Wednesday, December 31, 2008


Yesterday, deep in denial that my weekend was over, I sat knitting the matching sock to the spruce colored pair. I flicked through the channels and came upon Antonio Banderas as The 13th Warrior in the movie based on Michael Chrichton's book, Eaters of the Dead. A favorite. I watched the movie (again) while knitting away. I got to thinking that there wasn't much Crichton wrote that I didn't like. His books, usually ahead of their times, were always thought provoking and often, down right frightening.

In 1993, I saw the movie Jurassic Park. Though too scary for my six year old son, I saw it twice. By 1997, The Lost World was in theaters and he saw the video release of the first movie and then went and saw the sequel. My son was thrilled. I remember telling him that if the movies thrilled him, the books were sure to scare him half to death. I made a promise to save those books for him to read when he felt ready. He hasn't taken the challenge, but the books are still here. Truth is, I own a lot of what Michael Crichton wrote.

I recall reading Jurassic Park while pregnant with the Rachelheimster (she of many names). I had nightmares about dinosaurs chasing me through an endless jungle. I dreamt, in desperation I laid my newborn baby in a nest with eggs.  Duh.  I had to hide her from the velociraptors.  Double duh.  Movies don't do this to me-sure they make me uneasy but not like books do. Especially Crichton's books. Reading makes me imagine I'm the one who is stuck deep within the plot. I had horrible nightmares about a certain horse's head when I read Mario Puzo's book, The Godfather. I still think that book was a thousand times better than movies 1, 2 or especially, 3.

I know it's been two months now since he died, but I have to say, it saddens me to know I won't be able to read new books from Michael Crichton. I miss Robert Ludlum the same way. I don't even need to look up the year Ludlum died, it was the same year my dad did. Certain authors do that to me. Someone else is writing Robert Ludlums books these days. Don't be fooled. It isn't that he's come back to entertain us-it's all to line the pockets of someone else. I hope the same thing doesn't happen with Chricton's books. He was a prolific writer and had a brilliant mind that I'm pretty certain none can match.

It's been years since I read Eaters of the Dead, but I think it's time to take it on again. Maybe I'll make this the year I reread The Andromeda Strain too. As for Jurassic Park, I feel no particular need to go there again anytime soon.  In fact, once may have been enough.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008


I don't ski, ice skate, ice fish or own a snowmobile. There isn't much for me to do when it turns bitterly cold. I've dug deep though and found several things that make winter worthwhile to me. Two of them I picture here, the rest, you'll just have to imagine.

I think there is nothing like the pristine look of a reasonable amount of fresh snow. I love the brightness of the sky and the silence of a blizzard that strikes in the middle of the night. The sky is so bright, it seems like day.

Winter cold gives my body a break from the almost constant hot flashes I experience in summer. I can wear my woolen hand knits and work with a big blob of wool without feeling wilted. I have to stop a moment in appreciation. I like that I don't have to really think about it, but I did today. I was walking through an outdoor mall when I saw a woman wearing a full length fur coat. My first thought was that she must be hot. It was 46 F out there. My second thought was she was nuts-why? Besides pretending she was in Aspen, what's the point? I'd have been having hot flashes had I been clothed in that.

A huge roaring fire (in the fireplace) is so peaceful to me. I love the sound of the wood crackling as it burns and the warmth the fire gives to the room. If there is a blizzard at the same time, and knitting or a good book in my lap, I'm in heaven.

To me, oranges are the single most underrated item found in winter. Big, beautiful and juicy California oranges. I know we can get oranges year round-but not the enormous navel oranges that come from California. This alone makes winter worthwhile. I bought a bag of the giant beauties. They're more tasty than consuming Airborne by the gallons; I'm hoping they ward off the flu bug that has descended upon my home. That and a little holy water should do the job.

I can't be alone with these thoughts about winter. What do you like best about this time of year?

Sunday, December 28, 2008

In With the New

I've been homebound this weekend with Rachel. Our regular caregiver is off, the hubby is ill and in bed, so it's just me, the Rachmeister, Dukealicious and not a little yarn. With the exception of having to listen to moans from the sickbed, it hasn't been too bad a weekend. I think we had some weather problems last night, but it appears I slept through them. I have one evergreen tree lying on its side and my alarm clock is flashing so I think we lost power. Who knew? My feet were cold last night so before I went to bed, I cast on socks with a skein of Bearfoot in Spruce. My feet are still cold but we're getting there. One day, I'll learn to knit socks in super bulky wool if I need them fast.

I've been perusing one of the gifts I received for Christmas. I got Nicky Epstein's book Knitting on the Edge. Love. It. A big thank you to my sister in law. I'm totally snagging the ruffled seed stitch pattern to do the cuffs of my daughter's green sweater. I think it'll be prettier than the flat seed stitch. This book is full of inspiration. There are edgings knit from the top down, knit from the bottom up, and borders picked up and knit sideways. The entire book is chock full of finishing techniques for the knitter. Most of what I've looked at, I'm convinced I can do. One thing led to another and I'm pretty sure I'm going to take on a huge project with a beautiful edge in mind. I'm finally going to knit the Great American Aran Afghan for myself.

I bought the pattern book awhile ago but found it overwhelming. It's daunting, but done in 12 x 12 inch blocks, it shouldn't be too bad until it's time to put it together and do the edging. This book has totally inspired me to take that project on. I'm considering doing the entire thing in Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran. It's such beautiful yarn for what is sure to be a treasured family heirloom. Maybe I'll use Cascade 220 in superwash so it'll be easy to clean. There are plenty of pictures on google images that show this afghan done in every color under the sun-some all in the same afghan, but I think I like the idea of a solid cream colored afghan. This way, the stitch patterns are the stars of the show, and not the flashy colors. I'm not completely convinced I'll use the afghan pattern book either. I may just do blocks using my stitch dictionaries. It's not like I don't have enough of those to glean from.

So here is the goal: one block a month until 12 are done. This time next year, I should be contemplating the border. I'll get right on it-just as soon as I finish the second sock. Winter makes one contemplate a different kind of sock wars, one where feet armoured in wool are the ones that survive.

My left foot is very toasty...


Italian for stubborn. 

Forty eight hours from onset of the flu is the time frame in which to take the antiviral medication tamiflu.  It shortens the duration of flu like symptoms for most who take it, and it can prevent the worst of symptoms from becoming life threatening.

