Monday, March 28, 2011

Dental Phobia Distraction

I've been having some dental issues since Friday.  I wouldn't describe what I have been feeling as a toothache.  It's not a throbbing, stabbing, sharp; "I want to blow my head off" pain.  It's more of a twinge or irritation.  Enough, that it probably warrants a visit to the dentist.  I am terrified of the dentist.  I have dental phobia.  I hate going to the dentist.  I have to take a Xanax before I can make the call to make the appointment.  I take Nitrous for a cleaning.
It was on my mind all weekend that I would have to make that phone call on Monday.  I wasn't much fun to be around.
Ross proposed that we take a drive to take my mind off of my obsessive worrying.   I picked a place from the "Points of Interest" list on my GPS app.  We headed west.  It was a nice drive through the Pine Barrens and Cranberry Bogs.  Our destination was "The Wheaton Arts Center"  in Millville.  By the time we got there,  the Tylenol I had taken earlier was beginning to wear off  and I didn't feel like walking around.  As I said, I wasn't much fun to be around this weekend.   I wanted to head back home by taking the fastest route.  That meant the Garden State Parkway.

Ross was driving; I was intent on my knitting.  

Suddenly, Ross started to pump the breaks.  

"What's the matter?" I worriedly asked.  No response.   "What is it?"  I anxiously wanted to know.
"Something is going on up ahead," Ross said.  "Everyone is slowing down."

 We saw two cars in front of the now slowed down pack.   Both cars were weaving, back and forth between the lanes.  It looked like the driver of a silver car was trying to prevent the driver of a green car from passing him.   A hat was thrown out of the window of the silver car.  Angry fists and hand gestures were flying out of rolled down windows.  

At one point,  the green car pulled off onto the shoulder.  The silver car pulled over in front of it and the driver started to get out.   The door of the green car opened, the driver started to get out of the car, but must have had second thoughts because he got back into his car.  That probably had something to do with the fact that his wife and son were also in the car.  Both cars got back into the flow of traffic and continued with their erratic and dangerous driving.   

Ross pulled out his cell phone and told me to dial 911.  He was transferred to the state police. Ross began to give a blow-by-blow description of the scene. The police took the information including our phone number and said they would check into it.  

Now the silver and green cars were directly in front of us.   My fear was that one or both drivers would pull out a pistol.  I was very scared.  We saw the silver car pull over to the shoulder.  The green car kept going.

The police called us back and asked for more information.  Ross gave them a detailed description of the cars and their current locations.   Apparently, we were not the only ones to report the incident.   

I was very relieved as we approached our exit and left the highway.

As we drove on the country road leading back to our community, Ross and I speculated on what started that road rage.   

Ross said, "See I told you our drive would be a distraction."  

Frankly, I think I would rather be distracted by an intricate lace pattern.

So I made the phone call this morning.  My appointment is on Thursday.  

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Dorm Room Afghans for the Year 2022

I decided that a good long term project would be making dorm room afghans for each of my 5 grand children to take to college.  Now, mind you, my grandchildren are very young.  The oldest is soon to be seven years old and the youngest is soon to be six months old.    I know it's pretty early to think about college for them, but I am not so young.  I figure while the brain can still talk to the hands and the hands can still move, I should make afghans while the sun shines.  Or something like that.

I started my first one last week.  This will be for my grand daughter.  She is the soon to be seven year old.
The pattern is called Textured Triangle Stack.  It comes from "The Ultimate Sourcebook of Knitting and Crochet Stitches".  Here is my Ravelry link.

I love knitting for Bella.  She treasures anything I make for her.  In fact she still tries to squeeze her foot into those socks I made for her 5th birthday.  Gotta work on knitting her a new pair for her soon to be seven year old foot.  Bella thinks Grandma is magical and can "make" anything using needles and yarn.  Little does she know that without the help of how to videos, step by step instructions, and wonderful patterns written by other very talented people, Grandma would still only be making garter stitch scarves.

