Thursday, January 31, 2008
Tonight I get my first, and possibly only, night by myself. I should go home, clean, do laundry, exercise, cook a healthy meal. In reality? I'll probably go home, start some laundry, take a nap. Get up, finish the laundry, open a(nother) bottle of wine, grab the ice cream and watch Lost. No interruptions. No thinking. No talking. Nothing medical. Only me.
Tonight, unlike the last two weeks, is finally about me.
I think tomorrow night my mom will be back and it'll start all over again.
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Sunday, January 27, 2008
Decided I'd try knitting something more involved than a hat. I did the first 6 easy rows of the SOTSii: knit 6 rows. Then I screwed up the next row. Unknit it. Knit it again. Unknit it. Rinse and repeat. Verdict: knitting a pattern is tough when someone is not only talking to you, they expect an answer. I managed 2 whole rows of the pattern before I gave up.
My mom is healing well, as far as I can tell in my very inexpert opinion. She's also getting restless and cranky. I give her slack since she's my mom, she's old, she's injured. But I guess I'm a bad daughter because sometimes I just can't find that sweet tone of voice, or can't keep the tension from my voice.
We really really really have to find my mom a place to live ...
Friday, January 25, 2008
Hey, 4 isn't that bad, right? Ok then, on my imaginary scale a 6 is status quo, except you found you were fired and you were losing your house. Today was a 4.
It started out much closer to a 6. Maybe even a 7. I was on my way home! We had an appointment this morning with my mom's doctor. Her elbow is healing very well. Yay! The x-rays were fascinating, showing the nails and wires. Her hip (which she had replaced with a nice plastic and metal one a few years ago) is in great condition. Her knee, bruised and bloodied in the fall last week, was scabbed over and healing up very well. The doc changed the dressing on her elbow and knee, and said the knee wouldn't ooze anymore and just change the dressing every few days. We made an appointment for next week to have the staples removed and went back to her house.
We packed and headed out toward the airport for the 3:45 flight to Oakland. I told my mom it was a 3:15 flight because I'm a freak who doesn't like to be late for things like that. We parked the car at the off-site lot, got in the shuttle and got to the airport pretty darned early.
Mom was in the front seat of the shuttle van because she couldn't get in the back seat. That was fine, we were the only passengers. No problemo. But then Mr. ShuttleDriver opened her door first and started to drag her out. I tried to open my door but I don't think there's a handle on the inside. Mom yelped. Loudly. Louder. I could see something was wrong and finally got the door open and got out to help her. She pulled up her pant leg and blood was POURING down. No, it was GUSHING down her leg, and would have been even heavier if her doctor hadn't placed a waterproof bandage on her knee. Mr. ShuttleDriver had apparently let the door swing right into her leg, hitting her unhealed knee.
While I tried to find my mom a wheelchair or some assistance, Mr. ShuttleDriver unloaded our suitcases and hightailed out of there. A very helpful bystander went inside and requested assistance. A porter finally came with a wheelchair but there was blood everywhere. Even all over the sidewalk where my mom was standing.
To make this already way too long story short, a bevy of incredibly helpful people assisted me in soaking up the blood from my mom's clothing (note: Uggs are very absorbent) and from her knee. I have nothing but the highest praise for the TSA agents (is that redundant?), Southwest Airlines employees, San Diego Airport security and paramedics and porters and innocent bystanders. A horrific episode was contained and remedied. My mom was patched up, wrapped in plastic (really, I'm not kidding; we didn't want to alarm other passengers with blood dripping off her pants and shoes) and we made our flight in good time.
I'm not a nurse. I'm not a medical worker of any kind. I'm kinda grossed out by blood and bodily fluids. I can't watch when I (or anyone) get an injection and I turn off medical programs that show any detail. But my mom was in trouble and I mopped up blood and cared for her without any (external show of) hysterics. I was horrified but mostly for my poor mother who's been through so much.
There was one funny thing. When we finally agreed that we could use a paramedic, simply because nobody else had any gauze pads, the whole panoply of security forces showed up to take reports. Although they were helpful and respectful, they wanted every detail. While the paramedic was trying to fix my mom's knee, and I was sopping up blood out of my mom's shoe (damn, those Uggs soak up the liquids!) I also had to answer questions from a cop. Airport or TSA or San Diego, I'm not sure. General questions, names, addresses, what happened. He asked where we parked and I said the brewery lot (the brewery has been closed for I think decades, it's just the building now, with the cheapest off-site airport parking in the area). He looked at me very seriously and said "I have to ask you m'am. Have you been drinking?" I looked back at him very seriously and replied "No. I was waiting until we got on the plane."
