Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Happy Student X-ing

I LOVE SCHOOL! You know, I think I could easily be one of those forever college people. Just keep on going to school and learning and learning. Happily, this thing I'm going to school for can very easily accommodate that desire. Once I'm done with this course, there are SO many weekend seminar type learning opportunities, and several other specialties a person can learn while spending a few more months in school of some sort.

Of course, I won't be opting to do that right away, because I really need to start getting a paycheck within a few weeks of graduation. Long-term, however... it's gonna be fun. Especially since my bestest friend is also a massage therapist, at some point we may get to travel together to do some classes. (how fun would THAT be?) squeeeeee!

So, I've mostly made 100's on my quizzes (excepting 3) (and that's only 3 out of... oh.... 8 or 9 or something like that) I need to go back and write down my grades. One thing I've noticed is that I have MUCH less test anxiety at 39 than I had at say 17 =) hahahaaa funny how that works, eh? I'm retaining a surprising amount of this stuff, too, which is a relief, cuz I was a LITTLE worried about that.

I have NO more knitting to report, but I think I will soon find a way to study and knit and watch TV at the same time. Now if I could just fit chocolate in there somewhere.... lol mmmmm that reminds me, I need to go to the store =)) yaay chocolate.

OH yeah, one cool thing I did the other day.... I've had pepper plants in the ground since the Spring, and they've bloomed and bloomed and stopped blooming and bloomed again with NO peppers even thinking about developing. SO... the other day, I noticed there were blooms again, so I pollinated the blooms myself. Guess what? Now I have peppers and that was just last week, so it worked pretty fast. I don't think I've ever done that before. It's sorta weird because we have plenty of bees and such around here, not sure why the peppers were overlooked, unless the pollen is just too spicy or something. It is a little spicy, I rubbed my lip (not thinking) and it heated up a little. It was sorta cool. Hopefully the peppers have time to mature a bit before they go off into a Wintery oblivion. We'll see.

One more story and I'll let y'all off the hook. It was so sweet. I was talking to my youngest (soon to be 5) kiddo and said something about massage, and he perked up and said "WHAT?" I said, "Yeah, I'm going to massage school." He opened up his little arms for a hug and said, "Mamma! That's AWESOME!" - How sweet is that? **blinketey blink** Such a great little guy - sigh.

Ok, off to figure out this knitting/study combination thing... ttyl =)

Monday, September 22, 2008

Socks and School

First, the socks. I did a bit of knitting on Saturday to decompress from being exhausted after the first week of school. I've started the heel flap which is some variation of a garter stitch heel. I really wasn't in the mood for purling. - really - just - couldn't - do - it - ack You can sorta see the beginning of it here:
What I'm doing is the slip 1 purlwise, knit 1 to the end on both the right side and wrong side. I'm trying to bring the heel in a decent amount, because they are going to be a bit on the big side. I guess I should have done a swatch or something. I don't think I've had the presence of mind for swatching though. I just need to knit and the more mindless the better, yes?

Here the socks are posing with the evermore maturing hanging cantaloupe. I love the squiggly lines on them. It was cool when they were mostly smooth, and there was just the beginning of the squiggly lines.

Either I've been knitting too long (not likely) or it's been a long time since I grew any fruit, but don't the squiggles resemble random cables? They duck in and out of each other, behind and front, and squiggle on all rambly. I think I want to do a freaky random cable thing someday in tribute to a cantaloupe.

I forgot, there is bad news on the watermelon front. Both the melons on the ground have developed some sort of black moldy rot thing. Too wet I guess during the hurricane spin off stuff. Too bad. It's really gross, eh?

Yeah, VERY gross EW!

I think this watermelon has a chance of not getting that yucky stuff, since it's hanging. It probably won't get hot enough again to let them ripen very well. But then again, we are supposed to get 90's this week. (what is that, upper 30's gaining on 40 ish for centigrade? I need to get that better in my head one of these days)

Ah... more squiggles on cantaloupe number three. This is the biggest one, I think. Wonder when they are ready to pick? Better get that right at least or I'll be OH so sad! =) I may do a bigger patch earlier next year with hay or something for the poor watermelons. We'll see.

And yes, the flowers that invaded from next door again. I should really say migrated or immigrated or something more flattering. They aren't unwelcome alien plant invaders or anything. They sure are pretty though. I wish I could get the actual color right. It's sort of a dark lilac color.

