Monday, November 14, 2016

Wonderful Wedding Weekend

What's Up?

My nephew (one of my multiple nephews) was married this weekend, to a lovely young lady.

As usually happens at family gatherings, we had a wonderful time- joking around, sharing recent experiences, discussing the election and the World Series (sad that we can't claim a World Series win in the family,) and generally catching up on ours lives.  I represented The Husband and The Offspring, as they were all very tied up.  We do everything we can to all be there, but sometimes it can't be.  This is most of the family-- we were missing 12 people.

My sister-in-law, the groom's mom, liked the Light the Night shawl, for which I am grateful.  She is such a fantastic person -loving and caring, and organized out the kazoo- giving my new niece a lot of help and advice in planning the wedding.  Her caring continued throughout the weekend with my brother, as they ensured that we were all taken care of.  I spent a little time at their house before going to the airport, and she sent me off with a brown paper lunch bag with a sandwich and cheetos.   Such a thoughtful gesture...

Travels were gentle.  On the way to Omaha, both legs were offering really good incentives for volunteers to be bumped.  I got on my cellphone and checked the upcoming flights, only to find that all the flights were booked, and there was no way I would make it to the wedding.  The same thing happened in St. Louis on the way home, and I would have been glad to, but a young lady jumped up and ran to the counter as soon as they made the announcement.  I wasn't up for a battle.

In My Head

I'm on a break from Facebook.  I just can't deal with some of the craziness, and I'm afraid of engaging and posting something I'll regret later.  My trust is that the democratic system that has worked for us for over two centuries will prevail, that the president-elect will appoint good people, and follow the counsel of those who know what they are talking about, that he will listen, and act in the best interest of the people of our nation.

On the Needles

While flying, I made some progress on the "Just Keep Swimming" socks.  I want to finish them, because there are a lot of other things I'd like to get started on (and probably a few UFOs from years past that need to be finished.)

What I've Learned

Gerald Ford was born in Omaha.

Paradise By the Dashboard Light (Meatloaf) came out while I was stationed in Norfolk, and I totally missed it.

I still love the Midwest.

Saturday, November 05, 2016

What's Up?

I spent some time at the Rec Center today, participating in the Aquathon-- 3 hours of free water aerobics.  I hate exercise.  I always have.  Don't know why, except that I hate to sweat, and I have exercise-induced asthma which, even after using an inhaler, makes it really uncomfortable.  At one point, my running was at about 4 miles per day, and I still hated it.  Running came to a halt one lovely day, when I slipped on ice and landed on my posterior.  Walking is ok, but really weather dependent for me (most of our year is too hot, or too cold,) and I don't like just walking unless I'm going somewhere. I can walk for miles in New York, but going through my neighborhood doesn't cut it unless The Daughter's dog is with us and needs exercise.  So water aerobics have been a welcome addition to my life.  I don't hate it, and my goal has been 3 times a week. It's something I can do here as well as in Blacksburg.  The goal has been pretty much met since the beginning of September, so I am determined to continue.

My Hokies won against Duke today.  It wasn't pretty, but they persisted. VT 24 Duke 21.

In My Head
The maple tree in front of the house is turning, and is joining the other trees to give us a beautiful Fall.  The colors this year are very full and rich, giving us a lovely palette of hues.

There is a reason that this is my favorite season-- in addition to Football (Go Hokies!)

The season reminds me that the beauty of the colors will soon be replaces by the grey and white of winter-- the circle of life.  Gotta grab for the gusto, and appreciate every minute that we are given.

Reading and Listening

I love Audible books, because I can do other things while listening. Like knitting.  And driving. And cleaning.  Most recently I finished listening to Toni Tenille: A Memoir, and In a Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson.   

Toni Tenille's autobiography told of her life as an emotionally abused, long-suffering partner to Daryl Dragon-- "The Captain,"  Whenever I saw her on television, she always looked positive and cheerful.  It goes to show, you don't know what's going on in anyone's life unless they tell you.

In a Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson tells of his travels in Australia.  Since I'll be "Down Under" in a couple of months, I wanted to get his take on Australia, and found out that it is large, has a lot of desert, and more types of wildlife that can kill you faster and more efficiently than anywhere else on earth.

I also enjoy listening to podcasts-- a discussion for another time.

What I Learned Today

Fall is still my favorite season.

Exercise makes me feel good, so I need to stay with the water aerobics, since I hate everything else.

Starbucks barristas are very nice.  I "online ordered" a sweet cream cold brew.  When I got to the store, she said that they were out of cold brew.  As I tried to figure out what I wanted, another barrista brought out a pitcher that was hiding.  It apparently wasn't supposed to be "done" yet, so I was given a sample cup to see if it was ok.  It was.  She mixed my drink, and it was a bit too full to get the lid on the grande cup.  Rather than pouring some of the mix, she put it in a venti cup, and I was able to add the rest of my sample cup.  Thoughtful.

Friday, November 04, 2016

For some reason, I'm a day off.  I wrote this yesterday, but the post from the day before was revised after midnight, so it was dated Nov 3.  So's not to confuse myself, I'll post this today, and then carry on with new posts tomorrow.

What's Up?

My Birthday!!! (Nov 3) That's what!  When I came downstairs, I found this from The Husband.  So sweet-- he left for work about 20 minutes before I got up, and he had one of the battery tea lights going next to a breakfast roll.  I'll be smiling all day.

What else?  Sleepy-- stayed up for the end of the World Series game last night.  One of the really fun things was the stream of texts that flew around among my siblings.  #3 Brother, who runs the Indians' ballpark, was most certainly up quite late, hosting thousands of Cubs fans who didn't want to leave the magic.

In My Head

I have a tendency to over-think things, to awfulize about the past, and to be overly concerned about my shortcomings.  I came upon this blog (Marc and Angel Hack Life) 25 Things You Need To Stop Wasting Time On.  I thought it would be the same ol' tips we've all seen a million times- sort the mail at the door, vacuum when the spirit moves you.... you get the picture.  Instead, this item is a treasure trove of things that keep us from moving forward.  I'm going to try to spend some mindful time with several of these, and might share some thoughts.  There are also a whole lot of article links that remained unexplored for right now, because they are undoubtedly a black hole that will be fascinating to fall down sometime.

On The Needles

I went to the Knitting Group at Martha Washington library, and made some progress on the second Keep on Swimming sock.  I told of achieving the nearly perfect toe by watching the KnitPicks YouTube video for Kitchener, and following along step by step (or rather, stitch by stitch.)


The Big Honkin' Asia/Australia trip is coming up this winter.  I spent time getting Australian visas for The Husband and me, and The Offspring.  I need to review excursions, and get some scheduled.  I'll outline the trip in more detail in a future posting.

Closer to now, I'll be off to Omaha next week for a nephew's wedding.  It will be lovely to see my sibs and their offspring.  I'll miss the Hokies vs Georgia Tech football game-- the only type of thing that could cause me to miss my Hokies is a family event of great import.

What I Learned Today

I've been missing something by not watching Marvel movies.  Dr. Strange was pretty darn good.
I need to finish blog post revisions before midnight, so I don't mess up the days.

Thursday, November 03, 2016

New Beginnings

What's Up?

When I last posted, I was considering retirement.  I did make the decision to retire, and it was the right decision.  Being a nurse is stressful, and we cope in different ways.  I recalled several times when I comforted some of our youngsters, handing them tissues to handle their tears.  They'd apologize, to which I would respond, "When you stop crying, it's time to move on."  I'd been through some pretty wrenching situations, and then, I stopped crying.  It was time to follow my advice.

Writing has been important to me throughout my life, and I continue to write, although I lack the discipline needed for consistent production.  It's been a long time since I've blogged regularly, but I've been thinking about it, and was inspired by a Facebook posting from Rosemary, a friend from the Knit Happens days --  (mis) adventures of spindlerose.

So I'm going to attempt to blog daily through November.  We'll see how it goes.

In My Head

It's the last day of this year, for me.  Tomorrow I increment my age again. The goals that I set for myself these days are not huge.  I try to stay active and healthy, involved and interested, productive and continually inquisitive.

I'm watching the World Series with two of my favorite teams.  I'm favoring Cleveland, because my brother runs the ballpark, although I've been a Cubs fan since childhood.  It's been fun, liking both teams, because I'm ok with it, either way, despite my leanings.
Late entry: Cubs won.  I'm ok with it, but not as ok as I'd like.
And then there's the upcoming election.  I just don't know what to think as I see appalling things from both major candidates.  Facebook is full of vitriol, and I mostly ignore what I see.  Prayer has never been more important.  Thank heaven for baseball, or I might be truly bonkers by now.  Prayer and baseball-- the two constants.

On My Needles

I am LauraRN on Ravelry.  Details of my projects including pattern links, yarn, needle sizes, etc are on my project page.  If you want more info on my projects, please stop by, and be my friend.

Right now I'm getting ready to continue the second "Just Keep Swimming" sock for Niece #2.  She had a baby about 2 months ago.  The baby is home and stable, but has a significant issue that will require ongoing care, and possibly surgery.  I was really grateful to be able to give background info to her, based on my NICU experience.  The nurses in NICU and a specialty unit at Lurie Children's Hospital made a sign for his crib with Finding Dory -- "Just Keep Swimming."

So when I saw a pattern on Facebook for "Just Keep Swimming Socks," they needed to be made for #2 niece.  I bought some really great yarn at Wool Workshop in Roanoke, and started to make pretty decent progress, but then realized that the multicolored yarn had long runs of dark purple and blue that caused the fish pattern to disappear. The picture shows some discernable fish, but as I continued in the pattern, they truly disappeared.  Not to worry.  After frogging, the beautiful wool will become socks for The Daughter.

Before purchasing the yarn at Wool Workshop, I had ordered yarn from Craftsy-  which seems to be preserving the fiddies a bit better.  Sock #1 is complete, and I'm through the first pattern on #2.
Off My Needles

Awhile back, I started a "Grandmother Shawl" for one of my sisters, who-- imagine this-- became a grandmother.  After finishing, I decided it wasn't long enough, then discovered that the yarn had disappeared from the face of the earth.  Yes, I checked with the website where I got it.  Yes, I checked all the stashes on Ravelry.  Yes, I checked eBay.  The colorway was just too lovely for this earth, and everyone who ever had it has either knit it up, or is holding on to it for dear life.  So the lovely shawl I started is now a rather large lap blanket.  It will find a good home.

I came upon the Philosopher's Stone KAL on Ravelry, and felt up for some mystery.  The pattern is by Erica Jackovsky of Fiddle Knits, and was knit with KnitPicks Stroll Glimmer in Peacock.  As the shawl took shape, I realized how much joy it gave me.  It has everything- lace, cables, beads, loveliness.  The shawl turned out nicely, and my sister is happy with it.
What do we do when the stuff hits the fan?  We knit.

One of my sisters-in-law had a battle with lymphoma 5 years ago, and was doing great.  She is now facing a recurrence.  Her incredibly positive attitude is an example to anyone facing adversity. My wonderful brother is great support, and their offspring have been handling the situation with the grace that can only come from the steadfast example of their parents. The family participates each October in the annual "Light the Night" walk to raise awareness of leukemia, lymphoma, and other blood cancers.  Around the same time, she updated her What Friend Do blog. So what did I do when I read the news?  I trotted myself out to get some yarn to knit.  Lymphoma's "color" is lime green. Since my modus operandi seems to be making shawls for major events, I decided that a "Light the Night Shawl" was in order.  I remembered Carolyn Wiens'  Light and Up shawl, and adapted it liberally.
Completed but not blocked- Picture shows colors a bit more yellow.

Earlier- in progress-  Colors are more true

What I Learned Today
Dorito tacos are pretty good- especially when they're free.
Sort of close doesn't work when soldering. You can't fix a bad join.
I never get tired of seeing my brother behind home plate at an Indians game.

Also In My Life:
Things to address in the future or from time to time



Reading and Listening