Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Week 19 - Strange to Fun

What a strange week. The majority of the strange was because of phones. A contractor cut the main phone line for campus (check out the pic) on Monday and so I spent the week with no phone at my desk. While initially it was nice (no calls in), by the end of the week I was over it. I did lots of IM’ing and emailing when a call would have been quicker. Otherwise, work was fine. My personal life was super busy.

We started the week with a Cinco de Mayo food day. We usually don’t do Monday food days but had to this time for obvious reasons. But between the food day, the gorgeous spring weather and the lack of phones, it was hard to stay focused. On Wednesday, I arrived at the office to find everyone outside for a fire drill. I sat on a bench and knitted and after 10 minutes, fire trucks arrived, no doubt delayed because of the cut phone lines. There really was a fire! Someone was nuking a breakfast burrito and the microwave caught fire. At least it was a pleasant, albeit strange, start to the day.

As for the more mundane stuff, I had knitting Monday night, planned to do some yard work on Tuesday, swim on Wednesday and Thursday then had graduation parties on Thursday (after swimming for our favorite student instructor) and Friday (a friend from swimming who got her PhD.) The week was over in a blur and the 2 week countdown clock had begun.

I was not going to be taking any chances with my knee so was done with swimming until after my trip. The next week was the annual maintenance close down anyway so I’d only be missing water walking but I’d be skipping the last week just to be safe. Since I have tons of gardening yet to do, I figure I’ll get some exercise that way.

The parties were fun. We went to Dempsey’s for burgers, truffle fries and Guinness on Thursday and there were about a dozen of us from the pool. On Friday I ran across town because Nora needed a ride home then I stopped at Tuesday Morning and broke my yarn diet, which lasted 16-1/2 weeks so not bad. Then it was back downtown for Amanda’s party, which was at McCourt’s Ale House. I had never heard of it but it’s a pretty authentic Irish style pub where I enjoyed, you guessed it, another Guinness. This one was colder so more enjoyable and there was Chinese food and delicious chocolate cake. I got home after 9:00 for the 2nd night in a row. I was tired and had a busy weekend ahead of me.

Andrea and her sister had won prizes at the yarn shop hop they’d done a couple of weeks ago and since I’d expressed interest in going to the yarn shop in Carroll, Andrea and I were doing a road trip Saturday afternoon to pick up the prizes. Since the weather Sunday was iffy, I headed right outside on Saturday morning and reclaimed my vegetable garden, cutting down tons of weed trees and raking the new veg area I gained when my neighbors put their fence up 2 feet into the property line. I was trying to be careful but ended up stepping on a stump in my crocks and bruising the bottom of my left foot. Luckily it was near the end of my time outside so I got lots done and was feeling good when I headed inside for a shower and lunch before picking Andrea up at 1:00. 

We headed east towards Carroll, stopping at Goodwill in Blair (nothing) and Monica’s Plants in Missouri Valley. Monica is a presenter at the Iowa garden day I go to every March so I wanted to see her stuff and managed to find four plants I couldn’t live without. We didn’t stop until Carroll and got there after 4:00.

What a lovely yarn shop! (http://www.bethsyarnbasket.com/) The woman was very helpful and I bought more yarn, which didn’t feel so bad since I’d broken my yarn diet the night before. See how I was thinking? Anyway, she helped me pick the perfect yarn for a set of baby booties and hat for my friend’s brother’s first baby, who is due soon. Otherwise it was just more sock yarn but some fun stuff I’d never seen before. And there was a quilt shop in the back of the yarn store, which I headed back to as Andrea paid. Of course I found some fat quarters but between the two of us we’d filled the punch card so I pretty much got them free. Frosting on the cake! 

Monica had mentioned that somewhere near Carroll was the winner of the best burger in Iowa so we asked Beth at the yarn shop for directions and headed to the Coon Bowl in Coon Rapids for supper. They won best burger in 2012 and it was a darn good meal. I had a bacon cheeseburger, because why not, and onion chips. It was well worth the 20 extra miles it added. Then we made a beeline to I-80 and got home after 9:00 again. It was a long day but lots of fun and I had some new, long awaited yarn too. All good!

I woke up to rain on Sunday morning so enjoyed a leisurely morning of knitting. After lunch the skies cleared so I got some weeding done (easy cuz the soil was soft) and puttered a bit before the next round of storms hit. I had pea soup on the stove and a quiche in the oven when the sirens went off. I turned on the TV to see that a tornado was just outside Wahoo so I headed to the basement. I went up when the quiche was done but then back down again, spending about an hour down there before the sirens stopped. Unfortunately the rain was coming down so hard (the total for Sunday was 5.1” in Wahoo!) that it came pouring into my basement on the east side, where my neighbor’s roof drains onto her driveway and then down the slope into my basement. And when I went to that end of the basement (I could hear the water coming in like a faucet was on), I found that my rotten cat (I’ll blame Tot) had pulled down my entire shelf of vintage linens so I had a 2’ deep pile of linens blocking the floor. After I got them all out of the way, I moved boxes and such to create a path to the floor drain and got out my squeegee. I got what standing water I could down the drain and set up the dehumidifier. I happily took a shower and went to bed early, knowing I’d have more clean up in the morning because it was still raining.

So, an interesting week all in all. Lots of fun, a road trip and wacky weather. Less than 2 weeks until France but I’m not feeling stressed. Did I mention that I found out this week that we’ll have full access to laundry at the chateau? That’ll make a huge difference in what I pack (or don’t pack) and my progress outside is making me happy. It’s all good. : )

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