Saturday, October 31, 2009

Haven't picked up a needle or hook since early Friday

Sigh. I wonder if I'm coming down with something. After pinning out those flakes and getting a few rounds done on the secret prezzie, I gave up. My brain is fuzzy, and I don't have the energy to work on anything. Hence the rambly posts.

Tomorrow the weather is supposed to be nice so we're hoping to get a walk in again; I'll have to remember to take something in my bag when we go, and take advantage of some sit-down time at the bookstore cafe (our favourite Sunday hangout). We did go out today, but instead of coffee, we went for lunch after mailing off the first round of Christmas parcels. Not much knitting time, though.

As for Hallowe'en, well, we didn't get any trick-or-treaters tonight, which is good, since I wasn't about to run down four flights of stairs everytime the bell rang. We bought chocolate just in case, so I'll just have to make the sacrifice and eat it myself.

But now, it's time for sleep... kids with no concept of time also have no concept of 'sleeping in', so I don't expect to gain an hour tonight. Ah, the good old sleep-in-till-1pm days... I don't really miss them, when I consider I have this to look forward to every morning:

(He loves "punkies")

Friday, October 30, 2009


Finished flake from the other day #1 (the glitter is pink but the light sucks)

Pink flake #2

The worktable.
Clockwise frombottom left:
six freshly glued and pinned, seven waiting to be pinned (center),
Cheerios from this morning, assorted stoneware,
half-empty splenda packets (because a whole one is too much),
half-used ball of crochet cotton, glitter up the yin-yang, and pins/glue/needles.

All the different colors of glitter I needed to have on hand.

Glitter Xtreme Closeup


Thought the better of it...

Had a rant nearly done, but decided not to post it. It's Friday, and I'm going to try and keep it positive round these parts.

While I'm supposed to be cleaning and doing laundry, I'm going to try and take some photos and do some more knitting and crocheting today... Holiday deadlines are coming up waaaaay too soon.

I probably have enough snowflakes done (not starched yet) to handle all the gifts I wanted to give, but I might make a few more. What remains is the secret Goddaughter present and Mom's stinkin' scarf. I can't bring myself to work on either very often, but I have to really make it work.

But, first, the laundry goes in the machine. Then I have a 35 minute break ;-)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


I'm think going to try to do NaBloPoMo next month, just to see if I can... I had a little bit of a stretch going, but let it go again. So, this is my challenge, to go along with the Christmas knitting/crochet I promised I'd do.

And since I have to wait for enzyme buffer to thaw, I'm going to start posting today ;-)

I've been working a little bit on the prezzie for my Goddaughter, but it's being neglected in favour of crochet snowflakes. I'm suffering hugely from KADD lately, and getting out to shop isn't helping. I started off with a MSL free pattern, which included instructions for four different snowflakes, at a fairly moderate level of difficulty (probably advanced beginner). I made three of them, one of which was such a pain in the ass to pin out and starch that I'll never do it again, and thought, "gee, these other two are easy, I'll just make more of them". Then we went out shopping on the weekend with Hubs' aunt and uncle and I went into one of the big box craft stores... to get glitter for said snowflakes... and came out with a pattern booklet called "99 snowflakes to crochet".

(In my defense, it was on super sale, and only cost somewhere around $5.)

Some of them are ridiculous, more like frilly horrible doilies, and there are four, five, six, seven, eight, ten, and twelve pointed ones; being a geek I have a moral objection to making something that's pentagonal in symmetry and calling it a snowflake. Ice crystals are hexagonal, dammit. There are a few cute ones that look like proper snowflakes, though, and some are significantly smaller than the two I was doing originally. I can make a small one in 10 minutes (rather than a large one in 3o'), and they're easier to memorise. I now have eight waiting to be starched/glued/sparkled (after having bling'd up six last night).

Here's a crappy pic of one of the original ones I did:

The apartment seems hugely bright, but the light is too diffuse to get a decent pic without a flash most of the time... I'll try on the weekend.

I still really need to finish Mom's scarf, but I'm having too much fun with the snowflakes. Maybe it's because I know I can play with glitter every few days.

I also have a bit of a ranty rant about daycare (actually, about daycare parents), but I'll leave it for another post. The buffer is defrosted, and I want to be able to take lunch ;-)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Out of titles, clever or otherwise

I'm not sure why I'm posting this, and I don't know if I'll leave it up. I'm just really not in a good place tonight. Mom finally filled me in a bit more on how my grandmother is doing, and her Alzheimers is advancing. Her confusion is much greater, and I don't know how long it'll be safe for her to stay in her home anymore. There are too many stairs in my parents' split level, and no bathrooms on the main floor. We don't know how this is going to play out. I think they've been keeping the details quiet, and just telling me the funny stories, because no one is ready to deal with the next step.

