31 May, 2011

Productive and a little boring

My long weekend ended up to be extra long.  I took Tink in for her grooming Friday morning, dropping her off around 7:30 and expecting to get a call to pick her up around 12:30 or 1.  However, I guess they weren't busy because I got the call at 10:30!  It was super quiet around the office and I didn't have anything pressing and that I couldn't handle from home, so off I went to pick up my beautiful, clean puppy.

I had a long list of things I wanted to accomplish on the weekend and I did pretty well.  I was just a little overly optimistic about my capacity for work .... no, not capacity.  I was able to work more but I didn't desire to do so.  I got my closets sorted out and got a small bag (small is a relative term here) of clothes culled to take to the charity shop.  I didn't get to the sorting and revising of my shoe situation.  Because it is still not sandal weather I decided to put that off to this coming weekend, when it is supposed to be really warm and nice and I'll need them.  I was happy with what I got accomplished with my closets and I still had plenty of play time.

For play time I did a little finishing work.  I got the Rondeur finished and is it ever cute!  I LOVE it!  I have more detail shots on my Ravelry page but here is a picture of it on my dummy.  I don't know why I always seem to get things crooked when I put them on my form but you can see how cute this is.  Close fitting with wonderful detail.  It fits SO well.  I have a pair of flat front brown linen trousers that will be perfect to wear with this.  If the weather cooperates I should be able to wear it next week.

I did not work on the Cloisonne Jacket.  I am going to start bringing it to work for noon knitting and maybe then I will force myself to finish it.  Not like I can wear it now anyway but I would like to get it off my plate, so to speak.  I also decided to frog the linen camisole I started on that terrible cruise.  I have two reasons - number 1 is that it reminds me of things I am actively (and quite effectively) erasing from my memory and number 2, I hate hate HATE working with two strands of this yarn because it keeps getting tangled up.  I am going to use a single strand instead and make the cute smocked tunic from the new Interweave Knits.  It will be a true undertaking, being made with size 2 needles.  It should have wonderful drape though.

I started a little cardigan with some Noro Kureyon sock yarn and only after I got a few hours in did I realize I should have wound the cashmere lace weight yarn I got at Little Knits and started the Whisper cardigan.  Ah well.  I also got an hour or so good solid work done on the Shining Bird Eye shawl.  I figure two more hours and I'll be ready to bind off.

The rest of the weekend - the non-knitting portion - was taken up with long long Tinkerbell walks, silly movies, a little reading, modest shopping and some housecleaning.  My regular phone buddies were otherwise occupied.  McG with his family weekend and my sister packing and getting ready for her move, although we did manage to snatch a quick 30 minute catch-up chat Monday while she was out procuring lunch for the crew.  I am ready to spread my wings.  I am getting antsy.  But I am going to wait a while longer before I become social again.  A few more weeks maybe. 

Tonight I am going to the fundraising dinner/auction at the Burke Museum.  I am SO looking forward to this!  It has been a very long time since I've had a reason to dress up, even moderately.  And, as I have said, I really enjoy these fundraising silent and live auctions.  My escort is my wonderful friend Andy.  I don't know where the missus is tonight but my guess is she isn't all that keen on these types of things.  Andy goes for more altruistic reasons - he is a very generous supporter of all sorts of causes and, in his words, he spends lots of money at this event.  And he knows I could use a night out so it is a win-win.  Maybe I can find a nice spa experience to buy.  I want a massage or something like that.  Fingers crossed.

27 May, 2011

And the reason I couldn't see .....

I feel so stupid!  I figured out, after my run yesterday, that the reason my eyes were bothering me and I couldn't see clearly out of my right eye is because the contact was inside out!  I should have realized that right away, but in my defense I was tired and my eyes were irritated.  After I turned the thing right side out I was fine! 

I didn't have that great of a run yesterday afternoon.  And after all those great ones last week!  I was a bit disappointed.  The fact that I was tired from a bad night, and I forgot to take a couple of puffs from my inhaler to combat the allergies, I just didn't have the power.  The route I chose was the hillier of my two regular routes which also contributed to the difficulty level.  I was only off by a couple of tenths, but still.  I am trying to go forward, not backslide!

I gave Tink a nice long walk, letting her roll in the grass as much as she wanted because today she is getting groomed.  After her walk I had a decent workout, had some dinner and then set my sights on finishing the body of the Rondeur and trying it on.  Goal achieved!  I tried it on and it is absolutely PERFECT!  It is such a gorgeous little top!  Tonight I'm going to start on the curved hem.  Tink is usually quite subdued after a trip to the groomer so hopefully I'll get some quiet time tonight to blast through the bottoms.

I was so tired last night that I went to bed on the early side to read and I think I closed my book about 10 minutes to 10 and I was fast asleep, slept like a log.  It was easy to get up early and combined with the lack of traffic due to the holiday weekend, I was up to the groomer's in record time and at work before 8.  Ta da!  As soon as Tink is done they will call me and I will take the rest of the afternoon off.  I can see blue sky so maybe we'll have a nice afternoon.  I just hope I can get my run in before they call.  Maybe I'll get out there a little early.

