Friday, July 21, 2017

Week 28 - Fun in Portland

It was going to be an eventful week with the International Master Gardener Conference in Portland but before flying out late Tuesday, I had to get through 2 days of work. And get through them I did.

I started the week with a 7:40 a.m. appointment with my surgeon and as I suspected he would, he called me done. I need to keep doing exercises to get my strength completely back but it’s all good. After a quick stop for gas and to air up all my tires, including the spare that I could get to because my back was empty after all the tree hauling, I got to work for a short 2 days. I was busy cramming in allocations and everything else that couldn’t wait but busy was good. I ran home Monday, prepped strawberries to take to knitting and headed to the library. When I got home, minus the rest of the berries and a pineapple Andrea took, I set up an extra litter box, finished packing and did the final neatizing of the house, getting to bed late but with just about everything done.

Tuesday was over in a flash and I was home for just long enough to pack the last few things, do the dishes from the blueberry banana bread I’d make to take for breakfasts (neither the hotel nor conference included breakfast and continental at the hotel was $18 – no thank you!), water the plants and fail at getting Pie to come in. I’d warned Andrea that Pie might be outside, where she’d be happier anyway, so I gave her both wet and dry cat food and was ready for pick up at 6:30. Our flight wasn’t leaving Omaha until 9:00 p.m. and it was a good thing we left plenty of time because Bob took the most out of the way route to the airport so what I’d drive in 45 minutes took more than an hour. Sheesh! I had scored TSA pre-check, like I do 80% of the time, so sailed through security and our flights were uneventful. Since we got in at 1:00 a.m. after any mass transit was shut down for the night, we took a cab to the hotel. We got rooked on the price but were checked in and in bed quickly. The conference started the next day.

We both woke up early (we were 2 hours behind Nebraska time after all) so had coffee and banana bread in the room and headed to the conference for the opening keynote. It was fun to be in the midst of so many avid gardeners. The keynote was on suburban birds and we met some lovely women that we had lunch with then it was on to our sessions. I went to one on pruning to renovate an old garden and then one on creating and managing plant communities, which was VERY inspirational and gave me a lot to think about. Dinners were not included but we’d asked some locals where to eat so after a quick stop at the hotel, which was made easier by the free transit pass they’d given us with the conference, we headed to the Pearl District for dinner at The Deschutes Brewery. We had to wait half an hour to get seated but it was worth it. I had the most delicious chicken and waffles (something I’ve always wanted to try) and a yummy dark beer. Then it was back to the hotel to coordinate Thursday’s dinner with a friend of Lorri. Unfortunately she wouldn’t drive into Portland so we were taking the train out to the burbs to meet at a mall restaurant. Whatever..

Our new friends Cynthia and Barb had recommended a restaurant for breakfast – Pine State Biscuits – so we looked up how to get there (the transit website told us to walk – only in Portland!) and went first thing. I got The McIsley – a yummy biscuit topped with fried chicken (I know – odd breakfast), pickles, mustard and honey. Yum! Lorri’s biscuits with mushroom gravy was delish too. Then it was off to the conference. The keynote was by Dan Hinkley, who apparently is famous but I’d never heard of him. He was a dynamic speaker so I immediately decided to ditch the clematis session I’d signed up for and go to another of his. I was sitting knitting when the woman sitting next to me asked if she could write something down. I assumed she was taking notes for herself but she handed the notebook back and it was full of info for me about a group she’s involved with in Oregon. I talked to her at length later and she was wonderful. Somehow at first glance she just got that we were two peas in a pod. I got her contact info and will definitely be keeping in touch. The session was great too, btw. After another lunch with Cynthia and Barb (they’re keepers too), I went to a 2nd session on plant communities and then one on photographing your garden, which was inspiring and had me retaking pics of things I’d already taken. Check out these before and after pics.


We headed out to meet Lorri’s friend and it was rush hour so the train was packed. I had an interesting conversation about gardening with a homeless looking man in a wheelchair then chatted with a woman who works for the utility company that has all the dams on the Columbia River. Dinner with Lorri’s friend was fine, despite the chain restaurant. We had to wait on the train for a bit to get back to the hotel but I had my knitting so it was all good.

