Thursday, August 14, 2014

I learned something this summer.  I mean really learned it (as opposed to just thinking it).  I have always known that good shoes can make a differnce in your feet.  I haven't been immune to the appeal of cheap, cute, stylish shoes but I have also tried to make sure that I am putting shoes with support on my feet for most days.

J-41 Libby Sport FlatThis summer I bought two pairs of these.  One pair in this beige color and one is a charcoal grey color.  I figured they would take me through most of the summer in comfort.  And they're cute.

They're comfortable when you put them on and stay comfortable all day.  I wore them without socks and they looked good with my summer clothes.

Dansko - Professional Floral NubuckI didn't notice how much my feet/ankles/legs/lower back were hurting me at the end of the day until I wore shoes and socks during one of our cooler summer days.

<b>Dansko</b> '<b>Elise</b>' <b>Sneaker</b> Womens Blue/ Orange Suede 6.5-7US / 37EUPeter Kevin and I went to the Dansko outlet and I got some new shoes for fall/winter.  Including a pair of these palepale green with roses embroidered on them.  I also got a pair of Dansko sneaker-like shoes which I have been wearing the last few days.

And I noticed that my feet/ankles/legs/lower back felt so much better at the end of the day.  No aching, no pain.  These have terrific support and are so comfortable.  What a difference.  It's remarkable to me that the difference is so profound. 

I am wearing the cute-summer-no-support shoes today.  It's not a run around day, most of my time will be in meetings or spent at my desk so I should be ok.  And the summer will be over within the month and the no sock shoes will be put away in favor of shoes with socks both handknit and otherwise.

Women's Plus Size Elbow Sleeve Cotton Modal Fit and Flare DressI realized last night that I have no idea what to wear to Kate's wedding.  I have to find a dress (and not a MOB dress-that's just not me) that will be ok while we're in the trees at Batsto and then still look appropriate for the reception.  And shoes!  Maybe some small heels because walking through the dirt/leaves will ruin anything else.  I ordered a dress from LandsEnd (I love their clothes).  I have this dress but sleeveless and in fuschia.  It fits perfectly and is comfortable and looks good all day.  I can wear a colorful pair of shoes or go classic in black with black stockings.  And it will dress down for work throughout the fall and winter.  (and it's machine washable!). 

And if I work diligently, I can finish the Fir Cone Shawl to wear with it.

I'm still waiting for Kate to buy shoes so we can hem her dress and I can call it done. 

Well, I'm off to start the round of meetings and paperwork.  The day outside the window looks glorious.  Maybe dinner in the park is in order.

Monday, August 11, 2014

It's Monday morning and I noticed that it is darker now in the early mornings than it has been.  The year will slide toward the holidays so quickly.

Pk and I have been taking it easy for the summer.  He's anxious about finding work before the unemployment runs out and I feel some anxiety too.  The upshot is that we are both a abit more easily irritated than usual.  I have to keep it in mind when he (or I) snaps. 

I spoke to my pcp about these perimenopause issues.  I have some days when I feel like myself but then other days when I am so headachy or grouchy or just having power surges one after another that I want to scream (and there's another reason for the increased irritability)

She suggested Evening Primrose Oil and B complex vitamins (and gave me a prescription for an anti-anxiety med if I need it).  She also said some women take antidepressants.......I told her I was all too familiar with the psychotropics and would pass on them.  I did take the script for the xanax because it helps take the sharp corners off on those days when I can't just sit down with some chamomile tea and put up my feet.  I have an appt with the gyn in Sept and we'll be having a similar discussion.

My Fir Cone Shawl is coming along.  I finished the center part and am now knitting the endless edging.  It's a 14 row repeat and there are probably 500 repeats!  I always have trouble starting a knitted on edge.  I usually call Kate and she helps me see what I'm supposed to do but I figured it out myself this time.

I was moving counter clockwise around the shawl and the edge goes on clockwise.  It took me a bit to see that but once I did, it all fell into place.  I lovelovelove the way this is coming out to be one enormous soft wrap.  It would make a gorgeous baby blanket if babies didn't throw up or drool or have other accidents.

