30 November, 2009

Vacation day

Ah ... I should say "vacation" day since I've been working all morning. I'm taking the rest of the day off though - no working, no more emails to work. I've finished all the carpet cleaning I'm going to do today and the rest of the day is dedicated to knitting and relaxing.

It wasn't a bad holiday, considering the son was staying with us for a few days. Thursday we went out for Thanksgiving dinner, just the two of us. The dinner was fabulous and it was great not to have to cook for a bunch of ungrateful people, like last year. I even ended up with enough left overs to have a sandwich the next day. I did work on the Frost Flowers Stole as well and got lots of it done. However because of the way I have been sitting in the chair and the fact that the lace yarn is on a cone, I have to pull up each time I need more yarn and after a couple days of doing that for a few hours each time, my shoulder is hurting! So I made another hat, just to keep my knitting chops up and get another gift on the pile.

Friday we went to see the new Christmas Carol in 3-D at the Imax theatre. It was astonishing! Just enchanting. The 3-D is so realistic and the movie itself is lovely and very true to the original story.

Mr. M was working all of Saturday and Sunday, getting up each morning between 3:30 and 4 am. He did the children's 1/2 marathon and 5K on Saturday and the regular marathon and 1/2 marathon (the one I was supposed to run) on Sunday, then both days afterwards to set up another huge show in Tacoma. So I had plenty of time alone to feel sorry for myself and other such useless pastimes. I was so blue yesterday I couldn't even knit. Lucky for my state of mine, we had a rehearsal and I went. First time in a month! The boys were very happy to see me and I did okay, considering. I was coughing quite a bit after a couple of songs and was wishing I had brought my inhaler but I kept on and made it for 3 hours.

And now I think I'll cast on for a pair of cashmere fingerless mitts for my sister.

23 November, 2009

No whinging -- just the facts

Okay - here's how it went down. On Sunday the 18th I did the Cougar Mountain 8 mile run. It was tough but I just figured it was because the trail was hilly and full of roots and slippery. But the following Tuesday I had the flu and was sick for the entire week and therefore skipped the October 25 9.5 mile run. On November 1st I did the 10 mile run from Madison Park to REI and back, also a very difficult run but I felt okay until the 3rd when I woke up with a bad cold, so I skipped the 12.5 mile run on the 8th because I was coughing, etc. I was still in the running, so to speak and so on the 15th of November I did 5 miles even though I hadn't run but one day during the week and I still had the cold. Bad idea my friends because it made my cough MUCH worse so that last Monday, the 16th, I went to see my doctor. I have an infection in my lungs. Nice. He told me not to run and gave me some antibiotics and an inhaler. Actually I wasn't buying it and told him it was a fund raiser. I think he was just being nice telling me that okay, I could run*if* I would agree not to ride my bike to work and only run at the gym until the race. I couldn't get myself to the gym or do anything last week. I got worse before I started feeling better and today I am still coughing and not 100%.

I am profoundly disappointed still, one week later. I have been training since August for this race! And the people who donated ..... again, thank you all. At least it's for a good cause and all that but I feel like I'm letting people down. I know that I just have to let my body heal and I can run again soon. It was just something that I never thought I'd be able to do, and then to get to the point where I could actually run 10 miles without falling over and not be able to do the race ..... it's just so annoying! Probably I'll be glad. Most likely it'll be raining or sleeting and very cold on race day and I'll be glad to be out of it. But for now, not so much. And that's the end of that.

I had an entire weekend with no obligations. The first one in a long time. I did some of my Saturday errands on the way home from work on Friday so that I could spend Saturday morning finishing up Kelli's coat and get it in the mail. Which I did. I took pictures but I forgot to bring my camera. I'll post them tomorrow. Saturday evening was a little party for Mr. M's eldest daughter. Because I've been sick we took the party to her house. I had baked a cake and some cup cakes in the morning and we got pizza. I hadn't eaten all day so I ate pizza with abandon.

And yesterday I tried to keep my mind off running. I bought myself a new toy -- a beautiful new carpet cleaner. Our carpet is beige and I can't keep up with the spots. It's really making me crazy, so now I've got a lovely new machine and this long weekend I can do a room or two a day. (I think I'm cracking. A carpet cleaner - the bright spot of my weekend. *sigh*)

We only have to work 3 days this week and then I'm taking next Monday off so I'll have a 5 day weekend. I worked a bit on the Frost Flowers Stole yesterday afternoon for the first time in a few weeks. Maybe for the long weekend I can get it finished - or near.

