Saturday, May 25, 2019

Wearable Art, Radiation and Maury Povich

A week of radiation treatments are under Ross' belt. The treatment itself only takes about 11-15 minutes. 
Ross is physically feeling okay so far with it. 
I believe the stress he and I are experiencing comes not from the actual treatment, but rather from what the treatment is hopefully curing. 

I am amused by the TV channel selections in the waiting room.  The remote is fair game.   Each day this week the TV was tuned to a different station.  It was quite an eclectic array, ranging from Cable News to Maury Povich.   By the way, "Rob by a DNA score of 99.9%, YOU ARE THE FATHER!"

I bring my knitting with me and although the waiting time is not long, I still manage to get in a few rows on whatever project I happen to bring with me.   As always, the rhythmic process of stitching with string and sticks help with the stress. 

The other day I decided to go through all of my completed knitting projects.  I have them tucked here and there in various dressers drawers or on shelves stored in decorative storage boxes. 

When they were all in one place, all together, I began to question why?  How many pairs of socks do I need?  What about all of those shawls?  Why?  Don't get me started the amount of hats, scarves and cowls.

 The more I pondered the "why" of my kitting obsession,  I began to understand the answer,

I often talk about the soothing and calming feeling that knitting produces, but there is another just as compelling reason I knit.

It also satisfies my creative need.   As I looked at all of the items,  I realized I was admiring 
individual pieces of art. 

Although most of the items I make are created using a pattern written by someone else,  I chose the colors. 
I like the way color choice brings my own individuality to a project.   







It's sort of like coloring in one of those "adult" coloring books.  The picture is drawn by someone else, but you get to choose the colors.
However,  unlike the coloring book, my art is wearable.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Forty-Five Minutes Closer

Finally!  Finally!  Ross starts his radiation treatments on Monday, May 20th. 

His radiation schedule was set for 9:30 a.m. Monday-Friday,  for all of the 45 treatments.   We got a call on Thursday from the woman in charge of scheduling appointments to let us know that they had to change the time of the appointment from 9:30 to 10:15.

I am a little bothered by the reason for the time change.  The radiation center is replacing one of their machines.  So they are down to only one machine. 
"Hopefully, the new machine will be online soon," said the scheduling setting lady.

Ross was diagnosed with Prostate cancer on January 31.  Part of his treatment is a medication that he has had to take daily for the last 3 months before he can start radiation. 
While we logically understand medication is part of the treatment, psychologically and emotionally it feels like radiation is the "real" treatment. 

While a forty-five minute time change may not seem to be significant,  for us it "feels" that we've been waiting to start the "real" treatment to begin since the end of January. 

So for the scheduling lady, the nurses, the doctors, and the technicians who work at the center I'm sure a forty-five minute delay for a cancer patient to get his first radiation treatment is insignificant, but for us it represents "FORTY-FIVE MINUTES" closer to Ross getting well. 

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Secret Shawl Society Four

One of the knit pattern designers I love is "Helen Stewart".  Her patterns are well written with clear instructions.
I believe she has trademarked her method of pattern writing.

Included with each of her patterns is a row by row check off sheet.

It looks something like this,
When working on a complex pattern which contain many rows, with different sets of design stitches across each row, it is helpful for the knitter to have a checkoff sheet to keep track of progress and to have a place keeper for where you are in the pattern.  It's also beneficial to know how many stitches you should wind up with at the end of row.
Many designers do not do that.

Helen makes sure she keeps her customers engaged by coming out with groups of patterns a few times a year.  She encourages her followers to join in and knit a pattern together as a group.

One of her signature pattern groups is something she calls "The Secret Shawl Society". (or TSSS)  This is the fourth year for TSSS and the second time I am participating.
When you join in, you basically pre-order a set of six shawl patterns.   The patterns are released one at a time during the next six months.

