Sunday, July 30, 2023

A Reading Interlude

I imagine that I read about No Two Persons by Erica Bauermeister on a blog, but of course I don't remember whose, so I don't know who to thank (was it you? thank you!). 

I got it from the library and really enjoyed it, both the story (how many different people are affected by a book), but also the language and the author's way of putting things.

Grief really is a stowaway, isn't it? You think you can escape, but it comes with you.

I checked the library to see what else they had by her, and was interested that she also has written non-fiction. I know of a few authors who have done both, and oddly enough I usually prefer one more than the other. 

So I got House Lessons: Renovating a Life out, and enjoyed it as well (and no, I can't decide if I liked the style of one more than the other). 

She has such interesting analogies, doesn't she?

Saturday, July 29, 2023


This is a topic that might be a bit TMI for some, so feel free to nope out and come back next time, no hard feelings, but did you know that the sweat your body produces when stressed is different from the sweat that heat brings? I did not know this! But I googled it because, honestly, I have been much stinkier recently, and I remember that the same thing happened in December, when Mom was having her second shoulder surgery and I again had a lot on my plate.

According to the International Hyperhidrosis Society, they are actually caused by different glands:

The sweat your body produces when you’re feeling stressed or nervous is actually smellier than the sweat produced when you’re working outside or exercising. That’s because stress elicits a different kind of sweat than heat and exertion do.

So it's a little gross, but also kind of fascinating! I mean, it isn't just my imagination!

They suggest using an antiperspirant with a deodorant (I usually use one that is just the latter, and I thought it had suddenly stopped working), so I got one and I'm going to try that.

Human bodies are so weird.

Friday, July 28, 2023

One! Thing! Settled!

I mentioned the other day that the low tire pressure warning came on in my car*, so we've been using Mom's instead. And while I am super grateful that we had it as an option, I really don't like driving her car, which is, as a 2011, far less up to date on safety features than my 2019. 

*And when I looked at the tire the next day, it was obviously flatter, so not a small problem.

No one tells you that when you get a newer car, you will forget how to drive without a backup camera (how am I supposed to see what's behind me?) or smart cruise control (why isn't it slowing me down when the car in front of me slows down?), and that doesn't even get into that you really want your seat-cooling option in a hot Florida summer.


So. Today, with no appointments to drive to, and with plans to go into town tomorrow and Monday, was an ideal day to tackle this. Which, as the title above implies, did get done, but not without a few snags.

  • My mother mentioned that I could call "the guy" that she used recently when she had a flat, who was referred by our wonderful mechanic. Since I have had AAA for years, I was going to go with them, but I pulled out my card this morning and my membership had expired. How did I not renew it? I have no idea. At a guess, the envelope got put in the wrong place, and has been hiding, you know, for two months somewhere. I really can't put "figure that out" on today's list, so after a perfunctory look for it, I moved on.
  • I decided that I would call the mechanic and ask him if he could look at it this afternoon, once I had the guy come and put air in it, but when I called the mechanic, they're closed this week for vacation. Sigh.
  • However! I decided to call the guy anyway, and he came right over, yay, and immediately said, "Oh, you have a screw in your tire."

Well, I'll be damned, I sure do. He plugged it and filled the tire, checked the other tires and added a little air to them, and left a very happy customer behind.

So, lay it on me, your best "you must have a screw loose" or "time to stop screwing around" comments! And I will raise my Coke to you, at the end of this tremendous week, if my 'tremendous' you understand I mean "somehow more stressful than last week, when I was calling 911 to take my mother to the hospital."*

*She was dehydrated, basically.

Thursday, July 27, 2023

Quasi Progress

One of the things we have learned during this health experience is that my mother's new primary care doctor is wonderful (he came highly recommended by a friend, but she had only seen him once before, so it was still a bit uncertain). When you call the office, a person answers! No machine, no press-one-for-this-or-two-for-that, but a real, live, pleasant person who seems to want to help!

