"I have never felt that anything really mattered but the satisfaction of knowing that you stood for the things in which you believed and had done the very best you could." - Eleanor Roosevelt

Wednesday, June 30, 2010


Okay, so yesterday I was in a general funk.  It is safe to say that I am on the road to recovery.  Partly due to the wonderful woman that I share my life with.  I'll explain.

I mentioned that I was in the Pimp My Queue Swap on Ravelry.  After a self imposed time out from all that is the Internet, I sat down with my secret partner's information and the two patterns I have narrowed down from the top ten in her queue.  I grabbed a cup of Spicy Chocolate Mint Tea from The Republic of Tea to look over both patterns and the yarn requirements.  I thought that that the tea and the pursuit of swap goodness would help calm me down.

It did, but in an unusual way.  It made me retrospective.  I sat back with a second cup of tea and began to think about a simple statement that my counselor/therapist had put in front of me.  She said that I needed to let go of my fears and trepidations from the last two failed relationships and trust myself.  She said that when I was completely able to surrender myself to the person I loved I would no longer need to be in control of every minute detail of my life.  I would be free to enjoy and become spontaneous.  I cried.  I began to realize that this was indeed what was happening to me.

I realized that the relationship that I have been  building with SF is indeed one based on truth, honesty, respect and love.  We both want the best for each other while preserving our unique individuality building a cohesive unit that is our relationship.  I was keenly aware that for the first time in my life I was safe with another human being and could let my guard down.  All the while knowing that she will never use any of my faults against me.  She will never criticize me for what I know or don't know.  She nurtures my talents and is amazed by my strength and beauty all at the same time.  I have no reason to fear that she will leave me or neglect me for the newest friend or the shiniest object.  We are both safe to grow and spread our wings knowing that the other will be waiting to hear all about the journey when we return.

It was hard to believe that without knowing it I had come to the next resting place in my life.  Once I am more secure with this new realization, I can move forward and continue to grow and share.  I will need to wrap my head around this for a while and get acquainted and comfortable with it but I think I can face it and grow into it gracefully.  It is a concept that SF has been trying to help me see for a while but I resisted.  I'm not sure why but I was certainly afraid.  It was a fear that was a pit in my stomach.  Much like the fear I had to face the first time she asked me to move in with her in November.  And the same fear that I felt when she wanted to get commitment/promise rings in December to exchange on Valentines Day.  I had to believe that I was not making the same mistake again for the third time and believe that I did deserve that someone that loves me unconditionally.  We still haven't gotten past the promise ring to the actual commitment ring but I am getting more comfortable with the idea of wearing a ring on my ring finger once again.

After dinner, SF and I were sitting on the leather sofa.  We were flipping between the WNBA game on ESPN2 and the College Baseball World Series.  At one of the commercials, she placed the sound on mute and said, "What has been eating at you the last few days?"  Transparent as charged.  I tried to brush it off because the game had resumed but she was firm.  I finally told her what had been bothering me.  Not without tears of course.  She pulled me into her arms and asked me why I still fought the fact that she loves my unconditionally and that I am safe.  I tried to explain but she agreed that some scars do indeed take longer to heal and she would just continue to be patient and be the person I knew her to be.

Life is funny like that.  I think I slept like a brick last night.  It was one of the best night's rest I have had in a week.  I still have to provide the dinner request tonight when she gets home but I am okay with the total surprise factor of the rest.  She knows that I HATE public birthday scenes at restaurants so I have no fear of the staff singing to me or anything of the sort.  I believe that I will have a very private celebration with her and then when the girls are both available we will have a second one.  And that's okay with me too.  Why wouldn't I want two celebrations.....

And, I finally settled on the pattern for the swap.  I can't reveal the details yet but I will once the package has safely been received.  After all it is a secret swap but the participants may be stalking the blog so I can't let the details slip just yet.  I will be taking a trip to Katy to Yarntopia to see if they have the local yarn I am in search of.  Wish me luck....

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

I think I need a time out....

Okay, so I took a tiny break from work to check into Ravlery.  I have been on this weird pattern search and I wanted to run a more refined one than I had last night.  I'll talk about that later.  As always, I quickly scan the forums to see if there is anything of interest.  In the Remnants one was a thread labeled "Who is Barb?  Where is She?"  It grabbed my attention.  This is the first post of the thread:

I bought an Agatha Christie book on Ebay -- Mr Parker Pyne, Detective.  Inside was written a message:

“To Barb: Happy Independence Day!! Love, Mel 7/4/87”

I wonder about Barb.  Who is she?  Is she still alive?  Do she and Mel still love each other?  Did they have a good Independence Day in 1987?  The only thing I know for sure about Barb is that she doesn’t have the book anymore.

I hope they still love each other and will have a happy Independence Day this Saturday.

Edit: My mistake, Independence Day is on Sunday this year.

I kept reading until I came to this post:

I think it’s curious that the book was gifted on Independence Day.  Birthdays and other gift-giving holidays, sure … but July 4th?

Maybe Barb was/is a big reader and Mel knew she wouldn’t enjoy the fireworks and general mayhem … so gave her a book to help pass the time.

Oh boy...

I was not amused.  This was my reply to the above post in the thread: 

Okay, for the record, Independence Day is Sunday not Saturday in 2010.  Second, I was born on July 4th, so I have hundreds of books with inscriptions dated on July 4th.  Lots of people are born on national holidays as a matter of fact.  My grandmother was born on St. Patrick’s Day.  My youngest daughter was born on Valentines Day.  My partner was born on Thanksgiving Day.  And my parents were married on Christmas Day.  Just a few examples of dates that people might have been given books with special inscriptions.

And yes, this did strike a nerve.

So,  after noticing that I was unusually upset by this I decided that I needed a time out from the Internet.  I had some phone calls to return so I grabbed a glass of water and sat down with my pad of paper.  I made the calls but still felt irritated.  I decided that I was hungry so I ate my lunch.  I still felt that the hair on the back of my neck was still ruffled.

Why?  Why was I letting this apparently unintelligent and insensitive person get the better of me?  It hit me like a ton of bricks.  My birthday is Sunday.  No big deal.  I am not afraid of turning 48, nor am I depressed at aging.  I am in good physical condition and actually love the way I look for the first time in a very long time.  I finally snapped.  For the first time in a very long time, I have no clue what I will be doing for my birthday and I really don't like those kind of surprises.

Prior to life with SWCNLBN, the ex-husband considered having us all float down the Guadalupe River, with me in charge of the safety of the kids, while the remaining adults got plaster a great way to spend my birthday.  Not so much on my part.  Being the designated driver is one thing but the designated babysitter on the day I should be pampered was not my idea of a fun time.  Not to mention that this also included camping in a tent or staying in a lower end hotel where we cooked and the place was not so modern.  He did take me out to eat a few times in the 17.5 years we were married but most of the time I planned my own day and he just showed up when ever he could manage to get up.

