Tasks and Rewards


Senior work is due in a month and two days, and the ants in my pants are not taking a holiday. The sum total of what I have left for my Master of Divinity degree [What about Mistress of Divinity? Can I get that?] is one sermon, three reports (not really papers, just “I did this thing, here’s what it was like”), two book reviews (one book already read, the other really short), and a big research paper.

Not bad, but I am itching to be through. I have resorted to very childish measures to get myself to do things in a timely fashion. I offer myself small rewards for every assignment. Kinda like when mom gave us an M&M for every flashcard we did, but more expensive.

My reward for last week’s 8.5-page paper? Making a worm bin.


Yes, a worm bin. I read about this a few weeks ago – you basically farm worms in a bin, feeding them scraps and stuff, and their poop (vermiculite) is like super-fertilizer. Worms are particular, so you can’t throw just anything in there, and you have to babysit it a bit. But I love the idea because it’s portable. It is exactly the sort of gardening-on-the-go type thing that is perfect when you don’t own your house. And I’d much rather compost some things than no things. I expect the first batch of vermiculite to be ready about when my container pea plants are done [they are just sprouting! GREEN THINGS!], so I can use it to help refresh the soil before I put something else in the pots. And if I end up at some point with a worm bin and no garden, I’m sure I will have green-thumbed friends who can use the stuff. Maybe they’ll even pay me for it in peas.

The best part? I already had a suitable bin, and a friend is giving me some worms, so the total price tag for this project is 0$. Win. (Okay, that’s also the only reason I’m letting myself do it at all.)

“But Mama, I want to play with the power drill!”





I was able to consolidate a couple yarn bins (Yay for successfully knitting from stash!) to set aside this excellent bin for our impending worm friends. I thought tearing up newspaper would be an excellent activity to share with my 13-month-old, but it turns out she would rather play with the power drill. Never mind that when I tried to drill one of the holes in front of her, she thought it was Evil Incarnate. Understandable.


Upon reflection, this might have been for the best. As the owner of a large book collection, teaching my child how to effectively shred paper might not be the best plan.

Hooray, drill bits! (Explored under careful supervision.)

The kitchen sink cupboards have been rearranged (read: contents decimated) to be our worms’ new home. All I need now is a handful of dirt and some worms, and we can start feeding them our coffee grounds, and the celery and carrots I always let go bad in the fridge. Hooray!



That was the reward for last week’s paper. This week, I have a paper due on Friday, and I wasn’t going to say “no” to a little motivation.

Yesterday, while I was looking for a shoe repair shop to fix the heel on my Birks, I was driving dazedly through parking lots in Wexford, when I ran across Wexford Dry Goods. I swear, it was completely unplanned. I’d never been there; what was I going to do, not stop and look at yarn? Besides, the store lady knew exactly where the shoe repair shop was (I would have driven past it ten times with out her), so it was completely justified.

Their selection is small, but the space there is gorgeous. Airy and open and colorful. Naomi and I were wandering up and down the yarn wall, looking and touching; they have a lot of Blue Sky Alpaca. I was pulling a few out and feeling them on my face and Naomi’s, trying to keep her from doing too much damage – when she pulled out an orange skein and felt it on her own face! She petted it gently, closing her eyes with pleasure.


You can guess which skein we took home!


The yarn is “Melange” by Blue Sky Alpaca. 100% baby alpaca DK softness. It might not be the priciest yarn I’ve ever bought, but it’s close. I worked it out – it came to about 10 cents a yard. Over 20 cents a gram! So I just got one. I hope it can stand up to a little saliva.


I’m thinking about making something Naomi and I can share. That pretty much limits me to a kerchief or cowl. (We share cowls a lot.) Yes, it’s silly; yes, I have other knitting commitments; yes, that color might also go with my red coat. I’ll tell you what, though.


That paper due Friday? I finished it today at lunchtime.

4 thoughts on “Tasks and Rewards

  1. Naomi has great taste in yarn. Beautiful color!!!

    And those worms. I’ll trade their poop now for tomatoes at the end of the summer.


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