It’s Kind Of Like Speed Walking

Speed walking has got to be one of the most difficult races to ever compete in.  You’re rushing along, trying to be faster then the guy next to you, and you look up and there it is; the finish line.  It’s only 20 meters away, and you are neck and neck with one of the other competitors.  Everything in you is yelling, “go faster, go faster!”  But you have to be careful.  If you don’t pay attention, you might accidentally begin to run.  Then you would definitely lose the race.  Often times we find ourselves in similar situations at work, at home, or on our morning commute.  You’ve been working on a project, and this goes for anything from work to hobbies, and it’s taken a long while to complete.  You are so close to finishing that you get that urge to go faster and race through the end to the finish line.  But you have to watch it because you might make a mistake, drop a stitch, miss a calculation, or any number of things.

I have found that when I’ve taken a long time to come to a decision on something big and/or important (after weighing the pros and cons, determining that the effort is worth it, and that it is something that I truly desire) I almost want to rush through and complete the task, buy the item, etc.  I spent all that time making the decision, that now that I have decided for it, I want the instant gratification of owning/completing/doing whatever it is that I decided on.  But there are times this is not possible, so you have to plan out when you have to, or will be able to, work on a project, join a group, take a class, etc.  And if you don’t keep track of deadlines, you might miss the opportunity and have to wait for it to come around again, if it ever does.

Taking all of this into account, I have made some decisions lately that will affect myself, and occasionally my job and others around me.  The first thing is I accepted the position of Deputy Operations on the CERT team where I work.  While it may seem as if it won’t change things much, it is a huge responsibility and I feel that I need to take some more training before I am fully comfortable in that role.  This training, though free, will of course be taken on my own time.  Two more responsibilities I have agreed to take on involve the Chorale.  I have agreed to be the POC for t-shirts, and I have agreed to work with another member of the board to plan social gatherings for the members so that we can get to know each other better outside of practice.  Also, depending on the decision of the Chorale board, I may also become the Secretary for the board.  This will also eat into my personal time, though not too much.  The next thing I have agreed to do is write a proposal for a fundraising idea I had for Frisco Arts and many of the groups here, like the Chorale, community bands, etc.  I have never written a proposal in my life, so this will be interesting.  I have applied and interviewed for another position in my department, which may or may not require more responsibility on my part if I get the position.

Even with all of the recent and potential changes to my life, I have made one more huge decision.  I have decided to go back to school and complete my Bachelor’s of Biology.  I have been thinking about going back to school for the last year, and this week, I finally made the decision.  It will be about a 5 year or less commitment on my part as I will only be able to take about one class a semester, but I spoke to my adviser and the admissions department at my university, and yesterday I took the plunge.  I filled out the application and submitted it to the university.  It was a bit more difficult than I thought it would be simply because the application isn’t really designed for people in my situation.  You either have to choose incoming Freshman or Transfer student and neither one of those really fits.  Though I was able to select that I am wishing to complete my second undergraduate degree, the rest of the application still didn’t make sense for me.  But I filled it out to the best of my ability, and now, I can only hope for the best.  That I didn’t fill it out so completely wrong, that they deny my admission.

Now that I have made this decision, I am ready to dive right in and start school again.  But I have to remind myself that all is not said and done.  I still have to wait for decisions from others before I can move forward.  And if I get lucky, and I am able to start back to school this fall, I will have to continue to tell myself: Walk, Don’t Run.

Back On Track

Mostly.  I’m still trying to figure things out, but at least this post is going up on the day I scheduled it.  In fact, for the most part I have followed what I had planned for the week.  Including exercising and walking.  Now I just need to keep it up.

I have begun a project in the last few days, though it has not progressed very far just yet.

Owl

A decent beginning.  I hope to have it finished soon, so I will have to decide what I’m going to begin next.

As for Plato, I don’t think people ever really spoke like that.  It’s kind of like “Legal-ese” and the like.  We write in more formal tones, but people in general do not talk like that.  I made it to Book II, and this one is going a little easier than the first, but still, it’s kind of crazy.

Randomly On What Was Supposed To Be A Wednesday Evening…

1. So, the last couple of weeks have been fairly busy ones.  I had two rehearsals and two performances the week of the 20th.  The Frisco Chorale, the local community choir that I am a member of, performed Beethoven’s Ninth with the Odysseus Chamber Orchestra, another local group.  The performances went well, for the most part.  There are always mistakes when it comes to live performances.  It is the nature of the beast.  But now that’s over and we are concentrating on our performance at the end of this month in Frisco.

2. I have begun a project, it’s not very far along, just cast on, but I will be unable to show pictures of it for some time as it is a gift for a friend of mine.  I hope to have that finished soon, and to begin another present shortly there after.

