Monday, December 05, 2005

frost on the punkin*

    From 80 degree weather on Sunday to below freezing on this morning! What a system-shocking change... and upon leaving home this morning, I realized I was not dressed appropriately. I had to make a call home to have my sons bring my coat.     Have I ever said how I hate to wear a coat? I do. Especially in a car. Especially when driving. One of the great pleasures of the past five winters living here in south Mississippi is the joy of not having to wear a coat. And not having to tote around a coat once you are inside overly hot buildings.     Though I must say I was freezing in every building I was in today -- could have had something to do with the light-weight clothing I was wearing.     Bah-hum-bug on this cold weather.     BUT! Huzzah (as they kept shouting at the ren-faire yesterday) for Best Buy having my laptop ready to pick up tonight! I got my "baby-back-baby-back-baby-back." LC *I love this poem. My dad used to recite it to us, along with a couple of other James Whitcomb Riley poems (Raggedy Man, Little Orphant Annie among them). But in my college children's literature class (32 years ago), the professor suddenly developed a dislike for me after learning this fact... to the point of accusing me of plagerizing my children's story from another student (even though I had turned in mine first) and failing me for the class. I was too naive then to know that I could have fought it. I always assumed she thought me some kind of racist; which made no sense to me. The dialect of Riley's poems always struck me as just good ol' country folk.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

having a heat wave

    Wow! Is it ever warm in southern Mississippi today. Not summer-warm, and not exactly winter-warm either. That probably doesn't make much sense, but if you've ever enjoyed the mildness of a southern winter day, you might understand. The weather today, however, just feels like something very unusual.     And it's another slow day at work. Or perhaps just a typical Saturday (I only work two Saturdays a month). Daytime weekday shift hours keep us much busier! We all get paid the same, but night and weekend workers get lots more playtime.     Speaking of work, I don't think I am going to next semester. I see lots of reading, research and writing time in my future. Perhaps I can come back to work for the summer term.     I've taken photos of the yarn Rissa and I dyed last month along with a few inches of swatching -- but neither of my sons has yet remembered to download and forward them to me by email, so I can't post them. Soon. I promise. It is really pretty.     The pattern I want to adapt (Fiber Trends' Estonia Garden) arrived. I'm going to need some help with the conversion, I think. I may have to get hold of the book that makes the Faroese type from neck down, as that is the way the FT pattern is designed.     Oh! The last whiney post I made, I forgot to mention the final straw that actually sent me to the keyboard: I measured the length of one skein's worth of knitting the alternating seed stitch pattern with the alpaca/silk and found it to be only three inches, where the straight stitching had given me five inches!! I am NOT buying any more of this yarn! So, I ripped back to four inches of pattern stitching and returned to the stockinette for the rest of the body. I'll make a similar border of the seed stitch pattern on the sleeves.     Under making lemonade from lemons, I decided that it was a good time to force myself to learn continental style. So far so good. Not only does it seem quicker, but it appears my stitching is more even -- I have to watch not to work to tightly though.     You'll notice the Boycott China logo now on my blog... though I wonder if it is truly possible to totally boycott Chinese products. Even if one watches lables, how can one know if the raw materials originated in China? I would especially like to see a boycott of the 2008 Olympics. "Oh, but the atletes have trained so hard," some might say... how many Tibetan and Chinese and Mongolian and other lives is that bronze, silver or gold medal worth?? Not a single one. Better than a boycott of the Olympics though, would be an end to the bruality, the torture and the oppression of the Chinese and Tibetan people. LC

Saturday, November 26, 2005

the other shoe

    I should have known things were going too well...     Last week I found out the all three of my class substitution requests were approved. Also, that I am doing better in my psychology of learning class than I thought.     Thanksgiving used to be my favorite holiday. It hasn't been for the past five years. Thanksgiving was the last weekend that my mom was really 'with us.' Things just haven't been the same ever since. However, my husband and sons had a nice day and a good meal. We have a lot to be thankful for this year.     Since then, though, things have certainly going downhill. On Thursday night after #1Son went to bed -- after playing WoW on my laptop most of the afternoon and evening -- I rebooted the laptop and shortly it started making noise. The noise was like something hitting on the fan. The next morning it didn't take too long before the noise was back. I could smell a 'hot' smell, and shut it down immediately.     Then I had to get the old desktop set up, moved the data off the backup laptop harddrive and switch out the hard drive in the Vaio. I booted it up just to be sure it would, and the fan noise suddenly stopped. I'm afraid it totally broke or locked up; either way, it's heading to Best Buy tomorrow.     Along the way, just one headache after another, getting things set up and working, moving files, being sure I don't delete something I need. See, I have SPSS projects and note files for papers that are due within the next two weeks.     It's just aggravating more than anything else... and I felt like whining a little bit. LC

