Saturday, June 30, 2007

Ah! Sweet Mysteries of Shawl at last I Knit You

A couple weeks ago I joined the mystery shawl 3 KAL along with what is now over 4000 other knitters. Friday the first clue was posted. My yarn hadn't arrived yet so I didn't try to download the clue until late last night. My yarn showed up today so I put down my sock and my cotton vest I've been working on to give the shawl some of my time. The yarn I'm using is KnitPicks Shimmer - alpaca/silk lace weight. I haven't knit with it before and I've only done 30 rows so far but I really like this yarn.

The ranting I was doing a couple days ago at work is still a potential problem but the mass quantities of chocolate and TV watching seems to have done it's work (not to mention the high volume of knitting I've done the past few days).

In the middle of all this insanity at work I got a call from my Dad's place. He had icky eyes (my term not theirs) and needed to see the doctor. This call came at 3pm Friday so I had to hustle to get an appointment and get to him and to the doctor before the weekend appeared and everyone disappeared for several days. Good news is Dad's weight is up a little bit and all his blood tests looked good. He let himself get way down to 132 lb. at 5'8". This low weight doesn't help cope with other life problems well. But now he has been eating well since last Sept and being taken care of well where he lives so he is healthier and able to deal with eye ick better. We got some goo to put in his eyes and went back to his place in time for supper.

Back to the work traumas I won't talk about (you are too nice to be bothered with such mundane things). What I will talk about is - I ended up changing my vacation from middle of July (way too much to do to take a week off) to mid August. I'll end up having the week after Stitches Midwest off. Which means - I'm seriously thinking of driving down to Chicago Friday night and hanging out at Stitches Sat & Sun and drive home Sunday night. I haven't done something like this for a few years and with the craziness in my life I think I need to do a fun crazy think
I had someone email and ask about the window that Bert looks out of in his pictures. It's from a Cat Cottage I got at Dr. Foster & Smith. It's a 4 story (4' tall) cardboard box. Each set of windows has a floor with a hole to move around in on the inside. The boys love it. The other thing in the kitty corner is their Jungle Gym. It's from Target and so far has held up well to both of them leaping on and off. The last part of the kitty corner tends to be junk on the floor. We usually have a big shoelace, a plastic bag (for Chief to chew on), assorted bits of wadded up paper, you know, the usual necessary kitty items. This unfortunately is not just contained in the kitty corner - it's all over the house. After all, I am only allowed to live with them and their toys.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Charts are our friends

I need a good rant!

I'm in need of a good rant. I started writing about my socks while I was having lunch but the afternoon went down hill and by the time I left work I felt I was desperately in need of knitting time, a good TV show and major doses of chocolate. I'll tell you about the socks later but first - I rant!

I'm convinced Taurus' are out to get me. On the way to work I was driving along in the middle of 3 lanes and a guy in the left lane decided to come into my lane right where I was currently driving. I like my SVU (my bright royal blue SUV that ANYONE can see from miles away) and have no desire for a new one so I tooted my horn. Taurus guy pulled back into his lane and proceeded to give me the finger and gesture madly for about 4 minutes. PLA-LEASE! All I did was let him know I was in the lane so we didn't have an accident. I found his genturing rather assuming but he obviously was having such a day (or life) that he can't handle a small thing like not being able to go into a lane when he wants to.

We'll bypass the afternoon events at work because THAT rant would take till midnight. On my home I stopped at the store to get major doses of chocolate (part of my coping devise). Leaving the parking lot, a lady almost ran into me because she was so busy lighting a ciggy-butt that she didn't notice me and my royal blue SUV. The lady was driving - you guessed it - a Taurus. They are out to get me!

So here I am at home with chocolate (makes that mass quantities of chocolate), a SUV with out dents in it (still bright blue that anyone who doesn't drive a Taurus can see), my sock-of-the-month sock to knit, some fresh brewed ice tea, and a DVD of Rosemary & Thyme.
This should get the day's bad mojo out of me. Let's talk socks.

