Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Doctor and Her Computer

Off to the doctor's this morning for a follow-up routine visit.  I am nervous about this visit because one of the numbers on my blood test was out of range.
My appointment is for 8:30.  I better wake Ross up.  He said he would come with me.
It's 7:00 a.m.
At the Doctor's Office
I don't know, I mean I guess I understand the necessity to improve efficiency and maintain accuracy,  but there is something disconcerting about my doctor being so attached to her laptop.
Yes, yes,  I have seen certain benefits.  For instance, when I need a prescription re-fill, she, right on the spot, connects to Express scrips and voila, it's done.
Lab work, same thing.  The Doc, via her laptop network connection, sends over the script for whatever tests she wants me to have.  I don't have to remember to bring that piece of paper with me.  And it has happened on numerous occasions.  I walk into the lab and that's when I remember that I forgot the paperwork.
All of my history is right there in front of her.  Today, she got a little upset, though, when I had to remind her that the reason I was not taking that medicine she prescribed was that I didn't tolerate it very well.  She didn't remember that she told me to stop taking it.  Well, she wasn't upset with me, of course.  She was upset at the "Computer" for not having that particular update recorded.  The  "Computer" still had me taking that medicine.   She said, "Oh, I hate when the "Computer doesn't update."
So after a few minutes, she finally pried her eyes away from Ms. Computer, and asked how I was doing.
I asked her about the blood test results.  Uh, oh, eye contact lost.  She immediately started scrolling.
Oh, yes, here it is, she said.  I could tell she was immensely relieved that Ms. Computer at least had that update.
She told me that even though the lab (I'm sure it was really the lab's computer) had recorded that number in the "high" column, I really didn't have to worry.
 Hmm, apparently, she and Ms. Computer do not know me that well.
"Are you sure?"  I asked.  She re-assured me again.  We'll just keep an eye on it.
Hmm, the perfectly wrong thing to say to me.
Anyway, she told me that she wouldn't need to see me until August.
She said a funny thing about the next appointment.  She told me that she and Ms. Computer keep track of her patients appointments.  She doesn't trust the office staff to do that.  So, she will personally put my name on a list, which she maintains. She calls it her list.  I assume, she enters that info into Ms. Computer.
Then, I would imagine, Ms. Computer, at the appropriate time,  reminds her to remind the office staff to call me to make an appointment.
I have to say, I really do like my doctor.  Even though, I know she has to rely on Ms. Computer to help her to "remember" me, I do feel that she really does know who I am.
It was proven to me when she walked into the room and said, "Oh, you changed your hair."
Now, that made me smile.

Even though, the cold, gray, damp, but no snow, winter drags on, I did see a couple of hopeful robins hopping and flittering around the back yard this morning.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


These long cold winter days provide me with much time for reflection.  I ponder, I worry, I think. I philosophize, empathize and hypothesize.   My thoughts bounce around like a silver pin ball. My game is off, though. I  hardly ever score  the "ah ha" jackpot. I mostly wind up in the deep dark "huh?" crevices instead.  
I toy with the notion that in the end all will be revealed.  The more I think about that fanciful  idea, the more I am leaning towards...mmm, maybe I don't wanna know, you know?
I tend to think that most humans, and maybe my dog Rico, find comfort in the hope that the time we spend "here" is a preparatory venue for the big show.  You know, visions of puffy clouds, and pearly gates and the biggest family reunion ever!
Another theory is that the time spent "here" is an ongoing, grueling SAT exam.  You don't pass the test, you don't get in.
There are the Judgement Day-ers. (JDer)  If you had any exposure, what so ever, to any kind of organized religion, chances are, you are a JDer.  You will go through life, expecting that somehow, somewhere, someone is logging and recording your every thought, deed, and action into a dusty old parchment journal. You spend your time worrying about that "just one time" when you shouldn't have.  Or how about that other time when you should have. You wait in a forever line of those who came before you. Will you live up to their standards or will you have been dragged down by them?

Of course, of course, as I write this, I believe I have just hit the "ah ha" jackpot. Ding! Ding! That dusty old parchment journal is the one I keep.  I  am my own harsh judge.  My judgement day is everyday.
Lately I have been experimenting with the idea that it might, in fact, be more of a relief to know that when the pin ball no longer bounces, and the lights no longer flash, the final jackpot might, indeed, just be the peace of nothingness.
Although, that idea of the biggest family re-union ever...well,  that would be worth a least a million jackpot points, for sure.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Where’s My Hat? Is It Because?

