Wednesday, August 17, 2016

We are hopefully coming to an end of over a week of "heat warnings" today but the temps are still in the 90's (it was 85 at 6 o'clock this morning).  I spend time each summer reminding my clients that they should use good sense in the summer.  Medicaitons can make you more vulnerable to the sun and getting heat exhaustion.

But do I listen to myself?  Apparently not.

We had a very warm (record breaking) weekend and our a/c (which is only in the bedrooms) had a hard time keeping up.  On Monday when I was coming home from work, the train car had no a/c.  It was unbelievably hot and I could feel my bod reacting to it.  I got headachy, nauseaus, dizzy.  Did I pay attention?  No.  I kept on doing what I needed to do and went to bed.  When I woke up Tuesday morning, I had a blinding headache and the room was spinning.  I called out of work and spent the day  drinking and eating lightly and binge watching Call the Midwife.  Today, I feel a bit better but not great so I am once again home.  If today were noticeably cooler, I might have gone to work but since it is another day over 90 degrees, I am going to be kind to myself and stay home.  My bedroom is cool and comfortable.  I keep a glass of unsweetened decaf tea or a glass of water at my side and drink all day.

When it's this hot, we don't open the front curtains to keep out the sun.  As a result, Pk has a crop of rather large yellow mushrooms growing in his fern.  I have no idea what kind they are or if they're poisonous.  They just look funny growing there.

I got in on a swap that I have wanted to do for a few years.  Molly at Celtic Swan Forge makes hand forged needles.  They are beautiful.  One year I bought a paiir of strights with rose quartz on the ends for Emily.  Molly likes handknit socks but doesn't knit.  She offers a set of 5 dpns in exchange for a pair of handknit socks.  I think this is a good deal!  I enjoy making socks and would love a pair of her needles.  I am making a pair of purple socks for her and will get a pair of size 2 dpns in exchange.  How cool is that?
I finished this pair for Kate's birthday.  The yarn is a single and the colors are fall-like.  The pattern is Stout Grove from Fiiberwild's Sock of the Month club.  This year is the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service so all of their selections have something to do with National Parks or trees.  These are wonderfully soft and will be warm when this summer finally lets go and winter moves into the neighborhood.

Two of my three girls have moved out and have homes of their own.  We are tying to find new holiday traditions to accomodate this very natural part of life.  We used to decorate the tree on Christmas Eve and then get together the next morning to open our presents.  This means that Em and Kate don't get to enjoy Christmas morning in their homes.  We tried the "open the presents on Christmas Eve" but I didn't like that so much.  It felt rushed and not relaxed and joyful. I am pondering other options so that everyone can enjoy the holiday and have it stll feel specal.  It feels funny to talk about it while it's still so warm but it will be here before we know it.

I am also working on a Saroyan for my sister in law for Christmas.  It's an easy pattern and I'm using a skein of Zen Yarn Garden't Serenity Silk (merino, cashmere, silk).  It is so pretty and so very soft.  This pattern is a small shoulder piece and will work well under a winter coat.  I am keeping the scale close by because this is measured out in percentages.  The increase are 27.5% and the middle is 45% and the decrease is 27.5%.  I weigh the skein and keep going until I reach the percentage I am aiming for and then begin the next part.  It's a new way for me to knit.  I'm used to just eyeballing it but this yarn is so beautiful that I want to use it all.

NOAA says it's 85 degrees with 67% humidity with storms headed this way tonight.  There is not a breath of air outside.  I think I am ready for summer to be over.......

We are planning to go to brunch at Smithville Inn this Sunday.  They do one of the nicest  brunches around.  They are in the middle of a "village" of shops.  I like to get some scented soaps for Christmas stockings and they have a coffee/tea shop that is filled with imaginative food stuffs.  I also never miss a chance to walk through the Christmas store.  It's a lovely way to spend a Sunday.  

How do you end summer?  Kids going back to school (I admit I miss the smell of new notebooks)?  Vacations?  As much as I enjoy the relative ease of summer's lighter schedules, I look forward to the days shortening and wearing sweaters and cooking (I cook as little as possible in the heat).

Thursday, August 4, 2016

It's been six months since my last post.  I wish I could say it was because Life was so boring there was nothing to write about but that is not the case.  2016 has been an interesting year.  So, let's explore what's been going on in my neck of the woods.

In January, we attended the memorial for Peter Kevin's sister.  It was lovely, as these things often are.  Her daughter (who looks so much like her mother, it was eerie) gave a wonderful and loving eulogy and the minister kept calling my brother in law Ronald, "Roland".  We thought there was another man involved somewhere.....

