Monday, February 28, 2005

this view from my window right now. The city has already sent out an email out to let the public know about an extended parking ban that runs from tonight at 10pm through tomorrow at noon. This isn't a good thing. 14-20 inches of heavy, wet snow with wind gusts that will blow everything around. Second years don't have class until 1pm tomorrow, but there's a pretty good chance they will be cancelled..... Posted by Hello

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Happiness is.....

- graham crackers with peanut butter
- a clean, picked up and vacuumed apartment
- a new addiction to taking thrift store sweaters apart to recycle the yarn
- classes that start at 2pm tomorrow
- no exams this week
- learning that a “real” brand half gallon of milk is 60 cents cheaper then the “store” brand milk if I buy it at the Asian market (where I can get produce for a fraction of grocery store prices!)
- remembering to buy TP
- the thrill of starting a new knitting project!

This weekend has been nice because I haven’t had any commitments. As I’ve alluded to before, I live in a city with standing parking bans; Sunday nights I can’t park across the street and Tuesday nights I can’t park on this side of the street. There are many more spots available across the street, but either of these nights there’s a chance I won’t get a parking place and need to park in the park. The past few weeks I’ve done all of my running around on Saturday and been able to park on this side of the street and leave my car there through Monday morning. It means that I can stay in my pj’s (scrubs) and enjoy not having to go anywhere (and not worry about having to move my car!).

(Tuesdays are harder to plan for because I’ve got a required class in the afternoon; if it runs late or I have a meeting chances are pretty good I’ll be parking in the park. The park across the street is beautiful, and I’m lucky to live across the street from it; it’s like having a huge lawn that I’m not responsible for! And once the pond defrosts and they turn the fountains on I’ll be continually distracted by the lights that dance with the water all night long! The problem with the park is that there are plenty of documented instances of robbery and other (worse) crimes; I’ve never felt unsafe, but if I’m parking there do try and make sure I have a metal knitting needle (or two) within reach.)

(note: this is a retyped post because my wireless network went down in the middle of publishing the original; I’m trying to be as witty as I was in the first post while trying not to let my frustration eep in…I think people above me/somewhere around me have moved in and set up their own network, hence my problems. I can’t figure out how to password protect “my” network and need to call tech support tomorrow to see what can be done about it. This isn’t the first time it’s happened, but it’s the first time I’ve lost things!)

My Dulaan knitting has been put on hold this weekend; partially because my wrist is bothering me, and partially because going to the sew-up bee next weekend warrants me wearing something hand-knit. February was my month to knit for other people but I think it’ll carry on into March as well. (In my head) I agreed to knit 20 things for the Dulaan project, but I’ve increased that to 30 things, as a way of justifying (to myself) knitting a sweater over the next week. Knitting hats are easy, and I can do one a day (in this case a day = four+ hours of lecture) so another 10 items won’t be hard to do. I’ve also re-discovered the joy of knitting through knitting for other people and have plans for several additional projects (socks for my mom, the sweater for my classmates little one and a few other small things for other little people).

I’ve been having waaaay too much taking apart thrift store sweaters. Therese’s handmade creation yielded several huge balls of unknown fiber, and I’m still working on undoing Barbara’s hand embroidered stitching. My dad is going to rig up a “two nails on a piece of wood” thing so I’ll be able to skein the yarn, and figure out how much I’ve got. I took apart a commercially knit wool sweater for the olive green yarn and can’t wait to use it! I should add that any yarn I get from these sweaters will be used for me, not for gifts. Buying yarn for projects for other people is too much fun and justify-able to my budget.

I’m ready for March to be here. February was a hard month – I touched on some of it before, but things have been harder then they should be and (hopefully) now the worst is over. I’m ready for the lion-like start of March, and think that the calming that comes with the lamb-like ending will be a nice change. We have a week of “spring break” in there, and though I’ll spend a few days in Reno at a conference, I think (hope?) the time will fly by…..

Saturday, February 26, 2005

this lovely number will be tackled next; thanks for the soft (fiber unknown but I'm guessing wool with something else that makes it very soft?) yarn Therese!  Posted by Hello

this poor sweater never had a chance. Posted by Hello

Dear Barbara,  Posted by Hello

thanks for  Posted by Hello

the lopi! Posted by Hello

(you did an excellent job stitching those yellow flowers on, as it's taking me a very long time to un-stitch them....) Posted by Hello

I can't make this stuff up, trust me.

A little review of other things I've had fixed on Kennedy - when I first got her (two years ago this summer) the cd player only played on one side of the car. That was a costly and obnoxious fix because it required taking the cd player out, sending it to the nice saab auto people and getting it rewired; they had to rewire my stereo in order for me to listen to the radio because the security features (aside from the damn "code") mean that it won't play when an element (such as a cd player) are removed.

I also replaced a single tire last year because it was wearing funny. The guys at the tire place who looked at it couldn't tell my why only one tire was mis-shapen, but they replaced it and it hasn't worn funny since.

