Thursday, January 31, 2008

Don't Judge

IrishGirlieKnits and Peaknit gave me a You Make My Day Award! How cool is that!


And Marisol from Purls Just Want to Have Fun gave me a You Make Me Smile. YAY!!!


Thanks, Ladies! Right back at-cha! I'll do my picks in a couple of days.

Yesterday I took my final for peds. I have 2 more days in the hospital and then I'm on to mental health and community. I think those will be fun and really interesting.

I do my booze shopping at a local store that has a "club card." So every once in a while, they send me a coupon for spending x amount of dollars. I thought a post-final shopping spree was in order. We were out of everything. Except apple pucker which never seems to go away!

Here's what I bought...


Plus a case of Heineken. We will not need to go back to said liquor store for long, long time. They were having a Super Bowl Sale. So the bigger bottles were cheaper. When Brian saw that I had purchased a handle each of gin and vodka he was a little shocked. There are only 2 of us living here and we generally are a beer/wine family. But a 750 ml of Absolut was $20. The handle (1750 ml) was $22. That's just value shopping people! Same with the gin. So not only am I boozy but I'm frugal. Hate to be a spendy drunk! HAHA!

The best thing happened today. I've been on pins and needles waiting to hear about my preceptorship. This is like a senior project where I slowly take over the job of a real nurse in the area I want think I'd like to work in. Almost everyone I talk to has been hired based on their placement into preceptorship. It's kind of a big deal. I got a call today from the clinical coordinator. She was able to place me in the critical care department at my first choice hospital! I am THRILLED!!!! Sure, it's 12 hour weekend day shifts. But I got exactly what I wanted. Good thing I have supplies for a toast!


Monday, January 28, 2008

Why is My Nose Runny Again?

Seriously?!?!?! This being sick thing is ridiculous. Suddenly today I got stuffy again. I mean really. It's been a month already. ENOUGH!!!

Also, I can't wait for the Feb. 5th election to be over. Enough about term limits and Indian gaming. Political ads are putting me over the edge! It's every other commercial. Why do they think we can't make up our own minds. So annoying!

Rant over. I have an FO!

Basic Mittens- Done

Pattern: Basic Mittens from The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns
Yarn: Jo Sharp Silkroad Tweed Aran in Ivy. About a skein and a half
Needles: KP Options size 7
Date Started: 1/25/08
Date Finished: 1/26/08
Mods: I made them longer than the pattern calls for. Hopefully my hands aren't as freakishly big as my head and they'll fit my friend Liz.

I love the look of this yarn but I didn't love knitting it. Maybe it was because I knit at a tighter gauge than called for. But it just didn't seem like it had a lot of give. And the ribbing is not as stretchy as I had hoped. Overall, I'm happy with the outcome. These are a quick knit and came out pretty well for my first mittens.

This week, the first shipment of the 2008 Rockin' Sock Club arrived. This isn't really my color. But I do like it. Maybe this year I'll actually knit one of these patterns. I'm such a sock poseur! Click here to see the yarn.

I have to send a shout out to Julia. I met her on knitty and she loaned me a pattern I've been after for a while. She even dealt with me changing our meeting time last minute. What a sweetheart! I never cease to be amazed by the kindness of knitters!

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Saturday, January 26, 2008

Making Progress

It's amazing how much knitting I can get done in a day when I don't worry about anything else!

Basic Mitten

Basic Mittens for my friend Liz. They are out of Jo Sharp Silkroad Aran. I think they are perfect California mittens- warm but probably not completely windproof.

Embossed Leaf- Sock 1

The first Embossed Leaf sock. Trust me, it's cuter on!

That's all that's fit to print around here. I got my peds midterm grade. It's good enough for me to relax a little for the final. Thank goodness! I love having 1 good grade under my belt so the final doesn't loom over me.

Have a great Saturday!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

WIP Roundup!

Here's the progress I've made in the last week or so...

Embossed Leaves- In Progress

Embossed Leaf Socks. These are FLYING off the needles. I took this picture this morning and I'm already past the heel and 1/2 way down the foot. I love this pattern. Fun and quick. Plus they are making great socks for my friend Tiffany.

CPH- Back

Here's the back of the Central Park Hoodie. I'm concerned that it's little small but I held it up to a shirt that fits me well and it matches up. So I'm going to knit on faith. I hope that works!

