Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year - 2008

Last day of the year! And I had an appointment with my oncologist. The Cancer Center was quieter than usual. There was only one other person in the treatment room when I got my Zometa; there are usually at least half a dozen. My kappa and lambda light chains were OK in my blood work four weeks ago, so Dr B is just going to keep an eye on those numbers for a while longer, and not refer me for evaluation for bone marrow transplantation. My white cell count is low, so she wants another CBC done next week. My blood is a little thinner than is should be, so she told me how to adjust my coumadin dosage. She also wants to adjust my Thalidomide dosage, partly because I'm having slight tingling in my fingertips when I type - sounds like the beginning of neuropathy caused by the Thalidomide.


She spent Saturday night here. Yesterday I awoke about 7, but decided not to get up until Lexi did. I opened one eye several times when I heard her cot creak, but I must have dozed off at some point, because I didn't hear or see her leave the bedroom. Next thing I knew, she jumped into the room and said (loudly), "Breakfast is served." She had pulled a stool over to the refrigerator and got down two boxes of cereal (Doesn't everyone keep the cereal on top of the fridge?), and actually put the stool back! She used the last of the milk, so she rinsed out the container to be recycled and threw away the cap. She was very proud of herself, and even had to tell the priest about it after church.

Her vacation is coming to an end. School resumes on Wednesday. I think she has enjoyed the time off, and is happy with the things she got for Christmas.

Local Disaster

Last Wednesday, the Carlisle County courthouse burned. No on was hurt. There are fewer than thirty people who work in the courthouse (it's a small county), and they will be housed in other places temporarily. I'll need to find out where to renew my car registration before May. I went into Bardwell after church yesterday to see what it looks like. I was surprised to see a crew there with a couple of pieces of construction/destruction equipment, knocking down the parts that were still standing - on Sunday!

Sunday, December 23, 2007


I've been enjoying a few days by myself. Lexi's Christmas vacation started at noon on Wednesday, and Alyssa dropped her off at her grandparents' house on her way to work a few hours later (her daddy lives next to them). She'll be back in Milburn tomorrow evening for the rest of the vacation. At 4 pm tomorrow, she will be a sheep in the Christmas pageant at my church. The pageant will be followed by a eucharist service. Since I will be going to that, I'm skipping church today - thirty miles is a long way.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Cleaning out

I'm probably the only person who has acrylic rings on her eucalyptus. That's Lexi's work, of course.

I think I'm developing a reputation! And I guess I helped spread it this morning. I decided that it's time to get all of the hats, socks, children's sweaters, etc that I've been knitting the last few months out of my house. Except for the watchcaps and mariner's scarves that I make specifically for the Seaman's Church Institute, I thought I'd donate them all to Paducah Cooperative Ministries. Then I decided to see if I could donate some things more locally even than that. I called the local state social services office and asked if they knew of a local agency that could use such things. They suggested the Family Resource Center at the school, so I called that agency. They were glad to accept my work, so I drove over there and gave them a grocery bag full of handknit items. That's the 'spreading the reputation' part.

When I got home from there, I called Paducah Cooperative Ministries, told them that I had some handknit items to donate, and asked if someone would be there tomorrow to accept them. I wanted to take them on the same trip that I take bottles and cans to the recycle 'event.' No one will be there tomorrow. The lady asked where I live. When I said Milburn in Carlisle County (people get us confused with Melber in Graves County), she said, "You go to Grace Church, don't you?" I had not said my name, but she knew about me because I had donated a bunch of stuff several months ago. That's the reputation part. Anyway, I'll take that bag of stuff to church with me on Sunday, and ask Matt (parish administrator, or whatever his title is) to get it to PCM.

Then I can start all over again, using up more of my stash. I've pared it down by about 37 pounds this year. That's what I've knit. I've also given some yarn away - yarn that I know I don't like using. I should lose that much in body weight!

Monday, December 10, 2007

The Shawl

Last Wednesday (12/5) morning I got an email from my daughter saying that her workplace was again providing Christmas gifts for women in a shelter. The card she had drawn was from a 50-year-old woman, who wanted a shawl in brown or peach, not wool. Carmen wanted to know if I had anything like that on hand. I didn't, but have plenty of brown in a cotton/silk blend, with probably polyester thrown in. From experience, I know that it is machine washable and dryable. I figured that if I set everything else aside, and used size 10 needles and an easy lace pattern to keep it interesting, I could knit a shawl in a few days. I finished it yesterday, and will get it in the mail today. It's about 28 inches wide and six feet long. The yarn is some I got at an auction for a nickel a ball, so what I used for the shawl only cost me fifteen cents. I hope it's something like what the lady has in mind. It helped that Alexis was with her dad and grandparents for the weekend, so I had no distractions. I'd knit for an hour or two and then get up and do something else for about half an hour. The weather has been so nasty that I had no desire to be outside.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

A Good Day

Last night was Lexi's first night sleeping in the 'new' house, in her own bed, which I'm sure she has missed for the past two months. This morning Alyssa dropped Lexi off a little after 6 am, because she was counting inventory at a Lowes store in Mayfield.