Then there was the "window" fix; I drove through a toll booth and rolled my window down to pay one cold winter day last year, and my window wouldn't roll up. For almost half an hour I drove on the interstate with my driver side window down, pushing the button to get it up again until something worked and it went up. That was a cold, cold, drive, and I became paranoid about rolling my window down. That fix took two trips out to the guy in the woods, and by the time it was all said and done I was able to roll three of my four windows down and up with no problems! (even with a new "switch" the rear passenger window refuses to go down. I'd already been out there twice to get it fixed/looked at, and wasn't about to take it in again.)

So imagine my surprise today when I went to mail a bill at the post office, and my window wouldn't go down. The other two windows that go down and up, still go down and up, but the drivers window is shut up tight. I'm almost amused, and will let it go because I'm not in any shape to get her looked at again any time soon. Perhaps this summer, when I want it to go down and up, I'll look into it.

I love my car, really, I do. But, mark my words, my next saab will have four windows that go down AND up.

Friday, February 25, 2005

home again, home again..

jiggity jig!

After a whirlwind few days, things are finally settling down again. The round of tests is over, and from what I've heard thus far, the grades are decent. (I'm not sure about pharm, but it's cumulative and there's (hopefully!) room to improve that if need be.) My apartment looks like a disaster area, which, against my own wishes, seems to be par for the course when there are tests to study for.

I headed north on Wednesday and my mom dropped me off at the car place (45 minutes out, but on her way to the school she works at), and I picked Kennedy the car up! There was "something else" wrong with her, but the guy in charge didn't charge us for the fix, and thus I'm still not exactly sure what it was. His exact words were along the line of "you've paid enough already and need to have a car that works." Hence the reason why we'll continue to take our cars out to see him and why I'll buy my next car from him as well. (The man in charge is 60+ years old and I didn't argue with him to see what else was fixed; I think I'm going to knit him a scarf, so now the search is on to find the right yarn...) Kennedy is driving better now then she ever has, and I'm grateful to be driving "my" car again. I'm also glad that I no longer have to worry about the car alarm outside my windowing being my car; one of the first things I did when I got her was ask them to disable the alarm because saabs are a wee bit oversensitive. If you even so much as looked at Scarlett the wrong way she'd go off, complete with lights and the obnoxious weep weeep weeeep noises. I started parking way down the street so I wouldn't feel as guilty when I thought I heard her and now I can return to breathing easy knowing that it's not my car!

Knitting news: I have another Dulaan hat finished, and one that's almost up to the top decreases. I was aiming to get 20 done in February, and am over halfway there. The tough part is going to be figuring out waht size they are for, but I think I can figure out who they'll fit. I have a few other projects in the works, and will be attending the Afghans for Afghans sew up at Julia's next weekend and in the email it says to "wear something you knitted" - which is all I needed to get me thinking about a sweater I started and haven't progressed on. I could wear my noro sweater, but I wore it last weekend and don't love it, and have put it back in the closet to think about what I'm going to do with it. The sleeves just aren't right, and it's not as long as I wish it were; I'll revisit it in another few weeks and see what I can do with it.

I visited the thrift store and found a few gems to take apart for the yarn; I'll have pictures of the before and after of one of them (handmade by Barbara) up later this weekend. She took the time to sew/embroider flowers onto the lopi yarn, and it's taking me a loooong time to take it apart. It'll be worth it, and it's been a fun challenge to get all of it out in one piece.

I submitted an entry into Woolybuns colorway contest - skip over there and vote for which three color combination you like best! It was a good exercise for me to think over, and I have a few new ideas for color combos I never would have considered! (I'm not telling which one is for which one you like the best)

While I'm linking things, I'm going to throw out a short list of other blogs I read; some of them I've been following for a long, long time, and feel as though I know the people writing them, even though they have NO idea who I am!

The dad's at FullerBranter shared their adoption story with the world via their blog, and reading about a successful adotpion was what I needed when a couple near and dear to my heart were going through a very rough adoption. Everything worked out with both, and seeing the pictures of their daughter never fails to put a smile on my face. (and I feel encouraged reading about people on the opposite side of the country who feel the same way I do politically!)

The writer of AbortionClinicDays posts stories that help me to stand behind why I believe abortion needs to remain legal. I thought long and hard before posting this link, and ask that you please refrain from sending hate mail to me if you disagree with me.

another inspiring knitting blog is The Blue Blog. It was here that I learned about recycling yarn, and how to "fix" things. I'm a closet reader of many, many knitting blogs, and she's a great resource!

Pictures will be posted tomorrow - now it's back to the wonders of the gastrointestinal system....

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

I see the moon, and the moon sees me. None of the pictures came out as well as I hoped they would, but I can't not post one; earlier today the moon simply hung in the air, glowing in the sky opposite the sunset. I'm headed north because rumor has it Kennedy the car is fixed, and driving an hour or so tonight will save me from having to do it tomorrow (when I will rush back to try and get to the classes that have been rescheduled from Monday's snow day). I finished another hat during radiology today this afternoon and am relieved to have the exams out of the way (though I am, as usual, confused as to why it's not Friday; four exams down, and it's only Wednesday?!) Posted by Hello

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

the bear, a newborn hat (for a little one due in March, not for Dulaan) and a pile of blue yarn that will be untangled and rewound after my test tomorrow. Todays practical exam went well, but the big one (one that really "counts") is tomorrow; time to replace the needles with highlighters again.....  Posted by Hello

Monday, February 21, 2005

I hope Mongolian kids (the Dulaan project, link on the sidebar) like stripes! Posted by Hello

in honor of the snow day: another finished Dulaan Hat. (now I must really get back to studying....)  Posted by Hello

The weather outside....

is frightful. Visibility is less then 25 feet (which in yarn terms is about how much I had leftover from my the first ball of yarn after making coolaide dyed mittens, or about as much as you'd need to make a decorative I-cord edging for something small, very small) and the snow is falling faster then they can plow it which means that many, many cars are off the road.

