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Thursday, February 11, 2016

Throw me a line

I have been AWOL from the blog for a bit, still recovering from a sinus infection and just generally not wanting to spend any more time on the computer after working on one all day.  But the past few days have been short due to the weather, so I'm not quite wiped out this evening.  I updated one week of the Challenge, if you're interested or even if you're not -- how the heck would I know?  But I can say I'm already celebrating a more meaningful Valentine's Day this year.  My sweetheart, The Plaidman, has installed an extra step in front on the entrance to the front porch, so I don't have to struggle to get up on the porch every night.  He's also gathered the materials & tools he needs to install another bar in the master bath, to make it easier for me to get in & out of the tub.  I expect that task will be undertaken this weekend, and I'm really looking forward to having that extra support in there.
My doctor's office tried to get me enrolled in a patient advocate program, that would pay part of my treatment, but alas I make too much money.  So, I'm facing some large medical bills.  But I will file with the other policy, which pays me the $, and use that for the bills I have.  If there's any leftover, I'll put it in the special savings acct set up for medical co-pays & deductibles, that I've got from my employer.  Then maybe I won't have this issue next year.  That's the plan, anyway; but you know and I know that plans have a way of unraveling.
I am still slowly working on the Allotrope Cowl, which will certainly not be done before winter ends.  That's ok, I'm fine with putting it into the long range planning box (aka Christmas knitting!).  I'd still like to finish my capelet, but I will be good and stick with the cowl.  The other knitterly stuff I want to do is finishing:  I have two Color Affection shawls that need to be blocked.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

The world turned

And we wound up in spring-like weather.  Go figure.  I haven't been able to enjoy it much, as I've had sinus devastation for the last week, barking coughing all day & night for a week.  I haven't slept more than a couple hours a night all week,  It got so bad my supervisor sent me home yesterday.  I went to a walk-in clinic, but they couldn't work me in yesterday so I went back this a.m.  I have 3 new prescriptions, including an inhaler.  Got home just about lunch time, ate a bowl of deliciously spicy white chili, and crawled back into bed and actually napped!  Folks who know me would know that's a sign of how ill I am.
I am still plugging away on my Allotrope Cowl, wanna see?  Of course you do!

I still have part of the first two skeins to work through; the plan
is to use six skeins total.  This is really fun to do, and I love the yarn, but goodness it's slow going!  I won't be wearing it this winter, that's for sure.  And now I'm really leaning toward making this lovely thing the first item in the 2016 Long Range Planning (aka holiday gifts) box.
Disco has fallen deeply madly in love with her phone, and can hardly be separated from it.  She's neglected any chores other than cooking supper.  So, I assigned her a chore and collected her phone.  She's hard at work at the moment.  I came across a free cute app called Neko Atsume, not really a game as such but just a silly cuteness.  Disco & I both have it, and look at it often.  ****
The Outfits Challenge will have a small update, probably tomorrow, and it's small because I took sick days.  But hey! At least all three outfits are modeled!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

This just in: Nashville closes for a weekend

Well, I must say I am heartily grateful to the management of Box O'Docs for allowing us coders to go back to working only 45 hours/week.  I love having my Saturdays back!  So I have been going in very early each day, in order to be able to leave before the worst of the traffic.  This works really well, most of the time -- early enough to beat most of the traffic both ways!  But Mother Nature interfered with the plan on Friday.  I left the house about a half hour earlier than usual, because the forecast was for sleet followed by snow.  I was keeping the speed way down, doing about 20 mph until I got out onto Bell Rd, which was in a bit better shape.  Then the sleet started mixing with these huge flakes of snow, which got heavier & heavier, so I slowed down again.  But not slow enough!  There's a stoplight at the bottom of a hill, and I really tried to stop the car (my new car!  my gorgeous new car!), without causing it to skid, but ... I slid right through the red light!  Thank goodness the cross traffic ( all of two cars at that hour) stayed put!  But that was it, once my heart slowed down some I decided I'd get off the street at the next light.  The roads were totally slushy, the snow was coming down thicker, and I was da**ed if I was going to risk my precious car or myself just for a nine-hour workday.  I pulled into a shopping plaza at Nippers Corner, called off work, then ever so slowly pulled back out, turned towards home at the light, and crept home at about 10 mph (which went down to 5 when I was approaching lights), white-knuckled all the way.  This has cost me a vacation day, well worth it!
My left eye had been bothering me for a couple of days, so Thursday I left work to see the eye doctor.  I have a history of eye problems, and just needed to get this nipped in the bud.  Well, I had somehow scratched my eye!  The doctor did something I'd never heard of before, but which makes sense.  She put a minimally corrective soft contact lens on that eye, saying it would be protective the way a bandage is on a cut.  I got prescription drops too.  Since I'd been out of the office for a couple of hours, I did go back and stayed quite late.  The weather forecast was looming all week.  When I got home Thursday evening, I had to run right back out & down to the dealership to get another drive-out tag for the car.  While the Plaidman & I were in the area, we stopped at a cafeteria for supper.  I got stuffed full of good stuff: pasta salad, broccoli, Lima beans, chopped steak (children's portion), and peach cobbler!  Just about put myself into "food coma", what with the long day and starting to feel a little under the weather.  Nothing I could put my finger on, just not quite right.  Well, in the middle of the night between Friday and Saturday, I woke up coughing & coughing.  Felt rung out all day Saturday, but never ran a fever, and today I feel better.  Still coughing, just not as much.  I'll see how I feel about going to work tomorrow. For now, the knitting calls!  

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Knit Your Library

Emily over on Snapdragon Crafts has been challenging herself to knit from her own library of books, magazines, downloads, and single pattern pages.  I had seen this on another blog, and thought it was about giving props to your local public library, which is certainly a good thing.  But this year, that's been clarified to trying to work (knit, crochet, bead, weave, whatever craft you do!) from your own collected published materials.  Hoo boy, I have a few (hundred) such items, all collected because they contain something I really wanted to knit or wear -- I could be busy for years with the contents therein!  So this is probably a good time to finish working on my craft room.  I really need a small table in there; I think the deconstructed chest of drawers will have to go.  I was rather hoping it would be "re-constructed" so I could use it for storing fabric and notions, but it's been sitting there for a year without that happening.  It's very sad.  Anyway -- I have decided, and told a few people, that I will try to knit either something for the holiday gift box or some holiday decoration every month.  And I'm sorry I said it!  Because I'm still working as much as I can on the Allotrope Cowl, I'm afraid it may be the only thing I finish this month, and I would feel honor bound to put it in the gifting box.  I'm finally developing some speed, working one color with my right hand and the other in the left.  But I'm not very far along!  Maybe I can just take a quick break and make an ornament?  And here's where my own library of knitting patterns comes in handy:  I must have a couple dozen ornament patterns! So that would kinda kill two birds with one stone, doncha know.  
I've done the Challenge update, if you want to check that out.  There's a couple of new things there, which you'll see again later in other outfits (I hope).
Disco quit her job, so I put her to work.  I gave her a short list of just the basic cleaning that I want to see done every week, and told her that if she did all of things on the list between Sunday morning and the following Saturday evening, I would pay her a certain amount.  But only if all of these chores were done!  No per hour rate, just a flat rate for the chores on the list.  Of course she waited until Wednesday to even begin, and was working on the last item when I went to bed last night.  But glory be, my bathroom got cleaned!  And the hall bathroom got cleaned (a very BIG deal, since it's the one Plaidman uses, and men are just gross about bathrooms).  The kitchen floor got washed, and the vacuum was run all over the main floor.  I will have to go to the basement to see what that looks like; she was having problems with the downstairs vacuum getting clogged up.  It's old.
I am a little worried about paying for my chemo, since our deductible went up again this year.  I may have to draw my pension from the clothing manufacturer, which should only involve jumping thru about ten or fifteen hoops of fire.  Sheesh.  I'd better get my paperwork together.
Nashville remembers Dr. King.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Doin' the two step

As in two steps forward and one back.  I was doing so well on the Allotrope Cowl, and then discovered I had an extra stitch in the main color.  I puzzled over it for a while, and realized how late it was, and just put it down.  The next morning I still could not figure out how to correct it, so I frogged it.  I immediately cast on again for the bigger size ("Hi, my name is Anna, and I'm a glutton for punishment." "HI, Anna!"), and have actually been developing a rhythm and marching along on it once again.  I did forget to count at one point and wound up having to tink back something like 10 repeats of one row, and I will be trying to avoid that in the future -- tinking it requires the same concentration as knitting it, without actually having anything to show for your trouble!

Well, it looks like the Coding Dept at Box O'Docs is getting up to speed, with the addition of three new coders (one just passed her exam, one is an old hand at it, and one needs to retake the exam).  So for me that means no more working Saturdays!!!  I get to live the American Dream and have two whole days off every week.  Disco quit her job, she & The Plaidman went out to the free admittance day at the Hermitage on Friday.  Saturday we all got to goof off have family time together, first at the cinema:  we saw The Force Awakens!   Oh my, what fun.  We'd been looking forward to it, and just not able to do much together with Disco & me working so much,  After the movie we went to Panda Express for supper, then over to the Goodwill Store.  I had this idea that some of the ugly Christmas sweaters folks got for their holiday parties might be making their way to Goodwill, and I might be able to find some that fit me.  I found this shining example of Christmas excess (on the left), and a truly fugly find too (on the right)!  Unfortunately the one on the left was a bit small for me.  I did not try on the other one.  I did find two other Christmas ones, and a knit tunic that I liked too, and those all came home with me.  You might see the tunic in rotation on the 250 Outfits Challenge page in the future.  Yes that is Disco behind both these sweaters, note the very cropped hair!  She bought herself about 9 tops on this trip.  Plaidman found a complete set of fireplace tools in a stand, and that came home with us too.  Now if Ashbusters would just get back to us about the fireplace repairs....we are ready to rock little TomTom kitty's world.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Let's not forget why I started blogging

