Pretty, New Shoes

Shopping tip: You can get shoes for 85 cents at the bowling alley.

A while ago, I showed you my shoes for Favourite Things Friday. This is a follow-up post of sorts, as I've acquired a few new pairs that I want to show off. I love this first pair. They are {entirely man-made} grey felted wool. The flowers on the toes are a little bit 50's and the ½" platform, 4" heel and slingback are very modern. I love wearing these and have almost entirely abandoned my favorite Dorothy shoes when I need something in grey.

{Grey (faux) Felted Wool Slingbacks, 4" Heel, ½" Platform}

I realized that my shoe wardrobe is fairly bland, consisting of mostly brown, black and grey shoes. I wanted something with a little personality, so I set out on a quest for some pretty yellow shoes to wear on Easter Sunday. You would think that it would be fairly easy to find some shoes with a little color in them since it is spring, but I realized why my shoe wardrobe is so boring. They only sell brown, black and grey shoes in the shoe stores. OK, you can find white, nude and red, but for the most part all the shoes are neutral. Of course, you can find shoes in any color on-line, but I decided to buy new shoes the day before I wanted to wear them, so on-line shopping was out. I went to five different shoe stores before I finally found these little cuties. The only other pair I saw in yellow had a 6" heel and a 2" platform — a little out of my comfort zone. I didn't even try them on.
{Yellow Sandals, 2½" Heel}

While I was looking for my yellow shoes, I happened upon this pair of cute little zippered pumps. They were on sale and on top of that, the store was having a buy-one-get-one-50% off, so I snapped these right up. The total {including tax} for the yellow sandals and this pair was $30.23. Have I mentioned that I love a good deal?
{Round Toed Pumps with Zipper, 2¾" Heel}

And these little beauties are my new favorite pair. They were the first pair of shoes I tried on in my quest for yellow shoes because the store had nothing yellow and I couldn't not try anything on. But in the interest of frugalness and holding out for a yellow pair, I passed them over. And then I dreamed of them for a week and went back and got them. I was so relieved to find them still there, because my size always seems to be the smallest section with the poorest selection in the shoe store. They are {man-made} white patent leather, but the finish is cracked and so it has kind of an iridescent sheen to it. I absolutely love them. These are my tallest pair of shoes, putting me within a half-inch of Mr. Bug. The platform is 1" and the heel is 4½". The best part? They were only $20.
{White Cracked Patent Leather Heels, 4½" Heel, 1" Platform}

And I have to ask, whose white platforms are prettier?
HQ Version

Today's post brought to you by:

Thursday, May 19, 2011

I Must Ask . . . Beginning or Ending?

Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end.
–Semisonic, Closing Time

Obsessive Creative Disorder seems to be fairly common among crafty people. I can't think of a single blog I read where the author only has one project going on at a time. What is it about the creative process that drives us to juggle multiple projects? I can't find my official list, but off the top of my head I have no less than 13 quilts in various stages. Beyond that, I have at least another dozen waiting for their turn to be started. My stash consists mostly of fabrics that I bought for a specific project. The fabrics are washed and sorted into bins with patterns or sketches of what those fabrics are supposed to become, just waiting for me to get to them. Obviously, I love to expend creative energy in starting something new. It is so exhilarating to have a whole project, and all the possibilities it presents, before you.

But I also find it extremely satisfying to reach the end of a project; to look back and see all the obstacles you've overcome and to have a tangible object to show for all your work. Today I'm in the pursuit of a quilty finish and I can't wait! As a matter of fact, I could finish a different quilt every month for the next two years and still have a few spares on my list of 'to-do' projects. That is actually a pretty exciting thought.

One of my dearest friends, Jenna, mused, Sometimes I wonder what is more satisfying to the soul — finishing a project, or starting a new fun one? I've had a couple of weeks to think about it and I've decided that I definitely like finishing a project best. There are a couple of reasons why. First, it is the culmination of time and effort and talent and frustration and work. It bears record of my presence on the planet. But it also means that I can start something new, which will lead to yet another finish. So today, I must ask, Which do you like better, beginning or ending a project? Vote in the poll in the sidebar or leave me a comment, or both.

