the knitting ref

Monday, November 28, 2005

Well, this isn't getting me anywhere.
This is the cap I finished while we were camping this weekend. The Hubster hadn't packed a hat, and the weather was cold, and turned windy at the end.

It was a fast knit, and I actually used it as a "practice" cap for the one I'm going to make for the DD's BF's. His will be different colors.

Since I started this post and then abandoned it, I have purchased the yarn for BF's cap. Black, olive green and winter white. Fair isle design figured out. But, it's not started. And why, may you ask?

Cause I'm working on yet another cap for the Hubster for Xmas. It was so windy and cold that he complained that the pictured cap wasn't heavy enough for him. So I've started another one on the sly with Plymouth's Encore Chunky yarn. We'll see what he thinks of that. Only problem with this bit of brilliance is that it has added yet another item to the to-do list for Xmas.

As if trying to get ready for the holidays isn't bad enough, the girl child is making noises that she wants to move back home as roommate is going into the Army at the end of the month. I can tell that this weekend is going to be my meltdown holiday weekend where there's too much to do and not enough time to do it. I'm not sure the Hubster's going to be much help as he's been fighting the cold that everyone else in the family has had.

The list? I can't even write down the list. It's too horrible to contemplate. Tune in for periodic weekend rants.

Desert Dawn
This is what we woke up to Saturday morning. This is one of the big reasons why we go. The sunrises and sunsets are absolutely spectacular. Unfortunately, the desert also often has wind, and we definitely had wind this weekend.

I also had a lot of time to knit. I finished a scarf (well, there's still some fringe, but I'm counting it as done), and I made the Hubster a knit cap in practice for making the girl child's BF's cap. Now that was a fast knit.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

A Time to be Thankful
There is so much to be thankful for. I could being a list of all the things I am thankful for and not finish until next Tuesday. But since we are haded out camping, and I am planning a knitting marathon while we're out there, the following is just a partial list and in no particular order: (I will, howver, be spending the weekend will, however, be spending the weekend remembering all the things I am thankful for and continue listing them in my head—I think 1 for each row I knit)

1. This group of smiling people. My life would be much, much less (in every way imaginable—bad and good) without these remarkable folks. They definitely make life worth living.

2. I have always had (more than) enough to eat. I have never known a day of hunger, and probably never will.

3. I have a roof over my head. While I have, on occasion, grumbled about the condition of my domicile, I have been fortunate to always have a place to lay my head in comfort.

4. I have hair. It sounds vain as all get out, but only someone who has lost all their hair due to circumstances beyond their control can truly understand what that means.

5. I am still on this earth--living, loving, laughing. 3+ years and counting. Never thought I’d be able to say that.

6. God’s sweet grace. When all else is dark and scary, that alone is something to be thankful for.

I’ll end the list with that. As I said, I could go on and on. And loving lists as much as I do, it would have plenty of subsections and hierchies and the whole bit.

We’re off to the wilds of
Joshua Tree Park for our now-traditional Thanksgiving camping trip. Looks like it will be good weather—no rain or wind. I have several projects packed to keep me busy through the weekend. If I can just complete 2.33 projects a day, I’ll run out of things to knit just in time to go home.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Too Short Weekend
The boy child had his tournament this weekend. Since he had to work and missed half the games, the team didn't do so well. The boy child, however, was on fire, if I do say so myself. One of the goals he scored was shot from about 19-20 yards out from the goal line, just off the corner of the penalty area. He very nicely arced the shot up and over the wall, the keeper and into the upper corner, far post. Goooooaaaalll! It was purdy.

We got the chandelier up in the dining room. No picture as by the time all the crystals got loaded, it was too dark to get a decent picture of it, on or off. With the festivities Thursday, I should get plenty of turkey day pictures. That is, if I can remember to pull out the camera.

Not enough cleaning done, but hopefully the girl child is coming over to do the last of the cleaning tomorrow.

We're eating about 1'ish, and after clean up, it's out to Joshua Tree for the rest of the weekend. The niece is talking about coming (with a friend), so it may be a little busier weekend than originally planned. I had figured we'd take the dogs, and while the dogs kept the Hubster busy, I'd knit my little heart out. Now we'll have to see.

