Sunday, June 29, 2008

Meme - 10 years ago

What was I doing 10 years ago?
I went on an archaeology dig in Scotland on a project digging Roman hill forts from the University of Manchester (where I took two showers in four weeks!). It is amazing what becomes ok in a no time flat. It was shortly after Princess Diana died and people were still talking about it quite a lot. We drove through Ewan McGregor’s hometown every morning on the way to the dig site where I bought what I think were tallow and bone marrow pasties and candy bars every morning. Yuck. I was so hungry that month.

I attended my 10 year high school reunion, which means I am attending my 20th later this summer. My friends from school started a yahoo group to start sharing info and photos. I am on a strict weight watchers diet – 22 points per day until the reunion. I want to be down 10 pounds in 7 weeks. I have lost 4 lbs. in three weeks so far. Seems reasonable. It could happen.

I graduated from college with a degree in anthropology at the University of Minnesota after a long haul. Apparently attending college full-time for five years with too many majors to count (music, German, English, journalism to name a few) was insufficient, because I continued taking classes in the evening for another five years. However, the jobs listed below were daily reminder to finish the damn degree.

And I got married after having shacked up with my husband for 7 years. It was a teeny wedding – highly recommended. There were about 10 people in attendance and about 35 for dinner. Shacking up for several years was fun too – I’d also recommend that

What are 5 things on my to-do list today?
Trim the lilacs and the bridal veils, go to Menards for mulch and door hardware, start cleaning since my in-laws are visiting next week, procrastinating doing my homework, pay bills.

Snacks I enjoy:
Anything chocolate, hot chocolate, chocolate almond ice cream, peppermint bon bon ice cream, almond joy candy bars, chocolate rice cakes with a smear of peanut butter, any kind of fruit smoothie, popcorn popped on the stove (in my Whirlypop).

Things I would do if I were a billionaire:
Hire professionals to finish my house while my husband I traveled. Oh wait…a billionaire? I’d move

Places I have lived:
Maplewood, MN
Stillwater, MN
Oakdale, MN
St. Paul, MN
Minneapolis, MN
La Crosse, WI
I wish I have lived in more places

Jobs I have had:
Dairy Queen confection preparer and server (this was the best job – I was just 16, ate ice cream constantly, never gained a pound)
Sales lady at the Gap, JCPenney, and a boutique
Emergency room admitting clerk
Sandwich maker
Health insurance claim analyst
Assistant to the queen bee of a historical society
University bureaucrat

Consider yourself tagged and please let a comment if you choose to complete this meme so I can read your responses!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

My grandma

My grandma passed away at age 98 last Friday. I would like to share a couple stories about my grandma.

In about 1976 Grandma came to stay with me, my brother, and my dad back while my mom was in the hospital having surgery. When my mom called from the hospital to find out how we were doing, I wasn't too happy about the menu situation. I told my mom that I didn't know what grandma was making for us, but I think they call it "home cookin'". Now, my mom made home cooked meals for us every day - to the extent to serving us hot breakfast all through high school. But grandma's cooking involved rutabagas, parsnips, turnips and who knows what else. This I was concerned about and very glad when mom came home from the hospital. But grandma took great care of us, despite all these foreign root vegetables.

I am going to post a photo taken back in January. My folks, my husband and I visiting grandma while she on Christmas Day while she was rehabbing in a care center. She liked my Norwegian hat and wanted one JUST LIKE MINE to wear home when she got sprung back to her apartment - in a week. I knitted like mad at my in laws and she did indeed get to wear her hat home. One of my younger cousins Mollie suggested that I just give her mine and tell her it was a new one just for her (she's good at figuring out time saving strategies!), but then I would not have had this great photo.

Grandma celebrated her 98th birthday in March where she proclaimed she was going to live to be 100 years old. She had a great time surrounded by children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. My grandma had a very generous heart in any situation. She was surrounded by family and friends for her entire life - she always loved a party.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Father's Day and my gardening

I finally took a great picture. It is of a perennial called Blue Loveliness Self Heal. This will be my wallpaper for awhile on my laptop.

Also my two clemetis (clematisses? clematii?) have started blooming:

And we're having the first full summer with Ninebarks and to my surprise, they are blooming. I had no idea there would be flowers.

