Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Week 23 - My California Cousins

Having spent the first two days of the long weekend on clothes and playing in Omaha, alas, Monday was chore day. But I really didn’t mind. I put together my new shop vac and sucked up the last of the water in the basement then spent the day cooking, neatizing and finishing laundry, all interspersed with bouts of knitting. All good and I was all set for the week with a fridge full of food and the house in decent shape.

It was the last week without water aerobics and since the weather was cooperating with low humidity and relatively cool temps, my goal for the week was to get outside after work each night and do something in the garden. I started Tuesday after work weeding the parking – Nebraska speak for the strip between the sidewalk and the street. Mine is planted with perennials and so doesn’t get many weeds but there was some errant grass going to seed. After pulling that, I headed to the berry patch, where I was happy to find my first ripe strawberries. When the bugs drove me in, I made leek carbonara and poured some wine before starting season 3 of Peaky Blinders. Yay!

On Wednesday I did the bare minimum of weeding, blaming the bugs for not doing more, then headed in to finish my Peaky Blinders binge. I hadn’t intended to watch all 6 hours in 2 days but got sucked right in. Chores could wait. To make up for it, I prepped and mailed a big package of clothes to Carolyn on Thursday morning. I got inspired and so had fun Thursday night dyeing yarn. And when I was done with the dying, did I get productive with chores? Not a chance. Again, chores could wait. Are you surprised? Probably not.

I was not happy when I found my lawn unmown when I drove up Friday. I’d paid Denny 2 weeks ahead when he’d shown up last weekend begging for money. I’d told him at that point that if he asked me for money ahead of time one more time, I’d fire him. Well, now he hadn’t shown up. With hopes that I’d see him Saturday, I went in to neatize a bit but didn’t go crazy. Debbie and Kelley, cousins from California, were arriving late Friday (not staying with me) but would be going to the circus Saturday afternoon so I wasn’t on deck until dinner time, which gave me Saturday to catch up. And catch up I did.

My contribution to the post-circus cookout was potato salad and I’d offered to make a pan of lasagna for Sunday so got busy cooking. I also changed sheets and did laundry, in hopes that the sheets would be dry before Denny showed up to mow. See that confidence? STUPID. When I was done cleaning up from the lasagna (it does dirty every pan in the kitchen), I called Liberty House and they said that Denny was no longer a resident there. I wasn’t so worried about the $20 but now I’d have to find someone to mow when I’m in Scotland. Add that to the list. Anyway, I loaded up the glass for recycling (despite having curbside recycling, I’ll still have to take glass to Lincoln) and headed to Brenda and Michael’s. It was great to see Deb and Kelley and we hung out late and caught up after dinner. There was much laughter and I left late to drive back home and grab some sleep before doing it all again on Sunday. Not that there were any firm plans yet. Going with the flow.

Helen picked me up Sunday morning and we were in Lincoln at the horse show arena before noon. After checking out horses and meeting Helen’s horse friends, we went to Parker’s Smokehouse for a yummy BBQ lunch. Since Carter, Brenda and Michael’s 2 year old, needed a nap, we headed to their house. The afternoon was perfect! After I put a rhubarb upside down cake in the oven, all the cousins sat around the kitchen table chatting for hours, moving out to the front porch for round 2 once Brenda, who is 8 months pregnant, and Carter woke up. When we got hungry, we had lasagna for dinner then the yummy cake then, you guessed it, more chatting. We didn’t leave Lincoln until after 10:00 so I was very late getting to bed and even later falling asleep. I’d be tired on Monday at work but it was worth every bit of fatigue. I love my cousins and just hanging out was a joy. That’s what caffeine is for. Am I right?

Week 22 - Now Shoulder Problems

It was an eventful week so lots to write about, starting with more water in the basement.