I finished one Watermelon sock.  I absolutely love this yarn.  It is so much fun to knit with.  It's been my go-to knit when the weather has been to hot to hold onto a lap full of wool.

Our weather has been really nice lately.  Actually, all summer.  There were a few days when it was beastly but for the most part it's been a great summer.  A lot of rain which is good but also makes the tomatos burst through their skins.  I'd send some of it out west where they are experiencing drought of historic proportions.

Time to go get my charts and get things moving.  It's a Monday and for me that means BUSY.  It's the fullest day of the week for me (and this week I'm covering for someone's vacation) so Whoopee! Let the fun begin!

Happy Monday y'all!






Friday, August 1, 2014

Although I try to not wish it were Friday every day because I don't want to spend most of my week wishing my day away, I can't ignore the extra bit of sparkle that Friday brings.  It's humid and still outside this morning and the sky is uniformly grey.  No big storm in the offing but it looks like we're in for a rainy afternoon (followed by a rainy weekend). 

Did you ever hear that expression, "too dumb to walk and chew gum at the same time"?  Well, I was walking down the street this morning and looked down.  (this is not an actual photo of the sidewalk I was on but it could be.  It looked just like this)  All those black spots represent a piece of gum.  And the sidewalks in Philadelphia all look like this. 

It indicates a serious number of people who are very uncoordinated!  And now that I've noticed it and thought about it, it sticks out more.  I see old gum on all the sidewalks.  It's pretty disgusting.


Last weekend I finished Kate's dress.  Here it is hanging on a door.  Kate has tried it on and it fits perfectly.  As soon as she decides on shoes, we can pin the hem and I can finish it up completely.

She loves it.  She put it on and twirled around.  "It twirls!".  This made her happy (which of course, made me happy).  She looks amazingly beautiful in it and will make a lovely bride. 

And now that Kate's dress is done, I can think about what I'm going to wear for a wedding in the woods.  I'm thinking jeans and hiking boots but will probably have to go a bit dressier.

I am getting ready for the last section on my Fir Cone Shawl.  It has knit up so much faster than I anticipated and is so soft.  Unfortunately, it's a large lapful of wool and I can only work on it when A) the a/c is on in the bedroom or B) we have one of our rare cool days in the summer.

Last Friday was one such cool day.  Pk and I took ourselves on an adventure to the Groff and Groff lumber yard.  He bought a few small pieces of lignum vitae.  Sounds very impressive, doesn't it?  It's wood that is hard and dense enough that if you throw it into water, it will sink.  It's heavy as all get out.  He's going to make some wooden mallets for his shop.

We then went to the Dansko outlet so I could get some shoes for the fall/winter.  I got a pair of blue suede sneaker-like shoes, and two pairs of enclosed clogs.  One is a sage green with brown roses embroidered on it and the other is ruby red patent leather.  Peter Kevin insisted on those.  "These are fun".  They ARE fun and out of character for me which is part of the appeal. 

The day was warm and sunny and low humidity and just about perfect.  We rode with the windows down and just enjoyed the day together.  The grocery shopping got done and then we had pizza with Kate and Patrick for dinner. 

This weekend we have no plans other than to finish up Kate's birthday present (description of which will come later) and relax.  I think we're in for an uncomfortable one so there will probably not be too much moving around.

Life is moving on slowly but surely.  Pk is still sending resumes out into the void of the internet.  He sends out tons of them every day and doesn't hear back.  It's so frustrating because he doesn't know why they don't answer and is left trying to figure it out.  Job hunting sucks.

Time to get to work.  I haven't been terribly productive this week and I'd like to correct that today.  Happy Friday!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Good Wednesday Morning!  It's been a while (longer than I thought) since I sat and wrote anything.  I don't have a good reason for that.  Life has been busy but not much busier than normal.  I think partly it has to do with Pk getting laid off.  He's sending out resumes every day, electrons are zooming all over the place as he attempts to get someone's interest.  But there have been no nibbles after the first two.  I know it's getting him down and I am starting to feel a bit stressed myself.  I think it makes me want to crawl into my shell and just wait for something to happen.

