Sunday, February 24, 2013

Week 8 - Wonderful Snow Day

The week had a frantic feel to start and then slowed WAY down. I could use a few more days at the slow pace.

Work was busy and sometimes frustrating. Nuf said about that.

Monday was Presidents’ Day (we don’t get it off in exchange for a day between Christmas and New Year’s) and the library was closed so we couldn’t knit there. Lori invited us to her house but I opted out, instead enjoying a nice night at home. I had lunch with Darla on Tuesday and then swam after work. Wednesday lunch was UAAD, where Dodie won the Donaldson Award for excellence in management, which she deserved. Then it was all about the storm.

It was supposed to start snowing Thursday morning and they were predicting a foot of snow. I had already told Nora I wasn’t going to come in so was looking forward to a lovely vacation day at home when I left Wednesday. I tried to swim but was late and then couldn’t get a parking spot so just headed home. I’d food shopped on Tuesday so was ready to hunker down. Yay!

It was gray on Thursday and I was enjoying myself immensely, still in my nightie, when I called Andrea about booking our tickets to Ireland. She told me UNL was closed! I had had no idea, having completely ignored the crawl on the TV, which I’d had on all morning. Yee ha! That made the day even better. Then we bought our tickets and got a great deal, adding to the wonderful. It did start snowing around noon and kept up all day. It was wonderful to be warm inside knitting while to snow fell. I made comfort food for dinner – hamburger stroganoff over egg noodles with broccoli. I’d also made rice pudding and a pie so had dessert to chose from. I started a wonderful baby sweater for Cheryl’s grandbaby too and was enjoying that. Snow days rock!

We got seven inches. They had plowed at some point overnight but only one pass on the other side of the street. Since they didn’t plow after the last storm until after noon, I shoveled my entire driveway and 6 feet of the street so I could get out to the plowed side. I was dripping with sweat by the time I was done so hopped in the shower and got to work ~10:00. Not bad. LPS was out for a second day so lots of people were still out. Layton and I had a quick lunch at The Red Fox and the afternoon flew by. Nora, who was working from home, called me on and off all afternoon.

When I left work at 5:00, I met Darla at the thrift store and scored big. I got all kinds of fun things at our store and then went next door to Goodwill, where they were having a 99 cent clothing sale. $3 later (2 sweaters for felting and a nice shirt I’ll take to Ireland), I headed home. But I couldn’t resist detouring to the 27th Street Goodwill and scored again – clothes and lots of craft supplies. Then it was home for the whole weekend. I drove into the garage with no intention of going anywhere before leaving for work on Monday morning.

I had a lovely weekend with lots of knitting, cooking, some crafting and the inevitable chores. The sun was blazing all weekend and by Sunday night I had finished the baby sweater, had a frig full of food for the week and had organized all my knitting stuff – yarn, needles, etc. I didn’t manage to get the house picked up so will have to do that before the cleaning lady comes but that’s OK. It was a wonderful weekend and a nice week too. Who doesn’t love a week with a snow day?

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Week 7 - Self-imposed Knitting Pressure

This week was nuts! Every day flew by and it contained all the usual stuff plus a few noteworthy items so I’ll focus on them.

I had some knitting fun, as usual. It was warm enough to sit outside and knit on Wednesday, which was pleasant. On Thursday Anne popped into my cubie when she was in the building for a meeting and I convinced her to come with me over lunch for a Yarn Charm run. I bought myself a valentine – a beautiful skein of hand-dyed sock yarn – and a few things for my swap. Anne, who had never been to YC, bought some needles. It was a nice Valentine’s Day treat.

I was a bit overwhelmed by some self-imposed knitting deadlines. I had spinning on Saturday and wanted to bring 2 pairs of felted slippers with me – one as rent for borrowing a spinning wheel from Gina and one as a long overdue thank you for Jeanie’s help with combing my wool. Well, if I’d made duffers for both, there wouldn’t have been an issue but I decided to do a new pattern for Jeanie’s and they took twice as long. I had the duffers done in a few hours but the others weren’t off the needles until Friday night after 9:00, at which point I still had to felt them. Then the 2nd pair, which had some vintage wool along with cone wool, wasn’t felting well. After 1.25 hours in the machine, I gave up and went to bed. Gina’s duffers were perfect and gorgeous. Jeanie’s needed an explanation and hopefully she’ll do some hand felting until they’re right. My hands were aching from so much knitting on big needles but I’d made my deadline and they both seemed happy with them so it was all worth it. Note to self: start earlier next time and stick with tried and true (patterns and yarn) next time I’m under the gun.

Friday was one of those maniacal work days with 3 problems presenting themselves first thing in the morning and then lasting all day. I finished up at 4:00 and was feeling good about my day when the boss asked for a new report that she needed ASAP, which had me cranking right until 5:00. Then it was home to knit and felt. Such pressure!