In February, I learned to make Danish. These are just out of the oven before they were glazed.  Oh my goodness they are good.  The pastry is buttery and not sweet and the fillings (which came out of a can) were so tasty. Peter Kevin liked them more than the ones we get at the bakery.

In Feb, I was Employee of the Month and Peter Kevin turned 58 (so he can stop calling me the older woman).

I finished the Moria mittens.  They came out just perfect.  I had to alter the pattern a bit since it has a pointy top and Pk doesn't like that.  He likes them and since he lost his gloves somewhere, they came in handy.

In March, I learned to make yogurt and it was good.  Then I caught a noro virus and the last thing I ate before I was sick was yogurt so I am (still) not able to eat it. I also learned to make poviticia.
It's a bread from the Ukraine area of the world.  The filling is chocolate and chopped walnuts.  It was delicious.  And surprisingly fun to make.
And I almost forgot!  We paid off our mortgage in March.  THAT was so very cool.  

Easter came and went and we got snow again on April 9.  Huge flakes fell and covered the new, green growth on the rose bushes

I did a bunch of baby knitting for our anticipated grandchild and then in June, our granddaughter was stillborn (after an uneventful full term pregnancy).  Our entire world collapsed around us and we wandered around like zombies for a long while.  Kate and Patrick are picking up the pieces of their lives are moving forward.  This tiny person left a huge hole in our family.

Pk had a car accident and we had to buy a new car.  So we had 2 months of having a bit of extra money and now we have a car payment.  
I made jam and pickles and as we come to the last part of summer, we were planning to can some tomatos but we have not harvested a single fruit.  The weather has been weird.  Very hot or very rainy.  This week we are having some perfect summer weather-sunny, warm and low humidity.  It's so nice for a change.

Last week we traveled to Indiana to see Pk's brother and his family.  It's been such a long time since we saw them.  He is sick and may not have a lot of time left.  Three of Peter Kevin's sisters came with us and it was a nice reunion for them all.

Our life goes on and we are all well.  Peter Kevin likes his job and is settled there.  I am still in the same job and am content with that.  We are so fortunate in a lot of ways.  Life can be full of awful but it is also full of good and mostly they seem to balance out.  

Tomorrow my "baby" turns 27.  Kathryn Margaret is such a wonderful young woman.  She is hard working and loyal and smart and funny and just a joy to know.  She is endlessly creative and has just opened an Etsy store to sell hand painted nail art.  The young woman who didn't want makeup or nail polish when she was a teenager now has a shelf full of nail colors.  

As for this blog?  I have taken the last 6 months to decide that I do want to keep it going.  I think I missed it.  I want to get back in the habit of taking photos to share (when we were at MDSW, I took 2 pictures all day) and noticing things around me to write about.

So, what have you been up to?  

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

So, as I'm sure as you all know by now, we got a bit of winter precipitation last weekend.  We got about 18 inches.  It was enough to make it fun to sit by the window and watch it fall.  We were not the only ones who wanted to stay inside.  These are the footprints of all the birds looking for shelter from the blizzard.  We have a bird feeder and Peter Kevin has been enjoying watching the power struggle as the little brown birds push the much larger birds out of the way.  
Our stars were mostly buried and you can just see the lights from our snowmen there.  Yes, our Christmas lights are still up.  The weather was too wet to put the ladder up under the window to take them down.

And then Pete's sister died.  She has been fighting cancer for over 20 years and suffered two strokes late last year.  Her poor body just had no fight left in it.  Her memorial is this Friday.  She was what my grandmother would have called a "gutsy broad".  She was funny and smart and one of the most giving people I had ever met.  If you needed it and she had it, it was yours.  No questions asked.  

So, our lights will come down eventually.  I was not sorry because I got to see them covered wth snow and that was beautiful.

I spent the snow weekend watching soccer games and movies and knitting myself a new pair of mittens.  
  It's the Hansa Mittens pattern.  I have a pair in pink and brown but I wanted to see what a variegated yarn would look like and I love it.  

I'm also continuring to work on Pk's Gates of Moria mittens.  One is almost finished.  I love the sparkly blue yarn and the way it just gives the mitttens a bit of a mithril look to them.  I am trying to finish them this winter but I've been a bit slow.
I saw the eye surgeon two weeks ago for the last time and he told me the reason my vision in the left eye is so blurry is that there is a cataract there from the surgery.  My optometrist told me he can get me  better vision but not all at once.  Right now, the vision in that eye is 20/200.  Yea.  Bad.  He can eventually get me back to about 20/50 which is much better but it will take two steps.  Otherwise my eyes won't work together.  These are my new frames.  It's so hard to pick them out when you can't see!  These have torquoise arms and bits of glitter in the front piece.  They are a huge change and I can't wait for them to be ready.
I take terrible selfies.

