Wednesday, July 31, 2013

In the ever going saga that is our health issues this summer, I spent the weekend in a dim, quiet room.  Yes, I had a visit from the migraine fairy.  About an hour after I fell asleep on Saturday night, I woke up with a blinding headache.

Now, I don't know about you, but in my life when you have a headache, you take a pill and it goes away.  That is the natural order of the thing.  Not this headache.  It said, "Ha!  I laugh at you and your puny acetaminophen/asprin/caffeine concoction!  You can not vanquish me!"  And it was right.  After trying every remedy I could think of (and thinking is very difficult at that point), I came to the conclusion I had to wait it out.  It took until Monday for the pain to let up enough to be able to focus my attention. 

When I was able to pay attention to my surroundings, I was restless.  My cotton candy pink fingernails (the manicurist talked me into them "for the summer") were itchy to do something different.
 They look really nice in this photo, don't they?  I am not thrilled with them in person but will not soak them off until the weekend.  One of the problems with a gel manicure is that you have to soak your fingertips in acetone to remove the polish.  I soak cotton balls with the stuff and put them on my nails and wrap them with foil.  It takes about 30 mins and then you can scrape the stuff right off. 

Fortunately, as a long time crafting person, I had ample things to choose from and eventually landed on the Christmas Tablecloth (you know, the one I've been working on for over 20 years?). 
It's a stamped cross stitch design with four angels on the corners and a center design.  I enjoy it but get easily bored.
 Since I don't pull it out very often, I have to reacquaint myself with the materials and the directions and the charts.  It's beautiful and I am taking my time so that it's done well and one day will grace my holiday table (or at this rate, the holiday table of my great grandchildren).

I worked on it for a bit but it was a bit difficult to pay attention to.  Have you ever seen a chart for a cross stitch? 

It looks like this.  Each letter/symbol identifies a color or type of stitch.  This is actually not a very complicated one since there are great swaths of the same color involved.  My recovering brain was not up to the task.  I enjoyed working on it and I think I'll pull it out some more soon.

Before the migraine set in, I finished a fingerless mitt for one of Pk's coworkers.  She coaches women's sport at a local college and has a big birthday coming up.  I thought anyone who spent a lot of time outdoors might like a pair of mitts so I found a pattern that is feminine but not too girly.

They're the Christina mitts made with superwash/nylon yarn dyed by Roxanne at Zen Yarn Garden.  (You should see this month's offering for the Artwalk group.  It's gorgeous and I can't wait for it to come). 

 This pattern was fairly easy and I generally like it except for the way the edges roll.  They are finished off with three rows of purled stitches which rolls just like stockinette would have (duh).  I am thinking of pulling it out and putting in an inch of ribbing instead.  I think it will make it lie smoother.  I think she intended the edges to roll but I don't like it and isn't that the beauty of making something yourself?   

I am still waiting to hear if Em's dress is acceptable.  The suspense is making me anxious.  Pk and I are having dinner with Jim's folks tonight to discuss the food for the party.  I know it's supposed to be bbq and that's about it.  Oh, and I am supposed to make potato salad for 35.  (I'm hoping to get Kate to make half of it.  I'll buy the materials and it would be great if she could make some, too).

I stood in front of the mirror this morning and cut off an inch and a half off the bottom of my hair.  The stylist has always left the length (at my direction) but I noticed yesterday that it was getting on my nerves.  After my shower this morning, I took the scissors and cut my hair.  I like it.  It skims my shoulders in curls and waves.  Peter Kevin didn't notice but if he did, he would have told me to go to the salon.  My feeling is that it's only hair and will grow back.  I think he has nightmares about the time years ago that I cut his hair (it was bad).  My hair, being curly, is more forgiving.  I can hack off parts of it and it's ok. 

The weather broke and we have had some lovely summer days.  We haven't been able to make the most of them due to Pk's work schedule.  He has deadlines and there's a mild shake up at work so he's feeling a bit of stress.  I'm going to see if we can do the "order the groceries online and pick them up already bagged" at the store thing.  I don't know what they charge and I will go in and choose my own meats but maybe it could make the whole grocery thing a bit easier this week.

 That's about it for me.  Life is exciting as always.....

Friday, July 26, 2013

Here is an absolute flash from the past.  This is a photo of my sister and I on the night of my senior prom (June of 1976).  My sister was a sophmore. 

