Thursday, October 09, 2014

Things To Do, Things To Do...

So the 2014 District 6 Fall Conference is actually upon us. Three of us from our local Zonta Club are leaving tomorrow morning and heading to Indiana for a weekend of all things Zonta. 

Things to do....

Last minute notes to self
I have the list of items to pack. Go ahead and laugh, but I bet that I'm the one who does NOT forget things to pack. Oh, and I just noticed the "casual elegant" notice for the Saturday banquet. Crud... Dressy clothes; I forgot about that. So I'm adding that to the list. It'll be the outfit I wore for The Nephew's wedding, I think. It's easier than a dress. 

I have two different routes - I despise Rt. 80 with a passion I only hold more strongly for absolute idiots. And I happen to think that the majority of motorists who drive Rt. 80 are, for the most part, idiots. There are too many accidents; too many trucks; too many people trying to jockey for the same small patch of asphalt. 

So we're taking the scenic route. My riders already know this, and they're ok with it. 

I have my schedule, credentials, and reservations. 
Credentials & Schedule

I have to do laundry. 

Pack knitting.

Gas up the truck. 

And that morning? I have a 7:30 a.m. board meeting. So I have to then pick up Rider #1 and meet Rider #2 at my house and we'll take off from my house. It's around 4 hours to get to where we're going and I'm adding more time to take into account both traffic and the inevitable construction, since both IL and IN are undoubtedly packing in the construction projects before the end of the Federal fiscal year and before the weather turns to total crap. 

So we'll be coming back on Sunday afternoon, so we'll be looking for a route where we can avoid the Sunday Crazies, too. Fun. 

Health Stuff...

Well. It seems that two of my docs don't necessarily agree with the hematologist. The PCP says my iron levels were normal in 2000 and then started tanking. The cardiologist, who HAS the anemia the hematologist is claiming I have, says "no" as well because he said I'd have had different symptoms which a "decent pediatrician" would have picked up on. So both are going to call the hematologist and discuss. 

Also, the cardiologist asked me to stay on the meds for another 3 months. That's kind of a downer. I was really expecting to get off them. He just said he'd rather I stay on them for now. 

The highlight of this visit was Maximus. I think he might be Raisa's daddy - or at least a really close cousin. 

I first met Maximus about 3 cardio visits ago. His owner was rather surprised that Maxie (at least that's what I call him) kind of glommed onto me. I told him that undoubtedly, Maxie knows a Husky-fiend and he also knows I have 3 lovely lady dogs at home. 

Maxie is a love-bug wrapped in a ton of fur. He also howled for me on this particular visit. I finally had the presence of mind to ask for a picture and was granted permission. I showed his owner the latest pose of Raisa (at least the latest "pretty" pose - we have a ton of goof-ball poses!) and he agreed: they could be related! Of course, at some level, all Huskies are related, but there are a couple of distinct breeder lines. 

For example, Raisa is thinner-boned than River was and she's far less fluffy. Of course, she's also one year old, but her legs are more rangy. 

Topaz was huge - she was outsized in form and in personality, and she was from a fairly nondescript line. River was from the "old line" model, where the dogs were more true to the actual type of a Husky who was -- husky. A working dog. Not a "wolf-like-hairy-dog" thingie that you see sometimes in overbred lines. Raisa is from a back-yard breeder, and while we've had some health challenges with her already, she's going to mature nicely, I think. 

Anyhow, don't they look pretty closely alike? They both howl like crazy, too. It's just funny. I did tell Maximus' owner that he and Maxie made my day. He hugged me. It was nice. 

On The Way Home...

I stopped to take some pictures. There were several of the 'fall' variety, and one for our club's Facebook page that I need to upload. And then there were these...

It's not creepy. Old cemeteries can be very peaceful places. This is where my paternal grandma and grandpa are buried. I just have to find them. 

This cemetery is old. Not as old as the oldest one in the whole town. But a close second. One can only imagine this trio of stones when the trees weren't this large. 

The older headstones were works of art. I'm awed by the artistry, and had I the time, I'd have spent more of it taking pictures here. I really want to go to the very oldest one. Hubby thinks it's slightly odd... 