I should have listened to my gut this morning and stayed home; it was snowing, and the streets were slick but I still headed in. Classes weren't due to start until 9:30, and I left at 8:34 (after checking my email to see that they were still on as scheduled) in hopes that I'd get into class early. Ha! It took me over an hour (usually a 25 minute drive) and I got stuck at two different intersections on two different hills: a standard on slick, steep hills is NOT a good thing. At one point I put the car in neutral and rolled back to a sidestreet, then slid my way (backwards) down the street so I could catch my breath and eventually turn around and approach the hill from another street.

I got into school and the empty parking lots told me that classes were cancelled. I parked and went in to make sure, and again caught my breath before heading back out to come home. I considered staying at school to study, but didn't have everything I needed and I just wanted to be home; another 45 minutes later I was back in town, and Scarlett the red car is parked over in "parking ban" territory.

I just made a cup of tea and have changed out of my sopping wet shoes, socks and jeans into warm wool socks and a pair of oversized fleece pants. My books are out, and now I have an extra afternoon to study for the two exams this week. (I'll knit this afternoon too!) This is the first year in many that I actually have President's Day "off!" (my undergrad college didn't believe in giving us the day off, much like the med school....)

the reason classes are cancelled today  Posted by Hello

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Happiness is....

- sharing a brick oven pizza with my dad this evening
- getting a phone call from a very good friend just "saying hi!'
- a fresh pot of coffee
- finding a stash of quarters I'd forgotten about
- knowing that Scarlett the car will get me to class in one piece until Kennedy is fixed

It's been a coooooold weekend and I can't wait until spring gets here! I feel like I've already worn each one of my sweaters several times, and find myself wishing I had a few more to choose from; the days of short sleeve t's and lightweight jackets feels too far away....

The pulse warmer (aka wristlets, wrist warmers, cuffs) is for the woman I consider my Godmother. She's been a key person in my life and up until I turned 18 she and her husband were to be my guardians if anything happened to my parents. Her kids stairstep my brothers and I and we all grew up together - they're like my extended family. She's in the hospital recovering from an operation, and has been fighting lung cancer. She doesn't smoke, eats healthy and lives a great lifestyle, but has inoperable spot on her lung. It's hard for me to fathom, because this sort of thing isn't supposed to happen to anyone I actually know and care for, but it is happening.

The yarn is Brown Sheep Naturespun (or something or other - I looked for the ball band but can't find it. (I'm not surprised because my mom picked this skein up two moves ago and things like ball bands didn't always get packed at that point). I looked on the website and can't tell exactly what color it is; it's purple with shades of red and blue and the occasional teal green. I got it to fill in for a project and have been holding onto it since; it's beautiful yarn and the pulse warmers are coming out beautifully. (I used a pattern I bought online to support a Tsunami fund, I'll see if I can find the site)

The spin/spa fiber weekend I visited yesterday was great! The vendors were set up in a ballroom (if there were two of them then I missed one...) and I was able to look around without feeling pressured. The strangest comments I got were about my age; I look younger then I am, but it was hard to have women getting excited about seeing someone "half their age" there. (their words, not mine!) I hope to master the drop spindle (that I'll figure out how to make over my break) so that if I go next year I'll be able to buy fiber to spin. The natural roving I picked up is to use for thrumbed mittens.

I spent a long time looking at books this weekend and I hope it'll pay off during the tests this week. I don't like leaving an exam wondering what exactly I spent my time studying; that's happened more then I'd like this term, and I hope things change this week.

I have another two hats on the needles for the Dulaan project and they're moving right along. I'm enjoying seeing my stash pile of "what am I going to do with that?" yarn turning into hats. My "knitting for other people" month might extend past February......

pulse-warmer; the first one (picture taken this afternoon in the sun) is now finished! The second one is on the needles.  Posted by Hello

Saturday, February 19, 2005

the bear modeling another two finished hats; he's sitting next to my first ever fiber purchase. I wandered down the street today and visited the New England Fiber Spin and Spa (I think that's what it's called?) weekend and had a good time looking at what the venders had to offer.  Posted by Hello

Friday, February 18, 2005

Kennedy update: not good.

my parents just emailed: the news isn't good. They called over to hear that the nice saab guys replaced the computer ($$$$$$$$) and so they headed out to pick her up (a 45 minute ride). They got there, settled the bill, then she got as far as the end of the driveway before cutting out again. The guy in charge took her out and also had problems, so they'll look at her again on Monday.

Then my parents drove home. I owe them. I owe them big time.

(my mind is racing with other things that could be wrong, the things that are hard to fix vs. the things that are easy to fix and how much money this might cost and so on. At least she's there, where people who know what they are doing can work on her. Back to my knitting/studying...)

