Saturday, December 18, 2010

An Unusual Week

It's been a strange week....I was expecting it to be a very busy week, but I certainly wasn't expecting the kind of weather we had! The college was closed for snow on Monday and Tuesday, then we went in on a snow schedule Wednesday. On Wednesday night we got snow followed by freezing rain, so the college was closed again on Thursday.

Because I'm scheduled to be out of the office Monday and Tuesday next week for Mom's surgery, I waited for the temperature to warm up a bit Thursday morning, then made my way to the office. It was a fairly terrifying commute, to tell the truth. Even though traffic was moving on the interstate, there was ice everywhere! I saw one accident on the way to the office; it appeared that a young lady had lost control on a bridge and swapped ends, hitting the concrete barrier. The state police had just arrived when I came by, and the young lady appeared shaken but not injured, thank goodness.

When I arrived at the office the parking lots and sidewalks hadn't been cleared, so it was a treacherous walk from the car to the building. Luckily I made it without falling (my greatest fear!), and I had a very productive afternoon. I can always get a lot more done when the phone isn't ringing and no one's dropping in with questions.

Yesterday we were open again on a snow schedule. There was still some ice on the streets, but it was much better than Thursday. I woke up with a migraine yesterday morning and was grateful that I had a couple of extra hours for the migraine medication to kick in before I had to go to the office. To be honest I wouldn't have gone to the office if I hadn't been scheduled to be off so much next week. But there was still lots to do, so away I went. Luckily, the meds dulled the headache and I was able to get through the day fairly easily. It was a really busy day, though, and I was very tired when I got home.

I expected to go to bed early, but couldn't settle down. It was after midnight before I could get to sleep, so I'm a bit draggy today. I've got to get up and at it, though. Lots of things to do today.

Mom received her surgical schedule yesterday; she has to be at the hospital at 5:15 a.m. Monday. Even though I'm sorry she'll have to get up so early, I'm glad it's scheduled early that morning so she won't have to be waiting a long time. She's still remarkably calm about it all, just anxious to get it over and done with.

Well, I'd better get up from here and get some things done. Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Snow Day!

As I expected might happen, they closed the college today for snow. At the left, you'll see a screen capture I grabbed from a VDOT camera over on I-81, just a couple of miles from my home. It looks unusually nasty, and I'm very grateful that I don't have to be out there today!

As I'm writing this, it's pouring snow outside. Large fluffy flakes, and LOTS of them! The local forecast is a total storm accumulation of 3" to 6", and I think it's going to make it.

So, I intend to spend the day inside, all warm and cozy, watching movies and knitting, checking in occasionally on the internet to see how the storm is progressing.

Sure looks Christmassy out there!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Snowy Sunday

A rain/snow mix that's been falling all morning just switched to snow. The weather forecast had said it would switch to snow this afternoon, so it looks like things are progressing more swiftly than they'd anticipated. It's shaping up to be a good day to be in the recliner with some knitting.

First, though, I need to finish up wrapping Christmas gifts. It will be a good day for that, wrapping while watching it snow outside. I think I'll put a paper log in the fireplace to really get me in the gift-wrapping mood.

Even though I'm not particularly happy about the prospect of a snow day tomorrow (lots to do before holiday break), I have to admit that I still enjoy watching it snow. It makes me feel snug as a bug in a rug to be in comfy sweats, sipping steaming coffee, and turning wool into warm scarves and mittens.

Okay, time to get up and gather up wrapping paper and such. Have a lovely, restful Sunday afternoon, everyone!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Snow Watch

A quick entry while taking a break from Saturday morning household chores. There's plenty to do, believe me. It was a fairly rough week at work, so I didn't get much of anything accomplished in the evenings.

Monday was a snow day, and we were on a snow schedule Tuesday, so I spent the rest of the week feverishly trying to catch up. Things aren't looking too great weather-wise this weekend, so Monday may be another snow day! *YIKES*

I normally LOVE snow days, but I have a lot to get done before the college closes for the holiday season. Also, I want to have everything locked down a little earlier than usual because of Mom's scheduled surgery.

Oh well....I'll get it done. I always do.

I woke up unusually early for a Saturday (just before 5:00 am), so I spent some time online and watched a bit of television while waiting for it to get late enough that my neighbors wouldn't slaughter me for doing laundry. *L* I'll get a few more things done, then go visit with Mom and Dad a bit this afternoon. My normal day to visit them is Sunday, but it's supposed to start snowing tomorrow morning. They're predicting 2 to 6 inches here, so I plan to stay in and watch it snow tomorrow!

Well, laundry awaits, so I'd better get up and at it. Have a great weekend, everyone!

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Winter. Bah, Humbug!

It's not even Christmas and I'm already tired of winter! This morning when I left home for the office it was ten degrees outside. TEN. That's the kind of weather that makes you want to get into cozy sweats and crawl into the recliner with an afghan and a mug of steaming coffee and knit the day away!

But, alas, off to the office I went to face a hectic day. There've been more than one of those this week. But at least tomorrow's Friday, right?

Mom finally got the call Tuesday telling her that her surgery is scheduled for December 20. We'll all be very relieved when that's done and over with! She's actually quite calm about it all, just anxious to get it behind her.

My cold is still with me, but improving gradually. I've been battling a headache for a couple of days now that I think is just part of the cold. Sure is getting tiresome, that's for sure. In fact, I think I'll take a dose of Alka Seltzer Cold medicine, get into my flannel jammies, and hit the hay.

This day has been long enough already. *sigh*

Saturday, December 04, 2010

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

It's snowing in my little corner of the world this morning. I'm in the recliner with my netbook in my lap, sipping a cup of delicious coffee with a heaping spoonful of cocoa mix added, having just taken two Alka-Seltzer Cold tablets. *stupid headcold*

It's comforting to be inside, watching the snow falling outside. I have tons of household stuff I SHOULD be doing, but so far have only managed to dress myself (sort of...I'm in cozy sweats), make coffee, and throw a load of laundry in the washer. Maybe I'll be a little more productive after the cold medication kicks in!

Friday, December 03, 2010

Hurry Up and Wait

To those of you who might wonder why I've not given you an update on Mom, it's because we still don't know anything about when she'll have surgery or whether it will be an endovascular repair or open repair. (We're hoping, of course, for endovascular). As it usually goes with anything medical, the waiting is the most frustrating part. Hopefully she'll hear something soon.

So, winter seems to have arrived in my little corner of the world. It's been cold all week with occasional snow flurries. I know that we've been really lucky with the weather here so far this season, but it made me sigh when I heard that one of the school systems in the WCYB viewing area (Avery County, NC) was actually on a snow schedule this morning. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: I certainly hope that this winter isn't as rough as LAST winter!

I'll certainly be glad to see the end of the workday today. This has been a long, ugly week. On top of it all, I'm taking a cold. I started feeling a little yucky yesterday, so I'm hoping that I'm already on the 2nd day of my usual 9-day cold. (Three days coming, three days with you, three days going.) Bleah.

Well, lunch break's nearly over, so time to hush griping and get my nose back to the grindstone. Have a great weekend, everyone!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

How Many Mondays Are There In One Week??

Another very long day....sometimes you gotta wonder if a holiday weekend is WORTH it! It is, of course, but sometimes you wonder.

I've really been impressed with my little netbook so far. I have a new chip to install in it that will double the RAM, and if I'm not too tired after dinner tonight, I'm going to go ahead and install it. I have to say that it's not bad as it is, but faster's always better, right?

Mom went in for a CT scan today and goes tomorrow to see her surgeon to schedule surgery. She has an abdominal aortic aneurysm that they've been watching for changes for a little while now. The last tests she had run showed that it has increased in size, so it's time to repair it. She doesn't seem to be worried about the surgery, just anxious to get it done and over with. I agree, and I'm glad they're going to go ahead and do the repair now while her health is good otherwise.

The surgeon is hopeful that they'll be able to make the repair by going through her femoral artery instead of doing an open abdominal incision. They'll know more after reading the results of today's CT scan, so keep your fingers crossed.

And so, I'll close this little entry in preparation of upgrading my RAM. Have a good evening, everyone!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Holidays and a Special Birthday Celebration

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Mine was good, comparatively quiet, but good.

I was off work Wednesday through Sunday, which was really great. I didn't do a lot on Wednesday, mostly just household drudgery. I can never believe how much dust can accumulate in my apartment. I'm considering just making friends with the dust bunnies and letting them have their way! *LOL*

On Thursday I went down to have Thanksgiving dinner with Mom and Dad. They don't care for turkey, so Mom made a wonderful pork roast with yummy trimmings. We all ate too much, but that's traditional, right? After dinner I knitted while Mom and Dad napped a bit in front of the TV. Not a bad way to spend the holiday.

Friday I got some more knitting done, including blocking a sizable scarf I made for a Christmas gift.

Saturday we went to my great-Aunt Orpha's 100th birthday celebration. It was just wonderful! They had it at the Meadowview Convention Center. The food was great, and she had a good crowd. I didn't count heads, but they were expecting around 125, and I think they were all there! Aunt Orpha really enjoyed herself, and a good time was had by all.

Sunday I didn't do much of anything; I knew that Monday would be rough returning to work, so I took it pretty easy.

Sure enough, when I went back to work this morning it was really busy all day long. However, I had something to look forward to: I'd received notification that my Christmas gift to myself had arrived and was ready to be picked up at the Site-to-Store area at Wal-Mart. I bought myself a nifty little netbook. In fact, I'm typing this entry on it while waiting for the battery to charge. I think it will come in really handy for taking things to show Mom and Dad (since they're not online) and for using out on the deck when the weather's nice. It's so teensy it looks like a toy! *LOL*

Well, the battery's nearly charged, so I think I'll close now and get a few more items downloaded that I wanted to put on this bitty little computer.

