Thursday, March 19, 2015

One of the prizes I get for getting up in the dark and heading for work while it's still dark, is that I get to see things like this
as I make my way into work.  The moon is just a sliver there in the distance but you can see the gorgeous clear Maxfield Parish blue sky and the sun just waiting for her cue to enter the scene.  It almost makes up for all that darkness.

I finished a sweater for the baby-to-be of one of my interns.  I really like this pattern.  The leaf design is knitted on at the same time as the front is being knit so there is no edging.  Just a simple button band since the button holes are also knit as part of the patterned edge.  This is called Cascade and I made it out of Knitpicks palette in Hollyberry.  It's such a pretty red, not at all what I would usually choose for a baby but I think babies must get tired of pastels.

Speaking of tired, I found out that my thyroid levels are very out of whack and that might explain why I continue to gain weight without eating much food and why I am so tired all the time and why, even though I am still having the ubiquitious power surges, I am cold (especially my hands and feet) all the time. I've done the ultrasound thing with negative results so now it's just playing with my meds to find a good dosage.

Tomorrow is Spring here in NJ and we are going to celebrate it by enjoying a 3 inch snowfall (and 26F temps today).  It was a balmy 65F on Tuesday!  People pulled out shorts and flip flops-a bit premature if you ask me-and tomorrow we will once again be in winter boots.

We're hoping to pick up our car tomorrow (after a rather expensive clutch job) and then take Em's Jeep back to her.  This will be a busy weekend with the usual chores and Pk has a weeklong training that starts on Sunday.  Sunday!  Who does that? Evidently, his employer.  I'll spend the day putzing around. I'll have to try to give him a chance to do that on Saturday so he gets some downtime.

Otherwise, things are just moving along.  My office mate just came in and the first words out of his mouth were a complaint.  Time to put my "ignore the annoying person" skills to use.

Have a happy Thursday!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Good morning!  Although if you don't look at the clock, you might be deceived into thinking it's actually still evening since it's so dark in the morning.  It's rather disorienting to walk out of the house and have it be night time at 6:30 in the morning.  DST kicks my butt every year for about a week.  Then my brain comes to terms with the level of light and all is well again.

And it was 45 degrees (7.2C) this morning.  Slightly diifferent from the 7F we had just one week ago.  I think it will be a balmy 65F (18C) this afternoon.  It's nice not to have to wrap up in wool from head to toe to leave the house.
Kate heard me when I said I needed some color and when we got home from grocery shopping, there were some lovely tulips waiting for me.  They add a bit of hope that Spring will come soon.
Here's a pile of some of my latest hand spun.  I am thinking that if I mix  the greys with some of those colorful yarns, I could have some interesting colorwork pieces.  I have enough to make a chula style hat or some mittens for next year.  These are all waiting for a bath.  It should be dry enough this weekend to throw them all in some wash and then whack them a bit and hang them to dry.

People make a big deal out of the power surges and irritability of menopause and while I'll admit that both of those are a pita,  I think hands down, my least favorite part (not counting the periods that ambush you out of no where) is the random insomnia.  I couldn't sleep for 2 nights.  I slept well last night but today I could put my head down on the desk and sleep for an hour.  This is frowned upon here as ou can imagine. It will be a struggle to stay awake today.

Sorry for the shortness of the post but suddenly it's gotten busy and I have to go do my job.  Happy Hump Day all!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

It's only 15 days untii Spring.  Someone should wake Mother Nature and tell her.  It will be DST this weekend and we'll still have several inches of snow on the ground.  I don't remember this happening  before.
Peter Kevin and I planned to stay home this morning but we got up and it was only raining (It was 35 degrees).  We went to work.  By the time I got off the train, it was snowing.  Big, fat, wet flakes.

I watched it come down and was glad I was at work.  Our temps will fall into the below freezing (as in single digit F) overnight and all of this will freeze hard.  That will make it harder to get to work tomorrow.  I transferred my requested day off from today to tomorrow.  Now, I can sleep in and ignore the snow and ice in the morning.  It's snowing hard now, close to an inch an hour.  It's beautiful but what a mess.
This is Philadelphia as I was leaving at noon.  Locust St never looked so beautiful! 

This was Monday morning as we left the house.  Just gorgeous.  You can see that we still had snow on the ground then.  But the sunrise was spectacular.  

