Wednesday, February 28, 2007
Anyway, today I got a phone call from the doctor's office, saying I should come in for another blood test. This one I'm supposed to fast for (ick... I hate fasting... I like my breakfast in the morning!), and is to test my cholesterol.
Does this mean my cholesterol was bad on the first test, and they want to see if the fasting result is different? (I have bad cholesterol?!? Ack!!! Isn't that for *old* people like my dad?!? Does this mean I'm old?!? Noooooooooo! ;) )
Can high (or low?) cholesterol make me sleepy?
*sigh*... I sure hate the lack of answers. Is there a recall on my body yet? Can I have a new one? Sheesh!
I weighed myself this morning, and I'm definitely not losing weight. Bummer. *sigh*
Tuesday, February 27, 2007
Another sign that it might be the weather? The wind is from the south-east. This is Manitoba, folks. Our weather *always* comes from the west. (We live in the path of the jet stream.) I don't think I've *ever* seen clouds moving north-west. That's some funky weather.
Also, mom and B are also having joint problems.
Of course, that doesn't mean wheat isn't making things worse.
The winners are: Deneen and Vera! Congrats!
Deneen... I still have your measurements from the last time I made you socks... have they changed?
Vera, please e-mail me your mailing address and measurements. Here's the measurements I'll need:
1. how long your foot is from toe to heel,
2. its circumference, and
3. a few circumference measurements on the leg (and what height those measurements are taken at)
4. Plus how tall you prefer your socks to be.
Thanks to everyone who entered. :) Oh... and if you are sad you didn't win, I'll make socks for you if you send me sock yarn. ;)
What is all this pink about? Well, H's niece received this:
"The Real Knit & Gem Machine" from her grandparents (I think) this weekend. However, it turns out she already had one, but wasn't able to get it to work. H bought it off her niece and brought it in, knowing I would figure it out. ;) We didn't open up any of the plastic bags so that it could still be given as a new toy to some other child later.
Our first several attempts failed. We thought we were following the instructions. Speaking of instructions, they were, um, not ideal:
(Click through for biggy view.) The instructions for circular knitting started on page 4 with an initial setting, then had you go back to do the instructions on pages 2 (which said to practice turning the crank) and 3. Page 3 was microprinted to an extent where two of the three adults in the room had difficulty reading them, and the third (me) had to hold them quite a bit closer than normal.
Our first several attempts failed. We attached the yarn and cranked away until it was on all of the hooks. Then we kept cranking, but the previous row just fell off, rather than beeing hooked in to the knitting.
Hmmm. Oh, maybe I had been cranking counter-clockwise when should have been cranking clockwise! Same thing. We tried again more slowly. Same thing. We tried increasing tension. Same thing.
One of the adults left to get back to work. (The other two worked in the office where the machine was located, and simply went back to their seats.)
After a few minutes I had an idea... I used the tail to run through all the loops between hooks to prevent unravelling. It worked!
(Note: the instructions also didn't seem to explain how to get the knitting off... but if you remove the yarn from the threader and crank around once, it all comes off.)
After lunch I had another look at the instruction booklet, to see if there was something I had missed.
Gee... that diagram #2 looks a little funny... did they mean to draw it so that only every second hook had yarn? Yep, there it is at the end of instruction #3: "every other needle". However, by saying to put the yarn in the feeder and turn the crank, you think it means to hook on the yarn that way. Nope, that way hooks onto all hook, not every second one. After starting with every second hook, it turns out that the machine does work as described:
We then packed the pink thing away, good as new, to be given to some pink-loving kid. Plus H now knows how to work the thing, so she can explain it to her niece.
(Oh... and the orange yarn is some scary acrylic H's son picked out for an afghan he's making. We didn't want to disturb the pink or white furry yarns that came with the machine.)
Monday, February 26, 2007
So... do I spend $6.75 (or more if it requires two) in order to use up someone else's leftovers? Or do I make another bib, which isn't as cute?
Saturday, February 24, 2007
Down in the US, the "mildew killing" shower cleaners kill most of the mildew and my lungs.
Here, the "mildew killing" shower cleaner doesn't kill my lungs but it doesn't touch the mildew either.
