Monday, November 9, 2015

Image result for fall clipartThank you all for the birthday wishes.  And thank you for saying I "don't look 58".  I hear that all the time.  I think when you see "older" folks on television, they always look much older than they are supposed to be.  Peter Kevin and I have been married for 34 years.  When people on tv celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary, they always look old.  I know we were young when we married (We were 23-which seems so very young to me now).  My usual response is, "Well, this is what 58 looks like!"

The best laid plans.....

We had planned to have a joint birthday party on Saturday for Jim (who turned 30 at the end of October) and me.  I bought candles that added both of our ages together so, 88 and a large ice cream cake.  I had all the fixings to make lasagna and quiche (for my vegetarian friend).  We were going to have dinner and play games.

Until I woke up Saturday morning with intense Intestinal Distress.  I thought it was something I ate and would be fine once it was all out of my system.  Wrong.  It must have been a virus because between time spent running to the bathroom, I slept.  All Day.  I called and canceled the dinner and my friend told me she had been sick all morning as well.  By the end of the day, I could tolerate a smoothie and then yesterday I just took it easy and ate lightly.  Today, I feel fine.

Image result for fall clipartPeter Kevin spent most of the weekend at Kate's new house.  She and Patrick made settlement on Wednesday and are now homeowners.  They have 3 weeks until they have to be out of their apartment so they are painting and putting in a new stove and other things that are easier done while the house is empty.

It's hard to believe that we are thinking and planning for the holidays already.  Thanksgiving is 3 weeks away.  I think we are going to Jim's sister's house for the meal and then we will have our own meal on Saturday or Sunday.  That way we get to enjoy the things that make the holiday special for us and still be sociable and enjoy our family-which is the point of the holiday after all.

I am well on my way to having the few things I will hand knit for Christmas done.  I am not one of those folks who works well with a deadline.  I am a slow knitter but I'm ok with that.  I don't plan to make sweaters for everyone.  I make socks, mitts, hats and the like.  Pk will get a new pair of what he calls Fire socks.  He thinks they are lucky so I try to make sure he always has a pair in case he feels he needs a bit of luck.
Image result for fall clipartThis time of year can be stressful at work.  People are running around trying to find that perfect Hallmark holiday somewhere.  No matter how many times we talk about making our holidays our own and that they are perfect however they happen, it doesn't change.  We are so brainwashed that everyone has to be happy and smiling and that all the things have to look just so.  I share the holiday stories that I have where things have been less than perfect and how that makes them the most memorable ones.  I don't think my clients believe me.

Our holidays have been good ones mostly because we spend them together.  There have been years when there has been a bit of extra money so things were easier and years when money was rather tight.  Those times call for a bit of extra creativity but they were always fun anyway.  This year, Christmas falls on a payday.  We are planning to get up early on the 24th and hit the grocery store and then have a leisurely rest of the day.  It will all work out somehow.  It always does.

And here I am at my desk on a Monday morning.  It's a bit chilly in here.  On Friday, the early morning temp was 70F (21C).  I didn't need a jacket.  Today, I was regretting now wearing my mittens.  It was 39F (3C).  What a change!  As much as I enjoyed the warm days, I hope it stays cool.  It feels more like Fall when it's cold.

Have a good week, everyone. 

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Good morning!  This is what a newly turned 58 year old woman looks like.  Yes, today is my birthday and I am 58.
This seems very weird to me because 58 sounds so old and I don't feel old.  

The very odd thing today is that I have been thinking of my mom.  We didn't have much of a relationship when she died (really none at all), mostly because she pushed me away.  But I let her.  I stayed away when maybe I should have pushed back.  She was very ill the last few years of her life and not a very pleasant person but still.  I find myself thinking about her and her life.  58 years ago, she was an unmarried woman having her first child.  I think she wanted to give me up but my grandmother insisted she keep "this child who is part of us".  My grandmother died when I was in college.  I have often wished she had been alive to see my children.  She would have adored them and they her.

I am not usually a menalcholy person and I am sure this wll pass.  I haven't spent time thinking about my mom in years.  I wonder if she was happy in her life.  She seemed to be but things aren't always what they seem.  I thiink she was often discontented.  My sister reminds me of her quite a lot in that way.  She never seems to have "enough" of anything.  It's sad really.

I am very content with my life.  I'd like it if we had more money (who wouldn't?) but I am so lucky.  I have a job that is fulfilling on a personal level and a loving family and a roof over my head and hobbies that are engaging and ceative.

The tree outside our bedoom window is so beautiful.   When the sun hits it, our room glows reddish orange and it's warm and lovely.                      
We haven't had a major storm as of yet so the leaves are still clinging to the trees.  I love this time of year.

I'm at work for half the day and then I'm going to take advantage of the 75 degree sunshine (so unusual for November) and sit outside.  I don't know if I'll spin or knit or just laze about.  

