Sunday, October 4, 2015

Hello!  I am Donna Lee.  I feel like I should introduce myself since I've been gone so long.  Why is thiis, you may ask?  No real reason.  Just life.  

How was your summer?  I can't believe it's been an entire season.  But it is now Autumn.  I can tell because we had a N'oreaster over the weekend and today I am wearing a wool sweater.  

The easiest way to bring you up to date is to show the images of my summer.  It started with the storm that tore up trees and gave us this amazing color
This was taken without a filter.  The sky was such a bright pinkish color.  I didn't know at the time that the tornado that touched down in a nearby neighborhood had ripped up a tree and plopped it down onto Patrick's mother's house. (she is fine)

Our July 4th celebration included a new dish for us.  A "boil".  It was kielbasa and shrimp and corn all cooked together.  It was delicious.  We served a drink we call Sangria but is really closer to a wine cooler with fruit in it.  It's light and refreshing. 

There was blueberry pie!
And sunsets by the river.  

We had a small but very tasty Kumato harvest.  They are meaty and sweet and taste more like tomatos  than any other tomato we have ever grown.

I am making socks (like the Earl Grey pair for my husband)
There was eye sugery to correct a detached, torn retina.  No, I have no idea how it happened.  It is not unusual for people in their 50's who are nearsiighted.  Now, 8 weeks later, my signt is improved but not back to normal.  There is a small blind spot that may or may not get better.  If not (and I am inclined to believe it's as good as it will get) I'll learn to live with it.

We learned to make caramel corn.  It was easy and was delicious.
I am working on Moria Mittens..  I enjoy color work once in a while.   It's fun to watch the pattern develop.

And finally, I cut my hair.  It was originally done to make it easier to grow out the color in my hair.  Then I decided I like this color and am not ready to have a head full of white/silver hair.  I'll probably grow it back to my shoulders.  I like that length and it's easy to take care of.

Lastly, we servived the visit of Pope Francis.   I opted to stay out of Philadelphia for the weekend and our agency was closed (which we NEVER do).  There were volunteers who stayed and took care of the few small issues that came up.

And now we are beginning my favorite time of year.  Our annversary is next weekend (34 years!) and we are attending a wedding that day and then going to brunch the morning after.  Hallowe'en  follows close and then it's a quick slide through to Thanksgiiving and Christmas.  

Work is going well.  I still enjoy my job but have had to give up teaching with Handle with Care.  Pete is worried that I will get hit in the head and cause problems with my eyes.  He never asks me to stop doing things so when he asked this time, I paid attention.  I'll organize the classes and help with the verbal deescalation parts but no more physically taking anyone down.  This is my baby and I am sad to say goodbye to it.  It's been 12 years and I'll miss it but Pete is right.

So, that is what went on over the summer.  It sped by as always.  How are y'all?  Was the summer a good one?  I think I am back here.  I wasn't sure but I don't think I'm ready to say goodbye.  So, 'till next tme,  Have a good week!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

We had one of those "summer storms" blow through Tuesday night.  Pk and I were at the deli getting sandwiches but they ran out of rolls so we got some lunch meat.  The skies broke open and the rain and hail and wind (70mph) roared through.
When it was over, the sky looked like this.  I went outside because everything was yellow.  It was so eerie.  I took many cloud photos and then this one because the air color seemed to be pink.
It was cool and weird at the same time.  Over all we were lucky.  No power outage.  Other folks around us were not so lucky.
This is a house in Stratford (just 1/2 mile away).  A small tornado touched down and broke this tree off at the ground line and knocked it onto Kate's mother in law's house.  Everyone is fine, just a bit shook up.  These kind of storms are not unusual this time of year.  Our street had some large llimbs down and leaves everywhere but no major damage.  It comes with the season.  

The most intrusive part of this storm was the loss of power to our commuter train to Philadelphia.  For the first time in over 20 years, PATCO was not running.  It's an electrical train and one of its power stations went down in the storm.  They kept saying "power will be back by mid morning" so we waited but it wasn't restored until 1 PM.  This means that 30,000+ folks were driving and looking for parking spots.  It's hard enough to park in the city on a good day.  We opted to stay home because going to work after 1 wasn't worth it.  One of my coworkers had to park a mile away and pay 25 dollars.  It's crazy.

And now we are getting ready to have some time off for July 4th.  No big plans for us.   Pk and I will try to go to the lake one day.  And we will eat some of these
tomato slices with fresh mozzarella and basil with olive oil.  Mmmmmm.  Pk's tomato plants are doing well.  He should be harvesting tomatos in a few weeks.  They are the best.  Sweet and juicy.  I can't wait.

But now it's time for lunch.  Yogurt today and an apple.  I have clinic all afternoon so I need to make sure I have enough energy.  I have been dragging all morning (and it seems that lots of other folks are as well).

Have a great weekend everyone.  (I know it's only Thursday but I am looking aheae!)

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Good morning and welcome to the Occasional Blog Post.  I am sorry for the long stretches of time between posts.  No excuse here, just LIFE happenning all oveer the place.

Since I talked to you last, I have made some of these.  The clear ones are garlic dill pickles and the brownish ones are bread and butter pickles.  They are both crispy and very flavorful.  

