Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas came without ribbons or presents...

Our time in Des Moines is drawing to a close and a wonderful time it has been. Guitar Guy and I arrived first and had several days of playing with our grandson before Nicole and Pat arrived Sunday night. Christmas Eve and Christmas Day I watched in amazement as a perfect, magical Christmas snow drifted down, accumulating to about 4 inches. It was one of those dry, sparkling snowfalls that coats the trees and shrubs with a lacy beauty.

It was an unusual year with no presents until Monday night (except for Rowan who got his Duplo blocks early) but somehow I didn't miss them. Beef stew was simmering in the crockpot and beer bread baking in the oven, filling the house with comforting, savory smells.

Rowan has fallen in love with the little man who came in his Duplo blocks, dubbing him Nosez. We had no idea why as his nose doesn't seem particularly notable but Nosez he is. Many towers have been built and destroyed. Everyone has stepped on a block in bare feet at least once. I think we've had as much fun as Rowan has.

Knitting is proceeding well with Rowan's new sweater 1/2 finished. This is a Cabin Fever top down cardigan pattern using Dream in Color Classy in Romeo Blue. It is going to be warm and beautiful with Rowan's bright blue eyes. Hopefully he will like it.

Thursday I'm off to my dad's house for a week. Should be plenty of knitting time and maybe even some pictures. I know my New Year's will be quiet. How about you - anything exciting planned?

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Greetings from the Las Vegas Airport

Hanging out in the Vegas airport, waiting to fly off to visit my family. It's been a long and stress filled month. My father and father-in-law are both struggling with declining health, necessitating many phone calls and difficult decisions. Do they want to do more tests or not? Is is time for assisted living or help at home? How can the family best support them when they live far away. No easy answers. They both frequently remind us that getting old really sucks.

The fun part of the month has been spending time with Nicole and Patrick baking cookies, touring the holiday lights and eating too many good meals. It is such a gift having them in town and we'll enjoy it as long as it lasts.

Since I will be staying in Iowa for an additional week to help my dad, I've packed plenty of yarn so I can get some quality knitting time in. I'm finishing a pair of socks and starting a sweater for Rowan. Should have started a month but you know how that goes. It will be a January sweater instead of a Christmas present.

My best wishes to all of you for a wonderful holiday!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The cookies are calling me

Six months ago I was so proud of my weight loss and now the pounds are creeping back on. It all started with Nicole's graduation party last May when I let myself gorge and I've struggled ever since. Now the Christmas cookies are calling me and the jeans I wore last winter don't fit anymore. It would be so much easier if they weren't so tasty!

Nicole had a day off yesterday so we spent the afternoon watching Christmas videos and baking. She is working a lot this month so not too many days to do holiday activities. We will try to get out and look at lights one night - GPS makes it so much easier. The stockings are hanging over the fireplace and a few decorations are sprinkled about. For the first time in my 55 years, I won't have a Santa stocking this year. Between packing in a carry-on and the cost of filling the darn things, we decided to forego stockings this year.

It is an odd year with my dad not doing as well and Guitar Guy's dad just out of the hospital after a serious infection. Even old Icey cat has been feeling her 21 years and hobbling around less. It reminds us anew how important those visits (for the humans) and ear scratches (for the cat) really are.

And now back to our scheduled Phoenix Suns game - Go Suns!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Times change

The good news that Nicole and Pat are settled in their freshly painted house and she is at the end of her work week so we can celebrate Thanksgiving tomorrow. The bad news, I think the last 10 days just about did her in. Thankfully Pat's family came and helped with part of the move, I helped last Sunday and did my best to keep the two of them fed until their kitchen was set up.

I now remember why I haven't moved in 25 years! Not only do you have the mountain of boxes to pack and unpack, but all that hauling is hard on the body. Helping Nicole move has renewed my motivation to start sorting, selling and throwing some of our excess now. As I go through my day, I ask, "If I had to move this would I still have it?" It is surprising how often the answer is "NO".

It has been a relaxing weekend, after a busy month. Nicole was put on-call Thursday and wound up not having to work so the four of us watched football and movies, ate a delicious New York loin roast and enjoyed a fire in the fireplace. Friday I puttered around the house and today made a run to the mall to replace my 4 year old purse. When the leather has totally cracked off the handles, it starts looking pretty tacky.

Didn't hit the Black Friday sales this year as our family has agreed to keep Christmas very small. No one has a lot of extra cash and there isn't much we really need. The best gift of all is that we'll be together for at least a few days over Christmas. Getting to hug my grandson is way better than anything that comes from a store :-)

Time for bed so I can get up and start cooking in the morning. Hope you have a peaceful, relaxing Sunday.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Pippin and I are Watching TV

Back home, sitting on the couch being smothered in kitty love. Pippin was sooooo happy to see his mommy he has hardly left my side. Merry is still deciding whether I have done my penance and Icey is happy if her food dish is full.

