30 July, 2010

I love working in my jammies

It's just so decadent!  AND having a window as well.  It makes a big difference - bigger than I thought when I agreed to take an office without a window.  Oh well, no use crying about it now.  But I tell you, when I do finally get an office with a window I am going to be very very grateful.

Anyway ... the reason I'm working from home today is that we are getting the Dish Network installed.  Mr. M was supposed to be here for that but he's got to go to some meeting and can't guarantee he'll be able to be here the whole time the install is going on.  I had Dish Network at my other house for about a year before I moved here and I just loved it.  I am very happy that we are making this switch  now.  Oh, and the screen came for the projection TV yesterday.  I can't wait to see it all set up.  Football is going to be so awesome on that screen.

I worked some on the lace portion of the Cloisonne jacket last night while I was watching a corny old musical on TV.  It was a movie version of the musical I starred in when I was in high school and, coincidentally, someone asked me about that at the reunion last weekend so it was on my mind. 

I wanted to run yesterday but my allergies are really bad!  Even with my inhaler I was very wheezy.  This has been a very tough summer for allergies for me but another of my friends said that she hasn't even been bothered this season.  Lucky her.

Next week things are going to start hopping at work in preparation for anatomy in September.  I am taking one long weekend in the middle of the month of August and then that's it (except for Labor Day weekend) until November probably.  I should start thinking about a trip to California.  I hate to think it'll have to wait to Christmas but that might be the case.

29 July, 2010

My curmudgeonly ways

Sometimes I think I'm channeling some grouchy little old man, but I can't seem to stop myself.  People just make me crazy sometimes!  Today it's those infuriating bike racers.  Those men in their silly little spandex outfits who feel that they must go for a personal speed record every time they get on their bikes to ride to work.  They are dangerous and rude and never call out when they pass or ring their bell .... they just zip right by, preferably close enough to brush arms.  I was going around a walker this morning when some ass zoomed around me so close that I felt the breeze.  What a colossal jerk.  That's why, when I come across one of them on the side of the trail all bloodied up with their pals around them I don't even feel sorry for them. 

I'm trying to decide what to get myself for my birthday this year.  Usually I splurge on something but I can't think of anything in particular I want.  I've been buying yarn and my stash is good, so that's out.  I need some new fingerless biking gloves, but that's not very sexy.  I'd like some Nike running shoes so I could use the iPhone app but my shoes are still good.  I'll come up with something.

28 July, 2010

Impressive lilies

Check out these lilies.  I snapped this with my iPhone when I was out walking Tink last night and I can't get all of the brightness out of it.  But there are masses of lilies on this plant.  I have had people stop their cars to look at it.  I love lilies and if they were pink I would have cut them and brought them indoors. 

I stopped at my LYS last night on the way home and bought the yarn for the Cloisonne Jacket.  Being allergic to alpaca I had to substitute yarn and I am very happy with my choices.  I got Cascade 220 Heathers for the dark brown and Lamb's Pride Worsted in sea foam for the turquoise.  Nearly a perfect match.  The woman at the counter at Weaving Works said she was going to make the same jacket.  I wanted to cast on and start on the lace last night but we had company until 9:30 so I started it but didn't finish casting on.  I will do that at noon knitting today. 

I did run yesterday and it was very difficult.  Hot, even though I ran down the cool corridor rather than heading out towards the lake.  I forgot to use the inhaler for the allergy wheezing so it was pretty difficult to breath as well.  I have found one 5K race in September but I am waffling.  Not because I don't think I'll be ready, but because of the rules.  It's the Iron Girl 5K and while I agree with most of the rules -- no strollers, no dogs, no roller blades.  I very much disagree with the rule - no headphones.  I like to run with my music and I don't turn it up so loud that I can't hear people around me.  It's mostly to muffle the yapping that some people feel obliged to do when they run.  I am not a big rule breaker, typically, but this one is really stupid.  I wonder if I should get in touch with them and ask if the no headphones rule means that they would not allow a hearing impaired person to run.  That's the kind of logic that might make a politically correct  person's head explode.  I'd pay good money to see that.

27 July, 2010

Late start

I had to stop at the bank on my way in for a little meeting so we've got a late start to the day.  I get to run today and I'm going to have to get out there spot on noon because it's going to be another hot one.  It's not bad now and I think if I keep on my usual route and run along the lake, even though it's not right ON the shore, it is going to be cool enough to make a difference.  Although ... running down the trail toward U Village is also another option and there is more shade that direction.  I will make it a game time call.

