Sunday, February 24, 2008

Concert Day & the Snots

This afternoon Zephyrus has a concert at St, Paul's Memorial in C'ville - more or less across from the Rotunda. It's a concert of early French & English sacred music...very beautiful, but much more intense than our Christmas concert. My sinuses have chosen this particular time to go into spasm....I have a chronic case of the snots - YUCK. I can sing sometimes, but not all the time. My voice will stop in mid phrase & I have no control over it. Dress rehearsal on Friday was a DISASTER for me...I was so upset that I was contemplating not singing anymore with the group - HOWEVER - I do love the music & the challenge, so I really don't want to happen!
Here's what I've been doing for the past 24 hours -

*Holding my head over a pot of steaming water -
*Squirting this nasty stuff up my nose to
dry up my sinuses
without drying out
my vocal chords...and drinking losts of water, as usual.

I think a visit to the doctor is in my future - this is happening more & more - and singing is too important to me to be this frustrated most of the time.

Here's what I'm wearing to the concert -I'll dazzle the audience, so they won't really care what I sound like...ha.

I'm also wearing my sparkly blue earrings and
the gorgeous bracelet hubby gave
me for Christmas.

I'll take hubby's socks with me to knit during intermission, while I'm sipping my steaming hot throat coat tea, of course! Break a leg!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Knitting & Coffee

This afternoon, the Central Virginia Girls, a group of knitters who met on Ravelry, met in Lovingston at Rapunzel's Coffee & Books to sip & knit. There were six of us from around the Nelson-Albemarle area. We did a lot of knitting & sipping & chatting. Here's a photo of five of us at the very end:

It was fun to sit & knit for awhile!

Sliding toward home

NO........I am NOT talking about baseball. I like the sport well enough, but for the past ten years or so, it has pretty much dominated our lives February until October. Either the three boys were playing, or John was playing, or they were watching a game - or two - three! - on TV. So, you can TAKE me out to a ballgame....I like going to a ballpark...good hot dogs & beer - but please, do not ask me to watch a succession of games on TV. One Nationals game - fine - but no more than on per day....please!
So - I'm slowly sliding toward the grad school finish line. I am taking four courses right now, so I'm a little loopy as all my project begin to come due. Here's what I'm working on:
*- A final project that could be used as staff development - topic is teacher motivation, so my partner, Debbie R, & I have to be very careful....We teachers are touchy when it comes to talk about motivation.
*- A brain research project - although this is not a biggie. I have to used one of the methods or activities discussed in our class with my classes at school & then give a report about it.
*- My ADMIN class - this is kind of big.....I have to develop a presentation about our school system & then choose three areas that need to be improved and make a plan to improve them...yikes.
*-Writing my study.....Debbie R & I are partners here, too....we spent our non-snow event day yesterday trading files & reading & editing each others' studies.
Here's what all my research looks like:

I only have thirteen pages so far & have just begun writing about the literature. I have not even begun writing up the findings of my study yet either. It's a monumental task. To make matters worse - everything must be VERY methodical and particular in the referencing.

I have to put it all in APA format. It's no big deal, really...I just have to get use to where the periods are placed, etc.....slow at first, but the process speeds up with use - like knitting - kind of...

Debbie R & I worked on our two projects all yesterday morning - we were off for non-snow....I had Zephyrus rehearsal last night - in preparation for our concert on Sunday. So, for fun this morning I browsed the new Coldwater Creek catalog & chose three outfits that I'd like to order.

I always do that....go through the catalog & pick out lots of new stuff, but I rarely order them. This time I was looking for more professional looking clothes - not teacher-semi-casual-can-get-on-the-floor clothes. These are stand-up-in-front-of-people-and-sound-intelligent clothes. Here's what I chose:

Of course, they're all pants & probably would not even fit over my big bottom....well, it's not as big as it use to be, but I still have a terrible time finding pants to fit.

Then, of course, there would be shoes involved....see how it all adds up to lots of $$$?

...and lastly - knitting. Last night at Zephyrus rehearsal, I knitted on John's socks while my section had some time off - Some time last week, I worked a lot on Lori's shawl....can't remember the occasion...oh yeah - it was the PTA meeting. So, I am knitting - just not enough to finish anything. I see that the Mystery Shawl group just posted the second clue - so I'll go get it & save it until I have a life again...or until my yarn comes in from Sarahsyarns. TTFN

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Chart my courses, please!

I joined the GoddessKnits Mystery Shawl Knit-Along group on Yahoo & Raverly. I paid $5.00 to join the group & get the pattern/charts. It's a series of 5 clues released on 5 consecutive Saturdays. Ha - what was I thinking?
  1. First of all, I can't even decide what color of yarn to use.....Knitpicks Alpaca Cloud heathery purple or heathery turquoise..?
  2. Secondly - the yarn is itty-bitty. I have not touched skinny yarn in a long time. The swatch pattern & first part of the shawl pattern went up on the web today. I've tried knitting the swatch four times and can't get the feel of the skinny stuff & needles.

