30 December, 2015


Oh my is it ever cold!  Clear and cold.  Below freezing.  My windows were all frosted this morning but I turned on the defroster fans and let it blow while I walked Tinkerbell and made a cup of coffee.  And I was super early to the  transit center again.  I just missed that early bus.  I hate having to sit in the car for 15 minutes but there ya go.  Nothing for it.  The traffic will be back to  normal next week, for sure.

This cold clear weather is supposed to stay around for the rest of the week and then the clouds will move back in and it'll warm up a bit.  I noticed that the mountains are all covered in snow, finally.  After last year I am sure the ski resorts are quite happy about all of the snow, but the passes were pretty jammed up for the holiday.  Even the train got stuck.

It was pretty quiet around here yesterday but I've got a few things going on today so hopefully it won't drag too terribly.  Then I'm taking tomorrow off and Friday is the 1st.  We're having a little open hour on Friday so I've got to get that Christmas tree down tomorrow.  Oh, and I'm going to make a pot of ham hocks and greens.  Yummmmm

I didn't work on that stole last night.  I'm still unsure on whether I should take out the first repeat and start over, because I did think I had an extra stitch and just knit two together instead of moving the markers.  Silly me (grrrrrr).  It's only one stitch though and if I follow the chart instead of the written instructions and move my markers I think it'll be fine and not noticeable.  I'll finish this next repeat and see how I feel about it then.

29 December, 2015

Why oh why?

I am sure I've ranted about this before - but it deserves another go in my opinion.  It concerns knitting patterns and stitch markers.  Can you guess?  Why don't the people writing the patterns make a point of telling you that the markers will move?  How hard is that?  The project I started on Sunday is Desert Dunes.  It is a stole on a bias, it turns out.  There are written instructions and charted instructions.  Nowhere in the directions or pattern notes does it say anything about that fact and that ones markers will move.  And, in fact, the written instructions do not take into consideration that one would put markers around the repeats as charted.  It just really really irks me.  Can you tell?

Yesterday was pretty boring.  I did get out at lunchtime for a walk up to Petco.  It's cold out but dry.  I've got a meeting today at 10 o'clock and that's probably going to be it.  But I do have to come in on Wednesday.  Noon knitting to look forward to and that's about it. 

The traffic was so super light this morning that I got to the transit center one minute before the early bus leaves.  Of course, I couldn't make it so I sat in the truck in the warmth and played word games and listened to my book.  Oh heavens, how am I going to make it through these next 8 months?

28 December, 2015

This super quiet time

The week between Christmas and New Year is always so quiet here at work.  Usually I just take it off, but I have to save up vacation time for my two weeks in Europe plus I want to have a few days to spare in February or early March in case my sister wants to have some time so .... I am taking Thursday off and Friday is a holiday, but these three days are going to be brutally boring.

My Christmas holiday was pretty nice.  I ended up working from home Wednesday since I got stranded because of a vehicle issue.  I had a few things to take care of, so it wasn't a total waste.  On Thursday we spent the day tidying up and I cooked my very first prime rib for Christmas Eve dinner.  It ended up perfect!  I was nervous.

Christmas was low key.  No football.  We had a nice morning at home, then off to Bob and Josie's for a big family white elephant gift exchange and dinner.  We were home early, watched a movie and into bed early as well.  Then I woke up around midnight and I couldn't get back to sleep.  And then Tinkerbell got had a gurgling stomach and I was up with her three times.  The day after Christmas we had two football games - bowl games that both UW and WSU won.  And I cooked a small turkey.  That was nice to finally get my turkey dinner.

I was quite antsy with nothing to knit on so Sunday I wound the camel I had gotten from the Luxe box and knit on the stole pattern that came with it all day Sunday while I watched football.  And watched the Seahawks get their butts handed to them by the Rams AT HOME!  Oh it was a terrible and disappointing game.  Yes, they're still in the playoffs but it was still not a fun game to watch.

The weather is cold and it's going to be getting colder this coming week.  We got a bit of sleet yesterday but no snow.  Snow in the mountains.  No snow down here.  I am disappointed.

22 December, 2015

The back roads

Google maps has gotten so much better.  One thing I love about it is that it takes me through the back roads, rather than defaulting to the freeway.  I had to run an errand yesterday and if I hadn't used Google Maps I would have gotten on the freeway to head home, but instead I put in my address and got a lovely drive home on roads I've never traveled.  It was a shame that the weather was so bad because I couldn't really enjoy the scenery as much as I would have liked, but it was fun nevertheless.

