Saturday, February 28, 2009

2.28.2009 - the last of February

Yesterday, our high temperatures reached the mid-60s. Today, we are at 41F and apparently, that will be as warm as it gets because the cold front is on its way. Sunday into Monday, the current prediction is 5 inches of snow. Sheesh!

In knitting news:

Look, Ma! 2 socks on 2 circs!

Also, a Cascade Fixation Leisure Beanie almost complete:

and there has been some stealth knitting and crocheting. When the recipients acknowledge receipt, I shall share that with you, dear readers! :)

Until next time.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

2.17.09 - knitting report

Socks for Soldier sock number 1. I completed the first 8" and moved this sock to the smaller needles for the next 4 inches, following the pattern provided at the Yahoo Group. I have started sock number 2 and will try my hand at two socks on two circs when Sock #2 reaches eight inches. The yarn is Regia Stretch in a specially-dyed for Socks for Soldiers, Inc. colorway of Olive Drab.

Socks for Soldiers members knit beanies for our deployed troops -- in regulation colors, to be worn while in uniform, as well as 'leisure' colors, for other times. Cascade Fixation is one of the approved yarns for this endeavor. I happened to have six balls of Cascade Fixation, three black (can make regulation beanies with these) and three of this variegated blue colorway. This is the first of the leisure hats I will make with the blue.

I've finished a couple of other things and continue to work on still more things. My knitting ADD is in full force!! Pictures of the finished items will have to wait until the gift recipients receive them. Pictures of the Works in Progress will have to wait until I feel like taking pictures! :)

Until next time.

Monday, February 16, 2009

2.16.09 - I'm an absent bloglord

I've worried my friends long enough. Time for an update.

I have been an absent bloglord. Actually, I suppose I'm actually an absent bloglady! :)

Mom's surgery went well, as surgeries go. She still has follow up doctor appointments to keep. She's home and resting and waiting for the doctor appointments. We don't have the biopsy results to tell us what stage the cancer is. She has a drain that will be removed on Thursday, unless the drainage stops faster (it hasn't) or keeps draining (which means she'll have it longer). Either way, she gets the stitches out of the incision area on Thursday.

I'm guessing we'll get the biopsy results then. This doctor prefers to talk with you face-to-face rather than over the phone. Post-op appointment will tell us what the next step is.

The lymph nodes were more affected than he thought they would be when he suggested that radiation and Tamoxifen would be the probable follow-on treatment. Chemotherapy seems more likely. But, again, biopsy results will tell. And actual treatment regimen will be decided after a visit with the oncologist.

No treatment will begin until she heals well from the surgery, though results and decisions will take place as soon as possible.

Waiting is nearly as bad as knowing...

In the meantime, I have been knitting, but not taking pictures. Two things have been completed. But they are gifts. No pictures can be posted until they are sent to the recipients.

Also on the needles - a pair of Socks for Soldiers and a beanie for the group. Socks for Soldiers, Inc. is the organization. If you want to donate, click into their page. If you want to knit along with me, consider joining the Yahoo Group.

I'll take pictures of progress tomorrow, during daylight hours, and show you how that is going.

Until next time.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

2.8.09 - 95 years

Mom and I went to a Birthday Party today. The Birthday Girl turned 95 years old yesterday. She is sharp as a tack and has a firm handshake. I hope I am as aware and strong and well-loved when I am 95! Heck, I hope I make it to 95!

Granny, as she is lovingly called by all, is my Aunt's mother-in-law. The house was filled with family, extended family, and friends. And, so all could enjoy the multitude of porches, one off of just about every room of the house, the weather was delightful - reaching almost 70 degrees. Apparently, the warmth and sunshine show up for Granny's days frequently. The day they celebrated her 90th birthday was sunny and 70, too! :)

Friday, February 06, 2009

2.6.09 - Good on Friday

Good things this Friday:

My aunt stopped by to visit with my Mom today. Aunt drove up from Florida for her MIL's 95th Birthday party on Sunday. Mom and I are going to the party, too. But it was nice that my aunt could stop and visit with her big sister on the way.

My sister is coming to visit for a few days the week after Mom's surgery. To visit with Mom, help her out and to give me a break from nursing duties. I can't wait to see her!

My other Aunt is coming to visit for a week in March. If all is going well with Mom's recovery, this visit may coincide with the beginning of Mom's radiation treatments. This will help us all, as my aunt would be able to take Mom to some of the treatments and I'd be able to put in full days at work. Mom gets a little stressed when she thinks she is usurping my leave time. I have it to use, but she doesn't want me to use it on her!

My younger son came home to help with the housecleaning. We'll be spending a lot of quality! time on Saturday, culling and rearranging the storage areas in the basement, so that we can move things that are hanging around the dining room and second floor landing into newly formed storage areas in the basement.

The cleaning weekend is to prepare our cluttered 'public' areas for the Merry Maids to deep clean on Monday. Mom will be less stressed by a totally clean house. We anticipate a number of visitors to our home that may have never been here before... Mom would be worrying about hidden dust bunnies and clutter and such if we didn't prepare now and worry and stress are two things she doesn't need affecting her recovery.

Older son is taking steps to help himself get out of the rut he's been in. This is a good, good thing.