More Sock Info
Sorry about not putting full sock information with the picture yesterday... The yarn is supersocke 100. I tried to "Ask" for more information about the yarn because I don't now this one but had a hard time getting a manufacturer web site. It's a nice yarn but I've had more splitting with it than other sock yarns I've knit with. There could be 2 reasons for this. I've been knitting with my older size 2 needles and I've been knitting while more tired then usual. I'm down to the gusset now and switched over to size 1 needle. I have thicker legs and the pattern was for a ladies medium. Without doing a lot of calculations I figured knitting the leg on bigger needles would be the easiest fix. So far it looks okay. We'll see how the foot turns out.
The pattern (sorry I didn't state which one, guinifer!) is Country Girls Socks from Hearts Strings Fiber Arts. It looks like leaves pointing downward. The leaf movement and lace is enough so it shows up well even with all the yarn color changes.
Knitting Styles
It's interesting to knit the same project with a group of people. People tend to get competitive (well, I tend to get competitive). We were about 10 people sitting around a couple tables knitting Monday night. Chatting about work, family, trips, etc. Lots of conversation about the socks. Some people tried 2 circs for the first time and needed help. Some were knitting magic loop. I was in the 4 double point group. It's the way I was taught and I can knit pretty darn fast with them. Anyway - I got the most knit Monday knit. Told you I was competitive! But back to the point of community knitting.....

Some ladies were talking about the charts. The pattern has many charts for the different sections. Some had never used charts- didn't know how to read them ("start row 1 at the right side just like you're knitting" - "Oh, I can do that.") "What's the little pictures mean?" , etc. Now- to me - charts are heaven. You can glance at where you're at, don't have to get lost in a string of K1,yo, k2tog,k16,ssk,yo,k4,yo. Somewhere halfway through a string like that I lose where I'm at and have to re-read a ton of times. With a chart- no problem. Get something to mark the row you're on and knit like the wind! This also helps when I'm trying to knit and have both cats trying to get my attention by climbing all over me and the pattern. Charts remind me of the old TV commercial about some sort of car - "The lines are our friends. Stay between the lines." I say The charts are our friends......
Now - onward to chocolate, knitting and TV.......
Bert says he and Chief will help me forget the day too!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

While the Mom's Away....

Most days I get up - go to work - come home - pet the boys - settle in for a quiet evening. Not today. Today when I got home we got to play the ever popular game of "When the Mom's away the cats will play". Today's episode did not include a ball of yarn unwound around the house but instead involved discovering what could possibly in in the drawer in the kitchen. (note the ugly floor that is being replaced next month - YEAH!)

Anything you boys want to tell me?

Sorry, Mom.

Here's the sock yarn I told you about yesterday. The color doesn't show up real well. It sort of old fashioned blues and green. I have a family afghan from the 40s that has the same colors. I think I'm going to like these socks very much.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Chief and Bert do the Laundry

Last night was Sock of the Month group at Amazing Threads. We got our yarn and pattern and sat around for a couple hours to knit and chat. I haven't belonged to a knit group before but this is very comforting. I don't know anyone's name but I can tell you who's the daughter of whom - which 2 are sisters - who's going on a boat cruise next month. Next month I'll work on remembering names - I've always been bad at that.

The yarn this month is ON Line Supersocke 100 - color 917 and the pattern is Country Girl Socks from Heart Strings Fiber Arts. I'll get pictures posted when there's enough to show.

The past few days Chief and Bert have tried to be very helpful to me. Chief babysat Bert while they both helped with the laundry.

You know - we would be more comfortable on the kitty hammocks.

This is MUCH better!

WHAT? We're supposed to fold the laundry!?

Have you ever noticed how many pictures I tend to get of both the boys together? They're usually joined at the hip and not too far from me. They're such Momma's boys and I LOVE it!

Friday, June 22, 2007

It's been a good week

I had this week off. The plan was to work at least 3-4 days at the other house and get much packed and ready to get a moving company to get everything down here so I can finally clean it up and put it on the market. I also planned to get some leisurely knitting done.

