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Posts Tagged ‘Blog Events’

P is for…

P is for Peace Corps

I’m going to keep this one fairly brief and superficial, because it involves personal information which is not my own.  With that in mind, I just want to share with you how proud I am of my eldest child, Abby, who has been accepted into the Peace Corps.  She will be staging this September, and serving in Senegal as an agroforestry volunteer.

Abby has spent the last four years getting her undergraduate degree in Environmental Science, with a minor in French.  Yes, this is exactly what she wanted to do with her studies.

BTW: yes, she knows about GurlGoesToAfrica.  She turned me on to it.

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I is for…

II is for Imbibe

Yesterday was International Gin & Tonic day, but that’s never been my favorite. In college my (alcoholic) drink of choice was Twinings brand Earl Grey with just a dash of Amaretto Disaranno.

I still enjoy it a lot, but I also recommend the Orgasmic Chai – a nice steaming mug of Chai style tea (preferably organic) with Fireball to taste.

My husband introduced me to the Mamie Gilroy, which is a shot of scotch, 1/2 shot of lime juice, over ice, fill with ginger ale, garnish with a wedge of lime.

Bottoms Up

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G is for Gingher

gingher

The Gingher company is newer than I’d thought.  It was founded in 1947, and family owned and operated for three generations before it was bought by Fiskars in 2005.  Fiskars, in turn, is older than I’d thought.  It was founded in 1649.

The particular Gingher scissors that I have are 3 1/2″ stork embroidery scissors with gold plated hstorkandles.  They are one of three ‘heirloom’ embroidery scissors which Gingher makes.

There have apparently been stork styled scissors around for a very long time. Anecdotal evidence suggests that the early ones were actually midwife’s forceps rather than scissors.  There was a site called creweljewels.com which had a history online, but it’s disappeared into the ether.

In any case, I have a pair now and they’re really beautiful.  They’ll fit beautifully into one of the Lantern Moon notions bags I got.  In fact, I now have one stocked notions kit (including scissors) for each of the four project bags I have.

scissors

At the moment I’m only using two of the project bags actively (for the Belle Greene shawl and TARDIS socks) and one passively (for the Dice Bag of Doom).  Which means one bag was completely empty and one full but lonely.

I decided  to get cracking on the WIPs, so I’ve started work on a pocket market bag.

Blog Contests and Giveaways

I didn’t win the Madeline Tosh Vintage from Lisa Bogart, but she has a new giveaway for a Yarn Pop Messenger Bag (30 April). I also entered to win Bob the Bunny and his helper from Stanas Critters (11 April).

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C is for…

C is for Chiropractor

So I’m midway through a course of chiropractic treatment.  As I’ve mentioned before, I’m definitely skeptical when it comes to ‘alternative’ medicine.  I would never consider consulting a chiropractor for (say) cancer or asthma, I’m going because I have recurrent episodes of neck and upper back pain.  I also have migraines and, although this chiropractor claims that the manipulations will help I would not have sought this treatment out for the migraines alone.

I’ve done some research. Found some articles written by a skeptical practitioner, and some double blind studies to figure out what chiropractic can and cannot be expected to do.  Of course, the skeptical source I found claimed that chiropractic treatment was equivalent to ‘conventional’ treatment, while this paper in the BMJ (formerly British Medical Journal) shows that for the particular pain studied, chiropractic was better than standard hospital outpatient treatment (pdf download).    A literature review published in Europe PubMed showed that chiropractic treatment for migraines was fair to very good, but more well controlled studies were called for.

Then there are the studies of risks.  Brian Dunning has claimed that risk-benefit analysis would drive him away from chiropractic.   He has also pointed out that any ‘completely harmless’ treatment for a medical condition is almost guaranteed to be completely useless.  So, I took a look at some actual risk assessments of chiropractic manipulations (the ones without the woo, which are focused on back and neck issues).  The first study, published in Neurology, questioned neurologists in California, and found a certain number of cases of individuals who suffered neurological trauma after chiropractic manipulations.  The other study looked at medicare recipients between the ages of 66 and 99 with neck pain, and compared the risk of stroke between those who sought care from a chiropractor and a conventional physician.  The conclusion was that for the period of observation the differences in risk were probably not statistically significant.

