Thursday, May 29, 2008

Catching Up

I'm up and running on my new desktop. Thankyou D. for sucking the brains out of my laptop and setting it up here. Now I can continue with my on-line nursing refresher course without being tripped up by a java-ignorant laptop.

I'm still having trouble getting photos from Adobe Photoshop Elements to Blogger. I'll have to export each picture to My Pictures. We'll see how long I can manage that.

This is Great Grandma's afghan. It ended up a little big, 60X60 inches, but it was a fast knit. I think I would do something similar again, but not in cheap acrylic. As it goes, she's in her sunny one bedroom apartment in a multi-lelvel care home and could have a decent gift. But this will be helpful when she goes into a higher level of care. She's 94 and was driving until this Christmas. Her main problem is joint pain from arthritis. Healthy as a horse. But she lost some short term memory with the stroke in April.

I will try to post more finished objects as I navigate the new path. There are really few glitches and I am still in shock about losing the old laptop, so I'm not fully appreciative of this great new gift.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Good-bye Good Uncle

Uncle Bruce died just before we went on our cruise. He had been suffering from recurrent cancer that got into all the difficult parts of his life.
But he was a warm and generous man, a very successful business man, and a man who put a great value on family. I was lucky he included me, his eldest nephew's wife.
We gathered at their gracious home on the water in Vancouver Island. Yes it was a big trip, but we had been invited to countless celebrations there and always been so welcome. The house has been for sale for most of a year, but requires a special buyer. Aunt is already making houseplans to build a suite on her son's new house. That way she can still go down to their place in Phoenix, or travel with friends. They did a lot of travelling.
There were five grandkids, some from London, dear old friends from their days in highschool and early business (they sure know how to keep friends) and some of us cousins. I was "disappointed" that the middle brother didn't bother to arrange to come when we were given a month's notice, or that the youngest brother allowed his wife to spend too much time on her toilette so they came halfway through the service. But it is their mother's job to reinforce the importance of paying respect.
We all had so much respect for Uncle Bruce and will miss his good advice.
There was knitting. I wore my Pacific Northwest shawl (Fibretrends) that I partly knit at Uncle Bruce's beach house. Sadly, no one mentioned it. The ferry ride and most of the highway travel were good enough for the Alphabet baby blanket. On the ferry I approached a woman who was knitting fingerless gloves. She said she was a beginner, but they were great. Tina is also studying to be a nurse. She hadn't heard of knitty or the Yarn Harlot, so I was able to spread the gospel.
D says my computer should be in this week. I hope so. I've just used up all his ink in his printer. Tuesday is Pharmacology.
My cough continues to improve, though not disappear. I was terribly blunted at the memorial and not great to talk to. I practiced my listening skills. I feel so far behind on my studies, but the instructor says I'm a bit ahead of what's necessary. I already accepted that I was not going to finish in a glory of the shortest time. It's a bit like working toward a knitting deadline. Will I make it in time for the baby? Will I have enough wool? Will I be able to figure out the border when I get to it.
If I go step-by-step, I will have the skills and the energy required to finish. But then what? I'm getting to the point where I should be spending some energy investigating my career path, but I'm just coughing and trying to get to the next chapter.
I look at my weedy rosebeds, the dinner party that needs to be prepared for Friday and the extra "clutter" in my home and I turn back to my books. This is not forever. It is an investment of time and energy. And it's my time to do it.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

D and Me

We've been married 19 years today. That's us as puppies.
Things haven't always been easy, raising two kids and juggling his on call-schedule with the demands of both our families and umpteen music teachers, soccer coaches etc.
But we were together for 3 years in highschool and got back together in time for D to be my guest at my nursing grad. We're cultivating our happiness.
We always go to "La Mansione" for our anniversary. That's where he proposed. It's as close to chi-chi-poo-poo as you can get out this far in the valley. But I woke up this morning after the weekend of a thousand tissues and said, "I don't feel up to going out tonight."
You know you have the right guy when he says, that's alright. We can just watch a video together. Thanks D.

