the knitting ref

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Did I Move . . .

. . . and somebody forgot to tell me? It is so humid, I swear I’m living in Florida. It’s 9:00 p.m. here, and according to Accuweather, it’s 87 degrees and 29% humidity. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know 29% is nothing for most folks, but this is desert people. I have family in Miami and right about now, I‘m sure the humidity is somewhere in the 80% range. I absolutely could not live like that. But here, we are keeping the house closed up for the 3rd day in a row. Usually by this time of night we’re able to open up windows and enjoy the cool outside. Ish.

Enough complaining about the weather. I’ll complain about something else. Just kidding.

Dad is keeping us hopping. His recovering nicely from his surgery, but now has an erratic blood pressure. If it isn’t one thing it’s 14 others. As a result I’m not getting much knitting done. I’ve started the toe decreases on the socks and that’s about it.

Since I have no knitting pictures worth sharing, I’ll share my baby pumpkin. I was all set to have a little garden this year, but all I managed to get planted was the pumpkins, some onions and some bush beans. This little critter is the Small Sugar pumpkin from Burpee. They’re supposed to be good eating pumpkins that get no more than 10”. I probably have half a dozen currently on the vines with this one being the biggest--about softball size. The vine was growing up the palm tree (that’s the background in the picture), but I came home from work this evening and it appears the weight of the fruit pulled it down. No harm done though.


And for the finale, I’ll leave you with a picture of the evening’s clouds out my back window.


Monday, June 26, 2006

Organized Fidgeting



How much knitting can be done in 4 days--2 spent at the hospital and 2 melting in the heat at a tournament? On Amelie, from the neck up plus 21 cm's of the front. And about 10 cm's of ribbing through to what you see on the guy socks. Pretty good, eh?

Thursday, my dad had surgery on his nose. Instead of the outpatient procedure that was originally planned, the doctor decided to keep him through Saturday afternoon. My father is not what anyone would call a good patient. And he's absolutely the worst with my mother. So all of Thursday and a large part of Friday was spent with him. While he napped I knitted. When he wasn't napping, I attended to him.

Saturday, Mom had hospital/dad duty and the Hubster and I went to a celebration of life for a good friend, followed by a long drive to a tournament in Temecula where we have traditionally evaluated the referees. We always plan on it being hot, but there's some front going through that made it miserably humid too. Ick!

But I knit. In fact I did a bit of extreme knitting. At one point the wind kicked up so bad, I felt like I was in a hurricane. No pictures. The camera was in the car and I was out on the fields.

And as for the title. This tournament I was at was named for the gentlemen I told you about a few days ago who came up with red and yellow cards in soccer--Ken Aston. A true English gentleman in every sense of the word. One of the things I loved about him was the quirky turns of phrase he would come up with. And I was reminded this weekend that he called all of the needle arts "Organized Fidgeting." I don't know about you, but I think it's the perfect description of what I do. In fact, in the hospital waiting room there was a lady who just couldn't sit still. Every few minutes she was messing with something--her purse, her clothes, the chair, a book. Oi! It was getting on my nerves. I would like to say I was serenely sitting there with my knitting, except that I was having trouble with the gusset decreases on the socks at that point, but I was close.

So now I'm off to work where I'm staying in at lunch (too darn hot and humid) for some more organized fidgeting.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Bad Daughter

For those of you totally out of touch with reality, today is Wednesday. Father’s Day was Sunday—3 days ago. If I was a good daughter, I would have made this post Sunday. Instead, in the seemingly continual state of never catching up, I’m posting it today. So for a little bit, let’s all just pretend it’s Sunday, shall we?


My father is a remarkable man. Few people alive today have experienced half of what he has. The Depression. World War II. Being a POW in World War II. Have one child predecease him. Watching the other child battle cancer. Those are the downers, and while they shaped him, they did not break him.

He has had a number of “careers” in this lifetime. In no particular order: Printer (back in the days of typesetting), Locksmith, Ordinance (Bomb) Inspector, Furniture Store Owner, Emergency Medical Technician, B-17 (plane) Navigator, Police Reserve Officer, Management Analyst, Gunsmith, Prison Guard, Airplane Mechanic. Not bad for a man who “only” possesses a high school diploma.

