Wednesday, January 31, 2007

LLL aplication - About You ver 1

I didn't realize how much work the La Leche League application process took. I just said yes. Now, I find that there's a whole essay to write. And it includes why I said yes.

I'm not sure, really, so some of this will be meandering thought while I try to figure out the why's and wherefores.

I was very small when I remember my mom attending LLL meetings. I even remember going to a conference with her. She met one of her best friends thru the meetings, who has a daughter who is a good friend of mine. But she was never a leader.

One of my very earliest memories is of sitting by my mother, watching my baby brother as he nursed. He was about 6 months old, and I was about two years old. I had been weaned by then, I think.

I have two sisters, as well. One is seven years younger than I, and the other is 17 years younger. They were both nursed, for an extended period of time.

I suppose I had a fairly normal childhood. We lived in the country, went to school, et cetera, et cetera. After sixth grade, however, my parents decided to homeschool. My brother and I, and later our sisters, were taught at home by mother. I really liked it, mostly because I had been bored at school. At home, I was able to study the things I liked, and study them as quickly as I liked.

I finished high school, and went off to college. Eventually, I graduated with a degree in biology. Eventually includes a wide variety of part time jobs, for example, hostess at an Italian restaurant, veterinary technician, office assistant.

What I had wanted to do, was become a veterinarian. I attended a veterinary school for two years, almost three, and found out that I couldn't do it. Memorization is very difficult for me, and a veterinarian needs to memorize a huge amount of drug information and animals facts. It was extremely hard for me; knowing that I had failed at my dream.

At the same time, my mom had been diagnosed with advanced breast cancer. She told me one weekend when I came home for a visit.

I had met a wonderful man while I was in veterinary school. He stayed with me after I had to leave veterinary school, and was very supportive and caring. I loved him already, but he was, well, wonderful! And I still think he is. In 2003, we were married. My mother did not survive to see us married, but I think she still blesses us.

In 2004, I started graduate school. I was working toward a doctorate in microbiology. I liked being back in school, taking classes in subjects I'm very interested in, but I found that I was having a problem taking tests. I'd never had anything like that happen before. I would have anxiety attacks during the tests! I did find a solution: chocolate. Nibbling on chocolate during the tests allowed me to calm down. I also found that I really liked teaching. As a graduate student, I taught as an assitant several beginning-level biology classes. I enjoyed explaining to the students, and I love the 'a-ha!' moment when they actually get it.

At Christmas 2004, I had been pregnant for about a month. I had told my husband, but I didn't want to tell anyone else yet. I had just started thinking about how I would handle classes and being pregant. Unfortunately, I lost that baby. Right after Christmas I had a miscarriage. Sometimes I wonder what that little one would have been like.

Later in the spring sememster, 2005, I became pregnant again. I missed a few days of class, because I felt miserably sick, and whether it was the baby, or that I had the flu, I don't know. During the rest of the semester, I felt nausous all the time. The only time I didn't was when I was eating, so I was nibbling at something whenever I was awake. I was also very tired. Attending classes meant that I was driving two hours a day, and sometimes I almost fell asleep on the way home. I had to rethink what I was going to do after the baby came. If I was this tired now, I didn't see any way that I would be able to manage when I was seven months pregnant. And, I knew that I didn't want to be apart from my baby after he was born. My husband and I decided that it would be the best thing if I did not continue classes. So, I don't have a doctorate degree. But I do have a absolutely perfect baby boy. Jaiden was born in September.

Yay! I've finally finished the socks for my sister! Yay! Here are her feet, trying them on. It didn't really take me too much time to knit them (probably no more than 2 weeks worth of knitting) but it seemed so much longer. Mostly because I stopped in the middle to work on another project. That made the total elapsed time for these socks into over 2 months. Luckily, her feet haven't grown too much to fit.

I 've learned a very important knitting lesson: When you're making up your own pattern, WRITE IT DOWN. Otherwise, it's difficult to make another one to match. It had been so long since I finished the first sock that I didn't remember exactly how to shape the toes, or how long to make them...In the picture, the socks look very similar, but trust me, I can tell the difference. (O'course, I'm not going to tell you what I did wrong. I'll just let you tell me they're perfect ;) ) Both socks fit, however, and sister is happy with them, so I just let it be. Enough is Enough! now, on to those FairIsle gloves...

