winter

winter

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

New glasses and stuff.

Behold, my glorious new bifocals. And disregard my bad hair moment. It has been a bit of a challenge to adjust to these things. I went from occasionally needing reading glasses over the last several years to needing them pretty much whenever I sat down to do stuff that was close up. And then I started having a hard time reading road signs as I was out driving.

So, I went out and did what any other sane person trying to save money did. I procrastinated on getting new glasses. My reading glasses were a bit on the fragile side but I did my best to compensate with cheapie ones from Dollar Tree. The glasses I had gotten when I was living in the dorm was kinda the best I could do for seeing road signs that were for street names because they had some correction for the astigmatism in my left eye. (I honestly have no idea why I was told 20 yrs ago when I got them that the astigmatism was in my right eye.)  When the reading glasses came apart, I realized I couldn't put it off any longer.

So, when I got these I was astounded how much my vision improved. I could see stuff like the clock across the room and it didn't look fuzzy. And reading and close up work suddenly got an enormous amount easier. Gratitude is not a strong enough expression for how I feel about it all.

We've been working on getting ready for the start of school in a few weeks. I picked up everything that the kids needed from their lists from the teachers. I am looking around at the prodigious amount of school supplies we have leftover from last year. I have begun confiscating pencils and highlighters for myself. I have been doing a lot more writing by hand. And I've resumed doing stuff like researching things again. (I haven't busted out the notecards yet, but I am keeping notes in a notebook with references to things like page numbers, paragraphs, and line number. And noting which book, obviously.)

Looking at the piles of crayons, I am really thinking I need to do two things with this. One is to make those melted crayons that melt together into a hockey puck. Some people use cookie cutters, but I don't think mine would stand up to it well. Also, I don't want to use my cookie cutters like that. I suspect I would have a devil of a time trying to get the wax out of them. I am, however, going to use my muffin tin with some liners. (Aluminum foil generally works well if you fold it right. Like the last time we made them (which I think is just about precisely a year from sometime this week), the colors are going to have like colors with like. I will, however, do three in mixed colors from the different parts of the color wheel that are complementary.

I have no idea what we're going to do with these mixed crayons we've made. The kids just don't use them. If I had wicks, I would make a crayon based candle for a teacher or somebody else who'd enjoy it. But I don't and I have literally no idea how to make wicks.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Monday Menu & notes.

Hi there folks!

I've been somewhat all over the place the last few weeks. Some of it is because it has been really busy with the boys doing summer school and some of it is because my ability to focus right now is kinda sketchy. Hypomania means I get a lot of stuff done all the time because I can't sit still and I jump from task to task. At the same time, however, it makes it hard to sit down and work on something that is not super active. Like folding clothes, washing dishes, or scrubbing the bathroom. Right now, I am forcing myself to sit here and type this.

Why, you may ask, and the answer is because I am tired of not posting anything anywhere. I want to get back to my writing. So, when the boys are doing things like playing legos at the table, I am going to do my best to get some writing done. But, as soon as I finish this post, I'm going to go fold laundry and wash some dishes because the feeling I need to move and do something is like an itch I can't scratch.

I forget where I put down my master list for this week with the meals planned out for everyday.


Day Breakfast Lunch Dinner
Mon Pancakes Pizza leftovers Hamburgers with fixings
Tossed salad & fries
Tues Cereal Sandwiches
& Chips
Chicken fajitas &
'Mexican' rice
Wed Pop-tarts Burrito bowls Pulled pork & apple
slaw
Thurs Waffles Sandwiches
& chips
Sweet & Sour kielbasa
fried perogies
Fri Cereal Sandwiches
& chips
Chicken jalfrezi &
rice
Sat Eggs &
bacon
Birthday party
potluck
Leftovers
Sun Eggs &
hash
Leftovers Pizza


Eh, I tried using a table generator off of a random site on the internet. I'm not sure how pleased I am with this result.

The 'Mexican rice' recipe is on my Pinterest cooking page. That is also where the apple slaw recipe is bookmarked and the sweet and sour kielbasa recipe is too. I'm pretty sure that Friday's dinner is going to be a situation where I eat dinner before the guys so that I can get out to Buffalo for LARP in time.

I have been trying out this business of batch cooking food for the rest of the week. So far, I am pretty pleased with the results. Taking the time to cook up a bunch of chicken breasts and shred them last week left me with some cooked chicken to use this week. I also am using the leftover pulled pork from two weeks ago this week. (I am also going to be cooking pork roasts as well, to shred and stuff for next week.)

I think I like the fact that it opens up a little more time for doing stuff with the kids.

Friday, July 07, 2017

Tour de Fleece: Week 1

So, I am participating in Tour de Fleece again this year. I have taken the raspberry colored fiber that I was spinning a while back out of the cupboard. I dressed my distaff and am spinning singles on my Ashford student spindle. I have gotten in about four hours of spinning over the course of the week. The weather recently has been very humid and it makes spinning wool somewhat unpleasant.

When I wasn't spinning, I was plying. I have plied the two singles that I had from my drawer pull spindle - the middle weight one. I also wound the singles from the Turkish spindle into a ball for plying. I am trying out that technique I read in Spin Off a while back where you take your two singles and wind them into a ball and ply from that. If it goes well, I may just do the same with the singles I have from my French spindle. I am still trying to decide what I am going to use to ply that. I think I am going to ply the singles from the Turkish spindle on my kick wheel. I would be using the Ashford student spindle, but that is currently occupied with spinning that raspberry fiber. I finished the whole braid of the rainbow colored fiber. When I was winding balls for plying, I wound up with stuff getting tangled up. I estimate my loss on that being around two yards.

