Monday, February 28, 2011

Goodbye, February

My productive days are happening more frequently and that is good.  I'm noticing a trend more in sleep patterns than eating patterns, but if I can get them both in a more positive frame the world might implode.  I see that as a good thing, actually.

February is nearly over and I can feel spring wanting to make its appearance.  I got the little greenhouses today for tomatoes, peppers and tobacco.  Except I forgot to buy pepper seeds.  I'll get them next week.  Not the end of the world.  But I did buy another herb pot and some sage.  I'll get more herb pots as time goes on.  I'm hoping to get them all started tomorrow.  

I got some cookbooks from the library today on Mediterranean cooking.  Some of the cooking shows I've been watching have mentioned the longevity of the Greek people so I'm open to studying the way they eat.  It may not be practical as their main source of protein seems to be fish and cheese and fish is about $5 a pound.  But I'm working on changing the things we eat as well.  It would do us more good to eat more meat-less meals.

I've started on the side borders on the Greek afghan, making progress.  I'm still practically falling into bed at night so not a lot of knitting is getting done, but at least I'm sleeping.  I had a dream about owls night before last and now I want to knit some.  I've got a pattern off of Ravelry so we'll see if it works out.  I found a book at the library but I didn't like the owls there.  They looked too cartoonish.  I just want an owl. 

I do need to get back to the Navajo coat once again, but I would have to stay awake long enough to finish up a row.  And those rows are very, very long as the coat is crocheted sideways.  I'm also in the mood for a poncho, even though they make me look even rounder than I already am.  Who knows...maybe I'll be able to lose some of this weight if I can just get to sleeping regularly.

The sun was shining brightly today with a high of 30F.  The snow melted off the sidewalk so no one had to shovel and it looks even better for tomorrow.  It amazes me how, when the temps hit the 30s every puts their hats and gloves away and don't even button their coats.  It's like spring.  When  it hits the 40s they leave the coats at home.  They don't do that down in Southern Indiana.  My mom was complaining about the cold and it was in the high 30s.

I got up pretty early this morning and did a load of clothes, took a shower and cleaned up the kitchen all before anyone else woke up.  I hope I can keep that schedule up.  It will mean I fall asleep before 10 at night but I can live with that.  As long as Tom doesn't wake me up when he comes home.  By then I would have had enough sleep to keep me awake and mess up my sleep patterns again.  I'll keep my fingers crossed.

He's been wanting sausage, gravy and biscuits for a while now but never puts them on the grocery list so I finally remembered to get them today.  That's what we'll have for supper tonight.  Then I can look at healthier foods starting tomorrow.  It's hard when the husband wants to cook heavy, greasy foods.  His cholesterol is fine.  Mine is crap.  I'll have to start controlling the meals on the weekends.  He tends to jump in there and fix supper without my input but I'll just have to be more on the ball.

But I'm off to take a short nap before fixing supper.  It's already been a long day for me.


Saturday, February 26, 2011

More snow...what a surprise...not!

I woke up this morning intending to get a lot done but the library had some dvds in I wanted to watch this weekend so I headed out.  Only it was snowing and the truck was the last car in the driveway.  There is a mountain of snow and a barrier blocking one lane  in front of the neighbor's house so there was no place to park both vehicles so I could swap them out.  I took the truck but with great depredation.  Remember it's crap on snow.

The roads were pretty good when I left and then I hit up StuffMart to pick up some planting supplies so I could start planting my herbs.  I'll start some tomatoes, peppers and tobacco next week.  By the time I got out the roads were covered with a thin layer of snow and the truck was slipping and sliding all over the place.  I drove at 40 mph all the way home, much to the disgust of those people in SUVs and even then I was sliding.

I finished up the last stripe of design on the Greek afghan and only have a few rows of stockinette and the garter stitch border to go before putting a garter stitch border on both sides.  I started knitting an herb bag out of sock yarn because I want to hang some herbs around the house and maybe even wear some.  I've got a crush on rosemary lately.  Can't get enough of it.

I also plan on getting back to my Navajo coat tonight.  I saw a woman at the library with a gorgeous coat with a Peruvian design that was so colorful.  I almost went up to her and asked her about it but it didn't look handmade, but store bought.  No, I didn't think that because handmade things look less, but because it just looked store bought.  Many, many handmade things look better than store bought.  Mine probably won't, but I'm okay with that.  I'll still love it.

I simply must get busy on the house.  The clutter is really bothering me. I also need to get busy on eating better.  I know that is a large part of the reason I don't feel good ever.  Even with the chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia, I've felt better in the past when I was eating healthier foods.  I need to get back to that and now.

But for now I'm off to lie down because my headache is back.  The sinus infection seems to be completely gone but I still have allergies to mold and mildew.  Cleaning would probably lessen that problem as well.

At least the snow is lovely...until tomorrow when we have to go shovel it.  But for now, I'll enjoy it.


Friday, February 25, 2011

Better days

I got my errands done today with no problems at all from the car.  But I did have the phone and Tom's work number with me.  I hope I don't get complacent again.

I managed to get some more knitting on the Greek afghan last night.  I'm on the home stretch and should be done this weekend sometime.  I'm already thinking about my next projects to start on.  I have another blanket that I set aside several months ago.  I've also got some sock yarn from a sock I had to frog because the feet were different lengths and it was so small I couldn't get it on over my heel.  I'll try a different pattern next time.  I've got Welsh top to spin and much yarn that could be something.  I just don't know what.  I'll come up with an idea.  I look ever day on Ravelry's pattern page to get ideas.

More snow is predicted this week but not much accumulation, thankfully.  I thought everything was pretty today with the bright sun on the white snow and the weather was a balmy 20F but I am looking forward to spring, I must say.

I'm nearly ready to get my seeds started.  I have a problem as Tom has designated the second shelf Hannibal's cat bird seat for looking out the window and I need it for seedlings.  I could move him down a shelf though and he can still see out.  He just can't lie down and see out.  I have tobacco seeds to start and I need to get some tomato and green pepper seeds.  I was going to get them from a seed catalog but we did just fine with the Burpee seeds last year.  I'll just get the seeds I can't get from StuffMart or any other local stores.  Mostly herbs that they don't sell around here.  I definitely want some sage bushes this year though.

