Saturday, June 28, 2008

Shirley's 'Stuff'

A few days ago, my friend Shirley's executors notified a bunch of us 'fiber people' that they would be at Shirley's house this morning, and said we could come and see what weaving, knitting, etc supplies we would like. They were not putting prices on anything, just asking that people figure for themselves what things are worth. There was very little yarn I wanted - she had mostly wool, which is not suitable for the charity knitting I'm doing now, but I came out with several books. I also got about eight pounds of 'loopers' - like the loops for potholder looms. These are terrycloth ones, mostly white with some gray ones. I think Lexi and I will figure out some use for them - maybe I'll offer them to the art teacher at her school. I also got a 16-needle, circular knitting machine (by Mattel). I'll have to teach Lexi how to use it.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Baby Blankets

Here are four of the baby blankets I've made recently. I'm not sure why the multicolor one looks so fuzzy. You can see it better in the other picture. It's an odd shape. I first made two triangles, then picked up stitches on the short sides of the triangles and worked mitered squares. It's all garter stitch alternating Red Heart's Reef Stripe and Cornmeal every two rows. I like it, but I don't know if anyone else will. I'll have to take it to a knitting group and see what reaction it gets.

The solid color blanket has twelve squares with a different stitch pattern in each square (I love my stitch dictionaries!). It's all worked in one piece with a garter stitch border and garter stitch 'ribbons' between the squares. I like the alternating color mitered square blankets, as well. They're very easy to knit. I need to see what other colors I have yarn to do them in. Dana (Art Guild director) said they could use some baby things in the gift shop, so perhaps I'll make some for sale.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Another Boring Oncologist Visit

My Kappa and Lambda light-chain numbers are stable, so no changes in the treatment regimen. After I said last month that the doctor visits were getting boring, my sister Renee said that boring is good. I guess she's right.


I think I have a case of startitis. I have three baby blankets on the needles that I have started in the last week. They are numbers four, five and six since I only had two for Alyssa to choose from for a baby shower on May 31. Oh well, that gives me a choice of what kind of knitting I want to do, doesn't it?

Weather, etc

I've been listening with special interest to the reports on flooding in Iowa. Several days ago the governor mentioned Oskaloosa. My cousin Valera lives there and her brother John lives in University Park right next to it. In an email yesterday John's wife Prudy said the rivers near them have crested, so they should be OK. Thier main concern is their water supply.

Yesterday All Things Considered reported from Oakville, which is where my cousins Gene, Frank and Donna grew up. Aunt Ruth (Mother's sister) and Uncle Bob have both been dead for several years, and none of the family live there now, but Gene and his wife Mary went there on Sunday to fill sandbags. As they were working, someone came in a vehicle and told them to leave because the levee had been breached upstream. Today All Things Considered was reporting from Mediapolis, where Gene and Mary live.

This morning at the cancer center the new flat-screen TV on the wall (that's an 'improvement' I could do without) was on and they were reporting conditions in Burlington, which is where Donna lives. I haven't heard whether she's affected by the flooding or not. (Frank lives in Chicago.)

Of course all of that water dumps into the Mississippi River and that from the floods in Indiana dumps into the Ohio River. The Ohio flows into the Mississippi about twenty miles from me, and the nearest point on the Mississippi is about fifteen miles from me. That's far enough and I'm high enough that I don't have to worry, but I'm sure the western end of Carlisle County will be inundated. I believe very few people live there, but there are fields there that will probably be lost for this year.

Speaking of fields, on the way to and from Paducah today, I was looking at the fields. The wheat is mostly harvested, the corn is shoulder high, and the soybeans are up. I also saw one tobacco field that had recently been set. Tobacco is not a big crop here like it used to be. I love seeing the seasonal changes in the farms. When Dominic was here, he was not interested. He likes to eat, and he knows where the food comes from, but he seems to have no respect for farmers and their profession. I know I raised him in the Philadelphia metropolitan area, but I thought that with a bunch of farmers among my aunts, uncles and cousins, he'd think highly of farming. Also he and Carmen spent a couple of summers with my parents in central Kentucky. Mom and Daddy worked with dairy farmers, testing milk for butterfat content and keeping records for them, so they would know which cows were making money for them and which ones they should cull from the herd. The kids went to these farms with their Granny and Grandpa, so it's not like they were complete city kids who had never seen a farm. I just can't understand Dominic's attitude; I don't think Carmen shares it.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Aunt Ruth

Right after my last post I got an email from a cousin saying that her mother had died on May 31. Aunt Ruth was my father's youngest sibling, and had been the only one left for several years. She was 93. She was a Renaissance woman, as was my friend Shirley whom I wrote about a month ago. She was one of the 'Rosies' during WW II. For many years she made and sold gold wire jewelry (I have two name pins) at fairs. She painted in tempera and oils, did rose mauling, decorated cakes, made teddy bears (I hope my daughter still has hers), knitted, spun yarn, did cabinetmaking and other carpentry. I'm sure she did other things as well, but those are the things I know about.

When my cousin Don was young, she painted scenes on the walls of his bedroom - igloos on the north wall, something tropical on the south one, cowboys on the west one, and an industrial scene on the east. Only she got east and west mixed up, but I don't think anyone really cared.

When she and Uncle Roy sold the farm and moved into senior housing thirteen years ago, it didn't take the other residents long to find out that if a window was stuck or there was some other minor problem, it was much better to call Ruth than to call maintenance.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Happy Birthday, Lexi!

Tomorrow is Lexi's seventh birthday, so we had a party for her yesterday. Only two of the seven or eight classmates she invited showed up, but there were plenty of family and other friends. The best picture I took is of the pool after Alyssa had put streamers and balloons on the fence, but before anyone arrived. The kids enjoyed the pool, of course, while the adults sat around and talked. The wife of one of Andy's (Lexi's dad) cousins had to be driven to the hospital in the middle of things because her water broke. Her father-in-law drove her (her husband was at work) and her mother-in-law stayed here with the other two children. I haven't heard yet what time the baby was born.
They said the pinata was too heavy to hang on any of the tree branches, so we took the swing down and hung the pinata of the swing frame. We let the little kids hit at it without being blindfolded, but the six- to eleven-year-olds all had their eyes covered. There was a mad scramble when it was finally broken. Alyssa supplied plastic grocery bags for them to put the candy in.
The birthday cake fit in with the leis and colorful decorations. The food included plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, and there were two coconuts and the top of a pineapple decorating the food table. There were also grilled hot dogs and hamburgers, chips and pretzels.
I had several large trays and bowls to wash today - I didn't feel like doing that last night.
And there were plenty of gifts to open. Alyssa made Lexi read each card. There were several cards with money in them, which excited her. The clothing is divided up among Andy's house, his parent's house and here, but I think all of the other things are here.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Happy Windsday

That's from the Winnie-the-Pooh border in Lexi's room. And that's what it was today. I had planned to spray weed-killer, but this certainly was not the right day to do it. Instead I sat on the back porch enjoying the breeze and knitting for several hours this morning and then more this afternoon. In between, I lay on my bed and read the last couple of chapters of The Hundred Secret Senses by Amy Tan. Before I go to bed I'll have to decide what book I want to read next. I still have a few that I bought at the library's book sale that I haven't read yet.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

What does that mean?

One of the beauties AND frustrations of a living language is that there are always new words and terms to be learned. One of the underwriters on the public radio station I listen to is a hospital that includes the words "robotic surgery for prostate cancer" in its underwriting message. The picture that pops into my mind is my father lying on the operating table, but instead of Dr Desai standing over him with a scalpel, it is R2D2 and CPO3. I did finally do a Google search to learn what robotic surgery is.