Sunday, August 28, 2016

Working weekend

I am on call this weekend, and surprisingly, it's been decent. No calls til after 1 yesterday, and then a second call assigned at the end of the day. So far nothing today.  I'm not holding my breath, but am enjoying getting a few things done while I wait.  

Ms Skye turned six on Friday and the highlight of her no school birthday was getting her ears pierced. She is so proud of how brave she was and how lovely they look.  No pictures from me, I'm afraid, as I haven't seen her in person since I last watched them. She skyped with me so I could see them though and is happy about it. She's becoming an amazing little person with strong opinions, curiosity, and imagination. I love being a part of her and Adrianna's lives. Makes me wish Justin and Alexis were closer by me!

Skye is less happy learning Uncle Rei is moving to Minnesota.  She cried so hard when she talked to him and it was heartbreaking. She told him she needed him to be here for when she comes to visit. She calmed some, hearing I would make trips to see him and the rest of the family so there would be opportunity to go with me. She's such a good traveler and I don't mind taking her anywhere.  Change is the standard around here though.  

We had crazy weather around us all week.  On Friday I ran to pick up subway and captured this photo of a storm going around us:


This was west of us, behind the high school parking lot and football field. We haven't gotten much rain ourselves, but the thunder and lightening sure have been present.

Not much else of note is going on. I joined bloglovin as a way to see other crafty blogs, and I need to learn how to embed links to things in mine (like my ravelry projects). I am still plugging away at finishing projects, but my knitting mojo has left me right now and I am not really excited about any project at the moment. I'd like to sew but haven't had the drive to clear off my cutting table to cut something new out, and I haven't wanted to sit at the embroidery function either. I finished reading the last of Robin Hobbs fantasy serials (13 books in all in the same world), which were engrossing, but now I am looking for light reading. I've found myself reading blogs again and Pinterest as my primary "down time" entertainment.  I really enjoy seeing what others are doing and hope something will restore my drive to create  again. 

This week the focus is going to be on getting Rei packed and moved, and next week will be the start of the "Soulak empty nest". It's gonna be strange!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Unexpected day off

Today is a mental health day to get some things taken care of. Thus I have time to write.

Some changes: Reimond is moving up to Minneapolis the first weekend of September to start a new life by his siblings. I am thrilled for him and the opportunities available to him up there and I look forward to seeing what things are in store for him. He's got a line on a couple of jobs up there, and a place to stay with both Liisa and Tony. It's exciting and scary and he's really looking forward to both reconnecting with old friends and having family close by. 

The next change is that Liisa is selling her (my) house. After 8 years of doing updates and managing things she's ready for a change and the flexibility of not worrying about yard work and upkeep. She lives at her boyfriends house and has the opportunity to do those things there. They have Eleanor, a blind puppy, who has her own Facebook page from her shelter days (Toadette the blind puppy) and has her own fan base. They discovered after adopting her that she has hydrocephalus and the pressure affected her optic nerves so while. She can see somewhat, she can't process what she sees. She is busy, active, and full of love, and she is adored by Liisa and Dave. 

On the project front I finished my Reyna shawl. I have to soak and block it and then will put a picture of it. 

I may have already posted this one of my knitting on it all scrunched in my lap.

I also sewed a new cover for my swing. It's made of outdoor fabric, and I lined the seat area with duck canvas for added stability. I am satisfied with it and it buys me a bit more time before I need to decide what the next option is. The frame was still in good shape, but I have loved the heck out of the seat area...

I so enjoy sitting out in my yard and swinging while I read, stitch, and relax.

We went out for dinner with Patrick and his girlfriend for his belated birthday. He's doing well and is happy. Aurora is also busy with her life. She has a boyfriend as well, works, and has joined a bowling league off base because she no longer has base access (aged out) except as our guest. Our once predictable child is now as unpredictable as the rest of them. Regarding when she's home and if she's joining us for meals! 
 Pictures from Mascoutah homecoming. 

Skye is liking first grade, and Adrianna is practicing sitting up independently. She has also started intentionally rolling over, then getting upset because she doesn't want to be on her back (or tummy). Brie is tired but she's managing things and says she's doing okay. There is no drill this coming month (September) so I'm not sure when we will next see the girls. Skye's birthday will be celebrated at some point as she is turning 6 on the 26th. Eric and I both work this weekend, and then next weekend we are driving Rei to Minnesota and collecting what I had left at the house. It's gonna be a busy labor day weekend!

That's life around here. I'm enjoying the cooler weather despite the sprinkles in the air.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Rainy end to a productive 4 days off...

The weather the last two days has mostly sucked. Rain rain and more rain. Yesterday I stayed in and got lots of chores done I have wanted to tackle for awhile. There is still more to do, but I have expanded the open space in my bedroom, which makes me happy, and I have kept up on my main floor not being a disaster area. Today though my sinuses and allergies said I did enough. My body is achy and my head is congested.  As the weather clears and the dust and dander settle from cleaning it will feel better I hope.

I am 31 rows from finishing the Reyna shawl, and I embroidered 4 more blocks on the dragon/fantasy quilt. I was just playing with the layout with the 13 blocks done so far. 
I have two more of the black creatures to do, then I have 6 blocks in white on black to embroider. I also have a few more random dragons to do. I am leaning towards a 4x6 layout, but it really depends on how I feel after I finish up the remaining blocks. I can always add more. I will be squaring these ones up so, and perhaps adding in borders and other design elements. It's a work in progress for my honey (and me). Today's primary job was running to Joann's and to Jackmans to get more thread, stabilizer, needles, and outdoor fabric to recover my swing.  

As you may have guessed, the torn seat is my favorite side to sit, and my handwork goes on the left seat. The swing itself we have had for 8 years now. I bought it on clearance at Target shortly after the wedding, and we lost the canopy on it the first summer following from the winds. It. Is well. Used and loved. I bought some duck canvas to reinforce the seat area, and some outdoor fabric (weather treated, sun resistant) to make a sling like slip cover for over the entire swing. It's harder to describe than to actually do. The frame is still in good shape, but the type of seating on it is a challenge to replace, so I am going to make an attempt to see if I can save it with new fabric... Wish me luck! I'll take pictures when it's done, but it'll have to quit raining first so I can get the measurements right!

Back to work tomorrow... School is resuming in St. Louis city this coming week which means child protection reports will pick up. I have been a part of a workforce/implementation team for a new system of investigation and assessment protocols we started using back in May and now I am looking to help be a trainer in them as a front line worker when we expand it to the surrounding counties. Never a dull moment... Okay not completely true, but I try to stay busy. 

Eric is calling to let me know he's headed home from work, so I guess I'll end my update here.

Let's have a great week!

Friday, August 12, 2016

Lazy Friday.

I am relaxing! I took yesterday and today off to watch Brie's girls, not realizing that Skye started first grade this past Tuesday. Brie's husband is keeping them through today and will decide if he is keeping them the weekend or bringing them to me. Since I had requested the time off in advance and it was approved, I figured I might as well use it. This is a four day drill weekend for Brie. 

Yesterday I did some chores, went grocery shopping, knit, and watched the Olympic Games on television. 

This is the Reyna shawl. Figured it would be nice for me! It's another of my WIPs (works in progress) towards completing things.  As i said to Eric, things lose their luster sometimes as I reach mid point, but then when picked up again become fun as I realize how close they are to being done. I promise this will look much better when blocked. Right now it's all scrunched up on my needles. It made for good tv watching knitting because the pattern is simple. So simple I screwed it up the first time I tried it and ended up ripping it all out and restarting. It was take two I got bored on and set it aside. 

If I have the girls knitting will be my handwork this weekend. If Eric K. Keeps them, then I plan to sew much of the weekend. I have patterns, notions, and material for a number of garments for me I want to make up, and I also have quilt blocks to embroider or make up... My Eric worked an overtime shift on Wednesday and we had yesterday off together. Now he works his three day weekend so my days are my own to get stuff done.

Which reminds me, I haven't had coffee or breakfast yet! Perhaps I'll take them outside :)

This heart cloud sat over me on Sunday afternoon and made me smile.  Weather today is similar, so I want to enjoy it before it gets beastly hot out! 

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Anniversaries and reunions

On August 2nd Eric and I celebrated 8 years of married life.  I swear I don't know where the time went, but here we are and I couldn't be happier.  Eric surprised me with 8 beautiful red roses:
and we had a nice dinner at red lobster, where we enjoyed the "crab fest". We also enjoyed a new drink on the menu and came home with 6 new mugs! Reimond joined us for dinner as he was the only kid home, and it was nice to remember and acknowledge the changes we have all made in the past 8 years.  

Reimond drastically changed his look from being a boy as seen here in the photo with my mom and Liisa from mid July

To a more grown up look 
 Complete with shorter hair and lots of self confidence.  When I look at this picture I see my brother Erik in the upper face, and my brother Neal in the grin, my dad as a young man, and my son Anthony. I'm really proud of the decisions he's made and the path he is headed on. 

These last eight years have brought a lot of challenges and successes to our lives and I feel very blessed. I am notsurewhat the future holds for us, but I know Eric and I can manage as long as we have each other.

I finished another project that's been around for almost a year: 
The pattern was a mystery and while I finished the first one in good time, I took forever on the second one.  They are beaded and I am going to need to remove a bead or three at the heel because they bother my foot where they are placed. Otherwise I am happy with them. 

The little girls went home Monday (8/1) and man has this week been tiring back at work.  The caseloads are slow, which is good, but I cleared most of my active cases before I left for 2 weeks so now I have only 6 open cases (as opposed to 15-20 on an average week) and the day just drags! We are losing a supervisor to budget cuts, and two workers are leaving to move out of state, so things may get harder soon. Always a pleasure working for the government! I am looking forward to the weekend and just being. I learned I won a raffle prize from the yarn crawl--out in Washington Missouri!--so I plan to drive out there Saturday to get it, and maybe laze by the Missouri River for a spell or Finda winery to sit at so I don't just spend the day in the car.

Eric is in Indiana through Sunday for his 30th high school reunion. I had mine 6 years ago... I'm so glad he is able to go. It was serendipitous that he heard about it on Facebook and just happened to be on vacation this week, so he had the time and the freedom to go! He'll also be spending time with family, and I know he'll have a great time. Meanwhile, I will have a weekend by myself to relax and rejuvenate!

On that note, I am going to post some photos I took in the last two days, of a break in the storm clouds from last evening,and a lunch at a river park today.

Time to open my bottle of peach wine and find my knitting!