Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Ho Hum Wednesday, not Ho Ho Ho Wednesday.......

Well my friends I have nothing exciting to share.  Not much of anything to seriously blog about.  I did finish a cowl, while I like it very much it isn't all that fascinating or exciting. 

Made for a friend for Christmas, it is definitely her colors.  I have had this yarn for a while, bought on sale when my LYS closed.  Misti Alpaca Baby Me Boo in the color Green Tourmaline.

Based on the Interrupted Cowl pattern I have made two of already.  This time I cast on 125 stitches on size 10 needles, joined and knit the thinner parts and purled the thicker parts.  This yarn does not have as obvious thick and thin areas like the two previous cowls I made, but had enough variation to give it a lovely texture.  I am making one more, yup in the same exact yarn as I had two skeins of it and one skein seems about perfect for this cowl.  Another gift to give for a friend's birthday.  The yarn is really soft and beautiful to work with, so I hope it will be soft and beautiful to wear.  That is another 170 yards of yarn that has left my stash.

Glitter tree spinning around from the inside of my house.

Glitter tree spinning around taken from outside my house.   I have eleven of them hanging in my windows catching the light as it changes all day long into evening.  Please don't notice my dirty windows, I have no time for that task in my life right now.

This is the second cactus I purchased several years ago, Princess is her name and boy does she like to put on a show.  She is huge, and I tell her all the time that she should be very proud of her size, big is beautiful!

My parents cactus, Princess was smaller than this when I bought her.  I think I might call this one Little Girl, by the rate she is growing she won't be little for long.

Next to Little Girl is Her Highness, I have had this beauty for years and years.  She is so lovely and large.  She waits patiently for the other two to start blooming and then wows all of us with her gorgeous red blooms.  She blooms every single year, no matter where I place her.  She doesn't care if I over or under water her, she just takes it all like the Queen she is.

I am a bit out of sorts as today was a day off to take Little Buddy to Neurology, right smack in the middle of the day.  I will be making up work on Friday so really won't get much of a break.  He is doing well so far.  The nurse practitioner that we see every six months was as shocked as we were that he had this massive seizure.  He has done well for so long, but the good news is he is on meds, tolerating them well, and hopefully we can control this new aspect of his care.  I spent all yesterday afternoon and this morning writing up re-evaluations for work, it is a blessing to get them out of my head and down on paper.  No more huge paperwork for me for the month. Now if I could just get to those Christmas cards........

Hope your Wednesday is more Ho Ho Ho, than Ho Hum!


Saturday, December 3, 2016

A two cups of tea morning......

It is Saturday and I am much relieved.  This week has been crazy for me with my altered work schedule.  I feel like I have not been home at all.  I love Saturday mornings, a morning I can take my time and drink two cups of tea.  A morning I don't have to rush off to do anything, or drive anywhere.  

The weather is coolish out.  Not exactly cool but I felt a slight chill when I took Max out this morning.  It will warm up all to much during the day, but at night I can have my windows open.  Ah for a little bit of snow to make the season feel more festive.

When I walked outside I was shocked to see my cactuses in bloom.  Yes it is December and this is when they should be blooming, still it took me by surprise.  This little one was saved from my parents porch just over a year ago.  It was just one small dried up sprig and was left for dead.  I repotted it, and actually watered it and look what has happened.  I can't tell you how thrilled I am to see how much it has grown and to see how happy it is.  

Somehow I missed the berries on my holly tree.  Where there many or few this year?  Did the birds eat them?  I have no idea, seems I have been missing big chunks of time in my life with work and Little Buddy worries.

Today I will try to take a moment to just breathe.  To take a deep breath and appreciate my home and family.  To try and not get worked up about the fast approaching holiday and all that still needs to be done to make it a success.  All I plan to do besides clean up here and there is take one little boy to soccer early this afternoon.  I plan on being thankful he will be back out on the field and will be thrilled if he even kicks the ball once.  There is no game it is just Little Buddy and his helper Katie running around after him trying to keep him engaged.  I bet Katie needs a nap after she goes home from volunteering with my boy.

I plan on working on this cowl for a friend.  It will be part of her Christmas present, but there is still plenty of time to get it done.  Tomorrow will be about some shopping and starting re-evaluations for work, but today is about rest.  Resting my weary brain and frankly my weary body.

