Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Dec 1 - a time to win!

Tomorrow is Mom's Radiation Graduation Day!  Yay!  Today was a win - the second to the last trip to Annapolis until the periodic follow up appointments (Jan, Mar and Sept 2010)!

And Today YOU can win - YARN.  Denise is celebrating her 4th Knitting Anniversary with a little contest on her blog -  Knitting in the Wild - Life on Clear Creek.  To win, visit her blog, pick your favorite of the two yarns displayed and then leave a comment naming the yarn - oh, also, you need to spread the word.  Easy-peasy.  May the best namer win!

Me?  I'm winning at a new hat design for my son for Christmas.  He wanted a simple beanie in Navy with a Bright Yellow "7" on it.  I wanted to knit in the round and intarsia in the round is somewhat difficult.  Soooo, I'm designing an intarsia flap.  The beginning of the flap (a 15 stitch by 20 row block) is connected to row 20 (or so of the hat).  I made 15 extra stitches and put every other one on a DPN (picture below,  I have since moved them to a stitch holder for ease in knitting the rest).  Now I'll knit the the next 20 rows in the round.  Pause the hat knitting to knit the flap, then join the flap stitches with the rest of the hat to finish it off.  Using a mattress stitch, I'll join the side seams of the flap to the corresponding rows.  Son gets the hat he'd like to have.  I get to knit in the round!  Win!

Details and a pattern and more pictures will be posted at some point.  I'm taking notes as I go.  Hope the theory in my head works out in practice.  So far so good!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

A fabulous end to a fabulous day! Hope everyone celebrating Thanksgiving had a marvelous time!
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Sunday, November 08, 2009

Vanity, thy name is Kathleen

I started Weight Watchers in December 2008.  I was consistent and steady with it until my mother got very ill and I could no longer make the meetings.  December 2008 to May 2009, I lost 40 lbs.  I was determined to maintain that until I could get back on track.  Well, as of this morning, I had lost a little over 55 lbs.

I met up with some Ravelry friends in Annapolis and cropped myself out of the picture to compare me from last December to me today.  I have a neck!  Less of a chin!  I tried on four pairs of slacks that were too big before I found a pair that would do!

Go me!  :)

/end shameless self-promotion!

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Finishing things, starting November

Today is the beginning of EST - we fell back in time.  Hope I found all the clocks that needed resetting!

It is also the beginning of November.  I need to begin a number of projects, so I took today to finish some things that needed some final touches.  This clears my plate so I can start some new ones!

I finished knitting my Forest Canopy Shawl in May. Today, I blocked it so I can finally use it!

And I finished a little gift for a wee little girl.  This is a Preemie Set - sized for 5 lb baby.  Just her size!

With these projects complete, I can begin present knitting -- and by 'present' I mean GIFT! 

My sons have each asked for a hat - with specifics.  One wants a grey hat with small ribbing throughout.  The other wants a navy hat with a yellow "7" in it.  They haven't wanted any  hand knits from me.  Since they now do, I will comply!

I purchased yarn in the appropriate colors, hopefully in the correct weight for the style they want, plus an additional skein in Oyster.  I started the Oyster one as a test knit.  I want to be sure I get the right size, drape, texture before I begin the actual gift hats.  I figured if I goofed up on the size with this one, I could donate it or have it on hand as a ready-made gift in case we have a surprise guest at Christmas.  The boys have been known to spring a single guy with no place to go on me at Christmas.  If you are a guest in my home, you get a gift.  It will be nice to have something available to wrap rather than figuring something out at the last minute!

Until next time.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

This and that and the other thing

I've been knitting and crocheting and such - with little to show for it because (1) most things are not yet finished and (2) I keep forgetting to take pictures. I did finish and mail this lovely lapghan.

I hope to finish the others by the weekend and promise pictures next time I post.

Mom's radiation treatments have started.  She has 33 consecutive weekday visits with the Radiology techs.  Monday visits include a visit with the Radiation Oncologist as well.  These are very hard on her.  It hurts her to lay down on the hard table she must lay down on to receive treatment.  Because they have to take more time with her, we weren't given a choice on the time of day.  We'll be visiting Annapolis every week day at noon until December 4th or 7th (depending on what they do for Thanksgiving).

The Herceptin infusion treatments continue every Monday morning as well.  So, we'll be early to the local hospital and leaving right from there to head to the radiology place in Annapolis for the next 6 or 7 Mondays.

Send up some prayers, or good vibes, or mojo - whichever you choose - we could sure use it!

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

All is revealed

I was away for a few days, helping my aunt in Florida.  When I arrived at my home, a lovely surprise awaited me.

Ashley, my Secret Pal 14 spoiler, had sent my final package.

From Drop Box

A warm and cuddly hat in mmmm-Malabrigo, 4 skeins of Sublime superfine merino wool, a handy yarn requirements chart to carry in my bag - so when I run into a great sale I'll know just how much yarn to buy for that fabulous sweater! - and SOAK to clean up my knitting!

