almost better, almost done, almost home

Today I felt minutely worse than yesterday but I’m still functional, which is what really matters.  I became, for all intents and purposes, a knitting fiend yesterday in an almost final attempt to finish my mom’s shawl.  I’m still not quite done, but I have less than 25 rows to go, so I’d say that I’m in the home stretch.  The beauty is that each row decreases by 1 stitch, so it takes me less and less time to knit each row.  I have 5 columns left to drop and the excitement is building.

I’ve been knitting on it since about 9 AM today (it is now 4:18) and I’m going to take a break and decorate some gingerbread men cookies with my niece, Olivia.  Something that I’ve looked forward to doing for 5 days now but have not felt well enough to do.  So tonight is the night.  I’ll decorate with Olivia, go to Chickalay (aka Chick-Fil-A, her words, not mine) for dinner, play with her and Gabby some, finish laundry, finish the shawl, pack and then crash.  Then I get to get up, finish packing and block the shawl – by 10 AM so that I can leave for the Airport.  At least I’ll get to leave the shawl here and ruin my Dad’s theory on knitting.  Sweet.

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Dad's theory on knitting

Sad to say that I’ve been sick almost the entire trip here to Atlanta.  I guess a 50 degree differential in temperature does not agree well with my biological system.  I started getting sick on Christmas day and today is the first day that I’ve felt decent enough to venture online.  Question: if a person gets sick on vacation, does it count as vacation or sick?

So I gave my mom the SSMO on Christmas Eve, which is when we opened presents at my parents house this year.  I captured the whole episode on video but she refuses to sign the release so that I can post it online for all to see, so I’ll have to give you the synopsis.

She opened the gift and carefully unrolled the shawl (because I still had a ball of yarn attached) and her eyes just lit up.  She fell in love with the colors and actually refuses to admit that she made the comment back in August about “ew, turquoise and brown?”.  (She was laughing rather hard when she made the denial, which leads me to believe that she knows she made the comment but is unwilling to admit it.)  Her actual comments were something like this: this blue color isn’t just turquoise, it’s a dark turquoise that is beautiful with these browns and coppers….  So I’d say it was a hit.  Except that it is now the 30th and is still not finished, although I am in the final stages (doing the double decreasing now) and it should get finished tomorrow just in time to be blocked before I leave.  I suppose the fringe can wait a little longer.

The following day (Christmas day), my Dad comes up to me and says:

Dad:  So I’ve figured it out – this knitting thing.  I know what you’re doing.

Me: (with a quizzical look on my face, all innocence..) I have no idea what you’re talking about Dad.

Dad:  You’re double gifting.

Me: double what?

Dad: you give your Mom a half made shawl this year so that you can take it home and “finish” it just to give it back to her next year.  I’m on to this game. 

Me: and it actually took you how long to figure this one out, Dad?

Dad: about 24 hours.

Me: you’re not too quick, are you?  (with a completely innocent look on my face.  I can’t let him know that it had crossed my mind….)

I’ll post picures of the now revealed SSMO soon.  I promise.

my adventures at the airport

In my family I am known as Tonja Adventure – it seems like life has a way of throwing me little quirks that end up being little adventures.  Yesterday was no exception.  I arrived at the airport with plenty of time to spare.  Good thing too because the security line was way long – I mean it was one of the longest security lines I’ve seen at O’Hare.  Now, the last time I flew out of O’Hare and was standing in the security line, they (the infamous “they”) decided to break the line and send those of us at the end to another check point.  When we got to the new check point they tried to send us back because we were in the wrong spot – it took some convincing and several angry passengers to convince the security person that we should be let in.  So yesterday when they tried to pull that same trick, I refused to go.  So I stood in line for 45 minutes.  But that wasn’t the adventurous thing.

I have a general rule that anytime I enter a public bathroom stall the first thing I do is grab the toilet paper.  This way I’m never left….well, indisposed.  Yesterday, I entered the public bathroom stall.  I grabbed the toilet paper and then proceeded to unzip my pants. (Don’t worry, this is not going anyplace raunchy….keep reading)  Unfortunately the toilet paper got caught in the zipper and when I went to zip back up it wouldn’t go.  So I’m standing in the stall with my big, heavy coat on, with my backpack on my back and pants that won’t zip.  (Just for clarification, I have perfected over the years the art of peeing with my coat on and backpack on and squatting….I know this is not a picture that you would choose to have in your head, but trust me, it is a useful trick.  It makes the stall time minimum as there is no toilet paper seat thing to do, I don’t have to take anything off and then put them back on and…and it makes me feel less “germy” by not having to set anything on the floor.  There you have it – my public bathroom trick)  Now, back to the main storyline, I refused to unload my backpack and coat so that I could take a better look at my zipper, so imagine me standing there jiggling my zipper until I could get it back up.  It was a close call, but I prevailed in the end.  The rest of the trip was uneventful.

I do, however have one question for you all and then I’ll announce the winner (this is a rhetorical question, so please don’t feel free to answer).  I realize that airlines people get raked across the coals sometimes because of the perceived lousy “on-time” record.  I have been a partaker in the cruelty to be had when my pane has been late.  So I understand that there is some “cushion” time built into the estimates that we are given.  Usually, my flight between Atlanta and O’Hare takes about 2 hours.  That’s what my ticket said as well.  We took off (literally wheels off the ground) at 5:22 PM and we landed at 6:42 PM in Atlanta (this is Chicago time) which means that the flight took 1 hour and 20 minutes.  That’s a discrepancy of 40 minutes.  40.  Unbelievable.  I was so amazed that when the flight attendant announced our initial approach I tried to “correct” her – we’ve only been in the air for an hour, I said.  Yes, she said, and we are now about to begin our approach and we’ll be landing in 20 minutes.  How can this be, I said, when the flight usually takes 2 hours?  There’s a cushion, she said and then turned and walked off.  A cushion of 40 minutes?  Unbelievable.

So now for that announcement you’ve all been waiting for:  the winner of the poll is:

TERYN!!!! Yeh Teryn.

Hey – come take my poll and win a fabulous prize!

I’ve decided to do something a little different today.  I’m going to give something fabulous away!  But you have to take my poll first.

Here’s the question: My flight is scheduled to leave at 5:00 PM CST on Monday, December 22 from Chicago O’Hare airport. When do you think my flight will actually leave?

Here’s the link: Click Here to take survey

Polling will end on Monday at 3:00 PM CST (I wouldn’t want you all to wait until the last minute and then check flight stats online…I know you all too well for that to happen).  Prize eligibility will be determined using your first response (if you decided to play multiple times) and is limited to people that I actually know.   GOOD LUCK!

the dear repose for limbs with travel tired

I slept extremely well last night, so well that I’m going to blog about it today. (I hope you stay awake!)  First, the title of the post today comes from Mr. Will Shakespeare and Sonnet #27, of which I have posted below.  This is my favorite sonnet for reasons you can read below:

Weary with toil, I haste me to my bed,
The dear repose for limbs with travel tired;
But then begins a journey in my head,
To work my mind, when body’s work’s expired:
For then my thoughts, from far where I abide,
Intend a zealous pilgrimage to thee,
And keep my drooping eyelids open wide,
Looking on darkness which the blind do see
Save that my soul’s imaginary sight
Presents thy shadow to my sightless view,
Which, like a jewel hung in ghastly night,
Makes black night beauteous and her old face new.
Lo! thus, by day my limbs, by night my mind,
For thee and for myself no quiet find.

I often feel that my mind works harder at night than it does during the day (please don’t tell my boss!) and I think Will got it right (for those of you who want to play semantics, I realize that the sonnet is not about sleeping per se, but give me a break today please). 

Okay, back to last night.  I was ABSOLUTELY dog tired and usually when that happens I can’t sleep.  So just to make sure, I took one (1) Unisom last night and it k-n-o-c-k-e-d me out.  Totally.   To the piont where oblivion happened between 10:30 PM and 6:00 AM.  Total oblivion.  And BOY was it great.  I hope it happens again tonight.

its because I have no neck

As I said in my post yesterday, I’ve lived here for 7.5 years making this my 8th winter here.  Please understand that when I first moved here people had to “teach” me how to wear a scarf and before you think “gee, isn’t she a little remedial…” let me inform you that scarfs as an accessory and scarfs as a necessity are two different things and are warn in completely different ways.  But that’s not what I want to talk about.  I want to talk about hats.  I’ve never been much of a hat person.  I’ll occasionally wear a ball cap but other than that I don’t like hats.  They simply don’t look good on me nor do they stay on my head all that well.  Imagine my **shock** when I moved here that in winder hats are somewhat of a, necessity, shall we say.  So I purchased a hat.  It was sort of Russian looking (I’m not good with descriptors here so please use your imagination), had a brim that was folded up and fit to midway of my ears.  In the store it fit nicely but as soon as I started wearing it with my coat and doing things like shoveling out my car (imagine the comedy surrounding the first time I did that– it was rather hilarious, but again, I digress), and the hat simply would not stay on.  So I purchased a hat that would go all the way down from my eyebrows, completely over my ears and all the way down the back side of my head as well.  It wouldn’t stay on either.  Then my Mom gave me a tam-like hat, somewhat poofy on my head, but with plenty of room to put my hair up and stuff.  It fell off too.  So last year I purchased a hat with a brim – think fisherman’s hat with stuff hanging down but without the stuff – and fur lined (fake of course, I am “green”).  I even hike my coat upon the brim in the back just to make sure that it stays on but it doesn’t. 

Now, after 7 years of struggling with my hats I’ve finally figured out why they don’t stay on my head when I’m wearing a coat.  Its because I have no neck.  Now lest you think this is a silly reason let me explain.  My coat has a collar that when zipped and buttoned comes up to my nose and half way up the back of my head.  This is a good thing.  However – stay with me here – when I put a hat on, then put my coat on and then try to move my head, the coat pushes that hat off.  Now if I actually had a neck then the collar would come up to my chin and stay at the base of my neck and NOT push the hat off.  It all has to do with the neck.  Thats all I’m sayin’.

um, I don't think I want to live here any more

I’ve lived in Illinois for 7.5 years.  During that time 2, count them, 2 governors have been corrupt.  Two in a row.  That’s a track record (for me) of 100%.  Not a good track record.  The latest, Rod Blagojevich, was arrested this morning (along with his Chief of Staff) by the Feds due to allegations of “tainting” the selection of the person to fill Obama’s Senate seat.  Don’t you love politics in this state?  As one friend would say —  “that’s so illinoising”  (okay, that didn’t really come off all that great, I guess you have to hear him say it.  Think of “annoying” rhyming with “illinoising” and you’ll come close).  Do you think it’s me?  Maybe I should move.

Montana, now that’s a nice state.

**UPDATE**

17 charges of corruption is what it looks like Blagojavich is getting.  And it is snowing blizard like conditions here after a night of warming rain that created a nice sloshy 1 inch deep puddle from my back door to my car, which means that it will now freeze creating near hazardous ice conditions and a nice thick layer of snow. 

Now thinking Central America.  Warmth + corruption.  What could be better than that?