31 December, 2011

Happy New Year!

I know it's a few hours early but what the heck.  It's 2012 somewhere now, and I don't want to be late.

Mystery solved with regards to my elbow -- I saw my doctor on Friday, described how the pain started the day after dragging my suitcase from the Heathrow Express train across the huge station to the taxi stand and he said, "Ha!  Traveler's Elbow!"  Also known as Tennis Elbow, which is what I had suspected.  He's intimately aware of the syndrome, being married to a crazy tennis player and basically there's not much I can do about it.  It is going to take time to heal.  No more dragging heavy suitcases for me.  For Hawaii I'm going to use my good old Samsonite that can be pushed and then I am going to keep my eyes open for a new set of luggage, which I've been wanting for a while anyway.  And it'll be the kind that has swivel wheels.  Or I could just learn to pack lighter, but how many years have I been trying that to no avail?  Might as well accept that it's not my style and move on.

California was so nice and it was great to spend lots of time with my sister.  The weather was just gorgeous -- sunny and warm as you would expect for California.  Happily it's not too bad here either.  It's not warm, but it's mild for this time of year, although yesterday evening it did hail, but it's not freezing and I'm grateful for that.  Tonight I'm going to a big party.  It's not my usual New Year's Eve but I am making an effort to get out more and be social.   Monika is going to drive and I'll get myself to her place and she will bring me home, which I really appreciate because this party is quite a ways away from me.  And then I'll have two more days to laze around before work on Tuesday.  Maybe I'll be able to finish Kelli's beret.  And start something else ... or maybe I should concentrate on finishing up a few things.  Yeah ... I should.

And to everyone -- warm wishes for a fabulous 2012.

29 December, 2011

Ahhhhh Home again

It is 10:30 and I am finally home after a long travel day. We met Ann for brunch so it seems like I have been traveling longer than I actually was. Tonight is the Alamo Bowl, the Huskies vs Baylor. I recorded it since it started at six when I was in the air. Then I took my time, had a shower and now I can watch as long as I can stay up. I wish I had changed the appointment I have from tomorrow to next week. I have to fast for a blood draw in the morning and I would much rather be having a little cocktail but must be satisfied with water. But I am really looking forward to getting to the bottom of the elbow mystery. What I know for sure is that neither knitting nor working at my computer has anything to do with it. So far the game is pretty good, but I am getting sleepy. I miss my dog but I have to sleep alone tonight. It will be good to be in my own bed!

28 December, 2011

Sunny and 70

It is always a bit disconcerting to be in California at Christmas time. Somehow it doesn't feel quite real, even with the tree and presents and lights. We are having a great time, although Mike's been running up and down from here to Palm Springs dealing with family issues, so it hasn't been that great for him. I am enjoying my rest, no stress and plenty of girlie time. Last night we had our own mini-marathon of Kelli's favorites --"What not to wear" and "Say yes to the dress-Big and beautiful". Something I would never do alone but we had fun .... Meow. I did a bit of knitting yesterday evening. Even though I haven't touched a computer or a knitting needle the elbow is still just as painful! Crazy! What could I have done to it by pulling my suitcase through the train station? It doesn't make any sense to me so I am counting on my doctor to figure it out on Friday. I dreamed I was on my way to France last night, but had to get off the plane to talk to my boss, then run and run through obstacles to re-board. Swamps and bridges out and busy intersections to cross. I made it. I would have been so mad if I hadn't! We have a couple of super nice little hikes here. At the end of her street is a park that Warren Beatty gave the city and you can hike way up to Mullholland drive if you want. The path gets very scary near the top, but we climbed quite high. Today I will go down to Ventura Blvd because Kel has a business lunch. It is so nice outside and perfect for a little stroll.

23 December, 2011


As much as I didn't want to be freaked out or nervous about my appointment this morning, I was.  The good news is that everything is fine.  And now Christmas can begin!    Two things I learned -- NEVER skip an annual exam again and NEVER do it in December.