It was to show off & brag about my knitting!  So, for the first time since I got on Ravelry back in '08, I'm actually participating in a knit along.  I'm in the Cowls group, and for the January theme we're suppose to work on "something new" to us as knitters.  It could be a yarn that I've never handled, or a technique I've never used, or what ever is outside my usual knitting "envelope".  I have always wanted to try double knitting, and had just serendipitously come across the Allotrope cowl by Lindsey Freeman.  I cast on for it New Year's Day, and have so far worked about 5.5 rows of the patterning.  I'm really glad I had some experience with stranded knitting & holding a yarn in each hand, as that has been the key to getting this project moving.
Oh, and it is a double whammy, as I've never knit with Rowan Pure Wool Superwash DK yarn before.  New technique + new yarn = interesting knitting.

And I think I'll find this a useful item, as it's been colder than that chunk of brass folks are always putting in a snow bank, at my desk.  
And of course I'm still working on Mi Kara, which is from a Drops free pattern.  Shh, don't say anything to the Plaidman, but I'm trying to buy some yarn from another Raveller.  See, I've got about half the amount of this yarn that I need for a particular project.  If I can get these skeins from one Raveller, and a few more from another Raveller, I'll have enough!  Cross your fingers.  

Teehee!  I just got this shirt from the Ravelry mini-mart.  I'd never ordered anything from Rav, but when I read the story I thought it was too funny, and had to have the names of many sheep breeds shirt.  You can see the error, running up my left chest.

Disco has been offered the chance to convert from a temp to a permanent position at Amazon, which I sure hope she'll jump on like a duck on a june bug.  Let's hope she's smart about it.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

And I hope you didn't believe it either..

That I would actually knit up a slew of small gifts for the other coders.  There just was not enough time.  But hey!  I did get some little presents knitted for the Plaid Patrol.  DiscoDame got a warm lace headband in bulky yarn, from the Blueleaf Headband pattern.  And the Plaidman got an Ear Warmer for Baseball Caps (Kraemer Yarns, free pattern).  Observe:
Doesn't she look thrilled?!?  This is a fun & quick pattern, also free.  And she was kind enough to display the Plaidman's ear warmer for the photo.
And then Plaidman had to model it, minus the ball cap....
Look, kids!  It's Santa during his hippie years!  He was such a rebel then, wearing all that plaid.
Now you're ready to see what I got for Christmas:
There she is, sitting in my parking spot.  She's a 2014 Chevy Malibu.  She makes me so happy!  I've always named my vehicles, and I've really been thinking hard about this one's name.  So far, I got nothing.  This car deserves a nice name, something that either has a lot of meaning to me or that just tickles the snot out of me.  The black car sitting next to my new beauty is our old Malibu, which went through a couple of name changes before I settled on one.  When we first brought it home, I told Disco that I would name it Barbie....Barbie Malibu.  She flipped out, which of course just made it funnier.  So I called it Barbie for many months, until she finally started calling it that too.  Then I said that as I am the pirate captain, I was renaming her the Black Purl.  And that she remains.
But back to my Christmas presents!  I got jewelry, both dressy & cute stuff.  Disco gave me some specifically "Christmassy" pieces, which she knows I collect:
I love the Rudolph earrings!  The others are less holiday & more just winter, so I'll probably wear them real soon.  The penguin is a pin, and I might wear that soon too.  Then both my roomies got to the pretty stuff, and each got me a dressy bit:

The necklace is from Disco, and earrings are from Plaidman.  As you can see, nothing terribly expensive here, but nice to add to the wardrobe.  I think I need to get Plaidman to hang another necklace holder on the wall, for the shorter necklaces -- they're getting rather crowded in the jewelry box.  The only ones that need to stay in there are the ones on silver chains; I keep a dessicant in there to combat tarnish.
Disco has a few days off, she did work thru the 26th so she's eligible for the completion bonus.  She's going to go in to work on Wednesday, which would be her next scheduled work day if she's still employed.  Now, she was hired as a seasonal worker, and they did say the 26th was the end of the season, so I don't know that they'll actually let her report to work!  But hey, if they do it's just gravy.