I won a prize from the Sock Stash Elimination Campaign!

New Book

I've been wanting this book for awhile. I'm psyched to dive into it.

Thanks for the advice about knitting for other people. I'm going to finish the "orders" I have so far. (2 pair of socks and a pair of mittens) Then, no more requests. Although, I will offer to teach them how to knit. That seems like the easiest and most efficient solution.

Finally, I'll leave you with a silly cat picture.

Eva Spalunking

We are trying hard not to use our heat this winter. So the cats have learned that burrowing into the duvet really works. This is Eva during her morning nap. I didn't cover her up. She nestled in all on her own. We call it kitty spelunking.

Monday, January 21, 2008

It's Raining! It's Pouring!

I think it's funny when it rains here. People lose their ability to drive or even function! And tonight it is supposed to snow down to 1000 feet. This is EXTREMELY cold for the Bay Area. And people are freaking out. Being from the midwest, this cracks me up. Not that I'm particularly hardy anymore. In fact, I've become a weather wimp since moving here. But no newscast in the Midwest advises you to leave for work early tomorrow since it will be raining. Cracks me up.

I'm furiously procrastinating for my pediatrics midterm tomorrow. (Developmental stages be damned!) I don't know if it is the weather, January, or senioritis but I am finding it really hard to commit to this rotation. Maybe it's just because I know peds isn't my thing. But this class is going really slowly. Not to be too whiny!

I did receive the latest installment of the Yarn Pirate Booty Club. You can see it by clicking here. (why didn't I think of the linked pic sooner?!?!?!) This one is BY FAR my favorite. The colors are so rich! I find myself wanting to cast on but not wanting to at the same time. Do you ever have that? It's too pretty not to use but you don't want to use it up.

I have a confession to make. I haven't knit any of my sock club yarns. Ever. Weird, right? Isn't that the point of a sock club? You're supposed to challenge yourself by using new colors and techniques? Wait! I did knit some of the Petals Collection into a baby sweater. But I'm not sure that counts. Anyway, this leads me back to the living deliberately goal for 2008. A lot of lovely yarn lives in my stash. It seems like I should remember that when the urge to buy hits. It worked last week when Knitterly Things updated her Vesper sock yarn. I went and looked. And then closed the page. Even though I really wanted to buy. It's the little victories, right?

Finally, I wanted to ask how you manage it when someone asks you to knit for them. It's such a flattering thing to me. But at the same time, I don't really have time. And there are 1,000 things I want to knit for myself. (Yes, I'm a selfish knitter!) I think the yarn harlot or Brenda Dayne suggested offering to teach them to knit. What do you think?


Friday, January 18, 2008

Why is there no time in a day?

I feel like we've been rushing around all morning. And I'm just not getting things done. Actually, I'm probably getting a lot done. But there's just too darn much to do! Oh crap. I just pulled an empty chapstick out of the washer. This is not good.

First things first...

Wisp Scarf Done

Wisp from Knitty
Needles: Size 6 Addi Lace needles
Yarn: Malabrigo laceweight in Purple Mystery
Date Started: 11/16/07
Date Finished: 1/14/08
Mods: I borrowed the lace pattern and the number of repeats from Wisp and made a scarf instead of the wrap.

Here's a closeup of the lace part.

Wisp Scarf Closeup

I don't know what it is but this yarn does not like to be photographed. The color on the top photo is more correct.

I wanted to talk a little more about The Red Tent. I grew up in a Christian house and learned all the bible stories. But his book gave those characters life. It made women important. By the end of the book I felt so connected to the idea of womanhood and the miracle of life that binds us all. I wish my writing was better and I could really explain how powerful that book was for me. It made me long for my mother and grandmother. I wish I had listened and internalized all their stories and asked them all my questions when I had a chance. The book touched me on a deeply personal level even though the actual story has nothing to do with my life. Anita Diamant writes in a very readable but lyrical style that seems to fit with how I imagine ancient people spoke. Her descriptions pulled me in and helped me construct this world in my imagination. Very, very good book.

Now I've picked up Atonement. The movie looks so beautiful I'm hoping to get the book finished before the DVD comes out. Gotta love Paperback Swap!


Thursday, January 17, 2008

Tales from the Jury Pool

If you came for knitting, move along. There's no yarn or knitting talk around here.

