31 May, 2012

100% humidity

Also known as rain. It's going to be a soggy outing at lunchtime if it doesn't lighten up.  No matter, I've got to get out and run today.  I really need the endorphins.  It's not that cold, thankfully.  I've got my old biking jacket and a baseball cap to wear if it's still raining hard when the time comes.  I got another check for the dinner and golf tournament - that's two to go into the bank today!  That's pretty good but I've got a way to go yet before I can relax about it.  Now I know why the other woman would get so wound up over this event.  People don't commit until the very last minute and you're left holding the bag for 20 greens fees and a catering bill. 

It is so hard to wake up when it's gloomy like this for days on end!  And I didn't sleep well last night because of my allergies.  For some reason ... I guess something I am particularly allergic to, duh .... I was awake and sneezing and coughing around 1.  That so rarely happens to me, but when it does it's very disruptive.  I had to get up and get some water, take a Benadryl and wait until I could breath again.  Crazy!  I am glad to know I'm not the only one who is suffering particularly this spring.  My boss was talking about it yesterday as well.  The cotton woods are nearly done and then I should be back to normal.  And speaking of back to normal .... my eye is almost there!  Almost all the swelling has gone down.  It's still a bit itchy but much better.

Yesterday afternoon I finished the weaving in of ends and binding off of pockets and neck on my cardigan.  I took it up last night to start sewing the pockets onto the body but really couldn't get into it, so I put it aside and I'll take it to my friend's knitting lunch on Saturday.  That way I can have company while I do the most tedious of chores.  I broke my yarn diet yesterday and splurged on two skeins of Dream in Color Starry to make a scarf for my sister.  It's a gorgeous deep teal and the pattern is for a fringed scarf exactly the style my sister has been looking for.  It will be well worth the splurge if she likes the pattern.  And if  not, I can keep it.  So knowing that was on its way I couldn't justify starting that Henley I want to do, so I took up the yarn and needles that I've been carrying with me on my last few trips and cast on for either socks or gloves.  They both start the same way and now when I travel I'll have something already started that I can pick up and knit on.  I wonder if that'll make any difference? 

Now my chore today is to banish the gloom.  Gloom-B-Gone.  I'll find some somewhere!

30 May, 2012

I was misinformed

I had somehow gotten an idea from who knows where that the book I just finished, "Pompeii" was part of a trilogy.  Not true.  The author has more books on Rome and so maybe that was where the confusion came from.  I have gotten lots of good recommendations so it's not a big deal and I might still try another of his books. I was going to download something to read for my proctoring session yesterday but instead just kept an eagle eye on the students and let my mind wander, the professor in the back of the room and me in the front.  We would occasionally change positions.  Aaaaand, that was my afternoon.

The weather really didn't get decent until early evening after Tink and I had our after work walk, and this morning it's cloudy again with even a little sprinkle.  It doesn't matter for today since I'll be in at lunch, but tomorrow I've got to take another check for the reunion/tournament up to the bank so I would like it to at least not be raining.  I'd like to walk up there and then run back.  That's a nice outing and I get a different run on those days.  Even though I am going mostly downhill back to work, there are parts that are elevated and I have to be forced to run hills, since I hate it so much.  It's enough of a change that I might get some soreness.

I never did start the finishing on my cardigan last night.  Tink was in a play ball mood and I was involved in watching the 2nd Sherlock episode.  Only one more left on my recorded.  But I've brought the cardigan in to noon knitting and I can get a lot done in an hour there, chatting with the ladies.

I heard rumors yesterday about some changes being proposed to our curriculum.  This has been going on for a year or so, but the rumor I am most interested is the one that would make it convenient for me to travel in September again!  It won't be this year, I know.  But it's something nice to look forward to.  Right now I'm looking forward to my meeting in Portland at the end of June - not that exciting.  But then off to California and Arizona and that could be fun.  And then?  I do not know.  But something.

29 May, 2012

A tasty treat

That seems to describe me these days.  My mosquito bites had just disappeared when I got hit again.  This time by I don't know what right underneath my left eyebrow, causing my eye to swell, plus I've got two additional bites on my forehead right above it!  I had been up at Gregg's Sunday afternoon to do some singing and then he had a BBQ in his backyard.  It happened sometime while I was there - probably when his wife was giving me a tour of the garden, because I remember being bothered by my forehead before we went outside to eat.  It's very annoying and I look like I've been beaten!  But we did have a good time and worked on three songs.  I think it's been a year since I've sung, so I didn't last very long before I started going hoarse.  We're going to get together again this weekend.  He's got a new place for us to do an open mike to try out new songs plus he thinks he's got a line on someone who would book us.  But that's a ways down the road.

My long weekend was moderately productive.  The weather was decent, but not ever really warm.  Saturday was the best day and Tink had a couple of really nice walks.  I spend a good part of the day lazing around reading, which is always a lovely way to spend an afternoon.  I finished "Pompeii" on Sunday.  Thankfully there was only one slave torturing part in the book.  The rest was just wonderful and I'm going to get another of that author's books.  Sunday before I went to Gregg's I had to go over to my house, where my real estate agent was having the first open house.  That wasn't very pleasant but it had to be done and I didn't have to stay long, just fill out and sign some papers.  It is such a wonderful house.  I really loved that house.  Oh well.  Let's hope it gets sold quickly because Pamela is going to have her hands full trying to keep that place ready to be seen at all times.

