Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Flowers, Knitting, and Bunny Drama

My mom wanted me to put up some of her flowers for everyone to see.


The garden is growing well and we've had a bunch of cucumbers, squash, and green beans. We would have corn, but Thumper got loose a while back and ate all the baby stalks.


I have been knitting... some. This thing, my dad's Fathers' Day bag, is getting there. It's going to be felted, so I do have a good bit more left to do before starting the strap. I think it's impossible to get a pic on the front porch without doggy noses in it! The blur is Johnny Cash and the nose under him is Black Jack.

Ok, speaking of Johnny Cash, I'm mad at him. He got into my rabbit barn, which is supposed to be dog-proof, and bit the toes of a few of my rabbits. He found a tiny space to squeeze into. We have that totally fixed up now and there's no way he can get in now. The bites weren't too bad... just a few missing toenails, nothing major. Looks worse than it is. The buns are on a round of antibiotics and we're fly spraying the barn several times a day to prevent fly strike. I've had this happen before (the bitten toes) and it's no big deal. BUT, he did get one rabbit, my sweet Meatball, pretty good. Good enough that I had to go to the vet this morning for bunny surgery. Fortunately, I worked there before/a little during college, so I have connections and got to assist (wow, do I love surgery!). We had to amputate all the toes on the back feet, one on one front foot, and 2 on the other. Yikes! Poor Meatball did well in surgery, woke up Ok (always the biggest concern for exotics surgery), and is now eating, drinking, and wanting to move around some. His feet (what's left, at least) look awful, but we're hoping and praying that everything heals ok and quickly. And, is able to move around ok later (I think he'll be ok if he heals up properly). I have pics, but won't show them here since some may find them graphic.
Meatball is now my special pet and will live a pampered life because he's surely deserved it!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Deaths & Other Random Chatter

So, Farrah and Michael are dead. I have no feelings either way toward the former, but I have to say that I was actually pleased to hear about MJ. Call me cruel, but the man wasn't a good person and one less child molester in the world makes the world a better place. Any parent who would allow their children to spend the night at Michael Jackson's home should have their heads checked and their children taken away. Jackson was a talented and cute little boy and went very wrong somewhere along the way. I don't want to hear the hate mail/comments for this, just my opinion.

I'm still working on my dad's bag. Bad, I know. Just endless stockinette and it's kind of boring. I've also been working on and off on the baby jacket. Can't wait to finish these two things so I can get another pair of socks on the needles and really start focusing on my wedding wrap as well.

I've lost 11 pounds so far! Yay! I did have a few setback days when I ate a little more than I probably should have, but I got back on track the next day and am so pleased with my progress. I need to lose another 20 pounds, I think. We'll see how it goes. I can see a little difference in my face, stomach, and shoulders. My clothes seem to fit a little better as well. It's very exciting!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Bunnies!

So, I got them sooner than expected. I have one more little girl, a black French/German cross, that will be coming home July 6.

This is Gypsy. That's what the breeder named her because she fell out of the cage when she was a tiny babe (eyes not even opened, so less than 10 days old) and crawled all the way across the barn. She's a chestnut, 1/8 Giant Angora, the rest English Angora.

This is Lola, Gypsy's sister. She's a tortoiseshell.

This is Barkley. He's a blue, 1/2 Satin Angora, will have to check pedigrees for the other half.

Isn't he sweet? This is Meatball, a broken black. He's half French and I'll have to check his pedigree to see what the other half is.


Meatball's sister, Monroe (after Marilyn, for the beauty mark). She's also a broken black.

And, my boy Johnny Cash wondering what the new arrivals are.

Friday, June 19, 2009

It's Growing

This little baby jacket shouldn't take this long. It's very straight foward and a really clever design. I just haven't been working on much of anything lately. I did take it to meet Shawn yesterday and got quite a few rows done on it while I was waiting for Shawn (traffic was awful all over the Atlanta area yesterday... wrecks, stalls, a semi full of plastic caught on fire and the hazmat people had to come...). I hope to finish it sometime next week.

