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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

A blur

That's what this weekend was.  We've been super busy: we made an offer on a condo!  And it's been accepted!  The condo is about 2.5 times larger than our little crackerbox house, and it's clear on the other side of town.  My commute to work will be about 20-30 minutes, instead of 45-90 (yes, if the weather's inclement it takes an hour & a half {!!!} to get home, mostly because everyone else drives like a Nashvillian).  "Oo, oo, what is this stuff falling from the sky?!?!"  I need an Abrams tank. 
Our new home has 3 bedrooms & 3 bathrooms; there are stairs down to a finished basement which has one of the bathrooms, plus one large & one small closet, and a covered patio.  This 30' x 12' room will be Disco's den.  The master has its own bath, and the front bedroom (my office/craft room!!) has a bath in the hall.  We'll have a fireplace, dishwasher, washer & dryer, skylights, a little dining room (more of breakfast alcove, really).  There's a covered deck off the living room; the Plaidman has already started talking about screening it or maybe enclosing half as a Florida room & screening the other half -- it's quite wide.  The flies in the ointment are pretty obvious; who know we'd have to pony up some much money on the front end?  There are only about a gazillion fees associated with the loan application itself.  And then there's this: I hate to move.  I hate it with a burning passion.  Since the Plaidman & I became permanent roomies, we've moved all of 4 times.  Since 1975.  That works out to (scribble scribble) once per decade.  And until this last move takes effect, we'll have lived exclusively on the west side of Nashville.  I'm psyching myself up for it.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Eat to live

That was always my Mom's advice.  I've got to pat my family on the back, because this week there's been a terrific effort to make up some healthy & tasty dinners.  The crock-pot has been in use, as well as our large stockpot.  We've had 16-bean soup, with country ham for flavor, of which I've carried some to work for lunch.  Last night we had a concocted soup of andouille sausage, kale, and potatoes & seasonings -- but not the seven-spice powder we'd just bought at the World Market in West Nashville.  It was delicious.  We also bought some tahini & chick peas; I see hummus in my future.  The Plaidman got a little snippy about the questions & comments I had re: the 16-bean soup -- maybe I should just back off!  But he often leaves out any seasoning, or adds it with such a light touch that it has no effect on the flavor.  He knows I don't want my food really spicy hot, but can't seem to grasp that moderate seasoning adds savor.
So, now I'm thinking of Thanksgiving, and we always have to decide whether it'll be turkey or ham for dinner.  There's just the three of us, and no room to entertain anyone else, so it'll have to be one or the other but not both.  I think it was last year that I cooked a turkey breast in the crock-pot, with a lot of garlic and sage and .... other stuff that I wish I'd written down somewhere, because that turkey was memorably yummy.  We had a sandwich or two out of the leftovers, but still had plenty left that weekend.  I decided to put it back into the slow cooker, with kale and carrots and more garlic and .... more stuff that I wish I'd written down, because the resulting soup was EPIC.  And will likely never be repeated. 
I've been knitting a little at night, working on Nancy Bush's Estonian Lacy Shawl and some rather plain socks, just K2P2 ribbing but knee length.  I dug my wooly warm mistake rib scarf out, and have been enjoying it the last couple of days.  This weekend I've got some vacation time, and will try to get the Gramps Cardigan closer to being finished.  When I tire of working on that, I'll wash & block a couple of FO's.  Should be fun, as one is lace but I've no blocking wires.  Sounds like I need to invest in them.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

To Knit or not to knit

I haven't started holiday knitting.  I rather think I'll give it a pass this year--I've got enough on my plate right now, why would I add any more stress?  But I still troll thru Ravelry for quickie accessory patterns!  I have no idea how many fingerless mitt or cowl patterns I have in my library there.  I want to knit ALL the things!  Just got the new Knit Picks catalog yesterday, those rotten enablers are tempting me to try the Fox Paws pattern...must look away!  The designer used Knit Picks Palette.  The catalog has a 150 color pack for just (gulp!) $419.oo  and change.  See, the Fox Paws doesn't require any stranded or intarsia knitting.  It's fabulous color shifts are worked with increases and decreases only!  So I could probably manage it, provided I was willing to knit nothing else until it was done.  And I want it soooo much. 
I ordered a book from Interweave, and re-upped my subscription Sigh! in spite of really being a bit peeved about not being able to download some of their freebies.  I've thought about getting Vogue Knitting too -- but right now I'm trying not to add too much "clutter" to the tiny homestead.  We've had roofers out with estimates, and selected one about a month ago.  Of course, then we had the wettest October in living memory, and nothing could be done.  Our roofer's gotten backed up, since they couldn't work much at all in October.  No one wants to be on a roof in a storm, unless that's the only part of the house not underwater!  So now we're just "hanging fire" while we wait on a roof, and trying to figure out other ways to tidy up the tiny house before we sell the sucka.  Speaking of which, I had an interesting discussion with a loan manager at the bank, and now I'm really pumped and ready to buy a house (actually, a condo -- the Plaidman just can't "do" yardwork anymore). 

Friday, October 24, 2014


I came back to work on Tuesday!  Only worked 3.5 days so far, so why's it feel like 8?!?!  Tuesday & Wednesday evenings, I was so beat I couldn't even knit.  I made myself work on my lace shawl last night (as Dog is my witness I shall wear lace!).  I just hope I haven't messed it up, due to knitting while tired. 

The Komen Race for the Cure is on this weekend; with all my health issues I didn't bother signing up.  Disco wanted to go again, and I'd take her in a minute, only I'd have to pay her registration & my observer ticket $.  That's a bit much right now.  We've had some estimates for the new roof, and settled on a roofer, so and descretionary spending has to be curtailed.  Sis has mentioned her own roof problems, excerbated by the clay tiles that are the top layer.  Each tile weighs about 8 pounds; that's a lot of weight on an iffy underlayer!  So, if I'm not coming out to the Race, I have the weekend free.  Hmm, maybe a good weekend to work on stash organization.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Here we are again

I had a complete bone scan a few days ago, and a follow-up with an orthopedic physician today -- and got some good news.  It appears there aren't any metastases in my right arm.  I'm very happy, as of course I don't want any surgery there. 
I have put the Gramps Cardi in hibernation for the time being, while I cruise the forums & project pages in Ravelry for some kinda clue about maintaining the cables in the yoke of this little sweater.  While it's cooling its heels, I must have some other knitting going on.  I finished the knitting for the CAP bracelet bags for the nieces, and don't "feel" the felting just now.  So...I dug around in my library, and came up with Nancy Bush's Lacy Estonian Scarf pattern in the Winter 2011 issue of Knitting Traditions.  And look!  I have several skeins of 100% baby alpaca laceweight yarn, including two that are the same color & dye lot.  And over here, I have the 2.5 mm circular needle called for in the pattern.  I started & frogged this d^$*#d thing about 12 times before I finally put some sewing thread into a needle, and started putting lifelines every 5th row.  Since then, I haven't made any errors that weren't immediately seen & fixable.   What magic is there in a lifeline?  I don't know, but I'll continue to put them in frequently, and hope the knitting sprites are happy. 
I had a call from my sister, with support & love & other good stuff as well as important news.  Dear old Dad has been moved into an assisted living facility a few miles from her home.  What a relief!  She's nearby, and he'll have access to social interaction, and someone will make sure he eats daily and gets his meds.  Now, I have some time left before I really must try to go back to work, and Sis is suggesting I travel to her home for a visit.  I would like to see Dad.  But can I afford to go?  I'll have to think about that.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

And now for something completely different...

How about a little good news?  I have been in less pain lately!  Thanks to all & sundry (looking at you, Michael!) for the good thoughts & well-wishes.  My last visit with the oncologist included a discussion of the uses of radiation therapy, which it turns out would be rather limited for yours truly because of the widespread distribution of my disease; and a mention of an expected result of less pain at this point in my chemo treatments.  I'm still having more or less constant pain in my leg, right around where that one lesion resides.  If it continues thru the next month, a quick zap of radiation to that one spot may be in order.  We shall see.  I'm making plans to return to work near the end of October, and beginning to wean myself from the walker.  Don't know if I mentioned the walker here before; I had to "pimp" it up so it would be less depressing: I put a bicycle horn on one side, and a bicycle bell (a Dinger 200!  Woot!) on the other.  My wheels have a voice. 
I am still plugging on the Gramps Cardi; I'm at the point in the pattern where the designer is trusting the knitter to know how to fit those darling cables between the neckline & raglan decreases.  I'm so screwed, aka clueless, aka ready to make a small bonfire somewhere....if only this yarn weren't so lovely.  I see there's a huge thread on Ravelry of other folks trying to come to grips with this beast.  Sure do wish I had the interwebs at home, so I could peruse it at leisure! 

I was supposed to see the doctor on the 19th, and was prepared to get all pirate-y on those folks (my pirate name is Captain Anne Bonney) for ITLAPD.  Only we had to reschedule due to insurance coverage issues.  So Disco (aka Red Bess Bonney) and I dressed up to go to the laundromat, and then to the local meat-n-three.  Got lots of comments on my Captain's hat!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

A second trip thru the wringer

This week I've had my most "favorite thing" of all time -- Surgery!  One of the metastatic malignancies I'm carting around ate thru 75% of my femur (that great big bone between hip & knee, for those who are anatomy-challenged).  It was at severe risk of fracturing, so now I have a titanium rod inside it to prevent that rather messy & certainly painful possibility.  I asked the doctor if he could find an adamantium rod instead, then had to explain what that was.  Now I'm thoroughly equipped:  I've a wheeled walker, an extended reach doohickey, a tub seat, and an extra tall toilet seat.  But hey! I can actually bear some weight on my leg now!  Unfortunately, our tiny crackerbox home is very difficult to maneuver through with the walker.  And it still has a lot of repair work that needs doing -- only how?  I suppose we could rent another place for a few weeks or months. 
I was not able to get much knitting done in hospital, as I had an IV in my hand that hurt.  But I've been working on the 2nd sleeve for the Gramps cardi, even putting in lifelines ( as Dog is my witness, I'm not starting over a fourth time!).  When the sleeves are done, it'll be time to work the raglan decreases of the yoke, and make the buttonband & collar.  Not much left!  I'm eager to see it done.