Today I mixed a water-bleach solution to wash the shower walls with. It got some of the mildew, but mostly my lungs. Blech!
When I have a real income, I'll definitely be hiring someone to do my cleaning!
Friday, February 23, 2007
Standing at the bus stop, I noticed quite a few car noses with dings. These modern day bumpers sure don't survive the dings caused by insufficient stopping distance on slippery streets.
If you haven't already guessed, it's been snowing, and it's kind of warm so the slop on the streets is "greasy" as B would call it.
(Warning... TMI) Nicky pooped twice on his walk today. I usually carry two bags so that I can throw the first one away after he poops, because it *stinks*. Normally he only poops once, but today he pooped twice. So I got the joy of carrying around a bag full of stinky poop. From now on I'm stocking my pockets with three plastic bags.
Owie: my hip and knees are killing me. I think it's because of the weather. Hmmm... I also quit my antihistamines recently, so if it *is* allergy induced as my mom suspects, that could also be a reason. (My mom has been trying to convince me to try going off wheat, but I like my bread and pasta too much. Plus I'm allergic to many of the usual substitutes too.) I should keep track of this and take note if they keep bothering me after the snowy weather leaves.
Speaking of allergies, I can certainly tell which balls of scrap sock yarn came from households with cats! They affected me even before I went off my antihistamines. I've just been bearing it... hopefully I can wash all the cat dander out once the blanket is finished.
Update: I was only able to catch the tail end of the procession:
Hi E!! Nice to hear from you.Hope all is well in Austria. Yes, the weather has finally changed and is quite nice. Nicky has barked the odd time, but just today I seen your daughter, and told her that Nicky is enjoying his walks with her and sits in the back, looking at her house and is barking for her to come out. Other than that he hasn't been too bad. So enjoy your holiday because before you know it, you will be back. "Nicky sends lots love and kisses!!!!!"
E-mail from my dad to me:
Reply from G. Seems you have made a new friend with Nicky. If you hear him barking you might go over and tell him to go to his kennel. Thats what I do when he wants me to come out at odd hours.
Nicky, how do I love thee? Let me count the blisters... ;)
I walked Nicky again last night for about an hour. We walked with a neighbour and his dog Charlie for a bit, then up the long back lane along Hespeler, and then a gazillion times around the block. At one point Nicky got to meet two large dogs that another lady was walking. Things were good at first, but then went suddenly bad. The other lady was able to hold her dog while I managed to pull Nicky away. Her dog that was unhappy was much bigger. I'm not sure what it was, but it looked like a Rottweiler the size of a St Bernard. I thought Nicky was okay, but when we got back to the yard I noticed his ear was bleeding a bit. It didn't look serious, but I'll be sure to check it tonight.
Thursday, February 22, 2007
I'm feeling gloomy again... not as bad as Monday or Tuesday, but not good either. I'll be fine, there's just some sad stuff going on right now that I won't be blogging.
I walked Nicky last night... dang dog kept jerking me around. I can feel it this morning. My hip is acting up too, but I'm not sure that's his fault... perhaps the changing weather is messing with me right now too.
Then, to round out everything, Aunt Flo is here for her monthly visit.
Nothing exciting from the doc: she suggested I try a different antihistamine (I'm going to try going off them for now, then try the new stuff if my allergies get too annoying), sent me for a blood test to check my thyroid and a few other things, and also will be contacting a therapist for me. It sounds like this therapist does low-income stuff, but also has a bit of a wait (possibly two months). Maybe if I'm lucky I'll fix myself first, and then won't need her.
I started designing a new silk painting last night. I'll post photos when/if I finish. (The designs take me a long time, so don't hold your breath.)
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
I was able to walk Nicky yesterday, and went out for a bit longer than an hour. Most of the time I listened to Quirks and Quarks on my iPod, but one lap I walked with a neighbour and his dog, Charlie. Charlie is a little black dog, and walks quite a bit slower than Nicky. Nicky would have preferred walking faster, but he and Charlie got along fine. At one point during the walk I accidentally dropped the leash when Nicky pulled. He was good and came back to me when I called. He is a good dog, just very energetic.
