Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The rest of the pictures

Curse you, Blogger, for giving me a hassle when I was looking forward to a special post!

Knitting's rock star

[argh, I've had all sorts of difficulties getting the pictures to stay in order etc. so I hope this works. It was going better earlier. what gives??]

Ah, Madison! What a place. Even though we had more of this stuff at about 3 o'clock on Monday . . .

I'm so glad our mid-sized city got on the tour for Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's latest book! Jaala did a great job reporting on her blog, so I'll just add to that. The lines that stuck with me were the one about carrying emergency knitting :D and of course, " our plan to take over the world continues apace." And the funny bit about the sheep & wool festival.

We're guessing that there were over 200 people in attendance, and it was great great fun. Especially for knitters like me who don't get out much ;) I didn't get home until 10:45! Oh, and the book is fun to read, too! I was so tired I felt hung over the next morning but I'd do it again in a minute!!

April has been really back & forth with weather, so we get outside whenever we can. Today, lots of gardening. A post soon on my finished vest and my next things. Cindy

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

I Spy

Hi there,

I see from Jaala's post that you guys made it last night. Sounds fun, how I envy you. I've looked for you in the pictures from YH's post, even tried to line up with the picture from KnitCircus, but no such luck.

Out late on a weeknight? Such rebels! ;)


Oral Surgery and other distractions

Hi Cindy,

Since we don't have snow banks melting or kids playing to post I thought I'd include a picture of our cholla blooming. It's got a couple of other blooms about to open although they're hard to see in the picture.

I've also included two shots of the cactus at the front of our house to show how much they've grown in about a year's time. You may remember the first picture from my last post of June last year. It is hard to see the difference on the large cactus in the center but you can really tell the difference by the two outer cactus. Both were well below the roofline but now they've grown up above it. The big rains we got November through January really made them happy. Of course we now haven't had any rain since mid-February and wildfires are starting to pop up.

I've been recovering from lots of dental fun and not knitting very much. You'd think I'd have lots of time for it, and I have, but I just haven't felt like it. The root canals actually weren't as bad as I feared. It took less time for both procedures than I spent waiting for the novacaine to kick in; I spent just about an hour in the chair. By contrast, the lengthening for the crown took longer. They actually wanted to do it for both teeth and had to start the crown prep first. After one of the regular dentists shaped both teeth for the crowns the periodontist decided that only one of the teeth actually needed the gum cut. I had planned to go back to work after all that fun but two hours in the dental chair and 5 shots of novacaine sent me home instead. I go back tomorrow to have the stitches removed and then it will be a couple of weeks before they can take the crown impressions. At least I have temporaries covering the teeth now.

Two final pictures before I close this up. The first is of our silly
Margi cat. All three cats have taken to drinking from the bamboo water. They love that the vase is the perfect height for them to stand or sit next to and drink from. Abby and Ted will only drink from it if it is high enough not to expose the marbles but Margi will stand there and try to move them around, exposing more water below. Just before I took this picture she stood patiently by while I brought more water in to fill it up so she could drink. She spent several minutes sampling the fresh water.

The final picture is the one project that I've actually made progress on. It is a bag for my yoga mats. I use them together in class and keep them rolled together so the bag is bigger in diameter than most yoga mat bag patters. I also started from the middle and worked out increasing until I got the diameter I thought I'd need and then started going up. Most other patterns have you knit the sides as a rectangle, seam them and then knit the end. This one has a shell pattern although it is difficult to see in the picture. The bottom (top in picture) is a cotton/acrylic yarn I got at Tuesday Morning. The blue portion is actually a ball of blue and a ball of tan held together. Both are hemp yarn that I got on clearance. I'll change to another cotton yarn, perhaps one of the cones you sent me for my birthday my first year knitting.

I guess I'd better close this up. I promise that I'll do better with posting in the next few weeks. The worst of the dental issues are over and my dad's doing better so I shouldn't have the distractions of the last 2 months.

Take Care, Alene

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Earth Day

Hi again, hope AZ is giving you a good spring. Here are a few pics from earlier this month (notice the snow piles lingering in the background:) . Earth Day continues to grow in meaning for me through the years. Starting when I was in grad school, I use the day to reflect on my commitment to our planet and what I can do better at. Seeing An Inconvenient Truth last year really focused my attention again and I'm really glad about that. I'm still committed to using up my stash, but the big thing for me this year (although not craft related) is to take shorter showers. If I can figure out other ways we can use less water, I'm going to try them.

I hear a sneeze upstairs so it's on to our before-school routine. Still keeping you & yours in my thoughts, love, Cindy, earth muffin

Saturday, April 19, 2008

March pictures during April showers

Hi Alene, what a difference a few weeks makes. [oops, weird formatting again] These pictures are from March and are in order :) DH's vest came out great and is a good and warm just the way it is. He opted to have me skip the "timbers" that were a big part of the original design (sorry, Philosopher's Wool) so now I have a bunch of skeins of black yarn to make something else! Darn;)

I'll be trying to catch up on my blogging too after some slacking due to getting some lessons ready for RE, having lots happening at home, school, & work, and the start of soccer, farmer's markets, and gardening! Yay! All good things except the water in one part of the basement; yes, now we are having lots of rain and need a new gutter on the front of the house.

