Monday, March 24, 2008

Nothin' to see here

I keep thinking I will wait to post until I have pictures but I've been too lazy to get the camera out while there is daylight so another picture-less blog entry.

Good Friday Vigil was nothing less than one of the most wonderful experiences of my life. Two and half hours of silence, sitting in the quiet of an empty nave and sanctuary with a backlit crucifix on the barren altar. And no knitting. Well...words just can't describe it.

And then...11 inches of snow.

We couldn't get out to do the banking or buy groceries or anything. Zach went out late in the evening to dig Tom out of the driveway so he could get to work but waited until Saturday to shovel the sidewalks. I tried to help but I had no energy or upper-body strength at all. It's time to do something about it.

So I knew Easter Sunday wasn't the day to start. Another beautiful service. The sanctuary so colorful with lilies and carnations. And so fragrant. We had a baptism, which is always a wonderful thing. And cookies. Then Zach and I went off to our annual visit to Appleby's where we ate too much.

Today I started my diet yet again. I'm trying to look at these setbacks as learning experiences rather than failures. I have learned what will not work so it's rather stupid to keep trying that. Instead I'm trying to work on why I eat. So far so good. I've made it past the most difficult time of the day but have the evening to face-off and that will be almost as hard.

I've started a hat using the Organic Cotton from Lion Brand. It looks good so far but I can't tell if the gauge is all right. Still working on the messenger bag from Knitty Gritty and cast on a cable sweater from Cast On. I think I'm finally getting my mojo back.

I got my new glasses today. They were supposed to be in on Saturday but the Winter Storm shut everything down, including shipments. I had narrow rectangular ones before but they don't work well with trifocals so I went with some larger ovals this time. It will take some getting used to but I do like them. It's been 3 years and my vision hasn't changed all that much but still this is expensive.

Enough babbling. I'm off to finish supper and chill out with Black Books from the library. It's one of the funniest of the Britcoms.


Thursday, March 20, 2008

Winding down Spring Break

I think I may need intervention. I frogged the shawl. Yep. I wasn't enjoying it and truth be told, I wanted that yarn for a sweater, not a shawl so I don't really care what the yarn thinks it wants to be. I'm the boss here, not it, so I get to decide.

And I will knit it into a sweater as soon as I find the sweater I want to knit.

Honestly, I will.

And I would like to knit it in a smaller size but the diet isn't going so well so I don't know about that. This whole week has been a blur. I started out so well, so industriously and then I crashed with no energy for anything. It is vacation though...right? Don't I get to have one now and then? Or at least once every 10 years?

Professor is out back, hunting out scents from the bunnies and chipmunks. The chippies are his arch enemies, you know. They taunt him while he sits in the window, moseying by him, hopping around within view knowing he can't touch them. And the squirrels are in the conspiracy, too. They walk...very slowly...down the sidewalk while he's having a hysterical frenzy, hackles raised and barking shrilly. He is a chihuahua, after all. They aren't known for their deep, resonant barks.

But tomorrow...maybe snow. As much as 4 inches.

It's just not right.

Tonight is Maundy Thursday services at church. This might be my favorite service of the church year. We have foot washings. You wash the foot of the person in front of you and the person behind you washes yours. The stripping of the altar is so compelling but when the Reserved Sacrament is taken from the church into the chapel in dead silence, I can hardly breathe with all the emotions I'm feeling.

Zach and I have vigil from 10-12 tonight. I'm taking some devotional material but I'm debating about taking any knitting. It's a vigil, not a service, and I do tend to meditate while knitting if I'm not watching tv or listening to a book. Otherwise I might fall asleep. I'll take it and decide once we're there.

What I'm working on right now is a purse or bag of some kind. I'm following this pattern for the most part. I've got a bit over a pound of Mainstay yarn I got on sale a couple of years ago. I made a sweater out of it and it's holding up very well so I think it might work as a purse. I need something with a lot of room but with a cross the chest strap on it. I can't seem to keep anything on my shoulder and I hate carrying a purse on my wrist.

