Wednesday, September 28, 2022

We're Fine!

Stressed, yes. Brain-dead, yes. But on the "all roads are impassible from flooding" island, no we are not. We left yesterday* for a motel in the Miami area, me and Mom and Maggie, and here we sit for a few days, waiting for the water to go down and see how things stand. Like power in the building. And oh by the way, the motor in our air conditioner at home died yesterday, when can they get us a new one? Yeah, yesterday was A DAY.

*Just a simple drive that should have been about two hours being three and a half due to the traffic and the rain, which was godawful at times.

Can't manage much more than that tonight, but didn't want you to worry. We're fine.

"What is going on? Humph. I disapprove."

Monday, September 26, 2022

The Real Hurricane Prep

We are, of course, keeping a close eye on the track of hurricane Ian as it heads toward Florida; so far, we are out of the cone and not where landfall is expected, so hopefully we will just get a ton of wind and rain, nothing more. As long as that holds true, and we don't lose power, we're set to stay in place. (Being on the 6th floor, shutters closed, with no power meaning no water or plumbing or air conditioning or fridge/stove/microwave, well, we don't want to do that. But of course, we'd rather not pack up everything including the cat and hit the road, so cross fingers that we don't lose power!)

I went out on Saturday for some errands, not all of which were hurricane prep, though I did pick up more bottled water, and some extra cat food, that kind of thing. But even more important was the stop that brought me this:

Hello, Norman Love chocolate!
I recently found a gift card I didn't know I had, that had gotten put in the wrong place, and of course once I knew it was there, it had to be used! I haven't tried all of these yet, though I have had some delicious experiences so far.

This one was messy to eat, but so tasty:

And of course I got a few different caramel things that have all been so good. Surprisingly, though, my favorite so far was this:
Just a macaroon, you think? With a little chocolate on the bottom? Well, yes, but it was absolutely perfect. Crisp but not hard, chewy, not at all soggy, absolutely delicious.

But the caramels are also making me very happy. 

Cross your fingers for us as Ian goes by.

Sunday, September 25, 2022

More Maggie

Time to celebrate my pretty girl! No occasion: just, isn't she cute?

Even when she is demanding my attention by lying down on my knitting, I still think she's cute (good thing for her that I do).
"You hand makes a good pillow. Don't move."
And of course the classic "I am snubbing you, do you notice?" pose.
Using my hand as a pillow again.
Pausing mid-bath when she heard something behind her.
And pointing out that instead of watching the hockey game, I could be focusing on her. "It's just a preseason game, Mom, it doesn't mean anything." It sure was fun to have the Bruins on TV live, though!
Sprawled out and considering her next moves.

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Bear With Me: I Know This Sounds Weird

Because I'm writing about deodorant.

I know! That sound I just heard was people shaking their head and closing my blog. But bear with me!

In August, I was reading Jennifer Murch's blog when she mentioned that her son and daughter-in-law told her about this salt stick deodorant that really, really works for, ahem, odor. 

This is, I will candidly admit, something I have noticed in myself. I also have virtually no tolerance for overly scented deodorants. Not in an allergic-reaction kind of way, but if I lift my arm to reach for something and smell a wave of lavender or baby powder or mango, it makes me gag. Who wants their armpits to smell like ginger and white tea? I'd almost rather smell the sweatiness.

But with this crystal stick, there's no odor from the stick itself, and it seems to prevent natural odor from building up. It's so weird! It looks like nothing, it feels like nothing, and yet, somehow ... no stink.

This has been a public service announcement.

Monday, September 19, 2022


You know I love to have things to look forward to, so I'm happy to say that I have plans! I'm going up to Boston at the end of October, just a quick weekend trip for a welcome-back party for a friend whose government job has had her working in DC, Uganda, Italy, and Canada in recent years, but who can finally get back to Massachusetts and be near her family again.

Our mutual friend told me about when the party was going to be, in hopes that I could get up there for it, and I'm happy to say that JetBlue had fares that used up less than half of the points I have stored up with them. That's my second trip this year that I'm only paying taxes on, nice! It makes the "I really don't like flying these days" a bit less painful than it would be if accompanied by sticker shock (what my brother is paying to get here for Christmas is criminal).