She's forgetting my little brother. She thinks the reason she's alone in her house is because people are all going around behind her back. She doesn't remember that my dad doesn't live with her anymore. She gets angry and frustrated, and I'm sure she spends a lot of time wondering where she is, scared and in the dark.

What the next step is, or when it will happen, I'm not sure. It's not my decision. I hurt for her, for my mom and dad, for my brothers, for myself.

Where have her memories gone, now that she's not able to access them? Where are those days when we were kids, when Dad was a baby, when she was a young woman? The things we don't know, that only she knows(/knew)?

Will she get them back, someday?

ETA: I didn't post this last night when I'd intended, because the universe conspired against me. Temper tantrums gave way to bathtime which gave way to unfortunate incidents in the bath that necessitated a two-pronged approach involving much more soap for N. and bleach for the tub. And, while I'm calmer on the outside today, I'm not better. Not by a longshot.

ETA #2 (Thurs 2pm): Turns out she has a UTI... for those who don't know, while a UTI is agony for most people, some seniors are completely asymptomatic except for an
increase in confusion. It's not a solution, and it doesn't mean she's not declining, but it's something that we can deal with right now.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

ABC Meme


A – ADVOCATE FOR: health care, affordable and available childcare, working parents

B – BEST FEATURE: eyes, sense of humour

C – COULD DO WITHOUT: those extra lbs, the exhaustion, the insane hypersensitivity to everything around me causing me to be one giant walking itchy hive

D – DREAMS & DESIRES: move home, get a 9-5, watch my kid grow up

E – ESSENTIAL ITEMS: internet, cellphone, knitting, tv

F – FAVORITE PAST TIME: reading/knitting/tv/sleeping

G – GOOD AT: baking, knitting, being dr phil

H – HAVE NEVER TRIED: skydiving, general risk-taking

I – IF I HAD A MILLION DOLLARS: buy a house, RESPs, and travel

J – JUNKIE FOR: caaaake, yarn, caaaaaaaaake

K – KINDRED SPIRIT: my boys, for sure

L – LITTLE KNOWN FACT: I love reading science fiction (most of my friends irl don't know)

M – MEMORABLE MOMENT: N. being born, getting married, getting my PhD

N – NEVER AGAIN WILL I: encourage anyone to go into grad school

O – OCCASIONAL INDULGENCE: cake, shoes, craft supplies (I buy yarn too often for it to be "occasional")

P – PROFESSION: Mom, scientist

Q – QUOTE: (today, I can't think of anything)


S – SORRY ABOUT: being lazy and self-absorbed

T -THINGS THAT ARE WORRYING YOU RIGHT NOW: My grandmother (Alzheimers), my great uncle (MRSA + congestive heart failure)

U – UNINTERESTED IN: the olympics, ironing, cleaning my apartment.

V – VERY SCARED OF: bugs, being alone, enclosed spaces.

W – WORST HABITS: lazy about straightening up, lazy in the mornings, lazy in general... oh, and the hours of TV.

X – X MARKS MY IDEAL VACATION SPOT: I haven't really gone too many exotic places, so I can't say for sure. I'd like to go somewhere sunny, and I'd like to go to France.

Y – YUMMIEST DESSERT: Cake in any form, if it involves frosting. I also make a mean cheesecake, and créme brulée

Z – ZODIAC SIGN: Taurus, and I'm a classic example. Stubborn and boorish, fiercely loyal.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Pics, not all of knitting

Knitting first, baby gate pics second (don't ask, it won't make sense unless you're Bezzie)

Pixie hat, which looks butt ugly unless it's on a head...

The button matches the orange in this yarn exactly, but you can't seem to see the orange in the photos...

N. was NOT happy being asked to model the hat; this is the best shot I could get...
but it did fit his big ass head, so that bodes well for my niece.

Specs to come tomorrow... ish...

And, these are for Bezzie:
Five panels, tied to each other on the rear-left to make a wonky pentagon;
the cords go inside the mesh at the back to get to the TV and acoutrements,
and N. can't get in the back no matter how he tries.

Radiator and closet set-up (note knitting bag on the right inside the safety of the gates)

The rope on this side starts in an eye hook, and is around the shelf for extra stability,
since when N. rattles them you can just imagine him yelling "earthquake!!!!!"

Close-up of my crappy knots, but you can see the eye-hook/loopy thing screwed into the wall.

Twine wrapped around the hinge and tied inside the closet.

