31 May 2006

It's Too Darn Hot!

It isn't even June, and yesterday hit 96 degrees. I'm crazy and I biked anyway! (Slowly, but I did do it. Then I drank a liter of Gatorade.)

How you know it's hot here:

--The black dogs find shady spots in the house.
--M asked me to cut his hair, very short.
--No matter the time of day, you go outside and hear the hum of air conditioners.
--My Burt's Bees lip balm melts in my backpack.
--B bought SHORT sleeved clergy shirts.
--The boys keep "losing" their shirts when they are playing outside.
--Knitting the shawl has lost all of its appeal.
--We are using up the ice in the fridge.

Other news: B is going to General Convention after all. It runs my last week of classes and during finals (10 days). Eep. Since we've been doing tag-team parenting while I'm teaching, this should be quite interesting. (My teaching schedule and B's office hours overlap by about 1 and a half hours. The boys spend that time watching DVDs or playing on the grounds. Every kid should get some time to run around without any agenda.) One thing that is going to bother the boys is that B is going to miss Father's Day. Earlier this month, he missed his birthday as he was at a conference in Florida. I'm not sure that I am going to teach in the summer again. It's been really difficult to manage, as B seems to go out of town quite often. Sigh.

29 May 2006

Nice Day

Today has been a really nice day. All of us were able to be together most of the day. We slept in (and it wasn't because I was still sick, either!), and had a leisurely breakfast, and then headed over to church, so B could start working on getting the garden plot ready. It's not done yet (it became very hot, very fast), but a big chunk of it is finished. The boys played at the church playground and looked for bugs. L found a ladybug friend that we had to convince him to leave at the church. I went for a bike ride. A long ride, all by myself. Heavenly. This new route is my new favorite.

From church, it is 25.43 miles round trip and it's gentle hills, rather than the oh-my-goodness-
how-will-I-get-to-the top variety of hills I usually ride. It's along a creek and I ride down to the ferry. It's a nice spot to stop and watch the ferry, and I can wait till the cars get off so I can go a ways down the road before another batch come up behind me. I'm really pleased with this ride--I made it in 1 hour and 33 minutes, and averaged 16.4 miles per hour. My fastest ride yet! : )

Currently, the boys are outside playing in the sprinkler, which is watering our flower beds. I'm getting ready to vacuum upstairs (we're having a babysitter tomorrow) and after the boys finish in the sprinkler they have to pick up the downstairs. B is making sure the new portable DVD player works (the other one bit the dust), and the dogs are snoozing. We had DQ for lunch (everyone's favorite here) and we're having brats for dinner with watermelon for dessert. It's a great start to summer.

I hope that your Memorial Day weekend was as nice as ours has been!

26 May 2006

Crazy week

This week has been really insane. Both boys are now home for the summer.

Sunday was M's choir promotion and award ceremony. He is no longer a probationer. Now he is a junior chorister with his light blue ribbon. On Sunday, we also went to a church that B may be the part time priest. The boys did quite well for it being a two service Sunday, especially when the first service was looooonnnnngggg.

B is doing a wedding on Saturday. He has been extremely busy at church most nights this week. He has rehearsal tonight, and the wedding tomorrow. The building project is waiting for supplies to come in and for a miracle to deal with the doubled price of asphalt. There actually may be miracle in the wings.

I am officially halfway through my summer class and tutoring. It's been a very good class, but boy am I tired by Friday. I'm used to teaching three days a week with T/R off for (I want to say good behavior) L's specialist appointments in Cincinnati. I'm lecturing for two hours at a go, too.
This week I started commuting partway to school. I drive to the best bike shop (one of the only places in Lex that will let you park and not tow your car) and ride in from there. I managed to drive to Lex the whole week on a single tank of gas. Amazing. My stats for the week I'll write down by themselves.

On Wednesday, we had a scare with Murfy (our elderly dog of undetermined age). He's been spending a lot of time sleeping under beds, so we aren't too surprised when we don't see or hear him for an evening. Somehow though on Wednesday, he got out. Of course, we didn't discover this until 11:00 at night, and black dogs tend to disappear in the dark. B went looking for him, and we were both worried that he'd had a heart attack or something and was somewhere dead. Eventually we had to give up and go to bed, but we thought we could hear him. Then we had storms all night long. : ( Thursday am we started looking again and I tangled with barbed wire (I am glad that I had a tetanus shot last summer), and were not seeing him. We began asking random people on the street if they'd seen our dog. First people we asked had him! They live behind us and have a kennel and had put him in there to keep him safe. They thought he was a beautiful sweet dog (although not too bright) and were getting ready to call the humane society, the newspaper etc. I'm not sure why a dog who can barely decide to go upstairs, will wander off.

So that has been our week.

Other stuff: I started two different shawls (I need a project for tutoring time) and haven't gotten very far on them. One's a gift. The other is for me. No pictures yet, because there is not much to see.