There wasn’t much he didn’t know (which was frustrating in the extreme to this teenager); and what he didn’t know, he took measures to learn. Until I was well into my 30’s, there was very little he couldn’t fix. Up to a couple years ago, not one plumber, roofer, electrician, painter, carpenter or mechanic ever set foot on our property to do a job.

He was an older dad (40 when I was born) before the days it became trendy. Not that that got in the way of things. We did lots as a family—camping, hiking, playing together. He (and my mom) were always there for everything—recitals, concerts, softball games, track meets, girl scouts. You name it, I could always count on looking out in the sea of faces and picking out my dad.

He and I have had a difficult relationship through the years. Our personalities are too similar, I suspect. He’s 86 now, and is showing down. Way down. It’s so hard watching this previously vibrant, active man now shuffling across the room and needing help to do even simple things. But that’s all part of the life cycle, I guess.

If you can’t hear it in my description of him, let me state that I love this man with all my heart and soul, and I am eternally grateful that God assigned him to be my dad.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

DyeO-Rama Update

As I told my swap pal, this swap was the toughest I've ever participated in. I was aboslutely, positively a WTF'er before this started, and I still am after. And while I'm not over the top over my offerings, I can live with them.

My pal likes purples and reds, so that's what I went with. On the left is "Flashback"; on the right is "Old Roses" Old Roses is very close (at least on my monitor) to true color. No matter what I did--indoor/outdoor/flash/no flash--I just couldn't get Flashback to photograph color true. In real life, Flashback is lots of shades of purples and turquoises/lt. blues. Flashback gets it's name from the tie-dyed shirt with those colors that I used to have when I was a kid.

Old Roses was immersion dyed on the stove using Kool-Aid Grape and Black Cherry flavors mixed. Flashback was handpainted and solar dyed using Paas Easter egg dye for the blues and Wilton cake dye in violet for the purples.



But this is the real charmer. This is what my swap pal, Jenna sent me. She named it "Earth Song" and the title is spot on. The colors are perfect. She took what little bit of information I gave her and ran with it. P.E.R.F.E.C.T. She also included a sling bag (what the yarn is laying on) for then the need to carry an extra project or 2 (or 6) is needed. Thank you Jenna!

Sunday, June 18, 2006

I'm Melting!

**This isn't actually a long, boring text post. There is a cute cat picture at the end.**

I'm not really. It's pretty warm here, but since we've been working around the house all weekend, I'm tired of sweating!

Before I get to that, though, let me start with Friday night. To me, there's not much better in life than music. Unless it's live music. And there's not much better in life than live music. Unless it's live music in an intimate setting. And there's not much better in life than live music in an intimate setting out under the stars. Well, baby, we got the whole package. Big Bear Lake was having a jazz festival this weekend, and we got to go up and see Acoustic Alchemy. If you like guitar, this is a group you have to hear!

Acoustic Alchemy and I go way back. In the early '90's, I was a single parent, working full-time, and going to school. Study time was at a premium. Usually on my lunch hour, and then maybe 4 hours sometime during the weekend. In order to focus, I developed quite a CD collection of instrumental music. (Yes, children, this is what we had to do before iPod's and the like.) I'd pop in a CD and block out the rest of the world. Back then, they were of a genre called "New Age."

I got the opportunity to see them at a club back then, and then a number of times since. Things have changed a little over the years, and now they're called "Smooth Jazz" (but they're playing the same music--go figure).

My birthday present 4 years ago was to go see them. Instead, I was in the hospital facing cancer surgery, and too sick to care, frankly. The Hubster emailed them to say how bummed we were that we weren't going to be able to see them. About 2 weeks later, I was home recuperating when the mail came. Those sweet guys has sent me a handwritten note, and included autographed photos and their latest CD. Very sweet.

Anyway, we got to go up and listen to them on Friday, and it was a great show. The show was held outside at the Big Bear Discovery Center (A perfect use of tax dollars and public access, IMHO.) Nobody was more than about 150 feet from the stage. Almost 2 solid hours of music. Wunderbar!

Got a late start on working around the house the next morning; slowed down even more cause we HAD to watch the US Men's (and this time they were MEN) team play. And play they did. Too bad they had such a sucky ref.

