Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas and Such

My it has been an eventful few days. Christmas kicked off well with gift opening and mass. I have been setting my needles afire with how much I have gotten done over the last few days also which is always good. I have had a few toys to play with which is always nice too.

Before I get to my Christmas bounty, I shall first update on the Christmas sweaters. After countless rip outs, ends woven in, wrapping and praying for correct fit, photographic evidence will show a 6 out of 6 success rate. Justin's just barely fits, nice and snug, Racheal loves her 'butcho' (see a post or two back), Dad's vest's neck fits lovely, second time's a charm I guess, and Mum's last minute hail Mary finishing of Ian's sweater paid off since its done and dusted. A little hiccup on Kathryn's sweater, but she now loves it and all the pain and suffering of making it is now gone. As for me, I love mine. Such a cute color and pattern. Now pictures individually will follow soon, but as this post was kinda overdue and I the chaos of Christmas has yet to die down, I haven't photographed each individually.

So photos will come soon, and I now don't really have an excuse not to show regular progress on my projects and such since Santa brought me a camera. A nice cute red one, and if Blogger will cooperate I will post some pictures in this post (I tried once, but it didn't work well). So if you see pics at the end of this post, then it worked, if not, keep waiting, they will come. I promise.

And that brings me to Uncle Jim's sweater. The body was finished late late Sunday night, and the first sleeve was finished up this morning. Progressed was slowed today, but I still have a good leg under me on the second sleeve. It looks possible to finish it by New Years, but I won't be counting my chickens yet.

So Christmas, I got 2 sets of really nice needles, size 8's which are not working miracles on Uncle Jim's sweater. 2 Skeins of sock yarn, which I will photograph a bit later, a cute bag, and a few other things, but I fear I am losing ya. It seems like I am procrastinating on the pictures, but I will get better.

It seems like a lot, yet a little happened. And now that I am spouting nonsense, I think its time to wrap things up. Hopefully everyone had a good Christmas, and Happy New Year if I don't post sooner.

Way to much time with a camera

Well I am happy to say Justin has really bounced back from his asthma attack. As I type he is playing in the back yard and disobeying me.... no coat and it isn't even 60 degrees. My thought is when he gets cold he will come in....... okay when I tell him to come in and put his coat on he will come in.
I never knew just how much I liked the color red. I stood by the stove mixing and smooshing cranberrys thinking this would be a great color for wool then I looked down at a pair of red socks I had finished months ago. Yep I seem to like red.
Pisssst note from Cuddles (aka Dixie). Mum really needs to put that camera down. Now I can see whey she would take a photo of me but the next photo well she mush have lost her mind.
I know people think big dog and a dog of a certain breed and they think bad dog. Well look at this face, butter wouldn't melt in his mouth and he is one of the best dogs in the world. I would put him up against the best and he would win over hearts with his sad puppy dog eyes his doggie kisses. He truly is a member of this family just like our children and cats.....no not gerbils, gerbils are rats. When I saw Kathryn curled around Sedgwick well I thought this is truly how he is. His feelings gets hurt and he loves as much as any one would and could love. So come on people get a grip don't hate the dog educated the owners, on lookers and passer by ers.
Ian's socks the socks I didn't get to give to him on Christmas day..... no I had them done just forgot were I put them. I always mess up one way or the other. Socks and boy have been reunited and my job here is done.
The longest sweater of this year. My goodness it was a handful but now that it is done I kind of miss it.......Maybe another one for next year NOT. Glad Kathryn likes her new sweater. It really looks nice on her and I am so glad.
Any one who knows me knows I am cheep and only pay for something if I have to. I saw these kind of stitch markers and thought I can make them so I did. Going to test these stitch markers out see how they hold up. Wish me luck.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Insomnia

Well it's 4 AM right now, Christmas morning. I can't sleep as per usual and so in Christmases to come I don't get implicated, I am quietly typing out this post, not venturing from my room. Partly because of the dog and partly because of all the grief I get from mainly Kathryn about my early Christmas wake ups. Its not my fault if I can't go back to sleep at 4 Am is it?

