Monday, November 30, 2009

Three weeks of school left...darn

I just found out tonight that Zach has three weeks of school left instead of two. Bummer. Still..I'm in sight of the finish line. His online class for next semester is free but he has to buy the very expensive software and just complete it and then he's done. We're going to buy him some khakis to do his job hunting in. He's got jeans and a suit...nothing in between.

Tom got home last night with no venison. Only one member of the deer camp shot anything and he took it home with him. They used to share out whatever anyone shot but with so little luck the past few years, they've been just taking home their own game. He thinks this might be the last year for that deer camp. Hardly anyone showed up this year.

He was really depressed when he got home but happy with the changes I made and apparently okay with my future plans. It's hard to gauge him but I'll proceed as I intend to and see what happens.

I took the back road home from Fond du Lac tonight so we could see some Christmas lights and in Byron there is a bar that is wildly lit up. So much fun. I'm going that way tomorrow night so we can see it again.

Had trouble sleeping last night. I ended up awake at 4 a.m. waiting so I could take another pain pill. I took it about an hour too early and it was my third for the day. I try to keep it at 3 although if I am in really bad pain, the dr has no problem with me taking 2 at a time...just no more than 3 a day. This is why my plans for the future have me staying at home. I can't work a job when I get so little sleep and when I am in so much pain. It will work out though. I have to believe that.

I cranked the heat up to 58F. I just can't do the 55 degree thing this year. We'll have to see how much damage this does to our bill. And while I didn't do as much winterizing as I would have liked, it still feels like my efforts so far have made a difference.

Well, off to finish up the Fletch mitt. When I said there wouldn't be any ripping back, the fates must have heard me because I had to rip back twice because of mistakes. Major mistakes. This should teach me to keep my mouth shut.


Sunday, November 29, 2009

Vacation over, two more weeks of school

The Mighty Hunter should return sometime today. I suspect late in the evening as he is loathe to depart hunting camp until the last minute. He really loves hunting! I hope he brings home some venison this trip. It would be a huge bonus to our nearly depleted freezer (he wanted me to keep it that way in anticipation of a deer or two.) If not, at least he had a good time and got away from the stress at work and home.

I got most of the house cleaned. Well...tidied. It will take a more herculean effort to make it really clean. Still...better than it was. The two area rugs in the living room make a huge difference. I am battling the cat who seems to think it's his room-sized scratching post, however. The carpet is similar to what is on his actual scratching post. Fortunately Professor barks and goes after him when he does scratch on the carpet. The little tattle-tale.

I didn't make it to church today, sadly. I was awake at 4 a.m. and just couldn't face the battle of staying awake during church. Not that it is boring in the least, but 3 hours of sleep won't keep me awake even during an exciting event, let alone a somber, liturgical one.

My dad made a comment today about my "no different from Catholic" church today. Ah, well. He speaks out of his ignorance about anything not Baptist. He's not being mean or disrespectful. He just doesn't know what it's all about. And he would be horrified if he were to know that, during my extensive spiritual battle, I found more grounding in the Book of Common Prayer than the Bible. The BCP is what kept me near to God. Not the Bible. It's still hard for me to read the Bible because all I can see through is the fundamentalist lens. I do hope someday I will be able to read it with a discerning eye for the fallibility of man rather than the inerrancy I was raised to believe. Until then...the BCP keeps me where I need to be.

I did want to see the beauty of the liturgical colors though. I might slip into church this week to pray and enjoy it. We're having a silent "retreat" type event on Tuesdays during Advent where the chapel will be lit with candles but as we have two more weeks of school yet, I won't be able to do that for a while.

I finished one Fletching mitt and started on the other. As usual I had to adapt a bit. I followed the pattern and it seemed my gauge was okay but the mitt ended just midway up my palm and not at the fingers so I ripped back and made the modification. Much better. And it looks so nice. The second will go faster since I won't have to rip back. I hope.

I need to get back to the cardigan and my mother told me my aunt has requested two pairs of socks. I'll email her to get the specifics: color, size, etc and then get the yarn this week. I never pass up an opportunity for socks. Plus she's going to pay me for them. Which reminds me...I need to get my sister's socks in the mail as well. And I need to be more consistent with my kick spindle spinning. I'm not even close to finishing up my pound of Welsh Top yet.

Off to finish up the kitchen. I had mopped it and need to put everything back in there.

No Masterpiece Theater tonight and I finished up Supernatural so I might do a Pirates of the Caribbean marathon to keep me occupied while I knit away.

And for your viewing enjoyment:


Saturday, November 28, 2009

Day eight of the deer widow's vacation-last day

We're under a curse. I'm sure of it. Every time I think we're actually going to make it, something comes up to enlighten me.

Yesterday it was the stove. I was getting ready to put the bread in the oven to bake it and the door to the oven fell off. Tom had repaired it a few years ago so it was living on borrowed time, I suppose. I had a kitchen island on wheels that I would push up against it so it stayed shut while in use and I couldn't open the door all the way but at least I could use it.

Not any more.

