Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Soup Sandwich Wins!

A lot has happened in the past couple of months, most of which was too painful to post. You'd think a motormouth like me would be writing reams on my blog about everything, but no. Some things hurt too much to write or admit.

My mother passed away on January 21st. She was not only my Mom, but my best friend. No matter how awful or wrong I thought I was, she was always on my side. She was my touchstone and confidant. Mom could tell me things she couldn't anyone else as I could her, as well. She always believed the best about me, always knew I had good intentions for everything I do or say. Losing her has been like losing my map, my confidence, my heart.

I spent most of January taking care of her, which was both awful and wonderful. Wonderful, because of course, of all the time I had her to myself. Whatever she needed, sometimes even before she knew it, Mom had. I'd stay up in the wee hours of the morning, writing on the NaNoWriMo novel and enjoy listening to her slight snore. Her moving or getting quiet always caught my attention, so I'd get up from the chair and give her a kiss. She'd always smile in her sleep when I did, much like the Frygirl does.

The awful part? I thought if I did something wrong or not did something she needed, my ineptness could harm her. The worst was no matter what I could do, her breathing didn't get any easier for her. I honestly couldn't do enough for her.

Lots of 'I's in there, hm? The sad part about being human is you only see through your own eyes. Even when writing from another's point of view, everything is filtered through your own experiences.

Thus, the Soup Sandwich I've become. Or maybe always was. I've also become increasingly dissatisfied/disgusted with the navel-gazing and I-I-I me-me-me of a personal blog. Is anyone else as sick to death of me as I am?

When I create and finalize a professional blog, focused on either knitting or writing, or maybe both, I'll post a link here. I'll probably not delete this blog, though, if only because of all the pictures of my family on it. Say 'nay' to 'I's. :)

Would it be telling too much to write I can't get the song "Hate Me" by Blue October out of my mind? Probably. But what a good way to end a personal blog with such a personal statement.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Not so miraculous after all...

Sigh. So it seems that a few cookies will cause a miracle while a pecan pie tart, several pieces of various pumpkin and apple pies, and dozens of reject cookies will reverse any sort of miracles. I honestly sweat sugar instead of salt. Not surprising considering the foods I've eaten lately.

So, color me at my heaviest but not biggest, thanks to jogging around the park. But, not to worry, by January 1st, I'll be back on track. Why then? Well, between making sure Christmas is taken care of, eating cookies and other fun foods, and getting a toothache fixed, my healthy goals aren't going to get much attention.

Not only that, but I'd really like to get to 60-70K (computerspeak for thousands) words on my novel. It's at 59606 at the moment. I've taken a bit of a break after November 25th, only writing a page or so a day. Ideally, I'd be done with it by April 1st, the start of Script Frenzy. A 100 page script in a month? Ha ha ha! Piece of cake! I have a lot more movie scripts written than I do novels for sure. I get emails from Inktip, which matches scripts with production companies. Using this, I'll let them give me ideas that a prodco might be interested in. Even if no one buys or likes it, the Frenzy will be a great writing exercise.

Speaking of exercise... I admit it. When I run, I'm a mouthbreather. Yes, the shame. Because my teeth are sensitive at the moment (Overdue for a scraping which involves FOUR shots in the gums), even breathing in 35F air is sharply painful. Shin splints? No big deal. Migraines? Enough Relpax and I run just fine. Currently 25F outside? Been there, run that. 20F and below hitting a sensitive tooth? No way in God's green Earth am I doing that. There's not enough Ibuprofen I could take to stop the hurt. Thus, I sucked it up and have an appointment for tomorrow. My dentist promised to use the baby needles on me.

In related fun news, I'm toying with the idea of signing up for a couple of runs. One is the annual Groundhog Run, which is 5-10K (ilometers) and is on January 26th or so this year. The other is in May through Oklahoma City's Bricktown. After KC's cloak of humidity in the spring, Oklahoma's air will feel crisp and refreshing, even in July. May won't be a problem. The goal, if I do the Groundhog Run, will be to finish. Bricktown's goal will be to jog the whole way without stopping, walking, or crying like a baby.

In knitting news, my friend Mary 'accidentally' dropped off her Hanne Falkenberg jacket in case someone 'accidentally' wanted to knit it. Since we upped our subscription to Netflix, the garter stitch will be perfect to do while catching up on our movies. Nothing is worse than having parents hipper than you on the movie circuit. I'm excited to work on a Falkenberg, just to say I have. There's a Drops pattern from Garnstudio that's very similar. I'm tempted to knock it out before starting Mary's, just to work out any bugs.

