Sunday, April 29, 2007

Where in the world is...


I took a plane to Galway, Ireland.

Where even the manhole covers are cool.

Drank lots of Guinness,

and bought some yarn (angora-wool blend, aran weight).

Then I got on another plane

to Lisbon, Portugal.

The weather was lovely.

I ate this (not the heads),

drank lots of coffee,

saw beautiful views,
sampled some local brew,
and some wine,

and ate Santo Antonio's pudding (love the caramel star!)

Finally, I managed once again not to fall in the Corrib.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Get your kicks on Route 66

Neat stuff from Google.

create your own visited states map
or check out these Google Hacks.

Yes, I'm feeling better. Thanks everyone!

I picked up this link from Midwife with a Knife. Shouldn't some of these states be blue? :-) Clearly I've missed a whole section of the country up there. Also, I'm fairly sure I've been to Alabama AND Mississippi, because you can't drive to Louisiana without going through both of them.

Ok, technically you can drive to Louisiana without going through those two states but based on our travel pattern, we would have driven in a straight line.

Today we are celebrating Little Brewer #2's birthday. Five little boys and a moonbounce shaped like a Dalmation. What could be more fun? Brewguy has declared that he must test the moonbounce first, to make sure it is "safe." Let's hope he doesn't "safe" it into deflating.

When I was a kid, birthday parties consisted of 5-8 of your friends running around your house, eating cake and playing Pin the Tail on the Donkey. Now it's ballet parties, dance parties, Chuck-E-Cheese, firehouse parties, etc. And the gift bags! Sheesh! They're like Oscar night swag.

I am attempting to resist this trend as long as possible. All Little Brewer birthdays have been held in the back yard. We are fortunate that both birthdays occur in the spring, so I usually just let them run around and play.

However, Little Brewer #1 is turning 7 this May. I am fearful she has been led by her friends into expecting something *big.*

Resistance is futile.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Is it possible to get mono twice? I caught it in 2004 during my long battle with a post-partum infection and dual root canals.

Back then, when the doctor told me I had mono, I repeated, "I have mono?" I was 37 years old. In my exhausted state, the diagnosis seemed ridiculous. So I started laughing. Loudly.

This probably would have been no big deal, but at the time I happened to be speaking to my doctor on my cell while riding on an Acela train. Based on their expressions, I deduced my seatmates were not pleased to be privy to the news of my condition and my seeming hysterical response. Yeah, bite me.

So back to now.
My symptoms: low grade fever (between 99 and 100.4), muscle aches, fatigue, dizziness, slight nausea.
Duration: three weeks, probably brought on by the stress of being verbally bitch-slapped by the statistics division at work and moving MIL.

Symptoms improve with ibuprofen but I hate taking that stuff all day, every day. Tylenol and I are not on speaking terms (Brewgal loves the brew and also loves her liver).

I would love nothing better than to stay in bed all day but I am speaking at a conference on Thursday and next week it's back to Ireland! And Portugal! So I must GET BETTER.

Healing vibes appreciated.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

The big move: update

My MIL has decided that she no longer wants to live in the retirement home and will move back to her house.

She lived there for three days. THREE DAYS.

I think my head is going to explode.

We're back. MIL is successfully moved to the retirement home and her rooms look passably like her own.

I have learned a number of important things:
r Milton-Freewater does not have Wi-Fi (but the Pasco/Kennewick airport does)
h Ibuprofen is my friend
a It's ok to say no to a "family heirloom" if you don't like it

We have spent the last seven days, 12-hours a day packing, sorting and cleaning MIL's house. She saved everything. Let me rephrase that: EVERY-%#$!!-THING. Receipts for watch repairs from 1954. Contents of desk drawers from long-vanished desks. Brochures from national parks visited in 1972. Sealing wax. I am not making this up.

Now don't get me wrong- I love digging through old things. If I sound dismissive, it is only because every time I opened a drawer or a cabinet I was faced with a mountain of stuff to sort. If I had more time (say, three weeks) I would have been much more relaxed about the whole process.

Most interesting:
Grandpa's WWI doughboy helmet with hand-painted scenes of places he had been stationed

Most scary:
Live ordnance. Four enormous shells (similar to version F in this photo) and a box of live ammo of various sizes. I have no idea how MIL managed to move that stuff from California and store it in her garage without some sort of disaster occurring. Eeesh.

Best knitting find:
Grandma's nickle-plated double-points in the original package

Wineries visited: 3 (we were really busy)

Must clean out own house now.