29 November, 2016

Less spam

I have noticed a marked decrease in the amount of spam I've been getting lately.  Usually if I didn't open my Yahoo mail for a day I'd  have more than 100 spam emails but now it's a 10th of that.  I opened it up today after a week and there was only 66.  Fantastic.

So, where did the week go?  Well Wednesday I was feeling a little under the weather and decided to skip the gym.  I baked a pumpkin pie instead.  Thursday was Thanksgiving and I made a nice dinner for just the two of us.  Friday was the Apple Cup and Ben had the day off.  Oh what a great game that was!  This Friday the Huskies play Colorado for the Pac12 Championship.  Then?  Well it could be that there is a playoff in their future.  SO exciting.

Saturday was a beautiful day so we put up the lights on the house.  It's always a tough job but we  spread it out and finished it up on Sunday.  My feeling is that it's a little TOO colorful but what the heck.  Then when we finished up on Sunday I took Tink to the park before we settled in to watch the Seahawks get absolutely humiliated by Tampa Bay.  It was terrible.  Awful.  I got lots of knitting done on my cashmere wrap.  Which, by the way, is absolutely heavenly.  I can't wait to finish it so I can block it. I want to bring it with me too Paris.  I think it's going to be cold, because next week it's getting cold enough to snow here.

Tuesday - my computer day and shopping day.  I've got to go up to Alderwood and get some things at Nordstrom.  Maybe shop for a new top or another pair of jeans for my trip.  Oooooo .... it's getting close and I'm finally getting excited.

22 November, 2016

More forms

Unbelievable  -  I have two more forms to fill out for retirement! I thought all of the forms were accounted for in my packet but either I skipped a couple or they weren't included.  Well happy days, they have been sent to me for completion and they're good ones.  My official UW Retirement form, which will give me my UW free parking anywhere forever, and the VEBA which is an account for miscellaneous medical expenses - copays and medicine - which uses your accrued sick pay.  But you know what?  They can't make me go back to work!!  woohoo!!

I had a really tough workout yesterday.  It felt like Friday, it was that tough.  I think I might be fighting a bug.  I am so tired all of the time.  But I slept in today and I was going to the mall, but I think I'll skip that and stay close to home - to some more knitting.  I'd like to get that cashmere wrap done in time for the trip.

My replacement debit card finally arrived yesterday.  An entire week without a debit card - more annoying than I had anticipated. I just wish I could figure out where on earth the numbers escaped from.  No harm done, thankfully.

It is getting colder and colder.  There is snow in the mountains.  Now I've got to figure out where to buy more wood!  I love having a fire in the fireplace.  It makes it so cosy.

Saturday morning early we had help arrive and we got the couch out of the back room.  It was a huge effort but it had to come out and it finally did with a little twist and much grunting.  And now we have a comfy living room again.  And got to watch winning football on the weekend.  This weekend is the Apple Cup  - well, Friday.  Can't wait.

17 November, 2016

Bad dreams

I've only had a couple of dreams about work and last night I had another.  It was short.  I walked up to a door - I guess my office door - and there was a huge long handwritten list taped to the door.  I burst out  crying.  It was a long list of thankless chores for some class or another.  I tore it off the door, and through my sobs said, "This is the LAST time I'm doing this"! I wonder how long before the dreams go away altogether?

I was right about the cashmere.  It really cheered me up and I'm working on a beautiful wrap with it.  I think I'd like to take it with me on my trip so I've got to keep at it.  It's mostly garter stitch with increases and then every 16 rows a 15 row short-row lace bit.  It's quite interesting but that short row part is definitely NOT TV knitting.

We went to Anacortes Saturday morning, stopping in LaConner for lunch and arriving at the hotel in Anacortes at 1:30.  We went in to see when our room would be ready and oh, guess what.  I had made the reservation for Sunday rather than Saturday.  *sigh*  But those girls at the reception desk could not have been nicer.  They called around to all of the other places near by and found us a dog friendly motel just a few blocks away.  After that horrible experience in McMinnville we were a little skeptical but I had the woman show me a couple of rooms and they were just fine.  Not fancy, but not stinky.  Whew.  We strolled around the town before the football game and decided that the place we were going to watch the band would be perfect for the football game, so we settled in around 3:30 for a long night.

