Monday, August 30, 2010

Peter Kevin and I are nothing if not spontaneous.  Example?  Saturday morning we are sitting in the car in the driveway ostensibly on our way to the farmers' market and the grocery store.  It was a glorious day and I said (in an offhanded manner), "It's a lovely day for a ride to Lancaster.".  His reply, "let's go".

Now, Lancaster is about 100 miles away and not somewhere we just up and go to but this Saturday seemed like too nice a day to spend doing mundane chores like grocery shopping or laundry.  I woke Elanor up and called Kate and after a quick breakfast on the road, we were off.  There are no photos because I was doing the driving.  Kate tried to take a few out the moving car window but they were blurry.  So, envision rolling green fields dotted with black and white cows and neat white farm buildings.

We went to our favorite farmers' market in Bird-in-Hand and got organic oatmeal and blackberry lemonade and cherry apple cider and sticky buns with pecans and some dried fruits.  By the way, Bird-in-Hand is right next to Gap and Intercourse, all proper Pennsylvania town names.  (You can imagine the t-shirts available)

Next stop was Clyde Weaver's market.  This is where they make the best bacon on the planet so we got some of that and some really good Dutch cheese called Valasska (rich and creamy like cheddar mixed with gouda) and some tea.  We had lunch (a pannini with ham and brie and apricot jam) and had a tough decision to make.  Backtrack to Labadie Looms for beautiful roving and yarn or head home so Kate could get to work on time?  Work won out (Kate likes having a job) and we headed home.  We got her home in time to change and go to work.  We followed her to Pizza Hut an hour later and had pizza with my brother and his kids.  Then we crashed. 

Sunday morning we had some of the delicious bacon and toast made from handmade bread and some sticky buns and I started the laundry and went off to the grocery store.  We were invited to spend the afternoon at the pool with my brother and his family.  Since it was a hot sunny day, we decided to go.  Best part?  All I had to do was put on my bathing suit and grab a towel.  They had all the food and drinks already prepared.  We swam with the kids and ate barbecued chicken and just relaxed.  The pool is a swim club with  paid memberships.  We were kicking around the idea of joining and this cinched it for us.  It's a nice place and on a hot summer Sunday, wasn't too crowded.  It's less than a mile from home and an easy bike ride.  They have grills and tables and umbrellas.  It was clean and the staff seemed friendly.  Other best part?  Someone else keeps the pool clean!

The mornings are dark now when the alarm goes off.  It's harder to get out of bed.  The angle of the sun seems to change so quickly when it's on the downturn.  Labor Day will be our last long summer weekend.  It's been a good summer.  On the calendar, it isn't Fall for more than 3 more weeks but mentally, Fall starts right after Labor Day.  (comic is Non Sequitur by Wiley, one of my favorites and seemed too perfect for today)

I have a busy day of clinics.  Both the morning and the afternoon are booked solid. Not much time to play around.  Gotta check the messages and pick up the charts and hit the ground running.  I feel like Carol Burnette, "I'm so glad we had this time together.....".

Happy Monday.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A week has gone by and it feels like nothing has gotten accomplished.  Pk and I took yesterday off in our quest to squeeze as much summer out of the remaining days as we could  but our plans for a picnic were thwarted by thunderstorms.

No complaints, we needed the rain.  He chopped wood and I did some spinning.  I plied some lovely wine colored corriedale and started some new bobbins of singles.  I also knit some on his Lighthouse socks.  They are coming out well but I think they're a little small.  The needle size says 2.5 and I went up a size to 2.75 and they still seem too small to me but he likes them.

I had to do the opposite on the knitpicks sock pattern I'm making for me.  The needle size called for is 2.75 and they were looking so big.  I think toe up socks always look big but these were huge so (after living in denial for an entire pattern repeat) I finally ripped them out and started over with 2.25's and they look so much better.  It's cool today so maybe I'll pull out the alpaca sweater and work some rows on that. 

Work today has been really busy.  I was only off for a day but there were 17 messages on the machine and it took most of the morning to deal with them and the catching up with the clinics from yesterday. Lots of little bits and pieces to put together.  I wrote three treatment plans in preparation for today's clinic and now I'm getting ready to eat lunch. 

My gym attendance has been abyssmal all summer.  I'm ashamed to say this and I am determined to get back into the routine.  We're supposed to go today and Thursday this week and then get back into our M,W,F routine next week.  Fortunately, I've got some good books downloaded so I'm ready. 

We'll have one last long weekend over Labor Day (Sept. 6th here in the US).  I took the Friday off and Monday is a holiday so one more 4 day weekend before Fall comes and we get industrious again.  I don't know what it is about Fall that makes me want to get down to business and accomplish things. 

