Sunday, August 28, 2005

A crazy weekend!

I have had an interesting weekend! But first I have to explain some background as to why everything transpired as it did:
I’ve known for a few weeks that my mom will probably be coming here to Washington to stay for the winter since she will not have anyone in South Dakota to assist her if needed over the winter. Now this is presenting to be an almost nightmare scenario. Aberdeen is quite lacking in ‘safe, appropriate rental housing’ especially when you begin with the requirements for a furnished studio or one bedroom apartment! I live in a large one bedroom, but have no space for a second person except for very short visits. This has been weighing on me for a while and I haven’t been sure how to make it work.

Then, the real estate supplement came with the newspaper on Friday evening…

I couldn’t stop myself from looking! Why? I’m not really sure, I certainly don’t have any money saved to buy a house right now! But there was that cute house that I have walked by a few times and thought ‘hmm?’ So, I drove the few blocks away to look at it, peeked into the windows of the empty house, wandered around the yard – beautifully landscaped just overgrown, and thought to myself: “What if I bought a house for myself that would have enough room for both me and mom?!?!” And suddenly this became the focus of the weekend. I could hardly think of anything else.

I called my friend Diane, went to her house for delicious egg drop soup, then Diane, Trish and I went back to the house. They agreed that it looked cute, that the yard looked very nice and wouldn’t need THAT much work to whip it back into great shape…then we looked up and saw the roof ---sagging on all 4 sides! :-{

Well, I was undaunted (silly me) and thought “well, that could be fixed.” Thought about it all day Saturday at work, then once I got home, called a realtor that my friend John recommended. She agreed to meet me and Joy to show us the house. (My friend Joy was coming from Olympia for dinner and planned to crash on the futon for the night.)

I really am not sure how to describe the house, it is almost beyond description…Joy thougth that I would need a topographical map to navigate the floors they were so bumpy and warped. The master bedroom had the same linoleum as the kitchen. The wall above the fireplace mantle was an unpainted piece of plywood. The bathroom in the downstairs bedroom consisted of, get this, a small shower door that opened directly from the room to a small shower stall, that’s it, no sink, no toilet! And the smell, not quite sure what it was, but didn’t want to figure it out!

The realtor said it succinctly: “I’m trying to find one thing that I like about the house. But I can’t.” I agreed. What a shame, the yard was so cute, and the house looked so nice from the outside.

So, now where to go with this? Not really sure right now. I still need to find housing for my mom for the winter, and I am getting sick of apartment living…

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Blue Socks!!!

Today I finished my blue socks. The ones that I have been working on since February! The second pair I started to knit (nevermind that I have finished 3 pairs, two single socks, and 2 pairs of baby socks since starting this pair!)

I am wearing them right now and they are beautiful. I was really starting to feel like I would never finish them, It is a relif to be finished.

So, my case of 'second sock syndrome' is getting to be more under control. I now have only 2 single socks without their mates. And sock yarn in the stash for 3 more pairs.

Here is my question of the day: I tried to add a list on the sidebar for my works in progress and finished objects. I went into the template, found the area that says "you can add a paragraph here" (or whatever it said). I typed the list in, saved it, but it doesn't show up on the blog page. How do I get it to work?

Monday, August 22, 2005

Day off!

It is so nice to have a Monday free from work! Now, I love my job and all, but...after the last few weeks, this day off is very welcome.

I haven't spent it relaxing. I've gotten lots done! It is only 9:45am and I already have 4 loads of laundry almost finished (one still in the washer, the others in the dryer.) And that includes TWO cycles of the washer to try to felt my pink purse. I sent it through the wash then rinse cycles once and it still wasn't enough, so I did it again and it still isn't felted enough for me, but I didn't want to waste any more water. I don't know why my projects don't really want to felt very much, I think that it might be the washer in my apartment building...

The purse is really cute, I can't wait until it dries! There are a few things that I would have done differently had I known how it would turn out, but that is the fun of making something without a pattern. The handle is several inches too long, and the flap is too short. The Brown Sheep Handpainted mohair yarn is shedding all over the place, but it is so pretty that I forgive it!

I will be going to the verizon store today to find out how to get the pictures that I take with my camera phone to upload to my computer. I have no clue how to do it! Once I figure that out I should be able to get some picutres here.

Now that I have the purse done, I really have to start working on some of my Works in Progress! The list is WAY toooo long. and winter is coming and my feet will be cold if I don't have any matched socks to wear.