Part of the reason I dropped the leash is because I had gone to the gym and did weights at lunch... I focussed on the upper body, and my arms were tired. However, going to the gym felt good. I went with L, another lady in the department. H couldn't come because she had some assistant department head stuff to attend to. (She's taking over the position this term while the actual assistant department head is on sabbatical.)
My meeting with my advisor went well on Monday, although, due to Skype being stupid, happened an hour or two late.
I have been really sad the past few days, but am feeling somewhat better today.
I have a doctor appointment this afternoon. I need to figure out why I'm more tired than I should be, and will also ask about a recommendation for a therapist to work on my procrastination issues.
Dad wants me to call the neighbours about Nicky barking, and ask if they notice it. He wants to put him in a kennel before they officially complain. I think I"ll miss my walks with Nicky. He's good exercise.
This weekend I took my exercise bike over to my friend's house and set it up. She had been thinking of getting something, and I happened to have the bike I can't use right now. (There is *no* space that would not either irritate my folks, or prevent me from being able to get around in my room.) It had been in the garage, and I was a bit worried about it staying dry when the snow melts in the spring... apparently the snow melt runs across the garage floor. Don't you just love a win-win situation like this? I have a place to store it, and she gets something she can use for free. Even better, she's offering me some reflexology sessions, and I'm not going to refuse! ;)
I started the sleeves for Durrow last night at SNB. It's about time!
And that reminds me... my swift arrived last Friday! I'll try to remember to take a photo tonight to post to the blog. With the swift I was able to easily wind another skein of the yarn for Durrow, which I had been lazy about. (The yarn is kind of velcro-sticky, and thus annoying to wind without a swift.)
Someone had asked me if I could teach her to knit, so I suggested she come to SNB last night. Although she sounded interested, she didn't come. I'm not sure if something came up, she forgot, or if the snow kept her home. Oh well.
I'm sorry I haven't posted the contest winners yet. I'll try to do that today.
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
Dad asked me how Nicky was doing. I told him about how I couldn't walk him last night, and also that I can't hear Nicky from where I live, I get my reports from my brother (who lives with my father).
Did my dad contact my brother? No. He e-mailed the neighbours who live two doors down.
Monday, February 19, 2007
A blanket to wrap around me would be nice too.
Sunday, February 18, 2007
(Click for biggy view.) This was inspired by a photo I saw on Flickr a while back. By using flowers from the dollar store and repurposed Christmas tree lights, this was actually quite an inexpensive project.
Saturday, February 17, 2007
He's been barking again. Mind you, I can't really think of a time when I haven't noticed him barking, excepting the times when I'm not here, or the times shortly after I've been in the back yard.
Also, he seemed to have peed in his food bowl, and chewed the end off father's block heater extension cord.
I don't need this right now. I really don't.
I'm going to see if a double-mug of hot chocolate will warm me up any better than the gas fireplace does.
Oh, and I'm pretty sure I have a fifth blister, again on the bottom of my foot.
Walks: minimum of an hour per day, sometimes split over two shorter walks.
Today's total: 20 minutes... he was barking, and I hadn't had lunch. I'll do more later.
Barking: plenty. Including during yesterday's walk, last night when I was out, and this morning when I got back from an art show with mom and B.
That dog *needs* his run! E was going to do it this morning, but I don't think he did, and now he's out. *sigh* Nicky is just not a town dog. So far the neigbours haven't been complaining, at least. Probably having the windows shut agains the winter helps.
Update: Nicky *had* a run this morning... at least *six* miles! It made no difference. :(
Thursday, February 15, 2007
Sheesh... after an hour long walk, near the end of which I noticed him bleeding a wee bit on the side of his foot, and he *still* didn't want to stop! Kibble? Naw! He wanted more walking! More, more, more!
I don't know what's up with his foot. B thinks maybe he cut it on a bit of ice. We wiped it off, and I refused to walk him more... I want him to take a break, even if he doesn't want to. I've also e-mailed dad.
