01 December 2005

4 a.m. Is Very, Very Early

You know things are happening in life when you see 4 a.m. three times in less than a week! This old lady isn't used to keeping these kinds of hours, that's for sure.

The first 4 a.m. hour was due to nerves, specifically, nerves about MY FIRST EVER RACE!!! Yay me! Checked that sucker off THE LIST. (I'm actually working on a blog for my 20 Things To Do Before I Leave My Twenties List but I've just been too darn busy actually checking things off. Maybe this will have to be Item 21.) Anyway, I crossed the finish line... and five minutes earlier than I expected to! The night before (okay, the three weeks before the big event) I was so nervous, I couldn't really sleep. I was worried that I wouldn't finish, or that I'd be last, or that I'd get lost along the route and end up completely missing where the finish line even was. But I made it, walked less than I usually do, and really didn't turn out too bad in terms of the rankings. Here's the list in case you're wondering.

I'm certainly no track star, but that wasn't my goal. I just wanted to have the guts to enter, pin the number on my tummy, and be standing when I crossed the line. And yes, I'm such a nerd that I put my number up on the fridge.

The second 4 a.m. event came 24 short hours later when The Fearless Foursome decided to brave Black Friday shopping. Good God, I don't know what we were thinking. We spent more time plotting our strategy with the paper than we did actually scoring bargains. Granted, I did pretty well on Thanksgiving day itself and Ashley was able to find her items, but wow, I've never seen so many bargain-hunting maniacs in my life. And for once, we weren't included in the maniac pool.

One couple even got so desparate that they had the family pooch drop them off at the door and then go park the car so they could make a faster escape to the next store.

Our early morning effort was rewarded at JoAnn's though. Flannel... mmmmm... Even now I have to chuckle at my pre-shopping statement, "I'm going to be good in there." Ha, yeah right. At least my family knows that a line like that is full of B.S. It was only $.96 a yard. I had to buy it! And I've got plans for most of it, or I think I do. Granted, I have absolutely no idea when I'll get to those plans since I've got enough quilt projects to last until I'm 80, but still, flannel won't get dry rot before then... I hope.

But, alas, the flannel had to stay in Missouri. I tried to think of a way to carry on about 100 yards of flannel, but I'm afraid my plane had a hard enough time taking off with all the extra Turkey Day weight on all the passengers, so the fabric will wait until Christmas... when I will rent an 18-wheeler to drive home for all my crafty goodies.

Besides all the bargains, there was another great find. I searched for yarn stores in Quincy, IL and was pleasantly surprised with a cute little basement shop which had the perfect black alpaca I needed for a boy scarf. Not sure if the boy will stick around until the scarf is finished, but one of us will be receiving a super soft neck warmer. (Pictures of the yarn haul to come later.)

And finally, my last 4 a.m. experience... at the airport. The Leslie Travel Curse struck again and left me in KC for almost 3 extra hours, then stuck in Atlanta in the airport and on the runway for what seemed like umpteen more extra hours. There was honestly a line waiting for the parking shuttle in Buffalo at 3.45 a.m.! We were all so delirious we sang along with the doofy Christmas music in the shuttle. You know things are bad when you get 20 adults to join in a chorus of "Let It Snow!" without alcohol for encouragement.

So I'm safe and sound and knitting away on my Christmas gifts. There's a slight chance I may have a few to wrap and put under the tree, but I'm not holding my breath. I'm still bragging that I finished the birthday scarf for my grandma. This will have to suffice for a crafty picture for this post. Hopefully I'll get a better pic of the finished project actually being worn.

Lace Birthday Scarf
Pattern: Wave and Shell Shawl
Yarn: Knitpicks Shimmer in Stained Glass (only used about 1/2 the skein, if that, so look for more of this in a future project)
Modifications: I only cast on 44 stitches to make this a scarf rather than a shawl. I believe I used size 5 needles.
Notes:It may be a little on the long side to wear untied with a jacket, but I wasn't sure how much it would block. Overall, this was a great intro to using laceweight yarn. It was easy to carry with me and I did a pretty good job of memorizing the pattern. I may be ready to tackle a shawl...maybe.

Haven't updated my 3 areas of personal progress in awhile, but suffice it to say that there hasn't been much progress. Between Thanksgiving shopping, crafting and eating, I basically blew my attempts to minimize my stuff, minimize my hiney, and maximize my dissertation.

But I'm slowly making my way back to reality so here's today's list:
1. Diet: Too darn busy to eat. Made it back to the gym for the first time in a few days. Felt good to sweat for an hour.
2. Diss: Had lunch with a guest speaker and my diss advisor today. That was a tad bit stressful. I made some good connections though and got several suggestions for things to read (always more books to read... ugh) so I'm a little psyched to get back into the work.
3. Organization: I managed to put away my groceries and unpack the suitcases today. The apartment is getting a little stuffed again. Not sure where I'm going to clean out a corner for the Christmas tree. Good thing my tinsel beauty is pretty small! Must pack more to take to Salvation Army.

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