Saturday, July 31, 2010

It's been a quiet week here.  After fighting the heat, no one has energy to do much so we get home from work and eat something quickly prepared and then read or watch movies and go to bed.  Lazy slugs.  Nothing exciting here.

So, I'll share some photos of Lulu at work with me on Wednesday.  First up is Ed, our security guard.  He good naturedly put up with Lulu nibbling on his ear and tellling him how much she loves a man in uniform.  Ed is one of the very nicest people I know.  He mans our front desk and patrols the building.

Since I work in a community mental health center, we have to be careful with photos.  We take patient confidentiality very seriously.  (We have to.  The fines can be up to 50,000 dollars for each person whose information is compromised.)

I took Lulu over to the main hospital.  I work for Pennsylvania Hospital (part of the University of Pennsyvania Health System).  It's the nation's first hospital and dates back to 1751.  It's located in what's the oldest parts of Philadelphia.  There are hitching posts shaped like horses out front of some of the buildings and Lulu loved this one.

This is our Welcome desk.  It's the first place visitors to the hospital come and it's staffed by the nicest people.  This woman didn't blink when I walked up to her with a puppet on my hand and then was charmed by Lulu and agreed to pose for a photo. 

One of the hospital's prized possesions is this painting by Benjamin West called Christ Healing the Sick.  It's enormous.  Lulu and I are included for scale.  This painting is in the oldest part of the hospital and people walk by it all day every day and lots never notice it.  It's really quite amazing.  The hospital's motto is taken from the Good Samaritan story, "take care of him and I will take care of thee" and that is what we base our care on.  I like being part of that kind of traditon.

We spent the rest of the day roaming around the Hall Mercer building.  Lots of my coworkers were willing to pose for photos but many wanted reassurances that I wouldn't post them anywhere.  "I'm not going to end up on Facebook, am I?" was heard frequently.

Friday, Pk and I took the day off and went to Atlantic City to walk the boardwalk.  Lulu wanted to come.  She was intrigued by the idea that this is where the 'beauty queens' came from. Even though we told her that the Miss America Pageant is no longer held in Atlantic City, she was adamant that he could be a beauty queen if she wanted to.  And so she was.  You can't read the words on her sash, but it says "Miss Rack o'Lamb 2010".  She wore that tiara and bikini all day and charmed strangers. 

Like this young man who was a chair pusher (AC has push chairs and you can pay for a ride down the length of the boardwalk).  He not only let me take his photo with Lulu, he had me take one with his camera and then took a photo of Pk and I.

Leave it to Lulu to find the handsome ones.

After that, we walked in the sunshine.  I wasn't sure which was stranger, me walking down the boardwalk with a puppet on my hand or the fact that no one seemed to think it was odd.

We had a lovely day and then came home so Pk and Kate and Patrick could prepare for their overnight backpacking trip today.  I dropped them off at the ranger's station this morning and will pick them up tomorrow. 

As for me, I have laundry to finish and shopping to do.  And some napping and sitting and dreaming.   'Cause that's my favorite way to spend weekends.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Grace in Small Things

-air conditioners
-sleeping late
-knitting days (days where you only do what you love)
-thunderstorms (not sure if it qualifies as a small thing, though)
-husbands who go out for donuts

Yesterday was the hottest day I can remember for the past few years.  I know there are places in the world that regularly have 100+ degree days but we are not supposed to be one of them.  I was grateful that I could hibernate.

Today we're expecting thunderstorms that may clear out some of this backed up heat.  We are looking forward to them.

I started a new pair of socks for Pk this week.  It's the Lighthouse Gansey socks from Ann Hanson in knitty.  I like the design and had printed the pattern out a while ago and was just waiting for the right yarn to come along.  Well, the July yarn from artwalk came and it's a lovely brown/yellowy beige color and is making some really nice socks.  He was surprised when I showed him the socks.  "I get another pair?" but he liked them. 

