Monday, August 25, 2008

Sickness Does Have Its Rewards

Since I've been pretty much sitting on the couch and coughing the last couple of weeks, I managed to finish this. It's Clapotis from Knitty, and this is the third one for me. I don't usually like to repeat patterns, but this one is a fun knit - easy to remember, and for some reason it's exciting to be able to drop down all those stitches. I think this means I need a little more actual excitement in my life, but you take what you can get.

It's made out of Brooks Farms Four Play, 50% silk/50% merino. This is a fabulous yarn; the colors are stunning, it's lovely to knit with, and the final product is soft with a beautiful drape. I got this at Rhinebeck Sheep and Wool, and will probably go back for more this year.

This particular one is going to my mother for Christmas, but I think I'll give it to her early so she can enjoy it all fall. Merry (early) Christmas, Mom!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Better Than Bug Spray

Well, for me, at least. We went on a hike to see migrating water birds (egrets & osprey) and the hike leader mentioned that we were going to be sorry we had shorts on because there were lots of mosquitos in the marsh. Well, we soldiered on, and while The Professor and I emerged with only a couple of bites each, my children look like this:

and this:

Apparently, the way to avoid getting bitten is to walk very close to my kids, who seem to be delicious. They were actually having a contest to see who had the most bites. Let the calamine lotion flow!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Doctors Rule

At least my doctor does. We started going to him several years back, when we first moved to the area. My previous doctor did not rule. He was always rushed, made me feel like I was taking up his time, and actually answered phone calls during my already incredibly short, rushed, visits. Now, I don't go to the doctor a lot, so it wasn't a big problem in my life, but irritating nontheless.

I ended up in my current doctor's office yesterday, because I seem to have the cough that will not leave. It had overstayed its welcome about a week ago, so after 2 weeks of hacking I decided it was time. They got me an appointment the same day, I didn't have to wait, and I was out of the office in 20 minutes (did I mention that my doctor rules?) with 2 prescriptions (one came with a coupon which covered the copay!) and an inhaler. This is the other wonderful thing about my doctor - if they have samples on hand, they give them out and save me the copay. Love them! I received all these items, because I was told my cough sounded "harsh" and that there was a dull sound in one of my lungs when I breathed, which if untreated could lead to pneumonia. Having gone down that road once before, and not anxious to travel it again, I dutifully filled all my prescriptions and was told to report back on Friday for another listen.

I ended up with an antibiotic, cough syrup with codeine, and an inhaler. The inhaler worried me. I've never had one before, and somehow got it in my head that it would do something unfortunate to me, so even though The Professor was away at a meeting, I waited until he got home to use it, lest it cause unconsciousness and I wouldn't be able to care for my sleeping children. I don't know what bothered me about it - I guess I've never taken medicine that way before, so as it is an unknown, I automatically worry that it will cause me grave harm. I know this makes no sense and is not normal, but hey, it's who I am.

After he got home, I checked the notes I had written in the office, (since having children I am unable to remember even the simplest of instructions) gathered up my courage, twisted the inhaler, took off the cap, worriedly breathed in, and....nothing. Apparently I didn't do it properly, so The Professor punched up the instructions on Google for me to use during tonight's dosing. Apparently my lungs aren't the only dull thing about me....

Friday, August 15, 2008

Happy Feet

These very happy feet belong to Miss Serious, sporting her Cape Cod socks in Cape Cod. She is not usually too excited by what I make her (the items usually elicit an "It's itchy," followed by a completely unnecessary facial contortion), but these socks made her day. She even mentioned them on her blog, and would have worn them every day had I not snuck them out of her dresser drawer on day 3 for some necessary cleaning. Unfortunately they need to be handwashed, but we all suffer for our art. Now I have to figure out how to keep her from putting them in the wash; even though all other dirty clothes end up on the floor, I have a sneaking suspicion that these will magically end up in the hamper.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The August Thinning

No, not me, unfortunately. My stuff. It's time. We live in a relatively small space (4 of us in a 2 bedroom apartment) and having 2 teachers and 2 kids in a limited amount of space seems to be a recipe for living with multiple piles of crap. Everywhere. As the new school year doesn't start for a couple of weeks, I've decided that I am going to devote some time to paring down our junk wonderful possessions.

I never think of myself as a big shopper or a packrat, but apparently I am both, because this place just fills up. I think part of the problem is that when cleaning up one area, I tend to drop the items onto another, with the plan of putting them away later, thus simply moving the piles rather than making them disappear, making me a realtor for my stuff rather than a cleaner. (The other, perhaps larger problem is that I'd rather knit than clean, but really, who wouldn't?)

When we lived in a 2 bedroom house, in 3 years we managed to fill up a large portion of both the attic and the basement, and that was before children. Granted, our living area was always neat and tidy, but that's what happens when you have extra rooms to throw all your miscellaneous junk into. You know, those things that you pick up and think, "Oh, this Vegetable-Peeler-Head-Lamp could come in handy, maybe, someday, if I ever need to peel potatoes in the dark, like if there's a power outage right before dinner." Said item is then placed in the extra space, never to be looked at again. As we knew we were moving to an apartment, we had a moving sale, the stuff became someone else's problem, and we ended up with some cash.

We now have NO extra space, and while it really helps to keep our accumulation of stuff down, any clutter ends up taking up living space. So, the grand project began yesterday; I attacked the bedroom, The Professor worked on the computer area, and the kids were given the assignment to go through their toys, throwing the broken things away, and putting anything that they no longer wanted but that could be given away into a pile.

I'm pleased to say the bedroom and computer area are looking good; however, when I went into the kids' room after several hours of "work," I discovered a garbage bag with a single piece of paper in it, and a tiny pile of toys no one would ever be interested in, which is why my children were willing to part with them. Hmmm....this may take a bit more overseeing on my part.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Well That Didn't Help...

I've been coughing a lovely, hacking, painful cough for the last several days, complete with sore throat, no voice, and low temperature. I was feeling much better, until this morning when I walked into the kitchen and Big Trouble met me with a cheerful "How many days until you die?"

If everyone hadn't needed breakfast, I would have (justifiably, I think) gone back to bed and called it a day.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Recovering From Vacation

Well, we're back from beautiful Cape Cod. We had a wonderful time, and got through almost everything on our list. We ate way too much fried seafood, walked many miles of lovely trails, and swam in several different bodies of water. We even managed to take some pictures:

I brought home a couple of beautiful things:

This is a lovely, etched glass from Scargo Pottery, a cluster of studios in the woods. They are often at work at the pottery wheels, and Miss Serious spent a long time watching them work. They even gave the kids a big lump of clay to work on at home. Miss Serious has been mentioning for a while that she would like pottery lessons - not really an easy home hobby, but maybe we'll find something local.

The kids picked these out at Ladybug Knitting. They both have champagne tastes, I'm afraid - they picked out some of the loveliest (and priciest!) yarns in the shop. The left is Silky Socks from The Adirondack Yarn Company, and the right is ArtYarns handpainted merino. Luckily, they really appreciate the things knitted out of yarn they picked out themselves, and they like remembering their vacation.

And finally, the beginnings of Clapotis #3, worked on in the car on the way there:

I managed to pick up some sort of bug as well, so came home with a racking cough and didn't get any knitting done on the way home. For some reason I don't concentrate well when bringing up a lung every 10 minutes...

All in all, a wonderful week. What can be bad about a place where you eat ice cream at least once a day?

Friday, August 1, 2008

Summer is Awesome!

Especially on the day before vacation! We leave for Cape Cod (frighteningly) early in the morning tomorrow. We learned that this is necessary through trial and error, unfortunately. When one rents a cabin on Cape Cod, the time period is always Saturday to Saturday. This means that EVERYONE will be trying to get over two rather skinny bridges at the exact same time. This does not make for fun travel. Thus the early departure.

We also learned (again through trial and error) that EVERYONE also must leave on Saturday over the same two rather skinny bridges. Why this didn't occur to us on the way over the first year, I have no idea, but we did wise up. We've learned to also leave (frighteningly) early, and even though it seems like it would be nice to savor the last day of vacation and stretch it out, sitting in a bajillion mile line of traffic doesn't really fit that bill.

So, we're all (mostly) packed up (Big Trouble has been demanding to know all week why I'm not packing), I've chosen the knitting projects to take (sadly I spent more time on this decision than on what either I or the children will be wearing), and we're ready to roll. See you next week!