Work has gotten better and I'm now pretty much in the groove of it, other than the hours and getting my sleep figured out. It's hard to adjust to an open schedule with your shifts changing constantly, but I'm getting there. Today was my first payday, so that helped :-)

I started a new project last night and I have to finish it by Sunday... Not sure I'm going to make it! If I was off, then yes, but I have to work tomorrow and Sunday mornings, so we'll see. My dad has requested a simple felted rectangular bag that can hang from the back of his scooter (he's disabled and has a chair thing) to hold his stuff. A really easy and quick knit, but there's no time! I will be devoting all of tomorrow evening on it. If I can't finish it for Fathers' Day, he'll just have to get it Monday or Tuesday. I'm using Fisherman's Wool in a navy blue color.

Oh, did I mention that I'm getting bunnies next month?! Finally, I'll have rabbits back in my life. I was really into breeding and showing before college and tried to keep it up during, but wasn't really able to so got out. I have been rabbitless since fall and can't wait to have the little hoppers back in my life. Of course, I'm getting angoras. I used to show French Angoras and loved them. Someone in my spinning guild has a small herd of various angora breeds and I'm getting 5 bunnies from her (2 bucks, 3 does). They are 100% angora, but aren't purebred. Some are Satin and English crosses, some are mostly French with a little English, etc. I don't care since these will be pets, woolers, and will be bred to produce more of the same. I won't focus on a show herd until I'm married and have a place of my own.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

No Pics Post

I'm off tomorrow and Thursday! Tomorrow is my day to sleep a little, get some good fiber time in, go for a walk, trim horse hooves and maybe go for a ride, and just do whatever I want. Thursday will have me up bright and early to go Marietta to meet up with Shawn so I can spend some time with him before I have to go to Gainesville to get my allergy shots and he has to go to work (they are doing night flights, so he goes in 2pm to 11pm or so).

The job isn't so bad. The hours are what kill. Today was my horrible day since my work schedule only gave me 4 hours to sleep and I worked 9.5 hours today. I'm soooo glad it's over with and next week's schedule is much more reasonable. I'm getting into the groove of it now. There is talk that I'll be moved to my actual store soon, so we'll see what happens there. (I'm in my training store right now. I could stay there or I could be moved. I really hope they don't move me before the first week of July since I'm scheduled for vacation then! And, really, I've been working for only 1 week. Not much training, I think.)

In other news, I've been dieting and working out for a full week now and I've lost 7 pounds! I really need to lose another 15 or so, but it's a great start. I have always struggled with my weight and have to go to "drastic" measures to lose it/keep it off. Each summer I work really hard and lose about 20 pounds only to gain it back when I go back to school. I blame it on the environment (chow hall = socializing), but really it's all on me. I've decided now that I'm home and have a schedule that's mostly work, I have NO excuse. I'm not happy with how I look and I am going to make a lifelong, permanent change.

In the past, the only thing that has really worked for me to lose weight is to do pretty extreme diet/exercise. I mean, limiting myself to between 500 and 700 calories a day, a 3 mile jog, and 1 hour of DDR (Dance Dance Revolution) everyday. That's the only thing that really worked. It's rather extreme and very difficult to keep up for the longterm. This time around, I am doing a few things differently and it's actually working.

*I do not eat after 6pm if I can help it, but definitely never past 7pm.
*I eat one normal meal per day and then have 2 smaller snack-like meals. The normal meal (preferably lunch, but it depends on my work schedule) is whatever I want, but I am never stuffing myself. I just eat until I feel full enough (not hungry anymore) and then I stop. My stomach has shrunk and I'm now fuller faster.
*The other meals are usually a healthy fruit. Or some other low-calorie, healthy alternative. Carrot sticks (no dip!), dressing-less salad, Newton's Fruit Crisps, etc. I do indulge in chocolate or something sometimes, within reason, since deprivation only leads to frustration and, ultimately, overindulgence and failure.
*I'm drinking a lot of fluids. I have a Walgreens water bottle thing and I'm drinking at least 3 full ones each day, preferably 4-5. Yep, I have to pee like every 5 minutes, but it's great for cleansing and it's so important to be hydrated (something I've never been good about). I drink only water or unsweet tea (any kind).
*I try to do some physical activity each day. Work is pretty taxing with always moving around and lifting/stacking, but I try to do something extra as well. I either jog, walk, or ride my horses (at a good, bouncy, tiring trot). I'm not always able to do this each day, but I've been pretty good about it. It's surprising how sore I am after only a 15 minute ride at a trot. I swear balancing on them uses muscles I didn't even know I had.
*Sleep at least 8 hours each night. Again, not always possible, but sleep is really important for weight control and overall health.
*Weigh myself daily. My routine is wake up, use the bathroom, strip down, get on the scale. This way I'm getting my true weight and not what's just in my belly from my last meal or whatever. Loss is great, maintenance isn't bad, gain is bad. Some fluctuation up is normal, but if it's over a half pound, I need to do something different.

