24 December, 2013

Working on Christmas Eve

I cannot remember the last time I worked on Christmas Eve day.  I won't be here long.  I don't really have anything urgent to do, but I may have a tweak on a web site to make before I leave.  I'll just stay for a few hours. 

Yesterday was also a short day.  My chairman came in so I was able to get a credit card number and get the booklets ordered for his Hawaii meeting.  And then I went home via the mall.  I wanted to pick up some drawer liner from Bed, Bath and Beyond and since I was there anyway, I strolled through a few stores and found a cute top at The Loft.  Then I got out of there.  It was a  madhouse with about a million crying children.  Tinkie got a nice long walk in what was left of the light - it's pitch dark before 5 o'clock - then I got the yak down scarf to soaking and fetched my blocking pads down from the storage unit.  Pinning that thing out was a chore!  I don't usually block rectangular scarfs, but this one really needed it.  I started out measuring the width as I worked my way down the length of it, but I realized that it was crooked so, duh, I started again and this time pinned one side down, measuring the distance from the edge of the blocking pads, then pinned the other side using the same technique.  That worked a little better.  It should be dry when I get home today.  I'll snap a picture before I unpin it.  I'm anxious to see if it feels as yummy now that it's blocked.

That was all the crafty stuff I could get to yesterday.  By the time I got my hair dried it was 7 o'clock and I had to get some dinner made.  Then I just relaxed with a nice glass of chardonnay and a movie. 

Happy Christmas everyone! 

23 December, 2013

Cutting the cord!

Today's the day!  I'm going to call Comcast and stop my service on the 28th and go with CenturyLink broadband, stream from my AppleTV and my Wii and get an HD antenna for my television so I can get the local channels.  Ben's signed up for Dish which has the Hopper so I can watch his TV on my iPad whenever I want.  Perfect.  I tell you, I cannot WAIT to call Comcast.  Yahooo!

I didn't get the Texture Study 1 blocked yet, but will do that tonight.  On Friday I got another YarnBox, this one with three skeins of sock yarn in grey, light blue and peacock blue.  I had found a pattern on Ravelry that morning, so after my hair appointment on Saturday I went to my LYS to get a new needle - can you believe I didn't have a 32" size 3 needle?   Anyway, it's Color Affection and I'm doing the lace weight version.  Talk about perfect TV knitting.  Garter stitch.  But it's not totally boring because things are happening each row - increases and stripes.  Like I need another shawl.  I've got to start gifting these before I run out of closet space.

Sad news - the Seahawks lost at home.  This is the first time for Russel Wilson to lose at home.  It doesn't affect our playoff standings, but it means we must win the next game to have a change at the number one seed.  It was a tough game to watch. 

I just have to make it through today and half day tomorrow and then Christmas vacation.  I plan on doing a lot of sleeping. 

20 December, 2013

A little pre-Christmas snow

It seems the weather service was right for once, and we have snow this morning.  It is not a lot of snow and, also according to the weather service, should be turning into rain in another few hours.  Fine with me.  I'm not a big snow person, unless it's in the mountains, and I've got a lot of running around to do this weekend, as does everyone else in town.

Hurrah for me, I finished up the Texture Study I scarf last night as I watched "Christmas Vacation" for about the millionth time.  As I suspected, I've got a fair amount of that yummy yarn left.  Unfortunately not enough to do anything much with unless I combine it with another yarn.  Which I probably will for some mitts.  I do need to block the scarf so that's why I didn't take a picture.  As I was binding off, loosely as is my wont, I realized I'd have to tighten it up significantly so that the edge would look more like the cast on edge of the seed stitch border.  The first part is looking a little ruffle-y but when I tightened it up it looks fine.  I am hoping that during blocking I'll be able to fix those few inches up.  Otherwise it's a beauty and I'm looking forward to soaking and blocking - if not tonight, then sometime this weekend.

Because of my upcoming January week in Mexico I have to work next Monday and Tuesday.  I am expecting we'll close the office early on Tuesday, but it's going to be a drag having to come in on Monday.  But oh well, I'll have 13 whole days off after that.  Most of it will be spent helping Ben put his house back together .... but I am sure I'll be able to sneak a few days of sloth in there.  I sure hope I will anyway.