I had nothing to drink on the plane. We got into Oakland, I retrieved the car and my mom, drove home through the pouring rain and then fixed up her knee, gave her some clean and dry clothes, made sure she was comfortable. My brother and his family showed up with take-out Mexican food. THEN we went through an entire bottle of Tequila.
Gee, my first night all week without wine ...
Thursday, January 24, 2008
Who cares if there's 3 inches of freezing rain forecast? I'll be back at my own house, on my own turf. For at least a few days. Even though my mom is coming with me.
My house. My bed. My bears. My yarn. My treadmill. Scratch that last one, right now it's only good for a fancy schmancy clothes hanger.
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
I thought I had the good escape of hiding out with the exercycle in the garage. When I got up this morning my knee was killing me; I guess my little workout the day before did a lot more harm than I'd thought. Crap, I can't even do some simple spinning. I had a little tension on the spin, emphasis on little, and I was out there less than an hour. I'll be making an appointment with the doctor as soon as I get home, this has been going on long enough. I've already decided that I won't be able to run Kaiser (again) and who knows when I'll be back running at all.
So that's the problem. I have no release, no escape, no activity, no endorphins flooding my bloodstream. I'm still trying my hardest to be sweet, helpful and a good caregiver. Everything against my natural personality. Heh. That's not true either. I keep repeating my mantra while I'm helping my mom: it's not about me.
Words to live by?
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
I managed 40 minutes on the exercycle today. I was only interrupted 3 times to fetch and carry. It was very nice. I never thought I'd have a "take me away, Calgon" moment while exercising but I did today. Since the majority of that time I was on my own, I'm going to try to schedule in
It was a lovely day here today. I heard about the freezing weather at home and boy, I'm sure glad I turned my sprinkler system on before I left. Very important that the frozen and frost damaged plants get hydrated. I think I'll have lemon slush ala tree when I finally get home. Bummer, so much for the thoughts of limoncello. Although that's mostly zest, so freezing shouldn't hurt too much.
I finished my nephew's hat. A basic malabrigo (mmmm, mmmmmalabrigo ...) 2x2 rib hat. Very soothing to knit. I've started on another hat for my sis, a Point Lobos hat in, yes, malabrigo. You'll have to imagine how they look since I don't have any way to get the pictures onto my mom's computer.
By the way, have I mentioned that my mom's computer is a Mac? Yeah, PC girl on a Mac. I dunno, it's fine but I prefer the PC. Probably because that's what I'm used to. And because I miss my own computer with all the games ...
Monday, January 21, 2008
My mom is doing well, for an almost-80 year old woman who just had a piece of her elbow reattached. Her arm is in a rigid brace, like a cast, so she's essentially one-armed. Luckily she broke the left elbow and the right arm is dominant. Still, there's not much she can do except eat with chopsticks. She's tired and in pain and helpless and, to be honest, whiny. I come by it honestly!
I'll be down here for the rest of the week, playing nurse, cook (stop laughing), cleaner, dresser and all round helpful hands. I got out the house twice today to run errands but mostly it's been complete attention on mom. I don't know how nurses do a 12 hour shift, I'm pooped.
Weight watching? Not so much. Exercise? Bwahahah! Good night's sleep? Maybe next week. I'm hoping that this will be good rest for my knee and I'll be able to resume running soon. I can't believe how much I miss it. And how much I miss my quiet life at home.
Saturday, January 19, 2008
Mom is trying to move to the Bay Area, specifically to a huge retirement community here. She's finally in escrow to sell her house in SoCal and needs a place up here pdq. She came up Thursday to see if anything new has come on the market and found one possibility. Not a great one, but a possible one since it's crunch time (as her local real estate agent has said) (over and over again) (annoyingly). Friday afternoon just before returning to SoCal she made one last visit to the house. And fell.
It seemed that she had only gotten bruised and scraped so she was taken to the airport and put on a plane. As time went on she felt worse and worse until she got home and realized she needed medical attention. She drove herself to the nearest emergency room and was diagnosed with a broken left elbow. Owie owie. As I type she's in surgery to stick a pin in it.
She'll probably be released from the hospital tomorrow and since she lives alone and won't be able to care for herself, at least for a while, I'll be her helping hands. I'm very sad that my soon-to-be-80-year-old mother is alone for surgery, but by the time she's really clear of all the anesthetic I'll be down there.
I anticipate that this will be a no running (good for resting my knee), bad diet (too much wine with be involved), no lace (won't have time to concentrate on it), many hat trip. Good thing I bought a bunch of Malabrigo this morning!
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Even a different picture doesn't make it better. I don't think even blocking it would help. I'm actually embarrassed to post these pictures. I'll have to make sure I watch the videos and see how to do a lifeline so I can frog back to rows where I know I didn't make mistakes. Of course, I'm not really sure just exactly what a lifeline is, I just read about it and figured I should have one.
I do much better with hats. This is going to be more challenging than I'd thought ...
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
I did more knitting on the SOTSii swatch. I'm cruising along, doing pretty well, a couple of times dropping or picking up random stitches and most of the time fixing that (hey, it's a swatch, who cares?) when I come across "s1k2togpsso" and came to a screeching halt. Scratched my head in confusion. After staring at it for a while, I broke it down and guess it means "slip 1, knit 2 together, pass slipped stitch over." If it doesn't mean that I'm going to have a very interesting swatch. I know I'll have enough trouble with reading the chart on the real stole without having strange instructions. Anyway, it's looking pretty good. At this point I don't think I'll have to use smaller needles. Whew!
So tonight I'm going to attempt a workout video and hope my knee enjoys it. I know the rest of my body, and my brain, will enjoy something different. I'm trying to tell myself I'm glad I'm not running, since it's freaking cold outside, but I can't fool myself. I'd rather freeze and run than cross train in a heated room!
Monday, January 14, 2008
I had lots of fun at Claudia's little gathering yesterday. The original idea was for just a couple of us to knit but it turned into a real party. Thank you Claudia! Although I got some work done on the current hat, I also started swatching the SOTSii. Because I wanted to still interact with the group I didn't even attempt to follow the chart this time. I think I'll do that later so I get used to reading a chart. I knit about 12 rows of the swatch and yikes, this stuff is hard to work with! But it knits up soft and pretty. I'm not sure but I may have to go from the size 3 needles I'm using to a size 2. I'm going to try to get another dozen rows done tonight so I can decide whether to go to the LYS and get the smaller ones. Lacy is one thing, loose is another.
Have a happy Monday-back-at-work-day!
Saturday, January 12, 2008
So in the name of resting my knee I spent 45 minutes exercycling and then cleaned my house for several hours. I think I'd have been better off running, but at least my home is sparkly clean. Highly unusual! Not a good job of resting and since I didn't eat regularly today I haven't been taking advil either. Ruh roh. Looks like I'll spend the rest of the evening with my knee packed in corn.
I'm looking forward to a seated Sunday. Claudia invited me over to knit (and eat) (and drink) (in a healthy manner, of course). It'll be fun working on my latest hat, or on my scarf, or even swatching the SOTSii, while chatting with friends.
When I bought my house about 9 years ago, one of the first things I did was rip out all the ugly landscaping, bushes and little trees and replace it with stuff I like. One thing I've insisted on in all my yards since moving to California is citrus trees. Simply because they grow here! And didn't in Michigan. I planted a dwarf Meyer Lemon on the side of my house and it's grown gangbusters, bearing tons of fruit that the neighborhood girls try to steal. At the same time, in my back yard I planted dwarf blood orange, tangerine, lime and mandarin trees. They didn't fare as well until this year. My neighbor cut down a tree that had kept them in shade most of the time, and this is the first time I've had at least 1 piece of fruit on each tree. I've been keeping my fingers crossed that the freezes we've had wouldn't kill off the fruit (or the tree, for that matter) and today I ate my very first blood orange. Yummy!
So y'all are probably thinking that since I haven't been putting up a Gratuitous Bear of the Day, I must have run out of them. Au contraire! I have many many more bears. I haven't taken pictures of them is the problem. So I'm changing the title of the feature to Gratuitous Bear of the Week and hopefully I'll be getting my camera out soon.