Is It Because?
I sensed you were here with me in the haze of the darkness of the night.  You stood alone away from the others and you called out to me.  You were cold, you said.  “Where’s my hat?”  “You made everyone else one, but have you forgotten about me?”

Is it because I have started to lift my head up a little now and then?
But, I lift my head up only to seek your smile, frozen in framed memories.
Is it because I caught a glimpse of light out of the corner of my eye, every so slightly and looked to see what was to the left and to the right of me?
But, what is to the right of and left of me are only the rocky paths of broken dreams and unfilled promises.
Is it because I sometimes now notice that I haven’t showered since too many days ago?
But, steamy waterfalls, echoing and pounding on cold tiles, only drown out my sobs and mask my tears.
Is it because I smile and laugh when the others are around?
But, I smile and laugh for them, for that is only what they can bear to see and hear.
Is it because I left my warmth of inside yesterday?
But, the ice of outside winter only dulls my pain.

I sometimes feel that the shackles of my grief are starting to loosen ever so slightly.  But the sound from the rattle of loose chains are just as binding.

 Even though I may try to bury my sadness in graves of distraction, I miss you every minute of every day.

You are with me always.  Today I will make your hat.  It will be the most special one, for the yarn will be threads of loving memories.  And when it is finished I will wear it for you.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Finding NEMO Pine Bush Here We Come!

The Super Storm Nemo (SSN) Log
February 8, 2013

I figure that the TV people are going to drive us crazy with their running commentary and speculation today about the storm.  So, I decided to document the day myself.

Thatdog had another restless night and that meant so did we.  I let him out at 3:15 a.m.  There was nothing going on with SSN at that time.
Rico up again at about 6:15.  Raining steady, no wind.  Dog made believe he wanted to out, but once he saw the rain, he changed his mind quite quickly.

At around 6:30 a.m. or so

I put the tea kettle on, came into the den and got caught up with browsing Ravelry patterns.  I have decided to attempt "The Wonderful Wallaby" by Cottage Creations.  Over 6000 others have made it, maybe I can too.

 I have read the pattern many times before, decided it was too complicated, have gotten discouraged and never even attempted a cast on.
Today, while waiting for SSN to arrive,  might just be the perfect day to concentrate on the instructions and at least get through the 1x1 ribbing.
While I was immersed in checking out the photos of the other Wallabies and seeking helpful hints, I forgot about the tea kettle.  Actually, I don't think it whistled.  Perhaps that might have something to do with the change in the atmospheric pressure, you know with SSN on its way and all. I'm sure it probably affected the whistles of all of the tea pots in the area.  Okay, maybe I just didn't hear it.
Anyway, when I panically remembered that I forgot, the kettle that is, I rushed in and of course all of the water had boiled away.  So I refilled, and waited this time.
As I was pouring my tea, for some reason, and I'm sure this had to do with my distraction due to my heightened anticipation of the arrival of SSN, I held the hot, very hot, double boiled hot, tea pot next to my body.  Since I had on my super thick, plush, 20 year old, fleece robe, I didn't feel a thing.  But, now I have two holes in my favorite robe.

Now off to actually have my tea.  It's 7:52 a.m.  Ross is still in bed, watching the weather. <sigh>
See, we had plans to go away for the weekend.  We were going to go to a jewelry auction in Pine Bush New York.  It will take us about 2-1/2 hours to get there.

We wanted to try this B&B in town.  It is called Pine Bush House Bed and Breakfast.

I wonder why they don't have a winter photo, hmm...

Apparently, though,  Pine Bush may be getting more than a few inches of snow between today and tomorrow.
Ross still thinks we can go.  That's why he is obsessed with the weather.  We'll see what tomorrow brings.

It's 9:00 now.  I am dressed and heading out to go to Curves. It's still only raining.


On the way home from Curves
Neither the Road or the Bridge are Freezing Yet

Noon now.  It seems to be raining a little harder now.  The wind is gusting a little also.  The temperature remains the same.
Ross went out to get some food.  He has the Weather.com app on his phone so that he can keep right up to the minute with the storm :)

We pretty much spent the rest of the day doing what we do.  I started the Wallaby.  Ross spent time with eBay.  It rained steady and hard all day.
7:00 p.m.
At around 7:00 p.m. I noticed that nothing was going on, weather wise that is.    It wasn't raining, no wind.  In fact it was eerily quiet.

Weather.com is still predicting that it isn't over yet and that we are still going to get snow.Good thing I went out on Thursday to get heavy duty, fur lined, snow boots.

I posted this picture on face book and Jodi noticed that I was wearing Target PJ's, because she has the exact same pair.

