Saturday, October 31, 2009

My Crazy Grandma's Christmas Stockings....

Remember those Christmas stockings I started on a few weeks back? I worked on them today, and sewed one together.

I'm having a lot of fun with this-but trying to decide if I need to add another layer of furry poof to the cuff of this stocking. I learned from the last stocking I made DGD-large bells get REALLY heavy really quick, so I used fewer than I ordinarily would have.

I love this project. I'd like to see it done with patterned thrift shop sweaters!!! I've one left to do!!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Counting up-

I've been working on other stuff too this week. I am trying to decide whether I need more yarn for this project. There's not much out there for sale, I should probably pick up two or three balls.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

I smell like the subway. Or a show barn.

I'm up early today. The toaster oven is on, and I have a date with the Gorton's Fisherman in about 20 minutes.

I have to go to the doc's today, and I am anxious. I have a few things to ask him, one being "Did you mean to send me home with no antibiotics?" Let's just say I DON'T feel the greatest. My staples still catch fire.

This catheter business has got to go. Last Friday, before DH busted me out of the hospital, one of the nurses sat down with me, and showed me how to remove the cable structure from mine, to replace it with a new one. She bundled up a new Foley kit, and away I went.

A few nights ago, I broke out the new kit. 'Professionals should empty bag,' proclaim the nice people from Bard. There are many patient advisories all throughout the package. One thing I DON'T find is a pictogram on how to switch out assemblies. (I KNOW it isn't shop class, allright?)

It occurs to me to wonder who gives drugged out women instructions on how to empty and swap out their own catheters before sending them home for a week. And I realize that I break the sterile seal by switching assembly A to the business that's hanging out of my underpants. According to the advice given to me by my medical professional.


I know it's not optimum. I know it's not even close. I'm not leaving the doc's until I can leave the foley assembly in his trash. THAT I know.

On the plus side, I haven't had to cook or clean house all week. My DH has done a decent job, and I can't complain, but will anyhow. He made fishsticks last night (I know, I wanted more when I got up) and was looking for tongs to flip them. Unless they are totally DONE, that's a sure way to have them fall apart.

He watches far too much TV. Just get a spatula and flip them already, mmkay? He did a little foot stomp, and found a spatula. I think I messed with his inner Betty Crocker.

Wish me luck today.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

knitting that must not be named part 2

This was my secret project this summer. Elann's Picasso will go on sale 10 Nov. I enjoyed the yarn.

image used with permission from

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Knitting that must not be named.

Wonder how it's going to turn out.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Finishing some details, and how to get ready for a hysterectomy

I started this top in June, used 4 balls of Paton's Katrina, and finally finished it this weekend. There was a long long lag because I mislaid a ball of yarn. I'd try it on, but I am so puffy from surgery still, there would be no point. Yardage 652.

I decided to write out the basic commandments of hysterectomy; because this is yet another topic that NO ONE TALKS about. My cousins will have this in a few-Karen in a few months, Judy in a year or two, Kathleen too ...and possibly my nieces. So here goes-

1) Buy a body pillow. And keep an extra pillow around, because it hurts when you laugh or cough (and of course it is high allergen season for me). Hug the small pillow when you have to laugh or cough-it helps.

2) Gas hurts too. Badly. Plan your diet accordingly. The crazy people gave me broccoli and milk in the hospital! ;-)

3) Plan your aftercare for the worst possible scenario. I thought mine would not go well, and I was right, but I didn't have enough info to plan for THAT. The worst scenario is that you won't drive for three weeks, and the you should count on reclusive rest for a week. Why a week? Because one of the worst scenarios is that they'll nick your bladder while doing your surgery-this has me on a foley for a week so the nick can heal!

a) Shop to fully stock your pantry-and try to have seven frozen easy meals when you leave for the hospital. That "easy meals for a week" will save you from cooking while dragging a catheter. After hospital food so bad my DH laughed looking at it, it was nice that I could tell him how to thaw and bake dinner. And it was sooooo much tastier. If food and groceries aren't your area of expertise, make sure you thank your friend or S/O for the lovely dinner!

b) Find the long barbecue tongs and have them at the ready-bending is tricky for the first few days; the subscription cards from magazines, vitamins you spill, and all kinds of stuff will be easier to retrieve. Put a trash basket by your cocoon spot.

c) What do you wear? You want a knee length gown with IV friendly sleeves for the hospital-and knee length gowns for the recluse week. Yoga pants are good, except if you are a lucky catheter winner. Stuff with elastic waists are good-I'm wearing elastic waist shorts right now. Roomy grannie panties are spot on, too.