I had a couple of email exchanges with my friend Emma, who is super excited about my trip.  We haven't seen each other in quite a few years and I miss her.  We will definitely be spending a few days in Paris and I most likely will spend a day or so with her in Luxembourg as well.  Maybe I can talk her into a day trip into  Brussels.  Oh I am getting so excited and I need to dampen that enthusiasm down a bit.  We have a long way to go.  And I have a couple of cool trips coming up before that as well.  Last week of June in SoCal and August 5 through 9 in Las Vegas.  Life is good.  Finally.

26 May, 2011

More than a little embarrassing

It had to happen sooner or later.  This morning was the time.  I was running a little late.  I had a wakeful night last night and didn't get up on time.  Also hay fever is causing my eyes to itch and I am feeling my contacts lenses -  not seeing clearly all the time.  So when  bus came up to the stop at the time my bus was due I didn't look clearly at the number - I glanced up and it looked right.  However, it turned the wrong way and that's when I realized I had gotten on a 346 rather than a 316.  Good thing I had relatively low heels on so I could trudge my way to the next bus stop.  It feels like Friday to me.  Unfortunately.  And tomorrow there is no hitting the snooze button!  I have an appointment for Tinkerbell at the groomer first thing in the morning.  We must be on the road by 7:40 or 7:45.

I have given up hoping for decent weather for the long weekend.  It is just not going to happen.  It will be cloudy and rainy or partly cloudy.  Either way the temperature is unlikely to even break 70, so I am making plans to have a productive long weekend and looking forward to the fundraiser dinner and auction on Tuesday night.  I wanted to wear a specific dress but it is probably going to be too cold for that.  I guess I'll go with plan B. It is also a nice dress but not nearly so cool as the one I wanted to wear.

I have gone to my Twitter feed and deleted tons of stupid feeds and replaced them with every travel feed I could find.  I have six months before I go to Europe ( six loooooong months) and I am going to look for a decent fare between then and now.  Surely I will be able to snatch up something relatively inexpensive since my plans are somewhat flexible. I'll just have to be vigilant and jump on a good fare when I find it.  Gone are the days when I could easily fly round trip to Paris for $600. 

I got some good work on the Rondeur last  night.  Tonight I need to slip the stitches onto a piece of waste yarn and try it on to make sure it is long enough before I start the curved hem.  I hope it fits!

25 May, 2011

Deceptively easy

I just hate to say this, but when I ran yesterday and without any more effort than suggesting to myself that I run just a little bit faster, I ran 2.53 miles in 30 minutes!   It then seems to me that I should be able to do 2.6 with a little bit more effort.  My logic is that if I can get myself comfortable with doing faster training times my race times will shrink accordingly.   I would be the happiest girl alive if I could do a 10 minute mile and right now it doesn't feel like it's out of the question.  Baby steps.  And no running today since it's Wednesday noon knitting day.

Tink was a little less needy last night and I was a little more attentive to her doggie needs in order to have some uninterrupted knitting time.  I gave her the normal 30 minutes when I got home, then after I worked out and had dinner I gave her another long-ish walk. The way our weather is these days we are getting clouds in the morning and then in late afternoon we get a little bit of sunshine, so it was actually quite nice at 7 pm and we had a lovely stroll.  Then I had some time to work on the Rondeur.  I finished up the increases and now go 'round and 'round until I am 14 inches from the underarms.  At that point I need to try it on to make sure it is long enough before I make the curved hem.  I am loving this lovely Aimee yarn a little less these days since I found THREE knots in one ball, one after the other.  That is extremely annoying with cheap yarn and doubly so with expensive yarn.  Oh but this is going to be a great looking top.

Gregg, my new musical partner, telephoned on Monday evening to tell me what a great impression I had made Sunday night and to also say he was quite keen on keeping our partnership going and that I should start thinking of what songs I'd like to sing next.  That's always nice to hear, isn't it?  I have been going up to that bar, the Oxford, for years and years to listen to my friends perform.  Maybe only once or twice a year, but I would see the same people hanging out.  After our set I saw Gregg's wife sitting with a woman that I have seen there and I sat down with them.  The woman, Beth, lives next door to Gregg and Jennifer.  Well it is a very small town after all.  She said, "I was in your house once when you weren't there".  Oh, were you?  Good heavens .. that's my friends for you.  My old house was a rather casual place in that all my friends knew where the spare key was and also knew that I never latched the bathroom window.  So it's not all that unusual but all the same ... weird.  I think McG, one time when he was staying with me, brought her over for immoral purposes.  Just a guess.

Well ... better get on with my day.  Here's hoping I can put another couple of inches onto the Rondeur at lunch.

24 May, 2011

Mmmmmm raspberries

We are lucky here to have strawberries at the grocery store all year 'round, at a (mostly) reasonable price.  Not so with raspberries.  But this past weekend they did have some, they looked great and oh ... they smell incredible!  I have some for breakfast this morning and I am letting them sit in the bowl for a while just so I can enjoy the anticipation of eating them.  Well -- one must take one's pleasures where one can. 

As incredible (there's that word again) as it seems, I had yet another super awesome run yesterday!  I am so happy that it wasn't a fluke!  Right now I am running - not race pace, but just everyday pace - just under 2.5 miles in 30 minutes.  Ultimately, I would like to be running 3 miles in 30 minutes but this is a very lofty goal that I probably could make, but not without some serious training, probably with a professional trainer.  A more realistic goal is perhaps 2.6 miles in 30 minutes.  I'll take it in baby steps.  In the next two weeks then, I'd like to increase my pace enough to hit 2.6 miles in 30 minutes. 