For Friday’s breakfast, we were walking to Voodoo Doughnuts Too, which wasn’t too far. I had a Old Dirty Bastard – a raised donut with chocolate frosting, crushed oreos and peanut butter. Delish! It was fun walking through the less touristy parts of Portland too and I took lots of picture of the gorgeous plantings that were everywhere. All we had Friday was a keynote and closing meeting from 9:00-11:00. It was a great conference and after saying goodbye to Cynthia and Barb, we headed back to the hotel to check out.

I was super excited because we were going to a local yarn shop to meet Michelle from the Knotty Knit Wits podcast I’ve been watching on YouTube. Since I couldn’t go to their event on Saturday, she had offered to get out of work early and meet me at Twisted. We grabbed a cab there from the hotel and Lorri and I shopped while we waited for her. It was so amazing to meet her and I went total fan girl! She was lovely and even brought me a bag of presents. We went next door and had lunch at a coffee shop with her then went back to Twisted to wait for Lorri’s sister, who was picking us up.

Lorri’s sister, Dort (short for Dorothy), lives in Sandy, which is an hour east of Portland. She and Judd live in a modest house on the most gorgeous property with woods, blueberry bushes, a big vegetable garden and a view of Mount Hood from the deck. It was a little piece of heaven. They had a big family cookout that night so I got to meet their kids, grandkids and a cousin. We ate yummy food, chatted and enjoyed the glorious weather – just warm enough, zero humidity and no bugs. I totally get why people want to live there.

After yummy breakfast on Saturday, Lorri, Dort and I headed to The Oregon Garden. We started with the tram ride around the park to get oriented, walked around for a couple hours and had lunch in the cafĂ© before heading home. Lorri laid down for a nap and I picked blueberries with Judd for an hour. We had cookout leftovers for dinner and talked until bedtime. What a perfect day! And the icing on the cake was that as soon as the sun goes down, it cools off to the 50’s at night so we could sleep with the windows open. Nice.




We were leaving before noon on Sunday so didn’t have much time. After another nice breakfast, we packed and then Dort did a show and tell of all the old family linens, which was fun. The lines at the airport were huge but I’d scored TSA pre-check again so breezed through and then called Carolyn to catch up while I waited for Lorri. Despite having C boarding passes on the first flight, we managed to get a row to ourselves with an empty middle seat. We were 2nd row from the back but with a 3 hour layover, we were in no rush to get off the plane. We had Chinese food in Denver and otherwise the trip home was uneventful. I walked into my door just after midnight, emptied my suitcase into the washing machine (I’d dry the load in the morning so I’d have A list undies to wear all week) and went to bed. I could get 5 hours of sleep before the alarm went off so would live to tell.

What a wonderful and full week – full of fun – so worth the long hours. I need to go back to Portland sooner rather than later, this time with a car and free time. I have no trip planned for September so maybe…..

Monday, July 10, 2017

Week 27 - Much Better Mood

I started Monday in the basement going through papers, determined to get through more stuff before Lorri picked me up at 2:30 for a quick Omaha run. The first thing I found was a bag from my dad's apartment. It was a treasure trove of all things Norm - maps, a piggy bank, a padlock with key, crossword puzzles from the newspaper with the answers clipped to the back, an old Bill Clinton Christmas card I'd sent him (he HATED Clinton but saved the card) and his handwritten tea inventory. It was a trip down memory lane and I was smiling thinking of my dad. Check this out! Anyone who knew my father will know this is all him.

I ate lunch, showered, got dressed in socially acceptable clothing and was waiting for Lorri at 2:30. She wanted Bruegger's Bagels and I was going along for the ride so we could catch up and talk about our upcoming trip to Portland for the International Master Gardener Conference. After a stop at Startuck's, we headed back to Wahoo. I had just enough time to bake a pan of blondies for knitting and grab a quick dinner before heading to the library. All in all, it was a good day - productive and social with knitting as the icing on the cake.

I had to be up early on Tuesday because Darla and I were having breakfast at 8:00 in Lincoln. We had a lovely time chatting over pancakes and then puttered around a bit before heading our separate ways. On the way back, I stopped to check out what I suspected was a blackberry patch on the side of the highway. I'd scoped it out when they were blooming this spring so parked and checked it out. Indeed it was a huge patch of gorgeous berries that were not quite ripe but would be easy picking in a week or so. Yay! Ditch food is one of my very favorite things - making something from nothing and all that.