Here is what happens to some of his wood stash.  He cleans the bark off the hunks of tree and then slices them down into slabs.  Rough boards.  This is a pile of walnut and pear wood boards.  There are several large tree pieces still in the driveway but he is slowly whittling it down (hehe pun intended). 

The ends get painted to keep them from drying out and splitting.  It's a lot of work but he seems to enjoy it.

He's on his way to the bakery to get some donuts for breakfast and I'm going to make some eggs and then put something into the crock pot for dinner.   As delicious as the shrimp salad sandwiches were last night, I crave a real meal with real home cooked food.  If I put something into the crockpot and then make some rice this morning while it's not too hot, I can microwave the rice to heat it up (or make a cold rice salad) later and then slice some tomatoes and we can have real food without a lot of time in the hot kitchen.

We opted not to go to the park last night.  Normally the temp goes down at the end of the day but it didn't seem to be letting up any so we decided not to go out.  Today will be another slow day.  Pk will slice up some more wood for a while and then we'll wait for the rain that is supposed to bring us some relief. 

Even Lulu has been quiet.  I told her she could come to work with me tomorrow and that pleased her for some reason.  She's pondering what to wear and is talking about a bikini for the beach on Friday.  Sigh.  It's as bad as having a teenaged girl.

Keep cool, y'all.

Friday, July 23, 2010

So, it's hot here.  Again.  Still.  And I am tired of thinking about it.  I'm tired of hearing people complain about it.  I KNOW it's hot.  It's JULY.  It's hot in July around here. (although it's usually not this hot for this number of days in a row).  We've had over 30 days of over 90 degree heat and summer is only half over.  Usually, we get maybe 15 of these days for the entire season.

So, yeah.  It's hot.  I think I would like to pay attention to something else for a while. 

Knitting?  Yes, knitting continues to go on.  I finished the pink/burgundy/grey striped socks.  They matched all the way up to the toes.  I must have been knitting the second sock tighter at the toe.  They're only off at the last half inch of toe decrease so it's not bad.  I started another gift for the holidays.  I'm trying to be organized about this.  I am not a fast knitter so I figure if I start now, I can whip up lovely knitted gifts and not go crazy in the fall/winter.  It's too hot to pick up Pk's alpaca sweater so that will have to wait for a bit.

I love Netflix.  Yes love.  I enjoy their dvd service but the Instant Play feature is genius.  I am suddenly involved in the show Bones.  I love Kathy Reichs' books about a forensic anthropologist and her show is pretty good too.  Although I wouldn't watch it while I was eating.  The bodies seem a bit too realistically grisly for dinner time watching.  Pk watched an entire season of Dexter inside of a week.  Genius, I tell you.

My brother gave me some cans to make Boston Brown Bread  but it's been too hot to bake so I'll wait for a break in the heat.  We are going to the diner for dinner tonight (they make really good burgers and they have a/c) and then having sandwiches at the river tomorrow.  No heavy duty cooking.  We are spending time in the bedroom with the small window unit pumping away and I close my eyes and try not to think of the electric bill.

I didn't go to the gym once this week.  As much as I don't want to focus on the heat, the reality is that it makes me tired and I think I don't drink enough and get dehydration headaches.  We are due for a bit of more normal weather next week so I'll get my rear back onto the elliptical machine.  I don't want to become one of those people who start an exercise program and then crash and burn 6 months later. 

Not much else going on.  We're going to try to take Lulu to Atlantic City next Friday.  I took a half day off from work and we'll go down to the boardwalk and have some dinner and have a photo op with the lovely Lulu.  After that, she goes travelling up to Canada for one more stop before she wends her way home.  We may let her see the inside of the casino but there won't be any photos.  Casino security does not allow photos (ask me how I know that). 

