26 April, 2015

From Florence

One week in. The WiFi in Venice was not useable. I cannot post in my iPad very well so this is short. No knitting. Yet. The weather has been crazy good. Speaking of crazy, our departure was extra crazy because we had to deal with replacing a passport 23 hours before departure. It is doable bit I don't recommend it. How does a passport escape from a safe? You tell me.

It is pouring in Florence and we are waiting for Emma to show up. Her plane had to return to Frankfurt.

More later.

16 April, 2015

Temperature swings

This morning is the second morning in a row that I've had to scrape ice off of my windshield before I could drive.  It's been getting that cold at night!  But in the daytime we've had sunshine and nice warm weather.  I sure hope that is what we are going to get on our trip.  Well, I've looked at the forecast and it does look as though we will, at least for the first part.  I hope it holds for the whole time.  What a treat that would be.

I decided against trying to get my toiletries together last night.  I've plenty of time to do it tonight and it makes much more sense.  So I just had a lazy evening doing the last bits of laundry and heating up meatballs for dinner.  The fridge is mostly empty now.  I am SO ready to leave!!  But I've got to hang around for another little while.  I am leaving early again today for my manicure and pedicure.  I've really got nothing to do here.  I've gotten everything all caught up. 

There are a few more trip details to take care of, like calling the credit card companies.  But other than that, I wait.  I brought my knitting in but I can't really sit in my office knitting.  Not that I wouldn't love to, mind you. 

15 April, 2015

That doesn't smell like breakfast

First thing in the morning, even before I go into my office, I stop in the kitchen to make my cup of tea.  Sometimes it smells of bacon or scones in there, but this morning -- yuk!  I don't know what in the world somebody heated up in the microwave but it just stinks!  It's not fish, thank goodness, but something meaty, like beef stew.  It's not at all pleasant. 

I got my clothes picked out last night and I have plenty of room!  Layering clothes, springtime clothes, are so much easier to pack than winter clothes.  Tonight I'll get all of my toiletries together.  That's going to be a bit more of a challenge since we're carrying on but I think I've got it figured out.

I've got a 3 o'clock appointment so I will be leaving here around 1:30 or so.  And tomorrow I think I'm going to move my 5 o'clock appointment to 4 or 3:30.  We're going to go out to eat and I'd like to have my packing all done before we do that and, if I've got to re-do my hair, that's going to take some time.  Although .... maybe I'll just get up a little earlier on Friday and do it in the morning.  Hmmmm ... that is probably smarter.  We'll see.  It would be nicer if I didn't have to work on Friday, but unfortunately I do.  But not for long.

14 April, 2015

Hail!

Wow.  It has been getting colder at night and I knew it was pretty cold this morning since the heat came on, and I had it set for 60.  Brrrrr  Yesterday it was pouring rain most of the day and into the night.  This morning I heard it start up again, but when I looked outside it wasn't rain but hail!  The ground was all white.  And now?  Bright sunshine. 

I did correspond with my Paris and Venice hosts yesterday and have that all set up.  In Italy you have to provide them with a copy of your passport, so I did that and now I've only one more place that needs the copies.  I'll do that Friday morning.  I've got my phone package set up and the mail set to stop.  The last thing I need to do is call the credit cards.  And then tonight I'm going to see if the clothes I want to bring are going to fit in my carry-on bag.  That's my only real stumbling block.  Everyone knows I always over pack but there will be so much traveling this trip and no checking the bags on the flights to make sure I don't end up with a suitcase I can't handle in the train stations.  Been there, no fun.  So it's fashion show Tuesday. 

I sure am in a good mood.  That's what vacation does to me.  And sunshine.  I stopped for a coffee on the way in since I didn't have to walk Tinkie this morning.  It felt like Friday!  It'll be here soon enough.

13 April, 2015

What is going on??

Ever since last week Yahoo Mail has been acting up.  I cannot access my mailbox even though I can see the messages in the preview window on my front page.  I forwarded some pictures to my account and I can't open them!  It is SO frustrating!!!  Maybe I'll try a different browser.  Okay ... now it's working.  Crazy.

It was a busy weekend, as I knew it would be.  Saturday I got up early and had a very light breakfast before starting in on the mac and cheese for the party.  Then I got my grocery shopping done for the week, albeit a short week.  Yay for that.  The party was fun for a while but it got pretty old, since most people had known each other since childhood and I couldn't relate to most of the stories.  After about 4 1/2 hours of this I excused myself and went home to finish up my wrap.  I had finished the knitting on Friday night but I needed to get the ends woven in and get it blocked.  It was nice to escape and have some quiet time for myself.  And Tinkie was happy for the company, since it had been thundering and she's deathly afraid.

