Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Second Post of the Day...

I'm just whipping out these WIP's - only two more projects left on the needles. It's the sweater next - more about that later. But here's the Stitch and B*tch socks - the yarn was a wonderful gift from my knitting group....OK - I'll come next week - I've been really busy with kids home etc.

Part 2

OK - this is the next stage. It will be awhile before I get the finished product. Leather straps are next!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


This has been the longest project - started June 2008. Now it is in the finishing process. This is before'll have to wait for the after. I finally figured out how to make my washer use all hot water - switch the hoses and tell the washer to use cold - fooled it - it's all hot. (Thanks Paul) So now the felting is in process and it's actually working. I'll have more pictures later. I think I'm going to have leather straps put on it - take it to a saddle maker (there are many around here). I'm glad to have this off the WIP list.

I had a great Christmas - lots of heart felt gifts that were really appreciated. My best partner in crime at work (a man no less) even gave me some new yarn - alpaca silk lace weight - Oh I can't wait to get started on a shawl. My boss got me a great Audubon print of a Great Blue Heron (which we have on the Ranch) - it is framed in a wonderful old frame that sets it off perfectly. Both these presents took time and effort - I was really surprised and really honored by their efforts.

Being with the kids was lots of fun. REI Girls roommate was with us too - what a silly girl - she fit right in! I am a very lucky mom! We did things a little different this year. Traditionally we have our big Christmas dinner on Christmas Eve - but we all worked that day. So instead I made homemade clam chowder. On Christmas day we cooked the big meal together. I've always thought cooking on Christmas day was too stressful - too much going on - but this worked out fine since it was just us.

The drama at work is almost over....decisions are being made. I do know that I'm in for at least three more months - then things may change - but I bet it works out for me anyway! So am really looking forward to a positive New Year. Cleaning up my WIP list and starting a new shawl - maybe this one - Ene's Scarf - I think it's more shawl like...we'll have to see when I get at least one more WIP out of the basket!

Hope everyone's Holiday was merry and best wishes for the best New Year!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

I lied...or changed my mind

OK - I decided to do one more gift. I had the yarn, the pattern and luckily it turns out the time! Now everything is finished and everything is even all wrapped. I rock! Details in my Ravelry projects. Eight gift items finished since Thanksgiving. All from stash but one!

Am looking forward to the holiday - I sent an invite to the kids to bring their favorite jammies and their ugliest Christmas sweater (I'm the only one who has those). All the food is ready to be prepared, the house is clean and Christmas is two days away. Again I rock!

Check this out

Merry Christmas to all!!

Friday, December 18, 2009


Actually finished - (isn't it cakes that are done?) But I can't talk about you'll have to check out my Project Notebook on Ravelry...skip the WIP's (I am now working on them) and just go to the next 6 items. Whew - it was a race but I did it! All started just after Thanksgiving - see what you can do when you don't have a life?

All my gifts are made or bought - nothings wrapped - tomorrow. I've even done some of the grocery shopping. We are doing things a little different this year. Usually we have our big Christmas dinner on Christmas eve...but since most of us are working that day (and need to work..) there just isn't time. So we're making a big pot of homemade clam chowder for Christmas Eve and will do the full on Turkey dinner on Christmas Day. It will just be me and the kids and I thought it was time they learned how to cook this meal - they do know the family tradition parts - homemade cranberry sauce and Satin Sauce for the pies. It will be a fun day of old movies and good smells from the kitchen. It will be good to have all three of them here.

REI Girl moved into her new place last weekend. She has a great roommate and a darling little house. She can walk to work and to school. She is in heaven. It is quiet around here but I'm enjoying it. Will enjoy it more when the Nurse comes home next week. It will be nice to have her around for 6 weeks!! I doubt she'll be able to stand the quietness of life here so will probably run up to Portland a few times to see her friends (including a new beau!). But I am looking forward to having her around.

Here's to a wonderful Holiday and a much better new year!! Knit on!!

Thursday, December 10, 2009


Christmas mittens - but a litle too big. I only have part of the ball band, but it says 83% wool, 10% mohair and 7% Acrylic - so do you think it might felt a little if I threw it in the washing machine? I won't start the second one until I decide - don't really want to frog it all!!

Life is as always interesting. The drama at work continues, but might be over soon. Hopefully because I'm really tired of it!

Family is good. REI Girl is moving into her own place - hopefully Saturday - but snow is in the forecast and I don't want to pull the trailer in those conditions.

The Nurse was home last weekend and will finish up the term in a few more weeks. Her Christmas break is 6 will be nice to have her around.

The Geek continues to hang in there and keep his job - good thing.

I have been knitting of course - but can't show my progress - Santa knows.

The relationship? I don't know what to say - but I think it went by the wayside. There hasn't been any communication in a few weeks - I feel pretty foolish - but what can I say, I trust everyone! Especially someone I've known for 30 years. Men are such cowards.