Here's what I did:
1. so far spent 1 day at the other house, got some packing done. I'll put in another day this weekend.
2. Knit on my grey silk cardigan. The first sleeve is done. Now I have to decide if I'm going to do a sideways knit body from the sleeve or be traditional and knit the body waist up. I'll have to stare at the sleeve for a while and think. I also knit on other smaller projects and played around with some designs to add to my garter stitch collection (easy knits for my friends that are going to learn this fall).
3. Bought some beads and wire and made a few stitch markers. Fun and easy.
4. Bought a new kitchen floor. This took 3 trips to Lowes and an installer coming to the house to measure things up. The current floor is from the 70s and I planned on getting a new one after I got everything moved in the house but, it's time. I really hate the current floor and it has holes in it. The new one will be installed next month and is pergo hardware floor-look. I'm happy.
5. I took Mom & Dad to the American Swedish Institute (See last post).
6. I only turned on my work computer 2 times. Monday I promised to check to see if more info was needed for a big meeting Tuesday. I lucked out and didn't need to do any work. And today I turned it on long enough to approve my time card on line. I had many emails waiting for me but only glanced over them and sent a quick answer to 2 of them. Pretty much saying - I'll take care of this first thing Monday. I also saw I have 3 meeting set up Tuesday that I wasn't planning on. But - I deal with that Monday. I'm still on vacation.
7. Bert and I played a rousing game of "Fishy-fishy". We have a small fishing pole with a stuffed cloth fish on a line. He loves to chase around the house after this thing. If I go into the stupid human talking to a cat voice and say "Where's the fishy-fishy?" He'll madly wiggle his butt and go hunting for it. It doesn't take much to amuse either of us.
8. Chief has been enjoying extended bed time. I have been sleeping in until 8:00 which gives Chief extra cuddle time. He's happy. I'm happy.
9. I got together with friends Saturday night for dinner at a good India restaurant and a casual time on my deck afterward.
10. I watched a lot of TV and movies and pretty much vegged out. I needed that and feel almost ready to tackle what Monday will bring. The notable movies were "Bridge to Teribithia" - loved it and cried a lot; "Flushed Away" - ya gotta love a good rat story!; "Music and Lyrics" - can you tell I wasn't in to serious movies this week?; and I also watched the 6th season of "Monarch of the Glen" - it's a BBC TV series about a family in the highlands of Scotland this a castle and lots of amusing problems.

Well - 2 days left of vacation and I plan to enjoy it fully!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

60 years and still going strong

Today was Father's Day. Don't double check your calendar. You're okay. I'm okay. Today was Father's Day in my world of dementia coping. Sunday would have been too many people and noise where ever I took Mom & Dad and that would not work well. Dad needs quiet and order and routine. Mom's not far behind. So - Wednesday being quieter during the day became our Father's Day. The public library's in the Twin Cities have a deal right now where you can "check out" 4 admission passes to many of the museums around town. So- we took advantage of these and went to the American Swedish Institute.

I picked up Dad at 1pm. Had to call Mom to remind her to come over - she forgot. Redress Dad and make sure he zipped up his pants, etc. Wait for Mom. Re dress Dad. Get his afternoon meds and we were off. We actually got started at 1:30. Only 1/2 hour after I planned. This is pretty good for us. On the way to downtown we had our usual conversations - how much would a car like this cost - we're so lucky to have a daughter like you - you're so smart. Apparently being able to make a right turn after the light turns green is occasion for being declared the smartest person around (again). We made it to the museum. I won't bore you with details. We walked around, enjoyed the place for about 30 minutes and Dad got tired. That makes the free passes even nicer. I don't mind short visits when we don't have to pay.

On the way back to the car I had to quick grab my camera and get this picture.
60 years married and still holding hands. How special is that! It was a short day but they both enjoyed it. Well worth the having to hear the same conversations over and over again.

Monday, June 18, 2007

What will the sweater grow up to be?

Fruit Ice Cream
We're going to start with a very strange but good recipe. I make this every summer cause it's good and very low calorie. There's really no recipe but here's what it is... take frozen fruit - berries work best but you can use any fruit. Put in a bowl. In a cup or glass take about 1/2 - 1 cup of milk depending on what you decide is wanted. Mix in a little vanilla and non-sweetened sugar product (I use splenda). Pour the milk mix over the frozen fruit and watch. After about 3-4 minutes stir things up a bit. The fruit will give up it's cold and turn the milk to slush. The picture below is the process part way through. It ends up tasting like a fruit ice cream. Really good and really healthy!
I've actually got some knitting done. These are more squares heading off to the Rebuilding Greensburg project. Four of the squares are from the same skein of Plymouth Encore. The fifth is the remains of a skein from my Victorian shawl.

