Roundup February & March 2012

I’m so behind on putting this up that I decided to combine February and March. Of course, partly this is because they were such quiet months that they blended together in my mind.

What special or unusual event occurred?

Honestly, it was such a quiet couple of months, that very little happened, certainly nothing of great note. Actually I like it that way, since the rest of the year is quite intense.

What were my accomplishments this month?

Working hard on a project at work. It is absorbing a great deal of my creative energy. However, I am actively working on some quilts. Plus I did get some green lettuce seeds planted in my raised bed. Here’s hoping it works!

Oh, yes, I finally cancelled my cable tv. I wasn’t watching it, so I finally decided to save myself the money.

What were my disappointments this month?

I can’t think of any.

What books/music/shows did I enjoy this month?

  • Nikita tv show episodes
  • Robin Hood tv show episodes
  • I did purchase the book Quiet. Very revelatory. I already know I am an introvert, but this helped demonstrate some things about myself to myself.
  • Quilt books
  • Yogurt books
  • Re-read the Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews. I think I will have to purchase these, as I thoroughly liked them both times. And that is one of my requirements: I have to want to re-read a book before I will buy it.
  • Started reading The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency. To my surprise, I can’t say I was thrilled.
  • Catching up with the Honor Harrington series by David Weber. I hadn’t read the last two or three.
  • John Carter movie. They did a decent job, despite some fairly significant changes.
  • Sharon Lathan’s Darcy books; caught up on the most recent ones
  • Other books that I can’t remember at the moment.

What crafts did I work on this month (not what I finished, but what did I work on)?

  • Socks #23
  • Socks #20 (the ones with a Cat Bordhi pattern, which is why it is taking so long!)
  • Shelter sweater
  • French braid quilt leftover block
  • finally free motion quilting on my Oriental (learning to quilt by machine) quilt
  • Percy shawl started
  • Kimono #4 & #5 started and finished
  • Kimono #6 in Zitron Trekking in stockinette

What fun things did I do with my family, friends, or by myself?

It was a quiet month. The main thing I did was go see the John Carter movie. As I said, I did enjoy it.

What gifts did I give and/or receive?

Cards to my secret sister, as well as a gift each month. March was handmade soaps and seeds. February was – I can’t remember!

I also gave a bridal gift and a baby gift (one of the kimonos).

I made a meal for a family who had just had twins. Those first few weeks after the babies come home are always a little more tiring.

What special or unusual purchases did I make?

Smartphone: I replaced my Motorola Droid with an iPhone 4S, which is a considerable leap. I hadn’t planned on an iPhone, but when I realized they now had the 64GB option, I realized I could replace two electronics – smartphone and iPod – with one, the iPhone. I am pleased with it, overall, although I do wish the screen was a little bigger! I do think, however, that if an Android phone eventually has enough memory to do the same thing, I will want to return to it.

What illnesses or health concerns did I have?

Mammogram time! Not really a concern, just that it was now time. Plus I decided it was time to follow up on the decision to check my heart, due to family history. Fortunately, after the stress test, all looks good.

Unfortunately, I fell on my bike the very day of the stress test. I bruised my right knee rather badly, which put a damper on my running for a while.

Anything else noteworthy to include?

No. It was a really quiet month.

I did return to assistant teaching on Wednesday night at church. Same teachers, different class. We have a mix of of ages from four to seven, and I don’t think it is working.

What rest did I achieve this month?

Active effort to get to sleep on time, but not always sleeping well. However, I did have some quiet weekends, which were highly welcome.

Roundup April 2012

What special or unusual event occurred?

I visited my sister in NC, which is my usual pattern about this time of year. It was a great visit, despite the fact that my sister and two nephews got sick with a summer cold. Apparently my immune system was still active enough, since I had just gotten over being sick, to ward off their germs. Fingers crossed that it continues.

What were my accomplishments this month?

Finished mostly creating training class at work. It was a big job – and just the beginning.

Finished quilting and binding the Oriental quilt after five years delay.

What were my disappointments this month?

Well, I didn’t get things done on my own schedule, because I got sick!

In Wednesday night class with the young ones, the teacher and I are dealing with a problem student. I don’t know his age, so I’m not sure if there is a developmental problem, or just a rowdy child problem. Either way, it is a serious frustration.

What books/music/shows did I enjoy this month?

