Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Sigh! I Really Did Sit and Watch T.V. All Day!

I admit it. I guess I am in front of the group and "My name is Juliann. I guess I am addicted to watching stuff happen on t.v." This was similar to "I am not going to get up at o dark thirty in the morning to turn on the t.v. and watch Charles and Diana get married." or " I am not going to sit here and watch all this sad stuff about Diana's death." or ......... Yes, I had the t.v. going almost the whole of the day.

I got back from the store at around 9:30 this morning, and immediately turned on the t.v. Some time while I was in the kitchen I heard someone say they couldn't believe that Ted Kennedy had already seated himself outside. I said to myself, "He shouldn't be out there. Bless his heart, he needs to be inside waiting in the warmth until he has to go out." Then I putzed around until I heard them announcing folks. I watched people come out. Like-who are these people? And where are they going to sit?

It was historic and momentous, and I am glad I watched t.v. I did turn it off for about an hour to get some things done, and to go next door to my neighbor's house. But then I accidentally found out I was missing the parade. I love a parade. I watch the Macy's Parade every year.

I finally turned it off after I got to see the Inaugural Gown. I miss my grandmother. Tonight she would have talked to me for hours about what people were wearing. She used to call me regularly when Wheel of Fortune would come on. She would call up and start the conversation with "Did you see what Vanna is wearing tonight?"

My grandmother would watch soap operas every day. When she saw a sweater she liked, she would get her magnifying glass out to study the design on the screen. She would sketch out the design and then she would make it. This is also the woman who made me the most god-awful knitted hot-pink mohair dress to wear at a Christmas party. I looked like a giant hairy watermelon. She had definite style issues, because she could not get it into her head what my body was really like. She had a fantasy body in her head, and hot pink mohair did not work in reality.

I watched Gerald Ford's funeral stuff and Ronald Reagan's funeral, too. I like to watch stuff on t.v. Maybe it started when we all used to sit in front of the t.v. and watch things like the Macy's Parade, or the Rose Parade, or maybe JFK's funeral. We only had three channels then, and all three had the same thing on. I don't know. I am glad I could sit there and watch in the comfort of my home. I am glad I am not in the midst of the whoopla and the crowds. I can turn it off and go to bed. Which is where I am going now.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Mr. Bush Still Has Time To ................

According to Baby this is the warmest place in the house. She likes to get there when it is really cold outside. Of course, if I am knitting in my nest watching t.v., then she and Noodles take turns sitting in my lap. Preferably interrupting the knitting. But sometimes a girl just has to go crazy. And hiding in a "cave" helps. We play a form of chase, and I pretend that I am looking for her. She hides somewhere-under a rug, under a blanket, in a sack, or behind a coat on the back of a chair. And I have to pretend that I am scared if she jumps out and I have to run. She prefers that I lumber with heavy feet and make noise.
And don't get too excited until tomorrow night. Then everyone can get really excited about Tuesday. Mr. Bush still has 24 hours to do something drastic-like invade another country. I hate to be so negative. But Mr. Bush reminds me of a bad dog that acts so contrite and sweet just before he bites you.
Anyway, I just realized that I am going to Tacoma in less than a month, and what will I wear? I am not going to buy new clothes, but my old clothes look a little shabby. I did hem two pairs of pants that needed that, and I moved a button on one pair.
I listened to Y Knits podcast today about the Men's Knitting Retreat. It sounded really nice. I did like one interview that the person talked about the silent knitting time. No one talks, just knits. It is very companionable, and it is soothing just listening to the knitting needles and the spinning wheels. The last time I went to knitting group, there was so much noise that it seemed to be bouncing off the ceiling and walls. It was hard to think.
I cast on for a Rectangle Vest by Lynn Vogle in Twisted Sisters Sweater Book. I haven't done that much on it, but so far I really like the way it looks. I have begun telling myself that I want to get x amount knitted on such and such and then I can work on the blanket. I have also made a goal of a minimum of three blocks a night on the blanket while I watch mindless t.v. That is-if I have met the other goal that I set before I can work on the blanket.
Last night was a particularly bad night for t.v. I watched some stupid movie called Supernova. I gave up and went to bed to read.
I have a lead on someone to remove the trash that is dumped in the back. Hopefully we can time it with the warm-up spells we seem to have every few days. Last week I spent a coupla hours a day during the warm-up picking up beer cans, trash, and bottles. I cut a lot of the honeysuckle back. I am trying to free up some of the trees. I want to get most of this done before the trees leaf out again. Then it is hopeless trying to catch up on chores. The poison ivy gets a head start too. But I would like to see what kinds of plants are back there, and maybe next Fall I can plant some bulbs. In about 5 years it may look like something again. I did get the seeds I ordered last week. So let's get this winter over with.
My thumb is healing, although it looks bad. The swelling is mostly gone. There is only pain if I accidentally hit it again. There is still a little bit of swelling behind the cuticle. I probably avulsed the root of the nail. I cut the fingernail really short, and I forget and try to use it. There is still numbness on top of the nail when I press it.
Let's all say our prayers for the new President, and hope that this will be a positive change for all of us.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Opposable Thumb!