16 November, 2009

Reason number 100,000,001 why I hate the bus

It is very windy and rainy today and so I decided to take the bus rather than ride in and get soaked again, especially since I am still coughing. Because of the complicated lights at the intersection it takes for ever to get across Lake City Way. As I was standing there my bus pulled up to the stop just as the light turned green. I ran across the street but no one on the bus saw me so just as I rounded the end of the bus and started for the door, it pulled away. *sigh* I freaking hate the bus.

I am going to call the doctor today. It's been more than two weeks since I started coughing and it just won't go away. I ran on Sunday (in the rain) and had such a hard time breathing even though I've been really laying low. I could have bronchitis and if I do I would like to get it taken care of before the race so I can have a decent time.

I mostly worked on Kelli's coat this weekend. I was supposed to rehearse but Doug didn't call me until almost 3:30. That is just too late. If I don't hear from him by Friday I assume that we're not rehearsing and I'm onto something else. Oh I will be so happy to get my Sundays back. Not that I'm regretting doing the 1/2 marathon training, it just takes such a bite out of my free time.

But the Huskies and the Seahawks were pathetic this weekend. Thankfully I had been away getting my hair done on Saturday so I had the entire game recorded. When we got to half time I just started fast forwarding and saved myself the horror of watching them get humiliated. Or rather I at least didn't have to watch it in real time. The Seahawks were up 14 to 0 and then got killed. Dang. That means I won't be going to Las Vegas.

13 November, 2009

Here's a new one

First of all, thank you SO much for the support Mr. ....ish. Very generous of you.

Today is the first really miserable ride of the year. It was blowing and raining and cold for the entire ride. I got to work soaked to the bone. I wish I had thought to bring a second pair of socks and I hope my pants and gloves dry out before it's time to go home because putting on damp clothes and going out in the cold is not fun. But all that pales in comparison to what I found when I took my clothes out of the pannier -- or rather what I didn't find. Stockings. I remember taking them out of the dresser but I must have left them on the floor in my dressing room because they are NOT in the pannier. And now I'm sitting here bare legged in a skirt. I am cold and very uncomfortable. There's a small chance the hospital gift store has stockings so I'll go down after I finish my tea.

I did run yesterday and it was difficult. I still have a bit of a cough and it was hard to breathe. My shoes seem to be working out. The laces are still not quite right -- a bit too tight on the left foot -- but otherwise they feel pretty good. We're only doing 5 miles this Sunday and I'll wear them again. We're going to be running on part of the course. Hopefully not a hilly part of the course.

Okay, I can't stand it any more. I'm going to search out some stockings. Keep your fingers crossed.

12 November, 2009


I have had a bad case of start-itis lately. Tuesday when I got home I just couldn't help myself. I have been wanting to make something with the two gorgeous balls of Tilli Tomas Beaded Lace I got from Little Knits a few months ago and I finally found a pattern on Ravelry that I thought might work. Problem is that I only bought two balls ... well, even on sale it is very expensive. Every pattern I found called for at least 3, until I found Enchanting, a scarf with a tilting blocks pattern. I got the yarn wound and cast on and got a few rows in when there was a knock on the door -- this had to be aboutyarn for my sister's coat, the Long Coat with Chevron Lace, from Fitted Knits. I promised her that I would put all other projects aside when her yarn came and get to work on that coat, so since yesterday was a holiday, that's just what I did. I slept in, went shopping at Trader Joe's and then settled in for a long afternoon of knitting. This is "big ass" knitting (as my friend Peggy calls it) -- large needles and bulky yarn. I haven't worked with big yarn for a long time now. The better I get at knitting the smaller the needles I seem to want to us 6:30 pm. It was the e. But the thing about big needles and yarn - instant gratification. I got the sleeves on holders and all of the shaping done and now I am working on the body of the coat! If I can keep up the pace I should be able to finish this before Thanksgiving.

Also on the WIP list is a modified Simple Knitted Bodice in white angora and the stripped crochet scarf. Instead of lace I'm doing a ribbing with a twisted stitch that looks like a little cable.

I ended up not running on Tuesday but I HAVE to do it today and I can breathe a lot better. This cold is hanging on but my cough is nearly gone and I am pretty sure a run will do me good.

10 November, 2009

Wow ... it's finally going away!