In the past (w/SWCNLBN), I knew that we would have a lazy breakfast.  Meaning she would either make me eggs and toast or she would take me out, depending on how late she was getting ready.  Followed by a day of me floating in the pool while she cooked steak and seafood.  I usually ask for surf and turf for my birthday meal.  All accompanied with the consumption of too many adult beverages.  If we were still awake, we would watch the fireworks downtown.  The birthday presents were opened at some point between the food and the cake and before our guests left our house.

When my brother lived in Houston I could also count on the fact that he and his wife would be there.  That meant that I had at least some of my family in attendance annually.  There was one year that SWCNLBN actually spent my birthday in NJ with my family for a family reunion.  It was just my parents and my direct siblings and their respective spouses and kids.  Other than that, there were many summers that I had to fly to Rochester to spend it with her family at the lake so that we could celebrate her nephew's birthday.  Regardless of the location, I never was uncertain of the outcome.

2008 was the start of the new life.  I was in the apartment and had celebrations over a few days.  My Posse gave me a pool-side party.  They cooked and supplied the adult beverages.  I didn't ask for or expect gifts.  Just not being alone was all I really wanted.  Megan and Stephanie also gave me a great day.  The brought me some wonderful gits and we had a great time.  The apartment was small but it felt like a palace with my family with me.  I had not met SF yet.  I would not meet her for another 23 days.  I was as happy as I could be given the circumstances.

2009 was unusual.  We celebrated my parents' 50th wedding anniversary in OH over the Fourth of July weekend.  It was my first trip home since SWCNLBN and I had gone our separate ways and was the first time SF was meeting my family.  I was nervous and excited all at the same time.  It was not much of a birthday.  I did get a cake and some cards but the weekend was about my parents and this wonderful celebration of their remarkable love.

So, I realize that with Birthday 2010 looming, I am clueless about what to expect.  I have not heard from my kids and I know that SF does not have their numbers.  I know that SF has asked me what I want for my dinner and if I want to go out and eat would I prefer Saturday so that we have more time.  Other than that, I am in the dark and I don't like it one bit.  It has nothing to do with me thinking that anyone will forget, I am just so accustomed to having all of it laid out according to the script for the last 10.5 years that I seem to have forgotten how to relax and just go with it and let it happen.

So, it seems that I need a time out to get myself calmed down and relaxed.  I have nothing to fear and I know that I am loved by so many.  Deep breaths and I should be okay.  In the interim, I think I may need to break down and get a Dr. Pepper.  Something I have not had in over a year....

Monday, June 28, 2010


Well, it is indeed Monday.  We have had a good dousing of rain this morning and it has managed to stay overcast most of the remainder of the day.  Good news for the energy bills and the water bills.  We are still keeping a close eye on Tropical Storm Alex and are hoping that he decides to stay far away from out part of the Gulf so that the oil spill cleanup can continue.

This weekend I was craving a hamburger and a good beer.  Well, SF is not one to turn down a good beer so we decided that we should go to the HEB and peruse their vast selection and get something for each of us.  We also decided to get some chips and salsa, as we were out and it is great for watching TV.  We also agreed that burgers from Whataburger were the best choice.  We could both get the burgers we wanted without any delay and could get home to watch TV.

Beer was a harder decision than either of us had expected.  I immediately saw Left Hand Milk Stout....I wanted that!  SF was pondering and looking.  It was taking her longer than I thought it would.  She really prefers wheat beers, so I was sure she would be ready before I was.  Fooled again!  What happened next was funny.  I am not one that likes confrontation, so I asked what she wanted to see if we could meet in the middle.  Much to my surprise, so showed me a sampler pack from Michelob that had four beer types.  I looked them over and three of the four sounded great to me.  I knew that the Shock Top was what she was after.  The sampler pack contained three each of the following: Shock Top, Hop Hound, Ginger Wheat and DunkelWeisse.  Well, I knew that I liked the DunkelWeisse and after reading the Hop Hound I was confident that I would like it as well.  The Ginger Wheat sounded interesting enough so we both agreed that we should try the sampler pack.

We got home with the hamburgers and the groceries.  We popped the burgers into the microwave to stay warm and put two of each beer into the freezer to get really cold.  We put the rest of the groceries away, got the chips and salsa into bowls and got the burgers out and finished.  We both added a few things from the fridge.  We also opened jars of pickled okra.  SF had picked spicy and I have, of course, chosen mild.  We made the burgers ancient history rather quickly and snacked on the okra.  Once we were done with that, we agreed that it was beer time.  In the spirit of a sampler, I got two beer coozies that covered the entire bottle.  I opened both of them and secured them in their coozies.  It was a total surprise to SF.  I had chosen to give her the Ginger Wheat first due to the pairing sheet that said that it could cool down heat such as wasabi.  I had a DunkelWeisse first.  She was very pleased with her first selection.  It was her turn next, so she got herself a Hop Hound and got me a Ginger Wheat.  It was better than I had even guessed.  Our third ones were Hop Hound for me and Shock Top for her.  We both agreed that we needed to get another one of these packs, as there was something for both of us and that is always a bonus!

Okay, enough with that.  I have also been knitting.  This weekend I finished the Sugar Rush Tank.  This yarn is SO yummy!  I have been looking at my Ravelry queue and my stash of patterns to see what else calls to me to be made from it as well.  I took this picture before I had the straps sewed on, as I had to enlist SF to help me place them.  I wanted to be able to wear a bra with it, so placement was key.  I'll post pictures of it finished and perhaps one of me modeling it as well later this week.

I also finished the Ballerina Wrap for Zoe.  It was blocked heavily prior to assembly, as suggested by the Yarn Harlot herself.  I was glad that I did, as it made the seams much easier to match and the finished piece is lovely.  I can't wait to get it to her.

And two shots to leave you with this afternoon.  The one above is the daylily above with the fresh rain upon it.  The one below is Sassy in her overlord pose.

Until tomorrow....

Friday, June 25, 2010

Friday Fill-Ins #182

1. On vacation, I like eating local foods, looking for local yarn stores and lazy mornings in bed.
2. I want to go on a whale watching cruise in the ocean.
3. One of my favorite vacation spots will always be The Finger Lakes part of upstate New York because of the water, the scenery and the WINE.
4. I always get emotional and want more one on one time with the full moon.
5. Up, up and away, some day I want to take a hot air balloon ride.
6. Bananas and chocolate soy milk make great smoothies.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to a late night swim, tomorrow my plans include a trip to the local farmer's market and Sunday, I want to grill out and enjoy adult beverages poolside!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


Well, I survived the Jury Summons.  I can't go into many details about the case but let's just say that being the well rounded woman I am, it was evident from the very first question that I was going to be dismissed.  Pray tell, what was this first question you ask.  Simple, "How many of you ride a motorcycle and what kind?"  I was panel member number five, so I was sitting on the first row.