Gotta go and eat my lunch before I run out of time here.  Have a good one!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

I have been home sick for the past two days.  I have an inner ear thing called labrynthitis.  When I was a child, I didn't know what it was, I just knew I felt dizzy.  When I was in college, I finally got it diagnosed and now have medication for it when it flares up.  It seems to flare when my sinuses are clogged and putting pressure on my inner ear.  I usually feel it when I wake up in the morning.  Something about laying flat all night must trigger it.  The room spins and my stomach feels sick and I need to lay flat until it goes away.  Fortunately, the medicine works but it makes me stupid and tired. 

Yesterday, I woke up with a mild case.  I took some meds and went back to bed and a few hours later I felt better but not great.  I spent the day watching Angel (natural progression after Buffy) and knitting when I could focus enough.  Today, I was going to work but Pk (that enabler) told me I should stay home and rest and go back to work tomorrow.  I can take two days off and it doesn't cause any problems but after the third day, they activate our Family Medical Leave Act and it's a pita. 

So, I am home today, feeling pretty good and it's raining.  Just gently raining.  I don't think we've had a cool rainy day all summer so it's kind of a weird thing.  We've had "knock down the trees and electrical wires" storms but no gentle days of rain.  The grass is brown and crunchy and this bit of rain will help.  It's stopped already so maybe I was too optimistic.

I want to find a sock pattern for that lovely yarn I showed you so I'm off to search.  I have dozens of patterns already, including the Traveller's Stockings that I've wanted to make but none of them appeal today.

After some searching throught the ravelry database, I think I'm going to use the Hearts Abound pattern from Knitpicks.  It's a heart shaped lace pattern that I think will work with the yarn well  and it's toe up, which I haven't done in a while.  I have two pairs of socks on the needles already (not counting the bayeriche socks which are in a bag in the tote waiting until I decide I'm ready to do all the twisted stitches and cables again) but they're both boring right now and I feel the need for something different.  Sound familiar? I knew you'd understand.

So now I'm going to get out the ball winder and the swift and wind this skein up into a lovely cake and find my 2.75 needles and a small project bag to collect everything in and find the next episode of Angel and I'll be good for the rest of the day.

Tough life I've got here.  It's all good as long as I don't think about the work piling up while I'm not there.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Things here have been quiet.  Real quiet.  I started this post three times but somehow I never liked what I came up with.  Last time, I was commenting on the heat (of course).  We had a period of cooler weather but today it's miserable. 

So, I thought I'd show you this month's offering from Artwalk .  I think this is my favorite (but then I think that of each month that comes along). 

I really like this color.  It's a merino, bamboo, nylon sock yarn mix.  The socks from this will definitely be for me. 

I finished up all the Buffy episodes and I enjoyed it to the very end.  I thought the last two seasons were a little darker and less humorous but that was ok, too.  I liked the way it ended and I liked the message that by sharing power we all become more powerful.  Pretty cool, that.

Pk and I went to see The Expendables (Stallone's new movie) on Friday night.  It was violent (rated R) and I was surprised to see a family with three boys aged about 11 or 12 there.  I know young  boys that age see a lot of violence but this was a bit much.  I like action movies for their escapism but I usually enjoy those with at least a semblance of a plot.  I looked long and hard and couldn't find one.  There was one bright spot.  Jet Li was wonderful.  I love to watch him move no matter how bad the movie is.

And I'm pretty sure I forgot to share a photo of my katie baby with her backpack strapped to her skinny self.  I think the pack weighed about half of what she weighs but she carried it into the woods and out again.  I picked them up about 5 miles further along than they planned but they were a bit tired and it was looking an awful lot like rain.  Patrick, Kate and Pk are planning to go again in the fall when it's a bit cooler.

We saw Em and Jim last night and they took us to a new local diner.  The food was good and the service was good.  The place has only been open for a week and it still smells like fresh paint.  I hope they make it because Em and Jim really like it.  Em is having a fund raiser next weekend to raise money for her three day walk in October.  She has to raise 2300 dollars to be able to walk 60 miles over a 3 day period.   She and her three buddies from work are having some trouble raising enough money so they're having an event at a local sportsbar/restaurant.  Everyone who brings in a flyer with their information on it will have 20 percent of their bill donated to the cause.  She's going to stand outside of the place and give the flyers to people as they go inside.    Em's been training really hard for this and hopefully will raise enough to allow her to walk.

Other than that, like I said, things are quiet here and I have 'summer brain'.  Nothing seems to stick and everything seems hard.  I haven't done much of anything.  I am slowly working on some socks and I did a few rows on the alpaca sweater on Friday night when it was fairly cool.  I did a little bit of spinning but was having trouble paying attention to what I was doing.  It was a fuzzy week and I'm glad it's over.

