Monday, January 01, 2018

To Quote Michael Jordan....

"I'm back."

This was his 2 word fax to the Chicago Bulls when he returned and they repeated the Three-Peat.

2017 was a year.  Oh My.

I bought a new car.
I bought Renee a new car.
(Both are Chevy Sonics and both are used.)

I knit a lot.
I quilted some.
I bought tatting supplies.

I became a great-aunt.
A good friend had her second child.
Another good friend bought a house with her man.

I went to Europe.
I went to Coronado Island.
Worth every moment.

We lost Coach Rachel, tragically, on September 14.
We lost Grandma Mary on September 29 (my birthday) at age 96 and a half.
Grief sucks.

On August 22, Renee injured her shoulder.
On September 16, Renee suffered a concussion.
The swim season was a bust and rehab continues.

Ted got bronchitis the week before Thanksgiving.
I got ill the day after Thanksgiving.
The holidays were low-key.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

How Migraines Work

5.00am  The migraine awakens you to announce its presence.

6.00am  You wake up to start your day.  As you shower, you realize that the migraine has decided it will take charge of your day.

6.15am  You take migraine medicine.

6.40am  After the thought of coffee disgusts you (a very scary sign), you drive your child to sports practice.  The burning ball of fire in the sky is pure evil, as is the barometer.

7.00am  You arrive home, change out of your mismatched work clothes (another sign of the migraine), change back into pajamas and go back to bed.

8.20am  Your husband asks you to get up to drive him to the airport.  Also a migraine sufferer, he has great sympathy for your plight, but needs a ride.

8.35am  You drop off his car at the repair place (well, it will sit in the driveway anyway while he gone - might as well get this handled).  Text work that this migraine is taking over today.

8.50am  You drop your husband off at the airport.  You are ready to pull away but he's not walking in.  You roll down the window and ask if things are ok.  He gets back in the car.  We live in Illinois and you can't fly interstate without a passport to go with your state ID.  Our state IDs are not updated because there is no money because there is no budget (for a year now).

8.55am  Drive longingly past the McD's and head home to get passport while husband texts child that you will be late picking them up from practice.

9.10am  Arrive home, get passport.

9.25am  Finally drop husband at airport.

9.27am  Finally get food at McD's and take second migraine pill, as first has done nothing.

9.45am  Pick up child very late from practice.  Child is fine.

9.53am  Return home.  Change back into pajamas and go back to bed.

2.00pm  Get husband's car, grab lunch at Jimmy John's (migraine hangover food) and return home.  Child has done mise en place for dinner and is asking questions on fried rice cooking techniques.  You silently thank the gods for your child's wisdom on this matter.

2.54pm  You finish this post.

Please note that tornadoes ripped through Illinois overnight and my migraine plight is nothing.  I had one co-worker who spent the night in her basement with her kids with no power until 6am.  She made it into work.  I suck.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

20 years

Today marks my 20th wedding anniversary to Ted.  (A co-worker is celebrating her 36 - she says I'm a rookie!)  Interestingly enough, it's been a time of introspection.

The dad (Joe) of the best man at our wedding (Mike) died last Friday.  Ted made the choice to go to the wake even though he and Mike have not talked in about 10 years.  They just grew apart, and despite social media, they have not kept in touch.  Ted debated about going, but Joe and his wife Kathy were such a part of his life pre-marriage and even post-marriage, it was the right thing.  He took a half day off to go.

So Ted saw some folks from Mike's group of friends.  Others were not there / had not shown up.  He saw Mike and his siblings, and some of their kids, but none of their spouses.  And not all of the kids either.  In my family, a wake is a command performance and all spouses and kids (grandchildren) must be present.  (Think we don't do it?  My dad's wake was -10 degrees out.  That's below zero.  And yep, we were all there.)

As Ted was chatting with the widow Kathy, she asked about me, our girl, etc - all the usual niceties.  Ted replied with yep, we're married, life is good, etc.  Kathy muttered that all of her kids were getting divorced.

That explained a lot.  One spouse and the kids were coming after she got off work (huh?).  Another spouse of a child who lives out of state never even made the trip (but she sent the g'kids).  The third spouse was also absent.  Of the group of long-lost friends, one is divorced, one remains single, 1 is still married (we're friends on FB) and I think the other 2 are still married.

Ted said it brought closure.  And he's happy we're still married.

