azaleas!

by dichroic in daily updates, knitting, photos

It’s not even my birthday (that’s next week) so I don’t think this is supposed to be happening yet – but apparently nobody told them:
IMG_1831
Tomorrow is the Rose City Yarn Crawl. My local yarn shop organized a group going in a limo, starting on the far side of town, so there will be lots of riding. (I mean, we’ll meetout here but our first stop is way over in Gresham.) I’ve got knitting to take; I cast on a cowl just for this, on the theory that I want it for skiing next week and my other current projects aren’t ideal for car knitting. I’m just having trouble to decide what to wear, since there’s a 30-degree F difference between tomorrow’s forecasted highs and lows, and what to take for lunch. I think I’ve settled on a sleeveless gray top and navy cords as a base, then layered over that a shawl (probably this one or this one, a denim jacket and possibly another jacket if it feels cold when I leave. For lunch, I might take summer sausage, cheesesticks and gorp so I can just nibble.

Apparently we are going to be visiting 11 different shops. I feel like I might need to buy yarn at the first one and leave a clew behind me, like Jason in the Minotaur’s maze. If I don’t make it back, lock my credit cards and send help.

doing Oregon things

by dichroic in daily updates

What a great weekend. We did the sort of thing we used to do a lot back when we moved to Arizona, before they filled up the lake there and rowing took over our lives. I miss things like hiking and rock climbing; I also miss going out to restaurants even if my own cooking has leveled up a bit. This weekend we did both.

We started out Saturday morning at Longbottom coffee for breakfast; they may market themselves as mostly a coffee and tea shop, but they actually had a fiarly diverse breakfast menu, and they were happy to make my breakfast burrito without eggs. (I don’t have food intolerances, just don’t like them). Ted had an egg strata thingy that he also seemed to like. I actually didn’t like the coffee quite as much as the food – my decaf latte was OK, but Ted’s regular decaf tasted burnt – not dark roasted, but kind of burnt. But a) I’m not really a coffee person and b) we both had decaf, as mentioned, so take that with a grain of salt. Anyway, it as pretty decent, just not stellar. We’ve been disappointed with the breakfast places around here, since they tend toard being either greasy or limited of menu, so this was a nice find.

Since we’d decided to go out for dinner too, I wisely ate only have of my breakfast and got a box for the rest (the potatoes that came with my burrito were definitely worth saving! and the burrito itself held up for today’s lunch.)

We went grocery shopping, erged, and did some errands, then went to the Chart House for dinner. The view was spectacular – we could see downtown, the river, Mt Hood and Mt. St. Helens. The food was good; my beet salad with goat cheese, arugula, and “prosciutto crisps” (aka fancy bacon bits!) was probably the high point for me, though Ted’s salmon and my mixed seafood grill, with salmon, shrimp scampi, and crab cake were also tasty (except the crab cake, but I think I just don’t like those). The one disappointment was the winelist – nothing intrinsically wrong with it, but even though the restaurant is a chain, when it’s in a wine region as rich as this one I’d expect something more regionally slanted. I suspect this means the menu is standard across the chain, too.

On Sunday we hiked up Saddle Mountain which is why I’m sore today. The weather was good and lots of people had the same idea, so the parking lot was pretty crowded. It’s a little over 2.5 miles, with a 1600′ elevation gain; apparently it had been longer than I’d realized since I’d done a hike like that. By the steepest bits near the top, I was not only huffing but having to stop for a minute after every little segment fo the trail. I’m in pretty good shape from rowing at the moment, but I find I get tired just as fast when I do other sports. The main place it helps is that I recover a lot faster than I would otherwise. The hike was well worth being tired then and sore today; once you get to the peak, you can see the ocean to the west and south, and Mountains Hood, Saint Helens, Adams and Ranier to the east and north. It was both pretty and comfortable hiking this time of year, too; cool enough for a light jacket but no more than that (meaning that half the Portlanders hiking past us were in shorts, the remainder wore tights or jeans, and the vast majority were in sneakers rather than hiking boots), and with long views all the way up that will be obscured by leaves in another month or two. Right now the branches are just putting out buds, so there were bits of green everywhere without covering up the view.

