Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Finished Felted Bag

I finished knitting and then felted my bag. It turned out small, but a good size for a small knitting project. Felting it was fun - I'm glad I tried it and am now anxious to try another project. I had a little yarn left so I knitted a rectangle (larger needles this time). I used all my yarn and then felted it just to see what size it would turn out to be. I thought if if were really small it could be a cell phone case. It turned all a little larger though so I made this little bag. I think it turned out pretty cute. I liked doing a little project. (Instant gratification is always good) I may experiment with more small bags.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Breast Cancer Friends

Going through any serious illness is not a lot of fun. Breast cancer is no different. There are lots of down sides to it - realizing you are not immortal, going to the doctor's office a zillion times (unless you like that sort of thing), losing your hair (and in many cases one or more breasts), feeling tired & crappy a good part of the time, sitting or lying for hours getting chemo, getting a wicked sunburn from radiation, spending tons of money on treatment, drugs, travel back & forth (thank God gas wasn't as high then, I drove 140 miles every week for over a year for chemo and 80 miles every day for 30+ days for radiation).

That was the bad - but there was good - finding wonderful support and friends in unlikely places. I was very lucky and had two good friends at work, one had gone through the same journey a couple of years earlier and one went through the same time as me. They were teriffic.

One of the best things to ever happen to me was a great group of friends I met through the internet. Early after my diagnosis I found breastcancer.org, which has a ton of information and lots of support through discussion groups. Every month a new group started of people starting chemo that month. In August 2004, I waited for a group to form and when it didn't I jumped in and posted first. One by one a great group formed. Some posted for awhile and then dropped out, but several of us stuck it out, through all our treatments and after. Sadly, we lost two wonderful sisters during this time - Karen and Frances. They were so young (30's), both wives and mothers and I still miss them today, so can just imagine how much they are missed by their families. Eventually, the ones of us still hanging in there switched over from bc.org to a Yahoo group and there we continue today. We don't post as much or as often as before, but I still cherish their support and friendship.

Two years ago, four of us - Nela (from Portugal), Kathy (Connecticut), Clare (from Canada) and I (Virginia) were able to meet in NYC for a wonderful weekend. I hope we can again and hope next time Patti & Candy will be able to come also.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Black Cats and Yellow Iris

While browsing through Ravelry this afternoon, I came across a Black Cats forum and just had to join- since I do qualify as you can see. Here are the pics of my two black cat brothers that I posted.
Onyx is in the wicker chair & Magic on the right. They obviously have a mixed gene pool. Onyx is a short hair and Magic has long hair & short little legs. Their birthday is 4th of July. Most of the time they are calm and sweet kitties, but are very aggressive to my daughter's cats even though we tried to slowly introduce them. Mine, especially Magic, just won't cooperate!

Iris are one of my favorite flowers. Over the years friends have shared their iris bulbs with me and that makes them even more special. I remember my grandmother, "Mamaw" had a huge bed of beautiful iris in her back yard. I regret not having dug some of those up before they sold her house. I have yellow and purple iris in my bed. The purple are not yet blooming, but I just today noticed this beauty.........

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Crocheted Wire Jewelry

My daughter has an online jewelry business. She asked me a few months ago if I would like to learn crocheted wire jewelry to sell on her site. I watched videos, read directions and experimented a lot and now have a few items on her site. Check them out. I like the free-form look of the crocheted wire.

Knit Night

Our Danville knitting group - Ktog-had a great time last night at Starbucks. Robin's parents came by and Robin surprised her mom with a special early Mother's Day gift, the beautiful Mystery Shawl she has diligently been working for for the last several weeks. Her mother looked beautiful in it.

I worked on my felted bag which I hope to finish tonight. Here it is in progress.

I've not tried felting before so I'm anxious to see how it turns out. This pattern is the Bernat Felting Wool Purse, using 3 balls of Meadow. I'll post again after it is finished.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Clear for Another Six Months

Today was a long day! I went to work this morning, but ate a quick lunch at my desk and left at 12:45 to go to Duke Medical Center for my six month check up.

