Thursday, January 29, 2009

1.29.09 - C C C C

Cruise? Canceled. Cancer? Crud!

Mom and I had planned a cruise. Paid for said cruise. The Constellation will leave Ft. Lauderdale without us on February 13th.

Mom's biopsy results show the lobular lump she found in late December, had mammo'd and sono'd and pushed, prodded and biopsied over the past two weeks is cancerous.

Surgery - lumpectomy and some lymph node work, called Breast Conservation as opposed to mastectomy - is scheduled for February 12th. It would be February 5th, but she has a cold and has to recover from that first.

Doctor ix-nayed the idea of waiting until after the cruise. We were sort of crushed, even though we both felt it was inevitable. One bright note, we don't lose out completely on a refund. (we didn't buy insurance... last time I make THAT mistake) By canceling today, we get a 50% refund. I figured were were out the $$, but getting 50% back makes Mom and, I must admit, me feel a little better.

If they get all the cancerous cells during the lumpectomy and lymph node process, radiation will follow about a month later. If they find cancer in the surrounding cells or spread farther in the lymph nodes, she may face another surgery before radiation. She'll be on follow up medication - Tamoxifen, I think.

The prognosis is good. The lump was found while it was still small (though I don't think 2.5 cm is small myself!) . The doctor, while stating it is aggressive (it has grown a bit in 2 weeks), feels confident that it has been caught in time.

Until next time.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

1.28.09 - ice, ice baby

That's what we had all over the place this morning.

I tried to go to work. Really, I did. I got dressed. Packed my bus bag (knitting, crocheting and reading material). Walked up the side of the driveway, in the ice-crusted snow. I had parked my car at the top - in case the driveway might be too icy. It was. I started the car and the lights shown brightly on the skating rink that was my street. They hadn't plowed or sanded or salted yesterday and it rained and snowed and rained frozen rain overnight. Not sure the salt or sand would have helped at 6 AM.

I went back inside. Fired up the computer and saw "Liberal Leave" and decided to take it!

So, I was home from work today, and didn't work from home!

I didn't go back to bed - though I wanted to snuggle back in the warm covers. I did some knitting and crocheting to finish two projects I want to mail tomorrow:

I answered a bunch of e-mails. Took care of some business for my son. Made a hot breakfast for me and Mom. Not necessarily in that order.

Noon came and I was sleepy. I decided to take a NAP. Slept for 4 hours! Unbelievable. Guess I really needed the rest.

Now it is almost 11:30 PM and that nap has messed up my sleep pattern. Instead of being sleepy and getting ready for bed, I'm listening to my iTunes playlist randomly play the 588 songs loaded in the Country genre. I'm sorting papers to be ready to do my taxes. I'm alternating between paper sorting and crocheting some squares to send to various folks putting together afghans for a number of different causes.

Some of this sleep disruption and project hopping may be due to the fact that tomorrow Mom sees the surgeon to get the results of her biopsy. Perhaps I am worrying internally. I'm not really worrying consciously.

Until next time.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

1.27.2009 - ask and ye shall receive

Yesterday, I expressed the desire to have more "working from home" days in my week.

This morning, I awoke to this:

View of the street
You might notice grass still sticking out through the snow.
Last lawn mowing did not occur in the Fall, so the grass is longer than it should be.

View of the Driveway
Notice no plowing of the road, nor clearing of the driveway

That might not seem like much to many of you. However, this would make for a treacherous trek to and, especially, from work. I have to cross bridges. They freeze first. It is supposed to change to an icy mix later in the day. No thanks! So, I am working from home again today -- YaY!

It is pretty, as long as I'm viewing from my window!

Monday, January 26, 2009

1.26.2009 - Monday, Monday

Today is Monday. I work from home on Mondays. My family occasionally doesn't quite understand that - which leads to some stress. Today? My son understood that if he wanted to be picked up - it had to be after working hours. Yay! Progress!

