Monday, March 31, 2008

Cruising Back to Reality

We're home! Seventeen days on a cruise vacation with the in-laws and no-one was injured, although penalties should have been handed out at times.
This is my breakfast at the Panama Canal. We had a great time. there was much sunshine. There was even knitting and reading. Very little tanning for me, but enough for my fair skin.
Noodle Pie broke the washing machine the night before we left. She was trying to get her packing done. The last day, I stripped the beds and gathered all the towels and threw them into the washer which was wet. No power. No one to come and fix it. What do I do?
I ended up calling an old friend's mother (ex-fiance actually) to make an appointment for when we returned. I didn't trust just anyone with the knowledge of our empty house.
So today I go to our office where there are washers and dryers for the veterinarians' coveralls. D. did some loads last night, thanks. I'll try to wrap my head around the cold and rain and studying.
Re-entry was pretty gentle, but it will seep into our whole week.
Happy to catch up on your blogs! So few knitters on the cruise. One woman was crocheting in purple. two more were making fun-fur scarves (I didn't approach them). The usual response when I pulled out my Mountain Colors Monkey socks was embarrassed looking away as if I were fixing my fly or picking my nose. Not even comments about how well I crocheted. Hmm. Spotted a lovely vest in the Seattle airport, but failed to wave my clapotis for recognition.
Back home, we have a "book club" birthday tomorrow which will entail sharing real knitting!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Such Achievement

This is the only real knitting I have accomplished since I began my Nursing Refresher course in January. It's March and hold back the applause, I have finished one sock. Actually, I don't want to graft the toe until I find out if I have enough wool for the second. I'm up for more frogging and contrast heel/toe. I've never done it so it may be coming my way.
On the other hand, tomorrow we leave for a cruise. I have started Monkey in Mountain Colours and am loving it. The other Jaywalker will get to come, along with the much-travelled thistle shawl, but I'm loving these. As an added morph, I will stop when the foot measures 5 inches, make 1 inch of ribbing and bind off- so cleverly making pedicure socks for my best friend who doesn't know I have a blog, but her sister does. Hi, Mary Anne. Leave a comment if you read this. I have created Monkey-Toes!!
Or I have started them and hope they amuse me through the incredibly long journey to Seattle (3 hr drive). Overnight in a hotel. Seatac Airport for an 8 am flight to Phoenix, where we'll have lunch, hop a flight to Charlotte NC for dinner and finally to Ft. Lauderdale by about midnight. They changed our flights and there's nothing we can do.
Saturday we rest and catch up on the time change as the other in-laws trickle in. Then Sunday, yes, the great Aruba, Panama, Costa Rica, Jamaica cruise. There will be knitting to book tapes (Ann Lamott's Grace- Eventually and Kiran Desai's Inheritance of Loss) as well as real reading, lots of walking on the deck, trying to let my teens have a good time, good meals with the big crowd and, hopefully, some romance with D. if he can relax.
I have studied very little today. As I cast on and set up this sock, I could feel the knitting heeling my tension. Good-bye Skating Carnival, good-bye Music Festival and good-bye Med/Surg text. I will be bringing a sheaf of articles to read, but they are small and light and short.
I'm almost packed. I did the errands today. Carly has to go to the kennel tomorrow, but she likes it. Hard to say good-bye to her patience.
I hope that you find some quiet and joy in this early spring. I will be doing my best to celebrate Easter on the ship. If I have a moment I will read your blogs.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

A Celebration, Of Sorts

This past week was so crazy! Noodle Pie had extra skating practice for the Carnival and solo and band competitions at the Festival. Enough to kill a sherpa-mom. Those are the skates I made for the decorations. On the other side of the curtain is my 6 foot high Disney castle, cut out of cardboard and wrapped in foil, but impressive for the tots.
Hard to see her in her blue monster costume with the kids she coaches. It ended up, for all its rediculously poorly organizing, to be positive for the kiddies and that's what matters to me. It was my 5th and last Carnival. These skaters to not function at a level of efficiency that I can adapt to. I don't care much about skating, I don't care if your daughter has more sequins than mine. I'm into community building and supporting and encouraging the kids. You're in my way.
This is the Mulan costume she sewed herself (with a little hand finishing from her sherpa-mom.) The colours were stunning and she really skated well.
Clever to use the reverse of the fabric for the contrast.

