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.

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!

Well, That Was…Interesting…

Baltimore City recently (27 April 2015) erupted into chaos. I, along with many others, sat watching it on live feeds and television, horrified by the violence. For any of you wondering, while I am from Baltimore City, I presently live in Baltimore County, so I’m well out of it. I appreciate your concerned messages though. Thank you for caring.

 

As far as I know, my family is okay. Thank you all for asking about them. Some were quite close to the action but stayed indoors and waited. As many of us did.

 

I will save the recriminations over who is ultimately responsible for this whole thing to more political and legal minds. I know what I’ve read and heard from the mouths of some though.

 

Moving on to other things, I am currently in the middle of doily three of the Cosmos Doily Madness. These doilies are for my friends on the occasion of their wedding…months ago. I’m hoping to give it to them by their anniversary. It should be done well before that time but, given how long it has taken me to get these done, I figured I’d give myself some leeway.

 

Sad news on the Health front. Doc F is leaving in July. I got a letter from him stating as much. Now, I’ve got to go get a new doctor. He was a pretty cool doctor too. I’m going to miss him. Crying face

 

Happy news on the health front. That Place has moved and…it moved less than a block from my Local Yarn Shop. Yep! I’ll be shopping at Cloverhill Yarn Shop from now on. I’m really looking forward to buying nice yarn when I’m finally off of my yarn diet. Don’t get me wrong. I love Knit Picks, Lion Brand, etc. but there’s something to be said about the appeal of being able to be tactile with the yarn you’re going to buy. One cannot do this when buying online. Open-mouthed smile

 

I’m planning on getting a butt load of Cascade Superwash 220 as well as whatever else they have that I like. I just have to get through my yarn diet which doesn’t end until 1 January 2017. I know, I’m a glutton for punishment. I love the colors and the fact that it’s Superwash yarn. I’m really looking forward to working with it. I’m also looking forward to socializing with other Knitters and Crocheters. Me…socializing. That’s so weird. Surprised smile

 

Okay, that’s enough rambling. Later! Rolling on the floor laughingRed heartRainbow

How I Lost My Fear of Crafting, Part Three

This is the final installment of the trilogy of how I lost my fear of crafting. Enjoy!

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Slowly but surely, I began to increase my knitting skills. Over time I mastered stitch after stitch, until the challenges were intermediate to advanced. I discovered many different learning media from Knit and Crochet Today (Later called Knit and Crochet Now), to DVDs available in the library and even videos on YouTube that all taught how to knit in easy to follow instructions. I was hooked from that moment on but, by then, a new fire was burning inside of me. I started seeing things on Crocheting and knew I had to learn how to do that as well.

 

Thankfully, I had resources from which to learn by this point. I bought a crochet hook set for myself and checked books out of the library on the subject. I eyed Drew Emborsky’s and Robin Chachula’s techniques like a hawk as I watched, what was then, my favorite knitting and crocheting television program. Yet, try as I might, I just couldn’t seem to pick it up initially. Unlike knitting, I didn’t do it until my fingers bled, but I did try hard. However, something inside me just couldn’t pick up the craft of crocheting.

 

So, thinking a class might help, I signed up for the first crocheting class I saw online at the Woman’s Industrial Exchange. I tried very hard through my nervousness but only managed a mostly through the back loops scrap of crocheted fabric. I needed something more in depth and searched online for another free class. Thankfully, the Baltimore Free School had classes available for learning to crochet. One class schedule in particular offered a month’s worth of classes and I jumped at the opportunity.

 

On 10 October 2009, I walked through the dark streets of Baltimore to the Free School’s class site. It was a pleasant night and a not so bad neighborhood but I was still cautious of my surroundings because of my history. I made it to the class site in one piece and was welcomed by a large class of men and women who were all interested in learning the art of crocheting. The teacher was a nice woman named Lissah Dee and she was instrumental in my learning to crochet finally. Through watching her and studying her stitch key, I was finally able to pick up the correct method of crocheting.

 

I immediately went home with this skill and practiced until I got the hang of it. By this point, I had a marginal yarn stash, so I took out some royal blue yarn and, eventually, made a soap cozy/scrubbing thing. This was my first completed crocheted project and I was very proud. I sent an e-mail to Lissah Dee and told her what I had done and she was very encouraging. Regretfully, I didn’t go to any of the other classes due to Bipolar downswing, but I credit this class with teaching me to crochet.