My ride home last night was BRUTAL.  So hot.  I was in an awful temper when I got home.  Luckily the AC had been on all day, albeit not as cool as I would have liked.  At least it wasn't broiling hot in the house and once I had a shower, cleaned up the wicked mess in the kitchen(!!!) and had a glass of wine I was calming down.  The man hired to do my birthday garden clean up came by at 7 pm and I walked around the gardens with him pointing out what was a weed and what was not a weed.  Not exactly comforting, but at least I think he got it.  Plus he's going to do a little research on how to kill the soil in that no man's land between the house and the beginning of the rockery garden.  I am going to put some awesome paving stones down there but that is a few months away and I cannot stand to look at those weeds.  I believe there are several benign ways to do that.  I don't want poison down there because of  Tink but I read somewhere about a combination of cornmeal and rock salt or some such thing.  I'd like to get that patio put in this autumn.

I am having a hard time still pulling out of this funk.  The birthday looming doesn't help.  No vacations planned, also a downer.  I do get a TON of knitting done when I'm like this because I am not fit for conversation with Mr. M or, for that matter, anyone else.  I need a trip to Europe is what I need.  But .. yeah.  There's only one place I want to be.  Might as well wish for the moon.

Since I had to drive in I am going to stop at my LYS on the way home to search for yarn for that Cloisonne Jacket.  It's not something I want to do on line because the colors must be just right. I am looking forward very much to starting that project.

26 July, 2010

That's more like it

We've got summertime!  Woohoo!  It was nice all weekend, and we are looking at a complete week of good weather!  I sure hope it sticks around.

Saturday I started my day in the back garden where I filled three cans with weeds!  Three!!  And I hardly made a dent.  My in-laws brought over a guy Saturday evening to look at the yard and he's going to be doing cleanup as a birthday gift.  I am very happy about that.  He's coming back this evening to take a walk around the gardens with me, since I wasn't there on Saturday evening.  That was my annual high school golf tournament and BBQ.  I went up there after the golf -- you know, I really should have golfed even though I'm bad.  But anyway I had so much fun connecting with my old friends even though we are mostly all on Facebook.  It's nice to have face to face time.  They all ate around 4 when they got off the links which was way too early for me.  But as luck would have it a few of them decided to go out to eat later so I went home and got Mr. M and we headed back up to Everett to meet a group for dinner.  Talk about a small world.  When we walked into the restaurant the son of one of my old classmates said hello to Mr. M!  They know each other because the young one works for Hollywood Lights.  Pretty funny.

Because of the evening I had planned I couldn't rehearse.  They did it without me - fine with me.  And I also will have next weekend off from rehearsing because the drummer is going out of town this Wednesday for a week.  I'll have to plan something nice for myself this coming weekend.  Our guest will be leaving Thursday.  Hopefully Mr. M is working and I can have a nice quiet weekend.

The new Interweave Knits came Friday and I found not one but two sweaters in there that I can't wait to make!  I would even use the suggested yarn for one of them, except it's alpaca and it makes me itch something fierce, so I'll have to start searching for an appropriate substitute.  I love the colors in the Cloisonne Jacket.  I like the Leyfi Pullover not only for the design but it calls for laceweight cashmere held along with a merino yarn which I believe would make an awesome fabric. 

23 July, 2010

Fridays are for fartleks

I had a pretty decent run yesterday at lunchtime despite forgetting to use my inhaler. I was a little wheezy which I attribute to the pollen count. I am sure it was just a coincidence, but my normal pace was up a bit. Today I will be starting out at the regular pace and then every so often speed up for 30 seconds or a minute, then slow back down until my breath comes back and repeat. Now according to all I've read and heard, this technique is going to increase my speed and hopefully I'll get to my goal of a 30 minute 5K by the end of the year. That reminds me -- I've got to try to find a race for September.

I worked a bit on the blue Green Gable last night. It's going fast and the good thing about this project is that I've made it before and it fit perfectly so I can use that garment to measure this one so I get the same fit (although I am going to make it a bit longer). I don't really know how much my gauge is off. I should probably measure before I make any more sleeve increases.

I've got a busy Saturday. First thing before it gets too hot I'm going to have to get in the garden and do some work. The blackberry vines from the house next door are looming over my vegetable beds and, of course, the weeds in the beds. I skipped barking this year and I won't make that mistake again. My MIL said something about hiring a gardener from her church for my birthday present. Since I did not attend the little pageant last Sunday that she invited us to (Mr. M went, I slept) I am not holding my breath. And since we can't have gardeners any more unless I can supervise them, I'm on my own. That's my morning. Then in the late afternoon I'm going to attend a little reunion golf tournament/dinner. I'm skipping the golf this year, since I haven't picked up my clubs for quite some time. But I'll got for a bit to eat and a little schmoozing.

