Showing posts from January, 2010
"Health is the greatest gift,
contentment the greatest wealth,
 faithfulness the best relationship."

I've been thinking about my health a lot lately.  Not that I have any specific health problems that are particularly troubling right at the moment.  I have high blood pressure, I am hypothyroid, I have arthritis and I'm overweight.  I am treating the blood pressure and the thyroid with medication and will be dealing with the arthritis as it becomes more of a problem.  That leaves the weight. 

I'm not hung up on the numbers.  I know that how much I weigh is not an indication of my overall health.  I don't think I look grossly obese but according to the BMI charts, I am.  I am concerned with the state of my heart and my body's ability to function.  Thus, the health club. 

I am now a member of LA Fitness.  I think I would have shied away from a large place if it weren't for its location.  I don't like crowds of people and would prefer a smal…
I have about a half an hour before I begin my annual Handle With Care trainer training.  This is the training I take every year so that I can teach the rest of the people in my building Aggressive Patient Managment.  It's an all day thing where we talk a little about verbal de-escalation and then spend a lot of time working out what to do if the verbal thing does not work out.  It's a hard day physically, partly because my body is getting older and I'm not in the best shape I've ever been in.  Today, however, I have an edge.  I am wearing my Warrior Socks from Sock Wars.  I dare any of these men (they're all security guards from the hospital and 99 % of them are men) to take me on! 

As for being in sad physical shape. Pk and I are fulfilling a promise we made to ourselves a long time ago.  We are joining a gym.  A new health club just opened that is literally in our path as we wend our way home from work.  We usually cut through the parking lot that it is now situa…
While at work today, I happened to glance at ravelry and lo and behold, my death socks had met their target.  She posted the photos and let me know she was well and truly dead.  But she liked the socks so all is well.

Then I came home and discovered that I had a small package waiting for me.  And it's not the 3 mm Options tips I ordered from p2tog.(knitpicks doesn't sell the 3mm tips but knitpro does and I need them)  Sigh.  Alas, it was my very own death socks.  They arrived and smote me in the heart for they are lovely.  Here they are posing upon  my spinning wheel.  They are a light green color and the yarn is a bamboo/acrylic blend so into the washer they can go.  The yarn is a little thicker than I would usually use for socks but they fit nicely and are a nice springy color. And this is the first pair of handknit socks that I own that I did not make for myself!  And also a good thing that I am well and truly dead because my family would not allow any zombies around here!  …
Sock Wars update.  My weapons are in the hands of the USPS as of today.  I really liked them but was glad to see that little brown package go out in the mail.  My target will be dead by this Thursday.  At least that's what the postal worker told me and I don't know why she'd lie......

So, I was thinking I was done and could just watch the rest of the carnage when I got a message from my Target.  She let me know a pair of socks in progress would be heading my way!  Since she is dead (or will be soon) and her target (who is also now dead) is mailing her sips, it would be easier for her target to mail them directly to me!  I could get another kill!  This is sounding so violent (and strangely appealing).  I am still alive until I get my death socks in the mail.  And I haven't heard from my assassin (and have no clue where/who she/he is) so I could get more than one more kill.  And since I finished my first weapon, it feels like the pressure is lessened.  I achieved my goal…
Sometimes things happen and you get upset but you get over it.  (ok, sometimes not).  Last year, my old laptop got a virus.  Pk offered to wipe it clean and replace the operating system.  I agreed to let him play with it with one caveat.  I wanted him to save my photos and my favorites.  He agreed.

It didn't work out quite that way.  He saved the email, he saved the favorites and lost the photos.  I was heartbroken.  There were photos of the day he flew the WWII plane and photos of my surprise 50th birthday party and others that I couldn't replace. 

It taught me a valuable lesson.  BACK UP THE PHOTOS!  Which I now do.  Sometimes.  Last night, as I was laying in bed waiting for the cold medicine to knock me out, I was playing around with my mp3 player.  I'm one of those people who does not explore all the capabilites of their electronic devices.  Does it play music/books?  Then fine.  I don't have to know that it also cleans toilets and cooks dinner.  As long as it doe…
Et voila!  Here are my socks of death.  This color is dead on (pun intended).It's the January art walk sock club selection.   The pattern is an easy one and I really like it.  I'll probably make a pair for me at some point.  This is the fastest I have ever knit a pair of socks.  One week.  Being home sick helped some but not a lot.  I was living on cold medicine and spent a lot of time sleeping.  I am just glad they're done.  I didn't really expect to finish and I'm surprised that I'm not dead yet.  I know my target has mailed off her weapon already so I won't have to knit another pair.  Now, I just have to wait for my assassin to kill me.  I put some herbal tea, some cadbury eggs and some stitch markers in the envelope as well.  I wanted to cushion the blow, although how tough is it to get handknit socks in the mail?

