Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Deep in the heart of summer.

Yesterday was a walking day. The first one in a while where I made 10,000+ steps. I shared my success with my Zumba guru, noting that the hour and a half worth of steps were much easier than an hour of Zumba. She showed me why. That woman (who I've known for years but who only recently began helping me have a better life) may have earned a pair of knitted socks. Just sayin.


Then to knit night where my color choice was approved and my reading list expanded. Now a page or ten into Sarah Vowell's Assassination Vacation. Drknitnightjustine is the recommender of books and the summer of remedial high school continues. Also Erik Larson books are what led me to this journey. Imagine the coincidences of history as interesting. It's new to me

This afternoon I spent some more time with Marie Kondo (The Japanese Art of Tidying Up) in my head. Knit nighter's scoffed and laughed at the idea of socks feeling better when folded rather than balled together but while they are wise, they don't know everything.

The following photos may not look like much to those uninitiated in my ways of clothes storage. You should know, however, that all of the clothes you see in the closet and drawers were just three days ago living on top of the dresser in baskets and the closet and drawers were full of joyless waste.

I've decided that photos of folded clothes look better with the instant filter.


Clothes that I actually wear in the closet





And because you've just had to inadvertently look at a drawer of my drawers, some Great Pyr puppies. No instant filter required.



Monday, June 27, 2016

Danger. Books.

After finishing A Short History of Nearly Everything, I needed to start today with something a little lighter.

I picked this:


I read the first chapter, determined not to do anything rash, but her promises of success were so seductive.


The dogs bedroom/my clothes room has been a part of why I hated getting up in the morning. The closet and drawers are full. The clothes I like to wear the most are scattered in baskets either in that room or in the basement next to the dryer. Four plus years and 25 gradual pounds since the last purge left me with clothes clothes everywhere and not a stitch to wear.

I did as instructed in the book, found all the clothes in the house (knitted accessories excluded), emptied the drawers and closet and dumped everything (much to her dismay) on the dogs bed. I handled each item and asked if it brought me joy. This is really a good question. Some things didn't bring me joy because they didn't fit. Other things didn't bring me joy because I just didn't like them (that was a surprise-who buys clothes they don't like?)

Two hours later I took these to planetaid bins at Walmart-


The irony being many of the items were Walmart justmysize spur of the moment tops.

There is a smaller pile of throw away and a smaller still pile of keepers. There are a couple of items in the throwaway pile that I feel need properly memorialized before discarding them.

The first is the "engagement bathrobe"


A giant purple terry cloth bathrobe that Mr. Sophanne bought for me during our courtship. It was the first bathrobe that I ever owned that cost $40 ON SALE. It blew my money crunching mind. I may just keep it on the closet floor as the refuge for the dog during thunderstorms. It's hard to part with.

The second item was my first ever sweater. It was crocheted with Lion Brand Homespun (as if you didn't recognize it already). I knew absolutely nothing about gauge or yarn size. I bought a hook to fit the yarn and went at it. A few times I wondered how the writer of the pattern knew what size it would be but was undaunted by blind trust. Fast forward to a finished sleeve. From my adventures in sewing I realized how large the sleeve actually was. Oh well, I'll just do what you do in sewing and use a larger seam allowance. The result-


Objects larger than they appear.

I have not done the sock/underwear drawer yet and dread doing so because that will mean getting rid of several hand knit socks that have lost their battle with usefulness. One day at a time.


Sunday, June 26, 2016

Superman Color play

Productive things I did today-

  • Paid bills for three households
  • Two loads of laundry
  • Ordered and picked up delicious pizza
  • Binged on the Superman tv show on the Decades channel
  • Played with colorful combinations for Tamdou (rav link)


The winner. Madeline Tosh wins again





Thursday, June 23, 2016

Week Two

The rush to do everything last week was quickly followed by the rush to do nothing. That is as it should be.

The big news is that I am officially old. The eye doctor prescribed progressive lenses. They aren't here yet but I've noticed I've had difficulty in the last few months. I've been doing a lot of simple knitting- I didn't really notice blurry patterns so much as I felt like reading a pattern was just more trouble than it's worth.

I've got two Zumba classes under my belt and opted for the shoes-


My body is heavy enough to move from side to side. I don't need heavy shoes too. These are much lighter than the ones I've been wearing. I've laughed at my uncoordination with several adults that I taught when they were in kindergarten. (Another tally mark in the how can I be this old column) and did my best to keep up.

In other edification news, it seems as though right now I'm in a bit of a "high school summer school" mode. I've been listening to a podcast called Presidential. A weekly episode on each of the presidents- who they were and what they did- leading up to the election in November. Food for thought from this was how contentious the parties were regarding slavery and abolition long before the civil war. Somehow in my mind I think I thought that everyone suddenly got indignant in 1861. Also it is true that everything old is new again when it comes to politics. I think I would like a politician who was a historian and could connect past decisions/successes/failures to future ones


I've also been reading the book "A Short History of Nearly Everything" by Bill Bryson. It's science-y. How and when we came to know what we know about the world and surrounding areas. A startling fact from this read was that in spite of how long ago they were here, we really didn't know dinosaurs existed until the mid 19th century. Also that Yosemite is a giant volcano waiting to explode. I've been seeking clarification on how science fits together with itself.

KnitnightDrJustine explained things like this-

math is the language of physics which is the language of chemistry which is the language of biology...the the more we learn about physics, the more potential we have to learn something new about biology.