If a car computer were hooked up to a monitor,

could you see it blue screen?

The "runs while I'm at a constant speed" theory broke down once I got closer to home Tuesday night, and getting it the 45 minute drive east to be looked at was a drive I can only describe as painful. Thank goodness my mom was driving behind me and could buffer my quick and completely random pull off to the side of the roads stops. (the car wouldn't stall out if I was going, it'd just loose all power and even with my foot on the gas, decelerate till I was stopped. Then I'd have to *turn it off, let it sit for a minute or so, restart it and evalutate if it was still having a problem* (if problem repeat from *), or if it sounded okay, ease my way back into traffic and see how long I'd be able to travel before needing to head to the side of the road again.

(the trip out to the place I bought it from is almost all back roads with two lane roads that have speed limits of up to 55 mph. Most sections have wide shoulders to pull over into, though as you get closer to where the actual garage is, it's a winding 30mph shoulderless-with-lots-of-potholes-back-country road. Those pullovers were the scariest, and the worst because I knew we were....almost...........there..............).

The place I take it to (if you haven't gotten this impression yet) is hidden in the woods, but is an actual Saab Dealership. The man who owns the place has been working on saabs for many, many more years then I've been alive, and takes pride in the car. He knows my family, and when I (eventually) buy a new one, I'll go back out to him. It's worth the trip to get Kennedy out there, though it doesn't feel like it when I'm pulled over for the 8th time.

They looked at it yesterday, and thought they'd fixed it, but it wasn't running right. Further inspection revealed that it was the computer; a part that trumphs the other repair bills I've had this year, but without it, the car won't run. (they know this is the problem because they put another one in, and it ran like a charm!) The area where the computer sits got wet, because of not one, but two leaks, and those were on the repair list as well. My parents are aware of my financial situation, and stepped up to foot the bill on this one - I keep telling them I will pay them back, but they give me a knowing look and tell me that it's okay, at some point it will even out. I'm grateful.

I'm also grateful that they have an "extra" car, Scarlett the Saab, because that's what I've been driving. She's a standard, and I always flinch at the thought of being alone with her stuck on a hill at a red light (common in these parts), but eventually I forget that I'm driving her and shift when I need to. And then I remember that it can be fun to drive a standard! until I want to sip my coffee/tea in the morning and am afraid to pick it up because I might need to shift and so I go hotdrinkless on my trips. Then it looses points.

Kennedy, at this point in the evening, should be fixed, and my parents (who come to the rescue for the millionth time this week) were going to head out to pick her up. We'll trade cars back either later this weekend or next week sometime, and then I'm going to cross my fingers that the rest of this term is incident free. My mom commented yesterday that eventually I'll have replaced anything "big" that she needs to get through the next four years, then, it'll be with a big smile on my face, I'll be able to trade her in and afford something brand new! That sounds like a long, long time away, but I've been reassured by almost everyone that it'll fly by. (four years from now puts me into my second year of residency.)

Both Alice and my secret pal were incredibly insightful about my trip home, and without knowing it, hit the nail on the head. It was nice to be home, and I ate well (comfort food of meatloaf and fresh steamed green beans) and slept great; a break from my apartment and classes WAS a nice change. I made it back last night in time to get a few more hours of review in for today's test; two tests down this week, two more to go next week. (We start the GI system Monday morning and that will get us to spring break.)

Knitting news: I worked some on the blanket, but am far from finished. I did start/finish another few kids hats, and have plans to work on a few more this weekend. I looked to see if I had enough yarn for a sweater to donate, but I don't have enough of any one color to knit one up, so I'm going to stick with hats for now. I need to figure out what size kids these would best fit so that when I send them off I can label the box correctly. I've been aiming for things that'll fit kids ages 3-10, but sometimes things wind up looking smaller or larger then I wanted. (I'll admit, I haven't used any patterns and have been winging them; it's been fun and I figure that it will fit someone.) I heard (via the wonderful world of knitting blogs) of a fiber "thing" happening in this area this weekend and am going to try and get over there tomorrow when the booths are open. (a study break?) I don't have any money to spend, but would love to go look and see what they are offering.

Things are cooling down here and there's talk of snow later in a few days. I rather liked the 45 degree days, but know not to be fooled by mother nature: it is still only February!

(note: for the record spell check wanted to replace hotdrinkless with hydrangeas.....)

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Four months IN A ROW

I've had car problems.

Before you all email me and let me know that it's time to get a new car (won't happen, no money, and with all the $ I've put into this one I need to drive it till the sun doesn't shine...) please know that I love my car. I don't love it as much as I loved my first car, the one that I rolled over in and then walked away from, but it's up there.

to review:
November: Throttle Body replaced (let's just say it wasn't cheap.)
December: Almost Entire Exhaust System replaced (less cheap then throttle body)
January: New Battery (the most expensive battery at the store, but much more cheap then other two events)
February: this morning my Traction Control System light came on, and that means that I stall out (it's an automatic, so stalling out is quite a feat) at stop signs, red lights, and when starting the car/going less then 15mph.

