mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Winter Is Coming)
I'm sorry, you say I got that wrong? That it's Valentine's Day? *peers out the window* Snow Day seems like a perfectly apt name for it. :P

Happy Valentine's Day for those who celebrate it, whether you're single, dating, married, shacked up, in a polyamorous relationship, whatever permutation of humanity floats your boat. Love is for everyone, and doesn't come purely in the form of romantic love, no matter what the greeting cards would like to have you believe.

The proof is in the pudding, after all. Lots of friends get together on Valentine's Day to do something special. My father always made sure that both my mother and I got a symbolic present on the day, too. It wasn't about being a couple, it was about love, and he loves both of us.

It'll be the same tonight. If I can get through all this snow, I need to run some errands in order to make tonight special. I haven't figured out what I want to make for dinner. It has to be something Bean will eat (hah), but I'd also like it to be a little fancier than our usual fare. I also need to wrap the tiny presents I got. I was going to knit little Valentine's hearts for the two of them, but I think I won't have time. Maybe next time. :)

I keep meaning to get back into knitting, but I haven't yet found a pattern that I like and that will use only the yarn I have in my stash. [livejournal.com profile] pdaughter seems to really like her Doctor Who scarf, so at least there's that. I should check my stash again, and see what I might be able to get away with.

Also, in my copious amount of spare time, I'm thinking of trying to learn to draw better than I do now. That's not hard, as I can't even manage basic drawing right now. If I ever manage to get myself out of the house today, I'm planning on a trip to Michael's for stitch holders and for a small drawing pad and pencils. I may borrow [livejournal.com profile] pdaughter's copy of Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain and do some of those exercises (I had my own copy, but a long time ago my cats peed all over it and ruined it. My cats are one of the numerous reasons I can't have nice things.). I wonder if [livejournal.com profile] april_drawing is still taking place? I've been out of the loop.

I miss a lot of the things I used to do before work ate my life. I miss dancing and learning languages. Dancing isn't feasible these days, schedule-wise, but I may look for some language books and see if I can't immerse myself back in German or Italian, or maybe start a new language. Spanish seems a pretty likely candidate. The last time I tried Mandarin was an unmitigated disaster, so I think holding off on that is a better plan.
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Tut-Kat-Amen)
I have missed knitting, and it seems to be one of the things I can do during my night shifts that won't be too intrusive when it comes to actual work. Mostly my night shifts are tranquil things, but when they get busy they get extremely busy, so it has to be something I can put down quickly and not worry about getting interrupted.

I'm thinking of doing a project for myself, which is a rare thing. Usually I knit for other people. But I've been looking all over for some suitable sweater vests for work, and I'm coming up blank. They are few and far-between in my size, it seems. Apparently if you're a plus size, you don't get to wear sweater vests. They are only for thin people. :P

I've found a pattern I like on Ravelry, though I shall have to buy it for $2.00 or so off Knitpicks. I'm not complaining, though. It looks beautiful, and that's less than I've paid for some iPhone apps. I may also get the yarn off Knitpicks as well, since it's pretty specific, but after that, if I want to make more, I'll hunt around for less expensive yarn. Overall, it's an expensive project, even if I can get it with free shipping. The sizing on this pattern does seem to include my size, from what I can see, so that's good.

Other things that I can do on night shifts, when my concentration (and work itself!) allows for it, is to read. I haven't had the time, the energy, and most importantly the focus to truly read of late. I think I read a handful of books last year, and the years before that. Partially the internet served as a distraction, partially for a while I was writing every spare moment I got, which meant no reading, but in the last year it's been more of a no time/no focus problem rather than anything else.

So I've set myself a lowball goal of reading 25 books this year, and set it up on Goodreads. (My username there is ratherastory, if anyone is interested) I like the site, and I've found some interesting recommendations there as I've started using it more. I'm keeping track of my reading as best I can, and with any luck that, too, will improve this year.

And no, don't worry, I'm not going to read when I should be doing family stuff or running errands. I'm not going to use it to procrastinate. The reading will be scheduled into the "me" time of the unschedule, and/or squeezed in during my down time at work and on lunch breaks. I can also read when I'm waiting in line for things, or in waiting rooms before appointments. Same goes for knitting.