My hand goes up as I was instructed and while holding my knitting I politely answer, "I ride a 2009 CVO Springer Softtail."  "Is that a Harley?"  "Yes."  "Stock pipes?"  "No sir, two into one pipes that have been tuned on the Dyna machine to boost performance."  A voice in the back of the room, "Do you have the Screamin' Eagle package?"  "Yes, with the 110 engine."  A different voice from the back, "Do you have the black/green or the blue/gunmetal version?"  "It is the Candy Cobalt Blue with the gunmetal and loaded with chrome."  At which point the judge intervenes and we move on to the rest of the panel members for their respective answers.

Next question, "Have you every driven a vehicle and towed anything with it.  If yes, what?"  Again the hand goes up.  I am the only person in the front row with my hand up so I go again.  "A Ford Conversion Van towing a 17' Malibu Ski Boat."  "Seriously, you drove a huge van towing a ski boat?"  "Yes sir, we camped in it due to the fold down full size bed and went to Lake Somerville quite often."  "Fine.  At any point while driving and towing did you ever feel the need to come to a complete stop before you turned?"  "Yes sir, there were many times that I felt it necessary to bring the can and the trailer to a complete stop before maneuvering a turn, especially to the left."  Voice from the back, "It is illegal to come to a complete stop unless there is oncoming traffic."  My retort, "I really don't give a flying flip what the law states.  As a driver it is my responsibility to make certain that my actions do not cause any harmful consequences to myself, my passengers or to others.  So, I'll stop when ever I feel it is necessary, let traffic go around and then make the turn when I'm good and ready."  "Even if that means you could be issued a citation?"  "Absolutely!"  Everyone else answers with various trailers and boats.

We keep going and the final question is about sky diving.  Once again the hand goes up.  At which point both attorneys are dumb-founded.  At which point I am asked, "Ms. Ping, looking at you sitting here knitting it is hard to believe that a woman of your age has done so many things in your life that contradict your outward appearance.  Can you explain?"

My dander was up now...."If it pleases the court, may I remind you sir that as an attorney you of all people should know not to pull the gender card, the age card or personal appearance card.  Yes, I knit.  Big flippin' deal.  I have been doing it for the better part of thirty years.  It keeps me from wanting to smack insolent people.  As for my age, other than the fact that you are privy to it due to the Summons Card, it is none of your business what I outwardly portray.  As long as I am a law abiding citizen I can look however I so choose.  I may have tattoos and piercings all over my body but you can't see them.  Would that matter to the case?  Not unless it is about piercing and tattoos.  And as for what I chose to enjoy, that sir is certainly none of your business.  If I want to bungee jump off the Fred Hartman Bridge and it is legal I just might.  I might want to learn hot to drive a drag car.  Point is, sir, you have no right to pass judgment on me or my appearance.  The only facts that you can utilize are my answers that are pertinent to choosing a twelve-person panel for this civil case."  Stopping to take a breath, "and I am sadden and dismayed that the judicial system would allow you to interrogate me this way."

The Judge intervenes again.  He apologizes and reminds the counsel that they cannot question any one in this manner.  A little too late.  I am seething waiting for a break.  Finally, we are given a twenty minute break.  Most of the panel members steered clear of me to allow me to cool off.  One did ask me if I needed any water or anything.  I declined and just sat there doing my crossword puzzles in black ink.  Which caused another panel member to remark that I was too smart for this case and should be disqualified.  I asked why and he simply said that anyone who did crossword puzzles in ink was smarter than the average person and that was good for me but bad news for a jury.

That led me to think about that after we were finally dismissed, after the twelve special jurors had been chosen and sworn in.  Am I really a challenge to court cases?  Because I am so diversified in my likes and interests do I make it hard to be objective?  I would hate to think that my county is so backwards that there will not be a panel that I could serve upon.  I would like to think that these are the very qualities that make it able for me to be open-minded and objective.  We shall see.

I will continue to do crossword puzzles in black ink.  I will continue to read every book, magazine and manner of print that catches my eye.  I will continue to search the Internet for information.  I will continue to follow social media.  In short I will continue to stretch my limits and grow for as long as I am physically able.  Attorneys take heed....I am not a push over just because I knit....I can debate with the best of you...just sayin....

And, Congrats to the US Soccer team on their victory today!

Monday, June 21, 2010


Happy Father's Day to my dad!  This is a picture of him at one of his Motorcycle events.....funny, when we were little he was never near the kitchen...let alone serving the food.  My how times have changed.

Well, this weekend we got our hair done.  SF had her color done and a lot taken off her length.  She has Cherokee Indian blood in her, so her natural hair color is deep black but when the gray starts...well we all know what we do.  Cover it as fast as we can.  Now I can't show you a picture of mine, as I rarely let myself be in photos.  But what I can show you is the picture with the first stage of the growing out process.

Yes, it is Jodie Foster.  MEOW!  I think that we both look pretty damn good to be our newest up coming age.  My layers have finally grown from their original 2.5 inch length to this.  It has taken about eight months to get them all grown out to this stage.  I still have a section that is about two inches behind but that is okay.  I'm not one for traditional bobs, so I will not be keeping this cut for very long.  I was also bored and tired of the color.  I convinced Dawn to color it Black Cherry Cola.  We agreed on this without telling anyone what we were up to.

Fast forward to the shampoo and rinse stage.  I have been going to this salon for over a year and they know that I change cuts faster than a revolving door but not as true with my color.  When I emerged to have it checked out by Dawn, everyone's jaw dropped.  At first I wasn't sure if that was good or bad.  What I can tell you is that I love the results.  It is a complete difference from the medium brown with copper and blond highlights.  The underlying blond and brown gave the overall color a lot of variations as well.  SF loved the change.  I was worried at first, as she had never seen me with my color this dark before.  She loves the way it makes my eyes appear even more blue than they really are.  BONUS!  Added suspense is the fact that she has no idea what Dawn and I are working towards and we like that part.

Just as a tease, this picture is close to what I have in mind.

Today I had a Jury Summons.  I was required to be at the Brazoria County Courthouse and in the correct room on the fourth floor by 8:15 AM.  I arrived there at 8:00 AM and passed through the security check point.  The judge was nice and made the first part amusing.  He called out the names for Group 1, gave then their assignment and  dismissed them.  He repeated the process for Group 2.  That left me in Group 3.  He began to call out our names when one of the elder gentlemen that volunteered fainted.  Luckily there was an ER nurse, two EMTs and a doctor in our Group.  It took the paramedics a little over twenty minutes to get to him but the foursome had him stable it was relatively calm.  He was an amusing man, even with all of this going on.  When the ER nurse asked him if anything hurt, he retorted, "I'm 80 years old, everything hurts...".  Hopefully it is nothing.  He is a diabetic with high blood pressure.  Combine that with our heat (81 degrees at 8:00 AM) and with him in a suit it is no wonder that he didn't pass out earlier.  After the excitement, the Judge finished calling out all of Group 3's names.  Our assignment, report back on Tuesday at 9:30 AM.  WTF!!  We were all given a piece of paper with numbers to call to see if we had been dismissed by the Judge, in the case that the matter was settled or they had already selected a panel of jurors from the first two groups.

