Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Same as yesterday.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Too tired to blog. Taking care of Tom has been a full time job, on a split shift, no less. Not that he's so gravely ill; he does his own personal care and all. I don't have to bathe and dress him, thank God. No, but I've been spending 8+ hours/day ferrying him to doctors' appointments and IV infusions at the hospital, plus having to do all the work around the house, including the things he usually does himself. Tired.

(Glad the restaurant isn't ready to open, yet. We don't have to close, while Tom gets well.)

Sunday, August 28, 2011

No time to post, yesterday. Tom's hand was much worse, so we spent the day going from Urgent Care to Emergency Room, where he had surgery to drain the abscess in his hand, followed by a slow infusion of very strong antibiotics. He wasn't admitted to the hospital, but has to come back every twelve hours for another dose. Since the first dose was in the afternoon, the second dose of the day is in the wee hours of the morning. I am very tired.

The last dose scheduled so far is tonight. The doc will see him in his office tomorrow, and decide then whether he needs to continue on IV medication, or whether he can be switched to oral. I can live with either decision, as long as Tom gets well.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Tom's hand was a bit better today, so he didn't go to the doctor.

On a hunch, I tried a different method of making french fries, which I haven't seen before. I met with total success, the best fries I've ever eaten. No, I'm not going to tell you what I did; you'll have to come to my restaurant.

The problem with knitting for men is that it's so g-d boring to knit with solid, respectable colors in smooth, even yarn for weeks at a time. I'm barely halfway through with Tom's Christmas sweater, and I'm already so sick of it I could scream. Navy blue? Who thought navy blue would be a good idea? Okay, that would be me.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Tom's hand isn't noticeably better, so he's likely going back to the doctor's office tomorrow. I've told him that, if the problem organism is sensitive to the antibiotic given, he should have felt much better by now. He's susceptible to infections, and hard to treat, as he's allergic to most antibiotics. Sigh.

After finishing the firecracker scarf, I started another with leftovers of a couple of different yarns. I had a full skein of Shimmer 5, a super-duper bulky thick-and-thin that knits up at 2 stitches/inch on size 13 needles, and a partial skein of a bulky silk/wool blend ( whose name I forget) that knits up at 4 stitches/inch on size 10s. I cast on ~150 on a long size 13 with the Shimmer 5, and knit in garter until I ran out of yarn. Then, with a size 10, I knit into both the front and back of each stitch with the other yarn, still in garter. The scarf, once I finish casting off, will be about 4 inches wide, and 7 ft long. I've already started casting off, having only started this evening. That's the magic of thick yarn and big needles.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

I didn't much feel like knitting more 4x1rib in smooth navy blue today, so I went through my stash and picked out some Colinette Firecracker in a nice blue combo. Jay? Since it's a fancy yarn (a wide nylon (I think) ribbon with frayed edges), I'm doing a scarf in garter stitch. Since there are only 70 meters in a skein, I'm doing the scarf only 10 stitches wide. In the time it took to watch one movie, I have more than a foot of scarf going on already.

Poor Tom is in a lot of pain; we think he has an infection in the hand he had operated on a couple of weeks ago. He's on antibiotics. I hope he'll be all better soon.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Did a little of this and that, here and there, but the big thing today was meeting with a graphic artist and talking about the signs we want for the restaurant, and the logo. She'll be back in two days with the rough drafts.

I also bought some blue dye, and overdyed the hot pink polo shirt Tom bought for himself last time he was in the Disneyland neighborhood. Some guys can get away with wearing hot pink; Tom's not one of them. It's a nice, respectable purple now, I'm pleased to say. I'm just sorry I didn't wear rubber gloves while I was doing it.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Yesterday's laziness morphed into real fatigue; I spent much of the day on the sofa. I decided that I was fighting a virus, so a day spent knitting could be charged as a sick day on my imaginary time card.

I did make enough progress that, the next time I sit down to it, I'll be splitting the torso at the armline. Does that make sense? I mean I've knit around as far as I can, and will now knit back-and-forth to the shoulders.