Saturday, November 19, 2005

knitting when I should be studying

    Early this week my addi turbo needles arrived, and I excitedly moved my alpaca/silk project onto them. I didn't have any time to knit right then, but when I did pick it up to stitch, I saw a "3" on the needles. I was afraid that I'd ordered the wrong size, but realized that was the millimeter size, not the US. Unfortunately, the US2's I'd knitted that skein on were 2.75 mm, and I knew that in stockinette stitch the change would be very evident! So, out came all but the first 6 rows (edging).     In the meantime, the extra skein of matching dye lot arrived.... $6.00 shipping charge. First class postage was $.83. I'm sorry, but that is outrageous. I won't be shopping there again.     Last night hubby helped me wind the last three of the four hanks we (that's Rissa and me, the mouse in her pocket) dyed last weekend. Total weight just under 450 grams. The pattern I want to attempt to covert to a Faroese shawl is on it's way, fruits of a knitswap swap (thanks, Eve). Will post a photo of the pretty wound balls asap. I'm on campus now, and #1Son has commandeered the laptop for WOW gaming.     Back to the alpaca/silk... I decided to do an all over pattern of, I guess you would call it two-row alternating seed stitch?? I have another sweater that is done in that stitch and I really like it. The k1p1 is aggravating, but I think it will look nicer than all stockinette. My concern is whether the seed stitch is going to give a smaller width gauge, and therefore make my sweater a smaller diameter. Any ideas?     I can't believe the semester is so close to being over. I've had or will have next week the third test in my classes, so nothing else until the final. I only hope I can have time over Thanksgiving holiday to do the rest of the reading/research for the major paper I have to write (that's due 12/6). LC

Monday, November 14, 2005

who is this jacka$$?

    People who know me, know that I avoid political controversies like a plague. It is upsetting, mostly because there is so damnned little one can do about it. Still, I read something today that has upset me so much I really felt like I had to at least bring it to someone else's attention...
"There's a realization that we have to accept China for what it is," said James Sasser, another former ambassador who now represents clients doing business in China, such as FedEx, Ford Motor Co. and Motorola. "The influence that we can have on China in economics and political development . . . and human rights is frankly peripheral." From the Washington Post, 11.13.2005 (emphasis mine).
    If what is going on (and has been going on) in Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, and all the rest of the Middle East is wrong --- then so is what is going on in China!!     Every time we support China economically, we are supporting not only the jackasses who think like Sasser (how coincidental that that's the name of a nasty computer worm) and the Chinese who are oppressing and torturing their people and those of the countries surrounding them. LC

Sunday, October 30, 2005

another silly sunday

that feels like monday cause so many things have gone so squirrely . . .     I started the day by coloring my tired ol' grey roots. Unfortunately, my Hudson's bargain box of Clairol Nice 'n Easy was way too dark. I look more like my mother than ever I did before! Guess I'll just pass it off as a trick or treat prank.     Ate some breakfast and pulled out the Buddhism book I need to read before class on Tuesday. I spent ALL DAY yesterday (save 3 hours I went out to grocery shop, etc.) working on my data analysis project that is already one week overdue. And then... I just don't believe it... after all that, the last procedure I tried to run locked up SPSS and I lost all the data results. Fortunately, I have the information and graphs already placed into the project document, but my output file will have to be totally recreated -- I will need some of the information again. So, this morning, with only a couple of hours before I had to be at work, I just couldn't get myself motivated to mess with statistics. Buddhism seemed so much more appropriate for the moment.     But, of course, reading made me sleepy. So I headed to the bed for a quick nap before leaving for work at 1pm. At about 12:20pm, my co-worker called... major brain fart: I was supposed to start work at noon!     When I tried to clock in, seems I forgot to clock out on Wednesday--at least I think that's the last day I worked. I am so SCREWED UP some days and this week I've had more of those days than not. Then there's the Spanish test tomorrow night and lots of online "homework" to do before midnight tonight. I just can't seem to get caught up.     Did I mention that I finished knitting the blue and red Lamb's Pride Hat? I did. But not with Lamb's Pride. I like the pattern. I thought I had a link on the KniTibet pattern page, but it's not there. Thank goodness for Google, so I could find it again quickly to include the link.     I'm trying not to start anything until my new needles comes and I can continue on the Stripes Go Round pattern with the Alpaca & Silk yarn I bought from there... especially since I really don't have time to knit anyway. But there's just something about knowing you have something on the needles that you can grab for just a couple of moments to de-stress, or even escape.     Enough prattling... LC

Sunday, October 23, 2005

circles of life

    Over the last couple of weeks, I spent a good amount of time researching graduate schools online. I'll need a fully on-line MLIS (Masters of Library Science) program. I'd like one without out-of-state fees. I want it to have a wide selection of elective classes available.     I looked at about a dozen or so, narrowing to a handful within the last week. I know you are supposed to apply to several, but there's always some big "con" (as in list of pro's and con's) for all but one. That one would be Texas Women's University. So, I think -- at least until I have additional information about these things -- I will only apply there and pray for scholarship award and waived out-of-state tuition. If I am not accepted, I think I shall just stay at USM and chance not being getting hired because my graduate work would be from there. The out-of-state fees are just too high to justify (at my age), and the schools with lower tuitions just don't have a program with enough variety to suit me.     As for the circle... TWU appears to be in Denton, TX, and closely affiliated with North Texas State University. This is about 50 miles north of where I lived during the late 70's and where my ex-husband went to college. LC