I managed a few rows on the Rondeur last night but Tinkerbell was so needy that I didn't get to knit nearly as much as I had wanted to.  I was very tired and just wanted to work out, watch a little TV and knit and turn in early.  This was not to be.  The phone wouldn't quit ringing, Tink wanted to go out all the time, except when she was on the lanai barking at all of the other dogs having a fine time out walking.  I suppose it's natural for her to be a bit antsy since she spent so much time in the car on Sunday, but it didn't make it any less annoying.  I hope she's not so needy tonight so I can get some serious inches done on this thing.  I want to wear it!

I'm looking forward to the 3-day weekend coming up, even though it's supposed to be raining all weekend.  If I get all my running around and shopping done on Saturday I can have two entire days to myself.  I would like to fiddle with my closets - clean them out and switch out the shoes to the spring/summer ones.  Maybe take an afternoon and finish the Cloisonne Jacket or get closer to finishing the Shining Bird's Eye shawl.  All good choices.  But I still have to make it through this week.  So here we go.

23 May, 2011

Where did the weekend go?

Yup, it was one of those weekends.  Zip.  But fun, definitely fun.  Friday McG picked me up from work and we went to my place so I could walk Tink and change.  We had reservations at one of my favorite little restaurants for a nice catching up dinner.  Rookie mistake though.  Having been counting calories I had a very empty stomach and put two martinis into it before dinner.  Not a good idea.  Not a good idea at all.  It wasn't that I got sick or anything, but I didn't wake up feeling all that great.  I'm out of practice, it seems.  So my Saturday was spent trying to recover.  I had plans to meet with Gregg to go over our songs for Sunday night so I had to get myself together by late afternoon.  Tink only got a short walk and I didn't get anything but grocery shopping done.  By 3 or so I was feeling mostly human, thank goodness.

I got out to Gregg's by 6 pm and he hadn't been feeling well all day either.  His was bacon related and frankly, I'd much rather be feeling sketchy due to alcohol than pork products, right?  Anyway we managed to get through the six songs and I got home at a decent hour and spent some quality cuddle time with Tink in my big chair.  Gregg and Jennifer's lilacs are just prime right now and he gave me a big bunch to take home with me.  Mmmmmm ... just yummy.

Sunday the weather was bad, big surprise, so we only had a medium long walk.  I needed to do my laundry since I hadn't gotten it done on Friday night.  Luck was with me and I put a couple loads in before we headed out for our walk.  While it was drying I settle down at the dining room table and started working on ripping back the Rondeur.  I know why I hate doing this - it's very difficult!  I just took it slow and I'd say it probably took me about an hour to get it done.  I am glad I took the time to do it right.  It's all ready now to re-start the increases and I just skipped the underarm marker for the left side.  I don't see why I need it and if I end up needing it later I can always put it in.

Since I was going to be gone for so long I brought Tink with me up to Snohomish.  Gregg and Jennifer have an old cat so Tink was very very interested in their house and more especially finding that kittie.  It was funny to watch her.  That cat didn't want anything at all to do with Tink.  They ended up putting the cat outside.

The gig was about what I expected.  I had a fun time.  Oddly enough some of my closest and oldest friends have never heard me sing, especially the country stuff.  Oh we've been out doing drunken karaoke and things like that but not a real gig.  It was nice to get the compliments.  It's a long way up there - it takes me 45 minutes, so I was gone for about 8 hours and I was exhausted by the time Mike's set was done, which was around 8:45.  I got home and got Tink walked all before 10 but then I couldn't settle down.  This always happens to me after I sing.  It takes hours and hours to relax.  I don't think I got to sleep until after midnight, but I feel great today.  It's going to be a busy week.  And that's good news.

20 May, 2011

The good and the bad

Yesterday was a magnificent day.  I worked at home in the morning, ran errands at lunch and gave Tink a nice long walk in the sunshine.  It is sunny again today!  It was somewhat breezy yesterday and not all that warm, but gorgeous all the same. 

My lawyer finally got the Settlement Letter written, I approved it and it should be sent off today. That is a HUGE weight off my mind.  And I come to find out that they (the soon-to-be-ex and his lawyer) have not even made a Response to the Petition yet!  Every day I feel a little more awake, as if I was under a spell.  When one considers that I went from caring for my Dad and all that entailed and cost me emotionally, and then going right into a relationship for all of the wrong reasons ..... I never got to re-group.  Totally and completely my fault.  I know better -- I knew better.  So I am, understandably, most anxious to put this chapter away and get on with the business of living a happy, joyful life.  And it just drives me CRAZY that the other parties are not feeling the same sense of urgency.  Ah well, it's a journey and I might as well try to enjoy my life while I'm traveling this road.

I was knitting around on my Rondeur, very happy with the progress I was making.  I was on third increase when I realized that I had made increases at the right underarm as well as the front and back darts!!  Arghghgh!!  I should have put a different colored marker under that arm.  The other side underarm is the beginning of the row and it has the counter marker.  So, what did I do?  I thought I'd be super smart (warning words) and just unravel the knitting when I got to the marker, down to the first incorrect increase.  What I didn't take into account is that there would be long strings because I had knit 12 rows.  It wasn't something that would block out and since this is a very close fitting garment I had no choice but to threat a needle through a rows below the start of the increases and rip back.  I decided to do this while I was sitting in my comfy chair watching TV - hubris, my friends.  By the time I got around to the beginning of the row I was off by 3 rows.  What I need to do is get a smaller than size 5 needle, first mistake, and sit down at a table and do it correctly.  So I had to put it away before I did any more damage.  It'll have to wait until the end of the weekend.  I'm going out to dinner with Mikie tonight!  yay!

