Wednesday, May 31, 2006

She certainly can can-can

We're havin' a heat wave, baby. And since my husband is away, and has been away since he was home just long enough to take the air conditioning out of the window last winter, the air conditioning is not in the window now in time for the summer.

It topped 100 degrees (F, that's 37.7 C) inside my house this week.

Which means it looks like I have fur carpeting - not because of immense shedding, but because all the fur-coated gentlemen in my house have allowed their bones to melt so as to stretch out to proportions never before seen in vertibrates.

Actually, Trevor and Aslan are doing okay, if slightly less energetic than your average houseplant. They are also aided by feline limberness which means whereever there is a fan, there is a cat, and I simply sit there with a cool windblown cat (Aslan looks like a shampoo commercial for all the seductive looks and blowing hair he's got) and I just get bodyheat and hair blown on me.

Oscar is very much not enjoying the heat, and has gone to bed with frozen bottles of water and bowls of ice, and after three days of it, will now step into the bathtub to have water run over him with only the slightest bit of that doggie intense shame. He's decided that icecubes are his favorite invention ever, and I'm an excellent cook who knows how to make them just the way he likes (cold).

Myself, today is the first day I haven't had a migraine. It's also the first day I haven't risked having the police called on me by my all-too-nosy neighbors who I'm sure have seen way more skin then they (or I) would like since I've been walking around almost completely naked with strategically placed ice packs (and then taking those ice packs to bed at night). Today is much better (I'm even wearing a shirt) since the temps have dropped to a chilly 88F (31C) in here. (for the record, my flashing has been done completely within the interior of my own home, my neighbors are just very close and very nosy)

The good news is that the air conditioner guy my husband is supposed to be home tomorrow.

If you need me before then, I'll be over there in a tub of ice.

Friday, May 26, 2006

365 days

One year ago today, I took the day off work.

My husband and I went out to breakfast at Bob Evans restaurant, where I had crepes, and then we went to see and early show of Star Wars III.

From there we drove up the road, and I had the Darth Vadar theme (da-da-duhhhh-dun-da-duhhhh-dun-da-duhhhhhh) running through my mind.

We pulled into my endocrinologist's parking lot, went inside and sat down.

One year ago today we did all of this. And how do I remember?

Because those were the final moments leading up to my cancer diagnosis. The final moments before everything changed. When I found out my body could betray me. When I had to face the thought of losing my voice or losing my life.

It was a very specific moment that started the absolute worst year of my life. I'd like to say the cancer was the hard part. It wasn't - I'd go through that ten times over if it meant not living through some of the other things.

Instead I went through that while also dealing with a health issue that one-hundred years ago was a major cause of folks being sent to insane asylums because of the mental agony that is a thyroid condition. I've been tired almost every minute of every day. I used to be far stronger than I looked, and have had extreme muscle weakness to the degree that many days I feel almost completely helpless. The thyroid is an amazing little thing, and when it's gone, the body really goes wonky to a massive degree. I went through it all without the luxury of being able to choose when and where my illness was discussed, thanks to the "kindness" of well-meaning strangers. And even though I've tested negative for any remaining traces of cancer at this point, I'm still battling the health issues that come from losing my thyroid and other treatments.

None of this is said to be whining (no matter how it sounds up till now). None of this is said to get pity.

It's said because I'm tired of being tired.

One year is enough for that.

So here, on the first day of the second year of the rest of my life, I am promising to get better. The search for new doctors is on (my beloved endocrinologist is looking at retirement, and my GP is dreadful). And I'm not going to make the mistake of thinking this is how I'm supposed to feel anymore. I'm going to whine like those doctors have never heard before until I'm feeling good. I am making a public declaration to work out - actual working out, be it Pilates, walking on my treadmill, or any other actual bonefide excercise - for one hour a week for the next thirty days, to be re-evaluated for possible increase at that point. I'm going to focus on getting a healthy emotional life as well, with my marriage, with my friends, and with myself. I will help Anj help others (and I will encourage you to do the same).