There were daffodils along the road on the drive there too, as well as the flowering trees I’m seeing everywhere (cherry or dogwood or probably both). Those wild daffodils are one of the things I love about spring here.

more good things

by dichroic in books

We’re going to the lake house this weekend – we haven’t been there for a few weeks, and after this we aren’t likely to go for another four more. There are good and bad sides to this: the good side is that we won’t make it down there (unless we go next weekend) because the weekend after next I will be doing fun Yarn Crawl stuff, doing the Crawl with a group in a limo on r and showing off my designs on Sunday, and the weekend after that we’re going skiing for the first time in very many years. The down side is that we’d hoped to race this year and that’s going to be a bit iffy if we don’t get some water time. I think I’m in pretty decent share for it, due to the rowing machine, but it isn’t quite the same. We should have good weather for rowing this week, at least.

I’ve found a new YA series I like enough to want to recommend; the first book is called The Eighth Day and it does something with the Arthurian myth cycle that’s sort of like what Rick Riordan did with the Ancient Greek myths, but different enough to be very much its own unique thing. (The hero is named Jaxon, so these books will feel a bit dated in fifteen years, but meanwhile I’ve recommended it to an acquaintance who has a son with that name.) Also, it’s turning the Chosen One trope – the kid who learns that he (most often he) was born with a special destiny – in a slightly new direction that I’ve seen a couple other times lately, notably in the (more mediocre) Jack Templar books. Yes, the hero is born to greatness yadda yadda and he doesn’t have to decide if he’s special, just what side he’s on – but he’s got friends who choose to join him, who have nothing special about them except their own will. It’s a good start; next I’d like to see it turned around to where the ordinary kid saves the day with the gifted one as sidekick.

And the biggest news: according to my publisher’s statement, apparently I’m going to get a royalty check! We’re not talking much money – we can share a pizza and have a beer each if we don’t go to a fancy brewpub – but this is my first one, and means the book has earned out its advance, so I’m pretty giddy.

On the down side, a minor annoyance: today I had a discussion with a coworker about how much time Real Authors actually spend with butt in chair typing. (It is worth noting that coworker writes but has never published – I don’t think she’s tried. She’s basing this on “all the authors she knows.”) It is totally true that writing while on “sabbatical”, as I did, is definitely the easy way to go; I have vast admiration for the people like Jim Hines or Merrie Haskell who get books finished while holding down day jobs. On the other hand, coworker claims that if I’d been under the gun to earn a living from my writing, I’d have spent much more time at the keyboard every day. I contend that if I’d spent ten hours in that chair instead of four, I’d have produced the same amount of usable writing and six hours worth of crap. I’m not saying this is true for all writers – Asimov apparently wrote for 8 hours a day, every day – but I’m pretty sure that for a lot of people, brain-growing-back time is part of the writing gig. I suppose it’s possible that you develop more endurance over time, though.

good things

by dichroic in daily updates

A couple of brags: Just a couple of days ago I learned that my book has a review up on Amazon! (I mean, a critic’s review, not a reader’s review – still none of those.) It’s from the American Society for Quality’s main journal, Quality Progress – since I am an ASQ member and get that one, I checked back. It’s a full review in the December edition and can be seen online here – the tag line that Amazon quotes is “This is a balanced, well-written, practical and easy-to-read guide on business process management, and I strongly recommend it.”

Yay!

In a completely different field, because I created one of their designs for this year’s Rose City Yarn Crawl, I am in the “Designer Spotlight” my local yarn store – here’s their newsletter. I’ll be in the store one day of the Crawl to show off and discuss my designs.

And today I walked into our daily standup meeting two mintues late, only to find that the manager whose turn it was to run it today was showing off something I led and talking about how much he liked it.

I suppose things might be about to head downhill from here, but meanwhile I’ll enjoy it!

cooking (and not cooking)

by dichroic in OR house

It’s very annoying that some of my updates get rejected by LJ; no idea why that happens. (This is why yesterday’s update from here just went up over there – if you read an LJ and you didn’t see it, it’s about workouts, migraines, massages and thyroid function and involves some minor kvetching. Nothing too exciting.)

I love where I live in many ways, but I do really miss having lots of restaurants close by. We have lots of great burger places and brewpubs, but it would be nice to have a couple of fancier places. Beaverton (the next town in) has a few, but otherwise they’re all in town, a bit far for weeknights. I do really like BJ’s brewpub, which has a large and varied menu, but I don’t want to go to the same place every week. (I have read plenty of older books in which people eat at the same restaurant every night. These aren’t even always wealthy people – in some cases they’re poor and just don’t have their own kitchen. I would hate that, but if I had to do it I could do worse than BJ’s.)

The upside is that we have a really excellent grocery store (a Fred Meyer), plus nearby Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods and New Seasons in case I feel the need to spend more or get lesser-known vegetables or a wider variety of grains. (To be honest, though, I think the meat quality at Freddy’s might beat any of those pricier stores for taste.) So I’ve been doing a lot more cooking than when we were in previous cities.

Normally Ted does his fair share of the cooking. I do more of the planning, at least in broad outline, though he’s come up with some interesting riffs on the main ingredients. For the last few weeks, though, he’s been working 12-15-hour days – lucky if he gets home in time to eat the food, forget about cooking it. He’s been doing some work at home on weekends, too. So it’s been mostly me.

I just got a copy of Ree Drummond’s The Pioneer Woman Cooks, which is also helping for inspiration. She cooks the way I do (not a lot of measuring, quite a lot of butter). I much prefer weekend to weekday cooking – I get the feeling that cooking for her husband, four kids and ranch cowboys pretty much is a full-time job, which may explain why she isn’t in such a hurry on weekdays. I understand that most of the recipes are on her blog, but it is easier to cook from a book, and I’ve gotten enough use from her online recipes that I’m happy to throw some money her way. (Which got me thinking so I just checked – and what do you know, Kenji Lopez-Alt has a cookbook. coming out. If you’re wondering whether to buy his book, just go get a thick steak, a cast-iron frying pan, and follow his directions.)

Last Saturday night was steaks, caprese salad, homemade bread, homemade kruidenboter (herbed butter), and some tapenade from Freddy’s, with a Syrah from Abacela. It was so similar to what I’d have eaten at a Dutch steak restaurant (except that the beef and wine came from Oregon, rather than Argentina and France respectively) that I had to have coffee to top it off. I even dug out some little pieces of mint bark left over from Christmas (we had a couple kinds – the better one is long since eaten!) because Dutch coffee is always served with a cookie or sweet on the side – the koekje bij. Sunday was enchiladas, made to Ree Drummond’s recipe, which are definitely going on our rotation. They’re a bit fiddly, because you have to make the sauce (starts from a can, but mixed with broth and seasoning), brown the beef and onions, fry the tortillas, then dip each tortilla in the sauce and assemble the enchiladas. They’re not horrible for a weekend meal, though – maybe an hour or so. And last night was back to Ree Drummond again, for her recipe for shrimp penne with tomato cream sauce – I made a full batch and have just had some more of it for lunch. Unusually for Drummond, this one actually does work for quick weeknight cooking, and I’d probably be able to make it again without looking at the recipe.

The other thing I’ve been doing to balance all this cooking is just skipping dinner some nights – just having popcorn or soup or a salad or a baked potato. With the more intense workouts I seem to always be starving int he late morning and at lunch, but there are also times when I’m just not to hungry at dinner (probably because of how much I eat earlier in the day!) so I figure it’s better to honor that than to cook food I don’t want. (And if Ted comes home and does want food, well, that’s why we deep-fried an extra turkey at Christmas and froze all the meat. We’ve got that and plenty of other stuff handy for him.)

assorted minor kvetching

by dichroic in daily updates

Maybe I’ll run away after work today and never go home. This is the downside of having a workout plan – you know what’s lurking in wait for you. Today it’s erging 5 sets of 5 minutes at AT – Anaerobic Transport pace, which means pretty hard – with 5 minutes or rowing easy between sets. Or maybe I’ll run away tomorrow, when I have to do 3 sets of 4 minutes at TR (Oxygen Transportation pace, even harder). Twelve minutes of exertion doesn’t sound like much, but I think those are the ones that have been landing me with the migraines. Ted says he thinks those TR pieces are even harder than AN, the hardest pace of all at flat-out maximum effort, because the AN pieces are typically very short. They’re generally only 60-90 seconds. TR is hard enough to be unpleasant, and unlike AN it’s not over before it can hurt too much.

I have a theory, largely based on Dr. Facebook, with supporting research from Dr. Google, that the visual migraines I’ve been and possibly also the vertigo episodes I’ve had before are caused by crimped neck muscles from bad posture, especially during these intense erg workouts. (Trigger point theory says that tension in the sternocleidomastoid can cause both of those. I haven’t yet figured out how reputable trigger point theory is among actual medical people, but my doctor didn’t denigrate the idea when I mentioned it to her on Monday. )

Anyway, as a result, yesterday, I went in for a massage and facial yesterday: the massage in hopes that it would help unkink my neck muscles (and because any excuse for a massage is a good excuse), the facial because they had a pretty good deal for first-timers at a spa that’s actually on my way home. (Hand and Stone, a chain. I hadn’t been there before, though I’ve visited their competitor Massage Envy.) This raises another question: am I the only person who walks out of a massage and facial feeling rather like Lady Montdore from Love in a Cold Climate? She’s the one who is transformed from a massive Victorian dowager to a superannuated flapper by massages and facials and dieting. Fortunately, I never was the grande dame type so perhaps I’m safe.

In addition to the migraines, my doctor and I agreed that it was time for me to go on thyroid meds, since my TSH levels were up (meaning thyroid function is down) since last year, when they were already out of normal range. I can’t tell if I have any symptoms from this or not, because they’re all things that can have perfectly normal causes. I mean, I’m tired because I work out all the time and I’m aging, I’ve put on weight because I have a very sedentary job and I’m aging, my hair is thinner than it once was because I’m aging, my memory is for shit because I’m perimenopausal (aka aging). My wrists hurt me sometimes because I’ve abused them over years (of age). On the plus side, my IBS is much less troubling than it once was, either because I work out a lot or due to age. I get cold more easily than some because I’m small and don’t have much thermal mass – or maybe I thermoregulate poorly because I’m aging – but either way, I love wearing sweaters and don’t mind layering so I can take things off when needed. Or maybe middle age doesn’t cause those symptoms at all and we only think it does because thyroid function tends to go down. In theory, I could have thicker hair, less sensitivity to cold, less trouble losing weight when I want to, fewer episodes of painful wrists, thicker hair, more energy, sharper wits and so on in six months. My guess is that either nothing noticeable will happen or it will “cure” the problems I don’t have, and I’ll have killer IBS and an inability to wear sweaters.

girls, girls, girls

by dichroic in books

Jim Hines put out a call for guest blog posts about representation in SF/F, about what it was like to grow up without seeing people like yourself in the books you read. I thought about writing something like that, and realized I couldn’t: people like me were all over the books I read growing up – this is partly because I’m on the privileged side in several axes (white, cis, able-bodied) and partly because some of the ways I’m not actually predispose people to become readers and authors (bookish and somewhat socially inept).

(I’m going to talk about all kinds of books here, not just SF/F; my brain doesn’t really think about things in partitions like that.)

Now granted, a lot of them them were either consigned to the margins or told the wrong story.

There were the ones that were sidekicks; Hermione Granger wasn’t born yet, but Irene in the Danny Dunn books or Sally in the Encyclopedia Brown ones filled pretty much the same role. I don’t think Edith Nesbit ever wrote a female main character except in The Railway Children. There are only bare hints that Jane in the Dark is Rising books is unusual in any way, fewer glimpses than even for her brother Barney.

Then there were all the stories like Jo March’s or Anne Shirley’s, about how the heroine learned to knuckle down like Postumia into the shape society had designed for her. There were more modern versions, too – my childhood libray was full of teen romances, like Rosamund du Jardin’s, about girls learning to fit in and get boys.

Still, then there were the rest of them. For every du Jardin book, there was one by Betty Cavanna about a girl who pursued her passion and just happened to end up with a boy who shared it with her. I didn’t really read the Betsy-Tacy books as a kid, but they were there and Anna Quindlen has pointed out that not once in any of the books does anyone ever question Betsy’s desire to have a career. (In fact in the last one, there’s an older married woman who is running her own publicity bureau; she offers Betsy a job twice.) I never read Angela Brazil or Elinor Brent-Dyer, with all their school girls planning out their careers; I don’t think my library had them. But what I did have, having inherited them from my mother and grandmother, was a whole slew of 1950s mysteries featuring Judy Bolton and Connie Blair (also by Cavanna, under a pseudonym), and older books about adventurous girls like Polly Brewster or Marjorie Dean or the Meadowbrook Girls.

I also had books by the likes of Anne McCaffrey and Madeleine L’Engle, where you can see the transitions in their works. Lessa of Pern, rescued by men and subject to dragon-induced rape, is no feminist icon – but Menolly, the first female Harper, definitely is. Meg Murray changed as she grew up but she found friends before that – though it was disappointing that she abandoned her own work as soon as her kids started coming, especially as her own mother didn’t. At least her daughter Polly didn’t seem inclined to do so (though she definitely did conform more as she grew up, sigh). Vicky Austin definitely has different expectations in her later books (1980s) than in her earlier ones (1960s). And I can think of a hundred more heroines in YA SF/F that have been written in more recent years.

So yeah, lots of girls like me in many ways. It’s true, though, that as far as being Jewish goes, there were the All-of-a-Kind Family and Margaret of Are You There, God? and that’s about it. If I weren’t cis, or had darker skin or had a disability, I might have found characters who felt like me inside, but I’d have been pretty much SOL finding one who shared my experiences. That’s getting a bit better, but slowly.

fashion for the non-photogenic

by dichroic in clothing and style, daily updates

I’m having a closet problem lately: too much stuff in it. Problem is, the vast majority of it is stuff I actually wear. My sweaters may not fit well in their hanging shelf doohicky, but I love wearing sweaters and don’t want to give up any of them unless they’re entirely falling apart. Then there’s the stuff I don’t wear often, but need to have because when it’s needed, it’s really needed: suit, dress slacks, dressy dresses. I have been trying to be more realistic about getting rid of or at least sidelining clothing that doesn’t fit me any more, on the theory that even if the weight I gained during our expat years magically melts away someday, fashions have changed. (Not the year-to-year fads; I ignore those unless they’re something I like. I’m talking about the multi-year trends that are why you could walk around a mall ten years ago and see everyone in boot-cut jeans with shorter, tighter tops, whereas now jeans are tighter and tops are longer and looser.) Still, there are some things that are classics, like my two menswear-styled plaid vests. There are also things I think I should wear, like work-appropriate button-down shirts, but don’t because collared shirts are not that flattering on me. I’d put everything I don’t wear in a box under the bed, if only I could find a box low enough to fit, so I could keep it for a year and then throw it out if unworn in that time.

But I like my clothes and shoes. I love that an increasing proportion of my sweaters and socks were made by me. I love the decreasing proportion of my clothes that were purchased elsewhere – every time I wear them, they bring back memories and I’ll be sad when they’re mostly gone. I like that most of my jewelry has a story. I like thinking about what goes together, and planning what to wear the next day each night as I’m waiting to fall asleep. As much as I like choosing outfits, though, I’ve never wanted to do a fashion blog or even fashion posts here because of the photos. First, for the winter half of the year I’m rarely home during daylight hours, which cuts down on photos I can take. Second, I’m the least photogenic person I know. I don’t hate the way I look; I just hate the way I look in photos. My eyes cross, my chin sags, my teeth look anything but white (they came out multicolored, in one recent memorable photo!), my belly sticks out so that I look misshapen. Any photo you’ve seen here was culled from many more that looked much worse. I think I may have found a solution to that, though:

vestoutfit

From the top down, vest made by me (Boogie Vest pattern in Cascade 128 yarn), fine lawn collarless buttondown, jeans, Ariat cowboy boots. Other details include an emerald necklace and earrings Ted gave me years ago, though I realized in daylight that they don’t really go with the more olive green of the vest, and a low ponytail because the outfit seemed to call for it.

Or I could just learn to live with the way I look in normal photos. This was actually easier to take, though!

review: My Real Children

by dichroic in books

(No serious spoilers below, so it should be safe unless you’re one of those people who doesn’t like to know anything about what happens in a book beforehand. In which case I’ll just say “it’s good, go read it.”

I’m finishing My Real Children, by Jo Walton (audiobook, while exercising), and I would say it’s a worthy successor to her Among Others. (For clarity, I mean “successor only” in the sense of “later book by the same author” – they are completely unconnected stories.) This is very big praise, for anyone who hasn’t read AO – that one had me babbling for days. While Among Others is a coming-of-age book, this one is set at the other end of life. This is a needed thing – there are so many books about growing up, and so few about growing old. How are we supposed to learn and try on different ways to do it, those of us who like to learn from books?

Patricia – I’m calling her that t refer to her in both lives; Walton uses different nicknames to distinguish them – is an old woman in a nursing home, suffering from dementia, who comes to realize that she has two complete sets of memories. The rest of the book unfurls her two different lives, in parallel year by year. The parallel lifestreams spring from a choice she made as a young woman. Like Walton’s Farthing series, the only explicitly SF thing about the book is the alternate history aspect. Within Patricia’s two lives, Walton manages to explore issues of motherhood, spousal abuse, lesbianism (in an unsympathetic society), disability, nuclear war and political brinksmanship, illness and death.

Still, it’s not generally a depressing book, though a lot of it made me angry. When I read The Feminine Mystique in the 1980s, it was history – even thirty years ago it was mindboggling that the world Friedan portrayed had been real for so many women in relatively recent memory. One of Patricia’s incarnations is one of those women, and going through her story it’s absolutely real when feminism comes as a revelation.

This would have been a better book to read than to listen to during my workouts. It’s not because of the reader, who is excellent; it’s just absolutely the worst sort of book for that purpose, because not much happens it (other than, you know, life and death and joy and sorrow, love and heartache) but I was enthralled anyway. (Though I’ve done Dickens on the erg too – at least this moves a lot faster than David Copperfield or Nicholas Nickleby!) On the other hand, the slower pacing of an audiobook may have increased its impact; during the painful parts, I had to live through them at the author’s chosen speed instead of racing through to get to something happier.

this and that

by dichroic in daily updates

In no particular order, things that have been on my mind. It’s a scattered place in there.

One thing I didn’t mention was that after wearing high (not sky-high) heels all night at my reunion, my big toe was numb for the next few days – actually it was the left half of my left big toe and the right half of the second toe, so I assume those are on the same nerve and that I pinched it. This may mean I’m in trouble today; I wore my high heeled Docs (something like these, but mine have eyelets for the laces and more of a platform) but didn’t remember until I got to work that I have a meeting several blocks away. It doesn’t make sense to drive; I’d have to park far enough out that it’s silly not to walk in the first place. At least I don’t need to take my laptop, so I won’t have the weight of a backpack on me.

