Friday, October 30, 2009

World Take Notice!

I giving the world notice right now. I'm in a good mood and I don't want anyone pissing on my parade today!

I got my hair cut and colored last night. I was long over due and while I'm kinda on the fence about the color (it's a little darker and a little on the coppery side) I do like it.

I also paid bills last night AND had money left over. And that didn't even take into account the fact that I got paid again today. Then I balanced my checkbook and was only 18 cents off. Whoo Hoo! Teresa (my Accountant friend) will be so proud of me. She shudders when I tell her I haven't ballanced my check book in ohh 6 months or a year. She'll be happy to know I only let 2 months lapse this time.

Tomorrow, my knitting group "South Bend Knitworks" is having our 1st Annual Knitting Retreat. Where I'll get to learn Entrelac knitting. I actually voted for crochet finishing techniques, but that's OK. And it just so happens that the place where we are having the retreat is right across the street from... yep you guessed it... a knitting store; Ewe-Nique Knits. I've never been there and I can't wait to browse their wares as I've heard really good things from other knitters.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

I Need to Vent!!

I really really need to vent right now. If I don't, I will explode. Please don't read any further if you don't want to hear me complaining about my family.

You all know that my Aunt Margaret passed away last week. BTW, Thank you all for your wishes and prayers.

Well, Aunt Margaret had a son, Stanley. I always looked up to him. He was the first one in the family to go to college. Well about 14 years ago he dropped off the radar. He stopped calling, visiting, etc. One day my Aunt ran into one of his friends in town and the friend asked her why she hadn't come to Stan's wedding the previous month. Well, she hadn't attended because she wasn't invited nor did she even know about the wedding. Same thing with her learning in the subsequent years that he had children. Not once did he call or even write her a letter.

A couple of us were looking for him to tell him about the death of his mother and also because a second signature was needed in order to have her cremated like she wanted. Well a message was left for him on Friday night by a family friend and another message was left on Saturday by my Mom. My mom was not feeling very charitably towards him and left a message that basically said the reason she was calling was that his signature was need in order to cremate his mother who just died. I don't think I would have put it quite that bluntly, but Mom and Margaret were extremely close and she was very upset by what she considered his abandonment of his mother. Anyway, he didn't call back. More calls were made on Saturday night and Sunday, but the answering machine had been shut off and the phone just rang and rang. So you know somebody was there. He didn't call until after the funeral home contacted the Charleston Police Department to go to his house to inform him of a death in the family.

Now I ask you, what kind of a person just turns their back on family, specifically their MOM. I could understand it if she had been an alcoholic or abusive. But she wasn't either of those. She was a single mother struggling to raise 3 kids. There hadn't been a fight or anything either. She was extremely proud of him and used to tell everyone about him going to college to make something of himself and the wonderful job he got in Ohio. She was so hurt and confused because she never could understand why he did what he did.

My Mom told me today that she heard he might be coming up this weekend. I told that I frankly didn't care and that I wouldn't be around this weekend. I have a knitting retreat on Saturday and I work on Sunday. Aunt Margaret was a very special woman in my life and I just don't think I can forgive him for the way he treated her. I told her I was afraid that if I saw him I wouldn't be able to keep my mouth shut and would probably just kick him in the knee. And I really didn't think the family needed any more animosity running through it than we already have had over the last couple of days.

The thing that set me off today was that I discovered through the wonderful world of the internet that his wife has a blog. And she was gushing over a visit from her Mom and Dad and how close they were to her kids and Stan. But did either of them ever even think about Stanley's Mom and how she would have loved to get to know her grandchildren. I just wanted to scream when I read her entry.

Stanley is such a shit. And you know they always say what comes around goes around. I just hope to hell none if his kids ever treats him like he treated his own mother. But it would be sweet justice if they did.

Thanks for listening to me vent. I just couldn't keep all this bottled up inside anymore and I didn't want to say this to Tracy (Stan's sister) or my Mom, they've been upset enough as it is. Surprisingly I feel much better after spilling all this.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Sad News

It is with a sad heart that I let everyone know that my Aunt Margaret passed away on Friday.

She was doing so well after the surgery last Monday to move her feeding tube. But then on Wednesday or Thursday they said she aspirated some water while taking a drink and coughed herself right into a heart attack. Her body was just too weak to recover from that and she passed away Friday Morning.

