Saturday, October 31, 2009

Sick Day

Even stay at home people need sick days and I'm taking one. I've spent most of the day in bed (with absolutely no sympathy from a certain someone) and have slept off and on all day. I started feeling crummy last night and didn't sleep much due to a huge headache that I suspect is because of my head cold.

I've done some reading in between slumbers and just managed to get online about an hour ago. Not much knitting but tons of reading.

I've been so achy and the tramadol has been a godsend because ibuprofen does okay for the headaches but nothing for the joint aches.

But...I'm getting sleepy again so it's back to bed. More when I recover.


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Wednesday is Recovery Day

I think I'm finally coming out of the depression...well, as much as I can without medication, that is. I slept until noon today. I just forced myself to go back to sleep until I felt at least a little bit rested. And I'm taking it easy today although later on I'll get busy and get some cleaning done along with some baking, I hope. I'll be glad when this semester is over and we don't have these marathon days that need another few days to recover from.

Unfortunately it doesn't look like Zach will be graduating after this semester after all. He's been unable to find an internship. He finally got an interview but the man led him on for another two weeks waiting for a board meeting only to tell him they weren't set up to provide internships. I guess in this economy even unpaid internships cost a company too much.

So he's going to drop the class and take another one next semester only he's going with the portfolio instead. I'm really concerned though. If he can't get an unpaid job how on earth will he get a paid one?

He's been stressing out over this so much that he's lost sleep and isn't feeling well now with a head cold. I told him not to worry about it but to look at getting a job as soon as he can since he'll need to pay for his cobra once his insurance runs out after the first of the year. The class is online so we won't need to drive anywhere except to get us both to work somewhere. Me, likely to a fast food place since I'm virtually unemployable anywhere else, and him hopefully to a better paying job than the last one he had at McSnacky's, with more hours.

It's so hard when you try to do the right things and they still end up biting you in the ass.

I've been getting some knitting done but I've started another couple of projects so I don't appear to be making any progress toward a result any time soon. Zach wanted a neckwarmer with a specific look to it so I'm sort of hit and miss knitting right now with that. And still working on the socks for my sister and my own cardigan based on Oblique. I'd like to work more on designing some amulet bag necklaces but can't seem to get myself to work with the cotton thread again. I might just use my leftover sock yarn. I don't know how a wool necklace would feel though.

I've also been doing a lot of reading. I read The Magnificent Ambersons last week. I had wanted to read it before since it's supposed to take place in Indianapolis (Midland in the book) and finally got around to it. Then, coincidentally (?) the movie was on television just after I started the book. What a depressing book and movie though! So I moved onto the Miss Read Thrush Green series. Much lighter and brighter.

Well, off to clean up the kitchen so I can get some baking done before supper. Pizza Casserole tonight, I think. And maybe some muffins. I have some blackberries in the freezer that I might just use in the muffins. I should be putting more plastic on the windows since it's going to get cold again soon but today I just need to take it a bit easier.


Friday, October 23, 2009

Still here and still boring

I've been taking a break from the internet hoping it might kick start my brain a bit and I might actually get some things done. Unfortunately it coincided with a pretty good fibromyalgia flare up and so I've been doing what I need to do to take care of that. Yesterday was the worst with deep depression setting in and me keeping to my bed for most of the day. But I did get a lot of reading done and managed to not give in to the pity party invitation so by bed time I was feeling a lot better. I'm taking my pain pills instead of hoarding them the way I usually do so pain is managed and that helps my state of mind a lot.

I used the down time to finish up my water shawl, which is a feather and fan pattern but the colors are a blue/purple and the waviness of the pattern makes the colors look alive and flowing so I think of water when I wear it. I started my earth shawl but am having trouble deciding on a pattern I like. I need to get back to the socks and the sweater and maybe some more sleep hats that I might be able to sell around Christmas time.

Zach is going to have to rake leaves today as the sidewalk is covered and the city gives tickets out for that. He hates the metal rake so I might pick up a plastic one when I go get my prescription today. He hasn't heard anything back from the interview for an internship. I don't understand why people don't do that anymore. They seem to keep you on the hook forever because they can't be bothered to call or email back to say no thanks or we're still deciding. Time is ticking away and we're at the midway point of the semester and still no internship. He's going to send out more feelers on Monday but I'm feeling a bit uneasy about it all. If it's this hard to get an unpaid internship, what will it take to get a paid job?

We haven't used the furnace for a week, thankfully. It's damp and cold today but the furnace hasn't kicked on yet. Apparently the house is staying pretty warm and I don't even have all the winterizing done. I must finish that soon though.

I have a puppy in my lap which makes it hard to type but with the weather a bit cooler, he tends to snuggle a bit more. He likes to hide in my housecoat like it's a kangaroo pouch with his face sticking out and his body nestled in on the belted part, with me supporting him. It limits me to one arm though so for now he's just sitting on my lap using his telepathy to try to force me to stop typing so he can snuggle.

No chance.

Well, time to get some things done before I leave for the store.


Friday, October 16, 2009

Today he is a man

Well, I thought he was a pretty good one before today but officially he became an adult today. Twenty-one years old. He had an interview with a computer company for an internship which hopefully he will get. The man who interviewed him has to talk to the board of directors but will let him know by Monday. I sure hope this pans out as time is ticking away and before long it will be impossible to make the hours he needs for his internship.

I'm reading a really good book called The Body Sacred by Dianne Sylvan. She makes a lot of sense about how skewed society is toward the beautiful and the skinny and that historically the pleasingly plumb have been favored more. Okay I'm not pleasingly plump but it would be nice to stop putting my life on hold until I can lose this weight. Get healthy? Yeah. But that's not what my mindset is. Women need to learn to love themselves as they are and society teaches them the love the standard that is impossible to meet. 'Twill be a hard lesson but I'm game. Anything is better than all this self-hatred.

I got some fixings for the birthday party after church...a cheese plate and nuts, cake and ice cream, paper plates and cups, etc. Unfortunately we will be dipping into savings again. And yet, you only turn 21 once in your life. How could I not give him at least a small party?

I looked at patterns to make Professor a new sweater since he's...ahem...outgrown his old one. I didn't really see one I liked so I thought I would just buy one but they're twice as much as they were last year. Ten dollars!! Last year they were five. So...back to my pattern search.

I cast on the left front of Oblique last night but it was late and my bedroom dark and I'm knitting with black yarn so I put it off until today or even tomorrow. I need to work on socks anyway so I can get them to my sister in time for her to give the men's pair to her new beloved. The socks I'm knitting now are for her since all she's gotten from me are the worsted weight socks that don't fit in her shoes. I'm knitting Jaywalkers and I think she'll like the colors: purple and teal. Perfect colors for the mature woman.

I have more windows to put plastic on tonight but I think I'll limit myself to the window on the north wall of my bedroom because I'm going to push the bed back up against the wall so I've got room to walk around in my room. As it stands now I am walking sideways through the room. Six inches could make a lot of difference. Plus I want to vacuum and do a cleansing in there as well. I need to change my altar for Samhain. Tom made a big production of announcing that he doesn't like Halloween for religious reasons. I remained silent but I think I'll take a walk that night and do what I can in my own way. I still don't have my fairy garden set up. I hope to have that done before Samhain and maybe I can circle back around after my walk on the 31st and light a candle on my outdoor altar without him noticing. It's behind the garage but from the upstairs window you can see where I will be putting things so it's impossible to do if he happens to look outside.

Well, I must get moving or nothing will happen beyond me falling asleep by 7 p.m. tonight. The pets were a pain last night so I didn't get a lot of sleep. This time the cat kept waking me up wanting to cuddle under the covers and kept digging his claws into my face to wake me up. At least he didn't hook a claw in my nose this time. Ouch!!

And just for the record, I have the best two sons anyone would ever want.


Thursday, October 15, 2009

Duct tape and the boob blowout

Duct tape is a pretty versatile tool when working around the house. As I mentioned in a previous post, the front storm door window is only held in by one screw and should that fall out, the glass would break and we would be up that proverbial stream sans paddle, if you get my drift. So I taped all the way around it using duct tape. Tom wasn't happy as it will leave a "residue." Who cares? It's better than trying to buy a new door because we wouldn't be able to replace the glass window.

Duct tape is also good for keeping plastic on the windows when said plastic won't stick to the blasted tape that comes with the kit. I used it to seal up those areas that were pulling away and now it's as good as new.

I also used it on the section on the back hallway where the floor is separating. Actually I used it to tape the cardboard down to cover it. Underneath that floor is the patio that the previous owner built this addition over...without any foundation or anything...just planted a small room over the patio. And since the patio is settling into the ground, guess what happens to the guessed's pulling away. Come January we won't even be able to shut the back door unless we stop using it now and seal it off. Hey! Another good use for duct tape.

But the best use for it came the other night when I was getting ready for bed. (This part might be a bit TMI but there's no way to tell the story without all the information so let's just get on with it.) I took my bra off and pulled my prosthesis out of the cup and noticed a sticky subtance on the outer cover for it. Sure enough, when I pulled it out the whole prosthesis was split up the back and the silicone gel was oozing out everywhere.'s not like you can go to the boob store and get a new one. And it's not like I wanted to be seen out in public with only one boob so I duct-taped that puppy like there was no tomorrow. Next week I'll see about getting a prescription from the doctor and making an appointment to replace it but for now it will do. Unfortunately it's like having a solid rock in my bra...not soft and squooshy anymore. I tried to make a prosthesis using a pattern from, but I needed three rocks in it to get the "hang" I needed to match the real one and you talk about hard and uncomfortable...eeek.

It's been 8 years so I'm pretty sure the insurance company will replace it. At least I hope they will. I sure can't afford to replace it on my own. Plus, I intend to get some new mastectomy bras as well since those are 8 years old, too.

Now I'm off to finish winterizing the back hallway and call it a day. I'm sure more duct tape will be called for before the project is complete.


Monday, October 12, 2009

Still here

Yes, I'm still around. I've been sleeping more and better and my energy levels are creeping back up again.

Feeling more energetic means getting more stuff done but less time on the computer. And this really is a good thing but I must budget the time for this blog. I write in my head a dozen times a day but nothing gets written down so I lose it somewhere in the vacuum that exists in my mind.

I took Zach out to Pizza Hut Saturday night as an early birthday present. He turns 21 on Friday, which is boggling my mind. I had taken me out on my birthday (and Zach of course) and he started getting a picture of what women sometimes go through in this modern world. On my birthday the waitress, fairly young, came to take our order and never once looked at me, even while I was telling her what I wanted. If he needed a refill on soda she was right there. I had to ask for it and she looked at me like I had three heads.

Saturday night, the waitress did acknowledge me while taking my order but I never got a refill although they fell all over themselves to get Zach one. We talked on the way home about how the world has traditionally treated women and how I used to view it as okay when I was a fundamentalist. Zach is now officially a feminist. That's my boy!

I haven't gotten the plastic on the windows yet. Tom went hunting this weekend and I lazed around most of the weekend just enjoying doing much of nothing. I woke almost refreshed this morning and have accomplished a lot so far. Three loads of clothes, cleaning the kitchen, doing some minor winterizing. I got the blanket up to the basement/back hall area but it's really an afghan and so has an open weave effect. I have a sheet in the wash right now that I'll pin to the back of it and that should work okay. I'll get the plastic on the windows day by day as I've still got tons of things to do otherwise.

I was watching Pasion de Gavilanes again last night, wishing I spoke Spanish. Maybe I'll look into it again. I've got textbooks and dictionaries and the library has several courses. One more thing to add to my list

My sister called me 30 seconds after the alarm went off this morning wanting to know if I would be able to knit a man's sweater by Christmas for a special friend of hers. She's settling for socks since there is no way I could accomplish that by that deadline. Next year, I told her. The socks are already done and for good measure I'll send her the pair I'm working on now for herself. All she has are worsted socks I've knitted and she can't wear them with her shoes so she needs some she can wear to work. These are multicolored striping with teals, purples and I can't remember what other colors. I need to switch to it so I can get it done in time to send it her way.

I had to redo the back of the Oblique sweater since the raglan part is way too long. I don't get it since I'm right on gauge-wise. I made some modifications and narrowed it a bit before the armhole bind-off and hopefully it will be the right length. I love the pattern (with my middle panel modification) and I love it in black. I just hope I can make the adjustments for the raglan sections on the fronts and sleeves.

I started working on Tom's orange (well...melon, actually) hat for gun-hunting season. I had to make some adjustments to it because I don't have size 7 circular (16 inch) or double pointed needles. I'm using size 6 and added some stitches. I tried size 8 but it was too loose-woven and I didn't like it that way. I'm not crazy about 16 inch circulars because it's hard on my hands to knit that way, but I just switch to another project when it gets too bad.

Well, off to get some more work done. I'm fixing supper way early so we don't have to take it with us and we'll just grab a sandwich when we get home. Maybe tuna salad or something like that. With the costs of Tom's hunting trip (I nearly fainted when I tallied it up) and the upcoming heating season (I've cut the heat back to 55 again...sigh) I've got to be more diligent about frugality.

At least we don't have snow like they do in Minnesota. We had flurries on Saturday but no accumulation.


Thursday, October 8, 2009

Cold and wet and not ready for the furnace

It's now dark before 6:30 p.m. so I guess that means it really is heading toward winter. I wanted to put the storm windows on the back two windows (the ancient ones) but more errands today and then shopping because Tom needs the car tomorrow and the truck will be packed up for his trip up north for bow hunting so I won't be able to use it. I just didn't make it home early enough to get it done. Although I did get the storm window in the front door. Attrition has managed to leave us with only one screw holding the window in so I bought a huge roll of duct tape because duct tape is good for everything.

I will get the basement windows closed tonight though. It was mighty cold this morning when Professor woofed to let me know he needed to wee and needed to wee right now. At least with the basement windows closed it will be a bit warmer. I got more weather stripping, too, since the present batch came with the house some 50+ years ago. We're leaking water this month terribly. Zach's 21st birthday is coming up and I planned a party for him after church during coffee hour. It's gotten slimmed down to cake, ice cream and some cold cuts. Still have to somehow figure out a birthday gift in all that, too.

This weekend should be pretty laid back once I get all the winterizing done. Getting the yard mowed means I can now set up my meditation/fairy garden in time for the cold autumn nights to kick in. I'm opting for using the Weber grill for candles instead of a fire pit so I can move it back behind the garage, which will be a better wind break instead of in the middle of the yard. I'm looking forward to Samhain this year. I think. It's on a Saturday and Tom will be home. I hope to sneak outside to have my private time for that occasion. I never know if I'll manage it though.

I planned out some meals for Zach and me because Tom will be gone but I forgot to plan for tonight so I'm having trouble thinking of something. Grilled cheese and soup sounds pretty good to me but I don't know how Tom or Zach will feel about it. I got a lip curl from the boy when he went by so he may have to fend for himself.

I found a wooden box downstairs yesterday when I went foraging for the storm window and it's now being used as a step in front of the ottoman in front of the bed. Professor wouldn't use it last night but I did make him jump up from it instead of just picking him up and placing him on the bed. He's got such a long memory and pain is a pretty good incentive to remember his leg problems. I'll give it all the time it needs though to get him to use it. I pretty much have no room in my bedroom to move around because of it though. But it will be better than waking up a dozen times a night to put him back in bed.

I bought some more yarn at StuffMart today. They've got some Caron Eco on sale for $2 a skein so I've been buying up dye lots of it. I've probably spent about $20 so far but I have enough for a couple of sweaters so that's not a bad deal. They've been stocking up on more Caron but it's a better quality than they have had in the past. For those of us with acrylic budgets, that's a godsend. Or is that goddessend?

I finally got my medication re-filled. Twice now, the doctor's nurses have neglected to call my refills in and I ended up running out of my Meformin this week. I was out of town on Tuesday so I couldn't call the dr then and because of other running around yesterday didn't get to pick them up until today. I will definitely be letting the dr know when I see her again about this problem. I call them in, in plenty of time, giving them as much as 3 or 4 days but I still seem to wait over a week and end up with no meds. Not acceptable at all!

Off to fix soup and take care of the basement windows, then off to curl up in my warm bed and knit while watching Once Upon a Time in Mexico. It has been a Robert Rodriguez weekend. I watched Desperado last night. I probably should have gotten El Mariachi but didn't think of it until I got home from the library. After that, more Stargate Sg-1. I looked to see if I could get the second season next month but they don't seem to have them anymore. Dang! I'd hate to have to order them online but if I limit myself to one every other month or so, I think I can do it. They're not expensive.

Off to finish up my chores.


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Time to winterize

I can't believe it's been nearly a week since I last posted. I have no idea what went on in that time but it sure went by quickly. I know I slept a lot. And got next to nothing else done. I guess that's a good thing in the long run, though.'s time to winterize the house. Tom would rather keep the windows open until the daytime temps are at 30F but I want it done before it's too cold to get it done. We're going to mow for the last time today and I'm going to put the storm windows in and close off the back addition that has a board missing. Well, the board isn't missing, it's just not attached to the house because years ago someone was going to fix it and never got around to it. So I will attend to it this week, most likely today. I also have to empty out the rain barrel because we might have freezing temps this weekend and we've had more than our share of grief with leaks in that rain barrel.

I have plastic for the inside and outside of the windows. The new windows we have will get plastic on the outside, the old, ancient ones will get both inside and out. In spite of being new windows, they sure seemed to leak air. I had many a morning when I opened up the curtains to frost on the windows where they met. I do like to be able to open and close the blinds though so I'll just put plastic on the outside.

I'm also going to put up an expansion rod in the doorway leading to the back hall. This is the area that has no insulation under the floor and in fact, is just resting on the patio. It's separating from the house a bit and has a gap on the floor (in addition to a sizeable hole that I stuff with plastic bags to prevent small, furry, gray critters from entering.) I'm going to use an old blanket to keep the heat out as much as possible. We have a pocket door there but the cat box is in the basement so he needs access for his potty needs and I really don't want to open the door for him every time he needs to go. I'm also closing off the pantry, which is a part of that shoddy addition. It's frustrating to see so much that needs to be done but is so expensive to fix.

And finally I'm putting down a lot of old rugs on the floor to insulate as best I can since it's only some linoleum (yes...ancient linoleum) some wood flooring and cold air...nothing else. I really hope to do a better job winterizing this year.

Also, while Tom is gone this weekend bow hunting, I'm going to put plastic on his windows upstairs. He never did it last year, waiting until it was so cold up there the tape wouldn't stick to the windows because he likes to open the windows even when it's freezing outside. It doesn't make sense to me to use a space heater up there when there are so many breezes coming in from lack of preparation. He wouldn't need as much heat if it wasn't going out of the room as fast as the thing was heating up.

I'm also going to close the basement windows and seal them while he's gone. Again, he keeps the windows open almost till the snow flies and yet will turn the heat up when he gets cold. Is this a male chromosome thing?

I'm making good progress on the Oblique sweater (modified) but very little else. All that sleep, you know. I have a lot of projects in my queue but don't seem to take the time to sit down and work them out. Maybe with the cold coming in I'll feel more like curling up with my projects.

Well, off to mow the yard (my share of it, that is) and get some work done before the rain and cold starts coming, it looks like.


Thursday, October 1, 2009

It's really autumn now

I'm training myself to cough and sneeze into my elbow. It's not that easy when for 56 years you've been coughing and sneezing into your hands. But I'm getting there. It's not that I'm sick or anything. Just normal sneezes and coughs. My flu shot is holding so far. I think I will get the H1N1 shot this year. I haven't been really sick for more than 3 years, I think. I'm probably overdue.

Finishing up Living Dead in Dallas reminded me that I hadn't seen the season finale of True Blood so I finished it up last night at around 4 a.m. while I was busy not sleeping. Again. Wasn't the dog. Bless his heart, he's been so good. Resigned to the barking collar but not happy about it. And has only needed it twice in several days.

Anyway...I thought the season finale was pretty good. Actually it was excellent.

And while I was also not sleeping I watched The Changeling with Angelina Jolie. Another excellent movie. I would not work out well as a movie critic because I like nearly all that I watch. I don't get all the criticism because I watch for...get this...entertainment. I know...what a concept, huh?

And rounding it out I finally fell asleep during one of the really good Angel episodes. Isn't that the way it always works out?

Of course I woke up 2 hours later to let Professor out to wee and decided if I went back to bed I'd stay there until noon. So I just stayed up. And have been dragging all day.

No, I wasn't awake because of the dog. Nope, this time it was a two-legged variety who yelled at the cat and then poked his head into my room to announce why he had yelled at the cat. My lights were off and he knows I go to sleep with the timer on the television but what can I say? I had had just enough sleep to lose my edge.

Early to bed tonight.

Dance of the Dissident Daughter was in at the library so I drove into town to get it and made a side trip to the credit union so Zach could transfer the money he owes us into our account. I know I should put it down on the credit card (because that's where the money went in the first place to pay for Zach's tuition until we got his financial aid) but I keep thinking of a bleak and cold winter and I'm not going to live with 55 degree temps this year. Not to mention it looks like another round of layoffs at Tom's work and I don't want to be unprepared if the plant ever shuts down. I don't see it happening, but I didn't see this economic slump coming either. I'm not plugged in that way.

So, the money stays in savings if we need to whittle away at it to pay for heat and if I have the money left over in the spring, then we'll put it on the card and knock the balance down. I'm just afraid of being too vulnerable again.

It's pretty cold and rainy today and while the thermostat shows the temperature at around 58 F I'm not going to turn the heat on yet. I don't have the winterizing done and no heat until that happens. I plan on buying some of the things I need tomorrow and getting a few windows already sealed up and plastic put on them. Then I'll add a few things each week. We need to mow the yard once more, too. I was going to help Zach with it today but he was working on projects for school and it was cold and windy anyway. Maybe tomorrow afternoon.

Off to curl up under the covers and work on my beaded scarf, socks and maybe Oblique. I got a new book from the library on art so I plan on setting aside time each day for that as well as writing. Not a bad day in spite of my headache (just allergies.)