Monday, November 26, 2012


I can't believe I've not blogged in two months.  Even for someone as pokey about blogging as I am, that's pretty extreme!

And oh my, it's been an eventful two months!  The most important news comes first:  on October 11, 2012, my handsome grandson, Nio, was born!  His arrival has been long-anticipated, and we're all so very grateful that he arrived safe and sound!

Isn't he adorable?  (Not that I'm biased or anything....*LOL*)  Nio lives in Australia, so you can imagine how much I'm aching to get my hands on this wonderful little guy.  Plans are being made for Nio and his mommies to come visit me next Easter, so keep your fingers crossed.  :-)

Work has been as hectic as usual; I find myself coming home from the office and piling into the recliner, where I often nap for a bit before going to bed.  I did manage to get some rest over the Thanksgiving holiday, which helped considerably.

I'm much further behind in my Christmas knitting than I intended to be at this point.  I really MUST get more done in the next week or so.  When I'm as tired as I've been lately, it's hard for me to pick up the needles when I get in the recliner.

Enough whining.  I will now close my blog entry and KNIT.  :-)   Hope you all had a safe and Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Talk Radio and Other Stuff

I was a devoted listener of the "Bob and Tom Show" during my morning commute for several years.  Then, my local station (Z Rock 99.3 if you'd like to write them a letter of protest) discontinued Bob and Tom and starting running something they call the Chainsaw Circus.  Maybe I'm just getting old (okay, so I AM getting old), but that's just not my cup of tea.  Still in mourning for Bob and Tom (and especially Chick McGee), I scanned the FM dial for something else to listen to on my way to the office and happened across a familiar voice.

It took only moments for me to identify the voice of Steve Hawkins.  Hooray!  I was a long-time fan of Steve when he was the news anchor of WCYB-TV (and frankly think they need him back DESPERATELY), and was happy to hear his voice at 92.9 on my radio dial.

As I listened to the show this morning on my way to the office, it was "Plug Something Wednesday", when callers can call in and plug a local event for free.  One of the events plugged was the "Fall Folk Arts Festival" at the Exchange Place this weekend.

My parents and I have said for a long time that we wanted to go to the Exchange Place "one of these days".  Well, if the weather cooperates, I'm hopeful that we'll finally go there this weekend.  Admission is only $1 for adults, and it looks like there will be lots going on there during the Festival.  Lots of demonstrations of skills that were necessities back in the 1850s, not to mention the anticipation of the aromas of Brunswick stew and apple butter being stirred over open!!

I personally am looking forward to demonstrations of spinning and weaving, but you know how I am about fiber crafts.  *LOL*  They also have some Cotswold sheep that I look forward to seeing.

Keep your fingers crossed for good weather!

Friday, September 07, 2012


Yes, I know it was a short work week because of Labor Day, but still.....TGIF.  I had taken Thursday and Friday off last week, so I had a 5-day weekend, but still....TGIF.

I returned to work on Tuesday, rested (no headaches for FIVE WHOLE DAYS!!) and resolved to have a good, productive week.  I was determined to meet the oncoming stressors with calm reserve and deal with them one at a time, refusing to be overwhelmed.  My good intentions lasted until about 8:45 that morning.

By yesterday afternoon, my migraine was so severe that I had to leave a couple of hours early.  Luckily it was cloudy yesterday; I don't think I could have driven myself home if the sun had been out.  I was violently ill by the time I got home and could barely call Mom and Dad to let them know I'd arrived home safely.  I took my migraine medication, crawled into bed and slept for two hours.

When I woke up, the medication had worked its magic.  I wasn't well yet, but my head was numb.  Sometimes numb is enough to get me through.  I'd been too sick to eat lunch, so I steamed a potato for supper.  I called Mom again to let her and Daddy know that I was feeling better, then ate my potato in the recliner while watching a show I'd TiVo'd earlier in the week.

At 7:30 I felt the heachache creeping back in, so I took another Maxalt and went back to bed.  At one point (still pretty early in the evening), my downstairs neighbors woke me with a VERY loud television in their bedroom.  I stuck in my foam earplugs and went back to sleep.  I woke at 4:00 this morning, finished a book I'd been reading, ate a bit of breakfast, and logged into Facebook to see what's going on in my friends' worlds.

Now it's time to shower and dress and face another day at the office.

I'd rather have a root canal.