Speaking of time and saving time, I've been trying to perfect the art of the Navy shower. I've managed to get myself down to 4 minutes and 15 seconds, but my goal is to get it under 3 minutes. When that's done, I need to work out how to whittle my shower/dressed/made up routine to under 20 minutes. Right now I'm managing a little over 30, which is okay but not great, and doesn't include the times when I have to blow-dry my hair. My hair is very thick and takes forever to dry, even with a blow-dryer. So I've mostly been letting it air dry, but that's a bit of a problem on very cold days like the ones we've had.

I'm trying to motivate myself with the notion that, if I'm not by myself, or if it's right before I start my workday, then that time isn't mine. So in order not to waste other people's time, I need to be more efficient. The longer I spend in the bathroom/shower/whatever, the more of other people's time I'm wasting, which is a big no-no. The way I see it, my brain doesn't really care about me, but it does care about not letting others down. So if I frame it as being about other people instead of being about me, then my brain kicks into gear and makes me get down to business. It's the same for getting up on time, either when my alarm goes off (on workdays) or when the rest of the household gets up (on my days off). Sleeping in means I'm taking up time that doesn't belong to me. The time that is mine is already set in the "unschedule," so all other time that's not scheduled sleeping time doesn't count as mine.

IDK, this makes a lot more sense in my head.
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Domestic Goddess)
[livejournal.com profile] pdaughter spent most of the day in the basement renovating the giant Barbie house she has as a surprise Christmas present for Bean. It looks glorious, but she had to twist herself into pretzels for a lot of it, and I think she's paying for it now. When it's all done there will likely be pictures. Stay tuned!

I have been working away on the Soopar Seekrit Prodgikt. [livejournal.com profile] pdaughter is being a fantastically understanding girlfriend and is making a point of not looking whenever I sneak off to work on it for a while.

I spent most of today with Bean. We wrapped presents. Mostly it involved him putting scotch tape on everything except the presents (himself, the floor, the sofa, the dog on one notable occasion), wandering off between every piece of tape we applied, unravelling three entire spools of ribbon, opening the fridge and pulling out a bunch of stuff before I could get there to stop him, crawling under the dining room table, and generally being very distracted/not focussed on the task at hand. Apparently he was much better when he and his mother wrapped presents together last week.

I did manage to get some knitting done. It went a lot like this: knit 1 row, chase after Bean; knit 1 row, put on a DVD for Bean; knit 1 row, chase after Bean; knit 1 row, put on a different DVD for Bean; knit 1 row, chase after Bean; knit 1 row, get Bean a snack; knit 1 row, rescue Bean's snack from the dog; etc. I'm kind of impressed at the progress I made in light of that. ;)

I didn't get any of the chores done today that I wanted, except for the dishes. I never got around to getting outside to shovel, so that will have to be done first thing tomorrow. I'm heading to Ottawa for two days, then driving back just so I can be here Christmas morning before returning to my job in the afternoon. It's going to be a long, tiring week.

At least I got a fair bit done while I was home. Not as much as I would have liked, but the bathroom and kitchen both got deep-cleaned (including behind the stove), all the presents are wrapped, and things are generally in order. Next week, when I'm back from work, I'm going to turn my attention to the bedroom and putting all my books in order. After that, in the New Year, I will make a point of organising all the disorganised crap I have in the basement.

Okay. Back to my knitting. Wish me luck!
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Overtime Fairy)
I spent Valentine's Day at work. The Overtime Fairy is a bit of a misnomer, but I miss using that icon. I got my shifts messed with considerably because of the Olympics, so my weekends are basically toast until April, which makes me very, very sad. I have exactly two weekends off until then. Woe!

Ironically, I haven't been watching the Olympics. I think I might still be a bit bitter that they took away my post in Vancouver for the event.

Otherwise, though, life proceeds apace. I'm still puttering along, doing my thing, cuddling the cats, going to work and back, still chronically single, nothing to report, really.

The past couple of new episodes of Supernatural broke me. In a happy squeeing fangirl kind of way. SO freaking painful, but just gorgeous anyway. As a result, I have been humming "Hey Jude" for the past ten days.

