A window into the life of a professional geek, wife and mother (and nonni), stitcher/designer, bibliophile, old-school gamer, and whatever other roles she finds herself in.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Monday Miscellany - 25Jul16

It's been 3 weeks since I blogged - I could have sworn I blogged the 11th, but apparently not.

However, I did not blog last week because we took a family vacation to Toronto! We had a great time, a good mix of seeing/doing and relaxation. We even did an escape room one day.

DD is relatively recently vegan (though DH and I are not), and she had a list of vegan restaurants to visit. We did make it it all but one of them, and other than a rather disappointing exception, all were pretty good. We even found a few places (both vegan and vegan-friendly) that weren't on the list that were worth the trip. Toronto was lovely, and at least at the beginning of the week, the weather was nice. There was a bit of a heat wave toward the end, but it was still cooler than back here in Florida.

Some highlights of the trip:
  • Doomie's - vegan 'junk food'. So good we went there twice, and still haven't figured out what wizardry they used to create an amazing vegan creme brulee.
  • Gardens! We visited the Toronto Botanical Garden, the Toronto Music Garden, and especially the Royal Botanical Gardens. All beautiful, and the RBG was quite extensive - we didn't see everything because it was just too hot outside, but greatly enjoyed what we did see.
  • Taste Bistro in St. Catharine's. Not a vegan place, but very vegan-friendly in that menu items that were vegan or could be veganized were very clearly indicated. DD had some very tasty dishes so done, DH had an arctic char and I had an Alberta beef tenderloin. We all enjoyed it very much, and it was an excellent surprise - we had driven to St. Catharine's to visit a vegan place that we weren't able to get into because they were packed. But as long as we were planning to visit St. Catharine's anyway, we signed up for...
  • The Hour - an escape room venue. The three of us did one of the harder rooms (since she'd done an escape room before), and we nearly solved it in time, and had a blast doing it.
No matter how good a vacation is, it is still good to be back home, so back to business at hand. With a bit of catch-up, of course.

What I've been reading... I finished _As You Wish_, read two Doctor Who themed short story collections (_Legends of Ashildr_ and _Time Lord Fairy Tales_), _Jane Eyre_ by Charlotte Bronte (one of DD's summer reading assignments), and I'm 2/3 through _Great Expectations_ by Charles Dickens (DD's other summer reading assignment). I've actually enjoyed the summer reading more than I expected that I would.

What I've been stitching... I've done a few more hours on Ink Circles "Tapestry", but that's it. I took Tapestry on vacation with me, but didn't stitch at all.

Fumbling toward fitness... I only made it to Curves 3 times in the two weeks before vacation, mostly due to trip preparations. I did 389 minutes for 20.27 miles on the treadmill, and about 14 miles walking around in Toronto over the past week (not counting airports). So I've not been a total slacker, but I need to get back into routine this week.

One Little Victory A fun family vacation and a safe homecoming.

I go back to work tomorrow, and hopefully will be able to get back into the groove readily enough.

Monday, July 04, 2016

Monday miscellany - 4July16

Happy Independence Day!

So far it's been a relaxing and quiet day, but if last night was any indicator, I expect things will get noisy in the neighborhood tonight. I won't be setting any fireworks off myself, but we may try to catch some on TV or see what the neighbors are doing.

What I've been reading... I'm about 1/3 through _As You Wish_, Cary Elwes' memoir of filming _The Princess Bride_. I may have to rewatch the movie once I'm done - I've always enjoyed doing so and it's been a while.

What I've been crafting... I finished my Sea Dragon shawl! I only have a slightly fuzzy pic from my cell phone, that I'll attach at the bottom of this post. Whenever I get around to blocking it, I'll try to get a better pic. Since finishing, I've done another hour or so on Ink Circles "Tapestry".

Fumbling toward fitness... I didn't quite do so well this past week - only made it by Curves once because of scheduling conflicts. I did manage 211 minutes for 11.01 miles on the treadmill, so I wasn't a total slacker. Hopefully I'll have a better showing next week.

One Little Victory Finishing Sea Dragon and enjoying a relaxing long weekend.
Sea Dragon Shawl

Monday, June 27, 2016

Monday miscellany - 27Jun16

Whew, summer is in full force here. It's been in the 90s for the past two weeks, and has been hotter than average. Already. I'm very grateful for air conditioning, and it boggles my mind that people lived in Florida prior to the invention of it.

My brain has, fortunately, not yet melted, and so I'll update.

What I've been reading... I'm about halfway through _3d6_, though I still haven't figured out yet which of the many things on my kindle I wish to tackle next. Possibly _As You Wish_, Cary Elwes' memoir on the making of the movie _The Princess Bride_.