We got back about 10 PM Sunday night after 9 hours of air/car time. I think my butt is till numb! I don't know how people do those long Trans Atlantic flights. I probably wouldn't be able to rise out of my chair.

Had a good visit with my in-laws but spent a good bit of time doing geriatric care management with them. My dad started receiving home health care and physical therapy this week to try to slow his decline. Old age truly is not for wimps.

Got part of one sock done (Pattern: Nemesis, Yarn - Sanguine Gryphon Little Traveler) I'll try to get pictures this weekend.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

And now for something completely different - Florida!

I'm off on a jaunt again. This time we are headed to Florida to visit my in-laws for a few days. Neither of them are getting any younger or in any better health. My father-in-law had surgery yesterday for probable bladder cancer. We are keeping our fingers crossed for good news.

On the bright side, we are having lobster for dinner Friday night and my sis-in-law is going to mix yummy drinks. Perhaps I won't knit that night. I might just stab myself.

Nicole picks up keys to her new rental house in Monday and then the move in begins. Between work, school, moving and a friend's wedding, I think she's doing about 1500 miles next week alone. I anticipate a major energy crash about the 21st. If you hear a big thump it was her falling asleep while carrying a box.

Keep a good thought for the poor lonely cats who will only get wet food once a day. They are so spoiled!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Freezing my ass off

Iowa has turned from fall to winter while I'm visiting and I was not prepared. The chill winds that blew through the Midwest took most of the remaining leaves and dropped the overnight temps in to the 20's. I came prepared for the usual fall jacket weather and the heat of my dads apartment. This has made running errands a process of run and shiver. I now clearly remember why I live in Arizona!

One more day with Dad and then on to visit my son and Rowan. This trip he was unable to get out to the apartment to go to dinner or go to Walgreen's. The doctor is running some tests to see if the increased weakness is anything treatable. If not, it is just one more step in the aging process and we'll have to create a new plan for how to adapt.

Rowan's mommy is off in Portland doing a 1 month medical school rotation in Pediatrics ICU. She is lonely and missing her boy! We keep assuring her that time will go by quickly and she'll be home in 24 more days. Guitar Guy changed jobs when my son was about Rowan's age and I remember the time apart is being difficult for all of us.

Nicole is plugging away on packing and trying to get everything done for a mid-November move. Hopefully all will go smoothly and they'll be settled in by Thanksgiving. Being one of the newest nurses she has volunteered to work the holidays so people with young children can take the time off. I think that means Thanksgiving comes on Sunday at our house this year :-)

Have to go finish Rowan's newest socks before I get on the bus tomorrow. Got to keep his little feets warm this winter!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

It is official

Yep, it is official, Nicole and Pat are moving here. They found a nice house that would accept all of the animals and will be here full time in about a month. She's working lots of overtime to get the move money so don't see a whole lot of her.

Not much new in my world - a little work, a little knitting, a little Buffy (on Season 6). Now I'm off to bed. Have a good week all.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Christmas Really?

I saw them yesterday. Christmas trees. In Kmart. Knitting panic set in as I realized that there are only 90 knitting days until Christmas. I meant to start early -honest I did. Behind again...sigh.

Busy, busy week between our business, my volunteer responsibilities and doing householdy things like cooking. Can you believe I'm actually using recipes and cooking after years of thawing and take out? I've discovered that if Nicole doesn't have dinner waiting when she walks in the door after a 12 hour shift she doesn't eat well. Guitar Guy is loving it - he gets real food (even though he has to wait until 8 PM or after to eat) I'm actually discovering I do like cooking, I just don't like the clean up :)

This may all change again soon as Nicole and her guy are considering a move to our community. It is a toss up whether she misses him or her cats more when they are separated, but being away from them seriously sucks. They did some looking at rental houses today that would accomodate them, the two cats and a 180 lb. English Mastiff. Keeping fingers crossed that a potential landlord will be impressed by the fact that the gigantic dog soon will complete her Canine Good Citizen and is not destructive. Now if she would just quit lavishing drool on the cats..

So a couple of weeks ago I took everything out of my bedroom except the basic furniture and cleaned the carpets. Since that time I have been enjoying the open space and relief from the odor of eau de cat vomit. Unfortunately, the enormous pull of stuff too valuable to throw away is still sitting in the middle of my living room floor. Who knew I had 20 years of photos I never put in albums and that they were all in my closet? This weekend I have to start sorting and finding homes for all of my memorabilia, Christmas books, decorative bric-a-brac I don't even remember buying and so much more. Can you say major garage sale?

I think I need a nice Friday afternoon nap to prepare. What do you have planned for the weekend?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Cat lovers unite!

Two weeks ago I posted this picture of Merry as my avatar in Facebook and on my page in FB's Fairyland game. Since that time, many total strangers have come out of the woodwork to share their cat pictures and stories.

