29 December, 2010


One of my Christmas gifts was a visit to the Picasso exhibit at the Seattle Art Museum.  The museum in Paris is being renovated and while that is happening the collection is touring.  I was looking forward to visiting some old friends.  I went to that museum quite often because it was close to my apartment and I just loved the pieces.  There are so many pieces in that collection, his personal one, that the pieces are changed out often.  Anyway, I did get to see a few of my very favorite ones.  Unfortunately I became a bit overcome at one point and my eyes started leaking.  Very embarrassing.

It is snowing as I type.  It doesn't look as if it is going to stick, or if it does there won't be much.  Which is good because I have a lot of running around to do today.  My sister and her boyfriend are coming for their visit tomorrow and I've got some grocery shopping to do, as well as getting my nails done.  The salon opens at 10 so I should be able to get out of here soon and get going before it gets worse.  I don't drive in the snow so .... fingers crossed it stops soon.

24 December, 2010

23 December, 2010

It's a little Christmas miracle

Well, that could be a slight exaggeration but still it's pretty funny.  I had a dream last night about doughnuts.  I never buy them, and always resist when they are brought to work.  I dreamed about Christmas doughnuts -- green and red sprinkles and I resisted them.  Then this morning as I stopped into our coffee room to put my milk in the refrigerator what do I see on the table?  Yes!  Christmas doughnuts.  And today I did not resist.

I worked from home yesterday as I had planned.  And good thing too because I was up all night with insomnia and didn't drop off until about 6:30 am.  I slept for a couple hours and then got up and  got the day going.   I received an email late in the afternoon from a professor who teaches a class once every two years.  This is the year on and I had totally forgotten about it so I didn't have any of the files I needed on my laptop.  I wanted to work from home again today but instead I am here to finish up the last bit of work before the vacation begins.  It shouldn't take too long and I would imagine people are going to be buttoning things up early today anyway, plus I have a hair appointment at 4 so it'll be a short day.

Yesterday evening I put the knitting on hold and spent a few hours wrapping presents and listening to my audio book.  I finished the book and loved it!  I did not finish the wrapping and must put in a few more hours tonight to get it done.  Maybe I can finish the hat and baby socks today after I get my work done.  I brought them just in case I could grab a few minutes at lunch time.

It's rainy here.  No white Christmas for us.  And that's okay.

21 December, 2010

First day of Winter!!

Yay!  Now the days get longer.  And it is a beautiful day.  It would have been perfect to bike in but I have to pick a friend up from the airport -- his sister has broken ribs and can't drive -- and so I drove in.  It is so very quiet!  All the students are gone and it seems like most of the staff are on vacation as well.  I had my phone forwarded and I didn't get one single telephone call yesterday. 

It was a busy weekend.  I was going to finish my Christmas shopping on Saturday but realized that the mall would be a mad house so instead I worked on knitting up my last gifts and took a long lunch yesterday and finished up.  This weekend I finished my nephew's scarf and also did a hat, and yesterday I started a pair of baby socks for Mr. M's daughter's baby.  They are so cute!

With all that knitting there was also a lot of listening to audio books.  I finished the Jane Smiley book and I really enjoyed the story but never did quite like the narrator.  Then I started "The Unlikely Spy" and it is wonderful.  It is set in London during WWII and is historical fiction so we have Churchill and Eisenhower and all the nasty German characters and spies and double spies.  Right up my alley.  The only thing bothering me about it is that there are a few anachronisms that bother me something fierce.  I think that is ultimately the fault of the editor, is it not?  But they are small things and not taking away from the story at all.  I am almost done with the second of three parts.  I don't want it to end but I want to know how it is going to end.  That is the trouble with good books.

I've got a nice little cocktail party to attend tonight.  I think I'll work from home again tomorrow.  There's nothing I can do here that I can't do from home, especially since 2 of the three people I'm working with next quarter are gone.  All my ducks are in a row.

17 December, 2010

An observation

It seems to me that the older I get the bigger my mistakes are.  Does that seem right to you?  Don't you think we should be learning from our mistakes and making smaller ones instead?  I wish that were the case for me.

I worked from home yesterday and took a nice long shopping lunch.  I am finally feeling that I have control of the situation.  Almost everyone is taken care of except my sister and my  nephews and I am planning on getting that taken care of tomorrow.  And I am furiously knitting gifts.  One of my friends here at work was complaining at the luncheon that he had lost his hat and had borrowed his wife's so I knit up a nice  hat for him  -- started it Wednesday evening and finished it up yesterday evening.  Then I cast on for a scarf for one of my  nephews -- he wants a black scarf and I can't see buying one when a hand knit one is so much nicer.

It is very quiet here.  The students have one last final this morning and then next week this place is going to be pretty much empty.  I'm not going to have much to do next week.  Thankfully it'll be a short week. 

15 December, 2010

It's Holiday Party day!

Typically this would be noon knitting day but that is preempted for our staff holiday lunch and gift exchange.  We have a very small group this year - some people are out sick, others out of town and I don't know what other excuses but it's going to be lunch out this year rather than potluck.  And that's fine with me because I just couldn't think of a thing to make.  It's been too crazy lately.  Tinkerbell had an appointment for a grooming so I dropped her off this morning and after our lunch it'll be time to pick her up.  Short day in the office for me.

I finished up the Waves stole last night but got distracted and so tonight I have to weave in the ends an block it.  I have enough of the wool and silk blend and the mohair to make a hat, so I think I'll make a beret using the wool/silk blend for the band and the solid mohair for the hat part.  It'll be pretty.  But before I do anything tonight I must do my Christmas cards.  I'm so late this year. 

One last exam to give tomorrow and then I am done with exams.  I have three web sites to get ready for the first of the year and one is completely done and I should be able to finish up another today or tomorrow.  That leaves me more than enough time to finish up the third and I'll have an entire week between Christmas and New Years with no worries and a visit from my sister to look forward to!  yay!

14 December, 2010

Get out the boats

Talk about rain!  We have been having a lot of it.  Yesterday morning the trail was closed in a couple of spots because of mud slides.  This is almost due east from my house, but I don't get on the trail until around 100th so it wouldn't have impacted me had I biked in.  There was no way though -- much too windy and wet and dangerous.  Last night another storm blew through and there was thunder and pouring rain and wind.  The wind was so fierce I had to close the windows for a few hours because I couldn't sleep through the noise of the shades smacking against the window. It's a mess out there.  I am lucky I am so close to work and/or can work from home.  I had to proctor an exam yesterday, today I have to proctor a single student who can't make one of the scheduled final exams.  I would have worked from home today for sure if not for that.  We had the Histo final yesterday and one student missed it because he is stuck in Chicago, which is having its own winter mess, but for them it's snow.  He's supposed to be back by Thursday.  We shall see.

I tried hard to finish that waves stole I've been working on, in between mittens.  I don't know who is going to get it but I'm tired of it and want to have it finished.  I worked on it during the football game last night but couldn't quite finish.  I'll give it an hour at lunchtime today and then maybe tonight I can get it done.  It is really quite pretty, if you like orange ... well, more like apricot.  And it's soft.  I will find just the right person for it.  But that still leaves me with quite a few people to get gifts for and not a single clue about what to get!  I'm not usually like that.  Usually I have a good idea what I'm getting for everyone on my list in plenty of time.  But I no longer have plenty of time.  I've got to get this nailed down this weekend.  Time to make some lists.

Maybe the reason I'm not on top of my game with Christmas is the sleep troubles I've been having.  I don't know if I'm blue because I can't sleep or the other way around.  No matter.  There is nothing to be done for it at this point.  I'll have to ride it out.  And I'd better start working on a game plan because coming back from vacation and having to face February ..... that's going to be the real test.

13 December, 2010

I am just about there

I did, finally, finish the convertible mittens.  Well .... I didn't knit the thumbs and I haven't woven in all the ends, but I got the pop tops done and it is evident that making the tops longer than I had on the other two prototypes is the key to keeping them from opening on the palm.  Also, the construction of them by picking up stitches (with the help of a lifeline) on the top of the hand is also a key design feature.  There are two things I will do differently when I make the first 100% perfect pair and that is to rib on both sides of the mitt portion where it ends.  I only ribbed the palm side of the mitt and that was stupid because the top of it curls and makes a little bulge.  And I will start the decreases for the top of the mitten top another few rows longer.  I am afraid of having too much space up there and trapping the cold air but a couple more rows will make it even less likely that the top will gap from normal finger and hand movements.  It is unfortunate that I am sick and tired of knitting these.  But I have some lovely Noro yarn -- not Iroha but Maiko, I think -- in a beautiful peridot color and that is what I shall use next time.  Or the cashmere.  hmmm

Saturday we went to see the Nutcracker and then out to dinner at that new (for me) restaurant called the Stumbling Goat.  The ballet was nice, but I wish Mr. M hadn't purchased matinee tickets.  I don't like matinees, especially of the Nutcracker because there are so many noisy children.  We did have nice seats though.  The dinner was great, again.  This restaurant has the BEST mushroom soup I have ever tasted.  The secret, according to the server, is the stock.  I have a friend who makes his own stock.  And I have plenty of recipes.  I should give it a try some weekend.

Oddly I woke up Saturday night and thought it was Sunday night so imagine my joy when I realized I had another day of rest and sleeping in, which I did.  I slept, then turned over and slept some more.  Football wasn't much fun to watch because the Seahawks were on the road in San Francisco and got crushed.  I have a slim chance of winning my  matchup tonight but Joe Flaco is going to have to produce some big numbers.  And speaking of numbers -- I've got 5 and 5 for the Monday night game.  That is going to be pretty hard to get.  Hopefully next Monday we'll have better numbers.