I invented a new sauce for braised beef. Tom liked it, but I didn't like it enough to add it to the repertoire. It was based on lemon soda (my standard substitute for wine, when cooking for the alcohol-intolerant), with generous additions of mustard, ketchup, steak sauce, and my over salted homemade pickles. I added a lot of water, to correct for it being too tart, thickened it with cornstarch, and finished it with butter to smooth out the rough edges. Good, but not great. The sauce I made with sour cream and paprika was a lot better.

I also spent a couple of hours working on a logo for the restaurant. Tom was shocked at how well I draw.* I was dissatisfied with my best effort;** I made an appointment with a commercial artist for tomorrow. At least I'll be able to show her my rough drafts, so she'll have an idea of what I want.

*The hibiscus is recognizable as a hibiscus.

**But the sandwich looks only approximately sandwich-like.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

I woke up with a bad case of the lazies this morning. There was nothing I could do about it; I had made dough for a batch of bagel the night before, so I had to shape, boil, and bake them. Then we watched a couple of episodes of "Top Gear," the original British show. I didn't watch the whole marathon; I missed the Kite Festival in Longbeach, WA last year, and wanted to catch it this year.

The kite festival was nice, but no big deal, since we're not involved in the kiting community. There were a lot of sales booths, and food booths, as you'd expect at a county fair. Since the kite festival is a big draw, we had to park several blocks away. We got a lot of exercise.

Once we got home, I found hundreds (literally) of tweets waiting for me. Ghadaffi had been killed, no, he had been arrested, no, no one knew whether the was still in Libya or not. Boy, turn my back for a minute and a revolution breaks out. As I write now, several hours later, things are still insecure. It is widely assumed that the revolution has been successful, and Ghadaffi is no longer in power, but there has been neither surrender nor cessation of hostilities. The dancing in the streets that started several hours ago may have been premature.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Tom told me that he'd like a pirate poster in Hebrew for the restaurant, so I looked for those online today. I couldn't find any such thing, or any other Hebrew posters that would be good for the restaurant, but, wow, I did find some other stuff. An original "Star Wars" poster, in Hebrew? Three grand. Not in Hebrew, but in English, an original "Yellow Submarine" poster? Twelve grand. I'm glad I was looking for posters from obscure pirate films. Those, I can afford.

It was the first hot day of the summer, well over 90 in Portland. That's why we didn't move to Portland. It was in the high 70s here in Astoria. We went to Cannon Beach to check out the new Chocolate Cafe. It was 88 in Cannon Beach, but the magnificence that was the chocolate shake at the Chocolate Cafe made up for any brief discomfort. It was not only the best milk shake I've ever tasted, but possibly the most delicious substance of any kind.

Didn't knit very much today. The sweater is almost long enough now to divide at the armholes.

Since I've been jogging and using the ski machine, I've lost 5 pounds and my blood sugar is down 20 points. My feet aren't swelling any more, so I may cancel the appointment I made with my doc.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Today, I framed the pirate movie posters I had bought for the men's room at the restaurant. They look so good that now I want to put them in the dining room. Tom and I spent much of the day looking for pirate stuff in Seaside, without a lot of success. After we got home, I spent three hours on eBay, looking for what I wanted. Could be worse. My purchases should be arriving over the next couple of weeks.

From what we hear from our contractor, a couple of weeks is all we'll need. Okay, I still haven't hired staff, or gotten our signs made, or even found out whether the refrigeration in our walk-in works, so we're not ready to make the appointment to be inspected, let alone open. It's coming, though. Now, it looks like we'll be opening shortly after Labor Day.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Another quiet day. Knitting, cooking, and watching TV.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Took a beautiful drive to Longview, WA, today, to get a shot of cortisone in my trigger finger. I should be all better in a day or three. That's such a beautiful drive, out the 30 on the south bank of the Columbia River. I promised the doctor-- nurse practitioner, actually-- that I wouldn't knit today, but I lied. I'll pretend "Go easy on your hand for a few days" meant no gardening.

