Tuesday, June 24, 2014

So, what have you all been up to since last we spoke?  I have had a bit of dental work and am now finally recovering.
Last week, I noticed that the infection in my mouth wasn't better (wait, did I tell you I had an infection under my root canal?).  Hmm, well, I have (had) this tooth that had had two root canals (which meant two crowns) and was giving me twinges for a while.  The dentist told me the tooth underneath was cracked and that if it continued to give me pain, it would have to come out.

Fast forward to my 6 month checkup where I show the dentist the pustule that had developed on my gum right next to the tooth.  It turns out that there was a raging infection under the crown. (the smell was ugly)  We tried 10 days of antibiotic but no joy.  I had to have the tooth out.  I called the oral surgeon and they had an opening the next day. 

I took it because then I didn't have much time to brood over it.  I left work in the afternoon and Pk picked me up and off we went.  First came the panograph xray and then the doctor told me there was a good bit of infection in the gum and he would pull the tooth and then clean it out.

IV needle in my hand and before you know it, it was done.  They didn't stitch up the wound because the leftover infection needed a place to come out (the image is a pleasant one, isn't it?)  I was in a fog so Pk took me home and then went out to get my pain pills and more antibiotics.

When the novocaine wore off, I couldn't believe the pain!  I am fairly tolerant of pain but this was unlike anything I had ever felt.  The vicodin didn't touch it.  Fortunately, my dentist called to check up on me and told me I could take 2 (very low dose).  It was like the heavens opened up and sunbeams shone upon me.  When that pain went away, it felt soooo good.  I slept sitting up and woke up Friday morning with a blinding headache and nauseaus from the pain meds (really unfair that).  I stuck to acetaminophen for the rest of the time after that. 

I spent the weekend taking it easy and eating soft foods.  I have some bruising around the jaw line but not too bad and I can tell it's healing.  It will take some time before we can discuss what to do about the gaping hole in my teeth.

I was not able to do much knitting or spinning.  No concentration.  I mostly sat and dozed and held ice packs to my face.  And now I am back to work and feeling mostly back to normal.  Still eating mostly soft foods and being careful until the hole heals closed.  I don't want anything getting stuck in there and re infecting. 

Our planned trip to AC was postponed to this Friday and unless something else happens, we're heading down there Friday afternoon with Kylie in tow.  She came over Sunday and we ate bbq chicken and ribs and potato salad and coconut cake and watched the heartbreaking US/ Portugal game. 

The weather today is about as beautiful day as you could ask for.  The sun is out, there is a breeze and the humidity is low.  It's glorious.  I am getting ready to pack up my stuff and leave this overly a/c'd building and go out into the day.  Maybe we should take a picnic for dinner.......

(some nice, soft food of course)

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

We only thought it was humid last week.  It's like it's a competitive thing and this week has to beat out last week.  It's unbelievable and really uncomfortable.  I have not been able to sleep for the last two nights.  I might have dozed a bit but nothing really restful. (needless to say, I'm tired).  Pk is going to put the a/c in the bedroom window today so that tonight I can pull the covers on and sleep restfully.

Some random thoughts on a Wednesday.

I was standing on the train platform this morning waiting for the next train (the schedules are all a mess while they replace the track on the bridge.  One side is closed and all the trains are going over one side of the bridge.  Then it will reverse so it will be a mess for 2 years.  sigh.)  It's alway slightly breezy since it's an elevated platform.  In the morning, surrounded by all the freshly showered and scented commuters, it's hell on your sinuses.

Some people smell nice and light and clean.  Some people wear heavy, cloying wintery scents.  I will admit that I do not change my scent during the year.  I have one scent that I always wear (Jessica McClintock) and have worn for 25 years.  It's what I smell like.  But it's a fairly light fragrance so that in these warmer months, I won't bowl anyone over. 

More people are catching onto the fact that if you get up 10 minutes earlier, you can catch the earlier train and it's not as crowded as the one 25 minutes later.  Well, it wasn't as crowded.  Today it was mobbed.

 It was Father's Day last Sunday here in the US.  When I asked Peter Kevin what he wanted to do, he said "not much" so I let him have a day to do what he wanted.