And of course listening to this little one of mine talk and play.  He really is such a light in my life and I am so thankful he is doing better. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Deja vu, sort of........

If you think you have seen this before you have sort of.  This is my second Interrupted Cowl by Heather Hill.  Made with, yes you guessed it Universal Yarns Bamboo Bloom Handpaints, in the color Koi Pond.  I had two skeins of this yarn in my stash, different dye lots but the same idea, purchased at two different stores.  Let me tell you there is a big difference in these two yarns.  The first cowl was a breeze, everything worked out like a charm.  I fear I got a bit cocky with it all, such an easy breezy knit, really no thought in it at all from start to finish.  I wrapped it up and sent it on its way and immediately cast on number two.

Number two was not having any of the thoughtless knitting stuff I needed so badly.  It started to pile up, all the thick parts on top of each other with miles of thin parts flowing without interruption.  It did not look good, it actually looked like it had some sort of crazy skin disease.  And coming from someone who had chicken pox and the fragile age of 20 and a horrible case of poison oak all over my face and neck a few years back that is saying something.   I frogged and started over with more stitches, surely this would do the trick, but it still manged to congregate in all the wrong places.  I cut parts of the yarn out and started again.  I cut even more out in hopes I would interrupt the pattern.  I finally let it go and somehow it all ended up okay.   So here are the specifics, I cast on with 120 stitches, using 10 1/2 needles, knit in the round, purling the thicker parts and knitting the thinner ones.  Knitting round after round until I ran out of yarn.  This one is indeed for Mr. 23's girlfriend for Christmas.  I hope she likes it and does not see all the ends I had to weave in!

I had an unintentional day off yesterday because I thought I was going to have to camp out in the Neurology office for Little Buddy to get an appointment.  Turns out he had a miraculous recovery Sunday and does not need to go until next week.  He even went to school for half a day yesterday, I did not want him to stay the whole day considering that he was still a bit weak.  So I decided to break out the glitter and make these fun Christmas trees to hang in my windows.  You know me and glitter I just can't seem to resist the sparkle.  I tried to keep the glitter bomb area relatively contained but it ended up all over my house.  Still I was happy to get these put up.  I made stars last year that I was not in love with so I wanted something else to sparkle in my windows.  I love to see them turn as the air gently moves them round and round.  Don't get completely excited I had a day off, I will be making it up on Friday.  Ah well it was still nice to have a few moments to myself after all the hectic time we had with Little Buddy. 

Here is just a bit of my decorating, I am so happy it is all done.  Now to see if I can handle it all up until after Christmas!  

Thank you to those of you that were thinking about Mr. 23 yesterday with the Ohio State event, such a scary thing to happen to those students.  Thank goodness things were contained quickly by the fast acting police.  My son was at his internship in downtown Columbus when the event took place.  His girlfriend was in class in lockdown for an hour and a half until they were sent home.  We certainly live in scary times.

And a special note to the lovely commenter that was concerned about Little Buddy and the iPad.  Yes those screens can cause seizures by those sensitive especially when rapid pulsating lights are present.  He has his iPad on a very limited basis, mostly when he does not feel well and will go weeks and weeks without touching it.  Thank you for being so perceptive and caring, I appreciate your thoughtfulness. 

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Sunday update......

First things first, thank you all so much for your support as we have moved through this scary part of our lives.  Your love for Little Buddy is truly amazing.  I think he has felt every kind thought and prayer and is doing quite well.  Well actually today he is doing well, up until now he has not been himself.

I took about fifty photos today just to get these two crazy ones.  He was moving and making funny faces and I am thrilled.  Up until now he has been quiet, lying on the floor and not eating.  The boy we work so hard to gain weight has lost two pounds.  He is a bit wobbly on his legs and resists walking to far with his canes.  Still I am hearing his happy sounds and talk while watching Mickey Mouse Club House this mornings, that little voice is music to my ears.  

So far no more seizures that we know of.  I have a video camera monitoring him while he naps.  He is sleeping in my room at night just in case........  He is taking medication that I hope he adjusts to. This boy of mine is a fighter that is for sure.  And let me just add that he has scared about ten years off my life so if I am looking a lot older than I am you know why.

