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, November 28, 2016

Monday miscellany - 28Nov16

I had a nice long Thanksgiving weekend. I spent Wednesday cleaning, and then was able to sit back and relax much of Thursday while DsS, DD, and DsD took over my kitchen. Thanksgiving Day was filled with good food, good company, good football, and no drama. The rest of the weekend was similarly restful, which was much needed by all.

What I've been reading... I finished B16's _Last Testament_ last night. Fortunately, my quandary about my next reading material was answered with the Kindle delivery of Brandon Sanderson's Arcanum Unbounded, a collection of novellas from his Cosmere universe(s). I'll start that in a few minutes when I get on the treadmill.

What I've been crafting... I crocheted a little more on Star of Donegal, but my biggest progress was that I finished Ink Circles "Tapestry":
Ink Circles - Tapestry
(Click for larger picture)

I finished Tapestry just in time to resume work on the magi panel of MarBek Nativity at the beginning of Advent, and I hope to make good progress on that throughout the Christmas season.

Fumbling toward fitness... I made it by Curves twice, and did 187 minutes on the treadmill for 9.43 miles. I did enough cleaning Wednesday that it should also count as exercise!

One Little Victory Having a relaxing Thanksgiving weekend was quite the victory indeed.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Monday miscellany - 21Nov16

We've continued to have cooler temperatures the past week, and it was even in the 40s overnight last night. It's been wonderful.

What I've been reading... I finished In the Field Marshal's Shadow, and have started reading Last Testament, an interview with Pope Benedict XVI. I still need to figure out what to read next, but I have a couple of days.

What I've been crafting... I'm at about 87% on Ink Circles "Tapestry", and with the long Thanksgiving weekend coming up, I'm hoping to finish it this week. I also had to restart the Star of Donegal afghan with a smaller crochet hook, and am back up to where I was last week. It looks much tidier with a K instead of an L hook.

Fumbling toward fitness I made it by Curves thrice, and did 210 miles on the treadmill for 10.64 miles. That puts me back on track from before I got sick. My Curves is closed over the long weekend, but I am hoping to make it twice before then.

One Little Victory On Friday, I reached my 600th workout at Curves. It's a nice milestone, and incentive to keep going.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Monday miscellany - 14Nov16

Autumn, or at least such as we get down here in Florida, is starting to set in. Evening temperatures have been in the 60s with occasional dips into the 50s. It's been quite a pleasant change.

Now that I'm mostly over my cold, I've been able to be more productive.

What I've been reading... I've read 3 of the 5 stories in In the Field Marshal's Shadow, which I should finish this week. I'll need to decide what to read after that.

What I've been stitching... I've put in about 5 hours on Ink Circles "Tapestry", and am at about 83%. I should get a bit more this week. Ideally, I'd like to have this completely done by the end of Thanksgiving weekend. I've also done close to 10% on the Star of Donegal crochet afghan. Sometimes late in the day, my eyes and brain are too tired to do much cross-stitch, and with the cooler weather, crochet is a way to fill the crafting fix. Often while watching football. So I suppose in a way, football season is crochet season.

Fumbling toward fitness... I made it by Curves thrice, and did 118 minutes for 5.9 miles. That's probably the closest I've come to my usual efforts in close to a month. I also signed up for my local Curves' "no gain" challenge, where participants strive not to gain any weight over the holidays, and those who successfully keep weight gain off split the pot. I'm hoping I'll manage to succeed in the challenge (though winning a few bucks would be nice too.)

One Little Victory Georgia Tech pulled off one of the spate of upsets in college football this weekend to become bowl eligible. My alma mater, UCF, also became bowl eligible, after having a winless season last year.

Monday, November 07, 2016

Monday miscellany - 7Nov16

November already, and the end of Daylight Saving Time. I'd just as soon the semiannual time changes not occur, because they serve no purpose anymore, but I did enjoy the extra hour of sleep Saturday night.

I still spent much of this past week recovering from the plague, though I was more productive than the previous week.

What I've been reading... I did finish the fourth Powder Mage novella, and am about to start In the Field Marshal's Shadow, a collection of shorter stories in the Powder Mage universe. And that'll be the last of them, until McClellan's new series kicks off in March.

What I've been stitching... I'm about an hour or so away from 80% complete on Ink Circles "Tapestry" - I should finish the current section during tonight's football game. Also, now that the temperatures are starting to cool down slightly, I've also started a new crochet project, the Star of Donegal afghan, done in blues and purples.