I made him the breakfast he wanted, he watched some soccer and then he went outside and worked on some small wood projects.  Here he is using one of his large planes and making the top surface of a small worktable.  He loves working with his handtools.  There's a soothing rhythm to his work.

a pile of shawl

I pulled up a chair and sat in the shade and did some knitting until the ants got too bothersome.  I worked on my shawl.  It's become quite large.  There it is all in a pile.   I can stretch it out is a small section to see how the pattern is developing.  It's so unbelievable soft.  I am on the "second lace chart" and then there's an edging.  Unfortunately it's a bit too hot to sit with this on my lap until we get the a/c installed in the bedroom window.  This will be a warm winter wrap or a warm wrap for the very heavily a/c'd world we live in.

the pattern revealed

I have been forced to work on something small so I went and wound up my latest Artwalk Yarn and started a plain pair of socks.    I love these colors.  They have a depth and shine to them that is so appealing.  It's Les Petits Fleurs by Picasso, one of my all time favorite paintings.  But, the important part is that I don't have to have that large pile of yarn sitting on my lap.

We are going to Atlantic City on Friday so Kylie can see some more kitschy NJ.  I think Atlantic City is the Queen of Kitsch.  I'm looking forward to it a lot.  I love taking the train through the countryside.

Saturday Pete invited our nephew to come and watch the game.  I think he's more excited than Daniel (who is 7).  Sunday, Kylie will be over to eat some real food and watch the game.  So, it sounds like a soccer and friend filled weekend.  The weather should break and be relatively nice.

I hope wherever you are that your day is filled with peace and creativity and joy.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

It isn't technically summer here until this coming Saturday but you couldn't prove that by walking outside today.  The air is so thick that you have to think about breathing.  On the train in the morning you can't see the tops of the buildings in Philadelphia.  They are all hiding their heads in the clouds.

And speaking of trains, my morning commute has gotten somewhat earlier due to much needed track repair for the PATCO train.  They've closed one half of the bridge so all the train traffic moves on the same track.  It means that the trains are fewer and further between.  This means I have to get up earlier and catch an earlier train and then catch an earlier one home in the afternoon.  There are later trains but they become so crowded and full of people breathing all the air.....

On the unemployment front, Peter Kevin had two interviews last week (one of which was an adventure involving a train ride into NY City) and now is the hard part.  He felt really good about both of the interviews and now has to wait to see if they felt really good about him. 

Kylie is here and we have spent some enjoyable time together showing her life in our area.  We went for a walk around the Berlin Farmer's Market on Friday (only one store sells produce of any kind, the rest are filled with tchatchkes) and then had pizza and wings.  And on Sunday, we took advantage of the nice weather and had a picnic on the Delaware River.  The nice part is that we were able to sit and talk about what makes our countries different and how we're the same.  We have a tentative trip to Atlantic City planned for next week. 

Work has been steadily busy.  We're doing research data collecting on adults with autism for a study and our part involves paperwork (it's always paperwork).  I don't mind because we get paid as an agency to participate and since we're running in the red, money is good.  Our part is just a bit boring as I fill out autism screening tools for all my clients (we're talking over a hundred individuals for just me).  I'm trying to do one or two a day.

My fir cone shawl is coming along beautifully.  It's going to be huge and lovely and soft and warm.  I like the way it's constructed and occasionally think it would make a gorgeous baby blanket-until the first time the baby threw up on it and it had to be washed and blocked.  Softly spun merino and silk are not what I would choose for a baby.

I took a pair of socks with me to a conference last week and knit a bit during one of the talks.  Of course the woman in front of me turned around and said "I want to learn to do that.  One day I'll have a chunk of time....."  you know how that goes.  I started to try to explain that it didn't take a lot of time but I could see right away that she was not really interested or she would know how already.  But such is life.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

My rose bushes are blooming so beautifully.  They have almost doubled in size since we planted them.  I am now looking around for other places to put them.

I am running on very little sleep today.  It's all "woman getting older hormonal issues" and there's nothing I can do but cope with it as best as I can.  I know I will eventually get back to a more normal sleep schedule but for now 2 or 3 hrs a night seem to be all I get.  It goes nicely with the sudden power surges.  My whole body just feels off.  I have warned the people around me that today is not a good day to push my buttons.

There is a bit of positive news.  Peter Kevin had what sounded like a good phone interview yesterday.  The interviewer said she was suggesting he be called for a face to face so we're crossing our fingers and trying not to get too excited.

Memorial Day was such a nice day.  Valley Forge is such a beautiful park.  We sat in the shade and talked and ate and generally had a nice low key day.

On Monday I tried a recipe for Nanaimo Bars.  These are evidently quite the sensation in the Pacific Northwest and Canada.  They are delicious but oh so sweet.  More like candy than cookies. 

I also used up all the left over bread and rolls from the Memorial Day picnic and made a pan of bread pudding.  I love this stuff and could eat it by the bowlful.  Pk says it's for "poor people" and he won't eat it.  I imagine it was originally just a way for people to use up stale bread and maybe some extra eggs but nowadays, bread pudding has become a gourmet dish in some places.  This one is plain, just egg custard and bread.  I didn't even wait for it to cool off last night.  True comfort food.