I had some packages to mail here and there. (MP - stole is on its way!) I got them to the post office during my 'lunch' hour. One of the reasons I love to work from home one day a week. It is hard to get a mailing off in the limited Saturday hours and dragging boxes and bags to work to mail from the P.O. near my office is difficult, to say the least.

I have bills to pay that are due later this week. Can't really do that easily during my work hours. I'll be doing that as soon as I post this.

I want to knit, but I have to remind myself that I have other obligations before I head off and knit during the time I need to be working, or cooking, or paying my bills!

I love being able to work from home one day a week. Saves my sleep, money and gives me a few more hours to do things around the house because I don't have to gird myself for an average of three hours of travel time - to and fro. But I have had to develop a discipline, or I'd fall into the pattern of my family - Mom must be able to help me with this, this and this. After all, she's home from work today - rather than she is working from home today. There is a very real distinction!

I wish I could work from home more that one day a week... but I think that would be too much of an adjustment for my family and for me. Also, I do find it hard to call into a meeting. I'd much rather be there in person.

So... Monday is gone. Tomorrow, I will be up bright and early to catch a bus into the city and walk in the frigid morning air from the bus stop to my office. It is only about 6 blocks, but really I am not looking forward to it. Especially since we may get our first real wintry mix tomorrow.

My nice warm computer area beckons me to stay and work here.

I must resist!

Until next time.

1.25.09 - or so

It is after midnight - again - yet I'm calling this Sunday because I am still awake!

Busy day here at Chez Radarkaty.

Younger son headed back to college today. One semester down and many more to go! He got himself all together, packed and ready to go. With a hug or two, I sent him off to new adventures.

After I sent him on his way, I went to a friend's house. She is a crocheter and she wanted to learn to knit. We spent a few hours working on garter stitch baby booties. I left her working hers with the promise to come back and help her with the next step, as well as a pointer to in case she wanted to proceed without me.

I went home and finished the one I started at her house and then made the second. All the knitting is done. I'll be finishing the seaming tomorrow. In the meantime, I've cast on for the matching hat. Hope to finish the hat and the seaming tomorrow so I can send the set out to the sponsor of the January Project of the Knitters Cherish Life group on Ravelry.

Have you joined Ravelry? Why NOT? :)

Saturday, January 24, 2009

1.24.09 - good medicine

My friend, Shelly, over at This Eclectic Life needs your help making and filling good medicine bags for the children of Camp Sanguinity.

The bags need to be about 4" square, with a loop for hanging around the neck of a child taking a much needed vacation from cancer treatment, or a child taking a much needed break from their sibling's cancer treatment. Last year, Shelly and her minions (400 people) made enough squares for the 140 blankets of 48 squares each, one blanket for each camper. She received such an overwhelming response, the hospital received a bunch of blankets as well. This year, the minions have shrunk - considerably - to a total of 8 as of today. Shelly has received only 44 of the 140 bags needed.

The bags don't have to be fancy - unless you want to be very creative. The 4" size is just big enough to hold three charms and hang around the campers neck to let them know we are out there supporting them. They do not have to be knit or crochet. They could be fabric or leather. So, if you quilt or sew, you could make a little bag and send it along to Shelly! Or you could knit or crochet a bag or two and send them along to Shelly.

Besides the bags, tokens are needed. Little things you probably have hanging around your house. A little figure. A foreign coin. A shark's tooth or shell. I sent some Mardis Gras coins. Shelly needs three items for each bag - so she needs 420 little tokens to fill the bags.

Won't you help, just a little? Many hands make light work! If you step up, Shelly can reach her goal of many different hands helping the campers - rather than doing it all herself - and we can all spread a little sunshine to a bunch of campers really in need of a lift!

Stop by This Eclectic Life and check it out!

Until next time.

Friday, January 23, 2009

1.23.09 - good on Friday

First - Happy Birthday, Sue!

Second - it is good just to BE Friday!

Even though this was a very short week, or maybe because it was a very short week, I really needed today to be Friday. How accommodating for it to be so!

Until next time.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

1.22.09 - victory

The stole was well received by all that saw my creation today. Everyone is sure my sister will love it, even though most of them encouraged me to keep it for myself! :)

3 lbs down!!