Due to the nature of what's going on with her, he referred her to a pain management doctor for treatment. Mom called that doctor's office Wednesday morning and was told that she needed to complete the new-patient forms before getting an appointment. They emailed the forms to me, and I filled them out (all 14 pages), and went to the UPS Store to fax them back to the office (ye gods), then went home and called. They said they hadn't received it yet, but would call when they did.

This morning I called and said Well? (Very politely.) And after almost 5 minutes of searching, she was able to find both the form I sent in, and the referral info from the PCP. 

So, she says, his next available appointment is August 15th.

August 15th! She should be in this pain for almost three more weeks!

I called her primary's office, and the nice woman said she would call them* and see what she could do. A while later, they called me back and asked if we could come in today. Yes please!

*She also called me back later, to make sure they got back to me. So nice.

So Mom* saw him, we have a plan of attack, we have some hope, but she's still in pain for now, if anyone wants to keep those prayers going. Thank you.

*I had this as "she saw him" but I realize there are a lot of "she" uses in this. 

Tuesday, July 25, 2023

Piling On

The universe seems to feel that I don’t have enough on my plate right now (ha ha OH MY GOD I DO THOUGH), and has thrown a few more things at me.

  • We got in my car this afternoon to take Mom into town for some tests, and my car immediately gave a low tire pressure warning. We went back and switched to Mom’s car, which I am thankful we had the option of, but I am more comfortable driving mine and it wasn’t much fun to change it up. And now I have to take my car in and see if adding air to the tire(s) fixes the problem or, you know, it doesn’t.
  • We got home and I went to feed Maggie first thing. She ate with enthusiasm, then threw up. So add cleaning that up to the list.
  • Mom does condo checks for half the building during the summer, so I had to take care of those before I could sit down with dinner.
  • Before I finished eating, Maggie threw up some more.
  • We have an Unidentified Smell in the kitchen that I haven’t been able to track down. Finding that is going to have to happen soon, it is very unpleasant.

I am so freaking tired.

The tests, by the way, will hopefully confirm what the doctor thinks the problem is, and we could move to the next stage, treating it. Fingers crossed. In the meantime, she’s doing better with the pain meds he gave her, so there’s that, at least.

Sunday, July 23, 2023

We're Okay, Mostly

Hey, I'm still here and all, but Mom's been under the weather recently, so I've been a bit all over the place, so to speak. More concern than worry at the moment, but anyway, it's keeping me busy.

And tired. Stress is amazingly tiring. Excuse me while I get ready for bed now.

Wednesday, July 19, 2023

Two Sleeves and More Yarn!

I am very excited to say that I finished the second sleeve of the sweater! Look at that, two cuffs!

On a Zoom Monday night, I went back to working on the body, and wow, did it ever feel weird to be going back and forth on the long, long rows instead of turning and turning and turning and turning the sleeves. Better, mind you, but weird. I worked on the body for two months (late March to late May), which used half the yarn, but then the sleeves took me close to two more months, which seems crazy. Part of that was technique slowdown, though, as I did magic loop at first but disliked it, then got flexi-flip needles, which were better, but all the turning made progress feel soooo sloooow.


And then, more yarn. Last week, Blue Barn Fiber announced a pre-moving sale to clear out inventory, and I picked up the two skeins on the left. 
They are soft and lovely.

And as long as I was there, I couldn't resist getting a skein of her LGBTQ Pride colorway; I had been hoping for it on a base with cashmere in it (because of course I was), but this is on Squishy Sock, 85/15 sw merino/nylon, and it is lovely and soft.

It's an assigned pooling colorway, so I unwound it to see its full glory:
That is going to be fun to knit up! I'm thinking maybe the Cuddle Puddle Wrap pattern (Ravelry link), as I quite like the way this project (also a Ravelry link) looks. 

But it will have to wait its turn.

Sunday, July 16, 2023

A Few Randoms

One of These Things Is Not Like the Other

Mom and I went to a screening of the Path of the Panther, which was very well done, some sadness and some hope. The end credits played with the Bing Crosby version of Don’t Fence Me In, which fit quite well. 

Then we stopped at Trader Joe's for a few things, and the sound system was playing Shania Twain's That Don’t Impress Me Much

The two combined for a very interesting earworm for the next hour or two (and again now, writing about it).