I've managed to get some knitting done recently, too. I'm behind on all my baby stuff, but whatever. I figure if I'm at a stage when just the thought of picking up knitting needles fills me with loathing, then I'm doing it for all the wrong reasons. I think that after the next (and last!) baby blanket, I will turn to the knitting of socks, and see if I can get excited about that.

I've been listening to The Doors when I bother to have music on at all. It's been that sort of month.
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (News Flash!)
Been off the radar for a little while. Work, prepping for Capricornucopia, keeping my head above water.

I am SO far behind on my flist that I will never catch up. Has something momentous happened that I ought to know about? If so, let me know. :)

(Yes, I know about Haiti. I work for the RCMP, remember? We're in the thick of it. No, I can't really talk about what we're doing, other than what's already out there in official statements.)

Capricornucopia rocked. It was choose-your-own adventure this year, which got off to a rocky start, and then once we got ourselves sorted out it was smooth sailing. Then the audience revolted and shoved the organizers onto the stage, and we all pretty much killed ourselves laughing by the end.

We also SUCK, because people go accidentally left off the email invite list. This has never happened before, and I am willing to shoulder a hefty portion of the blame on this, because I didn't get my shit together this year until really late.

WE ARE REALLY SORRY!

*hangs head in shame*

Otherwise, life is quiet on my end. There has been a little bit of knitting, a fair amount of work, and a whole lot of fanfic writing. Yes, I have joined the Dark Side™. Uh, well... I was already there, but I guess I've been tapping into it more than before. :P
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Blustery)
Spent the morning with [livejournal.com profile] karine, [livejournal.com profile] owldaughter, [livejournal.com profile] ai731 and [livejournal.com profile] toughlovemuse doing the knitting thing, had a delicious lunch of soup, freshly-baked rolls, and schadenfreude pie.

Have been vegging at home, watching the new season of Heroes, getting some writing done, having quality time with the cats. Good times, overall.

The weather is kind of grey, which I suppose is normal for November. Sleeping cats, however, totally makes up for that.
mousme: The nib of a fountain pen resting on a paper with a dotted line, captioned Write (Write)
Night shift is performing its usual magic. This week I have done very little other than work and sleep.

I did post new installments up at Midnight Crossroads, and God help me, I actually wrote some fanfiction for the first time ever, because I was bored and my brain refused to produce anything else. Not that I think fanfiction isn't a valid form of expression, let me hasten to add. It's that my version of fanfiction is... unpublishable. It's not quite Mary-Sue levels of awful, but I suspect it's close. ¬_¬ Oh well. At least I'm writing, right?

I am watching the first X-Files movie. I seem to remember it being better than this.

In more random news, I have pulled something in my neck, which is making existence a wee bit more difficult than usual.

I'm going to order some needles from Knit Picks. With any luck, they'll be here by next week, so that I can get started on my Christmas shawl next weekend.

So, yeah. That's what I've been up to lately. As you can see, excitement abounds. :)
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Go Away)
After trying to start not one but two knitting projects on the heels of the last baby blanket, I have messed up both attempts because I can't read the patterns properly. It doesn't help that I'm not feeling one hundred percent, and apparently having blocked sinuses does nothing to help with concentration.

So I am declaring a one-week break from knitting. I am going to curl up in bed with a book and a cup of tea until it's time to go see my parents, and I am going to ignore my knitting until next Saturday. That's when I'll be going to Ottawa for training, and so I figure I can start up again then.

Bah.
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Talk to Myself)
I have *two* sets of interchangeable circular needles. Two sets. Neither set has the size of needle I need to knit my Christmas shawl.

COME ON!
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Unbowed)
Okay, my photography skills are crap, and thus the baby blanket looks like the ugliest thing ever since people started dyeing their poodles exotic colours. I promise it looks better than this in real life:

Pictures behind the cut )

Diseased.

Aug. 23rd, 2009 08:37 am
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Dead Baby Possum)
So the ick has turned into a fully-fledged summer cold. Bleargh. On the plus side, I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of colds I've had in the past five years. The last time I had a cold was last October (according to LJ), and it was pretty minor. Overall, this one feels as though it's not going to be too bad either. I'm congested, but the chest thing seems to have improved. The bad part about not having been sick since last year is that I don't have a single decongestant in the house. Bah.