Still haven't had a band rehearsal since I got back from Hawaii. Didn't hear from Doug last weekend nor all this week so I'm guessing that either the bass player or the drummer are out of town. Since we still don't have a date set for our show I guess it's not a big deal.

22 July, 2010

Well that's a bit better

At least I could sleep last night. I was beyond tired again yesterday. I pawned off the dinner making onto Mr. M and came home and plugged into my audio book and knit for a while. I had recorded "Warehouse 13" on Tuesday night so we watched that while I did a little more knitting and then upstairs to read early. I think I fell asleep around 10 but Tinkerbell woke me up around 11 to go outside. Luckily I was able to fall back asleep and had a decent night for a change. I don't remember dreaming and I am not dizzy with lack of sleep this morning. We'll call it a victory.

I am still very very very upset about my garden mishap. I think I'm going to have to contact the guy who did it and at least let him know what he did so that he doesn't ruin another garden. At some point I'm going to have to go buy a couple of flats of ground cover and re-plant that area. I don't know if it can wait until August. I'm taking a long weekend starting on the 19th. If it could wait until then I'll have a nice recovery period. Planting always kills my back. Otherwise I'm going to have to try to do it this weekend or maybe next.

My state of mind is not great. I think I'm still suffering from post-vacation blues. I don't want to do anything but knit and plug into an audio book or watch something stupid and mindless on TV. I don't want to engage. I don't want to converse with Mr. M (although Tink is okay). And then this garden thing (I know I know ... I'm harping but I'm UPSET!). I hope I snap out of it soon.

21 July, 2010

What's worse?

I don't know if it's worse to not be able to fall asleep or to wake up early and not be able to get back to sleep. And I don't know why I'm having all these sleep issues now! I am walking around in a daze -- or rather I should say stumbling around in a daze. I drove in today because I had lots of things to bring in and honestly I don't know if I should have been driving! I am that tired. I've got to make myself go to bed early tonight. Earlier anyway.

I had a busy day yesterday, working from home and waiting for the repairman. When he finally got there it took him oh ... about one minute to fix the dishwasher. Maybe two. It wouldn't drain and I told him when he arrived that I had taken the filters out of the bottom and nothing seemed to be stuck and I'd pushed the "Cancel and Drain" button twice to no avail. He said, pointing to the silver cap on the sink, "Did you check there"? Well, no I did not because I didn't know that was an option. I read the troubleshooting guide for the appliance and it did not mention that. He lifted the cap, unlatched the top of the tube and voila! A toothpick sized piece of wood was wedged in there stopping up the drain. I looked like one of the letter candles Mr. M had put on the birthday cake Saturday. Nice to have the dishwasher back anyway.

I tried out Ravelry's new pattern search yesterday and it is awesome! Very nicely done. You can search now with tons more attributes. I started a new project last night. I'm making another Green Gable, this one with some blue Debbie Bliss cotton angora that I've had forever. The same yarn as the Mirabella Cardigan but a deeper blue color. I love the feel of that yarn but I don't like the way it splits. And I thought again about frogging the white pullover I started with the angora yarn but it's just so pretty. I think I'll pick it up again. I'm doing a modified Simple Knitted Bodice. I am sure I would wear a white deep V-necked pullover if I can ever finish it!

20 July, 2010

If my head could have exploded .....

it surely would have yesterday evening. I have had a couple of young men doing weeding for me -- a few hours here and there. They couldn't come on the weekend so they came yesterday. I told Mr. M what I wanted done so that he could tell them. Specifically, I wanted the big weeds pulled from the south side of the house, then the rest of the time spent on the rockery-type bed we have in the back of the house. What did I find when I got home people? First I noticed that NOTHING had been done in the back. Curious as to what 2 young men could have done in three hours I checked the south side of the house and found that they had not only pulled the dozen or so offending large weeds but completely and utterly obliterated the ground cover!!!! Are you KIDDING ME??!!! This was beautiful and now ..... oh I can't even start to think about it without grinding my teeth! I am beyond mad. No more gardening gets done around here unless I can supervise. This has always been my nightmare with gardeners -- that I would come home and find that they had destroyed some beautiful and expensive part of the garden and now it has come true. I am going to have to find more ground cover ASAP before I have another field of weeds growing in and around the rest of the plants. How .... I mean really I can't figure out how they could have mistaken those plants for weeds! I haven't been able to call the guy because I know I'd be too mad to talk sensibly. Maybe in a few days. *sigh*

So, I am working from home today because the dishwasher broke Sunday night and I've got a repairman on his way today. Perfect timing because Mr. M is in Oregon and will be bringing his son home tomorrow, so it's a lovely 24 plus hours of peace and solitude.