So then I had some fun.  Some of the best kind of fun.  I got into my closet and tried on clothes I haven't been able to wear for a few months,  a LONG few months.  I was very gratified that my regime is giving me great results and rather quickly.  The woman who does my hair told me I looked "tiny".  Yay! 

Now on the to the rant portion of our program --- Generally speaking living in my apartment is not so bad, all things being equal.  However, there are lots and lots of students living there as well because of the close proximity to the North Seattle Community College.  In my building, one floor down, is an apartment comprising two couples - young Japanese students.  And they smoke, of course.  And I don't care what they do in their apartment, but what they do that drives me insane is that they smoke in the elevator!!  Not only that, they get in there, take a drag, then drop their cigarette butts on the floor and step on them!   Really?  You can't go down one floor without smoking?  Seriously, they live on the second floor so they are maybe out of their apartment and downstairs and out the front door in less than a minute.  I just want to slap them. I won't.  But I WANT to.

Here's to a happy and sunny weekend.

19 May, 2011

A beautiful work at home dayI

The title says it all.  It's beautiful outside and I'm working from home.  The poplar trees are now in full leaf so I don't see the freeway - only beautiful, leafy trees.  If I had the door open to the lanai then I'd hear the noise of the traffic, but it's not quite that warm yet.  It most likely will be this afternoon.  I've got an appointment at 3:30 and I will run some errands at lunch.  I am now especially glad I took this apartment rather than one on the other side of the building facing the pool and gardens, because they're doing more noisy work in the pool area.  I can't even hear it over here.  The pools are going to be gorgeous!  They have replaced the white tile around the edges of the pools with brick and started grouting it last night.  I don't know what they're going to do with the area around the pools, which was previously just cement.  It would be nice if they tiled it as well, but since tile tends to be super slippery when wet, I am guessing they won't be doing that.

Tink was rather needy again last night so I didn't get as much knitting done as I had hoped.  There are five increases to be made to balance out the five decreases for the waist and I am on the second of these.  Then it will be knit knit knit to 14 inches, try it on for length and then do the curved hem.  It is going to be so cute!

I got an email from a group I signed up for a few years ago but have yet to attend one of the events.  It's called Seattle Uncorked, and it's a group that does wine tastings and things like that.  I could never persuade the soon-to-be-ex to attend any of the events with me and now I got an email for one I would really like to participate in.  I am lacking partners right now.  I love hanging out with my friend M, but she doesn't drink so things like this are pretty boring for her.  Ah well.  It will sort itself out in time, this lack of playmates.  It always does.  I need some patience.  Anyone know where I can find some?

18 May, 2011

This is nice

Woke up to blue skies and sunshine!  Birds singing!  I wore a cardigan out the door today rather than a coat!  Ahhhhh.  It's not going to last long but I do read that we might break 70 degrees in the next few days.  I should probably think about getting a fan for my apartment now rather than wait until I really really need it and can't find one.  That's a chore for this already full weekend coming up.

I changed Tink's schedule a bit last night and it did indeed tack another 30 minutes onto my sitting up time before she started pushing me towards bed.  On our last walk around the gardens she started sniffing and running and looking upward into a tree.  I thought it was just another squirrel but when we got around to the bottom of the tree and I looked up I could see a little raccoon up there!  Amazing!  Even though we are close to the freeway there is a park just about the same distance west of us, so I guess it's not that crazy.  But still.

 I finished up the waist decreases on the Rondeur last night and now I'm working on length, then will do the increases.  I realized .... oh my, what a rookie mistake ... that I never checked gauge on this project!  I was so enamored of the yarn and the fabric it makes on the size five needles is just perfect so I didn't even think about checking my gauge.  I am noticing that this top looks a little small, but it is meant to be worn with two or three inches of negative ease so I might end up being okay.  Oh yes, I could measure and if it's off then start over but am I going to do that?  Probably not.  Most definitely not.

My latest audiobook is Christopher Hitchens' autobiography "Hitch 22".  I have loved his writing for years.  He and Dominick Dunne were my sole reasons for reading Vanity Fair for years and years.  He is now battling oesophageal cancer, which makes the listening that much more poignant.   

I have a couple of social engagements coming up which are brightening my month.  McG is coming for a visit and has promised to take me to dinner on Friday, then the little gig on Sunday and the following Tuesday I'm going to a fundraising dinner for a medical student group with one of the faculty members.  It is an auction fundraiser - silent as well as live.  I just LOVE those!  It should be fun.  And I get to wear a dress.  I hope the weather is fine so I can wear a good one.

17 May, 2011


Yesterday I had the best run I've had in ages!  I was feeling it last week but didn't completely get it until yesterday.  I've stepped up a level, if that makes sense.  That's not to say that my 30 minutes is easy, exactly.  But I definitely have gas in the tank at the end of the 30 minutes and could have run harder and/or longer.  I'm stronger, I guess it what it is.  Whatever you call it, it's magic and I shall enjoy the heck out of it as long as it lasts!  Today, in the sunshine.

