Archive for January, 2014

Low shoulder warning

Being now officially five feet one and-a-half inches tall and weighing 59 pounds more than would be officially considered “ideal,” I face all kinds of inconsistencies.  Given my girth, my legs should obviously be long enough to enable me to play as a power forward in the WNBA.  My arms should also clearly reach to six inches below my knees.  These little inconsistencies mean that I frequently have to shorten pants (sometimes even those sized “petite”), that cuff-less sleeves are a decided no-no, and that buttons on cuffs always need to be moved.  At least my wrists are nice and thin!

I recently bought four lovely tank tops to layer under other shirts.  I ordered them online from Target, and let us not even go into what I really think about illegal immigrants who hack other people’s credit card information.  Anyway, they are very nice, attractive, comfortable tank tops.  The only problem with them is that they have revealed yet another bodily anomaly that must be addressed:  my shoulders are decidedly too low.  According to these four beauties, my shoulders really should be mounted directly adjacent to my ears.  However, with my disturbingly low shoulder situation, if worn unaltered, these tanks would clearly be entirely too. . . ummm. . . revealing.

I didn’t want to return them, ’cause I really like them, and besides, any replacements I ordered would have, at least,  the exact same problem.  And before my vast reading public overwhelms me with comments about camis with adjustable straps, YES, I have already tried those, and please just trust me when I say that they don’t work well on this bod, either.

So, today I have embarked on one of those things in life that I really dislike, but which at certain times simply must be done.  Yes, read it and weep; I am sewing by hand.  So far I have only stuck myself once, and it wasn’t bad enough to draw blood, so I still feel at least marginally successful.

These tops will always be under something else, which means the shoulders will be invisible, so I am taking the easy way out and just tucking them.  However, even though I didn’t have to actually cut any material, I still had to measure and pin eight shoulders, thread a needle eight times (this is more difficult to do than I remembered from my pre-trifocal days!), and then sew around the edges of eight little rectangles of fabric, all while helping Andrew work a series of nifty algebra problems.  Here’s a typical example.  “If Katie leaves her apartment at 6:45 PM to drive in a 12 mph headwind to the BHC at a rate of 45 mph for the first six miles and at 55 mph for the remainder of the distance, how many Latin nouns will Josiah have declined when she arrives?”

I have completed the alterations on one shirt, and I have three more to go, but I decided I deserved a blogging break.  I now discipline myself to return to the needle.


Addicted to Dominion

Katie, who is The Queen of Creative Gifts gave Scott (or was it a gift to the family?) a new game for Christmas called “Dominion.”  Trying to find a game that multiple Robertses like to play is about as challenging as finding a food that multiple Robertses like to eat (i.e., impossible), but with Dominion, Katie clearly did it!
Scott, Andrew, and I now play Dominion nearly every night, usually two games in a row.  Onve nice feature – and there are many – is that each time you play, you can select which ten action card sets you will play with, so the strategy is different each time.  One of the down sides is that Andrew and I like to eat popcorn while we play, and this has resulted in upward scale creep and buying embarrassingly big boxes of popcorn on a weekly basis, but we sure are having fun!

Up to 10

Degrees, that is.  It’s 11:00 AM, and our thermometer reads “10,” but The Weather Channel says the wind is down to 14 mph.  Today I am thankful for propane and for Andrew being willing to bring in the mail.

Lest there be any doubt, I still dislike the wind

It’s been cold here.  I am fine with cold, but I firmly believe that extreme and/or extended cold should be accompanied by SNOW.  There’s really no point having all this cold weather without it.  Of course we have been blessed with loads of snow this season, and I am really thankful for that.  However, this business of walking when it’s 10 degrees and the wind is 18 mph is for the birds!  Actually, even the birds seem to avoid being out and about in it.

The windchill has been so pronounced in recent days that I can only stand to walk two laps at a time.  I have to come in for a couple minutes to thaw before heading back out.  One day last week, it was minus 10 at 7:00 AM!  Brrrr!!!

Taking the scenic route

I’ve been working for some time on editing a book.  On January 15, I had a meeting in Springfield with the gentleman who is doing the layout formatting for the finished product.  We were scheduled to meet at his office at 11:00 AM.  I went to his company’s website and got directions, Andrew and I planned appropriately for all our other Springfield errands (Sam’s, library, ortho, mammogram), packed all Andrew’s school stuff, and headed out at 10:15 AM – with plenty of time to make the 11:00 AM meeting.