Cycling: I had my Dolce adjusted so I can use my highest set of gears. I didn't get to ride it this week as I started commuting into school. I plan on going for a long ride on Sunday or Monday. The commuting has been going well. In four days (I didn't ride on Thursday due to bad weather being forecast), I managed to get in 43.63 miles, and averaged 13.3 mph. Not too bad, considering that riding in town is slower. My best average speed was today (14.5 mph, woot!), so next week should be even better. I definitely could go longer on the rides. I think that a century is definitely something that I can do this year.

24 May 2006

Commuting by bicycle

Well, I have begun commuting part way by bicycle. It's actually working out pretty well. I just need to remember to take my inhaler, and eat before the ride. I get a little "shaky" if I don't. The ride in is easier than the ride back out. I think it's because there is more traffic on the way home and people are in a hurry. Why is there so much traffic at 3:00 pm? I'm making the trip in about 24 minutes (it's a 5.35 mile ride), so it's not even taking me much longer than driving the whole way.

I'm definitely saving on gas. I've made two trips into Lex and have only used a 1/4 tank of gas. It shows how much of my gasoline usage is to keep me going in the stop and go traffic. Between commuting partway and tutoring, all my gas money will be covered. Not too shabby.

Today I'm giving a test, and will probably finish up the second fancy silk sock (knit in cotton!) during that time. All I have left is the toe. Then I should start working on one of the unfinished projects I have around. I'd like to finish up that stupid baby blanket that I really, truly despise knitting. I don't want to quit on it, because it will be cute. But I'm not giving it to anyone I'll see because it really is awful.Maybe I'll be able to post pictures, later.

Edited to add: I finished the socks. Not quite during my class's test, but pretty close. Here is a picture that M took-->

and below is a closeup of the stitch pattern. I like them--they are really cheerful!

22 May 2006

Summer Vacation

for the boys, anyway. I still have 4 weeks of summer school left, but really, that's not too bad!

The sun has come back out and it's already getting comfortably warm. Finally!

Today I'm going to ride my bike from the bike shop to school. It will save money, keep me at a lower stress level, and be more fun than driving. Besides, the Dew hasn't been ridden since I got the new bike. I still like to ride the Dew, it just isn't quite so fast and the Dolce is better for training. It will be perfect for commuting. Isn't it pretty? The rear wheel is different from the front because of my wreck last year. I tacoed the wheel, and did a few other things which I won't mention here.

The boys are happier right now because the work I assigned them for today is now finished. I am mean. I made them clean their rooms. They look so much better, but now I have at least two loads of laundry (which I thought I finished yesterday) to do. Ah, that's what happens when you make them clean their rooms. They discover so much laundry we could clothe at least two more boys.

L is getting better, so maybe we will have a healthy spell for awhile.

19 May 2006

Doctor, again

M had his 8 year checkup, 9 months late. (Our insurance says that kids between the ages of 7 and 18 don't really need regular checkups. Right.) Anyway he's doing great--growing like a weed, has great hemoglobin, and is just the picture of health and normalcy. How weird.

I went ahead and asked the pediatrician to see L, after M's appointment. He has had a cough since mid April, but last Saturday it became much worse. The GI on Tuesday even commented on it. Wednesday, the cough occurred less often, but sounded worse and by yesterday it was pretty clear we were going to need to do something. Thankfully the pediatrician decided to look at him yesterday, because otherwise we'd have to take him up to Lexington, again. Gas is expensive, so we avoided that! L has yet another respiratory infection. The doctor could hear it all through his lungs. It wasn't quite bronchitis, yet. It probably would have been by tomorrow. He's back on antibiotics.

I really think that his immune cells aren't working properly. All of his counts are okay, but this is the third lower respiratory infection in less than 5 months. I suspect that the next Hem appointment is going to be interesting.

17 May 2006

Stuff and more stuff

No cycling this week--B's schedule is nuts and L is home for the summer. I have camp training on Saturday, so our first Saturday for ages without soccer will be busy anyway. Next week will be better (crosses fingers).

L went to the GI yesterday. He has gained about a pound or so (weight is now 15.8 kg or 34.75 pounds) but he grew 2 inches in the last 4 months. That's a HUGE amount for our younger son. He's jumped past the 10th percentile in height (he's still Mr. 3rd percentile for weight, but, oh well). Unfortunately, he has a nasty cough and if it doesn't get better we'll have to go in. I'd really like him not to have bronchitis again (this would be round #3 since January).

M had his last soccer game and it did not go well. Let's just say that some coaches don't get the idea of fair play, sportsmanship and illegal moves. The same can be said for some of the refs. That's all I am going to say, except that M was not one of the kid that was hurt. Luckily, he still loves soccer and wants to play again next year (and the year after and in middle school, and ...).

However, I finished up the T twist Tee on Saturday. I washed it on Sunday and blocked it. Today there was sun, so I had B take a few pictures of it. I knit it in KnitPicks Shine Worsted (Snapdragon) in the large size. I like it. (Pictures of me--not so much.) Here's the front view

and here's the back. It was nice to see the sun again.

15 May 2006

Busy, busy

Very quick post today. There's lots in the next couple of days.

My T twist Tee is blocking as I write. I started it on Friday, May 6 and finished is Saturday, May 13. I have one pattern repeat on the leg of my child's fancy lace sock left.

