Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Draggin'

Still not feeling 100% after the surgery.

Still have a stent, which will be removed on October 20th.  That's in six days.  Yes, I'm counting.

But I'm draggin' along, trying hard not to do too much.  I'm kind of a stranger to this "resting" thing.  I found out the hard way over the weekend that it's necessary though, because if you do too much you feel like crap the next day.  The goal is to continue to improve.

All that being said, I'm getting a lot of knitting done.

This here is the "Who?" hat.  Made it in about 24 hours.  Will loves it, especially the cabled owls. The first picture doesn't do it justice, so I included another of the "in-progress" so you can see the owls more clearly.




Since the New England weather was getting downright chilly (heat's already been turned on a couple of mornings!) I decided that Sean needed a new hat, too.  This hat is called "Barley" from the Tincanknits "Simple" collection.  Also done in an evening and an afternoon.  I originally thought it would be too slouchy but Sean loves it.  He immediately put it on and wore it all day.



I also finished my Halloween Swap item for my knitting group's event next week.  Can't show you till later, but it's great!

Will's birthday is a week from today and I have a wallaby sweater on the needles for him.  I started it in June, while binge-watching season 2 of "Orange is the New Black."  I honestly thought it would be done by now, but I got intimidated by the front pocket.  Too bad....it actually worked up like a dream.  I hate it when I second-guess my knitting skills.  I'm not sure if I'm delusional, but am hoping to have this done in time!


Monday, October 6, 2014

Fifteen Questions

In an attempt to entertain myself outside of Bubble Witch Saga 2 and yarn....I'm copying Mindy Kaling's interview-style questions in this month's copy of Good Housekeeping.  Because, why not?

At My House

What you'll always find in my fridge:  Hershey's syrup and grated parmesan.  Not to be used together, of course.

Recipe I'm scared to try:  Making my own bread.  It makes your house smell awesome but is so easy to screw up!

signature dish:  Mexican Chicken and Rice

Household chore I enjoy:  Loading the dishwasher.  It's the same satisfaction as when you complete a jigsaw puzzle.

My secret cleaning weapon is:  Simple Green, that stuff works on just about anything!  My favorite trick though, is to make the kids think it's a game.  Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn't!

Last thing I bought online:  yarn and a knitting pattern.

I hate to shop for:  birthday presents.  Not all birthday presents, mind you.  Some people are just harder to shop for than others.

On My Bucket List:  A trip to Hawaii someday.

I sleep in:  pajama shorts.

I sleep on:  a creaky queen-size bed.

I stay fit by:  I'm working on it.  Before the surgery I was up to twice a week on the treadmill and taking a yoga class at a studio once a week.  That's the most exercise I've had in years and I'm missing it this week.

I drive:   a leased Honda CR-V.  I like it a lot more than I thought that I would.  Seems like almost everyone in America has one, though.

Etiquette Pet Peeve:  Not saying please and thank you.  Those words go a long way!

I will never care about:  The Kardashians.

I'd tell my younger self:  Drink more water and surround yourself with positive people.  And don't take yourself so seriously!


Sunday, October 5, 2014

Random Sunday Grateful Post

-My kidney surgery was a rousing success.   In fact, all of the kidney stone from hell was removed and I will not need a second surgery! I was super-nervous and I cannot begin to describe how wonderful the hospital staff was to me.  From warm blankets to cracking jokes....they really put me at ease.

-I even wrote a thank you note.  Because I believe, in these days, that there's so much emphasis on bad customer service.  When someone does a good job, tell them!

-All of that being said, I'm quite thankful for pain meds.  And anti-nausea drugs that enable me to take those pain meds.

-Thanks go out to my awesome parents, who helped out with the boys while all of this was going on.

-Honestly, Brian deserves his own grateful post.  Feeding me homemade chicken soup, doing laundry, taking care of the boys....these are all things that he does normally.  I just feel extra-grateful today and want the world to know what a wonderful man I married. 

-thankful for yarn...which has been keeping me busy.  That, and silly Facebook games and the return of primetime television.

I think that's it.  Just wanted to put all that out there...I'm a lucky lady.

Monday, September 29, 2014

This is the End of the Line

Well, yesterday was the completion date for my Day Zero List.  

