24 April, 2014

My faith in humanity

It's just a little thing, but so very nice.  When we were up on Hood Canal the weekend before last we drove to Shelton and found a very cute little art gallery where I purchased a small piece of art.  A few days later I got a check in the mail for $16.28 and a card explaining that I had paid the "old" price and they didn't catch the mistake until the end of the day.  She refunded me the difference.  Now this wasn't an expensive piece by any means and frankly I don't know if I would have gone to the trouble of refunding $15 plus tax.  But I'm a notoriously amoral person so .... anyway ... don't you think that's awfully nice?  So if I ever get up that way again, or when I get up that way again, I will definitely stop by. 

I didn't run yesterday because of noon knitting, and I won't be running tomorrow because of a meeting.  Today is my day and I am hoping it stays nice like it is right now.  We are supposed to be having a rainy day but where I am right this second it's brilliant blue sky, just like it was when I ran on Tuesday.  I hope it can stay that way for a few hours because no, I can't go out now.

It was a reading kind of night last night.  I finished up a book and was just about to start a book on my iPad Kindle that I had purchased some months ago when a title caught my eye and I thought "hmmm Isn't it about time for that author to have another title out"?  I went on Amazon and yes indeed, he did have a new one so I bought that and started it and read until I couldn't keep my eyes open.

I also finished up my audiobook, "American Pastoral" and today I can get a new one.  I was pretty keen on the Australian historical trilogy - until I listened to the second book.  Thumbs down.  The first was okay but the second was pretty bad.  Too violent.  Ridiculous sex scenes.  Anachronistic dialogue.  I have a very low tolerance for that stuff.  And honestly, it just makes me cringe to hear men especially narrating a sex scene.  It's ... icky.  I'll spend some time and find a good, long one.

This is a long long week.  Only Thursday.  I am looking forward to my weekend.  I have a free Friday night for the first time in ages.  I think it'll be stupid movie night.  But I've got two days to get through.  Fingers crossed for sunshine!!

23 April, 2014

Getting better and better

The rain stayed away yesterday.  In fact, it was sunny and cloudless when I went out to run at noon.  A bit chilly, but gorgeous.  As before I ran until I was too out of breath, walked for a minute and ran some more.  I would guess I was up to 75% running yesterday.  My pace is not that far off from where I was before I got injured, so I believe that I am still running a bit too fast, but I'm okay with that.  It would be nice if I could end up with a better pace after all of this.  Plus I'm running distance rather than time - in other words, I used to just go out and do 30 minutes.  Now I'm doing 3 miles and yesterday I was nearly 5 minutes faster than my run last week.  So - progress!  I expect that by next week I'll be doing the entire 3 miles nonstop.  And the foot -- a little bit sore last night before bed.  But not sore enough to have to ice or take anything for it, which is also great news.

I have noticed that the pollen is not so bad as it was a few weeks ago, which is another boost to my running.  Except for the asthma bit, my allergies have been quite calm so far.  Wouldn't it be fantastic if I could go the whole of the spring and summer without that nonsense?

Noon knitting today and I brought my Hitofude, which has languished since Sunday.  I wanted to pick it up last night but then I was rather more keen to read and that's what I ended up doing.  I'm also listening to a Philip Roth novel - American Pastoral.  Wow -- that is quite a departure from the historical novels I've been listening to.  And so well narrated by Ron Silver.  I am not looking forward to it ending, it's that good.  Disturbing, but good.  I've always liked Philip Roth.  I wonder how I missed this one?

22 April, 2014


Yesterday got quite hectic in the later afternoon and when I checked the time I had to quickly pack up to get to the bus.  It wasn't until I had gotten home and walked Tink that I realized I had left my iPad at work!!  Ahhhh!  What a drag!  And when I got in today I saw how I had missed it -- I had it half covered up with papers.  Ah well, it won't happen again, or at least not soon.

