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13th-Feb-2008 01:05 pm - For resolute

Thanks to

resolute, I actually got today's Something Positive!  I post a link in case she doesn't read SP, because this is TOO up her alley.



31st-Jan-2008 09:43 am - It's kudzu!

I'm feeling sheepy today, so here's a meme I found on fairoriana's journal. 

Cut-n-paste the empty questions in a comment, if you'd like.  You could even post the questions in your own journal!

1) Are you currently in a serious relationship?

2) What was your dream growing up?

3) What talent do you wish you had?

4) If I bought you a drink what would it be?

5) Favorite vegetable?

6) What was the last book you read?

7) What zodiac sign are you?

8) Any Tattoos and/or Piercings? Explain where.

9) Worst Habit?

10) If you saw me walking down the street would you offer me a ride?

11) What is your favorite sport?

12) Do you have a Negative or Optimistic attitude?

13) What would you do if you were stuck in an elevator with me?

14) Worst thing to ever happen to you?

15) Tell me one weird fact about you.

16) Do you have any pets?

17) What if I showed up at your house unexpectedly?

18) What was your first impression of me? (hmmm...careful!)

19) Do you think clowns are cute or scary?

20) If you could change one thing about how you look, what would it be?

21) Would you be my crime partner or my conscience?

22) What color eyes do you have?

23) Ever been arrested?

24) Bottle or can soda?

25) If you won $10,000 today, what would you do with it?

27) What's your favorite place to hang at?

28) Do you believe in ghosts?

29) Favorite thing to do in your spare time?

30) Do you swear a lot?

31) Biggest pet peeve?

32) In one word, how would you describe yourself?

33) Do you believe/appreciate romance?

34) If you could live anywhere in the world where would you chose?

35) Do you believe in God?

36) Will you repost this so I can fill it out and do the same for you?

2nd-Jan-2008 12:37 pm - Interesting Take on Things

I swiped this meme from

fairorianaand tammylc.  I find it interesting.  In many ways, growing up, I was quite aware that we did not have a bunch of money and that we didn't have anything we wanted.  On the other hand, I can bold quite a few of these.  

Father went to college


Father finished college

Mother went to college

Mother finished college

Have any relative who is an attorney, physician, or professor

Were the same or higher (social) class than your high school teachers


Had more than 50 books in your childhood home

Had more than 500 books in your childhood home

Were read children's books by a parent

Had lessons of any kind before you turned 18

Had more than two kinds of lessons before you turned 18

The people in the media who dress and talk like you were portrayed positively. 
Had a credit card with your name on it before you turned 18

Your parents (or a trust) paid for the majority of your college costs

Your parents (or a trust) paid for all of your college costs

Went to a private high school

Went to summer camp

Had a private tutor before you turned 18 
Family vacations involved staying at hotels

Your clothing was all bought new before you turned 18

Your parents bought you a car that was not a hand-me-down from them

There was original art in your house when you were a child

Had a phone in your room before you turned 18 
You and your family lived in a single family house

Your parent(s) owned their own house or apartment before you left home

You had your own room as a child

Participated in an SAT/ACT prep course

Had your own TV in your room in High School

Owned a mutual fund or IRA in High School or College

Flew anywhere on a commercial airline before you turned 16

Went on a cruise with your family
Went on more than one cruise with your family

Your parents took you to museums and art galleries as you grew up
You were unaware of how much heating bills were for your family

20th-Nov-2007 09:37 am - Knitting ADD
There are a few downsides to this sudden return of knitting energy.  I want to start all kinds of new projects!  I really should finish a few first. :)  Part of the impetus for this has been trying to decide on what knitting to take for the trip to Seattle. 

I ripped out my current sock in progress, because I'd made the leg too long, resulting in not enough yarn for the foot.  I could just take the other ball of that yarn and start over.  I've brought the book to work to photocopy the pattern. 

I'm not taking Lina's blanket, because it is large/bulky.  That shouldn't take too much longer to finish, though. 

