Monday, June 22, 2015

Week 25 - Operation Spare Bedrooom

This week was all about clearing out my spare bedroom. With the clock ticking on my sister’s arrival (now moved up a day to late Thursday – must remember to ask for a vacation day Friday), my dumping ground room had to be functional, which meant clearing the piled high bed as well as the rest of the crap on the floor and ever surface. I had my work cut out for me.

I did get a few other things done in the countdown to the weekend. I had my follow up mammo on Tuesday (clean bill of health – yay!) and had a long day on Wednesday, getting my car to Omaha for 7:00 a.m., driving the loaner to Lincoln for a full work day then back to Omaha after work to pick  it up. $700 later, my AC was back and not a minute too soon because summer arrived with its typical heat and humidity. Add knitting on Monday and swimming on Tuesday and Thursday and it was a busy week. The diet is still going swimmingly and I’m a hair away from another milestone. Stay tuned on that.

This weekend was the annual retreat for my spinning group, which I’ve never attended but I had been considering going up just for Saturday. Andrea was going and I wanted to see Jeanie’s farm but I decided not to take a day out of the weekend, which would surely have stressed me out since I had a firm deadline on the room clear out. It was the right decision. I started on the room first thing on Saturday and chipped away at the piles for the rest of the weekend.

Part of the project involved rethinking all of my upstairs storage. There was a pile of linens and bedspreads on the spare bed because the top shelf of the spare closet was full of huge Creative Memories photo storage boxes with all my pics and my mom’s. Luckily they were shallow enough to fit under the bed so under they went, clearing that shelf up for linens. The new piles of clothes that don’t fit were next and while there’s one basket for Helen and Dottie to go through, there’s another lot of bags headed to Goodwill. And one of the empty drawers in the spare dresser is now full of the gifts that I pulled out of the under the bed box I needed for sock yarn. And now I need to either buy a couple more under the bed boxes or rethink the drawers in the other dresser since I had no spare clothes in storage these days.

So by the end of the day Sunday, the room was completely cleared out, the bed empty and all surfaces cleared and ready for the cleaning lady on Tuesday. And other than a few book bags that I need to find a place for, everything is put away rather than just relocated. I have 3 bags of yarn to take to knitting to share too. Unfortunately I didn’t make time to prep any produce for the week but since I’m going into a 600/900 week, I don’t get to eat much so will do OK. I have some leftover quinoa and kale (made a huge pot of that on Saturday night, which is tasty and so healthy that I feel holier than though with every bite) and thawed some swordfish for Monday and Tuesday night at least.

And I just need to mention that Masterpiece Theatre has remade Poldark, which is the first ever MT that I ever watched back in high school, so almost 40 years ago. I watched it last night and think it’ll be another good series. All good! Stay cool and have a good week everyone.


Monday, June 15, 2015

Week 24 - Falls and Knees

I was looking forward to a fun week with lots of socialization, which is always good. Well, I got all that but with a bunch of other unexpected crap to add to the fun.  

By Tuesday, all was going as planned – I had a nice lunch at Noodles with Connie’s daughter Rachele, who was in town from New Jersey, and then headed to the pool, where I had a fun workout. The weather had finally turned towards summer so it was roasty toasty outside, which wasn’t all bad. Until I turned on the AC and it wasn’t cool. By the time I’d gone a few miles towards home, it was clearly dead so I drove home with all 4 windows wide open and when I got off the highway, I could hear a distinctly different sound coming from under the hood. Not good.

I was at Walker Tire in Wahoo when they opened Wednesday morning and although they don’t do AC repairs, they checked it out and told me it was likely the AC condenser (or was it compressor?) and was OK to drive (who wants to be stranded at the side of the road when it’s nearly 100 and humid?) so I headed home to call around to find someone who could look at it. Well, my only option was Superior Honda in Omaha! They’d fit me in but I had to get there right away so I grabbed my iPad and knitting and ran out the door, ready for some waiting and hopeful they could fix it same day. After streaming and knitting for awhile and test driving my next Honda (the HR-V), they told me they had to order parts. Did I mention it was already in the 90’s? I scheduled the repair for the following Wednesday and headed to Lincoln. I was in play clothes and would arrive hot after an hour of driving 80 on I-80 with all windows open. Oh well. At least it would only be half a vacation day.

