Random Sunday Updates

Hello Everyone. It has been some time since I last posted here. I have been, admittedly, a bit busy, of late. Instead of focusing on Facebook and goofing off online, I’ve been focusing on myself and developing my potential for future application in the meatspace. I’ll just run through a few of the highlights here, shall I?

 

OK Cupid

 

I have finally gone through on the longstanding promise of deleting my OK Cupid account. The site just stopped being fun. When it first started, there were all kinds of bells and whistles to make you want to stay on the site for hours. Now, it’s more and more like the other sites. On top of that, the avalanche of crude messages I received should have been enough to make me leave a lot sooner than a few weeks ago. Had it not been for the deluge of bad messages, I might have connected with a truly wonderful person I exchanged e-mails with in 2010 a lot sooner than recently. It’s a long story, possibly for another time and another post. Suffice it to say, I haven’t been this blissfully happy in quite some time.

 

The Departure of the Protégé

 

My Knitting and Crocheting Protégé is moving out of state in a few weeks. Not like I got a chance to do more than get him fitted out in hooks and a few needle sets. I had plans for so much more but now, if we both have the time, it’ll have to be long distance and via Skype or something.

 

This leaves a vacancy for a Protégé in my life. I’m going to attempt to recruit the Maternal Parental for the role. She’s been showing an interest in the hook set I bought her years ago. Perhaps we could spend quality time together crocheting and knitting? Who knows? It would be a nice thing to have happen.

 

The Fitness

 

Up through to the present day, I’ve been focused on improving my health through diet and exercise. I’ve finally managed to make headway on this front. I’ve lost thirty-two pounds and several inches thus far. I’m now in smaller clothing, which is nice. I even managed to fit a dress I bought in 2011 that I was barely able to fit then. It’s loose on me now. My routine is pretty brutal during the week and much more forgiving during the weekends (to give my body a chance to rest). I’m hoping that I can maintain this level of activity for a while before ramping things up again for the next phase of fitness. A highlight was when I got in over 100,000 steps this past week.

 

The Container Gardens

 

The plants keep growing. After all, they’re living entities. Specifically the Mega Cherry Tomato in the Aerogarden. Since I last posted, some of the tomatoes have ripened and some have been harvested. They’re very tasty too.

 

2016-09-29 02.55.06

2016-09-29 19.16.04

2016-10-01 04.16.23

In addition to the tomatoes growing amazingly well, I have an inflorescence in my house. One of my Snake plants has decided to put up a flower spike.

2016-09-24 12.41.47

 

The Comestibles

 

Aside from the above pictured tomatoes, I had something of a treat a few weeks ago. A dear relative gifted half a bushel of the most delectable Maryland Peaches to the Maternal Parental and I. Below is an example Peach.

 

2016-08-30 19.47.36

 

So, of course, I had to make Peach Pie. It was practically a requirement that I do this in the name of Science, Asgard, and Loki. It may not have won the Great British Baking Show with its looks but it sure was tasty. *grin*

 

2016-08-28 20.35.33

 

The Culling

 

In recent weeks, I’ve finally done the Mega Culling I’ve threatened to do for a while now. My books, my precious books. Some of them are up for grabs now. Some have already been re-homed. I hope they give many years of enjoyment to their new Humans.

 

A before and after of my bookcase:

 

2016-09-12 04.57.33

 

2016-09-21 21.38.14

 

More books may be culled. The decision hasn’t been finalized yet.

 

 

The Old School Gaming

 

Ten years ago, I bought a six in one gaming set from Amazon, it includes a set of dominoes, a deck of cards, a Chess/Checkers board with pieces for both games, a Cribbage set, and a Backgammon set.

 

2016-08-23 22.36.28

 

I had bought this with the intention of spending quality time with people but, sadly, no one wanted to play. It’s all video games now. So, I’m going to teach myself to play these games, find video games for them, and play by myself. Then, when that glistening, shining moment arises where someone asks the $64,000.00 question of “Do you know how to play…” I’ll be able to say, “Yep”.

 

The Crafting

 

Finally, I can update the world, nay, Multiverse on the progress of these damned socks. The Rainstorm II Socks are Finished. Complete. Finito. My proof.

