Sunday, August 7, 2022

Great Wave Stitch-a-Long, part 25

Hi everyone! The good news is that I made a lot of progress on my Great Wave piece in the last 3 weeks. Here's where I was last time: 


And here, happily, is where I am now:


I finished the cream on the previous two columns, and did another two full columns!


Now, you may be wondering how, in the peak of summer, I've gotten so much stitching done. Well...


Knee troubles had me cancelling weekends away and spending a lot more time on the couch. But let me back up a bit. 

My knee started hurting at the end of March. I didn't do anything -- that is, I don't remember hurting it. But I woke up one morning after a run and could barely bend it. At first I figured it would just get better if I rested it. But after three weeks it was still painful and keeping me from going on my long walks, so I tried to see my doctor. Unfortunately, the first "non-emergency" appointment was 7 weeks later. 

In the meantime, I self-referred myself to an orthopedic surgeon, who I was able to see only 3 weeks later. He said, well, insurance won't cover an MRI until after I complete 6 weeks of physical therapy, and it might just be "runner's knee", so I should start there. 

I've had runner's knee before, and knew that this wasn't that, but tried to get into a physical therapist. That took 4 weeks to start. So, finally, at the very end of May, I got in to see my doctor and the physical therapist on the same day. 

Again, I was told that I should just do PT and after 6 weeks we'd be able to get an MRI. So I dutifully did the exercises and hobbled around. One Sunday afternoon I was on a short walk in the neighborhood by myself, and all of a sudden my knee was so painful I couldn't put any weight on it. I was three blocks from home and had to call my husband to come and get me. 

Luckily, I had just been approved for the MRI two days before, and I was able to get in to have one on Monday evening. The results came back on Wednesday, and all of a sudden my case was an "emergency", and I had a torn meniscus. 

A friend of a friend recommended a different orthopedic surgeon who happened to have an appointment on Friday. Doc said, yep, that's a bad one, but he had openings for his surgery schedule the next Tuesday. I went in, had the surgery, and have been feeling better and on the mend since then. 
 

It was an all too common story -- long waits for appointments, insurance approvals, etc. But to be honest I got really lucky with my surgeon and I'm happy to be on the mend. As long as I take it easy I'll be running again by the early fall. 

Of course, that probably means that my stitching will slow down again, but it will be worth it!

By the time of our next check-in, in three weeks, I hope to complete one more column. And be able to walk 2 miles at a time. 

Until then, why not check out the projects my fellow stitchers are working on: Avis, Claire, Gun, Constanze, Christina, KathyMargaret, Heidi, JackieMegan, Deborah, Sharon, Daisy, AJCathie, LindaHelen, and Connie.

Sunday, July 17, 2022

Great Wave Stitch-a-Long, part 24

Hi everyone! Just back from camping (yay!) which means this is late for a lot of the group, but still only late afternoon for me. This weekend we camped at Beacon Rock State Park, where we enjoyed the trip up to the top of the rock, and the mosquitos enjoyed feasting on me. Great Wave stayed home again, of course, but I did finish these cute camping pillowcases:

yep, I really need to work on my French knots ... those bears look possessed!

I made a little progress on Great Wave, but it just hasn't been getting my attention. Here's where I was last time:  


And here's where I am this time; all the blues of the next two columns (plus a little extra)... but none of the foamy white:


And, as you can see, there's a LOT of white left:


By the time of our next check-in, in three weeks, I hope to fill in all that "foam" and keep moving across the pattern. 

Until then, why not check out the projects my fellow stitchers are working on: Avis, Claire, Gun, Constanze, Christina, KathyMargaret, Cindy, Heidi, JackieMegan, Deborah, Renee, Sharon, DaisyAnne, AJCathie, Linda, and Helen.

Sunday, June 26, 2022

Great Wave Stitch-a-Long, part 23

Hi everyone! I'm posting this check-in early as we'll be camping again. This time the rain will be replaced by hot hot weather in central Washington! I'm really enjoying our camping trips, but it does mean I get less stitching done. I bring along small projects to work on by the campfire, but nothing as big (or as precious!) as Great Wave. Can you imagine getting a little spark burn? Yikes!

But here's where I was last time:  


And here's where I am now, with those columns finished and a little extra:


The sky is filled in, so just boats and water left!


Even when we're not going camping so much, summer is a challenging time for me to stitch. There's always so much more to do! So by the time of our next check-in, in three weeks, I hope to finish one column section to keep moving across the pattern. 