I stopped in Gretna to make some phone calls on the way in and when I went to adjust my jeans (can we say hot butt?), I wrenched my knee because the service guys had put my seat further back and I wasn’t prepared for the extra 3”. And yes, it was my bad knee. By the time I got to Lincoln, the pulled muscle had caused my knee to seize up and I couldn’t walk. I pulled my cane out of the back of the car (it’s always there) and hobbled into work, spending the afternoon moving as little as possible. I called my ortho doc immediately and they couldn’t get me in for a shot until next week but put me on a list for cancellations. What more could I do? If they couldn’t get me in, my upcoming weekend in Sioux Falls with Connie wouldn’t be much fun. But then at 4:58, the phone rang with an appointment for the next day. Hallelujah! So I caned down the hallway to head home, stopping at the ladies’ (right next to the elevator) on the way. Well, in the time it took me to pee, whatever floating joint debris was causing the acute pain clearly moved and my knee was much better. But I was keeping that appointment. No doubt. My knee was still sore from the pulled muscle but much better.

I didn’t need the cane Thursday morning but took it with me to work just in case because I was still walking slowly. My plan was to just leave for the shot and go back to work. Right. I had completely forgotten how absolutely painful getting the shot is. Of course it is! They pump a huge amount of liquid into an already swollen joint and you leave with an enormous knee with a walnut sized egg on the top, which will be there until it all absorbs. So I called Nora from the car and headed home to sit until absorption was done. Nancy and I had cancelled our dinner and movie on Wednesday night so I called to see if she could  come for tea and she did. We sat and chatted for a couple of hours and it was lovely. Except for my huge knee that is.

I woke up Thursday feeling like I had a new knee. Love the cortisone shots! Now there was hope for the weekend, which was jam packed with fun, starting with World Wide Knit in Public Day at the library. The Monday Night Knitters were knitting from 9:30 – 11:30 at the library and I had a Friends of the Library meeting at 10:00. Guess where I’d rather be? Yup, in the lobby knitting. I got half an hour of knitting before and after the meeting (they actually had to come and drag me away from knitting) and then headed home for a quick lunch and the 3 hour drive to Sioux Falls to meet Connie, who was there for work. I had tried to rent a car but it was prohibitively expensive and since I’d been assured I would not be stranded at the side of the road, I was chancing it. The weather was cooperating and it was only going to be in the low 80’s for the high so I headed north.

My car made it there but I definitely crossed a line when I had to stop on the way for duct tape to tape down a piece of trim that was adding to the cacophony of noises my car was making. That took care of the extra noise from the back driver’s side but there was something beyond the different engine noise going on at the front too, which I think is the plastic shield under the radiator that I’ve had replaced twice at $300 a pop and was zip tied by Jiffy Lube last time I had an oil change. I think it might be time for the HR-V sooner rather than later. But I digress….

The plan was to stop at Athena Fibers, Sioux Falls’ only yarn shop, and after checking out their yarn, knit on their porch until Connie called to say she was done with her event. Well, they had such a good yarn selection that I was only cashing out when she called so I headed straight to the hotel. While the porch was inviting and there were some nice knitters there to chat with, Connie trumped that. After a big hug and dropping out stuff in the room, we headed out for some shopping because we’d both lost weight and needed clothes. We were on the homogeneous, suburban side of town so it was chain after chain restaurant and when we asked people where we could get good pasta, their only suggestion was Olive Garden. We ended up at an Olive Garden-esque place – Johnny something or other – for decent pasta then hit World Market. When we were done there, I insisted we had to see the falls. We found a sign for Falls Park and took a scenic, non-direct route to get there. It was worth it. They were very pretty and looked like a set from a movie – kinda fake but not. It was a gorgeous night with no bugs so it was a perfect end to the day. We vegged and chatted at the hotel before a good night’s sleep.