I have a student to see at 1:30 today and then I am up up and away.  I have a couple of quick stops on the way home, then it's laundry and packing and cleaning in preparation for my getaway tomorrow morning.  I've got to drop Tink off at her babysitter and then I will park at Monika and Andre's and take the light rail out to the airport.  That's my new favorite way to get to and from the airport.  It's quick and easy and cost effective.

We're going to a party as soon as I get to California tomorrow.  It is going to be SO nice to be at a nice dressy party rather than where I have been the last couple of Christmas Eves.  And I get to wear a dress.  I think I'll wear the black one with white applique that I took with me to London.  It's easy to pack and looks good.

No knitting last night and my elbow is not bad this morning.  I'll take tonight off as well and then for a whole week I won't be on the computer.  Let's start the new year out without a sore elbow!

Happy Christmas!!

22 December, 2011

Early in early out

I got to work WAY early this morning, as in before 7:30.  My friend Mike brought me in because he didn't want to drive back to his sister's house after our dinner in Mukilteo last night.  Good lord does that man snore!  He slept on the couch and there's the kitchen and a wall between my bedroom and the living room and I could hear him snoring last night.  It woke me up!  I closed my bedroom door and put the pillow over my head and was able to get back to sleep, thankfully. 

Oh we had such a good dinner!  Steve is a great cook and there's always wonderful champagne and good wine.   I haven't had a steak in so long and it was yummy!  Food and gossip and Christmas cookies.  Ahhhh ...it was lovely. 

When I woke up this morning my elbow was barely hurting at all.  There was no knitting last night and I am going to take tonight off as well, even though I want to finish that beret.  I want to see if that makes a big difference.  I did notice also when I put my purse over my shoulder that it seemed to hurt more so I am just going to carry it in my hand when I go home today too.  I am really tired of this pain.  And if I read tonight rather than play with my iPad that might help as well. 

It is cold and clear today.  I am going to have a great run.  I just need to wake up!

21 December, 2011

Now I've seen everything .... maybe..... OR

Why I hate public transportation:  Unbelievable as this may sound, a young woman got on the bus today with not only her travel mug of coffee, which I think is perfectly acceptable, BUT a bowl of oatmeal and a spoon.  I swear.  She sat down and proceeded to eat her cereal in the bus.  Can you imagine???  Lucky I was in a decent mood or I would have done a little more than roll my eyes at the guy sitting next to her, who was looking at her like she was crazy as well. 

Other than that, this day has started out with a great surprise phone call from far far away.  I shall be grinning all the rest of the day and long into the night.  As far as I'm concerned, it's Christmas morning.  [Insert huge goofy smile here].

My run yesterday was just stupendous.  It was my favorite running weather - misting lightly.  Not too cold, not too wet.  Just right.  No running today but I will get another good one in tomorrow.  As I suspected, this week is dragging slowly by.  I've got a fun dinner tonight to look forward to, a boring day tomorrow to get through and then ... that exam on Friday morning.  I think after that I will be in the holiday mood.  It is hanging over my head just a little bit, even though everyone has been reassuring me.  I just want it done, then I can relax totally.

This morning I'm going to get the booklet for the meeting finalized and get a price on printing. I've been too busy to really dig any more into the EPUB thing, but I'll have a couple of weeks before I leave for Hawaii to try once more to crack the code.  In the meantime, I'll publish it as a PDF and people can download that to their iPads and smart phones and laptops and it'll almost be as good.

I didn't knit last night to see if that impacted the pain in my elbow much.  It is still store today and I've got noon knitting, but since I'm going out tonight I'll not be knitting.  I did spend an hour or so playing with my iPad and that seemed to aggravate it as well.  Luckily I'm going for my annual physical when I get back from California so if it's still hurting I can have my doctor take a look at it.

20 December, 2011

Why didn't I have this luck earlier?

I won my matchup last night!  Crazy business but I'm playing again this week and that's all I care about.  Although it would be nice to be in the money.  I have learned a lot this year and hopefully I can take some of these lessons with me next year and actually compete. 

So that was my evening -- football and a little knitting.  My elbow is sore again so there is a direct correlation between knitting and sitting at the computer and the pain in my elbow.  A week away will do me good.  I am leaning towards the computer/mouse connection being the more damaging because I was knitting this weekend and it wasn't really hurting until yesterday afternoon, after a morning on the computer.