After I put Lexi on the bus, I had a second cup of coffee, did a little housework and crocheting, and then headed to Mayfield about 10 am. It was not the most enjoyable drive ever. In Fancy Farm I got behind someone who drove about 50 mph (certainly better than most of the farm equipment goes, but I like to go a little faster) and thought he should take his half of the road out of the middle. I was afraid if I tried to pass him, I'd wind up in the ditch. The road is rather narrow, and, typical of KY two-lane roads, does not have a shoulder. I was glad when he turned into the driveway of Mills Manor (nursing home) just on the edge of Mayfield.

I didn't need to go to the library, because I'm only on the third of the four books I checked out last week. Instead, I went to the Senior Citizens Center. I haven't gone there many times since I retired as the bookkeeper there almost two years ago. I got a lot of hugs, answered a lot of questions, and was glad to see some unfamiliar faces, too. When I went back to the director's office to say hello, she told me that someone had recently brought in a bag of crochet cotton, and asked if I wanted it. Of course! They are always collecting stuff for their semi-annual rummage sales, now collecting it in the room across (that's one of the simple words that always throws me - does it have one c or two?) from her office. I went in and found that it was a large trash bag and it was full; there was quite a bit of acrylic knitting yarn under the crochet cotton. I dragged the bag while I was in the building, but managed to lift it up a couple of inches when I carried it across the parking lot. Pam said some of the others wanted to throw the stuff out, but she wouldn't let them, figuring I'd show up sometime. I gave Tamy, the receptionist a donation for the rummage sale. I also told her I'm still working on her daughter's crocheted bedspread.

When I got to the Art Guild about 11:15, none of the other knitters were there, but Jo came not long after, then Shirley, and finally Mary Owen dropped by just to say hello. She didn't have any knitting with her; she had errands to run. She did take some of the yarn, though, as did Jo and Shirley. Mary Owen and Jo insisted on giving me some money, but I put that in the Art Guild donation box. We also left some of the yarn and thread there for others of the knitters to take later, and I brought home only yarn that I figured I could use for scarves or watchcaps for the Seamen's Church Institute, and some crochet cotton I have a project in mind for after I finish the bedspread. It looks nice, doesn't it?

I got home a little before three, and wondered if Alyssa would be coming to meet Lexi's bus. I didn't have long to wait. She called to say she was close to home, but was behind someone who was driving in the middle of the road. This was a truck, so it wasn't the one who annoyed me this morning. At 3:15, I went out and stood near the top of the driveway. I figured if the bus driver could see me, he wouldn't feel uneasy about letting a little one off the bus. Alyssa pulled up right behind him, but Lexi didn't see her. When she realized someone was pulling into the driveway behind her, she started running, without looking back to see who it was. I yelled, "Lexi, it's Mommy," twice before she realized what I was saying. They came into the house, and I told Alyssa what I planned to cook for supper. She said that sounded good, so they just stayed here. Alyssa is delivering Domino's pizzas tonight, so Lexi is sleeping here. but Alyssa called a little while ago and said she'd try to get up and come over in the morning to see Lexi before she gets on the bus. If she doesn't make it (she probably won't get home until after 2 am), she'll be over later to do laundry.

After Lexi read aloud to me what she had to for school (she doesn't call the reading homework), she wanted me to read to her. We've been reading from a book of short Paul Bunyan stories. She only wanted two or three of them, and then wanted some other book. I figured it was the perfect time to read How I Saved Hanukah by Amy Goldman Koss. As we were reading, she wanted to light the menorah. I'm Christian, but I like menorahs; I have four, two of which are Hanukkah ones. So I put one on the table and lit the shammes, then Lexi lit one candle for the first night from it. She had her 'bed night snack' while I continued to read the book. I also read it while she took her bath. She's in bed now, of course, and it's nice and quiet.


Yesterday was my monthly visit to the oncologist. The ratio of my kappa and lambda lightchains (that has something to do with proteins in the blood. but you'll have to Google it to find out more) continues to fluctuate, so she's talking of a possible change in therapy, maybe including a bone marrow transplant using my own bone marrow. For the time being, I'm still on Thalidomide and Dexamethasone.

This has gotten longer than I intended, and it's past my normal bedtime, so I'm going to post it and go to bed.