19 December, 2013

But what does this say about me?

Yesterday I clicked on a link on my Yahoo front page for an article listing the 10 worst movies of 2013.  One of the movies on that list is one that I would have on my TOP 10 movies of 2013!  I am not going to say what it is, because this movie was so universally reviled and panned.  I will say, however, that this is not the first time this has happened to me.  I am a HUGE fan of the movie "Ishtar" which was also universally panned.  I, on the other hand, found it (and still find it) hilarious and clever.  I'll fess up to that one, but this current one -- I'll keep my mouth shut about this for the time being.  It's just ... well, I thought it was so funny!  Yes, crude and sometimes over the top, but so are the "Scary Movie" films and they don't get panned.  Or at least not to that degree.  Anyway ... I am still trying to figure out what it says about me.  You know -- me me me, it's always about me.

Our staff lunch was fun yesterday, although two women went home sick after the lunch.  And I am not feeling 100% this morning either.  But I'm here.  Oh and it's getting cold again!  The sky is clear and it's freezing and supposed to snow tonight a little bit.  Not enough to last until Christmas though. 

I only have three more rows to go on the scarf.  I wanted to finish it up last night but I was sleepy from not having slept too much the night before and so I went to bed early to read.  I feel rested this morning, which is a good thing.  Hopefully I can finish it up tonight and get it blocked.  I'd like to have it ready for Christmas giving.  Maybe during my Christmas break I can actually get a few days rest and pick up my Mariah again.  Or ... you never know what's going to be in the YarnBox.  It should be here soon!   I think I'll go over to Ravelry and check out the spoiler thread.

18 December, 2013

An observance at the bus stop

It used to be you'd see people standing at a bus stop, chatting with each other or maybe reading a book or a newspaper.  Now I walk up to the stop and every single person has their head bent over their phone.  Young, old, and everything in between.  In just a few years this huge change.  Sometimes it just strikes me, that's all.

Warmer weather means more humidity, which is annoying because I was just loving that dry cold air.  My hair looked awesome for days and now, not so much.  But it is better than having one's face freezing off.  It does look like we might get a little snow later this week, but it's above freezing so it shouldn't stick.

I am two rows away from the seed stitch border and finishing up that scarf.  I was hoping to finish it last night but Tink was insistent on going to bed and wouldn't quit whining until I joined her.  Yes - I do spoil the dog.  Thanks for noticing.  But I had a book to finish anyway so I put the knitting aside.  Maybe I can finish it up tonight.  I am kicking myself for not making it a little bit longer.  I have just gotten into the second skein!  I'm going to have at least 100 yards of that gorgeous, yummy yarn left.  I should see if I've got something in my stash that's the same gauge and I can make myself another pair of convertible mittens.  I have nearly gone through the thumb of one of my last two pair.  I guess it's time to get going on another.

Today is the staff lunch.  I hope it's not raining too hard, because I'd like to walk to the restaurant.  Hopefully I can run tomorrow.  My asthma is finally under control and it's not zero degrees outside.  Perfect.  It is going to hurt though.

16 December, 2013

The weekend - I buy myself a present and make a decision

I was looking forward to my Saturday.  I gave Tink a nice long walk, dropped some shirts at the cleaners and then took a bus to University Village to finish up my Christmas shopping and then a lovely facial and body scrub at InSpa.  U Village was a madhouse!  It was packed with shoppers and screaming children.  All very festive.  There is a new vegetarian cafe there .... well, lots of new shops actually.  It's Vegetarian Grill, and I stopped there to have a little lunch before my treatments.  What a great place!  I had a portobello mushroom sandwich.  I got to the spa, was ushered into my room, undressed and got ready for my facial.  It wasn't until the woman started my facial that I realized I had left my gift card at home!!!  D'oh!  So that's how I ended up buying myself a gift.  The good news is that I've got another visit to look forward to.  Maybe a little grooming before my tropical vacation in January. 