The first pattern of the TSSS4 was released today.   It is called "Sea Gleam".  Here is Helen wearing hers:



I am going to start on this one today.  The yarn I have chosen is by the "indie" yarn dyer "Shirsty Cat Designs"


When the shawl is finished I will have 427 stitches on my needles.  If you are not a knitter, I'll just tell you that is a LOT of stitches!

I have one other knitting project going at the moment.  It's a pair of socks for Ross.  I have the first one done and the second one is on the needles.   I'll probably go back and forth now between the "Sea Gleam" and Ross' sock. 

Socks For Ross

Perhaps I will document my progress with a weekly status update.

Well, on with my day!

Monday, May 13, 2019

Mother's Day - A Nice Day Indeed

Mother's Day 2019

Holidays, anniversaries, birthdays, family vacations and the like are times when we gather together to celebrate our connections. 

In a recent post, Debbie, from "My Morning Cup of Coffee" captured my feelings so well about these times:    "You never really get over losing a child but if you want to have a good life, you must have a place for your grief to go. I bring it out, on anniversary days, holidays, etc. (sometimes)

They are the times when we send and receive messages of "thoughts and prayers".  It's as if these are the days when it's acceptable to acknowledge our grief.

For me, like Debbie,  the grief is always there, but "it's put away" on "normal" days.  It's true what "they" say.  Life goes on.

Mother's Day in particular is a tricky one to navigate.   It's likely filled with ranges of emotions for a great many people. 

I noticed it on Facebook and Instagram posts.  Along with the day's pictures of mom and her favorite child 😉 captioned with messages to "the best mom in the world", there were also many photos of moms and grandmothers who have passed on.   Lots of all inclusive well wishes for moms, stepmoms, "like a mother to me" moms and fur-baby moms. 

In the quiet time of the morning, I thought about Joe.  I imagined him smiling as he walked through the door with Anne and Domani, and perhaps another little one. 

And then it was time to begin to get ready for Jen, Derek, Bella, Ryan and Jackson's visit. 
Distracted by the busy-ness of the hustle and bustle of getting the house straightened and the table set, I "put my grief away".

What a wonderful visit we had.  The grandkids walked in each holding flowers and cards, followed with hugs and "Happy Mother's day greetings. 

The food was delicious, especially since I let "Naples Italian Restaurant" do the cooking. 😋


I smiled a lot, giggled at Jackson's antics and laughed at Bella's spot on imitation of the way her father always laments that he ate too much.

Jackson, who is 5, fancies himself to be a future YouTube star.  I made a "produced" video for him, emceed by his brother Ryan and starring himself.   I hear he liked it. 😉

My son Jimmy called to wish me "Happy Mother's Day".  He called from England where he was on a trip attending a fitness expo. 

Anne, Domani and I shared Mother's Day via Facetime. 

And how lucky am I to be Joe's Ma'. 

It was a nice day, a nice day indeed. 




Thursday, May 9, 2019

Hope Comes to Those Who Wait

Yesterday was the set-up prep day for Ross' radiation treatments.  We have both been anxious to get started with this.
Our appointment was scheduled for 9:00.am  I don't think Ross slept much the night before.  He unnecessarily had his alarm set.  We were both awake by 5:00.
The radiation center is about 25 miles from where we live.  The route is heavily trafficked.  So, even though GPS said it would take 27 minutes to get there, we left at 8:00.
The GPS wasn't too far off.  We arrived at 8:30.
For me, waiting in any medical type facility is stressful and makes me anxious. 



There is something about being in a place where "cancer" is the host.   It stands at the entrance watching for you.  It accompanies you in with its heavy hand on your shoulder.   It hovers over the room observing each of us to see which one it will descend upon, picking the most vulnerable to its ugly whispers of doubt. 

While Ross checks in with reception, I settle in, claiming my spot in the corner, knitting in my lap,  I begin to glance around the room. 
My eyes rest on the other couple across the way, waiting their turn to do battle.  I could tell he is the one cancer has chosen.  He looks tired.  She has her arm around him, rubbing his back. She says something to him which makes them both smile.  

