Not Much But More Than I Thought

Due to a combination of recent health issues and a tremendous lack of personal time in my life, I do not believe that I’ll achieve my goal set forth for April’s Camp NaNoWriMo. I will do my best and write as much as I can but at this point I do not believe that I’ll cross the threshold I set out to cross within the timeframe allotted.

 

Rather than run myself ragged trying to do all the things, I’m going to focus on a few specifics which need to take priority. So, if you hear from me even less than usual lately, that’s why.

 

I am determined to pick up where I left off at the next Camp NaNoWriMo event later in the Summer.

 

Aside from that, only a few things are happening here.

 

I’m just living on soup, Duolingo German, as well as the music of Die Ärzte, and Farin Urlaub Racing Team. I’m almost at the point where I know the lyrics to some of the songs. I’m happy about that.

 

To be honest, probably sixty percent of the words I’ve listened to over the past ten days have been German. I might consider switching my profile language preferences to German to get me to use my linguistic translation capabilities more.

 

I’m considering becoming a vegetarian again. Between the fact that I do actually get ill from eating some forms of animal product to the fact that there is a health benefit to being a vegetarian for me to the rising cost of food prices in the supermarket, I’m definitely looking into this one. This time, I’m going to do my research and find the appropriate methods for me to do so.

 

I’m dyeing yarn now as a hobby. This is part pain reliever/part stress reliever and it works on both fronts. Thus far, I’ve managed (with the help of the Maternal Parental on two of the four ounce dyes) three hanks and one cake of four ounce yarn in Lion Brand’s Fisherman’s Wool, in addition to the two cakes of four ounce yarn I dyed previously. I’ve also dyed a hank of Cascade 220 Superwash and a hank of Red Heart’s Heart and Sole Sock yarn.

 

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Cascade 220 Superwash

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Red Heart’s Heart & Sole

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Lion Brand’s Fisherman’s Wool

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Lion Brand’s Fisherman’s Wool

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Lion Brand’s Fisherman’s Wool

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Lion Brand’s Fisherman’s Wool

 

 

The end result of the four ounce dyes will be a sweater. I don’t know what I’m going to do with the Cascade and the sock yarn.

 

 

Starting next week (I hope!) there will  be Basil and Spearmint in the Aerogarden. The tomatoes are making me sneeze entirely too much to hang around for much longer. Plus, they’re coming to the end of their cycle. I got another good crop of tomatoes off of them but it is time for them to go.

 

 

The Basil I’ll be growing will be Genovese, Cinnamon, and Lettuce Leaf. In addition to this, I’ll be growing Spearmint. I really have missed growing it and look forward to having it in my room again. I’m also going to attempt growing Lemongrass again. Hopefully, it will thrive with the hot summers we tend to get nowadays even in my window.

 

 

Until the next time, have a safe and fantastic journey around the Sun. Take care, my friends. Rolling on the floor laughingRed heartRainbow

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.

Expanding My Territory

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I am finally making moves to getting more growing space. In my community, there are garden plots available for rental for as low as $20USD per year. I’m not sure as to the specifics beyond that but, if this is still accurate, you’re reading the words of someone who is going to seize this opportunity as soon as it flies past her. For that princely sum, I would get a 4’ x 20’ plot to grow stuff in and a key to the growing space.

 

As much as I love the Aerogarden for snacks/light meals, it’s not sustainable for anything more than that in the long term. As it stands, I don’t have the room in my room to make a hydroponics system that could feed everyone I’d like to feed. So, with that door closed to me for the foreseeable future, my most feasible option is to get a soil based growing space and work from there. Heck, for the space advertised, I could feed a lot of people I’d like to feed. I’ve already promised some of the future harvest to one friend and another has automatic rights to the harvest as well because he’s such a good friend and has helped us tremendously. It’s only a question of getting the plot and supplies at this point.

 

It’s just a matter of getting the supplies to the growing space once I get it. I’m definitely going to grow tomatoes and peppers. While peppers might not need staking, the tomatoes I’d like to grow certainly will. For that, I’d need the supplies for a trellis system. I’d have no problems getting the stuff. I’d just need to figure out a way to get it to the site. I don’t know anyone with a truck, so I’d either have to walk it from where I live or hire someone. I really don’t think they’d let me on the bus with some of the supplies.

 

Seeds are no difficulty. In fact, they’re probably going to be one of the easiest things to acquire/transport. I’ll start them indoors here and then carry them to the grow site once they’re big enough to survive on their own.

 

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In other news, I’ve frogged the sweater/cardigan I was knitting for my mother and replaced it with a crochet pattern. I’m really not in the mood to knit right now. Especially not something as large as a cardigan. So, I’ve opted instead for the New Beginnings Bulky Sweater. It’s a nice, comfortable looking cardigan pattern by Agnes Russell. The best part about this pattern is that I’ll probably end up using even more of this hideous (don’t like the color) pink yarn since it is a crochet pattern. I’m definitely hoping to get this pattern finished by July or earlier.

