Wednesday, May 30, 2007

You've worked in Healthcare too long when:

Perhaps it's more than my adrenal glands telling me I'm due for a change. Perhaps I've been in healthcare too long.

I am currently spinning and swatching some dyed roving in order to decide which way looks best (to me). Pictures will follow so y'all can give me some input as well. But that's a different post.

I took my swatch to work to ask one of the new knitters her opinion. And I commented to her that there will be two solids I'm spinning to go with this variegated. One lovely warm cocoa brown and a cheerful blue. And that the dyer must have mis-understood me because when he said "yellow" in the variegated I'm certain I said "No Yellow" or "Only a tiny touch of Yellow." In fact, I recall his reply "The yellow will spark it up". And my response "Yellow doesn't go with my project Idea."

I'm dowdy and let's not do the yellow thing in my lovely subdued blue/brown project.

So my very sweet co-worker (the nice kind of girl who sees good in all people) says:
"Perhaps he didn't think that was yellow, maybe he thought it was Bile colored."

Two things wrong with that right off the bat:
A) How dowdy am I that she thinks I ordered BILE coloured roving? and
B) Bile has a little more grey/green tint to it.

Perhaps I need a broader circle of acquaintances. I have a big birthday in 2009, if I plan now, I can change my field before then. (in my bile coloured sweater)

Monday, May 28, 2007

Decoration Day

Today is a USA holiday that when I was a kid went by a different name, but today is known as Memorial Day. Sadly it has had many opportunities to add to the ranks of observed.

War of the Republic, War between the States, Spanish American War, Great War, WWII, Korean, Vietnam, Beirut, current Actions. And others that have slipped from the history books.

Please, before you get offended by the following, remember that I don't believe that 2 people with opposing viewpoints are wrong/right. I don't have to be right. Your being Right doesn't make me Wrong. These are just my thoughts on this subject.

It is popular to bash military actions, government decisions, and by extension, the Men and Women who Serve. It's been that way since the Vegans and Meateaters chose sides with Cain and Abel.

On this day, I chose to ignore the Big Labels, and think instead on the people who fell. Why did they fall? Because they Served. Why do people Serve? There is broad spectrum to that answer.

Patriots - with the capital P - because the US of A is great and anyone who says differently needs to be smashed.
Draftees - with the capital Oh Sh-t - their number was pulled and they had to go.

And in between - so many reasons - because 2nd sons didn't have any way to make money, because there weren't any jobs and the military gave room and board, because all your friends did it, because your friends died and someone had to take their place, because it got you out of a one horse town, because it made your parents proud, because the check would support your wife and child, because people were dying and you had skills that could help. Rational, pragmatic thought and overwhelming emotion.

Service is an odd job. A job in which one of the hazards is death or dismemberment not just boredom or carpal tunnel. A job which may put you through psychological terrors unlike any other. Where an -ssh-le boss may get you killed, not just give you TMJ. Or your boss may save your life, instead of a bonus check. Where, weirdly, your Aptitude Test determines your training...not your interest. And person dies so that others may come home.

When I think of the sheer numbers who died for War, it's overwhelming. So on this day I prefer to think of Why they did it, rather than for What.

5 of 52 - snail, turtle, still not quitting.

Finished pair 5, a smooshy pair in Bare. Only I left them the plain vanilla color. This was the yardage left from pair #3. Perhaps I'll dye them, who knows.

They were worked up -accidently- on a multitude of needle sizes using the Crazy Toes and Heels technique. I know that I committed to learning new techniques for 2007, and I am enjoying the process, however it has put a crimp in the Plunge because I spend a lot of time ripping Learning instead of finishing.

On a non-knitting topic: You know how you'll own something along time, and it gradually grows weaker, less efficient, shabbier, whatever? When I went home for vacation I decided The Adored One needed a new microwave. He agreed since this microwave was from 1995 and was grubby and tired. How tired we didn't realise. The Adored One competes in amateur bodybuilding (I know, I know, but I'm not interferring with his MidLife Crisis). This involves a diet (if you do it all naturally) that requires a man of iron to follow. Including 7 hardboiled egg whites with protein oatmeal for breakfast. So I had picked up these groovy microwave egg cookers for him and he had a routine for making them...Fill the cookers, put in nuker for 16 minutes, take shower, get out...eggs ready. Well, that alone was a clue to the effectiveness of the micro - the instructions say 7 minutes for hardboiled and I have used the cooker on the road for 4 minutes for a firm softboiled. Admittedly he was using two cookers at a time. Still.

So he puts the eggs in this morning, thinks *new nuker, less time, hmmn 11 minutes*. Comes back to find that the egg exploded hard enough to blow the top off the cookers and do a pele all over the interior. It's now a really clean appliance. Poor Adored One.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Progress? For Kathryn....

They may look familiar, they used to be a different pair but I decided that unless Kathryn was secretly a troll, they needed to be reworked. So I spent some time in the frog pond before going on vacation, and knit these while bird watching.

Friday, May 11, 2007


Today is the anniversary of my Daughter's Death. The day the world changed. It was 38 days until her third birthday. That year it was also Mother's Day.

She wasn't in an accident, nor was violence beset upon her by another human, she simply came down sick and within 6 hours was dead. Despite vaccinations a tiny microbe, picked up from contact with another child, killed her.
Understanding-meningitis-basics. A doctor friend later told me that she didn't know why I thought to take my daughter to the hospital, she would have put the child to bed and awoke in the morning to find her dead. Grisly.

I still remember the rush to the hospital, the second the blood clot went through her brain stem and killed her, the ER working on her and the transfer to another hospital.
The sweet hospital chaplain whose wife came as well, the time in the freezing waiting room, and the inescapable words from the doctor. I remember being unable to find a quiet private place and finally just putting a blanket over my head and crying.

