Monday, March 25, 2013

Week 12 - Thrifting and Knitting

It was going to be a strange week. It was spring break so there was no swimming and then even knitting got cancelled because I was the only one going. That meant I could go right home from work every day like a normal person and cook/eat dinner early. Yeah, that worked.

We were having a food day on Tuesday and I’d signed up for pie so went home Monday and baked, stopping long enough for hot dogs for dinner. I stopped at the market after work on Tuesday and it was 6:30 before I got home and put everything away so I had pasta with red sauce from the freezer. Then I did my taxes, which took the entire evening but at least they were done. It wasn’t until Wednesday that I was home before 6:00 and was able to make the cheesy cauliflower and ham I’d been wanting. Yum!

Snow was in the forecast for most of the week and it was gray and overcast when I left for work Thursday. Well, I drove into full blown snow, with bad visibility and slick roads. This is spring? I guess so because by the end of the day, it’s like it had never happened so the ride home was fine. I stopped at HyVee to pick up 99 cent eggs and found a steak fry going on so got that to go and ate half of it when I got home. At least the food thing was feeling normal-ish. And it was already Thursday night.

The work week had flown by. I had some fun with planning meetings on the Affordable Care Act (love the analysis part of my job) and then dug in on some identity management problems. FYI, that’s also fun in my world. Plus I managed to get some things crossed off my to do list. It was 5:00 Friday before I knew it. I’ll take more work weeks like this one please!

Darla and I had postponed our Goodwill trip to Omaha until better weather (there was more snow due Saturday) but hit our fave thrift shop after work on Friday. We didn’t find anything in the clothing racks but I hit pay dirt everywhere else. I got a baggie of yarn, which I didn’t look at very closely, a bunch of fun craft/house stuff and a brand new looking bread machine in my exact model so I can use the pan, whip and gasket from it and have the machine to spare. Only when I got home and pulled out the yarn did I find that it was a brand new 16 ounce skein of Mountain Colors hand dyed yarn. Retail price - $76! That’s my best thrift score in years. Maybe ever.

So with my entire weekend free and crappy weather, I could dig into just about anything. I spent most of Saturday finishing up projects and had 3 packages in the mailbox by mid-afternoon. That felt great! Good thing I got that done because the rest of the weekend was less productive. On Sunday, I decided to start a pair of mittens while I was between socks and the yarn wasn’t working for the pattern I’d picked so I decided to design my own pair. Fast forward to Sunday evening when I’d started 3 different times, switched yarns (which meant I could have gone back to my original pattern but did I? Nope.) and finally ripped it all out. I wasn’t happy that I’d killed the whole afternoon and had nothing to show for it. I should have done something else. Sheesh! Oh well, I finished watching the last season of Mad Men (love it!) while I was knitting and discovered FX’s The Americans on Hulu, which is worth checking out.

I ended the night trying to cram in a few chores and did have a pot of homemade baked beans (only because I’d set them to soak at 6:00 a.m. so had to keep going) ready by supper. I also tromped through snow to hang my sheets outside, leaving them there even when it started flurrying, so had fabulous smelling, clean sheets when I went to bed. Since the cleaning lady is coming this week, I’ll be doing a bit of neatizing every night to get ready but I will be swimming again so I guess I’ll be back to MY normal. : )

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Week 11 - Finally Some Crafting

It was not an auspicious start to the week but it definitely got better as it went along and ended on a fun, crafty note. Yay!

I slept like crap on Sunday night because, get this, I had taken my thin homemade quilt off the bed to wash it, leaving just my 3” thick comforter so I woke up over and over because my covers didn’t weigh enough. Add the time change, which made it hard to fall asleep, and I was exhausted when I woke up. And what did I have to face? Eight inches of heavy, wet snow. I went outside to shovel at 6:07, which felt like 5:07 (I’ll stop that now) and it took an hour. I was drenched in sweat so took a shower, ate breakfast and was on the road at 8:00. The roads were HORRIBLE! It was the worst driving in years but I was at my desk at 9:00. It could only get better, right? Nora was out all week and had left a huge to do list so I dug in on the first big project and the day flew. By 5:00, the roads were completely clear and I had time for dinner before knitting.

