Sunday, December 20, 2009

'Twas the Week Before Christmas....

....and we got SNOW! LOTS of it! The official measurement for our area was 7 to 8", but when I brushed off my car yesterday afternoon, there was a total of 10" on top of the car roof.

Needless to say, it really wreaked havoc on the area. Several unfortunate folks were without power (and some actually still ARE), but I've been lucky.

It started Friday afternoon. I've been working 6-hour days, 7:00 am - 1:00 pm, and by the time I left work, there was a heavy mix of sleet and snow falling. About 4 miles south of the office, it changed to rain mixed with snow (BIG flakes). Soon after I got home, it changed to all snow and really started accumulating quickly.

I was very grateful that I had plenty of food in the apartment and didn't have to stop on the way home for anything. By Saturday morning, heavy wet snow weighed everything down. Roads were impassable, and I was happy that I didn't have to go anywhere. My car was buried, as you can see in this photo:

I went out yesterday afternoon with a broom and pushed the snow off it, but don't know if there will be enough melting action today that I'll be going to work tomorrow or not. I actually planned to work my 6-hour days Monday and Tuesday before taking off for the holidays, but now I'll just have to wait to see what the morning brings.

Right now as I look out, the snow is still laying heavy on everything. Tree branches are drooping low to the ground, and cars that weren't moved or swept yesterday are lumps of white. Even the cars that WERE moved yesterday have a fresh new coat (but much smaller coat) of snow.

Though I'm very sympathetic of all the folks who must try to be out navigating treacherous roads in this weather, I have to say that it is just beautiful. For the first time, it actually FEELS like Christmas season, looking out my window at a living Christmas card scene.

And now I see that new light precipitation has begun to fall, as it was predicted to do occasionally today. I feel the need to get into the recliner with the pair of socks I'm knitting, turn on the Christmas cooking shows on Food Network, and sip hot cocoa while watching it snow.

Boy, it just doesn't get much better than this, does it? Happy Holidays, everyone!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

I'm baaaaaack.....

Sorry it's been so long since I posted. My surgery was on the 17th, and the staples in my incision made it uncomfortable for me to sit without reclining. They removed the last of thestaples on December 2nd, and I went back to work (half-days) the next day! I'm feeling just great, but have been so tired when I got back home that I haven't taken the time to deal with my e-mail or do my blogging. I'll do better, I promise. :-)

Surgery went just beautifully! The surgeon described the cyst as an "angry grape"; fortunately it had not attached itself to the dura, so removal was possible without damaging anything at all. *whew* Implantation of the stabilization device apparently went just as planned. Except for one RN on the night shift who was wearing some kind of perfume that would have gassed an elephant (why do they ALLOW THAT????), my hospital stay was very comfortable, and I received excellent care.

Mom and Dad picked me up and took me home from the hospital about noon on Friday, and Mom stayed with me the first couple of nights to be sure I would be okay. I still can't bend very far and can't lift anything to speak of (have to make sure everything's healed up properly....I don't want to have to do this again!), but otherwise all is just great. I'm still amazed that my leg pain is GONE. I honestly expected it to fade away gradually after surgery, but it's just plain GONE. I get tired, of course, which is to be expected, but I'm pain-free for the first time since February.

I'll be working short days until after the holiday break; I think that's a good idea, because I'm always ready to get into the recliner for a little while as soon as I get home from work. :-)

I'll be in a back brace for awhile, but that's more to keep me from hurting myself than anything. Sometimes I'll bend farther than I should without thinking, and the brace stops me, thank goodness.

I don't know what I'd have done without Mom and Dad helping through all this. Mom is still coming and helping me do some household things I'm not able to do. She came every day to change my dressings and help out with things. And Daddy was always available to provide "taxi service" anytime I needed to go anywhere at all. They've been just wonderful.

Well, I'll close this up for now. Just wanted to let everyone know that I'm healing beautifully and feeling just great. I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday and is enjoying preparation for the Christmas holiday!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

One More Week!

I'll have surgery a week from today....and I will be soooooo glad. The cyst in my back must be growing, because the past couple of weeks have been very, very bad. I'll be so happy to get rid of that thing and get off my medication. I don't like taking medicine, and especially don't like the way it makes me feel. Ick.

Oh well, that'll be behind me soon. I told a friend a little while ago how much I'm looking forward to getting back to CAMPING next spring. I've missed that so much this past season. And now that I've become a voracious knitter, I'll have plenty to do while lounging beneath the beautiful trees in the campground. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Bad, BAD Blogger

Sorry I'm not blogging much currently. I'm still working, and by the time I get home from the office in the afternoon my pain level is so high that I can't sit at my home computer. Stupid back trouble. *grrrrrrrrrr*

So, I'm posting this pathetic little note on my lunch break just to let everyone know I'm still here. :-) Just looking forward to getting my surgery done. And being on a morphine drip for a day or two. (Remember Louie Anderson's routine about being on a morphine drip? Hilarious, but I can't find it on YouTube, dang it.)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A New Surgery Date

I got a call from my surgeon's office late yesterday afternoon; my new surgery date is November 17. While this means I have to be dealing with this leg pain for another six days, it actually works out better with my work schedule, so all's well.

It's a load off my mind to finally know when it's all going to be done and over with. My pain level got really bad again last week, and it took until Monday of this week to get my medication adjusted. They've doubled my dosage, which gets my pain down enough to keep me going, but it surely does make me feel terrible otherwise.

I hate taking medication, but I hate excruciating pain worse!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Pain, Pain, Go Away

I got word late Friday afternoon that my surgery will need to be rescheduled, because my surgeon has to go out of town on November 11. *beating head on monitor* I talked to them this morning, and they still didn't have my new date scheduled. *beating head on monitor HARDER*

My weekend was spent in the recliner with a heating pad, pain pills, knitting, and MeggieDog. I told Mom that staying the recliner because you WANT to is much different from staying the recliner because it hurts too much to get out of it. I sure hope I hear from them this afternoon.

Friday, October 23, 2009


It's all relative.....this morning on a scale of 1 to 10 (1 being comfortable, 10 being the worst pain you can imagine) my pain is a 7, moving up to a 9 when I have to move to certain positions. But that's relatively better. Yesterday, it stayed at 8.5 to 9 with spikes to a 10 at times. When I went to bed last night, my jaw was actually tired from clenching my teeth all day.

But there IS light at the tunnel. I keep telling myself that surgery is November 11, and that will help things.

In the meantime, I'm still working every day. Lots to do before I have surgery. That's probably good, because it keeps my mind busy. Virtually every waking moment at home I keep knitting needles in my hands. That's not an exaggeration. I load the dishwasher, then get in the recliner with my knitting. I feather-dust the furniture, then get in the recliner with my knitting. I clean the bathrooms, then get in the recliner with my knitting. Three nights this week I actually fell asleep in the recliner with MeggieDog and my knitting in my lap.

Things could be worse. It's all relative.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Busy, Busy, Busy

Well, last week I had another week off from work, but it wasn't restful at all. On 4 of the 5 weekdays, I either had doctor appointments or tests scheduled! On Wednesday (my only day at home), my leg was hurting so badly that I barely moved from the recliner all day long.

The good news is that there's light at the end of the spinal surgery has finally been scheduled! *doing modified version of the happy dance due to leg pain* I'll have surgery on November 11. Is it weird to look forward to having surgery? Well....I can't honestly say that I'm looking forward to surgery, but I'm sure looking forward to getting rid of this leg pain!

The only good thing about having so many medical appointments is that I got some sock knitting done during the time in waiting rooms. I also met lots of nice people. Still not my idea of a fun vacation, though. *LOL*

I went back to work Monday....luckily not many things had piled up, but I've really been dealing with an awful lot of pain this week. I don't know if the cyst in my back has become larger, or the nerves that it's pressing on have become more irritated, but something's getting worse. At least I know that 3 weeks from today I'll be in deep blissful slumber, and my surgeon will be removing the cause of all this grief!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


I love Fall....the late summer haze has disappeared, leaving everything looking sharp and crisp. You can see slight color changes on the edges of the trees. A couple of good frosts, and we'll have our colorful fall foliage to enjoy. We've had a lot of rain this season, and I'm not sure how that will affect the colors. We'll know soon. :-)

I'm completely utterly bored with my leg pain, so I'll just say I still have it and will be glad to have the surgery to get RID of it.