But it's stuff like this: the beautiful porcelain medallions with pictures. This and the sculptures on top of the larger monuments. All of this took talent and this was a viable trade. You were a true artist when you created some of these things. 

Now, they're all kind of generic. I get the whole "green" thing - or whatever they call it. Where all the stones are flush to the ground so that the groundskeepers can just mow over things quickly. But the stately stones, keeping watch throughout the years, generation upon generation. Consider that. 

Consider these two people and how long this medallion has lasted on this stone. Granted, there are a number of stones where the medallions are missing or broken. But a remarkable number of them are in really decent shape, given the ages on the stones themselves. 

As you can see by this stone, the guardian angel is in pretty good shape, but the medallion is either missing or was meant to be put there, but somehow never got there. 

You can create a whole story about who's who, why they chose these particular monuments, etc. and I think it brings history to life in an entirely different way. You see families buried for generations. 

You see a sole headstone. Sometimes off to one side. Sometimes in line with a larger group of families side by side. You wonder who these people were? Which community did they live in? (Well for this cemetery, you know the church they attended) What did they do in their daily lives? For those sadly short lifetimes on some monuments, you wonder: Spanish Influenza? Mumps? Measles? All of those things took turns in many communities generations ago to wipe out a certain segment of the population. 

And there are always the military stones. For the longest time, we didn't have a military cemetery in the county. Now we do, from around the late 1990s. My mom chose to keep my dad where he was; he could have been re-buried. My friend's parents were re-buried in the veteran's cemetery. 

Anyway, those were my pictures. It was a nice way to just be outside and breathe for a bit. 


Baby knitting continues. The way I figure it, every 15 rows is about 2.5" so I have about 2 weeks worth of straight knitting, if I can get in at least 15 rows a day. Each pattern repeat is 12 rows. I got in 2 rows last night. 

Cotton is a stinker. There. I said it. 

I'll be extremely, EXTREMELY lucky to get this thing done on deadline. 

And I want to cast on a pair of Plain Jane socks. It's not a pattern name. I guess I should say "plain vanilla" socks. Just to have as a grab-and-go project. 

At the doctor's office, I resorted to reading. It was a good Barbara Kingsolver, but I should have plugged away on this blanket instead. 

It's just that this isn't a good portable project. Even with the square needles, the yarn is too slippery and if I drop a stitch, I will not be happy. 

Like I said, I can get the clothing items off to the New Mommy, and the blanket can come later. I can decide after I see how much progress I make. I'm taking it to the Conference. I'm sure I'll get a stink-eye about knitting during the events, but it works for me. 

And it's baby knitting. I've got a deadline here, people!! 


So I had to have an interview with someone who's had some organizational issues. This person's side of the story is one thing. I'm talking to the other person involved today. 

There are always different styles when leadership in an organization changes. But the organization where I've been volunteering for a number of years (not where I work, by the way) has had nearly 90% changeover of staff. That's a leadership problem. 

My problem is that I counseled one of the people involved, and there was agreement. There was nodding. There was a lot of "yes, I see that." 

But we've had this conversation before. And here I am, back again. 

We shall see how this conversation today turns out. That's what the meeting on Friday is about. It could get interesting. 

And not in a pleasant way. 

I'm totally cool with having the hard conversations. But I'm not cool with spending the time, especially in a volunteer capacity, only to have to repeat them. Then the drill sergeant in me comes out. And people don't like that. 

Random Picture...

Ahhhhh - Choooooo! Yep, it's goldenrod. One of the "fall" pics I took yesterday along a park district trail. The light was lovely yesterday, the clouds were puffy, and the field behind there? It's a hay field, and the piles were all neatly wound into balls - kind of reminded me of cakes of yarn. 

This is my favorite time of year. Aside from winter and spring. Even with the itchy allergy eyes I have today, which make me want to unplug my eyes and stick 'em in the freezer.

This is nature's last blast before the cold sets in. This year, she's putting on quite the show. I love looking out my window to see what's in store every day. I love the crispness in the air. 

I could do without the pollen. But it's a small sacrifice.

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