On Saturday I had to do a little shopping and picked up a couple of really cute summer tops.  I was planning on Monday being my chore day - laundry and such, plus closet cleaning.  So while the laundry was going I headed in to start the purge when I realized ... ah!  I don't have any big bags!  That must be why the last time I did it I just put the clothes into the storage closet rather than taking them to the bin.  So no closet cleaning.  Yes, I guess I could have gone to the store and gotten some bags but all I needed was a little push in the other direction.  So I did some more work on my cardigan - actually I've been using the wrong name for the pattern.  It's the Elsie cardigan.  By the end of the evening yesterday I had finished all the knitting and 3 needle bind off of the shoulders.  Now comes tucking in the ends and putting everything together.  I'll start with the ends tonight. 

I had finished watching the 3rd episode of the first season of the Masterpiece Mystery version of Sherlock Holmes on Sunday night so last night I watched the first episode of this current season which I have recorded on my TV.  I just LOVE that series!  I sure hope they do more.  The first episode was just awesome.  I especially liked the last line ... "Not the woman.  THE woman".  Ahhhhhh ...

So here it is Tuesday - gotta love the short week!  I won't be able to run today though because I've got to proctor an exam starting at 12:30, and tomorrow is noon knitting.  But Thursday and Friday I will and I'll be turning over 300 miles this week!  Can you believe it?  Amazing. I sure hope we get some nice weather this week, because even if it's raining I'm going to be running.  The cotton wood should be almost done falling, especially since it was raining last night and this morning.  Let's hope anyway.  I hate that stuff!

25 May, 2012

The gateway to summer

Here we are, heading into Memorial Day Weekend.  This is the weekend when everyone takes out the BBQ and officially starts summer, even though it's not actually summer for another few weeks.  As many times as not, the weekend is cold and wet, but it looks like we're going to luck out and have decent weather this weekend for a change.  And good news too, because my house is officially on the market today!  Through Herculean efforts, my real estate agent and contractor have gotten the house into great shape - back to where it was when I left.  Fingers crossed it goes this weekend and I can take a tiny step towards getting myself back on track.

As much as it felt like Friday yesterday, it is even quieter around here today since I suspect more than a few people are getting a jump on the long weekend and the students are studying for their final exam on Tuesday or just enjoying the sunshine.  I heard the office will be closing early today so I'm going to sneak out with the rest and have a nice long evening.  I think I'll give Tinkie an especially long post-work walk, have a nice shower and take myself out for a drink and maybe some food too.

Besides waiting around to hear good news about my house, I've got a few things on this weekend, most notably going up to Gregg's on Sunday to sing and talk about which songs we want to get together for our next gig, whenever that turns out to be.  And since I'll have all this extra time - an entire day - I really should tackle my closets and do a big clean out.  I should, I really really should.  I'll have to come up with a good carrot.

I noticed the cotton woods are blooming and the air is full of that fluff.  I only walked yesterday, but it was a huge long one up to the bank, then Trader Joe's and then back to work -- 1 1/2 hours.  Today I'll have a run.  It's so nice outside even with the fluff floating around.  I'll just breath around it.  heh

24 May, 2012

The big mystery

Yesterday afternoon as I was checking for mail I heard one of the women in the office complaining of her mosquito bites.  And oddly I had noticed some myself that morning.  One on my shoulder blade - a bit awkward, that one, and a couple on my my knee and ankle.  Only I can't figure out where they came from.  Yes, I sleep with my windows open, but they are screened and I've checked the screens for holes and they have none.  There is a marshy area ... or rather marshy areas ... on parts of our daily walks so I suspect that must be where I am getting bit.  It seems a early for that kind of action but it has been extraordinarily wet lately.

Noon knitting was very productive for me, getting 12 of the 16 rows done that I need to before I start the shaping, but I was more in the mood for a good read than knitting last night after dinner, so I turned my phone off and got comfy and read for a couple of hours.  I decided to start  with "Pompeii" because this is the first of a trilogy and if I like it then I will have two more to look forward to.  It starts well, although I'm not all that keen on the torturing of slaves.  Otherwise, so far so good.  But because I had my phone off I missed a call from my real estate agent.  I heard the message this morning and it's good news -- the house is going on the market!  Perfect weekend for it too, since it's a long weekend and it should be nice most of it.  Fingers crossed we get multiple offers!

I need to send out a reminder to my reunion dinner/golf tournament people.  I got another check today, which is good and another name -- people are pretty laid back about registering and the checks are coming in dribs and drabs.  Oh well, it's a good excuse to walk to the bank and today since I'm up that way I can stop into Trader Joe's, which is my favorite specialty grocery store.  It's not one I am willing to visit on the weekends because parking is a nightmare and it's always so crowded.  If I can go at lunchtime on a weekday it's much better.  I can't pick up any frozen things, but today I can get some live basil and my new favorite things -  individual brie cheese "bites" that I just lllllove!  They also have a good flower selection but that will have to wait.

