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Category Archives: Health

excavations

Jpeg

Well, you know, it keeps me off the streets!

That excavator seems to be still waving its bucket around, but at least we now have some happier, sillier things for it to excavate, in among the health issues and potential surgery. The potential surgery would be for Dr B, much as we’d like to avoid it. But if it’s necessary, then he’ll have it done and I’ll take some time off work to soothe his fevered brow while he recovers.

The happier excavations include the forthcoming family wedding and all the usual, “OMG, what AM I going to do for a decent dress?” dilemmas. But even more than that, as Middle Aunt and I agreed when we were discussing wedding attire, there’s the all-but-insoluble dilemma around the availability of shoes that don’t hurt but look acceptable. Yeah, not thick on the ground. On the other hand, we agreed it’s not world-shattering if you end up with something less elegant than you’d hoped for if it means you can walk. Priorities. Right?

She and I have both recently had optometry appointments and are eagerly awaiting our new specs. I haven’t had new specs for six years. That’s pretty good going. When I was picking out which of the multifocals I wanted, the girl who was explaining their various attractions started to talk about how one version is easy to scratch. But then, she pointed out with a bit of a laugh, I plainly don’t scratch my glasses. No. They’re either on my face or waiting to be put on my face, so the likelihood of their getting scratched is remote. Not beyond possible, but extremely improbable. It would, I suggest, be the result of a significant accident; in which case, scratched glasses might be the  least of anybody’s worries.

YoungB submitted his last ever essay (for a while, anyway. Nobody would ever suggest he might not return to study at some point in the future). We had a group hug to celebrate that, but agreed that the champagne can wait until graduation day. We also agreed it has been a long five years. But, you know, here we are and there he is and now let’s try to find a silver lining in the Centrelink queue when he rocks up there on Monday!!! (That would be our dole office equivalent, if you think I’m talking gibberish.)

And the simple shawl that I’m knitting? Yes, that’s making progress, too. It’s keeping me out of mischief while Dr B watched telly and that’s all it needs to do. 🙂

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Posted by on February 10, 2018 in Health, Knitting, Musing

 

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then, before you can say Jack Robinson…

…or knife, or whatever your favourite similar expression might be, it’s February! OK, there are two days remaining in January, to be technical and pedantic. But they’ll be gone before – see above.

excavator001

This year already feels a bit as if that excavator has had a go at it! Photo taken late last century. Dr B on the left wearing that wondrous jumper I knitted for him 🙂

Life has been hectic and full of small and not-so-small sideswipes that seem hideously unfair in many instances but totally expected (in a bigger picture way) in others. Nonetheless, you can’t help muttering with a fair degree of frequency, “Things can only get better.”

You mutter that particularly frequently with regard to technology but, you know? So far, not so much. It’s nicknamed “Cayman Mal’s Fraudband” for good reason.

Yeah, it seems that 2018 is already shaping up to be another of those years.

That’s not to imply that we didn’t have an enjoyable festive break. It’s also not to imply that I’ve actually taken down the Christmas cards. We’ve had a hot week, then today is so cool that I’m reaching for a cardigan and thinking that summer is over. It’s not. We’ll have more hot weather, but the mornings are starting to draw in; something we’d notice even more were YoungB still rowing. We miss that for all sorts of reasons but the early mornings don’t feature among them!

I have a couple of sewing projects that I should be turning my mind to – that new summer nightie that I wrote about ages ago? Yeah, I never did get around to doing that! – and there are always rescue missions on old and well-loved garments. The trouble mostly is that they are, in fact, old. Then the question becomes, how many times can you mend a jacket? And even if you can, should you?

I have one RTW jacket that was in time-out towards the end of last year because I’d had enough of mending it. After 20-plus years of hard work, it owed me nothing. But it’s a good cut, the best in-between weight jacket I own, and I needed it for work. So I mended it. Again. Ideally, I should unpick it and use it as a template. I’m not sure I have the space for that, but it appeals to me as a good option for ending up with a jacket that I can wear for much of the year. And I could spice it up by lining it with guitar-playing skeletons, couldn’t I? (I have some fabric like that in my stash, honest.)

Then there’s the, “I feel a mitten-knitting orgy coming on” urge that often hits at this time of year (as ridiculous as that sounds when the mere thought of woollen yarn makes hands sweat). The attraction of the idea is that there’s still some daylight when I get home after work, so I’m much more likely to be able to see what I’m doing. That improves my chances of completing things, particularly darker items. So if I start now, whether on something new or one of the many WIPs, I might have something ready to go when those winter birthdays roll around.

Also, I need some crochet to work on while I’m watching TV. I don’t watch TV often but, when I do, I find it difficult to just sit there. I make too many mistakes if I try to knit at the same time but I can manage simple crochet. So I’m off to dig up another lot of stash yarn to do a knee rug to take to work. Oh, wait, didn’t I say that once before?! I promise to stop earlier with this one; or make separate granny squares so that it’s a better commuter project.