I have talked with people in England, Australia, Indonesia and across the US about our spoiled felines . We all agree that we are excellent staff for the fur people who run our homes :-)

Merry has a very swelled head after receiving many compliments on his beauty. I have not shared with his adoring public that he finds the bathroom floor and tub equally as attractive for deposits as his cat pan!

Things are slowly moving in to a routine after the traumatic events of a few weeks ago. Nicole is making herself crazed trying to keep up with a full time college schedule online while working full time and commuting 3.5 hours from Phoenix. She'll soon be through orientation at the hospital and will have more control over scheduling her work around school requirements.

The summer heat is beginning to ease here in Arizona (at least in the evenings and mornings). That means that the activity level of the community has now kicked in to high gear. I've had events to attend every night this week which keeps life interesting. I'm always amazed when people say there is nothing to do in our community. We obviously aren't living in the same place!

Nothing new on the knitting front other than another pair of socks for Rowan. I'm being a knitting slacker these days. Hopefully the cooler weather will inspire me to get moving. Hope all is well in your worlds and you are looking forward to a wonderful weekend.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Sometime routine is good

It's not a very exciting day today and I'm good with that. Routine is sometimes the glue that holds us together. The turmoil of last weekend has roiled through the town all week. People are holding memorials, raising money, making food and generally doing all of the things we do to comfort ourselves in times of tragedy. Nicole keeps putting one foot in front of the other and trying to help out those who can't.

She's due back today for her next group of work days so I'm picking up the house, cleaning and getting ready for the weekend. I awoke early for some reason so went to the grocery store early before the heat and crowds set in. Holiday weekends in our community are a good time to hibernate with all of the visitors! My daughter brought us all of her Buffy seasons so there may be a Buffy marathon in our future.

I started another pair of socks for my grandson and realized yet again that I don't need any more yarn! My stash likely will likely outlive me! On the other hand, I always have a project available :-) I need to start another pair of fall socks - so many great colors in that palette.

Today I'm taking everything off of our bedroom floor to clean the carpets. We will not discuss how long it has been since that happened. Everything from the closet is sitting in my living room and needs to be sorted. I've been putting this off for years because it involves bags of pictures and other memorabilia that I have no idea what to do with. Keep a good thought for me. If you see a massive cloud of dust bunnies hanging over the Southwest you'll know I finally got down to the floor :-)

Monday, August 30, 2010

Hug the ones you love

It has been a whirlwind couple of weeks as Nicole started her new job and we all adapted to the changes in our lifestyle. We seem to have worked out the shower schedule and have enough bandwidth to accommodate the extra computer. It isn't ideal but what in life is? We are figuring out how to make it work because that is what family does (at least in our family).

My 55th birthday was last week. Just writing those numbers gives me pause. In my head I'm still 40-45. In my father's head he's 75 not 92. I guess it isn't so unusual that the changes time makes in our bodies aren't matched by the vision in our minds. It was a quiet day, sort of. Nicole was off work for the day and was studying. Since she studies by talking through the ideas she's reading, we wound up chatting most of the day. Although the dinner out was nice and birthday presents fun, the gift of a day with my daughter was the best.

This weekend we were harshly reminded of how quickly life can change. My daughter's new boss, the woman she went to high school with, who took a chance on a new grad to mentor, was gunned down by the father of her children, along with 5 others at a birthday party. It's been all over the news. You may have heard about it and thought, "how sad..." but our family, our community is reeling from the blow. Facebook is full of anguished questions of former classmates and friends of the victims. How does one make sense out of something so senseless?

Nicole was not due back to work until this morning. Instead she hit the road shortly after receiving a call requesting help at the hospital. Some people couldn't work after hearing the news. Most were in shock and leaning on each other for support. Nicole wanted to do what she could to help because that is who she is. Although my heart hurts for her and all of those so immediately touched by this tragedy, I couldn't be prouder of Nicole and the poise and compassion she brought to the situation.

Now the questions will begin. Why didn't someone do something sooner? How could this have happened? How does one pick up the pieces and go on with life? In an instant life can change. We don't know when or how. What we can do is hug the ones we love, tell them they are important to us every day and live fully and joyfully.

Have a good day. Live. Laugh. I'm thankful for each of you and the joy and friendship you have brought to my life. Just thought I needed to say that.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Don't Blink You Might Miss It

I'm always amazed at how quickly life can shift. Last week I was an empty nester and now my daughter will be living with us part time and working at our local hospital. HUH?

The good news is Nicole has a job as an RN. She started today. The other good news is that we get to see her more. The other good news is that she will have benefits and be financially solvent. The other good news is that she is starting the RN to BSN program at Arizona State University online this week. That is a lot of good news.

There will certainly be adjustments for her SO and the pets, especially this first six weeks while she is orienting and training. There will be adjustments for Guitar Guy and I after 5 years of having no children at home! There will be adjustments for all of us as we learn to co-exist as adults, not parent and child.

