Wednesday, December 14, 2011

St. Louis

I love St. Louis. I love the family that is here and I love the way it always feels like coming home.

I got to see my cousin and the new baby, who is sooooo adorably cute that I just want to eat her up. Instead I made her a little dress, which I will take pictures of tomorrow, because it is still drying.  And the 5 year old, is such a big girl now. Of course she didn't remember me, the last time  I saw her she was like 18 months.  But it didn't take her long to warm up to me enough that she was begging my cousin and her hubby to sit next to me at dinner. Apparently I attract 5 year olds like a bug zapper attracts bugs... they just can't help it, I have a shiny personality.

And randomly I found out that my great-aunt's brother (not related to me, as she married into the family) lives in Mesilla Park, right around the corner from me. How crazy is that? Totally!

And I am loving this video at the moment.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

St. Nick

Happy St. Nicholas Day!!
And pictures of snow to come, after finals are over. 48 hours to go.

Saturday, December 3, 2011


Classes are almost over, so exciting. And I am head off to STL in less than a week!!!

Friday, November 25, 2011


Happy Thanksgiving*!! Hope everyone had a wonderful day with friends and family.  This year was the first Thanksgiving without my mom, so it was super sad. And it was my first Thanksgiving in the US since the early/mid 90's. Ana, Aaron and I went over to Penny's house where we were 3 of 18 people.  It turned out wonderful with lots of happy laughing moments.

I found out early in the week that the night before Thanksgiving is the busiest night of the year at bars and clubs. It didn't say why, so I just thought that because everyone was home, seeing family, that they needed alcohol to deal.  But apparently it is because people are in their hometowns and want to catch up with friends.... I like my theory much better. It makes sense, I thought about drinking yesterday.

This year I am thankful for my parents, my brothers, my Picasso and Mickey, and my family in general.  I am also thankful for the ability to go to grad school and get an advanced degree when there are places in this world where girls aren't even taught to read.

*I like to call this day Happy Dead Bird Day, Happy Animal Carcass Day and others of such nature.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Knitpicks wishlist

Because Christmas is just around the corner.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Wilton's Dye

My next try at dying was with Wilton's icing gel coloring. I started with a wool/alpaca blend, water, vinegar, and dye. And got this. 

Not nearly dark enough again, but it was my first try with Wilton's and didn't want to go over board. 

Dyeing Roving with Kool-Aid

Yes, I dyed wool roving with different colors of Kool-Aid. I used Blue Raspberry and Grape the first time, and decided that the color wasn't anywhere near dark enough. So I re-dyed parts of the roving Ice Blue, more grape, and Cherry.

This is what I started with. 

My different Kool-Aid concentrations. 

First color mixes put on the roving. 

After about 40 minutes in the oven and then left to cool overnight.  Even though this is still partially wet you can see how light it is.  

This is after re-dying it.  This doesn't show all the dark purple parts, but shows that it is somewhat darker. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Yes, I would like to take part in an expedition to another planet.  I think that it would be a great learning experience to explore new lands and meet new life forms.  I really like to travel around the world, so I think that the next step would to be to travel into space.  My grandfather always used to joke that if my dad was offered a job on the moon, we would move there.  And I say why not? There is only one life and we need to explore. It would be like a real version of Star Trek.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Hey Party People!!

Yeah!! Birthday!!!

Plans for today. Celebrate. Make French Toast. Dye roving. Celebrate. Get a head start on homework and finals. Knit. Talk on the phone. Celebrate, celebrate, celebrate. Can you tell I'm going to be celebrating a whole bunch? So much so that it will continue into tomorrow.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Happy Birthday to ME!!!

I'll be officially 25 years old at 10:13am CST tomorrow. A quarter of a century old. AHHHH!!
Some things I'm thinking about right now.

Birthday : OMG, I'm 25. I'm mid-20's. Holy Pooh! I remember crying over being 20 because I was 20-something, this is sooo much worse.  It doesn't help that my students look stunned that I am that I'm in my 20's.  Well, I can't really blame a bunch of kindergartners for not being freaked out, they're only 5.

Halloween : Super excited for Halloween to happen. Big party going down next Saturday.  It will be great, very spooky and hopefully, fun. Now I just need to get the invitations printed. I'm using this as the front.

Christmas :  The family's going to be here. I can't wait. So much to do.

Holy Cow, I'm 25.

