Sunday, February 26, 2012

Week 9 - Cat Scratch Fever

It was a weird week. Nora’s dad died on Tuesday morning, which was a blessing. We didn’t see her until Thursday so I stepped in to handle some of her stuff and it was up to me to keep the boys busy. It was actually lucky that I was teaching two afternoons because they could come to training and I had two less afternoons to worry about. It’s hard keeping them going on things and answering all their questions while trying to get some of my own work done. Needless to say, the week flew by and I went to bed early and slept like a rock every night.

The library was closed on Monday for Presidents’ Day, which I hadn’t anticipated so was pleased that I could swim and then go right home. I knitted anyway but at least I was home and could eat a decent dinner. I had planned to swim on Tuesday but had a planning meeting after training with Mary and the boys so ended up staying late answering an urgent email. So Tuesday was another earlier than I’d planned night. Nice.

It was gorgeous and warm on Wednesday so I ran errands over lunch. I went to Michael’s and Trader Joe’s, picking up a salad for lunch and some daffodils for my desk. I swam after work since I’d missed Tuesday then hit The Warehouse, where I scored some deals.It was so warm out that I grilled a steak outside for dinner and watched Survivor, which is really good right from the get go this season. I taught again on Thursday afternoon then swam and headed home. I was looking forward to Friday and the weekend.

I put the boys on a project I had thought I’d do, giving them basic direction and letting them each take a stab at it. Time flew by with me answering their questions all morning. Layton and I did lunch at the Chinese buffet and we were back early for my 1:00 meeting. Nora, the boys and I were going over payroll stuff in the training room. After two hours of that, we needed a Starbuck’s break. The sun was out when we finished the meeting but five minutes later, the sun had gone in and by the time we got to Starbuck’s, it was snowing. Gotta love Nebraska weather!

When I got back, I had to deal with a woman in my building who insisted that one of the campus cats had scratched her car. She was in a tizzy and wanted to know who she should call, as if there was a pot of money somewhere to cover her paint job. She had concocted a story about a cat jumping onto her hood and losing its footing so scratching its way down the side of her car. So I went out and checked her car and it would have had to be a magic, one footed cat to have made the scratch on her car. It was also so faint that spit and a Kleenex easily removed it. (She’d said it was so deep it was like it had been keyed!) We’d had a huge wind storm on Thursday and it looked like a branch had scratched her car. I met her at the car at 5:00 and by then the 5 minutes of rain that had followed the snow had practically washed it away. Talk about a mountain out of a molehill! I did not need that at the end of my week!

Other than a meeting at the library on Saturday morning, the weekend was mine. After the meeting, I ran some errands in town and then popped into Andrea’s shop for a chat. I made some hotdogs on the grill for lunch and spent the afternoon knitting and reading in the sun. It was very pleasant and then I made goat cheese and asparagus pasta for supper. Yum. Sunday was chores, as usual, and I managed to motivate myself enough to go through all the papers on the desk, which was way overdue. I made a roast chicken for 4:00, which Andrea came over to help me eat. The chicken was only OK considering all the work I put in but then I’m just not a big fan of roasted chicken. After supper, she helped me wind some yarn – always easier with a second set of hands. It was a nice, relaxing weekend after such a busy week.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Week 8 - My Next Trip

This week was all about getting back to normal. I went to bed early every night and tried to get back to some routine after my week with Connie.

Despite having a relaxing Sunday, I stayed up too late watching Downton Abbey (LOVE it!) and woke up feeling under the weather. My stomach was off. I would be hungry but then everything I ate felt like it was wrong so I spent the day fighting nausea. And what did I bring to eat in the car between swimming and knitting? Sushi. Not a chance. I was feeling better by the end of the day so did swim then went straight to knitting. I ate a bowl of cereal when I got home and called it good.

The rest of the week went by in a blur. I didn’t swim for the rest of the week so got some errands and such done after work. Here’s a tip – don’t food shop on Valentine’s Day. I had to fight through hordes of men buying last minute flowers, steaks and seafood.

The big news for the week is that on Thursday I took the plunge and put down my deposit to go on the next Jean Moss knitting tour in England. This one is in the Lakes District and York. Andrea isn’t going this time but a Jenny from New Mexico, who I met and enjoyed on the last trip, is. We won’t be sharing a room (hello single supplement) but at least I’ll know someone. I am SO excited! What more could I want? Knitting, gardens and gourmet food, all in England, which is my favorite place ever. So excited!

I went thrifting after work on Friday and scored 3 cashmere sweaters for my blanket then headed home for the weekend. I had finished the slippers already so did a felting load Saturday morning so I could take them to spinning for Gina. Wet slippers in hand, I picked Andrea up at noon so we could get to the cobbler before he closed at 1:00. Having done so well the last time I spun, I thought I’d have no problems but still struggled. I need to practice more. Clearly.

After spinning, Andrea wanted to go to Menard’s but hadn’t said what she needed. Well, it was all the beadboard for her bathroom remodel. Seriously – 8 foot long strips of MDF beadboard and trim. In my Fit. With 2 people and 2 spinning wheels, we had no way to fit them except to run them from the dashboard back to the hatch between the two seats. Needless to say, we went straight home from there.

