Yesterday was a day of old problems and new adventures.

Small problems. Small adventures.

One problem that is certainly getting old is my upper-respiratory distress. (Why is it always upper respiratory? Where is the lower respiratory system?) I did go see a medical professional, finally, who put me wise to my error: when you get a cold, you should not discontinue your allergy medication in order to take cold medicine. Cold medicine doesn’t treat your cold, but just makes you feel a little better. Especially the multi-symptom stuff that I was taking. That just makes you feel a little bit better, well enough to go ahead and work instead of resting, while your allergies remain entirely untreated. They join the virus and gang up on the poor old upper respiratory system.

I am now taking my allergy medicine and a decongestant, and should be fine any day now. Actually, I feel a lot better, though I still sound like Tallulah Bankhead, or possibly Ernest Borgnine. I have a workshop to do tomorrow, with singing, so I am hoping for a speedy recovery.

Another small old problem is also connected with the workshop, because it is in another county, and there are three distinct stretches of scary road between here and there. That is not enough to keep me from doing it, but it is enough to keep me from sleeping well. I am going to see whether I can carpool with The Empress, since she and That Man are planning to attend.

The mail brought another old problem. #1 son’s FAFSA came back again. It was an actual error on his part the first time, but this time it was about our name. We have a difficult, foreign family name. It has only nine letters, and many people from my husband’s country have twice that many, or more, but the fact is that not a year goes by that we do not have some trouble with the IRS, the Social Security Administration, the ACT people, or the medical insurance people, because we have this difficult name. We carefully replaced the “U” they had put in with the correct “M” and sent it back again, ignoring the suggestion to contact the Social Security Administration.

But the mail also brought new adventures. A new camera, for one thing. It has no viewfinder, but the boys tell me it is cooler than the old one which disappeared into the ether. I must learn to use it before tomorrow so I can photograph the conference.

And the stuff for my foray into bingo. I have never played bingo, but I incautiously agreed to take a table for a breast cancer awareness bingo event being held at a historic church in our county.

This church was built by our Italian community. These people were tricked by misleading advertisements into coming way the heck over here and replacing sharecroppers in the delta region of our state. The former slaves who became sharecroppers couldn’t help but notice that sharecropping was a whole lot like slavery, except that there was no responsibility on the part of the landowners to care for sharecroppers, and they didn’t stick with it. So the owners advertised for immigrants, and got a passel of Italians.

They didn’t like sharecropping either. Their priest traveled around until he found our region, which is lovely and hilly and reminded them of their native Italy — at least in comparison with the Mississippi river delta where they were suffering at the time.

So they came up here in a body and established a nice town which still stands, filled with the best Italian restaurants you would ever care to meet.

They had their difficulties, though. At one point in their history, a vigilante group went to burn down their church, and the story is that their priest stood on the steps with a gun and explained that he was a man of peace, but that he did know how to use a gun. The gang left, and this church is now the site of the charity bingo do for which I am supposed to round up a table of players.

Partygirl said she would come, so that is a start.

My boys say that, if I am going to do handbells and bingo, I am clearly now Really Old. So be it.

I also had an invitation to do a six-week class on hymns. I’ve done this before, but it will be a new setting, so it qualifies as a bit of a new adventure. If you have ever read my Advent calendar of music, then you know that I am both knowledgeable and enthusiastic on the subject, and that is half of a successful class, I think. I started my teaching life with remedial English and study skills, so really any subject is a step up.

provencal runner 006 Here is the table runner, at its current state of progress, and with it a couple of tomato plants that The Empress brought. They are new-to-us, heirloom varieties of tomatoes, which may not really count as an adventure, but it might.

It is too early to plant tomatoes, really, but there they are. I put them on the porch to harden off and will plant them tomorrow.  Maybe they are the ones who will have an adventure.

I have also made some progress on the Bijoux Blouse.

The sleeve for this pattern is picked up directly from the shoulder and knitted down. This is my favorite way to do a sleeve, because it is the hardest to mess up and and the easiest to fix if you don’t like the way it turns out. It does however mean that you have a great huge piece of knitting rather than a little separate sleeve.provencal runner 010

This will not keep me from taking it with me to tomorrow’s conference.

Today I will be up at the new store.

This means getting properly dressed, and resisting the temptation to do a whole lot of work at home before I go up there.

That is another old problem. If I continue working ten hours a day, I will not get my encyclopedia entry done by the deadline, nor will I have a sewn FO every week, and it will be too hot to wear the Bijoux Blouse before it gets finished.