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, May 29, 2017

Monday miscellany - 29May17

No, I haven't dropped off the face of the earth, although the lack of weekly updates in the past 3 months might indicate otherwise. Things have just been insanely busy lately, and it's all too easy to get out of the habit.

So I need to get back on track, and I may as well start now!

What I've been reading... I've actually not been reading much lately, and am still only about 1/4 through Brian Staveley's The Providence of Fire, which I had just started last update. It should not be a knock on the book, though, as I'm quite enjoying it. I just haven't been reading much.

What I've been crafting... This is where the bulk of my limited free time has gone. I am very close to finishing the Nativity magi panel - I just have a headdress and some light rays to finish. I had set myself a goal of finishing by Pentecost, which is this upcoming Sunday, and that's still a reasonable goal.

Fumbling toward fitness... I must shamefully admit that I haven't been able to make it to Curves in over a month, and it's been about that long since I got on the treadmill. I really need to get off my duff and correct that.

One Little Victory DD has graduated high school, with school honors in Calculus and French. She also turned 18. I would count those as more than just a little victory. It's a little overwhelming in some ways to realize that for practically the first time in my adult life, I have no minor children to raise. New adventures lie ahead!

Monday, February 27, 2017

Monday miscellany - 27Feb17

February has flown by! We had a good and quiet week with the empty nest preview, and DD had a great week in St. Croix - enough so that she made us promise not to ever go there without her. Someday, perhaps. The Caribbean is not really high on my list of places to visit, but it does have its moments.

What I've been reading... I finished Brian Staveley's _The Emperor's Blades_, and started book 2, _The Providence of Fire_. I'm only a couple pages in out of 718, so this may take me a while unless I get on a serious reading kick.

What I've been crafting... The bulk of my productivity this week has been here. Violet Patch is working up rather swiftly! I will be putting it aside when Lent starts this week, to focus my attention to the Nativity magi panel again, but here's my progress to date:
Violet mandala - inner square
Many of the blank areas will have beads, but I will attach those at the end.

Fumbling toward fitness I've deliberately taken it easy this past week, as I'm still resting my foot. Plantar fasciitis sucks, and I hate when it hurts to walk. Fortunately it does seem to have eased a bit, but I'm going to give it a few more days of rest.

One Little Victory A restful week with a lot of stitching was good for my soul.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Monday miscellany - 20Feb17

Last week was rather busy, between Valentine's Day, my birthday, and getting DD ready to go on a short trip. This week will definitely be quieter, with a foretaste of the empty nest.

What I've been reading... I'm on page 479 of 568 in _The Emperor's Blades_, and should move on to book 2 this week.

What I've been crafting... I finished part 8 of Papillon Creations _Around the World in 80 Stitches_, and treated myself to a new start, Chatelaine _Violet Patch_, violets being February's birth flower. With the temporary empty nest, I may actually make decent progress on it this week.

Fumbling toward fitness... I didn't do so well on fitness this week, partly because of other demands on my time, and partly due to a flareup of plantar fasciitis. I only made it to Curves once, and did 142 minutes for 7.63 miles on the treadmill. Hopefully this week will be better, and my foot will be more cooperative.

One Little Victory I had a wonderful birthday dinner with all of the offspring at a local Mediterranean place. Lamb kebabs hit the spot!

Monday, February 13, 2017

Monday miscellany - 13Feb17

The days and weeks continue their relentless pace, and I lose track of time. I'll be marking another birthday this coming week, and I wonder how I got to my late 40s without really noticing...

What I've been reading... I'm on page 345 of 568 in Brian Staveley's _The Emperor's Blades_, and am enjoying it enough that I plan to get the rest of the trilogy. It's unlikely I'll start book 2 this week, however.

What I've been crafting... I'm nearly finished with part 8 of _Around the World in 80 Stitches_, and plan to finish it and part 9 this week. I also have a new start planned for my birthday. I've only done an hour or so on Star of Donegal, so that's going pretty slowly at present.