This book parses out some of that for me in a way that I don't feel stupid or get a headache. For a few days e=mc2 almost made sense. I know there's a lot I'm missing but I think it's one of those books that will need to be read more than once to get the full effect.

I've also managed to shift my sleep schedule into vampire mode. Noontime naps are just too easy and feel too good.

And finally lest she feel neglected and unloved, I took Aunt out to lunch and shopping at Walmart on Monday. She forgot I was coming to get her but once she asked if we could go to Walmart, she didn't forget that. Here she is trying to remember the word Zinfandel and probably not realizing she doesn't have a corkscrew.



Monday, June 13, 2016

Day One Part Two.

I spent the morning in Lou Dayich's courtroom. I saw two prisoners In orange jumpsuits who did not waive their extradition. One used a stolen credit card. The other was dealing drugs. The judge was wondering who I was with and everyone got a chuckle when I said I was just there to watch.

I went back after the lunch break and the galley (gallery?) was packed. The majority of pleas were DUI guiltys and most received ARD. If I were the judge I'd be exhausted.


I received this in the mail- It cracked me up.


And then I went to my first Zumba class. One of the paraprofessionals from my school leads it and nearly everyone there was a mom of former students. I was in good company. I will go back. Exercise is my summer job and today I worked overtime!


The first official day.

This blog is here to document adventures and I want to keep having them so there it is.

This mornings walk was 2.8 miles and on the first round I ran 780 of 1700 steps. Also whereas yesterday I got tired approaching 100 each time, today I did 4 sets of 120 one of 100 and one set of 200.

The bird feeder had its first pretty bird which bob terry called a wild canary and I called it a finch.


And for whatever reason I'm a little weirded out about going and watching at the court room but I think I might force myself to do it. A social study of sorts.

There is Zumba in blacksville tonight. I declared I would go before school was out. It's another thing that I am anxious about doing but seeing the instructor at lunch yesterday was, like the cool walking temperatures, probably an auspicious sign.


Sunday, June 12, 2016

The first summer Sunday and how to begin running.

The best day of summer vacation is now. The first Sunday night that you don't have to go to Monday.

Cousin and I spent the day celebrating the aunts birthday and had a run to A.C Moore for some art supply "treat yoself." My new favorite thing is brush markers.

There were 2 miles this morning. This evening on the dog walk I ran 330 of the 1700 steps around the track. I'm pretending this is how people learn to run.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Calligraphy? Can'tigraphy.


If I were "The Fonz" I'd be nearly done with all the letters I needed. If I weren't 50 I wouldn't make such a corny joke.

For the record, South Side Deli in Waynesburg could be called South Side Delain't. They measure their corned beef in centimeters and they can only count to one.

That's what today has been about so far. I'm getting ready to assemble a table so stay tuned for some real "edge of your seat" excitement. That would have been so much funnier had I been preparing to assemble a chair.

40 minutes on the dreadmill at 7:30 on a Saturday. Just keep going to work

Edited to add...




Friday, June 10, 2016

Dinner, personal space and a bird.

Last night's dinner was great although note to self, fresh vegetables do not come in standard serving sizes like frozen ones. A little less vegetable enthusiasm may have been called for.


Today was the safety care refresher train. Let it be known that I have issues with adults and my personal space bubble. I hate it. It also brought back every instance that I had to use safety care during the year to mind and while good to review was exhausting.

Bob and I sat on the porch today and a bird visited the feeder. They have been lingering around but loud voices put them off and one of us has one.

Tomorrow's adventures include assembling an end table for Aunties birthday, the weekly box store trip with the cousin and lunch at the local deli that I always forget exists.

There was no time for walking this morning but I did manage 15 minutes of fast pace at lunchtime.


Thursday, June 09, 2016

Let the Blogging Commence

It is summer. Finally. This summer has been a long time coming. I started counting the days 13 weeks out and bought a pair of walking shoes to help me get through it. I had a countdown on the shoe box.

My first act of summer vacation (after the traditional crying at the psychiatrist's office to release the pent up horribleness) was to walk for an hour in those shoes. The weather has been perfect minus the occasional cicada.

My second act of the summer was to open a bed and breakfast... for the birds. (Note the bird house in the back-used every year.)


The next item that needed attending was better food consumption. Oatmeal for breakfast, banana, nectarine, almonds and pistachios for lunch and all the fixings are sliced and ready for a sesame/ginger/shrimp stir fry with asparagus, broccoli, scallions, snap peas and mushrooms in an oyster sauce (which come to find is mostly just chicken broth and corn starch)

There is one more workshop day tomorrow where I am re-certified as a member of the safety-crisis team. That there is a need for a safety crisis team gives a little hint as to why it's been such a difficult year. No less than seven students (in a school with a population of about 350) required emergency intervention various times during the year (daily for several weeks in a row) which requires team members to work together to de-escalate whatever is going on and make sure no one gets hurt in the process. Because the music classroom lacks the same kind of structure than a traditional classroom, many kids saved their wandering rampages for my classroom.

On the list for this summer is a two week family vacation to Seattle, learning to spin poi, going to the courthouse to watch what happens there and playing with calligraphy pens. I got an early start on relaxing with friends last weekend at the Three Rivers Arts Festival with DrJustine's dog Eddie. I love dogs.


Summer vacation goal as always, try new things, crack myself up, have some adventures and recharge. Stay tuned.