Our first challenge was traffic on Hwy. 65.  When we got to Ozark, after having seen an uncommon number of MoDOT, law enforcement, and medical emergency vehicles, we passed temporary neon orange warning signs that said, “INCIDENT AHEAD.”  What could that mean?

It meant that in front of James River Church, traffic ground to a complete halt; as in put the car in park and sit there for ten minutes.  I called Jon and left a message on his voicemail, saying that I was stuck in traffic on 65, would not make 11:00 AM, and expected to arrive by 11:15 AM.

We did indeed arrive at the office at 11:15.  The waiting area was empty and there was no one at the receptionist’s desk.  We waited.  When we’d sat there for five minutes, I called Jon again, got him, and told him we were there.  “Okay.  I’ll be right out to get you.”  I silenced my phone, so I’d be ready to focus uninterrupted on the business at hand.

We waited.  After a minute or two, I wondered where Jon was.  After another minute, I wondered if he had forgotten us.  After two more minutes, I decided he must be SUPER busy, or meeting with another client, and after yet another minute of sitting and squirming in frustration, I wondered how on earth big that office area must be to cause it to take him SO long to come get us!

Then my phone lit up.  Of course, it didn’t ring or buzz because it was on silent, but I had been holding it and I saw it light up with an incoming call.  However, the number was unfamiliar and said, “No Name.”  I categorically don’t answer those, but the area code started with a 6.  However, when Jessica calls us from Hong Kong (via Skype), it’s from a number with an area code that starts with a 6.  I didn’t answer immediately, and it went to voice mail, but that got me to thinking.  Was Jessica trying to call me?  At 11:30 AM?  Which would be 1:30 AM her time?  The only reason Jessica would call me in the middle of the night would be for something really bad.  Hmmm. . . whoever it was had left a message, so I unsilenced the phone and called back to that same number, and when it rang, who should answer but Jon!

He said that he was very sorry, but he had neglected to tell me that their company had relocated!  Their office was no longer near Sam’s!  Instead, they were located in downtown Springfield.  When he had walked from his office to the reception area and realized I wasn’t there, he had called and left a couple messages on my phone – which I had not received because my phone was silenced.  He was, in fact, about to get in his car to drive across town and find me, and I had just caught him in time.

He gave me directions to his office, and after doing much more sightseeing of Springfield than we had originally bargained for, we arrived and were met by Jon.  Our meeting was productive and all ended well, but I did email Jon’s supervisor and mention that it might be good for them to update their office address on their company’s website.

It’s now eleven days later, and that website still has the wrong address. . .

I guess I’m growing up

I’m becoming more like my mom.  I can tell, because tonight, when I wanted to eat an orange, I put it in the microwave for 7 seconds to get it a little warmer and soft enough to peel!  I have not, however, reverted to microwaving my ice cream.

Cooking the carpet

One half of the playroom carpet has been draped rather unceremoniously over all the JUNK out in the shop for about a week.  Yesterday, the forecast was for warmth (40s) and sun, so Scott decided it was time to cook the carpet.

Katie and Josiah are both back in Virginia, and Andrew was gone cleaning most of the day, so it fell to the two of us to figure out what to do to get the carpet dry—and then to do it.  It went something like this.

Scott wanted to put the carpet out on Shane’s flatbed trailer, which still lives here and probably will until the hot tub is moved to the Rendezvous.  There are no pictures or video of Scott worming his way under all the tables to the far side, the two of us rolling the carpet up like a scroll and sliding it out onto the trailer—which Scott had hooked to the Durango and backed up to within a foot of the shop door.  There is also no documentation of us unrolling it and draping it over the sides, or of my singularly brilliant idea to use two old, cushion-less patio chair frames to prop the flopping sides up to get them out of the shadows.

However, by evening (and after Scott had re-positioned the trailer several times to keep it in the sun) most of the carpet was just about dry.  That is, on top.  The rubber backing was still damp in places.  Then, what to do over night?  The next day (today) was expected to be sunny again, but the trailer was too large to fit neatly into any empty building we have on site, and I didn’t want the next morning’s dew to un-do (nice pun, eh?) all our hard drying work.

Again, in a moment of sheer inspiration, I suggested we cover it with the large (massive, gargantuan) tarp and weight it down with rocks.  By flashlight last evening, Andrew and I did just that, and all is well.

Moral of the story:  Carpet can be cooked to total dryness with sunlight and wind.