Monday, November 30, 2015

Week 48 - Attitude Adjustment Accomplished!

While I had hoped for a new attitude on Monday morning, it didn’t happen. Power pump was fine but didn’t improve my mood so I was a cranky mess when I got to the office. I immediately put in for an afternoon of vacation time, which would conveniently burn the half day in my bank. I don’t like uneven amounts there, btw. I also emailed my cleaning lady to offer a delay until after Thanksgiving if she was busy, which she promptly took me up on. That meant I didn’t have to worry about picking up my house when I got home. Yay!

After a lovely lunch of Irish food with Dodie, I headed home for my attitude adjustment afternoon. It was warm enough to outside in a t-shirt so I went onto the deck to sort the apples Nancy had dropped off last week. I had a bucket of green apples for Lori’s chickens (about half of the load) and started working the rest of the apples. I made Ozark pudding to take to knitting and put on a big pot of applesauce. After puttering for the rest of the afternoon and making comfort food (tuna casserole and broccoli) for supper, I headed to knitting a new woman. I had finished another WIP and had a lovely time with my friends. It’s amazing what an afternoon off in the sun will do.

The rest of the work week went quickly. On Wednesday, Layton and I did lunch at Red Fox, which we used to go to all the time but now seldom because it’s hard to find diet food there. Well, one of our regular waitresses made a point of coming over to tell me how good I looked, which felt great! We always get to leave early the day before Thanksgiving so I only had to work until 3:00 then headed to Menard’s to buy my Christmas trees and wreath. I had no intention of putting them up so early but the weather was turning so I figured I’d get them bought while it was still relatively warm. I was in and out in 10 minutes and headed home for four blissful days off.

The weather turned wintery and Thanksgiving Day was a mess of freezing rain with the whole world covered with a sheet of ice by the end of the day. I happily stayed inside and cooked a mini turkey dinner with stuff from the freezer – turkey thighs (brined) cooked over stuffing, a pumpkin pie and sweet potato casserole. It was pretty easy cooking and worth it to tide me over until our family Thanksgiving on Sunday.

On the knitting front I was working on yet another WIP and this was the WIP to end all WIPs. When Aaron, my friend’s son, was in utero 16 years ago, I started a little cardigan for him. Knowing it’d take awhile, I made a size 2T. Well, Aaron is now 15 and the sweater had been sitting in pieces since he was born, done except for sewing the pieces together and knitting the placket. After digging a bit in the basement, I found the extra yarn and spent a day sewing it together and knitting the button band from hell – 7 stitches but a yard long. I finished it Saturday night just in time to throw it in the wash because, you guessed it, it was Red Heart acrylic. It came out super cute and is washable to boot. I was so happy to finish it and hand it off to Carter on Sunday. Helen and Brenda got socks and the men were happy with pie. All good.

I puttered for days, knitting, neatizing, cooking, etc. and enjoyed every minute. In addition to getting 2 packages shipped to Canada on Saturday afternoon, I also got the pies made – apple, pumpkin and pecan. Having neglected to get pecans when I was at Menard’s on Wednesday (I had them in my hands but put them down to pick up when I got back to the registers with my trees, only to completely forget about them – sheesh!), I had to venture out to the market, breaking my vow to not leave the house until Sunday. I can count myself lucky that that was my only foray out in the weather and making the pies was a happy thing. Gotta love homemade pie – both the making and eating.

Sunday was the family Thanksgiving so I was on the road to Lincoln before 11:00. We had a lovely dinner at Brenda and Michael’s and while the sun wasn’t out, it wasn’t too cold so we had some fun playing in the yard with Carter, who is almost 2 and a fun kid. Just before I was leaving, Michael’s biological father showed up. Now Helen had mentioned that he’d contacted Michael after years and wanted to be part of his life but I wasn’t expecting to see him. I thought they’d called him Grandpa Zach (his name is Rick so I misheard) and having not seen him in more than 30 years, I didn’t recognize him. I was flabbergasted when Helen told me who he was as I was leaving. Rick moved to Lincoln from Texas and is actually in Michael’s life. Knock me over with a feather! Family drama at the holidays! Go figure.

The anticipated storm started late Sunday and I decided then and there not to try to go to Power Pump in the morning. It was lovely not to worry about getting prepped for that when I got home Sunday night. I already had to do the final pick up for the cleaning lady, which I finished at 7:00, just in time for a Guinness and snacks for dinner. It was a lovely way to finish a good week. I hope everyone had as nice a Thanksgiving as I did. Now on to Christmas!

Week 47 - Building Bad Attitude

The most memorable thing about this week was my bad attitude. It started with things just not going smoothly and built from there. It wasn’t pretty by the end of the week. Bummer.