The good news is that they can get me in to look at it tomorrow; the bad news is that the place I take it is over an hour away. (today I thought for sure I'd be stuck at school forever, but managed to get home just now in one piece and only have three possible red lights before I'm back on the interstate (where, with my fingers crossed, she'll run fine.))

It means missing classes tomorrow morning, but I don't think I could get there if I wanted to (waaay too many possible red lights and stop signs on the way to school), so it's north I go. I'll spend the night (and possibly a day or two) at my parents, and then, if my car isn't fixed, drive one of the family cars back down for the test on Friday.

Lovely timing, isn't it? (it's much better then having this happen Friday morning right before the test, so the car gets points for giving me a few days notice.)

My car's name is Kennedy (as I've mentioned before). Some people may think it odd to name a car, but I feel much better saying (or chanting if need be) "C'MON KENNEDY DON'T STOP NOW" then saying "c'mon car, let's go." It also means that I can (potentially) direct explatives at said car if need be, and in that situation feel less crazy when yelling (all potentially of course) at a "name."

So I'm off. I have the Project Linus blanket to work on and a few other small knitting things as well as my renal notes and board review books. With any luck I'll be back in a few days with a completed blanket and a hard earned well deserved higher then average grade; but don't hold your breath on that last one.

Monday, February 14, 2005

a Monday.

another test on a Monday, which means that, again, I'm confused about what day it is. This morning was the test, and this afternoon was four hours of class and then a meeting; I didn't get home until late tonight (as was evidenced by my trip around the block a few times to find an on street parking spot.)

I finished the yellow hat today and started on another one in a larger size; they are good in-class knitting, and I'm getting much better at keeping my tension even on double pointed needles. My "extra" stash yarn isn't too exciting to look at, so there will be a few hats in drab colors and a few in bright yellows headed to AZ. I can't justify getting more yarn (even for charity knitting) until I've knit up everything else I have; another reason for me to keep casting on.

Today was Valentine's day, and was as uneventfu as they come until a visting clinican threw bags of chocolate hearts out to us; he's a urologist, and told us the only real heart shaped organ in a body is a pr0state. After thinking about it, I think he's got something there...(the heart really isn't heart shaped at all, but that's for another day...)

a baby hat in the same color as Winnie The Pooh! (it stretches out or shrinks up - the joy of ribbed hats.) Posted by Hello

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Happiness is..

- fortune cookies and hot tea
- a test that starts at 9am insted of a 8am
- the test being only 1/6 of my grade for the term, and not a make/break exam

it's a short list tonight, partially because I'm tired and distracted by the review cards I have sitting next to me. I've said it before, and I'll probably say it again: I hate exams.

When I first started letting people know about this website I got wise advice from someone who had been doing it longer; she warned me that people would show up and leave nasty comments, and knowing that was helpful. The post below is a result of me finding out that on a board somewhere, someone has decided it's a "terrible idea" (my new catch phrase for this week) to (I think) write about knitting. I'm more bothered that they "stole" Kristin's sock picture! Linking is one thing, but transferring pictures is another thing, and it's a good reminder that I need to watch what I post.

the fair isle help from the Feral Knitter: when knitting, spread out the stitches on the right hand needle. It sounds simple, but I tried it at the end of the hat, and it did make a difference! I tried to pay attention to my tension as I went along, but this tip made it that much easier (and looser). I've started another 2x2 rib hat and when it's done, and I have some time to sit down and pay attention to it, I'm going to try another fair isle one. I might switch to scarves for this week - I want to have something easy to work on while I study for the renal final.

First trolling! (perhaps?)

I think I've had my first official "bashing!" Check it out: (note that it says "med studentS" though I am truely only one person...)

I have no idea who it is, why they posted it, or what is meant by "what a terrible idea." Do they mean that medical students shouldn't be knitting? or we shouldn't knit and write about it? I'm preplexed, but not enough to join a forum and ask why, so back to the books I go. Like Alice (at the Doily Maven) I have a pharm test tomorrow, and in our case it's a review test over things that we learned last semester.

a finished child's hat and the sock with the contrasting garter stitch heel that I'm not sure I love. (the hat doesn't look right on the bear, so he's passed on this modeling gig.) The band of the hat is all one color, and the inch or so above it (to where the band covers if it's flipped up) is two strands knitted together. Above that is every other strand knitted as though fair-isle-ing. I got some great advice from the Feral Knitter and want to knit another one so I can try it! (I'll explain in an actual post, instead of continuing to type in the "photo caption" space....) Posted by Hello

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Weekend Knitting

Yes, I did manage to get some knitting done during my extra time "off" the past few days, though I don't have a lot to show for it!

I started a pair of socks for my mom, and after some research decided to tackle a short row garter stitch heel. (It was the Doily Maven's Chocolate socks that convinced me to try it!) Now that I have one done I'm not sure I love it. I used contrasting yarn (as was recommended for a first-timer) and the jury is out on if I'll leave it or take it out and do another type of heel or the same heel with the same color sock yarn. I finally passed off my mom's Christmas sweater (a month and a half later) and am aiming to get the socks done by my break in March.