Anyway...I better go and get my clothes out of the washer.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Food for thought

This is my second try at this entry. I had typed for nearly an hour last night…(of course I typed it in word then tried to copy into the blog publisher) Do you think that I had thought to save what I had so carefully thought out and typed? Of Course NOT! I tried to connect to the internet and my computer completely locked up and I lost everything that I had typed. I will try to remember what I had typed.

Last night was quite a night after the computer incident, but I will get to that later…

I get together with a group of friends about once a month for a potluck dinner and then a Bible study. We met last night and had a good discussion over the texts that were included in the study. It was limited somewhat because most everyone was pretty tired.
We usually use a study that is from PLU’s Office of Church Relations. They usually have a study based on the coming Sunday’s designated texts.
This week’s texts were: Isaiah 56:1, 6-8; Psalm 67; Romans 11:1-2a, 29-32; and Matthew 15:10-28.
- The questions for discussion were:
o What do you consider Holy in your life?
o What challenges these Holy things in your life?
o Who do you think are the “outsiders” in today’s culture?
o What do you think is God’s word to these outsiders?
o How do you deal with the areas of scripture where Jesus seems abrupt (i.e.: Matt 15:24-26)?
o How do you think violence in the media is affecting our culture and our faith? [I would just leave out the ’violence’ and just leave it at media…]
I am going to leave many of my thoughts about these questions un-typed for now, several reasons: 1: too lazy to try and type them again after losing what I typed last night, 2: Not fully formed coherent ideas yet…

I thought a lot about these texts being the designated texts for this specific Sunday (13th Sunday after Pentecost). It is interesting and thought provoking that these are the texts for this weekend especially considering the proposals that the ELCA voted on at the National Assembly on Friday. [If you are not aware it was regarding gay/lesbian/etc: pastors, blessing of unions, etc…] Most everyone reading this already knows my feelings about this issue since we have talked about it a few times in last months.

I will leave the Bible study discussion at this point – just some food for thought!

Mom is doing better, but still not sure when she might be going home from the hospital, probably not for a few more days. I will give more details later.

I discovered last night just how much stress I am under and that my body was saying “ENOUGH!!”:
I began to feel somewhat ill around 8:30pm or so, and by 9:30 I was having some pretty strong stomach cramps, in my upper abdomen and wrapping around to my back – only the cramps, nothing else. By 11:30 they were so bad I was almost doubled over in pain so decided that the emergency room was the smartest place to be. Well, by the time I finally saw the doc at almost 3:30am the cramps were mostly gone and all the blood tests came back normal. The doc thinks that it could have been a gallstone; I had an ultrasound this morning and haven’t heard any official results yet (the tech said that she didn’t see anything alarming.) Everyone I talked to today votes for stress as the most likely cause. Granted, I know that I am under a lot of stress, but I can hardly believe that I could have stomach cramps that severe and have no actual physical real cause. I guess that I will find out more tomorrow when I see my doc.

So, I had planned to get the pink purse finished today, but that was before I was up most of the night in the ER. Maybe I’ll finish it in the next day or two. It will be a miracle if I have enough of the pink yarn to finish, if I end up with any left, it will be no more that a few inches I bet!

I’ll try to figure out (soon) how to email myself the digital pics that my phone can take. Maybe soon I will be able to post pictures here.

Friday, August 12, 2005

What a week (or two)

I had planned to write more often, but with minimal access to the internet by using other people's computers, I didn't have the chance to write anything for the blog while I was in SD.

What has happened in the last week?

- Mom had her surgery on Friday the 5th. She did well during and after the surgery for a few days, but now has not been doing as well, more details to follow. I just can't really write about it right now - too much stress and uncertainty.

- I finished the first lace cuff ankle sock during mom's surgery. It only took a total of 4 days of not-too-intensive-knitting! Since then, I have started the second sock at least 5 times and had to rip it out 5 times. Trying to knit a lacy sock when under lots of stress is a recipe for failure! I know, you are all thinking that this is just my continuing case of SSS; however, I have really, REALLY tried to start this sock, and it just does not want to be knit right now.

- I drove from Rapid City SD to Aberdeen WA (just over 1200 miles) in 2 days all by myself. I do not advise this as it is a very bad idea only to be undertaken in special circumstances. I wanted to spend as much time as possible with my mom, and also had to be back at work on Thursday. I am still recovering today as I try to type this.
Since I was in such a hurry, I had no chance to stop at any yarn shops anywhere! I even saw a billboard for a yarn shop in Montana (Bozeman or Butte I think). A full size billboard for a LYS along the interstate highway!! And I couldn't stop. On second thought, maybe it is a good thing that I didn't have time, because I certainly did not have any money to buy yarn.