I might pick up Zach's pink and black raglan again since I'm not working on the perpetual yarn right now. I have to finish up my baby sister's socks. I'm at the toe. I've got some Baby Ull I would like to work with. I only have 100 g so I'm not sure, aside from socks, what I can make from it. And I'm afraid they won't hold up as socks, not having any nylon in them. I love making baby clothes. I suppose I could go pick up some more Baby Ull in another color (or see if I could get the same dye lot...or close to it). But that costs money and I'm trying to use up what I've already got first. I could knit for a couple of years on what I've got, but most of what I've got is Red Heart yarn.

I should bring Professor in and get dressed. I've been in my pajamas almost all week. Not that I'm complaining or anything.


Monday, March 17, 2008

Really...I have a good excuse.

Honestly, it's not what you think. I haven't taken to my bed again in the depths of depression. I've actually been functioning. And at a high level. It's amazing what a little bit of sunshine can do for you.

All winter my old bedroom has been the junk room, full almost to the ceiling with stuff I didn't have the energy to find a place for. I promised Tom I would clean the room up and turn it into a study for him because he likes to read but can't unless he has absolute quiet. Plus he prefers to read at the dining table and would like to smoke while he does it. Since he smokes upstairs and I had the space, I moved the dining table up there, put my bitty 13" tv/vcr combo in there for him (complete with cable hook-up) and the old boom box. I had a rocking chair in the basement that I would love to use but since it's not comfortable, I can't sit in it for long. He, however, finds it comfy so he got that, too.

He was like a kid with a new toy and has been spending more time upstairs.

My legs were like jelly when I got done though. I must have made 30 trips up and down the stairs and hauled a few trash bags full of stuff for the thrift store, not to mention the dining table. Tom did take the top to it and the rocking chair up for me. At that stage I would have fallen.

I did leave my stash up there because I have no place to put it yet, but when I move a lot of junk out of the basement, it will go down there so Tom can move his rolltop desk out of his bedroom and put it in the study.

With separate areas like this, our marriage just might make it.

I finally made it to church yesterday. I only missed two weeks but it seemed like months. I bit my tongue to avoid making excuses. I'm trying to learn I don't have to justify that here. My old church was big on being Big Brother and wanting to know why you missed or why you couldn't participate in a function. This church, not at all. This is the joy of living out from under that yoke of fear. But freedom can be a bit frightening at first so I'm still adjusting.

I talked to the priest about starting a women's guild and she's highly enthusiastic. I want it to be primarily for fellowship but with a secondary purpose of sharing talents in the fiber arts. We have women who sew, women who knit, crochet, and embroider. I'm sure there are more talents out there as well. I'll be heading it up, getting it started. I'm a bit nervous but I've been praying about it for a while and think this is the right ministry for me. Although I would love to be on the altar guild but I don't feel like the time is right for that yet.

I'm not making a lot of headway with knitting right now. I don't really have anything going on that is driving me so it's mostly the process and not the project. Zach frogged his hat so I have 8 oz of Cascade 220 (not superwash) and I've been drooling over it and digging through my stash of books, magazines and printouts to find the right project. Nothing is coming to mind yet.

I'm going to start my Organic Cotton soon. I found a hat I like. My hair is pretty thin on top so I like to wear cloches, but I want them to look like an accessory rather than a hat to hide my head. I'm not sure I can get gauge on the yarn though so I'm not committing to it yet.

Believe it or not, we're expecting a rain/snow mixture today. I'm hoping this is that last. Tom wanted to start opening windows over the weekend. It's 40 degrees outside and he thinks it will warm the house up. I always follow him around and shut them though. I'm not ready to take the plastic off the windows just yet. Last year I took it off too soon so I'm being patient this year.

I think we will be looking for a refrigerator this weekend. We got our taxes back and we desperately need a new one. The fan went out on it a couple of years ago so we've got a tabletop fan behind it drawing the heat off the motor. This runs 24/7 and can't be good for our electric bill. Plus, our fridge is too big for the space. I want a smaller one with no bells and whistles. I just need a place to put food.

Next year, we will need to replace the stove but it's still functioning as it should for now. It's just ancient and looks bad.

Today Zach and I start our diet...again. For his sake I really need to stick with this. He's gained so much weight this winter and his health will be a concern if he doesn't lose. Plus, there was someone at church yesterday who caught his eye so he's thinking of his looks now.

And my health is a definite concern so I need to be persistent on this. I've gained back almost all I lost, which is so depressing, but I can't give in. I just can't.

Off to do tons of laundry and work on finding the basement floor.


Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Someday my spring will come

I took the camera with me but forgot to take any pictures so I thought I might as well show one of the few WIPs I've actually got going on.

A close up of the Irish Knit Shawl from Red Heart leaflet 1128. I like the lace part of it and the ease of memorization of the pattern is a big plus.

I'm using I Can't Believe I Love this Yarn from Hobby Lobby. It's a light sage green and pretty true to the picture.

I think I might finally knit this yarn up without any more trips to the frog pond. Which means eventually I'm going to have to buy yarn again.

Random musings:

I don't get Chekhov. No, not the ensign from the Enterprise.

Anton Chekhov, writing of Russian plays.

I watched a rendition of The Cherry Orchard last night from 1962 starring some impressive names: Peggy Ashcroft, John Gielguld, Roy Dotrice (who stole the show in my opinion), Judi Dench, Ian Holm. The acting was great. The camera work...well, let's just say things have improved over the years. There was one scene when the camera panned out and must have run over a cable because the whole screen jiggled a bit.

But I just don't get that kind of play. Depressing at best, boring at worst. I guess I just have plebeian tastes. Maybe I need to watch more Chekhov or at the least both read him and about him to get it.

I had to have some Buffy afterward to reset my brain.

I'm trying to improve my brain. It hasn't had a lot of exercise in the past few years.

Speaking of exercise. Neither has my decrepit body. I must get in shape, especially this close to summer. Which might just come this year after all. Our driveway is still half ice to the degree that getting into the car is similar to a clown show at the circus. Trying to grab the door and open it while leaning across the driveway and holding on for dear life once my feet meet the icy slope and trying to slide into the seat while sliding past the car....well you get the picture.

But I've seen grass. Dead, brown grass. But grass nonetheless. Someday the world will be green again and I will be complaining about the heat. Maybe I need to work on that contentment thing from the Bible. Ya think?

Got a Christmas card today from a friend living in Australia. I would say it got lost in the mail if I didn't know Jessica better. I'm guessing she just mailed it.

I'm still struggling with fatigue but the depression is a bit better. I think the sunshine helps a lot since I couldn't remember to take the St. John's Wort. I slept in today and feel much better for it. Now I just need to get control of my eating.

Speaking of eating, last week in Wendy's there were two kids just running around, not really bothering anyone, not being the least bit loud. But the adults with them started yelling at them and each other placing the blame on the other adult for these kids (around 4 and 5 years) being out of control (?) to the degree that I wanted to smack them upside the head. The kids weren't nearly as annoying as the adults.

One thing that gets to me when I watch people is how some people treat their kids. One of my pet peeves is hearing parents talk about their kids like they can't stand them. Especially with their kids within hearing. I not only love my kids, I also like them. I can't say they never gave me any grief, but not enough to belittle them.

Well, I need to make supper and finish up the laundry.


Sunday, March 9, 2008

I'll never need to buy yarn again

I think I'm going to be knitting on the same skein of yarn for the next ten years. Once again I frogged the project I was working on and started something new. I found a leaflet for Red Heart Yarn from years ago for two shawls, one knitted and one crocheted. The knitted pattern is mostly diamond-lace pattern but I've been wanting to knit it for years but kept losing the pattern.

I wasn't crazy about the sweater I've been knitting. It looked okay but was boringly uninteresting to knit. Since I temporarily lost my cable needle, I took that as a sign I wasn't supposed to be knitting that sweater anyway.

Besides, I need to work on shawls for a while. I almost bought some Lion Homespun Friday. It was a lovely blue with subtle greens in it but I couldn't do it with the huge stash of yarn I already have.

The walk the other day was hazardous and definitely not good. As I've said before, we live on the side of a hill and pretty much have to go downhill to go uphill anywhere because of the weird design of our streets. It's rather circular and while it does branch off, it opens only to the highway, a real bother for walking although there is a sidewalk that sneaks off to another subdivision. It does feel a lot like walking across someone's yard though. And in normal weather I have the option of carrying Professor across the school yard since I can't walk him across since NO DOGS ALLOWED is plastered everywhere.

I digress. The walk was miserable. Ice across the sidewalks, too dangerous to walk in the street because of the hill and curves. Poor Professor was slipping all over the place and even fell once. I ended up carrying him back up the hill because he just gave up. I, having fallen twice this year, felt very apprehensive walking over several yards of solid ice with no place to go around.

