Sunday, April 13, 2014

Open the pod bay doors, HAL. I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that.

Technology is killing me

Our internet is unreliable, to say the least. I'm typing as fast as I can now because I have no idea when the thing will go out.  This is actually the biggest reason I haven't blogged in two weeks.  Let me clarify, the modem from the internet company goes out.  Evidently, as my phone app (my phone is awesome and has unlimited data) indicates, the internet connection is fine.  The rented modem, however, is ancient and showing it's wear.  Here's my issue:  Last time I called my cable/internet provider, the dude was SO incredibly chatty, he kept me on there for an hour.  I don't mind the wait time to get to the customer service rep; I understand that.  I'm talking about AFTER I'm actually talking with a live person.  I've heard about their moms, daughters, sons, living situations, ad nauseum, and all entirely unprompted from me.  I know exactly what I want and which succinct questions to which I need succinct answers. I just want to trade out our ancient modem.  I don't want to wait in their store for half a day to do it as I don't get paid, if I don't work and I can't afford it.  I don't want to spend an hour listening to their employee tell me their life story.  It's horrible to feel trapped by your internet provider.

On the Needles

I'm knitting a very fun, very stealthy project.  It's SO immensely exciting.  I'll say this...I'm test knitting for an upcoming new book from my favorite publisher.  That's it.  If I say more, it'll all spill out.

Spinning

No spinning this time. 

The Shop



What I'm Reading

Blood Work (Terry McCaleb, #1) Migraine

Monday, March 31, 2014

The soul is born old but grows young. That is the comedy of life. And the body is born young and grows old. That is life's tragedy. Oscar Wilde

Back to Work

I didn't get to blog last night (more on that below). I'm in class, sshhhhh...don't tell, in my favorite middle school supervising a 6th grade English class. Normally, I wouldn't dream of blogging during work, but these kids are so fabulous, I'd be tempted to chat with them if I didn't occupy myself. They are, one and all, working on their assignment and reading their assigned novels. I have no idea if they'll be hiring in the next year or two, but I'll be looking. 

On the Needles

After a sound scolding and stern frowning from the mater, I got on the charity hat train. I knit three this week from leftover handspun. I'll add a photo in a while, so come back. They're very cheerful and bright. 

I ran out of my bright handspun for hats during the end of Harry Potter, The Deathly Hallows Part 2 on the family channel. Did you see it? They played all the Harry Potter movies with extra scenes over the weekend. I like the extra scenes so maybe some day we can buy those versions!

Spinning

I spun up the rest of a bit of red and orange superwash plus more of the Rosewood. My big spinning accomplishment was to clean up my spinning area in the house and take anything I'm not actively working on to The Fortress of Solitude.

The Shop




What I'm Reading

MIGRAINE

Migraine (1970, revised edition 1992)
Paperback, Vintage Books, ISBN 0-375-70406-x
An investigation of the many manifestations of migraine, including the visual hallucinations and distortions of space, time and body image which migraineurs can experience.




Other Life

You heard how my mom had her 87th birthday last week.  Tuesday night my uncle passed away.  He was 91 and always reminded me of Peter O'Toole...his bright, shiny, blue eyes and long, lean build anyway.  It was sudden after a couple nights in the hospital with an infection.  I know...some people feel it isn't sudden. He was 91, afterall.  Well, if you've heard how my mom operates, you'll know my uncle was the same.  He was by no means, by our family's standard, "old."  He was in the Air Force as a pilot during World War II - I believe - this is all what I remember from my grandmother's stories.  My grandmother told me he and his best friend, Neil, would buzz the house.  He later studied heat and cold effects as a part of NASA's research which was instrumental in the astronaut suits for the Apollo missions.  These studies took him to England and then to Alamogordo, New Mexico. My delightful (still, minus the sarcasm), teenage (not at all still) cousin introduced me to the tarantula and rattle snake in Uncle Bill's office, and also to a huge cactus in their yard.  It was on that trip, when I was probably only four years old, I saw my uncle's tenderness and compassion as he wanted to extract the cactus spines from my hip, and as he took me to the doctor and for ice cream after a dog bite (I still have the scar!).  He continued to always have time for me, listen patiently, and advise wisely.  I always thought I'd have more time and wish I had spent more visiting with him.  Uncle Bill, you will be misssed...very much.