I had to finish the felting on Friday night because Darla was due at my house at 8:00 a.m. Saturday for breakfast. I picked up the house between felting agitation cycles so was in good shape when I went to bed Friday night. Everything was taking longer than it should have on Saturday morning so the pancakes weren’t even on the griddle when she arrived. She was early though so we were eating by 8:15 and then headed for Fremont.

Our first stop was Goodwill, where we both scored all kinds of good stuff. We were there for much longer than we’d thought (it was really on the list as a filler until the downtown shops opened at 10:00) and even bumped into Denise from the library, who found me a gorgeous LLBean sweater to harvest the yarn from. We headed to Main Street where I used my birthday coupon at the quilt shop to buy swap goodies (nothing for myself but that’s OK), TVP from the health food store and then we stopped for coffee. I walked out with a painting. Then we hit Buck’s Shoes, which was having a great sale and I got a pair of army green slip on Keen’s and even got them free because I filled my Buck’s Dozen card that I started in 1998! Darla dropped me at the library for spinning and headed home.

Spinning was fun and we were the last ones out the door. Andrea was driving me home and I had my rented wheel in hand. How exciting! We stopped at Buck’s to see if Andrea could find anything (she didn’t) and then hit Yankee Peddler Antiques across the street. Guess what I found? Yarn. Go figure. We got home ~5:30 and I collapsed into a chair exhausted. It felt good to be back knitting socks again and after a bit of TV, I went to bed early.

Sunday was chore and cooking day and I got busy early so all the laundry was done and hanging on the line before I stopped for lunch. I had grand plans to cook but got distracted by yarn, ripping out the sleeves of the LLBean sweater, hanking and washing it to hand on the line and then dyeing another skein. I fit the chores between and once they were done, Andrea came over to watch the last 2 episodes of Call the Midwife that I had from Netflix. It was a lovely afternoon of tea, knitting and British TV. The only cooking I got done was a pot of chicken soup but I’ll live. I ended the week knitting socks and watching the season finale of Downton Abbey. It was a nice end to a busy week.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Week 6 - Another Good Week

As usual, it was another busy week and the weekend was pretty full too. But like I say, better busy than bored. 

Having cooked nothing on the weekend, I couldn’t even cobble together lunch on Monday but Darla was up for lunch so we headed to Virginia’s (the local greasy spoon) and on the way back I met Anne to transfer the last load of yarn to her car. She’ll be all set for her charity mittens for awhile. At Monday Night Knitting, we went through the better quality yarn and I took one grocery bag of miscellaneous skeins and another of natural for dyeing. I know, I didn’t need any of it but hey, it was free! 

I had suggested Anne, Kate and I do a pizza yarn sorting thing on Tuesday after work and that was the plan but Kate was under the weather so we cancelled. I swam and went to the market, where I picked up my first ever rotisserie chicken (I can see why these sell) and some cole slaw because between cancelling pizza at Anne’s and the end of the day, Andrea was now coming over to pick up my I-cord maker and have dinner.  

The rest of the week was a blurr. I was working with a useless travel agent from AAA to find good flights to Ireland (still nothing – see? USELESS!), was at training all day on Thursday (the make up session from last week’s Engineering training when it snowed and half the class couldn’t get it) and it was Friday before I knew it. On the way to work, the car in front of me on 77 kicked up a 1” rock and so I started the day with a circular crack smack in the middle of my windshield. Add replacing that to my to do list. Damn! 

Saturday was my cousin fun day with Helen for my birthday. I was torn between doing an Omaha run and staying home for pizza and chatting but was leaning towards the latter when the phone rang. Helen wanted to come Sunday instead so I sat down to knit, getting inspired on a felted project for my swap. I called Andrea to see if she wanted to do a quick Omaha run. She did so I would be picking her up at 1:00. I had said I’d bring her lunch but then knitted until the last possible minute so figured we could grab something in Omaha, my treat, instead. 

I headed to her shop at 1:00, where Andrea asked if her nephew could come with us because he needed some ammunition. Here’s the choice – having a nice afternoon of lunch and shopping with a friend or doing the same with a 14 year old boy in the back seat, watching my language, choosing conversation topics carefully and going to the gun shop. What would I choose? Well, she’d already told him he could come so I had no choice. The most pleasant part of the afternoon was the 20 minutes sitting in the sunny car at Guns & Ammo getting a blizzard update from Carolyn while they shopped. We got a donut and called it lunch then Trader Joe’s was a mob scene (was this normal for a non-football Saturday?) It was so full I couldn’t do some of aisles so I only bought 1 bag of stuff so I suppose it saved me some oney. Then we hit Aldi and were home at 4:15 so I could decompress with a cup of tea. It was not the afternoon I’d planned but at least I had stocked up.  