10 December, 2010

Light at the end of the tunnel

Things have been just WAY too busy lately.  And combine that with my sleeping problems .... I am wrecked.  I worked from home yesterday and I was hoping to have a few minutes to get my sister's birthday present sent off but that didn't happen.  I'll walk it up to the post office at lunchtime today.  I got all of my work work done by about 4 yesterday afternoon and then went about re-arranging the living room to accommodate the tree and setting that up and decorating it as well.  It was quite a job but I wanted to get it done while Mr. M wasn't around.  It would have been nice to have the help with the heavy lifting but then I would have had to argue every little move.  This way he will be presented with it - fait accompli.  I think it looks quite nice.  The tree is in front of the big window, the couch is at an angle with the fire place and looking out to the tree and my comfy chair is next to the tree and facing, at an angle, the fireplace.  VERY cozy.  I am looking forward to sitting there and doing a little knitting sometime soon.

There was no knitting last night.  My mittens are not finished and I wanted to finish,  but that cotton yarn is so unyielding that it's making my arm sore.  I just rested last night but have high hopes for finishing, or getting very close, tonight.  As for the weekend.  Sleep.  Sleep would be good.  Just some sleep.

08 December, 2010

Why hitting the snooze alarm is sometimes a good thing

Yesterday evening I met up with the faculty and TAs of the Histology course to celebrate the end of the quarter.  The meet up was in a restaurant at a nice shopping mall close by the U, so I went home and cleaned up and then drove over there early so I could shop for my sister's b'day present.  I got just the perfect thing for her and a few other little things and then headed to the restaurant we where all had a really really fun time.  The TAs are so sweet and gave us cards and little packets of candy.  After dropping one of my friends off at her house I made it home by 9:30 and just went to bed to read.  I must have been asleep by 11 or maybe 11:30 but in the middle of the night it started to rain and it woke me up, so I was a little groggy when the alarm went off at 6 or whatever ungodly hour I have it set to.  I hit the snooze button a few times and managed to drag myself into the shower about 10 or 15 minutes later than usual.  The rain had stopped and I could even see bits of clear sky in the east, so I put on my bike clothes and got all ready to ride in.  As I was packing my panniers I heard a rumble but thought it was a truck maybe or ... ?  I went to the garage, and as the garage door rose up Mr. M went closer out near the opening and turned to look at me saying, "It's pouring"!  And indeed it was pouring, and that had been thunder I heard and then there was another clap.  And I turned off my bike lights and trudged upstairs to change and drive in.  If I hadn't slept in I would have been out in that downpour, and rain gear or no, it wasn't a storm to be out in.  Took me ages to drive in as well, what with the slow traffic and the standing water.  Thunder and lightening in December! And tomorrow -- I am working from home so it can rain all it wants.

My sister is getting excited about their visit on the 30th.  We have decided that we would go out for an early-ish dinner on the 31st and then host a nice open house on New Year's day.  So I've got to start inviting people. 

Noon knitting today and I think I'm going to break with the latest tradition of working a row or two on my Cloisonne jacket and instead take up my convertible mittens to see if I can finish them up today.  I would dearly love to because the cotton yarn is making my hands hurt and I want to see if my modifications work the way I need them to work. 

07 December, 2010

My new thing

This is the second morning in a row when I've woken up thinking it was the middle of the night only to have the alarm come on while I'm trying to get back to sleep!  It is so completely dark, not even a hint of a sunrise.  It's just so annoying!!  And since it was POURING rain and I've got a dinner to attend this evening, I figured I'd give myself a break and drive in.  But the rain stopped and it was just beautiful, so now I'm crabby because I could have ridden in.  I guess, when you come right down to it, I'm just in a very bad mood.  And for no good reason, either. 

After listening to the wonderfully narrated "The Help", my current listen is Jane Smiley's "Private Life".  I love Jane Smiley's books, however the woman reading this one is just awful.  Thankfully the story is engaging because if it weren't I wouldn't be able to stand to listen to that voice.

I didn't win any of the quarters  last night and have ended up with terrible numbers for next week too.  But, I did win  my fantasy match up and that's almost as good!  And during the game I finished up the mitt portion of the convertible mittens.  My next move is to thread my metal circular needle through the stitches on the back of the hand.  This is going to be a challenge because the yarn is cotton.  I should have chosen a different yarn, in retrospect, because the cotton has no give.  I can only try. 

Well, I'd better see what I can do about this bad attitude.  It's going to be a looo-oooong day.

06 December, 2010

I've been here for 30 minutes ....

and I am still not warmed up!  It is only 37 degrees out side and with the wind chill ... it's cold!  My upper body stayed warm, in fact I was quite warm.  But my legs are not yet warmed up.  I really should look for a different pair of cycling pants.  The ideal pair would be a cross between my running pants and my current cycling pants.  Maybe after Christmas I'll look.  I'll have the week off between Christmas and New Years and my sister will be here visiting and she's a perfect shopping partner.

It was a good football weekend for a change!  I got all of my running around done on Saturday in plenty of time to settle in and watch the Huskies.  It was a good game from start to finish.  And they won, so they are going to a bowl game for the first time in six years.  I had lots of running around and chores to take care of before the game yesterday, including a trip to the mall.  I just wanted a couple pairs of stocking and it took me nearly 30 minutes because the woman running that counter was new.  I just wanted to get home and watch the game, but  I had students sending me emails complaining that the images weren't coming up in the online practice quizzes.  Obviously, if 150 students are all trying to access the same quizzes there is going to be a slow down.  Pretty much nothing I can do about that so I sent the class and faculty an email explaining the problem and then I sat down to watch the Seahawks.  They did not look good at first but after the half they came out and won the game.  I am winning my fantasy match up this week, too.  Now if I could win a couple of quarters tonight, that would make it a SUPER football week.

I cast on for yet another prototype of the convertible mittens on Saturday and by last night I had the hands done through the thumb gusset and a couple rows beyond.  I have one last thing to try and hopefully this will solve the problem of the hand part creeping up and leaving the palm open.  I am going to run a life line through the stitches on the back of the hand and then when I have completed the fingerless mitt part I will pick up stitches along that line with one circular needle and cast on stitches to the other circular needle and then work the top of the mitten from there.  There will be a little overlap on the top of the hand to give it a bit more structure.  It's kind of hard to describe.  I just hope it works.  At least this time I am using yarn that I won't mind wasting if it doesn't work.

03 December, 2010

Audiobook voices

Yesterday I finished listening to "Help".  This book was narrated by a few women, all doing a fabulous job.  It's funny though, whenever I am listening to an audiobook the accent colors my thoughts at other times.  This book took place is Mississippi where the southern accent is very strong and my thoughts come, from time to time, in this accent. And this makes me laugh at some inappropriate times.  I downloaded two more last night.  I wonder what my thoughts will sound like this weekend?

I took the entire night off from knitting.  Did not pick up one single WIP.  I stopped at Trader Joe's on the way home, thinking it wouldn't be crowded.  Ha!  It was packed!  But I managed to get out of there without killing anyone, which I consider a triumph.  And now we're stocked up for a few weeks.  And then after doing a few chores I just cuddled up with Tink and watched some TV and went to bed early.  I slept great, too. 

Yesterday I ran at lunchtime for an hour -- well, it was run and walk and run because it's been quite a few weeks since I've been able to get out there.  It felt great, but I'm a wee bit sore today.  I rode in since it's nice and mild.  A friend of mine is stuck in Ireland because Dublin airport has been closed.  I understand there's a big snow storm over there.  Funny, since we had it just last week.  Not as bad, obviously, because our airport didn't close (as far as I know).  It's so strange that it's so mild here now after that bitter cold.  I don't care if it gets cold again though.  I've got the Caribbean to look forward to in January.

Huge football weekend for the Huskies.  It's the Apple Cup Saturday and if they win they will most likely get a bowl game.  It's being played in Pullman this year and it is going to be C-O-L-D.  I will have plenty of time to get my errands run on Saturday and then I can settle down and watch the game at three.  Go Dawgs!!

02 December, 2010

I know it's a day early ......

but what with time differences and all that, I'm going to throw my happy birthday wishes into the ether today so they have plenty of time to travel.  Big one this year.  Officially now you have reached the "old fool" state.  I'll raise a glass to you tonight.  Cheers to you, wherever you are.

I found out that a faculty member is going to be taking early retirement effective in a few months.  His office is down the corridor from mine about 5 doors, but across another corridor and it has a window!  I know we are getting one or two new faculty soon but I thought I'd at least put the bug into the Administrator's ear that I would dearly dearly love to get out of this closet and into an office with a window!  Even if the area is noisy I could close the door if I had a window.  But she had already promised that office to another investigator whose lab is across the door from that office but his current office is way far away.  *sigh*  I understand.  And she continued that everyone is aware of my situation .. noisy, small, cramped, airless ... need I go on?  I had a student in here last week and she said, "We've GOT to get you a new office"!.  I asked her who she  knew.  ;-)  Long story short, it's not likely I'll be moving any time soon.  There are other office staff that are down 5 floors and they should really be moved upstairs before I get to move.  I am low man on the totem pole no matter how much the Administrator denies it.  Frankly, I am grateful to have a job in this terrible economy so I don't make waves.  Anyway, she said that since I can work from home my situation is not considered that desperate.  And I like to work from home so .... there ya go.