I've been trying to finish up some of my knitting projects so that I can start my Christmas knitting. The sad fact is that I should have started my Christmas knitting some time ago but have been addicted to knitting socks. *LOL* More on that will be posted on my knitting blog.

My sweet little MeggieDog hasn't been feeling well for the past week. I decided to increase her dosage of canine aspirin (still within the recommended dosage listed on the label) and it seems to be helping. In fact, last night she emptied her toy basket all over the living room floor and "killed" several of her favorites. It was wonderful to see her having such a good time again.

I see that this is my first post since the Friday of my vacation week. It's been a real blur of activity since then!
  • Vacation Day 8 - Saturday: I honestly can't remember what I did, so it must have been knitting and watching movies and listening to my audiobook. *LOL* Speaking of audiobooks, I'm working my way through Debbie Macomber's wonderful "Blossom Street" series. I've listened to the first two and enjoyed them very much. It's nice to sit in the recliner, knitting with Meggie curled up beside me, listening to a story of women who meet in a knitting class and how their friendship develops.
  • Vacation Day 9 - Sunday - The Last Day: I didn't do much at all that morning, but went to Mom and Dad's for lunch (ribs....*drool*). Then Mom and I went to a gathering of some of her first cousins at a nearby park. Mom hadn't seen these cousins in many years. It was fun to realize I had a LOT of relatives in my neighborhood and didn't even know it! They were lovely people, and we had a really nice visit.

And so, on Monday Cinderella turned back into a pumpkin and returned to her concrete cell, otherwise known as The Office. As expected, that first week back was a tough one, but I survived it.

On Tuesday, I went to Madrigal practice to turn in my music. After long consideration I finally decided that after going home from two practices in agony I just wasn't going to be able to do it. The extra three hours away from my recliner (where I can get in a relatively comfortable position) were just too painful. I was very disappointed, of course. I really, REALLY wanted to sing The Messiah. But with my luck, I'd have tortured myself all the way through the rehearsal period just to have my surgery scheduled too close to the performance date for me to be able to stand up to sing. Rats, rats, RATS. Oh more thing to add to my "one of these days" list.

One of my e-mail signatures is "Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain." I have to remind myself of that from time to time. :-)

Friday, September 18, 2009

Vacation - Day 7

I just can't believe it's already FRIDAY. Holy cow. This week has just zipped by, and of course I've not done half the things I'd hoped to do this week. Oh well.

My last blog entry was early Tuesday morning, so I'll catch you up on the "exciting" things I've done since then. *LOL*

  • had blood drawn for diagnostics for my PCP, who I see next Friday
  • dropped by K-Mart to see if I could find some linseed oil for wicker repair - wasted trip. Our local K-Mart is so poorly stocked these days that if you have 3 items on your shopping list, you're lucky to find ONE of them.
  • had some time to kill before my next diagnostic, so I decided to drop in on a local yarn shop (the only one in my hometown) that I'd been meaning to check on. The owner was very sweet. Her stock was down a bit because of setting up a booth for a local music festival this weekend, but I still managed to find some things to buy. (Imagine that....*LOL*) I assured her I'd be back.
  • had my dexa scan run. This is a non-invasive procedure and would have been completely painless, except it required me to lay on my back. This of course makes my leg hurt. Sure stirred up my pain level. Ick.
  • went to Lowe's and found linseed oil. Should have come here in the first place. *makes face in general direction of K-Mart.
  • went to Mom & Dad's and looked over the wicker furniture that Daddy had pressure-washed for me. I was amazed at how much of the flaky white paint had come off. Upon examination, I decided the rocker would be more work that it was worth to try to save. I rubbed linseed oil into the chair, but decided it wasn't helping enough to bother with rubbing it into the table. I did some "patch and repair" work on the chair and table and consulted with Daddy on what type of paint to buy to finish them.
  • went home, ate supper, took meds and collapsed.


  • took the car to Wal-Mart for oil change and service. There was a two hour wait, so I shopped for awhile. This, unfortunately, nearly crippled me. After I checked out, I limped back to the Tire & Lube area and knitted until they'd finished.
  • went to a nearby I-Hop and passed a new milestone: I ordered my first "senior special" for lunch. *ROTF* This accomplished three things: 1) made me reflect on the fact that being 55 isn't all bad; 2) gave me a chance to take my pain meds and let them kick in; and 3) allowed me to enjoy some of the best pot roast I've ever eaten ANYwhere. At an I-Hop! Who knew?
  • dropped by Food City to pick up some ginger gold apples they had on sale. These are my all-time favorite apples, but are usually very pricey. What a treat!
  • came home and put things away, then fell into the recliner.
  • later in the afternoon, I took the paint I'd purchased at Wal-Mart down to Mom & Dad's. Daddy painted the chair while I painted the table. He'd advised me to buy 4 spray cans, but I should have bought 6. *sigh* Luckily, after we'd run out of the white paint, he remembered that he had 2 cans of ivory in his shop. This was enough to finish the furniture and gave it a lovely "old wicker" look. It's still a little fuzzy and doesn't look like new by any stretch of the imagination, but it'll do fine for another year or two. When it gets bad the next time, I'm going to put it in the dumpster. I'll never again have any furniture on my deck that I can't fold up and put in a closet for the winter!! I have to admit that I'm looking forward to getting it home, though. I love sitting on my deck this time of year.


  • housework
  • laundry
  • more housework
  • more laundry
  • repeat until bushed....*LOL*
  • I did manage to spend some time yesterday afternoon out on the deck with MeggieDog winding some skeins of yarn into lovely center-pull balls. My friend Beth had found this yarn at a yard sale at an insanely good price. (Thanks, Beth!) As a bonus, there were two crochet hooks tucked into the yarn. Now I just have to find something fun to make with it. And keep myself from starting on it until I finish the projects I've already started. *G*


  • it's not quite 7:00 am, so I've not done anything yet other than make a pot of coffee. That's going to change as soon as I close up this post, though. *LOL*
  • Mom invited me to come down for lunch today....a new Mexican lasagna recipe that sounds just wonderful!

I still can't believe it's Friday already. *sigh*

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

MSNBC Has Lost Its Mind

First, one of my favorite webpages, "Clicked" on MSNBC suddenly stopped updating on June 29. I just learned that now they're shutting down "Test Pattern", which was my all-time favorite entertainment webpage. Sheesh.

Luckily, Gael Fashingbauer Cooper (who was the original author of "Test Pattern") still writes a wonderful witty blog called "Pop Culture Junk Mail", which I've loved since the day I found it. I highly recommend it.

R.I.P., "Clicked" and "Test Pattern" surely was fun while it lasted!

I'm on vacation this week, but not planning to stray far. Sunday I went with Mom and Dad to visit some good friends of ours. We had a really good time, and stopped at a nice family-style restaurant for dinner on the way home. Yesterday I had an unfortunate sinus headache and my leg pain was really awful. So I lost most of yesterday to the recliner. The good part of that is that I got all my laundry done. *LOL*

Today will be busy. I have to have blood test run (fasting, so my system is currently screaming "COFFEE. I NEED COFFEE.") first thing this morning, then I have a dexa (bone density) scan scheduled for 9:45. I'll have to run get a bite of breakfast between tests, but thankfully should have plenty of time.

Daddy came early Sunday morning with his small trailer and hauled my wicker furniture down to their house so he could pressure-wash it for me. It was in terrible shape; an old boyfriend had spray painted it for me several years ago with the wrong type of paint. The paint would flake off on you every time you sat on it. I love going out on my little deck, and the crummy furniture was really taking the fun out of it.

Daddy washed it and succeeded in getting most of the old stuff off it, removing all the flaky bits. He said that now the surface is "fuzzy" in several places, though. I did some research on the wonderful world of the internet and found that tung oil or linseed oil is in order. I'll run by Lowe's after my dexa scan and pick up a bottle and see what we can do. I told him that if it turns into a BIG project to just put it in the trash. I've had the furniture long enough that it has certainly been worth the money paid for it. I would like to save it if we can, though.

Okay, gotta get in the shower so I can go get poked and prodded by still more health professionals. Such is my life lately. *LOL*

Friday, September 11, 2009

Latest Health News

So why am I awake at this unbelievable hour? Beats me. I was exhausted when I went to bed, fell asleep quickly, and didn't think I was unduly worried about anything. But up I came at 3:33 a.m. I decided it would be a good time to do a little internet research and catch up on some e-mail and blogging since I'm in relatively little pain first thing in the morning.

