Sunday, March 25, 2012

Week 13 - Hot and Cold

It was spring break at UNL this week but it felt like the middle of the summer. The week started with weather in the mid-80’s and because it was spring break and should have been chilly outside, it was our annual chilled water outage. No air conditioning! It was SO hot in the office on Monday that it was hard to concentrate. By Tuesday it was raining and cooler outside but it wasn’t comfortable in the office until Wednesday. Sheesh!

The most fun thing this week was the yarn haul Darla picked up for me at Brown Sheep in Mitchell, NE. They were going to be in Scottsbluff doing training so I called Brown Sheep and placed a huge order for fiber (to spin) and lots of sock yarn. The woman was digging through closets to find samples that hadn’t made it to production. I have scads of fun yarn that will keep me knitting and spinning for ages. And all for cheap, which was the icing on the cake.

The other thing worth mentioning from the week was going to the ortho doc for my knee. Of course, by the time I got there my knee was fine and despite being manhandled by both the PA and doctor, nothing hurt. They said it wasn’t arthritis because I have plenty of cartilage so they assumed it was my meniscus, which means I have that problem in both knees. Yikes! They can’t tell without an MRI but said I could come in before my trip for a cortisone shot or an Rx for steroids if I was having any pain. So, I’ll just be playing it by ear. After I left the doctor’s office, I called Helen and we met for a coffee in the hospital lobby. It was nice to catch up.

I was supposed to scrapbook at Camp Fontanelle on Saturday and Sunday but when the rain cleared at the end of the week and the forecast was for gorgeous weather, I knew I couldn’t do it. I gave Jenny a check for the $45 to give to Dori and crossed that off my list. Now the weekend was all mine.

I woke up Saturday with a sore throat. I did go out and cut down some trees in the yard but didn’t do much else outside. By Sunday, I had a cough and felt like I had bricks on my chest. I laid down for an hour in the afternoon and despite getting more congested by the minute, it helped. I was able to do a tiny bit more in the yard then made dinner and some banana bread. Clearly this was not the productive weekend I had planned on but I didn’t plan on getting sick. It’s been awhile since I had a cold so I guess I was due. And even though it feels like summer, it’s only March so I’m not going to stress about the yard work yet. Give me a couple of weeks.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Week 12 - The Hunger Games

This week was dominated by two things – my bum knee and The Hunger Games. I woke up with my good knee bothering me on Monday morning and it went downhill from there. So I guess it worked out since I spent most of the week reading and so wasn’t stressing my knee.

Monday was my usual busy day but this week I went from work to a Husker Cats meeting, ate in the car and then to the library. Another 13 hour Monday. My knee was starting to bother me but not bad. Yet.

The weather was freaky hot on Tuesday so I sat outside over lunch and started The Hunger Games. After just that hour, I knew the rest of my week was toast. I didn’t swim that night but went right home and started reading. It was so warm that I sat out on the deck until 9:15 and then went to bed to read until I was bleary eyed.

My knee was still problematic on Wednesday morning but when I stood up after putting on my socks, there was a crunch and pain that almost put me on the floor but then my knee felt fine. Hmmm… I read again over lunch on Wednesday and then decided that I should swim because my knee was fine. Yeah, right. I took it easy but could barely get out of the pool and couldn’t put any weight on it but by the time I got home, it seemed fine again. WTF! I stopped reading long enough to watch Survivor (loving this season!) but then read until I finished the book. I hadn’t been so into a book since Under the Dome, which was a year or more ago. I had to get my hands on the other books!

I had a lunch fiasco on Thursday when Darla and I tried the new pizza place downtown – Toppers. They screwed up my first sandwich, which I had waited 15 minutes for (their norm), and after walking back and waiting for a remake, found a funky, woody bit in my sandwich. I won’t be going back there! But I digress. I went right to Barnes & Noble after work but was dismayed to find they didn’t have the 2nd and 3rd book in paperback so they’d cost $40! I couldn’t spend that much so headed home to check Amazon, resigned to wait. I also called the library to see if there was a long wait on their copies. There was. But as I got home, I had a brainstorm. Emma, the girl 2 doors up, was just the right age for the books (they’re technically young adult.) I picked up the phone and SO lucked out! She had the boxed set and was willing to share. I hightailed it over there and spent the rest of the night reading. Go figure.

The beauty part was I had taken Friday off so had a 3 day weekend coming. But the point of taking Friday off was to get some yard work done so I’d have to be an adult and force myself to stop reading long enough to do something. So I got up Friday, read while eating a nice breakfast and then got busy doing chores. I had my inside list done before lunch, read while enjoying some grilled hotdogs (the freaky warm weather was still holding on) and then headed outside. I spent an hour picking up sticks and other winter debris then headed back in to read some more because it was actually too hot outside. I went out again after it had cooled off a bit and pruned all my roses. I called that enough and went in to read some more.

I finished the 2nd book over breakfast on Saturday and then got busy. I had stuff to mail so had to be at the post office before 10:30. I ran a few other errands in town and was back home starting the 3rd book over lunch. Andrea picked me up at 1:00 and we headed to Fremont for spinning, where I knitted because I didn’t want to use my knee to spin. From there we went to Omaha, hitting Penzey’s, Mangelsen’s (a craft store) and Trader Joe’s. It was Andrea’s birthday on Sunday and I had a little bag of gifts for her but when she mentioned loving butter print Pyrex, which her mom had when she was a kid, I tore through my basement and garage stashes and gave her a casserole set and refrigerator boxes. It took some digging to find the right lids but she got two full sets. At least someone is benefiting from my ebay stash. Someday I’ll get back to selling. She left after 8:00 and, you guessed it, I started reading again while enjoying a TJ’s picnic dinner – sushi, bread, cheese and a glass of wine.