Today's Gratuitous Bear of the Week was given to me by my sis-in-law. She picked him up for me on a trip to Germany, the only place where a classic Steiff is now affordable. He's just a little guy, a classic fully jointed wool teddy. He sits on my mantle and watches.
Thursday, January 10, 2008
I got my yarn today for the Secret of the Stole II knitalong. From Sarah's Yarns I got his huge hunka JaggerSpun Zephyr Wool/Silk 2/18 lace weight yarn in charcoal and it scares me to pieces. I'm looking forward to working with it but I'm just a little bit dreading it too. Don't get me wrong, it's lovely to look at and to touch. Just very delicate. I think I'll finish the hat I'm knitting before jumping in to swatch.When I ordered the yarn I went above and beyond the quantity needed for the SOTSii. Mostly because I'm a freak and was afraid of being short. Partly because it wasn't that expensive, considering I'm going to be working my fingers and eyes to a frazzle and it's worth it. The yarn is sold by the 2 ounce ball but you can special order it rolled into one large ball. That way you don't have to weave in any ends which on delicate lace is a pain. Hey, it's a pain on bulky wool. So this dainty little yarn cake is 8" x 5" x 5". My question is, do I pull from the center or will it collapse upon itself if I do that?
I haven't blocked the lace scarf I finished but that didn't stop me from taking "before" pictures. The yarn is Rowan Kidsilk Night, a sparkly 57% super kid mohair, 18% silk, 10% polyester, 5% nylon in a gorgeous red shade called Dazzle. I used the entire 25g ball, approximately 227 yards. Well, that makes sense since the pattern is the Easy One Ball Lace Scarf by Song Palmese. It seems like years ago that I took her class for this at Article Pract. Whenever it was, I learned things like yo, ssk, and using a pattern. Not a chart mind you, but a pattern. It was apparently too advanced for me at the time but when I picked it back up it went very smoothly. I'm not sure which needles I started the scarf with but I ended up using 24" Options size 10-1/2 and they were perfect. I think I maybe started with Denise needles or maybe even with straights and they were impossible to knit the lace well.
Close up you can see the pattern but it will open up much more once it's blocked. I'll post the picture once it's blocked.
I sent my bro-in-law his hat last week, to keep his head warm for his last month in Pennsylvania before he moves down to Nashville. Of course, he'll be able to keep his head warm in Nashville since they've had some cold times too. It's a basic Brangelina made out of Malabrigo worsted in Black Forest. I used the entire skein except for about 4 inches; I had to reduce faster than the pattern called for because the yarn was running out.The last piece of knitting is a simple 2x2 rib scarf made from some yarn I bought in New York at School Products. This cashmere silk melange is soft and smooshy. This 75% silk, 25% cashmere yarn came in 87 yard skeins and I used all 3 that I bought. A very easy soothing pattern, enjoyable to knit while paying very little attention to it.
I have two more hats to knit and then it's going to be all SOTSii, all the time. I can't wait!
Tuesday, January 8, 2008
Last night I iced and advil'd and iced some more and went to bed visualizing a perfect, healthy knee. Power of the mind, y'know? Didn't work. My knee is still sore today, worse than it's been this whole time. It isn't swollen in the least but it hurts. Not big, shouting, screaming pain; little aching, pulling, tightness, sore, overall and hard-t0-describe pain.
I'm not going to the doctor since I know what I'll be told: don't run. Stay off it. Ice and ibuprofen. So I'm saving myself time and money and self-diagnosing it as "knee problem" (hey, I'm not a doctor!) and will follow the imaginary restrictions. Buh-bye long runs. Buh-bye short runs, for that matter. Give it a week and see how it is. [Insert long string of obscenities here since I have a bad feeling it may be longer than that week.]
In the good news department, I got my finisher's cap from Rocket City Marathon! I'm very impressed and I love it. Now I just have to be able to run in it ...
Monday, January 7, 2008
I'm actually looking forward to this. Well, a little. As easy as it is to let everything go and pay little or no attention to my health, my body is happier with good food and exercise. I don't sleep as well when I'm exercising (and what's up with that?) but I still feel fresher when I get up and even better after some working out.
It's just that this is a poor time for my knee to be acting up. I'm afraid to do a bunch of stuff right off the bat (including running) but I don't know how to do the whole healthy-lifestyle thingie without doing things that may hurt it. I'll just have to play it by ear. Maybe even start swimming sooner than I'd anticipated. Eww.