Today I wore my regular shoes and some winter grippy things, and my feet feel somewhat better than after walking in Sorels. For the most part, the weather wasn't too bad. However, the wind really got me at one point. Once again, it took forever to warm up again afterwards. *sigh* You'd think my blubber that makes the scale say nasty things could at least be useful for something! ;)
However, I *did* get some fun and totally unexpected mail today! I got some German sock yarn from Josie, and "Knitting Loves Crochet" from Knittah. Thanks ladies! You rock!!! I feel so lucky to have such kind and sweet and generous friends as you! (Whether or not you send me things.) Thankyouthankyouthankyou. :)
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
So that makes an hour and ten minutes of exercise in the cold today.
My swift is on it's way... so far it's taking a tour of southern Ontario. (For those of you wondering why Canada Post is so slow, apparently it's because the expedited parcels like to stop at all medium sized Ontario towns before doing something useful.
Somehow, even though he didn't pull as much and the walk was only half as long, I'm *still* feeling it!
Well, the rest of my birthday weekend was also wonderful. Saturday I slept in a bit, then called my sweetie in Barbados. After that came breakfast, more sleeping, knitting, more sleeping, then finally a shower and getting up. ;) My brother, grandma, and a friend all came over for dinner, which was really yummy! My mom cooked shrimp, green beans, and rice. Mmmm! Plus her terrific cake for dessert! After dinner my friend and I watched the version of Pride and Predjudice that came out about a year ago and knit. :) I like the version with Colin Firth as Darcy better, but this was a nice version too.
Sunday was another relaxing day with more knitting. :) I had thought of going to see some of the Festival du Voyageur, but I really felt like being lazy. ;) I got to talk to my J Sunday night too. :)
My wonderful weekend continued into a great Monday where I made a bunch more progress on my dissertation. Monday night was a bit of a downer, though. My brother was being a twit, my advisor didn't show up for our scheduled meeting, and I missed a chance to talk to J on the phone. I decided to go to bed early. Luckily J called me back a bit later, so I got to talk to him. :) Free long distance plans sure do help with long-distance relationships.
Tuesday I drove my dad to the airport in the morning, then drove to H's place. H gave me a chocolate chocolate chip moose cookie for my birthday! :) Yum! Thanks H!
Oh, presents! That reminds me... I got two turtlenecks from my grandma, and two pair of pajamas (one winter, one summer) from Mom and B. My friend M gave me a really neat black and white print of a mushroom that she took with a large-format camera. (M has lots of artistic talent.)
Back to Tuesday... at lunch time (both Monday and Tuesday, actually) H, L and I went for a half hour power walk. :) I've decided that I need to burn off some of these spare calories I'm consuming. ;) We also stopped by the bookstore, and I saw something really cute that I'm considering getting for J if it's on sale on Thursday. ;) I didn't get much work done, but that's life. Since I had driven in, I was able to bring home some bulky plastic bins L gave me a while back, so that was good. :)
After I got home I took Nicky for a walk (which I've already blogged about), and was rather damp when I got back in! I went downstairs to change my shirt, and I woke up my computer to see if I had any mail. As soon as I had a dry t-shirt on, my advisor called! So we had a 15 minute meeting that was quite nice... except for the fact that I was cooling off after my exercise, and sitting in a cold basement in just a t-shirt and jeans was rather chilling.
After dinner my brother, B and I watched Cars and I knit on the blankie some. I was tired, so I decided to go to bed early. I called J, then went to get into my new pajamas for bed... and realized the dog on my new pajamas looks an awful lot like an excited Nicky! Ow! ;)
Boy, am I ever stiff this morning! Mom is stiff too, and wanted to know if the weather was bothering me too. I said I couldn't tell... not with all the Nicky aches!
I hope you have a lovely Valentine's day today. I wish I were with my sweetie, but I'll be thinking about him all day! I'll be back later (probably, unless I get caught up with other stuff) with another post, reminiscing about that romantic day in New York last fall. :)
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
Of course, my view of him while exercising was at a different angle, more like this:
but with no door and a strained leash.
Nicky was a bit hard to get started this first time... he didn't seem to understand why I wanted him to come out of his heated kennel into the nasty cold. Eventually, using both kibble and making weird noises that got him curious, I had him out. Then began my exercise known as "dog anchor".
Nicky was still a bit slow at understanding that I am not my father. After one loop around the block, he dutifully went to the gate to go back in the yard.
No, Nicky, we're doing more.