A large bald man enters the room and hurriedly strides up to the desk to check in.  It seems as though this is just a brief stop for him before he is on the way to do important stuff.   It's a mere gnat of an imposition he has to brush away before he begins the real business of his day.   He takes his seat in the back of the room, pulls out his phone and busily scrolls through his, what I assume to be, appointments. 

Ross says something to me, I turn to him.  "What was that?" I ask.  He hands me his coffee mug and follows the nurse through the door.  

I look at my watch, it's 9:11.   The TV is loud.  No one seems to be watching.  

An elderly Asian man and his son come into the room.  He finds a seat for his father and then checks in at the reception window.  He is handed a stack of papers.  He sits next to his father to help fill them out.   I can slightly hear their voices.  They are speaking their native language. 

Ebbing and flowing, the room fills and empties.  Most who enter, look neither right or left but are solely focused on the check in window and which seat they will choose.  
Those who are there alone are looking at their phones.  Others who are in pairs are sitting quietly, now and then speaking in hushed tones to each other. 

As I look around the room,  I begin to notice something.  I've experienced this feeling before on each of the too many times I've been here.   It is the inspiring sense of hope in the room which is palpable.  It permeates the air with a sweet scent. 

Cancer may have greeted these people at the door, greedily waiting to feed on their fears but when they leave that "cancer" room they are standing taller, having had one more treatment towards kicking cancer out of their lives.  And, almost always, when they leave for the day, they catch the eye of one who is still waiting.  With a little wave, they nod and smile as if to say, you, we, are going to be okay. 

I pick up my knitting.  A sock.  Knit 30 stitches, come to the end.  Turn.  Knit 30 stitches, come to the end.  Turn.  Repeat this mantra until numb.




Ross starts his real treatments on May 20.  Five days a week for 9 weeks.  We are going to be okay. 

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

A to Z 2019 Blogger Challenge - The Letter Z - Finished With Zeal

I will be posting six days a week for the month of April - (with a rest day on Sunday).
Each post will begin with the corresponding letter of the alphabet beginning with A and finishing with the letter Z.

I began participating in this challenge in 2012.   With the exception of last year, I believe I completed the challenge each year.   Last year I lost steam somewhere around the letter W.  

Zip-pity Do Da! I made it!!!!






Zeal


First of all I am giving myself a 👍 for finishing the 2019 A to Z blogger challenge. 

This year's challenge has been the easiest one for me.  I approached it with more of a new found zeal than in years past.   I believe one of the reasons for this is the fact that after being away from my blog for many months, I had only recently come back to writing again.
I did write and schedule 5 posts a few days before April 1.  This gave me a bit of a head start. 
In years past, the number of views and comments was a priority for me.  When there were only a small number of views and comments, I became discouraged and disappointed.  I think that's why I didn't finish the challenge last year. 
While this year I absolutely appreciated the loyal readers who came each day, and those who commented,  I cared more about who was reading and commenting rather than how many were.  
I must give a shout out to two lovely women in particular.   They each visited my blog every day and also left a comment on every post. Their visits and comments were a huge encouragement for me to finish the challenge.  
Thank you to Betty.  Her blog is "A Bench With A View".
Thank you to Liz.  Her blog is "Laws of Gravity".

I am excited that my new found zeal will carry on and inspire me to keep on writing.




A big thank you to the team of AtoZ organizers!

