Thursday, September 27, 2007

I promised more stories about my weekend in Ft Lauderdale, so I'll take time to backtrack from my current day-to-day and recall them.

After I left the Holiday Inn Express (you know, you get a lot of services there that other place charge for, like free local calls and free breakfast) I headed down to Miami Lakes and Don Shula's Hotel and Golf Club. My husband found a weekend package there for me: two nights lodging, three rounds of golf, $50 voucher for Shula's Steak House and $20 voucher for Shula's2 all for about $260. I just had to pay the cart fees for golf. I booked the package anyway after I found out the course was closed on Mondays in September for maintenance which meant only two rounds of golf.

My first round of golf was pleasant. I played by myself, which I like, no one to get exasperated with my game. The front nine was nice, the back nine was wet and soggy, had to keep the cart on the path. The course was more difficult than my "home course" so my scores were higher than at home. I saw lots of critters, even iguanas. Did you know they swim?

Then I checked into my room and got the day's humid golf game off my body. Next stop: cash in my $50 voucher for dinner.

Pros and cons of printing your menu on a football: it's fun and different for sure, but what about storage? a whole pile of footballs take a lot more space than the flat folder kind of menu. The walls around the entrance to the restaurant are lined with plaques listing members of the 48oz club, those hungry folks consuming 3 pounds of steak in one sitting. Current price: $85. yikes. I opted for the petite filet, only 8oz. Only $35. Good steak. Very beautiful space, dark woods and fireplace but the walls are lined with pictures of football. I guess I'd be more enthralled if I knew who Don Shula is.

Sunday I woke up to more rain, ate breakfast with my $20 voucher, and it finally cleared up enough to play my second round of golf around 2:00, again by myself. This time I played the front 9 twice. If you take all my best scores from the front it's a 56, but in reality they were 64, 64, & 62 (and another 62 from the back 9 on Saturday.)

If I'm going to travel a lot with golf clubs, I need a travel cover with wheels, those dern things are heavy! I got checked in to the airport without any problems, found my gate and settled in. After a while I got thirsty, asked a fellow passenger to keep an eye on my bag and headed off for a bottle of water. When I came back there was a young guy sitting in the seat next to mine. I plopped back in my seat and resumed my knitting.
"Do you sew much?" This is knitting, you moron.
"Yes, I'm making a sweater."
"What's it gonna look like?"
I pull out the pattern and show him.
The conversation goes on for a while. He's probably under 30, wears his cap backwards and never takes his sunglasses off even though it's dark out. I didn't look for heavy gold chains, but wouldn't be surprised if there some under his over-sized gangsta shirt. He tells me about clubbing in South Beach for the weekend. I have strain to understand his mumbles over the din of travelers and then:
"You go clubbin' in DC?"
"How old are you, about 35?" Quite the "playa," this guy.
"No, but thank you."
And later still he leans in close to my ear. I can smell his last smoke was not a legal variety.
"If I give you my number, will you call me?"
"No. I'm happy with my husband."
"Tell your husband I can take his place."

Seeing that I was a lost cause, this guy proceeded to hit on and fail with at least 4 or 5 other women over the course of the evening, even walking out of the terminal with one chick before coming back to baggage claim empty-armed. Poor guy.

Tuesday morning when Fern got up she was mad. "Don't abandon me like that again. No one did the laundry, no one did the dishes."

Obviously I wasn't gone long enough.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Knitting with ADD

This is what happens when you have a hobby and ADD. (Compare this with last Thursday's picture.) As with my quilting, I start lots of projects and bounce around between them a lot before I finish anything. The second sock of the red pair is two inches along the length of the foot out of six inches total before I start to work the toe. The sweater body is about seven inches done out of about 14. And now I've started the new pair of socks. The cuff is almost done and in a few more rows I'll start to work the ankle and heel. I could write a litany of unfinished quilting projects, too. Remember the quilt for Fern I wanted to finish in June. Still not done. That's the tip of the iceberg.

I had been seeing a psychiatrist for my ADD, but she left that practice, which didn't take my insurance any more so I was paying out of pocket, and I never went in to see her replacement, nor did I follow through with a new doctor referral from my primary care doctor. So, I've been off my meds for a while now, maybe two years, I've lost track. And my primary care doctor won't prescribe the psych drugs.

I should probably think about going back on the meds. Trying to think without them is sometimes like waiting for a sticky bicycle chain to engage when you're shifting gears. It takes a while for the message to click through, to comprehend it, form a reply, and actually speak the reply. I lose my train of thought easily. I often grasp for words that were just on the tip of my brain. What was I saying? Oh, yeah, I can picture the process in my head, the gears clicking, but I can't get the words out in a timely manner. I know it irritates the people around me and without meds conversations can be hard. Are hard. Maybe that's why for any given conversation with my friends, I do about 80-85% listening and only 15-20% of the talking.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

It's 7:00 am I'm sitting here at the laptop in the TV room, home finally, after getting in late last night (this morning) after a 2 hour delay flying home from Ft. Lauderdale. I'm not munching on any breakfast (yet) and I need to wake up the kids to get their day going.