Total weight loss since December 4, 2008: 16 lbs! WahoO!

It has been a good day!

Until next time.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

1.21.09 - random and not so

outside single

Click into the picture for the whole Flickr set. The color on the folded part to the left is the truest I could get. It turned out great!

* * * * * * * * *

Mom had her biopsy today and will have the follow on doctor's appointment next Thursday. I really really hate the wait! We have a cruise paid for and ready to take in February and the longer it takes to get results, the less certain we are about going. We didn't buy insurance. I hope and prayer her results are benign and we can sail away to the Caribbean for 10 days.

* * * * * * * * *

Younger son got a new laptop to take back to college. He didn't get one in the Fall, when he started. He thought he could get by with his desktop, but (a) the desktop is kind of dying, slowing down and giving him fits; (b) the desktop isolates him from the roomies (4 guys - 2 in each bedroom with a center sitting area; the others have laptops and sit in the sitting area, younger son has to go to his desk in his bedroom); (c) he can't take his desktop to class for note taking and research; and (d) he feels like the odd man out being the only one he knows without his own laptop.

Older son is jealous. But, as I told him, he as almost exclusive use of my laptop right now. He doesn't need one. He just wants one. His use is pretty much limited to Facebook and MySpace and some kind of chat room he visits, as well as the occasional Google.

I'm jealous because younger son's laptop is nicer than mine! :) It has the full keyboard including the number pad. Mine is just the qwerty pad with the numbers across the top. It is also thinner, lighter and, of course, newer! Oh, and it cost $500 less than I paid 4 or so years ago.

* * * * * * * * * *
I've been waiting over two years for a promised promotion. With President Obama tightening the belts of his staff, it looks like I'll be waiting a while longer. I'm not sure, but it's a pretty good bet that this belt-tightening will trickle down to me, too. :(

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

1.20.09 - done, well almost

My post of 1.16.09 included a list of things to be accomplished over my four day weekend. I did pretty well by finishing over half. That was about what I figured even though I included everything. All the things need doing. All the essentials and some of the fun are done. The rest will be done a little at a time, here and there, when weather permits! :)

I've blocked my first large project. I have never blocked anything bigger than a swatch or 6" square. This was quite the work out because I had to work on the floor - and I haven't lost 100 lbs yet, so I kept getting in my way!

Bad light pictures presented for your viewing pleasure. Better light pictures tomorrow:

Monday, January 19, 2009

1.19.09 - progress

I've made some progress on my planned activities for the four day weekend. I don't think I've progressed three days worth and tomorrow is day four. Ah, well, progress is progress!

I've done some knitting on Mom's sweater. Back is nearing completion.

Christmas decorations are all boxed up and ready to go back to the storage area. Half of the boxes made it downstairs today. The other half are awaiting the other son to venture down the stairs. Tomorrow, everyone is off - so they have no excuse!

Double batch of Garden Vegetable Soup - my zero point menu filler - was made yesterday. It is good, but I think it needs a little zing. I'll be experimenting with different veggies and different spices for the next batch.

Cookies were made for the boys and Mom (and a couple for me, still in my points range!).

Shopping for food accomplished, but will need repeating. The never ending process of keeping our bellies filled.

Five loads of laundry down. Two or three to go. Another never ending process. But I'll be good for a while.

Secret knitting commenced and will be completed tomorrow. I have made plans for easy crochet projects to take to Mom's appointments this week. Will be weaving in the ends of some HAP afghans during the Inauguration watching tomorrow.

Progress, not perfection, is the mantra of the day!

Until next time.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

1.18.09 - a little less

On December 4, 2009, I signed up for Weight Watchers - again. I have been successful in the past on this program and just as unsuccessful when I stopped following the common sense eating patterns I established while following.

I have tried doing this on my own; on-line only; and the traditional meeting method. My biggest successes were achieved when I had to go to a meeting and step up on the scale and have someone else see my progress or lack thereof. With the promise of a $10 Dress Barn gift card and free registration, I decided I should join, before Christmas, before it could be considered a New Year's Resolution.