I suspect we'll go stove shopping this week but we have a different idea of what we want in a stove. I want to stay with electric and he wants to switch to gas. But he wants to do the modifications himself with makes me very uneasy. Not to mention I really don't want to cook with gas. I've cooked with electric lo! these many years and don't want to switch. Still, the thought of having to spend money out of our meager savings kept me up last night.

I don't want to get the cheapest stove out there either. I certainly don't want one with all the bells and whistles but I don't want one with the bare essentials either. We did that with our washer 13 years ago and I wish we had put a few dollars more in so I could wash a gentle load or a small load. It's the full tub or nothing. And only two settings to wash on. So I don't want to get a stove that is barely good enough. It's a life-time investment.

Although he was very amenable to buying the refrigerator I wanted so I might be accommodated in this area as well.

I managed to bake the bread in the toaster oven, which will do for most of our baking needs for now, but eventually we will need a new stove.

And Zach is one month away from being off our insurance and hasn't found a job yet. I will refrain from ranting and foaming at the mouth about the lack of humanity in those who don't believe everyone should be entitled to insurance.

I cut my hair off Thanksgiving night. It's a blunt cut below my ears...sort of a Buster Brown look (google it if you aren't old enough to remember who Buster Brown was.) I still love long hair but mine was so thin that it just didn't look good at all, kept getting caught up in velcro from my coat and other winter accessories and was a constant reminder that I had had chemo (since it never all grew back in.) At least now, it doesn't look thin at all and it does make my face look a bit thinner. I just wish I could figure out how to make the rst of me look thinner. Oh, yeah...losing weight would do that, wouldn't it?

I'm almost done with the back of my sweater and decided to add another project to my list since monogamy in knitting isn't my thing. I started on Fetching, some fingerless mittens, since I use my red ones all the time. I wanted a dressier pair for times when I'm cold and need that wrist/hand warmth indoors and want to look a little it less like a homeless person, as my husband has said I look.

Plus, I already had printed it out so I didn't have to go online and dig through a million patterns and print something out to knit.

It's a lovely sunny day and should be just a tad warmer although probably won't climb into the 50's. I can see the clothes still on the line and the wind is gently lifting them into the air, just enough to soften and ease wrinkles. They were almost dry last night and I think if I had pegged them out (been reading British novels on country life again) early enough they might have been dry last night. But getting up early still eludes me. It was 4 a.m. before I got to sleep this morning and I woke up at 9 a.m.

I'm three disks in to Supernatural, season 2 and it's just as good as season 1 was. My Friday shows were either reruns or not on so I did a marathon.

I'm off to finish cleaning the kitchen and attack the bathroom before the Mighty Hunter returns tomorrow and the Deer Widow's Vacation comes to an end. This actually is the last day of it since he'll be home tomorrow so I'll have to come up with another title from now on. I must say it was a bit relaxing not having to come up with a witty title for my posts. Not that I ever succeed in being witty.

The work calls to me and I must answer.


Friday, November 27, 2009

Day seven of the deer widow's vacation

Yes, I missed blogging about day six and not because I was planted on the couch,bloated from a Thanksgiving Day feast. I cooked a regular meal of broiled pork chops, mashed potatoes and gravy and corn...and didn't allow myself to overdo it at all. No, I just didn't feel like being online much yesterday. Oh, the computer was on, and I was signed on to places like facebook and Ravelry, but I spent most of the day watching the House Hunters marathon and knitting. Not good to leave the computer on all day, I know. A terrible waste of energy and I won't let it happen again.

My wrists didn't bother me at all yesterday, thankfully, but I didn't knit nonstop like I did Wednesday. Frequent breaks to shake my wrists out and rest them helped, I think.

Wednesday night I was flipping through the channels and saw that Lil Abner was going to be on AMC. I squeed a bit and then sat down to watch it since I haven't seen it in probably 30+ years. Then not even halfway through, the channel lost the signal which lasted until the end of the movie. Rats! So I finished up Star Trek Voyager instead.

I watched A Touch of Frost, season 1 last night and wished I had gotten more than one season because I just love that show, but it was probably for the best because I managed to get to bed before midnight and would have made it to sleep as well if not for a certain dog who shall remain nameless wanting to go out just as I was drifting off. But I did make it to sleep before 12:30 a.m. and slept until about 2:30 or so when said dog wanted out again. Slept like a dream until about 4:30 when a certain nameless cat decided he wanted to sleep cuddled in my arms and took five minutes deciding what position he should sleep in. At that point I turned off the alarm. I ended up sleeping in until nearly 9 a.m. so I should feel pretty rested. But I don't.

Ah, well. In time, I should get used to my new sleep patterns. There will be a problem when Tom goes back to work and I have to deal with him coming in at 1 a.m. He does try to be quiet but I am a light sleeper.

I thought about hanging a load of clothes out today but it's after 10 a.m. and still only 33 degrees F. I don't know how people managed pre-dryer days unless they hung their clothes out in the house all winter long. It is sunny and windy today so it's likely they would dry in one day's time, but I can't manage to force my body to go out there and hang up wet clothes in a cold wind. Even with my mitts on. I know I should, though, instead of using the dryer. They take so long to dry in the house because we don't keep the house very warm and with no wind, they just sit on the racks and wait until the water evaporates out of them. Ah, heck. I might hang them out after all. The forecast looks sunny for the next few days. And I'm well-known for leaving my clothes out overnight.

Well, off to get a lot done today, hopefully. I plan on focusing on the kitchen today: organizing the pantry and cleaning out the refrigerator, mopping floors and some baking: bread, scones, muffins maybe. Keeping busy does help me endure the cold a bit better. Plus, I really need to finish up the winterizing today. And Supernatural, season 2 today but not tonight because tonight is Ghost Whisperer, Medium, Sanctuary and Stargate: Universe.


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Day five of the deer widow's vacation

Actually it doesn't feel like the vacation has started yet since I'm still doing the things I do every day. The only difference is I have the kitchen to myself in the mornings. Other than that it feels pretty much like my normal routine.

I do plan on making some changes to that normal routine though and I'm not going to wait until school is over to do it. I need to get my sleep pattern regulated so I'm going to bed at the same time (or near same time) every night and getting up earlier. I think that will help my fatigue factor immensely. Good restorative sleep. Something I haven't had for over 20 years.

Another change is tearing the house apart (not literally) and making it better organized so I can run it more efficiently, including more cooking and baking from scratch, better storage of foodstuff and a work center that enables me to do more of the cooking and baking.

Less time online. This one will hurt the most, I think, as I have formulated friendships that I don't want to lose. I also use the internet a lot for information. I'll just have to use it more efficiently.

More knitting, spinning and other craftworks.

Clearing out the basement and garage so we can actually use them.

Studying up on gardens, learning how to do home repairs myself and possibly investing in a heat lamp for seedlings since I only have two small windows with southern exposure and a cat that loves to eat seedlings.

I plan on enriching my mind as well by utilizing Open University (no credit but it's free) and reading for pleasure more. And getting back to playing my piano that gets moved more than it gets played.

In doing all of this I also hope to cut back on spending and pad our savings account, especially when the car is paid off in three months time. Some time this summer we will have to replace our roof and we just can't afford to go into deep debt for that. Or deeper debt.

I'm not going to let my pains and fatigue get in the way of this either. I came to realize that this is what I enjoy doing with my life...working in my home and making it pay off, if possible. Even if those aren't real tangible profits. I used to worry that I didn't seem to have any ambitions beyond what I was supposed to have: a career, lots of friends, etc. The bottom line is I'm only unhappy with my life when I think it's not what it's supposed to be. Most of the time, I'm pretty content. I've let myself feel inadequate because I didn't finish my degree and didn't have a career and because I wanted to be a homemaker when everyone else was telling me I needed to be more.

Don't get me wrong. I'm a proud feminist now. I'll never go back to patriarchy and think of myself or any other woman as less than a man. But this really is what I want to do with my life. This really is what makes me feel good about myself and what makes me content with my life.

So just like I'm not going to wait until I lose weight to enjoy my life, I'm not going to wait until school is over before I start really enjoying this, too...guilt-free this time.

Also, since I don't plan on dieting anymore, I need to work on eating well and paying attention to how and why I eat. And adding nature walks (and walking Professor) to my daily routine. No more "exercise" for me. I'd rather play and have fun.

I've been knitting madly today on my cardigan. I settled on a men's sweater pattern from an old Knit 'n Style with a simple, yet beautifully textured, pattern with cables running down the sleeves. It's called Saddle Shouldered Cardigan. I've always wanted to knit a saddle shouldered sweater before and this looks pretty straight-forward so it should be a good learning project.

But my wrists have been bothering me the past hour so I decided to take a break. I put some Mineral Ice on them, which feels great, and might get a load of clothes washed so I can get them on the racks before I go to bed tonight.

I finished Voyager season 2 (with the cliffhanger) and got A Touch of Frost, season 1 and Supernatural, season 2 from the library today so I have lots to watch while knitting on the cardigan. And I probably will work on the beaded scarf as well so I can wear it to the Christmas Eve service since I don't plan on buying any new clothes any time soon. I've got a sewing machine and I need to start using it. Not to mention the thrift store.

Well, off to watch A Touch of Frost and get back to knitting before I start the laundry.


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Day four of the deer widow's vacation

Rain! Ugh. I don't mind it unless I have to drive dark country highways with faded lines that you can't see when the pavement is wet. Especially with car lights in your rear view mirror so blinding because the driver behind you is less than one car length away and the cars coming at you have forgotten to dim their brights. At one point I was completely blind going into a curve at 45 mph.

I sincerely doubt I will ever get Zach behind the wheel of the car now.

Oh...and the car that was tailgating and passed me doing about 65? We waved as we passed him pulled over by the police.

But we made it home and have no particular place to go until Sunday morning. First Sunday of Advent...yes!!!

I am going to the library tomorrow because Supernatural season 2 is in and that would make a sweet Thanksgiving day marathon. And will make a trip to StuffMart to get a pizza for T-day dinner so I don't have to cook anything.

I did mostly nothing today beyond cleaning the kitchen and knitting. I frogged the cabled cardigan because it looked much better in the picture than it did in person and went with a pattern from I'll link to it tomorrow but right now Zach is waiting for me so we can watch some more Voyager, season 2 and I can finally get back to knitting the sweater.

And I'm probably going to be reading a bit later, too. I got my book from of the Celts by J. Philip Newell. It's not a big book but looks so good. Still, I've got books from the library I need to finish first.

Now that school is behind us for the week I hope to get busy and get more done here and get back to cooking from scratch (aside from T-day, that is) and get busy organizing and making this house work more efficiently.

And I'm sleeping in tomorrow because I can.


Monday, November 23, 2009

Day three of the deer widow's vacation

I didn't get a lot done today. The forecast was for partly cloudy with sunshine in the afternoon. No one bothered to tell Mother Nature, though, because it kept getting cloudier until we ended up with a fine mist and a bit of fog.

I had hung out the first load but as it didn't clear up put the second load of whites and light colored clothes in the dryer. Which is having some problems, it seems. It took a while to dry the load. I think I need to snake the lint trap because I suspect it's got a stash of lint hidden away. Only I don't have a snake. I keep a lookout at StuffMart in the section where they keep the informercial items but so far no snake.

So I ended up bringing in the first load of shirts and pants (and some undies) and hung it all on racks. With the new arrangement of the living room, I have more room but with Tom gone and not using the kitchen I put them in there instead. I don't have the furnace on but there is a good heating vent in the wall high up that blows down on the retractable rack under it and room for the wooden rack in front of it. If only I had the furnace on. But it's not worth it to turn it on just to dry some clothes. They'll dry in time and maybe tomorrow the sun will shine for a while and I can finish drying them outside.

Or not.

It looks like we have to go to Fond du Lac tomorrow night after all. There is a problem Zach needs to work on but the software is only in his classroom and not in any of the other labs so instead of being able to go to Beaver Dam, we have to drive all the way up there. I had so hoped we would get a night off. But there are only 5 days left of school so I shouldn't complain.

I did intend to get more work done today but I'm still battling the fatigue and joint pain from the fibromyalgia so I decided to limit myself today and do a bit more when I don't have to drive 40 minutes each way and sit in the car and wait.

I noticed this morning when I was hanging out clothes that some critters have been munching on the offerings I've laid out for them. The ornamental corn I was using for decoration is almost gone and the hamster food I got by mistake has been nibbled (selectively) but the birds don't seem to touch any of the food in the feeders. I put it out back by the bushes where they seem to hang out. Not sure why they don't want it. Maybe there is too much still available to them and they're saving it for bleaker conditions.

I'll also tackle the bathroom tomorrow. A little bit each day on the mildewed walls will help but it will be a while before it really looks like progress. And each time the shower gets used, it starts all over again...even when we use the fan. Or even in the summer when the window is open. I wonder if there is a mildew resistant primer out there?

I need to dig my Encyclopedia of Country Living out and read up so I can plan my garden for next spring. I'm moving it to another part of the yard to see if we can grow things better there. We have so much clay though and even though I'm composting I don't think it will be enough. Those are the kinds of things I need to know way ahead of time.

I ended up ripping Oblique-ish out completely. I loved the pattern but I hated the neckline and couldn't get it to work with a regular one. So I found a cabled cardigan in one of my old magazines that I'm going to work on...again. I tried it once but it didn't look good with the yarn I was working with. I hope I wasn't using Caron Simply Soft because that's what I'm working with now. But I need to get busy and try to stay as monogamous as I can because I need the cardigan now or as soon as possible.

Off to get ready for bed, Voyager second season, and casting on the new sweater. What a vacation it's been so far.


Sunday, November 22, 2009

Day two of the deer widow's vacation

Church today was great as usual. Mary's sermons are short and succinct. It doesn't take her an hour to say what she wants to say. Betsy's arrangement at the altar was spectacular: gourds, pumpkins, mums and apples and pears. I just don't have the eye for things like that. But we did go ahead and set up the church for advent because next Sunday, being the fifth Sunday of the month has only one altar guild lady working and re-hanging banners and changing the frontals isn't a one person job.

Afterwards we went to Applebee's to eat and spent way too much money. This has to stop and I have no one to blame but myself. We're not going to KFC for Thanksgiving. I'm going to make homemade pizza instead. Now is the time to get back to cooking and baking from scratch. The fact that school is almost over helps the situation because I'll be home more and not on the road for 12 hours at a time.

I put the two carpets down in the living/dining room/den and it looks really good. You can't see where the varnish is ragged around where the former owner's rug was. Still very crowded with furniture but not as cluttered as I was relentless and threw away a lot of stuff just lying around. And will send a big bag of other things to Bethesda Thrift Store. I have room for our bitty Christmas tree now but I'm not going to put it up until after the fourth Sunday of Advent. I've been putting all the decorations up after Thanksgiving and by Christmas I'm sick of them so this year we'll go by the liturgical calendar.

I got the kitchen straightened up a bit but it still needs a lot of work. The pantry needs to be straightened up and the refrigerator cleaned out. I'm trying to make room in the freezer on the off chance Tom or someone in the hunting camp gets a deer or two.

Then it's off to scrub down the bathroom. We have a problem with massive mildew buildup on the walls and ceiling. As much as I scrub it still gets away from me. I hope to paint next summer for sure. Semi-gloss instead of flat paint this time. Bleach water and a scrub brush still don't put a huge dent in the mildew.

Then I intend to work on the room next to Tom's bedroom which has become the junk room. Unfortunately some of my knitting is up there and is pretty much unusable because of the smoky, cigarette smell. I'll try to hang it out on the line and see if I can get rid of the smell that way.

Once school is out for good I intend to take on the basement, which should take me several weeks because we have to put it out little by little with the trash.

And of course, I need to do some pruning and fertilizing of my fruit trees and hopefully grow a new grapevine from our present one.

It looks to be a busy winter for me. But I know I will enjoy it. When it all boils down to it, this is where I'm happiest. Not out in the real world working for minimum wage, but here trying to make this place pay off in tangible ways. And to work my talents to their potential.

Well, off to put the laundry in the dryer. I hope I don't have to do that much this winter but although it will be dry tomorrow it will be cloudy and then rain for Tuesday. With low temps like this and no sun it takes a couple of days for the clothes to dry. Being home more will help there, too, because I can plan the laundry by the weather forecast a bit better, using the dryer only when I need to. I tried drying clothes on racks but it takes them a couple of days, too, and we have a tiny house so there's not a lot of room for the racks.

It's been another good day even if I haven't knitted a stitch today. Oh...I wore my hat to church today and loved it. I'm going to knit another one...or two. I'm so picky about hats because they don't look so good on me but this one looks pretty darned good, if I do say so myself.

Laundry and Masterpiece: Contemporary tonight as well as watching The Royal that I taped last night. Zach and I just finished Zorro the Gay Blade a few minutes ago and he howled with laughter. I remembered it as being funny but it was so much funnier than my memory remembered.


Saturday, November 21, 2009

Day one of the deer widow's vacation

I'm not so crazy about this hectic pace so soon into my deer widow's vacation. I have altar guild this weekend and my partner is dealing with a husband recovering from surgery in addition to her job so I offered to take it on by myself this weekend. To be honest, I absolutely love doing it so it wasn't a great sacrifice. Until I looked at the calendar and saw that this was Christ the King Sunday (the last Sunday after Pentecost) and the liturgical colors had to be changed. But even then, since I had kidnapped Zach and taken him with me, it wasn't a huge deal and we were done in no time.

I love the quietness of the nave and sanctuary and going about my duties with a real sense of purpose. I'm still not completely sure where I am spiritually but I find a lot of peace in setting up the altar.

Then there was the errands and such. I'm still working out a plan for my living/dining room/den and figured out a plan that will account for the 3 foot Christmas tree (not going up until the week before Christmas this year) and my seedlings come February. Hard to explain what I intend to do but suffice it to say that it involves moving furniture again. And I'm so sick of the floor in there. The previous owners varnished the hard wood floor around the rug they had in the room so when we took the rotting carpet up there was a center part of the floor unfinished (and not even a neat, tidy border on it.) I have had a rug down but it didn't cover much of the room so you can see the bad job done on the floors and since the rug is now about 10 years old, it's so shabby that it needs to go in the garage or the trash. There were some sturdy rugs/carpet at StuffMart that were half the cost of the nicer looking carpets so I bought two thinking they would cover most of the floor. I like rugs or carpet on the floor especially in winter.

Tom won't be happy that I spent $40 on the house but he'll have to get used to it because I'm tired of the way our house looks. It's so shabby. I can deal with frugal to a point but when the house looks this bad, it makes me feel bad...inferior almost.

But the carpet is still in the car because I'm not tackling it tonight. I'll bring it in tomorrow after church but tonight is for showers and getting my clothes ready for church and just The Royal is on. And I still have lots of Star Trek: Voyager, season 2 to get through.

I finished the body of the rasta hat and hope to do the brim tonight. After that it's back to the Oblique-ish sweater. I really need a cardigan now.

Well, off to find the kitchen counters and then I shall get ready for bed and knit away the rest of the night.


Friday, November 20, 2009

The deer widow's holiday begins.

Tom is off to the north preparing to sit in a tree stand for hours a day in the hopes of shooting a deer. And thinks that this is great fun.


Of course, he did very little in the way of preparing for his trip. Apparently I'm his personal assistant...someone who does his shopping, banking and laundry for him. I do draw the line at packing though. That way I don't get the blame for things that didn't get packed.

Meanwhile, my intentions while he's gone is to do some deep cleaning and clearing and finish up the winterizing while enjoying the fact that I won't have to be driving back and forth to Fond du Lac but once while he's gone. And I will be so glad when the semester is over and I don't have to drive up there two to three times a week anymore.

Unfortunately it looks pretty bleak for Zach to actually find a job in his field once he graduates. I have no idea what the degree is supposed to be for if he can't even get an unpaid internship and from what I hear, most IT tech jobs are paying little more than minimum wage. He's upbeat, though, and believes (rightly so) that his degree will open doors for him that wouldn't have been open otherwise. He has a friend in another state who has a four year computer science degree and has been unable to get a job, even in a fast food place for over 2 years. He's either over-qualified or they're not hiring.

I told him since he's not looking at moving out the day after graduation to get a job and go find an online course that teaches something he really wants to learn. Frankly, he's already burned out by IT tech support and he hasn't even started. And he believes that a lot of what he has been taught is already obsolete. Still, he's keeping his mind and options open.

I had to rip out the rasta hat once again. It's still too big, even dropping down two needle sizes. So I'm modifying the pattern and hoping for the best because I don't want to do this a fourth time. I'm not doing much other knitting because I've been reading a lot and decided to dig up a class I had signed up for on Open University. I don't get any credits for it but it's learning and that's something that really appeals to me. It's a Welsh history course and looks really good if I can find the time to sit down and study it. I'm debating printing out the essays I'm supposed to read because I just don't study well from the computer. It makes the free course cost money for the ink and paper but it's still a lot cheaper than books and tuition.

Tonight, though, is tv night. It's the only night I just sit down and watch what's on. Ghost Whisperer, Medium, Sanctuary and Stargate: Universe. Most other nights it's what is on OnDemand or one of the premium channels. Or a dvd from the library or my stash.

I decided not to buy a dvd this month. I ordered a book instead. It's Christ of the Celts: the healing of creation by J. Philip Newell and looks really good. I've read Listening for the Heartbeat of God, which I got from the library and really liked that one but that's the only one they've got in the system. In fact, the library system has very little in the way of Celtic Christian literature so it looks like I'll be buying books instead of dvds for a while.

Which is probably a good thing since I can get most dvds from the library if I'm patient. And I just remembered that I bought the final Buffy dvd to finish my collection so I guess I won't buy anything next month.

I asked for gold hoop earrings this year for Christmas instead of dvds because I lost one of mine and since I've got a terrible allergy to nickel and even the nickel-free earrings make my ears itch and water, I have to stick with gold...which is I don't have very many really good pairs of earrings. I have been known to wear four different earrings just to have something to wear (two piercings per ear) but actually I sort of like the look, to be honest. And so far no one has even noticed. I do wear two different earrings in one pair of piercings that never are removed.

Well, off to get in my pajamas and curl up with A Morbid Taste for Bones before all the good shows start.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

She still lives!

Wow. A whole week has gone by without me blogging. I've barely been online to even read blogs, although I do keep up with those I consider friends...even if I don't comment on them. I've been experimenting to see if being online is what has been responsible for my not getting much done and it's a mixed bag. But I do think that less time online makes me more productive in the long run. I still deal with fatigue and the achiness of fibromyalgia but I am getting more done.

And I would get a whole lot more done if I could just stay home long enough to do it.

As usual, when Tom is planning an expedition up north, something goes wrong. The headlight in the car burned out again...and it hasn't even been a year since the last time. I initially went to StuffMart to see if they would replace it but they "declined" it since it was so complicated. I don't blame them since their pricing is so low. Alternative plan was to call Vic's, who have been really good to us lo, these many years. The contact person I talked to suggested that maybe the lamp needs to be replaced instead of the bulb since it could be the root of the problem so we're looking at that. The lovely thing about these mechanics is they don't just jump in there and do anything without being sure of the problem. They have definitely proven their integrity to us over and over again. The reason I went to StuffMart was one of time over any other reason. Can't always get into Vic's quickly.

But...success! We've got an appointment tomorrow. I'll drop the car off and take care of the errands I need to with the truck before Tom leaves for work and then pick the car up on Friday before Tom leaves for his hunting trip.

And hopefully, the lamps are the problem and we can just replace them. This gets so old.

I've been a reading and knitting fool of late. I finished an orange ( neckwarmer for Tom although he says the weather should be warmer this year. I also finished my denim neckwarmer and am working on the rasta hat that I had to unravel initially because it was huge and ended up around my neck when I put it on instead of on my head. I was accurate to gauge but apparently my head and thin hair need a smaller hat so I went down two needle sizes on the ribbing and kept the original size on the body of the hat. We'll see how that works out.

I need to get back to my sweater (Oblique-ish) and probably will over the Thanksgiving holidays. It's black yarn and requires a bit more attention than I've been able to give lately but I've got Star Trek Voyager season 2 for the holidays in addition to SG-1 seasons 2 and 3 that I own. Plus whatever I can get from the library.

I'm also almost done with the Thrush Green series. On the last book. I'm reading the Village School series as well and just got the first two Cadfael books from the library today. In addition to some Celtic Christian books I'm also reading.

In spite of all that activity I've been doing more about the house. At least almost keeping up which is a minor miracle for me these days with all this fatigue I'm battling. Only 3 weeks left of school this semester and next semester Zach has one online class and then he's done. I'm hoping he can get a full-time job but we'll settle for part time for now. His insurance will run out after the first of the year so we'll have Cobra to pay but won't have the extra gas to pay for trips to Fond du Lac so it may even out.

I'm still trying to find a way to make my talents pay at home since I don't think I have the stamina or can remain pain free long enough to work outside the home. I'm planning a big garden for next summer as well that should help. Plus I will have the time to devote to frugality with better success, not having to deal with eating out or racing back and forth from Fond du Lac. Also, Zach will have to pay me to drive him to work once this semester is over. Not a lot, but he needs to start being aware of what his situation really costs him. I won't push him because irrational fears aren't overcome by nagging or pressure but he does need to see that there is a cost to it. If he's willing to pay the cost, fine. But I suspect he might begin to see that it might be time to start working on the problem. It's a disability after all, not a character flaw.

Well, I'm off to the doctor's office. It seems they didn't send the right codes or something for my physical so the insurance company denied the claim. I am so sick of all of this.

I hope to be better at posting in the future but for now...


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Where did my energy come from and how do I get it to stay?

I have no idea what bit me but even with a late start, I got busy doing some deep cleaning and re-arranging. The previous arrangement wasn't working in the living room. Although it did open up the heating vent more, it made the room so crowded we were walking sideways through the room and you couldn't have more than one person walking through the room at a time. So I'm nearly done but I plan to get a load of clothes started in the wash so I can hang them out first thing tomorrow morning.

I'm hoping to get the kitchen and bathroom deep cleaned tomorrow. The kitchen sink is clogged and Tom needs to take the elbow out because we suspect something large got through the drain and don't want to try to flush it down where it might lodge even worse. As a result I can't use the kitchen sink or the dishwasher so I got stuff to eat that didn't involve either cooking or using dishes (I have some paper plates if needed.) Still, I could do better on the rest of the kitchen but I'm running out of steam and I still need to start that load of clothes and bring up two chairs for the card table/dining table.

I do plan on some more clearing off of flat spaces over the course of the next few weeks so I can put out Christmas decorations. Zach has asked if we could go all out this year so he could feel in a more festive mood. So instead of just the tree, I plan on using the rest of our decorations and lights and have some plans for Christmas day as well that involve family time together. He has asked if we could all play Monopoly. I need to locate the game and am desperately hoping I haven't gotten rid of it when I donated a lot of games to a teacher at our church. Fingers crossed.

I haven't done much knitting or crocheting today because I was either running errands or rearranging my room and the living/dining room/den. I do plan on working on the rasta hat and the snake before I crash for the night though.

And since I hear the siren song of the laundry I need to get busy so I can crawl into my pajamas and under the covers where it is warmer than it is here. Winter is fast approaching and I'm not completely done winterizing yet. Must accomplish more tomorrow.


Monday, November 9, 2009

Mondays aren't so bad after all

Things are looking up here. At least I'm accomplishing more things. I've been walking Professor around the block and building up to add another block by next week. When I say a block, I mean one that goes steeply uphill no matter what direction I choose so I get a pretty decent workout in spite of it being a short one.

I'm hoping to continue with it this time. I have so many health issues that I need to do something because there is only so much medication I can take. I'm not so good on follow-through, however, so this is a definite discipline issue for me.

Fortunately Zach doesn't have class tomorrow morning so it won't be a long day. I stayed in the car tonight because it's only a 2 hour class and hardly worth dragging my stuff into the commons.

I spent the weekend doing tons of reading, both fiction and non-fiction. I finished The Reason Driven Life again and then started a book called Border Lands. It's a book of Celtic Christian prayers and some devotional materials as well. Very refreshing and very much a needed tool for me right now. I've been so spiritually devastated the past few years and had pretty much reached rock bottom so this book is like a long, tall drink of cool water after a trip across the desert. I started reading a book about Mystics and Miracles, too. I tend to be skeptical about some of the more "miraculous" aspects, especially when they happen over a thousand years ago but I still enjoy the character study parts of it. I like reading about people.

And I've got the rest of the Thrush Green series to read as well as starting on the Village School series. Sometimes the older stuff is more relevant to me than the more modern books. Plus I'm a major lover of all things British. Someday I hope to go there for an extended visit.

Church yesterday was really good. I can't put my finger on it but everything seemed better. I figure a lot had to do with my depression lifting and feeling spiritual things. I know I've been fighting a lot of bitterness and resentment since leaving fundamentalism. It's been so hard to try to separate God from fundamentalism but I think it's finally working. I woke up this morning feeling healed. Whether it lasts or not, I don't know, but I'm going to enjoy the feeling for now.

I'm hoping to rent a roto-tiller this week and turn the garden for next summer. I don't want to wait until next year to start on it. I know I'll have to do it again in the spring but it wouldn't be as hard to do if I could get the sod broken up now. I won't put the fence up until the spring though.

I finished knitting a neck warmer for myself and decided, since I have enough yarn, I'm going to knit a rasta hat from a Knitty Gritty pattern. I don't like my hair being flattened down so much so I thought that might be loose enough to wear. I need to get back to my sweater but I'm still crocheting snakes for the windows. Frantically. Before the cold weather comes back. And I did manage to work on my beaded scarf a bit. I'm savoring that so I can make it last. I don't ever get to knit yarn that nice.

I've been watching Supernatural, the first season. I was on a news group several years ago and an actor named Jim Beaver was on there, too. Not that he knows me but we did talk a few times, particularly when his wife was so ill and when she died. So I knew he was in this series and since it's about the kinds of things I like to watch, thought I would pick it up. I've been on the waiting list for a few months so it's probably really popular. But the best part was during one of the episodes which was supposed to be in Southern Indiana and one of the brothers was looking for a missing couple and told one of the people in this fictional town that he had already asked around in Scottsburg and Salem. I nearly jumped off the bed. I was raised in Scottsburg! Lived there all my childhood and didn't leave it until I became and adult. It's such a small town and I've never heard it mentioned in any show before. Although I did enjoy reading the Friendly Persuasion books by Jessamyn West because the books are about the same area: Brown and Scott Counties. Only Scottsburg was called Centerville then.

Also, I love to watch movies that are filmed in locations I've been.'s time to fix Tom's supper and head off to bed and knit on the sweater a bit. I think this might be one of the last few nights before I have to use the furnace again.


Friday, November 6, 2009

Just popping in...

Apparently my "recovery" on Monday was the eye of the Hurricane. By Monday night I was sick again with a headache and body aches. I dreaded all day at campus on Tuesday but I managed to doze a bit in the booth while Zach spent time on his laptop. I also got some snoozes in while he was in class. I'm friends with the cleaner and the security guards have seen me there for two years so no one bothers me and I can just snooze away.

By Wednesday I felt so stopped up that I was sure it was heading into a sinus infection. By today I was sure. Still taking the echinacea and blowing my nose frequently.

I did feel a lot better today. Took Professor walkies around the block and got some outdoor work done as well as a load of clothes on the line. I have another load in the washer that I will hang out tomorrow morning. I thought about it tonight but it's so windy out there I don't want to wake up and find half my clothes gone so I'll wait.

I'm making homemade macaroni and cheese for supper tonight. It's a favorite here especially in winter. Although it was not so cold today...just windy. I think I'll do some baking tomorrow.

I finally put plastic on the front door today and will get the bathroom done tomorrow. I've been crocheting snakes for the windows like mad the past two days. I've got two done. Crocheting moves faster than knitting so that's my choice for these. I think they used to call these "extruders" or something like that. They were also called "door sausages" I think.

I've been moving rapidly through the Thrush Green series. The library was only missing one book in the series and I found it in another library so I put an order in for it. I hope it comes in Monday because I have to go back to the library then. I'm trying to make fewer trips to Beaver Dam. Zach is going to drop his internship class because he just hasn't been able to find one. One guy wanted him to do his inventory for him (without salary), two of them kept him on the line while they were not bothering to get back with him and one guy held him up for 3 weeks with interviews and phone and email contact before letting him know that his company didn't have the resources to train someone. I suspect that is the biggest issue....the companies are expected to train new people and not for their own benefit.

At any rate, he won't be able to graduate until spring and has to spend even more money on a class he should never have had to take. They should have let the students know ahead of time they had to provide their own internships. There was nothing in the syllabus or the lesson plans or even the course description. It's not fair.

At any rate, I need to get busy with supper and back to crocheting more snakes so...


Monday, November 2, 2009

Monday never felt so good

I made it through to the other side of this cold. I'm still a bit stopped up and coughing a bit but I feel so much better for having spent the past two and a half days in bed, sleeping and resting. I definitely recommend it for getting well. I even feel like functioning today, something I haven't felt like for months.

As a result, I'm doing laundry. I would prefer to dry the clothes on the line but they might end up in the next county with the wind as strong as it's been the past week. Zach is going to try raking leaves today but they might end up in the next county as well...which wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing, I'm thinking.

I did a lot of reading but not so much knitting. I did finish the socks I'm going to send to my sister and worked on my earth shawl but nothing that required any concentration. I started another sleeping hat last night and might start a balaclava for myself for the winter months so I can get outside more often.

I've been debating cutting my hair because it's so thin and ends up looking like straw from the dryness of it. But I hate the way I look in short hair so I might just try to figure out a way to pull it back throughout the winter months and deal with it more in the summer. I love the way the hair keeps my neck warm so I will have to knit a neck warmer for myself if I'm going to pull the hair off my neck. Which wouldn't bother me a bit, to tell you the truth. Something lacey would be nice.

I went to take some chicken leg quarters out of the bag I bought for supper tonight and it's one solid mass of chicken so I'm trying to thaw it out just enough to separate but not so much that I can't re-freeze the rest. Worst case scenario...I cook it all and freeze the cooked portions.

I must get back to strict tightwadding. We've spent way too much money in the past month to the degree I'm afraid to bring the checkbook up to date. But I must. I'm the one who has to face the hard things so I'd better get it over with.

And I'll be spending less time online, too. I realized these past two days that I really didn't miss the internet and that I got so much other things done instead so I'll be limiting myself to an hour or so online, which doesn't get me far with the things I used to read, but I'm going to limit Ravelry and Facebook as I don't want to pass on the blogs I read.

In the meantime, laundry is beckoning to me and I must respond.