I had an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon yesterday about my back cyst/leg pain issue. It turns out that the treatment is going to be a little more involved than just excising the cyst. The cyst was actually caused by some fluid leaking from a damaged facet in my spine. If they remove the cyst, another one will form. Yuck. So, he feels that I'm a perfect candidate for a facet replacement that is currently in FDA trials.

These were my options:
  1. Remove the cyst, with the knowledge that this surgery would have to be repeated, probably very soon.
  2. Spinal fusion: the cyst would be removed, and the lumbar joints would be fused to prevent further leakage and cyst formation. This would, of course, result in limiting motion.
  3. Facet replacement: the damaged facets would be removed and an anatomic implant would be used to replace them. This eliminates the compression and therefore the pain. It also allows proper motion of the lumbar spine.

I asked about the recovery time on a facet replacement. He told me that it's normally a two- to four-day hospital stay and that after I leave the hospital I should be well enough to return to work quickly. He said that he has patients fly in for the surgery, leave the hospital, and go catch a plane home. No "recovery" time really at all. Sounds like a no-brainer to me. Fix it. *LOL*

And so, I'm now waiting for the next appointment (in about a month), which will be a screening to determine my eligibility to participate in the FDA trial program. Back in a holding pattern. Such is my life these days. But that light at the end of the tunnel seems a little brighter.

Well, I think I'll go get my yummy new sock yarn that arrived from KnitPicks today....uh...yesterday and wind it up into happy little cakes. Sock yarn makes me happy. It's great to be a creature who enjoys such simple pleasures. *LOL*

Saturday, September 05, 2009

What a Week!

Boy, am I glad this week's over. There was lots to do at work, and I just couldn't get my pain under good control this week. But now it's the weekend (YAY!) and a long weekend to boot.

Labor Day weekend, of course, has long been considered the unofficial end of summer. To be perfectly honest, my summer has been the pits, and I'm not all that broken up to see it go!!

Warning to Readers: This paragraph contains massive amounts of whining and complaining. If you do not wish to hear me whine and complain, feel free to skip this paragraph. *LOL* I'm tired of feeling too bad to go camping. I miss waking up in my tent on a Saturday morning with MeggieDog curled up asleep behind my knees. I miss hearing the birds chirping as I'm wrapped up warm and cozy in my sleeping bag, waking up slowly and watching daylight slowly light up the top of my tent. If I hadn't had knitting to occupy myself this summer, I don't know what I'd have done! End of whining and complaining rant.

And so, on this lovely Saturday morning I'm taking a break from household drudgery to updated my blogs. Had I mentioned before that I've started a blog devoted to my knitting? I'm going to place a link on this blog to the knitting blog, which you can find at Cricket Knits a Bit. I'm not a great knitter, but I certainly enjoy it!

I went to this season's first rehearsal of the Madrigal Singers last Tuesday evening. I guess it's not really the Madrigals this year, because we've invited many other singers to come join us. The plan is to do only one Madrigal concert this year at the Arts Depot. Our "big" concert this year is going to be selections from Handel's "Messiah". Oh, boy, I'd really forgotten how beautiful it is! It's going to be a lot of work, but should be a lot of fun, too.

I'm probably (hopefully) going to have surgery at some point during the rehearsal period, but we've been provided with some wonderful instructional CDs which should be a lot of help. Even if I'm unable to attend a rehearsal, I should be able to work on the music at home. I plan to load the sections we're going to work on onto my Zune so they'll be available to me away from home if I need them.

Have I mentioned how much I love my Zune? I enjoy downloading audiobooks from my local library onto my Zune. That way I can "read" while I do my housework or knit. Sometimes I listen to music or podcasts, too, but audiobooks are what I enjoy most right now. I can borrow them from my library for 14 days and can download them directly from the internet. I don't even have to go to the library!! How great is that?

Ah, household chores are calling.....busy times, busy times.

Thursday, August 27, 2009


This cutie showed up at Mom and Dad's house last week and adopted them. The only bad thing was that Mom and Dad were getting ready to leave on a week-long camping trip. I volunteered to come take care of the little guy while they were gone.

So, Daddy made him a bed in his storage building, gave him a bowl for food and a plastic bucket for water, and I went down each evening after work to let him out to play for awhile and made sure he had everything he needed.

So, the pup needed a name. Mom suggested "Trouble" because that's what he causes. *LOL* Daddy said that was too hard to yell if you need to get his attention. He suggested something short, like "Bob" or "Rex". When Mom told me this, I remarked, "He looks like a 'Jasper' to me." And so, he's been Jasper ever since.

Everything went well until Monday afternoon; when I arrived, a teenager who lives next door came through her yard with Jasper hopping along beside her! HE'D TUNNELED OUT OF THE STORAGE BUILDING!! It was hard to be stern with him, because he was so very proud of the beautiful tunnel he'd dug. I called Daddy, and he said to just move Jasper into the garage, which has a concrete floor. Even Jasper can't dig out of there. *LOL*

Everything's gone well since then. He's a really bright dog; yesterday for the first time I held up a small treat and said "Sit". And he SAT. No hesitation whatsover. He also knows "Down". If you say that and point to the ground, he lays on his tummy and stretches his front legs out in front of him. Really sharp.

It seems that someone just set him out....I've never been able to understand how anyone can do that. People never cease to amaze me.

But at least Jasper happened to find himself a good home.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Ever Have an EMG?

I had a new experience this EMG. Ever have one? It's an electromyography; here's a link to the Wikipedia entry that explains it: Click Here It wasn't painful, really, just...odd. It was like getting a shock while plugging in a lamp with your finger touching the prong, but not quite that extreme. I told the technician that it was more startling than painful.

End result was that I have lost the reflex in my right ankle, but otherwise the nerves in my legs and feet seem to be healthy. Now I'm waiting for my appointment with the doctor to find out exactly what we're going to be doing about that cyst in my back.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Doctors, Doctors, Doctors

The good news is that I really, really like my new primary care physician. He's attentive, intelligent, and has wonderful communication skills. We discussed my health issues at great length, and he put my mind at rest about several issues. I'll have lots of diagnostic tests to catch up on, of course, but I expected that.

He was able to tell me exactly the size of the cyst in my back. When I remarked that it's hard to believe something that small can cause this much grief, he said that it's just like real estate: "Location, location, location". *LOL*

Monday I saw the PA at the surgeon's office about the cyst and what we're going to do about it. She, also, was very intelligent and communicated very well. I was presented with several options for treatment and opted to try the simplest route first. I was put on a new medication which should help relieve the nerve pain. That will be a lovely change!

I started the medication Monday night; the initial reaction was that it allowed me to have a very restful night, which was just wonderful. I slept well again last night as well. I found that the medication doesn't make me groggy in the morning as I feared it might. In fact, both yesterday and today I woke before my alarm went off at 5:20.

That was especially amazing this morning, since I was awake until after midnight trying to finish up a knitted baby blanket. I'm not used to keeping those kinds of hours anymore! *L*

I didn't quite finish the blanket, but it's close enough that I can finish it quickly after work this evening and get it washed and dried and wrapped up and ready to go. It's turning out quite nicely, thank goodness.

Well, time to get ready for work. This is the last week of "flex time"; I've been working four 10-hour days Monday - Thursday since back in May. I'll really miss having my Fridays free. *sigh* Oh, well, it'll be back next May.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

A New Doctor

I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow. This isn't usually a big deal, but this is a little different. Tomorrow I'll be going to a new primary care physician (PCP) for the first time. That always makes me a little edgy. Someone new will have to be told all about my health issues through the years. Someone new will have to hear the details of my family medical history. Someone new will have to be told which drugs I'm allergic to, which ones work better for me, and which ones I choose not to take because of the huge, depressing, and frightening list of possible side effects involved. Someone new will have to be told that even though I'm currently overweight, I'm not as overweight as I was a year ago. Yuck, yuck, YUCK.

I don't like talking about my health. It's not as good as it was 10 years ago, so I find it boring as a topic of conversation. I especially hate to deal with it at the moment, as I'm still battling leg pain. (I'm seeing another doctor, an orthopedic surgeon, about that on Monday.)