This was, and is, a journey for me, for my head, my body, my heart. I need the accountability of a meeting. I need to listen to the struggles and successes of the others taking their own similar journey. While each of us has our own path to walk. Our own goal in mind. Our own level of fitness, sound nutrition and weight to lose - we are all walking together.

I have been trying to make better choices and plan. That is the first part of my journey. I have done fairly well. I do not always plan wisely. However, when I fail to plan, I am making better choices given the options available. I've taken breakfast and lunch foods to work to have available when I run out the door in the morning because I am late and need to catch the last bus and don't have time to make something fresh to take with me.

I keep some frozen meals and treats to help me when I have to run around and don't have the time or take the time to make a nutritious filling meal in the evening.

I am tired of being 100+ lbs overweight. No matter other people can't believe I have that much to lose. I do. I just carry it well.

At my last weigh in, six weeks into this lifelong adventure, I had lost 13 lbs.

My slacks are feeling loose. I am amazed. I never thought 13 lbs would be enough of a loss to affect the feeling of my clothes. It does. And it is good!

I still have over 100 lbs to lose, but now I have 13 less of them!

My interim goal is to lose 50 lbs by my 50th Birthday on May 13th. 37 to go!

Until next time.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

1.17.09 - swatch blocking

Mystic Star - Swatch with Malabrigo Lace in "Azul Bolita"
(the yarn is actually a deeper blue than pictured)

Mystic Star is a new KAL sponsored by Anna of Knit & Knag.

It is the sixth Mystic pattern she's designed, and is one of a series of KALs that Anna has run. One or two of the Mystic Patterns were offered for sale, rather than as part of a KAL.

The swatch pattern I used is available to members of the Mystic Star Yahoo! Group. When you sign up on Anna's blog, you'll get an invitation to join the Yahoo! Group. The first clue will be released on Monday, January 26, 2009 and each Monday thereafter until February 16, 2009.

If you are interested in a circular lace mystery knit along, click into Anna's blog for more details.

I generally can't keep up with KALs, but I love starting them! In this case, I'll be away when the last clue is released. I just might have time to catch up on my cruise, so I can start the last clue when I return.

My swatch is a little smaller than the one posted for the pattern, but I'm okay with that. I like the fabric. I already have the yarn. Gauge isn't as important for a shawl or stole as it is for a sweater - unless it is WAAAAY too big or WAAAAY to small. I have the right proportions, even though I'm off by about 1 inch. I may try one needle size up and see if I still like the fabric, but I'm betting this US3 Addi Lace circular will be the one I use for this adventure!

Until next time.

Friday, January 16, 2009

1.16.09 - relaxing

It is Friday. The work day is done. The boys are all home. No more rides here or there for another day. I get to sit and relax and look forward to my four day weekend! Yippee!

I have big plans for the weekend. I intend to be busy about my house.

  • Cleaning (many rooms)
  • Laundry (a lot)
  • Sorting (yarn)
  • Knitting (on one of my many projects)
  • Cooking (regular meals)
  • Storing (Christmas, clothes, books)
  • Disposing (torn, tattered, unnecessary stuff)
  • Sorting (financial papers)
  • Shredding (old financial/personal papers)
  • Sorting (kitchen cabinets)
  • Knitting (on one of my many projects)
  • Cooking (extra for next week, soups, proteins)
  • Knitting (on one of my many projects)
  • Filing (paperwork requiring retention)
  • Sorting (stuff to sell)
  • Knitting (on one of my many projects)
  • Blocking (finished objects)
  • Crocheting (HAP afghans)
  • Shopping (for cruise clothes in my closet!)

My actions do not always match my intentions - but I plan to give it the old college try.

Tonight, I am relaxing in between my prep for tomorrow... I emptied the laundry baskets of clean clothes; sorted the laundry to start tomorrow; cleared a path to the clothes in the closet; and put the Diet Pepsi in to chill!

