Friday, February 06, 2015

Time is Flying...

Honestly, I mean to get here a lot more often. Life is whizzing at a frenetic pace lately. As I sit here with my phone playing a new mix for my yoga classes, I'm staring at a distressingly long To-Do list... 

My Year In Socks...

Well, I opened February's bag, even though I'm nowhere near ready for it. I just couldn't stand it. February's is a little dull - I probably will do something plain-ish (again) with it. Though I could fiddle around with a nice ribbed sock. Maybe a different cuff or something. Not sure yet. 

I did get some AWESOME help from Kelly at Le Mouton Rouge Knittery about the Strong Heel. After I finish the Vanilla Latte Neon Beach, I'll get back to the Roman Rib and finish those. 

So I may be caught up by March. "Caught up" as in working on February's yarn! And I'm ok with this. 

Fluro Neon Beach
Did I really WANT to get 12 pairs of socks done in a year? You bet. Is it remotely feasible? Perhaps. Am I going to curl into a ball of yarn scraps if I don't? Nope. I don't have time! And the whole KAL (Knit-a-Long) is fluid. You do what you can do. I'll consider myself a success if I do a pair every other month. Or maybe I just get 4 pair done. I have other knitting I'd like to work on, and while I absolutely adore my hand-knitted socks, I want to get some of those WIPs off the needle.

Not to mention the Wedding Afghan for Kid #1 and fiancee. And Kid #2's afghan, which is at least on the needles, if not progressing very much. And hey - winter is afghan-making weather! Speaking of which...


I should probably consider this for the Random Picture section, but I'm putting it here. The other day, when Tippi and I were done with her therapy visit, I went to the other side of the campus and we started off on the nature trail. There are deer there, and she knew it! Sadly, I had neither gaiters nor snow shoes, and the trail isn't even remotely "groomed." We were breaking it as we went along. 

Well, actually, SHE was breaking it. The trail bisects the university's disc golf course, and we didn't go all that far. 

In the next few days, if I can get a breath in and the snow lasts (there's over a foot - it should last), I'm going to take her out on that trail again, WITH snow shoes. Or maybe, if I'm extremely brave, I'll give it a shot with Raisa. 

If you don't hear from me, then you know I've taken Raisa and we're now somewhere near Peoria!

Anyway, it's a lovely time of year, and I know everyone's complaining. I'm one of those oddballs who loves the winter. From inside and out. 

The Anti-Vax Crowd...

OK, I can't stand it. We've become a nation of idiots. Or at least that's the way it appears. I know - seriously, I truly know - there are some kids who should not be vaccinated. For the record, both of mine were vaccinated. Though Kid #1 did get chicken pox. They're 5 years apart -- Kid #2 was able to get the chicken pox vaccination. And remember, they're grown now - there was no discussion. Period. 

What I can't deal with is the whole argument - and in many states, a valid exemption - of "personal belief." Do you personally not believe in cancer? Do you personally not believe in flu? Do you personally not believe in polio? Because while there's no cancer vaccine yet, there IS a flu vaccine. And polio - how many millions of American kids were affected? This answers that question. Maybe it's not a good correlation, but the point is that there are a lot of things that'll kill you. And some of them, through incredibly vigorous research, have been conquered. Vaccines have been proven to be safe overall. 

The era of polio was horrible. And it was really within my lifetime that kids still could get it. Global eradication is so close. But some people let their own ignorance and fear trump reliable, safe science. 

If I'm blessed with grandchildren instead of grand-cats, I truly do not want to see them in an iron lung. Or dead. Though knowing my future daughter-in-law (I love saying that!), I don't think that she's in that camp. 

Even some of those in the autism community are now telling us that the vaccinations are not the cause. The research that was quoted by such scientific luminaries as Playboy centerfold Jenny McCarthy was discredited over a decade ago.The research on the safety of the vaccines has been proven over and over. 

What would happen if we stopped all vaccinations? Well, click the link and see what the CDC says... It ought to make you think. 

Look at this link: Autism Speaks - this is the guy. Here's his text, because I think it's so important:

Vaccines and Autism

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Over the last two decades, extensive research has asked whether there is any link between childhood vaccinations and autism.  The results of this research are clear: Vaccines do not cause autism.  We urge that all children be fully vaccinated.
Rob Ring
Chief Science Officer, Autism Speaks

So are you paying attention now? Please - if you follow my blog, please share this link with your friends. I'm all for parenting the way you want. But when your "belief" goes so directly against established science and will negatively impact other kids - those with compromised immune systems - and older folks... I have a problem with this. 

The Job Front...

Well, good news, progress, and some disappointment... I have been the grateful recipient of some good leads in the publishing world by my friend Nat. And I'm waiting on a call today or Monday to get the ball rolling with one who has "about 6 or 10 books that need proofing and editing." Now, I'm not saying that I'm going to get all of those, but if I prove my worth, they'll send me more work. And they trust Nat's recommendation. 

There's progress on the "so-far secret" business venture, too. At least Hubby's not quaking in his boots about it. I'm realistically probably going to have to get a part-time job. And I'm looking at a senior community where I had a phone interview - they have some flexible jobs such as a receptionist/concierge. I'm not going to stick my nose up at that - I really would rather have something relatively mindless while I grow both the writing and the other business. Self-employment, of course, has some pretty stiff tax implications and we're still saving for retirement. 

Honestly, I'm still a little angry that I was laid off. That job was supposed to be my "into retirement" job. It paid a decent buck, and it afforded us the luxury of trips and things like that. And I hold some resentment that my sensible solution was ignored. And I'm disappointed that it appears that the University president did do a very graceful blow-off. Or, still trying to think well of him, he was not informed. 

But I think that overall, I'm in a place where I can make the self-employed thing work. I feel it in my bones. So fingers crossed, candles lit, prayers flowing... I'm looking forward to a productive and profitable year. And many to follow.

elephant journal...

No, it's not supposed to have caps. I'm up and running! For now, the apprentices are mostly posting content and learning to write provocative, interesting headlines. Headlines are definitely a weakness of mine! Here are the links; I'm writing/posting for elephant Recipe and elephant Bicycle. Please follow and share! 

And let's have a conversation on those pages. That's the point. I've been told that I can certainly post some of my own original content - specifically on the recipe page, since I really have the heart for that page over the other one. But I am learning that there's a ton of stuff going on in the bicycle world. 

Look for some interesting content as we move forward with our apprenticeships. 

Random Picture...

Brown creeper
OK, one more and then I have to go! This is what I found one day when Hubby and I were going out the back door. This little fella was moving up in a spiral along the neighbor's tree. Sadly, all we had were our camera phones. Neither of us knew what it was, but after a post on Facebook, two of my birder friends told me that he's a brown creeper

I fiddled with this on my phone. Even with the zoom lens, I had to do a bit of Photoshop magic to really zoom in on him. He's not even 3" long - his beak is almost as long as his body! 
I've taken a bunch of pictures of the birds outside on the feeders, but this one caught us both by surprise. Maybe later, if the sun peeks out, I'll get some icicles. Hopefully, the neighbor won't think I'm stalking him - but his house puts off some stellar icicles and ours doesn't. 

Till next time, friends!

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