Friday, July 25, 2008

A Stormy Contest~~

Just ran across an interesting question over on Grace's blog, and she's turned it into a contest! Go check it out!! Here's what she asks:

"When you are knitting and using metal needles like Addi's or Options and it starts to thunder and lightening, do you put your knitting down? I do, and pick up something on wooden needles and Tom thinks I am crazy. "

Hmmm... since I've never thought of that before, I would just keep on knitting. However, now that Grace brought it up, it will be the first thing that crosses my mind next time a storm pops up while I'm knitting!! Maybe it helps if I have rubber soles on my shoes!!

I'm hoping for a nice day tomorrow, as I'm going to a fiber festival at Bonanzaville with a friend. First time I've had the opportunity to attend anything like that, and I'm hoping it will be fun. Bonanzaville is part of a county historical society where they've set up original buildings from the late 18 and early 1900's. A bit of a restored frontier town, I guess. There will be demonstrations, hands-on activities, and vendors. First outing I've had this summer, and I'm really looking forward to it. If it's a good time, I'll have pictures to share when I get back! Do you 'spose they'll have yarn???

Monday, July 21, 2008

Crawling Out Of A Time Warp~~

Ever feel like you're walking around in someone else's body, or living out some movie or soap opera that isn't your life at all? That's how this summer has been for me. I was walking around in Target a couple of weeks ago and realized that the whole world was going on around me, but I somehow wasn't a part of it. I could see other shoppers, and browse the aisles, but it was as if I wasn't really there. In a bubble I was, so wrapped up in things that weren't 'normal' for me that I felt totally alien with the rest of the world.

Like a kid, I counted the days until school would be out so I could get on with my summer plans, and they were many. Well, you know what's said about "the best laid plans....". The day after school let out my brother came to town to help me pack up my mom's apartment, as she'd moved into assisted living. (Lots of Mom stress over the past 9 months--both physical and moving issues-- had already contributed much to making me crazy.) Somehow I'd convinced myself that it wouldn't be all that hard, but OH MY, how we do accumulate stuff. We worked our tails off.... we threw, we donated, we moved, we put into storage, and we also put into our garage. Of course, all this brought great angst to my mom, which trickled down to me. My feet got so swollen that I had to loosen the straps on my Birks by two holes, which has never happened before. I guess it was stress, as it went away and hasn't come back, but at the time I was wondering if I was gearing up for the Big One.

Next up, my oldest son had surgery on his knee to repair a torn ACL and whatever else he damaged. This was planned, but it's a painful surgery and slow recovery, and it's always tough to see someone you care about so miserable. These ordeals are never easy for a mom.

Now it's my turn to visit the doctor. Thinking I haven't had a check-up for two years (and having not been sick haven't even seen a doctor in as long) I thought it was about time. Once I got there I found out it's actually been three years. Bad girl, me. Anyway, as much as I hate the whole process, things are going along quite swimmingly until the Doc asks me one of those "girly" questions, and she isn't fond of the answer. (Shoulda kept my big mouth shut!!) Next thing I know, she's scheduled me for a pelvic ultrasound. Ever had one of those? If not, you should... just for the sheer fun of it. Let me give you a little hint: it's both external AND internal. Are ya with me here?? And it lasts quite a while... very thorough, let me tell you. Let's just say he left no stone unturned.
Other results that I'd already gotten back were all good, and I wasn't all that concerned about the untrasound until after I'd had it, and then panic set in. Fear of the unknown grabbed me and twisted me into knots. I'm usually not like that, and I still can't explain it, except that maybe it was the straw that broke the camels back. I'd reached my limit of stress and anxiety, and this last thing just knocked me off my feet. So, four days later when I went in for the results, having her refer me to an OB/GYN for a biopsy really sent me into a tailspin.
And it's the waiting that's the worst. Eight days until the next appointment. And now, lets insert company. My sweet dad, who hasn't been to visit in a few years because he was caring for his wife who had Alzheimers, is coming to spend time with my brother and his family, and with us. He was with us for ten days, and I'd been so excited to have him come, but having this medical stuff weighing on me made me less that a good hostess. I felt bad, and I tried so hard, but I just couldn't be me. First, I hadn't been sleeping. Would wake up between three and four EVERY morning, and that was it. No more sleepy-bye for me. So I was exhausted. Next, I lost my appetite (which never happens!!), so cooking was torture, and forcing myself to eat was worse. Bleck. Luckily, Dad is very understanding.
Fast forward eight days, and OB Dr. had no interest in doing a biopsy, but instead thought a D&C might be fun for me. Okay, so now I would wait nine more days for that. I had no idea what a big deal they are... actually considered "surgery". Most have general anesthesia when having one done, which is my WORST FEAR IN THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD. "If I have to rip my hair out by the roots and bite on a silver bullet, there is no way they are putting me to sleep for this. No way, no how!!!" So, the very kind and gentle anesthesiologist and my Dr. decide to try it with just sedation, and if that doesn't work, then a spinal. I've never had anything that even resembled high blood pressure, but at the hospital before this little event it was right up there! Scared, me was. And for the life of me I don't know why. It wasn't all that bad, and quite honestly, I didn't expect it to be. After the procedure, the Dr. told me I was tougher than she was. **Pat self on back** However, I did "come to" a little a couple of times during the whole process, and when I did I felt some pretty red-hot pain. Doc said I "squirmed" a little bit a few times.
(This cutie dragonfly spent the afternoon dangling from the overhang of my house.)