I've learned to be careful not to blink or I might miss what is coming next!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Now I remember humidity!

I landed in Iowa and my hair started curling and frizzing. Heat and high humidity combined with occasional sprinkles have reminded me how much I hated my hair when I lived in the Midwest! Cleaning out my dad's garage storage cabinets also resulted in the rivulets of sweat that start with any activity in this kind of heat. There is a reason I worked at a swimming pool when I was young :-)

I've spent with the last 5 days with my dad, as I do about every 3 months. We get done what errands he is able to do and spend lots of time eating and talking. Every time I arrive I can see the incremental losses in motion and ability since I was last there. His mind, as sharp as ever, dwells in a body that cooperates less every day. Emptying the dishwasher has become an energy-sucking chore. Getting the top off of Tupperware is almost impossible. Walking to the mailbox requires a 2 hour rest. Days are long with few visitors and yet he perseveres.

We talk about the news and argue politics. We remember good times and talk about the struggles of life and aging. We share memories of my mother and laugh at old pictures. Underlying the love and companionship is the pang of loss and the shared awareness that time is short. Each visit could be the last, The hugs goodbye are tight and tears glisten in our eyes.

But softening the sorrow is a little boy with blonde curls, who at 14 months has boundless energy and a giggle that lightens the heart. He hugs his great grandpa and says "hi" 40 times in an hour. He is the legacy - continuing the love that binds family together, carrying the love of music and gadgets, stories and hugs.

Life is good.

Saturday, July 24, 2010


July is one of those months when I try not to leave the house any more than I have to. It also is the month when Guitar Guy goes to guitar camp leaves me on my own for a week. This is what happens when I am left on my own too long - the table explodes with all of the projects I pull out to do (including figuring out how to sell pre-loved junk on e-bay). I eat a lot of cereal, stay up late and sleep late, never turn on the tv and do exciting activities like sort out my knitting needles!
I started a new pair of socks for Rowan since he now will sometimes leave them on his feet. This yarn came in a toddler sock kit but I didn't like the pattern so am doing Riblets from Ravelry. Basic K3 P2 ribbing - easy and stretchy for grow room.
Also finished a Classic WWII watch cap for my son using Dream in Color worsted (Shiny Moss). Should keep his head cozy next winter and match his jacket.

Other than the usual meetings, I've just been working and getting ready to go back to the Midwest to visit my dad and the kids. Amazing how fast 3 months can go when one is busy or knitting while watching Bones.

Nicole just got back from her 9 day trip to Greece and I still haven't heard the travelogue but she posted a bunch of great pictures on Facebook. Seems to have had a wonderful time and wants to go back again. She tactfully pointed out that I might want to start getting in shape now if Iwant to go back with her. Evidently Greece is full of stairs and not many elevators. I probably would not survive that in my current shape (soft and doughy). Something to think about - tomorrow.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Is it hot enough to whine yet?

I shouldn't complain. We haven't had a day over 120 degrees (which is unusual for this time of year). I know CA has been sweltering as has the East Coast but Arizona is hot. Somehow every year I put out of my mind that I should wear oven mitts to touch the steering wheel. I forget that errands really need to be run VERY early in the morning or late in the evening. I think the heat is a little like child birth - once the cool weather arrives the pain of summer slips away in the joy of glorious days.

Since it is so blasted hot I, of course, decided to knit my son a new winter cap using worsted wool :-) I think it has something to do with sitting under the ceiling fan, drinking a cool drink and watching Season 3 of Bones and the first season of Castle. There is some work in there too, but the heat makes me pretty lethargic.

Nicole is off to Greece for her vacation. Today they were going to the Acropolis. Hard to believe my little girl is half a world away! According to Facebook they arrived safely and are having a good time. When she returns from Greece the search for work begins again. So far, she has been rejected for every nursing job due to lack of experience. Keep your fingers crossed (and toes if you have the flexibility and inclination).

I'm off to go through my stash and see what I want to start next. The wool is calling...............

Monday, June 21, 2010

She passed!

The exciting news for the day is that my daughter passed her nursing boards and is now a real RN! Celebration is now in order! Too bad Roxie isn't here to fix her up a beautiful table when she comes this weekend but we'll figure something out (which shall remain secret since she reads this blog sometimes).

Last week was a busy one for our geriatric care business though I'm not sure how much on-going work we will have from it. We just keep plugging along trying to build a solid reputation. This week we are ordering polo shirts with our logo to wear around town. The fact that I think it is a big deal probably says something about my life :-)

Icy seems to be feeling some better and is back to being her obnoxious self. She insists on draping herself across the arm of the couch in the morning, which tends to put her tail dangerously close to my coffee. This would not be a huge issue except that she has a history of dunking the end in my java! Personally, I don't want to think about where that tail has been after 21 years.