It is certainly springtime.  I bought and planted a clematis last year and it has buds on it already. I don't suppose they will be opening this week.  I sure hope I don't miss them altogether!  Three weeks is a long time.  I can't even remember if it's pink or purple!  Oh well.  It is a small price to pay for a 3 week vacation.

Today I've got to confirm the AirBnB reservations for Paris (leg one) and get directions to get into it.  Plus get the Venice accommodations set as well.  There is no address for them so I'll have to set up a meeting.

Work isn't busy so thank goodness I'll have plenty of time to get it all done.

10 April, 2015

Best laid plans

I SO wanted to finished up that wrap last night but I still have about 10 fields to go.  Yes, it's getting smaller, but each field is 7 to 11 wrapped rows and that is what takes the most time. I brought it in with me today and I'm going to take my lunch and work on it and then hopefully I can finish it up tonight and block it tomorrow.

It's going to be a very busy weekend.  I've got to get up early tomorrow morning and get my side dish made for the family party at noon.  Me and my big mouth - they asked for a side dish and instead of making beans or something super easy I asked if they'd like homemade macaroni and cheese.  It's a simple dish, yes, but very labor intensive.  Ah well, live and learn.

Despite a stop at the Starbucks on the way to the transit station, the traffic was so light that I got there WAY early.  I parked on the second floor and ran out, hoping I could catch the 7:11 bus and get to work early so I could leave early.  But I just missed it.  I needed the coffee.  I had a restless night and I am very groggy this morning.  I guess I can sleep in a little bit tomorrow.  Maybe until 9.  That would be nice.

One more week to go.  Next week is going to crawl by, I just know it. 

09 April, 2015

The huntress

Everyone knows that I love my dog.  And I spoil my dog.  But she is a dog, hence a killer.  I will never forget the frantic swooping and cheeps from the pair of bird parents when Tinkerbell got into the ground nest and killed all of their babies.  It was terrible!  But instinct.  This spring she has been very interested in a low evergreen shrub in the front garden.  She snuffles under it and digs a bit at the bark surrounding it, which is quite deep since it's less than a year old.  This morning she was not interested in her usual walk up and down the cul-de-sac.  Instead, after a little pee down by the mailbox she wanted to go back up to the garden and investigate the shrub.  So I let her sniff and paw a bit and then I noticed a little creature scuttle out of the opposite of the shrub.  It looked like it was staggering a bit, so maybe it was a baby squirrel or maybe it was a sleepy shrew.  Whatever it was it didn't want to be anywhere near Tinkerbell.  I took her away into the house.  And now I've got to be careful not to let her nose under there unsupervised.

Yesterday was such a busy day that it flew by.  I had a hard workout and the upper floor of that gym is SO hot.  I am going to have to dig out my running skirt to use rather than my longer yoga pants.  I was soaked ten minutes into my 30 minutes of cardio.  Not fun.

After dinner I worked on my wrap and I am thinking if I put my mind to it I can finish it up tonight and block it tomorrow.  That would be ideal.  I think one more field of the Grace Hand beaded near the end will look really great.  I am very happy that the color goes so well with the Noro. 

08 April, 2015

Mission accomplished

Yesterday was the day.  I finally got all of the reservations organized and put into folders for each leg of the trip.  Seven of them. The purpose of this exercise was to make sure that every part of the trip I had thought I had organized was indeed finished.  Perhaps it seems like overkill, but I know me and I know that I won't be able to sleep for worrying that I forgot some important reservation or never received the confirmation for a certain accommodation.  They are all there.  The most difficult part of this trip will be getting from Paris to Venice.  I booked the flight with Ryanair, which only flies out of Beauvais airport.  So that means an hour or so bus ride to Beauvais to arrive two hours before the one hour flight to Venice.  Then from Treviso airport, another bus ride to Venice and from there a boat to the Biennale stop to be met by the apartment owner.  Whew!  Five days in Venice, then by train to every other place. 

Noon knitting so no gym yesterday.  I got two fields done on the wrap, then last night another three.  At this rate I may get it finished in time to block it this weekend.  It is rather .... colorful.  I am still not sure I'm going to take it, but I want to have the option.


07 April, 2015

But I wasn't shopping!

