Monday, April 20, 2015

We did our grocery shopping on Friday after work.  We usually shop twice a month on payday.  One of 
my favorite ways to do this is to "shop from home".  ShopRite allows me to order my groceries online and they do all the choosing and bagging.  I just show up and pay and they load the bags in my car.  I usually place an order on Thursday and we pick up our food late Friday afternoon.  We go into the store for fresh veg and meats so we can choose those but for cans and boxes and things?  I am willing to allow someone else to choose for me.

Know what they charge for this service?  5.95.  Yep.  Less than 6 dollars to save me over an hour in the store.  I love it.

All of this is to introduce this photo of crepuscular rays.  (I love that word--crepuscular).  We were sitting in the car waiting for the store employees to bring out our groceries and this is what the sky looked like.  A storm system was beaking up and the clouds were spectacular.

Wanna see something else spectacular?
This is our bed of bulbs under the tree in the front yard.  The bed needs to be redug but the bulbs don't care.  The daffodils are blooming daily and the hyacinths and tulips are leaping from the ground to join them.

And best of all, we pruned back the rose bushes like the instructions said and they are full of new leaves and look beautful.  No blossoms yet (it IS early) but they are fully leafed out and look so hopeful.

Some things I have been working on and some things I have made.  First, I am spinning this roving that reminds me of sunflowers and so it reminded me of Kate (her favorite flowers)
I have finished the first braid and started the second.  I am giving it to her to use on her loom.

And here is something I made.  Bread Pudding.  I absolutely love this.  Peter Kevin won't eat it.  He calls it "poor people food".  I told him with the price of eggs, milk and bread these days that it is hardly "poor people food".  I made a small pan for El and me and a small pan for Kate.  It's a good way to use up some leftover rolls that may be a bit too old for regular consumption.
And one more thing I made.  We got this roast on clearance after the holiday (sounds weird doesn't it?).  Pk loves it so when I see them at a reasonable price, I buy them.  Usually at Christmas and Easter.  
I usually cook roasted vegetables with them.  The tomatoes cook down and make an amazing juice with the onions and peppers and mushrooms and potatoes.  It's tasty and it all cooks together and is ready with minimal fuss.  We like dinner made with minimal fuss most days.

It is pouring this morning.  Even with an umbrella, water resistant jacket and walking quickly, my feet and lower legs are damp.  I have the heater on under my desk to help them dry out.  I don't mind getting wet on my way home but I hate to sit around damp all morning at work.

Unfotunately, I have to leave the comfort of the warmth and go get charts for clinic this morning.  I hope your Monday is a bit drier than mine.

Friday, April 10, 2015

II 
I think Spring may be in a hurry to catch up with the calendar.  In the past week alone we have had these beauties start blooming and the hyacinths are putting their colorful dresses on and the tulips are sticking their greens out to check for wamth.

We haven't had much sun but it doesn't take too much to encourage these guys to come out.  (of course this includes pollen but we'll ignore that for the moment).  We've had a week of rain, some of it hard so the flowers are less than perky in some places but the weekend promises to be sunny.  Not necessarily warm, but sunny.  I'll take it.  

Fossil Women's ES3588 Stella Multifunction Stainless Steel Watch - Silver-ToneI've been at my job for 20+ years.  Yesterday, I got the email saying "thank you for working for us for 20 years.  You have 36,000 points to use so choose a thank you gift".   My thank you gift for 15 years was a watch and it worked out welll so I went for a new watch for this year.  I chose this Fossil Stella watch with "bling" and a stainless steel band (I have metal allergies and have to get stainless steel).  They notified me that it's on its way.  They have all kinds of things but nothing I need/want so it may be boring to get the same kind of thing twice but a new watch is not a bad thing. I don't wear my watch outside of work much but I depend on it all day.

The hard part is "20 years".  I'm not sure how that happened.  People today don't seem to keep jobs for long periods of time but hop around.  I realized that I will probably work here until I retire.   At 57, it would be difficult to find a new job.  The good part is that I like what I do most of the time.  If I could just stay out of trouble for "occurrences" than all should be well.

I am pleased to say that I did our taxes yesterday.  Why do I wait until the last minute?  Because we don't get money back but usually owe money.  This year we broke even with the feds and we'll owe the state 70 dollars.  Not bad at all.  I don't know why I put it off.  It usually takes about an hour total and consists mostly of data entry.  I pay 12.99 for software to do all the math and figuring out for me.  I input our data and it tells me what to pay.  Easy.  This year time just got away from me.  Maybe because it's felt like winter for so long that it's hard to accept that it's really spring.  

Pk was told yesterday that he would have to work tomorrow and I arranged to take a half a day today since he was determined to work from home today to make up for tomorrow.  After keeping him at work until after 9 last night, they excused him from Saturday and he went in today.  I rescinded my half day but we'll leave just a bit early (I worked late yesterday, too) and go hang out at the book store and read magazines and drink expensive coffee.  We enjoy starting the weekend this way.  The rest of the weekend will probably be spent with soccer games and maybe some yard work (there are some late peas to be planted) and just general putzing around.

