Prune, Write, Knit, Grow

Over the past few days, I’ve been continuing the clean up effort I started regarding my blogs and journals. After more than sixteen years, I’ve finally deleted my Livejournal and Deadjournal accounts. I’ve also deleted all my old posts from my surviving InsaneJournal as they’re not really reflective of where I’d like to go in life. So, I am starting from scratch as far as the InsaneJournal is concerned. I have also added a Dreamwidth account to the mix.

 

I’ve also managed to write in my hand written journal for a change. That was quite the experience after so long without writing in it. Hand writing practice. It is a thing. To give you some idea of how long the stretch between entries is, the last journal entry was from August of 2016. I fully intend to keep up with my writing this time around. I want to keep a few journals. One for writing, one for self improvement, at least one for languages, and one for personal stuff. That’s not counting the online journals and blogs.

 

I have a cousin in gestation. My cousin with whom I share a birthday is expecting a baby on or around our mutual birthday. So, I am going into crafting overdrive in making her a plethora of items. My intentions are to make at least two (maybe more) baby Flax sweaters, the Lacy Chevrons Baby Blanket, a toy of some kind, and, perhaps, a second crocheted blanket. In addition to this, if I have the time, I’ll finish the never collected Soft Purple Baby Blanket I was making in 2014.

 

In the realm of growing, my tomatoes are growing and maturing in the Aerogarden. Plant two may need to be cut back as it is getting leggy but Plant One is growing quite well. It even has a number of maturing fruit growing on it right now. My other plants, the Snake plants, Spider plants, and Pineapple are all doing excellently as well. I’m not sure when or if the Pineapple will grow a Pineapple fruit but it is now nearly three feet in diameter.

 

The one thing I would love this year that didn’t occur last year would be for me to get the garden plot I signed up for. I really want to grow different fruits and vegetables not only for my own household but for family members, friends, and people in need of fresh produce. At present, I have to take public transportation to the nearest market about twenty minutes from my home as the bus rides. The nearest community garden is slightly closer and much less travel time. My plan is to get a wagon and hike it home once the produce starts growing. Either that or save a lot of carfare for cabs, which in truth might be safer given that the roads near where I live and near the garden site don’t have sidewalks.

 

Though, at this point, all of this is mere speculation on a fantasy. I have no garden excepting my potted plants and Aerogarden.

 

I need to wake up so I can get back to knitting. I’ve been quite ill over this past few weeks with various colds/flus etc. I am now, thankfully, recovering.

 

Now, to get into this knitting. Until the next time, have a safe and fantastic journey around the Sun. Take care, my friends. Rolling on the floor laughingRed heartRainbow

New Year, New-ish Things

A modified list of projects. I’ve removed the projects marked completed and deleted. Now, my mission is to finish these off. At the end of last year, I busted out a quick Valentine Teddy Bear with Heart Shaped feet, called Bertie the Bear, for my neighbor, on the occasion of her birthday. I’m not going to include it in this listing as it was finished prior to the New Year.

 

Mommy Sox Junior (Loading…)
Plastic Fantastic socks for myself
AHA Little Hats, Big Hearts Project
Blodeuwedd The Hat for me
Little Boy Blue Blanket (Loading…)
Cosmos Doily Madness: Doily Three (Loading…95%)
Child-bearer’s Cardigan (Loading…messed up but still loading at 90%)
Boba Fett Amigurumi Doll
Yoda Amigurumi Doll
Rose Doily #804
In Love With Color Throw (Loading…90%)
Bigger on the Inside Shawl
Gloves for myself
A scarf for myself
Villimarjatar Shawl (Loading…)
Large Pineapple Doily
Monster Slippers for Valerie
Socks for The Maternal Parental x4
Socks for Myself x4
A Shawl of my own design
Wings for Nightbird Shawl
Dragon egg
Hobbes doll for April
Inishturk Sweater x2
Long Weekend Cardigan
Simple Shells Cowl
Fan Lace Tunic
Revontuli -huivi/Northern Lights Shawl
Scrap Yarn Shiver Stopper 2017

After six months of growing and four months of harvesting, I am taking down the Mega Cherry Tomatoes. Aside from the fact that I’m allergic to tomato plants and have been sneezing up a storm since they’ve grown, I’m just ready for a change. So, I have ordered the needed parts, that being the filters and plant spacers. Everything else, the Grow Your Own kit, the Liquid Nutrient, the seeds, etc. are all here already. All I need do is clean the Aerogarden out on the ninth, when I get the remaining supplies, and set the new garden up.

 

This next garden, I’m planning on leaving in for quite a while. Actually, I may leave it in for upwards of a few years, if the plants last that long. Things in the Pepper family are supposed to last a while and Sweet Pickle Organic Pepper looks like a good plant to have growing for a long period of time.