I finished the middle square of my shawl and have had to rip out the edge stitches once to make sure I have the correct number.  I didn't want to do any fudging.  Last night I managed to get all 600+ stitches put back onto the needle extension and it's ready to start the edge lace. 

Pk and I also found some time to go see Godzilla on Tuesday.  It was as entertaining as all get out.  It was a pretty good remake.  Just enough of the original flavor to make it fun but enough new material to make it interesting.

And now I am off to jump into my (hopefully) interesting day--or at least interesting enough to keep me awake.  No easy feat that.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

May.  I haven't gotten used to writing the date with a 5 in front of it and May is almost gone already.

I wish I could make a list of many exciting things we have done in May but in all reality, we have done nothing out of the ordinary.

I did get to experience my first rose.  Isn't it pretty?  All three bushes are now almost covered with blossoms (and if I weren't running late this morning, I would have taken a photo of them on my way out the door to work).  They are so pretty.  I love the way the little bushes are sprouting out all over the place willy-nilly.  They will look all wild and natural and not manicured. 

And now that I've seen how easy they were to obtain and to take care of, I may want to go and get some more. 

Our weather has been typically springlike and odd.  One day will be 86 F and sunny and the next will be in the low 50's and windy and cold.  At one point, we had both the space heater and the window fan in the bedroom.  Usually when one comes out, the other one goes away.  This year we're just not sure which will be needed on any given day.

I have been knitting with the Deschutes  (60silk/40merino) singles I bought at MDSW and have been loving the feel of it.  The Fir Cone Shawl is huge (as you can see) and is a shetland style shawl.  The center square is knit first and then the edge stitches are picked up and the borders are knitted.  One lace pattern for the center and then three different sections on the edges.

It's a sport weight yarn and so it grows more quickly than a laceweight.  There are 12 repeats of a 16 row pattern (which is easily memorized) and I  am through 6.  Look how odd it looks.  That's the back and it looks like an egg carton or some of that sound proofing material they use in sound proof rooms.  It's mindless enough to be able to work on it while watching some television but complicated enough to require some attention so it's not boring.

It's also eating up the yarn so fast that I called the farm that sold it and ordered two more skeins, just to be on the safe side.  The woman, Sunny, who owns the farm was so pleasant.  I emailed her on a Friday night and she emailed me back early Saturday morning and when I called Saturday afternoon, I got her on the phone and she said she would try to get it into Saturday's mail.  I said there was no hurry and Monday would be fine.  Nice lady, good service, beautiful yarn.

This was my other fiber purchase that weekend.  It's Coopworth roving in the Violet colorway.  I love violets and it thrills me to see them popping up in the middle of the lawn.  This looks just like a patch of violets. 

It's Memorial Day weekend coming up and I tacked on a vacation day at the end so I could have a bit of a longer weekend.  We have no big plans.  Peter Kevin is planning to man the table for the Wood Workers' Guild on Saturday at their town's Fair.  I told him I would bring a spinning wheel and keep him company-as long as there is no rain.

Sunday we are planning a picnic at Valley Forge Park with the girls and their families.  Valley Forge is an important part of the American revolution story and seems like a fitting place to picnic.  The rest of the weekend will probably fly by in a haze of chores and relaxing. 

Happy Hump Day to everyone.  I'm off to a mandatory 2 hour "compliance" training.  Every year.  2 hours.  Boooorrrrinnnngggg. 

But Mandatory.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Saturday I wore this shirt.  Kate gave it to me last year for Mother's Day (I think).  It's one of my favorite Dr Who episodes (the one with Vincent Van Goh).

I got so many reactions to it!  It was amazing.  I used to have a sweatshirt that said "All this and Brains, too" which got a lot of responses but this one beat that.

One young man yelled "Allons-y" at me.  It sure was a conversation starter.

But, once again, it was all about the sheep (and their by products).

Kate and I went with the idea that we wanted to find 2200 yards of sport weight yarn to make shawls out of the Folk Shawls book (Cheryl Eberle).  She's making the Irish Shawl and I am making the Fir Cone Shawl.  They are large squares.  She bought the first two skeins of a lovely light grey color and I bought 2400 yards of a merino/silk single that is softly spun and has a lovelylovely halo.  You can almost see the softness.  I rolled one skein into a ball (it's way too big for the ball winder and took forever by hand) and started my project last night.