 

After I did this first project, I went back to watching Knit and Crochet Today and watched Drew Emborsky making the Blushing Grannies Afghan. I wanted to make a blanket and it seemed a good place to start to learn flat crocheting of motifs. At first, I really messed up but, after the third try, I finally got it right. Ultimately, I didn’t make that particular project but it did set me onto the path of making Five By Five – Crazy First Blanket and other motif containing projects. Over time, my allegiance switched from Knit and Crochet Now to Knitting Daily circa Series 100 – 1100 due to my appetite for knitting and crocheting needing more of a challenge.

 

As of today, I am successfully able to knit and crochet with minimal issues. I have even learned, via YouTube, to read patterns and charts.

 

The End. Rolling on the floor laughingRed heartRainbow

Three Important Songs in my Life

Boys II Men – It’s So Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday

This song represents the good aspects of my past. Admittedly, there weren’t many good times, but for the few that existed, this song is a bittersweet reminded of all I said goodbye to forever. Chief among them is my friendship to one of the few people who was nice to me when I was a kid. Her name was Jamie and she died in a fire when we were in the second grade.

 

Finally laying that pain of loss to rest took me many years and lots of crying but I did it. When that song was released from the House Party 2 Soundtrack, it was like I was finally given permission to let go of the grief I had been holding onto for years. I still cry from time to time when I think of her life so tragically lost at so early an age but I no longer am obsessed with it as I was when I was a kid. I feel that, in the long run, this is the healthier path.

 

Queen – Another One Bites The Dust

This is another song from my childhood that helped me overcome adversity. I was routinely bullied by both children and adults and frequently castigated for being myself from a very young age. Slaying those demons took me years of therapy and self-conditioning but I managed it. Sometimes, I would literally have this song playing in my head as a means of inspiration while I strove not to react to some mean thing someone said or did to me.

 

As the bullying decreased, it helped me also in other areas of my life, from the academics I struggled in to social complexities. It would be my anthem for all challenges I sought to overcome and master. It worked too, in that I am no longer the same frightened, browbeaten mouse of a person I used to be. I speak up for myself now even when it’s difficult and I strive to better myself rather than stew in self-hatred brought on by the vile comments of others. This is a very good song.

 

Semisonic – Down In Flames

This song represents adulthood to me. It came out around the time I was in high school and dealing with a lot of people I didn’t want to give the time of day to. This song’s inspiration to me was about accepting adult responsibility for myself and letting go of the petty childish feuds that were rife in my old school. Through music and this song in particular, I was able to focus better on the transition from childhood to adulthood.

 

One line in particular in this song reminds me just how poignant this song is.

“I am seeing these friends for the first time in years. It’s icicle reunion day”. – Semisonic – Down in Flames

Sums up my childhood relationships quite brilliantly.

 

I have many other songs that I look to for inspiration but these have to be the top three go to songs that have gotten me through the most trying difficulties. Rolling on the floor laughingRed heartRainbow

On Hats, Projects and Hectic Scheduling

I’ve got two upcoming appointments I’m going to by myself and an additional appointment I’m accompanying the Maternal Parental to. Apparently, I’m back to the numb feeling at the present. I suppose that’s good. It’s better than puking my guts out in nervousness.

I’m on schedule for my projects at least. I’m currently in the middle of Hut von Mike die Schlafmütze with a projected completion date of Wednesday or sooner. Given that I’m not taking The Little Boy Blue Blanket with me to work on due to its size, I’m going to start Blodeuwedd The Hat (my own hat) to take with me to my appointments. It’ll be something for me to work on rather than focusing on my nervously churning stomach or palpitating heart.

Well, it’s either Blodeuwedd The Hat or another pair of socks. Though, either would make a welcome change to working with black yarn in a dark room. I must admit, I’ve mostly been knitting by feel on these projects. I must be getting old indeed to have this problem considering I used to knit in the dark, with black yarn, using only the light of the television to aid me. I’m so over that now. I could do with an Ott-lite.

If I should get paid for the Blanket and other commissioned items, It’s going directly into my anemic Savings account. It’s almost 2015 and I’m doing the 52 Week Savings Challenge…backwards. Instead of saving one dollar the first week and then two the second, I’m saving $52 the first week, $51 the second week and so forth for the rest of the year. I’m trying to stay positive about this but, between the Maternal Parental and my own greed for yarn and books, it’s unlikely I’ll save anything. Still, I’m going to try. Anything going into my Savings account is not coming out except in extreme emergency situations.

