Out of the mouths of toddlers
Saturday August 31st 2019, 10:08 pm
Filed under: Family

We were sent pictures of Mathias carefully kissing the new baby.

And an observation that will probably be referenced with a grin at both kids’ future weddings:

“Apparently we made a strategic error when we named the baby something that sounds like ‘Alien’.”



Miss Lily
Friday August 30th 2019, 9:10 pm
Filed under: Family,Life

She beat the odds again.

It’s time to go meet the dog and cats and make her big brother wonder why she isn’t being returned to that hospital where she belonged.



Sweating the small stuff
Thursday August 29th 2019, 10:08 pm
Filed under: Life

I actually have hair. I don’t have cancer nor chemo nor baldness; I have no right to complain.

And yet. It happened not once but twice and I was done.

It took me a year to get up the courage to try again.

I took recommendations. I wanted the reassurances that only getting through it could offer me. I did not ever again want to spend that kind of time intensely rueing having so much of my hair chopped off above my ears after saying I only wanted the bottom trimmed below my shoulders.

Krista from knitting gave me Kimber’s name and told me I would love her.

It took me over a month to finally reach out to that number, but today I found out she was right. I do. I cannot tell you the relief it was to have it matter to her that how I wanted it was how she did it. She asked lots of questions. She listened.

I love my new haircut. It’s actually how the old stylist used to routinely do it, plain and simple and hippy earth-motheringness with a little bit of a shorter sweep across the side of the face. That face in the mirror, said the woman with lupus-onset prosopagnosia, I recognize.

I can trust someone with my head and hair again and that feels like no small thing.



Well hello there
Wednesday August 28th 2019, 10:21 pm
Filed under: Family


Wait. Stop. Look, really look.
Tuesday August 27th 2019, 9:49 pm
Filed under: Family,Knitting a Gift

Here, let me give me a close-up.

Remember when I dug out a long-abandoned scarf project, turned it into the front of a baby dress, extolled the virtues of a stash of UFOs, yadda yadda, and knit the back to match?

Today I went to go put them together.

And suddenly realized why my subconscious had been dragging its feet on getting that done for so long.

Huh. How could…

Well, out of the original 100g skein of yarn on that front I had 54 g left, so, there was nothing for it but to cast on with it and have a do-over.

Maybe that other dress back will morph into something else in its own time, too. Who says hats can’t have seams, right?

Or a really, really full sleeve. (Nahhhh…)

Or something.

Oops.



Breathe easy
Monday August 26th 2019, 9:22 pm
Filed under: Family

Quiet puttering and a lot of catching up on my reading today.

Didn’t feel like running around catching up on errands, and I wondered why for awhile.

It gradually came to the surface that it just felt like this was the time to consider the world and the wonder of it all, to have no distractions but simply to take it all in. There was this deep sense of happiness at Lily being in our world now.

As the messages came in telling of things she’s already doing on her own now.



They look so much older so fast
Sunday August 25th 2019, 4:56 pm
Filed under: Family

Go to San Diego, we said. Go see the grandkids there before the baby comes.

Lily had other plans.

We stayed up Friday as updates came in as she arrived, then got up at dark o’clock to catch a flight south. Played hard. Talked baseball with the older boys, who were surprised Grandma knew anything about it, played Chase me! with Maddy, helped 11-month-old Spencer pretend he could walk on his own and took the last flight home after our pizza.

Where I posted a picture of Lily Sylvie, transposing the letters on her middle name and wondering if it somehow looked funny before falling into bed.



Lillian Syvlie
Saturday August 24th 2019, 10:41 pm
Filed under: Family

Our sweet Lily arrived last night, 6 lbs 6.7 oz at exactly one month early. She’ll be in the NICU for a few weeks but she’s beautiful and she made it here and we cannot wait to meet her.

(Edit to correct the typo I didn’t see till this morning: her middle name is Sylvie, after Sam’s dear friend and doctoral thesis advisor.)



Tomato monster
Friday August 23rd 2019, 10:16 pm
Filed under: Garden

What I was noticing was the Big Boy tomatoes under the bird netting that were growing bigger and not being eaten by critters. Yay.