Fumbling toward fitness... I did make it by Curves thrice this week, for the first time in several weeks. I also did 194 minutes for 10.53 miles on the treadmill, so overall I'm almost back to where I once was in terms of an exercise routine.

One Little Victory I love it when a book I've pre-ordered shows up on my Kindle bright and early on release day. The latest surprise was Neil Gaiman's _Norse Mythology_, which showed up Tuesday morning.

Monday, February 06, 2017

Monday miscellany - 6Feb17

Supposedly the groundhog saw its shadow, but we've seen no additional hints of winter yet down here. I guess it's all staying north for now.

What I've been reading... I'm on page 137 of 568 in Brian Staveley's _The Emperor's Blades_. Quite enjoyable, though I'd have to give a warning to folks who are sensitive to rough language. Some of the characters are soldier types, and they speak in a comparable manner. Fortunately it's not a heavy seasoning, so it doesn't bother me. It'll probably take me another week or two at my current pace to finish the book, but I anticipate getting the other two books in the trilogy.

What I've been crafting... I'm now past 50% on the Star of Donegal afghan, thanks to a certain big game last night. I also finished part 7 on _80 Stitches_ and am about 1/3 through part 8. I should finish that and start part 9 by this time next week.

Fumbling toward fitness... I only made it by Curves once, mostly due to other demands on my time. I treadmilled for 143 minutes and 7.6 miles, only about 2/3 of my usual output. Which I suppose is better than the 1/3 I managed for Curves. I'll do better this week, hopefully.

One Little Victory The week was busy, but the weekend was pleasantly low-key, and I was able to take advantage of that to recharge a bit.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Monday miscellany - 30Jan17

We've had another 'winter' weekend, and as always I'm enjoying the cooler temperatures for the brief days they're around.

What I've been reading... I finished Chesterton's _Ballad of the White Horse_, a worthwhile read for lovers of epic poetry. I've since started Brian Staveley's _The Emperor's Blades_, the first of the Chronicles of the Unhewn Throne series. I'm enjoying it so far.

What I've been crafting... I didn't crochet at all, but I am on part 7 (of 24) of Papillon Creations "Around the World in 80 Stitches". Admittedly, I had finished part 6 before it got backburnered several years ago, but I was able to get a few hours into it over the past week. I'm hoping to finish part 7 and start part 8 this week, but I also anticipate I'll get more crochet time on Star of Donegal during the big game this weekend.

Fumbling toward fitness... I'm nearly back on track again. I made it by Curves twice, and did 195 minutes for 10.48 miles on the treadmill.

One Little Victory I'm glad to have been able to sleep in and enjoy the cooler weather over the weekend.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Monday miscellany - 23Jan17

This past week was fairly busy. We had friends visiting the area from up north, and we spent some time with them.

What I've been reading... I finished Randall Munroe's _What If?_, and have started G.K.Chesterton's _Ballad of the White Horse_. That is pretty short, and next up is Brian Staveley's _The Emperor's Blades_, the first book in a trilogy recommended by a coworker.

What I've been crafting... I did very little crafting this week - maybe an hour on Papillon Creations' _Around the World in 80 Stitches_, and maybe an hour or two on the Star of Donegal afghan.

Fumbling toward fitness I didn't make it by Curves at all. I did only 170 minutes on the treadmill for 9.09 miles.

One Little Victory Visiting with friends we hadn't seen in over a year, and spending a good Saturday afternoon playing board games and card games with DD were both time well spent. Goals can take a backseat to more important things like friends and family.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Monday miscellany - 16Jan17

Last week was a bit rough in some ways, the most notable being a car accident. Fortunately no injuries to humans, though my trusty Honda, Silmarien, has passed into the west. Well, into another's hands, though those hands may end up being the scrapyard. I'm hoping this week is better, on all fronts.

What I've been reading... I'm about halfway finished with _What If?_, being on page 146 of 305. There's a possibility I may finish this week, but not a strong one.

What I've been crafting... I've put away the magi panel and gotten out Papillon Creations _Around the World in 80 Stitches_, that I started 4 or 5 years ago. I've only done about 20 stitches, though. I also haven't crocheted much this week, uncharacteristically choosing not to craft while zoning in front ov the TV. It's been that kind of week.