Saturday, May 17, 2008


Vector (biology)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
In epidemiology, a vector is an organism that does not cause disease itself but which transmits infection by conveying pathogens from one host to another.
A classic example is the anopheles mosquito which acts as a vector for the disease malaria by transmitting the malarial parasite plasmodium to humans. In this case plasmodium is harmless to the mosquito (its intermediate host) but causes the disease malaria in humans (its definitive host).
Today, I am the vector. I am a slobbering mass of infected serous fluids. This cold started a long time ago, and it has morphed into a full-blown blow me away infection. I washed my hands to use D's computer.
Yesterday I was supposed to go on a yarn crawl with my best friend. We both have kids on band trips and were excited about the open schedule. But I couldn't get my act together. At noon, we met at our own LYS. I bought some organic cotton for a baby sweater from "One Skein", she bought a pattern. I wouldn't let her buy the wool until she had cast on one of the three projects she had bought after lunch the day before. I had felt better even then. The sun was out and we enjoyed some coffee at her local video store.
I was high on Dayquil when we went to the Chilliwack airport at 2 pm. We shared a clubhouse sandwich, fries and a spinach salad. Yum. Then we ordered the famous pie to take back to her place.
We both love BBC shows and she had an embarrassing pile from the library. We watched a bit of comedy, a bit of mystery. Drank tea and ripped out our lace mistakes. The mistake is to knit from a chart when you're not well. We had pie for dinner and felt wicked. Eventhough I started to feel even worse, it was as good a day as any road trip.
More pictures from the archives. This is pre Weight Watchers, when I had long hair. It's my merino a fur (Naturally) reversible cabled wrap. I take it to the rink a lot and snuggle in the cold basement to watch TV after dinner.
I have also knit it 3 times as a baby blanket. I get so many compliments that I want to write up this pattern to share. It is typical of me to take a brilliant idea, like Lily Chin's reversible cables, and simplify it. I feel it is magical knitting and the muggles can't get enough. The seedstitch border on the baby blanket doesn't lie flat. I've put in a question Math4knitters for a formula to start trying out.
I am well enough to lay in the shade on the deck and study immunology. It's unfortunate that none of this knowledge will help me ovecome the bug.
Li of Life's a Stitch sent me a hilarious link to giant microorganisms. It's in her comment. The blue one is my sumo competitor.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Waiting On It

I've dug this photo out of D's desktop. That's my "Constant Companion" from Knitters' Stash. I know it was a hit because 5 of my friends have since made it. Cascade 220. Fun felting. Big knitting bag. All good.
D. has extracted the brain from my laptop but not the information. He's away in Calgary at a meeting.
We had a nice Mothers' Day. Mr. Boo said "Happy Mothers' Day", this is a day only for happy mothers. We went to my sister's new cabin on Harrison Lake and I wish I could show you the great green and lush photos. But we'll have to wait.
On Saturday I manned the BBQ for six hours at fundraiser for the kids. A great irony, me selling hotdogs. The ladies who used to be in my weight watchers group wouldn't dare buy them. I don't eat such things, nor feed them to my kids. You'll get me as close as a tofu dog on a whole wheat bun. I know. Life of the party.
But after standing in the cold on Saturday, and sitting around in the cold cabin Sunday, I've come down with a bad sore throat and the chills. Crappy day. Try studying immunology when your own is so preoccupied. Fever, check. Chills, check. Nausea, check. Fatigue- oh just leave it and go to bed.
And I stole some time this evening to watch DVDs and knit. Cozy is coming along. I put on the fireplace and poured myself a wee dram.
Tomorrow I start Pharmachology. This course is taken on line along with others. I think it will be nice to have some contact. I got all the pre-test questions right. I'm hoping its not too much more extra work. But I'll have to wait.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Torn Up