It's interesting to me that we chose dresses of the same color but very different styles.  That year prairie style clothes were big.  Big sleeves, long full skirts with big ruffles, western style shirts (and lots of polyester).

I was showing my niece that she really does look like her Aunt Sandy (whom she has never met).  I always thought my sister was "the pretty one".  My father did too, evidently, since I remember him saying that at least I had a good brain......It's hard to grow up with a positive self image when the people whose opinions you value most don't support it.  I told Maggie (my niece) that she was lucky because her Aunt Sandy was beautiful and so is she. 

I don't have many photos of my sister and not one where she is smiling.  That is not something she did very often in my presence.  For some reason she really resented me and we have never had much of a relationship.  At this point, we haven't spoken for over 10 years.  Sad?  Yes. But honestly, there are no fond childhood memories of a time when we liked each other to long for so it's really not that awful.  People who have good times with their sisters don't get it (and I am envious of them).

Fortunately, I have my brother and we are close so I am not bereft of family.  And of course, I have my Peter Kevin (who tells me often that I am beautiful and greets me every day with "hello Beautiful") and my girls.  I am content.

The cucumber plants continue to produce their little hearts out.  Look at the size of this one!  It's big and fat and will make some wonderful pickle spears.  We are going to make sure we have the ingredients and make some dill and bread and butter pickles this weekend.  I have room in the fridge so we'll make refrigerator pickles.  Our canning pot has seem better days and we'd need to buy another one.  We don't have enough produce to make a big production out of this.  Just a few jars.

I am surrounded by blooming trees (why can't they all bloom at once and get it over with?).  Their pollen really sets off my allergies and my sinuses are letting me know they are not happy.  I don't feel sick, just very snotty.  Grass and tree pollen are my particular bugaboos.  Flowers can make me sneeze but not like this.  All the rain we had encouraged everything to just grow and grow and reproduce and reproduce.  I know it's a biological imperative but really, what do these trees think is going to happen with all the seedlings they are trying to produce?  They are surrounded by sidewalk here in the city (and we don't allow them to just grow willy nilly at home). They must feel heavy duty frustration. 

One more old time photo.  This is my brother around age 6.  The family was at Six Gun Territory in Florida and I wanted a photo of Rick with a cowboy.  It was pouring rain all day and puddles were everywhere.

This amazing man gave Rick his gun and lay down in the middle of the very wet gravel road for a photo.  This was the days of film cameras and waiting for your photos to develop so I had no idea if the picture was any good.

Turns out, it's one of my favorites.  And I just learned, it's one of my brother's favorites so I am going to scan it and copy it for him. 

Gotta say, I love my digital photography capabilities, but there was something fun about getting that film envelope and not being sure what the pictures would look like.  It was like a present.

This is a grocery shopping weekend and Pk will have a ton of work to do (Work work--not house work).  I'm planning a pedicure and doing my roots and other general physical maintenance.  And I'm going to make a pair of mitts for one of his favorite coworkers who coaches girls sports at a local college.  And I have to find time to shop for a dress for The Wedding (I am relieved to be done with Em's dress, though). 

Busy, busy.  You?

Monday, July 22, 2013

All last week we told ourselves "come Saturday, this heat wave (with temps in the mid 90's and heat indices well over 100 degrees) will break and we will feel so much better.

Saturday came and we waited and watied for the massive storm that was going to sweep through the area.  Thunder! Lightning! Downpours! Hail! Gusty winds!

Yea, it was anticlimatic when the storm finally came through after dinner on Saturday.  There was some thunder and a good bit of lightning and rain but not the apocalyptic storm we were told to expect.  And the humidity did not go down.  It stayed at 94% through today.  The temps are down in the 80's so life will get back to somewhat normal.

I finished Emily's dress on Sunday.  She came down on Saturday and we had a fitting.  It had to come in about an inch or so on each side and we pinned the hem.

Saturday, I sewed the new side seams and then took it upstairs to the a/c and finished sewing the bodice and put some of this lovely beaded lace on it.  I also finished the hem.  The lace hangs underneath the hem as well. 

I am reluctant to post a photo since it's not my dress.  It belongs to Em and she is determined to keep it a secret from Jim until their day.  She needs to try it on to make sure it fits and then it goes to a dry cleaner to get pressed.  They'll do a much better job than I can.  I think she'll look beautiful.  The color is good on her and the style suits her shape.