Today I will pass a  huge milestone -- 200 miles running since I've been using my Nike iPhone app, which I started using February 7th.  That's only 20 miles a month, but there were a few months in there when I didn't run at all, or very little.  Yesterday I ran down to University Village to pick up a gift for my sister.  That's multi-tasking at its best.  It was a great run after being off for so long.  I get to go again today and again on Thursday.  I'm going to bring my running gear with me to California.  Finally after preaching to my sister for a million years, she has found something that she loves to do - Pilates.  She said that she never really believed me when I said I got hooked on running and I felt bad when I didn't do it.  But now ... now she believes because that's how she feels about Pilates. Her new neighborhood is a wonderful place to run so while she's at her gym I will have a nice run and I won't have to worry about getting lost because my iPhone GPS can guide me back if I lose my way.

It is always funny to be in a foreign country and find English words being used inappropriately.  This is a picture of a restaurant across the street from the place we had brunch -- this is a really nice part of Paris and I am wondering how in the world someone chose this name for their upscale restaurant. 

19 December, 2011

Pictures from Paris

I finally got around to downloading the pictures from my camera onto my iPad on Saturday.  There are quite a few that I love, and that turned out much better than I had anticipated.  One group of photos I took in Hyde Park on a cloudy day that really came out quite well.  Here are two taken in Paris on the Sunday we were there.  In the afternoon we took a walk after brunch and ended up Notre Dame.  And here we are, Emma and myself, posing on the bridge and you can see the nice and clean cathedral behind us.
I was so surprised at how much detail was lost in all the years of grime.  It was, as you can see, just packed that day so we didn't even try to take any pictures closer.  Those tourists are too much for me to battle -- and so we just scooted through on our way to the other side.

And this other picture was taken that evening in the Green Linnet, an Irish pub owned by a friend of mine who used to own the Quiet Man, where I met Emma when I first moved to Paris.  The goofy looking guy behind us is our old friend Remi.
It was early enough in the evening, as you can see.  On this day, I guess is was Sunday the 20th, we had gone to have brunch at a restaurant owned by a friend of Remi, on Blvd. St. Germaine.  It is a champagne bar and restaurant.  Well, you know how I love champagne -- I was all over that!  However, it left much to be desired in the way of a brunch.  And it's not that I'm a huge egg eater, but .. there were no eggs!  No quiche.  No scrambled eggs nor Benedict.  But the champagne cocktails were out of this world.  And the weather -- as you can see, cloudless and we were actually quite warm in our coats.  It was chilly in the shadows but nearly 60 in the sunshine.  Because Emma and I had been such naughty girls Friday night we were much too "tired" to hang out and gossip with Eoghan on Saturday evening, instead heading to the hotel around 11 pm.  But we promised to come on Sunday and gossip with him until the wee hours, which is what we did.  He is such a sweetheart and was trying to talk me into staying for Thanksgiving, because they were doing a big football/Thanksgiving party.  But I had plans, so me made me promise to do it next year.  He and his wife and daughter take a house in the south of France in the spring every year and they always invite me to come stay with them.  I would dearly love to do so, but it's going to be difficult this year.  Not impossible -  nothing is impossible - but ..... we'll see.

I had a nice weekend and did, indeed, manage to finally kick this cold.  Even the lingering little cough is gone gone gone!  Saturday was a beautiful day and my friend Monika needed company on a drive to Port Townsend to pick up something at an art gallery, so Tink and I accompanied her and we had a very nice day.  I had lots of time to finish a cashmere beanie and to start a beret, and we had a couple of nice little walks around the town and lunch.  I got home in time for the Saturday night football game - not a normal NFL night, but a bonus.

And Sunday -- the big football day.  As of the end of the day I am only 5.5 points behind my opponent!  And for the game tonight I have two players -- one on each team -- and he has one player.  He decided to bench Rothlesberger because nobody knew if he was going to play, and IF he plays he is going to be hobbled.  I have a running back in this game, one of the best in the league.  If they go with a second string QB you can bet he won't be chucking the ball down the field, but rather handing it off to good old reliable Rashard Mendenhal.  I could win this thing!  I'm pretty excited.