If I were virtuous, I would take the Christmas stocking I promised to make for my sister-in-law.  Heck, I need to make one for that brand-new brother-in-law I picked up this past weekend. Not too bulky, very simple knitting (essentially, make a giant sock).  Must remember to bring in the old pattern to scan next week.  Mom promised to make the crocheted snowmen required.  I'll have to remind her that the yarn is at her house. At least that way, if she doesn't get the crochet done, it's not my fault the stockings aren't ready!  I also need to check and see where the color balance is at on the mantel.  The girls' stockings were both green, because that balanced things.  I'm not sure where we're at now.  

I'm currently frustrated with my lace stole.  I was stupid and relied on the magnets, which, of course, slipped in my bag.  Now I have to figure out where I am and why I'm off by a stitch. Plus, it's a large chart and not easily transportable. Thus, it's not going with to Seattle. Fortunately, I've been listening to the Knit Picks podcast, and I got some good ideas to figure out how to do that.

I'm itching to do something with the beautiful periwinkle laceweight LT brought me from Madrona last year.  The only problem is that we misplaced the ball band and I have no idea how much I have.  I think this means I'm doing a triangle from the point up, so I just quit when I run out of yarn!  I'm thinking if I decide I want an edging, I could do it a contrasting color, but I'm not sure if that will look well.  Decisions, Decisions.  I'm currently trying hard to resist taking the laceweight with me on the trip.  I love knitting laceweight and lace, and it's so lovely and compact!
19th-Nov-2007 02:33 pm - Christmas baking planning
It seems a bit early to be planning this, but I'm the designated baker in my family. I have a terrible tendency to over-commit myself, so I'm trying to avoid that this year.  I'll confess that I can't wait for next year, when I will have a chest freezer and can start nicely ahead of time! 

Must have items: 
Great-Aunt Lina's bread
Cranberry bread
Banana-Apricot bread
Peanut Butter Blossoms
Cornflake Wreaths

Really want items: 
Lemon cream
Candy cane cookies
Carol's mint brownies 
Mint Meringues

Nice to have: 
Good sugar cookies, decorated
Root beer cookies
Chocolate chip cookies 

I'm probably insane to be contemplating this much, and I'm sure I'm forgetting something.  I'd love to add both cardamom bread and julekake to my repertoire.  Then there's krumkake and rosettes. Hello, I'm a compulsive Christmas baker.  The worst part is that I'll do all of this in about 48 hours of just insane baking. This is why I'm so looking forward to getting a freezer I can fight some baking in!
31st-Oct-2007 03:07 pm - Can't I just stay home and knit?

I'm finally coming out of a knitting slump, brought on by too much obligation knitting. Now that I'm finally knitting for myself, it's really gotten me back into knitting.  So, I headed off to visit Knitty and take a look at their new fall issue.  It's been over a year since I visited, largely because I wasn't finding inspiration in the patterns.  Not this time! Largely so I can remember what I liked and why: 

Muir:  This could be very nice in the lovely periwinkle blue lace-weight yarn LT brought me from Madrona last winter.  It calls for 1030 yds of yarn, and LT said there was almost half a mile of yarn, so I should have plenty. It's on a size 6 needle, so it should be fairly comfy to knit. 

Henry:   I really have no desire to make a scarf knit lengthwise, but I really like the stitch pattern. I agree with the designer that this could make a great baby blanket. I'm not so sure about working an entire blanket in fingering weight though.  Hmm ... maybe more of a car seat blanket. 

Roam:  One of the things I'm really appreciating about Knitty that is a change is the nice range of sizes in the patterns.  This is a hooded cardigan in sizes that would fit me.  It has some really nice details, including shaping.  I also like the variegated yarn more than I thought I would. 

Mr. Greenjeans: I really like this sweater, and again, I like the variegated yarn more than I thought I would.  One thing I like is the way it's shaped.  Also, it should be fairly easy to lengthen the cabled bottom a bit to hit at a more flattering length for me. 

