Sunday, May 31, 2009
Saturday, May 30, 2009
Last night Kate and I put our creative heads together and came up with three cute baskets to raffle off today at Em's Beef 'n Beer. This is mine. It's an Italian dinner (pasta, sauce, cheese, crunchy bread, basil oil, some towels and utensils all packed up in a large cup and saucer). I love the container which I have been looking at for a while. This is Kate's. It's a sun tea jar (you put water and tea bags into it and sit it outside in the sun to brew) and some cups with stars and some drink mixes all in a shallow tray. It's all red, white and blue and sparkly. Pk chose a crate and we filled it with hot sauces and salsas. His sister and brother in law donated a laundry basket full of various forms of alcohol and t shirts and hats. It was hard for us to get everything into the basket and make it look attractive. It 's huge and weighs a ton. We are going over to the bar at around 3 to help set up and then we just sit back and let people come and eat and drink and hopefully it will bring in enough money to help Em and Jim pay some bills while she is out on sick leave.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
I have to get to the craft store and buy a basket to put together my stuff for the raffle at Em's beef 'n beer. I have been trying to get there every day this week but haven't felt like fighting the rush hour traffic. I'm running out of time! Tomorrow for sure....
I was reading one of the forums on ravelry today regarding the Sock Summit that Stephanie Pearl McPhee and her friend Tina are planning. The list of classes and teachers sounds amazing and I was sorry it was all the way across the country. 3,000 miles was a little far for me to travel just to attend a sock conference. I was hoping it would be successful so that maybe there would be another one and maybe it would be a little closer to home. But there were a lot of angry people. It seems that the server went down and people couldn't sign up for the classes they wanted. And then the site said the classes were full but they weren't because of the server crash. I think it was inevitable because of the sheer numbers of people trying to sign up but some of the people on ravelry were really angry and talking about boycotting the organizers and teachers and all of their products. I'm not sure what people were expecting. This kind of thing happens frequently when a desired event opens up for registration. And no amount of testing can prevent it. It's too bad but it's not the end of the world. To hear some of these people talk, it sounds like they'll never be the same. I feel bad that they were disappointed but there are never any guarantees in these kind of things. Maybe it's easy for me to be sanguine about it because I was not planning to go anyway. I might be more upset if I had tried to get into some classes.
So, what do you think? How far would you go and how much would you pay to attend a class taught by Cat Bordhi, Barbara Walker (yes, THE Barbara Walker) or Stephanie Pearl McPhee? If money were no object, I might fly cross country but with the way things are going now, it's just not feasible. (and I really don't like to fly)
Our weather is at that tough stage where there is a 20 degree difference between the morning and the afternoon so it's hard to dress. At least the a/c isn't on in the building. Yet.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Who Has Seen the Wind?
Who has seen the wind?
But, for now, it's back to work. Have a good Tuesday.
Saturday, May 23, 2009
I have one full bobbin and am almost finished another. I have rather small bobbins for my wheel and while they hold a lot, it's not nearly as much as I would like. I tried to get a nice, clear shot of the bobbin but for some reason the camera didn't cooperate. I think it was dazzled by the colors. I want to finish the second bobbin and ply some of it this weekend. I tried to keep the color runs similar so I could have some stripes but we'll see how that goes. However it comes out, it'll be beautiful.
Friday, May 22, 2009
There was a sense of deja vu yesterday as I was coming home from work. No, there was not a train drama. The train ride was uneventful. But when I got home, there was a package in the mailbox and it had my name on it! Amy Lane sent me a yarn package. It has a beautiful skein of Noro sock yarn, some bamboo/wool/nylon sock yarn and some Schaeffer Anne in beautiful gem tones. A package of color! It was a wonderful surprise. I can't wait to finish some of the socks that are on the needles so I can delve into some of it. Thank you so much Amy!
I mentioned to Em that I was feeling kinda strange to get presents in the mail. She responded that "that's what knitters do, mom. We can't always be there in person, so we let the other person we know care and are there in spirit by sending yarn. Who doesn't like yarn?" And I agreed that she was probably right. I do the same thing. It's heart warming to know that there is this community out there and I am a part of it.
Em's surgery date is June 8. Probably at the ass-crack of dawn. It's an all day procedure and I'll be sure to take a variety of projects so I can flit from one to another as I need to. Two more weeks of waiting and then the healing can begin. Em will have a doozy of a scar starting on her upper chest and down around her rib cage. They have to crack her sternum to get to the spine baby. This bothers me more than I can say. Pk has said the same thing. The idea of our perfect little baby having this done to her body is almost more than I can bear. We'll deal because we have to and because the last thing Em needs is someone else to worry about. But I don't have to like it.