The last month's Sock of the Month are done. They were easy to make. Sockotta yarn. Our next sock comes next Monday, I can't wait!

Finally, the sleeve to my silk cardigan. I got many skeins of this from a sale last month and decided to play around. I have no idea what this will end up looking like because I'm making it up as I go. It's going to be a sideways knit sampler style cardigan. The color is actually lighter than the picture but this picture shows the pattern better than the picture where the color is accurate. I think I'll end up knitting both sides from the sleeve to the center and graft the center back together. This will give both sleeves and side a mirror image look. We'll see when I get to the middle if I keep going or start at the other sleeve - time will tell.

Dad was wonderful with the garden. He'd look at a plant and it would grow - bigger faster stronger. Wait that's the bionic man- back to gardens. I have managed to not kill all the plants yet and actually have a few that are doing okay. So - here are a few of Dad's plants I haven't killed by neglect.
We'll have apple pie this fall - lots of apples on the tree.

There's plenty more of these guys but this one was perfect!

There's 4 of these rose bushes around the garden and they're full of blooms. What has remained without my care this year is so pretty I decided I better take care and become a gardener, at least part time. Dad will be so proud when I tell him.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

It was meant to be

Picture this...

Chief is asleep in "their" chair. All happy dreaming of knit mice when Bert decides to join him. Bert is not a gentle kitty, he's a bull in a china shop. Bert jumps up on top on Chief's head and miracle of miracles - Chief stays there. They cuddle in next to each other and get ready for a nap.

This can't be left alone by me - it's a photo op. Of course, the usual game plan is: I go hunt up the camera, get it turned on, set it for indoors, aim and..... one of them gets up and goes away.

This time I get up, get the camera, turn it on, set it for indoors, aim, zoom in and take a picture. Then another. Then I realize the top dial was bumped and set on movie instead of picture. So - I turn the dial to picture and the batteries go dead. DRAT! But - what's this - the boys are still in their chair sitting side by side. Maybe just maybe I can get new batteries put in and still get the picture.

Out to the kitchen and grab new batteries. I popped the pack open went back into the den. WOW! The boys are STILL sitting there. I took out the old batteries - put in the new ones - turn the camera on and - the batteries are in the wrong way. And the boys are STILL sitting there looking cute.

Out with the batteries - flip them around - put them back in - turn the camera on - aim - zoom in - and, this is where I tell you they got up and walked away but NO this is a special day. I have cute picture mojo going today. I GOT 3 SHOTS before Bert got up. Cool.

Dad you were so young -and cute!

I've got a week off. To most of the world that means vacation - go somewhere to enjoy, kick back, knit, swim. Not me. It means I have a week to try and get the other house packed up so I can finally get rid of it. Let's see how far I get..

I was going through some old favorites on my web list and came across one that is very worthy: The Hunger Site. Everything you buy at this site helps feed people in 3rd world countries. Their site has some wonderful items to buy. If you're interested in a Guatemalan catnip mouse - this is your place. You want some Spirit of the Andes Natural Angora & Cotton Yarn and feed 50 cups of food to a 3rd world, BINGO-you got it. Banana fiber yarn -Yup. I have not bought any yarn from this site but the jewelry I got was high quality and the friends that got them as presents liked them. They also have additional tabs for Animal Rescue (partner with Petfinder); Rainforest; Literacy and more.