Now, the end of October is right at my limit of when I will travel to the frozen north--my blood thinned the day I moved to Florida, basically--and I'm sitting here thinking, "Long sleeves! Sweaters, sweatshirts, layers. Jacket, and what about long underwear? Gloves and a scarf. No tank tops or capris: I'll need jeans and socks and closed shoes." It's so weird to think about! We haven't been able to turn the air conditioning off here yet, the temps are still in the 80s, feels-like 90s and humid. This is going to be a shock. Expect to hear much more whining about it as time goes on.

The next thing I started to think about was knitting. Will I have my mojo back? I've been working away on my cousin's shawl, but it's already too big and awkward to be travel knitting, and will only be more so by the time I leave. So, just socks? Or something else? I guess we'll see.

Let's end on a Maggie note.

I call this, "Surely you don't need to get up."

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Cat, Relaxed

Maggie was racing around like her tail was on fire, then acted casual while I was eating my lunch.

"Who, me? That must have been some other cat."

Monday, September 12, 2022

Playing the Game

All day yesterday, the day after two-shot day, I played the game, Result or Coincidence? 

  • Left arm/shoulder very sore, with swollen lymph nodes under the arm? Result of the vaccine.
  • Mild headache? Probably coincidence.
  • Exhausted by the exertion of showering? Result.
  • Right forearm a little tender? Probably coincidence.
  • As of today, swollen lymph nodes at the left side of the neck, near the collarbone? Definitely result. And also apparently nothing to worry about. Fun* word: lymphadenopathy.

Such a fun* game! Yeah, yesterday was pretty much a write-off. Sitting up for an hour at my desk, watching a livestream and knitting, left me huddled limply on the couch, not doing anything. Later, I gathered enough energy to read! Woo!

*Sarcasm alert: not fun

It's still better than getting covid.

I was pleased that I was able to sleep close to normally despite the arm thing. I turn over all night long, sleeping first on one side then the other, so I was nervous about that. But aside from some ouching, and pulling a second pillow close to rest my left arm on when lying on my right side, it was pretty much business as usual.

But yeah. Tired and achy and cranky. Not as bad as yesterday. Hopefully will be better tomorrow. More better. Betterer.

Saturday, September 10, 2022

Double Shot

This morning, Mom and I went to a local grocery store's pharmacy and got our shots: the new bivalent Covid vaccine and the regular annual flu shot. I love to think about the protection building in my body! Come on, antibodies, do your thing. Keep us strong.

We chose the store we did because they were offering $10 in store credit to get your flu shot there, and another $10 if you got a second vaccine the same day. So not only did we get the shots we wanted, we came out of it with $40 in free groceries! Not a bad deal at all.

So far, I'm not having any reaction other than slight soreness, though funnily enough it was in one arm at first, then that one seems to have gotten better but the other is a little sore. A small price to pay, to be sure, though it could make sleeping interesting tonight, as I am normally a side sleeper who turns over all night, so I could be doing some ouching. But that's okay. Worth it.

Other news? Not so much. I've read some good books:

I've kept on knitting, the usual sock:
And that shawl:
It's still hot here, temps getting up to about 90 and the feels-like often over 100. I've been doing water aerobics, but also sometimes just getting in the pool to float around. It's very pretty.

One day, I had a friend in the pool keeping me company:

Mister lizard.
I think the little guys are cute (it helps that they leap away instead of at you, and they range from small to tiny). Mind you, another day I saw this guy out the window and jumped.
Much bigger! Also more green.
Dude, what are you doing on the sixth floor?

Speaking of hot, I am so glad to be here, being hot, instead of up north. I miss my friends there, a lot, but I do not miss temps going down into the 50s already. Give me the air conditioning. I bought a couple of new sleeveless shirts recently, and I'm wearing them. 

Fun fact: when you're searching a rack of mixed-sleeve-length shirts, and think you see a sleeveless one because you see the end of the hangar, it's often one of those cold-shoulder-look ones instead, and has sleeves dangling down. Ask me how I know.

The elevator work was supposedly/maybe/perhaps finished this week. It was supposed to be done last week, but oh guess what not so fast, the panel "didn't fit" and it meant another few days this week. Now we have the new panel we supposedly needed, and maybe it's done. I'm afraid to believe it, though; it seems to me that someone once mentioned the floor getting redone, and that looks the same as ever, so maybe that's still happening. I hope not. It's fine. Leave it alone. I don't ever want to climb the stairs again, and my knees second that.