And one more snow photo.  This was Saturday afternoon during a lull.  I stuck my head out the front door and you can see how the snow is so smooth and gorgeous.  You can't even see where the street is supposed to be.  They hadn't plowed at all at this point.

So, life here has been its usual round of ups and downs.  An interesting thing has happened at work.  Two different individuals have let us know that they recorded their sessions with the doctor (and me).  We were surprised.  This hasn't come up before and we're not sure how to handle it.  On the one hand, nothing that is said is secret or improper.  But it scares me just a bit because digital recordings are so very easy to manipulate and how would we prove that we did not say something?  In PA, it's illegal to record a conversation without the permission of all parties.  We are going to have to come up with a plan because I have a feeling that this is only the beginning.  (One of the individuals has threatened to use the recording to make trouble for us).

I'm not sure how I feel about this.  What do you think?

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Happy New Year!! I think my pre holiday post was prescient.  I actually had time to post but didn't have energy or the will to do much more than stare off into space and watch old videos.  Yes, we had the Holiday Plague here.  Pk started it in early December and managed to spread it to me and Elanor just in time for Christmas.

It wasn't helped by the fact that it was 75 F on Christmas Eve.  We went outside around 9 pm to see Santa ride by and we were in t shirts and quite comfortable outside.  Quite a shock to our systems since we are usually bundled in all the sweaters.

So, most of our holidays were spent in pajamas.  I knit a small bit but not enough energy led to many days of just sitting and sleeping.
There were amazing handmade presents.
Peter Kevin made this ball winder for me.  What's that you say?  It doesn't look like a ball winder?  Well, it's one of those wooden ones that makes large cakes of yarn.  It's in pieces because one of the gears broke in the process of putting it together so it's being re cut.  The large gear has spokes that are sheep.   It's very cool.
There were tiny little computers called Raspberry Pi.  That's the motherboard.  The sad thing is that it's more powerful than my laptop.......
There was some knittting.  I made a pair of socks for me out of some extraordinary self striping yarn.  
There was Barm Brak an Irish raisin bread that was delicious
I washed some yarn and hung it to dry.  The one in the middle is called Exploding Tardis and it is knitting up like this in some mitts for me
It's very "organic" looking but I love the bits of orange and the sparkly bits that show up.
There was a "skull cap" for Jim.  He enjoyed the pun and my very rough skull.
And penguinski s alive and well.  Em left this for us to find on Christmas morning.  I guess it's a fair payback for the blow up penguin we left in her bathtub.

We had a quiet New Year's and were asleep before 12.  We're back to work and moving back into our routines.  Christmas will be put away this weekend.  I will enjoy the space when the tree comes down, I miss the colorful lights.

How were your holidays?  Were they festive?  Any resolutions? (Or as one of my clients says, "revolutions")?  I am going to be kinder to myself and try to take better care of myself.  Nothing too strict.

So, have a happy and healthy 2016!  

Monday, December 21, 2015

Non Sequitur

I guess that kind of says it all, doesn't it? 

I have work Mon, Tues and Wed this week and then I'm off until the 4th.  I look forward to this longish vacation all year.  There will be pajama days and some outings (I'd really like to go see Star Wars) and eating and relaxing and recharging of batteries. 

This will be a fairly busy week for me (and I know for most of y'all too).  I just wanted to take a moment before the holiday to wish everyone a Merry Christmas, Happy Channukah, Joyous Kwanzaa, Peaceful Solstice and just generally, Have a nice day.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Discombobulate: verb  To confuse or disconcert, upset, frustrate.
Discombobulated:  adv.  (see above)

Today I am feeling discombobulated.  No real reason.  I had a good night's sleep with no waking up at 2 and not falling back to sleep.  I think part of it is feeling so helpless.  Peter Kevin is one of 7 siblings.   He has 5 sisters and a brother-all mostly older.

4 of the 7 are fighting some form of cancer (which both of his parents had. genetics is real, yo)  Last night he found out (well, had his suspicions confirmed) that 3 of his siblings are actively fighting for their lives.  He is so sad and feeling so helpless that it makes me feel helpless because I cannot help him.  All I can do is be there.  And I am a Helper gosh darnit.  I can't stand to not help.  This reality has been in the background for a long time but now it's pushing its way forward and forcing us to confront our (and everyone else's) mortality.  

This is not conducive to a house filled with Christmas spirit.  But we try.

So, what have I been up to?  (I can hear you asking)  I'll show you.

Starting with work.
This was the pile of charts I needed last Monday.  Just for Monday.  That represents a morning clinic and an afternoon clinic following right on its heels.  And yes, it's a lot of charts.  In about a month, we will be 90% electronic records so I will not have to schlep these heavy suckers around.

