Tantalizing Taste Extravaganza

 

On the 25th of January, I finally had a chance to do what the Maternal Parental had beaten me to. I was finally able to sample the fruit of the tomato vines I have growing in my room. I laid claim to the tomato in the foreground in the picture below.

 

After a little snip, the juicy and delectable morsel of fruit was mine for the eating. I savored every moment I had with this yummy parcel of photosynthetic sweetness but finally, I had to eat it. If only to save my sanity from the torment of being in such close proximity to a potentially delicious vessel of sweetness.

 

 

A taste explosion occurred, all at once, in my mouth! It was, to be honest, the best tomato I have ever eaten. It was sweet, juicy, and just the right firmness to give my taste buds a blast of rich, flavorful goodness. Thank you, Aerogarden, for making this possible!

 

Aside from that, I am continuing to work on the Obrigada Shawl for João’s aunt. It is about half done now. This Knit Picks yarn is fantastic to work with. It’s Swish Worsted in the colorway Serrano. It’s a 100% Superwash Merino wool which is very soft against the skin, yet strong enough to handle repeated frogging. I think she’s going to like it. I’m a lot further along than the picture below but this gives you an idea of the color as well as a picture of the pattern’s example picture. More advanced pictures coming as soon as I work my way through these two cakes of yarn I have hooked up to the project.

 

 

Oh yeah, threw my back out shoveling snow for the first time in my life. I shoveled the snow in front of my door, making a pathway to the shoveled portion my neighbors did. I estimate I lifted two to three hundred pounds of snow the other day. I shoveled until I got to pavement, for safety reasoning. I’m not 100% sure but I think my neighbor then went over it with road salt, because it was completely clear when I went back out later to take the garbage out. Nice people.

 

In other good news, The Maternal Parental watched the complete series of Cosmos: A SpaceTime Odyssey. Prior to this, all she had seen was Cosmos: A Personal Voyage. I’m so proud of her for accomplishing this. She was enlightened greatly by the series and amazed by how many scientific discoveries had happened after her schooling in the 1940s – 1950s. It also shed light upon how much they didn’t teach her in segregated schools of that time.

 

I’d better get back to this shawl now. I’m so close to the end, I’m putting aside all other projects to get it finished. It hurts my hands a lot less than those other projects. Later!

Last and First

I think I neglected to post the last project I completed in 2015. It was a doll for a friend of mine on the occasion of his birthday. I got it finished just in time too. The pattern information page is available via Ravelry – Hobbes by Ann Stiver-Balla.

 

 

So now we come to the first completed project of 2016. I made this hat for another friend of mine. He likes Hello Kitty and, when I discovered this, I immediately wanted to make him a hat I had seen on Ravelry. So, this is my attempt at upsizing this hat for a fully grown human man. Luckily, we have the same head measurements, so it wasn’t difficult keeping track. Pattern information available via Ravelry – Hello Kitty Hat by Elizabeth Pardue.

 

 

So, as of this moment, I’m turning skeins of bright red yarn into cakes with my Yarn Ball winder for a future shawl project because it is too dark to work on my current distraction. I’m FINALLY making my friend Sam his Boba Fett doll. *fanfare*

 

You are probably wondering why I’m spending so much time crocheting and knitting when I could be…sleeping. Well may you ask. Due to recent health issues with my current medications (edema, racing heart, etc), I’ve had to stop taking the one that stops the panic inducing nightmares from happening. So. No sleep for me. At least, very little in the sleep department, most of which is fretful. Such is life, I suppose.

 

Completely changing the subject: The Aerogarden Tomatoes.

They’re really taking off, as you can see in the above picture. I offer you a few close ups of the fruiting.

 

So far, I’ve got at least ten tomatoes with a lot more flowers coming in everyday. I try to do a trim as needed, usually about once every other week or so. I’m trying to maintain the health of the plants and ensure they keep flowering and fruiting for me.

 

Well, I’ve got to get back to winding up this yarn into cakes. Take care and Be Well.

Unfinished Projects Loading…

I didn’t get even half of what I wanted to accomplish completed by the end of 2015. This means that everything rolls over into 2016. Yay.