On the way home I stopped at the grocery store for ingredients to make potato leek soup, which I made last night.  It is SO good!  Sunday the Seahawks played the early game - which they won - and so I had the entire afternoon to do chores and make soup and get my presents wrapped.  I am hoping to get them sent off today.  I've already got the Priority Mail box.  I just need to see if they'll all fit.

This morning before I left for work I stopped by the Great Room to talk with some CenturyLink representatives.  I have been trying to decide if I'm going to "cut the cord" and get rid of Comcast.  My bill has now gone up to $200/month and that is INSANE.  Plus their wireless speed leaves something to be desired.  I found out this morning from the CenturyLink guy that the reason it's bad is that I am sharing it with everyone else in the building who has Comcast.  With CenturyLink I can get 40 mbs to myself for $30/month.  Sounds great to me.  I'll just do what so many other people are doing and get a HD antenna for my TV and just stream everything else.  It'll be awesome.

I did lots of good work on the scarf.  I think I've got about 10 rows to go.  The thing about YarnBox is that the amount of yarn is just enough for a small project.  It keeps things fresh.  Although I imagine I'm going to get tired of just small projects.  I really should pick up the Mariah again, although it's rather daunting to think about figuring out where I am.  I remember I had three counters going.  Crazy.

I think this is going to be a long week.   Just a feeling.

13 December, 2013

Why are they backing in?

What is going on with the backing into parking spots?  I am talking about the mall parking lot, the park and ride lot and the grocery store and even the few thirty minutes spots that line the plaza at Thornton Place!  Oh!  And the underground parking garage where the spots are SO jammed together.  I mean ... is it a quick getaway they're looking for or what?  It's just so annoying to have to wait while one of these jackasses attempts to maneuver their SUV into a spot meant for a compact car, and backing in as well!  It's just something I noticed and it bugs the bejesus out of me!

I walked up to Trader Joe's at lunchtime yesterday and, among other things, bought two composed salads.  Last night I had one with pomegranate seeds, pumpkin seeds, roasted squash, goat cheese and of course, greens.  It was delicious!!  The one for tonight is spinach with pecans, bleu cheese and cranberries.  Don't you just love Trader Joe's?  I also got one of the french style flatbread thingies but since I don't own a cookie sheet it didn't crisp up at all.  What a waste.  I'll have to get a cookie sheet this weekend.

I got lots of work done on the scarf, then went to bed to read and ended up buying a Christmas movie on AmazonPrime and staying up way too late.  Which was unfortunate because the premier of the new Hobbit movie let out at 3 am and I had forgotten to close my window so ... I was awake.  I think I got back to sleep around 5 or so.  I suppose that's going to be going on all weekend.   Perhaps I will keep the window closed and just suffer for the sake of some good sleep.

Tomorrow is spa day!  Woohoo!  I am finally using the spa gift card I got for my birthday.  I'm going to have a facial and a body scrub.  Oh I cannot wait!  Plus I guess I'd better try to get the rest of my Christmas shopping done so I can get it sent off to California early next week.  Big weekend.  The Seahawks play at 10 Sunday morning so at least I won't be a slave to the TV and can finish up on Sunday if need be.

12 December, 2013

Dark days

It's dark when I come to work and dark when I get home.  And we've still got a couple more weeks before things start to lighten up.  It hasn't been too bad during the clear days, but now the clouds are moving in.  Oh well - at least it isn't snowing.  It's warmer.  And also because it's been so cold the fountain has been turned off so I've been sleeping like a baby!  Usually either a truck wakes me at four or the fountain at 5:30. 

I did get some knitting done at noon knitting yesterday.  A couple of rows.  That is all the work I did on that scarf yesterday.  I wasn't in the mood last night.  I just watched awful TV and went to bed early.  I'll bet I was asleep by 9 o'clock.  I had awakened at 4 Wednesday morning and wasn't able to get back to sleep.  So -- well, I'm sleeping like a baby sometimes.  My mind started going and that was it.  So I was pretty tired yesterday.  Maybe tonight I'll read.  I'm getting a little restless.   After all those weeks and weeks of forced togetherness, it's pretty quiet now. 