(It's 4:05 pm now when I add more to this post.) OK, I'm obviously back from my trip south to rain country, USA. It rained on and off so much yesterday I didn't even try to get a round of golf in. I ended up trying out some drivers at a golf shop and hit the equivalent of an extra large bucket of balls under the swing monitor. When I hit the ball well it was going about 140-150 yards and my swing speed was over 60 mph. (slow, compared to the pros, but I'm not Tiger.) I don't normally hit the driver in my bag that well at all. When I hit it poorly in the monitor, well, um,lets just say I didn't memorize those stats. I could definitely see differences in the results of each driver after hitting 30 or more balls with each. I had fun, even though I was tired after a while. I probably ingrained a bad swing pattern into muscle memory. Oh well. I hope I'll get to try out my new club soon.

Then I hung out at a yarn shop for a couple hours and knit and chatted with the wonderful women there. I showed off my socks (they were impressed) and bought yarn for a toe cover for AM whose toes are getting cold sticking out of that cast.

Then I headed back up to the airport for my flight home. Instead of dragging this post on forever, I'll post the rest of my adventures tomorrow.

Ft Lauderdale airport at sunset.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

I'm sitting in the lobby of a Holiday Inn Express in Ft. Lauderdale, munching on my free breakfast. My husband found an incredible fare on Spirit Air and here I am. By myself. It's kinda cool, and a bit scary traveling alone. I've got a tee time later this afternoon and tomorrow at 2:00 at a golf resort (I'll be checking in there later today, too). I've been told it rains every afternoon so maybe I'll try to move tomorrow's tee time up in the day.

The flight down yesterday was two and a half hours and of course I checked in early like a good traveler, so I knit (knitted?) a lot. I got the heel done on the sock and now I'm working down the foot. I also got another inch or two done on the sweater.

The hotel is a block away from many restaurants so I walked over to a Thai place for dinner. There was lightening in the distance, but it wasn't raining. Right as I paid my check the skies opened up and poured. And poured. I sat on the bench outside the restaurant (talking to my mom on my cell) and waited. The waiter from the dinner came out several times and walked people to their cars with umbrellas and offered to take me to mine, but I told him I walked over from the hotel. Ten more minutes go by still pouring and he comes out again. On his way back in he offers me the umbrella. Yay! Now I just have to get it back to them. Maybe I should drive it over there instead of walking.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Art & Craft


Common Buckeye Butterfly


The first sock is finished, the second sock is started. I found this pattern and fell in love with it, then found the perfect yarn for it. So I had to order some.
From England.
The price was good, so why not, right?
I'll just finish the second sock and maybe the yarn will have arrived by then and I can start on my sweater.
Ha! My package came from across the pond on Monday, less than a week after I ordered it and you can see my priorities:

I've got about 3" of the sweater done and maybe 3 rows of the sock done since Tuesday. Oh well. Well, maybe not even 5 rows, I've got to rip back several rows because I have to fix an error I can't fix now on the fly. Grrr.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

I've posted before about our new office building and moving out of the old one. Today is the official ceremony to demolish it. The old one, not the new one, although given the problems here, it wouldn't be such a bad idea. The ceremony started at 10:00 and at 10:40 nothing has happened, so I'm back at my desk. I didn't go out for it, but went to watch from windows down the hall where the view is pretty good. But I had no idea what's going on because nothing is happening that we can see, so I called a colleague who went to watch from the adjacent garage and he can't tell what's going on, either. I guess you can hear the speeches if you are closer.

Finally, an hour later, they sent Stanley the Steamshovel into the side of FOB 3, wing 7 room 2755.

The exterior of this new building is still under construction, landscaping and such. This week they are pouring sidewalks over what had been for the last year a field of mud for what we can only guess to be a park-like green space. I so want to carve my initials into the wet cement every time I look out the window.

I took video with my digital camera, but, silly me, I take a LOT of vertical photos, so I naturally took the video in vertical mode, except now what you see is sideways. Enjoy it anyway, it's my first attempt at posting video, next time I'll keep it horizontal.

Added at 1:15: After an hour and a half, this video has still not finished uploading. I'm canceling and either will try later or not, we'll see.
Added at 3:25: I finally got a message blogger couldn't upload my video. drat.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Ever have one of those days where you're standing in yoga class in the triangle position after having done your warm-ups in the table position and moved on to the seated spinal twist and hero (my favorites) and your feet are stretched out pretty wide and you hate this position because it hurts your feet and you're facing the folks across the room facing you and your arms are up, stretching, reaching, and you realize the woman across the room in looking in your direction but you continue to gaze at your own spot on the wall and then you start wondering what she is looking at?, and ohmigosh, when was the last time I shaved, think, think, not this morning, not yesterday, oh and I can't very well check right then and there, can I?
Yeah, that was my Friday in Yoga at lunch at the gym at work.

