January 29, 2009


Posted in Journal tagged , , , at 10:38 pm by Jenn

Well, the time has finally come.  The day that I started a sweater.  I swatched and everything so it’s really a go this time!  LOL.

Here’s a picture of the swatch for you non believers.

knitting-026  Queensland Collection – Kathmandu DK #402 (merino, silk, cashmere blend)

The pattern here is a 5×1 rib, shown here on the wrong side, because that’s how you wear the sweater.  Oh, yeah, the sweater I chose as my very first sweater ever is no longer the Baby Cables and Big Ones Too

Baby cables and big ones too

as originally planned, it is now the Welt and Rib Raglan.


I know it’s a lot of knitting, but it’s easy knitting I think.  I’ll soon find out.  I love the pattern.

And I guess you’ve already figured out that my hat, glove, scarf set has been pushed aside…yet again.  And yes, I do still have all those other Unfinished Objects, and yes, I did start my Master’s program and this sweater is a way for me to procrastinate and delay the inevitable.  Thankfully, it’s a me project and therefore I will be grateful to myself whenever I get it finished.  Hey, I’m just thrilled that I finished the swatch!  : )

In other news, I leveled up to Master today in Mousehunt AND I finished listening to the Carbohydrate lecture.  You know the one that contained the dreaded Kreb’s Cycle.  It was long, but it wasn’t all that bad and there wasn’t a whole lot of emphasis on my friend so I’m keeping fingers crossed, but because I’m just not lucky like that, I’ll memorize the thing AGAIN.  I should have made a felt puzzle out of the thing back in the 90’s when this thing, first started haunting me.


January 28, 2009

Not Again!

Posted in Journal at 9:55 pm by Jenn

Webster defines nemesis as “asource of harm or ruin”.  That’s exactly what the Kreb’s Cycle is to me…my nemesis.  Nothing has caused me more grief, sleepless nights or poor grades than the Kreb’s Cycle.  I thought that when I finished my last class of biochemistry that I would never have to face this demon again…but I was wrong.  It reared it’s ugly head again today.  This time in Advanced Nutrition, my first class toward my Master’s Degree.  I guess I’d better stop procrastinating and get this lecture over with. 

Here’s a picture of the ugly monster.  Isn’t it scary?

Now, if anyone can tell me song or an easy way to remember this beast I will be eternally grateful.  This metabolic pathway is churning away inside each an every one of us right now.  It is the second stage of a three stage process necessary to break glucose down to produce energy.

January 26, 2009

25 Random Things About Jenn

Posted in Journal tagged , at 11:29 am by Jenn

I’ve been tagged by two friends on Facebook to do this so I figured I’d post it here, tag a bunch of you and honor my tag to them by having it post to Facebook as well.  Don’t you just love technology?  So here goes:

1.  I was born in Wiesbaden, Germany, but I’m a US citizen.

2.  I love my dog, more than I like most people.

3.  Brussels sprouts have got to be the most horrid food on the planet.

4.  I’m working on my Master’s Degree in Clinical Nutrition.

5.  I have never been to New York City, or seen then the Statue of Liberty (I’ve been to JFK airport, but that doesn’t count).

6.  One of my top “things to do” is visit Mt. Rushmore.

7.  I love Las Vegas.

8.  The Bellagio is my favorite hotel.

9.  I love to lay in the sun, but I cannot stand being hot.

10.  I am hooked on General Hospital and have been for years.

11.  One of my biggest pet peeves is being interrupted when I’m speaking.

12. I love to watch superhero movies.

13.  I do not sweat.

14.  I love to dig in the dirt.

15.  I enjoy crossbreeding flowers.

16.  My favorite place is the beach…doesn’t matter what beach as long as there are shells and/or sharks teeth/fossils.

17.  I love kids, but don’t necessarily feel the need to be a mother.

18.  I enjoy fiber arts such as knitting, hand spinning and dyeing yarn.

19.  My favorite number is 3.

20.  I enjoy being alone, but don’t like feeling lonely.

21.  My shoe size is 7 – 7.5

22.  I did not enjoy my high school years.

23.  My favorite place to visit is Vermont.

24.  I have never knit my self a sweater.

25.  I would love to learn to make pottery.

So there you have it.  Now, if I tag you you have to play!  The tag will be via Facebook since that’s where it originated.  My blog only friends are off the hook.

January 25, 2009

Martyr’s Alley (Shehidler Khiyabani)

Posted in Journal tagged , , , , , at 3:41 pm by Jenn

Today I took a walk with a friend to Martyr’s Alley in Baku.  I’d mentioned last week that I wanted to visit this place before I left Baku and that this would be a good time to visit because of the recent memorial service held there in honor of the fallen from January 19-20th, 1990. 

