I need to read . . . faster?

A few years ago I discovered Goodreads.com. It’s a site where you list all the books you’ve read, or want to read. And if your friends are signed up, you can see what they have read, and want to read as well.

On my homepage the other day, a 2013 Reading Challenge popped up. Sure, why not. So I set a lofty goal of 40 books to read this year(!). Too lofty? Probably. I know I read a whole lot, but when I checked in today, I saw that I had only read 13 books (33% complete) and, apparently, I’m 7 books behind schedule! Oh dear.

2013 Reading Challenge

It probably doesn’t help that the last two books I’ve read were almost 1,000, and my current book is almost 700. hahaha. Whoops. Is it cheating if you make a conscious decision to read books with fewer pages??? =)

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642 Things to Write About

Ok, so I saw a book in Chapters ages ago: 642 Things to Write About

I picked it up, looked at it, put it down; picked it up, flipped through the pages, thought “this would be cool to do”, then thought, “cool, but hard!”, put it down. I went through this cycle a number of times on subsequent visits to the store. Until earlier this month when I said “Screw it. I’m gonna buy it”. And I did thinking about how this would get me back in touch with my inner writer. But the more I walked back to work, the heavier the book got, and the darker the thought bubble above my head (I never travel without it) got until, when I was sitting back at my desk, the bubble burst and it rained self-doubt all over! “I’m a crappy writer” “what if I can’t think of anything good to write about” “what if what I’m writing about is stupid”.

So, the book stayed tucked away in my backpack. Until I again said, “Screw it. This would make a cool blog topic”. So I’m going to challenge my inner writer to write a piece on as many topics as I can from this book. I’m going to aim for 1 a month to start. I would like to get through all of them, but I know there are some just from flipping through that I will tend to on paper in my personal journal and NOT out here in cyberspace!

I wanted to get to my first one today, but seeing as my lunch our is almost up, probably not going to happen! Not sure which topic I’ll pick first, but stay tuned if you’d like to read it =)

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Family Day Long Weekend 2013 – what a crazy weekend!!

This weekend marked the first long weekend of the year with the addition of the “Family Day” holiday for British Columbia on Monday, February 11. And it started with my husband coming home on Friday with, “I have good news, bad news, and a surprise that will make up for the bad news”.

So, my weekend:

FRIDAY
– My husband got a promotion at work (yay!)
– his new (allbeit “temporary”) shift for a special project at work: 3:30pm – midnight (boooo)
– he said he is going to buy me my own (used) car (super yay!)

SATURDAY
– Spent most of the day looking at cars (yay)
– Found one I really liked and left the dealership to research the car more (yay . . . .research . . )
– Got a call from the In-Laws – they want us to come over tomorrow for dinner – early – at 2:00 to look at the house they want to buy (fun! but wow – outta left field!)
– said house has a basement suite that they want to possibly rent to us (cool!)

SUNDAY
– We buy my car (WOOT WOOT!!!)
– We see the new house (Wish we could buy it for ourselves!)
– We see the basement suite. It’s tiny!!! (sadface) but oh well – it’s their money.
– After dinner, and while flossing, the crown from my implant tooth falls out (F*$%&!!!!!)

MONDAY
Do absolutely NOTHING because we should probably try and relax for at least one of the long weekend days . . . .=)

Not as crazy as my friend – who was the victim of an identity thief on Friday afternoon (now THAT’s one way to ruin a long weekend) but I’ve had enough adventure for the month.

All I want to do now is sit at home, do some reading, knitting, and/or cross stitch, and enjoy the last few weekday evenings I have with the hubby until he starts his crazy shift. Knowing the way my life likes to unroll, that’s probably a little too much to ask at this point! haha. Keeping my fingers crossed!!!

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Goals (somewhat) achieved

At the beginning of the year I set a few goals for myself. Sad to say, I have only (really) completed a few of them. So, going through the list . . . .

1) I will learn to run 5K – Well, I started.  Then developed Shin Splints.  Got new runners, still had Shin Splints.  Shelved the running for the future.

2) I will do Aquafit at least twice a week - This became very difficult to do as the classes started at a funny time that would make me either not eat prior to the class, then be famished afterwards, or eat before and get a tummy ache.  BUT I joined Club 16 over the summer, and (up until recently) went to the gym at least 2 times a week.

3) I will stop looking at the scale and instead concentrate on how I feel- Easier said than done.  I didn’t stop looking at the scale completely.  It’s quite satisfying to see the number continuously drop over a period of time.  Total weight lost to date (since summer) – 15 pounds and counting.  Nice and steady.  I feel great!