Today was a harrowing day for me. I was required to report to the Alameda County Courthouse at 8:30 this morning. So I packed my backpack last night and went to bed early. While laying in bed, it occurred to me that I may not be able to bring knitting needles into the courthouse. And since I was taking public transportation, I would have issues as to what to do with my knitting if it wasn't allowed inside. So I got out of bed and double checked the summons. Sure enough, knitting needles were specifically banned. Nuts.

But that's OK. I had an ipod with tons of podcasts, The Red Tent, and my school work to keep me busy as I while away the hours. I get to the courthouse and checked in with no problems. There was orientation and I was called to a specific courtroom. I still wasn't panicked because about 80 other people were called up there with me. I'm thinking, "no sweat! I can totally talk my way out of this. They probably won't even get to me."

Once we were all seated in the courtroom and the judge went through the "no one knows any of the lawyers" bit, the complaint was read. The two defendants in this particular case are accused of burglary, rape, and murder. WTF?!?!?! I was thinking DUI or petty theft. But the big M! Yikes! My hands literally started to shake and I started to sweat. I was alternately thinking, "I can't do this." And, "how cool is this."

Then the judge dropped the hammer. The trial will likely last half of February and the entire month of March. OK- now I'm really sweating. I would literally have to drop out of school to be a juror in this case. I was having visions of graduation slipping away. And then I started thinking about all the loan money. Sweating profusely at this point. UGH!

We were instructed to go downstairs, fill out a questionnaire and we would get called back another day for individual questioning. Apparently they are interviewing around 240 jurors to get the 16 they need. We were also told that we could also fill out an "undue hardship" form. However, the judge was really clear he has a very narrow view of undue hardship and would not be accepting very many. But we would be able to come back at 1:30 to state our cases. UGH! Downstairs I went and laid it on pretty thick on both my forms. My first degree is in legal theory. My sister is a lawyer who worked for a D.A.'s office. I love cops and all people who are associated with law enforcement.

During lunch I practiced my speech- trying to remember key phrases. Intensive program. Clinical hours. No make-up days. Board of Registered Nursing requirements. No graduation. No job. No income. Financial ruin. Divorce. Alcoholism. Homelessness. Shame on my family name.

At 1:30, my heart was beating so hard that my flimsy juror badge was shaking on my shirt. Out comes the bailiff and reads a short list of names that includes me. Here it is. Moment of truth. We go in and the judge rechecks the names on the list. Tension is building. You could tell we were all preparing to fight. Then, he says those two magical words. "You're excused." The rest of the people in the hall would have to stay and fight. I felt bad walking out past them in my haze of happiness and relief.

I was surprised everyone held it together until we got into the hall. Once we all were in the elevator someone mentioned margarita time! Phew! I dodged a HUGE bullet. Can you imagine if I had to come home and deal with waiting for jury selection? I would have been a mess worrying I may not graduate. Seriously, I'm getting sweaty now just thinking about it.

Good thing I could channel all that nervous energy into cleaning the house. I even shampooed part of the carpet.

And I finished The Red Tent. So amazing. More on that tomorrow. But if you haven't read it, get your hands on a copy now. Now I really should do some homework.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Big Bunny Thumpers!

I saw this post about the length of your cat's back foot. Since my cats are GIGANTIC, I figured I had a chance. However, my kitties are not happy being photographed while I'm measuring their feet. This is the only decent picture I could get.

Milo's Bunny Thumper

And it's not even decent! Milo's bunny thumper is 5 inches and Eva's is 5.5 inches. Those are some big kitty feet. Since they weigh 25 pounds each, I would hope they have big feet to hold them up.

I have jury duty tomorrow. Boo! But this does mean I have lots of knitting time. (Even though I should be reading for school!)

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Just in the Nick of Time

I finally finished the Christmas scarf for my MIL. It needs to be blocked before I give it a proper FO post. I really had to push myself to finish this one. I just got bored with it. But I'm happy with the results.

I was reading this post from the Yarn Harlot about the glories of wool. I've been searching for awhile for the perfect yarn for my next sweater project. Thanks to the Yarn Harlot, I found it! And since I vowed to finish the scarf before I started the new sweater, I had to finish fast. There's no way I would have been able to resist this new yarn for long.

Valley Yarns- Northampton Fawn

Valley Yarns Northampton in Fawn. It's a tanish, greyish color that I think will make a great Central Park Hoodie. And the whole project will cost less than $40. Even better. Gotta run, I'm off to swatch!


