Saturday, May 31, 2008

5.31 Things I wonder about

1. I came home Thursday evening: the water in the house was off and the fire hydrant across the street was putting out a waterfall. Questioning the next door neighbor, the water had apparently been off most of the day. A bit later, the water came back on again. About an hour later, the water authority people showed up and watched the waterfall for half an hour. They then drove away, leaving the waterfall to run for the next 36 hours.

2. My neighbor on the left, apparently hale and hearty in all other respects, always drives when she goes to visit the neighbor on my right. Our lot is 100 feet across.

3. Why does it always take another 10 rows of knitting before I notice that I've made a horrendous mistake only fixable by ripping back 10 rows?

5.30 Post Birthday Wrap-up

My husband made me a birthday cake (my MIL asked if I'd made my own cake and I said no, she trained him too well. In the 20 years since we started dating, I've never made or bought my own cake). My daughter iced it. My son took me to the gym first. Can't say they didn't have all the pieces in place!

I got a bit of spinning done on my lunch break - still getting used to the new schedule, but I took my spindle to work with me and the other bunch of Freyalyn fiber. I'm consciously working on trying to make an even grist at a larger diameter than my standard default on this particular spindle. So far, 15 minutes into spinning, it's going pretty well.

Most of my b'day presents this year have to do with my garden. The bulbs J ordered me won't be here til the fall, but there's a warm glow that comes with knowing they'll be on the way.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

5.29 Happy Birthday

to me! It's been a nice one, remembered by family and friends.

Thanks, people.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

5.28 reading weekly

Last week, what with my class winding down and not working yet, I indulged myself in some new books. I read a bunch of Bujold when they first started coming out, then stopped reading science fiction for a while, then got lost trying to figure out which of the Miles Vorkosigan stories were in which order, and gave up on the problem. (One of the best consequences of the internet in my opinion is the ability to find lists of series', in order of publication.)

I was scanning the shelves at the local shop for recommendations for S, who has inherited much of my taste in books, and happened across Bujold again, in fantasy this time. I don't think he's quite ready for her, but in another couple of years...

1. The Curse of Chalion by Lois McMaster Bujold
2. Paladin of Souls by Lois McMaster Bujold
3. The Hallowed Hunt by Lois McMaster Bujold
4. The Sharing Knife: Beguilement by Lois McMaster Bujold
5. The Sharing Knife: Legacy by Lois McMaster Bujold

6. A Murder is Announced by Agatha Christie, just because.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

5.27 front garden

The front garden is between the spring flowers and the summer flowers, but I do like the way the overall shape of the garden is turning out. With the addition of more Asian and Oriental lilies to the long bed, I've got almost all the planting done here that I intend.

I'm still messing with the round garden, but it is slowly being turned over to day lilies as the primary lily, along with the mint bed and last year's addition of bee balm. The bee balm looks nice now, but grew terribly mildewed by mid summer last year. I may or may not keep that one.

The mint (spearmint) was Katy's choice a couple of years ago and I keep it in check by ruthlessly culling around the edges each spring, making mint syrup from the culls. Time to make more! I put the syrup in the iced tea maker jug and it sweetens the tea nicely while giving it a nice minty tang. The bees adore the mint when it blooms.

Monday, May 26, 2008

5.26 spring spun

This is what the spring fiber looks like spun up. I waffled about how to spin this. It's merino top, nicely prepped to be spun worsted, but I didn't feel like spinning worsted. I did a sort of cross between spinning from the fold and long draw, and as with many compromises it only sort of worked. The grist is a bit wonky in places, but the yarn will be useable. The interesting thing is that at one point in my spinning career, this would have been as good as I could do and I would have been really happy about the yarn. Now, I know I can do better, I just didn't want to spend the time to. Thanks to Abby, I know the word for this - waylaka.

This yarn isn't being made to be the best I can do. My focus on being the best I can do has been on my classwork. That focus is going to shift over to learning the new job. Right now, spinning is just for relaxation. So, yeah, it's not the best spinning I can do, but it's meeting my needs at the moment and, for a while, that's good enough.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

5.25B spring fiber

I have been getting some spinning done. I had moved on to this lovely stuff after the purple from Freyalyn. For some reason I mentally peg this as "daffodil", although that isn't its official name and most of the color is blue not the yellow. Let's just call it "spring".
I didn't realize until I opened up the package that there's a strong dark green streak as well as the blue and yellow, and I didn't realize until I was actually spinning it that there is also a small purple streak also.