But that is not my natural way.  I am not used to having to wait for someone else to make something happen.  I am used to jumping in and helping to solve problems.  This problem I cannot help with and that has thrown me a bit.

There have been good things, too.  Kylie was here for a while and we spent time in Atlantic City.  It was a gorgeous day.  We checked out the casino action (not much going on and it was depressing seeing all of the old people sitting in front of machines), had dinner outside on the boardwalk and then had a limo ride back to the train station. 

We were standing at the stop for the shuttle bus (in Atlantic City they're called Jitneys) waiting for a ride back to the train station.  A limosine pulled up and the driver asked Peter Kevin where we were going.  He told him and the driver offered to take us there (about 2 miles) for 15 dollars.  Pete said "all 5 of us?"  The driver said "yes" so we climbed in and got a lovely ride back to our train.  It was a fun way to end a lovely day.

There has been dinner at the river.  Our favorite place to picnic.  We pack up some sandwiches and drinks and head down.  I have taken the spinning wheel and provided entertainment for our fellow picnicers. 

There has been yarn.  I know I am a geek but yarn that knits up and looks like slices of watermelon makes me inordinately happy. 


There has been wedding dress sewing.  Here's a sneak peek at Kate's dress.  Unfortunately, you can't see the clear sparkly bits on the lace.  She has since tried the bodice on and we've pinned it to fit.  Pattern sizes are so different from ready made clothes.  This is a McCalls pattern and according to Kate's measurements, I needed to make a size 16.  Now, Kate is a small young woman.  I was sure a 16 would be huge on her but I figured I could always take it in.  It fits quite nicely.  I am working on the skirt and adding trim.  It's been on hold for a week because I have been having hormone related migraines and they brought nausea and dizziness with them.  I am hoping to work some today and then I took off Friday and Monday so I have a nice long weekend to finish it up.

There has been pie. It's blueberry season here and the grocery store had them on sale.  I gave some to Kate and used the rest to make Pk a blueberry pie.

I have been working on my Fir Cone Shawl and I am so happy with the way it's coming out.  It will be huge if I give it a hard block so I think I will just wash it and press it into shape gently.  I am halfway through the second lace edging chart.  When this one is finished, there is a knitted lace border and then it's done.  It feels so lovely and soft.  I will appreciate it when it's snowing this coming winter.

So, as you can see, nothing exciting.  Just our normal quiet life.  There was a LOT of soccer there for a month.  Pk thoroughly enjoyed watching the World Cup and I watched many games with him.  It's interesting to see how different teams have different styles. 

My roses are being attacked by the dreaded Japanese Beetles.  We didn't know we had them because we have never had roses (which they are especially fond of).  Pk has been spraying with insecticidal soap and he got some "beneficial insects" for Father's Day (which to me was one of the oddest presents ever) and they are helping.  The new growth seems to be intact for now.  We are organic gardeners.  We have not used toxic chemicals on our property since we moved in almost 30 years ago.  I know this drives the neighbors nuts because it means our lawn is not a lovely lush green carpet.  I don't care.  I'd rather have the kids be able to play on our grass and be able to pick the vegetables and eat them right there than have perfect specimens.  I even told one lawn serviceman (who knocked on my door because he noticed that we had "some clover" in our lawn) that I LIKE clover.  The rabbits who live in my yard LIKE clover and I wanted to keep it.  He seemed to think this was not normal and left in a hurry.  Oh well.  We're THAT house on the street.  I can live with it.

Summer is flying by so quickly.  Work is going well.  I have two new doctors to break in and they are both calm, level headed individuals so there is little drama and little stress.  It's a nice change.

I hope you are enjoying whatever season you find yourself in (Olivia, I know you are enjoying the snow!) and that life is treating you well. 