I did some additional reading on twined knitting and learned that it isn't knit like fair isle; instead the yarn is twisted around itself and can be tangled easily while knitting. I don't mind undoing tangles if I have the time and energy, but going into a project I know might cause me a headache doesn't make sense right now! I have been knitting up a child's hat using a fair isle technique for color changes every other stitch. It's moving fast now that I have an idea what the rhythm should be, but my left hand contential is still looser then I want it to be. The Dulaan Project items are great for me to practice on!

I have two exams next week and two the week after - so my knitting has been punctuated with lots of open book studying. A month from now is our "spring break" and I have a few days "off" (read: time to crank on the board studying) before going to a conference in Reno. I hope it's warm out there - all of this snow and ice and wind gusts is overrated!

Friday, February 11, 2005

14-16 inches of snow. This is why classes are delayed until noon today.  Posted by Hello

Thursday, February 10, 2005

What is warmer?

is knitting with a new color every other stitch (like fair isle and "twined knitting" or two end knitting (as seen here and here)) warmer then knitting with two strands of yarn together? I've tried both (aiming for warmth) but can't tell. Any ideas?

same hat, just another view.  Posted by Hello

a completed hat made out of the "original" Bruins scarf yarn.  Posted by Hello

why classes were cancelled this afternoon. (taken from my window before moving my car for tonight's parking ban. It's a mess out there.) Posted by Hello

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

the same hat as seen on Winnie The Pooh (who is propped up on my "has a leak somewhere so it won't stay blown up at all" theraball).  Posted by Hello

a finished hat (one that stolen from my seat at school and tried on by a classmate; he proclaimed it warm enough for Mongolia.)  Posted by Hello

Hard. Things are hard.

I've been in a funk this term, and wonder if this will all be worth it. I'm tired, and feel like the world of medicine is too large and expansive for me to ever fully grasp; just trying to learn the basics and review the concepts is wearing me out, and I don't want to feel this way anymore. My classmates don't seem to be working this hard to keep up and I hate the time and energy I put into schoolwork; time and energy that doesn't always pay off. I have a terrible time memorizing, and the time it takes for me to learn things (so I will remember them forever) isn't available.

I called my mom last night and told her that I wasn't sure this was going to be worth it. Through tears I told her how tired I am, how sick of classes I am and how much I hate exams. She did what moms are supposed to do and told me it would pass, that it would look better from a distance and that she was keeping a good thought for me.

Then, later on last night, I got this in an email:

Dear Kristen,
I opened my heart and have been listening ~ what can I say to you? I have thought about what you said, your words and the pain behind them. Now I have some questions, and there are no right or wrong answers. In fact, there may be no answers at all. At times there are just questions.

Where is your passion?
What is your dream?
What are you willing to sacrifice?
What price is too high?

If being a doctor is your passion and treating patients is your dream, then no sacrifice is too big and no price is too high. Nothing will stand in the way of your dream - not books, not classes, not teachers, not time or space or money. If you are truly living your passion, you will endure whatever is necessary and allow whatever time it takes.

We make choices. We change with time and experience. We trade one dream for another; we exchange one passion for another; we make accommodations for the life we are living, and that can change again and again. It is not right or wrong to change; it is honest to acknowledge what is true for us. We do not have to make excuses if we are living our dream, and we do not have to apologize if we change our mind.

Anything worth having takes work. The life lessons keep coming. What we want and what we need are not always the same. Thank God we are here to experience all that life offers

Somehow knowing that I could say I'm done and walk away from this helped. I thought long and hard last night, and think that I still want to be a doctor. I'm not 100% positive, but I think factoring in the next round of exams and future boards are what's holding me back. I hate this, and I hate how I feel; but for now it's what I need to do to get to where I'm going and where I want to be. I think I can live with that for another few months.

Happy Birthday Mom; and thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Monday, February 07, 2005

A (quick!) break from my review of antibiotics

There are several different types of bugs that can make you sick; and for almost every bug there's a drug that (in most cases) will help you feel better. I knew them all last year but haven't had a reason to remember the difference between the classes or when one is indicated over another; boards are coming, and that's reason enough to get out my old notes and some current study guides. (It's foggy but slowly coming back... I do remember the importance of NOT giving an antibiotic for viral infections for fear of antibiotic resistance - a scary and real thing.)

I have a completed hat and half a pair of mittens done to send to Arizona (final destination: Mongolia) and am glad to be doing some simple knitting. The green hat was a 4x4 rib, and stretches out to (almost) fit my head or stay shrinked up to fit a small child's head. I like that it could fit several sizes or be given to someone who could grow with it. The mitten was done without a pattern because I couldn't put my hands on my pattern before I had to leave this morning - it came out okay and needs a thumb seam. I'll work on the other one during the next few days.

(I was able to knit in class today because the professor read from his powerpoints. Seeing as we have handouts that are almost verbatim with what he was saying I didn't need to take any notes.)

back to the wonders of cephlasporins and -cillians....

a mitten awaiting a thumb seam and some end weaving and the hat the reminds me of a watermellon Posted by Hello

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Happiness is....

- a picked up apartment
- chocolate chip banana bread
- rediscovering pictures and music that I'd saved to my computer (and then promptly forgot about)
- finding inspiration to do a bit of yoga this afternoon
- a second day of temps above 45 degrees F!

