Where I Been . . . Plus the Amazing Tale of the Very Generous Knit Blogger

That sound you hear echoing from the West Coast of the US is me, still sighing four days into my new summer vacation.


And getting back to my knitting, finally! Here is the sum total of several nights spent watching Planet Earth, in which (every single time) one animal chased down another beast, the latter not quite fast enough, and made a meal of it. Knitting was a good diversion when the viewer going got tough.

I can't even remember how many times I frogged the first part, the back panel, and started over. But it's all worth it, and I'm ready to do those decreases for the armhole, bind off, and get the sleeves done. Then it's a sewing challenge that I hope to be up to, some fun buttons, and a gift is ready for a sweet girlie. We'll be seeing each other at the end of this month for my sister's 25th anniversary party, so I have a good deadline to work under.

And then there's this! As school was boiling along (and we boiled almost literally in several days' high temperatures--no A/C at our campus), I came home one day to find a package waiting for me. Turns out, my blogging friend, Karen from Brooklyn, had recently put up some photos on her blog of new yarn purchases. I had admired a skein of charcoal, taupe/beige, and cream, and told her so. Silly me--she sent it off to me as a gift! It is much appreciated, Karen, and I am bowled over by your kindness and generosity.

Here's what I got underway with Size 4 needles--quite satisfying knitting, watching the striping/pooling effect as it comes to be, and thinking of how nicely it will curl in toward itself, as I am using a two row pattern that I love (you may have noticed!) that is so close to stockinette that it tends to curl. But it will be mine, my first SCARF of the autumn, and I am planning on it being a nice sort of cylindrical affair. I'd say it'll be sort of "toobyoolar," but it sounds so '80s.

DMIL was with us until yesterday, and now has gone home for a while to be among her friends again and to properly mourn the loss of her longtime canine friend, Lexie, who died unexpectedly just after MIL arrived here to help DH. My MIL was, characteristically, a wonderful whirlwind to have here while I pushed through the demanding last weeks of school, knitting on her now famous blanket, making new cushion covers for the patio furniture, cleaning things that (as I mentioned before) I never realized needed cleaning, and making all sorts of tasty things, including beef Bourguignonne and homemade strawberry pie. She also made a peach/mango pie that should win an award! What a great combination. Need I mention that my pants don't zip up very easily anymore? If anyone has a more industrious or project-oriented MIL, I'd like to meet her!

DH's cancer treatment news: His second round of chemo last Wednesday went OK, and he's just finished the last part of it, which involves five days of prednisone, high doses that make him ache all over and feel desperately hungry, thirsty, and (sometimes) anxious. He finds his skin very fragile and has to scratch gently if anything itches. Probably the result of something else in his "cocktail," he is gradually losing his thick, curly hair. The fact that it's been gradual in "shedding" has been a bit of a gentle let-down, as he had started to hope that perhaps he would not have to be bald. But I have a feeling if he had to choose between hair loss and nausea, I know what he'd take. His nauseated moments have been few, even with the Planet Earth chase-downs. ;^)

Thankfully, it is seeming as if he is bearing up pretty well under the onslaught of these good but intense drugs. Tumors have already diminished in size, and in about five weeks he will go for a second CT scan to find out just how much they have reduced. Meanwhile, he works, he does house projects, he has several great friends who come regularly to visit and/or walk with him, he goes for a run at good times, and . . . he hugs me, or I hug him, much much more every day than ever before. 8^)

"To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket- safe, dark, motionless, airless--it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable." --C.S. Lewis