I have been struggling with insomnia lately which is good for the knitting because I was able to sit up and finish the Mirabella Cardigan last night. I am not all that keen on how the collar turned out and the button band, which is crocheted, looks like a ruffle where the loops are. Hopefully blocking will take care of both of those little problems. I want to get the buttons first before I block, plus my favorite blocking place, the spare bed, is going to be taken up for a couple weeks so I have to wait or find another place to lay out my projects. Here's a picture, unblocked.

Here are a couple pictures of my cashmere "198 yds. of Heaven", blocked.

19 July, 2010

I barely made it!

It was a busy weekend but quite productive. Friday I had a late hair appointment so I didn't do much Friday night, but Saturday I hit the ground running. I went to the mall and bought a couple of skirts and a couple of dresses - less dithering in front of the closet, I predict. I got the cake in the oven and started getting ready for the party. The weather cooperated - not too hot and nice and sunny so that everyone could be outside. Mr. M cooked salmon and it was just perfect. I managed to keep up with the mess and so by the time everyone was gone I had no more cleanup to do, so I sat in my comfy chair and went to work on the cashmere bandit. I wanted to finish it so that on Sunday I wouldn't have any competition for my time and attention and I could get the cardigan sewn up. As luck would have it, I wasn't tired and so I knit and knit and knit until I was done, which was nearly midnight! Then I went to bed and could not sleep. Period. I wasn't tired. Almost as if I had had some caffeine - which I hadn't. I don't think I dropped off until after 1 am and therefore slept in on Sunday until 11 am!! And then, of course, I wasn't tired last night until after 11 and now I am dead on my feet. I will sleep well tonight, for sure!

I did get the bandit finished Saturday night with just inches of yarn left! I made it with two skeins - 176 yards. And that's great because I have two skeins of the burgundy left and now 3 skeins of the blue. So I know I can make another bandit with the burgundy and who knows what I'll do with the blue. I blocked it first thing on Sunday and it's still drying, so here's a picture of it unblocked and you can see just how much yarn I had left.

True to my promise to myself, I did sit down and sew up the cardigan on Sunday. Actually it wasn't that bad, once I got going. I just pinned the sleeves, one side at a time, and got to work. It did take a couple of hours but the seams look really good! I then picked up the stitches for the collar and I'm two rows from being done there. Then all that is left is to make the button band and the loops for the buttons. This is crochet work and not hard. I might be able to finish it up tonight even. And you know what I noticed? I don't have enough WIPs! I have lots and lots of stitch counters in my little heart shaped box, which means they are not being used. I've got to step it up!!

I have decided to run a race a month, starting in September. I am not sure what race there is in September, but I am pretty sure there is one. Then in October is the Husky race, which is the first 5K I did, then in November is the Turkey Trot (or whatever it is called) and then in December the Jingle Bell race. I would like to get my time down so that by the end of the year I'm doing 30 minute 5Ks. To that end I started doing fartleks on Friday and oh heavens, were my legs ever sore on Saturday! I could barely go up and down the stairs! I think I'm going to try doing those sessions only on Fridays and just do regular runs on Tuesday and Thursday. I will know by the first race if it's making any difference. There really is no reason why I can't run a 30 minute 5K. I am consistently in the middle of my age group time-wise. I'd like to be closer to the top.

16 July, 2010

Wicked allergies!

Wow, my allergies have been just terrible these past few days! I haven't been able to wear my contact lenses ... this is the third day in a row! Tuesday I went through two or three vials of eye drops and could barely see on the ride home. I sure hope they calm down soon. It's really annoying! Allergy medicine helps, but not by much.

I ran yesterday afternoon for the first time in a couple of months and it felt great! I am a little bit sore today but not bad at all. I will run again today, but I'm going to make sure I take a couple of puffs off of that inhaler. I did notice I was wheezing yesterday -- from the allergies, most likely.

There's a good chance I'll be stark staring mad by the end of the day. I am wearing a blouse that I just love, EXCEPT it has these sleeves that creep down the top of my arm and feel like my bra straps are slipping. It is very annoying and perhaps that's why I rarely wear this blouse. It looks great but I'll be ready to rip it off at the end of the day.