There is a huge difference between weekends that are pre-exam vs. those that are post-exam. I've spent limited time with a book in front of my eyes these past two days and it's been nice to feel like I can do what I want to do (instead of feeling guilty for not studying). My floors are picked up and vacuumed and all of my dishes are done and drying in the dishrack. It feels good to have things put away and cleaned up.

The picture below was taken during one of the staff trainings I went through to work at a summer camp. I'm hesitant to admit it, but I was a cheerleader in high school, and though I was never very good at the jumps when both feet had to leave the ground, I made up for it in getting one of them off the ground. I was one of the taller members of the team and was always one of the people throwing and catching other people - the stuff that, when I think about it now, leads me to cringe. I miss parts of it, and wish I had a reason like a team to be in such good shape now. (I was also on the math team and dropped cheering to join the swim team, so I wasn't the stereotypical cheerleader. I wasn't very good at the math meets, but the rest of the team humored me and let me tag along as a student/pseudomascot. Swimming was something I loved, but wasn't very good at competitively.)

I was run off the road and in a major car accident almost three years ago, and though I walked away from my rolled-over-and-completely-totaled car without any broken bones or other visible injuries, I haven't been the same since. The muscle tension and strange sleep patterns come and go with stress and make studying for exams that much harder. I've tried a few new things this year, and know that when I'm active, I feel better; which is why I'm trying to work more yoga and pilates into my schedule. (maybe I can get another picture like the one below - it gives me something to aim for....)

As far as knitting goes, I made a decision that the month of February is my month to knit for other people. I read about the Dulaan Project at Mossy Cottage Knits (see link on side) and went through my yarn to dig out skiens that will soon be hats and mittens for kids who need them. I've knit for local organizations in the past, and still want to work on the Project Linus Blanket to be donated here, but otherwise the small things I work on are headed for overseas. I also hope to start/finish the infant/toddler sweater, and that will move fast once I start it, which will be sometime this week.

This decision was made partially because I'm not inspired to knit anything for myself, but also because the season of Lent is quickly approaching. I do not consider myself to be religious, but am aware of what the time before Easter means to people of different faiths. Rather then "giving something up" I'm choosing to change my intention, and knit for others. (Knitting Karma has also come to my mind too and it's time I give back to the knitting universe that has been so kind to me.)

This rambling post has changed topics more then I had intended and my futile attempts are editing are just that, futile. The Superbowl has started, and I'll tune in now and then but really think it's going to be a wash with New England coming out on top. Post "#60: why I knit" is in the works and my first pot of coffee is done brewing. There's another thing to be happy about.....

random picture for yoga inspiration (yup, that's me, though that was a few pair of glasses ago and my current ones don't cover half my face....) Posted by Hello

Saturday, February 05, 2005


It's that time of year: the temps reach up into the 46-48 degree range and it's called a heat wave! (Perspective is everything, as temps this "low" six months ago would have sent me running for a sweater and scarf.) While I'm glad to have things melting, it certainly made for a mess of the sidewalks today, and I cut my walk short due to sopping wet shoes and socks, and thusly, cold feet.

The past few weeks I've felt like pulling in, and doing whatever I can to stay warm. I've also been exhausted, and though I can blame that on late nights filled with studying, it doesn't feel that way. This form of exhaustion is the "wake up tired" and "need a nap after a nap" tired, and I liken it to how a bear must feel if it's woken during those months of hibernation. I was glad it warmed up today, and hope another walk (with boots on!) outside tomorrow will help me kick me out of hibernation mode.

I'm in a knitting stalemate, if there is such a thing. I have been knitting things just to have something going on with my hands (I started a pair of socks without a pattern knowing full well that I'd probably undo them and need to start over (and I wanted to do a pair in the Knitty BroadRipple pattern) but I started them so that I'd be knitting something. I was in between classes and in between projects and a sock was born. The mere notion that I'd start something with the knowledge that it'd be taken out within 24 hours tells me that my knitting is for the process....) I've just frogged the toddler sweater back I had done up because it wasn't turning out like I wanted it to, and my quest for a new pattern is about to commence.

(short version of the sweater: we had four babies born to my classmates last year (all girls!), three of the babies were to new dads in our class, and one was to a new mom. The woman who is our classmate is a wonderful person, and is going part time (though not really - she's just doing every other system so she's able to be home every few weeks) and I started a project for her newborn when I found out she was pregnant. It wasn't finished and I didn't see her over the summer so I cast on for a "fall" sweater; there was no way it was going to fit when I got half-way through it and frogged it. The little one is due to be 1 this May, and so my new plan is to make something that I know will fit her for the end of the summer/next fall. Now to just find a pattern that I reallly like....)

I started swatching for the fair-isle sweater I have in my head (using the mad ammount of Debbie Bliss (now discontinued) cotton/wool) but it doesn't look the way I want it to, and I think the yarn will become a simple, clean lines, striped sweater instead. I want to fair-isle my heart out, but that'd require me buying more yarn, and it's going to need to wait.

I could start my cascade 220 sweater, but I haven't heard if the pattern is in (and even if it is in, it'd be awhile before I could get north to pick it up), and I'm still not sure that sweater is right for that yarn. I really have to love what I'm doing, otherwise chances are pretty good it'll be frogged and new plans will be made.