How did I do?  The list was 60% complete as of yesterday.  But honestly...I'll bet that's better than most people do.  

And now, a breakdown.

Items that I just wrote down to fill up the "100 Things" list and probably never was going to do:

37.   Ride in a hot air balloon

63.  learn how to throw a football with my kids


100.   Put $5 in our savings account for every item not completed. 


Items that I thought that I wanted to do, but later on it turned out that I had no interest in doing them:  (Hey, people change!)

1.  Read "Anna Karennina" by Leo Tolstoy.  

I gave this a good try.  I had bought it five years before because it was part of "Oprah's book Club" and the sheer number of pages was intimidating.  Guess what....it turns out that I didn't read it not because of the number of pages...it was because it was boring as hell.

55.  send flowers to someone “just because”

It turns out, it is really hard to send flowers "just because."!  Every time I thought of sending someone flowers, I had a reason to send them.

77.  Renew our passports

Passports are damned expensive.  And with nowhere to go, really, why bother?  I'll get the passports when we need them.  I'm not at an age where international travel opportunities just "present themselves" and you need to hop on a plane NOW.  

27.  take a cake decorating class.

It turns out that I don't care if I decorate the cake.  I just want to eat it.  Hell, half the time I want Hubby to bake it and me to eat it.  :)

51.  Send a secret to Postsecret

I mulled this one over a lot....but really, I don't have any juicy secrets.  None that would be interesting to post on Postsecret's blog, anyway!  I'm pretty boring.  


And lastly...

Items that I still want to do but ran out of time before the list deadline

12.  take the kids to the following places in PA:  Sesame Place, Crayola Factory and the “Please Touch” Museum.

This list item is partially finished.  We went to the "Please Touch" Museum and loved it!  I heard recently that they may lose their funding and I hope that isn't so, because we would love to go again.  We decided that not only are our kids too old for Sesame Place, I'd heard a lot of unsavory reviews from friends about them.  We still want to go to the Crayola Factory, though.  

29.  take the boys to their first drive-in movie

We're lucky to have two drive-ins nearby.  It's just a matter of picking a night to go, next summer!

35.  Get a tattoo

I have a design picked out and I've decided where it's going.  I just need to find a good place to go and then GO DO IT.

44.  build a snowman with the boys

We had a ton of snow last year and by the time I remembered this item, it was too late.  This winter for sure.  

45.  go tent camping

50.  See a Flyers home game with Brian.

Again, just ran out of time.

57.  visit the Ben and Jerry’s factory in Burlington, VT

I may actually get to do this one next Spring.  The annual RSC conference is in Vermont and a group of us were talking about hitting this on the way home!

76.  Ask my parents to tell stories of our family’s past, and write them down.

83.  Knit sweaters for my husband and children

I knit a sweater for Sean and he got it for Christmas last year.  I'm working on Will's for his birthday next month (I think I can, I think I can!) and I have the yarn for Brian's in the house.  I'm kind of glad I've waited this long, though.  He's lost 30 pounds in the last few months and his sweater would've been too big after that.  I'll start it after the holidays.  

99.  Visit Washington, D.C.


Sooooo......did I learn anything?  I did, that it's fun to make a list and try to stick to them.  And it's a lot easier if it's fun things instead of the tedious, never-ending to-do list.  Will I do another Day Zero list?  Probably not.  But it certainly helped me to prioritize and find time to do fun things with my family.  









Thursday, September 25, 2014

Intervention....Blah.

Tomorrow is the pre-op testing for my kidney surgery.  Yes.  I'm having kidney surgery.  Actually, TWO kidney surgeries, a couple of weeks apart.

 Apparently, I make kidney stones like it's my job and I've got a big one that needs some intervention before it decides it's going out on it's own.  So in another week, I'll be having day surgery and then taking a couple of days to recover.  Then, I'll have the same surgery a couple of weeks later to make sure they got all of the pieces of the super-stone that they're breaking up.  And THEN I'll have to see a renal specialist to find out why I'm making stones.  All of this sounds really fun and all, but I'd rather not be doing it.  At all.   I wasn't nervous til today, and will likely be MORE nervous this time tomorrow!