Fumbling toward fitness... I didn't make it by Curves, but I did manage an hour on the treadmill over the course of the week. It's not much, but it's a start on trying to get back into it.

One Little Victory I did make it by Curves today, and was pleasantly surprised that I was able to muster the energy for a full workout.

I'm also thrilled that DD actually requested I make my veganized chili again, and told me how good it is. She's usually not fond of my cooking.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Monday miscellany - 31Oct16

Happy Halloween!

We had 82 trick-or-treaters tonight, which is about average for us. At one point, I had a rolling group of 22 kids. There were the usual run of costumes - zombies, princesses, cowboys, superheroes, and monsters. Nothing particularly memorable this time around, but not every year does.

It's taken me longer than I expected to recover from this cold, so my leisure time productivity is not what I was hoping. It's been as much mental fatigue as physical, so my motivation was notably AWOL.

What I've been reading... I don't think I read at all this past week. I hope to finish the current Powder Mage novella, "Ghosts of the Tristan Basin", this week, and figure out what to read next.

What I've been crafting.... I stitched maybe an hour or two on Ink Circles "Tapestry", most of which was during gaming Saturday. I hope to finish the current quadrant this week.

Fumbling toward fitness Another big goose egg here as well. No Curves, and no treadmill. I had very little energy and am still coughing rather more than perhaps I should be by this point. Tomorrow is a new month, so I should resume exercising again. I probably should start back slowly though.

One Little Victory My program at work was asked to work overtime to make up for the hurricane closure earlier this month, and I've made up most of my time. I suppose that explains where my energy went, but the extra pay will be nice.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Monday miscellany - 24Oct16

Nothing like a cold to set one back in progress...DH was sick early last week, and the past few days have been my turn to wage battle against whatever crud is attacking the area. So, there's not a lot of progress, which makes me feel unproductive. I just need to remember that I'm not being lazy, I'm working on getting well. It's a hard shift to make in my mind, though.

What I've been reading... I finished the novella "Murder at the Kinnen Hotel" and started "Ghosts of the Tristan Basin". I should finish that this week.

What I've been stitching... To put it bluntly, not much. I did an hour on Tapestry perhaps, but I've been too wiped out to do more. I'm starting to feel better, so I'm hoping to do more during tonight's football game.

Fumbling toward fitness... The week started off promising - I made it to Curves on Monday. Unfortunately by Wednesday i was starting to feel run down, and only managed 68 minutes for 3.7 miles on the treadmill all week. I'm going to take it easy this week, but I should hopefully be able to resume normal activity next week. My main focus is on getting well right now.

One Little Victory I do seem to be on the mend, and was able to work a full day today.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Monday miscellany - 17Oct16

Things are starting to feel back to normal after all the disruption of Matthew. Having a weekend where we weren't stressed about the storm was a nice break.

What I've been reading... I finished _The Autumn Republic_ by Brian McClellan, and read the novellas "Forsworn" and "Servant of the Crown", which are backstories to his Powder Mage trilogy. I've started a third novella, "Murder at the Kinnen Hotel", and I have one more and a collection of shorter stories before I've exhausted the Powder Mage world. Until his next book comes out in March. I've already ordered it, so it will show up on my trusty Kindle upon release.

What I've been stitching... With the more relaxing weekend, I was able to get a few hours in on Ink Circles "Tapestry". I'm at about 75% - the middle is done, and I'm nearly finished with the third quadrant. Once I finish that (hopefully early this week), I'll put Tapestry aside for a bit to give a week or two to Teresa Wentzler's "Fantasy Triptych". I finished the left panel last year, and I'll be starting the right panel.

Fumbling toward fitness I went by Curves twice, having missed last Monday because they were closed due to water damage. I did 157 minutes for 7.86 miles on the treadmill - not quite back to normal, but a bit closer.

One Little Victory I made a pot of vegan chili tonight, and it was a big hit. I made it the way I used to make chili, with an assortment of different canned beans and canned tomatoes, but I added diced onions and diced peppers, and used Gardein Beefless Ground instead of ground meats. The biggest preparation difference was adding the Gardein after the rest has had a chance to simmer a bit, rather than browning the meat at the beginning and adding everything to it.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Monday miscellany - 10Oct16

Well. Last week I said I expected a rather interesting week, and to say it was would be an understatement. By early Wednesday, it was looking like Hurricane Matthew would make a direct strike on our area as a Category 4, which is stronger than anything we've weathered in this house. We do have a relatively new roof, and hurricane shutters, which we didn't when Frances and Jeanne came through in 2004, but a cat4 was still a bit concerning. Still, we stayed in place and prepared as best we could, and waited for it to pass through.