11 December, 2013

After a second look

Well, I was wrong!  I was showing Monika the pictures of the Texture Study I that I am making, and when I looked more closely at the end of the scarf I noticed that indeed, the ribbing that I thought was a mistake (and looks bad, IMHO) is how the pattern was intended!  I have changed my to seed stitch, which was too obvious to me.  And look at how tidy and pretty it is. The ribbing looked like a mistake.  I am glad I changed it to the seed stitch.

I've only got a few minutes to get myself together this morning, eat some oatmeal then it's downstairs to proctor a final exam.  Three hours.  I have some work to do, which always makes it a little bit easier to take.  Then I run the exams downstairs and it's time for noon knitting.  I should get at least 45 minutes of it if I hurry.

10 December, 2013

Looks like we dodged a bullet

Well, that snow that was predicted has conveniently passed us by!  Hooray!  At least my part of the city.  It really looked like snow yesterday and supposedly in the night it was supposed to come.  This morning all we've got is just a teensie bit of icy rain.  Mist actually.  It sure is more comfortable outside walking.  The wind chill yesterday was painful.  I walked from work down to the Office Depot and back before lunch yesterday and it hurt.  Well, it's not even officially winter yet, so I suppose there's going to be a lot more weather to come.

Speaking of weather -- all of the clouds that finally came in yesterday made it so darned dark it was like getting home in the middle of the night.  I had to get Kelli's birthday presents sent off and luckily I had noticed that we have a mailbox/shipping store right nearby, next to the nail salon.  They're open until six, so Tink and I went straight over there after work.  And that was basically the entire evening.  Boring.  Boring.  Boring.  I didn't want to watch Monday Night Football -- I'm out of the running fantasy wise and so I just watched silly TV and knit on my latest scarf.  Now that I've figure out the pattern I am thrilled with it.  It's gorgeous.  The good news is that work is super busy, so I'm tired when I get home anyway.  But maybe I can get an hour or so reading in tonight.  I've got two books going on my iPad.  There's only so much stupid TV a person can watch, ya know?  And my hands are a bit sore from all the knitting.  It's stockinette - stranded.  All that purling hurts after a while.  I'll switch to reading tonight.

09 December, 2013

It was bound to happen

It has been so cold for so long that my office is actually COLD!  Usually I'm sitting here in short sleeves, sweltering no matter what the time of year.  Not so today.  Actually I noticed it last week that it was a little chilly.  It's kind of nice for a change.

It was clear and cold and sunny for the entire weekend.  Saturday morning Tinkie and I had a nice walk to the Starbucks near where I used to live, since I wanted to drop a couple of shirts off at the cleaners.  There are metal tables and chairs outside of the Starbucks and I tie Tink up to the table, then go in and get my coffee and breakfast and sit outside with her to enjoy it.  Well, I couldn't even sit on the chair!!  It was that cold!  We got to the cleaners at 9:15, they are due to open at 9.  Nobody was there and it was WAY too cold to stand around waiting for the owner to arrive, so we headed back home.  It'll have to wait to next Saturday.  Then I took a Zipcar out to Tuesday Morning for a fun hour plus walking around.  I got a couple of little things - nothing spectacular.  I just like poking around there.  You never know what you're going to find.  Then a quick stop at the grocery store on the way back home. 

The rest of the day was dedicated to college football and knitting.  I have been looking forward to starting the Textured Study I scarf with the yak down yarn.  I cast on Friday night and started the seed stitch border, then continued while watching football on Saturday.  But all was not right.  First I noticed a little section where I had messed up the seed stitch on the border - probably Friday night when I was watching a movie.  It was not very noticeable so I thought I'd just ignore it, but when I got to the body of the scarf, row 7 to 12, things started to look weird.  The pattern is not correct.  By following the instructions the seed stitch edging was now just ribbed and the body did not have the right stitch count.  I couldn't fix it so I had to rip it out.  So Saturday night in bed I started thinking about it and on Sunday, after a little trip to the mall and the nail salon, when I settled in to start work on it again I did a little math and realized two things.  First, the pattern as written is dead wrong and second, the pattern will only work on an even number of stitches.  Odd number of stitches (5) on each end for the seed stitch and an even number between.  Once I figured that out it was smooth sailing and it looks gorgeous!  This yarn is about as soft as cashmere.  And with a slight halo ... yumm.  I am making this for someone else - it's going to have to go away.  But I'm going to get more of this yarn for myself.