I know this isn't the most exciting thing to read about, but this is my little online journal and it helps me keep track of myself! I have no real time goal here, just keep losing and when I reach a weight I'm happy with (I'm reasonable and do understand my body type... I'll never be 100 lbs no matter how hard I tried) I will work on maintenance. I will be healthier, feel better, be happier, and know that I will look great on my wedding day. Also, I lust for those cute knitting patterns that only look good on the teeny tiny models!

Anyway, enough of that. I finished Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six and it's amazing! I think it's definitely one of my favorite books. I loved the subject and who the bad guys were and Clancy is just a great writer. The writes so realistically, like I was being told the story by someone who was there. The perfect amount of detail, specificness, etc.

Still working on the baby jacket. Pics to come tomorrow.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Fiber Update (yay!)

I've been closing the past few days, which I much prefer. I feel like I have more time to get things done. I can sleep in a little, get some fiber time in, etc. before getting on in to work.

I finished spinning the plying 4 ounces of the Lisa Souza superwash merino (purchased at Stitches South). Here it is:

The unspun fiber was mostly white with red and blue mixed in. I didn't want to keep the colors pure, just spun it all and plied it, letting the colors do what they wanted. I'm pleased with the result. Some people don't like doing the colors like this, thinking it's muddy, but I think it turned out nicely. I tend to go for non-self striping colors, preferring the less obvious striping that occurs naturally. I still have 4 more ounces to spin. Maybe a Baby Surprise Jacket? This skein came out to be Dk weight, about 198 yards.

And, the finished Back To School RAK cloths! Finally! It's shameful how long I've been working on these. They just weren't fun. They'll be on their way to Portugal next week.

What little I have on the Ribbed Baby Jacket. Exciting, huh?

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Work work work

So, I guess I've joined the "adult" world. I started working Monday.

My store is about an hour away. That's around 2 hours of commute daily. So, of course, my manager put me closing this coming Monday (3:30-11 pm) and then open on Tuesday (7:30am - 5pm.... yes, that's 9.5 hours with only a 30 minute lunch break (we don't get the standard 15 minutes for every 2 hours worked)). I worked 9.5 hours for the past 2 days. Anyway, Monday I'll get home around midnight to have to wake up at 0530 Tuesday to get ready for work. I might get 3.5-4 hours of sleep between working a total of 17 hours or so.

Yes, I'm whining. I really don't mind working. I loved being a vet tech and working from 0730 - 6pm everyday but 2. Long hours, but loved the job. I really do despise retail. I've already been told that I'll be working Thanksgiving night, Christmas Eve night, and Christmas morning. Talk about use me and abuse me, huh?

I do have 5 days of paid vacation, which I plan on taking next month before we get the back-to-school rush and the black-out months of winter and fall (the days don't roll over into the next year... use it or lose it). I think that should be fun, though I won't be going anywhere special. I think Shawn might come over that week and we'll just find something to do. Maybe a day trip to Savannah.

Sorry I haven't had much of a fiber update lately. I've been sleeping or working and that's about it. Even my animals are suffering for attention right now. I have snuck in a few knitting minutes every now and then. I have all the RAK cloths finished and just need to do the lettering on the last 3. I started the Ribbed Baby Jacket in Wool-Ease. It's a really pretty blue color. I think it will go to my nephew (due in September to Shawn's brother and his wife).