There's a certain surreality with an approaching tropical storm, especially a powerful one. The associated low pressures play havoc with the body and the brain - headaches, muscle aches, lethargy. And just the sense of impending doom, the worry, the stress, the cabin fever as one either evacuates with one's family in a metal box to a hotel room, or shelters in place behind aluminum or plywood. The obsessive stalking of the weather websites or TV (Wunderground is my go-to, with cross-references to National Hurricane Center).

I went to sleep around 11pm Thursday night, expecting to be awakened by the worst of the storm passing through starting around 2am, and in for a sleepless night after.

I did awaken around 2:30, but we still had power and the storm didn't sound too bad yet, and I went back to sleep. I woke up again around 5:30, when the worst of the storm had been projected to have already passed.

We still had power. I could hear the winds outside, but it didn't sound horrible. A check of the forecast track showed it due east of us....about 20 miles offshore.

We were extremely fortunate - no damage, and the area was spared the worst - only some downed trees and fences. Beachside took it a bit worse, but still significantly better than could have been. And while 2/3 of the county had lost power, it was almost all back by last night. We ourselves never did lose power.

What I've been reading... I'm on page 489 of 620 in _The Autumn Republic_. I should finish this week, then off to a collection of short stories also associated with the Powder Mage trilogy.

What I've been crafting... I'm about 65% done with Ink Circles "Tapestry". I did stitch some, but not as much as one would expect for having an extra two days off work. Some of it was all the minor tasks that normally take up one's time, and some of it was just storm-induced lethargy.

Fumbling toward fitness... I only made it by Curves once due to hurricane prep and aftermath, and only treadmilled for 5.2 miles over 104 minutes. However, I did get a bit of a work out putting up and taking down hurricane panels, so I wasn't a total slacker. I may do better with treadmill this week, but not certain about Curves - they were closed again today due to water damage from the storm.

One Little Victory Avoiding a direct strike from a powerful hurricane and suffering no damage is a rather large victory indeed!

Monday, October 03, 2016

Monday miscellany - 3Oct16

Looks like things may get rather interesting weather-wise for us this week. I'm a bit concerned about the current forecast track for Hurricane Matthew, but we will make whatever preparations we need, as we need to.

What I've been reading... I'm on page 312 of 620 in The Autumn Republic. There have been some interesting turns in the book, and I'm enjoying the read. I may finish it this week.

What I've been stitching... I didn't spend as much time stitching as I'd hoped, so I'm not quite 60% done with Ink Circles "Tapestry". Hopefully I'll get more time this week, especially if I have a hurricane day off work but don't lose power.

Fumbling toward fitness... I did make it to Curves twice this past week, and did 184 minutes for 9.2 miles on the treadmill. It's not back up to previous levels, but it is an improvement over last week.

One Little Victory We're having some landscaping done, hopefully improving the drainage in our backyard. Perhaps Matthew will put that to the test, although I would rather he give us a miss.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Monday miscellany - 25Sep16

After a week of taking it easy, or as easy as is reasonably possible, my back feels a bit better. I'm still not sure what caused the issue, but I'm glad it's not currently an issue anymore.

What I've been reading... I finished The Crimson Campaign last night, and am on page 15 of 620 in The Autumn Republic, the final book in the Powder Mage trilogy.

What I've been stitching... One good thing about taking it easy is that I was able to spend a couple more hours stitching than I would otherwise have, and am now about 55% on Ink Circles "Tapestry". I'm probably looking at a mid-October finish. I also have my next crochet project in mid, but I won't start that until the weather cools off a bit more, possibly late October or early November.

Fumbling toward fitness Not much to report. I took the week off of Curves, although I did go back for a bit today. I did treadmill every day, although at a reduced effort - only 106 minutes for 5.3 miles. I'll spend this week easing back up to my previous routine.

One Little Victory Despite the reduced exercise last week, I made it to Minas Tirith along Merry's path in the Walk to Rivendell plan.