Wednesday, January 30, 2008

I got an 89 on the test. So apparently I didn't bomb too bad. All's well that ends well I suppose. Now if I can just get a new job, all will be on it's way.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Swirling Vortex of Scantron

So there I am, cruising along through my test happily filling in those atrocious little bubbles and then I hit the last twenty questions. At first it was just one question. I wasn't completely sure of the answer so I went with my gut instinct. Then it was two questions, then three. Soon I was questioning every answer. Do I know this? Am I sure? Do I know any of this crap?!? I walked out of the room completely numb and sure that I tanked the test. I won't know until tomorrow at the earliest, but until then I will mourn the loss of my GPA. I will go home and read a little bit in my Bible, and then I will knit a sock. Because when all else fails God and wool will make it all better.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Pictures of Poo and Doggie Gladiators

So I'm taking a few minutes away from my studies to post some pictures. Let's begin with my dog. Shylo is easily in the running for first pick if American Gladiators wants to add a dog to their squad. Look at how buff my baby puppy is!
This is how far I've gotten in the Philosopher's Wool Colour Your Own kit. I'm not coloring anymore until I get a 16 inch Addi Turbo US 8. The two circs method isn't working well for this sleeve and I'm getting some awkward stiffness at the joins.
This is how the inside of the cuff looks after I tried to sew in most of the loose ends. Kind of resembles poo doesn't it?
The three-ply I spun as a trial run for the yarn I'm going to spin for Dad's gansey. It's been re-washed and re-skeined.
Malachi sleeping. Awwwww. Noah sleeping. Awwww.

They grow so stinking fast! I am soooooooooooo blessed aren't I?

Friday, January 25, 2008

Sometimes I get really jealous. I see couples who've been together as long as my husband and I and they are as much in love as day one. I want that. There are days when I look at him and wonder wtf I'm still doing with him.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

I wound all twelve skeins of yarn up for the Philosophers Wool sweater. Now I just need to finish off the first of the two Endpaper Mitts. I'll be doing that here in a minute. Then I can spin a little fiber and then cast on! Yes folks, tonight is fiber-reward for doing well on the test. I'm wasting precious fiber time.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

I've spent the majority of the day studying Nutrition. I say studying loosely. What I've really been doing is studying the mechanics and science of nutrition and memorizing the rest. I don't hold with what the FDA and the USDA shove down the pipes as "nutrition". I'm tired of the food pyramid changing to correspond to whatever lobby group has paid the govt. the most money. Don't misunderstand me. I love farmers and ranchers. I wholeheartedly promote the practice of buying from local farmers and ranchers. My husbands family raise black Angus cattle. Someday my husband dreams of owning his own farm/ranch (a hobby to be sure, with maybe a little profit from local sales) I don't condone big business agriculture, genetic tampering with animals or plants, or a govt that's in bed with pharmaceutical companies pushing food down our throats that is contributing to heart diseases, diabetes, and cancer. The govt brushes over the importance of exercise as a legal disclaimer and tells us we need to eat more carbs and if our cholesterol or sugar is high we can take Lipitor or Glucophage. I'm not a carb hater. The human brain's preferred source of energy is glucose. The human brain. Not the rest of the body. The rest of the body prefers protein as it's primary source of energy. I favor a controlled carbohydrate diet. Not a no-carb diet. Not a steak, eggs, cheese, and bacon diet. My diet consists of quality carbohydrates from a variety of raw or steamed veggies, lean proteins, and an assortment of seeds, nuts, some milk products, and berries. That's a controlled/low -carb diet folks! Seriously. Read the science. It's out there in real medical journals. Peer -reviewed medical journals. Doctors are wising up. It's a slow change, but it's coming. The doctor I work for has been prescribing this diet for over forty years. It's been used to get patients healthy for at least a hundred years. I can't make this stuff up, it's true. Do you want to know the roots associated with what ails Americans today? We're lazy, we smoke, we eat crap, we want convenience and we think taking a pill or having gastric bypass is easier, and...we watch entirely too much stinking television. I've fallen victim to these vices too. I was a healthy weight in 1999 when I became pregnant with my first child. I was running 3 - 5 miles a day, but that was the only healthy thing I did. I also smoked a pack a day, drank a lot, did drugs, had promiscuous sex, ate junk food if I remembered to eat at all...the list goes on. I was messed up! Then I was blessed with another chance. My pregnancy gave me a chance to changes my ways. I quit smoking. I didn't drink. That was it. I ate like it was going out of style and I ate junk food. I quit running too. I gained 100lbs. I went from a 10 to a 26. My weight led to complications in my pregnancy. I was already destined to have preeclampsia, but my excess weight gain also added hypertension to that. Now preeclampsia is already a disease of hypertension, add an extra 100 lbs and things don't look good at all. I was forced to go into the hospital two weeks early b/c my blood pressure was 210/100. My son was delivered via c-section without any further complications (I've left out a whole bunch). I went home and dealt with the backlash for the next six months. After awhile I was determined to get back in shape. My son was almost three and I was steadily losing weight and running again. Then I got pregnant again. This time was better. I ate better. I tried to exercise. It was great for awhile. Then the preeclampsia hit again and I had to rest. It was hard but everything turned out ok. I managed to only gain 30lbs this time. My boys are 8 and 4 now and I've just now begun to seriously address the weight gain. My goals for 2008 are clear and concise. I won't list them b/c they are of a more personal nature than I am comfortable journaling about at this time. Perhaps later after a few have been cemented and I'm in a more secure place emotionally. Let's just say that two years ago I was doing really well and had lost fifty of those pounds. I've since gained 25 back. I'm still 25 ahead but it's going to take some time to recoup those.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Update on the Color Key

