Sunday, July 29, 2007

Driving, etc

Yesterday I decided to see how driving would be with the new hip. It seemed a bit strange getting in the driver's side of the car, but it caused no problem. I drove around some back roads for about half an hour. I should have driven myself to church this morning, but didn't get up in time.

I went to the surgeon on Friday. He doesn't need to see me again until March. I'm on my own as to what I can do when. Exercise is good to strengthen the muscles in that hip and leg, of course. Things like crossing my ankles and bending more than 90 degrees at the hip are just a matter of whether it's comfortable or not. Maybe when the temperatures cool off in a month or so I'll get outside and do more yard work.


I've read six or eight Agatha Christie mysteries in the last two or three weeks. They're short, quick reads and I never try to figure them out. All these old English country houses, and tea and crumpets. Friday afternoon I found a recipe for crumpets and made some. The recipe called for dried currants, but I had to substitute dried cherries. They came out well, so I had my afternoon tea and crumpets while reading an Hercule Poirot (sp) mystery.
(Actually, that was scones I made, not crumpets.)

Now I'm reading another British author, but a more serious book. Bishop Richard Rutt's A History of Handknitting. The book was published about twenty years ago and I bought and read it shortly after that. I'm finding it interesting to reread; one forgets so much, you know.

Book List

When I bought a new computer last fall, one very important Excel file didn't get transferred - a list of my craft-related books. When I discovered the omission, I asked my granddaughter if the old computer was still at her house. She said it was, and promised to hook it up and transfer the file to a disc for me. After many months, I gave up on her, found a printout of the file, and reconstructed and updated it. I made two sheets - books and pamphlets - with 30 pages the cut-off point. There are about 230 books and 40 pamphlets. Knitting is the largest category, but there are a lot of crochet, spinning, weaving, dyeing, etc, as well as non-fiber crafts like soapmaking and polymer clay work. I'll print the list and give copies of it to people in the knitting groups. They can borrow books from me whenever they want.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


I think it was my first brother-in-law who used to say he felt unnecessary (my sister would tell him he was). I guess that's how I felt this morning. Monday I was fine, even though I had just completed the four days of steroids. Yesterday I felt weak and shaky, and after two hours with the knitting group and then visits to Big Lots and WalMart, I was very tired. But this morning I was just 'out of sorts.' I really think the steroids had something to do with it, and possibly the Zometa (for my bones) they gave me at the cancer center on Monday. I felt like I wasn't really of any use to anyone (though Dominic tells me he couldn't survive on his own).

I've been crocheting the hexagons for the bedspread, but no matter how many I make, I still have a zillion left to do, and sometimes my hands get tired. So I had Dominic carry one of the spinning wheels out to the back porch and I spun for about three hours. Now I have two bobbins of yarn (one was about half full to start with) and one less bag of wool on the shelf - I feel like I actually accomplished something. That helps the mood! It was nice sitting out there. It was warm (mid-80's) but the humidity was not bad, and there was an occasional breeze. There were hummingbirds and butterflies flying around. The neighbor has a huge windchime hanging in one of his trees that I enjoying hearing. By the time the sun was low enough that the porch roof did not shade me, a bald cypress tree did. Altogether a very pleasant afternoon.

For any fiber people, it's rather poorly prepared (by me) texel, dyed with Gaywool Cornflower. I bought the fleece a couple of years ago at the Fleece Fair in Greencastle IN, washed it then and let it sit. I think I rewashed part of it last winter, dyed it, carded it and spun half a bobbinful. I plan to ply it, but don't know how I'll use it. Perhaps I'll knit a bag of some sort to full, but it won't be a very large bag.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

On to other things

I'm done with 'random' scarves. I've put away the yarns I didn't use up, and will shift to crocheting hexagons for the bedspread I'm making for a friend's daughter. I've made several of them this month, but need to do a lot more. If I need a break from crocheting, I'll work on socks for Lexi. She likes the ones I made from Knit Picks Dancing (discontinued). I have another colorway in that yarn, so will make her another pair. Of course whe won't wear them for a couple more months, but she'll have them when it's cool enough for socks.

I've almost made it through the first round of mowing since my hip replacement. Just a very small section of the front yard to go; then I'll start on the second round. Dominic has helped quite a bit. He brings out my water bottle after I've been out there a while, and then takes over the lawn mower. He moves so much faster than I do that he does in ten minutes what it would take me twenty or thirty to do. I'm walking quite well, but still slow. This is the third day of taking steroids for the myeloma (four days every month), so I'm walking easier. That side effect of the steroid I like, but not the others - edema in feet and face (I think the knitting keeps it out of my hands - they feel a bit stiff, but don't get puffy), increased shakiness, messed-up vision, aching teeth, occasional dizziness . . .