Pk spends 15 minutes to a half hour walking the "back 40" most days after work.  Yesterday, while perusing the garden, he found this

You may think it's a zuchini but it's actually a cucumber.  We have never had much luck with cukes but this year we got a fair crop of pickling cukes and this big boy was hiding at the bottom of the plant.  It will be tough and very seedy so not much good for anything.

We made cucumber salad with some of the cukes and it was delicious.  We plan to make some refrigerator pickles with the rest.

Our tomatoes have grown beautifully but all the rain swelled some of them up too much too fast and they popped.  The squirrels have been having a field day out there.  They left a good sized tomato on the ground but it's way too green.  We put it in a brown paper bag to help it ripen.  I'd hate for our first real tomato to go to waste.

Pk and I bought an electronic subscription to the NY Times.  We read it on our ipads.  I missed having a newspaper but we weren't reading much of it when we had it delivered and it was such a waste at the end of the week to put all that paper into the recycle pile.  The Times cost less than our local paper and it has good coverage of world news. 

I didn't think I'd like it but I've come to really enjoy it.  We are discussing world topics again and learning how much we think alike but also how we differ in our views.  And if I don't read it for a day, most sections keep the same articles (and add new ones) so I don't miss much.  I also don't waste paper. 

We were sitting at breakfast at the diner last weekend with our "newspapers".  The waitress asked how we liked the devices and we told her that we were reading the newspaper (we used to buy a paper and spread it all over the table) and we loved it.  I think we may have made a convert.

It took 11 days for the intestinal virus to run its course and be through with me.  I was never so glad to see a virus go.  So far, it hasn't spread through the family.

Work goes on.  We are pretty sure the city will cut our budget over half a million this year (after a 1.25 million cut last year).  I have a feeling that there are more layoffs coming this fall.  I'd like to not be on that list so I keep myself busy and involved. 

How are y'all handling this summer?

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

I'm sorry for the radio silence but I have had little or no energy this past week as my body is fighting off the worst intestinal virus I have ever had, bar none.

I left work early last Monday and took Tuesday off.  I felt washed out but better on Wed and went back to work.  I ate lightly and drank copious amounts of liquids.  Thursday, I had such pains that I was thisclose to an ER visit.  I waited it out and it eventually went away but I called the dr's office the next day.

They told me that "there is something nasty going around" and that there was really nothing they could do for me unless I was running a fever (no) or dehydrated (also no).  "Keep hydrated and rest" was the advice and to call if the pain came back.  It was kind of what I thought they'd say but I wanted to know WHEN I should worry.  The pain was more intense than I had ever experienced.  "doubled over with pain" was just an expression until then.  She also told me it could go on for 2 weeks.  That is just wrong.

So, I have been taking it as easy as I can.  I've been tired enough that all I do is go to work and come home and collapse and watch QI and laugh.  No knitting or sewing or anything.
This is what the sky looked like on Friday (I think, I've lost track).  We were inside and the glow from the setting sun came in the window and we all went outside to stand in the orange/yellow air.  It was gorgeous.

It lasted only a few minutes as the sun seems to go down so quickly but it felt like being in a rainbow or something magical.

And there's the "stick".  Look how big it's grown.  We still have no idea of what it is but it's now officially taller than me (Pk will tell you that that's no big deal).  We will move it either this fall or in the spring since it's a bit awkward for that place.  We would have moved it sooner but we had no idea it would grow so much.  It never has before.

This summer the weather has been beastly.  I am not one to complain about the weather (well, not much).  I live where I live because I like the weather here.  This year has just been odd.  Usually in June and July we have lovely hot, dry summer days.  The kind made for picnics and days at the lake.  This year, June was the wettest we've had in many years and July has been humid and hot since it began.  Just sitting still makes you sweat.  The mosquito population has exploded and everyone is covered in bites.

The grass is really green and everything is growing by leaps and bounds, so it's not all bad.  I am supposed to be sewing Em's wedding dress and it's been tough in our non a/c house.  All the little whisps of satin stick to my sweaty self.  But, I did get it put together last night so she can try it on for a fitting on Saturday.  Then I can take it in (I think it looks rather big but it's hard to judge) and do the hand finishing parts.  I can do those in the comfort of the a/c'd bedroom.  I'd show you a photo but I think Em should see it first.