Have a good week, everyone!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Eastern Standard Time

We switched from Daylight Savings Time to Standard Time last weekend, and I'm having an unusually difficult time adjusting to it. Normally, the switch from DST to standard is easier because "spring ahead, fall back" actually gives us an extra hour's sleep that first Sunday morning. But I'm having trouble staying awake until bed time, which means I'm waking up about 4:00 am, which is causing me to want to go to bed by 8:00 pm. *ICK*

Oh well, I'll adjust eventually. I always do. :-) Since I gave up on Dancing With The Stars I've had more time to watch more interesting things, like documentaries I'm finding on Netflix. I started a good one last night about Stonehenge. I thought I was really interested in it, but woke up at 4:00 this morning in the recliner, so I must not have been quite as spellbound as I thought. *LOL*

I had a touch of a virus over the weekend, so I got in some "knitting in the recliner while watching movies" time. I'd received a Netflix disk last week and finally got around to watching it. It had been in my queue for some time: "The Best of Carson". I'm not sure who decided what the "best" of Carson was, but I didn't agree. :-( There are several disks in the series, and I deleted the rest of them from my queue. There was only one good clip on it, and I'd already seen it about a thousand times or so. Live and learn, right?

I mentioned earlier that I'd given up on Dancing With The Stars. I am actually still recording it on TiVo and watching it the next day just to see the parts I want to see (basically Derek Hough). On Tuesday morning before I went to work, I watched Monday night's 2-hour show in just under 30 minutes. HONEST! Then yesterday morning I watched Tuesday night's 1-hour show in less than 15 minutes. I knew there was a lot of "filler" on that show, but WOW!

Unless I change my mind, I'm not going to bother at all next season. If they want to change the voting procedure to make it more of a TALENT competition I'll reconsider. Enough griping.

The weather here has been absolutely GLORIOUS the past few days. Sure makes it hard to go to work and sit in my little windowless dungeon all day. Especially since it's almost DARK by the time I get home from work now. *pout*

Okay, I've fussed enough for one day. Hope the day is as glorious in your neck of the woods as it is here!

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Adios, DWTS!

Okay, I'll start this by saying that I started watching Dancing With The Stars last season because Mom enjoys it so much and it's fun critiquing the performances with her. I kept watching it this season because I think Derek Hough is as cute as a speckled pup under a red wagon and I love watching him dance.'s.......OVER!! Things progressed about as I expected until Week 5. I was no huge fan of Florence Henderson, but HONESTLY! She was eliminated, and they left Bristol Palin on there after that horrific "jive" that started out in a gorilla suit??? Oh, puh-leeeze! I comforted myself with the knowledge that she would surely be eliminated in Week 6, and waited patiently.

Week 6: Bristol actually improved a little, but still was not giving a "performance". Who was eliminated? Audrina Patridge, who I believe should have gone to the quarterfinals at the very least.

Week 7, this week: Bristol was truly awful and wound up at the bottom of the points board. Who was eliminated? Rick Fox. RICK FOX. The man who scored a total of 61 points, putting him in a tie for second place with Kurt Warner. The man who was only 3 points under the two contenders who were tied for first place. RICK....FOX.

What on earth is the American public thinking???

So that it for me. I quit. I was already growing weary of the contrived "drama" on the series, all the scenes of weepy exhausted "stars" whining about how tough they were having it. All the "feuds" between stars and their assigned dancing pros.

Enough already. I've thought all along that they could cut out all the audience voting baloney and make this a pretty good show. But noooooooo, it turns into a popularity contest instead of a true competition based on achievement.

Can I do anything about this? No. But I don't have to subject myself to it any more. Sorry, Derek, I'll miss you lots, but I'm outta here!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Sunday Morning

Where do the weekends go? It seems I wait all week for Friday afternoon, then suddenly it's Monday morning again! I find that as time marches on, I value my personal time more and more. I find myself getting downright GREEDY about it!

After work Friday evening, I did a couple of loads of laundry and a bit of my weekend household chores. Why this sudden burst of energy? Because I intended to devote some of my Saturday to some serious knitting. I'm working on a Christmas gift for a friend that's about 60% complete, and I feel the pressure to get it finished up soon. I really don't want to rush it up at the last minute and risk lousing it up! I'll post more about it when it's in the hands of it's intended recipient. Don't want to risk spoiling the surprise!

So yesterday (Saturday), I did manage to spend a good bit of time doing my gift knitting and watching Netflix things on TV. Not a bad way to spend a Saturday afternoon! This morning I've been finishing up my weekend stuff and will soon be going to visit Mom and Dad for a bit. I'll take my knitting along and hopefully get some more quality time with sticks and string. Daddy will most likely be watching a NASCAR race this afternoon, so that makes for good knittin' time. :-)

I can hardly believe that Halloween is a week from today. Trick-or-Treating is going to be a little scattered in my corner of the world this year. Some areas will be celebrating on Saturday, and some on Sunday. I've found that in my neighborhood, most of the parents are taking their children either to the mall or to "trunk-or-treating" at local churches. So I've not even purchased candy this year. I'll miss seeing little ones all dressed up in their little costumes, but I understand why parents choose to go to organized events instead of door-to-door trick-or-treating. It's just safer.

I'm off now to have a little lunch. Hope everyone's weekend is going well!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Zipping Through October

Where did October go?? Sheesh, seems like just yesterday was September! It's been a busy, busy month in my little corner of the world. Seems like things at the office just get busier all the time.

Last week, though, I was on my final full week of annual leave for 2010. Since it's a little chilly (especially at night), I didn't go camping. I figured that if it's so cool that I have to sit in the tent with a heater, I might as well just stay home! And so I spent a very quiet, relaxing week.

Unfortunately, I battled an allergy headache all week long. *phooey* In fact, on the last day of my vacation, the headache morphed into a migraine and I spent the entire day in the recliner. I did NOTHING but knit and watch Doctor Who! (See, Kris, you've turned me into a true addict. *LOL*)

The first Sunday of my time off was really good, though. Mom and Dad took Aunt Orpha out for the day, and I tagged along. We had a really great time! We enjoyed a leisurely drive over to Scott County. Our first stop was at Mann Farm's produce stand in Ft. Blackmore where I bought some beautiful yellow tomatoes and delicious ginger gold apples. I also bought two pints of corn relish and a quart of sourwood honey.

After that, we stopped to visit briefly with one of Daddy's cousins, John, who lives in the area. I had to actually write it out to figure out how they're related....they're second cousins. *LOL*
We then went up on High Knob, which was quite beautiful. The weather was clear and crisp...a perfect fall day! After driving past the site of the old Sweeney homeplace, we made our way to Norton. There we all enjoyed a delicious late lunch at Fish Tales. Since I have a seafood allergy, I had their pork barbeque which was very good. If you're ever there, I recommend it!

It was a very lovely day, and we all enjoyed it very much. The next morning, my allergies had kicked into high gear. (I suspect the dust and leaf litter up on the Knob probably didn't help me any!) So, for the next couple of days I really didn't do a lot. Just a bit of housework, some knitting, and some movies via Netflix.

On Wednesday I ran a few errands and went to visit Mom and Dad for a bit. I also went to cast my vote that day; we have early voting in my corner of the world. I love to vote early because the early voting location has much better parking that my regular voting location.

On Thursday I finally talked myself into dealing with my walk-in closet. I needed to deal with it because you couldn't walk into it anymore! *LOL* By Friday I had it in fairly presentable order with a stack of things to take to Goodwill. It's not perfect, mind you, but it's much better than it's been for awhile.

And that, friends, is the saga of my fall vacation. Thrilling, eh? *LOL* I still have some pictures on my camera that I took during the trip to High Knob. I'll try to get those downloaded to the computer soon so I can share them with you.

Hope you're all having a great week. If you're not, be of good cheer...the weekend's almost here!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Chainfree Bristol

I forgot to tell you something important in my earlier post! On Friday September 10 I participated in the National Day of Service by spending some time with a great organization in my hometown called Chainfree Bristol. This terrific grassroots organization supplies the necessary materials and organizes volunteers to build fenced areas for doggies to live in.

The highly dedicated Liza Conway was moved to action when she saw sweet doggies in our fair city who were living their lives restrained by chains.Her quest was not easy. She was faced with slammed doors, name calling, and was even chased down the street. When she approached owners of chained dogs, she offered to pay for fencing materials and gather volunteers to build a safe fenced area for the pet. All she asked in return was that the pet owner either be the owner of the property on which the fence would be built (or have the permission of the property owner), have their pet spayed or neutered, and agree that the pet would never again be chained. Sounds simple, right?

Unbelievably, some owners stuck on the requirement that the pet be spayed or neutered. These people would rather that their dog live out their life inhumanely chained. Weird.

Anyway, Liza finally found an appreciative pet owner who happily agreed to her requirements. She bought the necessary materials, rounded up some volunteers (some of which were from my place of employment, including me), and we spent that Friday afternoon building a safe fenced enclosure big enough for two adorable doggies, CiCi and Tippy. When we'd finished the fencing and moved their doghouses into the area, they romped happily, free from their chains, rolling in the grass and having a grand time.

I have to tell you, it was a wonderful feeling watching them enjoy their newfound freedom. If you have some free time to help or a few dollars you could donate for fencing materials, contact Liza at It's a very worthy cause.

I'm Baaaaaaaack

I can't believe it's been a MONTH since I posted! It's been a pretty busy month, but that's no excuse. So, what have I been up to for the past month?

Well, I took my last camping trip of the season September 13 - 17 at ... you guessed it! ... Grindstone. *LOL* I love Grindstone, what can I say? Mom and Dad also camped that week, and it was a lovely, cool, restful week. I went up early on Monday morning in shorts and a t-shirt, expecting to get all hot and sweaty as I usually do when setting up camp. I was WRONG! It was crisp and cool and wonderful!

Mom and Dad arrived soon after I'd set up the tent and set up their trailer in short order. We spent most of the week around a campfire, which Daddy kept going all the way up until Thursday night. There were zillions of chipmunks playing all around the campsites, and we kept hearing turkey hens in the brush nearby. One afternoon I managed to get pretty close to one of them (from the sound of it), but a hiker's dog spotted me and began barking, sending the turkey into stealth mode. I really would have loved to had a look at the turkey, but no such luck.

I've really enjoyed camping season this year, and was sorry to see it end. By the time Friday rolled around, though, I have to admit that I was happy to be going home. We'd had very few camping neighbors during the week, but they were beginning to roll in on Thursday evening. I'm glad we were camping during the week when it was lovely and quiet.