I did finally get in a couple hours of knitting last night after dinner. I finished up the second 24 row repeat of the main pattern and now am working on the final 12 and then it'll be the lace edging. I am anxious to see how this turns out. I am now completely addicted to lace knitting. Not too practical because how many wraps and scarves can one use? I guess I could start giving them away but each one is so beautiful. I truly am committed to sewing in those sleeves on Sunday though. I have a busy Saturday with my regular chores, a quick trip to the mall (I am woefully low on bottoms of all kinds for work) and then a dinner for Mr. M's daughter's b'day and THEN rehearsal. So Sunday is my day. First sew in the sleeves, then the side seams and then pickup the stitches for the collar. I am quite sure I can get to that point at least. Stay tuned.

15 July, 2010

I am through with my neighborhood garden store

I know it is very convenient and that's mostly why I go there but I am not thrilled at how my vegetable garden has turned out this year and it's only partly my fault. The part that is NOT my fault is definitely the fault of the garden store - or rather department, since it's a part of the Fred Meyer down the street. First of all the pepper plants were diseased. I thought maybe it was the soil in my bed, but when I was down there Saturday morning getting flowering plants for the containers I was talking to a woman who was buying some pepper plants that had been marked down to 50 cents. And I told her about how my peppers had gotten some sort of disease and she said hers had too, and that was why she was buying more. My conclusion is that they were selling diseased plants and that's why the ones the woman was buying didn't look that good either! My squash plants, clearly marked as acorn squash and going crazy in my garden are, in fact, zucchini!! I was thinking that those baby squashes looked suspiciously like zucchini and now that they are getting larger it is obvious that they are!! That's the final straw! If I had wanted zucchini I would have purchased zucchini. I wanted acorn squash. I still have the little plastic marker in the soil. I should take it back down there and .. and .... what? Well, I'm just mad. Nobody will eat zucchini. I will maybe steam one or two, or put a few into the roasted vegetables but there are always so many. Even Mr. M won't eat zucchini bread. What else can you do with them? Damn! Oh well, next year... next year.

There was knitting at noon yesterday but no knitting last night. After chores and downloading some new audiobooks and getting dinner cooked and eaten and watching a saved "Warehouse 13" episode I was more in the mood to read in bed, so that's what I did. Maybe tonight. I am steeling myself for my Sunday afternoon setting in of the sleeves. ick

14 July, 2010

I hate it when this happens

I got to work today, pulled my clothes out of the pannier to get changed and found that my tunic has a couple of big ol' spots on it! It's a really cute peach linen tunic and obviously I hung it up without taking a good look at it last time. I was dithering around this morning trying to find something to wear, decided on this and now I have to spend the day in a spotty dress. I guess I'll just have to pretend it happened this morning. Annoying though.

Last Sunday we went to Ballard to the Seafood Fest and ran across a French restaurant that looked interesting. Mr. M wanted to out to eat last night so that's where we ended up. First of all, let me say that Ballard had come a LONG way lately. It is very gentrified. Tons of new, interesting restaurants. Many of them had outdoor dining areas so people could bring their dogs and be sitting there having a nice drink or a meal. Really nice! And the restaurant we went to was fabulous too. They grow their own greens in raised beds on the roof of the building! I skipped the starter and had chicken and shared an order of fennel gratin with Mr. M who had a nice beef carpaccio starter and stuffed quail. I skipped the starter so that I could have dessert and that was totally the right decision. Although I couldn't finish it I had a super delicious creme brulee.

Stuffed and satisfied, I came home and played with Tinkerbell for a little while and then went up to read and fall asleep. I wanted to knit but I was too sleepy. I brought my cashmere bandit for noon knitting today and I am determined to get the sleeves sewn into that cardigan this weekend so that I can finish it up! Saturday is going to be a bit busy since it's Mr. M's youngest daughter's birthday and I have to bake a cake and host a dinner. Lucky for me I should have rehearsal that evening and be able to sneak away. If I can't get the energy up to do it on Saturday then Sunday for sure.

13 July, 2010

Now that the nonsense is over

Who else was just sick to death of the World Cup? Holy cow .... on and on and ON! It seemed to last longer than the basketball playoffs. Vuvuzelas? Really? Just ban them already! Here's my favorite joke:

What do the World Cup and Twilight have in common?
There's a whole lot of running around, nobody scores, and a million fans tell you you don't understand.

Now maybe there will be some real sports news - football news I mean, of course. It's getting close! And the Huskies are going to be awesome this year, and Jake Locker is already being talked about for the Heisman. Exciting.

I worked some on my cashmere lace bandit at lunchtime and found that yes indeed I could listen to my book and do the lace pattern. Not quickly, but I managed to do a few rows and not mess up, which is the important thing. Maybe I'll do it again this afternoon. I really should start up with my running so I can compete in a few races this fall. I don't have my shorts here at work. I'll bring them in and start up again next week.