Friday, my husband called the doctor but gave up right there when the office was closed.  Now the health system I work for has a dozen urgent care centers open until 10 PM for those who can't wait for the doctor to open the office on Monday.  He didn't go.  When he left the house Saturday, presumably going to the clinic,  he returned in 30 minutes and said the doctor told him it was a virus.  His window for tamiflu was closing and I knew he was lying about having gone to the clinic-he was home too fast.  I've done all I can to make him see reason.  Today, he awakened feeling worse and I begged him to go.  He said he did, but he failed the quiz:

Nurse Rudee:  "What did the doctor say?"
Sick Husband:  "He said I have a virus."
NR:  "Duh. Did he swab your throat?"
SH:  "Yeah-it was negative for flu."
NR: "Really?  I find that hard to believe."
SH:  "Why would I lie?"
NR:  "How did they swab it?"
Lying Husband:  "They stuck a swab down my throat."

Oh the lies.  He didn't go-or he did and was disgusted by the line to see the doctor and left.  A flu swab goes down the nose to the back of the throat.  A nasopharyngeal swab.  Don't lie to the health care provider.  We have radar for the lies.  I'd have thought he would do anything to get a little better.  I was wrong.  He won't wait in line with the rest of the planet.  He'd rather die and make us all suffer in the interim. 

If it wasn't so tasty, I'd pour that whole pot of homemade chicken soup down the drain just for lying to me.  As it is, it may be the only cure left to him.

Perhaps Gladys Upham said it best:  "talking with a man is like trying to saddle a cow.  You work like hell, but what's the point?"

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Bedside Manner

It's hard to be a good nurse when I can't get a break from the sick.  I'm plum out of good will this week-ever since my husband came home from work on Christmas day-sick as hell.  It wouldn't be so bad if he'd follow advice:

Take ibuprofen.
Drink lots of fluids.
Take vitamin c.
Go to bed.
Drink lots of fluids.
Cover your mouth.
Take ibuprofen.
Go to the doctor.
Antibiotics don't fix viral infections.
Advil cold and sinus has the same amount of pseudoephedrine as Tylenol cold and sinus.  The only difference is the analgesic.  I am not a liar.  
I am too a good nurse.
Do you want some soup?
The thermometer goes under your tongue-not in between your teeth.
A stiff neck is not good!  GO TO THE DOCTOR.
I do too care if you're dying.
Now drink some fluids.
Honey, google the symptoms of meningitis.
Do you want a cuppa tea?
If you feel hot, it may help to take off a few of those layers of fleece and flannel.
You need to drink to drown those germs.
You need IV fluids.  Go to urgent care.
You ache because you have the flu.  Now is it really necessary for you to be coughing in here when you could be in bed sparing the rest of us from inhaling your viral particles?  Dear, the communal family room is not a good spot for a sickroom. 
You know honey, people can die from bad viral infections.  Maybe you should GO TO THE DOCTOR.
I am not an MD.  I am an RN.  I have no prescriptive powers and I don't know hundreds of docs willing to call in a script without seeing you.
You know honey, urgent care is cheaper than the ER.
Dear, do you think you could stop talking now.  You should give those complaints vocal cords a rest.

I'm trying really hard to channel my inner Nightengale but I'm failing miserably.  Sheesh, when will the night shift get here?  

Friday, December 26, 2008

True Confession

I secretly adore most of the music of Abba.  I mean, what girl doesn't like the song Dancing Queen?  Now that you know, can you believe that before Christmas Eve, I'd never seen the play (nor the movie) that highlights their music?

I worked all night Christmas Eve.  My daughter and I had hoped to go to Midnight Mass, but by the time I got home from work, it was long over.  I gave her Mamma Mia! as an early Christmas gift and we sat down to be entertained.  Let's just say, I have a brand new appreciation for Meryl Streep, Christine Baranski and especially, Julie Waters.  Even Pierce Brosnan gets another nod.

If you're like me and haven't seen this movie, get thee to Blockbusters.  Better yet, buy it.  It's sure to go into that stack of movies you pull out on rainy and blue days.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Say What?

The other day, I was sitting around knitting  running around getting prepared for Christmas when Mr. Larger Than Life dropped by the house.  Here is our entire conversation:

Rudee:  "Hi Dad."

MLTL:  "Oh hiiiiiiiiiiiii!" (he always lengthens his greetings-makes it seem like he is conversing more).

R:  "Are you and Lo coming for dinner on Christmas?"

MLTL:   (clapping hands) "Ohhhhhh yeah.  We wouldn't miss it!"

R:  "Oh Good.  We're having beef tenderloin this year."

MLTL:  "What can I bring?  How about you let me buy the ham?"

R:  "We're not having ham.  We're having beef tenderloin."

MLTL:  "OK then.  I'll get the ham at Biondo's."

R:  "We're not having ham-Biondo's does have beautiful beef tenderloin though."

MLTL:  "OK, how big a ham should I get?"


MLTL:  "Huh?  How much??  I'll get a nice ham then.  Oh!  They have such beautiful hams there."

R to her honey:  "Dear, could you stock up on wine please?  Rudee foresees a need for a bottomless glass."

If you're entertaining someone as difficult in nature as I, may all of your wineglasses be bottomless.  I'll see y'all later this week.  Have a blessed holiday!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Defining Faith

Here is what Webster's has to say about faith:
function: noun

1 a: allegiance to duty or a person : loyalty b (1): fidelity to one's promises (2): sincerity of intentions
2 a (1): belief and trust in and loyalty to God (2): belief in the traditional doctrines of a religion b (1): firm belief in something for which there is no proof (2): complete trust
3: something that is believed especially with strong conviction ; especially : a system of religious beliefs

Here is what I have to say about faith:

Though it seems like only yesterday, fifteen years ago I was deep in the midst of a predicament. I had a 2 year old child with profound mental impairment, and at the time, I had no label or name by which to call this problem. The only thing I knew was our family was living a hellish existence. We had a beautiful child who seemed whole at first glance, but was quite frankly, out of her mind. She never-and I mean pretty much never-slept. Perhaps the most respite we could expect was 2 hours of sleep a night out of her. She was awake the rest of the day and night and those hours were full of nonstop activity. Most who read this are parents and can probably imagine the toll this lack of sleep took on all of us. Not a soul in our house slept through the night.

Early on in this journey, we learned to adapt to her bizarre schedule. I worked afternoons, my husband worked days. We enrolled her in a special school across town. At 8 AM, my husband would drop her off at school. At 1:30 pm, I would pick her up from school and take her to grandma's or a neighbor's house then head in to work. My husband would pick her up and take her home. He'd put her to bed at 10 and when I got home at 12 AM, she'd awaken and stay that way until he took her to school the next day at 8 AM. My husband would sleep while I watched her, and then I would sleep when he took her to school. It was an awful lifestyle that most never have to contemplate. The world revolved around this child. When she wasn't in school, she was in physical, speech, occupational or sensory integration therapy. The ones who needed therapy were us. Psychotherapy. We didn't get it, nor did we have much help from outside our family nucleus.