I was taking Tuesday off for an all day tree care workshop in Omaha for Master Gardener continuing ed credits. I didn’t have to leave the house until after 8:00 so felt like I had a ton of extra time but I still ended up scrambling. Four of us from Wahoo went and it was a pleasant day with interesting speakers. I’d been prepared for boring. I also managed to knit most of an entire sock – a monster sock from scraps. I was home early enough to make asparagus goat cheese pasta and I cracked a bottle of wine and enjoyed the evening.

Wednesday was a complete 180. Mary was working on some numbers for the chancellor and we all slammed all day. ALL DAY. I had to cancel my lunch with Darla and work through. It was a stressful day but we got it done. I then went home to prep for the cleaning lady an entire day early because she wasn’t coming until Friday and I managed to finish by 7:00 so I could settle down for Survivor and a couple of episodes of Mad Men on dvd. It was a nice end to a busy day.

I had extra time on Thursday morning too because I had a 9:15 dentist appointment to get the permanent filling in my root canal. I made an egg mcmuffin and enjoy some leisure time. Because of the root canal, they could drill without numbing me so I was only there for 20 minutes, getting to work earlier than I’d thought. It was good to get that done and I’m hopeful that that tooth will no longer be worthy of its nickname – the hell tooth.  The day went quickly and I swam for the first time all week. It felt good to go home and already have all the cleaning lady prep done.

Friday was the last day before spring break and it crawled. It didn’t help that it was in the 60’s outside. By mid-afternoon, everyone with any vacation time to burn had left. Randy and I toughed it out all day and I made a beeline home because I had some pressure sewing to do. I’d taken a woven piece from Dee at spinning with a promise that I’d make it into a tote bag. Of course I’d left it until the last possible minute. Well, Saturday morning would be the last but I was afraid I wouldn’t sleep so I got busy as soon as I got home. I actually had fun. I lined the bag with a pair of old jeans, improvising handles from the double stitched outer seam. Between the denim and the interfacing, it was too thick to top stitch but I was pleased with the end product. I went to bed with a clear mind and slept like a rock. Until 3:30 that is. I woke up from a bizarre dream and had to turn the light on and read for an hour to shut my mind off. Sheesh!

I was tired on Saturday and it was a full day. I met Lori and her sisters for lunch at Chips, which was yummy and fun. I left at 1:00 to pick Andrea up to head to Fremont for spinning. I was returning Gina’s wheel and telling the group I was done with spinning for now. No one batted an eyelash. Dee loved the bag, which I thought I was giving her, but she’d made some of her own and brought a bunch of other woven pieces, asking people to donate to a children’s shelter if they took any. She also had a bunch of handspun yarn so I took 2 skeins of that and 2 more woven pieces, happily writing a check for it all and knitting until Andrea and I left at 3:30. We headed to the quilt store so Andrea could buy batting and backing for 2 quilts. While she was doing math at the cutting table, I found a wash bucket full of scraps that you could buy for $3 for a quart sized zippie. This was totally up my alley! I dug through it all and scored some fun fabric. I demonstrated self control and only bought one sale fat quarter, spending less than $5 over all. Then we hit the bread store, the market and Goodwill before going to Andy’s, the best Italian restaurant I’ve found in Nebraska and it’s in Fremont of all places, for Andrea’s birthday dinner. I had cannelloni and she had chicken with artichokes then we shared a free piece of Italian cream cake for her birthday. It was a nice end to the day.

Since all I had to do on Sunday was laundry, I decided to keep up the crafting. I had found some fun scraps in the washtub so wanted to work on a quilted wall hanging. Just as I was starting, the phone rang and it was Sharyn. Since I couldn’t work on the quilt and talk, I pulled a placemat that I’d bought for 29 cents at The Christmas Tree Shop with plans to make a project bag. I undid the hems and 3 sides while we talked and finished the bag shortly thereafter with a scrap of grosgrain ribbon and some seam binding for the cord. It was totally cute! Since that was so quick, I got out the scrap fabric and whipped up the main section of the wall hanging, which has fun pictures of junk food and fruit. I pulled out all my orange and pink fabric looking for border fabric but will need more than a fat quarter so struck out. Since there’s no swimming this week, I’ll just stop at Cosmic Cow after work one night and buy something. Then it’ll just be a matter of embellishing it with some orange rick rack and quilting it with buttons. I haven’t quilted in a long time and this was totally fun.