Another building change is to the broadband, i.e., TV and internet and phone. They were here in May, running new "fiber" into the walls.

And this week, the person came to hook us up to the new, fancy stuff. Which is working, but of course there are caveats:
  • He set up the new wifi network (if you come over, look for the network named goBruins), but left the old one because something-something about the box being in my room meant that my mother's phone and hardwired computer being in her room was a thing? I don't see why, but okay, it's all working for now. We may see someone come to do something about that. Whatever.
  • He couldn't transfer over all the saved programs from our old cable box to the new system, which wasn't a surprise but sucks; we had a lot of good hockey games saved on that to get us through off-season. I've already started recording again.
  • More crucially, though, the new channel lineup for the new service does not offer us NESN anymore. May I say frankly, goddamnit! We couldn't watch the live games on it, we subscribe to Center Ice for that, but CI doesn't always show the Bruins side of the broadcast, and with NESN we could record the rebroadcast of good games and watch them later.
    • On the previous type of service, it was in a package of a dozen sports networks, none of the others of which I could name because who cares, they're not showing me Bruins programming. But on this fancy, higher-level, so-called improved service, they don't offer it at all. I'm pissed. I sent them a message asking how to request they add it, which probably won't do anything, but it made me feel better.
On to happier thoughts. Like the interesting clouds one night recently:

And how about finishing up with some Maggie?

Monday, August 29, 2022

Rolling with the Lack of Mojo

I wrote last week about how I wasn't feeling the usual urge to knit (and then of course I whacked my hand hard enough to not feel able to knit for a few days there). But late last week, thinking about it, I decided that if I wasn't eager to knit anything in particular, there was one thing I might as well turn my attention to.

A couple of months ago, my cousin asked me if I would be willing to knit her a particular shawl. I looked at the pattern, which was for sale on etsy but not listed in Ravelry, and decided that it was within my capabilities, and according to my adopted knitting mantra ("Knitting is like sex: if I love you, it's free, and if not, you can't pay me enough"), that would be a yes. At least, a conditional yes: I couldn't do it to a deadline, I told her, and since the yarn the pattern used is discontinued (because of course it is), I would do my best to find similar, but it might not be identical.

The pattern is a little ... how shall I put this ... light on certain details. It actually provides a link to Ravelry stashes for the yarn, which is nice, but all she says is that she used "blue" and "gray" yarn. In the pattern photos, though,  the blue at least is clearly more than one shade of blue, and in that Rav link, even accounting for variations in people's cameras and lighting, are a variety of colorways in the blue family but clearly not all the same. It's not easy to reverse-engineer, is what I'm saying.

I tried Michaels on Saturday, since that's nearest to me, but they had nothing even close. I was surprised how little yarn they had, actually, at least at that particular store. I had a bunch of other errands to do, so I didn't go farther afield, but on Sunday, I trekked up to Joann's, which had much more yarn, and found something that, although not quite as boucle as the Sensations Rainbow, should look pretty similar to what the pattern used, I hope. 

I cast on last night, and it felt nicely normal to be knitting again (after close to a week without doing it!). It's not exciting, but it looks like it will be satisfying knitting, at least. I'll take that as a win.

Friday, August 26, 2022

What. A. Week.

This was an irritating week. Nothing catastrophic, for which I am truly grateful. But so many small-to-medium annoyances. There was a lot of deep breathing and pep talks to "just get through this minute, this hour, this day" for me this week.