Thank you, Ashley. You have been a great spoiler.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Good for a Friday finish, and a new beginning

I finished the lion I featured in my previous post and sent him on his merry way...

I have begun a new little project - emphasis on little - for a preemie baby.  Born at 31 weeks, 15 inches long and 3 lb 5 oz.  Such a beautiful little girlie needs a dainty sweater.

The pattern is Ray of Hope's Premature Baby Set (ravelry link).  Size 3.25 mm needles, Pulcino Baby Wool  Allessandra, a superwash merino, fingering weight (or 4 ply in British Knitting terms). Hope to be finished this weekend.  This is a teeny, tiny, very little thing!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

What I've been working on...

Another sort of sekrit project - my first amigurumi!

edited to add another shot that I love: 

A pretty pink hat for a lovely little girl.  Except, this pretty pink hat is too big for the lovely little girl.

I might rip it back to make it smaller.  Or I might make a new one with DK instead of Worsted and fewer increases.  If I make a new one, I'll donate this one somewhere.

It turned out so darned cute.  I wish it was the right size!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

A Concert - September 12 2009

Some Trace:

and still more, but cute anyway

Trace face

Trace 2

Trace 14

Some Toby:

Toby cropped photo 2

Toby cropped photo 1

Toby cropped photo 3

Click into any one of them and be taken to my Flickr set.  They do look better smaller though - using digital zoom, then optical to get the close ups, they aren't all that sharp.

We had a good time.  Toby was a little TOOOOOO LOUDDDDDDDD, and raunchier than I expected.  But I love me some Trace!  :)

Friday, September 11, 2009

Finished and future and other good things.

Good things and the future:

First on the agenda - ME! 

Last December, I decided that I need to lose weight.  Truth be told, I decided many times before December!  In December 2008, I said, "Enough!" and joined Weight Watchers.  While attending meetings and following the plan I lost about 40 lbs.  My mother experienced a number of medical issues that needed my attention.  My ability to attend meetings was hampered by the care and attention Mom needed and eventually, I ceased attending. 

My original goal was 50 lbs by my 50th Birthday in May.  Some of you might remember that I made it to 40 lbs in May.  I maintained that 40 lbs for the Summer.  A feat of gigantic proportions, I am told by my neighbor, a lifetime member of WW,  as she would have ballooned with the stress of the Mother care and worry.  I didn't balloon, but I didn't actively seek to reduce either.  Maintaining was my goal.  And I did it!

This morning, I decided to jump (well, gently place my feet) on the scale. 

Down 51.5 lbs since December 2008!!!!!  WooHOOO!  So besides maintaining, I have also lost a bit more than 10 lbs!!!! 

As a reward, I am going make myself a sweater out of some lovely, colorful, slightly shiny wool which has been marinating in my stash.  I just have to figure out which sweater pattern will be best for the yarn.  I'm leaning toward a top down Raglan with afterthought pockets.  Afterthought pockets because few of the sweaters I have seen have pockets.  The ones that do are too fiddly for the colorful yarn.


A Finished thing:

I threw down the gauntlet a few posts ago.  Here they are complete.

Up Next?  Trace Adkins and Toby Keith at Nissan Pavilion, Saturday, September 12!

Until next time.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

All Wrapped Up

All Wrapped Up
Originally uploaded by radarkaty.

This package is all ready to send to IBOL to be distributed to the women in need of raw materials to support themselves and their families.

There is a deadline - Mail a package by September 8th.

See the Iraqi Bundles of Love blog for the details.

Click into the picture to see the layers of goodies in my bundle.

SP14 Package received!

A lovely book of beautiful patterns and a great How-To resource as well.

MMMMMalabrigo Merino Silk in a lovely lavender shade. I've been scouting some lacy DK scarf patterns to make for me me me me me!

And a hint - DC stickers!

Thank you, Secret Pal, for the lovelies!

Until next time.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009


I found a cause that has a short deadline that some of my fiber friends may like to know about...

Stash busting via donations.

Check out Iraqi Bundles of Love

Mailing deadline this coming weekend.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Musical Theater is running through my brain...

I've been feeling a little blue. Life has been a bit overwhelming this year. Money issues. Family issues. Mom's health issues. Friends experiencing some real trouble and injustice.

Some days I feel like a one-armed juggler just waiting for the plates to come crashing down around me.

I'm a pretty good (virtual) juggler. (In reality I couldn't juggle if my life depended on it - bad eyes) To keep my important plates up and in proper order, the lesser plates stay on the table, waiting to be worked into the rotation. Unfortunately, the lesser plate pile gets bigger as the same important plates get tossed faster and faster at a frenetic pace. The lesser plates never get incorporated and then I look at the pile and wonder why nothing is moving, nothing is done.

Today, that is what I'm feeling.

When I feel this way, music from the stage and screen begins to echo in my head. Without provocation, the filing cabinet in my brain pops up the appropriate song, thought, fact that fits the situation or that tries to FIX the situation.

Tonight, the sound track is trying to cheer me up.

Judy Garland is singing "Forget your troubles. Come on be happy..." from Summer Stock.