I am trying to decide what my goal for TdF is going to be this year. A part of me wants to try to spin that full mile of thread again. The rest of me looks at the pile of fiber I have and says 'I need to use some of this up.' So, I am thinking that maybe my goal will be a certain amount of time spinning every day, like an hour or something and the secondary goal would be using up the fiber I have languishing.

I have one problem, though. My fiber keeps trying to slide down the distaff. I'm not sure how to fix that. I have been doing some reading but what I find is inconclusive. I am thinking about switching over to the skinny stick that I was initially using as a distaff, but I don't think that is a great idea because it wasn't very comfortable to use.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Low Spoons.

It has been a long and tiring day for me. It has also been a day of nonstop heartburn. It started about 9 in the morning and is still a problem right now. I have no idea why. A part of me wonders if I should be concerned. The rest of me is just exasperated with it all and wants it to stop. (I vaguely wonder if it is connected to the fact that my jeans are tight on me, but I don't think that is the problem.)

I got 90% of the things I needed to do today done. Some of it is just going to have to wait until tomorrow. Because I am mentally tapped out. I feel like I am useless. I feel like I am a consummate fraud. On the whole, I feel awful mentally as well as physically. And I have an overwhelming sense of guilt for not having ALL THE THINGS done. I know this is because I am unwell. But that doesn't help anything.

I want to write. I want to make beautiful things. I want to be social. I want to take the kids off on summer adventures. I want to make money doing stuff I am good at.

And I don't right now see how to make that all happen because I am sick. And I feel an intense sense of despair over it. I try not to give into it. I try not to think about it. Denial is not the answer here. But, it was what I was taught as a coping mechanism when I was small and what I tend to default to. Not healthy, trying to change it, but it is what I do.

So, if you're looking for cheerful updates on how things are going over here, I'm just not at the mental place to do that right now. Please bear with me.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Fiber Fluff

So, I sat down and made a thing a little while back. I took the half of the packaging for a bunch of lollipops and used it to make a tabletop distaff. It had a sphere at the top and then a stick out the bottom of it. The sphere could be opened and the lollipops were inside it. I took the top half of the sphere off and then filled the lower half of the sphere with stones and put the part that the lollipops stuck into and replaced it on there. The stick that was pointing out of the bottom then was the new top and the hemisphere with the stones sat on the table.

It is nice and stable. It also works really well if I am doing supported spinning at the table. I think using the table distaff lead me to having more even yarn. It really did cut down on arm fatigue. And for reasons I can't explain, my hands did get tired quite so quickly either. I'm not sure why it worked out that way, but I am pleased. I filled up the lignim vitae french spindle twice. I was then getting bored with that. So I started spinning the rest of the fiber on my turkish spindle. (I think it is made from maple but I'm not sure.) I filled that up twice. Now I have two full runs of the colorway left. I split it in half and am spinning it up on a light drawer pull drop spindle. I don't think I can get the whole lot on there in two goes. I may have to do four.

My plan is to ply what I have on each spindle with the other stuff that came from the spindle. This way, theoretically, my plies are even. And, hopefully, the amounts on the spindles are the same. I am half tempted to try chain plying this stuff, even though it is super fine. I have decided that I am going to do my plying on my kick wheel. Just because I think it is going to go faster than using a spindle for it.

I have been making baby hats again. I am using a pastel rainbow colorway from Red Heart. The yarn is their sport weight acrylic. It is my plan to wash it with super hot water to soften up the yarn. I used a 'D' hook. I made a magic ring at the top and then did eight double crochet into it. I slip stitched the end of my round to the first stitch before chaining for the first stitch in the row. My first round was eight stitches. My second round was sixteen, with an increase in every stitch as per usual and the final stitch a slip stitch. My third round was twenty four stitches (in the pattern of one increase in the first stitch of the increase and then a single stitch, up to the last three stitches which were an  increase in the first stitch of the increase and a slip stitch into the first stitch of the round).

After my third round, I began working single crochet into every stitch. My final stitch of the round was worked as a single crochet and the remainder of the hat was done in the round in a spiral, if you would. I worked two inches in single crochet. I then slip stitched the final stitch of the final round to the first stitch of that round.  It is a really small hat, but I am making it for really small preemie babies. (The majority of the hats that the spinning guild have been donating are made for the medium sized preemies. I have been focusing on the 'micro' preemies. I am doing so because most people are not making hats that small. I am seriously considering a tiny layette set, all held together with a bit of ribbon and a note telling the recipient that I was once a high risk preemie and that there is hope that their child will grow up healthy and well.)

I am still working on that ducky scarf. It got very exasperating, so I set it aside. Illusion knitting looks cool and all that, but it is a very tedious process. I'll be honest, I am getting bored with this. I did the math, I have about 5 hours of knitting to go and it will be finished. I'm going to try to get it done next week. This way I don't have to look at it anymore. I can just finish it and hand it off to the person I am going to give it to.

I haven't written up the pattern for the sweater or the bonnet I made. It is on the list of stuff to do later. When I get the pile of other things finished but before I send it out in the mail to the recipient.