More knitting stuff... I'd like to wrap up some WIPs I have laying around. There's currently seven out there, one of them with a deadline of January 10. It's a scarf, no big deal, but still, they need finishing so I can justify starting new stuff.

Monday, December 08, 2008

It's a Christmas Miracle!

Who knew that only by eating a little bit of cookie dough, a girl could lose a couple of pounds?

I know, the miracle should be more profound than this, but...

Since August, I've been diligently training for a 5K. I could walk several miles, even at a decent clip, but forget jogging, or horrors, running even half a mile.

Then, one day, Mom and Dad ordered me a spiffy running outfit from Cabela's, thus obligating me to actually stick with the torture. That, and the jacket is so cool! It has a little strap for my headphones cord and inner pockets so keys and cell phone won't escape.

Two months into it, I was buying a sports bra and mentioned to the clerk that I liked to run. Weird, huh? I'm not someone who likes to pant for air, ignoring the inevitable shin splints. Something happened, though, blame it on endorphins, but I actually like running. It's rather like cleaning house. While I hate cleaning, I love the results. I'd hoped the weight would fall off a lot more, but it's remained a maddening constant.

In the past four months, I've not lost until just today. But, I've dropped from size 14 to a comfy 12, and can taking jogging a mile at a time for granted. I've also learned that running when it's 25F outside isn't as bad as you'd think. In fact, running (jogging, really) today when the temp is around 52F will be roasting hot compared to last week's mid 20's. Stupid shin splints, a sure sign of doing too much too soon, has kept me from running more distance more often.

Today should be fun. Fry has insisted she can run a 7 to 8 minute mile. Um hm. When it's cold, I run a 13 minute mile, when it's balmy like today, it'll probably be closer to 12. My bet is the girl can keep up for the first half, but will be hurting by the second. Still, she could surprise me and I hope she does.

On the novel front, the word count is 56,588 today. There's a lot of tension in this story, I'm having a tough time keeping the two protagonists apart physically. They're a bit too attractive to each other. A huge heap of sexual tension in a romance is a good thing, I'm betting. It's fun to write and addictive. I'd toyed with not finishing, but can't. I owe it to the characters to get them to the finish line. Yeah, sounds weird if you don't write fiction.

In knitting news... The little Goopa (baby sister) has claimed the Christmas Scarf as her own.

Mom loves her socks,
I'm hoping my mother-in-law likes her scarf. Seeing my friend, Mary's lavendar version, I'm betting she'll LOVE it. Hubby is lobbying hard for me to not felt it. He can want all he wants, but I'm still felting.

Fry would love her fingerless mits if she could find her other one. She's already lost one. The white part glows in the dark, which is cool, but not cool enough to wear to school or anything. (Yes, I'm bitter.)

Monday, November 24, 2008


Would ya look at that:

But, my work here isn't done. I'm about halfway done with the story and it's pretty good. I know, I'm biased, but usually I don't like my own stuff. It's not 'perfect'. Something I'm thinking at the moment is, do I really need to finish the book? I mean, I hit goal, plus, I already know how it'll end. Why bother, in that case? There's yarn to knit, you know.

It's cute, being about the Oregon Trail and all, and my husband knows the lay of the land in Wyoming. He'll ask me every so often, "Are they at Ft. Laramie, yet?" They're getting close, about 60 miles west of Chimney Rock.

The whole thing with National Novel in a Month is a person is supposed to be writing like a fiend with NO editing. Right. That's like telling me to go to a yarn store but NO buying yarn. Whatever. Usually, I'd edit the prior couple of pages, then continue with the flow. I do know the novel will need editing to get rid of echos. It's when the author has used the same word several times in a paragraph.

Taking his dishes, she looked at him in surprise. He didn’t inform her of his whereabouts often. Bethie indicated the dishes in her hand, “Very well. Mostly likely, I’ll be here or washing something.” He gave a little wave as she watched him walk away. Once Daggart was out of site, she put the washing up in the larger pail to take to the river.

In this paragraph, I'll have to change a 'dishes' and a 'washing'. They'll bug me otherwise.

So, anyway, I have to brag about hitting 50,000. This is my third year and not only did I write more than half the month, I wrote above 7000, beating last year's word count. :D

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Thanksgiving is WHEN? But, I've not lost last year's weight!

Due to popular request, here it is, an update! Chelle is popular and did request, so I'm not entirely overstating it.

What have I been doing? A few things. The whole election thing had me down. I voted Democrat in the last two elections to no avail, and didn't have hopes for this one. I honestly figured it'd be like when Bush Sr won after the dry years of the Reagan era. Horrible. Even so, it wasn't as bad then for the nation as it is now.