Sunday was fun. Helen came over mid morning and we sat and chatted all day, picking up pizza for lunch. She brought banana bars with cream cheese frosting for my birthday. Yum! She left just before 5:00 and I jumped in the shower before heading to the country club for the library’s Wine & Dine dinner. I forgot the Friends’ checkbook to pay the caterer so had to go home for it and missed the social hour but had a delicious prime rib dinner and was home in time for Downton Abbey. Half the people there were going home for it and one of the speakers even closed with a Downton Abbey time check. Too funny. 

So another busy week with a fullyl scheduled weekend following. I got some fun knitting done, spent time with friends and swam twice. That rates as a good week in my world. How was yours?

Monday, February 4, 2013

Week 5 - Yarn and Birthday

It was a busy week loaded with training and stress dreams. At least it flew by and there was yarn fun too. I know there usually is but this was more than normal. And did I mention that it was my birthday? That was fun too. 

I had my regular monthly trainings scheduled for Tuesday and Thursday afternoons and the long anticipated 6 hour long HR training was scheduled for Wednesday. I was helping Nicki prep the training materials for the new training so I worked late a couple of nights but not as late as Nicki. I managed to leave early enough Tuesday to swim, which felt great, and I lasted the entire class.  

We woke up Wednesday to 3” of snow in Wahoo but Lincoln had gotten 6” and the schools were cancelled. Not UNL though so I got my butt in gear to clear the driveway (it was so light that I swept the snow) and got to campus at 8:15. I fed the cats and went right over to Engineering, where Nicki was already set up. Since a bunch of the people who were signed up were from Omaha, they didn’t come and I’m sure there were some people missing who had kids in LPS. But there were a dozen people to train so we did it anyway. It went really well and killed the entire day. I had hoped to just read my email and swim but I got sucked into something with Nora and Mary so 5:00 came and went . Oh well. 

It all ended up working out because just after I got home, Andrea called. The realtor who had sold her her house had just cleared the house of an old lady who went into a nursing home and she had collected yarn. The realtor dropped a bunch at Andrea’s and she had a carload of yarn that needed sorting. I told her to come over for dinner (leftover pork roast and cauliflower cheese) and then we brought in the yarn and sorted for an hour. We ended up with a big bag of good stuff, a Fit load of rug yarn and macramé cord (that went right into my car to drop at Goodwill) and bunches of acrylic. I called my neighbor over and she took ALL of the acrylic, which will keep her crocheting for years. I kept almost nothing and was happy with that. It had been a fun evening but a long day. It was almost 9:00 by the time I got back from schlepping yarn next door with Judith. 

Fast forward to Thursday evening. I was able to swim and then headed right to Goodwill to get rid of the yarn in my car because I’d given Andrea a key to my house and she was dropping another load of acrylic for Anne for her mitten knitting (she and her mom knit hundreds of mittens every year for kids in low income Lincoln schools.) I dropped all the yarn (it was piled so high that I couldn’t see out the back window) at the donation door then decided to go in and see what they had. Well, I scored 6 skeins of good quality yarn for 99 cents each. But by the time I got to the register, the woman who’d unloaded my car was ringing. She looked at me puzzled and I had to explain that I was buying much nicer yarn than I’d dropped off. It was bitter cold on Thursday (20 below wind chills) so Andrea hadn’t dropped more yarn, which was nice so I didn’t have to deal when I got home.

Friday was a banner day. It was the 1st of the month so I happily cast on a new pair of socks in the morning using my very best yarn and a pattern I loved. I always look forward to new socks. Then it was monthly reports day so I had a full day but Nora, Cheryl, Josh, Nicki, Layton and I went to lunch for my birthday at Green Gateau. I had my fave salad with the paresan crispies and a big piece of chocolate cake then it was back to work, where the afternoon flew. So many people asked if I was going out but I was headed home to sit and knit, which was exactly what I wanted after the super busy week. I enjoyed every minute of it. 

I was meeting Lori at the thrift store on Saturday morning after I did my library deposits. It was the bag sale and she had never been. She was running late so we met at noon. Usually it would be picked over by then but the bins were brimming. I got 2 bags and Lori got SEVEN! It was fun to watch how thrilled she was and we both got lots of good stuff. Then we met Andrea and went to lunch at Chips. I ordered a small order of nachos for the table and a bowl of oxtail soup. Well, the nachos were so big that I ate them for my lunch and took the soup home. We sat and talked for hours and then I got the yarn from Andrea’s car and headed home. It was 4:00 by the time I settled down and I had a cup of tea and knitted for hours. It was a nice day. 

Sunday was chores and knitting. It was warm enough to hang the sheets outside and I had a lovely day. By the end of the day, I’d finished my first sock (I think 3 days is a record for me) and the house was all picked up. I hadn’t done any cooking so would be eating out of the freezer but I could live with that. It had been a great week. And I should add that by the end of it, I was finally feeling 100% with no congestion. Yay!