4) Use the scented soap you love, and buy a pack of hypoallergenic baby wipes. Be kind to yourself.

5) Get a pedi and a haircut. That helps a lot.

6) Make an activity box before you go in. I rounded up my projects and equipment I need to work while I am at home. I didn't choose challenging projects-I don't think my concentration will be much for the week. I also saved catalogs and the like as hospital reading material.

7) Make people help you. I can fold and sort clothes, but I made DH wash and dry, and pull all the clean laundry to a central pile, because my reach is stunted, and I am not supposed to lift.

8) Take your iron beforehand, and corral your meds. I was anemic in September, and had just rounded the corner with a hemoglobin of 10 when I went into surgery-taking 650 mgs each day. My levels plummeted to the sixes and I ended up having a transfusion. Now that I am home again, the sinus meds, the vitamins, the iron, the pain killers (2!) the horomones, and all the other crap live in one spot-and I just build a candy dish of drugs each morning. When the dish is empty, I have taken everything I was supposed to.

I'll be adding to the list as I think of things.

Saturday, October 24, 2009



It is a God given fact that if you load the dishwasher on Wednesday, and go in for surgery, no one will hit 'start' til you come home. Dishes will be in the sink too.

People talk about "good drugs" after surgery. Psssh. I'm supposed to take mine every 4-6 hours for pain. What that really means is, take the motrin first, then the good stuff. Sleep for 6 hours. Staples 'catch fire'. Repeat.

If the doc wants you on bedrest, he'll leave the catheter in. Jerk.

Husbands will confuse your "I don't feel well" face with a "You are an idiot" face. Can't help that. Pick the one you like, and go with that one, mmm kay?

My girlybits were a mess, apparently, I had fibroids on fibroids, so he started out doing a laproscopic surgery, looked around, and just got his butt kicked. Go me.

I lost exactly zero ounces, and my tummy is so puffy, it looks the same as when I went in.

I had to have a transfusion.

And I can't drive for 3 weeks.


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A little bit nervous

and going in for it today!!!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

My new model-

Baby gear looks so much better stuffed with baby!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Finally set on a project

You know I've been restlessly touching, then frogging projects for the better part of a week. Today, the lightbulb came on. I bought a Japanese book in January, Sweater & Vest For Mrs. (ミセスのセーター&ベスト) Vol.8, by Nihon Vogue. Today, I was rumbling thru the craft room/hotflash dungeon, and happened to run across some Noro Aurora I bought in July. You probably heard the bells and whistles going off.

I'll have to do a little tweaking, because this is for a 32" bust, finished ..... but I think I can manage. At least the scale is right. Short.

I don't normally crochet, and I never EVER make little motifs I have to screw with, but today, I started the crochet yoke for the cardigan. I'm alternating sides, so the color distribution is kind of equal, and each side mirrors the other.

It's a little exciting.

More Knitting Stuff-

I've been making more felt-and dang it if I didn't accidentally knit some acrylic into that mix! In the long photo, there's a dark stripe 4up from the bottom edge. If you look in the second photo, it's 4th from the top, and no thinner. @#$@!

I think I have knit up enough felt for my crafty requirements. Except for the disasterous bit, it was mostly Cascade 220 that I had leftover from doing book swatches for someone this year. I'd guess about 600 yards, and that's what I am claiming. Wish me luck, I hope my intended projects work out!!!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Overpriced, oversalted, overprocessed, overrated

I am worried about Mark and the kitchen next week. It IS self-serving-I want GOOD food, thanks, but I might not be able to manage the dutch oven.

Every month or so, I go "big grocery shopping" on Lackland (the Air Force Base). Every month, I come away from the store as confused as can be.

How could I possibly be confused? I cook.