Well, I was hoping to get to wait at least another four days for the pathology results, but oddly enough they came back in two, and I'm thankful to say everything is good. No bad cells at all, and I've had my post-op appointment and am done with that for the summer. I thought I'd feel better instantly, but it didn't work that way. (This whole time all of the things that are usually fun for me were not. I did nothing that I usually do: no knitting, no blogging, no on-the-patio sitting. The only thing I did for entertainment was Sudoku puzzles, and I did dozens of them.) Five days later I realized I was starting to feel like myself again, and was enjoying doing things around the house and had plans for some fun computer and knitting stuff later in the day.

And then the phone rang.........

That morning my younger son had left with a group of friends and the leader of a youth center here in town to attend Sonshine, a Christian music festival. On the way home, he would be dropped off near Minneapolis and wait to be picked up by one of the youth leaders from our church on the way to a short-term mission trip to the inner city. It was a trip for middle schoolers, and Nathan was going to be one of the leaders. He's such an exhuberant kid, and was so excited about these two simultaneous trips.

Anyway, the phone told me it was Nathan calling, but another voice asked for me (heart starting to beat faster now) and told me that Nath seemed to be having some kind of a seizure, and asked if he'd ever had one before. (NO!!) He told me Nath was coming around, but was unable to tell him his moms name (WHAT!!!) and didn't know where he was or where he was going. And he seemed to have stopped breathing for a while. (Now I'm feeling like my heart may just stop completely.) He's over 100 miles from home, and will be taken by ambulance back to Fargo, which is 75 miles from where we live.

I couldn't even string a sentence together when I called my husband, but managed to say, "Something's happened to Nathan, you have to come home." Minutes later he's home, and we hit the road for Fargo. I felt so bad that Nath would be there all alone, but when we arrived there were six of his friends waiting for us. Nathan had been riding with the leader, and that vehicle came back, along with another one with several of his best friends.

Again we feel very blessed, as this turned out to be not nearly as bad as it seemed to be, or could have been. What happened was he "passed out with seizure-like symptoms". There's a medical name for it, but that's what it means. And here's why it happened: First, Nathan had only gotten about two hours of sleep the night before. He gets too excited and just can't sleep when he's looking forward to something special. Second, he had donated plasma that morning, which depleted his blood volume. And third, when they stopped for lunch in Fargo he sprinted about six blocks in the heat right after eating to get a magazine at Barnes & Noble. When they picked him up, he "went right to sleep", or more than likely passed out. About 30 miles out of town the seizure-like symptoms started. The doctor said it's not all that uncommon, but I've never heard of such a thing. They did do a CAT scan and run all the other tests to be sure. The tests confirmed that the Dr. was right, and it had not been a seizure. Nathan came home with us and missed the music festival, but he's gone again now! He left with the group from church yesterday on the mission trip!
(Jayda thought this little "triangle" of shade was just right for an afternoon nap!!)

So, the beautiful summer days have passed, but in a way that didn't seem real, and now I'm less than a month away from going back to school. But that's okay. I'm just thankful that things are starting to settle down, and I'm looking forward to enjoying the rest of my break. One of my favorite things to do is sit out on my patio, which is where I am right now. It's a perfect evening, and I think I shall go in and get my knitting....

Saturday, July 5, 2008

A Fun Package From The Mailman~~

I received the most wonderful package from my Keepin' Cool In Summer Dishcloth Swap Pal! Wendy sent a box full of fantastic goodies, all wrapped beautifully in bright, summery colors. There were even fun little messages attached to the gifts! Here's what I found when I opened the box...
And here's a group shot of the goodies after I unwrapped them...

She sent some Crystal Light for me to add to my water bottles. Believe it or not, I haven't had that before, so am anxious to try it. And, there were fruit snacks to munch on. Then, in the pampering department she sent some almond hand soap that smells just delish... almond is my absolute fave, so this one goes in MY bathroom so I don't have to share it with the boys! There's also a very nice hand cream, a cute little notebook with a pen attached, and some just-for-fun flamingo socks!!Next up is a pattern book for some adorable knitted snowflakes that look like great fun to knit. The yarn Wendy sent is GORGEOUS! It's Brown Sheep Cotton, which I've not had before, and it's soft and luverly. The colors are rich, and I just love that! The WonderVase is a piece of heavy plastic that you fill with warm water and shape to your liking. Then you change to cool water and add flowers! Inside that green "disc" with the flower on it is a sun hat! You take it out and give it a flip and it turns into a hat with a big brim. Then you twist it just right and it fits back into the little zippered pouch. The sun does unsightly things to my face, so it will come in handy! I'm hoping to attend a 'first' Yarn and Fiber Festival in a nearby city later this month, and this hat will go with me!!Wendy sent not one, but two, knitted dishcloths. The pattern is a very pretty one that I haven't seen before. She chose colors that are perfect for my kitchen!

Thank you Wendy for everything!!

You've been such a great pal, and I've enjoyed getting to know you!

Keepin' Cool in Summer Topic #4

Here's this week's topic: Go check out one other person's blog who's answered some of the weekly topics. Find someone you have something in common with, who posted a really cool cloth pattern, or who 'calls' to you for some other reason, and post about them on your blog sharing why!

This was fun, because it got me reading some blogs that are new to me, and I enjoy that! I seem to find something interesting no matter whose blog I'm reading, Even though this blog isn't new to me, I have to say that one that I really relate to is Alaina's. She's been a regular read for me for quite some time, and we do have a few things in common.

We're both teachers, we both have sons who are within the same age range, and we live in the same area of the country. Our names are even similar (and unusual), and we both KNIT!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Keepin' Cool in Summer Topic #3

Now that Summer has OFFICIALLY begun.. what do you do to beat the heat? A nice tall glass of lemonade? Frozen Coffee? A dip in the pool? What's your favorite way to keep cool this summer as things heat up?

Definately a tall glass of something cold. Iced tea or coffee will do very nicely, and I'm even good with a big glass of ice water. Ya, I know that's boring, but it is refreshing!