Thursday, September 28, 2006

Need more hours in the day...

I really need some motivation. Motivation for lots of reasons. Motivation to just do the basics in life - laundry, cleaning, grocery shopping, menu planning, coupon cutting. Motivation to start working out so I can actually wear all the things I want to knit (it's occurred to me that I wouldn't have to buy so much yarn if I didn't have to knit the largest size, therefore I could use the money I'm currently spending on the larger amount of yarn to buy yarn for other projects). Motivation to actually work while AT work.

But all I want to do is knit.

I'm not depressed. I'm just lazy. And obsessed with knitting. To the point that last night, when I got home I had to fold laundry, straighten up the kitchen, start another load of laundry, run a load of dishes in the dishwasher, help DH bathe the dogs, fix dinner, go thru the mail, and take out the trash. All things that most normal women do on any given day. But I was irritated by the time I finally got to sit down, eat, watch TV and knit. Irritated because I had spent two hours doing all these things when I could have been knitting. And irritated with myself because I know I shouldn't feel this way.

My priorities are out of line. I'm becoming lazy. Knitting is supposed to be a hobby, not an obsession. I know this, yet I don't want to stop knitting. I keep thinking that I need to just spend a few minutes menu planning and going over the grocery store sales, making lists and designing routines for each day so I can come home, do the things that need to be done quickly, and have more time to knit. I love to read, and I haven't read a book completely thru in months. Magazines are arriving in the mail and being stacked without me even glancing thru them (my living room is a library right now and DH isn't happy about it). I'm exhausted because I'm staying up too late at night to knit.

There are so many things I want to do and want to have - a clean, organized house so I can relax and not feel guilty while knitting (and DH would be happier), sell some things on Ebay (magazines, anyone?), cookbooks I want to go thru and recipes I want to try, books I want to read, I still want to learn to quilt and crochet...but knitting is taking priority over all of these things. I keep finding more projects I want to start, many more than I'll ever actually be able to knit. I have enough yarn for several projects yet want to buy more. I have a list of things I need to have finished by Christmas, yet I haven't even started on them.

And I have no idea how to stop knitting. And no desire to.


Wednesday, September 27, 2006


I just ran into a guy I work with who was in Montana last week on vacation.

Montana. Land of my hopes, wishes, and dreams.

Dh and I were able to take what was the trip of a lifetime to Stevensville, MT, in April of 2005. We have always said we want to live in Montana, though neither of us had been there. It's just such a beautiful state, the weather is perfect (for us, anyway), and the best part is there's not a lot of people. I love to pull out the road atlas and just look at the cities along the highways, and the vast expanse of land where there's nothing...that's our idea of perfection.

So for Christmas 2004, we were handed an all-expense paid trip to Montana, to stay on a ranch in what has got to be the most perfect cabin on earth. It was the first time DH had flown, which was really fun for me to be a part of. We arrived on a Saturday, and didn't leave until the following Saturday. Seven nights of heaven.

We awoke to this view from the front porch of our cabin:

The first day we were there, we decided to go for a drive into the Bitterroot mountains, and possibly hike. Idiots that we were, we decided to do this late in the day, and keep in mind this was April - many roads were still closed in areas due to snow.

So we picked a trail that sounded good - Hidden Lake, I think it was called - and started up the mountain. As we rounded a curve in the one lane road, going up the side of this mountain, we came up on snow. Since we were in a 4WD SUV, DH took one look at this small spot of snow, which hadn't melted as it was in the shade of the mountain, and said no problem, we can get thru that. After all, there were tire tracks in it - someone had gone before us.

But no sooner had we started to drive thru it, than our back tires started sliding...towards the edge of this mountian road, with nothing but a drop off on the other side. Talk about losing your stomach...we prayed for safety and forgiveness for our stupidity, and Dh made me get out of the vehicle while he backed up the SUV, with me guiding him to get the tires back into the tracks already there.

What did we do then? Stopped and took pictures, of course!

While we were there, we went antique shopping, went on long drives, drove to Whitefish, MT, and went to Glacier National Park, which we were unable to get all the way in to since only 11 miles of the road into the park had been cleared.

Since we live in central Arkansas, where it rarely snows and 1" is enough to shut down the city, we were overjoyed to wake up to a winter wonderland one morning.

The entire trip was just perfection. It was very hard to get on the plane and come home, because Montana felt like home, like no other place I've ever been has before.

So at some point, should the Lord tarry and should He choose to lead us there, we hope to make it a permanent address. Our tentative plans are to pay off our home, fix it up and sell it, then move to Montana and pay cash for a nice spread there. This way I can return to school for physical therapy and DH can do whatever he wants, as long as he brings home enough money for food, utilities, and yarn, of course!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Bad knitter (slap hand)...

I know, I know....I'm supposed to actually READ the pattern thru before beginning to knit. I realize there's an actual purpose for doing so, that I can save myself a lot of grief and anguish and clenched teeth, if I just READ the pattern.

But did I READ the pattern? ALL the way thru?