Until then, why not check out the projects my fellow stitchers are working on: Avis, Claire, Gun, Constanze, Christina, KathyMargaret, Cindy, Heidi, JackieMegan, Deborah, Renee, Sharon, DaisyAnne, AJCathie, Linda, and Helen.

Monday, June 6, 2022

Great Wave Stitch-a-Long, part 22

Hi everyone! Apologies for the late post. We were camping, cozied up in a tent listening to the rain patter on the roof, and I said, "Oh my gosh! It's stitch-a-long check-in weekend!!!" By the time we got home and got everything hung up to dry, well, posting wasn't going to happen. 

These last three weeks have been a bit rough -- I came back from our last weekend away with a happily mild case of COVID and have been pretty drained. My energy is coming back, but I did a lot more sleeping than I often do... and not as much stitching as I would have liked. But here's where I was last time, 3/4 of the stitching complete:  


I had hoped to have the next column and a half stitched by this check-in, but sleep won out over stitching! Here's where I am now:


Quite a bit of that chunk done, but quite a bit left to go. 


By the time of our next check-in, in three weeks, I hope to finish this section and keep moving across the pattern. 

Until then, why not check out the projects my fellow stitchers are working on: Avis, Claire, Gun, Constanze, Christina, KathyMargaret, Cindy, Heidi, JackieMegan, Deborah, Renee, Sharon, DaisyAnne, AJCathie, Linda, and Helen.

Sunday, May 15, 2022

Great Wave Stitch-a-Long, part 21

Hi everyone! Where did that three weeks go? I'm scheduling this post a few days in advance because we'll be on a weekend away, but more about that later.

I've been stitching away pretty steadily on this piece. Here's where I was last time:  


And here's where I am now:


Yep, that's right -- I've finished the third out of four pages in the pattern. It's a mini finish, so I'm doing a mini happy dance!
 

Just one more section, 7000 stitches. Of course, then there's a lot of backstitching ahead, but we'll think about that after I get the stitching done.

By the time of our next check-in, in three weeks, I hope to have the next column and a half stitched and keep moving across the pattern. 

Until then, why not check out the projects my fellow stitchers are working on: Avis, Claire, Gun, Constanze, Christina, KathyMargaret, Cindy, Heidi, JackieMegan, Deborah, Renee, Sharon, DaisyAnne, AJCathie, Linda, and Helen.

Sunday, April 24, 2022

Great Wave Stitch-a-Long, part 20

Hi everyone! I can't believe that I've been working on this piece for OVER A YEAR NOW, and there's still so much left to go. But I do love it, and I love seeing it grow. Remind me in several months when I'm trying to decide what project to work on next that it might be nice to take on something SMALLER. 

Here's where I was last time:  


And here's where I am now:


I finished two columns, which means you can see Mount Fuji in the background! 


And of course, stitching Mount Fuji gives me the excuse to post this picture of me and Wil just below the summit of Mount Fuji back in 2019 -- one of our last big trips:



By the time of our next check in I hope to have the next column stitched, which would be a page finish and set me at 75% of the way done... minus all the backstitching, of course. 

Until then, why not check out the projects my fellow stitchers are working on: Avis, Claire, Gun, Constanze, Christina, KathyMargaret, Cindy, Heidi, JackieMegan, Deborah, Renee, Sharon, DaisyAnne, AJCathie, Linda, and Helen.

Saturday, April 23, 2022

D. L. F. -- Camp Wannarun Half Marathon Race Report


There’s a saying amongst the RunDisney / Disney Running gang:

D. L. F. > D. N. F. > D. N. S. 

(Dead last finish is better than did not finish is better than did not start.)

We flew to Minneapolis yesterday to run a half marathon in Minnesota: my 38th state. A few weeks ago I did something — I seriously don’t know what — to my right knee. I thought it would go away if I just took it easy, but it didn’t. Three weeks later and it still hurts, is swollen, and I can’t bend it. The slightest twist sends shooting pains up my leg. I finally decided I should see my doc, then discovered that the first in-person appointment is 31 May. Yep, 5+ weeks out. 

And, of course, I had this race trip planned. 
So we flew out, picked up a car, and drove out to adorable White Bear Lake. 
Well, first we made two stops in MSP:

1. Mary Tyler Moore statue. 


Yeah, I brought a hat SO I COULD THROW IT NEXT TO THE STATUE. #loveisallaround



(We're vegetarian, not vegan, but we bought sandwiches for a late lunch, as well as a lot of their stuff to bring home!)

Then White Bear Lake, where we checked in to our hotel, went for a little walk, got ourselves organized for the next morning, went for a swim, and were asleep by 10am. 