Mondays are usually my favorite night of the week.  This is the night when I give myself permission to do absolutely nothing.  I did have to toss in a load of laundry so I could have clean running gear, but other than that I just knit and watched some stuff on Netflix and stayed up way too late reading.  I did get the Rainbowtastic fingerless mitts finished up.  I woke up a couple of times but the upstairs neighbor was relatively quiet.

Last Friday my lawyers filed a response to the petition my ex- filed to the State Supreme Court.  I haven't yet taken the time to read it.  I'll send it to my sister and have her give my a synopsis.  Hopefully this thing will be finally over soon.  Maybe I'll get good news when I'm traveling this summer!  That would be awesome.

It is pouring rain and I do so want to run today.  I think I'll go out anyway unless it is a deluge.  I have a hat and a water resistant coat.  I'll be fine.  I am anxious to see how my wind is doing this week.

21 April, 2014

Dream vs reality

I was corresponding with a friend on Friday who informed me that he might actually be retired by November 2015, and remarked that then he would be totally flexible regarding travel, etc.  I remarked that it sounded awesome and he said, "Let's see if reality is as good as the dream".  That made me think about a remark a comedian made about heaven.  Basically despite all words to the contrary, that heaven sounded boring.   The way I see it, retirement is what you make of it.  Nothing sounds nicer to me than to NOT go to work and still get paid.  Completely awesome.  I could fill my days and nights and still be wanting more time to do this or that.  But heaven?  Of course I'm not a biblical scholar, but I never hear about all the fun things to do in heaven.  You never see pictures of people having a good round of golf in heaven, or painting a nice picture or baking a cake.  They're always walking around in robes looking pious.  Well --- just something to think about.  I guess all these ridiculous posting on Facebook are getting to me.

I did have a super awesome run on Friday!  I ran more than half the time and again the only thing holding me back was my wind.  This week I will concentrate on pushing myself a little bit.  Plus I think I may be running a little too fast, which is causing me to become out of breath quicker than normal.  Unfortunately it won't be today.  I completely forgot about washing my running clothes until about 10:30 last night, which is obviously way too late.  Tink needs food anyway, so I'll take that long walk up AND back to Petco.  That'll be nice as well.

Saturday started out so nice, so I got out and planted raspberries.  But then the rains came and it just POURED all the rest of the day.  So I knit and snoozed and had a lazy, lazy day.  Oh -- I washed Tink, but otherwise not too much else.  Sunday of course was Easter and, thankfully, there were no family obligations, just a little lunch with friends.  She served some gorgeous asparagus soup. 

I nearly finished up the Rainbowtastic mitts last night while watching a silly movie.  I can easily finish them up tonight and I believe I will.  It's supposed to be nasty all week, but not too cold.  I could use them.

I stopped by the office to talk about my new upstairs neighbor.   I am now on record and I think the next thing to do is leave a note letting him know that I can hear what goes on in his bedroom.  Thank goodness he slept alone last night.  But I could hear him get into bed, roll around trying to get comfy, then get up to pee, then back to bed.  That's a bit too much information for me.

18 April, 2014

The new upstairs neighbor

I guess I was living in denial.  I didn't want to believe that the squeaking bed upstairs was anything but a restless sleeper.  Alas, last night I had that notion dispelled.  There were definite sounds of amour coming from right over my head.  Not happy.  Not happy at all.  Me I'm talking about.  They sounded quite happy.  Ecstatic in fact.  What to do ... what to do ....

It was extremely windy and rainy at lunchtime and I didn't want to get out there and run.  I did have a nice little walk in the rain with my umbrella, but I would have gotten soaked if I was out there in my running gear.  Plus my foot was a little sore from dropping my iPad on it.  The bruise is minor though and it's gorgeous this morning so I'll be out there for sure.

And it was another quiet evening.  I don't know what's up with me.  I've just been so tired.  My guess is that I'm not sleeping very well.  I think I'll have a good night tonight.