And no traffic this morning!  I had time to stop at Starbucks and get an eggnog latte.  A free one, since I had my 12 coffee bonus.  It doesn't get much better than that.

Today we are celebrating Sandra's retirement with a lunch at Ivar's.  Then I've got to scoot home because I've got the first of my new 5 o'clock meetings.  Not my favorite thing in the world, especially since this meeting is supposed to be just going through questions to ferret out objectives.  Not at all fun and really, not too much note taking.

Last night I put a really cute tassel on the hat I made Sunday.  I need to figure out my next project although I think I might hold off a week because the new Yarnbox plus Artyarns is coming and the yarn is absolutely gorgeous!  I just hope the pattern is nice as well.

21 December, 2015

Christmas knitting

I just can't help myself.  I have to knit hats and scarves and little things at Christmas time even if I don't have anyone to give them to.  The gorgeous cashmere ribbed scarf is done and it looks really nice.  And he'll use it.  I finished it up yesterday and it was still Seahawks game time so I started, and finished, a cute little hat.  I'm going to make a tassel for it tonight.  Then what?

The Seahawks were awesome and are in the playoffs.  They still have two really rough games coming up to finish off the regular season, but the playoff spot is guaranteed.  We had doubts coming into the season.  It was dicey.  I am so glad they're in though.  It stretches out the season.  I am not looking forward to February.  April?  Oh yes.

The weather is just terrible and we'll be getting some snow later this week, right in time for Christmas.  That I won't mind.  It's the first three days of this week that are going to be tough.  I have to leave at 2 today for an appointment in Everett.  Tomorrow we've got a luncheon for Sandra's retirement and then I've got to scoot home because I've got a 5 pm meeting.  Wednesday there is nothing going on except noon knitting.  Maybe it'll snow.

18 December, 2015

Luxury yarn

All during the 2 hours and 45 minutes meeting last night -- yes, you read that right.  Started at 5 and ended at 7:45.  Ridiculous but there you go.  At least it was the last one.  I am hoping the MSK group, which is now my new evening meeting starting next Tuesday, will hold itself to one hour.  Anyway, all during the meeting last night I was working furiously on that ribbed scarf.  Cashmere and, to stretch the middle out a bit since I only have three skeins of Jade Sapphire, I used some of the Techno I got in my first Yarnbox Luxe.  Oh is that every nice yarn.  Alpaca and silk and merino fluff blown into a tube.  Light as air and soft as ... well, super soft.  This scarf is going to be SO nice.  I have almost decided on my next project.  Almost.

That late meeting made the evening quite short.  We had onion soup and shared my leftover sandwich from Wednesday, then I sat down to watch a bit of TV and knit and before I knew it, it was 9:30 and I was dog tired.  I didn't get a very good sleep though.  I woke at 2:30 and had a hard time getting back to sleep.  Too much on my mind and I was a little congested.  Am I sick of this cold?  Ya think?  It's only been 7 weeks.

I got the gifts sent off to California yesterday.  I need to infuse a bottle of tequila to add to my white elephant gift.  I guess I'd better get that done tomorrow.  It's takes a good three days to get the right amount of heat.  And I have to wrap Ben's gifts and that's it.  Of course, I am waiting for one to come in the mail and I would like to buy a little something else ..... we'll see.

17 December, 2015

Thursday that feels like Friday

Don't you just HATE that?  I think it's because the woman who is off on Fridays is not here this morning.  Of course she's not.  She is getting ready to retire and she hardly ever comes in.  But she was here yesterday and so ....  But no, it's only Thursday.  My short day because of my late meeting.  That late meeting is going to be changing to Friday mornings in January, which means I'll have two days a week when I have to catch that darned early bus in to work.  And the late meeting will be moved to either Monday or Tuesday.  I've got to nail that down today.

Oh and it is dark and cold.  Next Monday is the solstice, first day of winter.  Then in a few weeks we'll start getting a bit more light.  I'm going to get to work on our spring trip too, in January.  The itinerary is done and the plane fare paid for.  I just need to get someplace to stay in Rome and Monterrosso and Paris.  I think we'll go to the same place in Monterrosso.  Then I'm not sure about Rome and Paris.  Fun, huh?

Life without the blanket is pretty simple.  I've got that pair of socks back on track and I do that at noon knitting.  And at home I'm half way through Ben's simple ribbed scarf.  I've got to decide on my next project.  Shall I do that lace fronted cardigan?  I think I will.

It's awfully quiet around here.  I could just go to sleep.

