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9:06 p.m. - 2013-06-07
What the Doctor said plus Souvlaki!

Raining again. Keeps the temps down and the next-doors from making their usual racket with the yard machines and the power tools and their younger son from messing with his beater car. Their idea of obedience training is to lean out the side door and scream, "NO BARKING!" at that poor, neglected oaf of a dog so when the younger Barky boy brought home his new wheels and proceeded to spend hours and hours every night doinking with the engine and gunning it to see what (if anything) his tinkering had wrought we dubbed the younger Barky son- 'Kyle No Revving!' Now when he's out there vroom-vrooming we roll our eyes and say, "KYLE! NO REVVING!" It doesn't do anything about the noise but we feel better.

Actually I don't mind the engine noise too much and as I frequently point out to Mick at least the kid doesn't have a garage band.

Wolf finished his last day of regular classes on Wednesday. Now all that's left are the Regents exams. (State-wide finals given in core subjects and foreign languages.) This year he takes the social studies, biology, and algebra exams. He's some nervous about them, passing all the Regents is a graduation requirement, but I spoke with his teachers and they all say he's ready. I'm not worried. Anyhow even if he tanks one he can take it again in August and the following January and again next June if needs be. Endless opportunities to get it right. Would that the rest of Life worked that way, eh?

Went to the doctor this morning about swelling in my ankles and feet. Last weekend by the time I got off the train in Baltimore I had cankles and my feet looked like loaves of bread. I totted it up to the long journey in the heat, but it's been a week and the left leg is still horribly swollen. They did an EKG in the office which came back wonky. And my BP was scary high (for me). Worried about traveler's thrombosis my PA sent me off to get an ultrasound of my leg veins. The technician said the results needed to be read by my doctor but the fact I could leave and she wasn't insisting I be checked into the hospital should ease my mind. It does. Hey, I'm 50. I have a lifetime of crappy eating and bad habits behind me. That things hadn't gone a little off the rails already is a testament to my hardy peasant stock and the fact that I'm just too awful to kill easily. Not sweating it. I've beaten back neurological disorders, Lyme disease, bleeding ulcers, and the most amok reproductive system in the western hemisphere, a wonky EKG and some fat ankles aren't going to lay me low. And I'm certain that if I can offload some stress my BP will come down too.

Had a few restless and/or sleepless nights recently and the activities of choice have been watching 'West Wing' and crocheting. Found a big bag of super soft yarn when I cleaned out the back hall closet. Lovely pale blue and black skeins. Enough to make an afghan. So that's what I'm doing. Since it's a Zen activity I chose to make one ginormous granny square. No thought required except when to change colors. I loathe stitching motifs together so tend to make things that can be done in one solid chunk. Sure it makes the project cumbersome toward the end but it's better than the alternative. Somewhere downstairs is a lawn and leaf bag FULL of granny squares. Seriously. Like 200 of them. Tidy, well tensioned, bright colors with black borders traditional 6x6 granny squares and I cannot be arsed to assemble them into a coherent useable afghan. I even remember when I went on that granny square spree, using up all my yarn ends (which, of course, is the point of granny squares), and gleefully thinking ahead to the finished product. Feh. At least this afghan has a reasonable chance of being finished. It's almost lap-blanket size already and I still have 2 skeins of each color and 2.5 seasons of 'West Wing' left.

For some reason I wasn't able to find the right end to pull the skeins from the inside so I've had to use to outside free end. This means the skeins tumble as they unwind. My office is filthy. All kinds of crud and hair and crap on the floor and leaving the skein to unspool down there means the crud sticks to the yarn and oftentimes gets worked into the project or I spend many aggravating minutes declumping the gunked-up yarn. Brain storm! As I work I put each skein into a zip-top bag. The yarn stays clean and has plenty of freedom to tumble around as it unwinds. The very clever MJ posted a link on FB to an Etsy shop that made 'yarn bowls'. A fancier, artier version of the ziploc bag I'm using. In the yarn bowls the yarn end is threaded through a nifty spiral opening and the yarn ball or skein has a clean resting place while being worked. I applied the theory and am using the plastic bag and am frankly delighted with how well this works. No tangles. No random globs of crud stuck to my yarn. And the Zen of crochet as meditation is preserved. My fingers work and give my messy under-mind something to focus on while the top-mind and I enjoy the exploits of the Bartlet White House.

Got my hair did this week. My stylist and I are finding the right language for a good working relationship. No hairdresser/friend will ever, ever be the peer of my dear Z, she was a once in a lifetime gem. However I like the salon, I like my stylist, I like the longish drive through the backcountry to get there. If I were to draw a circle around the area covered between my house and the salon I'll bet there's at least 15 other salons within the radius (diameter?) including the place less than a mile from my house, but I like this salon. And they seem to like me. Anyhoodle, I got a radical crop job for the warm weather. Off my neck, up over the ears, short and really pointy on the crown.

While I was at Rite-Aid today picking up a few things the PA suggested might help with my swelling I couldn't help but browse the hair color aisle. Getting that urge again to strip out all the pigment and dye my coif an unnatural color. I was thinking violet. Seems like it would fade decently without making too much of a mess with the turd brown and silver roots. On the other hand I'm getting accustomed to my natural color. I luurve the silver. And it shows up really well against the brown.

Anyone on the northern east coast who might have outdoor plans this weekend is screwed and I could have told you this well ahead of time. See, it's Greek Festival at our local Greek Orthodox Church. A yearly fundraiser, they tent over the side lawn and have a combo kiddie fair/jumble sale/flower and plant sale plus they have a dining area where the ladies of the church serve wonderful Greek specialties. In the dining tent there's a bandstand and a bouzouki band plays during the evening and people dance with their arms above their heads and actually and truly shout, "OPA!" while they twirl and dip. It's mondo cool. The weird thing is even in the years when summer seems to start the day after Groundhog's Day and it's 90 degrees in April come the first weekend in June and the opening of the Greek Festival the weather ALWAYS turns off rainy and damn cold. I've yet to get my souvlaki fix when I wasn't suited up in jeans, sneakers and a hoodie. If they didn't have such a loyal following and many, many hardy souls like me who go anyway I'd feel bad for that church. As it is the whole property not devoted to the festival tents is turned into a swampy parking area, the roadsides are crammed with cars, and the parking lot of the banquet hall across the street is packed full too. Crappy weather be damned, everybody goes to the Greek Festival! The Sage Clan will be going for dinner tomorrow night. OPA!

kaló Savvatokýriako! ~LA

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