And you can't buy salt anymore. No one has it.

So I'm hoping the ice will melt this week with the warmer temps on the way. Our driveway is a solid sheet of ice and it's on a hill so when you get out of the car, you slide down the driveway before you can shut the door. Or at least I do.

I started taking St. John's Wort yesterday. The depression is getting so bad I can barely get out of bed. Missed church yet again today but that was partly because Tom fell sleep on the couch last night and snored, talked and flailed around so much he kept waking me up. He knows he does this and that I can't sleep but won't go up to his own room.

Then this morning asked me if I was done going to church since I hadn't gone for two weeks.


He keeps me up all night with his racket and makes snide remarks because I can't get up to go to church?

When I was sitting in the parking lot Friday I was thinking about my living situation and the problems I'm having dealing with my fibromyalgia flare-up, depression and insomnia. When I was going through chemo, Tom treated me like I was the most selfish person in the world. In fact, he even told me how selfish I was. At one time he had a backache and just mentioned it in passing. I was doing dishes one night, mostly in a chemo fog, not feeling at all well, when he turned on me and said,

"My back isn't doing any better. Thanks for asking."

I didn't have a clue what he meant so I asked him. Then he went on a tirade about how I was so wrapped up in myself that I didn't pay any attention to him and how his back was killing him but I cared so little about him that I didn't even ask him how he felt. He went on about how selfish I was and that this wasn't about me.

I was dumbstruck. I had had to put up with these tirades all through the chemo process but this was one of the worst.

What brought this to mind is that I've been slipping away emotionally for several months now. My fatigue level is almost off the scale, I'm eating pain pills regularly and my depression is no secret. He hasn't asked me one time in the past year how I felt.

And what was so hypocritical about his attitude while I was going through chemo was that a month after that I was in bed with a 103 degree fever and he didn't even look in on me for a week. Zach made me sandwiches and made sure I had something to drink. I got out of bed and took myself to the doctor when my fever got too high. At one point I was so out of it that I took an extra antibiotic instead of a pain pill because I couldn't even read the bottles. As it turned out, I think that helped me finally break the fever.

He won't acknowledge that he was anything but supportive to me and got bent out of shape when I told someone how alone I felt during my cancer treatment.

Okay, shutting up about this.

One of these days I will have something interesting to post about knitting. I'm just in the blahs right now.

Spring will be here soon though.


Friday, March 7, 2008

My love affair with StuffMart parking lot or how I need to broaden my horizons

I am my most creative in the StuffMart parking lot and I have no idea why. My love affair with said parking lot began a few years ago after youth group at our old church one Wednesday night. As I recall, it was in the summer. Zach had been lied to by one of the sponsors and not just lied to, but made fun of. Really mature behavior for an adult, right? He was rightly upset and in tears and didn't want to go home. So off we went to StuffMart, thinking I would get some shopping done while he chilled out.

I never even went in to the store. We sat there and talked for about two hours.

After that night, we've gone there every time we needed to talk. He wanted to go there when he decided to come out to me. We've gone there when we've been so upset we wanted to run away. And we've gone there when we were in the best of moods as well.

Today, I went there for weekly shopping and just sat in the parking lot and read my book for about an hour before going in. It's my favorite place with Wendy's running a close second. Sometimes I just watch the people, which is entertainment on its own. Other times I write or mentally compose letters or essays or portions of the book that has yet to have one word written.

Today I mused about why I haven't chosen some pastoral spot with its natural beauty, serene in its isolation. Why a parking lot full of people?

I haven't a clue. Except there I can be alone without being isolated. Maybe there is something in that.

Stephen remarked last night that I never mention him in my blog and since he's the only family member who actually reads this...Hi, Stephen!

He's my firstborn and in many ways we grew up together. He's had his share of angst, not to mention facing up to the consequences of bad we all do. But his resiliency is remarkable. I probably would have given in to despair many times over if faced with all he has on his shoulders. He is most definitely a self-made man.

I frogged the shawl because it looked just too narrow, more like a scarf. And that's not what I wanted to knit so I went back to a cabled sweater I started a while back. If I don't have enough yarn, I will get another color for the sleeves. I have to go back to West Bend next month to get Zach's retainer removed and can pick something up at Hobby Lobby then.