That is the problem, I think. I shop pretty much the same way as I did when grocery shopping as a teenager-a car would pull up at the grocery, and the folks would kick me out-and then come get me an hour and a half later. I had a certain budget, I had certain meals to shop for, a check from my mom, and a list.

That was 35 years ago. So I still live in a world where packet gravy mix is a convenience food. And I don't nuke much.

Let's take yesterday as an example-during my pre-surgery grocery run, (aka Bets does not want her DH in charge of the kitchen, but has no choice) I bought 139 items. Thirteen were from the produce department. I bought a ton of nuts (trying not to eat so much starch). So what else did I buy? Cleaning supplies, meat (I learned a GREAT and easy way to make pork chops-yum yum!) Kleenex, TP and the like. Some canned goods. A ton of cheese. Plain frozen veggies.

Here's my list of convenience foods-1 bag fish sticks. 1 pack frozen ravioli. 3 Stouffer's Spinach souffles (I love this stuff-and have since I was 8. Don't judge). 3 ramens (remember, DH is cooking next week.) A tiny package of pork gyoza (for the surgery girl). 2 jars of pasta sauce. And about 8 cans of soup.

That's it. I buy real food, ingredients. It amazes me to go to the grocery and see mountains of things I have never tried. I blow past entire sections. It doesn't even occur to me to look, because I never buy it.

Frozen dinners? Generally, the picture is better than the actual contents. Bags of pasta meals? Again, the food stylist did a great job. Overpriced, oversalted, overprocessed, overrated. And truthfully, a lot of it makes me sick. My stomach doesn't take kindly to some fillers and stretchers and additives and mysterious THINGS in a lot of frozen foods.

Surely, I can't be the only one. And dammit, I forgot carrots.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Front loading washers aren't good for felting.

I've been working on Christmas knitting. Yeah, I know. DD asked for a new Christmas stocking for DGS. I didn't love DGD's, so I figured I'd do two. My basic plan was to Bond/ISM up a bunch of scrap wools I have, felt, and then make up stockings.

I knit up a lot of yarn. A lot. Of course, it all pulled back in when I pulled it off the machine. I had heard that it was difficult to felt in front loaders, so I threw in soap, long cycle, hot water, and you know what?

There's a liar in feltland. It felted. HARD. !@%#&! So hard it's going to be tough to make these stockings. I will have to do another length of fabric, just for the second stocking.

Bah-forget it.

I'll just weed thru my comments. I turned them back on.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Let's frog AGAIN

I scrapped the Rowan this week. The chart was just to finicky to suit me....I don't want to watch EVERY STINKiNG row of a garment right now. So I cast on the peasant blouse from Reynolds 82455. If I was a tighter knitter, this would be a happy happy marriage, but I am not. I cast on the size small, knowing I knit big. Small is 18", and I am in the neighborhood of 24". I went down a needle size to a 4 already. So.... never mind. I am surprised by this yarn-I thought the Lurex would sneak out and be snaggy, and so far it hasn't. I like this yarn.

I have to go off in search of project #3. Wish me luck.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Fire sale ends Oct. 21!

I got my surgery date. On the plus side of everything, I've lost five pounds since my last visit.

I'm not really scared, or worried, or in conflict. I've had my period since the end of August. Enough, all ready. So I went to the doc's today, and we've decided next Wednesday at noon. Like a showdown (key the music to The Good, The Bad and The Ugly....wah-wah-wahhhhh). The knitter in me wonders about the difference between a centimeter and a "sonometer", spoken in a snotty doctor voice. I have to go look that up. The average uterus has a capacity of 80 grams. Mine has one of 600. Damn, THAT's a lot of yarn. That's a freaking sweater.

As I leave the office, my husband calls, and admits he is absolutely ignorant of everything. I try to explain that it will take longer to heal if they splay me open like that frog in biology. So he gets it, but isn't too scared.

On my way to Wallyworld, I start making that mental list of things that have to happen before I go to the hospital Wednesday. Mailing a package to Japan is on that list. Later, as I careen down the aisle with some FABULOUS pears, some pork chops (yum!!) and a squash, I hear my mom's voice. She tells me the story of how her mother got up one morning, got cleaned up and fixed her hair, and went to the hospital to have a baby. And she didn't come home.