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

healing kitty & mommy

Nero update: he's getting around much better, though I think he still has some fluid. He started throwing up the Keplex, so he didn't get the full dose he was supposed to get. He also got VERY good at getting away from us, though we tried something different every time the medicine needed to be given to him. Cleaning up that regurgitated medicine wasn't any more pleasant when it was a cat than when it was a child.     A couple of nights ago, I finished knitting one hank of the alpaca/silk yarn. It only measured about 5 inches of 'fabric.' I have to knit 14 inches before starting the sleeves, so I don't think I am going to have enough yarn. Have emailed the shop to see if they can send me another hank. I really want to make three-quarter sleeves anyway, so I need it. Also want to get a longer length circular set of size two. What I have are too short and the join is aggravating. I always have to be pushing the stitches up over the hump. I do love working with the yarn though, it is yummy. It would probably look better in a stitch pattern. I wonder how I could work that in without having to start all over. If anyone has an idea, please let me know.     Oh! And by the way, if you don't leave a valid email when you make a comment, I can't reply to you except on the comment link.     I must be acclimating to the southern autumn weather more than I thought. I have been getting so cold on campus. It's not really the outside environment but the A/C in the buildings. So, I try to remember to keep a sweater with me.     The weather really has turned beautiful lately. The house A/C is turned off and the windows are open. Not so great for my allergies, but the air is nice. I just wish I could sleep more comfortably and better. "The insomnia researcher can't sleep."     I tried (formal) meditation for the third time tonight. It was a totally different experience than the first time. (Second time was guided imagery, not concentration meditation, like the other two times.) But the 'scientist' part of me wants to pull out all those journal articles I copied last term for the sleep/consciousness/meditation project I never got around to writing. I can not recall what they documented as far as brain wave patterns compared to sleep stages. I seem to remember a similarity to the pattern between wakefulness and stage one sleep -- just can't say for sure without checking. What about 'microsleeps' and meditation -- at least for those unskilled/unpracticed at it. So little time, so much research to read!     And speaking of, I have a test in Psychology of Learning tomorrow, laters taters, LC

Thursday, October 13, 2005


is defined as: incongruity between what might be expected and what actually occurs. For instance....     The oppressive heat of summer in the deep south is finally beginning to subside. And so, having become even more conscious of the cost of electricity lately, and wanting to enjoy the pleasantness of the weather change, we have had the windows and doors of our house open for the last week or so.    Saturday night, unfortunately, eithe dear husband left the screen door open or one of the cats was persistent enough at pawing (clawless, no less) at it to get it open. Late in the night, sounds of a cat fight disturbed my study time. As I tried to untangle myself from laptop, electric and network cords, books, pens and remote controls, Nero came streaking through the living room. Next arrived #2Son to say that the screen door was opened. I took just enough time to do a cat-count before going to the door. Brickle was missing. Backtracked to get a flashlight because I couldn't see outside. When I got to the door, there he sat, all hunched down. He refused to come in with either cajoling or ordering. Like ANY cat and ANY time would do what you told it to do. When he did finally come in he hissed and growled at me at #2Son, at Sasha, but especially at Nero. Sasha too was quite nasty-acting to him. I stayed up a good bit longer just to insure there wouldn't be any further fighting.     Sunday, Nero stayed hidden away all day in a chair pushed under the dining room table -- his favorite place to hide. It is dark and the other cats seem to leave him alone. Monday, dear husband said he saw him a bit more, but didn't think he was felling very good. We didn't worry too much, figuring perhaps he got real scared or had eaten something outside that made him sick. On Tuesday, dear husband said he thought Nero was feeling better. Then that later that night, after we got home from Hattiesburg, Nero was laying on his left side in the middle of the living room floor, and we saw the problem. He has several wounds, one of them a rather large, nasty-looking hole in his side, and a gash below it.     Now, we live in a small town with no all-night vet clinic, so we had to wait until morning to take him. Feeling very guilty as the good doctor shaved the hair away from the wounds (there were a few more than we could even see the night before), we watched as he tended to our little rescued feline. Nero was really very tolerant of all that was being done to him; Rodger rubbed his face to keep him calm (he likes that very much). But the cut made to let the abscess drain was more than he could stand. And so, Rodger got bit rather badly in the thumb.     Nero is much recovered today. The last 24 hours were nerve-wracking though, worrying about Nero being further attacked by the other two cats. Fortunately they only seemed to have hissed and growled at him. All seems pretty well today... thought Nero doesn't like Keplex liquid any more than my sons did as children!     So... we may have a lower electric bill this month, but we spent the savings at the vets. LC

