Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Tiny Needle Tuesday

I've been working on this Frida cross stitch in little bits as cross stitch irritates my injured wrist. It's been a fun project, and not too hard.
After a serious rain storm on Monday, we are having a hot and humid week. I'm OK with it so far, even though we don't have AC. It does mean I need to get out early for a bike workout. I took advantage of the weather to do some sun-dying this afternoon.
And Kola naps in some pretty interesting positions when she's hot.
I love summer!

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Greetings from Door County

Yes, we dared a get-away. For me it's a double get-away because I forgot my phone! And yet I am surviving.

We decided we would only come if we could stay in our usual cottage in Ephraim because we totally trust the owner to clean. And she didn't disappoint. It is spotless! She also keeps it empty for at least 24 hours between guests.
I did use Keith's phone to take a picture of my first drawing. This iconic old truck is permanently parked in Ellison Bay. I'm trying to learn to sketch more loosely and quickly, but I'm not sure I like this new style. 

People up here are wearing masks and socially distancing, just as they are in Madison.We either make our own meals or do take-out -- just like at home. (Kathy, Julie's is open! I had cherry crepes today. She has indoor seating, but we did carry-out.)

It is really nice to have a change of scene! And the mosquitos aren't out yet, so we are practically living outdoors. If you have a safe place to go, consider a trip!

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Not as Much Knitting as I'd Like

I can't help but feel grateful for the welcome back to blogging that I have received from you, my dear friends. Thank you so much! And I'm so glad most of you are still blogging so I can share your lives.

Early in June, I went to town on our yard -- after 17 years of neglecting this deep-shade yard. Some friends donated plants and advice, and the back yard is beginning to look good:

We've tried growing shade grass on our terrace but always ended up with a weed patch. In early June, I spent hours weeding with a hand spade and planting  that most aggressive of ground covers: Snow on the Mountain, also known as Bishop's weed. So far, it's pretty bare, but I'm confident the "weed" will fill in by fall.

However, I spent far too much time twisting my right hand and wrist and ended up with a serious repetitive motion injury in my right hand and arm. Thus, I've had to limit my knitting time, which isn't helping with my goal of knitting a big dent into my stash.

I was able to finished my "pandemic shawl." It started as an Olive Pink Shawl, but I made a lot of changes in the pattern based on my own preferences. It is a huge, cuddly shawl that will spend a lot of time on my shoulders come winter.
And I've made slow progress on Kate's Poncho. I'm using gorgeous raspberry Miss Babs yarn that I bought at a Knit-In a decade ago. It's supposed to be for Rachel, but raspberry is my favorite color:
We'll have to see how it fits me before I decide!

Friday, June 19, 2020

Where have I been?

It has been a long and eventful 10 months since I last. blogged. I have done some lurking on your blogs, but until today, could not find my blogging mojo. But if this isn't a time for virtual friendships, what is? So, here is a whirlwind tour of the last 10 months:

It was a rough school year. A week before school  began, my dear friends and long-time colleague Jim McCoy died suddenly during cross country practice. The incredibly healthy 61-year old just collapsed and never regained consciousness. Some kind of cardiac event. Denise, another friend and colleague, and I were at the hospital and able to say farewell to him with his family. Jim and I had worked together for a decade. 
Me, Jim, and Denise, at an American Players Shakespeare performance in August  2018.
Needless to say, working without Jim was devastating. I miss him every day. But we carried on. 

One of the times I most missed talking to Jim was when two teens we both know from middle school were accused of murdering a beloved Madison physician and her husband. It's a tragic story. If you want to know more: https://madison.com/wsj/news/local/crime-and-courts/dane-county-judge-sends-suspects-in-arboretum-double-homicide-to-trial/article_e8a80174-7e0c-56db-b282-cd0399c7fed2.html

Over winter break, Keith, I, and my mom flew to Phoenix to visit Seth and his girlfriend, Clara. Rachel flew in from Miami, so we were all together and it was glorious!
Clara, Seth and Rachel on New Year's Eve.
Clara is going to transfer to a medical school in Chicago, so she and Seth will be closer to us! 

Of course there was knitting. I mastered the (not-so-hard) Latvian Braid for this hat, which was a prize in a membership drive for my teachers' union.

Then came Covid-19. While the workload lessened for some of my colleagues, it skyrocketed for special education. I cannot tell you how tired I am of teaching via Zoom. And who knows how much more of it I have in my future? I need to work at least one more year.

Like everyone, I had to cancel some exciting summer plans. My mom and I had booked a trip to Scandinavia. Even worse, the University of Miami had to cancel graduation so I didn't get to celebrate Rachel being awarded her Ph.D. Nor will I be able to help her get settled this summer in Denver. Still I am very pleased that she has a tenure-track position at the University of Denver in these difficult times.

So, now I'm hanging out a lot with these guys:

I feel lucky. So far everyone I love is healthy. I have a lovely home and yard to shelter in. I have friends and family to talk to. And now I have all of you to check in with!