We chased answers and cures to Rachel's problems. We spent tens of thousands of dollars trying to make her normal. One day, an occupational therapist mentioned a specific doctor she thought we should see at the University of Michigan. Taking her advice as gospel, I made an appointment. At the time, Rachel was just shy of three and the waiting list to see this doctor was incredibly, an entire year long. In October of 1993, I scheduled an appointment for October of 1994.

A mere three months later, my ability to cope was fragile. Burdened with work, an impaired child and sleep deprivation, I found myself on autopilot. Getting through a day meant we just put one foot in front of the other and never stopped to think about the steps. One day, I'd picked her up at school and was driving her home. Rachel was in her car seat screeching bloody murder. She was inconsolable, and suddenly, so was I. Without warning, I felt my desire to live just crumble. Uncomfortable and overwhelming thoughts consumed me. I wanted to die and take her with me, leaving my husband to care for the other two I left behind. The frozen lake looked so enticing. I found myself thinking how easy it would be to steer the car off the road and drive until the ice gave way. There is no doubt I was a person in crisis. Frightened, isolated and overcome with despair, I pulled over that day and sobbed. I wasn't particularly religious, but on that day, I prayed aloud to God for help and guidance. I could not bear this burden alone for one more day.

I don't recall driving home that day, but what was waiting for me on my answering machine will be etched in my heart and mind forever. There was a call from the University of Michigan's Developmental Disorders Clinic. They'd had a cancellation and wanted to know if we could take that assessment appointment even though it was nine months earlier than expected. Though Rachel would never be cured of her problems, there would now be help for her, and sleep for us. And hope. There would be hope. I know a gift when I see one, and now I know the answer to prayer when I see it too.

Do I have faith? In abundance. I won't ever forget this time in my life, nor the one time I had such acute awareness that my prayer was answered. To this day, I give thanks for that not so little miracle.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Out of the Dark

Today is the Winter Solstice which begins precisely at 7:05 AM EST.  From this point forward, our days start getting longer. Yippee!  See?  There is always a bright spot, we just need to look for it.  

I had dinner with four good friends last night and it was wonderful. The five of us worked in ICU together.  Only one stuck and the rest of us listened to a different drummer. Sister Jeanne was visiting from Nicaragua so we got together to celebrate and feed her something that didn't contain red beans, rice or bananas.  I made the purchase of the chickens official.  There will be five chickens, one busy rooster and a bit of fencing to keep the chickens from hightailing it out of there.  May they all have lots of little chickadees and a prosperous new year- especially the family who receives this blessing.

I don't want to gloat or anything, but I am now in possession of a bag of Nicaraguan coffee that looks amazing.  I consider coffee as essential as a blood pressure.  As I burn logs and light candles to chase away the dark on this special day, I'll sip that coffee and think of the friend who gave it to me.  Thanks Jeanne.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Over the Ground

Lies a Mantel of White...


A heaven of diamonds shines down thru the night


Two hearts are thrilling


In spite of the chill in the weather

Trudging through the snow

Through the looking glass. That's ice on the window.

Have a seat...

They're having a lie down
whilst I shovel the path.
Dukealicious Dog with his blinded and literally dog eared Eeyore.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Over the River

The weekend can't get here quickly enough. The weather is promising more snow tonight after the ordeal we went through the other night. Tuesday afternoon started innocently enough with a text message to do a start of care at 6 PM-only forty five miles away from my home. Knowing the snow would start around 8 PM, I was not thrilled to be way out in the boonies when it hit and tried to no avail to change my appointment time. I drove to my office on dry pavement to get supplies; when I got back in my car, there was a coating of snow-all in 10 minutes. Oh-oh. The white stuff was 3 hours early and struck at rush hour.

I headed toward my destination at a snail's pace. Twenty five miles west and only half way there, it would take 2 hours or more to get to where I was going. I'd have been quite late so I checked with the supervisor, rescheduled my appointment for Wednesday and turned around to go home. Two minutes later, the phone rang to notify me I had to go pronounce a patient's death. This one was forty five miles northeast of where I was. I knew exactly where this patient's home was-I'd been there the previous week. Let me tell you, if I thought my first destination was the boonies, then this was the outback. It was up into the thumb of the mitten and on a good day, takes close to 2 hours to get there. Not knowing the exact way to get there from my current location, I'd listened to hardheaded Tim, who like a typical man, took me down every single back road he could find. For God's sake, he took me down a dead end road directly behind my patient's home. He wanted me to nose my car down a TRAIL. He thought it was a road. We argued for 2 minutes and being the bright one in the car, I got out and knocked on a stranger's door to ask directions. That's the difference between me and the man I drive with, I'm not afraid to ask another human for directions. Sheesh! If Tim isn't careful, he is going to have a gender switching operation.

With new instructions, I reached my destination in an impressive 3 hours. Adding insult to injury, of course this death was in a county where the medical examiner mandates we summon a police officer to the scene. The family and I waited another hour for the sheriff to arrive to ascertain there was no monkey business. Once he was finished asking silly questions, we had to wait another hour and a half for the funeral home to get there. After all was said and done, I was still 45 miles from home and had to reverse the whole process to get there (minus the part where I listened to Tim). The urge to spend the night in the now vacant house was overwhelming.

This snow issue is not going to be good. The forecast for tonight is not promising and those liars at the weather station, who like to say they know exactly when a storm hits, were wrong Tuesday. I'm planning for the snow to start at 9PM-they say midnight. It will snow all night into Friday and the white stuff will continue well into the day. Six to ten inches, in places a foot of fluff, will fall. Isn't that the kind of weather that should find me indoors making soup, lighting a fire, wrapping gifts and sitting near the Christmas tree?

Maybe I should ask Santa for a team of sled dogs...

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Twenty Questions


Win this beautiful shawl
(yours will be black)

About a year ago, I began toying with the idea of starting a blog. In a not so auspicious manner, I launched that blog on January 5th, 2008. Along the way, I've gotten back in touch with my creative side. I've had opportunities to meet others and I think I've made some new friends. How nice is that? Originally, I began this quest to learn to write creatively. I wanted to chronicle my life as a urology nurse in a job that gave me and my friends A & N a bazillion laughs. There was wine involved when we dreamt up this hair-brained idea. If I tell you two of us were blond at the time, would that explain it better? Anyways, that's the reason I started my own little website but, I've written very little about that past life on these pages. I'm saving those for a rainy day. It's still a thought because I can see a book about that job leading to a screenplay and movie glory. If you find yourself wondering just what kind of work environment that was, think the staff of Grey's Anatomy meets Dynasty, Sex in The City and The Sopranos and that should be enough to clue you in on just how much fun we had. Going in each day to see drama unfold was spectator sport of the best kind. It was a hundred times better than watching General Hospital. One thing I've learned in this past year is that writing is hard work and punctuation is a pain in the arse. I know now that I'll need a real writer to partner with me if I ever want to write that book.