I tried to keep an open mind concerning McCain. I vote for the people, not the party. When he slung the first mud, saying Obama was responsible for the oil prices, I tuned him out. Both men voted against offshore drilling, until McCain was bought out by the Bushites. He did an about face for the money, which is funny, considering the Democrats had more to spend.

Besides the issues, I had serious problems with McCain's lying during the debates. Hillary calling Obama a Muslim had the same effect on me. If they'll lie during a 'date' with the American people, what'll they do after the 'marriage'? Several times during the debates, McCain would say what Obama would do, Obama would have to refute or clarify, then McCain would repeat the erroneous information. I don't mind a person being wrong. It happens. But when they know they're wrong and continue to perpetuate the lie, I can't trust them.

See? I don't like blogging about politics because it's not only difficult to find unbiased sources, I lose whatever bit of eloquence I might have. I do know that the current administration and its friends have profited beyond anyone's wildest dreams. They continue to do so, judging by the frequent bailouts of banks. Funny how the auto companies are given a miss on the money train. I wonder why, since it's not the lawmakers own money they're passing out so freely, but ours. If they want to help those hurt by the housing crisis, why don't they give the money to the homeless shelters, since that's where those who've been forclosed on now live.

What else has kept me busy? Well, in November, it's been NaNoWriMo, and it's been going great! Woo hoo! I have a snowball's chance of finishing on time. So very cool. I love the story, romance on the Oregon Trail, have had to do tons of research, and have written well into the next day some evenings. If I'm seeming out of it, more so than usual, and can't seem to pay attention, blame NaNoWriMo. It's been fun writing the story so far and I'm sort of looking forward to finishing. Already, I'm planning the next story, so this has been a great jumpstart.

Here are Fry and Lucky in the park's creek. I run in the park three times a week, two if I get shinsplints. It's a one mile loop with some slight hills if you go one way, slopes the other. Most people go with the slopes, which I find funny. I mean, don't be half-assed about kicking your own ass, m'kay?

By run, I mean jog at a 13 minute mile, which, a mile is usually what I do. Sometimes it's 1.5 jog, others it can be 1 run, 2 walk. When it's nice out, the child and dog come with me, otherwise, they stay at home, dry and warm. :)

There was some Octoberfesting going on! Hubby and I went, Fry stayed home and worked on her teenage angst. We enjoyed beer and brats, funnel cake, and pig races. He's wearing the Liederhosen bought on our honeymoon, so be impressed. Seriously, because there's no way I could fit anything bought near our wedding.

This is why my Ziplocks of yarn have eensy little holes in them. SOMEbody likes pillows. Isn't Claude the sweetest? It's now cold enough for him to snuggle me every night. He also likes to use my foot as a pillow, making it tough to get drinks or take breaks. Wouldn't want to wake the spoiled rotten thing.

Finally, you'd think I'd blog about meeting the Yarn Harlot herself, Stephanie Pearl-McPhee.

My friend Chelle also posted about the Harlot, much more timely than I did. I've also stayed pretty busy teaching classes at the libraries. They've not been more than I can handle at all, just that there is prep time involved, of course. Materials gathering, driving to and fro time, then the two hours teaching. It's all really fun, though. I received next season's class schedule and there's fun there, too. We'll be knitting in the woods from the book "How to Knit in the Woods". I need to work out with the library how many books they'll have there. Being a writer type, I'm all about respecting the copyright.

There's been lots of fun minutia around here. Lunches with friends, shopping for yarn, hanging out with my child and husband. All of which is much more interesting if you were there, so I'll spare you. Instead, I'll go work on my novel.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

A run by blogging.

I could do a long diatribe about politics, the economy, life around here, all that, but can sum it up on a few words.

Politics-sick of.
Economy-sick about.
Life around here-sick of cleaning.

There's been a little bit of knitting. Here's my latest pattern off the needles. Cute, hm? I like it. The mate is done and the pair are spoken for, while I'm doing a bigger size of these next. The yarn is wonderful and is courtesy of Dome Hill Yarns. You're no one if you don't have yarn from Dome Hill. ;)

Now for something fun, The Husband Quiz. I stole this from Alison Knits.

Me: What is your favorite thing about my knitting?

Hubby: Sweaters, socks.

Me: What is your least favorite thing about my knitting?

Hubby: Scarves

Me: What is something I have knitted, that you recall as good?

Hubby: A Sweater

Me: Do you think knitters have an expensive hobby?

Hubby: Moderate; Wool and other natural yarns can be expensive vs. synthetic yarn.

Me: Do you have any hobbies?