My Kate will be 21 in early August.  How did I get so old?  When did she get so old?  My baby will be 21. It boggles the mind.  She bought herself a bass guitar a little while ago and for her birthday, we are going to try to find someone to teach her to play and give her some lessons as a gift.  (it's ok.  she already knows).  We figured it would be a good birthday gift to help her learn to play her guitar. 

favorite Katie story:

When Em and Kate were small, they shared a room.  One time, Kate lost a tooth (and the tooth fairy forgot!) and was upset when the tooth was still under her pillow the next day.  I felt inspired and said, "Well, I think the tooth fairy was afraid of the fan in the window and that's why she didn't come in.  We'll take the fan out and she'll be able to come in through the window" (never mind that there were two windows in the room and only one had a fan)  The tooth fairy came that night and Kate was relieved. 

And no, I don't feel the slightest bit guilty about lying to my children.  I also told them the car wouldn't start if they didn't have their seatbelts on.  And since I drive a stick shift, I could turn the key without depressing the clutch and it wouldn't start.   They believed me for the longest time and they all wear seatbelts.

Well, that's all we've got.  It's time for dinner and I have to brace myself to leave the nice, cool bedroom.

Have a good weekend!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Today I joined a new website.  Well, a social network.  Does this surprise you?  I mean, I took forever to join ravelry and have yet to join facebook.  I'm not a joiner by nature.

Then I found Grace In Small Things.  The concept fits right into What You Think On Grows.  It's all about noticing the small GOOD things around you and appreciating them.  I have been reading them on for a while and put off joining until today.  Why today?  I have no idea.  For some reason, today felt like a good day to join and to start my own GIST postings.  I make no committment to do it on a regular basis, just when I notice things I want to share/be grateful for/point out to everyone else.

So, here we go,

Grace in small things , #1

- having an mp3 player with a battery life long enough to play all day
- emails from my daughter
- unsweetened iced tea
- summer sunshine
- M & M's (god I love them)

Nothing profound, just little things that make my world a better place to be in.  What small things surround you and make you happy today?

Sunday, July 18, 2010

We have had an eventful weekend and now it's almost over and it's time to  pack up the bags and get things together to get ready for work tomorrow. 

First thing we did this weekend was go to the movies and see The Sorcerer's Apprentice.  It was entertaining and actually quite a fun movie (as long as you're not looking for anything profound or thought provoking).  The special effects were good and the young man who played the apprentice (Jay Baruchel), whom I've never seen before, has absolutely gorgeous eyes. 

After the movie we went to dinner and had an unsatisfying meal at Applebee's.  It wasn't the worst meal ever but most of the food was not tasty.  Our server was personable and tried really hard so we left him a good tip.  It's not his fault the kitchen was having an off night.

Saturday dawned bright and hot (after a thunderstorm  woke me up at 4:15 am) and I decided to block out a small lace stole (called Little Leaves Stole) that I finished.  I used some cashmere blend sock yarn in a lovely green color.  It's probably one of the easiest lace patterns I have ever attempted and it blocked out into a shoulder covering stole or a generous scarf.  It's destined to be a gift so 'nuff said.

I did the lanudry and then we left the house at 5 pm to go and have dinner with some friends.  We've been to this place before and knew it would take about half an hour to get there.  We had to get gas and a bottle of wine so an hour was giving us plenty of time. 

We got the gas and the wine and headed toward the bridge.  We were about a mile from the bridge and traffic stalled.  We figured it was just 'shore traffic' but it was too heavy for that.  Since we weren't moving,
Lulu decided she wanted to drive so Pk allowed her to try.  I reminded her she doesn't have a license to drive in NJ but that didn't seem to faze her at all. We sat in the traffic for an hour before we got close enough to see that the bridge was down to one lane.(the sign announcing that there were delays was about 500 feet in front of the toll booth)  Five lanes of traffic had to merge into one and then move onto one lane on the bridge.  Lulu was not terribly patient with all the waiting and was yelling rude things at the other drivers so she had to sit in the back.

