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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

KnitWits with Saucy Fingers

KnitWits Wednesday. I just love the ladies. We will have a brand new knitter tonight and she will walk in with a ball of yarn and walk out with some saucy fingers and a new skill. Tonight we will be at our home away from home, Brett's Bar-B-Que. Whenever we cannot use the room at the Village Church, this is where we land. Brett welcomes us himself and sets up a space for us to overtake the restaurant and enjoy ourselves. There are public wash basins to keep the sauce off of our yarn. Rolls of paper towel adorn the tables and the bread pudding helps you knit better. Really, it is the whiskey sauce. Warm, buttery, whiskeyie...

Monday, September 28, 2009

Homework Blues

Wow- homework. I have added school and part time work to my life. Housekeeping and cooking. Laundry and car maintenance. Childcare and pet care. Paperwork and calender planning. Bible Study and KnitWits. Running an etsy shop and a blog. Knitting and swimming. Those things have remained.

I took away Book Club and the Knitter's Guild. Ummmm. Not enough. Math is coming back to me and I have an A going in that class. The teacher is good and I am trying to stay on top of it. Algebra builds skill upon skill. Every week there is a quiz and every 4 weeks a test. So far, so good.

History is another story. Papers, reading, essays, papers, reading, journal entries, classroom lectures, u-tube lectures, additional film and videos to view, A book report (thesis style), quizzes and tests. Half of the original enrollment has dropped. I take notes during films, but when she is up front in her Professor Lecture mode, I knit. I have almost finished a sweater, I did finish a hat. I am starting a new hat on Tuesday. It calms the anxiety I feel about this class and the incredible workload. I wrote a good paper (1800+ words), but due to poor time management, I am turning it in late due to my poor typing skills.

I have been done in by technology. The kids today have been keyboarding since birth! I graduated HS in 1972. People that took typing planned to be secretaries. I did not have the skill set. In college I took typing and achieved the mandatory 50 words per minute required to pass. I fell down a snowy slope, broke a finger and the teacher passed me with a "B" so I would not have to repeat the class. I used to think he did me a great favor.

Today Heike typed my paper for me. She has promised to help me out this semester. I will have to think of an appropriate way to thank her. Maybe I will knit her a sweater in class???

Sunday, September 27, 2009

I Was Pissed Off Before You Came Along!

I have a friend that helps me mull things over. We hash out the difficult things and then we share a laugh and move on. That's what friends do. I have some really good friends and I would not have the same quality of life with out them. They make you feel better. Processing the paths we travel together, friends can help you take the fork in the road in stride. Even when the road gets bumpy and rutted, a good friend will guide you safely around the deepest traps.

We had a particularly fruitful bitch session the other day. Sometimes, we remember to turn it all into prayer requests. This weekend we found ourselves full of questions with no answers, and as we took our leave I found myself apologizing for contributing to her bad mood. As she headed for her car, she called out to me "Don't worry about it, I was pissed off before you came along!"

I laughed so hard. How many times have we tipped over that edge, because we came into it pissed off already. I have been thinking a lot about the power we have to be happy and what a loss it is to ourselves to give away our JOY. I am going to start to treat my joy with the respect that is due. I am not coming to the party pissed off anymore. I feel better already...

Monday, September 21, 2009

Wine and Whine

Craft night tonight!!!!

Where Can You Find My Knit Wear

Someone kindly asked where they might find some of my hand knits for sale. I have a shop at etsy. etsy is a website for crafters to sell all things handmade. The selection is amazing, the prices are superb, and the idea of a forum for us craft people is cutting edge fantastic! There is a mystery as to what the name means? All I know is that Martha Stewart has featured it on her show numerous times and rumor has it she wants to buy it.

My store is called Headknitwit. What else? I am trying to link my shop to my blog and to Facebook. I have spent many hours doing tutorials and I have not had success. My dear, competent, computer genius, friend Heather, will have to help me. I will bribe her with a swim and dinner. In the meantime, go to, search for my shop by entering HeadKnit Wit, and then shop away. I have more goodies to price and upload. The first ten customers will receive a free gift with purchase.

I have some just finished new stock to add to the shop, so keep checking back. When I figure things out, I will have a button on the sidebar that you will be able to activate. Much easier shopping. Check out etsy for all of your Christmas shopping. I am amazed every day by the talent and the reasonable prices. Happy shopping everyone.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Measure Twice, Cut Once

This is a carpenter's rule. When casting on with long tail method, the measurement of the yarn required to cast on the number of stitches called for in a pattern can be calculated several ways.

If the needles are single digit, I pull out one inch of yarn per required stitches. If the needle size is double digit, I pull out 2 inches per cast on stitch. If the tail is held in the front when casting on you will get more stitches per inch of yarn.

Recently, both Heike and I had similar situations with baby blankets we were knitting. We cast on a calculated number of stitches and started knitting. Half way through the blanket we realized that we had cast on too many stitches for our little projects. Both looked like they may be suitable for twin size bedspreads!

We had to frog the projects. Unraveling large pieces of knitting is known as frogging. Because you "rippit, rippit." I ripped and she rolled the yarn back into balls of reusable yarn. I felt so bad for her and all of the hours of creative knitting that she had done and then undone. I recast the appropriate number of stitches and knit a fair amount back for her. Mine I put away for another day. I will revisit it, next year...

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Sweater Weather

Oh Goody! The heat is going away. Soon we will even be able to wear shoes and jeans. I want it to cool off. I want to wear a sweater, and layers. Remember layers? Jackets, scarves, Sweaters!!

A sweater is so much more than something you had to put on as a child because your Mother was cold! I have a collection of sweaters and they are just waiting to come out and play. So, I welcome the cloud cover and the dropping temps. I will even welcome some much needed rain. I also collect rain coats...