I was super productive Sunday morning, getting all my chores done before lunch. That left the entire afternoon for knitting and cooking. The sun was blazing, I had new socks on the needles and the house was picked up. Nice! I made and delivered a strawberry rhubarb pie for Donna (another thank you for doing the guitar run) and baked a banana cake for Tuesday’s food day. The day ended with the finale of Downton Abbey – a nice end to a good week.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Week 7 - The Guitar Saga

I woke up early (weird dream) on Monday so threw together a pasta bake for that night, finding this recipe that was vegetarian but with no veggies (yes, Rachael's that kind of vegetarian – yikes!) With that in the frig, everything was ready for Connie’s arrival when I left for work on Monday so I was feeling good. The week would be a whirlwind for sure but I was ready.

Helen was supposed to take me to lunch for my birthday but had ended up staying in Lincoln all weekend because of the storm so begged off. I went to Noodles for a salad to go and kept working. I’d spent a couple of hours teaching the newbie’s some SAP stuff and otherwise just kept plugging away for the rest of the day. Connie and Rachael got to my house before I did so had the pasta in the oven when I got home. We had a nice time catching up and stayed up too late chatting after Rachael left.

I had made arrangements to ride in with a neighbor so I could leave my car for Connie to bring to Lincoln later in the day. While this avoided two of us getting together at the same time, it did mean I had to be ready 20 minutes earlier than I’d normally leave but it was still good. Darla and I went to Panera’s for our fave salad and then Connie picked me up so we could head to the pool. When she said she’d brought her suit and wanted to swim, you could have knocked me over with a feather. Tuesday is the lamest class but it was fun to be swimming with Connie again since I originally started water aerobics with Connie before she left UNL. We nuked quiche when we got home and watched Big, again staying up late. But at least we could sleep in on Wednesday because I had taken the day off so we could play.

Yeah, right. I was wide awake at 5:30 and got up at 6:30 so I got some knitting time in before Connie got up. We were headed to Omaha but had to prep for the cleaning lady before we left. Connie had only been there since Monday night but her stuff was everywhere. We neatized after breakfast and I also had Connie help me clear out the high cupboards, with me on the step stool handing stuff down to her. When we left for Omaha, I had 2 boxes of mugs and kitchen stuff from the cupboards plus a bag of clothes and such. More stuff leaving my house - nice! We went to Penzey’s, Goodwill (scored a cashmere sweater for my blanket for 99 cents – yay!) and then went to lunch at Cheesecake Factory, where we split to small plates and our ever fave limoncella torte. It was all delicious and the perfect amount of food. Then it was on to Trader Joe’s and Aldi before heading to the theatre to see Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. I was bored to tears and fighting sleep but Connie liked it. After a stop at Target, we headed home for a snacky dinner and another movie – Hanna, which was interesting.

Thursday meant another early morning for me, lunch with Dodie and swimming with Connie. Rachael came for dinner again, which I hadn’t expected so we just had more of the pasta. We watched Limitless, which I’d watched when Carolyn was here but was happy to see again. Everyone loved it. Have you seen it? You should.

I got up even earlier on Friday so I could make some blueberry muffins as a thank you to Sarah for taking me to work every day. Connie was coming down to meet Layton and me for lunch at the Chinese buffet. Gordy would be arriving that night and Rachael and Connie were picking up Indian food to bring to Wahoo for supper so I was off the hook for cooking and drove straight home alone after work to set the table. When Gordy arrived, he started unloading the car and realized he had forgotten his guitar in Sioux Falls but Rachael and Connie arrived almost immediately so we sat down to an Indian feast, only discussing what to do after we ate.

Since Gordy had a performance in western Nebraska Saturday afternoon and so neede his guitar, I told him I'd take on the challenge of finding someone in Sioux Falls to drive it down, thinking it'd just be a matter of finding a college student who'd be willing to drive 7 hours for $100 + gas money. Easy, right? I certainly would have jumped at the chance when I was in college. I called Augustana College and Sioux Falls University (their public safety offices because who else had a 24 hour line?) but struck out. Then I called the Sioux Falls police. Nada. So I started cold calling churches. Still nothing. Rachael was mass texting her friends but no takers. It was getting late and no one was calling back so I called Nora, who has a niece up there. She tried her best too. At almost 11:00, my friend Donna said she'd do it, at which point the guilt set in. While she said she'd be happy to do it, I felt like I should do it before my 60+ year old friend but I was exhausted from days of staying up too late with Connie. I waited a bit more before finally giving up. I called Donna at 11:15 to take her up on her offer and then drove over there at 11:30 to give her the money. When I got back, Gordy and Connie had gone to bed but I was wide awake and didn't turn the light off until almost 2:00. Sheesh!