So we’ve got two studies with different conclusions.   Or do they?  The first one establishes a clear correlation between chiropractic neck manipulations and neurological complications.  The second one measures minimal difference in risk between those treated with chiropractic vs other treatments.  So, yeah, there’s a risk.  It’s small.
The course I’ve been prescribed is finite.  I’ve been shown the ‘before’ X-rays, and will have ‘after’ X-rays taken once the course of treatment is finished.  The most ‘woo’ I’ve gotten from the chiropractor is a suggestion to ‘avoid chemicals’ (yes, it did set my teeth on edge, no, I did not challenge it, because it was a single line in the literature and not hit upon).
The last treatment I sought for this was a massage.  It was supposed to be an Ayurvedic massage, but the masseuse conflated the chakras with Catholic saints.  Hey, a good back rub is a good back rub, but the cultural appropriation was maddening.  At least with chiropractic there’s little bit more than 100 years of tradition to mangle…
Is it doing anything?   My husband can feel the difference when he gives me a back rub, and yesterday’s migraine (known trigger, no surprises) never progressed past a mild aura.  So…  maybe.

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B is for Beads

I’ve been knitting the Belle Greene shawl from Stitching in the Stacks.  I’m a short distance into the beaded, knitted on border.  This particular pattern calls for beading individual stitches, rather than stringing the beads on the yarn and then working them in.  It’s a slow and somewhat fiddly process:

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beads on laceLots of work, but still very satisfying.  I’m really glad I took my sisters advice about using unlined glass beads,   You can see how they catch the light, and give a warmth to this project.

I briefly considered using green or yellow beads for this, but given the Atomic Limon yarn I quickly gave that up as a lost cause.

Strangely enough, I’ve got a couple more beaded projects in my Ravelry queue at the moment.  I ordered the Stereo Cuff Kit from Laura Nelkin’s Etsy shop.   The plan is to make the cuff, learn the technique, then use it to make a beaded mini-Dr. Who scarf. beads

I bought the beads some time ago, and tried to make a peyote stitch lanyard.  I failed miserably, but hopefully I can make it work this way.  I’m thinking that if I just use a few beads per narrow row, and embroidery floss in coordinating colors, this should be a reasonably quick and affordable project…

Blog Contests and Giveaways

I didn’t win the Expression Fiber Arts giveaway for $1200 worth of yarn, the Vinterbar Cowl Kit giveaway from Sandrah Singh, or the handmade beads from Silverniknacks. I’ve entered giveaways for carved wooden (and other) crochet hooks from Made of Change (10 April) and for John Arbon yarn/socks from Plutonium Muffins (15 April).

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About April’s Alphabet
This is my first post in the A-to-Z challenge, and I thought I’d take a little bit of space to talk about what it’s about, for those of you who aren’t familiar with it but know me, and about how I’m going to address it, for those of you who are familiar with it but don’t know me.

What it’s about

1,758 bloggers around the world have signed up to all ‘blog the alphabet’ this month. A post a day, in alphabetical order, excluding Sundays. So a post for “A” on the 1st, “B” on the 2nd, etc. Details are left up to each blogger. We are then encouraged to read each others blogs (5/day suggested). Comment. Respond. Subscribe to those that work, and so on.  Eye of the Beholder is currently blog #1159, but that could change as blogs sometimes drop out.

What Eye Behold is about

Everyone knows  that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”.

Many people also know that the beholder is a monster from old school Dungeons and Dragons (book 4, Greyhawk).  It’s a floating eyeball and mouth, with multiple tentacles growing from it, each of which ends in an eyeball.  The only way this creature can interact with the world is by observing it, but, because it’s a highly magical creature it changes whatever it observes.  Heisenberg would have been appalled.

When Gary Gygax invented the creature, he saw it as a monster to be slain – no thought to biology, ecosystem, or society, because that’s the way he approached the game.   Because I was a teen aged girl when I found D&D, and put together a D&D group made entirely of teen-aged girls who liked to explore other ways to interact with the world than slay it, I once had a beholder as a player character.  Gygax would have been appalled.

