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.

 

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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.

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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.

 

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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*

 

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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:

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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:

 

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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.

First Green Sproutings

This blog entry was simulcast on my GardenStew blog, Polycotyledon. Please check out GardenStew, it’s a really great community.

 

I looked in on the Aerogarden of Serendipity today and the Genovese Basil is sprouting up after only three days being “planted”. It’s actually beating out the Thai Basil, which was supposed to come up first. Regardless of which is first in sprouting, it’s lovely to see them. I love growing things.

In other news, I had an opportunity to show The Maternal Parental the future site of My Not So Secret Garden today. We were riding in a cab with a really rude and dismissive cab driver. When I explained my plans for the garden plot I’m hoping to get, to my mother, he was really negative about the whole plan.

My actual plans are to grow food for The Maternal Parental and I, with a portion going to my friend for helping us out so much, as well as another friend who may or mayn’t take up the offer due to his living so far from me. Any extra food will be given to those in need.

From both my own experience being impoverished and from watching Gardening programs that focus on community activism, I’m all too well aware that most food banks don’t have a ready supply of perishable, fresh fruits and vegetables. It’s mostly canned goods, boxed goods, and bagged goods.

While it certainly sustains, it’s not always the healthiest option out there when compared with fresh produce. Being honest, and I have written about this in the past on my blog, fresh produce is a nightmare to get ahold of when you’re on a limited budget. So, my plan was to give the extra to the food bank or, if they were unwilling/unable to take it, find a family in need to give it to free of charge.

Apparently, that was all too much for the allegedly charitable cab driver who scoffed at the notion and tried to poke holes in every aspect of my plan.

It’s like, dude, why are you so invested in tearing my idea down? I hardly know ye and your dedication to obstruction goes way beyond constructive criticism.

Anyway…tangent.

So, The Maternal Parental got a chance to see the site and loved it. Though, she is worried about my ability to get there due to the Agoraphobia issue. I feel much more confident about it though. Between my friend taking me there on a semi-regular to regular basis and the distance being relatively short from the nearest bus stop, I feel somewhat confident that I can make it there.

I just need to actually get my hands on the site first…

I Am On The Waitlist!!!!!

May I present a “Yay” with a “Hey” and a “Yay Hey Hey”?

 

I finally got in contact with the Community Gardens Liaison for this region and got put on the waitlist for getting a plot at my local community garden. Apparently, the waitlist is quite long but I am willing, nay, eager to wait if it means I get a plot by the end of it all. According to the nice woman I talked with, there is a priority for senior citizens as they’re accessible plots designed for people with disabilities and mobility issues. I’m cool with that. Sooner or later, I’ll get a plot. Once I get it, I’m not letting it go. *tenacious growl*

 

I am so overjoyed just to be on the waitlist.

 

In other news, I’m getting the Aerogarden Bounty today. Henceforth, it shall be known as the Aerogarden of Serendipity. I got it on sale, mere hours before the sale was to run out, thanks to a friend who showed interest in getting an Aerogarden that I happened to have. Despite choosing the cheapo five to eight day Free Shipping option, it came within two days of ordering it. Fortuitous, yes?

 

Today also happens to be the last water change I do for the Aerogarden of Hope before I clean it out and sell it on.

 

In recognition of all the hard work the Aerogarden of Hope has done, I’ve made a video to say goodbye. (YouTube link)

 

Nothing much else is happening right now. Just the construction of the Boba Fett figurine and the Child-Bearer’s Cardigan Part Deux via crocheting.

 

Have a fantastic day, All!

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!

Day Eight of the Experiment

I am giving serious thought to ending the experiment early but I don’t know what i’m going to do with all the herbs I’ve grown. Make fish soup? Bake it into bread? Have one hell of a pasta hangover? I really don’t know.

 

Five of the seven herbs are overgrowing the Aerogarden of Hope. The two Basils are crowding out light for all the other plants. The Cilantro is starting to turn colors from a lack of light. The Dill and two Basils keep growing into the light. This is the third time I’ve raised the hood light in a week. Just as fast as I raise it, they grow into it again. It’s a good thing this is an LED and not a CFL system. There’s a shield between the LEDs and plants.

 

The Mint is doing an interesting thing. It’s shooting out the sides of the seed pod. Prior to the experiment, I cut one shoot off but six more have taken its place. Hail Hydra.

 

The Curly Parsley and Chives (which I had to switch out owing to light blockage) are finally starting to grow but their progress is being blocked by the Basils, though the Chives are growing into the light as well. The whole of the Room of Doom smells like Basil. It’s nice to wake up to but it’s starting to burn my eyes a bit. It is a very strong aroma. I am so tempted to just cut it all back. Again, what would I do with it? I’m not going to eat it all again. That was painful when I did it last week.