3. I am doing my best to start my Christmas presents early this year so that I won’t be too stressed and rushing to finish by Christmas.

4. I still have yet to block the NES.  But I was given an idea by a member of one of the stitch groups here in Frisco.  She suggested that I block it in sections.  I think this might work.  I have some blocking rods that could be used to help section it off and keep the tension steady.  We’ll have to see how it works out.

5. Last week, I really started to figure out what I wanted to do with my planner so that I could help keep me more organized.  I love planners, they are the best.  I’ve tried using apps and they just don’t work well for me.

6. I have made a monthly list of things I need to do, and I plan to make one every month.

7. Of course, I still have to follow it.  This post was actually supposed to go out Wednesday, but obviously that didn’t happen.  I got distracted, as often happens with me, but at least I’m trying to get back on track.  And since we had plans for this weekend that I thought would be fun to add, I decided to post today instead. :)

8. I have decided to read more.  Specifically books that I have in my possession and have not read yet, and other books that I have an interest in but have not taken the time to read.

9. One of those books is this one:

Plato

10. I have had this book for years, and I am bound and determined to read this stupid book before the end of the month.  So far I am at page 3.  That is an accomplishment, really.  I’ve read science textbooks less difficult than this.  It’s crazy, but I’m going to finish it.

11. I lost 3 pounds last week, which was awesome!

12. I gained one this week. :(

13. On Monday, I was made a member of the CERT board and I now hold the position of Deputy Operations.

14. Today, I plan to look into the online courses offered by FEMA so that I can get some additional training and become more comfortable with my new role.

15. It’s a little intimidating.

16. I have a goal of walking most days during the month of May.  I started last week, and I got in more than 10000 steps yesterday.

17. The reason I was able to get those steps in yesterday is because we went to Scarborough Faire.

18. I love going to Scarborough.  It’s fun.

19. There are shops:

False Fronts

20. And gardens:

Garden

No, I was not being “artistic”, I was just trying to take a picture with one hand on my phone.

 

21. And of course plenty of costumes:

Costumes Flowers Jester The End

 

22. Even The Doctor was there

The Doctor

23. We had a lot of fun.

24. Then we headed home and played with George so that he wouldn’t feel like we abandoned him.

Happy George

25. He got to play Frisbee, and just hang out in the back yard on a lovely afternoon.

26. That is one happy boy.

Fond(ish) Farewell

About a week and a half ago, I was working on the NES.  I took a look at my yarn and how far I had to go.

Remaining Yarn NES

I looked again.  I weighed out the yarn.  I only had 6 repeats left.  Surely, I had enough yarn.  I finished a repeat, then weighed again.  I had used twice what I thought I was going to use.  The the bargaining began.  Like the yarn would last longer simply because I was in denial.  51 rows remaining and this occurred:

Ran Out

Really?!  Again?!  So I immediately got on line and ordered another hank.  Hoping against hope, yet again, that it would match.  It arrived last Friday.

New Yarn

My luck held out, and the new hank matched.  Yay!  I wound it into a ball and got started on those last 51 rows.  Late in the evening, I had this:

Finished

The Never Ending Shawl is finally finished!  Sort of.  Now I need to find a place to block it.  I really don’t have room in my little house to lay it out because it is so big.  I’ll just have to figure something out.

 

On to The Blerch

Well, after losing 3 pounds in 3 weeks, I gained one.  This was not a happy occasion for me.  I’m just going to have to work harder this week and make sure I don’t gain any more.  One of the steps I have taken to eating better is that I want to start growing some of my own herbs and vegetables.  I have taken the first step with this:

Garlic Week 1 Garlic Pic 2

That is my first attempt at growing garlic.  The first picture was taken one week after planting, the second a week and a half.  Garlic is pretty easy to grow, and it seems like a good plant to start with.

A major step in being healthy and eating right is to eat the “right” things and know where your food is coming from.  I will now always know where my garlic has come from.

Of Course You Realize, This Means War

On one front, things are going pretty well.  I’ve been a little slow when it came to the knitting lately, but it’s really picked up and now I’m almost finished with the Never Ending Shawl.

13 Repeats

At this point, this past Wednesday night, I had 13 repeats remaining on the border.  After working on it some more last night, I am down to 9.  9 repeats of 16 rows, a quick graft together of live stitches and that beast will be ready for blocking.  That’s less than 7 hours.  I can’t wait.  So, I’ll get some more repeats in tonight and hopefully, have it blocking by tomorrow evening.  Yay woo!