I am yawning so must be time to put myself to bed. Goodnight

Monday, June 14, 2010

And now it is a pair

Finished my new socks over the weekend and will know put them away until about November. Too bad Arizona's wool sock season is so short! I've pulled some patterns to start a WWII watch cap for my son and a sweater for Rowan. Thinking about Cardigan for Merry based on the Arwen sweater. Anybody made either one? I've never cabled before but what the heck. The worst that can happen is I'll have to frog it.

I also pulled out a counted cross stitch kit Christmas stocking for Rowan. This should be interesting since I haven't done cross stitch in years. I do have my Ott light now so hopefully that will help with those itty bitty stitches. I got excited when I sorted the thread and saw all the rich colors. I'll keep you posted on my progress.

Still trying to find a balance in my life but my energy is picking up a little. My goal for this week is getting through the tasky stuff that has been piling up and clean my office. That should be a good start to re-organizing and prioritizing.

Spent the morning taking poor old Icy to the vet. She has chronic bladder infections and her antibiotic shot wore off. Peeing blood every 3 feet across my light beige carpet ensued. She seems very subdued tonight so I'd guess she doesn't feel very good. She is 100 years old in cat years so infections take a toll on her. Keep your fingers crossed for her to perk up.

Just finished a Dairy Queen sundae. Tomorrow it is back to Weight Watchers :-)

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Finally updated with pictures and socks!

Just to prove I have been accomplishing some knitting lately, I got the camera out to take photos. I finished this one sock (Yarn Harlot basic sock pattern, Opal Harry and Ron yarn) I've been working my way through the first season of Bones on Netflix and this has been the perfect project for that. I love watching the pattern develop but the stitching is simple. The other one is on the needles and should be done by the end of next weekend.Embossed leaves pattern in Sanguine Gryphon Bugga (don't remember the color) I started these a year ago for a Bugga challenge on Ravelry and got sidetracked with Rowan knitting. I didn't really like the pattern when I knit the first sock and had trouble motivating myself to knit the second. I took it to Iowa with me and finished the second sock. Decided I like the pattern better now and like the yarn a lot.
I finally finished the #1 Husband socks, and I think my Guitar Guy will be happy with them. I used Shelridge Farms Heather Charcoal which knits in to a pretty heavy weight sock. Nice yarn but these are definitely winter socks in Arizona. We'll put them away until the air is a tad cooler here.

I hate working with pictures in Blogger and never can seem to get them in the right order without losing them and having to start over, so you get them in the order loaded :-) If anyone has insights to share on easily moving photos around please share!

Nicole graduated from nursing school in May and had her pinning ceremony on May 13th. This is the happy graduate with me, Guitar Guy and Nicole's boyfriend Pat (who you may remember from the great office redecorate of last summer)

This is Nicole receiving her nursing pin from one of the professors. Since she chose not to walk at her high school graduation and probably will not do ASU when she graduates there, this was the ceremony for all of us to celebrate her accomplishments!
This is me speaking at Nicole's pinning ceremony. I was so honored to have the chance and made it through with minimal emotional choke ups and no tears Rowan's first birthday party at a local park. He had a great time but wouldn't get off of the blanket and walk on the grass. He had his own little island :-)
Opening presents required some guidance from the experienced kid but Rowan quickly got in the swing of things. The big hit of the day was a ride on truck!

It has been a whirlwind month and I didn't even include handing out diplomas at high school graduation, attending Project Graduation that night or facilitating a round table discussion for local nonprofits. Guitar Guy and I were fortunate to stay the whole weekend after pinning and enjoy the graduation barbecues.

While in Des Moines I got sucked back in to the Fairyland Facebook game by Nicole and Alex. Since I am a compulsive and competitive game player, I shamefully admit to letting it suck up vast amounts of time in the last 10 days. Now that the holiday weekend is over, I have to get back to more mundane things like laundry and work.

I'm not entirely sure what happened in the last month, other than that I went on vacation and never quite came back to the real world. I had a lot of trouble reconnecting to my regular routine and just sort of crashed. I feel foolish whining about my brain feeling overloaded when some of you function in that state most of the time, but that is the reality. After 2 years spent re-inventing myself, learning about running a business, plunging head first in to social media promotion for two businesses and attending way too many committee meetings, my brain needed to reboot.

I didn't realize how much I had disconnected until I started reading your blogs and realized what I had missed. This summer my goal is to regroup, plan and try to restore some balance in my life. What helps you find balance in your life? Any advice?

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Update promised this weekend

I was shocked to realize I hadn't blogged in a month. Of could blame it on traveling or being busy, but I haven't been blogging on my business blogs either. I just plain took a break. Promise I will have an update by the end of the weekend complete with sock pictures!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Protecting your brain

For those who may have missed Blue on Facebook, I give you the foil brain protector! His quirky mom, my daughter-in-law, thought he needed to model her creation. I understand he was less than happy about the hat, but loved getting his picture taken :-)

I will be seeing him again soon as I head back to the Midwest for a family/knitting vacation. Every time I get ready to go I swear I don't have time and every time I'm glad I took the break. Meetings occur endlessly but family time is to be treasured.