Connie’s on mountain time and wanted to sleep in so when I woke up at 6:45, I started steaming Orange is the New Black on Netflix and knitted by the light from the crack in the curtains for almost 2 hours before Connie woke up. We were just grabbing breakfast then heading our separate ways so I wanted something hardy to keep me full for the ride home. I asked where Cracker Barrel was and we didn’t have to wait. I ordered pancakes, eggs and bacon and what came was awful! The food had clearly been left on the grill too long so I struggled to cut through the bottom crust on the pancakes and the eggs were ¼” thick and not fluffy at all. I sent them back and since Connie was almost done eating, just had them bring me a couple of biscuits, which I put the bacon on. The coffee was horribly weak too. BAD MEAL. I had visions of stopping at Starbuck’s, maybe hitting Target and could have knitted at Athena Fibers starting at noon but you know me. I got in the car just after 11:00 and headed home, not stopping at all so walked into my house at 2:00. Nice. There was more rain in the afternoon forecast so after unpacking and starting laundry, I headed right out to mow, which was pretty darn hot to do in mid-afternoon 80’s and humid weather. I also changed the litter boxes, took the trash to the curb and showered before sitting down with a cup of tea at 3:30. I was done!

What a week! It all turned out fine but sheesh. Too much drama! But it feels like summer has finally arrived and I’m ready to continue the fun. Next fun up is Antiques Roadshow in Omaha with Dottie at the end of June then off to NYC then Rhode Island. All good, am I right? Have a good week.


Monday, June 8, 2015

Week 23 - Food and Clothes

First things first. The trash collector took the old chair, no problem. I ran out with a coat over my nightie to ask if they’d take it (I’d already changed the “Free” sign to “Trash”) and he nodded and grabbed it with the big hook that picks up the cans and off it went. Easy peasy. Now to put out the 2 chairs I have in the garage but that’ll wait. I’ll get to my annual garage clear out one early morning this summer when it’ll be too hot for gardening. But on to the week….

After a less then satisfying break week before my last rotation, I was determined to eat all kinds of yummy things during this week off and absolutely succeeded. Maybe too well. I also made big progress on the new clothes front, buoyed by some actual retail price shopping with Darla. All good.

In addition to having ribs, potato salad and 3 bean salad in the frig for dinners, I also ate out. A lot. I brought strawberry rhubarb pie to knitting, which was enjoyed by all. Then the water aerobics crew went out to Leabbelly’s after swimming on Tuesday, where I enjoyed a burger with PB&J plus bacon – candied and smoked. Yum! Layton was back from Europe so we went to Red Fox on Friday then Andrea and I ate at Bahnwich CafĂ© after our Friday night culture (quilt museum and the Hillestadt Gallery) and I finished my eating out with breakfast with Darla on Saturday. All delish.

I went to Wellness Wednesday at the student health center first thing Wednesday for a fasting blood draw to check my cholesterol and sugar. I’ve never had a sugar problem, which is a miracle (I must have gotten my mom’s pancreas), but my cholesterol needed work. Well, my total cholesterol was WAY down to 190 and my HDL went up (good) and my LDL was down. LDL was still a bit above normal but so much less that I was happy, happy, happy.  Yay!

Something different happened on Thursday in the pool. They didn’t send a lifeguard, who unlocks the pool, so we got a late start. It was 6:00 and Jessica had just said she’d stay later when the fire alarms went off, which were blaring announcements to leave the building and blinding strobe lights. There was weather south of us so we wondered if it was a tornado but the loudspeakers were saying to leave the building. Well, we have never moved so fast. I showered, including washing my hair, in less than a minute, threw on clothes and we all walked out to find fire fighters in the hallway. We didn’t see any evidence of fire but what an experience! I hope that doesn’t happen again anytime soon.

