I'm done with the heel on the second sock and am part way through the foot - done by the weekend. I have a recipient in mind, I hope she enjoys them. Things here have been continuing in an up and down way - I had my car inspected today and the only thing it needed was windshield wipers. I got weighed in at weight watchers and gained 5 lbs (I leaned over and asked the woman next to me if she thought I would get a star for that one!) - but I'm not upset. It's due to the steroid shot I got for the poison ivy and I'd already started losing it. We acquired a stray cat this week too - opened the door and there it was - small grey, pink nose with a Claw- like personality. It kept purring and hissing at us - bi-polar at best, albatross at worst. We fed it for a few days - it was obviously starving and abandoned, then decided to take it to the Humane Society, we just cannot take another animal in. David bribed the cat into the carrier with tuna fish and then bribed the Humane Society with $40 to facilitate it's transaction into the facility. David and I accidentally watched Mob Wives for 10 minutes one night - one had definite man hands and that's all I'm saying on that subject. We heard from Jackson - he's back in the states finally which we're thrilled about. He didn't call for a couple of days because one day he was getting settled in and the other day he was being greeted by his old friends - drinking and so forth. He sounds great and hopefully will be getting leave so we can see him. My boss has been very kind and I can take off what ever time I need to. Now all I need is the dates. Our memorial day weekend was nice and quiet, we didn't do too much at all, just quiet stuff. I replanted my garden and it rained so we'll see what happens. Hopefully it will not end up being the Garden Of Deja Vu. We're having central air installed tomorrow, yep, biting the bullet. After a couple of 80 + days and nights we decided it would be worth the money to have it done so they are coming Friday. How much do you bet the temps drop between then and now?
I usually do not wax poetic about Memorial Day - but we're watching a news show about a program that allows traumatized war veterans to return to the war zone and leave - after saying goodbye and laying some ghosts to rest. Our family has a long history of service to our country - we served during the Civil war, WW 2, every war I think we've been there. My father in law was a marine who was at Guata Canal and Okanowa, my grandfather was in the coast guard. My niece's husband Jaime is currently serving in the coast guard also down in Florida. Uncle Harry, Henry, Thomas, John, Adam and Jackson are all Navy boys. Adam just finished almost ten years - Jackson is currently winging his way back from Afghanistan. I have no idea why so many of our family do their duty to our county - but I'm glad they do. Thank you!
I finally got my shawls back - after a week of calling. The person in charge of the contest as I have said does not answer her phone nor does she have an answering machine. Since I was out seeing patients in that area all week it would have been easy for me to swing by and pick the shawls up, especially since I was literally right down the road on a couple of occasions. I tried calling at night, in the morning, putting the phone on speaker and letting it ring. She finally called back last night (after I called the festival committee) and asked me to call before coming this morning so she could make sure nothing happened to my stuff. I called. Called again. Finally gave up and on our way to Washington we stopped by and I banged shamelessly on the door because she was indeed home and apparently doing everything but answering the phone. I have no idea. She gave me back my shawls and was very nice - she also threw in a pair of gardening gloves. I have no idea but could use them. While digging in the bag I discovered I won second place which was a pleasant surprise. The shawls will be traveling to Mannington in August to compete there - I am also considering the Buckwheat Festival. We shall see what I have time for. But I did appreciate the ribbon and the garden gloves as we all know I can use! - my hands are an incredible mess right now. The cortisone shot dried the poison ivy up but due to all the blistering and extreme swelling my skin has been sloughing off for the past couple of days - Eww. Hopefully I'll have new skin soon and the open areas will heal closed. I still have huge red blistery patches on my sides and arms, it itches a bit more but is manageable so I'm still not taking the prednisone and will not if I can avoid it. My knitting has Suffered Greatly - I managed to start turning the heel of the second sock and hopefully will get most of it done this weekend. I feel like I've been knitting it forever! I am planning on another shawl after that, then maybe a sweater. We went out today to Washington just for fun shopping - we did the Tanger Outlet, Bloomin Yarns and Gander Mountain for a new collar for Reuben. He needed a bright orange one because one of the reason is Vizsla's are that lovely russet color is because they blend so well into the fields - Reuben virtually disappears in the hedgerow - now you see him now you don't. A little disconcerting to put it mildly! David rototilled the half of the garden I haven't planted yet so I'm making rows and will be making a second attempt at it - the dogs enjoy the garden very much. Chasing each other and rolling in the dirt, digging holes and eating roots - can't imagine why it's so hard to grow anything besides poison ivy. I am off on Monday and off call so I'm very much enjoying just laying around doing nothing much.
