Maine or bust!

Thursday, January 31, 2013

A Discouraging Word...

Fitness - ugh. That pretty much sums up how I feel about that. I got on the scale on Tuesday morning and I felt awesome about myself. I was down a couple of pounds, I was feeling pretty good physically, and then everything went to hell. I got on the scale this morning, and I am up SEVEN pounds from what I was on Tuesday. Something very weird is going on, because I have not been eating a bucket of KFC per day since the last weigh-in. I'm not "due" any time soon either, so I don't know what's going on. I think the scale is going into time-out. I'm still waiting on the treadmill parts. I'm feeling very discouraged, but I have a plan (see "everything else").

Knitting - Got another hexipuff done (bringing the total up to 10), and I got a couple of rows done on the Age of Brass and Steam shawl, but other than that, there's nothing exciting going on. I may make a few more hexipuffs, and I have to pick up the other fingerless mitt again, because Kari has apparently designed a few sock patterns in her non-existent free time and wants me to test one of them (MOAR SOCKS! RAAAR!) I love knitting socks, and having an excuse is awesome!

Food - I am trying to think of anything BUT food right now, so bleh.

School - Don't really have anything to report beyond what I posted yesterday.

Everything else - I booked my flights to go see Rob at Easter! That means getting on an airplane. That means seats that I don't fit in. That means I need a gigantic kick in the ass to get this done. So here is THE PLAN. Knees are finally feeling better, so squats resume tonight. 50-60 squats per night. Rob has issued a challenge for me to start doing bicep curls on Friday - first night I do 10 per side (10 lb weights), and go up 5 each night, I think. Also starting the 12-week walking challenge I've mentioned so many times. If I have to walk in a shopping mall (it's cold!), that's what I'll do. If I have to walk at school, I will. At least, until the treadmill is fixed! I'm not focusing on food as much because I tend to obsess. I bought lots of awesome healthy stuff this week, so let's just hope I can stay out of the store for a while. Enjoy this video, because I need a bit of this sentiment right now :)

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Mystery knitting revealed, sort of...

Fitness - I came to a startling realization yesterday. I joined SuperBetter yesterday (awesome game designed to help you improve yourself in the physical, mental, emotional and social aspects of your life), and one of the first quests in my own personal challenge (weight loss) was to consider and answer the question, "What is it like to be overweight?" As I was thinking and writing my answer to this question, it occurred to me that the reason I get so frustrated with weight loss efforts and keep giving up is that some part of me expects it to be like winning the lottery. I work hard for a little bit, and then BOOM. Windfall. Only weight loss doesn't work that way. Heck, it doesn't even work like my regular paycheque. Where I show up every day, do my thing, and get a regular payoff. No, weight loss is more like panhandling. I get a few pennies here and there, and eventually head to the shelter for a free lunch because I'm not getting anywhere. Now I need to figure out what to do with this information.

Knitting - I had a few people badger me on Facebook until I revealed what my mystery project was. I was hoping to have a better picture for everyone when I revealed it, but I had to rescue the shawl from my son's cat yesterday (for the second time) and I was too sore to mess around taking pictures etc. But anyway... I am knitting The Age of Brass and Steam by Orange Flower, which is a free pattern on Ravelry. Here, look at someone else's finished product:

NOT mine.
This pattern has seen such an upsurge in popularity recently, and it's not hard to see why. It's gorgeous! And it's such an easy knit, you could practically do it with your eyes closed. I'm knitting it out of Tilli Thomas Raw Silk in Bok Choy. Sadly, this yarn is discontinued. I had gotten it at a significant discount at Log Cabin Yarns a number of years ago because some workman fell through Nancy's ceiling from the attic above and the basket of yarn was full of insulation bits. It is so lovely to knit with. It feels like crushed velour in your fingers, and it knits up beautifully! Unfortunately, since I was sick as a dog on Monday (too sick to knit - imagine!) and had both work and school yesterday, the shawl is still only about 75% done. I haven't had a chance to give it the final push to finish it. Hopefully I'll finish it before Friday so I can borrow Kari or Sue's blocking wires!