Tuesday, June 24, 2014

So, what have you all been up to since last we spoke?  I have had a bit of dental work and am now finally recovering.
Last week, I noticed that the infection in my mouth wasn't better (wait, did I tell you I had an infection under my root canal?).  Hmm, well, I have (had) this tooth that had had two root canals (which meant two crowns) and was giving me twinges for a while.  The dentist told me the tooth underneath was cracked and that if it continued to give me pain, it would have to come out.

Fast forward to my 6 month checkup where I show the dentist the pustule that had developed on my gum right next to the tooth.  It turns out that there was a raging infection under the crown. (the smell was ugly)  We tried 10 days of antibiotic but no joy.  I had to have the tooth out.  I called the oral surgeon and they had an opening the next day. 

I took it because then I didn't have much time to brood over it.  I left work in the afternoon and Pk picked me up and off we went.  First came the panograph xray and then the doctor told me there was a good bit of infection in the gum and he would pull the tooth and then clean it out.

IV needle in my hand and before you know it, it was done.  They didn't stitch up the wound because the leftover infection needed a place to come out (the image is a pleasant one, isn't it?)  I was in a fog so Pk took me home and then went out to get my pain pills and more antibiotics.

When the novocaine wore off, I couldn't believe the pain!  I am fairly tolerant of pain but this was unlike anything I had ever felt.  The vicodin didn't touch it.  Fortunately, my dentist called to check up on me and told me I could take 2 (very low dose).  It was like the heavens opened up and sunbeams shone upon me.  When that pain went away, it felt soooo good.  I slept sitting up and woke up Friday morning with a blinding headache and nauseaus from the pain meds (really unfair that).  I stuck to acetaminophen for the rest of the time after that. 

I spent the weekend taking it easy and eating soft foods.  I have some bruising around the jaw line but not too bad and I can tell it's healing.  It will take some time before we can discuss what to do about the gaping hole in my teeth.

I was not able to do much knitting or spinning.  No concentration.  I mostly sat and dozed and held ice packs to my face.  And now I am back to work and feeling mostly back to normal.  Still eating mostly soft foods and being careful until the hole heals closed.  I don't want anything getting stuck in there and re infecting. 

Our planned trip to AC was postponed to this Friday and unless something else happens, we're heading down there Friday afternoon with Kylie in tow.  She came over Sunday and we ate bbq chicken and ribs and potato salad and coconut cake and watched the heartbreaking US/ Portugal game. 

The weather today is about as beautiful day as you could ask for.  The sun is out, there is a breeze and the humidity is low.  It's glorious.  I am getting ready to pack up my stuff and leave this overly a/c'd building and go out into the day.  Maybe we should take a picnic for dinner.......

(some nice, soft food of course)

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

We only thought it was humid last week.  It's like it's a competitive thing and this week has to beat out last week.  It's unbelievable and really uncomfortable.  I have not been able to sleep for the last two nights.  I might have dozed a bit but nothing really restful. (needless to say, I'm tired).  Pk is going to put the a/c in the bedroom window today so that tonight I can pull the covers on and sleep restfully.

Some random thoughts on a Wednesday.

I was standing on the train platform this morning waiting for the next train (the schedules are all a mess while they replace the track on the bridge.  One side is closed and all the trains are going over one side of the bridge.  Then it will reverse so it will be a mess for 2 years.  sigh.)  It's alway slightly breezy since it's an elevated platform.  In the morning, surrounded by all the freshly showered and scented commuters, it's hell on your sinuses.

Some people smell nice and light and clean.  Some people wear heavy, cloying wintery scents.  I will admit that I do not change my scent during the year.  I have one scent that I always wear (Jessica McClintock) and have worn for 25 years.  It's what I smell like.  But it's a fairly light fragrance so that in these warmer months, I won't bowl anyone over. 

More people are catching onto the fact that if you get up 10 minutes earlier, you can catch the earlier train and it's not as crowded as the one 25 minutes later.  Well, it wasn't as crowded.  Today it was mobbed.



 It was Father's Day last Sunday here in the US.  When I asked Peter Kevin what he wanted to do, he said "not much" so I let him have a day to do what he wanted.