I was running late to Power Pump on Monday morning and then Pixel didn’t come in, which left me with nagging, low level worry all day. Of course she was waiting at the door when I got home. That at least was good. Then Tuesday after work I met Nancy for a movie at The Ross – Labyrinth of Lies. Nothing like a movie about prosecuting Nazis to improve your mood. The premise was that the average German didn’t know what was going on in the camps. I didn’t buy it so did some googling later and found a book to check out of the library that debunked that theory. Reading more on this would not help my mood.

UAAD was the bright spot in the week. It was Ed Zimmer, a Lincoln historian, doing a presentation on Wyuka Cemetery. Thoroughly interesting but then I went back to work. I got a last minute invite to a meeting Thursday morning that I should have been invited to in the first place. Then my boss called in so I got why. She called me from home and grilled me on the meeting, clearly not happy with what had transpired. Then I ended up alone in the office that afternoon and the bad attitude escalated. By Friday I was a cranky mess.

Luckily, it was an uneventful weekend. I holed up and knitted inside, which did some to moderate my mood but not enough. I could only hope that the short week and four day break coming up would fix it all. I live in hope.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Weed 46 - Prepping for Winter

Well, my new workout routine of 6:00 a.m. Power Pump on Monday mornings has seriously impacted my blogging. I used to write my weekly posting first thing on Monday (when there’s no Daily Show to watch) but now I’m at the gym by the time I used to get up so it’s not happening. It’s clearly time to explore another option. Anyway….

It was an even busier than normal week. I know, I always say that but this week I had something every single night and some of it was stressful. The CRAC (Campus Rec Advisory Committee) was #1 on that list.

A bunch of us from water aerobics went to the meeting Tuesday at 4:30 to fight for not cutting our classes for next semester. We’d coordinated our efforts so 4 focused on different aspects of our argument. I covered the history of why our numbers dropped so had written out notes and practiced in my head all day long. We all said our piece and even got out in time to swim, albeit with a late start. We had thought our comments had been well received but Rene, who is on the committee, came over to the pool once the meeting was over and told us that Vicki told the committee that the decision to cut to 2 days/week had already been made (by her, of course) so wasn’t up for a vote – just the new fee structure. That deflated us until Rene said the director of the Rec Center told her it was not a done deal and he’d be looking into it. Hope!

I had a Husker Cats meeting on Wednesday after work, swam Thursday and then met Darla after work on Friday for a dreaded Wal Mart run. I avoid that place like the plague (it used to be a favorite but not anymore) but had a long list of things that I needed. Well, that was a bust! I wasn’t able to find even half of what was on my list so went home mostly empty handed. At least there’s Amazon. Gotta love free deliveries to your front door.

After such a jam packed week, I was looking forward to sitting on my butt as much as possible on the weekend and staying in my jammies until noon (at least) on Saturday. But Thursday night I got an email calling a Friends of the Library meeting for Saturday morning. As treasurer, I’d not only have to go but did through all the paper on my desk to find bank statements and do my treasurer’s report. Grrrrrrr…

Of course, it wasn’t all bad that I had to get up and go. After the meeting, Lorri and I did some shopping in Wahoo and even drove to Weston (a tiny town just west of Wahoo) where a restored general store with antiques for sale had opened up. Once I got home, it was time to get my last gardening done. I repotted all the plants I’d brought in Thursday night ahead of our first hard frost, brought in the plant stands and got them cleaned and set up. Then I mowed for the last time (it took forever for the leaves to fall and that’s what my last mowing waits for) and drained the hoses to store in the garage for the winter. By the time I added in all my chores, the weekend was done. And while I didn’t get much vegging in, at least I’d been productive and was feeling ready for winter. Bring it on!

Friday, November 13, 2015

Week 45 - Friends and Drama

The highlight of the week was getting to spend time with Cindy, my quilter/knitter friend from several of my Jean Moss trips. Cindy was going to be in Nebraska for a quilting retreat and was coming to Lincoln to see the International Quilt Study Center so I was meeting her for dinner on Wednesday. I ducked out of work early when she called at 4:00 and Anne, who has been on the receiving end of Cindy’s yarn boxes and so wanted to meet her, and I met Cindy for a lovely dinner at the original location of Misty’s

Misty’s is an old Lincoln staple – the kind of restaurant that’s like stepping back in time 50 years, complete with round leather booths and 50’s d├ęcor. I’d only ever eaten sandwiches at lunch at the downtown location and it was a 900 calorie day so I was going for the filet mignon. OMG! It tasted absolutely amazing, as did the green beans I got in an attempt to eat healthier than a potato. The liberal amount of bacon the beans were cooked with may have killed that but at least I was trying. I could have been eating saltines and would have enjoyed it just because I was with Cindy. It was all too short a visit as she had an hour’s drive to get to her conference so wanted to get on the road.

I was happy to get an email later in the week that Cindy had decided to get a hotel room near the airport on Saturday night because she had a very early flight on Sunday. I gladly offered to pick her up and play. We went to Penzey’s and World Market (my first time since they reopened in Omaha after being gone for a few years) then lingered over dinner at Noodles. The game was on so we had the place to ourselves and chatted for a long time. It was lovely.