I've been a cancer patient for one year. I will not be a cancer patient again.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Trevor will pump you up!

It would seem I've found the reason Oscar is managing to keep his girlish figure.
He's got a dietary coach who keeps a close eye on everything he eats.

Actually, who chases him away from his food so he can have it for himself.
(you'll notice the dietary coach does not have Oscar's girlish figure.
And for the record, there was a full bowl of catfood within reach)

I didn't have the heart to point out that he's a pitbull for crying out loud. I locked Trevor in Oscar's room while Oscar got a bite in. It's okay, Trevor's a cat. He was asleep before the latch shut.

But the training wasn't over.

Nope. Calesthenics came later.

This is the view out my living room window.
Wait for it....

Someone wants to come in.

He's not standing on anything, he's just jumping up and down.

I'm 5'6".

That window is level with my head from the outside.

So can I show you this again?
(hey, I saw it several times as he bounced up and down, it's only fair you should get to see it twice...)

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Johnny, tell them what they've won...

Yes, the ticker up at the top is correct! (It did seem to make a jump, but remember that I was up North building an ark for several days, so it didn't get updated as regularly).

Lucky Liz will be getting in touch with ItGirl for a prize for knitting the One Thousand Nine Hundred Ninety Ninth sock. YAY, Liz! Oscar was rooting for you (and thinks Max should get some socks out of your winnings) I love being able to give prizes to people I know and like.

And yes, you read that properly - one thousand nine hundred ninety nine.

And the observant among you will note that Liz was NOT the last comment on my blog yesterday.

That means, my warm-footed friends, that we have reached a goal.

A goal that may give my mailman a hernia, but that's okay, we don't like him anyway. He yells at my dog.

So it serves him right that he's going to have to carry handspun sock yarn from me, hand-dyed sock yarn from Spunky Ecclectic and C*eye*ber Fiber, Koigu from Minh, two patterns from Eunny (hey, Eunny, better get to writing, 'k?), an adorable set of stitch markers in an exclusive-for-us box from Brandy, a twenty-five dollar gift certificate from Dea Terra, a color-mug from me, and the piece de resistance, Truffles the Sheep from my husband. This is a prize pack that is worth something close to $150.

And it makes me very happy to be sending all that to Rob!

Don't worry, I'll have pictures of all that in the coming days, but it's past my bedtime now and too dark for good photos anyway. In the meantime, keep on knitting those socks. If you recall, ItGirl was feeling pretty generous and bantied about a few more numbers to win prizes. Technically, Rob knit sock 2001 as well, but she's getting enough, don't you think? So I've made an executive decision, and the person who knits 2002 will get a prize, as will the person who knits 2006. And I'll keep the tally going as long as you keep letting me know about it, just to see how many we really do knit in the year (which is how this all got started anyway.)

And there are more things to come from this place! I'll be starting a fun little game in the next few weeks (I think June 1) that involves audience participation, and I've still got a few other things up my sleeve, with no immediate date set yet for stripping down, but check back on that!


And thanks, all of you, for playing along!

Monday, May 15, 2006

Where the Unicorns Went

There are several myths involving the lack of unicorns on the earth, some of them involving Noah's ark. Apparently, either the unicorns got left off accidentally in the rush, were intentionally left off in a jealous rage, or were kicked off the ark for arrogance.

However it came to pass, I did a lot of thinking of Noah's ark this weekend.

Why? I was in New Hampshire this weekend (their state motto listed slightly adapted in this bumper sticker)

It rained a lot this weekend.

A lot.

Really, really, truly, a lot.

A lot as in that was a stretch of dirt less than twenty four hours before I took that photo.

I was there for the New Hampshire Sheep and Wool Festival, functioning as a shivering and wimpy Booth Babe for Spirit Trail Fiberworks. It was her first year at the festival, and most of the folks who came by swore that this was highly unusual weather for the area. I suspect they were suffering from the same kind of memory loss that allows women to have more than one child.