Knitting : This week I am going to dye some roving with Kool-Aid. Prepare yourself, it will be amazing. (I hope.) Also, I am running a KAL right now, and the color my recipient picked out is totally fabulous. (Yes, I know its October and I am really behind on Christmas presents, keep walking.) I completely forgot about Socktober Fest and didn't make any socks this month, and I have no time to make any before the month is up. Oh well, next year.

Let's put 25 in perspective. When my mom turned 25 she was pregnant with me, about to finish her Master's and totally super accomplished.  Not that I'm terribly far behind. I'm working on my Master's, I'm a Presidential Award winner for Service Learning and will be presenting at a conference in May.  Still not as awesome as Mama, and while everyone I know seems to be on the baby-making bandwagon, (please don't misunderstand, I am SO happy for everyone I know that is pregnant or just given birth),  I really don't think I could handle anything more than what I already do, especially a kid.  But  I still feel not as grown up as I think my mom did.  Will have to have a chat about this with her.

PS. Take that Mayo Clinic doctor!

Monday, September 26, 2011


How I love animals. I love how warm they are and how they snuggle.  As anyone in my family can attest to, I love snuggles.

Since last Thursday I have gotten to take care of two Brussels Griffons, Pricilla and Motley.  Today is the last day, and going back to the dorms after all the snuggles is going to be very difficult.  Maybe a bit lonely.
I remember a song from primary school:
"There's nothin' better than a nice warm pet, all curled up at the foot of your bed..."

An example of Brussels Griffon little doggy.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Saturday, September 10, 2011


Today is my little brother's birthday.  And while I can't be there with him, I'm sending him lots of love and good thoughts.

THE BIG 1-0!!!!

Happy Birthday little brother. I love you.

Gefeliciteered mijn broerje. Ik hou van jou. 

Wednesday, August 31, 2011


Well, August is over. It is done. There is no going back. Hallelujah!
Monthly round up.

1. Finished Summer Session 2 with 2 As. Which match the 2 As I got the first session.  Unfortunately my school has done away with A+ and they have changed A- so that it is not a 4.0 anymore, but a 3.7.   That sucks a WHOLE BUNCH! But luckily didn't apply to me this quarter. I think that an A+ should count for a 4.3 now. yep, it should.

2. Went to Maine, fell in love with the green-ness and the ocean.

3. Started back to work at ETK with more hours, I like this. AND I get to work with Kindergarten! Most days a blessing, some days a little, teeny, tiny bit of a curse.

4.  Started Fall Semester with 5 graduate classes. In case, people haven't figured it out by now, not that anyone reads this..... but anyway, I am crazy and an overachiever. The latter I get from my mom, who was Valedictorian (woot woot) when she went back to school, and graduate student of the year.  She rocks all peoples socks off. Yep, is true.

5.  Took a CPR/First Aid class and got re-certified. Not a requirement for my job, but a plus.

6. Made a cowl for Grandma Barb, a shawl for Ana, a hat for me, another hat for me (which is bright, burn-you-eyes-out-of-their-sockets orange), and almost finished a shawl (in fact I could technically finish this tonight, but I won't. Too tired and I want to enjoy that last repeat with the yarn, not rush through just to be done. Oh, and I participated in a FFtC KAL (Fresh from the Cauldron Knit-a-long).  Totally fun!

7. Had lots of doctors appointments and such. Not anything new, but a necessary evil... I mean thing.

8. Started my Service Learning again, I working towards the Presidential Award, which I think is super cool (it is signed by the President OMGosh!!!). It is after 100 hours, I think I have 80something(?).  I'm sure I'll keep going afterwards, but that is the next milestone for the hours.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


So I went to Maine to visit my Grandma Barb.  It was just by happenstance that the weekend that I flew in and drove up the coast was the same weekend of the Fiber Festival in that area. Seriously, I did not plan this, I only found out about the fiber-y goodness about a week before I was leaving. The fiber gods and goddesses were smiling on me, inviting me to come to Maine. 

So first I saw Alpacas. Which I had never seen before, and I got to pet one. (And of course, buy alpaca yarn, but that is another story entirely.)

Cute alpacas. I got yarn in each of these colors, how nice of them to get in one picture for me.  
Actually the white one is the one I got yarn from. How crazy that I got to pet her, take pics of her and by her yarn?!?!? Totally crazy.  
(If you look closely you'll notice that the black alpaca with the white face is sitting on a little brown alpaca's head. But she's not technically sitting.... um, she's dominating the other girl? or something strange like that.)