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Will Obama Care Work?

For the first time in my life, I am an uninsured citizen. So are two out of three of my children. Food for thought. As a formerly smug recipient of excellent health care benefits, I find myself pondering the fear associated with this situation. As a faithful faith filled woman, trusting God to take care of my health might be sensible if I had the body of a trained athlete. I am softer than that?! Okay, I am softer than my bed pillows.

I have looked at nationalized health care. It only seems like it is better than nothing. My friends from Canada seek care in the USA whenever possible. Research shows with National Healthcare that the older you get, the less "necessary" treatment becomes. I would hate to think that life saving treatments are denied because they are deemed "elective." Most of us would elect to live.

I want to be insured. I want to know that I could go to the hospital in need and the need would be met. But, who pays? Somebody pays. I have been actively searching for work for almost two years. No luck. I will continue to look. I will try to treat my body better and make it last.

Yesterday, I passed a gentleman with obviously dyed hair. He was probable in his late sixties. I remember when men just did not dye their hair. My first thought was, he is probably looking for work and trying to look younger. The competition is fierce. The young, fit, educated minions are all flooding the job market. If Darwinism is true and survival belongs to the fittest- I am at the bottom rung.

Tomorrow I will go to the Student Health Center and pay $15 for a flu shot. I will take vitamins and try to eat better. I will seek 8 hour sleep as often as possible. Drink more water. Park farther away. Walk more. Learn to walk and knit...

Monday, September 14, 2009

Back to School For Real

Every Fall since I began to write this blog, I have waxed poetically (my opinion) on the merits of the sensation of returning to the comfort of a routine schedule. I am not one that functions well with the surprise element. I willingly admit that I like a chartered course. I am not a fan of unannounced change. I am a planner and when the plans get changed my first response is to get flustered. There is a difference to me between going with an unstructured agenda (that's a plan) and having the structure that is set in place, take a sudden turn.

So, following a syllabus is a good thing. A pop quiz is a bad thing. I am learning to take deep breathes, allow some time to adjust to the change, and eventually reset my sails.

This is a process. Last weeks math quiz took me by surprise. It was open homework notes. Unfortunately, I write my homework notes on the back of my class notes and was unable to use them. So much for saving paper and being green! I realized after I turned in the quiz that I solved every problem, BUT, I forgot to write the formulas. I have spent my whole life getting to the solution as quickly as possible. The process, showing the steps, had no value. Only the solution mattered. This is no longer so in school. I am resetting my sails.

Some of you have wondered about my schedule. It is as follows:
Monday- Homework, housekeeping, laundry
Tuesday- School 10-3:30
Wednesday- Bible Study 8:50 Work 12-5 KnitWits 5:30-9
Thursday- School 10-3:30 Work 5-9
Friday- Work 12-4
Weekends- Ryan is home every other weekend

I work as a personal chef for a very ill man in RSF. It is part of the services offered by my Home Help Care business. It is a challenge. He is a fat free, gluten free, low sodium, low sugar Vegetarian diet. I plan menus, shop and then cook in his home. It is a great kitchen to use. The heat has been torturous. I was caring for 2 other elderly people in their homes. One passed away 2 weeks ago. My 95 year old has evolved to needing 24 hour care. I cannot provide that. The nature of the business is that it is finite.

Homework and studying consume a lot of my time. I am retraining my brain to be a student. I see that it is possible and I am relaxing into being a student again. In the meantime, I have very little socializing time. I do still decompress with knitting. I finished a wool hand bag last week and have started a lace cotton top as a nod to the heat wave. Knitting is my tranquilizer. When I think it is impossible to learn one more thing, or keep moving forward, I pick up the needles and knit a row or two. Progress that is tangible, is a comfort. I have a box of UFO's (unfinished objects) and I plan to give my attention to that box as I keep plugging along.

I have built in recreation in my schedule with Knitwits. If you are a knitter, or want to be one, I am there every Wednesday. Come by for a glass of wine and some tangible progress...

Sunday, September 6, 2009

What A Lovely Collar You are Wearing!

Steezy has been sporting a new look. The Elizabethan Collar is the trend for wounded dogs around the world. She let me know that she needed special attention Wednesday morning. She flew into my room and jumped on the bed. She has not done that since I changed beds in June. This new one is too tall, I assumed. She was propelled by pain! Her nose was very swollen and getting bigger by the minute. Evan and I took some photos before he left for school. I got online to research dog noses and the maladies that could cause such weird swelling. The consensus of the websites all pointed to a trip to the Vet. Oh, dread. We people, do not have health insurance, how on earth could I afford a trip to the $Vet$. Her breathing was becoming labored and my guilt-o-meter was on the rise.

We got in before noon and out just after 400+ dollars. The Dr. thinks she was bitten by a venomous spider, perhaps a Black Widow. The yard abounds with them. He did not think it was a scorpion. I have killed three of those in the house during this heatwave.

I have had to become a spider killer in my new incarnation of solitary living. I used to lose it when a creepy crawly creature shared the same real estate with me. Living in this neighborhood has desensitized me. Never in my lifetime did I think I would take scorpions, spiders of every shape and size, snakes (including rattlers), stink bugs, millipedes, beetles, hummingbird moths(look it up) and ant infestations in STRIDE!

So, Steezy recovers. She wears her collar well and takes her medications like a trooper. Her cone needed a trim of about 2 inches all the way around to keep her from hitting every wall and edge of anything in the house. My shins and calves are covered in bruises and scratches as she seems to delight in butting up against my legs at every chance. I find some relief by putting my feet up on the coffee table and knitting one or two rows on a future hand bag to sell...