Jacob sheep

I am in the middle of a very dark shawl but because it's so dark, it's difficult to work on if it's not daylight.  This is not laceweight and it's such a lustrous cream color that it's easy to see. 

big sheep

There were sheep, of course.  These were a couple of moms and their very young babies.  There were baby Jacob sheep.


There were big sheep and small sheep and Katahdin Hair sheep.
(I borrowed the image from Wikipedia, I couldn't get the Katahdin to look at me).  They aren't sheared but just shed in the spring and the birds use the shed hair to build nests.

We bought some Kettle Korn and some honey and some cookie cutters.  I got a giraffe and a brontosaurus.  I chose a tiara cookie cutter for Em and a tyranosaurus for Kate.  It's time for the Spring Dinosaur cookies parade.

We had to park almost a mile away from the fairgrounds.  There are policemen directing the parking and every few cars they would send a group over to the other side of the road and waaaay to the back of a field.  We couldn't see the fairgrounds from where we were parked.  An older gentleman drove up in a bus and drove us to the road and then we caught a wagon ride to the fair.  I was very thankful for them at the end of the day!

Yesterday we did the laundry (and watched the soccer games) and all too soon the weekend was over.  Those 48 hours just fly by. 

And now here I am back in the real world.  Work is busy and we'll have new doctors soon so there is a period of adjustment and then hopefully things will settle down.

Happy Monday y'all!

Friday, May 2, 2014

So, we've had a bit of rain this past week.  My office mate (who is inclined toward exaggeration and extreme curmudgeonliness) said he heard that we got the equivalent of 7"/hour of rain.  I have a feeling that while it did rain long and hard (enough to cause a 4' wide river to run down the sides of the street), it wasn't truly that bad. 

Of course, since our house sits at the bottom of a hill, all the water runs down toward us and through our crawlspace to get to the storm drains in the street.  We learned a long time ago not to leave things on the floor in our rec room.

The sun came out briefly, just enough to send the humidity through the roof (and you can imagine how lovely it made my hair.  I get lovelier and lovelier as the humidity rises) and then it rained some more last night.  Pk dropped me off at the train this morning and then started running the pump.  All this moisture has rusted some of his tools even though they are not in the water.  Just the added moisture in the air.  He has old tools (planes and turning tools) which don't have the rust resistant coating that more modern implements are equipped with.  He's been applying Rust Go Away (or something like that) to clean them up.

And speaking of my unemployed spouse, he has been Getting Things Done Around The House for the past month (has it been a month already?).  Two years ago the lines that connect our house to the power grid came loose and caused a power surge that destroyed some appliances (but not the computer which was plugged into a surge protector.  They really work.  Who knew?).  We replaced the refrigerator, the power strip for the computer, the microwave and the computer module for our stove.  We left the dishwasher sit because it was not a necessary thing. 

Fast forward to now when Pk has some time on his hands and it's too damp/wet to spackle.  We got the parts to fix our ice maker (and it now makes ice) and we got the new computer module for our dishwasher (and it now washes dishes).  The old module had melty parts inside and some copper parts had vaporized in the power surge.  We are getting used to having it back and I must say, I love it (but probably not as much as Elanor, aka The Dishwasher, does).

And here we have neon socks.  Here's one of Pk's neon green socks.  To show how bright it really is, I posed it next to a more subdued green sock. 

It's a pattern I made up on the fly and he likes it.  Sock number 2 is otn and will be done soon so he can wear them if he gets job interviews (it will show potential employers that he has a fun side and is not old and fuddy-duddy-like.  At least that's what I tell him). 

image - 2014 Catalog CoverWe passed our inspection at work and are breathing a sigh of relief because citations from this particular entity mean giving back money.  We don't want to do that.

This weekend is Maryland Sheep and Wool.  I always forget it's in May.  Pk remembered and insisted we go.  "It's an Adventure".  He and I (along with El and Kate) are driving down tomorrow morning and going to spend the day petting sheep and admiring llamas.  Pk will look for the Broom Making Guy and the Honey Making People.  He appreciates the sheep, but he really likes the Broom Guy.

The weather is supposed to be sunny and perfect.  I love a good Adventure.

I'm looking out my office window and I can see the morning sunlight reflected off the still wet leaves on the Ornamental Pear.  Trees amaze me.  Just yesterday, these leaves were buds and almost overnight Shazzam!! There are leaves full grown on the branches.  How do they do that?  I am wonder-struck (I am making this word up because it fits) at how fast they grow.  It is so cool.

Well, duty calls and the message light on my phone is RED and BLINKING which means someone needs me for something.  I guess that's a good thing.  Job security and all.

Have a Good Weekend!


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