Other than the camping trip, my time has been filled with working and knitting...and watching movies and a bit of Doctor Who. (Thanks to Kris, who has given me yet another addiction. *LOL*)

I'd been neglecting my Wii Fit, so last night I started back up again. I couldn't believe how much my stamina had dropped in that short a period. *kicks self* At least I hadn't gained any weight back, thank goodness.

I've got a lot of my Christmas knitting finished. Still a few little items and one pretty big one to finish, but I think I'll get it all done in time. I can't believe it's already time to be thinking about such things.

So, I guess that's about it...I'll try to be better about posting, honest. :-)

Saturday, August 28, 2010

A Long-Awaited Luxury

Last night I did something I've hadn't done in over a year....I took a bath! No, no, don't misunderstand. I take showers daily (in fact, often twice a day during the summer), but because of the issue with my back last year I wasn't able to indulge in one of my favorite vices, a long, hot, relaxing bath.

For years I would fill the tub with steamy water and luxurious bath oils, soaking away the stress of the day. I finally had to ban myself from reading anything but inexpensive paperback books in my bath because I would occasionally fall asleep, allowing whatever I was reading to fall into the water.

But during the time I was dealing with my back problem and suffering terrible leg pain, I was unable to sit down in the tub. In fact, one evening I was in so much pain I decided that maybe a good soaking would give me some relief. I actually thought I was going to have to call someone to get help getting out of the tub!

So I resorted to quick hot showers....not as relaxing, but at least I could be clean without fear of being trapped in the tub by my bum leg! After surgery last November I was sent home with a shower chair, which became my new best friend. I could sit in the chair and enjoy a much longer shower without exhausting myself.

This has been a stressful week, and last night I decided that a long soak in a steamy tub just might be the thing to relax my tense muscles. I kept a portable phone within reach (just in case this turned out to be a really bad idea), washed my hair under the shower, and wrapped a towel around my head. I then filled the tub with hot water and moisturizing bath beads and spread a layer of cleansing oil on my face and neck (more about that later). I slipped into the tub, leaned back, and relaxed. I don't have words to describe how exquisite it felt to soak in that warm, lightly fragranced water!

The pain I feared might occur never came; I could feel the stress melting from my tense muscles. I soaked until the water cooled, steamed the cleansing oil from my face with a hot facecloth, then stepped from the tub and patted my refreshed skin dry with a fresh towel.

Though it was pretty early in the evening, I slipped into comfy pajamas and treated myself to some knitting time in the recliner before bedtime. What a wonderful spa-like retreat! So this morning I woke early, relaxed and refreshed. It's so great to be able to enjoy a long, hot soak in a tub again!

Now, about this cleansing oil I had on my face during my soak. I've thought for a long time that one of the terrible things about growing older is that women who are dealing with wrinkles should never have to deal with occasional skin break-outs. It's just NOT FAIR. Anyway, a week or so ago I had a blemish appear right on the end of my nose. *sheesh* I decided to do an internet search to see if there were any new home remedies I hadn't heard about.

My search revealed a website about the oil cleansing method, which I hadn't heard about. You can read about it by clicking here. The mixture used includes castor oil, which I didn't have on hand. Yesterday I had the opportunity to stop at Walgreens to pick up a few items, and I bought some castor oil while I was there. I mixed it as suggested on the website with extra virgin olive oil (I used that instead of sunflower seed oil, because I happened to have plenty of it on hand). I was amazed at how soothing it felt having the oil on my face, then steaming it away with a hot facecloth. Even more amazing was how wonderful my skin feels this morning. It feels clean and moisturized without the heavy feel of an overnight moisturizing cream. We'll see how this progresses; I'll keep you posted.

And so, it's early Saturday morning and I need to chase dust bunnies and do laundry today. First, however, I'm going to make myself a pot of coffee (the blend with chickory, I think) and snuggle up in the recliner to knit for an hour or so. What a terrific way to start a weekend!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Common Courtesy, or Lack Thereof

If you've been reading my blog very long, you probably know that I'm a knitter, and that I often knit in public. So, I'm long accustomed to people saying the following:
  1. "My grandmother used to crochet." In my head I reply, "This is knitting, not crochet." Out loud I say, "Mine, too. Isn't it great how elaborate some of their patterns were?"
  2. "I'd never have the patience for that." In my head I reply, "I don't knit because I'm patient, I'm patient because I knit." Out loud I say, "Oh, I thought the same thing, but knitting is a good patience-building exercise."
  3. "Sure wish I had the time for that." In my head I reply, "We're both sitting here waiting for our appointment. I'm being productive, and you're being annoying." Out loud I say, "It really helps pass time while you're waiting like we are now."

And so's amazing what people will say, trying to be friendly. I ran across a lady this morning, though, who came treacherously close to crossing the line of common courtesy. She started by asking what I was knitting. I told her that I was knitting a pair of socks. This led to her telling me that her grandmother used to knit really beautiful things, socks, hats, scarves. Now mind you, it wasn't that she said that her grandmother used to knit that bugged me. It was the snide inference that my knitting didn't come up to her grandmother's quality.

To be fair, maybe it doesn't, but that's not the kind of thing that you say to a total stranger in a waiting room, right? I just smiled and continued to knit, saying that knitting is a good thing to do in waiting rooms to help pass the time. I further commented that I knit while watching television. This resulted in another snide look and a comment that SHE didn't watch television, that you could find HER doing just about anything except watching television.

To quote Steve Martin, "Well, excuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuse me!" Sheesh. Okay, maybe there are people who DON'T watch television, but why should they feel the need to make the rest of us feel like dimbulbs because we enjoy watching tv??

After that, I'll admit that I felt the need to jerk her down a notch or two and told her that last year I was dealing with a back problem and spent most of the time between February and November in a recliner. I added that if it hadn't been for having knitting and television to help distract me, I don't know what I would have done. That slowed her up a little; luckily they called me back to have my blood test run at that time.

When I finished and was leaving, that same lady was still sitting in the waiting area and said, "Boy that was quick. It takes me longer. They have to draw about 8 tubes of blood for me." What I WANTED to say was, "Okay, this isn't a contest, but if it was, YOU WIN. Cripes." What I actually said, smiling, was "That's a shame. Hope it goes well for you."

Like I said before, I don't knit because I'm patient, I'm patient because I knit.

I have to admit, though, it still amazes me that people will be snooty to a woman holding pointy sticks. :-)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

On Turning 56

Yesterday was my birthday; I would've posted yesterday, but I got home much later than usual and didn't get a chance. I wondered if turning another year older would bother me, but I had a really terrific day!

It didn't start out little Saturn had started making a dreadful noise that Daddy suspected was a brake problem. So, I'd made arrangements to drop it off at a repair shop, where Mom and Dad met me and drove me to work. The good news is that I learned later in the day that it was, indeed, a brake problem and a relatively inexpensive repair. *WHEW*

I received lovely cards and gifts from my friends at work, then Mom cooked me a terrific birthday dinner complete with cake for dessert. Cake always helps take the sting out of turning a year older. *LOL*

We got torrential rain yesterday, just AWFUL! In fact I heard on the news that a teenager drowned over in Scott County. Such a terrible shame! It was still raining pretty hard when I left Mom and Dad's, but I ran out of it just before I got home.

It's been raining again today....sure would have been a good day for a nap. *sigh*

Monday, August 16, 2010

Camping....and Why It's Good

Why Camping Is Good:
  1. It gets me out in the fresh air, away from air conditioned air and fluorescent lighting.
  2. It gets me away from the television set.
  3. It gets me away from the computer.
  4. I can't get a cell phone signal in the campground. This is a good thing.
  5. It gives me a LOT of uninterrupted knitting time.
  6. I meet lots of interesting, nice folks from many different areas.
  7. I get to get snuggles from lots of sweet doggies owned by other campers.
  8. I get to do activities there that I'd never get to do anywhere else....for instance, this weekend I attended a birthday party for Smokey the Bear. HONEST, I DID! *LOL*

Why Camping Is Bad:

  1. Um.....I can't think of anything to put on this list.

I took off last Thursday and Friday and had another camping weekend. The weather was much nicer this trip, only one brief shower a little after 9:00 Friday evening which didn't bother a thing. The campground wasn't as crowded as it had been during my July trip, so that made things nicer, too.

Though it was awfully hot at home, the temperatures were really nice at the campground. If you stirred around much during the middle of the day it got pretty warm, but as long as you were lounging under the tall trees (which I did a lot of) it was cool and breezy and wonderful. I took most of my walks during the early morning hours before the heat kicked in, so it was very comfortable.

During my stay, I only left the campground once; on Friday, I made an ice run (no ice machine at the campground) and used that as an excuse to go get a hot, nutricious lunch. Yeah, right. Two Dip Dogs and a Diet Coke! :-) I swear those things are addictive! I guess it's a good thing I live too far from the Dip Dog stand to visit more often.

I'd seen a notice posted that they planned a birthday party for Smokey the Bear Saturday at 2:00 up in the playground, so I moseyed up that direction in time to watch lots of small children enjoying having their photo made with Smokey. (I wonder which park employee drew the short straw and had to wear that hot suit??) I wish I'd taken my camera, because I got a hug from Smokey. I'd like to have had that picture to go with my picture of getting a hug from "Rocky" at Rock City. Yes, I'm easily entertained. *LOL* They had a beautiful cake (I didn't have any, since I'd already treated myself to Dip Dogs the day before) and gave gift bags to the children that had junior ranger badges, Smokey the Bear coloring books, rulers and other neat little things. One of the park employees told the story of the real Smokey the Bear. I thought it was a very nice program.

On Sunday morning clouds began to gather, but I broke camp and got the car packed without anything getting rained on, thank goodness. When I got back home, the heat index was 100 degrees. Ick! I unpacked the car, did a couple of loads of laundry, took a refreshing shower, and hit the recliner. Yes, my living room is still full of camping gear, but I don't care. I'll get it put away eventually. :-)

Another terrific weekend in the woods!