In non-ick-related news, I not altogether surprisingly didn't get everything done yesterday. I did, however, can all my rhubarb, which once it was cooked and organized turned into less rhubarb than I was afraid I had. I have a little over four litres of the stuff, which is all to the good. The canning appears to have gone off without a hitch, with all four jars going "POP!" when they were supposed to, which makes me very happy.

I also finished the god-blessed baby blanket. Looking at it now, I realize that I probably should have put in at least two more repeats, but I was really sick of it (no pun intended) and it looks fine. Pictures will be forthcoming, as I have once more located my camera cable. ;)

So today is a day for more domestic chores, and then in the evening I will be off to visit the Parental Units for dinner. They have been feeling neglected, and rightly so, since I haven't seen them since the end of July, what with work and WorldCon and the like.

Okay. Off to get coffee.
mousme: The face of a green woman forest deity against a black background (Green Woman)
The garden is booming. The tomatoes have made an appearance, and a few of them have ripened without my noticing. I have ninja tomatoes, apparently.

The peppers are sulking, but while they haven't grown, they have produced flowers, so I am cautiously optimistic.

I got one tiny cucumber off one plant, and the other plant has a cucumber on it too. I hope that next year the harvest will be better.

The herbs survived in spite of my not weeding the garden for about a month. The tarragon isn't very happy but it's hanging in there. The mint had a battle to the death with the bindweed, the clover, and the grass, and came out the victor once I cleared out the debris. I'm vaguely frightened. ;)

My garlic disappeared. I think something ate it. There is *one* bulb left.

The basil has gone nuts and is three feet tall. The carrots that [livejournal.com profile] moonandtree planted are doing well, as are the beets.

[livejournal.com profile] moonandtree and I got a lot of weeding done today. I am taking a break right now because I'm hot, tired and thirsty, but depending on how the rest of the day goes I'm going to try to get out there again to spread some cedar mulch where we weeded, to discourage the weeds from coming back too strongly again.

I also harvested the rhubarb, which I think I left a little late. I lost some of the stalks to... well, rot, I'm guessing. Still, I have a TON of rhubarb. I see canning in my immediate future. Gotta pull out my canning recipe for rhubarb and make sure I have enough jars for it.

Today's to-do list includes dishes, laundry, gardening, finishing the baby blanket, and getting in some writing. If I have time I'll be canning the rhubarb. If not, that will happen tomorrow at the latest. Oh, and I have to call my mother before she convinces herself that I've decided never to speak to her again.

In non-domestic news, I appear to have some sort of weird summer cold. I had a horrific sore throat all day on Thursday and it got a bit better yesterday, but today I woke up slightly congested and with the feeling that someone had settled a wildebeest on my chest: not quite an elephant, but big and heavy and inconvenient nonetheless, and the occasional racking coughing fits aren't as fun as you'd think. I'm feeling better now —being outside in the warmth helped— but I can feel whatever it is lingering in the background.
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Tut-Kat-Amen)
In the meantime, I am struggling with this stupid baby blanket. Again. After getting through four repeats with no trouble, this fifth repeat is threatening to claim my sanity. I've had to rip back about six times this week, and I've just found yet another mistake. Gnarr.

*glares at knitting*

I suspect this will be ten times worse when I try to knit that shawl next.
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Fool's Prerogative)
So Den!Mama, who is now a supervisor, has been watching me struggle with the knitting all week, finally broke down on Friday night, the day after she'd seen me frog what had taken the better part of four days of work.

Den!Mama: "I don't understand how you can do that."

Me: *considers a tongue-in-cheek BECAUSE IT RELAXES ME! reply* "What, knitting? Well, I enjoy it, when it's going well."

Den!Mama: "But you just had to start it all over."

Me: "Yes, but I learned from my mistakes, and now it's going much more smoothly, and it looks better."

Den!Mama: "If it were me, I wouldn't bother. The baby would be getting a nice store-bought blanket. You can get really pretty ones that aren't expensive."

Me: "True, but that defeats the purpose of a hand-made gift, for me."

Den!Mama: "Yes, but then you can spend time on things you actually enjoy!"

Me: "..."