We decided to pull an illegal U Turn and try another bridge.  We didn't have to go too far out of our way and got to the restaurant only an hour and 15 minutes late. 

Dinner was delicious.  It's an all you can eat buffet and men with grilled meat on swords come to your table and cut off slices of meat for everyone at the table.  It's all wonderful.  There are enough vegetables to balance out all the meat and we sat there for two hours eating and drinking and talking.

Lulu fell asleep so we left her in the car.  She wasn't happy about that so we took her to the lake today.  She immediately asked for a blanket (but settled for a bandana) and plopped down onto the sand to sun herself.  Pk asked if she might be more comfortable without the soccer jersey.  "Take off my David's number?  Not on your life!"  She seemed to enjoy herself (and so did we!)  We hadn't planned a trip today but as I was brushing my teeth, I could hear the cicadas making noise and the sun was shining.  I knew the grocery shopping had to get done but summer is so short.

So, we packed up and hit the sand for a few hours.  We came home and I went shopping and discovered that 4 o'clock on Sunday afternoon is a great time to go.  No one else was in the store.  Elanor and I got through the shopping in about an hour.

At this point, we are watching Season 3 of Blackadder and enjoying the last bit of the weekend.  It was a good one.  And way too short.

Aren't they all?

Lulu says "Have a good week everyone!"

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

On Saturday,  my mail carrier came up to the door and presented me with a box.  (Yes, we still get mail on Saturdays here in the US.  I'm not sure how long that will last but for now it's still happening).  I wasn't expecting anything in the mail and didn't recognize the address.

Then it hit me.  I ripped open the box and out popped Lulu.  Yes, she's been hitchhiking and travelling around this part of the world since Roxie smuggled her into the US in her baggage. 

She jumped out of the box and stretched.  "It's so hot in there.  Where am I and when do we eat?".

After some explanations, she was content to lay back on the bed and relax.  "Party tomorrow?  Soccer?  Men in shorts?  I'm so there."

And she was.  You can read about her exploits over on Kate's blog.  She seems to have had a good time.

Things have been quiet.  The weather is hot and very humid with heavy rains and floods last night and this morning.  It's a little hot for a sheep so she's been quiet.  I promised her a trip on the train to Philadelphia if she behaves.  We also told her we'd take her to dinner with us on Saturday night if she promises not to flirt too outrageously with the waiters and our friends.  She reluctantly agreed but I'm not sure.

We had some spectacular clouds this week (before the rains).  Before the humidity got so high that it became hard to breathe, I was sitting outside.  (And btw, the Off fan thingy doesn't work.  I have many bites on my legs.  They're small but extremely itchy.  So, it's a thumbs down for the device).  On Sunday, while my family was watching men in shorts kick a ball around, I was keeping Hobbes company outside and watching the huge billows of clouds float overhead.  They were so big and just so cool looking.  I kept putting down the knitting so I could take some more photos or just watch them float by like balloons in a parade.

Pk finally collected the rest of the wood for his stash.  This is about a third of it.  If you look closely, you can see the letters on the sides.  P=Pear.  W=Walnut.  G=Ginko.  The ends get painted white to keep them from drying out and cracking.  There is an awful lot of wood out front of our house.  He has much more stash than I do.  I'm not much of a stash-er.  I tend to buy what I need for a project and am often giving away the odd skeins to people who need "just a bit of something" or people who want to learn.  I do have a bunch of sock yarn but I always know what that will grow up to be.

I have about 500 yards of the laceweight yarn I used for the evenstar left and I was thinking of the Estonian lace scarf that was on knitting daily's site a while ago.  I love the nupps and I loved working with that yarn.  It might be a good hot weather project since it's so light.  And the scarf is so feminine and pretty (duh, it's Estonian lace!).