I had an odd thing happen on Sunday.  I have my account at Macy's set up so that instead of hard copy receipts, I get email receipts.  We were driving back from a quick visit to Triplehorn on Sunday afternoon and I got an email from Macy's Southcenter saying my account had been credited $21 dollars for a returned item.  That got me a little concerned, since I hadn't been shopping that day and I haven't been to Macy's at Southcenter for many many years.  I poured myself a glass of wine and settled on the porch in the sun and called them.  After about 20 minutes of navigating through automated phone hell I got a real person and we started digging into this mystery.  She said the item returned had been purchased in November of 2013 and it was a sleeveless blouse.  Ah ha!  A couple of weekends ago I had cleaned out my closet for spring cleaning and one of the things I finally tossed was a blouse I had purchased that was just the wrong color of green.  I had never even taken the tags off of it.  Ben took the bag to the Goodwill donation center in Tukwila and voila, somebody found it and returned it.  I did not end up with the money however.  They realized the mistake and had the refund voided and redone as a gift card.  So the scavenger got their $21 and I got a good laugh.  Who knew you could take things back after more than a year??

Yesterday my Yahoo mail just quit working, which was a drag because I was going to start putting my trip details together and all of the confirmations, etc. are in a folder in my Yahoo mail account.  After spending a couple of hours troubleshooting I got the Yahoo people onto it and went to the gym for a good workout.  The crowds are thinning a bit, thank goodness.  And all was well with my email by 2 o'clock.  Whew.  So today is the day I put things together.

I was do nothing Monday and I had all good intentions of doing a fair bit of knitting, but I got distracted by sunshine and a martini.  But it's noon knitting today so we know I'll get a good hour done on it and hopefully tonight I won't be so easily distracted.

06 April, 2015

The excitment is mounting

What an absolutely wonderful weekend I had!  It started off a little weird.  I woke up Saturday morning at 5 and I couldn't get back to sleep.  I just couldn't!  I put my sleep mask on but no go.  But that was okay.  The sun was shining and there was bacon for breakfast.  And then there was shopping (I got a couple of layering tops) and lunch and more shopping (I got a pair of comfy boots with just the right height of heel).  Then I was tired, so a quick stop at the grocery store and then home for a little nap.  What was next?  A walk in the park with Tinkie and then knitting of course.  Knitting and a movie.  I was still sleep deprived from being up so early, nap notwithstanding, so I went to bed pretty early but I managed to sleep in until after 9 Sunday morning!  Glorious.

Even though it was Easter, there were no family parties because there's going to be a large one this coming Saturday.  Grocery shopping was first thing on the list to get done and I wanted to stop at Target but it was closed.  In fact, there were quite a few businesses that were closed, but whether it was just too early (10:30) or they were closed for Easter, I don't know.  Target usually opens quite early, so I guess it was closed for Easter.  The grocery store was not. 

I have been meaning to get into the garden and Sunday was the day.  It wasn't as sunny and warm as Saturday, but it was good enough.  In other words, NOT raining.  I got the hydrangea bushes pruned, the hydrangea trees pruned, and I hacked at a few bushes in front of the house that are simply the wrong types of things for that spot.  They should go.  Maybe this fall.  The laundry got done and the house tidied.  I didn't do any more knitting though, and that means I'm going to have to really get to it seriously these next few nights.  If I don't get it done in time to block it Saturday then I'll have to put it aside and take a different wrap with me.  I have to get the Koigu wound and the socks I'm meaning to take with me started.  Starting toe up socks on two circular needles is a very fiddle-y business.  I can't be doing it on a plane or a train or in an unfamiliar apartment with bad lighting.

This week -- my number one goal is to get each piece of the trip printed out and in separate folders.  Then I can stop worrying and just be excited.

03 April, 2015

Nightmare or .......

No, not a nightmare.  I woke up moaning but it was sore muscles!  On Wednesday I worked my upper back and shoulders and wow .... am I ever sore!  Obviously, because just turning over in bed and raising my arms woke me up.  I am pretty happy about it though because I am able to get soreness.  It has taken a few weeks of working out to get to the point where I can add enough weight to the machines to enable my muscles to fatigue.  And actually my thighs are a bit sore today too, which is another wonderful thing.  I've been gradually adding resistance to the biking and the Precor and finally I am seeing (and feeling) some results.  I have laid off the running and I think I will resist running for a few more months.  I wore high heels twice this week and my foot is fine.  I am sure the pounding was not doing it any good. 

I did a few more fields on the wrap last night - I'm up to 41, I think.  That's out of a total of 65 and it is getting smaller now.  I need to get it finished up by the end of next week, so I'm going to try to get some good work done on it this weekend.  There are things I need to get done around the house and in preparation for the trip too.  At least there are no parties or dinners or other obligations.  Next weekend is another thing - too busy for a weekend before we're leaving but I'll have to cope. 

Friday.  Hoorah and oh please let me be able to sleep in this weekend!!

02 April, 2015

The early bird gets the latte

It is a rare morning when I don't have to walk Tink before I go to work.  This was one of them and so I was ready to head out way too early.  What a perfect time to stop for a breakfast treat.  There is a Starbucks inside the Safeway store at Cottage Lake, which is right on my way to Avondale Road.  They open at 5 AM so off I went in search of a tall skinny vanilla latte.  There wasn't even anyone in line ahead of me.  I got in, ordered my coffee, paid with my app and was back on the road right on time.  I am groggy though.  I guess there wasn't enough caffeine in it!