Sunday, March 23, 2014

Spring has sprung!

It's Spring Break

This week was not without interesting events.  With a bit of a smirk, I think I will appoint myself "Queen of Suspensions." Not that dangerous and disruptive behavior is amusing...IT IS NOT, not in the least.  I think students and staff don't expect as high an expectation and firm, consistent, kind, caring follow through from a "guest teacher."  Surprise! I'm a teacher so the students in front of me are my students, even if temporarily, and deserve the same support and insistence in a productive classroom as if they were mine from August to June.  I saw three middle school students earn suspension due to their disruptive and unacceptable behavior in "my" classroom last week, and two 5th grade suspensions on Wednesday in a neighborhood school I frequently sub. I will say this: I do find it amusing to watch which students are respectful, fun, inquisitive humans and which students are just biding their time so think a "sub day" means they can do whatever they want, even see it as a challenge to see just how much they can get away with.  I'm glad both schools have administrations who realize it's not doing a child a favor to let them think dangerous, even if they are safe and uninjured in the end, or malicious, extremely disrespectful behavior is ever acceptable and issue swift consequences.  I've never regretted spending the care, effort and time on appropriate consequences and follow through but wondered how the staff felt about it. I think the several inquiries for classroom coverage I had the days following these two events, after word got around, tells me teachers appreciate a sub who cares enough to put in the effort...it'd be far easier to just let them do what they want.

On the Needles

I'm still working on the never ending sweater, the sweater that has no end.  Does it look longer? I can't tell.  I swear I think there are gremlins who come in and rip it back at night.



I received a sound scolding from my mother, who turned 87 Friday, when I let slip about the never-ending sweater.  "You're supposed to be knitting for me, for my charity!!" and yes, she's right.  I've been knitting hats from the smaller, non-sweater amounts, of handspun I have draped and hung as decoration in every free corner and cubby.  It's been fun.  I've decided to do felted hats or mittens with the non-superwash and wash the superwash in the washer before giving it to Mom just to make sure it'll hold up.  I've found how important it is to have quick, fun knitting especially when working on something that's lost it's appeal.

Spinning


Again, no spinning this week.  I've been sending out some cormo, from Lucy the cormo sheep, blended with Abelard, my lovely French Angora of years gone by.  There are many wonderful artists out there who tirelessly put together books, podcasts, and/or video casts simply for my enjoyment and education.  I've decided to send out little care packages monthly to those intelligent, creative, giving women, and one devoted husband who got a little shorted...I'll admit I don't quite know what to put in a care package for the man behind the woman in this situation.  Anyway, I have a huge volume of this delicious blend in addition to several, no MANY, fleeces in various stages of processing.  As I've handled it in compiling care packages, it becomes more and more tempting.  I predict there will be quite a bit of spinning by next Sunday.


The Shop



What I'm Reading

on my kindle...

Migraine

by 
The many manifestations of migraine can vary dramatically from one patient to another, even within the same patient at different times. Among the most compelling and perplexing of these symptoms are the strange visual hallucinations and distortions of space, time, and body image which migraineurs sometimes experience. Portrayals of these uncanny states have found their way...more



















and I finished


Click on the link if you'd like to read my review.  I found it to be a whimsical and fun read. 

Other Life

It was my mom's 87th birthday Friday.  I always forget her age.  Her biological age is far greater than her mental and emotional age.  She continues to amaze me by keeping a full load of students which equals a minimum of 40 hours a week of work, goes to concerts with friends, has lunch with friends often, knits several items a week for charity, is active with her church, and plays competitive bridge with her team. My amazing mother...mental age probably around 50, biological age 87
Happy Birthday!!
 

Because I never get tired of this
Here's my mom and my uncle of a different grandmother

No wonder my nickname has been Spock since high school!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

It's all a blur

What?! It's St. Patrick's Day ALREADY?!