Everything feels very loosy-goose - not to mention that I have to pay attention to the chart. It's very different from what I've been used to - I think I'll have to just collect the clues & watch the other members post thier photos of completed shawls. sigh. Maybe once I finish writing all my stuff for my classes I'll be able to sit down & knit something beautiful. sigh again.

Today John went to C'ville to hear Alex play in our high school's jazz band festival. I stayed home & worked on my homework. Tonight we're going to a play at the Hamner Theater. They boys are working the light & sound boards.

Time to run & get the carry out for dinner....carry it out & right IN to my kitchen. TTFN.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Wacky-busy weekend!

Well...this past weekend FLEW by! I had class on Friday night & on Saturday, but had to go with six of my chorus students to our District's elementary chorus performance instead of class. It was a long day of waiting around and herding them from one room to another. Fortunately, it was not wasted time, as I had my husbands' Koigu socks with me. I actually stood around and knitted a lot of the time. It made me wish I had one of those little knitting hooks, then I could have walked around & knitted. I've seen one advertised on Ravelry - maybe there's one in my future. Anyway, I've knitted my way through three complete patterns on both socks - four more to go & I can do my heel flaps.

JK & I had a WONDERFUL dinner at J & K's on Saturday night - delicious chicken seasoned with cumin, coriander, & pepper; rice & a yummy sour cream & roasted pepper sauce; and roasted carrots & parsnips. I bought dessert at Hotcakes in C'ville: rasberry bars, carrot cupcakes, & pear tartlets. MMMMMM.....good!

Sunday afternoon, I played at Holy Cross for Bishop Lee's visit - spent some time knitting Lori's shawl while sitting on the organ bench during the sermon - then I braved the ferocious winds to drive to C'ville (again) for Zephyrus rehearsal.

I've joined a Mystery Shawl KAL on Yahoo - there's also the same group in Ravelry. I ordered three skeins of Shimmer AND three skeins of Alpaca Cloud from Knitpicks. I don't know which one I'll use for the project. I might have been a little too ambitious in joining this group. The pattern uses charts - I don't read charts...and my history with lace knitting is not good. The project might have to wait until this summer when I have more time. Here's another sigh...

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Home again - home again

Back from Augusta County meeting - I stopped at Lowe's beforehand & got a new light by Good Earth Lighting. Very stylish & bright - I can see WHERE MY STITCHES AT!

Double duty knitting

I'm learning to read my graduate school articles and knit at the same time. Here's what I do: for my first read through, I do not knit. I make notes in the margin & concentrate. However, for my second read through, a couple of days later, I'm learning to knit while I read. This works out OK as long as neither the article nor the pattern has too much detail. sigh...

I finished the two essays I had to write. Now I have a reflection due from class on Tuesday night AND tonight I have to go to a school board meeting over in Augusta County, then write up reflections about it. My Nelson Cohort had good news today from one of our professors. We found out that we do not have to read each others' literature reviews! ALLEUIA! I'm going to be busy enough writing up my study & staying on top on 3 other classes - wasn't quite sure how I was going to write reviews for the 10 other people in our group!

Last night after workout, I met Ken & Janice & Larry & Jeniffer at Blue Mountain Brewery. I had some delicious homemade hummus & pita & a Nelson County beer. Then I went over to K & J's for dessert - coffe/chocolate ice's a good thing I went to workout~

Here's how much I've knitted in the past 24 hours:

- Rows 2-8 of ribbing on both of hubby's socks

- 10 rows on Lori's shawl

- about 4 inches on the "so-called" scarf

It's hard to knit in our living room because the lights are too dim. I need a new light. I'd like one of these: OTT-Light from Amazon. I think I could find something similiar at Lowe's for less money. Maybe I'll use the rest of my Christmas money for that!

Time to go & knit a few rows. Tonight at the school board meeting, I'll work on the scarf. The shawl is getting to bulky to carry around.

Here are White Socks & Halloween enjoying the warm February sunshine.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

An Example of All the Rest

FYI - this weekend's posts are an example of how "all the rest" in my life can get in the way of knitting. All of the weekend's activities have beem important, necessary, and fun - but not a lot of knitting has happened around here.

Here where I managed to grab a few rows:

  • Finished sock cuffs while waiting for hubby to get ready for the Evelyn Glennie concert

  • then this morning I started the cabled pattern on one sock leg

  • also this morning, I gave myself time to knit six row on Lori's shawl.

So, just a little knitting has taken place in the past two days.


I really have to finish writing two essays - but this is so much more fun. I also have to practice a little before Zephyrus rehearsal tonight. I think I'll make a deal with myself - no more blogging OR Ravelry until I finish the essays. Poop - and all it's synonyms. Here I go....................

