Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Back to work

Thankfully, today didn't seem too long. I started the day with a headache, but my morning coffee helped with that. (Now, I realize that coffee is not really a solution, it's just a band-aid. But until I can get out from under all that I need to do and get more sleep and exercise, it will have to do. Also, I only have on serving a day...I'm not totally overdoing it with the caffeine.)

The best news of the day is that my friend Suzanna's dad is okay! He lives down in New Orleans and he is alright. They still have to figure out the best way to get him out of there, but at least he wasn't hurt in the storm. They will worry about cleaning up the house later...

On the way home from work, I bound off the second sleeve of my t-shirt. A bit of sewing to do, and I have a new shirt! Not sure that it will be ready to take on vaction, but I'll certainly be able to wear it before it gets cold out.

Just a photo of Effie when she was helping me with the Highland Park House Tour Program:
Lately, this is Stewart's favorite evening sleeping position...although sometimes his legs end up more up in the air than this.
A close-up. Isn't he so cute when he's not getting into trouble?

And then I had to annoy Nora with the camera, too.

Did I mention that we just bought a new camera? :-D

Monday, August 29, 2005


I decided to leave work and go to the viewing with Rudy, and I'm glad I did. There is something about being there for a difficult time that makes you feel just as much (if not more) like part of a family than just being there during the happy times.

It is sad that Sara is no longer with us. But she left behind a wonderful legacy of children, grand-children and great-grand-children that she loved very much. She also led a very happy life with many friends, much fun and lots of square dancing!

Personally, I think that she knew that she would be exceedingly unhappy in any condition where she could not continue to live an independent life in her home...and I think she was ready to go. She was too independent to fight to live on in a life that would have been unhappy for her. I think it takes a brave women to know when she is ready to stop fighting.

I never looked closely at the casket. I enjoyed looking at the variety of photos available much more.

Rudy spent the whole way home talking about his memories of living in Mt. Pleasant, and it made me realize that I never really recorded any thoughts about Grandpa Eldon. Although, I must admit that he felt like the grandparent I knew the least. We had a lot of fun together when I was growing up, but I tended to have a preference for my grandmothers growing up - they took me out to lunch and out shopping - more exciting that working on the car when you are a young girl.

But we did have things in common. I remember watching the Reds on TV with Grandpa Eldon and Grandma Lillian, and in later years we watched golf together, when I *finally* became interested in it. The three of us went out golfing together a couple of times. My grandmother prodded me a bit more, since she knows what it is like to be a female golfer...but we all had a great time out on the links and getting lunch afterward.

I remember Grandpa doing his crossword puzzles and reading Reader's Digest in his chair by the front door (I wasn't really involved with that). He also liked to do jigsaw puzzles, which I remember helping with. When the three of us were watching TV, he would fall asleep in his chair and I also remember that when I spent the night, he would take the bed in the other room so I could sleep in his twin bed in the master bedroom and be closer to Grandma.

I remember discovering all kinds of cool stuff with him in the basement. There were pool balls, old vacuum cleaners and many things that I think he planned to fix someday. It was musty and dirty down there, but that was probably the place that the two of us spent the most time. Well, that and the backyard. He was always happy to throw a ball or practice chipping or do anything that was possible to do in their small urban yard...which is probably about the same size as the yard that Rudy and I have now. I hadn't thought about that before...

Enough typing for one night. I want to go work on the second sleeve of my t-shirt.

Note to self - Tara wants an orange felted purse for Christmas. :-)

If only my office policy was online...

So one of the advantages that my husband has is that he works for a university. Meaning that it is a big "company", so there is lots and lots of information online so that the HR and benefits people don't get a constant barrage of phone calls. This means that when there is a death in the family, he can find out about his bereavement leave online.

And I have a paper office manual in my desk drawer, so I couldn't find out about my leave until I got to my desk this morning. Turns out that I can use sick time for "death in the family" leave, which I have plenty of, instead of vacation days (of which I only have two left).

I'm skipping the "viewing" today, because I didn't want to use my last two vacation days and be out of vacation by mid-september. But now that I know I can use sick time I'm contemplating getting back on a bus and going home. I have things to do, but nothing urgent.

I hate decisions like this. It would be easier if I hadn't already sent an email around about being out tomorrow...