I haven't given you any pictures lately and don't have any new ones so here's some of my stained glass for you to enjoy.
This was one of my first angels. It was a present for Mom. The background is a table runner with cardinals on it. She's big into red and cardinals.
Keeping with the cardinal theme I made her a window for the front door. The front door has 3 - 12" windows running down it. This window is now in the top one. It didn't go with Mom's new apartment so I still have the cardinals at the house.
Moving on to a few quilts - Chief has always been a great help when I'm quilting. Here we're working on a African Animals quilt for Laurie. She kept it in her living room until the end. I think godson's brother has it now.
Last quilt for the day - My bro and SIL's anniversary quilt. The colors and stars actually mean things. I designs this one because 1- they liked traditional looking things and stars. 2- the reddish color is for Jan- she's a Fire Captain in LA county 3- the greenish color is for Jim, money. He's a regional controller for a major hotel chain. 4- the other "non" colors are because their entire house is boring beige, tan, off white, a little navy trim. You get the picture. I worked with what I had and this was the result. It's King sized and machine quilted on the Pfaff shown with Chief above.
Last but not least. Because of Father's Day, a couple pictures of Mom & Dad in their hey day. Matching shirts- how cute it that! They were so young and just beginning their dating. Full of hope and dreams. I wish them both a Father's Day of good memories of their life together even if the memories are few and dim.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Where's the magic wand when you need one?

This has been a week of no pictures (unless you count Bert's tum-tum on Monday) and little knitting because I have mass quantity of work this week and I have a house to clean by Saturday.

Generally the house thing isn't that big of a deal but the dining room has a wall filled with wall pictures and boxes that never made it over to my Mom's apartment; the living room has become the cat's own play room complete with toys and tunnels and treats hiding under and in things; the den is piled sky high with yarn boxes that will end up in the basement but I haven't fixed the landscaping to prevent basement rain leakage yet; the kitchen has a pile of plastic storage lids that I'm trying to find mates to before I throw them out; and.... You get the idea.

All this needs to become some sembliance of order by Saturday night when friends are coming over. Plus there needs to have some sort of dessert and beverages appear magically in the refrigerator. Bert & Chief just won't learn how to clean their own toys much less bake and go grocery shopping for me. Kids - what can you do with them!

So- no pictures this week. If I work hard tonight and get a couple rooms looking okay I may attempt to get some pics of my old projects or kitty pics or something else as the spirit moves me. Don't hold your breathe.

Next week is vacation (i.e. - get your butt up to the other house and finish cleaning it and boxing up your stash). But at least I'll have time to get the camera out and get a few pictures. I should tat least try to take some shots of Stash North before it's boxes up. It will give Guinifer something laugh about!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


Nothing special - just a quick HI!

Monday, June 11, 2007

It's okay Sweet Pea

Softball Game
The weekend went way too fast. Friday night godson's softball team "died". The game ended in the 5th inning with a score of 1 to 15. We were the "1". But it has been reported that they have played this team before several times and they are actually tied in total wins. The other team was incredibly hot Friday night. Leaping into the air and coming back with impossible catches. It was a fun game to watch. I must add the "1" was godson's making. He likes to run and slide. He managed to make a single into a 3 base run and slide home on the next hit. That was the first inning and well......... not much after that.

His Dad was supposed to fly in from New Jersey for the weekend but spent over 5 hours on the plane waiting to take off. He was supposed to arrive at 6pm but ended up going back home and getting there at 3am. I would absolutely DIE if I had to spend that much time in a plane and airport. YUCK! He plans to come next weekend so we'll see what other air traumas can happen to prevent all of us from seeing him.

Stash South
Last month I mentioned I have 2 yarn stashes. One in the current house and one up north (14 miles away) in my other house I haven't finished fixing to sell. And I haven't removed all my things until I clear out my parents things from this house. Anyway - Stash south got a face lift. I bought some of the metal grid cubes from Target and put it together. It's a 2 cube by 3 cube "wall" that contains yarn very nicely. I also got some plastic boxes to further assist with control. The yarn in the cubes looks very nice and in order. The problem is- I still have 6 boxes of yarn down here and about 2 full rooms in the other house. Yes, I said full rooms. Not a wall of shelves, not boxes under the bed. we're talking full rooms with shelving all over. One room is my personal stash the 2nd room is what remains of my shop supplies. I used to have a shop selling machine knitting yarn, machines, sewing machines, etc. I quit the shop fairly fast and didn't get around to having a clearance sale so I have yarn - yarn - yarn. And thread. And sewing notions. And patterns. and.....
Some day I'll get my act together and list some of the yarn for sale - cheap. But not today.

