Thursday, December 11, 2008

Good Morning, again.  I think I will go in some other directions today.  I am rather tired of politics and economics.  And there is not much polite comment I can make on the situation with Illinois' governor.  

I have always been interested in gardening but for the last many years have not been able to do more than keep some houseplants.  However, since our landlord expanded the cement patio and put up some nice fences around the areas, I have been looking at container gardening.  Here is a site I found that I will be exploring more fully later.  It is the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension Service site on You Tube.  You can reach it by way of Millie's Garden.  The feature today in on choosing the containers you will incorporate into a container garden.  Like many it seems to be geared more toward those who want decorative container gardens.  Me--I am looking to grow food and, if I can make it pretty as well, I will.  Also,  I am into doing it as cheaply as possible.  We have two very large plastic storage bins that we will drill holes in for tomatoes and peppers.  One was on sale for $10 and the other was free because I liberated it from our neighbor's trash.  

This little post today on BitchPhD strikes a chord.  I have spent most of my adult life in Academia, as a student (graduate and undergrad) and as an instructor.  I found parts of the academic life attractive: the creativity, the research, many of the people.  I think she is right that I didn't leave Academia; it left me.  It took an incredibly long time before I realized it and even longer before I accepted it.  The academic job market, especially for the non-technical or non scientific majors, has been tight for 20+ years.  The prospects of getting a job after getting your degree were lousy and only got worse over time.  But no one acknowledged that.  I often got the feeling that the tenure track people were interested in their grad students only as long as they provided  a low wage pool of instructors that took as much of the teaching load away from them as possible.  And what was worse yet they did very little to help their students compete effectively for the jobs that were out there.  I didn't finish that last degree.  

Granny Geek notes that the 'After Christmas' liquidation sales have already started.  And it is a scary sign of the times.  I wonder who will be left standing after New Year.  Unfortunately, if my family is any indication, there is little good news on the gift buying front.  Part of the situation grows out of past dissatisfaction with the whole gift buying rat race: spending a lot of time deciding on and then finding gifts the relatives would like only to find that they weren't appreciated, or that some of our more competitive relatives were comparing prices to see who was 'favored,' getting out in the crowds, etc.  But much of it is simply that most of us are pulling back because of the economy.  The kids (under 18) will get cash.  My sister will get a small hostess gift.  And she suggested a 'white elephant' gift round this year.  Good suggestion, I think.

I haven't put up any of my little projects for a while.  I have been busy; just haven't taken pictures.  I finished a small pair of embroidered doilies and a table scarf.  But I didn't take any pictures since they are commercially produced patterns.  I am working on a table cloth that is also a commercially printed pattern and won't put pictures of it either.  I have done about a quarter of it.  However there are a few pieces that are totally my own.   

This is the top for a quilted placemat done in the grandma's flower garden pattern.  I have it pinned to the backing and batting now and will soon finish it off.  I will show the finished piece when I get it done.

These are pairs of fingerless gloves I crocheted for Mom and me.  Our computers are near a window and sometimes our hands get very cold.  I finished them just in time for the cold weather that has settled in here.  I may try a couple more with different patterns I have been rolling around in my mind.

These are a couple of my 'recycling' projects.  The balls in the basket are 'plarn' that I put together from the plastic shopping bags and bread bags.  We don't get more than three or four of these any week any more.  We are using the canvas shopping bags now.  The smaller rolls are strips of fabric sewn together to make a long continuous  strip.  I can't stand the notion of wasting any fabric given the cost of it now-a-days.  I will crochet the plarn into new market bags and the fabric strips into a rug.  Hope they work out well.

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