27 November 2010

Gobble Gobble

someecards.com - Thanksgiving is an annual tradition of observing how people used to communicate before the Internet

I hope everyone had a great Tofurkey Day. It was the first Thanksgiving in a while that actually fell on my off week, so I didn't have to work, nor was I coming off of an overnight the night before. As per our usual custom, we had dinner with Wendy and Paula at Wendy's dad's house.

I was asked to bake the pumpkin pie, so I did that and also baked sweet potato pie, in keeping with family tradition. In fact, I had enough filling for two of each. Which one do you think I've been having for breakfast and which for dinner? David made a cornbread and seitan dressing, which is his standard. He's an excellent cook, but Thanksgiving is about the only time these days that he ever does so, largely leaving that up to me.

In other news, I ran the Seacoast Half Marathon two weeks ago. Or, more appropriately, I hobbled it. I knew it wasn't going to be a good race, because I just hadn't been able to keep up my training since the Portland Half in October and I'd been having iliotibial band issues. The ITB pain got bad enough that by midway I was down to a walking pace. I did finish, though. Lee Ann, formerly of Fuzzy Logic Knits, came down from Montréal to run it with me, and we figured out that my walk pace was the same as her light jog pace, so it worked out well and I had wonderful company.

I still plan to continue running, but it's going to take me a while to work out the ITB issues, and I've not been pushing myself since the race. On Thanksgiving Day, though, I did decide I needed a pre-dinner caloric burn and walked the length of our road and back (a teeny bit shy of 10K). At our end of the road there's an apple tree right at the intersection in a little triangle of grass. I managed to find a good armload of late windfall apples that were still in decent condition, so I brought them back with me as a little treat for the sheepies. They were very thankful.

Aside from that, there's been some knitting, but on a gift exchange project. I've also been slowly processing Angus's lamb fleece to get it ready for spinning. He's getting a ton of grey in his fleece now, which is quite exciting. Come next year, he should spin up into a lovely heathery yarn, which will go well with Shaun-Fergus's mooskit, also heathery.

Yesterday was spent doing mountains of laundry and putting up plastic on the windows for the winter. We've talked about it before but never followed through, so I'm hoping that it will save us a bit on heating bills until we can get all the windows replaced. Right now we're looking at replacing our cracked oil boiler with a high efficiency propane one. The fuel costs are currently more for propane, but we'd be able to free up the chimney for wood heat, which we could hopefully get in place within the next year or two, and we could also put in a propane cookstove. Such is our fast-paced, jet-setting lifestyle.

10 November 2010

To Sleep, Perchance To Dream?

So I've decided to embark on a little experiment. Anyone who knows me or has read this blog for any length of time knows that my sleep schedule is absolutely verkacht, which is a Really Bad Thing, particularly where all of my neuropathic issues are concerned. Or when I drive home after the 15-hour shift that turned into 18 hours.

Anyway, I've been considering polyphasic sleep schedules for quite a while. Certainly biphasic sleep, at a minimum, was well known in the pre-industrial world, and there's at least anecdotal evidence that it's quite doable. And, let's face it, I've been essentially living a bi- to polyphasic sleep schedule for years now.

Considering the problem and my general state of feeling tired most of the time, though, I've realized that my polyphasic sleep has not been regular. Not one little bit. So after reading up on the Everyman sleep schedule and with some encouragement from Mush, I think I've sorted out a variation that can work for my crazy schedule.

The plan is to get a core 4.5 hour block of sleep in the morning, then 20 minute naps at about 4PM, 1AM, and 5AM. The 4PM to 1AM stretch is a good bit longer than the recommended no-more-than-6 hour interval between naps, but it's the most workable solution I could think of that I could maintain during my regular work schedule. The nature of emergency work, of course, is that you never know what to expect, but the first half of my shift is almost always the busiest and I can typically find 20 minutes to spare in the post-midnight half. I'm hoping that my body will say, "A semblance of regularity? I'll take it!"

In Other News

The other day I dug Angus's lamb fleece (from last year) out of the shed and scoured it. Now I'm in the process of combing, then carding it. The combing is to get out as much of the vegetable matter as possible before carding the fiber into rolags. Also, the shearer made a lot of second cuts, and I'd prefer not to have a lot of neps in the yarn. At any rate, I've got a bag that's filling up with rolags and am looking forward to moving on to the spinning process.