16 December, 2015

A picture of the blanket

Well here it is, finally. It is 60 inches tall and 48 wide.  And it is heavy.  It took 15 skeins of Fez and four of the magenta, which is Manos del Uraguay Wool Classica.  So yeah, it does have some heft to it.  But it's also super soft, because of the camel content in the Fez and very warm.  My first, and probably last, blanket.  And now I'm working on a simple ribbed scarf for bed, using the Jade Sapphire cashmere I traded for, and adding in some yarn from last year's December Luxe box .... I can't remember the name, but it's also super soft.  It's going to be a very nice scarf - simple rib pattern but with exceptional yarn.

So yesterday I worked from home with a trip to the dentist in between.  What I found out was that the tooth I thought had been the main event was in fact not.  It was the smaller tooth with the gaping hole.  She had filled it but when she filled it she scooped out the inside to make the bite right, instead of just scraping like Dr. Fukuda does.  She did it a bit too much leaving a jagged hole that fills with food.  And Dr. Fukuda says it really should have been crowned rather than re-filled.  It's not very stable since the filling was large.  What can we do?  Well, she can't just add more filling because it won't stick.  She could perhaps bond some resin on there and the worst case is that it would fall off.  She is having the receptionist try to re-submit the original request to the insurance company to see if can be changed to a crown.  We will have to wait.

And I'd better get on the stick with my Christmas shopping!!

14 December, 2015

I finished the blanket!!

Oh joy, it is done!  I finally finished it up yesterday while I was watching the Seahawks.  All of the ends are woven in.  I do need to take pictures.  It was too dark and I wasn't in the mood last night.  I will for sure tonight.  It is quite lovely and very warm and now what am I going to knit?  I have a scarf in mind for Ben.  Something quick and easy.

On Friday I went to the dentist to have a filling replaced.  I didn't realize until later when my tongue got its feeling back that the dentist, a substitute since my regular one was sick, had removed the filling from TWO teeth and only filled in one of them!  I am SUPER pissed off about this. 

Work is crazy this morning but hopefully I can work from home tomorrow so I'll be able to get into the dentist on a moment's notice and get this thing fixed up.

What else?  I still have all my Christmas shopping to do.  Nice, huh?  Actually I've got one thing in the mail and otherwise I have got to get on the ball.  But the house is decorated.  That's what counts, yes?

11 December, 2015

My last holiday party

Yesterday was the departmental holiday party, and my last one.  I only wish it had been a better one.  There are so many people out of town right now and I wasn't really feeling hungry.  None of the food tasted good to me.  Maybe because this cold and cough is still hanging around.  It's going to make it challenging for my dental appointment this afternoon, not being able to cough.  Ah well, it's Friday.

After the meeting last night it was a simple dinner and football and knitting.  I am plowing my way through the last few inches of the blanket.  That thing is SO heavy!  Gorgeous though, if I do say so myself.

What's on this weekend?  Chores, mostly.  The yard and roof are full of fallen branches, some quite large.  The house is full of pine needles from the Christmas tree and from outside.  No matter how well you wipe your feet, they just stick.  And Tink brings them in as well.  And at some point I'm going to have to find time to Christmas shop.  Maybe next week lunchtimes.

10 December, 2015

All fixed!

Oh hooray!  Monika fixed the mistake in my blanket and I am back on track!  It is so nice to have another pair of knitting eyes to look at things.  She sees it differently than I do.  I saw this blob of a mess and she looks for a minute and then says -- "Well, it's really on four stitches that need to be fixed".  Sure enough, when I thought of it that way it made way more sense and wasn't nearly as daunting.  The stitches are a bit loose but they're even out with time and a little gentle blocking.  So I worked on it for about two hours last night.  I can do more after my meeting tonight and even more tomorrow.  I've got a dentist appointment at 2:30 though so I might not feel like doing much of anything after that ordeal.

Today is our annual office holiday party.  My last one.  I can barely wrap my head around that, but I'm going to try.  (Can you see the grin on my face?)

I got a nasty shock this morning.  I got to the parking lot, got parked and then, as usual, put my headphones into my iPhone and, since my book is done, I put on TunedIn Radio to listen to Brock and Saulk.  Uhh ... but my headphones weren't working!  The sound was still coming out of the iPhone speakers rather than through the headphones.  Usually if you plug in the headphones, even if they aren't working, the sound does not come through the phone speakers.  I'm going to have to do a little sleuthing this morning.  I was using them last night in bed with my iPad so .... perhaps a problem with the phone?  My NEW iPhone 6S?  I sure hope not.