It is a beautiful day in Baku, the sun is shining and there isn’t a cloud in the sky.  Of course the wind is blowing, but that is not surprising considering it is the “wind city”.  With the sun and the bright sky it was a perfect day for a walk and a few pictures.

Martyr’s Alley as it is now called was formerly Kirov Park.  The park was torn up in 1991 to build Martyr’s Alley remembering those killed when the Russian Army invaded Baku.  It has since become a cemetery for other war heroes as well.

The Martyr’s Alley piece is really beautiful.  It is done in white and black marble with black engraved marble name plates with a picture, name and date of the deceased.  There are  a few graves that are marked as _________, I cannot remember the Azeri word that was engraved, but it meant unknown.    I wish I could remember the word…I’m going to have to go back and take a photo of one of the graves with this word.



There weren’t as many carnations as I was expecting. We did see two large mounds of carnations in other parts of the cemetary so I don’t know if they had been cleaned up from this area or if they were serving some other purpose.

As you look down the alley you see a tall cement monument to the martyrs and inside of the monument burns an eternal flame.  This flame is burning pretty strong.  We came to the conclusion that they burn it with such power so that it isn’t extinguished by the wind.



There are some of the most beautiful views of the city and the Caspian Sea from Martyr’s Alley.  This area also overlooks one of the most popular tea-houses which I’m looking forward to visiting before my time here in Baku is over.


One of the flat top brown buildings to the right in the picture is the tea house.  I’m not sure which one.


In total the walk took about an hour and forty five minutes.  On the way home I stopped long enough to take a picture of the statue that is a landmark for giving directions to our building.  Nariman Narimanov was a Azerbaijani political leader and writer.  He was sometimes called “Lenin of the East”.  There is also a town named after him in Belarus and another in Russia I believe.


Now, Im baking a cheesecake to take to our friend’s Chinese New Year celebration this evening and I think I’m going to treat myself to a nap.  When the cheesecake comes out of the oven of course.

January 24, 2009

Letter Meme

Posted in Journal tagged , , at 4:45 pm by Jenn

A few weeks ago I was tagged by Transplanting Me in a “letter meme”.  The rules are as follows:

Leave a comment on this post, and you will be assigned a letter.  Write about ten things you love that begin with your assigned letter, and post it at your place. When people comment on your list, you give them a letter, and the chain continues on and on. (You can opt out of being assigned a letter, just say you don’t want to play – I still love comments)

My letter, assigned by Monica is letter “D”….thinking, thinking, thinking….here goes

1.  Daisies –

Daisies are today and always have been my favorite flower.  I love them in all colors, fancy and traditional.  Gerbera Daisies are my favorite, especially the red or flame orange color in my garden…love, love, love daisies.  Don’t waste your money buying me roses.  A bunch of white daisies with a yellow center do the trick.  I also love daffodils.  When the daffodils come up, I know it’s time to start doing yard work.  I don’t necessarily love the yard work part, but I love the outcome, a beautiful floral landscape.  I miss my garden.

2.  Denim – 

I’m most comfortable in my blue jeans.  These days my favorite pair is my Levi’s.  They are the only brand I’m really comfortable ordering online.  When I get back to the states I’m in desperate need of new jeans.  I’m looking in to Paige Denim, which I’ve wanted for a few years and now am going to splurge and buy myself a pair.  A good friend also swears by True Religion…where do people get all this money to buy jeans?

3.  Dietitian – my profession.  I love being a dietitian.  Helping people feel better about themselves, giving them assistance when they are sick or undergoing medical treatment is perhaps the single most, best feeling in the world.  Going to bed at night, knowing that you made a difference in someone’s life is huge.  I haven’t worked in my profession in over a year and a half.  I have continued to help people, via email, phone, etc.  I started a private practice in the hopes of being able to help members of the embassy community while I’m overseas.  This hasn’t given me the amount of clients that I was hoping for, but it has brought some and for those I am grateful, and what’s even better is that they were grateful too.

4.  Diamonds –

Asscher cut is my favorite.  It’s the stone in my engagement ring.  Enough said.

5.  Dollar – I never seem to have enough these days, but I love them just the same.

6.  Desperate Housewives – 

I didn’t watch the first season as it aired.  I started watching it midway through the second season and got hooked.  I purchased Seasons 1 and 2 on DVD to catch myself up once I got overseas and now I’m a faithful watcher.  Even though I’m not a mom, I see myself as a Lynette.