Arlee Bird (founder)
Blog: http://tossingitout.blogspot.com/
@ArleeBird


J Lenni Dorner (team captain)
Blog: http://jlennidornerblog.what-are-they.com/
@JLenniDorner
 
 
Zalka Csenge
Blog: http://multicoloreddiary.blogspot.com/
@TarkabarkaHolgy
 
 

John Holton
Blog: https://thesoundofonehandtyping.wordpress.com/
@onehandtyping 


Jayden R Vincente (Google forms)
Blog: https://jrvincente.wordpress.com
@JRVincente
 

Jeremy Hawkins (graphics)
Blog: http://www.beingretro.com/
@iZombieJMH










Monday, April 29, 2019

A to Z 2019 April Blogger Challenge - The Letter Y - Yearly

I will be posting six days a week for the month of April - (with a rest day on Sunday).
Each post will begin with the corresponding letter of the alphabet beginning with A and finishing with the letter Z.

I began participating in this challenge in 2012.   With the exception of last year, I believe I completed the challenge each year.   Last year I lost steam somewhere around the letter W.



Yearly

I have mentioned in my previous posts that I host a YouTube podcast called Joey's Scarf.  The main themes are knitting, crochet and yarn.   The podcast name is in honor of my son Joe.  Joe passed away from colon cancer in 2011.
I started the podcast in January of 2017.  On an episode in February of that year I asked followers of my podcast to join me in knitting or crocheting something in honor of someone they lost.  Or perhaps they would want to create an item for someone they care about.
Personally, when I am making something for a specific person, I am thinking about that person while I am knitting or crocheting.    
I asked the participants to share what they were making, who they were making it for and why.
I explained that on the anniversary of Joe's birth, April 4th, I would randomly select someone from the group and send that person a gift of appreciation. 
Beside me there were six others who joined me.  The stories from each one touched my heart.  The items they made were beautiful. 
One of the women had just lost her daughter to cancer.  Even though we are thousands of miles apart, we made a connection and continue to keep in touch through social media.
That first year I decided to send each of the woman a little something to show my appreciation.  Their participation was a comfort to me, especially at that time of the year, near Joe's birthday. 

This has become an annual event.  April 4, 2019 was the completion of the third one.  Some of the same women have participated each year,  as well as a couple of new people.   I continue to appreciate the sometimes heartbreaking and but always heartfelt experiences that have been shared with me each time.



Saturday, April 27, 2019

A to Z 2019 April Blogger Challenge The Letter X - Can You Hear Me Now

I will be posting six days a week for the month of April - (with a rest day on Sunday).
Each post will begin with the corresponding letter of the alphabet beginning with A and finishing with the letter Z.

I began participating in this challenge in 2012.   With the exception of last year, I believe I completed the challenge each year.   Last year I lost steam somewhere around the letter W.






eXam 

I know it's a bit of a cheat, but you don't mind do you?

On Tuesday I have an appointment to have a hearing exam.
I've had several indications that I am experiencing hearing loss.
One of the first is me having to ask others to repeat themselves.
Then there are the times I have to turn on "closed caption" on the TV.  Usually that is necessary when I am watching something on Netflix or Amazon Prime. For some reason the sound isn't as clear on those streaming apps.
Ross' hearing is better than mine.  He always hears when "The Godfather" theme is playing on my phone letting me know I have a message.   I don't hear it unless the phone is sitting right next to me.
I suppose for those reasons alone, it makes sense for me to have my hearing checked.
But, that's not the primary reason I am going for the exam. 
In the past few month or so I have developed something called Tinnitus.
I have read that it is common as people age.

"Tinnitus is the perception of noise or ringing in the ears. A common problem, tinnitus affects about 15 to 20 percent of people. Tinnitus isn't a condition itself — it's a symptom of an underlying condition, such as age-related hearing loss, ear injury or a circulatory system disorder."

My Tinnitus sounds like the sound you hear when you put a sea shell up to your ears.  It's constant and at times distressful.

Most times I am distracted from it.  That is when I am watching TV, listening to a book, or having a conversation.

I'm not sure what answers I will get on Tuesday.   I wonder if I will pass the exam.













Friday, April 26, 2019

A to Z 2019 April Blogger Challenge - The Letter W - Uh Um

It's April - That means I will be participating in the A to Z Blog Challenge.