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Some Days It Just Doesn't Pay to Get Outta Bed

I have a classic example of a communications gap. I'll start by reminding you that I took Saturday as a "stay in" day, mixing housework with knitting and watching Doctor Who. I didn't leave the apartment until Sunday morning (I was invited to Mom & Dad's for lunch). When I left, I saw that a note from the management office of my apartment complex had been taped to my door. In defense of my apartment manager (who is an absolutely terrific lady), I'm sure the note had probably been there since Friday afternoon. But since I'd hibernated since mid-day Friday, I didn't see it.

The note said that the cable company was making some upgrades starting Tuesday and that they would need access to my walk-in closet. If you saw my walk-in closet, you'd understand why this gave me a moment of "ohhhhhhhhhh, man". I have a pretty big closet, but it was full, floor to ceiling, on both sides and the back wall. Cleaning it out is one of those projects I've been putting off for much too long. Needless to say, I had a huge job to finish, and I knew I'd be too tired to do it after work.

So, off I went to Mom & Dad's, ate a wonderful lunch (fresh veggies....*YUM*), washed the dishes, made my apologies for a short visit, and hurried back home to start the gargantuan task before me. I have a "guest bedroom" that I've always used for a home office/storage room, so I emptied the walk-in closet, stacking everything in the spare room. By the time I finished, I had storage totes and a portable clothes rack stacked all the way to the door. I was exhausted, but I'd done it! Whew.

On my way home yesterday, I stopped to see the apartment manager to be sure the cable company guys were still on schedule to start Tuesday. I told her that I'd had a busy Sunday afternoon because I hadn't found her note until Sunday morning. That's when I learned about the communications gap. I'd misinterpreted her note. The apartments on my floor didn't have to empty their walk-in closets. The cable guys would only need access to my living room, my master bedroom, and.....yes, you guessed it.....the GUEST ROOM. *AAAAAAAAAAAGH*

So, after a quickly eaten dinner, I proceeded to take all the things I'd moved into the spare room back to the walk-in closet. I finished up about 9:30, took a much-needed shower, and collapsed into bed.

I'd planned to do some serious sorting-out as I reassembled my closet, but didn't get to do that since I was in such a rush. Even so, I managed to find three big trash bags full of clothing that I can drop off at Goodwill. I didn't put any of the totes back onto the shelves in the closet, just stacking them on the closet floor for the time being. That way, I'll spend a little time each evening going through them and culling out some things. I know for a fact that I have a lot of Christmas decorations that I need to get rid of. I'll keep the keepsakes, of course, but I have a lot of things that have no sentimental value that I've not used in years. So....OUT THEY WILL GO. Maybe Goodwill can get enough money out of them to help a deserving person.

So, I guess the massive movement of stuff on Sunday and again last night was a blessing in disguise. But today I'm sooooooo tired. I actually planned to go to a meeting of a knitting guild at a local yarn shop this evening, but I'll have to wait to see how tired I am after work. Maybe after I eat my lunch I'll catch my "second wind". Speaking of lunch, I'll hush now and eat. *LOL*

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Lovely Drizzly Saturday

It's 29 degrees cooler on my balcony than it was the last time I posted! Drizzy rain has set in this morning and the temperatures are much more bearable. Hope it lasts!

A drizzly gray Saturday is perfect for one of my favorite "lazy day" routines: Make a pot of good, strong coffee (my current favorite has chicory in it) and chill out in the recliner with my knitting and the remote control. Am I worried that (other than the progress I've made on my second Baby Surprise Jacket) it's been a fairly unproductive morning so far? Nope.

However, just in case guilt tries to slip in later, I plan to spend the rest of the day alternating a bit of household drudgery with my knitting and watching "Doctor Who". Mixing in a bit of fun stuff always helps make the housework a little easier to stand. :-)

Speaking of "Doctor Who", had I mentioned that my daughter got me started watching this? (Thanks, Kris!) Even though Doctor Who was first broadcast in 1963, I'd never seen it. I'm currently working my way through Season One of what I suppose you'd call the "rebirth" of Doctor Who. These episodes were filmed in 2005 with Christopher Eccleston as The Doctor. These scripts are entertaining and clever. And oh, how I do love clever writing!

I've nearly finished with Season One, then I move on to the shows that Kris really wanted me to see: the ones with David Tennant as The Doctor. I actually saw 3 of the Tennant episodes out of sequence a few weeks ago, because the SciFi channel happened to be running them. As much as I'm enjoying Christopher Eccleston, I have to say that David Tennant is excellent, too.

And so, I'm off to pour myself another cup of excellent coffee, have a bit of lunch, and get back to my housework/knitting/Doctor Who agenda.

Sometimes life is just great. :-)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

100 Degrees

As I'm writing this, it's 100 degrees on my deck. Not that I'd know that from being OUT there, mind you. That's the reading on my indoor/outdoor thermometer that I can monitor from the comfort of the desk in my bedroom. I've not been outdoors all day today. During the morning I was too busy with household drudgery (and, yes, little knitting. *LOL*), and by the time I'd done my chores, it was just too hot outside to inflict it on myself.

I was out most of yesterday, though. I got my grocery shopping done and filled the car with gas and was back home before the heat got bad. (More about filling the car with gas later.) Mom and Dad and I had a little day trip planned, so I was down at their house by 9:00. During a recent visit to Mann Farms over in Scott County, Virginia, Mom had bought some delicious corn relish. It had been made by a company called the Relish Barn in Rose Hill, Virginia. Mom had said that she'd like to visit the Relish Barn one day, and I'd told them that if they decided to go on a day I happened to be off work, I'd like to ride along with them.

So yesterday we headed for Rose Hill. Though it was a hot, steamy day, we were comfortable in the air conditioned vehicle, so it was a nice trip. From their house to Rose Hill is about an hour and a half, so I got it some good sock-knitting time during the ride. When we arrived in Rose Hill, we made a pass through the small town but saw no signs indicating the location of the Relish Barn. We'd brought along their telephone number from the label on the jar of corn relish, but we didn't have cellular service in that location.

Daddy stopped at a convenience store, and I went in to ask directions. Unfortunately, they weren't very good directions, so I asked Daddy to stop again at a market, where a very helpful gentleman gave me excellent directions that took us directly to the Relish Barn.

We were sad to learn, though, that the Relish Barn didn't appear to have any retail sales location onsite at all. It was just a small processing plant....the delicious aroma coming from the plant led us to believe that they were making chowchow that day. We were disappointed that we weren't able to buy any of their wares. I guess we'll just have to find another place to buy them close by or wait until the next time the folks are in the vicinity of Mann Farms.

We drove on to Cumberland Gap; it was getting to be lunch time, so we went to a wonderful place on Colwyn Street called Webb's Country Kitchen. We happened to arrive just before noon, so we just beat the lunch rush! Daddy had an open-faced roast beef sandwich, and Mom and I each had a reuben. The food was just delicious, and very reasonably priced. Judging from the crowd that came in just after we received our meals, it must be a pretty popular place! If you happen to be in that area around mealtime, I highly recommend it!

A funny thing happened on the way out of the restaurant. They have lots of old photos hanging on the walls, and one of the photographs looked so much like one of my elementary school pictures that it was startling! The owner was running the cash register at checkout, and I asked if she knew who the little girl was in the was the owner! The funny thing is that except for the fact that she had brown eyes I think I could have passed that photo off as myself to anyone who'd known me at that age.

We toured around Cumberland Gap for a good while, visiting a couple of antique shops and the historic iron furnace. It's a really neat place to spend a day if you're ever looking for a day trip destination.

The day was awfully hot and sticky, so it was a relief to ride back home in air conditioned comfort. Though it was a fun day, I was pretty tired when I got home, so other than the required housework, today's been a quiet day. Other than chores, the only thing I've done today is do some knitting (trying to finish up a pair of baby socks I started this week) and I cooked myself a pot of cranberry beans. I hadn't cooked any in awhile, and I've been craving them. Of all the dried beans available in our area, I think cranberry beans are my favorite.

Ah, I see by the indoor/outdoor themometer that it's now cooled off to 99 degrees. **SHEESH** No knitting on the balcony tonight, THAT's for sure!

Find a cool place, friends, and enjoy the rest of the weekend. :-)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

In the Summertime When the Weather is High

If you've read my blog in the past, you know how much I love to go camping. When the weather is hot and muggy like it's been here in my corner of the world lately, there's nothing quite like pulling a lounge chair out under a big ol' tree and stretching out with a cold glass of tea, knitting in your lap, and a new audiobook on the Zune (Microsoft's version of the iPod).

And that, friends, is how I spent last weekend. It was just wonderful! I arrived at the campground around 8:30 Thursday morning, set up my tent and got everything placed inside. After a refreshing shower I was ready to relax. The weather was much cooler than in town, and my campsite was well shaded with big beautiful trees.

On Friday morning Mom and Dad came to visit me and took me to lunch at a little family-owned restaurant about 5 miles from the campground. They had slow-cooked baby back ribs which looked wonderful, and I had a hamburger steak with onions and green peppers. After a little ride through the countryside (Daddy always has to take "the road less traveled"....*LOL*), we went back to the campsite to visit awhile and enjoy the cooler fresh mountain air.

Later that afternoon as I lounged and knitted, campers began to arrive. The peace and quiet of the campground soon was broken by the shrieks and whoops of LOTS of small children. I quickly realized that the campers across from me and beside me were apparently all camping together. As nearly as I could tell, it appeared that at least four (if not five) of the sites were all sharing their camping experience for the weekend. When I say LOTS of small children, that's what I mean....LOTS. It was a little like trying to count minnows in a pond, but there must have been at least eight small children and five pre-teeners.