Just so's you know--I've ref'ed for almost 30 years (besides coaching, playing, teaching, etc.) I generally don't rag on ref's I met Ken Aston, the gentleman who "invented" the red and yellow cards. He always said that cards were to be given out like money--before you gave one out, you had to be sure you were going to get something in return. This entire WC, the ref's have been tossing the cards out like candy. And not getting a damn thing in return, far as I an see. And 2 red cards against our boys. For NOTHING! I can hear Ken spinning in his grave in England from here.

Ah well, after the game, I got the Boy Child's blinds up with a little help from the Hubster. Rearranged the furniture to account for 2 new (to us) recliners. They are very comfy, and I think I really like the set-up. Course, it's greatly enhanced by the second ceiling fan the Hubster installed in our living room. 1 fan at one end of a long and narrow room just doesn't work. And of course, lots of general house cleaning.

So, of course, very little knitting got done. I'm knitting the Hubster socks (the Kroy yarn in Flax from the Sisterhood). Just plain guy socks--not worth a picture yet. I am trying a new technique and do them 2 at a time on circulars. Couldn't get them started on the circ's. So I started them one at a time on DPN's and then transferred them to the circ's. It's working out pretty well.

And, since every post deserves a picture, here's Mac. In the furniture-moving-around, the sofa cushions were all caddywampus, and Mac decided it made a nice house. She's busy making sure Inky doesn't get the same idea. (Excuse the dirty sofa cushions--10 years of kids does that. It's normally hidden by a slipcover.)


That's the weekend in a nutshell.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Lucky, Lucky Girl

The next time I'm aggravated at my husband, will someone please shove this post under my nose and remind me what a sweetie he really is?

I've been trolling for a spinning wheel for a while now. I know you're supposed to go try a bunch of wheels and perform all kinds of rituals before buying one, but I've never been one to do things the "right" way. I've gone so far as to bid on a couple of wheels on eBay without success. Well, I found one. Given that the price was over an amount I feel comfortable just plunking down without consulting with the Hubster, I called him. The conversation went like this:

Me: Hey, what do you think of me buying an early birthday present? For me?

Hubster: I suppose it's a spinning wheel?

Me: Yup.

Hubster: Sure, go ahead. I suppose you'll fill be in on the particulars later?

Me: Yup.

Please note that the conversation contained no exclamations of dismay, sighing or hesitation whatsoever.

Gotta love a man like that. Wheel details once it's in my greedy little hands.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Hanging Out in Margaritaville

Oh yes I am. See?

My Spring Feet socks from my pal Abigail. Abi named them Margaritaville, and the names fits exactly. To steal from Mary Poppins (shocking!), they are "practically perfect in every way." I don't care that it was 90+ degrees yesterday, I didn't want to take them off.

Continuing the theme, this is what she put the socks in to send to me.

Hysterical! Not 1 but 2 different kinds of margarita mixes (lime and strawberry), complete with salt, sugar and a little ceramic ring to do your glasses up right. Already making plans to put this to good use.

But that's not all! (That makes me sound like an infomercial, doesn't it?) The mailman also delivered this.
I swapped with Trek for this ultra, ultra cool sock bag. When I saw she had music-themed material, my willpower dissolved. The inside is a really pretty floral print. This is a complete and total endorsement of Trek's bags. If you knit on small projects at all, you've got to have one. I've sewn for many, many, many years, and this is quality work, people. (Yes, I looked closely at seams and everything. She's even matched the lines all the way around the bag. For you non-sewers, that is a true sign of quality.)

Thank you so much Trek. Job well done.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

KSKS info

Gonna get this out of the way for Scout's Knit Sock Kit Swap:

What are your favorite colors? Green in any way, shape or form. Lately I've been attracted to turquoise, oranges and yellows.

Are you a new sock knitter? No. How long have you been knitting socks? Only about a year, but now I seem to always have one on the needles.

Do you prefer solid or multicolored yarn? No preference

What fibers do you prefer in sock yarn? No preference, although I do lean more toward easily washable matreial.

Where do you usually knit socks? Anywhere and everywhere. They're the perfect portable project.

How do you usually carry/store small projects? I just got a sock bag from Trek. Otherwise I've been using baggies.

What are your favorite sock knitting patterns? I've really been enjoying the Socks, Socks, Socks book.

What are your favorite sock knitting techniques? Cuff down on DPN's.