I'll see both the oncologist (Monday) and the surgeon (Friday) next week. I expect good reports from both of them.

Thursday, July 19, 2007


Both of my sisters visited me this week. Pauline (in yellow) flew up from Naples FL last week to Louisville, where Renee (on the left) lives. They visited the one aunt we have in KY one day, having a very enjoyable time there. They drove out here Monday morning, and left late Wednesday morning - Renee's daughter's mother-in-law who was visiting from OR was cooking supper for them Wednesday evening, so they had to get back in time for that. Louisville is about 250 miles from here, so even though it is almost all parkways and interstates, and KY has just raised the speed limit on such roads to 70, it takes several hours to make the trip. Pauline called this morning, so I know they made it safely.

Renee brought some Derby City Chicken Salad (available in selected Krogers in Louisville) and some rolls with her for lunch on Monday, and Alyssa and Alexis came over to share it with us and to see their aunts (actually great-aunts and great-great-aunts). I don't know why Dominic insisted on cutting off the top of Renee's head - the other one was even worse.

We had a nice visit - stayed at a motel in Paducah because I don't have good accomodations here. We wound up in a different room each night because the toilet got stopped up late Tuesday afternoon - you can use your imagination on that one - and the maintenance crew had already left for the night. All we needed was a plunger, but the desk clerk didn't think there was one available, so she had us move three rooms down from where we were on Monday night. My sisters treated me like a real invalid and had me stay on guard in the new room while they moved all of the 'stuff,' including mine. Not that I'm complaining, of course.

Now it's back to 'normal,' I need to do more mowing, but I think I'll wait a couple of days.

Monday would normally have been my visit to the oncologist, but she's on vacation this week, so I'll see her next Monday. I'll also see the surgeon again next Friday. I had to get a new prescription for my Thalidomide, because my last dose was last night, as well as getting my steroid prescription refilled. When we picked the medicine up, we thought that they had only written the Thalomide for one week, which I figured was OK since I will be at the cancer center on Monday. But when I opened the bag this morning, I found that they had written it for 200mg capsules instead of the 50mg ones I've had before. That's why there was only one package. They're huge horse-pills - but I'll only have to take one instead of four.

Sunday, July 15, 2007


I wish I'd taken the camera with me when I went to the back porch with my coffee and a book Thursday morning. I was reading, when out of the corner of my eye I noticed something moving near the rose and nandino bushes. I looked up to find a red fox inside the fenced area. I think it became aware of my presence and started trying to get out. It ran back and forth several times, even going between the nandino and the fence at one point. Finally it ran out the gate at the southeast corner of the yard, which was probably the way it got in. Then it ran to the back, across my yard and the one next door, and I assume it went into the woods. That was the first fox I've seen here.

I think maybe I need to get an outdoor cat. The cat I have has been declawed in all four paws, so is definitaly an indoor cat. Since my neighbors Mary and Helen moved half a mile away and finally got all their cats to stay at the new house, the mole population seems to have increased. They make mowing more difficult.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


I finally got my hair cut yesterday - my hairdresser was away most of May and I was out of commission most of June. It feels much better.

Then I went to the weekly knitting group at the Art Guild, after picking up tacos from Taco John's. Dominic sat with us while we ate, but then disappeared. I thought he was probably sitting on the porch, or had gone into the other section of the building to read in peace, but this is how I found him when I came out.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Back to Mowing

After supper yesterday, I had Dominic help me put on my 'gardening shoes' and I mowed the fenced area behind the house (approximately 45' x 60'). I had figured it would be a couple more months before I could do any mowing, but I'm walking pretty well now. Dominic had said he'd mow this summer, but he really doesn't like doing it. Since I want it done, I don't mind doing it. I'll do a little more each day - after supper, when the sun is behind the trees out back.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Some Things Never Change

I've just finished reading The Odyssey. One thing had me laughing. The goddess Athena is talking to the daughter of one of the many kings in her dream, saying, "Nausicaa, with a mother like yours, how can you be so lazy? You let your lovely clothes lie around uncared for, and yet your wedding can't be far off, and then you'll need these nice things, for yourself and those who attend you. Attention to such details, you know, makes a girl well thought of and her parents proud." In three thousand years, girls haven't changed!

Yesterday, I met with two different knitting groups - in Mayfield in the late morning/early afternoon, and in Paducah in the evening. It was very good to be out and about after a month of being in hospital and at home. I also went into a store for the first time since my surgery; I had riden along with Dominic twice before, but sat in the car. As I get to walking better, I'll be out more, although I really don't go out as much as many people do. I have to go so far to get anywhere, that I try to make each trip count for more than just one thing.