Friday, July 31, 2009

This fibromyalgia thing is quite unpredictable. When I feel good it is only an invitation to do more than I should which causes me to fall in a heap. I thought I was managing it well and felt good on Weds. Thurs morning I could barely move. I haven't slept well in ages due to the pain waking me up many times in the night, and then I search for a position which hurts less (and fight with the cat for the rights to that position). Even after staying in bed all day, I hurt so much that in the evening I took one of my breakthrough pills (Endone) and even it didn't knock it all out. Retracing Weds, I realize I was on my feet nearly all day (the only sitting time was eating my lunch and filing my taxes) and my right leg simply won't take that. I sincerely hope that the knee replacement solves that problem. I now can feel my left leg is relaxed and pain free, while my right is tense even while sitting. I was going to see my GP this morning but still am too sore to motivate me so I'll make an appointment to see him Tues arvo.

Because my hands hurt as well I haven't been knitting as much as I should. I am on the home stretch on the ribbon shell and am motoring down the foot of the first of D's socks. I want to start the fair isle vest but need some quiet time to establish it first. Maybe I should have a few hours watching cooking shows on Foxtel and get it going. This cooking bug (a common side effect of watching Masterchef (and Julie was the right winner)) has inspired me to make stir-fries and other more complicated dishes with my chicken breasts instead of simply grilling them. I had chicken and mushrooms in slight cream sauce last night. I am essentially a lazy chef and hate washing pots and pans (both because it's hard on my hands and I can't see where they are dirty) so I tend to cook simple things. But I am also a good cook who has been holding back because of those disabilities. So now I've added bok choy to my shopping, have finished off a bottle of oyster sauce, and have another batch of cauliflower soup for lunches. The Bear did the washing up and I miss it.

The loom is scheduled to be picked up on Sunday. I hate to say good bye to it but had I known how much kneeling it needed I never would have bought it. A Schacht Mighty Wolf is more what I need. I have spun another lot of Robin's wool and need to ply it. On the Roberta at the moment is sock yarn (superwash wool & nylon) in shades of blue.

I have finished Orson Scott Card's The Worthing Saga and have moved on to Scott Westerfeld's The Risen Empire. This is the first of a multipart, and is one of those novels told from multiple view points and from different time periods. It's not hard to follow but the jumping around sometimes is distracting and you have to keep track of where this character was the last time he/she appeared. I don't sit down and read in long periods, more likely 30 minutes here and there, so this sort of novel is more difficult and, since you don't get a chance to get swept up in narrative, there's less impetus to just keep reading. You know you'll get switched off target in a page or two anyway. My BBBB is Green Thoughts, and while it was written a while ago (1980's) the passion for gardening and organic gardening at that makes for anything but boring reading. It does arouse nostalgia for my garden in Ohio with its peonies and daylilies. Pointless to try those here, although the daylillies might make it if watered. while listening to one of my favourite podcasts To the Best of Our Knowlege earlier in the week, I hit their podcast on slavery. There was an interview with the author of A Crime So Monstrous, E. Benjamin Skinner, and with a woman who discovered that her family were slave traders in Colonial America. I sincerely hope I don't discover that in my own searches. I have found my great-great-great-great granfather in the Dutchess County NY Militia during the Revolutionary War.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

My weather pixie thinks it's raining and, because it appears as it's about to that I did not go to watch the Swannies play today here in Canberra. That and the fact that my partner in Swandom is sick and decided it was too great a risk for her to go. Going to the footy alone isn't much fun, even when the heavens aren't steel grey and threatening.

The other half of the story is I am catching up from my DMIL's visit to pack up her china to take to Sydney and as part two of that visit, to put The Bear in the cemetery in a niche next to his grandfather. This visit was physically demanding (lots of time on my feet followed by a 3 hour drive each way) but emotionally draining. I haven't been sleeping well, probably because this event was looming over me. My right hip has been killing me, making sleep difficult. I think it's connected to the bad knee so I hope having the second knee replaced will end my torment, but in the meantime, I am sleepless and in pain. I thought I had prepared myself for the cemetery but I had to choose wording for the plaque and I lost it again. I have lost the fact that his mortal remains were here. I know he isn't in any way attached to them, but this is another tear in the connective tissue holding us together. My MIL wanted his chess set so I went diving in the the cupboards in the computer room and came up with first a huge box of his slides. They are all in labeled slots, but his handwritten guide did not match what was actually in the compartments. Since he kept everything, there are slides supposedly going back to 1961, but I couldn't find the early ones. A bright day and I'll try to sort some of them. While I'm sure they meant something to him (although he never looked at them in the 16 years we were married) I am not intending to keep his honeymoon snaps from 1971 with 57 photos of Hong Kong harbour. I eventually found the chess set, and it went north with the china and his genealogical jottings. I think the chess set came from that visit to Hong Kong.