 

I am presently working on or will soon be working on in no particular order:

 

  • João’s Hello Kitty Hat
  • Blodeuwedd The Hat for me
  • Little Boy Blue Blanket
  • Shimmer Stole
  • Handschuhe Times Two: Bruce’s Gloves
  • Cosmos Doily Madness: Doily Three
  • Rainstorm II Socks
  • Child-bearer’s Cardigan
  • Boba Fett Amigurumi Doll
  • Baby Groot (2)
  • Rose Doily #804
  • Be a Friend/Have a Heart Shawl
  • In Love With Color Throw
  • Bigger on the Inside Shawl
  • Gloves for myself
  • A scarf for myself
  • Villimarjatar Shawl
  • Large Pineapple Doily

In addition to these, I wish to make several socks patterns from the book Think Outside The Sox. I also have several requests for items coming in that I’m definitely going to prioritize. Cashy money. One thing is for sure. Agoraphobia be damned, 2016 will be the year I finally go to Cloverhill Yarn Shop. I am regularly in the Catonsville area nowadays and I no longer have the excuse of not knowing where it is or how to get there. So, if I need yarn, I’m going to my LYS for a change.

 

So, the new year is now well underway. I’m looking forward to finding kindness, intelligence, humanity, and humility in this upcoming year. Oh, who am I kidding? It’s an election year. I’m going to carefully avoid the jingoistic rhetoric as much as possible while researching jokers…characters…candidates to see who is worthy enough for me to hold my nose and make my choice in the voting booth.

 

Let’s see. Not much happened over the Holidays in my home. Except for meeting an amazing person via OK Cupid who is ridiculously far away from me. Other than that, it was just ham, writing, and watching the tomatoes grow in the Aerogarden. NaNoWriMo is long over with and I’m still writing Forsaken Paladins. For anyone coming to my blog for news about the second part to the story I wrote back in 2006 and recently posted, I’m currently working on it simultaneously with another, separate, collaborative effort. Holding three stories in my head is an interesting experience. I just hope none of the storylines blend together as the stories are quite disparate. Right now, I need to find a good work/sleep/relaxation balance because trying to be everything to everyone is proving exhausting.

 

The plants are doing well, both Aerogarden and non-Aerogarden. Except, perhaps, for one pineapple plant. I have several tomato flowers and fruit coming in despite the near constant high temperatures in my room. I’ve closed the air vent off so as to prevent the heat from damaging my plants but, so far, everything looks good for the most part in spite of the lack of humidity. I’m really shocked at this too considering some of the plants normally affected. The Lemongrass alone should show some signs of damage given that it’s right near the vents but it’s actually growing like a weed.

 

Today is Saturday. The second Saturday of the month. I’m going to give over a good portion of today to spend quality time with The Maternal Parental. Between talking with my new friend and writing, I’ve really been isolating myself over the past few months and that’s not good. So, today is a day of fun and relaxation. We’re probably going to watch a bunch of movies and talk a bit. I really enjoy the conversations I have with the Maternal Parental. She’s got a perspective on life that’s quite unique.

 

Onto my reading list. Holy Molybdenum. I got almost nothing done reading wise in 2015, so that rolls over to this year as well. I’m also getting a steady stream of recommendations that I’m going to add to my Goodreads as fast as my fingers will allow me to. I finally got a Carl Sagan book late last year and managed to get Darwin and a few others from Project Gutenberg.

 

Last, but certainly not least. The Agoraphobia. I am by no means cured. I’ll probably never be effectively “cured” of this particular ailment. It’s as interwoven in my personality as the Bipolar Disorder, the PTSD, and the Anxiety. It’s just there at this point, a part of my make up. I’m finally learning to live with it though and get through it to the other side of productivity. With few exceptions, I’ve made it to appointments and meetings over the past few years. That’s something to be proud of. I aim to go further and have plans to get out of the house more. I’m also restarting my fitness schedule.

 

Now, I’m going to sleep after this rambling escapade. Good night/morning.

Flotsam Musings

 

NaNo may be over but revisions are coming up and I’m no further along in my writing than the last day. I really must take some time out of my days to write a few words. I also have the other story I promised to work on to look at again. Hopefully, I will get some of this completed and or at least worked on after I finish this doll I’m working on.

Time management skills just fly out of the window when one is enamored, I suppose. The very act of concerning oneself for another person’s well being is enough to disrupt the entire process of creativity. Still, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

On to other matters before I lose my train of thought in a puddle of love.

Pictured above is the first blooming I’ve seen on the second or lesser tomato plant in the Aerogarden of Hope. Both plants are getting very large and are filling in the space where the Jalapeno pepper plant once was quite nicely. I’ve already shaken the flowers up, so I should start getting (fingers crossed) tomatoes within a few week’s time.