I brought my convertible mittens to noon knitting yesterday to ask the advice of the other knitters and we agreed that making the "flip top" a bit bigger might solve the problem.  Only way to find out is to knit another prototype.  This time I'm going to use cheap yarn rather than the nice stuff.  And bigger needles -- don't need to make another prototype out of sock yarn.

I am looking forward to the weekend.  It's going to be nice and quiet.  Mr. M is out doing a big show every night starting from tonight and also part of Sunday.  I am not going to be rehearsing for the next couple weeks -- whether they know it or not -- so I can do lots of fun things and get some rest.  I am stressed and I don't think I've yet completely recovered from that sleepless Sunday night.  I slept okay last night but was up at 3 to let the dog out.  Thankfully I fell back asleep but I was a hard go to get out of bed.  Since I have to stop at Trader Joe's and refuse to shop there on the weekend, I caved in and drove again so I can stop on my way home.  Tomorrow though I'm going to ride in.  I think I sleep better when I've had a 16 mile ride.

01 December, 2010

Rethinking the convertible mittens

I drove in yesterday since it was POURING buckets and I needed to bring stuff with me.  I figured I'd run or at least walk/run at lunchtime.  But it didn't quit raining.  I'll go out in sprinkles or even a light rain, but a downpour ... nah.  I felt pretty good considering that awful night of insomnia Sunday.  I managed to stay awake all Monday with the exception of about an hour when I couldn't keep my eyes open.  I laid down and 60 minutes later I was wide awake.  That's probably good because I did get a nice solid  night in Monday as well as last night.

I worked late here, then threw in the towel and headed home.  I knew I had lots to do at home and wanted to get some squash in the oven before 6 so we could eat at a decent hour.  I didn't sit down until 7:30.  It was just one of those days.  Simple dinner and asleep by 10.  And I stayed asleep -- yay!  I wanted to ride in today -- it's been well over a week since I've been able to ride because of the snow -- but I had an early meeting and it's so hard for me to ride in and cool down and change and get to an 8:30 meeting.  It's doable but it's not fun. 

So I drove in again and I wore my Coquille scarf/shawl thing with the matching convertible mittens I finished.  The modifications I made this time were closing the thumb since I noticed when I was walking from the bus last Monday in the freezing cold that my thumbs were not warm at all.  Duh.  And I kept the 4 extra stitches (2 on a side) rather than bind them off for a little tab to attach.  And finally I did a star decrease rather than the decreases just on the side.  It makes it less pointy.  I thought also that by doing the thumb gusset evenly on the two needles would keep the mittens from twisting on my hand.  And it does help a lot however I still noticed today that as I use them the top part twists and then they are open at the palm. I made the ribbing longer inside and out thinking that would help but no, it doesn't.  I believe that the problem may be that I am not making the hand and convertible top part long enough.  I don't want there to be too much space around the fingers to keep out the cold air.  There must be some sort of compromise.  I am going to have to make yet another pair.  I will not use nice yarn this time though.  I have yarn from that grab bag I could use ... well, I've got lots of bits and bobs.  I'll do another pair on size six needles -- it'll go fast and it won't kill me if I end up with yet another pair that is not completely perfect.

29 November, 2010

And as quick as that it was gone

What an incredibly bizarre few days of weather.  I did not go to Doug's Wednesday night for rehearsal because it was still below freezing.  Thanksgiving day started out a bit over freezing and warmed up steadily throughout the day.  Friday morning I woke up and all the snow was gone and it was raining!  It's not warm but at least it's not freezing or below and there is not one trace of snow around.  I wonder how many more times we'll have to go through this mess this winter.

Thanksgiving was low key and quiet.  I made a nice big turkey dinner for Mr. M and his two kids.  It took me four hours to prepare and 30 minutes to eat.  Crazy.

I had a hair appointment on Friday and then went out to Doug's for our final rehearsal before the thing Saturday night.  I got there at 4:30 and we went through 30 songs that I was set to do for Saturday.  That took us until 8:15.  No breaks.  We went through a few of them more than once but I was not confident in my musicians.  On Saturday I laid low, watched the Huskies play Cal [they won!] and went out to get my make up done.  I haven't had it done for ages and thought it would be nice to get a professional to do a sexy, smokey eye for me and then I'd know how to do it myself.  And I think that's the sole positive thing I have gotten out of our "gig" on Saturday night.

It's not that we here horrible, per se.  But it could have been SO much better.  Thankfully we had Mr. M there to run the sound or I would have walked off the stage.  The monitors mix was a mess because the stage is small and domed inside so you can imagine what that does to the sound of drums.  As he got more and more excited, the drummer was beating those drums and cymbals as if he were outside playing in an arena.  At one point I turned around and begged him to quiet down a bit.  And at the break the bass player did as well.  It was just one thing after another.  I don't know what to do about it, but I need a break from them for a while.  I sounded good though and I am looking forward to listening to the recording to see if anything is salvageable to post.

Needless to say I had a nice quiet day yesterday.  Mr. M was gone most of the time working and I watched football and did laundry and knit, having done all my running around on Saturday.  All was normal, I went to bed and was asleep around 10 pm, BUT my iPhone woke me with an alert at 12:30.  I had forgotten to turn it to silent.  I didn't think it was any big deal until I started thinking about all the things I would like to say to Doug, then started thinking about ... oh who knows what.  I tossed and turned and was all congested.  I got up for water.  I got up to blow my nose.  I got up to walk around.  Finally I went downstairs and got a Benadryl, hoping that it would make me go to sleep and clear me up so I could breath.  I looked at the clock then and it was 4 am.  I turned of my alarm and sent an email to work saying I was going to be late.  I figured if I fell asleep then I could sleep in until 8 or 9 and go in to work at 10.   I got up again and got a cough drop.  Tick tock tick tock ... Benadryl was not working and now it was 5:45!  OMG!  Finally, right before Mr. M's alarm went off at 7 I dropped off.  I told him what had been happening and to let me sleep.  I woke up at 9:15.  *sigh*  Still way congested.  So I'm working from home today and I called in rather than send an email.  I always find it suspect when someone doesn't turn up for work after a long weekend.  I will work here at my computer.  If sleep does overcome me at least I can lay down for a while here.

24 November, 2010

Sometimes we just have to break tradition

and I think this is the perfect time.  Typically I look forward to an egg nog latte the day after Thanksgiving to kind of ring in the holiday season.  This year .... I'm not waiting!  I am having one now.  This weather is just insane and I couldn't see any reason to wait.

I made it home okay Monday night but it was SO cold and treacherous.  Mr. M had been occupied during the day and left his errand running until after 5, which is typical for him but not too smart a move on a day like Monday with the temperature below freezing and snow falling.  He had to pick up something at the pharmacy and a 20 minute errand ended up taking an hour as he navigated by stuck vehicles and tried to avoid the hills - which is not easy around here.

I had already planned on working from home on Tuesday but they decided to suspend operations at the University campuses and so yesterday was an official snow day.  I tried to sleep in but unfortunately my body thought it was a work day so I was awake for good at 6 am.  It was sunny but oh so cold and I thought something nice from the slow cooker for dinner would be just the thing.  I looked through my favorite cookbook, the Cooking Light "best of" volume and found a lamb stew that was just complicated enough to make it interesting and sounded like it would be awesome!  After giving Tinkerbell a little walk around the neighborhood I put on my pack and started hiking to the nice grocery store about a mile away.  The side streets were compacted snow and ice but some of the main arterial streets, like 145th, had been sanded and plowed so traffic was mostly moving on that street although I did see a couple people having trouble with the inclines.

And after I got home I had a nice long lazy afternoon ahead of me with nothing on my plate.  I thought it might be fun to pick up that blanket project I had started sometime ago.  I don't usually crochet but I found a pattern that I liked and thought it might be a good project to pick up when I was bored with my other (billion) WIPs.  But when I picked up my bag with the pieces the magazine with the pattern was missing.  In one of my tidying frenzies I had put it back on the shelf and I couldn't remember which magazine it was.  Now, I have by Ravelry count, 56 magazines and so it is not such a simple thing to search through all of them.  But I thought why not use the Ravelry pattern browser to find it?  BUT it seems like I had forgotten to add that particular magazine to my collection so the pattern didn't show up.  So I got a bit craftier and used all those awesome filters and found the magazine in just a couple of minutes.  Hoorah for Ravelry!!

Before I went to bed I got an alert from the UW saying they would be open today as usual, which I found to be rather odd since it was predicted we'd get into the teens at night and not much over mid-twenties today.  And sure enough at 12:40 am another alert was sent saying it was closed again.  So I have another nice day to get my Thanksgiving dinner plans set and figure out how I'm going to get to Doug's tonight for rehearsal.  Mr. M said he'll take me but Doug lives so far out I can't imagine it would be a good idea.  We will see.  It is supposed to warm up tomorrow but I sure don't envy all those Thanksgiving travelers out there.

22 November, 2010

Snow before Thanksgiving!

I got all my chores and running around done on Saturday so that I could enjoy a day of football and knitting on Sunday and I am sure glad that I did!  It was very windy on Saturday night and the lights flickered a couple of times, but there was no snow.  It was cold but dry.  We had a pretty good rehearsal although we still have a lot of work to do before I'll be confident.  We'll rehearse again Wednesday and Friday and if I am diligent I should be able to get the last of the lyrics into my head.

