Sunday, November 6, 2016


It's a drill weekend and I have the little girls. 

Batman is acting as incentive for Adrianna to try and crawl forward--so goes backwards really well!


Today is Aurora's birthday and we had a lovely grown up dinner at a fancy St. Louis restaurant on Thursday night. 


Tomorrow it's 22 years ago my dad went to heaven. I've been missing him a lot and thinking on him often recently. 


Eric knew I've been feeling blue and brought me a nice treat. He's now sleeping as he's working all weekend. I am trying to get my Skye-bug motivated so we can run to the grocery store. We still have a picnic and tea party to have, a birthday cake to bake, and maybe a trip to the park. Yesterday was kinda a bust because it was grey and cool out but today is supposed to be better! 


My lazy girl wants to stay in her pjs! And the baby is being busy. 


Time to motivate!

Sunday, October 23, 2016

I gave in to the siren song...

And I've made my first motif of approximately 98 to make the swirl shawl...


Saturday, October 22, 2016

Finally feels like fall!

 My tree, that Eric and I planted after we were married. It's supposed to be a glorious Scarlett, but the gold will do.  Brilliant blue skies, cool weather, couldn't ask for a more perfect day! 

This is going to be a quiet weekend, hopefully a productive weekend. Eric and Aurora both work (although Eric is on overnights so currently he's sleeping), and I have the house to myself. So far I've drank coffee, read Facebook, and took a few pictures! 

Last weekend we went to the closing weekend of the Renaissance festival. We bought two day passes as we like having time to see everything and go back and shop if the fancy strikes us.  It was a drill weekend but we had been told we weren't needed for child care. That's why on Sunday morning it was rather a surprise to hear "Grandma!" And giggles at about 5:10 AM... I rolled over to find Miss Skye standing next to me in her flannel nightie, and as soon as I opened my eyes, she dove under the covers with me. From there I had hugs, cuddles, conversation, and cartoons on the television. Needless to say I didn't get back to sleep! Miss Adrianna joined us on the bed, and that was that! 

Eric and I took both girls to the faire with us and what an adventure that turned into! I had gotten a baby dragon puppet on Saturday:
 Which we decided to leave home as it was too fragile (in my opinion) to be carried around by a 6 year old, much to her dismay. But the morning started with a flower crown and a ride on a small war horse

 While baby sister observed wide eyed 
... we elected not to bedeck her in flowers as everything goes in the mouth right now, and mama hadn't packed her any girly clothing, so we were constantly correcting gender inquiries and statements. Poor bald baby! She was scared of loud cheering but loved the music, and was such a good sport about being bounced from pillar to post as her sister quested for stamps to become a Princess of the Realm!

Next stop on the adventure was holding snakes at the dragon pens

. Skye went from apprehensive to expert across two separate visits, and held every snake they had! Adrianna observed. 

Then there was making a fairy house with papa

Making a mask and a wand

And observing the jousting! 

The princess didn't have the royal stamp for the quest, and provided Skye with a scroll instead, declaring her a Protector of the Realm and Princess, even without all the stamps 

 But encouraged her to continue the quest to completion, which Skye fully intended to do... She watched a show (Crazy Boy Coy) and got a hug from him after

 Baby Susie came along on the adventure and Skye told everyone this was a birthday surprise for her doll.

She met a mermaid

 And was pleased she spoke their language--a combination of ASL, dolphin whistles, and siren song.

She was given jewels and treasure, had her face painted, and made friends of the death eaters


Not to be left out, little miss observed, lounged, ate, napped, and got a rainbow painted on that saucy foot that kept being propped up! 

 She was carried, danced with, and generally enjoyed the sights, sounds, and jostling over rough terrain! Mostly she and I followed along while papa and Skye quested and explored. 

At the end of the day, Skye met both Royal queens, who gave her hugs, stamped all over her successful quest results with the Royal seal, and demonstrated her curtsy to them and the King of England. We joined the procession to the gates where there was toasting, then dancing, and Skye danced with a lady in waiting, who in turn handed her off to the Queen of England, whom she danced enthusiastically with, learning a medieval ring dance. 


We had two tired, happy (dusty!) princesses to return to their mother after feeding them dinner. This grandma too was exhausted, and fell eagerly into bed when we got home. The next morning I was feeling muscles I hadn't known I had making introductions as I readied for work, and I felt them for a few days thereafter!

In other news (lol, using the word loosely) I am on the legs of the pair of socks, still haven't finished the sweater (because what knitting time I had was spent on the socks), and I still haven't started sewing! I have a couple of new knitting projects enticing me with their siren song, but have tried to plug my ears (of course that hasn't stopped me from identifying I have all the yarn I need for one of them, have the needles too--double pointed, in the correct size--and have read through the pattern--a few times! I have not kitted them together, or made a practice swatch, so that counts as ignoring it, right?)

The cool weather has stimulated my roses into a last major bloom and they are, as always, making me happy: 

So that's what is going on as of today in our corner of the world. Enjoy the weekend!