The buildup to Christmas this year was nice. We got a nice winter storm 2 days ago that dropped the temperature to around freezing at best and put about 2 inches of snow on the ground. Whether that snow is still on the ground as I type, I don't know.

We exchanged our secret Santa gifts and assorted other gifts last night, and my secret Santa, who I can now reveal as being Racheal loved her gifts. Although it can be hard not to love seamonkeys and ribbon jewelry kits right? My secret Santa was far from being secret, but that was alright, she gave me a Musical Ride t-shirt. I would mention some of the other gifts I got, but I haven't got them yet.

With all this decorating, you may ask if I got any knitting done at all. And I would have to reply au contrare my good blogging buddy, whereas it is true, decorations go up the two days before Christmas as per tradition (and don't come down till three kings Sunday) between present wrapping and cooking and such I have gotten less than 3 inches away from the ribbing on Uncle Jim's sweater. Which I have to say is a relief cause my tentative goal is to finish before new years.

And Christmas sweaters were exchanged also last night, and if I had a picture I would post it, but I don't so I won't. All of the sweaters that we made were very well received. They all fit, and were finished on time, so mission completion!

So a peek to the future, get out your crystal balls guys! Once everyone gets up, we will open stockings, rip through presents, the whack the overnight baked porridge in the oven and go to church. When we get home our porridge will be done, we will eat, then the endless box opening and twistties, and battery finding will begin. Then comes the chorus of "why don't you wait on _______, you have all Christmas break to do __________" (reader may fill in blanks with whatever kit, game or other unwrapped goodie strikes their fancy.) Then we shall sup on a gorgeous beef roast, green bean casserole stuffing and such, then to top it all off, we shall light the Christmas pudding (hopefully not any eyebrows or Mum's tablecloth! We've had a few close calls) and top that with a bit of ice cream or custard, or pecan pie for the younger ones. Then once the kids go to bed, Dad, Kathryn and I get to play with the kids' toys.

Now it's time for Hulu and me to watch some television. Like last year I think I will catch up on some Law and Order SVU. Hulu has seen this episode a million times, but I haven't, but that doesn't matter because he will watch it over again, just for me, cause I asked. Isn't he sweet?

To the very few readers we have out there, have a very safe warm and most of all Merry Christmas, if our oversees readers haven't already. As a side note, thanks to all of the readers out there, it's nice to know that someone reads these words I string together. You can tell my life is dull when the threshold of exitement lies with how many hits this blog gets. Sorry, bit of a downer on the warm Christmas spirit of before, so here Merry Christmas, and to all a good night (or morning in my case)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Preparations, Meet Mundane Daily Life

A long yet short week, and it is only halfway over. Last minute Christmas stuff seems to be filling every moment, a shopping trip here, groceries there, scurrying with wrapping paper everywhere. The flow of baked goods still hasn't ended, with Justin baking brownies at a friends house today resulting in a plate coming home. Christmas lights have gone up, the Grinch is inflated and slowly but surely the house is making its transition to a more festive state.

Mum has to finish up Kathryn's sweater and I have to seam up the butcho (poncho for butt (racheal). Long story short- Racheal was ruffle butt and that slowly evolved from ruffle butt to ruffles then to just plain butt.) All the tags for Dad's vest are pulled in, and that was a task in itself, Justin's is done, and Mum pawned Ian's off on me too. And if anyone asks, the three sweaters and butcho under my covers are all projects I did over the semester and got lazy on the finishing. I had to make up a cover story quickly to avoid suspicion over the mass of knitting on my bed. And technically it isn't a lie, per say.

And when all that is done, comes wrapping. Apparently it is very hard to find garment boxes anymore, so now I have to find a way to wrap a bunch of sweaters. The roll of paper that nearly misses your head will be me, sorry.

