Book Frenzy

I am way behind in my Goodreads reading quota for the year. So, to make up for it, I’ve been reading at least two books a day since yesterday to catch up. Any faster and I wouldn’t derive enjoyment from the books. Any slower and I’d get bored with the material, open something else and basically do for books what I do for knitting and crocheting.

 

Thus far, I’m doing pretty well. I’ve read Sonia Sotomayor’s My Beloved World…finally. I started her book in January. I must say, it was an interesting read. I learned a lot about a few things, mainly those elusive Soft Skills I wasn’t taught, just in reading her book. It was heartening to see that, at my age (thirty-six years), it isn’t unique to struggle in this area. Reading through her life story encouraged me to redouble my efforts at all the things I’m currently working on to better acclimate to the changing strata I’m finding myself in as I navigate these new business and volunteer opportunities before me.

 

Then, for a bit of light reading, I picked up Twilight from the Maryland Digital eLibrary Consortium. Don’t hate or judge. I mainly got it because I wanted something that was cotton candy reading after the meatier offering I’d just finished. So, I’m going to finish all five original books, which shouldn’t take long. If I recall my ancient reading correctly, I didn’t mind the Short Second Life of Bree Tanner so much but it has been a while.

 

Once I finish those, I’m going to read Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J. K. Rowling, Science Matters: Achieving Scientific Literacy by Robert M. Hazen. I also have a host of other books waiting in the wings to be read. Most of them, I’ve read before and I’m just going over them again because I’m playing reading catch up with myself and they’re an easier read. Once I get back to where I should be in my reading list, I have quite a few good ones lined up. L’engle, Atwood, etc., that I just have sitting here, collecting dust for want of a good reading.

 

Onto the WIPs Clearout Extravaganza. I am presently on round eight of the doily for my neighbor. Sustained injuries have not only kept me from this blog for an extended period but have also kept me from doing any meaningful crafting owing to the pain. Nevertheless, I’m going to keep trying. My left arm’s elbow and my right shoulder hurt something fierce right now but, long term, I can’t let that get in the way of all I want to do. I am loathe to make a deadline but I am shooting for finishing this Pineapple Doily by tonight. To be honest, it has been long enough lounging on my desk. The other intended doilies may have to take a back seat depending on factors influencing my getting them to their intended recipients.

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Once the doily is completed, I am going to make a genuine effort at stitching together the In Love With Color throw. At the very least, I can get the sewing aspect out of the way, even if I have trouble lifting the actual throw for long periods or stitching the edging.

 

Getting clear of these will enable me to focus on the volunteer work I’ve picked up with regard to knitting and crocheting. I’m also doing other things but this will be eating up the bulk of my volunteer time. I’m going to do my level best to aim for making as much as my yarn supply will allow. I’m hoping to deplete my worsted/Aran yarn supply completely actually without having to buy new yarn. Though, if I run out of a particular color, I may have to buy one more skein of it but I don’t see it happening anytime soon.

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The plant babies are growing fantastically. Everything is so verdant, the mood in my room is definitely a cheery one. The Mega Cherry Tomato and Sweet Pickle Organic Pepper are competing for which can out fruit the other. As far as I can tell, it is a statistical dead heat. I’m looking forward to the first true harvests from both though, I have been sneaking peppers.

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I am, somewhat, in shock at what I’m about to type. After years of avoiding makeup of any kind at all cost, I purchased three tubes (Do they call them “tubes”?) of lipstick. I also purchased some nail polish, base coat, top coat, and remover. I loathe the stuff but it is a necessary function to get by on in business settings. So, I found the least offensive colors to me that were still acceptable to the masses. I hope this works. It seems such a tedious waste of my time.

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I guess the next step would be styling my hair. *cringe*

 

Regardless of my feelings on the matter, I have already mixed the hair stuff from available oils and such that I had around the house. It is only a matter that I use it. When I’m earning expensive tastes money, I’ll consider the Carol’s Daughter/Shea Moisture options. For now, it has to be homemade hair cream and Suave shampoo.

 

I’ve somewhat paid attention to the Natural Hair vloggers and bloggers in passing but, given my utilitarian manner, I normally didn’t go for the styles I saw and opted, instead, for a drawn back puff or two puffs. Quite frankly, it is far easier to deal with and enables me to put on my hat in Winter without worrying about possibly messing up my hairstyle. Crap, I guess the Cornrow obsession is going to start again. At least I have a book, It’s All Good Hair by Michelle N-K Collison, to sustain me, as well as countless YouTube videos.

 

I think that’s about it. See ya next month or whenever I can get to writing here! Yay!

Random Rambling 22 March 2017

I mentioned something about roadblocks in the last post, so, of course, something had to happen to hinder my momentum. My left arm is now hurting for no discernable reason. To the best of my knowledge, I haven’t injured it but it is stiff and aching at the elbow region, radiating outward. So, this puts a dampener on my knitting.

