Friday, August 29, 2008

Caledonia is calling




We're off to the 2008 Games

to do the things we love;



listen to music,



watch the athletes,



visit some cuties,



watch a bit of dancing,



eat some good grub,



maybe a wee dram



and celebrate our heritage

as a family.


Hope you all have a lovely, long weekend!


Scottish Cat


Slàinte mhor a h-uile là a chi 's nach fhaic

(Great health to you every day that I see you and every day that I don't)


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Translation, Please?

This is what came in the mail yesterday: E-mail



Weakness with some atrophy after fall on outstretched hand in April 2008. Normal x-ray



T1 and T1 fat-sat axial, sagittal and coronal



Bone marrow signal shows signal changes and irregularity involving the capitellum and its articular surface. This could be posttraumatic. It is involving the midposterior aspect of the capitellum. It does not appear to be acute. The rest of the bone marrow signal is normal.

The signal for the biceps tendon, brachialis tendon, and the triceps tendon is normal. Signal for the surrounding musculature is normal.

I think the medial and lateral collateral complexes, as well as the conjoined flexor and extensor tendons are normal. I do not see any fluid collections, tears or tendinosis.



Signal changed and suggestion of mild fragmentation of the articular surface of the capitellum and flattening suggestive of ischemic necrosis. This could represent Tanner’s.

Huh? Confused

I spent an hour doing web research on all the terminology (my poor Spell Check was having a fit) & still don’t have a clear idea of what all that means. Chris read it, his eyes glazing over, & said:

“They lost me after ‘bone marrow’”;

Sam read it over, handed the page back to me, & summarized it in true Man-Fashion:

“You have a boo-boo.”

Gee, thanks guys.

The second page from my PCP was equally succinct:

“Abnormal MRI; Keep appointment with Orthopedic Dept.”

Duh! Eye-rolling

The apron is done, the hot pad is semi-felted & awaiting a bit of trim before completing, & the recipe is printed- I think I’m actually going to beat my deadline by a whole two days! I just need to take some photos tonight & pack it all off in the morning, then I’ll be free to finish up the quilt piecing.

One of my Quilting Circle partners has graciously offered to do all the finish work for me, since pushing & pulling all that weight through my sewing machine repeatedly is just a bit more than my elbow can stand at this time (besides, I think she’s getting worried that it won’t be done in time for the auction- Meg does tend to procrastinate Embarrassed)

 Lastly, here are my completed Ravelympics projects, since I know you all have been dying of curiosity & waiting with bated breath to gaze on the product of my munificent talent:


 2767531292_566df8cfe4_m2773876566_01dbd95f67_m2790554659_c678eebb2d_m2791847614_6d50663287_mSummer 08 062Summer 08 087Summer 08 086


Oh, yes~ and my medals, too!



Monday, August 25, 2008

A page from my day

 woman reading 3


FOR TODAY August 25...


Outside My Window...

Treetops bending in the strong wind, silhouetted against a clear blue sky


I am thinking...

about the best way  to juggle things so we can pay for Sam’s wisdom teeth removal- the *%&$#@! insurance company denied the authorization as “not covered”


I am thankful for...

the provision of my Heavenly  Father; we have two substantial checks coming in the next couple of weeks, which will go towards one need, one indulgence, &  one hope


From the kitchen...

Pork loin roast leftovers, asparagus, maybe some mashed potatoes (it’s been awhile- I wonder if I have any), & some of the best Clementines I’ve had in a long time


I am wearing...

Blue patterned skirt, green short-sleeved sweater, & blue loafers


I am creating...

Now that Ravelympics is over, I must spend time with my neglected sewing machine- I’m working on a tabard apron & matching potholder for the Fall Apron Swap (due to mail out on Friday), piecing the last 8 blocks for this year’s church quilt, & putting the final five rows together before sending it to my partner for the final stitching.


I am going...

to miss watching the Olympics every evening (though it will be good to get to bed at an earlier time); I’m not a sports fan by nature, but I was mesmerized by the excitement & talent that flowed across the screen every night- I often found myself cheering out loud for people I’ll never meet. 


I am reading...

I’m still working on The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs, & Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell


I am hoping...

to taste my own cantaloupes before winter- I found three melons this weekend & we should still have hot weather for at least another month.


I am hearing...

The Humming Chorus from Puccini’s Madame Butterfly


Around the house...