Give the Super Bowl Hoopla a Rest

It's here's again - another Super Bowl Sunday and once again, I will watch as little as possible. It's not that I don't like football or sports in general - I do. I just can't stand all the hype and advertising surrounding the SuperBowl. I can't stand the fact that corporations spend millions of dollars for 15 & 30 second ads, the cost of which is passed on to us as consumers & we think this is OK. I can't stand the fact that hundreds of thousands of dollars are paid for halftime entertainment that no one really cares about. Hey - here's a thought: Why don't the athletes and entertainers involved in today's activities do it for free? That's right - FREE! Maybe if the athletes and entertainers decided to donate their day's pay to help feed the hungry in our nation or build houses for those in need or donate to help pay medical expenses of those without adequate health coverage, maybe then the whole overblown Super Bowl event wouldn't seem so over-the-top. Maybe the television network could suck up the cost of one 15 second ad and run PSA's, encouraging Americans to donate to charities or get out of their houses & volunteer for some good causes. Maybe the network could create of little pregame charity contest leading up to the Bowl - seeing which teams' fans could donate the most $$$ to established chairty funds. Maybe all of those folks could lead the way to put a little more humanism in the day & a little less shallow consumerism. Now that's the kind of hoopla that I could really get into!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Feeding All the Rest

Not only was today Groundhog's Day (he saw his shadow-hooray) it was also food distribution day, better known as Bread Fund at our church. Those of us who work regularly at the Bread Fund have been in a little snit the past several months b/c there has not been very much government food available from the food bank over in Verona. The surplus food is either going elsewhere or being consumed by actual consumers in the marketplace. This means that our church has to buy food to distribute - which is OK, but now we have to come up with a budget & ask for money - something we have not had to do with any regularity in the past. With everyone talking about a possible recession, I think there will be more & more people in need of help each month. I hope the good people at our church will recognize this and kick in the extra money needed to keep feeding all the people who come to us in need each month...not only feeding ourselves, but feeding all the rest.


Friday, February 1, 2008

Have an Ice Day

No school for us today - we had an ICE DAY...not to be confused with a NICE DAY - ICE days are much colder than nice days...but depsite the cold freezing rain, it turned out to be a nice ice day. Here's why: I got to stay in my jammies & knit & help consume two pots of coffee ( I had little small cups & didn't drink all of it) I frogged the Zitron Trekking socks I was making for the hubby - they were too scratchy with all that bamboo. I casted on another pair of supersoft Koigu handpaint merinos dyed various shades of brown. They are really yummy - both cuffs are done. I used some great little Chinese bamboo dpn with sharp little points - then I knitted many rows on Taylor's "So called scarf". Kim called - we chatted - & realized it was time to go to lunch. We went up to Basic Necessities. Here's what we had: pasta & fagioli soup, salad, bread & olive oil, chocolate torte, & coffee. There's nothing like a lot of knitting & then lunch with a great friend to turn an ice day into a nice day- I hope we can do it again soon


Greetings earthlings. I created this blog just so I could learn how it's done. I really have no interest whatsoever in blogging on a regular basis, but who knows......I might really like it. So, here I go - giving it a try.

Knitting and all the Rest is a reflection of what my life is like right now. There's knitting...and then there's all the rest that gets in the way of knitting. First of all, let me say that I am a wife & a mom of three boys. My family DOES NOT get in the way of my knitting....they actually come before my knitting - and this is as it should be. Then there's my job as a teacher at an elementary school. That really doesn't get in the way of my knitting either, as I can take my knitting with me and can be seen knitting during hall duty or at lunch. The whole reality of the job thing is that a job is necessary to support my yarn purchases. I have accepted the necessity of employment. Then there's the church part of my life. This does not get in the way of my knitting either because once again, I take my knitting with me & get a fair amount done while sitting up in the choir loft, listening to the sermon, & waiting to sing the day's anthem. There are actually several other knitters up there with me. We're hidden & use quiet needles & no one ever knows unless one of us drops a needle......oops....then everyone knows what we're doing. Then there's graduate school. While I am getting SO much smarter with each & every passing class, graduate school DOES get in the way of my knitting. Being a 48 year old grad student requires that I work all day at my school & then come home to cart around & feed my hungry boys, THEN read & work on my grad school projects. All of this time spent in higher academia can really cut into my knitting time. BUT, the good thing is that I'm almost finished. My current projects listed in Ravelry might take a while to finish because I'm working very hard on writing up the findings of my Action Research project - all the while taking 4 other classes. I admit that right now I use knitting as a procrastination tool. Hey! Blogging can become a procrastination tool also - BRILLIANT! Another place I can not knit is when I'm in choir rehearsal....I don't think my director would understand my desire to knit a round or two on my socks while he's working with the basses or tenors. Oh well, singing is good for the soul, too!

Thus ends my first blog post. In future posts, I'll reflect more on the rest of happenings in my little part of the world. It's a busy little world that's filled with a little knitting.....and a lot of all the rest.