Sunday, December 28, 2008

I'm keeping busy

I've watched several Christmas movies on the Hallmark Channel in the last few days, and done some knitting while I was at it. I haven't watched much TV for years, but did enjoy the movies. They're mostly sort of sappy, and it doesn't take much to figure out how they're going to end, but then I didn't want anything serious. The commercials drive me nuts though.

My l0om came home yesterday. Teresa, who was one of the main 'movers and shakers' of the Walk through Bethlehem, and her son brought it. I'm glad she brought help. I won't be using it until my ankle is completely healed, of course. I had them put it in the room where it belongs, but I can't put it exactly where it belongs and open it out until after Lexi spends a couple of nights with me this week - her cot is where the loom goes.

By Special Request

A few days ago I started the pink and purple legwarmers Lexi requested. She'll need to try them on when I bring her here Tuesday after my doctor's appointment. I hope she likes them and that they fit. They look big to me, but I measured her legs last weekend, so they should be OK.
Using up the Leftovers

One of the items I knit recently is a laprobe in miscellaneous bits of leftover yarn. I like working this way. I pick up stitches along the edges of squares I've already worked, so I don't have any seams to sew. However, I did have a million ends to run in. Lexi helped me with that last weekend. We were sitting on the couch together, each of us with a large yarn/tapestry needle, working on opposite ends of the laprobe. It felt good to have her helping. The picture shows about a quarter of the blanket. This is the sort of project that I go from thinking, "Ugh, it looks awful." to thinking, "Not bad!" after I've done a few more squares. I read somewhere, several years ago, that if you use enough colors, they all go together.

When my granddaughters were young, I made bibbed skirts for them (pink for Alyssa. lavender for Sara), probably from a pattern in Mon Tricot. The one I made for Alyssa is here, and Lexi wore it to church last Sunday. I looked at it and thought it looked very sad. The main color has faded so much that the flowers don't show unless you look real close (it actually looks better in the picture than in person). The next day I shopped my yarn stash and found some bright rose, light-weight silk to brighten the skirt up. I'm duplicate-stitching over the flowers. In the lower, right-hand corner, you can see the difference that's making. I think it's going to look good. Lexi likes the idea of silk - she knows it's a luxury fiber. The skirt is cotton.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A Good Weekend

Friday was a beautiful day! Warm! So I went into Mayfield and took care of some things. Later, in the evening, Alyssa brought Lexi out to spend the weekend with me. She took back with her some of the things I've been trying to get out of my house. When she came yesterday to get Lexi, she said she had taken the stuffed animals to Goodwill. I hope some of them will be under Christmas trees tomorrow night.

Lexi and I had a good weekend. I had gotten out three different sizes of Weave-it looms on Friday to re-learn how to use them. I taught her on Saturday, and she did most of the work of one on the regular (4") loom and one on the small (2") loom. We also started working on a jigsaw puzzle on the dining table; it will probably be there for at least a week before it is finished.

She had a little TY beanbag-size horse that her teacher had given her, and was playing with it quite a bit. About 8:15 pm she said it needed a backpack. I immediately picked up a different set of needles and some yarn and spent the next fifty minutes creating the backpack. I had already crocheted two headbands with ribbon inserts for her that day. She and her mother both want legwarmers, also, but I haven't started on them yet.

Sunday, we went to church, then had lunch at a Mexican restaurant, and finally went to the yarn shop for a knitting guild sort-of meeting. We spent about two hours there, knitting, talking, drinking coffee or punch, and eating cookies. Lexi spent some of the time playing under the table with her TY horse. It was about 5 pm before we got home.

Since this week and next are the school's winter vacation, Lexi was able to spend a third night here. We didn't do anything special yesterday. Alyssa came in the late afternoon to pick Lexi up. I had asked Alyssa a few days before if she could take at least one of my trash cans down to the end of the driveway when she came. It was actually Lexi who took both of the cans down - I guess she wanted to prove that she's big enough. I assume CWI emptied the cans this morning. The next two times I go someplace, I'll bring a can up. I roll down my window and hold onto the can as I drive up to the house.

Lexi will spend a couple of days with me next week, as well. Then school will be back in session and I won't see so much of her. As she gets older, she's able to be more helpful to me, which I need now with my fractured ankle. She liked taking this 'boot' off me at night and putting it back on in the morning. That's not difficult for me to do, but I think she liked using all the velcro.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

More Cancellations

I haven't left the house since I got home Saturday night - well. maybe just out on the porch. I had planned to meet Mary at the Murray Art Guild on Monday morning and ride with her to the LAFA meeting, but decided against it due to the weather forcast. Sunday the temperature got to about 57 and then in the evening suddenly dropped 30 degrees; it hasn't gotten above freezing since then. During the night there was sleet which is making the ground look white.

Tuesday morning, the Cancer Group called to say that they were not opening the Mayfield office, which is where I was supposed to go for my first dose of Velcade. They wondered if I wanted to get it in Paducah instead. I said that I didn't plan to leave my house, so they rescheduled me for December 30. I figure delaying the medication is not likely to kill me any time soon, but an auto accident because of icy roads might. I don't think I'm afraid to die, but I don't want to do it for a few more years.

I've spent the last three days mainly sitting with my feet up, knitting. A friend and my son both told me that I'm lucky that someting I enjoy doing is exactly what I need to do now with the fractured ankle. I take short 'work breaks' every couple of hours to vacuum a room or put in a load of laundry or such, but mostly I'm knitting.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Too Much Wind

Tonight's Walk through Bethlehem has been cancelled because of high winds. The torches would probably have been OK, but the fires would have been very dangerous. This was the last night. The whole event was very successful. Unfortunately, I missed two nights, but I enjoyed participating, and will be glad to do it again next year if they want me to. I like 'showing off' my fiber abilities, and always hope someone will be interested enough to start weaving or knitting or spinning.

I'm glad they cancelled, because my right thigh is sore. I guess it's from favoring the left leg/foot, but also from working all the treadles on the loom with my right foot for the last two nights.

My ankle

When I went to the orthopedist on Friday he said that I have 'stable fracture.' I need to wear this boot for four weeks, and then they will give me a smaller brace that I can wear with a regular shoe. I'll wear that for four weeks and then should be back to normal by mid-February. In the meantime, I have the perfect excuse to NOT do certain things, but to spend a lot of time sitting with my foot up, knitting.

I was going to go to a fiber arts group meeting tomorrow, even with the ankle problem, but the weather forecast is calling for ice, so I plan to stay in the house. I will need to go to Mayfield on Tuesday afternoon for a dose of Velcade, so I hope the weather is better then.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Defending knitting and women

When I called Dr Jackson's (orthopedist) office Monday morning, I was unable to get an appointment with him until Friday. They asked me to get the x-rays in the meantime and said I could fill out registration papers online to speed things up when I go in. I called the hospital about the x-rays and picked them up yesterday. I was expecting a big envelope, but I handed one that's only about 6 x 9 inches.

After getting the x-rays, I went to the Senior Citizens Center. The receptionist, Tamy, is back after some gynecological surgery. It was good to see her. She says she's feeling well.

I ate lunch there and talked with several people. I found it hard to believe that I actually enjoyed talking to Larry. I guess while I was working there (bookkeeper for six years) my attitude toward him was colored by my boss. He is her husband's uncle, and she doesn't like him. He told me I should come there more, and I said that my couch in my living room is the most comfortable place to knit, which is what I do a lot of. He said, "Knitting is for . . ." I didn't hear exactly how he finished that sentence because Byron walked up just then to ask me something, but I'm sure it was derogatory. I replied that knitting is for everyone who enjoys it, which includes me. Byron's question concerned the heating systems in the building. There are three of them, and the one for the dining room and activities rooms is on the blink. He knows that the part has been ordered, but is so pigheaded that he can't accept that as a reason for the rooms being cool. I was quite comfortable. He said that he thought it was just that the women who run the place don't know what they're doing. I slapped his arm a couple of times. They were both just teasing me, of course. That reminded me of my brother-in-law telling me several years ago that he liked to tease me because I don't get bent out of shape when he does.

Perhaps it's because I've been teased all my life. I have a sister who's two and a half years older than I am (two years, four months and five days, to be more precise) and who used to tease me a lot, as most older siblings do. I guess I just figured it was part of life and one had to get used to it. Pauline reminded me recently of that more precise age difference that Mother pounded into our heads. Another thing Mom made sure we knew was the birth order of her and her siblings. I think all four of us could say Hulda, Ida, Carl, Mabel, George, Ethel, Esther, Paul, Nina. Ruth, Florence and Richard by the time we started school. I was surprised to find out about fifteen years ago that none of my cousins knew the order. I thought it was something one had to know to be considered part of the family!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

The ankle is broken

I got to the emergency room about 2:15 pm yesterday and left about 6:30 pm. I had some knitting with me, of course, so waiting wasn't bad. There were eighteen to twenty others in the waiting room as well. I was not surprised that I was the only one doing any needlework, but I was rather surprised that no one was reading.