I'm cooking potato-leek soup tonight for supper.  Zach has this cold and so I got him something from Taco Bell for supper.  You need to be pampered when you're sick, after all.  He can't eat potatoes without throwing up so this is an opportunity to cook them since he's already eaten.  Well, he can eat French fries, but no other kind of potato.  It's the texture thing that his OCD has going on.

I'm hoping to get some cleaning done this weekend.  I normally can't on the weekend because it's a tiny house and Tom is home but I'll give it my best shot since I don't seem to get anything done during the week.  I also want to hit the thrift store tomorrow. I rarely buy anything but I check out their yarn and needles and other stuff I can't afford to get full price.  Zach needs a suit coat, but not the whole suit for interviews.  I love to look at the notions and stuff in the craft section.  Plus I'm always on the lookout for candles.

Otherwise I intend to stay home more often as the gas prices are near $3.50 a gallon.  Crawling up to $4, which will kill our rural economy.

Well, off to peel potatoes (Tom doesn't like the peeling on his in soups) and brown some bacon.


Thursday, February 24, 2011

A real nothing day

It's been a completely wasted day.  I'm still in my pajamas and housecoat and I forgot to turn the furnace up until about 4 p.m.  I'm just trying to recover from the meltdown.  I spent the night kicking myself for not remaining calmer and for calling Tom out of work.  Hopefully next time it happens (and there is always a next time) I'll try more innovative ways to get the car started.  And keep the cell phone charged and in my purse.

I need to run errands tomorrow so I do need to get up and get something done today.  Maybe after a hot shower.  Or maybe I won't do anything but crawl back into bed since I only got 3 hours of sleep last night.

I ended up reading most of the night, hoping it would make me sleepy but I finished the 3rd Percy Jackson book.  I like them very much and will read Rick Riordan's other series as well.  I have so many books I need to read.

I got a book of poetry by William Blake at the library as well.  I used to love poetry and read it (and wrote it) a lot but not in the past 20 years or so.  I'm feeling a hankering for it so I got some Blake and Yeats.  Very beautiful, very soothing.  I'm going to do this more often.

And since nothing has happened all day, I've got nothing to write about.  So I'm off to take a shower, fix supper and go to bed.  I'm that tired.


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The day from...well, that place that is a lot warmer than we are here.

This was the day from hell.  Or close to it.  It started out well:  I slept about 10 hours, woke up when I wanted to, had a lazy morning before leaving for town to go to the library and hit the store to pick up a prescription.  Zach and I got to town and since we drove past McSnacky's, decided to stop first since we were hungry.  Had a long, satisfying lunch and then it broke loose. 

The car wouldn't start.  Not a sound, nothing.  So naturally I thought it was the stupid battery again and did everything I could to start it, including getting a jump from a guy who pulled in next to me.  Nothing.  Nada.  I'm in a different town, with no cell phone (it was the car) and Tom at work without me knowing his phone number.  And not a pay phone in sight.

Zach braved his shyness and asked a woman at McSnacky's if she could look up the phone number on her laptop and she was happy to do so.  So we had the phone number but no phone.  We went to every store in the mini-mall area and no one had a pay phone or knew where one was.  Zach thought there might be one at the campus, which was two blocks away so we made one last stop at Shopko before walking there.  The customer service woman let us use the store phone to call (it was out of the area code so no one else would let us use their phones).  By that time I was nearly in tears as it was getting dark and I had one headlight.  I was so frazzled when I talked to Tom that I told him the wrong location.  Zach corrected me and I told him where we were but apparently he didn't hear me at all.  So we sat there waiting....and waiting...and waiting.

Suddenly I had a thought that since I had been having trouble shifting into park lately, maybe it was the transmission.  I shifted into neutral and the car started right up.  Problem solved, right?  Wrong.  Tom was on his way and we had no way of letting him know.  So we sat there for another 20 minutes and I finally headed for home before I had to use the headlights.  I got by with just the parking lights since it was still light enough to see.  I just had to make sure they saw me.

We went home and called Tom's cell phone, which was off...and still in his lunch box at work.  All we could do was pace until he finally came home.  I explained the situation to him and found out he hadn't heard my correction (I told him twice but he had machinery making loud noises in the background) and went to StuffMart looking for me, then the library and then Wendy's.  He never even knew the McSnacky's we were at even existed.

I was in meltdown and still needed to get to the library before my books were overdue so he called in a vacation day (not to mention how frazzled I still was) and I headed out to take care of my errands.  He cooked while I was gone but I am so achy from the stress that I am going to take a hot shower and go to bed.  If I just hadn't panicked, I might have thought the problem through but in the past the car not starting was always the battery so I had no reason to think it was anything else.

I don't think I can knit on anything tonight.  I hurt that bad.  So I'm off to take care of a couple more things and then going to bed.


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Warning...bad language

This has definitely not been a productive day, but I have done 3 loads of laundry, including sheets.  So when they are out of the dryer, I'll be tackling my bedroom, giving it a good cleaning.  And I need to vacuum the living room as I kicked the dog's food dish and there are kibbles all over the floor now.  And I need to start supper soon.  Aside from that, I've done next to nothing.

The cold is still hanging on a bit, but my sinuses are clearer now.  Just a bit of coughing and my ears stopping up periodically.  But I continue to improve so I'm not going to change what I'm doing.  I'll just keep up with the nasal irrigation and the echinacea.  And rest.  Zach took care of shoveling out the car today as we got a couple more inches of snow last night.  Still only looks like about 6 inches out there.  And it was warm enough in the sun to melt the snow on the sidewalks.

I didn't knit at all last night.  I crawled into bed and immediately fell asleep at 8 p.m.  I woke up, unfortunately, but was back to sleep at 1:30 a.m. and slept for most of the night.  I just can't get that sleeping through the night thing down.

I had a friend request on facebook today that I deleted.  This was the friend who called my gay son the equivalent of a pedophile or a person who has sex with animals because that's what Jesus says about gays.  And she wants to be friends again?  Pardon my language, but no fucking way.  I didn't have to consider it at all.  Just deleted her request.  When I called her on her offensive language she played the "sinner saved by grace" bullshit, which I also called her on.  Then I unfriended her because she absolutely couldn't see that what she had said was in any way offensive. Another reason I am done with Christianity.