Magnolias are coming out. I wrote my fourth of eight exams today and aced it. Such tension when whole days are eaten up in zamboni exhaust and cold. I have a whole extra day to pack and pick at the family to pack their stuff. It would be simpler to do it all myself, but then they'd never learn from their mistakes (only mine) and I would be bitter and alcoholic.
Instead, I'm reading "Bloodletting and Other Cures" by David Lamm- amazing! And I'm acing acid-base balances and blood gases. I celebrated by walking the dog. It was dark and windy at noon and the trees that separate our garden from the field were howling and cheering me on. I'm happy to spend some time in the rain and the mud before we head to the Caribbean. I'll appreciate the contrast. I celebrate this in-between season that would be spring if it weren't so cold and dark.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Today's Stash Is Brought to You By the Colour Purple

What is it? It is my perfectly imperfect freeform crochet. I know, I said the "C" word. You too shall be hooked by the great web adventure that is NatCroMo

I have seen this on other websites: but didn't know how to link my limited experience and creativity with such genius. Thanks to Kaet, I'm riding with training wheels and a protective hand on my back.
Just because these are leftovers doesn't mean I don't love them. They each were involved in a lovely project, usually a gift. I took back some of the good stuff from Noodle Pie. I figure it's safe to share my stash leftovers. Don't touch anything in the plastic containers! Look how the colours like each other. Note to Li: your leftovers share colourways for a purpose.
And outside, my garden is reflecting the blue/ pink/ purple goodness of my stash. The heather.
The violets (my favourites). I was coerced to rip them out of the gardens, but I let them carry on in the lawn.

Here they are huddling under the hazelnut among the many nut shells that the squirrels leave for us. Seriously, we have a giant (piggy) walnut and this last hazelnut (I ripped out several when we moved in) and we don't get one nut. We do however get the privelege of raking up the empty shells. They don't however seem to be eating my crocus bulbs.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Inconsistent Glitch*

The new battery in my camera works, some of the time. D. said he would get another one, but I'm afraid if it's not the brand of the camera, that it will be snitty and tell me to check it every time, but ignore me and work if I just open the battery case. I am not technologically challenged, I am just impatient and spiteful. I still live in an animated world because my childhood was so good (bad?) and I have an active (rampant?) imagination.
All the neurons are firing this week. After the intensive study of death and grief, I am refreshed by shock. I started out as a "casualty aide" or ambulance attendant in the reserve forces at 17 years old. I was the token virgin.
But all these words (distal convoluted tubule, cardiac contractility, ecchimosis and petichiae) are opening doors in my brain. Like a Beatles movie, all the doors are opening and closing and I'm not sure what's behind them, but like in a dream, I know I'll recognize it. I read "decreased Mean Arterial Pressure" and I think, "weak, thready pulse", and that's the next line! Have you ever found out you know a song?
I have not had great occassion in my last decade of diapers and piano lessons to call, "Hang Ringers". But I remember hearing it on "Emergency" when I watched TV late while babysitting. Well, I'm hanging it even before the book says it. Whew. Maybe I am a nurse. Let me check your vital signs.
Oh, knitting? Still the first of the last jaywalker socks to be experienced in the knit world. I turned the heel and am valiantly stitching- one stitch at a time- while I down load my next course work or call up all your blogs that give me so much comfort.
*Did anyone else read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance on a 12 hour bus ride?

Monday, March 03, 2008

Death, Pain and Celebration

Studying is starting to wear me down. I'm in week eight with 3 exams under my belt. I hope to write another next week before holidays and then I'll be half way. D. is pretty supportive and helping get the kids to their activities. The daughter is adapting with age appropriate behavior which mostly includes hysteria. The son is using sarcasm. This week has been modules on pain and death. If I work hard I can move on to blood gases tonight.
I missed some shopping and visiting time this weekend. But made it to my Dad's birthday. Lots of daughters and grandsons.

I sneaked in some sock knitting while attending the Chilliwack Music Festival. The daughter is playing trumpet this week solo and in her Middle School Bands. Her skating schedule has doubled up because of preparation for Carnival. I hate Carnival. Everyone get's all wound up about how precious their daughters are and how many sequins (spelled "sequences") they should get to wear and which Disney princess they can be. I find it very depressing and nothing to do with encouraging strong, intelligent women. This is probably her last Carnival because the club is melting down and I don't think we can invest in it anymore. If it's not about skating and the kids, I don't get the point.
Mr. Boo competed in 4 piano classes in Grade 10 Toronto Royal Conservatory of Music. He won his Post-Romantic class with his Rachmaninov and won the trophy at the (very late) Saturday night play offs. For $2.50 we got 4 hours of music by 34 of the best young pianists in the valley. Put that in your hockey game. Plus it was warm. But there was no drinking. We are proud that he still belongs in that elite and very pleasant group of young people. Next year he will finish and then turn his attention to architecture and graduating from highschool.
I hope to balance the reading and lessons with some waking in the warm spring rain, visiting with my book club and standing back as the skating costumes are thrown together.

Ignore this next picture. These talented children are held back by their mother's lack of technological skills.