Monday, January 29, 2007

Book List

I'll have to add more that I know I've read, but for today I've finished:

A Civil Campaign, by Lois McMaster Bujold

Previous books I've read so far this year:

Arrows of the Queen, by Mercedes Lackey
Arrow's Flight, by Mercedes Lackey
Arrow's Fall, by Mercedes Lackey
The Pinhoe Egg, by Diana Wynne Jones
Deep Secret, by Dianna Wynne Jones
Od Magic, by Patricia McKillip
Winds of Fury, Mercedes Lackey
Alta, by Mercedes Lackey
The Hellion Bride, by Catherine Coulter
Goddess of Spring, by P. Cast?
Goddess of Roses, by P. Cast?

Proposed law to help support breastfeeding at work

Yay! Now, we'll just have to see if it actually gets passed into law.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

No night knitting for pumpkin girl

Sigh. I decided not to go to the all night knitting event after all. Today has been horrid. And, all I really want is a good night's sleep.

I've felt icky all day, but that's mostly because I'm getting over a mild cold. That, and weekends mess up my schedules, so that I never eat 3 meals a day. Without enough food, it's just takes too much energy.

But, did I mention in another post that I wanted to start on the Rogue sweater next? Yes I did. And I also mentioned that it might take a bit of work to get the pattern. It's stored on my old computer, which hasn't been set up in the whole 6 months since we've moved. There isn't anything vitally important on it, obviously. I set up the 'puter today, and found that it wouldn't start. It worked when I unplugged it to pack! But it didn't today. It would start to come on, it would flash the Windows start-up screen, and the the monitor would go black and go into power-saving mode.

Well, at the time, I was sooo tired, I took my husband's advice, and snuggled into our love-sac (beanbag chair) to take a nap. I couldn't fall asleep! And I really really wanted to...

Life goes on. I eventually had to get up to make supper. After supper, I gave it another try, including searching the internet on another computer to find troubleshooting procedures. Eventually, after literally hours, I found the command that was causing problems, in the system.ini file. Now, it will load Windows, but the display is still freaky.

That I'm leaving for tomorrow.

But why I'm not going to the knit-all-night at the LYS? For one thing, I'm really tired. For another, Little J is getting sick (sniffles, mild fever, and grumpy) and I don't want to leave him. His daddy was sick with the same stuff, and is still acting a bit needy. ;) And finally, I'm certain I'd turn into a pumpkin if I was out after midnight!

I did get some knitting done today. Those socks for my sister, are almost done. I need to do kitchener stitch on the main toe section, knit up the big toe part, and work in the ends. Then they are done! After I finish them, I'll work on the FairIsle gloves, and then I can start my new project. Yay!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Infant potty training

leah's the best: potty training started...

I ran across this website the other day. This post discusses potty training her little girl, who just turned 1 year old. It was interesting, as it could be a good thing to do with Little J. I'm going find the book she mentions on infant potty training and see what it would take.

She also mentions that using diapers in Asia is a new thing. I noticed when we were in Thailand, the babies didn't wear diapers. They just had on their pants or skirts. I did see one little boy, a cousin (I think) of my husband's, who was getting carried home without any pants on his bare little bottom, because he had had an accident, and poopied in his pants. Oops! Well, as they say, sh*t happens. :)

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Becoming an LLL leader

I think I'm going to be an La Leche League (LLL) leader. Last December one of the leaders of my local group asked if I would be interested in becoming a leader. I hadn't ever thought of it, it seemed like it was something for women older than me. (Parenthetically, LLL is an organization that is limited to women. Because only women nurse children. Interesting that a biological function can be a valid reason to be exclusive.) I thought about it while we traveled over Christmas. LLL is something that I believe in, and that I can see myself making a difference in. There are different levels of volunteering, so I could be as active as I wanted, but if I stay a leader of a local chapter, LLL can make a huge difference to mothers and nursing babies. It's a good thing! At the next meeting I told my leader yes, I was interested.

So today, I hosted the enrichment meeting for our LLL group. There are several other women who may become leaders, and they and the two current leaders came early to discuss this leadership thing. We discussed leading meetings, and how to handle statements by members that aren't quite (or aren't at all) in agreement with LLL philosophy or policy.