But, I must go see this new doctor tomorrow. You see, I haven't had a PCP in several years; I came to a parting of the ways with my old PCP and just quit going to see him. I'd been seeing an endocrinologist for my diabetes and actually hadn't needed a PCP until this problem with my leg (actually a problem with my back that makes my leg hurt) came up. So over the past few days I've been compiling a list of information and questions for my new doctor. I'll be relieved to get this initial visit out of the way.

I'm so relieved that I've felt well enough lately to get some knitting done. I wore my newly-finished sweater to work Monday and received many compliments. Now I'm working on a couple of gifts, then I want to work on the cushion cover I promised Mom. Then I need to start my holiday knitting. Can you believe it? HOLIDAY KNITTING? But if I don't get started soon, I won't get it finished in time.

I'm working on a baby blanket right now, and I expect to get a lot of work done on it while sitting in waiting rooms tomorrow and Monday. I used to resent the time I spent in waiting rooms; now I look on it as a chance to knit a few rows. *LOL*

Monday, August 03, 2009

I Finished My Sweater!

I finished my sweater yesterday and couldn't be more pleased. I was even happier when it still fit after I washed it! *LOL* I'm going to wear it to work today. I'll try to post a photo of it in the next few days.

I have a few other projects I MUST finish first (not the least of which is a cushion cover for Mom), but hope to cast on a winter-weight sweater soon. I just love this stuff.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

A Presidential Visit and Sweater Progress

There was a real flurry of excitement in my neck of the woods yesterday....President Obama held a town meeting in a Kroger supermarket in Bristol. Above is an image of Air Force One that I captured from the webcam at our local airport. Only Kroger employees were invited to the town meeting, but lots of folks gathered along the route to welcome the President. Some, of course, took the opportunity to voice their opinions about the proposed health care reform. All in all, things seemed to go well. I expected delays getting home since my usual route was closed for security purposes, but the alternate route I used was fine. I got home at my usual time.
Mom and Dad saw Air Force One fly over their house on the way to the airport. Pretty neat, huh?
My leg is still hurting, but the pain is now manageable. I am looking forward to getting it FIXED though.
Last night I was able to knit for awhile before bedtime and got my sweater up to the point of the neck ribbing! Real progress! Now all I have to do is knit the neck ribbing, do the underarm grafting, and hide the ends. If all goes well, I should be able to finish it this weekend! *keeping fingers crossed*

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

A Referral....Finally

I finally got a referral to an orthopedic surgeon yesterday appointment is on August 10. AUGUST 10. A month. Sheesh.

Oh well, at least I know when I'm going to see someone, at least. Sunday and yesterday were bad days. Today's not great, but so far not quite as bad as yesterday. I bought myself a microwaveable hot pack to bring to work so I can put it under my thigh while I'm at my desk. It seems to be helping a bit.

Off now to eat a bit of lunch, then back to work!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

It's All Relative

If I've learned anything in the past few weeks, it's that it's all relative. On a scale of 0 to 10, my pain level right now is at about 4. But Wednesday and Thursday were both 9's; yesterday was about a 7. So, relatively speaking, today is a good day. :-)

I've learned something else, though. If my day starts out as a 4, I'd better do anything that involves sitting at my home computer early in case my pain level goes up later in the day. I really MUST get myself a good computer chair for home. I'm thinking very seriously about getting one of those balance ball chairs. I think it would be good for my back; it would certainly be better than my dining room chair I'm current using!

Now for the latest health update: I finally got my MRI results Wednesday. I have a cyst in my back that's apparently pressing on my sciatic nerve. No WONDER I'm getting worse instead of better! So I'm now waiting for a referral to a neurologist. I called the doctor's office Thursday ("They're still working on your referral, but you should hear something soon.") and yesterday ("They're still working on your referral, but you should hear something today or Monday."). Yuck. Nothing quite like waiting.

So, today will be spent in the recliner with my phone, remote, knitting, and MeggieDog. I've already done what few household chores I have to do today other than feeding myself. Mom has taken care of that, as well, supplying me with yummy fresh green beans, cooked potatoes, squash casserole, fried squash, tomatoes, corn, and corn muffins. All I have to do today is heat and eat! Well, except for breakfast. I've not had that yet, but that will involve putting water in my wonderful electric kettle (a Christmas gift from Kris and DID I ever live without it??) and making tea and instant oatmeal. Not a lot of effort involved in cooking breakfast at my place. :-)

And so, I'm off to "cook" breakfast and slide carefully into the recliner. Hope everyone has a lovely weekend!

Monday, July 06, 2009

Gray Monday

Back to work this morning after the holiday weekend. I woke with quite a bit of pain, but took a pain pill after I drove to work, so now I feel much better. I'd like to think that I might hear from the doctor today about my MRI results, but really don't expect to hear anything until tomorrow.

Friday was a rough day; I was in a lot of pain when I got up that day, too. Mom came and did the sweeping, mopping, vacuuming, and changing my bed, bless her heart. I'm still just not able to do that for myself. Even though she's very glad to do it for me and I really appreciate it, it just makes me nuts that I'm still not well enough to do it for myself. Hopefully that will change soon.

I'd improved enough Saturday that I went to Mom and Dad's to visit. Mom fixed a wonderful lunch with peanut butter pie for dessert. She hadn't made one of those in a long time, so it was a lovely treat. Our friends Joey and Beth dropped by late that afternoon for a visit on their way to their camper down on Cherokee Lake for the evening. It's always fun to see them. I've not been able to see them much lately because we usually get together for camping, and camping hasn't been an option yet this season. Phooey.

Yesterday I spent the bulk of the day in the recliner with my knitting. My knitting has fallen behind because some days I hurt too badly to sit upright, and I haven't figured out a way to knit while laying on my side. I did make some progress yesterday on a sweater I started a couple of months ago. I finished knitting the sleeves and joined them to the body. I knit about 1/2" more around the body. Another inch and I begin the decreases for the yoke. Hey, I might finish this sweater YET!!

Lunch break's nearly over, so I'd better get back to it. Hope everyone had a wonderful Fourth!

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Sciatica Update

Well, after my last post things got progressively worse. My nine-day course of Prednisone was 3 tablets for 3 days, 2 tablets for 3 days, and 1 tablet for 3 days. I could tell when I went from 3 tablets to 2 that my pain level increased; when I went to 1 tablet, it got much worse. By Friday I was in so much pain that I called the Urgent Care center to have them go ahead and schedule the MRI. They called in a prescription for me for Celebrex to help with the pain in the meantime. The Celebrex has helped, but I'm still having a lot of pain. Now I'm also dealing with occasional numbness all the way down my leg.

Yesterday I went for my MRI. Now THAT was an experience. First of all, I'll tell you that I am VERY claustrophobic. So much so that if I'm in the car for longer than a half hour or so I have to open a window. So the thoughts of being confined in a tubular machine was not comforting. I knew the day was not going to be great when I woke at 4:00 am in pain and on the verge of a panic attack. I actually had to take a pain pill to be able to get dressed. Not a good start.

I went to the office and worked until 1:30 pm, then drove to the diagnostic center. I arrived at just past 2:00; my appointment was for 2:30, but I wanted to get there early enough to allow a little extra time to walk into the building in case it was crowded (and it was). I soon learned that because of some emergency procedures, the technician was running behind on his appointments. It was after 3:00 when they called me back. Sitting in the waiting room chair had really made my leg hurt much worse, and I could barely walk back to the dressing room. I changed into the provided gown and scrub pants and waited another 15 minutes.

By the time I got into the procedure room, I was really hurting. Then I saw the tube. I asked how long I had to be in it. 30 minutes. 30 MINUTES. *full body shudder* They gave me a signaling device to let them know if I had to come out of the tube and put a set of headphones on me that played elevator music in my ears. When he started moving me into the tube I closed my eyes and didn't open them the entire time I was in it. I knew that if I saw how close the tube was to me that I wouldn't be able to stand it.

So what's the procedure to test for the cause of excruciating pain probably caused by a back problem? We make you lay on your back, stick you in a confining noisy tube full of horrible noises, and won't let you move for 30 minutes. Sheesh.

Daddy had been in for an MRI they day before (rheumatoid arthritis), so I knew it would be uncomfortable. On top of the shoulder pain he had from having to be in a painful position for such a long time (his was 25 minutes), he said that he couldn't keep track of the time so he didn't know how much longer he had to tough it out. So, I knew to start counting songs they played in my ear. I figured that your average elevator music pop number probably runs around 3 minutes. So, I knew if I could make it through 10 songs, I'd be okay. One of the songs was "House of the Rising Sun", so I only had to make it through 8 songs. :-)

About 5 songs into the procedure the pain became nearly unbearable. The only thing that kept me in the tube was the knowledge that if I gave up, I'd just have to go through the whole thing again at another time. The pain in my leg was so bad when the technician brought me out of the tube that he had to help me sit up. I've never been so happy to have a test finished in my life.

