Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Enough already!

During the summer, I can live off fruits and veggies.  Who wants to eat heavy food when it's close to 100 degrees outside?  Melon is so refreshing, as are peaches and strawberries, but it's the cherries I think I love the most and Michigan tart cherries (75 % of this nation's supply) are the best.  While shopping Sunday, I saw some California cherries and put a bag in my cart.  It was at the register that I found my 2 pound selection rang in at $22 and some change.  Holy crap!  Are you kidding me?  They were $10.99 a pound! Needless to say they went back to stock because although I love them, I don't love them that much. Sadly, unless I go back to working full time, cherries are unlikely to find their way into my cart at all this year.  They probably won't make it to yours, either.

Michigan's cherry crops were decimated this year.  An early heat wave in March coaxed the trees to blossom, and just like every other year in April, we had some heavy frosts.  The delicate blossoms were destroyed.  It's estimated that farmers lost 65 to 75% of their crops.  But it's not just the cherries.  The apple and peach crops were destroyed, too.  The only crops to survive were the blueberries.  Not my favorite.  The trickle down economics of these multiple losses will be devastating. Farmers won't employ people to pick the crops.  Crops won't make it to places that rely on the fruit and we will all pay more at the register for something we look forward to and take for granted.  

Upper Tahquamenon Falls.  Photo: ANagy
As though Mother Nature wasn't done punishing Michigan, a wild fire started in the U.P. of our state that has so far burned about 22,000 acres.  What began as a lightening strike about a week ago is only about 50% contained and is a mere 7 miles west of the beautiful and picturesque Tahquamenon Falls State Park.

Really Mother Nature? I think Michigan has had enough. 


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Be on the lookout!

Metro Detroit's newest work when I wanna work nurse has been reported missing.  It's possible she fell into a knitting black hole and was swallowed up in a sea of garter stitch.  All that can be seen of her are her newly pedicured feet with toes painted in the lovely OPI shade, I Have a Herring Problem.

If you see this nurse, please consider throwing her a complicated lace pattern complete with lifelines.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The liberation of Nurse Rudee

And so begins week 1 in my new position of a work when I feel like it nurse.  It didn't take long to get a request to work, either.  At 10 AM Monday, they called to see if I'd work Monday night. No, no and no.  "So sorry," I told them.  "I'm taking a few well deserved days off.  Call me Wednesday if you need help."  On Thursday, my boss had told me that in her mind, I'd already gone above and beyond in the patience department and should take the rest of the month off.  Not wanting to go that long without a paycheck, I think until Wednesday should be good enough.  After all, it wouldn't be a full day of work--more like one or two visits and then I'd be done for the day.  It felt good to practice saying the word no.  Perhaps it's something with which I should become more accustomed.

This was Sara's Dark Shadows survival kit.  She's been walking around the house since Friday practicing her favorite line of the movie: "fear me not, drunkard!"  Hmmm.  Me thinks it was the Jack that made that made that line click so well.
Friday we went and saw Dark Shadows.  Though it's been much maligned by the critics who seemed to be disappointed that it's not an exact remake of the television series, I rather liked it.  In fact, I laughed for two hours straight at the jokes, the camp and the antiquated language that rolled off Johnny Depp's tongue like honey. As for the critics, how, pray tell, do you provide a story in two hours that took years to tell on television?  I will say that it would have been nice if some of the funnier scenes had not made it to the trailers first.  

Anyways, just in case you're worried that I'm bored with my new life, I'm here to tell you that I'm not.  Yesterday, I lollygagged in my jammies until around 3PM, at which point I decided I couldn't live with the dust bunnies accumulating in the corners of my home for one more minute.  For the time being, they've been banished.  Today I'm knitting this beautiful shawl and reveling in the feel of the  merino/bamboo blend yarn as it slips through my fingers.  I was concerned that it would fall by the wayside when John Sandford's new book was released today, but I have found that it is possible to sit on the front porch with my iPad propped just so while reading Stolen Prey and simultaneously knitting a garter stitch project which needs barely any attention at all.

Just in case someone dares to interrupt my beautiful day...all three phones have been silenced.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Lady of leisure? I think not.

How did I spend today?  Resting?  Not really.  Knitting?  A little.  Running around?  Oh, yes.  Ran my behind off today.  Leo's, too.

This is Woobu by BMFA.  Bamboo gives this yarn a glorious sheen.  Why, yes, that is miles of  garter stitch.  Again.
At one point, Leo plopped his big body down in the middle of the dining room, sighed loudly, then laid his head down in defeat.  We had gone for a long drive, visited Rachel's house, swept the porches of whirligigs, cleaned the kitchen, folded laundry, and made several trips from the front porch to the garage.  When that was done, Leo donned his pinch collar and we took a walk to the post office.  He simply couldn't keep up as he had missed usual all day nap.  Today I achieved the impossible:  exhausting the dog.  I didn't take a picture of that, but I did take another.  He's so tired right now, he lacks the energy to stick his nose out the window to see just which dog is making such a racket out there.