I got about 6-7 inches done on Jessy's scarf at the doctor's office today, which brings it to a little over 4 feet long. I intended to come home and knit some more, but I haven't done much of anything but read blogs all evening. Maybe tomorrow.

As for the doctor, we've decided to go with the Tamoxifen regime and give my bod a little time to recuperate from all the chemo. My CBC's are all in the excellent ranges, but just being off these past 2 weeks, I didn't realize now beat up the chemo was making me.

The drive home on the 210 wasn't all that much fun, although I did stop off in Rancho to pick up the new ice chest from REI. I love that store--almost as much as I love a yarn store. As we were coming out of the store, I asked the Hubster if the huge water spout we could see down the street was a new fountain (he works in the area and knows a lot more about the area than I do). The answer was a big NO. Turns out a car sheered a fire hydrant, cause the question was barely out of my mouth when the fire trucks passed by. It is amazing to me that a hydrant can shoot out a water spout 100 feet into the air.

Tomorrow is the trip to Costco. I am not looking forward to it, but its tomorrow or never, and that means a lot of nothing for Thursday, and a lot mroe nothing for the rest of the weekend.

Friday, November 18, 2005

FO Sighting

I'm counting these as an FO although I have a sneaking suspicion that once Dad tries these on I'll be re-doing them as they may well be 1/2 inch to 1 inch too large. For now, they'll go in the FO column, and if I suddenly find I have extra time before Xmas (I can dream, can't I), I'll make a second, slightly small pair.

I've been in training all week, and I'm beat. This was a "how-to-be-a-more-effective-supervisor" dealio, and I will admit I picked up a lot of good information, as well as confirmation that I've been doing a lot of the right things for the last 5 years despite no one telling me how to do it. The biggest drain was that the vast majority of the people were from a different agency than me (like a 20-to-1 ratio), and there were some 'tudes, if you know what I mean. If nothing else, going to this has given me a whole new appreciation for the people I work with everyday. It really was a watch-your-back kind of workshop.

That done, the craziness that is Thanksgiving is now upon us. The boy child has a soccer tournament this weekend, so very little will be done in the way of preparing the house for the turkey day invasion. Fingers crossed that I'll get some help from the chillens this week. (I really am becoming delusional, aren't I?)

Time to stop blogging and get cleaning. Siiiiggggghhhh.


Monday, November 14, 2005

No Mom, I'm Not Messing With Your Slippers
I finished off the felted clogs, and had got up from the couch to attend to other business. I was gone for only 3-4 minutes. When I returned, this is what I found. L.B. decided to settle himself down ON TOP of the slippers for a nap. He wasn't quite settled when he was busted. Fortunately, no damage done.

Not to get too cocky, but this is another Xmas gift checked off the list. I finished felting them just a few minutes ago. Feeling how heavy they are, it will take quite a while to get dry--like days and days. Good thing we're heading into a Santa Ana condition. Having no humidity will certainly make things happen faster. I also felted Mom's purse. No good pictures of either the slippers or the purse at this point. Maybe after they're dry.

This post is taking considerably longer to finish than it should have because I had to spend several minutes looking for the freakin' camera. When I finally ran it to ground, I turned it on to download my intended pics. Imagine my surprise when I discovered the first picture to be my son making a hideous face. Now, a good blogger would probably go ahead and post said picture, regardless of the humiliation factor to one's child. But, having been a mother for low these many years, I have also discovered the value of being selective in causing the aforementioned humiliation. And lately, the boy child just hasn't done enough for me to take that step. But don't think I'm not keeping it in ready reserve. And he knows it too.

I'm in training all this week. On the one hand, it's kind of nice being away from the office, the office phone, the office people (just kidding). But on the other hand, I'm having to sit in a big room with lots of other people I don't know (and some I'm not really liking much), for an entire week. To help make the time more manageable, of couse, I've got plenty of knitting with me. Just hope it will be enough to keep me sane the entire week.

Friday, November 11, 2005

One of the few benefits of being a state employee is holidays. Today being Veterans' Day, there's no work. At least for me. I was thinking about working on some home improvement/cleanup projects for today, but I just wasn't feeling it, you know what I mean? On the spur of the moment, I called Mom and asked if she wanted to go to Oak Glen for lunch and to pick up some apples. She was a willing accomplice.

The weather was perfect, as far as I'm concerned. Cold, at least for So. Cal. standards. Cold enough to see your breath. Now, if I was a good blogger, I would have taken by camera with me because there were photo-ops galore. Fall color, cool architecture, fog, you name it. But no. I have no excuse.

We went to our favorite orchard Snow-Line and picked up some Arkansas Blacks and Jonagolds. Love them apples. Then we headed to the "village" to do some window shopping and lunch. Even considering the holiday, it was unbelievably packed. We couldn't park in the parking lot, so we headed across the street to a dirt strip to park. As I pulled the car in and shut off the engine, I noticed a sign that said: "Oedeker's Peddlers Pack" and advertising all kinds of gifties and Alpacas. . . . Wait a minute, ALPACAS!!! Could there possibly be some yarn in the vicinity?!?

One look at Mom, and we were pulling out and heading up the road to Oedekerk's. (Mom is such an enabler.) Up a very steep driveway, and we were at a very cute cottage and shop with several alpacas in the yard. Also, disguised as speed bumps were a 4 peacocks. A bit of manuvering into a parking space and into the shop we went.

We regularly go to Oak Glen, but I had never been to this place before. But it is definitely a place to which we will be returning. I'll get to the alpaca stuff in a minute. Lots of great photography, jewelry of all kinds, and other artwork. But the best (to me anyway) part was what I'll call the "alpaca corner." Scarves, hats, mittens, socks, wraps and hats all made of alpaca--although little of it made locally. But what was local was the yarn made from fiber from their alpacas and spun by a local lady.

What you see if the picture is about 310 yards of natural oatmeal-y colored 2-ply yarn. Love, love, love it! I've already wound it into a ball, and there are only about 4 very small knots/transitions that I'll have to cut out when it's knitted up. If it wasn't so close to Christmas, I would have also gotten some alpaca/silk blend in black that she had. Wonderful stuff.

I also saw this great pendant that Mom bought for my Christmas present. (I love being able to pick out my present!) I did it last year too when we were up in Oak Glen, although unintentionally. No pictures of that as Mom won't relinquish control of it until after Christmas, maybe. She thinks it's cool too.

She's also lusting after a felted wrap that was in a great cranberry red. Unfortunately, it came with a hefty price tag. I think I'm going to have to go to the fabric store and see if I can find some material to recreate it for one of her Xmas presents. Like I need another project to get done in time for Xmas.

All in all, a truly great day. And all cause I was practicing avoidance techniques. Maybe that isnt' so bad after all. Can't wait to go again.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

My Parents So Get Me
I came home early and took a nap. Although I still have moments of extreme runniness, all in all it's much better.

Anyway, the folks stopped by unexpectedly. Turns out they hadn't given me all of my birthday presents. (Yes, I know it's a month post-bd.) On the actual day, they gave me the bookbookbook, and said more was coming, but I had completely forgotten.

Believe me, the wait was worth it. Starting from the top: a T-Shirt that says the obvious; a Red Cross Knit Kit box containing yarn, needles, and directions for historically correct socks from World War II; and a Willow Tree angel--the Angel of Miracles. I love the shirt--I live in t-shirts. I love love love history (not to mention knitting) so the sock kit is right up my alley. And, the angel is a great addition to my collection. I didn't intentionally start collecting angels, but shortly after I was diagnosed, people started giving me all these angels. Several of them are Willow Trees. They have found a home on top of the cornice in the living room. At this point, I'd love to fill the cornice so full with angels there's no room.

So what started out as a pertty sucky day turned out to be pretty good. WIP pictures tomorrow. Promise. No really. Really.

Doh Picchures

Well, I was going to try and be cute and write like I’m talking—no n’s, v’s or t’s. But frankly, this cold is kicking my butt too hard to think that much. It started after I got to work yesterday, and I tried to muscle through it. Got home yesterday, pour some soup down me and was in bed sound asleep by 9. Dragged by butt out of bed this morning, dosed up on medication and in to work where I’m spreading my germs to one and all today. (Actually, I’m hiding out in my office since I’m trying to get it cleared enough to leave early.) Just a little longer and it’s home, sweet home and back in bed.

So no knitting, no cute aminal pictures, no nothing. Ain’t this blog just too exciting for words?