Whatever the status of your year, I hope it’s providing you with plenty of crafting opportunities.

 

 

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it wasn’t pretty but I did it

That would be the Bloody Long Walk. I wasn’t well and probably should have called it quits before I even started. But, as I often say, that’s why we have pharmaceuticals. Right? That’s YoungB holding me up at the finish line, though you’d swear he was simply giving me a congratulatory hug. Five minutes later I missed the edge of a chair and fell over. I could only laugh hysterically. I couldn’t get up, though I eventually managed it with YoungB’s assistance.That was about when Dr B decided we needed to go home. There was no argument at all from me, so that’s what we did. I went straight to bed the minute we got in the door 🙂

That stripey, cooling neck bandanna that’s half-on and half-off? I didn’t need it. But I made it specially the day before, just in case. I even half-charged it at one of the checkpoints, when it looked as if there might be some warmth in the sunshine. There wasn’t, or not much.

If you’ve recently managed a 35-Km walk or extreme activity of any sort – knitting, sewing, something physically challenging – well done. I’m going back to bed 🙂

 
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Posted by on August 22, 2016 in Health, Sewing

 

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heads need hats

This year we don't have to contend with these. (Photo courtesy of Frank Gervasi)

This year we don’t have to contend with these. (Photo courtesy of Frank Gervasi)

Training for the walk should be occupying more of my time than it is. I feel a bit older and creakier this year and the fact that Youngest Aunt won’t be walking – and, therefore, we haven’t been training together – means that there’s less incentive to make the effort to walk long distances. Plus it’s been cold and wet and miserable in a way it wasn’t last year. I’m not inventing that to garner sympathy. We’ve had the wettest winter on record in a goodly number of years; and, being winter, it has indeed been bitterly cold. Therefore, I’ve been choosing the easiest, warmest, driest options for public transport connections, meaning that the incidental walking I might ordinarily get has been ultra minimal. The lunchtime walks help but I’m not dedicated enough about them when I’m tired and/or I want to eat at the lunch table like a civilised human being. Again. One good thing is that the gradient for this year’s walk is mostly downward. There’s about 29 metres of climbing across the whole 35 kilometres. Last year there was a total climb of 756 metres (mostly the steps in what one of my old schoolmates described as the Stair Chamber or Death Valley – see photo above).

But no matter the state of play for the walk, the knitting is also stumbling along. The instructions for the beanie pattern I’d chosen instructed me to use a tubular long tail cast-on. I had three or four attempts at that and can only say that, yeah, there’s a reason I don’t usually use a long tail cast-on. I know it’s often the cast-on of choice and I have used it in the past. However, this time it just wasn’t coming together. I ended up achieving a similar end via a method you could describe as half cable cast-on, half TLT cast-on. I did the cast on as if it were 1×1 rib – cast on knitwise, cast on purlwise, rather than all stitches knitwise; a variation I’ve often used in the past – then worked the two set-up rows to get that tubular look by slipping purls as instructed. The result was perfectly acceptable and a bit less stressful. No, not significantly less stressful because I kept being interrupted. Every. Other. Damn. Five. Minutes. By Dr B, wanting to ask questions about things totally unrelated to what I was doing. Hair-tearing ensued.

It took a while, but I managed it. However, a closer examination of my yarn choice showed that I’d goofed. I’d thought I’d ordered three balls of Bendigo’s Savanna, which is a 70% wool, 30% alpaca mix. Turns out I was wrong about that. One of them was Classic, which is a 100% wool yarn. Uuh, yeah, even though they’re both 8-ply (equivalent to DK), I though it might be wiser not to mix them. So I have a beautifully started beanie that’s eventually going to end up striped with other remnants of Classic that I have about the place – plenty 🙂 – and I’m trying again with the Savanna.

At least, I will be trying with the Savanna when I track down another circular needle in the right size but grateful that I can skimp on the stair-training this year 🙂

 
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Posted by on August 6, 2016 in Health, Knitting

 

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there’s the injured nephew

Eldest Nephew recently fell and damaged his elbow. It’s in a backslab plaster now but expected to improve to a hinged brace by the end of the week. I asked Middle Aunt if there was anything I could do for him; like maybe knit him an arm warmer? She laughed. But she did ask if I would make Middle Uncle a pure-wool beanie, please, in a nice, sober shade of blue. I suggested a mix with alpaca to ensure softness on his not-very-hirsute pate. The outcome was that, as long as the fibres were natural, that would be fine. Luckily for me, this limited release yarn is a wool/alpaca mix and has a couple of shades of blue. I can do that. I’ve sent off the order.

