Sunday, September 19, 2010

Week 38 - My Wonderful Vacation

What can I say – I had a fabulous week! I had a to do list an arm’s length long and didn’t get anywhere near all of it done but I did make a huge dent and am pleased with my progress. In the house that is. I didn’t do jack in the yard. Oh well. I’ll still call it good.

The weather forecast wasn’t the best for the week. There was lots of rain in the forecast so I had to plan my outdoor stuff around that. I headed outside first thing on Monday to start painting. I was painting my bedroom chair and the bar stool white and because everyone can use a bit more orange, I had a host of things to paint orange - my spool shelf, a covered barrel for yarn, a small magazine rack, my in box and a little bucket to start. I got the pieces deglossed and did the first coat before the sprinkles forced me inside. Little did I know that was just a taste of what was coming. We had the worst hail storm I’ve ever witnessed! It went strong for 15-20 minutes and there were tons of hail stones bigger than a golf ball. I wanted to run out and get one but as soon as it stopped hailing, the rain started pouring down. We got 1.5 inches in about an hour and that melted most of the hail. Call me a weenie but I chose not to get drenched just to retrieve some hail. I got off lucky with just 2 busted window screens on the north side of the house and a broken thermometer. It also bashed the paint off the north side of my garage, which needed painting but now really needs it. Damn! I had a few small branches to pick up in the backyard and the lawn was covered with leaves but that was it.

I knitted at the library that night and started my first ever color work, a.k.a. stranded, knitting project. I finally figured out continental knitting because you have to knit with 2 hands – 1 color in each. I can’t be specific on what it is (Christmas is coming after all) but can say that my project is super cute because I blazed through my first project and am ready to start another (those in the know can check it out on Ravely.) I already have big plans for my next project, having made a foray into designing my own color work pattern. Again, I can’t share specifics but am very excited to knit my new design. This is clearly going to be my new favorite thing. It’s addictive!

Tuesday was the day my cleaning lady was coming and I wanted to talk to her about changing some of the chores she does. I had in my head that she would come ~3:00 so was unprepared when she showed up just after 1:00. After we talked, I threw on socially acceptable clothes (she caught me dressed in grubbies in the thick of framing artwork) and headed to Omaha. I had yarn and needles to pick up at Personal Threads plus a list of other errands. I didn’t get much done on Tuesday otherwise. Oh well.

Wednesday found me outside painting the 2nd and 3rd coats of orange paint. I could have done a 4th but ran out of time. I also couldn’t wait to get inside and knit some more. : )

Thursday was another rainy day so spent most of it inside slogging through paper and completely emptying and reorganizing my desk. It felt great to fill the recycling and shredding bags. I ended up with only one small box of keepers that are destined for the file crate I have had sitting empty for years. I ran a few errands in town in the afternoon, stopping at Andrea’s store to get her approval of my new design. She gave it the thumbs up, which made me feel great. Then I headed home for, you guessed it, more knitting. I had tea so late in the afternoon that I just grabbed a bowl of cereal for supper and went to bed early. I needed to since Carolyn had forgotten I was on vacation and had woken me up at 6:30 that morning. Sheesh!

It was hotter than Hades on Friday, with the temp hovering near 90 and wicked humid. I stayed inside and tackled the spare bedroom, which is my dumping ground and so was full of crap. I started by going through the linen closet in the hallway, culling the sheets so I could then go through the tall bureau. It had enough full sheets for a hotel despite the fact that that bed only gets slept in a few times a year. I ended up with just a couple of changes of sheets and a mostly empty dresser that could now hold out of season clothes and my Christmas present stash. I also went through all my yarn and photographed it so I can add it to my stash on Ravelry, which is purely an accountability thing. Then I headed to my bedroom to hang the rest of my art in there. I also reupholstered the chair cushion and got that reattached. My bedroom was finally done! Now I have to decide what I’m going to display on my newly cleared dressers but that’s the fun part. I’m calling it done and moving on. Life is good!

That was it! My 5 days were over in a flash. I did make a lot of progress and had only a few things to clear up on the weekend, which I wanted to keep as normal as possible. I was pleased with my progress on my projects and had also had a decent amount of relaxation time, mostly spent knitting. What could be better?

I started Saturday with a trip to Clarkson with Lorri. We were headed for Bluebird Nursery and would stop at the bakery in Dodge and the meat market in Clarkson along the way. It was a raw and rainy day. While it had been 90 the day before, it was 46 and raining at noon on Saturday. The bakery in Dodge was long gone (another casualty of the quilt store closing I’m sure. Dodge used to have Vogies, which had been voted one of the 10 best quilt stores in the country and it kept the town, which is in the middle of nowhere, alive. The town has seemed to curl up and die since it closed, which is a shame. Anyway….) We went to the bakery in Clarkson for cinnamon rolls and then the butcher before hitting Garden Land. I had hoped the green houses would be toasty warm but the sides were still open so they were chilly and damp. I exercised control and only bought 2 plants and some rooting hormone. It felt good to get in the car and turn on the heat. Nebraska weather! We stopped in Fremont on the way back and got home ~2:00. It was nice to be social and get away after so many days at home.

Otherwise, the weekend was pretty normal – cooking, laundry, just general chores. I did finish up a few things, the last being loading up my car with all the recycling and bags of stuff destined for the office. With less crap obstructing my view, I was able to reevaluate some furniture pieces and have decided that the wall unit in my family room, which is filled with books and various crap I’m sick of looking at, will go to the basement. I’ll be bringing up a small chest with curved shelves on both sides (my teapot shelf from my Providence kitchen for those who’ll remember it) to put my TV on, which will open up the room and give me the cleaner, less cluttered look I’m striving for. My flat screen TV may end up mounted on the wall but will fit on the teapot shelf to start so I’ll play that by ear. I’m not sure how soon I’ll get the swap done but it’ll be before the Friends’ book sale at the end of October because that’s where most of the cookbooks are going. While I used to use them all the time, now I just google for recipes so will only be hanging onto a few favorites. Just enough (that word just keeps on working.)

All that said, I’m ready to head back to work tomorrow. I have food ready for lunches and at least a couple of dinners, the evidence of all my projects has been put away and I’m ready to get back to my friends and the pool. I have the beginnings of a cold, hopefully that won’t last long because I religiously zicammed for 3 days, but am otherwise rested and feeling good. There’s no vacation as good as a stay home one. I won’t wait 2.5 years before I take another one again.

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