Christmas tree is up, no packages wrapped - or purchased for that matter! Lot's to do.

Happy Holidays to all

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Beware - Knitting Content

See - I told you I have pictures next time...I didn't promise good pictures! Socks with cables. Not very exciting, but between these and the sweater, knitting is producing results! I've decided I really like cables - they're fun to do and keeps you busy.

As usual life is always interesting. My weekend with Dad was good - he was good most of the time. Alzheimer's is so interesting - it seems there are certain things that get stuck in his brain - he's had this particular notion about an investment - he never stops talking about it. He's been bringing it up for over a year now. He's so sure it's going to make him rich...but he's never invested and couldn't anyway...I'm sure it's really confusing to him and that's sad to watch. He still is so good natured and optimistic about life. He does pretty well by himself and I am very grateful for my sister who takes him out often and looks in on him almost every day.

The Relationship is interesting also - there was lot's of big talk and plans for the future - but little in the way of real communication. I don't know where this is leading or if it's really leading any where - time will tell. There are so many issues and baggage involved. I do hope it works out. I'm not sure if the Don't knit a sweater for a BF shouldn't be amended to Don't knit for a BF...but he did like the socks I think.

Work is still the Drama Center of the World - it's really wearing me down. I'm not as Pollyanna as I used to be. The actors keep changing every week, as well as the plan. Luckily the objective to keep working is still part of the deal. But it is getting tiring and I'm bored with all the drama!

But also wonder if that's a side effect of some meds I'm taking. When I started taking Tamoxafin (for the Breast Cancer) I had terrible (and I mean terrible) hotflashes - vertigo, etc. The first time I thought I was having a stroke - it was really scary. This was no ordinary hotflash. So I'm taking an antidepressent that also controls the hotflashes. It seems to be working for that. But it also uped my blood pressure and made me a really happy camper - (maybe that was The Relationship), but that seems to have calmed down - thank goodness I felt like a coiled spring. Now I'm getting tremors in my hands - when I'm knitting - which makes socks challenging because everything is more precise! Recently I've been wishing I had my old life back - pre cancer, pre job drama, pre Relationship - I was doing fine then. Now everything presents it's own challenges.

Like I had two flat tires yesterday - put my winter studs on because my old tires were so bald I was almost skating, and the next day both front tires were flat - how does that happen? Went to mow up the last of the leaves and my riding lawn mower was dead - now even if I get it fixed - it's too wet to pick them up! It never ends!

But I've got plenty of yarn! What else do I need - a vacation!!

Friday, November 06, 2009


Oh I'm famous! Check this out. The author is in my Stitch and B*tch Group...she's obviously slightly biased!

Knitting content to follow another day!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

In the works

Hah - I even have pictures this time!! I'm on my way to the big city (Which Dad informed me had been moved) to look after Dad for the weekend. In between house cleaning and organizing I hope to start some more socks - don't have a pattern - but maybe something with a cable up the sides? We'll see what develops! This yarn was a gift from my Stitch and B*tch group - they are such great ladies!The other photo is the sweater I've been working on. After figuring out the stitch pattern errors it's going pretty well. Hopefully I'll finish it this winter sometime so I can use it! Socks and little things keep getting in the way!!

Will also get to visit with The Nurse this weekend - I'm bringing her dog with me - I'm not liking this puppyhood. She's really sweet - but is taking a long time to learn to behave! Her latest adventure destroyed every hose in my yard...and I had a bunch! Luckily I'm not watering anymore this year. Wish I could leave her in Portland for a week! Maybe a change of scenery will calm her down - doubtful!
Happy Halloween!!

Friday, October 16, 2009

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

I thought it was time to update you on my health. I AM CANCER FREE! Yahoo! Although I still have some residual aches, for the most part I’m as good as new. I’m healthy, happy and wiser.

The wiser part is the other reason for my post today. Please tell every woman in your life to get their mammograms. Caught early (as in my case) cancer is curable. Because I had my mammogram they found the cancer early, I had a full mastectomy (both breasts – good choice – they found cancer in the other breast), and I did not have to have chemotherapy or radiation. It was a scary ordeal, but manageable and I am now dancing with NED (No Evidence of Disease) as they say!

You honored me by your generous support – for which I will be forever grateful - now please honor the other women in your lives and encourage them to get their mammograms.

Once again, thank you for your good wishes. It made all the difference in the world and I appreciate what you all did for me.

And yes - I have been knitting - Man Socks - hope he likes them!! I can't find the ball band - but I think it's Cascade Heritage.....I know I saved that band!

Hope everyone is enjoying these last few nice days!!

Thursday, October 01, 2009

First Snow

First Snow - carry tire chains recommended over the pass - last Sunday it was 80!! Only in Central Oregon!

