Wednesday, January 30, 2008
The spiral pi shawl is growing. I'm almost done the second of 5 balls. But there has been so little knitting. I'm going to do a bit this evening to help me settle. Monday night was bad when I lost track of time and was in the middle of a chapter at 11 pm. I'm usually in bed by 10:30. I need a long, gentle path to sleep including reading a novel. But I'm a good sleeper because of that.
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
His sister made him a delicious chocolate cake with mocha icing. His study partners were very impressed. This is how they celebrated.
It was also the celebration of Robert Burns' birthday. Mr. Boo doesn't pipe anymore, but D. does. He is the MC and I help when the band is tuning. We have a lovely Aberdeen School of Highland Dance in our neighborhood and they came out smiling. D. is right behind the green kilt.
Friday, January 25, 2008
This is the school I'm not attending. It's Kwantlen University College in Surrey. I'm an on-line student, but I was pleasantly surprised to find the campus and find it so inviting. The bookstore was excellent. I found two books I've been looking for for ages, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie and Peter Pan In Scarlet. How many days in spring break.
I don't know why they have this beautiful stage. I can imaging a Midsummer Night's Dream. Perhaps more like the Merry Wives of Winter. Those are my bags. Lots of books. I met my tutor and she's lovely and also a Pediatric nurse in Oncology. I don't know what I'll do when I get my registration back. If it's all going to be a war zone, I might as well go to the O.R.
Li asked for our favourite landscapes on her blog, "Life's a Stitch" (dot typepad dot com). This is our own Mt. Cheam looking eastward. I look toward her everyday. She's not a Caribbean beach with palm trees, but I love how she has her moods and changes her mantle of snow.
I walked the dog, swept the driveway of spruce needles and even had a flute practice in addition to loads of studying. It felt good to have some energy (afternoon coffee). Last night I went to band and found I could still, amazingly, sight read. It was fun.
Oh, and I did knit around on the pi shawl while we watched a bit of the glass teat.
Happy Robert Burns Day. We have the big pipe band party tomorrow night. 450 people for sit down dinner of roast beef and haggis. It feels strange to be a guest. For so many years my husband and I did the organinzing. I even did the Immortal Memory and sang The Star of Robbie Burns. But I stepped back when I stopped teaching drumming. I'm looking forward to our old friends. Slainte!
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Can you see how dark the wool is and how dark the sky is when it's snowing? Even with my Ott light, I was messing up. The new lamp just showed the mistakes better.
This is me in the angst of the saddest day of the year (Monday) and to celebrate, I went to a funeral. Yes. A dear friend who has been very encouraging. But I never knew her before the chronic pain from a horrendous car accident and rhumatoid arthritis. She is peaceful now, but she lived with grace and peace.
The ducks in the snow cheer me up. They really look silly.
My best friend is having cataract surgery today. I was wondering what to make her. When I thought of the God's Eyes we made at camp, I went into my craft drawer and found this wire. I put it on a gold ribbon for a book mark. Hopefully she'll be able to see well enough to read next week before she does the other eye. Sigh.
I am so happy to have my spring green pi shawl to knit while I watch TV with the kids. D is in New Orleans and we're getting along OK. I'm doing lots more studying than knitting.
I met my tutor today and she's totally supportive in a way only nurses can be. I am encouraged that she was just going to show me how to navigate the website. Awfully nice, but I'm already up to my armpits. Back to the books.
Friday, January 18, 2008
We also just received our magazines. Perhaps they were brought by donkey. A few of us have been haunting the news stands. Grumperina has a good article about seaming sweaters in the knitscene, which is for my daughter. Cara (januaryone) is a brilliant photographer and her colourful cards are focused in the Very New Very Vogue section.
The 3.25 mm needles did not really change the gauge and I have a second one to add when it gets bigger. I was disappointed that it was still all bunched up for the photo. But my knitting mistakes are much easier to fix than others.
My tutor was kind enough to reschedule my orientation for Wednesday. I have to drive into Surrey. While I was belatedly getting my student card at the Langley campus, I missed a scheduled lunch with a dear old friend. What was I overlooking when I picked up chocolates (Yum Yum Chili Chocolate from BC Connections) to apologize?
The first chapters of my course took about 8 hours to read. I know it's beginning time, but I am worried I don't have enough hours to do this and look after my life, too. I read thoroughly and made copious notes and study cards. Perhaps there will be less review.
I always say now that I have a mind like a sponge. But it's a very full sponge and you have to squeeze out something to get the new information in. Perhaps I'll lose the lyrics to pop songs from the 70's. Or the lines of the Fool in Marat Sade. I hope it's not knitting related. Maybe my nephews will miss their birthday cards.