This is her. Trillium. The White Lama of Love with fiber so soft I want to cuddle up in it. 

The way a Maine lighthouse should be seen. In a heavy fog, with the fog horn going.  This is Quoddyhead Lighthouse, the most eastern lighthouse in the US. I know, it IS super cool. And surprisingly not that tall, unless you factor in that it IS on a cliff, and the winds DO pick up from time to time. 

It rained (a whole bunch) while I was there. I love the rain. 

This is Molly, my grandma's cat. She is super cute, and loves to sit with her front paws on the armrest of the couch. Strange girl. 

This is the hospital where my grandma studied to be a nurse 1958-1961. This is actually in St. Stephens, Brunswick, Canada.  

We had to cross international boarders and brave The Wool Emporium (conviently located on Main street less than 3 blocks from the boarder), to get to the hospital.  oh, the woe.  Did you know it takes longer to get in to the US than it does to get out? Even on bridges to Canada. 

Grandma wanted to learn how to knit. So I taught her. 

Molly was very proud of her mama for learning how to knit. 

So was Grandma! Look at that happy face of a new knitter. 

This is just up the road from my grandma's house, and it was the one-room school house she went to as a child. It is falling down and it was very wet the day I took this picture, so I couldn't get any closer.  But I have this romanticized version of one-room school houses in my head and I couldn't resist. 

Crisis averted, barely.

So, the Maine pictures were recovered.  There was crying and googling, and more crying and talking with the parents. I don't have time to post them up right now, but tonight after class sounds like a good time to me.

Monday, August 29, 2011

So Blonde

Well, I'm a dumb blonde and deleted all my pictures from Maine. Seriously, this week sucks. I'm going back to bed.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

July is here.

Let's see.
Classes: Second Summer Session is in full swing, and while last session was easy and carefree, this one is a bit more work and stressful. Currently taking Human Development with a great teacher. She is super funny. And I'm taking an online course, Introduction to Special Education.  Apparently, most of the people in that department are a bit on the high-strung side, all I know is, this teacher seems to follow suit from the syllabus and emails sent out.  Had our first test tonight, super easy, got 100%! Hooray!

Knitting: I have almost finished my Fang Garden Shawl, and I have started my Descent into Ashes Shawl.
I have decided that I really, really, really want to make a felted bag. So I am gathering ideas for that eventual project.

Books: As of late, I have been reading in the evenings to wind down.  Since the beginning of the first summer session, I have read Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs.  I really enjoyed it. But I really like old photographs that are sprinkled throughout the book.  I've also finished Why is Sex Fun? The Evolution of Human Sexuality by Jared Diamond.  I really like this author. He brings light to things I had never really thought about before, like why is human female ovulation 'invisible' and make it so interesting that I get really excited about evolutionary biology. Again.
Right now I am making my way through The Poisoner's Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York by Deborah Blum.

Since my last entry I moved into the dorms and my roommate, Julie, was wonderful. We hit it off right off the bat. We are so similar about somethings and we can talk for ages. I say was because, well, she's not my roommie anymore. No, she's getting married this Saturday. So she's going to be her hubby's roommie, apparently that's how marriage work. ( I wrote that last sentence, and then I thought about some people I know, not so much. But for the majority that's how it works, so I'm leaving it. )

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day!!

Happy Father's Day Daddy! 

Gelukkige Vaderdag Papa!! 

Sunday, June 12, 2011


....and the livin' is eeeeeasyyyyyy, fish are jumpin', and the cotton is hiiiiiiiigh." Another song, yea its been a while. Um, livin' is easy? Not so much.
So let's see.
School: That has been going really well lately. My classes are pretty great. I'm taking Classroom Management with Dr. R, who is the most awesome woman/educator around (and I use awe-some in it's original meaning - filled with awe, as in she fills me with awe in her breadth of her knowledge, her kindness, and her classroom experience). When I first moved here, I registered for classes after the beginning of the semester. Because I had already missed the class and she didn't want me to get behind, she called me, let me know what I needed to do and welcomed me back to the US. She is wonderful. I learn so much in her classes. And she will be leaving after summer session.
I am super sad about this fact. Her class, my first day, I knew that this was where I was meant to be, and I know that part of that was her. She will be missed greatly.