  • Mom's had a health thing this week: after feeling fine on Monday, she woke up very dizzy on Tuesday. The doctor prescribed something for vertigo, which as she keeps saying, is nothing she has ever experienced! Well, here you are, Mom. It does seem to be helping somewhat, but she's not her usual self. So aside from the concern I feel, since we usually split household stuff, there's been more of it on my shoulders than usual this week--which, mind you, is one of the reasons I moved down here, to be here when needed. But there's no denying it's work.
  • And I have a job. Which was quiet at the beginning of the week, but on Wednesday I got one of those awful reports out of the India office that just depresses me no end to work on. They are so bad. So bad. It's just dispiriting to work on these for a week.
  • Dad's birthday was Wednesday. He would have been 93.
  • My hand hurt quite a bit on Tuesday and Wednesday, which made everything just slightly more complicated. Even the left hand gets used for so much! Carrying things from one place to another, lifting things in and out of the fridge or microwave, driving. Not as bad on Thursday, and today also not too bad, so I'm not worried about it. But it's periodically annoying. 
    • And no, it never did look as dramatic as it felt, which continues to annoy me. No swelling, no bruising? But it hurts!
  • Because of my hand, I didn't want to do aqua fit earlier this week, so on Tuesday I went for a walk around the block (two blocks, really, it's just over a mile) instead. I did this again on Thursday, and in addition to the usual sore back-hips-knees, I rubbed a spot on my foot sore. Sigh. Exercise. Never feel good in any way after that, but I don't always need a bandage.
    • I did do half an hour of water-aerobics moves in our pool this morning, holding back on the left hand/arm when I could feel it. It doesn't seem to have made anything worse (other than the tired-and-sore I always feel after exercising).
  • We learned that the elevator is going to be out again next week, Tuesday through Friday: "Expect outages to occur during most of that time," and please plan accordingly--plan to be on the 6th floor with no working elevator for four days, sure, no problem at all. This fucking elevator. 
    • In the past, Mom and I have fantasized about what we'd do if we won big in the lottery, and sometimes it was buying the unit next door to combine with this one, or getting the penthouse. This year, for the first time, the fantasy considered finding a building with similar amenities to this one, like the gulf view, but with two elevators. It's been a rough year for the elevator. We are so over it.
    • Anyone want to place bets on whether it will actually be done next Friday, versus being out that weekend? Or maybe not, that's a depressing thought.

I believe that completes our current venting! Whew. Hope your week was better than this, but feel free to vent about it here.

Tuesday, August 23, 2022


I have often described myself as uncoordinated, or as really, really uncoordinated. I'm a klutz. This is just a fact. But based on something I did yesterday, I've decided that instead of describing the categories as coordinated and uncoordinated, there needs to be another level: anti-coordinated.

Yesterday, I refilled my water glass and headed back out to the lanai. Moving at a normal pace, around furniture that has been in place for the four-plus years I've lived here, I somehow managed to absolutely wallop my hand into the corner of this:

I somehow managed to hit that corner directly between my first and middle fingers, and HARD. Somehow, I kept on walking and didn't drop my water (on autopilot, I guess?), though I did immediately start crying from the pain. Wow. Couldn't have done that if I had been trying to, right?

So I have spent the time since studying my hand looking for evidence, and finding remarkably little so far. I would think, is that swollen? And then look at the other hand, and no, it's just how my hands look (apparently I don't look closely at my hands that often). I just feel that if something hurts this much, it should show. All I have is two small red spots between the two fingers, as though I got bitten by a teeny tiny vampire. And yet here I am, resting up and icing my hand after such strenuous tasks as washing my hands.


Sunday, August 21, 2022

Misplaced Mojo; Other Fun

I had lunch with a knitting friend yesterday and it turns out we're both in a bit of a lull, knitting-wise. I finished the little rainbow shawl a few weeks ago, got back to the Circle of Friends, picked up Close to You, worked on the latest sock, and eh. Just not feeling a thrill for any of it, yet not really feeling startitis either. I still want to make the Electric Slide Wrap with the yarn I got, but, I don't know. Not now.

I want to be excited to knit something, but... I don't know. Knitting blahs. It happens. It will pass.

It was very fun to have lunch with my friend, and we agreed that we need to do so more often. Most of this group goes north in the summer, so those of us who don't shouldn't wait until everyone else is here. Also, she is in a charity knitting group, so she came here after lunch and took half of the yarn I was looking to rehome, which is great for everyone involved. Leaving this, which someone else is going to come get next month.

And on Friday I also had fun: I took a vacation day to go with friends to a flea market and have lunch. It was fun! A lot of the booths were closed, it being off-season, and even with periodic pipes of air conditioning, it was hot, but it was fun.

I really, really want this. 

Anyone have $1400 to spare? I don't really have room, but I'd find room.

This was one of the closed ones. I'm really curious what the booth would look like.

And lots of fun yard things.

I should take Fridays off more often; it was so nice to have the day off and then get the weekend! Long weekends are so civilized. And it was a beautiful day: