Thursday, April 30, 2009

FO: Baby Stuff!!

Ta Da!!!
I give you booties...

Scratch Mitts....

And a baby hat!!
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These were done for a friend's baby shower that I (unfortunately) had to miss; I'm sure the festivities were grand, but I was there in spirit, nonetheless. These were hodge-podges of patterns that I found on Ravelry, so I don't really have any specs to post at all. They were made with Bernat Softee Baby yarn in blue (she's having a boy) and took me about two weeks to finish up (I did both scratch mitts in a couple of hours). The booties were probably the most challenging; it was the first time I'd dealt with short rows at length and it was definitely the first time I'd seen a sock/bootie pattern that started from the ball of the foot, rather than the cuff or the toe. I'd make them again, but they ended up being much too big, I think...the pattern really didn't give a good idea of what size they would end up being.
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We went to Trader Joe's today and I stocked up on Tofu and tempeh. I also discovered that their Gimme Lean veggie sausage is a dollar cheaper than Wal Mart, and their Laughing Cow wedges are TWO DOLLARS cheaper!! Yeah buddy! I got a pound of the veggie sausage (who knows what I'll make with that...it's just so freaking good) and one box of the cheese wedges. I've never had them before, but I'm going to try to incorporate them into my new eating plan.
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Also....the paper has left the building!....ok, not really, but I did get it sent to my prof via Blackboard. It ended up being eleven pages and I used ten sources, so I feel as thought I had the right ratio of research to writing. However, I'm a little concerned that I've still missed the mark regarding what a cultural studies analysis should be. I am grateful, though, because the prof said that he wasn't expecting perfection, just progress, and he was really looking for a draft of something that we could continue to work with in hopes of eventually publishing or presenting at a conference. With that in mind, I feel like I've probably done an adequate job.
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Just one more paper and then I get a couple of weeks off before I start Native American Literature! I'll need to do some online continuing ed for my insurance license before my birthday, so I may try to squeeze that in there to get it over with, but for the most part, I'm going to sit back and read books that I want to read for pleasure, read magazines, relax, exercise, and stop feeling guilty for never having enough time to devote to what I love.
For now, though, I'm shutting my brain off for the night and decompressing before bed:)

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

On Writing?

Sorry Stevie;)...(good ol' Stephen King for those of you who think I'm insane). I just finished writing the bulk of the body of my paper for Cultural Studies and, while I'm not entirely sure that it's exactly what the prof wants to see, I am happy about the subject matter that I chose and I feel like I did a relatively decent job of discussing the idea of identities among conservative Christians in light of the environmentalist movement and the emerging Creation Care movement that's becoming very prevalent among Christians in my age group who are, by and large, disillusioned with the "status quo."

I also spent some time today reading the Eat Live Run blog. I highly recommend it if you're looking for a new blog. It's interesting, entertaining, and informative, and I was also incredibly awed by the writer's great strength and perspective in the (veryvery) recent loss of her brother in a tragic accident. Drop by there and show her some love if you get a chance. It gave me some great perspective today on my own life, on how all-or-nothing I can be, on how I let one mistake ruin my entire day or sabotage everything that I'm trying to do. I also have GOT to try that breakfast cookie recipe that she makes. It looks AWESOME!!

I promise, FO products are coming...Joey took them on his super-snazzy DSLR and they're going to be huuuuuge, so he's going to have to download them and then reduce the size of the file so that I can post them, but I ended up being pretty satisfied with the results.

And, I survived my yearly physical without tears. And the phlebotomist was awesome. I don't even have a bruise...but she did have to use a butterfly needle and she did comment on how hard my veins are to find. Whatever...she was nice and I hardly felt the stick.

I'm newly focused on personal wellness these days. I think it's coming from the fact that my attentions are about to be pared down to being able to focus on it again (read: school will be over and I'll have a small window before it starts back up for SS1). I'm just going to try to be easier on myself so I don't go postal when I make a mistake.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Getting Back to Good



I know I've already posted this pic before, but I thought it was really good and I like snakes. Lots of things are happening right now, most of them really good. I think I'm finally ready for that. The semester is almost over...I have one discussion and two papers left to do and then I get a few days off before I start my summer class. I wish that I had registered for two summer classes, because that would leave me halfway done with my degree, but I didn't know if we'd be able to handle it fiscally, so I may just have to push it really hard next semester and see if I can get it done. All of the sudden, I really have the urge to work on this very seriously.