Many of you new readers do not know the story of Little Buddy.  You can find it here under Beautiful Blessings.  And there was also some confusion as to who his medical foster family is.  After he got released from the hospital as an infant he was medically fragile and went into a medical foster home.  This is a family in the foster care system that has taken extended classes to work with medically fragile children. He was a ward of the state and did not have family to care for him.  In this home they took special care of his extensive medial needs.  It was here I met him as he was under my care for therapy.  He was with this very giving and caring family for the first 2 1/2 years of his life until he was adopted into our home.  They still love him a great deal and I am blessed to have their support on good days and bad ones.  I am still in their home providing therapy twice a week so they have regular updates on Little Buddy's progress.  It is so nice to know they will drop everything to help.  He was very lucky to have this home to care for him and is till lucky to be part of their life. 

While no knitting took place in the hospital and very little has occurred since we returned home I do have a finish.  My first Interrupted Cowl is finished.  I am loving this pattern and yarn.  Yarn I have had in my stash for a while.  Made with Universal Yarns Bamboo Bloom Handpaints, in the color Koi Pond, and size 10 1/2 needles.  You cast on 110 stitches, join and go.  When you come to the thick yarn you purl, other than that you knit.  What could be easier?  This has been blocked and packaged up to send to my friend Lynda in North Carolina.  The second cowl in this exact same yarn has already been cast on.  This one will be for Mr. 23's girlfriend.  The second cowl is pooling very funny with the thick yarn all ending up in the same place, I am not as happy with it so I have to keep cutting the yarn and adjusting it, still it isn't a hard knit and it will be just fine when it is done.

I have taken down the Thanksgiving decorations and decorated for Christmas.  I am a Grinch when it comes to Christmas but need to get it done while I have the time, during the work week there is not a minute to spare.  I got so nervous watching the Ohio State/Michigan game yesterday I even put up our tree.  I figured I had the older boys here so they might as well put up a few of their decorations before they return to school today.

Today is about older boys leaving.  Mr. 23 will return to the airport in an hour, Mr. 19 will jump in his car and drive back to school later today.  I am blessed they were here but sad they are leaving.  We will all be together soon, hopefully with a much healthier little boy to enjoy the Christmas Season with.  

Thank you again from the bottom of my heart for your support.  I really cherish this space I have and the friends I have made here. 

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Being thankful for today, a Little Buddy story...............

Today I have so much to be thankful for.  So much that makes my life full.  Family, friendship from all of you but especially one little boy who has given us quite a scare.

My husband went to wake Little Buddy up on Tuesday to find him, in what we would later learn to be a massive seizure.  My husband, I am not sure how, did what he was supposed to do, swept his mouth for an object, tried to get the potential object  dislodged, and called 911.  He ran my boy out to the ambulance before they had time to stop.  They rushed him to the hospital with my husband in a panic driving behind.  I was far away at work when I got the call.  Let me tell you that 40 minute drive was done in record time, all speeding laws broken and thankfully I was still aware to drive safely.

I arrived to see my boy hooked up to everything imaginable and completely unconscious.  They had stabilized him, given him x-rays, a CAT scan and blood tests.  When another critical care ambulance became available they transferred us to the Children's Hospital.  His medical foster father met us in the ambulance bay, he used to work at the hospital so had the whole team on high alert.  More and more tests were given, more and more doctors were talked to, and finally it was determined his shunt was not the issue.  At this point we still do not know what the exact issue is.  He finally roused at about 5:30 in the evening.  His little body had been through so much, a massive, massive seizure that lasted hours, medications that make you drowsy, tests. and more tests.

We spent a very restless night in the hospital with Little Buddy's head wrapped in an EEG, he looked a bit like a mummy.  Neither of us got any sleep.  We were finally allowed to come home late, late in the afternoon when my little one finally fell asleep in his own bed for several hours.  And last night, and for many nights to come he will be sleeping in my room.  As the seizure occurred while sleeping he can't be trusted for a while.