Since I had worked my shoulders and upper back after my cardio yesterday afternoon, I was looking forward to a nice soak in the jacuzzi tub when I got home.  It was great and I'm barely sore this morning but that being said, I'll for sure do leg work today. 

I got one field done on the wrap.  I'll have to do lots better than that if I want to be done in 10 days!  I watched another two episodes of Louis while knitting and then went to bed early.  I slept well but still I could do with another hour or so.

It's going to be a long day.

01 April, 2015

Already April!

Despite being mostly bored to death at work, time is certainly flying by.  I cannot believe it's April already!  But the weather took a turn last night and it's cold cold cold this morning!  On the way home from the Transit Center yesterday evening there was a magnificent thunder storm.  I had to stop at the store for a couple of ingredients for dinner and by the time I got home the storm had mostly blown over.  Poor little Tink was waiting right at the door when I walked in.  She hates loud noises.  Even the popping of a champagne corks scares her, so thunder is really bad.  She bounced back and we had a nice little walk.  She's rabbit hunting now, since they are back.  I've only seen one a couple of times, but pretty soon they will be all over the neighborhood and she'll be tracking like a bloodhound. 

Sometime ago I came across a packet of lettuce wrap seasoning and I picked it up, thinking it would make a nice different dinner.  That's what I cooked last night and it was delicious!  I used ground turkey instead of chicken or pork.  I got a fresh butter lettuce and made a little rice.  Seriously, it was astonishingly good!  I had fresh cilantro to chop for garnish, which adds a lot to it.  You put peanuts, chopped carrots, onion and water chestnuts in with the sauce and meat.  Oh, it's making my mouth water just to think about it.  That's going to be a staple, for sure!  And just think how nice it'll be when I can use fresh lettuce from the garden. *IF* I get lettuce going this year.  With all of the wildlife around, I suspect it's going to be a challenge.

Last night, as I was catching up with Louie on Netflix in preparation for the new season starting April 9, I got over the half way mark and did another beaded field on my Spring Fusion wrap.  I am hoping I can get some good knitting in this weekend.  I've got to have the wrap done by the weekend of the 10th so I can block it if I want to take it with me on the trip.  I don't have anything much going on this weekend.  I would like to get out in the garden and prune the hydrangea trees and bushes, and I need to clean and wash the truck.  But that's about it.  I know it's Easter but hopefully nobody will decide to have a fancy lunch and I can have Sunday to relax and knit.  That's what I want.

31 March, 2015

Pet peeve 1 million and counting

Yesterday was the start of upper campus spring quarter and that means that the IMA is full of people.  It's like after winter break when everyone swarms the gym with New Year's resolutions, and it doesn't last long.  But in the meantime it's annoying.  That's not the pet peeve though.  I am bothered by those people who show up, get onto a bike or weight machine and half ass it.  By that I mean, for example, the girl on the stationary bike next to me who, for the entire 30 minutes I was on my bike, peddled away with her legs not even extending fully, and who didn't even break a sweat!  I swear, she was on that bike before I started and I didn't see a bead of sweat on her brow.  Meanwhile I am pouring sweat 10 minutes into my 30.  I wanted to grab her by the shoulders, give her a shake and say, "You're not doing it right!!  Adjust that seat, extend your legs fully and put some work into it."  Hah.  Wouldn't it be nice though to be able to do that?  I must just content myself with bitching into the wind, it seems.

The weather was extraordinary yesterday, sunny and warm.  After Tink's walk I had a quick shower and made myself a drink and sat down on the porch to soak in the last of the rays.  Today it's pouring rain, as predicted, so I'm glad I got that time in the sun.  And while I was sitting there I noticed bees (wasps?) going into the window frame around the bathroom window.  Great. 

I did get the reservations for the airport shuttle made yesterday, and the pass to Academie and Uffizi museums.  Good thing that I did that yesterday, because the advance passes are limited and sold out right up to the day I chose, which is April 28. Emma's birthday is the 27th and I suspect we'll be celebrating so we're going to see David at 11:30 and then the Uffizi at 3.  The last time I was there David was in scaffolding for cleaning and parts of the Uffizi were closed due to water damage.  That was 20 years ago!  Or was it 21?  I just remember that Kurt Cobain died while I was in Europe. 

Noon knitting today and I brought my Spring Fusion in to work on.  I didn't get that last increase field done last night and I think I'd like to take this with me on the trip.  It's going to block out amazingly.  But I've got to finish it first!