Monday is Memorial Day here in the US. It means a three day weekend and I can't wait. Lots of folks head to the shore for the first 'summer' weekend. It's not even summer for another month but that doesn't matter. The ocean is probably 65 degrees and way too cold for comfort but that doesn't matter either. The beaches will be full. Too full for comfort. I'll be glad we take the train out of the city every day and don't have to drive in the 'shore traffic' on fridays. We may take a picnic somewhere, depending on the weather. Or maybe we'll just have a quiet, uneventful weekend. Wouldn't that be nice?
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
So, today during his lunch time walk, he went to Lore's and bought me a pound of dark chocolate non pareils and brought them to me at work. He works several blocks away from me and the chocolate place is somewhere in between.
Mmmm. dark chocolate. Too bad I have to go to work. I could sit here and indulge in chocolate and read blogs all afternoon.
I don't know if I mentioned that we had to buy a new refridgerator? No? Oh. Well, we did. I had managed to save up the money to pay the electrician almost 1500 dollars to upgrade the electricity in the house and we were just waiting for Em's surgery date so we could coordinate the electrician date. Then we noticed the freezer wasn't freezing. It was cold, but not frozen.
Big sigh. The fridge is about 12 -15 years old (we can't quite remember) and has always been problematic in the warm weather. I always had to move the milk down to the fruit bin (where it was colder) to keep it in the summer. But the freezer always worked and the people at General Electric told me that if the freezer was working, there was nothing really wrong. (strange philosophy but I was not willing to pay a repairman lots of money to test it out) But now the ice in the icemaker (which had stopped working a long time ago, we bought bags of ice and dumped them in) was melting all over and the food that was supposed to be frozen hard - was not.
Bigger sigh. We took the money we saved and went to the 'bump and dent' store and found a lovely new refridgerator. It has a dent on the top but it's cosmetic and it saved us 900 dollars. We got a 1900 dollar fridge for 1000 dollars. It makes ice and registers the temp in celcius and farenheit temps. It's really not fancy (the fancy ones cost well over 2500 dollars) but it works.
So, we called Em and Jim and bribed them with good Chinese food and gas money and asked them to come and help us move it. They fell for it and we moved the old unit out and the new one in. Actually, it wasn't that easy as the new one is about 1/2 inch taller and wider. One half inch which made a huge difference. Pk has some work to do to put the kitchen back together.
We lost all the leftovers but managed to save the milk and butter and cheese and stuff by putting them in a cooler overnight. And we have ice! I heard the icemaker drop some cubes this morning and it was a beautiful sound.
So, now we start saving again to have the nice electrician man come and upgrade our service. Unless we lose another major appliance (the washer is making discontented noises and it's over 20 years old!), maybe we can do it over the summer. Good thing I have a bunch of fiber to spin and enough yarn to keep me busy because I can see it'll be a long time before the budget allows me to splurge...
Saturday, May 16, 2009
The cool thing about waking up early on a weekend is that it is so quiet. Today, it looks and feels like what I imagine a rain forest is like. The air is heavy with fog and sounds are vaguely muffled. There are birds and the occasional dog barking. The air is not moving. It feels anticipatory. I like it. NOAA says we are in for thunder storms all weekend and then lots of sunshine just as we go back to work on Monday. I don't have any plans, other than the usual cleaning and laundry.
I wore grey pants and a black shirt to my cousin's funeral but broke it up with some wildly colored socks (Kate calls them my "acid trip" socks. They're made with Noro Kureyon so you can imagine...). My aunt admired them and said she would like some colored socks. I've given her colored socks, just more sedate colors. I don't have any Noro in the stash and since I'm holding onto money to pay the electrician and put a new roof on the house, I went through the available yarns and came up with one I like. It's the Feb offering from ArtWalk. 'Petunia' by Georgia O'Keefe. The colors are bright and it's warm and soft. My aunt is diabetic and I'm leery about giving her more colored socks but she insisted. I used the Tidal Wave pattern which is easy to memorize and seems to move fast. I like photos without flash better but this one captured the greens and purples more accurately. So, now I have three pairs of socks on the needles. Weird for me. I'm working on Pk's brown/black striped and Em's Zap socks. None of them are very challenging but that's not a bad thing.I haven't had the mental wherewithall to do much more than knit plain socks. But some of the mental numbness is wearing away and the fog I feel like I've been living in is lifting so maybe I'll be up to picking up the lace this weekend. I've missed working on it.