I've finished a few more blocks for Greensburg. That makes 7 so far. I need to make a few more before I mail them off. Postage is cheaper that way.

I started reading a book that may be hard to read. It's "Susanne's Garden" by Debbi Macomber. This book is in the middle of the Blossom Street Yarn books she has written. It's the story of a 50 year old who has to go to her parent's house to deal with her mother's failing memory since her father's death. Dad's not dead but with him not living in the same place as Mom, she's lost her support system and her memory is going fast. This book may be a bit too close to home or it may give me some ideas. Time will tell.

On the way to Iowa last week I got "The Thirteenth Tale" on CD to listen to. I have about 3 hours left and it's quite a tale. It's about 2 women - an older author and an amateur biographer. Both have secrets and flaws in their characters. It's written very well and has kept me interested. The 2 ladies that read the book do a wonderful job bringing it to life.

The Boys
I can't have a post without mentioning the boys. Chief has taken to waken my gently every morning when the sun comes up to snuggle next to me a pet my cheek. He does this for about a week every year a different times. I know know what starts it but it's nice to wake to a soft pet and purr!
Bert on the other hand has gotten whiny again. That's his trick. Every so often he decides we've left him and he CRIES! Not polite little kitty cries but loud harsh wailing. Cries that come from his inner most soul filled with sorrow. Unfortunately, it usually happens while he's in the hallway at about 3 or 4 am. I wake. I look into the dark and say,"It's okay sweet pea. We're in the bedroom." And he comes in and jumps on the bed. I give him one pat on the back, he wags his tail, runs off and is quiet the rest of the night. Go figure.

Friday, June 8, 2007


I'm this little blog. I get 5-15 visits a day. Nothing big. It's more my therapy in a basically crazy world. Then something happened yesterday. I sent Chris a note about Chief's tummy. She put a link on her blogs and WOOOSH! Over 50 hits today. The power of a popular blog!

So in honor of this and to make it up to Bert for not putting his tummy on yesterday I give you the Bert tummy pic and story to go with it.

Bert is a British Shorthair. They're the breed with the chubby cheeks - think Cheshire Cat in Alice in Wonderland. The "process" to get the chubby cheeks is to let a Brit come into manhood - at least for a short time. So Bert and I waited to get him fixed. Well, I waited, he was in NO hurry! As he grew up his backside grew out. I have never seen such a well endowed little boy. He was walking around with a couple of golf balls on his back side. That's a lot for an 8 lb. kitty!

We finally "corrected" his ability to walk straight with a little visit to the vet. No more golf balls but cute chubby cheeks. Then it happened. I lost the paperwork from the vet showing he was neutered. To get his papers from the breeder I needed to show I wouldn't be breeding him. I really didn't need the papers for anything but, why not. So I sent her an email explaining I lost the vet receipt but sent a photo as proof. She laughed and I got Bert's papers from her. So- here is the photo.

Tonight is godson's softball game so we'll have a fun night of watching other people sweat and going to the bar that sponsors them afterward. Friends are fun!

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Tragedy in Iowa

Sad news in Iowa yesterday. It's all over the news down here. Rob Lowe was accused of murder. He's in Des Moines at a golf tournament and hit a bird mid-flight with one of his golf balls. As if that weren't tragic enough - it was a goldfinch - the state bird. Poor bird - Poor Rob. Actually it's kind of nice to be somewhere where the big news story is a bird getting killed by a golf ball and not a list of all the violence that occurred to people the day before. Nice quiet Iowa. Hate the drive to get here from Minneapolis - love the city.

The Victorian shawl I've been working on is at the bind off stage. I should be able to finish it tonight after I get home from Iowa ( 4 hour boring drive I may just go to bed when I get home!)

I have no pictures of knitting or the new pics of the boys for today so I'll give you 2 older pictures.

The view from the toilet in my old house - Chief loved this location!

(7:50 pm - Chief says he just found out Chris is getting everyone to show their tummy. "I showed mine and didn't even know it was the thing to do!")