I wonder if the 18 year old Bella will still think Grandma is magical.   I wonder if she will like these colors I chose for her dorm room afghan.  I wonder if Bella will tell her daughter how her Grandma could make anything using two needles and some yarn.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

It's The Every Other Wednesday Wednesday Day

I have always been curious and fascinated by dreams, way before I saw the movie Inception.

Today is the every other Wednesday Wednesday.  Chemo day.  I try to take it in stride, after all it has been over a year since the every other Wednesday Chemo days began. It's one of the reasons I started knitting again. Knitting has become my temporary escape, a small distraction from reality.

 "I am going to go over tomorrow, just for a little visit," I say.
 "I don't think that is such a good idea," she responds.
 "Why?" I ask.
 "Well, I don't think he wants you there.  He said he would like some alone time, just he and the baby", she says.
 "Oh, okay, if he doesn't want me to be there, I won't, go." I say in a hurt voice.
The phone is ringing, but I can't get to it in time and it stops.   Then I hear the chimes of my cell phone. I frantically search for my purse.  I find it on the chair where it always is and start rummaging thru looking for the phone.   Oh, there it is.  "Hello?  Hello?"  I say into the phone.  I hear my son's voice.  "Ma, can you come over, I need you."

I could hear his voice so clearly that it woke me from a sound sleep.  And then I remembered;  "Today is THAT Wednesday."   Dreams, so fascinating.

Knitting is a great distraction, but somewhere "down there, in the deep dark recesses, in that room" I will always know when it is the every other Wednesday, Wednesday.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Lunch with Ryan, the Jersey Shore and the Sopranos.

Wow! Friday was a gorgeous day. The 75 degree weather brought everyone out of hibernation. Some even wearing sun dresses and shorts to boot.  Mother nature does this Spring tease around about this time of the year.  I don't trust her though, I've learned by now not to put away my winter duds just yet.

Jen came down to visit with Ryan in tow.  The very first thing each of my grand kids does after greeting us is head straight back to our Sun Room.  That's where Grandma keeps the toy chest and shelf loaded with toys, puzzles and games.

After a few rounds of Candy Bingo (that's Candy Land Bingo in adult speak), we decided it would be nice to go for lunch, somewhere on the water. We had to convince Ryan that seeing water and boats was much more fun than the playground.

The casual little restaurant by the bay was almost empty.  It's a great place, with a dock, outside dining and a far off view of the the Barnegat Light House.

While we were waiting for our food, the owner, who looked like he could have been a cast member of the show "The Jersey Shore",  came out with a basket of bread pieces.  He said in his perfect "joisey" accent, "hea, go feed the ducks."   So we headed out down to the beach;  tip toeing around the goose, sea gull, and duck trails.

I watched as Ryan and Ross threw the bread into the water.  The various breeds of birds were in a frenzy as they vied for each piece.

The owner came out with a couple of visitors.  It was like Jersey Shore meets the Sopranos.  The owner was pointing out his plans for the place, once the season got going.   "I'm gonna be putting some chairs, over there on the beach, it's gonna be nice.  Customers can have some drinks while they wait for their tables, yeah, it's gonna be nice."
The bigger guy, (and I mean big) said, "Yea, but you gotta get the liquor."
"I'm working on it", said the owner.
Right now the place is a bring your own.   It will be interesting to see if he manages to the "get the liquor".

So after we finished our lunch,  we decided to visit with the ducks one more time.  The sun, the calm water, watching Jen with her beautiful Ryan, it was pretty much a perfect day.   One to think about and treasure when times are not so perfect.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Knit and Wait. Knit and Wait.

 I was glad that I had brought my knitting into the examining room with me.   Every time I would come to the end of a row, I would look at my watch to try to judge whether or not I would have time to begin another row.   Even though I have learned the pattern, I am a beginner at lace.  I am very careful to make sure I keep track of my rows and repeats. After 20 minutes, I decided to put it away.   I didn't want the Doc to walk in and have to jam my knitting back into the bag without finishing a row.

The room was pretty stark.  No pictures on the walls, nothing on the counters.  An exam table, blood pressure gauge and a scale.  Not very interesting.

As I sat there listening intently for the Dr.'s footsteps, staring at the door with the "Be Sure To Get Your Flu  Shot" sign hanging on it, I started to think about how much of my time during my life has been spent waiting for the Doctor.