Which reminds me . . . here are the results from last week's poll:

Thank you to everyone who voted and then voted again because of the Blogger maintenance issue. I really appreciate it. And I apologize for not replying to any comments this week. It is at the top of my list of things to do. I thought last week's poll and the accompanying comments were really fun. I learned a couple of things about exactly how astrology works and really, we just took a quick peek into it.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Various and Sundry Monday: Vol. 7

Too many people overvalue what they are not and undervalue what they are. –Malcolm S. Forbes

I didn't really intend for Various and Sundry Monday to become a regular feature, but I kind of like talking a little bit about a lot of things that otherwise wouldn't fit into a post. So, here's what I've been up to lately.

Tweet Tweet Sneak Peek
I finally got it in gear and did some quilting on the Tweet Tweet quilt. I wanted to try some FMQ that I'd never done before and so I was nervous and found myself procrastinating working on this quilt. Once you take that first stitch, it's not so scary any more and you just go with it. What's the worst that could happen, right? Well, we all know the answer to that. If it comes out badly, either you live with it or you rip it out.

I like how the swirls came out. I tried another something new in the outer border and did not like that, so I'll be taking that out tonight. I want to finish this quilt in time for the Blogger's Quilt Festival, so I hope the frog-stitching goes quickly.

Mr. Bug's T-Shirt Quilt Update
I finally got started on the tag for Mr. Bug's quilt. I procrastinated this as well because the embroidery takes, but I like the indelibility of it. After I finished stitching the name of the quilt {Service Rendered; it just sounded so romantic} on the tag, I decided I probably should have called it QM2 {Mr. Bug's rank} because it is a little snappier. Too late now. Embroidery is way too fussy to unpick.

As soon as I get the tag finished and into the back, I can get quilting on this quilt. It is one of my Ph.D Challenge commitments and I'm anxious to get it finished because the Snowballs and the Pinwheel Sampler are calling my name and I'm determined to finish the four quilts I committed to for the challenge.

Lilacs Are Lovely
Our yard was pretty void of landscaping when we bought this house 10 years ago. Everything that is growing here was planted by me. Our back yard faces South, which means it is hot and sunny. In order to provide a little shade, I planted five lilac bushes along the back fence. And they have grown VERY slowly. I think I planted them in 2005 and they are finally taller than I am. This year there are tons of blooms that are just starting to open. They are so gorgeous and smell so beautiful. I have two varieties; pictured in the top left corner is the first bloom of the season, a Katherine Havemeyer. The other two are Congo Lilacs.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Sabbath Songs: I Heard Him Come

For behold, the time cometh, and is not far distant, that with power, the Lord Omnipotent who reigneth, who was, and is from all eternity to all eternity, shall come down from heaven among the children of men, and shall dwell in a tabernacle of clay, and shall go forth amongst men, working mighty miracles, such as healing the sick, raising the dead, causing the lame to walk, the blind to receive their sight, and the deaf to hear, and curing all manner of diseases.
–Mosiah 3:5

Saturday, May 14, 2011

I Must Ask . . . A Little Favor

In heaven I yearn for knowledge, account all else inanity;
On earth I confess an itch for the praise of fools — that's vanity.
–Robert Browning

I'd like to ask a little favor. Not everything I posted before Blogger went haywire was restored. My Wednesday post never came back, but apparently you could see it in Google Reader so I was able to re-post {thanks Mrs. P. You saved my bacon}. And the poll I set up for my Thursday post never came back either. Quite a few of you had already voted by the time that Blogger was re-set to pre-maintenance status. I was hoping that if you had a minute, you could pop on over and vote again.

That's all I have for today. I got my chores done early and have spent the afternoon quilting. I hope that how ever you are spending your day, you're enjoying it.

xo –E

Thursday, May 12, 2011

I Must Ask . . . What's Your Sign?

A wise man shall overrule his stars, and have a greater influence upon his own content than all the constellations and planets of the firmament. –Jeremy Taylor

Thank you to everyone who commented and participated in the poll last week about right and left-brainedness. Getting to read your comments is my favorite part of this. Here are the poll results:

What's your sign? is arguably the most cheesy pick-up line. Ever. What would Mr. Smooth Operator do if your sign was incompatible with his? There's no graceful way out of that :rofl:.