Darla and I had planned to meet at 8:00 Saturday morning for breakfast and thrifting but when I woke up early, I called her and we got going earlier. After a nice catch up breakfast at Greenfield’s, we popped into Wal-Mart, which was right across the street, to pick up nail polish remover for Darla and kill the time until Goodwill opened. Encouraged by Darla, I tried on a few clothes and it’s a good thing I did because I’m down 2 sizes for pants and tops. I found a pair of blue capris, 3 shirts, one of which is perfection, and a cami so I can wear a fun, sheer blouse from my ironing pile. Yay! Then we hit Goodwill and although their racks were fun (so full you couldn’t move anything – not good), their prices were nuts. I did find the world’s most perfect summer nightie, a beautiful crocheted lap afghan for the back of my new chair and for $3, a bike for under my desk. I had been looking for one on amazon but they were $35 so I hadn’t bought one. Score! After a stop at the Capital Humane Society to pet puppies and kitties (Darla’s request cuz I stay away from danger zones) I dropped Darla and headed to another Wal-Mart to see if they had the perfect top in another color. They didn’t but I scored a pair of denim capris, which I desperately needed. What a pleasant and productive morning.

I had plenty to do once I got home but first thing on the list was to finish going through clothes. I started with the first shirts I’d tried on 2 weeks ago, which I suspected were too big and they were. I tried on everything and culled a bunch more. Then it was downstairs to iron. By the time I was done, my closet was nearly empty but I had a dozen shirts that FIT hanging and ready to wear. This should go a long way towards removing the stress from my mornings.

Saturday morning brought more rain. It had rained nearly every day that week and the lawn squished when I walked on it. I was hoping the sun that finally arrived Saturday afternoon would dry things out. I had to mow because I hadn’t the previous weekend and the grass was long. I had put the AC on when I got home Saturday so was puttering inside Sunday afternoon, mostly avoiding chores but 5 loads of laundry were done and on the line, when the phone rang. Andrea wanted me to help her reconfigure her furniture in her house. Yeah, love doing that! I headed right over and after looking around and seeing what I had to work with, we completely reorganized her living/dining room, creating a conversation area with her two couches and moving her piano and taking a leaf out of her dining room table to create better flow. We were discussing changes in her kitchen when her friend Mike arrived so I headed home (my clothes weren’t ready for prime time) to buckle down. I finished up some inside things and headed out to mow ~4:00. I had thought I’d heard thunder but there was nothing on the radar. Well, I was just about to finish the lawn when it started raining AGAIN. I practically ran on the last few rows but got it done and made it inside before the skies opened up. It didn’t rain long but sheesh! At least the lawn was mown, albeit badly. Next weekend may require a double mow in multiple directions.

So all in all, it was a fun and productive week. I finished Sunday prepping a bunch of fruit for my next rotation and went to bed with yogurt culturing on the counter. I’m ready for my last rotation before vacation with hopes that I’ll break 50 pounds lost. Wish me luck.


Sunday, May 31, 2015

Week 22 - My New Chair

It was a good week for many reasons but the best part was that I finally broke 40 pounds. I feel great and am so psyched to keep going. The fact that I managed to lose weight in a week when I ate out 3 times is just icing on the cake. Getting dressed when nearly nothing fits can be a chore but it’s all worth it.

Otherwise, it was a pretty uneventful week. The weather was what it’s been all month – rain and more rain – plus there were also a couple of truly cold days when the high was barely above 50 degrees. So it was all about getting to the long weekend. My cleaning lady was coming a few days early because her daughter was visiting so I started the weekend with a clean house plus stopped at the market on the way home so I would have everything I’d need to stay home all weekend. Nice.

