Sunday, September 28, 2008

All I Wanna Do Is Knit...

I can't believe it's been a whole week since my last post. I do have some finished projects to post up - a couple of scarves and a weird hat. My mother-in-law is still in the hospital. My hubby is sick. We just came back from an overnight stay in Milwaukee where we stayed in a bad hotel room. I have clients who owe me over $1000. The Cubs have clinched the division and I've been working really hard! My friends are all down in the dumps over one thing or another - and it appears I have been unkind to someone I haven't even spoken with. No wonder I haven't had time to write - LIFE!

All I really want to do is knit. And walk. I want to knit and walk. My spirit is a little bruised and I am going to allow it to be for a moment more before I rally myself up and regroup.

At times like these, I can trace my feelings back to leaning on my own understanding and not listening to what God has said to me - or listening and thinking I still knew better.
Victor Hugo knows better, too: "There are times when no matter the attitude of the body, the soul is on its knees." I feel my kneecaps on the dust.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

As The World Turns

This has been an emotional week - heck, it's been an emotional few days.

The phone rang around midnight a few nights ago and it was the Life Alert people. My mother-in-law's alert button had gone off and when they tried to speak with her; there was no answer. So Joe got up (he had to be at work at 5) to go see what was going on.

Long story short - she fell, fractured her femur and had to have surgery. She's 94.

A friend of mine was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer a few months back and we were thrilled to find out it wasn't pancreatic cancer at all. That victory was short lived because it was stomach cancer and it claimed her life Friday evening. She was in her early 60's.

My nephew's wife had her baby. A healthy baby boy - Jason Ellis.

It's the baby that brings it all in perspective. The cycle of life is such that we start out young and helpless; learn to be self sufficient and independent (if we're lucky) and then come back around to the end older, wiser and with no regrets.

The discussions will begin on what to do about my mother-in-law. She has lived on her own for thrity years at least and up until now has done just fine. But she is at the point where she doesn't want to leave the house much and her hearing aids aren't aiding much..and now the fall. She will resist assimiliation - and she should. But she cannot be alone any longer. She will give a good battle; but it cannot be one she is allowed to win. The independence and self-sufficiency have gone.

Kathleen was a woman of great dignity, faith and privacy. I was glad to be welcomed into her fold and even then I was not in the deep circle. Close enough that she would call upon me to sing when she needed a first soprano and I had the good sense to know when I was being honored. We spoke a few months back and we talked about the last time we sang together at the Chicago Temple United Methodist Church. She wanted me to sing at the service of another friend and I was stuck in DC by bad weather and could not. It is a shadow of a regret.

And baby Jason who is his own little miracle. His folks had been trying for a second baby for some time and turned to a fertility specialized and here he is. He arrived a few days after his due date and had to be induced. I still say he was late because he is a male and would not ask for directions. But here is his - a representation that there are always beginnings in all things.

The dog hurt his leg again - he's an English Setter and eleven years old. He still thinks he's a puppy and thus will not take it easy. Because he has hurt his joints, the arthritis will begin to set in. His full cycle is starting. He is a wonderful dog and we have to start talking about what we are willing to do for him and his quality of life. Though that might not be a discussion to have for a few years yet.

And did I mention the Cubs are going to the playoffs for the second year in a row? Being a Cubs fan is proof of faith...or at least of suffering. No regrets there.

The emotions turn - as does the world. Will the wonders ever cease?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Then What Should I Say?

I found this blog entry on Firefighter Nation because I was doing some research for an assignment I have on becoming a firefighter. The entry deals with questions one should not ask the wife/girlfriend/spouse of a firefighter, police officer or soldier serving the in military.

I understand where the writer is coming from. I get how people sometimes ask insensitive questions and make some really stupid comments ("Don't you miss the sex?' or "This shouldn't be so bad once you get used to it.") and I also get I was slumming on a website that has a specific audience so the venting that goes on can be in house where everyone who reads it understands. But I do wonder:

What are we to say?

I have to believe the vast majority of us don't wish to be either insensitive or stupid. We feel we must say something and in the light of not being able to relate one scintilla to what your life is like though I feel the anxiety when I place myself or my husband in that spot if only in my mind, I want to say something useful - if not to calm you then to calm myself.

I don't know what that is.

Besides, I don't think everything on the list of what not to ask is insensitive or stupid. Rebecca takes offense because someone says they don't know how the wives manage it. I think that's perfectly valid. I don't know how they do it - I know they have to do it - I don't know how they have to do it. I do think they are a special breed of women (and men) who have had to learn to adapt and change all in one motion and that's hard under the best of circumstances.

My husband used to fix copy machines and that meant driving a good deal of the day. There were several technicians who were killed in car accidents. I had a fear of his driving and becoming a victim of his job. This is nothing compared to having a mate who is on foreign soil, may not know the language, is being shot at and may encounter explosives with every turn of the wheel.

I don't know how you do it. I think you're remarkable. Perhaps if my husband was still in the military (he served in Viet Nam) I would be able to summon up whatever I needed in order to be remarkable, too. But I don't have to do that - I don't even have to think about it. So I appreciate your strength. I appreciate the support you give. I appreciate the depth of love you have to keep it as together as you're able in order for your spouse to do their job.