What I've been crafting... I'm about 95% done with Sea Dragon Shawl. I also have a new cross-stitch start, Ink Circles _Tapestry_, which I'm doing as a stitchalong with several of my friends. I'm going to try to finish Sea Dragon Shawl this week.

Fumbling toward fitness A mixed bag here. I made it by Curves thrice, which is the second week in a row that I've managed to do so. That's the positive news. On the flip side, it was a very busy weekend with a drive to Orlando to visit my sister on her Disney trip, and a friend's wedding on Saturday. So my treadmill showing...not so great. Only 182 minutes for 9.33 miles. That's not a complete slack-off, but I could have done better.

One Little Victory Besides seeing my sister and seeing a friend marry a long-awaited love, I was very pleasantly surprised this week to find my original photostat birth certificate! I thought it had been lost in a break-in a few years ago, and it was nice to discover it wasn't lost forever or floating around on the identity theft circuit.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Monday miscellany - 20Jun16

Summer has officially arrived, although it's felt that way for weeks down here. It has cooled down some today, though, for which I'm thankful.

What I've been reading... I finished both _d6_ and _2d6_ in Robert Bevan's Caverns and Creatures series, and will start _3d6_ shortly. They've been a fun read, but once _3d6_ is done, I'll need to figure out what of my vast backlog to read next.

What I've been crafting... I'm 90% done with Sea Dragon Shawl - I spent time calculating how many stitches were per each decrease wedge, and can thus provide a more accurate guess. I didn't spend as much time knitting as I'd hoped this past weekend - I had a minor disagreement with my kitchen shears, and trying to knit with a bandage on my fingertip was a bit awkward. It's all fine now - the cut is healing nicely, and my needle tip can't get caught in a bandage when I'm not wearing one. I *might* be able to finish this week.

Fumbling toward fitness... I made it to Curves thrice!! I'm off to a good start to try that this week as well - hopefully I'll be able to manage 3x a week all summer. As for treadmill, I did 221 minutes for 11.18 miles - longer duration, but shorter distance. Many of the daily workouts had steep inclines, and I tend to go a little slower on those. Still, it was a good fitness week.

One Little Victory Other than accidentally snipping into my finger, last week was pretty good overall. We took DH to his favorite steakhouse for Father's Day. DD has been doing the bulk of the grocery shopping for two weeks now, in addition to making dinner almost every night. And the weather has cooled down.

Life is good.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Monday miscellany - 13Jun16

TS Colin was a non-event for us, fortunately, though other parts of Florida have not fared well this past week, from Colin and other destructive entities. But I won't be commenting on any of that here - there aren't words to be said except prayers for all who have suffered in any of the myriad ways this past week has witnessed.

On to the update...

What I've been reading... I finished the 4-pack of Robert Bevan's _Caverns and Creatures_, and read 4 of 6 stories in _d6_. I might finish this and the other two this week, given how quickly I've breezed through the main story arc.

What I've been crafting... I knit some during gaming and hockey, so I'm now about 3/4 done with Sea Dragon Shawl. I didn't do any other crafting.

Fumbling toward fitness... Another steady week, with two Curves workouts, and 219 minutes on the treadmill for 12.02 miles - same duration but slightly longer distance. I've been planning to try to get by Curves thrice a week, so I'm going to start that this week. I've already been today, so I'm off to a good start!

One Little Victory I've been playing Star Trek Online for about 7 months now, and am currently enjoying their summer event. I had sworn I'd never get sucked into an MMO again after rage-quitting WoW, but STO has been good because I don't have to deal much with other players if I don't want to. DH has been playing for years, and I can always tag along with him if I need to interact with another player.

Monday, June 06, 2016

Monday Miscellany - 6Jun16

We're in for some windy and wet weather here over the next day or so, courtesy of TS Colin, and hurricane season has just barely started. We certainly aren't in any danger - we get worse weather from summer storms. Such is life in Florida.

What I've been reading... I've started book 4 of Robert Bevan's _Caverns and Creatures_, and am about 80% done with the Kindle 4-pack. It's definitely not high literature, and is a bit NSFW for language, but it is quite a fun read. I might finish it and start on the associated short story compilations (_d6_, _2d6_, _3d6_) this week, but I don't think I'll be done with everything this week.

What I've been crafting... I didn't craft as much as I'd expected, given that I was on staycation, but I am about 60% done with Sea Dragon Shawl. I'll probably do more tonight during the hockey game.

Fumbling toward fitness... Two more Curves workouts, and 219 minutes on the treadmill for 11.88 miles. I'd say I'm holding pretty steady.

One Little Victory I took last week off work, and got a fair bit accomplished around the house, including replacing a broken mailbox post. I also got to sleep in most days, which has been quite relaxing.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Monday Miscellany - 30May16

All gave some. Some gave all. Please spare a thought in memory of those who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to their country.