I had a fine evening yesterday and got some good work done on the Rondeur.  Tinkerbell has been very insistent that we retire at 9 pm.  By that I mean she sits at the floor by my chair, or wherever I am sitting and whines until I put her on the bed.  So I just usually go with her and read for an hour or watch stuff on my iPhone.  It's starting to be lighter later though and I have got to stop letting her run my life!  But I was restless last night and even after reading for an hour or more I couldn't get to sleep.  Then when I finally fell to sleep I woke up again at 1 am!  I was groggy this morning and late.  Tonight I'm going to take her outside again at 9 and maybe that will prolong her evening and make it easier for me to sleep.

Looks line sunshine for the next few days.  I'm going to enjoy it while it lasts.

16 May, 2011

Chasing the sun

I left early on Friday -- not terribly early, but about an hour or so.  I wanted to get outside and enjoy the sunshine.  However, by the time I actually got out the door the wind was picking up and before I made it home the clouds had rolled in and it was cold and blustery.  Silly me.

Saturday was much better in the morning and Tink and I set off for a nice trip to the lake.  It wasn't warm, by any means, but it wasn't raining either so we had a long walk.  I had finished my new pedicure socks the night before but didn't take into account that they were rather thicker than the previous ones I had made and I couldn't wear them with the one pair of sandals I had out, so I went barefooted.  It wasn't that cold, after all.  I got my fingernails cut nice and short so I could play my ukelele a bit easier, and then spent the afternoon getting the stitch count right on the Rondeur and doing a few rounds.  I can't for the life of me figure out how I got the count so messed up but it's right now and not obvious that I didn't start out with the correct number of stitches.

I took off for Snohomish to rehearse with Gregg a little before 5:30 and by the time I was 20 minutes north the rain had started coming down.  I noticed that Gregg has two lilac trees in his front garden and even more in the back and I was going to ask for some cuttings before I left, but by the time we were done is was dark and POURING rain.  We had a terrific rehearsal.  Our voices blend so well together.  We have six songs for the open mic this coming Sunday, plus I'm singing another with McG and Gregg and I are both providing backups for one of McG's songs as well.  It should be a fun time.

Sunday was miserable, weather-wise.  It was coming down steadily, with no breaks in the clouds that I could see so I just put on a waterproof jacket and took Tink out for her long walk, as usual.  She was due for a bath so I figured she might as well get soaked before - kind of a pre-rinse.  We wandered some new streets and got good and wet.  And then she got a nice bath.  What she really needs is a trip to the groomer.  Hopefully I can get her in on the 28th, unless they are going to be closed for the long weekend, in which case I'll have to try for a weekday appointment.

I took advantage of the quiet and long afternoon and worked on the Shining Birds Eyes shawl.  I have four more repeats to go!  Sixteen more rows.  Why didn't I finish up the Cloisonne Jacket?  I have no good reason for not doing it.  I just need to make myself sit down and do it.  I'll bet it's no more than a couple of hours of work to completely finish, and yet I can't make myself do it.  Crazy.

Allergies are crazy as well.  The poor girl who was doing my manicure suffers greatly from hay fever and she was complaining about it Saturday.  The rain seems to make it worse - I suppose because it disturbs the pollen on the trees.  I woke up at around 1 this morning out of a deep sleep, I think because my eyes were itching so badly.  I popped another Benadryl and went off to sleep but I was a bit groggy this morning.

I got caught up on my Desperate Housewives recorded programs last night and worked and worked on the Rondeur.  I am nearly to the start of the waist shaping.  It goes quickly even though it is on size 5 needles.  Still adoring this yarn!

13 May, 2011

Post gone missing

Sometime has been up with Blogger today.  And I'm missing my post from yesterday to boot.  Supposedly, from what I can gather doing a search, the missing posts are going to be restored.  It's got me all turned around though, creature of habit that I am. 

Anyway ... on with it.  I had a SUPER great run yesterday!  I'm looking forward to another one today.  I did, in fact, wear my short sleeved shirt yesterday but my jacket stayed on the entire time.   While it's not so sunny today as yesterday it does seem a bit warmer so I might end up taking my jacket off after all.  And it's not yet the middle of May ... that's sarcasm.  It's really not worth complaining about the weather, is it?  So why do I keep doing it?  Maybe because I'm so happy lately that there's nothing else to complain and/or rant about?  I need to step up my game in that case.

Since the evening was fine, Tink spent some time on the balcony soaking up the evening sunshine and I worked on my Rondeur.  I have messed up the stitch count somehow.  I should have counted carefully before I put the sleeve stitches on holders but I didn't and now I have to fiddle and add a couple of stitches to the body so I can get the waist shaping markers in the right place.  It's only an inch or less in fit so that's not the issue.  I don't want the shaping to be off kilter. Tonight I'm going to have to leave it and finish up my pedicure socks.  It's supposed to be cold and wet again tomorrow and I'll need them since it's my day for manicure and pedicure.

I've got a little rehearsal with Gregg tomorrow evening and other than that, nothing special going on this weekend.  I hope the rain will hold off in the morning so that I can get Tinkerbell walked before I run my errands. Last weekend I found a few lilac trees starting to bloom so this weekend will be a sniffing paradise, hopefully.  I have taken to doing my weekly laundry on Friday nights because nobody seems to want to do laundry on Fridays except me, which is handy.  Saturdays and Sundays are, of course, busier.  Somewhere down the road I hope to have a social life, but for now it works fine.

