Sunday, February 01, 2015

Taxes, Snow, Greenhouse: Down, Down, Up

I started to work on my taxes today, but I hit a double-pronged snag in the state taxes. Massachusetts requires health care coverage, and you're supposed to get a form from your insurer that proves you were covered. I actually got something from my old insurance (through the last job), but it turns out that it's a certificate, not the form I need. And I didn't get anything from the new insurance. So the taxes go on hold until I can get those stupid 1099-HC forms. (I tried to call the old insurance today, on the off-chance they had people working Sundays, and went through all the damned voice-recognition layers to get to a person, only to get the "no, no one's here now" message suggesting that I call back during "normal business hours" without specifying what those hours are. Oh, United Healthcare Oxford, how you suck. I am so glad you are not my insurance any more, and this should be my last interaction with you.)

Oh, and also we're getting another foot of snow tomorrow.

So! Time to think of happier things!

First thing: finished knitting! It turns out that a few snow days adds to the available knitting time, isn't that funny? I finished the hat Friday night (meaning it took 8 days), and decided to wear it yesterday since it was so cold out. I made the hat slightly longer than the pattern said (it said 6.5 inches and then start the decreases, and I did 7), but I still found that it rode up a little as I was wearing it, exposing my earlobes anyway. I'm hoping that washing it will stretch it out a bit; if not, I'll make another one, longer (one of the friends I saw yesterday volunteered to take this one if I decide to replace it). I washed it last night, and came up with a drying station of kitchen objects:
The classic "bowl on top of tall glass" look. Which resulted in this, one side out:
And the other:
It didn't actually make the hat mushroom-shaped, though (fortunately).
It seems to me that it is a little longer, but I'll have to wear it outside and see how it rides. It is nice and warm, being layered, so I'm happy with that. And soft! The blue and green yarns are alpaca/silk that I got at Rhinebeck in 2010; the beige is Trendsetter Merino, found cheap at Tuesday Morning in 2012, for stability (wool has more structure than alpaca or silk). The pattern I used is Doubleknitski, and I cast on 144 stitches, since when I tried this a few years ago, the 162 stitches called for was much too big for my not-small head (maybe they're anticipating more hair than I have). This one is snug but not tight, a good fit. Gives me major hat-head, but the warmth is worth it.

Now, you may ask, why was I going out if it was so cold? Well, I'd had plans with friends for some time, at least in the sense that we had the day marked on our calendars, but last week we were still deciding what to do (inside, not out). Being that it's so cold and snowy and everything, I suggested that they might enjoy joining my annual pilgrimage to the greenhouse, and they were on board for that.

We actually went first (or three of us did) to have lunch in Wellesley Center, at a place called Cafe Mangal, and it was delicious. I had a chicken, tomato, mozzarella, pesto sandwich, so fresh and good, and it came with a small, very lightly dressed salad that was just the thing when looking out at snowbanks. Highly recommend. After lunch, we drove on to the greenhouse, meeting the other friend there, and wandered through the warmth and color, smiling.
Even the greens were appealing.
Especially when you could look out and see this.
Yes, it was a very nice time. Afterward, we had a little tea break at the Dorset Cafe in Wellesley Hills, which was charming despite the annoyances of their website, just saying. Delicious hot chocolate! And then it was time to move on to our separate plans (mine involved stocking up on cat food, and a quick visit to Target for other snowbound supplies), and I was home in plenty of time to watch the Bruins win their game (in a collapsed posture on the couch, I was surprisingly tired for such a not-that-strenuous day).

Good memories, and today there's sun to look out at, but I'm finding the prospect of more snow disheartening. I already got the call that the office is closed tomorrow, and given the forecast for Tuesday morning (when it's not supposed to be snowing, but the wind chills will be in the negative teens), I'm not sure how Tuesday will go. But sufficient unto the day is the weather misery thereof. Right?


Anonymous Michelle said...

These pictures are gorgeous!!

7:12 PM, February 01, 2015  
Blogger Leslie said...

As usual, your photos had me smiling. Thank you.

4:23 PM, February 02, 2015  
Blogger Mary Ellen said...

We'll have to take a trip to the greenhouse together sometime, I've never been! (And I suspect you wouldn't mind a repeat trip, right?)

8:51 PM, February 02, 2015  
Blogger goosefairy said...

Oh I like the hat! Nicely done.

2:19 PM, February 05, 2015  

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