He is now on medication, we have many appointments to attend to try to find out why this happened.  But for now I am going to just be thankful that my little one is home and regaining his funny personality, his strength and his sense of humor.  For me, I slept like a rock last night but it is hitting me today.  I am good in a crisis, you won't meet anyone better at keeping a level head, but once it is over watch out.  That is when I fall apart.  Today will be about resting, knitting, enjoying that all of my boys are home.  Eating a wonderful dinner surrounded by people I love.  Wishing other family members were here with us.  Being thankful for all of those people in Little One's life that drop everything to be there for him, his aunts and uncle near and far, and his medical foster family they love him so much.  My sister who put the word out on her blog so those of you who pray could send a prayer to Little Buddy, and who stayed near the phone for two days just in case I got the chance to check in.  Our neighbors and of course our family.   Mr.19 arrived home, fed Max and drove down to the hospital to see his brother.  Mr.23 got home as scheduled last night and picked up his smelly, sticky, tired brother and hugged the stuffing out of him.  Celebrating all that I have and that includes all of you.  Happy Thanksgiving.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Redefining normal........

Normalcy has not yet arrived at my door.  No matter how hard I try to work, rejoice in Little Buddy and do all the things I normally do I am still having a hard time regaining my footing.  I think my sense of normal has shifted greatly these past few weeks.  Instead of listening to fear and anger throughout the last year, I tried to listen to hope and a good future for all.  Now I find myself living in fear and that is becoming my new normal.  I am fighting that feeling, but it is ever present.  I find not watching the news and trying not to read it, is not helping.  When our highest level advisers, and those positioned to take our highest levels in the government have such hateful viewpoints on people of different religions, races and genders, well that is a thing to fear.  And the fact that these people are becoming, "normal.'  We are normalizing their viewpoints and beliefs, that is the scariest thing of all.  I find it hard to settle down and focus.  I find my heart racing and realize I have been thinking fearful thoughts.  What will happen to Little Buddy and all the other kids I work with that need special care, social security, Medicare, a potential Muslim Register.........the list goes on.  I know you come here for knitting, I have some of that too but I have to say I am being honest in my thoughts right now.  And this is who I am, if you are sick of me I wish you well as you move on from my blog.  Let me add that privatizing Medicare will be a disaster, I hope those of you who receive it will put up a big fight.  The privatization of Medicaid in my state has left so many very medically frail and challenged children with very little services.  Little Buddy for the moment is lucky, he is still young, but so many of the kids that come across my path, who desperately need therapy can't get it because they have been placed in a private Medicaid that does not pay for it.  These kids will suffer not only now but in the future as they get further and further behind their peers, many of whom will have permanent disabilities due to lack of intervention early on.  See the fear is ever present.

I started this scarf on Friday and finished it yesterday.  Super fast knit with super bulky yarn.  I used size 17 needles, let me say my wrists do not like working with this bulky yarn and big needles.   The yarn is Tahki Select Poppy from Tahki Stacy Charles.  This took two skeins of 43 yards each,  which has now has depleted my stash by a whopping 86 yards.  I did buy this yarn several months ago on sale at my local to me yarn store.  I bought it specifically for this purpose.  The fun thing about the yarn is you can move the flowers to where ever you want them.  You just keep pushing them down the yarn while knitting until you want to place one, sort of like knitting with beads.  I am not sure Mr 19's girlfriend will use it but I wanted to make her something anyway, she is lovely and has stuck with him through thick and thin.

Today I start on a cowl for Mr. 23's girlfriend for Christmas.  She is about to graduate this December along with Mr. 23.  I am hoping she will like a cowl to keep her warm on cold Ohio days.  She is a dear and I just adore her.  I will be using the Interrupted Cowl pattern by Heather Hill.  Wish me luck.

Because I am scattered and can't seem to settle down with my thoughts I also started a new sweater.  This is the yarn I frogged from my failed Flaum.  I love the yarn so wanted to get busy right away and make it into something else.  While emailing back an forth a while ago with Chris I mentioned a beautiful sweater I would like to make but could not find the pattern.  Chris is all knowledgeable about these things as she works in a yarn store and teaches knitting, dream job I know!  She found the pattern for me, the Easy 2 Way Wrap.  It is made from three different sized rectangles, sewn together.  You are supposed to be able to wear the sweater two different ways.  We will see if I can pull this one off.  Thank you again Chris for finding this pattern for me.  Simple garter stitch knitting, row after row, is exactly what I need right now.