 

As for The Blerch

That battle was not going so well for me.  It is so easy to give in and not exercise, to snack (though knitting is definitely good at preventing snacking), things like that.  So I’m taking a note from good old Bugs:

Bugs

I am now waging a full on war.  Battles and skirmishes are one thing, but if I’m going to persevere, this conflict has got to be upgraded to war.  I will not lose.  This is truly a life and death situation.  It is for my health and if I don’t take it seriously, why should The Blerch?  The first step in this all out war, is to get my life organized and make sure I set aside time for all of the things I both need and want to do during the week.  That means getting up a little earlier in the morning, putting aside the *gasp* knitting, drawing, writing, and personal reading in the evenings to do what I have to so that I can beat this.  While I have lost 2 pounds in the last 2 weeks, I can and will do better.  Here’s to beating The Blerch.  I’m going to take that bitch down.

And Then It Went “Splat!”

So, a couple of weeks ago, when I started the border on my NES, I added the last ball of yarn that I had.  My mother, who is not a knitter, took one look at it and said, “you’re going to run out of yarn.”  My immediate response was, “no I won’t, it’s going to last, and it’s going to be epic.”  Because it totally is going to be epic.  Weekend before last, I got quite a bit of progress done on the border.

Progress NES

It’s big, it’s beautiful, one might even say epic.  Then, just under halfway through the border:

End of yarn

I totally ran out of yarn.  I immediately checked on line to see if I could find any of the same yarn.  I’m not even pretending to look for the same dye lot.  I bought this yarn in a store here in Richardson almost one year ago today.  I found some with the same color number at River Colors Studio and quickly order some more yarn.  Crossing my fingers that because these are hand dyed and slightly vary in color anyway, the new yarn wouldn’t stand out too much.  I did not tell my mother about this of course.  I just knew she would laugh.  All last week and into this week, I kept hoping that the yarn would come quickly and that it would mostly match.  Finally, yesterday, I opened my mailbox, and there it was…

New Yarn 1 New Yarn 2

Boom!  It totally freaking matches!  The really funny thing is that the last ball I used before I ran out, matches least of all.  Thank you Yarn and/or Knitting gods, for looking out for this poor, delusional knitter and allowing the colors to work out well.  Once I received the new yarn, and added it in, only then did I tell my mother what had occurred.  We had a very nice laugh over it, especially the part where I didn’t tell her that I ran out to begin with, and that was that.

Also, we had another interesting weather week last week.

Snow 1 Snow 2

That’s about 5 inches of snow that fell in the North Texas area.  It’s not often we get that much snow, this late in the year.

I also took the opportunity to add in some rows on the ENS

ENS Reboot

:)

 

As for The Blerch:

There have been many skirmishes in which The Blerch has won many these last couple of weeks.  But today, I’m going to go home and exercise.  That is my promise to myself.  And if you can’t keep a promise to yourself (a reasonable one, anyway) how can you keep a promise to anyone else?

On A Roll

Earlier this week we had a Winter Storm system move through the North Texas area.

Ice

Compared to the north and northeastern parts of the US and much of Canada, it really wasn’t much.  About 2 inches in many places.  But it was 2 inches of ice (that is sleet in the picture above), not snow, thus our schools decided to close for 2 days and since I work in higher education, I got those 2 days off, as well.  It was nice and relaxing.  I got to watch some movies, chill with George, and work on the NES.

Border Beginning

I made it through the final rows of the feather ring and was able to start on the border by Tuesday evening.  By the end of lunch today, I’ve made some pretty good progress.

Border 2

That is 129 rows with 1023 remaining.  Or, and this sounds much better, 8 pattern repeats and 64 repeats left to knit.  This is my first attempt at adding a border to a project like this.  It is going much more quickly than I thought it would and it’s actually much easier than I thought, as well.  If I am consistent in working on it, I will be able to finish it next week sometime.

My Battle With The Blerch Con’t

Well, for the most part, I have been doing okay.  I have not been as active as I should have been the last few days, though I did go for a 20 minute walk with George one day last week.  (This is a big step for me, you have no idea.)  Part of that is because I have gotten caught up in finishing the Never Ending Shawl.  For the first time since I started it almost a year ago, the end is in sight and that can be a very heady thing.  And for the first time in months, I am actually excited about working on it again.  But that is just a convenient excuse.  I haven’t been active because I have chosen not to be and that is entirely on me.  Admitting that is another first step of sorts.  It means I recognize the problem, now I just need to fix it.  As for alcohol, except for Saturday, I have not had any since last Tuesday night.  The Blerch and I have a deal, there are certain instances where it is acceptable to drink and The Blerch is not allowed to get obnoxious about adding alcohol back into the routine.  Saturday was one of those times.  I had a good time, but sometimes, you just need a little something to get you through certain types of gatherings.  Plus, so long as you drink in moderation, it is not altogether a bad thing to drink occasionally.  Overall, the first week of battle has gone relatively well, considering.  Now I just need to be a little more aggressive in my fight for more physical activity.