Monday, January 22, 2007

Monday update

Well, I don't think my class will be very hard. It's interesting, though.

I signed up to be a Stashie on knittinghelp.com - I knit only from my stash so far. I've got plenty of yarn and not so much money, so this is a good thing. Oh, and I finished the Yarn Girl washcloth from Whimsical Knitting! It was fun - and the washcloth is HUGE. I'll take pics later. I'm really sleepy right now. Must drink tea...and eat honey-chip biscuits...mmm...

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Finally, a finished object!!!

I finished Calorimetry from Knitty! It's a quick and easy knit. I adjusted the pattern a bit:
- used Patons SWS in Natural Earth (this colorway is GORGEOUS!)
- cast on 80 stitches instead of 120 (the pattern must have been written for someone with a REALLY large head!)
- repeated the short rows 10 times instead of 14

Oh, and the really big news - I got to see Baby J today! I cannot believe how tiny he is. His mom asked if I wanted to hold him, and I would've loved to hold him, but my dad was waiting for me outside in the slushy ice. I'm looking forward to getting to know the newest addition to our group. May God bless him and keep him safe, happy, and healthy, and may he always know he is loved by his mom and dad and his Creator.

Speaking of our group - oops. We had a fellowship night tonight. I forgot...

I had my first graduate school class on Wednesday! It was...interesting. For one thing, I decided to dress very professionally (and by very professionally, I mean black slacks, blue striped button-down blouse, and black sweater), because there was a big kafuffle a few years ago about professional students not dressing professionally. I was the only student not wearing jeans! Oh well. The students seemed friendly enough, but I felt really out-of-place, since I'm the only grad student there. I think it'll be a good class (despite the rumors of a 200-page syllabus of DOOM...).

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Storm's over...

Now it's time to shovel!

I think we were up to 1165 or so closings on Sunday. The whole city was shut down! Oh, and incidentally, that white stuff you see in the pics below is NOT SNOW. That's ice. Yes, three to four inches of solid-packed, "slicker than snot on a glass doorknob" ice. It's no good for sledding, as DS and DB found out when they rode DB's face down the "hill" behind our house - about a 5 degree angle. All it's good for is messing travel plans up, keeping everything really cold, and keeping people from seeing babies they've been looking forward to...yes, my friend had her baby on January 15th! Baby J and mum and dad are doing very well, praise God! I can't wait to see their new little guy.

I start my first graduate class tomorrow! I can't wait, although I keep having this fear that I'll sleep through my alarm and forget to go. Apparently there's a 200-page syllabus for this class. Yikes. But the book doesn't look too intimidating so far. Yeah, and all that studying I was going to do this weekend? *whistles*

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Update: Ice storm pics






Well, we're up to 804 closings now. In other words, the city is pretty much shut down. It'll be like having four Saturdays in a row, since I didn't go to work Friday and I have Monday off.

These are from the green belt outside my house.

When I was younger, my brother and I found this one particular spot in the green belt that we called "Narnia," because it reminded us of the scene in The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe where Lucy meets Tumnus (excepting the lamp-post, of course!).

Ice Storm 2007 Update

Well, we're up to 630 closings and delays due to the ice storm so far; one of the closings was my church. So it looks like I'll be going to church with Mum and Dad tomorrow, since their church has one combined service tomorrow.

Why do I go to a different church than my parents? It's a little hard to explain. First, let me say that I have the highest regard for my parents' church. Their pastor is a Godly man who teaches straight from the Word every Sunday. The people there are great - what you see with them is what you get. Sure, there are a few issues now and then, but it's nothing major, and love and truth win out in the end.

However, there are only a few people at that church who are my age (and by my age, I mean within 5 years either way) who are serious about their faith. After high school graduation, it seems like everyone bails on their faith. Hopefully the new youth pastor will help change this, but that's the way it has been for the past few years.

I was brought up in a Christian home and was homeschooled or went to Christian schools until I graduated from college. My work environment is the first non-Christian environment I've ever experienced. I had no idea how challenging it would be to live for Christ all by myself - the only other Christians where I work are, shall we say, rather harsh in their dealings with others. I really needed some brothers and sisters in Christ who I could connect with at church. At my parents' church, I didn't have anyone like that.

So I've been going to another church for the past two years. It's a church that was planted by my parents' church, so there's a good deal of "flow" between the two. Since it's near several colleges, there are lots more people my age. I've gotten to be good friends with them, encouraging and being encouraged by them. Christian fellowship really is an experience that is like nothing else on earth. After all, we can't fulfill God's command to bear one another's burdens (Galatians 6:2) unless we share them with others.

Finally, a shout out to a brother in Christ, James Jordan at http://pointsoflight.blogspot.com/ for his comment, the first on my blog! Check out his photography - it's very impressive.

Friday, January 12, 2007

The Ice Storm of 2007, dyeing wool, white sweaters, my boring life, church-hoppers, and Verdun

Ice storm today! I was headed to work, but I got to about 63rd and Portland before I turned around and came back home. We've got about 1/2 inch of sleet on top of the ice. According to Channel 5, it won't get above freezing until next Thursday. Looks like I'll be doing a good bit of knitting and reading this weekend. It'll be nice to have a 4-day weekend. Hopefully, I'll be able to get some studying in for my grad class that starts next week.

I tried dyeing some of the nasty yellow WoolEase Sportweight this afternoon. I used red, green, and blue food dyes. The green and blue looked just alike - a yucky greyish-green. The red turned out possibly okay, though. It's kind of a coral-peach color. I'll have to try it with real dye to tell, but it looked better at first. Stinking acrylic...why do I keep buying this stuff when I have such nice recycled wool in my stash?