I had a good cry this weekend when I realized that this Thanksgiving I actually get to have lumps back in the mashed potatoes. I'd trade all lumps in my potatoes for her to be there at the table with us. At least she's not suffering anymore. She was a great lady and I will miss her terribly.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Pooling Scarf Class

Last night I took a knitting class at the Red Purl. It was for the Pooling Watercolor Scarf (Ravelry Link). The class taught us how to find the color repeat on the yarn and to knit it into vertical stripes. It was quite interesting. I had a little bit of trouble though and after having to rip back several times, I finally set my project on the table, crossed my arms over my chest and said "That's it. I'm done. I quit." Everyone kind of laughed and Kallie's response was something like 'That's really being adult about it.' :o) Heidi, the instructor, helped me out though and got me past my little snit. I was really having trouble varying my gage; either tightening or loosening a few stitches in order to make the color changes line up.

When I got home, I thought that I had figured out what was going on, so I decided to do a little more knitting. Bad idea, as I was tired and the lighting wasn't that great. I almost threw my scarf across the room in frustration. I did 2 rows and realized I had messed up my count. I should have just put it away, but I wanted to get it fixed before I went to bed. So I ripped, then re-knit. Still wrong, but for a different mistake. Rip/re-knit. Still wrong. etc. After about 45 minutes (yes I said 45 not 4 to 5) I finally got it right and was able to actually proceed ahead. I have a whopping 3 repeats done!

I must admit that I took a page out of my fellow knitter Kelly L's book and called the scarf a few choice words. I think that scared it enough to finally start cooperating. Or it at least temporarily shocked it into submission. We'll see what happens when I next pick it up.

Friday, October 16, 2009


Just wanted to let you know that Aunt Margaret is doing really well. However, they have rescheduled her feeding tube surgery until Monday or Tuesday. They want her infection to have a few more days healing time. Also, her bronchitis is trying to form into pneumonia. She's still in the ICU, but they are hoping to move her out this weekend, depending on her progress.

It's a small bit of border line good/bad news, but I'll take anything I can get.

PS. I'm off to the last quilt retreat of the year. I leave directly after work tonight. It's only about 30 minutes away. I had a whole list of things I wanted to get done. But I'm pretty tired after this week, so I cut back on the projects and am just going to take it easy.

PSS. I signed up for a knitting class last night at the Red Purl. It is for the Pooling Watercolor Scarf (Raverly Link). The basis of the class is to take a multi colored yarn (a.k.a. Lorna's Laces) and figure out the length of the colors and knit them so they all line up and for vertical strips. The class is being held next week. I'll let you know how it goes.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Good news

Yesterday I got the dreaded call that no one wants to get. That middle of the night call from my Mom saying my Aunt Margaret wasn't doing well and could I please come up to the hospital. My cousin wasn't there yet and Mom really wanted me to come up. She asked if it would be OK for me to take the day off. At that point, I realized I had perfect clarity on what she was saying and what she wanted from me, but for the life of me, I couldn't remember what day it was. I remember my brain thinking is today Saturday? So I asked her "What day is it?" She said "It's Wednesday" with a little hitch in her breath. I said of course, let me get dressed and I would be right up there. I called work and left several messages to let everyone know I would be out and then headed out.

As I was driving towards the by-pass, I saw a speed limit sign that said 25 and looked down to discover I was already at 45 and edging towards 50. I had to consciously make myself calm down and slow down. When I got on the bypass, I set the cruise control so that I wouldn't have a problem.

When I got to the hospital, I realized I couldn't remember what room my Aunt was in. All I remember was that Mom said 2nd floor. I felt so scattered. I asked and was told she was in ICU on the second floor and to take elevator A. My Mom and Tracy (Margaret's daughther) were in her room waiting for me. Tracy had gotten the call around 3:30 that her mom was having trouble breathing. Her oxygen level had dropped and her carbon dioxide level had risen. Her BP was sky high and they were having trouble getting it down. She was disorientated and delirious. She's lost so much weight over the last couple of years. She looked so tiny laying in the hospital bed. They had a B-pap mask on her that was helping her breath. Everytime she takes a breath, it would force more oxygen in, but she still wasn't getting enough.

She kept trying to take the mask off and pulling her blankets off to try to get out of bed. One of us took turns removing her hands and covering her back up. At one point when I was holding her had, she looked right at me with these huge panicked eyes. She tried to ask me something but with the mask on we couldn't understand her. If she took the mask off an alarm would sound. We got the nurse and they came in to check on her, but she had drifted back off. A bit later another nurse came in to do a breathing treatment. And once the mask was finally off, she was able to ask what was going on. That's when I realized that I think I freaked her out when she saw me at her bedside. I think she worried that we were all holding vigil for her to die and she was scared.

She was originally admited for an infected feeding tube. Then she got bronchitis. On Monday they did one of those throat stretching procedures, because she has a lot of scar tissue in her throat from Kemo/Radiation due to Laryngial Cancer. Her esophagus is only as big around as my pinky finger where the scar tissue is. Once past that it's wide open. While they were doing the procedure, I guess her throat started spasming and she almosted coded. But they were able to stop it by stoping the procedure and removing the anistheisia.

In essence we were sitting vigil, because the hospital didn't know what was causing her sudden lack of oxygen. But we sure as hell didn't want her to think that. We were expecting the Dr. to come in around 8:30, because that's when the nurse said he was coming, but we figured it out after that thas was when he started his rounds. He didn't get to her room until after 11am. In the mean time we figured out that when Aunt M. was pulling at the blankets and restlessly moving her legs that she hadn't been trying to get out of bed. The poor woman was HOT! And every time she tried to get rid of the blankets, we all covered her back up. Of course we didn't realize this and we all had a real good laugh over it after the fact.

In the afternoon they stuck a scope down her throat to see if there was a reason she couldn't breath. They were specifically looking for another tumor that might be restricting her airway.
Thankfully, there was no tumor; the reason she couldn't breath was because she had a mucus plug stuck near her lungs. Because her esophagus is only as big around as my pinky finger, she couldn't cough it up. They removed it and she is doing really well.

They are planning on doing surgery on Friday to install an new Feeding Tube and they will probably keep her in for another week after that to make sure everything is going OK.

I realized after the fact, that her Dr's obviously don't talk to each other, because the woman has been cancer free for 3 years and can't gain any weight. She's currently 91 lbs. The one Dr. decided she hasn't been getting enough calories because they thought she was getting at least 1/2 of her caloric intake by mouth and the rest through the feeding tube. However because she has been aspirating things that she eats/drinks into her lungs her other Dr told her not to take anything by mouth. But he obviously didn't think to let the other Dr's know that he told her that, so they could adjust her feeding tube feedings. So while she is in there over the next week or so they are going to be re-evaluating what she needs. About Time.

But I wanted to thank you all that kept us in there prayers and thoughts yesterday and let you know that she is doing well. I'll keep you posted if anything else happens.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Project Updates

I finally got around to updating my Ravelry Page with some pictures today. It suddenly dawned on me that I have 5 projects started and no pictures of any of them. Well 3 down, 2 to go.

Here is what I have on the needles right now.

1. Calypso Shrug - It will have long sleeves and button in the front.

The colors are much brighter than in the picture, though. This is my 4th try at knitting this yarn into a shrug. I've frogged the project (ripped it out for those of you who don't know the term) 3 times, because I didn't like the way it was looking. I'm pretty happy with the way it is going right now.

2. Felted Colorwork Bag - I wanted to learn how to do 'stranded' knitting, but since I was worried about my tension, I decided I would make a felted bag. Then no matter what my tension troubles may be, once it is felted (shrunk) you would never know the difference.
I'm half way done knitting the 4th repeat, which is supposed to be the last one. However since felted items shrink more from top to bottom than they do side to side, I'm thinking of adding another repreat. I don't want the bag to be too short once it is done. Also, the top is supposed to be bound off with ribbing, but I'm going to do an I-cord bind off to give it a little more stability. I'm also planning to put non-knitted handles on it. I haven't decided whether I want leather or wooden ones yet though. Leaning towards the leather, but it just depends on what I find.

3. Sandy Hoodie - A.k.a. Susie Hoodie. This is a Hoodie Jacket.

It doesn't have buttons or a closure, but I'm toying with the idea of adding some. Maybe 2-3 in the chest area, to hold it closed when it is cooler out. I thought it would go faster, but with 251 stitches per row, it's taking about 30 minute to do one row. And if I get distracted by the TV, that time goes down. Right now I'm averaging 4 rows per night, which doesn't seem like nearly enough.

Monday, October 12, 2009

2009 Internet Quilt Festival

Park City Girl started an internet quilt show last year, that I thought was just great. Everyone displays their favorite quilt and then links it back to her blog, where she has a list of participants.