Wherever you are, enjoy your Wednesday.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

There are many ways to tell that Autumn has arrived but my favorite is when the trees start to change.  I love this tree.  It's in one of my neighbors' yards but it's my barometer for how far advanced Autumn is at any one point.  It's iinteresting to me that each tree has its own schedule for putting on it's colorful coat.  This tree is a Maple (I believe) but so is the one in front of my house and my Maple still looks like this.
Just the edges are turning colors.  It's a bit strange this year because it usually turns only yellow but we are seeing some orange in there this morning.  It's beautiful.

The summer clothes are packed away and the winter woolies are now clean and hanging in the closets and folded in the drawers.  For the next month or so, the closets will look neat.  Then life takes over and we are less careful putting things away.
My pink rose bush is putting on one last show. It has been blooming all week with such beautiful and fragrant blossoms.  It's unexpected especially since we had to scrape frost off the windshield one morning last week.  These are hardy bushes.

I usually have at least one pair of socks going .  They are,after all, a highly portable project and can usually be worked on while talking or at lunchtime at work.  At this moment, I have 4 pairs otn.  This is in part because when I get my hands on a new skein of fingering weight yarn, I feel a desire (almost a need) to work with it.  And when I got in an order of Stroll sock yarn from knitpicks which included a few skeins of their neon sock yarn,  I wanted to start several more pairs.  

Pk has a pair of neon green socks which are one of his favorite pairs.  I got three other neon colors (red, purple and blue) and the blue is now becoming a pair of fibonaci striped socks.  I am only using 1,1,2,3,5,and 8 and then 8,5,3,2,1,1.
It makes for a vaguely random lookng stripe and makes the sock seemingly go quicker.  At this time, these are for me but with the holidays coming, these may go into the gift pile.  The last pair I made ostensibly for me, went to Kate for her birthday because they seemed to be for Kate.  I have enough yarn to make a second pair so maybe these will go into the gift pile and I'll make me a pair in January.    

(photo from kntpicks)
One of Pk's other favorites are his Fire socks.  That's what he calls them because they are yellows and reds.  He wears them to job interviews since he thinks they are lucky.  Well, they are wearing out so I went looking for a new yarn to make Fire socks 2.  I think this will work.  It's wool and nylon and feels a bit tougher than some other sock yarns.  Once I finish one of the other 4, I'll start them.  Unless I can't wait and start them later today.  The will is weak.....

Another sure fire sign of fall is the Flu shot (gotten 2 weeks ago at the insistence of my employer) and the arrival of pumpkin flavored everything.  One of the local self storage companies has  capitalized on this trend by saying on their sign "We have pumpkin spice storage units!".  

I am taking part in a research project.  It's being administered by a man in California.  It's about happiness.  You go to and sign up.  The app is free and several times during the course of your day, they send you a queery.  "How are you feeling?".  Right at that moment (or as close s you can safely make it), you answer a few questions about what you are doing and how you feel about it.  Once a week they do a roundup of all your answers and extrapolate when you are happiest during your day.  At the end, the data will be published but you get your own results on an ongoing basis.  It's been interesting so far.  I learned (after one week) that I am generally happy even when I am at work.  Who knew?  Check it out.  It's free and you can learn something about yourself.   And that's usually a good thing, right?

We're watching the Manchester Derby (or Darby as the announcer keeps callling it).  Pk is in a quandry because his team is Arsenal and in order for them to stay at no. 1 on the chart, Manchester United has to win.  He dislikes (strongly strongly dislikes) them as a team but has to root for them so his team can stay on top.  We have never watched sports together (not a sports family) but we do enjoy watching soccer games on the weekends.  

I have nothing I have to do today and it's a nice feeling.  We haven't had fried chicken for a while so I'm thinking I may fry some for dinner.  There may be a game in our afternoon plans or maybe we'll look for some sci fi movies from the 50's.  Yesterday we watched the original Invasion of the Body Snatchers.  It was great.  They are so different than our more modern movies.  
I'll leave you with this profound thought from the wall of my favorite chocolate store.  Eat chocolate.  It's good for ou!

Friday, October 16, 2015

On Tuesday, Peter Kevin showed me a game that he saw on Facebook (FB is good for that).  It's called "Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes".  I guess with a title like that, how could he not be intrigued.

He showed me the article about it and told me "I think we could do really well at this".  I quickly read it and disagreed strongly.  "I think we will stab each other with pens.  Remember hanging the insulation and sheet rock?"

While we are compatible most of the time, when there is a task to perform, we sometimes have a bit of a power struggle-unless one of us (me) decides that it's just not important enough to me to argue. 

Image result for keep talking and nobody explodes
The bomb
What is this game?  I hear you asking.  Well, you have two stations and a few people (as few as 2 and as many as you want).

At one station, you have a computer with a program that loads a bomb.  It looks like this. (and it's double sided)  At the other station, you have a Defusal Manual.  The hard part is that the person with the bomb is not allowed to look at the manual and the person/people with the manual are not allowed to see the bomb.

Your object is to defuse the bomb before it blows up.  Sounds ok?  I thought so until I read the manual.  Holy cow is it hard!  The starter bombs have only 3 modules and they give you 5 minutes of time.  Did I forget to mention they are timed?  And you only get to make so many mistakes before you go BOOM?

The modules (there are 14 different ones altogether and the computer generates a bomb for you from those 14) have to be defused by describing to the manual readers what you see.  And what you see is often very hard to describe.  One part is symbols.  Some of them are familiar.  Most are not.  We made up our own names as we went along.  For instance, there is one Kate called "octopus leaning on wall" and that's what is became.  My favorite is "Donald Trump's comb over".

The defuser tells the group what he/she sees and they tell him/her how to defuse each module.  The hard part is that the defusal manual is filled with logic problems.  These are second only to Story Problems as my least favorite type of puzzle.

Image result for keep talking and nobody explodes
The manual

Since it was just our anniversary, I bought this (14.99 so if we hated it, we weren't losing much) for Pk and invited Kate and Patrick over on Wed night to play.

We had a blast (pun intended).  At first look, the manual is impossible.  Really.  We are smart people and there was one module that took us forever to figure out.  The directions are purposefully vague but eventually we figured it out.  There are so many details and you don't know which ones might be important so you just tell everything.

We quickly learned who was better at which module and which ones to do first because they are easier.  And we blew up. A lot.

It was a lot of fun.  It's not competitive but cooperative which is a switch for an adrenaline producing game.  Communication skills are important but so is being able to take in a lot of information and distill it down into the important parts.  Quickly.

You can check out the manual anytime.  It's a free download.  The software for the bomb generator is not expensive but you do have to purchase it.  (and now that I have used the words "bomb" and "defuse" so many times, I will not be surprised to be stalked by Homeland Security.....).

If you had asked me on Tuesday, I would have said, "run away!" but now, I recommend this.  It's so different from any other game we've played and it's tiring to play.  It's strangely satisfying to defuse a complicated bomb in the time allotted.

Other than video games, life here is good. Pk pulled a muscle connected to his "baby back ribs" (the dr's words, not mine).  He's having a good deal of pain and started a course of steroids today and has to stay away from the wood shop for 3 weeks.  He's not a happy camper.  He's been scheming out there and thinking of Christmas.  I will padlock the garage if he doesn't stay out.  I want him to heal.

I am going to get out the winter clothes this weekend and put away the summer cottons.  While I hate to say goodbye to the light clothes, I love the way the closets/drawers are all neat and straightened when I get finished.  Saturday night we are having dinner with one of Pete's woodworking buddies and his wife who knits.  I wonder how many other couples are knitter/woodworkers.  Do you think crafts people are drawn to one another? 

Have a spectacular weekend!

Monday, October 12, 2015

Image result for columbus day

Happy Columbus Day. What an odd thing to celebrate, "discovering" a land where someone already lives.  I'm glad I don't have group today.  As I put the notice on our board that we are indeed open on Columbus Day, one of the group members started on a rant about Columbus and fair treatment of the Indigenous people (his language was much more colorful).  I don't want to fight the same battle we fought last year and the year before that and so on and so on and so on....


Disney Women's W000469 Mickey Mouse Perfect Square Bracelet Watch

This past weekend, Pk and I celebrated our 34th wedding anniversary.  He totally surprised me with this.  I used to have a Mickey Mouse watch but the clasp on the band made my skin break out so I mentioned casually that one day I'd like one with a stainless steel band.  He remembered and this will be mine today.   As Katie said, "it's pretty simple for something Disney".

Image result for smithville innWe celebrated our day by going to someone else's wedding.  Our former neighbors (who we thought were already married) got married Saturday.  At a local bar.  Outside.  I have no problem with the wedding being at a bar.  It would have been nice if it weren't so breezy and cold.  I pinned the boutonnieres on the young (and not so young) men.  They didn't know what to do with them.  One offered me a 20 dollar tip!  Who knew you could make money pinning flowers on young men?

Sunday we went to brunch at Smithville Inn.  It was delicious and such a nice day, we walked around outside and looked in all the touristy shops.  I found a new guy to add to the Toy Squad on my desk.  He's a zombie and is appropriately ugly.  I am calling him Beau.

We happened upon the same flea market that we see every year at a tiny church on our way home.  I found a medium sized enamel roasting pan for 5 dollars. It's not as big as a roasting pan for turkey but it's has deeper sides than a 9x13 pan.  It will be good for roasting chicken and vegetables. 

Fall is firmly settled in here.  The leaves are starting to change and the temperatures are definitely more autumnal.  I have to put together a list of available appointment times for each clinic I run.  We usually do them for the upcoming 12 weeks. I gasped out loud two weeks ago when I realized it was 12 weeks until Christmas.  I'm not sure what our plans for Thanksgiving are, other than we will eat turkey.  I had everyone at our house last year and will probably do the same this year.  I enjoy cooking for a crowd.  And since the menu is firmly fixed in tradition, it's not difficult to plan.  After all these years, I have the timing down pat.

So, Happy Monday to you all.  In the spirit of Columbus, go out and conquer the world.


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