And they were loud. Oh, man, were they ever loud. Though I'd been knitting and enjoying birdsong, I soon gave up and plugged my Zune earbuds in to try to drown out the racket. Late that night, as the grownups and kids gathered around the campfire next door, yelling and laughing loudly until very, very late that night I found myself hoping that the weatherman was right in forecasting RAIN for the next day. That way, at least the noisy campers might have to stay inside, muffling the noise. How many tent campers do you know that hope for rain? *LOL*

As it happened, I got the rain I'd hoped for. I sat in the shelter of my tent with the door unzipped, knitting and watching the rain. It was very soothing and made me feel dozey and lazy. For lunch, I treated myself to a trip to a local legend, the Dip Dog Stand. I'd heard about Dip Dogs for years but had never had the opportunity to try one. The two items I'd heard the most about were the Dip Dog and their onion rings. So, that's what I ordered, and it was very good. Next time I think I'll skip the onion rings; they were really good, but I don't eat fried food very often so that was a little too much for me. Instead I'll order two Dip Dogs. What's a Dip Dog, you ask? Imagine a corn dog, but instead of the corn bread-type wrapping there's a delicious flour batter, deep-fried. The dog is served with mustard. When you bite into it, there's a satisfying crunch from the fried batter and the tangy taste of the mustard. It makes my mouth water a little to think about it. Maybe it's good that I don't live near the Dip Dog Stand. :-)

By the time I got back to the campground, the rain had subsided and I was able to sit outside in my lounge and knit and listen to more of my audiobooks. I finished "Revenge of the Kudzu Debutantes" (a funny tale about three Southern belles seeking revenge against their cheating husbands) and started "The Lovely Bones". I know that movie took some criticism, but I actually liked it. I'm enjoying the book even more.

Though I usually retire very early while camping (or while not camping, for that matter), I didn't see any reason to go in until after dark, since the kids from the surrounding sites were out in force. As darkness fell and the other campers began to scatter to their respective sites, I went in the tent. On my way in, I ran my hand across the dry nylon and thought, "Oh good, everything's nice and dry, so I should be able to pack up pretty early tomorrow."

Wrong. Not fifteen minutes after I'd gone inside, I heard the distant rumble of thunder. The storm came quickly, bringing one of the worst lightning storms I've seen this season. Rain fell like water out of a bucket for awhile, then settled into a steady rainstorm that must have lasted a good while. I can't tell you when it stopped, because nothing lulls me to sleep quicker than the sound of rain on a tent. :-)

Sunday morning the trees were still dripping with the rain from the night before. The humidity level was really high, making it impossible to get the tent dried off enough to pack it up. Luckily, it didn't leak, so everything inside it (including me!) stayed nice and dry. As soon as I realized I wasn't going to be able to get the tent dry by the 2:00 pm checkout time, I packed the car, then rolled the tent and ground tarps up (wet....*ick*) into big trash bags so that I could haul them without having water puddle up in the car.

When I got everything into the car, I checked out and started home. When I got back to a cellphone signal (did I mention that cell phones do not get a signal in the campground? Just another bonus. *L*), I called Mom and Dad to ask if I could borrow a corner of their yard to pitch my tent to leave it up long enough to dry it out.

After I'd set it up and they put my ground tarps over their clothesline to dry, I made my way home, unpacked the rest of the things from the car, took a shower and collapsed into the recliner for the rest of the afternoon. As much as I love my camping weekends, it's always nice to get home again.

After work Monday I went to Mom and Dad's and retrieved my then-dry tent and tarps. As an apartment dweller, I'm especially grateful to them for allowing me to do that. It would be really difficult for me to get everything dried out by stretching it over shower rods and such!

And so ends another camping adventure. I finished knitting a pair of socks, listened to one whole audiobook and most of another one, met some really nice campers, tolerated some really noisy ones, and met lots of wonderful camper doggies. I enjoyed two relaxing thunderstorms, ate my first Dip Dog, and inadvertently fed a few mosquitoes.

All in all, a great weekend.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Mid-July??? ALREADY???

This month is just zipping right on by; seems just yesterday was the 4th of July. Or maybe it just seems that way because some people in my neighborhood celebrated with fireworks for DAYS after the holiday. *LOL*

We had some rain yesterday that cooled things off a bit, but today I drove to work in light fog and they're predicting mid-90's for this afternoon. *ICK* I hate to wish my summer away, but a nice, crisp fall day would be a lovely break from all this steamy heat. I keep telling myself, "Could be worse. You could be shoveling snow."

I miss being able to sit out on my balcony in the evenings after work. It's just too uncomfortable to sit out there right now. Instead I curl up in the recliner with knitting and the remote control and soak up air conditioning. I'm just not cut out for hot weather. Or cold weather. 70 degrees, that's my temperature! :-)

Work has been very, VERY busy, but that's job security, right? The good thing about really busy times at work is that it makes you look forward to the next break. Which I will spend in the woods again. *happy dance*

This will be a short entry because I'm writing during my lunch break, so if I don't get back to it beforehand, have a great weekend, everyone!

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Long Weekends....and Paying For Them

I'm working a flex schedule this summer and am off on Fridays. So, this past weekend (because of Independence Day) was a 4-day weekend for me. Pretty neat, right?

And it WAS neat. I always enjoy having time away from the office. On Friday morning Daddy went to meet some old friends of his (in town for the holiday) at Hardee's over in Duffield. They met on the Friday before the 4th last year, too, and he really enjoyed it. So, since he was going to be away for a bit, Mom asked if I'd like to go shopping that morning.

We try to do that once while I'm off on Fridays during the summer. We go visit a few stores, have a "girlie" lunch, then head home. We used to "shop 'til we drop", but we drop quicker than we used to, so usually one morning is plenty for both of us. *LOL*

We hit a few stores, and when lunchtime rolled around I asked where she'd like to go. We go to places Daddy wouldn't normally care for, tearooms and the like. This time she asked to go to McAlister's Deli in Kingsport. The only time I'd been in there was to get a cold drink during an earlier shopping expedition, so I was happy to try their food. For ages I'd been craving a muffaletta, but didn't know of any place locally that made them. I was really happy to see that their lunch menu included a 1/4 muffaletta with a side for a very reasonable price. It....was...WONDERFUL! Not only was it a generous portion, but simply delectable! I chose a fruit salad for my side item which served as a dessert. The fruit was fresh, sweet, and delicious. Mom had a reuben which she said was wonderful as well. All in all a wonderful shopping/lunch trip!

Saturday I did a bit of household drudgery and rested up a bit from Friday's excursion. I didn't get much sleep that night. Seems that even though it's not legal to shoot fireworks in the city limits, several people were shooting them anyway. I don't begrudge anyone their fun, but DANG. You could knock it off after midnight, couldn't you?? (I am, admittedly, getting old and crabby. *LOL*)

Sunday I was invited to Mom and Dad's for a cookout. Yummy food and good company, as always. :-) That night there were still plenty of fireworks in the neighborhood, which went on until quite late. I guess I was really tired from losing sleep the night before, because it didn't keep me up too long.

Yesterday I knitted a bit (see my knitting blog), did a little laundry, and mostly just rested up for the return to the office today. *drudge, drudge* While knitting I watched most of "Band of Brothers". I've already seen it, but it's such a great series I wanted to watch again. I have it on my computer and need to burn it to DVD. Definitely a keeper!

Movies, movies....what have I seen lately? Mel Gibson's "Edge of Darkness"...dark, but good. "Amelia"...worth the time to watch it, but not as good as I'd hoped it would be. "The Road"! Bleak (which I expected, since the writer also wrote "No Country for Old Men"), but what performances! Now I want to read the book.

I've been watching some Netflix stuff through the Wii unit, too. I've been rewatching the first season of Saturday Night Live and wishing there was anything on television now to compare. I watched a campy little thing about the 50 worst movies ever made. Happily I'd only seen one of them. *LOL* I saw an interesting little documentary from 1975 called "Grey Gardens". I'd heard about this years ago, but never got around to seeing it. I found it intriguing and a little unnerving.

And so this morning, I returned to work. Don't get me wrong, I'm grateful that I have a good job, honestly. But boy oh boy did I have a rough day today. Our fiscal year ends on June 30, so there's all kinds of things that have to be done after July 1. That, mixed with the holiday, mixed with computer systems that apparently went bump in the night several times over the weekend, made for an interesting day.

I'm really glad to be home with a big ol' glass of iced tea. Hopefully it will be cool enough in a short while to sit out on the deck for awhile with my knitting.

Hope you all had a good weekend, too!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Hot and Muggy

Hoo boy, is it just me or is it awfully HOT for June? When I was growing up (back when dinosaurs roamed the Earth), we enjoyed four seasons. Winter would gradually give way to several weeks of cool nights and warm days when flowers poked their little heads up out of the ground and trees burst into bloom. We would enjoy several weeks of very temperate weather before the real heat of summer set in, chasing us into the shade of trees where we found relief by wriggling our bare toes into the shade-cooled grass.

Now it seems that we jump from frost warnings to high heat-indexes. We've been subjected to pop-up thundershowers and high humidity for the past few days. It's been much too hot for me to be able to enjoy the balcony. I've been soaking up air conditioning and looking longingly outside at brief interludes of sunshine. Oh well, it makes it easier to bear the thoughts of going to the office, at least. *LOL*

I've worked my way through a brief period of just feeling crummy thanks to a sinus infection, but am feeling much better now. I have so many things that I need to get done at home, but by the time I get there, I just want to curl up with knitting needles and the remote control until bedtime. I think I need to get back into my old habit of making a home work schedule for myself. Even if I don't adhere to it, it at least gives me a plan and a sense of direction. Yup, the more I think about it, the more I think that's what I should do...

...if it's not too hot when I get home. :-)

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Adventures in Wal-Mart

There are two Wal-Mart stores in my town. From my home it's actually a little closer to the Wal-Mart #2. But the Wal-Mart #1 is on the way home from work, so it's been getting most of my business for years.

However, I think that's coming to an end. Why? Several reasons. One is that Wal-Mart #1 has one of the most dangerous parking lots I've ever encountered. There are several restaurants and other businesses (including a Sam's Club) sharing the entrances and exits, and it's a real nightmare. I don't think I've ever been in that parking lot without at least one close call.

Another reason is that very few "associates" in Wal-Mart #1 seem to care if you need help or not. Yesterday I stopped in to pick up a "Site-to-Store" order (Daddy's Father's Day gift). It was the first time I'd used this service, and it worked well. Until I got to the store to pick it up. I stopped in at Customer Service to find out where I needed to pick up the package. I actually did get courteous instructions from the young woman on where the Site-to-Store pickup area was located, and thanked her. However, when I arrived at the pickup area, no one seemed interested in helping me. As instructed, I pressed a screen at the register and received a message that an associate was on the way to assist me. Four associates walked right past me without so much as looking my direction. Another associate came to the register, smiled at me, took a notebook from under the counter and did something with it, replaced the notebook, smiled again and left. She never ONCE asked if I needed assistance. I pressed the screen again. Another associate came from another area and asked if anyone was helping me. When I told her that several people had walked past, but no one was helping, she was very nice about retrieving my package and making sure that I'd received the item I'd ordered. The next time I use Site-to-Store, it'll be shipped to the OTHER Wal-Mart.

One of the biggest reasons I'll be using the other Wal-Mart is that the temperature in Wal-Mart #1 is HOT. Year round. Summer, Spring, Winter or Fall, I come out of that store soaked in perspiration. Now I'll be the first to admit that I warm up easily, but I'm able to shop comfortably in all other retail stores in the area, so why do I melt down every time I go into that Wal-Mart? I've complained about the heat repeatedly and am always told that the temperature in their store is set in the home office. Maybe the home office should watch the Weather Channel once in awhile.

Oh well. Enough griping for one post. *LOL* At least Daddy's gift was what I ordered, and seems to work as I'd hoped.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Luck of the Draw

Yesterday I exchanged a few e-mails with a nice lady from work who's been dealing with an injury she suffered over a year ago. During the exchange I commented that I'm just unbelievably lucky. It's true...I'm lucky, and I know it.

Last June when my leg pain became completely unbearable, an Urgent Care doctor referred me to a specialist that I'd never heard of before. That specialist happened to be involved in a clinical trial that I'd never heard about. When surgery date rolled around in November there was a 1-in-3 chance that I'd be chosen as a test subject who would receive a spinal fusion instead of the stabilization device being tested, but I received the device. My recovery from the surgical procedure was so quick it was nearly miraculous, and the device continues to work even better than I'd ever hoped.

And two weeks ago today, I set up my Coleman tent on a beautiful campsite under tall trees in the fresh clean air for the first time in 18 months.

I am just so lucky.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

My Life's Just Not That Fascinating

I've been a little lackadaisical about my blog posting in the last little bit. I actually HAVE been a little busy with the normal summer work-load increase at the office and getting ready for my most recent camping trip (more about that later) and getting some knitting done on some summer socks.

But the truth of the matter is, my life's just not fascinating enough to feel the need to post daily. I have a Twitter account, but honestly who has enough happening in their lives that they must share it on a minute-by-minute basis? I check in every once in awhile to read whatever Brad Paisley is posting because his posts are always amusing and often hilarious.

I have a Facebook account, but the only reason I go in there pretty often is to take turns in a few Scrabble games I have going there. Have I mentioned lately that I am a long-time Scrabble addict? I'm not good enough to play in tournaments, but I do love to play. How else would I know that "qi" is a word?

I have a MySpace page, too, but rarely post there either. The only places I post regularly are here and on my knitting blog. The only reason I keep two separate blogs is to keep from boring my non-knitting friends with my excitement over sticks and string. *LOL*

Now, on to the latest non-knitting news: I'm finally CAMPING again!! I spent last Thursday, Friday and Saturday at my all-time favorite campground, Grindstone. Mom and Dad were camping, too, and it was a lot of fun. I have to admit that I wondered how it would go, since this was my first camping trip since I had back surgery last November. Happily, I had no ill effects at all except a little soreness in my legs from using muscles I hadn't used in awhile. There were a few brief showers, but they occurred at times that didn't interfere with any camping fun.

Our friends, the Cooks, were there as well, complete with their four adorable Yorkies. I had a few nostalgic moments thinking of little Meg since it was my first camping trip without her. Another expected hurdle in the grieving process.

I really had a good time and thoroughly enjoyed listening to birdsong in the pre-dawn stillness while snuggled under my sleeping bag. I don't have words to properly express how relaxing I find that time away from all the electronics and stress of my daily life. I love that the most "high tech" thing in my camping gear is a set of circular knitting needles and self-striping sock yarn!

As soon as I came home Sunday afternoon I fired up the home computer and made reservations to go camping again next month. I could get used to this. *G*

Friday, May 07, 2010

It's Just Not Gonna Be The Same

Back in August 2005, our local Krispy Kreme doughnut shop closed. I have to be honest about this, it wasn't as devastating to me as it was to a lot of people in our town. I'd had to give up Krispy Kremes some time ago because I'm a Type II diabetic.

But even though I hadn't eaten a Krispy Kreme in a long time, I missed the shop. I had to drive by it each day on my way home from work, and the smell was just wonderful. A real treat was to happen to be driving by when their "Hot Doughnuts Now" sign was lit. The sweet aroma of sugar glazed yeast doughnuts hung in the air. I'd swear I could gain 5 pounds by simply inhaling.

And so, the building stood empty for nearly five years. It looked sad sitting there, with its parking lot looking grubbier each day.

Then the announcement was made on a local newscast: the property is going to be used for a Kroger Fuel Center. Oh good. Just what we needed on an already ridiculously busy street corner. A gas station. Sheesh.

Something tells me that the aroma from that location just isn't going to be the same. *sigh*

What a Week!

As much as I love having time away from the office, I always have to pay for it when I get back to work. Busy, busy, BUSY week! But that's okay, because Friday's finally here! *happy Friday dance*

Adding to my busy work week, I had three medical appointments this week. One was to have follow-up x-rays done for the doctor who did my back surgery last November. Another was to have blood drawn for lab work for the doctor who monitors my diabetes (that appointment will be next week). The third was the six-month follow-up visit with the back surgery folks.

All went well, but it just contributed to the general insanity of the week. But now that the end of the week is here I'm just glad that the busiest part of the week is behind me. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that today doesn't hold any unpleasant surprises for me. *LOL*

I've been dealing with a delicate tummy this week. I actually became quite ill for a short period of time on Monday evening and Tuesday evening. It could have been stress, because trust me, those were STRESSFUL days. I'd also been eating lots of salads, so that might have been a contributing factor. Sometimes having too many salads too close together can upset my system.

Oh well. Whatever caused it seems to be subsiding, so I'm going to just focus this weekend on getting the household drudgery out of the way as quickly as possible. Then I'll have some R&R time. The weather forecast looks breezy and cooler with a little rain, so you know what that means....good KNITTING weather! :-)

Happy Friday, everyone!

Friday, April 30, 2010

Vacation - Day 7

Wouldn't it be great if the work week zipped by at the same speed vacation weeks disappear? I'll try not to gripe, though, because it's been a really good week. In this post I'll tell you what I've done since my last blog update.

On Wednesday afternoon I went to visit my great-aunt Orpha. That's not a typo...her name is Orpha. Pretty neat, huh? She's my paternal grandfather's sister, and she's 99 years old. Isn't that just wonderful? She's bright and interesting, and I just love to talk to her. She crochets and knits (mostly crochet) and makes all kinds of wonderful things. We had a great afternoon, and when I left, she gave me a dishtowel that she'd crocheted a border onto and a couple of crocheted coasters. I really enjoyed my afternoon with her.

Yesterday I left home bright and early and went to Mom and Dad's house. It was a beautiful day, bright and sunny. We left their house at 7:00 and went to the Cracker Barrel for breakfast (yum!), then headed for Pigeon Forge. I took a sock-knitting project along for the trip. I've always been notoriously susceptible to motion sickness and have never been able to read in the car. But for some weird reason, I'm able to knit while riding with no ill effect at all! Strange. I'm not sure I'd be brave enough to try it on two-lane road, but on interstate, I'm fine. It certainly helps pass the time, and I got a little over an hour's knitting done!

Our first stop was the Titanic museum. Like most Pigeon Forge attractions it's a little pricey to visit, but we spent over 2 hours in there enjoying the exhibits! We were there at the same time as a couple of school groups and a tour group of senior citizens, but the museum is so large and well-designed that we were still able to view all the displays at our leisure. It was a greally interesting attraction, and I'd recommend it if you're going to be in the area.

By the time we came out of the museum, we were ready for lunch and went to ... another Cracker Barrel! *LOL* When Mom asked if I'd mind going back to Cracker Barrel, I told her "Shoot, no, I can ALWAYS find something to eat at a Cracker Barrel!"

From there we went to one of the outlet malls where I found a few little things I needed on sale at the Coleman store. No, really they were LITTLE $2 and under, honest! :-) Mom found a few things at Bon Worth, and we headed for Vanity Fair. By that time, I was beginning to run out of steam. I found a pair of slacks and a couple of blouses, then told Mom I was going to head back to the car where Daddy was waiting. (He's not a big shopper...*LOL*)

While we waited for her (she didn't take long), I knitted some more on my socks I'd taken along for the trip. When she finished shopping, we headed back home. I was tired, but it was a really great day.

On the agenda for today is nothing terribly exciting. I want to get my household drudgery out of the way today and will get my home desk chores done. Since I'm up early today, I hope to get everything finished in time to knit out on the balcony in the sunshine a good while this afternoon.

I have an appointment tomorrow mid-morning to have my hair trimmed, then will visit with Mom and Dad for a bit. Plans for Sunday? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. I want to spend that whole day resting, knitting, and recharging my batteries for going back to work (ptui!) on Monday.

As for now, it's still too early to be making much noise doing housework (I'm a considerate apartment dweller), so I think I'll knit a bit.

Life is good. :-)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Vacation - Day 5

This has been a great vacation so far...doing nothing really big, but lots of little things. My kind of "rest and recharge the batteries" vacation!

Yesterday was my busiest day of the week so far. I needed to get my car serviced, so off I went to my local Wal-Mart. While they were changing the oil and rotating my tires, I did some shopping. Nothing exciting, just lots of "must have" household items.

I was scheduled to visit a friend at 11:30 to help her set up her new wireless printer. When I finished at Wal-Mart I still had some time to kill, so I visited the Dollar Tree. It always amazes me how many things you can buy there for $1. I didn't buy much of anything,but it's a fun thing to do once in awhile.