Saturday, September 01, 2012

International Bacon Day

Photo borrowed from cyclonebill at
You GOTTA love the internet.  If I didn't have Twitter, how else would I have known about International Bacon Day?  *LOL*  In celebration, I plan to spend my Saturday afternoon enjoying Kevin Bacon DVDs (Mystic River, Apollo 13, Murder in the First, Stir of Echoes) and knitting.  I would have celebrated further by enjoying a BLT for lunch, but middle-age has robbed me of the ability to enjoy most breakfast meats, including bacon and sausage.  *sigh*

Oh well, in the absence of a BLT I will treat myself to one of my favorite comfort food lunches: tomato soup and crackers.  I'm currently going through one of those "spells" in which I don't seem to be able to tolerate any kind of meat.  I had chili last night, which tasted wonderful, but was quite ill for awhile.  Maybe I'll make myself some meatless chili later using the leftovers from my tomato soup lunch.

I SHOULD be doing some more cleaning in my bedroom.  I chased a few dustbunnies in there this morning, but there's still much to do.  Perhaps I should rethink my planned afternoon of knitting.  My conscience will be easier to live with if I move the Bacon DVD Marathon to the DVD player in the bedroom and actually do some more cleaning while I'm enjoying the always delectable Kevin Bacon.  ;-)

Oh, I wanted to mention that a friend brought to my attention a wonderfully dark, brooding television series that's currently running on Netflix, Durham County.  She knew that I enjoyed "The Killing" on AMC and suspected I'd like this one as well.  I've watched two episodes so far, and she was right.....I'm liking it a lot!

So, off I go to open a can of tomato version of gourmet cooking.  *LOL*

Happy Labor Day Weekend, everyone!

Friday, August 31, 2012

3 Days of Work, 5 Days Off

Monday through Wednesday of this week was a mixed bag of assorted frustrating nonsense at the office, and I was exceedingly happy to see the end of it!  Yesterday I did some much-needed housework (the dustbunnies had taken over!) and was pretty worn down at the end of the day.  This morning I did a bit more household drudgery but let the gadgetry do most of the work this time.

I tossed a load of laundry in the washer, then started the dishwasher, then turned Roomba loose to do the vacuuming.  While the gadgets worked away, I treated myself to a half-hour on the deck with a cup of coffee and my knitting.  Such a treat!

I'd been knitting a scarf based on a stitch I found in my stitch dictionary ("Cells", it was called) which was working up into a lovely, honeycomb-like pattern.  Unfortunately, it was working up in a double-thick fabric which was lovely but probably too thick to be comfortable as a scarf.  So, I ripped it out and have now started a different stitch called Diamond Brocade.  We'll see if that works out better.  I hope.

Currently, I'm waiting for a call from the Salvation Army.  They're sending a truck sometime today to pick up a large (27") portable television set I'm donating.  It's still a good set, but I've replaced it with a much lighter flatscreen.

I'm actually more excited about the flatscreen than I expected.  I love having all my usual stuff (DVD/VCR combo, TiVo, and Nintendo Wii) PLUS my computer hooked up to the television set.  Very convenient!

I hope the Salvation Army calls soon....I had a very filling lunch (red beans and rice) and I find that I'm getting unbelievably sleepy.  I'm sure if I doze off for a nap, they'll call just about the time I fall asleep.  Or maybe not.  The phone will wake me, so maybe I'll just give up and snooze a bit.  :-)

Have a safe and restful Labor Day Weekend, everyone!

Saturday, August 25, 2012


This morning I finally finished a sweater/jacket I've been knitting off and on for nearly a year!  *happy dance*  Now I can start my Christmas knitting....*LOL*

(If any of you are interested in my knitting projects, I keep a separate blog for those.  You'll find a link over on the right side of the page for it.  If you're not interested in knitting, feel free to skip it.  I promise I won't be offended.)

Once more it's race weekend in my little corner of the world.  Our city is filled to the brim with NASCAR fans.  While I am grateful to the monetary contributions they make to our fair city, I'll be more grateful when they go back home.  I handling the race crowds the way I usually do:  I'm staying home and out of their way!  I always make sure I have all necessary supplies (aka Diet Coke and coffee), then just plan to hole up for the weekend.

I had a week at the office that can only be described as "crappy", so I felt the need for comfort food today.  My solution was to cook a big pot of bean soup.  I love the smell of bean soup cooked slowly on top of the stove!  It's done, but I've not sampled it yet.  I'll have dinner out of it today and tomorrow, then I'll freeze the leftovers to enjoy later.  *yum*

I won't describe my work week, because it'll just make me mad all over again to talk about it.  Take my word for it, it was crappy.  The good news is that I don't have to deal with any of the things that irritated me again until Monday.