I saw my rheumatologist this week, the new one who has replaced my old Dr B. She was only interested in my arthritis and I kept trying to tell her that the fibromyalgia pain was worse than the arthritis. No new advice except to rest periodically and not to do too much, but at the same time I should get exercise. She did write a script for "breakthrough pain" and my hip has caused me to use it once already. I haven't been knitting terribly much because my hands have hurt too much. Still working on D's socks and the ribbon shell.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

I brought home from work what I do on my breaks. (I have software (Guardian) installed on my work computer that forces me to take a break every so often by locking the keyboard. This is so I don't completely ignore my doctor's recommendation not to sit and type all day. Actually he would have me work only 20 minutes without a break but I'm far too impatient for that.) When Guardian locks my keyboard for about 4 minutes at a time, I spin silk on a drop spindle. The unspun fibre is in the foreground and my Bosworth mini spindle is at the rear. I am not a very good spindle-spinner and have not gotten past park-and-draft which I am using on this tussah silk. Silk is very strong and no doubt would withstand actually dropping the spindle, but it is also very slippery and flyaway and subject to noils, which parking lets me deal with. I brought it home so I could ply using the cop on the spindle and what's wound on the nostepinne. A previously prepared sample is at left. Spindle spinning is very slow especially when you're used to an electric wheel but is well suited to difficult fibres. I have another Bosworth mini with camel down on it. The camel down is so short that getting a twist into it is difficult without the control of park and draft. The tussah silk is so flyaway that I sometimes am covered with whisps of coral floss, especially when I'm wearing black.

I was going to wind the yarn for my forthcoming fair isle vest today. It's a kit from Mountain Colors that I bought at the Yarn Barn last year and comes with 2 contrasting hand-dyed yarns. Skein one flew off the swift and on to the ball winder. Skein two displayed multiple ends, probably meaning it got cut somewhere and I didn't see it when I was exploring in Sue's barn of mysteries. It won't matter to the knitting but the winding off is a nightmare. It makes me wonder if string theory could be true and it does explain how the universe is put together. The Bear could have told me.

BTW I obviously did not go to Sydney this week; the cemetery had no time for us on Friday. It will now be the 24th of the month.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

This is a post to try and make it up to all you loyal (?) readers of my earthshattering prose who have been denied that pleasure for so long. I have no excuse except life got away from me and there was always something more pressing (not more important) that had to be done even if it turned out to be sleep. I did myself in a couple of times in the past 2 weeks and therefore lost a couple of days of "normal" life. So here I am with a brief summation of what's been happening here. As you can see, I finally finished Cables After Whiskey and I am very pleased with it. The sleeves are slightly short (I never remember that my arms are longer than the norm) but that keeps me from getting wet in the sink. It's not too heavy to wear to work and I've gotten quite a few compliments on it. The next project is either a cabled zip-front jacket-type thingy or a fair-isle vest. I have the yarn and pattern for the vest but the pattern is written for back and forth knitting and I want to knit it in the round and steek it (EEK!) and I'll need some thinking for that. I have the back of my ribbon shell finished and have cast on for the front. I am spinning Robin's wool (why would one thing it odd to be spinning while watching Pink videos?). I've sold the big loom and have taken it apart for transport by its new owner. I wish so much that I could have used it but the knees are just not up to it. I actually spent some time in the garden today and planted out spinach and silverbeet (Swiss chard) seedlings. (Side note, The Imp is in my lap and keeps trying to get up where she can climb up me and the Macbook has a very sensitive track pad that she keeps stepping on). The asparagus is finally manured and mulched. I have strawberry plants from Diggers to plant may tomorrow if the weather permits. We've had a very unusual winter so far with many gloomy cold days and quite a bit of rain. I did see snow on the top of Mt Ginnini yesterday but there have been days when the mountains have been invisible due to low cloud. My arthritis protests.

For BBBB, I finished reading Mother Tongues, and am reading Green Thoughts by Eleanor Perenyi, which is about gardening and feeds my desire to have a decent garden this year. I hope the forecasters are wrong about predicting we are going into an El Nino season because I had my fill of hot and dry last year. For non-boring, I am reading Orson Scott Card's The Worthing Saga and am struck once more how effortless his prose flows and how quickly he draws you into his plot.

This week DMIL is coming down from Sydney and we are taking the Bear's ashes up to the family plot to be next to his grandfather. I think he would have liked that and I couldn't think of a suitable place here. Since this is the only communication I have with his children, now they know as well as the rest of the world. The second anniversary of his death hit me much harder than the first did and I was overcome with black feelings that escaped the box I try to keep them in. I do miss him tremendously and still think he'll be there when I wake up in the morning. Nobody can ever feel another person's grief because it derives from a shared life but 58 was way too early to die. Maybe that's why I can't sell the land in Victoria: his soul is still attached to it and hasn't let go.

Otherwise life goes on. I go to work, I do grocery shopping, I do laundry, I cook and clean up the ensuing mess. The Imp is now asleep as I type but we both need to go to bed. I do have an old friend in my life who has returned to keep an eye on me and make sure I take care of myself. A side benefit from my trip to the US was many revived friendships and this one seems to be important to me.