Life here has not been exciting.  Pk is working at his new job.  He mostly likes it.  There are some bits that drive him crazy.  But I think we can all say that about our jobs.  My workplace has decided that I had too many "occurrences" in the past year and I have been given a verbal coaching.  I can't call out until sometime in September when my occurrences fall away.  So, let's hope for a healthy spring and summer!  If I called out sick, it's because I WAS SICK.  I don't play around with that.  And I don't bring germs into the workplace.  Or rather, I didn't because I will be dragging my sick ass into work regardless of how I feel for the next 6 months or so. And if I spread germs, so be it.  

This yarn is as bright in person as it is in this photo.  It is a merino/silk/cashmere blend and it feels just gorgeous to touch.  It will be fun to work with after this
This is the first one of Pk's Architect of Rivendell socks.  They are not complicated (despite having 3 charts and having a unique gusset design) and they are so cool looking.  But they are very grey.  Unrelenting grey.  Our winter world has faded down to grey and white and black.  The only color out the front window is the Stop Sign on the corner.  The red yarn (Andy Warhol's Stamped Lips was the inspiration) is such a welcome departure.  I've even been spinning grey.  Peter Kevin took apart my spinning wheel and cleaned and oiled it.  She looks brand new and all spiffy but now needs to settle down and get readjusted to my favorite settings.  I'm saving my 2 oz of bison for when it's all back in order.

So, how is Almost Spring treating you?  Some people have told me they have FLOWERS.  Flowers!  I seem to remember having some flowers in March.  But not this year....

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The Delware River at 7 am.  You can see the ice cubes and see the paths where the ships have broken through the ice.  It looks so cold.  Today we are starting out at 12F (-11C) and if the sun shines, we'll get up to 30!
I think I am tired of being cold.  We have a month until spring.  I think we're all tired of complaining about the cold but we've only been above freezing once or twice in Feb.  I think that's enough (although I wouldn't be too upset if we had a BIG snowstorm-it wouldn't stick around too long at this point).

This is Peter Kevin and I  out front in the snow last Saturday.  We got about 6 inches of snow and then it sleeted on top of that so it's all been one big ice rink.

My leg is doing better.  I can feel the cyst and it's sore to the touch but that may continue to improve as time goes on.  When the weather improves, I am going to start walking some every day and then riding my bike (if my knees hold up).  I need to strengthen my body a bit and lose some weight.
This is what we're waiting for!  Tulips and daffodils and crocuses-color!  The snow has a beauty of its own but it's stark.  My eyes are hungering for color.

Maybe it's leftover stimulation from vsiting the art museum a few weeks ago with Kylie.  I love modern art and they have a good collection.  Pete loves the impressionists so we saw both.  All those colors, soft and bold and gorgeous.  Made this white/grey landscape seem dreary.  The most colorful thing in our neighborhood is the Stop sign.  We have left up our snowman lights with the color changing stars behind them.  Who says lights are only for Christmas?

Look how the little snowmen are sitting on the snow.  Just like they belong.

I am anxiously waiting for the rose bushes to come back but until then, the stars will have to do.

Sunday, February 15, 2015


This is an experiment.  I figured out (with some help from my IT man) that the reason I can't retrieve any photos taken after Sept 12 is that they are all saved in the cloud and I don't have that software on my laptop or my work desktop.  I remembered that I had this app on the ipad and now that I have a keyyboard, it might be more feasible to post from the ipad.  We'll see how it goes.  I have a memory of this being a tedius process.

This is the view out my front door this morning.  That's as far as I want to go since it's 9F (-13C) out there with wind chills far below that.  It's viciously cold and windy.  Needless to say, we are not venturing far today.  

Last night we tried an experiment.  These are papusas.  It's a cornmeal dough wrapped around cheese and lightly fried.  There is a Puppuseria-an El Salvadoran restaurant- nearby and we stopped once and tried them.  They are delicious and as it turns out, very simple to make.  Served with soup, it was like small grilled cheese sandwiches.  And easy enough to make anytime

This is what I have been working on for what it seems like forever.  It's a skein of Icelandic wool.  It's a simple 2 ply and I like it a lot but it's not the easiest fiber to spin. I have a skein of gotland that is a shade darker that I think I will use for a chulo hat for Peter Kevin since he lost his.  Icelandic wool is very warm yet very light and sturdy.

My oatmeal is getting cold so I am going to attempt to post and see what happens.  Happy President's Day!  Enjoy your long weekend-unless like me you have to go to work tomorrow.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Today is the Handle with Care trainer training.  I am going to have to curtail some of my activities due to the pain in my knee.  I spoke to the supervisor of training and she approved it, so all should be well.