One of my youngest nephews had a baby on Thursday. The joy is modified by their fighting with my sister and general sad state of their relationship. But this is my first grand niece and I'm not part of the feud. He's hardly ever talked to me in his 20 years. So I can resume my normal relationship with them and give them the tomten sweater with a gift certificate for necessities.
I hope in all this studying I don't have to give up the necessity of blogging and reading your blogs.
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
In addition, this little dell printer next to me is threatening to send me back to my ludite roots. OK, I'll buy your own special ink cartridges and try to take the ones back to the mall. I'll even order on line. But you should recognize the one I put in. No, it is not missing. Would you like me to move the screen closer to the printer so you can recognize it? Tomorrow I will call dell. But not tonight.
We've just lost one of our brave old ladies at church. I'm terrified that her funeral will coincide with my make up orientation. We all pitch in because we are in the process of getting a new minister: we do not have a minister right now. I'm the right hand to the Worship chair(woman), but I've already messed up my first day of school.
This time I will not be wearing my sister's hand me down light green wool skirt and jacket with the snap on bow. I will not be entering the basement from the girls' side and climbing the wide polished steps to the last class down the hall to the left. I will not take my place in a wood and iron desk that is attached to the one infront and behind me like a sleigh. There will be no kind custodian (Mr. Robinson) with his red dustbane and his wide broom to wink at me. There will be no elderly Mrs. Nichol in her last year of teaching before retirement who likes things done the old way and is relieved that I am not shy like my sister. No, I'm not shy.
Yes I wish this first day of school had been a success. My luck is that my tutor is willing to give me a second first day. Wish me luck.
Yesterday I began my nursing refresher course. They now call it re-entry to practice. I have spent six months gathering my paperwork to qualify. I was lucky they didn't expect me to start over after my 12 years away.
Our first lesson (of course) was the Nursing Process. This is the framework in which we make our nursing decisions. I was a bit worried that it would be as boring as when I was 21 and first transplanted to Calgary and the traditions of a proud hospital training nursing school.
I am different. The text is different. Even the approach is different. There is so much more respect for the individual ideas and experience of the nurse and the client (patient). They have placed it within the structure of critical thinking. Yay! I like this stuff. I love sociology and psychology and philosophy. How different these processes seem now that I have read the Greek classics, raised two children and passed the 40-year mark.
I must say that knitting fits beautifully within the framework of critical thinking. Decision making, using language to explore ideas and reflecting on successes and failures is what this blogland is all about. What encouragement to a writer and journaller to hear that I am to keep a nursing journal of how I felt about the situations, what worked and what could be done better. As well, my love of research will be embraced.
I know I didn't always find this keenness accepted on the ward. I realize now that there were many bullies on the nursing floor. But I'm bigger than most of them. I have learned to support my children to triumph over bullies and I can do it now too. If I want to do thorough foot care, I don't care if it makes you look bad. If I want to chart at great depth, it is for my patient's good and my own personal and professional aims.
The text also encourages the sisterhood among nurses that I never got at home because I was so wrapped up in being a new wife and mother. I look forward to some new friends who will understand the situations and the confidentiality. My best friend from nursing moved from Yellowknife to north of Adelaide. Sigh. There's always email.
I finished the first square of the aran afghan. Dragonskin is appropriate for a young man. I bound off and I'll probably pick up and knit seed stitch borders. I like this enough to perhaps use it as ever-other square. But it is not TV knitting. I wasn't about to give up the English countryside in Wives and Daughters to keep the overlapping stitches on track. I do better with a running pattern. I still wanted this to be a block a month, but I am wary of placing such barriers on my time. Perhaps it's a block as I wish project.
The Nursing course is self directed, so I really need to focus my discipline on keeping on track. If i finish a little early, I could have the summer off. Hmmm. Another start.
Saturday, January 12, 2008
Here is my first whiff of spring. My snowdrops at the front door are boldly attempting to show. We're having a dreadful wind storm and the TransCanada Highway is closed eastbound to Merritt. My in-laws just arrived home from Vancouver Island and I am thankful that they had a safe ferry trip.
I started my son's afghan. This will be an ongoing project because my best friend knows that the blanket has to be long enough to cover his long body. She's always right and it doesn't always make things easier. So 12 inch blocks need to be at least 6x4 blocks. Probably 6x5 for the proportions I want. This block is Dragonskin from Barbara Walker's Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns. Not only am I going to capitalize on my aran stash, I'm going to learn lots about different cable patterns. All good. Take your time. Plus little blocks means I get to have a new start each time.
And here I am invoking spring with a bright, swirly baby blanket. This is for June. It's probably the best picture I'll get because as it grows, it folds back on itself like a sack. I'll have to move up circulars in a while. I wonder where I put my other 3's?