What new techniques would you like to try? I don't know. Surprise me.

Do you prefer circulars or dpns for sock knitting? DPN's

What are some of your favorite yarns? For socks: Socks That Rock and Lorna's Laces.

What yarn do you totally covet? Ummmmmmmmm . . .

Any pattern you would love to make if money and time were no object?

Favorite kind of needles (brand, materials, straights or circs, etc)? I don't play favorites.

If you were a specific kind of yarn, which brand and kind of yarn would you be? Misti Alpaca lace weight.

Do you have a favorite candy or mail-able snack? Dark chocolate (or licorice).

What’s your favorite animal? Once again, I don't play favorites.

Do you have pets? What are their species/names/ages? Dogs: Candy/12/cocker mix. Daisy/3/beagle-lab. Eowyn/1-1/2/Great Pyrenees. Cats: Nubbs, Inky, Mac, Felicity and L.B.--all 2-5 years.

If you were a color what color would you be? Forest green

Describe your favorite shirt (yours or someone else’s).. Peasant blouse. What can I say, I'm a child of the 60's?

What is your most inspiring image, flower, or object in nature? I love roses

Tell me the best quote you’ve ever heard or read. Life is not measured by the breaths you take but by the moments that take your breath away.

Do you have a wishlist? Nope

Anything else you’d like to share with the group today? Have a nice day!

Can I Have Some Catch-Up With That?

As you can read on the Sisterhood’s blog, a week ago, I got some houseguests. And very welcome houseguests they were. So polite and neat. Yes, the yarn and I had a lovely time. They spent a lot of time with my yarn, getting to know one another. It wasn’t too long though before it became obvious that some of the yarn wasn’t quite ready to settle down here, while others really wanted to stay here with me and my family.

I talked with my yarn and asked if there was anybody with the traveling bug. And a number of them piped up. And so, while I enjoyed have them while they were with me, it was time to say goodbye to some truly lovely yarn. On the right is a sweater’s worth of Sidar Denim. In the lower left corner are 3 skeins of Cascade 220. The red is some Kroy sock yarn. Next to that is some Soy Silk. I made a great triangular scarf out of 1 skein. I hope someone really enjoys it. And then there’s some Joselyn Fiber Farms Dancing Feet. Lovely yarn. And last but not least, some Noro.

Here's a family photo of the yarns that decided to stay. Not included in the picture is some shy Kroy Sock yarn that is currently hiding out on the needles in my knitting bag. I traded out a pattern book too--Dale of Norway for Jaeger. This really was a lot of fun. I would try this again in a heartbeat.

And so the box is on it's way to ????? I'll never tell. I'll give you a hint though. It's on a long trip.

Speaking of knitting bag, look at the knitting bag I won from Designer Hand Knits in Riverside. (I really have to push Nancy harder to get a website.) I’ve been looking at this bag for a while, but it was a bit too extravagant. During her anniversary sale, anyone who made a purchase was put in a drawing for one of several prizes. Too cool. It’s large enough for my knitting and my regular purse paraphernalia. If this post wasn't so long, I'd show you the interior with all the neat little extras. My personal favorite is the yarn guides on each side of the bag. Love it!

Here’s the FO I was talking about the other day. It’s Cascade Yarns Bollicine Yarn. 70% kid mohair and 30% acrylic. It was a joy to knit with. So soft, and only a tiny bit sticky. I think the acrylic in the yarn helped that a lot. I can’t even tell you where I got the pattern from, it’s been so long ago, but it’s low effort/high satisfaction quotient kind of knit.

And last but not least, I have to show you what my Mama’s working on. I’m mentioned my nephew is expecting (oh, you know what I mean), and Mama wanted a portable baby project. So this is the Baby Bib from MDK. She has no idea what the color way is as the ball band has long since vanished into the mists. But it's so cute.

In the knitting bag is a pair of father’s day socks (the Kroy yarn mentioned above), and the Orsa Wrap which is my World Cup Knitting project. I have yet to knit a stitch on that as yet. Hopefully at lunch tomorrow. Provided I’m not napping. (But that's for another post.)

That sort of catches things up. For the next 30 seconds anyway.