Handle with Care is the aggressive patient management program that we use here at Hall Mercer and across the street in the hospital.  Of course, over there, the security guards are more interested in removing people who are having a rough time and we are more interested in de-escalating them and keeping them here.  It causes for some interesting discussions during the training.

I will be doing trainings for my building again this year but I am trying to make this the last year I do full on trainings.  I can do a modified training in which I do not do the full take down (I can't go down on my knees on the hardwood floors).  Very fortunately, I have an absolutely wonderful partner who is big and strong and can do the take downs. Today's training will take all day (8-4) and by the end, I am exhausted.  It's a lot of being up close and personal with people I do not know well.  You either get used to it pretty quick or you spend the entire day feeling very uncomfortable.  I have taken my prophylactic advil and am getting ready to go downstairs.

It is cold today.  Just 18 degrees (-7.7C) and breezy.  I can't seem to get my toes warm.  I have a mug full of scalding tea instead of coffee.  It was hard to crawl out of the warm bed today and then to go out the front door.  It takes a bit of fortitude.

It's lunch break now and we are finished all of the training except for the Primary Restraint Technique.  It's been all holds and blocks and how to protect ourselves this morning.  After lunch, we will get into the restraint part in more depth.

My muscles and joints are always sore when we do this but I realized today that I enjoy taking this training.  It's a day away from my desk, hanging around with the security crew and becoming uncomfortably close.  I like the guys (and they are all guys except for 3 other women who are nurses in the ER) that attend.  They care about the patients and making sure they don't get hurt.

We have to grocery shop after work today because Pk and I are headed to the Art Museum tomorrow and then dinner with Kylie.  I can't wait to get to the museum again.  It's been a long time.  Other than that,  we have a quiet weekend.  The weekends fly by so fast that I hate to overschedule them.  I like to make sure we have some time to pursue our hobbies and to just spend some time together.  And of course, there are always soccer games.

Have a peaceful weekend.

Monday, February 2, 2015

My goal is to be a better blogger in Feb and then henceforth.  January was a topsy turvy month for us all around.  Here it is in bullet point

~My slim camera stopped working.  I don't use it much since the iphone has a good camera.  I think it needs a new battery.

~My iphone has decided to keep all the photos to itself and will not allow me to upload them to the computer.  It's probably something in the settings.  I just haven't been able to figure it out.  Yet.  I will not be defeated by the technology.

~One Thursday night about 2 weeks ago, my right calf swelled up like a sausage and became impossible to walk on.  Being afraid of a blood clot or a DVT, Pk took me to the ER.  An ultrasound showed no clot (phew!).  After a visit to the orthopedist and an mri (a horrible experience), the suspicion is that I had a Baker's cyst which managed to burst.  This flooded my calf with fluid bringing out the most gorgeous bruises and extreme pain.  I have to go back to the orthopedist and we need a plan to deal with my knee/calf so this doesn't happen again.  It's probably due to the arthritis in my knees.

~Snowpocalypse!  or The Snow Storm that Wasn't.  We ran around preparing for the Blizzard to End All Blizzards only to have it move out to sea and make landfall further north.  We got about 3 inches of snow, hardly enough to shovel.

~Pk had a job interview for a job with the same health system I work for but in the IT dept.  He is really interested in the job and is hoping for a second interview this week.

~Kylie has been in town (aka dr. k) and we have enjoyed her company.  I'm looking forward to a trip to the Museum of Art this weekend.

~We have adjusted to the new work schedule.  It's been just over a month since Pk went back to work and it's taken some doing but we are making it work.  We'd like to get an old beater truck so he can use it for hauling wood and things around but his salary at this job will make that unlikely.  This is another reason for the job interviews. (He found out they cut his salary by 8,000 to split between some folks who got increased responsibilities.  They also do not get raises, not even cola.  This makes putting money aside a tad difficult)

~Work has been going well.  It's busy this time of year and the inclement weather adds a frisson of excitement to our days.  I got a good evaluation last week.  Doesn't mean much-we don't do merit increases.  I have Handle with Care training this Friday.  It may be my last Train the Trainer training.  After 10+ years, I think it's time to hand it off to someone else.  My knees will not stand up to doing the take down.  I like teaching the principles and if I am able, will keep doing that but some of the physical parts are getting to be a bit much.

I guess that catches us up for the month of January.  Hard to believe that it's already over and we're that much closer to Spring.  It's Groundhog Day and I'd bet that Punxatawney Phil will not see his shadow (being as how it's raining and there is no sunshine). 

We're just going to try to stay dry and get through this rather yucky day.  Have a happy Monday y'all!


About Me

It's better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.
~chinese proverb