So, Sunday Mr. M was up and out of the house at 5 am for a job - sound for a race that I am so glad I didn't sign up for.  I decided to take Tink for a walk before the games started and just as we were getting ready it started to snow.  It was really too warm for it to stick - I think about 38 degrees - but it snowed for a couple of hours off and on.  It stayed dry the rest of the day but it got very cold last night.  When I woke up this morning I checked my iPhone weather before I got out of bed and it said snowing but when I looked out the window it was bone dry.  I wasn't going to bike in anyway because it is below freezing so I figured I'd take the bus, just in case it started to snow.  And it did start to snow about 10 minutes before I walked out the door and it is snowing, hard, now.  The bus was packed and I was lucky to get a seat. I'm not looking forward to the ride home at all.

I got a lot of good work done on my convertible mittens.  I am nearly done with the hand so I might be able to finish them up today.  I tried another variation.  I had added two stitches at each end of the top flap on the cashmere pair and then decreased down to the original count to finish off the hand, then I tacked the flap down when I finished them.  This time I didn't decrease back down to the original count but left the extra four stitches.  I am hoping this will make the top fold back tidier.  We'll just have to wait and see how it works when they're finished.

Thanksgiving plans have changed.  I wasn't going to be cooking this year and instead we were going to go out.  But Mr. M's son decided he wants to come for the long weekend so I'm cooking.  I have decided that the son is not going to stay in the guest room but will sleep on the fold out in the theatre.  Mr. M asked me if that wasn't a bit inconvenient and I told him that I thought finding dirty dishes in my clean clothes was a bit MORE inconvenient and he sheepishly agreed.  I maintain that if someone is going to treat my home with that much disrespect there must be consequences.  I don't think I'm being unreasonable, do you? 

19 November, 2010

Ahead of schedule

I usually wait until the day after Thanksgiving to have the first eggnog latte of the season.  However, today just felt right so I am having one now.  And it is yummy!  You can ask them to mix the eggnog with 2% milk so it's not too sweet.  In fact it's just right.  And gone.

Everything seems to be moving a bit faster this autumn.  I heard on the radio this morning that Crystal Mountain is opening today for skiing and Mt. Baker will be open tomorrow.  Snow is falling in the county near the Canadian border and is expected in other outlying areas this weekend.  I don't believe we'll be getting any here although the forecast is for snow mixed with rain.  It's not nearly cold enough.  It does look like we're getting a cold snap early next week though. 

Because of the 5 o'clock football game yesterday the commute home on the trail was a bit challenging since many people were taking advantage of the trail to walk to the game.  I did manage to avoid hitting anyone and considering the obvious pre-game alcohol consumption of a few rowdy groups I believe I deserve some sort of recognition.  I had set the game to record so that I would be able to take Tinkerbell for her walk and have a shower before watching the game.  Mr. M was gone all day and I couldn't NOT take her out.  And another bonus - I could speed through all the pre-game blah blah and commercials and get right to the game.  And hoorah! they won!  If they can win the last two games they most likely will get a bowl game.  I'm not holding my breath, but it would be nice for a change.

I had an epiphany about my convertible mittens.  I wore the cashmere ones while I was out walking Tink.  It was very cold and I wanted to keep my bike jacket on because it's reflective, but it has no pockets.  I had one hand closed up as a mitten and the other open so I could deal with picking up the deposits, etc.  I noticed that the twist was even more pronounced after wearing the mittens and part way through the walk my fingers started poking out through the palm.  It wasn't just that the flap needs to be bigger but it was the twist because of the thumb gusset.  So while I was knitting the current pair last night I got to thinking about that.  I had put all of the thumb gusset on the palm needle and then replaced the original 5 stitches back onto that needle.  With this current pair I have decided to distribute the thumb gusset equally between the two needles.  That should take care of the twist.  I'm excited now to try out my theory.  I've got the first 4 rounds of the gusset increases done.  It's a little slower going on the size 3 needles but I should be able to finish up the thumbs and more this weekend.  Not much tonight, since we have to go to Mr. M's mom and dad's for dinner.  I'll have some time Saturday before rehearsal.

18 November, 2010

Learning the hard way. Again.

Here's what I learned:  Put the rain gear on if rain is forecast for the day and it's currently sprinkling.  Even though the sky looks lighter in the direction you are going.  It is better to have the gear on and not need it than arrive at work soaking wet to the skin.  Thankfully I have dry running pants, socks and shirt I can put on to get home but my gloves are another matter.  Not only that, I am sitting here with wet hair and wearing wet tights.  The tights I wore under my bike pants because it is rather chilly.  I don't have an extra pair of tights.  I am just keeping my fingers crossed I don't catch my death of cold.

I did the finishing on the first pair of convertible mitts yesterday evening.  I should have taken pictures.  They are not perfect but I will be able to wear them and the next pair will be perfect.  I cast on for another pair on size 3 needles with the sock yarn again.  While the stitch counts are different the basic pattern is the same.  I need to do a few things differently though.  For the pairs that I knit in DK weight yarn on size 6 needles I either need to use a smaller needle for the 2x2 ribbing at the cuff or switch to 1x1.  It doesn't seem to matter with the sock yarn on size 3 needles if I do 2x2 ribbing but the other was too loose.  Also, I think I need to cast on 5 stitches when I have finished knitting the thumb gusset and putting the thumb stitches on waste yarn.  Otherwise, if you increase those five stitches evenly across the palm the mitt is twisted a little bit.  So that leads me to believe that the increase has to be in the same spot the original 5 stitches were taken.  I need to make the palm side ribbing for the top just a little bit longer.  Adding the two stitches on each side worked to make a little overlap and I was able to sew it down so it didn't show.  On this next pair I will make it a bit longer and if I replace the five stitches at the thumb I don't think it will show on the back of the hand.  And also with this pair I want to find a better way to do the decreases to close up the mitten.  I don't want it to be so pointed as the other pair.

Big football game tonight.  And indeed Jake Locker is going to be able to play his last home game.  Thankfully we're not playing a really great team, so maybe they will win. 

17 November, 2010

Very close

I am SO close to finishing the convertible mittens and they are JUST what I was looking for.  They fit perfectly -- at least they fit me perfectly which at this point is all that matters.  I believe I solved the problem of the mitten top overlap but I won't know until I start the finishing.  I am going to have to be crafty in sewing the little tabs down on the corners.  If I can be tidy about it the join should be invisible.  My only concern with these is that they are 100% cashmere and I suspect they're going to pill.  But they are so very soft and warm.  I'll just deal with it.

It is a work at home day for me today.  Mr. M is going to be taking off soon for a job and the cleaners are busy.  Soon it will be quiet and clean and I can work.  It is not a very nice day but at least it's not pouring rain.  Tomorrow I have to bike to work no matter what because there is going to be a football game at 5 pm, televised by ESPN and parking is severely limited and buses, although free, will be jammed..  This, of course, was set up way back when the Huskies were supposed to be winning everything.  Now it's just another public humiliation on a grand and national scale.  Jake Locker has been pleading with his doctors to let him play -- his last home game -- with his cracked ribs.  I haven't had time to read the sports page yet.  I sure hope he can play, for his sake and the teams.

16 November, 2010

Winter is sneaking up on us

My iPhone weather app, Yahoo weather, shows six days -- the current day and then an extended forecast.  You can put several cities in there so I can see what the weather is like in places I would like to be, places I will be in the near future, places where my friends are, etc.  The interesting thing I've noticed this morning is that we are forecast rain mixed with snow this weekend.  Brrrrrrr ...

Last week I finished up my audio book of Sarah Dunant's latest called "Sacred Hearts".  The narrator was just wonderful and the story also very good.  I love her books and I think this one is my favorite.  True love wins out in this one, not the Catholic church.  The one I am listening to now is very different. It's John Grisham's latest called "The Confession".  I was listening to it on Sunday while I was out walking Tinkerbell and it was so sad I started crying!  I wonder if I would have had the same reaction if I was reading rather than listening. 

It was a very stressful dog walking session.  Besides being charged at by a big dog, a woman started tapping on her window when Tink did a little piddle on the corner of her yard.  "Don't let your dog do its business in my yard"!! she hollered from her door.  I was taken aback and told her that I would never do that, it was just a little piddle!   And we kept on walking.  Then a minute or so later she came rushing after me to explain that she wasn't a mean person.  It was just that someone was not picking up after their dog and she had found three large messes when she went to do some gardening a few days ago.   But she could see that Tink was much too small to leave such a large mess.  I just wanted to get away from her.

While watching one of the most unusual and record breaking Monday night football games last night I was working on the convertible mittens.  I finished up the mitt part, broke the yarn and cast on for the ribbing for the part of the mitten that is palm-side.  I got distracted by the game and messed up the ribs.  It's going to be too obvious to call a design element so I'm going to rip the few rows out and start over at lunch time today.  I would like to get the ribbing done and get a good bit knit up on the mitten part tonight.  I want to finish these this week so I can write up the pattern and make another pair.