A few minutes ago, I went and purchased some contraband for the movies tonight.  How can I not see Dark Shadows on opening day?  To go with Mr. Depp and the coffee tonight at the theater, there will be Godiva chocolate liqueur.  Yum.

However, having tired myself out a bit, I hope I don't fall asleep during the show.

Worried about knitting yet another shawl in garter stitch, I threw caution to the wind and cast on Cameo anyway.  I'd been waiting all week for the contrast yarn to come in the mail and once it did, I was out of excuses.  Wingspan was in garter stitch, too, but with all of that short row shaping, it was entertaining enough.  This new project has a lot going for it:  it's knit on the bias, there is a picot edge, there will be stripes and to put a little icing on the cake, there will be lace.  The pattern page I linked is to the particular shawl I liked the most.  I thought it was beautiful.  Hoping for a more substantial shawl, I'm using meatier yarn and bigger needles.  Woobu is sport weight.

Lastly,  I have a confession to make. I may have violated my "no politics" policy and listened to the news.  Having such a strong aversion to bullies, how could I not?  One thing you cannot teach is empathy.  You either have it or you don't. Think about it. 

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Agenda

My calendar is now--for the most part--cleared.  Wednesday was my last night with my orientee and she is Officially on her own. Praise be.

To celebrate today, I finally completed my on line CPR class, turned in the last of my paperwork and had a nice--don't call me, I'll call you--chat with my boss.  I'm taking some well earned time away from this most stressful line of work.  I have written the orders to remove more people from life support in the last two weeks than I have had to do in the last two years.  It's time for a break from this most heartbreaking part of my job.

Tomorrow I have very little that I have to do.  Woobu, a yarn swift and ball winder will be involved, as will needles and an endless pot of tea.  I may move from the sofa to the front porch as the day promises to be sunny and warm(er).  

After that, who knows?

The shawlette is Wingspan in Zauberball.  It's just a wisp of a thing really, but I took it off Stoney and wore it on my own shoulders today.  There was a sense of just enough weight and warmth for a cool spring day.  I like it.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Be careful what you ask for

I've been so busy teaching my replacement all week long.  I can't really gauge how well she's doing, but I hope she's making progress.  Looking for feedback, the other day I asked if she'd found anything in my five hours of talk, talk talking beneficial, and she said, "no, not really." Sort of surprised by this response,  I asked if there was something wrong with the way I was presenting things to her, and she said, "no, not really, I'm just disappointed we didn't have anything more complicated to manage."  She's not a new nurse, and she's not new to hospice.  She's been doing it for years and should know a few things:

  1. Never, ever ask for anything more complicated!
  2. Be careful what you ask for!
  3. Complications aren't planned...they just happen.
The very next day, we got complicated alright.  In spades.  We ran for 8 hours straight.

It was so busy that I'm still not sure she got what she asked for, or if seeing what complicated really looked like at night, it was all too much, or worse, not enough.

Last night, we took or made what seemed to be a thousand phone calls over a 5 hour period and around 10 PM, we split up to go to our respective homes.  I was starving and knew there wasn't anything I wanted to eat at home.  Given the late hour, most of the grocers and restaurants were closed, too.  It was a toss up then...fast food or starve.  In torrential rain (truly coming down in buckets), I made the decision to pick up some chili from Wendy's.  It's not a bad selection diet-wise.  It's full of protein and fiber and is what's considered to be a low glycemic selection.  To balance that relatively healthy choice out, I do what I very seldom do and ordered a medium Coke.  I don't like diet drinks, but I do love fountain Coca Cola. After all that time sitting in an office talking, I was thirsty.  When they handed me a "medium" sized coke, I was surprised.  It was enormous!

Their medium sized cup holds an impressive 34 ounces.  Or 1 liter.  I know this because after I consumed about 25 percent of what was in that cup, I dumped the remainder out and measured.  This is ridiculous!  I know people want to get a bargain for their money, but in the grand scheme of things, is this a bargain?  It isn't if you make this a habit and find yourself buying bigger clothes to accommodate your expanding waist line.

Next time, I'll ask for the child size cup.

TGIF!  I hope my orientee didn't ask for more complications for tonight.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The crazy neighbors

I have no idea what's going on with my newest neighbors, but apparently, we're having either a terrible design problem, or the decorator is just plain nuts.  Maybe one of them is angry with the other and keeps having fits.  I don't know.  I'm not speaking of my next door neighbor who always mentions privacy fences and property lines when he should be considering brands of lawn mowers.  I hope he does put up a privacy fence so I don't have to look at his weeds, litter and foot high grass.  Instead I'm talking about the robins who've decided--after a 1 year absence--to nest on our porch again.

I first saw this guy (look hard--he is perched on Stoney's head) surveying his new territory on Saturday.  All day Sunday, he was flying in the materials and the building had begun in earnest.  By Sunday night, he (or she) had knocked it to the ground.  Undeterred, he began to build again with fresh materials.  This morning I went out to ask my husband a question and noticed the bird(s) had knocked the nest down yet again.

Truly, I'm perplexed.

Either they need to agree on their design concept, or risk not having a nest.  I hope they make up their minds soon or there won't be a spot to birth those babies.