I am resting today and tomorrow and plan to go back to work on Monday.  My head is still congested but my nose isn't running quite as much…
It's that time of year again.  Time to think about Earth Hour.  If you don't remember, this is the one hour out of your year where you turn off all your lights and as many electrical appliances as you can.  This year it is scheduled for March 27 at 8:30 pm local time. The earth from space at night is a beautiful place but all that energy!  It boggles the mind.  Earth Hour saved a lot of energy last year but that's not the point.  While saving energy is a desirable thing, education about the amount of energy we're using is priceless.  Check it out and pass it on.  We'll be observing the Earth Hour for the third year here at our house.  And we're going to renew our commitment to using less energy.  Pk and I are carpooling back and forth to the train station.  Not only does it save some energy but we get to spend some time together in the morning and afternoon.  Who says being green has to be dull?

Yesterday I went back to the doctor's for another round of ant…
I think I am not Sock Wars material. 

I am not a sock knitting newbie.  I have made many pairs of well loved socks.  I went into this knowing full well I would not be the last knitter standing but hoped I'd finish at least one sock.  I'm still plugging away but am not sure how this is going to go.

I am working on a pattern called Don't Box Me In, an eyelet pattern that I rather like.  Because of the way the stitches fall, there is a thin stripe of stockinette that is supposed to fall down the middle of the back of the leg.  When I was barreling through the foot (and feeling optimistic that I'd finish a sock), I happened to read the Sock Wars ravelry thread and stopped dead in my tracks. 

First, a little digression.  In Sock Wars, a "misfire" is considered a sock that for whatever reason is unwearable (size, knitting, whatever).  Misfires cannot kill their target and disqualify the sender.

Ok. So I learned that because my stockinette stripe fell on the inside…
Good Sunday morning.

I thought I'd show you a photo of my weapon.(with cat hair!)  This pattern was made for Sock Wars by the Supreme Commander, Helen Waittes. it's called Don't Box Me In.   It's a fairly simple pattern, if you're paying attention.  There are three patterns to choose from and I thought they all used the same sized needles.  I had a few inches of this done on Friday night on 2.25 needles only to discover it was written for 2.75.  I ripped it out and started over.  Several inches later on Saturday morning, I decided that 2.75 mm needles made a fabric I didn't like so I ripped that out and started again on 2.5's. That seems to be a good size.  Gauge is very important in Sock Wars.  If your gauge is too far off (8 stitches/inch), you can be disqualified.  I guess this is to keep people from using bulky yarn and finishing in an hour!

I knitted between loads of laundry and managed to get this much done.  I love the yarn.  It's the January yarn…
Sock Wars has begun!  The patterns have been released and I'm waiting for them to print out.  And then I'll be casting on and knitting my heart out!

Wish me luck.
I realized the other day that I have never done a knit along.  I have done the Tour de France knit along but that was a little different.  Everyone knitted their own thing.  I've never done one where everyone knits the same thing. 

This is about to change and in a big way.  I joined the Evenstar kal over at A Few Stitches Short.  Susan is writing a circular shawl (another thing I've never done) pattern based on the Evenstar pendant that Arwen wears in the Lord of the Rings.   It's a beautiful pendant and the shawl promises to be beautiful as well.  It's a mystery kal so we'll only get a part of the pattern at a time.  Every two weeks from Feb 12 until May.  I ordered a cone of cashmere/silk/merino in white.  I wanted to make it white or silver.  I resisted the silver with sparkles.......

I figure I'll be able to start on time because although the pattern for Sock Wars comes out on Friday (at 8 pm my time) I think I'll be dead by early Feb so my needles will…
I got my dossier for Sock Wars.  My target lives in Vermont and should not worry overly much.  She is retired and I'm glad that I'm not her target since she has discovered sock knitting recently and is loving it.  She's probably a much faster knitter than I.