Three times I will be able to run this week and I am going to do it.  Today, tomorrow and Thursday.  Today I need to check on a gift for my sister at University Village, so that will be a perfect place to run to, do the shopping and run back.  It should be a good run.  I'm looking forward to it!

16 December, 2011

Hello Friday

What is normally an easy and stress less month has turned into just the opposite but it looks like we are now over the worst of it, thank goodness. Things would be perfect if I could get a good run or two going but I think that will have to wait a few more days. I am working from home today in an effort to stop the return of the dreaded cold. I was veat congested all yesterday afternoon and through the night. We had a party at work yesterday then I had a meeting downtown and after that I headed home and made another batch of delicious soup. I am going to keep warm today, drink lots of juice and kick this thing once and for all! I think I will start the day with a homemade eggnog latte. The cold weather has disappeared for now and it is just gloomy. I am looking forward to Hawaii almost as much as seeing my sister for Christmas. Well I had better start my day.

15 December, 2011

My disgusting little dog

I love Tinkerbell, and so does everyone.  She is sweet and cute.  But also she's a terrier and she loves nothing more than to roll on the ground and hopefully get something really stinky on her.  She exceeded even her wildest dreams yesterday evening, I am sure.  We got back from our early evening walk and when I got into the apartment I immediately smelled poo.  My first thought was that she had gone in the house while I was at work, so I looked around and found nothing.  But then I turned back to her and noticed that her left front side, from shoulder to paw, was covered in poo!!!  I was speechless.  I threw off my coat as I ran down the hall and started filling the bath, grabbed the rubber gloves and caught her before she got it on anything else.  Two full baths later she was out and drying off.  Then I had to clean the bathtub thoroughly, and finally it was my turn for a shower.  But by that time the water was just barely warm.  At least I got her clean.  And oh how I HATE those slobs who don't clean up after their dogs!!!  Lazy idiots.  The only time I don't pick up after her is if she does her business in the ivy where it falls into the dirt below and you can't get it.  People ... grrrrr ...

Even though I thought I'd finish that hat during noon knitting it took much longer than I had thought it would -- I guess because I'm using small-ish needles.  I got it finished up last night and all the ends woven in.  It is a luxurious hat and I'm sure either one of them will love it.  I'll start the second one tonight.   I love cashmere yarn.  That gorgeous halo and soft soft hand. 

I noticed yesterday afternoon the absence of pain from my right elbow!  Yay! I was a bit concerned that the knitting would keep it sore but it's barely even registering today, and I am grateful for that.  And grateful that it's Thursday.  Only one more week and a day and I'm off to California and warmth and fun.  Next week is going to be a looong one, especially after these last two very very busy ones. 

14 December, 2011

The problem with those sweaters

I was saying that I was looking forward to being able to wear the winter sweaters I have knit over these past few years and I am wearing one today as a matter of fact.  But what I have noticed is that my knitting style has changed considerably as I have gotten more experience.  The sweaters I would knit in those early days were definitely winter sweaters and they are knit in heavy yarn at a large gauge.  That means bulky with little or no shape.  Warm?  Yes.  Flattering?  Probably not.  Cute?  Sure.

There seems to be yet another round of colds going around and many who had the first nasty virus have succumbed to this new one.  Oh I do NOT want to get sick again.  And so I will not.  There is no room for being sick in these next weeks.  I have a big day today, a big meeting downtown tomorrow and then I have to get ready for my trip to California ... and that other exam. [ I am managing to keep the panic at bay by reminding myself of the logic that they wouldn't wait 3 weeks if there was anything really obvious and it's just a precautionary thing.  And that mostly works.]  One hat is nearly finished and I should be able to get it done at noon knitting today and I will start another tonight.  I did a tiny bit of Christmas shopping on line yesterday.  I will be in good shape before I leave.

Vegetable soup is very  much in the forefront of my mind since I made that lovely batch of potato leek soup. Unfortunately my immersion blender broke so I ordered a new one and I've been waiting for it to arrive so I could make some more soup.  I got a message from the shipper that it was going to be delayed so I have been waiting and waiting for a notice from my apartment managers to tell me a package had arrived.  Finally this morning I checked the tracking and it was delivered last Friday!!  I could have made soup on the weekend!  This weekend for sure.