All the other plants are growing very well as well. I’m teetering on the brink of buying another Aerogarden so I can have fresh herbs again. I really loved that and the Aerogarden Bounty looks like such an interesting model to have. The Maternal Parental also wants a lesser model Aerogarden so she can have fresh Kale.

I finally have the yarn for Sam’s Boba Fett amigurumi doll. I hope to get to making it today after I finish Mike’s Hobbes doll.

I’ve even managed to make The Maternal Parental a hat finally.

It’s hard to tell because I have it on a purple chair but it’s in that Claret yarn she picked out ages ago for her scarf and hat set. I’ve yet to make her the matching scarf but I will do before it gets cold. Lately, we’ve been having near 60 – 70 fahrenheit days. Not much call for a hat in that kind of weather.

Much to my chagrin, I still have yet to make my own stuff for Winter. This is getting ridiculous with how long it is taking me to get this done. I have a bunch of yarn for the task, so I’ll get to it ASAP. I don’t want to be freezing cold while everyone else has scarves, hats, and gloves on.

In the meantime, back to work. Later.

Last Day of NaNoWriMo 2015

National Novel Writing Month 2015 is almost over but my writing escapades have only just begun. This was my first time doing this and I’m presently 139 pages into my novel, Forsaken Paladins, with so much more to go but I’m looking forward to the unfolding story as I write it. I’ve even done a foray into illustrations to make my own cover art.

I’m grateful to the NaNoWriMo team for sustaining this mission of creative writing for people from all walks of life. Without this as a tentative goal, I don’t think I would have made it to the point I am at now. I’ve never written more than 13,000 words in one document in my entire life and that was for a story. Now, I’ve got more than 60,000 under my belt. Something inside me has changed, thanks to NaNoWriMo and my own efforts, and I am very appreciative of this change.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I must get back to writing. I’m determined to finish this book, however much writing I have to do.

Shining Brightly In The Dark

A book, too, can be a star, a living fire to lighten the darkness, leading out into the expanding universe.

–Madeleine L’Engle

 

So, I have the beginnings of a book. It is nowhere near completion and I have more than the 50,000 words required for NaNoWriMo thus far. I validated on the 22nd of November. I’m dedicated to following this one through. This is the longest string of words I’ve put together in my life and it’s coherent. It’s solid. It’s pretty good actually. At least, I think so. As soon as I’m further along, I’ll update the PDF file and pass it along to my friend for his perusal.

 

One of my SOs asked me when it was going to be completed. I admit to being a bit peeved at the rush on the timetable. It’s not like there’s a deadline for me to write this. This book is for my own personal accomplishment in writing. As it stands, I am writing as quickly as I possibly can, as much as I can. For example, my plan is to do 6,500 words today, tomorrow, and Tuesday before giving myself a much needed break on Wednesday. I haven’t been sleeping like I should or doing things I normally would be doing in place of the writing. I’ve never felt this way before. It’s like something has smashed inside of me and opened the floodgates on the innate ability I have to write things. I love it. This feeling is exhilarating.

 

Waiting in the background for this novel to be completed are several projects and another story I need to write a continuation on. I wrote a story in 2006 and finally posted it to Adult-FanFiction and Literotica a little over a month ago with the title Unintentional Advances. The chief complaint about it has been that I didn’t flesh out one of the characters enough and that I didn’t give a less ambiguous ending. My intention with the story was mainly to write from the one character’s perspective, but I concur that more could have been said about the other character, so a revisit is warranted. The ambiguous ending was intended to give the reader a chance to make up their own story (hopefully a nice one) for the two characters but, apparently, everyone wants me to write it out. I’m up to it. I just need to get back into the characters. I laid them to rest in 2006 when I wrote the story and only dusted it off to edit for publishing and give it a title (Thanks, Brandon, for your help with the title).

 

On the project front, I have an unfinished Hobbes head staring at me with its Darice button eyes. It’s for my friend on the occasion of his birthday in less than a month’s time. I also still have socks, a doily, a stole, a blanket, a Boba Fett, and a sweater to make. In addition to this, December is supposed to be the month I start the In Love With Color throw. I also, still, haven’t made my winter gear. So, I’m going to be quite busy over the next few weeks.

 

At some point during all of this, I may do a vlog. A long vlog too. Not a short, update on the Aerogarden or anything but a proper scripted vlog featuring things.

 

For now though, I need tea. Lots and lots of tea. Later.

11 November 2015


Ode of Remembrance

They went with songs to the battle, they were young.
Straight of limb, true of eyes, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.