The other class I am taking is Technology and Pedagogy. It is a good class, I am learning so much about using technology in the classroom, but I... don't know. I am all for technology and connecting with the current generation, but I have to wonder about the essential skills that we are leaving in the dust to make way for all the technology.
I was watching the news last night, and there was one principal who had taken out cursive writing. REALLY!?!?!? It was taken out to make way for more typing/computer classes. Are we really going to have a future generation that has no idea what to do when given a piece of paper and a pencil? Okay, maybe a little dramatic, but students in undergrad used to complain about physically writing out their papers with a pen/pencil. And therefore having to, Lord have mercy, plan out their papers before they begin writing. Seriously, I understand the value of having students being able to type and use common software applications, but this is getting a bit ridiculous. Like people were commenting on the news, a generation without signatures. I remember when I was able to read my grandmother's cursive handwriting as a kid. I was so proud of myself that I could read her letters on my own. I'd like my future children to be able to read her writing as well. As the key word of Tech and Ped, "balance" is the key.

Life: I am moving into On-Campus Housing on Tuesday. A little nervous, but also excited. I'll be in the graduate housing, so I won't have a repeat of freshman year. (For those who don't know, let's just say I only lived on-campus for that one year, and it was awful.) Moving on, I won't be to far from the Education building, which is nice. I'll be able to ride my bike.

Knitting: On Saturday evening I started my Fang Garden. I'm using Fresh from the Cauldron's Fangtasia yarn. It's just so darn beautiful. I'll post pictures when I think there is enough to really get a feel for the pattern.

Basketball: Mavericks Won!! YEEEESSS !!!! Dirk Nowitski MVP!!! Hooray for him. It was an amazing game. Close all the way through, lots of fouls and close calls, a 3(?, I think)-pointer right before the buzzer and a skirmish. Very exciting times.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Where have I been?

I know it has been so long.
Where have I been? Thailand, the land of warmth and sunshine, afternoon rain showers, scary on rice, ka-toys, elephants, massages and memories.
Pictures to come soon. (Update, apparently I have lost the pictures into the digital aybss. I don't know what happened)

What am I doing now? Summer school!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Enrich the Kids

Enrich the Kids is an awesome program for students to go to after school. They get a chance to take a bunch of different enrichment classes, work on homework and play outside.
The classes that I am offering are Kids with Yarn (a knitting/ crafts with yarn class), Multicultural Crafts and Drawing. This session there are only 5 weeks. That means there is only one week left. Waaahhh! Then I won't get to see my wonderful kids. Boo.

Here is the weekly lineup for each class

1: Perspective
2: Textures
3: Shapes in 3-D
4: Still-life
5: Mini-booklet and Life Drawing (no nekked people, k?)

1: Fingerknitting
2. Spoolknitting
3: Pom-pom chickies, and we got to see some day-old live chickies too.
4: Loom knitting
5: Hand knitting (regular knitting)

Multicultural Crafts
1: Native Latin American
2: Carnival
3: Africa
4: Australia
5: Asia

And on the graduate school front...... FINALS are DONE!!! boo-ya!
So tired... must go and clean.
Only 6 days til Thailand.

You may also be wondering if I have finished any new knitting projects, and well, I have but it can't be shown on here because it is for a certain Mom in my life. And even though I finished the project weeks ago. I have failed miserably in sending it out. I know, worst daughter ever.
No I take that back, just terribly busy daugther how took the time to make her awesome Mama a project out of a ton of purple lace weigth Merino/tencel yarn. And it only took me a couple of weeks, yeah, I the knitting bomb.

I am almost finished with another large project that should be blocked and photographed before the flight westward.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Isn't it amazing?

Bisquick now makes Gluten Free mixes. Alright the masses may not be super excited, but I am. Ana found this at the commissary. Isn't it a great find?

I did make pancakes last night, just not with this mix because I already have one open. Pancakes with banana and fresh raspberries for the win!

What's been going on?

What has been going on you might ask, as I haven't updated in over a month.
Well, there's school, school, school... and oh, look at that more school.

In graduate school we just finished midterms. They went well for me. And we are now on Spring Break. In Elementary schools, all the kids are sick and ready for the week off. Seriously, herding cats into bags would be easier somedays.

Besides papers, observations, presentations and such, I finished my shawl.
Pattern: Whippoorwill
Yarn: Fresh from the Cauldron's Elena on Silk Sock (pinks)
Regia Black Sock Yarn
Start to Finish: About a month.

What a lovely sideways picture. That's how it is going to stay because I've fixed it a bunch already, not doing it again. Just tilt your head to the left.... that's it. Super easy. Thanks for playing along.

