Thursday, March 7, 2013

Crochet Catch up

It's been a long time since I've posted pictures of the afghans I've crocheted, so I'd better get them up. I'll try to get them all in one post, then maybe tomorrow I can get caught up on a surgery post.  I didn't get a photo of Asher's afghan, which was a cute little train.  Drat.

One of three afghans I made on my last trip to Utah.  This one has white bubbles on one side, yellow bubbles on the other side.
On this shot you can see the yellow bubbles on the reverse side.  Carolyn kept this one for her new baby. (Although Jack believes it is his.)   I can hardly wait to start make a few new blankets for Sarah's baby.
Full sized afghan for a sweet YW friend of mine, she's had some problems but she means the world to me.
Jack thought my friend's afghan was his.  :)
Alice's afghan. Each square has a raised heart in it.
Detail shot of one of Alice's squares so the heart is visible.
The second of the three I made while I was in Utah last trip.
The third one I made during the last trip I made to Utah. If Carolyn has a girl, she would like to have this one. It's pink, white, and grey.
This is one of the hardest I've ever done, I had no pattern so I made it up as I went along.  It had the Mario M, the bricks, the gold coins, and the mushrooms.  It was for Aidan, of course, my sweetie.
Detail shot of Aidan's afghan

Audrey ended up giving this to a friend at work's baby shower. It was made from Simply Soft, and was really cuddly.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Random thoughts

I have been noticing Gary’s arms lately, probably because of our 35th anniversary, and it’s brought to mind memories of the stuff he has done through the years we have been together.  I’ve seen him put up sheetrock in various houses that we’ve lived in so we could make bedrooms for our kids out of unfinished basement space.  (I remember when the muscles in his right arm were a lot bigger than the ones in his left and he was all worried about that until he realized it was because he’d been working so hard on the basement, and since he’s right handed all that hammering build up his right arm muscles.) He’s held babies till they fell asleep and then kept holding them.  He’s given priesthood blessings.  He’s cooked dinners (some not terribly successful, think “apple-ham-spaghetti-curry.  But others have been fairly tasty, and the efforts were appreciated.)  He’s always offering to help out on various service projects for scouting, church, etc.  I wonder if anyone else knows how hard those arms have worked, and how little he complains?

I have had a very rapid decline in the health of my knees and hips.  It ticks me off.  Here I am, minding my own business, getting some exercise like I’ve been told to do and WHAM.  I can barely walk.  And I wake up in the middle of the night almost screaming because of the pain.  What’s up with THAT?  That’s only supposed to happen when you get old, right?  So I go in to the doctor to see what’s going on and they do x-rays.  Turns out I have severe arthritis in three places in each knee (can’t remember the technical terms but something like the ends of both bones and the backside of the kneecap or something like that) and also the hip.  (Makes me wonder about the hip they didn’t x-ray, but oh well.)  So today I went in to Kaiser before my insurance runs out (on Friday) to get shots in the knees (yes, it’s a horrible thing to imagine… BIG needle) so hopefully that’ll relieve some of the pain.  (The shots were uncomfortable, the first one not so bad but she scraped the bone a bit pushing the second one in so I flinched.) The doctor didn’t want to do the hip as well.  She is in family practice and the hip needed to be injected deeply enough that she felt an orthopedic doctor needed to do it.  Well, since I lose Kaiser on Friday that’s not enough time to get an orthopedist (?) appointment so that’s not going to happen any time soon.  If the pain can’t be managed this way (and hopefully I can do some light strength training to build some muscle around the affected joints for extra support, some swimming, stretches, etc.) I will have to have knee replacements and perhaps the hip replaced too.  I am kind of wondering what in the world happened to make this happen since I kind of feel too young for this to have occurred, maybe it’s one of those “it’ll come back to bite you” things from the poor nutrition as a little kid?  Whatever.  All I can really do is try to get it taken care of now so it won’t kill my quality of life.  I have grandchildren (and at some point, great-grandchildren) to squire around at WDW.  (Makes me glad there are no stairs at the condo…)

Even though I still feel a little bit bad about not having a job, with this new health development I am more at peace with the decision to leave the University.  I wasn’t taking as good care of myself as I needed to, and certainly I wouldn’t have been able to do the extra things that I’ll need to do now to build up my strength and endurance.  Shoot, when I got home from work I was pretty much done for the day and I need to be able to swim and do some light weight training several times a week.  There are a few other things that staying home is going to give me time to do, also.  I was wanting to try making lefse, and also that “rice cream” dessert from Norway.  Also, I will be making some of the gifts this coming year for birthday/Christmas, which I am enjoying. 

I am very excited about the upcoming wedding, even though I have no idea when it will be.  J  Planning weddings is fun, and Audrey has some wonderful ideas and likes beautiful things.  Of course, we have to keep it reasonable since there’s always the money issue, but we’ll do what we can.  And Sam will make a great addition to the family.  (We’ve already thought of him as family for a long time.)

I’m also excited about the classes that Bridget’s signed up for, because SHE’S excited about them, and it’s been a while since she was excited about school.  I think she did the right thing, taking time off and having a little bit of a break.

Okay, I think that's about all I can think of.  

Monday, November 26, 2012

Behind on pictures

A couple of finished blankets:
Not really as Christmassy as it looks, it's burgandy not real red.

Overall shot of the whole afghan.

This one is for Jimmy.  He doesn't know about it yet, hopefully he won't read my blog. (hah!)

Monday, October 29, 2012

Bridget's Challenge

Okay, so we are supposed to come up with 11 random facts, then ask 11 people 11 questions.  Or something like that.  First, my 11 random facts: 

  1. The very best thing about me:  Mickey Mouse and I have the same birthday.  November 18.  (coming up, hint hint…)
  2. My favorite animal (pet animal, that is) is a dog.  To me, no other pet has the same charm although I think all pets have their good points.  But a dog is the winner, overall. 
  3. My favorite color is green.  I could decorate every room in the house with it.  I think Gary was worried that I would do so.  There’s quite a bit of it in our home, but I don’t think that there’s so much that the first thing people think when they come in is, “Wow, a green house…”   Anyway, I never seem to get tired of it.  When Mona and I were little we would actually get into arguments over which color was the best.  I decided I hated blue because it was HER favorite.  (But actually, blue is also pretty.  I think it goes very nicely with green.  Most colors go nicely with green.)
  4. I like sparkly things.   I like to wear earrings that have a little “bling.”  If I can find a necklace that has a little sparkle to it, too, I am in heaven.  It doesn’t have to be real (in fact, I don’t think I have any real bling) it just has to sparkle.  Gary thinks this is crazy.  But he loves me so he is very tolerant.
  5. I am not a vegetarian but I am getting to the point where meat doesn’t appeal to me nearly as much as it used to.  I do my best to get the protein I am supposed to get, but it’s getting harder the older I get because there’s not much meat that seems to be worth the effort.  Good thing I can still eat cheese. 
  6. I like to watch TV.  Normally I try to crochet or fold laundry or something while I do so I can feel productive, and a lot of the time I want to watch with Gary (a lot of the shows I like, HE likes too.)  Some of my favorites are:  Big Bang Theory, Castle, Bones, Touch, Unforgettable, Person of Interest, How I met your mother, Once upon a time, Hart of Dixie, Bunheads, and for trashiness Storage Wars and Baggage battles.  Old shows that I still like to watch sometimes:  Star trek: the next generation and Frasier.
  7. I love to crochet baby blankets.  I had a bunch of yarn from various sources in my closet (old  project leftovers, donated from people who didn’t want it anymore, some from when my mom died, and a whole bag from Sarah) and I’ve had the best time creating small (about 40-45 inches square) baby blankets.  Big baby blankets aren’t used as much since all the SIDS info out there recommends less covering on infants and just using warmer pajamas.  These blankets are good sizes for taking places and for using in car seats (since the recommendation is that babies not be put into coats before being strapped into their carseats since it prevents a good fit.)  Anyway, they blankets are great for gifting, and I get a kick out of handing them to people who don’t expect to get a baby gift.  I like to think of every new baby getting at least one hand-made  blanket.  Especially those 3rd and 4th babies in the family, who seem to get an awful lot of hand-me-downs. 
  8. I eat basil like some people eat lettuce.  But only on quesadillas.  (that’s assuming other people eat lettuce on quesadillas, I guess.)  Bridget thinks this is odd.  To me there is no better meal than one of those “cook it yourself” flour tortillas (cook it on a cast iron grill) that is covered with melted cheese, a nice sliced garden tomato (sprinkled with salt), and a gigantic handful of fresh basil.  Then fold the tortilla over (and it should be lightly browned and crisp-ish at this point), slide it onto the plate, and cut it in half.  Pure mouth ecstasy.
  9. There are certain other foods that I am addicted to that I don’t want to try to go without.  When we run low on them (or even worse, run out) I am not a happy camper.  One of these items is Sobe Life Water (which is, thankfully, easy to find but I don’t want to pay $1.59 for it, so I have to watch sales) and another is BelVita breakfast biscuits.  The flavor I am addicted to is Golden Oat.  (There are other flavors but I don’t like them.)  I also like Coke Zero (much better than regular diet coke) and I’ve recently discovered pork jerky, which is easier to digest (for me) than beef or turkey jerky. 
  10. Gary and I have been married happily for nearly 35 years.  This is in spite of the fact that I am a mayonnaise person and he is a miracle whip person.  And I am a colgate person and he is a crest person.  J
  11. I always wanted a big family.  I thought at first that would mean 12 kids.  Then after I experienced labor the first time, I figured six would be more realistic.    
 Now here are the answers to the questions that Bridget asked of me:

1- What is your favorite season?  Fall, and probably for the reason you would think.  I don’t like to go to Florida in the summertime because it’s too hot and too crowded, so I’m antsy to get back there again.  Plus I love crunchy leaves and the relief from the hot weather here, too. 
2- Why did you choose the URL you have set for your blog?  Michael helped me (he actually did all the work) and we wanted something related to Mickey Mouse.  It’s the first thing we could come up with that wasn’t taken so we snatched it up.
3- What is the worst injury you've ever gotten?  I guess it’s the time I got a spike through my thumb when I worked at Lone Star.  I had just finished counting the entrees for the half hour, and I was replacing them on the spike, and with one mighty shove I managed to impale myself on the spike as well.  We had to go to the ER to get it removed and to make sure I hadn’t speared my thumb bone as well.  (I still have the x-ray for a souvenir.) 
4- If you were stuck on a desert island, what 5 books would you bring (no boat-building or survival books)? The Ghost of Opalina (Peggy Bacon), Watchers (Dean Koontz), Ishmael (Barbara Hambly), Dusk Gate Chronicles (Breeana Puttroff), Scriptures.  
5- What type of music do you listen to? Mostly pop.
6- What do you think the most important quality in a friend is? I don’t think there is just ONE “most important” quality.  I think that different friends meet different needs so for each need that is met, a different quality will be the most important thing for that friend to have right then.  Or maybe the same person may meet different needs at different times, but when he or she does, a different quality is what’s the most important at that time. I’d say overall the most important quality is that the friend accepts you for who you really are, but that’s pretty generalized and not very satisfying all by itself. Sometimes I want someone who shares the same history as I do, so at those times longevity is the most important thing.  (Keep in mind that the person wouldn’t even BE a friend if certain criteria weren’t met, so the basics are already covered.)  Other times I might need someone who has a gift for being really clear headed, like if I need someone to help me figure out a problem.  Sometimes I want someone who will be spontaneous with me, someone fun.  Anyway, you get the idea. 
7- If you had the opportunity to leave Earth and travel to another habitable planet, would you? Nope.  I like it here.
8- If you had to quit the job you have now (or the job you've had most recently) and pick a new career path, what would you choose? Flight attendant
9- Which modern-day luxury (cell phone, computer, car, etc) would you choose to get rid of permanently? Microwave.  But only because I don’t want to get rid of all the other goodies.  And I hate cleaning that thing.
10- What is your favorite fruit? Cherries.  Blueberries.  Blackberries.  Well, pretty much any fruit that comes in a convenient size like that. 
11- How many cars have you owned?  Well, let’s see… I didn’t actually “own” the first one, but I’m claiming it, so:  Pink 54 chevy pickup which Mona and I painted ourselves, mustang, red mazda, festivas (2), white station wagon, ford windstar (minivan), protégé, PT cruiser, and two smart cars. 

And now, my 11 questions for the people I will “tag:” (and I'll try to tag them on facebook, but in case I am not successful, this is who they are:  Carolyn, Karen, Jolene, Sarah, Audrey, Gary, Mona, Kim, Sharon, Marie, and Cindy.
  1. What food do you remember most from your childhood?
  2. What is your favorite gemstone and why?
  3. Have you ever had a pet, and if so what was/is it?
  4. What person (real, although it can be a person from the present or past) would you most like to have dinner with, and why?
  5. What is your favorite book, and how many times have you read it?
  6. Do you have a hobby?
  7. What is your best memory of the two of us?
  8. Do you remember any favorite toys from when you were a kid?
  9. Do you consider yourself physically fit, and if so how do you maintain fitness?
  10. What is your blood type, and do you donate blood?
  11. How many times have you been to Walt Disney World?  (Come on, you knew there would be ONE Disney question…)

Monday, October 22, 2012

Yarn donation and catch up

So I was wondering what I would do when I finished up my bottomless pit of yarn, but my wonderful daughter-in-law, Sarah, gave me a bag of odds and ends that she had, so I've been playing with that a little and this is the first one that I've come up with.  It's fairly simple, and the only color I used out of my "stash" was the white, which was about half to 2/3 of a skein.  The pink (sort of a dusty rose) and the apple green were both from her.  Same sort of made-up pattern I've used for the last few I've done.

In other news, I am leaving my job at the University.  I have enjoyed it, but for the last couple of months I have sensed a shifting there in my relationship with my boss.  I won't bore with all the details, but it's just a feeling I'm getting.  My boss is still nice, but she gets irritated very easily and I feel like I'm a scapegoat more than I ought to be. It could be a wrong perception, but where for the first year I loved the job, for the last few months I have started to dread it, so since we don't rely on my income it's okay to not have it.  I suppose I could try to fix it, but I have no idea who to go to, since HER superior is not even in the same area as we are and he is horrendously busy.  I don't think he has time for this kind of nonsense.  And besides, I don't know that what I do is valued there, and I don't think that they feel I am worth the trouble.

Life is too short to do something that makes you unhappy, right?  Or be somewhere you're unhappy?  Anyway, I'd rather leave while I'm still on good terms with everyone than wait till I'm miserable and wish I'd left months earlier.  I've got a couple of things on the horizon and if they don't pan out then I'm content to stay home and be a real "retired" person.  My last day at work will technically be Nov. 2, but since I have several days of comp time, my actual day will be Oct. 30.  I ams till going to do the exercise study, so I'll be driving down 3 times a week to work out, but since I do that for ME, that's not a problem as far as I am concerned.  If it gets to be an issue, I suppose I can drop out but I'd like to continue so they can get the data they're looking for for their study.

There are some folks there that I will miss though, and as the time for me to leave gets closer I get sadder.  Carolyn said it's my "graduation goggles," which she then had to explain to me.  (I need to find that clip of "How I met your mother" cuz it sounds funny.)  But leaving isn't as sad as leaving United was.  I guess that's saying something, right?  And if my other options don't work out, I'll be able to visit my grandkids more, go visit Mona now and again, visit Karen a bit, etc.

So.  Now I'm all caught up. :)

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Two more blankets, and a not-so-stellar trip.

The bunny blanket is going to a friend of Audrey's.  I finished a new blanket today (it was nearly finished before my last Disney trip) and I really like how it turned out.  I FINALLY made one that is obviously for a boy.  (So many of them start out to be "unisex" but I am told they are too feminine to be for boys.)

While I was in Florida I brought along some yarn to have something to do in the evening while I was relaxing and since I had a few colors that I knew I would NEVER have any use for I decided to combine them to make a baby blanket.  It's mostly white, and now that it's finished I will be the first to admit that it is most likely going to have to be for a girl too.  :)  Dark green and lavender are two colors that just aren't that easy to use up...

Other than that, the trip to Florida was less than stellar.  While we were out of town someone decided to break into the owner's closet and help themselves to some of our personal belongings.  They didn't take everything, in fact they didn't take enough things that I would notice right away that anything at all was gone.  The first thing I noticed that was gone was the backpack I use when I go to the park.  At first I wondered if I'd taken it to Colorado the last time I returned home (although I knew I would never have done that, since I keep my annual pass in there.)  Then, once I got my clothes into the master bedroom closet I realized that there wasn't as much left in the owners' closet as there usually was.  That's when I noticed that Gary's suit was gone.  And I KNEW he hadn't worn that home (though I called to make sure, just in case.  I was right, he hadn't.)  By this time I was furious.  There were no marks on the door indicating it had been broken into, which to my way of thinking indicates that the person who stole the items had a key.  Since when we bought the place the previous owner was in Canada, the managment company brought a key by.  ONE key by.  I assumed at the time that the other key was with the previous owner.  I believe that assumption was an error. Although I have no proof other than the fact that I get the willies around a certain person whenever he eners the condo, (and who would actually be able to WEAR that suit) I think HE was the person who did this. Anyway, I'm getting ahead of myself.

I started to try to figure out what else was missing (not an easy task when you're looking at a closet FULL of items you use on your trips. But as near as I couuld figure out, it was about half of the toys I had on hand for the grandkids (little stove and dishes set); Gary's suit, white shirt, and tie; the entire shoebox full of medical and first aid supplies (bandaids, neosporin, cold medicine, stuff like that but nothing prescription); my swimsuit (which meant whomever did this had to paw through all of my CLOTHING to find it, the PERV!); some unopened movies I had in case we had wanted to have a relaxing evening at home (just a few cheapies we got at Big Lots); my Disney Animal Kingdom back pack (which was filled with my annual pass, a brush, an umbrella, lipstick, a few first aid supplies, a small bottle of ibuprofen, mirror, nail clippers, etc.  All those handy things...)

Once I had a fairly comprensive list of the things that were missing (it was about 11:30 at night) I went storming down to the office to report it.  The clerk on duty was sympathetic and understood my ire, but other than emailing the manager, she couldn't do much.  I told her I wanted the maintenance guy to change my lock because obviously someone around there had one.  She said, "The maintenance guy?"  I said, "Yeah, I like him and I trust him."  She said, "Really?"  There was just something about the way she said it that made me expound....  I said, "Yeah, I don't remember his name, but he's short, kinda bald, has a lot of tattoos on his arms."  She said, "Oh, you mean Noel.  I'll leave a note that you want to talk to him.  If I just leave a note that you want the maintenance man to change the lock you'll get the other one.  I asked her to describe him, and although I still don't remember his name (bob or bill or something like that) I recognized him as the guy who gave me the willies when he brought over the SINGLE key when we went over there the first time.  I said, "Oh, no.  I don't like him."  She sai,d "No one does.  I'll make sure you get Noel.  He's good. He's the one I call when I need help."

Anyway, after that I went back to the condo but I was still so frustrated and felt so VIOLATED that I couldn't sleep.  I finally drifted off about 4:30 a.m. so naturally Karen and I didn't get a very early start.  About one in the afternoon we were still sitting around in our sleepwear and we heard a big crash and we said, "What was THAT?"  I thought something had fallen down in the kitchen so I went in there while Karen headed down the hallway toward the bedrooms.  She hollered, "I found it, the bedroom window's been smashed in!"  I couldn't help but get the unasy feeling that it was a revenge act for reporting the burglarly the night before, but at this point I not only called the office again, I called the sheriff's office.  They sent an officer right away  but (amazingly enough-not!) the creapy worker had already been there, cleaned out the glass and managed to get his own footprints all over the outside of the window.  He even said, in FRONT OF THE deputy sheriff, "There's no one's footprints out there but mine."  I looked him straight in the eye and said, "Oh, does that mean YOU did it?"  He was trying to convince the sheriff that the window was just blown out, but she wasn't taken in.  (No wind that day.)  He also said THREE times while she was there that we had changed the lock on the owner's closet and I told him every single time "NO we have NOT changed it, but we sure will now."  He also wanted to make sure that the sheriff blamed a GUEST who had stayed at the place, but I'm sorry, that just doesn't make sense.  For one thing, a guest wouldn't have been so picky.  they wouldn't have cared if the closet still looked full.  They would have take things that were of more value, too.  (For example, the wireless router wasn't taken.)  And they would have taken the DVD player from the unit itself since they were leaving.  I don't think the deputy sheriff was very impressed with the guy.

When Noel came on duty the next day he replaced the lock on the closet and also riged the hinges so they were more secure in case anyone got any ideas about popping the pins (although they hadn't been popped--No shiny spots where they'd been scratched.) I also told him I never wanted that other maintenance man in my condo unless I was in the unit or unless he was accompanied by Noel.  He said he'd make a note of that. I probably ought to check to make sure that he did.  Gary didn't want me to make any waves but I'd rather the creepy guy knew I suspected him so he'd stay out.

Anyway, we're headed back to Orlando at the end of the week to make better memories.  :)  But I had to replace all the first aid stuff, I hated thinking someone could be uncomfortable and I wouldn't be able to make them feel better.  How dumb is that?  I've also got some replacement toys, but I need to find something to use for a little stove.  I just remember that Aidan used to play with Alice with the little dishes and stuff and it feels like someone took part of their fun away and I want to just DESTROY that person for doing that.  And to think tha they had their HANDS in that little toybox makes me furious.  And to think they hand their hands in the box where Gary and I store our clothes when we're out of town, and pawed through everything till he found my swimsuit and then took that makes me nauseous.


Sunday, September 2, 2012

Little bunny foo foo

This one is different, I really like how it turned out.  Bridget likes the colors but doesn't like the bunny much.  The weird thing is, just when I think that's the last afghan I can make, out pops more yarn and I have enough for yet another baby blanket.  :)  It's like a bottomless pit of a closet.