Unfortunately the weather wasn’t being particularly cooperative for my gardening to do list. I had to try and fit things in between rain storms. I managed to get the berry bed prepped, which involved digging the bed, sifting and adding 4 wheel barrows of compost and adding sifted potting soil from last year’s containers on top. I was on that last step when it started raining so I headed inside and started slogging through the spare room. I was needing to try on my spring clothes to see what fit but they were all over the bed with a bunch of yarn so I had to sort that too. That was much more fun than sorting clothes.

I started with the clothes in the spare room and when very few of them fit (I tried on absolutely everything, which worked up a sweat), I headed downstairs to dig through the ironing baskets and 2 small dressers of ancient clothes. All of this took until Sunday night. I had found quite a few tops that fit but it was looking dire in the capri department. I had enormous piles of clothes in my bedroom when I went to bed and tons of laundry to do. At least I’d still have the holiday. It was supposed to rain again in the morning but clear later so I was hopeful I could get outside at some point. I had hope for Memorial Day. Stay tuned.

When I woke up on Monday morning, the rain they’d predicted was forecast to hold off until evening but the ground was still so saturated that I focused on inside stuff again. I started the many loads of laundry from the musty stuff I’d pulled up from the basement. Between loads I prepped tons of produce for the week and make a strawberry/rhubarb pie for Ed to thank him for working on my ceiling fan. With the laundry hung on the line, I decided to take a ride to get rid of stuff, dropping recycling at Region 5, the pie at Ed’s and the produce scraps at Lori’s then stopping at the other Lorri’s to water her plants and pick asparagus for dinner. As soon as I got home, I pulled in the laundry, planted the berries and mowed, which was very muddy but had to be done. Only when I turned the mower off did I hear the rumble of thunder. It started raining again just as I was sweeping my grass from Cara’s driveway. Perfect timing! I jumped in the shower and made dinner, happy when I sat down to eat that I’d gotten so much done. It was a satisfying Memorial Day all in all.

Work was pleasantly busy on Tuesday morning and I taught all afternoon so the day flew and it was time to swim before I knew it. It was going to be sunny on Wednesday so I asked for the afternoon off. Wednesday morning was over in a flash and I was home and ready to garden by 2:00.  Containers were the mission. I hadn’t been outside 2 minutes when I was swarmed with mosquitos. There had been none on the weekend but clearly a zillion had hatched on Tuesday and working without bug spray was not going to work. Despite being in socially unacceptable clothing, I headed to Dollar General for bug spray and was back home in minutes. After spraying my entire body, I successfully potted up every single container, twenty or so that line the driveway, hang from the garage and are all over the deck. I love my containers and my fabulous chicken poop laden compost heap from last year, which has been added to every garden bed and container and still isn’t gone. Life is good!

Dodie and I went thrifting at lunch on Thursday and I scored 2 beautiful, hand pieced, vintage quilt tops (they need filling, backing and quilting) for $5 each. I was so happy and almost said to Dodie that the only thing that would be better was if I found sock yarn. But I didn’t. Well, when we got to St. Louise’s what did find but 16 skeins of sock yarn! Total thrift score. I brought the quilts into work for show & tell then spent the afternoon training then swam after work. One more day and it’d be the weekend. For a 3.5 day week, I still couldn’t wait for the weekend.

I was working on a perfect Friday project for Mary cleansing data for a new database and had planned to run errands over lunch since it was my last Friday without Layton, who’s in Scandinavia on vacation. I had seen a big chair at St. Louise’s that would be perfect for my back room but had completely dismissed getting it because it was too big for my Fit. Well, when Mary mentioned her truck, which I had no idea she had, I brought up the chair and it was quickly decided that we should go get it and she and Ted would pick it up after work and deliver it to Wahoo. So Mary and I went to St. Louise’s to pay and arrange everything. Talk about Plan B but I was excited to replace my ratty old chair at last. It’s almost 16 years old and has shown its age for years.

