Monthly Archives: January 2007

Here’s the deal

It seems that after spending all day either looking at a computer or suffering death by paperwork, the only thing I can really bring myself to do is passively check in on you all.  Seriously, email, I can do in fits and starts, reading my daily dose of blogs is doable after a snack, but posting????  That just requires a bit more brain power than I’m up for these days.  This will be really quick—I really want to sit in front of the telly and knit.

First: The job is progressing.  The last couple of days I’ve actually done a bit more than sit like a toad with a dumb look on my face, listening to “this is this and that is that” while filling out orientation checklists.  The past few days I’ve come home at lunchtime to let the doggies out and re-group.  It is ever so nice to get a break in the middle of the day, and it makes it feel like I haven’t been stuck in a windowless office non-stop….did I mention that my new office has a window?  Can’t wait 🙂  There is still lots to do; in fact at some point there is stuff to do on the computer, that I can actually accomplish at home (off the clock, but I’m thinking it’ll be nice to get it over with, ya know?)

Second:  The knit group had a grand time here at the house over the weekend.  Due to my current lazy status, you can read all about it here, and here.

Third:  Monday was a holiday…..which means that both Brad and I had a day off, and the car dealerships were open.  Yes, indeed, we finally reached a decision and came home with a new car.  The good news is it’s pretty, and comfy (let’s hear it for heated seats!!), the bad news is that it’s all dirty from the yucky roads, and that before we picked it up it had a little run in with a snowplow.  There’s a new bumper on order and all will be well before you know it.  (I just re-read that and it sounds much worse than it is…..the manager of the dealership had been clearing snow……the blade of the wee snowplow got a little to friendly with my front bumper).  Anyway, things will be good as new, or I will get new, and that will be good……got it?

Okay….I’m off to find my sweats and sit by the fire.  Over and out.

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Week One

Every time I think I’m getting to the end of the paperwork, a few more things get added to the stack—-so goes the first week on the new job.  At the rate we’re going, I might actually get to do a little nursing sometime before summer, but I’m not making any promises.  We are still waiting for the proper form, so we can get the proper computer coded ID badge, so we can get into the computer to do actual work.  Everybody and their dog has asked for our social security number, many want our birth date, and Mr Security even wanted my mothers maiden name.  We’ve done hours of computer based training, everything from what to do with a suspected mail bomb, to proper office relationships, to how not to use our government credit card—-which we won’t have.  We’ve become acquainted with the gal who runs the espresso cart in the lobby (she closes at noon), and the dude who keeps track of training (he’s from Florida).  I’ve about broken in my new tennies, and I think I can locate every bathroom in the clinic.  But what I’d really like, what we would all like, is to get to work.  Some things you just have to learn by doing.

We all got to leave early today because of another winter storm……go figure.  Sometime during the night, we got some freezing rain, which was then covered up with a thin layer of snow.  The temperatures are brutal (it was about 5 degrees when I drove to work this morning), and the roads are dodgy.  I’m glad to be home early, in front of the fire and feeling not quite as brain dead as the last few days.

Tomorrow, if the weather is not too dangerous, our merry band of knitters will be coming over for ‘brunch’ and the kick off of our KnitPicks Palette Fair Isle knit-along.  From the email traffic, I can tell that some of the girls have started today—-Chery wrote a theme song, Kirsten added some new lyrics and it looks like everyone is having a good time. 

Me???  Well, I’m hoping that my brain will be less cluttered in the morning and I’ll be able to focus enough to cast on the 3 million little stitches.

How about a Favorite Foto (remember when we used to do this every week??)

Mt. Rainier

This is what Mount Rainier looks like on a clear day from 30,000 feet or so.  You can see that the peak is covered in a layer of fluffy cloud, but I don’t think I’ve ever (in all the times I’ve flown in and out of Seattle) seen this view.  A day like this one is rare in January in this part of the world…..ask anyone who has lived or travelled to the Pacific Northwet.  We were lucky to get such a clear view, lucky to be on the correct side of the plane, lucky all ’round. 

If you haven’t heard from me this week, I’m sorry—–by the time I get home I just can’t bear to look at another computer.  I’ve checked in on most of you, but only made quick trips.  Hopefully things will ease up soon.  Have a terrific Holiday weekend.

