Rhinebeck Bus Trip 2014

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Ten Things I Did This Weekend

Memorial Day weekend.  It was nice to have a day off of work, and, since I'm now full-time, that day was a paid day off.  Yay!  The weekend felt like it had two Saturdays (which are my favorite day of the week), so that was great.  Here's what I did this past weekend:

1.  Slept in.  Sleeping in, for me, means waking up when I'm ready to wake up.  With no alarm.  I usually wake up around the same time I normally do, but I'm much happier about waking when I don't have an alarm telling me to get up.

2.  Ate.  I ate fairly well this weekend.  I'm vegetarian, so I don't look forward to holiday weekends because of grilled meat.  But, I had good breakfasts, and managed to eat several times each day (time tends to slip away from me and I kind of forget to eat). 

3.  Watermelon and cantaloupe.  Yes, I know these are food.  But because these were the first of the season for us, they are their own category.  I love cantaloupe.  Watermelon, I like if it's ripe and not mushy.  We actually had two watermelons this weekend.  The first one was so good that we finished it the day it was cut.  So we got another one, which was also really good.  The cantaloupe was also excellent.  We're spoiled by living in Lancaster County.  There are so many places around here to get good, perfectly ripe cantaloupe, that I just can't tolerate cantaloupe that's not perfectly ripe.

4.  New canopy.  We have a new canopy that we put up for the first time.  It's a Coleman 10x10 sun shade/canopy thing.  I love it.  My daughter & I spent most of Monday out in the back yard, under the canopy.

5.  Read.  When the weekend started, I was close to the beginning of Beautiful Wreck, by Larissa Brown.  I finished that book this weekend.  It is SO good!  It's about a woman who time travels back a 1,000 years, to a Viking community.  It's really good.  The author describes things in so much detail that you feel like you're there, in that Viking community.  Whenever I would stop reading it, I was a little surprised to find that I was not living among Vikings.

6.  Knit.  I'm knitting the Irene Adler shawl and I have a deadline.  I did a good bit of knitting on that shawl this weekend (although Beautiful Wreck distracted me a lot).  I am loving this shawl!  Every row or two, I have to stop and look at, and marvel at, the pattern.  I love the pattern, love the yarn, love the colors.  Knitting outside was helpful because of the natural light  (43-year old eyes, lace weight yarn, and somewhat dark colors aren't a good combination in indoor lighting).

Here's a picture of part of it (shawls-in-progress really are not easy to photograph).

7.  Movie night.  I had a movie night with my bff.  We used to go out to movies pretty frequently, but he now has a toddler (and we're both pretty broke), so we have movie night at his house.  I bring the popcorn, he supplies the movies.  It's a win-win situation.

8.  Selfie Sunday.  My daughter & I were out in the yard Sunday afternoon/evening (knitting, reading, etc) and we decided to take selfies.  We took 100.  Some were crazy, some were just smiling.  It was fun.  I posted some of them to facebook.

Hmm...I don't think I have a 9 & 10.  It was a very low-key type of weekend (which I love).  I thought it was wonderful - but it's not very exciting to talk about. 

Oh, I do always spend some time remembering our service personnel who lost their lives.  I guess that's my number 9.

What was your weekend like?

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Use Your Words

A while ago, I purchased two hanks of Madeleine Tosh lace yarn.  This yarn is beautiful!  It's soft (merino), the colors are amazing, it's in 950 yard hanks.  I didn't have any real plans for the yarn, except a vague thought that I'd try knitting a lace shawl.  I have knit lace in small bits, but never with lace weight yarn and never in the form of a full-sized shawl.

A week ago, I decided to knit a lace shawl as a gift.  It needs to be finished in five weeks. Plenty of time, right?  So I ordered this pattern (I love it!).  I am in love with quite a few of Kirsten Kapur's patterns.  I did a half-assed swatch, and cast on for the shawl.  I still love this shawl and I love knitting it.  It's a challenge, for sure.  That fine fine (weight) yarn, the lace pattern, all of those stitches.  I feel like a knitting challenge is just what I need right now.  Lately I've been knitting "safe" items like cowls and scarves and things like that.  Things that I really don't have a pattern for.  And they're kind of...boring.