I tried putting it with the sock to see if it would effect a color change. It did a little, but it's still not really purple enough.

So, now the school update. I did okay for Wednesday and Thursday, but Friday... WHOA! I was SO out of it by the time I got home, I just had to go to sleep. And SLEEP I did! I felt some better after that, but I had been attacked by the ragweed, because my regular regimen of green tea and local honey got interrupted, because of the routine change. By Sunday, I woke up really rotten feeling and migrainy, which was yuck, and I couldn't sleep like I wanted to, for obvious 3 children reasons.

Today, Monday, however, I woke refreshed and ready to go. Much better. Hopefully it'll last me until Friday. I'm getting to bed much earlier, thank goodness. I got 95% and 100% on my first two quizzes. yaay me! =) Tomorrow's quiz, though, yikes, gotta go study! Oh yeah, I've been dreaming about the course content! Like studying in my sleep! How weird is that? I think it actually helped though. lol

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

2nd Day of School

My first day, yesterday, was awesome. Only had to get up 30 minutes earlier than usual, plenty of time for breakfast, coffee, getting kids ready for school or babysitter (my sister). Lots of fun at school, etc etc no homework, blah blah blah.

Today, the second day of school, I woke up in a time warp. Or maybe it was molasses that I woke up in. Not sure. Same time, same stuff to do, except I had the coffee maker set up so all I had to do was push the button. So WHY did it take me so much longer? It's that cotton in my brain, or is it bamboo? Could be the stuffing from the hedgehog, but my brain did NOT work today and I'm SO TIRED - boooo whoooooo - not that bad, really, but NOW I have to try to absorb the mountains of material we 'learned' today. HA! I know I can handle it, but... oh the bed is calling me.

WHY did I think me and the kids in school at the same time.....? No it'll be good, just a whole other routine now that I'll have homework too. And ummmm.... there'll be NO knitting in class. I'm constantly with the note taking.

OH, but one note of interest.... Can you guess? Probably not. Anyway, I have a CANADIAN teacher! Yes of COURSE I do! Like... HOW are there so many Canadians around me? Sorta like left handed people. I am a lefty magnet and a Canadian magnet. It's cool. Oh, Ontario, too, of course =) Somewhere near Toronto OF COURSE! lol

I love Canada

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Another FO?

Can you believe it? Two FO's in two weeks? I finished my socks! yaay I can't find the yarn band at the moment, but it's a cotton/bamboo self striping stuff that is very squishy.

I even started another pair. Sorry for the horrible photography, but it's nearly 10PM here, so the artificial light leaves something to be desired. At least the background is in focus. =)

this yarn is Cascade cotton with elastic
very squishy, but I have difficulty using yarn with elastic
too tight a knitter, so I have to loosen up

I start school on Monday, I can barely believe it. I've been spoiling myself by sleeping in this last week. Well, I was a bit sickly last weekend, and I think it made me overtired. So I did need the extra sleep. Starting Monday, though, I'll have to be up and at 'em early. It's going to be a big change in my routine. If I think about it though, when I was in out patient therapy last year, I did pretty well with a similar routine. I think I can do it. I mean, I KNOW I can do it! I can, I can do the can can. (well sometimes, my ankle is still a bit not right, and probably will be for some time)

I'm glad it's a pretty easy schedule, I'll be in school less time per day than my kids. Of course I'll be studying like... uh.... someone who studies a lot. (don't like using the words crazy or mad anymore, for obvious reasons)

Oh, we had the edge of Hurricane Ike today, nothing damaging, just clouds and rain. So glad I mowed yesterday, though, the rain we've had is really making everything grow in leaps and bounds. The cantaloupes are much bigger and the watermelons, too. The one tiny one is already getting big. It's wild.

Well, I think I'll throw a load of clothes in the washer and turn in. I hope. I'm sleeping downstairs these days, so getting certain people to go away from there can be a challenge. Such a weird situation. Oh well... that's the freaky life I lead at the moment. ta ta for now, my lovelies =)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

A Motley Post

How my kids look when they AREN'T fighting

Proof that I am a closet farmer girl

Well, not so much in the closet as stifled
since I've been in the city

and away from my home town where
we had an awesome garden

This garden is a little sad by comparison
those are centimeters not inches btw

But it's about the best I can do
under these circumstances
those are inches

The soil here takes lots of work
before it will grow anything but weeds

Which means digging and hoeing and
using humus and cow poo
and seriously? Look at the tiny little patch
can you see the hanging cantaloupe?