I apologize for not updating sooner. Life has been so delicious and busy that I've barely had the energy to function - much less knit and blog! The girls are doing great - REI Girl is enjoying again the busy life of a college student and The College Girl (Now known as The Nurse) is in Portland in the Nursing school - loving it!!! I am so proud of both of them. It was kinda bitter sweet when The Nurse returned to school - the girls have really enjoyed each others company this summer and really kept me entertained! The Geek is having some work challenges - he's the only employee left - but I think this is a long term relationship.

My life has been interesting to say the least. Work is embattled at times - we are definitley affected by the housing markets and other things beyond our control. I really don't know who long I'll have a job - another month maybe? I actually believe it will all work out!

Naturally I have been knitting a bit - had some real problems with my latest sweater - an Amy McElwain design from Ravelry. Turns out the chart legend and the written stitch instructions were wrong. It took me awhile to figure it out - and Amy has corrected the pattern. I'm now back on track. Pictures soon!

I have to find the perfect "guy" sock - as I think I have a new BF! Actually it's a 30 year friendship that has new dimensions. Totally unexpected (isn't that the way?). I'm giddy with that first blush. A whole new knitting opportunity - I know - don't knit him a sweater! This is all so new to me - this relationship deal - new but delicious. I am enjoying every bit!

Hopefully I'll keep my blog more up to date...glad to be back!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Road Trip

Fifty years ago - with Dad


Life is good!!

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Happy 4th!

This is the first weekend in ages I've had two days I did nothing but sit and read two great books since last night!! Pumpkin hogged the hammock!

I'm knitting another sweater like the last one - will have to back finished tonight (Since I'm out of books for the moment). Am home looking after Miss Kennedy - don't want to scare her with the fireworks! Girls are off on their own adventures. We had a great Road Trip last Sunday...the wildflowers are in full bloom in the Ochocos - incredibly beautiful. Kennedy was a good passenger.

Hope everyone's 4th is Grand!!!

Sunday, June 21, 2009


Kennedy is my new photo assistant - turns out she loves socks!! We seem to missing them from the laundry!! Thanks Roxie for the wonderful yarn - I really like the way they turned out - such a little bit of work and such great results!!!

For the record, summer is NOT here today.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Time to update

I know it's been way too long.

First welcome to the newest member of the family – meet Kennedy. We had to put our old lab down and the girls just had to have a dog. They just bugged me 24/7 and 6 days later Kennedy joined us. So far they’ve done a great job taking care of her. She’s lab/hound mix from the pound…hopefully won’t be too big. Sure is cute and happy.

College Girl is home for the summer – working at the caterer and hanging out with REI Girl and I. Having another person in the house has made me wonder – when all the kids were home where did we put everything. Where did all this stuff come from? Every nook and cranny is filled with stuff!!

We did the Heaven Can Wait walk for Breast Cancer a few weekends ago. Over 3600 walkers – it was pretty impressive to see all the supporters and survivors.

I finished College Girls sweater – check it out here. I have a request to do another one. Good thing I enjoyed knitting it. It’s been awhile since I knit an adult sweater and now I’m motivated to knit something for me. Almost finished with the Ocean Socks too.

Work has been extremely stressful. Everyday has been challenging, but it looks like things will work out and I will keep my job. Good thing since unemployment would have meant losing my house. I’ve still got a long road ahead of me to catch up, but I will.

Central Oregon has been plagued by violent late afternoon thunderstorms the last week or so…my gosh has it rained. My garden likes it – but all the veggies need some sunshine or all those seeds will rot. It is predicted that summer will be returning soon. For Mother’s Day the girls arranged for some landscaper friends to clean up my front yard. I have huge Spruce trees and they make a real mess – there was probably 2 feet deep of needles under them – they hauled it all away and trimmed the trees, laid new landscaping rock and generally cleaned up. We now call it the Park. I can’t believe I live here. I even have a new planting bed. Another gardener friend has been sharing her rearranging garden with me…so by next summer I’ll have a new garden spot. Swell – something else to weed!

Haven’t been to Stitch and B*tch recently. Sorry ladies. Monday is one of the nights when the girls are both home – and we’re having too much fun together. So might be taking a summer break I guess.

So here’s to summer, a great garden and having kids and new puppies around!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Road Trip

REI Girl and I took a long one-tank road trip on Sunday. Drove north to Maupin and had yummy cinnamon roles at an old haunt from my younger years - The Oasis Cafe - was the place to go after rafting the Deschutes...the best milkshakes in town - which isn't saying much because Maupin isn't much. A pretty place in a deep canyon, not much more than a wide spot in the road. But really hot in the summer - so milkshakes were very appreciated. The town mostly survives on the fly fishing and rafting trade, so it's pretty quiet most of the year.

Then we headed to the Columbia Gorge and Hood River. The Gorge is one of my favorite spots in Oregon - it's just so majestic with the huge cliffs and the Mighty Columbia! Lunch and a little shopping in Hood River (Knot another Hat) and then we headed over the back side of Mt. Hood. The Mountain looks so big from there! (Which it is!)I was hoping the apple blossoms would still be around, but I think we were too late. Back to the high desert and we were home. A nice relaxing drive, good companionship..what else could I ask for!

First go round with the Physical Therapist was good, but was sore for a few days. She thinks she can really help me, so am going back tomorrow. We're going to try a Cold Laser Knife....whatever that means! I'll let you know.I started this sweater for Marianne - she actually picked out something for me to knit for her! Finally! Ultra Alpaca in a soft grey. I think she might actually wear it!

Spring or more likely summer is actually here again. Hopefully will get the garden planted this weekend. I'm hoping the hard frost we had on Monday is the last one! I'm going to assign REI Girl the Veggie Project - she has time and she's bored. Pulling weeds is good for everyone! Can't wait!

Hope everyone enjoys the weekend!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Spring came and went - but they say summer will be here this weekend! Last Saturday the girls showered me with flowers for my garden - which we planted - some of which froze last night - so goes the weather in Central Oregon! You just never know what to expect. The Geek was on a big hiking adventure - so not here - but he also sent flowers - what a nice boy. All in all Mother's day was about flowers and enjoying the company of my family! The next day my sister was here on her way home from picking up one of her college girls in California - it snowed over the pass when they left here!

I have been knitting (it's not warm enough to really get into my usual summer reading program yet - but I am stocked up in anticipation). This great yarn was gifted me by Roxie - and I made up the pattern as I went them!
Weekend before last was Mom's Weekend at Linfield - I went over to see College Girl. (Once again the weather did not cooperate - imagine rain, wind, cold - watching a powder puff football game between the Sororities) We still had a lot of fun - went to the LYS and picked out a sweater for me to knit for her. Next year is her big year - starts Nursing School - she is super excited. The campus is at Good Samaritan Hospital - located in the hipest neighborhood in Portland - The Pearl. She will have a blast - but will be working very hard - it's a tough program.

REI Girl and I are going on a road trip this Sunday - haven't figured out where yet - Weatherman says it will be in the 80's....we might need a water site! Am looking forward to getting away for the day. The past weeks at work have been like a bumper car - I don't know what's going to happen from one minute to the next. So far I'm employeed until the end of May - after that - who knows! I'm optimistic as usual.

Recovery is of course progressing but not as I'd like. Reached for something without thinking today - ouch! So decided to get with a Physical Therapist next week to see if I can progress faster. Weight Watchers isn't progressing fast enough either - slow but steady will get me there I guess. Need to walk more (it's a weather thing).

Here's to the possibility of Spring coming, soon?

Monday, April 27, 2009

Too Long

Sorry friends - just haven't had much to comment on! It's pretty normal around here in Central Oregon. Spring came - it was glorious for a few days - but now it's gone again. I did have few wardrobe concerns - knit T-shirts just don't work for me anymore! Of course everything else requires ironing...just one more thing to worry about. But the short spring was great - got outside and worked in the yard a bit. I'd gone to Portland the weekend before to do yard work at my Dad's - had a nice visit with my brother and sister. My brother had just caught a big salmon, so dinner was extra yummy. He was leaving the next day for a real adventure. Lucky duck! He bought the trip at a Ducks Unlimited Auction - paid next to nothing for it!

College girl came up to visit while I was there - oh she is a busy girl. She got her acceptance to the Linfield Nursing School - we knew she would - but now she's really excited. I'm going over to see her this weekend for Mom's weekend - looking forward to a nice drive and some one on one time. Plus there are two good yarn shops in McMinnville - so a little browsing might be in order!
The economy has put a real dent in my buying abilities - but stash is still healthy thank you!

The economy has wrecked havoc on everyone around here. REI Girl is only working half time, plus she has had a lot of health issues - particularly bad headaches - so she has missed alot of work. She is particularly frustrated and bored! The Geek too is facing challenges, lost one of his roommates, so his expenses have gone up. Me too - it seems that even though I've been working 6 days a week - I can't keep up. When College Girl comes home it will be more difficult. But like many - we've been here before. My job is tenuous but I'm just thankful we all have some work! We just have to all rise to the challenge.
I did finally finish these socks. It seemed they took a long time, I just haven't been knitting as much. Maybe I'm a seasonal knitter? I seem to read more in the warmer weather. I haven't got any new project picked out - will probably try to find a sweater or vest to work on. The vest I just finished is getting a lot of use - vests work for me!

