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Various and assorted bits and pieces...

I’m trying to spend less time online – it’s taking too many hours out of my life.  That said it’s no reason to drop off the face of the internet entirely…
In no particular order…


Cats, oy, the cats…
Nishka, having had her blood glucose do the initial dive, held steady at a number that would be alarmingly terrifying if it hadn’t previously been so much higher.  We upped her to four units of insulin, but she still seems to be peeing too much.  So today she went in for them to do an all-day glucose curve.  My vet suggested that depending what the results of that that look like, he may try her on a different brand of insulin.  She’s not at the top of the range of what we can give her, but as he points out – she’s a fairly lean cat, so we shouldn’t have to have her on that much.  She may react better to a different formula.  We’ll see.  I have noticed that her coat is much better already – she still has that old lady fur, but the dander is much reduced.
Becket, on the other hand, was SUPPOSED to have had his teeth cleaned last Tuesday.  I dropped him off, got to work, had a cup of tea… and the vet called.  He threw a wild heart arrhythmia during the pre-surgery check, and they rejected him.  Seriously?  So he has an appointment with a feline cardiologist on Friday.  I had a momentary thought to just leave it and go on as usual, but if we’d gotten Tashi to a specialist early (if we had known he needed one,) he might still be with us.  Can’t wait for that bill.  Maybe we can do his teeth next year.

Taxes
Both refunds came – something like four days for the state and ten for the feds.  Shocking.  I’m paying off some bills, and the rest goes to a down payment on a new car for me.  Need to adjust that withholding…

Fitness
On last Thursday’s treadmill I got to 1.84 miles in thirty minutes, and I did the first mile in fifteen minutes and change.  It damn near killed me.  That said I can see that in the foreseeable future that I’ll be able to do two miles in thirty minutes.  Hopefully at some point after that, I’ll be able to do it without gasping for air, sweating like a butcher, and falling down at the end.  My goals are very subjective.  Other than that, it slogs along.  Last Tuesday was the failed vet appointment, and there was some office stupidity afterwards, so it was the perfect day for a kick-boxing class – I took out a lot of aggression.  So much so that I had two days afterwards of “what the hell did you DO?” from my calves.  Obviously I could be giving that class more, but I left it feeling like I’m getting stronger.  Of course, Doug-the-Cylon disabused me of that notion at spinning on Friday.  I was proud of myself during the bike part of the class – I did ALL the out-of-the-saddle work for the first time ever.  Then we switched to the floor for core work.  The man is a smiling, happy sadist – he really is.  I’m not sure what you call that particular crunch variation other than f-ing painful, but… DAMN.  I should probably be doing that one at home also, but I still hurt just thinking about it.
Someone told me on Friday that my face is getting thinner.  Hooray!

Charlotte
We had our first parent/teacher conference at day care – it was basically to discuss kindergarten readiness.  Short version – she’s all set.  They said that academically, she’s right where she needs to be – and apparently she knows a lot more than she’s telling ME about.  I had no idea that she knew half that stuff!  They told us that she’s a polite, considerate, respectful little girl and that whatever we’re doing – keep doing it because it’s exactly right.  I wanted to turn cartwheels, because *that* is what I’m really keen on.  She can learn facts any time, she can pick up skills as she needs to, there’s a thousand and one ways to look things up.  But if I want her to be a good person, we need to do it now.  *I* thought she was, but it’s nice to hear that it continues when she’s out of our sight.  They said that everyone loves her, and that they expect she’ll do very well.  My kid IS a good kid.  There was also a big pat on the back for Bob – they commented “she brings the healthiest lunches in the whole room.”  That particular day she was over the moon that daddy had put lima beans in her lunch – they said they’d never seen a kid so happy about lima beans.
This past weekend we went to my parents’ for a belated birthday dinner, dad managed to get a foam sled for Charlotte, and I showed her how to slide down the hill in back.  You’ve never seen a kid so happy.  I’ll post some pictures when I get them from dad.  On the other hand, we had our first hair cutting episode.  She had a lock in her face and mom and dad’s, picked up the scissors, and cut it off.  Luckily it’s not too bad, and we talked about not doing that any more.

Random other
While we were there, I spent a bunch of time in mom’s attic.  I didn’t realize I still had so much crap up there, but a lot of it is now in dad’s recycling bin.  I also still had a lot of fabric.  I pitched some and brought some home – I’m going to keep a very small amount of it, and the rest will go to a barony meeting to be given away.  What I had intended to do though, and managed to start, is to go through all the old magazines up there.  I started with the Smithsonians, and got through the 70s.  I kept key issues (the opening of the World Trade Center, the beginning of the shuttle program, the King Tut exhibit in NYC,) and the rest went out.  They’re in rough shape after being up there for so long.  I figure at Easter I’ll go through the 80s, and if I don’t get to the 90s I’ll bring them home to work on.  I’m tossing stuff left and right.  I can’t wait to start on the crawl space.