I've been reading a lot lately (I ADORE my Kindle); in the wee hours this morning I finished a Kurt Wallander mystery, "Dogs of Riga", which was very good.  Next on the reading list is the 9th installment of James Patterson's "Women's Murder Club" series.  After that is another Wallander mystery, then a reread of "Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe".  It's so great to be able to check out books electronically from my local library and download them to my Kindle.  I can keep new reading material available at all times and never have to go to the library.  I'm a woman of simple pleasures.  *LOL*

On that happy note, I will now peruse my yarn stash and cast on some Christmas gift knitting.  That always makes me happy!

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Monday, August 20, 2012

A Good Week Off

I was off work last week and was actually afraid to post anything about it in fear of jinxing myself!  My time off lately has been few, far between, and an invitation for disaster.

As it turned out, I had a good week.  I ran a few errands, visited with some folks, and got some much needed rest.

One piece of excellent news is that I had a 3-month follow-up visit with my orthopedic doctor, and he said my leg is healing beautifully and that I don't need to come back to see him again.  *cautious happy dance*

The only day that I felt unwell was on Friday (coincidentally my birthday); I had a sinus headache that day, but felt well enough to read a book.  A whole book.  In ONE DAY.  I can't remember that last time I was able to do that.  Such fun!

I also managed to get a lot of knitting done on my nearly-finished sweater jacket.  I just need to knit a few more rows around the neck and hide the ends on it, and I'm done!

I expected today to be rough at the office since I'd been off a week, and it was as I expected.  *bleah*  But the good news is that I survived my Monday, managed to get through it without a migraine, and am happily piled up in my recliner with a take-out dinner waiting for me to finish this entry.

Have a great week, everyone!

Friday, July 27, 2012

I've Had Better Summers

I hate to sound like a whiner, but the truth is that I've had better summers.  It seems like every effort I make to take a little time off and get some rest gets thwarted.

As detailed earlier, my "week off" back in May turned into a mess due to a broken leg.  Since then, it seems that most of my days off have been spent recovering from horrible weeks at the office.  *sigh*

My leg seems to be healing well....still a little swelling if I'm on it much, but otherwise okay.  My next doctor's appointment is on August 13, and I'm hoping he'll see some real improvement in my x-rays by then.

The good news is that I'm taking Monday off, so this will be a 3-day weekend for me.  I had a migraine on Thursday and had to stay in bed all day, so maybe I have my migraine out of the way for a few days and can actually ENJOY this brief break!!  Keep your fingers crossed.

I'm hoping to spend tomorrow catching up some housework and laundry, then I'll try to spend some time with Mom and Dad on Sunday.  I'm really, REALLY hoping that Monday can be spent in the recliner with knitting.  I think that would do me a world of good!

As for this evening, I stopped at Alfredo's on my way home for a Greek pizza.  Mmmmmmmmmmmmm......If you live in my neck of the woods and haven't tried Alfredo's yet, you should!  Everything I've tried there has been just delicious, and the prices are very reasonable, too.

Hope everyone has a great weekend....I'm READY for it!

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Progress....Slowly But Surely

My Broken Leg

This past Wednesday, I went back to the orthopaedic surgeon's office to see his PA and learned that the gap in my break is a little larger than it was. She contacted the surgeon in the operating room (!) and had him look at the new x-rays. He said that the increase in the gap is caused by the formation of new tissue where the bone is healing, and that it's normal. (*whew*) So, I am to continue doing what I'm doing and they will x-ray it again on July 2 to see how I'm progressing. There's still a possibility that they'll have to put a plate in it, but they're still hopeful that it will heal properly without surgery. I'm hoping, too!!

I spent some time today knitting myself a cover for my cast.  There were a couple of reasons for this:  1) the bottom of the cast is beginning to look a little rough, and 2) I thought it might be more comfortable if I had something a little more cushioned on the back of my leg when I have it propped up.  Also, when my leg swells duirng the day, the top of the Aircast tends to bite into my skin a big.  So, when I knit the cover, I made little pockets at the top to slip over the top edges of the cast, making it a little more comfortable.  The cover is a very large version of a "plain vanilla sock" that I like to knit, adjusted as needed to the contours of the cast.  It turned out pretty well.  I'm going to use it a few days before starting another to see if I need to make any modifications.