Going deeper into debt, I made appointments for new glasses. It's been a few years for me and a couple for Zach. I know I need a new prescription because everything is getting a bit blurry for me, not to mention the night I got up out of a dead sleep to answer the phone, knocked my glasses off the table looking for them and then stepped on them, scratching the lens so badly I have a bad blur over the right eye, dead center. And of course, my prescription isn't cheap, even with insurance. Danged trifocals.

I think I'm over the eating frenzy. I just had to let it go its course, I guess. I didn't gain, which surprised me, but I intend to start exercising a bit. I'm going to take Professor for a walk today. His nails badly need trimming but he absolutely won't let me trim them. He freaks out so badly I would most likely break his leg trying to get it done. I'm serious. But walking wears them down so another reason I need to get out there. It's still pretty cold but not windy and the sidewalks look pretty clear. Except for our driveway which is a sheet of ice and I slid down it trying to get out of the car today.

But I stayed on my feet although I did brush the knee enough to feel some pain. I'm just a bit paranoid about that knee. It's still got a huge knot on the bone portion that I will show to the rheumatologist next visit if it's still there.

Time for walkies, then I'll get Tom up for his appointment at H&R Block to get the taxes done. It's such a relief not to have that on my shoulders as well as everything else.

And then knitting and Inspector Morse tonight. 3:10 to Yuma (the one with Glen Ford) tomorrow and various other British mysteries the rest of the weekend.

And maybe some spring cleaning as well.


Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Everyone is the boss of me

Of course, the bossiest is Professor who is once again sitting on my shoulder. He has separation anxiety to the degree that he follows me into the bathroom when I go to clean it. And he hates being in the bathroom. I am gone more often than last semester and I think he misses me. When it warms up a bit I might take him with me once in a while and walk him while Zach is in class. It's flatter at both campuses so it will take less toll on my knees. We live on the side of a hill so it's uphill or downhill no matter where I go.

This is the second boss of me. Or at least it didn't want to mind me. I loved this yarn, which was an off acrylic brand at Hobby Lobby but I love the color and it's so soft yet maintains stitch definition wonderfully. And it holds up well considering all the times I've frogged it. I wanted to make a cabled sweater out of it but in spite of the yardage, it didn't look like there would be enough yarn. I can't figure it out but I suspect it's one of those weird yarn things. So I decided to try a shawl. I knit prayer shawls and it's been a while since I knit one so I thought maybe the yarn wanted to be a prayer shawl. I did a feather and fan shawl recently so I wanted something with more of a lace pattern but not too lacey since these are for elderly people and they need the warmth as much as the comfort.

I decided on the Invisibility Shawl from Charmed Knits. It's designed to be a light, transparent shawl but again...going for warmth. I love how it's turning out. It's so soft and light yet warm. I don't know who it's going for yet. I'm sure that will be revealed later as always. I haven't yet decided on the scripture I'm going to be meditating on either. That, too, always makes itself apparent when the time is right.

I've decided, after many sleepless nights, not to take the CNA course this summer. I talked it over with Tom and I have several misgivings, especially in light of the fibromyalgia flare up I'm having right now. I don't want to spend that kind of money and not be able to get a job. Tom would prefer I find something to do at home since he knows my limitations but the computer is failing fast (we are getting the blue screen of death several times a day) and I don't know what to do about it. Zach is going to take it in on the day they do trouble shooting but I'm not terribly optimistic it will be an easy fix.

I'm thinking we need a new processor.

Tom said if I'm not excited about the CNA course, it's probably not a good idea to invest in it. And I'm not excited about it right now.

I've started spring cleaning already. I don't want to use spring break for cleaning so I though I would get a jump on it now. Ideally I would like to take a vacation. I haven't had one in nearly 15 years so I think I'm due. I'm thinking of taking mine at Wendy's. They love me there.

I'm going to start taking the camera with me all the time. I see all these beautiful photographs on blogs and would love to learn how to take them. I figure with digital cameras, wasting film isn't a problem so I can practice, practice, practice.

Not much going on on the knitting front. I've just been in a blue funk of late and haven't been terribly interested in anything. I've been veg'ing out on Golden Sun on Zach's DS. I use that to zen out, so to speak. I need to finish my younger sister's socks and get Peg's sabbatical socks in the mail. She leaves soon.

Off to scrub the bathroom floor.