And so, now I wait for results. Because of the holiday weekend, it will be at least Monday before the doctor gets the reports. I just hope they can DO something. I'm so tired of this.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Hanging In

I'm back at work today....still uncomfortable, but not suffering terribly. I'm just so tired. Probably because of the medication. I'm behind closed doors having my lunch and BOY could I use a nap! After I finish my sandwich I'll knit a few moments on a sock I keep here to work on during lunch breaks. That should occupy my head enough to keep me awake. :-)

Monday, June 22, 2009

"Temporary" is a Relative Term

Well, last Tuesday I was not only still suffering terrible pain from the tendonitis, but it was getting WORSE. So, after being in misery all day at work, I went straight to the Urgent Care center from the office. A doctor "examined" me there (asked a few questions, pressed painfully on the back of my leg), said it was a pulled hamstring and I just needed to wait awhile longer. To get me through the worst of the pain he prescribed pain pills and pain patches.

Wednesday morning I was worse....I thought it was probably because he'd pressed so painfully on the tendon. I went to the office, worked an hour to get out the most pressing issues, went back home, and went to bed. By Thursday I couldn't get out of bed. The pain was so bad that I couldn't move without bringing myself to tears.

Mom and Dad cut their Pigeon Forge visit a day short, came home, and took me back to Urgent Care. This time I saw a different doctor who actually gave me an examination. He checked my range of motion, listened thoughtfully while I described my pain, checked my reflexes, and asked if I'd mind if he ran x-rays. I told him I'd be THRILLED for him to run x-rays. When he did, he found some arthritic spurring on my spine and said that he feels sure that I have sciatica. He told me that he planned to put me on a pain medication, a muscle relaxer, and Prednisone for nine days. He further told me that if I didn't see a BIG improvement by Monday that I should call and tell him so he could schedule me for an MRI to check for disc damage in my back.

Because I'd actually had to use a walker to get into his office, he checked to see if someone had driven me in so he could give me a pain shot. Since Mom and Dad had brought me in, he had the nurse give me a shot of Torodol. This numbed the pain immediately and helped greatly. Unfortunately, when it began to wear off I found that it made me terribly ill and I spent the night with a blinding headache and nausea.

Friday was spent dealing with the remains of the Torodol reaction and sleeping from the pain meds and muscle relaxers.

The good news, though, is that when I woke up Saturday morning, I was MUCH better. I still had some pain in my leg, but nothing like what I've been going through.

And so the improvement, thankfully, continues. If only I'd known in April that it wasn't tendonitis, but sciatica. I could have been pain-free WEEKS ago. Oh well. At least I seem to be on the right track now.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Pain Hurts...But Is Temporary, At Least

I've just been running through my head, trying to figure out just how long my stupid tendonitis in my stupid leg has been hurting. (Bitter? ME? Naaaaaaah.)

As nearly as I can tell, it must have been along about the middle of April, which means it's coming up on 2 months now. The good news is that I had a doctor's appointment yesterday and learned that it really IS tendonitis, and nothing more serious. More good news is that I was doing everything right as far as treating it....except I just haven't been patient enough. *rolling eyes* The doctor said that it takes as long for tendonitis to heal as it takes for a broken bone. So, I still have a little waiting to do. At least now I know for sure what's going on. It still hurts, but it's a little easier to stand knowing that there's some light at the end of the tunnel.

I knitted a little while last night on my sweater. I hadn't picked it up in awhile, so it was nice to get back to some "zen knitting". Knit, knit, knit, knit, around and around and around. No counting, no thinking....zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. I was able to start the second of the "Women's Murder Club" audiobooks. I just love that!

OH....I haven't told you about my new toy! My Zune finally arrived from Amazon last week, and I just adore it. The software they provide for the PC is very user-friendly and my favorite part is that I can sync the Zune to the computer WIRELESSLY. The Zune hasn't been connected by wire to the computer since the initial setup! (I recharge it with a wall charger.) Such fun!

I needed a way to carry it around the apartment while doing housework (or to keep it handy while knitting) so I knitted a little pouch for it with an i-cord long enough to go around my neck. I'll have to take a picture of it and post it so you can see. I think it turned out pretty well for an amateur knitter. *L*

Well, I have a friend coming in a moment so I can help her with a knitting problem during lunch, so I'll hush for the moment.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Monday, Monday

And so, after a good weekend, I return to the land of the office with no windows and fluorescent lighting. *sigh* Oh well. At least it's been relatively quiet this morning. I was very happy to see lunch time roll around though so I could lock my door and hide from humanity for 30 minutes. Anti-social? Me? Naaaaaah.

I'm still suffering a little leg pain (tendonitis is the pits), but it's much better than it's been at least. It really gave me a fit Friday night; I'd gone to Wal-Mart that morning, so I guess I just walked too much. Bummer. I spent some time at Mom & Dad's Saturday, then just stayed home with The Infamous MeggieDog yesterday. We spent a lovely afternoon napping, knitting, napping a little more, and watching the second DVD of Season Two of "Dexter". I really like that show. Not enough to subscribe to Showtime, but I really like it. I always liked Michael C. Hall in "Six Feet Under", so that's the reason I started watching "Dexter" on DVD. Fun stuff....quirky, which I love.

I'm only a couple of inches away from starting knitting sleeves for the sweater I'm knitting for myself. If I could stay awake, I'd be much farther along, but the knitting relaxes me so much that I doze off from time to time. Luckily I'm not under a deadline.

Well, time to unlock the office door and face the public once more....lunch break's over.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Joy of Audiobooks

My newest stress-reliever has turned out to be knitting. I can be wound up like a clock spring when I get home from work, but within minutes of picking up my knitting I can feel the stress drifting away.

The only downside of knitting is that I found it difficult to watch television while knitting unless I happened to be watching something I'd already seen which didn't require much attention. I commented to a friend at work that I really needed to look into a way to purchase or rent audiobooks without investing a fortune. She said, "Have you checked the library?"

Lo and behold, when I went on the website of my local library, they not only have audiobooks, but they have a program by which I can check them out on the internet and download them directly to my computer at home. I don't even have to go to the library!

I've been listening to them on a little Sansa Express that I've had for a good while. But I've been using it so much lately that the navigation button has stopped working properly. I can't complain though....I only paid $20 for it when I bought it, and I've certainly got my money's worth out of it!

Because I'm enjoying the audiobooks so much I finally had justification to invest in a decent player. So, I've ordered a Zune; it's supposed to ship from Amazon tomorrow and I'm really anxious to get it. I just love new toys. :-)

These are the audiobooks I've listened to recently:
  1. Patricia Cornwell's "Cause of Death" - one of the Kay Scarpetta series that I'd managed to miss somehow.
  2. James Patterson's "1st to Die" - the first of the Women's Murder Club Series.
  3. James Patterson's "You've Been Warned" - I listened to this one while waiting for "1st to Die" to become available.
  4. Olive Ann Burns' "Cold Sassy Tree" - I love books based in the South; it's like listening to family. :-)
  5. Shelby Foote's "The Civil War - Part 1" - I'll have to check this one out several times to get through it because it's so long, but I know it will be worth it.

There are lots of wonderful audiobooks available, so I'm sure I'll work my way through plenty of them while knitting away.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Back to Work....*drudge, drudge*

How was your Memorial Weekend? Mine was good, all in all. I'd bought a family pass to Bays Mountain Park with some of my Charter points, so Mom, Dad and I spent Friday afternoon there. The weather was good, not too hot, not too cool, and the newly refurbished Planetarium was really great. The only thing we missed doing was the barge ride. Even though we arrived an hour and a half before the ride, it had already been sold out for a hour by the time we got there. Drat. Oh, well, another day.

Saturday was spent doing a few things at home; unfortunately, Sunday was spent in bed with a migraine. *ick* Luckily, it was all gone by Monday morning, and I visited with Mom and Dad for a bit and ran some errands.

Off and on through the weekend I got in a little more knitting on my sweater. I think I'm getting pretty close to the second "try on" stage, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I'm still on track.