When I first began reading other bloggers, one of my favorites did a get to know me post on the occasion of her blogiversary. She posed questions from past posts and her readers had to look back through her archives to find the answers. In that way, I read her entire archive; it was no easy feat since she posts just about every single day. It was good reading though. Wisely, I try not to fall behind when reading her blog.

Since imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, in that same manner, I'm going to take her idea and turn it into a treasure hunt. There will be a prize-hot off my needles for the winner: My Clapotis shawl.

Without further ado, here are the rules:
  1. Answer the treasure hunt questions correctly but don't post them here.
  2. EMAIL your answers to me by January 3rd to rudeek45atgmaildotcom (just substitute @ for at and a . for dot)
  3. The winner of the hunt will be announced on my blogiversary, January 5th, 2009.
  4. In the event of a tie, my youngest child will pull the winner's name from a hand knit hat. If we are quick enough to read it before she eats it, we'll have a winner.
  5. Nobody will be excluded including those with far off zip codes and those who usually just lurk and never don't always comment. This wrap with its dropped stitches, is ideal for anyplace. Even people in warm climes would like it-especially while in air conditioning. You are all welcome to enter this contest.
  6. When all is said and done, I'd love a picture of the winner-wrapped all cozy and snug in Clapotis.

All this reading won't be easy with the holidays and such so I've given you a 3 week head start. Yes, reading what I've written can be considered painful at times, especially the early posts. But then, you don't want something for nothing, do you? Well, sure you do, but you can't always get what you want-why should I be the one to change that reality? Besides, it's taken many hours, several months and six skeins of yarn to finish Clapotis. I think the winner should have to put forth a wee bit of effort into winning the prize. Without further fuss, here it is, my first annual treasure hunt.

Clapotis Treasure Hunt

What is the name of the house I like to visit in Virginia?

Which picture on this post do you think gets the most google search hits?
(ya gotta guess-it's not the Hello Kitty microscope)

I was in a war this year. Which one?

What kind of buttons did I put on the baby sweater I knit?

What kind of vacuum cleaner do I own? I love it so much, I wrote it a rather steamy letter.

I met a lady through my blog who comes from Pennsylvania. What brought us together?

Who gave me Sacrament of the Sick this year?

What is the recipe for putting annoying people on ice?

What book was I reading when I went into labor with my oldest child?

I've been to court twice in the past year. Why?

What did I name my handbag?

What did I name the dog I tried to rescue? (damn dog doesn't count)

What is the name of my friend Jeanne's blog?

What is my mother's first name? (mom is not an option)

Why is Stinkerbell McBookeater wanted- what was her crime?

Can you name one blogger I've knit for (there are two)?

What did my husband get me for my birthday?

Can you name 3 people who reside in the Insane Asylum?

What name did my new boss mistakenly give me?

Although many are worthy, which group of Swedish men do I adore most?

Now venture forth (really back) and win yourself a beautiful shawl. It is so warm and snugglie. At present, there are a handful of rows to finish. I'll post a picture of the goal of this treasure hunt when it's all done.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

My Perch

The backyard playground of Nurse Rudee

Usually, I sit in one of two spots to knit.  Either I sit in the living room next to a table and lamp, or in the family room with a big window behind me and an overhead light to make knitting easier.  Of late, Duke has taken over the big sofa in the family room.  I've since moved my family room perch to the opposite love seat.  The lighting isn't great on this side of the room but, sitting here has led to a new outlook on things when the blinds are open. 

There is some serious wildlife monkey business going on in my backyard and no, Mr. Snowblowing Farmer has not been seen.  I'm talking real creatures.  Squirrels, blue jays and birds of prey have all been investigating what is going on in one of the nests in a tree I face when looking out.  The critters were especially active last Friday during a short snowstorm.   One particularly large beast of a bird landed, looked around and snooped in the nest.  The other birds and critters scattered when this huge bird showed up. Maybe this tree is the local bird dope den-the final death knell of the neighborhood.  I grabbed my camera but as soon as beastie bird saw movement, it took off.  It was like he had eyes in the back of his head.

Being a city girl, I'm not quite sure what it was that I saw.  The bird was huge and mostly white.  I've searched winter  birds of Michigan and here is what I'm pretty certain I saw:

You know, at first I was annoyed a bit that Duke stole my perch.  I'm not minding it so much these days and I'm keeping the camera a smidge closer.  You know, snuggled in wool and looking out on the wintry weather doesn't seem so bad right now.  Especially when I get to watch such seasonal eye candy.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Your Time is Gonna Come

It is incredibly windy here in Detroit today.  So windy, the dog poop shovel (no lightweight shovel as my dog weighs 120 pounds-for those with more sane methods of measurement, about 55 kg) blew across the backyard.  Maybe I'll buy my son a backhoe for doggie-do management this year.  There are very few critters to be seen outside today.  The temperature has dropped from a high of 52 degrees this morning to 27 degrees by noon.  Brrr.  Wish I didn't have to go out to work tonight.

Lately, I don't know what's gotten into me.  Ordinarily, I'm not one to suffer fools easily.  Like the gas station owners who advertised gas on the signs for $1.65 a gallon but when I got to the pump, they were charging $1.75 a gallon.  I guess if it hadn't been raining, I'd have gone inside to give them a piece of my mind.  I'm sure it isn't legal either.  I put 5 gallons in anyways and drove away without speaking out.  I didn't want to run out in the middle of a bad area or worse, the middle of nowhere.

My ex is on this list of people who have been annoying of late but I find myself not saying a word.  He always was a bit of a cruel person-one whose tongue is so sharp, he needs no knife to cut his food.  Heads up fool!  It's not good to mess with a mother bear.  She'll defend her offspring to the death.  It's not likely he'll ever see this warning here but perhaps, others will let him know that when he picks on someone, he should pick someone his own size, age, gender and level of pickling.  It wouldn't be wise to keep on this course of  mean spiritedness and expect no repercussions.  A day of reckoning is coming.

Now, except for about 6 words we exchanged at a funeral 4 years ago, I've not spoken a complete sentence to this man (I use that term loosely) in 12 years.  In fact, at that time, it was my husband who did most of the talking, yelling, swearing and threatening during that conversation while I kept saying, "hang up the phone-you're arguing with a drunk."  Whew.  I heard creative words that day, the likes of which would make a sailor blush.  I'm ever so close to breaking my promise to myself that I'd never speak to him again.  He has been harsh, cruel, unfair and punitive to my daughter.  He was always this way to me, but this is my baby we're talking about and I'm not going to tolerate it much longer.  What is it with people like this?  He never confronts anyone unless his tank is at least half full of 80 proof liquid courage.  He drunk dials and blubbers the worst imaginable things to his kids.  Not all of his kids.  My kid.  It's me he hates and he takes it out on her.  How can an adult behave in such a manner?  The old adage sticks and stones isn't really true.  Words do hurt and we should always try hard to use them with care.

Over the years, I chose my words carefully when she had questions about her father.  Why didn't he call or visit?  Why did he take her for the weekend and dump her at grandma's?  Why did he drink so much?  Why did he move 2,000 miles away, doesn't he love me?  Why did he dress up in Ugg boots, santa hat, no underwear and cut offs so short his kibbles and bits showed at family Christmas parties?  Well sweetie, that was the alcohol talking-though I'm not so sure that was the case with the Christmas get ups.  Thank God I never had to look at that!  I never denigrated her father, choosing instead, to allow her to make up her own mind.  Perhaps, this was a mistake.  The only thing I ever told her was that if he'd been drinking, I didn't want her to get in a car with him that he was driving.  Boy, did I get my arse chewed out over that one! Maybe I should have pressed her harder to attend Al Anon meetings for teens with drunk parents.  I thought, mistakenly, that the stability in our home could make up for his shortcomings.

Time and again, I've seen the sickest relationships in families with drunks.  I've heard other nurses wonder why families won't visit the patient in withdrawal or so sick from liver disease, they are lying there dying alone.  I don't wonder.  I lived it.  I know it's a disease and I should be full of compassion for these people.  I can't.  Someone else used up all my tolerance.

To my daughter, I'm sorry for the things I should have said and issues I should have pressed, but lacked the courage to do so.  I didn't because I couldn't take it anymore.  Sometimes, I was just afraid.  If you're smart-and I know you are-you don't have to take it either.  What do you owe someone who treats you so poorly?  Would you tolerate his behavior if he were a boyfriend or business associate?  Would you quit your job if your boss talked to you the way this man does?  You are a lovely person who deserves much more and better than this.  While it's true you can't choose your family, you can choose whether or not you'll take this treatment.  I could say a whole lot more but for someone who has only just found her tongue regarding this subject, this is enough for now.

Made up my mind, break you this time
Won't be so fine, it's my turn to cry
Do what you want, I won't take the brunt
It's fadin' away, can't feel you anymore
Don't care what you say 'cause I'm goin' away to stay
Gonna make you pay for that great big hole in my heart
People talkin' all around
No longer is the joke gonna be on my heart

Led  Zeppelin

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Who'll Carry the Torch?

Today I decided to put up my tree. Unfortunately, I'm doing it alone. I feel that if I didn't, it wouldn't get done. I've done my best over the last 27 years or so to make Christmas traditions meaningful. I asked my son what he thought of putting up the tree and he said he couldn't care less if it went up or not. What? What happened to the little boy who would critique and tweak the placement of holiday decor? What happened to the kid who used to take care of the Advent calendar every year? "Couldn't care less?" I used to put up a little village of houses every year and haven't done that in forever, in fact, I don't recall the last time I did put them up. Nobody around here really cares. That's odd because everyone in this house has added to that collection at one time or another. I got 90% of those little village houses as gifts. Guess what? Since this is probably our last Christmas in what's been our family home for 15 years, they're going up too.

Last year's tree

I say phooey to all those grinches I live with. The tree is up. The lights and decorations aren't up but the tree is hogging space in the family room. Tonight, I'll light a fire, make some cocoa, put on some holiday music and force the family to gather round the tree to help me decorate. I may need some good threats. How about no helpie-no giftie? And no horseradish encrusted beef tenderloin with port reduction for dinner on the 25th! We could have Manwich instead and start a new Christmas tradition. Ummm. That sounds yummy!

The picture at the top is my idea of a personalized gift bag. This sock is filled with wine and the outside is decorated with store bought wine glass charms (I got the charms at Sur la Table). I forgot to take a picture of a different one I made where the outside of the bag was decorated with knitted grape leaves and bunches of grapes. It's a really fast knit (about 3-4 hours start to finish) made with Lamb's Pride bulky in 3 different shades and completely knit in the round on US 10.5 dpns. The charms are like pierced earrings and I hooked them on after so they aren't knit into the sock. Some of my friends here are attempting to knit in the round-this project would help make you feel successful-especially since there isn't a heel to make and turn. No gussets either. The bottle sits flat because at the bottom, I've knit a purl row which gives the bag a turning edge and then did the decreases like you would with a hat. I didn't dream up the pattern but did adapt from one that was knit flat and seamed. If you'd like the pattern, I'll try to work it up again and send it to you.

Anyone for cocoa?

Saturday, December 13, 2008


These are cells from a rare childhood tumor that affects mostly boys and men.  This is what is taking the life of a woman who only just came of legal age-my youngest ever hospice patient.  This terrible disease has wrapped itself around every major organ and is invading new ones.  What surgeons removed is already growing back.  I'm not unused to young adults dying. Usually in critical care, it's from something dumb like an accidental (or deliberate) drug overdose.  

Needless to say, I cried all the way home.  Diagnosed 3 weeks ago.  Prognosis?  If lucky, 2 more weeks.  Her outlook was so poor from the beginning that every major cancer center has declined to treat her.  Hopeless.  My heart is heavy for this patient but most especially, for her mother.  No mom should have to be facing the death of her child.  Cancer just doesn't fight fair.

Photo: wikipedia

Friday, December 12, 2008

Six Month Introspective

When I worked in ICU and precepted new nurses, the ones who had the hardest time acclimating to the new role were seasoned nurses. Sometimes, it's tremendously difficult to go from the top of one's game to not being sure of anything. Only time and repeated exposure to procedures and situations make a nurse comfortable in new positions. One opportunity after another to be successful is what gives us confidence (practice makes perfect). I used to tell new nurses that it would take six months to begin to feel confidence and up to a year to feel fairly good about things. Feeling expert at tasks can take years.