17 April, 2014

I dropped my iPad .....

on my foot!  On my bare, just recently rehabilitated foot!!  Right on the top of my foot, corner down.  Oh the pain. The cursing.  The tears. [okay ... no tears really]  This morning it is bruised, but not swollen so I'll give the noon run a good go.  I'm not expecting to be able to run much more than 50% anyway and I shouldn't so I guess it's okay.  But it was a scare, I'll tell you!

Yesterday I was happy and busy and I got a lot of ducks into a nice tidy row.  I even double checked with my boss that it's okay for me to be gone for two week in July and he said fine.  One week in Europe and one week home.  I am SO excited!  Right now I'm only telling one of my friends.   I want to get a few more details in place before I tell all my Paris friends so I can make sure to have a little time to myself.  You know how it is when you visit someplace you only get to once every couple of years - it's dinner here and lunch there and drinks someplace else and before you know it you've booked up every free bit of time.  I like to have time to myself to wander the streets, poke into my favorite shops or see how the neighborhoods have changed.  Indulge myself.  And I hear the Paris Zoo has been renovated and has re-opened although I expect it will be a complete madhouse, especially in July.  Also the Picasso Museum has re-opened, ditto there with the madhouse.  I used to love to go to that place when I lived in Paris in the winter.  No crowds.  I will be sure to get there very early one day.  That is one place I really do want to see.  There is plenty of day dreaming fodder.

Again yesterday evening I was moving slowly.  Tink got a couple of walks in the rain, I got some laundry done.  No knitting because after that Sunday marathon and noon knitting yesterday my arm was tingling a bit.  It's the purling back that always gets me.   I just left it and watched a couple episodes on my iPad - The Kroll Show - and got to sleep around 10.  And then .... and then I was awakened by my upstairs neighbor.  I can't figure it out.  Whoever lives up there is sleeping on something that squeaks like old bed springs.  What could it be?  Whatever it is, when they are tossing and turning it wakes me up.  Maybe a sofa bed?  I am not happy about it. 

16 April, 2014

April showers

There are plenty of flowers around already, but April is showering anyway.  I don't mind.  There is plenty of time for sunshine and I have noon knitting today so I wouldn't be running anyway.  Yesterday I had such a good time on the trail.  I went for 3 miles and I think I can say I was pretty much running half the time.  It feels like I should have my wind back by next week, especially if I can go again tomorrow and Friday.   Today is my last physical therapy session (I hope - the last one scheduled anyway).  I was going to cancel but then I thought better of it.  I figured it would be good to have a professional assess the situation after that good run.  My foot felt just very slightly aggravated last night when I got up in the middle of the night, but this morning it's fine.  No problems.  I am expecting to get the green light today.

I was understandably a bit tired last night.  And my arm was sore from all of the uninterrupted knitting I had on the weekend, so I just did chores and tried to nail down the last bits so I can get my travel booked for July.  I am just about there.  And then comes the fun part - waiting 13 weeks.  I love anticipation.

My friend Emma had suggested a book to me and a few weeks ago the audio version was on sale, so I bought it and just finished listening.  It's called "The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared".  It was a cute listen, but I was just a little bit distracted because it was narrated by Steven Crossley who is the actor to narrate all of the Shardlake books and he is so in my mind as that character.  Now it's on to a Phillip Roth book.  Quite different but still enjoyable. 

15 April, 2014

Fabulous weekend!!

What a treat!  Sunshine and more sunshine.  It was a gorgeous long weekend on Hood Canal.  Although, truth be told, the cabins could have been a little nicer.  I know we got one of the least fancy ones but it's more the service (or lack thereof) that bothered me.   We stayed three nights and not once during those three days did the housekeeping staff come by!  Well, no they went by on their way to other cabins but I had to chase them down for coffee and towels.  Seriously.  Also, this particular cabin is attached to the one next door and the walls are so thin that I could hear the guest snoring Saturday night.  Not good.