I did mess around with the dogs and did some training today. Gideon, my 12 (or so) year old Daschund/Chihuahua mix, is doing very well with the limited time I've worked with him. He'll sit, down, stay, heel, and come. Still needs some polishing up, but he's got the basics. Johnny Cash, my 2 (in August) year old Standard Poodle, is a total star and does it all. Here are some pics I got of him today:


That's my 17 year old girl, Black Jack, sitting with him. She was the first dog I trained (when I was 9). She's now deaf and has limited vision due to severe cataracts, but the girl still knows all her commands! Fortunately, I always teach hand signals in addition to verbal commands, so she'll still sit, down, stay, come, heel, etc. I love that old girl and am so saddened that she's aging. She is showing some signs of canine dementia (going to the wrong side of the gate to be let in, confusion in should-be familiar situations, etc). Other than those mild symptoms and the deafness/vision, she's completely healthy and going strong. I pray that she's like that until the end.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Bad Pics

My pictures are horrible today. They were taken yesterday night, so bad blurry inside flashy pictures.

Some spinning stuff going on here... I got another skein of the Romney x finished. I'm making a worsted weight Navajo-plied (3-ply) for a pullover. I think I'm going to make the Tree Jacket with it.


I also started spinning the 4 ounces of Lisa Souza superwash merino I got at Stitches South. This is almost 4 ounces spun up into a finer singles. I think it will end up being a 2-ply sport weight. I love how vibrant colors are often muted when spun, especially when there's white in the roving. Sorry the pictures don't show the color at all; I'll get better pictures once it's all spun up, plied, and washed.


Today was my first day at work. Yes, I did wear my career socks! The job is Ok. Definitely not my dream job, but it's well-paying and has excellent benefits. Being just out of college, that's a pretty good deal, one that's definitely too good to pass up at the moment. For those of you that can't remember (or started reading the blog later than last summer), I am a MGT (assistant manager) for Walgreens.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Wave Goodbye... to dirt!


Materials: About a half ball of dishcloth cotton, size 4.0 (G) hook

Gauge: Um, what's that?

Chain 28.

Set up:

sc in second chain from hook

sc in next 2 chains

Row 1: Do the set-up then *2 sc in next stitch, sc in next 3 stitches, skip 1 stitch, sc in next 3 stitches* repeat until you run out of stitches to work, chain 1, turn

Row 2: *sc in next 3 stitches, skip 1 stitch, sc in next 3 stitches, 2 sc in next stitch* repeat until you run out of stitches to work, chain 1, turn

Keep repeating these 2 rows until you want to quit (don't do the set-up)

My Conservative Swap Package came in:

-black licorice, sweet/salty popcorn, raisinets, ginger candies
-2 small handknit socks (these will be pet stockings)
-2 handmade oatmeal soaps
-a skein of gorgeous blue 25% silk, 75% wool fingering weight yarn from Blackberry Ridge
-a case perfect for holding dpns and other notions
-2 sock wip tubes
-stitchmarkers
-2 sets of dpns (sizes 1 and 2)
-a tape measure with a magnet that can pin to your bag or clothing
-rhinestone star stickers in red, white, and blue
-a small American flag
-a sock pattern
-a hair clip covered in knitted cables

Monday, June 1, 2009

Thumper


So, I think I have the world's most dog-like goat. I've named her Thumper (Ethel would have been a good name for her, but I already named her by the time AnitaO commented!). She follows you around everywhere, cries when she's alone, and isn't afraid to go anywhere. I had her out in the yard today and had to go inside the house for something... the above pics are what resulted when I didn't close the door!

I knit on the front porch some today and Thumper just layed down beside my chair and happily chewed away at her cud. Such a pet! We're having to keep her tied, instead of in the pasture, because she keeps jumping the 4.5 foot fence to get in the front yard.

Here's the progress on the wedding wrap. I am working on the third straight repeat and it's coming along nicely. I do see one little mistake where I didn't add a bead and probably could have (the first dropped stitch doesn't have a bead at the very top since the pattern does something a little different there). I added the bead on the second dropped stitch and think it looks good... I may go back and add a bead later, but might not. It's not really noticeable and that first section is really short, so it doesn't look funny. We'll see what happens with it (Ripping back is not an option! Even if this is for my wedding, I'm not about to go back that many rows to fix a barely-there "mistake").