Oh, and on a creative note, here are my batch of hand-dyed fabric I did when I had my quilting bee over on Tuesday. It's a set of fuchsia to black. Today I did a dark to light set of one of those middle purple colors. I'll post a picture of those when I have time to rinse them out, hopefully sometime this week.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

I have several things about autism rolling around in my head, not quite fully formed, but I wanted to post about this before I forget.

Last night Husband and I were lying in bed trying to fall asleep. Kevin is in the adjacent bathroom taking a long time with his evening routine. So I try to urge him on towards finishing.

I holler into the bathroom:
"Kevin, time to get in bed."
"No, Mommy"
"Do you want to go to the circus on Friday?" Yes, we bribe our son to persuade him to do as we desire. Don't you?
"It's time to go to bed."
"No, Mommy."
"What are you doing?"
"Washing. Washing. I am washing yourself."

He is trying so hard to use pronouns. A couple days ago the answer would have been just "Washing." Now he has two pronouns in one sentence, not quite the correct one, but still! We both were amazed and pleased with his new accomplishments in speech. It's great to see new developments, sometimes they get lost among the everyday.

Monday, September 10, 2007

And the Winner is...

I just got back from the fairgrounds to pick up my quilts. I didn't get to so see any of the exhibits over the weekend so I have no idea about the quality of the other quilts entered. Generally, if you're an accomplished quilter, you enter your stuff in juried shows or the state fair, the county fair is kinda like playing double A ball. I still enjoy it, and right now, it's a great place for me. If I ever have time and desire to get lots better, then I'll raise my standards. Now, quilting is a hobby and so is the county fair.

So, based on the comment cards for my pieces from the judge(s) and the ribbons attached, I can assume I've done OK this year. I entered 3 quilts, here's what was written:

It looks like the mariner's compass quilt was considered for best of show by the "Did well in final competition" comment. :)


Tonight is quilt bee night. We're meeting at my house this month and we're hand dyeing fabric. I'm looking forward to it. I have almost nothing ready, though. I got my box of dye out and have two jugs ready for dye activator solution, but the solution is not made and I don't have the family room vacuumed and I don't have my muslin washed. I did get the kitchen mostly cleaned up this morning, so that's something. I plan on dyeing some fabric for this year's guild challenge so I will be aiming for magentas and blacks. I'll post pictures when it's rinsed out.


The first sock of the pair I'm working on is coming along. I work a couple rounds in the morning at work while my machine is booting up. They have so much security stuff loaded on our PC's and networks, it can take up to 15 minutes just to log in to where you can start to work. You can't go anywhere because you still need to key in passwords, so I knit. Ta-da:

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Working on my sewing badge....

I have officially started my business. It's a small business I run out of a plastic Sterlite tote box which sits on my front porch.

Fern's been a Girl Scout for several years now and I'm a perfectionist when it comes to getting her badges on her vest or sash in the correct place. It's gotta be perfect. It would drive me absolutely nuts to see other girls' vests with the badges all caddywumpus and in the completely wrong place. I never said anything to the other parents, but, boy, I wanted to. I've even held myself back from ripping the offending vest off the poor child.

Then, sometime ago, AM asked me to sew Suzy's badges on her Brownie vest and gave me $20 to do it. So, I got to thinking: they don't teach Home-Ec anymore, I bet a lot of parents don't know their way around a sewing machine, and those plastic-backed patches are murder on your fingers to sew through by hand, so they'd need help, too.

So I made up a flier and emailed it to some troop leaders and parents and put my drop-off box on my porch and I'm ready. I'm charging $1 per badge or $25 per year. It's the start of a school year, the troops are forming, money should just start rolling in now!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Wish me luck

I drove 3 of my quilts over to the fairgrounds yesterday, our county fair is this weekend. Earlier on in my married life I entered a lot of things, in a lot of classes, sewing, gardening, photography, even won a ribbon for relish. I entered every year. Then I went cold and went a couple years with no real "meaty" entries, just some cuttings for the horticulture division.

So I stripped off the quilt on my bed, took the Autism quilt off Kevin's wall, and took the mariner's compass quilt off my husband's office wall and trotted them in to the entry table. I'm not sure what to expect, I hope they fare well, ribbons even, but you never know what you'll be up against. I like showing off, it's fun, even better when the ribbon is blue or purple. But, on the other hand, if everyone in my quilt guild had an entry, I'd have no hope, a lot of talent there. I'm humbled looking at some of their work!

I'll post pictures and results next week.

In the mean time, I have no exciting news about the kitchen or homwork or any other mundane aspects of my life. But there is a new episode of Top Chef on in 10 minutes.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Spice Cabinet (Quiz of the Day)

One shelf of the spice cabinet before I put it back in the new kitchen.
Click to enlarge and study this picture for 30 seconds. Then go to the comments and answer the questions. Have fun!