This week started out busy with CPR recertification class this morning and a clinic with a world renowned mental retardation/mental health expert.  It was a real learning experience.  I enjoyed talking to him and listening to his insights. 

So,here's to a week where my brain is functioning on a clearer level !

Saturday, August 7, 2010

It's Saturday morning here and it's comfortably cool (when you sit still).  I thought I'd share some photos from Atlantic City last Friday.

Where doesn fun fur go to die?  It gets made into hats and sold on the boardwalk.  I can understand wanting a hat when you're walking in the sun but who would want a fedora made of fun fur?  If you make it larger, you can see that it's knit.
I took these photos with Pk's little Canon that I got him to use in his shop so he can take photos of his wood projects.  Galoots share photos of their wips just like we do.

And because this is NJ, the Garden State (a rather out moded name), here is a photo of one of the farm markets that dot the highway on the way to/from the shore.   We took the AC expressway down so we could make good time but on the way home, we took the scenic route and stopped at two different farmers' markets.  I took a photo out front which immediately brought someone over to ask me if I needed any help.    I said not yet and walked inside.  There used to be markets like these all up and down the roads but they seem to be dying off.

We grow our corn big here. 

It's a chainsaw carving at the stand.  There was a bear as well but I liked the corn. 

And last, our last dinner with Lulu.  That's my niece Maggie holding onto Lulu.  She was fascinated by the whole idea.

Lulu left here to go to Canada last Monday and arrived safely on Thursday.  It cost less to get her there on Thursday than it would have to get her there on Friday.  go figure.  She is raising havoc and will hitch a ride home sometime later this month.

Pk and I took Friday and Monday off this week on a whim.  He went to an estate sale yesterday and picked up some more tools and I did some spinning.  Today, he's making me a drying screen thingy so I can wash some alpaca and dry it to spin. 

I finished all the available seasons of Bones and have started watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  I'm up to Season 3 and am strangely addicted.  I don't know why the show appeals to me.  I was not interested when it was on network television but now I find myself obsessively watching until late in the night.  I might need an intervention.  I have full intentions of stopping at the end of Season 3 but we'll see how that goes.

Today is laundry day and I'm going to take advantage of the more moderate weather and spin some more.  Tomorrow is picnic at the river day and then Monday is lake day. 

I love long summer weekends.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

"Hope is important because it can make the present moment less difficult to bear. If we believe that tomorrow will be better, we can bear a hardship today."

~Thich Nhat Hanh

I know I've talked about working in the mental health field.  I've been doing this in one form or other for all of my working life.  I started out working in group homes for runaway girls and worked my way through a high school for "students with behavior problems" and ended up here at a community mental health/mental retardation center.

I always imagined myself doing this.  When I was younger, I knew I wanted to be in one of the helping professions even though my father told me I would never be rich.  I knew in my heart that "rich" is a relative term and there are many kinds of  "riches".  No, I will never have a lot of money but I have a lot of contentment and satisfaction in my life.  And love and support and caring and laughter and lots of other good things.

But, hope.  The buzzword in mental health circles is "recovery".  We've borrowed the concept from the drug and alcohol people and have adopted it for our own.  I am working to convince individuals (who have been convinced by the system that they are dependent on the system to live,) that they can have full, interesting and fulfilling lives. 

It's very difficult.  If you've been told that you have an illness and are sick, you tend to believe it after a while and lose all confidence that you can do anything.  It's trying to undo years of indoctrination and it's hard.  So, I look for resources that I can use to help educate and uplift my clients to make them see that even though they may not have the life they had "before", they can still have a good life even if it's different. 

We are successful sometimes and it makes my heart glow to hear someone call and share something good.  I encourage my clients to call me between appointments and share what's going on.  It gives them a place to say what they feel/think that is safe from judgement.  And I can answer questions and help them make decisions. 

But without hope, there is no progress.  There is no happiness or contentment.  So, today's inspirational quote is for all those people who need reminding that 'this too shall pass'. 

And now we'll all stand and sing "The sun will come out tomorrow......." (from Annie).

just kidding.

Have a wonderful day. 

Monday, August 2, 2010

"Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment."
~The Buddha
This seemed appropriate for Grace in Small Things.
-breaks in the humidity
-having a cool, dark room to sleep in
-the smell of the salty ocean air
-hearing "hello beautiful" from Pk as I get into the car after a long day
This moment I am enjoying a peaceful moment before I pick up the phone and check for messages.  That's when the workday will really start.  But, for this moment, I'll enjoy a little bit of quiet and ease my way into the day with some coffee.
Happy (peaceful) Monday!

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...