Here's another Thursday that feels like a Friday.  And it's super quiet because the students are getting ready for finals.  I proctor the last one next Tuesday.  I need to dig deep and get productive.  I am going to start writing a manual today for the new Histo slide viewer I put together.  The annotation system is incredibly difficult to decipher even for me, so imagine the faculty trying it out.  This way if I put together a manual I can save myself hours of frustrating one on one.  I am not a good teacher.  Seriously.  It's best if we acknowledge our shortcomings and move on, right?  But if I can have a little description typed out for them things should run more smoothly and there will be less frustration from all.  Or at least that's my hope.

23 May, 2012

Step 1

I've finally got the name change thing rolling along.  It's easy to change names on credit cards and things, but it's more time consuming and complicated to do the driver's license, Social Security and passport name change.  This morning I took the bus down to the lawyer's office to pick up a certified copy of my decree, which specifies the name change as well.  As luck would have it, my lawyer was coming into the building just as I was arriving, so we had a very nice talk.  I feel pretty good about where things are, and I'm content to just wait for the next step, whenever that comes about.  From there I went to the DMV, where there was no waiting!  It's a miracle.  Now in about two weeks when my new license arrives I can do step 2, the Social Security office, and then passport..... although maybe I can do my passport before I actually get my license.  I should look into that a bit more.

I got some good book suggestions.  Keep 'em coming.  So far I've been recommended Robert Harris' "Pompeii", and "Playing for Pizza", which is about American football in Italy.  Both sound like they'd be perfect for my taste.

I woke up early this morning, shivering!  It is cold again!  So cold in fact that I had to wear gloves when I took Tink for her walk after work yesterday.  And today I wore my black trench coat with the lining still zipped in.  Amazing.  However, we are supposed to be getting more seasonal temperatures later this week.  Bad weather be damned, I HAD to have my shot of endorphins yesterday so I ran in the rain.  At least it wasn't pouring, but it was coming down steadily.  My hair looked absolutely crazy all through the afternoon.  Like I had put my finger into a light socket.  It was worth it though.  That and the talk with my lawyer this morning have raised my spirits greatly.  It would be nice to add a little sunshine as well but we can't have everything, can we?  Are you sure?

I didn't feel like knitting at all last night, but I've got noon knitting today and only 16 more rows to go on the back before I start the shaping.  I should be able to get five or so rows done, I hope. 

22 May, 2012

More gloom

Oh this rain!  It is driving me crazy!  It poured all day yesterday and I had to go to the bank at lunch.  Thank goodness I had worn my boots but even with an umbrella I was wet.  It lightened up just a bit on my way home but started pelting down in earnest when I got off the bus.  Nevertheless Tink has to have her walk, so I changed into a hooded jacket and put her little rain coat on her.  By the time we got back downstairs the heavy rain had turned into a cloud burst.  It was very  much like the one I endured from Paddington Station to my hotel in London in April.  I was assuming it would pass quickly, but it did not and Tink was having none of it.  She set her feet after about 5 minutes of this downpour and would not budge.  I think that has happened maybe once before in all her eight years with me.  There was nothing else to do - I had to turn back around and go home.  Poor little thing!  I don't blame her.  Even with her protection she was soaked to the skin, as was I.    It was not as pleasant an experience as April.  No handsome man to dry off with.

I've really been in a reading mood lately.  I finished my book on Saturday and I was a bit disappointed with it.  It's a new author for me and while I did learn quite a bit about the Oxford and Cambridge boat race, I was not otherwise impressed with the story.  I guessed the outcome well before the end, which is not a good thing.  Three of the authors I do enjoy have new books coming out, but not for months.  So, if you've got any suggestions, send them my way.

Since I had nothing to read I had no excuses and worked a good bit on the back of the Mirasol cardigan.  Sixteen more rows to go, then I do the neck shaping and then I only have the left front.  This project does have a good bit of finishing work - sewing the sleeves in and the pockets as well as edging.  I hope my enthusiasm doesn't wane.

21 May, 2012

A little more productive weekend

Last Friday that sinus headache did not get any better.  I finally threw in the towel around noon and went home.  I took some pain medicine and reclined on the couch alternating reading with a warm cloth over my face.  Somewhere around 4 I started feeling like the lightening bolts behind my eyes were lightening up and I felt somewhat better.  What a beast that was!  Over 24 hours.   So it was a very relaxed evening.  A little reading, a little phone time. 

I woke up early on Saturday morning.  It was sunny and nice outside and Tink was ready to get going, so we were up and out at 8.  The forecast said the sun was not going to last so we got out there and soaked it up while we could with a nice long walk.  I was back from the grocery store and had my laundry in by 10:30!  I was really fast.  So I worked through a few other chores.  By 2 o'clock the only thing left was Tink's bath and I figured I would put that off to Sunday in case it rained.  Closet cleaning?  I just didn't have the right mood going for that.  So I finished my book and worked on the back part of the Mirasol Cardigan.  After dinner I had a nice talk with my friend Gregg, who was supposed to be getting a band together for us but some family issues came up so I think we've lost our tentative drummer.  Which is no loss as far as I'm concerned since I didn't want him in the first place.  We made a date to get together next Sunday afternoon/evening -- which is great because the Monday is a holiday.