Oh, and on the grade front, I am happy to say that I now have all of my grades. And Bean is a hero. I managed to get straight A's. 3 A's and 2 A-'s. The A-'s were so close to being A's, it was like kissing Ian. But I can't complain, straight A's are straight A's.

So what's on my needles now? Well it seems as though I have been seaming more than I have been actually knitting. Uncle Jim's sweater now has the sleeves taken off and now is just a race to finish the 15 or so inches until the ribbing. The bed socks have sat on my dresser since my last post, not intentionally though. I need to get Uncle Jim's sweater done first, so they take a backseat. I also managed to finish Mum's abandoned cross stitch from a while ago. I did most of it over the summer but ran out of time on the final border, so that was yesterday's project, and I am happy to say it was done before tea-time.

I finally, have gotten my haircut. This kind of event usually isn't that groundbreaking, but since about a week or two into the semester it became apparent that I got a terrible haircut. It looked marginal in the salon, but what could I do at that point, to fix it it would have had to be shaved off, since i like my hair short short. So as it grew out, it kinda turned into a chick mullet. When it was cut, instead of leaving it long enough to go around my ears, they cut around my ears, so I had rather short hair on the front a a fringe of almost shoulder length hair in the back. It is finally gone, I have a good looking haircut and I don't look like I should be from the 80's.

I must get back to seaming, maybe tonight I can actually work on a knitting project! I still have a tie pillow to make for my secret Santa, but I have a day or two left.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Sundays Are Not For Resting

I made it through the barrage of cookies cakes and other such sweets and end of the semester parties that are obligatory in elementary school, barely. We also have enough cookies and such at home to open a small shop. It will be a miracle this Christmas season to not gain weight. Needless to say my willpower is a tad lacking.

I have casted on for the Uncle Jim sweater. It is about 15 increases in and it is kinda poking along. Yes, I know that that much progress is good for only working on it since 3 yesterday afternoon, but shouldn't it go faster? I think it may be plunked on my dresser for half a day to finish my mardi gras bed socks. You know those bags of donated yarn? Well there was some very vibrant fuzzy yarn that got some short rows and size 3's and made a really cute sock. So I have to finish the heel of that socks and do another. I know you have been waiting with baited breath to see the result of Vlad, but no dice. Sorry, the camera has been hiding, nursing low batteries, so you guys will have to wait.

I really don't know how much knitting I will get done today due to the fact that both me and Kathryn have been enlisted to babysit the neighbors. Not that I mind, just bring the little brother and he and Noah play and play and play and play till mum and dad pick Justin up, and Noah crashes on the couch. The only thing we are there for are to feed them and keep them from hurting themselves, each other, or breaking stuff. The only thing is that they usually stay out rather late (for me at least, I am the one who goes to be religiously at 9 during the semester), and they only way to get Noah to sleep is mindless shows on Noggin. It's a good thing they invented blind knitting. Without it my mind would be mush. So it will be a late night tonight, good thing the kids don't have school and I can sleep in tomorrow morning since we will be going absolutely nowhere.

Now all I have to do is wait for Bean to post my last grade. Either he will be a hero or the mean nasty professor who messed up my straight A's. It's his choice. Although this semester was the last one he plans to teach at UH so I doubt my measly grade will stain his conscience.

Football is on, I think it is time to knit.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

At Home Again, Naturally

My first week back has flown by it seems. We have been running from school to store and home again so many times it is quite amazing I have had any time to do anything for me.

I shall start off with knitting, for a change. I finished Justin's sweater arms for the second time earlier last week, so all I had to do in my dorm was preemie hats and Vlad. I got about half a dozen hats done and about 5 pattern repeats done. Vlad is now officially done, as of noon today and is rather large. I shall post a pic of it next time, if I remember. So the dentist office waiting was filled with a preemie hat.

