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I’m pondering the nature of my universe, or my blog, more specifically. When I first started this project, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to say. Now it just comes out, either good or bad. So I’m not feeling particularly like I’m in crisis, or that it has anything to do with turning 50.

So do I change the name of my blog? I’m not spending as much time here, so do I pack in in and delete the blog and start another? That would be a shame because this is the sole resting place of my thoughts, some new and some old that have been copied in or “recycled” as it were.

50 has been a non-issue, other than the fact that physically I notice I’m a little slower and less resilient. Not seriously degraded, but I just don’t have the work till I drop and not pay a price the next day. Now working till I drop guarantees that I will at the very least ache all over for the next day or two, or be exhausted the next day. I can get around that by cultivating well placed breathing spaces in the day, but they aren’t a convenience any longer. They are a necessity.

Knitting away on the Oriel Lace blouse and I’m almost done with the sleeves. I knit them at the same time to avoid the dreaded SSS or second sleeve syndrome. Next is to start the back so I only have the one pair of needles to carry. Yes carry, as in my luggage – to Italy! Only 10 more days till we leave.

I’ve got to get the itinerary out!!

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I’m amazed at how picture perfect the Euro is. While our greenbacks have a certain pedestrian comfort in their sameness, the Euro is flashy. Filled with line drawings of spectacular architectural elements and brightly colored to boot. The different denominations are sized according to worth. Those damn Europeans have a logical means of measuring and weighing AND some very cute and logical moolah.

Slowly finding my way through the list of things. Made a dent last night and found an “epilator” at Freddie’s which is not too pricey. I think I’ll invest, considering that a leg waxing will easily cost more than the epilator for both – even at the beauty school.

Nothing concrete for the weekend. Kids go off to a game tonight and I’m happy to sit in front of the TV and knit tonight.

My big news is that someone wanted to use my picture of a finished piece of knitting I had done on Ravelry. The cables and lace scarf! I of course said yes, because it tickled me pink that it was worthy of use. Despite the fact that it’s usage is most likely due to no one else having a picture. Still there are several people who are knitting the scarf – it’s a free pattern after all. So maybe I’ll make some new friends on Ravelry. I have to admit the idea is a little daunting. I’m so bad at making friends.

I can’t believe how fast the days are going now. Tomorrow is two weeks till we leave and I still have many things to looks into before we go. I could travel without doing any of them, but it will make life easier if I do.

But all I feel like doing is cooking and knitting. Sigh!

I made some headway on the sleeves for the Lovely Lady Oriel, but unfortunately it was in the wrong direction. I had miscued on the pattern and repeated the same area twice instead of incrementing. It had to be slooowwwly backed out stitch by stitch because I’ve ripped the lady before and it took me longer to figure out where I was and work again than it did to unknit it. I need to finish these sleeves so I can begin the back, not so many needle changes there. I want to travel fairly light in Italy.

So I’ve decided a few things – boarding the bird instead of having Kristin keep her. It’s just too much for her (the bird not Kristin) since she’s been sickly. And I’m feeding her fresh food twice a day to try and build up her Vitamin A stores in addition to giving her the thyroid tablets.

I’m not as nervous about going away because I’m not leaving the kids behind this time. If anything befalls them it’s likely to befall me as well because we will be together. Potential disasters surrounding the rest of my stuff is manageable. I’m insured, though I hope not to need it.

So compression stockings, hair removers for my legs (my Epilady died a few months ago and shaving is not making me happy!!!) waterproofer for my shoes and I need to buy some Euros.

Still manageable, but the weekend will be busy.

So let me tell you about cooking. I decided to start prepping my children for the Italy trip (T-Minus 26 days and counting) by cooking some items from the Rome and Florence cookbooks I have received as gifts. My sister had sent along a goodie box full of Italian items from . Polenta, pasta, fregole (Sardinia cous cous) tomatoes, yummy stuff!

So the first night I found a recipe for Fregole with pancetta and pecorino. I also used the Roasted chicken with lemon from the Williams Sonoma cookbook. It called for roasting the chicken stuffed with lemons and then using the roasted chicken drippings and juice of the roasted lemons to make a sauce.

I think my daughter put it best. It was a huge flavor explosion. The meal was rich so we ate slowly and took small amounts. That was Saturday.

Sunday we ended up with no dinner plans and I had a hankering to make a marinara sauce I’d seen on America’s Test Kitchen. So I did. Let me tell you that was the best sauce I have ever made. Think, rich and fast by comparison to others I’ve made. Those guys (America’s Test Kitchen)do all the anal retentive stuff for me that I don’t have time to do. The pasta from Italy is so different and cooks up so rich and plump and succulent. It’s hard to describe.