Recovery is still progressing - I never imagined that I would still be experiencing pain three months out - it is better on some parts - and changes everyday on others. REI Girl has been going to a Physical Therapist that she really likes - I might try that route. I just want to sleep comfortably!! Had my last appointment with the Oncologist - don't have to see him for 6 months! Ya Hoo!! So life may be challenging - but it's good and there is nothing wrong with good!

Sunday, April 05, 2009

TWO, Two, 2 - Finished!

I know - I've done nothing buy complain about winter this year - but above is the proof that this too shall pass. Spring is here today - it's 65 out and I'm loving it!

loving it so much - the photo shoot could take place outside!
The vest - should have made it a size smaller - but I'm going to still wear it and like it. Four Seasons "Man's" Vest - I'd do this again!
The Eyelet Yoke Baby Cardigan - will be another do it again. Had the Cashmerino in stash - so it will be a great gift for a new member of the Ranch family. It was super easy and super quick. The color is more red than pink - so cute!

Life continues to throw us all curves - today (Sunday mind you) I discovered that my water heater has been leaking - ruining the dry wall, growing that awful mold, needs to be replaced! I don't have the time or cash to deal with it - so my newly paid of credit card will be put back into action - not that I can pay it...but it's a start.

With regard to what the girls are now calling "The Booby Memoirs" - the healing continues. Still hurts, still can't sleep well, now getting cramped muscles - boring and frustrating. It will get better. Thinking about a "scar revision" - Doc says it would help alot....and how am I going to pay for that? This is ridiculous, I'm tired of being hit by things beyond my control!

REI Girl and I are embarking on a self improvement project - otherwise known as a diet...I have all my old Weight Watchers materials - so today we made a list,checked it for points and did a weeks worth of shopping. We are walking this afternoon. This will be more challenging for her as she is home most of the time - REI has cut everyone to 2-3 days a week - so she is getting bored! Once again it's not as though there are jobs available to fill in. She's thinking about going back to school (yea!) next fall, but also wants to go back to Africa. To have such choices!

Busy week knitting projects to discover....warm weather to enjoy, what could be better!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Long time

I actually have been knitting - this is my "Man's Vest" left front. The back is finished. As you can see this is going to take a lot of effort in the blocking - the edges roll! Hopefully it will all come together correctly....I need this vest!

My available clothing options are dwindling as the weather improves. So far winter has worked for me because I've always got a sweater on - great camouflage. But the sun is shinning more often (hurray-the winter was too long this year) and sweaters are too hot. I can't wear knit t-shirts - too many weird looking features still remain. I'm not comfortable enough yet to go prosthesis shopping - plus it's just too expensive right now. But my surgeon wants a 'redo' to clean things up - but once again I just can't afford to miss work and have more bills. This is the pits!! I am feeling better than a few weeks ago - but still hurt everyday and am physically aware that I'm not comfortable. Once again, I admit it - my expectations were too high.

I have noticed in the user forums on the Breast Cancer sites (Komen and that not much is said about the physical aftermath of recovery. Naturally most of the discussions are centered on the cure and treatment. I think we are all so concentrated on getting through treatment (and very admittedly my treatment was nothing compared to many) we don't think about what comes next. I read a story the other night about a 40 something woman - a triathlete who had the same surgery as I did - 15 months later she is still having pain and discomfort. Oh my gosh - this women is at least 10 years younger than me and she was an athelete....I am not going to be in this place in 15 months -I WILL be done before then! I have always been labeled as a Polyanna - but this has really thrown me for a loop. It's interesting how many things you never thought of before and how much you depend on your well being for everything else in your life! I am going to be done with this someday soon!

College Girl is coming home next week for Spring Break - looking forward to having the girls both here. We will have at least one family gathering - Hopefully I can get The Geek to come too! Good food usually does the trick. Concequently today is grocery shopping - I dread this - REI Girl and I have have been very frugal these past few months - now the budget will get blown. Oh well - it's definitely worth it. The girls like to bake together so there will be lots of goodies around to look forward to.

I've sadly just finished a great book - My Sisters Keeper by Jodi Picoult. I've read a few others by this author - Vanishing Act and Nineteen Minutes. I love the way she writes and weaves her characters. There is always a paragraph or two that just stands out for me that seems to capture some memory that doesn't seem important until you see it written about. This time it was about a childs secret language of WhatIfs - What if that car stopped in the middle of the road, what if the sun stopped shinning and then the grocery store closed, what if my teacher is silly, what if you married someone else, what if I didn't have red hair - my kids always asked so many "what ifs" I'd forgotten how entertaining and sometimes insightful their questions were. Now the most asked question is "Mom can I have some help (meaning money of course)." Gotta love em!

Redmond Stitch and B*itch - I will be back - Monday nights have just been busy recently and I've been working on Sundays too. After Spring Break - I'll see ya then!

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Rolled edges

Kiwi Toes - Finished these off to send to College Girl. She only likes short socks....Some Assembly Required Sock yarn in Kiwi - from the old Sisterhood of the Traveling Stash box!

