Thursday, April 30, 2009

CT Sheep & Wool

Yeah, it's been almost a week since this event, but hey, at least I finally got to it! Last Saturday, Marianne and I drove down to Connecticut to check out the small but mighty CT Sheep & Wool show. It really only took us about an hour to walk through the whole thing twice, but... there were some lovely vendors and adorable animals. There was some beautiful alpaca yarn calling my name, but I resisted by thinking about how well I've been doing on my budget, and also thinking about my still gigantic stash waiting to be knit up!

It was a very, very warm day, and was really the first 'shorts appropriate' day so far this year... we went from the 60's to the 90's in one fell swoop! The animals were all panting and looking very hot... of course, you can't tell in the pictures, but I promise it's true.

"Shear me next... I'm hot!"

Mellow Llama:


This here was the teeny, tiny, teensy tiniest baby dwarf goat in the world. I wish there was something in the picture to show the scale... she weighed maybe a couple of pounds, I'd say. She didn't have a name, as she had just been born 3 days ago, and they weren't sure she'd live, because her mommy stomped her. :( Here, she is jumping and looking very lively. It's the least blurry of the action shots....
um, except for the peeing shot. A baby goat has got to go sometimes, you know?

Aaaaand here is another peeing animal picture. I know, I know... typical. This here is a brace of oxen named Tom and Jerry, who were 1600 and 1800 pounds. Again, the scale is not evident, but these dudes were LARGE and in charge. They were giving oxcart rides, and looked VERY hot. One of them was drooling quite profusely, and his drool threads were being blown around by the breeze - you couldn't get too close!
It was a lovely way to spend an afternoon. It's a much smaller show than MA or NH, but still worth the time, especially on a nice day. If you recall, it was at this show that I bought my spinning wheel last year. It was cold and sorta rainy at the show last year, so I suppose it is still possible to have fun when it is not nice out, but still, I know which I prefer!

Monday, April 27, 2009

A Visit to the Decordova

If you live in this neck of the woods and want a nice place to walk around outdoors and see some sculptures, I recommend the Decordova Museum. However, when the heck did they start charging money? I was so irritated! Fortunately, it was a Sunday and they stop charging at 5PM, and we arrived at 4:45, so we went elsewhere for 15 minutes. All's well that ends well.

We used those 15 minutes to stop at the Lincoln Library:

Now, it is true that most of the pictures aren't even of the library, but whatever. That's how I roll.

Once we were at the Decordova, there were tons of sculptures to photograph. Here are a few of them, with a few nature shots mixed in, of course.

It was a beautiful afternoon, although a stiff breeze cooled things down a bit more than anticipated. The same cannot be said for this past weekend, which soared into the 80's! We'll evidently see 90 tomorrow, and it will then plummet back down into the 60's for the next week or so. Never a dull moment!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

I'm in the Paper!

Click here to read the article!

So, there is not a photo online, but my smiling face made the actual article in the paper. It's an article about various girls' nights out, and the Lowell knitting gals made the cut!

There was one quote that I was afraid they were going to throw in there... at one point, I confessed that one year, I calculated that I had spent... um... $4000 on knitting stuff. (Yes, you may faint now) This was a long time ago, and I have no excuse for such lavishness. I'm willing to bet that all of that yarn has been knitted up by now, though, and as of this time for 2009, I have only spent $36 all year on yarn.

I got off lucky, though, and that ill-thought-out statement did not make the cut. However, one important quote got in there... "I think it's... really important to keep up female friendships." I stand behind that quote 100%. Over the course of my life, there have been periods of time where I did not have a lot of close female friendships, and I gotta tell ya... those times are not so great. Female friends provide a type of closeness, camaraderie, and support that a guy friend (or boyfriend/lover/what have you) just don't offer, and friendship is different from a romantic relationship. I think if I had to choose between being single but with a good group of girl friends, or being partnered but with no friends, I'd go with the former. Of course, I'm aiming to have both!

April vacation is coming up quickly. Today and tomorrow will probably go by pretty fast - our school has a Cambodian New Year show today. Students will be performing traditional dances and such - it's really cool. And tomorrow, I have an out-of-the-building meeting that lasts all morning, so tomorrow will go by quickly, as well. Then, a week of relaxing and perhaps even crossing a couple of things off the to-do list. I have populated the to-do list with a bunch of fun stuff... I want to try and make bagels, and an authentic mole' sauce, for instance. Unfortunately, I also have an appointment with a bank to review my mortgage (boring) and I think I'll get the garbage disposal replaced, too (money I wish I didn't have to spend).

Have a good one, everyone!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Jogging and Blisters and Allergies, Oh My!