So the weekend was a rousing success for cooking. No knitting to speak of, I worked on my Italian a little more. Restful, but not nearly restful enough. Sweetie Man flies home tomorrow and I’m going to make the best of the next few weekends to get my diet and exercise in order and spend more time sleeping. Sometimes it’s a hard adjustment for fall and winter weather. My winter body is stubborn about working. Kind of like the old cranked cars. You have to try several times to get them started.

For the most part – aside from the extended 4 hour interlude of nose blowing and hacking ans spitting I’m better. That interlude happens about 40 minutes after I get up and continues through my drive to work and the first couple of hours of work. It’s loud, and uncomfortable. And decidedly gross.

The oldest of my progeny has gotten her braces off. Her smile is so beautiful and perfect. The difference between before and after is startling. There is no way to understand that her teeth didn’t look bad before. They were very straight, but her bite was ever so slightly off. But not anymore. Now if I could just be done with paying for them – the braces that is. The kids I’ll never be done with paying for 😉

The lovely Lady Oriel is proceeding along. I’ve knit maybe a fourth of the sleeves. The shaping is done with the needle sizes, not increasing and decreasing. New world for me.

I’ve been reading several of my favorite blogs lately. The theme seems to be finishing and also ripping out things that weren’t quite right. I’ve especially enjoyed reading the Yarn Harlot’s blog where she describes not being able to knit anything in a straight line. It’s always knit and rip and knit and rip. She said it was also when she was bone tired at night that it went this way. Well all I can say is Thank God I’m not the only one and if it happens to the Harlot, who am I to think it won’t happen to me? Hmmmm

Well I’m out of here for now.

Even the bird, who is sitting at the Veterinarian’s office now. Marc went back to bed for a nap this morning. I had two back to back meetings and then off I went to drop off the bird and head into the office. While my nose gently drips – I can hear George Harrison twirling in his grave.

Being sick is tiresome. I hate how it takes me out of myself and my life. I don’t feel like I want to spare that time, but I’m guessing it’s Mother Nature’s way of telling me that something is not quite right. And it hasn’t been. I’ve been moody and snappish on account of petty resentments and not so petty worries that weigh on me. I’m continuing to improve my ability to handle these little storms, so this one took me by surprise. I didn’t hear back from the hotel in Florence or the tour company in Rome and I let it get to me. The bird being ill also stresses me out. I don’t want her to be a deceased parakeet, but I also do not want to spend hundreds of dollars getting her back to health like last time.

Long story short, the tour company got fired and I moved onto another more responsive one, the hotel finally responded, with Uffizi and Accademia reservations as requested, and the train tickets from Milan to Zurich can wait until we arrive in Milan.

Now if the bird would only be so easy.

Here is a pretty picture of my WIP

Although I worked almost a full day I am really not feeling well. To help me feel better my Sweetie bought me a magnifying lamp. One of those things which should help me to be able to work without my glass and to take the guess work out of some of my fine handiwork.

I was able to get my WIP, FO’s and stash into Ravelry last night, with pictures even! It’s fun. And with the magnifier I can think of other projects which I could accomplish now, since I can see the fine handiwork with it. But not today.

Right now, I’m in bed with my jammies on eating soup and drinking tea to get my throat to hurt less. I need a nap in the worst way. Like maybe now…

I’m feeling a little under the weather, and annoyed. I cooked like a fool on Sunday but didn’t get to knit. I knitted on Saturday but didn’t cook. I’m out of sorts and touchy. It’s fall coming on in all of it’s unkempt, windblown chilliness. Despite all of the preparations I made to ease myself into Fall, it’s as if I were entering a cold swimming pool on a cool, windy day. Immersing myself an inch at a time, alternating holding my breath, wincing and hyperventilating. I’m a major wuss when it comes to cold.

Don’t get me started on the dark.

Add a sick parakeet into the mix and I’m ready to pack it in. Winter isn’t even here yet.

Allow me to avert my gaze from my navel for a moment and focus on the world outside. Oh, look! People are going on living their lives having fun. I wonder if I can do that too. Let’s see, I’m heading to Europe next month for two weeks. I’m healthy and strong, my kids are well. I think I’m just going to have to suck it up.

Got my Ravelry invite yesterday. Signed in and started entering projects. I don’t know if this is another place for me to torture myself at not being good enough, but I’m game to try it, and it links to my blog – how very nice!