Tradition says that china is the gift for 20 years.  We're getting takeout.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Camp Loopy 2015 - Or What I Did This Summer

So it's been awhile but I am back.  Let's talk about Camp Loopy, which is part of What I Did This Summer.  ;-)

The theme was Safari.  The first month, June, was to be something you'd see on safari, if I recall.  I was watching my Tivo'd episodes of the Amazing Race and they were on safari and one of the challenges was to go to find elephants.  So using that as my guide, I found a pattern on Ravelry with elephants.

Without further ado, here are the Elephant Sox.

The above is the completed photo.  I actually wear navy pants and purple sweaters / shirts a lot, so this winter, they will be lovely.

June was a month of travel for me.  Here are the sox at the end of the IASA national conference in Las Vegas.  My sister and I went and we went early so we could have some long visits with our aunt Susie and our cousin Laura.  Totally worth it.  The conference keynote speakers were Peyton Manning, Condi Rice and the daughter of Alan Funt of Candid Camera.

Once I returned from Las Vegas, I was then off to Puerto Rico with Renee for an immersion trip.  A great trip.  Good kids, good parents, good guide and a good time.  Well paced and nicely done.  The above photo was taken on a catamaran.  We headed out to 2 places to snorkel and swim.  Not much knitting was done because rum punch was involved....

There is also a fantastic story about how our boat was parked between two other party boats (we had kids so we were tame.  The party boats were all adults - not so tame) and the winds drove us into one of those boats.  Our first mate Dolly (a lovely young woman) got us through that and then flipped off the other boat's captain.  I commented that action needed no translation and she replied that he was her ex.  Enough said.

This day was the last day I knit the sox in PR.  It is being held in this photo by our lovely tour director Melani and we are at El Morro, the oldest fort in the New World.  Lots of history here.

PR was beautiful and I would love to go back as a family.  Pro tip: invest in a 5 star hotel.

The third trip saw no sox knitting, but we went to The Birthplace, which any girl scout can tell you is Savannah, GA.  That trip was super hot and I heard so much about Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, I bought the book for my Kindle and started reading it right then and there.  I also found The Frayed Knot yarn shop and made a contribution to the local economy.  I think I would love Savannah in the winter.

The second month, July, had a challenge of a pattern found in the wild - on your travels and serendipity.  I had started to read the Yarn Harlot's blog from the beginning and I chose her snowdrop shawl.  People at work asked to see it and so the pic is on a cube wall.  Random, but effective.  Yes, I like pink.  Move along...

There was no travel in July.  I was gone nearly 3 weeks in June and while I had adventures, one thing we did learn is that we like to have Ted with when we travel.  Vegas was different because it was Kim and she had never been to Vegas to see Aunt Susie and that was totally worth it.  But when Renee and I travelled in June on the other two trips, we realized that Ted needs to be there...

On to August.  August's challenge was to make something amazing.  Well, I am here to tell you I feel that this item will look amazing on me.  So there!

I have given up on buttons and now use cardigan clips.

I haven't worn this sweater yet but the weather has turned so bring on fall.

Another thing that happened in August was a significant change for me at work.  I have been in my present position for 8 years.  I do project work for the Controllers division at my work.  I love what I do.  I've already done what I want to professionally so I decided when I moved here I would only do accounting that I loved.  

Anyway, another department in Controllers (there are 14 departments) lost one supervisor to her posting to another area and the second one was pregnant.  The decision was made to add a supervisor in on a temporary basis to get through.  My project before my current one was implementing their new system so I know the product, the people and the process.  Long story short, everyone cleared it with everyone else before I was talked to.

Of course I took it.  It has been a while since I supervised people but they are a good group, which is wonderful.  It was to be a temporary position, but the new mama has chosen to stay home.  So I guess it's permanent.  Since I plan to be at my current employer for the next 20+ years, I need to have some mobility.

And that is how I spent my summer.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

The 4th

This 4th, my friends, was a rough one. 

We did nothing.  It’s OK.  I live in a town that DOES NOT HAVE a parade.  The first 36 years of my life I have lived in a town with a  parade.  It is what you do.  Seriously it is what you do.  How do these people cope?

Anyway, my memories of the 4th are fun.  There are a lot of Dad / Grandpa memories. He would go in and drive a shift at midnight and come home at 6am and I'd let him in (my room was closest to the front door). He would nap on the couch while we got ready and then we would go to the parade in Hinsdale and see relatives. Lastly there was a family reunion in the afternoon.

