Friday, October 30, 2015

The First Week With a Voice

I've survived my first week post-surgery. My voice is still raspy - they SAID it would
take at least a couple of weeks for the swelling to go down & the healing process to finish but you know how we want everything NOW. I couldn't drive for a few days - still suffering from a stiff neck & headache on the left side if I did too much turning. So, breakfast OUT on Wednesday was a real treat!! My Ex slyly gave me an envelope with November's rent money in it so I wouldn't have to worry about getting back to work so soon. And the cook in my favorite cafe bought my breakfast to celebrate!!! It was like a Birthday!!

Everyone stared at my neck. I knew they would. No point in trying to cover it - like I have anything anyway - so I wore a bright pink tee under my purple fleece jacket & called it an accessory. The colors all matched nicely. With a little eye shadow & some Dracula Phangs, I could attend any Hallowe'en party this year. But, I think I'll stay home & watch the Home & Garden channel & finish a sweater instead.

My Dirt Magnet Wallaby is almost finished. I had very little Blue left but lots of Red & Yellow & Black. So, it won't match but the colors are similar to little Brother - enough so Mom will be happy with the pictures.

My Niece wants l-o-n-g wrist warmers. I'm not exactly sure what she means by that but I'm assuming she wants fingerless gloves - I hope that's what she means. Anyway, I found some lovely THICK merino - I have four 25gr balls of it - that knits up quickly. It's a yellowy brown color I believe they call Tobacco. It's a color only a Fall color lover could love. I cast-on 36 stitches & worked K2P2 ribbing for about 7 inches & then did a double YO to make a thumb hole & K2P2 into the YO on the next round to make it slightly larger for the hand. She can wear them as fingerless gloves or turn them around for wrist warmers.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

How Sharon Got her Voice Back

I sucked it up & made it to my surgery. I decided I was sick & tired of my squeaky half voice, the shortness of breath & the constant coughing that has been my lot for the last three years since my left vocal chord got attacked my a flu virus. Yes, Virginia, the flu can render you voiceless. 

For a person who has talked too much since she learned to talk, it's had a devastating effect on my life & personality. I've become a home bound recluse with a shrinking world. I stopped trying new things & even stopped going to most of the places I once hung out. Why go if you can't talk?? Or you cough all the time. Either everyone hears my squeek or no one can. It's been a trial so I just stayed home.

So, I had the surgery on Thursday. It was a lot easier than I thought - the most painful part was giving up my nice warm socks to wear those horrible green things!!! The absolutely worst part of the whole thing was the 18 hours I spent in 'Recovery' with all the beeps, blips, noise etc. I started out in Day Surgery & ended up transferred to the main Hospital. I was too well for Recovery but they were concerned about my breathing. The surgeon DID have to work to jam in a large implant because the smaller one gave me no voice at all, so I had a lot more swelling. After an overnight in 'Recovery', I demanded to be released & came home.

I was so happy to be here, I ate yogurt, drank hot tea & fell into bed for the best nap I've ever had. I don't care what anyone says, you can have the best care in the world by the best nurses in the world - and they were pretty damned good in both hospitals I was in - but there's nothing like your OWN bed, your OWN bathroom & silence.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

I'm in Trouble Now

Remember my last Wallaby?? The one for the Dirt Magnet?
Well, I sent it home with his dad on the 15th to be tried on to confirm it was the right size before I started the one for his younger brother. Since I've never seen the kids in person, I'm knitting from general
descriptions & their father's estimates of size. The smart knitter makes one & then checks to see if the other one needs to be larger or smaller before casting-on once more. Dad figured the current sweater would fit the Dirt Magnet to a T. Well, the best laid plans .  .  .  the younger boy met dad at the door, snagged the sweater, tried it on & hasn't taken it off. Apparently it was funny the first couple of days but now it isn't so much. While they can get it off at bedtime, it goes under the pillow until morning. He loves it. The bigger boy is not too happy but has been kept at bay with promises that his sweater is coming. Mom wants another one exactly the same for pictures. That should be fun. The yarn is no longer made & what's left in the bag is all there is. I never intended both sweaters to be the same. OOOOps.

And I almost canceled my surgery for Thursday. After being sick as a dawg last Thursday night & most of the weekend, I managed to get dressed yesterday but was too weak & dizzy to get further than my patio chair. I did drink a lot as advised & even slurped up some chicken soup before falling back into bed. Got up this morning feeling clear headed & able to function. Finally. If I had to be sick, I'm glad it was this last week & not the day after surgery!! Beware everyone. This one came right out of left field with no warning other than a stomach ache.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

On & Off the Needles

My Wallaby is done. I changed it up a little with the top of the yoke & the hood in garter stitch for a change.  It was a fun knit as usual but my fingers are not appreciating the fun this time around - both of my forefingers & my right middle finger have decided they don't want to participate in anything. It's like having a tooth that won't let you eat. I suspect it's all the misuse I've been giving them in the office .  .  .  . 