 

2016-09-25 01.17.57

 

It only took me from 19 February 2015 until 25 September 2016 to get them completed. As I stated previously on Instagram, this is not acceptable. The next pair of socks I start get finished within a month or I don’t get to keep them. Instead, they’ll go to the nearest Mens 9.5/Womens 11/43cm shoe size wearing person I can find. My knitting is fast enough to have finished these socks within a week of starting them, if not sooner. That’s with ample breaks to rest my finger from the brass needlepoint of my circular needles (Magic Loop knitting). Just because I was able to put it down repeatedly didn’t mean that I should have.

 

Anyway, onto the socks themselves. They’re very toasty warm and deliciously soft on my feet. The yarn was a dream to knit with and I’m really looking forward to making more socks in the other colorways of this yarn, which is Stroll Hand Painted from Knit Picks. The pattern is called Misti Sock Family and the pattern designer’s name is Kate Atherley.

 

Once I completed the socks, I decided to work on a crochet project for someone very dear to me. It’s something I’m presently working on actually. Once completed, it’ll be the second Amigurumi Adipose Baby I’ll have made but the first I’ve made in wool. Let me just say that, but for my cheap nature, if I could afford to work in wool all the time, I would. This project has been nothing short of luxurious on my hands. The wool was actually his request, so I thank him for requesting it. This pattern is called the Amigurumi Adipose and the pattern designer is Jennifer Christensen.

 

This is as far as I’ve gotten:

 

2016-10-01 22.37.06

 

All I have left to do is crocheting, stuffing, and attaching the feet before weaving in the ends. I hope to get this done in an hour or two.

 

NaNoWriMo 2016

 

I will be participating in National Novel Writing Month 2016. I have no idea what I’m going to write as of today. I suppose this makes me a “Pantser” until I come up with an idea? I still haven’t finished the novel from last year. Some day…

 

This year, I’m going to be a lot more basic with my characters, background, and storyline. I want to finish something tangible by the deadline. What I have from last year is okay, it’s just a lot of writing with more writing to come. I need something that’s going to be less War and Peace and more quick and easy read. It is October now. I really need to get myself in gear.

 

Okay, I think that’s it. My stomach is rumbling and I have a workout to get in, so have a fantastic day.

Autumnal Clearing

Currently my room looks like a Hurricane dropped chaos upon it. I am in the process of minimizing my possessions even further. I have cleared parts of my closet of boxes that haven’t been cleared in almost ten years. It is so empty in there now. There’s an echo in parts of my room that is spooky.

 

While clearing the shelf in my closet, I managed to find this little nugget of sunshine in a dust covered box, hidden under a plethora of old pen pal letters from decades gone by. I got it in 1995, brand new, for the 20th anniversary. I’m sitting on the fence about selling it. I saw one on a site in Mint condition going for $166USD and the non-mint averaging out to $35 for much worse wear and tear than my copy has.

 

2016-08-20 15.29.40

 

All this stuff is going to be gone soon enough. With the exception of a few items, the rest is going out into the recycling/garbage.

 

The oppressive heat has not been kind to myself or my plants. I’m still struggling to breathe and have been put on stronger medications for the Asthma. Even more sad, most of my plants died in the heat event we just went through. Ten plants in total are now pining for the Fjords. I has a true sad. Some of those plants, I had from the early part of the 21st century.

 

The survivors are:

 

Sansevieria (Snake Plant) (Oldest of my plants, 1997)

Ananas comosus (The Pineapples)

Solanum lycopersicum (Mega Cherry Tomato Plants in the Aerogarden)

Chlorophytum comosum (Spider Plant)

 

Perhaps this loss is for the best.

 

For too long, my focus has been on so many things. Knitting and Crocheting, my plants, Autodidactic pursuits, volunteering, trying to maintain my health as well as other pursuits. I’ve had so many irons in the fire, perhaps my focus isn’t where it should have been all this time? Perhaps I would do well to remember the lesson of the oxygen mask?

 

Thanks for reading. Have a great day.