The grounds are lovely though and there is a creek that runs through and there are paths you can walk through the woods along the creek.  Lovely, especially with the superb weather we had.  I got to visit with John a couple of times, had some really excellent meals and had plenty of time to knit.  I got lots and lots done on the Hitofude.  I have once again changed my mind about the extra repeats.  Now instead of doing twice the number of rows I'm just going to add one 8 row repeat to each of the four expanding fronts.  I realized that if I doubled the rows it would be come too wide I think.  Well I can still change my mind, can't I?  I have plenty of yarn.

It was great to take Monday off as well as leaving a bit early on Friday.  I had a nice relaxing time and now I've got a short week.  AND I get to run today!!  I am happy to report that I had exactly zero problems after my little run walk on Thursday.  I even wore heeled boots this weekend without problems.  That is also great news. 

I am almost ready to start planning my trip to Europe.  Almost.  I few more ducks to line up.  I didn't think it was going to be so complicated, but I guess that's because I typically travel to Europe in November, which I can't do this year.  It'll be fun to go at a different time.  It's been so long.  I can hardly contain myself. 

11 April, 2014


I was a little nervous yesterday when I got out on the trail, but I needn't have been.  I kept myself to running just a little bit, then walking, then running a little bit more.  My foot did not hurt!  Well, I felt a tiny bit of ache now and again, but no zingers.  Of course, my wind is not where it should be after such a long lay off, plus the asthma, but that being said I was thrilled the entire 40 minutes.  I was, understandably, a bit tired and achy last night but I feel just fine this morning.  No aches, no pains and I'm even wearing boots with heels!  Not super high ones, mind you, but they're not flat boots.  Hallelujah!  I finally managed a rehab correctly.  Of course, I've gained weight, but that's easily [relatively] taken care of and I've already two weeks into my regimen so it won't be long until I'm back into my nice jeans and pretty dresses.  Ready for summer.

And speaking of summer -- thanks to my most awesome early birthday gift, I'm planning a wonderful week with my friend Emma.  We're still trying to nail down the specifics.  Of course Paris on both ends and maybe Belgium.  Oh I am just SO excited!  I haven't told my friends in Paris yet because I don't have the dates set.  They are going to be so surprised!!  I never travel in the summer.  It'll be quite a switch up.

I have a few things to get to this morning, then at noon it's off for Hood Canal.  I spoke with John last night and he's excited to see us.  I can't wait to see his place in the springtime.  He's been posting pictures of the tulips.  Plus he's been doing some wood working that I'm anxious to see.  And then there's the lovely lawn over looking the canal.  Ahhhhh ...... Good weather to boot.  Not super warm, but not cloudy or rainy either.

10 April, 2014

Drum roll please

I am SO glad I went to physical therapy yesterday because I got to run!  And it didn't hurt!  Well, not much anyway.  So I now have the green light to start slowly slowly back running.  I can hardly wait for lunchtime!  The trick is going to be not to hurt myself again, so it's good that I'll be leaving tomorrow at noon and won't be able to run and most likely will not be bringing running gear on my long weekend.  There will be plenty of walking and I'll be able to assess how I feel.  I am so excited!  The weather is perfect for it as well.  Can you see me smiling?

I had forgotten my row counter so I couldn't do any more than one wrong side row on the Hitofude at lunchtime but made up for it by knitting well into the night.  Then I read more notes from Ravelry by people who have made the pattern and looked at their finished products.  I have decided that I am going to add one extra repeat for each section.  I have plenty of yarn and I like the look much better than the little short cardigan.  Even with aggressive blocking I don't think I'd be happy with the finished product as written.  I like the way it looks on the model, but when you read closely it is a size XS, so she must be exceptionally tiny.   And she obviously doesn't have any chest to speak of.  The real people pictures show the garment in a different light and taking into account the different gauges and after measuring mine I will really like it much more if it's a few inches longer.  So, done and done.  And it's moving right along.  I've got the pattern memorized now, which is helpful.

I've got a full evening.  Hair appointment right after work, then I've got to get all of my things together for the long weekend so they can be put into the car tonight.  I slept great last night so hopefully I'll get another great night tonight and then .... hitting the road at noon!