 

Another good thing about this pattern is that I can take it with me. While the other sweater was on circular needles, there was always the fear in me that the knitting would slip off of the needles. No such fears with crocheting.

 

So, this is my new nighttime pattern until I finish the Boba Fett. Then, it’ll be my all day pattern.

 

For now though, I need to sleep. I have been having a lot of trouble sleeping lately. Good morning, 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!

Last and First

I think I neglected to post the last project I completed in 2015. It was a doll for a friend of mine on the occasion of his birthday. I got it finished just in time too. The pattern information page is available via Ravelry – Hobbes by Ann Stiver-Balla.

 

 

So now we come to the first completed project of 2016. I made this hat for another friend of mine. He likes Hello Kitty and, when I discovered this, I immediately wanted to make him a hat I had seen on Ravelry. So, this is my attempt at upsizing this hat for a fully grown human man. Luckily, we have the same head measurements, so it wasn’t difficult keeping track. Pattern information available via Ravelry – Hello Kitty Hat by Elizabeth Pardue.

 

 

So, as of this moment, I’m turning skeins of bright red yarn into cakes with my Yarn Ball winder for a future shawl project because it is too dark to work on my current distraction. I’m FINALLY making my friend Sam his Boba Fett doll. *fanfare*

 

You are probably wondering why I’m spending so much time crocheting and knitting when I could be…sleeping. Well may you ask. Due to recent health issues with my current medications (edema, racing heart, etc), I’ve had to stop taking the one that stops the panic inducing nightmares from happening. So. No sleep for me. At least, very little in the sleep department, most of which is fretful. Such is life, I suppose.

 

Completely changing the subject: The Aerogarden Tomatoes.

They’re really taking off, as you can see in the above picture. I offer you a few close ups of the fruiting.

 

So far, I’ve got at least ten tomatoes with a lot more flowers coming in everyday. I try to do a trim as needed, usually about once every other week or so. I’m trying to maintain the health of the plants and ensure they keep flowering and fruiting for me.

 

Well, I’ve got to get back to winding up this yarn into cakes. Take care and Be Well.

Say Hello To My Little Friends

As you can see, I’m making a voodoo doll…no. Just kidding. Actually, this is the as yet unfinished Birthday Buddy Bunny for my little cousin. I’m hoping to get her finished by tonight and mailed off by Saturday. I’m incredibly tired right now though. So, I may have to ship it Priority and hope it gets there on or before her birthday.

 

In other news, my Aerogarden has shown quite significant growth among its plants. It’s almost unrecognizable from three weeks ago. Surprised smile

 

 

The Chives haven’t changed much but everything else is shooting up quite nicely. I will admit to eating a few…or more…of the leaves off of these plants over the past few weeks. Part of it was pruning, part of it was my being hungry. That’s all about to change though.

 

Starting today, I am not going to do anything to the Aerogarden of Hope except give it water. I want to see how far this machine can go as far as sustaining plants. Better to find it out now with the much less fickle herbs than when I get the tomatoes and peppers sitting in the Aerogarden.

 

I did a vlog on the Aerogarden of Hope’s progress tonight but I’m really not happy with the quality of it. So, I’m going to shoot another video tomorrow once I’ve gotten some rest. I’ve been up the past day and a half transferring most of the media on my computer to BD-RE disks. It is exhaustive, mind numbing, boring and tiring work but someone’s got to do it. Now that some 300gb of space is free on my computer, I can relax and enjoy how much more quickly it goes. I can also take my now portable media and look at it on a Bluray player if I so desire to.

 

Is everyone else ready for the upgrade to Windows 10? Apparently, I am. I got a special message from Microsoft offering me the opportunity to upgrade to WinX for free. Yeah, I know. I thought it was a scam or something too but it’s apparently genuine. I guess they got sick of the people holding on to 3.1 all these years. Joke. Hopefully, it won’t be a total cluster… of a situation with the upgrade. Embarrassed smile

 

This is actually the first time I’m keeping up with everyone on an upgrade in Windows. Normally, I stay on an OS version for years…possibly a decade or more. Don’t ask me about Windows 98…please. Crying face

 

Oh yeah….confession time. I recently bought some stuff from Knit Picks. Now, given both my yarn and book diet until 2017, I’m pretty ashamed of myself right now. I was supposed to refrain from buying either of these things until January 2017. The only thing I could have sort of justified was the purchase of the Shawl Pin I got. Though, I’m giving serious thought to re-evaluating this whole Yarn diet thing. I make regular trips very close to my LYS now and it would be a shame to wait until 2017 to go there when they have such good reviews and yummy yarns. So, I think I’m going to cancel the yarn diet and keep the book diet. Party smile

 

Got the Maternal Parental the three part series That’s Entertainment! and it’s a combination birthday/Mother’s day gift. This is her first Bluray.

 

Oh man, I am so tired.

 

Good night, Peoples of the Sun. Rolling on the floor laughingRed heartRainbow

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