Friday, October 31, 2008

In which our heroine announces her insanity

For the third year in a row I am going to attempt National Blog Posting Month. For the last two years I succeeded which is a great thing in my book. I am listed on that site under the id: dharmawrites, because I keep this illusion that my writing will become a habit and that I will improve in this "skill".

In 2006 I did NaBloPoMo along with Lacevember (the main blogsite is no longer in existence) and completed my first real lace project which was a gift for my father's girlfriend. It also was my most successful semester in graduate school, which has fallen by the wayside, shall we say. Moving on....The pattern I chose was Liesl, if the gallery is still up my scarf is there, which I find pretty cool. Here is a photo of it. I used yarn I had purchased with no project in mind, Berroco Softwist (I have two skeins in a great red still marinating). This project was my first time using a lifeline, which for this pattern I discovered I didn't need for long.

Last year I attempted to add National Knit a Sweater Month. To say that I did not succeed is an
understatement. So this year I am going to aim to finish the sweater I started last November for TGF. It is about 75% done. The biggest problem I had was the sleeves. I screwed up the increases and wound up knitting the first sleeve essentially 1 3/4 times. Plus I hate the needles I've been using to do the sleeves - Clover Bamboo. They are not nearly as smooth as Crystal Palace ones, so that plus the soft but acrylic yarn, it's a bit like nails on a chalkboard. So the second sleeve needs finishing, about 50% is left then I need to join things up and complete the yoke.

In addition I want to finish and make a second sweater for a pair of brothers (they're
little, never fear). The first one only needs 1.5 cable repeats (which have been killing me!) and then the sleeves. The second one has not been cast on yet but is the slightly smaller version thankfully. The color (#4000)is much richer than I was able to capture this time around. When I post more about this project I hope to have better photos. This yarn has been had to get just right in photographs. It's my first top down sweater.

Luckily for me I have slacked on posting about projects so some of November will be filled with more details about these and others because I currently have, um, seven things on the needles and plans for, while at least one more kid sweater, plus something or two to match a project that will be detailed in a later posting.

In addition to all that, drum roll please, on Monday, November 3rd I begin working full time in a temp to hire position. So November will be busy don't you think? 40 hours a week at work, finish two sweaters, start and finish a third, finish another project (possibly with matching pieces), and finish a shawl. Plus, keep taking Pilates two nights a week for another 3 weeks or so. Plus two knit nights a week (which will help with the above and hopefully keep some sanity in check). Oh yeah, and I need to think about some holiday knitting. And of course posting every day. I suspect the I may do the "Wordless Wednesday" thing which has the benefit of a few days where I don't have to write and motivation to use my new camera.

So I will be going from zero structure to a lot with a ton to get done. Based on previous experience I know I do better with more things on my plate (see earlier paragraph about NaBloPoMo 2006). However it has been just over 12 years since I had a commitment to a 40 hour week. Granted who knows how this will pan out as it's a tryout period for both the company and me. I would like to try to stick it out for at least a good two months to give it a good amount of time to see if we are a match. Plus it would do a lot for our financial situation if I can do this. Please wish me luck, send comments and candy. See you tomorrow!

Monday, October 27, 2008

In which our heroine thinks she should quit bitching

Over the last year (no I am not going to link to such posts, that would be antithetical to this post, if interested you can go digging your own damned self). I have complained about being lonely, and I am. However I think I need to take a chill pill about the subject, which should make TGF happy since I was just sniveling at her last night about friends - lack of, feeling like I have lost some, etc.

What kicked my butt about this was the phone rang this morning (itself a minor miracle), it was my friend Andi who invited to pick me up to take me along for errands and hang at her mom's house for awhile. I know this doesn't sound exciting but with the options I had of driving by myself the Huber Heights Library (for a possible substitute job at the desk) and nothing else. Truthfully one of the problems I have been having is pften I talk to no one beside the TGF about 5 days out of 7, which is a far from healthy lifestyle - at least for me.
After making plans with Andi, I check my gmail account and saw that Dawn had messaged me on Facebook about seeing if I wanted to work at the polls because while the pay sucks (her words) they need folks and as she says "
it is interesting and good for the world" . The combination of these two people thinking about me brought a smile to my face.

I also then thought how I went to a pumpkin carving party at Kathleen's house on Saturday. It turned out that I went alone and knew no one but her yet I managed to stay almost five hours! It was there that met Cindy who tipped me off to the substitute worker at the library. From there I thought last Sunday I went to a birthday brunch at Dawn's house where again I knew no one but the hostess and it was great fun.

So yes it is still very different from the three other states I have lived in, but it is still only one year in a new place. Yes, I don't feel like I have people I can just call up and see,however truth be told that is also a lot about me rather than this place - I don't reach out well, but I do have people I can try to cultivate friendships with, I have people to hang out with on occasion. Trying to more positively forward. Here's hoping.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Happy Blogiversary To Me!

Wow, I didn't miss it. I mean I knew it was close but I just checked and three years ago I posted my first self-referential, navel gazing post! Who would have thought I would keep it up? Okay, I realize I haven't been posting much but hey I still post! That my friends flies in the face of my long history as a procrasinater (who says they will do something) and a lack of follow thru kind of gal (who has big dreams but lolls about in "later") that I traditionally am.

