Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Gingerly Navigating My Way

As I hobble into the next decade, I find myself struggling with age progression anxiety.
“Oh come on now,” said my doctor, I wouldn’t consider you “elderly”.
Since I had just gone through a litany of aches and pains felt in more than a few of my body parts, talked extensively about those little black dots that seem to float in front of my eyes lately, and “Yes, I said, “everything I eat gives me heartburn”, I was puzzled by her comment.
I like my doctor.  She looks directly at me when I am talking, nodding appropriately, but was she really hearing me?
It’s kind of interesting, it seems Ross and I have moved to a location which has attracted like-aged people.  As our congregation continues to grow and it is growing, the landscape of the area continues to evolve.
Old Pathmark supermarkets, going out of business K-marts, and even restaurants that couldn’t make a go of it have now been turned into rehabs, urgent care facilities, and orthopedic centers.
Our local hospital has expanded twice in the 15 years we have lived here.
Perhaps my doctor made the remark about me not being “elderly” because she has treated patients much more age advanced than me, with more serious ailments than I have.  Or, okay maybe she was just being kind.
In any event, my age progression anxiety is real.  Is there a support group I could join?  Will the talk be filled with knee surgeries, “remember when’s”, “where did I put my keys?” and whose funeral is on “Thursday?”
Or perhaps the talk will be of interesting experiences, enlightened perspectives, astute opinions  and of course grandchildren
Who else, but those of us who have extensively age progressed, would be able to advise, nurture, coach and enlighten the ones who are on the road following in our well worn treads?
Sadly, I’ve sometimes learned the value of the wise most when the wise were no longer here to ask.
I suppose as I maneuver my way through the next 10 years, I will manage to figure it out as I go, just as I did through all the others of tens of years.

Friday, February 15, 2019

Seeking Perfection

I spent the last few days and a great deal of time looking for a special knitting pattern.   I browsed through hundreds of patterns on the Ravelry database, dismissing many because they just weren’t right.
The pattern had to be interesting, but not too complicated.   It had to fit the type, color and amount of yarn I had on hand.  I wanted a pattern that hundreds of others had not knitted.  I wanted to find an unexplored gem.  I would know it when I saw it.   And then there it was, the perfect pattern.

I excitedly cast on with silky merino yarn in a lovely shade of  blue with specks of green.

I was quite pleased with the way the pattern was written.  Even though there was a section of lace stitches, which can sometimes be tricky, the designer wrote clear step by step instructions.  The font was large so when I printed the pattern out, it was easy to see as it sat on a stand on my side table.
I happily knited along, stopping every so often to ooo and ahh at the results.

I posted a photo of my WIP (work in progress) on Instagram.  My knitty friends commented, “lovely”, “beautiful” and “love the color”.

Because this pattern has sections of lace, stitch count is important. The designer was kind enough to include the number of stitches the knitter should wind up at the end of each row.  Each row of each section of this pattern is different.  The end of row stitch count is also different.
I carefully knit my way through all of the three sections of the pattern.

Then this happened: “Work from Chart 3 five more times until you get (the specified number of stitches)”, This instruction was without any of the details of stitch count, etc.

I was taken aback.  It was as if the designer quit on me.   I felt as though the designer was saying to me, “okay now you figure out what to do now.”

I tried.  It was much too complicated for me, though.  The reason I buy and download patterns that other people write is because design and particularly the math of design is not my thing.

I still love the design of this pattern.  I think the designer is creative and I’m sure spent many hours perfecting the work.

I am disappointed, but mostly I am sad because I won’t be able to finish this beautiful design.

This pattern, this design was going to be the project I was going to knit for the third annual “Joey’s Scarf Memorial” MAL (make a long).

I’m sure I will find another perfect pattern.  There are over a half million available patterns just on Ravelry alone.

I host a YouTube podcast called “Joey’s Scarf”.  It’s a podcast about knitting and crocheting and colors and patterns and beautiful things one can make with yarn.
Associated with the podcast is a group I created on Ravelry.  It is also called “Joey’s Scarf”.