15 November, 2010

It was really really nice

Just a fabulous look weekend!  Even the weather cooperated.  Wednesday night started the party with a nice dinner out at a restaurant I've been wanting to try for a while.  I had the duck, which was very very good.  Unfortunately I don't eat things that rich very often and I did not sleep well at all.  In fact I was awake from 1 am until after 4.  I did get to sleep in a bit Thursday morning, but not too long because I had a couple of stops to make before the spa appointment at 12:30.  First there was the yarn shop to check out their sale -- I bought a couple of magazines and a couple of skeins of yarn but nothing on sale.  Then out to Tuesday Morning just for fun -- got out of there quite cheaply as well.  Then it was off to the spa.  I could have been a better experience.  It was nice and I got a great scrub but it wasn't as relaxing as I had hoped because it was very busy.  There are signs posted everywhere saying that you are supposed to speak only in whispers but people just ignore it.  The pool room has a waterfall into a cool pool, then three other pools of varying heat where the ladies soak before the scrubs or moisturizing or just to soak.  So you can imagine when all of the pools are full of yapping women and the sound is echoing off the tile floor and walls and the waterfall is making noise ... gah!  It was really getting to me.  Of course, by the time I was done with my scrub it was nice and quiet there.  Next time I make an appointment I'm going to make sure I don't come at the busiest time of the day.

My nephews arrived that evening around 9:30 so I didn't get much time to knit that evening before I had to go pick them up.  We stayed up until we were all three starting to fall asleep in front of the TV.  We had a big day Friday to look forward to so we all went to bed around midnight.  Unfortunately I woke up WAY too early because Mr. M had to get up at 4 am for a job in Tacoma and I never really got back to deep sleep.  The boys slept in a bit and after breakfast we went out to shop for the birthday party we were having that night for my eldest nephew.  We went to the mall and the party store and Best Buy and finally the grocery store.  By then we were starving so we had some Pho then headed back home so I could get dinner started.  Because I had a bad night Wednesday night and hadn't gotten caught up Thursday I was dragging Friday afternoon and oh, I truly wanted a nap.  But one thing led to another and I just couldn't fit it in. 

So I had a house full starting at 6 and we had a fun party.  I asked my nephew what he wanted for his birthday dinner and he chose meatloaf!  Well that was easy enough and everybody likes meatloaf and mashed potatoes.  We had a yummy cake and everyone had a great time.  And we stayed up way too late.  Again.

Saturday I took all three nephews out to lunch at FX McRory's, then we had to run a few errands.  That evening was a major boxing match on PayPerView that we all wanted to watch.  The oldest nephew had to take one of his children to a party after lunch so we left him to it and did our errands.  I was able to get a one hour lay down that afternoon while the two guys were watching football but I didn't really sleep.  The boxing was great and we watched in the theatre.  The picture was sometimes a little TOO good.  You could really see some gory details.  And we stayed up way too late.  Again.

I managed to sleep in until maybe 9 on Sunday.  Mr. M hadn't gotten home until 3 or 4 am so he was going to sleep late as were the boys.  Although they did manage to get up in time to start watching the first football games.  The red zone is perfect for fantasy football because you can see all the teams.  Oh.  And the Seahawks won!  I lost my fantasy matchup but what else is new.  I had managed to put off my rehearsal to Sunday afternoon.  I was able to do a little knitting in between cleaning up from the weekend and football but I had to finally say goodbye at 3 and dash off to rehearsal, leaving Mr. M to take them to the airport while I was gone.

Rehearsal went okay.  We are all feeling a sense of urgency since our gig is coming up on the 27th.  Maybe 3 more rehearsals and a ton of work to do.  I was so exhausted though I could barely make it through.  We went until 6:30 then I was out of there.  I wanted to just relax, do a little knitting and go to bed early.  I was in bed before 9:30 and I truly believe I was asleep before my head hit the pillow.  And I woke up feeling fantastic!  I needed sleep and it was sweet and deep.  I did wake up a couple times for water.  Mr. M had ordered Chinese food while I was gone and since I was not in the mood to cook I was glad for it, but it made me thirsty.  And then of course while I was awake I started thinking about all the lyrics I have yet to memorize.  But I managed to put that to the back of my mind and fall back to sleep.

Even though I never really had a good chunk of time to knit this weekend I did manage to finish the thumb gusset and start on the hand part of the convertible mittens.  I want to make these ones work since I'm using cashmere and I'm not about to waste it.  I made a little error last night when I started the ribbing directly after the thumb gusset was finished.  I am going to call it a design element.  It was only a couple of rows and in fact it might help the fit. No one will know that I didn't mean to do it.  I sure want to finish those early this week.  I have so many things I want to make!!

10 November, 2010

Happy Fri-Wednesday

Yay!  The end of the short week.  I sure am looking forward to spending time with my  nephews.  And a spa day tomorrow to look forward to as well as a nice dinner out tonight.  All I have to do is make it through the day.

It started off cold, that's for sure.  As I was pulling out of the driveway on my bike the man across the street was scraping frost off his windshield!  There wasn't any ice along side the road or trail, thank goodness.  But I'm a little chilly still.  I should have brought a long sleeved top for work today rather than this short sleeved one, but it's usually so stuffy and warm in my closet. 

I had a lovely surprise waiting for me at home last night.  A couple weeks ago DBNY was having a sale on their grab bags.  I think it was left over stock from a yarn store buy out.  I thought I'd give it a shot and wow!  Totally worth the $25.  I think I got something like a dozen skeins.  Two skeins of several colors, and a few singles.  And the colors they picked out were great for me.  The patterns weren't anything much on first glance and a pair of long size 2 needles, pretty much useless for me.  But it was a great surprise.

Noon knitting today and I'm still slogging through the Cloisonne Jacket.  I am half way through the stranded color work.  I am able to do two or three rows in the hour we spend on Wednesdays.  I have so many other WIPs at home, I don't want to take it there or it'll get lost with the Shining Birds Eye shawl and the blue Green Gables and  ... oh! the white Simple Knitted Bodice that I haven't touched for a year.  Not to mention now I'm all gung ho on these convertible mittens.  I worked a bit on the cashmere ones last night.  I hope to be able to get some good work on them tomorrow.

I'm craving scrambled eggs.  Tough luck for me since our cafeteria doesn't make scrambled eggs.  I'll have to settle for oat meal or a scone.  Hmmmm ....

09 November, 2010

If at first you don't succeed

I finished up my first pair of convertible mittens last night during the football game (no money this week).  They are not perfect and not even wearable - by me anyway.  I started the decreases for the mitten top too early so the flap is not long enough, leaving a gap at the palm.  I have a couple of design changes in mind and will scrap that pair.  I would frog them but I ended the mitten part with an I-cord and finished one of them, sewing the I-cord end inside the mitten and stitching the ribbing inside the hand.   I think it would be much more of a hassle than it's worth.  I'll just scrap them.  I do have enough of that sock yarn to make another pair, easily.  My next pair is going to be on size six needles with the pure cashmere I made my bandit out of a few months ago.

It was raining this morning.  I was just going upstairs to put on my rain pants and my booties that my wonderful friend gave me after we biked in the pouring rain during the month of May.  But before I did that I checked once more and it had stopped.  I hate wearing those rain pants so I just said the heck with it and took off.  But of course it started raining again.  It wasn't so bad but I'm going to put my rain gear back into my panniers and leave it there.  I took it out earlier this summer because I needed extra room but it's time to put them where they belong.

I am getting so excited about my nephews visit!  And I made an appointment for a spa visit on Thursday afternoon.  It's been a while and I've been craving a massage.  A visit to the Olympus spa is just what the doctor ordered.  It's women only.  I like to do the body scrub - a massage plus you end up soft as a baby.  Ahhhhhh can't wait.

08 November, 2010

Unbelievable but true

The football was even worse that I had imagined.  Just awful.  I didn't really have much  hope for the Huskies going up against the number one team in the nation with a back up quarterback.  And since I had slept in late on Saturday I decided to just put off doing the errands until Sunday and take it easy.  Mr. M had to leave for a show so Tink and I had the house nice and quiet to ourselves.  After breakfast and cleaning up we went for our walk and then I settled in with my convertible mittens to knit on and the football game to watch.  And actually the Huskies did better than expected for the first half.  So I kept watching.  They were tied 3-3, but when they came back from the half the Ducks, who are famous for making adjustments during the half, came out and just ran all over us.  I switched off the torture.

Rehearsal was pretty good.  I felt much better than I had last weekend and the number of songs that we are really clicking on are growing, plus the new guy is fitting in nicely.  And bonus -- it was turn back the clock night so I got home at 10:30 but had an extra hour to de-stress and so I had a nice evening of "Saturday Night Live" and a couple martinis. 

I was up and out so early on Sunday even though I tried to sleep in.  And because I'm so used to running errands on Saturday, when I got to the salon it was closed.  They don't open until 11 on Sunday.  So off I went to the mall -- but same story.  Doh!  So I went to the grocery store and shopped slowly until I could get to the mall, then the salon and home in time to get dinner into the slow cooker, laundry going and settle in to watch the Seahawks.  I love my RedZone from Dish network, now that I finally figured out that it is over at 5 pm, so I was watching that and keeping track of my fantasy team.  Which -- erghghgh -- so I got these new guys who were KILLING last week and this week ... pft.  Nada.  I have one player in tonight's game and he's going to have to go crazy for me to win.  Not going to happen.  Anyway ... so the Seahawks were playing the Giants and we have just run over them the last few times they've played here.  This time?  Not so much.  We had our back up quarterback in and he couldn't connect with the receivers and the Giants offense was just running all over us, not the mention their defense picking off our quarterback.  We gave that game away.  It was pitiful.  I couldn't watch it.

I did very well with my convertible mittens.  I got the mitt part done and a few rows done on the mitten part.  I wish I had done a couple rows of ribbing when I started working on the covered part but I was so anxious to see if it was going to work.  This is my prototype anyway.  Next I will perfect the pattern with worsted weight yarn on size 6 needles and then do one last pair on size 3 needles and then I should be able to put the pattern on Ravelry.  And I'll have a few new pairs of convertible mittens. 

