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. 

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Good morning!  This is what a newly turned 58 year old woman looks like.  Yes, today is my birthday and I am 58.
This seems very weird to me because 58 sounds so old and I don't feel old.  

The very odd thing today is that I have been thinking of my mom.  We didn't have much of a relationship when she died (really none at all), mostly because she pushed me away.  But I let her.  I stayed away when maybe I should have pushed back.  She was very ill the last few years of her life and not a very pleasant person but still.  I find myself thinking about her and her life.  58 years ago, she was an unmarried woman having her first child.  I think she wanted to give me up but my grandmother insisted she keep "this child who is part of us".  My grandmother died when I was in college.  I have often wished she had been alive to see my children.  She would have adored them and they her.

I am not usually a menalcholy person and I am sure this wll pass.  I haven't spent time thinking about my mom in years.  I wonder if she was happy in her life.  She seemed to be but things aren't always what they seem.  I thiink she was often discontented.  My sister reminds me of her quite a lot in that way.  She never seems to have "enough" of anything.  It's sad really.

I am very content with my life.  I'd like it if we had more money (who wouldn't?) but I am so lucky.  I have a job that is fulfilling on a personal level and a loving family and a roof over my head and hobbies that are engaging and ceative.

The tree outside our bedoom window is so beautiful.   When the sun hits it, our room glows reddish orange and it's warm and lovely.                      
We haven't had a major storm as of yet so the leaves are still clinging to the trees.  I love this time of year.

I'm at work for half the day and then I'm going to take advantage of the 75 degree sunshine (so unusual for November) and sit outside.  I don't know if I'll spin or knit or just laze about.  

Wherever you are, enjoy your Wednesday.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

There are many ways to tell that Autumn has arrived but my favorite is when the trees start to change.  I love this tree.  It's in one of my neighbors' yards but it's my barometer for how far advanced Autumn is at any one point.  It's iinteresting to me that each tree has its own schedule for putting on it's colorful coat.  This tree is a Maple (I believe) but so is the one in front of my house and my Maple still looks like this.
Just the edges are turning colors.  It's a bit strange this year because it usually turns only yellow but we are seeing some orange in there this morning.  It's beautiful.

The summer clothes are packed away and the winter woolies are now clean and hanging in the closets and folded in the drawers.  For the next month or so, the closets will look neat.  Then life takes over and we are less careful putting things away.
My pink rose bush is putting on one last show. It has been blooming all week with such beautiful and fragrant blossoms.  It's unexpected especially since we had to scrape frost off the windshield one morning last week.  These are hardy bushes.

I usually have at least one pair of socks going .  They are,after all, a highly portable project and can usually be worked on while talking or at lunchtime at work.  At this moment, I have 4 pairs otn.  This is in part because when I get my hands on a new skein of fingering weight yarn, I feel a desire (almost a need) to work with it.  And when I got in an order of Stroll sock yarn from knitpicks which included a few skeins of their neon sock yarn,  I wanted to start several more pairs.  

Pk has a pair of neon green socks which are one of his favorite pairs.  I got three other neon colors (red, purple and blue) and the blue is now becoming a pair of fibonaci striped socks.  I am only using 1,1,2,3,5,and 8 and then 8,5,3,2,1,1.
It makes for a vaguely random lookng stripe and makes the sock seemingly go quicker.  At this time, these are for me but with the holidays coming, these may go into the gift pile.  The last pair I made ostensibly for me, went to Kate for her birthday because they seemed to be for Kate.  I have enough yarn to make a second pair so maybe these will go into the gift pile and I'll make me a pair in January.    

(photo from kntpicks)
One of Pk's other favorites are his Fire socks.  That's what he calls them because they are yellows and reds.  He wears them to job interviews since he thinks they are lucky.  Well, they are wearing out so I went looking for a new yarn to make Fire socks 2.  I think this will work.  It's wool and nylon and feels a bit tougher than some other sock yarns.  Once I finish one of the other 4, I'll start them.  Unless I can't wait and start them later today.  The will is weak.....

Another sure fire sign of fall is the Flu shot (gotten 2 weeks ago at the insistence of my employer) and the arrival of pumpkin flavored everything.  One of the local self storage companies has  capitalized on this trend by saying on their sign "We have pumpkin spice storage units!".  

I am taking part in a research project.  It's being administered by a man in California.  It's about happiness.  You go to www.trackmyhappiness.org and sign up.  The app is free and several times during the course of your day, they send you a queery.  "How are you feeling?".  Right at that moment (or as close s you can safely make it), you answer a few questions about what you are doing and how you feel about it.  Once a week they do a roundup of all your answers and extrapolate when you are happiest during your day.  At the end, the data will be published but you get your own results on an ongoing basis.  It's been interesting so far.  I learned (after one week) that I am generally happy even when I am at work.  Who knew?  Check it out.  It's free and you can learn something about yourself.   And that's usually a good thing, right?

We're watching the Manchester Derby (or Darby as the announcer keeps callling it).  Pk is in a quandry because his team is Arsenal and in order for them to stay at no. 1 on the chart, Manchester United has to win.  He dislikes (strongly strongly dislikes) them as a team but has to root for them so his team can stay on top.  We have never watched sports together (not a sports family) but we do enjoy watching soccer games on the weekends.  

I have nothing I have to do today and it's a nice feeling.  We haven't had fried chicken for a while so I'm thinking I may fry some for dinner.  There may be a game in our afternoon plans or maybe we'll look for some sci fi movies from the 50's.  Yesterday we watched the original Invasion of the Body Snatchers.  It was great.  They are so different than our more modern movies.  
I'll leave you with this profound thought from the wall of my favorite chocolate store.  Eat chocolate.  It's good for ou!

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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