Friday, October 07, 2005

taking time update

    There are so many things I need to post about. Most of it good, but not all... so, might as well get the worst over with first.     The trip to Tibet has been disapproved for 2006 by university officials. It's a long boring story (and has nothing to do with the hurricane), but that's the sum of it all. Even though many of us who signed up to go will graduate before May 2007, those involved could not change the decision of TPTB. If I am able to go next year, I will try again to organize a knitting effort. For those of you who have already knitted something, I encourage you to either send it along to the Tibet Village Project Coordinator, or donate to another worthy charity.     Without KniTibet on my creative mind, I turned to some new yarn I purchased a couple of weeks ago. I went with some friends from Jackson. They bought wool embroidery thread/yarn for a crewel work project. I mostly went along for the ride, only to discover that it was also a yarn shop. Rissa swears she told me -- and she probably did -- I still had a lovely time gazing and fondling all the wools and silks and other beautiful items. I finally settled on four hanks of Blue Sky Alpaca's Alpaca & Silk in a pale green. I swatched a few days later and was pleased to get the same gauge I did making the Stripes Go Round top this summer in the hemp yarn. And so, I began another one. I carry it with me at school, but get (or take) very little time to work on it. I have only got about one and three-quarter inches so far. At 256 stitches per round, it's slow going. But for me, knitting is about the 'journey,' not so much the finished project.     School is going well. (I apologize if I repeat myself.) I have four classes this term: Advanced Data Analysis, Psychology of Learning (not a class about human education, but animal learning theory), Buddhism, and Spanish. On top of these, I have to prepare (by mid November! Yikes!) a thesis proposal. And along the way, I'm working 15 hours a week in the library and taking care of all the paperwork to be sure my transfer credits are all processed properly and applied to my degree plan. To make up for the two weeks we lost due to Katrina, we have lost our two-day semester break and will have an extra week of classes in December. Finals are over just a few days before Christmas.     I know people probably want to know our Katrina stories. Honestly, I don't have the energy to 'tell' it all. Wonderful things have happened, and extremely aggravating things have happened. EVERYTHING seems to have changed so much. It is truly a defining moment in time for those of us who have lived through it. I will say that we were very fortunate, both during the storm and since. Not everything has been perfect, but complaining seems so petty in light of all that others have suffered and lost in comparison. We are happy to be alive and safe and still have our home, our cars, and our belongings. We haven't gone hungry -- thanks to generosity of so many volunteers and donors. We have been granted grace periods by all our creditors -- except, somewhat ironically, the homeowner policy holder. About the worst problem we are having to deal with right now is the same problem with which the rest of the country is also dealing: high gasoline prices and the resulting higher prices of everything else.     I should write more, but I should also either hit the books or get to bed. Monday will roll around way too soon. LC

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

alive and well

as can be expected, at least.
    Fifteen days post-Katrina and still no phone or drinkable running water, but we have refrigeration and air conditioning. Bottled water, ice and MREs are still available even though the Red Cross stopped serving hot meals at the high school cafeteria. The local schools are supposed to begin classes again on Monday, Sep 19. Our university classes resumed this past Monday; it is good to be back. Nice to have some contact with others and get a bit of news. Without phone at home (cell or hard line), our only internet access is on campus.     I have posts I wrote after the storm to upload, but I'm writing this on from my PDA and those files are on my laptop.     Thanks to all of you for kind thoughts and prayers -- still knitting for Tibet. Finished one more hat the first night we got our power back. I will send an email to those who have contacted me about this project soon.     No classes tomorrow -- but I have FEMA and DHHS lines to tackle. Maybe we'll even have time to get some real groceries. Regardless...
we       are       so       fortunate!

Monday, August 22, 2005

not a pretty sight

   With three more days of summer vacation remaining, and having finished two hats for KniTibet, I decided to begin another last night. I grabbed a ball of Debbie Bliss Merino Aran -- sort of a deep persimmon color -- and decided to attempt the tubular cast-on as described on Sivia Harding's website. It worked out just fine and even though it was late, I knitted a few more rows in K2P2 ribbing.    After only six rows, I found a break in one of the three plies. Sort of a surprise, but at the time, I was talking on the phone to my sister, and just broke the yarn and kept going. A little more than one row, later, another break in one ply. Now, I start unwinding the ball... there were ten -- 11!! -- breaks in that 50g ball!!    Then I started to panic. I went to the back room and grabbed my bag of wool yarns.... so far, I've only found one more ball with only 3 breaks, an Adrienne Vittadini Vittoria. I don't think it's the yarn. I'm afraid it was a moth. I have 23 more balls of the DB -- I'm almost afraid to look too closely, but I suppose I'll have to do so.    Now, the funny part is that night before last, just before we went to sleep, I ask my husband if he would do the repair on the cedar chest in the back room (I have another one in my bedroom, too) if I got it emptied. My thought was that I would sort through everything in both of them and use whichever one was the better size for my wool yarns. Too little, too late.   On a brighter note, things went fairly well on campus today. The professor I had hoped for will be teaching the Spanish class for which I registered. We got #2Son "advised" and eligible to register for classes. And, even in the dreadful heat, managed to get a few errands run and the groceries bought without melting into the macadam. My sweet father lent me his SVGA monitor, so I am no longer stuck with 640x480 16-color resolution on the spare desktop until my laptop is back from the service center.    But, for now, we've had a terrible thunderstorm tonight and the DSL is out, so I'm writing this in WordPad to post at another time. I'm going to take another ball of yarn and try again with the tubular cast-on. LC

Saturday, August 20, 2005

my first item for KniTibet!

