Time Flies

The last month and a half has been both eventful and not.

First, after my last post there were three engagements with the Chorale.

There was this:

Legos

Yes, that is the white house in Legos.  It was part of a nation-wide tour of American landmarks, such as the Liberty Bell, The Statue of Liberty, etc.  It was at the local mall and the Chorale was asked to sing a few patriotic pieces at the grand opening on Memorial weekend.  Then came Memorial Day, where we usually sing 3-4 pieces, and our own concert which was the last Saturday of May.  Just before that final concert, I did something to my hand.  I know this is a shock, but I’m not really the most graceful of people and I managed to hit my hand hard enough to have to wear this for over a week.

Hand

That is a splint and a wrap to keep everything nice and stable so that I could heal.  This picture was after the worst of the swelling had gone down, and as you can see, it was still pretty swollen at this point.  This meant, that I couldn’t knit, type, write, or draw.  All of my normal outlets that I have to keep my mind and hands occupied.  It was not a fun few weeks.

Luckily, before I hurt myself, I was able to get mostly finished with the Hot Water Bottle Cover.

Owl HWBC

There is still some work to be done, but at least it’s almost finished, and once I am able to work on it again, it won’t take very long at all.

During this time, I also started a new position in my department.  I now work on the Travel and One Card team.  This is pretty exciting for me.  I have more responsibility and a slightly larger paycheck.  It’s only been just 3 weeks, but I have already learned quite a bit.  Plus, I get a window.  And not a miniscule one either.

New Window

I still have to figure out how I want my desk set up, but I’ve started working on that as well, as time allows.

Then, I received this:

Letter

I’m so excited.  I got my official acceptance to go to school in the fall.  I still have to register for my class and submit my Employee Assistance application, but that should go fairly smoothly.  I am only going to need to leave one hour early, two days a week, and they won’t have a problem with that.  My boss already knows about it and is cool with it, now it’s just up to HR.  But in any case, I am going to kick Organic Chemistry’s bum this fall.

My hand has started to feel better, but I still am unable to do many of the things I enjoy.  Though I can work on some knitting, I still don’t have the dexterity to hold multiple DPNs and knit at the same time, that definitely hurts too much.  I can, however, work on straights or circulars, so I have been able to get some work done on the ENS.

ENS Last Week

That was taken last week.  I’ve actually gotten quite a bit done between then and now.  I can usually average about 5 rows at a time, which equals to 500 stitches in a go.  Sometimes I can do more, sometimes I have to stop at a fewer number of rows, but I have to tell you, those 5 rows make a hell of a difference.  I believe that was after I completed the 1st chart, which was 100 rows.  I am currently just under another 40 rows beyond that, so that makes me happy.  And from the looks of things, my hand will be much better by the time classes begin in August.

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?