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*