On a not so lovely note, we had some drama brewing over water aerobics. I’ve been going religiously for almost ten years and cannot imagine life without swimming with my friends in the pool. But a new Aquatics person had been hired at campus rec and it had been clear for awhile that the focus was shifting from us to the kids who were paying $60 each for four weeks of swimming lessons. We’d had them in the pool since it reopened but we were usually in the deep end while they were being taught in the shallow but this year we were all crammed in, fighting for real estate in the shallow end and competing for showers in the locker room. Rather than do a better job of scheduling, the powers that be decided they should just cut the number of classes to 2 per week down from 4. And one of the nights they picked was Monday, when I have a conflict. Unacceptable!

After the announcement via email and our responses being ignored for more than a week, we requested a meeting to discuss it. The brand new aquatics person and her boss (the instigator of all this) met us before class on Thursday in the locker room. It did not go well. The boss was downright rude and snippy plus told us the water aerobics instructors were under qualified RIGHT IN FRONT OF OUR FAVORITE INSTRUCTOR! I was shocked at the lack of professionalism and the politician like double speak. We also got zero consideration. It was clear she’d already made up her mind to cut the classes. We were all frustrated and vowed to attend the Campus Rec Advisory Committee meeting the next week to plead our case but there seemed to be little hope.

Otherwise the week was uneventful. I started Monday with Power Pump again, helped by the time change so getting up at 4:45 wasn’t so brutal. I finished the offboarding training with my twelfth session on Tuesday morning, did my monthly reports and got a flu shot. I didn’t sleep through until my alarm went off until Friday so was more tired with each passing day. A relaxing weekend helped me regain my energy.

The best part of the weekend was doing some leg work to plan my next knitting trip, which included calling Paul and Joanne in New Mexico (friends from our Jean Moss trips) to pick their brains on their recent trip to the Shetland Islands for Wool week. Emailing were flying all day Sunday and by the end of the day, I’d committed to this trip along with Gail and Eileen (2 of my Canadian knitter friends), Cindy and her friend Erica, who was a total hoot on the France trip, and Lori from the Wahoo knitters, who will be my roomie. Unfortunately Sue can’t go but it’s hard to feel sorry for her when it’s because she’ll be just coming back from a trip to Switzerland with her husband. But alas, we do feel bad and will miss her a ton. But nonetheless I’m very excited to go. Now to make it to June without my head bursting from excitement. : )

Monday, November 9, 2015

Week 44 - Last Supper Mentality

Let me start with a Pie update – she’s fine – but here are the details. When I got up, her mouth was still wide open and she wouldn’t let me anywhere near her so I headed out at 5:15 for Power Pump followed by breakfast out with Anne and Rene. I called the vet as soon as I got to my office, making an appointment for the afternoon. It was not a good day to take the afternoon off but what choice did I have? I left at noon and went home, dreading trying to capture her. But when I called her, I could hear her perfectly normal meow coming from the basement. Sometime over the morning, her jaw had shut on its own. Yay! I cancelled the vet and checked email before deciding what to do with my free afternoon. Well, there was an email from Student Accounts and I would have to start allocation from scratch. When I read that, I headed back to campus. Total time gone? 2 hours. I cancelled my vacation leave and worked late, heading straight to knitting, pumpkin cake in hand. What a long day but at least Pie was fine.

I was still in the throes of offboarding meetings plus was working allocations between them and had another half day of training too. Needless to say the week flew by. And lest I have a minute to breathe, I also fit a dentist appointment and haircut before and after work plus swam twice. Wednesday was a food day, purposely scheduled on a non-rotating week, and I ate way too much junk and felt like crap. That was my week. I was SO ready for a weekend at home.

With Saturday being Halloween, I did my annual trimming of the crabapple so the trick or treaters could get to the front door. I carved a jack-o-lantern, filled up the candy bowl and was ready to go. But where were the kids? I had gone to a party last year so hadn’t given out candy but compared to 2 years ago, there were very few. Was it because it was a Saturday? No clue but I was giving out handfuls of candy by the end. I spent the evening knitting and streaming on my Kindle between answering the door, ending with 3 little candy bars (being in last supper mentality, I’d eaten a few mind you) when I turned the light off just before 9:00.

The last supper mentality was because I was starting a new rotation on Sunday, which meant I’d only had 6 days off and had me eating everything in sight on Saturday in an attempt to have something non-diet. Of course I had very little yummy in the house so nothing satisfied me and I felt crappy both physically and mentally. The reason for the short break was that I wanted to be on a 1200 calorie day for the Project Close Up turkey dinner on the 8th so was starting early. I had had such a busy week that I didn’t make the tuna casserole I’d been craving so was starting feeling deprived day 1. That might not bode well but I was gonna try. I’ll let you know how that went in next week’s post. : )