Saturday morning we drove the two miles to the Bald Eagle Recreation Area for the start of the Camp Wannarun Half Marathon. 



First and foremost -- Judi Fluger and her team at Midwest Multisport put on a really nice race. A small company, they somehow put on more than 20 races a year -- everything from 5K fun runs to a 70.3 triathlon. Their branding is clean and consistent, their registration and pre-race communications are great, and the swag is great quality. I had emailed Judi to ask a question and mentioned that I was working on a 50-state project and this would be my 38th state. So I was thrilled to open my packet and see bib 38. Maybe it was a coincidence, but I assume Judi was just being super thoughtful. We also got cute shirts and custom metal medals -- really nice!

Judi gave a quick pre-race talk about the course and the markings ("Sunny, you won't get lost!"), we lined up at the back, and the small crowd set off. I knew from looking at previous years' results that we would be at the back of the pack, especially given my knee. But I hadn't realized that after the first major turn, about 2 miles in, we wouldn't see another runner. 




But the course was well marked, mostly on small rural roads, and essentially flat. So we walked. Relatively quickly, mind you, with a good 15:06/mile pace, and chatted and smiled and enjoyed the day. 

Before we looked at weather reports -- the temperature would be in the low 70s, with afternoon thunderstorms starting at 4pm. We were maybe 5 miles in when we heard a long rumble. Wil asked what the noise was, and I said, "Maybe gunfire? People hunt around here...." (I realize that spring probably isn't hunting season...). We heard it again, and I said, "Maybe it's planes taking off? We're not super far from the airport...". And then, when we kept hearing it, realized it was thunder. Lots of thunder. 

Where there's thunder there's lightning, and intermittent downpours. But really it wasn't too bad. We did the old "count the seconds" trick and decided that the lightning was never closer than 12 miles away (please don't tell me that counting the seconds doesn't work, okay?). We're from Seattle, we've walked and run and just generally spent time outdoors in the rain. Besides, it was pretty warm out. 

Every so often we would interact with someone -- a police officer at a road crossing, a volunteer at a water stop, but other than that we were on our own. Well, us, large squirrels, birds, and some excellent lawn art. And it was pretty. 


Oh, and did I mention that one of the lakes we ran past was called Otter Lake? 


Finally we were in the home stretch, both feeling remarkably good if happy to be done. Judi and a couple of other folks welcomed us like conquering heroes -- all the more remarkable when I looked at the final results I noticed that we were some 45 minutes behind the previous finishers. 

We had some water, some pancakes, and took the requisite post-race pic:


On our way back to the hotel we stopped at a big grocery store (Wil wanted to find more Wisconsin Brick Cheese for Detroit pizzas). We snacked, had a dip in the pool, and went out for another walk to the local record store (it was Record Store Day!), quilt store (seriously, why do I do this???), brewpub, and cocktail lounge before heading in for the evening. 

Great things about Camp Wannarun:
- I loved the option to mail in a registration form
- Excellent communication before the race
- Nice shirt
- Pretty course mostly along quiet roads, nice lake views
- Plenty of signage, mile markers every mile
- Handsome custom medal -- not just a "sticker" medal, pretty rare at a small event
- Post-race pancakes!

Thanks Minnesota, and hooray for State 38!




Sunday, April 3, 2022

Great Wave Stitch-a-Long, part 19

Hi everyone! I'm really happy to say that I managed to make the time to get some stitching done. I'm always so happy when I take the time to stitch, and I love seeing this piece grow. I need to remember that more when I feel like I am too stressed, too worried to sit and "meditate with floss". (Or maybe "stab something with a needle, over and over"!)

Here's where I was last time:  


And here's where I am now:


I finally finished that column! This is a section where the backstitching will make a huge difference, but that's still a long way out. But you can see, at the left edge of the stitched column, the start of the triangular shape of Mount Fuji!


By the time of our next check in I hope to have the next column stitched, with a stretch of stitching the next two so that I can finish stitching Mount Fuji. But we'll see. 

Our little stitch-a-long had some sad news recently, one of our members, Carmela, passed away. Though I never met her -- in fact, I don't know that I'll ever meet any of my fellow stitchers in person -- I will always remember her beautiful, careful, colorful stitching, and the beautiful pictures of flowers from her garden that she used to post. 

I'm thinking about my fellow stitchers and sending them my love, and hope they are well: Avis, Claire, Gun, Constanze, Christina, KathyMargaret, Cindy, Heidi, JackieMegan, Deborah, Renee, Sharon, DaisyAnne, AJCathie, Linda, and Helen.