Also, that there seemed to be one area in which the plant hadn’t sent up a major branch.

It had been trying all along, I found out tonight, but the netting had caught on it. But it couldn’t stop it. It curled back down and up and around again as the leaves tucked in tight. I cut and cut and cut away at that netting to let it out to see the world.

All those intertwined loops. I think it knitted itself.



I ran and did that
Thursday August 22nd 2019, 10:39 pm
Filed under: Friends,Knitting a Gift,Life,LYS

It wasn’t upside down when I took the picture. Nor when I sent it. Again. It’s doing what it wants to do. I think this was Queguay colorway, Malabrigo Mecha, anyway.

See, I knit someone a hat, and looked forward to giving it to him at church.

Didn’t see him. But he’s always there! Nope.

Knit another hat. In case his son visits him again, and you couldn’t leave him out, right?

Didn’t see them.

So last Friday, being at Fillory for the informal knitting group and always feeling like I should buy a skein to pay for my afternoon’s entertainment, I hunched down at the display of Mecha yarn and said a little prayer, a bit of a joke to G_d: See, when I picked out the color he didn’t want to disappoint me so he didn’t come, right? But if I pick out what he wants then he’ll be there, right? So which one should it be?

This skein leaped into my hand. I worked on the afghan while the staff wound it up for me.

Sunday’s coming. It needed to be finished.

I even got the ends run in, just to make sure I don’t get tripped up at the last minute by procrastinating that part.

To be continued.



Moose with dandelion
Wednesday August 21st 2019, 10:11 pm
Filed under: Knit,Knitting a Gift

Not blocked, no daylight for the photo to help the moose show better, and I cast off too loosely in my hurry to finish it tonight and need to go back and tighten that up.

But yes, basically, it’s done and a small part of me cannot comprehend how that could be possible.

It’s either snowing or it’s coming down with chicken pox but I think it’ll do quite nicely.



Oh honey
Tuesday August 20th 2019, 10:10 pm
Filed under: Food,Friends,Life

An old Purlescence friend Facebooked yesterday about some honey she was considering at a farmer’s market, and that when she’d learned the source and sampled it she’d bought two. She described it as smokey, caramel-y, with a depth of flavor like nothing else.

I would have gone right past that display without a glance–actually I did at first–at Andy’s Orchard this afternoon but then that well-known picture of the vendors caught my eye and then the jars, familiar only because of Lynette’s post. Hey. Those!

The Honey Ladies’ name has long been passed around on the neighborhood sites as where to go when you have a bee swarm where you really don’t want it. They’ll happily come and put those honeybees to use in a better spot.

She’s the one who saw the guy first and yelled, Hey! You can’t bring that in here!

Which drew the attention of apparently the police thankfully nearby, and of the Gilroy shooter himself: she and her husband were his first targets.

The lady at Andy’s told me that they’d thought they were going to have to amputate her leg but right now it looks like they can save it after all. The woman’s husband took more bullets–but they both lived, their son was unharmed, and they are coming along bit by bit.

So Andy’s is one of the places now selling their honey. Of course it is. That’s what our Andy does. I bought three.

By far the best is the one Lynette raved over.

Checking me out, the lady said, her eyes on me, questioning how I felt about this, You know, a lot of people are afraid of that.

I told her it came highly recommended so I had to try it.

Now that I have, I wish I’d bought more, and I have an extra excuse to go back sooner rather than later before they’re all sold out.

Poison oak blossom honey. From rescued bees.

Who knew, right? Of all things. Even poison oak can leave in its wake something highly good and desirable.

(I’m thinking of my mom’s fierce poison ivy allergy and wanting to say, It’s okay, Mom, it’s okay, I’m fine…)

P.S. I gave Richard some and he called himself agnostic on the issue, that honey simply tastes like honey to him, so then I had him sample their blueberry. He was surprised: Oh! That IS different!



Dr Who?
Monday August 19th 2019, 10:15 pm
Filed under: Life,Lupus

The phone rang seconds before I’d have been out the door to Andy’s Orchard and blew up my plans for celebrating having gotten the mammogram over with this morning.