So what have I done during my time
The days are getting (slowly) longer and it's time to turn things around! No More Whining!
Oh wait, that's someone else's blog. I always whine here.
Saturday, January 5, 2008
Secret of the Stole II is a brand new pattern design by DK the Nautical Knitter. It will be a beginner to intermediate lace stole (non-beaded).Now, I know that many of my friends are not (yet) lace knitters but this is a challenge to all of us! Join, and join soon since the knitalong is about to start.
As in keeping with the tradition of the Secret of the Stole KAL’s, there will be several door prizes given away (maybe some before it even begins, you never know), a weekly “hint” (the pattern), and a hint question. All of which will tie into a theme for the stole which will end with a grand prize for the theme winner and you will be left with a great stole to wear just about in time for Easter.
Something to keep our minds off the crappy weather ...
Friday, January 4, 2008
But it's different in my office. Our building is built strangely; the upper stories are larger than the lower stories and some of the offices float out over nothing. When it's windy it shakes. Heck, when a large truck drives through the parking lot it shakes. It's shaking big time now.
Outside my new office windows is a line of large eucalyptus trees. These suckers are blowing practically sideways with bits and pieces flying off in all directions. And it's noisy. I can hear the leaves shaking, the branches cracking, the wind howling through the cracks in our walls.
It's a perfect day to sit at home, tucked up inside a warm blanket and sipping from a hot cup of tea, watching the weather. So what am I doing here??
ETA: It's now raining IN my office. Yup, my brand new freshly painted and carpeted and ceiling-tiled office. Fuck.
Thursday, January 3, 2008
Ok, where'd that come from? Next I'll be tossing around "matey"s and "avast"s and it's not even Talk Like a Pirate Day.
But it's probably because outside my windows the trees are whipping back and forth, the wind is howling, raindrops are blasting everywhere. The news is full of warnings and alerts and "Auntie Em, it's a twister" and holy crap, I may just sleep on the couch in my office instead of trying to drive home.
Or not. I have no knitting here, no books, no food (except chocolate truffles which is a point in favor of staying) and no bears. I can go home and run on my treadmill instead.
Tuesday, January 1, 2008
Marathons run: 7
(Shamrock, Avenue, Rock 'n' Roll, Erie, Portland, New York, Rocket City)
Marathons run under 6 hours: 6
(Shamrock, Avenue, RnR, Erie, Portland, Rocket City)
Marathons where I fell on my face: 1
Marathons run in the pouring rain: 1
Marathons I ran with someone: 2
(Portland and NY with Bree)
Seasons with Team in Training: 1
(Spring, including Avenue and RnR)
Half Marathons run: 6
(Mercedes, Jungle Run, San Francisco, Chicago, Rock 'n' Roll, Nike)
Short races: 3
(Shamrock 8k, Run San Ramon, Bah Humbug)
Races I registered for and spent the morning coughing out my guts instead of running: 1
(Kaiser San Francisco Half)
Fastest race: Bah Humbug
Slowest race: New York City Marathon
States visited: 7
(TN, AL, VA, IL, PA, NY, AL)
Yarn shows attended: 3
(Stitches West, Stitches Mid-West, CGOA Knit Show)
Money spent on luxury yarn and needles: $Ihavenoidea; itsalot)
Other cities where I visited local yarn shops: 7
(Nashville, Birmingham, Chicago, Erie, Portland, New York, Huntsville)
Hats knit: many
Scarves knit: lots
Clapotis finished: 1
Temescal Bags knit: 3 (?)
Other items finished knitting: Uh, I'm not sure. Who's counting?
Blog posts: 233
Bears purchased: I'm not telling, it's embarrassing
Times I deep cleaned my house: none
Times I surface cleaned my house: enough
Weight lost: 10 pounds
Weight gained: that 10 pounds and a few extra
Dates: yeah, right
Movies seen in a theater: I think it's 0
Books read: dozens and dozens
Jobs: 1 (this hasn't changed for 18 years)
Earthquakes felt: 2
Resolutions for 2008: 1
(Try a tri) (which involves getting back in shape)
I guess it was a busy year; no wonder I'm tired! I've enjoyed my "time off" for the past few weeks and I'm hoping my knee and the weather cooperate with starting back in with training. I have a few more days of