So, yes, totally do-able if you can tie rope into your baby gates somehow. You can probably find those fences on Craigslist (I think they're called Superyard XT or something) - I remember the reviews being not so nice so people might be trying to offload them, but they do the job for us quite well.

Should've known it was connected to a raffle

I just got an email from the daycare center... I guess this portraiture thing is connected to a raffle that they're holding at the potluck... so I didn't have to pass in the form after all, because it seems like they'll just take a photo of the child that wins.

Way to overreact, Ellie ;-)

Maybe I'll even buy some tickets... just to be a pain in the butt.

A Monday-Tuesday rambly rant

Today is Tuesday, but with the holiday yesterday it's more like a Monday for me, and boy is it a Monday. I'm going to rant, so you can ignore the ranty rambly bits if you want.

I've been waiting for some strains to be mailed to me so I can start the next phase of my project at work, and the company that's supposed to send them has been full of excuses. First they said they couldn't send them because of postal restrictions on sending live organisms (so bullshit because how else is science done? We send strains all the time). Then they were willing to send us more DNA from those strains, but not the strains themselves (come on - it's easier to send the strain then to take the time on their end to grow it and prep it and then send the DNA). THEN they said they'd send them. That was two weeks ago. This is a custom strain they built for us, and then they sequenced the DNA. They had sent us the sequence, and a little bit of DNA, two months ago. I think they lost the original strain they built and are scrambling to build it again, but just won't tell us. For $3000, they damn well better tell us soon.

Then, I had to deal with a daycare situation that I'm none too happy about. Don't get me wrong, I still LOVE daycare, LOVE the teachers, LOVE how much my little boy grows up because of the stimulation and environment and friends he has there. But, it's to do with money and soliciting, and it's the second incident in a year. A few months ago, there was an incident with raffle tickets that was thrown on me with no info, I was told to sell them or I had to pay the $100, and it peeved me off when I'm already paying shcmashmorschmishyhundreds of dollars in tuition each month. When I refused to sign a contract saying I would pay (since I hadn't any other information, had no idea what the raffle was for, they just shoved a piece of paper and told to sign or else), there was a miscommunication with an employee who ended up telling the director we "didn't care about the emails and newsletters or the center's fundraising". It got cleared up, but it was still uncomfortable for a while. Luckily we're all friends again, I still love the center and the director, and it's all good.

Until this morning - we got a flyer that "detailed" (I use the term loosely) how an artist representing a company in Spain (Spain? seriously?) who would be at our annual parents & kids potluck and would take photos of all the kids. Then they do the whole charcoal-drawings of your beautiful babies, etc etc, and you can buy the drawings. The problem - the flyer stated "more info on the poster at your child's school", and we had to sign a form to opt OUT instead of opt IN. If I hadn't a good grasp of English, I would've missed that, and my child would've been photographed by an international company without my permission. The other problem was that there was NO info anywhere at the center. No website, no US phone number (but one in Barcelona, thank you very much), no price lists. The icing on the cake was that the director of the daycare didn't have any information either! She claimed the prices "depend on the number of faces", which is possible, but I've seen these types of artists websites for US companies, and they give the price per face. Not a difficult thing to do. She had no idea of the procedure, any other contact info, nothing.

It doesn't happen often, but it really upsets me when they let companies solicit like that. In our original contract it states clearly that if there are any people coming into the daycare to observe (it's a teaching hospital, and a university, after all), we are notified in writing ahead of time and given the chance to OPT IN. But with a company selling something, our permission is given ahead of time on our behalf and we have to opt out? How frigged up is that?

So, yeah, I'm annoyed. I opted out, but didn't give the director a piece of my mind because she's really sweet and really does have a lot to deal with. I just sit and stew instead.

I also realized I forgot to dump my camera last night, and don't have any pics of my finished pixie hat on my hard drive yet, so I can't post them. I did finish two different crocheted snowflakes on the weekend, too, and they're waiting to be glued and sparkled, but I have to remember to take photos of the before and after.

It's not all doom and gloom, though - it's sunny, N. slept in until 7:45am (after one wet-diaper wake-up at 5:00am), and while I forgot to eat breakfast, or pack lunch, I have a wad of singles in my pocket and can get something at the caf for lunch. I also have a book and some yarn in my backpack, and it's hard to be pissy with that. I brought Mom's Boteh as my only portable project, so I have to get that finished next. I was sorely tempted just to take the crochet cotton and make more snowflakes, but I would just be avoiding the Boteh, and I need to get it done.

*sigh* time to make busy until lunch. I'd really rather be doing work, I hate being at a standstill.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Happy (Canadian) Thanksgiving!