Hopefully, I will remember that an early bedtime will ensure an early and fruitful start to the mega-list above and will take my own advice to retire at a reasonable time... rather than looking up and realizing - Oh, No. It's 1 AM!

Until next time.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

1.15.09 - mid-month

Winter has finally taken hold. We haven't got the snow, and we aren't as bad as Chicago, or Minnesota, or Iowa - but 10F going down to 5F is the coldest it's been in this area at this time of year in over 14 years! The forecast says the low tonight is supposed to be 11F, but since it is already 10F I guess they are wrong. Imagine that. The weather prediction is wrong. :)

I hope all the travelers heading to the Inauguration bring their long johns, hand knits, fleeces, hand warmers, thermoses and more... because it is going to be COLD standing out for the parade and the ceremonies. Of course, there appears to be a warming trend, yet 30F doesn't sound too warm either! see note on previous paragraph on the possibility that this trend holds true.

I finished the third pattern repeat for the back piece of Mom's sweater. I seem to have hit a good rhythm and may have it finished tomorrow night. WooT!

Until next time.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

1.14.09 - progress and a prize

I've been working a little on my mother's sweater. Here is a close up of the pattern so far:

Mom's sweater progress close 1

and a not-so-close up:

Mom's sweater progress

And I won a prize. Ravelry is funded by advertisers and partners, mostly. The users run a donation prize give-away periodically. I donated in the last go round - $11 on 1/1 - and my name was entered in a drawing. I WON! nuttnbunny (rav link) sent me some her beautiful handspun yarn -- pictured below. This "Silk Squall" is a mixture of wool and silk; about 271 yards. Now to find the perfect pattern to use it!

nuttnbunny prize yarn 2

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

1.13.09 - hustle and bustle

Today had a bit more hustle and bustle than I anticipated. My list of yesterday was unfulfilled in several aspects.

Shelly's bags got sent off. While later than I promised, I'm sure they'll be there in plenty of time for their need.

The stole is still unblocked because the only room I can block it in is blocked with boxes I was too tired to fill and store last night and today.

Today has been a little stressful as well. Mom found a lump in her breast before Christmas. Saw the doctor Jan 5. Had mammogram and sonogram on Jan 7. Met with the surgeon today who will be scheduling a core biopsy as soon as there is an opening at the Imaging Center. We'll know by lunch time tomorrow when that will be. It is all moving a little faster than I anticipated based on the experience of others.

The lump is definitely NOT a cyst. It is not filled with fluid. The doctor said the tumor was 'lobular' in appearance. The lobes clearly defined on the sonogram. It presents as a pretty hard little lump. We won't know if it is a benign fatty tumor or a not-so-benign cancerous tumor until after the biopsy.

Therefore, it is good that it is moving faster than anticipated. It's just a little unnerving!

I take the knitting along, but now I need to find a few straight knitting projects. The lace and the cables are too intense for waiting rooms and the up and down of answer questions and going from this office to that room to yet another office. I'll be looking around for a hat or two that can be mindless worked until the decreasing rounds.

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, January 12, 2009

1.12.09 - slow progress

I am working on several things at once, as usual.

I am working through the cable pattern on glove #2 for me.

I am working on the back of the sweater for Mom - one complete set of rows and repeats, beginning second set. It measures about 2 inches, so it looks like 6.5 sets before I start the arm hole decreases.

I am working on socks for me. I have four pair. All misfitting. I am trying a size US1 for the newest pair and think (hope? pray?) that will take care of the "too bigness" on the feet of the last pair I made, which came the closest to fitting right.

I am working on put-together afghans for HAP (see sidebar for what HAP is!). I have finished 2 of 5, except for the weaving in of ends. I hope to weave in tomorrow and get these two to Deborah. Then work on the other three over my four day weekend! :)

I will be blocking my sister's Guinevere stole tomorrow at lunch, and at the end of the work day - hoping it will dry by Thursday morning so I can take it to show and tell at my knitting groups (lunch group at work; evening group at The Yarn Garden).