As predicted, yesterday was a soggy rainy day.  Too bad, because it was the University District Street Fair weekend, but it's generally a rotten weekend anyway.  It's rare they ever get a break.  I didn't even drive by.  after our wet morning walk and breakfast I headed out for a manicure and pedicure and to pick up some body cream at the mall.  I was home by 1 and just took it easy for a while.  Around 3 I took Tink for another longh-ish walk and then brought her straight in for her much needed bath.  She looks so beautiful when she's clean and brushed.  And also since it was cold again I made a pot of soup for this week and then cooked a nice dinner while I watched silly TV and knitted.  And then popped off to bed at 10.  I was going to try to finish watching that episode of Sherlock I have on my iPad, but I was too drowsy.  And now I've got three new episodes on my TV because they are playing the new episodes on the current Masterpiece Mystery show.  I will eke them out over the week I think.

I should run today since I missed last Friday and if it's pouring rain I'm just not in the mood.  Crazy May.

18 May, 2012

Old dog, new trick!

When I moved into this apartment .. 14 months ago!! .. I bought a "porch potty" for Tinkerbell, which is essentially a tray with a piece of perforated plastic between it and a piece of artificial turf.  You put absorbent pads in the bottom of the tray and the idea is that the dog uses that patch of grass when the human is unable to take the dog outside.  I had it on the balcony and would from time to time try to get her interested in using it, to no avail.  Last spring she would lay on it in the sun.  Then we had that nasty incident last summer where I found damp patches under the window which I assumed was from a leak but actually turned out to be Tink.  I could never figure out when she would do that - if it was in the middle of the night or while I was gone during the day.  But once I concluded that it was indeed her and had shampooed the carpet a couple of times, I moved the potty patch from outside to just that spot.  Yesterday when I walked in the door I smelled something bad.  The good news is that she used the potty patch!  Since I haven't been checking it every day and since it's been very nice and the doors and windows have been open and the fan going, I am not sure exactly when she did this.  Now I will be checking mornings and when I get home to see when she is using it.  But it's just great news that she finally figured it out!  Now I know that if I'm sick, like a couple weeks ago when I had that nasty stomach bug that had me begging for death, I can just send her to the potty patch and forgo the wobbling stroll around the garden. 

As I said, it was chillier yesterday but I did run in my shorts, only I started out with a jacket.  It took a while to get warmed up, but it as a great run.  Today is Bike to Work Day, which means the trail is bound to be full of idiots who don't normally ride.  That'll give my Friday run an extra kick of adrenalin. 

I seriously considered not coming in today.  I have had a sinus headache since yesterday afternoon.  But I didn't want to have to come in this weekend to get my running clothes, so I sucked it up and came in.  I hate sinus headaches.  There doesn't seem to be anything I can take that will work on them.  Except a steam bath.  I laid low yesterday evening.  I had a nice hot shower, which gave me a little relief, then had a couple glasses of wine and watched a little TV and read.  I can't knit when I have a headache like that.  I was sure it would be gone this morning, but no luck.  It's very very quiet around here.  If it's not better after my run maybe I'll skip out early.  It's hard to concentrate when my head hurts like this. 

I MUST work this weekend and spend less time between the pink sheets at my happy place.  I should devote the entire day tomorrow to chores and then I can have Sunday to laze around, get a little pampering maybe.  I need a manicure for sure and if I'm going to be doing chores around the house I'd better do it before I get my nails done!  There's motivation.  Plus, it's not going to be very nice this weekend.

17 May, 2012

The ignorance of the masses

This probably isn't very nice but it's too hilarious not to share.  I was playing DrawSomething and it was my turn to guess.  First of all the person drawing wrote on the screen "some kind of fighting chicken", then erased that and drew what looked like a bull.  We are also given letters so that you can have something to work with if the picture makes no sense.  Well I shuffled and re-shuffled those letters and couldn't come up with anything having to do with fighting OR chickens.  Guess what the word was .... DIABLO.   Diablo!!!  Fighting chicken??? Where did that come from?  I can't stop laughing .... good heavens.

It's cooler today and cloudy.  Since I still haven't done any laundry I am left with my skirt to run in today.  It might be bit chilly to start out but as long  as it's not pouring rain I should be okay.  The two days of rest have done my knee good and I am looking forward to a good run.

I was hoping to be able to start the name changing process this morning.  I am waiting for my official divorce decree, which should have been in yesterday's mail but wasn't.  Maybe today.  When I get that I have to go downtown to first change my name on my driver's license, then to the Social Security office for a new card, and then I can change my  name here at work and get a new passport.  I want to get that going ASAP.  I don't like being without a valid passport.  You just never know when you're going to need it.  I don't like being stuck.  Then I guess I should make a list of all my other things to change - credit cards and insurance and utility bills.  But first things first - I need that official copy!  There used to be a Department of Licensing very near where I live now, but it is used only for driving tests.  If you want to change your name it means going downtown during working hours.  Not very convenient.