So I have some easy two-long-rows knitting to tuck into when I begin my studies. I still have a jaywalker sock that I carry around and underappreciate.
Yesterday, when I needed to give my hand a rest, I went through all my newly organized Interweave Knits magazines and set up the next two nephew sweaters. The Cascade 220 will work perfectly with the Braided Blues from Fall 2005. This nephew is a bit slighter, so probably a medium with long sleeves would do OK. I'm taking back 5 balls of Phildar which will start me on yet another sweater.
In finishing, I can look forward.
Thursday, January 10, 2008
Tuesday, January 08, 2008
Sunday, January 06, 2008
Lastnight was a great family gathering for a 15th birthday celebration. Both sets of grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins from both sides. The trifle was a hit and short-lived. Her real birthday is Tuesday, so I'll probably make some cupcakes or something for her family gift opening.
Friday, January 04, 2008
I lied. We had a few minutes of sun in the north-facing backyard just now so I had to capture it. On these shortest days, we have to celebrate the light.
Unfortunately we feel drawn to the basement DVDs and the movie theatre. We really loved the Golden Compass on New Year's Eve. I took friends and cousins to Mission to the SilverCity big theatre. We enjoyed our midday viewing, Starbucks and Black Bond Books. I have almost all 6 of our book club's choices for the year. But first I wanted to finish the Golden Compass trilogy and the Laurie R. King. Now I've just started Khaled Hosseini's "A Thousand Splendid Suns". This was an unauthorized choice while they passed it around and I'm the last to catch up. It's already as good as the Kite Runner.
Thursday, January 03, 2008
On New Year's Day I walked around the 5 km block for the first time in many months. My foot injury is healing and I wanted to make a symbolic move forward. I was lucky enough to listen to Cast-On during the walk. Brenda Dayne spoke of "starting as you mean to go". I have taken this literally on the right foot forward.
Today I am making curtains. The TV room downstairs still isn't finished. These curtains are meant to add a theatre-like decor and to separate another room to use as a guest room. I have had to harangue the gang, but the sofa bed is in there and the curtain rod is ready to be hung. Carly is not impressed and chooses to leave her dog hair on everything in protest.
My poor sewing machine is neglected. I treat it like I do the stallion we used to have, with a fair dose of respect and trepidation. It is smarter than me and makes things look easy. But it is noisy and has moving parts and I am always astounded that anything I sew ever turns out.
Finally, January grey skies have settled in. I made my favourite: biscuits. Just from the Joy of Cooking, but they turned out really well. Especially with local honey and hot tea. I'm reading a wonderful Laurie R. King book that is intended to bridge her two mystery series. The first is the Bee Keeper's Apprentice. The bee keeper is the retired Sherlock Holmes and these are stories of his further exploits (with a wife!!). Holmes are the first stories I read when I graduated from Winnie the Pooh. I have always been under his spell. King's second series is set in modern day SanFransisco (one of my favourite cities). I bought the first one, A Grave Talent in an Oxfam shop on Byres Rd. in Glasgow and it kept me happy all the way home on the plane. I wasn't prepared to test the British airport security with knitting needles.
I also had time to listen to an Anne Perry novel on tape while I sewed and knit and puttered. It is a great comfort when the kids are home and I have time to myself, but my house is chaos.
We've been watching Ken Burns' The War. D. loves his WW2 history and I bought him the 6 DVD set for Xmas. This explains how I am on the second sleeve of a large sweater and in danger of injuring my right hand. It's a good thing I have reading to divert me from knitting. Soon it will be all studying.
Tuesday, January 01, 2008
I took down the tree and decorations and cleaned the front room. Whew!
I have in my stash an inordinate amount of aran wool. I have knit many aran sweaters and so have this very similar stash. I plan to make cabled squares for my son. At first I thought one per month because I really enjoyed the hat a month year a year ago. But this is probably a graduation present and he's only in grade 11, I can take my time and stitch it up, too.
I hope to do 12x12 inch blocks with a bit of seed stitch border and delve into some of my stitch pattern books. Although I am inspired by the Knitters' All American Aran Afghan, I really don't like most of those squares. I'll check in my back issues, though.
I cleaned up my stash enough that I have room to put my knitting magazines on those shelves.
The sleeve is decreasing. I hope to cast on the second one tonight. It depends on family viewing.
I really enjoyed listening to Live and Violet while cleaning this morning. I even joined the chore wars. We'll see if this encourages or intimidates.
I am cleaning up some files and emptying out my upstairs cabinet for the soon to be all-encompassing Nursing courses. I need to buy my books and hook up for on-line lessons. I'm glad I've already gotten my feet wet in that arena.
Hope your New Year's Day is filled with new hope and beginnings.