Seriously, this is the most archaic set up I have ever seen.  These people need to get into the 21st century PRONTO.  You can't register to vote on-line.  As a matter of fact, there is little that you can actually do on-line.  Bonus, if there is one, I get $10.00 for today and $40.00 for tomorrow.  That should just about cover the tank of gas and the 2 hours drive time.....seriously...I know that I must do my civic duty but this is so very unreasonable.  The County really needs to overhaul this process.  Our County is very sprawling and some people drove even further than I did today.  I felt badly for those that are hourly workers that will now have to miss a second day.  Some will get paid by their employers but others do not.  It just seems like a cluster fxxk either way.

Okay...off to get an adult beverage and dip into the pool to celebrate the first day of summer.  Happy Summer Solstice everyone!

ETA -  I just called the special hot-line and guess what...no changes I must report as directed by the very nice judge this morning.  Can we say that I am beginning to hate the county politicians and will be doing some serious research before the next elections....

Friday, June 18, 2010

Friday Fill-Ins #181

1. When the news ends and Friday night TV starts = 6:58.
2. It was the reason, of course, her brown eyes looking at me so softly.
3. Avoiding conflict is something I no longer feel the need to do.
4. I have another errand to run, then Happy Hour and the Pool, both in my backyard.
5. The perfect black dress...just go find it
6. What were once vices have been replaced with virtues and new experiences.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to a long over due conversation, tomorrow my plans include a much needed visit to the hairdresser for color to spruce up the growing out process and Sunday, I want to you know the answer.....don't you!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Thoughts on Thursday

Well, we have made it to Thursday.  Thankfully, I was able to get caught up on my sleep last night, only to be reminded that game seven is tonight.  Winner take all.  So much for getting a good night's sleep.  We can only hope that it is not a blow out.  And I know that we will both be cheering for the Celtics.

I have been able to get some of the missing mojo back and Megan's BMG's Footies x 2 are almost completely finished.  I think I will be done tonight.  I should be able to knit up until game time and with only about thirty rows left before the Kitchener portion that should be a piece of cake.  The yarn is super soft to work with and I wish I had more in my stash....alas I don't.  Perhaps I can put it on a wish list....

Speaking of wish list, I am participating in a swap aptly called "Pimp My Queue".  I am really excited about this one.  We were challenged to get our Ravelry queue in order and when we were paired up, our spoiler can pick any one of the top ten items.  The limit is $30.00 and the package must include: a pattern from your partner’s Ravelry queue (it can be free or paid for, but just make sure you print it out for them.), enough yarn to complete the project, needles and or crochet hook to make the project (check with your pal about this - everyone has a different gauge), and one other goodie.

I have been stalking my spoilee's queue and I have a few solid ideas.  I have a list started and I will be getting it all gathered up over the next few weeks.  It is fun to learn about new people and their part of the country via these swaps and this one is no exception.  I have a tiny advantage, as I have a mole in the same location as my spoilee...hehe.

I have been back in my cooking mode again.  The dressing from last night was not perfect but close.  I will be perfecting it and will post the recipe next week.  I have been looking at historic cookbooks as well.  I found one from Thomas Jefferson's website that I have ordered.  I can't wait for it to arrive.  He was a progressive man and his gardens were ahead of their time.  I have also book marked a few other cookbooks from the Virginia Historic Society.  I'm in a traditional Southern cooking mode, even though it is not really diet food.  I will be trying to modify the recipes to make them as healthy as possible without compromising their original taste.

Time to wrap up so that I can get out of here and get the stage set for Game 7..... GO CELTICS!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

What day is today?

What a weird week this has been so far.  I seem to have missed placed a day.  I woke up this morning thinking it was Tuesday when I was promptly reminded that it was in fact Wednesday.  We were both a bit grumpy, having stayed up late watching the Celtics versus the Lakers.  Thankfully, we did not stay up past half-time to see them get annihilated.  It was not what we wanted to see happen.

It was over that much needed cup of coffee that I realized that I had also missed my Temptations post yesterday.  I have decided to keep the two posts that are in draft form and review them for use on future Tuesdays to be determined.

With that said, I have been thinking about creative ways to store the stash in the future.  I have an old English linen cabinet that I have been utilizing as a dresser.  I think that as soon as I get the master bedroom closet organized I will move it to the spare room (mine, not the official guest room) and organize the remaining stash into the two shelves and the two drawers.  Guests can still utilize the top for personal belongings, as I plan on getting a piece of quarter inch glass with rounded edges cut to protect the top.  I'll get a picture of it later this week and share.  Utilizing the cabinet will allow me to empty the totes and use them in the garage.  That will be a win-win effect, as SF needs them to organize stuff on the shelving units we have in the upper floor of the garage.

I have also been a bit busy getting data gathered for the upcoming property tax protest.  Since I have the ability to walk the neighborhood in the early morning and later afternoon, I armed myself with two detailed maps from Google Earth.  I had zoomed in on both of them so that I could locate all the houses with pools.  Reason being, is that when we first went to appeal, the arbitrator told us that the pool added a HUGE value to the resale of the house.  Idiot, he obviously has never tried to sell a home with a pool.  Buyers either want one or they don't.  If you have the perfect house but they don't want the pool, then they will walk away from the property.  It is as simple as that.

Once I had walked the entire neighborhood and verified the addresses I proceeded to put together a spreadsheet.  I will not bore you with the details but I think that I will be able to help SF with the arguments needed when she faces the appeals tribune next week.  We have sales data from the home sales in the neighborhood as well as the new developments nearby, also built by the same builder.  It will be boring but I think that she will be fine.  She is an excellent speaker and backed with her training and development background, she can speak without getting passionate or emotional.  A skill I lack.

Knitting has been slow this week.  I can't seem to get interested in the last part of sock two of Megan's BMG's Footies x 2 or in the next three identified UFO's.  Hopefully after a good night's sleep tonight I can reclaim the knitting mojo.  I need to, as I want to get the Sugar Rush Tank back in front of me and get it finished in time to wear this season.

Okay...that's all that is on my mind at the moment.  I have a dinner brewing in my head and I need to check my recipe and make a list of needed ingredients.  I can tease you and tell you it has Ahi Tuna and pasta with a simple salad.  It is the dressing recipe that I need to verify.  If it is a success, I'll share it in a future post.