M plays a tournament game on Tuesday at 6:00pm. They won their Saturday game. He has a check up on Thursday.

B's back and has to catch up from being in FL last week.

Tomorrow is my summer school class' first exam.

Tomorrow morning, L has a gastroenterology appointment in at Children's, so he and I are heading up to northern KY tonight as the appointment is at 8:30 am. I teach at 1:00, so we will be quickly heading out as soon as that's over.

No time to ride my bike until Wednesday at the earliest. Sigh. At least I can knit with the kids around.

I'll write more and post a picture of the sweater later.


11 May 2006

Rain and cycling and last days of school

I left for this morning's ride at 8:30ish under cloud cover. I really hoped that I could get in a ride before the rain came, but alas, I did not. Rain + 60 degrees + 14-17 mph means a cold Kate. I added 2 miles to the ride today, too. Of course, if I'd just done the normal ride, I would have beaten the rain. Sigh.

I like the new bicycle quite a lot. Unfortunately, I need to adjust the derailleur. It won't let me have my top 8 gears. I'll probably need to put it on the back of the car and drop it off at the bike shop and ask them to adjust it for me. The bike shop I go to has free tuneups for life if you buy your bike there--and they do most work on the bicycle for free (I bought a new wheel for my bike last year after my wreck, but they put it on for free).

So today's stats (for those keeping track, which is ME) is 1 hour, 5 min., 38 sec. 15.5 miles at an average speed of 14.2 mph (using only the middle gears on the bike). So for this week, I've already gone 29 miles on the road and then on Monday did 50 minutes or so on the trainer. Not a bad week at all.

Today is L's last day of preschool. We found out YESTERDAY. Next year, he and M will be at the same school and they will have more or less the same schedule. I enrolled L in Kindergarten yesterday and have already had a conversation with the school nurse about SDS. She's never heard of it (not a big surprise), but plans on having a training session with his teachers about meds and classroom hygiene. She's thrilled to learn that he can take pills by swallowing. It's hard to believe that my baby is going to Kindergarten in the fall. Mind, I don't want another baby (I really like to sleep), but it can be hard to watch him grow up and know that he's going to have to start dealing with his health problems more and more on his own. Luckily, because he grows very slowly, my 5 year old can easily fit on my lap, so we can still snuggle together when he's had a bad day.

Next Friday is M's last day. We'll probably need prayers!

09 May 2006

4 minutes, 1 second

That was my average speed per mile this morning on the bike. 13.5 seconds faster, and I would have made 15mph! How aggravating! (The ride stats: 13.55 miles, 54 min, 23 seconds, 14.9 mph.) What's nice about teaching in the afternoons, is that I can ride every day, if I so choose. I think that I will.

Other news: B is down in Sarasota at a conference for church growth. B's mother has graciously come down here to help me out so that I can teach and make a few extra bucks this week (L isn't exactly a good teaching assistant!). The best thing that she's done since she came down is that she cleaned our refrigerator for us. This is one of the best things that she could have done--I despise cleaning the refrigerator and so does B. Having Grandma here also helps with the I-miss-Daddy blues that the boys get whenever he isn't here.

Summer school started today, and I've already gotten articles from students. I could get used to the motivated students who want to get a degree in 18 months. Pretty cool.

Knitting: I have finished the sock that met the Yarn Harlot's sock and have cast on for the second sock. It's my traveling project and it fits nicely into my purse. It does require some thinking though.

I've also begun working on Highland Schottische Kilt Hose for my friend Pattie (another SDS mom). She sent me the yarn, I'm doing the knitting, and she sent me some beautiful handstamped cards (if you'd like to buy some, go to Cards for a Cure. All the proceeds go to SDS America for research grants.)

The third in the queue project is the T twist Tee from Knitty for me. I need some mindless knitting right now as I am just exhausted from last semester and getting ready for this semester. Once the boys are out of school, we can all sleep until seven am or so and we (B & I) won't be as tired.

That's a brief bit about what's happening here. I must go up and inform the boys that it's time to get ready so I can read more Gregor and the Curse of the Warmbloods. It's getting to be very exciting, you know!

04 May 2006

New wheels!

Nope, not a car. I have to get a "real job" if we're going to get me different car.

I finally got the road bike. I've been looking at them for a long time, and since I've really switched to cycling from running (bad knees, bad foot), it was time to ride something that was designed to ride for more than a half hour or so at a time. Since I want to ride a century (something that takes about 5 to 8 hours) the Dew just isn't as comfortable. Since I'd been tutoring this semester, we decided that I could use that money to buy the new bike.

Oh, it's so nice to ride. I can shift positions, which gives my wrists some much needed rest, it is so fast and smooth (except on bumps--oh well), and it's fun to ride. My first real ride on it was today--and even though I was getting used to the new pedals (need to get clipless) and the new gearing and shifters, I still went faster than I have before. WOOHOO! I'll be hitting 15 mph very soon.

Today's ride: Out to Union City up to the 6 mile marker and back. 13.09 miles, 14.7 mph, and in 53 min, 14 seconds. I'm so chuffed.