Right about now, it sounds heavenly.  

Monday, April 6, 2015


We have colored eggs at our house every year since Peter Kevin and I got married.  We try out all kinds of new things.  This year, I used a non-alumminum pan and the colors came out bright and true.  Then we used the weird "rice thing" that Pk found on Facebook.  
You put rice in a bag (or a container) and add food coloring.  Then you shake it around and add an egg.  The rice colors the egg and it can give it a nice speckled look.  

Like I said, we try all the things (some are less successful-ask my girls about the Year We Did Glitter Eggs).  This was an interesting gimmick.  It used less than a half cup of rice so not too wasteful.

We had a nice weekend.  I ran to the grocery store after work on Friday (after leaving late because the clock onn my wall has a dying battery, unbeknownst to me).  I got finished in time to pick up Pk and then some Chinese food and get home to put away the groceries and put the beans in water to soak.  

Saturday we cooked and did laundry and opened the windows wide to let in the fresh sunshine.  The house smelled of baking beans and baking bread and bacon.  It was yummy.  We colored the eggs and then had a FFY (fend for yourself) meal.  There were also soccer games in there.  

Sunday, after some more soccer games, we had breakfast and watched MASH on Netflix.  Pk took a nap and I worked on some fingerless mitts for one of my interns.  The girls came for dinner and we had a table full of talking and stories for a while.  
Happy Birthday was sung and the cake was consumed and all in all, it was a nice weekend.  I could, however, have used a day off today to sleep a bit.  Last night Pk and I shared a bout of insomnia (we really don't have to share everything) so this morning was a challenge. I am prepared for the day so I don't have to rush around.

Happy Monday!  When I was a kid Easter Monday was a holiday (or at least felt like one) and there is a part of my brain that still expects it.  Unfortunately, the rest of my world is not on board with that.  
Sigh.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

I can't seem to stop myself from taking these early morning photos of my walk into work.  Maybe because I know this light is fleeting and that the colors will be gone in a few weeks.  I have noticed that 
the sky is significantly lighter when we walk out the door, which is helpful when you're leaving the house at 6:30.
This is the view from 9th and Locust right where I come up from underground off the train.  That tall building is an apartment building and the square-ish one on the corner is a Greek "old age" home (yes, people around here call it that).  The hedge in front of the building is the home of some little brown birds (lbbs).  They are the cutest things.  If they're all in the hedge, it's like the hedge is singing as you walk by.  Lots of twittering.  It is smile provoking every day.
My Aunt Joan was a holiday sort of person.  She never met a holiday she didn't like and she had decorations for each and every one.  I wonder what happened to them when she died but maybe it's best not to know.  I was the recipient of many holiday themed things (and not just penguins) which included this creamer and sugar bowl.  I had forgotten about them.  For some reason, I went digging through the Easter box (what?  you don't have a box of stuff for each holiday?)  and wrapped in newspaper and nestled in some colorful baskets were these.  I pulled them out and washed them.  We are hosting dinner on Sunday and I am going to use them.  Even if they never hold sugar or cream, they are reminders of the woman who celebrated life.  I have also put bunny paw prints on the windows and untangled the Easter tree.  Just a bit of spring in the middle of all the freezing temps.
After I gave the sweater to my pregnant intern, my other intern (who is older and already has children) said, " I wish I'd known you when I was pregnant".  This made me think that maybe she should be the recipient of some knitted joy.  I pulled out a skein of merino/cashmere/silk and am making her a pair of fingerless mitts as a thank you for all that she's done this year.  I know she got a lot out of working here but I also got a lot out of working with her.  They are beginning the process of letting go and will all be gone by the end of April.  I love having students.  They bring such enthusiasm and help remind me why I do what I do.

This week will mark a year since Peter Kevin lost his job and our life flipped upside down.  It's been a tough year but as Pete said this morning, "we're still standing".  Life is not the same today.  He has a job and we are adjusting to having less money (sucky but better than nothing) to spend.  He gets calls once in a while and puts out resumes but it's less urgent and there is less stress.  In less than a year when we've paid off the mortgage, it will ease up more.  

As for me, I am keeping track of my occurrences so I don't enter into the disciplnary process.  It's a rollling year so one dropped off yesterday.  Three more need to drop off before I am out of serious trouble and four or five have to drop off before I can be sick.  This led me to come to work with a raging respiratory infection last week so I could request a vacation day to stay home and be sick.  Yes, I know how absurd that sounds.  I am still fighting off the end of the cold.  Pete's in a new environment and like a kid in a new school, he is bringing home All The Germs.  

There are no real buds on the trees yet.  I guess it's not too surprising when it looked like this
only 10 days ago.  We have bulbs coming up and a few hardy crocuses are blooming but I think Easter will not be as colorful as it has been in the past. 
 Today we will be on the hunt for some decent kielbasa for Easter.  Our former place closed and we're hoping the Polish deli will be able to become our new supplier.  I will be cooking and baking most of the weekend and I'm looking forward to it (mostly- I do like my quiet weekends).

I hope you all are healthy and happy and enjoying this transitional season.  Not too cold, not yet hot, just right.

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....

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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