Sunday was an odd day. I wanted to finish the last book but was restless and couldn’t seem to stick with it. I think I’d hit a wall. But it was SO hot outside – mid 80’s with a hot south wind – so working outside wasn’t a pleasant option. I ended up dying some yarn, which dried incredibly quickly on the line. I prepped one of my veggie beds but the heat drove me into the cool basement and finally get back to reading. I had hoped to cook but it was just too hot so I put frozen pizza in the toaster oven and finished the last book after dinner. I didn’t get my taxes done nor the laundry but it was all worth it. It was a wonderful week! If you haven’t read these books, you need to. They are the best story I’ve read in ages. Now I can’t wait to see the movie, which opens Friday. Anyone wanna go?

Monday, March 12, 2012

Week 11 - New Cleaning Lady

It was a much easier week than the last two. Nora was back at work and gave us all, including the boys, some new assignments. And the boys are getting to the point where they can work more independently, which means only the occasional question so I’m getting some work done too. Yay!

That said, Monday found me trying to finish the last of the monthly reports. It would have been easier to do myself and I fear I wasn’t as patient as I should have been with the questions. It was a frustrating day and I was exhausted by day’s end. I skipped not only the pool but knitting too, which is a rarity. When I got home before 6:00 and put on my sweats, any hope of going to knitting was gone. I sat at home and knitted so just missed the company.

Tuesday was the day Nora met with us all and divvied out a ton of new work. Afterwards, we walked to Starbuck’s and sat outside for a few minutes before heading back to work. It was another gorgeous day of unseasonable warmth. Gotta love it now but I hope we don’t have another blazing hot summer as pay back. It felt great to be back on track at work and I was in the pool again on Tuesday and Wednesday. I even packed my bento box again for lunch those days.

The new cleaning lady started on Thursday so I was excited to get home and see how she did. Despite that, I did some errands after work, starting at the thrift store with Darla. We didn’t get much there but I scored some nice, cheap yarn at Tuesday Morning and then found all kinds of things at Big Lots, which hasn’t happened in a long time. I was thrilled to get home and find my house clean and for less than half what I was paying Ginger. : )

Friday was a blur and the weekend was here. My only plan was doing a master gardener CE session with Lorri on Saturday afternoon in Fremont. Beforehand, I had to pay some bills and do a bank deposit for the library and hit Dollar General to do a big stock up sometime on Saturday so I could use my $5 off $25 coupon. Neither should have taken long but I ended up getting home at 11:58 and Lorri was picking me up at 12:15. I called to ask if we could leave a few minutes later (she agreed) so I wouldn’t have to bolt my lunch and then we headed north. The session was pretty dull (beginner class) but I brought my socks so got a bit of knitting done and then it got out early. I was home just after 4:00 and it was another gorgeous day so I made a cup of tea and sat outside reading, where I was actually hot sitting in the sun. Nice!

Having had such an easy week, I should have been a machine on Sunday but instead sat on my butt knitting. I had agreed to test knit a new pattern for a designer so was working on those instead of the handmade for my next swap or one of the many projects I already have on the needles. Sheesh! Andrea stopped by in the afternoon and despite big cooking plans, I nuked the last of my chicken a la king and so have nothing to eat this week. Good thing the freezer is stocked. And there’s always hope for next weekend. Story of my life.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Week 10 - Driving to Valentine

I don’t know if I should call it a highlight but Thursday was the remarkable day of the week. Nora’s dad’s funeral was in Valentine so some of us made the trek up there and back in the same day. 600 miles. Before Thursday was the regular – knitting, swimming, etc. – and afterwards was recuperating. For days.

Since my house was in the path of the northern (and more enjoyable I think) route to Valentine, Mary, Peg and Allan picked me up at 6:45. I had baked blueberry muffins for the road and brought lots of knitting since I wasn’t driving. It was awhile before I could see well enough to knit but the ride there seemed to go quickly. We stopped once for gas and more snacks and ate lunch at Big John’s in Ainworth, which I’d eaten at on one of my tubing trips. The food was delicious and the break was nice. We got to Valentine ~12:30 with a half hour to spare.

The funeral was hard. The pastor cried a couple of times but the clincher was when Ted, Nora’s husband, got up to speak and couldn’t hold it together. Between holding back tears and the blazing heat in the church (I was even sitting in direct sun to top it off!), it felt endless. There was a nice PowerPoint of his life (also hard) and it was an hour and 20 minutes before we headed downstairs for cake. When we finally left, we stopped a wonderful quilt shop and got gas, hitting the road at 3:30. Our only stop was Dairy Queen in O’Neill and Mary drove like a bat out of hell. I was home by 8:15. Exhausted.

Since Thursday was the 1st, I’d met with the boys for a couple of hours on Wednesday to talk them through doing deans’ reports without me. They at least got them run but Friday was a full day of helping them tie the ones they had problems with and running the last few myself. I went to lunch with Darla and Layton at The Egg and I (breakfast for lunch) then slammed all afternoon. 5:00 couldn’t come fast enough. I headed straight home for a lazy weekend.

Other than running some errands on Saturday morning, I had no other plans for the weekend. I treated myself to BK for lunch and then the new cleaning lady came. She was very nice and agreed to take on my house so I can now go back to $40 every 2 weeks, which is less than half of what I was paying Ginger. Now to fire her. I had all day Sunday to call but spaced. Typical.

On Sunday, I got some chores done and made one of my favorite comfort food for supper – chicken a la king. But most of the day was spent knitting. Go figure. I started a new pair of mittens, using yarn from a sweater I’d torn apart for the yarn on Saturday. Have I finished my socks? No. Oh well. I just couldn’t resist. BTW, the mittens are gorgeous.