I did not go to Weight Watchers tonight - first off I only have to weigh in once a month to maintain my membership and also that cortisone shot I got for my poison ivy has made me gain a lot of fluid. I also took Ibuprofen which makes me gain fluid so in the interest in not setting off the Fat Alarms I will have to hold off until next week. The shot worked by the way - my hand especially feels much better and all the swelling is gone. Anyhow - I have managed to maintain my weight for months which is happy for me, I usually get down to my ideal weight and then it comes creeping back. The reason for that happening is because I get done with my diet and I think that's it! I'm safe! And I go about my business, Dairy Queen, Domino's, Little Debbie. I feel like I deserve to eat what I want. Then it's a pound back, two. I am going to keep up with the meetings because I've noticed that if I know I have a weigh in coming I am extra careful about what I eat and how much I exercise. Does it make me mad? Sure does. Do I feel like I deserve to eat what I want when I want to? Yep. But I know that is not possible and if I want to continue wearing my snappy new clothes I need to behave. I do get to eat things I like - I ate a giant chocolate chip cookie yesterday, I eat pizza and cheesy bread every Friday - I just have to continue to realize I can't do that all the time. And most of it is nothing more than a bad habit - coming in and just eating to eat. So I'm hoping I can continue to maintain my weight and wear the above mentioned snappy clothes. Enough of that. I called off yesterday due to the poison ivy stuff - I have to say I have never had it this bad. My right hand was the worst, so swollen it was tingling and I could hardly bend my fingers. Forget sleep! It felt like a million ants underneath, if I could have pulled my skin off whole I would have. So I bit the bullet and saw the doctor. He saw me and suggested a shot which I agreed to - then found out it was a butt shot. I had a moment of Childish Refusal (in my head) but the idea of continuing to have this insane itching made me decide there are worse things. It worked great - by the afternoon the swelling to my hand was reduced, the itching now mild. My hand looks horrific - due to all the blisters and swelling I have deep red - purplish in spots patches but it looks way worse than it is and hopefully will heal up soon.
It's been sort of an up and down week - I'm back on call again. Due to all the shenanigans with people on vacation, etc... I somehow ended up on call twice this month. The first night on call we had An Incident of course which took hours - last night mediocre calls but there were half a dozen, the last one at 1 am. David took the dogs out this morning and put up the gate so I slept in - or at least what passes for sleeping in in my world. My currently being covered in Poison Ivy isn't helping either, what I took for odd looking weeds turns out to be juvenile poison ivy and I am quite covered. My hands are a mess, my right hand is swollen, I have it up my neck and down my face, on my back and on my front - it feels like my skin could crawl off at times. If it doesn't get better soon I'll be heading off to the doctor's. In happier news I made it to the Sheep and Fiber festival, my shawls are on display and I got FOUR skeins of new wool!! David went with me the first day - I had a funnel cake which is super not good for you but is super good of course. What's not to like about deep fried batter covered in powdered sugar? David got strawberry short cake and we did some sheep-peeping, yarn yearning and dog watching. They had a show of border collies herding sheep and ducks - the ducks were very badly behaved as they tend to be. The dog did her best but the ducks were having none of it. Oh well, better luck next time. I got wine glasses with hand painted sheep on them, David got wine and I got one skein of lace weight alpaca yarn while scoping out the rest of what was on display - and Wow! there was lots on display. David went shooting today and I went back and got the rest of what I had planned on buying. I just can't buy it in front of the Yarn Hater, he goes on and on, it is very annoying. I also wanted to see if my shawls made it to the fiber arts contest. When we got there yesterday nothing was there - apparently Peggy who never answers her phone also tends to be late. They had been calling her with no response - big surprise there. But my shawls did make it there and I think one won a minor ribbon, OK for the first time out of the box. So I continue to work on the second sock, a bit slow going this week due to the poison ivy, but I am soldiering on. Speaking of soldiers, Jackson is finishing his tour of Afghanistan, which we are very relieved about -we're very proud of him volunteering to serve - but I'll be glad when he's back in the US.