The human spirit is a wondrous thing. It can be battered again and again and still rise. It helps to have people around you who are there with a gentle word, a kind thought or gesture. As we climb out of our hole and start to laugh again and feel lighter, I'll remember the kindness you all have shown and will pass it on to someone who needs it. Thank you.
So, now it's time to pry myself out of my comfortable bed and get some breakfast and get started. There's spinning to be done and some knitting that is calling my name. Now, if only the elves would get started on those pesky chores.
Friday, May 15, 2009
When I got into work on Monday, I learned that one of our favorite Social Rehab clients had passed away on Sunday. She was young and had a reoccurrence of her breast cancer. I saw her two weeks ago and although she looked drawn and gaunt, she did not look that near death. It was a surprise.
Wednesday, we buried my cousin. It was tough. I tried to be the support my aunt and cousins needed and I hope I succeeded. She was young and somehow that makes it harder to bear.
I came back to work yesterday to find out a client I have known for a long time died over the weekend. This was a shock. He'd been in the hospital for pneumonia for a while and was getting better but his heart gave out. He was only in his 40's.
So, it was a sad week. Three young people, in the prime of their lives, gone. I believe things happen for a reason but that belief is being stretched very thin this week.
Em sent me a photo of the alien spine baby. It's big. The surgeons are coordinating a date to remove it. It seems to be involved with a nerve and they told her she could have some numbness or pain afterwards and they have no way to predict which it will be.
We saw the new Star Trek movie (full disclosure here: I am a huge fan and always have been. I own several star trek christmas ornaments and once owned patterns for the star fleet uniforms and plans for the enterprise). Pk and I thought we needed a diversion and we went Tuesday night. I was prepared to be disappointed but I was astounded and pleased. It's wonderful and the characters are true to themselves. The young actors are reminiscent of the older ones but not copies. In fact, we saw it twice on Tuesday. And I want to go again......
It's a rainy Friday and I have the first crisis management group of the year this morning. It's mostly admin staff so not too much hands on. Mostly, just how NOT to talk to an enraged/upset individual (seems like common sense but it's not). I am looking forward to a peaceful weekend.
Anyone got good plans? (and did you realize that next weekend is Memorial Day? Already?!)
I realize this is a sort of disjointed post but that's kinda how my mind is working this morning. I have started on a new pair of socks for my aunt who let me know she would like some more. I'll take some photos when (if) the sun comes back out. So, possibly some knitting content soon.
Sunday, May 10, 2009
I also started a sock with the Zap yarn Julie sent. She told me that it's dyed to look like lightning when it's knit. Since I was tired of all the brown and black, I decided to cast on socks for Em. (and I admit, I was intrigued by the description of the yarn) She wanted the yarn and said it would be so much easier if I just turned it into socks for her. I wanted some color and this fit the bill. It's turquoise and yellow. Just a plain sock full of color and if you look, you can see the blue zig zagging down the sock. Simple minded that I am, I keep looking to see how the blue bit is moving down the sock. It's kept me fascinated through 4 inches of stockinette.
And when these are done, I have a whole new book of sock patterns by Cookie A to play with. Kate gave me Cookie's new book and it's filled with beautiful, clever socks. She talks about how she designs socks and how YOU can design socks if you want and then she has about 15 different patterns to choose from. I think I'll just let her be the designer. She's so good at it.
Saturday, May 9, 2009
We buried PK's dad on Friday. It was interesting to see his family, most of whom we haven't seen for many years. He has 6 siblings and they all have multiple children. These children are all adults. All of these young people kept coming up and introducing themselves ( a fine crop of next generation). Good thing, because without name tags, I was lost. Ray was 93 and had lived a good long life. He buried two wives and had a girlfriend. He was a lucky man. His girlfriend (strange word for a woman in her 90's) did the reading at the funeral mass. She is the grandmother of one of Em's high school friends. Yes, it is a very small world.
When the lunch was over, we went and got a dryer. Yay! No more sitting in the laundramat while children run around me as I fold my underwear. No more showing my underwear to the world!
Then we came home and my cousin phoned to let me know her sister had died. Joanie has been sick on and off for about a year and less than a week ago, they diagnosed her (finally) with pancreatic cancer. She died peacefully, with her family around her. So, this week there will be another funeral. This is the second cousin I have lost in the last two years who is younger than me. I don't think the reality has hit and probably won't until I have to go to work and request another bereavement day.