Food - Not much to report. I meant to get the applesauce done on Monday, but I figured that cooking while I could barely stand up was probably not a good idea. It'll either get done Thursday night or on Saturday. I want to can it properly so I'll have applesauce for the next several months. I'm also planning on trying to make some spiced cranberry jam, but I also have to finish cleaning the kitchen for Rob's visit next weekend, so I'm not sure how much time I'll have. I definitely don't have to buy meat when I go for groceries tonight. I opened the freezer earlier to see three packages of stewing beef, some minute steaks, three whole chickens, a duck, two hams and a few sausages staring at me! I think there is Matzo Ball Soup in my future next weekend :) I have beef stir-fry strips thawing in my fridge for dinner tonight. I do need to buy some greens though. I'm craving them, and I've learned to listen to my body's cravings when I'm actually craving healthy stuff.

School - wups... I had the first part of an assignment due yesterday, and because of the fog brain on Monday, I had too much to get done at work yesterday to finish it. Not a big deal, it's just one component of the main project that's due at the end of the semester, but I was hoping to have it in on time. Now that I have a clearer picture of what I'm looking at, I'll get it to him in the next day or two.

Everything else - I feel kind of guilty because I decided not to do my squats on Tuesday (schlepping around in deep snow uphill really did a number on my quads), and then yesterday, I was in so much pain that I couldn't even fathom trying to do one. I had a really bad arthritis flare-up yesterday and went to bed in tears after class. Tylenol Arthritis, Advil, Voltaren, A-535, nothing was touching this pain. I did finally manage to fall asleep after lying there with sharp, stabbing pains running up and down my legs for an hour or so, and when I woke up this morning, I had a bit of soreness in my left knee, but other than that, NOTHING. I wish I could figure out a way to fix this, but I'm just glad it went away quickly! Back to squats tonight, because I need to keep moving :)

Sunday, January 27, 2013


Fitness - Not much to report. I've been doing my squats, and I'm still waiting for the treadmill to be fixed. The parts have been ordered and paid for! Hopefully They'll come before Rob gets here in two weeks.

Knitting - Oh boy... Well, first off, since I last wrote, I "finished" the Tempting top. Problem is, I don't think the designer has ever met a plus-sized person in her life, and the math just didn't work. The sweater is wayyyyy too short, the top absolutely GAPES open, and the whole thing is just a disaster. I was at Kari's when I was finishing it up, and as I was casting off, she kept saying, "That just doesn't look right..." We puzzled around with it for a while, and I think we've figured out a way to fix it, but it would require ordering five or six more skeins of yarn, at roughly $10 a pop, and I'm not sure I'm willing to commit that much more money to this stupid project. It's in the naughty pile for now.

But on to my new obsession! I saw pictures of other people's finished projects and immediately knew I had to knit this. Somewhat similar to the furor caused last year by Veera Välimäki'sColor Affection (thanks, in part, to the Yarn Harlot posting about it on her blog) and Tiny Owl Knits' Beekeeper's Quilt, this pattern is making huge waves in the Ravelry community right now. It was designed a couple of years ago, but is gaining some pretty major popularity and I personally know several people who are knitting it. I cast on this morning and I'm nearly 3/4 of the way done with the pattern as written - I have more yardage though, so I'm planning on making it slightly larger than originally intended. Can you guess what it is from this photo? More details to come soon!

Kari invited me over this afternoon after she and Sue had recorded the podcast, but unfortunately, it was shortly before I had to pick up the kids! I was hoping she'd teach me to card so I could help with Milly (Milly would be the fleece I bought that was washed, but otherwise unprepared), but we never did get around to it. Sorry!!! That said, if anyone has a drum carder they'd like to sell or get rid of, please let me know! (because Kari has to return the one she borrowed from our friend Amanda!)

