Monday, March 31, 2008

Grey, round, about the size of a golfball...

Oh, my!

Has it really been a week since I last posted?

It hasn’t been due to vacation or general laziness, really.

No, this is the real culprit:


 Washington DC 2008 248  Washington DC 2008 251


Pretty, isn’t it? Chris has taken to calling me TC- for Technicolor K. You know what else? I didn't even hit my elbow when I fell; I stepped on the rock & pitched forward, landing on one knee & my hands- my face was protected because I had my sling backpack in front of me (I was trying to fish out my camera). I didn't even hit that hard, but it was just enough to pop out the left elbow.  

When Chris went to the desk to get an ice bag, the staff leaped into action, arranging for a doctor to come to the hotel & sending up a huge basket of fruit, Rondele cheese, crackers, & a bottle of Shiraz. The doctor said my elbow most likely wasn’t broken, but only x-rays would tell for certain; since I didn’t want to spend several hours at an emergency room “just in case”, he wrapped it well, left a prescription for pain medication & instructions to see my personal physician when I got home.

Fortunately, a little incident like being mugged by a rock didn’t keep us from enjoying the rest of our stay in DC. We did drive over to the Jefferson & FDR Memorials that evening, walking around taking some evening shots, then went for BBQ & ice cream.

Wednesday was an absolutely gorgeous day. I was up early again (having not slept particularly well) to get a spot in line for a tour of the Capital- this worked out much better than the previous day J; afterwards, we went to the National Botanic Garden (right across the street) & down the road to the Air & Space Museum for the rest of the afternoon. We had dinner at an Italian place near the hotel, and then settled in for a long soak & a movie on TV.

We headed home on Thursday; it was another long day, with 2 delayed flights- we arrived at the house after 1:00 am (3 ½ hours late), much to the surprise & delight of the cats. It was a struggle to get to sleep, since all three of them were up on the beds, trying to get as close as possible, & Dahlia kept waking me up by tickling my face with her whiskers.

I’ve seen my doctor & had x-rays- everything is fine, just ugly looking. We had a wonderfully lazy weekend; Sam spent the night with a friend & OD’d on video games, while Chris worked in the yard, mowing & planting, & I held down my recliner in the living room. Just in case you were wondering- yes, I can knit, albeit a little slowly & gingerly.

The guys went back to the grind this morning- I’ll be off a couple more days until the swelling goes down a bit more & I regain some range of motion. Although I’m right-handed, I found I use my left hand more than I thought- typing has been a challenge & there won’t be any lifting for a while- but I plan on going in Wednesday, if only to direct traffic while others fetch & carry for me.

Hmmm~ I think I could get use to that.


Friday, March 28, 2008

Organized Knitting Club-March Challenge

Over at Ravelry (see sidebar button), I’ve joined a group of crafters dedicated to bringing order into our lives, which dovetails well into my Simple Abundance journey. Each month, they issue a challenge to tackle some part of our chaos; this month I chose to deal with my workspace. I need to be very structured in my work routine (I am an accounting specialist for a financial institution, with numerous recurring deadlines) & have normally kept my desk area almost hermetically sealed. But after the “powers that be” decided to move our department to another location four miles away, I lost the majority of my storage & have been working out of boxes for 3 months, as well as trekking back & forth from another closet area for my binders & journals.

With the arrival of the large lateral file I requested 4 1/2 months ago, I was able to finally congregate all my files, binders, records, & personal items. This also allowed me to clear off the counter, which had become a dumping ground for assorted equipment & supplies. I picked up a small shelving unit for the paper supplies I need to keep handy, which are normally kept in another part of the office. All that is left is to find a pleasant looking basket- something reflecting my tastes- to hold the multitude of bags I carry everyday: lunch tote, knitting bag, mailbag.

My hope now is that when I return to work next week, I’ll find my area the way I left it, so I can begin dealing with the disarray in the break room. One question though- how in the world did I end up as office manager?

Greetings from Washington DC

Written earlier this week, obviously; will be back for an update :-)

Hey kids~ I have a couple munutes to check in & hit the highlights.

Flight- Long, 5 hour delay in Detroit, but slept thru most of it.

What was left of Saturday- rainy- was the Zoo (so-so) & searching out the hotel (nice- Sheraton at cheap-o price :-)

Sunday- clear & cold- Easter Services at the National Cathedral (awe inspiring) & exploring Mt Vernon (beautiful)

Monday- overcast- Arlington National Cemetary (sobering & reverent) Library of Congress (beautiful artwork & BOOKS!) & the National Archives ( all the Charters of Freedom & the Magna Carta as a bonus)

Today- clear & comfotable- off early to try for Washington Monument Tickets; tripped & did a 3-point landing outside the Metro. Dislocated my elbow & jarred every cell in my body, but popped it back in place & soldiered on. WWII Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, Korean & Vietnam War Memorials (Freedon is never Free) & then the Natural History Museum (saw the Hope Diamond- yum- but the place was a zoo!)

I'm now resting with some ice while the guys explore the underground mall; hoping to go by the Jefferson Monument & the White House after dark if my arm feels good enough to drive.

Time is up- blessings to all- talk to you soon.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Welcome Spring

Spring Greetings from meg’s garden

Laughing cat 

I pray you each find the hope & promise of the new season

plant in hand

Get out & dig in the dirt, even if it’s only a pot of herbs to put in your window for now

 window herbs

We are off this afternoon for a week in the Nation’s Capital. I am unsure of the availability of the Internet where we are staying, let alone the time to write any entries, so if you don’t hear from me, trust I will be back in Blogland real soon, with lots of things to share.

mouse cat 

Have a blessed Easter; we will be celebrating Resurrection Sunday at the National Cathedral & I will be thinking of you.

  Vintage Easter






Sunday, March 16, 2008

Yes, it really is popping up all over

I realize that it doesn't officially begin until Thursday, but after two weeks of moderate temperatures, everything around the Garden is positively screaming “Spring!” (hence the redecorating)

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For those of you who are concerned that I’m too busy, rest assured I do know when to take a break; this weekend was spent doing a fairly decent impression of a sofa cushion. Sleeping in, watching TV (“N.C.I.S.” marathon & Season One of “Fawlty Towers”), knitting, & some light reading- all activities designed to recharge an overworked woman.

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To ease my Puritan-ethic sensibilities, I made a foray to Cost*co & Pet*smart so we all could eat this week, & a kamikaze tour of Wal*mart for grooming essentials, snail bait, & 5 bags of compost. This afternoon, after a nap with the girls, I spent some quality time in the yard, putting some of the new plants in the ground.

Then I did a little photo tour of the treasures around me:

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Garden and Redecorate 2008 078 Garden and Redecorate 2008 076

This week is looking reasonably quiet- I have my annual mammogram in the morning, Sam plans to go over to DMV to take his permit test, I need to get the rest of the plants in the ground, & firm up our itineraries for our days in Washington, DC. Oh yeah, I guess there are some things to complete at work *sigh* I would much rather just hang around the house…

Garden and Redecorate 2008 083

Can you blame me?


I wandered by a new blog today- The Simple Woman- which is filled with the kind of gentle, authentic living that gives peace to the working woman's spirit. Peggy is hosting a giveaway (open until Thursday, the first day of Spring) of some lovely spring cleaning goodies. Drop by to leave a comment, if you would like to join in- even if you don't, drop by anyway- you will feel refreshed!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Bits & Pieces of meg...

Okay~ I’m back; my battery finally ran down & I’m taking an evening off to catch up with you all. Since I don’t have a common thread (beyond it all being part of my strange & wonderful existence) let’s take a little Bullet Tour of the Garden.

ä       The House to House dinner went smoothly; I didn’t have a theme for this round, only because I only had five days notice that the dinner would be at our house & I couldn’t come up with anything original (or even unoriginal- I was more concerned with cleaning the living room.) I picked up a Spiral Cut Ham at Cost*co (don’t you just love heat & eat?), some fresh asparagus, made an Angel Food cake (boxed mix- way too simple) with fresh strawberries, & Sam made tray of veggies with dip; the others brought sweet potatoes, green beans, & a salad. After a quick tour of the last of my winter garden, everyone settled in at the table to chat, & nary a snarky remark was heard (other then the requisite “I don’t really like ham, but this is very good”) - I was even complimented on my iced tea (Casablanca Twist- green tea with peppermint- from if you would like a $5.00 gift certificate, send me a message with your email & I can send you one) Guests were gone by 8:00 & we settled in to watch 2 episodes of Monarch of the Glen

H       Sunday found Sam & I in Livermore bright & early (considering the dreaded end of Daylight Savings Time, it felt like the butt crack of dawn- have I mentioned I hate the end of Daylight Savings?) as he had an Iron Body training session with a senior sensei. I don’t go in to watch- who wants to see someone pounding your kid with sandbags & said kid punch hard stuff repeatedly- so I read the paper in the car & did a little knitting. Afterward, we drove over to Ravenswood for the afternoon; fortunately, another docent volunteered to come in, so I wasn’t on my own. It was a good thing, as we were hopping for 3 hours & even Sam pitched in by entertaining people waiting on the porch for the next tour. We were so hungry by 4:00, we stopped off at the first restaurant we came to & pigged out on sushi & tempura.

*      I did get my letter done- last night. I was surprised how dependent I’ve become on my word processor; handwriting took forever, because I had to really think before I committed anything to ink & paper. If this correspondence continues, my pen pal will have to settle for a type-written epistle.

{         Today was the first Garden Club meeting of the New Year; as is our tradition, today was a field trip to a couple local nurseries to restock our gardens, followed by lunch & scheduling the programs for the year. I took a float day & came home with some veggies- lemon cucumbers, zucchini, crooked neck squash, & two tomatoes- & several new flowers for both the front bed & my hanging baskets. I also elected to do the July program this year, which will be hosted at another woman’s house; I’m thinking of a presentation on “Pets & Plants”, focusing on beneficial plants to grow for your furry companions. I’ll have to start some research soon; moreover, I’m really going to have to commit to getting the stuff in the ground ASAP, since we are leaving next Friday for Washington DC.

ö       Speaking of pets & trips, Chris really came through on his vacation assignment- finding someone to take care of the girls while we’re away. Turns out, a friend of ours from church (the wife of our board president & leader of our home fellowship group) has been doing pet sitting for a year now. She is a contractor for a national firm, which means she’s insured & bonded, but more importantly, we know her personally & are comfortable with her being in our house. She came by last night to do the paperwork & be briefed on the girls’ routine- I gave her a lesson on giving Daisy her injections & she’s meeting with our vet to get a little more practice. She lives only a few blocks from us, so coming by twice a day to feed, scoop, & generally play with the girls, won’t be a hassle.


Alright, I need to get back to my recliner; I have a cabled beret calling out to be completed before we leave & I’m a quarter of the way done. Ta-ta!

Friday, March 07, 2008

Friday Funnies #3

Just preparing to fly from the proverbial cuckoo nest that is my job, for the relative peace of my “perpetual motion” weekend~ tomorrow is our turn for “House to House” dinner (I got stuck with the rude lady again- Lord, grant me an extra measure of self control) & Sunday, I’m out at Ravenswood, on my own giving tours, & it looks to be a lovely weekend, which naturally means lots of visitors. Some time in there, I need to sit down & actually write a letter (not typed or email; an honest-to-goodness handwritten epistle, with paper & ink) to a new pen pal I met through Ravelry; what was I thinking?

So, in lieu of an original entry- which requires a certain level of concentration- let me offer up some observations on mid-life, emailed to me by my MIL.

Mid-life is when the growth of hair on our legs slows down. This gives us plenty of time to care for our newly acquired mustache.

In mid-life women no longer have upper arms, we have wingspans. We are no longer women in sleeveless shirts; we are flying squirrels in drag.

Mid-life is when you can stand naked in front of a mirror and you can see your rear without turning around.

Mid-life is when you go for a mammogram and you realize that this is the only time someone will ask you to appear topless.

Mid-life is when you want to grab every firm young lovely in a tube top and scream, "Listen honey, even the Roman Empire fell and those will too."

Mid-life brings wisdom to know that life throws us curves and we're sitting on our biggest ones.

Mid-life is when you look at your know-it-all, cell phone-wielding teenager and think: "For this I have stretch marks?"

In mid-life your memory starts to go. In fact the only thing we can retain is water.

Mid-life means that your Body By Jake now includes Legs By Rand McNally -- more red and blue lines than an accurately scaled map of Wisconsin.

Mid-life means that you become more reflective . . . You start pondering the "big" questions. What is life? Why am I here? How much Healthy Choice ice cream can I eat before it's no longer a healthy choice?

But mid-life also brings with it an appreciation for what is important. We realize that breasts sag, hips expand and chins double, but our loved ones make the journey worthwhile. Would any of you trade the knowledge that you have now, for the body you had way back when? Maybe our bodies simply have to expand to hold all the wisdom and love we've acquired. That's my philosophy and I'm sticking to it!

Monday, March 03, 2008

Getting over a case of the lazies...

Yes, I know~ I've shown a decided lack of blog content recently. I blame it on a combination of the dregs from the 'flu (& accompanying opportunistic maladies like a UTI & the return of the underarm yeastie beast) & the siren call of spring-like weather. Sunday, I actually did not turn on my computer at all (an almost unheard of event in our household, particularly since I started blogging).

Mother did make out here on Wednesday for lunch & arrived only 15 minutes late :-) She is in one of her transitional periods (you might remember that she is bi-polar), & despite the stress of another remodel going on at their house, she was focused & stayed on topic (mostly). We had a pleasant lunch at a nearby Thai restaurant, catching up on family news, & she only landed two surprises. You see, she tends to forget to tell me things- not intentionally of course- she just thinks she must have already told me about “X”, since I’m the oldest (even though I’m the second oldest- whatever- you get use to it)

Anyway, we were talking about recent birthdays (there are 14 family b-days in February), forwarded emails & who got what recent pictures, when she mentioned in passing that they had “finally received Rose’s ashes, but too late to include with the others, but that’s alright, I have something else in mind for her design...” Thinking that I had possibly tuned out at a crucial juncture in the flow of word (not unheard of), I interrupted Mother;

“Uh, Rose’s ashes?”

Rose is my stepfather’s mother, & last I had heard, she was living in a Russian/Jewish nursing home in Southern California, driving everyone bonkers. 

“Yes, Rose- now, I know I told you!”

“No, Mom, you didn’t- I think I would remember being told my last grandparent died.”

Well, I’m certain I did- you probably just forgot during all the excitement around the wedding.” (my brother’s wedding 7 months ago)

“When did she die?”

“Oh, about 18 months ago, I think- maybe 2 years.”

*Sigh* So much for lucid.

So, the conversational freight train barreled on, as I digested this bit of news, when another ball comes flying in from left field;

“Sam didn’t mention it in his email- did he get his container of ashes?”

“Um, noooo- I don’t remember anything like that in the envelope.”

“It’s in a glass cylinder, hung on a cord...”

“OMG~ is that what it was?!”

“Didn’t I include the pictures of your grandparents?”

“Yes, you did; but how was I supposed to make that connection?”

You see, in the envelope, there was a glass ball, about the size of a shooter marble, with swirls of silver & bronze inside, flecked with white. It’s hung on two strands of silken cording & Sam has been walking around with it on his key ring. Everyone has spent the past month looking at it, trying to figure out the design & purpose. Turns out, it is a piece of art glass made by friends of my sister, & contains the ashes of my Mother’s parents, Moss & Doss, who died in 1988 & 2004, respectively. 

Ashes 001  Ashes 002 

When I told Sam that he’s been walking around with his great-grandparents ashes on his key chain, he looked at me like my trolley had just jumped the track, shook his head, & said,

I should have known it was something creepy like that- your Mom is whacked.”

Yes, Son, I know.