Going to town tomorrow mostly for the library.  I don't really need anything from the store except bread for Tom's lunch so that should be a quick stop.  Tom is certain gas is going up over $4 a gallon because of what's happening in Libya so I need to get the headlights fixed on the car so he can drive it.  But not until next week.  I just don't feel like dealing with it this week.

I hope gas doesn't go up again.  It nearly ruined us last time it was that high.

Well, off to straighten up the kitchen so I can cook in there.  I'm thinking sloppy joes because I have no energy to cook anything else.


Monday, February 21, 2011

Thankful for neighbors

Although someone on my facebook page was saying we got 10+ inches, we only got about 6 or so.  Thankfully the neighbor with his snow blower got the driveway apron after the snow plow went through.  And the snow plow driver had a hard time of it due to a barricade in the road in front of the neighbor's house.  As a result we have a mountain of snow just outside the driveway making it a one-way road.  I'll have to shovel some more snow in order to put the trash out tomorrow night because of it.

I went outside this morning and shoveled the snow behind the truck because Tom didn't need to get sweaty and chilled before going to work.  He did a lot of shoveling yesterday (and the neighbor returned the gesture this morning by getting our public sidewalks as well, bless him.)  I need to shovel out the car but that can wait until tomorrow because I'm taking it a bit easy after all the effort this morning and I'm not going anywhere tonight.  We were supposed to get a couple of more inches but so far all we've gotten is a dusting that I don't even need to shovel.

Tom says the trouble in Libya means gas prices are going to go up so I need to get the car in the shop to replace the headlights so he can take it to work instead of the truck.  Again, no matter how hard we try something happens and we end up behind again.  I can limit our trips to town but he still has to drive about 20+ miles to work each way.

I am feeling a bit better although my head hurt a lot earlier.  I irrigated my sinus and it was slightly cloudy again so I need to keep up with it as the infection seems to want to stick around.  I'll keep ahead of it rather than waiting for it to announce its presence to me.

I got some knitting done last night on the Greek afghan and found a pattern I like on Ravelry that is totally pointless.  I can see myself wearing that shopping.  NOT!  Still, it would be fun to have.  I have the yarn (although the ears would be brown rather than skin tone) but I'm not sure I want to use the yarn I have for that.  Still, I printed it out and put it in my folder.  Maybe someday I'll knit it up.

I've got a lot of light blue and off white yarn I'm wondering what to make into.  I don't need another blanket so I'm thinking maybe a poncho or something wearable.  Not sure about a sweater, although I do have enough.  I'll wait until something jumps up and smacks me in the face.

I do have another project I started that I can go back to that is another blanket that I might use as an altar cloth.  I can make it smaller so it fits my nightstand/altar.  I like the colors:  black and red.  I'm doing such a good job of not buying any yarn lately.  It's been over a month, I think.  And I'm not suffering from withdrawal.  Yet.

I've got baked potatoes cooking in the toaster oven and soon will start the panko tilapi.  I wish I had more energy and I would fix better side dishes but I used it all up outside today.  I wasn't gasping for breath as I normally do so maybe I am improving in that regard.  I just need to keep up with it.

Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day and my energy levels will continue to improve.  In the meantime, I'm taking it easy tonight and not overdoing it so I've got some left over tomorrow to finish up the laundry.



Sunday, February 20, 2011

Seeing light at the end of the tunnel and hoping it's not another train coming

I irrigated my sinuses last night, several times in fact, and the infection seems to be gone for the present.  I plan on keeping up with it daily for a while, making sure the infection stays away this time. And the coughing is nearly gone so I'm in much better shape now.  I slept long and hard last night.

I should be fixing supper right now since it's getting late.  I had planned on fish with Panko coating but I'm still pretty tired so I'm going with Cheeseburger Casserole.  Cheap and easy.

I did a lot of ripping back last night on the Greek afghan since I tried to knit the night before last while sick.  I messed up the pattern and had to go back.  I'm back where I started before ripping so I thought I should just leave it alone until I feel a lot better.  I'm getting there but maybe I shouldn't do any knitting tonight as I do have a headache.

I'll irrigate my sinuses later and see if that relieves the pressure.  The doctor never gives me antibiotics for sinus infections.  She thinks they are over-prescribed.  She recommends nasal irrigation with saline and blowing your nose a lot.  I completely forgot about the irrigation until yesterday.  I hope this does the trick.

I did get some reading done.  Nothing that requires a lot of concentration, but definitely entertaining at least.  I've got the second of the Percy Jackson novels.  So far so good.  I will most likely finish it up tonight or tomorrow and since I don't plan on going to the library until Thursday, I'll listen to some Druidcasts on my mp3 player or listen to a book online downloaded from LibriVox.  They're free although mostly old since they're in the public domain.  I wish the audio books at the library were mp3 compatible as well.

And while listening to the podcasts, I can clean house and get my life ordered again.  Being sick really messes up the house even when I do try to keep up.

We've got about four-five inches of snow on the ground already.  Only supposed to get about 6-10.  Only. Tom did some shoveling today as Zach is coming down with this and I'm still too puny for shoveling.  He's in bed with a chill now, though, since he decided to shovel everyone's sidewalks as well.  He's generous to a fault.

Off to finish up supper and then to bed.  I'm making progress but I'm still a bit of a mess.


Friday, February 18, 2011

Hoping I'm on the downhill journey of the head cold that will not end

I'm worn out.  All this coughing and sneezing, with eyes watering, not to mention lack of sleep has just worn me out and down.  I intend to stay in bed all weekend, thanks to my husband's orders.  Although I suspect Professor hasn't gotten the memo yet and will do his best to get me up.  Frequently.  And yet he slept through the night last night.  Of course he did.  I couldn't so he did it for me.

I still haven't touched any knitting.  It sucks that when you're down for the count you can't take advantage of that down time to knit happily away because your world is colorless when you're sick.  And creativity takes a vacation in other climes.

So I'm achy and sore from this whatever it is.  Not a flu but certainly a head cold with sinus infection and all the coughing that goes with it.  I'm too achy to knit tonight and too brain-fogged to read so I'm watching cooking shows, which for some reason make me so sleepy that I can't last through one of them.  Fortunately they're dvr'd so I can go back to them later.  Jamie Oliver has become a favorite as well as the Rocco guy in Italy.  Can't think of his name right now.  When I get better I'm going to start cooking more interesting meals.  I'm sick of casseroles.

Zach has been a huge help to me the past couple of days, taking Professor out and diverting his attention from me when I'm napping.  Plus all the work he's doing that I normally do.  I hope he doesn't get this, too.  Especially as next week will be full of job hunting and hopefully interviews with temp agencies.  They'll be sending his diploma in the mail.

The bird feeders are completely empty but with the strong winds we had today no bird could have sat on one.  At times they were nearly on their sides.  So I thought I would wait until tomorrow to fill them, as long as the winds die down a bit.  I'm so anxious to be done with this cold so I can get things done, especially as the ground is visible.  It's only a hint of spring, but even a hint is enough to perk me up.

Everyone is on their own tonight with French break pizzas because I'm not cooking and I'm not thinking well enough to come up with a meal plan.  But who doesn't like pizza and it is Friday.

Back to bed for me and then probably another nap since I can't stay awake.  Considering how little sleep I've had all week, it's no surprise that I'm sleeping so much today.  Plus it's such a relief to have times when I'm not coughing and sneezing and since I only have those times when I'm asleep, why stay awake?

Hopefully next time I write I'll be feeling much better.


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Wanting to commit fiber adultery

Don't you just love it when family members stir the pot so other family members think you said something about them you didn't?  And don't you love it when the other family members believe, not you, but the one who is spreading the shit?  (Although this time I think they believe me.) And they can't figure out why you don't go home unless you're blackmailed into it.

'Nuff said.

I'm feeling a bit better today.  Zach applied for graduation and will be done as soon as his portfolio if approved, which is supposed to be a done deal.  As a reward, he treated himself to getting his other ear pierced.  He's a cheap date, to be sure.  I was expecting something more expensive.

I did okay dropping him off at the school and running to the library (since there was no place to park on campus) and then coming back to pick him up.  I was feeling a bit crummy when we stopped for a bite at McSnacky's and watched the protest in Madison on CNN there (it was a shock they didn't have Faux News up like they usually do) but then my head started feeling heavier and heavier, and as it was already dreary out, it seemed it was getting darker and darker out so we hit StuffMart to get the few things we needed.  By the time we got to the car, I was feeling like crap again.

So Zach is fixing supper tonight.  Yes, it's Chicken Helper, but it's still him fixing supper.  And I'm going back to bed.  I don't know why Tom gets this and is over it in three days and it takes me two weeks.

We had our last warm day for a while.  Temps will start going down tonight with snow predicted for Sunday and Monday and temps in the low 20s all week.  It was a nice respite but I knew it was a tease.  February still has a lot of kick left to it, not to mention the harshness March has to offer.  Still, I need to get my order in to the seed catalog.  Soon.

I might possibly knit tonight.  I haven't done any for a few days, which must mean that I'm really not feeling well.  I'm more than halfway done on the Greek afghan and am itching to be unfaithful to it with something smaller, like an amigurimi or some toy or other.  Or maybe a baby sweater.  I haven't done one of those in ages.  Or I might just go back to work on the Navajo coat.  So many choices and I don't have to buy any yarn for any of them.  I must get my stash down to a manageable status.  I have yarn stuffed in closets, bins, drawers and my armoir is almost totally full of yarn and notions.  I could knit for a year and still have yarn left over.  In fact, I need to.  But don't hold me to it.  I would cheat.  I'm just that kind of girl.

Well, off to bed with some cold meds and some herbs.  I didn't sleep much last night because I was coughing a lot.  Maybe I'll do better tonight.


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Let's add coughing to the list of symptoms

I got 10 hours of sleep last night, mostly uninterrupted, but with a brief period of pain and two tries by Professor to wake me up.  With the pain, I just took an extra tramadol and kept trying to find a position that didn't hurt as badly as any other, but with Professor, I just ignored him and he jumped back into the bed and curled up.

I would like to say I woke up feeling better but I didn't.  In fact, today I'm running a low fever, which for me is more significant since I rarely run them.  It's just 99F but enough to make me feel worse.  Plus all the coughing today.  I got some laundry done and tackled the kitchen but I'm going back to bed in a few minutes.  I haven't done any knitting for a couple of days so you know I'm not feeling well.

Tomorrow I need to run some errands, including driving Zach by the campus to apply for graduation and get a statement saying he was a student last year.  Then groceries.  I don't think I need to go by the library, which is good.

I'm off to go lie down.  Not sure how well I'll sleep tonight since I slept until 1 p.m. but I do need to lie down as every muscle in my body is aching right now.


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

I need sleep

Today was even worse than yesterday in part because I was awake most of the night, but every time I did manage to doze off, the dog needed to go out to wee.  And he just won't let it go so I had to get up.  What really frosted me was I finally started to doze off after Tom woke up but when he went upstairs, the dog who had up until that time been dozing next to me, decided he needed to go out and wouldn't shut up until I got up and let him out.  That's my third night in a row with little sleep due to sore throat, headache or a bossy puppy.  I'm not getting up with him tonight no matter how loud he barks.

If I can sleep, that is.  I'm still feeling crappy.  The right sinus is the one infected and is hot and sore to the touch and stopped up so I'm a mouth breather these days.  And that is drying out my throat and making it sore.  I'm cranky as all get out and just want to lock my door and shut the world out but since I don't have a door, or even a wall for that matter, it's not going to happen.  I would love to go to sleep right now but I'll wake up when Tom comes home and that would make it worse since I wouldn't get back to sleep then.

I haven't done any knitting tonight.  I've tried reading but I keep dozing off (at which time the dog starts woofing at me...I've ignored him so far.)  I got some cough drops today because Tom gets the Halls stuff and the mentholatum in them makes me sick.  I got Ricola, which is much easier on my throat and sinuses.  Not to mention my stomach.

I'm going to lie down now as supper is done.  Not that I'm eating.  I have no appetite tonight.  Just thirsty and sleepy.


Monday, February 14, 2011

The winter of the sinus infection

Still struggling with a sinus infection that may or may not have flu-like tendencies.  It's mostly my right sinus and has been prone to infection all winter.  I may have to break down and see the doctor if this doesn't quit soon.  I wonder how much of the fatigue is due to a low grade, long term infection.

But I have gotten a tremendous amount of knitting done on the Greek afghan. In fact, I'm positively monogamous.  Mostly monogamous, anyway.  I should spend some time on the Navajo coat, too, but I'm having too much fun on the afghan.  I think I have just enough purple to finish it up.  I don't think it will be as long as the pattern calls for but I don't need it that long anyway.  I still have tons of the off white yarn leftover so I can combine that with the blue and come up with something a poncho or something.

Another warm day today with temps in the high 30s.  Supposedly Thursday will be in the 50s.  I can see grass and that gives me a promise of spring to look forward to.  Still, February and March can be real bastards so I expect some payback for the nice days soon. At least I'm not ready to pull the plastic off the windows.  But I will say it's been nice to have two nights without the furnace running.  And today the temps were higher indoors than what I had the thermostat sitting on.  I love the sound of no money being spent.

The pressure in my head is making me drowsy and lethargic.  And stupid.  Thinking is just too hard today.  And I was all set to get back to studying this week.  It's a conspiracy, I tell you!  I won't have time to do any studying tomorrow because we go to the campus so Zach can file his application to graduate.  That was a long time coming, it seems.  He's done except for that.  And shelling out $30 with the application because nothing in life is free.

While there we'll get a form that states he was a student last year so we can get our last year of tax credit for it.  After this he won't be a dependent anymore. 

I watched the first episode of Deadwood last night.  I had seen an episode from, I think, the third season and I couldn't really keep up so seeing it from the beginning made a lot more sense, but the OnDemand only has a few of the first eps and they will disappear from there tomorrow.  I don't feel like a marathon tonight, though.  If I really do want to watch it, I'll get it from the library.  Jim Beaver is the main reason for watching it.  I'm a huge fan of his.

Well, I need to start supper and get the laundry out of the dryer.  And put another load in.  I thought about hanging a load out today but there is still a foot of snow under the clothes line with mushy grass under that and I don't feel like negotiating it.  I might tomorrow though as I need to take the compost out and refill the bird feeders.  Except we might get some drizzle.  Just when the temps rise enough to use it, I get rain.  Oh, well.

The sooner my work is done, the sooner I can go to bed.  I had a night of sore throat and headache last night so sleep wasn't restorative.


Friday, February 11, 2011

I was tired of winter until I got a nifty new coat

We got out today in the car, getting home just before we needed lights.  Not just before it was required to use them.  We had plenty of time for that.  I mean before we were invisible to traffic out there, the car being gray, the road being gray and the skies being gray.  I was extra careful on the way home knowing that some people might not look well enough to see us.  We made it home just fine.

While at StuffMart today we saw coats on sale for 50% off and since I've been wearing Zach's old coat for 3 years, I thought I would look at some new ones.  I found a really beautiful coat that comes down to mid-thigh, the perfect length for me instead of mid-ass.  It was black and had black fur on the hood.  And it fit on my huge lymphadema arm.  Twenty dollars.  So I bought it although it's not as heavy as my man-coat.  Zach wondered after looking at all the women's coats whether they thought women didn't get cold since none of them were as heavy or as warm.  Zach found one for $6.50.  Really heavy and warm.  But I would look like a beach ball in one of those and I'm tired of looking ugly.

Zach wants to lose weight so we are going to try to hold each other up and see if that helps some.  I don't want to ever diet again, but I can manage my portions and eat better and move more.  That's as far as I will go though because every diet I've ever been on has backfired on me and I've gained it all back and then some.  Still, I would love to be healthier and not look so terrible all the time.

I got some knitting done last night after all.  I just couldn't lay there in bed doing nothing so I picked up the Greek afghan and worked on it until I got sleepy.  Then I put it up and turned the lights off, set the timer on the tv and went to sleep.  I slept in until Hannibal woke me up.  It was his turn, after all.  The dog and cat have a tag team going on.  He was curled up on my chest with his head pressed up against mine and I heard his stomach grumble.  Then he was off me like a shot and throwing up on the steps we have so Professor can get in bed.  I had to wash the cover for the bottom step.  I'm so glad he didn't throw up with his head next to mine.  But it did wake me up.

Professor is bugging me now because he wants me to go to my room so he can lie down on the bed.  He has to be in the same room with me so if he wants to go there, I must, too.  Too bad because I have to make supper.  Baked ziti, I think, with meatballs because these guys don't like meatless meals.

I got some more reading done on First Man in Rome and Zach has been reading some short stories about Artemis Fowl.  Zach rarely watches television and I don't turn it on until evening so it's peaceful here all day long.   Until the weekend when Tom comes downstairs and has the living room tv blaring so loud I can't even hear the one in my bedroom and have to resort to reading closed captioning.  Which may or may not actually be what is being said.  Not to mention I miss the lovely accents.

And the weekend is coming up.  He's not feeling well so maybe he'll rest up in bed most of the weekend.

Well, off to fix supper so I can crawl into bed for the night.  It's my favorite time of the day.


Thursday, February 10, 2011

More whine and cheese

Hopefully the cold spell is leaving us.  The Weather Channel showed some temps in the 40s next week.  I can live with that and at least it's not in the negative numbers right now.  I don't think it is anyway.  It was -6 this morning with a windchill of -18.

I got to sleep early last night, which is never good as I woke up two hours later in pain.  It took 2 tramadol and walking around the house a bit to stop the writhing from pain.  Even at those moments I keep telling myself the pain isn't that bad and other people have it worse. 

I did a lot of reading last night instead of knitting but Zach and I did watch Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightening Thief.  Do you think they could come up with a longer title for a movie?  He really liked it.  So did I even though I've seen it several times already. 

Supper is already over:  chili and corn bread. I managed not to over season the chili and not eat too much so I'm not bloated and nauseous like I usually am.  But that's pretty much all I got done today aside from the early morning clean up, picking up after everyone and straightening up the kitchen.  I slept 2 hours this afternoon so sleeping tonight will be difficult.

We have to leave for town tomorrow right after Tom goes to work as the car only has one working headlight and since it has to go into the shop to be replaced it's not happening any time soon.  The headlights only seem to last a year and as it costs us labor to remove the front bumper and put it back on again in order to replace the lights, I'm getting really tired of this.  I hope we can manage to afford a different car this spring.  This car was a good deal but we've spent so much money on it because of the way it's in, you can't do any work at home because every little thing requires large disassembly that can only happen where they have the equipment, that it's really diminished the enjoyment I might have gotten from having built in this century.