And it ends up it was not a great long night.  The Huskies got beat.  Oh ... disaster.  They were ranked #4 in the country!  USC had their number and the Huskies just did not have the juice.  It was a train wreck.  But the band was awesome and we stayed for the entire time.

Sunday when we got home we were going to take another go at the couch and get it out of the office and into the living room.  But we just could NOT get that thing out of the doorway.  Now we know that it is possible because we got it in there, but between the two of us ... to happening.  I think Ben's brother will be able to help us tomorrow.  I sure hope so because I am getting tired of trying to get comfortable on these chairs.

I had two good work outs this week and I'm looking forward to tomorrow as well, with more core work.  I was sorry to have missed last Friday and I know I really should have gone.  I would probably have felt happier right away.  Ah well.  Tomorrow for sure.  Today, Tink gets another medicated shampoo and I'm going to the recycle and Trader Joe's.  What an interesting life I lead,

11 November, 2016

I need a positive knitting experience

Well things are just a bit weird, don't you think?  Who wasn't surprised by the election outcome?  I find it hard to believe and so I am not thinking about it.  We'll survive but ... good heavens.

I've got the blues today.  I should be getting ready for the gym but I just can't face it.  I think what I'm going to do is wind up that cashmere and start something lovely with it.  I worked on the blanket yesterday while I was helping someone re-learn how to knit and it looks like I got off somehow on the broken rib.  I can't figure out what I did because the count is right and I'm doing the right stitches so I think probably I messed up midway across a row when I put my project down to help her.  Anyway I am just fed up with that project.  I will keep it for TV knitting but today I want something beautiful in my hands.  So that's the plan.  Along with our normal doggie walk in the park and errands and a bath for Tinkerbell.  She has a skin thing going on and I'm pretty upset about that as well.  She had it once before and I had to bathe her every other day for two weeks.  Not fun.  Hopefully I can nip it in the bud before it gets to that stage again.

I should be getting excited about my trip to Paris.  I made my reservations for the LA portion of the trip.  Four weeks to go,  and I haven't really thought much about it since I made the reservations.  That should cheer me up.

We're going to have a fun weekend.   We're spending Saturday at a nice hotel in Anacortes.  There is a good band playing right across the street and a Husky football game before that.  It should be a great time.  I haven't seen a live blues band in ages.

Ah .... here's something funny.  We bought a beautiful new area rug for the living room.  We decided to sell the couch and use the green one in the office - my old green suede couch.  The color is perfect and it's not so big as the other couch.  I put it on Craig's List and Tuesday a nice couple came by and bought it and took it away.  Yay!  So I go into the office and take the cushions off the couch and move things around and out so that we can put it in the living room when Ben gets home.  He gets home, changes his clothes and we go to move the couch.  Can you guess?  We can't get it out of the door!  So he takes the door off the hinges and we try again.  Then we realize that when we put that couch into the office the big, huge desk was in the closet alcove.  We have since moved it out into the room and reclaimed the space for a closet and that is why we couldn't get it out the door.  We need to move the desk to the back of the room so that we can tilt the couch down and get it through the doorway.  So for now the living room consists of a beautiful rug and two arm chairs.  It looks funky but until we can get some more muscle around here it will have to stay.  Hopefully his brother can drop by and help get the couch into the living room.

08 November, 2016

The dark days

They are upon us.  Already.   But the temperature is quite warm, at least for now.  Crazy warm today. I just read an article last night that said we are in for a snowy winter this year, like 2008/2009.  That might be fun, since I don't have to drive anywhere.

Things are going well at the gym.  I have added a little weight to the squat portion of the workout and a little to the triceps.  I will try for some more tomorrow since I have no soreness from Monday.  Well none in the legs anyway. My upper body strength is so nonexistent that I always can get soreness there.  Last Friday I tried the BodyPump and CRX class and that was indeed challenging.  And I had all kinds of new soreness after that one because the CRX is core work.  I am looking forward to trying it again this Friday.

Today I am waiting for a couple to come buy the couch.  We bought a new area rug for the living room and decided that we want to move the green couch I had that is now in the office/guest room into the living room.  The convertible chaise is just too big for this space.  And the green couch will go much better with the new rug.  It will give a whole new feel to this room.