Exciting News: I just fund out this minute that the creators of the songbook Rise Up Singing, Peter Blood and Annie Patterson, are putting out a new songbook, Rise Again. The book’s website says “Rise Again will have a large variety of song genres just as Rise Up Singing but will have more songs from genres that were not very well-represented in RUS – blues, country, jazz standards, early rock, Motown, recent popular & indie songs written after 1995″. The website has a full list of songs, plus the preface by Pete Seeger. (I’d buy it is I didn’t already love the other one just for Beeswing, Jambalaya, Hey There, Delilah, Fear an Bhata, Pancho and Lefty… they’re all available online of course, but sometimes it’s easier to play from a book.)

I’m trying a new thing on the erg. I’d like to race on our home lake this April, if I can get in shape enough not to embarass myself too badly (that last spate of marathon training, which I abandoned about 2/3 through after the Holiday Challenge, never did really feel like it was clicking). Masters rowers race one km for our sprint races in spring and summer. In the past I’ve tried 2k training plans, adapting my own plan and just winging it; this time I decided to try something different and start with the Fast-Track FItness Training Programme from indoorsportservices.co.uk. (They used to be the UK arm of Concept 2.) I’ve used their marathon plan many times and found that it works well, so we’ll see how this one goes. It’s not explained quie as well as their marathon plan or even their 2K plan, but I’m pretty sure I understand what to do – and if not, what I think they mean is probably close enough. If our home race (the Covered Bridge Regatta) goes well enough, maybe I’ll even do a race or so in Portland. Maybe.

I’m a bit jealous of all my friends and family on the East Coast, because it seems that we are not getting a winter this winter. I’m especially envious of the Philadelphians, who got a day or two off of work and some snow to play in without actually having the inconvenience of criplling amounts of snow. Here, we’re expecting highs in the 50sF into the foreseeable future. It’s very nice and hasn’t even been raining all that much – even in winter, Portland has blue skies more often than you’d think, because our rain and clouds often don’t last the whole day. But I do miss winter. We had a few very cold days and even a snow flurry around Christmas, but that’s been it for the winter. Our one big storm last year was in February, so there’s hope, but the current warm forecasts stretch out through half the month.

I probably need to go to a doctor and talk about my thyroid – when I had my physical last fall, my TSH levels were a bit high, which is a symptom of low thyroid function. Last year, the doctor said I was borderline and could choose whether to treat it; this year the levels are higher still, so I suppose I should. Ironically, I’ve been putting this off because the potential payoff is so big (and I don’t believe they will really happen). Low thyroid function can result in fatigue, hair loss, carpal tunnel sydrome, forgetfulness, greater sensitivity to cold, difficulty losing weight, depression – who wouldn’t want more energy, better memory, thicker hair, easier weight loss (if you’re trying!), cheerier mood, less wrist pain, and so on? But none of those things are really *problems* for me. Sure, I have less energy than I’d like, but what I’d like is to be able to hop on an erg and do a half marathon any time. I’d like thicker hair but mine is just fine. I’d like my wrists to bother me less often, but I type, knit or row much of the day, every day. In my experience (as a fairly healthy person) you go to the doctor, she says, “Yes, you might have so and so,” and either they can’t do much about it or they try a treatment and nothing really happens. (It’s not that I’m anti-medicine, just that I’ve always been fairly healthy. The only cases where doctors have made any difference is when I’ve been ill with bacterial stuff, when I had some precancerous cervical cells removed a couple of decades ago, and on birth control. I do believe doctors are in general more use when there’s really something wrong – though of course they can’t always help even then.) So I’m in doubt if it’s worth a doctor’s visit and the costs thereof (I have high-deductible insurance) or if I should just wait until I have to go for some other reason.

And just to complete my usual rowing/reading/knitting subject list: I’m currently working on the Follow Your Arrow 2 Mystery Knitalong – I like this one because there are 2 options for every clue, so that I get all the fun of discussion but don’t end up with the same FO as a thousand other knitters. My other current project is gloves for Ted. My plan is to complete these and then start a sweater for me (possibly Rogue, if I can figure out how to do it without a hood) and then a shawl for a friend’s birthday.

This is why I ought to blog more frequently, just to get all the daily stuff written up so it doesn’t come out in one big bolus.