I went back down in the basement as soon as I got home. I finished up sorting papers and went up for a cup of tea mid-afternoon. I was contemplating being done but went downstairs to mend something and the sun was gloriously steaming into the craft room. I sat down to sort craft supplies and before I knew it, it was almost 7:00. I was pretty hungry by this point so made dinner and sat down for some TV and knitting. I did go out at 10:00, intending to walk down to the park to watch the fireworks but my neighbor across the street offered me a chair. The view from her driveway was perfect and it was a nice way to end my four days off. 

What's not to like about a 3 day work week? I got some good news from Mary that went a long way towards fixing the problem from the previous week plus I had a fun new project to work on. I had lunch with Tammie on Wednesday at Village Inn so got a free piece of pie with lunch. Dodie was out all week so I did Thrifty Thursday with Cindy and then had lunch with Layton as usual on Friday. I swam after work Wednesday and Thursday. And this is what an old lady I've become - I was super happy that I could go to HyVee after work on Friday, which I hadn't been able to do in the past 3 months because I had PT every Friday. Grocery shopping as an event - go figure.

I had been awake from 1:00 to 4:00 on Friday morning worried about a library book that Dodie had gotten out for me that I couldn't find anywhere. I'd looked high and low and even had the cleaning lady look but no luck. In the wee hours, I decided it must have gotten thrown into the recycling bin so I went through the bin when I got home Friday and found it! I was SO relieved. Add that to the list of good things for the week.

Having gotten very little sleep early in the week from all the fireworks and then over the library book, I went to bed Friday night and slept for almost 12 hours! I did get up at 6:30 to let Gansey in (the weather had turned gorgeous so I had the windows open and could hear her meowing) but went right back to bed and didn't wake up until 9:49. I cannot remember the last time I slept so long and late. It killed my morning but was totally worth it. I wasn't up 10 minutes when the phone rang with my hairdresser moving my appointment up to 11:00. I barely had time to drink a cup of coffee and hit the bank before my haircut but it all worked and kept me from lazing away what little morning I had.

Since I was leaving for Portland on Tuesday, I was worried that I'd miss the ripe blackberries so decided to get up early on Sunday and pick what berries I could. I would be in prime tick country so I put on long pants, a long sleeved shirt and tall socks with sneaker and was in the berry patch at 6:45 Sunday morning. The picking was easy despite only a few berries being ripe. I picked 5 coffee cans full in 30 minutes and was home, showered and eating breakfast before 8:00. Nice! And I got enough berries to freeze 8 1 cup bags and enough pureed for a batch of jam.

The rest of the day was lovely, with a nice combo of relaxing and getting stuff done. Since I'd be flying west Tuesday evening, all the produce needed to go so I took 2 bags full to Lori's for her chickens. I started a pile of the clothes I'd pack too. I even made some tentative arrangements to meet up with one of the Knotty Knit Wits (the podcast from 2 knitters who live in Portland) after the conference. All in all, it was a great week and I'd be going into a 2 day work week. I could get used to this! Alas, fiscal year end is coming along with the busiest 2 weeks of my work year.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Week 26 - A Bad Week

I did not have a good week. At work. I won't go into details but I was a very unhappy camper - so unhappy that I stopped hemming and hawing about taking Monday the 3rd off and put in my leave request, which happily was approved immediately. 'Nough said.

There were a few bright spots in the week. I went to the movies with Cindy and Lana from work on Tuesday and I finished PT. My last session was on Friday, June 30th. How perfect is that? I was seriously looking forward to being done with that. I left my last session with a list of exercises to do at home but that's better than losing 2 nights a week.

On a sad note, which helped put things in perspective, my boss Mary's brother died. The funeral was Friday morning in Omaha but I opted to go to the visitation Thursday after work instead since it was so close to home. I worked until 5:00 then drove to Omaha. It was the nicest visitation (calling hours for my eastern friends) because I walked in, saw Mary's husband and daughter and they told me Mary was outside with her granddaughter so they took me out there and that's where I stayed. I was out there for half an hour, with more and more of Mary's family drifting out as we chatted. It was lovely. Really. We were getting food together for Mary so I went home to make 2 pies (blueberry and strawberry/rhubarb) and my cranberry walnut cole slaw. It was a long day but the next day was Friday. Yay!