Sheree from PWC emailed me and said she'd fax me the color key! Awesome. Now I'm going to practice the twisting described in the book and see if I can do it without it being too tight. Wish me luck. I'm so tired I can't see straight and yet, every time I lie down to nap I wake right back up. Sucks.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Yarn Arrives From California and The Dog Ate My Pattern

So I got the missing skein of yellow from Philosophers Wool, but the new color key was missing. This wouldn't be a problem except that the dog ate the color key I received with the original kit and now I would have to figure out all the colors on my own based on the pattern in the book. I'm two weeks into Winter quarter at university and with two jobs, school, and two very active sons, I would just really love to not have to do that. So I emailed Eugene to let him know the yarn arrived and to ask for a new color key, relaying the above reasons why. All I want to do is knit the sweater without having to think too hard. I have to think hard enough at school and while studying. Knitting is my pleasure and I don't want it to become too much of a hassle
This is me mastering the two-handed stranded technique:

Pardon the parted hair, I'd just come home from work (as you can probably tell from the white pants.)

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Pictures and Lovin

The infamous Shedir:
Shylo the wonder dog:
A sunrise over my office:
My first attempt at a three-ply yarn for the gansey I plan to knit for my dad:
Jamieson & Smith yarn to make the Cunningsburgh Gloves: The kiddles in their Lucha Libre masks (I hate this pattern):

Again with the wonder dog. See why I couldn't leave her?:
A sunrise I captured on the way to work. HE does good work doesn't HE?:

I love my life. I don't really have anything specific to highlight, but I really do love my life. I love that I am an mostly independant thinker. I love that I have a lifestyle that is now imbued in almost every way with wool. I love that I have a strong mind and a strong body. I love how I feel when I'm running and I love even more how I feel at the end of a long run. I love having sex with my husband. I love playing with my kids and my dog. I love studying a fascinating subject. I love spinning at my spinning wheel and with my spindle. I love dreaming about the Woolee Winder I will order in another eleven weeks. I love learning new knitting and spinning techniques. I love chocolate. I love a good drink. I love weight training. I love the way I feel the day after weight training. I love Scotland and dreaming about going to Scotland. I love Ireland and dreaming about going to Ireland. I love my parents. I love my brother. I love more than I can possibly ever write down. I love sheep. I love wool.

Monday, January 14, 2008

In which I rant about my co-workers and a Philosopher gives me a pep talk about my knitting.