Why else would the other New Hampshir--ians? ites? New Hampsters? say it was like this every year???

I did see sheep (and llamas and alpacas, and even sheep dogs) but it was way too rainy (flood watches all over New England) and cold (around 40 degrees or so, pretty bitter when you're wet and can't go inside) to really enjoy them.

At one point I made a desparate dash to the bathrooms across the fairgrounds. Dripping wet and shivering, I heard someone yell
I nearly kept going, because who on earth knows me in New Hampshire?

But something made me turn and look, and there was Boogie along with Bitty Boogie (Baby Boogie smartly stayed home with their Boogie Buck, the husbeast)

So I got to spend a tiny bit of time with her, and then it was back to work. And back to the rain.

Did I mention that it rained?

Because the shot up there, taken at a slightly different angle (the tree in the right of that photo is to the left in this one) the next morning looked like this:
That dry spot at the corner there is inside the barn. The boys were going from one barn to the next using folding chairs. Yes, those are standard folding chairs, and yes, that's water up nearly to the seats of the chairs.

So yeah, a bit of rain.

And if ever I doubted the hardiness of New Englanders, this solidified it for me:

Fire danger is moderate.

That dam in the background was about four feet lower when we arrived Friday night.

Anyone else get a little queasy thinking about what it would take for them to bring that down to "low"?

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

When You Wish Upon a Star...

Perhaps you remember my reaction to spinning on my first Norman Hall Spinning Wheel at Rhinebeck a few years ago? Or the response I got when, in an attempt to find a dream wheel other than a Norm Hall, I asked Judith Mackensie which wheels she would recommend at last year's MD?

I've wanted a Norman Hall wheel for a while now. It is my dream wheel, without a doubt. And this was the weekend for dreams coming true, what with Bess adopting her Golding and all...

Well, Saturday afternoon on yet another sweep through the main building, Shelia-the-pusher pointed out to me that a vendor just down the row was selling a wheel consignment. Not having a thought in my mind that I could ever afford it, I went down to drool and whimper.

The price was terrific for a Norm Hall, but still more than I could reasonably afford. I put in a call to GB but he couldn't get back to me. The wonderful vendor (Spinners Hill - 607-843-6267 - amazing rovings, too, but no website) could see that I was in love, and said she would be willing to work out a payment plan... oh my...

Well, I told her if no one was interested in it by the end of the festival I'd call it kismet, and work out a deal with her.

Sunday I could barely stand to walk by her booth, for fear I'd see someone paying for it and burst into tears, which I thought might be considered poor form. The festival was set to be over at 5pm that day, and at about 4:45 I went in and looked to see if she'd written SOLD across the label.

She hadn't.

So we made a deal. She'll keep the wheel until it's paid off, which depending on my budget might be around the times of Rhinebeck or the KRRetreat, both of which are up towards her neck of the woods, so will make for relatively convenient pick up.

Now, when you're married to a military/government guy who's a pro at removing all emotion from things and focussing on strictly the literal, busines-end of things, how do you expect him to react to the news that you're spending more money on yet another spinning wheel?

Because my husband, upon hearing this story, actually interupted me when I got to the part about her not yet having written SOLD on the label.

Interupted me to say "It was meant to be yours."

I love that man.

And that means that aside from the fact that I don't have the wheel in my possession and I haven't actually paid for it yet, I own a Norman Hall Spinning Wheel.

Words cannot express......

Monday, May 08, 2006

December 26: The Last of the Mohitos

Kelly is one happy camper tonight. ItGirl will be sending her a prize for knitting the 1763rd sock, which we slid past while I was knee deep in sheep.

We're at a solid 1777 socks now, on day 121, averaging 14.6 socks a day. Impressive knitting - you clearly held your own while I was away. Good show.

(and YAY, Mommy for finishing your first sock! I'm so proud!!!)