Dick Van Dyke is singing "Grey skies are gonna clear up. Put on a Happy Face..." from Bye Bye Birdie.

It's not really working.

I think I'm tired. I want to do things, but haven't the ooomph to get up and do them.

I need to step away from the computer for a while, and make myself scarce on Ravelry and Facebook and Yahoo. I have a feeling my habit of checking these sites frequently is a major contributor to my blues and my avoidance of the lesser plate pile. Previously, I have been unsuccessful in my attempts to step away. My fingers seem to have a mind of their own. Their habits are well established. They know the buttons to push and the sites to visit and the games to play.

I need to use the computer for business. I want to use it to avoid my life. I need to retrain my mind and hands to stick with the necessary computer use and severely limit the I Want Computer Time use.

Time to scale back. Time to step away.

Time to find a new direction, to find the drive to lower that pile of lesser plates and ease my mind.

Wish me luck!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Want to win a prize?

Bloggers all over the place have contests. If I'm not a regular reader of a blog, I tend not to enter because I think the regular readers of the blog should get there shot at the prize.

But then I realized contests are sometimes used to drum up readers or followers or potential customers. So, I entered a contest today - and you can too!

At i heart handmade, there is a contest to win a lovely wristlet (small purse) from Maya's etsy shop. Drop by the post called Maya's Kalupi Giveaway and follow the steps to enter yourself! :) You have until Saturday, August 29 - noon MST.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Throwing down the gauntlet


KnitPicks Gloss.
Size 6 beads - selected colors from the Mambo Mauve mix from www.beadwrangler.com - and they are lighter in person.
US2 (2.75 mm) KnitPicks Harmony DPNs.
US12 Steel Crochet Hook.

Robbyn's pattern - Glacial Gauntlets of the Wolf (ravelry.com link)

I made a pair for my niece in black and red (rav link to my project page). They were well received. I love the pattern, so I decided to do another pair for a gift I'll be giving. The project is moving along fast - I cast on at Knit Night on Thursday! I hope I have enough beads. If not, I hope the new order arrives before I get to the second mitt.
Posted by Picasa

Friday, August 14, 2009

This and that and a little more

So much I want to do - so much heat I don't want to do it!

While the heat and humidity of the last few weeks has not be record breaking, it certainly feels that way!

I'd like to knit - but it is so hot little progress is made.

I'd like to crochet together that last HAP afghan waiting for me. I can only do a little bit each night because the weight of the blanket makes me so darn hot!

I'd like to tame the garden. But the heat and humidity are debilitating when I step outside.

I hate to wish away my summer... but a little relief would be so sweet!

Defying the heat and humidity, I started my Feather Duster shawl (ravelry.com link) in Colinette Pariesienne. Mohair in the middle of August. I must be nuts! :) Again - I do a little and then have to set it aside to cool my clammy hands.

FeatherDuster close1_2

First repeat. I've gotten farther than this - more pictures later.

I've started a secret project for my downstream Secret Pal partner. I selected Gloss fingering weight from KnitPicks for this project. It doesn't seem nearly as warm as the other projects I've got in the works. Perhaps I'll have a finished object soon!

Mom is making slow progress. She has had a slight set back this week. The anemia has taken hold again. I'm watching to be sure she doesn't fall too far and require hospitalization this time. She was hospitalized the last two times her red blood count fell too far.

Physical therapists are visiting twice a week and seem pleased with her progress. Slow and steady. Now if I could just get her to eat more!

As Mom is improving, I can leave her for a few hours now and again - if I time it right. That meant I was able to go to my LYS - The Yarn Garden in Annapolis - for Thursday Knit night. I was glad to visit and just sit and knit. I hope Mom continues to improve - for her sake as well as allowing me to resume my Thursday night outings on a more regular basis.

Working on my stealth project, I was happy to show two knitters the crochet hook beading method I use. Neither had seen it before and wondered how it worked. Now they know! :)

Until next time.

Saturday, August 01, 2009


August is upon us. This summer is flying by. I am so glad to see July behind me. Wacky weather. Wackier health scares in the family, with a long uphill road ahead.

While the road will be uphill, it seems to be a better one than I would have supposed three weeks ago. Mom is regaining her strength a little at a time -- small steps leading to bigger steps.


I am mailing my first Secret Pal package today. I've been able to gather the goodies over the last few weeks, but haven't had the chance to package it up and get to the Post Office. Finally, I took the time to get the box packed, sealed and addressed Friday evening. I will take it and a few other things to the Post Office before it closes today.


Last Sunday, Mom's friend came to visit, so I was able to get out for a bit. My friends came down and took me to lunch in North Beach. After a lovely crab cake lunch at Thursday's Bar & Grill, we took a little stroll on the Boardwalk and watched the Bay and the sunbathers.

There had been a storm the day before and one expected that night. The water was a bit choppy and the tide was coming in. The breeze was blowing and the hot day seemed even bit cool. It was delightful.