Today I received my Color Your Own kit from Philosophers Wool Company. I was so excited when I got the box I couldn't wait to open it. When I did, I was a little let down. The kit they sent me was for this:

What I ordered was this: I know you may not be able to tell the difference in these two patterns but let me tell you what it is. Yellow. The kit I received was the Fire colorway. The kit I ordered was the Fire - with Yellow. That color that looks almost like white in the second picture...that's the yellow. At first I thought about just letting it go. I told myself that it's just one color so I should just not worry about it. But as the afternoon went on, I just kept looking at the pictures and it just wasn't going to happen. I had my heart set on the sweater with the yellow. Both are beautiful, but I really wanted that yellow. Heart in the basement thinking I would have to send the kit I'd waited so long for back, I picked up the phone and dialed Philosophers Wool. A very pleasant man answered the phone. When I explained the problem he replied, "Oh shoot! Well, so then let's see, what you need is the yellow." He said he'd call Sue and get it right out to me. I asked if I could also get a new color key as the one I had was just for the Fire colorway without the yellow and he said that wouldn't be a problem but then went on to tell me that I could go ahead and start the sweater anyway b/c I wouldn't use the yellow for awhile and really, I didn't need the color key at all. He said that was the beauty of the Color Your Own, you could decided where you put what color and it always comes out great. "On my sweater the sleeves don't even match up but it still looks great." (This should have been a clue.) As we concluded our business I asked whom I was speaking with (I'm in medicine, I always get the name of who I spoke with.) It was Eugene himself! I'd been chatting with Eugene Bourgeois. Awesome. So, if you ever want to order from a great company who makes great wool in fabulous colors and contribute to keeping up conscientious buying practices, go to They are great and the customer service can't be beat. Who knows....Eugene may just be the one who answers the phone. Or Anne.

Now, on to my rant about my co-workers. I don't engage in workplace gossip, much. On occasion I find that I need to vent about certain things or certain people. I work in a good size office. On my team are 4 MAs, 2 LPNs, and 3 RNs. I am one of the MAs. It is a point of contention in the office as to what your "rank" is as far as your schooling despite the only difference in our jobs being that the RNs are the only ones who do IV therapy (LPNs can D/C an IV, but can do little else with them in our office.) We give allergy shots and do allergy testing. We call in prescriptions and we assist the physicians when they need us. The MAs are trained phlebotomists (one of our RNs is too as that is what she did while going to school) the others are not. The MAs are also trained to do a few more procedures than the LPNs are. MAs however, are not licensed. MAs can be certified but this is not important. LPNs (at least in my office) are a bit snooty about the licensing part of their titles. They are essentially MAs with a license. They go to school for the same amount of time, do the same kinds of clinicals and do almost the same jobs. And you can't tell them that an MA is not their peon on the work ladder. One LPN in my office is really bad about this. She tends to piss me off more than the rest but I keep it to myself b/c I don't want to make her feel bad. It is a bit cathartic to be able to write it down here though, especially after a day of her primping and driving me crazy with the "Princess" act she pulls. I actually had to spend almost an entire afternoon the other day listening to a discussion between her, the other LPN, and the new girl discussing the virtues of beige vs. white underwear (we have to wear white pants Mon-Fri), and how you can never find any cute work pants at Wal-Mart b/c they were all elastic waist and straight leg instead of the trendy kind. I bit my tongue from saying, "I buy my work pants at Wal-Mart b/c they are cheap, good quality, not see through (another point they were discussing, hence the underwear debate), and comfortable. And I'm not concerned with impressing anyone while I'm at work. " As long as my uniforms are clean, pressed, and professional looking who cares if they're trendy? Who the hell exactly are they trying to impress. They did ask me about the underwear and I replied, "Frankly I don't spend any time looking at any of your butts so I assume you don't look at mine. I wear white briefs and I buy them at Wal-Mart in the six pack b/c I prefer to spend my money on more important things." They actually admitted that they bought their work underwear at Victoria's Secret and thought it was a good deal to get five pair for twenty-five dollars! You could make an entire sweater for that much. Why on earth would you spend that much money on stuff you're going to fart on? Frankly even when I was skinny I never shopped at VS (except for once when I had a gift card) for underwear. I buy their perfume and sometimes their lip gloss but my fun panties come from Target or Wal - Mart. Maybe I was raised with more sense. Or maybe I'm just more secure with myself and therefore don't need to impress people by spending too much money on work uniforms and underwear. Well, to each their own. It's crazy to spend twenty-five dollars on a skein of hand-dyed sock yarn to these people (not that I tell them I spend this much) but honestly, it takes me about two to three weeks to make a pair of socks and that's when I'm not in school so I get a lot of mileage out of those twenty-five dollars. These are the same people whose lives revolve around the TV, use their treadmills as a clothes rack but spend thirty dollars a month tanning and on a gym membership they rarely use, and if they see the inside of a church spend the service thinking about themselves and/or what they plan to do after the service. Am I better? No, of course not. I have my many faults too. I just needed to rant a bit.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Bon Jovi Said It Best