Our forecast calls for heavy rain and high temperatures for the next few days.  Yuck.  We won't be sitting outside for a bit and no one is moving very much.  We had to give Hobbes a bath for fleas on Sunday. ( needless to say, he loved us very much and was thrilled with this extra attention!)  With all the rain we had in the spring, there seems to be an insect explosion.  The cicadas are loud and the crickets are out in force.  And the mosquitos.  Let's not even talk about the mosquitos.  I look like I have the measles on my legs with all of the little red marks. 

As I said, we are going to dinner on Saturday night.  It's a brazilian bbq place with our friends and my brother and his wife.  And Lulu.  Hopefully, she'll be on her best behavior.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

It's Saturday morning and I'm waiting for some books to download so I have some new listening material so I thought I'd say Hi!

Last night the weather was pleasant for a change.  We went to the diner for dinner .  We usually go somewhere for dinner on Fridays and the diner is close and cheap and the food is good.  I wanted a burger and they make wonderful burgers.  They actually taste like meat and don't give me all kinds of intestinal distress like the burger places tend to. (I like McD's for breakfast but the burgers make me ill, literally, so I avoid them). 

I noticed that the humidity wasn't too bad and the temps were more moderate.  It was probably around 90 degrees but after hovering around and over 100 all week, 90 felt absolutley balmy!  Pk went off in search of more wood stash (he and Patrick loaded 300 pounds of wood into my long suffering car and brought it home) and I got a glass of iced tea and some mindless knitting and a great mystery story and sat out front with Hobbes.

He was so happy!  He likes to be outside but he wants company out there.  It's been too hot but last night was a lovely night.  I was afraid of skeeters but I remembered this thing we bought a few weeks ago.  I do not like to spray myself with insect repellant and don't like to spray the outdoors either.  It feels wrong to release great quantities of poison into the air.  We saw this little device at the grocery store and were intrigued.  Pk needs something for the small area of his workshop and this is a fan driven device that releases repellant slowly in  a small area.  I think it covers about 12 sq feet.  I clipped it to my chair and I didn't get one mosquito bite in 3 hours.  That's some kind of record around here where we joke that the mosquito is the state bird. 

So, I sat outside with Hobbes and we enjoyed the soft evening air.  I was listening to The Chopin Manuscript by Jeffrey Deaver.  And oh my, it was a good story.  It's one of those stories where 14 or so different mystery writers all write a different chapter.  Jeffrey Deaver started the story and then it made its way through all these disparate writers and ended back with Mr Deaver to tie up all the loose ends and make a sensible ending.  I love these kind of books.  I'm familiar with some of the authors and so I listened for their "voices" but these writers all blended seamlessly to tell a wonderful story of espionage and murder.  It's ready by Alfred Molina who does a great job with the accents and voices.  What a good read (listen).  I'm now going to try (for the third time) to listen to The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (S. Larsen).  I say third time because I've tried twice and can't seem to get into it.  It's this wildly popular book (and soon to be movie) and I don't get it.  I also didn't like The DaVinci Code, so maybe it's just me.  Anyone read TGWTDT?  Did you like it?

This is a no obligations weekend.  I have laundry to do, which I will start soon and then if the humidity isn't too bad, I'd like to spin.  I can smell the rain so it must have started.  I love the smell of summer rain, especially wet asphalt.  It's so evocative.  We are supposed to get rain today and tomorrow.  We need it and it's something of a relief not to have the sun blazing overhead.  The clouds are more restful.

So, anybody doing anything interesting this weekend?  Pk and Kate and El will be watching Holland play Spain tomorrow.  Pk's hoping to catch the 3rd place game today so he's outside right now cutting the 300 pound log down into manageable chunks.  Ah, the sounds of chainsaws in the morning!

Have a good weekend!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

We are in day 5 of our "heat wave".  We have a "heat advisory" until 8 pm tonight.  You know what?  I'm tired of it.  Well, yes, I am tired of the weather being miserable but I am also tired of people talking about it.  I had a good laugh when drk said our weather had made the news.  In Australia!  It's not like it doesn't get hot down there.  I guess it's because that while it is summer and yes, it's supposed to be hot, we don't usually get temps of 100 degrees F ( 37.7C ) this early in July.  It's usually hot but more moderately so.