12 July, 2010

I am SO over myself

and here's how I know. Saturday morning I had to get out into the garden and get some work done first thing. The back garden gets the morning sun and I had the hedge to trim and the vegetable beds to clean out. No time to waste! So I hopped out of bed, threw on a pair of shorts and a tank top and rubbed some sunscreen onto my face and I was out the door, clipper in hand. At some point I came back in and put a ragged bandanna around my forehead because I was being blinded by the sweat. I got the hedge in shape and, refreshed with an ice coffee, tackled the vegetable beds and whipped them into shape as well! I was on fire! Next I spent a few minutes pulling the biggest and most offensive weeds in the flower beds and then decided that it would be nice to throw away all the dead and dying stuff in the planters on the deck and put in new flowers. Here's where I found out I was over myself -- I went to the plant store as I was. No make up, hadn't even brushed my teeth, wearing a sweat and dirt stained tank top, men's basketball shorts, rubber flip-flops and dirt from head to toe. I just couldn't see the sense in cleaning up knowing I was just going to come home and get dirty again. Plus which it was over 80 degrees. So I got the plants, fixed up the planters and then had a nice lovely shower and patted myself on the back for being smart instead of vain. I spent the rest of the day, in air conditioned comfort, relaxing and knitting.

The AC did go on first thing Saturday morning. Mr. M was miserable enough, finally. I am so impossible to be around when I'm hot and cranky. Of course, the heat is gone now. We had clouds yesterday morning, but they went away in the afternoon only to come back during the night with a vengeance. I was awake for at least an hour in the middle of the night listening to the rain. The sun will be back soon but it looks like we're done with the heat for a while.

I am getting closer to lucid dreaming. I am THAT close! I quit trying so very hard because my sleep was being too disturbed, but it is always in the back of my mind and I try to think about it before I fall asleep. During one dream this weekend I noticed that I couldn't read the print on a menu and I realized that no, you can't read when you're dreaming. If I were a bit more practiced that is the point in my dream where I could have become lucid. The fact that I recognized that during a dream is very encouraging. I really think I am going to be able to do this.

I thought I deserved a treat after working so hard on Saturday so I started a new project rather than sew up the sleeves on the cardigan. I know I should have just done it, put on my headphones and listened to my book and got the job done. But instead I cast on for "198 Yards of Heaven" with the blue cashmere I was using for the birch leaf shawl that I frogged. (Terrible picture, I know. I'm having problems with my iPhone being able to send the larger version. I'll take one with my camera later). This cashmere is SO beautiful and soft. The pattern is for a triangle shawlette, much like the Annis, meant to be worn around the neck with the point at the front. This will be so cozy and warm and soft. It's the first time I've tried a true triangular shawl pattern and one of the reasons I chose this is that the directions are written out. I hate reading charts. It was a bit confusing at first but I just trusted the pattern and voila! I got it! Unfortunately this is not knitting that I can do and listen to my audiobook. Well, maybe I can in a few more repeats. I don't want to mess it up though.

09 July, 2010

Is there something wrong with your skirt?

Not words you really want to hear, especially if someone is talking about YOUR skirt, which she was. "Is there a zipper? 'Cause your butt's hanging out". Uhhhh ..... and I looked down and sure enough my zipper was completely open save for the very top and sure enough, you could see my undies and skin! First thought? "Thank goodness I wore cute undies". I had difficulty with the darned thing this morning but I just put it on over my head and left it at that. Little did I know the zipper was going to fail. I got a handful of pins and headed back to my office where, thank goodness, I was able to fix the zipper without the pins. I kept them just in case.

Another day of 90-plus heat. I noticed that the sprinklers didn't go off last night. I had turned the system off last time it rained because I noticed that the rain sensor wasn't working and we were getting sprinklers AND rain -- not good. I was sure I had turned it back on but there was no trace of it this morning and usually when the windows are open that wide I hear them come on in the back. The guys are coming to take another run at the weeds today so hopefully Mr. M will remember to turn them on after they leave. I have GOT to figure out what's up with that rain sensor though. It's very annoying.

No knitting last night. I will get a small, warm weather project going this weekend. I am getting twitchy without anything to knit. I wish I knew where my other sock knitting circular was. Another chore for the weekend.