Had a great weekend with my daughter and her boyfriend last weekend. They came up for Guitar Guy's gig at the Piss on the River Poker Run party, held at the Eagles Lodge. We were among the few not in bandanas and leather but no one seemed to hold that against us. The rest of the weekend we talked, watched movies, cheered for the Coyotes and ate lots of good food. I totally ignored my Weight Watcher's points and the scale showed it this week :-( Now to get back on track while traveling.

I'm half way through the foot of Guitar Guy's second sock so it will get done. Movie watching time on Sunday really helped it along. I'll have to pick out something to take with me to Iowa with a little more color.

Back to work now so I can finish up my chores before Friday AM!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Saturday Laziness

Spent the morning teaching a caregiving class so now is the time to kick back and enjoy the weekend. What shall I do? Read? Knit? Watch movies? All 3 at once? I'd love to say I'm taking a hike in the desert or something healthy like that but being slothful is more my thing.

Still working away on Guitar Guy's socks. Does gray take forever or is it just me? Craving color but need to keep forging ahead. I should get them done just about in time for the weather to heat up and then he won't need them until November! The joys of knitting wool in Arizona.

I'm debating on my next project. I might start a sweater for Rowan or just browse through my patterns for some something fun and different. Is there such a thing as a knitting slump? I think I'm in it and need to get re-energized.

Guitar Guy had a gig tonight but I opted to stay home and veg. Caught up on the last two episodes of Supernatural and the first new episode of Glee. We only have one satellite box so when sports are on I miss my shows. Thank goodness for Hulu.com and ITunes for those television emergencies.

Tomorrow night we are going out to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary (actually on Monday). Considering that my parents were convinced our marriage wouldn't last, I think we've done pretty well. I can't say it has all been perfect, no relationship is, but after 30 years I think I'll keep him. After all, breaking in a new model would be tough :-)

Now back to my regularly scheduled sock. . .

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Catch up

Thought I'd have one last cup of coffee and catch up on my blogging before I head out to run errands. I can't believe we are in April already, especially since I leave again the 30th to head back to Iowa! Combine that with my daughter's nursing school pinning/graduation part in mid-May and I'm basically gone for 3 weeks again. Shhhh - don't tell the cats.

Speaking of cats, it has now been decided that Icey has developed a chronic bladder infection to go with her gallstones. We are trying antibiotic shots every two weeks, hoping that will decrease her vomiting and improve how she feels. If it works, she'll have to stay on them indefinitely to the tune of $58 per shot! This getting old stuff isn't easy for cats either.

Had a great weekend in Phoenix with my daughter and her boyfriend. I even tried sushi for the first time. I must be getting more daring as I age :-) The hockey game was great (especially since Phoenix won) and then we went out for beer and appetizers at Gordon Biersch. They have the most amazing garlic fries. Obviously I wasn't counting Weight Watchers points that night!

Now its time to get caught up on Supernatural since I missed it Thursday night. Angsty veal, here I come.

Friday, March 26, 2010

A short note

I promise I will get back in to the swing of things with the blog, but not today. Racing through my "to do" list before heading to Phoenix to spend the weekend with my daughter and go to a hockey game.

Still working on Guitar Guy's socks and dropped a stitch on the Monkey Sock so it is sitting on the coffee table until I'm ready to deal with it.


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Where did spring go?

In typical SW fashion, we suddenly went from wonderful springtime coolish daytime temps to almost summertime heat. Mornings and evenings are great but I almost had to put air conditioning on in the car today!

Ran errands this afternoon as I usually do. Finished grocery shopping and realized everyone around me was wearing shorts and tank tops (always a good clue). The car was hot, but it is AZ, so didn't think too much about it. Looked down at my car thermometer and it said 86 degrees outside. Uh Oh.

Got home to discover the house was 79 degrees INSIDE! I still have sweaters sitting on the kitchen table from the last load of laundry. Don't think I'll be needing those puppies any more this year.

The good news is I might fit in to some of my spring clothes from 6 or 7 years ago now that I've lost weight. The bad news is, I'm probably going to have to buy some clothes - one of my least favorite activities.

Off to open windows and enjoy what little is left of the coolness before blistering temps return again.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A beautiful spring day

Wish I had a photo to show you, but it was the most beautiful spring day today. I actually took an hour off this afternoon and went down to walk by the lake. I'll try to remember my camera the next time I go.