Totally Autumn:  One of the things that every member of the family noticed when we moved my grandmother to the hospice unit at North Memorial was the beautfiul hand-made bright pink quilt on her bed.  One of the nurses explained that the blankets and nightgowns/pajamas were made for the patients by volunteers.  Right then and there, I decided I wanted to knit a blanket for the unit.  The patient across the hall had a lovely crocheted blanket in fall colors.  Originally I thought I'd finally get around to trying the Great American Aran Afghan.  That's a rather large afghan, and I think it might be a bit much for that.  This pattern is better, I think.  It's of a good size (not too big), interesting to knit, and makes good use of variegated yarn.  When did I suddenly become in love with variegated yarn?  Rummaging around on the 'nets, I've found a couple of yarns that will wash well and won't break the bank.  Paton's Melody is currently at the top of the list, although Bernat's Boucle Stripes is good too. Bernat's Masala has some good colorways.

Not a Knitty pattern, but I also really want to make myself some knee-highs.  Now that I can dress much more casually at work, I'm really not interested in wearing hose when I don't have to.  Also, I mostly wear shoes that need something a wee bit heavier than hose or even trouser socks. So, I think I shall embark up on making up my own pattern.  If I do them toe-up, I can continue to try them on and make sure I'm getting the shaping right.  Elizabeth Zimmerman gives the math for doing calf-shaping in one of her books.  I think I can do this! 

LIfe is rather busy right now, although it's full of good things.  Tonight, we decorate the heck out of the yard (actually, LT will likely have most of it done before I get home), and I get to hand out large quantities of candy to hopefully large quantities of kids.  I'm hoping that the weather cooperates so we can break our record. Tomorrow it's off to ICON where I'll get back to running an Art Show.  It's been long enough that I think I'll be able to have fun at it again.  It helps that I'll have Nate, the uber staffer to help.

26th-Oct-2007 10:44 am - Stuff
Life is chugging along.  Last night was date night for LT and I, so we went to the Champlin 5-8, which was fabulous as usual.  I need to remember that Thursday nights there are bingo nights.  This makes for a much more crowded and loud restaurant.  Also, holy moly, the caller is from Minnesota.  I suspect a bunch of time "up north."  It's really funny to watch LT trying to make that Minnesota "o" sound.  

Work is perking along.  Right now, I'm frankly bored.  I've played with the spreadsheets I can.  Everyone else is fantastically busy writing up the attributions from the holdings I requested (no, that shouldn't make sense to anyone not in this industry). So, I'm left with one of two truly fascinating projects: 
 1.  Try to take apart the stack of wire-bound books in my bottom drawer.  Scan them in. Upload them to the portal site. 
 2.  Upload stuff from the network drive to the portal. 

Neither of these involves much brain work at all.  I could also work on writing up the procedures for the quarterly international attribution. I've been putting that off.  I'm very comfortable with gathering the data.  I'm mostly comfortable with writing the procedures out.  I'm not comfortable at all with how to format the darn things.  I've bugged wiredferret for guidance before, and she's been very kind about it.  Googling failed to find me any appropriate resources.  

Finally it occurred to me that someone had to have written some books on this.  So, off to Amazon I went.  After some fruitless searching, I finally stumbled on something that's relatively close.  Fortunately, in the related books, I found a much more closely related title.  Woot!  It looks like there is information out there.  But it isn't cheap, and I didn't want to ask my new company to spend much more money on me right now.  Hmm .... Time to see just how much paying off my civic contribution (aka my library fines) was going to cost.  Fortunately, it was something I could swing.  Further digging revealed that I can actually make ILL requests online.  Ooooooh these people are DOOMED.  DOOMED, I tell you! *evil chuckling*

Yesterday, two of the books came in.  Technical Writing for Dummies is utterly pointless. It tries to cover far too much in one book.  Also, none of it relates to the particular type of writing I'm doing.  However, the other book How to Write Policies, Procedures, and Task Outlines, this one is worth the time.  I've got several others coming via ILL, but I don't know how long it will take to get them. So, I'm reading at work, and thinking about how to apply this.
18th-Oct-2007 04:39 pm - Oh what the heck

Look!  It's another attempt to post something more than memes and when something awful happens. 