I made my reservations for the LA portion of my December Paris trip.  And I've been trying to activate my Trusted Traveler card but their web site seems to be down.  It is very annoying.   I have to get it activated soon or it will become inactive so .... hopefully I can get it done today.

Still working on that stupid blanket.  I hate the yarn.  I should have known better than to use acrylic and should have shopped for a super wash wool.  But I did want a fuzzy blanket so that's why I went against my instincts with the acrylic.  Ah well.  As soon as it's done I'm going to reward myself by using the cashmere I have stashed away.

01 November, 2016


I have no problem with my discipline when it comes to going to the gym.  I am pretty happy with that.  My problem is finding the discipline to sit down at my computer and do my business.  Like banking and budgets and things like that.  When I was working I had to sit down at the computer every morning so it was much easier to keep up with that kind of thing but now I have to consciously sit down and balance my accounts and pay my bills and ... I haven't even bought my ticket for LA yet!  Nor have I filled out my ballot.  But I'm going to do that this morning before lunch.  I have done the grocery shopping and tidied up and I can't put it off any longer.

Well I am not all that keen on the blanket I am making.  Not that the color is not nice and the pattern is great, it's that darned acrylic yarn!  Ick ick ick.  But I shall keep on with it because it does not make any sense to have a blanket you can't wash.  Then when I'm done with that I'm going to find something beautiful to make with my stash of cashmere.

Speaking of my workouts, I had to skip Wednesday and Friday last week.   My goal this week is to do all three sessions and add a little weight.  I didn't get any soreness in my legs from yesterday's workout so I will add some to the leg work.

It has been raining a lot lately but also blowing and the leaves are nearly all down.  I raked up part of the yard on Friday but then on the weekend it started raining again.  This week I may have to get out there on Thursday.  That looks like the only day without rain.

The Huskies won a nail biter this weekend but the Seahawks lost, with lots of help from the referring committee.  Terrible job there.  And I lost my match up.  I am now 4 and 4 on the season with absolutely NO help from Russell Wilson.  I was so happy I got him and now .... not so much.

26 October, 2016

Laying low

Well it's not so bad.  I'm just a little under the weather is all.  The way I can tell for sure if I'm actually sick or just needing a rest - well, back when I was working anyway - is to answer one question.  Can I knit?  If I don't feel like even picking up the knitting I'm actually sick.  That was yesterday and, I am afraid, today as well.  I slept in very late for me.  I didn't even wake up until 9, which is the latest I've stayed in bed since I retired.  I don't have a full blown cold, thank goodness, but a dripping nose and sore throat and ear ache is bad enough.

Yesterday I had things I needed to take care of and the sun was out so Tink and I were up and out and to the park by 9 where she had a nice walk.  Then I took her to the dog self wash and gave her a much needed bath.  I am going to be much more vigilant about bathing her between grooming sessions so that we can keep her skin condition from returning.  The self wash is easy, just like a car wash with the shampoo already mixed in with the temperature controlled water.  And the tub is raised so it doesn't kill my back.  She hates it though, but she is much nicer smelling.  After that I stopped at the store for some essentials and then went for my manicure and pedicure and then home and that was fine because I was beat.

It is pouring rain today.  I sure hope Tink doesn't start putting up a fuss about going to the park because it is not on the agenda for today.

25 October, 2016

The long road back

Getting back into shape is a long and painful process.  There are no short cuts.  I went to BodyPump Monday morning, yesterday, and made it through the entire routine - a new one this time - with weights!  I was very proud of myself for that.  Pretty soon I'll be able to start adding more weight, but just the face that I was able to use weights for the whole class is huge.  There are lots and lots of different routines, but they all target the same muscle groups, just in different exercises.  This particular one had very difficult ab and triceps routines.  That being said, I have no soreness in either of those areas, but I certainly do in my upper back and shoulders.  So I need to add more weight to my triceps routines and work on better form for the ab work.  I certainly don't want to be as sore as I was at the beginning but I should feel something.