There was a 27 pound turkey that cooked up beautifully.  Looks like it could be a magazine spread.  The most important part was that it tasted good.  Since we went out on Turkey Day, we cooked our
bird the Saturday after.  We have 2 ready to pop into the oven meals consisting of stuffing and turkey in the freezer waiting for a hectic holiday night.

There was Exploding Tardis yarn.  It is a soft and squooshy as it looks and it sparkles.  All it needs is a bath and it will become a scarf fo me or a pair of mitts.  It was a birthday gift from Peter Kevin.  It was so much fun to spin!  And so well prepared.  I got it from the Classy Squid on Etsy.

We have mincemeat pie and Christmas lights (Pk wants one of those laser light projectors.  So far, I have managed to hold out but he's being pretty persuasive)
I have finished my Christmas socks for Pk and the girls.  My sons in law do not wear socks if they can help it.  I am working on some hats for them.  But they have to be special because these young men are special.

There are lots of things going on that make these days happy but there is one extra special thing happening.

PK AND I ARE GOING TO BE GRANDPARENTS!!  Katie is having a baby in June.  We couldn't be happier.  Our little family is growing by leaps and bounds.  (Can you tell we're pleased?)

I am going to try to keep this up in a more timely manner but who knows what the next two weeks will bring.  
Hang in there!  Christmas will be here before you know it.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Image result for fall clipartThank you all for the birthday wishes.  And thank you for saying I "don't look 58".  I hear that all the time.  I think when you see "older" folks on television, they always look much older than they are supposed to be.  Peter Kevin and I have been married for 34 years.  When people on tv celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary, they always look old.  I know we were young when we married (We were 23-which seems so very young to me now).  My usual response is, "Well, this is what 58 looks like!"

The best laid plans.....

We had planned to have a joint birthday party on Saturday for Jim (who turned 30 at the end of October) and me.  I bought candles that added both of our ages together so, 88 and a large ice cream cake.  I had all the fixings to make lasagna and quiche (for my vegetarian friend).  We were going to have dinner and play games.

Until I woke up Saturday morning with intense Intestinal Distress.  I thought it was something I ate and would be fine once it was all out of my system.  Wrong.  It must have been a virus because between time spent running to the bathroom, I slept.  All Day.  I called and canceled the dinner and my friend told me she had been sick all morning as well.  By the end of the day, I could tolerate a smoothie and then yesterday I just took it easy and ate lightly.  Today, I feel fine.

Image result for fall clipartPeter Kevin spent most of the weekend at Kate's new house.  She and Patrick made settlement on Wednesday and are now homeowners.  They have 3 weeks until they have to be out of their apartment so they are painting and putting in a new stove and other things that are easier done while the house is empty.

It's hard to believe that we are thinking and planning for the holidays already.  Thanksgiving is 3 weeks away.  I think we are going to Jim's sister's house for the meal and then we will have our own meal on Saturday or Sunday.  That way we get to enjoy the things that make the holiday special for us and still be sociable and enjoy our family-which is the point of the holiday after all.

I am well on my way to having the few things I will hand knit for Christmas done.  I am not one of those folks who works well with a deadline.  I am a slow knitter but I'm ok with that.  I don't plan to make sweaters for everyone.  I make socks, mitts, hats and the like.  Pk will get a new pair of what he calls Fire socks.  He thinks they are lucky so I try to make sure he always has a pair in case he feels he needs a bit of luck.
Image result for fall clipartThis time of year can be stressful at work.  People are running around trying to find that perfect Hallmark holiday somewhere.  No matter how many times we talk about making our holidays our own and that they are perfect however they happen, it doesn't change.  We are so brainwashed that everyone has to be happy and smiling and that all the things have to look just so.  I share the holiday stories that I have where things have been less than perfect and how that makes them the most memorable ones.  I don't think my clients believe me.

Our holidays have been good ones mostly because we spend them together.  There have been years when there has been a bit of extra money so things were easier and years when money was rather tight.  Those times call for a bit of extra creativity but they were always fun anyway.  This year, Christmas falls on a payday.  We are planning to get up early on the 24th and hit the grocery store and then have a leisurely rest of the day.  It will all work out somehow.  It always does.

And here I am at my desk on a Monday morning.  It's a bit chilly in here.  On Friday, the early morning temp was 70F (21C).  I didn't need a jacket.  Today, I was regretting now wearing my mittens.  It was 39F (3C).  What a change!  As much as I enjoyed the warm days, I hope it stays cool.  It feels more like Fall when it's cold.

Have a good week, everyone. 


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