Given that I’ve gotten it down to the princely sum of $1.20, I can’t exactly complain about any savings. Now can I? 🙂

The very last book I am buying for the foreseeable future is going to be a book on socks. It’s called Think Outside the Sox: 60+ Winning Designs from the Knitter’s Magazine Contest by Elaine Rowley. I was blown away by some of the featured designs I saw on Ravelry the other day. The last DVD outside of Doctor Who (because of course, I’m getting that) I’m going to get will probably be The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, which includes the hottie. You’ll just have to ask who I consider hot in those movies. :p

I am really slimming down on my purchases over the next two years. No yarn, as I am giving up on commissions due to the lack of payment and respect from so-called paying customers. No books and no DVDs outside of Doctor Who. Lest you all start panicking, I am still making things for my friends, gratis, as I have promised to. In fact, not jumping to these unpalatable commissions will probably increase my productivity for the things I like doing. Let it be known, my friend’s list is select.

Woe to those of you out there who don’t appreciate hand knitted and crocheted items enough to pay reasonable prices, in a timely manner. The thing I still can’t figure out is, why do you order things if you’re not willing to pay for them? Do you think love alone pays the bills of knitters, crocheters, weavers, etc? Yes, we love our craft but the people we owe money to in this our consumerist society don’t want to hear that we only have yarn to pay them when the rent’s due or when the electricity’s about to be cut off. Do you tell your creditors that you only have smiles to pay them in? Would you work for nothing to make something for a super cheap ingrate not willing to pony up for your hard work? No? Really?! Interesting.

Sorry, people. Rant mode off.

Tonight’s agenda is Doctor Who Series Eight and working on this hat. Though, to be honest, working on this hat might prove difficult if I’m glued to Doctor Who. 🙂

Later!

Thank Goodness For Chase Brexton

I am so exhausted. I’ve been up since 4am and traveling since before 6:30am to make what turned out to be a futile appointment up in Reisterstown. Not for me, understand, but for the Maternal Parental.

For as long as I can remember, the Maternal Parental has had dental issues. She got the first of her teeth pulled when I was very small and has been losing teeth regularly since then. At present, she’s down to her last 7.5 teeth. I say 7.5 because one broke off the other day. This is where the rude and unhelpful medical service comes into play. I’d heard about a local medical facility that offered no cost dental extractions for those who qualify. Well, the Maternal Parental qualifies, definitely. So, we got up well before dawn and started traveling from where we live, out to Reisterstown, Maryland (closer to Glyndon) so she could, hopefully, be seen. We got to the location at 7:38 precisely and I rang the doorbell for the site. A very nice gentleman explained that the health facility was set up in the back and asked us to walk around to the back parking lot. Thinking that the Maternal Parental might finally have some relief, we obliged happily.

We got around back and met a man coming out of the back of the place and asked him if this were the place we were looking for. He said yes but that we might not be seen as there were already people ahead of us. He told us to try anyway though, and we thanked him for his help and hoped that we could somehow get the Maternal Parental seen that day. When we went in, we asked the two ladies who seem to be in charge about the possibility of being seen and were rudely rebuffed.

My mom, not understanding the process of selection, thought we’d called and made an appointment and one of the women rudely said, “Well, we don’t take appointments!” in a snappy voice as though she were admonishing a child. So, I’m getting pissed but remaining polite and the Maternal Parental is getting, understandably upset at the treatment. The Maternal Parental brought up their phone message, which states that eight people would be seen that day and was told, “Well, we already sent two people back” in a snappy voice before the woman further condescended to us both by holding up her fingers reiterating the number of people meant to be seen while explaining rudely that only six people were going to be seen that day and that some people had waited since 1am for dental work.

I then politely tried to end the whole debaucle by asking about the next possible time as advertised on their website, that being the 23rd. In a huff, I was told that they weren’t coming back to that location until January 6th. Wanting to end the whole experience, I thanked them both for their consideration and wished them both a Merry Christmas. No reply. The Maternal Parental was adamant about not going back over the rude treatment she received and I’m inclined to agree. It’ll take a while but we’re going to save up and go to Chase Brexton instead. I just hope her broken off tooth doesn’t develop an infection while we’re saving up.

Now, I’m trying to give them the benefit of the doubt. I don’t know how long they were on site. They could have been there from 1am. I don’t know what’s going on in their lives as they could have any number of stressors running rampant in their personal lives. Still, do you really have to reply to people asking basic questions about a service you’re supposed to provide in so undignified a manner? No one was rude to them. Heck, people are showing up and grateful for the free care considering the cost of dental work in Maryland. I don’t know, it’s just been weighing heavily on my mind all day since it happened.

Thank goodness for Chase Brexton.