I got good feedback at noon knitting and we all agreed that I can do a 3 needle bind off on the shoulders and not impact the integrity of the design in a negative way.  So I got going on the back.  I didn't get much done last night.  The evening got away from me and before I knew it it was 8 o'clock and I still hadn't even started thinking about dinner.  That's too late to start cooking anything like a real meal,  so I ended up with a bowl of cereal for dinner.  I suppose it could have been worse.  I've been in a very weird mood lately.   At least I've been sleeping well.  I am rested and restless.

16 May, 2012

The only problem is ... I can't draw!

I read an article in the  NYT tech section about a game called "Draw Something".  It sounded fun so I downloaded it onto my iPad.  You can play with a random person or link it to your Facebook account.  I gave it a go with a random person.  It is pretty fun, but for me mostly because I can't draw a lick!  I draw like an uncoordinated 8 year old, and that's putting it kindly.  I have a very basic disconnect between visualizing something and drawing it.  When it is your turn to draw you have a choice of three different things, each worth from 1 to 3 points.  I chose one and if I don't have a solid idea in my head of how to represent that in a very basic way I Google it, click on 'image' and then find the simplest image to copy.  It sounds so silly, but I get a laugh out of it.  And it's fun guessing other people's things as well, although I find some players, kids I would imagine, simply spell out the word rather than try to draw something. 

It was a little cooler yesterday than it had been forecast to be, which was fine.  I am a bit disappointed that I didn't get to run though.  My knee was a little tweaky on Monday and it was no better yesterday so I took my own advice, as hard as that was, and instead of running had a nice walk in my running shoes.  And here's the good news this morning - my knee is fine.  It's noon knitting day so it will get another rest, but I should be just fine and ready to go Thursday.

It was a quiet evening at home and I got the entire right side of the cardigan finished.  I have 24 stitches holding for the shoulder and I have brought the project to noon knitting because I want to get some opinions.  I would really like to 3-needle bind off these shoulders rather than do the shaping and then sew them together.  It is ridiculously hard to make that seam look decent and I find it very hard to believe that the small amount of shaping is even worth doing on a garment like this.  But I'm going to ask the experts before I put those stitches on a holder and start on the back.  There could be some detail I'm missing that more experienced eyes could see.

I was finished with knitting rather early and couldn't move on, so I decided to take my iPad to bed and watch some more of the modern Sherlock Holmes.  I had finished the first episode and just started the second, so I dug in and finished watching that. I was going to start my new book after that,  but I wanted  more Sherlock -- so I started into the third episode.  It's quite enjoyable and I love seeing the modern day London streets.  Now I'll have to find out how many episodes were made and where I can get them.  I know it plays on PBS but it doesn't seem to be running now.

It has been a dull, very dull week so far.  I need to shake things up somehow.  Oh something will turn up, won't it?

15 May, 2012

Seattle goes crazy in the sun

It's funny to watch, when the sun finally shows up and spring is here, how people go absolutely crazy for it.  I understand how it can wear you down when it's cloudy and rainy for weeks and weeks.  It was only my good luck that I got to miss the worst week of the year when I was in Hawaii in January.  I didn't have to deal with snow at all this winter!  Yesterday it was gorgeous and very warm and the lawn in front of the Rotunda was full of students eating lunch, faces raised to the sun, when I was coming back from my run.  I walked in behind a woman who had obviously been laying on her front, because the backs of her legs were quite pink.  It's going to be warm today and sunny so I'll be able to run in my shorts again.  And good thing, because I took my running tights home last night, thinking I might get the laundry done, but someone else was using the machines and I didn't feel like dealing with it later.  I will try again tonight.

I got my fan in the perfect spot and spent some time working on the Mirasol.  I started the finishing for the right side.  I got the armhole shaped and I am almost ready to start the neck shaping.  I am so crazy about this yarn.  The drape and color are really gorgeous.

I did make reservations last week for Kelli and I to go from Burbank to Flagstaff and today I've got to get my Seattle to Burbank leg taken care of.  I found a really interesting and beautiful (at least from the pictures) hotel in Flagstaff called Little America.   Of course we all know that pictures of hotels and the actual hotel itself can often be worlds apart.  But it was either this or the Hilton, which didn't look that great.  I thought this would be our best bet.  And it's only 1 1/2 hours to the Grand Canyon from there.  This is going to be a complicated trip because I am going to be in Portland and few days before I leave for Burbank.  I'll get back from Portland on Tuesday night, come to work Wednesday and Thursday and leave again on Thursday night.  It's the Tink sitting that I'm concerned with.  The trip to Burbank is going to be around the 4th of July holiday and Tink, like many dogs, gets very upset with the fireworks.  I guess I'll try the house sitter I last used first and then go from there.