09 December, 2015

Talk about luck .....

As I have said, I am quite keen to finish up my beautiful blanket so I can get on to a new project.  I was working away last night and found a mistake.  A BAD mistake that I can't ignore.  It looks like a few rows back I was knitting away on the wrong side but I did a right side row.  Just for one repeat.  I do that every now and again but I normally catch it and tink it back.  I guess I missed that one and it is glaring and there are two extra stitches in the repeat because of the yarn overs I did when I made the mistake.  Oh I was so disgusted with myself.  I put it down rather than try to fix it and sent a text to Monika, who is just brilliant at fixing mistakes.  I have it with me today along with an assortment of tools.  Hopefully it won't be too tough to fix.

Here's a mystery -- I got an email from my ex-boss who is in Hawaii attending a meeting.  This meeting runs every other year and for a few years  ... gosh 8? I've been doing the program and either get to go to the meeting or get paid.  So he sent me an email from the meeting saying that everyone was asking where I was and telling him what a nice program we have again this year.  Hmmmm .... he hadn't said a thing to me about the meeting so I just figured it wasn't happening.  I sent him a message back saying how strange that was since I hadn't done the program this year.  And then he mailed backing saying it was strange indeed since my name was displayed prominently in the program, and he wondered who cashed my check.  Someone must have just used my template and cut out the middleman.  But letting me take credit?  I'd rather have the trip, or the money at least.

Tomorrow is our annual holiday party and it will be my last holiday party here.  You know what I did for fun yesterday?  l looked on line at my benefits estimator and my social security estimator.  It always makes me happy. 

08 December, 2015

True to my word

There are always so many little chores to take care of when I get home -- walking Tink and playing fetch with her, tidying up the kitchen, laundry .... etc. etc.  But as soon as I was able, I sat down with my blanket and started knitting.  Every night this week - every night!  I really want to get it finished up this weekend.  If I can do a couple of hours every night and then a big push Saturday and Sunday I should be able to finish.  It's not going to be very exciting, until I get to the part where I'm binding off.

We are two weeks away from the solstice and it is SO dark, especially on a cloudy day.  Yesterday was again a rainy day and it was like evening.  I had to walk up to the grocery store for a couple of items for dinner and I got pretty wet even though I had an umbrella.  I played Christmas songs on my phone, even though I knew it would probably make me sad.  It did a little bit.  Bittersweet.  I think we need that now and again, don't you?  I tend to get into a safe mode, not putting my feelings out there very far.  But I'm going to be making some very big changes coming up here in about nine months and I'm going to push my boundaries a little bit.  Just to like limber up, you know? 

07 December, 2015

Working on that Christmas spirit

We got up and out fairly early on Saturday, and headed in to town for a day of Christmas shopping and generally just having some holiday fun.  It was pouring rain.  No, POURING rain for pretty much the entire day.  Luckily there was a room available so we were able to check in at 10 o'clock and head down to the Public Market.  We did a pretty thorough sweep through there and I found my sister's birthday present.  After a nice lunch at Pike Place Brewery we headed to DiLaurenti's and got a few things for one of the white elephant gifts.  In retrospect I think it was a bad idea, we should have done more shopping along 1st, but instead we dropped our packages off at the hotel and went down to Pioneer Square.  That was a bust.  There weren't nearly as many shops as I had thought there would be - well it's been a while since I've been down there.  We got through all of them down there and headed back up town but I really didn't feel like going to the big mall area - it was nearly 4 and getting dark and raining like crazy.  So we headed back to the hotel and watched football and had an early dinner and watched movies in the room.  It was relaxing and fun.  There's good football this time of year.

Sunday we did the grocery shopping on the way home, then went out and got the Christmas tree.  The Seahawks game was recording so we got all of the running around done and then settled in and watched them just beat the tar out of the Vikings.  Pretty great game.  We couldn't pick Tink up until 3:30 so we finished decorating the outside of the house, got the tree up and decorated.  Whew -- that's a lot of work on a weekend considering we walked all day Saturday.  But was I done?  Heck no!  I knit and knit on that blanket while I was watching football and finished up the last magenta stripe and now I am on the very last grey one!  Whoohoo.  I am going to keep at it this week and finish that thing up.  I am SO done with it.  It is beautiful though, I'll be the first to say so.  And oh so soft.

