Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Bead store owners can't be rich

I'm going to start a new knitting project. It shouldn't take very long, but it does include a new skill: knitting with beads! You knit until the chart tells you to add a bead, and so on and so forth. It's a wristwarmer, a good, smallish, beginner project.

However, it did mean going to two different stores 1)the bead store and 2)the yarn store. First, I went to the yarn store to look for yarn (duh) and SIZE 0 needles. Sheesh! didya' even know they made needles in a size 0?? Anyway, I showed the yarn-lady the pattern and she suggested I get the beads first so that we can get the right size yarn, as the specific yarn was not at the store.

No prob. I just walked around the building to the bead place and asked for 172 silver size 8 beads. Sheesh! That was an ordeal! First, they didn't have the right color so I had to wait for the bead-lady to check the stash for something that might work. Actually, the bead-lady was very nice and patient with me as someone who's never really beaded before. Bead-Lady asked to see the project pattern and I showed her. [She gave me a look, one that said I hadn't a clue what I was about to embark on and she is right.] So, she got me some size 8 Japanese beads (said these would be better for my project than the displayed Czech beads). Then, reading from my pattern in my book, I asked for a collapsible beading needle. Sure thing! she said and lead me to the tiniest, thinnest needles I every saw. Man, this project is getting way out there, I tell you what. Then she weighed the beads to guesstimate the number (hence, there is a slight chance I have to go back for more, like, maybe 20).

So, with my 100-200 beads and thick-as-a-hair needle I headed to the register where bead-lady used a calculator (with paper roll) to ring me up. It came to a whopping $3.32. !!!??! I don't know what the heck you gotta sell to cover your overhead in a place like that when one project isn't even 5 bucks! Maybe she sells drugs on the side, I don't know. But I really can't imagine spending big bucks in a place like that.

On the other hand, I dropped $30 at the yarn store for my SIZE 0 needles, black sock yarn (for project), and cool, stripy yarn for a future pair of socks.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Countdown Continues

Of course, the counting down won't stop until the date(s) are actually here. Right now, I'm counting down to the end of school (30 school days left!!).

The above gobbledygook is supposed to be a "ticker" counting down to the start of my Round the World trip (2 months 3 days!!1!!)

****Later post
Well, it looks like only the image of the ticker shows up, not the very important days. What the heck?

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Wonderful, Lazy Sunday

I've been feeling a bit under the weather this past week with a head cold. It hasn't totally taken over, but has left me tired, achy, coughy, and sniffly. Of course, I'm sure my stressful life hasn't helped much. And neither does being not-pregnant.

Anyway, since I attended a birthday party last night which means I ate more than I should've but less than I would've I decided not to go to my WeightWatcher's meeting this morning. Also, my hubby wanted to get together with some people and workout and it all sounded like so much effort and energy so not going to the meeting was one less thing to do/worry about. I didn't workout, the people we wanted to hang with were busy, so I actually graded some papers.

I've decided to only do as much work as I have to do. The kids have grades, the A-students and F-students are pretty much established, and more grading isn't going to change their grades so much. In fact, most of the others will have worse grades the more grading I do, as they are lazy (like we all are this time of year, me more so than normal) and don't turn in all their work.

But the wonderful part of today was spent reading various travel blogs in the Middle East. Eventually, I will post our itinerary, but I will let you know that we are planning on ferrying across the Red Sea from Egypt to Jordan, travel up Jordan and across Syria into Turkey. :-) Our travels in Africa and the Middle East are kinda scary for me. Tim is in charge of planning our Tanzania trip, so I took it upon myself to get some idea of what we're in for from Egypt to Turkey.

So far, the blogs I've read have warned about "Africa time" and they all agree that Jordan and Syria are full of friendly people and great food. So, I've been dreaming about desert adventures in biblical lands and stone cities, sleeping in a tent under the desert sky, and floating in the Dead Sea.

It's nice to know that this will be a nice trip. There's still things to worry about, but at least we'll certainly have a good time.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Two Words

Word #1

Ok. My husband has been, for the past 6 months, slowly turning our second story apartment into a gym. I call it the Plywood Gym and if you saw it you'd know why. He's made a set of squat racks out of 2 x4s, buckets, and cement (*note* It doesn't look like the one in this picture). He's lined the floor with two layers of plywood. And he's stocked the room with weight sets from Craig's List.

Of course, I admire his creativity and dedication to his/our workouts. He's repeatedly said, "If we only had a garage...." and I know things would be different if we did have a garage. There wouldn't be that tang of pine and wood glue permeating the gym/office area, for starters. And I wouldn't have to worry about the downstairs neighbors when he starts deadlifting with his olympic weight set.

But, it's done and it's kept him busy and active and I can admit that it has helped me get stronger and given me some cool muscle definition. :-)

Word #2

35 school days left!! I would preface with "only", only it's going to feel a lot more than 35 days. Anyway, I was watching a recorded episode of A Map for Saturday and got all emotional. I could so relate to the beginning of the guy's trip. (Oh, you don't know about this show. Basically, a 25 year-old guy decides to take a year off and travel around the world.) I also have a lot of friends and coworkers commenting on my decision to quit my job (well, maybe not so much this part as ...) and travel the world for a year. A lot of people ask a lot of the same things, mainly 1. What about your house? and 2. What about your stuff? and 3. What about your kids? I guess we're lucky to be renting right now and willing to give/sell/toss out a lot of our stuff. And we don't have any kids.

Some say how they could never do that, or how lucky you are to be able to do that. On which I have to agree with the quote from the Map for Saturday website that says it's about attitude. Anyone could totally do what we are about to do. Am I nervous? Heck ya'! Am I scared? Hellz yes! But that is part of the reason for going. I don't want to be the kind of person whose life teeters between work and home (much like it does now). I want to have adventures and see wonderful sights, sights some of you will never see. I want to taste and smell and hear and touch things like foods, buildings, trees, and people that I don't taste/smell/hear/feel here. And, experience other countries and cultures, including the "world traveler" lifestyle. I do feel blessed to be doing all this with my partner in life (that's you, honey ;-) ) instead of by my very lonesome self.

At the end of the show, I was sad. Sad because I still have to let 35 more school days pass before I can really get into my trip. And then, I'll be into my trip.

Monday, April 14, 2008

40 Days

Well, folks, this has been the @#$%-est school year I have ever had. What with the union/district impasse, the threat, the apathy, I really didn't think it could get much worse when WHAM I was socked in the stomach today. A student of mine was shot in the head yesterday and died shortly thereafter. It really sent me for a loop. While the general report is that this was an accident (apparently, he had a gun collection and was showing off some of his pieces to his friends) the police are still investigating to make sure it was not a homicide, especially when taking into account the student's chosen lifestyle and friends. *ahem*

So, with that, I am sad happy just saying that there are, at last, 40 days left. I figure if Jesus could survive wandering the desert for that long, I can make it to the end of the school year.

The realist in me reminds me that, really, I don't have a choice.