My transition from an intensive care environment into hospice has been no different. After six months, I'm feeling a bit more confident. I was not happy with certain aspects of my hospice training and promised myself that in six months, I'd re-evaluate where I stand. If still unhappy, I'd give myself permission to admit defeat and jump ship. In this time, I've developed a rapport with the doctors who support my efforts in the field; this has made a tremendous difference. I'm making fewer mistakes, really, only minor omissions on paperwork and that's helped in a huge way. It's so nice to seldom get a pile of papers back that I have to tweak. While I don't feel I've completely mastered the computer program we use, I do think we're on better terms these days. Very little cursing accompanies my interactions with my work laptop.

I've embraced the patient care aspect completely. I no longer feel unsure of myself in those encounters either. I use everything I have at my disposal-especially, the doctors. I still feel called to do this line of work. It's not true of everyone and I do work with some who seem a little jaded, as if this is just a way to pay the bills. Families and patients can always detect this in a caregiver. A nurse or hospice physician has compassion for a suffering human-or they don't. The fakers are almost always outed for what they are. This is my biggest time management issue. I am not a faker-out there only to make a living. This leads to those epic visits and starts of care that seem to go on and on forever. On a slow night, it's not an issue but on a busy night, there is no reprieve and nobody available to help. Other nurses tell me I need to get better with my time management and learn how to keep my patients and family members directed to the task at hand. Really?

How do you interrupt and redirect a dying person when they are discussing major issues? I can't. I'm giving notice that I won't. If my colleagues have a problem with this, I consider that their problem, not mine. I will practice the skill of being in the moment and most certainly will never leave a patient dangling in emotional crisis. I believe that dying a good death is a goal that can be achieved, one that requires attention to all aspects of life including the physical, spiritual and psychosocial aspects that make us human. To do otherwise would be a betrayal of the oath I've taken as a nurse.

It's only taken 25 years to heed the call and find my niche in this profession. I'm well rounded because of the detours but, I feel that I've found what I need to do with my career. I am finally, a hospice nurse. I think I'll stay here for awhile. My next mission will be to change the minds and behaviors of jaded nurses.

Do you think I stand a chance?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Such a He-Dog. Not.

31° F | 20° F
-1° C | -7° C

The cold is intense for mid-December; so much so, not even many layers of wool help ease the bite. To say the least, it's not a good night for the heat to go out. However, this is an annual event in this house and it's always the same problem. The furnace is so ancient, I think it belongs in the Henry Ford Museum.

The pooch was so cold, he let the man-child snuggle up. Notice who has the blanket though (you'd think the fur coat that comes naturally would be enough).

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Shady Side

Yesterday was the gloomiest day I've seen around here in a very long time. The rain started Monday night. I drove an hour and a half to see a patient. It was dry but damp and cold. By the time I came out of my patient's home an hour later, there was close to an inch of heavy wet snow on my car. Driving home, the snow turned to rain and slush. It took closer to two hours to get home. It rained all night and all day yesterday. The blessing is that an inch of rain does not require the use of a shovel. The snowy equivalent would have placed nearly a foot of snow on the ground.

I had the day off to shop and pretty much finished it all. There is nothing left to do except wrap everything and I don't do that until it's almost Christmas. Rachel can't stay away from wrapped gifts. It doesn't matter to her if they don't belong to her, if they're out, she will unwrap them. It's really pretty funny to see all of the perfectly wrapped gifts get patched with things like scotch tape, duct tape, surgical tape and Bandaids; pretty much, whatever is handy.

I stayed out all day and came home to this gift from my oldest daughter hanging from my baker's rack:

The top picture is a simple garter stitch scarf in all the shades of sand and mud. The yarn is double stranded and every 8 or 21 garter ridges, I pick up a new shade. Right now, it's about half way finished and I'll work my way back down to the sandy colored shade. It's a gift for my son though it is not a surprise. After this, I should have filled my quota of garter stitch for the year. It is a pretty stitch but bores me to tears after awhile. I have another 4 feet and it's done.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

To The Nines

Last Saturday, my sweetie took me to see the play White Christmas. I love going to events at Detroit's Fox Theater. Years ago, this place had fallen into disrepair. A painstaking restoration brought this icon back to its former glory. You can look at this theater for days and still not take in everything. Every square inch is filled with something remarkably beautiful. It really is quite stunning and I don't think there is a bad seat in the house. Let me say here though, for this play, I've never had better seats. We were in the first row-orchestra pit. How fun!

I saw Yes here about 8 or so years ago and the music was beautiful in this venue. I've heard the Detroit Symphony play here too and that was equally lovely. This was perfect for listening to an orchestra play the music of Irving Berlin-they were fabulous and a lot of fun to watch up close. Just a bunch of regular Joes (and Joans) working the night away.

White Christmas was good, but just not the same without my favorite players. The story line drifted a bit and that didn't really jive with the movie version that I know and love best. I think what was missing was the love that was brewing between the couples. I just didn't feel it during the play. I've seen enough stage plays to know that love can be conveyed in a live performance. The dancing was amazing and so was the singing so I can't say that was the issue. A lack of feeling was.

David Ogden Stiers from MASH fame played the general. He has a great stage presence. It's almost as if he is much better suited to the stage than to the small screen or film. All in all, it was a nice evening out and fun to see that people still get dressed to the nines for a night on the town. Still, I think I'll be watching the movie version of White Christmas for my annual nostalgic fix.

Photos: Google Images-like a fool, I left my camera at home.

Monday, December 8, 2008


Am I there yet? I may have reached the pinnacle in terms of yarn hoarding. I should be all set now if there happens to be a shift in the universe and all sources for anything woolly dries right up. I think I may have achieved SABLE- a term coined by The Yarn Harlot (I think): Stash Acquisition Beyond Life Expectancy. I won't feel too guilty about this because my knitting is like art to me and yarn is my medium. As long as I have my job and don't have to think about eating this wool for sustenance, I'll keep it.

Today's journey into my stash began innocently enough. I couldn't find a particular skein of yarn in the haphazard collection I call my stash. I've been meaning to get to this mess for awhile now. I bought new containers to organize about 6 or so weeks ago. One single skein led to a complete overhaul; I needed it to finish a moebius scarf I'm knitting. What I found was appalling. Lots, I mean LOTS of unfinished projects. A blanket for my oldest daughter (she is always so appreciative of anything off my needles-that's why she gets lots of stuff). I started that blanket two (maybe 3) years ago. It's past the half way point but I just can't seem to pick it up and work on it. I guess it would help if I left it out. Her green sweater-which is sitting there right next to me-hasn't been touched in 2 weeks. It's mocking me.  It's a fun knit and it's mostly done so I don't get why I won't touch the thing. 