I will show you the pair of socks I cast on for last night.  I don't have enough otn at the moment.  I felt like knitting last night but nothing I already had going interested me so I cast on a pair of plain socks with the other skein of sparkly yarn I bought in MD.  I gave them a picot edging and then did an eyelet row so they'll have a bit of fancy but then be plain.  This was the first time I've felt like I had enough brain power to pay attention to a project.

So, that's life around here.  We are all taking it as easy as we can and doing what we have to do as early in the morning as we can so that we can sit still in the heat of the day.
I'd like to be able to eat a normal meal and to not pay attention to where all the bathrooms are located wherever I am, but hopefully that will happen soon. 

And if wishes are being granted, I'd like some normal summer days.  I'm not asking for much.....

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

After all the rain, we finally had some sunshine for the 4th. We went to Pk's sister's where we could admire how everyone's babies have grown and eat burgers and dogs and get bit by the massive amount of mosquitos that the rain seems to have brought. I have been scratching my ankles since then! 
Friday was lake day. It was gorgeous and just a bit breezy. We always bring a rubber mallet to make sure our umbrellas are firmly in the ground. There were a lot of runaway umbrellas and one that ended up in the lake floating upside down like a boat. The water was chilly but the air and sun were warm so it was a lovely lazy day. 

We skipped the bbq at my brother's because by Saturday the heat had taken its toll and I was a bit under the weather. The a/c went into the bedroom window and we hibernated with some StarWars and popcorn. 
Sunday night we ate dinner by the river. Patrick made good use of the quilt Roxie made for Kate!  

We went back to work yesterday and I had to come home early. Intestinal Distress. One of the doctors was sick with it for over a week and I blame him for bringing it into work. He had the nerve to tell me I should stay home if I was sick. I told him to look in the miror when he said that. 
I finished the sweater for Kate's friend. It needs to be washed and blocked which I will do today since I'm home (intestinal distress). It came out nice and soft and a bit big since the baby is due in August. It's the Garter Stitch Yoke Cardigan. Very simple and quick. 

Today I'm going to sew before it gets hotter and more humid. Em's dress doesn't seem to be making itself......

Monday, July 1, 2013

 I started this on Monday morning but my computer was having an argument with blogger so I couldn't post it. I'm trying to fix it on my ipad. So far it seems to be working!

How was your weekend?  Ours looked a lot like the last 10 days have looked.  Like this.  Whay you may not be able to tell is that is is POURING.  As in like from buckets in the sky.

It has rained every day for the past 10 days (wait, I lied.  It did not rain on Saturday, just got cloudy). 

Can you see the river running down the side of the street?  This is out my front door.  I couldn't step any further out because I was getting wet.  I don't know why that should have stopped me since the humidity has been so high that we live in a constant state of wet.

Pk has been trying desperately to clean out the garage/workshop but every time it starts to dry out enough to move things out onto the driveway, it rains again.  If you are looking for us, we'll be the green people (from the mold) on Maiden Lane.

It makes me want to cry to tell you that the forecast is for more of the same all the way to Friday.  If the sun comes out at all on Friday, we're going to the lake.  After all, if it rains, we'll be in bathing suits, right?

Otherwise, our weekend was good.  I left work early on Friday to have lunch with Pk and some of his work friends.  They are really funny folks.  He had to go back to work and I headed off to get a pedicure/manicure.  My feet are now "I'm not really a waitress" red and looking good. 

We were supposed to go to the grocery store but it was hot and humid and Friday.  We went home and watched movies and ate leftovers.  We are such party hounds.

The shopping got done on Saturday morning and we went to dinner with my brother and his wife at a restaurant with cloths on the tables and very heavy silverware.  No, I'm serious.  If the waitress had dropped one of the butter knives on her toe, it would have broken her toe.  It was so much fun.  No kids, just adult conversation and laughter.  I love my brother.

I had big plans to sew on Sunday but it rained and rained and rained.  The material stuck to the table and to my arms and since it's a wedding dress (and satin is not a very forgiving fabric if I made mistakes), I put it aside.  I'm hopeful there will be some time this week when the rain stops for a while. 

Tomorrow is supposed to be dry so I'll try to get some done. Today we saw this at the train station. I guess it's what you get after all the rain. A good portend for our day. We went to the Apple store after work because the Home button on my ipad wasn't working properly. I was afraid they would say the broken glass voided the warranty but it didn't and they replaced my broken ipad! 

We are going to Pk's sister's for dinner for the Fourth and then the lake and then just a quiet long weekend. 


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...