 

In addition to all the things I’ve been focused on doing, I’m also adding the title of “tutor” to the mix. The Maternal Parental, apparently, wants to learn about computers (again), so I’m going to teach her everything I know about Computer Know-How, Getting on the Internet, etc. She was supposed to take classes at the Library but, owing to a previous day’s extended exposure to the extremely cold temperatures, she was unable to find the strength to get to the class the following morning.

 

Hopefully, I can come up with a lesson plan that is good for her. One that will enable her to learn and take charge of her own learning.

 

As if my plate weren’t full enough, I’m also going to begin attending meetings at a local organization that matches my philosophical beliefs, or at least seems to. We’ll see how much we actually gel once I get there. If we all do get along, it’ll be nice having good, secular voices to talk with for a change. Being agoraphobic and cooped up with someone who is, shall we say, religiously obsessed, is a bit on the tedious side.

 

My problem isn’t with the religious aspect. I’m fine discussing religion as I am fine discussing non-religious subjects. However, when one begins using it as a sledgehammer to try to convert people one feels aren’t living up to the ideals according to ones own beliefs, then we have a problem. I’ve stated myself as plainly as I could regarding not joining a religion, not having a specific belief structure, etc. but it is still attempted, in spite of my kindness or perhaps because of it. I don’t want to be rude or derisive but it is irksome to keep getting that.

 

In trying to understand, I’m guessing that, perhaps, people have an idealized vision of what I should be like, based on stereotypes and assumptions, and balk when I don’t fit the mold of what they think someone like myself should act like. Well, limiting expectations have never been my cup of tea.

 

Another “as if my plate weren’t full enough” thing is actually mentioned in the listing of knit and crochet projects in a sort of roundabout way. I’m getting back into volunteering. In this era of fear and greed, I need to do something brave and selfless with my time to counterbalance the aforementioned. I’m looking for “out of the house” positions but I am not opposed to doing an “work from home” position if it does good works and keeps me busy.

 

Right now, I’m making baby hats for the American Heart Association’s Little Hats, Big Hearts drive. Basically, you make a lot of little red hats for babies, send them in before the deadline, Lather, Rinse, Repeat. I am fully prepared for the making of hats in 2017. I have a skein of Lion Brand’s Pound of Love yarn in Cherry Red and a few patterns with plans to get more of both. I actually love making little hats. Squeeeeeeee!

 

Other volunteer positions I’m looking at but still on the fence about are NAMI, the Library, and a few local yarn shops (if they’ll take me!), etc.

 

Speaking of the Library, I’m upping the ante on my Korean Language learning saga. Up until now, I’ve been learning words and a few phrases. I just put a bunch of language Audiobooks on hold at the Library so I could not only study the language more but also so I could learn sentence structure. My next step, after this, is going to H-Mart to get a newspaper to study.

 

Well, I think that’s enough writing for one day. I have a lot to do and not much time in the day to do it.

 

Have a fantastic New Year. Later!

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

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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.

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:

 

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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.

 

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.

Resplendent Day

Tomatoes

 

I have tomatoes coming in. Yes. Oh yes. At least fourteen cherry tomatoes are going to develop on this stocky little plant from the flowers I’ve been vigorously shaking on a daily basis. The reason I know this to be true is due to the fact that one flower came off because of my overenthusiastic shaking program and, when I pulled the blossom out to check the development of the tomato, it was on its way to becoming a new fruit.

 

So, I am going more cautiously now but I am still shaking daily until I get confirmation of fruiting in the form of blossom drop off. This is happening on the forty-five day old plant. The second, twenty-nine day younger plant is just starting to branch out. I should be docking it within the next two weeks or so once it gets bigger.

 

I am so excited to be growing tomatoes again. I loved doing it the last time notwithstanding the difficulty in getting them to fruit compared with peppers. When I grew the Jalapeno peppers, the flowers practically pollinated themselves whenever I walked past the Aerogarden. The tomatoes, on the other hand, require a good shake and/or usage of the pollinator to get good results in fruit maturity rates. I don’t mind, considering I love doing this. It is just something I’ve noticed.

 

Rainstorm II Socks

 

These socks are, at long last, nearing completion. I’ve knitted late into the night on them several nights this past week and I’ve finally made progress on them with only eighteen more rounds to do before I start closing for the toes. In future, I am not going to delay when making socks for myself. I am going to work on them right away, as often as possible and as long as possible until they are completed. Hopefully, this will keep me from having such a longstanding WIP.

 

There is more but I’m putting it in my hand written journal. Thanks for reading. Have a great 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.

 

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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.

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.