 

Not being daunted from my challenge, I have other WIPs that need clearing out that don’t require the heavy use of both hands/arms. Yay.

 

For the present, until my arm heals, I am working on the In Love With Color Throw I started and nearly completed late last year. At this point, I am weaving in the ends, which is an assignment sprung from the loins of Hell if ever there were one. After that, all that’ll be left to do is to put on the border and weave in those ends.

 

Right now, I have fourteen Octagon motifs sitting on my desk, waiting to be processed. I’ve been bingeing on Buffy the Vampire Slayer while doing this which has helped tremendously with the monotony of weaving in these ends. Got to love Buffy.

 

It has been a lot of fun taking this trip down memory lane in watching these episodes. I was in my tenth grade year of High School when Buffy the Vampire Slayer premiered on television. As a side note: Oh, I am so glad to be an adult. Even with the responsibilities adulthood entails. I wouldn’t go back to my school days unless you paid me a lot of money to do so.

 

Freeeeeeeeeeeeedooooooooooooom! Yes. Anyway…

 

Not much else is happening here. My plants continue to grow. For those of you who follow me on Instagram, know that I harvested those early peppers even though they were greenish. Even greenish, they were most delicious. I cannot wait to taste them once they change colors.

 

The tomato, despite only having come up a little over a month ago, has flowers coming in. I’m looking forward to the tomatoes but not the pollen festival between the two plants giving off a considerable sneeze factory in my room. Ah well, one cannot win them all. I get good peppers and tomatoes, so I won’t complain.

 

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to get back to my WIPs and Buffy the Vampire Slayer episodes. Take care. Have a fantastic day!

Getting Out More

I should preface this with two points.

 

One, I am Agoraphobic. It is not something I choose to do. It is something that hits me like a ton of bricks, usually when I least expect or want it to interfere in my life. I’ve gotten used to it limiting my social life but I’ve been fighting it every step of the way and I’m slowly making progress in the endeavor to defeat this condition.

 

Two, since my father’s death and funeral last year, I’ve been isolating in a major way. Which is interesting because he was much the same in that he isolated from social contact, despite being a reverend.

 

So, yesterday was very good, in that I managed to make it to the meeting of the organization I previously wrote about in the last entry. It was unlike anything I had ever been to before. Everyone was so kind, so warm. It was great to be surrounded by people who weren’t in religious sledgehammer conversion attack mode.

 

I’ve got to say it. I’m really looking forward to attending more talks at this place. It was most invigorating.

 

Also, I was recommended another group of Secular people by a member of this first group. So, I will be getting out quite a bit over the next year. At least, I hope so.

 

Onto other things, I’m having second thoughts about the possibility of volunteering for NAMI. I don’t think it would be a good fit for me after all. Does anyone know of a secular to neutral Mental Health support group looking for volunteers?

 

So, that leaves the Library and, hopefully, a yarn shop. I’ve also found a few more opportunities on VolunteerMatch but they’re a good distance away from where I live. I don’t want to offer myself for something and then be unreliable about getting there. Only a few “in person” positions are open to someone with my skillset. I’m already in one “virtual” volunteer position and I’m teetering on the fence about another.

 

So, Hidden Figures is now in Theaters. I am going to find a way to see this movie. It isn’t often that I actually want to go to the theater to see a movie. There were few to no role models of a contemporary nature for kids like me when I was going to school. If knowledge of the NASA Computer Program had been general knowledge and taught about in schools, I guarantee you, it would have made a difference in a lot of lives.

 

It would have showed the disbelieving people who mocked those with dreams that people can achieve their goals. It would have given people with goals and dreams something to aspire to outside of the usual channels. My hope is that this movie has a positive impact on people and changes their minds regarding preconceptions they may have.

 

I have to go now. My Aerogarden supplies came and the Mega Cherry Tomatoes are starting to flower again. They have to go. Now. I’m going to install the Sweet Pickle Organic Peppers today.

Later. Have a fantastic day.

Ugh, My Memory…

When I first learned to knit in 2006, I was clueless about every aspect of the crafting world. I didn’t know who was who or what was what. So, I signed up for a class at the Catonsville Branch of the Baltimore County Public Library system to expand my skills.

When 20 June rolled around, I was frightened but determined as I sat in the Library waiting for access to the meeting room where the class was to take place. The starting time finally came. Panicking the whole time, I took my Susan Bates #8 straight needles and pounder of black Caron yarn and followed everyone else to the makeshift classroom.

We were, apparently, going to be instructed on the fundamentals of knitting by a famous knitting person and her three volunteer helpers from the local yarn store. I must admit, it was quite intimidating seeing one of the volunteers do what I now know to be knitted cast on so quickly. With a quickness that belied physics, she casted on enough stitches to make a scarf.