I had been craving collard greens for a few days, so I decided to make a pot of them yesterday for dinner.  I had forgotten what a huge hassle the particular recipe I was using was to prepare, not to mention pricey.  You would think that greens would be cheap but all they had was organic at the Haggen market and I had to go there for the smoked turkey wings, which this recipe uses instead of ham hocks.  Last time I did this I used a ham hock and I wasn't blown away, so I went with the turkey and I am really glad that I did.  The reason this recipe is so difficult is that you not only have to individually wash and tear the leaves, which you would have to do anyway, but then you wilt them in a pot of boiling liquid so they fit into the slow cooker.  I should have taken a picture of the pile of leaves.  That's six bunches, about 5 pounds, of greens torn into bite sized pieces.  It was huge but it eventually got wilted down, with a lot of stirring and cursing from me and my sore muscles, and into the slow cooker.  I must say though it was totally worth it.  They are delicious!  And pricey as this recipe is, I have left overs for two more meals, since they are sides and not mains.  Very yummy.

Here it is the 25th of October and I have not been sick!  Usually by this time in the year I've had at least two bad upper respiratory things.  Fingers crossed though, because I bring this up because I am feeling definitely sniffly this morning and I was awake twice in the night, once to take puffs from the asthma inhaler.  So ... we'll see what the day brings.  I've got to get Tink washed today and I found a self dog washing place I'm going to try.  And I need to get my manicure done today.  That is all I need to do, although I would very much like to get out and rake some leaves if the rain stays away.  We'll see how I feel.

The parade of wild life continues.  Yesterday afternoon I saw a young buck walk through the yard, horns about 8 inches long.  So beautiful.  No sign of the bears thank goodness.

20 October, 2016

Global Entry!

Woohoo!  The day is finally here.  I go for my Global Entry interview today at 1:45.  No more log TSA lines.  Pre-check all the way.  It is pouring rain yet again so the drive out and back is going to be a mess, but I'll just give myself plenty of time.  If I have to cool my heels for 20 minutes I've always got my iPhone.  I just don't want to miss this.

And here it is Thursday already!  I was anxious to go to the gym on Monday and do the BodyPump class again.  I was feeling nearly normal, muscle pain-wise that is.  It was a packed class and I was very happy with myself.  I made it through almost all of the workout with weights and I didn't once feel like I was going to throw up.  Big improvement.  However, now my biceps are SO sore that they wake me up in the night.  Ah well, the price of success.  I went again yesterday and did all but ONE set of exercises with weights.  And today my chest is crazy sore.  Tomorrow?  Well I have a choice.  I can take the half BodyPump have abs class or I can just run on the treadmill.  The housekeeper is coming at nine and I'm going to want to spend as much time as I can there, so perhaps I'll do the 30 minutes and if the advanced abs are too much for me I'll go spend some time on the treadmill.

Yesterday evening I met up with Andy and Kate for a few glasses of wine, some food and some good talk.  As I suspected, this autumn has been a disaster and I am SO glad I am not a part of it.  I don't miss it at all.  Not at all.

I have got to get a knitting project on my needles though.  I finished up the socks last Sunday and I've been waffling around about what I should do next.  I think I'll just buy that cheap yarn and get to work on another blanket  - one that can't be ruined if it gets tossed into the washer again.  On the way home from the airport today I can do that.

We were supposed to have a huge wind storm this last weekend but it never materialized.  People got all crazy buying generators, etc.  And nothing.  Except there are a few more leaves on the ground.  The rain is doing me in though.  Hard rain.  Relentless.  I take Tink to the park anyway.  You can't live in this part of the world and let the weather stop you from doing things.  If that was the case you could spend a lot of time in doors.

14 October, 2016

Or so I thought ......

It ended up that I got to keep my 2 o'clock facial appointment on Tuesday, so I was happy,  Especially because my muscles were so very very sore.  Tink got a nice park walk in the glorious sunshine and I headed up around 11.  First stop the Apple store where I bought a nice new  iPad Air 2 with cellular.  Next up Nordstrom, where I needed to get some cosmetics.  When I walked in there I was saying to myself, "Hmmmm .... wouldn't it be great if that gorgeous little Rebecca Minkoff pink suede fringed bag was marked down?"  Nordstrom rarely has markdowns but lo and behold, there was the bag and it was marked down!  With my Nordstrom notes I was out the door with that bag at half price.  Awesome!!  What luck, eh?  Then I had a quick trip through Tuesday Morning, ho hum, and a soup and salad lunch and then to the spa.  I had a nice long soak and some time relaxing my muscles even more in the hot sand room and then a facial.  Now that's what I call a perfect day.  And Ben was able to come home for dinner and I made a nice mushroom pork chops recipe from Cooking Light.