Saturday, January 12, 2008

Slogging Away

I admit. I'm still not done with my MIL's Christmas scarf. I'm about 1/2 way. The road to hell is paved with good intentions, right? I'm knitting a variation on Wisp out of Malabrigo laceweight.

Wisp Scarf

It's more purple than in the photo. There are alternating sections of garter stitch and fisherman's lace. I think it'll look really good when I open the lace up with blocking. I really hope I'm done by Mother's Day!

I placed an order with The Loopy Ewe that, get this, did not include yarn. Can you believe it???

Mug Front

I had to have one of these travel mugs. So cute!

Mug Back

Free advertising on the back.

Yarn Earrings

Beautiful yarn ball earrings from Designs by Romi. These are so pretty. They look like yarn to me but they aren't so literal that they're kitschy. (Not that I don't love kitsch.)

Yesterday I did a Denver developmental study on my friend's 4 year old twins. They were so cute and super fun to play with. But I had to take a serious nap when they were done with me. They probably ran around the rest of the day without skipping a beat!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

My Freezer Runneth Over

Today I went to The Full Plate in Walnut Creek. This is a food assembly business. There are tons of them. My Girlfriend's Kitchen is national. You sign up, go in, and assemble meals into freezer containers. I made 12 meals for 6 people in about 2 hours. The menu is pretty varied. Although, if you are veggie, you have more limited options. This is a TON of food. Just look!

Full Freezer

Not the prettiest picture, I know! But the top of my fridge is PACKED with food. I have to make enchiladas tonight because they won't fit in my fridge. See the white labels? Those all hold meals that are pre-made and ready to go. So convenient!

Likes: You get to choose what you want to make from their monthly menu. (Fewer options for veggie people.) There are lots of veggies in each recipe. Each dish is made with REAL food. No processed anything here. I now have at least 24 meals for Brian and I. (Since the servings are for 6 people and there's just the 2 of us.) They give you the nutrition facts for each dish and include that on the stickers attached to the outside freezer bag. And, best of all, there's no need to chop anything. It's all ready for you to assemble.

Dislikes: I was a little disappointed by the freshness of some ingredients. For example, the shrimp I put in my jambalaya were already frozen. Same with the fish fillets for the Baja fajitas. It seems like the seafood products were the most prone to this. The veggies, however, were fresh. This helps me with the processed food issue but not with the local food issue. I'm sure they didn't worry about location when purchasing ingredients.

Overall, I had a good time putting together my meals. Next time, I'll try to bring a friend and a bottle of wine. (you can drink but they don't sell.) If I can't get someone to go with me, I'm bringing the ipod. Definitely could have used this time to catch up on my podcasts. Also, I'd clean out more space in the freezer. I'm a little scared to open it!

Verdict: The enchilada's were good. And there's a TON of them. Good thing I pack lunch for school!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

What a Difference 3 Days Make

I'm totally back to my old self. OK, I'm still rockin' a pretty decent cough. But I no longer need to sleep for 20 hours a day to function. YAY!

I had my first weekend rotation on the pediatrics floor. And I can tell you, I'm not cut out for that specialty. The kids there just break my heart. They are so sick. Yet, they are just regular kids who want to color, play with play dough, or stickers. I just wish I could cure them all tomorrow. And I have so much respect for the parents that have literally moved in to their child's room. Seriously, stage 4 cancer should be outlawed in a child. I don't think I could handle this day in and day out. My hat's off to anyone who could.

Just to lighten the mood, here's a skein I bought a while ago and finally got around to photographing.

Knitterly Things Vesper- Sweet Water

Vesper yarn- Sweet Water

We're having another storm coming through the area today. So I'm curled up on the Lazy Boy with a cup of tea and my last knitted Christmas gift. (oops!) Hope you are warm and dry wherever you are!


Friday, January 04, 2008

I Heart Antibiotics

Today the weather went berzerk! 5 inches of rain and 70 mph winds. 4 semi trucks literally blew over on one of the bridges. Good thing I had no where to go. (except to the Dr. this afternoon.) I was very nervous all day until Brian got home.