You'd think being up that late and knowing everything was resolved I'd have slept late Saturday morning. Not a chance. I was awake at my usual 5:30 and tried to read to fall back asleep but had no luck. I finally got up at 6:30 and made coffee, settling in to finish the Stephen King book I've been slogging through for months. I woke Connie and Gordy up at 8:00 and made bacon and eggs. They packed up and left ~11:00, leaving me to wait for the guitar delivery and then shlep it to Lincoln. In the lull between them leaving and Donna arriving, I took a shower and reclaimed the spare bedroom. I kept going with the caffeine so was not too tired, until the ride home from Lincoln that is. But all's well that end's well. Once I got home, I basically sat in a chair waiting for bedtime. I did manage to get some knitting done but that was about it. When I went to bed, the table was still covered with dishes from breakfast but I had Sunday to deal with all that. I just needed some sleep.

I slept like a rock for more than 8 hours but still woke up at 5:30. I can't seem to get past then with my eyes shut these days. I had a wonderfully productive yet relaxing day on Sunday, getting some (not all) of my chores done and making a yummy dinner while finishing my fun orange socks. I should have gone to bed early but Downton Abbey was on until 10:00 so I got another short night of sleep. But it's a new week and I'm striving for normal days and early nights. Wish me luck.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Week 6 - Birthday and Snow

Between the new guys starting at work and my birthday, this week was jam packed. The days just flew by and I was more than ready for the weekend, which was our first winter weekend to speak of. At last!

Josh, the first of the new data analysts, started on Monday. Nora spent most of the day with him so I wasn’t affected much and had a normal day. I had planned to swim that night but forgot my bathing suit so instead went home for dinner before knitting, which was fun.

It was warm enough Tuesday that we walked to Starbuck’s in the afternoon with no coats on. I spent a couple of hours in the afternoon going over monthly reports with Josh, in hopes that he could be of some help. After work, I went to dinner with Nancy and the Japanese woman she’s hosting, Yuki. I had been worried it would be hard to get through but Yuki was delightful. We went to Noodles and would have talked all night if Nancy hadn’t cut us off. That worked though because I had to get home and make treats to take to work the next day, continuing the bring treats on your own birthday thing I hate. So I made turtles when I got home to go with the Trader Joe’s cranberry goat cheese. Cheryl would be picking up a baguette for that so I was all set.

But that didn’t stop me from getting up in the morning and making two coffee cakes. I needn’t have bothered because my desk was covered with goodies when I got in. There was a chocolate croissant from Cheryl, a donut from Jennifer, a bag of peanut butter balls from Jenny and an entire box of chocolate croissants from Marc. Needless to say, there was plenty to go around. The second analyst, Steve, started Wednesday but they were both at new employee orientation so I spent the morning cranking on monthly reports. The boys met Nora, Cheryl and I at Green Gateau for my birthday lunch. I was full from my carb-filled morning so just had soup and salad and took my cake to go. Josh helped with the deans reports that afternoon (yay!) and then I headed for the pool. Anne gave me a wonderful thing for putting lotion on my back, which I used as soon as I got home from Village Inn, where Anne and I joined the knitting crew. When I got home, there were three packages waiting for me – some yarn I’d swapped for, my Pinetree seed order and my color swap package. Despite the color swap being skimpy, it was fun to come home to packages.

Thursday was more monthly reports but Josh helped again so it was looking good that I’d get them done by week’s end. I had lunch with Dodie and she gave me more carbs – my favorite dark chocolate orange jellies from Trader Joe’s. How nice to have TJ’s so close! I swam on Thursday and was thrilled to just go home afterwards. I had started a new pair of socks on Wednesday morning so wanted to work on those. I finally ate my birthday cake from Green Gateau so it was a nice end of the day.

Both of the boys helped with monthly reports on Friday morning. They were both so quick that I could see it was going to be a struggle to keep them busy. Nora took them down to the training room for a couple of hours in the afternoon and I was able to finish my reports. Darla and I went to our thrift store (I scored more sweaters to felt) and I went home to wait for the storm.

I woke up early Saturday morning and we already had a couple of inches of snow on the ground. It snowed all day, while I sat cozy inside, knitting and watching Netflix. Bliss! I had fun moving all my yarn into the glass front bookcase in the front room, which is much more attractive than books. By afternoon it was beginning to let up so I called my snow blowing dude, only to find out he’d moved out of town. After calling around a bit, I finally bit the bullet and went out and shoveled. It was not cold (mid 30’s) so it wasn’t bad at all. I was done in an hour and went inside for a hot shower and a cup of tea, feeling good about having done it myself. I picked the wrong day to stop taking my meloxicam though but I toughed it out. I was only aware of my knee. It wasn’t painful. I spent the evening like I’d spent the day and went to bed knowing I had to have a productive Sunday.

It was a bright, like snow blindness white, day on Sunday. I had all of my chores done by noon and so spent the afternoon cooking and knitting. Connie would be arriving on Monday to stay the week and I wanted to have food ready to go so made quiche, a pumpkin pie, bread, baked beans (those are for me), corn muffins, sweet potatoes and baked squash. That should make a dent in the cooking this coming week. And what a nice way to end a fun week. This next one should be a doozie too. Stay tuned.