Thursday, November 20, 2014

7 weeks and counting...

About 2 and a half years ago we moved in to this apartment. Rent has gone up, income gone down and lease will be up mid January. We have been looking for a new apartment closer to Oscar's not -quite temporary (6 month contract at the moment, but can be extended indefinitely) job and think we have found one that MIGHT suit. We are waiting for the door measurements to be certain my smaller wheelchair can fit where I need to go, but the layout is nice, size is good and rent about $350 less per month (and a few utilities paid, which saves even more).
It is in a secure high rise in Southfield, Michigan which is a fairly central location to where Oscar is sent to work (they tell them each evening when and where to be the next day. Not a peaceful situation, really). Where we live now is at closest 20 minutes, but more usually an hour away, especially in rush hour traffic.
I have been getting rid of things (lots of yarn sent to charity knitters up north) and have plans to get rid of more (books to a young friend and the library) but have also started making packing plans.
Oscar will clear one corner of the living room and all boxes ready to head out to our new home will live there until we move.
Os is so exhausted when he comes home that the only time and energy he has to work on sorting happens on the weekend. I can do about one box a day, maybe two. So seven weeks is not really all that much time!
I tend to fret because I cannot just pitch in and get stuff done. Last time I used all that excess energy to make two big wool afghans for our new home (they are being used on the bed this month, Winter has hit with a vengeance as I am certain you have heard) this time I think I will use up all the acrylic scraps and make an easily washed afghan to keep in our new living room for couch cuddles.
Since I learned how to tie a fisherman's knot, using bits and bobs of yarn is fun!
(photo is of one of the afghans I made last time we were going to move... this one will be a lot more eccentric.)

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

New Review Up on my Review Blog

I am finally getting back to reviewing for my review blog Otterwise Books. This was sparked by a request from Random House to review books for them. My first book chosen was Knitting Block by Block written by Nicky Epstein. Full review is HERE

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Autumn Update

It has mostly cooled off around here. This week's high was 79, today's high will be about 65 (Fahrenheit). Oscar has not found the right job, but the 'right now' job has gained a bit of stability. He still doesn't know for sure if he will be working all week every week, but the contract with Dell has been extended for six more months. (He signed with a 5-week contract about 15 weeks ago.) He has also learned that other workers with the same recruiting agency have scored good-paying jobs will Dell after about a year of doing what he is doing now, so there is that hope as well.
In the meantime, our lease here at the expensive apartment is up in January, so we have decided to look for a place convenient to the Dell assignments that is much less per month. As we need a fairly handicap accessible living space, this will take every bit of time we have, based on our experience moving here a few years ago.
Pursuant to that, I boxed up 4 boxes of wool yarn, and one box of non-wool yarn to head off to the needles and hooks of other charity knitters. No worries, I still have plenty of fiber to keep me busy in the meantime, but it means that much less to move in January. I have a big task ahead of me, sorting, donating and packing. I can do in a month what takes most people a week, so I need to keep pushing forward. Getting rid of that yarn has made some space in the studio to keep sorting things out.
I have stopped requesting review books. I am working on those I already have, and will still do 'emergency' reviews if asked, of course, but I want to minimize that as well at least for now. I want to spend time writing my own stuff instead of the writing mojo all going to reviews.
Oscar is focusing on work, completing an important certification before Hallowe'en and studying toward his bachelor's. He is of course also still looking for a new job.
In other news, I have lost 20 pounds since June, when I was diagnosed with pre-diabetes and put on meds. It was a great mood-lifter to know that there is a medical reason I could not seem to lose much weight despite all my effort. I also feel better physically now that my blood sugar is under control. More energy, better, deeper sleep at night etc.
I also have about 4 patterns very close to finished that I want to release in October. Fingers crossed they will do well and help the financial situation. Regardless, it will be good to tie those ends off and focus on some new ideas.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Readying For Winter

It has been a busy day for me, I am fairly exhausted, with dinner yet to cook (Chicken and Dumplings mostly prepped, the easy stuff is all that is left, and maybe Oscar can make the dumplings.)

In May, I brought home a group of plants from my dad's funeral. They have been very unhappy in their basket, all the plants crowded together. Saturday Oscar found potting soil and pots 50% off at Meijer, and brought some home for me. Last night he got the patio set up for me to do some 'gardening'.

This morning THIS:


Became THIS:


I used up every last crumb of the potting soil, all the plants have room around their roots and I have a few pots left over in case I want to buy some scented geraniums or herbs for my birthday to add to my indoor garden. 

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Reconnection

Long story, culminating in this past weekend which was both lovely and poignant.
My dad went to high school with a fellow named Ralph. 
When I was little, Ralph and Dad reconnected when Ralph’s wife Faye was pregnant for their fourth child, and my mom was pregnant for her third child. 
I have three brothers and no sisters. Ralph and Faye had three girls and one boy. 
Our families spent holidays and weekends together through summer and winter all the years we grew up. Beth Anne was smart, and the coolest person I ever knew (in tiny town Ohio in the 1960’s/70’s she had a crush on Michael Jackson.) 
Robynn was close to my age, and the sweetest being I have ever met. I never heard her say a mean thing about anyone, no matter how angry she got. Julie was younger than I am, and sparkled and bubbled her way through life. She had a temper, but it passed like a summer storm. 
Kent was always up for fun, and had a combination of Beth’s coolness and Robynn’s sweetness. Anyway, Ralph and Faye were like a second set of parents, and their kids as much my siblings as my birth brothers. 
I still remember the camping trip when BethAnne announced she’d met the man she was going to marry (she was 15.) 
She was offered a scholarship to attend university when she was a junior in high school, but she knew what she wanted. She wanted Bob, and kids. And she got them.
When Beth got sick in the mid 1980s she was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer. She lived 12 years. 
Robynn died soon afterward, it is still somewhat of a mystery but it is believed her husband set fire to the house. She and her son, Josh died. David died of skin cancer while awaiting trial. 
Soon afterward, Bob and Beth’s eldest son died while crossing a rail road track. 
Then a few years ago, we lost Faye to a very quick cancer battle. 
Ralph died in February, and we lost Dad in May.
Mom decided that it was time Ralph’s family and our family reconnected for something other than funerals, and invited everyone to her house this past weekend. It was so wonderful to see Julie again (Kent will be there next time, he was sick) 
I really got to know Julie’s three daughters and it was lovely rediscovering traits I first observed in BethAnne and Robynn. Grace, Beth’s daughter was there, too with her little girl (who is the spitting image of Beth Anne at the same age) and Bob was there too. 
Julie and I are sisters, and it was great re-weaving those bonds. We talked about the wonderful times we shared together growing up (like the time Beth tried hiding a HUGE dog in her parent’s bedroom closet, just long enough to convince Ralph the family needed a dog.. Jasper stayed with them the rest of his life LOL) 
It was fun telling the old stories to the next generation.
Thanks for listening.
(Photo is of the girls looking out over the creek in Mom's back yard)

Friday, August 01, 2014

Basque Recipes

Just a quick post, not much has changed but we are still plugging along.
I wanted to share a link I found this morning to BASQUE RECIPES. Some of them sound terrific, I look forward to trying my hand at the Olive Soup and the Basque Potatoes (among others) this autumn.


Sunday, July 13, 2014

Interesting Week

Thursday I went to Urgent Care with a high fever, they sent me on to the ER at St. Joe's. Two days later I am home, better but with no answers as yet. A blood culture is still in process and will be getting a final analysis on Monday, maybe that will show something.
Also found a letter waiting from my Doc that was delayed in being sent (from June 20th) that my last blood panel showed a slightly high glucose count, looking at the hospital paperwork, it was a bit higher yet in their tests.
I have an appointment on Tuesday but since I didn't discover this until Friday night, I am not able to get the fasting glucose test they want until next Saturday when Oscar is off work again. (Hopefully not until then, there is always a chance with Oscar's current contract that missing hardware etc means they lay them off for a day unexpectedly. No work means no pay, so that is not what we want!) Probably pre-diabetic, but since I rarely eat sweets except for sugar in my morning tea it shouldn't be too hard to adapt. I even eat high protein pasta and don;t have bread or potatoes often. My dad developed adult onset diabetes so I have always been cautious and only had sweets when I also had a high protein meal.
I am feeling a bit better, as I said but still under the weather. I had two big iv bags of two different antibiotics on Thursday night, so it is possible it is a reaction from that. (Antibiotics often give me an upset stomach for a week or so afterward.)
I am just glad to be home.