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.

 2017-04-18 04.30.232017-04-16 01.05.49

 

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!

Feeling Accomplished

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So, I went to see Hidden Figures on Saturday, 14 January 2017, at the Senator Theater in Baltimore City.

I have to say, it was a pretty decent film in my view. Definitely worth seeing with your family, friends and even your arch enemies, though watch out for their dastardly deeds in the darkness of the theater.

I want to tell more but I don’t want to give spoilers away about the film. I’d really rather you go see it yourselves. I can’t believe I’m saying this about a Fox product after Firefly but go see this film.

Afterward, I went with a combination of two social groups I hang out with now to a local restaurant. There we had an in-depth discussion about the intricacies of the movie and the overall impact of education and career advancement on African American women from a political, social, economic, etc. standpoint. It was quite a lively discussion. I’m glad I didn’t cave on going at the last second.

 

 

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Now that I’ve finished with the viewing of the movie (for now), I need to occupy myself with this book. I’m meant to be reading it for the BCPL Reading Challenge for the month of January. January is almost out of here. It is a little over three hundred pages. I should be able to read it quickly enough. I just like taking my time with a book is all.

 

 

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I “planted” the Sweet Pickle Organic Pepper seeds in the Aerogarden of Serendipity on the Ninth of January. The Grow Your Own kit wasn’t nearly as complicated as I thought it would be to set up. About the most difficult part was the ironing on of the labels using an old cheap iron the Maternal Parental received as a gift a long time ago. Other than that, this kit was not troublesome to deal with at all.

So now, the waiting game begins, though I don’t think I’ll have to wait very long. I believe I saw the beginning of seedlings coming up in one of the pods and the seeds swelling in one of the others. As I only intend to keep two pods active, the third is just for insurance in case one of the others fails to sprout.

 

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Presenting Mommy Sox Junior. These are the Maternal Parental’s socks in the making. I am incredibly behind but I am catching up pretty well. I’m going to knit a few more rounds of the body of the sock before getting into the heel stitches.

 

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a book to read.

My Monopolized Time

Right in time for the holiday, I am sick. So, I am at home recuperating and trying desperately not to throw up.

 

When I’m not doing the above, I’ve been taking an inventory of what I’ve gotten accomplished thus far regarding my project list.

 

  • João’s Hello Kitty Hat (Completed)
  • Blodeuwedd The Hat for me
  • Little Boy Blue Blanket (Loading…)
  • Shimmer Stole (Deleted)
  • Sidewalk Shawl (Completed)
  • Handschuhe Times Two: Bruce’s Gloves (Completed)
  • Cosmos Doily Madness: Doily Three (Loading…95%)
  • Rainstorm II Socks (Completed)
  • Child-bearer’s Cardigan (Loading…messed up but still loading at 90%)
  • Boba Fett Amigurumi Doll
  • Baby Groot (Completed)
  • Rose Doily #804
  • Be a Friend/Have a Heart Shawl(Completed)
  • In Love With Color Throw
  • Bigger on the Inside Shawl
  • Gloves for myself
  • A scarf for myself
  • Villimarjatar Shawl (Loading…)
  • Large Pineapple Doily
  • Monster Slippers for Valerie

 

I am also on a few sites that claim to teach how to code…learning how to code. Right now, it has me going through the basics of HTML and CSS, which I already know, but I am determined to get into Programming languages soon. I’m determined to make this a side career for myself or even a main career. I just need to focus on my goals and not veer off-course.

 

No doubt this all seems very stressful. I’m having fun doing it but it is rather a lot to take on. As if this weren’t enough, I’m also taking up Korean, because I’ve wanted to for a very long time. I’m memorizing things semi-well even if I don’t spell the words as well as I should in review. I’ll get there though. Basically, my non-studying time is filled with a lot of studying. I’ll need to find another source for the language tutoring, as the one I’m using is holding back on the hard words. I’ll have to see if the Library has a language CD or something. I can also go to the local grocery store and pick up a newspaper for writing practice.

