Saturday, November 21, 2015


So busy. Can't stay long. Today I sent off six more items for ARC, bringing the total number of items donated to 655. And in other news, I just made my 308th loan on

Donated items:
-4 hats
-1 cowl
-1 pair of mittens

Speaking of, I'd like to promote the organization a little. Watch the short video below. If you like it and want to loan on Kiva, use this link to sign up and start loaning to people around the world.


Saturday, September 26, 2015


Things are just now starting to get back to normal. Almost two months ago I had knee surgery to reconstruct a torn ACL. During in initial recovery period, I was able to send out a few things to ARC. Here they are. There will be another shipment soon. Right now, I prefer to send Jee Jee a few things in a smaller box more often over sending a lot of items in a large box a few times a year. And the next box is almost full.

-1 pair of mittens
-1 dog sweater
-1 scrap yarn scarf
-5 knitted (yes, knitted) hats

In addition to sending these items to Jee Jee, I also crocheted a mammoth and a plesiosaur for the silent auction at this year's SVP meeting in Dallas. Hopefully, they'll bring in a lot of money for SVP's educational fund. *fingers crossed*

Monday, June 15, 2015


 I'm finally getting around to writing this up, now that I injured my knee and can really only sit and hobble-walk.

This is actually a post for the second shipment of yarn items to ARC for the year. I missed the post for the first one (took the total to 630) so I'm just going to combine the two into this post.

-16 hats
-1 earwarmer
-3 pairs of mittens
-5 scarves/cowls
-2 knitted hats

Fun fact: The number of child/teen/adult hats and the number of scarves/cowls I've crocheted and donated now equal each other at 142 each.


Sunday, December 7, 2014


I'm going to keep this brief because it is getting late on a Sunday and I still have a lot of things I need to do before work tomorrow.

Here are the latest items I've donated. My total is now to 614 items since 2009.

-9 pairs of mittens
-2 pairs of slippers
-1 pair of booties
-1 bookmark

-1 earwarmer
-6 cowls
-13 crocheted hats
-1 knitted hat (the orange one at the top left)
-4 scarves (including a braided one)
-1 knitted cowl

....for a total of 39 items donated in December 2014.


Monday, September 29, 2014

So now that I have some free time....

....I thought I would write up a post about the crocheted pieces I entered in the Howard County and Maryland State Fairs in August. Here they are with links to the patterns if I can remember them:

Kiwi - 2nd at HoCo Fair, no placing at State
Red Hat - 1st at HoCo Fair, Honorable Mention at State
Scarf - 1st at HoCo Fair, 3rd at State
Purple Hat (my own design; one of these days I'll write up the pattern. I know I have a similar looking pattern already on this blog but it is not the same. This one is double-layered around the brim.) - 3rd at HoCo Fair in Original Design category; I did not enter this at State.

I entered this as a child's pullover. I followed this pattern from Lion Brand. I made the "small" size. However, when I sewed all of the squares together, I did it so tightly that an adult can't wear it. Anyway, it got 1st at HoCo Fair and 2nd at State.

For the shawl, I did what I like to do when I use Purl Essence Rainbow Boucle yarn: crochet two  skeins together. It makes a thicker fabric and gives an interesting striping effect.
Shawl - 1st at HoCo Fair, no placing at State. 
Frog backpack for a child: 1st at HoCo Fair, 1st at State.

This was the first time that I sewed a zipper into anything. I think it turned out alright. I'm still not sure what to do with it. That being said, I have a few friends who just had kids and we are all paleontologists so they might be interested in it.


Monday, August 25, 2014

I'm 24 and I have back problems....

This has nothing to do with my back problems, but it is a picture I took this summer at the Zilker Botanical Gardens.
So I'm 24 and I have back problems that started in 2008. Two herniated discs, in consecutive discs at the base of my spine in lumbar. In late March, they flared. It felt like my latissimus dorsii had shrunk to half their length, they were so tight. I could barely sit (less than two minutes at a time). It is an uncomfortable and painful feeling to be aware of your coccyx because the connective tissue around it and the sacrum are so inflamed. The only position that didn't cause me pain was lying down. Four months of physical therapy (PT) later and everything was great. No more pain. I could finally sit without a back support, which I have had to use for the past six years. 

But on Saturday, as I was on the floor organizing papers in my home office, my back spasmed badly. Ever since then, I have been in bed. When I walk or sit or stand, there is pain. I can trace the sciatic nerve down one of my legs, from my hip to my foot, because of the searing pain. I should not be able to do that. I don't want to be able to do that.

I think I'm going back to my physical therapist this week and I'm getting some medicine to bring down the inflammation in my back, which is causing a lot of the pain. But the real issue is not that my back is hurting. It is why it is hurting.

I was on the floor going through papers, leaning to put some in my recycling bin. That should not have made my back muscles spasm. I can protect my back from motions and actions that I know will harm it. I can do nothing against actions that I think will cause no damage but then do. I am quite upset about that. I don't want this to become my future. That I'm constantly thinking about every movement and whether or not I'm going to wind up needing four months of physical therapy as a result. 

I don't know what to do now. For the moment, it is go to PT. Get the current pain down. But what about the future? When I'm back on the floor, organizing papers? Or when I'm doing laundry, yard work, petting an animal, swimming, driving, biking, walking? There was only a month of no pain in between leaving PT and Saturday's bad spam. When will the next one happen? I don't want this to be my life from now on.

I'm 24. I don't feel as though I have or can have a 'normal' life because of my back. Most of the time I can get by by not thinking about it. But on days like today, these thoughts all come flooding in. I don't know what do to. And it scares me not knowing things.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

575 Items

My graduate advisor and me.
Hello all. The semester has ended and now the summer is about halfway done. I'm very close to turning in my thesis and officially graduating with my Master of Science in Geological Sciences (Paleontology) from the Jackson School of Geosciences at the University of Texas at Austin. After that, I need to publish my thesis chapter and get hired. I've had one interview and I'm hoping the best for that one. But if anyone knows someone looking for an entry-level chemist who learns very quickly and is willing to move for free, please send them my way. I'm about to be unemployed and it scares the shit out of me.

But here are the latest crocheted stuff I donated to Jee Jee. This brings my total to 575 items donated since 2009.

-9 cowls
-1 scarf
-3 hats
-1 pair of mittens
-1 pair of slippers