Saturday, January 31, 2009




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Thursday, January 29, 2009


So this week brought some new little hurdles, just as life always does.

On Sunday morning, I woke up with an extremely painful and swollen lymph node under my jaw. I wondered briefly what illness I was getting and went on my way to work.

By Monday morning, my day off, it had spread to the lymph nodes behind my ear. Thinking I might have some kind of blocked tube, I took a long hot shower, and then headed up to a health clinic to get checked out. The doctor wasn't really sure what was wrong with me, but prescribed antibiotics and said to come back if the condition worsened.

By Tuesday, the infection had spread to most of my ear and was starting to appear on my face. The skin was red and itchy and swollen. By Tuesday afternoon I ended up in the ER getting IV antibiotics, bloodwork and a CT scan.

Thanks to my dad who told me to go, and the great doctors at the ER, I was diagnosed with cellulitis, a bacterial skin infection that is super serious, but treatable. I think if you cut me open right now I'd bleed antibiotics, but I'm FINALLY starting to see small signs of improvement. I have a follow up appointment tomorrow and another week of antibiotics, but I seem to be on the mend.

This week I'm thankful for my family and my friends, my improving health, and even my department store job which has been wonderful and guaranteed my job despite my absence.


Saturday, January 24, 2009

It's like Ohmigod!

You can say many things about me. I possess many talents. Gardening, however, is not one of them. In fact I'm spectacularly bad at it. Since moving to Kansas City, you might say that I have a one way relationship with potted plants and cuttings, one of virtually assured destruction.

My only briefly successful foray into the growing world was the Aerogarden escapades of this past spring/summer. And I have to say it was kind of cheating. It was grow lights, water, prepackaged seed pods and food pellets.

Last weekend Wes and I decided to try our hand at growing again. We spent a little while at Home Depot pondering our options and ended up with a Burpee Grow Kit. The kit comes with a plastic tray, a watering system (reservoir and absorbent mat), and some "magic" dirt pellets (they expand when you add water). At the end of the evening our newest project looked like this:

We planted a variety of vegetables and herbs. From our previous experience we expected the herbs to sprout within a 7-10 days and be ready for harvesting and transfer within 4-6 weeks. From reading the vegetable packets, we expected our plants to be transferable in about 6 weeks and mature in 60-90 days. We reasoned that this would be at earliest, March, and at lastest April, perfectly warm.

A mere 6 days later, this is what we have:

Those there on the left are the BEANS OF DOOM with root systems already OUTSIDE the plastic tray. In the middle you can see a melange of tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots and onions. Those big sprouts on the right are the broccoli.

Not much action from the herb section:

Apparently the hubs and I are genius gardeners huh? We're also in SERIOUS trouble.

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Saturday, January 17, 2009

Back in the swing.

So I had been delaying posting because I wanted to post some great pictures of my newest finished object. However, the weather hasn't been cooperating (it's the Midwest, who's surprised?) so I'm back with projects and all sorts of reviews (books, movies, etc.)

First things first. This past weekend I finished my first big lace project and I'm absolutely in love with it!

The Pattern: Shoalwater Shawl

The Yarn: Malabrigo Laceweight, 3 skeins, Pagoda

The Needles: US 6's

The Verdict: I LOVE this shawl. This was a pleasure to knit, even though it took me over a year. The Malabrigo laceweight yarn is light and soft and creates the warmest, softest fabric I've felt in a long time. And using my new lace blocking wires (courtesy of my wonderful husband!) blocking was a snap. Stay tuned for more pictures of this one!


I haven't been posting much of late. I think it's a combination of lack of funny tales to tell, lack of time to knit, and lots of time spent at the department store job. I'm still looking for full time employment, but so far I haven't had much luck so I've been staying on. I seem to have made it through a variety of books and movies though.

* Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - I ripped right through this one and enjoy it as much, if not more than the previous books. I don't know why I couldn't get into the series the first time, but I'm really enjoying it now. I'm looking forward to reading the sixth installment soon. It will be the first book of the series that I read without having seen the movie first and I think it will be great to experience the book with no clue about what will happen next.

* New Moon - Yes, I'm hooked on Stephenie Meyer's series. I don't know what's more bizarre for me - that I'm reading vampire books and loving them, or that I'm reading teeny-bopper fiction and ripping right through it. Again, I think the most interesting part of the books to me is how the author takes all the common legends and stereotypes about vampires (and in this book werewolves) and turns them on their heads. I still haven't seen the movie and part of me doesn't want to, because I love the way I imagine the characters. I'm sure I will though.

* The God Delusion - The third book I'm still working on is Richard Dawkins'. I borrowed this from Dad when I was home for Christmas. Though the theory is sometimes a bit much for me, I'm enjoying reading his arguments against the existence of god. The book is humorous too - I find myself laughing aloud fairly often. I suppose if I'm going to be damned to hell I might as well have a good time getting there.

* Death at a Funeral - I Netflix'd this one after hearing great things about it and we weren't disappointed. This was truly a zany British farce and if you're up for some insanity I'd definitely recommend it!

* No Country for Old Men - Despite the fact that this movie won so many Oscars, and I'd been anxious to see it, neither Wes nor I enjoyed it very much. I found it hard to watch with all it's scenes shot in low light that were barely visible. We both found the dialogue kind of forced, and at the end we kind of wondered what the point was. Overall, I can't recommend this one.

* Burn After Reading - I laughed out loud at this movie. The cast was excellent, the material crafted very well, and the end result a winner. If you're up for some inappropriate situations and whole movie about the stupidity of people, you have to see this movie!

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Monday, January 12, 2009

You know you want to.

Go ahead. It won't hurt, I promise. Heck I've been up since 3:30am, so just leave me a little comment m'kay?


Thursday, January 08, 2009

Reflections on working at a department store.

  • Coming into a dark, deserted department store is really creepy. You start to think maybe that mannequin over there IS a real person.
  • I thought it would be a little like Claire Danes in Shopgirl. It's really more like "Cleanup on aisle 3."
  • Standing on your feet for 8 hours a day is hard. Even in good shoes.
  • No one ever tells you when (like today for instance) it's "bring your bitch to the department store" day. It kinda makes you never want to go back.
  • Any department that doesn't have dressing rooms to clean is a GOOD department.
  • Unfortunately we simply cannot stock every item in every color, shape and size at every time. I'm sorry this is inconvenient for the customer, but yelling at us and telling us how much we suck doesn't really change that I can't magically make the item apparate at will.
  • Some days, when I'm opening store credit card accounts for people I feel like I am just further damaging this crappy economy. Multiply that by 10 if it's for a college student.
  • Some co-workers are nice, helpful and willing to answer questions. I am continually thankful for them.
  • Many aren't. May they be transferred to a department with dressing rooms.