And don't you love it when your
next door neighbor's flowers invade your yard
and make it prettier?

I do, however enjoy being the mysterious
farmer girl next door
even if this is the wrong side of the stole
because I wasn't paying attention

Having this Stole really adds to my mysteriousness
if you are rolling on the floor laughing
then you know how ridiculous that idea is

And this proves my daughter takes good
pictures, even if she is only 7

and she's good at swinging from the rafters
even though we don't have rafters

Monday, September 8, 2008

Fern Lace Stole - FO

I can scarcely believe it myself, but last night I finished the Fern Lace Stole! yaay! I think next time I block it, I'll block it more in the length than the width, as I did this time. But it shows off the lace work very well this way - which is the main reason I blocked it as I did. (is that dumb? lol) I also am including some shots of a strange little plant the birds brought me. And another Colin Firth pic. I'm working my way through all my Colin movies and will be sharing pics, just because =) Oh yeah, I'll model the stole tomorrow or the next day. I think I could use it as a table cloth, though. I may need to re-block it to model it right. Not sure. We shall see, we shall see.

yucky flash, but shows the leaf stuff better

foot for scale =)
65 inches long
36 inches wide

yaay for blocking wires!

the remains of the yarn

interesting flower

looks like green beans

even the leaves are different

Hello Mr. Darcy, you find me all alone.
Mrs. Collins and Maria are out
running errands or something boring like that
shall we chat? (would that work with Mr. Darcy?)
I think my connections and status are worse than Elizabeth's
oh well

OH yeah, I forgot to tell y'all (or did I?) - I enrolled in Massage Therapy training and start on September 15th! It lasts until the beginning of May, only 8 months, so it's pretty cool. Can't wait to dig in. I love learning new junk! (well, I just love learning) Anyone want to be a guinea pig? lol I'm totally jazzed. Wonder if they'll let me knit in class?

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Who Knew?

Did any of you know that the hedgehog pattern was a VERY quick knit? I started it on Saturday evening and finished it mid-day Sunday! I have to admit, though, mine is riddled with mistakes that I can't find, but still - a very quick knit.

About half way finished

Front View
(and basically what it looked like before felting)

The pattern tells you to mark row 2 as the right side, which I did, and it stayed the right side for most of the time, until I looked down and was on the wrong side on a row which was supposed to be on the right side. I guess I skipped a row? There are SO many short rows that it's very easy to miscount - which I did a few times at least. And once you start putting the fur on, you can't look back and see ANYTHING you've just done! Not that I'm complaining at all, because that's okay with me =)

Also, I was starting to run VERY short on yarn, so when it came to the last 20 rows or so, I just didn't do the "Every even row - KNIT" I just did decrease row after decrease row. I still ended up with only about 12 inches of yarn left. (scary) Just enough to sew up the bottom after felting.

After Felting Before Eyes and Nose

I have to say, doing that process for the first time is pretty cool. It's so weird to see all the stitches vanish and become this firm fluffy nearly impenetrable mass. (I embroidered eyes, sorta, after the felting and the stuffing - it was interesting - in retrospect, I should have done the eyes before the stuffing, but it worked okay)

All in all, a very satisfying and rewarding venture. The recipient, who has been begging me for the hedgehog since the Spring, was instantly in love. He hugged it (while it was still wet) and said to it, "I love you." -- **beam** what more could I ask?

Camera Shy

Weird blurry action shot with
odd letter "E" in the upper left corner
which is cool b/c this child's name starts with E

In other knitting news, I am on the last leg of both socks. (ha - leg, socks...) anyway here's how they look now, picture taken just before I started the hedgehog:

I knit a few rows on the Fern Lace Stole last night, too, but in one of the lace repeats I ended up with 14 stitches instead of 16, so I plopped on needle protectors (or stitch stoppers, whatever they are called) and ripped back to a place that had 16 and put it down for the night. Sorry this thing is so blurry. Sometimes the camera cooperates and sometimes it doesn't. It eats batteries SO fast it doesn't make sense. After this shot and another that's much worse the camera turned itself off and refused to turn back on.

And since I don't want to end on a blurry note, I'll give you one more picture:

Sunset a few days ago.
It makes me want to bust out the
pro watercolors and see if I can paint it