Saturday, July 26, 2014

Where the Wild Things Are

So, for the past 3 weeks, I've been driving the Boy down to Wayne State for a summer day camp program through the Engineering department.  He seems to have enjoyed it, but the back-and-forth has been exhausting me.  I'm spending about 3 hours a day in the car, and I've had lots of time to listen to music (found some new artists that I'm enjoying) and looking at the graffiti.  And Detroit has, in addition to the typical tags on seemingly every other building, some very nice public artwork.

The ones that inspired the title of this post were the ones that got me started really looking:
 This one is on Woodward Avenue, just north of the Davison, and he feels to me like he is kind of guarding the neighborhood.  This area is really struggling, all the buildings along this stretch of road are burned out and falling down, but this creature looks pretty happy and ready to take on the world.




This one is on the side of the building that houses the Russell Bazaar, on the east side of the 1-75 service drive.  Someone put a lot of time and love into this beast, and I think he is pretty spectacular.  Can't call him graffiti - he is definitely a mural.  My son really loves him.

 Here is a closer view.











And a few more murals that I always enjoy seeing when I go into the city:



 It's hard to take pictures while I'm driving, so I had the Boy take some of these - he didn't do too badly! 








There are lots more examples in the city - these are just a few that caught my eye.  I love these expressions of the beauty that lies just beneath the surface of the city.  There is some truly lovely architechture in Detroit, but these are ordinary buildings that are elevated to art by someone's vision and effort.

I'll post more as I find them.  But here is one more that the Boy took on our way north out of town on our last day - this place looks really intriguing: 

It's not the best picture, but this is a chiropractic/alternate therapy clinic and vegetarian cafe.  I might need to stop in some time!  Their website is here.


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Quick Update...

Wow - hard to believe that I haven't posted here in over a year!  I guess life just got busy.  I signed up for another year in Pontiac schools and, while this year is slightly less stressful than last year (since I have my CCC's now, and theoretically know what I am doing), it is still frighteningly busy.  Caseloads are through the roof, and there isn't enough time in the day to see all the kids and do all the paperwork and testing that I need to do, so I end up bringing a lot of stuff home.  sigh

Knitting is what has been keeping me sane - if I wore slogan t-shirts anymore (haven't worn them in years), I would definitely want the one that says "I knit so I don't kill people."  So true!

I've been a shawl knitting machine this year - I joined a shawl knitting group on Ravelry - 12 Shawls Forever - and am trying to knit 12 shawls over the course of the year.  I'm close - I have 9 completely done and blocked, one being bound off currently, and 2 on the needles.  We shall see if I can manage to finish the last 2 before the end of the year!




The boy's Bar Mitzvah was last month, and it went very well.  I was kind of sad because my little sister had some health issues and couldn't come out for it, but I'd rather she stay healthy than get on a plane when she is already not well, so we dealt with it.  Hard to believe that he is 13 already - it seems like just yesterday he was my (not so) little baby, and here he is almost as tall as me and reading Hebrew like a pro.




He did such a great job! I wanted all my family and friends to be there to see him!














I'll try to post some knitting pictures soon - I have a bunch of new stuff on my Rav project page, and a pattern for fingerless mitts that I have been working on (off and on) for a while now that I really need to finish!  I think this will be one that I actually charge for - I hope people like it!  It's a very textural fabric, inspired by the rocky shoreline of Lake Huron at the camp we go to every summer with our synagogue.




I'm currently working on getting the cuff just right, but they are hibernating right now, while I try to finish up my shawls and some holiday gift knitting (other fingerless mitts for my niece in Phoenix).  Soon, my pretties.  Soon.

Friday, October 12, 2012

It's been ... One Week

First week on the new job is officially over, and I'm still here.  There were moments when I had my doubts that would be the case.  But I now know what my caseload will be, and brought home a TON of files to go through to start to get to know the kids and plan what I want to do with them when I start seeing them. 

I have about 20 students with ASD, and the rest of my kids are regular ed language and artic.  I am going to be busy! 

It feels very odd to me when I wake up in the morning and remember that this isn't just a semester-long gig - I'm not a student anymore, and this is real life.  I don't stop working with these kids and get a re-set in December/January.  It's been a couple of years since I could think like that, and it's going to take some getting used to.