I started this vest - the back calls for three rows of seed stitch and then stockinette - but the edge rolled (I had 6 inches of the back done) so I took it out and restarted with a looser cast on. Hope this helps. The last thing I want to do is block out the roll every time I wash it!!

It is dreary, raining, foggy, cold here today - I am done with winter, done, done, done!! Sunny days have to be on the way soon!!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Not so enthusiastic

I've got projects going - I'm just not that into them... Don't know why but I can't decide which one to pick up. These socks are from free yarn I got at the Knit and Crochet show last fall. Love the colors - I think I'm just socked out.
This "Sunrise-Sunset" scarf is just feather and fan - the picture doesn't do the colors justice. It's really pretty...will go into the gift stash. I'm totally into scarves these days but I've got enough winter ones. What I really want to do is this vest. OK why is blogger doing this to me. Anyway I've got to find the right yarn. Checked out one LYS tonight - no luck. Saturday I'll venture out again!

Am still working at getting healed - this is not what I expected. I'm very annoyed - everything that touches my skin is irritating - except for one PJ top. As soon as I get home on it goes! It's actually soothing! I do have long periods when I feel pretty normal - then I reach for something or bump into something and the day is ruined. Usually by evening the swelling has begun to bother me and I'm pretty annoyed! REI Girl brought me a really neat necklace from Tanzania - it's lightweight and shouldn't bother me - OMG in a few hours it was off! It's long and just sits at the wrong spot. Clothing is a real challenge...I'm really worried about summer - it won't exactly be sweater weather. Which is why I want to knit the vest above.

I do have to do a shoot out about my docs - Dr. J, Dr. D and the team - they are the best and I feel so honored to be in their hands!

I know - I will get better - it's just a long road. One stitch at a time!

Saturday, February 07, 2009


The girls and I walked on the Deschutes this morning - oh it felt good. We're having a nice weekend - but snow is again in the forecast - so am glad we got out!I got Hillary's socks in the mail - but forgot to take a picture of them finished. Dumb. Have started Ameila's - Smooshy in Ruby River - love this yarn and color. Pattern is a Zig Zag Eyelet - Cast on 70 stitches. Wish I could finish them sooner as it's her birthday next week - but won't happen. A belated wish!

College girl is asking for socks - oh gosh I hate it when that happens - just another excuse for her mother to knit socks!!! I think I'm finally converting my family to hand knits!

Feeling better this week - I've resigned myself to drugs...the healing goes on! Seeing the surgeon this week - am anxious to find out why I've got these hard ropes of tissue that don't seem to be going away. They are very tight and annoying. All and all I've been mending and doing better! Will probably work full days this week...I hate the thought of getting up early in the morning - it's such a chore. Staying up late knitting doesn't help either! Oh well!
Knit Peace!

Monday, February 02, 2009

Knitting Helps!!

I've decided there are two sides to this story -
1) I am so glad I did what I did - both breasts=no more cancer
2) I hate what it has done to me - not the losing the breasts part (I could care less) but the recovery is the pits (somewhat literally)! I'm into my third week since the surgery and I still feel like I've been hit with a Mac truck. My range of motion is limited (yes I've been doing my exercises), everyday something else hurts (Drugs are my friend), I have to change my shirts often during the day to change where the seams rub (my skin is so sensitive) and I am tired of feeling like I've got a piece of rope tied around me (way too tight)!

But knitting helps. I went to Stitch & B*tch tonight and really enjoyed taking back my life. I actually think that evenings are my best time - I seem to be the most comfortable then. I did work today for a few hours and will continue that for a week or so. One step at a time. I WILL get my life back.

Oh my gosh - the girls just came home from a day of shopping and dinner with their dad....they bought me this great bracelet - of course they think it's hysterical - they are calling it a 'fancy sweatband'I have to say that my daughters are the absolute best!! I could not have made this journey without their constant entertainment and support. I am soooo lucky!!

Saturday, January 24, 2009


Besides the wonderful emotional support I've received from my family, friends and new friends, I also received wonderful knitting treasures that will keep me busy the next few months.

My Sister's daughters wanted socks - so they picked out the yarn and sent it over with their Mom (whose help has been incredibly wonderful).

I've started one pair - they are sooo soft. She wanted no pattern - just plain, but I couldn't resist doing a cabled cuff.

The Redmond Stitch & B*tch group included these beautiful needles and skeins of sock yarn in a lovely vase of flowers that was delivered to the hospital. The nurses really loved them. I'll love the socks - the colors are so me!

My cousin Kate sent me this knitted bowl - it will hold treasures next to my chair. I'm jealous she can do these - I just can't get the felting part down. My washing machine won't fill with hot enough water.