4) I will drink more water – check! drinking more water.  Not huge amounts (I have to pee a lot!) but more than what I was doing before.

5) I will scan all my photo albums onto my laptop- work in progress.

6) I will make enough greeting cards to sell at my work’s annual Christmas Fair Market thingy- DONE!!!!  I even got a logo and bags (with said logo) to put sold cards in!!!! Go me!!!

7) I will make enough knitted things to sell at my work’s annual Christmas Fair Market thingy- Not done, and won’t happen.  Takes too long.  Maybe next year.

8) I will think of a creative name for a business for myselfDONE!! But until I have a website, or you know me personally and ask me, I’m not telling!!!

9) I will learn more about my camera and how to use it- meh, not so much.  Started to read a book; read online about how to take pictures of the moon; realized I need a tripod.

10) I will take at least one photography class this year- maybe next year . . . .

11) I will take los and lots of pictures- and lots and lots and lots =) work in progress – I will never be done!!!!

12) I will knit at least ONE thing for MYSELF! - I still have a month or so. . . . . it could happen, right?

So, I guess you could say I’m great at setting goals, just not so great keeping them.  But I think I did alright for this year. . . . AND, there’s always NEXT YEAR!!!

Haha.

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The Healing Process

Over the last few years I have really been struggling with the death of my grandma. My mother passed away when I was only 2 months old – and my mother was 16. So my grandma was pretty much the only mother I had ever known. I had always thou about getting a tattoo but never knew what I wanted to have permanently etched on my body (it is a pretty big decision).

In the years since my granny passed I thought more and more about the tattoo and decided that two roses (my mother and I have the same middle name – Rose) and a piano keyboard (because my granny was an awesome pianist!) would be perfect. The picture is the final result, thanks to Kirk Sheppard at Rain City Tattoo. The big Rose is me, the little Rose is my mom because she never had a chance to bloom, and the keyboard is my other “mum”, my granny.

I am so happy with it. And as the tattoo heals, I can feel my heart healing as well. My heart will never heal completely, but I don’t think it’s supposed to. And now, that’s ok with me.

20120323-115907.jpg

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Baby Hat Success?

English Diamond Blocks? hmmmm. Don't see it.

I like trying new patterns. What I don’t like it when they don’t turn out like the puctures.

I tried the English Diamond pattern from

Didn’t turn out like the picture, quite like advertised. I think there’s a mistake in the pattern there somewhere, I’m just not a good enough knitter to figure that out!

That being said, I like how it turned out, and I will soon be giving it to my friend and her baby =)

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Double Pointed Needles (or things that knitters invented to torture other knitters)

Image

One of my current projects - a (hopefully) cute baby hat!

There are many, many, many patterns for cute little baby hats out there on the interweb.  Unfortunately, the majority of them call for (switch to scary movie voice) double pointed needles!

My first thought when I first tried using these . . . . . things . . . was “great, let’s invent something with no ends so that my work has TWICE as many chances of falling off and f***ing everything up!”. 

The hardest bit about double pointed needles (dpn) pattern, for me at least, is joining and starting the first round.  (and making sure I “don’t twist” when joining – something that is heavily cautions in every pattern)  When I first attempted making a had on dpn, I remember I had to eventually YouTube how to “join” properly.  When I tried this pattern last night, I did the same thing – I searched YouTube to try and kick my memory into remembering how to do this.  I encountered a problem – all the videos had the people casting on using their hands and not a 2nd needle!  Why is this a problem?  (you non-knitters might not understand this part) the tail end of the yarn ends up in the same place as the yarn from the ball – and joining seems like a piece of cake.  I couldn’t seem to find a video that had the person using two needles to cast on, ending up with a tail on one end, and the main source of yarn on the other.

Was I frustrated? HELL YES! 

Did I panic and say “OMG! I won’t be able to finishg this hat in time for the baby shower!” NO! 

And for me, that’s a big step.  As my hubby will contest to, I have, time and again, gotten frustrated with a pattern when it wasn’t working out quite like how I expected it too, trown my piece aside with a “harumphant” sign of disgust, sitting on the couch with my arms crossed and, yes, pouting.

Childish, I know.  But my dpn project attempt yesterday has made me believe that I am (finally) growing as a knitter (even with the cramped hands I seem to get whenever using dpn).

OK, so maybe dpn were not invented to torture knitters (not totally anyway).  I have to admit, once you get the flow going with a dpn project, it does become fun and quite enjoyable!  For knitters who have never attempted a dpn pattern, I dare you to do so!  I can’t promise you that you won’t get frustrated, or confused, but keep at it!  It DOES get better (eventually!) and if you can master the skill, think of all the wonderful new projects you can make for others to enjoy!

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