Short week this week.  Thursday is a holiday and my nephews are coming in from California for a visit.  I will take Friday off for a vacation day so I can spend as much time as possible with them.  I am making a party Friday night for my other nephew's birthday so it's going to be a busy weekend, but fun fun fun!

05 November, 2010

I had a great day yesterday

It was going to be a beautiful and sunny day.  I could tell even in the wee dawn light -- plus it had been forecast as such.  Mr. M had a show and was going to be gone from 8 am until 10 pm.  I had nothing at the office that I couldn't do from home so I decided, at 6:30 am, to work from home.  Knowing that the weekend is going to be cold and wet, I figured this would be the perfect (and only) time to get the vegetable beds cleaned up, tomato cages put away, pea vine sticks also stowed and maybe put together a couple of planters for the new patio.  I was outside by 8 am and make quick work of the vegetable bed clean out.  I didn't go crazy - just got the big stuff and cut down the blackberry vines crawling over from the neighbor's yard. 

I got on the computer and did a little work work and then dashed out to run some errands during lunch -- early lunch actually since I had been up and going so early.  Unfortunately I couldn't find any plants to put in the planters.  I wanted maybe some autumn pansies and some decorative cabbage.  Obviously I went to the wrong places.  I didn't really want to take the time to go to a full blown garden store but maybe I can do that this weekend.  I also made a quick run through Costco, just because it was a weekday morning and I knew it wouldn't be crowded and I thought maybe they might have some odd plants.  They didn't but I did pick up the Blu-Ray version of Toy Story 3 .. with digital copy.  I love the digital copy.  I know it's crazy small but watching movies on my iPhone is just so fun.

It was so nice and clean and quiet and sunny.  I had finished my Coquille shawl the night before so I tossed it in the washer and blocked it in the afternoon.  Here it is drying on the guest bed.  You can't even tell that I made that mistake unless you carefully count the points.   I was quite keen to cast on for the convertible mittens, which I did and got about 2 inches of ribbing done.  I meant to bring them in to work with me so I could do some at lunch but I forgot.  I did wear this today but frankly it's not that cold for such a heavy scarf.

It is going to be a very bad football weekend, I already know for sure.  First of all the Huskies are playing the Ducks, who are ranked number 1 in the nation.  We haven't been playing all that well and now it's going to be even worse because we're using the backup quarterback.  Jake Locker's bruised ribs turned into cracked ribs and now, broken so he can't play.  The Seahawks are playing the Giants and although they are here at home Matt Hasselbeck was concussed last weekend and is not cleared to play.  We have a pretty good back up quarterback but he hasn't had much real playing time.  Hopefully  my fantasy team will do well this weekend.

03 November, 2010

Dinner fail

I thought I'd try something new last night.  Not huge, just a different preparation for some squash.  Rather than peel it and cube it and steam it I thought I'd bake it.  I typically bake Acorn squash and this was just a big chunk of Hubbard and there's no reason I couldn't bake it, right?  Well, turns out I was wrong.  What I should have done is cut it up and roasted it like I do when I make roasted vegetables.  It wouldn't get done and wouldn't get done so I turned the oven up to cook the fish in hopes that the squash would finish cooking as well.  Okay, everyone reading this already  knows what happened, right?  The bottom of the squash burned and the flesh refused to cook.  Well no matter, I had a good bit of Trader Joe's marinated Ahi tuna and their lovely roasted vegetables in balsamic sauce and some lovely bread.  For some reason or other the fish was mushy(!) and therefore inedible as far as I was concerned and the vegetables were not hot.  But at that point I was so disgusted with myself I ate the tepid vegetables, took a couple bites of fish and called it dinner.  Ick.  I hate it when I mess up dinner.  I can't eat Mr. M's cooking at all so it's up to me and when I mess up such a simple meal it puts me in a very very bad mood.  In fact, I'm still upset about it.  I could be crazier than I think.

I did figure out the problem with the stitch count for the Coquille shawl/scarf.  I misread the pattern and therefore did only six repeats of the motifs rather than six MORE.  So what I am doing now is more of the smaller motif as I decrease 4 stitches each repeat.  It is going to mean that one side of the thing is longer than the other but since I'm not going to be using it as a shawl anyway it won't make any difference.  Design element.  I still haven't finished it though.  Hopefully tonight.

I'm hungry.

02 November, 2010

Back in the bike saddle again

Despite the warnings for a particularly nasty and early winter, the weather is still quite mild and since we haven't turned our clocks back yet, the mornings are pretty dark as well.  We will have lighter mornings starting this coming Saturday but again it won't be long before it's dark and treacherous.  I haven't been out there on the trail for more than a week so I was a bit surprised by how many big patches of wet leaves there are now.  It helps smooth out the bumps.

Despite my best intentions and working an hour at lunchtime and during the football game last night, I still haven't finished the Coquille.  Plus my stitch count is way off!  I don't know how that happened exactly but I'm going to have to figure it out at lunchtime today and then maybe I can finish it up tonight.  I want to get started on those convertible mittens.

My nephews are coming to visit for a long weekend - arriving next Thursday evening and leaving Sunday evening.  My other nephew that lives up here is having a birthday on Tuesday so hopefully I can make a little party at my house for everyone on Friday.  Thursday is a holiday for us so I'll take the Friday as well and have myself a nice long weekend too!  I'd probably be better off taking the Monday but I can't.

My fantasy team just took a big hit - Randy Moss was let go from the Vikings.  He was put on waivers and that means that, starting with the lowest ranking team, he can be picked up from the Vikings for the amount of his contract - something around 6 million I believe.  He hasn't been producing much and I really wanted to get rid of him and nearly had a trade done before they dropped that bombshell.  But who knows, maybe he'll get picked up from a team that can get the ball to him and he can score some points for me.  So far he has been a huge dud.

01 November, 2010

Another horrible football weekend

The little party Friday evening was quite nice and we stayed for a couple of hours.  I went right to bed when we got home, I was so tired!  I didn't sleep - couldn't sleep.  Which is so annoying.  I was just exhausted but I couldn't fall asleep.  I ended up reading and messing with my iPhone until I finally drifted off. 

Saturdays are more like work days, especially when there's a rehearsal at 7 pm.  I got up and out early enough so that I was able to walk and wash Tinkerbell and, as planned, spend a couple of hours on my fancy shawl.  It is coming along but now I am really quite anxious to finish up the Coquille so that I can make some convertible mittens to go with it.  I was thinking last week that I really need another pair of fingerless mitts since the ones I made a couple years ago are getting kind of ratty.  I thought it would be more useful to make mittens that convert to fingerless mitts but I couldn't find a pattern that I liked.  None of them are written to be done on two circulars and they all without exception make you knit through the palm with waste yarn and then go back and pick up those stitches to make the mitts.  I got to thinking that if one were to make them on two circulars that whole mess could be avoided.  So I am going to make my own pattern using the other two balls of Noro sock yarn I have and write it up and put it on Ravelry.  I need to finish that project first though because I have too many balls in the air as it is.

Rehearsal was good, mostly, but tempers flared near the end.  All of us except Doug, the leader, think we need more dance music.  When people come out to hear a band, especially a new one, they are not looking to see a concert.  They want to dance. Also, everyone but him wants to play in clubs and bars and he wants to only do parties.  He doesn't realize that in a party situation especially people don't want to hear slow tunes, they want to dance.  I am conflicted about what to do about it.  I have to do the gig on the 27th but after that ... I just don't know. 

Football this weekend was a travesty.  The Huskies were shut out at home for the first time in ... what? 50 years or more?  It was ugly.  The Seahawks went to Oakland and the Raiders kicked their collective butts to the tune of 33 to 3.  And my fantasy ... I managed to pick up two awesome players last week but instead of starting them, I let them sit on the bench because I thought my current line up was pretty sweet.  Ends up my bench out performed my players buy a lot.  SO annoying!  Let's cross our fingers that I win something tonight, although with those numbers it's not too likely.

29 October, 2010

Fffffffinally Ffffffriday

Tonight there is a potluck dinner to celebrate the end of the anatomy class -- several weeks after the fact but we had visiting faculty from Australia who have been taking advantage of being here and doing a bit of traveling.  So on the way home last night I stopped at the grocery store to pick up ingredients for a salad I'm making.  On the days I drive in to work, like this entire week, I take a little Victoria's Secret shopping bag to carry my fruit and milk that I bring for breakfast.  As I got out of the car in the parking lot I looked into the car next to me and at first thought I was seeing a reflection of my car but then realized that this person not only carried the same little shopping bag to work with her but the plastic container I keep my strawberries in was the same container she had in her bag!   Which all leads me to believe that I am much more ordinary that I would like to think. 

I have a few errands to run tomorrow, Tinkerbell to bathe and then I should be able to have a nice two or three hour quiet time to work on the fancy shawl.  I want to see some serious progress on that this weekend and so will do more on Sunday as well.  If I can get all my errands done tomorrow before I go to rehearsal at 7 then I will only have laundry to do on Sunday -- oh, and watch football. 

The weather has been decent as I have driven my car in every day this week.  I certainly hope it continues next week as well when I get back on the bike.  I am coughing much less and feel that I should be able to get back on the bike without compromising my health.  Only time will tell.  And on that deep note, nose back to the grindstone.