09 April, 2014

Who knew spring could be so mean?

I have to blame this directly on springtime and pollen.  The headache got worse on Monday and I went home where it finally dawned on me that it was a sinus headache and therefore, since it had been going on for days, I must have a sinus infection.  Grand.  In hindsight I should have called my doctor but I did not and therefore woke up on Tuesday with the same headache.  The office doesn't open until 9 and when I called they were way too busy to fit me in but the receptionist got my number and said the doctor could call something in for me at lunchtime.  He called me at 1:30 to ask a couple questions and then he dropped the bomb -- he's retiring in June!  Good heavens!  He's been my doctor for 25 years.  It is very handy having a doctor you can just call and they know you so well that you don't even have to go in for some things.  And now I'm going to have to break in a new doctor.  Well anyway, good for him.  I'm jealous.  Imagine not having to work but still getting paid.  Now that's something to look forward to!

I didn't want to come in today but I have physical therapy at 11 and it's noon knitting and the headache, while still around, is not nearly as bad as it has been.  And for that I am grateful. 

I have been knitting like crazy on my Hitofude cardigan.  I am of two minds about modifying the pattern now that I see that the model in the picture has been rather aggressively blocked.  Mine was looking so tiny but when I re-read the pattern and saw the gauge difference pre- and post-blocking and then looked more closely at the pictures, I think I might be okay.  I will for sure take out the tape measure.  I'd rather err on the side of more length than having it be too short, as I said before.

On Monday, even though I was sick with headache, I still had to walk Tink and it was glorious outside.  It must have been 70 degrees!  Gorgeous.  Yesterday it rained, but not until I had gotten back with my medicine so that was nice.  And today looks like it's going to be pretty again.  The forecast for the weekend is also sunny, so I am hoping it will be sunny on Hood Canal as well.  That would be a nice addition to the weekend out of town.  Sun. 

07 April, 2014

The neverending headache

Oh heavens ... I have SUCH a headache!  I woke up with it yesterday and despite my best efforts, it is still plaguing me.  I nearly got up for an ice pack last night, but then managed to fall asleep, mercifully.  Today at lunchtime I'm going to walk up the Ave and search for one of those masks you can microwave and put on your face.  It is definitely a sinus headache, and no wonder with all of the pollen around.  I did notice that the blossoms are starting to fall from the trees, and my asthma is not bad at all.  I don't know that I'm happy to switch from asthma to sinus headache.  Not a fair trade.

Compared to last weekend, this weekend was quiet and fully of girlie goodness.  Saturday I had a nice long time to sit and work on my Hitofude and I managed to finish up the sleeve/bodice portion.  Thankfully it was raining so I didn't have to work in Ben's garden.  [I love flowers, but oh how I HATE to work in the garden.  Is that ironic?  Or just bad luck?]  And then on Sunday I got a manicure and pedicure and all sorts of girlie grooming.  Ahhhhhh ... nice.  I was in fact relaxed in the nail salon and my headache faded.

My goal for the weekend was getting the sleeves bound off and getting the ribbing started on the Hitofude.  This is not a trivial matter and I sat myself down at the table in good light to get to work.  It took about an hour, maybe a bit more, but I got the provisional cast on transferred to a third needle and get the job done.  It was confusing reading the pattern, but I've found that if you just follow the directions to the letter it all makes sense once you're actually at that point in your project and you're executing it. Again I will say that this is the most ingenious construction.   It is much like the Whisper Cardigan but the skirt part of it will be longer, plus I'm going to extend it even further as some other people have so modified the project.  I don't like a cardigan that hits above the belly button.

The weather is lovely and I am looking forward to my mini-break this weekend.  I'll be working half day Friday, then we're taking off for Union, Washington.  What's there?  Not much, actually.  But my friend John lives not too far from the resort, and there are lots of beautiful walks to take.  Tink will love the beach.  And it's NOT home!