Next stop was Office Depot to pick up a few things. I'd bought myself a beautiful Cross pen and pencil set a couple of months ago, and yesterday I found that Office Depot had sets on sale at a really good price. So, I picked up another set to take to the office. I can always find something to buy at Office Depot. :-)

By then it was time to go to my friend's house. She'd recently bought herself a terrific Dell laptop and wireless printer, and we had the printer set up and going very quickly. Gotta love Dell!

She asked if I could help set up her e-mail program, because she didn't want to use her provider's webmail system. I hadn't set up an e-mail program in a long time, and things had changed a bit! *LOL* For instance, I learned that Windows 7 does not come with an e-mail program. How weird is THAT? But, I found Windows Mail on her system, which is quite similar to the old Outlook Express. It took me several tries to get the setting right, but after a bit I did manage to get it up and running.

After I left there I stopped to pick up take-out Chinese (beef and broccoli lunch special with hot 'n sour soup....yum!) then stopped by Goodwill to drop off a couple of bags of clothing culled from my overstuffed closet.

Next stop was my apartment manager's office to visit a bit and sign next year's lease. I picked up my mail, hauled all my purchases into the apartment, and collapsed into the recliner to call Mom. Then I made a call to my great-aunt (99 years old....isn't that wonderful?) to ask if I could come visit her this afternoon. She said that would be fine, so I'll be headed to her home (very near by) a little later to sit and knit and visit awhile. Should be lots of fun....she's a really interesting lady!

Had I told you that she crochets things from recycled plastic grocery bags? She inspired me to try it, and I've made a rug for my tent and a tote bag. I have lots of bags stockpiled but have been so busy knitting that I've not crocheted in awhile now. That reminds me that I must pull out my rug to take it to show her.

Off to find my rug!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

A Week Off

When my alarm went off as usual at 5:30 this morning, I did the same thing I do every morning: I smacked the snooze bar and spent the next few moments trying to determine what day of the week this is. Happily, I quickly remembered that it's Saturday....the first day of my WEEK OFF! *happy dance*

I had actually meant to shut off the alarm last night (or at least change the wake-up time to a bit later), but forgot. Oh well. At least I got a little head start on the household drudgery.

I'm a apartment dweller, so I try to be considerate of my neighbors on weekend mornings. So, I spent the first 45 minutes of my day reading a bit in "Yarn Harlot: Secret Life of a Knitter" which I found dirt cheap at Amazon. It's gently used, and in really good condition. I'd sworn I was going to stop buying books, but dang it, it's Stephanie Pearl-McPhee. She's FUNNY, okay?

Then I changed my bedding, sorted some laundry, photographed my newest yarn stash additions that arrived yesterday, and settled in to take my Scrabble turns in Facebook and update the ol' blog.

In another hour or so I'll be comfortable about starting "noisy" work such as laundry, vacuuming, and such. Which means I have an hour in which I can post my stash photos, update the knitting blog, sip coffee, and loaf a bit.

The weather forecast for today is a little grim (showers, thunderstorms, severe thunderstorms), so my afternoon plans involve knitting and watching my latest Netflix DVD "The Lovely Bones".

Not bad....not bad at all. :-)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

You Gotta Love Spring

Yup, it's spring all right. Birds are singing, trees are blooming, the narcissus that were so beautiful just a week or so ago have faded away. I'm sneezing, coughing, and constantly dabbing at my watery eyes with a Kleenex. Yup. Spring.

But we had a good steady rain yesterday which finally settled some of the pollen, and I believe it helped everyone's allergy symptoms. Today, however, is supposed to be warmer and sunny, so I know what that will mean for us "snifflers". Oh well. At least we have pretty things to look at, right?

I'm on leave next week, and am really looking forward to some time off that doesn't involve any time spent in doctor's offices! Though I'm not planning anything big, it will be a busy week. I have some photo scanning to do for Mom, I have to have my car serviced, and I'm going to help a friend who's a first-time home computer owner get everything set up. I also have a project planned that I'm really happy about: getting my camping gear out of the closet and ready to go! *happy dance*

I've decided that my goal is to make camping as simple for myself as possible. Less stuff taken is less stuff I have to carry out to the car and then back into the apartment! So, I'm going to be ruthless. Anything that's not absolutely necessary is STAYING HOME. Well. Except for my knitting, of course. *LOL*

Friday, April 16, 2010

A Practically Perfect Evening

Yesterday evening was really great. I'd worked yesterday and was a little tired, but not exhausted. I wasn't particularly hungry, so a cheese sandwich and Diet Coke was fine for supper. No dishes to wash. No household chores that couldn't wait another day.

So after checking in with Mom by phone and then making another call to deal with some items on a website for which I do a little volunteer work, my evening was mine to do with as I pleased.

I had some well-worn wicker furniture out on my balcony, and it was time to get rid of it. So, off it went to the dumpster. I resolved some time ago that since I don't have storage space for my porch furniture, I will not buy anything that can't be folded up and stored in a closet!

I pulled my Coleman chair out of its hiding place and carried it to the porch. It has a little attached side table with a drink holder, so I didn't need to pull out a table. I gathered up the cordless phone and the socks I'm currently knitting and settled in for a relaxing session of sticks and string in the warm spring evening.

Several of the residents of my apartment complex were enjoying the lovely weather. Some were walking, some were out on their little balconies talking quietly and watching the world go by.

I had a little pang of nostalgia, remembering how much MeggieDog enjoyed being "on patrol", sticking her head out from the railing around my second-story balcony and keeping tabs on what everyone was doing in HER parking lot. She'd have had a lot of things to watch last night.

I sat there in the comforting warmth of the waning light, knitting happily until it became too dark to read the pattern comfortably. I resisted going in for as long as I possibly could.

A practically perfect evening.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

All's Well

Mom and Dad took me to a local surgery center early this morning for my colonoscopy, and all went well. *YAY* I'm certainly glad to have that over and done.

Because I had to be up at 4:00 am, I dozed a bit this afternoon, but haven't felt any aftereffects from the sedation at all. In fact, I felt well enough to go have a big ol' Chinese lunch with Mom and Dad on the way home from the center. The food there is always great, but tasted especially wonderful today since I hadn't had solid food since Monday!

As I was waiting my turn in the procedure room, I relaxed (as much as possible) on my little gurney with my warmed blanket on my legs, knitting happily away and talking with Mom, who waited with me until they took me into the procedure room. Speaking of warmed blankets, I don't know who ever came up with the idea of heating those little cotton blankets they put on you in the pre-op area, but whoever you are, I ADORE YOU.

The photo is a Feather and Fan Scarf I worked on while waiting my turn. It's a great "waiting room" project because the pattern is so simple and easy to memorize.

And so, another "patch and repair" item is marked off my "Stuff I Gotta Do for my Health" list. Now, back to my movie and sock-knitting. :-)

Monday, April 12, 2010

A New Experience

I have a new experience coming up in a couple of first colonoscopy. I should've had it before now, but I've procrastinated. I should have been better about this, I know, but what can I say? It's just been too easy to put it off for another day. So the day is nearly here. *L*

Kris has been through this procedure many, many times due to a health issue. Mom and Dad have both been through it, too, all without problems. From all I've been told by them and by friends who've been through it, the prep is the tough part. So that's tomorrow. Whee.

I'm sure it will all go fine, and I'm looking forward to getting it over with.

Because I can't have anything with aspirin in it for 5 days before the procedure, I wasn't able to take anything for a sinus/allergy/spring headache I had Saturday. This developed into a migraine over the course of the day that I wasn't able to shake until this morning. It's still lurking behind my eyes....I can feel it back there just waiting for an excuse to pounce!

So I'm spending as much of my workday in my office as I can, avoiding contact with: 1) people with stinky cologne, 2) strong sunlight, 3) pollen. I hope I can get through the day without setting it off again!

The weather this weekend was just glorious, and I really resented not feeling well enough to be out IN it. Luckily I was able to get my household drudgery (or most of it) out of the way before the headache got me completely down Saturday, but I had a lot of fun stuff I was going to do Saturday afternoon (some knitting, scanning some family photos, etc.) that just had to be put on the back burner.

Stupid headache.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

A Terrible Loss

A friend of mine lost his nephew on Easter Sunday. He was a bright and very accomplished young man, only 21, set to graduate from college in mere weeks. His death was completely unexpected, and I can't even begin to imagine the pain his family is feeling at this moment.

I hadn't seen him since he was a small boy, but I remember him as a very intelligent bubbly youngster.

It's just a shame.....such a terrible loss.

Rest well, Joseph.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Happy Easter!

Easter morning is bright and beautiful in my little corner of the world....I hope you have a lovely day, too!

Kris is now home from the hospital, thank goodness. She's still having a lot of pain, but is otherwise doing well. I'm so grateful that her surgery went so well, and I'm VERY happy that the procedure is finished and behind her now. Once she's healed from the surgery, she should feel so much better than she has for AGES.

One of Daddy's first cousins is having a family gathering this afternoon, and we've been invited. I'm so glad that the weather's going to be so nice for it. Should be fun, and it will be great to be able to be outdoors on a bright, sunny afternoon. (Those of us who spend so much time in offices with no windows during the week have a great appreciation for time spent outdoors. *LOL*) I knitted a couple of dishcloths to take to her, but I'll post about those on my knitting blog (see link to the right).

The narcissus in the photo is growing in Mom and Dad's front yard. The usually have their little faces upright and facing the sun, but the wind was really whipping around while I was snapping photos. So the narcissus seem to be a bit shy in these pictures. :-)

Well, I'd better get up from here and do a few things before heading out. Have a wonderful Easter, everyone!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Family News and the Census

First item on the agenda: Kris had back surgery Monday a.m. Sydney time and is doing well, thank goodness. She's still in the hospital (with apparently noisy wardmates), but things are going as expected. Hopefully she'll be out of the hospital at the end of the week and will finally be able to get some rest!

Second item: just a minor gripe. Is anyone else as tired of hearing from the Census Bureau as I am? The first communication was that I was going to receive a census form. Second communication was the form itself, which I completed and returned right away. (Very simple form, so I do commend them for THAT.) But then, after I'd already returned their form, I got a letter saying that my form should have arrived and telling me how desperately important it is that I return the form. HEY. I DID IT. STOP WASTING PAPER AND POSTAGE NAGGING PEOPLE WHO'VE ALREADY DONE WHAT THEY WERE SUPPOSED TO, OKAY?