Fumbling toward fitness In the trifecta of failures, I only made it by Curves once this past week. I did do 188 minutes on the treadmill for 9.65 miles, so at least it wasn't a total failure.

One Little Victory We had a good dinner tonight with visiting friends, whom we hadn't seen in over a year.

Monday, January 09, 2017

Monday miscellany - 9Jan17

We're in the middle of winter, relatively speaking. It's actually been down in the 30s overnight the past two nights, but is warming up again. So winter was on a weekend this year, though I wish we'd had more of it.

What I've been reading... I finished _Arcanum Unbounded_ shortly before midnight last night, and will be starting Randall Munroe's _What If?_ tonight, which is 320 pages.

What I've been stitching... I've got much of the outlining on one of the magi's robes complete for the magi Nativity panel, and I'm setting that aside until Lent starts in March. I'll be switching to Papillon Creation's _Around the World in 80 Stitches_ next. I've crocheted a little more on the Star of Donegal afghan as well.

Fumbling toward fitness... I made it by Curves twice, and had my weigh-in for the "no gain" challenge. I didn't lose any additional weight over the past month, but I did come in under my starting weight, which made it a successful challenge. I also treadmilled 229 minutes for 11.54 miles, which is slightly higher than average. That was because I was close to the end of a book, and went for a finish.

One Little Victory Good stitching progress, a book finish and a successful fitness challenge made for a week of little victories.

Monday, January 02, 2017

Happy 2017! Monday miscellany - 2Jan17

Happy New Year!

As with every new year, it's time to look at what I've accomplished in the past, and look toward the future.

In 2016, I travelled back from one foreign country (Germany on New Years Day 2016), traveled to and from another (Canada in July), and completed 4 crafting projects (2 crochet, 1 knit, 1 cross-stitch). Quite a busy year!
Looking at last year's goals:
  • Read 10,000 pages - I read 11093 pages, so mission accomplished.
  • Do 10 101List items - I came in at 7 items, and neither of the two stitching ones I'd wanted to do.
  • Isengard to Minas Tirith (Merry's path) - I reached here in September.
  • Isengard to Minas Tirith (Gandalf and Pippin's path) Only 151 miles of 517, but this was a stretch goal anyway.
So, 2 of 4 on goal completion, but progress toward the others. Not perfect, but not too shabby.

Looking forward to this year, the goals will be very similar. It will be a bit of a transition year as DD prepares for college, so it's hard to say yet what the latter half of the year will hold. There are, however, some goals that are always constant.
  • Read 10,000 pages - I read over 11,000 last year, but that was with two trips, and I tend to read more when I travel. I think I'll retain it at 10k.
  • Do 10 101List items - I'll be rolling over the 101List to another round in late July, but it serves well as a master 'to-do' list. I do want to complete the magi panel for Nativity and finish Around the World in 80 Stitches as two of these.
  • Isengard to Minas Tirith (Gandalf and Pippin's path) - I'm already on this path, so I should arrive around mid-year.
So that's what's on tap for goals. I do also want to retain the weekly updates, so here's the first one!

What I've been reading... I'm on page 497 of 672 in Brandon Sanderson's _Arcanum Unbounded_, and should finish this week. Next on tap: _What If?_ by Randall Munroe (of xkcd fame).

What I've been stitching... I've put a fair bit of time into the magi panel for Nativity. The angel is complete, and I've started on one of the magi. I'm only going to work on it for another week, and will put it away after Epiphany. I'll resume work when Lent starts in March.

Fumbling toward fitness... I did make it by Curves thrice, which completes my workout count for the "No Gain" challenge. I'm also down several pounds, unofficially. Official weigh-in is next week. As for treadmill, I only did 165 minutes for 7.25 miles, which is down a bit from usual. I'll try to average 30 minutes a day in the coming year.

One Little Victory It's been a very relaxing down week, and I've been watching a lot of football while stitching. Georgia Tech won their bowl game 33-18 against Kentucky. Go Jackets!