So, today, I did the grocery shopping and managed to get some extra so I can give it to Em and I am in the process of washing all of the summer clothes. It takes forever but the closets and drawers get cleaned out and that's a good feeling. It also is fairly mindless and that's what I needed. I cleaned the bathroom and nowI am knitting Pk's brown striped sock because I can handle a k3 p1 rib but not much else. I am so tired.
I just want some boring.
Thursday, May 7, 2009
*****added to make some separations because blogger insists on smooshing everything together.
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
As a girl, I got to take Cooking, Sewing, Family Living and Homemaking. Cooking and sewing are self explanatory but Family Living and Homemaking were different. We learned how to set the table and how to make a budget (both worthwhile skills they STILL should teach) but there were also classes in appearance.
When I was growing up, my dad was starting his business and money was tight. I regularly got boxes of hand me down clothes from family members and I remember loving it. It was like Christmas going through the box. Rarely did we get new clothes. There just wasn't money. I learned to treat my clothes well to make them last. That was a good lesson to learn. I had a fairly good self concept at the time and really didn't think anything of it. I liked myself.
But, back to Homemaking. There was a young,unmarried, female (of course) teacher. One day in class, she asked what we would change about ourselves if we could. Now, we were 14 at the time. A very vulnerable age for a young person. When she came to me, I said I didn't want to change anything, I liked myself as I was. She didn't believe me. "Everyone has something they want to change" she said. I said that I liked my hair and eye color and I was fine with the shape of my body. I liked myself. This was unacceptable and instead of just saying "good for you", she insisted I find fault with myself.
This made me start wondering what flaws others saw that I didn't. Maybe I should have a new hair color or maybe I should lose some weight. My parents weren't the type who would sit and talk about this stuff. Their response was "don't be silly, you're fine just the way you are". And so the insecurity was born.
I'm not sure where this memory came from this morning but I was thinking about it in the shower. Where do our insecurities come from? If our earliest memories are of acceptance, are we more confident? Is it internal or is it from others that we get our sense of self acceptance?
I've managed over the years to come to terms with myself. I'm not a perfect person but I'm not all that bad, either. I could stand to lose a few pounds and I'm working on eating better for my health so that may happen. I'm patient and kind and generally positive in my thinking. I'm sentimental and cry easily (hallmark commercials are good for a few tears). I'm also very strong. Not physically but mentally. I'm thoughtful and good natured and easy to get along with. I'm bossy and stubborn and sometimes impetuous. I'm a good homemaker, I like to cook and I don't mind cleaning (ok, I mind. But I like a clean house so I do it). I am a good mother and a good wife and generally a good woman. And I don't get mad easily and rarely hold a grudge.
This is part of who I am. Who are you? Where did your ideas about yourself come from? I know this is profound for the early morning but this is where my thoughts were going this morning. Weird.
Em update. Her surgeon is consulting with a neurosurgeon to determine the best way to remove the tumor since there is some spinal involvement. They're not sure how much of the spine is involved and another mri may be in order. Surgery date should be forthcoming.
Monday, May 4, 2009
A young woman I know painted this and gave it to me because I admired her art. She is graduating from Moore College of Art with an MA this week. The amazing thing is that she has bipolar illness and despite the dificulties of dealing with an illness that is really hard to treat, she has finished her degree program and is graduating. So, I'm
Sunday, May 3, 2009
Saturday, May 2, 2009
The ever crafty and wonderful Roxie sent me gifts that made me smile. Look at the lovely banana cozy! The never modest Pk offered to model it but I declined. There is only so much of my husband I want to share with the internets! So, we had one banana left in the bowl and it was an adequate stand in. She also sent me a bit of crafty loveliness. A crocheted flower (and a small bag of lavender). It was such a nice surprise to come home to. Thank you so much, Roxie.
And now for an Em update. She informs me that they will be getting her results on Monday and decisions will be made then as to whether she needs radiation or not. She's hoping for a quick resolution and surgery soon(she would like it to be Tuesday but I think that might be a little quick). I'm hoping for plain old surgical removal of the alien baby. I had cancer dreams last night. I don't remember them much but as I sit here, bits and pieces are coming back.
We're in for a rainy weekend. It's cool and damp and there are full grown leaves on the trees. Did you ever stop and wonder at how fast leaves grow in the spring? One day they're buds and it seems like I look away and when I look back, they're full grown leaves. Amazing. I have some projects in mind, including one that involves pulling out the sewing machine. If I actually get to it, I'll share.
Have a good weekend and cross your fingers for good results on Monday.
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