I will be posting six days a week for the month of April - (with a rest day on Sunday).
Each post will begin with the corresponding letter of the alphabet beginning with A and finishing with the letter Z.

I began participating in this challenge in 2012.   With the exception of last year, I believe I completed the challenge each year.   Last year I lost steam somewhere around the letter W.



WooHoo I made it to W

Words, Words, Words

I host a video podcast on YouTube called "Joey's Scarf".    I use my phone to record the video.  It's kind of weird to sit and talk to a screen.   

Because the subjects of my podcasts are knitting, crocheting and yarn I have a lot of props to help me feel a little more comfortable.  

Some podcasters have a partner.  It probably feels more natural to have someone next to you. It is more of a conversation between two people where the audience become eavesdroppers.

I often find myself stumbling over my words.  When I am playing back the video I notice that I say "um" and "uh" a lot.   I haven't been able to control that. 


At the end of the podcast, I usually invite Ross to spend a little time with me.  It doesn't take much to get Ross talking.   I throw out a word or two and he takes off on a tangent meandering from the original word to many other words, then finally circling back to the original word.  

He has a way with words.


Have you ever been in a situation where you find yourself stumbling over your words?


Thursday, April 25, 2019

A to Z 2019 April Blogger Challenge - The Letter V - Throat Clearers

It's April - That means I will be participating in the A to Z Blog Challenge.

I will be posting six days a week for the month of April - (with a rest day on Sunday).
Each post will begin with the corresponding letter of the alphabet beginning with A and finishing with the letter Z.

I began participating in this challenge in 2012.   With the exception of last year, I believe I completed the challenge each year.   Last year I lost steam somewhere around the letter W.




Very


A couple of months ago I watched an interview with Benjamin Dreyer.  He is the author of the book
"Dreyer's English" -  "An Utterly Correct Guide to Clarity and Style".  

Mr. Dreyer is the Copy Chief of Random House.


From the book cover flap:

As authoritative as it is amusing, Dreyer’s English offers lessons on punctuation, from the underloved semicolon to the enigmatic en dash; the rules and nonrules of grammar, including why it’s OK to begin a sentence with “And” or “But” and to confidently split an infinitive; and why it’s best to avoid the doldrums of the Wan Intensifiers and Throat Clearers, including “very,” “rather,” “of course,” and the dreaded “actually.” Dreyer will let you know whether “alright” is all right (sometimes) and even help you brush up on your spelling—though, as he notes, “The problem with mnemonic devices is that I can never remember them.”

It's been many years since I have had instruction on rules and regulations of proper grammar usage. 
Don't ask me to diagram a sentence.   I could probably identify a noun and verb and perhaps an adjective or adverb.    

I googled and found this: 

The Eight Parts of Speech. There are eight parts of speech in the English language: noun, pronoun, verb, adjective, adverb, preposition, conjunction, and interjection. The part of speech indicates how the word functions in meaning as well as grammatically within the sentence.   

Dryer has an opinion on this subject.   The title of Chapter 6 is "A Little Grammar Is A Dangerous Thing".   
 In the first sentence of this chapter he writes;  "I'm going to let you in on a little secret:  I hate grammar."

He does go on to admit that in order to do his job he did have to know at least a little something about grammar,  He then cites common confusions of grammar and the proper uses. 

Although I would classify the book as a reference guide, he has written it with prose and humor.

The one thing that caught my attention during his interview was when he described the challenge found in Chapter 1 - The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up (Your Prose)".

"Go a week without writing 
  • very
  • rather
  • really
  • quite
  • in fact"
Somewhere in the back of my muscle memory brain, (is that even a thing?) I recall, from perhaps a writing class, that those words, but in particular, "very" are what he calls, "throat clearers".

Therefore, every time I am tempted to use "very" I stop and try to think of another word to use in place of the word I am attempting to amplify by using the word "very".

That's why I bought the book.  I wanted to learn more about ways to be a better writer without depending on "throat clearers."

I am very pleased to say that the book is more than that.  I think it will be a valuable reference as well as an enjoyable read.




Wednesday, April 24, 2019

A to Z 2019 Blogger Challenge The Letter U - I Don't Get It

It's April - That means I will be participating in the A to Z Blog Challenge.

I will be posting six days a week for the month of April - (with a rest day on Sunday).
Each post will begin with the corresponding letter of the alphabet beginning with A and finishing with the letter Z.

I began participating in this challenge in 2012.   With the exception of last year, I believe I completed the challenge each year.   Last year I lost steam somewhere around the letter W.



Things I Don't Understand

I don't understand why we get 10 to 12 unwanted and unsolicited phone calls a day.   Eleven of those calls are not from humans.   Thanks to caller ID, which flashes the name and number of the caller across our TV screen, we almost never answer the phone.  Obviously, the robot making the call doesn't get offended or dissuaded from making these calls even though they are never answered. 

Do these companies and charities actually find these calls to be effective?   I imagine there is some statistical data to support their practice of making these phone calls?  

We are still old school and have land lines.   We have phone extensions in three rooms of our house.  I recently discovered that I could silence the ringers on all of the phones.  We do have an answering machine. So, if the call is urgent the caller can leave a message.  Also, most people who are important in our lives have our cell phone numbers.   

Along those same lines, I don't understand why most of the daily mail we receive contain unsolicited requests for money.    I don't understand why many of the charitable organizations send us stuff.
Calendars, labels with our name and address printed on them, note books, pens and even coins are stuffed into envelopes which are stuffed into our mailbox. 

Am I supposed to feel obligated to then "pay" for these items in the way of a donation?  I don't. 

Most of the mail we receive is ripped up without even getting opened. 

I have lived a lot of years.  There are many things in my life that I don't understand.  Sometimes, thinking about inane things like unsolicited phone calls and mail is a good distraction to keep me from  thinking about other things that have happened in my life which remain heartbreakingly unexplained.  


Tuesday, April 23, 2019

A to Z 2019 Blogging Challenge The Letter T - Tink

It's April - That means I will be participating in the A to Z Blog Challenge.

I will be posting six days a week for the month of April - (with a rest day on Sunday).
Each post will begin with the corresponding letter of the alphabet beginning with A and finishing with the letter Z.

I began participating in this challenge in 2012.   With the exception of last year, I believe I completed the challenge each year.   Last year I lost steam somewhere around the letter W.



Tink

There are two meanings I will tell you about for this word.


Tink
It's a nickname I was given when I was a 19 year old woman entering the corporate world for the first time.   It was in the accounting department.     
In order to explain the nickname I have to describe what I looked like at age 19.   My height was (yes was) 4 foot 11 inches.   I weighed 87 pounds.  
One of the older guys in the group began calling me "Tinkerbell" which later became shortened to Tink.   
I was not offended by this because I considered the man to be a kindly, fatherly figure who took me under his wing.  I think of that time and the man fondly.  
Ironically, when I was a small child of 6 or 7 years old, my mom made me a Tinkerbell costume for Halloween. 



"Tink" is another Knitting Acronym.   If you look at it carefully you will notice that Tink is Knit spelled backwards.   

Sometimes a knitter may be going merrily along when she notices that the item she is knitting doesn't quite look like the pattern she has been following.   After a huge sigh, she checks her work and most likely will find she has made a mistake a few rows back.  

There are several ways to handle this.  Some knitters have a pretty laid back attitude and may choose to ignore the mistake with the justification that "no one will notice". 
I've done that.   I've found out, though,  that I am not as laid back as I thought and finally have to admit that someone will notice and it will bother the heck out of her.   The her being me.

Depending on the weight of the yarn, another thing a knitter who has made a mistake may do is take the needles out of the project and pull out the stitches until she comes to the row before she made the mistake.   She then has to carefully put the stitches back on the needle.  It is easier to do this with thicker yarn because the stitches hold up more easily and probably won't unravel as she is putting the stitches back on the needle.   Doing this with thin yarn is quite the challenge.   

The third method is to Tink.  
Tinking is basically undoing each stitch one by one until the knitter gets to the mistake.  At that point she can correct it and begin knitting again. 

If the knitter doesn't feel it's worth it to fix the mistake, but doesn't want to continue knitting leaving the mistake, she might choose to take the whole thing out.  That's called "frogging".  I'm assuming that's because the knitter is ripping out the knitting.  And ripping sounds like "ribbit" "ribbit" a sound a frog makes.

I've used all three methods to fix a knitting mistake.   I've also had the great satisfaction of frogging a project, especially if it has been giving me grief from the moment I cast on. 

Monday, April 22, 2019

A to Z 2019 April Blogger Challenge - The Letter S Foot Massage

It's April - That means I will be participating in the A to Z Blog Challenge.

I will be posting six days a week for the month of April - (with a rest day on Sunday).
Each post will begin with the corresponding letter of the alphabet beginning with A and finishing with the letter Z.

I began participating in this challenge in 2012.   With the exception of last year, I believe I completed the challenge each year.   Last year I lost steam somewhere around the letter W.




A favorite item of mine to knit is a pair socks.   Non-knitters are usually surprised when I say I knit socks.
The yarn I use to knit the socks is a blend of 80 % merino wool and 10% nylon.   The nylon is necessary to give the socks more durability. 

Merino wool comes from the breed of sheep of the same name.   It is incredibly soft and feels like a foot massage when wearing hand knit socks made from merino wool.

I have knit many pairs of socks for myself. 




I usually don't knit socks for others, mainly because trying to get the size just right takes trial and error.
I have knit Ross two pair of socks.  I know he loves them because they get a lot of wear.  Also, he never misses an opportunity to boast to others about them.   He will pick up his pant leg, point to the socks and say, "My wife knit these." 



At the beginning of the year I had an idea to knit advent Christmas socks.  I would knit one pair for each of the 24 days before Christmas.  I bought a pretty holiday box to put my socks in as I finished them.  I never measured how long in hours it takes to knit a pair.  But they do take a bit of time to knit.   Knitting at the pace that I do, that is knitting a few hours a day, it probably takes me about 3 weeks to knit a pair. 
Now, in the middle of April, I realize that goal is a bit ambitious. 





Perhaps it will have to be scaled down to the Twelve Days of Christmas.

Saturday, April 20, 2019

A to Z 2019 April Blogger Challenge - The Letter R - Rachel

It's April - That means I will be participating in the A to Z Blog Challenge.

I will be posting six days a week for the month of April - (with a rest day on Sunday).
Each post will begin with the corresponding letter of the alphabet beginning with A and finishing with the letter Z.

I began participating in this challenge in 2012.   With the exception of last year, I believe I completed the challenge each year.   Last year I lost steam somewhere around the letter W.




Rachel

The woman leading the group is my grandmother, Rachel.  I came across this photo years ago while going through my mom's belongings when my mom came to stay with us.  My mom is also in the photo.
She is the woman behind my grandmother and next to the woman holding a child. 

My mom didn't remember any details about the photo.   She couldn't identify the woman carrying the child or who the child is.   She thought the child could have been one of her brothers.

The building sign in the background identifies that the photo was taken in Newark, NJ.   The building was a department store called Kresge's.   It looks like my mom was in her late teens or early 20's.   That would mean the photo was taken around 1940.

Because the subjects in the photo appear to be in motion, I am assuming the photo is a candid, not posed.  Also, the women's expressions are serious.  I wonder why.  I wonder who took the photo. 

I want to know where they were going and why where they going there.

One thing about the photo that I find typical is that Rachel, my grandmother, seems to be the leader.  

At age sixteen she led the way from Italy to America to look for her father.  Her father, my great-grandfather, had left for America months earlier with the intention of getting settled here and then send for his wife and two daughters.
As far as we know, she never found him.  My mother told me that it was a subject that my grandmother would not talk about.  Perhaps she did find him?  But, we have always assumed that 
the day he left his family was the last time anyone ever heard from him again. 

Another reason I feel that it was typical for Rachel to be leading the group in the photo is that she was the "head" of a large family.   My grandmother gave birth to at least 14 children.  We know that two of her children did not live more than a few days or months after birth.   Her first born daughter died at age 7.  By the time my aunt Antonette passed away, she had given birth to several more children.  Ten of her children did survive.  
She began to have grandchildren when the youngest of her own children were only 8 to 11 years older than those grandchildren. 
She led this large family as one who belonged to a  generation of a European immigrant would. Her role was to care for her husband, children and household. 
   
I am the oldest of many grandchildren and my strongest memory of her is that she made each of us feel as those we were her favorite. 

Rachel was an influential part of my life.   She made me feel loved of course, as only a grandmother could.  But more importantly she made me feel special.  


Friday, April 19, 2019

A to Z 2019 April Blogger Challenge The Letter Q - Shhh

It's April - That means I will be participating in the A to Z Blog Challenge.

I will be posting six days a week for the month of April - (with a rest day on Sunday).
Each post will begin with the corresponding letter of the alphabet beginning with A and finishing with the letter Z.

I began participating in this challenge in 2012.   With the exception of last year, I believe I completed the challenge each year.   Last year I lost steam somewhere around the letter W.




Quiet, Please

I consider myself to be a quiet person.  I've always been.  Quiet people are usually quite misunderstood.   Some people assume that quiet people are not interested in communicating.  And perhaps that is true for some.   And sometimes it's true for me.  But, mostly quiet people wind up being good listeners.   I am a good listener. 
I am married to someone who is not a quiet person.   But unlike some non-quiet people, Ross is also a good listener.   
My favorite time of the day is early morning.   I am usually up before Ross.  It's my quiet time.   It became my routine when my children were little.  I would get up before the kids to have a few minutes to myself. 
I suppose writing is a form of quiet communication.  It allows me to be alone with my thoughts while also quietly communicating. 




Thursday, April 18, 2019

A to Z 2019 April Blogger Challenge - The Letter P - ASAP

It's April - That means I will be participating in the A to Z Blog Challenge.

I will be posting six days a week for the month of April - (with a rest day on Sunday).
Each post will begin with the corresponding letter of the alphabet beginning with A and finishing with the letter Z.

I began participating in this challenge in 2012.   With the exception of last year, I believe I completed the challenge each year.   Last year I lost steam somewhere around the letter W.



Policy
Before I begin, I am fine.

Last Thursday I had to go for a CT scan.   The radiologist told me that the results would be sent to my doctor within 24 hours. 
I didn't expect to hear anything on Friday, but was hoping that I would hear something by Monday.
On Monday morning the doctor's receptionist called and told me that the results were in and the doctor wanted me to come into the office to discuss them with me.
Of course my mind started to race.  If everything was okay, why wouldn't they just tell me that. 
As I wrote about in my N post, I am an anxious person.  My heart started to pound.  Ross said the color drained from my face. 
Then the receptionist said the appointment would be in one week.  WHAAT???
I said, "No, I would like the results today." 
Receptionist:  "Sorry, it's Doctor's policy that she doesn't discuss results over the phone."
In a more forceful voice, I say, "I want the results today!!"
She said she would get a note to the doctor.
When I got off the phone, I was shaking.  Ross was clearly upset also.
The receptionist called back about 15 minutes later to tell me that the CT scan came back normal and everything was fine.
When I go for my next appointment I will let the doctor know that she needs to rethink her policy.
If test results are okay, the patient should be told as soon as they are available.    If the test results are complicated, an appointment to discuss with the doctor should be made as soon as possible.