I've started a pair of Socks for Soldiers. It's really a swatc, to be sure I'm using the right needles, but I started as if it were a pair so IF I get gauge with the needles I'm using, I'll be well on the way to sock #1. I find that my gauge swatch has to be in the same size and style of knitting to be accurate. If I had done a 4x4 swatch I would have been knitting flat rather than in the round and my gauge is different with each method. I've gotten about an inch done. I think I need two inches or more to measure accurately, though I've done some spot checking on this one inch and it seems to be right so far.

The frigid temps of yesterday and earlier this week are giving way to a warmer weekend. Mid-50s are expected on Sunday. So, Sunday after Granny's party I can actually do a little work on the front garden to make the outside of the house a little more acceptable than the cold weather has allowed up to now.

Until next time.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

2.5.09 - Thursday

Thursday is weigh-in day. Down another 2.6 for a total of 19.6! Yippee!

Thursday is knit night. I spent a delightful 2 hours knitting and chatting. I took a look at all the yarns in the store and went back to sit and knit! :) When they were ready to close the cash registers, we were asked if anybody had any purchases. My response: "Nothing jump into my hands and said 'Buy ME' tonight." Yippee for restraint.

Thursday is also the day before Friday. Boy, howdy, am I ever ready for FRIDAY!

Until next time.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

2.3.09 - taxing

One tax return down. Three to go.

Younger son worked only one job last year. His was the easiest to do. TurboTax offered free Federal e-filing. Federal is filed and State return will be mailed on Saturday. He is chomping at the bit for his refunds. He has been unable to find a job at school thus far and could really use the money.

Mom has some dividend income which is, in theory, taxable. It rarely is because it is a bunch of little annuities and the total ends up being below the amount that requires a tax payment. She doesn't get any back, because she hasn't paid any. She doesn't owe any, because the income is too small. But she has it, so she has to report it. Hers will be next. Once she remembers where she put all the envelopes.

Older son worked two or three jobs and lived in two different places. We are still tracking down the W-2s sent to his former address. I'd really like to see them because I can't do mine until I see his. If he made less than $3500, I get to claim him as a dependent. The one he has received here covers the biggest part of the year. I'm hoping the one(s) from earlier in the year added to this one come in under $3500 -- because I have definitely been providing greater than 50% of his support, whether he made more or not... Obviously, the IRS doesn't care how much it really costs to support someone.

Truth be told, I really wish he made enough to support himself. But he didn't -- so, it would nice for the total to be such that I can claim him this year, all the while continuing to pray that he makes much more this year and can support himself!

I am also waiting for my last bit of information. I thought it would arrive today. But today's mail was only junk mail. Soon, I hope. Because I could use my refund too! :)

Ahhh, the joys of tax season.

Until next time.

Monday, February 02, 2009

2.2.09 - Ground Hog Day

I would say "Happy Ground Hog Day" but apparently the little furry rascal has predicted another 6 weeks of winter. Of course, by the calendar, there really IS another 6 weeks of winter. BUT, it would be nice to be mild for the rest of that time.

Up to this point, my winter has been mild compared to others. However, I am for winter!

Joke's on me. Snow is predicted for tomorrow after a high today of 59F. Sheesh. If it must be winter, stop with the yo-yo temperatures already!

Until next time.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

2.1.09 - February already

Hard to believe today is the first day of the second month of 2009 - already!

Sue and Mike gave me a lovely Christmas present- Dinner and a Show! I got the card in December and it was redeemed this weekend!

Saturday morning, I headed to their home. Early afternoon, Sue and I set out for the Lincoln Theater to see Arena Stage's production of I Love a Piano - a lovely musical filled with the words and music of Irving Berlin. A cast of six performed the songs of Irving Berlin in a series of themed segments as they followed the life of a 1910 Piano -- beginning with the sale of the piano to Alexander's Music Shop in 1910 through the show stopping There's No Business Like Show Business. It was a lovely piece of musical theater.

Following the show, Sue and I headed to Union Station and dined at a fabulous restaurant - B. Smith's Restaurant. The Creole, Cajun and Southern cuisine offered at this historic location offered something for everyone. Sue had the Swamp Thing and I had lamb chops and we were treated royally. I would recommend it to anyone wanting an elegant menu with down home flavors served by the attentive and friendly wait staff.

Bright and early (for me anyway!) Sunday morning, Sue and I headed over the 22nd HAP Put-Together. We had a hand in designing a few of the 287 afghans laid out to be crocheted together and sent off to our wounded warriors. See the HAP link in my side bar for more information on this wonderful group.

Heading home, I found my family room occupied by a few young adults hanging out to watch the Super Bowl. I offered up the standard game fare of wings, cheese sticks, chips and dips of various sorts. The college guys did their laundry while chowing down and watching a great game. I helped put out the food I brought home and then retired to my sanctuary to check in on my e-mail and favorite websites. I ventured to the family room for the exciting last few minutes of the game.

College guys have gone back to the dorm. Their friends have gone home. The young adult that lives here has retired to his sanctuary. I can hear the familiar strains of some car chase video game emanating from the closed door. At least he hasn't cranked up the bass of the surround sound because Mama Bear is about ready for my slumber and that would annoy me immensely!

Not much crafting was accomplished this weekend, but that is okay. It was a wonderful weekend filled with fun and friends and fine food!

Just a note to my commenters ... thank you all for your kind thoughts and prayers for my Mom and me. I appreciate your care and concern. We'll have some rough days, but I think Mom is feeling as positive about her prognosis as she can feel and we will get through.

Until next time.