Thursday, April 30, 2009

Hospitals, Loved Ones & Crochet

Good Morning!
Or.....should I say "Good painful Morning". I was so uptight all day Tuesday that my back feels like someone hit me with a large hard object between the shoulder blades. That is where I hold my stress. I need a massage, a swim, some yoga exercise maybe - right after I share this with you.

It was quite a day. I left home in the morning in the middle of a rain/hail storm. It was a good old fashioned Oregon Coast-type rainstorm. I hydroplaned my way to the hospital where my father was having his old pacemaker replaced with a smarter, fully charged new one. I decided to plop my wet self down in the waiting room and give mom and dad some space in that tiny cubicle waiting for surgery. I would go in just before 11am to wish him well and collect mom to go have an early lunch in the lovely new cafeteria.

I realized this new Cardiac waiting area was also the Pediatric waiting area. Now, why in heaven's name would a hospital combine those two things??? Snotty nosed, hyperactive, ill crying children in the same waiting room as families anxious to see if their loved one's ticker had been fixed and they had survived????? Between worries over dad and practically seeing the germs fly through the air in my direction, I was a bit of a basket case from the get-go. Swine flu anyone???? Lordy!

Nothing to do but settle into my crochet project, a summer floppy hat and matching tote bag in natural beige cotton. The hat was finished and I was creating a bag to go with it using the shell pattern detail of the hat, but having no pattern for the bag, just making it up as I went along. I had a good idea how I wanted it to look and it was working surprisingly well.

"What's that??? What are you making?" a pediatrics nurse on the fly put on her brakes, backed up and demanded I show and tell. Ha! I did and she gushed and oooooowwd and awwwwwd, begging to take the hat into the ward to show the other nurses. She promised to be right back and kept that promise with 2 other nurses in tow. They wanted that pattern badly and they were going to compliment and flatter me until I gave it up. :D I did, of course. I'm so easy. :D Out came the pattern from my project bag and it no sooner saw the harsh tube lighting than it was snatched from me and disappeared into the xerox machine in the other room. Now, everyone in the pediatric ward will be on their way to Wal-Mart to buy a big cone of natural color Peaches & Cream cotton yarn. That's my private stash! I should learn to keep my mouth shut!!!!

So, after a bit more hooking, I grew impatient and called the nurses station in the holding tank again. She invited me in to see dad before he was wheeled into surgery. It was 11:15. Mom and dad were hungry, nervous, anxious. At 12 noon, when the wooden stool was causing my sciatica to scream in agony, I bugged the nurses station again to politely inquire about the hold up? Afterall, an hour late, IS an hour late. No word....just wait. At 1:30, with no explanation for the wait, we were becoming quite anxious. They administered some Valium to dad and his eye lids were 1/2 mast within 15 minutes. Yay! Give me two please!!!!!! Dang. At 2pm they finally came after dad and mom and I wobbled down those long, long hallways in search of food. ANYTHING! We had rather unhealthy choices for a hospital, but at least we stopped feeling faint.

We made our way back to the waiting room to join another couple waiting for a new pacemaker patient and a family with too many kids to count, one with a horrible cough, one bouncing off the walls like a Ninja and one very sweet, curious 9 year old girl in love with crochet. She just walked up, leaned against the post and said "I love your crochet project. Is it a purse?" All grown up like, she told me she'd been crocheting since she was 6. She made hats for her sibs and was working on a baby blanket for the newest addition to the family. She said it took her very long to make things and she was good at it but very slow. She couldn't wait until she could make things as beautiful as mine. Her eyes were star struck. First time I've ever felt like an idol of some sort. My goodness......I was thrilled and told her to just keep on practicing because it would come easier and better that way. About then, her mother and grandmother said it was time to go and she disappeared with a wave and admiring look. Sigh. Made my day, week, month. Very special.

I had finished that bag at warp 10 speed with the help of a lot of anxiety, except for the straps, which I just finished at home,

at 4pm when a nurse stepped in to say dad had been taken to his room. She led us down 3 miles of corridors and a ride up two floors and another mile of walking to dad's room. We would never find our way out after this. NEVER! I was actually worried.