We have done what everyone else does.  As little as we can get away with.  There has been almost no physical movement and no outdoor activities.  And we are grateful for the small window a/c in the bedroom. It makes sleeping so much easier.  It actually feels a little better today (it's only 95 degrees) and the temps are supposed to hover around 90 degrees for the next few days with some rain over the weekend.

Pk has been following the World Cup.  He has watched the replays of most of the games and is in heaven.  He's going to Kate's on Sunday to watch the Cup game.  I got tickets for him and Kate to go and see Manchester United play the Philadelphia team in 2 weeks.  The tickets include all the "food" they can eat.  I say "food" because it's hot dogs, french fries, ice cream, pretzels, soda and water.  Stadium food.  They are looking forward to it.  Funny thing is, the stadium vendors sell you a bottle of water (you're not allowed to bring in any outside beverages) and then take off the caps so you can't use a full bottle as a projectile weapon.  Pk has been saving plastic caps so they can get more than one bottle at a time and carry it safely. 

Work has been slow.  We had one person out of seven show up on Tuesday.  I called everyone in the morning and rescheduled the people who are medically fragile which was four folks.  Only one of the other three showed.  We had our consumer recovery meeting on Wednesday afternoon and hardly anyone showed.  You can tell that as a region, we aren't used to the weather.

I haven't been spinning since the weather changed, the roving sticks to my sweaty self so I put it away for the time being.  I'm plying some singles and if it's not too humid, I'll finish them on Saturday.  I've been doing a bit of knitting on various socks so I can start a pile for Christmas.  If I start now, there's no rush in the fall/winter.  It sounds good in theory.

I wore one of my new skirts this week.  It was serendipity that I had a short sleeved top that matched to wear with the brown/burgundy print.  It looked fabulous.  When I told people who commented on it that I had made it, they were surprised.  I tried to explain that it's only a few straight seams and some elastic but they were still amazed.  People seem to think that sewing is difficult.   Then there was the "I wish I had time to do that" and I explained that I made two skirts in a three hour period.  I asked, "how much television did you watch last weekend?"  There you go.  Now, I know that I have some sewing experience but even Kate who is a sewing novice, made one of these skirts to wear to work.  In an afternoon.  It's all about the priorities.

Pk got a new trainer at the gym and this Young Trainer had him doing pushups.  Pk hasn't done any pushups for years and told the Young Trainer that he was pushing too hard.  Young Trainer says Nonsense!  Keep going!  Pk couldn't move his arms for three days.  I had to help him pull his shirts over his head because he couldn't use his arms.  He is going to tell Young Trainer that as an adult, he knows his own body and will stop when he feels he's had enough. 

A good thing happened this week.  Pk couldn't find his work ID badges (and he needs them to get back into the office after he uses the restrooms, so they're important).  We had resigned ourselves to the fact that he was going to have to buy new ones when he got a call from the Lost and Found dept at the train station.  Someone turned in his badges and since Pk has a plastic train card (that we refill every two weeks at the machine), they had his phone number.  We stopped in this morning and retrieved them.  The man said "you wouldn't believe how many ID cards and wallets we have in there!"  We're just glad we got Pk's back.

It's hard to believe that we're in the downside of the year already.  Our days are growing shorter minute by minute.  We won't really notice it at first but soon it will be evident.  And then before you know it, we'll be wearing woolen garments and waiting for snow. 

We're all dreaming about snow here right now.  Everyone seems to have forgotten all the shoveling and the inconvenience and just remembers the cool white stuff.  It's the stuff of dreams.

Monday, July 5, 2010

I'm sitting here quietly getting used to the idea that I have to get up and go to work tomorrow.  I have had a wonderfully restful weekend.