The sewing machine & paraphernalia has again taken over the dining room; I saw an awful lot of dust clinging to the ceiling fan this morning (Oh, Saaam!); the lawn is in need of trimming & the grass should be cleared from around the sprinkler heads


One of my favorite things...

hot, buttered popcorn- sometimes, this is all I’ll eat for supper J


A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week:

Now that I’m done with choir (Sunday was my last day), my evenings stretch out free of commitments; the fridge & cupboards are looking a bit sparse, so some grocery shopping is in order; some raking & flowerbed clear-up needs doing; then this weekend, we are headed off to the Caledonian Club Of San Francisco 143rd Annual Scottish Highland Games being held in Pleasanton.


Here is picture thought I am sharing.

 Summer 08 074Summer 08 073

Ever hear of a self-service cat?

Please drop by Peggy's page, The Simple Woman, to read entries from other Daybooks around the world.


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

More of the same & a cup of coffee

 We’ve suffered through another wave of 100°+ temperatures, so the garden is looking particularly bedraggled right now; nothing but cherry tomatoes are producing, but I see lots of mini bell peppers coming on, the lemon tree has set a good crop of fruit (which won’t be ready until maybe March), some of the grapes are beginning to blush, & my three lone sunflowers burst into song, then quickly faded away.

I’m already plotting another Fall/Winter garden (pun intended); I’m going to skip the cabbage this time, but I would like to try the cold weather tomatoes again, as well as lettuce, spinach, peas, carrots, onions, & broccoli. It’s also time to divide the bulbs & plant some new ones- I’d like to put in some iris along with more daffodils & tulips.Red rose

Work is again taking too much of my time; I’m back to working on Saturdays (just a couple of hours) for the foreseeable future (more state mandated reporting which I’m trying to preempt before the October 31st deadline) & then Friday, the teller I cover for at lunchtime had to have emergency surgery to remove her gall bladder. Chaos naturally ensued (remember, we are already down one teller due to “budget” cuts), particularly when I steadfastly refused to “volunteer” to cover her 3 days a week in addition to my regular duties. Yes, I know- I’m a bad person, not a team player, inconsiderate of the company’s welfare, yadda-yadda-yadda. Sarcastic

Oh well.

Fire me.


I dare you.

I double-dog dare you.

I didn’t think so.


Ravelympics are jogging along; I’ve finished my hat (that’s the brown-on-brown swirl pattern below), two dishcloths, two of three cat toys, & have only 40 rows left on the last sock. I probably won’t get through with the last two dishcloths, but I only threw those in at the last minute, just in case (well, you know the team is called “Overly Ambitious”).

In a totally unrelated event, I went back to the doctor about my elbow. It has been nearly 5 months since I fell, & I’m still have limited range of motion & swelling in that arm. He was a bit concerned at the continued inflammation & booked me for an MRI, then off to the orthopedic specialists for consultation. I had the MRI on Monday afternoon & the results will be available to the doctor next week, but I don’t have an appointment with orthopedics until September 23rd; after Monday, I’ll be calling every day to look for any cancellations (Kais*er doesn’t do waiting list call backs.) Anyway, it was an interesting experience; the only things I removed were my shoes; I laid facedown on the table, stretched my arm out above my head, & the tech placed a mini-machine around the elbow region; he gave me earplugs & a pillow for my head, then rolled me inside the big scanner. It took about 15 minutes altogether, & although it was pretty loud & startling in the beginning, I found the rhythmic sounds soothing enough to doze off.Sleepy

It’s official.

I can no longer deny the inevitable.

Sam is a senior in high school. Surprised

My baby!

I gave him his class ring- it’s huge & it fits his man-mitts.

When did that happen?

He talks freely about his plans, which I’ve had a few months to get use to but am still ambivalent about:

-2 years at the local community college, studying Criminal Justice

-Into the Navy for a minimum 4 years stretch

-Apply to the Police Academy while finishing a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice on the GI Bill

My boy wants to be a police officer. Hot

I am equally proud & terrified; the truth is, it makes sense for him.

Doesn’t mean I have to like it.

To quote Aunt Mame- Why did I ever get him those damn long pants?

Sigh Broken heart


Thursday, August 14, 2008

Monday, August 11, 2008

The Finish Line


Yippee & Hooray for me~ close is done for another month & 5 days ahead of schedule! While I certainly have plenty to do around work- filing, pre-emptive work on escheat reporting, boxing up records, as well as the regular A-to-Z daily duties- being free of looming deadlines makes me feel a bit giddy.

b   b   b

I am also experiencing a lightening of my personal commitment load- this morning, I mailed off my official letter of resignation from the choir, effective September 1st. I was originally planning to wait until the first of the year, but after listening to a speech given to new choir members by the director Thursday, & finding I’m not scheduled to lead worship for several weeks, confirmed to me that it was time to step away.