Didn't get my Monkey Sock done but did get through the gusset so feel like I'm on the home stretch. I think I made this pair a little small so guess I'll have to wash and block for maximum stretch. I also need to learn to darn as I wore a hole in one of my favorite Spring Forward socks. I knew the yarn was a little soft for socks but was still learning about such things a year ago. It's not like I don't have enough yarn to make more :-)

The cats won't leave me alone since I got home! I guess being gone 17 days out of 21 was too much for them. I woke up with 17 lbs. of cat on my chest the last two nights. That's bad enough, but his brother was laying across my feet, making it difficult to move. Spent the morning at the vet with Icey our 21 year old cat. It appears she now has a chronic urinary tract infection and gallstones. They have to consult a specialist because of her age, so we are still waiting on recommendations.

Tomorrow is the first day of a learning community I am facilitating for nonprofit executives. Although I've been part of such communities, I've never been one in charge. Should be interesting. In a month I'll start another one in a neighboring community. They are really excited about making visionary change practical in their community.

You know I can't end the day without Rowan (who is actually walking now!! - look out world)

Monday, March 1, 2010


Had a great time with Rowan over the weekend. Being the Grandma definitely has its good points like not getting up in the night :-) Spent most of the day Friday with the baby while his parents were at work. We had a great time dancing to the Bob the Builder MegaMix on YouTube. He thinks I'm a very cool grandmother.

Good thing he took two naps though because by afternoon I needed one too. There is a reason to have children when you are young - energy!

Now I'm spending the week with dad getting his errands done and reminiscing. Always a nice time and I'm so grateful that I can take the time to spend with him.

Now I'm off to start on a second Monkey Sock. I made the first one a year ago. I might just go home with a pair.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Just stopping by to do laundry

Got home from Tucson yesterday afternoon and leave again for Iowa on Thursday. That gives me just about enough time to pet the cats, do laundry and kiss my husband (not necessarily in that order).

Great week at consultant immersion including beautiful weather. I had a patio room so was able to open my sliding glass door and enjoy the sunshine. It is amazing how quickly a day can pass when you are engaged and excited about what you are doing. Just in case you don't remember from last year, we were talking about building stronger communities by focusing on what is possible, instead of on problems. We practiced starting with a vision and working back to putting first steps on a calendar

It really is no different than Roxie imagining her Saturday tea party and then working back to the first step she needs to do today. We just start with building a strong community which takes a little longer :-)

I love these kind of opportunities, but then I come home and the cat has puked on the couch just to keep things in perspective. Cats are like that.

Bright and early Thursday morning I'm off to see baby Rowan (and my son, DIL and Dad) It will be way too cold and probably will snow on me at least once. BRRRRRR.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

And so it begins

This week I've been up to my eyeballs in projects that have to be finished before I leave town for about 3 weeks. I'm making progress but already shortening the list to what absolutely has to be done. I've made a little progress on the #1 husband socks. You can kind of see the pattern. I haven't used this yarn before (Sheffield Farms) but hope it softens up more when washed.

Saturday Guitar Guy and I leave for Phoenix to visit our daughter and go to a Phoenix Coyotes hockey game. I'm not a big hockey fan but live games are pretty fun, especially if they fight! Got to watch for those flying pucks though. When Nicole was little she used to read at hockey games because she was bored. Made her mother very nervous.

Sunday Guitar Guy heads home to take care of the cats and I'm on to Tucson for another week of the consultant immersion class I did last year. This time I'll be a "seasoned" participant, facilitating the learning of the other students while advancing my own knowledge. Should be fun but also intense and exhausting. I'll be back home for 4 days then off to frigid Iowa for 9 days. That should give me some knitting time though I might take a break from the gray and start some purty colored socks for me :-)

Off to bed now. I have a 7 AM Chamber breakfast so need to at least fake alert and interested.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Full stomach and a productive day

Had to do the baby cuteness picture for the day. I get to see him at the end of February. SQUEEEEEE!

Just finished my Dominos thin crust pizza for dinner. All that good pizza flavor with less Weight Watchers points. That makes up for hitting the Hot Tamales this afternoon. Damn grocery store keeps having them on sale and they jump in the cart as I wheel past. I feel it is my duty to help them escape. That's my story and I'm sticking too it.

Today was the nonprofit workshop I've been prepping for with the speaker from Tucson. Guitar Guy and I got to go out to dinner with her and her business partner last night and had a really nice time. They are bright, well read, funny people - what's not to like! We had about 24 nonprofit execs and board members turn out for the presentation and it seems like it went well. Looks like I'm volunteered to start a local learning community to further the discussions. I got a very nice endorsement from the speaker and talked to a few people about the possibilities of doing some work for them. I'll be headed back to Tucson in 1 1/2 weeks for another training session. Had to miss 3 board meetings to go but so worth it to get re-energized.

Next on the volunteer agenda - selling raffle tickets at the Winterfest street fair this weekend for the Chamber of Commerce. Keep your fingers crossed for no rain! Last year it poured the whole weekend - not good for attendance.