I've been keeping your family in my thoughts and hope your dad is doing OK. I'm thinking ahead to Earth Day, so "see" you then. Love, Cindy

Friday, April 11, 2008

Making up for lost time

Hi Cindy,

I'm going to talk about a few more health-related items so I'll throw in a picture of pretty yarn first to distract you. MMMM-yummy, soft Malabrigo, now I just need a pattern (shrug?).

More good news on the Dad-front this week. He had an oncologist appointment on Tuesday. Mayo Clinic confirmed that the spots removed were benign so definitely no chemo for him. He will need another PET scan in June and probably quarterly for the first year.

On Wednesday he saw the surgeon who feels that the issue with the one bypass is old and does not need repair at this time. No surgery right now unless it turns critical in the future. On the less-bright side, he is still on oxygen and likely to remain on it for a while. He sees a pulmonologist in a couple of weeks and then will probably be put on a steroid to help with breathing issues.
I'm due up for some fun of my own. I broke a tooth on Monday and now get to spend days in the dentist chair. The dentist was amazed by the break. It took off the outside back quarter of my right pre-molar and left the nerve exposed. And what was I doing to receive this joy? I was eating salad for lunch. After the fun of a full mouth x-ray series I got to find out just how much fun I'm in for. The same tooth on the left side is about to do the same thing so I get not one root canal (first one) but two. And they want to do both at the same time and perhaps start the crown build-up the same day. I also need the gum cut back at the broken tooth because it actually broke down below the gumline. The dentist was even talking about a filling for another tooth and a cleaning at the same time. He joked about me having to pack a lunch for the visit (as if I'll be able to eat for the rest of the day after all of that). All this is starting to sound like DH, his teeth problems have been much worse than mine for a long time. Be glad you have good teeth and keep the kids up on theirs, it will save them a world of trouble.
As a result of all of this I probably won't be able to join you for the Yarn Harlot's visit to your fair town. :(
I am planning on heading back that way in either May or June. It would be really nice to visit my parents and I want to help them get started on cleaning out the house. Dad is hoping to be able to return to work and work into the start of September at least. He'll have 5 years in there at that point and it will mean extra $$ in his retirement. He had planned on working another 2 years until Mom reached retirement age but it sounds like that has changed. If the breathing issue doesn't get better he will probably have to take a medical retirement.
Anyways, I'll finish with a few pictures from DH's sock. It is coming along nicely although I need to get back on it. I had a needle break a few weeks ago when I had it in my bag so now I'm down to 4 needles, not 5. I think it was the water bottle I had in my back that fell over and crunched the needle. A #2 bamboo needle just doesn't stand up to a liter bottle of water. CSI of the needle showed that it actually bent quite a bit before it gave way and snapped. Hard to say if it was gradual or if it was a quick fracture as the bottle fell over on it. I must have taken a corner to zippily on my way to work.
Take Care, more soon, A
P.S. There are some days when the formatting of blogger drives me crazy. I can't get the text to wrap around the pictures the way I like it and then it puts in extra returns or deletes some I've added. ARGHHHHH!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Waiting... Or why I've been such a Blog-slacker

Hi Cindy,

Hope the spring has gotten off to a good start without too much snow recently. We've been pretty nice here but their predicting 90's by the weekend so the summer isn't too far behind.

I can't believe that its been over a month since I've sat down and written an entry. This last month has been all about the waiting. At least we've had good news about Dad's biopsy but you know that already. He has doctor appointments tomorrow and Wednesday so I'm hoping we'll have a date for the next surgery by the end of this week. He sounds much better since he's at home although he's still a bit breathy with the oxygen. I'm still hoping that I'll be able to join you when the Yarn Harlot comes to your fair town at the end of the month; I'm hoping the surgery will be right around that time, but not that day.

We are also waiting on DH's grandma. She had a bad fall a couple of weeks ago and was pretty much out of it for a week or two but is still hanging on. She turned 95 at the start of last month and hasn't given up yet. She has a hospice nurse that's been encouraging her to eat and regain her strength. At 95 her weight has probably dropped below her age so it is just a matter of waiting for her to be ready to go.

A couple of family members on my dad's side of the family have been having health issues. My cousin K in Fridley had a biopsy in February and then had one breast removed last month. She starts chemo this week. I knit her a orange fun-fur hat yesterday and sent it off along with a lacy cotton hat that I'd made recently. My cousin S is going to have a Hat Party for her soon and I'm hoping I'll be back there for it.

My dad's oldest living brother, Uncle Fred, went into the VA hospital on Easter Monday with congestive heart failure. He is over 80 and had a bypass several years ago. He's had several heart attacks through the years and one of these days it will be the end of him. Interesting fact about him, he was on the USS New Mexico at Pearl Harbor. He must have been only 17 or so at the time. My cousin K's dad took part in the D-Day invasion; my dad was only 2 months old at that time. Uncle Fred's wife just had knee replacement surgery. Every email or phone call from home is more of a health report than a conversation!

Other than that things here have been about the same. The weather has been nice, the citrus have bloomed and the rest of pollen season has hit. Normally I don't have allergy issues but they have hit me this year. I think the neighbor's "shaggy" pine has had a bumper season for pollen and has been making me miserable for about 2 weeks. It's getting better so hopefully it will be done soon.

I guess I'd better close this and get it posted. Take care and I'll let you know when I'll be back there. A