Hubby: Yes, coins & stamp collecting.

Me: Do you have a stash of any kind?

Hubby: Yes

Me: Have I ever embarrassed you, knitting in public?

Hubby: No.

Me: Do you know my favorite kind of yarn?

Hubby: Not sure of the name. I believe it costs around $75.00 a skein.

Me: Can you name another knitting blog?

Hubby: No

Me: Do you mind my wanting to stop at knit shops wherever we go?

Hubby: Not too much, depends on how many bills we have and if the bank account balance is sufficent.

Me: Do you understand the importance of a swatch?

Hubby: Yes, could prevent errors by knitting the pattern according to instructions prior to knitting the project.

Me: Do you read In Pursuit of Perfection? (this blog)

Hubby: Sometimes.

Me: Have you ever left a comment?

Hubby: Not usually. Just entertaining to read.

Me: Do you think the house would be cleaner if I didn't knit?

Hubby: I plead the Fifth Amendment on the grounds it may incriminate me if I answer this question.

Me: Anything you'd like to add?

Hubby: You have made a lot of friends with knitting. I honestly believe you have found your true calling. It is a business, hobby, and something you really enjoy.

Back to me. Isn't he a sweetie? I'm a lucky girl and I know it.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Sitcoms do it, maybe I should.

Lately, I've been mulling over the lack of separation in my personal and professional blogging. If sitcoms can have spinoffs, I think blogs should, too. It's something that's percolating in my mind, having this be my personal bitchfest blog, then having another devoted to all knitting, all the time. Guess which one will be featured on Ravelry, that wonderful knit website?

In the meantime, I've had bigger thoughts to ponder. There's an obvious one, which I feel perfectly comfortable blabbing about ad nauseum in real life but can't make myself blog. We'll leave that one alone and go on to a couple of scientific things that are rather cool. It'll also let everyone in on how my brain works.

Ok, so, I was watching something on Discovery, National Geographic, or the Science Channel about how early bacteria and plant life sucked out all the carbon from the atmosphere, leaving an oxygen-rich environment. The Earth went from a global steamy swampland to the crisp, cool (relatively speaking) planet we know and love today.

Later, those little carbon eaters died, were mashed and heated for a few million years. This pressure cooking turned them into the fossil fuels we're burning today. After this, I was thinking, "Hm, if we're filling up our air with carbon that used to be there, how can we make like the fossils and take it back out?" Could we re-use this carbon, maybe in a more contained system?

Happily, minds who are trained in this have been working on cyanobacteria. Pretty cool stuff. We Americans are great at outsourcing. Why not outsource our atom splitting to the obvious experts?

Cut to this morning and me goofing around on the internet. I'm a pushover for the scientific news websites and have spent too much time on them already. The title "The Oceans are Beginning to Die" caught my eye.

I'm selfish enough to first think, "What about the seafood?!"

Then, the thought hits... The oceans need oxygen, the air needs oxygen, how about we use the cyanobacteria here, too? Couldn't we use the oceans as farmland to grow the bacteria, and harvest it for fuel? Also good would be the possible use of the fertilizer, either filtered and recycled, or as something plantlike the bacteria could live on as single cell apartments.

On a related, but separate subject is the clean generation of energy from wind and solar sources. So, here I was, thinking about the Sahara and Australian Outback as great places to set up solar panels and wind turbines. Probably passing these in Kansas during a hot July weekend started me thinking.

But, setting up the energy gathering equipment does no good if you can't get the new power from point a to b. When I read about wireless electricity experiments from MIT, there you go. (Tesla did it first, by the way.) Set up way stations and let the power do island hopping to go around the world. In an ideal world, famine-racked countries of Africa could now profit from supplying energy to the rest. Sadly, I doubt the rulers would let that happen. Maybe they would improve their infrastructure, if only for their own convenience.

Enough on what happens when I have too much time to think. On to more pretty pictures!

Someone turned 13! I made her a guitar birthday cake and she got Rock Band from us. A very happy girl.

This is Frygirl holding an EMPTY bottle. She's giving her Dad a defiant, yet cute look here, so I had to include it. The beer was mine, so you know there wasn't a drop left for her.

My entry in the Ravelympics for the Works In Progress Wrestling. I wrestled this bad girl to the ground, finishing it on time despite tons of distractions. Yay! It looks good on me, if a little tight.

Sadly, this guy has been ripped out completely. Do over! It needed to fit on my foot and didn't. I went up a needle size, am making my fair isle looser, and am kicking it again.

I had to include this for my Dad. I love this photo, too funny!

Slow and Steady Wins the Race