There's my dad..... 84 years old, sitting up in bed with the food menu in front of him as he is starved and wants food now! He's all pink and feeling fine, anxious to share his experience with us. They did not put him out, he says. Just used a local. He says those surgeons and nurses chat like crazy through the whole thing about everything but the surgery. Mom and I just looked at one another and said "why do we worry? He's like the EverReady Bunny, complete with batteries!" On that, I pointed my weary bones down the hallway in search of the right bank of elevators that would take me to the North Entrance parking lot. I was elated I found my way with only asking directions once, however........ we were having a wild and crazy hail storm, the size of pea gravel, like I haven't seen for years. My car was 2 football fields away. I was going to get wet. I didn't care........just wanted to get out of that place and breathe some fresh air!

I got home just in time to take my sweety to his chiropractor visit. He can't take 20 steps without writhing in pain. I'm afraid I'm going to be back in that hospital in another waiting room soon. I wonder how much it would cost to have a bubble made for myself.......

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Reality Bites!

Hello Again,

When I have a choice, I direct my mind in a creative direction. Planning the next project, choosing colors, visualizing the finished product, feeling the excitement build. It's how I keep myself "Up". Otherwise, I just slide down the rabbit hole into the darkness of reality or perceived fears which are usually unfounded. Are you like that? I have a feeling more of you than not are, as we are all pretty much the same as humans, yet feeling that we are quite different from one another. Strange.

My concern today is my father, and then of course, my mother. My father has had a pacemaker for 8 years. It's time to change it out. He is now 84 and has been plagued by back operations for the past several years. The problem with him having surgery is about the blood thinners he has to stop taking for surgery. It has resulted in a stroke a couple times....scarier than the surgery itself. So.......I'm worried, of course. And worried for mom who is a little frail. They have made it through worse, but they're a little tired right now and not really up for this.

I'm not a care-giver by nature. Am rather awkward in that role and tend to hang back and ring my hands. However........there is just no way to turn this into a creative project with exciting colors, so I must face reality and try to help them when myself is teetering precariously. So.......cleaned their house yesterday. Should really cook some lovely things that can be frozen today and deliver them tomorrow as the next day is surgery day. I must ask my father if all is in order or if there is something he'd like to discuss before the operation. So difficult for all of us. Sigh......... And then I must take care of myself so I don't spiral out into the Universe or crumble into pieces. How shall I handle the stressful day in the hospital (me who suffers from panic attacks and phobias), waiting for news on a stress level of 10 (not good at all) ? Well, I'll take my crochet, of course. I need to plan something colorful with a familiar pattern because following new directions would certainly end in an odd looking item when my mind is racing with fearful thoughts.

So, I have decided. I'm going to start a cotton yarn tote bag with sturdy handles and colorful flower appliques. I have made 3 of these in acrylic. This new one shall be in springier colors with a base of Natural color and using up all the ends of all the skeins of every color of the rainbow. I want it to be a happy bag. Cheerful and positive. Fun and free. No worries. No fears. Just simple joy of existance.

Thank you once again Lucy, from Attic24, for your inspirations and your joyful expectations in life. Blogs are much deeper and much grander and many times more helpful than anyone ever guessed. I certianly hope I've helped someone work through their "reality bites" problem today.

Happy Hooking!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Planning Mother's Day & The Garden

Good Morning All!

Today seems like a perfect day for me to make plans, organize, get a handle on some loose ends and half-formed ideas. I have been getting ready for Mother's Day for about a month now. So, things are well formed and handled as far as making some hooky gifts to give and to sell. (Picture above is one example. See more in my Etsy Store )I'm ready in that department, but as far as personal plans.....still up in the air. What would my mom like to do? If it's a warm sunny day, I suspect she'd like to go for a nice drive and have lunch somewhere quaint. I'm thinking about the crowds too. So, I should have two plans maybe. One that involves a mountain lake and a picnic basket, and one that involves a nice cafe' in the lovely little town of Jacksonville. Oh, I'd better get some pictures for you who don't live in this area. It's such a picturesque place. Well, that's what I'm working on in my head today. What are you working on? Your garden???????