Still...we won't get much out of it for resale so we need more money coming in monthly before we can tackle buying a newer used one.  I just wish we could catch a break some day instead of slipping deeper into the pit every month.

So we have to get to town and back before I need the headlights, which means leaving earlier in the day.  At least the days are getting longer.

Off to crawl into bed and read a bit.  I'm so tired I don't even feel like knitting tonight.  And that really sucks.


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Gone with the wind chill or how my energy walked out the door in freezing weather without a coat

Floop.  That was the sound of my energy escaping out the open door.  I'm plugging along with little sleep last night and no energy today.  Zach is going to straighten up the kitchen and cook supper tonight with me helping from the sidelines.  He's good at helping and wants to learn to cook different foods so.  Okay, it's Chicken Helper but he has to strip the meat off the bones and put half in the freezer.  I'm just not up for it today.  I tried to sleep earlier but couldn't stay asleep so I gave up and just watched tv lying down.  I saw My Life in Ruins, which I had been avoiding due to lousy reviews.  I quite liked it actually.  A bit sappy but a lot of fun for the most part.

I finished up The Lightening Thief last night.  I'm a fast reader most of the time and as this is a book for kids, it didn't take me long.  I loved it.  Much different from the movie but I'm one of those who understands that the dynamics of a book don't translate to a movie very well.  I've got the second book on hold but I've also got two books on Greek and Greek religion on hold at the library as well.  I'm going a day or two to see if another book comes in.  Zach got Artemis Fowl: The Time Paradox in print form.  We had tried to listen to it but the narrator was so bad we sent it back.  But be still my heart! I found a Nathaniel Parker version of it at the library so it's on order as well.  And they have the next book, The Atlantis Paradox, with Mr. Parker as narrator, too.  I guess they learned their lessons.  I hope they did anyway.

Right now I'm reading First Man in Rome, which I have read before and loved.  This time through, however, I know more about Roman history and society and have found a couple of mistakes she's made.  Not enough to ruin the enjoyment.  In fact, it just makes me feel good that I know history better than I did last time I read it.  It's a huge book, though, so it will take me a while to get through it.  I probably won't be getting as much knitting done because I just feel like reading more.  Good thing I'm not on a timetable to get anything done.

The headlight on the car went out on the way home from work last night.  The thing about this car is you have to put it in the shop to change out the lights.  The whole front bumper has to come off and Tom doesn't have the tools to do that and besides that it's freezing out there with negative wind chills.  He's taking the truck and we just won't go anywhere at night for a while.  The property taxes on the family land up north is due and this year they decided for everyone to chip in instead of one person having to foot the bill but our portion is around $50 so the car will just have to wait.  We honestly have to own two vehicles so we've got one running all the time.  We have the worst luck with keeping them up and running.

I'm still not feeling well with the sinus infection.  I didn't take any cold meds today but I'm still taking the echinacea and golden seal.  I have a headache and my sinuses are stopped up but I want to give it a rest on the harsh chemicals for a day or so.  I really should just crawl back into bed and stay there for a day or two.  If I didn't have so much to do here, I might do that.

But I'm off to lie down for a bit while Zach straightens up the kitchen, then I'll talk him through shredding the chicken.


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Puxatawney Phil took a bribe

At least I wasn't dragging today even if I didn't get much done at all.  We ended up going to town after all because of a prescription in and I just didn't want to wait until Thursday to pick it up.  We hit the library as well, but as we didn't get out until late afternoon, I won't be cooking supper tonight.  Pot pies will suffice, I think.

I got a phone call from my mother this morning telling me that my dad was in the hospital.  He had an episode with his heart that caused him to sit down very quickly in the bathroom while shaving.  They kept him in last night so she didn't know what the problem was until today.  That was the reason we got a late start.  I was waiting to hear from her.  It turned out that they cut his medicine in half and it was too low so they upped it a bit and sent him home.  So all is well for now and I was able to shovel out the trash bin and get to town.

In temps of about 3 degrees F and wind chills of about -16F.   The rat bastard ground hog is not to be trusted.

Had a problem loading up the truck though because the top was frozen shut so I had to open the back gate and I wasn't sure it was firmly shut.  I shut it a few times as hard as I could and it looked shut but when we got home it was open and there was food all over the tail gate.  Fortunately it doesn't look like we lost anything.  Which is amazing considering the long drive.

So Zach is taking the trash and recyclables out now and then it's into my jammies and into bed.  I hope to get more accomplished tomorrow but I'm not beating myself up for not getting more done today.

I'm a bit sore and achy from shoveling as the snow in front of the garage had compressed and was extra heavy. I couldn't even shovel down to the pavement because it was so packed.  Zach helped shovel but we had to get the sidewalks done first (it snowed again last night) and by the time he got to the back to help I was in the truck and warming it up.  We moved the trash bin after we got home since the only place for it is in the driveway.  We have shared access with the neighbor so Tom has room to swing out around it but I didn't trust that I would be able to do that with the truck as we slip and slide up the driveway anyway.  That's probably when the tail gate opened...when I was sliding up the hill.

I got the first of the Percy Jackson books and I really like it so far.  Zach got the last Artemis Fowl book and is nearly a third of the way through it.  We listened to the audio books while he was going to school but the last one was crap because they hired a different narrator in the U.S. and he couldn't do voices worth...well...crap.  Nathaniel Parker is a genius with voices and set the bar so high that few could compete.  But this new guy was really crap.  We listened for about 5 minutes and then quit.  It was that bad.  They won't allow Nathaniel Parker's version to be sold in the U.S. so unless we can get it from the UK we're not going to hear it.  So he's reading it and "listening" to the voices so beautifully created by Nathaniel Parker.  In his head, that is.

I also got First Man in Rome about Gaius Marius.  I've actually got the book somewhere but I don't feel like digging around upstairs right now.  It's bitterly cold up there (Tom has a space heater that he uses at night) and smells really bad of cigarette smoke.  I just don't feel like dealing with both when I can get the book from the library.

And so I am off to curl up in bed and read some more before tackling knitting and tv watching.