Food - I have to admit that I've been particularly lazy on this front... But I did find a pretty good deal at the grocery store tonight. I was just popping in to get something for dinner, but they had half-bushel baskets of Macintosh apples for $4, and whole spatchcocked chickens for under $5. So I grabbed two baskets of apples (looks like I'm making applesauce!) and three chickens (Matzo ball soup, anyone?). Major score!

School - Not much to report on this front either, although this Monday's Judaism class has been co-opted by a visit to the National Library and Archives to view the Lowy collection (Jacob M. Lowy collection, to be precise...). I can not WAIT.

Everything else... - Not  much to say here either. I guess the major point of this blog post was the mystery knitting project ;) I've been thinking about doing some contests and draws in the coming weeks. Leave me a note in the comments or pop me an email if this would interest you!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Knitting Photo Essay...

Finished object the first: This is just a basic full granny square with a ruffle around the edge. It's knit in a mill-end yarn I suspect is Bernat Softee Chunky in Pumpkin (feels like Softee Chunky, anyway). I crocheted it with a size I hook and it took me an embarrassing amount of time to do this. I got bored with it. I did, however, finish it, and it's a lot more even than the photo suggests. My couch is nowhere near that green, also, but the colour of the blanket is dead on!

Finished object the second: STRIPEY SOCKS! The first one of these was done back in October, at which point I promptly misplaced the second ball of yarn, so I couldn't finish them. I found the second ball when Rob was helping me clean up a bit around the house. They're done in DGB Confetti Superwash in colourway 4005 (so descriptive!) on 2.5mm needles (US 1.5). Sue gave me this yarn because she wasn't in love with it anymore, and it wasn't until she started seeing it knit up that she sort of regretted it. I didn't use a pattern. I took the Yarn Harlot's "Grok the Sock" class and this was the result :) I've knit two pairs now and I think I'm working out the kinks. I do tend to like shorter socks, so that's why these are anklets and not full-length socks.

Finished object the third - a stripey baby blanket! Crocheted with the same I-hook (I only have one ergonomic hook), this one used an enormous ball of the most hideous colourway of Phentex Worsted Acrylic I've ever seen :D My friend Sylvie gave it to me when she was moving to Italy. As it turns out, there were four balls, one of each of the colours in the Phentex, in a big bag of random acrylics another woman gave me last summer. So I decided to stripe them - I was attempting to teach myself colour changes in crochet, since I'd never done any. I think the pooling in the variegated yarn is a bit weird, but other than that, it turned out a lot better than I had expected it to! And my daughter has little tiny balls of each colour left over to bring to school for crafts!

So there we go. Photos of all the finished knitting! I'm working hard on finishing Tempting, and I'm within 10 rows of the end. I didn't realize until just now when I was grumbling about pattern errors in Tempting that the last three things I finished were knit or crocheted entirely without patterns! Wups!

Good night, all!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Back to basics...

Sorry there hasn't been an entry in the past week, but I really wanted my post about Dara to stay up for a while.

Fitness - Still going strong in the squat challenge. Some days I think I'm the only one left, but I'm going to keep at it. I did skip one day a week or so ago, but picked it right back up the next day. I'm still waiting on the estimate for the treadmill's repairs. I think I'll call them tomorrow to see what's up. Zachary will be turning 14 next month, and that means he'll be allowed into the weight room at the gym. I think I'm going to buy him a couple of sessions with a personal trainer for his birthday so that he and I can start going together (we'll go during Leisure Swim times so Skye can go swimming).

Knitting - I've been a bit busy :) I finished the stripey socks, I finished the second crocheted blanket. I started working on Tempting again, and I'm almost done with that! Yesterday, I cast on for the second fingerless mitten, and I've been trying to make some headway with that (it's my portable project). I've been dying to cast something else on, but I'm forcing myself to finish one more project first. I did go out and buy the yarn for Rob's black socks. It's Cascade Heritage Sock and it's SO SQUISHY. My other option was some Regia Merino Angora, but I figured that wouldn't really suit for everyday socks and he wouldn't wear them. We'll see how he likes the Cascade first. We're not talking about the monster right now. As promised, here are the Falling Leaves Socks (pattern by Kari Verge) that I finished on New Year's Eve. (Thanks to Sue for the pic!)