08 July, 2010

On the road to a tidier garden

There were two guys working on the garden yesterday. One to mow and the second to get the weeds under control. Due to the extreme heat they were only able to work about four hours but the front looks much better! They will come back tomorrow to do a few more hours until it gets too hot again. I am going to have to force myself to trim the hedge this weekend and, if they can't get to it tomorrow, get the vegetable beds under control. The poor vegetable beds! The peas have gone well but the tomatoes, again are looking like they're going to be a big disappointment. Not so bad as last year, I hope. Next year I'm going to move them to the last raised bed rather than the middle one because the lawn sprinklers hit the last bed so they get more water than just the soakers.

It was record heat yesterday and so there was no knitting at all in the evening. I just vegged out and watched a movie after dinner, which consisted of a yummy huge shrimp salad. (Don't you just love summer dinners?) I brought a second fan upstairs and set it in the hall so that we'd get a little more air flow and that made the night comfortable. I cannot sleep when it's too hot. Now me -- I'd just turn on the AC, but Mr. M is a little more conservative. He's got to be really suffering to justify the air conditioning. I suspect if the heat keeps up it's going to get turned on this weekend. Tink was wise and got herself situated on the bed so that she got good air flow from the ceiling fan. It was cute how she kept moving herself until she was right under the best spot.

I have been on public transport these past couple of days. I've had a little issue and haven't been able to ride my bike. It is interesting to note that I don't save any time at all by taking the bus. I walk out the door at precisely the same time I do when I ride my bike and I get to my office at the same time. I think I am just missing a bus. If I were to walk out the door maybe five minutes earlier then I'd arrive at work before 8. I seem to be waiting about 10 minutes for a bus. I was going to drive tomorrow because I had a hair appointment after work, but the chairman asked me to attend a meeting in his stead so I moved the hair appointment and I guess it's the bus for me again tomorrow. My iPhone is great for that though. I just plug in and avoid the inane morning conversations going on around me.

07 July, 2010

The good and the bad

The good thing about summer finally getting here is, well .... sunshine and warm weather and sunshine! The bad thing is that with the warm days comes warmer nights and that means that all of the windows are open just a little bit wider. Tink, with her acute hearing, is very restless when we reach this time of the year. Last night a big dog up the street was barking and barking at something and she had to chime in. Normally not a problem, but at 10 at night when we're trying to quiet down and go to bed, it's not such a good thing. She did finally settle down until, I'm guessing around 2 am, a couple of cats decided to have a fight in our back garden and that made her really crazy! But despite the interruptions, I had a pretty good sleep myself.

I was supposed to have help with the garden on Monday but because of the holiday bus schedule the guy couldn't make it so he and a friend are coming this morning and Mr. M is there to supervise. We walked around the front and back gardens this morning before I left so that he could make sure the guys were working with my priorities in mind. I'm not holding my breath. I think I'll just have to be content with whatever gets done. I find it fascinating (and not a little annoying) that someone who can keep a million and one details in his head with regards to a complicated sound system has such a hard time understanding everyday things. There is a famous cartoon by Gary Larson of a dog and its master - what a dog hears. "Blah blah blah Ginger blah blah blah blah blah Ginger blah blah". I think that's what goes on sometimes at our house.

I am entirely caught up in the latest game I downloaded to my iPhone. It's called Angry Birds. It is very addictive. And cute.

As I suspected I did not have the energy to start sewing in those sleeves last night. I suspect I'm going to have to wait until the weekend when I can devote a couple of quiet hours to sit at the table and get it done. Once I start it shouldn't be so bad. Yes, I'm being a bit of a baby about it. The thing is that I can't be sloppy or I'll never want to wear the garment. It's just so ..... so fiddly! And now I'm re-thinking the jacket I was going to make with the Noro Cash Iroha. It too is a pieced garment. I am pretty sure I can do the back and fronts as one but the sleeves are still going to have to be sewn in. Maybe after I do these on the Miribella I'll find that it's really no big deal. Fingers crossed.

06 July, 2010

A little jump on the week

I love 3-day weekends. Well, who doesn't? It started out a little frantic though because Tinkerbell went on another adventure! I repositioned the pieces of wood I had put up against the fence where I thought she had gotten out last time but she went to visit the lady with the cats behind us rather than chasing the cats in the front of the house, where she had gone a couple weeks ago. And the odd thing is that I had gone all around the perimeter of the fence and checked every place and I was SURE she couldn't get out. And when I was looking for her I looked at the fence from the other side and still couldn't find where she had made it through. Thank goodness the woman knows her and she just puts her in her car and drives her home. It is a little embarrassing though.