I headed home at 5:00 to clear the route to the back room. We ended up having to use the front door because neither chair would go through the side door. It didn’t take long before the chairs were swapped and we left for dinner at Chips with the old chair in the middle of the front lawn. I had a small nacho basket because there was nothing remotely healthy on the menu except salad, which I’d had for lunch. After a nice dinner, Ted drove us around Lake Wanahoo, which he’d worked on the wetland plans for so we got an expert tour. What a nice way to start the weekend. And isn’t my new chair great? It goes perfectly with my couch and walls and has a much smaller footprint (no huge rolled arms) but is just as comfy. Excellent. Clearly the cats are fine with it too.

A front had come in Friday night and it was cold! The sun wasn’t out Saturday morning and it was windy and chilly. Too cold to work outside so I finished slogging through the clothes, bagging up tons for Goodwill and pulling a bunch for Helen to try on. Then I finished organizing the yarn, which I bagged up in zippies so it would stop getting tangled. By the time the yarn was all put away, the sun had come out so I headed outside to weed and mulch the marigold bed I’d put in along the garden fence and the new berry bed. I only had 2.5 bags of mulch (I had planned to stop on the way home Friday for more) so ran out mid berry bed but at least I got something done outside. I then sat down to a modified Saturday snack supper. I hadn’t eaten much all day so figured I had saved enough calories for Guinness, which I ate with sticky toffee pudding cheese and shrimp. I really wanted some ice cream but I only had one more day of this rotation so had a pear instead, which was delicious. I’ll have ice cream on Monday.

I had the radio on while I was sorting clothes and must have switched it to alarm instead of off when I was done because my alarm went off Sunday at 5:50 a.m. I considered getting up but it was just too darn early so I rolled over and didn’t wake up until 3 hours later. I hadn’t slept that late in decades and it felt great. When I finally got up, I was determined to be productive so made a to do list and got busy. I had more gardening to do but every time I went out, which was mostly to hang laundry, the mosquitos drove me back inside. I kept telling myself I’d go out later, deciding to cook until then.

The last time I took a week off rotating, I didn’t cook on Sunday and then didn’t have time early in the week so went days eating whatever and none of it particularly yummy. So this Sunday I decided to cook all kinds of tasty food even though I couldn’t eat it until Monday. I started with a loaf of whole wheat bread and while that was rising, I made 3 bean salad, potato salad, a strawberry/rhubarb pie to take to knitting and banana bread for work. I thawed ribs to put in the crockpot Monday morning and am looking forward to a bowl of mini wheats in the morning. Between the laundry and all the cooking, it was evening before I was done. I’d called Ed to see if he could fix the fan since it’d be warmer next week. He said he’d come later and didn’t arrive until almost 8:00 and didn't leave until after 9:00. The day was gone and I hadn’t gotten outside but my fan was working again just in time for the coming hotter weather.  

So all in all, it was a good week and I’m prepped for another good week to come. My grass will be horribly long before I can mow and no one took the chair from my driveway, despite posting it for free on Craig’s List. Maybe the trash truck will take it. Anyway, I got enough done to feel productive and crossed a few things off my list, including buying my ticket for my New York City/Rhode Island trip. And I loaded a few old clothes into the car. Quite a load, am I right? It'a all about output. All good. Happy summer.





Saturday, May 30, 2015

Week 21 - Forty Pounds Down!

It was a good week for many reasons but the best part was that I finally broke 40 pounds. I feel great and am so psyched to keep going. The fact that I managed to lose weight in a week when I ate out 3 times is just icing on the cake. Getting dressed when nearly nothing fits can be a chore but it’s all worth it.

Otherwise, it was a pretty uneventful week. The weather was what it’s been all month – rain and more rain – plus there were also a couple of truly cold days when the high was barely above 50 degrees. So it was all about getting to the long weekend. My cleaning lady was coming a few days early because her daughter was visiting so I started the weekend with a clean house plus stopped at the market on the way home so I would have everything I’d need to stay home all weekend. Nice.