I thought about what a person does when they walk into the Doctor's office?  First, of course, they sign in and the "behind the window lady" takes their co-pay and insurance info.   Then they walk over to the magazine rack.  Or they make sure they get a good seat in front of the flat screen.  Or they bring out a book or, as in my case, their knitting.
That's right, we have been well trained to wait, and wait and wait for the Doctor.

Throughout my life, my waiting room waiting experiences have included waiting for my children's doctors, my spouse's doctor's, emergency room doctors and my Dad's doctors.  As I get older the waiting room waiting experiences seem to get more difficult and emotionally painful.  A year and a half ago it was waiting for my Mom's Oncologist.  This year waiting for my son's Oncologist.

I began to wonder why I was even in that exam room.   I wasn't ill.  But sitting there on the table waiting, I felt like a patient.

When the Doc. finally made her appearance and asked how I was doing, I didn't quite know how to answer.   She said, "Why are you here?"

I reminded her that she recommended that I come back for a six month follow up visit.

"Oh let me check my notes here.   Hmmm, that's right, I see you are taking Lipitor.  We should have sent you for a blood test.  Oh, wait here are the results.  "They" didn't put them on top so I didn't realize they were here.    Well your blood test came back fine.  Keep taking the Lipitor and we'll see you again in six months.  Have a nice day now."

Of course I am exaggerating a little.  She did take my blood pressure and listen to my lungs and heart.

Before I left I did ask her for a recommendation for a counselor.  She couldn't give me one, though, because she said I  would have to go through my insurance company for that. She pointed out that on the back of my card, there was an 800 number to call.

I have to say one of the best things I have done for myself during this  most difficult time of my life is learn how to knit.  I suppose I should find a support group or a counselor, but for right now I'd rather be knitting while I wait.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Darn Ross and That LYS Lady!

I am always on the prowl looking for an LYS that I have not been to before.  I have none in my immediate area so the few I frequent are an hour away.    Through a Ravelry reference I discovered a new to me shop.

Of course once I discover these gems, I become obsessed with wanting to visit and explore.  This hankering has been going on for a few weeks now.   I tried to control the urge, though, because of....The Dreaded Stash.

So anyway on this past sunny Saturday, I asked Ross if he wanted to go for a drive.  Even after he found out where I wanted to go he agreed.   Ross will do anything to get out beyond the gates of our Active Adult Community.   I said, "You know I cannot buy any more yarn.  I just want to look."     He said, "uh huh" with a knowing smile.   "No really, I mean it I am not buying any more yarn!"  He again said, "uh huh".

It was a nice drive.  We were in an area we had not been to before.  The shop was in a cute little strip mall. We walked in and of course there was the obligatory table with three women knitting away.  One of the women smiled and asked if she could help.   "No, not right now, I said.  I just want to browse."  I think I mumbled something about already having too much yarn.

So as I walked around touching all of the yarn I could feel myself starting to get the craving.  The owner of the shop was following me with her eyes, making friendly comments about classes they offer, and how once a month the knitting group gets together and has dinner in one of the local restaurants.  I said, "Oh that sounds like fun, but I am an hour away.  I'm just browsing.  And I really have way too much yarn already."

While making my way through each of the aisles I noticed a beautiful lacy scarf.  I stopped in front of it and of course had to feel it.  The owner got up from the table and came over.  "Isn't that yarn beautiful?" she asked.

I agreed and told her that I loved the pattern and have been wanting to try knitting lace.  She said, "Oh you will love this pattern, it's so simple."  And then she rattled off the pattern sequence of yarn overs and knits and purls.    As I continued to finger the scarf, she cunningly said, "If you buy the yarn, I will give you the pattern."  Darn her!  "Oh, please, I said. I just cannot, cannot possibly buy any more yarn, I have way too much already. "

I looked helplessly at Ross, wanting him to rescue me.  He said "Oh go ahead, just get it.  My treat.  It will be part of your birthday present."  Darn him!  "But I have so much yarn already!", I whined.    The owner said, "You will love this pattern so much that you'll want to start it as soon as you get home, so it really won't ever even become part of "The Dreaded Stash".  The other two women sitting at the table chimed in nodding in agreement.