The enrichment meeting was lots of fun. Besides Little J, there were four little boys running around, two babies being held, and one little girl that didn't want to let go of her mommy. The boys dragged out all the toys, giggled gleefully as they ran around in circles, and chased Rama the maschocistic cat around the house. Little J loved having the little boys to play with and watch - there were only a few screams over toys. It was really nice for me, to have other people over, to have people to talk to.

I spent some time talking to one of the women. D was telling me about her new(newish to her?) house, and the garden and mini orchard that's with it. I'm so envious. Apple and cherry and nectarines....yum! I miss Mom's orchard of semi-dwarf trees. When we have a place of our own, I'm going to be planting Blushing Golden Apples. Anyway, D asked if I had been to the Children's Museum. (We have, twice now with the family.) They have a membership that allows guests to come along, and, she said she would call me the next time they went, to see if we would like to go. Thank you D! It was nice of her to offer. Little J likes her kids, and I think I like her. So, we'll see. Maybe this mummy will make friends at the playgroup...

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Knit all night

What could be better? I haven't had the chance to knit with other people for awhile, so I'm planning on attending an all night knit in at my local LYS . It should be great. I really don't want to take Little J (he loves the store, so much he wants ALL the yarn out of the bins so he can hug it) so I'll have to leave after he falls asleep, and get back after he wakes up. So, me going is also dependent on if I can talk hubby(Big J) into being responsible for the little one. (And if Big J is going to be here...) Please God, pretty please...

Sock Update

I knit thru the president's state of the union speech. I can't believe I did that. How much of a knitting geek am I?

It was the straight part of the sock foot, so the knitting didn't take all of my attention. I did pay enough attention to the speech to know that I don't think President Bush's ideas for insurance reform will be very effective. His tax deductions will only benefit those who make enough money to be taxed, and who earn enough to be able to buy their own insurance. It won't do jack for the people who really need help with medical costs, people whose income is below poverty level. They don't make enough per year to have taxes as large as the deductions. I should know, I had an income at that level for my college years.

I could also make comments about the President's fuel remarks. What's up with reducing dependency on fuel, and on the other hand, doubling the national reserve? Or, what was with introducing people at the end? It sounded like "Look at these cool people! It's all due to me America has such great people!"

I'm being cynical. I admit it. I've always said that I'm a conservative for all the wrong reasons. Because logic dictates that for the desired goals, the conservative side has the most likelihood of succeeding. (I know you could argue differently, but that's what I think.) Tonight, the president irritated the heck out of me, because he was being so d****d illogical. O'course, politicians and commentary in general have been irritating me lately. They all sound even more cynical that I do. "The world's going to hell, but there's nothing we can do about it." Pbthththt!

Back to the socks. I turned the heel last night on the sock. I love this pattern, it's a basic toe down sock, that let's me do some color work and pattern variations if I want to. Even turning the heel is fairly easy to do. On this pair, I have stripes in the middle of the foot, that increases in width, until at the toes it's the opposite color of the top of the sock. My sister asked for toe socks. These aren't. I didn't feel up to the challenge of measuring each toe and calculating how many stitches I needed...what can I say, it was a brain-being-stupid night. However, I am making them like the Japanese socks. Habotai? no, no, It's "tabi". I think that's it. So, the big toe is seperate from the rest of the foot. Sister thinks they look cool so far, and that's what counts.

Go Knit In Your Hat

Go Knit In Your Hat

Well, I have found another blog on knitting to look at. Mainly, because the latest post was about Koigu Yarn, which my LYS just got a new yarn shipment in. Kewl!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Rogue Resolution

I hereby resolve to never ever make New Year's Resolutions again! that is, after I finish my resolution to finish the current WIPs...

Well, we got back from our Christmas trip to Thailand, and I made a new resolution. Post on this darned blog more often! If I can do anything, I can type. Maybe some days I can't talk, and some days I certainly can't think, but typing is more a motor I have no excuses. Except for the little boy.