7.  Dogs – I’m a Spaniel girl.  I love Spaniels…we were in the process of adopting a pure bred Bench Bred Springer Spaniel, liver colored when we found Max.  We aren’t exactly sure what breed of dog Max is, but one things for sure he’s got some sort of Spaniel (or two or three) in his blood somewhere.  Some people say Field/Springer mix, some say Field/Cocker mix and some say Field/Gordon Setter mix….whatever the mix, he’s awesome.  He’s become quite dependant on me since we’ve been overseas.  I’m the one with him 24/7 so he follows me around ALL DAY LONG.  If I am in the den, he’s in the den.  If I get up to check the laundry, he does too (now if only he’d learn to fold it).  When I go to the bathroom he follows me right in there and waits for me.  When I lay on the couch in the afternoon to take a nap, he curls right up beside me.  He really is a great guy and great company for me most days.  I’m glad we found him (thanks Tony @ Pups).


8.  Daytime Television –

General Hospital is my favorite.  I keep watching and waiting for the return of Blackie Parrish, though it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen anytime soon.  I’m also patiently waiting for the day when Bobbie’s son Lucas takes his rightful place as the mob leader in Port Charles, it will be up to Uncle Lucky to stop him, causing the Spencer family to become at odds with each other.   When that day comes I’ll have to stop watching…until then I’m hooked.  I’m trying to remember when I first started watching GH…I can remember Heather Weber, Laura when she was married to Scottie, Bobbie when she was a student nurse, but I don’t remember how old I was.  I just know it’s been a LONG TIME.

9.  Deathly Hallows –

Ok, maybe this wasn’t my favorite book in the Harry Potter series, but it was close.  It would have probably been my favorite if the events involving Snape had been different.  I don’t want to divulge too much information for those who haven’t read it yet.

Last but not least, #10 – Democracy – if there is one thing that I’ve truly come to appreciate since I’ve been living overseas in these post soviet countries is democracy.  Let freedom ring!

So there you have it, 1o things that start with the letter D that I love.  It was harder than I thought to come up with 10, but I did it.  Now it’s your turn.

January 22, 2009


Posted in Journal tagged , , , , at 6:28 pm by Jenn

Today one of the women from the embassy hosted a carpet show.  A local carpet vendor came to her house with about 15 carpets new and old and displayed them for us with the hopes of making some sales.  This isn’t the first carpet show he’s done for us.  I’ve been to two others and liked a lot of the carpets that I saw, but none enough to buy…until today.

Today I actually saw 4 carpets that I was interested in.  Now I don’t know if it’s because I’ll be leaving here soon that I was so ready to buy a carpet or if it’s because it’s winter and the floors are so cold here.  Either way, I ended up purchasing one carpet and one mule/horse bag.

The mule/horse bags are really neat.  They are made of woven wool, and hang across the mule/horse.  They have a large pocket on each side for storing whatever needs storing when you are riding a mule/horse.  I haven’t been doing much mule/horse riding these days, but they sure are neat to hang on a wall or over a staircase railing, chair, etc.

Here’s a picture.  Right now I have it laid across a table as a runner, but the pictures show it draped over a chair so that you can really get a look at the pattern and colors.



This is a picture of the carpet.  Max claimed it for his own right away, but I had other plans for it.  This rug is a Zili which means it is pileless (not plush).  I love the pattern.  It kind of looks like a patriotic design in red, white and blue at first glance.  It even looks like it has dollar signs.  When you look more closely you see that it is people and animals, I’m assuming some sort of hunting scene.


Here’s a closer view of the pattern:



The carpet is roughly 4 feet wide by 6 feet long (give or take a few inches in each direction).  It’s the perfect size for an  area rug.  (Mom – the amaryllis that you sent bloomed while we were on vacation.  When we got home the 3rd blossom was just starting to wither.  It looks pretty sad now, but I’m sure it was really pretty when all the blossoms were out.  I’m bummed that I missed it!).

In other news I finished my Unoriginal Hat  last night.  Unfortunately, it was WAY too small.  I did manage to gift it to a woman from the embassy who has a 4 month (or so) old little baby girl.  She was really appreciative, but boy was I disappointed that it didn’t fit.  It was SOOO cute.  I started this hat once before and ripped it out because there was no way it was going to fit.  I switched from size 7 to size 10 needles and it was STILL too small.  I’m going to make another one, hopefully in the right size this time.  I need to do some research on gauge and actually maybe make a swatch this time…wish me luck.

Here’s a picture of the finished hat.


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