The yarn.  I took this picture indoors, with the flash on my phone, so it's not the best.  This yarn is mainly blue, but also has green, purple and some red in it.

Yes.  I know that lace looks like a blob until it's blocked.  And, again, I have a picture taken indoors.  This shawl & the yarn are much prettier in real life.

What I realized is that I need to have a pattern that's written out.  The Irene Adler pattern comes with written instructions as well as charted instructions.  I love that.  I am symbol-challenged.  I just don't do well with symbols.  I prefer words.  Take elevators.  If the buttons only show symbols for "door open" and "door close", I have no idea which I need to press.  Or the email on my phone.  I can never remember which symbol means to "archive" the email and which means to "file" it.  I understand a trashcan for "delete", but on my phone email, there is no trashcan.  Knitting charts?  I can never remember what the symbols stand for, so I have to look them up on the key.  Every. Time.  That takes me so much longer than if I just have the pattern written out.  I totally understand k2, p2, ssk, yo, psso, etc.

There seem to be different schools of thought on the whole written out vs. chart topic.  What are your thoughts?  Which do you prefer?  Am I the only one who cannot understand/remember symbols?

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Things I'd Like to Know

Today's Ten on Tuesday post is 10 Things You Wish You Knew More About.  Wow.  I love learning, I love knowledge.  And I feel that there are so many things I don't know.  Here are a few:

1.  Addiction.  I work in the addiction field (as an Administrative Assistant) and when I started at the job 7 years ago, I knew next to nothing about addiction.  Yes, I had thoughts about it, but have learned that most of them were not truths and/or were/are stereotypes.  I have learned a lot the past seven years, but feel that there's still so much more to learn.

2.  People.  Psychology.  Sociology.  I love observing people and trying to figure out why they did or didn't do something.  Or, why they think what they think, or say what they say.

3.  Computers.  I really wish I knew coding and the ins and outs of computers.  I think that some parts of my life would be made easier by this knowledge.  Plus, I love the idea of being a computer geek.  The truth is, I don't have a burning desire to actually act on this wish and learn more about computers.

4.  Photography.  I am, at heart, an artist.  When I see beautiful things, I see them as a photograph or a painting.  Colors.  Shapes.  Beauty.  Composition.  They all intrigue me.  I am thrilled to learn that there are now camera lenses for cell phone cameras.  Check out Vicki's post to learn more.

5.  Art.  I grew up in Southern California, in the 80's.  This was a time when art and music were taken out of public schools.  In high school (in PA), I finally had some art classes.  One of my teachers suggested that I go to Art School after high school.  So, I had/have the potential.  I wonder what it might have been if I had been exposed to art at an earlier age - in a formal setting, like a class, not just my Dad telling me arty stuff.

6.  Music.  I LOVE music.  I often think of song lyrics based on a current situation.  I enjoy singing and love to sing in the car while I'm driving (if I'm happy).  If I have a lot of things on my mind and/or am not happy, I don't sing.  But, again with the SoCal public schools in the 80's - no music instruction.  I cannot read music.  This can make it hard in church.  I can usually pick up a tune once I've heard it, but never by reading the music.  With this, too, I wonder what might have been if I had been exposed to musical  instruction at a young age.

7.  Different cultures.  I'm so intrigued by customs and clothing and food of people from around the world.  One of the reasons I love to read is that I can be immersed in different cultures.

8.  Languages.  I wish I knew more than just English and un poco espanol.  I wish I was fluent in multiple languages like Annie Walker from Covert Affairs

9.  The "why" and "how" of everything.  I don't just want to be told to take all of my antibiotic, I want to know why it's important for me to do so (I do know this - this is just an example).  Again, I read a lot, so my head is pretty full of this kind of information.  But there's always room for more.

10.  The history of fiber arts.  I know that there are things written about the history of fiber arts - and I've read some of them.  But I feel like there's so much that just wasn't documented.  I feel that there's information that's missing.

What are some things you'd like to know more about?