More??? More?!? MORE!!!!!!!
After several laps, I brought him back to the yard.
Some more laps.
About an hour and a very frosty scarf later, Nicky reluctantly agreed to let me leave him without too much guilt. I told him I'd be back tomorrow, but I'm not sure if he understood that yet.
It took me over an hour to warm back up!!!
Of course, Nicky managed to get out of the yard, and mom spotted him in the back lane. Without too much trouble Nicky let me put him back in the yard, then I fixed the alignment of the latch that hadn't latched.
Hopefully my exercise machine will let me off until tomorrow after school. I *hurt*! (Being a dog anchor is *work*.)
Oh, and no, he doesn't understand "heel" or "whoa". I'm going to see if I can teach him over the next month. Any tips? He occasionally seemed a bit better by the last lap around the block.
Monday, February 12, 2007
Anyway, on to the fun. I made some nice progress just now on my dissertation, so I decided I could reward myself by describing my weekend.
Oh, and before I forget, thanks to everyone for all the wonderful birthday wishes, and I've enjoyed reading the contest entries that have come in so far. :) I'll post the winners after the official closing date.
Friday was fun with father. (Sorry, couldn't resist all the fs.) We met at Grant Park Mall (where I finally found and bought the "There's a Hippo in my Bathtub" cd by Anne Murray), had yummy pizza at Pizza Place (bring on the nostalgia!), and watched a movie. We were going to watch "Children of Men", but they changed the schedule so that it wasn't playing until 9:20 (dinner reservations were at 5:30), so we watched "The Queen" instead. I hate how they change the movie schedules on Friday, and don't tell you what the new schedule is until Friday. :P Hey theater owners! It would be nice if you were a bit more user-friendly. Between the nuisance, cost, and the habit of setting the sound way too high, I prefer waiting for the dvd version. :P You might make more money off me if you change your ways!
Anyway, we had considered watching The Queen anyway, so it wasn't too bad, but we both preferred Children of Men. Mom and B were also hoping for a review, having heard others say it was good. (They had already seen The Queen.)
The Queen was good, but my dad would have enjoyed it more with subtitles. He's getting deaf, and the accents don't help him a bit. I had no problems.
Hmmm... enough procrastinating for now... time to do some more work. (More weekend events later.)
Sunday, February 11, 2007
(Same plant, two different locations.)
My Christmas cactus didn't quite make it:
I've had a lovely, relaxing weekend. :) I'd tell you about it, but I really should go to bed now... back to the grind tomorrow.
Baby Bib 'O Love
Several of my friends will be popping out babies this year. Seems like a good excuse for knitting to me! I won't be blogging items made for friends who read my blog, but this is for a friend who doesn't. ;)
It's hard to see in the photo, but there's two hearts in reverse stockinette on a stockinette background, with garter stitch edging. Besides that, it's basically the Mason-Dixon baby bib o' love pattern. I think I may have gotten the straps a bit short, but I took the yarn as far as it would let me. (Bernat balls are a wee bit small for this pattern. at least, the variegated ones are.) The colour is "swimming pool". I still need to add a button.
Saturday, February 10, 2007
Friday, February 09, 2007
Dressed For Cold
This morning a lady at the bus stop said she had been envious of me for a while now, and finally dug through her stuff to find a scarf. (Yeppers, a scarf sure is a good idea these days!)
I met with some people reviewing the accreditation of the department, and one of the gentlemen complemented me on my sweater, and asked what the yarn was made of. Neat! (I wonder if he was a knitter? I didn't quite have the guts to ask during the meeting.)
Thursday, February 08, 2007
Erica at SNB helped me wind one of my skeins for Durrow, but I've got two more to go, and seem to be getting a lot of yarn in hanks these days!
I think I'm going to some of my wool yarn from Bron to make the clogs. (Stash busting!) They look much better than the slippers I made for myself a while back. (The ones I made have tall sides and are somewhat flimsy, so I can't slip my feet into them in the in the dark, I have to pick them up to put them on. I've also had to repair the heels after just a bit of wear.)
Wednesday, February 07, 2007
For non-sucky presents, I'm still trying to decide where to buy my swift. I've found two or three more options I'm considering.