Monday, November 07, 2005

Feeling Better

Let's start happy with a picture of my Nubbs. He's a 3-year-old rescue kitty, so named because when we got him, he had been abused to the point that he's blind in 1 eye and is missing 1 foot (ergo, Nubbs). He's such a sweetie, When I've had chemo, he posts himself with me on the couch, hardly moving unless I get up, and even then he's right on my heels. He truly is Mr. Mellow.

After my dr.'s appointment last week, I was feeling kind of down. My tumor marker has gone up dramatically, and even though I don't feel "bad", I was feeling very down. I just went into my rendition of a hermit this weekend, just waiting until my appointment at the City of Hope. I spent most of the weekend swinging between hope that there's something they can do, and depression because I was afraid they wouldn't.

Except for having to wait forever and a day to see the oncologist, it was an extremely positive appointment. 3 years of treatment has taught me a lot, so there was no way the doctor was going to be able to feed me a line, if you know what I mean. And he didn't. He was very upbeat, but not to the point of being artificial. He explained that there were some options we can explore, and that more positive treatments are coming down the pipeline. So I left feeling pretty good. The doctor gave me a couple of immediate options to think about, but I didn't have to make a decision.

Getting off topic for a minute--one of the things that I really HATE about having cancer is that, I'm never completely happy anymore. There are times when good things happen, and I enjoy the moment, but there's always a bit of bitter with it. It's something I never seem to be able to get away from. O.k., I'm off my pity pot now.

As luck would have it, I have a phone appointment with my gynocologist/oncologist of the last 3 years this afternoon, so I can discuss the options the new doctor gave me. The idea of leaving Dr. Wagner gives my heart a little (o.k. a big) hitch--he's that good, but I also recognize that if I'm going to keep effectively fighting this *$%#** disease, I'm going to have to leave what is otherwise a very good hospital and go to a "National Cancer Institute" where treatment is cutting-edge.

On the knitting front, I finished the girl child's zebra socks except for kitchenering and started my MIL's socks. I figure I'll do the kitchenering tonight. Pictures tomorrow of both the finished project and the WIP.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

It's Be-A-Dork Day
And let me tell you, I've be a Super Dork. I'm just lucky I made it home today all in one piece. Started out by leaving the house late this morning cause I was too lazy to get out of bed and get moving, so of course I forgot my cell phone. Not normally high on the Richter scale of dorkdom, but I was waiting for a phone call from the doctor's office. Doh!

I proceeded to rush to the bus stop, whereupon I discovered I'd left my radio/headphones in the car and it was too late to go back for them. 40 minute bus ride with no music = no fun. And of course, this was the day that the entire bus had to listen to some guy have a fight with his girlfriend on HIS cell phone.

Make it to work without any further damage, only to stumble through the entire day as though it were my first day of work instead of being well into my 18th year on the job. Can we say do-overs? Cause I was having to do-over just about everything I touched. It was ugly.

Uneventful bus ride home, even if there was no music. I'm finally making progress on my second sock. The hope is to finish it by this weekend cause I've got to get serious about the Xmas gifts (but that's another post).

After I got home, the Hubster and I went to Chino to evaluate 2 referee candidates for upgrades. Lately, with these evaluations, I've been having a hard time finding anything positive I can say to a candidate. Last night was the first time in a long time I was able to enjoy a debrief.

Since it was a 45-minute drive each way, I got some more serious sock knitting done--even if it was in the dark. On the way home though, I just pooped out and didn't get any more done.

Looking forward to the weekend. I may actually get to put up all those pictures and stuff that have been off the wall for so long. Keeping the fingers cross that the dorkdom doesn't continue.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

I Got Nothing.
After the paint-fest this weekend followed closely by Halloween, I've spent the last 2 days recovering. So, I'll just show you Felicity's imitation of a Halloween decoration.

Actually Mac (who looks just like Felicity but not related) was the Halloween decoration. Here in So. Cal. it was so warm, we had all the windows open. When the windows are open, the kitties like to lounge on the window sill. With all the comings and goings, only Mac seemed inclined to take in the proceedings up close and personal. It was so funny that when she would move, the trick-or-treaters would all jump. They thought she was a stuffed decoration.

On the knitting front, I finished the first zebra sock and got the ribbing done on the second. I'm not feeling it though, so I'm having a hard time staying focussed. I'm not even wild about taking a picture of what I got. But I'm forcing myself to finish these before I start the next project. So I guess I'd better get on the stick.