Pictures in a day or two of whatever is finished when I have good light. :)

Thanks for dropping by!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

1.11.09 - Sunday

Not wanting to miss out on a day of blogging, here I come with little to say!

I look about me and see so much that needs to be done, yet have no energy, nor any desire to accomplish these many things. My house is in dire need of organization, culling, cleaning, fixing, and more. Yet, I have done little to effect the necessary changes.

I have, however, accompanied my mother to lunch. Shopped a little for some much needed additions for her bedroom that we hope will help her sleep a little better (egg crate style mattress pad and a new pillow). Returned a too small Christmas gift. Had lunch at On The Border.

We generally like that restaurant, but today was not up to par. Service was slow, though the restaurant was not busy. The food was over done and brought in stages. Mom ordered fajitas. The grilled (burnt) chicken and veggies were sizzling hot, but the tortillas had not been made and hence had not been delivered with the meal. She complained a bit to the waiter, but didn't want to involve the manager. She just decided she wouldn't eat there any time soon and never again on the weekend. (She and her friends gather there several times over the year, normally on a weekday.)

When we got home, I turned to my crocheting. I made two medicine bags for Shelly's Medicine Bag project. Shocked my son by finishing the last one in under an hour! :)

I joined Mom in the family room to watch the Golden Globes. Less than halfway through I announced I had had enough. I didn't know most of the movies, knew only about half of the nominees and didn't really care for the presenters. I must be getting old.

Perhaps it's just the day. Today would have been my 23rd wedding anniversary. Hard to believe. I always think this day will have no effect on me. After all, before I was widowed, almost 10 years ago, I was separated and heading for a divorce. But, almost always, I am affected in small, sad ways - thinking of the what ifs and what might have beens.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

1.10.09 - Feeling Froggy

I've got sneezes and wheezes and a deepening voice - winter cold coming on! :( I'll be froggy-throated for a couple of weeks. :(

The sweater I began so smartly and showed off in the previous post has hit the frogginess, too.

To begin, I cast on 148 stitches. Or so I thought. On row three I realized I had missed one stitch. I fixed it instead of frogging. Using a crochet hook, I picked up a stitch from the cast on and created stitches on each row. Vóila - 148 stitches.

I continued to knit and, at about row 9, I noticed a missing cable. I isolated those four stitches. Raveled down to the necessary spot. FIXED the missing cable with the help of US4 dpns and continued on.

Two major errors. Fixed without frogging. I was so proud!!!

Then, about 4 rows after fixing the cable, I missed another. While trying to determine where, I realized I had been repeating the pattern incorrectly. The instructions tell me to work one edge stitch then begin at the appropriate size and repeat the pattern across the row. From the appropriate size start column to the end of the chart there are 33 stitches. The pattern repeat section is 21 stitches. I was do the entire 33 stitches as the repeat, instead just for the first section of the row! AACCKKK!!!

Frogged to begin anew.

Thankfully, I'd only gone 13 rows and not the 13" to the armhole decreases!

Thursday, January 08, 2009

1.8.09 - beginning Lin

Begin Lin
Originally uploaded by radarkaty.

I am making a lacy cardigan for my mom for her birthday in March (or whenever I get it finished!). I cast on tonight and am quite pleased with myself for getting through the initial direction!

NaKniSweMoDo #1
Seasons of Lace - Winter '09 #1

I'm itching to continue and too tired to do so. Lace and sleepiness do not go well together. So, I shall bid you adieu and pick the needles up again tomorrow!

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

1.7.09 - Missing Missive and then some...

Well, all I can say is - it's a good thing I signed up for the "75% of the year" group when I tried the blog every day thing! I realized last night (or, rather, early this morning) at about 12:40 AM that I had missed my Tuesday post. Since I didn't really have anything to say, I just didn't post anything!

Today, I have a little to say. Or perhaps a lot to say, depends on where my fingers and thoughts take me.

In my family, we are dealing with Alzheimer's Disease. It is the early stage of the disease, where you are almost not quite sure that is the issue. Then things happen that remind you - yes, indeed, AD it is.