On Friday on our way home, we stopped at our local shopping center (formerly a mall but has downsized and added apartments and become a 'town center').  We generally stay out of there because there aren't any stores that we really like.  The Borders Express was going out of business and had things at 70% off.  Who can resist a bookstore sale?  Not me.  We found a huge Dilbert collection (Pk and I are avid comics readers.  He says it's because we don't take life too seriously), a new Patricia Cornwell Scarpetta book (called The Scarpetta Factor), a small bag covered with animated super pets which will hold a knitting project for on the go knitting, a new notebook with monsters on it for work, and a c…
As you go through your day doing all kinds of Saturday stuff (around here that usually includes chores and laundry and shopping but also some time for fun), remember to take time to be good to yourself.  Give yourself an extra minute to enjoy a blue sky, a flower, a nice cup of tea, a conversation with a friend, a hug from a loved one.  Whatever floats your boat.

You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.


 (I bow to you. The light within me honors the light within you.)
Welcome to my world, Friday edition.  The weather report called for snow overnight and into this morning.  They never seem to call it right so we didn't know what to expect this morning.  This is what we found out the front door.  This is with no flash and it was darker than this at 6:15 am.  There's about an inch of snow, not enough to make it hard to get around, just enough to make things messy.

When Pk and I leave the house at 6:50 am every day, our street is fairly quiet.  The neighbor across the street is often leaving or has just left.  Otherwise there's not much movement.  Sometimes there are  high school kids walking by but not too often.  When there is snow falling, it is almost silent.  Hear your own heartbeat silent.  The snow muffles everything and it feels wrong to talk and break the silence.  I love that.  You can hear the snowflakes hitting the ground (they make a swisss noise).

Here's a shot of Locust Street in downtown Philadelphia.  The building on the…
We mailed off the galoot-a-clause gift today.  UPS told us it would cost $205 (usd) to mail it.  Two Hundred and Five dollars to mail a package that weighed less than 10 pounds and whose contents were worth less than 25 dollars!  We said, no thanks, and came home and looked up the US postal service.  They "only" wanted 65 dollars.  Since Pk was committed to this, we sucked it up and mailed the box.  Like ravelry, the galoots keep track of those who wimp out and don't send their boxes.  Next year, he'll sign up for a domestic exchange, or send something way lighter than wood.....

Oh, and I mentioned the chocolate.  You know, every good gift box contains some chocolate.  He just looked at me and said, NO.  I guess manly men don't need/want chocolate.  More for us!

Sock Wars starts next week.  The dossiers on our "victims" will be emailed on the 9/10th and the knitting begins on the 15th.  Kate and I are excited even though we are pretty sure we'll get …
Welcome to pajama day.  I have been home from work since 12/23 and it's been like a lovely bubble of time.  I was sick for part of it but somehow that just makes it feel more like a period out of time.  Tomorrow reality comes roaring back into my life and to help myself prepare for it, I am giving myself a pajama day.  I'm wearing clothes (they're warmer than my pj's and the cold January winds are finding every crack and seam to get to me) but the day will be filled with lazing around and taking it easy. 

I talk frequently about the woodworking that Pk does.  I'm amazed at the beauty of the things he can turn out (willi warmer blockers aside!).  The online woodworking community is almost as large as the online knitting community.  They encourage each other and help newbies and share all their knowledge and experience.  Sound familiar?  I thought so.  They have a galoot-a-clause exchange each December and they send each other boxes of goodies (although they seem to …
Happy 2010!  (That's said 'twenty-ten'.)  We finally got out of the '0's' and now can move on.

Pk and I had our usual rip roaring time.  We went to our favorite Chinese restaurant for dinner and then had a quiet evening.  He played computer games and I re-cast on for his sweater (I had 6 rows done before I realized it was twisted on the circular needles.  Off it came). We made it to midnight and wished our children Happy New Year (some via text message) and then fell promptly asleep.

We're taking the filter from the pool down to his sister's house and she's feeding us lunch.  We haven't been to her house in years.(family relationships are complicated)  Then it's a brief trip to Home Depot for some bits for his galoot-a-clause gift and then home for ham and potato salad and baked beans.  The beans cooked overnight in the crock pot and they smell wonderful. I'm not a big fan but I love the smell of them and I'll eat a small bit.   Tomo…