   This is Celia's Sidewinder Hat, made with some of the wool my friend, Rissa, dyed the weekend I visted her last month. I added some Red Heart Kiss (Hickory) in the cabled edge. Most of the 'fuzzy' of the Kiss yarn seemed to end up on the purl side of the cable -- which is really rather nice as that will be next to the face and is so very soft.    I had wound the dyed hank into two 70g balls. The completed hat took a bit more than 70g, so I am making the second hat just a bit smaller and hoping I do not run out of the wool.    What I love about Celia's pattern is that it is simple to 'get into your mind' and then not have to refer to the pattern. It is a 12 row repeat and rows 6 and 12 are the key rows -- they are super simple to remember because the row 6 is where you make the cable twist and row 12 is where the pattern repeat ends -- and on each of these rows you are turning your work with 6 and 12 stitches, respectively, remaining on the left-hand needle. LOL! It is more difficult to describe, than to realize the connections within the pattern!    There are 38 more weeks until our approximate departure for Tibet -- my personal goal is to knit at least one item each week. I would be thrilled to have even 40 knitters send me just one item! LC

Thursday, August 18, 2005

what did we do before.....

   My dear sweet hubby is always saying, "What did people do before [fill-in-the-blank]!" Usually he fills in that blank with "cell phones," because it irritates him to no end to see people driving and using cell phones. However, today it is my turn to say, "What did we do before VGA/SVGA monitors!!"    Yesterday I had to take my baby to the doctor... that is to say, my Viao laptop to Best Buy to be sent off for repair. The keyboard, which had been acting a little strange last week, putting a 5 behind every 3 I typed, went completely wonkers inputting 5s continuously. I managed one day of grace using an external keyboard, but even that didn't help come Tuesday morning. So, I switched out the hard drive and sadly left her with strangers. While they fix that problem, I also asked them to look at the overheating problem (again) and find out why the rear USB no longer functions.    Getting back to my frustration, I am now working on the backup desktop using an old EGA monitor that will only set at 16 colors and 600x480 resolution!! And, of course, that is only one of a multitude of little problems. Still, I'm trying to be glad that I at least have finally figured out how to connect into our home network. My sons are generous to let me access email and stuff on their computers, but my eyes strain with their super-high resolutions! (I try to warn, but it does no good.)    There is other nice news though. I bought an iPaq yesterday. And a Bluetooth keyboard. Also, I have gotten emails from half-dozen or so people about the KniTibet project. Thanks so much!    On the knitting front, I finally finished the striped top!! Just working on tying off the ends and fixing an error or three. I have to dig out my kitchner diagrams to do the underarm-body join, then it's ready to be blocked. LC

Saturday, August 13, 2005


  A little over eight months from now, I should be on my way to
T I B E T !
  Along with me I hope to take suitcase stuffed with hand-knitted hats, scarves and gloves for the schoolchildren in Lhasa and surrounding villages.
  As I think I mentioned in a previous post, some of the students who traveled to Jamaica with us this summer took school supplies for serveral of the island's social service agencies. I was disappointed that I didn't know they were doing it, because I would have gladly contributed.
  When the Tibet trip was announced and I begain doing online research on Tibet, I decided that a charity knitting project would be a worthwhile effort -- and a side benefit might be building a foundation for a knitting group at the university.   Further information is available on the KniTibet webpage or by emailing me. I have also started a page of links to patterns and sizing information. There are currently no links to patterns for gloves yet. But I will find some for you! You will also find project specifications there soon. For now, here's what you would want to remember: 1. Items should be wool. Wool stays warm when wet. At the very least, please ensure a high wool content if using a blend. 2. Sizing should be for elementary/primary grade children, approximate US sizes 4 to 6 (the Tibetan children tend to be a bit smaller than US). 3. Scarves should have NO fringe; about 5 inches wide and about 4 feet long.   Please help me spread the word about this project by mentioning it to friends and/or posting about it in your blog and snagging the button at the top of my sidebar. Even just one knitted item from every knitter we can reach would be such a blessing! My contact at Tibetan Village Project tells me there are over 4,000 children on their 'waiting list.'   If you need a little more incentive, I plan to have a 'thank-you' gift for about a dozen knitters who contribute to this project -- awarded in categories, e.g., first received, most items contributed, etc.. LC

Friday, August 12, 2005

25th anniversary

of my divorce... I know. I'm weird.     On other topics, I'm wondering if I should be happy or mad with my father for getting me back into our genealogy research. He asked me (I don't even want to think about how long ago) to gather together what I have for him to send to a cousin of mine. A few weeks ago I downloaded a freeware program from Tucows and started happily creating family tree sheets for him. The other day, I suddenly realized there is no print option with the program. Then I found a family tree template for Excel, so I'm using that now. Plus I added a plain spreadsheet page to do the descendants table.    Of course, along the way, my curiosity has been piqued once again about the unanswered questions and conflicting information re: dates, marriages, etc.. So, I spent a whole day (Wednesday, I think) going through my papers/documents, inputting to the worksheets and nosing around the online sites. Most are terribly unwieldy, in my opinion. And where so much info used to be freely accessible, it seems the more information that is online, the more likely it is that you have to have a subscription to some ad-filled website to access it! I did locate about three likely contacts, but one was a dead address, and neither of the other two have replied.   Knit-wise, I'm finally working on the yoke of my striped top. I have a long ride to Jackson tomorrow, so if I can knit instead of knap, I might actually be very close to finishing it by the time I get back home.    Ahora, va eschucar CDs de español. Ciao. LC