I ended up getting a great night's sleep last night.  I suppose because I was so tired from my terrible night before.  I couldn't read more than a page before my eyes started closing.  Tink woke me at midnight, but I went right back to sleep.  I am so very very grateful that my apartment complex - at least the part where I am - is quiet.  The traffic noise from the freeway is pretty much white noise by now.

12 May, 2011

Don't ride without your sunglasses

This is my absolute these days, especially as the days get warmer and the layers start peeling from the other riders.  It's a FREAK SHOW!  I can't help but stare so I wear my sunglasses so it's not so obvious (I hope).  I do try not to stare, but it's nearly impossible.  Yesterday a woman came down the aisle and she had stubble.  No, this wasn't a man dressed as a woman.  This was a rather portly female who shaves her lip and chin and hasn't gotten around to it for a few days, it seems!  Then there are the piercings, and the clothing choices and .... there is this guy who wears tennis shoes that are made up of patches of different leather  -- patent and suede and smooth -- in several different pastel colors. All pastel.  I can't get over those ugly shoes.  Its goes on and on.  I just keep plugged in to my iPhone and pretend I'm not there.

After several gorgeous nights of deep sleep I had a terrible night last night.  I figured it out this morning, or I think I have it figured out.  It did feel to me as though I had ingested some caffeine and I am very very careful about not having any coffee or tea after noon (other than herbal) and no caffeinated soft drinks in the afternoon or evening.  I did eat some chocolate after dinner and that must have had just enough caffeine to disturb my sleep.  I have discovered Skinny Cow ice cream cups -- oh they are SO good and only 150 calories!  From now on though, no more chocolate.  It was wicked.  I must have been up four times last night and I was tossing and turning.  Then, of course, I couldn't drag my sorry behind out of the bed when the alarm went off. 

It was pouring rain and cold (again) yesterday.  It was noon knitting so no running anyway, but I got so wet walking Tinkerbell.  And she isn't all that keen on walking when it's raining either, but I have to make her since she doesn't get much exercise except for our walks and a couple games of fetch in the evening.   I woke to sun this morning, which is nice.  I think it's going to be nice today and tomorrow.  Maybe I'll get that run in my short sleeves today.

My arms, shoulders and chest are so sore this morning I can hardly stretch without wincing.  And that is a good thing.

11 May, 2011

This is getting annoying!

This is the second day in the row I've woken up 30 minutes before my alarm is due to go off!  On one hand, I'm happy I'm getting such good, restful sleep that I am ready to wake up and get on with the day.  On the other hand ... I am a lazy lazy woman and like to have every second possible to wallow around in bed.  I might need to invest in blackout curtains for my bedroom window.

I had a super awesome run yesterday at lunchtime although still not in my short sleeved shirt.  The clouds moved on in the afternoon and by the time I got home from work it was bright and sunny and warm.  Tink and I had a lovely long walk and not ten minutes into it I wished I had left my coat at home.  It's back to rain this morning, but it was a nice interlude while it lasted.

I have found a crack in my iPhone!  I first noticed something weird when my iPhone dock and alarm clock started giving me a message when I docked the phone at night -- something about the accessory not being for an iPhone.  This is the same type of message I was getting before my previous phone had to be replaced.  And then a few days later I noticed there is a long (relatively) crack at the base of the phone where the plug is for the dock.  Ah ha!  I am not averse to getting the newer iPhone.  I would like the face to face phoning and the built in flash.  But I want the newer white model which, at this time, is $100 more for the 32 gig version (which I have to have).  So I am torn.  How long should I wait?  Should I wait until it breaks or go for the preemptive replacement?

Today a six month countdown starts.  I am planning on going to Europe on my November vacation.  The way Veteran's Day and the Thanksgiving holidays line up this year I can "spend" 8 vacation days and get 17 days off, including weekends.  I am going to meet up with Emma, who now lives in Luxembourg.  I'm not yet sure what we'll do or for how long, but I do know that she's going to want to go to Paris with me, at least for a while.  Other than that, no firm plans.  I am just going and I have six months to make plans and change plans and change yet again.  Time IS a luxury.

I was more in the mood to read last night rather than knit, but I did manage to do another few rounds of the Rondeur.  I tried to take a picture in my office here this morning but it didn't come out very well.  I will give it another go at home tonight.  I am still loving this yarn.  I did get a picture of my finished Green Gable.  It's a little wonky on the dummy, but you get the idea.  And can you see Tink in the background on the floor?  She's a dirty little dog.  She definitely needs a grooming.  I can barely see her eyes!

10 May, 2011

Walking the cat

No, it's not the name of a new dance, although it would be a pretty cool name for a band, don't you think?  Anyway ... on the way in to work today I saw a women walking her cat down the street in a harness.  And the cat was participating, not struggling to run this way or that, but trotting along obediently.  I think it's odd that I don't see more people walking their cats, considering it's city living and the apartment dwelling cats don't get much exercise.  Well, they're not like dogs now, are they?