So there you have most of this blog.  It’s mostly where I brag about my perception of beauty and creative outlets (typically knitting and crochet).  Sometimes I draw connections between tangentially related things, or rant at the unfairness of the world, or geek out about science, or literature, or gaming, or whatever the ‘shiny’ of the moment is.  I am a very geeky person.  This month will have less yarn talk than usual, but there will still be plenty.

I don’t usually provide too many details about my personal life, but since this is as good a place as any I’ll give a brief intro to the newcomers.  I’m a middle aged, married, mother.  I have two daughters in college.  I am very proud, and they are extraordinary, but I want to respect their privacy so I don’t give a lot of details about their lives.  I will be mentioning a few things about them over the course of the month, though.    I really should get myself a ‘real job’ (part time retail work at the moment).   We are fortunate to live close to most of my family and to my husbands family as well.

We also have two cats.  Unfortunately, neither one is named Schrodinger.

Note that I don’t actually know all that much about quantum mechanics.  My background is in molecular genetics, but those puns just weren’t coming today.

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Chiropractor

Had the third chiropractic visit today, out of a 16 visit biweekly schedule.  Definitely a change in my back/neck discomfort, which might mean that it’s working.  It’s certainly expected.   I may have mentioned before that I’m skeptical, but I got a good deal.  I know I mentioned that I fell last week while walking home, and I’ve been limping a bit.  I didn’t mention it to him, but he noticed something about my hips, and changed the procedure slightly.  I take this as a data point indicating that there’s some relationship between the treatment and the state of my body, and probably a good thing, but still skeptical.

There might have been some slight improvement due to it.   Honestly, if the issue at hand is just discomfort, I don’t mind taking a placebo.   Especially considering that my conventional medical professional showed literally no interest.  If there is an underlying cause which puts me at risk, well, I mentioned it to my MD and it didn’t get sussed out.

In any case, I took the bus home this time.  We’ll see what Wednesday looks like.

A to Z

I joined the Blogging from A to Z Challenge (link in the ‘Flare’ section of the sidebar).  The idea is to write short posts (almost) every day in April, in alphabetical order, and to check out other blogs participating in the challenge.  I’m entrant number 1184.   Every one of you is invited to join in the fun.

Knitting Issues

The Belle Greene shawl is progressing, beforeslowly but surely.  However, the beaded, knitted on edging is titchy and takes concentration.  The project is no longer portable or sociable.  So I decided it was time to cast on the TARDIS socks.  I went to my sock needle gauge and realized that I didn’t seem to have any 2.75 mm needles.  What I had was, well, a mess.

The cables were snarled together.  I couldn’t be sure what I’d already checked and what I hadn’t, and I had no idea how many of each needle size I had.

Frustrating.

I once splurged on a Della Q Della Qneedle case for my larger sized fixed circs.  It’s a gorgeous system, with a labeled pouch for each needle size.

Unfortunately, even if such a needle case weren’t pricey, if Della Q makes one for sock needles my LYS doesn’t carry it.  So I had a problem, a model for a solution, and time to think.

I’ve seen three ring binders loaded with plastic ziploc pockets, and that works fine, but I like my needle case, and I haven’t come across one which pleases me aesthetically.

As it happens, since I schlepped to the bus stop rather than walking home through the pedestrian path I went past a chain craft store.  While I was there I picked up some little grommeted labels.labelslabeled  I went through my needles with the gauge, sorted them into diameter.

I wrapped each group of needles in a twist-tie and labeled each tie.

I typically knit socks two at a time on two circulars, so in theory I should have two of each sock needle size.  In point of fact I have one each of the smallest sizes, and three each for some of the larger ones.  I think this is fine.  If I need to knit socks on 000s I can always magic loop, and I have been known to use sock needles for provisional cast ons.  I think I can work with this.

Of course, the finished product doesn’t look that much neater in the case than it did before, but there’s a lot of hidden chaos which has been banished.

Blog Contests and Giveaways

No winner posted yet for the Sweet Paprika drawing. I entered the giveaway for handmade beads at Silverniknaks (31 March)

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