So, my week didn’t end as I’d planned. I didn’t get to cook at all but I was pleased with my crafting fun. I’ll just have to eat out of the freezer this week or maybe even make dinner after work since I won’t be swimming. That’ll feel so normal. I’m not sure how I’ll cope.



Sunday, March 10, 2013

Week 10 - My Hell Tooth

What a week! It had way too much pain but hopefully it’s looking up now.

Randy, the super data guy, started on Monday. We all went out for Mexican at lunch and while I was eating my tamales, I noticed that my hell tooth, which has a crown, was beginning to hurt. Well, it was a good thing I’d had a big lunch because by the time I left work, I couldn’t bite down at all. I stopped at Tuesday Morning for yarn (a great haul of gorgeous stuff) and so didn’t have time for dinner before knitting, which wasn’t a problem because I couldn’t have eaten it anyway. Crap! There was definitely something going on.

I called my dentist first thing Tuesday and went right in at 8:00. He took an x-ray and said I had an abscess and needed a root canal. Damn! But at least this gave me hope that there’d be nothing left to do on this tooth that’s been bothering me for decades. He gave me a prescription for an antibiotic and offered me one for pain killers, which I didn’t take. BIG mistake. I filled the antibiotic and went to work. I grabbed soft food (soup and mac & cheese) for lunch but was in lots of pain by the end of the day. I had the root canal scheduled for the next morning (the endodontist had a cancellation) but I wasn’t going to sleep a wink without those pills. I had planned to swim but instead had to rush back to Wahoo for my second trip of the day to the pharmacy. Sheesh! I took 2 pills and went to bed early.

I had planned to feed the cats and meet Nora (she’d made me tomato soup) before my root canal but they called just as I was leaving the house and asked me to come early. The root canal wasn’t that bad. I was only in the chair ~45 minutes and after 4 shots, I didn’t feel a thing. After picking up the soup, I was home by noon. Not bad. I took the only 2 Tylenol I had in the house when the novocaine started wearing off and sat in the sun knitting all afternoon. Then the mail came and I got my swap package, which included a beautiful shawl (notice the droop in the pic from the novocaine), and a box from Amazon. It was a nice afternoon, until the Tylenol wore off. I was in some pain and so popped a hydrocodone with dinner. It made me a bit tired but I stayed up until 10:00. I did wake up at midnight and took another pill but all in all was doing OK. I still had to go to the dentist for a permanent filling in my crown but could this be the final act of my hell tooth pain? I live in hope.

I stopped for more Tylenol on the way to work Thursday but was in very little pain and was actually able to eat a steak salad at lunch with Dodie. I was supposed to be not eating on that side and the injection site was sore enough to be a reminder not too. The tooth itself felt fine. It was time to get back to normal. I swam and then rushed home for a quick dinner (nuked tortilla bake) before heading to the library for book club. Only 3 of us showed up and there were no questions so we just chatted – total waste of time! And after the book was such a chore to get through. The final straw was the new book wasn’t there and Denise hadn’t even requested one yet. On the way out, Lori and I decided to stage a coup and take over book club. Since her sister works at the Library Commission, we had a connection to get the book packs and it was close enough so I could pick them up from work. Decision made.

Friday was Nora’s last day before being off for a week so we had some planning to do. Between that and lunch with Layton and a staff meeting, the day went by pretty quickly. Darla and I met at our thrift shop but I didn’t get a thing. I went home, took a shower and settled in for the weekend. It was my only weekend without plans all month but of course I had a to do list.

I started Saturday knitting but then got busy. I clipped my coupons and headed downtown. I had to drop the books at the library (Jennifer had picked them up for me on Friday), recycle and hit Dollar General, where I had a $5 off $25 coupon and a big list. When I got home, I got busy with chores. I was hoping to get most of them done so I’d have Sunday free for the crafting side of my list. I got most of the chores done and felt good about things when I went to bed. Since I was losing an hour of sleep, that was a good thing.

It was snowing on Sunday and it was time to craft. I only had Gina’s spinning wheel for 1 more week and hadn’t touched it so that was on the list, as well as making a bag with the woven thingie from the woman at spinning, which I needed to deliver next weekend. I wasn’t excited about either of those things but was about dyeing some wool. Guess what I did? I had dyeing fun in the afternoon and then sat down to spin.

