Thursday, March 27, 2008

Bug Hill update

Megan, my coworker who had the baby New Year's day is back at work. The bosses are nice enough to let her bring the baby to work with her. The baby had jaundice that lasted longer than 6 weeks, so they had her move the baby to formula. The idea, apparently, was to see if it was breastmilk jaundice, but they didn't test the bilirubin levels after 48 hours on formula, they just had her pump and dump for 48 hours and then start nursing again. Which seems bizarre.

Happily, Megan did continue to nurse after that 48 hours. I told her I was proud of her, so many women I know would have stopped at the first sign of problems.

Our receptionist, however, is not doing well. I don't remember if I've mentioned her here. She has a failing kidney and needs another kidney transplant. Part of the problem with her kidney is that her periods are lasting 2-3 weeks so she becomes anemic. But she can't get the hysterectomy she needs because she can't pay the co-pay. She looks awful - her skin is much darker and bruised looking. I'm really worried about her. She has a little girl.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Adventures in reclaiming yarn

So, it's spring break which means I don't have to rush home after work to go get the boys from school. I decided to use that "leisure time" to go to a thrift store and look for sweaters to unravel for yarn.

I hit a great deal - 3 sweaters for $1. So I bought 6. I bought another one at the other thrift store for $2.50. Beautiful yarn, not so beautiful sweaters.

I came home and threw them in the washer. Now Mr. Gaia swore to me that there was no hot water hooked to the washer, so maybe I wasn't as careful as I should have been (okay, I wasn't at all). I threw all the sweaters in together along with some kitchen towels. I pushed the button to make it a cold cycle. Then I decided "you know what, these sweaters have been in thrift stores and who knows where else, why don't I use this stain cycle?" and then didn't notice that that changed the temp setting from cold to hot. Sigh. And one sweater was red. Yeah, the white cashmere and cotton sweaters? Are now pink. The kitchen towels? Also pink. No hot water hooked up my ass. Oh well, the kitchen towels actually look better pink (hides the stains) and now I have an excuse to dye the other sweaters and the pink is actually kind of a nice color (if I decide not to dye).

So then I decide to take a sweater apart and frog it. I bought it because it was only 33 cents (I wanted an even 6 to make the math easier and had found 4 I really liked) and it is 70% silk, 14% rayon, 11% alpaca and 5% cashmere. I didn't pay attention to the fact that it was something like 40 stitches to the inch (that may be an exaggeration, but it's tiny). Yeah, I start getting it apart and this isn't even thread weight yarn. And it breaks every few yards. But it is gorgeous. I guess this will be my excuse to learn to ply on a drop spindle.

The good thing I did, though, was I figured out that my barstools make a perfect swift when turned upside down. The legs are straight and I can just spin it around to wrap the yarn. Of course, at the rate I'm going, it will take about 3 weeks just to frog this sweater.

Otherwise, I'm plowing away at studying for my certified arborist exam. I applied for my test date on April 18. The application scared me a little, my experience is so old and they didn't give enough room to list both colleges I attended, so I could only show 2 years of school.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

So here's what's keeping me

I seem to only be able to have so many "obsessions" in my life at a time. Blogging has suffered for this.

Right now I'm:
1) in the middle of my Master Naturalist class. I'm loving it. Most of it is review from college (my forestry degree was exceptionally well rounded) but there's been enough new that it's been very cool and interesting. I've also met some other great people, so it's a nice outlet that way;
2) busily tracking my eating and exercising through I don't like it quite as well as for food tracking, but I definitely prefer their exercise support. I've been concentrating on getting at least 30 minutes of cardio each day, more when I my cable is working properly;
3) studying for my Certified Arborist. My testing date is April 18, so I've got 5 weeks (give or take) to get prepared. Right now, I'm doing a portion of my CD-ROM each night - coincidentally, the time I always used for blogging.

I'm also almost done with knitting a sweater, I combined 2 patterns and did some other modifications so I'm using cheap, cheap yarn. If it works out, I'll use cheap yarn (lion wool) to make it. But I've also found the sweater I want to make with my alpaca, so I'm trying to hurry and finish this sweater so I can start on my alpaca sweater. I've just got the sleeves to go.

I'm going to do my best to carve out blogging time at least once each week. And of course, after April 18, I hope to have more time. I hope I pass and don't have to worry about retaking any "domains".

Of course, there's a chance that we might be moving in June, so if that happens, my posting time will be taken up with packing and cleaning and doing minor repairs to the house to get it ready to sell.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

I'm back

Sorry to be gone so long.

I don't have a good reason - mother-in-law visit, february blues (I really thought moving to the subtropics would fix this issue, but it hasn't) and Mr. Gaia was traveling.

I've just felt overwhelmed. I hope to be back on track by the middle of the week - I'm hoping to be caught up on my sleep, etc by then.

One really cool thing I did, though, was I went to see Obama speak. That man is the most amazing speaker I've ever heard. We had less than 24 hours notice that he was coming (we were hoping and plans were being made, but no one knew for sure he would come or when) and there were thousands of people who turned out. He could win the election. And frankly, I think we could do worse, and have done worse.

The line he said that got the biggest applause? "No matter what happens in the primaries, the name George W. Bush will not be on the ballot"