Sunday, October 9, 2016


 This is what things look like when grandma babysits after working all day: we eat McDonald's picnic style on the living room floor, while watching Disney junior on television, then cuddle in the rocking chair.  Brie and her husband went to the baseball game and they dropped the girls with me at work. We went and said hi to "Officer Papa" at his work, then came home. It was a fun evening! 

Surprisingly, it's been busy since returning to work after my unexpected vacation, and I was told that training is starting to become a trainer for the signs of safety program we've implemented at work. Thus, Thursday and Friday found me traveling up to St Charles county to observe a two day training and take notes so I can begin that process. It was fun and interesting, especially since our trainers are based out of a suburb of Minneapolis. It just feels like a bit of home hearing them talk and watching their examples from places I am familiar with.

Last Friday night (a week ago) we returned to the winery, and I didn't trip again, hahaha... Aurora and her boyfriend joined us and we sat under a gazebo in the rain, had a fire in the firepit, and enjoyed the music. 
 Eric and fire go together almost compulsively!  We had a lovely evening. Pizza, wine, conversation, and softly falling rain. It was so relaxing.

I've no new finished projects to share.  I ripped out my butterfly shawl because I wasn't happy with it:
 I bought a hand painted yarn to do it over again and will used these 5 mini hanks to do something else with. Amazing how much time it takes to create something and how quickly it an be reduced to nothing. 

I've started a pair of toe-up socks using the dark knight yarn I bought. They are going well and are more portable than the Hitofude sweater. I have about 20 rows or so left on that and it will be done.

I made significant progress reorganizing my sewing stash of patterns and fabrics. It looks much tidier, although still stacked. I'm still thinking about moving bins upstairs to Reimond's room so they are out of sight. 

 Lastly, I am the proud owner of the spinning wheel of my dreams. I saw it listed, used, on a Facebook group I follow. The owner, whose studio is in the first picture, was selling it. She said it needed to be picked up, she wouldn't ship it. I texted Liisa asking how far she was from the owner (who lives in Wisconsin) as I was 7 hours away; she said about 3 hours or so. The price on it was amazing, about half of brand new, and I couldn't pass it up. Liisa said she had the day off, contacted the seller, and made arrangements to go get it. Another woman also really wanted it, but Liisa offered cash and pickup the next day, so it is mine. Okay, it's mine and Liisa's. She has it at her house and I need to figure out how it's coming down to me. But it's closer to being mine than just a wish! I am so excited! Liisa has no idea what to do with it but said its lovely. I can't wait to have it here and love it/play with it/make stuff!

One last photo before I go... Reimond sends me lovely photos of the lakes and river when he's out biking. This one is a favorite with the fall colors just starting. The Mississippi below the lock and dam by minnehaha creeks outlet.

One of my happy spots! Have a great week!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Unplanned week off...

A picture from Lake Superior at sunset. Zack knows how much I love that lake and sends me pictures he takes from around it. Water is my happy place, and sometimes just looking at a photo helps to center me.

On Monday I wrote about my fall and scrapes. I was starting to feel some better by the end of the day, but took Tuesday off too as Eric said I still looked too scary to attempt doing my job. Tuesday morning I woke up and my eyes, both of them, were swollen, hooded, and turning red/purple at the inner corners either side of the bridge of my nose. I looked like I had "piggies eyes".  I called the clinic at 9 and left a voice message requesting an appointment. I called back at 1:30 and was able to get in at 2:15 (although my doctor was running about 30 minutes behind).  The doctor gave me a cursory once over and said she was ordering an antibiotic for my knee, which was infected, and I could "pick it up if I'm allowed to go home". She then said I could make some choices: I could go to the ER and have them see me, or she could just order a CT scan, and I could try to see an ENT specialist Wednesday, "provided I didn't have a hematoma on my brain causing the pressure on my eyes/nose".  If I did have one, I'd need to go to St. Louis, to Barnes or SLU hospital, where they have neurosurgeons on staff and I'd be admitted over there. Talk about freaking me out! 

I elected to just have the CT scan and go from there. Fortunately there was no hematoma and I was able to go home, picking up my antibiotic on the way. I let my boss know I would need Wednesday off pending the appointment with the ENT, and she was fine with that. I waited a fair portion of the day and then called the clinic. They had sent a referral to the military insurance provider and were waiting for approval; so I waited. In the meantime, the swelling started going down, but slooooooooowly. 

I woke up this morning and my eyes were still puffy, but the inner corners near the tear ducts no longer looked like they were going to explode. I sent my boss a text letting her know I was planning to come in but would need to leave when my appointment was set. She texted me back saying "no way--no working until cleared by the doctor." I was already enroute to the office when she sent it, so ended up making a circle and coming back home. I called the clinic again and finally was told that my referral was approved, and I was given the information of who the specialist was I'd be seeing. I called and got an appointment for this afternoon. 