28 October, 2010

I fooled myself

I woke up last night, I'm guessing around 1 or so since I didn't look at the clock, and had myself convinced that it was Saturday early morning for a little while.  We went to a lovely little restaurant last night called Preservation Kitchen and when we got home I played with my latest Wii game, Rabbids Go Home.  That was enough to convince my sleepy self that it was Friday night rather than Wednesday night.  Ah me ....  But it was raining this morning and I slept late, most likely because I was awake too long thinking about the lovely Saturday ahead of me, so I drove in again.  It's probably for the best since I want to kick this sinus thing ASAP.

My sister called me last night saying that her boyfriend was just then making reservations to come up to visit us for New Years!  Yay!!!  I am SO excited!!!  They're coming December 30 and staying until the 3rd.  That will be so perfect.  We can have our Christmas up here only a few days later.  And then I'll have my January vacation to look forward to after they leave so I won't be too depressed. 

I have been working on the Cloisonne jacket exclusively at noon knitting on Wednesdays.  I am now finished with row 18 of the color work portion.  Nearly half way there.  Once I get the color work done I will take it home and go to town on it.  Certainly it will be a very warm garment and it is turning out to be quite lovely.

27 October, 2010

Pet Peeve # ..... well, who can keep count?

There are tasks that most people find boring and tedious and it drives me crazy when someone asks me to do one of those tasks saying I'm so much better at doing X than they are.  The fact is, I'm not better at it, it's that they're too lazy to do it themselves!   For example, you don't have to be a rocket scientist to find a decent airfare.  It takes me just as long as the next person to sift through the garbage and find the fare.  Plus, if I'm doing it for someone else, then there is the back and forth -- what time do you want to leave and if you have to have a lay over what is the most time you're willing to spend waiting for your next plane, etc. etc. etc.  I'm going to have to stop being so nice.

......... that was a joke.

What's not a joke is my on going sinus problem.  I did get to the doctor yesterday, and I am quite proud of myself for doing it.  I am going to get this problem handled once and for all.  It puts my race schedule back a week since I haven't been able to run or even bike since last Wednesday.  No matter, I shall get right back up on the horse as soon as I can.  Maybe as soon as next Monday.  Well, surely by then.

The band leader, Doug, booked us a date at the very same community center where we did the band reunion set a few weeks ago.  I would much rather play in a real venue, as in a bar or club, but he is set on doing it here.  It's going to be really stupid - some type of pot luck or something like that.  The only good thing is that Mr. M will be able to do the sound for it so I know I'll sound decent.  Hopefully he can get a good recording as well. 

I was very late getting home last night because I had a hair appointment at six, therefore dinner wasn't until 8:30 leaving me precious little time to knit.  I got another gusset done on the Coquille.  I'd like to finish that up this weekend but I also really  need to carve out some quality time with my fancy shawl.  I should dedicate an hour or two both Saturday and Sunday.  I don't believe there's anything else going on this weekend except rehearsing Saturday night and football on Sunday.  I need to put that bad boy to bed as well.  I have too many WIPs and a queue as long as my arm. And not near enough knitting time. 

26 October, 2010

Well THAT shouldn't have been there!

That's what I get for multi-tasking after two glasses of wine.  Friends en route to an enviable two week vacation in Italian wine country were asking for conversation starters, jokingly.   I thought I was sending a MMS but instead posted to my blog.  At least the picture went missing - a blurry shot of the TV screen, Monday Night Football.  Which, by the way, I did NOT win a single quarter plus I've got HORRIBLE numbers for next week.  Ah but can you imagine?  Two weeks in Italy.  They're staying in a house for a week and then driving to the coast and wherever else they feel like going for the second week.  I can't stand it, I am so envious.  Especially since the weather is now typical Seattle autumn - windy and rainy and cold to the bone.  Only twelve weeks to go before we head to the Caribbean for what I hope is a sun drenched week.  I am sure I'll really be ready by then if the predictions come true for a snowy winter.

We are very very close to getting the house wired up.  Mr. M needed help getting the ends terminated correctly so by the time I get home tonight we should be all set.  It's not a huge deal but we'll be able to stream Netflicks through the Wii and whatever box Mr. M gets for the theatre, plus I'll have hard wire to my office laptop which will make downloading faster.  Our wireless is pretty good but sometimes when I'm downloading audiobooks or movies from iTunes it takes a long while. And I'm sure there are things we will be able to do with our Dish Network boxes too.  Oh, and I found out that now I can stream from Netflicks right to my iPhone!  Trouble.

When we were out Sunday night to see Mike sing some friends came in with their new iPad.  Oh I want one!  Mr. M is going to get one for business because there are apps he can download so he can mix his digital boards from the iPad anywhere in the venue.  That is super useful.  I know he'll not want to share it, and I want my own anyway.  I think I'll wait for the second generation though.  I can wait to January.  It'll be perfect to bring on our vacation.

25 October, 2010

Felting in a front loader

Oh yes you can!  I saw this adorable pattern on Ravelry Friday afternoon when my headache had subsided enough to be able to mess around on my laptop.  It was for these adorable slippers.  The soles are knit first holding 3 strands of worsted weight yarn together.  I had some Lamb's Pride worsted in a beautiful fuchsia but only 2 skeins so I used some other pink yarn for the third strand.  Then you knit two sides and a strap for each slipper.  Since it is done on size 15 needles it zips right along.  After sewing them up I popped them into a pillow case, tied the top and put them in the washer with a couple of towels.  When you're felting you don't want to rinse with cold before you're finished with the felting process, so it makes it a bit tricky and messy.  Since the whole idea with these newer front loaders is to get as much cleaning done with as little water as possible, one can stop the machine in mid-cycle and fish out the project to check on the progress.  I set the washer going with hot water and a longer cycle first.  After about twenty minutes I could hear the washer start to drain in preparation for a rinse so I stopped it and canceled the cycle and checked on the project.  It was felting!  I took out the straps, which felt fastest, and chose another hot cycle, this one a bit shorter.  Again, when I heard it start to go into the rinse cycle I stopped it and checked the slippers.  In hindsight I should have run them a bit longer because you can still see the stitch definition,  but I was so thrilled that it was working I sent them through their rinse and called it good even though the soles were still a bit long.  I figured I could mold them while drying.   I shaped them and the next day they were dry so I sewed the straps and buttons on.  And then set them out to photograph them and that's when I realized I sewed one strap on differently than the other.  I was going to take it off and try again, but after wearing them for a little while I realized my mistakes and I am just going to have to make another pair so that they are perfect.

My sinus problems hung with me through Saturday so I didn't go to rehearsal.  We have a gig booked for the Saturday after Thanksgiving and that's not so far away so I had better get this problem handled and quickly.  So I was home to watch the Huskies get humiliated on TV again.  Again.  It was terrible.  Frankly I turned it off after the 3rd quarter when it was apparent that they were not going to win or even put up much of a fight.  And again a 2nd string quarterback to boot!!  The Seahawks did well on Sunday so that kind of evens out.  Now if I can win a couple of quarters with the Monday Night Football game I'll be happy.  I came THAT close to winning my fantasy matchup.  I don't think I'm going to be last this week, which is better than nothing.  I'm in such a deep hole from the first few weeks that I'm just going to have to be happy that I'm pulling myself up from the basement.

It was storming most of the weekend so I didn't get finished pictures of the patio - he came on Friday to finally add the last bit of sand.  Here are a couple pictures - one before and one during.  The first picture - the before - is looking north.  The during picture is looking south and the two bushes from the north picture have been removed so one can move from the deck to the patio without having to go around.

22 October, 2010

Colds all over the place

Wednesday afternoon I was so tired I didn't think I would be able to bike home.  I mean -- seriously exhausted.  And that usually means only one thing -- I'm getting sick.  I had Mr. M pick me up and I went straight to bed but not soon enough to outrun the virus.  And I'm not being a sissy either!  After last year and that horrible horrible sinus/chest thing that went on and on because I was sure I could take care of it on my own, I don't take any chances if I can help it.  That being said, I spent all of yesterday in bed, snoozing and reading, fighting this blasted sinus headache.  I read LeCarre's latest, which I quite enjoyed.  Nothing too deep.   I had a hair appointment at 4:30 yesterday which I assumed I'd be able to make but realized that I was sicker than I thought when even the thought of being out and about and able to pick up a bottle of whiskey so I could make a hot whiskey later couldn't get me out of bed.  I did the responsible thing and moved the appointment to next week.

Today I'm feeling marginally better.  Still have the sore throat but it's not so bad as yesterday and the headache is also, for the time being, under control.  But if I'm not 100% by Monday I'm going to visit the doctor.

The contractor is coming by today to finish up the patio and get paid.  It was pouring rain last night but not now so maybe I can get some pictures soon.

20 October, 2010

A jarring trail

I have been noticing lately a bunch of new bumpy patches on the trail.  The more treacherous patches have been marked with fluorescent paint by the Parks Department or maybe the bicycle club.  The beautiful trees that line the trail are, of course, the very reason we get these cracks and bumps and holes in the first place.  Right now it's not that much of a hazard because it's still light enough, both coming and going, that one can navigate around them.  However, it won't be long now when we will be turning the clocks back and the days are getting shorter.  It will be dark and more difficult to avoid them. 

I had a pretty decent run yesterday afternoon considering it's been over six weeks since I've been out running.  I thought I might be sore this morning, but I'm not.  I didn't have much stamina but I believe I should be back to speed next week.  Then I'll look for a race to sign up for.  I  know there are several in November.