In May of 2004 I was diagnosed with breast cancer - had a lumpectomy and then chemo and radiation. I saw the doctor every 3 weeks at first, then every 6 weeks, then 3 months, and finally am now down to every 6 months. In addition to seeing the oncologist I usually have some kind of test too. Since I was in a clinical trial they monitor bone density and heart condition also so I have regular echo cardiograms, bone density tests, and of course the beloved mammogram. This time it was bone density - by far the easiest. I had good results from everything and even my blood pressure was lower than it has been in a long time. I started on a low dose bp med last summer, but even with that it has been just slightly elevated. Today it was actually perfect.

It takes about an hour & 15 minutes to drive to Duke from here so we didn't get home till after 7 pm. Like I said, a LONG day.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Monday Night Knittin

Tonight was Ktog - our Monday night Starbuck's knitting group. I think eight of us were there tonight. I am working on a cable hat. Lots of new projects to admire and learn from. It is a great group.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Finished Knitting Projects

Knitting and Grandchildren

Thought I should finally post about knitting since it is in the title of my blog.... however, I've done very little knitting lately. Somehow life has gotten in the way and knitting has taken a backseat.

My granddaughter, N, had surgery last Monday. On the drive to Norfolk and while waiting at the hospital I knitted what was called a Micro-Preemie hat, but honestly it was so small when finished that I don't think any child could wear it, no matter how small! My other granddaughter, B, is big into Webkins, so she scored it for one of her animals! I have a felted bag on the needles and also a Lace Rib Scarf, neither of which should take long if I just get back to them.

As for N's surgery, since she was born she has been terribly congested, always breathing out of her mouth. She also has had one ear infection after another. Even though just 15 months old they felt she really needed tonsils & adenoids removed and ear tubes. After the surgery her doctor said it was even worse than expected. Her adenoids were almost completely blocking her airway, her tonsils were larger than they had thought, and lots of sticky fluid in her ears. We are hoping for a different little girl when she feels better. Son & DIL say she is doing great. Even thought not normally too serious a surgery they kept her in PICU that night because of her age and what they had to do.

Because I was out of town I had to miss the Monday night knitting group at Starbuck's - Ktog. I hope to make it next week!

Friday, April 11, 2008

China Adoption

My daughter Amy is in the process of adopting from China. As she is single, adopting domestically is almost impossible, plus the dangers of domestic adoption scare many prospective adoptive parents away. Our country seems too obsessed with reuniting families at all costs even when not in the best interests of the child. My husband & I did adopt a son domestically 30 years ago, and I just can't imagine how horrible it would have been if the courts had taken him away to give back to a biological parent.

China has a history of being very fair, regulated, and safe. Because of their one-child policy which applies to much of their population, if their first child is a girl, they often abandon her so that they can try for a son. This is especially important for farming families who depend on their sons for help and to continue their farm. Because of this, many baby girls are abandoned in China and eventually become available for adoption. Several years ago I saw a story about this in a magazine and immediately wished that we were younger and could adopt again. About a year and a half ago when my daughter told me she was considering this I was so thrilled. She didn't know my earlier thoughts and I had no idea she was even considering adoption.

The problem is - China has slowed down their adoptions to a crawl. Where the wait time was 6-8 months, it has grown to a year, then 2 years and now Amy is looking at a possible 4-5 year wait. There are lots of guesses as to why, the Olympics this summer being one of the possibilities, but no one really knows. We are anxious for the Olympics to be over though to see if there is a speed up. When Amy does get her referral, I hope to be able to travel with her to China.

I love to read China adoption blogs and will be listing some favorites on the sidebar.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Neighbor's trees

Bleeding Heart


We've had a few warm days before today, but the last couple of weeks it has been cold and wet so we really appreciated today. It was warm - 80 at least - and with all the spring flowers and trees blooming it was perfect.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

First Post!

I'm just getting started and learning as I go - so bear with me! This is about knitting - but also about life! Not extraordinary life, just ordinary daily life.