Catching up

Well, I pretty much completed training at work.  I finished the two weeks, despite having the plague, but they decided not to graduate us onto the next level because we didn’t learn everything we should have, no doubt from having to get up in the wee hours to be at work by 5:00 a.m.  Truth be told, I think the trainers were not at top form at those hours either, and they left out a lot of what we should have learned.  I was a bit panicky going back yesterday, but a fifteen minute early arrival in the break room was quite fortuitous.  I asked a bunch of questions of a more seasoned employee, and I got a much better grasp on a few procedures.  Last night was really pretty enjoyable, despite still having to blow my nose all too frequently!

I am, I think, finally on the mend.  I’ve not felt the hot flashes and dizziness of the fever for a few days, and I can actually breathe again, so that’s all good!  Of course, the virus is running like wild fire through the building, so by the time I’m totally well, the last person will probably give it back.  I’m hoping I’ve built up a good immunity.

We did go to see The Grand Budapest Hotel a week ago Sunday.  I really enjoyed the movie, although the ending was a bit lack-luster.  This, however, is sort of typical for Wes Anderson.  It was a good romp, though.

On the Rowenta front, I really like the new iron.  It heats up well, produces copious amounts of steam, and even has a boost button to give more steam when necessary.  The port for filling it with water has a rubber stopper, so I’m thinking that if I turned the iron upside down, it wouldn’t leak.  Experience teaches me that I shouldn’t do that, so I’ve been hesitant to test that hypothesis.  I may get to be really daring later in the week, and I’ll let you know if it turns out to be water-tight.  I have a small custom quilt on the machine right now that had become rather creased before I loaded it, so I tested the iron’s capabilities by giving it a nice pressing.  Not one tiny wrinkle remained.  This is a true Rowenta.

Ozzie and I have been getting out to the dog park frequently, but most of my walking has taken place on lunch hours at work.  I’m transitioning to graveyard shift, so yesterday, I was off during the most glorious daylight hours.  It was 70° and strikingly beautiful here.  Ozzie and I did go for our long walk in the park.  So many of the flowers have begun to bloom, even lilacs and a few rhododendrons.  Everything is so green and fresh.  We’ll be heading out there again soon, as today is supposed to be even more spectacular than yesterday.  Rain coming tomorrow and Thursday, so we’ll take full advantage.  I hope spring is on the way for all of you.  I know a few friends who are actually getting more snow today, and that just makes me sad.  Spring be with you!

How to tell if your Mom loves you

I’m only a mom to some four-legged fur kids.  I really don’t think I would have been an adequate mom to the two-legged variety.  As you know from my whining, we’ve been steeped in the January frozen fog for some time now.  On Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, we had spectacular weather.  Bright sunshine but still very cold.  I went to a quilt show at the Oregon Gardens with a friend on Friday, went for a long walk with the dog on Saturday, and on Sunday, I drove back up the freeway to a little shop in Jefferson (The Purple Frog) because they had a fabric I strongly suspected was a match for an unfinished quilt and I needed to take a swatch with me.  I’m happy to report the trip was a success and I will now be able to finish a rather ugly lonestar quilt I started probably back in 2007.

But anyway, back to the fur kid.  The rain began on Monday.  Not much at first, but yesterday (Tuesday) we had some good steady drizzle going.  I decided I’d take my eye-rolling, heavily-sighing dog to the park for a game of fetch.  Of course,  once we got there, it began to pour in earnest.  Lucky for Ozzie, his mom knows how to play in the rain.

wet dog

 

We have more rain today, with quite a brisk wind, but we’ll probably go back again before it gets dark.  Oregon had the driest year in recorded weather history last year, and we’re happy to do our part to end the drought by dancing in the rain at the dog park.

New Year’s Traditions/Superstitions

I don’t really make resolutions at the New Year any more.  As the years have gone by, I’ve learned the things on which I need to work, or I’ve accepted the things I cannot change.  I have, however, heard many folks say that what you do on New Year’s Day is what you will be doing for the rest of the year.  I’ve made a good list of possibilities as to how I will be spending the year.

We started with the usual let the dog out, make coffee, give the kitties some treats, let the dog in, read email and surf a little Facebook while drinking morning coffee.  Then I made chicken soup out of the chicken I boiled last night, cut up the rest of the holiday ham and packaged it in small food saver packages for ham and eggs or soup and put those in the freezer.  I got a few things that were in danger of becoming biological experiments out of the refrigerator, disposed of them, took the trash out, but stopped at the litter box and cleaned that on the way.  I then went upstairs, took the LeaderGrips leaders off my quilting machine, zipped the take-up and quilt top leaders together, rolled them back and forth several times, and then sprayed them down with water.  I left them to dry while keeping them quite taut.  In a few minutes, I’ll go up and repeat the process with the take-up and quilt backing leaders.  With a 14′ table, the middle of the leaders can get stretched out while the outer edges get a little flappy from smaller quilts not using the total length of the rollers.  This will just help to square things up.  I am also considering making new small leaders for the LeaderGrip tubes.  The ones I have just aren’t all that neat.

After that, Ozzie and I went to the dog park (see photos in the previous post), went for a 4 mile walk in the pea soup fog, and then came home to hot chicken soup.  I’m still not warm, so I’m on the couch under a quilt that I just took out of the dryer.  After I go straighten/stretch the remaining leader, I intend to go out to the kitchen table and do a little sewing.  I’ve got my bag of UFOs all ready to go.

So, I now have a whole variety of activities, some fun, some not, with which to occupy myself for the rest of the year!   I hope you all gave yourself a good variety of activities today, just in case the saying is true.  Although I don’t enjoy the cleaning activities, I made sure to throw a few of them into the day, as I do need to clean this place much more frequently.

New Year’s Pea Soup

No, I’m not talking about what we had for lunch or dinner, I’m talking about the Outer-Limits-type fog we had today.  It’s supposed to stick around for a couple of days.  Actually, we do generally get a lot of fog in January, and often it happens when the temps are below freezing.  When the frozen fog happens, you can walk outside and instantly turn into a frost-coated popsicle.  Fortunately, today we were up to a blistering 38° so, while it was chilly, we were spared of looking like Frosty the Snowman.

Autzen Stadium (home of the UO Ducks) looked like a space ship coming out of it’s landing fumes when we went to the dog park today.

autzen in the fog

 

Of course, this didn’t stop a little ball-crazy dog from running, running, running, and chasing the ball, followed by a quick dip in the pool.

cold wet dog

 

I don’t know how he can bear to lie down in the water when it’s nearly freezing out, but he gets really upset if someone had dumped the water out of the pool.  I always have to fill it up for him so he can get in.

We followed up an hour of playing ball with a four mile walk.  Despite my long underwear (top and bottom), insulated boots, super insulated coat, wool hat, gloves and mittens over the top, I was still freezing when we got home and I’m still trying to warm up.  I’m lounging on the couch now under a quilt I just took out of the dryer, so I think I may thaw out in a half hour or so.  I really hope that we’ll figure out what it is that causes me to have an unreliable body thermostat!

It’s working!

Good grief.  I really felt like the mucus monster by the time I headed to bed last night.  I really thought I would wake up with a horrible cold this morning but, having taken my Zicam at the first realization of illness, I managed to nip it in the bud.  I do sound a bit like I have a cold, but the nasty sinus/throat irritation is gone and I’ve not had to blow my nose at all.  A couple cups of coffee, a hot shower, and I feel human again!  I’ll keep up the Zicam and some vitamin C until I’m sure it’s on the run.

Ozzie was pleased that having a cold didn’t interfere with going to the dog park this morning!  We’ll have to get in a walk later this afternoon, too, but right now, I’ve got to get some quilting done!  Back to work on this beauty.

Blue and white

I’m slacking

Well, it will seem so in my Fitbit stats, anyway.  I had to take a break today and get a bit of house work done.  Then I decided to take my dog to the dog park.  If you’ve been following for very long, you know that Ozzie likes to get into the pool at the dog park and drink his water while he’s lying in it.  I think it helps him cool off too.  Well, there was a clean up and renovation at the dog park recently.  They did some mowing, paved some spots that tended to get muddy by the entrance gates, and they threw out the pools!  When we were there yesterday, Ozzie was so confused.  I could tell he really did not want to drink out of the bowl, and he would just stand in the pool area and look around for the missing swimming pool.  So, today, instead of just going to the dog park, we went shopping for something suitable for taking a dip at the dog park.

At this time of the year, this was no easy task, so our trip to the park, which usually takes all of an hour and a half, took about 3 hours.  The tub we bought was smaller than I wanted, but it’s tough enough that the big dogs won’t poke holes in it with their claws in short order, and it’s big enough for my boy to lie down and get his drink!  It’s also a great way to wash off muddy paws before leaving the park to go home.

So, this was my donation to the Alton Baker Dog Park.

livestock tub

Playing (or not) with the big dogs

The rain returned to Eugene overnight.  Not a lot of rain, but it’s wet and intermittently cloudy.  We were totally out of dog treats here at home, so I told Ozzie that if he’d go with me to Costco, I’d take him to the dog park on the way home.  As you can see, it was a lot less crowded today than yesterday:

dp oct7

 

Costco was a whole lot more crowded than this!

Anyway, shortly after I took this picture, I heard the gate bang and another dog and owner came in.  Havoc (appropriately named dog) is a huge German Shepherd, but she is really a sweet dog and likes to run around after Ozzie.  Well, a lot of the dogs like to chase Ozzie – especially the herd dogs (Australian Shepherds, Corgis, Blue Heelers, etc).  They all think he’s a small sheep.  Today, Havoc’s owner (nice man to whom I have spoken several times, but I don’t know his name) threw his dog’s ball at about the same time I threw Ozzie’s.  Ozzie ran to get the ball, but got Havoc’s instead.  This would not have been a problem, but he took exception to the fact that Havoc took his ball, and he decided he was going to get it back!  A fight ensued, broken up by two very worried and embarrassed dog owners.  Havoc probably has a good 60-80 pounds on Ozzie.  She’s a BIG dog, and he only weighs 20 pounds.  He ended up being okay, just totally terrified, nearly jumping into my arms when it was all over.  We’ve had a discussion about playing with our own ball and dogs of our own size, but I don’t know how much of an impression that made.  I think we’ll do our best to avoid Havoc in the future.