I think I lost a month somewhere.  All of a sudden, when I think it should still be February, here it is...Daylight's Savings time change and tomorrow is St. Patrick's Day.  Oh, and don't get me started on St. Patrick's Day.  There are no snakes, no leprechans and whether it's a cheerful, uplifting story is very much up for debate.  Anyway, I realized that being sick with some sort of respiratory thing that lingers plus working long and hard every day makes time disappear.  I think there's a science fiction story in there, somewhere.  I'm very grateful to the staff at O'Connell Middle School and especially Julie Waage, whom I'm very fortunate to call "friend," for keeping me employed for the last two weeks. It's state standardized testing time here in Colorado.  Substitutes generally find it hard to fill their days but I was busy almost every day at O'Connell usually proctoring five sessions a day.  It's eye-opening, folks.  That's all I'm going to say...let your thoughts take you where they may.  

On the Needles

I've been working on the never ending sweater, the sweater that has no end.  Really. I started this sweater a year ago.  All the hard part is done: The complex, ingenious saddle shoulders, the sleeves, and half the body. You'd think it'd be easy to just knit up the rest, bind off, finish off the neckline and there ya go but NO, of course not.  It lingers, laughing at me from my favorite project bag.


Spinning


No spinning this week so here's a photo from another week.

The Shop



What I'm Reading

on my kindle...

Migraine

by 
The many manifestations of migraine can vary dramatically from one patient to another, even within the same patient at different times. Among the most compelling and perplexing of these symptoms are the strange visual hallucinations and distortions of space, time, and body image which migraineurs sometimes experience. Portrayals of these uncanny states have found their way...more

















and still also reading on my kindle

Other Life

I've been working on a couple stealthy family projects.  I thought I knew my family history well but am now realizing not so much.  I've been digitizing recordings made by my father, who is now passed, with my great aunt who was basically Raj off Big Bang Theory.  She had multiple high level degrees and opportunities in math, physics and astronomy.  I had thought of her as a "math teacher" and didn't know she was at Holy Oak and Carlton College in post graduate work then as professor at Carlton.  I'm also listening to my father speak with my grand father, who I remember well, influenced me significantly in the eight short years I had with him and still feel his presence with me from time to time.  It's overwhelming to hear the remarkable lives and hardships overcome of those who came before me.  I can only hope they look down on me with a bit of the same pride and love I feel for them. 

Sunday, March 09, 2014

Connections

I don't know about you, I, along with some friends and more than a handful of family members, suffer from chronic depression.  It's one of those ever-present clouds...just like in the commercial.  We're lucky, in this age, that we have some excellent meds to help.  They all have side effects and it's up to the individual if the effect of the medicine is worth the side effects. I really didn't think about depression much until I was pregnant with my second daughter and saw an Oprah show about it.  I realized I probably had post-partum depression after my first child, told my practitioner and we decided on steps to help prevent it with my second child.  I've been aware of periods of depression since.  It's mostly been annoying and the only thing I've had to actively work on is a bit of anxiety.  It wasn't worth the side effects to ask my doc for pharmaceuticals. I tend to hide away, though.  I'm very grateful I have wonderful friends who don't seem to mind and just allow me to be who I am when I'm not up for groups and gatherings.  It's not a problem...it's part of who I am.

Maybe it's because of my hermitness that I enjoy podcasts, vlogs, and blogs.  I've made connections with people all over the world.  And, what a wonderful world it is that I can have what I consider friendships with extraordinary people without worrying about traveling and it's difficulties.  I've added a blog roll to the right sidebar.  Please take a look.  I'm sure you'll find each of these people as extraordinary as I have.

On the Needles

I finished a couple pairs of slippers

http://www.ravelry.com/projects/martaschmarta/felted-clogs-ac33
Felted Clogs

Spinning

I groomed a cute bunny today.  He gifted me with a bag full of lovely fluff.
Bill's fluff

The Shop



What I'm Reading

Other Life

I have enjoyed subbing.  It's allowed me to have more time with my family and other endevours.  However, I truly miss the chance to impact students positively on a more direct level.  I might just see what's out there for next fall and toss my hat in a couple rings. Here's one of the cheerful faces who greeted me Friday (I wouldn't mind hanging out with this science team daily!).
Mexican Axolotl