Here's pictures of the little j himself. In the one where you can't see his face, I'm hanging onto his overall straps so he won't fall in the goldfish pond. This was at a zoo in Ubonratchathani, the Tiger Zoo. Besides all the tigers (over 40!) there were huge goldfish (koi?) in a cement pond. Little J was fascinated, not just by the fish, but by the water coming out of a pipe. Me, I felt like an exhibit. All the local people visiting the zoo with their kids were staring at us. Nothing like being a pale skinned tourist in an Asian country!

It was an interesting zoo. I don't know much about it, as all the signs were in Thai. One things for sure, it wouldn't be approved by the AZA. The animals were all in small cages, with not nearly enough room.

Here's another picture of Little J. This one, he's sitting on a small statue of a zebra.
(I've got to put in a comment about my dress here. I went shopping the clearance racks at an expensive department store right before we left, and found it for 20% of the original price! El Cheapo! I love it! Even though it's got a tendency to show more cleavage then I want, it was cool and comfortable in Thailand's 80 degree weather)

Knitting Updates:

2006 was a good year for my knitting, but I had one last-minute Christmas project that I was working on while we were in Thailand. It was a pair of fingerless FairIsle gloves for my Grandma. I had sent one of the pair along to her(the finished one) and I kept the second one to work on. When we got back to the States, unfortunately, she told me that it didn't fit. Odd, it fit my hands :)

So, I sent the pair of fingerless gloves made out of my favorite alpaca/wool yarn that I had already made. They were much more stretchy than the FairIsle gloves, so I think they'll fit. I don't have a picture of that one, but here's a picture of the wrist warmers I made with that yarn. I had made two pairs of these as gifts last year.
The yarn is soft and warm, in a blue/purple/almost black hand dyed color scheme, and all I have left of it is a little tiny ball. I could cry. Seriously, I have to check on Ebay who I bought that stuff from. So I can get more!
So, I have the FairIsle fingerless gloves to finish, there's a pair of socks for my sister to finish (I hope the fit. She's grown another shoe size since I've started those socks. (How alliterative!)), a cardigan that's never going to fit me, and an afghan to crochet...and I have plans!

I am going to knit Rogue. TaDa!

And I already have yarn to do it with. Umm, there is a story behind it (well of course there is. Otherwise, why would I have mentioned it?). Y'see, about 3 weeks ago, I noticed a bag of clothes in front of our house, in the middle of the street. I left it a day, in case anyone would come to fetch them, but when they were still there...I brought them up onto our porch. It was three pairs of pants, a little worn but pretty nice, and a sweater. I thought, if one of our neighbors had accidentally left their clothes in the middle of the street (okay, it sounds improbably, but, I've left things on the top of my car and driven off before. It could happen!) they would be able to see the clothes and retrieve them. Nothing happened for about a week, except for the clothes getting rained on. (The rain would be due to my procrastination. Not the rain itself, but the getting rained on part.) Finally, after stepping around the clothes many many times, I brought them inside and washed them.

This was before I found the tag on the sweater that said "100% wool, Dry Clean only".

Okaaay....but it was okay. Mostly because I had washed them on the delicate cold cycle because it felt like wool. There may be slight felting, but not enough to worry about.

I had intended to donate these to the Goodwill store, but now, I had a flash of inspiration.

It's wool! It's a color I like! Let's take it apart!
A Recycled Rogue! What a concept!

I thought to take a picture of the sweater when I only had one section still unripped. Oops. Well, here's the front of the sweater. It was an man's XL turtleneck, with rolled hem and cuffs, in a dark orange. The color is darker than it show in the photos.

And here are the balls of yarn, the
sweater is almost completely undone. This color is much more accurate. When I weighed them, I've got 1.8 lbs of yarn. It's a worsted weight, and runs 10 WPI (wraps per inch). The wool I found online that was about the same size, was 109 yds per 1.75 oz, so, I think I have more than the 1500 the size L Rogue needs. (Please, someone check my math!) I'm not sure what size I'm making; I need to find my tape measure and wrap it around myself.

Now that the yarn is all wound up, it's time to put it away. I promised little sister that I would finish her socks, and I'm determined to wear those FairIsle gloves this winter. But, I'll start on Rogue right after that!

Although, I'm not even going to start on how difficult it will be to print off the Rogue pattern, since it's on my old computer, that's currently in a closet, buried under boxes and boxes...