I had thawed out a kishka yesterday, bought last June from a Polish butcher in Chicago. I didn't know how to cook it, so I looked it up online. I must have done something wrong, though, as the sausage exploded, yielding something that looked exactly like the cheap canned dog food my parents used to give our collie. It tasted good, though, once I added salt and garlic.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

After spending two hours with the Oregonian's classified section, without finding a suitable exercise machine, I decided to hit the thrift shops. The second one yielded a ski machine, and several original paintings perfect for the restaurant. I got the whole lot, ski machine included, for $60.

The paintings, of course, are "naive," to put it kindly. One is a large canvas of an angel playing a guitar; three are small landscapes. All are in bright colors, appropriate to the Caribbean theme of the restaurant. Most amazing was a yarn painting of a Taino (the group native to the Caribbean) sun figure. That was the *last* thing I expected to find in far-northern Oregon. Someone must have had a vacation.

My charlie horse is mostly gone, so I went for a very short run this morning, supplemented with a couple of short sessions on the ski machine. After having been laid up as the result of my own foolishness all weekend, I'm not about to overdo it now.

Monday, August 15, 2011

We went to a wholesale meat market today. They're going to draw up a price list for the things we need and get back to us. It looks like the restaurant is going to become real.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Yesterday was all about the Regatta, with reservations.

The Regatta, which started as a race among fishermen, has become a big festival that draws people from all over the Pacific Northwest. We went to a small street fair, an antique car show, a small private museum, and a fireworks exhibition. This represented barely a third of the entertainment options for that one day.

I couldn't do more, because, ironically, I had recently added a short run to my evening walk with the dogs. I had had a brief run the night before, and again the morning of the Regatta. The calf muscle in my left leg, which has been babied for months due to the knee injury, cramped up, and remained cramped for the rest of the weekend. I spent yesterday flamboyantly limping from one entertainment venue to another. Today, I took half a Vicodin, but stayed home anyway.

I expect to be back on my feet tomorrow. Being laid up has given my lots of time for knitting, if nothing else. I'm about six inches in to the navy blue cotton/alpaca sweater that is destined to be Tom's main Christmas gift. As always, I hope I have enough yarn. Fourteen skeins sounds like plenty, except that I'm only getting two inches of length per skein of yarn, and there are sleeves to contend with. Oh, well. Maybe he'll be getting another vest.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Tom and I drove down to Tillamook today. Sure, we bought some cheese while we were there, but the drive was the main event. Wow. I've been living here most of the year, and I'm still bowled over at how beautiful it is.

While walking the dogs tonight, even though there was a full moon and it wasn't quite dark yet, we saw two meteors. We also saw a bat, but that had nothing to do with the Perseid meteor shower.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

I didn't have any serious work to do, so I did a little knitting, a little cooking, a little watching of the TV, and a little exercise.

I was very proud of myself for making potstickers without a recipe, just using what I had on hand and the memory of having once read a recipe~30 years ago. The trick is that *first* you fry them, and *then* you steam them. They came out pretty good, although I have to say they would have been better if I had had shrimp on hand, rather than beef.

I don't have to strain myself on the sweater, since it's still months until Christmas.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

I've finished recovering the chairs for the restaurant, having done another 13 today. I also sewed the button on the shawlette I finished knitting a few days ago, so that's ready as soon as the weather turns mild. Milder. Well, something with a bit of a nip to it. The hottest it has been all summer has been about 75 degrees, so I'm not griping. I like it this way; my dislike of hot weather was my primary reason for moving from Los Angeles to the Oregon Coast.

I did very little knitting on Tom's Christmas sweater today. It's solid navy blue, and I chose a very simple stitch pattern, so I'm already bored. I might have to frog everything above the ribbing, and choose a more challenging pattern.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Another day of extreme virtue. I finally scrubbed those last 13 chairs I've been avoiding, and bagged up the brush pile for a trip to the dump, too. There's finally a realistic hope that we'll be able to park both cars in the garage. Add that to baking cookies, another load of laundry, and the usual, and I'm a sleepy baby.