- I bought a new cell phone! It has a digital camera, I'm learning how to take pictures. Evidently I should be able to email the pictures...someday, I will figure out how to email them to myself and then attempt to post them here. But first, I need to get some sleep so I can think clearly.

- The Prius got great gas mileage for the trip back to WA. I discovered a few things: Premium gas is really a waste of money (I guess everyone knew that except me...) and I actually got 3 to 4 miles less per gallon with the premium as compared to the regular 87 octane. Also, the best gas mileage is at 55 to 65 miles per hour, anything over that and the mileage goes back down to 44 to 46mpg. I did get 54.3mpg for the last leg of the trip from Cle Ellum to Aberdeen!! but averaged around 46 to 49 for the rest of the trip.

It is so nice being back in cool Washington state! I can't handle that South Dakota heat anymore! Give me a nice 65 degree Grays Harbor day! But I was happy to see the sun finally come out today.

On the schedule this weekend: find a storage unit somewhere in town that is safe and reasonably priced. I brought so much stuff back from SD. It is piled up in stacks in my apartment! I have enough cut out quilt pieces in boxes that my mom and my grandma had started...I should be able to make more quilts than I can count! Back to an abandoned hobby. Haven't been doing any quilting for a few years. Maybe it is time to start again.

I guess that is about all the news I have for now.

Thursday, August 04, 2005


I am typing this from my hotel room in Rapid City SD. I have taken a giant leap forward in technology! I checked out a wireless modem from the front desk and am now connected to high speed internet with this ancient laptop computer. I honestly didn't think that the computer would be able to support it, but it is terrific. Now I don't want to go back to slow dialup - it's not fair!

Mom and I got up at 4:00am today so that we could go out for breakfast. She had to stop eating solid food after 5:00am. The trip to Rapid City was uneventful. Got all of the pre-admission stuff done for mom.

Now we are sitting in the hotel room, mom is in the process of drinking her gallon of "GoLytely"! Yuck. It hasn't started working yet. She has to be at the hospital at 5:30am tomorrow for her 7:00 surgery. Overall things are looking good, but we really won't know until once they get started and know what is going on for sure. I will try to keep everyone updated here on the blog.

I got one more row knitted on mom's shawl, somehow it is still hard to count to 3!
I am also making progress on the lace sock. I have about 3/4 an inch beofre I have to start the toe decreases on the first sock! If I keep knitting this fast, I might have new socks to wear by sunday!

Well, I suppose that I should go and find something for dinner tonight, I hate to leave and go eat by myself, but eating in front of mom would probably be pretty mean tonight!

Tuesday, August 02, 2005


(Edit: I wrote this on Tuesday the 2nd, and have been attempting to get it to show up on the blog since then...not sure what I am doing wrong!)

Hello from South Dakota. It is VERY hot here. I know that I grew up with this kind of heat every summer, but just a few summers away and your body forgets. It is so hot today that I nearly got lightheaded when I went outside! I think that the official high was 104 degrees. I'm not sure if it has started cooling off yet or not.

My trip from Washigton to South Dakota was pretty uneventful. Hot but other than that nice weather. Only one problem was discovered with my Navigation system on my Prius -- I have now decided what the name of the woman giving me guidance should be: "Shirley" (as in "Surely you must be kidding!!!). I discovered that the guidance in rural wyoming is somewhat lacking, so any old road will suffice as a possiblity. She insisted on routing me on a desserted rural gravel road used only by the oil pipeline company, and finally after going about 20 miles on this road the map showed the road going straight and the road actually turned...well, I finally turned around and backtracked.

The Prius averaged about46 MPG for most of the trip. I haven't sat down and calculated it exactly yet.

I only forgot one thing at home in Washington -- I went off and left my basket of knitting on top of my bookcase!!! I didn't realize it until I was already in Spokanne. Sherri kindly offered to mail it to me, but I decided that those projects could wait until I return home.

I stopped at the only LYS in Western South Dakota. "Yvonne's Cards and Yarn" at 521 Main Street in Spearfish South Dakota. Yvonne is so sweet, and she kindly assisted me in choosing some beautiful sock yarn and a set of size 2 dpn. She was quite excited to meet another sock knitter, evidently there are not very many in western SD. I bought a skein of Sockotta (cotton/wool/nylon). It is in a Fair Isle pattern in white, green, blue, yello and brown. I bought a pattern by "Hand Jive Knits": Lace-Cuff anklets. I started the socks last night after I got to mom's. I honestly have not spent the entire day knitting, but these socks are knitting up SO FAST! I have 8 rows left in the gusset on the first sock! They are beautiful! I am happy that I have an excuse to stay inside and knit because it is way too hot to think about going outside.

Well, I had better go and finish knitting that sock!