Saturday, January 28, 2006

It rained last night!!

It was actually loud enough to wake me twice. How cool is that?? It still looks like it could rain now--actually it did rain for a minute or two a while ago, and I've got the windows open and am enjoying the cool, damp breeze. Who knew you could get so excited over a little rain?

I'm waiting on some veggie seeds that I ordered, so I went over to the nursery not far from my house to get some seed starter stuff. Of course, I had to browse through the seeds on display, and I ended up buying some herb packets. I need to get those going this weekend. This crazy weather we're having makes me want to start planting stuff, but of course it's too early, so I guess I'll have to make do with garden catalogs.

I've now been at my new job for four weeks--when does it become an old job? As of the third week, I was starting to put names and faces together, and I'm also beginning to remember who does what and who I need to go to for certain things. Hitting this point in a new job is always a good thing--I hate wandering around and not being able to call people by name.

Our first facility in the state opened a week ago Friday. It's been exciting to see that happen. It's amazing to realize just what all goes into getting a healthcare facility started. I'm sure it will take a couple of months to get all the wrinkles ironed out, but we're very happy that it's up and running.

We have another facility not far from this one that will be opening in February. The people in charge that facility are working like crazy to get everything done in time. Luckily, the building we purchased was a small hospital, so we've not had a lot to do in the way of remodeling. Mostly it's been retooling some of the surgery areas and reconfiguring areas to our specifications. This center is part of a larger healthcare program that my company has developed, so it's exciting to see that coming into its own.

My knitting has suffered this week. We have been so busy at work that I have come home absolutely exhausted every day. I'm hoping to get my sock finished this weekend, and I need to cast on Mozilla's baby blanket (my nickname for the baby's, not her mother's, so not to worry about poor naming choices). Hopefully the weather will inspire me to get those needles moving again.

I love the idea of Stephanie's "Knitting Olympics," but there's no way I would sign on for this--my knitting time is sporatic at best, and it takes me forever to complete a project even when my knitting's going well. I think it's a fun thing, though, and I look forward to seeing what happens.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

My Grandmother's Love Letters

I heard this song today on XM Radio's Broadway Channel. I found it on iTunes, and I can't get it out of my head.

There are some songs that are so moving to me that they're absolutely devastating--they break my heart they're so good. This is one of them.

My Grandmother’s Love Letters
From “The Maury Yeston Songbook”
Recorded by Christine Ebersole

I went up to my attic
To put away your letters
In a gray little box
With two broken locks
Next to an old bird cage
When I went to put your letters inside
I found another package
Covered with dust
and smelling of must
It came from another age.

My grandmother’s love letters
Held in her trembling hand
When she was seventeen
They were a world to her,
They were her youth,
They made her whisper low
Seventy-seven years ago.

My grandmother’s love letters
So firmly in her grasp,
She’d read one line and gasp
That means she breathed
the air of long ago
I loved her so.

Some things you never know
What makes the tide come in
and the little flower grow.
How Father Time decides
when he’ll come for one of us.

Some things you never know
What makes the eagle fly
and the southern wind blow.
These things, they come, they go
like portents,
you never know.

My grandmother’s love letters
When she was seventeen,
Think what they had to mean
They were a world to her,
They were her youth,
She tied them with a bow
Seventy-seven years ago.

My grandmother’s love letters
So firmly in her grasp
She’d read each line and gasp,
And I’m the heir
She breathed so long ago
I miss her so.

Some things you never know
What makes the tide comes in
and the little flower grow.
How Father Time decides
when he’ll come for one of us.

Some things you never know
What makes the eagle fly
and the southern wind blow
These things, they come, they go,
like portents,
you never know.

Seventy-seven years ago.

It's only 130 pm, and I need a drink.

First I read this:

Hulk2 is a go?

Then I go over to Yahoo! News and find this:

NBC Cancels 'West Wing' After 7 Seasons

Seriously, I think I need a lie down, and then I'm gonna go beat the shit out of some NBC officials who put West Wing in one of the worst time slots on TV and then did NOTHING to help it out. Talking about throwing the baby out with the bathwater AFTER you've drowned it.

Now I'm really depressed. Damnit.

I'm copying this from Catherine at Bossy Little Dog:

d r i f t g l a s s: WaPo Hazel Shocked to discover

Read it--it's a masterpiece. Yet another blog to add to my Bloglines list--Catherine, you have really good taste (as reflected by my comments to your entry about Mr. Coffee and Jesse L. Martin . . . ).

I was lucky enough to be invited to a birthday dinner for a coworker and long-time friend last night at a local Mexican restaurant. What fun--I can't remember the last time I went out to dinner with friends. I hope we can do it again soon.

On the way home I stopped at Target for a few things. My neighborhood Target has recently remodeled and now includes a Starbucks, where I found chocolate-covered espresso beans at Christmas. I was hoping they might still have some, because I think they're a seasonal thing, but they had something even better--dark chocolate-covered espresso beans. I bought two packages, one for home and one for work. One of my bosses is from Seattle, and my first week at work I gave him some of the beans I had stashed in my desk, and his eyes lit up like a Christmas tree. So we will share the beans, and we'll see how long they last.

I thought we were going to get some rain this morning--it was all cloudy and overcast this morning, but now the sun's coming out. Look at the weather map, it looks like it was all south and east of us. Anybody know a rain dance?

My Socks That Rock order came this week--what great stuff, and of course I want more! I'm leaving my skein on my coffee table so I can pet it every so often. If I can ever get this current pair of socks finished, I may just have to make those next. I dropped Missy's skein (which was part of her Christmas present) off on the way to work Friday because her son asked when they were going to see "Aunt Katya"--how could I pass that up? For such a little crackhead, he is absolutely adorable.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

OMG, I wish you could see this . . . .

I keep Maggie's toys in a plastic basket in the living room. It's always a challenge to actually keep them IN the basket--she always turns it over the minute I turn my back, but she's left it alone for the last few days.

Just now she goes over to the basket, and instead of knocking it over right away, she takes her chew toys, stuffed animals, and a frisbee out ONE BY ONE and tosses them on the floor! I've never seen her do this before. When she got down to where she couldn't reach anything, that's when she turned the basket over.

I swear, this dog comes up with something new every day . . . .

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Saturday adventures

Poor Missy--she called this morning and said she was sick, so she wasn't able to go to SWAK today. Unfortunately, this stopped me for about ten minutes (sorry Missy--I started to call you to see if there was anything you needed, but I was afraid I would wake you up). It was such a pretty day, and for some reason I felt the need to hit the road. This was probably the first time I have driven that far by myself for a something other than a funeral in at least three or four years.

Actually, it's a good thing I went--I finally found the yarn I needed to make Mozilla's baby blanket--a purple and blue verigated Siddar baby yarn--and get this--it was 75% off! How could I pass that up! It's really very pretty--I was so excited to finally find something I like that wasn't a hundred dollars--not that the baby's not worth it, but I just can't see spending that much money on a blanket that will probably be thrown up on a thousand times.

For me I bought 3 skeins of a Cascade llama and wool blend for the "Urban Necessity" mittens. I also bought 2 sets of Brittney dpns and 2 sock books and a "knitting novel." I also splurged and bought a set of Denise circs and a big, beautiful African basket to hold my projects--I'm tired of them taking up the entire coffee table.

So it wasn't just a really awful amount of money--I love their 25% off sales. And besides, the baby yarn for 25% of the original price is a bargain that I'll be proud of for quite a while.

I will pay for the playing tomorrow--I have laundry to do, and I have to get my apartment cleaned up because the exterminator is coming Tuesday. Thank goodness he comes once a quarter or I sometimes think I would never do any cleaning.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

I read WAAYYY too much on the Internets.

My new job is keeping me from staying current with what's going on in the world, dammit!!! I miss all the good stuff during the day, and when I get home I spent a couple of hours just trying to catch up. I've really gotten used to reading certain websites every morning--mostly news or blog commentary, so much so that I'm getting up an hour before I have to get ready for work just to read. Oh well, it's a good tradeoff--my sanity for a little less news. I guess I can handle it.

Missy and I may go to SWAK on Saturday for their sale, but her household is full of strep germs right now, so we may not make it (get well soon, guys--you've been sick tooooo long!). I've been able to get a little sock knitting done this week--better than last week, and I'm having lunch tomorrow with my new "fiber friend" from work. I hope to get some inspiration to start spinning again.

And the best news--Socks That Rock yarn is on the way! A skein of "Romancing the Stone" for Missy, and one of "Jewel of the Nile" for me. I'm so excited--I figured it would be months before we could get our hands on some of this stuff. Then Missy found a website with new STR colors, many of which I need (of course it's need, not want--I'm not nuts!), and then I was browsing the Simply Socks Yarn Company website, and I want to find some ArtFibers yarn--you can see that it was a good thing I got a raise with this new job. It's also a good thing that I can't just go out and buy these yarns in a store, 'cuz I'd be broke ALL the time.