In other news, I made it to the post office today. Bron and J can expect something sometime. Deneen: I didn't haul around the sock blockers yet to determine shipping costs. (Sorry. I didn't feel like dragging them to and from the dentist's.)
Speaking of babies, another friend is expecting in August! More baby knitting. :)
Tuesday, February 06, 2007
Yarn and Beads
I enjoyed SNB at the library tonight... although it was a pretty small group due to the cold. Afterwards I stopped in at Michaels to pick up another ball of SWS at 40% off (managed to guess the right dye lot!), and heads for the Felt Wee Folk. (I had forgotten I needed these when I made my last trip.) I got several sizes to try. I think I'll have enough yarn for a toque now... I'll wait and see before buying more.
I've been thinking recently about rights... particularly Jehovah's Witnesses and blood transfusions. Two articles in particular have me thinking about it. The more recent one is about a Winnipeg girl who cannot refuse treatment, and a still recent but slightly older one about sextuplets.
Adults are allowed to refuse treatments. The question, however, is about children. The older girl is 15... probably old enough to make an informed decision. In this case, "three justices on the Court of Appeal [...] ruled that the treatment was justified on the basis of the sanctity of life and the duty to protect children."
In the sextuplets case, the Jehovah's Witness parents refused to terminate some of the embryos to give the remaining ones a better chance at a full term pregnancy. The parents refused on religious grounds. The babies were born premature, and two have already died as a result. Three of the babies were seized by the government in order to give them treatment, which included blood transfusions. The babies are obviously too young to decide for themselves.
So, here we have a situation where the government wanted to terminate embryos, but allowed parents to choose not to, then fought to save the babies from the beliefs of these same parents that caused them to be born in the first place. From an abstract point of view, it seems rather hypocritical. I suppose it falls back to the argument about when a clump of cells becomes a person. (I think, personally, I believe it happens around the time that the fetus can survive outside the womb. A woman can then still choose to have the fetus removed from her body, but it then becomes a ward of the state that can be adopted, rather than terminated.) Anyway, it seems silly to let religion rule in one case, but not the other. (However, if your religion says to murder your children, I definitely don't think that should be allowed.)
Hmmm. So, religion shouldn't be allowed to kill people, but embryos rights don't overrule parents rights.
The next bit is on when people should be allowed to refuse treatment. Obviously, a premature baby can't decide for itself, however, adults can. But where does it switch from one to the other. I would think a fifteen year old could decide for themselves, as long as you could make sure a parent isn't pressuring them to decide against their will. I imagine the judge thought the kid had been "brainwashed" by the religion... but that's not going to change when the kid turns 18. So if a brainwashed 18 year old can refuse treatment, why can't a brainwashed 15 year old? In this case, to protect the child, it's really the brainwashing that should have been prevented... but that runs against religious freedom.
I think it does make sense for the government to decide for children who are young enough to not be able to make their own decisions... after all, if they're young enough that they can't make medical decisions, they're also young enough that they can't make religious decisions either. I don't think the parent should be able to decide what the child's religion is if it risks the health of the child. Just like adults aren't allowed to do other things that harm children. However, older children should be allowed to decide for themselves.
No, because it seemed to think the danger is worse when wet, and I've never noticed wet wool being staticy. Plus, acrylic creates way more static than wool.
Okay, I'm still baffled.
Dressed For Cold
I'm not cold... are you?
Well, some wind pants in addition to jeans and longjohns would be nice... ;)
I chose the length and width of this scarf for precisely this purpose. It works great! (Crocheted from superwash wool.)
My alpaca mittens are nice and warm, especially the way they've felted a bit with wear.
Yes, I'm wearing my toque, but you can't see it in this photo. It's under the scarf.
Monday, February 05, 2007
It's quiet... *too* quiet!
Noise, and strangeness:
More noise and strangeness:
More time passes...
Engineers get even louder:
Horns, conga lines, slapping something (rugs? leather jackets?) on the floor, chanting...
Just before I head home for the day, seeking some quiet:
Consolation prize: they must have frozen their butts off on Saturday for the race! ;)
PS: Those big puffy things on the walls? Apparently they're supposed to be giant popcorn, for something like "international popcorn day" that was ...recently?