On the subject of preemie hat knitting, we got a 'donation' of yarn this weekend. I wasn't on the ground two hours when Ian's boy scout merit badge brought us to the house of one of the boys where 3, yes 3 large garbage bags full of yarn were loaded into the back of our van. Usually when someone wants to offload yarn onto us it is old, unusable yarn, but these bags were filled with Baby and Yarn Bee yarns from Hobby Lobby. Lots of novelty yarns, but also nice baby yarns in really cute colorways. So we should have enough baby yarn for sweaters and hats and such for at least a year, maybe.

Grades for me have started to trickle in. I am now only waiting on one, surprise surprise, the laziest, slowest grader has yet to post my final grade. It is at the point where I am nervous to see if prof. Bean will break my straight A record with a B+. I did really well this semester, and wouldn't beat myself up over a B, especially with the 2 A's and 2 A- 's but still straight A's would just top this semester off.

I have all of my Christmas shopping done, coming in 5 bucks under. Granted I had a $20 budget and only one person to buy for. In my family the 7 of us draw names and we are their secret Santa. That keeps us from getting 6 terrible cheap gifts instead of nice thought out gift. Some people are over achievers and get multiple people gifts, but that is the theory anyway. I won't spill who I have just in case that certain someone is reading.

Recently I was thinking about the whole story behind Santa. First of all, how did St. Nick turn into a chubby jolly guy in a red suit coming down a chimney? And how did such widespread details become widespread? Like mice opening the door from inside if you don't have a chimney, or coal, not getting presents if you wake up, elves, Rudolph and such. I don't mean the night before Christmas and those kinds of stories, but the original origin. The funny things you think about on an uphill 2 mile walk from an aborted dentist trip. Long story.

So to return to the beginning topic, its time to pattern search again. I have an idea for my next project, I want to modify the front and do the Dahlia Cardigan from the 2011 Fall Interweave knits mag, but I need the yarn and I shall soon have another project 'dumped' in my lap. My uncle Jim has requested a brown pullover, and Mum is still swamped with Christmas knitting, and since I was an overachiever and finished all of my Christmas projects, I have been recruited to do this project once we can find the yarn. I really don't mind, it means I have some more time to find my next project, which can take awhile.

Things are so busy here, so I don't know when I will post next. I kinda liked posting every other day, I will admit, so I may post more often, although I am hesitant to make such a declarative statement. We'll see, it seems as though Taylor puts it best, "I can't say what is waiting for you, at every stop you blow my mind and change direction"- Wait Here For You (by Hanson). Such an adorable song.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Sleep, an Impossible Commodity

It is no surprise that the last 2 weeks have been tiring. With finals now done, I was really looking forward to a good night sleep without any essays or exams looming over my head. But God definitely has a sense of humor. I was just about asleep, it was like 10:30 and I had been tossing and turning for an hour and a half and the fire alarm goes off. Great. Just great. So I stumble out of bed, grab my phone, manage to find my bathrobe and shoes, almost forget my id and keys and go outside. The only blessing was that it wasn't too cold outside and my bathrobe was thick enough so I didn't freeze like the other short short pajama clad dorm buddies. You can always tell when I am just slightly on the peeved side when I am calling the automated voice a moron and criticizing and poking holes in the emergency procedures. Insted of just the alarm, we get this automated voice telling us to evacuate the building, not taking the elevator, etc. and he got the brunt of my frustration. I don't think he minded. But then once I got back to my room 15 minutes later (the security to clear the building took their sweet time) I was awake. Took me forever to 'go back to sleep'. And on the day I get to fly out. The one day where I have a lot to do in a short amount of time. Real funny God, real funny.