I've been reading a bit about it. Whenever the vision of things to come gets too great, I 'cave' for a bit and pretend it isn't there. Yet it is. I think it is okay, at this stage of the disease, to play the ostrich a bit. I hope by caving, by hiding my head a bit, I'm storing up the patience and perseverance I will need as the disease progresses.

Today, sneaking in from stage left, the specter of cancer has entered the scene. A lump felt was reported, then pushed and squeezed at the Women's Wellness Center, who pointed to the mammographer and sonographer, who pronounced a biopsy is needed.

Tomorrow, new doctors will be called and a biopsy of some sort will be scheduled (hopefully, SOON). Then we await the outcome. It could be nothing. It could be something. It is certainly scary. And I hope there is a cancellation that can be filled and have the verdict rendered sooner rather than later.

The Wellness Center was able to get her in the day she called because of a cancellation. Mammograms can take a week to be scheduled. She was taken the next day. Probably would have been the same day had they been open when she got out of the first appointment. I hope the biopsy happens as quick.

A saving grace in our drama? The patient is still in the early stages of the previously named disease and is still cognizant of her surroundings and things she needs to do. Indeed, she felt the lump, albeit several weeks ago, and called the Wellness Center herself on Monday.

Lists and notes and verbal reminders keep her on course. Some new ideas stick easily. Others get twisted up on days and dates and times. The lists and notes and verbal reminders help keep them untwisted.

Please offer up a bit of prayer or good thoughts or whatever you do to wish people well. We'll be needing every bit of everything you can send our way!

I don't think I can cave on this one.

(PS - I am not the 'she' in this story, in case anybody thought I might be!)

Monday, January 05, 2009

1.5.09 - Special Olympics

Delft Blue and White scarves were requested for the Special Olympics, using Red Heart Super Saver. The Coats & Clark site put up two patterns. I chose a different one from a crochet book I have.

When I googled before, the Coats and Clark site was the only one I found specifics on. Today, while looking for the link for the blog post, I found the "History of the Scarf Project" at the Special Olympics site. They disagree on size.

The Coats and Clark patterns yield the following sizes: Knit Scarf: 5¾" wide x 60" long; Crochet Scarf: 5¾" wide x 64" long.

The Special Olympics site asks for 4 1/2" wide x 50" long.

Mine is closer to the Coats and Clark size. I hope it is still acceptable. I'm sending it anyway.

SO Scarf

If you want to participate, they'd like to receive the scarves in Idaho by January 15th. So, you better get cracking!

Sunday, January 04, 2009

1.4.09 - End of long weekends

...for a little while! In two weeks, I'll have another 4 day weekend (Martin Luther King Holiday and Inauguration Day). Three weeks after that I'm off for a two week vacation (Feb 11 - 24). March and April are going to be rough after all this 'off' time in December, January and February!

Today was laundry day. And cooking dinner. And finishing a HAP afghan.

I didn't accomplish even half of what I wanted to get done over the past two weeks of more days off than days at work. Instead of the knitting, cleaning, organizing, crocheting and other much needed household chores, I fell into a few books I received or that I have had on my bookshelves beckoning me to read them and absorb their messages. I've been reading more these past two weeks than I have in the past three, nay SIX, months!

The books that called me:

Amazing Grace for those Who Suffer, edited by Jeff Cavens and Matthew Pinto. An inspiring collection of essays written by people that found great Grace while going though amazingly painful life lessons. None of the stories is my story. None of them are just like me. All of them have touched me in an indescribable way.

Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light, the private writings of the "Saint of Calcutta", edited and with commentary by Brian Kolodiejchuk, M.C. Mother Teresa has long been a favorite of mine. What an inspiring life she had and what great suffering she endured as she answered the call to "come be My light." I'm only about halfway through this one, but I look forward to the rest of the journey.

Amazing Grace: A Vocabulary of Faith by Kathleen Norris. Another fabulous book showing one woman's journey of faith and conversion. Each chapter or story deals with a word or a concept that she had to figure out in order to move forward, to accept her faith. It is a fabulous book. One that I will re-read, a bit at a time, as I live through my own journey. Each segment could easily be a stand alone topic for meditation and reflection.

