Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Stress test

My dad went in to the doctor's today to take a stress test after his heart attack. It's been eight weeks now, long enough to see if the dietary changes and drugs have started to take affect, and to see how much damage was actually done to his heart.

He came over to my desk this afternoon, very quiet and a little still, and he asks "You know I had my stress test today, right?" I affirmed, and asked how it went. "Well, I got on the treadmill, got my heart rate up to 150, and they put the ultrasound over my heart, and the doctor, you know the doctor who was educated at Oxford, the one who is either Indian or Pakistani, but I think he's Indian..."


"Oh, the doctor looked at my heart and said it was amazing! That there was hardly any damage at all, not even around the stent!"

And that was when I smacked him.

(Not really, but sheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeesh. Way to bury the lede there dad!)

Also, happy.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Jasmine is finished!

As promised, some pictures!

I got a new camera earlier this month, and I had a bit of fun taking a few pictures.

Maybe more than a bit of fun.

But I'm proud of my little finish!

I finished her up ve-e-e-ery early Saturday morning, but was busy all day yesterday. I'd hoped to get some pictures with sunlight today so the color of the fabric would be true, but the weather didn't cooperate.

The color in the detail pictures is closest to true.

Thanks for looking!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Wherein I make little progress, and I *like* it that way

The current cross stitch project is Nora Corbett's Jasmine. I'm getting close to the end, and it's looking nice. Last weekend I realized "If I just make a little push, I could totally get this finished!"

And then I didn't stitch on it at all. Poor Jasmine gets picked up and worked on after I finish something huge, and I no longer have the energy to put forth much effort. So instead of her getting finished last weekend and I move on to something new, I picked up TW's Diamonds in Squares and got it slightly farther instead.

And then I played video games.

Odds are I'll finish Jasmine up this weekend. I probably have 5-6 more hours of work before I'm done, and if I just work on it a bit every night I'll have it down to a nicely manageable portion for the weekend.

And then this blog will have pictures! Crazy!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

They are moving the snow shovel!!!

(It was a difficult thing, to limit myself to three exclamation points in the title.)

To say that I am ecstatic is to understate things. As soon as that... thing... is gone and there is daylight, I'm putting everything back to rights.

I don't have kids, and I don't have pets. My only outlet for the nurturing instinct is my plants. So yes, I am a bit over-protective of them. Also, I have hope for irises, and sweet peas, and jasmine in the little space. Somehow, a shovel just clashes *terribly*.

I might even be able to sleep tonight. And eat dinner. How pleasant!

Monday, January 10, 2011


When I moved into my condo, I was told that the patch of earth at the base of the stairs and the patch of earth under the stairs was mine.

Last year, I worked to make the bits of earth I had into some approximation of a garden. I took out the ugly, sprawling evergreen bush under the stairs, cleaned up the moss, added a trellis, put an ornamental edge between the dirt and the concrete, added compost and fertilizer to the dirt to make it fertile again, and finally, in October, I planted some irises to bloom in the spring.

On Saturday I came home from a shopping excursion to see that the HOA had moved the trellis, and killed one of my irises as they hung up a snow shovel from the stair support. In high dudgeon I started to remove the apparatus they used to secure the shovel to the post, but a careful reading of the HOA documents doesn't specifically say that I have any right to that bit of land. I own the stairs, but there is no mention of the space beneath them, and it does specifically state that the parts of the deck that I own do not include the supporting beams.

So I took out the trellis, replanted the irises in the bit of dirt at the bottom of the stairs, and took out the ornamental edging. For things that took me many, many hours to put in, they took perhaps fifteen minutes to tear out. Destruction is so much easier than creation.

The irises will die. The earth at the foot of the stairs is on the north side of the building, and is practically on the water table besides. Assuming the bulbs had the energy to try to re-root themselves in the new dirt, they are going to rot. And now, every time I drive home, every time I walk into my house, instead of seeing something that I made beautiful, that I took pride in, that I had plans for, and hopes for... instead of a garden, I'm going to get to see a bright yellow plastic snow shovel.

In SEATTLE. Where it might, MIGHT need to be used four days a year. So for the other 361 days I'll see something blight-ugly, on the off chance that someone might want to use the snow shovel when we do get two inches of snow. And that's also assuming that this mythical person was not capable of purchasing their own shovel.

I hate my HOA. I hate them so much. Every "idea" they have to make this place better just makes things more frustrating and ugly. Had this happened last year, before I spent any time trying to make a garden, I'd have loathed it because it looks horrible. The fact that it stole something from me that I treasured AND it looks horrible has me heartbroken.