Monthly Archives: March 2007

Much better

I took a three hour nap this afternoon, and I’m feeling much better. I finally got a chance to model Ariann:

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Ignore the goofy faces…it was way too hot to be modeling a sweater, but it was a sacrifice I had to make 🙂

While I was out there I got some pics of the veggie garden – they’re loving the warm streak:

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Check out the staghorn fern on the live oak tree in the backyard, its gotten huge!

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And Grandma, this one’s for you:

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Exhausted

Really, truly, down-to-the-bone exhausted. Its been a rough few weeks at work – we’ve been running nonstop, and we’ve broken our own records for transports in one day twice this week. It didn’t help that yesterday morning I had to get up at 9am (I usually get up at 11) to go in to work for my interview – I applied for an Assistant Supervisor position. I’m not sure how it went…they were running late so my interview didn’t start until 11:30, and I ended up interviewing with three supervisors I don’t really know and who don’t know me very well (instead of the head supervisor who knows me fairly well, or the night supervisors who work with me on a daily basis). The interview went OK I guess – pretty short. A few of my answers mentioned my public health background and my interest in teaching (eventually) – so at the end one of them asked me why I was applying for a road supervisor position when I wanted to teach so much. SO pissed, since it was his “off the cuff” random questions that weren’t part of the interview that led me into saying anything about teaching…but I told them that I love working on the ambulance, which is why I applied for this job – and that I don’t think that teaching and supervision are separate things, and that I think supervisors by their very nature are teachers as well (leading by example, “educating” employees when they do something wrong). I guess I saved the question, but I left the interview very frustrated. I know I’d be great for the job, but I don’t feel like I got to show them that.

I also have to to vent – In the last 11+ months I’ve worked there I’ve had nothing but praise, compliments, and several “commendations” for excellent patient care and for going “above and beyond”. These have come from patients, hospital staff, fire department chiefs….not to toot my own horn, but I’ve done well. And the supervisors who KNOW me know this. The ONE time I get a “complaint” (that was quickly found to be completely unfounded) was last week – a lieutenant for one of the local FDs walked onto the scene of a minor car accident in the middle of our call and thought I broke patient care protocols – instead of pulling me aside after and asking me what happened and clarifying the situation (which would have shown that I hadn’t done anything wrong) she called the supervisor and told her to write me up. The supervisor then called me and I explained and everything was fine…but she actually brought it up in my interview. As a joke, but STILL – not appropriate. If she has used it as a genuine concern and asked me to explain, or had contrasted it by also mentioning to the others that this was a one-time thing and a misunderstanding and that I had far far more POSITIVE calls about me…maybe. But I feel like the others got the wrong idea.

Oh well. Sorry to vent but I had to get that out. I spoke to one of my night supervisors (the one who told me to apply in the first place) and he told me not to worry – that as far as he was concerned, I had the job. I mentioned the weirdness with the questions in the interview, and he said that they weren’t supposed to be asking random questions that hadn’t been pre-agreed on. Doesn’t change the fact that they did, but whatever. I’ll find out in a few weeks.

Anyway…so I’m tired. We had four critical patients at work last night (all turned out very well, wish they could have seen THAT in my interview 😛 ) and two I had to physically restrain, so I’m very ready for a day off. I plan to sit here and knit all day. Thats it. No moving.

Ariann is done – if I decide to move today I’ll have Adam take pictures.

I’m tired. Back to doing nothing.

To Dye For (Happy St. Patrick’s Day!)

How’s that for a pun? I had my first adventure in Dye-land this weekend, thanks to an article in knitty that I read last week. I’ve seen similar articles, but this was the first one that described a dye method using food coloring – which I already had in the house. Since I didn’t have to go out and buy anything, AND I conveniently had some brand new (handspun) white yarn to use, I decided it was time to give in and try it.

I put two skeins (about 80 yds each) in my crock pot last night with 1 cup of vinegar and about 8 cups of water, and let it soak overnight. (according to the article, including vinegar in the overnight soak helps the yarn pick up the color better.)

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Then I mixed up some green, blue, and yellow dye – 1/2 cup of water and 4 drops of food coloring. (In retrospect, I would have tried using more food coloring to make a more vibrant dye.) The article warned that there will be a lot of color mixing, and I figured these would at least be complimentary if they mixed. I tried to use only as much water as it took to cover the two skeins when I put in the dye to minimize mixing, but with how much dye I used (and how much water was in the dye mix) I could have used a lot less water to start with.

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Then I let it all sit for about an hour until the dye was exhausted and the water was clear, and I had this:

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I left the yarn soup to cool while I was at work today, and when i came home I rinsed it and spun out most of the water in the spin cycle of the washer (I LOVE this so much…I don’t know how I ever tolerated squeezing water out by hand) and now the skeins are hanging to dry:

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The skeins don’t appear to have as much color variation in real life – they go from bluish green to yellowish green…but I like it! It is very appropriate for St. Patty’s day. I think it’ll make a great skinny light springtime lace scarf (leaf pattern anyone?). I only have 160 yards so I can’t do anything too crazy, but perhaps I should make this a truly original project and design a simple lace pattern for the scarf. Hmmm….

My creativity is sapped. I’ll think about it later.

So all in all? Dyeing is fun. I’d do it again. I want to get some longer skeins (might need a bigger bobbin for the wheel) so I can make some 200 yard handpainted skeins (perhaps with the cold pour method in the same article) for socks. Oh yeah – and my handspun yarn looks so much more like real (aka store bought) yarn after washing and setting. Sweet!

Lots of progress!

