Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Lots of Lost Time

OK, so the sugar experiment lasted about a month.  I lost 5 lbs.  Woo.  I went back to adding sugar to things, but far less than before.  I cut out some of my bigger sugary habits, and I have been able to maintain the 5 lb. loss.  So, overall, not too bad.

Emma celebrated her 17th birthday, low key, as is her style.  She had a couple friends over and she had cake.

Later, we went out for sushi dinner as a family.

Sorry, no pictures of me.  I had the camera.

I volunteered to take on keeping the uniform locker tidy and repairing the uniforms for the school.  If it takes more than sewing hems or replacing buttons, it goes to Goodwill.  Skirts and sweaters with holes or beyond repair sometimes get delivered to crafters that turn them into doll clothes.

Kelly spent several weeks building a gorgeous deck!  After taking the deck boards off the old deck, he discovered that it was rotten all the way to the was a complete tear-out.  We decided to build it bigger (why not?) and have a finished deck that is twice the size of the original.

It is structurally sound...

Hosted a desperately unsuccessful Ithra event with a grand total of 13 students.  Several students were also instructors, and many classes had only one student.  Lesson learned:  pull the plug sooner and make clear parameters that if the coordinators send more than two of their members into the hospital, it's better to cancel the event than to spend that kind of time, energy and money on a failure.  Ugh!

I did, however, learn how to do Brocade Card Weaving.  This was an interesting technique to learn, but I chose a rather complex pattern.  I also had to double-up the brocade yarns, and you have to take extra care to prevent the threads twisting, so it slows the process down.

Camille's birthday was a low-key affair.  We celebrated with Chinese food...however, I didn't get any photos.  I also spent the weekend away, so she didn't have a party.  In fact, plans fell apart for several weekends following, so she's going to have to have a do-over at some point.

That weekend, I went to the quilt retreat!  I packed up a bunch of fabrics and spent two days cutting and sewing...

A week later, I was making beads!



Cammie and I went and "clowned" around in Fremont.  This is a statue of JP Patches, just outside the Geocaching Headquarters.  Of course, we were having a Munzee date, capping some of the hundreds of virtuals in the area.  Of course, we had to go visit the troll, too.

Cammie's Girl Scout troop is making pies to sell as a fundraiser.  They used pre-made crust, but they spent time cutting and seasoning all the fruit, filling the pies, and freezing them for delivery.

A couple weeks into October, we discovered that the wood around the garage was warped and cracking.  It turned out that it was all rotten.  So was the wood behind it and all down the right side.  After careful inspection, the handyman determined that it was poorly/improperly installed flashing around the garage, so the water was leaking behind the vinyl siding and the weather wrap.  He tore into it and said he'd be back to fix it.

On the 11th of November, the handyman finally came back to work on it.  He tore into it a bunch more and said he'd be back the next day...noooooope.  We'll see when he'll *actually* come back.

October 24th:  a hard day for the people in the Northwest when a student brought a gun to school and shot several friends and a couple cousins at Marysville-Pilchuck High School.  A sad and scary day.  We are several miles south of this area, so we weren't directly affected; they did not have a school lock down, but they did notify the parents of the incident.  The grade school wisely opted not to mention it to the students, but let parents talk to their kids about it in their own way.  Most of the high schoolers had gotten word via their cell phones, so they knew what had happened.  Emma was very calm about the whole situation, recognizing the assailant as a disturbed young man and said that she wasn't worried or fearful.  We had longer discussions about the situation and I deeply admire her maturity and wisdom.

That same day, we went to our school's Halloween carnival.  We had spent hours making costumes (and this is, of course, the Royal "we"), so we loaded up and went into town again and let the kids loose in the school, playing games and earning prizes.

Kids dressed as Zelda, Link, and L (from right to left)

The food table was pizza, burgers and home made sweets.  Some of the cupcakes were really clever!

A few days later, on Oct. 27th, I woke up with a backache.  It was over my left hip, but didn't seem too bad.  By 10 a.m., it was getting pretty painful.  By noon, I was in tears.  I went into the walk-in clinic (which has a blessedly short wait), and saw a doctor who suggested that it was probably the sacroiliac joint, though he didn't order any blood work or X-rays.  He prescribed some vicodin and said I need to take my anti-infammatories and alternate ice and heat.  After three days, I was out of vicodin, but I had made an appointment with a doctor--my GP wasn't available, but I could see someone else, and I said OK.  I get in and she tells me that she can write another prescription for vicodin, but I would need to see my regular doc if I needed more after 3 more days.  I said that I wanted to get an appointment with my doctor, and she said that my doc wouldn't be available until November 17th...nearly three weeks later.  Absurd.  I wrote a letter to the clinic telling them that this is unacceptable practice.  I haven't heard anything back, which is frustrating, so I may have to go in and talk to them personally.

I hoped this would be gone in a day or two, but it was the beginning of 9 long days of laying on the couch.  I couldn't drive, I had trouble sleeping, I couldn't even stand long enough to take a shower.  It was agony.  Now, 17 days later, the pain is almost completely gone, and the numbness in my left thigh is greatly reduced.  Will this return?  I hope not, but it's possible.

Laying flat on my back (or on my side) for so long, I had a limit on what I could do, creatively.  I couldn't sit up or stand, so sewing, cutting, or many other things were impossible.  I decided that if I sat up a bit, I could knit, so I pulled out a couple balls of wool that I received as a gift from the Baroness of Aquaterra and with Cammie's assistance, wound them up and cast on a scarf.  I pulled it out three times because I was unsatisfied with the pattern I chose, but it kept my mind occupied in between naps.  I may pull it apart again and do a completely different project.

I'd like to do something like this, but I don't have a pattern.

Ben worked on his engineering badge for scouts by assembling this hydraulics kit that Kelly picked up.  They had a great time working on it together, and then Ben had fun picking objects up with the tool.

On Monday night, I was happy that I was healthy and strong enough to go with Kelly and the rest of Gang Green to the second leg of the Sounders game against Dallas.  40,000 of our friends saw them have a 0-0 tie.  This combined with the 1-1 tie in Dallas gives Seattle the win.  WHY?  Because an away goal is weighted slightly heavier than a home goal.  If we also had a 1-1 tie at home, it would have been completely balanced and we would have had to go into overtime.  SO...we go to the next level of the Western Conference finals, and we have to play LA Galaxy twice.  After that, the winners of the Western and Eastern conferences play for the MLS cup.

image 1This last couple of days have been a flurry of activity, and in my spare minutes, I was looking at photos of looms.  There are a few on Craigslist that are selling very cheap; I saw THIS one for $50, and if I had a pick up truck and a spare room, I would have driven down there to get it, even though I don't have enough weaving experience...I'm not ready for a big floor loom.  Someday.  I want to start weaving on a rigid heddle loom, like a Kromski Harp loom (I have my eye on a 32" loom).  I'm also working towards having a warp-weighted loom to attempt to weave on.  I have the loom pretty much ready to go, but I need to set it up and give it a shot, but not until after Thanksgiving.

The carpet is getting replaced before the holiday...I'm so excited!  The carpet is SO GROSS!  We will be replacing all the carpet eventually, and I'd like to do it myself, but I'd like to start in a small room that won't be my closet.  If I can get that to look OK, then I'll try in larger areas.  But for starters, and in the most public rooms, I'd rather have a professional do it, and the downstairs is going to be done in a couple weeks!

The next six weeks are going to be VERY busy.  I have a large quilt commission, a smaller quilt job, and a large quilt restoration...and all to be done before Christmas.  Now that I can finally stand again, I can get started.  I'm going to be running myself ragged...I only hope that I stay healthy.