I digress. Anyway…

Once we were all settled in, we began the lesson by casting on. Famous Knitting Woman went to show us how to do a cast on row but there was a knot in her yarn. That’s when my special talent finally came to the fore. I can usually get the near impossible knots out of things. Faster than she could get the scissors, I had the knot loosened.

From there, the lesson began. She demonstrated Backward loop cast on, Longtail cast on, and Knitted cast on. Knowing nothing, I was struggling from the start but managed a rather tight Backwards loop cast on before switching to a more difficult to knit but stable Knitted cast on.

The entire time I was learning, I never got the name of the woman teaching us. She had a few books out on the table and a few magazines, but I didn’t pay much attention beyond making a note to get them later to learn from. Dense as I am, I might have made the connection that the books and patterns in the magazines were all by the same person.

After two hours, the lesson was over and the class drew to a close. I walked through the darkened streets of Catonsville on my way to the bus that would take me home. The moment I got home, I promptly forgot everything, absolutely everything, I learned. It took me until the beginning of August before I was able to successfully make a scarf. The thing I had started that night became a sort of weird sleeping cap due to my accidentally adding stitches to every row.

Over the years, now decade, I have kicked myself for not remembering the name of the Famous Knitting Woman. I’ve a great memory for faces but I’m terrible with putting the face to a name. For a while I thought her last name was “Knight” but I just had a memory jog. It was Nicky Epstein. Like a flood, all the memories came back into my head of the book titles.

So, for what it’s worth, wherever you are, thank you and the three volunteer knitting teachers for the knitting lesson. I can honestly say that it has changed my life for the better.

Fostering Positivity

The few of you who know me personally are well aware that I am often brooding to the point that Eeyore would have something to say to me in response to my mood. Comparisons have been made to some cartoon from the 90s called ‘Daria’ as well as a host of other comments.

 

Thanks to the intervention of QueerJoe’s blogpost, I’ve decided to do something about it. I am going to dedicate myself to fostering positivity in the world. Wherever I can and whenever I can, I am going to do good works for the sake of doing good. It’s my hope that this Positivity web/chain/whatever that started with QueerJoe expands outward and encompasses as many people as are willing to participate. I hope that there are a lot of people willing to join in on the fun.

 

First, I am going to dive into all these unfinished projects that have been accumulating dust on my desk recently. Not only is this not good for my asthma, it’s not good for my creativity, nor my allergies, nor my sanity. So, those are out of the way ASAP.

 

Next, I will do a vlog. This will be the first formal “sit down” vlog I’ve done in months. So many things have happened in my life between then and now. Hopefully, this video will be cathartic and just the right balance of entertaining with educational.

 

Positive news about the Maternal Parental: Her eyes are in magnificent condition right now. The surgery site healed well and her glaucoma is under control with the aid of medications. She’ll be fitted for glasses within a few weeks.

 

Tonight will be a night of reveling in movies. I’ve got Demolition Man, Dragonslayer and The Hollow Crown: The Wars of the Roses. Last night was Priest and Legion. Hopefully, I can overcome my shyness to actually talk about some of these movies and shows I look at in greater detail.

 

About the only other things happening right now are three burgeoning friendships and the rise of the Mega Cherry Tomatoes in the Aerogarden of Serendipity. The Sweet Pickle Organic Peppers died due to my overzealous application of Neem.

 

That’s all. Thanks for reading and have a fantastic day, Everyone!

Updates In No Particular Order

The Maternal Parental has finally had her second and final cataract surgery. We’re seven days into administering the eye drops and today’s the first day we take one away, specifically, the antibiotic. Her vision is already really good. She’s able to read and see things with an accuracy not had in decades. Hopefully, her vision will continue to improve with time. After this, she’ll be fitted for eyeglasses. I’m incredibly happy for her.

 

The Paternal Parental has been buried for almost a month now. The burial was 2 June. Father’s day was exceptionally hard this year. It normally was but this year really dug in with the barbed mace. I suppose it will get better with time but that time has yet to pass, so it’s all still new for me.

 

My plants are all doing well. I just docked the peppers a few days ago and gave the basil another haircut last night. With the docking of the peppers they’ve begun to branch out almost immediately. I expect them to start flowering within a few weeks. With the basil (and associated Aerogarden of Serendipity plants), their days are numbered. I will be buying the new seed kit (Mega Cherry Tomatoes) in a few days. I may try to root the Genovese basil and grow it in a pot, as it’s very good, as is the Mint, but the rest I am definitely getting rid of.

 

As for me? I’m doing alright. I may need to write in the hand written journal a few times to unload some seriously bottled up stuff but, other than that, I’m doing well.

 

Thank you for reading. Have a fantastic day.