Well, I did it. I successfully defended my dissertation late Monday afternoon. The presentation went as well as I could hope for. Everyone was in a good mood and my committee was absolutely fabulous both in their support for me as a person and in their feedback of ways I can improve my work. The presentation was too long, something I knew going in but didn't know how to cut it down without omitting something important. From developing the presentation I saw some pretty glaring mistakes in my last chapter and some bugs with the way I had thematized my results. Let's just say that I got so caught up in the trees that I forgot to step back out again to look at the forest! I sort of forgot that the focus was on hope, and not all the other stuff that caught my attention ;-) I got some good help in the discussion with my committee afterwards, help I desperately wanted! I still need to read all the notes in the manuscripts before I can proceed with rewrites. I need to get started but I've been miserably sick all day so that's been a problem. I figure I can read and brainstorm and takes notes tonight, then start the revisions in earnest tomorrow. Let's just say I have miles to go before I sleep-- many miles.
When I got home form the University on Monday evening I was greeted with two surprises--well, that is in addition to the smiles and hugs from Mom and Dad;-) My dearest friend Wendy Shea-Messler called my folks to report on my successful presentation as she was driving home so they knew a bit of how things went. I thought that was incredibly sweet of her! Wendy's baby, Mason, also sent me good wishes and baby kisses for luck in the form of a tiny stuffed Winnie-the-Pooh bear. Pooh sat at the head of the table next to my notes and presided over the proceedings. I sure hope my other bestest pal Peter Rabbit wasn't offended by being left at home! Surely such things as this could only happen because a preemie nurse was presenting!
But... I am digressing, aren't I? I had 2 surprises waiting for me. After I got home I quickly changed clothes and slipped on my gardening clogs and headed out to the yard the breathe and cry and offer my thanks to God in prayer. Gardens are good for these things, so I wandered out. We've had strangely warm weather and everything that normally blooms in April is already in bloom in the 3rd and 4th week of March. It seems as if my perennials double in size literally overnight. But on Monday night I walked out and was surprised to find the first blossoms on one of my bleeding hearts. I couldn't help but be struck by the irony of the timing as I stood shedding tears of gratitude for coming through such a momentous life event. I thought it rather quite symbolic of everything I have been through these past 9 years.
My other surprise was the two packages of lace yarn that arrived in the mail. The first I had been waiting on for a couple of weeks, 3 balls of white Zephyr from The Knitter in CO. I figured the delay was related to demand as many folks want white lace yarn this time of year, and with free shipping I wasn't about to complain about yarn taking more than a week to arrive. I think I do get spoiled sometimes by fast shippers and besides, it wasn't like I had time to do any new knitting anyway! As expected, the yarn isn't pure white, but is rather a creamy white color--the color you would expect to see in fiber that had been bleached. I think it will make for a lovely intricate shawl or stole, although I haven't decided exactly what to knit yet.
The second package of yarn was from the YarnPlace in CA. Now they shipped it out speedy fast! I bought 2 balls of Gentle, a 5% cashmere/95% fine Australian Merino blend. Gentle is a good name as this stuff is exquisitely soft and beautifully spun. It's also very, very fine--cobweb weight fine. It takes 2 strands of this stuff to make it laceweight. I played with it a little and knit a couple of rows on 2.75mm needles. It's tiny, but very easy to work with. I'll have to think on what to do with this pretty stuff. I bought one ball in a rich buttery yellow and the other is my favorite blush shade called Ahhh Pink. Each 100g ball has ~1350yds which is enough for a modest sized shawl. I may consider ordering a second ball and double stranding one of the projects though, as this stuff is just so fine I might be knitting forever to finish a decent-sized project. I don't want to spend the time it would take to tat a shawl to knit one I suppose