I did NOT wake myself up coughing last night! What a wonderful things that is. A nice, restful night. And I'm going to run at lunchtime today. I brought my new shoes in with me. I used them on that 10 mile run a couple weekends ago and I wasn't thrilled with them, but since I was breaking them in on a really long run, I thought I'd give them another try before I consider returning them. They are really pretty. I must say though, I am looking forward to this run being done. I can't wear high heels with all this running I'm doing and I miss them!

No knitting last night. I have tomorrow off so I am planning on doing a few hours on the Frost Flowers Stole. And pictures ... I'll take some. I would also like to spend a little time in the garden, weather permitting, and plant some spring bulbs. The weather is sure to turn soon, so I've got to get them in ASAP.

09 November, 2009

And the cough lingers ....

I came to work Friday still hacking, but feeling a little less under the weather. Still optimistic that I could run on Sunday. The weather was just beastly Friday but the rain stopped around 4 for a while. However, by the time I stopped at the store and got home it was coming down like crazy. I opened the door to let Tink out and just as she stepped onto the deck the sky lit up and a big clap of thunder roared and she turned right around and wanted in. Poor little thing was so freaked out. She couldn't get close enough to me.

I know I said I wasn't going to start another project but I didn't feel like knitting on the angora sweater so I picked up a crochet hook and a few random balls of yarn and started a stripped scarf. I have seen some very cute ones here and thought I'd see if I could replicate it. It's looking kind of mannish so I shall gift it.

Saturday I was STILL coughing and so no rehearsing for me. Besides, Mr. M came home at 8. Thankfully the rain had stopped. I sure wasn't looking forward to driving to the airport in a rain storm. The Huskies lost a heart breaker on Saturday to UCLA. That was mostly my day - watching the game and working on the scarf. And even though we had a couple margaritas with some awesome mescal Mr. M brought back from his trip I still had insomnia. I finally got up at about midnight and sat downstairs and watched TV and worked on the scarf until 3:30!

Sunday I really wanted to run but I was still so congested and coughing so, discretion being the better part of valor, I passed and spent a quiet day. And the Seahawks won, finally. That was nice. And again bedtime came and I knew I wouldn't be able to sleep. I finally went up around midnight and slept for a few hours until my coughing woke me. But I'm coughing LESS, which is good. I rode my bike in. Hopefully I will be able to run tomorrow. We are getting close -- only 3 weeks until the race.

05 November, 2009

I give up

Next Tuesday the UW is having a seasonal flu clinic at the medical center. I don't usually get flu shots, but considering what I've already been through and that I do NOT want to get sick again, I am going to be first in line! Thankfully this go 'round seems to be just(!) a simple cold and sore throat, nevertheless I'm working from home again just to make sure it doesn't get any worse.

I had a pretty busy day yesterday, got lots of work done. At lunchtime rather than walk Tinkerbell I had a quick little snooze, which helped me finish out the day strong. I sure wish I could have a little nap at work sometimes! I remember one guy used to keep a futon in his office and have a little lay down every day after lunch.

My training schedule is all off track this week. I haven't been able to run since the 10 miles on Sunday and this coming Sunday we're set for 12.5 miles! I am hoping I'll feel good enough tomorrow to at least do a slow 30 minutes so the Sunday run doesn't kill me.

Still puttering along on the angora sweater. I should really cast on for some socks or fingerless mitts but I am actually waiting for the yarn my sister ordered for her coat. When that comes I'm going to have to concentrate on that so I can have it finished for her birthday. Until then ... no new projects.

04 November, 2009

How could this happen again?

Well of course that is a rhetorical question, since I have been listening to medical students hacking and coughing and sneezing nonstop. I am practically paranoid about washing my hands, not touching doorhandles, etc. but with the amount of people and germs around work it's tough. So yesterday I started getting a cold. I had been planning on working from home today anyway since Mr. M is still out of town and there are people coming to work here today, so I've got plenty to do. Now if I can just manage to kick this cold to the curb as well as get my work done, I'll be happy.

No running yesterday of course. It was a gorgeous day, too. As it is today. This is such a nice autumn we're having. Let's hope we don't get the kind of winter we had last year again.

03 November, 2009

Look at my widget!

I sent out a big mailing yesterday to my Facebook friends and others on my email contacts list. I had to get serious about fund raising since we are less than a month away from the race. And last night two people made donations! I am SO grateful to them for getting the ball rolling and for supporting me. I am going to copy the letter I sent out yesterday here onto my blog because I know there are some of you out there reading this who aren't on my email list nor friends on Facebook. I would be very thankful if you could sponsor me in this endeavor. Today I'm just doing a 30 minute training run and it is going to be a cakewalk compared to last Sunday. Plus which it's another gorgeous fall day.

