Sunday, June 29, 2008

Shelfari-Another Knitting Distraction

So, I finished the first of my SIL's gloves the other day. They really are a quick knit, it just requires me to actually knit for a few hours to finish one.

Well, right now my currently distraction is a website called Shelfari. I found it while looking at my knitting friend, Heather's Blog The Wandering Stitch. She's currently on a family road trip driving from Anchorage to
California and I've been enjoying reading about their trip. Thanks Heather. Another avenue for one of my addictions.

Anyway, I noticed a cool book shelf feature on her blog and I clicked on it. Turn's out it's kind of a Ravelry group for book readers. Next think you know, I've spent several hours adding books to it that I've read, added a few reviews, listed all the books I own that I haven't read yet and, basically, found another distraction to not knit.

It's been fun to see how many books I've read, though this list is far from complete still. Also, it's been interesting to see how my taste in books have changed over the years. There was the fantasy book phase during High School, required reading books in H.S. and College, the science fiction phase right after I graduated from High School, the Steven King phase in College, adventure/travel books when I moved here, in the early 90's, and then all the books that I think of as kind of life lesson/Oprah/book club style books. Then there's all the impulse shopping books that I've bought through the years, thinking I would have time to read them.

Since I've been knitting more lately, I've had less time to read. In fact, I've been doing audio books for the last few book club books.

In order to get myself to finish these gloves, I'm going to say right now that I will be focusing on them tonight and will have them finished by tomorrow evening. That would be by Monday evening, June 30th. I've typed it so I have to do it.

And, hopefully, you are now looking at a cool bookshelf on the side bar with my favorite books on it.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Remembering Where You're At: Procrastination Recovery

This rainy weekend, I've found time to get back on step with my knitting projects. We leave in 10 days to see the relatives in CA, so I need to get my sister-inlaw's fingerless gloves done.

This required me to round up the project bag that I'd been ignoring all week, like it was a stack of bills, I like to call my denial pile. When I finally opened up the bag, I realized that I had no idea what row I'd stopped at or what pattern I was using.

Figured out that I had stopped after just completing the cuff, and that I had stopped because I couldn't focus on what or how to continue, since it's a pattern I'm making to match the Newsboy Cap from Stitch and Bitch Nation. I had cast-on 40 stitches and I'm doing the cable pattern on the back of the hand on a total of 16 stitches. With some adjustments, I've been able to make a pattern that should work.

And, just to cover my ass, in case I get distracted or decided to make another set, I've actually taken the time to type this pattern up on the computer, instead of writing it on a random piece of paper found laying around the house. The pattern I made for the cabled hat that goes with the Cashmere Cabled Scarf, is written on the back of a birthday invitation for one of my kids. Another pattern I have is written on a magazine subscription card I pulled out of Outside Magazine.

Other big news around here, and another big reason I have time to knit, is that my youngest son, Ian (age 8) broke his arm Friday evening. The family spent Friday night at the emergency room, while Ian had xrays, his arm set, and then getting his splint put on. Tomorrow (Monday), he'll be going to an Ortho SX to get a cast on and see what he can and can't do for the rest of summer. He has soccer camps, a trip to CA, and a cub scout camp that were all in his summer plans. I've heard that he might be able to get a "swim cast" for our trip to CA, but seriously wonder how he'll be able to play soccer with a cast over his elbow. He'll be real bummed about soccer and swimming, if they're out of the picture.

How'd it happen? Well, Ian was trying to grab the rim of a basketball net by jumping from a plastic milk crate. He missed and landed on him arm. Broke both bones in his forearm. It didn't take xrays to see that it was broken. If you've seen Harry Potter and Chamber of Secrets, then you've seen what Ian's are looks like. Ian's are had a creepy dip in it like when Harry's arm goes boneless after Professor Lockhart tries to fix Harry's broken arm. I'll post a picture at the bottom of the page.

Ian has been a very good sport through all of this and is feeling well enough today to try and kick a soccer ball around the living room with his brother, which I quickly put a stop to!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Moose Update-Good News

Neighbors report Momma and baby left yard last night and that the neighbors witnessed the calf nursing. Good News!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Momma Moose in Our Sprinkler & Eagles In The Eagle Tree

So, this evening we got a call from our neighbor that Momma Moose was in our sprinklers. She and her calf spent the night next door in another neighbors backyard. Unfortunately the calf is still laying in the neighbors yard, this evening, and another neighbor reported that the cow is not letting the calf nurse. I noticed that when I saw them on the weekend, but was hoping that maybe it was just that it had nursed earlier. This is not a good sign for the calf and with how the cow looks, her either. Click on Images to get a larger image. Lot's of detail lost on these smaller images.