I'm still trying to decide what to do with my white wool. Maybe a cardigan would be nice. But it will have to have some cables or something to keep my interest, because I'm not about to knit a square yard of stockinette.

I have such a boring life. I get up, go to work, come home, hang out a bit, knit a bit, then go to bed. My life is almost exactly what it was five years ago. Years ago, I saw myself as the married with 2.6 kids type, but the life I've been given is anything but housewife-y. I don't even know any single guys, let alone have a boyfriend. Oh well. I suppose I should do the best I have with what I've got. But is this the way the rest of my life is going to be?

The other night, our church get-together was a few couples...and me. Now, the couples are great people and great friends, but there's still an awkwardness that is inevitable in certain combinations of people. I've thought about changing churches, but I don't want to. My pastor is an incredible Bible teacher, and I've made some great friends there. Besides, that's not what church is about. I don't want to become another church-skipper looking for my "other half."

My dad's just been reading about World War I. At the Battle of Verdun, over half a million people died. I can't imagine it. And we think 3,000 fatalities in a three-year war is too heavy. Not to minimize the loss of any family who lost a son or daughter - I lost a cousin last March - but we really need to look at this in a historical perspective.

Boy, I'm long-winded tonight...

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Time to wake up, people.

I volunteer at my church's Wednesday night kid's ministry - AWANA. For those who may not know, it's a ministry that emphasizes Bible memory. I work with the kindergarten kids, and we average about 16 kids per night and 4 or so adults, so that's about 4:1 kids:adult. If you've been around masses of 5- and 6-year-olds, you know that's about as much as one person can handle. And when you're listening to kids say verses, it's important to have the room pretty much under control.

But next door, in the first grade room, one adult volunteer got to deal with 11 or so kids - all by herself.

What is the deal?! Our volunteer rate is dropping faster than the temperature will be this weekend. Don't people realize that if we don't have enough volunteers, we can't give the kids the attention they deserve? It's like the parents treat this as a free babysitting service every Wednesday. One week, we had only two adults for 12 or so kids, and there were parents standing in the middle of my classroom talking! Hello! Wake up and smell the Play-Dough! We need your help!

What really breaks my heart is that almost all the volunteers whose own kids aren't directly involved in AWANA are retirees. Where are the young people? I'm one of the only non-parent volunteers. And you know what? Fifteen years from now, when our kids are in AWANA, the retirees won't be there any more. It's time for us, the Gen-X'ers and (whatever comes after Gen-X) to step up to the plate and do something for God. We're coasting behind the people who are doing the hard work, and it's going to be our turn to do the hard work soon. If we don't, no one will.

At our church, when we have baby dedications, the pastor asks the congregation if they pledge to do their best to help raise that child to know and love the Lord. Of course, everyone agrees. But their actions fall far short of their words. No one takes commitment seriously anymore.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Maybe I'm just missing something...

...but it seems to me as though a PR employee should be good for PR. In contrast, consider an individual I met today. Somehow, flashing one's private parts, failing to make eye contact with a client, and fulfilling their requests with as bad of an attitude as possible don't exactly scream good public relations for an academic institution.

But what would I know?

Thursday, January 04, 2007

This is disgraceful...

...it's 8:22 and I can barely keep my eyes open. Need...caffeine...need...more...caffeine. Ever since Christmas break, my internal clock has been set WAY later than it should be, even though I went to bed early last night. Mmm...tea...must now drag my sorry derrière into work.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

1-2-07 Random thoughts

I finally saw Eragon today with my aunt. It was...okay. I thought the book was good, but when one cuts one's fantasy teeth on Tolkien and Lewis, the standard is set rather high. When I was reading Eragon, I could hear the author talking. It's hard to lose yourself in a fantasy world when you feel as though have a narrator standing behind you. I was rereading The Silmarillion last night, and the Ainulindal√ę (Tolkien's mythology of the creation of Middle-Earth) is simply breathtaking. I get goosebumps just thinking about it. (But if you really want the great-grandfathers of all goosebumps, listen to the audio version read by Martin Shaw. Wow.)

I start my first grad school class two weeks from tomorrow! I'm taking Immunology - have the book already and have been studying from it. Rumor has it that people who take time off between finishing undergrad and starting grad school do way better than those who just plow straight through, because the "break-takers" panic and over-study. I have determined that I will do my very best in this class. I don't think it'll be any harder than my undergrad classes with the Professor of Doom, so I'm not terribly worried.

Knitting progress:
Mock cable socks in Plymouth Sockotta: %65 done with sock #1
Pi shawl from Elizabeth Zimmermann's Knitters Almanac: %40 or so (need to swap out the cable on my circs to accommodate the 288 stitches!)
Baby sweater for little one #3 (not mine personally, but third baby I've knit for): I'd rather not think about that, but I'd better, because he's due in less than a month! Perhaps the baby wrap sweater from Mason-Dixon Knitting would be a good baby gift for this one. I've made a five-hour sweater and Anouk from Knitty so far for the little munchkins that seem to be arriving en masse lately.

The ball-winder I got for Christmas has definitely been put to good use! I wound up eight or so sweaters' worth of wool, glorious wool. At my favorite thrift store, I even found a sportweight cashmere sweater to recycle last week! It's a white/lavender plied yarn that is lovely in a ball, but won't look good on me (o! the pitfalls of being a redhead). Maybe the cashmere is a good practice yarn to try KoolAid dyeing! (well, the cashmere, and the mountains of laceweight yellow wool, and the 5 balls of violently yellow sportweight WoolEase that somehow followed me home against my better judgment...does anyone know how well acrylic accepts dye? I'm guessing that it doesn't, much, but I'd like to try anyways.)

Oh, and for all the Harry Potter fans (specifically Remus/Tonks fans): rt_challenge is up again!!!