Last week, my school had a staff retreat scheduled for all day on Friday. On Thursday, with inclement weather in sight, we received an email that effectively stated: "The retreat will take place even if the weather conditions suck. We don't care if you don't have power or need to take care of your kids who are at home because every single freakin' school canceled. It is obviously more important to talk about strategies and innovations. We will only cancel if the university cancels classes."
So, Friday morning, here I am at 7:45, leaving for the bus stop:
Luckily, Porkchop called me before I reached the bus stop and told me that the trains weren't running! WTF?! Being the trooper that I am, I drove to the retreat, arriving 10 minutes early.
Of course, I was the only one there. The school librarian arrived shortly thereafter; after placing a couple of phone calls, she learned that our school had canceled all events for the day, including the staff retreat. Not only was that canceled, our office was closed! Yay! Here, let me clarify that the university did not cancel classes - our school made an autonomous decision to cancel events and non-essential offices. This, of course, caused confusion to me, the school librarian, and the other staff who were arriving as I was leaving.
Although a bit pissed off about driving out to the retreat for nothing, I was also happy. A snow day! How novel! It was my first since junior high school. Unfortunately, I wasted a good portion of it with a 2-hour nap.
Before falling into the sleep that would not end, I threw bird seed out onto our back deck. Before the finches and some other unidentified birds flew in, this big guy hung out for a while:
Also, before Porkchop left for work (yes, she actually went in for her afternoon stint!), she took these pics.
Here's the tree in our front yard:
And here's our street, with Tower Grove park in the background:
The poor park! It has taken quite a beating this year!
Friday night, Porkchop, Suzi, two of her friends, and I dined at Schlafly's Bottleworks. Yum! Smoked gouda potato gratin! Sticky toffee pudding! Also, I *heart* their Coffee Stout! (Here, I would like to note that they use Kaldi's coffee that has been brewed using the cold toddy method. Just to further demonstrate my point that cold brewing is the way to go for cold or iced coffee.) I can't wait for February when they brew their Chocolate Porter.
After stopping by Suzi's house, she and I hit Knitorious. Yay! Yarn! I also picked up a pattern for a felted pot and a felted vase. Awesome.
Next, Suzi treated me and some other ladies to lunch at the Pitted Olive. So much yum! I had the hot chicken and goat cheese sandwich with a side of roasted potato salad. The Pitted Olive is my new favorite. It reminds of Relish in Madison. Except, while I always felt slightly ripped off by Relish's prices, I didn't at all at the Pitted Olive...probably because the sandwiches included a substantial side.
After lunch, we went for pedicures. Yes, I got a pedicure! My feet look nice, but I felt rather uncomfortable...my internal social critique engine wouldn't stop as the shop was staffed mostly by Vietnamese women (the manager was a man, as was one or two manicurists). I don't even know where to begin.
After getting our feet scrubbed, nails trimmed, and cuticles cut back (ow!), Suzi and I had a sock-knitting lesson from Suzi's neighbor, who is also a teacher at Knitorious. I guess I'm making a pair of socks. So far, I only have an inch of ribbing, but I think I'll continue. I can kind of see how sock knitting can be addictive.
Suzi's neighbor gave me one very invaluable tip about knitting on dpns. Although not always, I am sometimes left with loose ladders where the dpns cross over. The solution: keep the needles you're working with on top! Ah ha! My books never told me this! Previously, when knitting on dpns, I went at it with my working needle coming up from below.
I had to leave the lesson early because Porkchop's niece was coming over to spend the night at our apartment. So, my night was filled with cookie baking and knitting (I knitted while Porkchop and her niece played hockey in the basement and did other activities).
Here we are making chocolate crinkle cookies (my favorite!):
Also busy with an excursion out to Midrivers Mall (I think that's the name) to watch the Blues practice. Porkchop was so happy. Later, I poked around the mall while Porkchop and her niece skated.
After the mall, we went to Hancock Fabrics and Jay International Foods. I stayed at home while Porkchop returned her niece to Illinois. So, I was finally able to finish the hardwarmers I started last weekend. Yay!
Speaking of knitting, I also finally finished my other bag - just have to felt it now and then it's ready for lining (of course, I still have to figure out the sewing part). I also finished the zigzag diagonal drop stitch scarf that I was working on. Here it is:
Porkchop, Suzi, and I are going shopping for live greenery. I can smell it now!
Have a great week!
I can't say how relieved I was/am that our power stayed on the whole time during the ice storm. As for those half million people who lost power....how horrible! Why can't Ameren get their shit together?!