We are watching the Netflix Original Series "House of Cards"  There are thirteen episodes, each about 50 minutes long.  The plot is dirty Washington Politics.  It stars Kevin Spacey.
Here is a description of the plot From Netflix:

"Ruthless and cunning, Congressman Francis Underwood (Oscar® winner Kevin Spacey) and his wife Claire (Robin Wright) stop at nothing to conquer everything. This wicked political drama penetrates the shadowy world of greed, sex, and corruption in modern D.C. Kate Mara (“American Horror Story”) and Corey Stoll (“Midnight in Paris”) costar in the first original series from David Fincher (“The Social Network”) and Beau Willimon (“The Ides of March”)."

We are up to episode 8.  Spacey is playing a pretty dastardly character.  I hate him.  The character, not Spacey.  I don't know Spacey.

So now it is 10:00 p.m. I checked one more time .

Yay! We found NEMO!
February 9, 2013
8:00 a.m.

Pine Bush here we come?

Sunday, February 3, 2013

My Perpetual Beginner Knitter Status

Hello.  My name is Lynda, <standing up facing the group now> and I am a beginner knitter. I come here freely to the Beginner Knitter Status Addicts (BKSA) meeting seeking the help and support of the like minded.
I confess. I have been this way since 1972.   I want to change, I really do.  Once, I even tried to get saved by following the teachings written in the bible "Knitting Without Tears" by <genuflecting with head bowed> Elizabeth Zimmerman.  But, somehow EZ didn't speak to me.  No, not even she could help.
Oh sure, I laugh along with the Yarn Harlot and I can relate to her knitting humor.   Of course I follow her on twitter, who doesn't?

Yes, I am an upstanding member of Ravelry, one among two million.  But could it be that  Ravelry contributes to my BKS addiction by making it too easy to narrow my search down to the 18,792 easy patterns?

Here is what I believe may be my downfall and inability to progress to the next level.  I despise the concept of gauge and I balk at swatching.
I tried it once, swatching I mean.   I dutifully knitted the 4x4.  I used my Susan Bates "Knit Chek" thingy. I strained my eyes trying to count those V's.  My count  came to just under 1/2 of a stitch from what it was supposed to be.  Or was it over?  I can't remember.  Do I go up a needle size or down?  Who knows?
Yeah, yeah, I know, I know. Gauge and swatching.  Swatching and gauge.  I hear the sneering, jeering and mocking from the Masters.
"You'll never amount to anything until you respect your gauge and swatch that 4x4 until you get it right."
"You perpetual beginner, you."

There is something I just don't get about this swatching thing, though.
So, if I go into a store and pick out four pair of pants, made by four different manufacturer's and each one is a size 8, how come they all fit differently?  Relating that concept to say knitting a sweater;  what is a size small, medium or large?  Can all smalls, mediums and larges really be exactly the same.  I think not.
The thing is I love to knit.  I love the motion, the mind numbing repetition, the clicking sound of the needles.  I love the colors and textures of yarn. I love stashing and looking through my stash.  I love  searching for patterns.  I love browsing through the photos of the WIP's or completed projects made by the talented other 2 million Ravelry members.  I am in awe of the designers who conjure up wonderful images in their minds and then carefully and patiently translate those images into practical instructions for me to easily follow.  And I am inspired.

I admit I have dabbled with cables and yarn overs and lace. I can knit on all fours (needles that is) and I have made a Saryoan or two.  I have even gifted my knitting.
So, if that sweater doesn't fit Bella, I will just find someone else who can wear it.  Or if that hat is too big for  Jimmy, he can pass it on to one of his friends.

Although I may never understand swatching, I  won't stop knitting for it has provided comfort for me in so many ways.
I have knitted through illnesses, and deaths.
Two of my most treasured memories are sitting quietly with Joe while I knitted as he dozed and remembering the last time I saw him wearing that scarf I had lovingly knit.
I light up when I see my sister wearing the shawl I made for her.  I have felt joy from the glow of a smile from a grateful recipient.
I have found warmth,  curled up with my needles and yarn on cold bleak days.  I have soothed an aching head with a woolen hat and eased the pain in my neck with a soft squishy cowl.

Hmm, so after all is said and done, perhaps holding onto my BK status isn't so bad after all.

Hat anyone?

Knitting Always Kniting

Maybe a scarf or shawl?  How about some mittens?

My blog is getting slammed with spam so I had to re-instate word verification AKA

CAPTCHA: Telling Humans and Computers Apart Automatically

A CAPTCHA is a program that protects websites against bots by generating and grading tests that humans can pass but current computer programs cannot. For example, humans can read distorted text as the one shown above, but current computer programs can't.

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