Then there is a beautiful beige and brown blanket that I started last winter but lost interest in. It wasn't turning out the way I expected. I think I should frog that and salvage the yarn for something else. There is another sweater I began in September 2007. A friend gave me a beautiful bottle of Chilean wine with a card that said I couldn't drink the wine until the sweater was done. Guess what? Yep. Wine gone-sweater in time out. The lace portion of the bodice has been deemed a pain in the arse.  I know I came to that conclusion while under the influence of Chilean grapes. I'll ponder the sweater's destiny soon because the yarn I bought for this is too pretty to go to waste.

There's a bag of red Plymouth Galway yarn for a top down, no frills sweater. At least that's not been cast on. Yet. Seeing it there gave me a yen to at least begin this thing. Miracle of miracles, the pattern was in the bag with the yarn! There are other half cooked projects and then, there is all the yarn I bought with nothing particular in mind. It's there because it's pretty. Or soft. Or soft and pretty. In the soft and pretty category are about 10 skeins of Mo. I'm thinking of that cute mohair sweater in Stitch and Bitch-maybe a few sweaters. There's an awful lot of mohair in my stash. There's a small box (in comparison to the others) that's full of acrylic. That's my baby or wool allergy box. Not too much in there. I'm thinking of donating the contents. I'm sure there is someone that would make good use of that box. If you want it, let me know. I'll send it your way-really-it's just languishing in the nobody will use me box. I'm such a heartless wool snob.  There really are some pretty acrylic fibers out there.  I just don't like the way they work up.  Wool is my thang.

The sock box is the best box of all. It's stuffed full (when I finished filling it, I had to sit on the box to close it) of Lorna's Laces, Jitterbug, Regia, Ty-Dy from Knit One-Crochet Too, Smooshy, Noro, Schaefer, Lambs Pride, Bearfoot and truly, I don't recall-even though I just sifted through all of it. I simply can't part with anything in that box. Some is duplication. Those would be the fibers, colors (or names of colors) that appeal to me and I buy one skein as a gift and one for me. On some, the labels have fallen off, leaving me to guess the fiber and color. Can't be helped now.

Here is a picture of the scraps I've salvaged for the birds and squirrels. I'll recycle a potato sack , fill it full of the yarn scraps and hang it outside for critters to shop through for their nest materials. Hopefully, I'll be able to look up and see the remnants of socks, purses, scarves and sweaters next year. I love this idea.

My reorganizing is done for the day. I ran out of large storage containers so some of my stash is still in boxes and bags. As for the single skein of Mountain Colors Moguls that got this project off the ground? Found it.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Thinking of Flyboy

I don't think I've ever resurrected a  post but for today, I will.  This one, from early August, is for Flyboy:

I belong to a group of nurses who knit on Ravelry. There is a question on that group that asks "what's the coolest work gift you've received?" It's really a question of what is the best gift an employer has given but I interpret that question a bit differently.

When I'm treating an older patient, I ask many questions that aren't medical in the least. I want to know what they did when they were young. I'll ask what they did for a living. I'll ask if they served in the war. I'll ask about their families. People want to talk and work their lives out. Often, the end is approaching and they're questioning their value on earth; asking these questions allows them to talk about it and work things through. I do hang around for the answers. It helps that I'm truly interested and incredibly nosy. I can't help it, people fascinate me.

I had one such patient in end stage heart failure about four years ago. He was so sick and although I don't know what happened to him, I'm quite certain he isn't with us anymore. His heart failure was so severe, I don't see how he would have lived more than six months from the time I met him. I'd been pulled to another unit for the day. One where people aren't on life support and therefore, they're able to talk. I asked my patient if he'd served in WWII and his face lit up. My patient had been a flyboy in the war and had served in the Pacific theater. I'd just read James Bradley's newly released book, Flyboys: A True Story of Courage. Although the book didn't make me an expert, I knew a bit about these men and their service. My patient was thrilled to talk about his life as a flyboy. He was proud of this time he'd given to his country. We spent a long time talking.

A few weeks later, I received a package at work. It was from my Flyboy. There was a letter that was quite lengthy in which he thanked me for taking such good care of him. There was a video copy of a documentary about flyboys and he was featured in the documentary. What an amazing life this man had lead! He included a photo of himself, his fellow servicemen and a plane. They were so handsome in that picture.

I think about this man every once in awhile. On occasion, I come across the package he sent to me. He was a gift that was sent my way by my employer. I don't need anything extra for doing my job. Placing me in the right place, at the right time, is gift enough.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Weather or Not

Not that I needed a reason to stay in today,  but I got one.  I hope it piles up high, but I hear we're only to get a couple of inches-not enough for Mr. Farmer to drag the snowblower out of storage.  I think if this was Texas, or Georgia, or Florida, two inches would be a disaster.  Here, that's a dusting.  I'm going to pretend it's a weather emergency bordering on disaster.  It's an excuse to stay in and not that I need one, I like to keep one handy.  I have worked late all week and I have paperwork to do-it's a mess really.  I have 2 entire admissions to chart in the computer (redundant work).  Last night, putting one foot in front of the other was all I could accomplish after this week.

  The general plan is to stay home and knit.  This one's been calling my name for days.  Cables AND lace!  I stumbled on it and really, I'm smitten.  So far, I've not listened to the siren call-but I want to.  Isn't that cute?  I have the perfect yarn for it-and a cable needle.  I think it goes well with today's picture and frankly, it's been awhile since I've cast on for something new.  What do you think?  Should I cast on, or chart?

Friday, December 5, 2008

Hello Goodbye, Hello Goodbye-Make Up Your Mind!

Hey Girlfriend!

You were my best friend for almost 4 decades.  At first, I didn't think I'd like you very much, but my surprising affection for you grew on me.  Your visits were the one thing I could look forward to-like clockwork.  I know I didn't always seem to appreciate  your visits and often got upset with you, but really, you were good for me. 

A few years ago though, I noticed things with you weren't quite the same.  You'd come in and out of my life with little regularity.  Often, you'd go missing for months and then suddenly reappear.  I really didn't have much appreciation for you until I noticed you'd gone missing for nigh on a year.  The other day, I was giving a lot of thought to how I truly felt with you seemingly, completely gone from my life now.  And just like that, there you were again.  Was it the power of positive thinking that brought you back?

I was lamenting the things you took with you when you went.  Like skin elasticity.  Memory.  Stamina.  Bone sturdiness.  Regularity. My whisker free face. Mood stability.  Libido.  Continence.  My internal thermometer.  I was truly regretting the times I'd thought badly of you and the times we weren't  honest about our friendship.  At least I wasn't.  In truth, sometimes I hated you.  