14 May, 2012

A weekend with sun

This was a weekend when nothing got done.  The list of things I had planned to do was long and I got exactly nothing done from it.  I did NOT clean out my closets, nor did I wash the car or go to the driving range.  I didn't even do laundry or a lick of housework!  I did spend a good bit of time lolling about on the couch playing games on my iPad.  I visited the "happy place" a fair amount as well.  Guess what - it does have pink sheets!  Who knew?   And good champagne chilling in the silver bucket.  The windows face northwest so there is no morning sun directly shining on the big windows.  It's quiet and the shower is huge!  Of course, the company is perfect.  Obviously I was self indulgent and slothful all weekend long.  Every day I get closer to the next time I'll really be in my happy place and not just visiting in my head, so in the meantime I'm going to be productive.

The one thing I did do this weekend, besides taking Tink on some long walks, was work on the Mirasol.  I have about an inch more to go before I start the shaping.  Those rows take quite a while to complete because I am doing both sides and back on one circular needle.  I worked my way through a couple episodes of "Once upon a time" and "Desperate Housewives".  I had a little extra time to knit actually because I had dinner plans for Saturday and got unceremoniously stood up!  Can you believe it?  Not even a text.  That's unforgivable in my book. 

Saturday was sunny and warm with a little breeze.  Yesterday was warmer and today it's going to be even warmer still.  I will definitely be running in my shorts today and I'm going to get out there early-ish before it gets really hot.  We might even hit 80 today.

11 May, 2012

Well of course!

Tink woke me up at 1-ish this morning, so I took that opportunity to try an experiment.  After getting her settled I got myself back into bed in my head sandwich position - pillows top and bottom.  Sure enough, I did not wake up at 4 as I have been doing all week.  It occurred to me yesterday that it must be the birds waking me up because that's why I can't go back to sleep.  Yay!  I'm refreshed this morning and good thing too because I think it's going to be a rough day.  I got a notice when I got home that they're power washing the balconies today on my side of the building.  I'm working from home because they need access to the apartment for some reason and all that noise is going to scare Tink.  It's going to annoy me as well, of course.  But I don't want her all freaked out all day without me being around.

I have to confess to suffering a bit from post-vacation blues.  I thought I was going to miss that altogether but it seems not.  I have been spending a great deal of time in my "happy place".  I'm going to cut myself some slack and let it go for now, but come Monday I will make myself snap out of it!

Yesterday evening was quite productive vis a vis the Mirasol Cardigan.  I sat right down after my shower and dug in while I worked my way through a couple of TV episodes.  Only two more inches and then I start the armhole shaping.  I am going to have to do each of the three pieces, left, right and back, separately but since there is no pattern in this portion it's going to be relatively quick.

It's a beautiful morning - sunny and not too warm.  It is supposed to be in the mid-70s all weekend.  I am most likely going to have to get my fan out at some point.  This place gets lots of southern exposure and tends to get  hot and stuffy.

And now I'm going to be as productive as I can until the noise starts.

10 May, 2012

What is going on at 4 AM?

Now this is really starting to bother me.  I woke up again this morning at 4 AM for no apparent reason.  This has been happening to me every night since I got home.  I can't be suffering from any more jet lag at this point so I've got to start looking for another cause.  Maybe someone with a noisy car leaves at that time.  I did remember hearing a car door slam.  Years ago when I lived at my Ravenna house the newspaper arriving every morning would wake me up.  The delivery person would throw it up onto the porch and it would slam into the door, waking me.  Or in the summer when the window was open I would hear them drive up because their car radio was blasting and they left the door open.  I put a tube at the gate and that helped that problem.  But I don't know what I can do about someone leaving the parking lot and waking me, if that is the case. 

Yesterday was my semi-annual cleaning at the dentist and I experienced their sonic scaler for the first time.  It was messy, I suspect because of the water that is running all the time.  But oh it is ever fast!  She was done with the entire process in 30 minutes, including polishing.  It wasn't very comfortable, but I am willing to put up with a little discomfort to have it done quicker. 

At noon knitting yesterday I got back on track with my Mirasol cardigan, but I was just too lazy to pick it up last night.  I vow not to start another project until I finish something, and this is a good thing to finish.  I am tempted to start that pretty little T-shirt I got yarn for before my trip, but no no no!  Maybe I can get some done tonight.  I've got a few programs recorded on my DVR.  I could just plunk myself down and get through a couple of them and also do some work.  I got distracted yesterday evening and it seems if I don't just settle right in after my shower and start that I find other things to occupy myself with.  Last night Tink was in the mood to play fetch ... forever.  Throw in a couple phone calls, an evening doggie walk, dinner and then it's nearly time for bed.  Yeah well, that's my spin on it any way.  Maybe I am just plain lazy and I should leave it at that.

I am so groggy this morning and I won't be able to get a run in at lunch today.  I've got to help proctor an exam on upper campus at 1 and I don't want to be all icky from my run.  I'll look forward to tomorrow's.  It's going to be nice all the rest of the week and through the weekend.  I wish it was Friday though.

09 May, 2012

Home a week

Gosh, I've been home an entire week already!  I think that day I was sick really messed up my timing.  Besides missing an entire day and more, because I slept for those 24 hours I haven't been completely able to get over the jet lag.  However, it's not such a bad thing on this side, as I've said before.  I wake up at 4, sure, but I am able to get back to sleep and I'm refreshed and ready to go at 6:30.  This morning I had to employ the pillow sandwich method to get back to sleep because the birds were very loud.