 In case you are not familiar with Ravelry, here is the description according to Wikipedia:

Ravelry is a free social networking service, beta-launched in May 2007. It functions as an organizational tool for a variety of fiber arts including knittingcrochetingspinning, and weaving. Members share projects, ideas, and their collection of yarnfiber, and tools via various components.
For the past three years I have hosted a “Memorial MAL”.  The idea is to craft an item in memory of someone you have lost or in honor of someone who you might think of while you are crafting.
The name of this year’s MAL is “2019 Joey’s Scarf Memorial”.
  A MAL or “Make a Long” is where a group of crafters get together, virtually, to knit on a project. 
This MAL is running until April 4, which is the anniversary of my son Joe’s birth.  Typically, at the end of the MAL the host will award gifts to a couple of crafters who have completed their projects. Those selected will be randomly selected from the group.

If you are interested, please come join in.  I will gladly answer any questions.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Thank you Pink!

My MacBook Air laptop is about ten years old.  The battery is shot, so I have to keep it plugged in when I am using it.
I’ve been thinking about what to replace my laptop with for about a year now.  It’s a large purchase and I wanted to make sure about my decision.
I always thought I would just get another Apple product laptop computer.
We periodically pay the Apple store a visit. Well, Ross likes to stop in.  Me?  Not so much.  It’s always crowded, especially since the Mac Genius  to customer ratio seems to be 1 to 1.  That means there are as many customer service reps as there are customers.  Well, it appears that way to me.  I guess that’s a good thing because one rarely has to wait for service.
So, on one of these drop in’s, as I was checking out the new laptops, a Genius stopped by to ask if I needed help.
She was obviously born to work in an Apple store.  She was pretty tall, about 5’8”.   She was dressed in pink from head to toe, including her hair.
She introduced herself, “Hi, I’m Pink, can I help you?”
Really no kidding.
I told her that I would soon be in the market for a new laptop.
“So, what do you do with your laptop?” she asked.
After a brief distraction with her glittery pink eyeshadow, I explained that I write a blog, and edit my podcast using iMovie.
Then Pink went into full “let me convince you that you should really consider an iPad instead” mode.
She was very good at showing me all the bells and whistles of the iPad versus the limitations of the laptop and “not to mention the prices comparison,” she said.
I think the thing that sold me was when she showed me the Apple Pencil.
You can’t use a pencil on a MacBook Air.
My interaction with Pink happened about six months ago.
Last Tuesday, I decided it was finally time to go get my laptop replacement.  Even though Pink did a good job with her iPad pitch,  I was still vacillating between a laptop and iPad.
But, Pink wasn’t there this day.
Leroy, the Genius we had this time was very nice,well informed and spent as much time with us as we needed, but, he just wasn’t Pink enough for me.  He kind of left it up to me to make my choice.
In the end I suppose Pink was with me in spirit, though, for here I am, writing my blog on my new IPad Pro II, 256GB in silver, fully accessorized with a keyboard folio, and

Thursday, February 7, 2019

It’s Here I Come to Feel

Once, when I was participating in a therapy group, the moderator suggested an idea for our consideration.

“Change a thought, change a feeling” she wrote on the whiteboard.
It sort of made sense to me at the time.  At the time I would have grabbed onto any lifeline thrown my way.

On Monday of this week the doctor called with the kind of news that sucked the air from our bodies.

No amount of thought alteration could have changed that feeling.

We have a long road ahead.   More tests, more waiting for results.  Perhaps months of treatments.

Today I am wobbling between thoughts of despair and feelings of hope.

Once, when I thought that my feelings would overwhelm me and command me to despondency, someone suggested I write.

During the last seven years, this space has been my safe place.   It’s here I come to explore and express all of my feels and thoughtfully send them on their way.

It’s the lifeline that makes most sense to me.