Sunday, April 23, 2017

My Finger Says it All

There is only a finger's difference between a wise man and a fool. --Diogenes
I've had a bit of a funny weekend... and when I say "funny," I don't mean "haha" funny, more like, "just what the heck is going on" kind of funny.

I had been looking forward to a yoga retreat I had signed up for weeks ago. It was supposed to be a one-day retreat on Saturday, and I'd been watching the calendar closely, counting down the days. On Friday morning, I got a call from the organizers to say it was cancelled due to low registration. I'd already had a few disappointments that day, so it was quite a blow. Not everyone looks forward to seven hours of yoga and meditation, but I'd been really depending on it for a bit of peace in a stressful time.

In some ways, it was a bit of a blessing in that I usually have a bunch of things I like to get done over the weekend: grocery shopping, cleaning, meal prep for the week, and most importantly, napping. I'm a grump when I don't get my weekend naps. It was a bit of a gift to get a day back to get to do all of those things.

We decided to do a bit of garden work in between all of the rain we'd been having. I have such a habit of just diving in with my bare hands and pulling, picking, digging away until my fingernails are caked with black dirt. After I'd finished, I came in and carefully cleaned under each fingernail. I poked under one a bit too hard and it stung a bit, so I carefully cleaned it, not wanting to get an infection...

After that, I really wanted to try adjusting the Oatmeal Soda Bread recipe I've been using to create sandwich-sized buns instead of one round loaf. It took a little cutting and rolling and shaping, but I'm pleased to say it was a success. It was such a triumph to remove them from the oven and to see them nestled in there like eggs in a basket:

And even more satisfying to slide them out of the pan to cool:

I felt pretty good about myself, so I went ahead and reworked a sweet potato cottage pie recipe I wanted to make for my lunch. I had a bit of inspiration to cut the sweet potatoes with my mandolin into thin slices and lay them over top to save me from cooking and mashing them. As I sliced them, I stopped to put the guard on so I wouldn't slice my hands up. Safety first, after all. I was feeling pretty clever by this point...

... until I decided I'd try to slice the rest of the leftover potato on its round edge with a knife... which then slipped and sliced deeply across the tip of my fingers. I gasped in shock, went straight over to the sink where I rinsed it, declaring that I needed to go to the hospital. I was in that stage of knowing I needed to look at it, but not wanting to... and then I looked at it, and wished I hadn't because I'd cut it quite deeply...

I went up to the health unit, which is a tiny little place where I live, and the nurse in triage was a lady I used to play volleyball with until the league broke up. She tried to engage me in v-ball talk, but I was oddly uninterested/bleeding through my paper towel. Luckily, I only had to wait a few minutes before a man named Doctor Broccoli (no joke) called my name and took me in. I thought I'd need stitches and would be told not to do anything strenuous for a week. Instead, he looked at it and declared kindly that it only needed a bit of skin glue and a bandage, and that it would probably take about three days to heal. It was quite numb by this point, so it didn't hurt when he cleaned it and applied the glue. "It's the kindergarten treatment," he said. "Tape and glue. Fixes everything."

Here's what my finger thinks of that:

I came home and took a nap. I tried to knit, but it turns out that I use my middle finger a lot more than I thought I did. After I noticed some blood on my needles, I figured it was time to give it up for a while. No use bleeding over my pretty yarn.  And typing this blogpost is taking me a lot longer than I imagined it would. I never thought I would miss my left middle finger so much.

Luckily, I do have a finished object to share: my modified Millay Jacket. I was having such a hard time getting a good angle to take a photo of it on (I'm seriously considering buying myself a selfie stick), so I hung it on a hanger to get a full frontal (heh):

Since I only had 600 yards to play with, it doesn't really close in the front, but the llama/bamboo blend allowed it to block really well and drape quite nicely when on:

I did elect to put the waist-stay in after all, but I think I put it in too low. It does sort of look like a low-waisted belt, which I'm not sure I like. But it is wearable. I'm not sure how much I like it, but maybe it'll grow on me:

Since I can't knit right now, I guess I'll go and sit on my yoga mat and try not to feel too sorry for myself for the rest of the night. Or maybe I will enjoy a cuppa from my new handbuilt teacup that I bought from Westholme Tea Farm last week:

Either way, here's hoping my middle finger heals up quickly so I can resume all middle-finger-related activities. Have a good week!

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Motivation, Not Here

May you becomethe gracious and passionate subject of your own life.May you not disrespect your mysterythrough brittle words of false belonging. -- John O'Donahue
The trouble is: I don't have much motivation for anything right now.

That is the best way I could think of to start this blog post today. I've been dragging my feet with all things outside of work these days, and here I am, on a Sunday afternoon, procrastinating, trying to write something of substance in this post. I did open Blogger up, and then starting reading through some of my previous posts from a couple of years ago, getting lost in nostalgia, and remembering things I'd long forgotten. Who is that person, anyway?

It's been a relentless push at work these past few weeks. I can't really remember a lot of it, but it has felt like that episode from I Love Lucy where she gets a job at the chocolate factory and can't keep up with the flow of chocolate down the conveyor belt...

Except my work does not involve chocolate, nor was it nearly as amusing.

The light at the end of the tunnel is starting to get a bit brighter, in that we've got some new staff coming on next week. I think the current flow of tasks is slowing down a bit since we're stalled by the lack of movement from the client. A couple of us took the opportunity to just sit down and stare dumbly at our desks on Friday, waiting for the clock to tick down towards the weekend. I'm hoping that we're cresting a hill right now and that the work life is just about to back off to let me live my personal life again.

The hubby and I bought a new bed, and it was delivered on Friday. Needless to say, I have taken every opportunity to justify the purchase. I was feeling pretty run down this morning, so I took some extra time to lie in bed and doze for a while, before flopping over onto my back to watch a few silly YouTube videos on the tablet.

Wait. This is a blog about creativity and stuff. Better think of something creative... Here's a quick food shot from dinner tonight:

Oddly, despite my lack of motivation these days, my current knitting project is coming along in leaps and bounds. It's a modified version of the Millay Jacket, and I'm attempting to knit it from the top-down, purely because I'm not sure I have enough yarn for it. Each time I pick it up to knit a few rows, it seems to fly off my needles, and I'm pretty sure that, at this rate, I could be blocking this thing by next weekend.

The original pattern construction is worked firstly from the waist up, all the way to the neckline, then you're supposed to pick up stitches from the cast-on edge and then knit downward to the bottom. This creates a waist stay, which is supposed to add some stability to the garment and to make the waist STAY in place, rather than riding up or floating off. I'm debating whether or not I will create my own waist stay by casting off at the waist and then picking up the stitches again. I'm sort of dubious as to whether or not it will make a difference. I'm really just knitting along until I reach the waist, and then, well... we'll see what I feel like doing then.

Given that I don't even know what I feel like doing now, trying to predict what I'll feel like in a week is pretty much out of the question.

It looks so tiny lying there, but it's doing the annoying thing that lace does by squeezing itself together so that it looks like nothing more than a crumpled fishing net. It is quite lovely when it is stretched out, as I tried to show here:

In spite of my melancholy, spring is doing its best to peek around the corner at me. The cherry blossoms are trying to burst into bloom, and today was beautifully sunny if not all that warm. And, in spite of my lack of motivation, every so often, a hankering to knit a super-complicated lace shawl pops up. Maybe that'll be just the ticket.

You know what else would be just the ticket? Some ice cream. Have a nice Sunday, all.