I let it drop after that. With reason, she was convinced that I somehow hate knitting (although I promise you I was good and didn't swear or curse or even yell at the knitting even when I frogged it!), or that it was too frustrating a process to be worth it. There wasn't much to say, really.
mousme: A text icon, dark green text on pale green, that reads There is no normal life. There's just life. (No Normal Life)
It is pouring rain out. Good thing I didn't water the garden when I came in, eh?

The Parental Units dropped by yesterday afternoon to help me put up some pictures on the wall. They enjoy being helpful that way, and now I have several frames up where before there were bare walls. Shiny.

I spent a good part of the two and a half hours they were here trying to keep tabs on my mother, who, while my father and I were fussing with frames, decided to re-organize my broom closet. No, I didn't ask her to. So she rummaged, fussed, and got really annoyed with me every time I tried to intervene. She decided she didn't like the way the paint cans were still in the basement (despite the fact that my place isn't finished yet), and schlepped them up the stairs and put them in the back of the closet. I practically had to hold her down so she wouldn't throw away the paint pans, which don't belong to me.

"But you don't have room for all this!"

"Mother, I cannot throw away something that doesn't belong to me."

"Why don't you put them in the shed, then?"

"Because we're going to be using them soon, and I don't want [livejournal.com profile] ashforestwalker to have to go on a treasure hunt for his own stuff."

My mother hasn't glared at me this much in the last year combined. I'm not sure what frustrated her so much about that broom closet, but she re-organized it to within an inch of its life, complete with loud banging and clattering as she dropped/shoved/tipped over various large things. I think I aged a year.

Overall, though, things are progressing. I still have things to hang, including one frame that I want to put over the staircase, except that I don't have a ladder that will reach that high.

I got another repeat done on the baby blanket, which is really starting to take shape now. I think it will be very pretty indeed once it's done. I'm going to take another photo and put it on Ravelry when I'm 50% done. Right now I'm about 30% done, 25% if you don't count the border.

I am a little appalled at how fast this week went by. I am never going to get everything done in time, so I guess it's time to start prioritizing. Oy. I am very excited at the prospect of WorldCon, but I think I may well be a wreck by the time it's over. I haven't had nearly enough sleep this past week, and I don't foresee that changing at all in the next seven to ten days or so. :P

Muaha!

Aug. 1st, 2009 03:40 am
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Always Summer)
I have an entire repeat done, with no mistakes at all! HAH! Take THAT, baby blanket!

Only seven more to go...
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Random Sentences)
I have been in an odd mood for a couple of days, and have been playing Wagner. Really loudly. I haven't had any complaints from the neighbours, yet, but I figure it's only a matter of time. ;)

In other news, the baby blanket is proceeding. I'm still not nearly where I was when I ripped back, but it's going much more smoothly now that I understand what the pattern is supposed to do and how I'm supposed to be knitting it.

It's definitely a Zen excercise: chop wood, knit lace.

I am making breakfast for dinner, since I just awoke not too long ago. Gotta love night shift.
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Bugger)
I have to frog it and start over. Hopefully I can rip back just to my border and not have to start that whole thing again too.

Well, at least this time around I'll know what I'm doing, and so there ought to be less gnashing of teeth, rending of garments, tearing of hair, and general wailing.

ARGH!

*sigh*

Jul. 31st, 2009 12:04 am
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Train Wreck)
I don't know how I managed it, but I knitted half a row backward.

I am NOT enjoying this particular learning curve. Not at all.

:::ETA::

Oh, God. I think I borked it four rows back.

*weeps more*

I'm going to leave it as is, and hope for the best.
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Unexpected Joy)
When the doorbell rang I was expecting my Amazon order. I wasn't disappointed, however, because instead it was my order from Needle Arts Book Shop with the yarn and pattern for the shawl I want to make for my mother for Christmas.

I am going to gush about the customer service now. Not only did I get TWO personal emails from the lady who runs it (thanking me for my order, wishing me a good time knitting the shawl, and also thanking me for my compliments about how pretty the shawl was, and mentioning the quality of the yarn), but the packaging was lovely as well.

To wit:

Images behind the cut! )

Oh, and did I mention the two complimentary packets of no rinse delicate Eucalan Woolwash?

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