Keep the Faith. That's what you have to do in this life. "Faith is my beacon of hope" is what is inscribed on the back of the Thomas Kincade lighthouse pendant that my boss gave me for Christmas this year. I've been lax about that recently. I've slid into the "God, where are you?" attitude. In short, I've been throwing a spiritual temper tantrum. I know that God has not abandoned me. I know that He does not put me into situations that I cannot either; glean new strength and understanding from or grow in my faith and relationship with him. I trust my Father. I also trust my dad and he was the first person to say to me, "Beck, things aren't always going to be easy. You aren't always going to understand the big picture. Keep your faith in God and He will come through for you. You just have to believe." I do believe. I love my Father and I know that He loves me. No enemy can take that and no thing can make that not true. Keep the Faith people. He'll come through for you.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

So I will soon be venturing into stranded knitting territory. Oh, I've done a bit of it here and there, but nothing that can actually be considered real stranded knitting. I don't say Fair Isle b/c, well, I'm not on Fair Isle and I've seen how some folks can get really upset with the specifics of things concerning nationalism. Anywho, my Color Your Own kit in Fire (with yellow) is on it's way from Philosophers Wool and should be here on the 14th. It was originally supposed to arrive on the 11th, but apparently there's been a delay. I'm not sure when my Schoolhouse Press order will arrive as they do not mail out tracking numbers and there is no link on the website to check on your order (most frustrating). I had to call Knit Picks with a complaint again. It seems like every couple of orders, I have to call them. With the first order I had to call about a bad cable in my Options set. Then once I had to call about a bad circular needle. This time I had to call about a bad dpn. Now, each time I've called they've simply asked what was wrong and sent me out a replacement FOC. Theirs is quite possibly the most lovely customer service department I have ever had to deal with. No hassles, no lengthy determining of who's fault it was, just tell us what the problem was and we'll fix it. This is why I do a lot of my knitting business with them; good wool, good selection, great book prices, great yarn prices, and a fabulous customer service department. Now.....if we can just get Kelly to add a spinning selection and catalogue. I've looked and pondered and finally decided to purchase a Woolee Winder. It won't be for awhile what with the husband out of work and all, but it will happen. Probably this summer when I can work more hours. Sooner if a new job comes through soon. I will really enjoy my spinning much more when I don't have to stop all the time to move the yarn to the next hook! Well, I should be set for projects until summer when I'll have more money to buy yarn.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Jesus Is Coming....Aim For The Head!

Hahahahahahaha! I'm sorry but I just listened to Lime 'n Violet's fiftieth episode and I was just cracking up when Lime said that. If people raze her about it, they are just too uptight. Frankly, I plan to tell the story to my pastor. I think he'll find it amusing. This is the man who did an entire series entitled, "Madder Than Hell." Well, the Shedir is almost done. I plan to get on it when I finish typing this. I bought the Patons for the boy's Lucha Libre masks. I was so psyched when I went in to buy it and it was all on sale. I love Patons. I know people look down on it because you buy it at the Big Box stores, but I really like it. I just wish it came in more colors. But I also like Knit Picks Wool of the Andes and Cascade 220 so it's not like I'm at a loss for selection. Well, onto the knitting!