 

So, lots to do and only twenty-four hours in the day to do it all. Add onto this, the pattern writing/knitting design learning, plant management, taking care of the Maternal Parental, and taking care of myself as well as the household, and I have very little time left in the day. This has put a real dent in my social networking. I will try to log in once a week and, as always I will be available via messenger service.

 

Take care. Later.

Blodeuwedd The Hat…

…and various other things.

 

Since NaNoWriMo is now coming to a middle, I thought I’d get in high gear in finally planning my own Winter accoutrements. Long has the project page for Blodeuwedd The Hat sat in my Ravelry projects, uncompleted. Up until now, I’ve been making due with the hat pictured below that I crocheted years ago.

 

Crocheted Mexicana Hat v2_00006_001

Now, I’m not saying that this current hat hasn’t served me well. It has. I am just looking for something warmer and more air tight/heat trapping.

 

So, using the Beanie 212 pattern, I’m going to go completely off the rails with the color design, to the best of my abilities. This new hat is going to be made of washable wool. It’s going to be at least three different colors. I am going to get more in if I can via scrap yarn. Topping this off, the scarf and gloves I’m making to accompany the hat will match it, again, to the best of my abilities.

 

I can see it in my mind. I just need to figure out how to design it properly.

 

In other stuff, I am teaching myself to write knitting patterns. It’s the next step in this journey I embarked on a little over ten years ago. I figured it was time to take it to the next level and get my feet wet with learning how to properly write patterns. I have two books on the subject, both of which are very informative. The two books are:

The Beginner’s Guide to Writing Knitting Patterns by Kate Atherley

Teach Yourself Visually Knitting Design by Sharon Turner

 

I know that this is, by no means, the entirety of knowledgeable literature when it comes to pattern writing and knitting/crochet design. This is just the beginning of my long-term exploration of the subjects. There’s a lot for me to learn but I’m up to the challenge.

 

Also on the topic of new books and on the subject of personal challenges is my acquisition of a cookbook. I have Maangchi’s Real Korean Cooking and I fully intend to use it. This is the first cookbook I’ve purchased. I’m hopeful I can get some food to make all these wonderful dishes.

 

Onward to present projects. Villimarjatar. I brushed against it the other day on my way to the keyboard to do some NaNoWriMo updating but, other than that, I haven’t touched it. I’m presently on the third row of the second pattern repeat. I’m hoping to get quite a bit done tonight since I’m finally ahead in other things. I live in hope.

 

As to NaNoWriMo, it doesn’t look like I’m going to get to the end of my story this year either even though I will exceed the 50,000 threshold. Still way too many characters and too deep a plot. Still, I like the story enough that I’m going to keep working on it beyond NaNoWriMo. I hope anyway. It’s a good bet my friend will be on me to write it because he wants to see it come to fruition too.

 

I’ve got to go now. My Aerogarden is whining for water. The tomatoes drink the level down almost daily now that they’re bigger and fruiting again. Later.

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.

Peppers and Socks and Herbs…

Oh My!

An abundance of Sweet Pickle Organic Pepper seedlings. I relented and put them under the light hood of the Aerogarden of Serendipity as I’d been threatening to do for weeks now. I’ve noticed vast improvement in the short time they’ve been under the lights. This is the third day and they’re already a nice, dark green color and all straightening up.

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I’m going to give them a few more inches to grow before I mercilessly cut the very tips from them. Bwhahahahaha. No seriously, it’s a good way to get an abundant harvest of peppers out of a plant. It causes the plant to take on a compact, bushy habit and produce more flowers. More flowers (if they’re pollinated) equals more fruit. At least, I hope it gives me fruit.

 

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My progress on the socks. I’m about one quarter of the way through knitting the feet. Over the past month, I haven’t been able to touch this project owing to so much stress and grief but, lately, I’ve been doing pretty well at it. When I finish this, I’ll make another attempt at the Boba Fett amigurumi figurine before (hopefully) moving back to the Maternal Parental’s crocheted cardigan.