Oh, give me land, lots of land under starry skies above
But that won't keep me warm in the middle of the night
I can't look at hobbles and I can't stand fences
So you got the brain but have you got the touch

Life with Maggie

Having just eaten, Maggie considers her next move.

I suggest she might want to go back under the blanket on my bed, where she has spent most of the day, but she refuses to even come into the room.

I sit down on the couch in the living room, with a blanket on my lap, in case that's what she wants.

She sits on the floor next to me: no lap.

Eventually I get up and follow her to where she informs me that she must have more food. I put some food in the bowl, which she refuses to come near.

Then she jumps up on the bed and waits impatiently for me to lift the blanket up, so she can go under.


But Will It?

I'm waiting for a package, and they're estimating delivery tomorrow. But it was last scanned by the USPS on Wednesday in Spokane, Washington, and though it says it's in transit, I would expect to see it somewhere in Florida the day before it gets to my door. Well, perhaps they will surprise me. 

It's not like I don't have something lovely to look at in the meantime.

Saturday, July 15, 2023

At Last!

I am definitely going to think twice, and maybe three or four times, before placing a preorder for a yarn again, as I am temperamentally unsuited to waiting that long for my yarn to come. However, this yarn was worth the wait and I am delighted with it!

Yarn from the Blue Brick in Canada, called Huron, and 70/20/10 superwash merino/cashmere/nylon.

I still plan to finish the sweater next*, but after that, all the other projects sitting waiting for me will have to wait a bit longer!

*And that gives me time to pick a pattern that will really show this gradient off, in all its glory.

Wednesday, July 12, 2023

The End (of the second sleeve) Is in Sight!

I feel as though I've been working on the sleeves of the sweater for such a long time, but tonight I held up the second one to the first, and look! Almost done!

After that, I'll take the remaining yarn and make the body longer. Yay!

Thursday, July 06, 2023

What the What? Jobs Edition

In order to activate a replacement credit card online, they wanted me to choose my occupation to authenticate myself. The available choices blew my mind. Cast your eyes over these:

ATM owner seems very specific. Arms dealer? Foreign consulate?
I don't own a gas station or a liquor store. I'm not a dealer in gems or metal. I don't own a parking lot or a garage!
Vending machine operator??

Now, I wasn't expecting "medical editor" to be listed, although that's what my company calls my position. "Editor" would have been perfectly fine, but really all I was looking for was some kind of office-type job listing. Do you see one? I don't.

I guess I could have selected "Other/not listed," but I called to activate the card instead. Good grief.

Wednesday, July 05, 2023


I've noticed recently that I need a bit more yarn storage, as my sport and DK weights are very stuffed into two squares of Ikea blocks each:

My yarn runneth over.

On Facebook Marketplace, I found someone local selling a small shelving thing, which turned out to be a bit smaller than I was thinking it would be, but still very much useful size, and worth the $35 to me.

It fit neatly under the window in the living room--my mother has said that she likes looking at yarn, so I don't have to worry about keeping it out of the shared spaces (fortunately for me).

I decided to spread out the sport-weight into the new one, thus.

So much better: it has room to breathe!

And the DK then could spread out, too.

So much better! And room to grow, ahem.

Since the fingering-weight yarn was re-sorted, I'm really in a pretty good place right now, yarn-org-wise. I may tweak things, but this is good. Very satisfying.

Every time I do anything like this with my yarn, I am reminded of how much lovely yarn I have, which is also fun. (She says, waiting for a yarn order to ship.)

Monday, July 03, 2023

Happy 4th

Happy Independence Day to the Americans in the crowd!

We were talking about it in the work chat, which led me to look for video of the Boston Pops versions (since I imprinted on "how Boston does the 4th" like a duckling as a kid), and I fell down the rabbit hole a bit. Here you go:

I like that version, with the choral singers (if that's the right way to describe them) and how they got an angle of the cannons being set off where you can see the fireworks in the background (when the smoke isn't covering them).

There's also this version of the finale from 2019:

There are plenty of choices, of course, including the full 1812 Overture, and even the one from the bicentennial, conducted by Arthur Fiedler!