Cast Cover

It's hard to believe I can be tired, since I really didn't exert myself a lot today, but I find that my stamina still isn't quite what it should be.  Walking on crutches seems to take a lot out of me.  So off to bed I go.   I hope you're all having a great weekend!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

What I Did on Vacation

Yes....that's a cast.  For the first time in my life, I have a broken bone.  Here's what happened:

If you're a regular reader of this little blog, you know that the last year of my life at the office has been less than stellar.  Because of all the grief inflicted on our department by the implementation of a bad, bad, BAD computer system, I was unable to take my beloved camping trips during the 2011 season.  Needless to say, I was really looking forward to a week in the woods during a long-anticipated WHOLE WEEK OFF this week!

Rain was predicted for Monday, so I packed most of the camping gear in the car on Sunday evening.  I'm a tent camper, so even though I can get everything in my little Saturn, it has to be packed just so in order to fit.  When I went to bed Sunday night all that remained to put in the car was my medication, my small stash of items to be put on ice in the cooler, and my clothing for the week.

When I awoke Monday morning I heard the rain before I looked out the window.  I packed the last of my needed items into the car and headed for Food City to get a breakfast biscuit, some sweet potato chips, and a bag of ice for the cooler.  While waiting to pay for my biscuit (which was, by the way, delicious) I saw an older gentleman throw one of the biggest fits I've ever seen in public.  If anyone from Food City management in the new Bristol, Virginia store happens to be reading this, the young lady who was operating the check out register at your deli this morning was NOT AT FAULT, and the man who was having such a fit was a TOTAL JERK.  Just sayin'.

Anyway, after I'd paid for my items I headed toward the campground at Sugar Hollow Park.  Even though it's very near where I live, I'd never camped there before.  There were very few campers in the campground when I arrived, and some of them left during the day.  I chose a site at the end of a loop within easy walking distance of both water and the bathhouse.  I checked the electrical connection to be sure it worked (much better than finding out after you've already pitched a tent!), then proceeded to get the tent set up.  It rained the entire time I was setting up, and SO HELP ME as I drove the last tent stake into the ground, the sun came out!!  *LOL*  Oh, well, it all worked out okay any way.

I dried the tent floor with an old bath towel, turned the heater on in the tent to help dry it out, and took a little break.  After a quick call to Mom to let her know that I had cell service (but no wi-fi, thank goodness...I needed a break from technology!!), I unloaded the rest of my gear from the car and got the tent set up and squared away.

After another brief rest, I decided that I'd go out and pick up a salad for my main meal, since it was after 2:00 p.m. by this time.  I went to Wendy's for a pecan chicken salad with pomegranate vinagrette (yum!), then came back to the campground to eat it.  After my delicious lunch-dinner I dragged out my comfy lounge chair, fired up the netbook, typed an entry into a "camping diary" I'd decided to keep for the week.  At my side, waiting for me to finish typing, were my knitting bag and my Kindle.  I had a library loan on the Kindle that I had to finish before Thursday, but I finished it before bedtime that evening.  Though I'd seen the movie numerous times, I'd never read "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn".  As much as I love the movie, I liked the book even more.  It's grittier than the movie...sadder in some ways, more inspiring in others.  If you've not read it, you should.

Keeping track of how much wildlife I saw, on the first day I saw two spiders, two bunny rabbits, one chipmunk and heard a gazillion cicadas.  (The 17-year cicadas are in full song in my neck of the woods.)

Early in the evening, I took a walk around part of the campground.  (I intended to walk further, but a thunderstorm was threatening around, so I cut it short.)  I had the opportunity to meet a nice couple just a short distance from my campsite.  That reminds me that I meant to tell you the day's count for campers in the campground:  1 pop-up, 2 camping trailers (but only one was occupied that evening) and 2 tents, including mine!  I zipped up for the night and settled in, comfortable in my cozy tent, listening to far rumblings of thunder and the song of the cicadas.

As is my habit, I awoke early Tuesday morning.  The air was crisp and cool, so I turned on the electric kettle to make myself a cup of hot tea for breakfast and lazily crawled back under the sleeping bag to wait for the water to boil.  I turned on my Zune to see if I could check the local weather on the radio and learned that there was a chance of rain later that afternoon.  After breakfast I cleaned up the tent and dressed for the day.  I sat outside the tent and settled in for a restful session of knitting.  The campground was very quiet, and I enjoyed watching a bunny play while I completed a few rounds on a pair of socks I'm knitting.

The park ranger on duty came by to be sure all was well and that I had passed the night comfortably.  I commented to him that I'd seen one runner and one bicyclist go by on a trail near the campsite and asked where the trail went from there.  From over his sun visor he pulled a nice little map of all the trails in the park and told me that he'd been told that there was enough bicycle traffic on the trails these days to ensure that the trails had been packed down nice and smooth.  I thanked him and said that I might actually get up out of my chair and take a little hike.

The weather began to cloud up, so I decided that if I planned to take a hike I should probably go ahead and do it then, saving my knitting to do in the tent while it was raining later in the day.

Things didn't quite work out that way......

I changed out of sandals into my sneakers, consulted the map, and found a trail marked "easy" that would provide a nice walk beside a creek that runs through the park.  The trail had washed some during the rain of the day before, but was well-marked and enjoyable to walk.  I did find that "easy" is a relative term; for a younger, more fit person I'm sure the trail IS easy.  For me, I'd call it "moderate".  I was being very watchful for tree roots and mud that might trip me.  After all, I was walking alone.  As a precaution I had my "bear whistle" hanging around my neck and had my cell phone in my pocked.  I was carrying a bottle of water and my camera.  I saw several lovely sights and snapped photos that I will post on Flickr soon for your perusal.  On this lovely scenic trail, there was one brief section that veered away from the creek it follows to go around a tree.  In that small portion of the trail, it climbs very steeply uphill, the drops just as steeply downhill on the other side of the tree.  I proceeded cautiously, watching the tree roots and being mindful of the mud.  My caution didn't help.

As I reached the high point of that little section going around the tree I had a brief moment to realize I was losing my balance.  There was nothing to grab onto to steady myself, and down I went.  As it always happens when I have a fall, I really don't know exactly what happened.  All I know for certain is that when it was over, I was lying in the underbrush on the lower side of the trail and my right ankle hurt like the dickens.  My first thought was, "I hope there's no bone sticking out."  My second thought was, "I'm glad I'm here instead of Grindstone!"  Because in Grindstone I wouldn't have had any cell service.  Fearfully, hopefully, I felt my ankle and was relieved to see that nothing was sticking out.  The ankle was beginning to swell, though, and I knew I'd better get out of there as quickly as I could before it got worse.

Quickly consulting my trail map I learned that I was just over half way to the picnic area, so I decided to go forward instead of back-tracking.  I would call the park ranger from the picnic area and ask if he'd give me a ride back to the campsite.

I hobbled to the end of the trail and crossed a bridge into the picnic area.  I could hear park employees working with chainsaws in the upper part of the picnic area but knew that I'd never be able to make them hear me over the noise of the saws.  I flipped open my cell phone; no service.  Oh, man, this was not good.  I sat on a picnic bench in one of the shelters and sipped water for a few moments to catch my breath.  I knew where the ranger's check-in building was, and it was a long, steep climb out of the picnic area.  At least it was paved.

By the time I got the ranger's building in sight, my ankle was really hurting.  I got cell service back within steps of the building.  Figures!  I explained to the ranger what had happened and asked if he'd mind giving me a ride back to my campsite.  He was very kind and was happy to give me a lift.  He waited to be sure I was able to get into the tent okay and said if I needed anything to be sure to call.

I was all muddy and grubby from my fall, so I hobbled to the bathhouse to shower and wash my hair.  When I got back to the tent, I realized I'd left my car keys hanging on a hook outside the shower and had to go BACK to the bathhouse to retrieve them.

When I got back to the tent again I found that my ankle was swelling pretty badly.  I'm diabetic, so when it comes to a foot injury, I always lean to the side of overcaution.  I didn't want to frighten them, but I called Mom and Dad and told them that I thought I probably should have a doctor look at the ankle.  They came to the campground and took me to Urgent Care.

Their office was pretty busy that afternoon, so it wound up taking about four hours to get everything done.  The doctor took a look and said that because it was swollen all around instead of just on the side that whacked the ground, it would be a good idea to get an x-ray.  I agreed.  The x-rays revealed a spiral fracture of the tibia.  Rats.

They immobilized my ankle with a huge, heavy cast (photo above) that I not-so-fondly referred to as the Frankencast.  I had to be taught to walk on crutches, which was a new experience for me.  Armed with prescriptions for pain pills and anti-inflammatories and an appointment with an orthopedic specialist for the following afternoon, we headed for the drugstore to fill the prescriptions.

While waiting for the prescriptions to be filled, we came up with a plan for what to do about my campsite.  I thought I could probably go back to the site and spend the night, then pack up and have things ready to break camp the next day.  My mother would not hear of that.  Not only was I going to be on pain medication, but the walk to the bathhouse on crutches in a campground with very few other campers was not going to be safe.  What if I fell again?  Reluctantly I agreed with her.  She was right.

After receiving my medication, we picked up burgers and went to the campground.  There were things there I'd need even though I would be spending that night at Mom and Dad's house.  After I ate my burger I said that I could sit on my bed and pack up a few things.  This was going pretty well; I'd pack and Mom was carrying what I packed to my car.  Daddy asked if I thought I could finish that up and I said that I believed I could.  So, he went to pick up a friend of his so that his friend could drive my car back to Mom and Dad's house.  (Mom has a valid driver's license, but hasn't driven in years.)

So, with great effort and much gritting of teeth, I got things pulled together and packed up and Mom crammed them into the car.  By the time Daddy got back all that remained was to drop the tent, roll it up, and fold up the ground tarps.

As it turns out it was a good thing I spent the night at Mom and Dad's.  It was a truly miserable night.  Even with the pain meds I was very uncomfortable and couldn't manage to fall asleep until about 3:00 am when exhaustion finally felled me for a few hours.

Wednesday morning I was in less pain and began to get the hang of the crutches.  I was anxious to see what the orthopedic doctor had to say.  I'd been told that my injury might require a screw to hold things in place while the bone healed, and I wasn't particularly looking forward to that.

Luckily for me, the doctor told me that the very fact that I'd been able to walk out to the ranger station was an indicator that the tendons and muscles surrounding my fracture were strong and provided enough stability that surgery would not be necessary (YAY!).  The Frankencast was removed and replaced with a much lighter air cast which can be removed for showers (DOUBLE YAY!).  I'm scheduled to return to the doctor in two weeks to be sure that everything's progressing as expected.  He said that it will take three months for everything to completely heal, but he expects me to be fine, thank goodness.

After we returned home and had dinner, I took a pain pill which knocked me flat on my butt!  Unfortunately, I woke up a little past midnight and haven't been able to go back to sleep.  That's why I'm making a blog entry in the wee hours.  *sigh*

So, the bad news is that on Day Two of a planned week-long camping trip I broke my leg.  The good news is that I'm going to be fine.

Here's hoping your week is less eventful than mine has been so far.  :-)

Friday, April 13, 2012

A Puddle of Waiting Yarn

I'm off work today; those may be the four most beautiful words in the English language.  I was off work yesterday, too, but that day was a busy day involving shopping, having tires put on the car, and a trip to have my eyes examined.  It was a good day (highlighted by a delicious salad from Mellow Mushroom), but a busy one.

At 5:00 this morning I decided that today would be different.  Yes, there's a long list of things I SHOULD be doing today, but the list will hold until tomorrow.  Relocating my printer to a more convenient location and dressing myself have been then only two things I've done today that could remotely be considered "work".  And when I say "dressing myself", that's a debatable phrase.  I'm in sweats and a t-shirt.  Dressed, but not really presentable, y'know?  What's worse is that I don't even care.

I'm in the recliner, having now switched from coffee to Diet Coke.  I've downloaded three library books to my Kindle in case I want to read.  I've downloaded "Angela's Ashes" on audiobook so that I can listen to something while knitting.

As soon as I finish this blog entry I'm going to reach into the untidy puddle of yarn waiting beside my recliner and pull out the sweater jacket I'm knitting.  Rows and rows of lovely mindless garter stitch.  I can knit and knit and lose myself in the glorious Irish brogue of Frank McCourt.

Have you ever used audiobooks?  I began using them initially so that I could "read" while knitting.  Don't misunderstand, I still love to read, and I read a lot.  But sometimes I enjoy having someone read to me.  On occasion you run across a book that is read by a gifted reader.  Some readers are, unfortunately, dreadful.  But some are born with the necessary talents to read aloud.  Frank McCourt is a gifted reader.

Today I am a very happy person.  :-)

Friday, March 23, 2012

Some Fridays Are Better Than Others

I only had to work a half-day today, which was good.  I woke up this morning with an upset tummy and a nagging headache, which was bad.

On my way to work this morning, I heard "These Days" by the Foo Fighters on the radio, which was good.  Traffic was really terrible, which was bad.

My morning at work was relatively quiet, which was good.  My headache got worse, which was bad.

On the way home, I stopped at Cracker Barrel to pick up a take-out lunch I'd called in from the office before I left, which was good.  When I got there they couldn't find my order and I had to wait for them to fix it, which was bad.

I made another stop on the way home at Office Depot and found a nice little laptop stand at a reasonable price, which was good.  My headache continued to get worse, which was bad.

My last stop on the way home was at the post office, where I picked up a package containing my new laptop docking station, which was good.  Traffic downtown was really, really heavy, which was bad.

When I arrived home, my take-out lunch was still warm, which was good.  My headache was so bad by then that I was fairly nauseous, which was bad.

After lunch I hooked up the docking station, and it worked like a dream, which was good.  Right now I'm in the recliner with the laptop hooked into my large monitor, keying this entry on a wireless keyboard, all of which is good.

Yup, the good outweighs the bad.  It's a good, good Friday.

Hope yours is good, too!

Friday, March 16, 2012

It's Been a Good Day

It's race weekend in my little corner of the world.  For those of you who don't happen to live in a town with a NASCAR track, let me tell you that race weekend changes the way things go in your town.

Bristol is a very popular track on the NASCAR circuit; it's a short track, and that makes for interesting racing.  There are a lot of fans who prefer short track races, and Bristol always draws a good crowd.

Having said that, I will mention that we don't get the sell-out crowds we used to get.  Times are hard, and the state of finances in the nation have taken a toll on ticket sales.  Still, there are lots and lots of extra people in town this week, and it's interesting trying to get around right now.

I was off work yesterday and today; I had some compensatory time that I needed to take before it expired.  I lost most of yesterday to a round of some sort of crud that made me headachy and mildly nauseous.  I thought at first it might have been allergies, since everything around here has burst into bloom with the unseasonably warm weather.  It didn't feel like allergies, though; it felt viral.  *YUCK*

But this morning I awoke feeling much better, thank goodness.  I met a friend for lunch at the Mellow Mushroom.  It was my first visit there, and I highly recommend it.  I had a calzone that was just wonderful.

After lunch I went to Best Buy in search of a laptop docking station.  Why do I even try to look for something there?  I've been in there three different times now and have never found a single solitary thing I was looking for!  Oh, well.  I'll go ahead and order one online like I thought I'd do in the first place.  Then I went to Target to pick up a few things; as usual, I found a lot more things that I actually needed, but got some good buys all the same.  After I left there, I went to Sugar Hollow to look over their campground.  I still want to go to Grindstone, but thought it would be good to take a look at a campground nearer home in case I needed it.  I then made a quick stop by the bank to pick up a little money. 

As I was leaving the bank, I witnessed a car accident.  There's nothing as sickening as that horrible crunch of metal hitting metal. Without going into too much detail, one vehicle hit another in the driver's door.  The driver who was hit in the door appeared to be unconscious.  I felt very helpless, but saw that others were coming to his aid, so I left.  Such a terrible thing!  I certainly hope he wasn't badly injured.  There was nothing about it on the local news this evening, so I hope that's a good sign.

I was a little rattled after seeing that and decided I needed to get out of the car for a few minutes.  I pulled into the parking lot at Sam's Club and went in for a little while to walk off my shakes.  I wound up finding a few items I needed, so the stop served two purposes.  In a short while I felt much more settled, so I drove home using the back roads and avoiding all the extra traffic.

I'm always glad to be home, but home looked especially good this afternoon.  Except for witnessing the accident, it's been a good day.

I hope your day has been good, too!

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

My Computer Croaked!

Adios, dear Dell desktop computer.  Okay, first and foremost, this is not a complaint.  It really and truly isn't.  I'd had my Dell desktop for several years (seven or eight, I really can't remember), and it was a replacement for an older Dell desktop.  They both served me well, and my losses when they croaked are nobody's fault but my own.

Losses, you ask?  Being spoiled by years of faithful service, I got lazy about backing up my stuff.  Photos, videos, correspondence.  All gone.  Not once, mind you, but TWICE.  Dumb.  Just plain dumb.

Here's how the latest loss came about.  Last Friday terrible storms rocked my little corner of the world.  The storms were not as severe as those of April 2011, but there was a confirmed F1 tornado in nearby Lee County last Friday.  As a precaution, I had turned off my Dell desktop.  Keep in mind that this computer was rarely turned off.  It ran happily at a desk in the corner of my bedroom, only occasionally being rebooted due to the eccentricities of Microsoft Vista.

On Saturday following the passing of the storms I realized I needed to turn the computer on to pay some bills and e-file my taxes.  I pushed the power button.  Nothing happened.

A brief wave of nausea ran over me.  Oh, man, how long has it been since I saved my photos?  How many episodes of Knitting Daily and movies from Turner Classic Movies had I not yet burned to DVD?

I fiddled a bit with the computer, doing the few techie tricks I know, to no avail.  So now, the computer sits temporarily beside my bed, unplugged and mourned.

I still had my little Acer netbook, so I wasn't completely out of touch with my online world, but I knew that was a temporary solution at best.  I shopped online for a replacement for my beloved Dell and had settled on a Dell laptop that happened to be on sale.  I didn't order it right away, though, because I had to be out of town for a training session for a few days.

On the first day out of town, my coworkers and I dropped in at Staples to look around.  (We don't have a Staples nearby, so we wanted to see if we found any bargains.)  There I found a heckuva deal in a Toshiba laptop.

So here I sit, tapping away at a new personal computer.  Now all I have to do is try to remember all the useful stuff I had bookmarked on my Dell.  I'll hang onto the Dell, of course, and try later to get it up and running long enough to rescue all the items I hadn't backed up, but there's no huge rush on that.  In the meantime, I'm going to enjoy this new toy.

I am a happy woman.  :-)

Friday, March 02, 2012

It Was a Dark and Stormy Night

My little corner of the world is currently under a tornado warning for the next half hour.  We're under a tornado watch until 11:00 pm.  Eeeeek!!

This has been a very unusual season so far.  We don't usually have this sort of weather for at least another month, so everyone in my area is a little on edge.  Last April several areas very nearby were completely devastated by a tornado, and everyone here has very strong memories of that terrible night.

I don't mind fact I enjoy them, to tell the truth.  High wind, however, is another matter altogether!  The approaching storm "is capable of producing golfball size hail and destructive straight line winds" according to the National Weather Service.  I've seen golfball size hail.  I have no interest in seeing it again.

According to the local news, the storm is headed our way very shortly, so I'm going to log off now.  I don't like being on the computer during a thunderstorm.  Be safe, friends!!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

A Peaceful Saturday Morning

I am an early riser by nature; even without an alarm clock set I normally wake up around 5:15 each morning. This, of course, serves me well on workdays. I can ease into my morning without the blaring racket of an alarm shocking me awake.

On Saturdays, however, this leaves me with a small issue (not a BAD issue, mind you, but an issue).  I'm an apartment dweller, and I try to be a considerate neighbor.  This means I don't want to do laundry or run the vacuum or do anything particularly noisy very early in the morning because I'm sure that either the neighbors below me or above me could be disturbed by this.  (Holy cow, how many words ARE there in that last sentence?  *LOL*)

So, I usually find myself in my recliner with a cup of coffee, the netbook, and some knitting in the early hours on Saturday.  Today is a particularly peaceful morning for me because I chose not to turn on the television set as yet.  I have my beloved Zune hanging around my neck in its little handknit pouch listening to James Horner tunes (currently playing is "Coming Home" from "The Perfect Storm"). I adore James Horner. You might think you don't know who I'm talking about, but if you've seen "The Perfect Storm", "Legends of the Fall", "Braveheart", "Field of Dreams", "Glory", "Apollo 13", "Titanic", or one of several other high-grossing films, you've heard his brilliant work.

I have many things to accomplish today and will be starting what I not-so-lovingly refer to as "household drudgery" very soon.  But for the moment I'm listening to "The Ludlows" from "Legends of the Fall", sipping French roast coffee, and finishing this blog post with a slight contended smile on my face.

Happy Saturday, everyone!

Monday, January 09, 2012

Difficult Times

We've lost a member of the family.  My first cousin Tim had fought a valiant battle against esophageal cancer, but lost his battle last Thursday afternoon.  Everyone who knew him remarked that he was one of the kindest people they'd ever known.

Tim was two years younger than me and was the first family member in my generation to pass away.  I'm very sad that he wasn't able to beat the cancer, but very glad that he's no longer in pain.

I have to say, difficult times like these really make you rethink what's important in life.  Hug someone you love.  You never know how many opportunities you might have to let them know how you feel.