I had to go back to work this morning, and I have to admit I grumbled a little when it came time to get out of bed. I've enjoyed those mornings off when even though I still awaken early I knew I didn't have to hit the floor running. Oh well....the weekend will be back before long. :-)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Delinquent Blogger....That's Me

I haven't INTENDED to neglect my blog, honest....but I'm still having occasional issues with the tendonitis in my leg which makes it difficult to sit at the home computer for more than just a few minutes at a time.

I had a project that was going to require several hours at the computer, and I was really beginning to wonder what I was going to do. Then it dawned on me that I have a wireless mouse and keyboard, so I was able to prop up in bed with pillows and make myself all comfy while working away on the project. What a relief!

Daddy's still battling tendonitis, too, and Mom is still recovering from her dental surgery. She's healing, but still too sore to chew "real food". We've all just kind of fallen apart all at once....*L* Hopefully things will improve soon.

I, myself, am happy that I have a four-day weekend....if my leg didn't hurt, I'd dance with joy! *LOL* I'm working four 10-hour days (every Friday off) for the summer, and Monday is Memorial Day. Ah, the unofficial start of SUMMER!

I've not been camping yet....sure hope that changes soon. I need a few days in the woods.

I've been knitting, and have a couple of pairs of socks on needles in various stages of completion. I've started working on a sweater and have knit about 7 inches on that as well. I just love relaxing and listening to the quiet "click, click" of the knitting needles as I work. Meggie likes for me to knit, too, because she knows that if I sit down with yarn and needles I'll be sitting STILL for awhile and she can catch some uninterruped nap time in my lap. *LOL*

Speaking of knitting, I think I'll close for now and work some more on my sweater while I watch the final two hours of "24". (I TiVo'd it Monday and haven't watched it yet.) Whether or not I bother to tune in next season will depend on how these last 2 hours play out. This season's Grandpa Jack (who's been dealing all season with the effects of being sick due to exposure to a bioweapon) has been a bit boring. I miss the old Jack Bauer who shot people in the thigh to make them talk and who muttered that immortal line, "I'm gonna need a hacksaw." *ROTFL*

Monday, May 04, 2009

Catch-Up Time

I've fallen way behind on my blog posting, so I'll try to catch up now. The much-anticipated camping trip has had to be postponed. Mom is going to have dental surgery, and wouldn't you know it? They scheduled it for Monday, May 11....the first day we were supposed to be camping. Oh well. There's a lot of good camping time left this summer.

Mom was scheduled to have her remaining teeth pulled and get a lower plate last week, but the dentist who was scheduled to do the work found that she has some deterioration of her jawbone (apparently due to Boniva....*grrrrrrrrrrr*) and said the extractions would have to be done by a dental surgeon for safety's sake. I swear, you just don't know what damage you can be doing to yourself by taking medication anymore.

Daddy and I have both been suffering some with apparent tendonitis. His is in his neck, mine is in the back of my right thigh. It was so bad yesterday that I had to cancel plans with friends because I couldn't stay on my feet long enough to get my clothes changed. I don't mind getting older, but I do mind FEELING older. I felt so bad yesterday that I couldn't even knit. And as much as I've knitted lately, that's BAD.

It's been raining a lot over the past few days, and that certainly hasn't helped any.

Kris and Louise have bought a house (hooray!) and are in the process of moving. While I don't envy them all the work and tension involved in moving, I'm very, VERY happy for their new homeowner status. So exciting! I can hardly wait to see pictures.

Well, lunch break's nearly over, so I'll close. I'm going to switch from ibuprofen to naproxen (Motrin to Aleve) to see if that helps my leg any more. If I don't get some relief soon, I'll have to break down and go to the doctor. Yuck.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Yorkie Sweaters

I finally felt well enough today (after a migraine yesterday) to unpin the Yorkie sweaters from the ironing board (I'd pinned them there to dry after I washed them) and photograph them. I was pleased with the way they turned out....sure hope they fit! The sweetie pie Yorkies I knit them for are Haley (top left), Heidi (top right), Holly (bottom left) and O'Reilly (bottom right).
I'm almost afraid to say it, but my leg feels better than it's felt in over 2 weeks. I've only taken 2 ibuprofen so far today. I want to try to wait until bedtime for another dose if I can. I think the migraine yesterday was aftereffects of having so much leg pain for so long. That was a real drag!
I'm getting excited about the upcoming camping trip now. The weather here today was HOT (high 80s); I hope it's warm when we're in the mountain. Last year the May trip was cold and rainy. We'll have to wait and see what happens this year. I'll take along both shorts and sweats...have to be ready for anything!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Feeling Better...Finally!

This morning I got out of bed and was actually on my feet before I realized that I'd stood up without squealing in pain for the first time in almost 3 weeks! Hurray!

I've had a few twinges during the morning, but nothing like it's been for these past few weeks. I really believe it's been a bout of tendonitis in the back of my right thigh. The reason I think that's what it's been is that it has been the same kind of pain that I get when plantar fasciitis flares up occasionally in my right foot. Owie. Hurts just to think of it.

While I'm glad to be feeling better, I want to be careful not to get it cranked up again, so I'll be going about my weekend chores with great care.

I do have a lot of things to do this weekend, though, mainly because every night this week I've come home from work, soaked in a hot bath to relieve the leg pain, eaten a little supper, rubbed on Absorbine Jr., piled into bed with a heating pad, MeggieDog, my knitting, and a remote control. Needless to say, the household drudgery is sitting there waiting for me. *L*

Monday, April 20, 2009

Knitting and Healing

It just dawned on me this morning how far behind I am in blogging.....I do have an excuse, though, honest. Some friends of mine have four adorable little Yorkies, and I've been knitting sweaters for them. I still need to sew buttons on two of them, then I need to wash and block them, and I'll be done.

They actually turned out really cute. When I get all the buttons on, I'll take a photo and post it here.

I spent most of the weekend in the recliner, trying to ease up some pain in my right leg that just won't seem to go away. I've taken so much ibuprofen in the past couple of weeks that my tummy's upset, but every time I try to back off the dosage, my leg pain flares up. Yuck. Yesterday Mom suggested a heating pad, and that seems to have made quite a difference. Hopefully the sun will come out soon; I think seeing some warm sunshine would help a lot.

Well, I'd better get off here and get ready for work. More later.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Happy Easter, Everyone!

This has been a good weekend so far. The office was closed a half-day Friday (a leftover holiday from last Christmas), so I took the other half-day as personal time. I went to Kingsport, returned a sweater (too-short sleeves), went to Michaels (crafting heaven), and went to Hobby Lobby (SOCK YARN!!).

Then I had lunch with a good friend that I hadn't seen in years. *waves to David in case he's reading* *LOL* It was a wonderful visit; it's so good to catch up with old friends. On the way back to Bristol I stopped at Mom and Dad's to drop off some paperwork I'd faxed for them earlier in the week and to pick up some yummy Amish bread that our friends had dropped off for me there.

This morning I had an appointment to trim up my suddenly-out-of-control hair, then had lunch with Mom and Dad. Then I piled up on their couch to knit awhile. I took the photo above this morning to show how much progress I'd made on my latest knitting project. I made great progress at Mom and Dad's this afternoon and should finish this one up tonight, I think. This project is a sweater for our friends' adorable little Yorkie, Heidi. They have three more Yorkies (O'Reilly, Haley, and Holly), and I'm going to knit sweaters for them, as well. Every time I look at this tiny little sweater I'm amazed at how much smaller it is than the sweaters I've knitted for Meggie!
I'd ordered a pattern for the Mother Bear Project (click here to learn more), and it arrived a couple of days ago. I'm anxious to start that, too. And I want to knit a sweater. And more socks. *ROTF* So many projects, so little time!
Mom and Dad are going to a family gathering over in Scott County tomorrow, but I've begged off. I want to stay home and watch a Netflix movie and knit. This weekend has been fun so far, but I admit that I'm looking forward to a quiet, uneventful day tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Meggie's Second Sweater

I finished Meggie's second sweater this evening, sewed the buttons on it, and tried it on fits! She's very pleased. :-)

Yikes! What a week....

Well, I'd actually intended to do a whole lot of nothing last weekend, but it didn't quite work out that way. On Saturday, Mom's sister and her family came up from North Carolina for a visit, so I spent most of the day with them. It was good to see them; I hadn't seen them since late last spring, so I was glad to have the opportunity to catch up.