Onward to Monday. I'm actually taking this week off work to have a bit of a staycation. It's unusual for me to take more than a day or two off work and not be traveling, but it is a much needed break for us all. Daughter did well on her finals, and is done with school until August. Well, except for summer work (mostly reading). This week, though, is for resting and recharging. I do have a list of around-the-house tasks to do, but that should still leave plenty of downtime. I hope.

What I've been reading... Last night I finished book 1 of Robert Bevan's _Caverns and Creatures_ series. It's a Kindle 4-pack, so I have 3 more books to go. It's definitely a quick and enjoyable romp. It's possible I'll finish the series this week, but I make no promises.

What I've been crafting... I've been intermittently knitting on Sea Dragon Shawl, but not a whole lot yet since last week. I should get further this week, although I do also want to pick up the magi Nativity panel again as well.

Fumbling toward fitness... I made my usual two workouts at Curves this week, and did 218 minutes on the treadmill for 11.41 miles, which is pretty much on pace with last week. I should match that this week.

One Little Victory I finally took the time to try out my yarn swift and ball winder, and balled up my yarn leftovers from my two afghans, as well as the second skein for Sea Dragon Shawl (I'll probably need that ball tomorrow). Yarn swifts are a wonderful invention, and winding was a breeze!

Monday, May 23, 2016

Monday Miscellany - 23May16

Milestones come upon us so quickly! Daughter's junior year is nearly at an end, and since last entry, she celebrated a birthday. I feel old, and proud, and wondering where the time has gone.

What I've been reading... I finished _2113_, and started a kindle compilation of Robert Bevan's _Caverns and Creatures_ series - a somewhat guilty pleasure read about the adventures of a tabletop gaming group who falls afoul of their gamemaster and end up in the gameworld...as their characters. Hijinks ensue. I've barely started, but DH laughed rather frequently while reading it, and I'm enjoying it so far.

What I've been crafting I reached the halfway point on Sea Dragon Shawl! I've finished all the increase wedges, and have started the decreases. I also realized I was making a minor technical error with the wrap+turn, but I'll do it properly from now on. Knitting is a good thing to do while watching playoff hockey!

Fumbling toward fitness... Another two workouts at Curves, and I did well on the treadmill this past week - 219 minutes for 11.35 miles. That's my best week this year, and I hope to match it this week.

One Little Victory At her school's underclassmen awards ceremony, daughter took an award (excellence for best in the class, or merit for second best) for every single class she's taking this year. We're very proud of her!

Oh, and she dragged me outside last night to see Mars. I have now seen Mars with my naked eye, and a bonus Saturn to boot. That was quite cool.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Monday Miscellany - 16May16

Summer with its unwelcome humidity seems to have arrived here in Florida, which makes me very grateful for climate control.

What I've been reading... I'm on page 298 of 381 in _2113_, so I should certainly finish it this week.

What I've been crafting... What crafting time I did have this week was finishing my friend's round robin piece. I'm very happy with the result, and I'm looking forward to resuming work on the magi panel and Sea Dragon Shawl.

Fumbling toward fitness... Another good week at Curves. I may try to bump up to three times a week once summer is in full swing, if I can figure out how best to balance it with occasional overtime. I also did 214 minutes on the treadmill for 10.84 miles. Slightly less distance for slightly more time, but this past week's workouts have had a bit more elevation.

One Little Victory Daughter is nearly done with her junior year of high school, and barring catastropically poor final grades, will finish with 7 A's and a B, the latter in AP Physics. College is just around the corner...

Monday, May 09, 2016

Monday Miscellany - 9May16

I had a very nice Mother's Day yesterday - lunch out with my husband and daughter, then a quiet afternoon and evening watching hockey and other TV. It's nice to have downtime.

What I've been reading... I'm on page 199 of 381 in _2113_, the collection of short stories inspired by Rush. The story I just finished was inspired by "I Think I'm Going Bald", believe it or not. I may finish the book this week, but we'll see.

What I've been crafting... I've done a little bit on the magi panel for Nativity, but maybe only an hour or so. Same with knitting on Sea Dragon Shawl. I did design and have started stitching on the last piece for a round robin I'm in. I should finish that this week, then back to the magi panel.

Fumbling toward fitness... I've been very consistent about getting by Curves twice a week, and I maintained that pace this week. I also got back on track with the treadmill, doing 213 minutes for 10.97 miles.

One Little Victory My oldest grandson had his First Communion on Saturday, which was a good milestone.
In more temporal news, the Lightning beat the Islanders in 5 games to advance to round 3. Last year they went to the Finals but lost, but I'm hoping the Cup is in their future this year.