Monday, February 7, 2011


Today has been a very productive day so far and since I still have a lot to finish up, should end up being extremely productive.  I've done 3 loads of laundry so far, cleaned my room and am tackling the dining/living room in addition to cooking supper and making inroads in the kitchen.  Super Bowl Sunday destroyed it with massive pizza making.

I'm still feeling a bit "heady" from the sinus infection but I'm not aching in my joints and muscles like I was yesterday.  Sleep does help and although I didn't sleep through, I apparently slept enough.  I just hope the momentum continues because I have tons of things I want to accomplish.

I've been knitting steadily on the Greek afghan but I did start working on a charm bag necklace yesterday.  It doesn't look very good unfortunately.  I think I'm making the bag too small, but I can't let it get too big.  I'm working I-cord for the necklace part and my I-cord isn't that great.  I'm not sure this will work out.  I might have to look at other options in necklaces.

I haven't worked on my class at Open University today either because I study better when my world is better organized.  It may take all week to catch up on the cleaning.  I just hope I continue to have energy to do that.

I'm not going to town until Thursday so that frees up a lot of time around here.  Even if I can't just do it all in one fell swoop, I can still do it while taking breaks.  It just takes longer.  Still, limiting visits to town and errands to one day a week does free up a lot of time normally spent away from home.

Zach still hasn't heard back from his adviser about his portfolio.  He re-sent it again today.  Just in case it didn't make it to her or got in her spam folder.  He's more generous than I am at giving the benefit of the doubt.  We lost a lot of money because this adviser didn't get back with him for over 4 months at one time.  Complained that her email was messed up.  Well, if you're an adviser responsible for several students and your email is messed up you don't wait 4 months to fix it.  And since it was through the college, she doesn't really have an excuse in my opinion.  So he ended up taking a course he couldn't get an internship for and we lost out on several hundred dollars.  And it took him another year to do his portfolio.  No, I'm not a happy camper.

But he's done and as soon as his portfolio passes muster, he's graduated. I'll be glad when that happens.  I just hope he can find a job.

The toaster oven just dinged and that means supper is ready so I"m off to eat and then do more laundry and finish up the living/dining room.  I'll get the kitchen finished tomorrow.  I hope.


Friday, February 4, 2011

My winter companion

I had a bout of dizziness last night while knitting in bed.  It was bad enough that I had to put the knitting up and turn the light off.  Then I figured it out when I laid my head down.  Sinus infection.  It's probably been hanging on all winter because I've had a dry cough since I had the flu last year.  So I'm taking echinacea, zinc and cold medicine.  I'm not as dizzy today.  In fact, only a spin or two of the head all day, but I'm dragging and my head hurts.

I know it's a sinus infection because my ears keep popping.  And apparently has been my companion all winter.

As a result I haven't gotten a lot done today.  A couple of loads of clothes, some work on designing jewelry, cooking supper, started a new warm hat for Tom to wear to work,  and worked on a class in Open University's free classes:  Introducing the Classical World.  I have really missed studying.  I did okay for a while but then my brain shut down so I had to go lie down for a bit.  I plan on keeping up with this from now on.  It makes me feel really good about myself even if it isn't for credit.

Tom lost his favorite hat so I'm making him a new one.  In fact, I'll make him a couple since he does tend to misplace them.  He lost his hat upstairs in his bedroom so it's not like he'll never find it again, but in the meantime he likes to wear them to bed as well as work so I'm putting high priority on the hat for now.  I should be done tomorrow.  I would have been done tonight but I forgot.  My brain was engaged elsewhere today.

It was a bit warmer today.  I think.  I didn't go out at all in spite of needing to make a trip to the compost heap and refill the bird feeders.  I'll get to it tomorrow.  I think it was warmer because I had a hard time getting Professor back inside after his necessary trips outdoors.  Bless his heart he slept in this morning, but I didn't.  Anytime I take cold medicine I don't sleep long.  I sleep well, but not long.  So I was up before he was and made him come out from under the covers and go outside.  It felt a bit like payback. (snicker)

Supper is ready and my eyes are getting droopy again although I still have a load in the dryer to bring up.  Then I just need to stay awake long enough to go to bed.  I'm not worried about wake up times tomorrow.  I'm going to do what my body is telling me to do and that is rest, sleep and then sleep some more.


Thursday, February 3, 2011

The truck escapes its snow prison

The truck is free!  Long live the truck!  It took another hour of both Zach and me digging (even under the truck) to get enough snow removed so we could get it out of the driveway but we did it.  Got all  our errands done and are home cozy and warm.  Well, cozy anyway.

Still bitterly cold although not as cold as it was this morning.  I heard that wind chill was -22 at around 7 a.m.  I'm sure it was much colder earlier on.  Tom always takes Professor on a run around the yard when he gets home at around 1 a.m. but with all this snow there is no yard to run around on so they make a hike to the tree closest to the road and call it a night.

Remember how I mentioned the other day we were visited by 2 Rottweilers from up the street?  Well, Professor was outside last evening and lo and behold, one of them came back.  I fully expected Professor to high tail it into the house so I opened the door and told him to come in, but this brave chihuahua/pomeranian giant got up on the steps with his back end one step higher than his front end (if you know anything about chihuahuas, you know that that makes them look like they're standing on their heads) and let that Rottweiler know whose yard this was.  He was eye level with him, which I thought was pretty darned clever of the boy. The Rottweiler, just sat down as if he was being punished and let Professor bitch him out.  The whole time I'm thinking that one bite from the Rottie and Professor would be history, but the gentle giant just took it until his owner called him home.  Then and only then did Professor march triumphantly into the house.

The mailman doesn't have a chance against Professor now.

Driving to town was dicey with the truck.  As I've said a dozen times, the truck is crap on snow and there was a lot of drifting on the highway, especially on one tight curve that I didn't see until I was on it.  Braking or turning was out so I just took my foot off the accelerator and let the truck glide into the curve.  I don't think I was breathing during that part of the journey.  And of course, the side streets in town are nothing but packed snow, narrowed by the snow banks and treacherous on an incline.  I avoided the street I normally take to the library because it's so hilly and slick.  I only had to go a few blocks out of my way fortunately. 