Three other items that are bringing me joy - This Hyathins (sp?) was delivered with the bud all closed up...the next morning it was totally open, pink, and I can't tell you how seductive the scent is - it fills the living room! It is just intoxicating and so beautiful.

My cousin Cynthia and her family went to India after Christmas and she sent me this magnificent shawl - the picture doesn't do it justice at all. It is incredibly elegant and wraps me with warmth, comfort and beauty. I just love it, and am so honored to receive it.

This last gift just amazed me. It was made for me by a colleague from work, we are her client. They sent me flowers while in the hospital - which was totally unexpected, but this necklace and matching earring were made just for me - the quartz is said to have healing properties! Needless to say this was totally unexpected and so appreciated. I have been so astonished by the support I've received, the cards, phone calls, flowers, hugs (gentle!), gifts, visits and wishes for speedy recovery. I truly didn't have a clue I had so many friends. I am blessed and so thankful for everyone's support. This experience has deeply changed me in ways I never anticipated.

Most importantly I plan to shout out about Breast Cancer at every opportunity. Get your mammograms - get a physical exam. If they find Cancer in one breast - still do the full bilateral mastectomy. Don't settle for a Lumpectomy. They found suspicious cells in my other breast during the post surgery pathology (didn't show up on the original tests or exam) - I would have had to go through this all over again - and believe me once is enough. I am so thankful I did the entire procedure. I chose the most aggressive initial treatment - yes my breasts are gone but my health isn't and I'm dancing with NED (no evidence of disease)! Don't make decisions about your future health based on vanity (this was harder than I expected). I am a survivor and not at all embarrassed by the efforts it took or the way I look. (I can knit lots of scarves!) Although this was an initially expensive option for me - in the big picture this was the most financially prudent - any other option would have been more expensive in the long run when you consider I'd be facing chemo and/or radiation (both incredibly expensive) and I'd have to do it all over again anyway, considering the pathology report on my supposedly healthy breast. I have no regrets.

So get your mammograms, be aggressive and survive.

Thank you all my friends for the incredibly warm and enveloping hug that you have all surrounded me with. I am so greatful and appreciative of every effort on my behalf. My family and I have benefited more than you all could possibly know. Thank you.

Knit Peace!!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

One Week Off

It's been one week since my surgery and I am doing well. I think my expectations where much to high! I thought I'd be back at work the first of next week, I thought I'd be much more mobile than I am, I d idn't know I'd be this uncomfortable....but I AM CANCER FREE - WOOHOO!! I went to the Doc yesterday and it turns out I really did the right thing - there were suspicious cells in the other breast...I am so grateful I had them both off.
Everyday is something different - now that the healing has really begun - it hurts in different places, none that is unmanageable. I am glad I have had help here at home - my Sister and REI Girl have been wonderful, I definitely would not have gotten by without thier everyday help, cooking, laundry, keeping the wood stove going, helping me make a nest in bed so I don't try to roll over, etc. We even went shopping for sweaters that are disguising - that was fun - I can barely dress myself as it is - arms don't work!
The good thing is I can knit! My buddies from the Redmond Stitch and B*tch group sent me flowers in the hospital that hid two skiens of sock yarn and a set of beautiful needles. My Sisters daughters each picked out yarn for me to do socks for I'm set with lots of wonderful projects. I've started on my nieces and will have photos soon. My sister has even picked up her needles for the first time in over 20 years (she made beautiful sweaters for my kids when they were toddlers) and is knitting mittens for her daughter. So this has been a knitting place for the past few days.
I have had an incredible amount of support throughout this journey - it has brought me to tears many times. I had no idea I had so many friends. I also had no idea how much I'd need them. I am a very independent person - so this has been very humbling. It has changed me - I pledge to be a better friend and to shout out more about Breast Cancer. Get your Mammograms every year, have a physical exam every year! If you are diagnosed with Breast Cancer - remember that your life defines you - not your breasts! Set an example!
Knit Peace

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Picking up the needles

So today I picked up my knitting I must be better! Actually I am, although sore and stiff. I'm hoping knitting will work a few of the kinks out!
The surgery went well - guess what - I don't have Breast Cancer any more!!! TOTALLY COOL! I'm hopping to be back to full schedule in a week or so - but I have to admit that my expectations were higher than the reality. So it will be just one step at a time. Lucky me I have lots of knitting opportunities. My Redmond Stitch and B*tch group decorated a bouquet of flowers with beautiful sock yarn and rosewood needles, my sister who is coming tomorrow is bringing sock requests from her daughters and of course I've got more stash to explore - so there will be plenty of knitting happening.
Hopefully I can update the latest accomplishments and books read. Just haven't had time to upload the pictures - soon.
Once again - all my dear friends - thank you all for your support and good thoughts. This isn't a journey I'd wish on anyone - but the experience contained a gift I never imagined - I truely did not know I had so many caring friends - and I appreciate you all more than you can know. Your words of encouragement and support kept the blues away and the hope so necessary during this journey. Thank you all!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

My Mom

Well, this is REI Girl. I decided to update my mother's blog because she isn't able to right now. We are sitting in the hospital room. Mom got out of surgery earlier today. The doctor said that the operation went really well. I will admit, I was scared. But I am glad that it went okay. She is resting now. A little uncomfortable, but as usual, Mom has that spirit about her that even when it hurts, she can still manage to give us a smile.