Unfortunately the weather wasn’t being particularly cooperative for my gardening to do list. I had to try and fit things in between rain storms. I managed to get the berry bed prepped, which involved digging the bed, sifting and adding 4 wheel barrows of compost and adding sifted potting soil from last year’s containers on top. I was on that last step when it started raining so I headed inside and started slogging through the spare room. I was needing to try on my spring clothes to see what fit but they were all over the bed with a bunch of yarn so I had to sort that too. That was much more fun than sorting clothes.


I started with the clothes in the spare room and when very few of them fit (I tried on absolutely everything, which worked up a sweat), I headed downstairs to dig through the ironing baskets and 2 small dressers of ancient clothes. All of this took until Sunday night. I had found quite a few tops that fit but it was looking dire in the capri department. I had enormous piles of clothes in my bedroom when I went to bed and tons of laundry to do. At least I’d still have the holiday. It was supposed to rain again in the morning but clear later so I was hopeful I could get outside at some point. I had hope for Memorial Day. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Week 20 - Yet More Rain

The highlight of the week was the weather. Yes, more rain. It seemed like every time we turned around, it was raining again. And that was after last week’s record rains. The whole world was a soggy mess. This also coincided with the annual steam outage on campus, which meant no heat. We froze in our offices but lived to tell.

Wednesday was a window between storms so I took the afternoon off and gardened, focusing on getting my veg beds prepped and planted. After stopping at Lorri’s to pick up seedlings and eating lunch, it was 2:15 before I got outside. But I worked like a dog and got it all done – sifting compost, turning the soil with the compost and planting everything. At 5:15 I gave up thoughts of getting the berry bed done and went inside for a shower and dinner. All good. All that’s left is the berry bed, planting all my containers and putting the few perennials I’ve bought into the ground. While the rain hasn’t cooperated with my time off, there haven’t been any really hot days yet so I’ll take it.

The weekend brought even more rain so I went to spinning since I couldn’t garden. It was good to see people and from there Andrea and I went to Omaha. She needed to pick up her sewing machine and I wanted to do a Trader Joe’s run. When we got to the sewing machine store at 4:30, I had the brilliant idea to see if Imagiknit, the yarn shop that moved to Omaha last year from Hastings that neither of us had been to yet, was still open. We called Lori, who is a regular customer, to see if she knew when they closed and she was actually in the shop! That clinched it and we headed there. Well, of course I bought some yarn – mostly sock. Did you have any doubt? The owner is a gem and stayed open late for us, chatting away as we shopped. Only when we left did I realize I had met her before – years ago when I went to Hasting’s after a bridal shower for Helen’s daughter-in-law. I had completely spaced but enjoyed her back then too. Knitters are simply the best people!

Since it had rained hard on Saturday and then again overnight, there was no gardening possibility for Sunday beyond slogging across the soggy lawn to pull a few weeds. I took advantage of the wet to get busy inside and just started going through paper. By the time I was done, the top of the desk was clearer than it’s been in years. I also prepped a ton of food for the coming week, which always feels good, and made Ed’s pie for helping with the ceiling fan. In the spirit of getting things out of the house, I then delivered the pie, dropped Andrea’s sewing machine at her house (I’d dropped her at a restaurant in Omaha for a date so still had her stuff in my car) and then drove out to Lori’s and fed all my produce scraps to the girls. Only then did I head out to mow, having waited as late as possible for maximum drying, but it was still like walking on a sponge and I had to mow the backyard twice in different directions because the grass matted to the underlying mud on the first pass. It wasn’t the best mowing but I got it done and was showered and enjoying dinner by 7:00 when Call the Midwife started, content in my progress and how good my house looked.

This has been a weird spring – cooler than normal and wet, wet, wet! Despite making big progress in April and not going to Europe, I still feel under the gun. But I still have two weekends in May so my annual goal of having my gardening done by May 31st is still an option. I live in hope. Not that the forecast for Memorial Day weekend is dry but what can I do? Time to go with the flow, which is literal considering all the rain. Happy spring!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Week 19 - Cold and Weather

When the week starts with a lightning strike so close to your house that it takes out your phone and internet, you can only go up, right? Not so much this week.