I'm exausted today, after a wonderful-lovely-fun weekend. I can barely move tonight, though the horrifying swelling in my feet that left me nearly completely crippled last night has gone down slightly. And despite the nine years of ballet training that gave me the ability to take it, I'm not even going to post the gross picture of the blister that I got between two toes. You're welcome.

Instead, I'll stick with just a few photos of some of the beauties I met. Tomorrow - the purchases (which were restrained and easy to carry, with one small exception.) Some wool, a pound of linen, a gorgeous spindle, and one tiny skein of yarn. I managed to stay right at my budget if you don't count the new-to-me spinning wheel. More on that later.

I had a wonderful time with Erica, who's a total peach, and with my other friends that I see entirely too rarely. A remarkably few drinks were consumed (yes, mohitos) and a remarkably high amount of laughter and foolish behavior was enacted. It's never enough time with them, though, so I'm sitting here like a three-year-old the day after Christmas, wishing I could be back with those special women again.

(I love this photo: When Angora Attacks)

Wednesday, May 03, 2006


Sweet Delphine has an exciting summer ahead of her.

After playing with her for a few more months, she and I have decided that she should have more ratios. So we looked around very carefully, and checked our schedules, and made some applications, and then scholarship applications, and finally word came back and we were accepted, and Delphine is going to camp!

We think Camp Merlin Tree is just the right fit for us.

You might remember Merlin Tree, as Counselor Dave is the one who restored Loireag so beautifully.

Delphine has promised to write frequently, watch out for poison ivy and wear bug repellant, and make me lots of lanyards while she's away. She leaves with Counselor Dave after The Festival this weekend.

She's so excited, she's already packed - there she is with her favorite stuffed animal (a pink Serta sheep)and her sleeping bag, all set to go.

I'm all set, too, getting ready to pick Erica up from the airport tomorrow, then spend the weekend in a fiber frenzy of fun with friends. That means I probably won't be able to check back until Monday sometime, so you guys behave, keep knitting socks (the tally up there is all the socks commented or e-mailed to me, and in the zonkboard over there up through Kate & her husband) ... OH! And if you're at MD, I'll have a yellow rose in my hair! Say hi!

Monday, May 01, 2006

Sensory Overload

Day 114 and we've knit 1708 socks.

Think about that a moment, please. That's ONE THOUSAND SEVEN HUNDRED EIGHT socks.

Impressed yet?

That's an average of 14.9 socks a day, and it's 85.4% to our goal.



Speaking of staggering, how about some staggering beauty?

How about that? You see that label? The colorway? AROSEBYANY, baby - named after this lil'ole blog.

Who knew me rambling and getting fed up at vet bills and spewing my nonsense would inspire something that stunningly beautiful?

It's gorgeous, I tell you, gorgeous. Mama-E made it, and she did an amazing job. I promise I'm only making a little fool of myself petting it over and over again. Only a little because I'm here with Trevor, Aslan, and Oscar, and they lick their own butts, so who are they to talk?

It's just so blooming gorgeous it's going to be very *choke* tough *gasp* to give it up. *ssssiiiiggghhhh*

Because it's goin' in the box for the 2000th sock...

Along with some yarn from Amy-Boogie.

Not this.

The stuff Amy donated never got here.

Honest. It's not this sock yarn in her Tahiti colorway with a free sock pattern. No, that box never got to me, darn it. She should immediately send me another, don't you think?

Yeah, she didn't believe me either.

Significantly less impressive is this:

Two oz each bobbin of singles for the sock yarn I'm spinning for the winner. All that's left is to ply, then I'll knit up a swatch, unless it turns out they don't stripe at all, in which case I'll claim I didn't knit it, I didn't even spin it, and I'll probably just blame it on my brother because he's been really busy lately and I don't think he'd notice.


And finally, this is the view in my house today. This is not a stretch, this is a sleeping position.

Cute Overload, eat your heart out.

Marriage is love.