I had another great run yesterday.  There were some trees planted last fall and now they're in bloom and I see they are dogwoods, white ones.  They're still quite small, of course, but in a few years it's going to be just fabulous along that stretch of the trail.  On the water side the trees and on the street side the entire bank is planted with lupines, which are blooming now.  The trees will help keep the trail shaded.  Sometimes in the summer that portion of it is blazing hot.

I was a lazy girl last night and didn't pick up the Mirasol again.  I've brought it in to noon knitting and I'll have support for when I take out that portion for the second time, so if I mess up I'll be right where the help is.  Once I make sure that I'm on the right track as far as fixing the problem, I should be able to finish this in a week or so.  And I brought my cashmere cardigan in for show and tell, and to get its proper ooo-ing and ahh-ing.

I had to drive in today because I've got a dentist appointment and I noticed how dirty my car is.  I have GOT to get it washed this weekend.  The birds really got to it where it was parked for those two weeks.  And the pollen from the trees where I park.  It's a mess.  That makes for a busy weekend coming up.  Something is going to have to give.  Will it be closet cleaning or the driving range?  hmmmm .....

08 May, 2012

The dreaded closet clean out

This weekend when I was finally finished with the huge pile of laundry I had brought home and was putting it away I realized that it is already time again to clean out the closets and drawers.  I've been at this apartment now for more than a year!  I never expected that and I just figured I'd be doing it as I moved out.  I did do a little shuffling to change out the summer for winter clothes, but nothing much and now I've got two closets that are in serious need of attention.  I have a little bit of a dilemma in that I didn't take the clothes I had culled last time to the charity bin, but only put them in my storage closet.  I can't remember why I did that and now it's going to make the chore that much more difficult.  The best time I had doing this was when I had two friends help me.  I needed fresh eyes and it was a great experience.  I still keep my closet color coded.  It should be such a simple project.  Anything not worn in the last year goes.  Anything with stains or other damage goes.  It's the darned sentimental pieces that catch me up.  There's always room for a few of those.

The weather yesterday was warm and sunny, finally.  I was looking forward to my first run in three weeks.  I couldn't quite believe that it was warm enough for my skirt and instead wore my running tights and long sleeved shirt.  That was a mistake.  It was plenty warm and I was drenched half way through the run.  Being fueled by three weeks of duck and cheese and croissants and wine, I wasn't exactly a speed demon, but I was steady.  It's a little cooler today but even if I don't feel it's warm enough for the skirt, it's going to be a short sleeved shirt for sure!

I had all good intentions of picking up the Mirasol last night and taking out those few stitches, now that I know where my mistake lies.  But I got on the phone with my sister and got distracted.  I have a friend playing at the Flagstaff Folk Festival this year.  It's a very small festival, but Flagstaff is really cool.  Since my sister's boyfriend never ... I repeat NEVER ... takes her on vacation, she and I go together.  Flagstaff is very near the Grand Canyon, which she's never seen, so I'm going to fly down to LA after my Oregon meeting, then we're going to go to Flagstaff to see Mike at the festival, then rent a car and drive to the Grand Canyon!  Doesn't that sound fun?  I am charged with finding us a nice hotel in Flagstaff, which I suspect is going to be a challenge since it's a rather small town.  And I have been SO spoiled lately when it comes to hotels.  Not that I'm complaining, mind you.  I quite like being spoiled actually.  And being the spoiler.  But now I'm getting off the point.  Ah well ....

07 May, 2012

Two Tipsy Girls in Paris

I was feeling so great on Thursday.  No jet lag, plenty of energy.  Just great.  So imagine my surprise when I woke up at 1 am Friday morning, sick as a dog.  After five hours, I realized there was no way I was going to be coming in to work that day, so I texted my friend Andy, who I was going to be meeting in the morning, that I was down and out for the day and would kill for a ginger ale.  As luck would have it, he was up and said he was going to be in my neighborhood shortly so he brought me ginger ale and took Tink for a little walk.  I slept for the entire day.  With the exception of two short strolls around the complex at 4 and 7, I was asleep!  I didn't eat a thing, but drank a few ginger ales.  I rallied a bit around 7 and found the new, modern Sherlock Holmes on Netflix.  They have three episodes from the first season.  I managed to watch one and, believe it or not, fell back asleep at 8 and slept until 1 am.  Exactly 24 hours from when it started and I felt pretty much normal.  I am going to have to blame the lady who was spilling over into my space on my flight home.  It must have been a virus that I caught on the plane.  I know it wasn't anything I ate Thursday night, and that woman didn't look like she was feeling all that well.  Plus she was touching me!  Ick

While I was lounging around on Saturday looking at pictures from my trip I ran across a little video I had taken Monday evening when Emma and I were having dinner with our friend Joan.  I forgot I had taken it and it's pretty obvious that we were well into our second bottle of wine.  I was confused when I first turned on the video, thinking it automatically started.  Then I realized you had to press the button ... well, we were celebrating!  The still photos of the Eiffel Tower didn't really show the sparkle so I decided on video.  And it's a pretty nice picture of Emma as well. 