Random Morning Ramblings

I don’t even know where to begin this morning. While checking posts on G+, I came across some disturbing updates from someone I really admire for her skill. One of the vloggers I follow is decompensating badly and vlogging about it rather than visiting a medical professional. Having dealt with mental illness for all of my life both personally and as a caregiver, I can see how this is going to play out and it’s sad to me that it’s going to take her crashing and burning to get the help she desperately needs. Sad smile

 

The one thing I can be thankful for in this is that the majority of her subscribers are begging for her to get the help she needs. I just hope it filters through.

 

Changing the subject, because the above is just too close to home and depressing, I’ve yet to cast on for the gloves or make the bread. Last night, we had pasta which required the storing of said comestible in the very bowl I use to make bread. In case you didn’t know, I’m very minimalist. So, I don’t have much in the way of cooking and baking gear. Nor do I have room for much. I should make the bread in a few days time.

 

The gloves, I am going to start today for sure. After I finish this post and eat, actually. I’m motivated to knit them up and I want to take advantage of this sudden burst of creative energy to get them done as quickly as possible. I want to get to the doilies, stat! Rolling on the floor laughing

 

I did manage to talk with my Protégé and he’s coming over on Wednesday to pick up his stuff. Oh joy be unconfined. This is another reason to get the gloves done sooner than later. They’re for his Dad. I don’t know if we’re going over our first lesson or not as I don’t know his schedule but I will be surprising him with some Amazing yarn from Lion Brand. I told him to expect expensive yarn but I didn’t say what I was giving him. Hopefully, he’s not reading this blog post.

 

I managed to get through my first workout last night without needing a medic. I do actually feel better for doing it, though I don’t know how many actual calories I burned in the process. MFP says a little over 800 for 90 minutes of dancing. I think tonight, I’ll do calisthenics. That burns an easy 1,400+ calories in the timeframe I normally do it. Sarcastic smile

 

Still no appetite but I am eating more, albeit reluctantly. I just don’t appear to be hungry. I force the food down but there’s no pleasure or motivation in eating beyond not dying of starvation. I do have some Kimchi downstairs in the refrigerator, along with some frozen vegetables. I may make myself a breakfast of noodle soup to get me through the day. Mmmm, Kimchi! Bowl

 

I have been eyeing the pattern for the In Love With Color throw made by Jessie Rayot. I have a great desire to make it but responsibilities come before pleasures. I’ve already gotten one afghan out of my system with the Hexagon Granny Afghan. Making another would really be spoiling myself. Rainbow

 

My plants are growing like weeds despite the harsh heating blowing on them and the winter slowdown. The Aloe Vera I docked is sending up new babies, the top part of the same plant that I put rooting hormone on with a wish and a wink is growing vigorous roots downstairs. The various cuttings I made of my Sansevieria are growing roots as well. Would anyone local like one? Ha ha. I have no room for these new babies. As soon as I get them established, they’re going out the door to various forever homes in the Baltimore Metropolitan Area.

 

Mind you, if they’re growing like this now, what will they do when Spring and Summer rolls around? I may be in some trouble in a few month’s time. Red rose

 

That’s enough rambling. I’ve got to go eat now. Later. Rolling on the floor laughingDevil

Bread Baking Bonanza

I have discovered that I have just enough yeast to bake some bread. It’s SO going to happen today.

 

My last two loaves weren’t my best baking. Owing to my own laziness in greasing the pans while depending on the Maternal Parental to do the aforementioned, the bread rose a little too long in the first rising and lost all the fizzy goodness for the second rising. Alas, my bread was doughy.

 

This time around, I’m going to time it to exact measurements with the hope that I can make this small amount of yeast last.

 

Not much is happening today beyond that. I am getting ready to knit the gloves, watching New Scandinavian Cooking and adding my blogs to this new (for me) remote poster.

 

As to this poster, I’m getting used to it. It’s weird seeing my blog colors as a part of the posting template but, other than that, Windows Live Writer is very intuitive and not at all difficult to work with. LOL, I like things difficult though. It even allows me to set categories and tags in the post, as well as make new ones. That’s worth a lot, not having to log into the site to do so.