13 December, 2011

I did it!

I can hardly believe it myself, but I'm in the fantasy football playoffs, although the consolation playoffs, which means I won't win any money.  But at this point it's all about bragging rights.  One of my  nephews made it as well and the other did not -- the one I beat this week.  My next matchup is a tough one.  My opponent has the QB of one of my main scorers.  So that means that every time my guy gets points, so does his QB.  But ... I have a player on the opposing team as well so if it comes down to the wire, to this Monday night game, I should have the edge.  It is going to make watching football extra fun this week.

I've been putting those odd skeins of cashmere to good use these past couple of days and have started a hat for one of my  nephews who had complained about losing the other one I made him years ago.  I was working on it while I was proctoring the exam yesterday, which was a mistake because I couldn't concentrate and ended up having to tink back twice.  Since we had the Histo TA dinner last night I didn't knit at all, but I should be able to finish, or nearly finish, tonight.  I don't have much time.  I've been so busy lately, and still have a couple of time consuming and important things to finish this week, that I haven't given Christmas any thought at all!  I will have more time next week once I get this one project out of my hair.  Then I will have a week in LA with my sister and the guys to think about.  I am looking forward to that.

It was very very cold again this morning.  I am happy that the ventilation has finally been fixed in my office so that I can dress appropriately.  Last year it was like an oven in here and I spent my days in summer tops!  It made dressing for the office a bit difficult because I had to dress for the weather to get to work and then dress for the tropics to be at work.  Now this year I can wear all my nice sweaters that I've knit over the years.

12 December, 2011

Get that energy away from me!

Friday was an absolutely ridiculous day.  There is a woman I am working with this quarter whose energy is sometimes palpable.  She comes storming ... well, as far as you can storm into a closet ... into my office, eyelids twitching, asking questions and making comments nonstop, never waiting for an answer.  And everything is last minute with her.  She is all about the last minute which has been making my life a misery because she expects me to jump right into her crazy soup with her.  Add into that a couple of other large and immediate projects and you have a Friday that couldn't end soon enough.  Before noon I had a chance to look at myself in the mirror and I had already rubbed all the makeup off my face.  Not a good sign.  I made it through alive, everything done and feeling like I'd run a marathon.  All I wanted to do was go home, take Tink for a nice walk in the waning sunshine, take a shower and crawl into bed with a book.   Which is basically what I did.  Unfortunately I had made plans with a girlfriend to go out to listen to some music.  We hadn't made definite plans and because all craziness during the week I had, unfortunately, forgotten about it.  I felt terrible, but I truly could not have dragged myself out for anything.  She was very nice about it and we're going to get together this coming weekend instead.

Saturday was cold and Tink and I didn't have a huge long walk, but a good one. I was feeling a little off Saturday,  but went out into the world to run my errands and came home to finish up my convertible mittens, which I did finally by 4 o'clock Saturday.  I just couldn't warm up though.  I took Tink for another walk and then when I got back I decided to have a nice, hot bath.   I had gotten some gorgeous oil at Harrods and the woman who sold it to me said it is nice in a bath, so that's what I did.  The smell is out of this world!  So yummy.  Unfortunately this bathtub leaves much to be desired.  I have only used this tub once or twice since I moved in, so I forget that it is not a comfortable bath.  You can't recline because the back is flat rather than sloped.  Stupid design.  I ended up laying on my stomach so I could submerge myself and get warm. 

I won my fantasy matchup this weekend, beating another of my nephews.  The Seahawks are on Monday night football tonight and some of the other guys have players in this game, so I won't know until tomorrow.  BUT ... I might be in the consolation playoffs.  This is an extremely close and competitive league.  It doesn't usually come down to the last game like this.  And to think I almost threw in the towel a few weeks ago!

I don't know what I was thinking about being able to run three times this week. I'll be luck if I get two times in. Today I have an exam to proctor starting at noon, tomorrow is a staff lunch, Wednesday is knitting and Thursday is another lunch.  I might be able to sneak away Thursday before the party.  I'm going to try.  I need to run so I don't go any crazier!!