Happy Father's Day! We're off to my folks for fried chicken and mojitos.

Christmas knitting and unfinished work

It has been a long week and will continue to be a long month. I have a summer class that starts next week for three full days and then for three more full days a week later called using research in education. I had been debating about what to do whether to take more time off for vacations or take this class. The weather has done absolutely nothing to cooperate so I decided to take the class. So, I have been reading the $101 book getting ready for the first day. $101 for this fairly small book - it was a little hard to hand over the cashola for that. So, given all this deep thinking I'll be doing, I figured I needed some easy knitting. I started a hat for a gift - I think it is the very warm hat from Opinionated Knitter. I am using my favorite yarn for this - Nature Spun Worsted Weight in scarlet and charcoal. Depending on how this works out, I will maybe make this double thickness. Although I really like having a tassle. This will be the beginning of some presents. Maybe people will see some things that end up under the Christmas tree.

I don't want to get too far away from these other unfinished projects because it is so hard to get back into them later. I have three projects in this state of unfinishedness - which is a lot for my usual knitting style. I like to see how the projects turn out and usually finish things up. The tilted duster is difficult to finish because I am nervous about how it is turning out. The arms are pretty tight - I did see others on Ravelry discussing this, but went ahead with no modifications. I also had a difficult time picking up the number of suggested stitched on the neck, so it doesn't lay as it should. It flops over more into a shawl collar, which I guess is ok. I only have finishing left. One sleeve is on and I can tell the fit is not doing to be so great. Oh well, I am on a diet. The skirt part will be flattering though.

And I have a sock to finish - in Knitpicks Bare Donegal - very pretty.

And I started the Josephine top - it a fairly easy pattern to follow, but I am a little nervous about it. I think it is is the lack of big success with the tilted duster. I find that I get the best results with EZ patterns when I really understand what's happening. I do really like the yarn - I am using hempathy in a gray (not too crazy about the color yet)

As I look at these crummy pictures, I don't know why they are so oversaturated - ok, well I know why, I just don't know how to fix it. And I am completely uninspired to take good photos.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

New closet

We have a new closet nearly finished and all we need to do now is put in shelving and access doors. Those two spaces on the left are access to our whirlpool tub, so we need to be able to get in there in the future in case of electrical or water problems. See the nice light? This is going to be our linen closet and once I get linens moved into this closet, that means we have vacated different closet space for clothing - a very much needed space. (That and a few trips to Goodwill.)

I just watched Sweeney Todd and I can't believe the number of fingerless mittens. Helen Bonham Carter and Johnny Depp wore several different pair of them throughout and Johnny even had a pair of leather mitts, but of course I have been interested in the knitted versions. There was a lace mitt and something that looked like seed stitch. Very nice. Aside from the fingerless mittens, the movie was very good - I had not heard the music before which I liked well. I really liked Helena Bonham Carter's acting and singing who claims she can't sing, but I thought it was great for her character.

Lutea Lace-Shoulder Shell

I finished the Lutea Lace-Shoulder Shell and it has been too cold to wear it. It was rather difficult to get gauge and in the end I used a size 8 so that I could get a size 38 instead of 36 or 40 which are the sizes the pattern provided. The sizing turned out pretty well.

As per usual, I decided to do something and have gone perhaps a little overboard, but that's my way. I have been walking about 20 miles per week for awhile now, but I haven't been seeing the results that I'd like to. That coupled with the original pictures of myself in the Lutea Lace Should Shell has inspired me to get serious about weight loss. So, I dived back into group fitness classes and started on weightwatchers points again. This requires a little bit of self-confidence, because the instructors and many of the fellow exercisers are under 25 years old. I have been doing water aerobics, cardiodance, and yoga.

The yard is really coming along with all the rain, but it's been difficult finding a window of opportunity to clean the yard. There are grass clippings and spinners from maple trees everywhere. Here are some pictures mainly for the benefits of my out of town relatives who haven't seen the summer landscaping lately.

Bridal Veil

Ninebark and Russian Sage

Red Twig Dogwood, Potentilla, and Little Giant

Niobe Clematis