Monday, March 28, 2011

Snow and Scripture Memorization

First, it is snowing.  On March 28th.  In North Carolina.  Looks like I will get to try out the mittens after all.

Second, I will be attempting to memorize more Scripture.  This is something that I was forced to think about as I was doing some work on our Youth study for church.  I memorized some Scripture when I accepted Christ as a teenager, but I haven't done much since.  I will remember a phrase or two, but I am particularly awful with remembering the reference, so I'm usually going, "yeah, I'm sure that's in there somewhere."  So here's the verse(s) for this week--something from a recent lesson I taught the girls' class.

"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.  And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." ~Romans 12:1-2

I like the idea of being constantly renewed and transformed--especially if it means revealing the good, acceptable, and perfect will of God.  Also, the phrase "reasonable service" doesn't mean "what is expected of you" like I at first thought.  It means spiritual worship--I talk to the youth about what the word "worship" means, trying to get them to think beyond the "worship service," the sermon and singing.  Here, our dedication of our selves to God is an act of worship.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Knitting Back-Log

Here are the things I have been working on lately. And by lately, I mean since September. I am really behind. But there was that whole dissertation thing in there somewhere, you know.

The Villette Vest: Purply corset-type vest in a tiny wool-silk blend that took a loooong time to finish.

Linville River Mittens: Super-thick, super-warm, double-stranded with 100% wool worsted and wool sock yarn. I named them after the river that I visit often on the Blue Ridge Parkway. The dark gray mixed with flecks of blue, green, and brown, with the pebbly texture of the moss stitch made me think of looking into a mountain stream with its clear water and rocky bottom. These are lined with fleece for extra-warmth. Hopefully I won't get to test their abilities until next winter!

Rivendell Gloves and Hat: I love coral. I should not wear it. Shades of orange are dangerous with my complexion, but I can't resist. I made the hat first. I love the leaf lace pattern, that also looks (in this shade) like tiny flames. It is a bit long, and therefore a bit lumpy, but, no matter. The gloves reflect another of my obsessions: cables. This is the most complicated cabling I have done, and one glove (the second attempt) came out a bit better than the other. I named them after the elven city in The Lord of the Rings because both leaves and delicate Celtic knotwork seem to belong there. The book I am holding (getting a bit ambitious with our photo-staging, huh?) is David Day's Tolkien's Ring, a really cool study of the various world myths and stories that may have inspired Tolkien.
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Friday, March 11, 2011

Catching Up

So, it's a bit sad that my first post of 2011 is in March, but I think that should be a fair indication of what the last few months have been like around here.  So, here, in no particular order, are things I have been doing:

1) Dissertation Updates: I passed my defense last week!  It was tough and exciting in equal parts, but it's over.  I am now in the process of editing/formatting so I can submit to the graduate school.  Graduation is set for May.  Which leads me to...

2) The job search: I have nothing to say on this besides a plea for prayers.  I am hoping for a lecturer/adjunct position somewhere in the general area.

3) On being sick: I have had 2-3 colds, a mild case of flu, what was possibly a sinus infection, and a round of stomach virus in the last few months.  My doctor had told me back in August that there really wasn't any need to take my multi-vitamins since there hasn't been any proof that they do anything.  I'm thinking that they do something for me, so I'm taking them again.

4)  New Computer: After more than six years of excellent service, my laptop finally gave up the fight.  I spent more than a week computerless, which actually taught me that the world will not leave me behind if I don't check my email every five minutes and that Facebook really isn't a life necessity.  Nevertheless, I am very happy with the new laptop, and my ability to get online without a drive to the public library.

5) On books and travel:  I never thought I would say this, but I have been devouring Jan Karon's Mitford series.  I always assumed that these would be beyond cheesy and trite, but they are actually quite good - nice, peaceful, before-bed-reading.  I have also been reading Great British WalksGreat British Walks: 100 Unique Walks Through Our Most Stunning Countryside (Countryfile) and feeling that pit-of-the-stomach, achy, love-sick feeling I get when I start thinking too hard about England.  I want to go back sooo bad.  I actually got out the Fodor's again, just for fun, to start thinking about where we would go the next time - I'm thinking fly into Manchester, hit either the Lake or Peak District, go through Yorkshire, then north into Hadrian's Wall country.  Sigh. Oh, I listened to the audio book of Sarah Rose's For All the Tea in China: How England Stole the World's Favorite Drink and Changed History For All the Tea in China: How England Stole the World's Favorite Drink and Changed History, an historical account of Robert Fortune's theft of tea production from China in the 19th century - very interesting.

6) Projects: After a mad flurry of knitting (I finished the Christmas gift shawl, the Villette vest, a pair of mittens, and a hat (pictures to follow)), I am taking a break from needlework.  Instead, I have been breaking out the old colored pencils.  For Christmas, Jordan got me a certificate for an art class on colored pencil technique which I very much enjoyed.  Then, on the new bookshelf at the library, I saw Wendy Hollender's Botanical Drawing in Color.Botanical Drawing in Color: A Basic Guide to Mastering Realistic Form and Naturalistic Color  Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful.

6) On working out and goals:  Since January, I have been working out fairly consistently at the gym at school.  I was doing a program that Jordan found for me, that involved actually going in the weight room, where I was invariably the only girl.  I was actually impressed with what I was able to do - I finally figured out that the weights are supposed to be heavy (duh).  I had always picked light weights (like 5lbs.) because I thought that was what I was supposed to lift, because I am a little girl.  Then, I realized that you don't get stronger if you lift what it already pretty light.  I quickly moved up to the 15lb. dumbbells, which are almost too heavy.  I'm not sure that they are actually having the effect that I wanted - I think I am stronger, but my arms are still fairly stick-like.  I've been running on the treadmill too, and as soon as it gets sufficiently warm outside, I am going to start training for another 5k.  I ran one in 2009 in 32:10.  My new goal is to run in under 30 mins.

I hope to blog with something approaching consistency;  I also hope to learn how to end posts.  They always seem abrupt or weird.