Each of these books has touched a need for something in my life. I am so blessed to have them.

1.3.09 - Socks for me

Regia Gray Black k2p2
Originally uploaded by radarkaty.

It is still the 3rd to me, even though it is after midnight here in Maryland... so my 1.3.09 blog brings you - SOCKS for ME!!!!!

Friday, January 02, 2009

1.2.09 - Special Olympics

Lightning Bolt 1
Originally uploaded by radarkaty.

I read about the Special Olympics drive for knitted or crocheted scarves to be given to the participants of the 2009 Winter Games quite a while ago.

For a time, the Delft Blue was difficult to find though I found some last October. Even though I found it three months ago, I waited until today to pick it up and do something with it!

Looking through some of my old magazines as I was cleaning up, I found a neat pattern in the October 2003 Hooked On Crochet! magazine -- Lily Chin's Lightening Bolt.

This afternoon, I began a Delft Blue and White version of the scarf.

It needs to be mailed on Monday, so I better get crackin'!

Thursday, January 01, 2009

1.1.09 - and so we begin

And so we begin a new year. Full of promise. Full of hope. Full of fear. Full of change. New years are always so full when we start them. We want to do everything at once. To realize the potential and finish what we start. Then, when the instant gratification of easily realized potential or things that finish fast fade, we realize that we have that full year ahead to do the rest.

Some of us rise to the challenge. Dig into every new adventure. Push through the pain and misadventures.

Some us just bob along like that little red and white bobber on the end of a fishing line, just floating along waiting for the fish to pull us in.

Some of us do a little bit of both. I think I'm a bit like this last category. My best of intentions often end up bobbing along the water's surface waiting to be pulled toward my destiny. Other times, I figure it out and do it, do it, do it!

This year, I'd like to "do it, do it, do it" more and bob about a little less.

This is my list (so far) of things where I believe I need to apply the "do it, do it, do it" philosophy.

1. I have some research to do, plans to put in place and a whole lot of praying about Alzheimer's Disease.

2. I have sweaters to knit and lace to block and heels to turn.

3. I have 6x9 rectangles to crochet into 7x7 rectangular blankets for our wounded warriors. Designed and delivered by HAP (link on the side bar)

4. I have bills to pay. Things to sell to help pay off the bills. Things to donate to get them out of the house.

5. I have food to plan and prepare. Healthy food. Food that will enable me to be healthier - which will lead to weight loss and lower blood pressure.

6. I have a house to organize, to cull, to pare down, to ready for eventual sale. This house will be too big for just Mom and me. It is also a bit far from the doctors and resources Mom will need and the friends she remembers.

These are not resolutions. This is a list of things that have been bopping about in my head that needed to be written out to make them clear to me. And, really, all of these are just topic sentences for much longer chapters in the book of my life. Definitely not resolutions. More like my abbreviated "to do" list.

I'm off to a good start on this first day of 2009: 1.5 afghans are crocheted together; two 6" squares are finished for Dan; 3/4 of a sock cuff is complete; 1/4 of the second glove is complete; the stole will be blocked and photos taken tomorrow (blocking pictures)and Saturday (dried and beauty shots).

Tomorrow is grocery shopping for good food. Most of the holiday junk is gone. Time to bring in the new! better! best! food. :)

Over the weekend, the budget will be drafted. All the bills are in hand and the new spreadsheet will be set up. Dave Ramsey, here I come. Well, a modified Dave Ramsey until after the February Cruise!

I have a number of books and websites picked out to begin my AD research.

I want to journal, note the changes, the successes, my reaction, my analysis of my reaction.

Finally -- Prayer - beginning and ending each day in silent reflection and/or organized prayer - a decade of the rosary; a plea for sanity, for patience, for love. Continued prayer when I need an extra boost through the day! I think these midday needs will be greater than I can even imagine at this moment!

If you pray, send up a little missive for me and my Mom and my boys. There is a long road ahead of us.

Until next time.