And then I’ve decided to join Meredithe in doing an hour of knitting a day – in my case – and I’d already said socks. I’ve bitten the bullet and finally purchased the Yarn Harlot‘s lovely Old Joe pattern (of which Dr B approves, and that’s good because this pair will be for him). I’m now about to fossick around in the sewing room to find the sock yarn. I’m a little late starting the hour-a-day effort, but I’m sure to be able to catch up by dint of putting in some dedicated commuter knitting in the next few days.

The other beanie I’d begun (for Dr B)? It’s been back-burnered but not frogged. You see? Plans are always flexible. Happy knitting!

 
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Posted by on July 18, 2016 in Health, Knitting

 

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never mind the fingers, find the feet

I did it last year, over tougher terrain. I can do it again.

I did it last year, over tougher terrain. I can do it again.

YoungB has appointed himself my personal trainer for this year’s Bloody Long Walk. So far we’re both failing spectacularly. Even more than last year, Life seems to be getting in the way of our best intentions. For example, he’s just returned from a donation at the Blood Bank with orders to sleep. That won’t provide motivation or training tips for his poor old mother, will it?

But the clock is ticking and 21 August is, gulp, entirely too close. I’m planning to do a walk today, while the sun is shining and before I find too much housework whose screams for attention can no longer be ignored. So it will be a matter of not minding my fingers, finding my feet – on longer walks than those I manage daily – and, if I can pull it off, pretending to a fair amount of deafness. My tinnitus is about the same pitch as many of the appliances, so it might just be my ears buzzing. Right?

If you’ve done your bit for personal fitness today, then happy knitting, crochet, sewing, tatting or whatever your activity of choice might be, everyone. If you could manage a row or two for me while I’m out acquiring some blisters (I hope not; but best to be prepared, don’t you think?), that would be heaps good 🙂

 
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Posted by on July 16, 2016 in Health, Knitting

 

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the backward glance

Made it to the end, just like the year.

Made it to the end, just like the year.

Here it is, New Year’s Eve again. If you celebrate Christmas, I hope yours was happy. If you go all out for the New Year’s party, may it be wonderful and you not have too sore a head tomorrow.

2015 has been a messy year and not one I’d consider particularly productive. Having said that, my Ravelry page reminds me that I knitted fingerless mitts and crocheted (mostly Moebius) cowls, some begun long ago but all finished this year. There were 13 in total. I also failed to complete mitts that I began around the time we were moving offices, although I might well complete those in 2016, and another pair where I ran out of yarn and couldn’t find anything matching. That will require fancier footwork than I had time for when I was making them, but they have not been frogged.

With regard to sewing, apart from rescuing various bits of this and that – YoungB’s jeans, mostly – I made four cooling neck bandannas for the Bloody Long Walk. I also produced 270 metres of bunting for Eldest Niece’s wedding and some lavender bags for a raffle prize, as well as some pockets for YoungB’s motorcycling armour (additional protection for a couple of long road trips). Perhaps I didn’t need to do a lot else.

My other mighty commitment and achievement for the year was training for and completing the Bloody Long Walk, with splendid support from workmates, everyone in the family and my HiTec boots. Even though I said I wouldn’t do the BLW again, Youngest Aunt and I agreed only the other day that we need to start training soon 🙂

YoungB returned from Italy and has managed to reach the end of his academic year with reasonable results. I think that’s as much as we could have expected from him, considering how much he struggled to regain momentum and motivation.

Also, Eldest Niece is now a married lady and her wedding to Mr Eldest Niece was one of the happiest such occasions I have ever attended. The bunting looked good, too 🙂

Christmas? Yes, it happened. I managed to get our Advent Calendar hanging a few days before it was required and the tree up before Christmas Day. Winner! We spent time with family and friends and if things were more chaotic than usual because of unexpected equipment failures – vacuum cleaner, gearbox in family car – and some equally unexpected medical issues, then it didn’t detract from our enjoyment of the occasion.

I’ve managed to read a few books – too few; but I generally don’t have a lot of opportunity to read except on public transport and, although I’m on that for hours of every working day, I’m sometimes too tired to make the effort – and feel particularly chuffed to have finished the latest title in the Inspector Ricciardi series by Maurizio De Giovanni, one that YoungB brought back from Italy for me.

I’ve successfully reached the halfway point in an online family history unit I’m undertaking through the University of Tasmania. In real terms, my genealogical research is often shelved for months at a stretch because life happens and it’s not the most important thing. In this instance, I’ve renewed subscriptions to this, that and the next genealogical website and/or organisation and started delving into written records because there’s nobody left to ask. Like most of us, I don’t have to look far to find mysteries. I’m toying with which mystery to investigate further for the long, final assignment.

And in something utterly unrelated to anything, we’ve wound up the year splendidly with a trip to the Mount Lofty Botanic Gardens to see a rare event: the flowering of an Amorphophallus Titanum, also known as Titan Arum or corpse flower. The day was stinking, even if the flower wasn’t (at least when we were there). There were koalas watching us from some nearby tall gums. It was a fitting finale for 2015.

 

 

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