Between people being out for the funeral and others taking a long weekend, it was very quiet on Friday and I was happy to leave at 4:00 for my last PT. I was ready for my 4 day weekend and was determined to get busy.

After taking off the two sides of the yew the previous weekend, I had decided it would look too crappy for too long so it needed to go. So after starting the day with a Friends of the Library meeting and subsequent bank run, I went home for more bush whacking and trips to the dump. After cutting the 2 outside bushes out, I decided to leave the middle one for now. It conveniently blocks my bedroom window so I'll leave it up for the summer and see if maybe it will grow some new greenery from the inside now that it's exposed to the sun. Time will tell on that. 

I treated Sunday like any other and got all my chores done then went downstairs and started slogging through stuff. By the end of the day, I had the ebay room organized, wet cardboard schlepped to the recycling bin and started sorting through papers. I went to bed feeling good about my progress and happy that I had two more days at home. It was well worth the vacation day. No question about that. And despite getting no resolution on my work issue, the time off was a balm to my soul and I was feeling better on that front too. I could only imagine how much happier I'd be with another two days off. I live in hope.

Week 25 - Trimming the Yew

I had had the wisdom to take Monday off to recuperate from my weekend but since I'd gotten home earlier than expected on Sunday, the world was my oyster on Monday. 

After getting laundry going, I decided to head to Omaha to use Heidi's gift card at the Woolly Mammoth yarn shop that was closing. It was announced after she left on vacation so she had her nephew leave the gift card outside in hopes that someone could pick it up and use it since it would be closed before she got back. No one else had volunteered so I was up. I was determined to make it a quick trip and succeeded, going in and out of Trader Joe's in 10 minutes then picking up a few balls of yarn for Heidi (the store was empty so it was slim pickings) then popped into Aldi for milk. I had hoped to find a park to eat in but failed on that so went through Starbuck's for a frapuccino and called it lunch. To make up for no lunch, I made a nice dinner before Monday Night Knitting.

The rest of the week was same old same old so nothing to report there. It was blazing hot all week but the weather changed on Friday and the weekend weather was perfection. Amanda had mentioned that she might be in Wahoo on the weekend and wanted to come over. Of course I completely spaced until the phone rang. She'd be there in an hour so I threw some bread pudding in the oven and ran out to sweep the deck, wash the table and change the cushions on the chairs. Amanda and Cody stopped over with their baby, Calder. We had a lovely afternoon sitting in the shade drinking tea and eating pudding while the baby played in the grass.

When they left, I had a burst of energy and decided to start the overhaul of the enormous yew that has taken over the front of my house. My plan was to make drastic cuts to the 2 ends so that new growth would come in over the summer. Then I'd do another side next year and the last side the year after. So I got out my loppers and got busy. It was easier than I thought and after I'd but the side by the front steps, I loaded it all in the back of my car and headed to the city's burn pile. I had trouble finding it (it had been years since I'd been) but I got directions from a neighbor and headed back. I was exhausted by the time I was done so took a shower and relaxed for the evening, happy with my progress. I didn't feel like I'd done any shoulder damage. Time would tell.


My shoulder was fine the next morning and since it was warmer, I got outside early to do the other side. That ended up being much bigger so took 2 trips to the dump. The rest of the day was chores like most Sundays. But I was feeling great about my progress with the yew and even got some weeding done in the veg beds. All good.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Week 24 - The Sister Weekend

The week itself was nice and then ended with a sisters’ weekend in eastern Iowa, which was the icing on the cake. Add that the heat broke so the weekend weather was stellar and it was all good.

The work week went by quickly, as usual. Nora was out for 2 days so I was on Brook duty. He’s our wonderful new analyst and he’s still in learning mode so there was lots of one-on-one time showing him things. My evenings were all booked like they always are but on Wednesday I opted for a movie with Cindy instead of water aerobics. We saw A Quiet Passion – the Emily Dickinson movie. I thought it was long and once Emily became a recluse and the entire second half of the movie took place in her house, I was less interested. Cindy liked it better than I did but nothing ventured, nothing gained. The popcorn was yummy.