Yesterday I did NOT run in a short sleeved shirt.  It wasn't that warm, unfortunately.  Maybe later this week.  One can only hope.  I have noticed that despite the clouds and rain, the pollen is at high levels and my allergies are annoying me.  I had a huge sneezing fit last night, so something in my environment blooms in the evening.  Thankfully a Benedryl will take care of the symptoms.

I am just still so happy with my workout routine.  I can honestly say I haven't been in this good of shape since before my dad died.  It's not like I stopped workout out altogether.  I never stopped biking or running, but I did quit going to the gym.  But now that I'm using my Wii and the EA Sports More Workouts disk I have noticed that my arms are shaping right up again.  I guess all those years and years and years of working out were worth it.  After 3 years of neglect they still remember where they're supposed to be! 

The evening was spent working on the Rondeur.  I finished one entire repeat of the cable pattern for the yoke increases.  That's about a third of the way through the increases.  It should go much faster after the yoke is done.  I am still llllloving this yarn!  I am going to have to keep my eyes peeled for this.  I want more.

09 May, 2011

Just a taste

The sun  played hide and seek this weekend but we got a generous dose yesterday and it was great.  I might even be able to take the lining out of my trench coat this week.  And I am going to run in a short sleeved shirt today rather than my long sleeved fleece.  Oh, I'll have a rain jacket as well - I'm not that crazy.  But it's definitely warming up a bit, finally.  I do recall that last year May was SUPER wet, because I was participating in the Bike to Work month competition and I rode in every day but ... two, I think.  And the rainstorms were epic.  So I think I'll dial back the complaints.

Saturday I got together with Gregg again to work on our few songs for May 22nd.  I brought my ukelele to play on one of the songs, "Busted", because it has a mandolin part on the recording and I thought the uke would work as a substitute.  It does work and sounds cool so I'm going to play it on the gig.  I will need to practice practice practice and cut my fingernails shorter.  I can feel the tips of my fingers today from pushing on the strings.  We're going to get a really good spot in the line up because my friend McG is the headliner and since I'm going to be singing with Mike as well as Gregg,  we'll be scheduled close by.  The guy who organizes this thing is publicizing Mike winning the Great American Song Writing Contest.  Hopefully it'll be a good sized crowd with few children.

I had a wonderful lazy Sunday.  The entire complex was quiet - probably everyone off celebrating Mother's Day somewhere else.  Tink and I had a nice long walk, I did a little housework and then spent the entire afternoon knitting and the evening knitting and watching DVDs.  It was heaven.  I finished up the Green Gable, put it on my dummy and took a picture and forgot the camera at home today.  I am nearly done with the pedicure socks I started last week - maybe an inch or two left of the cuff to go.  I think I'll still be needing them for another month, which is why I decided to put them to the top of the queue.  Then I started a new project.  I was going to start the little lace jacket thing but then changed my mind and started the Rondeur.  Oh, and the yarn I bought for that is just gorgeous!!  It's called Aimee and it's by Louisa Harding.  It's cotton and cashmere and so incredibly soft.  I only got started - an inch of twisted rib.  It's going to be a beautiful little top.

I finished my latest audiobook yesterday - another Kate Atkinson book.  I really enjoy her and promptly bought another one.  The one I finished - "Started early, took my dog" - ended with one of my favorite poems called "Hope", by Emily Dickinson.
Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune--without the words,
And never stops at all,
And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.
I've heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.

Here's hoping we have a lovely, warm and sunny week.  But don't hold your breath.

06 May, 2011

I couldn't help myself!

Yesterday Monika and I took a walk up to our LYS to scout out their sale and what did I find?  Only an irresistible 10 balls of Debbie Bliss Silk Aran in a gorgeous shade of spring green.  I couldn't help myself - I bought it even though I have about a million and one projects (and the yarn for them) on my shelves.  But it is my favorite shade of green and the yarn is so deluxe - soft with a sheen from the silk content.  Maybe I'll make the lacy cardigan from the front the Loop-d-Loop Lace.  This isn't the best image but you can see basically what it is.  Three or maybe four different lace patterns.  The yarn would be perfect for this.

I had an odd night's sleep.  A bit restless and I guess I was super tired this morning because I barely remember the alarm going off and next thing I knew it was after 7.  Ah well ... I'm here now, not that there's any great hurry.  I don't have any appointments until 9:30 anyway.

I hope to be able to run at lunchtime.  It was sprinkling on my way in to work but I haven't run since the race and I really want to get out there and see how it feels.  I have decided not to sign up for the Great Kilted Run on the 22nd.  Besides having that open mic to go to, I just don't want to run that race.  I think the course would be nice and flat, but getting to the race and, more importantly, finding parking would be a nightmare.  Not to mention that I would have to rent a kilt.  Stupid. 

Fingers crossed we get some decent weather this weekend.  I need some vitamin D.

05 May, 2011

Just beyond sniffing range

As I suspected, the lilac growing in the garden near the swimming pools is too far away to get a sniff!   It is evident that the gardeners pruned it last spring, which is when you should NOT prune a lilac, and all the buds were snipped from the side closest to the fence except the ones high up.  My best course of action to get some lilacs, or even just get a close up sniff, is going to be scouting around the neighborhood on our walk to the lake this Saturday and/or Sunday.  It's a small window of opportunity and I must jump on it or wait for another year.  That would be bad.