Wednesday, August 10, 2005


    Grades were supposed to be available today (08/11), so, of course, I had to check before I went to bed...
all A - A - A - A 's ! ! ! !
    I am really surprised to have gotten an A in the Arthurian Literature class, though. Really surprised. I must have done really well on the final.     I'm so pleased... can you tell I'm pleased??? LC

Tuesday, August 09, 2005


    In 1984, about ten minutes ago (EDT) I gave birth to twin sons. It has been a long road -- full of fears and fun. Today my boys turned 21. I am very proud to be their mother and I look forward to watching them finish college, pursue their careers, find their true love and build a family.... not too soon on that last one!     We picked up their grandfather and all had lunch together at a local restaurant. One son threatened me with reciprical treatment if I got the staff to recognize their birthday -- I didn't have to worry. Their grandfather took care of that. And stupid me took the camera but left it in the truck! The rest of the day was 'just another day' after a few gifts were distributed. Brownies made later tonight. such innocence     No drinking. No partying all night. Less worrying for Mom! LC

Friday, July 29, 2005

right place, right time ? ?

    Like Jerry Jeff, I 'got lucky' today. During this last weekend visiting with friends, I guess my mind slowed down enough to realize that trying to do a double-major is foolish. I actually only need 27 hours to graduate, and I can do that over the next two semesters. So, I fired off a couple emails and did some pencil-paper figuring to see if I will be able to pull it off.     I realized I would have to take my major department's 'senior capstone' class and my senior thesis class at the same time (spring semester) to graduate in May. Wasn't sure this was do-able, thus one of the emails. The reply informed me that thesis was a nearly year-long process. This set me worrying. After class this morning, I dropped by the Honors College to talk with the advisor. Nice woman. Smart. Bright. Enthusiastic. And helpful! (That's not to say my other advisors are not --- um, well, except they are men.)     The bottom line is that she will substitute the research methods class (required by my major department which I took in the spring) for the prospectus class, and I don't actually register for the senior thesis class until the semester I graduate -- which I can set as August and still 'walk' in May (or wait until December)! What I have to do now is get things set up with an advisor and start working on my prospectus.     And just when I'm feeling great about all this, that little demon creeps up and whispers in my ear, "Too bad your so old. Why didn't you do this 30 years ago? You look so foolish!" I try hard to ignore him. It is easier some days than others.     So, it looks like my break will not be so free of 'school work' after all. I need to refresh my español before I go into 201. And also do some research before talking to the professor I hope will be my thesis advisor.     But I'm STILL going to read some books *I* want to read, and knit, and get hubby to do some long overdue honey-do's. Oh, the next three weeks are gonna fly by, aren't they ?!?!? LC

Tuesday, July 26, 2005


    The internet can be such a wonderful thing. Over the past 8+ years (went 'online' in early 1997), I met many people whom I consider friends even though we have never met in person. Even nicer, I have become good friends with a few people I met online whom I then met in person. Rissa is one of the latter.     This past weekend my husband and I spent the weekend with her and her husband. One of the things that was so great about it was that it truly felt like a weekend getaway for us -- I even remarked as I left work on Friday afternoon that "I'm going to Jackson for the weekend." Not for the day, not for a meeting, not for a museum exhibition, but for the weekend with friends.     Sounds sort of silly to put it that way. I guess we just stay home so much, and tend to only go on extended 'family' vacations (which means we go visit family -- not that there is anything wrong with that), or we only go away for a day somewhere. There is another couple we visit in TN (usually on the way to or from a 'family' vacation) with whom and in whose home we are probably as comfortable as we are in our own -- just like we felt this past weekend. And another in DC, too. All three of these friendships developed through the internet.     After all these months of classes and textbooks and papers, I didn't realize how much I needed to get away. Thanks, Rissa (& hubby & dogs & cats) for the refreshment . . . and we dyed yarn, too! LC

Wednesday, July 20, 2005


    I am beginning to feel like this knitting for Tibet is going to actually happen!    I heard from Colette and now have a better idea of just what we need to do and how to do.    I feel much more confident about this project associating with someone who has, to use the very worn-out phrase, "been there, done that." So, I'm working on a logo, a webpage, and other ideas for getting the word out.    First, though I want to pass it all by the professor and see if we need to also pass it by International Studies or whomever at the university.     I hope to run some weekly knit-ins at either on campus or at the coffeeshop across the street, and also to get the campus newspaper to do a writeup.     In the meantime, I'm trying to stay focused on these last assignments for the summer courses, and knitting on the striped hemp top. Once I get the body done, I think the sleeves and yoke will go quickly. There's really no finishing, so when it's done, it's done. LC