The only other out of the ordinary thing that happened was Pie, my semi-tame, once campus feral cat, had her mouth stuck open all day Thursday. This happens once in awhile and I have figured out how to get it shut without a trip to the vet but it requires me to actually get my hands on her, which is hard on a regular day and nearly impossible when she’s freaked out with her mouth wide open. She stays out 95% of the time in the summer, including overnights, so I saw her first thing Thursday morning with her mouth stuck open and her front covered with drool but she wouldn’t let me near her. I went to work hoping it would fix on its own over the day and confident that she’d stay cool (it was in the 90’s that day) under the deck. Well, I got home at 7:00 having left swimming a bit early and her jaw was still stuck. She still wouldn’t let me near her but I left the slider open and she did eventually come in on her own. Two hours later when she wanted back out, I was able to grab her (she was dehydrated and weak by then I’m sure) and manhandle it shut. I kept her in that night (the other cats were all out) and was happy that 30 minutes later she’d cleaned up her wet front and was purring in my bed. One good thing about this was I had a super productive evening while I was worried about her and so unable to relax.

That was a good thing because I’d have no weekend to speak of. I would be on the road by 7:00 a.m. on Saturday to meet Dottie in the Quad Cities area of eastern Iowa. I got a bit of a late start when I had trouble downloading an audio book – Sarah Vowell’s The Wordy Shipmates. I enjoy her snark and especially like her audio books for road trips. This one was about the group right after the pilgrims who settled Boston. It was worth the wait but did delay me 20 minutes as I sat in my driveway downloading it to my ancient iPad. Regardless, I made up time on the road so arrived in Bettendorf on schedule.

We had arranged to meet at a yarn shop that was in the process of closing. Now I’m on a yarn diet but travel yarn is exempt so I was all set to buy. Most everything was 40% off and they had enough sock yarn to satisfy me, including one of my favorite types to knit with – wool, cotton, nylon and elastic, which makes stretchy socks for warmer weather. It also has great stitch definition. $138 later, I left happy to check in at the B&B.

Our plan for the afternoon was lunch then thrifting. We had a delicious lunch at The Blue Cat, a brewery in downtown Rock Island that I’d found online. The owner asked what our plans were and when we said  thrifting, he told us of two other places to hit. Now I was excited to hit the Salvation Army that Andrea and I had gone to on the way back from Canada a year ago fall but it was pretty much a bust. The DAV we went to from there was even worse so we headed to the place the guy had told us about. Now it was hazy, hot and humid and this antique mall (of sorts) was in an old barn with no AC. After 20 minutes, I was ready to go. We did stop in at another building that had AC but didn’t buy anything there either. It was time to head back to the B&B for a bit before dinner.

Well, we were just about to leave for dinner when the sirens went off. We turned on the TV but it was just a bad storm with egg sized (an odd comparison I’d never heard before – we use golf ball size hail in Nebraska) so we decided to wait a bit. Good thing we did! We didn’t get hail at the B&B but the wind was whipping and the rain slammed the windows. Once it passed, we headed to Maid Rite – an Iowa chain that specializes in loose meat sandwiches, which Dottie had never had. Delish! When we got back to our room, I pulled out a couple of thrift shop sweaters and taught Dottie how to harvest yarn from them. She wasn't enthused about he process so I took the rest of the sweaters home to donate back to Goodwill. I guess there isn't much point when the resulting yarn is just acrylic, which is pretty easy to find cheap.

We didn’t have any firm plans on Sunday but had passed a sign for a botanical center so after a yummy breakfast with all the other B&B guests, we headed out. The botanic garden didn’t open until 11:00 so we headed towards the Rock Island Arsenal to see what there was to see. Well, we ended up at the swing bridge, that was open to let a barge through so we parked and watched that process. When the bridge swing back, we decided we should walk across the Mississippi and so we did. The bridge was open again on the way back so we sat on the grates with the river flowing underneath us and waited it out. It was kind of cool and killed enough time that the garden was open. It was pretty small but was enjoyable in the gorgeous, post storm weather.


When we were done with the garden, we decided to head our separate ways, which would give us both a bit of time at home before the day was over. I had a 5.5 hour ride and pretty much blazed through with only one stop for gas and a ladies' room. I did drive through a McDonald's (I can't tell you the last time I ate there and for good reason) mid-afternoon when the big breakfast wore off. I was almost done with the audio book when I got home just before 6:00, which left me a few hours of daylight. I had decided late in the week to take Monday off so didn't have to slam on laundry and chores, which was nice. But what a lovely weekend! And the gorgeous weather would still be there on Monday so hopefully I could find spend some time outside.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Week 23 - I'm Over It

My “somewhere to be every night” schedule is beginning to wear on me. Add in that it’s the time of year when I struggle to sleep and I was getting more tired with every passing day.