A strange male voice barked, “Your appointment with Dr. H next week is cancelled!” He sounded almost–I dunno, accusatory?

“Oh okay” (me, wondering, Are you for real?)

“Do you want to come in at 1:00!”

Me, ever so mildly: “It’s 1:08.”

He backpedaled hard. “How fast can you get here.”

And suddenly I’m on for 2:00, with mixed emotions. Fun. Save me the last Kit Donnell peaches, Andy? If there still are any? I gave the last of mine to that potluck yesterday, where they were raved over.

When I showed up, there was a young man at the desk who, when I told him my name, got this terribly sheepish look and then relaxed and laughed a little because I did so he’s okay, really, it’s alright.

And so I went in for my annual no-current-cardiac-problems checkup.

The doctor, who is my age, explained the cancellation in the sparsest of words and strongest emotions: his mom… He had to go see her…

I told him, My dad, too–we answer every call now.

I described my reaction to that new carpeting at church: how it felt much more like when my blood pressure was tanking hard years ago, before he got that under control. But maybe it was just asthma?

Sounded more like the latter to him. But (and I’m writing it here so that I can find it later) he added after a moment’s thought: probably there wasn’t, but if there was any amyl nitrate in that installation it could mimic the chemically similar nitroglycerin.

Holy cow. I’d been given that one single time in the hospital and my reaction to it had triggered the alarms and sent people running to my room–yeah that was a fun day.

Or maybe I just needed to use the inhaler last Sunday. I did.

Did it work?

Who knows, yes?, but I was out of there.

But you know what? It just felt like a relief to know that whatever it is, he knows about it. It’s not all on me anymore.

And he knows I know about his mom now and that my heart goes with him and his family on their long flight home.



As I would want someone to do for my own mom
Sunday August 18th 2019, 10:26 pm
Filed under: Friends,Life

We were at a potluck supper with friends this evening and rather than hanging out for a long time at the end, my husband felt it was time to go. He waited patiently as I wrapped up a conversation. It was definitely early.

I might quietly have conveyed that I’d like to stay a bit longer but somehow I found myself feeling like yes, it’s time (while wondering at myself for that.) And so we thanked the hosts and headed out.

Which means we pulled into our driveway just as our elderly neighbor next door was in hers, needing help. I called out a cheerful hi–and found myself going over to her.

She was frustrated. She was at times fighting tears. I gave her a hug, while quietly wondering how long it had been since she’d had one.

Richard had headed inside so I texted him, Come. He came.

Her car window was stuck down. He got it up.

There was a tool she needed to fix a problem inside the house and he had that tool and went to go get it. He’s a geek–he’s got all kinds of little things like that. When he gave it to her, we both knew she might forget it and we might never see it again–and that that was fine. The message that it conveyed backed up our words that she could call us anytime and know that we were glad to help.

We also found out that her daughter across the country whom I’d been quietly messaging a few times to try to keep her updated about her mom as best I could has cancer.

Just like the mom had had–at the same time I was diagnosed with lupus. Twenty-nine years ago, and we were both still standing right there. That left room for a great deal of hope.

We told her we’d left that dinner early and that now we knew why.

Suddenly she needed a second hug and she got it.



Don’t worry be ready
Saturday August 17th 2019, 10:43 pm
Filed under: Knit

Does anybody else do this?

I’m not one to cast on lots of projects at once. Yarn may be the boss of me but I don’t like it to nag; a hat in the purse and a kids-only-try-this-at-home project is all I want going.

And yet, when something the scope of that afghan is almost done, I scatter those last few days into winding and scouring coned yarn, admiring stuff in my stash for why I bought it in the first place, making no commitments but getting the most likely contenders that needed that bit of prep work in view and drying for the final winding, dreaming away at what they could be as I go and grateful for mill-end stores that help me afford my habit.

Pre-shrunk deep teal baby alpaca/wool and plum purple cashmere are drying as I type.

Thank you everybody for the wonderful words on my Anchorage afghan.