5.25 Sunday the First

J went back down to the rocket launch today. We went down to join him this afternoon. It was a sunny day with even less wind than yesterday. The rockets were fun to watch. I haven't quite seen all the possible things that can happen to go wrong yet, but we added a few more today. One separation - (the shock cord broke), leaving the rocket to plummet and the parachute to drift away in a rising thermal. (I've seen the separation before, often, but never the parachute on a rising breeze mounting higher out of sight). One rocket that fizzed and popped it's way up the rail, and then sank slowly back down the rail. One rocket that arced over before the ejection charge fired, having the ejection charge finally fire about 10 feet off the ground and drive it into the ground firmly. One rocket that had the top of the motor explode off before the rocket got off the rail, setting the entire rocket on fire and burning it to slag before they could get the fire extinguisher out to the pad.

And a whole bunch of rockets with pretty much textbook launches and recoveries. Very pretty.
J had a bunch of new rockets, and a couple of old ones. He mostly goes for low power rockets, and recently, mostly boost-glide rockets. (They shoot up on the engine and then glide down rather than being on a parachute or streamer.) He does a lot of his own designs and some of them always get the crowd going. The first time people see a couple of them, they think something's gone wrong - then the next time they see them, they poke their friends and say "watch this! - no, it's supposed to do that" as the rockets fly into pieces. It is a trifle strenuous watching for six different pieces to come down so that they can be recovered, but it is fun to see. He's got two different models that make six pieces each now. It was a good day - all the pieces came home with us!

I did make everyone put on sunscreen (including me), but...

Yes, I came home sun burnt. That long hike out chasing a rocket did me in.

5.24 Saturday the Second

Today is our second Saturday in a row. Today K had her baking obligation to finish off. She made cinnamon shortbread and chocolate kisses. Turned out well. She's past the point of needing much advice from me in baking cookies so she was on her own.

J went down to the rocket launch. Last weekend was the first launch of the season and very miserably cold and wet it was - he didn't launch anything himself, just watched a few others. Today was sunny and only mild winds - he had a great time.

S delivered his cake and pie then went to soccer practice. I made him put on sun screen, but he missed a few places and came home burnt.

5.23 Saturday the First

Today may be Friday by calendar, but by every other sense, it's Saturday. K and S have the day off, J took the day off, and I'm through with work until Tuesday when I start the new job. I say that, and yet, I did go to work to do some more brain dump. We're down through most of the "oh, I should tell you" items, and just with a few more questions from her. I'm sure there'll be a few more questions, but mostly we're done.
J went with the motorboat down to Seneca Lake to watch the sailboats race, picking up a friend on the way. He came home a bit sunburnt, having forgotten both a hat and sunscreen. K and S slept in - K to 11 am and S to noon. A sign of needing to catch up, I think. S spent the afternoon working off his fundraising - 1 angelfood cake and 1 lemon meringue pie. He had to supply them both to the high bidder in the silent auction. He's not made either one before and we had intended that he should make a test pie earlier in the week but getting sick put paid to that. We had to wing it (I've not made lemon meringue pie in some years, for the same reason he probably won't again for a while - it's a lot of work.) They did turn out well though and the high bidder was happy!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

5.22 And now...

He's back again. Tired, hungry and relatively happy about how the trip went. I think he got about 5 hours sleep last night. I'll bug him for details tomorrow.

5.21 Off on his trip

S went on his way this morning - the busses were to leave at 6 am for the first part of the drive. I suspect they didn't actually leave on time and that no one expected they would. The first part of the drive takes 3.75 hours (we've timed it, more than once). The schedule allocated 4.5 hours to do this part. I also suspect that allowing this much time was not a mistake - the school has sponsored this trip for about 12 years in a row. They know what they're doing.

I came home and went back to bed, got a nap, and then did a bunch of errands.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

5.20 Paper done

Well, the paper is done, formatted, uploaded and out of my hair. Hallelujah.