Someone teach me what to say because no matter how this election turns out - we're going to need to say something for quite some time.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Cuddle Up Baby Blanket

Well, this didn't take long. I was getting a little anxious yesterday which meant I must have been getting near the end of the project. It turned out pretty well. It's made with Caron by the Pound in azure.
What I like about Caron by the Pound is that it's an economy yarn but depending on the color, it's knits up lushly. This color is a very lush, soft knit.
size 10 needles on a single strand. The original pattern called for double stranding but I didn't want to do that. It also says cast on 90 stitches, but that was with the double strand and the size 13 needles so I cast on 126 to get the gauge I needed. It came out a little bigger than the original pattern, but what's wrong with a baby blanket the baby can use for more than just a minute?

This blanket is for Jason Emmet who was supposed to come out of the womb yesterday but decided to stay in. Maybe he'll come out today - now that he has a nice, warm blanket waiting for him.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

So, Where Have I Been?

It's been 3 days since my last post and what have I been up to?

  1. Choir practice started last week and we sang for the first time this season last Sunday.
  2. Still working on the Cuddle Up Blanket. It is about halfway done. I admit to liking how it's coming out, though I must also admit to being a little anxious to start a new project.
  3. I've picked up another client - if all the contract details work out, I will be writing articles for egardener - check them out if you are at all into gardening.
  4. About 1/3 of the way through Tina McElroy Ansa's You Know Better.
  5. I've been WALKING! Hubby let me know what my birthday present is going to be - a trip to Florida and this time we aren't staying at the Disney Vacation Club where we usually stay. This time the trip is more to Orlando than Disney so I get to create the itnerary. This would seem to involve more walking than usual so I decided to get the legs (and the rest of me) in vacation shape.
I've only been walking a mile for the last few days, but I've forgotten how great it is to work up a really good sweat moving the ol' instrument around. It's worth getting up a little (and I mean a little) earlier in the mornings. By the time I'm through with this 'training' I'll be ready for Florida!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

At Long Last - Cai!!

It's finally done! That's the hubby-bubby holding it in the second pic! I can't believe how huge it is and the HB says it's very warm as well. I can't believe I thought I could get that done in seventeen days. But, hey, there's nothing wrong with optimism.
I can't even begin to tell all the yarns that went into this. There's some very old Sayelle yarn, some Caron By the Pound, Caron Natura, some "I Love This Yarn" and I don't know what all. It was a good use for the stash, though you couldn't tell I even touched the yarn load. I still don't need to buy any yarn, though I am going to by the end of the month because Herschnerr's is running the free shipment and I can stock up on their chunky weight yarn which I like.

I used size nine needles and the whole thing is taller than I am - not that that's much of a stretch.

So, it's done and I am onto the baby blanket. I am almost certain to start another project really soon and I look forward to that as well. In the meantime, I took a really long walk this morning and I am sore. I am going to take that same long walk again tomorrow. The HB gave me my birthday present early - a trip to Florida in 10 weeks and I need to get into walking shape for it. With Cai out of the way, I am better mentally to get the legs in shape!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Cuddle Up Baby Blanket - wip

So Cai is in the seam stage. I have already done one seam and strip 1 is connected to strip 2. I imagine I will do one seam a day and then get to working on the next project. Which is the Cuddle Up baby blanket.

This blanket is earmarked for a baby my nephew and his wife are expecting. The newest member of the family is only days away from his debut and then a few months to his baptism. Because my nephew belongs to my church, this blanket will be presented to the family during the baptism. (My craft group presents blankets to families at all baptisms taking place there.)

It's a pretty easy knit thus far (though I have altered some details of the pattern.) It won't be too long before this moves from wip to fo!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Cai - In Progress

It bugged me that I had nothing to show - boy, if I were in therapy that's a beginning of a session!

So, I took photos of Cai, my afghan that I have been working on since 8/8/08. This is 3 of the 5 strips that will go into the afghan. The fourth strip is done, but constructed in such a way that it cannot be added. So, I have to do the last one before I can add the next to the last one. What possessed me, you may ponder, to believe I could finish a 25 square afghan in a mere two weeks. Especially with squares like this one in the mix. I have no idea what I was thinking! So the final strip has begun and it will be finished some time soon and then the real fun begins of sewing them together. I am thinking of just doing a cross stitch in the darkest color or a simple mattress stitch. The sewing part is not my best event, but I will persevere. And I will post the final pics when all is said and done!

Monday, September 1, 2008

I Got Nuthin

Happy September!

I love firsts and I love first days of months that start on Monday. It's a quirk. Anyway, I have uploaded all the projects I've done. I've gone through all the photos and I got nuthin left. I do have some projects on my needles. Cai, my earthtone afghan is closer to the finished line. There are five strips in total and I am about to complete the 4th one. The baby blanket for the nephew arriving in a few weeks is on the needles. I have not touched it since the day I cast it on and worked on it because I will start a new project about every ten days or so (it's on my schedule) but I only work on one project at a time. So, when Cai is done, I will pick up the baby blanket and work on it. I have the second Travis Wrap to work on as well but that is still in my mind and I haven't even selected the yarn for it and according to my schedule, a new (as yet unknown) project, will come to life within about a week.

So, it's the start of a new month...and I got nuthin'. I am working on Cai to the tune of about a square a day so it should be done in about six days. That will depend upon the work schedule, of course, and the times of the Cubs games because time stands still for the Cubs. (Die hard since 1969!)

I need to stop blogging and go the store to get bathroom cleaning supplies - don't envy me my glamourous life-you, too can live this way if you choose!


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