Friday, April 1, 2022

15 years ago...

I keep an Alexa Show on my desk when I work. Ostensibly to use as a speaker when I listen to music, but really because I enjoy the random photos it shows me. Sometimes it's a bittersweet memory, like lovely pictures of Bubble. And other times -- especially the "this day in 20XX" pictures -- it feels amazing how much time has passed. 

Today I was reminded about my first multisport event: the No Foolin' Duathlon, run waaaaay back in 2007, before I launched this blog. Not many photos of the day, but I thought I'd type up my notes and put the random pics in, just for fun. And, no, this isn't an April Fool's Day joke. :)

Rebecca, Barbara, and I all registered for our first multisport event: the No Foolin' Duathlon. It was held at Millersylvania State Park down near Olympia. The weather was strange -- it was actually snowing lightly about 20 minutes before the start -- but it cleared up in time. 

Barbara and I -- and the rest of the runners -- heading out.

There were very few people registered for the event, as it turned out. I was really nervous, and didn't know what to expect. I just stood at the starting line and then, suddenly, we were supposed to be running. I took off too fast -- as usual -- running through the park to the entrance, then turning around. Of course, I was way at the back of the pack, and got to watch most people head out on their bike leg before I was anywhere near done with my run. 

blurred by speed, I'm sure...

Got on my bike -- nearly forgetting to take off my run gloves -- and rode off. The ride was okay, though because it was a small race and because I was toward the back of the pack, I was alone the majority of the time, which meant that I got distracted. 

Pedal pedal pedal pedal oooh... look... a horse... what a pretty horse... I like horses... oh! Pedal pedal pedal...

Saw a man carrying a bike back; he'd gotten a flat and was just calling it a race. Also saw a woman at the turnaround who had a flat and was trying to fix it without a patch or tools. She ended up riding in on a flat tire, very slowly. 

Got back to the transition area after the winners were long finished, and then had to go out for the last mile run. I had a cramp in my right hamstring, but plodded along. After 1:10 I finally made it to the finish line. Hooray!

"C'mon, it's cold, finish up so we can go home."

But in the end I got a medal... my first ever running medal. And, of course it wouldn't be the last!


It's amazing to think that it was 15 years ago... in both the "how has it been that long??" and the "how has it only been that long??" sorts of ways. 

I only ran two other multisport races, both sprint triathlons. There just seemed to be a lot of faff. But if you asked me on that date whether I thought I would run a marathon, I would have said no. 

Saturday, March 26, 2022

New Mexico Trip 2022

For Wil's 50th birthday we had planned to go to Brazil. Carnaval 2022 falling on Wil's 50th birthday meant we could see the Christ the Redeemer statue as part of our "Seven Wonders" project, plus see the parades in the Sambadrome (a huge dream of mine), see spectacular Iguacu Falls, check out the modern architecture in Brasilia, and see the spectacular opera house in Manaus plus have a little more time on the Amazon. 

But then, COVID. 

I had booked all the hotels, but was holding off on flights and the Carnaval tickets because, well, it didn't seem likely. But in the "vaccine honeymoon" period, I was hopeful. But it wasn't to be. 

So we thought about what else to do. I had left it too late -- again -- to find reasonable accommodations in Hawaii. So that was out. And we didn't want to go too far for my first post-brain-clot flights. And we didn't want to be in big crowds, for the most part. But then I thought, "New Mexico." 

New Mexico feels really different, but it's not super far away. So we decided to book flights -- first class to treat ourselves! -- and I made a plan. 

Day "0" - fly Seattle to Albuquerque

Day 1 - drive Albuquerque to Santa Fe

Day 2 - Santa Fe and Georgia O'Keeffe

Day 3 - Santa Fe Meow Wolf to Truth or Consequences

Day 4 - Truth or Consequences for Wil's Birthday

Day 5 - White Sands and Alamogordo

Day 6 - Carlsbad and Roswell

Day 7 - Roswell to Tucumcari

Day 8 - Side trip to Amarillo, then back to Albuquerque

Day 9 - Albuquerque to home


At some point during the trip I looked to see what was happening in Rio for Carnaval, and was somewhat relieved to see that the sambadrome parades were postponed until after Easter. So it was confirmation that we'd made the right choice. 

I wrote up my notes as blog posts and backdated them to when they happened. I loved New Mexico -- the skies (and, despite it being NM and not AZ) the "little puffy clouds". I loved all the green chile. And I loved that feeling of freedom from traveling again.