We have a pair of ducks that come visit and paddle around the swimming pools at the apartment.  Just like in the first episodes of the Sopranos.  Some work is being done around the pools -- I can't tell what exactly.  They have removed all of the cement from around both the swimming pools, exposing the pipes and drainage holes.  But even so,  last night the male duck was sitting on the smaller of the two pools.  I would think that the chemicals in the pools would be bad for them, or at the very least be hard on their skin.

After trying out a couple of workout DVDs I seem to have stumbled upon a good one, finally.  The Wii Fitness was a good one to start with, but I quickly found it too easy and couldn't get any soreness.  I tried an EA sports workout and that was a little heavy on the cardio, which since I run isn't that important to me, and lacking in upper body and core work.  I have found that the second EA sports disk is the one for me.  Each 30 minute session has a warm up and cool down and the upper body and core work is tough.  I've even been able to get some soreness in my arms and stomach.  Tink doesn't know how to react when I'm down there moaning and groaning over the sit-up portion of the routine.  I'm pretty happy with my routine.  The EA Sports More Workouts has a six week program and each day of exercises is different, they vary in which part of the body they work and they get tougher as you go on.  Mixed with my running 4 times a week and all the dog walking and I'm shaping up quickly and (relatively) easily. 

Gregg called me last night about the songs we're doing for the open mic later this month.  He had chosen a song I wasn't all that keen on, but since he's playing the instrument(s) I figured it was his call.  He asked me did I want to do the song "Tell Me" and said he had an idea I wasn't feeling it.  I confirmed his feeling and said I'd look for another one we could maybe do.  It's my feeling that at these open mic deals people do too many ballads.  The crowd is noisy and nobody but your closest friends is going to be listening that hard.  I say the best way to get the crowd interested is to do upbeat and fast songs.  That's my goal.

Today is the start of the Weaving Works Mother's Day sale, so Monika and I are going to take a walk up there at lunchtime and see what's on sale.  Last year I didn't find anything I couldn't live without.  That's  not always the case.  And fingers crossed it's not pouring rain.  You  know -- I still have the warm lining in my trench coat!  It's May!!! 

04 May, 2011

The first Wednesday of the month

This is my early meeting day.  I just don't like it!  Thank goodness next year they are moving the time up to 9 am from 8:30 so that will make it little bit better.  I don't like the rushing in the morning.  I like to take my time when I get to work ... have a couple cups of tea, read the news, etc., then have a bite to eat.  But today I have to get moving before I am totally awake.  I won't have to do anything at this particular meeting though.  I can just sit and look interested.  Today is the day the students give their evaluation of the winter quarter courses.  I'm not so involved with the winter quarter courses so ... ho hum.

I have spent the last two days at home, a bit under the weather.  I thought perhaps it was something I had eaten on Sunday but I guess it was just a little bug.  I feel much better today. 

I had some time to think about my summer vacation -- the one coming up the last week of June.  My sister is very involved in her plans to move, although she and Mike don't seem to be able to find a place that suits them both.  The rental market in Southern California is brutal!  Extremely competitive and expensive to boot.  If this move happens she's not going to want to go away at the end of June but will most likely want me to come down there.  I don't know .... I will of course come down but I still want to go someplace as well and I don't imagine she's going to want to leave her new place right away.  Oh well..... I'll give it a bit more time.

I brought my Green Gable to noon knitting today.  I have decided not to put long sleeves on it after all.  It's nearly always too warm in my office as it is.  Might as well keep the sleeves short so I can wear it.  And so I can finish something.  My new projects are lining up.  Most likely more than I'll be able to finish before the weather turns again.  It's sunny today, so that makes me think of summer time.  I am sure it'll show up sooner or later.

02 May, 2011

What a great weekend!

I had lots to do on Saturday and it was pretty nice - which equals not raining - in the morning so Tink and I took off on foot to get my T-shirt and timing tag for the race on Sunday.  The pick up spot was a little bit further along that I had thought but it was doable and we were back home in just under two hours.  Tinkerbell was so tired that she stopped a couple of times on the way back and she even laid down in the elevator on the ride up to the apartment!  Needless to say she was quiet for most of the rest of the day.  I finished up my errands and had an early dinner before I headed up north to Gregg's to do a little rehearsing.  He has a really cool old old house.  But I sure would hate living so far away from the city.  It took me almost 45 minutes to get there.  We have four really good songs.  It is so nice to sing with him rather than Doug.  I got home at a decent hour and headed to bed early because I had to get up early on Sunday for the race.

At this time, it is pouring rain.  But yesterday ..... it was a gorgeous day!  A perfect race day and I had a pretty good race.  Not perfect but good.  I had forgotten to take a puff from my inhaler, and that would have helped me a bit.  My main problem was that I started out too fast so I started running down at about 2 1/2 miles.  I think it they had put up markers for people, like most races do, so that if you run a 10 minute mile you start at one point and each half minute there is another marker so the slower runners start together.  Also there were walkers mixed in with the runners ... it was chaos at first so I was running hard to get out of the mess.  Oh well, I finished and that's what counts.  I was less than a minute behind what I wanted to run, so that is good. 

When I got home I took Tink for a walk and then cleaned up and went to lunch and did a little shopping.  It was just so pretty outside!  Today we're back to our regularly scheduled rain rain rain.  And I'm home with a tummy bug.  I don't know if it's something I ate yesterday or what.  I'm just going to lay low and hope to feel better tomorrow.