Not much knitting has been done at my house. I plan to rectify that this weekend. I'm organizing my stash a bit, searching for some yarn I know I have. I want to make the Feather Duster Shawl (Ravelry.com link) by Susan Pierce Lawrence of Knitting as Fast as I Can. There is an August Knit Along starting in her fan group on Ravelry. Join us if you'd like!

In addition to starting this new project, I have two objects to block. One, a shawl I made for my mother. It's been too warm to wear it, so I haven't taken the time to finish it. I will this weekend.

The other ready-to-block item is my Forest Canopy Shawl (another Susan Pierce Lawrence pattern) which I completed some time ago and haven't blocked either. Here's the blobby picture:

This is made with yarn I dyed at the dye class I attended a couple of January's ago. It was a DK weight yarn and was dyed using acid dyes. A lovely mix of yellow, green and blue, if I do say so myself!

Blocking and/or blocked shawl photos to follow!

Hope you have a lovely cool August Saturday!

Until next time.

Saturday, July 25, 2009


I need to clean. I need to do laundry. I need to go shopping for some essentials. But I need to be here when mom wakes up.

Mom needs to sleep.

This messes with my ability to clean and do laundry and go shopping.

So, I'm playing on the computer.

I want to make a gift for someone. I can't find the book with the pattern.

I want to knit, but my hands are too hot.

I want to run away - but I am too responsible for that!

Perhaps I should do what I did when my boys were babies, and sleep while mom sleeps and forget the rest!

Nah... back to book hunting and waiting for mom to wake up.

I'll leave you with this:

(Christmas Tree 2008)

Merry Christmas in July!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

SP14 gift!

KnitPick Surprise
Originally uploaded by radarkaty.

Beautiful KnitPicks Gloss arrived in my mailbox today from my SP14 spoiler. They couldn't have arrived at a better time.

Life has been a bit stressful here at Chez Radarkaty. Mom is in the hospital and is very ill. This lovely gift helped cheer my day more than a dozen roses ever could! :)

She also suggested and sent the gift of Jared Flood's Girasole pattern. When the weather turns a bit cooler and the stress level abates, I shall cast on and report from the lace department! :)

Thank you, kind pal!

Monday, July 06, 2009


I want to deep clean and declutter. I want to unload unwanted stuff - either sell, donate or trash. First, I must figure out what I have, so that I can determine the appropriate categories.

To that end, I started to tackle the yarn corner. It is overrun with bags and Rubbermaid-style tubs and storage drawers and... well, you get the idea. No, I am not showing a picture! At least, not a picture of the corner. I did take a number of pictures of yarn. I decided to catalog what I have - pictures and ravelry stash update as I go along. I need new batteries in order to proceed. However, I was able to catalog a bit yesterday - before the batteries died.

Below is a collage containing a small sampling of what I found in the corner. Many, many, many... well, LOTS more to do!

My sister and a few hale and hearty young men are arriving next week to help me tackle the shed and the garage. No yarn (I hope!) in those locations, though pattern books and old magazines may well be found in the garage.


Until next time.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Secret Pal 14 Questionnaire

And so it begins! Three months of fun stalking and pretty presents! :)

SP14 Questionnaire

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely not like?
I like smooth dk and light worsted best for non-sock things; I like alpaca lace and cashmere lace and pretty much anything that isn’t rough feeling. however I do.not.like. boucle, fun fur, funky lash, novelty yarns

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?
I have a zippered case for crochet hooks, the extras are in drawers and pencil cups and projects. I have a basket, a Nantucket bagg, and a bread crock for my knitting needles

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?
I have been knitting since the middle of the Knitting Olympics in 2006. I learned from a book, the internet and careful questions and observations at my LYS. I had cast on and knit one stockinette scarf 37 years ago, but had not knit since then until the middle of th eKnitting Olympics.
Skill Level? Well, I’ve knit socks, large and small lacy shawls, numerous hats, cabled items, mittens, fingerless mitts, a child’s sweater, gloves… I have not knit intarsia nor fair isle nor have I completed an adult sweater (in progress with this). I guess I’m intermediate.

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?
Yes I do. I will be updating it during the July 4th weekend, as it is sadly out of date.

5. What’s your favorite scent?
Hmmm, well, for soaps and lotions a Vanilla or Cucumber Melon – subtle scents. I don’t really wear perfume. Candles can expand to the Fall and Winter scents, Apple Cinnamon, Pumpkin Pie, Baked Apple, rather than flowery, sweet scents.

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?
Not much of a sweet tooth. Given the choice between Potato Chips and Dip and Chocolate Cake, I’d take the Potato Chips.
My favorite candy bar is a PayDay. A distant second on the list would be Butterfinger. Chewy, jelly-like candy and my teeth do not get along.

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?
Knit and Crochet are the primary DIY crafts. However, I do have supplies for scrapbooking and beading. I also have been known to cross stitch, though it has been a long while.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)
Country is my first choice in music. I enjoy the 50s, 60s and 70s as well. Not a hard line rock and roller. I also count many musicals in my collection.

