Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Down to the Wire

I DO love the Tax Season every year. It's really a Social Season for me. I get to catch up with all the folks I only see once or twice a year - especially the older folks - I get to see all the new baby pictures, meet the new pets, find out who's been in the hospital & who won a jackpot in Vegas. One widowed lady is turning into quite a world traveler since she finally retired in her 70s - she likes to take all the cruises that her husband hated & has been almost everywhere! One or two people have died, two couples are divorcing & one couple has a child who's doing a first return. It's always a surprise. But it's almost over & I'm just about able to get back to real life once more. Sigh .  .  .   Just one more weekend for last minute surprises .  .  .  . like the 'Christmas' cactus blooming it's little heart out in my office this week. What's with that???

I haven't really been knitting at all. I did start a single summer Frankensock in Pinks & Purples but haven't even progressed to the heel yet. I guess I've either been too busy pounding on the keyboard or the TV's more important to knitting than I thought. Maybe it's the chair or the light??  Maybe it's the atmosphere in the Office - paper fumes may drown out yarn fumes.

Maybe it's the new courses? I was so good on Sunday. I caught up & finished my latest week's homework on my 'Gut Check - Exploring your Microbiome' course. We're moving on to the most interesting stuff!!!! And I covered two weeks worth of the 'Paleontology: Therapod Dinosaurs & the Origin of Birds'. I love Dinosaurs & the University of Northern Alberta is the BEST. I have to say I'm really enjoying my courses even when I get a little bogged down with work. Exercising the old noodle, folks. It's GOOD for you. I even have the next three courses picked out already & even found one for my niece who has the 'farmlette' up the valley, 'Chicken Behavior & Welfare' from the University of Edinburgh.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Call Me Crazy

My TV has given up the ghost & I've really got a lot more done since it did. The only problem is that most of what I've accomplished has been in front of a smaller screen - yeah, you guessed it. The computer screen. Mind you, it's Tax Time, aaaaand, there's a couple of old year-ends I have to clean up & finish as well, so it's not a bad thing in some ways .  .  .  .  BUT
It also means I have time to check out some of my favorite sites for more stuff  .   .   .   .

Not only am I working on a Coursera course called - 'Gut Check - Exploring your Microbiome' & learning about all the microbes that live in my gut that control my very thoughts & emotions but I fell down the rabbit hole & signed on for a second course - 'Paleontology: Therapod Dinosaurs & the Origin of Birds'.

I took the University of Northern Alberta's last dinosaur course - Dinosaurs 101- last fall & just loved it. Who doesn't love dinosaurs??? Our youngest member in the class was 8 years old - officially his mom registered but HE did the work & did well!! It was so much fun!!! THIS year, they've added new courses & I intend to take them all!! I may not be able to dig in the ground or hike the hills but I can vicariously enjoy the trek by others.

Knitting has suffered somewhat since most of mine has been done in front of the tube.  I'm sure I'll adapt in time since I'm so sick to death of the commercials I only tend to watch Public TV anyway. I just think about all the time that gets sucked into that 'black hole'. I think I'd rather spend the money on a comfortable lounger where I can snooze, read or listen to an audiobook & knit instead.

And, for those who care, I just downloaded my 9th LONGMIRE audiobook. Yeah, normally I'm into Murders, Mysteries, Thrillers & British Detectives, but this modern western series seems to roll it all into one  with a slow talking, small town Sheriff. Oh he comes with baggage both old & new, with a daughter, a loyal Indian friend from Viet Nam, a found dog named Dog and a temperamental, dirty talking, gorgeous, Italian deputy. Wahoooo

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Crossing the Great Divide

Yesterday, I turned 65. I feel like I'm approaching the bank of the River Styx to wait for the boatman, Charon, to take me across to Hades on the other side. From the time I was a very young reader I was always fascinated with Mythology, Gods & the Afterlife. I just hope, when I get there, that my heart is pure & I'm found to be worthy.

But, here I am at 65. Life at the cross roads to say the least. Most of my working life is behind me. I'm now eligible for all sorts of discounts because I'm 'OLD'. From tax to car insurance, education to dining, I can now pay LESS. Hey, does that mean sock yarn is cheaper????

The Old Folks used to say, " Don't wait. Do it when you're young. Youth is wasted on the Young." I never understood until I hit my 60s & things started to stiffen up & hurt. Is this life getting even for all the reckless chances I took like the times I hung upside-down in the cherry tree, 30 feet off the ground, scaring my mother half to death? Or the times we somersaulted off the neighbor's roof after climbing the cherry tree to drop onto it ? Or that time we made a go-kart out of the washing machine in the abandoned house & piled three kids inside to ride it down the hill into traffic? And that bicycle race down that very same hill into that very same traffic again. Or flying across the pasture after dodging the bull behind us only to dive through the barbed wire in the nick of time. And setting the big gully on fire roasting potatoes for a picnic lunch. Or leaving home to pick fruit 300 miles away at 17 with $30 & a knapsack. The more I remember, the more I have to laugh - I did get into a lot of trouble. I'm surprised my mother survived.