I wish I could say I was running a contest or something exciting but in all honesty I don't have that big of a readership. If I ran contests as often as I think "hm maybe I could run a contest on this here blog", assuming I was creative enough to come up with something interesting, hell all the readers would win a prize. Hm, maybe that's not a bad thing... Bribery for more readers.

When I started this blog I had been thinking about it for a few weeks. Then my mother got diagnosed with breast cancer and I figured I might as well jump in because I might need a place to vent. It is almost three years since her mastectomy, just a little longer until the third anniversary of the end of her chemotherapy. I am grateful and blessed to say that she is fine. As is everyone I know who has been diagnosed since then. I offer thanks to the universe that Sunny, Judy, Rita, Catherine, Gwendolyn, and Michele are doing well. Crazy huh, six women in my sphere diagnosed with breast cancer in three years. I just had an idea, I would like to encourage everyone who reads this entry to make a donation to breast cancer. Not the traditional way, if you're female - do self exams, get a mammogram (me included!). If you're male - encourage the women in your life to do this. For anyone, if you knit make a Tit Bit, if you don't please visit her site and consider making a donation to one of her favourite links. Or look here for other ideas. Before you make "pink ribbon" purchases please visit Think Before You Pink to help you donate wisely and effectively.

Wow that is not where I thought this post would go!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

In which our heroine looks for inspiration

TGF and I have been invited to a Halloween bash at our friend, Theresa's home. It has been strongly suggested to wear costumes or face the wrath of ruthless teasing. The only idea so far, which I am feeling "eh" about, is Speed Racer and Trixie. A friend suggested I could do a "racy" (hey it's not my idea) Trixie as her character is rather blah and so not me (she wears pastel pink!). She also tried to sell me on the fact that it would be an excuse to buy white gogo boots, which does have a certain appeal (well except that they're white). However I'm not totally enarmored with this idea.

As a joke I suggested Velma and Scooby as TGF is a huge Scooby Doo fan. She rejected it because she doesn't want a hot costume. I think I'd make a rather fine Velma and I think I might even have the right enough clothes in my closet.

Moving on. I am not a huge costume person in that I think of all dressing as a costume, a hint of some persona for that day. In addition I have never done a couple costume thing, you know. So my dear readers, any ideas?

Saturday, October 18, 2008

In which our heroine exerted her constitional rights

October 2nd was my birthday, which actually started the night before
when TGF brought me some beautiful roses.

It is a rare and wonderful thing when she gifts me with flowers. On one hand I wish it happened a bit more often, on the other it leaves it a total surprise when it happens. In truth I adore surprise gifts of almost any kind for no reason at all, and this sort of felt like that given that things are tight and I thought her taking the next day off (my actual birthday) from work a total gift.

The next day we took advantage of the unique opportunity in Ohio to register and vote the same day. I was practically giddy, it was so amazing to vote for a presidential candidate without apprehension. The one unusual vote for me was giving the nod for a casino in Ohio. The economy here in Ohio is in bad shape with unemployment level the highest in over a decade, the GM plant is slated to close on December 23rd, and we still rank quite high in foreclosures nationwide. The truth is the "bad" elements are always around but the jobs are not, clearly.

Afterward we drove up to Tipp City which has a lot of antiques shops and is a spot TGF has been meaning to take me since we moved here. Tipp is a really cute town but clearly a republican area given the signs in front of peoples' homes. The houses are gorgeous, it has an open feel, and we apparently just missed their Mum Festival. We came home and took a luxurious nap together, something that we don't get to do very often any more.

We met her 'rents for dinner where we tried a new restaurant, Sake - Japanese Steak House. I was gifted with cash to use towards knitterly things as her mom didn't know where to shop for such things. It was very sweet. After dinner we dropped Wyatt off for a run in their yard while we went to The Evil Empire store for pet food (did I mention we have foster kittens?). However there lay another surprise - she had me pick out a new digital camera as my present! I have been using her old digital SLR which is big and clunky which feel familar of my old school camera however it's a drag to grab quickly and manage on walks with the dog. Plus I have been having trouble doing the close up work I want with my fiber and the color has been hard to get accurate sometimes. The photo above was one of the first pictures I took with the new toy.

Plus it was a gorgeous day, just that touch of crisp that only autumn does. Beautiful blue skies with perfectly shaped and hued clouds. The best birthday I have had in a long time - pretty much perfect. Thanks honey.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Hope for the Nation

Today I did something that I have never done - gone to a presidential rally. Even more amazing, Sunny was still in town so we went together. This truly is one of the best things about being in a swing state - Obama comes to the minor league baseball stadium in your town. And you don't have to park four states away. And the line moves quickly. Amazing. Not surprisingly Obama was a great speaker and I have hope, I am inspired. Of course I am also a bit afraid he won't win and it's hard to imagine what things will look like if that happens.

Here is why I love my neighborhood. These three photos are from a two block stretch. Unfortunately I did not have my camera on September 27th during the 2nd Annual Jazz Festival on the boulevard where our neighbors Kristy and Dea had their dogs (a Boston Terrier and a Jack Russell) wearing their Obama shirts. The dogs looked so cute! That would have made this little political pictorial of South Park.