Weaving
Yesterday I sat down and sewed 1200 buttonholes.  Okay, probably more like forty, but what a pain.  That means the green dress will be ready to wear to Mudthaw in a couple of weeks – Vynehorn said that she’ll mark the hem for me next week, so that’s in good shape.  After that I decided to work out the next weaving project.  If I want that treadle loom of my current dreams, I have to prove that it’s a worthwhile investment.  Last week I dove into the sewing room, cleared out more junk, broke down a set of shelves, and made room for the loom I don’t have yet.  Then I put my rigid heddle there.  Yesterday I started planning the next project.  I was doing okay, until I got to where I needed to sit down and order the yarn for it.  I *cannot* wrap my head around figuring out the sett.  Yarn weight, epi, dpi… I know all the terms, but I can’t seem to work out how they work together.  Or to put it another way – I don’t know how to take the pieces that I know and use them to find the answers for the things I *don’t* know.  I know that I want to weave a specific twill.  I know that I will be using three heddles.  I know that my heddles are 12 dpi.  I know that my pattern is going to have… I think it was 220 ends.  I don’t know how to know what fiber I need.  I spent HOURS trying to make sense of that.  It’s not like it hasn’t been explained to me – I just don’t GET it.  It’s very frustrating.  However, I think that I sort of backed into what I need, and I ordered my fiber from Webs.  It’s on backorder, but I still have a warp on, so that’s okay – and I still need to draw up the warping diagram for the twill that I want on three heddles.
Why no, I can’t do anything the easy way.  Why do you ask?
Once I’d done that, I sat down for some practice.  I still have quite a bit of warp left over from the three heddle gamp the book walked me through, and I hate to waste it.  Instead, I decided to sit down and practice the “treadling” pattern for the project I want to do when my fiber comes – it seems like a useful, practical way to use up the rest of that warp.  It’s going fairly well – it’s beating in okay, my selvedges look good (although not as good as Jane’s did at the baronial weaving day,) and I haven’t made any errors in the twill yet.  It also goes faster than I thought it would, which is encouraging. 
I also spent some time online looking at warping instructions.  Because of the kind of loom I bought (super cheap, but with the capacity for three heddle warps) it doesn’t warp like most rigid heddle looms – it has no apron rods.  That means that most of the warping directions you can find don’t translate to it very well.  Add in the fact that it’s an “off” brand, and kind of the bottom line model and even the internet fails me.  It’s annoying – but worth it if this project comes out halfway decent.
That’s all for now…

Comments

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
kebbykate
Mar. 14th, 2013 01:25 am (UTC)
Weaving Expert
BTW, my mother has become good friends with a woman who was a professor of textile arts (or something like that) and does all kinds of weaving, spinning, etc. Anyhow, if you get really hung up and want a source of advice, you could email me and I could forward it to my mother to forward to her friend Janet.

My mother has been doing some spinning and weaving of late, and I'm actually hoping I could bring her over to see you when she's visiting in June. (But she'll be here for my sister S's bridal shower, so we'll see how crazy life is then.)
kls_eloise
Mar. 14th, 2013 07:25 pm (UTC)
Re: Weaving Expert
Oh, that's neat! If/when I start expanding into historic textiles, that may be exactly the sort of resource that would help.

Just give me a couple days notice to stuff the clutter in a room with a door and vacuum, and I'd love to have you guys over.
kebbykate
Mar. 15th, 2013 01:32 am (UTC)
Re: Weaving Expert
Okay, Sarah's shower is June 8th, my mother will be here the 5th to the 12th. Maybe Monday the 10 or Tuesday the 11th in the evening?

Also, a neighbor of mine, who I like a lot, and have been wanting to introduce you to, is a professor of art history at UHa. Anyhow, yesterday she was complaining about a guy who was a "self-taught 14th-century scribe" who, well, I'll copy and paste it here for you:

Mostly, it's the rambling 30 minutes of "introduction" of who he is and how he came to write/draw this manuscript. I don't believe he could pat himself on the back harder while dropping more names and still rambling his way through tangential details (like what the person who 20 years ago taught medieval lit wrote as a non-medieval book and who published it). I need to find a way to get him to pare it back a little (lot). We disagree on a fundamental idea of this work--he thinks it is an accurate depiction of 14th c. paleography and illumination (describes it as "almost a forgery") and I think it's an interesting piece of self-taught medievalism. I can work with that. I can't work with the page and a half about how he came to be reading Jung that comes before the bit on why Jung is relevant.

So when I commented that I knew a self-taught medieval scribe who wasn't into Jung she commented back:
wish I'd known. I probably could have worked the exhibit around a piece or two of hers too. This "exhibit" is currently his manuscript, my students producing electronic materials as a "context" of what real medieval manuscripts look like; and the lecture that's eating my liver.

and then this:
The "next" time I do this, it will not be a showcase of one self-taught medieval scribe but an actual exhibit of modern approaches to past styles/artworks. And I would do a lot more of meeting folks and vetting. This exhibit has a life of its own and I really just now need to get through it. And since I had so much fun making Bayeux Tapestry shrinky dinks at your place and meeting your sister and friends, I'm game to meet more people in the "cool folks Kate knows" category.

So anyhow, if she does this again, I want to put her in touch with you. I'm sure you'd both like each other. I've never actually asked her if she used to be in the SCA, but if she wasn't, she should have been. Her Ph.D. thesis was on the icongraphy of 12th century baptismal fonts.
galingale
Mar. 15th, 2013 06:15 pm (UTC)
Re: Weaving Expert
Dang...I'd go to that one!
kls_eloise
Mar. 17th, 2013 12:56 am (UTC)
Re: Weaving Expert
Even if she doesn't do another one of those, I'd like to meet her - she sounds fascinating!

Also, let me know if you do the shrinky dinks again - I was sorry I couldn't make that one. :-) (Says the woman who just realized that EVERY weekend from now until May is spoken for...)
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )