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!

May 1st

A Blessed Beltane or May Day to you all.

beltane

A lovely image by one of my favorite artists, Alphonse Mucha.

Get out there and enjoy the day, watch the flowers sprouting from the ground and, if available, bask in the sunshine.  I have a bunch to do today, quilts I must finish, designs to work on . . . but we will get a walk in later on.  It’s another gorgeous day here in Oregon!

Where have I been?

Well, life has been fairly busy, but leisurely so, lately.  Our Spring has been so gorgeous here in Oregon, that Ozzie and I can’t stay in the house.  So, we go for walks in the park (Alton Baker) on Pre’s Trail (named for Steve Prefontaine).  Come take a walk with us. It’s only about 5.5 miles.  Then we’ll come home, maybe take a short nap . . .  I’m old, remember!  And then we’ll need to do some quilting.  The heck with the housework — we can still walk through the house.  Right now, nature is calling.  It’s cold this morning, but we’re off to the park again soon, because, well, it’s too beautiful not to go.

Dark purple lilac

Something blooming

Solomon Seal

White bush

Yellow poppy 2

Yellow poppy

Mini Lupines

Red leaf 2

Little clover flowers

Mystery white

White vetch

Wild sweet pea

Clover

Pink Weed

Childrens weed

Pres Bane

Improving Scenery

Float to Springfield

Other half lives

Canoe

Sit and read

Bike or run walk

Toward Springfield

Benches

Wood hyacinth

Mill Pond

Camas Shade

Back down the trail

Thistle Flower

Parallel bars

Bridge

Ozzie Drink

Lilac close

Lilacs

Lupine close up

Lupines

Pres loop two

Past dog park again

Camas field

Camas

Pres Trail April 22 2013 092

Back to dog park

On towards the dog park

Cuthbert other side Yellow weeds

Another dog

More big trees

Little fir grove

Frisbee golfers

Back into park

Honeysuckle

Azalea

Rhody

Different Ducks

Wakey wakey

Mallards

Mock orange

Grape Hyacinth

Vagabond

Filberts

Oregon Grape

Cuthbert garden look back

Continuing

Alton Baker Duck area

Flowering Chain

Cuthbert garden

Cuthbert

Canadian Geese

Apple Blossoms

Flowering trees

White viney flowers

Millrace along the path

Millrace

Poppy in the wind

Poppies

On our way

Trail Start

Mill Bridge East

Mill Bridge West

Millrace Bridge

Trail legend

Home of the ducks

Passing Dog park

Start

I am more than blessed to live in this place.

What a week!

Hmm.  Now I’m pondering that exclamation point.  I suppose the week has stood out as very different, but not for the reasons that one generally associates with the excitement of an exclamation point.  Perhaps the punctuation is my hope to put a finish on it and move on to something totally different?  I’ve spent a great deal of time outdoors this week.  Yes, I have lots and lots to do indoors, but I’ve been off pondering the cosmos more than usual.  The loss of a sweet friend, the tragedy in Boston, weirdness of my family (is that ever anything new?), and stupid medical issues have me in a more meditative state.  I have, in the evenings, sat and worked on my Wicked Witch socks – really, Hilda’s Basic Ribbed Sock in Knit Picks Imagination, Wicked Witch color:

Sock 039

I just adore these socks – they are so me.  My sister who still lives on the east coast calls herself the Wicked Witch of the East and I have always been known as the Wicked Witch of the West.  While once a confirmed Catholic Girl, I some years ago realized that organized religion is fraught with peril, and I prefer to let nature be my chapel.  So, a life of simple paganism is more suited to my needs.  No, I’m not a devil worshipper (like that would make any sense), but I am a witch (as so many have called me) and I can, at times, be very wicked.  These socks have been very fun to knit.  It’s been a while since I had to turn a heel and, I have to say, it was a lot easier than I was afraid it would be.  I suppose that’s because I cheated by putting Ann Budd‘s DVD from her excellent Sock Knitting Master Class into the computer and watching her re-join a billion times.  Granted, the angle of the camera could have been so much better on the DVD, but one does catch the drift and, if you’ve ever knitted socks, you know that Ann Budd is great. I was gonna say da bomb, but thought better of that.  Then I thought I should most likely share that.

On the quilting front, I have been diligently working on the SID of a beautiful star quilt sent to me by an on-line longarm friend from Georgia.  I’ll share some photos later on after I’ve gotten more designs into it and, of course, after I’ve asked her permission.  I really like this quilt, so I’m going to make sure it comes out beautifully.  Her only request was that I put feathers in the setting triangles, so we’ll see what else I’ll come up with.  I have changed my mind on the ideas a couple of times now, but I probably have until this evening or tomorrow morning to decide, as that’s when the SID will finish up.

On the stupid medical issues, I’ve been to see my internist and a couple of endocrinologists, and it appears that reversal or revision of my gastric bypass will probably be the only thing that will help the hypoglycemia and severe hyperinsulinism.  Kind of hard to burn off any weight when your body is gushingly full of insulin that is busy socking away all those calories into your fat cells.  Damn it.  I’ll probably have a fight with the insurance company to get them to help me pay for this and I really, really don’t want to have surgery, but I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired.  For those of you who eat a lot of sugar, I have to ask you to please step away from that stuff.  I’ve learned the hard way, over the past few years, just what a dangerous substance that is.  I’m anxious for my body not to freak out so badly when it gets a teeny bit of it riding along in something like Italian salad dressing or something you think would not contain any.  I’ve always had perfect bloodwork, which is, in itself, fairly abnormal, but this time, I seem to have a rather elevated parathyroid hormone level.  Will have to wait a few months and have it tested again, but this is what can cause fatigue, joint and muscle aches and pains, dry skin, and (heaven forbid) kidney stones.  I’m really pumping the water through my body as having had one kidney stone once, I don’t want to go there again.  I’ve noticed small tinges in that regard (pain in the back, etc.) lately, and I really do not want that to happen.  So – on we go.

Anyway!  It’s a rainy, drizzly morning here but the showers will end this afternoon.  Ozzie and I are going for our six-miler with my sister and her dog this afternoon, and the weather will change over night to sunshine and increasingly warmer temperatures, culminating with temps around 80° by the end of next week.  I’m going to keep enjoying the glorious outdoors, get some beautiful designs laid into that quilt, and then I’ll finish my Wicked Witch socks and hope they help me fly higher and keep my feet warm!