Knit on 2.25mm needles out of Blue Moon Medium-weight Socks That Rock in Ochroid.

Food - Nothing to report, but I'm a bit excited. I bought a duck. Not a live one, but a frozen WHOLE DUCK. I've never cooked one before, so I'm really looking forward to this. Jeff still has a 'cook from frozen' turkey that he wants me to cook for him, so that will likely be this weekend. I'm giving some serious thought to South Beach again... I need something to keep myself on track, because relying on my willpower is failing miserably.

School - Weirdly enough, last week in Judaism class, I ran into someone I hadn't seen in about 18 years! She was a highschool friend of one of my ex-fiancé's university friends (I got to keep the friend in the breakup) and we never spent much time together, but it was kind of neat to meet up with her again, and it turns out that her family is VERY active in the temple. I'm making supposedly great strides in Hebrew, but I still feel like I'm floundering. I want to get moving on the flash card idea. I want to make a set with the letter names, and a set without so I can memorize them without having to refer back to the chart. My uni class is ... confusing. It feels like we've spent all three weeks so far on making the most simple concept ridiculously complicated and needlessly vague. We'll see what happens.

Everything else - The kids and I drawing up a chore chart this week to sort out their allowances. In other news, I'm still slowly trying to organize the house and get rid of all the excess crap. I do promise to post knitting pics soon! Unfortunately, I've been blogging away from home, and the pictures are on my laptop, so that's why there's been a distinct lack of images here. I have two crocheted baby blankets and a few other things to show you guys :) There's also been a distinct lack of sleep going on, due to evening classes, a busy social life, and actually trying to get some cleaning and work done around the house. Don't worry... Rob will be here in two and a half weeks, and things should slow down a bit! (I hope?)

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

In Memoriam...

I attended a funeral at lunchtime today. This was a funeral that was all the more sad and poignant due to the age of the deceased. She was 36 years old. She didn't die in an accident, this wasn't sudden. It wasn't unexpected. But it hurts all the same, probably more than if we had lost her suddenly. You see, my friend Dara was anorexic. This was not a secret, and to be honest, it was so much a part of Dara's identity that I think she was secretly terrified of getting better.

But there was so much more to Dara than a disease. Dara was a sweet, compassionate, caring person who only spoke positively of those she cared about. She was always smiling, loved children and babies, loved dogs, and always had a crochet hook in her hand. Her work was breathtaking, and she loved to make things to make everyone around her happy. She never crocheted for herself, only for others, and she was so fast and so dedicated that it amazed everyone.

One of the happiest days of her life - her brother Benji's wedding.
Dara loved to feel the sun on her face and the heat in summer. She loved to walk for hours, loved to shop, loved to be around people and she loved to just sit and have her family and friends around her. She worshiped her brother Ben, and was so thrilled when he married her sister-in-law Tiffany. She was finally going to have a sister!

She loved going on "road trips" - to Janie's in Perth, to small town fairs all summer and autumn, to Wakefield to see the little shops and have lunch by the river. She loved colour, art, beautiful things, and growing things. She was fascinated by everything around her, and she tried to awaken that fascination in everyone around her.

Enjoying the river in Wakefield - bundled up because it's cold there in October!
Despite her love of colour, I most often saw her wearing black or dark neutral colours. I don't know if she was trying to punish herself or if she just didn't see herself as a bright, colourful person, but she really was. She brought colour to so many other people's lives. For a person who always felt alone and unwanted, you should have seen the number of people who packed into the Temple today for her service. So many people loved her and wanted to help her.