 

So, I am finally going to follow my fitness schedule tonight. I lost some weight and I’ve got a motivation to lose more. I’m not just going to dance tonight, I’m going for the full 90-120 minute workout. I’m hoping that, within six weeks, there will be a noticeable difference in my weight and overall muscle tone. Ugh, I’m really not looking forward to this but…it must be done.

 

I also cancelled the appointment with Bethesda. The Maternal Parental has been majorly freaking out about the possibility of something “tragic and devastating” happening on my planned trip. She’s older and delicate now. I don’t want to worry her unnecessarily.

 

One thing I have to look forward to are my Protégés. One, I don’t have direct contact with but the other I do. I’ve gotten both crochet hook sets and, in the case of my geographically closer student, I’ve gotten a full bag of knitting implements including yarn enough to practice with, knitting needles crochet thread and steel crochet hooks. One protégé is 29 and the other is barely 13 with a rambunctious younger brother tearing through her possessions. You can guess who got what.

 

If only Padawan would come and get his stuff…

 

I am also teaching myself to write patterns. If I can ever get YouTube to load properly, I found a few promising videos as well as promising blog posts and information on professional pattern designer’s websites for me to peruse. I’m hoping to learn within a month’s timeframe. The best laid plans of Mice…

 

That’s all, folks. I’m going to go start the gloves now. Later. SmileDevil

Regimented Scheduling

I’m probably going to regret this but…I think it’s time to dust off and revamp the old schedule.

You see, I’ve been knitting and crocheting for so long, that I’ve lost track of the last time I actually followed most of what was formerly my daily routine. Surely, you remember the routine I set for myself in strict hourly schedules?

I still have the old one on my wall and I do try to adhere to the basics of it, but I haven’t studied outside of knitting and crochet patterns and books in quite a while. While I’ve worked out, I certainly haven’t done it consistantly for the timeframe I used to do it and I haven’t turned the television on regularly in months. Nope, most of my time has been spent watching my knitting needles and crochet hooks at work. After that, my brain usually rebels and wants to be pacified with DVD viewings or the ever elusive sleep. This has resulted in my burning out over my work to the point where I don’t want to do it, especially the paid commissions. Surprisingly, I have no issue with the gratis projects. It’s the pressurized paid stuff that is getting on my last nerve.

Also, if I eat any less healthy, My Fitness Pal is likely to come smack me upside the back of the head. Since I started this enterprise, I’ve been barely meeting the nutritional requirements for a meal, let alone a day. I get almost daily warnings, in red, from MFP stating that my caloric intake is substandard and, if I want to maintain a healthy diet where I don’t end up sick, I should eat more. Yeah, it’s that bad. I normally eat no more than 800 calories per day on average. Well below the 1,330 calories MFP has as my normal minimum daily intake.

So, I think a more strict adherence to a schedule might be a positive thing for me. It’ll certainly free up my time, in that I’ll be able to give myself permission to sleep, eat, rest, relax, exercise, have fun and study. Also, I’ll be able to schedule in some time to force myself outside. Last time I checked, the Agoraphobia wasn’t going anywhere unless I fought against it. I can’t do that cooped up in my room with my crafting.

So, after a few keystrokes in OpenOffice.org, this is my new schedule:

I’m going to do this for two weeks and see how it works for me. If I find it doesn’t, then some tweaking will be necessary. I said “tweaking”, not “twerking”.

According to my new schedule, today’s agenda is one of relaxation. I’ve given myself a weekend holiday. 🙂

Ugh, I mean Oh! Fitness Schedule Restart

While I’ve been moving over the past few months, I have not been truly working out as much as I’m capable. Today, that’s going to change. I’m restarting my Fitness schedule. I have personal (Hand written journal) reasons for doing this but I’ll definitely benefit from readopting the full regimen rather than doing sixty minute dancing and walking with occasional calisthenics.