In a slightly more upbeat frustration (if there is one) two of my grades have been officially posted. I knew I was getting an A- in art history, but when my psych stats grade came in this morning I was shocked. The grades were on blackboard, so I could calculate my average, a simple points system out of 480 points. So I was resigned to the A- that blackboard told me. I was really happy that I was able to bull my bunnies out of the fire and pull out some kind of A. But when I checked my official grade, it was an A. Pure unadulterated A. I don't know how my 92.29 grade turned into a 93 or higher, but it did. Maybe my group was right, the 'I don't curve grades' stick up her you know what professor, did make me the teachers pet. I didn't do anything to deserve such an 'honor' I assure you, but maybe it was bestowed upon me. I got an A out of it, so I am not complaining, puzzling yes, complaining no.

Well I have some last minute stuff to do, so I can board my plane and forget the last two weeks ever happened.

Friday, December 9, 2011

This is Your Brain After Finals

Well, before I furiously start packing and getting ready to go, I though I would post. It seems as though my mind has gone to mush, and I haven't even taken my last final yet.

This morning, I felt so stupid it wasn't even funny. I am one of those people that the minute it is time to check in online, I have already so that I get the best boarding position. So this morning I had it in my head that I had to check in at 8. So I try, and they send an error message. So I do it agian, and again, and again. Then wait 5 minutes and repeat the process. So about 15 minutes later I am kinda panicing, thinking there is something wrong with my itinerary and such. So I decide that I should see whats wrong, so I called the hotline. As I am explaining my problem to the really nice representative, I realize that 24 hours before my flight means that I can check in after 10. I felt so stupid. Thankfully the representative was understanding, could joke along with me and didn't make me feel like to much of a choice animal.

Twenty minutes and counting to the most involved final of the semester. I have to write about 8 pages worth of an essay, or two. Six prompts, and I have to choose two to write in a three hour period. I am not freaking out about the essays, I can free write an essay like that no problem. The issue is that the whole semester has been one of those blow off classes. I have been listening and taking notes the whole time of course, but it seems like the type of prompts are so different than what we talked about. The stories also I wasn't too fond of. Oh well, in about four hours this will all be in my rear view mirror and all that will be left to do is stress over the long waiting to see how well I fobbed off genuine knowledge of short stories. I also doesn't help that I don't get to eat until after the exam. And I am kinda hungry.

So in about four hours I will be able to return to some kind of normality.
"we can talk about normality till the cows come home.
Ford- What's normal?
Trisha- Where's home?
Zaphod- What are cows?

Sorry, this moment called for a little Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. Right now I am in dire need of a lemon hat. (ya have to see the movie).

Monday, December 5, 2011

Coolest College Morning Yet!

A bit early for a post from me I know, but I just had the best 'breakfast experience' yet (sounds a little hinky when you put it that way though).

I was eating my normal, boring breakfast alone, like usual, when I notice a guy and his friend enter the dining room. I had seen the guy before, he lives on my floor and we are like, general acquaintances, name and major that's about it. So, they are finding a place to sit, and I notice them kinda walking towards me, and I am trying to mind my own business since I don't really know them. So Braxton, the guy I know(ish) kinda walks up and says something to the effect, of my friend here thought you were someone else, but do you mind if we sit and eat with you? And who am I to turn down eating with someone?

Before I finish this narrative I will say that normally when I find myself eating with random people (a whole whopping 3 times in 3 semesters, to date) it has been really awkward, eating in awkward silence, punctuated by random questions followed by short answers, eliciting no conversation (sorry, rather long sentence there). So I was happy to eat with warm bodies, but wasn't enraptured with the idea of awkward conversation and trying to eat and leave them sitting there without it being weird and making me feel bad.

But, the thing that made this morning the best morning yet, is that for over an hour, long after we had finished eating we were still talking and laughing. It was so naturally, not weird, making it kinda weird in itself, if you follow the logic. I had such a great time, it was sweet. You can tell how low the threshold of excitement is during finals week when a breakfast spent with people is an awesome morning.