A part of me is so angry because she wouldn't accept my help, or the help of any of the many, many people who offered, but an even larger part of me is relieved that she no longer struggles every single day. She no longer has to fight, and can finally have peace and rest. A part of me also feels guilty because after some particularly painful conversations, we drifted apart and only spoke to each other online. Dara, I hope can forgive us for not understanding you, and forgive me for not being there when things got worse. I love you!

Warming up by the fire in Wakefield.
Dara Lee Greenberg

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Excuses, excuses...

I meant to blog yesterday. Really I did... but I haven't been sleeping well, and it's year end at work, so things are a bit crazy, and I think all the fun and excitement of the last month or so is starting to catch up with me. I will be venturing out during lunch to obtain some ColdFX!

Fitness - I have been keeping up with my squats (did 60 last night!), and today is a rest day. I'm not sure I won't do ANY today, but there's no official tally. Tomorrow, the treadmill is getting repaired (YAY!) so tomorrow, the walking challenge gets a reboot. For those who don't know what I'm talking about, Rob and I did this walking challenge last year. I'm starting it over tomorrow! I have a couple of friends from Ravelry who want to join me, so it should be fun :) I'm trying to keep moving even though I've been increasingly lethargic the last few days. I may bring my little stepper to work just so I have something to do when I get off my butt at work every hour or so.

Knitting - well... I seem to have been struck by a case of extreme startitis. I started a new crochet project last night (12-point star baby blanket that only ended up having 11 points... still not sure what I did wrong there, but maybe Kari will help me at Knit night tomorrow!), I cast on an afghan square from the Great American Afghan book - in particular, I'm working on this one, but in red:

I still haven't finished my monster. He has to arrive in Ohio by January 31st... *sigh* Kari gave me the DPNs to finish him, so I have no excuse. I'm just not having fun knitting him anymore :( I did commit to this though, so I'll pick him up again tonight and try to put myself in the right frame of mind. My stripey sock is half-way through the heel-flap - got that done in class on Tuesday. Beekeeper is waiting for me to finish ONE of the many projects on the needles. I have four puffs in the stripey sock yarn, four in the scratchy orange socks of DOOM yarn, and one in the yarn I used for the Falling Leaves socks (which I still owe you guys a picture of, I know!) Not a lot of progress, but I knew going in that this was going to take years :) The second Laura's mitten is waiting until the stripey sock is done, because those are the needles I need!

Food - Not much exciting on the food front, except that the kids DEVOURED all the kitchen sink soup! Even with big ropes of kale in it, and leeks and onions and other assorted veggies, they went nuts for it, and it was he first thing they asked for when they'd get home from school at night. I think I'm going to have to keep a pot of soup on the stove on a regular basis if they like it that much. Maybe I'll do clam chowder this weekend. One exciting thing for me... I bought bento boxes last night! They're not REAL bento boxes, but they're little plastic containers that snap together and they're just the right size to have a variety of different things. Today's lunch is veggies with dip (veggies and a cheese string in the big container, dip in one of the little ones), a medium container with crackers and goldfish, and another small container with chocolate covered raisins and dried pineapple. I may have to come up with something a bit more substantial for the main part, like noodles with meat or something.

School - Well, Intro into Judaism was awesome this week. Our cantorial soloist at the temple is leading us through a bit of a seminar on chanting in prayer, and it's fascinating. The fact that she has a beautiful voice and demonstrates it regularly during the class doesn't hurt, either :) I really need to start studying my Hebrew a bit more seriously though. I'm sill just sounding out and sight-reading with the chart open. I need to make myself some flash cards so I can differentiate between the similar letters without referring to the chart! Not much left to say about the other class, since there's no homework yet, and we don't have our textbooks.

Everything else- Tonight is the first time in a while that I'm going to have a quiet evening at home. I'm hoping to catch up on the laundry, do some dishes, and maybe get the kids to work on the livingroom a bit. I'm really just hoping for a decent night's sleep without the nightmares, really. *yawn* (I originally typed that out as *yarn*... freudian slip much?)