I made him the breakfast he wanted, he watched some soccer and then he went outside and worked on some small wood projects.  Here he is using one of his large planes and making the top surface of a small worktable.  He loves working with his handtools.  There's a soothing rhythm to his work.


a pile of shawl

I pulled up a chair and sat in the shade and did some knitting until the ants got too bothersome.  I worked on my shawl.  It's become quite large.  There it is all in a pile.   I can stretch it out is a small section to see how the pattern is developing.  It's so unbelievable soft.  I am on the "second lace chart" and then there's an edging.  Unfortunately it's a bit too hot to sit with this on my lap until we get the a/c installed in the bedroom window.  This will be a warm winter wrap or a warm wrap for the very heavily a/c'd world we live in.

the pattern revealed



I have been forced to work on something small so I went and wound up my latest Artwalk Yarn and started a plain pair of socks.    I love these colors.  They have a depth and shine to them that is so appealing.  It's Les Petits Fleurs by Picasso, one of my all time favorite paintings.  But, the important part is that I don't have to have that large pile of yarn sitting on my lap.

We are going to Atlantic City on Friday so Kylie can see some more kitschy NJ.  I think Atlantic City is the Queen of Kitsch.  I'm looking forward to it a lot.  I love taking the train through the countryside.

Saturday Pete invited our nephew to come and watch the game.  I think he's more excited than Daniel (who is 7).  Sunday, Kylie will be over to eat some real food and watch the game.  So, it sounds like a soccer and friend filled weekend.  The weather should break and be relatively nice.

I hope wherever you are that your day is filled with peace and creativity and joy.







Tuesday, June 10, 2014

It isn't technically summer here until this coming Saturday but you couldn't prove that by walking outside today.  The air is so thick that you have to think about breathing.  On the train in the morning you can't see the tops of the buildings in Philadelphia.  They are all hiding their heads in the clouds.

And speaking of trains, my morning commute has gotten somewhat earlier due to much needed track repair for the PATCO train.  They've closed one half of the bridge so all the train traffic moves on the same track.  It means that the trains are fewer and further between.  This means I have to get up earlier and catch an earlier train and then catch an earlier one home in the afternoon.  There are later trains but they become so crowded and full of people breathing all the air.....

On the unemployment front, Peter Kevin had two interviews last week (one of which was an adventure involving a train ride into NY City) and now is the hard part.  He felt really good about both of the interviews and now has to wait to see if they felt really good about him. 

Kylie is here and we have spent some enjoyable time together showing her life in our area.  We went for a walk around the Berlin Farmer's Market on Friday (only one store sells produce of any kind, the rest are filled with tchatchkes) and then had pizza and wings.  And on Sunday, we took advantage of the nice weather and had a picnic on the Delaware River.  The nice part is that we were able to sit and talk about what makes our countries different and how we're the same.  We have a tentative trip to Atlantic City planned for next week. 

Work has been steadily busy.  We're doing research data collecting on adults with autism for a study and our part involves paperwork (it's always paperwork).  I don't mind because we get paid as an agency to participate and since we're running in the red, money is good.  Our part is just a bit boring as I fill out autism screening tools for all my clients (we're talking over a hundred individuals for just me).  I'm trying to do one or two a day.

My fir cone shawl is coming along beautifully.  It's going to be huge and lovely and soft and warm.  I like the way it's constructed and occasionally think it would make a gorgeous baby blanket-until the first time the baby threw up on it and it had to be washed and blocked.  Softly spun merino and silk are not what I would choose for a baby.

I took a pair of socks with me to a conference last week and knit a bit during one of the talks.  Of course the woman in front of me turned around and said "I want to learn to do that.  One day I'll have a chunk of time....."  you know how that goes.  I started to try to explain that it didn't take a lot of time but I could see right away that she was not really interested or she would know how already.  But such is life.



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About Me

I am a woman with a family and a job and a love of making things with my hands. I like to cook and sew and knit and laugh, always laugh.
It's better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.
~chinese proverb