The specialist said that nothing was broken. He thought I had an infection that started responding to the antibiotic from Tuesday, and that all the bleeding and swelling from the initial impact was being drawn by gravity into the soft tissue of my eyes and my sinuses, as I had quite a bit of congestion along with the swelling. He wants me to use eye drops for the burning and itching, nasal spray with a steroid in it for the congestion, and keep putting ointment on the forehead and nose scrapes.  He said I'm healing, which is the important thing, and I am cleared to go back to work. Plus I don't look quite so scary!

Anyhow, I got home from the clinic and updated my boss. I let her know I'd be back in the office tomorrow and could work my weekend as scheduled. She sent back that the office could survive without me, and that if I wanted to I could take tomorrow off to just be, work on call as scheduled, and report for work on Monday, mostly recovered and comfortable. I figured why not, as I have the time available... 

So an unexpected week off! Not necessarily fun, but I have knit quite a bit, cross stitched, read four Anne Perry novels I was behind on (one to go to be up to date on both the Monks and the Pitts), read some blogs, kept Eric company when he was awake (he's not only on overnights, he also took on two overtime shifts this week!). I finished a few chores, and have sat out in the yard. Not a bad way to spend the week over all! And other than some pressure and soreness, I didn't otherwise feel too bad, despite the bruises and scrapes!

Reimond has been calling me almost daily on his bike ride home from work, and he sends me snapchat photos. I love this one. I can almost smell the water, feel the breezy fall air, and hear the lap of the wavelets against the shore. This is lake Nokomis, with the cedar avenue bridge to the left. 

I've been feeling really guilty in a way that my clumsiness resulted in so much drama over a few scrapes and bruises. It really did turn out looking much worse than it actually was, for which I am grateful. I just feel stupid that it got as big as it did. I know it's better to be safe than sorry, so there are no regrets, but still... When I do something I can't do it the easy way, can I! 

Monday, September 19, 2016

That didn't go as planned!

So I am home from work today... On Saturday night I had a fall on some uneven asphalt, and the asphalt won:

Fortunately the injuries are all cosmetic--scrapes and bruises--but one cannot comfortably enquire about the abuse of children when one looks like a victim....

The swelling of my face has gone down, and the black eye looks more shadowy than it truly is, but the bruises are blooming nicely. I caught my foot, lost my balance, and gracefully landed on knees, hands, shoulder, and face. The shoulder bruise is still too deep to see, but the rest are colorful. Falling at 54 is far more traumatic than falling at 4 was, and I am feeling muscles I forgot I had!

On a happier note, I have gotten through the bins of yarn, and bags of clothes that I brought back from MN. 
 Going from this...
To this:

There is more to do, and I have enough acrylic and cotton yarn to make more afghans and dishcloths than I will ever be able to use, but I am excited by the possibilities! 

I have gotten further into the shaping of the "skirt" on my Hitofude cardigan, and am enjoying knitting on it. Still have reservations that it will fit me, but lace sizing isn't true until it's blocked. I am really craving starting something new as a reward for all I've finished, something small and portable like socks. No socks are on the needles right now, which is unheard of--I generally have at least one pair going at a time! 

I also have the sewing bug something fierce.  I've been reading a number of sewing blogs that are stirring my desire to sew clothes and quilts. Fortunately I have quilts to work on and plenty of things to lay out and stitch up.  Thanks Cindy for redirecting me back to the world of blogging!

Reimond is settling in nicely at his new job and home. Andrea has only called once to beg me to come and get him! Tony is having fun with a partner in crime--can do his weekend side jobs in half the time with his brother to help (of course he also has to split the profits). Liisa closed on the house with little ceremony and is breathing easier. 

Work has been stressful for me. The cases are what you'd expect, and they take their normal toll. There are tensions though from staffing changes that are also taking a toll on morale and attitudes, not all for theBetter, and policy changes to figure out. Government work is never static. Eric is taking on additional temporary supervisor duties as well for the time being. It's a nice change for him and despite being back on overnights effective this week, a positive challenge. For the rest of the family things are fairly status quo. 

I bought myself some roses when doing a Walmart run last weekend, and they made me smile. As did some keepsakes I found amongst my treasures I unpacked, sorted, and repackaged. I texted back and forth with my sister and a cousin, sharing things that made us smile, like my deceased cousin's 4 year old signature from 1962, and gifts and notes from Kristi in the late 70's.

Two other odd finds:

 I don't know if it would still play--need to find some batteries!

And Skee-ball tickets (from valley Fair?)

 There must be a couple hundred of them. I don't remember what I was saving them for, but I wonder if they could be redeemed still!

Anyhow, while Eric naps, I am taking it easy and letting my body heal. The irony of my fall is that I was wearing decent shoes, hadn't been drinking, and Eric was right beside me, but couldn't grab me in time to steady me! I'm grateful nothing worse happened other than mortification and some soreness and stiffness. I'm debating on finding my knitting, cross stitching, or crocheting out here in the glorious sunshine. It's not my normal Monday!