Gorgeous

It is simply gorgeous outside right now. It’s 8 am and already over 60 degrees. The sun is out, the trees have started to bud (pictures of the magnolia tree next to the balcony when it’s in full bloom, I promise.) I slept with the windows open last night and the apartment was a very comfortable in temperature. Of course, this being Kansas in (near) spring the wind has been howling for about the last 24 hours straight. (At least it wasn’t too snowy and there isn’t too much sand blowing around.) It does make me nervous about putting my seedlings outside to harden off for fear I would come out later to find an upturned tray and all my baby plants carried off to the prairie by the wind. If the wind can blow books off my bookshelf in my bedroom, it can sure make off with some tiny plants. (Guess the wind doesn’t like essays?)

Best of all, I retrieved my bike from storage yesterday. It needed a bit of air in the tires and a little dusting off and it was good as new. (I haven’t even had it a year, so technically, it is new.) The rain is supposed to set in this afternoon, I hear, so I am going to take this morning to go out on my first long ride of the season–a ride I hope morphs into a no big deal morning commute. I am going to hop onto the nature trail around the corner and bike to the Washburn, the local university. I have a meeting there tomorrow with the journalism school, which probably means I’ll be going back to school in the fall for a second undergrad degree. Anyhow, I see no reason why I shouldn’t bike there in good weather, it’s only a couple of miles if I take the Shunga (nature trail for non-locals). And I can get a lot of practice over the summer, because Flying Monkey is right across the street, and that’s the only place I’ve done any substantial writing lately.

The onset of spring has me feeling even more optimistic than normal.

Now, to plow through my to-do list so I can get out on that bike!

Enjoy oggling my two newest yarns just for fun

Self-striping sock yarn in Earth and Air.

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On Haitus until June 1st

Here is why:

1. Finish final essay

2. Revise first essay

3. Biology Test 4

4. Biology Final

5. Knit Brock’s birthday socks

6. Continue to cook healthy, homemade meals

7. Don’t neglect sleep.

8. Graduate.

9. Vacation.

I have been hunkering down to finish the last semester of school. Those first two list items are currently consuming all my energy. I haven’t had much time for yarn dyeing or being on the internet or promoting my shop. There is a great likelihood that I will be very quiet until June. See you then.

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Big Update

I have been working hard over the past few days to build the inventory back up in the shop after my sneak attack. Five new items are up today, and a couple of things that are waiting to dry and be photographed. My favorite is the top you see pictured above. It is the most gorgeous blue face Leicester and silk spinning fiber. It’s so shiny and soft I want to keep it for myself.

This week has been kind of crazy. On top of the sneak attack and spending all day Wednesday dyeing, I turned in my essay on Tuesday and had it critiqued on Thursday, both of which were nerve-wracking. Everything went really well, and I felt silly for getting nervous, but it always happens before a workshop, and it wears me out.

I got a little creative with my hand carders, and blended some silk with a little bit of the white alpaca roving I have laying around, and it got really, really fluffy. And then I spun it, and it was still really, really fluffy. It looks ridiculous and soft. I will take a picture when there is enough to photograph. For now, I am am attempting to finish my Mondo Cable Jacket, because the plan was to wear the jacket when I go to Denver to visit my sister, Audrey….Which is six days away. I am kind of behind. I still have most of a sleeve to knit as well the collar, so I am about two weeks away from finishing with the way my schedule is going. Two weeks . . . six days. I can do it. I might not sleep, but I can do it.

Oh, and did I mention I learned to crochet on Sunday? Have I actually crocheted anything yet? Nope. But I have a skein of yarn with a crochet hook in it sitting in my knitting basket. I call that progress.

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Off Topic

My final semester of school starts tomorrow. I am simultaneously excited and filled with dread. To put it simply, last semester was NOT GOOD. I was not sleeping enough or eating well. I was at work or doing homework all the time and falling asleep while I meant to be playing with Athrun. Halfway through the semester, my back started hurting so badly that I was alternating icing and heating daily, which only seemed to make the pain tolerable instead of better. I joined a gym at the end of November, and was only able to attend intermittently until the end of the semester, but every time I was able to go, I could tell it helped the pain slightly.  At the beginning of December, I took five days off from work (a really terrible month to have to take time off, let me tell you.) just so I could catch up with all of the paper writing I had to get done before the end of the semester. For five days, all I did was read, write, research, and go to class. When I went back to work in mid-December, I did the same thing with the added bonus of working full time. My final project for my creative non-fiction class was due at 11:59 on Friday, December 17th, and I was working hard until 11:15 pm. I do not want a repeat of this semester.

Granted, I am taking 6 hours, where last semester I was taking 13, but for some reason, I am not sure this is going to make much difference. I see myself working on my classes, particularly my advanced creative non-fiction class, just as much as I did last semester. I hope that perhaps more time into each class will perhaps help balance out the sorry grade-point average. (I passed my Astronomy lab with a healthy C-, which is kind of a miracle. I was convinced I was going to fail.)

And even though last semester was not good, it was a great improvement on the semester before last. I spent the summer learning how to relax, learning how to be ok with myself while I was working hard, learning how not to be angry. This break, I have been trying to turn around my eating habits. I used to be pretty strict with myself, eating a good mix of vegetables and whole grains and fruits with only occasional junk food thrown in. I lost almost sixty pounds this way after Athrun was born. Full-time classes have not been good for my weight at all, as I have steadily been gaining back the pregnancy weight, without the excuse of a baby this time. Last semester, if it could be delivered to my door, I ate it. A lot of it. Mercifully, I was walking so much at school, this did not affect my waistline during the semester. However, the first couple of weeks after finals, coupled with holiday frivolities saw my weight jump up ten pounds. I am, however, saying that 5 lbs of this is added muscle mass from going to the gym more often, because I swear, my legs have gotten skinnier.

I do not handle stress well, and it is mirrored directly in my weight loss or weight gain–usually neither one being a good sign. And then, I have a lot of internal conflict about dieting, because it feels like I am eating and living by someone else’s ideal, not my own. I know that I am not at my ideal weight: it slows me down, it makes the desks at school even more uncomfortable. And, it would be dishonest of me to say that I don’t feel slightly judged for being overweight in a society that values thinness before all else. What I am really hoping is that I can eat healthfully and heartily this semester, while establishing a routine at the gym. The downside is I would work out instead of napping, which might actually be a winning strategy with time. The upside is that I will get a chance to watch a lot more bad TV.

We don’t have TV. I mean, we have a TV, but the only signal is the DVD player or the computer hard drive. So, anything I watch, I must seek out. It really cuts down on the mindless TV watching of shows about nothing. However, when I go to the gym, all of the cardio equipment has it’s own little television and headphone jacks. I watch a lot of bad TV at the gym. Usually it is TLC, because out of all the really pointless TV channels out there, I find that TLC generally has the worst of it. And it is glorious. I watched a show about a woman who had carried a calcified baby in her stomach for forty years the other day. Or then there was the History Channel show about the treasure hunters looking for Confederate silver. Makes my day. Tonight, I am thinking about going in and doing my usual routine, then hopping on a recumbent bike with my sock-knitting and just watching TV while I cycle and work out a bunch of stress right before school starts to pile it all back on again.

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