Sorry for the long break in posts but it has been a bit depressing around here and I haven't felt like blogging. A guy that I work with has been out sick but I just found out that he is not at work because he was diagnosed with inoperable pancreatic cancer. He has had a couple of surgeries to keep his bile ducts open and he has gone through three rounds of chemo and has another round to go. The doctors are hoping that the chemo will shrink the tumor enough that they can operate to remove it. He is being very optimistic and seems to be keeping his sense of humor so when I talk to him, I try not to let him know how sad I am. If that wasn't enough, my first work partner who took me under his wing and has always treated my like a little sister [lots of teasing but more than willing to hold my hand when I am upset] was hospitalized for chest pains. The doctors don't think it was a heart attack but they haven't found another cause yet.
There was good new this week...my mom went in for a stress test and her results looked good so hopefully it will be smooth sailing from here on out with her heart. The family got together on Friday night for a belated birthday dinner for me...up next will be the belated birthday dinner for mom and then we will be caught up on the birthdays! I did get some crafting done: the gray stole/wrap is about 3 feet long now so I am about halfway finished! Saturday while I was at my parents I reverted to crafts from my childhood and made four woven potholders for my mom. Until next time, I hope everyone finds joy in the little things in life...like a quiz to find out what kind of yarn you are!
What kind of yarn are you?
You are Shetland Wool. You are a traditional sort who can sometimes be a little on the harsh side. Though you look delicate you are tough as nails and prone to intricacies. Despite your acerbic ways you are widely respected and even revered. Take this quiz!
Well, the streets have been plowed [sort of] and my work commute is back to the normal time so Mother Nature has given us a temporary reprieve until the next snow storm hits this weekend. Today I saw the aftermath of what can happen when people drive too fast and too close while the roads are still covered in compacted snow and ice. The accident happened in my blind spot while I was sitting at a red light. I heard a mild crunching sound and I turned around to see in my blind spot and there was a car with a dent in the fender and a car that was flipped onto its side so all you could see was the bottom of the car as it faced into traffic. I called 911 (and evidently so did about 20 other people with cell phones) and the woman that answered was pretty brusque. She sounded very much like it was a huge inconvenience to answer the call...I was hoping for someone who sounded a tad more concerned. Hopefully no one was seriously injured. The accident didn't make the news so I think that bodes well for the parties involved.
I sent out my Photo Scavenger Hunt swap today and it is traveling all the way to the United Arab Emirates. Today I got some lovely pictures from the Beautiful Skies swap, hopefully the next batch will be just as pretty.
I promised you some photos of the snow so here they are:
This one is after the storm and it is the employee entrance at work.This the public entrance after we cleaned off the sidewalk.
Um...maybe blizzard wasn't an exaggeration. Snowplows stopped plowing except to get emergency vehicles to wherever they needed to go. The drive to work last night that normally takes me 5 to 7 minutes took me an hour. The post office is not able to run all of their routes so mail service is spotty at best. For this area...it is bad! I managed to get my Beautiful Skies swap letters to a mailbox so hopefully it will be a mailbox that gets service today! I have pictures of the snow at work that I will post as soon as I find the data stick that I used to save the pictures. Data sticks are convenient but small and very easy to loose...at least for me.
Alright, blizzard might be a slight exaggeration but we are under a blizzard advisory and it snowed 5" while I was at work [12a-8a]. Only two people could not make it in to work for their shifts this morning and they both live in other counties. The snow wouldn't be bad but the wind just won't let up... the visibility isn't great and there are huge drifts everywhere. I almost didn't make it down the road by my house because the snow was all drifted across the road. I would have been really irritated to get about a block away from my house and then get stuck in the snow! Hopefully the wind will have died down a bit and the roads will be in better shape when I go back in to work this evening. There were tons of cancellations today at schools and businesses; the courthouse is closed and for the first time in 30 years the university closed due to the weather. I know that it could be a lot worse (like the 7' of snow New York got recently) so I will quit complaining and go to bed and see what the weather is like when I wake up. Hope you are warm and cozy wherever you are.
I stumbled onto this wonderful idea while I was looking at Cast-On [a knitting podcast and website]. The project, Seven Things, is all about getting rid of the stuff that is cluttering up your home and passing it on to people who can use it. I have great intentions when it comes to getting rid of stuff...I bag it up and put it on my to do list. Sometimes, the bags of stuff even make it to the car but once in the car it takes a while before the stuff actually makes it to Goodwill. I am better about getting old books donated to the Books To Prisoners project but I still have more that I could donate. I just have way too much stuff! Maybe periodically reading a blog by someone who also suffers from too much stuff will supply me with the urge to actually get the items I want to donate to the proper place!
Congrats to Amber and her husband Kevin on their baby girl who was born at the end of January. I still have the baby shower present that really need t0 get out; I took it to the post office and none of the boxes fit so I needed to try to scrounge up a box that will work so I can get it in the mail. If I had know the flu was going to strike me down and prevent me from attending the baby shower I would have just had the gift shipped directly from the store. Maybe I can get it accomplished tomorrow before I start my new shift. Tomorrow, I will begin as the night rover which means I work Monday through Friday from midnight until 8am unless someone needs me to cover their night shift...then I work their shift from either 4p-2:30a or 6p-6a depending on when we start 24/7 coverage.
Okay, so I have been pretty lazy this weekend: I only worked on my gray wrap for about an hour and I didn't work on the hat at all. Of course, I am at the 5" that Brigitte said to make the hat so I guess I am technically off the hook for that one until class on Tuesday night. I have spent the week-end watching movies [Sherrybaby, The Devil Wears Prada, and Jesus Camp], watching TV on DVD [Bones, Season One], and re-reading some books [Harry Potter books 5 and 6]. I should have done something productive with my weekend or at least I should have spent some time with friends but I was feeling pretty grungy and when I feel like that, I just like to be alone. I need to finish my photo scavenger hunt for Swap-bot because I need to mail it out soon! I also have a Beautiful Skies swap to do but I already have the pictures done for that one; I just need to have them printed and sent out.
Wednesday was (for me) a very productive craft day. I went to Klose Knit to sign up the hat making class that is supposed to be on Tuesday the 13th. Brigitte, the store owner, had me buy the supplies and then she helped me start the hat right then as it was a little slow in the store and the teacher for the 13th is double booked with modular knitting and the hat class. I sat down on the couch to cast on my 66 stitches so she could show me how to join and work in the round on the circular needles...and it turns out that my cast on is weak at best. The stitches were all twisted so she had me pull it out and start over by a long-tail cast on (which she had to teach me really quickly). So once that crisis was over we discovered that the needles that I had were too small so I had to upgrade to size 11 needles so I had to rip everything out again! Before we decided it was the needles, Brigitte showed me how to make a stitch to try to get the hat to the right size but a couple of stitches definitely wasn't going to help. The upside of the needle upgrade was that now I own my very first pair of Addi Turbo circular needles and they are wonderful! I had really been fighting with the plastic connector in the Clover needles because it kept wanting to twist back into the shape they remembered from being in the package...even after running the connector under hot water. After the new needles and another round of casting on, I was ready to knit! I managed to successfully join the hat and I was ready to knit like crazy when Brigitte noticed that I was throwing my yarn over the top of the needle when I knit instead of bringing it up from the bottom. Man, I really thought that I had the basics of knitting down but I was wrong! But Brigitte corrected my mistakes and then sent me out into the world (it was already a little after store closing time) telling me to knit 5" worth of hat before the class so that I would be ahead of the game!
I was already working on a gray wrap so now I have two projects going! I managed to work on both of them and made a good amount of progress in one day. I could have done more but there were new episodes of Bones, Criminal Minds, and Lost that I wanted to watch and I am not skilled enough to watch TV and knit at the same time. I can listen and knit but I wanted to devote my full attention to the new episodes. Here are a couple of pictures of what I accomplished yesterday. The pink hat was started yesterday but I had ten rows already done on the gray wrap so the end rows on the wrap don't count.
The first picture shows the height of the hat a little bit better... but the second photo just shows the pattern on the gray wrap a little bit better... Until next time...
Have you ever had one of those days when you go to work and it seems like everyone is in a bad mood? Well, today was one of those days. Co-workers were snapping at each other from the time they got to work until the time I left. (Sometimes it pays to be able to leave early!) Then, the youth were all in an uproar, arguing and yelling. Not the best night...of course, it is also far from the worst night I have ever had at work so I shouldn't complain too much. On a positive note, feel free to injure yourself or have a cardiac crisis while I am around. That's right, I am now officially first aid, adult CPR, and AED certified so let the chaos begin. Um...on second thought, no chaos! We are required to get certified every year so the last two nights, we have had training on shift at work. Enough complaining. Until next time, I hope that everyone is in good spirits and that grumpiness can not be contracted via blog reading!
I went back to work today after being out sick at the end of last week and found two envelopes on my desk from a swap that I participated in at Swap Bot. One envelope came from Ohio and the other came from Amsterdam and both had some nice goodies inside [postcards, bookmarks, stationary, and post-it notes...just the kind of stuff a NerdGirl loves]. It is a lot nicer to come to work when there are gifts waiting. I would encourage everyone to set up some sort of system so that you get nice presents when you go to work; your paycheck does not count. Here is a picture of my swap bounty:
I want to give a big shout out to my friend Kelly. I knew she was a great graphic artist but now she is nationally recognized for her talent...all thanks to a job that she is no longer working at. Her former employers submitted an ad that she designed into a national competition and it took third place. How cool is that?!?! I think her current employer should give her a raise commiserate with her newfound status.
Welcome to my first post. This blog will cover a wide range of NerdGirl ramblings: knitting and crocheting adventures, yarn in all its glory, swaps, books, friends, and family.
How did I spend my Sunday afternoon when the rest of the country was glued to the TV watching football? I was exploring a new yarn store of course! Klose Knit Urbana is a wonderful [albeit small] store that has been open since the end of October 2006 but I just discovered it in the back of the latest issue of Vogue Knitting on Friday. The store owner was there and she was very friendly and full of helpful information which definitely makes me want to take a class there. I think I will take the class on knitting a hat for my first class although I am also interested in the class on knitting socks with two circular needles. I bought some lovely purple cotton yarn that is soft and cozy, knitting needles, a keychain, a handmade felted needle case and a pattern book. I am waiting for inspiration to strike before I start using the yarn so for now I will just stare admiringly at it and dream of the possibilities! Until next time, I wish everyone good health.