I finished my knitting gift, so FO pics will come tomorrow after I've delivered it to the recipient. I've got some more stuff to do relatively quickly, so I'll have to get started on it today. Shelli is acting like a total crackhead since she was alone all day yesterday. We went to Inman for my grandma's 80th birthday party. Mema so doesn't seem 80. She's so active!

I hit the Goodwill yesterday looking for vintage-looking t-shirts and bohemian-looking stuff. I'm kind of sick of dressing for how I think I should look or how I think other people want me to look. So, I'm not doing that anymore. Over it.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Knitting Files, Among Other Things...

I've been working like a madwoman on some gifts for an upcoming baby shower (I can't post pictures yet b/c the blog simultaneously uploads to Facebook and the recipient is a Facebook friend!!). However, FO pics will be posted over next weekend, I suppose. I've learned to do some new things and, let's just say that I may get brave enough to give socks a try soon.

I forgot how much I enjoy the simple act of knitting, of paying attention to each stitch and really enjoying the process of creating something (hopefully) beautiful and knowing that I'm capable of making something good. I also absolutely love how much there is to learn just from choosing a simple project. I chose to make something that I've never tried before, and while it got off to a rough start and was frustrating to begin with, to see the final result and see that I was really capable of learning by doing, is an awesome thing. To those of you who read who don't have a creative hobby, I really recommend finding something that you find something crafty to do; there's something very self-validating about being passionate about creating something and having it turn out rather well.

It's been a rough weekend in some aspects; I've been feeling pretty dissatisfied with myself lately. Of course it's not a typical week if I don't have a healthy dose of self-loathing, that I'm not doing enough, or doing too much, or not doing enough of the right things and doing too much of the wrong things, or that I'm too lazy, or that I feel stagnant, or that I'm angry at my own lack of discipline and my ever-waning sense of self-direction or level of comfort with who I am or how I am. In short, another serious identity crisis weekend. Anyway, after a coffee date with Joey and some good time spent yesterday evening going for a drive out in the country, I do feel a little bit better today.

I think that I'm sometimes excessively hard on myself...it's got to be all or nothing with me. If I mess up with what I'm eating during the day, I lose the motivation to continue to try to eat healthily. If I end up biting one fingernail, I think that I might as well bite the rest of them off....every tiny mistake seems to be a grevious sin for which there is no remedy. Or, I set these outrageous goals for myself and then get very angry at myself when I can't live up to them at a hundred percent all of the time.

This week, I'm going to try to be a little less hard on myself and just go through the week and examine where I do that the most and see what I can do about it.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Out of Balance.

That's how I'm feeling right now. Things that I've planned to do and hoped to do earlier in the year, I've been too lazy to do. I'm stalled, and now I'm looking back and getting mad at myself as if that's going to do much good.

So, here I am. I planned to lose weight faster than this. I planned to learn self-discipline. I planned to be more diligent with my schoolwork. I planned to work on the house more.

How disappointing.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Ugly Ducklings and Beautiful Swans...

It's been a different week, for sure. I was more efficient at work, which is good, but I'm having trouble keeping everything else in balance for some reason....my eating, my schoolwork, my use of time. I just kind of let it go this week, which is a bummer. That new tattoo is going to take FOREVER at the rate I'm going. I'm back down from eight pounds lost to five now because of the beach trip and my continued lack of attention to what I'm shoving in my face:(. I feel like I need to just take a week and get everything back in order. I wish I had the time to take a week off work and do that, but I know I'll need that time later.

Sunday is Easter...good time to reflect on our faith and just how high the cost of our redemption. I get to sing with two seriously talented people Sunday too, which I'm pretty psyched about. To even get asked to do a trio with them was pretty awesome, so I'm looking forward to that fun. And, my mother in law (who is fantastically cool....seriously...I feel really bad for those of you who don't get along with your MIL, because mine is too awesome) is making sausage balls, which were one of my favorite treats pre-vegetarianism, but she's going to get some veggie sausage crumbles and make sausages balls that are MEAT FREE for me!! Yay!!! How thoughtful is that?

I've been in a mood for a lot of today...I'm not sure why. Hopefully it'll go away by tomorrow. I hate being in moods over the weekend.

That's all for now...hopefully I'll have something a little more substantive over the weekend...