When I was driving into the parking lot at the library, a huge truck was coming out, swinging widely around the corner because the idiot was talking on his cell phone.  On snowy terrain.  Idiots!  Then there was the woman who drove through the stop sign as we were walking across the street.  Not talking on her cell phone.  Just not paying any attention.

But we made it home even if it got a bit white-knuckled at times.  And I'm not cooking tonight.  Beef stew in a can for Tom.  I'm having a pot pie and Zach is having some kind of Chinese meal.  Too tired to cook tonight.

I'm staying home tomorrow and hope to get some work done inside although I need to plow a trail to the bird feeder and the compost heap.  But with my knee-high boots, I can just use my brute strength rather than a shovel.

Tonight is for dvr catch up and knitting or crocheting.  I need to work on the Navajo coat.  I've been neglecting it. But I'm loving the Greek afghan, too, especially how it's turning out.  So many crafts, so little time.

Off to crawl into my jammies and curl up under the blankets.


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The aftermath

Groan!  Two days of shoveling snow and we're not even close to being done yet.  Tom and Zach spent most of the afternoon yesterday shoveling only to wake up this morning to find no trace of any of their efforts.  I'm not sure how much snow we got but the wind blew so hard last night that they closed off two freeways and I've been reading on facebook about friends and friends of friends who had to get pulled out of drifts.  The wind kept waking me up rattling the window next to my bed.  I thought once or twice that the glass would break due to the intensity of the wind.

So Professor kept trying to get me to let him out in that wind but I refused until about 5 a.m. at which time I relented.  Only to face so much snow on the porch that opening the storm door was an effort.  He jumped out onto the porch and buried himself in snow up to his nose.  He decided he didn't need to go that bad and stumbled back into the house.  I took his leash off and he raced to the bed and burrowed under the covers in spite of being white from the snow.  Fortunately I was too tired to care so if the bed was a bit wet, so what.

I finally got up around 9 and bundled up so I could go out and shovel the private sidewalk and a space for him to utilize.  We've got the best neighbors who had already done the apron of the driveway, behind the car on the driveway and the public sidewalk.  I think I would have cried if we had to do that, too.  Professor was able to get out and do his business finally.

Tom still had to shovel out the car to get to work though and Zach and I have spent most of the afternoon out there trying to finish up the driveway and shovel a path to the driveway.  The snow behind the truck is about 2 feet deep but it's a wind tunnel there so most of that is probably drifted snow.  My right arm is wobbly and my back is screaming.  We still don't have the truck dug out yet but I have laundry to do and supper to cook and I'm ready to fall into bed due to lack of sleep, freezing cold and aching muscles and joints.

The snow is piled about 5 feet tall in the yard from the driveway so backing out will be difficult.  The snow banks on the street are as tall so I think it will be an easing and hoping for the best.  Fortunately we're not very well-traveled.

Nothing was open today.  Well, nothing much.  I'm guessing StuffMart was but the library and most stores weren't.  I couldn't get out anyway and the powers that be were telling everyone to stay home unless they had to get to work or for emergencies.

I think I'll just get the clothes out of the dryer, put another load in and finish up tomorrow.  And take a pain pill.  I took ibuprofen earlier and that helped but this second trip outdoors has woken up the rest of the pain centers and they won't be rocked to sleep without help.

Fish and french fries tonight because I'm too tired to be more inventive than that.

Then bedtime, Midsomer Murders because they have to go back to the library tomorrow, and lots of knitting.  Or sleeping depending on what happens when I slip under those blankets.  Next year, I hope for a snow blower because with Tom and Zach both working full time (fingers crossed) that leaves me to do the shoveling.


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Snow Day

I don't think we're going to get what everyone else is getting in the way of snow but I could be wrong.  I think we got about 5 inches or so, but I'm just going by what I see out the window.  Zach and Tom did a lot of shoveling today as Tom's shift was canceled.  Supposedly we're under a blizzard watch or warning.  It doesn't look bad out there now.  I'm not going anywhere until it all eases off.  Probably Thursday or so I have to go to the library and pick up a prescription.

I haven't really done much today with the added population in the house.  I don't normally start working on the house until Tom leaves because he needs in the kitchen and the bathroom and then back in the kitchen and then in the kitchen again.  And spends time in the living/dining room other times so it's pointless to work around him.  I just wait it out.  Which I couldn't do today.

I was going to watch Midsomer Murders tonight but he'll be downstairs off and on and turns his tv up so loud I can't hear mine and have to read the closed captioning and since I love those accents, I don't want to miss that.  I'll just slim down my dvr inventory tonight, I guess, while working on the Greek afghan.  I'm just using two colors, which I think looks better.  Purple and off-white.  My color-work is improving.

I should get back to the Navajo coat soon.  I've lost interest in the Tree of Life afghan.  I just don't like my reverse stockinette.  It looks so amateurish.  Therefore the knitted design doesn't look crisp.  I think I'll frog it and find something else to knit out of the yarn.

I have been working on the gansey scarf because I've memorized the pattern and it's easy to knit on.  Although there are cables to deal with and some counting, it's not hard to manage.  Plus I love working with my first spun wool.  I need to get back to my Welsh top, too, and get that spun up so I can dye it this summer.

Summer...seems so far off right now.

Supper is in the oven:  baked ziti with a salad.  I need to get more inventive with meals.  We're recycling the same recipes over and over again.

What I really need is a good cleaning and de-cluttering of the house but that's not going to happen during a blizzard.  Or with a houseful of people.

Zach and Tom were out shoveling today and Professor went nuts, barking hysterically.  I thought it was the mail person but the neighbor's rottweilers were out frolicking in our yard.  They were so friendly and so cute bouncing about in all that snow (we already had about 6-8 inches on the ground before this all started), I was laughing while holding Professor in my arms and trying to keep him from going through the window to get out at them.  I let him out after their owner came to get them (and apologized profusely even after we told him it was okay) so he could sniff their markings.  Tom raced him along the paths he had shoveled for me, to the bird feeders and the compost heap.  He was ready for a nap when he came indoors.

I've been ready for one all day.  I'm sleeping better but I have a lot of years to catch up on.  Hopefully this sleeping pattern will hang around long enough to reap some benefit from it.  All I can do is just enjoy what I'm getting for now though.

Off to get supper out of the oven and then to bed with my knitting for the night.