9. What’s your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can’t stand?
Favorite colors would have to be jewel tones – mostly in the red and blue families. Forest green is better than lime; golds and browns are better than sunshine yellow.
Neon and overly bright versions of any color are quick turn-offs for me.

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
No pets. No desire for pets. Single mom to two young men - 21 and almost-19. We share our home with my 73-year-old mom who is currently battling breast cancer.

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?
yes, yes, yes and emphatically NO

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
Hats are the fastest. Lace shawls give me the deepest satisfaction.

13. What are you knitting right now?
Gloves, shawl, hat, socks, lace sweater – all of these are in progress and get worked on periodically.

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?
Of course.

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
Circular and/or dpn – depending on the project. Bamboo or metal depending on the yarn. Straights are my least favorite and plastic is right down there at the bottom of the list.

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?
Yes to both, and a niddy-noddy!

17. How old is your oldest UFO?
Any knitting UFO is less than 4 years old. We’ll not talk about the crochet afghan sitting in the corner for 10+ years!

18. What is your favorite holiday? What winter holiday do you observe?
I don’t really have a favorite holiday. I enjoy any day that I can sit at home and relax without the worry of work.
We do celebrate Christmas in our house, from a religious as well as cultural aspect. Over the years, I have found I get less enthusiastic as more of the ‘after holiday’ cleaning up and storing is left just to me. I’ve become a minimalist!

19. Is there anything that you collect?
Not really

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?
Not really, but I’ll add it to my Amazon list (see above), if something comes to mind! I have canceled all magazine subscriptions in my house.

21. Are there any new techniques you’d like to learn?
Does time management count as a technique? I think I’d like to master what I’ve got going this year and try new stuff as I feel like it.

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?
I have made a few pairs of socks. I’d have to measure my foot. Secret Pal person, if you want to knit me socks, please ask for the measurements. I can tell you I wear a woman’s US11 wide width (usually, which end up being loose on the heal because my width is near the ball of my foot)

23. When is your birthday?
May 13

24. Are you on Ravelry? If so, what’s your ID?
I am Radarkaty. Come find me at CPaAGg (the Completely Pointless and Arbitrary Group group). I spend most of my Ravelry time there.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

This and that

It all started when Mom and I were invited to attend her sister's (my aunt's) 70th Birthday lunch. What could I possibly give my aunt as a gift? What does a 70-year-old woman need? Not much, really. I decided something hand made would be appropriate. Remembering the Party-Lite scented soaps I had on hand, I knit my aunt a wrapper cloth and included two beautifully scented bars of soap.

The Wrapper Cloth (ravelry link)

My cousins selected a quaint little waterside restaurant in Middle River, MD. The weather cooperated for our location - on the deck watching the water. After a lovely lunch, the CAKE arrived! A margarita for mama. Those girls, they know their mama well! :)

Delicious cake. Delightful company. Tiring weekend.

The youngest member of the family (she is 5) was enthralled by the river life off the deck of the restaurant. She watched the fish and the drakes and the ducks swimming by and was quite content. As we were all wrapping up the day, she pointed out the "...BIG WHITE BIRD over there. Look, Look, a big white bird. What is it?"

This is what it was:

Until next time.

Monday, June 08, 2009

I've been creative

Socks for Soldiers
(Yahoo! Group). Five inches into a 10 inch foot, then the toes and I shall be done with my first pair of socks for this group. In Olive Drab, Regia Stretch, Size 0 and 1 addi turbo needles (two at a time).

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Forest Canopy Shawl. My own hand-dyed yarn. Susan Lawrence's pattern (ravelry.com link) You can find Susan at I'm Knitting As Fast As I Can. This picture shows the shawl still on the needles. I bound off as I watched the season 5 premier of the The Closer. I will present the finished piece for your delight when I have blocked it - hopefully later this week.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I also made two more medicine bags for Shelly's Medicine Bag Project, but failed to take pictures before I packaged them up to send to her. She may have all she needs, but take a look and see if you'd like to participate!

Until next time!

p.s. sorry if the pictures are huge when you click on them... I forgot to adjust them for web-posting.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

My garden is growing

Originally uploaded by radarkaty.

and so are the weeds! But... If you click in this lovely Columbine photo, you should be taken to my Garden 2009 Flickr set.

I have taken some choice photos and share them with you!

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Catching up with the blog

Hello, my readers.

Life is bobbing along, occasionally being pulled under by the big fish, yet always resurfacing for gulps of good air!

Over Memorial Day weekend, we had a small gathering of family and good friends. My good friend Sue, made a delicious Peach Melba Cake and brought just the right number of candles for all to sing well wishes my way for my half century milestone birthday.

Doesn't it look scrumptious? It was!!! :)


I've fallen into the FarmTown rabbit hole on Facebook -- building a farm, harvesting crops, spending TOOOO much time there! When I am inundated with thoughts, tasks, driving here and there, worrying about my mom and my boys, it is a lovely escape! For when I am in that place, concentrating on knitting or thinking of things to write or responding to posts or blogging or even, sometimes, reading blogs, is just too much. But click clicking clicking of fake veggies and fake plowing and fully fruited fake trees is an unthinking task. You should try it sometime!