Sunday morning, Mom called to say that she and Daddy were going to visit our friends in Marion, Joey, Beth & Amy, and wanted to know if I'd like to go, too. So I tossed my knitting in a bag (so I could show Beth & Amy the doggie sweater I'm knitting for Meggie) and away we went. We had a really lovely day. Mom & I visited with Beth & Amy while Dad & Joey worked on Joey's boat motor.

They have four of the most adorable little Yorkies you've ever seen. Amy helped me measure them so that I can knit little sweaters for them, as well. I only have a couple of rows left to knit on Meg's sweater. After I get the buttons sewn on, I'll be finished. Hopefully I'll have that completed this evening. I'll post a photo when I get finished.

I've cast on another pair of socks. I really like working on them because it's so different from everything else I've done. Knitting helps relieve the stress from work; in fact it relaxes me so much I sometimes doze off with the knitting (and Meggie) in my lap!

Friday, April 03, 2009

Socks 101 - Finished!

They're finished.....and they FIT!! *YAY* This has been a really fun project, and I'll be knitting another pair really soon. The second sock went much more smoothly than the first, and now I feel like I actually have the hang of it.

A Lovely Rainy Friday

There's a soft, gentle rain falling outside, it's the last "work day" of my vacation, and my plans for the day include nothing more strenuous than a little household drudgery (VERY little), reheating leftovers for my meals, and knitting while watching movies and sipping tea. Ahhhhhhhhh. The only thing that would make it more perfect is if it was cold enough outside to burn a log in the fireplace. Oh well. Can't have everything. :-)

This has been a very restful week...I'm glad because I needed it. I should have done more housework than I've done (my walk-in closet is an absolute disaster), but I refuse to feel guilty about it. So what have I accomplished so far today? I woke up about 5:45, knitted awhile, took a shower, made the bed and have done a couple of loads of laundry. I need to do a few more household chores (cleaning out the fridge, dusting, vacuuming, etc.) but plan to spread that out over my day in 15-minute bursts.

I just don't understand people who say they are bored at home. I can always find plenty to do. All in all a lovely rainy Friday.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

One Sock Finished!

And it even fits! *LOL* I'd better cast on its partner before I go to bed, or I'll get out of the notion.

Meggie's Sweater

I just realized that I never posted a picture of the sweater I knitted for Meggie! It turned out really cute. She seems proud of it. *G*

I'm Off Work This Week....and Still Knitting

I've accumulated enough leave now (after nearly 22 years) that I have to schedule my time off pretty carefully to avoid losing any leave. So, this is one of the weeks I planned to take off. It's still too cold at night to go camping. If I went, I'd have to stay in the tent huddled next to a heater. If I have to do that, I might as well stay home!

So, I've managed to stay occupied all the same. I SHOULD be doing some cleaning, but instead I spent Monday out shopping with Mom. Yesterday I spent recovering from shopping....*L* I didn't really do much other than work on the sock I'm knitting. I'm making progress, though. I took the photo above when I woke up this morning.

Today I did a little more shopping at Wal-Mart while having my car serviced. Then I went to Sam's to pick up a few items, stopped for Chinese take-out and headed home. I spent the afternoon in the recliner with Meg and my knitting needles. I dozed for a bit, but didn't really take a good nap. I have a feeling I'll be ready for bedtime when it finally gets here!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

More Knitting

I took a break from knitting Meggie's sweater to finish up a few gift items. These are two dishcloths I posted photos of in the earlier post, but now they've had their ends woven and were blocked:

Blocking improved the hummingbird, but I still think the butterfly is much prettier. Now here are the two latest additions to the stash, the "granny" or "idiot" dishcloth I'd mentioned in my last post and a pattern I hadn't tried before, posted on the internet as "Sue's Easy Knit Dishcloth". It really was easy, and worked up nicely, I think.

By the way, if I didn't mention it before, I found all these patterns on the! Clicking the links in the descriptions of the cloths will lead you to the internet locations where I found the patterns.

Now, I have two more cloths to knit, then I can get back to Meggie's sweater.

The weather here is absolutely glorious today. The sun in shining, and it's 70 degrees outside. Meggie and I will be headed for the deck shortly, where I will sit in the sun and knit while she's baking her little body. Ahhhhh, SPRING!!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Knitting, Knitting, Knitting

I'm trying to branch out into knitting something other than scarves, but something I can actually DO. That doesn't actually leave a large selection of projects, since I'm still a beginner. *LOL*

I have been knitting some dishcloths (small, portable, nice gifts) in various designs just to get the practice of the basic stitches without tying myself up with a huge project. Here's one I knitted last weekend as a gift for a kitty-loving friend:

As you can see, the piece hasn't been blocked. In fact I haven't even woven in the ends yet. I'll get that done (on this piece and the others pictured) tonight, I hope.

Here are a couple of dishcloths I knitted for another friend:

I like the butterfly a lot, but probably won't knit the "hummingbird in flight" again. It's okay, but it's not pretty enough, I think.

If I want to do "mindless knitting" (for instance, while watching a movie I really have to WATCH), I do a really simple dishcloth pattern I found on the internet listed as the "idiot dishcloth"....*LOL* I've also seen it listed as "Granny's dishcloth" and other variations. I think it would make a lovely baby blanket (doggie blanket, too) by just making it larger. I've got one started, but have other things I want to finish first.

For instance, last night I started a doggie sweater for MeggieDog. It's started well, but I have a looooong way to go. It may never see the light of day. *L*

I also have some crochet projects I need to finish....for instance, the rug I'm making for my tent from plastic grocery bags.

So much I want to little spare time. *sigh* I just don't understand those people who won't retire because they're afraid they're going to be BORED. Not me. The only thing that might slow me down from retiring is fear of poverty! I have LOTS of things I can do when I retire!!

Ah well....time to get back to work. Lunch break seemed to zip right by today!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Cellular Frustrations

Okay, I'll say this up front: I do not use my cell phone for text messaging. I carry a cell phone just for safety's sake and use it only on rare occasion. I do not send text messages, therefore I do not have a cellular plan that allows text messages. If I happen to receive a text message (whether I want it or not), it costs me 20 cents.

Since everyone I know is aware that I do not text, this has never been a problem. Then, a couple of weeks ago, I began receiving text messages from someone who loves her aunt and felt the need to express this in a text message......but I'm not her aunt. I don't know her or her aunt. When the first message arrived, I thought, "Okay, wrong number, no biggie." But, since her aunt didn't reply, she sent me ANOTHER text message.

So, I dialed the number the text was coming from, and explained to what sounded like a pre-teen girl that her texts were going to the wrong number and costing me 20 cents everytime she sent an erroneous text to me. (Okay, so 20 cents won't break the bank....but it's MY 20 cents, right? If I'm going to throw away 20 cents, I'll throw it away on what I WANT TO. *grrrrrr*) She apologized, I hung up, thought it was over. Wrong.

Not only did I continue to receive fascinating texts from this young lady ("Are you goin 2 church" "Whats up"), but I began receiving texts from ANOTHER number as well. I dialed the other number and got hold of a man who was mystified that I received texts from his number. He had NO IDEA who could be texting me. (So lock your cell phone up and keep it away from your kids. Please.)

Because I was having no luck convincing these people that THEY WERE TEXTING THE WRONG STUPID NUMBER, I called my provider, T-Mobile, and asked that text messaging be blocked on my account. I had checked their website and learned that text blocking was a free service; I'd tried to update my account online, but their website was misbehaving that night. Their friendly customer service rep (and they really ARE friendly; it's a lovely change from some other customer service departments I've dealt with) assured me that she had updated my account to reflect text blocking and I shouldn't have any more problems. Wrong.

I continued to receive unwanted texts. A week after my first call to T-Mobile, I called again. I spoke with a young man this time and explained my problem and told him about my earlier call to Customer Service. He told me that the first rep I'd dealt with had, unfortunately, misinformed in. As it turns out, my cellular service was originally with SunCom. SunCom sold out to T-Mobile. Because my account was "grandfathered" into T-Mobile, the text blocking service was not available on my account. The only way I could get it is to convert my account to a T-Mobile plan. Same price, but with 100 fewer minutes each month.

Now, let me say here and now that losing 100 minutes on my plan is not a catastrophe for me. I never EVER use all my minutes and always have plenty to spare. But, as I told the rep, it just didn't make sense that I should have to give up 100 minutes (whether I use them or not) so that I could stop receiving text messages I didn't want in the FIRST PLACE. He transferred me to another rep (female) who confirmed what I'd been told, as nonsensical as it seemed. I told her I appreciated her confirmation, but didn't want to change my plan at this time.

About 10:30 last night, I heard the dreaded "bleep bleep" indicating that I'd received a STUPID TEXT MESSAGE. I checked the phone.....sure enough, the kid who's trying to text her aunt had sent me ANOTHER TEXT. I called T-Mobile, went through the whole story again, and asked them to convert my account to a T-Mobile plan and turn on the text blocking.

As I told the last rep I spoke with, to me it's the same principle as low-sodium canned vegetables. Why are "no salt added" canned vegetables more expensive that regular canned vegetables? There's an ingredient that's not been added, so why do I have to pay more to have something omitted?

Same with this cellular weirdness....why do I have to pay the same money for less service and fewer minutes? Nonsense.

But at least my text message notification "bleep bleep" has remained blessedly silent for the past 13 hours.

Let me say again that T-Mobile's customer service representatives are friendly and helpful. They were very sympathetic and just great to deal with. But I still think the policy is nonsensical.

Did I mention that I hate my cell phone? I do. I just hate it.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Catch Up Time

I've been a perfectly dreadful blogger....I have no excuse except that work at the office (not to mention TENSION) has been so high that I have been coming home exhausted each evening. Weekends have been spent catching up on things I was too tired to do after work during the week. I've just been coming home, feeding myself, and colllapsing into the recliner until time to go to bed.

I decided to use my lunch break today to make a quick entry just to let everyone know I haven't kicked the bucket. *L*

We're having spring-like weather here today....mild and rainy. Of course, we're expecting snow flurries tomorrow night. *sheesh* I'm tired of having to bundle up to go outside, and am more than ready for spring, thank you very much.

MeggieDog seems a bit sluggish, too. I think she's as tired of winter as I am. It was warm enough when I went home last night to go out on the deck for awhile. She happily went "on patrol", pacing back and forth, sticking her pointy nose out between the bars on the railing, keeping close tabs on anything happening in the parking lot below. A rainstorm blew in soon after we went out and cut our "porch sitting" session short, but it was very nice while it lasted.

Better get back to work now. I'll try to be more prompt with postings in the future. I'll TRY. :-)

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Snow Day.....Again!

You gotta love it. When the temperatures are in the single digits, there's no more welcome sound than my cell phone telling me I have a text message. That's because the only text messages I get are from the automated message system that informs me about schedule changes at the office. (I don't text....I refuse to text....someday in the distant future I may be the last cell phone owner in America to send a text message.)

Sure enough, this morning when I heard my cell phone "bleep bleep" I knew they'd changed our altered schedule from "snow schedule" to "closed".

SNOW DAY!!! I took this photo just after 7:00 this morning from my deck. It was 9 degrees at the time. In the past couple of hours it's warmed up to a balmy 14. It makes me very happy to be able to sit at my home computer and look out at the snow blowing across the parking lot, knowing I don't have to go out there.

I finished knitting my first hat last night. It's just a simple little stockinette cap, but I'm pleased with it all the same since it's the first thing I've knitted that wasn't a scarf.

Mom and Dad had a terrible bout with an upper respiratory "bug"; they were sick for nearly two weeks, but seem to be well now, thank goodness. As for me, I was home sick with a migraine Monday. I'd been having lesser headaches off and on for a couple of weeks, so I knew a bone-crusher was coming. Yesterday I was okay, a little tired like I always am after a migraine, but much, much better. Today I feel great, but that may be partially due to the fact that I'm in sweats and fuzzy slippers. *G*

Okay, enough gloating about the fact I didn't have to go to the office today. I think I'll go pour myself another cup of coffee and put a Dura-Flame log in the fireplace. Seems to me I started knitting a scarf a few days ago that I can work on today. *contented sigh*

Monday, January 19, 2009

Monday Holiday....and SNOW

Yesterday we had ICE....agggggggggggh. I hate being on ice. I was going to visit Mom & Dad, and told them I was going to wait until 12:30 or so to give church traffic time to clear the roads. When I left home, my sidewalk was coated in ice, my car was covered in ice, and 3 cars had been deserted on the hill coming into the apartment complex! Yikes!

I didn't have any problems driving to their house, but there were cars sitting by the road all the way down there. People had apparently just couldn't drive on the ice and parked their cars and walked away. I heard later that there were 30 different accidents on the interstate in our area. I made sure that I was back home before dark; I was afraid the ice would glaze back over after the sun went down.

We were off work today for Martin Luther King Day, so I didn't have to worry about the weather. It snowed off and on all day, though. It was really pretty to watch if you didn't have to be out in it. I did a little housework (VERY little), put a DuraFlame log in the fireplace and crawled into the recliner with Meggie and my knitting needles. I finished up a little scarf I'd started yesterday for myself, then just loafed all afternoon. The photo in this post is the view from my deck this morning. The snow actually got deeper after this.

I received a cellular message a couple of hours ago that we're going to be on a snow schedule tomorrow morning, so I'm going to wait until I get up to wash my hair. They're predicting another couple of inches of snow tonight, so I may get lucky and have a snow day tomorrow. What's better than a 3-day weekend? Why, a 4-day weekend, of course!

Friday, January 16, 2009

I want SPRING.

Six degrees. So help me, it was SIX degrees on my deck when I went to work this morning. Of course, that was warmer than it was at the office, where it was 1 below zero. Now it's warmed up to a balmy NINE. *sheesh*

I don't mind snow (which, of course, we don't have), but I don't like this bitter cold one little bit. There was a note on my door when I got home last night from the apartment management asking that we leave our water faucets running a bit to prevent freezing. Oh, how I hate even having to think of such things!

At least it's Friday, and I don't have to be out defrosting the car early tomorrow morning. And, even better, it's a three-day-weekend! *YAY*

When I get home tonight I need to post some photos of the amaryllis. When I got home yesterday, the blooms were fading. So sad to wait so long for them, then see them go away so quickly. They were beautiful while they lasted, though. Believe it or not, the bulb Mom had from last year is finally beginning to send up shoots. I think mine from the year before is a lost cause, though.

Well, lunch break's nearly over, so more later.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

A Busy Morning

I've spent some time this morning putting a few things on the blog:
  1. I've updated "The Amaryllis Project" to include photos of this year's plant and its progress to date.
  2. I've added a post to "Meanderings" about a trip made yesterday to my very first home.
  3. I've added a new section about a new project from the days of my childhood, "The Salt Crystal Garden".

And now, I must get up from the keyboard and do a bit of household drudgery so that I can spend the afternoon doing as little as possible. I eagerly await a bit of loafing, since I have to go back to work tomorrow. *sigh*

Friday, January 02, 2009

A New Year

The sun is coming up as I write this....well, I THINK it's coming up. This morning the skies are gray and a skiff of snow has dusted the grass and sidewalks in my little corner of the world. As I look out on the shiny parking lot (is it wet or is that black ice?), I'm very grateful that I don't have to go to the office today. The temperature is hovering right around freezing, so I'm happy to be at the keyboard in my flannel jammies, hot mug of tea by my side.

I've had a great holiday break so far. I had problems during the first part of the break with my sleep pattern being all out of whack (waking up progressively earlier each day), but I think (I hope) I have that straightened out now. I forced myself to stay awake on New Year's Eve until the ball dropped in Times Square. (It's been AGES since I've been awake past 10:00 on New Year's Eve!) That allowed me to sleep in until 7:00 am New Year's Day. So, last night I was in bed at 10:00, which is normal for me. I was awake this morning at 5:00, which is within 30 minutes of normal for me. I can settle happily for that.

My plans for the day? Nothing spectacular. I have a few little household chores to go through, but I don't plan to do anything much other than watch the latest Netflix arrival. It's going to be a cold, wet day, so I think it's a day to pile up, watch movies, sip tea, read a bit, and burn a DuraFlame log in the fireplace. Ahhhhhhhhhh.

I just heard Meggie go through her "first stretch and shake of the day". I can tell because I hear her ears flap against the side of her head when she shakes. That means she'll be getting off the bed to go have a sip of water and a few crunches of dog food for breakfast. That also means I must get up from here so I can get the bed made before she goes to get back on it. *L* I wish you all a very Happy New Year a day late. :-)