Wednesday rolled around, another gorgeous sunny, blue sky day, and I was looking forward to doing another BodyPump class at 9:30.  Except I was even MORE sore than I had been on Tuesday!  How could that be?  I could barely go down stairs or raise my arms over my head.  No gym for me.  Tink got some long walks and that was all I could handle.

At 2 in the morning the power went out and it was still out Thursday when I got up.  I was planning on going to the U District to do some banking but no power, so I couldn't get my car out of the garage. I know there is a way to do it, but I have never done it and I am not confident I could budge that double wooden garage door.  I had the truck but it was pouring rain and I did not want to drive it to Seattle, so I went to Starbucks for coffee and that was the end of my driving.  The power didn't come on until after 6 so I am grateful for the gas stove.  I just heated up some chicken  soup I had in the freezer.  

Today I woke up feeling almost normal and I was anxious to go to the class, but they don't have it on Friday mornings, so I did the treadmill instead.  There is a huge storm blowing in, with 70 mph winds expected for tomorrow.  So of course everyone is expecting the power to go out again.  It has been pouring rain for two days now and the ground is saturated.  It won't take much for a few trees to topple.  Just hope the power will stay on until I get dinner cooked.  Today another fancy recipe from Cooking Light - chicken baked with fennel and tomatoes and lemon.  I hope its good.  

The Huskies have a bye this weekend and the Seahawks are back, playing Atlanta.  That should be a good game.  Maybe I can finish those socks this weekend.  Or maybe tonight even.

11 October, 2016

Ouch ouch ouch

Eery time I go to the gym I look into the classrooms and see all sorts of interesting things going on.  I know that just running and doing a few stretches is really not getting me a decent workout so I did a little asking around about the 9:30 class, which is called BodyPump.  And yesterday I did my first body pump class.  All I can say is wow, what a great great full body workout.  I am SO sore today, everywhere.  Back, shoulders, triceps, biceps, quads, lats ... not so much the gluts but that's probably because it's used so much with running.  Even though I am sore I am quite looking forward to going back again on Wednesday.

As unlikely as I found it, I actually won my matchup lady night since my opponent had a ridiculously underperforming player in that game.  But big deal - even though my record is the same as three other guys I am lowest because I haven't been making lots of points, except the first week.  Hopefully they will change this weekend with Russell Wilson healthy.

One thing I have been looking forward to is my appointment at the Olympus Spa today for a facial and, not coincidentally after yesterday, a big old soak in the hot tubs.  But yesterday evening I got  call saying that they had made a mistake with the booking and could I come in at 2:45.  NO!  That is too late.  The girl was supposed to call back, but she didn't so I'll have to give another call this morning to see what is up.  I have also decided that it's time to get a new iPad and I was going to go to the Apple store before the spa.  The one I have is obsolete and can't even take the latest update, and it is so slow.  I'm going to get a new one and wipe the old one clean and give it to Ben.  He won't be putting anything on there App-wise.  He just wants to read sports news on the browser.  Perfect.  I am going to get one with Wi-Fi AND LTE or whatever it's called, so that I can get phone service when I need it, like when I go to Paris in December.

I still haven't finished those socks but I might sit down and do that this evening.  I've got to get started on the new blanket.  This one I will make out of washable yarn in case the housekeeper takes it into her head to wash it again.

06 October, 2016

Thumbs up

Yesterday I tried out NOT showering at the gym.  I did my workout, left my workout clothes on and took off for home, with a quick stop at the post office to mail a package.  Bu the time I got home I was plenty cooled down and had a nice shower and did  a little clean up in the kitchen while my hair air dried.  Perfect.

Except my day got a little messed up.  I had taken Tink to the vet Tuesday to have her neck checked out.  It is a skin infection and she's no stranger to that, since it is most prevalent in Westies.  I got some anti-bacterial and anti-fungal wipes that I have to use on the affected area twice a day, some antibiotics and some anti-itch pills.  I have switched her to a harness to avoid further irritating the skin on her neck and I have tied a cotton bandana around her neck to protect the area.  But at night she scratches at it with her back paws so yesterday I was going to go to Petco to get her some socks to cover those feet at night and a doggie T-shirt to cover up the neck/chest area.  But our friend came over to clean off the roof and the gutters and I couldn't really leave him alone on the roof, so no trip to Petco.  I'm going to do that this morning.