Monday, August 08, 2011

Another busy, busy day. I baked bagels, cleaned the kitchen, bought more fabric for covering the last few chairs, checked out the progress on the remodeling, did 3 loads of laundry, overdyed some shirts Tom bought in much-too-bright colors, and started his Christmas sweater.

I'm tired.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

I covered another 14 chairs today, which gives us just barely enough to open the restaurant with. I'll do another half dozen or so, to be safe. We bought 15 more than we needed; I have no idea why. Both of us decided we should have 60 chairs, even though we knew the room would only seat 45. Sure, a few extra would be good insurance if a chair or two broke, but, if more than a couple broke, I'd assume the whole batch was faulty, and replace them all.

I can certify that the whole wheat/wild rice/walnut/cranberry bread I made a few days ago makes very good french toast.

Saturday, August 06, 2011

I finished the shawlette I was making, out of that fancy rayon/mohair mix. It's just a garter stitch triangle, but it looks quite neat and elegant. It's too small to drape over the shoulders by itself, so I made a button loop. Once I buy a button to fit, it will be dandy for cool summer evenings and winter days.

I've been feeling a need for more exercise, so I took my dog for a small run this evening. If you knew me, you would be dumbfounded. I haven't run more than a step or two in twenty years or more. Tonight, I ran two blocks. Slowly, sure, but that's something.

Friday, August 05, 2011

I made a good bread today, whole wheat with wild rice, walnuts, and dried cranberries. Yum.

In theory, there was so much solar activity yesterday and today that auroras can be seen at all latitudes. In actuality, it's overcast, here.

Night, night. I'm still in need of catching up more sleep.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Sooooo... Tiiiired...

Houseguest has gone. Tom's surgery went well; we expect a full recovery in a couple of weeks. Other than taking Tom to and from the hospital, and getting his meds, and doing the grocery shopping, I didn't do any chores today, which means that I'm going to be running out of clean clothes and dishes soon. I haven't done any reupholstering since before the houseguest arrived, as that's an absorbing job. It also makes my hand sore, and my hand is sore enough without help.

While Sharon was here, I tried to keep her amused by, among other things, taking her to yarn stores. She's a lifelong knitter, and a fairly passionate one. While she was looking at sensible yarn, I bought a couple of skeins of a silly novelty yarn, the kind that you knit into one edge only, and end up with something that resembles lavishly ruffled lace. I knit a long scarf for her, in a shade of bright green that she favors, and a collar and cuff set for myself in off white. The collar and cuffs are begging to be added to a red sweater; they look very Mrs. Claus.

Today, after getting Tom settled at home, I started what I hope will become a shawl. It's made from very expensive yarn, a two-strand combo called "Fiesta," in the Coyote colorway. It's a strand of rayon boucle twinned with a strand of mohair. I bought it years ago, and saved it until I became a "better knitter." For years, I felt unworthy of knitting the nice yarn I bought. Now that I can't comfortably afford nice yarn, I still have plenty to knit with. The ironic thing is that, since the yarn is fancy, it requires a plain stitch. I'm doing a triangle shawl in garter stitch, and not even one that puts the increases in the middle of the rows, but at the beginning of each row, so the stripes are straight across. I didn't need to wait; I had the requisite skills for this kind of shawl the year I started knitting. Of course, if I had made it then, I would have donated it to Friends of the Elephant Seal, since I had little need for warm wraps while still living in LA.

Off to bed, now. I may reconsider turning into a night person.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

In the morning, the house guest is leaving, and I'm taking Tom to the hospital for minor surgery. That shouldn't be any problem, except that we have to be at the hospital very, very early. G'night.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Busy, busy. Houseguest, still getting ready for restaurant opening, and Tom got home tonight. Busy, busy.