The lightning hit in the road in front of the house next door just before I left for work on Monday. I left in the pouring rain and fighting a cold. It was an uneventful day and I got home to a big box of yarn (the prizes for everyone from the shop hop) and no phone or internet. My neighbor from the other side came over to say their big tree in the backyard had been hit by lightning right after I’d left for work. I got on my cell to Windstream and they estimated Wednesday morning for someone to come. No phone is no biggie but no internet for another 2 days? Not acceptable. Good thing I had knitting, which meant 2 hours at the library with my iPad. My cold was gearing up too so things were not looking up.

I slept like crap that night and had I not arranged for replacement maple nutty long johns for Mary, I would have considered calling in. But it was also food day so I took my brownies and headed to work with the thought that I’d leave after lunch if I didn’t feel better. Well, despite having taken my fave Claritin D, I was feeling worse and didn’t even make it until noon, leaving at 11:00 with barely the energy to get home. At least I’d done an online chat with Windstream at work and they’d committed to come that day. I took my iPad next door to my neighbor and begged his wireless code so at least I could stream Netflix but only from my front room. The tech came at the end of the day and respliced my line and replaced my modem so I was back up and running. Yay! I am clearly dependent on the internet for happiness. Luckily I have great neighbors. : )

I coughed all night long and so felt even worse on Wednesday and called into work. There was no thought to going in. I felt that bad. I did nothing but sit and nap all day long. It poured rain all night long and I was back at work on Thursday, feeling much better. I had 2” in my rain gage but Lincoln had gotten closer to 8”. In one night! There were floods everywhere driving in and lots of people, including Dodie who was my lunch date, were home with wet basements. Since I hadn’t brought my iPad and knitting for lunch, I went thrifting without Dodie and scored a couple of things for me and a bunch of cute baby clothes for my boss’ new granddaughter. With all the flooding in town, which had gotten worse over the day and some highways out of town (mostly to the south) were closed and neighborhoods near campus were being evacuated, they let us leave early since rush hour was going to be bad. Luckily my energy had come back because I hadn’t thought to check my basement for water (2” is still a lot even if it wasn’t as much as Lincoln got) and I did have some water and wet linens downstairs so started laundry as soon as I got home. I was then able to neatize the house, which was looking awful after my 2 days staying home and doing absolutely nothing. It was wonderful to feel better again. I still had the cough and congestion but it was ebbing.

Friday was over in a flash and despite having a big errand list for after work, I headed straight home instead, leaving everything for Monday. I had no obligations for the weekend and more rain was forecast but I was hoping to get outside between storms. Saturday ended up being the better day and while I wasn’t feeling 100%, I was able to get outside to mow then compost and plant my new flower bed against the fence in the vegetable garden. I did a bit of weeding but not much else before leaving for a Dollar General run. I enjoyed Saturday snack supper with Guinness, sticky toffee pudding cheese on crackers and leftover seafood dip from Friday’s lunch with Layton. I had hoped to get more done outside but you can’t fight weather.

It was pea soup muggie on Sunday and it was clear I wouldn’t be getting anything else done outside. It finally started pouring around lunch time, which felt better than the humidity. I was coughing again and chalked it up to the cold breaking up (hopefully) and spent the afternoon cleaning out my frig and prepping fruits and veg for my upcoming rotation. I had a nice final normal meal of turkey and stuffing from the freezer and stewed rhubarb over vanilla ice cream for dessert. I’d managed to not gain weight during my 2 weeks off but was ready to be rotating again.

Between being sick and the weather, it really was a doozy of a week. Then I got a sad email at the end of the day saying at least 2 campus cats had drowned in the floods on Innovation Campus. I’ll be doing a headcount of my kitties when I get to campus this morning but I don’t expect any casualties. Of course there’s more rain in the forecast. Spring in Nebraska!