We’d already had plenty of rain and as of Monday, there was rain in the forecast every single day for as far as the forecast went. I drove through torrential rain coming home on Monday and knowing the ground was already saturated, I went down to the basement to check for water. Keep in mind, the problem downspout was firmly attached with duct tape yet I could already see water seeping in at the bottom where the wall meets the floor. I put a towel down over the seepage and left for knitting hopeful that it wouldn’t be too bad. Well, we got another 2” or rain overnight so when I left for work, the floor was completely wet AGAIN. I ordered a shop vac from Amazon and decided to ignore it all until it arrived. Sheesh!

I called my ortho practice on Monday to see about getting an appointment to look at my left shoulder, which had been bothering me for months. It wasn’t super painful but I figured I might as well see if they could do something before Scotland. Not only did I get an appointment for Tuesday at 8:00 a.m. with a new doc I’d never seen (I’d only been there for my knees so never needed a shoulder doc) but I had the appointment, x-rays and a cortisone shot and was at my desk by 9:30. When does that ever happen? Anyway, the problem is a calcification on my bone that’s irritating my rotator cuff tendon. If the cortisone doesn’t work there’s a needle stick thing they can try to break up the calcification before they would consider anything arthroscopic. Nice. I left hopeful for some relief with instructions to email in a week to give them an update. The needle thing would actually be an option before Scotland. More shock there, right?

With my shoulder burning from the shot, I headed home Tuesday night but decided when I got to Ceresco that I should stop at Erica’s and see her new house. I could see from the front porch that they were eating an early dinner and when she invited me to join them, I agreed. After a burger, chips and corn, I got a quick tour before they had to leave for trap shooting. Since I’d already eaten and had bought pepper plants over lunch, I stopped at the farm store for cages and went home to finish planting my veg beds. I also filled the hole by the downspout with soil and tamped that down in hopes that that’d help with the ongoing water problem. With all that done (all I have left is a handful of perennials from Spring Affair and I will get them in the ground before Scotland), I headed inside for a night of knitting, feeling good about my garden progress.

While I did get woken up by thunder in the wee hours Tuesday, we didn’t get any rain to speak of and most of the other predicted storms petered out before the hit Wahoo. The water was mostly dried by the time the vacuum arrived on Thursday but there would be some sucking happening over the weekend because I would have some unexpected free time. Connie was supposed to be coming for Memorial Day weekend to stay with her daughter in Lincoln so I’d kept my weekend wide open so I could hang with her as much as possible. Then the phone rang Wednesday night. She’d fallen and tweaked her knee the previous weekend and wasn’t going to be able to make the drive. My completely full weekend was now wide open and I was stymied by the possibilities for all that free time. I’d figure something out for sure.

The week flew by, especially Thursday when I had training all afternoon (a doubled up session with two newbies who couldn’t wait until after fiscal year end when I start classes again) then book club at the library that night. I had a lovely lunch with Cindy on Friday (Layton was on vacation) then met with Nora in the afternoon to prep for her being gone the next week. Friday at 5:00 was there in a flash.

Since the weather was finally heating up, the semi-annual clothes swap was first up on Saturday. I’d ended the previous fall with not a single pair of capris that fit (I wore ridiculously too big ones until fall then donated them all) so had all the ones I’d bought at the thrifts plus some from Carolyn to try on. And while I did have a couple of shirts that I’d taken to Florida ready to wear, I had tons of new shirts to try on too. It took most of the day but by the end, I had a huge bag for Goodwill of too large clothes from last year and a closet full of things to wear now. I had many, many pairs of tan khakis but few other colors and too many drab shirts in the closet but at least I had something ready to wear.

When Andrea called first thing Sunday to suggest an Omaha run, I jumped at the chance figuring I needed some socializing after my solitary Saturday. I loaded up the back seat with my bags of clothes and off we went. We stopped at several Goodwills, Penzey's, Trader Joe's and Aldi. We even hit TJMaxx and Marshall's looking for a dress for Carolyn. What was supposed to be a quick trip lasted all day but I had a full fridge and the clothes were out of my house. I went to bed Sunday feeling good about things and looking forward to another day off. Gotta love 3 day weekends. : )