After nearly 20 years in music ministry, it is going to seem strange to sit in the congregation on Sunday mornings, being lead instead of leading others, but I have peace over the situation.

b   b   b

In other news from around the Garden, I heard from my daughter last week; she called my cell during the funeral (thank goodness I remembered to turn off the ringer) & left a message. I called her when I got back to the office & she filled me in on her life. She left the ambulance company & is now selling *ahem* vacuum cleaners (if she calls on you, just remember- I did not give her your name!) I didn’t ask & she didn’t tell- but impulse is her “modus operandi”.

The big news is that she has moved in with her boyfriend of 8 months, G. We have not met G, but the fact that he has stuck out nearly a year with Jess speaks volumes about his capacity for commitment- she is not an easy person to get along with. I am of two minds here: my moral-side says that they should wait until marriage to cohabitate; while my parent-side is relieved that she is under the protection of a man committed to her, as opposed to finding another roommate on Craigs*list.

We were able to talk about all of this without anyone getting defensive, & while she doesn’t share my convictions, she acknowledges that I have her welfare at heart & is willing to listen to my advice. G wants to have us over for dinner next month, once they get settled in, so I will have the opportunity form my own impressions about the plausibility of their future together. I know that it is an antiquated view & completely contrary to both my own upbringing & that of my daughter, but I really want to see her married, settled with a strong, moral man who will care for & shelter her- not only from the harshness of the world, but from her own impulsive nature.

b   b   b

Finally, we are all wrapped up in the Olympics; I am not a sports fan for the most part, but when the Games come around, every evening, you will find me in my recliner, cheering on my favorites.

This year includes a new element- The Ravelympics. I, along with several thousand other members of Ravelry, have joined teams, entered events, & are knitting/crocheting/spinning our way to virtual medals rewarding our efforts.

I have joined Team OAYPP- that is “Overly Ambitious Yet Plausibly Possible”




Is that me or what?!

I’ve entered five events with seven projects:

Felted Freestyle- I’m making a hat

Home Stuff Hammer throw- 2 washcloths

Gift Knits Pentathlon- 2 dishtowels

Pets Pommel Horse- felted cat toys

WIP (Work-In-Progress) Wrestling- finishing socks for my MIL

The objective is cast on & complete all projects (with the exception of the WIP’s) in the 17 days between the Opening & Closing Ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics. The local yarn shop owner is hosting her own version, so we had a casting-on party Friday evening, with drinks (water, wine, & Gator*ade), snacks, & last minute sign-ups; despite having a full house of normally gregarious women, it was eerily quiet all evening, each “athlete” plotting their strategy or feverously counting stitches.

So, if you are looking for me over the next 12 days (notice the counter to the upper right on my Blogspot page), I’ll be parked before the television, needles flying, & enjoying the spectacle from China.


Wednesday, August 06, 2008

There goes another one- Part Two




Okay~ this totally cracked me up (what do you think, ladies- too close to the truth, maybe?)

So, let’s see~ I left off on Wednesday, right?

Well, Thursday was a peach also. We had a staff meeting first thing in the morning (crikey- I hate 7:30 meetings) & the CEO announced that the previous day, he had laid off three people- one from each department, except accounting (Thank you, Lord).


Our entire company only has nineteen employees~ that’s a 16% cut in staffing (sorry, I’m an numbers geek- I can’t help myself); to say things were a little grim around the water cooler would be an understatement of the first magnitude. Everyone is a bit on edge, despite assurances of our financial stability & that these were proactive measures to cut expenses; human nature being what it is, I hear a lot of grumbling. The truth is, it wasn’t as bad as all that- one person had already given notice & was just cut loose a week early, & another was on extended medical leave & volunteered to be the one laid off (she is such a sweetie & fortunate enough to not really have to work.) Also, we are more fortunate than most; our institution hasn’t gone into the home mortgage business, so we aren’t facing dissolution like some; what we’ve been experiencing are the residual effects- consumer loan defaults, like autos & credit cards, plus a rash of bankruptcies.

The evening was spent at choir practice; we had a whole month off from rehearsals, as well as a break from doing two services, but it was still hard to get back into the routine- especially with a 2 ½ hour practice L There is lots of new music coming up with the church’s 75th anniversary celebration in September & October, followed quickly by the annual Christmas program. I am seriously considering a sabbatical from music ministry after the first of the year; for a while now, I’ve been feeling unmotivated- the music doesn’t inspire me & rehearsals have become an obligation, so I think it’s time for a break.