  • Nalini Singh books (re-reading during sickness; I am often repetitive that way)
  • some Robin Owens books of Celta
  • John Thorndyke’s Cases by R. Austin Freeman
  • Re-watched some of the Nero Wolfe movies (I had re-requested them by mistake on Netflix. I still don’t know how that happened.)
  • Frontier House, 1st DVD, which included the first three episodes.
    • I was rather disappointed; the families demonstrated a certain lack of foresight. Honestly, I think they seriously underestimated the challenges of the project. There was a certain amount of whinyness that really annoyed me.
  • Legacy: civilization (two episodes so far)
    • uses hyperbolic language, which frequently annoys me. I also think there were some inaccuracies.
  • Flash Gordon : Space Soldiers with Buster Crabbe (just the first episode)
  • Evil under the sun with Peter Ustinov (re-watch)
  • Sky Captain and the world of tomorrow (odd)
  • The Phantom (re-watch)
  • The Moving finger with Joan Hickson (re-watch)
  • Out of Egypt (a documentary that looks at similarities between culture)
    • In the first episode of this four-part documentary, it was interesting to note the heavy focus on the down-sides of civilization. The host really pointed out that when people started living together in cities, they suddenly had to deal with sanitation and disease, environmental collapse, etc. To a certain extent, she (unintentionally?) idealized the previous culture, whether just spread-out agrarian or hunter-gatherer. I do wonder, however, if she was just blind to the fact that living together produces good things, too. After all, without great cities, there is little great art, opportunity for specialization, opportunity for play, etc. The rural life has advantages, too, but with it comes different health risks, a greater absorption in the mechanics of survival, which means less time and energy for art, for theater, etc. Plus, as a result of all that, you are more limited in your choice of career. What if you really wanted to be a writer? Did you really have time when you were also a farmer? Frequently, no! Nowadays, honestly, I think one of the greatest benefits of the Internet and the infrastructure of civilization that we have today is that you can actually have the benefits of the city while still living a more rural life.
  • finished Beyond the movie : Alexander (meaning Alexander the Great)
  • Lost kingdoms of Africa (interesting but frustrating)
    • These episodes really emphasized to me the early nature of much of the archaeological research in Africa. Too much of it was speculative; too many of the sites had not yet been dug up. Yet there was so much that could be shown.
  • Quilt books
    • Karen K. Stone quilts
    • Free motion quilting by Don Linn
    • Crazy 8 quilts
    • Journey of an art quilter
  • Yogurt books
    • Making your own cheese and yogurt (I’m really only interested in the yogurt part at this point.)
    • Home-made butter, cheese, and yogurt

What crafts did I work on this month (not what I finished, but what did I work on)?

  • Socks, purple
  • Kimono #6
  • Baby flannel quilt
  • Finished Oriental learning by machine quilt
  • Camel/silk blend spinning
  • Started spinning the really old (leftover) combed top of silvery gray
  • Radiating star shawl/blanket

What fun things did I do with my family, friends, or by myself? 

My sister and I didn’t really do anything special while I visited, just spent time together.

I enjoyed a retreat weekend with a bunch of ladies from church. I went hiking with some of the ladies on Saturday morning, which was a nice challenge.

What gifts did I give and/or receive?

Card to ss, and a late giving of some chocolates

What special or unusual purchases did I make?

New camera: Canon G12

I had to re-buy my neti pot, as the previous one broke.

What illnesses or health concerns did I have?

Out of nowhere, I caught a stomach bug that lasted for approximately five days. It consisted of fever, nausea (though nothing came up that end), and lots of diarrhea. We will go no further into detail here; suffice it to say that I am now, once again, paying great attention to what comes out the other end these days, simply because it is so nice to see everything working properly.

Teeth! I forgot my mouth insert for sleeping, which prevents me from grinding my teeth, when I visited my sister. That meant for five nights I didn’t have that protection and two of my teeth showed it. Fortunately getting the insert back in as soon as I returned helped to mitigate that. However, that means I really do need to pay attention to this. The funny thing is – I don’t really feel tense.

Right trapezius? muscle suddenly flared up with heat and pain (inflammation?) during my visit to my sister. I do not know exactly what is causing this, although I do know that I will have to be extra careful with my sitting posture, especially when at the computer.

Anything else noteworthy to include?

I learned a bit about yogurt. Part of my problem is the difficulties of getting a good thick, creamy yogurt; apparently the specific strain of bacteria has a good deal to do with this. When I used the yogurt from the Blue Ridge Dairy as the starter, it was remarkable the difference from the yogurt produced by the yogurt I got from the grocery store (can’t remember which one, but it was an organic one; it just was too watery).

I cleaned out my bathroom sink. Wow! Once I was able to get the stopper (which was seriously icky!) out of the way, the baking soda/vinegar combination really cleared it out. But this does indicate that I need to do this on a more regular basis. The don’t-do-it-for-10-years thing really causes yuckiness.

What rest did I achieve this month?

I was able to recover my sleep after sickness, which is good.