After only 5 minutes, I came to the realization that I don’t want to spin. I’d rather be knitting and I already have more yarn than I can knit in my lifetime. Why would I need to make my own? Spinning is one of those things I like the idea of but not so much the actual doing. Another decision made! I was crossing spinning off my list. Maybe I’ll explore it again when I retire and have the time to do it but not now. Done! And I felt good about the decision. Maybe it’s time to evaluate a few other things in my life. Hmmm…..

I wish I felt as good about the rest of the day. I managed to get a few more things on my list done but I was antsy all day. I couldn’t settle on anything and didn’t even feel like cooking. I tried to make Rice Krispie Treats but the marshmallows were stale so they ended up in the trash. At the end of the day, all I had to show for my Sunday was some pretty yarn and 3 loads of laundry. And the snow they predicted as 1-3” was blowing all day and was more like 8-10” by dark. I would be facing an hour of shoveling first thing before work and on the first work morning of daylight savings time. Not an auspicious way to start the week. Oh well. Spring is coming soon.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Week 9 - Seeking Less Fun

Yet another busy week. Nothing new there. But this one seemed a bit more frantic than others, which made it fly by at least. I think it may have been all the late nights, both doing things and then not sleeping well.

I should have known it would be a busy week when I started it by hitting Wal Mart before work on Monday morning. I knitted that night and Anne Marie came over to wind yarn afterwards. I had lots of pots and pans in the sink and the cleaning lady was coming Wednesday so I worked on those while she wound and kept going until bedtime. No down time there. Then I swam on Tuesday and finished prepping for the cleaning lady before sitting down to veg. I worked through lunch on Wednesday so I could leave work early to meet my friend Nancy for an early dinner. Then, at last, I was home for a night of TV and relaxing. I needed it because Thursday was swimming, dropping recycling and grabbing chicken tenders from the market to eat in the car on the way to Jeanie’s daughter’s house where she was helping restring my spinning wheel. I got home ~8:30. By this point in the week I wasn’t sleeping well, probably because I wasn’t getting any down time. You think?

Friday was the first so when my cat woke me up at 5:20, instead of rolling over for another half hour of sleep, I got up to run my data builds and cast on my March socks. It was a nice way to start the day – the socks, not the reports. The day flew by, as deans’ reports days do and I bolted home eager for the weekend.

I had another busy day on Saturday. I had a Friends of the Library meeting so I did the treasurer’s report, which required calling the bank to confirm some things, and was at the library at 10:00. From there I went to the bank then hit the thrift store for the bag sale. I brought a bag of clothes to Andrea’s store, where Lori was hanging out so she and Andrea split them up. I was picking Andrea up at 1:00 to head to Cosmic Cow (the cool quilt store in Lincoln) but customers came in at noon so Lori and I went out for a latte and scone. I ran home to pick up some yarn, picked Andrea up and headed south. We had fun finding fabric. I was thrilled to find Jenn Ski’s fabric (the mid-century modern blog in my list – check it out on the left) so bought a few fat quarters. After a quick stop at the market, we went to Yarn Charm so I could use their knitting machine to make sock blanks with my lilac cones from Brown Sheep. Well, that didn’t work out like I’d planned. Between the machine having issues and me not knowing what I was doing, it was a total waste of time. After an hour and a half, we ripped out what I’d knitted (badly) and headed home. It was another long day.

Sunday was a wonderful day at home. At last! I had a lovely day intermingling chores with knitting and listening to the audio book for book club – Shadow of the Wind. I even managed to do all kinds of things that have been hanging around too long, like putting away some Christmas dishes that have been living on the counter and my stocking stuffers, which have been sitting on the hutch since Christmas. I know. Ridiculous. I also went through every piece of paper on the desk.  I ended the night with a yummy layered tortilla thingie I threw together for dinner. The house is picked up, I have a big bag for Goodwill and another to take to work to divvy out and I can see the top of the desk and the bar. Best part though was just being home. Since I’m a sucker for saying yes to all kinds of things that keep me from home, maybe it’s time to schedule 2 weekends a month to do that and not allow other things to supersede that. Do you think there’s a chance that could work? Hmm….