Today is Thanksgiving at home, and I'm lucky enough to get the day off because it's Columbus Day down here. It doesn't herald the shopping madness in Canada that it does here (OMG you people and your Black Friday, you're nuts), but we do eat turkey and give thanks for everything we have.

Today I'm thankful for:

  • N., being a great boy today during our visit to everyone at the lab
  • Having a part-time position that lets me take today off while N.'s daycare was closed
  • Hubby, because he was so excited that we came into lab to have lunch with him
  • Long toddler naps in the afternoon
  • Finishing at least one of my holiday knitted/crocheted gifts (pics of the pixie hat to come soon)
  • Relatives calling to offer to take us carless folk out next weekend, not only for the ability to buy groceries on the cheap, but so we can take them out for lunch to thank them ;-)
  • Family and friends, here and at home, online and off ♥
Happy Thanksgiving/Columbus Day!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Today, I knit.

So, I still work part time, and I still have theoretically two days off per week. There's still a part of me that hates not being on campus on those days, because I send N. to daycare. It's a full-time spot, and I don't like disrupting his routine. Plus, I often get extra done at work (for no pay and sometimes no recognition). Hubby tells me to stay home, so I try. I can get the laundry and the cleaning done without a little one underfoot, which I really appreciate is the holy grail for working moms and dads. And, it's so nice to see them coming up the stairs at the end of the day, with my little boy grinning from ear to ear because he sees Momma. So, yes, it's been laundry, cleaning, vacuuming.

Today, however... today, I knit.

The little pixie hat for my niece is nearly done; the body has been knit and seamed, and I'll do the neck band today. The mystery gift for my Goddaughter is probably about 40% done. If I have to order good movies on Comcast to keep my butt in that chair I will because today, I knit.

(I totally just typed "today, I knot". I hope (k)not. Groan.)

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Three more things...

1. How cute is my kid?


2. How cute is Hubby? N. woke up super early one morning last week (like, 4:30am) and Hubs took him to the other room so I could sleep some more... I thought they'd sit and read books and play, but I woke up to find this:

SO cute.

3. (and possibly totally unrelated) Take your best homemade mac n cheese recipe (comment if you don't have one, and I'll give you one), the good one where you make a roux, and use good sharp cheddar, and only go through the trouble once in a while... take that same recipe and add 1/2 - 1 lb thinly sliced, sauteed mushrooms and as much cooked and crumbled bacon as you can conscience. DO IT. You'll thank me.

The road to hell

The holiday knitting.

In the past, I've been a sporadic holiday knitter. One year I wanted to make socks for Mom (and didn't get them finished until the following May). Last year (or maybe it was the year before) I made little decorations for my Goddaughter and her brothers for their Christmas tree. I used to work on one project at a time, two at most.

This year, I'm ramping up.

I'd still like to finish the CPH before it gets really cold, and I'm pretty much done the back panel, but I have to put it aside. I have other plans:

  1. A secret gift for my Goddaughter (Hi C.! Don't know if you're reading, but I'm not posting spoilers!), which I started on a whim and looks like it'll be pretty cool
  2. A hat for my niece, which is hopefully going to be adorable (I even found the perfect button)
  3. The Boteh for Mom that's been 60% done for two months, and I'll be damned if I screw up getting her gifts finished this time
  4. Crochet snowflake ornaments for N.'s teachers (because dammit, crochet, I will never let you scare me again... and because I found glitter at JoAnn on the weekend, and I lurves me some sparkly. Spaaaaaaarrrrrkly!)
The Goddaughter-mystery-gift is ~25% done, the niece-hat is ~75% done, the mom-scarf is ~60% done, and the snowflakes aren't started... which is ok, because I have time for the snowflakes but the rest have more pressing deadlines....

The most depressing decision of my life has been made, and we're staying here for the holidays for work/contract timing reasons (more on that later, and, waaaahhhh). In terms of projects, it means that family gifts need to be mailed home, whereas teacher gifts can be finished last. I'm trying to do portable projects at work on lunchbreak (hat, scarf), slightly larger projects at home in the evenings (mystery gift, CPH), and the complicated stuff during N.'s naptime on the weekends so I can concentrate a bit (snowflakes).

I figure I'll come to regret my decision to try and get all this done, but I will try. I wish I didn't work in a BL2 lab, otherwise I'd knit at my desk during incubations... but Health & Safety might have an issue with that, considering I can't even bring a bottle of water in here ;-)

On that rambly note, I have to start up some cultures... and get ready for tomorrow's experiments (one of which involves a lot of 15-30 minute incubation times, damn you biohazard work!). I'll try and get some pics of everything soon...