On Sunday, we went to visit some friends for a cook out.  Pk's friend is an FBI agent and his brothers are( or were) Marines.  And they're all Catholics.  As Pk put it, "they never do anything inappropriate".  They're a great bunch of people, friendly and welcoming.  It was a little surprising to see one of the small boys walk a little away from where most of the adults were sitting and pull down his bathing suit and urinate on the ground.  Facing the adults.  He was old enough to know better but everyone seemed to find nothing strange about it.  It's not my yard but I would have thought someone would have told the little boys to find a more private spot to pee.  It must be the accepted practice because one of the other little boys did the same thing a little later. 

It startled me and was just a little odd.

We planned to go to the lake today but we had an alternate plan in case we didn't get in.  We made sandwiches the night before and stocked the cooler with everything but the ice.  We left the house at 8:30 and were on our way to get ice when Pk said, "I wonder what time the lake opens?"  We looked it up on the iphone (it's amazing how handy it comes in sometimes) and I learned that the park opened but no swimming until 10.  We didn't want to get there too early so we had breakfast at McDonald's and then got on the road. 

We got to the lake before 9:30 and were able to get in and set up our umbrellas and chairs.  It was so bright and sunny and hot.  (We heard that the lake reached capacity at 9:15 on the Fourth).  It got crowded quickly but not nearly as crowded as I expected.

We stayed most of the day, going into the lake when the sun got too hot and enjoying the laziness of the day.  The lake was really warm on the top and very cold on the bottom.  It felt really refreshing and wonderful. 

We are predicted to have hot hot days for the rest of the week.  It reminds me of summers when I was a kid.  I remember one summer when we played Monopoly all summer.  Every day. (I don't know why but I remember it vividly).  One summer we roller skated every day.  Remember these skates?  They tightened onto your shoes with a key.  I can remember the noise the metal wheels made as we made our way down the sidewalk.  You could hear your friends coming from a long way away!

It didn't matter how hot it was, we were outside running around and playing.  Air conditioning was almost unheard of.  These days we don't seem to deal with the heat as well.  Pk and I have been leaning on the a/c to make sure we get to sleep at night. 

Work will be a challenge this week.  Individuals who take psychotropic meds are supposed to be careful in the sun and heat so many of our people will cancel appointments.  And I can't blame them.  I take medications that make me more susceptible to sunburn but I don't seem to learn.  I put on #45 spf sunblock today but still have a red face.  And I wore a hat and sat in the shade of the umbrella.  I should probably not have stayed out in the sun quite as long.

But it was sooooo nice.

I hope you all had a good weekend and are now having a stress free week!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Today was a fairly productive day.  I woke up really early.  I must have slept well because I was rarin' to go.  I played around downloading some audio books and then showered and started the laundry.

Yesterday while I was out, I bought some lightweight summer fabric to make some floaty summer skirts.  One is brown floral and one is bright colors.  I had heard the weather forcast for this upcoming week and it's going to be brutally hot and humid again.  The brown fabric is a linen blend and lovely and light.  The other floral is almost like a dotted swiss and also really light. 

I got out the sewing machine today and made two skirts.  One out of each fabric.  They're plain floaty skirts with elastic waists.  Nothing hard.  It took all of three hours start to finish.  Pk said "It looks just like store bought".  I know he meant it as a compliment. 

He spent the day hunting down a dogwood tree.  One of his coworkers alerted him to a downed tree in her neighborhood.  He tried three times before he found it.  The man said he could have the whole tree and today he cut up most of it and brought it home (along with some large chunks of walnut which fell in my brother's yard).  The pile of wood in front of the house grows larger every time I go past it.  And he wants to go back for more.  There's no way he could ever complain of my wanting to have a yarn/roving stash!  Although, most of his wood stash is "found wood".  Wouldn't it be cool if yarn/roving could be found on the side of the road?

