Thursday, October 31, 2013

I hope it isn't old age

I've morphed into a doddering old geezer. Not only am I dipping on the right & swinging a cane on the left but the other day I tripped over an extension cord - it's been there for at least 10 years now - and strained my right shoulder & neck trying to save myself from falling. Geeze - I am so DONE with being an invalid.

All this being said, I managed to get to Starbucks in the morning before it got too painful & spent an hour sitting outside in the sunshine yesterday. I've been helping a new pal get some assistance from Welfare & we're in our third month of being shuffled around, lied to & generally dismissed. But, we're actually so close to actually GETTING that extra $194 that we can taste it!.
We've been to 4 different offices, filled out applications on line, called two different Advocates, filled out the medical papers twice & finally talked to a lawyer, to get him  medical, dental, prescription, transit & the little top up. He's 61 with a useless left arm, fighting like hell not to become homeless. So, I drive him when I can & take him for coffee to make sure he's still got food. And I help fill out forms. Why?? Most of us are two paycheques from disaster. This could so easily be me. And I'm not sure I'd put up with all the nasty, condescending, arrogant jerks in charge of benefits.

In the meantime, I make sure I walk at least a block every day to keep the knee flexible - as long as it's paved, tiled or cemented. I sure can't afford Physio @ $40 a pop. This leaves me lots of knitting time when I'm not banging on the computer. I haven't quite finished the blue socks but I have decided on a winter sweater. My basement is cold so, I wear an old wool sweater all the time. If I don't, I'm really cold so I know the value of wool. I have all those Briggs & Little blue skeins. All different shades of blue - some with nylon & some without. But they should all work nicely in Mitered Squares. And that's all I'm gonna say until I get the first couple done & see how it looks.
It's Hallowe'en,  beware of the night. A big black spider has taken up residence outside on my patio. Of course it's raining here in the Lower Mainland. We've had one of the driest Octobers on record, foggy sometimes but usually sunny & warm when it burned off. I was out basking in it yesterday while feeding the birds at Starbucks. But it has to rain today, on the last day. They sure don't call this the Wet Coast for nothing.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

On the Dole

It looks like all was for naught and I'm unemployed as of Monday. Not only that, but I'm broke and unemployed. We worked our buns off for the last month but nothing could change the fact that we were sliding into an early closure with an uncertain future. Well, we did our best and here we are .  .  .  Broke. I suppose it could be worse. At least I have enough work in my home office to keep me working till Christmas.  And, there's the sweet allure of getting up when I want and working when I want  .   .   .   .

I like to work at night. I like it when it's warm and quiet and peaceful at 3AM. No phones ringing. No kids screaming. No husbands/wives/teens yelling at each other. No clanging garbage lids or slamming doors. Occasionally a cat or a raccoon sits on the outside stairs and looks in through the window. But the night is mine, mostly. I share it with paperwork, data entry and Audible Thrillers. I'm not normally a night person in my real life but in my working life, I prefer it. I just hate to get up when it's dark outside!!

The nice things about a home office - no commuting unless you're having a breakfast or lunch meeting! No worry about fog or snow or traffic jams. You can also do laundry, bake, make soup, can peaches & sit in the sunshine at Starbucks for an hour as you work. I was too working  .   .   .
And the only problem with a home office is the loneliness. You get cut off from people with fewer opportunities to meet and talk to them. I guess while I have no voice and one gimpy leg, the best option is my home office!!

Another advantage of the home office is the freedom to take knit or spin breaks instead of drinking coffee. I keep eyeing the mountain of yarn and wooly things I have in my collection that never seems to get worked on. I am working through the sock yarns at the moment but I need a fall sweater finished ASAP & I don't know what to do. The handspun sweater is probably two thirds finished but it's now too light to wear for late Fall. The Purple Acrylic one is not warm enough either. I haven't quite finished spinning  all the 'bumps' from the mill ends which need to be dyed together in one dye lot. I think that wool would make a terrific jacket but my knee won't let me spin yet. I do have a big bag of blue sport yarn - a nice Robin's Egg blue - and enough blue in a worsted weight to make a jacket - leftovers from ManSweaters to be. But, I guess one of them will be my winter sweater even though I prefer grey or red or purple. Sigh. Is anyone giving out wool for Hallowe'en this year???

Sunday, October 20, 2013

He who does not toil . . .

I am fairly stable on my pins these days & decided, at last, to drive on Tuesday. I made my way down to my favorite Greasy Spoon & had a gloriously decedent 3" deep, real turkey & Swiss on rye! I was stranded at home for Thanksgiving so I was entitled!! Actually, I've been home eating soup or baked spuds with cheese or anything a one handed gimp can carry in an 8 cup plastic measuring cup with a handle since the morphine wore off & I decided I wanted to eat again. The pain was so bad that getting on & off the pot or a chair made me think twice about eating or drinking that first couple of days .  .  .  .   So I sipped a little water & lived off excess body fat.

Driving is okay as long as I don't have to hold the brake pedal for too long. Sitting too long with my leg at an angle is also a bad thing.That first step or two when I straighten up is a zinger. I can go UP stairs pretty good but coming down is miserable unless I go backward with my butt on the rail. Other than that, I'm walking fairly well every day. Yes, Karen, I can tell why I have to put the cane in my left hand even though my left wrist is not happy. 

Carrying is another thing - try a purse, cane & bag of something. Do I throw money & my bank card into the knitting bag??? Get a bigger purse? A shopping bag that holds money, knitting & hamburger?? One cane & one bag. That's it. Or, take a person along who carries. How do old people manage these things anyway??? How do they get on a bus with a cane and a bag???  I have renewed respect for all the folks who muddle on despite handicaps!!

And just so you don't think I've been doing nothing but laying in bed with Romances & Chocolates, another pair of socks is completed & still another is on the way. This is the blue Phildar yarn I bought eons ago. Feels thin as you work with it but fluffs nicely when given a bath! I do admit to sitting in my livingroom every evening with the heating pad on my knee, knitting. The muscles are sore from compensating for the cane so I warm them up nicely before heading for bed.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Hot Damn

Woohoo, Hot Damn! I traded my crutches for a cane today. I'm an official Old Geezer, fer gosh sake. Well, maybe not quite - I did skip the walker  .  .  .  one was suggested by someone but no words needed to be said as he took off running. He did come back with a proper cane. I can't go too fast or make any sudden turns or twists but I can now lift my leg a little. I can also get up & down from a chair without wanting to scream. And that terrible pain & the morphine are both gone. My knee bones crack & make a lot more noise than they used to though & I'm definitely unstable on that pin - guess I won't be using my 'Walking with Leslie' CDs any time soon.

As soon as I can drive and get to Starbucks & the veggie store, I'll be happy but I'll wait a while longer. I suspect it'll also be some time before I'll be spinning any of that lovely stuff I have waiting in the living room. Good thing I like knitting socks!

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

It Was a Party

Our new Surrey Memorial Emergency room opened unofficially on Monday. I hear the Official Opening ceremony was Tuesday but I wasn't there. I got to go to the unofficial opening on Monday instead .  .  .  I spent 8.5 hours in one of the new wheelchairs admiring the nicely padded seats in the waiting room, the nicely padded recliners in the Triage room & the nicely padded, curved chair/beds in the Treatment rooms. The new wheelchairs do not have much padding & made what wasn't painful when I arrived, painful by the time I left.

Somehow in the night, as I took the right turn out of my bathroom, something went CRACK in my leg & left me almost fainting with pain. Somehow I made the two hops to the end of my bed & crawled back in.  In the morning I had to get up to use the bathroom again & realized I was in trouble. I guess that's when I should've gone to the hospital but everyone was at work & I wasn't going by ambulance for a crummy knee that wasn't even bleeding. So I went later in the day instead. Baaaaad Idea. Everyone else in Surrey came too. It was Saturday night on Monday afternoon. It was a mob! The Triage people said it was the busiest day so far this year! And it wasn't even officially open .  .  .  after all I went through in that 8 hours, it seems I've probably torn my Meniscus which is behind the knee cap & stabilizes the bones at the knee. It seems all the other tendons are fine & there's no fractures of any bone. I just don't understand how it can be so darned painful!

And just so you don't think I do anything other than get into trouble, here's what I was doing before I wrecked my leg. I took it to the hospital with me & finished off the toe & started the next sock. I love the colors in this yarn even more when knitted into a sock.  I have a ball in blues too which I also love even though it's really thin to work with. I'm also using my new Chiaogoo RED needles that Gail brought back for me. I love them, they're so smooth at the join. I'm probably repeating myself here but it's worth repeating!! I have now completed 2 full pairs in Kroy, the Regia in this multi-striped Nations colorway - thank gawd it's the last - & halfway through one pair of my Phildar socks to complete the new Winter sock wardrobe.

Now there's only a couple of pairs to knit for friends for Christmas & I can get back to those sweaters for ME for a change. Since I can't spin for the near future, I guess I'll be knitting. It's time Arvik got finished.

Saturday, October 05, 2013


The girls went to OFFF - the Oregon Fleece & Fiber Fair for those who don't know. It's been running for years & years & several of the Wednesday Nite Nitters -  my Wednesday knitting & Ravelry group - decided to venture forth this year as a group. Not a bad idea to share the expenses - gives you more money to buy GOODIES!! One of our favorite Vendors is at OFFF every year so at least one of us had to go shopping! Linda, at Sunset Fibers, dyes up some interesting fluff. She's the one who dyed my fibre for the cowl I want to knit from Knitter's Magazine - the Reds & Rounds cowl that extends down the shoulders to mid-arm. She's the inventor of Pink Elephant which I love.  I just joined Linda's Roving of the Month club, ordered a couple more items before I was done & spent my whole TOONIE collection!!  I save all my $2 coins & use them for fibrey purchases - that way it doesn't come out of my budget & I can buy what I want.

And it was just like Christmas when the Girls got back. I got two pairs of ChiaoGoo 24" lace needles in size 1
(2.25mm) for knitting socks! I'd been buying KnitPicks Harmony circs but their quality control has gone downhill - all of the ends where the cable joins the wood is off centre, rough & misjoined. Sending them back gets a new set in exactly the same condition. So, I've gone to a new maker - ChiaoGoo are smooth, lovely & joined perfectly!! I put them into the current sock immediately!

I got the Roving of the Month in the middle in that bluey green with the pnks.
I have no idea what it will be yet - I'm always surprised at the resulting yarn once it's actually spun up.
The bag on the left is a new colorway called Raspberry Mocha. It's designed to spin two colors at the same time for a marled yarn. I just loved the sample of the spun yarn & the buttoned cowl pattern that goes with it.
Of course, I had to get another bag of Blue Jeans. This was the bag with the lovely blue wool, neppy white wool & the nasty beige dryer fluff that shocked me when I opened it. Since it had been a gift, I tried very hard to keep my big mouth shut about it's quality & just worked with it the best I could. It was a challenge to spin - especially that beige stuff! BUT, when the skein hit the water - OMG - it just opened right up. It sucked up the water like a sponge. After rolling it in a towel & beating it several times against the outside post of my patio, I hung it to dry outside, hoping for the best. Well, it sproinged into the loveliest, touchable, hugable skein of yarn so nice that I don't want to knit it into anything. I just love to pet it. I love it so much that I ordered it a friend. Dunno what it will become, maybe socks, maybe l-o-n-g fingerless mitts, maybe a big, long rectangle to wrap around my neck & head.