So Sunday was a good day, except the Seahawks got beat.  It's not the end of the world but it was a painful game to have to watch.  They should still be okay and get home field advantage if they continue to win.  Two of the last three games are at home so .... that's good.

Monday - cold and cloudy.  It's supposed to warm up and we're predicted to have snow tomorrow but it shouldn't last but a few hours and then it'll be back to normal wet and warm-ish.  I can't wait.

06 December, 2013

Cookies for breakfast

Oh heavens .... sugar overload!  Yesterday was our departmental holiday lunch and there are piles of cookies in the kitchen.  I couldn't help myself.  There was tons of food there yesterday, so I guess the cookies didn't get their fair share of attention. 

It was cold again yesterday and colder still today.  The good news is that it remains cloudless and no humidity, so my hair looks awesome!  And ... and there's no snow.  That's the big news.  No snow.  It'll be sunny and clear all weekend so I think I'll get a Zipcar on Saturday and do a little shopping somewhere other than the mall. 

I got right to work on my Ombrelone last night after my chores and finished up the last three rows and started the bind-off.  It is a huge, long, 300 stitch bind-off and I lost interest.  I will finish it first thing this evening though and then ... well, I guess I can wind the yak down yarn, but I don't know about casting on. I'm doing Textured Study I and it's nearly 300 stitches since this scarf is knit sideways.  It calls for a long-tail cast on, so I think I'll use both balls of yarn simultaneously - one for the top and one for the bottom.  I've done that before and it works really well.  I should be able to get a good start on that this weekend.

I didn't bother to watch the football game last night, even though I've had a fantasy player on the Jaguars.  I am definitely not going to get into the playoffs but I might as well still play the game.  That being said, I'm much less invested in watching anything other than the Seahawks at this point.

I have a lot of loafing around schedule for this weekend.  And long walks with Tink.  I'm glad the weather will be nice, albeit COLD.

05 December, 2013

Colder and colder!

Wow!  We are experiencing an arctic front and the temperatures keep going lower and lower.  It's 25 degrees right now and clear.  It makes for gorgeous days but rather uncomfortable walks.  Poor little Tink.  She was not too interested in going outside last night at her 7 o'clock walk.  She got her business done and turned to home!  She was a bit more interested this morning, but that's more likely due to her having more business to take care of.

The Ombrelone is almost up to 300 stitched.  I got four rows done last night.  I wasn't ready to plunge into another (the last though) row of pattern, but that means that if I get that done first thing, say before the football games starts tonight, then I should be able to finish, or nearly finish, tonight.  If not, Friday for sure and this weekend I can roll the yak and start that project. 

Today is the departmental holiday lunch.  I got two big bunches of lovely seedless grapes (black and red) yesterday at lunchtime for my contribution.  I remember last year that they were all eaten right up.  It is just such a hassle to transport a real side dish on the bus and I didn't have any butter to make cookies and this is much healthier anyway.  And easy. 

I have absolutely nothing on my plate for this weekend and I cannot tell you how much I am looking forward to that.  I was going to book a little spa time - I have a gift certificate that I've been saving -- but I've decided to do it next Saturday instead.   We are predicted to have clear and cold weather all weekend.  Tink and I will have long walks, and there's football to watch on Sunday and always knitting and chores.   But in the meantime ....

04 December, 2013


Wow -- a lost day.  I woke up in the middle of the night, early Tuesday morning, with a sore throat.  I stayed home and basically slept the entire day.  I guess I needed it.  I feel fine today - just a little froggy.  I've got so much to do .. I'm thankful it was just a day I was out of it.

And boy is it ever cold!!  In the 20's when I woke up.  Tink spent most of the night cuddled up next to me or under the covers.  She was a pain in the behind yesterday though.  Perhaps because it was so sunny and nice outside.  She didn't seem to have an off switch.  Every time I woke up she wanted to play or go outside.  Not that I blame her.  I did give her a nice walk at lunchtime.