Our weather continues to baffle everyone. It was in the 70s on Saturday, and Monday night and Tuesday morning we had snow--LOTS of snow! Some areas not that far north of here had 7 to 11 inches--IN OKLAHOMA! Unbelievable! What's even more unbelievable is that it's so dry that it really didn't help that much. I didn't realize it, but an inch of snow is equal to only one-tenth of an inch of rain, so those areas that got 11 inches basically got a little over an inch of moisture. Better than nothing, but man, we need more! Of course, the snow was practically gone by 5 pm yesterday, and today it was really nice. Temps are supposed to be back in the 60s by the weekend.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

How dry is it in Oklahoma?

This may give you some idea:

The ground at the cemetery was nothing but dust. It was in the 70s today.

We need rain!!!

Friday, January 06, 2006

Four days down, how many to go?

Well, I made it through my first week, and according to those in the know, it was a good time to start--relatively quiet (although there were times when I could hardly hear myself it was so noisy in our little area). I made it through with no trips or bumps, so I'm pretty happy. But boy, am I TIRED! I've been getting up extra early so that I can sit down and have some breakfast and read the news before I get ready for work. That extra hour or so is kicking my butt big time. Hopefully next week it will be a little easier.

Tomorrow's plans have been changed, as the mother of one of my good friends passed away Wednesday night. The funeral is Saturday afternoon in Guthrie. Of course I have to stop at SWAK (truly, I broke one of my Size 0 Brittany dpns), but the main focus of the day will be "family." My friend's mom was another surrogate "mom" when I was growing up. She was a teacher and a lovely woman, truly a genteel Southern "lady." Her husband passed away a little over a year ago, and it was sad to hear that she was gone, too.

After years of funerals, I've somehow lost the ability to cope with everything that goes on when a loved one dies. I'm really dreading this, but I still wouldn't miss it for anything. Having sat in those family pews far too many times, I know how important it is to have friends and family there to say goodbye.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

I made it through my first day

I must be getting old, 'cuz boy, am I tired! This will be short and sweet, because it's already 830 pm and my right eye is giving me fits (allergies or something, I guess).

Today was very nice. I am replacing someone I worked with at my job two jobs ago (job before last), and she's a really good friend, too. Luckily, she's not going anywhere--literally, she's physically staying exactly where she is now, so we will be "bunkmates." Today was basically "getting acquainted day"--being introduced to everyone, and I've already apologized in advance because I'm horrible with names, filling out paperwork, getting computer stuff set up, etc. I have really moved up in the world--I have my own business cards, cell phone, and company credit cards--what a deal! It's kinda scary--I'm going to have lots of really big responsibilities here, many that I've never had before, so I have lots of learning to do. I sat in on a money meeting this afternoon, and I just had to act like I knew what they were talking about--like I said, I have a LOT to learn. But the best part is just that I'm working again with some old friends, and it feels really good. I think I was grinning all day.

And if that isn't great enough, I met someone in one of the departments (I don't remember which one, but I do remember her name) who is a knitter and spinner--I'm so excited!! She's already making plans to introduce me to a bunch of other people--how cool is that?!?!?!

More later when I can think straight . . . .

Monday, January 02, 2006

I feel like tomorrow's the first day of school

I went out today and got a haircut and new makeup and hose and a new pair of shoes. I have a little shopping bag full of stuff for my desk--a photo of Maggie, my trusty Gregg Manual that's been with me probably since 1984, tea bags, hot chocolate, aspirin, my coffee cup, toothbrush and toothpaste. The only thing left to do is figure out what to wear tomorrow--probably pants and a sweater set, but I haven't made up my mind yet.

Now I just have to remember not to get in the car in the morning and head south toward downtown--wouldn't that be a hoot?

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Fiber, fiber everywhere . . . .

Am I the only person who likes to leave her yarn on the coffee table so I can admire it at will? No? Oh good, I thought it was just me. I mean, really, who wants to buy such gorgeous yarn and stuff and then put it away where no one can see it? That's just crazy!

Missy and I went out shopping on Friday--she was getting cabin fever after having some awful viral bug after Christmas. We didn't go to Guthrie, but we did go to an LYS on south side. Maggie's playing Vanna White in this photo:

(That's the only photo I was able to take with her in it--she went running for the bedroom after one shot. She seriously hates having her picture taken--see the look on her face?)

From left to right we have Cherry Tree Hill Jumbo Loop Mohair in Champlain Sunset, Mountain Colors Bearfoot Superwash Sock Yarn in Ruby River, and a skein of American Buffalo buffalo yarn in Bison (a Christmas present from Missy--thank you, thank you!).

