The One Where I Catch Up

Yikes!  It’s been a seriously long time since I’ve been able to write.  Hopefully things are evening out a bit now so that I’ll be able to insert regular writing back into my routine.

Here are the highlights:

  • The new job is going blissfully well.  I’m even getting to the point where I really feel like I know stuff.  Which, seriously, is a major thing considering I knew zilch about these systems when I started.  The learning attitude really helps.  I’ve been in sponge mode since Day 1.  This week I got to switch over to training mode, to train my backup person who is also new, so the sponge-brain got to give back a little.
  • The wedding planning thing has me feeling like I have two jobs.  I’m definitely ready to get back to the life where the most serious decisions are about what’s for dinner and what I am knitting.  At least for a little while.  We can already see that the next big decision will be about which neighborhood we want to settle in for the next handful of years (at least).
  • Related to the neighborhood question is the fact that I am commuting at least 2 hours per day.  That is if it’s not rainy, or sunny, or there’s a special event, or a stalled car on the bridge.  If you aren’t familiar with the layout of the Seattle metro area, go ahead and pull up Google Maps.  There you will see that Seattle is divided neatly in two by a very large Lake Washington.  There are two bridges across this body of water, and I have to cross one of them on my way to and from work.  When it’s rainy the drivers kind of freak out, which is seriously funny since, you know, it rains here a lot.  When it’s sunny everybody gets the heck outside.  Which is to say, they leave work on time and clog up the bridges and interstates in a mad dash to get home before the sun goes away.  The other two scenarios are self-explanatory.  In other words, the commute takes forever.  Since my office is on one side of the lake and Fiance’s office is on the other, one of us will have to make this trek.  It is unavoidable, unless we take up residence on a boat in the middle of the lake.  Which I don’t see happening, do you?
  • I have not been wasting these 2 hours each day.  At least 30 minutes of them are spent walking.  Rather than transferring between the bus and the streetcar, which is the Metro’s answer to getting me right to the door of my office, I’ve been walking to and from the bus station.  This translates to ~2 miles of walking each day.  Score one point for managing to insert exercise into an overlong commute.  Score one more point for arriving at the office alert, happy, relaxed, and ready to start the day despite the alarm going off at 5:3o.  Score another point for all that walking being a boost to the weight loss effort.  I think it’s a win win win, and I’ll keep it.
  • The other hour or so of the commute has been spent going through personal emails, catching up on my reading, and knitting.  I figure that since I have a smart phone, and I can’t manage to find time to use the computer for emailing anymore, I might as well use the phone for email catch-up on the bus.  If you send me an email, it’s likely I’ll be answering you that way.  Handy too for the wedding planning thing.  Ain’t technology grand?  Though if the sky is especially clear, which is getting more frequent lately, I’m staring out the window at the fabulous ring of mountains and the monstrous big volcano visible from the bridge.  Not to be missed, no matter how many times you’ve seen it.
  • So far I have finished Water for Elephants and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.  I thoroughly enjoyed both and can’t believe it took me so long to pick them up.  In the case of Water for Elephants, it’s been sitting on my bookshelf since my aunt gifted it to me back in 2008.  Sorry Aunt Alice, I know you know what I’ll enjoy reading and there’s seriously no excuse for this kind of enjoyment delay.  I’ll try harder.  I have also started reading the Kindle versions of Super Sad True Love Story and Blood Engines.  I keep having to put Super Sad True Love Story down periodically.  It’s a painful read.  But again, Aunt Alice says it was a book worm for her, so I’m trusting it’ll be okay in the end.  Blood Engines was an accident…I downloaded it forever ago and didn’t mean to start it now, at least until I’d gotten through another few books on my shelf, but I clicked it and it sucked me in with the first few pages and I can’t put it down now.
  • I cast on for a pair of spinach green socks (Ravelry link) as a commute-only project.  They are just the right size to toss in my backpack and not take up too much elbow room in execution.  I’ve finished the toes and am about to start the simple cable and lace pattern that should be just interesting enough to be fun without making me crazy on the bus.  Plus they’ll look good with my new favorite mary jane shoes that I wear to work nearly every day.  Hand knit socks need shoes that show them off, after all.
  • The wedding dress is going swimmingly.  I am now on the final few rows of the skirt – which I may get to complete tonight.  Then I’ll definitely be adding sleeves.  I’ve got my subconscious brain noodling on that design problem, so the solution should be available when I get ready to start.  Nifty trick, that.  I’m thinking a smaller, simpler version of the pattern for the sleeves.  We’ll see how it goes.
  • I mentioned above that one of the bonuses of walking every day is a boost to the weight loss effort.  I know, I know, all of you are thinking my weight is just fine.  Several docs and I don’t agree with you.  I needed to shed about 10-15 lbs to safely get back within my “healthy” weight range, to stop the cycle of adding several pounds per year, and to keep avoiding most of the family health issues.  So, I’ve been trying to do just this for the past oh 3-4 years.  I do well for a few pounds, then along comes a holiday and I put them back on.  You know how it goes.  Not this time.  As of this morning, I’ve lost 7 lbs since the start of this year.  Woo!  I am now at the upper limit of the healthy range and my clothes are starting to fit much better.  I’m not going to be losing any dress sizes, but to see the muffin top disappearing and to see my fatty parts smoothing back out is bliss.  5 more to go and I’ll switch to maintenance mode.
  • We finally topped 70 degrees last weekend.  It was an event.  Everybody and their brother went down to hang out at the many grassy parks along the shores of the lake and soak up the sunshine.  I flipped my closet and got out all of the summer things, even though actually being able to wear those things is still several weeks away.  We can be optimistic though.
  • We think the rain has finally tapered off for the summer.  This is a huge deal.  It means that it will likely only rain ONCE per week until Fall returns, rather than 4-5 days per week.  Unfortunately, that also means that every growing thing will begin to turn brown from exposure to sunlight.  Ah well, it’s a trade off.

Whew!  That’s a lot of catch-up.  I think I’ll pick up later with new post(s) on the rest.  We went on a car adventure over the mountains and through the woods that I’d like to share.  Then there are the pics of the beautiful flowers that have been gracing our yard.  More later!

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