Yesterday the fabulous Miss Penny and I went for a car ride. She loves car rides. She sticks her nose out the window and sniffs and barks at other dogs, some people, and horses. Apparently those four legged beauties are just too big for her liking. And the main event of the day, was an ice cream stop at Caliche's.

When we got home is ran around outside and then flopped on the bed.

You might notice a few things on the bed in the background...

Her treasures and bones. Penny has, count 'em, 6 milkbones. She has a tendency to horde them, which is better than burying them for weeks and then digging them up and they are all half decayed and nasty.

And my car. It is a Toyota Carolla, or however you spell it. I have finally given a name to this baby. May I present Dean, a beautiful dark emerald green that runs wonderfully, drinks oil like a fish dirinking
water, (we're working on the AA meetings for Dean, k?) and surprisingly good sound system and aircon. He got a bath last week so I should show you him all sparkly, but I'll include a before picture now and an after picture at a later time.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Snow Day, New Mexico Style

When I got up on Wednesday morning, it had snowed. I was excited. I'm one of those people that loves snow. I think that if it is cold, it should snow, otherwise it doesn't need to be cold. Schools around Las Cruces, Elementary schools up all the way to the Universities, have been closed since Wednesday. Because we got snow... here's what it looked like from my door.

And another view from my door, just rotated.

And a view towards the city and the mountains, which you can't see.

And people were FREAKING out, because apparently this never happens. Here on the mesa we got about .5 inches (1.5 cms), but in town they got 2.5 in(6.5cms), and life shut down. Everything was closed down. And there were rolling black outs because El Paso electric's generators froze, yeah, they are made to withstand 115 degrees F, not single digits.

And these pictures because my brothers wanted to see Oma Ana and her fire over the last weekend.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

You need to see some pictures.

View of the Dona Ana Mountains. I think. From our hike yesterday up some hills.

I wore Penny out. She is so cute, and spoiled.

The Organ mountains, a view from the living room.

Relative Humidity

I never really thought about it before, but today it could not be ignored.
Growing up in Singapore where the average relative humidity is about 84% was... sticky, I guess is the best word. 84% is quite high, that's breathing-water high. And I love it. It feels nice and warm, because as humans we perceive the weather to be warmer if there is a higher humidity. (No I didn't make that up, I googled it with my google-fu skills)
Well, today in Las Cruces there was very low humidity. Now I know it is the desert, I can see it out my window, but seriously. And yesterday the humidity, or lack thereof, didn't really get to me even when I went on an hour and half hike way up the arroyo.

I took this picture standing in an arroyo, which basically translates to a brook, but of course there is only water in these arroyos when there has been rain, which causes flash flooding. So right now they look like dried up riverbeds. Kinda depressing, and yet still beautiful.

A smaller arroyo where Penny and I had lunch and water.

Oh yeah, relative humidity. So yesterday there was only 20% humidity, that's it.Well, today there was even less, just when I thought it couldn't get drier, it did.

5 percent. Just 5 little percentage points of moisture.

Please pass my water bottle, I'm drying out thanks. I'm like a fish on land, dry mouthed and confused. (Mom, do you like the way I tied in Fish is Fish? yeah, I thought you might)

Here is my pair of socks that I haven't been working on. But I decided to finish the puppies up, before it gets too warm to wear them.

Soon Coming!: My amazing class, and the wonderful teachers.
P.S Why is this blue? What happened?

Monday, January 24, 2011

Schools Everywhere are the same, no, really. And lizard face.

Schools everywhere are the same. I really believe that. No matter how many times you apply to schools, it never gets easier. The applications are nearly the same. They still make you walk around in circles once you get there trying to get everything settled and organized. The people are never more efficient or helpful or knowledgeable than the last school. At worse, they know, understand or help less. I can't count how many times today I got that "I have no idea on God's green earth what you are talking about look". Then of course you try to go back over in your mind the last thing you said out loud. My brain says, "yeah, that makes sense" and they're still looking at me like I'm crazy. Well, I'm not. I'm eccentric and I'm saving up to be full-blowncrazy.
I have decided that it is just cultural differences and it is the wording that they don't understand. So I try again, another way. And eventually it gets through that I actually know what I'm about. Go, Lauren!

Other than that I don't really have much to say. My skin on my face is so dry, I'm starting to look like this.

Or maybe this.

Either way, its getting interesting.

Friday, January 14, 2011