The Storm

This is the view from our balcony. You might not be able to tell but it's raining like CRAZY. I even went to let the kitties out on the balcony (which was dry) but Milo was too scared. She ran and hid under the bed. Poor girl! Supposedly today was the worst of it. So hopefully my trip to the hospital in the morning won't be too terrible.

I realized that I didn't show you my Christmas presents from my sister. She went to The Loopy Ewe. She was worried I wouldn't like it but you can't really go wrong on that site!

Rowan KSH- Anthracite

3 skeins of Rowan Kid Silk Haze in Anthracite


Rowan KSH- Hurricane

3 skeins of Rowan Kid Silk Haze in Hurricane

We had to ship our presents back home and they finally got here. Sorry the pictures stink but we already talked about the weather.

Finally, I received the December installment of the Scout's Indie Swag Club. The colorway is here. The swag itself is very cool. I haven't dabbled in that craft yet but I'm curious.

So after a week of feeling really crappy, I went to the dr. today. She promptly diagnosed me with a sinus and ear infection. I was off to Target for mucinex and antibiotics. I was glad she thought antibiotics were the answer. There's some movement toward decreasing the amount prescribed because of their general over use. I just knew that's what I needed. And I'm so happy she thought so too. So I should be feeling better in a couple of days.

For tonight, I'm cuddling up with the kitties and some soup. And try not to think about how early I have to get up.

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Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Book Meme

I have been tagged by Peaknit for a meme - it requires that I open the book I am currently reading to page 161 and read the 5th sentence, and then tag 5 people...

Book I'm reading: The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down by Anne Fadiman

Quote: "Every Hmong refugee has an exodus story."

Comment: I'm on page 80. This is the story of a Hmong child with epilepsy growing up in Merced, California. The medical community does not understand the Hmong and the Hmong don't understand the doctors. So far, it's a really interesting comment on cultural competency. The author is pretty even handed. She isn't overtly pro-Western medicine or unduly critical of the medical establishment. As I head into pediatrics, this book is really timely in that it's hard to manage the treatment of a child with parental misunderstanding or disagreement.


I'm not going to tag anyone. But feel free to play along!

Along with Peaknit, I'm going to list a few of my favorite here...

1. The Good Earth by Pearl Buck

2. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo

3. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

4. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingslover

5. Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert


Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Welcome 2008

After sleeping most of the day today, I'm am starting to feel a little less foggy. Since I have my first 3 hour pediatrics lecture tomorrow, there's no time to waste. I won't complain too much though since I have Thursday and Friday off before working the weekend.

As some of you know, I don't really do resolutions. I do New Year goals. I've been mulling these over for a while and here's what I've come up with.

1. Focus on my weight through focusing on getting healthy-
In spite of starting off strong, I actually put on 15 pounds this year. All of that has come since I went back to school. My weight is really out of control. So this year, it's even more important for me to make a big weight loss push. I'm headed into a career that is very physical and I can't risk injury and loss of work days by being unhealthy. 45 pound weight loss goal.

2. Buy local and organic ingredients- This one goes with #1. Think good and hard about what food I buy and consume. To follow a healthier, more green existence, I'd prefer to eat mostly organically and locally produced food. But the first step to this is cutting out processed food. This is January's goal. Cheese especially will be tough. (I love Kraft singles!) And does anyone know a good organic beer???? If you haven't read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, I would recommend it.

3. Shop deliberately- I'm in a huge "no more crap" cycle. I'm sick of clutter and mess and chaos. And I don't need more stuff. This includes yarn. I'm not going on a yarn diet or promising not to buy anything. I just want to take a more deliberate approach to how and where I spend my money. A lot of this has to do with me not having an income. But even when I do (hopefully around July), I don't need to run rampant with my consumerism. I have plenty of stuff- as evidenced by the 4 garbage bags of clothes I just gave away. Smart shopping instead of bored shopping.

4. Pass the nursing board exam and land a job as an ICU or NICU nurse- Ideally at a level 1 trauma hospital.

5. Read more books for fun- Being in school makes this tough. But I think I can still fit in a chapter a night or so. Balance. It's all about balance. I have a ton of great books from I need to read and pass them on!

I think those are challenging but also reasonable goals. I tried to do weekly updated last year and I don't think I'll do that again. It got tedious for me and I'm sure for you too. Instead, I'll maybe throw in updates here and there like when I find a great Farmer's Market or finish an interesting book. I just don't want to tie myself into a set format. Sound good? Good.