04 December, 2015

A little Christmas this weekend

This is how boring my life is -- I'm actually excited about going into Seattle tomorrow to shop and stay in a hotel.  The Christmas decorations will all be up and it should be quite festive.  I'm looking forward to walking around and shopping at the market, but I know it's going to be crowded.  Granted, it won't be as crowded as it would be later in the month, so this is really the perfect time for me.  And if it gets to be too much?  Well, we'll just stop for a nice little drinkie and calm down and get back to it.  It should be a lot of fun, actually.

Yesterday was another super busy day and I had two late meetings, so I took off from here around 1 so that I could get my manicure out of the way, since I don't have time to do it on Saturday.  I got home about 45 minutes before the first meeting, so I had time to give Tinkie a nice walk and play ball with her for a while.  Her hip is better - she's not limping as much.  She is SO keen to play though and I don't want her charging the full length of the house, so I keep the ball on the rug.  She seems content with that.

First meeting 4:30 to 5:30 but I had to bail on that one so that I could start the second meeting which went from 5 to 7:15.  OMG!!  Then I had a quick shower and made a little pizza and watched the end of one of the most exciting Thursday Night Football games ever.  Usually those games are bad but wow, Green Bay and Aaron Rogers .... he threw a 63 yard Hail Mary and his guy caught it!  Crazy.

03 December, 2015

A pleasant surprise

Because my blanket is way too big to haul in to work on noon knitting days, I took the pair of socks I had started a year ago with me, thinking that I had to now pick up the gusset stitches, which is a hassle doing it two at a time on two circulars.  Ah, but I found that I had already done that!  Hoorah!  I just counted out the center stitches and put in my markers and started on the gusset decreases.  What a relief.  And I was as good as my word and picked up the blanket once I got home and got to work on that.  I'm a good third of the way through the last magenta stripe.  I probably won't get much done on it tonight.  Since we're going to Seattle on Saturday for Christmas shopping I had to move my manicure to this afternoon.  Then I've not only got my regular 5 pm meeting, but also a meeting starting at 4:30.  I'll be lucky to get home by 3:30 and probably more like 4.  That's time to give Tink a walk and get myself situation and then ... meetings.

What else?  It's raining.  And it looks like it's going to rain for the rest of the month.  I want winter this year!  Winter!!!  Snow!!!

02 December, 2015

Yay! Noon knitting

The blanket is now way too large to drag in to work on Noon Knitting days.  I have a pair of socks I started .... what? A year ago?  They've been sitting in my office.  I got to the heel turn, finished that and now they have been waiting for the gussets.  Today I'll have to figure that out and get it going.  I do my socks toe up on two circular needles and I have to look up how to turn the heels and how to do the gussets every time I make a pair.  It's been quite a while though.

Again last night I ignored the blanket even though it was sitting right there on the table, watching me.  Tonight I will pick it up for sure and get going on another few rows of the last magenta stripe.  Since we're going to Seattle Saturday to shop and spend the night I won't be doing much on the weekend.  On Sunday, sure, while football is on.  But Saturday nothing.  I want to make a couple of gifts but I am not going to touch another project (except for my socks here at work) until that darned blanket is finished.

I had a meeting yesterday regarding teaching commitments.  Next September is going to be absolute chaos.  I really want to stop working in September but it's not going to be easy.  Maybe I can work something out so that I don't have to come in every day.  The commute is just terrible.  If I could work from home I might be able to stand it for a couple more months.

01 December, 2015

Just like last year

Oh I do so hope we have a winter this year!  I know that sounds crazy coming from me, but last winter was just so weird.  Well it looks like it's happening again.  It was freezing cold for most of November and then here's December and it's warming up, and clouding up and rain is predicted for the rest of the week.  At least if you get a little snow it changes the scenery.  Now it's just bare trees and grey skies.  Oh and if it snows then I can't come to work, so it's got that going for it as well. 

I had a quick visit to the dentist yesterday morning for my six month cleaning and so I was in the office for only an hour or so before I headed out to the bus.  On the way back from the dentist I spoke to my nephew and we decided to meet for lunch.  So I got back to the office at 11:45, stayed for 30 minutes and headed out for lunch.  Now that's the kind of morning I like to have.  It made the day zip by.

After all of that good work I did on the blanket on the weekend, I didn't pick it up at all last night, but gave myself a break and after I got my hair dried I just watched a couple of stupid things on TV and went to bed at a decent time to read.  I slept like a rock!  And I needed it because I was very very tired yesterday.  I'm starting out the day pretty sleepy too, but I've got lots of work to do so hopefully I'll perk up.  I've got a 10 o'clock meeting that I've got to be on my game for.