Walking out the door with three skeins of my beautiful new sparkly yarn, I felt pretty good.  I had stuck to my convictions about not  buying any more yarn.  After all it wasn't my fault, the LYS lady talked me into it and Ross made the purchase.

And then I made the familiar promise to myself.  "I will not buy any more yarn....well at least not until the next time."

So I have started the scarf and it really is a beautiful pattern.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Rose and the 11:00 a.m. ladies at curves

So I try try try to get to my local Curves three times a week.  Usually I try try try to get there before 8:00 a.m.  But today I got caught up with a phone conversation and before I knew it, it was 10:45.  What this meant is that when I got to Curves I would be working out with Rose and the 11:00 ladies.  I wish I could video this because it is pretty amusing to watch.  The 11:00 ladies do a uh...let's say a leisurely work out.  If someone mentions a recipe or some other topic that peeks their interest they will stop working out on the machine they are on and gather around to offer their opinions.   Rose doesn't even bother pretending that she is working out.  She just wanders from machine to machine joining in on what she feels are the most interesting conversations.
  So today I started my work out.  The 11:00 ladies were there but no Rose.  Hmm, that's strange I thought, wonder where she is.  At around 11:25 Rose walked in.  Everyone greeted her and she started her "work out".  The rest of the 11:00 ladies were pretty much done with their work out.  Rose was rather disappointed that they were going to leave before she was done.  But they did leave and now Rose had no one to talk to.   I tried not to make eye contact, but that didn't matter to Rose.   She came over to me and said (and I'm not kidding) "Come here often? haven't seen you around here before."  I smiled and explained that I usually come earlier.    I was done with my workout so I excused myself and went to get my coat and purse.   I beat feet out and as I was going to my car I realized that I forgot my scarf.  So I had to go back. I hoped I could get in and out without Rose spotting me.  But I had no reason to be concerned because there was Rose chatting with her new friends, the 12:00 ladies.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Inspired today by Jo-Ann my Hair Stylist

Thursday, March 10 2011

I decided to treat myself to a color and cut yesterday.  It's been a while.  Actually, the last time was back in   August.  I frequent more than one shop in the area.  This time I decided to go back to Jo-Ann.  She is the owner of the shop.
I am a quiet and pretty shy person.  So usually the hair dresser does most of the talking.  Jo-Ann, though, is the type of person who makes one feel as if you and she are the only two people in the room.
Normally when asked how I am doing, my response is "Fine, how are you?" But  Jo-Ann made me feel as though she really wanted to know how I was really doing.
So I told her about what has been going on over the past 16 months.  Taking care of my mother in our home during the last months of her life. She died last November 2009 two days before Thanksgiving.  Then in January of 2010, my 34 year old son was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer.
When I told Jo-Ann about my son, she stopped and looked at me, the color bottle paused in the air.  She said "Lynda, I want you to know something."   And then she told me the most amazing story.
  Jo-Ann was diagnosed with stage IV Lymphoma.  She was newly divorced from a husband who beat her during  the last 10 years of their marriage.  She had two young daughters 11 and 8 years old.    The doctors told her that there was nothing they could do for her.  She was told to get her affairs in order and make provisions for her children.  They gave her a time frame of about 6 weeks.  However before she left she was asked if she would be willing to participate in a trial and she accepted.  She went through intensive Chemo therapy for many months.  The Chemo made her very sick.  She lost all of her hair.  She had to be away from her family, (the hospital was in Washington DC) and could not care for her children.
Because she could not bear the thought of having her girls be under the care of her ex-husband, she told me that she made a pact with God.   She said her prayer was, "Please God, let me live to see my girls graduate from High School, then you can take me."
Well that was thirty years ago.  As Jo-Ann said to me, "and I am still here!"  She pointed to a photo of a beautiful young woman which she had on her mirror.  "That is my grand daughter, she will be graduating High School in a few months."

I left the salon inspired and hopeful.  And of course my hair looked great too!