Monday, June 12, 2006

And That's All I'm Going to Say About That

The U.S./Czech game was an embarassment. The boys (can't call them men) looked scared before they even stepped on the field, and they acted like it through the entire game. No offense whatsoever. Come on people, they didn't get called offside even once. Where's our National Team? They aren't in Germany.

And that's all I'm going to say about that.

I was up at 5:00 this morning. Couldn't sleep. Too much happening lately. I'm hoping things quiet down soon. Unlike my usual M.O. (sitting on my butt drinking coffee) however, I got a surprising amount done.

1. Finished a shawl I have not mentioned even once. It's blocking as we speak.
2. Wrote a note to my Spring Feet pal. The socks I blocked last night were not quite dry, so I can't mail them till tomorrow, but everything's ready as soon as they dry.
3. Overdyed my Dye-O-Rama skein. What I had was close to what I wanted to send away, but there were a few areas that needed a little extra attention. It's solar cooking as we speak, and hopefully tonight it will rinse out and be ready to go out by Wednesday.
4. Started another pair of socks. Not the ones I need to have done by Sunday. I started a pair using Lorna's Laces Liberty (Red, White & Blue). Was trying to give our guys a little mojo, you know?
5. Worked on the Boy Child's new curtains. He starts his new job tonight. He'll be working the night shift at a "major home improvement center", stocking and cleaning the store. Since that means he won't be sleeping until daylight, he needs some black-out curtains. I got some dark navy twill to make a roman shade for his big window, and a tailored curtain for the smaller window. I'll have them done enough that his room will be dark by tomorrow morning, but I probably won't be able to have them properly installed until the weekend.

Whew, I'm tired just looking at that. I've got to finish up work, and then hopefully, pictures of most, if not all that stuff tonight.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Bad Day, Good Day

I have so much I want to blog about (World Cup, Spring Feet, Dye-O-Rama, Secret Pal, Sisterhood of the Traveling Stash and other goodies too), but instead I'm just too whipped.

Boy child had another tournament this weekend. I was managing to get through Friday night and Saturday until (while I was in the middle of refereeing a soccer game) one of BC's teammates comes running up to tell me that BC had had a car accident (yes, he was driving) up the street. He told me BC was o.k., but I have to admit the last 5 minutes of the game were something of a blur.

We got to the corner and found that a guy had gone through the red light and smack into the BC's new (to him) one-week-old car. (*$&@#^%!!!) BC's fine, his friends are fine; the car not so much. Tomorrow we get to play with the insurance adjusters. Can't wait.

Once we got through the stress of getting the report and car towed and all that, I was exhausted! And no, I did NOT get to KIP. Not even 1 stitch.

He was stiff and tired this morning and ready to have a quiet day. I was not at all upset about that idea. When he learned the team won the semi-final, he suddenly perked up and was ready to charge to the fields (an hour away). This scared mama wasn't thrilled about his going, but he is 18 and he has always been raised to listen to his body.

I shouldn't have worried. He played a fantastic game. Didn't even act like he was stiff. Of course I was watching him like a hawk, ready to have the coach yank him if I saw even one little twitch.

And the team won! 1st place in the tournament. At least the weekend ended well.

So I have hope for tomorrow. I'm taking a mental health morning from work to watch the US play, and I'm hoping to get some things done (maybe a lot if the game gets too nerve wracking) before I have to go to work. So hopefully, there will be lots of posting tomorrow. Don't hold your breath though.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Just So's You Know

Tomorrow starts a month of total bliss in my little world. The World Cup.

My family loves soccer, from playing, to refereeing, to teaching, to coaching, to watching. One of the highlights of my life was sitting in the Rose Bowl watching the Women's World Cup in 1999. And I've spent many, many, many an hour watching my kids play. In fact, that's where I'll be this weekend. Again.

Most of the first round games start at 6:00 or 7:00 in the morning here on the Left Coast. You don't even have to guess what I’ll be doing? And with the nightly offering of drivel on t.v., I will be Tivo’ing the rest of the day’s games for nightly entertainment, followed by early bed so I can get up the next day and start all over again. Can’t wait. (Course, we don’t want to go into the withdrawals I’ll be having come July 10th.) I’m nervous about the U.S.’s chances. They haven’t shown well in games leading up to this, but one never knows.

So, if soccer bores you, just skip over my commentary, straight to my knitting. Cause, obviously, that’s what I’ll be doing while watching the games. I’ve joined Yarn Monkey’s Knitting World Cup. The plan is to finish the Orsa Wrap. And hopefully several, er, a few other projects too.

Right at the moment, I'm agonizing over the L.A. Galaxy's lack of defense. The Galaxy is playing Chivas, and losing 2-0. Oh! Just as I say that Galaxy scores a goal. So they're only sucking half as bad. There have been years that they don't start exactly hot, but this year, I think the team has forgotten how to play soccer.
Such is the live of the soccer fan. Oh well, tomorrow's the World Cup. {Little Happy Dance.}

Let the Games begin! (Oops, that’s the Olympics, isn’t it. Oh well, it still fits.)

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

World's Fastest Project

As I was kitchenering the toe of my second Spring Feet sock, I realized I had totally and completely screwed it up. Frogged it all the way back to the beginning of the decreases.

In an attempt to alleviate some of my angst, I decided I needed some quick gratification.

Being blinder than a bat, I have worn glasses since I was 8. I used to wear contacts, but with all the meds I take my eyes have dried up and I'm stuck with prescription glasses. I had transition lenses for a while and hated them. My last pair I got regular lenses, but the frames come with these handy dandy sunglasses that clip on the front with magnets. Love 'em! A hard case came with the glasses to hold the 2 pieces, but it's big. And since I'm wearing the glasses from the minute I open my eyes in the morning until I close them at night, I don't have much need for such a big case.
I was putting the sunglass portion in a pocket of my purse, but that was still causing some hard wear.

So, I knit up a case, muy pronto. I think it took a whole hour. The yarn is some wool worsted I had left over from my Heart scarf. I cast on 21 stitches on size 8 dpn's, and knit until it was 7 inches long. Bound off 11 stitches and then stockinette for 2 inches, followed by K2togs and SSK's on the edges of the knit rows until I had 4 stitches left, then BO those.

Hand felting followed, and voila! An FO. Well, almost. Once it's dry, I'll sew on a flower button I have, and I think that's all I'll need.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Proud Mama

Well, the Boy Child (maybe I should start calling him Man Child) got a full dose of what it means to be a citizen of the U.S. Today, he voted for the first time in our state's primary election, and he appeared for jury duty. Unlike the rest of us, he actually wanted to serve on a jury and was not just a little bummed that he got excused before even getting into a courtroom. Ah, civic duty.

And, for your viewing pleasure, a bit more evidence that I do, in fact, knit. What you see before you is the Golf Sock from Socks, Socks, Socks. I soooo love this book. It was a gift from my SP7 spoiler. I don't think I would have picked up the book on my own since the socks on the front are a bit avant garde for me. The one downer of this book is that the sizes tend to run small (at least in my opinion). The 2 patterns I've done from this book required upsizing on both. Maybe I'm just knitting for ginormous people (but then that would be me too since both pairs have fit me).

Nonetheless, these have been a fun, quick project, in spite of the intarsia on the heel. And, they are a stash buster, as I already had the purple (which is more color-correct on the heel shot) and white Jawoll Superwash in the stash. Bonus! These are my Spring Feet gift, and will be heading out the door as soon as I finish the toe decreases, hopefully tonight. They only took 1 skein of the purple, and I've got tons of the white left, so foresee a pair for myself in the future.
I'm also feeling inordinately proud of myself as I knit up a quick sunglass holder from some leftover Brown Sheep's wool. I hand-felted it this morning before leaving for work, so I'll have some pictures for y'all later.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Short & Sweet

As others are waiting for the computer, this has to be short and sweet. Last week my loverly SP8 pal sent me a box of goodies. I was seriously addicted to puzzles, and this could just get me started again. (I just noticed the picture's sideways. Oi!)

I love the notecard, and at this point, the picture is all I have left of the chocolate. Very. Dark. Chocolate. Good stuff. In the baggie, though is what really got my heart going pitter-pat. Alpaca roving in a great creamy white. So soft. I wanted to sleep with it. Seriously. If this doesn't get me serious about spinning, nothing will.
I noticed I also left out the great quilting and sewing notions.

Thank you secret pal! Again!