09 December, 2011

Yummy cold weather indulgence

This is one of those mornings that had eggnog latte written all over it.  It's cold and misty and frosty and Friday! And it is hitting the spot. And it will be another busy day.  With all of the time I've been spending on my computer lately my elbow is hurting again a lot!  While I was on vacation for some reason my elbow started aching.  I think .. I'm pretty sure it was from dragging around that heavy suitcase.  From what I've been able to ascertain it is mostly likely tennis elbow,  tendinitis.  I need to not use it my arm which, at this point, is absolutely ridiculous.  I think that once I can get off the computer for a couple of days though it should calm down considerably, especially if I take Naproxen faithfully.   The majority of the word processing chores for the meeting booklet I finished yesterday and this morning I need to do a little formatting of the Histo final exam and then the worst is over for a while.  Oh, I am SO glad it's Friday!

I need the mittens I've been working on but my arm was a little sore last night and I only did a few rows.  I should be able to finish them easily this weekend.  And get my coat back from the dry cleaners and zip that lining into it!  I need it - this morning it's below freezing, although it looks like it's going to be a beautiful, sunny day.  I won't be able to get out to run again.  That's okay.  Next week I will be able to get out there at least three times and the following week I should be able to do a normal week.

But now ... nose to the grindstone.  

08 December, 2011

No chocolate chips in fruit cake!

I had another of those delicious little fruit cakes but this one .... hmmmm .. it had chocolate chips!  The cake was wonderful but the addition of chocolate chips just made it wrong.  Two more to go.  The mince tarts are still safe and snug, just waiting for the right moment.

I had to break down and put the down comforter on my bed last night.  It is so cold!  Also dark, of course, being that time of year.  It is all I can do to stay out of the bed, especially when I'm in such a stressed state.  All I want to do is climb into my cozy bed and read, which I did last night but at least I managed to stay up until 9 before I did it!  I worked on the convertible mittens, doing the hardest bit, which is starting the top. 

There is too much work to do and not enough time to do it, all of a sudden.  This is truly unusual for me but at least I'm good at prioritizing.  And one of the first things I need to get done today is get my tickets for Hawaii squared away.  Then I'll have that to look forward to as I fight my way through December.  I don't even think I'm going to be able to run today because of appointments with students.  That always helps.  I'll have to make sure I get it done tomorrow.

I started a new audiobook today - the first in the Shardlake series.  I finished "The Marriage Plot" yesterday on the way home.  It was a sad book.  I didn't want to take any chances with another sad book, so this is perfect.

06 December, 2011

iPhone Scrabble vs iPad Scrabble

Here's what I don't get ... the iPhone Scrabble game is far superior to the iPad version!  It just shouldn't be that way!  The iPad is a much better experience for Scrabble.  The screen is bigger, easier to move tiles around, etc.  But you don't have any of the really wonderful and fun features of the iPhone version.  By far my favorite difference is the Teacher, which you can turn on or off.  I always keep it on and each time I play a word it will show me what the best word is that I could have played, unless I play the best word.  It is programmed with a few facial expressions so you can tell right off the bat if you've played the best word because it will grin, but if you miss an obvious 7-letter word it looks disgusted and there are several other expressions between.  My game has definitely improved since I started using this feature.  Another one that iPhone has and iPad does not is the ability to choose the dictionary you want to use -- either the official Scrabble dictionary or a different dictionary, and I'm not at all sure which it is.  I always use the official Scrabble dictionary.  And the final huge difference is the ability to play remotely with real people rather than always with the computer.  On the iPhone can you just start a game with a random person who also wants to play.  If you sign in with Facebook or something you can play people you know, but so far I just play with strangers.  Maybe I'll write to the developers and encourage them to fix that iPad version!

I am VERY glad that the technician at my exam last week told me I would most likely be called back for another look because that's what happened yesterday.  I am not freaked out about it -- well, not much -- because she made it clear that with the change from film to digital it is almost always the case that the doctor wants to have another look and it happened to a friend of mine as well.  Also, they won't be able to see me until December 23rd and if it was something obvious they wouldn't let me wait.  So it's not going to be easy to not worry about it, but at least I'm not frantic!

