Liralen Li (liralen) wrote,
Liralen Li
liralen

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A Week Off

The plant shut down for the week, so it's been very good. Only twenty emails when I get back, and we did a ton of stuff during the week.



I got my exercise, in spades. John and Jet took me on a 12 mile bike ride out to the far side of town. Some of it was terrifyingly in the midst of traffic, with Jet on the following bike behind me, I was very aware of when he was swaying from side to side. But I rode it out and just did it even though it was scary and it was a very, very good workout. It was also a great way to see the whole of the city, too, in the prettier, quieter parts of it all. An unexpected side benefit was that riding to the grocery store is now just fun and not at all as scary with respect to the traffic on the way there. We did that, too, the day after Thanksgiving, as the grocery store was just empty then, and still had all the great deals.

The other big exercise thing was on Saturday morning, when Coach Peter invited us to their morning at the indoor soccer arena. Jet and I went and Jet didn't even want to go on the field while they were playing kick ball, so I just sat with him for a while, until he found a purple soccer ball. Then we went back behind the "batter's" area and just kicked it back and forth for a while. I ran quite a bit until I go the smart idea of having Jet kick towards the walls rather than out towards the field. I could, mostly, get the ball right to Jet, but he was having a harder time getting even close to me. So I swapped us around, and we kicked away quite happily until they stopped playing kick ball and played a big game of Duck, Duck, Goose. Sad to say I didn't even have to *try* to slow down to have the kids catch me, no problem. :-)

Peter, on the other hand, obviously sped up or slowed down given each kid's ability to catch or run away from him. That was impressive to see.

After that, they played football for a while, and Jet and I had some chips and a drink and I sat with JoJo for a while as his siblings and dad played. That was fun. It's cool to cuddle a toddler now that my kid is so big and grown and doesn't need a Momma to sit on to eat any more. Though, Jet did like being in my lap for a while, just to cuddle after running about.

Jet was really waiting to play soccer, so in the last 40 minutes, they played soccer. Jet and I joined the blue team, and Jet played in the mid-field along with the other really little boy. I played defense because I'm the most comfortable there, and the seven-year-old boys really wanted to be up front. Which was all fine by me. So I happily ran my brains out.

It's odd. Set a bunch of pavement before me, and I'll quit in about 100 yards, thinking, this is stupid and futile. Set a black and white ball and a bunch of testosterone powered opponents before me and I'll run until my lungs give out. Especially the boys that don't pass At All. I realized I still have my soccer brain, that in the midst of a play with a ball trapped to my foot, I can look up and pass to someone rather than just kick it. Peter even said, "Good play, Phyllis!" once when I actually got it, gently, to someone's foot. It was cool.

But I'm slow, fat, old, and much more easily winded than when I really Used To Play. So I was slower to some things than I wanted to be, but my distance calculating brain only needed one or two instances of that to figure out, better, when to use the angle, cut off the straight shot, and do the right thing, so that was very satisfying. Frustrating for the other team for a while, though. :-)

Jet was in the middle of a couple of scrums. Once, he was right up front and trapped a pass (okay, he more stood in front of the ball by accident) right to a team mate, who wound up and scored! Jet was pretty jazzed by that. It was great that he just got right in there and tried to get the ball as best as he was able to. Peter commented on that and gave him a Gatorade for working that hard, so Jet was pretty pleased. But with about ten minutes to go, Jet got in the middle of one bumblebee bunching, and got run into by a few of the bigger boys. "I got hit THREE TIMES!" he said, in outrage, while he cried at me.

I picked him up when he was just sobbing in the middle of the field, took him off the field, and that's when I realized both he and I were panting pretty hard.

I was pretty sore the next day, and Jet commented that his whole body hurt the next day. *grin*

The best thing was that I really thought about it beforehand, and I used my decade-old indoor soccer shoes, which were a little tight around the foot, but plenty long. So I didn't bash a *single* toe nail during the whole thing. I feel pretty good about that.

The odd thing was that after a whole week off where I didn't HAVE to see a lot of folks I realized that I could be social if I wanted to. We had 15 people at Thanksgiving Dinner. I took most of Wednesday and enjoyed it immensely. The boys went with Tonya and Tanner and Hayden and they did the Science Museum and a whole engineering display. Jet nearly Shot The Moon with a paper rocket he built, but a pillar got in the way. I stayed home, watched the last three DVD's of "Read or Die" the television series, and made a 20 pound turkey, and prepped a few side dishes and the appetizer in advance. So that on T-Day, I only spent a few minutes in the kitchen stuffing things into the oven at the appropriate hour.

I think I did better than I've done in quite some time. With great mashed potatoes, a beautiful and not quite TOO sweet candied yam recipe with crisp toasted pecans on top, and the stuffing and gravy turned out really nicely. Practice does make perfect, I think. It's fun to do all that, and I really enjoyed the time to myself and doing the food really, really well.

We had Bob, Mai, and Andrew over, and after the dinner, Andrew invited us over to Bob and Mai's to have a turkey dinner he cooked himself on Saturday! It was great. Just the two families and we could talk like crazy. Mai asked John and I about our "romance" and it was funny how many times Bob said, "Oh... I see... engineers in love." *giggles* Andrew gave Jet a huge bag of Nerf guns that he didn't want any more, and Jet loved the "Secret Shot" Nerf gun, with an extra dart in the handle. *grin* The two boys chased each other all over the house, shooting each other. Jet now wonders why John and I won't chase him to shoot him.

Too lazy, I say, but John says it's not safe. *grin* It's also lucky that Hasbro sells the darts mail order, as more than half of them are gone. But Jet's going to get a lot of use out of these.

One thing I really noticed was that at the beginning of the vacation my hands were completely trashed from the three work deadlines I'd had the week before. So trashed I couldn't even hold wool to spin. *sigh* But I wanted to get John's socks done before his birthday, so I tried spinning anyway and ended up with about 91 yards per ounce, which is nearly 10 yards/ounce off from where I wanted to be with the stuff. Now I'm tempted to spin all the wool in one ounce increments, and pair of "thick" ounces with "thin" ounces to make the right average. Grump. Anyway, the yarn was good enough for me to use, so I managed to knit the first of John's HUGE SOCKS (size 12), and then found that the foot was a whole inch too long. GAH!

Ahem. This was after 70 rows of cuff, too. So I slept on it, and in the morning, I bound off the cuff, put in two life lines at the beginning of the heel and an inch back from the heel, and then snipped one thread and unraveled that row right at the heel. Then I took the foot back that inch, and then grafted the foot back onto the heel. It took one morning, which was a LOT less time than it had taken to do the cuff and the heel. It was kind of a cheat, but damn, it was much faster, and John now has a sock that fits him perfectly. I'm up to the cuff on the second sock already, so I think I'll hit his birthday on Wednesday just Fine.

The interesting thing is that even after a whole week of being fairly intensive about my knitting and spinning with hands that started *out* too trashed to really do things well, my hands are now in fairly good shape.

Makes me think a bit about the fact that work really does mess up my hands more than non-work does.

I think the best part about Thanksgiving was when John asked everyone at the table to just say what they were thankful for. He did it at the kids table before they ate, and then at the adults' table before we ate, and the tales told were heartfelt indeed. Plus, in church, when the minister asked the kids what they were thankful for, Jet raised his hand and said, "For my family and me."

Me, too. I'm very thankful for my family, my friends, and, surprisingly enough, for everything that has made me me. I'm very thankful for our health and our situation. Amen.
Tags: jet, soccer
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