I hated you the day you showed up in my life.  It was halfway through my school day in the sixth grade when you introduced yourself.  I looked all cute that day in a plaid skirt and then suddenly, in the middle of math class, I thought I'd wet my pants.  Nope.  It was you.  I had to slink through a full classroom, with a soiled skirt and walk the gauntlet of shame to the gym so the lady gym teacher could help me.  She was a Godsend that day with the clean panties and supplies she gave me.  When I got home from school, Mom's only words were, "welcome to the club" as she handed me a box of junk to help me deal with your visits.  In some ways, I was proud that I'd crossed this threshold into adulthood.  However, it took me years to get over my anger for the way you introduced yourself.  That was hard to forgive and forget.   I wasn't aware of just what you'd mean to me when you finally left me.  In fact, it took nearly a lifetime to understand the benefits of consorting with you and now, I find myself regretting that I didn't appreciate you more.  It's that love/hate thing.  Like a bad marriage.

Who could blame me though?  You always did have a horrific sense of timing.  Over the years, I got used to the way you inconvenienced me.  Like showing up on my honeymoon.  That was just rude.  I should have expected it, but somehow, I just didn't; you were an interloper.  I was devastated the day you appeared halfway through my first pregnancy.  You being there in full force could only mean one thing-and I cursed you for it.  That visit was crushing.  A few years ago, when my friend's daughter died, you left me for awhile.  I thought you could have been heartbroken too.  You stayed away for months, then waltzed back in and it was business as usual.

It's been 9 full months now since I've seen you.  I was just getting used to you perhaps,  being gone forever.  I was mourning you.   I was noticing the positive things you'd done for me over the years.  Well, that's not quite true. What I was mourning was the things you took with you when you left.  Now you're back and I find myself wondering just how long you'll stick around this time.  I've gone out to buy a box of junk to help me deal with your visits and find myself wondering how big a box or how many boxes to buy.  Knowing you, you'll play those cards close to your chest.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Me and My Sweater

Don't faint-two posts in one day.

Thank God this is done. Have I told you how much I love this yarn? And finally, for Brenda's enjoyment, here I am in my sweater and showing off the other labor of love this year: my silver hair. That journey has been almost as long as the one I took with the sweater.

And if any of my relatives comment on how much I look like my mom in this picture, just remember, Christmas is coming and you don't want to find coal in your stocking.

Big 3 Beggars

I've given birth.  Nine months is such a long time but really, it seems to have flown.  This afternoon, at precisely 1:30 PM EST, I finished my pink sweater.  I'll post pictures later but it's cozy, soft pink and warm.  I finished seaming while watching MSNBC which has only made my blood pressure go up.

Wisely having made the decision to drive this time, the Big 3 is back in Washington with their hands out.  I watched a little of the Senate hearings and can honestly say, the whole thing makes me a little sick.  I feel despair at the bleak economic climate in Michigan.  We've felt the pinch of recession here for longer than most of the rest of this country.  It really is dismal.

Today, I've taken notice of where the majority of senators who oppose these loans seem to come from. It's those states marked in red-the sunbelt states.  How much money do taxpayers dole out for people who build and rebuild in areas prone to fires, mudslides, floods, hurricanes, tornados and earthquakes?  Take another look at that map and tell me where most of those disasters occur.  Can you say sunbelt?  Never once have I thought or said the people and businesses choosing to rebuild should not be allowed to do so.  I also take note that many of these same states are the same ones that companies like Nissan, Toyota, Hyundai and Honda call their home away from home.  Hmm.   Now if the Big 3 car companies are ever to become competitive again, don't stop with the loans senators-level the playing field with FAIR trade agreements.  How about we tell those foreign car companies that they can import as much as they allow us to export to their countries?  I've always believed in tit for tat.

Wisely, I've changed the station now and I'm snuggled up in my pink sweater pondering what I should tackled next.   Bolstered by success, I guess it'll be my daughter's green sweater.  I hope to give birth to that sometime in the next 2 weeks.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Canine Cost-Benefit Analysis

Ground white meat turkey breast: $25.00 per week
Shredded carrots and fresh green beans: $5.00 per week
No added salt chicken stock: $5.00 per week
Whole grain rice, steel cut oats, fresh wheat germ: $8.00 per week
Hours spent cooking for the dog: 3 per week

Having a dog that feels good enough to be a makeshift pillow for a midday nap: Priceless

There is not another person on the planet who is allowed to touch this dog's hips. Just his girl Rachel.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

All That Remains

It's 99% done. I can hardly believe this. The desire to skip the blocking end of business was overwhelming, but like a good little knitter, I didn't. I think being lazy yesterday and just knitting away with the new skein of a different dye lot tempted fate enough. I wasn't going to skimp on the blocking end of this. I can barely tell the difference with the new yarn and for that, I'm grateful. Incidentally, all that remains of the original yarn, is scraps. Good for the bird nest bag but not much more worth than that.

A big thank you goes out to my husband and Miss376 who seemed to think I was knitting pants. Ha. Do they look more like sleeves now? I think they may look like pink chaps. Just wait until they're seamed. I'm sure they'll look more like sleeves then. Maybe by tonight, they'll be dry for seaming and I can attach them to the sweater (which was finished and blocked last June).

Have I told you how much I love this yarn? It's Yardley by Bristol Yarn Gallery (Plymouth Yarns) 76% Alpaca, 19 % silk, 5 % nylon, 100% mine. I should be good and cozy this winter.

Monday, December 1, 2008


Dear Friends,

I've been knitting this weekend and have found myself deeply in denial over the sleeves to my pink sweater.  Deeply in denial.  From wrist to sleeve cap, I've been telling myself there was plenty of yarn left to finish the job.  This would have been the truth if I suddenly lost about 3 inches of arm length.  Unfortunately, my body has more of a gorilla type arm with knuckles almost dragging the ground.  I'm well into shaping the sleeve cap and have several more inches and about 50 rows to go-with maybe twenty or so yards of yarn remaining.  Duh.

This morning I ran out to the yarn store and luckily found another skein of the same color number.  Of course, I bought the yarn in January so the  dye lot is different.  To the naked eye, it looks the same.  I'm so desperate to finish this project and I'm trying to talk myself out of fixing the problem the right way.  What would you do?  Admit you despise working with this yarn and just knit away and pray they match?  Or would you do it the right way: have another cocktail and alternate rows with the new and the old yarn so if the colors are off, they'd blend and be less noticeable?  So much do I hate this yarn, I'm leaning toward the first option with the fewest ends to weave.


Hating the Boucle and Ready to Move On