Eventually I went in to see her before they unplugged her. I was worried that she would be afraid, after all what is death to the young?

The NICU staff wouldn't let me leave, they didn't want me to be alone. All I wanted was to be alone. Finally, a friend showed up and followed me home. She had the sensitivity to leave quickly. Sinking to the kitchen floor I sobbed and wept and screamed. Eventually though, I thought "My daughter can see me, what kind of an example is this?" So I got up.

Anger struck next, after all the World had Just come to an END, and because all these other people were selfishly going on with their lives I had to also. If only they would stop and look around they would Know, and the world would stop spinning and it really would be over.

Because it was a "communicable" disease the media made a big deal of it. (Strengthening my life long loathing of them.) On the other hand, because of the news attention other children were brought in to ERs early and saved. Some will be two forever.

I went to her dayschool and told the loving woman in charge. I watched as she collapsed onto her knees and began to cry. People came rushing from all over and I couldn't speak, couldn't help her, because I had gone somewhere where I couldn't feel. It was weeks before I stopped automatically pulling into the school to pick her up.

A wise woman sent me to
TCF. It was both horrifying and healing. There is an old saying that if all the problems in the world were piled on a table, people would fight to get back their own. That's how TCF was. I would be sitting there, listening to people tell their story and thinking "Thank G-d that what happened to me happened, because I couldn't handle what happened to you." And, ironically, they were usually thinking the same thing.

I kept getting up. Every day, every morning, every hour. I would turn off the alarm and bargain "Just get up today. You don't have to get up tomorrow. Just today." People have since told me that I am a strong woman, that they couldn't have survived. I am a weak woman. The reality is, you don't a choice. The rest of the world doesn't care, because to them it never stopped. So you keep getting up.

One day when I was angrily listing all the things my daughter would never do, (Mothers know what I mean, from the moment you are pregnant you start thinking of "Firsts" First day of school, first crush, first date, first prom, first Presidency, first Nobel Prize, first Grandchild) I realised that I could do some of them for her. I finally got past bargaining for one day. The Future had returned.

Sometimes the Future was eclipsed briefly, but it was back. A previously lost child and health issues meant no more children unless adoption. So fine, what life had I envisioned for Her? I meant to live it.

Eventually, I stopped living "Her" life, and found that I was again Living my life. A life irrevocably changed, but a good life. A life that still has tears and that pain in your throat when crying stops breathing. But a good life.

The Adored One touches a very battered heart in tender and healing ways. And he brings in plenty of laughter. I have challenging and interesting work with a variety of people. I have few friends but they are True Friends.

Today, I realise, is a Life I would be Proud for my Daughter to have. I know that She can see it and is happy.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007


I was so excited because I am flying home to The Adored One for Mother's Day, got a whole week off, going to paint the Living Room, relax on the patio, etc, etc. I'm flying out Thursday. It's been planned since January. Only, somehow I booked the flight for Friday, on a crammed commuter flight out of a tiny aeroport. Son of a Porcupine! And of course, I had a ride all planned, so I wouldn't have to pay 10 days of aeroport parking, except, she's not working on Friday. Sigh. Why is my freezer an Ice Cream Free zone?

On a brighter note:

They're finished! I dyed the yarn using Jacquard dyes and Knitpicks Bare. The *self striping* came out okay for just winging it. The colours seem a bit odd until you lay them against jeans. I was concerned that perhaps I had underestimated the amount (the scale bit the dust) and so I made the heels in a different colour (also dyed by Moi). And finished with just the right amount that I could have made the whole bleedin sock. But Finished beats not, eh?

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Things I learned at Maryland Sheep and Wool

+ When the parking looks like this:
It is very helpful to close a mylar helium balloon in your car door to make it easy to find. It also helps to have a cooler of cold drinks in the car so you have a lovely little oasis to escape to when the crush becomes too much. It was windy enough that I needed to plug my ears, but too warm for my Ear Bags. So I discovered that a little cotton wadding is a nice noise buffer in a big crowd.

+ When you purchase a pattern and they have the sample there....
take a picture! Sadly, I forgot to write down the yardage of the Unable to Buy Anywhere Else Yarn that the pattern calls for. However, it is knit bottom up, soooooo No Sweat. R-i-ght.

+ When you thinking about going, quietly lurk at Spindlers, because they are pros and will tell you all the tricks: comfy shoes, good bag,which vendors carry what, Map, Plan of Attack, carry cash because credit card lines are jammed. Thank you for all the good advice. BTW, I think lurking is such a mis-nomer, I prefer WallFlower thankyouverymuch.

+ Be prepared to stand in line with your cash and plan of attack. Actually two lines. I spent 40 minutes meeting gracious knitters while waiting to enter The Fold. I actually saw a lot of 'famous' people but didn't talk to them.
I enjoyed the standing in line part because I got to knit socks, meet people, and look at the Socks that Rock colours as people came out of the booth.It made a big difference to see the colours live. After waiting to fondle, I waited 25 minutes to pay, and I don't resent a moment of it.

+ Ask the vendor if they will hold onto the big bag of roving until you finish that barn. While roving is soft I got tired of being thwapped by others wrestling with their purchases. I actually waited to purchase my roving until the very end, half hoping that it would find a different home, but it was still there, and is now here.

I ran other errands in the Baltimore area while there. The Invisibility Cloak kicked in at the MAC store, so I went to Nordstroms and bought MAC there. I might be offended by the situation except it happens in a lot of stores - including yarn stores- and I'm resigned to it. I knoshed my way through Whole Foods and stocked up on food for the rest of my stay in Southern Tier NY. It was good to go Metro for a spell, and better to leave it behind.