My Garden.........

Well now, is that pitiful or what???? I'll have an update or two tomorrow, hopefully. The tomatoes and other tender starts will go in next week when the night temps are more reliable. Love those fresh veggies and herbs. This is the smallest area we've ever had for gardening, but it's OK. We can always dig up the grass if we need more space considering the prices in the grocery store. Maybe I should consider more canning this year, especially fruit. Must decide.

So, time to get myself together today. Hope you have a wonderful one. And if you're having trouble getting out of your own way today - just start thinking about what you can do for someone else and go do it. That's what I'm doing today. Thinking about myself is just tiring!



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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Tuesday Surprise

Hello out there!

Today's a surprise for me. Tuesdays we go to my parents house to clean, organize, tackle projects. They are such wonderful people, and at 84 they need a little extra help with chores, repairs, and projects like a spring garden. Today was going to include a lot of the latter, but dad called saying mom wasn't feeling well today and could we make it another day. So.....what to do with a day that wasn't planned when the rest of the week is? How about straighten the garage a little.........look for that shower part so we have two working showers again......find a few other necessities buried in the abyss! Found the shower part. Yay! One step closer to having my shower back after 3 months of sharing his, which is fine, it's actually brighter in there, but all my stuff is in mine. You know what I mean.

Anyway........I have to make this fast today because now that I've made it clear I want these things done, I have to participate. (cussing a little) ;P But, I was reading my favorite blog, Attic 24, by my favorite blog artists, Lucy, when I told her the things I've crocheted this week while she was on vacation and promised to have pics available and some instructions. we go!

I have a friend who is about to lose her hair, so I thought I would crochet a cute cotton curly brimmed hat with some little flowers for her. I chose some pinks for the flowers because that's her favorite color. The pattern for the hat can be found on and the little flowers are my own pattern. At least I think it's my own because I've never seen this pattern anywhere. I have two versions, 5 petal and 6 petal. I'll try to make the instructions as clear as possible.

Suzi's Little Flowers
100% cotton yarn
Size D (US) Crochet Hook

  • Pattern is for 5 petal flower. For 6 petal, use (11) sc and make 6th petal.
  • Ch 4, slip st to make a circle
  • Ch 2, (is 1st sc) and 9 (11) more sc inside circle, sl in top of ch 2 st
  • Change color of yarn if you like at this point
  • *Ch 3, 2 dc in next st, ch 3, sl st in next st.* (one petal made)
  • Repeat * - * 4 more times (5 for 6 petal flower). Sl st and fasten off.

I hope that was clear enough for you. Not as clear as dear Lucy's instructions for sure, but the best I can do today. Here's a pic of the finished hat and some cute detail I added.

See this little back area......... The hat was a little loose, so I wove some green yarn in and out about 6 times and cinched it to make a little bow. Now, she can let it out easily should it shrink when she washes it. Just a simple little solution :D Don't you love the viney part?????
So......... Enjoy and I welcome comments. Have to run as "Sweetheart" is now turning into a whiny bear!



Monday, April 13, 2009

Hello out there!

I'm wondering if you might feel this way too....... Monday Mornings always scare me. I'd like to sleep through them, actually. Sunday is my day to ignore all obligations, forget about bills and problems and pretend all is well in my world. So that sets up Monday morning as a reality check and these days - that's not fun. In fact, it can be down right scary. So......I've decided that I need to view Monday differently. Maybe designate Monday as....... say, Cleaning Day. However, that is definitely NOT something I look forward to either. Let's face it....I'm not a planner or a list follower. I do get a lot done, but not always what is important to do. I create pretty things. That should be my only job, Right??? The rest of the ugly stuff should be handled by someone else, someone who's passion lies in detail and organization. Right? Oh for life to be so simple.

So, getting through the day without at least a panic attack or two, high anxiety being normal, is usually Monday's main task. I've tried many different tactics, avoidance and denial being the most often applied. And how's that working for me????? Ha! Not well. So, today I'll tackle things head on. That should be interesting.........................maybe I'll just crochet a little something first.