Archive for September, 2012

  • Let's Talk About Knitting

    So I caved this weekend. I finally bought Stephen West’s first book, Westknits. I blame the boyfriend, really. It’s his fault! He’s been bugging me for a headband to keep his ears warm while he bikes for a bit. I guess it’s already gotten cold enough that his ears are unhappy by the time  gets to work. And really, he should have known better than to pick out Westward when we trolled around Ravelry together for something.

    So after a couple hours and learning how to Latvian braid real quick, this happened:

    It’s actually already done, but it’s still pretty wet from its bath. Not bad for maybe 4-6 hours worth of idleness, eh?  I managed to finish this just in time for one of the evil cats to eat and destroy one of my Addi Clicks cables (the very same one I was using). They’re lucky there’s three of them and no sure way to tell who the culprit was. Evil kitty stole it out of a project bag, even!

    So now I’m out 50 bucks because you can’t buy needles without buying yarn. It’s a terrible vice, I know, but as I always say: Better yarn than drugs! Also I’ve got some room in my stash boxes since I’ve been knitting out of that, mostly. And I always said that if I could keep it in those five boxes, I’d be good. So I’m good.

  • The Tale of the Nose-Goblin

    Okay, so yesterday I told you all about the things that were different in my life. I kind of neglected one: My job.  Now, I’m still in Special Education, and I’m still a paraprofessional, but this year I’m working in a self-contained classroom for social/emotional issues. Which is, to say the least, very different than what I was doing before.

    It’s with older elementary students, so I’m kind of back in the element I student-taught in. Which is a change. I’m finding my I’m Angry And Yelling At 6th Graders voice again. Hoo boy does that make some of my boys straighten up.  They’re good kids, but man, when they’re off, look out. I’ve managed to remain unscathed so far, but some of my compatriots have been less lucky.

    I like it enough, but holy cow is it stressful. And when I’m stressed out, I break out. Which I’m not particularly fond of, but I’m cool with it. However, today has brought me a whole new animal I’ve never had to deal with before.

    Ladies and gentlemen, I have a pimple inside my nose.

    Yes, inside, and it’s totally weird. Anytime I bump or brush my nose (which I do a lot thanks to HI ALLERGIES!), I get that awesome discomfort of puss-in-the-skin. But it’s in my nose. And I can’t actually see anything.

    But recruiting a flashlight, my boyfriend, and way too much curiosity, we discovered a lovely little zit at the top of my right nostril, just a wee bit inside my nose. Which of course prompted some wicked digging to see if I could make my situation a bit more pleasant. Sadly, all that resulted in was me looking like a dweeby nose-picker.  Oh, and my pimple-inside-the-nose being angry.

    So yeah, if my nose seems a bit extra special, it’s because it’s full of literal teenage angst. And puss. Gross.


  • In Which Life Turns Around

    I keep doing this. I keep vanishing. And for long periods of time, at that, even.  And as always, I’ll promise I’ll never do it again. For real this time.

    In the meantime? My life has changed quite a bit.

    Daniil and I bought a house back in February/March/April. It’s a beautiful 1972 Airhart in Wheaton. I’ve never had a ‘dream home’ built in my head, but when we walked into this place, it pretty much fit the bill. The kitchen and bathrooms are all 70s-tastic, but we have plans. Oh do we have plans.  We have several 80-degree walls, which I really love about this house, but a lot of people are very o_O about them.

    We moved in way back in May and have been cleaning and buying furniture like ridiculous. I’m pretty sure there are some people at Ikea who know us by name. The people who lived here before us threw in a bunch of the furniture they had left here, though, which helped. I’m currently sitting at our inherited desk in our fuchsia office with lime-green curtains (yes, we need to redecorate). We also got a very nice breakfast table in the deal.

    Bonus Russian!

    Oh yes, and our tree. We have a 35-year-old 15+ foot Norfolk Pine in our living room. We’ve named her Eleanore, after Eleanor Roosevelt. Daniil added the e on the end, which I can only assume is The Russian Thing To Do.  And yes, that is a bonus Daniil in that there picture of Madam Elly.

    I’m a little worried about her because she’s turning a little brown in places. We’ve been watering and fertilizing her per the directions of her original owners, but something is off. I may need to change the type of fertilizer were using.

    Or perhaps it’s just the theme of the summer. The house also has a beautiful garden and holy-crap-that’s-a-lot-of-trees trees. Unfortunately, with the drought this summer, half the garden died. We just weren’t willing to put $1000 worth of water in the ground to keep it alive (not that we could have afforded it, anyway).  But now that the drought has broken, the garden is coming back like a champion. I was a bit worried I’d have to replant everything, but most of the major stuff is coming back already. Just need to really go out there and pull out the dead stuff.

    The drought really only broke in the last few weeks, but we had The Storm To End All Storms back in July. 90+ mile-an-hour winds. Over the course of three minutes, our street went from being peaceful to a war zone. Power lines snapped, about a quarter of all the trees in the neighborhood fell down, with maybe 75% of all the trees sustaining some major damage. We almost had a tree come down on our house, but luckily it just took out our fence in the backyard. Being a home-owner can be stressful. And I’m a little bummed our backyard isn’t as shady as it used to be. We had a giant +100-year-old Oak tree split in half and come down. This tree was massive. It’s still massive. But it’s trunk was so big around that it sat on three-separate properties. Now it’s just on our and our next-door neighbors yards. The big that was on our back-stoor neighbors is all gone. Bummer.

    Near the end of July, Daniil and I became parents to three troublesome kittens: Vaska, Ingmar “Inga” Bergman, and Greta Garbo. I love them all to pieces, but honestly? I wouldn’t recommend out numbering yourselves with cats. We’re currently in an The Inmates Are Running The Asylum situation. And the very last table they couldn’t jump onto? That was conquered this morning. I don’t know what we’re going to do with all the stuff we don’t want them getting into anymore.

    When we got our little furballs of joy is right around when I started writing again, too. One of the people who I respect most in this world and who has literally saved my life on more than one occassion told me that he’d never seen someone work so hard to be so miserable before. It was the kick-in-the-pants I needed. I’ve got some outlines and ruminations on some longer works, and have been working on some shorter pieces of fiction and poetry.

    About two weeks ago, maybe a little longer, I started submitting my work to literary magazines and the like. And last night I received my first acceptance in 3+ years. Sure, maybe not the most difficult place to get your work published, but it still counts. And they gave me a dollar. So…score?

    Life is really turning around.