Remember when Larson had the cartoon of the cows sitting in the living room and the phone rings. One of them says, "Darn, I wish I had an opposable thumb so I can answer that phone."
I used to have that cartoon in my office when I was an O.T. I thought it was so funny.

Well, this week I decided to make raised bed frames while the weather was nice. And--just as one can only imagine---I hit my left thumb with the hammer. Not a light stroke, but a hard hit as I aimed for the nailhead. I don't know how many times I told my brother to always open up the nail near the cuticle and let some of the blood drain out. Use a hot needle or paper clip if nothing else. And he has done that. But when it came time to do the deed, I couldn't stick the thing into the fingernail. I mean, this is serious pain already, and how much more could it hurt doing that? Actually, there is little extra pain to the area since it already has been punched. But I couldn't do it. So for three days I have been wincing and grimacing as I try to use the stupid thumb. The bruise is the whole nail bed now. So I will eventually lose the nail. It is still swollen and painful. I just wish I had had the guts back then, and there would be faster healing and less pain. But I rationalize that surely there will be three days of severe pain, and lessening pain after that. How stupid!

So did you know that you use the left thumb in your knitting? Even though I am a right-handed person, I use my left hand a lot. I could hardly knit with the pain every time I tried to stabilize the needle or hold something. This morning I could hardly button my jeans button because the button is on the left side, and the left thumb pushes it through the hole. And denim is less forgiving than other fabrics. And I reached to open the microwave door with my left hand, and immediately pain shot up my arm.

I lost the use of my left arm after a backpacking injury in 1989. It is so weird to realize that I use that limb for a lot of different things that I never thought of. Even when the nerves regenerated and I learned to compensate for the ones that didn't, I found it incredible that I had to learn to do some things over again. I know the thumb is minor injury, but it reminds me that we take our ability to do things for granted. I worked with stroke patients, head trauma patients, and other neurological patients for most of my career. I am always amazed at the resiliency of the human body to learn how to do things and how to compensate for the loss of a part of that body.

Anyway-off the soap box. I have been knitting the second man-sock, and I have been knitting on the mitre blanket. Those are easy, repetitive, and mindless knitting. I don't have to use my left thumb so much with that kind of knitting.

I decided today I need to go set up the folding table in the sewing room and get back to the quilt I started sewing. TR gave me a cute pattern for a ball with patches of a large hexagon and a smaller pentagon. At least the sewing corner is clean. I did a good job of that. I will have to find a table or desk that will come in the window or at least in parts through the doorway.

Until next time, keep your hands safe.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Tomorrow is ROC Day!

We had our ROC Day a little bit early because people do work. Sunday HandHeld Knitting sponsored a celebration for us spinners. We had ten folks there-a goodly number, I think- and we ate and talked and celebrated a new year of spinning together. It was good fun, good companionship, and good community. Oh, I almost forgot. Of course, Sasha was there supervising the group efforts.
I have been busy with ideas of what I want to do this year with my spinning and knitting. I have two sweaters in mind, but I am not there yet. I have read and studied all I can about colorwork and stranded knitting. I have drooled and studied patterns 'til I am dizzy. I think it is time to cast on.
I am also giving myself to that damn mitered blanket I started forever ago. Colleen suggested that I dedicate our Thursday night knitting to knitting on the blanket. I think that is an excellent idea. I am beginning to see a little progress, but it is slow going.
I have also decided that I need to do more challenging knitting this year. I am kinda tired of doing socks and easy, fast knitting. I know I will do some of both of those things, but I need to challenge myself to do something that I have to think about.
CF and I were talking about this last week during her visit. I think that it is imperative to keep my mind challenged and to do some knitting that requires thinking. After the disaster with the desk, I think I need more than that.
I got a desk from Habitat For Humanity ReStore, and they couldn't even get it in the door. I could see tearing up walls, doors, or cutting up the desk in the future. But the nice delivery guys said they would not even take it off the truck. Now I have to actually go back to the store on Thursday and negotiate with a credit and find another something. SIGH!
CF and I measured the space itself and the desk fit fine. But I never once considered how I was going to get it into that space. How Stupid Is That?!?
CF is an optimist. Just think, you cleaned up the room to move it in. Just think, you get a credit to buy other stuff for your house. The sun will come out tomorrow............ I wanted that desk, it was perfect, it was what I wanted.
Anyway, back to knitting. Thanks again to Joy and Colleen. Let's do it again next year!

