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.

2017 Weekly Schedule

Provided I’m not doing other things, of course.

 

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I even remembered to put eating in without being reminded to. *grin*

 

Yesterday was mostly uneventful. My Sweet Pickle Organic Peppers are finally starting to come up from the grow pods. I am super excited over that. Once they’re fully grown and fruiting, I’ll take the peppers and put them in soups, salads, and Kimchi for the most part. When I’m not snacking on them, of course.

 

I also baked three Chicken Pot Pies. If the slice I had is anything to go by, they are most delicious. Two are for the Maternal Parental and I and one would be for my uncle.

 

The only thing I forgot to do yesterday was water my plants. I shall rectify that today.

 

I am considering testing a themed blogging format for this blog. Over a set period of time, say a day, a theme would be in effect and I would blog about it. Of course, my normal random posts would probably still be here too. I just think it is the time I start taking this blog more seriously than as an agony aunt. Random sporadic posting has its place on the journey to becoming an effective writer. However, I do need to work on the other aspects.

 

That’s enough for now. I have to study. Later.

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.

Getting Out More

I should preface this with two points.

 

One, I am Agoraphobic. It is not something I choose to do. It is something that hits me like a ton of bricks, usually when I least expect or want it to interfere in my life. I’ve gotten used to it limiting my social life but I’ve been fighting it every step of the way and I’m slowly making progress in the endeavor to defeat this condition.

 

Two, since my father’s death and funeral last year, I’ve been isolating in a major way. Which is interesting because he was much the same in that he isolated from social contact, despite being a reverend.

 

So, yesterday was very good, in that I managed to make it to the meeting of the organization I previously wrote about in the last entry. It was unlike anything I had ever been to before. Everyone was so kind, so warm. It was great to be surrounded by people who weren’t in religious sledgehammer conversion attack mode.

 

I’ve got to say it. I’m really looking forward to attending more talks at this place. It was most invigorating.

 

Also, I was recommended another group of Secular people by a member of this first group. So, I will be getting out quite a bit over the next year. At least, I hope so.

 

Onto other things, I’m having second thoughts about the possibility of volunteering for NAMI. I don’t think it would be a good fit for me after all. Does anyone know of a secular to neutral Mental Health support group looking for volunteers?

 

So, that leaves the Library and, hopefully, a yarn shop. I’ve also found a few more opportunities on VolunteerMatch but they’re a good distance away from where I live. I don’t want to offer myself for something and then be unreliable about getting there. Only a few “in person” positions are open to someone with my skillset. I’m already in one “virtual” volunteer position and I’m teetering on the fence about another.

 

So, Hidden Figures is now in Theaters. I am going to find a way to see this movie. It isn’t often that I actually want to go to the theater to see a movie. There were few to no role models of a contemporary nature for kids like me when I was going to school. If knowledge of the NASA Computer Program had been general knowledge and taught about in schools, I guarantee you, it would have made a difference in a lot of lives.

 

It would have showed the disbelieving people who mocked those with dreams that people can achieve their goals. It would have given people with goals and dreams something to aspire to outside of the usual channels. My hope is that this movie has a positive impact on people and changes their minds regarding preconceptions they may have.

 

I have to go now. My Aerogarden supplies came and the Mega Cherry Tomatoes are starting to flower again. They have to go. Now. I’m going to install the Sweet Pickle Organic Peppers today.

Later. Have a fantastic 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!