I've never knitted mohair before, but this yarn has been calling to me for ages. The colors absolutely glow, and I think it will make a striking scarf for a black coat (of course, I have to buy the black coat, but that's not the point).

(Maggie's come back now since I quit taking photos.)

The Mountain Colors yarn is awesome--the color is amazing (this is a litle dark, but not much):

And the buffalo--what can I say, WOW! What I wouldn't give for a sweater or jacket out of this yarn, but at $49 a skein (what can I say--Missy's a REALLY good friend), little things are all I can afford. There was a pattern for some lacy fingerless gloves in a recent Interweave Knits that I'm going to make with this. The coolest thing about this yarn is after you finish your project, you put it in the washer for a few minutes and then throw it in the dryer, and the fabric becomes so soft, it's almost like cashmere.

I also bought some Berroco Suede in a lilac color and Berroco Plush in white to make some Ugg boots for Missy's soon-to-be addition to the family (I call her Mozilla, but I don't think Missy likes that name too much).

Unfortunately, when I brought these home, it was a while before I was able to fondle them as much as I'd like. The problem lies with the yarn store. Don't get me wrong--this is a lovely shop with yarns that I haven't seen anywhere else in the area. Mountain Colors, Blue Sky Alpaca, Cherry Tree Hill, Lorna's Laces, Opal, American Buffalo--she has some wonderful (and expensive) stuff. The problem is that her shop is in a very small office "strip mall" area and must share ventilation systems with the other offices. Apparently one of her neighbors allows smoking, and the smell has drifted into her shop. We probably spent 30 minutes in there, and when we left, we smelled to high heaven as well. Being a nonsmoker and not being around people who smoke, I've become really sensitive to cigarette smoke, and it made me crazy. I had to hide my yarn purchases in a corner until yesterday, when I took the 3 skeins pictured above and soaked them in Eucalan and vinegar and hung them out to dry. It seems to have done the trick, but I still need to do the 2 Berroco skeins.

I know the shop owner is probably caught in a lease situation, but I wonder how much business she's losing because of this problem. We've gone down there a few times, and there's hardly ever anyone in the store when we're there. With all the wonderful yarns she has, I would think she would be really busy.

I honestly don't know if I want to buy anything more there. I hate not supporting a small fiber business in my community, but I'm not sure my eyes and throat can take shopping there any more. (Seriously--I just handled the yarn labels for a few minutes and my eyes are burning like crazy.)

Anyway, the rest of the day was spent shopping for wine. We went to several stores that we hadn't been to before. Missy, being pregnant, controlled herself quite well; I, on the other hand, bought ten bottles before we were done--quite a haul. I really need to buy that new wine rack now.

Anyway, there are more photos! This is the Trekking XXL yarn that was also a Christmas present from Missy:

Those are Colors 100 and 104. I had tried to buy some of the 104 for Missy's birthday in October, but it was right after Rhinebeck and everyone was out. I blame Claudia (see October 19th entry) for this, because I think she bought the Trekking that was meant for Missy (it's a long story involving the website where I was trying to buy the yarn, but they went to Rhinebeck and sold all the Trekking--you get the picture). There's also a story about no Socks That Rock yarn this Christmas because of the Yarn Harlot, but I'm not going there--I don't want to start an international incident.

These are 2 skeins of 100% wool hand-dyed sock yarn from Sunshine Yarns on Etsy, colors Watermelon Patch and Winter Berries:

Very nice yarn! I'd never heard of Etsy until a couple of months ago, but they have some nice things there.

Lastly, this is some fiber I bought on Ebay a while back in a dark cranberry color--I guess this means I need to start spinning again, huh?

This photo is light--the color actually reminds me of those chocolate-covered cherries for some reason.

I guess it's pretty obvious that I love reds. Maybe I should have named this blog "The Red Blog" . . . .

So I have a day and a half before I start my new job--can I tell you I'm a little nervous? I don't know why, maybe it's more a combination of nerves and excitement. It will be great to start something new. For my friends who are reading this--don't take this wrong, I will miss you horribly--but you all know how much I needed this. I'm glad it's a short week--maybe it'll be a little easier to ease into things. Even with the nerves, I think that things are pretty good for me about now--I hope it stays that way for a while. It would be a nice change.

That said, I have tons to do tomorrow. I need a haircut and lots of little things. All this shopping sure cuts into my knitting time!

May 2006 be a good year for all of us.

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