I finished the cashmere Whisper Cardigan on Saturday and I'm wearing it today.  It is beautiful!  I sure wish I had finished it before my trip because I would have been wearing it all the time.  Then, miracle of miracles, I pulled one of my UFOs out of the basket and decided to get to work.  It is the Mirasol Cardigan with that gorgeous Ella Rae Milky Soft yarn.  Unfortunately I had made mods to the pattern that I neglected to write down.  I got a little way into the right side and realized that something was not right.  I took it out and restarted and still couldn't figure it out so I had to put it aside.  Fortunately my unconscious worked on it and I woke up in the middle of the night with the answer, so I can get back to work on it this evening.  I do love the color of it.

Thursday when I was getting things organized I got the flyer out for the golf tournament and dinner this August and I must say I am absolutely thrilled with the response so far!  I was not expecting such a good response and thought I'd be rattling cages for months.  Of course I still have to get the money, but I am getting some pretty solid promises of attendance.  Now I'm going to have to get out there on the weekends and hit the driving range.  I have decided to leave my spot in my foursome flexible so that if needed I can step out and let someone who is rather more keen on golfing take my place.  I suspect I'm going to be plenty busy just keeping things going on the day.  I do have fun when I golf, but I just do it so rarely these days, since I don't have friends close by to golf with.  And it does take a big chunk of time.

Things to do this week -- I've GOT to start the name change process.  You'd think by this time I've had plenty of practice but it's complicated.  And also I've got to call Gregg and start rehearsals.  I am hoping he's got a band set up by now.  And I've got to get out there and run today.  The weather is gorgeous, so no excuses.  Maybe I can even wear my skirt today.  It's supposed to be in the 70s.

03 May, 2012

They call it stormy Thursday

Tuesday evening in Paris was perfect!  We did indeed find a wonderful restaurant and it was warm enough to sit outside.  We ended up being three, but that was fine.  We all had delicious dinners and I managed to pick a quite decent red wine.  We even had dessert!  Quite unusual for us.  And because we both had travel days we didn't stay out too late.  I had ordered a taxi to the airport from the front desk at my hotel.  The clerk kept insisting that at that time in the morning it would take more than an hour to get there.  I wanted to be there around 10:30 and she had the taxi arriving at 9.  Of course it did NOT take anywhere near an hour and 15 minutes but more like what I thought, which was about 35 minutes.  So there I was in CDG, terminal 2A, which is quite a boring place.  I had another coffee, bought some Chanel makeup I couldn't fight the crowds to buy in Paris and just generally chilled with my audiobook.  I had MORE than enough time to chill because the flight was late.

It's a quick flight to Heathrow.  I was hoping to get to the pharmacy to get some fizzy tablets but I also needed to pick up a couple things for the people who took care of my car and brought me to and from the train station and it was SO hot in there.  The rather annoying thing is that the gate of the flight isn't posted until nearly boarding time.  I was way in the B gates and if I had known that I would have just hung out there rather than the huge main terminal.  It's nice and quiet and has everything that you need, minus the huge crowds.  My seat was in the middle and I was seated next to a rather large woman who actually couldn't fit into her seat.  You know what that means?  That means she put up the arm rest and squished me whenever I would let her.  I finally got wise and finished my iPad movies and started on the other movies which meant that I had to have access to my arm rest.  That was a little better.

I stayed up until 10, which was 22 hours for me, and had a fine night so I feel normal today.  I suspect that I'm going to hit the wall at about four though.

All in all it was a fantastic vacation!  It seems I've been away for ages and ages.  I didn't knit but about 3 or four rows though.  It was silly to bring knitting and my black cardigan is still unfinished!!

Well, I've got SO much to do.  I'd better dig in.  Or better yet, figure out where to start!

01 May, 2012

My last full day in Paris

Okay, another post without paragraphs. It is Tuesday evening and Emma and I are at the Green Linnet yet again for a drink or two before dinner. We are going to have a nice dinner tonight in the Marais, just the two of us. Last. Ight we had dinner with Joan, which was challenging. The highlight of the night for me was the lovey bottle of champagne o brought and watching the Eiffel Tower sparkle from the living room. We stayed long enough to be polite. And then since Emma couldn't eat most of the dinner we went in search of food and got in late. The pigeons are relentless thugh and they were hard at it bright and early. The sun was shining and it was warm. Emma had decided that we were going to cover some touristy things we haven't seen for a long time, so today we headed up to Montmartre to see Sacre Coeur. Oh but it was beyond packed, and so we headed into the square, which was a huge mass of sow moving humanity. Ick. We headed out and I stopped into a beautiful little shop and found a pretty scarf with tassels for myself. We we're going to stop at the BHV because I wanted some new kitchen towels and some lavender salad oil, but it was closed today. In fact everything was closed for May 1. Poor Emma, she was looking forward to some shopping this time. She will be able to go tomorrow after I head to the airport. We stopped in the sun for a drink before heading back to clean up and one of our old friends happened to walk by, which was a nice coincidence. I am getting hungry now and Emma is looking up restaurants. I want duck! Back to reality tomorrow. But there is a nice evening to look forward to still.