Here is an action shot of Little Buddy and his brand new, "Chase Robot'" as he likes to call it.  My dear friend Georgette saw this in a thrift shop, in the original box that was beat up but had never been opened.  Apparently these are not being made anymore, Little Buddy was thrilled.  These two are  having quite an adventure this morning.  By the way soccer day number two was yesterday.  Little Buddy made it a whole 45 minutes before petering out.  Yes I did fix his breaks, so he was able to move backwards and did not have to pick up his walker to turn.  He did kick the ball a few times but mostly tried to pull the equipment cart and got a ride in the golf cart with the soccer organization manager and his helper Katie.  Katie who is a sophomore in high school, was so excited to be working with Little Buddy she brought her mom to meet him.  Now that is special.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Trying to resume normalcy, a shawl and a Little Buddy fix......

While I am trying to resume some sense of normalcy, it is hard.  Everyday I hear a new thing that upsets me, swastikas spray painted on walls of Universities, one near me in fact.  Horrible things being said to children by their peers, a hateful email implying all black students should be lynched that was released through the University of Pennsylvania student email system.  It is hard to take a deep breath and feel things will settle down.  The news that Medicaid and Medicare will be changed, which will affect not only my job but Little Buddy's ability to get the services he needs.  I am living in a fearful place, a fearful place I did not vote for.  And once again our archaic system did not work, the popular vote was not heard.

Anyway I need to try to lighten up a bit, as hard as that may be.  I am wearing my safety pin.  Have you heard about the safety pin movement?  It started over with our friends in Europe after the Brexit vote, when there was a startling increase in xenophobic abuse.  Since we are seeing the same over here in the US, wearing a safely pin states to the world that you are a safe place, you are free from racism, and support all people, no matter their gender, sexual beliefs or orientation, or religious beliefs.  You are safe and they know you are supporting them.  You can read more about it here and here.

Okay now to move on........

I have another finish.  Yup another Sidewalk shawl.  Now here is the thing you know I love to do a good crochet pattern once, twice or even seven times, I am looking at you Elise Shawl.  And I could not resist this time.  I am in love with this one.  This yarn was from my very good friend and blog sister Bridget at The Ravell'd Sleave. This yarn was delivered to my door in September 2013, from a giveaway Bridget had on her blog.  She picked yarn and a few books and sent them out to several bloggers.  This yarn is gorgeous, Spirit Trail Fiberworks, Brigantia in the color Sorbet.    I used the entire 600 yards to make this shawl, well minus the 28 inches I had left at the end.  Also using a size J hook, it was a fast project and a bright color that makes me happy.  Thank you again  Bridget for thinking of me many years ago, look at this amazing project your beautiful yarn became.  I do have to admit I did not work on it the night of the election, I did not want this project to be tainted with negative energy for all eternity.

Guess who started soccer for those with different abilities?  We had our first practice yesterday.  Here he is with his helper Katie.  She was very patient with him.  While some of the kids were able to understand that soccer is actually a game and not just a ball, Little Buddy is new to this so we have a bit of learning to do.  He mostly ran around, tried to pull the cart with all the equipment in it, and frankly after 30 minutes just sat down on Katie's lap and said he was done.

He was the only player with a walker or any mobility device, and after I got home I realized that his brakes were on, those do not allow him to move backward, no wonder he got tired out so fast.  Anyway we will be returning next week and he will be able to wear his, "soccer ball shirt" as he likes to call it.  They don't have shorts small enough to fit his tiny behind.

I have to thank you all for your support.  I have to thank you for all of your kind words, kind words that I hope I leave on your blog, too.  I appreciate your concern for my feelings and for my country.  I have been so touched by your thoughts and I am grateful for your understanding.  I have one particular person who I have to thank that made me cry, literally cry.  Dayle Kasner, the wonderful husband of our friend Teresa.  Dayle, a Vietnam veteran, who is a hero to all of us, took time on Veteran's Day, a day he is to be honored, and honored me with a comment on my blog.  Dayle you are a hero to me even more now if that is even possible.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart to all of you.

Hope you have a great week.