Thursday March 23, 2006

Here is where the mid-point of my spring break took place: the library.

I was doing my volunteer lookups. There is an organization called RAOGK (Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness) which hooks people up with folks who live in the area that they are trying to research. It is so much easier to find data locally that it makes an enormous difference to have someone on the spot. So RAOGK is like Frugalreader in using the internet to extend neighborliness beyond its usual physical confines.

I was looking for a marriage record and two obituaries, and found only one obit. That is about the usual rate of success. I am always sorry to report failure on lookups. Naturally, in any research there is frustration in not finding what  you’re looking for. But in family history research, there can also be an emotional aspect. Your ancestor was not important enough for an obituary? They lied about when and where they were married — and perhaps about being married at all?

I try not to get too speculative, and also not to get too emotionally involved.

Following the library visit, I went to pick up #2 daughter and take her to lunch. She could not leave. The girl who normally works in the office is down with pneumonia. Like all students who end up working during spring break, she is torn between the call of duty and the lure of having more spondulicks for the summer trip on the one hand, and the desire to spend some time with family and friends on the other.

She got a sack lunch. I returned to the fire, knitting, and novels. This is the lace section of Jasmine. Oh, yes, the curly shrimpy thing I have shown you a couple of times is in fact going to be Jasmine. The sweater in the picture on the right, from Elsebeth Lavold’s Summer Breeze Collection. I am just knitting along while waiting for the right needles and the rest of the yarn to arrive, but it seems I will have finished the back by the time that happens.

Now unblocked lace, as we all know, doesn’t look like much. However, I would expect three repeats of a pattern to have more definition than mine shows. I did not swatch it — a serious error on my part, but one which follows naturally from the idea that I am just doing a little provisional knitting while I wait. This is a very simple lace knitting pattern, just 16 inches and 10 rows, so I didn’t feel any need to swatch it, but I think that I will do so now and make sure that I am doing it right. If not, I will pull out yesterday’s knitting and begin it again. I would like to have this bit finished today so I can start on the front and have plenty of plain stockinette to do in the car while other people are driving. But I am not in such a hurry that I want a lace bit full of errors.

If it is in fact full of errors, I intend to blame it on the fact that I knitted it to a steady background of violent video games.

The next thing we did was choir practice — always fun. It is so enjoyable to sing with #2 daughter. The director tried to persuade her to come down early to sing in the Tennebrae service — that may or may not be possible. But I am hoping she will be down for Easter.

We had intended to prowl through bookstores after the rehearsal, but ended up coming straight home and building the quilting frame.

I have wanted a quilting frame for years — what quilter does not? And I had a 40% off coupon from Hobby Lobby. But I freely admit that this was a very inexpensive quilt frame. #2 son said that the pieces looked as though they had been made in shop class. The directions were apparently written in English class in some other country, and not one where they usually speak English. They kept referring to a “pattern,”  by which we realized at last they meant a quilt.

We got it put together. Then my husband, who had been watching us with a sardonic expression the entire time, made us take it all apart. You can see his foot in this picture. Imagine the rest of him, standing over us like Yul Brynner in “The King and I.” Arms crossed, eyebrow raised. Hair, but otherwise that image captures the effect.

It bothered him that it was not, as you can see here, properly rectangular.

We put it back together again, and he made us take it back apart and put it back together once more. It was at this point that #2 daughter punked out on us.

She is out of practice with dealing with her daddy. There is no one like him up at her college. They are fresh out of Oriental Potentates up there.

My husband went and got tools. He is always using tools on things that you or I (I mean, if you are a woman) would not bother getting tools for.

We were through with it at that point, #2 son and I. It seemed finished. But my husband wanted it taken apart again and put back together with tools.

I have said before that there is only one reason to work with perfectionists: the finished results are good. Otherwise, perfectionists are difficult to work with, for those of us who are more slapdash in our approach to life. He made us measure things.

Anyway, the frame was finished at last, and I went to get my quilt to put on it. It was at that point, once all other family members had been driven off by Daddy’s insistence on Doing it Right, that it became clear that this was not a magic quilt frame, but just a really small frame for really small quilts. My quilt is absolutely not going to fit on it.

My husband pointed out that the dimensions were on the box, and I should have foreseen that it would be too small. I did not point out to him, but I will do so here, that he looked at the box before I opened it, and did not suggest that it would be too small and should be exchanged for a larger one.