Monday, June 14, 2010


Well, this was one of those weekends that I could have slept right through.  As a matter of fact, I don't even really remember what we did that evening.  I know we watched TV but for the life of me I can't recall what it was.  I wonder sometimes why I can't recall such little things but then I am reminded that the brain recalls what it is trained to remember, so the TV show must not have been all that stimulating to the brain.

Saturday was slow and easy.  SF is still not 100% yet, so we did some light yard work.  The temps here combined with the humidity were such that I insisted that we be finished before 11:00 AM.  We managed to get it all done by 10:30 AM.  After showers, we spent the remainder of the day inside with the remote and the AC.  We watched sports during the day and then we watched Three Rivers and Cold Case that night.  SF remembered that I love Katherine Moennig  AKA Shane McCutcheon and I know how much she loves Cold Case.  Sadly, both shows have been canceled by CBS, so after we catch the remaining episodes, we will be looking for replacements until the fall lineup starts again.

Sunday was slow and easy as well.  We read the paper and ate out breakfast while we discussed the day ahead.  SF was feeling well enough to want to get in the pool, so we agreed to do that early on so that we were out before the inferno starts in the afternoon.  We spent about three hours in the pool before she announced that she was hungry.  Actually I think she said she was starving.  I was as well, so we pondered our options since we were in our swim suits.  We agreed on Taco Bell.  We dried off a bit, threw on tank tops and shorts over our suits and headed to get grub.  I will not say what we got but there were eight items in the bags...four each.

We got home and ate while we watched the Atlanta Dream beat the San Antonio Silver Stars (WNBA).  It was not pretty but it was great to see Sancho Lyttle play.  I saw her play as a member of the Houston Cougars and as a member of the Houston Comets.  She is an exciting player that seems to get better as she ages, not that she is old.  She was born in September 1983, so she is only a month older than Stephanie.

We also watched the America versus England soccer game.  I remember watching the FIFA events in 2006.  Megan was excited, as she was just back from her Summer School trip to Italy.  We watched as many matches as SWCNLBN would allow.  We were thrilled when Italy won.  I think that Megan wore her Italy shirts for a month.  I watched today as Italy finished with a draw/tie.  I'm so glad that there is ESPN3.com available!  I will be watching as many of the matches as I can get away with....

We also watched the Celtics versus the Lakers last night.  I was cheering like crazy for the Celtics.  We had watched the Thursday event when Big Baby Davis drooled.  We had also watched the press conference and I was howling with laughter at the Shrek and Donkey comment.  It was a hoot!  I want one of the posters that we saw being waved at the game last night.  We will also probably stay up late on Tuesday and watch the next game unless the Celtics fall too far behind, which I hope will not happen.

All of this got me to thinking about my sports identity.  I realized that over the past 28 years I have always rooted for whom ever my partner rooted for.  Case in point, when I was married to John, he cheered for the Steelers, the Penguins, Penn State, Pitt, the Phillies and the Greenbay Packers.  When I was with SWCNLBN we rooted for the Buffalo Bills, Ohio State and the Tampa Bay Rays.  The year I was in my apartment, I rooted for the Greenbay Packers because I identified with Aaron Rodgers.  I also rooted for the Houston Comets and the Houston Astros.  When push came to shove I also rooted for Tampa Bay, as Carl Crawford is from Jeff Davis High School right here in Houston.  I also made sure that I rooted for the Houston Texans.  Much to the chagrin of SF, I kept up with SFASU and Sam Houston teams as well.  Being from Tennessee, I also watched as much Vols sports as I could get via Comcast.  College football and basketball lends itself to me spending a lot of time in front of a TV, cheering for teams as I decide who warrants my attention.

Have I maintained that self identity?  I'm not sure.  I would like to think so, but I have been thinking about it.  I know that I would be rooting for the Celtics right now regardless of SF's preference, as I don't really like Kobe.  No offense to his skills, but he cheated on his wife regardless of what he told the public...so he is slime like all the rest of the sports figures that can't seem to keep their parts safely inside their zippers when they are away from their respective partner, be it a wife, a fiance or a girlfriend.  I will be looking at who I have been rooting fro lately and making certain that I remain loyal to the teams I want to endorse, not the ones that SF wants to endorse, unless it is a team that I already have selected.

Knitting on oldies has continued.  I will post about that Tuesday.  I also will have a double duty Temptations, since I just realized that I didn't post last week's.  And, yes, there are changes to the blog.  Tell me what you think....

Friday, June 11, 2010

Finished Stuff and More UFO's

This is my third Calais.  This one is made from ShiBui Sock Yarn and I love that too.  It is for Megan.

These are BMG's Footies made from Lorna's Laces sock yarn in the MSU colorway.  They took me three days to cast on and complete both of them.  Can you tell that I have this one memorized?

This jewel is now officially all knitted.  It will be soaked, blocked and assembled this weekend ot Monday at the latest.

This is the next mystery UFO that I will be posting about.  The only Clue is that is is made from Unger Fluffy as well.

These are the next two UFO's that I will be finishing.  One is called Red Robbin from the Kid's Knit book that the Ballerina was also from.  It is made with Unger Plantation in Blue and Oatmeal.  The second is a baby blanket that is made from Jamie baby yarn.  It is a total pain in the butt, as I chose to use moss stitch.  It I had more than one skein left to finish it I would probably frog it instead.  These two will get their own special post with more pictures next week.

Friday Fill-Ins #180

1. Sun on my skin feels great.
2. The solution is not always easy to find.
3. Curling up with the one I love always helps me to fall asleep.
4. How about Grasshopper Pie Ice Cream, just like Wal-Mart is advertising.
5. Grilled Ahi Tuna served medium rare with corn roasted on the grill and a salad is something I highly recommend!
6. Imagine that you can instead of why you can't.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to doing something spontaneous since our regular shows are on summer hiatus, tomorrow my plans include some yard work on the front flower beds and some knitting, depending on how SF feels and Sunday, I want to you know the answer.....swim!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Uncovering the Past

Well, yesterday I promised that I would be adding some of my older unfinished objects to the queue to finish.  I went out to the garage, where a year later some of my belongings still linger, to bring in a wicker picnic basket that must be almost thirty years old by now.  I know that it was purchased at the Garden Ridge Pottery location on Fry Road.  I remember purchasing it when we still lived in an apartment off Westchase and Westpark shortly before Stephanie was born.

I remember this because I was very pregnant and was only able to work half days, as Stephanie was in a huge hurry to get out and see the world and the doctor was afraid that my job as a teller would not keep her in the "oven" long enough to be ready to greet the awaiting public.  I vividly remember driving from the Galleria on I10 to Fry Road.  It seemed like it took days to get there and that was long before the Katy Freeway had a ton of lanes and much development to speak of.  I was not supposed to be shopping but I needed a few things before she popped out and I wanted this basket to keep my craft projects safe from little exploring babies..

I brought the basket in last night after I had carefully cleaned it off outside and made certain that there were no surprises inside.  Especially spiders, as I HATE them and would have screamed bloody murder if one had popped out.  This morning while I was waiting for the coffee to be ready and the "fog" to lift, I decided to take a peek inside to see what I had placed inside all these years ago and never ventured back to finish.  I was surprised and a bit sentimental, but then that is normal for me.  The irony of all this is that I can't figure out how the basket and it's contents survived five moves completely intact and I never once looked inside to see what it could possibly contain.  I just trusted that there were craft projects inside and kept moving it.  It moved from the apartment to the house on Vickery in Sugar Land.  It moved from Sugar Land to Vanwood in Houston.  It moved from Vanwood to Northrup, also in Houston.  It moved from Northrup to Rolido, my apartment in Houston.  And finally it moved from Rolido to Pearland.  All these years and three projects lie dormant.

I lifted the lid and the first thing I saw was All Sweaters in Every Gauge by Barbara Goldstein.  As was my custom, it was marked purchased August 07, 1985.  Below it was Kid's Knits by Lesley Anne Price.  Below that was Learn to Knit by Coats and Clark (Book Number 190-B).  This was my first "knitting" guide and it was a gift from my Aunt Pat.  It was purchased at TG&Y in Memphis the year before I graduated from High School on a visit to my grandparents' house.  I looked further still at the contents.  I saw a canvas bag that I had almost given up hope of every locating.  Don't laugh, I know that all of us have some item that we know we had but seemed to have misplaced.  Go ahead and admit it, you will feel better.

The bag was not really all that valuable, but it was one of a series that I had hand painted with fabric paints in the very late 80's.  I had made three.  One for Stephanie with Unicorns on it.  One for Megan with bunnies on it. And one for me with hearts and flowers on it.  I know that both girls still have theirs.  Stephanie uses it for quick shopping trips with Zoe.  Megan uses hers as a tote for work with her book, lunch and a camera always inside.  Mine had been MIA.  Carefully I pulled out the contents.  Was I in for a surprise.  Inside was One full skein of WonderArt Christmas Knitting Yarn and another skein attached to a crocheted work in progress.  Both skeins had been purchased from Woolworth in Meyerland for a whopping $1.19 per skein (plus applicable sale tax at that time).  Can all the Houston natives remember that one?  The sad part of this piece is that there are no notes.  It looks simple enough so I'm sure I can figure it out.  I believe that it was just a random pattern picked out of The Pattern Library Crochet.  Why do I think this?  For years there has been a random piece of paper on page 32 and the Parquet stitch looks to be the culprit of this project.  Looking at this book, I too am reminded of things long ago.  This was purchased at Coles on November 03, 1983, and the store price tag shows that they received it on September 01, 1983 and that I purchased it for $4.95 (plus applicable tax at that time).  Looks like a quick finish and it mat be one of the items I take to jury duty with me.

The next bag I pulled out is a plastic one that appears to have been on a curtain of some kind but for the life of me I can't recall what.  Inside was the most precious baby sweater.  It is pink with red hearts duplicate stitched across the entire yolk and the insets of the sleeves.  There are also matching booties that were finished.  The sweater was finished except for the buttons.  Inside the bag are two packages of 9/16" buttons.  They are the cutest red hearts.  Looks like I will be threading a needle and finishing this today.  I don't recall the pattern I used but I am certain that the yarn is Red Heart Baby Sport but I have no way to remember.  I do know that this was made for Megan.  Obviously I never finished it in time for her to wear.  As such, it will be finished, lovingly hand washed and blocked out to dry, and then carefully stored until she has a baby.

The last bag inside is a curtain bag from JC Penney that I vividly remember.  It is a Castlebridge II Panel bag ( W80 x L63) in Smoke Blue (No.22).  These were the panels that hung in the living room in the house in Sugar Land.  I paid $38.00 for the contents according to the still present price tag.  Inside I discovered two unused skeins of Unger Fluffy and one skein attached to the size 7 US needles.  I also discovered the the back and left side to the project.  I vividly remember this one.  It is the Ballerina from pages 84 and 85 of the Kid's Knit book.  The book was purchased January 12, 1985, so Stephanie was already born but I was not quite pregnant with Megan.  I am fairly confident that I was making this for Stephanie, as her dad was just certain that she would be the most famous ballerina in all the world and she had never even taken a class.  She was two when I started this and I was making the Size 6.  According to the size chart in the book, that equals what would be worn by a 4 to 5 year old.  Apparently I was giving myself plenty of time to get it finished and get her into ballet classes.  She did take dance classes from the time she was five and up until she was fifteen.  But at 5'11" she was never destined to be a famous ballerina and agreed that it had been her dad's dream not hers.  It appears that I have a little less than five inches to finish the right front and then make two sleeves before I can soak, block and assemble this one.  I also have notes that there is enough yarn to make the matching leg warmers.  Good news for me is that I can get this finished in time to allow Zoe to be able to enjoy it.

So, I will be able to quickly dispense of three unfinished projects and then forge ahead to the next container....I'm not sure if I even want to ponder that at this point.

There has been other knitting in progress and I will be taking pictures this week.  I will post about them, complete with pictures, before the week ends.

Temptations will follow later....back to work....

Monday, June 7, 2010


Yes, it is Monday here again at Chez RubyRingz.  The weekend did not turn out as I had expected but then again, that's life.  I had already spoken of the allergic reaction that SF had been stricken with.  She was self-medicating, as usual.  She was getting visibly worse instead of better.  The drip had rendered her voiceless and the cough was very deep in her chest.

After some heated discussion, she agreed to call the doctor on Thursday to get the next available appointment.  That was Friday at 1:00 PM.  The wonderful doctor prescribed a steroidal pack and an antibiotic in the penicillin family.  She also wrote up a lab request for blood work to be completed when she was all done with the meds.  She will have to fast so that they get the proper readings.  We dropped of the prescriptions to be filled and grabbed some lunch.  After we picked up the meds, we were done for the day.  She came home and took round one and camped on the couch with the remote control.

We watched sports.  The news was filled with the condition of John Wooden.  We watched the NCAA Softball World Series.  You already know that SF is a huge Lady Vols fan, so were were watching and hoping that they would make it all the way this year.  This was still not their year.  They lost Sunday and were eliminated.  Saturday was much like Friday.  We did run a few errands but nothing serious.  We had to get some much needed chemicals for the pool and some groceries.  We did watch the Preakness SF knows I love the Triple Crown).  Sunday we cleaned the pool and added the acid and then after showers watched more sports.

Actually, I sat in the living room with her, getting her what she needed, and knitting.  Friday I worked on Megan's Calais and finished it on Saturday.  Saturday I started her first BMG's Footie and finished it Sunday (all but the Kitchener part).  I also looked over the next projects in the queue and decided on moving some down in priority and adding a few surprises.  After reading The Knitting Doctor and her updates on her finished objects, I decided that is was high time that I put a plan of attack in place and stick to it.  I will be dragging them all out again, keeping my fingers and toes crossed that they will not cause an uproar or insight a riot.  I will then get them in order by what has the least of work needed to be completed to the most work needed.  I will also decide what needs to be frogged and most likely do those first.  All of this will be documented publicly so that I can make myself a lot more accountable.