Now I need to get knitting - not much progress on those #1 husband socks so it's time to kick it in to gear.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

A day to rest and recover

It has been a long, busy week and my stomach is not feeling well. I'm sitting on the couch reading blogs and enjoying the warmth of Pippin purring by my side. Not a bad way to spend a Sunday morning.

The Foundation meeting went well and I'm really glad it is over. I've determined over the years that I don't really enjoy event planning. That is probably why I love hearing about Roxie's teas and seeing the pictures, but wouldn't do it myself. Vicarious enjoyment works for me :-)

In the process of buying all of the materials for centerpieces at Walmart, I had a horrifying moment. Picture 7:30 AM, under the merciless lights of a big box store, I look down in to a mirrored tile and see that GASP - I look old! Saggy neck skin, jowls, lines around my mouth etc, etc etc. Since I don't have the money for plastic surgery and don't know that I would ever do it anyway, I've resolved to never look down in to a mirror again. There is more than one reason to keep your chin up!

I'm off to knit and read some more of Rampant. Hope your day is restful and full of good things.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Oops it's Monday

Meant to post yesterday and lost a day somewhere. Caught up the work blogs this morning so time to update you too.

Last week was really busy but mostly with school board and nonprofit board meetings. We had a 3 hour work session on closing one of the middle schools, the regular board meetings the next night and a debriefing on the failed override on Wednesday. By end of day Wednesday I was pretty fried on school district issues!

The exciting news for this week is an upcoming presentation in town by the woman I studied with last spring for nonprofit consulting. She'll be traveling through the area and offered to do a free workshop if we let her sell her books at the end. There is so little opportunity for live education in our area, I'm hoping people will turn out.

Today I got to sit on in on the City Council's visioning process at their annual retreat. I was one of four Chamber of Commerce reps, though I'm relatively new to that board and still learning the ropes. It was an interesting afternoon and the people present have an exciting view of our future. Hope at least parts of it can be moved forward. We want to be ready when the economy eventually turns up!

This week I have the annual meeting for the 4 year university group. Our progress is stalled at the moment due to the economy but trying to move ahead. I was the only one willing to put the dinner/meeting together so have been chasing a few last minute details. I have been promised that if I become an officer of the board I won't have to do this job again :-)

Saturday we have a board retreat for the youth organization I'm involved with. Thankfully, I don't have to facilitate. The Exec and I are putting the agenda together with a volunteer facilitator. Excited to see what comes out of it and awaiting Sunday as a day of rest.

I did start Guitar Guy's socks yesterday but don't have enough progress (and am too lazy) to take a picture. Liking the pattern so far. Did have to order another skein of yarn since men's socks are bigger. Figure I can use it at the toes of the color is too different.

Off to bed and my comfy pillow.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Happiness Project

I just started reading Gretchen Rubin's "The Happiness Project" so celebrate the new year. Who isn't in favor of more happiness?

What I like about it so far: each person will create their own happiness project, not follow a prescribed pattern. Changes are added one at a time, building on successes. This is basically the process I've been following to change to a healthier diet. Other than starting to add in some exercise, I'm not inclined to make a lot of changes this year.

Had a great time in Phoenix with Nicole and my friend Kathe last week. Indian food, Sherlock Holmes and a road trip to Tucson were on the agenda. My grandcats were very happy to see me as well. They've recovered from the trauma of Christmas at our house and claws are healing.

Yesterday I finally took down all of the Christmas decorations and cleaned the front of the house. Guitar Guy was out and about so I turned up my music and sang loudly while I was cleaning. Still have more decluttering to do (and we won't talk about the garage) but now I can take that a little at a time.

Finally am starting socks for Guitar Guy. He's been complaining for months that I've never made him anything. Decided on #One Husband socks. Hopefully by next week I'll have a picture. Now off to choose the yarn and wind.

Happy Sunday!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Is it really 2010?

I can't believe how quickly the holidays went by! Of course having a cold and sinus infection sort of put me out of action for a couple of days. Thankfully I caught the sinus infection early and the antibiotics seem to be kicking its butt. I'm trying to be patient with myself which is why my Christmas decorations are still up. Hopefully I'll at least get the tree down tonight. I enjoy the lights, so waiting doesn't really bother me.

The big news of the weekend is that Rowan is now mobile. He's moving fast, eating out of the dog bowl and tearing pages from books. Kind of glad he held off until he got home as our house is not baby proof. I'm hoping to get to see him at the end of January if I can find a reasonable air fare.

I also need to get out to see my dad again. A family friend he's known since I was a baby died this weekend. At 92, there are so few people left who share his memories that losing one more is very hard. Getting old is definitely not for the weak.

Tomorrow I'm off to Phoenix for a couple of days. My best friend from college is coming in for a conference so we'll try to catch a few hours together at least. Beats me traveling to Omaha, NE. The last time I was there we were up at 2 AM keeping track of tornado movements.

I hope you all had good holidays and are ready for whatever 2010 throws at us.

Happy New Year!