04 April, 2014

Wireless headphones

I've had nearly a week with my wireless headphones and for the most part I like them.  These are the type of headphones that fit with the band at the back of your head rather than on top of it, and it took me a while to figure out exactly how to wear them.  I didn't realize at first that in order for them to fit and not slide around you need to hook them around your ears.  I couldn't see how I was going to run with them flopping around like that, but once I got the hang of hooking them around my ears, all was fine.  I've used them for hours every day and still not had to re-charge them.  And it is nice not having that cord to deal with. 

Yesterday was pretty quiet.  I set off at lunchtime to walk up to the Petco to get Tink some food.  I didn't take my purse, just my wallet and a bag and my keys in case my foot started to hurt and I needed to hop on the bus.  Well, it wasn't my foot that caused me problems.  I guess there was a lot more pollen in the air than I had suspected and naively I did not take a puff of my inhaler before setting out so I had a big asthma attack about a mile and a half into my walk.  Not good.  I got to the store, picked up the dog food and headed straight for the nearest bus stop.  Luckily there was one coming right by so I got back and took my puffs.  I should be a little more conscientious about keeping that thing with me when it's allergy season.

I left work a few minutes early last night, hoping I could walk Tink and get to the nail salon in enough time to get my manicure and pedicure since it's going to be difficult to fit it in again this weekend.  However, when I got there it was full and there was a 30 minute wait.  That would bring my start time to 5:30, but I thought I'd wait it out.  Well, at 5:22 it was obvious that there wouldn't be a chair available at 5:30, so I left.  Somehow I have got to find a way to get it done this weekend since I"m leaving town Friday at noon for a long weekend, plus which they really need it!

I worked a bit on the fingerless mitts last night before going in to read.  I actually managed to read this time and not just conk out.  I didn't have such a good night as I had Tuesday and Wednesday and woke up groggy.  I can sleep in tomorrow and, rest assured, I shall!!

03 April, 2014

A morning gone

I kicked myself for not bringing my knitting to the Curriculum meeting yesterday.  The Associate Dean always brings hers, so it's not like it's an oddball move and she really is on to something.  It does make that 90 minutes move by a little faster.  These meetings, normally a huge bore, have been getting more and more interesting as we move into the latest phase of the curriculum renewal.  This renewal is going to affect our department to a huge extent, since we teach a very large part of the basic sciences classes.  Two years are being condensed into 18 months and some of our classes, most notably the anatomy class which we teach in an immersion style in five weeks, are now going to be strung out over the entire 18 months.  This is going to change how I can take vacations, maybe "normalizing" them a bit, which is not always a good thing.  However, it has been a very long time since I've been able to take a real vacation in the summertime, although I quite like traveling when there are fewer tourists about.  I suppose it will all shake out.  I'm not going to get twisted about it .... yet. 

After the meeting I had my physical therapy session which was terrible!  For the first four times I had Genna, who was quite awesome and did a great job.  Then she went on a 3 month leave so last week I had Ashley, who had taken the time to read Genna's notes and did a fine job.  This week I got Jan.  I did not like Jan.  She was preachy and looked like the quintessential spinster.  She's too "whole wheat" for my liking.   It is surprising to me that each therapist can basically do things her way.   I was underwhelmed.   I guess I'm on my own.  I will go back to her only once more and then for my last session I think I have Ashley.  I almost don't need them ... almost.  I want to do this right so I will try to pry my mind open a bit.  It's been a while.  And I will walk and walk and walk.  Today I'm going up to the pet store and back.  Tink needs food and I need to walk at least 3 miles. 

Again last night I did a few chores, ate, walked Tink and I was in bed early.  I didn't even try to fool myself that I was going to read.  I watched a bit of nonsense on my iPad and again was asleep by 9!  What is wrong with me?  And I slept like a rock and woke right before the alarm went off.  I did notice that the blossoms are falling from the trees and that is good news.  It is supposed to rain as well today so hopefully the pollen is almost gone.