I will also be adding these projects to Ravelry so that I can get them out of my head and into the correct forum.  Many of them are so old that their patterns will not be any place on the interwebz.  I will make clear notes of them should anyone have any interest in history lessons.  Quite a few of them are really timeless classics that were started as baby items and will be lovingly finished, blocked, and stored until the next wee one can wear them.

I will be foregoing the scheduled trip to the local Panera for the CLACK group meeting as SF has already sent me word that she is feeling poorly still and would like me to have dinner ready so she can go to bed early, as we stayed up until half-time of the Lakers versus Celtics game.  I am SO glad that the Celtics won this one.  Back to Boston!

Back to your regularly scheduled program.....

Friday, June 4, 2010

Friday Fill-Ins #179

1. My parents' house in Ohio is my favorite place to travel to.
2. When I think about my childhood, I often remember the house on Cottonwood with the elementary school smack dab in the middle of our block.
3. Honesty makes for a good friend.
4. The wind in the trees, the rain on my skin, these things make me feel alive.
5. Trying something new is so exciting!
6. My best friend knows more about me than I know about myself, or so it seems.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to finishing Megan's Calais, tomorrow my plans include The South East Patriot Guard motorcycle ride and Sunday, I want to you already know this one, I want to swim!

Have a great weekend everyone and remember to tell those you love how much you love them.  Just because you can and they need to hear it more often!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Thoughts on Thursday

First, I want to know how this holiday has escaped me all these years.  According to this article, there are specials in a shop near you.  Check it out and see.  You can bet I will be looking for the closest one and getting in on the fun!

As you may recall, I have been in a purging mode.  It has been good for the body, mind and soul.  Along the way, I have also been looking at all the yarns in my stash that are older than most of my readers.  Seriously folks, I have some yarn that was purchased at Lee Wards when it was in the Memorial City Mall around 1984.  I have it safely in Rubbermaid Roughtotes and the price tags are still on the skeins.  It was a decadent purchase at the time but I know I would never have purchased it today with all the finer quality yarns available in shops and online.  My how things have changed.

That set me to thinking about what these precious yarns may want to become.  I will admit, many are from companies that are no longer even alive today.  I have Unger, Good Shepherd, Nevada and Berger du Nord all carefully preserved.  I have been trolling Ravelry and eBay and I have been amazed at what I have been able to find.  I will be adding at least one new project to the queue as I finish up an existing one.  I have pulled out the old unfinished projects and have divided them into must finish, will finish and must unravel immediately and re-purpose the yarn for another project.  I will still be working with new fibers and I will be culling the Ravelry Queue to see if any of the older yarns are suitable matches for these modern patterns.  It will be a test of creativity and passion.  Just what this clean slate needs.

I have also decided to help Amy with her Warm Up Winchester Project.  I realize that there are most likely groups here in Pearland or in Houston that I could help; however, Amy is a dear friend and I feel that my passions to help should be with her to show her the support that she has shown me.  I will be making baby items at first, as I can take them any place and with motorcycle trips a big part of my weekends, they will be perfect.  I will also attempt hats at some point.  In all my years of knitting, I can honestly say that I have never made one, so I should cross this off my list of never done before.

The rain has continued most of today, which in part has added to this sense of needing to get things done.  I think my mom would say that I am nesting, only I am not pregnant.  That apartment was renovated years ago.... I would say it is part of my zodiac sign wanting to care and nurture.  Either way, I feel good about what I plan to accomplish both for myself and for those in need.

Back to your regularly scheduled program.....

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Tuesday Temptations

I promised temptations....in reality it will be a combo post of the LYS exploration and temptation.

So, last Thursday I had a few spare minutes and was in the Sugar Land area when I remembered that a new yarn store had opened off US59 at the Williams Trace exit.  Having lived in Sugar Land for fourteen years I knew that exit very well and I even knew the building that it should be in within the strip center area.  It is a huge retail area with a Home Depot and several other large chains and then there are sprout buildings along the perimeter.  They were tucked in the building right behind Jason's Deli.

I arrived around 10:45 AM (they open at 10:00 AM).  There was one other customer inside.  The store is spacious due to the layout.  The siting/knitting area is LARGE!  I love the way that they combined slate and wood with contemporary glass fixtures.  The yarns are displayed in a manner that makes it easy to access them and the assortment was wonderful.  I made a quick pass through the entire store to get my bearings and then started back at the front.  There were old favorites and a lot of new surprises.  Only one of the owners was in.  Jenn was charming and very laid back.  She told us stories of living overseas in a climate where you could actually enjoy Aran sweaters and real wool.  She also told us about some original hand-knits her mother had made that she recently uncovered and of a cardigan that she still can wear (at home only).  She also told us of items that she has made for her grand daughters.

I continued my exploration and I found this yummy yarn.  I am supposedly on a yarn diet while I am trying to whittle away my stash.  As much as I tried I could not avoid this one.  I know my fellow knitters will understand when I say that the feel of the yarn would not let me put it down.  Not having a pattern in mind, I only purchased two skeins of color 18 (Coral).  Not a color I would normally choose for myself but I couldn't resist.  Early yesterday I while trying to open my eyes and drink my first cup of coffee, I found this pattern on Ravelry.  So what did I do?  Since it was before 7:00 AM CST, I quickly sent Jenn a PM and asked if she still had two more skeins in the color and dye lot I had purchased.  I asked her to email, PM or call me.  Lo and behold I got a response later that morning telling me that she had put the requested skeins in back and they would be waiting for me to swing by for them.  Customer service that rocks!

I will get by there as soon as possible, due to the fact that I have already swatched and will be casting on as soon as I finish Megan's Calais and her BMG's Footies.  This will be for me and I want to wear it this summer!  I may even plan going when I can sit and knit there for a while.  Not that I can't or don't enjoy knitting at home with SF nearby.  Some times you just need to be with fellow knitters (or hookers as the case may be).

So, my LYS review and temptation all rolled into one spontaneous trip....

Swim Suits....

So, after the Great Slim Down I realized that the large size swim suits I owned no longer fit and made me look like a twig in a gunny sack (my mother's favorite saving).  My goal had been to get myself into a bikini, like this one.  I probably still could but I don't feel quite toned up enough for all of that middle area to be exposed to sun  and the public just yet....maybe by the end of the summer.