The idea that every single person born during a certain time of the year has the same characteristics and traits leaves a bit of room for skepticism. If you pay attention to the different characteristics, blanket statements are made and then to cover all the bases, they are contradicted with an 'out' clause. I've complied a quick list of characteristics of each sign of the zodiac. Based on just those few adjectives, I could be a Virgo, Scorpio, Pisces or Taurus, and I identify with Aries and Leo. But I am a Capricorn and when I read through the complete profile, it really seems to fit me. Capricorns are loyal. Check. Ambitious? Check. Independent? Check. Resourceful? Moody? Unimaginative? Dictatorial? Check, check, check and check. But am I these things because the astrological gurus suggested it or because people born between December 22 and January 20 are just like that :confused:?

Mr. Bug is also a Capricorn {which must be why we butt heads so often :rofl:}, but he was born just inside the window and says he identifies more with Sagittarius. The gurus say that if you're born on the cusp {first or last day of a sign} to check the characteristics of the sign next to yours because there is some overlap. I have to admit, Mr. Bug is not as Capricornish as I am, but I don't think he's super Sagittariusish either. I think that they leave enough wiggle room and that the personality profiles are broad enough that you can pick and choose what fits you and leave the rest. So today, I must ask: what's your sign? And the follow-up question is, do you think your profile fits you?

I've just done a quick run-down of each of the signs here. If you want to read more about a particular sign, click on it and it will take you to a description of the characteristics of that zodiac sign. Make sure to choose your sign in the poll in the sidebar to the right and if you're so inclined, leave a comment.

Aries, The Ram: March 21-April 20
Positive traits: Independent, Generous, Optimistic, Enthusiastic, Courageous
Weaknesses: Moody, Short tempered, Self-involved, Impulsive, Impatient

Taurus, The Bulll: April 21-May 20
Positive traits: Dependable, Persistent, Loyal, Patient, Generous
Weaknesses: Stubborn, Lazy, Possessive, Materialistic, Self-indulging

Gemini, The Twins: May 21-June 20
Positive Traits: Energetic: Clever, Imaginative, Witty, Adaptable
Weaknesses: Superficial, Impulsive, Restless, Devious, Indecisive

Cancer, The Crab: June 21-July 22
Positive Traits: Loyal, Dependable, Caring, Adaptable, Responsive
Weaknesses: Moody, Clingy, Self-pitying, Oversensitive, Self-absorbed

Leo, The Lion: July 23-August 22
Positive Traits: Confident, Ambitious, Generous, Loyal, Encouraging
Weaknesses: Pretentious, Domineering, Melodramatic, Stubborn, Vain

Virgo, The Maiden: August 23-September 22
Positive Traits: Analytical, Observant, Helpful, Reliable, Precise
Weaknesses: Skeptical, Fussy, Inflexible, Cold, Interfering

Libra, The Scales: September 23-October 23
Positive Traits: Diplomatic, Graceful, Peaceful, Idealistic, Hospitable
Weaknesses: Superficial, Vain, Indecisive, Unreliable

Scorpio, The Scorpion: October 24-November 21
Positive Traits: Loyal, Passionate, Resourceful, Observant, Dynamic
Weaknesses: Jealous, Obsessive, Suspicious, Manipulative, Unyielding

Sagittarius, The Archer/Centaur: November 22-December 21
Positive Traits: Independent, Optimistic, Good-humored, Honest, Intellectual
Weaknesses: Unemotional, Careless, Superficial, Tactless

Capricorn, The Sea-goat: December 22-January 19
Positive Traits: Responsible, Patient, Ambitious, Resourceful, Loyal
Weaknesses: Dictatorial, Inhibited, Conceited, Distrusting, Unimaginative

Aquarius, The Water Carrier: January 20-February 19
Positive Traits: Witty, Clever, Humanitarian, Inventive, Original
Weaknesses: Stubborn, Unemotional, Sarcastic, Rebellious, Aloof

Pisces, The Two Fish: February 20-March 20
Positive Traits: Compassionate, Adaptable, Accepting, Devoted, Imaginative
Weaknesses: Oversensitive, Indecisive, Self-pitying, Lazy, Escapist