Archive for August, 2011

Read ON!

August 31, 2011

Back at the beginning of the year I challenged myself to read 52 books in 2011, a book a week.  I figured that was reasonable.  But here at the end of August I have finished 53 books and am halfway through the 54th.  Seems I sadly miscalculated!  So I’ve upped the ante, and changed the challenge on my book page to 75 books in 2011!

Interesting breakdown so far:

  • January            10
  • February            6
  • March                7
  • April                   4
  • May                   4
  • June                   4
  • July                    8
  • August              10

Just over half of the books (27) have been read on the Kindle.

One was a re-read of a book I read and loved in the 80s, lent it to someone, and never saw it again.  Don’t you just hate when that happens???  Pet peeve!!!!!!!   It has happened more than I’d like to think about.  Even when I write my name and number inside the book.  I usually make a note to myself when I lend a book to someone, but not always.  Or people move away without returning books.  Sometimes I just shrug and hope others are enjoying the book, sometimes I go out and buy myself another copy.  Which is what I did this time.

I may use the move and the fact that all the books are now in boxes to try and catalog them properly.  Or not…that may slow down the unpacking, something I definitely do not want!  And as much as I love the feel of a book in my hands, I now find there are some clear advantages of ebooks when one moves house!  (One of the packers told me that after packing all my books she won’t be able to go into a bookstore for months…wimp)


And it’s on with the challenge!

The Last…and the First

August 28, 2011

The notice for the very last package I received in the old flat arrived in my mailbox the day before I had to hand over the keys…

It was my ABC swap package from Tina in Canada, sent in June!  Methinks it swam.  Slowly.

Tina sent me a wonderful package of things with a “P”, here shown on the backdrop of my latest furniture style – boxes.

There are Peanuts, Popcorn and Popcorn seasoning, Pens and Pencils, Peppermint tea, a Peace Pendant, Reeses Pieces, Pink Patons yarn and Pink highlighter, Purple Koolaid, Purple buttons, and a Purple fairy ornament, a Photo luggage tag and a Photo clip (which kidlet keeps trying to steal), and a Puzzle mystery!

I am opting out of swaps for the time being, since the budget needs to recover from the move, and I have no free time at all.  Knitting continues to be almost at a total standstill, although there’s a rumour floating around that my lovely SnB group is planning to kidnap me for a short time tonight.  And that they plan to make the lost time up to me by helping with the boxes later.  Little do they know that some dastardly dark witch or wizard hit my boxes with the Gemino curse – the more we open, the more they multiply.

Once I had moved, one of the very first things that appeared in my new mailbox was another notice of a package…this one was the August shipment of the Smart-Ass Knitters World Domination Club!

That is luscious Merino/Cashmere/Nylon sock yarn, in the colourway Just Like Mom Used to Kill.   A beautiful sock pattern by Jaya Pirswani called “Charee” (Hindi for “crazy”).    Arty buttons from Bella’s Bazaar.    And one of the buttons from Indigodragonfly’s set of favourite colourways!  Here’s the whole set:

photo by Indigodragonfly

I was originally planning to treat myself to the complete set as a birthday present…but as already mentioned, the move played so much havoc with the bank balance that the plan had to be shelved.   For now.

I still have two club projects on the needles, and the Ironic Hipster hat is even making an itty-bitty tiny bit of progress, so these socks will have to wait.  I still have the Monkey socks to finish as well.  But since this MCN sock yarn is probably my favourite sock yarn to knit with, I won’t put them off for too long.

And I still haven’t found the kettle, dammit.

I’m still here…..

August 24, 2011

Barely.  Lost in giant mazes of boxes, no time to knit, no time to blog.  Hard to navigate on crutches.

All I seem to be doing (besides going to work, of course)  is opening one box after another, figuring out where to put what’s inside, and each box is a surprise, since the packers neglected to label anything, and were quite eclectic in packing the things…a bit from a shelf there, from a drawer there, toss it all in and tape it up.  And since there was more than one packer and they  worked in different rooms, and then would push the boxes into other rooms,  it was kinda hard to follow along…

Still haven’t found the electric kettle, nor the mugs.  But after a couple of days I had found some of the tea, and an old stove top kettle, and a set of gift mugs I was meaning to give away.  So I can have my cuppa. (A couple of times I said the hell with it and just went out for tea…)

The technician came yesterday to hook up the TV service and the internet.  (Finally!!!)   Only trouble was, most of the cords and cables were lost in different boxes.  So were all the remotes.  He managed to somehow come up with most of the necessary equipment, and gave me a spare remote as a gift….  I had to go and purchase the rest of what was missing, since I still haven’t discovered where it was all packed.  Most of the computer stuff I’ve found, still missing the cable connecting the printer to the computer, and a multi-port USB cable.  The headphones were attached to the multi-port, and I’ve got the headphones…so go figure.

I’ve got long lists of to-do items, dealing with utilities and address changes and official crap that seems to take up an awful lot of time.  New checks have been printed.   My name has been taken off one mailbox and added to another.  My old landlady is being a royal pain in the butt about closing up all our business, I can’t wait to be rid of her.

The cat is having a marvelous time playing in and on all of the boxes.  Dozens of hiding places to jump out at us from, not to mention the fun of exploring a whole new place and staring out the windows at all the new sights.

We were so careful about measuring the fridge and the space for the fridge in the kitchen, but we neglected to measure the door…and the fridge doesn’t fit through the kitchen door!!!  We had the movers take off the fridge doors and all possible parts until reaching the point of no return, but no dice.  Can’t be done.  So the fridge is sitting on the balcony, at the other end of the flat from the kitchen.  Which is not convenient.  There’s a possibility I may swap fridges with someone, or check out the possibility for trading it in at a shop.  Shame, ’cause I really like my fridge.

My birthday came and went, and as a treat I rested more and unpacked less for the day.  Even got to read a little.   We’re postponing the celebration for a later day, which is fine.

But I do so miss my pointy sticks and yarn.  And my blogging.

Here’s hoping life gets back on a normal keel soon.   Any tips for efficient unpacking??

Have you heard the one about the insurance salesman?

August 9, 2011

Does anyone really like insurance agents?  I rarely hear anything positive about them…  There is the stereotype of the pushy insurance salesperson who takes advantage of every possible opportunity to sell you a policy. We’ve all experienced that one.  Or those that do their pushing on the telephone.

And after you pay exorbitant rates, it seems they find all kinds of loopholes to get out of covering your exact circumstances…

Most people complain about insurance rates.  And they are high.  When I bought the car and negotiated an insurance policy, partner thought I could have got perfectly good insurance for less.

But now I am not complaining.   On the contrary!

When some lowlife tried to break into my car in May, I called the insurance company from the garage, an appraiser was there within half an hour, approved repairs immediately.  Then they arranged for a car for me while mine was in the garage for almost a week.   The insurance agent stayed in touch with me by phone and by email regarding what forms to fill out and send.   They followed up on the claim.  They made the procedure much less painful.

When my lovely car developed a wee oil leak and started smoking this past weekend, I again called the insurance company and a tow truck was there within hours, shlepping both me and my car to the garage.  And they told me to call back as soon as I knew if I would need a replacement car.  (I didn’t, they fixed the leak right away, while I had a nice chat with the garage service rep about knitting. )

(It’s also nice that so far almost all of the repairs on the car have been covered either by the manufacturer, the dealership, or the rental company that sold the car to the dealership…but I digress.)

My point is, if there is a point to this ramble, is that for once I feel I’m getting my money’s worth.  That’s a rare feeling these days.   And somewhat of a surprise.

How often have you experienced that lately?



Punching up the Stress-O-Meter

August 6, 2011

OK, there are entirely too many stressors in my life right now.  I wish to log a  complaint.

There is something terribly wrong when people who try to be patient and wait for the system to work are basically screwed, while those who scream and shout get immediate service.  That is not how it is supposed to be.

On the 1st of May, the hip specialist gave a list of instructions to be followed up in order to confirm his diagnosis and to decide upon the best treatment.  First on the list was getting me off my hip and onto the crutches.  The rest included all necessary tests.  I went to my family doctor to get referrals for all the tests.  On May 2nd her office sent in a referral for an MRI.  She wrote URGENT across the top – I saw her.  They told me there was a long waiting list and I should be patient and it could take a few weeks to get an appointment.

In the meantime I had the bone scan and SPECT, and started seeing a hematologist (who sent me for lots of other tests) to determine if I have a clotting problem.   Every few weeks I checked in with my doctor’s office to ask why I hadn’t yet gotten an MRI appointment.  The answer was usually a shrug.  That’s the way it is.

Yesterday I decided I had had it.  I went to the doc’s office and demanded the referral and a phone number so I could call the folks responsible for the MRI  myself.  I called.  They wanted to know when the referral had been sent.  I told them.  To what number?  I told them.  They weren’t sure who had received the referral and what the status was, and suggested maybe I should resend it.  At that point I may have raised my voice a little – or more than a little – and told them all the reasons I should not have to wait any more for them to get it together.  That three months and a bit was quite enough time.  Silence.  Then the woman asked me if I could come to a hospital in another city.  I said wherever she said.  She said, ok, I can give you an appointment for tomorrow.

I almost dropped the phone.  So that’s what it took??  Some yelling?

Never mind that the thing is scheduled for 3:30am in a city an hour’s drive away.  The point is I’m finally going.

After having accomplished this feat, partner & I started running around to do errands.  And then the  car decided to start smoking.  Under the hood.  Great clouds.  We stopped and had the oil and water checked, everything was fine.  And the little temperature gauge showed normal.  But the smell of something burning was awful, and the smoke continued.  So we parked the car – it was late enough that all the garages were closing for the weekend.  Can’t do a thing about it until next week.  When, I have no idea.  Now we’re running around with taxis.

I’m going to have to take a taxi to and from the hospital, too.  Not a small expense.  And hope to get back home in time to catch the driver for work.

(And also hope to remain awake and efficient at work.)

In the meantime, I’m trying to get ready to move.  Throwing away ten years of accumulated junk.  Bringing an electrician to the new flat to find out there is a lot of work needed there.  Reviewing the nine-page contract my new landlord-to-be mailed to me to read over.  (Yes, nine pages.  Stating in great detail how I get to pay for everything and he doesn’t have to…)  We’re meeting this week to sign, but there are some points still to be worked out.  I’ve got movers coming to give me estimates for packing and moving.

All of which explains why I haven’t been knitting or blogging much.  Which definitely adds to the stress level….

I need to escape for just a bit.  And laugh.  How about a game of patty-cake?