Though, I must admit....the prospect of a couple of days off of work, despite the reasons, sounds pretty sweet.  As long as I'm not feeling crappy and in pain.

And to settle the age-old debate of which is more painful:  Giving Birth or Kidney Stones?  The stones win, hands down.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Charts and Classic Rock

Two Will funnies this week:

1.  Will's therapist suggested keeping a "Chore Chart" at home to help with anxiety.  It's not just jobs around the house, but also things like "not fighting."  We give him an allowance every week if he gets the required number of stars.  Sean uses it, too.  We were at a friend's house for a birthday party last year and I saw that she had a chart for two kids instead of buying a separate chart for each kid.  So I poked around on Amazon and found one with room for three kids that was cheaper.  Obviously, we only have two kids.  So we made a joke of it and put my name on it, saying my "allowance" was $100/week.  I caught Will with the dry-erase marker and asked him what he was up to.  He grinned slyly and showed me that he'd given "us" each a fifty-cent raise and added "knitting" to the list of chores.  I think I can hang with that, I know I'm guaranteed a star a day.  :)

2.  Usually I get Sean first at the end of the day pick-up, but on Monday I got out a little early.  I'm slightly hard of hearing, so I don't usually play the radio in the car with the kids.  Why?  Because between their quiet "indoor voices" (esp Sean), the radio and the sound of the engine and tires on pavement, I can't hear what they're saying.  And constantly saying "What??" is just an invitation for screaming on their part, eventually.  So we were listening to the classic rock station, and AC/DC came on.  Now, Will loves classic rock.  After all, his favorite band is Queen.  (I'm doing something right!!)  We listened to a minute to "It's a Long Way to the Top" and he asked me what kind of instrument they were playing.  "Bagpipes."  "Bagpipes with electric guitar, Mom?  Really?" "Really, buddy."  And his whimsical response--"how uniquely creative!"  Two minutes later..."Ok Mom, I think I've had enough bagpipes."  Yep, that's exactly how *I* feel every time that song comes on, too.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Letting Go of "Someday!" Stuff

I got a tagged in a facebook post recently from a "band friend."  She was calling out near and far to all her "Band Geek" friends to see if someone had an instrument that they were looking to sell, because her daughters wanted to join our ranks.

It so happens that I have two in my garage:   my trusty old clarinet, and a flute that was gifted to me.  I had a tenant at my first housing job, she was a bit of a nut.  But cool in a lot of ways too, and one of those ways was that, at age 84, she was taking flute lessons.   I found this inspiring, because though I played clarinet for years, I had always wanted to play the flute.  And for reasons like my friend is looking for an instrument, I took my aunt's clarinet from when she was in the marching band in high school because it was free.  Well, that resident ended up transferring to an assisted living facility within 6 months.  But before she left, she gave me her old student flute, saying that I should take lessons someday.

Someday!  That magical-sounding word that makes you feel like you have all the time in the world.  So yes, Someday I was going to take flute lessons!  Also in my someday pile:  a sewing machine, some hiking boots, Spanish language and culture texts, books about geneaology.  DVD sets of TV shows that I may sit and enjoy Someday.  Because time is on my side, friends.

Well.  It's been thirteen years since Ruth went to the assisted living facility.  That flute sat in my basement for many, many years.  And when we moved it was placed on a shelf in the garage, with the Christmas decorations.  It only took me a minute or two to decide and send my friend a message back.  She thought that I was nuts at first, saying that she could just have it instead of buying it from me.  And when I told her why, because it would get used instead of rotting in my garage, she sent back a message with kind of a giggle, that there's a guitar and some knitting needles/yarn in her closet for Someday.  So it's not just me and I'm willing to bet that it's not just Jessica, either.

Sometimes it really is OK to survey your "Someday!" stuff and realize that they don't fit in your life anymore.  I work full-time and have two kids with activities, etc.  I have activities that I already enjoy:  knitting, reading, cooking, a little gardening, other crafts and so on.  I'm glad that the flute is going to someone who will use it and a family who will appreciate it.  I think that Ruth would, too.  Not giving up my clarinet, though.  Or my sewing machine.  Someday, I really want to use those!