Cold doesn't make my fingers any happier either so I decided to knit myself a nice pair of loooong fingerless gloves. What I really want is a pair that goes up to the elbow & down to each of my fingers to the first joint. But I need a pair now. So these ones will only go a few inches beyond the wrist & be open to the first joint. The nice red yarn is Kroy & I'm using the ultra-stretchy Ringwood stitch to do them. I love the Ringwood stitch. I first learned about it on Knitty when I saw the pattern for the Ringwood gloves. Although I loved those gloves, I decided fingerless gloves were far more useful. Long fingerless gloves, that is. And while I said I wanted fingerless - what I really mean is fingertip less. I want them to have knitted fingers with open ends to keep my aching joints happy. This is only the first
incarnation. It turned out to be too big & too loose. It is warm though but too bulky to wear while using my keyboard which is one of the places I need to use it. I think I'll just make the next one smaller & see what happens. Back to the needles!!!  You know .   .   .  this pattern would make a terrific sock  .   .   .   .

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Just Another Long Weekend

I knew Thanksgiving - we in Canada celebrate in October - was coming up but didn't know exactly when until yesterday. I can blame the last few weeks for my memory loss, I guess, because it's been February all over again. Sharon's taxi has been running the Ex all over town this past couple of weeks for tests, more tests, surgery on his right eye & the post surgery appointments. I've been making sure he's okay, taking him out for soup & salad every couple of days & picking up groceries. And then finishing my big project of course. So I think it's fair to understand why I tend to forget unimportant stuff. In the end, Thanksgiving has become just another Expensive Commercialized Celebration that makes no sense to those of us who are barely scraping by.
Yes, I have the Ex, but he's still recovering from surgery & his eyes tire quickly. He just wants to stay home where it's quiet & nap when he needs to. I suspect he'll want to go out for a Chinese lunch on Sunday but that'll be it for him. So, I'll finish up this project & listen to 'The Martian' instead.

As I've mentioned many times before, I'm a big fan of Audible. I got myself a membership for Christmas back in 2002 because I loved listening while I sorted paperwork. I also love listening while I knit or spin. It's a purchase I've appreciated all these years & my library is very large today. I like Thrillers & Mysteries the best but I venture off into other things when the mood hits me & have a little bit of everything from History to Anne of Green Gables.
I bought 'The Martian' last year but never listened to it!!! Great book so far!!! I'm about halfway through & our Hero has had a series of setbacks. Is he freaking out??? He swore a whole lot & then got to work to figure out how to save himself. I love the log entry that starts, "today I killed myself." People talk about McGiver, this guy can give him a run for the money. If I have to be stuck anywhere after the end of the world as we know it, I want to be stuck with Our Hero. Read the book or listen to it. It's science, it's survival, it's laughter & it's tragedy. And a hellova big adventure as well.

Knitting content - the second Wallaby is almost finished. I just have another couple of inches on the hood to complete & the armholes to close. One more to go & then I'm absolutely, positively going to complete that top-down V-neck cardigan I started for myself eons ago & never finished. I intend to to so before Christmas.

Friday, October 02, 2015

One Down, Two to Go

The last three weeks have been the weeks from Hell in some ways but they've also been quite productive in others. My mountain of paper in ziplock bags has been tamed into neat, labeled & added bundles of information. I have arranged them into four big, thick files - one for each year! Now the fun begins. And I get to do the magic that reduces it all into a few concise pages of information. This is the part I really like. Well, besides getting paid, that is . . . .   Then it's on to the next one. 
 When I set up this office, I should've planned for a desk to extend around on two walls with storage shelves above for boxes & garbage boxes below. Sort of a big, L- shaped thing with everything tucked above & below instead of the cluttered arrangement it has become. I have a shredder on a bag-buddy in the middle of the floor. What's a bag-buddy???? It's a metal contraption that holds a giant bag up in your yard so you can fill it with leaves in the fall. I fill one with paper shreds. And two dead printers. And a 30 year old, 70lb copier that I can't use. Yes, it works but I have nowhere to put it. I really must reorganize.
I went to client sites, some after hours or on Sundays to do my work when I started out. I never intended to work full time out of an 8 x 10 room. Mind you, it has it's advantages, while you're fighting the traffic & weather to come & go from work - I'm safe & warm in my sweats with a big cup of tea. I listen to audio books while I work. And I can shut 'er down any time to have a nap, watch a favorite show or do my dishes. And I can do the wash, cook dinner & work at the same time. The problem is loneliness. And isolation. And chasing payment sometimes.

But I can knit at work. I can take spinning breaks & watch the 'Tea Time' British series on PBS at 3:00. And I've been trying to work on my Wallaby. Finished the arms & the
pouch fusion & am now working up the body to the yoke. This Patons 'Canadiana'  worsted is tough to knit with. It's heavy & dead & hard on the hands. I can see it better used with a large crochet hook to make rugs & fruit bowls instead of a child's sweater. And my hands agree. Knitting with the stuff makes my wrists ache & the heels of my hands burn. But, the kid I'm knitting for destroys everything else. So? What do you do???  I'll be very grateful when I can return to wool again. So soft & so alive in the hands. I have to say that working with natural fibre is a luxury that acrylic can never duplicate. And working with handspun fibre becomes a sensual experience that spoils you completely.