I had the whole of Saturday and Sunday to myself and it was peaceful and relaxing. No band rehearsal, which was like having an extra day off. I got lots of little things done. I downloaded the new operating system to my iPhone. I love it! It is really much faster and the interface is better. I got a manicure and had them cut my nails very short so that I could play my ukulele easier and I practiced. I'd like to have a song that I can do for rehearsal next Saturday. I think the guys would get a kick out of it. And of course I listened to my audiobook (the last of the Stieg Larsson trilogy) and knit.

I finished the sleeves for the cardigan yesterday afternoon and started sewing the beast together. I got both shoulders done and they look terrible! I should have been more careful when binding off the front shoulders. Because the pattern asks that you bind off half the stitches in one direction and the other half on the next row, presumably for shaping, that leaves the tail in the middle of the shoulder and it left a weird hole. I did the best I could, but it wasn't very good so I'm a little disappointed about that. The sleeves have to be mattress stitched into the armholes and I am not looking forward to it at all. It is going to be very difficult. I forgot how much I hate set in sleeves for just that reason. We went to an early dinner so I put it aside but I am going to have to make myself do it before I start another project or it will languish and never get done.

I snapped a couple pictures of the Annis shawl this morning before I left. It's really more of a scarf than a shawl. Very quick knit. I skein of Noro sock yarn was perfect. I had a little left. I do think I'll get something plain and knit another one, or something along the same lines.

02 July, 2010

Aggravation level HIGH

I am sure I have ranted about people and the parking garage before but .... gahhhh!!! I drove in today because it was raining and I had worked from home yesterday. I was at the left turn signal to the garage and there was a big line up at the gate. While I was waiting for the light to change I had seen a person with a traffic vest on near the entrance so I assumed that there was something wrong with the gate. But then I saw 3 or 4 cars go through it, swiping their cards as usual, so I made the turn. Another two people went through then it was a person at the gate, one in front of me and the person at the gate kept swiping her card and nothing happened. Now I know I've said this before too -- isn't the definition of crazy doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome? How many times was she going to swipe her card before she figured out that she wasn't allowed to use this garage for some reason? At about swipe number 50 the woman right in front of me got out, swiped HER card and let that person through. Anyone see a problem with this? So then Good Samaritan pulls up and swipes her card again for herself and the gate doesn't open. Did you see that coming? I sure did!! So then she starts the swipe and swipe and swipe again, expecting the gate to open. Finally I got out of my car and told her that the gate was never going to open for her because she had already used it to swipe the other person into the garage. And so we all had to back up so that she could make the turn and find someone to help her. Arghghghgh!!!

The dizziness did not go away on Wednesday, nor did the exhaustion even after 3 strong cups of tea, so it finally dawned on me that perhaps I hadn't been suffering from lack of sleep but rather had a little bug. Indeed I left work and went home to bed and slept the rest of the afternoon, got up for a bite to eat and was back in bed at 8 and slept through the night. I had chills so I worked from home yesterday and really didn't start feeling normal until dinnertime last night. I was still fighting to stay awake at 9:30 but I got a decent night's sleep and I feel fine today. I did wake up in the middle of the night because Tinkerbell was sleeping under the bed, right under me as she usually does and snoring like crazy! She's just out of reach -- she's no dummy -- so I had to knock on the bed frame to wake her up. You wouldn't believe how loudly that little dog can snore!

Rain rain and more rain - it is the 4th of July holiday weekend so of course it's going to rain. The forecast is for nice and HOT weather next week, but it rained last night and it is expected to remain cloudy with showers through Sunday. Mr. M does the sound for the Bellevue 4th celebration which includes mic-ing the entire symphony orchestra. That's a lot of equipment to transport and set up so they start today. Unfortunately it is held in a park and the parks department doesn't want those big trucks driving over the grass to set up the stage and sound systems when the grass is wet. I sure am glad I don't have to deal with that. I am not going to be attending the fireworks show this year and Mr. M is not happy about it. But it is SUCH a hassle and it's not worth it. Although I get special parking I still have to deal with the traffic getting out of there and it's a nightmare. Last year my sister and her boyfriend were here and it was okay because we had a nice dinner beforehand, I had people to talk to and people to go home with. Mr. M certainly can't be spending time with me because he's overseeing this huge production so I am left on my own and it is boring. [wow, I'm ranting up a storm today, aren't I?]

I did finish up the Annis and blocked it. It's not as big, width-wise, as is called for in the pattern. I got the wing span but I didn't want to stretch it out that much to get to 16" at the widest part so it's more like 12". I will take pictures this weekend. I would call it more of a scarf than a shawl. I am sure I'll use it a lot. Today I brought my Mirabella cardigan to do a few rows at lunchtime. I am working on the arm holes for the fronts. I actually need another portable project. Maybe another scarf/shawlette?