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Dreary, Damp and Cold

Okay, maybe it's not COLD, but definitely much cooler than it was Saturday! It's down around the freezing mark right now, and so help me, last Saturday it was shirt-sleeve weather here! Sheesh. Must be March.

Today would be a perfect "pile up in the recliner and knit" kind of day. *big pitiful sigh* But here I am, typing into my blog during my lunch break at work.

I have so many things I want to do at home, but by the time I do the things that HAVE to be done, I'm out of time.....not to mention out of energy! Oh well. I'll get them done eventually. Even if I have to do them 15 minutes at a time as teaches me. *LOL*

I guess I really need to make a "To Do" list and work my way through it. I remember that many years ago I had a pastor whose wife was a notorious list-maker. I always loved that the first item on each of her lists was "1. Make a list" so that as soon as she finished, she had one item she could check off. Isn't that neat?

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Race Weekend

It's race weekend in my little corner of the world....two weekends each year, our town is host to a NASCAR race. We're home of the "world's fastest half-mile", which draws many visitors to town.

Grocery stores, department stores, malls, restaurants, and most other public gathering places are difficult to get into as the parking lots fill with vehicles from near and far. Campgrounds and motels fill to capacity. Local merchants have a good week.

Residents like myself make sure we don't need anything from Wal-Mart or the grocery store and stay off local streets as much as we can, leaving them to the thousands of race fans temporarily in our midst.

My plans? I'm not a NASCAR fan, so today I've done some household chores and some knitting. Tomorrow I'll wait for the race fans to make their way to the track, then drive down to visit Mom and Dad for awhile. Thankfully, I'm still improving after my bout with that terrible cold, so I think it'll be safe to go visit them tomorrow. I have a few lingering joint aches, but that's probably from inactivity as much as anything.

Have you heard about the Live Owl Nest Box Cam? Check it out to see Molly the barn owl; she's currently caring for 5 eggs which should be hatching owlets any time now.

Well, back to knitting....I've got a project I need to finish up this afternoon and need to get a second one started. Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Yucky Cold

At last I'm nearly over a cold that laid me low over the weekend and into the first of the week! Not the flu, thank goodness, just a nasty yucky cold. Stuffy head, fever, achy body....the works. I was home from work Monday and Tuesday but went back yesterday, even though I still didn't feel completely well. Today's much better than yesterday, though. I think (knock wood) I'm pretty well over it.

It's Race Week in my little corner of the world.....sheeeeeeeesh. Ah, the joys of living in a town with a NASCAR track! The traffic is so much worse than usual, and forget trying to get into a restaurant until all the race fans leave town. The good news is that 1) it gives a boost to the local economy, and 2) it only happens twice a year! *LOL*

So my big plans for the weekend will be to dodge as much of the crowd as I can. Shaping up to be a pretty good knitting weekend, eh? :-)

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Camping Season Approaches!

The weather this past weekend was just glorious....warm (comparatively) and sunny. You could just smell SPRING approaching!

And with Spring comes the thought that CAMPING SEASON is coming....oh, how I missed camping last season! Since I'm a tent camper I have to wait for reasonably warm weather. After all, what's the fun in going to the woods if you have to huddle around a heater inside the tent? So I wait until the days are warm with cool nights, usually in May.

Yesterday I made my first reservation for the season and can hardly wait to pack the car and head for the mountain.

In the meantime, I content myself with knitting and working with my new Wii Fit Plus. Such fun, but BOY what a toll was taken by spending a year in the recliner!! Oh, well, at least I'm making progress even if it is just a little at a time. :-)

Monday, March 01, 2010

Day By Day

Though the quiet in my apartment is still hard to listen to, each day gets a tiny bit easier. I took some of Meg's things to Mom and Dad's house Saturday so they can use them for their Jasper. That seemed to help a little. There's still a lot of healing to do, but the process has at least begun.

As with most of the difficult times in my life, I find that staying busy helps a lot. So, when I got bored with housework over the weekend (which admittedly doesn't take long...*LOL*) I knitted a bit and spent some time on my new Wii playing Lego Indiana Jones. I know....sounds like a little kid's game, right? It's FUN.....I SWEAR!! You can shoot the bad guys, and nobody bleeds, because everyone's a Lego character. The funny thing is finding out how truly horrible I am at video games. I never was very good at them, and hadn't tried one in YEARS.

I bought the Wii so that I could use Wii Fit Plus, which I adore. I can already tell that it's helping me regain strength I lost during my illness last year. But I figured I needed a video game to play on the Wii as well, just for the fun of it. Kris told me that she plays Lego Indiana Jones on her Nintendo DS and that it was fun. She was right, as usual. I've had a blast with it so far, and it helps keep me busy. That's really important right now.

Thursday, February 25, 2010


My little MeggieDog is gone....and I am heartbroken. She became very ill last Friday night, and just never got better. She'd had these "spells" several times in the last couple of years, becoming violently ill for a day or two. But she'd always improved after the first 48 hours. Unfortunately, this time that didn't happen.

When she became much worse yesterday, I took her to the veterinarian and made the difficult decision to have him put her to sleep. I held her while she drifted peacefully away. She led a good, pampered life and would have been 16 years old on April 1. But knowing that doesn't make me miss her any less.

And now I'm faced with the deafening silence of my apartment with no Meggie in it. This morning I woke up in the middle of the bed for the first time in almost 16 years. (She was a notorious bed hog.)

I've been through this before, and I know that I will heal. But now, I just miss much.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Yet Another Snow Day

We're not receiving as much snow as northern Virginia, thank goodness, but we got enough to get a snow day! It's still pouring snow right now, and we have a brisk, really cold wind. Yuck.
Well, at least I don't have to go out. I have a pot of steaming coffee in the Coffee Butler, any critical household drudgery has been done, and I'm soon going to be headed for the recliner with MeggieDog, a lap quilt, my knitting, and an audiobook. All in all a pretty good day. :-)

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Stupid Groundhog

Yes, yes I know. I'm usually an animal lover. But, so help me I'm sick and tired of that stupid groundhog seeing his stupid shadow and subjecting us to SIX MORE WEEKS OF STUPID WINTER.

Actually I am completely aware that it's just a tradition and that Punxatawny Phil has nothing to do with how much more winter we're going to have. But it's good to finally have a target at which to direct my frustration with this cold, gray, snowy winter. Our local meteorologist reported last night that we'd had 19.1 inches of snow so far this season, and our season average is 15 inches. And we've got about 2 more months of "season" left. *sigh* (I've actually seen it snow here in April, but that's not normal.)

I'm just so tired of having to be bundled up to go outside. Remember Ralphie's little brother Randy in "A Christmas Story"? "I can't put my ARMS down!" *ROTF* That's how I feel. And I admit to being a little paranoid about icy sidewalks and parking lots. After having surgery in November I figure that the last thing I need is to fall and damage all the good work my surgeon did.

I miss going out onto my deck with MeggieDog, my knitting, and my latest audiobook and knitting happily while Meg patrols the parking lot from her lofty perch. (My deck's on the second floor of the building, so she has a superior view of the creatures below.) Last Sunday, Meg went to the living room door that opens onto the deck and whined pitifully. "I know, Puppy, I want to go out, too."

Stupid groundhog.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Here We Go Again

Another snowstorm....a drier snow than the one on December 18, but a pretty impressive storm all the same. I've not been outside to measure it, but there's probably 5 or 6 inches here, and we're expecting another 2 to 3 inches today. I captured this photo a few minutes ago from a VDOT camera over on the Interstate near where I live. As you can see it's a good day to STAY HOME. Seems a terrible waste of a good snowstorm to have it happen on a Friday night (no snow day possibility with that), but it is beautiful to watch. I would post a photo of the parking lot, but it looks pretty much like the one I posted on December 20. :-)

I should go out and clear the snow from my car, but I think I'll just wait until tomorrow. The snowfall should have stopped by then, and I can just get it all in one trip. Besides....I'd rather just stay inside, sip hot cocoa, knit, and watch it snow. And now it's snowing again....big, fluffy beautiful flakes.

As I said, it's beautiful.....but I surely am looking forward to Spring.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Holidays....and Why I Got a Garmin for Christmas

On the eve of "going back to work after the holidays", I hope that you all had a wonderful holiday season. Mine was just great. It was so wonderful to feel WELL and be able to enjoy the season! ...and to have an excuse not to decorate this year. *LOL* (After all, I still have to be careful about lifting heavy things and all my decorations are on the top shelf of a closet....not safe for me to lift yet, right? RIGHT?)

I got a Garmin for Christmas from myself this year. It wasn't actually intentional. Here's what happened. Just after I got home from the hospital in November, I placed my holiday gift order through to be sure that I received everything in time for the holiday. In due time, everything arrived safe and sound. Daddy's gift from me this year was to be a Garmin. It was a nice one, and I felt sure he'd enjoy using it in the travels he and Mom make (which were severely curtailed last year because of my illness).

On the Monday evening before Christmas, Mom called me and said, "Guess what Gerald brought your Daddy a little while ago for Christmas?" My heart sank as I asked, "What?" "A TomTom."

I was struck dumb for a moment and then said something I probably shouldn't have said over the telephone....and certainly not to my Mom, who might still wash my mouth out with soap for saying such things. So, here I was, on the Monday evening before Christmas with NO GIFT for Daddy!

I'm reknowned for my hatred of shopping in crowds at any time, and especially during the holiday season. So, I got up ridiculously early on Tuesday morning and went to WalMart to shop before I went into work at 7:00 am. Luckily, they had what I wanted for him and I was able to have it taken care of quite handily.

So, now I had a Garmin which had no home. Should I return it to Amazon for credit? Probably. But I decided instead to give it to myself for Christmas. It's actually a really neat gadget, and I think I'll enjoy having it a lot.

And so, I'm looking forward to spring, good weather, and traveling opportunities for my Garmin and me. :-)

I have a follow-up visit with my surgeon tomorrow; keep your fingers crossed for a good report!