Sunday, July 17, 2005

knitting for Tibetans

    I don't have all the details worked out yet, but I am going to mention it now, since I just updated my blog to add the header text you see above.     Plans are in place and proceeding well for a trip to Tibet immediately following 2006 spring semester's end. We will mainly be in Lhasa, but also visiting Shigaste and Gyantse. This will be part of USM's International Studies program, as was the trip to Jamaica last May.     In fact, something concerning that trip is at the heart of this project. The students in one class were asked to bring a suitcase of items to donate to the social services organizations they were to visit. I only learned about after arriving from my two roommates, who were in that class. I regretted that I'd not had an opportunity to contribute.     So when the Tibet trip was announced, a knitting project seemed to be a natural idea. The sponsoring professor gave his approval, and I began to search for information and recipients. Over the next ten months, I plan to occasionally include some of that information, about Tibet, its people, its problems, here on this blog, and provide links to more of it that may be followed up by those interested.     For now, here are the basics -- subject to modification -- :     1)     wool items, or at the very least high wool content blends.     2)     sized for primary-aged schoolchildren,     3)     Tibetans seem to love bright colors (please avoid red-white-blue combinations), red, yellow & orange especially     4)     no novelty yarns     5)     no fringe on scarves There is also care being provided for elderly and I am looking into whether shawl-type items would be well-received.     Please pass this information widely as you are able and desire -- I have a very large suitcase for this project! As soon as I have confirmed exactly to whom these items will be delivered, I will post about it. I have names of several schools and orphanges and am making contact with representatives.     For today, however, I need to concentrate on finishing the reading for my two classes that end in two weeks! Yay! And, then, it's break-time for this kitty. LC

Wednesday, July 13, 2005


    Perhaps it might be a good idea to mention knitting for a change.     Just before I went to Jamaica with the university international studies program, I cast-on for Lanaknits' Stripes Go Round top (Summer 2004 Interweave Knits magazine), using their hemp yarn. As of now, I have about eight inches of the 14 required for the torso. I'm fighting strong temptation to begin something else! Something soft 1and fuzzy and warm -- but it is still much too hot in Mississippi to think about that. However, other than remembering the color sequence, it is mindless knitting. Great for riding, waiting, and laptop reading -- too bad Microsoft Reader's voice program is so poor. I'd get lots more knitting done if I could 'listen' to Malory and Twain instead of having to read them.     I had my first wireless experience today. There's a nice coffee shop across the street from the university that provides free wireless to the customers. Wish I'd been going there every week this term during my break between class and work! I'll bet it is much busier (and noisier) during the regular terms. We'll see. But the manager is really helpful, and the coffee is excellent.     Finally got to see the season opener of Monk. "George" needs to stick with "Jerry" -- on the whole, I thought it was disappointing. Here's hoping Friday's episode with John Turturro as Monk's agoraphobic brother is better.     Two-plus weeks left in the term -- then two blessed weeks of no classes. That means time to read what I want to read!! Not sure how much time off from work I'll get though; will probably have to fight the urge to pick up extra hours. LC

Wednesday, July 06, 2005


    I am so fortunate to have met one of my birthday twins -- a true twin, as we were born the same year-- at least online. Maybe someday we will meet in person. She's such a lovely and sweet lady: Ellen is her name and she is a Kiwi (though she doesn't live there now).    It's already *my* birthday in Tibet, but here in the the US it is still His Holiness the Dalai Lama's 70th birthday, so here's a blessing for all of us... Image hosted by    (His astrological chart says he was born 4:38am LMT (-6:45). My birth certificate says I was born 3:27am EST. So, how close are those times? LC

Monday, July 04, 2005

on this date

    Did you know that both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson died on the same day, July 4th, 1826?     Have you seen National Treasure? We watched it a couple weeks ago. I don't think it did well at the box office, but we enjoyed it.     How unpatriotic I am today -- laying around in my jammies, no food in the house, and, of course, no place open because of the holiday. I doubt we will see any fireworks except those on television. Both my sons are around today, so that is especially nice.     I'm nursing my sore back again. Evenso, I spent the late morning sorting piles of bills and receipts. I had big plans for lots of house-keeping chores this weekend. Ain't gonna happen. This afternoon I built a new template for this blog. However, I don't like not being able to right-align my sidebar text, or justify the text of my posts. I seemed to have done all right making an additional box below my profile, so I'll probably move stuff around some more. 4 More Days! Four More Days! LC

Thursday, June 30, 2005

summertime... & the livin' is easy??