The Seahawks played a great game Sunday night, beating New Orleans handily.  So they're top of their division with home field advantage.  People are really talking Super Bowl now.  It seems like a pretty good bet we'll make it, although I don't like to jinx it.

I brought my Ombrelone in for noon knitting today, but I think we're going to have to cancel because I couldn't get a room.  And everyone is so very busy these days anyway.  I can use the time to go get something for the office party on Thursday.  Some fruit or something.  I was thinking of making some deviled eggs with hummus instead of mayo, which is delicious, but it is next to impossible to transport things like that on the bus in the morning.  Last year I brought grapes and they were eaten right up.

Speaking of the Ombrelone - I have to say this is probably the sloppiest project I've done in ages.  I know I've made more mistakes but I am not taking it out again.  The problem with it, for me, is that one can't use markers.  The stitch counts changes all the time and the edging, unbeknownst to me, ALSO changes so I thought I was off a stitch when I wasn't.  It'll be a nice scarf and I doubt anyone will know it is full of mistakes.  Except me.  I'll know.  Basically now I just want to get it done so I can use that yummy yak down yarn.  That is SO gorgeous!  And soft!  Hopefully I can wind it this week.

Now I've got to get to a meeting.  This is going to be a busy rest of the week.

02 December, 2013

Four packed days

I can hardly believe how much got stuffed into four days.  And there was even room for knitting!!  Perhaps four and a half days is more accurate because I did scurry out of here early on Wednesday.

I was assigned green bean casserole for the Thanksgiving dinner, but I also made a Brussel's Sprouts dish that was just super delicious!  Not a scrap of it was left.  But truly - bacon makes anything taste yummy, doesn't it? 

Before we went to dinner there was a little bit of paint touch up done in preparation for emptying the pod on Friday.  Of course the house isn't done exactly - there is still another bathroom to paint, the second coat on the spare bedroom and another coat on the door frame onto the patio.  But the pod needed to be emptied and so it was done Friday with great success.  And nobody got hurt.  Bonus.

What was not a bonus was my asthma.  I am still learning how to handle it, since it's still rather new to me.  After that horrible episode last winter I was able to recognize the asthma "attack" for what it was.  Both Wednesday and Thursday nights I was up for hours in the night waiting for the rescue inhaler to do its job.  So that I realized I needed to see my doctor on Friday to get a second inhaler to help.  Or go to the emergency room - and that wasn't where I wanted to be.  So Friday as we were waiting for people to help unload the pod I was on the phone with the doctor's office, which was closed.  The on call doctor finally got back to me and ordered my inhaler and for that I was SO grateful! No wonder I couldn't run last week!  It is so slow when it starts that I just think I'm tired when in fact I can't get a lungful of air!  That made the rest of my weekend SO much better.

Friday night there was the Apple Cup to look forward to.  I had set it to record and I am so glad I did.  It was a great game and the Huskies won!  Woohoo!  A perfect ending to the Thanksgiving holiday.

Saturday morning I had to get my errands run because Ben needed to leave, since the shuttle was picking him up from his place super early Sunday morning.  We had breakfast with his brother, did some grocery shopping, then off he went and I got to have my little tiny place alllll to myself!  It has been so long.  I did a little cleaning and tidying up and then went to have a manicure at Derby.  I am so tired of arguing about the cuticle thing with the girls at that other salon.  I will keep going there for my pedicures.

More knitting and stupid TV Saturday night and Sunday watching football and knitting.  I got the main part of the Ombrelone finished and started on the lace edging.  Then McGarrah was in town last night so we went up to have dinner with Steve and Ginny.  That was really fun, and done early enough so I got to bed around 10. 

I won my match up this week - a little too little and a little too late.  But it was good to win.  I don't have anybody for tonight's game - the Seahawks and New Orleans.  It's here and it might be snowing by the time the game starts.  I am glad I'm going to be home and in my cozy spot.  It's a big game.  The Seahawks have the best record in the league, if you can believe that.  !0 - 1.  This is a HUGE game.  I'm excited.  I probably won't be able to do much knitting.