Also learning a little bit about the school building I'm in - for the first 3 days this week, it has been absolutely freezing in the building, then yesterday they seemed to turn on the heat and today it was swelteringly hot in my office (I have my own office!  I'm so excited!).  Also, internet service was down in the building today (which I'm told is a regular occurrence), and it stopped working while I was in the middle of writing an electronic IEP that is due tomorrow.  Fun.  Oh, well, I can only do so much, and I did contact the mom today, so we are all good.

Tomorrow I go to renew my CPR certification (the contract company requires it, since they place a lot of people in medical settings, and I figured it was a good idea to have it anyway), then I'm going to spend my weekend getting up to speed with about half my caseload.  Maybe I'll bring home the other half next week.  Wish me luck.

No knitting to speak of this week, although I did add a couple of squares to my sock mini blanket while I watched the vice-presidential debate last night.  I don't know if I'll ever finish that blanket, considering how rarely I work on it, but I just love the idea of it so much that I keep pulling it out periodically.  I do need to make the boy some new mittens for this winter, and I guess I should get on that, since the weather has turned very definitely cold.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Heigh ho, heigh ho...

Tonight I'm a little nervous, a little excited, and a lot frantic - tomorrow I start a new job!  After 3 years of post-bachelor work and earning my master's degree in speech-language pathology, I finally found a position with a contract company and I start tomorrow as an SLP in an elementary school.  Now I just have to hope I remember everything I've learned over the past 3 years!

The interview was only last Monday, and everything went very fast after that - I found out within an hour of interviewing that I was the candidate they wanted, and the rest of this past week has been spent filling out paperwork, getting fingerprinted, filling out more paperwork, getting my drug screening done, filling out more paperwork, and taking some online tests for OSHA (the contract company also places a lot of people in medical settings, so I guess it is standard practice for all their new employees to need information about bloodborn pathogens, tuberculosis, and HIPAA (well, SLP's need to know about HIPAA too, so that didn't surprise me.  Plus, if I ever want to work in a hospital or skilled nursing facility, I'll need the other stuff as well).

Plus, last week I was dogsitting, so I wasn't even at home.  I've been doing a lot of running back and forth.  I'm sleeping at home tonight for the first time in over a week, and now I need to get my clothes together, and gather up all the things I might need tomorrow, and figure out what I'll be packing for myself and the boy for lunch tomorrow, and be ready to drive my husband to pick up his rental car before I go to work in the morning (because he is going out of town for the week tomorrow).  It never stops.  But now I'm gainfully employed, so that's okay.  What a relief.

Wish me luck.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Those Darn Socks! (some down-at-the-heels footwear)

About 2 years ago, I knit a pair of house socks in worsted weight yarn for my mom for the holidays.  She loved them, they were a big hit and kept her feet nice and toasty in her chilly house, and I've since knit more for her because I know they will always be appreciated.  Here is a picture of them:
They are Red Dwarf Socks (Ravelry link), which I have knit a couple of times, and which I like very much.

Of course, since Mom has been wearing them almost non-stop for almost 2 years, she has worn holes in both heels.  She also says she didn't realize they could be fixed, so she kept wearing them even after they got holes in them, because, heck, they were still keeping her toes warm, and that was the important part, so she could deal with holes in the heels.  Then she told me she had worn through them (new socks this winter? hint hint) and I said I could fix them.  Just wash them and send them along.

And so, when my husband went to her house this past week to do some minor plumbing repairs for her, he brought me some socks to darn.  Oh, my:

Here are the holes, along with my darning tools.  Both heels.  Fortunately, the holes didn't cross the short-row wraps, so it was just a rather large section of straight stockinette stitch that needed to be filled in.  And, since I don't generally care for the look of woven darns, I did it right.  I followed the suggestions I found here, and it worked out very well (once I figured out what the heck I was doing, and was able to line up the lines of stitches at top and bottom of the hole).

This is just another view of the ginormous hole in one of the heels - sorry it's so blurry, but my camera doesn't take very good pictures that close.

And here are the repaired socks - I think they came out very nicely, if I do say so myself.  I hope Mom will get several more years of wear out of them before I have to fix them again.  I did tell her that if any of her handknit socks develop any more holes, she should get them to me when the holes are SMALL!

   


Not perfect, but definitely wearable.  I'm happy with them, and I know Mom will be.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Wow, Summer's almost over!

So, it's been a while since I've posted an entry here.  Lots of things have been happening.  I graduated in May, with my master's degree in Speech-Language Pathology, and I've been looking for a job since with no luck yet (had an interview last Thursday in Waterford schools, so I have hope there).  I will persevere.