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Swatching, swearing and security…..perhaps not in that order.

The planets must have aligned just so, such that I headed off to work this morning, ’round about the time I’m usually contemplating getting up and looking for coffee.  Let no one suggest that this new schedule will take getting used to—-I know.   Anyhow, I got myself to the proper office, with the proper documents and sat through a couple hours of information and an official swearing in.  Believe it or not, each of us in the room took the very same oath of office as our president takes, the same as a newly minted military officer takes and the same one I heard Ahnald take last week on the telly.  Who knew? 

After that it was off to the clinic with the other three that have been in a holding pattern for months.  We were greeted with enthusiasam and given more to do—-new name badges and such.  At noon, we were released to go home and work through the stack of paperwork that’s required—-not just a simple W-4 and hear ya go, no sir-ee, there are pages of payrole paperwork, and a whole packet of paperwork for a security clearance.  Thank God I only have to go back 5 years, no telling how long it would take.  One of the blocks I needed to fill out was to list 3 people who know me well, people who are not related and that I hadn’t already used as references on other parts of the form.  It was unbelievably hard; to think of people who know me well.  How well?  For how long?  Under what circumstances?  I came up with the first one pretty easy, the second required a long distance phone call to my lifelong friend in Washington (I don’t remember a time when I didn’t know Eric), and I’m still muddling over a third, waiting for a couple phone calls.  When you’re married to the military, and move every few years, long term relationships are rare, and the neighbor that knew me well in 1997 has moved to the Midwest, and the folks I went to college with are God knows where.  You just have to pray that the people you choose love you and won’t tell the nice man in the black suit that you sell rocket launchers out of your garage or something.

Enough of that.

Over the weekend, the knit group met at our pal Ellen’s for knitting and tea (proper tea, with scones and clotted cream and dainty sandwiches).  Ellen knows her way around a kitchen and she really outdid herself—-we all had a blast. For a more complete documenting of the day, check in with MJ.  I worked on Lady Eleanor, and then started swatching for the Fair Isle knit along we’re kicking off this Saturday.  After a quick bath, it looks like I’m getting gauge, or damn close anyway.  Now to decide which size to cast on.  The pattern gives directions for 36″ 40″ 44″…….but what I’d like is 42″.  I’m trying to decide whether to do the 40 or 44 and risk a poor fit, or figure out how to do a 42 and have the pattern repeats come out properly.  Right now, though, my mind is too full of work related errata to think about stitches per inch and the like.  Maybe later.

Now, I’d better get to the bank and have them sign my direct deposit form so I can get paid.  After all this time, that might be nice, don’tcha think?

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Better late than never….

In true Black Sheep form, I must now be the only blogger in our community that has not yet posted in 2007.  Once upon a time, about a year ago, I was religious about posting each and every weekday…..and the occasional weekend if there was breaking news.  Our summer trip to the homeland broke me of that habit, for good or for ill, and I have to say that once out of the habit, it is tougher to get back in the groove (so to speak) than one would think.  Having said that, there really are good reasons why I have been absent of late.

 

Excuse Reason 1:

If you recall, our last visit was the Wednesday prior to Christmas, and we here in
Colorado were in the midst of the mother of all blizzards.  DH barely made it home, folks were stranded up and down the freeways and highways and Denver International became the states largest B and B for about three days. That evening, I felt a little tickle in my throat and by the next morning, with snow still falling, I was hit with the virus de jour, and retired to the sofa to knit and feel sorry for myself.  It was vital, you see, that I be well by Sunday (good luck with that, you must be thinking), because………

 

Reason 2:

………..we were flying to the homeland for Christmas.  I know, I know, I didn’t say anything about this earlier.  For the first time ever, only a very few people knew we were coming (my sweet sister in law, who was doing the cooking; my mother with whom we were staying; and our kids).  When we were home earlier in the month, there was—shall we say—gentle encouragement to be home for Christmas, as it would be the first time in a few years that all the kids (6) and their families would be in attendance, (lemee see….that’s nearly 30 of us….not counting the four legged family).  And, we pulled it off!  There was hopping up and down and hugs and kisses and shocked looks everywhere.  Very fun.