After about two hours, I was finally called into an exam room. I sat there for fifteen minutes or so before a man came with a wheelchair to take me to x-ray. He took three 'pictures' and then took me back to the exam room. Fifteen or twenty minutes later a woman came with a wheelchair and said they wanted to do a CT scan of the ankle. After she got me back to the exam room, there was another wait. At first they said the ankle was broken in two places, but then after the scan they said it was only one fracture. They put on a walking boot with lots of padding and about a dozen velcro belts, and told me to keep it elevated and to call an orthopedic doctor on Monday. They also gave me a prescription for pain medication, but I don't feel any need for it. I have only mild pain.

I plan to call Dr Jackson, who did my hip replacement, tomorrow morning. If I'm lucky, I'll be able to see him tomorrow afternoon after my oncology visit. It would be really nice to take care of both things on the same trip to Paducah.

After I got out of the ER, I went to the Nazarene church. I had phoned from the hospital and told them the reason I wouldn't be there to weave in 'Bethlehem.' I sat in the parish hall and watched the people who had visited Bethlehem and came in for a hot drink (coffee, chocolate or cider) and cookies. I even ladled out some of the cider during one very busy period. There had not been many visitors on Friday, but there were last night. At the end of the evening, I asked if there was someone who would like a brief weaving lesson - mainly how to open and close my loom and how to advance the cloth so there's room to weave more. I met a woman at the garage of the parsonage this afternoon for the lesson. For some reason the two middle harnesses want to hang onto each other, so she's afraid she'll mess something up. At least they can open the loom, and make it look like the weaver has just stepped away. Perhaps next weekend I can participate again, using only my right foot to work the treadles. I guess that depends on what Dr Jackson says and does about my ankle. Since, according to my computer it is 29 degrees, I'm glad I'm not there. Someone said Friday night that the potter's water was freezing as she was trying to keep her clay wet.

I'm trying to get used to this boot. It's hard to get it into the car. I have to move the seat back as far as it will go and then pull it back up to drive. At least this gives me a chance to wear the sock whose mate needs mending. I'm only using a sneaker sock on the left foot because the swelling makes one with a top difficult.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Walk Through Bethlehem

Last night was the first night of this event at the Mayfield Church of the Nazarene. I'm weaving there. It's outdoors. We're having a cold spell. It is also tonight and tomorrow night (6 pm to 8 pm each night) and next Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I started off real good! On the way down to my loom, I slipped and fell, twisting my left ankle. I was ahead of most everyone else, but there were two men there who were getting the fires going and lighting the torches. They wanted to help me up, but I told them it was better for me to do it myself. I had to sort of crawl a little way to find an area that didn't feel slippery to me. I hobbled the rest of the way (not far) to my station and opened my loom. At first it was hard for me to tromp on the treadle with my left foot, but after a while it was OK. At the end, someone came and got me in a golf cart. For the next two nights, they will transport me both ways in the cart. They encouraged me to go to the emergency room for an x-ray, and even said the church would pay for it. I didn't, but this morning I've been thinking that perhaps I should go into town a couple of hours early today and have that done. If I don't, I'm sure Dr Balbastro will fuss at me when I see her on Monday. When I got home, I pulled the car into the carport, which I usually don't use for the car. There are usually lawn mowers and a wheelbarrow in the way, but I had moved them yesterday when Theresa came to get the loom.


Monday I had an appointment with a neurologist because the neuropathy I've had for months in my feet and fingertips is now affecting the area around my mouth. He had me resist his efforts to move my arms, hands, feet, etc. My arms are strong, but my legs are not - I need to do more walking. Tuesday I went back and he hooked me up to a computer and gave me electrical shocks, and then put needles (like acupuncture needles) into my muscles and did more of the resistance stuff. He also ordered a bunch of blood tests. I think they took about a dozen vials of blood. Dr Balbastro should have the results of all this when I see her on Monday.