In spite of having to put in a few hours at work on Saturday, I still managed to get a bit accomplished. I’d gotten so close to finishing my Jordan Top, but since I made it longer than the directions called for, I ran out of yarn. So, after getting out of work around noon on Saturday, I hightailed it up to Des Moines to go to All Points Yarn to get one last hank of yarn for my top – luckily for me, in the same dye lot as all the other yarn I’d bought!
When I got home, I had finally come to the tough decision to let Monkey outdoors again for the first time since May. I know she’s safer and healthier being indoor-only, but she’s also going crazy indoors without being able to satisfy her hunting instinct – although she tries to satisfy that on Mia. To improve the quality of life for both Monkey and Mia, I let Monkey outdoors again. I went outside with her, and I honestly expected her to take off like a bat out of hell as soon as she cleared the front door for fear of being wrangled back indoors immediately, but she was very cautious about her exploring. She was very intrigued with how everything smelled, and was willing to let me follow her around and kept coming up for pets. After about an hour or so, I finally went back inside and tried to not freak out about her running around outside! She did come back shortly after dark, and since then has spent a couple hours outside each morning but is indoors the rest of the day – partly because we refuse to cater to her whims of indoor-outdoor-indoor-outdoor-etc!
Saturday evening, I was also able to finish and block my Jordan Top, with the exception of trimming yarn ends. Sunday morning, I tried it on still slightly damp from blocking, and freaked out over how much longer it was than I had expected pre-blocking. Tossing it in the dryer on low heat (cut me some slack, it’s just cotton yarn!) to take out the rest of the damp solved that issue though, and brought it immediately back up to a more reasonable length! At least I don’t have to frog the last seven rows and redo the hemline like I was worried about! I was rushing to get it done before Sunday, so I could show off the finished product to my Grandma at her birthday party at my aunt’s house. Proper pictures will come later, once I have Destin take a few shots of me modelling it 😉 For now, a photo while blocking will have to do!
Sunday was my Grandma’s 80th birthday, so Janet had a birthday-combo-superbowl-party for her. I enjoyed spending a few hours with family, and I’d had fun with an idea I saw on Pinterest for forcing tulip bulbs. I’ve seen Amaryllis and Paper-whites forced in vases of just water and rocks or glass beads before, but I hadn’t realized you could do that with tulip bulbs. Thankfully there was a cheat online, since tulip bulbs evidently have to be refrigerated for weeks before they can be planted and I stumbled across this idea two or three weeks ago… simply buy potted, sprouted tulips, and un-pot them! Rinse, trim roots, and arrange in a vase with pebbles! I managed to get the timing of the flowers opening fairly close to Grandma’s birthday by keeping the bulbs outdoors for a week or so, and then moving them indoors a couple days before I hoped the buds would open. The warmth of indoors seemed to make them very happy, and so Grandma got a vase of lovely white tulips. I thought it was a fun compromise between a vase of cut flowers, and a potted plant, since Grandma doesn’t care much for cut flowers. As she points out, the best that cut flowers will generally ever look is the day you get them!
Unfortunately, I also managed to get bronchitis lately. I suppose that considering what I’ve been exposed to at work – working front desk at a medical office – that I should be thankful it was only bronchitis, but when I got antibiotics, I forgot to ask for a heavy duty cough suppressant. I’ve now discovered that lots of hard, violent coughing can cause a delightful condition called pleurisy. I’ll have to go back into the doctor in a few days if my cough and lungs don’t start to get better… right now, it feels like I’ve cracked several ribs, and my lungs feel like they’re on fire if I breathe deeply/cough/sneeze. I’m a little concerned since it’s been very difficult to clear my lungs.
My birthday was on Monday, and I mostly got what I wanted – Amazon gift cards, so I could get a tablet! I’m really excited – it should arrive tomorrow! If anybody has any suggestions for must-have accessories or apps for an android tablet, please let me know! Maybe next year I will consider taking the day off work for my birthday, but it’s so hard to justify using (wasting) vacation time at the beginning of February!