Monday, January 7, 2013

Squats are the devil and other assorted pleasantries...

I'm trying a new format today, so that those who don't give a crap about my knitting don't have to read about it, etc. Let me know what you think in the comments! Trying to get organized!

Fitness - My friend Roxane sent me a challenge back in December. She sent it to a number of her friends, either to kick us in the ass for being lazy (she's into running, horseback riding and every other sporty thing out there) or for company, who knows? In any case, the challenge is to do an increasing number of squats each day, to eventually work your way up to 100. The challenge started on January 1 with 20 squats, and I'm now on day 7 with 50 squats to be done. I managed to do 25 this morning before leaving for work, so I'll only have 25 to squeeze in between getting home from work and going to class tonight. Squats? Squats hate me. OMG did my outer quads hurt this week. They're only just starting to adjust a bit. Squats truly are evil, but I can feel the muscles around my knees getting stronger! I have an appointment to have my treadmill serviced, so once that's done, I'll be adding the walking challenge that Rob and I were doing last year back into my schedule as well.

Knitting - Now, I mentioned that I had started working on the Beekeeper's Quilt by tiny owl knits. I may have a bit of a problem. I'm addicted to Hexipuffs! I knit two and a half of them that first day. Since then I've been poking at them whenever I sit down, and now I've got 8. I've had to put them aside for a few days to work on the Gotta Love Me Monster by Kimberly Kwon. It was on hold because I had misplaced my DPNs and the body was too small for the circular needle I had been using, but Kari gave me a set so I'm ready to get going on him again, and the deadline for mailing them to our coordinator is looming! (This monster is part of an initiative called 600 Monsters Strong inspired by the events at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut last month - look up their group on Ravelry!) I've also started working on the second stripey sock (YAY FOUND YARN!) and I've got the cuff and a good part of the leg done. This will give me three complete pairs of hand-knit socks, which I'm ecstatic about! I wore the Falling Leaves socks to my mom's house on the weekend and everyone was complimenting me on them. I may have to make a pair for my very knit-worthy aunt, who bought my first pair of hand-knit socks at a craft fair when I was 14. (She doesn't knit, don't judge!)

Food - I decided to make "kitchen sink" soup yesterday. I was cold, I was craving veggies, but I didn't know what to make, and I had a few things starting to wilt in the fridge. So I started with a couple of dried-out leeks that have been sitting on my counter for ages. Chopped them up, added a large sweet onion and a bit of olive oil and went to town. Added a pint of my canned diced tomatoes (yay canning!), half a head of Napa cabbage (the other half had spoiled bits in it), some wilted kale, carrots and a can of corn, a tiny can of preservative-free Mexican salsa, and a bit of beef stock, and a lot of water. Boiled all that to death, and then added a few chopped-up chicken breasts. It's one of the best "generic" soups I've ever made! Next time, I have to cut the Kale a bit smaller though. I just sliced crosswise this time, and it led to really long strings of kale. I can't provide a recipe, because I literally just tossed in whatever I had in the fridge (which is why it's called "kitchen sink" soup... it has everything but the kitchen sink!). I didn't even add any seasonings or spices to it.

School - As most of you know, the kids go back to school this week (yay!). Which means that it's time to impose a chore chart and an Xbox schedule for the next few months, to be revisited at the end of the school year. In addition, my Judaism class resumes tonight, and my new class (Documentation and Terminology with the same prof I had for History of the French Language) starts tomorrow evening. Zachary has also started his Bronze Medallion class on Sunday evenings at the Ray Friel pool in Orleans - bit out of our way, but since we're usually over at my parents' for dinner on Sunday evenings (literally right across the street), it seemed logical. He wasn't too keen on going last night, but ended up enjoying it and I got a hexipuff and a sock cuff knit while he was there, and Skye got to watch Brave with my mom. Win all around!

Everything else - This part will be short! In the interests of organizing things a bit better in my life, I'm doing a major apartment purge and cleanup. The first major project is getting the livingroom floor and couch completely clean so we can vacuum and start moving the back room furniture OUT of my front room and back where it belongs. That's this week's major chore - that, and keeping up with all the laundry my awesome boyfriend did over the Christmas holidays! He's coming back in four and a half weeks, and I want the apartment to be NICE when he gets back. It'll never be spotless, let's be realistic! I'm also on a yarn diet and need to organize my yarn a bit better than it is currently. I'm taking suggestions on that one, because it's a doozy.

Carry on!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

A blogger refreshed!

I know, I know... it's been a few weeks. But there was Chanukah, and Christmas, and family stuff and school stuff, and finals and a visit from Rob and I've just been busy and not had much to say.

The Falling Leaves socks got finished (I'm wearing them right now!). Rob found the ball of yarn for the stripey socks that have been in hibernation since I misplaced the ball back in October, so now I can start knitting the second sock. The first of Laura's Ribbed Mitts (I don't know anyone named Laura, that's just what the pattern is called) is finished. Oh, and I may have developed a slight addiction to Hexipuffs (*yesterday*!) Sadly, Mr. Monster is not yet completed - I seem to have misplaced my size 8 dpns - but hopefully I'll be able to make some headway on him soon.

I spent two weeks dealing with a very unpleasant infection that started in a back molar, made its way along my jaw, and ended up in my neck and ear. Industrial quantities of antibiotics finally kicked it after seven days, leaving me with a very different sort of infection (ah thrush, how I haven't missed you AT ALL) which I'm still trying to get rid of. I really wish that the cure wasn't usually worse than the disease. But all in all, I'm feeling human again (of course, now that Rob's gone). Skye's a bit plaguey, but we'll be taking her to the pediatrician to hopefully get some answers there. Every winter, she starts a mild cold that turns into an all-consuming phlegmy cough that doesn't go away until spring. Her new ped seemed rather interested (a lot moreso than any other doctor she's ever seen), so hopefully we can get something done rather than just let her suffer and stuff her full of unnecessary antibiotics.

Hebrew class is going very well... we've just had a two week winter break (funny, they don't call it a Christmas break ;) ). Unfortunately, my university prof still hasn't uploaded our final grades into the system, so I still don't even know if I passed the class. Okay, that's an exaggeration. I'm positive I passed, but I'd like to know how I did, y'know? My next class starts on Tuesday, and if I'm completely honest, I'm getting bored. Translation and technical writing are very dry subjects.

The kids got an Xbox for Christmas from their father, and I'm officially hooked! I can watch movies on my TV now! My kids are hard on DVDs, so I tend to rip everything, or download replacements if they've destroyed the disc. Problem is, I have an older tv, so there's no way to connect my laptop to it. Until the Xbox! (Now before anyone goes ballistic on me, it's perfectly legal in Canada to download a movie for personal use, as long as I don't provide copies for upload, which I don't.) Sadly, the only game I bought for myself turned out to be entirely in French (which it doesn't say anywhere on the package, very misleading), and the store I bought it at is closing, so everything was final sale only... *sigh* Chalk it up to a lesson learned to never buy games anywhere other than the very reputable and customer-oriented game store in the mall from now on. They've always CHECKED before giving us our games that they were the correct versions, and are very good about exchanging if a mistake is made. I'll probably just sell it to them as a used game.

Rob was here for twelve days, which was awesome! We went to temple services together, fixed things up around the house, he did a mountain of laundry, he leveled my fridge! We didn't get the new permanent shower curtain rod put up (I just have a plastic tension rod with a bum spring right now), but we did replace the front wipers on my car, and had a lot of fun. He finally got to meet Sue's husband Shawn (a fellow bike nut) and the two of them got on like a house on fire, so it's nice that he finally has a guy friend to hang out with here! He also had a birthday a few days ago, which we got to spend together. (Happy birthday Rob!)

And that's what's been going on in my life.