I finished Pete's Architect of Rivendell socks.  I tried to get a good shot but he is not the most patient of foot models.  These are made of Kroy Sock so they should wear like iron.  The gusset is on top of the foot and made for some interesting knitting.  I have heard people swear by this
(ignore the basket of clean clothes in the background) but I am not sure I like the design.  The socks are gorgeous with their ribs and arches and were sometimes a bit challenging.  It's good to step out of our comfort zone once in a while.
I went to the dentist to get my teeth cleaned and then to have a tooth prepped to be crowned.  It's not a root canalled tooth so I got three shots of novocaine.  And best of all, I got to bite down on the molding tray filled with goo not once but three times.  Have I ever mentioned that I am a legendary gagger?  But all went well and I will have my crown in on July 2.
I also finished a pair of Madtosh Sock in a color that they are only selling in NY City.  Kylie got it for me when she and Kate went to Vogue Knitting in NY.  It made the best stripes!  I have an inordinate fondness for stripey yarn.  I put them in the pile for Christmas but I may sneak them into my drawer.

Otherwise, things here are well.  I am looking forward to a visit from my ex-brother-in-law in July.  He and Pete were Navy buddies so he is looking forward to this visit.  It's been 10 years since we saw him.  

Oops they just announced the All Staff Meeting.  I completely forgot.  Catch you on the flip side.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Look at all the roses!  I knew these were supposed to be prolific bloomers but I wasn't expecting them so early.
Peter Kevin trimmed them back by 1/3 (as we were instructed) in March and they are filling the bed with flowery gorgeousness.  There are still bits of tulips in the garden but they'll be gone soon.  We also left the stars up.  I couldn't stand taking them down.  I love watching them change color at night.

In other gardening news, we have acquired a fig tree.  My brother dug one up on his property and asked if we wanted it.  Pete loves figs so he jumped at it.  He and El dug the hole and we are now anxiously awaiting any evidence that is survived the transfer.

A random photo from uptown.  Penn Medicine is everywhere!  My Handle with Care partners and I were heading up to a school to demonstrate HwC to the staff.  We passed this building on Penn's campus and I was reminded how ubiquitous the Penn logo is.  It was a gorgeous day and the building reflected the sky perfectly.

We are sprinting toward summer here.  The temps have been very warm and the hymidity has been n the 95% range for a few days.  We are unprepared for this in May.  Memorial Day is next Monday, which makes this weekend Memorial Day Weekend-the unofficial start of the summer season here.  The beaches will be swarming with people this weekend no matter what the weather.  Pasty people who have been inside for months.  

I pulled out our summer clothes on Saturday but I am reluctant to wear a skirt to work just yet.  I am not quite ready to blind people with my fluorescent legs!  I am a very pale person and I do not allow myself to tan any more so I stay pale all year long.  I get used to seeing my very white legs after a while but the first time is usually a shock.

We have plans to take dinner to the park by the river on Saturday.  Sunday is the "all the teams play at once" soccer thing in England and Pk is looking forward to it. And then there are MLS games so he should be set.  He took Friday off and I took a half day.  He's coming over to have lunch with me and a few friends before we start our holiday weekend.
What am I knitting?  Well, some socks from some Madeline Tosh sock yarn that Kylie got in NYC.  It's a limited edition color and only available in the city.  I didn't expect it to stripe and was pleasantly surprised.  It feels like it will wear like iron.  I am spnning when it's not too humid and sewing.  I promised Pk a shop apron and have all the denim I need to make it but denim is hard to work with so I keep putting it off.  Maybe this weekend.....(I keep adding things to the list for the weekend!)

Today is our annual PPD tests for tuberculosis.  They inject serum under the skin and wait to see if you react.  Being a health care institution, we are subjected to these things, along with flu shots every year and a requirement to keep your immunzations current. While I understand it, I feel a bit of resentment that I have to allow them to inject substances into my body.

But enough.  I am looking forward to a long weekend to spend with my honey.  Happy Memorial Day!  or have a good week and a lovely restful weekend!

Monday, May 11, 2015

I have a random assortment of interesting photos I've taken over the last week or so but I'm at work and can't access them.  My phone still won't share its photos.  Selfish thing.

We had a lovely, warm weekend.  The sun came out and the temps were in the 80's, a bit high for early May but welcome none the less.  Pk made sure I had a mostly work-free weekend and it was wonderful and restorative.

Well, mostly.  I managed to break a tooth on Saturday morning eating a waffle.  No, the waffle wasn't burnt all crispy.  It's a back molar that had a filling and has been "problematic" (the dentist's word).  I think it has had 2 fillings.  The back quarter of the tooth broke off (it must have been cracked).  I called and left a message because it didn't seem like a true dental emergency.  There is no pain involved and the tooth surface is just a little sharp.  I'm waiting for the office to call me with an appointment.  I am hoping we can just cap it and it won't involve the dreaded root canal.

I also had a hematologist appointment last week. My platelet count is quite high and there is no obvious reason for it.  So, a visit to the blood doctor and a donation of many vials of blood.  They are running tests to see if they can find a reason for the high count.  If not, they call it Essential Thrombocytosis.  It means that I have enthusiastic bone marrow that doesn't know when to stop.  I'm not sure what it means on a daily basis, other than that the platelets may not perform as well as they're supposed to and that blood clots are more of a concern.  I hate waiting.

It was Mother's Day here yesterday.  The girls came for dinner and gave me a photo frame with a photo of each of them on their wedding day holding hands with me.  I have the same photo of me and my mother on my wedding day.  It's beautiful.  I just need a photo of Elanor and I and it will be perfect. 

Peter Kevin made me a back scratcher.  Now before you laugh, I love it.  It's hell to have an itch in the middle of your back and be unable to reach it.  This is a beautiful piece of wood, all smooth and silky with just enough bend to be effective.

We had spaghetti and meatballs and sausage with garlic bread and salad.  It was delicious.  Em brought strawberries and angel food cake and whipped cream for desert. 

And it's Monday morning already.  We are talking about Memorial Day and before you know it, we'll be planning for Labor Day.  Time flies by so quickly.  My mother used to tell me it just got worse the older you get.  I believe her.

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

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.  


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