I have a secret plan. The width of the frame is all about the length of the dowels and one piece of wood. I am going to get longer dowels, and a long piece of wood. I am going to take it all apart and put in the longer wood. But I will have to recover from last night’s building project first.

In the meantime, I have put the quilt into my old quilting hoop and attached it to the frame. This will allow me to quilt without having to hold the quilt in my lap.

That will do for the nonce. It has been almost a year since I started this quilt, so I suppose there is no great hurry to get the framing settled.


As for today, there is little decision making required. #2 daughter has to work. My husband has to work. And this is what we woke up to this morning: snow.

In defiance of the dogwoods, violets, daffodils, and redbuds, all of which are just out there blooming their heads off, we have snow.

The spots in the picture are not ghostly orbs, but snowflakes. Falling from the sky. We are glad that we aren’t camping out.

The roses are here, their lovely new leaves buried under snow.

Fire, knitting, novels. Check. Fuzzy Feet slippers and hot water bottles with wooly jumpers. Check. Strong possibility of homemade brownies. No visits to the gym. Bookstores if the roads stay clear.






9 responses to “Thursday March 23, 2006”

  1. RazorWirePubicHair Avatar

    Ms… Fibermom?  I was wondering if you could answer a question for me.  Phi (TheWaterJar) once told me that you studied linguistics, though beyond that I don’t know much else.  I was just curious about what did you mainly study, what professional careers out there that a linguistics major be best employed, and, if it isn’t intrusive, what you are doing now.  I recently went through a oh-my-god-what-am-I-doing-trying-to-get-a-bachelor’s-in-science moment, and linguistics, for reasons I could give if you’d like (and maybe correct me on), seemed the best option for me.  I hope none of this will inconvenience you, but any information would be most appreciated.


  2. Kali_Mama Avatar

    It sounds like a lovely day.

    “He made us measure things.” (chortle)

  3. Leonidas Avatar

    a fascinating organization…

  4. RazorWirePubicHair Avatar

    RYC: Thank you.  Well, the problem isn’t science; the problem is, though I still love biology, genetics and physical science, I am not that talented in those fields at all.  I do not have a hard time comprehending that there are chemicals and molecular processes, but I have a a problem with the exact chemicals and molecular processes. The nitty-gritty, so to speak.  Another way of demonstrating my problem is, I may not know 2 + 2 = 4, but I know why 2 + 2 = 4, to give a gross generalization.  It is because linguistics is a science, especially when used in cognitive psychology, that I am interested in it.

    This is within my own subjective observation, but I’ve shown proficiency in mathematically-related problems (for example: logic, pattern recognition), composition, and a very firm grasp on the “soft” or social sciences (sociology, psychology, etc.).  The standardized tests that I’ve taken since elementary school and up have said the same thing: I would score in the high 90 percentiles in English, math, reading comprehension, and social sciences, while only managing 70-80 percentile in the hard sciences.  I’ve quickly learned that liking something doesn’t necessitate success (I wanted to be a geneticist, but that is just not possible given my woeful ability in it), so I wanted to start with what exactly am I good at, and then see what fields related would I like.  Linguistics and the cognitive psychology behind it were what appealed to me most.

    Also, to supplement all this, my university only offers linguistics as a bachelor of arts degree, but with that degree I could further specialize.  The options are the historical aspect of the English language, language acquisition and application, and language and culture.  Language acquisition and application are what I would probably branch off into, and I want to apply linguistics to science rather than education.

    Does this help?  Let me know if I need to clarify anything; I wrote all this without really thinking, so things may seem disconnected.  Again, thank you.

  5. RazorWirePubicHair Avatar

    Also, to add on to what I typed earlier, I like the philosophical aspect of linguistics as well.  My hard science classes may mention ethics, but because my university is so obsessed with being the definitive pre-med school in the state, any human aspect of science is virtually nonexistent.  At least languages and linguistics would round me out and give me what I miss.

  6. Kali_Mama Avatar

    My bad. Poems of Color was the book I didn’t like. I’ve put Poetry in Stitches on reserve at the library.

  7. RazorWirePubicHair Avatar

    Well, thank you then for your help.

  8. HolyJerusalem Avatar

    Hi. If you want news, music business products and counseling, then visit my website. Be sure to tell your parents about it.

  9. sighkey Avatar

    Lovely photo of snow falling. How did you get the snowflakes glowing?