But turning 65 might yet be a blessing in disguise. I won't have to work as hard to find the money to survive from month to month anymore. I can let my bad knee rest when it's sore & take that afternoon nap when I have to. I can work part time on things I want to work on like that 'Gut Biome' course at Coursera, filling my hanging baskets & finishing Wayne's year end knowing the rent will be paid. I can take my wheel onto the patio & spin all morning when it's cool in the summer & knit at Timmies or Starbucks when it's hot in the afternoon. I might actually use up that STASH I accumulated when I was younger.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

It's so Hard finding Green

I admit I watch a lot more TV than I used to when I was younger. I should say, now that I've buggered my knee & paralyzed a vocal chord, I spend more time at home watching TV. There, I've said it. It's pretty hard to be social when you can't participate in the 'social' part of gossip, debate & just plain schmoozing. But, I'm confessing to spending a lot of time with the Idiot Box here, not complaining about my life. TV & the knitting in front of, have become my usual evening occupation instead of Starbucks. And since my chatty neighbor moved out, I don't spend much time outside on the patio drinking wine or beer while I knit, neither. Oh how dull I've become. But, I do knit a lot.

Earlier this week, I discobooberated my remote TV device somehow. Yeah, somehow I killed the special decoder box & lost the cable with my handy dandy, little black phallic, entertainment device. The damn TV doesn't even come ON anymore. Nothing works without the stupid box thing. And knitting doesn't work in front of the computer. Funny thing though, I miss the knitting more than the TV.

So, if I can't knit, I guess I'll spin. My niece wants the next thingie to be GREEN, Forest Green. I don't have anything GREEN in my house unless you count the plants or the NEON Green & Pink rovings I spun up for my Stephen West 'COLORCRAVING' shawl/scarf. But, I still need GREEN. Forest damn Green. I've searched all the local shops on the computer. I've even called one or two. No Forest Green in anything we can afford locally. I really don't want to order something international - I only NEED 400 yards!! So, I guess I'll have to spin it. I still have a secret hoard of roving from the Sheep Shed grab bag I bought years ago - smooth as silk & practically spins itself. There's some light grey Romney roving bought at least 20 years ago that could be overdyed with green Kool-aid that might end up as Forest. And there's a ton of Coopworth - at least 8 pounds - bought years ago at the first big Fibre event in Vancouver that could also be dyed in green. Why can't I just find 100gms of Sock yarn in Forest - or a close imitation of - Green.

Thursday, April 07, 2016

I Just Don't Feel Like It, So There

You know you're getting old when you don't pick up your mail for a month & didn't even notice. Well, I did notice that I didn't get my KCTS monthly magazine but then remembered that I subscribed on-line instead. But I made the trek to the box & discovered TWO months worth of mail instead of just one. Well!
I know you're all shaking your heads at this admission but the box is in a UPS store, NOT on the side of the road like a Canada Post mailbox where anyone & their truck can take it out. The UPS store used to be in a quiet strip mall 19 years ago when I first got it & has now become the middle of a huge shopping area. If you don't go there first thing in the morning, you can't get parking close by. And my knee doesn't do hills very well, especially in the morning. So, you see my problem. And I hate the malls. It wouldn't be so bad if someone would would open a yarn shop close to the Dollar Store in the same parking lot but, I guess you can't have everything.

Haven't started my new project for Lara yet - I want some nice soft yarn in a solid color - she asked for green. I have sock yarns, but none of them are green. And all my sock yarns are wildly colored. She wants plain green. One option I have is to just SPIN the yarn &  dye it green. Another is to spin some painted roving in greens. Green is not a normal color in my house unless you're talking about plants - I'm the Purple & Hot Pink Queen. Green is slightly foreign to me. Although, my crafty friend Gail was wearing a handspun, garter knit L'Envelope last evening at our knitting group in GREEN that was quite lovely. And I have to find some green.

Same Song, One More Time - I am working on yet another Kroy 4ply pair of winter socks for Moi. This will make three pairs in the same color when I'm done. What the hell. It's warm, it's soft, I love the feel, it's bright & it was free or just about .   .   .   .  

Friday, April 01, 2016

April Fool's Day

I was gonna do something silly for April Fool's Day but the sun was out, the sky was blue & I could hear the grass growing so I headed to the Drive-Thru for an early morning paper & coffee instead. It was just too nice out there!! Summer has come to the Wet Coast early again this year. Since our weather runs in cycles, this year should be another warm, dry one but not the dehydrating scorcher of last year. We should be gradually tapering off to a totally wet, sunless year in about 9 years  .   .   .   .

So, with the weather in mind, I've chosen another weird & funky little project with my niece in mind. I joined the Mystery Knit Along back in  2013 but never got the project off the ground - I have no idea why. I ran across it in my Ravelry Library the other day & wondered what the heck it was. No pictures, just the clues. So I looked it up & downloaded the final draft of the project. It's called
Levnadslust by Yarn-Madness. It's a little lace summer cover-up made with fingering yarn on larger needles that is stretched & blocked into it's final shape. Fingering or sport weight yarn is suggested for this project & the medium only takes 400 yds to complete. 400 YARDS!  It can be worn with the open side in front or turned around & worn with the open side in the back to give you just a little bit of extra warmth over your summer dress, tee or bathing suit. It might even work over a sports bra as a cover-up on the way home from jogging or working out.
Yarn-Madness has a host of other little treasures on Ravelry that deserve a second look!