So I thought I would post my fav's here today.

This is called Siamese Elegance. It was made as part of my Quilt Guilds Challenge, which was called the Paint Chip Challenge. What you do is take your initials and find 3 paint chip colors that start with the first letter of your initial. Then use those colors plus a background color, if you want, to make a quilted project. It can be any size or shape. My colors are: Stoney Fields (Taupe), Alpaca (Cream) and Magma (Black). I took a backwards approach to this, because I made the quilt I wanted with 3 colors and then found paint chips to match my colors. And let me tell you, trying to find one that was black that started with either a S, A, or M was extremely hard.

Yes, I said Fav's, which is plural. I thought I would add a second quilt to the show.

This is my Stack-N-Whack quilt. Although it is the only one that I have currently done, I had a great time doing it and I have bought other fabrics to use for more Stack-n-Whack quilts.

For more quilts, please click here.

Monday, October 5, 2009

I Was So Productive

I really can't believe how much I got done at retreat. I had 1 item on my list that HAD to get done, but the rest was in the 'want to get as much done as possible' list.

The one that I HAD to get done was Dawson's Colts quilt. Yes, Teresa if you are reading this it is done. So I need to know when you guys are come up next and if it is not anytime soon, I will mail it. Anyway, here it is.
Then I worked on my Temple Guardians Quilt. This is the Siamese Cat appliques that I have been working on for the last 2 years.
It has one more border that needs to be put on. The design on the fabric runs salvage to salvage , so I will have to do some fussy cutting as the the length is over 60" and the S to S dimensions are only about 42. Just in case you are curious, here is the fabric I will be using:

It is called Luminosity by Paula Nadelstern and printed by Benartex. I just fell in love with it when I bought it several years ago. I didn't know what I would do with it when I bought it, but I new I would find the perfect project for it and I think it will be great at the final border on my Temple Guardians quilt.

Then I worked on my Lillibet's Garden BOM. I didn't realize until I started working on it this weekend, but it was started in 2006. It was the retreat project that year and Kathy J. and I were the only two who attempted it. I had the blocks and sashing already done, but I had to finish the applique flowers in the center and then assemble all the blocks. This was one of the "want to get as much done as possible" projects, but I actually got it all done. It was close, but I finished it up around 11 am yesterday. We had to start packing up around noon, so we could be out by 1:30.
I was talking to my Mom one day and she said she would like to look for a new quilt for their bed. I told her I had a quilt top that I was working on that I would give her. It wasn't quite done, as I still had some applique to do, but if she wanted it, she could have it. Well 2 days later, she called to let me know that she had already bought the batting for it. So I thought it would be prudent to take it to retreat with me and get to work finishing it. She hasn't seen this, but I think she will be happy with it.

Here are a couple of other projects of note:
1. Marie's Dear Jane blocks. She was laughing, because she only got 7 of them done, but damn, I think they take 2-3 times as much time to make as regular sized quilt block. They are 6 1/2" squares. Click here to see what the finished quilt is supposed to look like.
2. Helen's Soduko Baby Quilt - There will be 6 puzzles on this quilt. The Baby's Mom is a Math major. I love the colors, but I want to make one with fussy cut pictures like 9 cats, 9 dogs, 9 oreos, etc. I think that would be a great I Spy project.

3. Deanna's Christmas Ball - This ornament is just beautiful. I have ideas for this. Deanna was my 'table mate' at this retreat and it was really fun talking to her.
4. Steve's Tribute to Oz quilt. I honestly don't know what he is going to call this quilt, but I thought that title sounded great for my blog. Anyway, last retreat we did a project called 'Mexican Tiles' (Here's mine). Steve decided to use Wizard of Oz fabric. I love the way he created Tornado's from the blue & black sky fabric. He got more of this done, before we left, but I didn't get an updated photo of it. I think it is just fabulous and I so can't wait to see the finished item.

5. Sharon's quilt for her granddaughter. I love the clean lines. It's great.

Of course there were plenty more great projects going, but I can't post them all. And I got too little sleep, because I was working so hard. I had wanted to take a walk, but the weather was too cold and wet for me. Luckily I wasn't driving, because I took a small nap in the van on the way back and then took a 2 hour nap when I got home last night. I'm still tired though. That's what staying up until 2 am every night and getting up for 8 am breakfast will do to you. Gonna go to bed early tonight though. Right after I watch Heros!