The biggest change in my life is that I have an absolutely fabulous new job!  I'm now a Research Assistant at Jeffrey Slocum & Associates ( www.jslocum.com ).  It's an institutional investment advice firm; what I really like is that the focus is on non-profit clients.  Basically, I'm the admin for a research team. I do a lot of calendar stuff.  I'm also doing a lot of work on the spreadsheets they use.  The guys I work with are all wonderfully smart, but dear gods they have no sense for formatting at all!  Apparently, they're in awe of some basic formatting changes.  Look! Change the labels so you can read them!  Oooooh conditional formatting tells you when you're late!  Okay, even I was impressed with conditional data validation - fortunately, I found a website that made that spectacularly easy.  A lot of the spreadsheets they use make me itch, so I think I'll have plenty to do that way. My other big focus is on processes and documentation of such.  Less glamorous, but it is much needed, especially because we're a financial firm.  SEC audits are not fun nor glamorous. 

Fortunately, despite the fact that I haven't even been here a month, the new job has been fabulous about flexible hours and bereavement leave and my brain being mush for a while.  I would not have gotten that at the old job.

Last night I finally hit the wall and totally melted down. 

lthomas987was fabulous and fed me and took care of me.  I'd kind of been wondering when that would happen.  

Not a ton of excitement, but tonight wiredferretcomes to visit!  I'm really looking forward to dinner and stuff tonight.  It will be very good to see her.  I owe her big thanks for letting me debrief to her every night on the way home from the hospital.  Poor LT didn't need to be awoken at 12:30 am so I could tell her all about it. 

Yay!  A real entry!


18th-Oct-2007 10:54 am - Help!
Head on Toad
Well, the details have been settled.  But now I need someone to come let the poor beagle boys out on Saturday.  Because I'll be gone from 9 am until god only knows when.  Does anyone have time to come spend an hour or so at my house with two adorable but rambunctious beagles on Saturday between about 2pm and 7 pm?  It would really help to know that I don't have to rush back from Duluth (where the internment will be). 

Gah, I'm not fond of asking for help, but unless the weather suddenly decides to cooperate, Saturday is going to be the only day dry enough to mow the lawn.  Could anyone just come run the mower over the lawn at some point on Saturday?  The back practically qualifies as hay. 

As LT reminded me last night while I was finally melting down, I'm not exactly good at asking for help.  I need to remember that it makes me happy to be able to help my friends, I need to share that happiness with others.  Or something.
15th-Oct-2007 03:37 pm - No more grandparents
I have been invisible for the last week. My grandmother went into the hospital a week ago Saturday with pneumonia in one lung and aspirated food in the other. She went steadily down hill, despite IV antibiotics and oxygen.  She went to Critical Care for 2 days when we tried using a Bi-PAP machine to give her a rest from the extreme effort she was putting into breathing.  She promptly became dependent on the machine.  Fortunately, she had a very clear healthcare directive.  We moved her to hospice care on Saturday, and she died six hours later.  

It was more than time.  She was miserable and exhausted.  When she was trying to talk, earlier in the week, she'd just tell me that she wanted to go home and be with my grandfather in heaven. My mother did not give us nearly as much trouble as I was afraid she would.  That had been one of my major stressors through all of this.  My mom is not at all comfortable with turning anything off on anyone.  She clings to every story she's ever heard of people who have woken up or suddenly recovered.  She also held my grandmother's healthcare power of attorney. I had nightmares all week of her fighting us on letting Nana go. The in-patient hospice at North Memorial is an amazing place.  She wasn't there for long, but it made a difference for her and for us.  They had a binder of very helpful articles that gave us the key information we needed to be comfortable turning off her feeding tube and IV fluids.

Right now, I'm mostly exhausted.  I had the evening shift at the hospital all week, and I was staying the night Saturday.  We're still sorting out when the funeral will be.  Hopefully, it will be this Saturday in Cambridge.  We'll then drive up to Duluth for the internment. Once I've managed some decent sleep, I'm sure it will hit me much harder.  I've been so focused on being with her and trying to sort out care needs, that normal life seems a bit surreal.  It was very odd not to go to the hospital yesterday, and I had to remind myself that I don't have to go today.  
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