I don't usually write on a blog, but Mom does and she knew that all of you needed to be updated. I would like to state that, for the record, my mother is such an amazing, strong, loving woman. She has this determination about her(I know that is where I get it) that it is almost impossible to change her mind, or her attitude. She calls herself "Pollyanna" because nothing, well almost nothing can get her down.

So now my mother is missing her boobs. My mothers attitude towards her body has never been unhealthy, or judgemental. She has always said, "this is what I've got, deal with it". Now she is missing one of the things that makes you a women. Mom said that her body never defined her. That is wonderful advice. Bodies shouldn't define anyone. My mom knows that beauty isn't a body part, it's your soul. My mom has an amazing soul.

Mom should be able to write soon. And thank you all for your support.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

The Countdown begins

This has been such a roller coaster journey. First you have the mammogram and they call you back - you think "Oh bother - it's just a funny spot" Then they stick you with a long needle and pinch a piece of you while your breast is being flattened to a pancake (quite a feat)...and you think "They won't find a thing". Then you wait and wait for the pathology to come back. By then you're really pumping adrenaline. You get the results and don't believe it. You go to the doctor, search the web to learn all you can, still don't tell anyone.

Then you become overwhelmed with the decisions that have to be made, lumpectomy, chemo, radiation, mastectomy, reconstruction......that was really the hardest part so far. What doctore to talk to first: Surgeon or Oncologist? (They need to assign you a manager to help keep it all straight - who does what when) What do I do? The big unknown - but I do believe that knowledge is I learned. I talked to many people (there is a WONDERFUL support network in Central Oregon) , nurses, doctors, my Navigator, Bev (who I have never met in person, but have talked on the phone tons - big hugs), there's the Komen site, the BreastCancer site (Both with great supportive message boards).

Then there's my kids - because they are of a different generation - they took this really well - they admit they are scared - but not nearly as scared as I was when my mom was diagnosed. They are here for me and for each other. Obviously my own siblings are here too - my sister will be staying with me. (She's been here before so knows all the tricks) I haven't told my Dad yet - I just can't. Two reasons - I'm not sure he's there enough to understand - and that would hurt me more than him and if he is there - I don't want to worry him. It's a dilemma I don't know how to solve.

All along I've really believed that i will be OK - I know I'll be just fine. But like any human I wonder - what if they find something bigger, what if it's in my lymph nodes...lots of what ifs. So I luckily only have 7 more days to worry about it. At this point I'm pretty much a wreck - I'm getting really anxious and not sleeping well, but actually writing this down is helpful. I can see how silly I am being concentrating on the negative. So what's good about all this...

I won't have to wear a bra anymore if I don't want to.
When I want to wear a bra - I can be any size I want to be!
I'll never have to have a mammogram again.
I'll quickly lose some weight and keep it off.
I'll get to sit in my recliner for days and knit....take pain all the ice cream I TLC all day....have a pedicure and foot massage...
Just what was I thinking? this will be bliss!

But by far the best part has been really understanding what wonderful friends I have. I had no idea..really. Many of you I'm tied to by stitches of yarn, we've never met in person, but we've shared our lives; or we knit together once a week; or we meet once a month to share a great book; or our lives are tied by work. Part of my job deals with a homeowners association - some of my homeowners have gifted me with financial help (OMG I still can't believe that!).

All of you who are sending good thoughts and prayers - thank you from my fullest heart. It is so appreciated - I can feel it! And it brings me to tears because it just down right astonishes me! I am so glad to have you all part of my life. It has been the worst year - but the best is yet to come and it starts now!!

Next Thursday - the 15th is the big day - off they come, then the pain meds for a few days, then recoop for a few days and then back to normal again...that's the plan and I'm stickin to it!!
Now I'm gathering Knitting supplies (as though I need some new ones), cooking a few extra meals for the freezer, buying the dog food (can't lift), putting things at a height I can reach (can't lift my arm up), stocking up on my favorite things and trying to remember what Movies I might like to see. There will be a frenzy of activity this weekend getting prepared. I will be ready won't I? If not I've got plenty of assistance. I think the girls will be sick of me by the time the surgery roles around..."do we have this?" "Did you get that for me" - you know how that goes!
Now it's way past my bedtime - so gotta go - sleeping is on my list of "must do"

Thanks to all for listening. I'll keep you posted.
Knit Peace