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.

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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!

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Odds and Ends

I am fifty-eight days into this particular garden’s growth. Not bad, eh? I’m expecting the peppers to arrive at any moment now. I vigorously shake the plant daily and check for signs of fruiting development. So far, no luck but I live in hope.

 

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Further along in my daily journey is my progress with my WIPs. Yesterday, I did something I thought I’d never do. I finally put the fringe on the Sidewalk Shawl I made back in October. Yeah. I even used Knit Picks Diadem yarn to do it. Double yeah. I was cringing the entire time I made it but, I must say, it looks lovely. I am afraid to wear it now. Regardless of my feelings on this project, I can now officially mark it off as completed with no trace of guilt about its status. 

 

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Now, onto some Knitting. I’ve dusted off the gift I was making for the Maternal Parental at the start of the year. Mommy Socks Junior are slowly making progress using the Two at a time method of knitting. I’m not going to put up any deadline for this because, it seems, that’s just asking for a roadblock to come blundering into my progress. So, instead, I will focus on the pleasantries of knitting and enjoy myself in the process rather than try racing against time.

 

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Aside from this, I’ve been baking and cooking. I’ve been baking bread and I’ve also been experimenting with one of Maangchi’s recipes (YouTube) for Dak-kalguksu.  I regret to inform you that the soup was so delicious that I was unable to get a good picture of it prior to it being decimated by our ravenous hunger. However, I did manage to get a picture of the bread. Not that it was any less flavorful, just that it came out of a near 400F oven and needed to cool off first before anyone could eat it.

 

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Though, if you’d like to see a picture of the unrolled noodle dough, have at it.

 

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Take care and enjoy your day. Red rose

Caught Between Two Spheres

Those two spheres being the Plague of Justinian and the Andromeda Strain. I am currently writing to you from the quarantine of my room, sometimes known as the Room of Doom, but usually known as Agoraphobia Central.

 

This is the first time in more than three weeks that I’ve had the coherence and energy to write. I don’t think I’ve ever been quite so exhausted or ill before. Thank Science, the tide is turning on this abominable illness.

 

Let’s see. Not too much has been happening here. I haven’t had the energy or stamina to concentrate on anything more than an occasional blurb. So, I’ll be quite overjoyed to get back into learning, studying, writing, and teaching the Maternal Parental what little I know.

 

I did replace one pepper that wasn’t growing properly with a Mega Cherry Tomato pod I had. At the present, I have a topped pepper plant growing beautifully, a newly sprouted seedling pepper plant with a few true leaves and the Mega Cherry Tomato pod waiting to sprout. This will be quite an interesting growth observation.

 

I’m still pretty weak and feeble. So I’m going to take it easy and knit for a bit.

 

Good night and thank you for reading.

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.

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.

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.