So, I have been slowly and consistently increasing the amount of time/distance that I've been jogging, going out a couple of times a week, adding a minute or two to the total jog time each time I go out. It still feels like a struggle - I don't feel relaxed and comfortable yet, but I'm muscling my way through it. Muscles. Suuuuure, Amanda, lots and lots of muscles. *eyeroll*

At the same time, the weather has been getting warmer out, and if I go jogging in the afternoon after work, it has been shorts and t-shirt weather. Know what that means? I had forgotten all about it, actually... it means sweaty feet and BLISTERS. If you go all the way back to the beginning of this blog, you'll get a nice photo of one of the juicy blisters I tend to get when running. It's awful! Anyway, it seems that I do best running in 30-45 degree weather for this reason. Dagnabbit! And before you make a suggestion, I have tried various shoes, socks, no socks, powders, taping, lubing, etc. etc. etc. I have even toughened up that area of the foot... I blister UNDER the callus instead. It's ridiculous, really.

Additionally, a couple of years ago, I started suffering from springtime seasonal allergies. And of course, I have been telling myself that this was a fluke, and that I don't REALLY have allergies. However, when I came back in from my jog yesterday, I sneezed about 50 times until I rushed into the shower, ostensibly to rinse the pollen off of me. Time to get out that neti pot more than every few days, I suppose... Yeah, I guess I really do have allergies.

I am getting dangerously close to finishing my most recent knitting project, but have run into another error in the pattern. The other errors, of which there were several, were all easily sorted out without much head scratching, but this last one is a doozy. It may require some time consuming trial and error, but rest assured, there will be FO pics very soon!

Monday, April 13, 2009

The Surlies

Do you ever come down with a case of 'The Surlies', where you just feel surly for no good reason? I have been a bit crabby today, and also not very hungry at all, which is very odd indeed. I don't feel sick. I've been quite able to pull it together and be pleasant and polite and even cheerful toward other people as needed, but I really didn't FEEL like it.

In unsurly news, I have a couple of projects for myself that are quite close to completion. Here is a closeup of some knot stitches in the High Neck Lace Top (ravelry link) that I am about 75% finished with:

I was told that the knots looked like nipples by a non knitter... perhaps that is why I was drawn to the pattern!?!

Monday, April 06, 2009

A TERRIBLE Start to the Day!

My phone rang this morning before I had gotten out of bed. Fortunately, I decided to answer it, and it was my neighbor, telling me my car was getting towed! I threw on a pair of jeans under my wee nightie, and grabbed a jacket and my keys, and ran across the street in a most inappropriate state of semi-dress. I believe I was still wearing my night guard, but gracefully yanked it out before addressing the tow truck operator.

The upshot was that yes, he'd drop my car back down for a modest $75, in cash. The silly part of all of this is that I have NEVER, in all of the 4 1/2 years of living where I do, EVER, parked in that parking lot. I figured, hey, I'll be out of there by 7:30, who will care? Evidently, the owners of the parking lot care. Fortunately, so do my neighbors Brett and Suzz, and I am incredibly grateful that I had a car to drive to work in today!

On a more positive note, I had a nice evening last night after my bike ride. My friend came over and we wandered around downtown Lowell taking pictures. One of these days, I'd like to take a hobbyist photography course of some sort - I'd like to get even better shots than the ones that I do, as well as learn a few more tricks along the way.

Here are a couple of the photos I took:

Door on St. Ann's Church:

Canal next to Middlesex Community College:

Reflection in window at St. Ann's Church:

Lock doors behind Doubletree:

Desiccated, thorny plant with spider web:

I took a whole bunch of photos, but only edited/ cropped a few of them.

Ooh, today I am starting my tutoring job after work today! It is going to feel like a very long work day... I'm not used to working that many hours in a row! I will have to let you all know how it goes today...

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Beautiful Day!

Wow, what a lovely day today turned out to be! The high winds cooled things off a bit, but it was sunny and warm for an early April day.

I managed to go for a bike ride outdoors, as well. I had a bit of a tough time getting started... I had decided to drive a few miles out of the city center so that the whole ride would be quiet and pleasant, and when I got to my destination (Gary's Ice Cream, yum), I realized I did not have my cycling shoes with me. Sooooo, back home to get the shoes. Try #2 was better, but I realized a few miles in that my water bottle was still in the car! I gazed adoringly at other cyclists' bottles, and even at a couple of brownish streams here and there... it made that lime rickey at Gary's that much more delicious once the ride was done!

I rode for about 1 1/4 hours; no clue how far I went. I kind of don't want to know, because I'm afraid it's like 12 miles or something embarrassing like that! Okay, it's probably longer than that, but still. I don't wanna know.

It was pretty windy, and my legs are a bit out of shape, but it was still beautiful out there. There was one point where I was riding past a place with a bunch of cows... the manure was making me feel a bit gaggy... but I survived!

I hope you all had a great weekend!

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Can't Sleep.

I hate it when that happens! I even got into bed nice and early, like 10pm. 2 1/2 hours later, I have given up and am on the computer. I did find this, and would like to share it with you - you know on hand dryers they have the icons that show you what's going to happen? Well, here is another interpretation of the photos.

Oh, if only it were true.

All right, time to strive for sleep again...