(No amount of my mother's dysfunction can stop these from being good memories and I assure you she really had a hard time with the 4th. Loud noises and her did not mix well. Add in visiting in-laws and you get the idea.  That women was seriously full of hatred and no one quite knows why.)

As an adult, all that changed was that the party moved to Kim's. We still watched the parade, albeit in Brookfield, and Dad wasn't driving any more. But we still loved and enjoyed that day.  Kim lived for years on the parade route; that is the way to go!  She currently lives around the corner from it, so viewing at her house is still pretty darn awesome.

Last year we were traveling for the 4th, so it didn’t have time to sink in.  This year it did.  This was the 4th of grief, as odd as that may sound.  I just could not get into it.  I went and bought flag shirts, I made cole slaw and burgers.  But I had no desire to see fireworks or leave my home.  Not this year.

Next year, the 4th is a Monday, which is always a drag.  However, it should be better.  I will remember to get shirts a bit earlier.  I will plan a parade event.  I will make sure there’s ice cream for viewing fireworks.  And I will leave my house.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Summer Goals for Quilting

Of course I'd love for them to be all done and that is the ultimate goal, but let's see where I can get between now and let's say 07/17, my dad's birthday.

Piece some block sets

Blue split 9 patch
Baby Bugs II quilt - Batik Weed Whacker
Mini Roman Stripe

Sandwich and quilt

Spring Flowers
Grand Illusion - 1 section
(Bonus - quilt one heart on Feb quilt)

Finish Tops, Prep Backings and Bindings

Blue Xmas
Orca Bay

Done Done

Girl baby quilt for Ted
Xmas gifties

That would give me 2 that are all done and 2 that are quilted.  If these 10 are the only things I work on for the rest of this year, that wouldn't be a bad thing.  :-)

Still Recovering

This weekend was the first one since May that I have been home.  This means I've been gone for quite some time.  I have been cooking up a storm, going through CSA stuff (namely eggs) and saving money by eating in.  Travel is fun, but it is not cheap.

I did finally catch up on sleep.  The 3 days I did work this week were kind of a blur, as I had 800 emails waiting for me.  I was able to narrow that down to about 265 that needed my attention and I am going through those more slowly, topic by topic.  It will all come together.  I am very happy that this week is a 4 day work week as well.

I did have a finish in the quilty realm.  I was like #3 on the queen's list, so I was due for one.

Celtic Solstice was a Bonnie Hunter Quiltville mystery in 2013.  Bonnie starts her mystery on Black Friday and it runs through the New Year, which for many of us provides a focal point of sanity and escape during what many of us call the silly season.  This one is 11 by 129 and busts 20.72 yards of stash.  Yes, it is very large.  And it's now on my bed.  It also has a few errors in it but if you can't find them, I'm not telling.  I have 5 quilts in mind for my bed and this one is #2.  

I have a lot of other quilty projects underway and Ted has commissioned me to make a baby quilt for a co-worker.  (FYI only Kim and Ted are allowed to commission me.  Don't get any ideas.)  Right now, I am all about enjoying the process.  Each of the items I have on my list are things I am looking forward to working on.  Nothing is drudgery.

Here's the list:

Girl baby quilt for Ted
Grand Illusion 
Blue Xmas
Xmas gifties
Blue split 9 patch
Spring Flowers
Orca Bay
Baby Bugs II quilt
Mini Roman Stripe

That's 10 different things.  Some are seriously just an idea, like that first one.  I have no idea what to do.  I was at a quilter's estate sale on Friday and I scored a backing, so there's a start.  Some are small and have great senses of accomplishment when completed.  Some are very detailed, like the mini Roman stripe, and if I get one set of 10 blocks done, it's a victory.  We are calling this micro-progress "Just One Thing" in the Stashbusters world.  

Knitting wise, I totally flunked out of Loopy Academy second semester Freshman year.  I plan to double up next semester to get back on track.  Pictures of the epic failures and their replacement projects will happen as the semester evolves.

Right now we are in Camp Loopy.  I need to finish up the June project.  I'm on the toe of one sock and need to do the foot and toe of the other.  Tight, but doable if I focus.

The garden loved the rain but it needs weeding.  

And I think that's it.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015


I am finally home from all 3 trips.  The last trip just about broke me.  We got caught in multi-HOUR layovers on the interstate on the way to the airport and on the way home.  I need a little lie-down to recover.

More later.  I have lots....