Sunday, July 15, 2012

A Whole Lot of Knittin' Going On

Finally - if you look on the right hand side of this blog, you'll see a "Knitting Meter". It's been at ZERO all this year. This week, I FINALLY was able to update it as I completed the Birthday Aestlight, a birthday gift for my friend Kim. I'm really pleased with how it turned out and she likes it a lot, so I'm counting it as a success!
Breezy Aestlight
 There are several other shawls in various stages of progress. First, the Summer Solstice Mystery Shawl by WendyKnits. This is a KAL and we're waiting for the final clue, coming on Tuesday.
 SSMS Clue D
 Next is the Wollmeise Vortex Shawl KAL with the Wollmeise group on Ravelry. This might turn into an "eternal knit". If I had not decided to put beads on the shawl, it would be a perfect TV knitting project. I only have about 40 stitches per section right now, so there's a lot left to do. :(  I like it, though!
 Vortex 40 stitches
 And last, is the Rockefeller KAL with Stephen West. I was going to wait to start this one, but was enticed by all the pretty photos posted in the Ravelry group, so I started mine too.  I'm using Wollmeise 100% in Cassis WD and Gazpacho. I really like the colors together.
 Beginning Rockefeller
 Summer is quickly coming to an end. We have begun the countdown to DS#1's wedding, then it's back to school time. This week, we'll catch a baseball game and next week head for the beach. Here's hoping there will be lots of knitting time there, too!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Things You Need to Know-Just in Case!


Here are a few helpful hints, just in case, Heaven forbid, you ever have to have abdominal surgery. First, you are going to be swollen and bloated for awhile. This applied to C-sections too, because I've had two of those and know from experience. To be more comfortable post-surgery, I recommend buying new undies 1 to 2 sizes larger. Also, pick up several pairs of exercise pants, also in a larger than normal size. won't want anything tight around your abdomen for awhile, so you might as well be comfortable.

Now, about body know....the rotation, twisting motion of the waist that must occur in order to take care of certain hygiene-related procedures in the bathroom. In other words, wiping your bottom. :) Is this TMI? Well, trust me, the nurses and doctors at your hospital won't think about it. Here's the scene: It's your first hour back at home and suddenly, it's bathroom time. You go in, do your business, and discover that you are either 1. too sore in the abdominal area to rotate to wipe or 2. too scared that you are too sore in the abdominal area to wipe. What do you do? Call your husband/SO for help and be mortified? Grit your teeth through the pain & do it yourself? Here's how I solved the problem, thanks to my OT friend, Kim. Salad tongs. Yes, salad tongs....just wrap a baby wipe around the end and the salad tongs will provide about a foot of additional reach until you recover your waist rotation. This worked very well and I think Kim is a very clever person!
 La Bells

OK - that's enough helpful advice for now. CLAP - on to knitting news. Here's what happened in my knitting room this week:

Clue C of the WendyKnits Summer Solstice Mystery Shawl has been completed!;
Clue C finished

I'm also knitting in the Vortex KAL over in the Wollmeise group. Here's mine so far.
Vortex2 @about 22st

Family news: the countdown is on for Nick and Meagan's August 11 wedding. I'll finally have another girl in the family...YIPPEE! Here she is at her shower:

Meagan's Bride hat And that's it for now because the power is off again. :( Here we go again!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Things You Learn

It's been almost a year since my last post...and what a year it's been! You see, last August, I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Everything happened very quickly-diagnosis followed by total hysterectomy, then chemo beginning in October. I finished my treatments in January, then promptly started falling apart. ....first, I fell off my Danskos in February and hobbled around for days. Next, my chest port became infected and landed me back in the hospital for four days. Finally, I had a spontaneous internal bleed caused by the blood thinner I was taking. This caused a deep hemotoma that put pressure on some nerve on my left side. It was very painful & made walking pretty much impossible. It also put me back in the hospital where I received 3 units of blood to replace what I'd lost in the bleed. I began physical therapy to help me with walking and am almost back to normal. I still have some numbness in my left thigh though. Then there's the neuropathy in my feet from the chemo. Oh, well - it's not stopping me, as I walked another 3.2 miles this morning. Only my heel blisters are slowing me down. Grrrrr.

 Kirchner family at Shamrock

 So, what did I learn through all of this? The main thing I learned how much love people have to give AND how much I am loved. This was very humbling and overwhelming. Despite the medical issues, I feel so blessed. I have always been blessed, I know, but it took having sucky cancer to open my eyes to just how much. I never-ever want to forget that again....everyday I am blessed and so are you. Don't forget it! It's easy to get overwhelmed with daily positive, count and acknowledge your blessings each day and give thanks for them. ( Here's one of my blessings pictured below)

 Love you Kim!

I also learned that some people give me energy and others, though well-intentioned, drain every ounce of energy right out of me...right to the bottom. I still love them, but have had to work at learning to put up my deflector shields. That was an eye-opening experience.

I learned that under all that hair I do not have a Tweety Bird head. My head is actually on the small side and has a very nice shape. My hair is growing back now and almost looks like a really short hair cut. BUT - it's not as red as before.  Maybe the second growth, after cut #1, will be redder.

Well, that's where I've been and what I've been I also had neuropathy in my hands and fingers, so knitting was not enjoyable at all. I started knitting FULL FORCE about a month ago and have heaped my knitting plate FULL for the summer. I think I'm up to three KALs now, plus two other shawls still on the needles. Below is WendyKnits Summer Solstice Mystery Shawl Clue A. I'm knitting it in Wollmeise 100% in Frosch.


To add a little more joy and distraction to the summer, DS#3 helped convince me to adopt cat #3. Meet Augustus, named after Augustus McCrae from Lonesome Dove. He's feisty like Gus and fits in just fine with Gunston and Bella.


There's even more fun on tap for this summer, but I'll save that for
another time. Now get busy! Go and tell someone that they are one of your