One from my cell phone. Taken on the way to work one day.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007


I ran over to the library between meetings at a couple clients to catch up on email and maybe do a it of work but fate had another plan - I can get on the web but my VPN isn't connecting so I can't get to my work email. Darn - guess I have to babble on the blog for a bit.

Yesterday we had one of our team meetings Operations and Sales. It was a bowling tournament. I haven't bowled since Carter was in office and it showed. I used to bowl 150-180. Last night I did bowl better than my age but - we'll just leave it at that! I did not win the top score trophy. Nor the one for highest team average or most strikes or..... you get the picture. It was bad - really bad. I was not the lowest score (how I'll never know). I do have a few excuses. Excuses are good. They help us survive an occasionally unjust world. I couldn't bowl my best because the shoes really hurt my feet and I could barely walk. It wasn't my own bowl and the holes just didn't feel right. I'm old out of shape and couldn't bend over enough to release the ball smoothly. NO! Forget the last excuse. That can't possibly be the reason why. I'll stick with the shoes being bad - I like that one.

I have to head out to Iowa again tomorrow morning. Some strange is going on in Des Moines. When I tried to book a hotel room my three usual hotels were all booked. After doing some checking - every stinkin' hotel in DM is booked Wednesday night. There's obviously something going on but I have no clue. I ended up finding a room about 13 miles from the company I'll be working at. A least its a well known name and not some flea trap.

One good thing about the trip. I found a good CD book to bring with to survive the 4 hour drive each way. I also found Wendy's book. I like to check books out of the library and then end up buying many of them. Wendy's looks like a keeper- it will be fun to have a "friend" with me on the trip.

Well - off to my next meeting. Hope nobody had any vital emails for me cause I don't get to see them until tonight at home - if the VPN works right!

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Busy Weekend

It was a busy weekend. We did a little of this - Then did some more -
Chief joined in the activity -

After a bit it was time to check out the back yard -

But they didn't realize the action was in the front yard -

Finally all that activity meant needing a special treat -

One thing we did do this weekend was look at a new kitchen floor. I told the folks to forget about redoing the kitchen floor until I got moved in and I'd take care of it. Why put in a new floor only to move a bunch of furniture over it and wreck it in the first month! I'm thinking the snap together flooring that looks like tile because the rest of the house is 50 year old hardwood floor and I'd never be able to match it. I don't want real tile because I tend to drop things and dishes would break way too easy on hard tile.
Oh well - I'll think about that tomorrow and for now we'll go back to doing nothing! It's a great weekend!

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Oh My Aching Back!

I finally decided my back ache that has been coming and going the past two months is not from the hard hotel bed alone. It's Mom and the thought of going to Iowa on business and the beds combined. Friday night was "Mom night". I tried to take her out Wed and Thurs but it didn't work out that way. Tuesday I talked to her to set up supper Wed and somehow during the 10 minute conversation she ended up really mad at me and swearing. Mom doesn't swear - ever - until the past 6 months. Our conversation was about her confusion regarding Dad at his place. Trying to explain my family situation is pretty tough unless you're in the middle of it, even then it doesn't make sense.

Mom has always had someone else do her thinking and decision making. First it was Grandpa, then it was Dad. She never had a time where she was independent until Sept last year when I had to put Dad in Memory Care. The past several year Mom's memory has been getting pretty bad but she had Dad to make decisions and she coped. Now - no Dad, at least in the decision making part of things. He's doing great. The people where he lives care for him well and keep him safe and comfortable. Mom isn't bad enough to be "locked in" so I'm trying hard to keep her independent. She's in a senior assisted living apartment. She gets her meals at the restaurant there if she doesn't feel like cooking, lives in the building next to Dad so she can visit him daily, and lives about 2 blocks from Target so she can walk over and get basic foods and other things she needs. What she doesn't have is much of a memory. She writes a lot of notes, forgets appointments, feels overwhelmed but- its still better than being locked up and not being able to leave the building.

So - back to Tues. night. She couldn't understand why Dad wasn't at his place when she went over. I tried to explain they have a calendar of events posted and that 1-2 times a month they go out on trips (drive around the lakes, a picnic, etc). She confused her calendar with his and got all angry when I tried to help her understand the difference. So- she hung up on me and I didn't get supper arranged.