I can't seem to catch my breath at work.  I am crazy busy.  Hopefully things will slow down a bit next week so I can get organized before my Christmas holiday and the start of next quarter.  I wish I didn't have to go to this meeting this morning.  I could use the time for other things.

Not so bad after all

I was a little scared about running yesterday, thinking it was going to hurt and that I wouldn't be able to do it without stopping.  That was not the case however.  I had a great run!  I was only 30 seconds off pace, which I think is fantastic considering it's been about six weeks.  My legs were strong and only the slightest bit sore this morning, and my wind was just fine!  I have a meeting today at lunchtime so it's going to be Thursday before I can go again, but at least I won't be dreading it.

This booklet for the January meeting is just kicking my behind!  I don't do word processing typically,  so when I have to do a project like this it's very slow going.  If I wasn't trying to also make sure it has the proper coding so that I can change it to an EPUB it would be much easier, but if I take the time now while I'm putting it together to tag headings and normal text then it will save me time in the long run.  Once I get the schedule squared away I believe -- I hope -- it will move along a bit faster.  I have a template of the booklet I did in 2007, but then I had much more time.  Ah well, it does wear me out and I have been sleeping like a rock.

It is just so very cold!  I only did a few rows on those mittens last night and I've got to buckle down and get them done this week.  I had to use my lovely pink gloves for dog walking yesterday evening because I just couldn't take the numb thumbs.  These convertible mittens will be very warm.  It is difficult to do some things with covered thumbs, like manipulate the dog waste bags, but it is worth the trouble. 

Although there are four of us in my fantasy league with the same (terrible) record, I am last because I also have the fewest points.  This week, week 14, is the last week of regular play.  The last two weeks of the regular NFL season are the play offs for fantasy leagues and there is no way I am going to be in the play offs.  I gave it a good run though and it's been lots of fun, especially when I was winning.

I had a nice chat with my sister last night.  She's flying me to California for my Christmas present!  yay!  I was not looking forward to Christmas alone, so that put me in a fantastic mood last night.  I ate one of my little fruit cakes to celebrate and it was SO good!  Mince tarts are still in the box.  Maybe I'll take them with me.  I don't have to worry about sharing because nobody else likes them but me ... and some crazy Brit who won't be around anyway.  ;-)

05 December, 2011

The hits just keep on coming!

I thought I had found every instance of inappropriate behaviors on the part of my recent house sitter, but I had a couple more surprises this weekend.  He used my razor!!  I noticed something odd about it in the shower and picked it up off the rack and saw gross grey hairs!!  Unbelievable!!  Of course that went right into the trash.  And, finally (I hope), I brought the vacuum out to use it on Sunday.  It is the type of machine that has clear dust and filter containers and I could see that both filters were completely clogged with dirt and dust and the bin also full of dirt.  Now I can tell you for a fact that couldn't have come from my apartment.  Not a chance.  He must have taken my vacuum somewhere and cleaned something, because he sure didn't use it in my apartment.  Here's the thing though -- don't we all learn that if we borrow someone's tools, or anything for that matter, you bring them back clean?  I just hope this is the last of the surprises around this house sitting stint.

Other than that, it was a pretty good weekend.  Saturday was cloudy and cold, but I woke up early and Tink and I got out and had a nice long walk before I went out to do my errands.  Then I cleaned house and finally sat down and finished that cowl.  I hate it, by the way.  But that's another story.  I had started a pair of convertible mittens before I went on my trip and forgot about them.  But I can't walk the dog using my pretty pink gloves and my other convertible mitts don't have enclosed thumbs which I am finding I need these days, since it is really cold.  I found the start of the mittens and worked on them a bit.  I also made an awesome pot of potato leek soup.  It was SO good!!  I'm going to make that again soon.