Now another cup of tea and back to work!
Dear everybody,

I am writing today to ask for your support. On Sunday, November 29, I am participating in the Gilda's Club 1/2 Marathon Fundraiser, a run to support people touched by cancer. I’ve been running 5K races for a few years but I have never before challenged myself to run a half marathon and let me tell you, it has been a challenge! I have been training with a group since August, running on my own 3 days a week and meeting up on Sundays for a big run. Yesterday I ran 10 miles, so I am confident now that I can finish the half marathon. I won’t be setting any speed records, but I expect to finish it in 3 hours, depending upon how many hills are in the course.

This is my way to honor the memory of my mother and my sister Rebecca (whom some of you may remember) who were both taken from us at an early age from cancer, and to do something positive by supporting Gilda’s Club. One out of every three women and one out of every two men will receive a cancer diagnosis in their lifetime. When that happens, it is devastating and confusing. People living with cancer, their family members and friends need a community to which they can turn, an environment where they can both give and get support and understanding. That’s what Gilda’s Club offers. Its mission is to provide a place where everyone touched by cancer can join with others to build social, emotional and educational support. All programs and services at Gilda’s Club are FREE of charge. It is open six days a week and offers support and networking groups, lectures, workshops and social events in a nonresidential home-like setting.

I would be so very grateful if you could donate to support my fundraising efforts for this wonderful organization. I have set up an account on my Facebook homepage where you can click and donate easily and securely. Or you can go directly to Gilda’s Club page (http://www.gildasclubseattle.org/) and scroll down to the link “Support an Athlete”, search for my name and donate from there.

I thank you very very much!

Shelley (Nopp) Golard Midkiff

02 November, 2009

Racking up the miles

Thursday I did indeed have another great run, an hour and just under 5 miles. Obviously, I'm not setting any speed records but hey, I'm not walking. We had a wonderful dinner Thursday night - cassoulet. It was great.

And Friday I got Mr. M to the airport WAY early. He was just so sure that we were going to run into Friday afternoon traffic that he made me take him extra early. It ended up to be good for me because I was home before 3 and didn't run into any traffic at all! I had knitting goals and I set to right then. My first goal was to move the markers on the Frost Flowers stole, so I set out to finish up rows 29 and 30, which was enough for one sitting. Then I moved on to my white angora sweater ... the modified Simple Knitted Bodice. Instead of the lace portion under the bust I decided to do a little 2x2 ribbing to pull it in a bit, and also to add a twisted stitch - like a 2 stitch cable . So I worked on that until I was tired and that was my Friday.

Saturday I was expecting to be rehearsing in the evening so I got up and out early so I could go shopping for new running shoes. I got them, got to the grocery store and gave Tinkerbell her walk all before 2:30. So I settled in to do some good time on the Frost Flowers Stole. I should put up some WIP pictures. It's starting to look like something. While I was knitting along Doug called and canceled the rehearsal. I had been thinking about making some candles lately so I took the opportunity to do so, since I had a free evening. I filled 3 on Saturday night and Sunday, after my run, I did 4 large ones and 2 smaller ones. Different scents Saturday and Sunday since I'm using my old supplies and don't have more than 1 oz of any one scent except lavender. They look pretty good so far. I've got to let them cure for a couple more days and then I can burn them.

Ah ... and so yesterday was my big training run. And I wanted to break in my new shoes. The weather was just perfect. We met at the Madison Park Starbucks and ran from there down to the REI on Eastlake and back again. Round trip -- 10 miles. Ten HILLY ... very very hilly .... miles. I thought I was going to expire. There is a HUGE difference between running on the flat and running hills. It took me nearly 2 1/2 hours to run 10 miles, mostly because I was walking up the larger hills. When I got home I filled up that tub and just let the jets work their magic. I don't feel too bad today either. I rode my bike in. My knees are a little bit achy, but other than that ... not so bad. The route for the 1/2 marathon is indeed quite hilly so I don't expect to finish it in under 3 hours. And then I'm taking a day off and doing a spa day. I am going to be happy to have my Sundays back too. Even though I did get some candles made yesterday, it really takes a bite out of the weekend, especially if I have to rehearse. [and now I will quit complaining].