S was well enough to go to school today, is packed and gone to bed early, and all we have to do now is get up at o-dark-hundred to make sure he catches the bus on time. I really don't want to go chasing them down into Pennsylvania.

Monday, May 19, 2008

5.19 Reading weekly

This week has been a mix of new books and old.

S has been bugging me for a new set of books to read. I had started to give him the Wizard books by Stasheff, but couldn't find the first book in the series. So I gave him the Flinx books, starting with The Tar-Aiym Krang. I have the first four books in the series, but apparently there are a bunch more nowadays (I suppose I'll have to look into that).

Having gotten the books out and seeing them laying around the house, I picked them up and started.

1. For Love of Mother-Not by Alan Dean Foster
2. The Tar-Aiym Krang by Alan Dean Foster
3. Orphan Star by Alan Dean Foster

4. The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch Definitely worth reading and I'm going to see if I can get the kids to read it too.
5. The Curse of Chalion by Lois McMaster Bujold I've liked her science fiction books - this is fantasy, and very well crafted.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

5.18 More progress

There's a certain satisfying feeling to be on the downhill slide of a project. One section to go, then formatting and clean up.

S spent the day in bed. No school tomorrow. His main concern at the moment is to be well enough to not miss his 7th grade school trip on Wednesday. This concern is leading him to follow faithfully all my instructions on how to get well quickest - a bit of a change from his normal 13-year-old's impulse to argue with anything a parental unit happens to mention.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

5.17 This space left intentionally blank

Just as my mind is blank at this time of night tonight. A long morning of running around followed by a long afternoon of staring at the screen and the keyboard. A productive day and I'm feeling pretty good about the paper at the moment.

S has been complaining of a headache all day (never a good sign, fortunately fairly rare). He followed it up with chills this afternoon and going to bed early without nagging this evening. It required almost no motherly intuition at all to realize I ought to take his temp, at least as a formality. 101.5 F. He's not going to be serving pancakes in the morning.

Friday, May 16, 2008

5.16 Whew! Or maybe not quite yet...

I finished up at work today. I've done my brain dump, passed on all the info I could spit out in 2 hours of time, handed off my keys and my cel phone number, and handed in my final time card. One thing down.

I've worked more on my paper, but haven't yet been allowed to look at the next batch of Workbaskets. 'nuff said.

I've checked my grade sheet and done some calculations; if the final is graded at the weighting he said it would be, I'll pass the course. (I would fail if I didn't turn in the final, but it would have to be really really bad to not pass as long as I do turn in the final.) That doesn't mean I won't do my absolute best on the final because I'm just that sort of self-competitive person and want All A's All the Time in Everything but even a C on the final is still passing so I'm not going to beat myself up over it.

After this paper is out of the way, I get to play in the garden. This will make the neighbors happy because I've been prepping for a new garden out front but haven't had time to go rent the rototiller I need for the next step. I'm sure they're tired of looking at the dead patch of grass I've created in step 1.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

5.15 Treasure trove

I stopped by the setup for a rummage sale today and was asked if I wanted a box of Workbaskets. She didn't feel like trying to price them. So... I now have, in my possession, a few WBs from the 40s, and seemingly all of the ones from the 50s and 60s, and some or all of the ones from the 70s. My instructions are to keep them if I want them or find them a good home.

I'm rationing myself. I sorted the ones from the 40s today, but the 50s have to wait until I have 3 more pages on my paper done.

When I know what I have, then I have to figure out what I want to do with them. There's a certain charm in keeping the set together, but it isn't really a complete set. I would definitely like to keep the ones with knitting patterns, my sister might want the ones with crochet patterns (Bev, do you still tat?)... K might like to look at the recipes. Hmmm....

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

5.14 Can I have some cheese...

with my whine?

I had three places to go today, prep work for starting at the new job. At every single place, I was dealing with people who were being trained. The first place, I was dealing with two different people who were being trained. This turned a 2 hour expected errand running into almost 3.5 hours.

I know, it's ironic that I would be complaining about people in training on new jobs when I myself will be in that position in just another week and a half, but there you go.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

5.13 H is for Hungry

I'm not sure what K was waving in front of Brandon, but whatever it was smelled good.