Sunday was spectacular, weather wise.  I slept in late and didn't get out until after 9.  It was bright sunshine, not a cloud in the sky.  We walked and walked and I got home right after the first football games had started.  I had the longest winning streak in the fantasy league -- 4 games.  Unfortunately my streak is over.  It was very close but as luck would have it, my opponent had Aaron Rogers for his QB, I had the Packers defense and one of their best receivers.  Plus one of my other guys was listed as playing but did not play after all.  It came right down to the wire though.  It was a good game.

This week I have got to finish up that booklet for the Hawaii meeting.  It occurred to me that I shouldn't be wasting time at this point learning how to turn it into an EPUB.  What I need to do it get it printed and then do that.  How could I have messed up my priorities so thoroughly?  Well no matter.  I'm back on track and if I can get some quality time this week I should have it done and printed by the middle of next week.

02 December, 2011

Happy Birthday!!

Every year on this day I send a Happy Birthday message up and away. xxxoooxoxo

I am so glad it's Friday

I was just useless yesterday!  I couldn't ever seem to wake up.  I feel a lot better today, thankfully.  I have tons of work to do. 

Last night I watched the Seahawks crush the Eagles -- they may get a playoff spot after all -- and worked on the every present cowl.  I am going to finish that tonight or tomorrow at the latest and get it out of my sight!  I have got to move on to other things.

When I was on my trip I didn't really buy anything for myself with the exception of a few edible goodies.  At Fornum and Mason's I bought some miniature fruitcakes and some ginger biscuits, which I got into last night and they are really good.  But my big score came at the airport when I was picking up a couple of thank you gifts at the Duty Free shop.  A box of mince tarts.  And oh, not just any mince tarts mind you.  These are Walker's luxury mince tarts.  Oh yeah.  They are in the pantry, which I open four or five times a night to get dog cookies or something.  I have resisted so far.  There are only six of them.  I suspect I will be able to hold off for a couple more weeks.  I hope.

This weekend is going to be full of chores.  I think I will give Tink a very long walk tomorrow and then spend the rest of the day doing chores so I can have all of Sunday to rest up and get my mind around the fact that I've got to start running on Monday.  I don't think the house sitter did a lick of cleaning while he was there so needless to say the place is a mess and I haven't had the energy to tackle it this week.  But I must on Saturday.  And I want to make some soup too. Emma cooked some delicious vegetable soup and ever since then I've been craving potato leek soup.  That would be a good reward for hard work on Saturday.

Oh, and speaking of the house sitter,  I got an email from him last night.  He was going through his mail and guess what he found?  Yup.  My laundry card.  And he was oh so sure he had left it on the table and I just wasn't seeing it.  ha! 

01 December, 2011

My shameful little secret

I am having such a hard time waking up today!  I had an extremely busy and somewhat stressful day yesterday and instead of doing chores after work I just loafed on the couch, had dinner and went to bed early to read.  Unfortunately I fell asleep almost immediately and so woke up at the ungodly hour of 5 am, all rested up.  But it's cold and foggy and dark and I am inclined to put my head down on my desk for a  nap.  Of course it's not going to happen, but I could probably drop off.  I must make myself stay up later tonight or I'll be in the same place tomorrow morning.

It is very dark now in the early evening.  I take Tink for a walk as soon as I get home and then again around 7 or 8.  Usually after my shower I put on jeans or sweats but lately I've been putting on my flannel jammy bottoms.  They are so cozy and comfy and warm.  And while I think that going out in public in flannels is absolutely the height of slovenly behavior, I have these past couple of evenings taken Tink for her final walk in my flannels!!  But it is SO dark, and nobody is out in the garden, all blinds are drawn ... nobody sees me.  I still feel guilty though. 

Truly I was planning on starting back up running today but I have SO much to do and I have to bring Tink with me tomorrow since I have a 4:30 hair appointment so I couldn't do it tomorrow anyway .... so I have given myself permission to be a slob for the rest of this week and then next week right back to work.  No more excuses.  Really.  I'm serious.

The Seahawks are playing a Thursday night game against the Eagles tonight, televised on ESPN.  The Eagles lost their quarterback for a few games so we might have a chance to win this one.  Unfortunately the Seahawks are not going to be in the playoffs this year and nobody expected them to be, with the new quarterback and young line.  I will watch the game and try my best to get finished with that stupid cowl!