Wow. Almost six months since I published anything to my blog. I love my blog, so that lets you know just how consumed I have been with my courses for the spring semester! It was probably unwise to take 18 hours, half of them senior-level courses at that, but I managed a 4.0, so I can't complain. My family might, though! When I didn't have my nose in a book, I was just plain too exhausted mentally to do much else. I also started working part-time at the university library. Now, summer semester's half over, and I have already completed 7 additional hours of credit with 6 more to go for the term. I am SO looking forward to the August break... but, ya know, if feels good to keep my brain so stimulated. I have had great professors. I know I am lucky in that. I really only need 24 more hours to graduate (OMG, that's the first time I've actually thought about it that way...), but I was invited to apply to Honors College, and that adds 6 more required hours of coursework, so I'm not going to try to 'walk' next spring afterall. I've done very little knitting in the past six months. A couple of 5-hour baby sweaters, and I started my striped, hemp top in mid-May. Only about 6-inches of the 14 needed before beginning the arm-hole shaping. I pull it out when my mind needs a break, or I'm riding in the car without my textbooks. And speaking of texts, Morte d'Arthur is calling me....oh! But I didn't tell about Jah-maica yet!! LC

Sunday, January 09, 2005

"Blueberry" Squares Hat

Finished just a few moments ago, a blue (& acrylic -- ugh!) version of Cranberry Squares by Janis Witkins from the Winter 2004 issue of Knitters: Bernat's boucle would not go down to gauge -- the yarn called for was much thinner -- but all I had to do was make it seven instead of eight units around. My head is really too small for a hat this deep, but to fit a larger head I will have to work the lower edge bind-off again. This project taught me that (at least at this point) I do not much care for modular knitting. A couple of factors play into this dislike:
  • too many ends to work in
  • too many stitches to have to pick up

I have a good bit of the yarn remaining, so I may experiment with working two-colors on the diagonal and see if a similar effect can be achieved.

I have finished three other hats and two vests over the semester break. I will try to get some more photos up (before I give everything away -- well, the second vest and matching tam are for me).

Spring semester begins tomorrow: Social Psychology; Experimental Psychology; Sleep & Behavior; Spanish 102; History of Mexico & the Caribbean; Mysticism. Plus I got hired to work about 10 hours a week at the university library. Think of me on Mondays and Wednesdays -- they will be 12-hour ones!

I had hoped to have my house in good shape by now, but it still looks like a tornado came through. However, my back is improving and maybe soon I will get things done. The most difficult part is remembering all I need to do!!


Saturday, January 01, 2005

Ol' Year, New Year

2004 slipped by for us as quietly as Christmas did. As the last couple of CST hour of today approach, I am hoping my mother's supersitions are indeed just that. We've eaten no pork, no cabbage, nor any black-eyed peas this day. And I have done none of the things I usually do on the first day of every new year -- not even burned a bayberry candle! Gads! How in a rut are we that almost the entire holiday season has passed as if just that many more same-old, same-old days. I did at least cook supper tonight, but nothing at all traditional. Crawfish in a creamy, cheesey, tomato-ey sauce over elbow macaroni. Hubby did proclaim it "the best macaroni" he'd ever eaten, however, he is not a big pasta fan like I am. All I could think of was how far it fell short of tasting as good as Semonlina's Chicken Parmesean or Olive Garden's Sicilian Shrimp. I will also do some knitting as soon as I finish this entry. Son#1 picked up the last Knitting Patter-a-day calendar at the Barnes & Nobles for me today. I looked through the first six-months of patterns before I had to set it aside, seeing at least a dozen things I *must* knit! I had a screaming headache compounded by some weird lightheadedness and dizziness. Son & hubby were watching Lord of the Rings Return of the King: I napped, but awakened feeling even more miserable and took some Tylenol. I swear I must be getting sick; I have felt terrible for a couple days now. Earlier in the week we went to the bookstore, where I gathered up the knitting magazines to see if I wanted to buy any. I decided on the Knitter's and searched the net when I got home for one of the pattern's yarns. At $11.00 a ball and needing two balls, it was out of my price range (for a hat that I'll probably not wear often anyway). I grabbed some Bernat boucle I had and attempted to get gauge. I came close enough to keep knitting the modules. I'm enjoying the pattern, but not all the tails. I can now see that there are ways to reduce the number of ends leftover to weave in. Having so much of the yarn leftover, I think I'll use a larger needle size, increase the size of the squares a little and make a matching scarf. To brag (and bore): I made an A in four of my classes (inluding Spanish) and a B in the fifth for a 3.85 semester GPA, bringing my overall GPA up over 3.7 -- yes, I'm delighted. Finals were a pain, but fortunately well-spaced for studying/preparing. Classes begin again in another week. I haven't done as much reading as I had hoped over the break, but I have knitted a good bit. Made another 5-hour Baby Sweater (tho' it still takes me about 10), a vest, and two or three hats; finished another vest for gift and something else I've forgotten. Used up all my Paton's Cha-Cha on tube scarves/hoods for gifts, too. Got a bunch of Fun-Fur I'd like to use up on something (or get rid of! LOL). Looking back at my resolutions for 2004, and knowing they were not accomplished or are important enough to continue, I again resolve:
  • to remember birthdays ON-TIME (and bills)
  • to use my creative skills for tangible results to those around me
  • to delve deeper into my personal spirituality in order to attain resolution, for myself at least, over several personal situations
  • to be content -- always my primary goal

"Four has long been a number of completion, stability and predictability, as well as the representation of all earthly things."

A blessed and prosperous new year to everyone,