5.12 Reading weekly

Not much reading going on here. Mostly bits and snippets.

1. Mr Darcy's Daughters by Elizabeth Aston. A light read, in the fan fic tradition. A couple of the characters are not explained very well. Amusing enough that I will probably get the next one.

That was it as far as books I read in their entirety.

I did pick up and read "the best parts" from Unnatural Death, Gaudy Night, Busman's Honeymoon, and the last two stories in Lord Peter, all by Dorothy Sayers. A chance memory triggered my look at the first of that sequence, and then having read that bit, it lead to bits and pieces of the others.

5.11 Falling behind...

I've fallen seriously behind on both the Blog365 and the ABC-along. I'm behind on some other things too; housework comes to mind, and some things I'm supposed to be mailing to people. I'm through interviewing now, which should help, and making progress on the paper. Getting that monkey off my back will help too.
I've had my daily posts written, but no time to post them. I'll get caught up on that today.

5.10 G is for Garden

The back garden is a spring garden It has a few flowers that bloom later in the year, but for the most part, they are spring flowers. Quite a difference from just a couple of months ago. Bleeding hearts, grape hyacinths, apple blossoms...

Saturday, May 10, 2008

5.9 10 days

Just 10 more days to go before my second and final paper is due for the spring class. I'll be glad when it's done and I can spend time worrying about other things.

Friday, May 09, 2008

5.8 Babies!

The first three falcon eyases are hatched! It's been cloudy, cool and damp, and the eyases are still very small. It's hard to get a random glimpse at them on the main camera, but sometimes...

Thursday, May 08, 2008

5.7 1.5 hours

It took almost exactly one and a half hours to untangle the nest. I'm rummaging around with it now, trying to decide on a pattern I like with the yarn. Fortunately, it seem to be pretty forgiving about being ripped (and tangled and untangled and sat on by a white cat).

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

5.6 tangle

The white cat made a nest this afternoon and is now in the dog house. Grrrr.

Monday, May 05, 2008

5.5 reading weekly

This week has been another for the light and fluffy set:
1. Aunt Dimity's Good Deed by Nancy Atherton
2. Aunt Dimity Digs In by Nancy Atherton
3. Aunt Dimity's Christmas by Nancy Atherton - I'm sure you're seeing a pattern here. Mysteries, but of a very gentle nature. Soothing reading, but enjoyable.
4. And Less Than Kind by Roberta Gellis and Mercedes Lackey Two of my favorite authors.
5. Clouds of Witnesses by Dorothy Sayers Old favorite time again.

Not a particularly big week for reading, but what there was, was fun.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

5.4 pear blossom

Two years ago we put in a Bradford pear, in that section between the driveway and the side of the property. This is the first year it has bloomed for us, but it has done so in a big way. It is going to be a prettily shaped tree and the bees do like it.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

5.3 spring garden

The tulips in the front bed have opened up. (Sorry the picture's a little washed out) It was a grey and drizzly day, but the tulips don't seem to have minded - they opened up again and were making a brave splash of color.

You can see that the Asian lilies are popping up all around them. I can't wait to see them again, but they've a long way to grow.

Friday, May 02, 2008

5.2 Busy day

It wasn't a day when I went to work, but it sure was busy. I have two new skeins drying in the bathroom (pics tomorrow). I have 5 (used to be) piles of laundry on the bed, waiting for people to take them away. I had a reasonably successful interview with yet another company. S and J are headed off to a soccer tournament tomorrow and K will be going off to perform another solo for adjudication. I still don't know if I'm supposed to be driving her (and possibly a friend?) or whether said friend's parent is driving. It was a drippy day, cool and drizzly. I'm hoping the tournament isn't too nasty.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

5.1 Accck!

I just bought the 13 year old size 11 soccer cleats!

No wonder he couldn't squeeze into last summer's size 8.5's.

4.30 wisteria spun

I finished spinning and plying the Wisteria I got from Freyalyn. It was a really nice fiber to work with and I can see that I may need more at some point. I need to see how this knits up (I'm thinking maybe a hat, but first I need to check how much yardage I got after it dries). I want to try some of her fiber again as a cabled yarn. When I let the plied yarn twist back on itself I really liked the effect.