My older son had a milestone birthday this year too. On June 1, 2009, my first born turned 21!! How can that be???!! It was just a little while ago that he was eagerly heading off to his first day in First Grade!!!

He spent a few days in Ocean City with his good friend, collecting all kinds of firsts for his 21st. He went to the MVA to get the legal age oriented driver's license. Under 21 in Maryland, you have a perpendicular license, with a big red box around your picture - indicating you cannot buy alcohol. So that he could buy alcohol, he got that done first!

He had his first legal shot of Wild Turkey at the Purple Moose Saloon, pictures to prove it were shown to me. He bought a "Kiss me, It's my birthday shirt," and had people sign the back. He saved the coaster from his first drink. He bought a shot glass that says, "I am 21 now I can legally do everything I've been doing since I was 12."

He seems to have had a good time. If lack of money is anything to show for it, he had a GREAT! time!

Hope it is all out of his system now.


I have knitting to show - when I take pictures. I have flowers to show - when I take pictures. I have a deck top garden that is growing great! the sun refuses to shine long enough to give me good light for good pictures.

So, I bid you adieu - until next time!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Wednesday - What can I say?

Apparently, subscribers only stick around when you take the time to actually write something for them to read! :) I had 18, now I have 8. Ah, well, dems da breaks!

Life has been rather full and hectic here and my adventures have been mostly non-bloggable because they involve other people. And, really, I'm not going to exploit the exploits of others.

My role is caretaker. My mom is going through some rough times and I am called upon to care for her. No blog fodder there... at least not so far.

I do have some rants to share. Would you like to hear?

Wheelchair accessibility - sucks. I think many of us are unaware of how inaccessible many places are and how inhospitable the average person can be to a person in a wheelchair. With a non-weight bearing restriction on her right leg, Mom is wheelchair bound. Due to many other things, she doesn't venture out much, but does go out for doctor appointments.

I think I am more relaxed and non-ranty about the accessibility struggles at the store. Most parking lots have quite a number of handicap spaces that allow for wheelchair-bound persons to get into and out of cars with ease. The stores are a bit difficult to maneuver, but not impossible. The law is on the side of the wheelchair for the most part.

However, there are two doctor's offices that we visit that you would think, given their specialties, would be more wheelchair accessible.

One: The Orthopedist - no automatic door opener; door opens out; narrow hallways and a waiting room full of chairs (the only wheelchair ready area is the kid's toy area and if mom is there, the kids can't get to the toys!) It is so difficult to maneuver Mom into and out of this office and this is the office that deals with bones and ligaments and orthopedic surgeries and people who may be temporarily wheelchair bound.

Two: The Physical Therapist... I can't even begin to describe the issues of a wheelchair in this space... oh my. It was so cluttered, so full of furniture and file cabinets and boxes and - oh my. I can't go on.

It amazes me - that these two places, where it you are more likely to find someone on crutches or canes or in wheelchairs -- are so archiac in their design and/or cluttered beyond the ability of even an able-bodied person to walk without having to dodge some obstacle.

End of the rant. Nothing I can do but try to make the best of it as I move Mom through these visits.

I have been knitting... and crocheting... and cooking... but I have not been taking pictures.

Hopefully, I will do that tomorrow! I finished two hats for Mom and am about 1/3 the way through a fast moving dk weight shawl... and I finished Mom's shawl except for the blocking.

Until next time.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Hooked on Snapfish

Shelley is Hooked on Snapfish and you can be too. There is a $50 Snapfish gift certificate on the link.

All you have to do is:

  1. Click into the link
  2. Read her review
  3. Leave a comment

... before June 13, 2009.

Great picture gift opportunities abound! Think about the Dads and Grads and the special folks in your life and go forth and picture gift them!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Flowers for my Birthday!

MP From the Top
Originally uploaded by radarkaty.

My sister sent me this lovely bunch of roses and lilies. My cousins sent me a bunch of beautiful tulips. Click in the picture and look at the set!

WooHoo! Love cut flowers!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Big Five Oh

That's me today - the big 5-0! :)

Fifty years ago today a little girl was born to two lovely folks in Philadelphia, PA. She was the second born and made her presence known a whole month early. Weighing in at 7 lbs, she was pretty big for a 'preemie'!

She's still pretty big, but she's losing it. The goal of 50 by 50 was not quite met. Perhaps it is 40 by 50, the weigh in is Thursday. The rest will come off as it should and as time goes by, and all will be well in that department.

Mom's health is not the best, so there will be no big shindig for this 5-0, unless plans are afoot of which I am unaware. At least, I have made no plans -- for now. I have been told I should celebrate! I'm really not much on celebrations. At least not celebrations that center on ME. If I do decide to commemorate this auspicious milestone, it will be later in the summer, when Mom's chemotherapy has ended and with the hope the weather might be more cooperative for a pool party/picnic/cookout in July or August.

Have a great day! That's my plan!