And I'll tell you what - I have created a monster with Tink and the park.  Yesterday while I was drying my hair I had her basking in the sun on the front porch.  But she wanted in.  Next thing I know she's sitting by the door where I'm drying my hair and barking that sharp "I want something" bark.  When I asked her what she wanted she trotted to the closet where I keep the leashes.  This was around 12:30 when she has been getting her park walk so I did a little test, hooked her up and walked towards the front door.  Nope.  She put on the brakes.  And then pulled me toward the back door.  I had to finish drying my hair, which was difficult to convey to the dog, and then she got her park walk.  She is feeling better, I can tell.  She didn't exactly run around the park, but she was more active.  It's got to be annoying having a big sore on the neck.

Last night I had a dream about work.  It was about how I did not want to be there.  It was like I was still having to go in but I had nothing to do.  Not a nice dream at all and I was trying to do the math to figure out if I had enough vacation time to just quit then an there.  What a relief when I woke up and remembered that I had already done that.  Whew

04 October, 2016

Rethinking the gym day routine

My current routine needs some adjustment.  As it is now, on gym days Tink gets a very basic walk in the morning before I put her in the car and take her to wait for me when I work out.  I do my 45 minutes on the treadmill, do a little stretching or some machines, then I head to the showers.  The problem, in a nutshell, is that I need more cool down time.  Even though I take at least 15 minutes to stretch and cool down it is not nearly enough.  Even a cool rinse in the shower and blowing cool air from the hair dryer on my head does not do the trick.  Basically I cannot get my hair dry!  I finally gave up yesterday and just put it in a pony tail and headed out.  I had to pick up a few things at the grocery store and I needed to get a harness for Tink since she's got this mysterious sore on her neck.  Then it was a little after noon, I was h-angry and still we hadn't done the park.  When we got there Tink was not interested in a walk.  SO frustrating.  I have been trying to be efficient but I think I've got to forget getting dressed at the gym.  For Wednesday I'm going to just give her the normal business walk, head to the gym and do my thing and then come back home to get cleaned up.  If I get organized I can do all my running around on non-gym days.  But I know I'll probably have to make extra trips in the car.  But I have to be able to get my hair dry so that's that.

Today we're going to have the vet look at Tink's neck.  She has always worn a collar so I can't imagine it is entirely the fault of a collar that caused the sore on her neck.  We'll soon find out.

Rain has moved in.  Autumn is here.  It's not cold yet though  so that is good.

03 October, 2016

Monday Monday .... not so bad anymore

It's amazing how things change when you don't have to steel yourself to get back to the office on Monday.  It's just a quiet day after the weekend.  And today it's a cloudy and chilly quiet day.  I will be able to go to the gym.  I finally wore a full shoe yesterday and while my toe did hurt a bit, it wasn't debilitating and I will be able to run.

Tink got groomed this weekend and she looks like herself again.  I had noticed a patch of raw skin on her neck and now that she's groomed it is very obvious and we're going to have to go to the vet about it.  I don't know if it is some irritation from her collar and she's aggravated or what, but it's almost two inches long and more than half an inch across.  Not good.  I'm going to buy her a harness to use instead of her collar for the time being until we can figure out what's up with it.

Football weekend started early with a Husky game on Friday evening.  They played Stanford and absolutely crushed them.  They have moved up in the polls to 5!  That is really something. The Seahawks also did well on Sunday and beat the Jets in New York.  I like it when both of the team win.  It would be better still if my fantasy match up had gone well, but even though I have two more scores tonight I have no chance of winning this week.  Again.

The Seahawks socks on size 8 needs are moving right along.  I've already turned the heel, picked up the gusset stitches and now I'm on the foot.  I could finish tonight, or get pretty close.  And then what?  I think I should start thinking about making another blanket after the first got ruined.  And maybe this time I'll just a washable yarn in case the house cleaner tosses it in the washer again.