Ariann is done and blocking…I’ll spare you a picture because the black against the black doesn’t make for a good shot. I’ve gotta say, the soak-in-the-washer-then-use-the-spin-cycle-to-dry process is SO much easier than my old way! I knew it would be, but I was always afraid of somehow screwing up and felting whatever I was trying to wash. Modeled pictures on…Tuesday probably. I changed the collar again – I didn’t want a collar at all, so I continued the ribbing from the front and just made a band of ribbing around the collar instead of a fold-over style collar like in the picture. I also (again) didn’t make the belt. I just need to add some buttons and she’ll be done! I’ve changed it so much that it doesn’t look a whole lot like the picture, but I love the body pattern.

My malabrigo Clapotis is coming along – based on how much yarn I have, I’m 1/4 done (just finished the 1st skein). I’m not sure if it’s going to turn out as big as I hoped, so I may end up buying another skein (its varigated, so it doesn’t matter if it’s from another dye lot).

Tonight I also started another adventure – dyeing some of my handspun! I’m going to use the knitty instructions for the “hot pour” method, but hopefully get a little more of the yarn covered than in the picture. Two skeins are soaking in vinegar water in my crock pot as we speak 🙂 I’ll document the process and report back once I see how it goes.

The fan man is coming on Tuesday! The weather here has been beautiful but since our house has very old screens, we can’t open the windows or sliding doors because the bugs will get in and the cat will get out. This makes it pretty stifling at night. We bought a new fans for the kitchen/bedroom/living room when we first moved in since the old ones were gross – the living room went perfectly, but the fans in the kitchen and bedroom were installed….rather sketchily. (that’s a word, right?) As in drywall screws with sinkers directly into the ceiling above my bed. So we’ve had no fans in those two rooms for a while now and are having to make do with a portable fan (not the same). Well….the fan guy is coming Tuesday to install real actual safe fan boxes (that won’t cause the fan to come crashing down on us as we sleep and chop us to bits) and we’ll be able to tolerate the house again 🙂 Next step: New doors/windows/screens.

A little drama this week…Wednesday night at work I had sudden pain in my left flank/side area and a low grade fever…and ended up in the ER because I thought I had a kidney stone or kidney infection. Luckily all my labs came back OK and the cat scan didn’t show any stones, so the default diagnosis was a muscle strain. Doesn’t explain the fever, but they gave me some antibiotics as well just in case the WBC count just hadn’t started climbing yet. As long as its not a kidney stone I can deal with the pain – which has pretty much gone now as well, thank goodness. My darn veins wouldn’t cooperate – took them three tries to get an IV and draw blood! I have some purple bruises coming up on both hands now. Oh well – at least I’m colorful. And pain free.

Only me

So we had a bit of an adventure yesterday…it could only happen to me. The exterminator stopped by in the morning (carpenter ant prevention) and told me that there was a lady wandering around our front yard and she didn’t know where she was. I went out to see this lady and she told me her address (didn’t sound familiar) and that she had no idea where she was or how she got here. I brought her inside and looked up the address, and realized that the address she gave me was 8 miles away, across several busy roads – no way did she walk here from there. I called 911 to have the police come by because she couldn’t tell me if she was from a nursing home or anything about where she lived. There are several nursing homes with dementia care facilities in the area, and the first one I called said “oh yes, we’re out looking for her”. They ended up sending a van and driver and came to pick her up. She was really sweet, and luckily we got her home pretty quickly. But how bizarre is it that she ends up in my yard?

Only me.

Great weekend

My weekend is over before it even began…I took off Thursday this week because Adam’s sister Keri and her boyfriend, and Adam’s mom’s friend and her husband were all in town, so I’m working tomorrow instead. What a great weekend 🙂 Thursday we went to St Petersburg, had lunch downtown, went to the Salvador Dali museum, and then went back to Adam’s mom’s and grilled out. Today we all went down to the beach (Honeymoon Island in Dunedin, about 15 minutes from our house), and Adam’s cousin Erin and her two kids came too. What a beautiful day! 80 degrees, nice breeze….the water was a little cold but the little boys didn’t seem to mind. It was a great way to hang out with everyone, relax, and spend some time outdoors. The seagulls were a little annoying (one actually dove down and stole a chip out of Keri’s hand as she put it in her mouth) but it was a great day. The beach was pretty crowded, but most of the Spring Break crowd go down to Clearwater Beach instead so there wasn’t really any craziness. Here are some pictures from the day on the beach:

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Me and Adam. Probably the first actual picture of me with my braces. Not too bad 😛

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Erin and her younger son Riley

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Riley playing in the sand…he looks like he’s hatching some evil plan!

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Keri and Jeff. The wind wasn’t cooperating with my attempts to get a picture of Keri’s actual face.

THIS is why I moved to Florida. We have a guest room…accepting applications now 🙂

Yarn buzz

Old project update:

Celtic Knot Shawl – in limbo.

Alpine Shawl – 8 repeats into center pattern.

Ariann – Sleeves done and attached, starting raglan shoulder decreases.

Soooo….last week at knitting night I was browsing for an affordable, but warm, but pretty yarn to use for a full-size clapotis. I’ve been thinking about this for a while, but have never come up with a good yarn to use – until NOW! My LYS got a new shipment of Malabrigo kettle-dyed worsted weight single ply yarn last Tuesday, and it is delicious. I’ve had a serious yarn buzz all week just thinking about it. Its soft, and fluffy, and pretty, and….mmmmm. After thinking about it all week, and then after my braces adjustment this morning (ouch ouch), I decided that I had to have my fix. I am the proud new owner of four skeins in the “Emerald Blue” colorway (which, appropriately enough, is a mixture of emerald green and blue). It looks like the ocean and makes me so happy 🙂 As soon as i got home tonight I immediately wound up a ball and started in on my clapotis. The yarn is a little grabby so it will probably be tough to undo the ladders in the pattern, but it will be gorgeous and warm and pretty.

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I think I’m drunk on yarn.