It’s especially bad that swimming is later – only 15 minutes later but it leaves me getting home at 7:15 and that’s if I go right home. Add just one stop at the market and it can be closer to 8:00. The biggest victim of this time change is dinner. I find myself not wanting to eat meat/veg when I get home that late, even if it’s ready to nuke, which it wasn’t this week. I think I had a bowl of cereal one night, a noosa yogurt another… the salmon I cooked on the weekend was untouched and will now be cat food. There’s still hope for the Brussels sprouts.

Despite this eating of crap for dinner, I still managed to lose some weight over the week and am down 7 pounds from my post-surgery high. That’s with 2 weeks of kinda sorta dieting with too much snacking in the evenings. I guess the lack of sweets in my house meant the snacks were on the healthy side so I still lost some weight. I need to give this some thought since rotating is harder to stick to than it used to be. Whatever. At least the scale is going down.

I’m also over PT. On Tuesday they upped all my weights and gave me new exercises so clearly I’m making progress. On Friday I informed them that I wanted to be done on June 30th and they seemed OK with that. I see the doctor on July 10th and I’m sure he’ll release me at that point and since the 4th is Tuesday, what’s the point of going the Friday after? No point so done on the 30th is the plan. Yay!

Having spent the past 2 weekends solo at home, it was time for an excursion. I slept late (8:30!) on Saturday so the 1:00 pick up time for Drae came early. We were headed to Omaha for pedicures, lunch, thrifting (both drop off and shopping) and an Aldi run. We had planned to start with lunch but when the salon could fit us in at 2:15, we reordered the day. We hit one Goodwill for drop off but found nothing to buy then had a lovely pedi that was almost 2 hours long. The color I picked is perfect and I left with happy toes. Having eaten nothing since breakfast, I was more than ready for dinner, which was burgers and beer at Farnam House.

My reason for wanting to thrift was my impending sister weekend with Dottie in the Quad Cities area of eastern Iowa. She has already used all the yarn I gave her at Christmas, which was my big suitcase FULL! The plan was to meet in the middle and offload more yarn for her hats for the homeless project. I started collecting acrylic from thrifts as soon as I knew she was out and would add more from my basement and donations from Anne’s stash. But I also want to teach her to harvest yarn from thrift shop sweaters, which are much easier to find than yarn, so I was on the hunt for acrylic sweaters. I found 11 for $10 at the Goodwill we always do best at. Yay! We hit HyVee for strawberries and closed down Aldi at 8:00 so it was a long day but I was happy with all my finds and had no plans outside the house on Sunday.

I slept late again (8:00) and had a lovely day of doing load after load of laundry (mostly sweaters) and hanging them out on the line. Between loads, I neatized the house a bit but mostly knitted and streamed Orange is the New Black, which I finished late Sunday. I did do a quick bit of dyeing – taking the sleeves off of one of the wool sweaters I’d bought and dyeing them as blanks. I also did a small skein of sock yarn with the extra dye the sleeves didn’t absorb. It felt good to dye because I hadn’t done any since last fall. The only cooking I managed to do was a big batch of egg salad, which I’d have to lunches but also had Sunday night for supper since it was all that was ready.

In addition to booking a fun B&B in Rock Island, Illinois for our sister weekend, I also bought my ticket to Rhode Island for after fiscal year end. It’s a good thing I waited because Mary is going to be out during most of the fiscal year close so my busy weeks have shifted a bit later. On another travel note, I dragged my ass deciding on Ireland in October and the knitting trip Anne and I had been considering is now fully booked. Oh well, back to the drawing board for Europe in the fall.

On a closing note, Cindy and I ended the work week watching a video of the Life is Good founders that Anne had sent me. It was very inspirational so here’s the link. Take half an hour and watch it. You won’t be sorry. Enjoy!


Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Week 22 - A Crafty Weekend

What’s not to like about a week that starts with a Monday holiday? Nothing! Then add total productivity and the week was off to an amazing start.