I finally finished sock #1 and am on to sock #2 -but it will not be in time for the Fiber Festival in Waynesburg this weekend. So I wanted to enter two of the shawls I've knitted - I got the entry form and filled it out, then called the woman in charge about dropping them off. Good luck with that. She does not have call waiting or an answering machine and is out a great deal of the time. I got hold of her the day before the dead line - she said to bring them to her house. She would be out (sigh) but to put them in the mailbox by the door. Which I did 2 days ago - I am assuming everyone is being honest here and I won't be seeing them on EBay. Susan wants me to enter them in the Mannington Fair in August and I also might enter them in the Buckwheat Festival - it's always fun to see the things you've made yourself on display, isn't it? Susan said when she was a kid the hall at the fair would be bursting at the seams with entries - the biggest vegetables, quilts, pies, but she said now it's hard to get enough things to cover. That people just don't have the pride they used to in making arts and crafts, it was the same thing said by the woman in charge of the fiber arts contest. I"m on call this weekend so my festival-ling will be a bit limited but I'll just take the beeper and hope for the best. We had a meeting in Pittsburgh today - I rode up with Joyce and Robin and since I wasn't driving I got to knit on my sock all the way up - that is so fun! We got there early so we met Cecil at Eat N Park and had the breakfast - I'm glad I did because the lunch served at the meeting was all meat sandwiches and nothing else but pickles. So I was SOL for the afternoon - I suppose I could have picked off the meat but it was icky cold cuts and they get that cold cut juice all over everything. Eww. It was a fun meeting and everyone was there so it was fun. Things at home continue to roll along - Adam is doing very well, he finally got his separation pay and has finally found a job so he's busy getting his feet under him. I did hear from Jackson - he's been busy training (I assume) his replacement and starting to get ready to be ending his tour in Afghanistan. The pets are the pets - Vincent seems to have stabilized - he's a bit thin but that's normal for him, Claw is a jerk. Reuben continues to grow and is now a bad puppy doing bad puppy things, but he'll get over it. He horrifies Pearl the Good Dog and she often hides under the bed when he's being really bad - she wants nothing to do with him and is not willing to take one for the team. In other words, status quo.
Well, I did finally break down and took out my summer clothes. I spent an evening a couple of days ago trying on clothes, sorting, throwing out and a donate pile. I ended going to Gabe's for new shorts as I had said previously. And exactly what I said would happen did - the temps have dropped into the upper 50's low 60's and the rain clouds have been crowding overhead for days. I knew it would happen and I did it anyway - but there was no point in putting off the inevitable. The mud is approaching horrific, my yard shoes are heavy with it, the floor is covered with it - when I get home I race up the stairs to change out of my good clothes to the yard clothes before the dogs see me - it's like a Muddy Paw Festival if I don't beat them up the stairs. My garden is overrun with weeds and mud - I guess it's a little more entertaining than just weeds. Whee. I went to Weight Watchers the other night - since I met my goal I don't go every week but to maintain my membership I have to weighed at least once a month. I've managed to maintain my weight but there are weeks when it's really hard. But I find if I know I have a meeting to go to it makes me keep it in check. I hate getting frowned at! Speaking of weights Reuben went to the vet's the other day - he now weighs a grand total of 29 lbs, he got his shots and microchip - he has a return visit in a couple of weeks. In knitting news I finished the heel and am working on the foot - a few inches from the toe. It/s been slow going this week because I've either been too tired or too busy to finish. I am off of call as of today, a week off and then a week on, then off of for awhile. The two new managers will be in the rotation which will be nice. I'm looking forward to a little quiet this weekend. Next weekend is the annual Sheep and Fiber Festival in Waynesburg - I'm on call but that's OK - I'll just take the beeper and make the best of it.
I'm done with the heel on the first sock, did the gusset and now onto the foot. I have the pattern down pretty good - especially since my first attempt was frogged - I did try to save it but sometimes you have to bite the bullet and just rip it out. The weather continues to be warm, I discovered yesterday I am back to the Original Shorts. There are 3 raggedy pairs that I've had for about 20 years. Last year I gave away my smaller shorts since none of them fit and bought a new bunch of larger sizes. THEN I joined Weight Watchers and had great success, so I gave all my big shorts away which left me with my Welfare Wardrobe of a pair of too big drawstring Used To Be Yellow pair with a hole, the Sort Of Green pair and the Tan Pair That Really Never Fit. I went to Gabriel Brothers and spent $90 today - but I got 3 pairs of shorts, 3 pair of summer work pants, a shirt, two pairs of shoes, pajama pants and lavender spray for my closet. Hooray for Gabes! I still have not gotten my summer clothes out - I've made two attempts and have had to put them back as the temperature drops every time I even think about it. Next weekend they come out though no matter what. I am tired of flannel and wool, turtle necks and knee socks. I am on call this week - hate that. It's either some silly thing that can wait til Monday or it's some difficult situation that I am trying to trouble shoot over the phone, nerve wracking and stomach clenching. Because everyone messed with the on call schedule so much due to vacations, birthdays, etc.. I am on this week, off next and then back on the following week - hopefully my nerves and David can take it. David's birthday is Tuesday but we will be celebrating it on Saturday along with mother's day - during the week and while I'm on call would just suck all the fun out of it. Speaking of fun, over my birthday I added a ton of books to my Kobo ereader AND I found I could download the application to my Swanky Phone and can now read books on my phone. David is getting tired of the Swanky Phone as he complains I'm constantly mucking with it - I play Unicorn Dash (yes I have sent countless unicorns plummeting to their deaths, thank you for asking), I play Word Scramble, Words with Friends, Bejeweled, I text, email, take pictures and look up yarn shops. It has a feature that you can speak and it will print what ever you say - I'm certainly getting my money's worth! David has the two dogs outside - Reuben is growing rapidly and will soon be Pearl's size - the bigger he gets the more she likes him I think. They wrestle and run, tug their rope, dig holes, etc. I really think Pearl is happy to have a friend.
When we bought this house it came with a slightly asthmatic old air conditioner - it's not the best but did the job. We were only occupying a small part of the house while David finished the renovations and slept in the guest room for the first four months. By the time we moved upstairs the weather had cooled - no issue no problem. But of course all good things must come to an end So the weather has zipped into the Hades the past couple of days and our cozy bedroom has turned into a Den of Inequity so we had to make A Decision. We got an estimate last year for central - over two grand which I suppose but since we don't use the whole house we end up closing off parts of the house - and it's a small house. We have two small air conditioners for the downstairs so we bought one of those freestanding floor ones for the upstairs. We'll see but it seems to be working pretty good so far. I am back on the exercise track too (see how that ties in with the "conditioning" theme..........) - I have gained a couple of pounds back which is not a huge deal - I was 8 lbs under my Weight Watchers goal so I have room to play- BUT as I said before I started I can lose 25 pounds, I've done it before. It's keeping it off that is my personal bug-a-boo. I gain a pound - and I say no big deal. Another, I'll lose it next weekend. The next thing I know I'm squeezing into a size fourteen and being glad it's not a sixteen. So I fired up the Hulu last week - did you know they also have exercise shows? - and am now getting in my half an hour to forty five minutes a day. I know I go on about Hulu (and my ereader) but if you do a treadmill, exercise bike etc... you can just put your laptop on a shelf and catch up on your TV shows. David is thinking about joining a local gym - but we have to review the definition of "local" - hopefully UNDER 30 miles1