Until next time.

Friday, May 01, 2009

May Day! May Day!

That looks like a panic attack, but it's not -- it is really is May Day!

Tra la! It's May!
The lusty month of May!
That lovely month when ev'ryone goes
Blissfully astray.

~~ Guenevere in Camelot

May is a good month and it is good that it begins on a Friday. This allows me to be part of Only the Good On Friday with my friend, Shelly.

As many of you, my dear readers, know, my mother is battling breast cancer. Fridays are her infusion days. This may lead one to believe nothing good can come of Friday. However, the infusions will help her beat her disease in the long term, while causing some discomfort and rude side effects in the short term. Hence, it is a good to be Friday.

What I really want to share on this good Friday is a wonderful resource found for me by my friend, Sue.

Mom is in the midst of one of those rude chemo side effects - hair loss. I needed to search for a wig resource. Mom has great insurance and it pays for a prescribed wig. Her doctor wrote a prescription and we needed to find a place to buy one. Hampered by the fractured tibia, getting to a wig shop was going to be problematic. Added to that - all the shops I found on my internet search were at least 40 miles away.

Sue to the rescue! She found one that comes to your home! Crowning Alternatives is a wig store on wheels! After talking with me on the phone about the style and color that Mom might like, Sharon made arrangements to come our home. She brought samples to try and explained the care and use and picked the appropriate color and - wow, it was great! Mom has a large head (as do I!), so the wig needed to be ordered. It should arrive next week - just when Mom will really need it.

Sharon will come back and style it and cut it, if we think it needs it. She bills the insurance company, so Mom didn't have to pay for the wig and wait for reimbursement.

It was a pleasant and easy afternoon. Sharon is engaging and caring. What a wonderful experience for my mother.

I hope if you or your family need such a service, you can find someone in your area that offers this special touch. If you live in the Washington/Baltimore area, click on that link up there and give Sharon a call.

Now, you go and have a good Friday!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

4.12.09 - Happy Easter!


Busy day here at the homestead.

Mom is doing well with the chemotherapy that started on Friday. She didn't get 'slammed' today as the nurse indicated she might. Yay!

Mom is doing better with the fractured tibia. She has mastered the wheel chair and the walker and can get around pretty well inside the house. Getting out of the house is another story. To get out of the house, she has to step down from the doorway (where she fell in 2007 and broke her wrist, so she is tentative) to the porch. From there, she uses the walker across the porch to the first step down. She is less tentative and fearful at this point because she has the porch rail and column to hold as she steps down. She then moves to the end of that wide step, to the edge, where she has to step down with just the walker to reach the sidewalk and the waiting wheel chair. By the time she accomplishes this feat of escaping the house, she's pretty exhausted! So, she has only been out for doctor appointments and chemotherapy since she fell on March 19.

She wanted to get to Mass last Sunday for Palm Sunday, but she just couldn't face the exit strategy. Today, Easter Sunday was going to be (and WAS!) way too full of people for her to be comfortable in her wheelchair. Plus, finding a parking space and getting her out of the car and to the Church was more than she felt up to trying. So, Father Dan made a special visit to the house this afternoon - for a blessing and communion.

We knew Father Dan was coming today and mom was feeling she needed to spruce up for company. Because the chemo is the hair-losing variety, she didn't want to go to the beauty shop and spend a bunch of money on her hair. Enter Kathleen - apprentice hairdresser! I bought her color yesterday and this morning her hair was transformed into a lovely light golden brown - L'Oreal Excellence -- because she's worth it!

We were running out of time to get it set before I had to leave for the noon Mass. Being an apprentice, I'm neither quick nor skilled, so I only got about 1/2 of the back done. Mom finished the front and sides herself.

Fr. Dan said he'd be by at about 3 PM. We figured at 2, she'd be able to keep it set for another 30 minutes until it was good and dry. No such luck! Fr. Dan called at 2:15, having overshot our neighborhood, to get more guidance from his location. He's a bit directionally challenged (self admitted, so I can say it!) even with good directions! This was such a blessing today. Otherwise, he'd have arrived without warning - an hour early - and Mom would have been mortified to have her hair still in curlers! We pulled out the curlers and fluffed up the 'do and she was well-satisfied that she looked presentable.

I'm so glad we took the time to get her fixed up today. While the process wore her out a bit, she feels much better for looking a little more together.

Fr. Dan took his leave. Then, Mom and I had a small bit of lunch, after which we adjoined to our separate areas. She to nap a bit while watching tv; me to clean up my desk to pay bills later.

For Easter, I planned a ham dinner: spiral sliced honey ham, au gratin potatoes, crescent rolls and a veggie. A Big Sunday Dinner! Unfortunately, the gathering was small for our Big Dinner - me, Mom and my younger son. I'm pretty sure we'll be enjoying our Big Sunday Dinner all week! :)

Mom keeps apologizing for all the extra work she sees me doing, wishing she could help make dinner or clean up. I keep telling her it's okay. I don't think she believes me.

In knitting news:

I am almost finished her shawl -- about six inches left to the end - pictures to follow a light blocking. I'm also half done with a lovely cotton angora twist rib hat for when her lovely hair leaves her head and she needs a covering to keep her warm.

I'm itching to cast on for something else ... but I am resisting - until I finish her shawl. I don't know what I want to try next. But it will be something that will give me a bit more instant gratification than a 6 foot shawl! :)

Hope you all had a lovely day! Alleluia!

Until next time.

Friday, March 27, 2009

3.27.2009 - (mostly) GOOD on Friday

Good things I'm doing:

I spun a little yarn - about 20 yards.

I belong to a Ravelry group that is collecting six inch squares for a baby blanket. I've finished 2.5 so far. I think I'll be able to complete four with the skein of yarn I am using.

I am half an inch from the heel flaps on a pair of Socks for Soldiers (link for the Yahoo! group) and finished a beanie.

I am making a few baby blankets for a couple of good causes: a hospital in Las Vegas through my Friends group on Yahoo! and Alexandra's House via the Knitters Cherish Life group on Ravelry.

GOOD (and a little not-so-good) Mom update:

The scans I spoke about in my last blog post were completed and came out CANCER-FREEEEE! Her heart is in great shape and will be continued to be monitored as the Herceptin treatment starts.

Her bones are cancer-free, though showing signs of advancing arthritis in many joints and her back. This we already knew, so not really bad news.

Her organs (kidney, stomach, liver, etc.) that are places where her type of cancer may have spread are cancer-free!

The original chemo/radiation/medication protocol will be followed.

The 'when' is the only not-so-good fly in the ointment.

You see, she celebrated her 73rd birthday (last Friday) in a wheel chair in pain from a nasty fall the previous night. She hit her right knee hard and the knee was too swollen for a good look at the damage. Today, the new x-ray shows a healing "Non Displaced Lateral Tibia Plateau Fracture." The Oncologist will have to decide whether chemo starts during the 4-6 weeks of "no-walking on it" healing or wether to hold off until after April 27th when the knee will be x-rayed again.

Until next time.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

3.14.09 - blogger unsilenced

Sorry for the blogger silence. Hope I haven't worried anyone. We've been having a kind of hectic, down, crazy month here and I just wasn't up to sharing bad news, nor up to taking pictures to share creative news. So... let's catch up, shall we?

So far, Mom has Stage IIb breast cancer - Invasive Ductal Carcinoma. Cancer was found in one of 14 lymph nodes tested during the breast conservation surgery on Feb. 12. The results of the 'margin' taken from around the removed lump came back clear for the invasive ductal carcinoma. However, Ductal Carcinoma In Situ was also found in the tested tissue. She is ER/PR positive (good thing) and HER2/neu 3+ (bad thing).

She will be receiving radiation treatments on the affected breast. Before she begins radiation, Mom will have some form of chemotherapy. To determine the exact medications, her doctor ordered a battery of scans this week: bone scan, MUGA scan and CT scan of her organs. The results of all these tests will be made known to us on March 23. At a minimum, the chemo will be once every three weeks for a six session series. However, the final chemo recommendation will be determined by the results of this week's scans.

The MUGA scan was to get a baseline of her heart health. The medication she needs to combat the HER2/neu issue can affect heart health. This medication will be administered intravaneously, once a week for one year - as long as her heart stays healthy.

The bone scan and CT scan were to see if they cancer had spread anywhere else.

Following chemo treatments, Mom will have radiation therapy as well. Length and frequency has not yet been determined. This will required a 90 min round trip ride because there is no radiation therapy group in our County.

At some point following Chemotherapy, she will begin taking an oral medication. Tamoxifen is the one her friend took. The Oncologist indicated that Mom would not be taking that one, but something similar - once a day for five years.

This next week, Mom and I get a break from doctors and hospitals and medical tests and such. No appointments scheduled. No required activities. I may even get to work every day! It'll be a nice change, I'm thinking, for both of us.

On to Knitting!

A shawl to keep Mom warm:

Cherry Tree Hill Siken Mohair. It is a mix of colors. I bought a mill end skein at Stitches East. I just fell in love with the color and feel of the yarn. I began the pattern, Quilt in Stripes, and realized I wouldn't have enough in the one 424 yard skein for a shawl as wide and as long as I'd like to make. I went 'net shopping! The mill end did not include the color name, but I found a similar one called Martha's Vineyard. It is a little paler than the skein I bought at Stitches, but the colors are very close. To mask the dissimilarity, I decided to knit up half the unnamed colorway, then all of the Martha's Vineyard, ending with the unnamed colorway. I think that will work.

I also bought another colorway, Gypsy Rose, which Mom really loved. I might make that into a crocheted lapghan.

Now, I need to find some lovely, soft, wool and non-wool yarns to make some caps and other head gear, as Mom will be losing her lovely head of hair. :( She'll need the warmth for the chemo sessions and air conditioning. The weather will be getting warmer around here by the time she needs the caps, so I need to find some pretty and soft cottons for her too.

Until next time.