I went back outside again on Monday morning and had the rest of my containers finished by early afternoon. Since the flowers all looked good, I decided it was time to clean up the deck from winter and get the hoses situated. I puttered all afternoon until Heidi arrived with John so he could mow my lawn. Heidi was hosting knitting at her house but I told her I would most likely not be coming because I didn’t want to stop. After she left, I ran over to Lorri’s to water then finished prepping my last raised bed (John had tried again and did a better job but it still needed attention.) With that done, it was time to plant the veggies. I pulled out all my seeds, happily finding that I had just enough to plant this year’s garden, which was a darn good thing because I hadn’t ordered any seeds nor so much as cracked a catalog, which I so should have done when I was home in March. Anyway, I planted everything but pole green beans (I had leftover seeds but hadn’t liked them last year so would look for a new variety) and even mulched – in the beds (or one bed anyway) with the clippings John collected when he mowed and between the beds with non-organic clipping from my neighbor. I was done by 7:20. Yay! Mission accomplished.

Once the gardening was done, it was time to slam through the book for book club on Thursday – The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. I’d been reading it a few pages each night before bed for a month but had 2/3 of it to go. I thought I’d get right home from PT on Tuesday and start reading but the tech who works with me on Tuesday asked me to look at a tree in her yard and by the time I did that then stopped at my neighbor’s to get her opinion (she’s a horticulture extension educator), I didn’t get home until after 8:00. I had a bowl of cereal for dinner and did get a bit reading in before bed but not enough. Oh well.

The gorgeous weather was hanging around (how nice!) so I read during lunch on Wednesday, took a reading break in the afternoon and then went to swimming. I did almost all of the weight work, using a tiny weight on my left side and seemed fine. Showered and wearing veg clothes, I headed home to read. And read I did for 2.5 hours, finishing just in time to go to bed. But with nothing to read, I struggled to fall asleep. I finally got up at 11:45 and since June 1st started at midnight, I casted on my June socks. Luckily 20 minutes of knitting was all it took and I was able to sleep.

I woke up sore on Thursday morning. Maybe I shouldn’t have done all that weight work in the pool.  I decided to skip swimming Thursday night, which would leave me time to make a decent dinner (I hadn’t eaten one yet all week) before book club. But I was so hungry Thursday afternoon that I ate everything healthy I could find in my desk drawer – almonds, raisins, peanut butter on crackers – so much that I wasn’t hungry so didn’t eat dinner after all. Stupid! At least book club was good with a great discussion that had us surprised when we saw it was 7:55 so we had to pack up. And just one more day until the weekend.


I had 2 meetings on Friday, lunch with Layton at the Chinese buffet followed by a HyVee run for groceries. Add in leaving at 4:00 for PT and the day was over in a flash. Nice. I had no weekend commitments so was planning to hunker down inside with the AC on because summer weather had arrived. 

My goal for Saturday was to put my new loom together and get it warped. I dug some crappy yarn out of the basement and had a few inches of a scarf done before the day was over. Yay!

The heat and humidity were killer but I had a few more things to plant (I was done on the weekend but then picked up just a few more plants on Tuesday at lunch - sheesh!) I went out late Sunday morning and planted the last few pots. I'm trying tomatoes and peppers in pots on the driveway, where they will get more sun than they do in my garden. I was outside for an hour in the shade doing not very taxing work and was absolutely dripping with sweat! Have I mentioned how much I HATE summer in Nebraska? I thought Rhode Island was hot but it's nothing compared to Nebraska. Anyway, I went inside, happily, and spent the afternoon knitting and streaming, which is my summer go to activity.

I began to feel guilty around supper time and got up and got cooking. I had lots of produce to prep and wanted to take the scraps to knitting for Lori's chickens so I got busy. We also were having a food day on Monday so I had to figure something to take for that. I was in the kitchen until bedtime but by the time I was done I had made macaroni salad for food day, stew, tabbouleh, jello, beets, homemade bread, the piece of salmon I'd thawed on Tuesday and Brussels sprouts plus had prepped berries and rhubarb, freezing a bag for pie this coming winter. I had a few pots and pans left in the sink but figured I'd better shower and get to bed since it was after 10:00. 

So I ended the week with my gardening and chores done and a fridge full of food for the week. My last minute burst of productivity helped assuaged my guilt with at having crafted all weekend. I know, I shouldn't feel guilty but it's how I roll. What can I say? : )