I will look at my to-do list, and then decide.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

How to use a blog?

I realize that up to this point I have mostly been using my blog as a daily journal. I don't know yet if this a good thing or a bad thing. And I'm wondering if it will become less of that and more of an idea place once I am less super busy.

We'll see.

Sad news - Rudy's grandmother passed away early this morning.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Friday night

The best thing about having a 9am meeting in Greensberg is that my day started at 7:30, so I could take most of a lunch hour and still leave before 4:30. Instead of going right for the express bus, I stopped in Payless and browsed. I have a few pairs I shoes I was ready to get rid of, but not without replacing them first. :-)

I found three pairs of pumps! Two black and one brown. And they were having a "buy one item, get the second half price" sale. So I picked up a purse, too! The good news is that I came home and put four pairs of shoes in the goodwill pile. That's right - a net loss of a pair of shoes. Those Clean Sweep organizers would be so proud.

After getting home, I made pretty good progress in cleaning up the dressing room and bedroom. All of the clean clothes are put away. All of the non-bedroom stuff has been moved to the appropriate room and my suitcase from last weekend is unpacked. Still need to unpack the camping bag and now my office is messy with stuff that was in the dressing room and bedroom. Oh well. I'll get to that room in September...

I need to do more work on the house tour program before I can let myself go to sleep. sigh.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Too much

I can't cover it all, it feels like too much has happened in the past week and I'm having trouble processing it all. I don't want to sound like I'm complaining...there are many people in this world that are much worse off than I am. I'm just in a state where I really need some ME time and some US time with my husband, and I need that AFTER I get a chance to clean the frickin' house. Don't know if it will happen.

The sad news is the Rudy's grandmother, Sara, is not doing well. She had a stroke last week, but she seemed to be doing well afterward and we had planned to visit her this week once she had stepped down to a less intense unit. Unfortunately, she had another stroke early Tuesday morning which had a much more damaging effect. She is in a coma and the prognosis isn't good. So we are playing the waiting game at the moment.

In happier news, we had a nice time at the wedding over the weekend. The bride was lovely and we got to meet a number of friends and family of the Tuckers that we had been hearing about for years. I started knitting a purse when we got in the car on Friday that I wanted to carry to the wedding on Saturday. I had to stay up until 1am to finish, but I got it done.

(the pictures are not yet downloaded to our server, but someday I'll get some pictures of my knitting up here...)

The t-shirt is going well. I'm up to the shoulders and it seems to fit! Also, Mom and I went yarn shopping on Monday and had lots of fun. There is some hand-spun, hand-painted yarn on order for me - can't wait!

I need to go work on the house tour. I can't really relax until my work for that is done...

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Poor Stewart

He had to go to the vet today. And so did Nora. I don't want to embarass him, but being put in the cat carrier is so upsetting for him that he poops. It happened the first time we brought him home, and we thought it was just because he was being ripped from his home by strangers. But no, he just HATES the carrier.

Rudy had to do the vet visits alone and clean Stewart up afterward, so it will be my turn next year. I'm thinking we should take Stewart's food away the night before so there won't be anything to come out.

Poor Stewart.

He seems to have recovered, and since he had a bath this afternoon he smells good.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005


Finally found my passport. I was afraid I was going to have to declare it missing and try to get a new one in 2 weeks and 4 days. Not fun. I was seriously thinking about calling in sick tomorrow if I couldn't find my passport tonight.

So first thing tomorrow I'll take my packet to the post office and overnight all of it and a prepaid envelope to have it overnighted back. Hopefully in a week I'll have a passport with my new name, and relaxation can occur.

Took an awesome stained glass restoration class last weekend. Trying to get house tour stuff done. Going to Toledo and Michigan this weekend for a wedding and parent visit. House is still an enormous mess - even more so since I spent 90 minutes looking in nooks and crannies for my passport.

I've started knitting a t-shirt, I've bought yarn to knit my first bear and I'm starting to think about what I might knit as christmas presents. Ribbon X-back is waiting to be frogged again.

Did I mention that the house is a mess? :-)

Oh, and I have no idea what I'm wearing to the wedding this weekend. I might just end up wearing the same thing I wore to the last wedding we went to...since Rudy is the only person who will be there who has seen me in that dress before.

I'm going to work on the t-shirt for a bit and then try to get a good night's sleep now that I have located my passport...

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Back from camping, still overwhelmed (and a Stewart Story)

Camping was good, although overall uneventful. In Rudy's words: "We were slugs, with mastery of fire." :-)

Friday, I only left the campsite to go to the bathroom building. I tended to the fire, worked on the blanket and ate. Rudy read LOTR, ate and made a few trips to the camp store. Saturday and Sunday we did a little hiking and we took a quick dip in the lake on Saturday afternoon. Otherwise, we tended to the fire and ate. We nearly polished off two bags of marshmallows!

I also finally wrote a letter to my friend, Eva, in Spain - she sent her last letter in November. I'm feeling better now that the letter is in the mail. She is supposed to be getting married at the end of the year, so I'm anxious to hear how her wedding planning is going.

Although I got a lot of sleep while camping (somewhat interrupted, but lengthy), I came back home and I feel overwhelmed again. There is a lot to do for the house tour, the house is a disaster (Rudy keeps trying to tell me that it isn't, but I'm not convinced) and most of my upcoming weekend will be filled with a stained glass restoration class. Plus, there is plenty going on at work, so I can't always leave after 8 hours. I think at some point I'm going to have to sacrifice some sleep to get it all done. I'm not thrilled about that.
Oh, and to top it all off, I can't locate my passport. It's not where I thought it was or in about ten other places where I've looked. Either I put it in the safe deposit box or I put it someplace really dumb. I'm hoping for the former.

In addition, Stewart prevented me from sleeping for about an hour last night. At 4:37 am he came up on the bed to get attention. He generally starts by climbing over my body. Being a male cat, he is very muscular and surprisingly dense for being a relatively small cat - so we're not talking about delicate steps. He comes up purring and ready to be petted. Lately I have been ignoring him, and after a few minutes he leaves.
I guess I was feeling generous this morning, and I gave him some attention, hoping to convince him to relax and sleep next to me. I'd pet him, and then try to go back to sleep...and then he would nudge my hands and face with his to indicate that I shouldn't have stopped petting yet. :-) I eventually hid my hands under the pillow, and after 40 minutes, he got the hint and went to sleep. 10 minutes later I adjusted my position, and he got up again. Not wanting to start all over again, I went to the bathroom, and thankfully while I was in there Nora showed her face and she and Stewart went off to play together.

At 6am, Stewart walked on me again. This time I did not pet him, and he got the hint that I was not ready to stop sleeping yet. Maybe next week we'll try again...

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Feeling better after an overwhelming start to the week...

The good news is that Rudy and I are legally married. :-)

Last week I attempted to request a sealed copy of our marriage record in order to change my name on my passport. I know that I shouldn't have waited until a month before a pending trip, but at the time I changed my name on everything else I didn't know if I would need my passport again before it expired so I just didn't bother.

On Friday I received a letter from the county stating that they didn't have a record that our ceremony was ever performed, although they did have the application that we made for our license. *Sigh* I went to the marriage license office, and after a bit of haggling with one woman (and a few tears shed), I finally got help from a supervisor who got me going on the right track.

Two overnight envelopes back and forth to our wonderful officiant in Ohio, and today I have a triple-sealed copy of our marriage license in my hands. I will have to pay for expedited service, but at this piont getting my passport changed won't be a problem. *Whew* We're legal. No need to plan another big wedding. ;-)

I am still overwhelmed with all of the stuff left to do for the house tour, but I have made good progress this week, and it will get done. It doesn't help that one of our co-chairs seems to be AWOL at the moment...but we will push on without him.

I'm also in a great mood because my first felted bag turned out WONDERFULLY. I'm really happy with it, and having a new purse to carry always brightens my day. When I was out running errands at lunch it was a little hard to convince myself that no, I don't need any more yarn at the moment - but I managed to show restraint.

This weekend we are going camping, to our usual spot. I plan to finish the wedding blanket, and once that is done I will work on Ribbon X-back. I'm about 1 1/2" into attempt #2. I also plan to bring the purple cotton I have and the directions for a wrap sweater from SnB Nation. I need to swatch for gauge and I want to rewrite the pattern so I can knit it mostly in one piece. Same thing with a T-shirt pattern from I don't think it needs the seams for structure, so I might as well knit it in the round.