After a discussion with SF, she agreed that while I could "make do" with the suits that were two sizes to big, I would be unable to entertain guests in them or go to any pool parties in them.  Her suggestion.  "Let's head to Macy's for the Memorial Day Sale."  We did and I was quite upset at first.  It seems that the store had arranged the swimsuit area to showcase the itsy bitsy suits and had the ones with more fabric a little tucked away.  SF had her eyes on a rack (focus - rack of suits.....nothing else).  I wandered over and she asked me what I thought of a tankini.

That set me to try and answer her in a quick and concise manner.  I had avoided them in the past because I didn't care for the tops.  Many of them were designed for girls/ladies with firmer tops and middles and I didn't feel that they had enough support or tummy control.  She understood but pointed out that the ones she was looking at seemed to be made for more adult figures and I should possibly just try on a few.  Not having any valid reason to counter with I agreed.  I knew that I wanted something brown (makes my tan look better...or so I like to think).  We quickly selected the bottoms in brown and grabbed the three tops I liked the best.  I was quite pleased with all three tops; however, one was the most flattering.

I came home with this one.  The exact version as seen in the Dillard's on-line store.  For whatever reason, Macy's does not have this version on-line.  It still does not have the tummy control I would have really liked but I can live with that.  It is more about the fact that I like what I see even without the tummy control and without the normal underwire I usually demand.  With SF under the weather most of the long weekend I was only in it for two hours on Sunday and three on Monday.  It is comfortable and I don't feel as self-conscious as I thought that I would.  I'm even considering going back to Macy's to see if there are any more tops that I would consider wearing and getting a second suit.  I may have to go to the Memorial City Mall location of the Sugar Land location, as they are larger stores and might possibly have a bigger selection to choose from.  I saw this version at the Dillard's on-line store and would love it if Macy's happened to carry it as well.

Either way...I'll keep you posted.  Who knows, I may even work myself into that bikini if my self-esteem issues will get the hell out of the way....

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Thankfully, I was not meant to become a nurse or Florence Nightengail's clone....yes really!

First, I will warn you that this is a rant or sorts and I apologize in advance to any of my readers, stealth or otherwise, that smoke.  You will get no lectures from me, as you are all keenly aware of what this does to your health and do not need me to nag at you in spite of yourselves.

All that out of the way, I shall begin!  Months ago SF went to an allergist, as she was having issues that she could just not shake.  She had been afflicted by sniffles and a runny nose for over two months and nothing was helping.  She wasn't sleeping and that meant neither was I.  Two grumpy females under one roof is not a good thing, trust me on this.  Turns out, after all the tests, that she is HIGHLY allergic to two main things.  Thing one is cigarette smoke.  Thing two is cat dander.

Things two is a bit of an issue given the fact that I have two INDOOR cats.  We discussed our options and both agreed that NO pets should sleep in the bedroom.  We relocated the cats' beds to the front study and the dogs' bed to the living room.  After I cleaned the house from top to bottom (dusted, vacuumed, steam mopped and cleaned the wood floors) and the new meds kicked in, she was all better within an additional two weeks.  Things had been going just fine until this past Thursday.

SF had Thursday off (to much to explain regarding how her work schedule and holidays are taken) and while I was gone, she spent the better part of the day in the front room on both of the laptops (work and personal).  Neither of us thought much about it until Friday morning when she woke up with the start of sniffles.  After breakfast we realized that the cat room had not been cleaned as of yet, so she had spent the day with not only the cats' dander but all the dust and stuff deposited there for a week.  She got on the meds pronto.  By the end of the day she was sounding and feeling MUCH better.  I thought we were in the clear.  There will be a post about the LYS visit and Friday later today.

Wrong, try again.  Saturday we got up early (6:15 AM CST) to eat and get ready for our first MVP motorcycle ride.  There will be a post about that later today.  We ate, showered, dressed and went outside to wipe down and polish up the Blue Flame before we rode off into the morning heat.  Pearland/Houston was already almost in the 80's by the time we pulled out of the driveway at 8:15 AM CST.  And we do not ride the bike unless we have on blue jeans, proper riding boots, tee-shirts (NO TANK TOPS) and helmets.  Not really outfits that allow you to remain cool.  SF was feeling and sounding great when we left, so I was comfortable in feeling that we had dodged a bullet.

The ride itself was wonderful.  The group was a very diverse assortment of people and we were very well accepted into the "gang".  We arrived at the destination (Biker Bar) after about a two hour ride.  We had already checked out the location on the Internet, so we knew what we wanted to eat and ordered food and beers.  No lectures about adult beverages and motorcycles.  We always have one beer each and water the rest of the time.  And we are usually at the establishment for two hours eating and chatting.

The one fact that we did not know ahead of time was that the bar allowed smoking indoors due to the lovely Texas laws about a bar being the sole reason the place exists.  Serving food was a secondary feature, thus it was legal to smoke inside.  Both of us had forgotten how you smell after being in a room filled with smokers.  We reeked of it.  It was in our hair and our clothes.  When we got home, we showered again to get it off of our bodies and hair.  It was not enough.  Apparently she was still compromised from the cat hair on Thursday. By 6:00 PM CST Saturday evening she couldn't breath out of her nose and her throat was so sore.  She sounded as if she had been cheering all day and had lost her voice.  I felt awful about all of it.

I wish that there was a way that I could appeal to all the law makers in our state and urge them to stop smoking in all public establishments.  I am not allergic to it myself; however, I resent the fact that I am held hostage by the few that still do smoke because the manufactures of these dreadful products pay off their PAC members and donate GENEROUSLY to campaigns.  Thus making certain that they will be able to support the money machine on their platform.  It just plain SUCKS!  Not to mention the fact that I lost my grandfather (my mom's father) to emphysema and my father had two collapsed lungs (one from pipe tobacco and the second from Marlboro Reds).  It is a cruel thing that these things do to a body and I will not be in a relationship with anyone that smokes.  PERIOD!  It is too painful to watch what happens.

This now relates as to why I could never be a nurse.  I make an excellent mom, at least I like to think so myself, so I was able to convince her to rest and let me wait on her.  She is a proud one and is very head-strong.  I love and hate that at times.  However, I knew she didn't feel good when she offered no resistance and allowed me to wait on her and make her comfortable.  Even though that meant giving up on some of the activities that I had hoped we could do together over a four-day weekend.  I knew I was not cut out to be a nurse when she asked me what the color of her snot meant and she showed me.  EEEEEWWWWW.  I hated that as a parent and I hate it even more as a wife.  I did remember enough from the kids being small to know that it meant an infection was present.

We called the doctor's answering service to make certain that there were no special instructions.  We got the call back and he had none.  We got and kept her medicated, indoors but not under direct air currents (no ceiling fans) and hydrated.  Thankfully there was enough on Direct TV to keep her occupied. I did manage to knit in between waiting on her and doing some light household chores.

Okay, enough of the rant.  I have three other posts that will appear today as well.  One will be about the ride and the Biker Bar.  Another will be about the new LYS.  And the last one will be Temptations.....