Thursday, August 16, 2012

At the beginning

Orientation for nursing school is this morning. I'm nervous as to how much time/effort this program is going to take. It is an accelerated program, and that I think is what is making me nervous.

When my sister started nursing school years ago, the director of the program told them at orientation to be ready to not have their house clean for the next two years. That the program would take up so much of their time that they wouldn't be have any room in their lives for anything else (especially not cleaning, apparently).

I understand the rationale behind that kind of rhetoric-- scare people into doing what needs to be done. But, and I say this before orientation, so I have no idea what to expect, what about positive thinking? More along the line of "Hey, this is a challenging program that will teach you to think in ways that have never occured to you. But we are here to help you and guide you and make sure you have the tools to succeed. What you do with those tools is up to you, but know that we are on the same side. We have the same goal: to make you a competent, successful nurse. So let's approach this with an open mind, knowing that there will be bumps along the way."

So, here I am, starting over.  Again. Breathe.....

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Final Tally

I managed to finish three of the four projects I had set out for the Ravellenic Games!  Considering that I had a couple of setbacks, and, of course, other things that weren't knitting to do, I am chalking this up to a win.  Details on each project to come.
Doesn't look like much, but I consider this to be quite an accomplishment!
I am really happy with the projects that I chose.  I have wanted to work with the Shelter yarn since I first read about it.  It was worth the wait.  I loved working with it so much that I ordered enough for a sweater, another Guernsey Wrap, and a *cough* blanket from some Ravelry de-stashers.  The cowl is probably going to become a Christmas gift for one of my sisters-in-law.  And it just feels good to have the purple baby sweater off the needles.  In fact, finishing that sweater has inspired me to finish up a couple of other little projects that I have sitting around.

I'm really looking forward to getting back to some sock knitting, though.  I miss my standard fall-back knitting:  the stockinette sock.  Plain, easy, don't have to think about it or read a chart or fight with the yarn socks.

Some of my general thought on the Olympics.

::I loved about 2/3 of the Opening Ceremony.  The tour of Britain's contribution to music fell flat for me.  For the same reason I'm wary of movies with narration (if the movie needs narration, perhaps the story isn't coherent enough to be a good movie [as always, there are exceptions]) I didn't like that this part of the Ceremony needed explanation by way of the text boxes on the movie screens. 

::So excited for Michael Phelps!  What a tremendous accomplishment.  In fact, accomplishment doesn't even seem like the right word.  A feat, perhaps.  A feat of almost superhuman strength.

::Love Gabby Douglas.  Such a sweet girl.  And poor McKayla.  Silver is not losing. 

::I know this has been mentioned in many places, but I didn't like the evening coverage.  It was very swim-, gymanstic- and track-centric.  I wish there had been more varied coverage, especially of some of the smaller events.  I watched the female ball dancing teams one afternoon and they were awesome!  More fencing, synchronized swimming, and badminton, I say.

(When I was younger, the only way to watch sports in the afternoon was generally ABC's Wide World of Sports.  The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.  Because my father often watched, we often watched.  Because there was no football only channel, or no golf only channel, we were exposed to a lot of different sports because that is what you had to watch.  I think NBC could have helped develop some of that in our young athletes by showing interesting sports that don't have to do with swimming or gymastics.  Nothing wrong with aspiring to be the best table tennis player in your state.  Better than sitting around playing video games.)

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Introducing The Butler

 I struggle with buying things.  I have a love/hate relationship with spending money.  I despise throwaway items, and would rather "make do" with something that I already have than replace it with a better/newer/faster model.  My reasoning is that if something is performing adequately, than why replace it?  I've never been one to get the next best thing.  Spending money on things that we already have drives me batty.  Upgrading makes me nuts.

On the flip side of this, I truly love quality items.  Items that are built to last.  And we know that in order for an item to last, it must be treated well.  We have both had great shoes resoled, or, in the case of my favorite summer wedges, the elastic in the strap replaced.  We drive older than average cars, but maintain them well.  The knives are sharpened on a regular basis.

So a few years ago, I bought a Kitchen Aid combination food processor/blender.  It sucked.  I tried making a milkshake in the blender.  Nope.  Not powerful enough to blend ice cream.  The food processor part was okay, but merely okay.  The bowl was small, and it really couldn't do dough.  (I looked for a link to this monstrosity machine on Amazon, but it is possible that they are no longer being made.  Good riddance to bad rubbish, I say.)

Anyway, this a long winded way to say that I've finally replaced that stupid purchase with a true Cuisinart, one that I've longed for/coveted/desired for years.  And I've named him The Butler, because he can do anything I want him to do in the kitchen.
The Butler, resting after a long day.

Right now, The Butler lives on the counter.  He might move into a condo cupboard soon, but some rearranging needs to happen. (i.e. the Kitchen Aid thing needs to go.  Goodwill, here we come!)  As with most fabulous purchases, I cannot believe I waited so long to invite him home.  We bought him on Sunday, took him out of the box on Monday, and since then I've used him four times.  It's Thursday.  That makes for an average of once per day, although one day he sat idle.  That's right.  Twice in one day.  So far I've made two batches of peanut butter hummus (so delicious!), salmon croquettes, and the filling for crab rangoon.

And for those wondering, why The Butler:  the kitchen appliances are named after characters in Clue.  The mixer is Miss Scarlet, the blender is Mr. Green, and the toaster oven is Mr. Black (he lies to me all the time.  Medium toast?  Don't think so.)

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Weekend Update

I wish I could say that I finished my Guernsey Wrap, or finished anything for that matter.  I am over half finished with the wrap.  Loving the yarn!   It is so light, not at all dense or heavy.  I can tell I will get a lot of use out of this when it gets cool.  If it ever gets cool.  (It has been in the 90s for weeks now, and the humidity is crazy.  It is the kind of weather that makes you wonder if it is ever going to cool down.  As a knitter, I am partial to cooler weather.  First, so I can wear the handknits.  And second, well, I was going to say "so I can knit comfortably with wool" but I'm working on a six and half foot long wrap out of wool, so I guess that doesn't hold water.  I've never been a person who only wants sunshine and summer.  I love all kinds of weather.  Its a fashion opportunity.)
Not a great picture, but shows the length.
 I also started the cowl.  I started it at work and didn't have my knitting bag with me.  I knew that I would have some time at lunch to cast on, so I just threw the yarn and needle in a bag and left.  No scissors, no cable needle, no markers.  Which is why in this picture, I have an alligator clip on the needle as a marker.
But the real reason I haven't finished anything this weekend?  Mike and I made 96 pasties to freeze for lunches.  So, even though it has been 94 degrees all weekend, and we wanted nothing more than to go paddleboarding, we had the oven on for almost five hours on both Saturday and Sunday.  But these will be so useful to us over the next few months, when we are both driving over an hour from home for school or work.  AND, they are delicious.  Maybe I do have a bit of Yooper in me, after all.
About half of the pasty haul.