On a more positive note, the neighborhood Eagle pair, are hanging out in the "Eagle Tree". Really it's a very large Cottonwood Tree. We always say it's a going to be a good day when we spot the eagles in the Eagle Tree.

Proper Summer Soccer Spectator Attire in Anchorage

This is the necessary wardrobe in order to make it through an entire summer soccer game in Anchorage. I did actually manage to wear sandals to a game on Monday night, but the rest of the week has been getting progressively colder. In fact, it was so chilly earlier today that you could see your breathe. On a positive note, you don't have to worry about getting heat stroke, while out running!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Momma Moose & Baby Update

Momma Moose and Baby are back on my street. Real glad to see them again. Took tonight's pictures from the safety of my car. Momma seemed more protective tonight, note her ears are back and she's noticing me.

A Little A.A.D.D. Knitting

Boy, I've been having a heck of a time staying focused on my 3 different knitting projects. I keep the Jaywalker sock project in the car with me, in case I can get some of it done during the boys soccer practices. However, I usually end up talking to fellow soccer parents the whole time. I sometimes feel it might be rude to keep knitting while I'm talking with non-knitters. And, since the boys want to do a play by play recap with me, I don't think knitting during their games would go over well with them.

Then there's the Lotus Blossom Tank project, that I'm working on. Boy, this project requires one to able to remember where they're at in the whole 230 stitch round. I don't think I've managed a single row without some sort of interruption, either by family members, my dogs, or me being lured away to see whats going on at the Ravelry groups I've joined, plus, I just bought myself my first laptop. After several mistakes that I hope won't be noticable, in the first 10 rows, I think I came up with a solution.

The LBT really is a series of 10 stitch repeats and I finally figured out how to not loose my place, with all the distractions. I've placed stitch markers every 10 stitches, 20 in a few spots where because I didn't quite have enough markers, and that way I can more easily figure out where I was at, plus make sure I didn't make a mistake.

The third project, is the fingerless gloves for my SIL. I need those done before we visit them in early July. I keep putting it off, since they really don't take more than a few evenings. Boy, that thought process is really going to bite me in the ass, soon. I can be such a procrastinator. Urgh.

Now that I'm thinking about it, I really need to get a diva cap and fingerless gloves made for my 2nd niece, whose birthday is in the middle of August. Just have to decide if I want to give them to her in person in July or, since my son's will be heading back down a few weeks later, I could send them with the boys. Decisions....decisions. I think I'll procrastinate on that thought, too.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Herding Moose In Spenard, Bears Downtown & Beware of the Beavers

Let me start out by saying, Moose are dangerous animals. Cows with newborn calves are very protective of their calves and you should always be cautious around them.

Now for my tale of how myself and a neighbor got involved in herding a calf back to it's mother. Plus, there's a few pictures.

Earlier in the am, while my son's and their friends were outside playing, I saw a large moose down the street. The boys did too and all came in. Several of my neighbors were outside taking pictures and looking at something else. From around the corner came a very young calf looking for it's mother several houses down and out of sight. These neighbors were able to direct/herd the calf towards it's mother and the calf began to follow along with it's mother.

As they got closer to my house, I decided I'd like to get a few pictures from a safe distance. Well, I get outside and there's the calf on the side of a house, staring at a small picket fence making little grunting noises. Mother had easily stepped over the fence, leaving her calf and was now laying in the neighbors backyard, completely disregarding her calf's distress calls. I 'm sure I've used a similar technique with my boys, but I'm not a mother with a newborn. I don't why she wouldn't react to these calls. I know they sure made me want to help.

So, a neighbor got the gate open when the calf had walked away and we proceed to herd the calf back in by just being present with our arms out wide.

When we finally herded the calf into the yard, the calf went to another corner of the yard and laid down for a nap.

Later in the day, they both reappeared. The calf tried to nurse 2 times while I watched but the mom grunted and moved away. The mother really seems to not be that interested in her calf. Hopefully, there will not be a sad ending to this story. Here's a link to a news article about what happens when the ending is sad, here in Anchorage.

It appears that we have black bear problems all over Anchorage. Todays paper has a story about a black bear that had started wandering around the down town neighborhood that several of my friends live in and is also the location of my son's school. Then there was the recent break in by a black bear ***Warning,bear dies***.

We also have beavers attacking dogs at a popular dog park.

And, this winter, we had a rash of wolf on dog attacks, some with very sad endings.

Despite living in an urban environment, nature is all around us. Sometimes it's cool, sometimes it's dangerous.

UPDATE ON MOOSE: They hung around all night in the neighborhood, and when I went out to water flowers the next day, one of my straw flower plants had vanished. It went to a good cause.