So, to recap my 120 minute workout:

  1. Fifty Push ups
  2. Fifty Crunches
  3. Fifty Leg lifts
  4. Fifty Seated stretches (touching one set of toes at a time)
  5. Fifty Seated Bows (leaning forward as far as possible)
  6. Fifty Standing Toe touches
  7. Fifty Side Knee bends (each leg)
  8. Fifty Front Knee bends (each Leg)
  9. Fifty Squats
  10. Side downward punches (for the duration of two songs)
  11. Fifty Arm lifts (each arm)
  12. Arm Flexes (for the duration of two songs)
  13. Hip flexes (for the duration of two songs)
  14. March in place (for the duration of two songs)
  15. Air punches (for the duration of two songs)
  16. Neck exercises (for the duration of two songs)
  17. Jog in place (for the duration of two songs)
  18. Leg flexes (for the duration of two songs)
  19. Air cross punch (for the duration of two songs)

This is going to be in addition to dancing and walking.

While my knee is still a bit hypermobile, I no longer have body pains which interfere with me working out to this level. We’ll see how long this lasts. Ha.

On the supplement front, I’ve started taking a new vitamin. Don’t laugh at this. Ah, what the heck? I’m laughing myself. I’m taking Well at Walgreen’s Sodium Free Prenatal Multivitamin/Multimineral Suppliment. I’m mainly taking it for its vitamin compliment. Specificially, the iron level. You see, I have serious problems taking some iron supplements and I usually get dog sick when I do take them. So far, I’ve had minimal nausea with this one, so it looks like a winner. Hopefully, I can get my iron levels somewhere near normal levels for someone my age.

It would figure that, now that it’s time for me to get up, I’m now sleepy and yawning myself silly. Earlier this morning, when I was desperate for sleep, I couldn’t seem to go back under and now, I can barely keep my eyes open. I’ll take this as impetus to bid you all adieu. 🙂

Working Through The Pain and Other Things

I am going to do something I’m probably going to regret.

I’m going to knit and crochet despite blinding pain in my thumb.

For some time now, I’ve had a nagging pain right in the joint of my thumb that radiated outward from said joint. At first, I thought I’d sprained it and had it taped up to immobilize it. Nothing helped though and the pain was as present as ever. I began to speculate that, perhaps, this wasn’t a sprain but, instead, was a tendonitis issue. Yay, me. Not.

So, I was going to wait until my doctor had a look at my thumb to confirm or deny my hypothesis. However, my addiction to crafting is getting the better of me. I’ve been trying to knit without using my thumb which has turned out to be an exercise in futility.

Here’s where the regret comes in. I’m going to try knitting and crocheting, using my thumb on a limited basis, for at least these seven upcoming projects:

  1. My friend Sam’s hat.
  2. My friend Kathleen’s three doilies.
  3. My friend Lotta’s doily.
  4. My own warm weather scarf.
  5. My cousin’s baby blanket

I’m going to do my friend’s stuff first because I promised them this stuff. I’m going to do my cousin’s baby blanket next because that’s a paying gig. I’ll do my own project last because that’ll sit on the hook if I do too much damage to my thumb by the end of all this. I hope I don’t do any damage but it’s good to plan for such possibilities.

Aside from that, I’ve got Cinnamon Basil coming up!!!!! My seeds have become seedlings in less than a week’s time. I have every reason to believe, based on past evidence with this variety, that these will grow true to my past experience’s expectations. In addition to the seedlings I have coming up in the Spider Plant pot, I planted more cinnamon basil in with the Lemongrass, Ginger and Radishes. Whether they develop or die, as I take the radishes out, I’ll plant new seeds of either lemongrass or cinnamon basil.

Then, as soon as I get the individual pots and a lot more soil, I’ll plant one full of lemongrass, one full of cinnamon basil, one full of coleus, one full of geraniums and one full of nasturtiums. With the rest of the pots, I’ll root plants for my cousin, my neighbors and attempt to clone the African violet, as well as the hopefully rooted pineapple and sweet potato vines.

About the only other thing happening in my life right now is my new adherence to my friend Douglas’s fitness regimen. He posted it on a site we’re both a member of and, given his level of fitness, I’m definitely going to give his methods a try. In this regimen, I’ll be doing way more muscle building than calorie burning exercises. He is RIPPED, so I know it’s going to work. I just hope I can keep up with it.

That is about all I have to say right now. I’m going to get back to trying to knit this hat now. Later! 🙂