Tuesday, April 5, 2016

What's new?

What's new here? Not much really. Lent is over. Two baby blankets sit on my printer awaiting me to weave in ends and sent to the Pregnancy Resource Center. Two..no three more are on the needles.

This is actually the 2nd one made with Loops and Threads Charisma. Total cost for 4 skeins: $10.

I like the colors, though others claim it's hideous. The pattern is one used for many things. I've seen it done for dishcloths and the like, Start with a few stitches, increase with yarn overs til a certain spot, then decreases back to the same CO stitches.

It's a big fluffy blanket for a baby.

The next one is made with yarn Dave picked out at Hobby Lobby.

It's hideous.

But the stripes on it are kinda cool.

The next colorway was picked out by a random lady at Hobby Lobby, but that's going to have to wait until later for pictures.

The pattern is by Lion Brand and is called the Lion Brand Diagonal  Comfort Blanket. The pattern is free:


Well, back to homework. School is going well. Would be going better if I'd remember to study before tests, but what can ya do.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Spring...ah, Spring!

You can feel the change in the air. It's not as biting as it was last week. Sure, we were deceived by the mild temperatures, but I can FEEL a change in the air...more moisture, more warmth...and that means SPRING!!

Our geese have started their mating season. A lot of shagging, a lot of fighting, a lot of egg-laying. I try to stay out of the way as much as possible. Severus got me yesterday because I picked him up and his wing got me in the nose. I'm not sure if he's trying to mate with me or fight with me, but he's failing both!

An adorable picture of a goosie girl arranging her nest in the chicken coop. Normally, she'd be alerted to my presence behind her and get all cranky. She'd come at me hissing and honking with wings out to defend her eggs, but she was busy.

There's 3 gals laying in that nest, so Dave decided it was time to put up the nesting boxes in the goose pen. They're a bit smaller this year because it seemed as though the girls had too much room. We also put shorter boards up in front so baby geese can get in and out better.  It's a learning process for us.

One of our gals laid this egg the other day. Even for a goose egg, it's big! They'll lay one every other day for about a month now and our serious girls will then start brooding them. The un-serious girls will just lay their eggs in a serious girls' nest and expect her to  brood those babies. Naughty girls!

There's a couple of raccoons out there we need to get rid of as well before they realize those eggs are there. Once that happens, they will decimate a nest in minutes.  Can't have that!

Knitting wise: while reading my books for school, I'm still knitting. The stole is getting longer and I knocked out a bath mat because the one I knitted a few years ago has sprouted holes.

Interesting design on that, isn't it. It's not intentional. In the knitting trade, it's called 'pooling' when one color makes a design in the knitting of it.

The right side is where I pulled out a few rows and redid it because I was trying to end the thing too fast. It's a JoAnn fabrics big-ass ball of yarn bought on sale, held double and knitted on size 17 needles. I don't recall the amount of stitches,  I held the yarn out about a yard and a half then cast on that many. Five stitches on the left and right edge are knitted garter, the rest is stockinette. There's also garter stitch rows at the start and finish..about 6 rows. It's a standard go-to pattern for anything of practical use. The garter on the edges keeps the thing from rolling.

One of the things you do as a Medical Laboratory Technician is to take samples of someone's blood, smear it on a microscope slide properly...which isn't as easy as it sounds. You need to have a spot in that slide where you have one level of cells, not several. It takes practice.  Then after that, you use different dyes to dye the stuff different colors. What you're seeing above is my own blood properly smeared and stained.  

So the big purple squiggly thing is a neutrophil, one of the cells in your body to fight infection. The little purple dots are platelets, which clot holes in your body. The light pink stuff all over is my red blood cells. Those two things that are showing pink and purple are basophils. Usually, basophils are rare to see in blood because they are the cells known for causing allergic reactions. I'm allergic to pretty much everything, so I'm not surprised to see a few more than usual in my blood.

My platelets are a bit bigger than usual too, which means they are young platelets. Like most things, the older something gets, the smaller it is. I've had a nasty upper-respiratory virus for a few weeks now and it was really rough on my lungs. I'm pretty sure there is tissue damage from that...both from horking up a lung to whatever damage the virus did. So my body made more platelets to make up for the ones sacrificed in my illness.

It's awesome to see the delicate, yet hardy balance of the body and it's systems. It's amazing, actually...and every time I hear more and more about how our body works, I cannot help but think that it was the work of a very wise and very divine creator. Wierd, eh? People claim that the more science you know, the less you rely on a divine faith. But in my case, it's the opposite.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

My unofficial week off

Both of my professors are off at a conference this week. There is some online work to be done but it's not all that difficult. Ok, one test was hideous but...what can you do?

I've had a few things on my list to do this week and they are done as well. I went to Goodwill and tried to obtain a dinner jacket for the hubbs, but the ones I chose were too small.

I visited a classmate at her bar in a small town 40 miles away. She and her hubbs just bought it. They are in the process of fixing it up. We spent the time trying to puzzle out a good menu that would get customers coming in and returning. I left her with my Chicken and Dumplings recipe.

Knitting is being done. Charity knitting as usual. My Lenten sacrifice is to reduce or stop cursing. It's moderately successful.  I've got a curse jar, and for every 10 or so pennies I put in, I have to knit another baby blanket and donate it to the pregnancy resource center. I'm not sure, but I think I'll be knitting about 40 of them by now!   Dave doesn't think it's a real sacrifice because I enjoy knitting. Sacrifice, in it's key words, means "surrender to God." which means I am surrendering my skills for God's work.   It's a tradition that all great craftsmen would surrender their skills and their best work for God. Why shouldn't I?

This is the start of the first blanket. I asked Dave to choose a colorway that I would find hideous. He chose well! The object of that is to knit something that is not my chosen color to remind myself that my preferences aren't the same as others. You must remember to stay humble.

Which is only working moderately well.

Another work in progress is an entrelac stole that has been on the needles so long that I swear it's having birthdays by now. I started it sometime ago when I found 5 skeins of Amazing on clearance. The color way is not my favorite as well.

I know of a few ladies that will be having more babies, so there is always a need for a good nursing shawl/baby wrap. They never go to waste. I like the Amazing because it is machine washable. That's a plus when working with baby items. babies have a thing about body fluids ...

In that light, it almost looks good!

Yeah, I'll knit more shawls anyways. I'm always looking out for more good clearance yarn to make shawls, blankets and throws for charity. Ever since my family decided my knitted items are not worthy of receipt, I started knitting for charity instead.

The geese are heading into breeding season or as I term it, "Saturday night Frat Party Kegger." there are fights, and shagging, and more fights.  In about a month my gals will start marking out nesting areas and laying eggs. The boys will be fighting still; but then it will be to protect their gals from perceived threats.

Face it, those ganders are just wanting to fight. I'll be staying away from them as much as possible for a while.