The Project list at present:

  • João’s Hello Kitty Hat (Completed)
  • 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 (Loading…)
  • Child-bearer’s Cardigan
  • Boba Fett Amigurumi Doll (Loading…Daylight hours)
  • Baby Groot
  • Rose Doily #804
  • Be a Friend/Have a Heart Shawl(Completed)
  • In Love With Color Throw
  • Bigger on the Inside Shawl
  • Gloves for myself
  • A scarf for myself
  • Villimarjatar Shawl
  • Large Pineapple Doily
  • Monster Slippers for Valerie

 

One more picture and then I’m going to go read my book. Right now, I’m reading Darwin’s Origin of Species. Anyway, this is a pre-cutting picture of the Aerogarden of Serendipity taken 30 May 2016.

 

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As you can see, this is a forest of basil. I’ve cut it back but it is only a matter of time before it grows back to wacky proportions.

 

 

I think, in future, I’m going to grow just about anything but the Gourmet Herb garden. I love growing Peppers and Tomatoes, so perhaps I should try those out a bit more?

 

Thanks for reading. Have a fantastic day.

Happy Birthday To Me

Hey, I’m almost thirty-five years old. Wow. Anyway, to the posting.

 

For some time now, I have been unable to sleep without a lot of effort. This has proved exhausting to my life and my schedule. So exhausting that, paradoxically, I have frequently gone days without adequate sleep. I’m not sure what has been causing this but I am hoping it will go away soon. My pdoc prescribed 50mg of diphenhydramine for this issue and…it didn’t work. There I was, in bed all night long, staring at the backs of my eyelids, wishing for some kind of intervention that would give me a good night’s rest.

 

I wasn’t worried about anything.

I wasn’t agitated.

I wasn’t upset.

I just couldn’t sleep for some reason.

 

My sleep issues had gotten to the point where they’d affected my writing abilities, my knitting and crocheting abilities, my physical health, my coordination and fine motor skills in cooking. Imagine being sleep deprived while trying to work with a sharp knife, a heated stovetop, or a boiling hot pot of water? Yeah, my lack of sleep was a detriment to myself and others after a while.

 

The one thing I could still do was screw up my vision to focus, barely. So, I read books: both eBooks and Treebooks in my possession until my brain didn’t want to take in more information. Once the overload was completed, I took my meds, went to bed and…after two and a half hours, fell asleep for two blocks of sleep totaling eight hours and forty seven minutes. Yay.

 

As of right now, I’m still more than a bit shaky but, as you can see, I am writing again. Hopefully, with more sleep and time to recover, I can work on those stories and crafting projects of mine. 

 

Speaking of books and media. I think it’s time for another cull. I’m taking out the books with dated information, gleaning what I can from them before sending them for recycling if possible. The movies, I’m going to view them once more (the unwanted) before donating them to charity or selling them. After all, I do have a challenge on Goodreads to read at least fifty books before the end of the year. This seems like a good way to do it.

 

On the Aerogarden front, the Aerogarden of Serendipity continues to amaze me.

 

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This is representative of thirty three days of growth. I have cut all visible plants back several times and they just keep on growing like they’re Kudzu or something. The Genovese Basil is particularly scary…I mean amazing as I cut it back to nothing more than a few leaf tips less than ten days prior and it grew back in record time. It is now overtaking the “Thai” Basil, pushing aside the Mint and shading the Cilantro. I had to raise the Light hood a bit to accommodate it.

 

I did have to get replacements for two pods. The Chives, well, to be honest Chive, died on me. The Cilantro never sprouted. So, I am now waiting for these replacements to grow. I hope they do. My room normally smells pretty good but, right now, it smells extra lovely. It’s very fragrant and smells of Basil, Mint, and Dill.

 

Due to my lack of coordination, I haven’t done much in the way of crocheting. I hope to change that in the next few days as my strength returns.

 

Thank you for reading. Have a great evening.