Wed. night I called her and set up supper for Thursday before we started talking, just in case she tried to hang up again. So far, so good. I tried calling a few times during the day Thurs. but she was out- exercise or Dad or whatever. The nurse at her place called to talk to me. There's a nursing service available if you contract for it which we haven't but, Mom went down there asking if they could cut her toe nails. I'll have to look into why she suddenly did this. So I got to her place at 4:45 when I told her 5:00. No Mom. Probably at Dad's still so I snooped around her apartment. Clean toilet, No old food in the refrig. A strange note on the board telling Dad she missed him at his place and if he comes in to let her know. Wait- isn't Dad locked in his building and hasn't it been since before Christmas that I brought him over to her place? So- how is he supposed to read a note in a place he can't get to? After a while I decided she wasn't showing up so I went back downstairs to go over to Dad's to see if she was there. Got outside and she came out the restaurant door. She forgot all about our supper and had gone in to eat there. Didn't remember our conversation from the night before even after I reminded her. Oh well. How about Friday night supper.

We try again. I called a couple timed Fri. and left messages to remind her we were meeting at her apartment at 5:00 for supper Friday (tonight). When I got there at 4:45 she was there! But - all worried about her checkbook. This is another weekly (or more often) conversation. She also said she didn't have any money (cash) and she gave Dad some cause he didn't have any. Another weekly conversation. Mom- Dad doesn't need money, it only gets lost or stolen. Remember I pay all the bills and his meals are already paid for, etc.

I'd love to give her money but any cash she gets, she thinks she had to give Dad because he's the person who takes care of the bills. She just can't learn new things like he doesn't remember anything beyond 5-10 minutes much less be able to handle money affairs. Sigh! We went out to supper and Perkins. I decided what we would eat, she doesn't make decisions. I had to re walk her through step by step how to pay the bill with her ATM card, how to give a tip, how much to give, etc. Another weekly conversation. Sigh! I keep telling my cousin I should just put all these conversations on tape and I don't have to keep repeating them.

My latest approach with Mom is to have her look at what she can do instead of what she can't do. Our cousins daughter is getting married next summer so I got Mom a stamped cross stitch picture to work on to give to her. I hope this works. I told her to spent about 15 minutes a day on it until she felt like she could do more. I hope it will get her brain working in positive ways instead of oh poor me ways. We'll see...

My Back- OUCH!
Back to my back. I really think it's her.. I got a monster back ache about 1 1/2 months ago when my Iowa project started. I don't like hard hotel beds. Each week I'd start to get better and back to Iowa- back to pain. I haven't' been down there for a couple weeks and my back was almost better until late this week with Mom trauma. I bet I'm letting all my stress of coping go straight to my back. Of course it doesn't help that I'm WAY out of shape and about a thousand pounds over what I should be.

Free Shopping Trip
Enough "poor me" talk. I have been knitting and playing with the boys and getting somethings straightened out at the house. I got a bonus at work for one of the projects I just finished. It was a gift card at Target so off I went to shop for "free". Life is good in many ways. Shopping and not having to pay is no of them. Whenever I get a bonus I buy things I normally wouldn't. You just can't spend bonus money on toilet paper, it's just not right! I ended up getting a 2 piece cover for the sofa so the boys don't have to sleep on ugly stripes sheets anymore and I got a really good back massager for me.

The boys sleeping on the couch before the new cover - the sheets will be going away!

I also found a good tea pot. I like real tea and real tea needs a good pot to brew properly. Most of my brewing options are for 1 or 2 cups. This one will handle 4 cups. Happy happy joy joy!
I have about 1/2 of the 2nd Sockotta mock cable sock completed. I also have much of my Victorian shawl finished. Finally I finished the Woolease quick try of my ascot tie scarf. I will write up the directions (hopefully tomorrow) and post them. I'd like a few of you to try the scarf and let me know what you think. When I originally made it I made it in Bemidji Wool with size 6 needles. This time I tried Woolease (it was laying around the house) and a size 8 needle. I'll give quickie instructions for both and you can let me know which you prefer.
Repeat picture of Bemidji wool version of scarf