Friday, January 2, 2009

What Do You Mean-It's 2009?!?

I just sigh as I realize that -yes-another year has passed by. It seems like it goes faster each year. I know intellectually that I have no control over it, that it just HAPPENS! But really, wouldn't it be nice to just wait a little longer until I finish these man-socks that are taking forever! Why do man-socks take forever? I know they are bigger-damn it-I measured and did the math. But it is taking me a long time to finish them.

I have been a little bit busy. I figured out that the best way to enjoy the holiday season is to go to someone else's house that is decorated. I can enjoy the company for a tolerable time of about 2 hours-maybe 3. I can enjoy the food and chit-chat. Then I come home, curl up in my comfie chair, and knit. I never have to worry that I have to take down the decorations or that I have too much food in the refrigerator that needs to be eaten. I can continue my normal home routine by just going to someone else's house that is not in routine. Simple.

My friend CF came for a coupla days away from her routine. It was nice to have her here. She is the one who helped paint my kitchen when I moved in and rearranged the furniture three or four times. So we looked through all the knitting magazines and books I have gotten since the last visit. We talked knitting and knitting and knitting. Today we went to the yarn shop and the thrift stores.

I have gotten into a habit now of looking for 100% wool sweaters that I can reuse. I unravel them, wind into skeins, wash them, and block the yarn. It is very satisfying to then have some really pretty wool yarn and to think of projects.

Well, my friend was kinda interested in that, but not sold on the idea. Then I found a really pretty HUGE man's cotton sweater in colors of denim blue, reds, yellows, and something else I can't remember. I held it up and I said, "Okay, this is not wool. What do you think?" She stood there and stared at it. "Washcloths!" I knew I had a convert. I told her how to unravel it, and she paid all of $1 for the sweater.

I have a white kitty that has shown up on the doorstep. She is super-friendly and really nice-to me. She is not nice to my kitties and they hate her guts. I have observed her in action around them without my apparent supervision. She is very aggressive to them. I think she has "only kitty" syndrome. So I guess I will have to find her another place to hang out. This is not working here.

CF and I found an L-shaped desk at a thrift store today that I thought might work as an office desk. But I was prudent and said I need to do some measuring. When I got home and measured, there is no way it will fit. But CF and I finally decided it would be a perfect sewing work station. I never even thought of it until we started talking about it and measuring and it was a brilliant idea. It is so weird. My sewing area is like the last thing I ever think of. I know when I moved in I thought that maybe some day I would buy some cabinets and a counter top and make a nice craft-work area. Well, for a third of the cost, here it is. I have to return to the store tomorrow morning and look it over again. I think it will work, but I have to be sure that it is in good shape, etc.

The weather is supposed to turn again in a coupla days. I need to get all my running around done this weekend. Of course, this Sunday we will be at Hand Held celebrating Spinning on the Roc. I know that the actual event is the 7th, but working people can only do it on a Sunday. So I am making meatballs in the crockpot with curry sauce, and I will make some rice. I may make my brownies. I will see how tomorrow goes. I am looking forward to having a fun day just spinning with friends and talking about fiber.

My Fair Isle hat has to be ripped. The colors are not right. SIGH! I am just not pleased with it, but may have another idea.

Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every New Year find you a better man.” ~ Benjamin Franklin

I hope to have more photos soon. I have not taken any new pics for a while. And luckily I did backup my photos on a CD before the computer was fixed. I no longer have my photos in my Kodak Gallery.

Have a good weekend. Stay warm, stay happy, and be well.