The good news is that I do have plans for a sock, and the yarn is here, so I can (re)start it tonight while I watch some "Keeping Up Appearances" dvd's. I have some studying to do, but can afford a few hours of good comedy before I hit the books.

(and I need to take a bit of time and put everything away; the books and notes I used for cardio are spread across my entire living room, and now I have the time it takes to re-organize them and put them away. When I study my notes have to be out in front of me, and the piles of papers grows in proportion to how much time is left before the test. It's a system that has evolved over the past few years, and though it's "messy" it works for me!)

Thursday, February 03, 2005

The days of the week....

When a test is on a Wednesday I spend the rest of the week confused about what day it is. After the test is over that day feels like a Friday, and so today felt like a Monday even though it's really Thursday. Tomorrow is Friday, and will feel like a Tuesday, and so by the time the weekend gets here I'll have felt like two weeks had passed, instead of just one. (Tests on Mondays are even harder to recover from!)

The neckline on the red sweater is finished and now it's ready for a bath and some blocking. I knit up a gauge swatch before I knit the sweater, but I didn't think to wash it and see how it looked after it'd gotten wet. (a mistake I won't make again because now I'm a bit worried about how much this sweater might "grow.") The wool is Bartlett Yarn, 100% wool 2ply in Mountain Berry and I hope it softens up a bit with a gentle dunk in my sink. It's warm - I enjoyed working on it because my lap stayed nice and warm. This is my first sweater for someone else, and I don't think it'll be my last!

The practice exam on the standardized patient went better then I thought it would; Overall I feel more confident and hope I remember that when it's time for me to actually do the exam on a patient.

Today started the two week stint known as the renal system, and it was hard to switch out of "cardio" mode during the renal physiology lecture today. Everything is connected, and chances are pretty good that if there's something wrong with someone's heart, there is another problem somewhere else; the same can be said for almost any other system, and the kidneys are no exception.

I worked on my ruby scarf duing lectures today and have convinced a fellow knitter that cables aren't so bad! I hope to have it done in the next day or two, and this weekend want to sit down and figure out what needs to be done to get the toddler sweater finished before I dive into another new project. I'm a starter and have tried to cut back on the number of things I start, and increase the number of things I finish. So far, so good! (the post on why I knit has been delayed but will show up at some point. I'll call that "thing #60 about me" because somehow I've left #60 out......)

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

another twenty things

My mom's sweater now has sleeves and is waiting for a finished neckline - I'm going to do that this evening while watching Gilmore Girl DVDs; I will not be tuning into the State of the Union. The test was looooooong, and by the end of it I was tired and hungry. I was able to rationalize most of my answers, but still feel shaky about my performance. I am waiting, not so patiently, for the day when I will no longer have to endure 2-3 hour long multiple choice exams.

(there is a much more thoughtful post on why I knit and how it ties into med school in the works, but my brain is a lot like the mush left at the bottom of my bowl of cheerios if I take too long to eat them. Look for it tomorrow night, after I have my "Pr0state" exam preceptorship. (o exchanged for a zero because I'm not sure I want that coming up on a google search)
We practice on standardized patients; I'm glad we're doing it on people who are willing to help us learn (please no offbeat comments!) instead of on unsuspecting patients who may or may not be ill but I think this falls into the "first time is the hardest and someday I won't even think about it" category (though the comment Sharon left about her son's doctor comes to mind as well!).

41. I can drive a standard, plunge a toilet, backboard a possible spinal cord trauma in water and hook up a wireless network.
42. Being able to do things doesn't mean that I enjoy doing them.
43. I believe that turn signals are meant to be used.
44. I was a vegetarian (going vegan) for almost 6 years.
45. I am proud of my vintage tupperware.
46. I worry that I don't have enough "professional" clothing to wear when I have to wear it all the time.
47. If I could have lunch with any three people the people I'd pick right now are Penn Jillette (of Penn and Teller), Lyle Lovett and.........
48. When I am treating people (omt for example) I trust my hands more then I trust my eyes.
49. I used to have the world's best hampster. On nights like this, I miss her.
50. This apartment meets three of my criteria for the house I will someday own: wood floors, a huge clawfoot tub and a gas stove. The extra bedrooms, walk-in pantry and lakeview are still missing.
51. I've been west of the Mississippi but have never seen the Pacific ocean.
52.I think "The Singing Butler" and "Dance Me to the End of Love" are two of the most romantic paintings I've ever seen reprints of.
53. I'm no longer ashamed to sing along or talk back to the radio.
54. My thoughts on faith are in transition right now; I believe in the power of hope, intention, prayer, meditation, and positive thinking and reserve the right to add to or remove items to this list.
55. I like red wine.
56. I grew up with a cat, and can't wait until I can have cats (and a dog? and perhaps some rabbits?) of my own.
57. I still can't think of a third person to have lunch with, so, for today, I'm going to leave it at 2.
58. In college I took classes in ballet and modern dance. Now I wish I could make yoga and pilates are priority again.
59. I've been known to turn my cell phone off, dump it in my bag and not check it for days. I dread my future attatched to a pager.

Two Sleeves are Better Then None! Posted by Hello