Also I find that I get mistaken for other people alot. How sad is that, I can't get my own image, I have to steal other peoples? I don't mean to take the mickey out of the previous event, you know me, can't stay upbeat for long! At least Braxton and Willy didn't make it awkward and do the usual 'oh, I'm sorry, thought you were someone else' line accompanied by awkward walk away, sometimes with a giggle, a little ways away (not far enough away for you to not hear them).

So see Mum, I am making friends here. I have had my social interaction for the day, now I don't have to feel bad being a hermit in my dorm studying for my exams and getting ready to fly out.

And I have finished Justin's first sleeve again and am halfway through the second. And wonder of wonders, I get lunch today! No, I don't have an eating disorder, I am a perfectly normal (eating wise) person, with my meal plan I get two meals a day, and three on one day of the week. But this week, since I am flying out on Saturday, it means I get an extra meal a day. Cool right? This bit is really making me think of ImprovEverywhere's I Love Lunch musical check it out... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xRKfZ0mGLaY

And to help last post end a little happier, we (coogs) were killed Saturday afternoon by Southern Miss. in the C-USA championship, but managed to score a bowl game. So January 2nd we get to play in the Cotton Bowl against Penn State. I don't know how that will go, hopefully Case Keenum can pull it together again for one last win of the season. New Year miracle anyone?

Alright, now to study and do random stuff. The life of a college student, gotta love it right?

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Studying, Papers and Exams, Oh My!

Another week down, less than one to go. It has been an interesting one to say the least. It started out as a weird week, and ended a fatigued one. Roomie dearest had a falling out with her boyfriend, so I played roomie again, and for the first time she stayed the night three times in a row. Its nice to have her here, but it totally threw off my schedule.

Then, Wednesday rolled around and I stressed all day, and the days before, for my French oral exam. Surprisingly I found it went rather well. Before that exam, the internet over the whole campus went down. So for 9 hours, I had no internet. It would have been alright if half of the material for my socio test wasn't online. Those chapters were only available online, not in our book, and I was planning on studying them Wednesday afternoon. But since I was in bed when the internet came back on, I had to cram before the exam at 8:30. So needless to say I was a tad stressed. It also didn't help that I had two exams that day either. But, surpisingly, for cramming at 7, I pulled out a 92.5. I don't know how it happened, but it did.

Then to top everything off, my week was anything but done. An art history exam to start off the day, and a paper due that evening rounded out my week. I managed a 94 on the art history test, again, rather surprisingly will the stress, and the paper got almost finished when the deadline was extended. So when I finish writing this post, I am off to microsoft word, and write a conclusion read my 5 pages and turn that sucker in.

So now 4 exams down, 3 classes all done but the final grade, and only 2 classes, 2 exams and less than 7 days left to go. I have to say, that is a really nice prospect.

Well, this weekend so far, although been relaxing, it rather busy, oxymoron I know. Well, this morning I was off to Krogers, which included a rather long wait at the bus stop. It would have been much shorter if it wasn't for the hordes of fans going to Robertson stadium. The first bus just passed right by me since I couldn't see it till it was too late, and the bus couldn't see me and just sailed right on past. And to add insult to injury almost everyone who passed, either on rickshaw, car, scooter or on foot decided to stare at the girl knitting at the bus stop. And then a really annoying guy decides to wait for his friends at the stop. Good thing his friend didn't dawdle getting there or I would have punched his lights out.

But the return trip went well. Nothing bad to report, I got off the bus a stop too early, so I had a slightly longer walk, but it wasn't too bad. Other than that nothing much to report.

Oh, knitting, I almost forgot. Not much knitting this week as you can imagine. I got a good amount done on Vlad, and am almost done with sleeve take 2. After I finished the sweater Mum measured Justin and I found out that the sleeves are 2 inches too short. So now they have to come out and get re-done. So that is now my television knitting for now.

So now I have two more exams to take, as well as packing up and wrapping up the semester. If all goes well I will be on a plane come Saturday morning. So time to finish watching the depressing 4th quarter of the football game and try to get the motivation to finish my paper before Sunday night.