I've also been doing a lot of crafting these last few months, since I can do it without worrying about it interfering with schoolwork.  I took part in the Tour de Fleece on Ravelry, which is an event in which we spin yarn while the cyclists spin their wheels.  Lots of fun, and I ended up with about 1 1/2 miles of new yarn! 

I'm also taking part in the Ravelympics - oh, excuse me, the Ravellenic Games (thank you USOC!).  Tonight is the closing ceremonies of the London Olympics, and those of us participating in the Ravellenic Games have been knitting, crocheting, and spinning our little fingers to the bone to finish our projects by midnight BST tonight in support of our national teams.  It's all in good fun, and simply another way to enjoy the Olympics while challenging ourselves a little bit.

Anyway, I'm also trying to get in a little bit better shape with some support from my Rav friends, and to that end am trying to eat better and work out more.  I've already lost about 12 lbs since I started at the beginning of July, and I have about 4 lbs to go to meet my goal for August (as well as working out at least 3 times per week - ran on the treadmill today, so I'm doing that too).  Here is a recipe I made up for lunch today, that I liked quite well, and I think it will lend itself to a lot of modification as the mood strikes me:

Mandy's Ginger-Lime Cucumber Salad

  • 1 medium cucumber, peeled & seeded, cut into 1/2" dice
  • 1/2 yellow bell pepper, cut into fine dice
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, cut into fine dice
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 a small-medium onion, cut in half and sliced thinly
  • 1 oz diced cheese (I used a cheese stick, cut lengthwise into quarters and diced up.  Fresh mozzerella would be better, but I didn't have any.  Crumbled feta would probably also be good, if you wanted that salty kick)
Dressing:
  • 3 Tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 Tablespoons organic honey
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon rice vinegar (cider vinegar would also work)
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger (I keep a jar of the ground stuff in the fridge, but if you have a fresh ginger root and a ginger grater, go for it!)
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Combine the veggies in a bowl.  Whisk the dressing ingredients together and stir into the veggies.  Chill at least 10 minutes before serving.  That's it - Enjoy! 

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

I'm Still Here! (Really!)

Wow! I haven't posted here in a really long time! So much has happened in the past 8 months!

First, school: Over the past 2 semesters (spring/summer 2011 and fall 2011) I finished my on-campus coursework. This semester (winter 2012) I am taking a couple of on-line courses and working at a full-time internship in a public school. The end is in sight! I'm working with elementary-age kids with a variety of speech and language disorders, from articulation disorders to the autism spectrum. It's challenging, but the kids are great and I love my supervisor!


In January, the whole class took (and passed, whew!) the department exam, which covered everything we learned over the past 5 semesters. Two weeks after that, most of us (all but 2, I believe) took the Praxis test, which is the national test that is required for licensure and our C's (the C's are the "Certificate of Clinical Compentence," which is abbreviated "CCC-SLP" for speech pathologists and "CCC-AuD" for audiologists - hence, "C's"). We got our scores on the Praxis on February 7th, and I'm proud to say that I passed with a very good score!


I also published my final newsletter for the student organization, and passed that responsibility on to the next class historian. I'm quite looking forward to getting my first newsletter from her to see what she will do with it!


In March, I will be presenting a paper from my Dysphagia class (last summer) at the Michigan Speech-Language and Hearing Association's annual conference in Kalamazoo, along with 5 of my classmates. I'm a bit nervous, I have to say. Of course, I've given any number of presentations over the past couple of years (if you look back, you'll see some past commentary on group projects), but this is the first one I've given that isn't primarily in front of my classmates or other students. This will be in front of professional SLP's who might very well (I assume nothing, of course) know more about the topic than I do. But it will be fine - my professor wouldn't have asked us to present if she didn't think the papers we wrote were good, right? Because it would reflect badly on her if they were lame. I'll still stress a bit about it because that's what I do.


So, that's school. Graduation is in May, and I need to start looking for a job now, but I'll post more about that later. On to the knitting!


In December, I made a really excellent driving cap for my husband, using the Morgan pattern by Anne Kuo Lukito from http://www.knitty.com/. It came out awesome, if I do say so myself, and he loved it!



Also finished some socks I started (*cough*) three years (*cough*) ago:



I also finished a couple of other projects, but I'll finish posting them later. This post is already getting long.