This is my first sweater, the Central Park Hoodie from the most recent Knitscene. I am loving the pattern, I love the yarn (well, as much as you can love acrylic - I'm using Simply Soft Tweed in Autumn Red - hey I'm on a budget!), especially the color, I like the fact that I'm learning cables and these aren't too difficult...

But I'm just so excited to be knitting my first ever sweater, in a pattern that I just love, and since its actually a little chilly when I do the paper route in the mornings, I've been a little, shall we say, rushed, to get this thing finished. So when I saw that I needed to knit the back until it was 14 1/2", and I got to that point, I figured I'd just keep going...after all, I wanted to make it a little larger than the pattern called for - just a little longer, not much - and the length just didn't look right.

Mistake #1 - Not reading the pattern thru and not checking the schematic (did I mention this is my first sweater?)

So how much more did I knit past the 14 1/2" mark? Only five extra inches (I got a little carried away with the process of knitting)...before I actually looked at the schematic and realized that 14 1/2" is just the length from the bottom of the back to the beginning of the armholes.
I've decided its not worth it to rip it out. Yes, it will be longer than I wanted, but I think I have enough yarn - I ordered extra.

So I just kept going.

Today at lunch (I usually try to knit at my desk) I started binding off the armholes. The pattern calls for four rows in which you are binding off, then one decrease row, followed by one regular pattern row, then another decrease row. I should have known better than to try to attempt this part of the pattern at my desk, when my boss was trying to get things together to go out of town tomorrow and my lunch hour was more of a working lunch hour. But did I mention how badly I want to wear this sweater?

So I knit the two bind off rows, and the first decrease row. It was while knitting the third row (the regular pattern row) that I realized I hadn't knitted the previous decrease row correctly. No problem, said I, the super-inexperienced knitter - I can just decrease a stitch on this row and no one will be the wiser. After all, its the armholes - who's going to know?

Mistake #2: Knitting at my desk at lunch

Yeah, you guessed it...I decreased a stitch on the wrong end. The decrease should have been on the beginning of the row I was currently knitting.

So tonight I get to frog that row and part of the previous row and actually knit the end of the decrease row correctly. Honestly not such a big deal, just a pain and wasted time that could be spent actually making progress on this thing, not going backwards. I also get to sit and READ THE PATTERN THRU to hopefully prevent another stupid time consuming mistake on the sleeves, front panels, and hood.

And now I'm panicking that I won't have enough yarn, since I now have to make both the front and the back 5 inches larger than the pattern called for. But this isn't making me sad at all. I mean, why be upset when I have the opportunity to buy more yarn? :-) This is NEVER a bad thing.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Angry isn't the right word...

I am so angry/frustrated/furious/confused/hurt right now that I can't put it into words.

Three weeks ago I wound up in the ER with a kidney stone on the right side. I was given the choice to either do a CT scan or just go home and follow up with my urologist as I've had these things for 15 years. I chose the latter since it was midnight and we'd been there for 3 hours already.

By the next week, I'd had no progress in passing the stone, so I went to the urologist. She did a CT scan which showed multiple stones in each kidney (nothing new for me). While the stone that sent me to the ER was on the right side, in the office that day I was having more pain on the left. Apparently since I'd been drinking so much to flush out the right stone, I'd pushed a stone out of my kidney on the opposite side. I stood next to the doctor as we looked at the computer screen and went over the CT scan, and she pointed out the large stone in my left kidney and told me that's what was causing my pain. She couldn't see the stone on the right side at all, and told me it must have moved back into my kidney - though I could tell from the pain that it was out of my kidney and making it's way out. She gave me a scrip for pain meds, told me she was sorry I was hurting, and if I experienced acute pain, to call the office.

It's now been two weeks since that office visit. I called the office on Monday and explained I needed to get in to see her again, because I hadn't passed this stone, and was still having pain on the left side - the larger stone is trying to move out of my kidney. She ordered an IVP, which is a series of timed x-rays, and that was performed on Wednesday. At her office Wed. afternoon, she told me that the IVP didn't show any obstruction or blockage, therefore she couldn't reconcile my pain with a stone. She also made a big production of explaining that just because I had a stone didnt' mean the pain I was having (not denying that i WAS having pain) was coming from a stone. And if she didn't have a visible cause for pain, she couldn't prescribe any pain meds. Basically everything I'm experiencing, which she validated two weeks ago, and what she says she's seeing now are two different things.

The fact that I passed the stone at 4:30 AM on Wednesday, the one that she said had gone back into my kidney, doesn't seem to make a difference. When I left her office on Wednesday, I felt good about it because I'd been assertive. I'd told her that i didn't mean to be disrespectful or offend her, but I know me and I know my body and I know that the pain I'm having on my left side is from a stone that's trying to come out. I know that the multiple 4 to 5 mm stones the CT scan showed are just going to sit there and get bigger, and she'll (or someone) will be doing litho in a few months. I know that I missed six days of work with no pay and it took 3 weeks to pass the stone she was holding in her hand, which due to its size was a minor miracle. And I didn't take pain meds for fun, as she was implying. In fact its really inconvenient because I have a high tolerance to pain meds and have to take a lot to get relief. At the ER, it took two pain shots and I still left the hospital in pain, granted less pain than when I went in, but I didn't leave pain free. She told me I wasn't offending her, I knew my body better than she did, and that we would get me fixed one way or another. She even hugged me before I left and joked with me to not be so hard on my doctors.