The first time I heard this, I was to young or immature to know what to say. Now, I think "oh, no, that sucked" in the truest, realest, original sense of the phrase. And I am not worried at all about myself, but am sad because of a woman whose picture I have never seen. And I won't tell DH, because he won't know what to say.

Still, no comments allowed.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Nah, I still have to tell you about silliness at my house-

You just can't comment. Hopefully, you will laugh.

I'll probably go work for the post office. They've got a freeze on career employees (aka people who get benefits) and they are just hiring part-timers. Either I like it or I don't, but I will find out!

I can't wait for a surgery date. I should know Tuesday. Yes, it's still going, despite all the drugs.

I went to the outlet mall yesterday, and spend an absurd amount of money. I think it was because I was grounded last month, and expect to be grounded again soon, post-surgery. At any rate, I have most of the Christmas shopping done. For myself, I bought a pair of stretchy knit jeans and some makey-uppy stuff-and some yoga type pants to wear for 3 weeks. DH got 3 pairs of shoes, a jacket, and two polos, plus undie Claus showed up. Stuff to send to Japan. Stuff to send to Colorado. Stuff to take to north TX. We are having a low key Christmas this year, due to a few events beyond our scope, but for a good reason.

I bought DH shoes yesterday, that's right. I went to the Ecco outlet-he'd picked up a pair in town about 3 weeks ago, and has been raving about them ever since. I waltzed into the shop yesterday, and started taking pictures, so he could tell me which ones he liked. The clerks joked around with me about taking pictures and sending them to him. DH called me back, and we talked about what he needed, and which he liked best. "I can't believe I paid mumble-mumble for those shoes" he said. Honey, bow to the master. Two of the pairs were 65% off! So he is very glamourously shod.

Today, I tried to recreate a family culinary classic. I tried to make mushroom barley risotto with frico (little melted cheese crisps that are frizzled and brown). We've gone back to Sugar Busters, and he's lost 5 pounds in a week, and I've lost 3; I was looking for something that didn't have pasta, rice or potatoes. It tasted ok, but looked like mushroom barley barf. Unexpectedly, DH hated the frico!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

In a vain attempt to stop some Japanese spam

for free sex crap, that I get EVERY morning on this blog-I am taking the week off. I am turning comments off. We will see.

See ya in a week.

Friday, October 09, 2009


I went to the post office personnel office today. What paragons of...well, I don't even know what to call it. I waited in the lobby for 30 minutes before someone could walk out to get me-and she was right there!

I had to entertain myself, so I looked in an old San Antonio phone book....

That's right, a listing for Buckwheats Mammy.

Five miles in 2009

Wow. I did it without using the Bond. Pretty good, pretty good. 8715 + 279=8994! I think I need a new counter!!!

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Pompons are a crapshoot....

A few months ago, I found a pompon 'loom' on sale at Wallyworld. I picked it up, thinking I might need one sometime. Lo and behold, when I was working on smallboy's hat, I thought it needed one. I dug out the loom, and made the perfect pom. A little sparse, but respectable.

Unfortunately, my second pom didn't come out at ALL. I had a HUGE pile of 2" strands, not a pom.

Ah well.

I attached the previous pom to the top of the hat, and today, I popped this in the mail for DGS. It's Schachenmayr Nomotta Gemini, 3 skeins, 279 yards. I got it last year when Herrschner's blew it out.

Kid clothing is so much fun! I used the Ann Norling top down cardi, and tweaked it a little for a shawl collar.

I think he will look soo handsome!

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Are those buttons, or are you happy to be here?

It's fashion week in San Antonio. I tuned in because I was curious. You've seen clips from my local morning show before. Our local fashion 'expert' gave the rundown on the basics that should be in every woman's closet...
a basic white t-shirt
a white button-down blouse
a black button-down blouse
a vest
an A-line skirt (the skirt she showed had so much ruching people will be confused-it was not a good example-because it was strictly a junk-in-the-trunk skirt)
a deep v sweater
a black turtleneck (really? I'll disagree on that; makes heavy or busty people look CHUNKIER)
a black jacket
basic black pants
little black dress
a leather military style jacket-she meant a bomber jacket
black and brown belts (if everything is black and white, do we NEED BROWN?)
scarves-there was a lot of yak yak about how to wear a scarf-you know, fold it in half and do a keyhole loop ..... nothing to see here, move along, move along...
basic black bag-get a basic Michael Kors bag and a basic black Chanel bag (eyeroll-you know how much WIC we have in our town?)

This was by no means the WORST "must have list" I have ever seen; it fit the presenter's demographic VERY well (25-34) but if you don't look good in white, can you have off-white? If you look bad in a turtleneck, can you get a jewel neck? The "Chanel purse" makes me a little crazy-I mean fer reals.

I have to wonder-is it just me, or do they really not see what they 'present' when they look in the mirror? Or maybe it's just the crew....

There walks a real genius, I'll tell ya....

Our phones died on Saturday. Couldn't figure it out....we had DSL, but no landline. I called the fabulous hamsterwheel voice response ATT repair line yesterday.

"You are calling to report a phone service outage." (presses 1)
"Are you calling from that line?" (sighs)

It does no good to get snotty with this recording. Swearing doesn't help either. Ask me how I know this. Yesterday, Mr. ATT comes over, so I let him in the back yard. Ok. I looked out, and he's standing on the utility box, peering into the neighbor's yard. He is talking to my next door neighbor. I holler, just so she knows he REALLY IS the ATT man (and she did not seem really concerned about him NOT being the phone guy) and she yells back that her phone is out too... huh?

When DH came home, he went out and made friends with Mr. ATT. As it turns out, the neighbors behind our house and three doors down have been putting in a FABULOUS POOL. Mind you, this guy had his house built by some oddball builder. Rumor has it, it has some problems. Apparently, he hired the same great folks to put in his fabulous pool....and they yanked the neighborhood's phone cables out when they were digging. (When my niece heard about this, she felt she needed to point out that you can call the utility companies, and they will tell you where your lines are. People that drive by the manpower office every morning to pick up laborers to save money aren't gonna do that. Nice try tho.) So we got our phone service back today.

I walked in the house this afternoon, and DH was on the phone. I could tell he was in a miserable hamsterwheel call loop because his tone was agitated and he was starting to swear. Did you know that if your cheapskate genius neighbor yanks out the neighborhood comm cables, when your service is restored you get to reinstall everything on your DSL box? Nice.

On the personal front, I interviewed for a part-time job today. On the plus side, I think I have a good chance. On the minus side, waiting for my doctor's office to tell me when my surgery is scheduled is ruining all my chances. I had to tell the truth that I was scheduling surgery. Couldn't help it. She asked me to let her know by Tuesday what the plans were. I'll be pestering the doctor.

In knitting news, I hated everything I started last week, and I have one mitten done and not much else. I started a little top down cardigan for the little Mr. Man (DGS). I did it in Schachenmeyer Gemini, which is selfstriping acrylic and wool I snagged last year at Herrschners. I did a little engineering to make sure the sleeves were similar, now I can live with them. I sent DD a picture of it drying, and asked if I needed to make a hat. She said yes, with a light blue pompon on top.

My child does not know about selfstriping yarn.

How is that possible? Anyhow, the cardi is done and drying, and I cast on le toque. I will photograph as soon as I have buttons on and a hat garnished with whatever comes off the skein.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Still going along

Yeah, ok, just indulge me. Even tho I knew my periods were worse than the average bear's, I was hoping I could tough it out.

I went to the VA yesterday to have all this documented in my records. Tuesday, I was kind of mad because I had watched all my chances drain out ... miscarriages, fibroids, goofy thyroid, and I blamed the VA and military healthcare.

I've rethought that a little. I had better healthcare than many American women-an exam every single year for 30 years. Interesting that we as a culture can have so many, many meds for erectile dysfunction, but for women, fibroids and thyroid issues are kind of up in the air. Both my cousins had trouble, so there really is no finger-pointing. And 100 years ago, I would have been dead. I would have bled out already, and they had no way to stop it.

My uterus extends all the way up to my bellybutton. Damn! DAMN! The twelve year old inside of me wants to giggle and tell my husband "my UTERUS is bigger than your head!" but I am afraid he will start crying and run away. So I don't.

The knitting front is a little jacked up. I had to rip Clara-I knit an entire ball, and found I made a ton of mistakes. Blah. Frogpond!