Friday way all about running around: knitting group; drive a carload to tricking practice (think Jackie Chan/Jet Li- choreographed “fights” with flips, jumps, twists, etc); drive back for tennis lessons (which were cancelled- thanks for the call, John); back to tricking; over to pick up Chris from the bus; stop for a burger; drive the carload home, via the pizza place; then finally home to fall asleep watching “Jeeves & Wooster”. Sad part is- it won’t change that much when Sam has his license- he can’t drive with anyone under 18 in the car (without a licensed driver over 25) for 12 months, so either we’re up or the others find their own way- I don’t want to put too much temptation in Sam’s path.

Saturday was Chris’ birthday; he had to work all day (it’s now been 2 weeks since he’s had a day off), so I fielded telephone calls for him (he left his cell phone at home) put in 3 hours at the office, then to the gym, grocery store, post office, & library. We had a late-ish dinner at Famous Dave’s & gave him a couple gift cards- Sear*s & Star*bucks- before sending him off to sleep.

Sunday, I was all by myself; Sam went to a birthday party at a place called Sky High Sports- the pictures are scary, but he only pulled a couple muscles- so I indulged in a visit to the fabric store (a necessity, really- I needed one skein of yarn to finish Chris’ vest & needed fabric for an apron swap due Sept 1st), a lunch of Banana Crème Oreos & iced tea, & an afternoon nap with the girls. I think that was the appropriate way to end a week of trauma, drama, & over-schedulingness, don’t you?

Monday, August 04, 2008

There goes another one


Another week that I am quite glad to see the back end of, to be precise; it was entirely too full of trauma, drama, & just plain over-schedulingness to be enjoyable.

Monday ended up being a real corker. Sam had his second driving lesson at 8:30 am, & at 7:15 am, he remembered that he hadn’t retrieved his driver’s permit from his dad’s car (after eleventy-million reminders that he should not leave it in any of our cars, but carry it in his wallet, but what do I know- I’m only a 45 yo adult, while he’s a 17 yo expert-on-every-subject-under-discussion.)

The car parked a mile away at the commuter lot.

The car for which I don’t have a key (a long, uninteresting story, but soon to be remedied)

My son’s solution?

I should drive 35 miles- in Monday morning commute traffic- to where Dad gets off the bus, obtain the key from him, & haul arse back home before the instructor arrives to pick him up.


Mom’s solution? When the trainer arrives, Sam goes out to explain the foul up, reschedule for another day, & pony up a $45.00 missed lesson fee. Ka-ching! He’s pouting over how “unfair” that is, but I told him tough cookies- it wasn’t my fault he wasn’t prepared & it’s cheaper than a ticket for driving without a license.


The meet-up with the Manteca Monday Madness group went smoothly, although I could only stay for an hour; nice group of ladies & I look forward to going again, but I know it won’t be a weekly occurrence.


Tuesday was a short workday, since Sam had an appointment with his new dentist. Chris’ work changed insurance carriers a few months back & our current dental office isn’t on the approved list, so the guys are off to the new one. I, on the other hand, am covered by my company’s plan as well, so I’m staying right where I am; I’d switch us all, but my plan is much more expensive for the three of us.

We spent an 1 ½ hours there, filling out paperwork & Sam having the full work up- exam, x-rays, & cleaning; the verdict was positive- no cavities, good dental hygiene practice, but he’s going to need his wisdom teeth out. I was expecting that would be the case at some point & was glad they want to do it now; I was 25 before I had mine out, & my bottom teeth had already been pushed out of alignment. The good news is that we don’t have to schlep over to another town for the oral surgeon- he works out of this office once a week- & all appointments are on Saturday, so Sam won’t miss any school. Bad news is we have to wait 6 to 8 weeks for the authorization from the insurance company & I won’t know what the co-pays are until I get the letter.


Wednesday was senior yearbook portraits.

I was fine with the fake tuxedo, all the talk about his plans after graduation, the comments about how tall he is & his resemblance to Tom Cruise (I don’t see it)- but when she put the cap & gown on him…

I don’t want to talk about it.


We got news Wednesday evening that a friend from church lost his battle with pancreatic cancer, only 6 weeks after diagnosis. His chains have been broken & he’s been set free, but we are going to miss his happy face, his big bear hugs, & his joyful greetings every week.


That’s it for now- I really need to get some work done today, since I’ll be taking early twice this week- the funeral is Wednesday & Sam has a dermatology appointment Thursday. I’ll leave you with an image from The Rose Garden in Portland, OR