Last night was a great concert at our highschool. Mr. Boo is no longer in the band program, but Noodlepie will enter next year with a bang. My best friend's son was the big star.
But I was "cut" by my friend and my son's piano teacher. I'm really hurt, but I don't think it will help to call her on it, or whine to our mutual friends who will only feel bad. Can I send it out here?
She has repeatedly stated that she does not have time to meet with her friends because she is chairing a music conference. I still invite. She doesn't come or declines. Sometimes she shows up. This feels like she's doing us a favour.
She is angry about the knitting. It comes out when we watch movies or after lunch at our favourite cafe. She does not share this interest. Certainly we can understand that with her busy life, she couldn't indulge in something so unimportant.
Well, we're trying to get a yarn crawl going to Vancouver. The one we missed last May. My best friend and I invited the other knitter in the bookclub.
"I don't know why you didn't include me in your precious yarn trip."
Response, in a lighthearted way: "I didn't think you'd be interested and I didn't want to impose on your busy schedule."
Not solved. Not salved. Some other people I know are busy too.
This is too petty to perpetuate, but my feelings are hurt. Thanks for listening. It's not like I'm going to stop knitting to make her feel better. This is my son's last year in piano. Perhaps this friendship will be tethered on a long gracious leash.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Live and In Person

Thanks to "Wovenflame" I have had the great pleasure of being part of a real knitting group.
I have been so jealous of those in Toronto and in the eastern states, always getting together and sharing ideas.
Well our group is typically Chilliwack. There are very old ladies with European accents, a large proportion of weavers and spinners (a very organized group here) who could have been hippies in an earlier decade, some people who more or less resemble me, housewives, workers, big girls. The young moms were a great addition. We have our own master knitter and she even has plans. I'm usually the one driving the bus, this is too great.
We're going to have a real Knit In Public event on June 14. You can all come!! We have a few nice parks to choose from. I'm trying to hold back from ramping up the advertising- it's a habit from my volunteering. We just want to be a presence and encourage anyone who is thinking about knitting. We want to include the farmers and the displaced urbanites. Both stores were sort of represented.
Show and Tell! Cookies! Thank you to our library for giving us the meeting room.
Next time I will try to bring friends. My daughter will probably even come to the Knit Out.
Film to follow (when I learn to cope with the loss of my laptop).

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Lost In Space

My laptop calved. I was studying the final push of neuro for my big test and I heard a sound. Not a pop. More like a spark. I looked up at the screen: no course material, not link to Mayo Clinic, no medical dictionary, no Yarn Harlot. It was like God pulled the plug.
D took it to our IT guy. I don't know if he can resuscitate or suck out its brain. I am sad. D says, don't get too attached to it because you can't even count on 5 years.
He very graciously brought up his brand new same model laptop. It was hate at first sight. Not only is it a first day Vista, it won't recognize whole parts of programs. I can't post and I can't comment on most sites. I can't access my student files. GRRRR.
D is piping in a parade right now. I have lost 3 posts. I wrote my test in his "den"- a dark basement room where I'm sneaking now. Thankgoodness for the other (too many) computers in the house. If he has to replace it (the vista box is not equivalent), I'm asking for a desktop. And maybe a mac. I have learned that a laptop is half the computer for twice the price. I am not galivanting around. I don't even like to unplug it from its speakers and printer.
To amuse myself while my favourite podcasts are down or stretched to very long intervals (Cast-On and Lime & Violet), I have been enjoying podcasts from CBC radio. Have you heard "The Age of Persuasion" with Terry O'Reilly from Pirate Radio. I've been following him for years, but now I can listen whenever I like. And Writers and Company and Quirks and Quarks. This has been a good relief. Not that anything can replace the laughter of Lime & Violet (and Carin), but we don't have cable, and I need an excuse to sit and knit.
Great Grandma's mitred square afghan is almost done. No pics, see above. I'm putting on the i-cord edging which is pretty cool, but I put on backwards the first half-way around. I'm not liking this acrylic, so I ripped it out because it just can't afford more strikes against it. In cotton or something precious, the mistake would have added character.
I have cast on my Cozy shawl. Thanks to Katie from for the great injection of Noro. I chose my colours a store site. Turns out I even picked Katie's choice, thought the colours look really different. I dream of knitting this, the simple lace pattern, the colours changing before my eyes, the soft silk. Hmm. If I finish the edging on the big square I will allow myself. Especially since I fininshed another big section.
This week, Haematology. I should be good at this with my background in Oncology. But I feel a bit shaky after that monster of a cold and systemic complications. I'm proud I wrote that test and did OK. Not my great marks, but such a big section, it's like sweater. You have to know when to cast off.
Thanks for the enjoyable blogs that bouy me up when I take study breaks.