Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Decisions and preparations

The decision-making process I had mentioned here has been completed. I have signed a new contract to start work at a different place, and I have handed in the resignation at the hospital. There I will be until the end of June, and then on July 1st I will begin work in a center for dialysis patients. That’s what the car is for that I wrote about in the last post already. I have been feeling quite a bit of tension about this whole process, and it’s not over entirely.  But everything will be alright, I hope. I will indeed feel very sorry not to be continuing with several of the members of the team, but as I was being introduced to more different kinds of operations, I realized that anything regarding joints, bones, or broken stuff just wasn’t the right thing for me. I would have been fine if it would have been possible to say ‘I will only do visceral, gyneacology and the other soft stuff’, but because the hospital is rather small, that would not have been possible. At the new place I will be earning more money, not working on Sundays, no night-shifts – that’s the stuff on the plus side. I will be getting up a lot earlier, and the commute is much longer (30 minutes by car vs. 7 minutes by bike right now), that’s the stuff on the not so bright side. But I am looking forward to it.

At the same time it seems that changes aren’t finished yet. As the garden season started 

Trying to grow herbs in pots...

... and once again, an attempt at sunflowers.


and my few attempts at working in the garden were again, as every year, severely marred by slugs already out and feasting I had to decide whether was I going to give up any pretense at gardening altogether or was I going to get really serious about the battle against the slugs. I don’t want to run around picking them up as they tend to be out in abundance at night, when I want to sleep. Chemical means are expensive and not very effective either. Tips in gardening journals include “don’t have a compost heap in your garden”. But I love my compost heap. Desperate people put out beer in dishes, which has the effect of drawing even more of them, definitely not diminishing their numbers. BUT.

A new friend had told me that she has absolutely no problems with slugs anymore ever since she has started keeping chicken. When I last saw her, I asked about this in a bit more detail, how hard is it to keep them... and last Saturday she came for a visit with a trial delegation from her little chicken farm. 


Four hens and a rooster tested our grounds, my friend had a serious look around and was very pleased with the possibilities for chicken roaming we have to offer. I am now in the process of buying a chicken coop and the organic battle against slugs will soon be on. Never ever had I thought I would be doing this, and it is a bit of an investment. But perhaps working in the garden will give me more pleasure once the chicken have done their work.

Some quilting is going on, too. I am working on my next piece for the upcoming reveal for 20perspectives on the theme of windows/doors/portals. Almost there.

"Between Portals" - detail, pre-finished


Sunday, May 8, 2022

Lots going on that is not necessarily quilting...

I had to pick up my oleander pots from the gardener where they had spent the winter in late March, and they had to face the temperatures on the terrace. I admit, I did not understand they were delicate towards what we have been experiencing in terms of weather because during the past years it has never been a problem. But this time around, as we are having a rather dry spell with temperatures that are probably much closer to ‘adequate according to long-term average’ than they were during the recent years, so leaving them out on the terrace uncovered during the night was not a good idea at all. Last year I could come up with a gorgeous photo of a ‘tomato oleander’ in its full glory (alas it has been lost to photo clean up on the phone),but at the moment the leaves look rather sad.


I will cut them back even further and hope they will recover when it gets warmer. They have been banned from the terrace by my husband, now they are waiting for warmer days just outside the garden door, and when they resprout I will argue for their return to the terrace.

It’s been a week full of events and decisions. (Not exactly how I had planned to spend my first week of vacation.) One of these decisions was the signing of a leasing contract for a brand-new car which I will need soon to accomodate the new situation. I never believed I would ever be the owner of a new car, in fact, I had sort of decided that I wasn’t going to be relying on a car for work commute in my remaining work life. But we live in an area where public transport is virtually non-existant, and certainly nothing to be dealt with in the direction I will be heading for work starting July 1st. So we did a quick search, one test drive, a calculation, and signed the contract. Of course, it being a lease arrangement, strictly speaking I will not be the owner of the car, unless we buy it off the dealer in four years. I feel much better now (not primarily because of the car) and more at ease, so I suppose it was the right thing to do, although the coming weeks might be a bit of a challenge still, to bring it all to a civilized ending. And then something new will begin.

I finished a sort-of-red sweater, which was knit on rather thicker needles than I had been knitting on for a long time. 


A history of tendonitis in my lower right arm had kept me from going above 4mm needles ever since I started back to knitting, and I have always been careful not to overdo it, in order to stay on the safe side. But I wanted to try this three-strand combination, and it required 6mm needles. This sweater was started only a few weeks earlier this year, and as it was so much fun to knit, I actually got very close to overdoing it at some point. So I scaled back in amount of time I would spend knitting in general, and this sweater in particular. But it’s finished now. I used up every little bit of this salmon colored silk lace yarn I still had in my stash, 


and almost everything of a handspun sari-silk-thread that had severely discolored when I washed it after taking it off the bobbin. Which was actually the reason why I combined it with the red baby alpaca and the silk lace yarn, as the brownish result of the discoloring had left me rather frustrated.

This is a swatch for another knitting pattern which I received as a
present last week, made from that same sari-silk thread, just to get the hang of the pattern.

And this week was a first time for me, ordering a piece of fabric printed with my own photo. This is going to be my next contribution to the 20perspectives challenge, and because the deadline is looming I can’t really change my mind. I like the photo, but am not very happy with the fabric, I had imagined something different. 


I will do my best with as it is, but if it were not for the pressure of time I would try to find a different solution. Curious to see how this behaves when being quilted, and how it will turn out.