I finished up the laundry and we went to the local deli to buy some sandwiches for our fireworks picnic.  We had soda, chips and sandwiches.  And lest you think all thoughts of nutrition were out the window, there was fruit.  (there was also m&m's and licorice but let's focus on the fruit)

We got to our favorite spot around 6 pm and set up.  The show doesn't start until around 9 but we go early and stake out our spot.  We don't go into the stadium but sit outside on the school grounds.  We were the first ones there but very shortly after we got there, other people started showing up.  Em had a stomach virus and opted to stay home.  Kate, Patrick, Pk, me, my brother, his wife and their two children were there.  And Em's friend Kely who said she knew right where we'd be.  She sat and watched the display with us.

They were spectacular but I took no photos.  I chose to leave the camera home and to just enjoy myself.  When the fireworks were done, we packed up our chairs and our cooler on wheels (one of the very best investments we have ever made!) and walked home. 

I can hear firecrackers going off as people continue to celebrate.  We are going to a friend's house for food and swimming tomorrow.  And on Monday, we'll get up early and try to go to the lake. 

I love long weekends!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Schmutzie is having a week of meta-blogging.  You know, blogging about blogging.  She writes a blog from up in the wilds of Saskatchewan (I can never spell that correctly) and always has interesting things to say.  This week, it's all about the blogs themselves and the bloggers who blog them.  (sounds like a Monty Pythonesque scene).

According to the profile page, I have been on blogger since April of 2007, so just over 3 years.  I have just over 600 posts.  I was going to say that I can't believe I've come up with all those words but that wouldn't be true. 

I like to talk.  I enjoy engaging people in conversations and learning about them and sharing my own observations and experiences.  I look at the blog as a way to talk to people.  Rarely is there any important content, just every day noticings and thoughts.  Sometimes I use it as a way to say things out loud to see how they sound.  Sometimes I use it as a way to share fun stuff or not-so-fun stuff. 

I wouldn't classify myself as a shy person but I'm also not comfortable being the center of attention.  I like my anonymous little life. 
So why, then put parts of myself out there?  There's something vulnerable about blogging.  We put our words and our selves out into the world for others to read and comment on.  Talk about a leap of faith.  It takes a certain amount of confidence to do that (not as much as walking on the beach in a bikini but you get the drift).   How much to share and how much is too personal?  I don't share photos of my brother's kids because I am not sure how he'd feel about it.  My kids?  Whenever I can get them to sit still. 

I'm a late comer to the digital world.  I am an analog dinosaur and I'll admit it.  I wear an analog watch and would have an analog alarm clock if I could find one with two alarm settings on it.  This digital world has been like an opening door for me.  I have watched Olivia felt pears (and loved them!), Bells make the most amazing sweaters, Rosered make a baby, Amy write another (!) book, Roxie open her heart and fabric stash and keep the world's children warm.  I shared in Galad's joy as her daughter graduated, in Amy's amazement as her two boys finished their first year at school (away from home), and Joan's anxiety as her son went through some harrowing surgery (I could relate). 

And what a wonderful, strange, amazing journey it has been!  Thank you all for coming along for the ride.  Shall we go around again?

And now for something completely different.......

This weekend is Independence Day here in the US.  July 4th.  It's a long weekend this year and Pk and I made it longer by taking tomorrow off.  Friday will be our day of chores and shopping.  Saturday we'll have a lazy day and then go to see fireworks and Sunday we're invited to a friend's house for swimming and barbecue.  Monday, we may try to get to the lake but we have yet to make it there before they close it (due to capacity crowds) on a holiday.  But, hope springs eternal and so we may try again. 

I love the fireworks.  We go over to the school early and have a picnic dinner and wait for darkness.  We have our usual corner and the girls' friends know where to find us.  We have learned to walk because the traffic is horrendous and it will take us an hour and a half to get home and it's only a mile away. 

Happy Birthday !

Happy Sunday!  I am sitting here working on my sweater made with the cashmere yarn my husband gave me for my birthday last year. I’m further...