Speaking of sewing, I really miss Joann's. For close to 20 years, there was a Joann's (o.k. House of Fabric, years ago) less than 2 miles from my house. Over the years I have sewn up a storm-from work clothes, to kids clothes, to prom dresses. It was so nice to be able to just make a quick run to the fabric store for whatever was needed at a moment's notice. The first of the year, however, Joann's, in their infinite wisdom decided to close "my" store, and open up a superstore (a Michael's wannabe, IMHO) about 8 miles away. Now that doesn't sound like very far, but there's no convenient way to get to it, and if traffic is bad on the freeway, it can take 20 minutes to more to get there. I hate it! Especially since I have a wedding to go to that I'm knitting a shawl for, and I need a dress to go with it. (What? Doesn't everybody get an outfit to go with their accessories?) Oh well, I'll be making a special trip tomorrow to see if I can find something I can work with. I'm not exactly holding my breath.

I'm not really in that pissy of a mood, all evidence from this and the last post to the contrary. I guess the dam just broke, and I had to get out some of the schmutz. We'll return to our more positive posting tomorrow.

BIG HAIRY RANT

Y’all, this is a rant. There’s no other way to put it. It deals with a delicate subject, but it’s been building a while, and I’ve got to put it out there and, hopefully, get over it. Cause, frankly, I don’t know of any way to get around the facts.

This morning I got up, tired and not at all wanting to go to work. I normally listen to the morning news—it helps keep me on track time-wise to get out of the house. And what glorious news did I get to hear? They have YET ANOTHER breakthrough for breast cancer. I am sick to death of hearing about all the wonderful things that are being done for breast cancer. Just since my diagnosis there have been many advances for breast cancer—more advanced screening techniques, drugs up the yazoo, and the list goes on and on.

The 1 thing for ovarian so far? If you get chemotherapy where they pour the drugs directly into your abdomen instead of your veins, you might survive an extra year. Woo Hoo. When is there going to be something really positive about ovarian cancer?

Let me stop here and say that, having watched one of my best friends die of breast cancer 15 years ago, that I wouldn’t wish that on anybody. And it’s wonderful that all this money and effort is being poured into ridding the world of breast cancer. BUT! There are lots of other cancers out there that are 10 times more deadly than breast cancer (lung, pancreatic, mesothelioma, just to name a few), and it feels like damn little is being done about them. For those of us who don’t have a “big” cancer, we’re like little kids outside a candy store looking in. But none of the candy is for us.

I’d like to give you a little comparison:

Breast Cancer:

“A woman’s risk of getting breast cancer in her lifetime is about 1 in 8. Approximately 12% of women diagnosed with invasive breast cancer die from the disease within five years; at ten years, 20% will have died. The most recent available statistics show that 40% of all women diagnosed with invasive breast cancer died from the disease within 20 years.” (And due to improved treatment options that rate will be much less by the time another 10 years rolls around.)

BTW, invert that first statistic and that means 78% are still alive after 5 years.

Survival rates for breast cancer have improved by 2.3% per year since 1990.

The American Cancer Society has a 32-page document on breast cancer statistics.

The best way to beat breast cancer is early detection—breast self-exams and mammography.


For Ovarian Cancer:

“A woman’s risk of getting ovarian cancer during her lifetime is 1 in 67.” “About 76% of women with ovarian cancer survive 1 year after diagnosis, and 45% survive longer than 5 years after diagnosis.” (Note that there are no 10- or 20- year statistics. I can’t find any. I know from lists that I belong to that there are long term survivors out there, but their number is very small.)

Survival rates for ovarian cancer have improved by less than 1% in the last 15 years combined.

The American Cancer Society has 1 paragraph in their general information on ovarian cancer statistics.

There are NO screening tests to find ovarian cancer. (Your pap smear is only to screen for cervical cancer, uterine infections and some STD’s.)

And finally, I think this statement from the latest report of the Gynocological Cancer Foundation regarding ovarian cancer says it best: “The best way to help these women fight their disease is uncertain.”

I know that statistics is just a bunch of numbers, but people, I’m living in the real world. I have never had a remission and I don’t know how much longer my body can tolerate all the abuse it’s received while fighting the cancer. The stupid blood infection really made that hit home. I know I’m damn lucky to have survived almost 4 years. I continue fight the good fight, but I’m running out of ammo.

O.k., rant over. I’m off my pity pot and moving on.