 

In this case, waiting till the last minute really paid off; seems nobody really wants to fly on Christmas Eve, or day, so the tickets were almost reasonable AND more importantly, had we planned ahead and flown out on the 21st—-we’d have been stuck, and likely not made it at all.  As it was, we left the evening of Christmas Eve and were enjoying stockings and breakfast the next morning.

 

We had a very full week; a couple days way north doing Christmas and Boxing Day—lots of visiting and game playing.  Back at Brett and Cora’s there was more visiting and gifting and gaming.  The 29th, Brad and I celebrated 27 years of marriage with a trip to IKEA (love ikea….love.it.) and a really fun dinner at The Melting Pot in Seattle.  On the 30th, Alex and his buddy Dan turned 21, and our families and their friends got together for dinner and a little partying afterward.  Was a gas—-and what fun to be invited to go out with a bunch of twentysomethings, (we were the only parent type people to go out after dinner).  The next morning, every one of them dragged their hung over behinds out of bed and met us for coffee before we headed back to the airport.

 

Reason 3:

An important lesson.  Remember the virus, cold thing I spoke of earlier?  Well, I learned something on this trip.  No matter how much good for you stuff you pour into your body, no matter how much better you think you are feeling, without proper rest, you just don’t get better.  The Zycam helped a bunch (miracle I tell you), the vitamins and the water and the echinacia, and all that were a great idea, but when we arrived home on New Years Eve……I was finished.  Since then, I’ve tried to be good to my body, going to bed at a reasonable hour (or at least staying in bed until I’ve felt rested), and napping on and off.  I’m finally feeling about back to normal.

 

Reason 4:

In years past, my New Years Day has been one of football and parade watching, not because I’m married to a football junkie (he’s quite the opposite), but because I was raised by one, I suppose.  I always make chicken wings and potato salad, and I plant myself on the sofa and watch game after game.  This year was different.  After the parade was over, I shut off the telly and picked up a book I was given for Christmas, Stretching Lessons, by Sue Bender.  I’m not sure exactly what I was expecting, but whatever it was, this wasn’t it.  What I found was akin to a woman’s journal, her musings and thoughts over a period of time when she felt herself being stretched in new directions.  It is about her journey into becoming “bigger than” she had been.  For that day, and for much of yesterday, I read, and thought and mused myself. 

 

Thus, I’ve begun 2007 taking stock of myself; unpacking my box (so to speak) and deciding once again what fits, what does not, where I’m comfortable, and where I may need to stretch a little.  I’ve come to believe that we cannot grow as individuals without doing this from time to time.  Someone said, that insanity is doing the same thing time after time and expecting different results.  I would add that growth occurs when we begin to look at things from different perspectives, gleaning what is useful and disregarding those things which are not. 

 

Reason 5:

In a couple weeks, our merry band of knitters will kick off a knit-along.  Several of us will be knitting the Palette Fair Isle Sweater from KnitPicks.  With that in mind, I’ve been working on Lady Eleanor, wanting to have it finished up before I start the sweater.  Shortly after my last post, I did some measuring on the stole and found that by adding 3 pattern repeats, I had added 6 inches to the width—way too many—so I frogged about a foot of knitting and cast it on again, just as the pattern directed.  It was the only knitting I took along for the holidays, and I’m thinking I’m just over halfway done.  I love knitting it, don’t find it boring at all and am endlessly amused by the way the yarn, Paton’s Soy Wool Stripes, causes each rectangle to knit up in a different color.  It is a perfect yarn for this project.  Anyway, the knitting, has kept me away from the blog. 

 

Today, I’m thinking I need to un-decorate the house and take control of the stash….which has wandered through my family room and is occupying most of the window seat now.  With the boys gone again, I have two closets that I can use for stash management, and I plan to do just that.  In addition to that, there has been more progress on the job front, though at times it seems like we are always in a hurry up and wait pattern.  Moments ago I received a call from the main office in
Texas that handles hiring, and despite having been sent my transcript no fewer than three times now, they have yet to have their hands on it. They are still hoping to have me “on board” (their words) by Monday morning.  It makes me wonder: if our government has this much trouble hiring a nurse, how can we expect to shut down the insurgents in Iraq?  Just sayin’.

 

Just in case the stars align properly and I have a job by Monday, I’d better get something done today.  Happy New Year to you all………….albeit a little late J

 

 

 

 

 

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