 

I’m thinking of experimenting with cookery vis a vis a Red Fish Soup. I have an extra can of Tomato sauce that the Maternal Parental doesn’t want to eat. I also have egg noodles, copious amounts of fresh herbs, corn, green beans, Lemon Pepper, salt, pepper and celery seeds. It’s not much but it is somewhere to put these herbs.

 

Oh wait. I have frozen vegetables in the freezer! Yay! I’m going to make a Red Fish Soup and Mint flavored tea. BowlCoffee cup

 

I guess this means that the Ignoring Experiment is over at nine days into it. Thanks for reading my updates. The results are that the herb garden, when left to its own devices, drinks up about four to six cups of water on a good day. Given the ambient temperature of my room, combined with the growing methods, the plants do exceptionally well in their present location, though there is an issue with light blockage due to the high growth rate of the Basils and Mint. Tomatoes and Peppers should love it here. Plus, I just got a request to grow Spinach.

 

Someone is going to have tea and soup soon. Wish me well. Devil

 

Not much else is happening. The World continues to spin on. I continue to live upon it.

 

Later Everyone! Rolling on the floor laughingRed heartRainbow

Aerogarden of Hope Experiment

Hello Everyone!

 

Today is the first official day of my experiment with the Aerogarden of Hope. I trimmed back the herbs most brutally. I was especially brutal to the Basils and Mint. I must have cut six ounces of herbs total from the vict…plants. I hope they don’t get me in the night.

 

Here’s a picture of the aftermath. The “before” picture can be seen in the previous post from yesterday.

 

My total yield of herbs was substantial. Pay no mind to the cluttered desk. From right to left, the herbs are as follows: Thai basil, mint, cilantro, dill, and Genovese basil. I didn’t take anything from the Chives or Parsley as neither are big enough yet to harvest from.

 

 

I am hoping that the pruning job I’ve done will yield me an abundance of herbs in two week’s time. The Curly Parsley and Chives should have caught up by then and everything else should be fully recovered from the waste laid to them. Well, not “waste” considering I ate it all. It was so STRONG… Devil

 

I’m going to smell like herbs for quite a while.

 

Anyway, back to the challenge. I am doing this in preparation of growing Tomatoes and Peppers. I want to put this Aerogarden through its paces to see how much it can take, how much it can support as well as what it can’t handle. I already know from siphoning off the water that it has a built in scale to alert when the water level is too low. That’s good considering (according to my research) Peppers and (especially) Tomatoes drink the reservoir of water dry in record time. If I’m going to grow them, I’m really going to need to stay on top of things.

 

This is why I’m just letting the plants go wild. While they’ll never get to Tomato/Pepper levels as far as water and nutrient requirements, it’ll be interesting to see just how much the Gourmet Herbs can teach me about growing using Hydrocultural methods. Hopefully, nothing will go to seed while I’m doing this experiment. Also hopefully, I’ll have something in the way of food to put all that basil in by the end of this.

 

After the Sixty day mark for the garden, I’m going to plant the pods in pots of potting mix, put them in my window and start with the Salsa Garden Kit. Either that or a Choose your own mix of Some Tomatoes/Some (probably Jalapeno) Peppers. Hopefully, my Aerogardening Prowess will have increased by then to the point where maintaining these plants will be a breeze.

 

With time and patience, I’m hoping to grow full sized fruit determinant Tomatoes in the Aerogarden of Hope. I’ve scoped out a few varieties that look as though they’d be perfect for growing in the Aerogarden.

 

I’m really finding it amazing that, just a few weeks ago on 20 May, the Aerogarden looked like the picture below. It’s amazing how quickly these plants have sprouted up. Red heart

 

 

As to the updated vlog on the Aerogarden, I’ll do that tomorrow. I’m still tired. Sad smile

 

Have a fantastic weekend, Everyone! Rolling on the floor laughingRed heartRainbow

Handschuhe Times Three–Bruce’s Gloves

I’m finally back to working on this project. This second pair of gloves in a series of three is for my friend’s father, Bruce. I’m presently about five rounds into the cuffs of the gloves.

Thankfully, Bruce has hands about the same size as mine. So, there’s no need for wild speculation as to the measurements. I’ll just give about half an inch of extra for each finger in case he likes to pull his gloves on tightly.

 

I am particularly tired right now. I was up half the night for no purpose. I just couldn’t sleep for some reason. Annoyed

 

I would seriously consider going back to bed until I’d gotten some rest but I have an important appointment to keep today and I don’t want to miss it. It’s quite impossible to reschedule for it. So, up I am.

 

I’m most likely going to watch movies until my mind wakes up…or at least becomes coherent enough to start knitting again. My goal right now? Breakfast and tea. Later. BowlCoffee cup