Today she told me she felt like she was being very clear and that the conversation was going in circles. Bottom line is that if she can't see it on an x-ray, its not there, no matter how much experience I have with this or what I'm saying I'm feeling.

And while she even said I'm welcome to get a 2nd opinion, I really can't. See the clinic she's with is also the clinic that pretty much every other urologist in town is with. I'm not sure I can even transfer to another doctor in that clinic, and even if i did, as colleagues, I doubt I'd get a doc that would back me up and not her.

Guess I'll just have to wait until the pain is so bad I have to go to the ER, let them do another CT scan, and then shove the results in her face and then tell her sorry, I'm going to have another doc to the litho so he can get my money and not you.

I used to want to be a doctor. I so wish I could be now. I would be much better with patients than she will ever be. And i have to wonder if its because I'm a woman. I've never had a physician treat me this way, basically telling me its all in my head.

I curse her with many kidney stones, in the wilderness far from any pain meds.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Round and round we go...

I had written a very long, detailed post a few days ago, but somehow, it got lost...guess I didn't need to be quite so detailed.

The past few weeks have been a pretty bad nightmare. In fact, for about a week, it was a running joke as to what would happen next. Our home was almost foreclosed on, due to the mortgage company lying to me (no, that's not an excuse, it's the truth); I came home to find a burning rubber smell that turned out to be an extension cord that was about to catch fire; DH had an accident at work that could have cost him his job; a local dentist sued me in small claims court, saying I hadn't paid his bill when I had - he had "lost" the checks I'd written - conveniently after I wrote him a truthful but polite letter about how his bedside manner was the worst I'd ever experienced and left me in tears - and I'd refused to write him more checks until the others (postdated) had a chance to clear; almost had a tire blowout; seems like there was something else, but I'm forgetting at the moment. All of these things happened in a matter of days. Fortunately, the house thing is now straightened out (though we were also given notice that our homeowner's insurance company will no longer be a subsidiary of the larger company who has our policy (or something like that), so for the 2nd time in five years, we have to find new homeowner's insurance. This could prove to be a blessing, since we have the chance to lower our house payment, but I'm not holding my breath.

On top of all of this, I wound up in the ER almost three weeks ago with yet another kidney stone. Since it was midnight, I decided to go home and just see if it would pass. A week later, I went to the urologist and had a CT scan done, which showed no stones in the ureter - but there are at least six stones between my two kidneys. I thought the uro would go ahead and do lithotripsy, but no - she said since they were small, they might just stay in the kidney, and if they tried to pass, they would probably go on thru. Nevermind that I'm sitting in her office in pain, that she had to perform litho two years ago, and that one of the stones is WAY too large for me to pass and I told her this.

So now its been almost three weeks since that ER visit, and no stones have passed. I'm still in pain, nauseous, low grade fever, bladder spasms, loss of appetite, just general misery. Missed six days of work with no pay. I called her office at 9 AM yesterday and left a message for the nurse to call me. At 4 PM, I called again, since I needed a med refill YESTERDAY, and FINALLY at 5 PM, she calls.

So now I'm scheduled for an IVP tomorrow (where they inject dye so they can see the stones clearly), which means clear fluids for 18 hours and an oh-so-fun Fleet's enema tonight, followed by an appt with the doc tomorrow afternoon. I am praying she will go ahead and schedule the litho. There's no point in going on like this - I'm sick to death of feeling sick to death.

On the knitting front, I've been on a spending spree. I purchased yarn for DH's sweatshirt (the Kangaroo Duo pattern from Sally Melville's "The Purl Stitch), for Knitty's Satchel, and for Knitty's Starsky patterns. I also bought Knit Picks new Options needle set, and also a set of their KIP bags. I LOVE THEM. BOTH OF THEM.

Also had to purchase some LB Homespun to start on three baby afghans, in addition to three other afghans I need to make for Christmas. Something tells me they won't be finished on time. :-) I'm also knitting the Central Park Hoodie from Knitscene in Caron's Simply Soft Tweed, and it's working out GREAT. I love how soft the yarn is, and the color...I love Simply Soft's colors.
Still working on Knitty's Cozy, too, and I also have LB's hooded sweater pattern on the needles for DH. Once all of these are finished, I'm starting on Lady Eleanor - Noro Silk Garden #234 just arrived today. :-)

And at some point, in the middle of all of this knitting madness, I have to start my first pair of socks in one of the three or four kinds of KP yarns I bought that should arrive tomorrow. DH wants a pair for Christmas.