I wanted to knit last night but I wanted to go out to dinner more, to celebrate my Monday wins.  This is restaurant week in Seattle when over 100 restaurants all over the city offer a 3 course dinner for $25.  I chose the Sandpoint Grill because it's close and I love the food.  The only thing that bothers me about the place is the number of children that will sometimes be there during dinner hour.  Mostly they're well behaved.  Nothing like a noisy child to put one off one's grub. 

19 October, 2010

We won!

Not once, but twice!  I am in a Monday Night Football pool, sharing a square with my friend's husband.  Every week the numbers change according to the final score of the previous week's game.  And it pays out every quarter.  We had Tennessee 7 and Jacksonville 0 last night.   That was the score for the first quarter and then in the second quarter the Titans' kicker missed the point after and we ended up with the same score for the half.  So yay!!  Not only are we square but now we're up.  What shall I do with my windfall? 

The football game was so exciting that I didn't get much knitting done.  I did start on the second half of the Coquille, which is decreasing back down.  These larger gussets are taking me about an hour to do the entire 12 rows including the short rows.  But at least it's TV knitting.

I am going to run at lunchtime today.  First time in weeks and weeks.  It's going to hurt for a while but hopefully by next week I should be back up to speed.  I think I should shoot for a November race to be sure I'm ready.  I don't want to commit to the Dawg Dash because it's too soon.

The patio didn't get finished yesterday.  Hopefully today.  I don't think it's really going to look much different with the rest of the finer sand put on.  Maybe I'll just snap some pictures tonight when I get home if it's still light enough.  Oh it was so beautiful on the way in this morning and if I hadn't been running a little bit late I would have whipped out the old iPhone and shot the lake.  The mist on the lake was apricot colored and the sun behind the clouds looked huge.  Just beautiful.

18 October, 2010


What a grand football weekend!  The Huskies beat Oregon in double overtime!  It was so exciting but after the first overtime started I had to turn it off and let it record.  I couldn't stand the suspense.  And on Sunday the Seahawks beat the Bears on the road!  I watched the entire game.  They looked pretty darned good.  It's been tough for that team to win on the road so this was a big game for the new coach.  And finally -- it looks like I'm going to be beating my nephew in the matchup this week!  I have 71.6 points over his 61.33 and I've got another player in tonight's game.  He is done.  I have to resist the urge to gloat.  I messed up my other team though - the one in the league where I'm first.  I had made some roster changes, moving out the players who had a bye week and must have neglected to click the "submit changes" button because they're still sitting there.  I am winning my matchup but it's going to mess up my points total.

The patio is nearly done.  They have to finish it up today with some finer sand.  I am quite pleased although I wish it was a bit bigger.  But to keep within my budget I had to make a couple of small adjustments to my original plan.  Maybe this spring if I find it's really bothering me I can have them add more bricks.  For now though it's nice.  I'm take some pictures tonight and post before and afters.

I had plans to work on my Shining Birds Eyes shawl but ended up relaxing and listening to my book and working on the Coquille scarf/shawl.  I am exactly half way through now.  Even if I block this thing super aggressively it's not going to be what I would call a shawl, but it's going to be a really nice scarf.

The baby shower went off fine even though someone brought their 3 children even though they were specifically told NO CHILDREN ALLOWED.  *sigh*  I managed to get them all in, fed and out in a little over two hours.  I must not have been doing a very good job of hiding my desire to be rid of the lot of them because my brother in law's girlfriend asked me at one point if I had somewhere else to be that day.  "Only alone", is what I wanted to answer.  She's one of those busy bodies who insists on "helping" clean up and tidy up.  I don't want to sound ungrateful for assistance but I neither needed it nor wanted it.  Oh wait, no I did need a little bit of help moving one of the couches back to its spot but other than that, no help needed.  Good heavens, I really am a bitch, aren't I?

I am feeling a bit of a let down now that anatomy is over.  Maybe even a little depressed.  It's my favorite time of the year because I'm so busy. Now it's just back to the same old thing.  I have a little more time in the day to do other things.  First on my agenda this week is to give my office and good cleaning.  Yes, we have janitorial service but that only means that they empty out the wastebasket and maybe once every few months they'll sweep the floor.  This entire closet needs a good dusting and my desk needs to be cleaned up.  And I've GOT to get running again!  I just need to force myself a couple of times and I'll be right back in it. 

I'd like to finish up that scarf I'm working on as well as the blue Green Gables.  Then I can start thinking about what I want to make for gifts.  Still plenty of time for that.

15 October, 2010

A new patio!

Oh I am so excited!  Finally yesterday they started work on my new patio.  I took some before pictures yesterday.  I'll snap a couple of work in progress pictures today ... I worked from home yesterday and again today so I can be here while the work is going on.  Yesterday they got all of the plastic covered with weeds out of there and moved in all the pavers and sand and gravel.  First thing this morning they had a machine for flattening it.  I imagine they're going to start putting in the edging and then the bricks.  It is going to be just wonderful to be able to look out those windows and not be looking at a weed field.  And they've lucked out on the weather.  It was lovely and sunny yesterday for most of the day, started raining around 3 and now this morning the fog has lifted and it is a beautiful day.

I did a couple of rows on my "fancy" shawl yesterday evening before I cooked dinner and nothing on the Coquille.  Mr. M has to do a load in this evening so I'll have some nice quiet time and hope to get some done on both projects.  I also have to prep for the baby shower I'm giving tomorrow.  I know - not exactly something I'm up on. I think I've been to one baby shower in my entire life.  I had to go on line and read about what you do and get some games, etc.  I've got a nice menu planned and I've got to get it ready to go tonight so all I have to do tomorrow after picking up the balloons and cake is pop the strata in the oven.  They'll be here at 12:30 and hopefully I can get through this in a couple of hours. 

Then I'll have an entire afternoon and evening to get my house back in shape and knit before the football game at 7.  Oh man, I sure hope the Huskies do better this Saturday.  The Seahawks are back from their bye week and we can only hope they win.  My fantasy team is looking pretty good and evenly matched against my matchup this week, who happens to be one of my nephews.  The one that is first.  I would lllllove to beat him but he seems to have some sort of voodoo going on.  Fingers crossed.

13 October, 2010

It's still looking good ...

for me working from home Thursday and Friday.  I need to be here today so I can go to lab with the Histo students and help them, if they need it, with the Virtual Microscope application I made.  Every year at least some of them have a hard time getting connected or they use the wrong browser.  Now there's nothing I can do about the bandwidth problem.  The school is aware of it and when anatomy starts it's not much of a problem, but now all of the schools are in session - medical, dental, nursing, etc. etc. - and things tend to get sluggish.  They will figure out soon enough which one of them in their 4 person group has the laptop that pulls the strongest signal but until them it helps ease the frustration if it at least looks like we're helping.

I am sure Chris the contractor had the best of intentions, but he did not contact me yesterday.  Hopefully today.  I don't want to bug him because I know he's got a lot on his plate at this time, personally.  His wife of 20 years up and divorced him about six months ago.  He's still dealing with that and the fall out.  Poor guy.  Of course, there are always two sides to the story so I'm not going to judge.  I just want my patio done.  And I want him to double check the measurements before he orders the materials.  I'm not 100% sure Mr. M's calculations are accurate and he missed about 150 square feet when he made his initial diagram.

I did another gusset on the Coquille Shawl yesterday evening and then called it a night and went upstairs to read.  I was fighting to keep my eyes open at 9:30 and finally gave up.  I had a pretty good sleep for a change.  I've been working so hard and it's difficult to stay awake after dinner.  Things should calm down here in the next couple week though and then maybe I can start running again.  The weather is perfect for it.  Not too hot and still dry -- for today anyway.  But no running for me today.  It's noon knitting.

12 October, 2010

Full speed ahead

Saturday afternoon the nice contractor, Chris, came to take a look at my patio project.  He is the guy that fixed up my house on 20th and did such a fabulous job.  He took a look, understood exactly what I needed and even had a wholesale place to buy the pavers I wanted.  Last night he stopped by to show me the paver to double check and to give me his price.  He's just a touch over what I wanted to pay, but not by much so I gave him the go ahead.  He's going to be in touch today and hopefully they can start tomorrow or the next day.  I am SO excited!!  It's going to really make that back yard more useful and prettier to boot.  Definitely adding to the worth of the property.

Today's the first day in a very long time that I didn't have to stand around in my office in front of the fan to cool off before I could get dressed.  In fact, I'm sitting here in a skirt, top and cardigan and my legs are cold!  I don't believe they're going to turn the heat on in the building until November.  It's not a big deal to me, but I surely notice it.

Yesterday was a huge day.  I didn't get home until after 6 and I think the only time I stopped was for about 20 minutes for lunch.  This bunch of students is the nicest bunch ever and at the social after the final they gave all of the faculty and me a card and a gift.  Isn't that sweet?  That's a first in all the years I've been doing this job.  Histology starts today and I am hoping that once I get them launched I can work from home Thursday and Friday so I can keep an eye on the work.  After the ground cover disaster I don't dare let Mr. M be alone to supervise since he does not.

And in fantasy news .... I won my match up this week in my nephew's league!  Triple digits even!!  I am very very happy.  Now I don't look like a total loser plus just maybe I've got the hang of it and I'll win again next week.  I'm going to have to really put some thought into it, do a little reading, make a couple of adjustments (like get a defense that doesn't suck) and give it my best shot.  And in  my public league -- still number one!  That makes me happy too.  I still haven't won a square on the Monday night pool but it sure makes the games more fun to watch.