Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Cold & warmth

Winter arrived this week in Florida, finally. Temps down to freezing at night. I forgot to cover the plants, and right when the fern had shown signs of revival. Gonna have to do it tonight; it's supposed to freeze again. Deliciously, wonderfully cold. Crisp air, scarf-wearing, cold. I turned the heat on last night because I'd let it get down to 64ish in the apartment, and I figured the cats might be needing a bit of warmth. Gonna have to learn to temper my personal irresponsibility about things like that when there are small people afoot.

The warmth comes from phone talks with Husby. This separation and the things happening in his family are actually good for us. It's giving him perspective and making him want to do more, do right by our relationship, our little family. Talking about getting back in work mode, talking about making small people. We both kind of wish we could abscond with our niece, because she's this adorable creature who's going to grow up in a family that's not stable or entirely healthy. But we also recognize that until we have our own, we have zero experience and thus must keep our opinions to ourselves. Still, a childless outsider would see how self-centered his sister is. We all hoped that that would change when Kylie came along. If anything, it's gotten worse. It's sad and baffling.

Haven't been knitting much this week yet...did laundry and half the dishes last night, will do more tonight. I want Les to come home to a clean foyer, if not a clean house, so I'll spend time tonight doing dumpster trips to get rid of the rest of the newspapers and maybe a couple of computer monitors so I can move our main system back to the dining room table. God we need a computer desk! I can't imagine wanting any more furniture, but we do need that. Also I'm back on the fence regarding my couch, because it really is comfortable. Heck, right now it's more comfortable than the long couch, thanks to the broken springs in the middle. I'm going to try adding some old pillows under the cushions this week sometime, see if the bolstering helps. I'd love to stitch the holes in the seat cushions too, but I doubt I'll have time for all that before he gets back. Baby steps.

I'm still not headachy. What am I doing right? Still not eating great, and didn't get to walk yesterday because I had to grocery shop after work. I'm a shade more active, but nothing to write home about. I may not knit again tonight, because in between cleaning, NCIS, and SVU (still no House :( wah!), I really want to tuck into one or more of those books I found at the libe. There's a brand-new one that's geared just for women of size, I think it's called Big, Beautiful, & Pregnant, and while I don't have the third one yet, it should prove informative.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Woman of leisure

Husby no here :(

He stayed in SC to help his family for a couple of days. We expected it, but it was still hard. Driving home by myself wasn't as bad as I thought it'd be, but I'm floating around in a kind of alternate universe without him, and it's only been 24 hours. The drive was lovely actually. In pristine conditions, it takes about 4.75 hours to get from Aiken to Jacksonville; I made it in about 5.25 with stops and a snarl of traffic in Jax due to an accident at the 95/10 interchange. The weather was sunny, and I got to listen to most of Garrison's show on the radio. I got home last night, ate, unpacked a bit, read the Columbia paper I'd bought, checked my email, just puttered, but it was definitely off not having him there. I think Figaro's at a loss too; spent the first 10 minutes giving off these little meows that said, hey, bitch, what'd you do with Dad?

Today, still in that alternate universe. Got my breakfast this morning no problem, but forgot a hair scrunchy, and I ALWAYS keep a spare in my purse for when the mane tries my patience. I'm actually looking forward to cleaning house tonight, doing the dishes and cleaning out the fridge, tidying up and moving stuff around. We're hoping he'll be back after a week; I think he's there at least through the coming weekend, because part of what he's doing there will include helping his dad, who works full-time (thus has limited ability to get projects done).

This past weekend was a Columbia scouting weekend, so not much knitting, but I puttered on the SSS just a bit, and I'm almost at the point of starting the heel on mr. sock. Should be focusing solely on those two this week.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Hump day ramblings

No more whining about hormones and PCOS on this blog. Made a whole new, fresh blog specifically for that purpose :) I consider whining pretty counterproductive though, so hopefully it'll be a good place for me to learn about myself instead. Keeping it private tho', since not everyone needs to hear or listen about my ovaries ::wry grin::, so if you're curious, let me know and I'll invite you on...

No real news on Les's sis. He said they've done a barium scan, a CAT scan, and an MRI, and are awaiting results. Since she's basically a no-pay, I'll be surprised if they've actually done an MRI. He's still in town, but we're preparing ourselves for the very real option that he'll stay up there to help after this weekend. We head out tomorrow night. I'm spending my TV time tonight planning enough scouting for both Friday and Saturday, so we don't get roped into a whole lot of helping out initially. I mean, of course I want to help, but these weekends are precious and will go by all too quickly. Do I sound self-centered? Don't mean to be...

Main UFO getting attention this week is the SSS, though I'm sure I'll bring a little something else up to SC so I don't go 'round the bend with boredom. Just did a count: an average of 66 stitches per section x 8 sections = approximately 528 stitches at present. Not bad. Gotta check the book, see what their estimates are for the end point. Since I'm working 3 sizes smaller than the pattern, will need a little math to take that into account. I'm starting to think I'll want more length than just 2 balls of Shadow. Luckily my newly improved stash has several options for continuing...I could add a ball of turquoise Shimmer or silver-grey Alpaca Cloud, or the burgundy Shadow. I'm getting excited about changing colors!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Tuesday musings

Les might go up to SC early this week; his sis is having health issues and there's no one to watch the baby.

Knit 3 rows on the SSS last night!

Was pricing rental trucks yesterday; initial estimates quite a bit higher than I remember, but it just dawned on me why they were such a shock. The only time I've moved myself was the last time, when we moved from Bay Pointe to Auburn Glen. We're talking about a trek of oh say, 5 miles tops. My moves from Jax to Tampa to Fort Myers to Jax were all courtesy of AMC Theaters; didn't have to think twice about it. So time to suck it up and look ahead to that expense as well as the intro expenses involved in renting a new place.

Work still boring. Health still in holding pattern, but Alexa sent me a great article on PCOS that's helping me focus my studies on the subject. Library helping too. Wonder if I can send Kim-Ashchi emails...to read my ultrasound results, it sounds like I have garden-variety cysts as opposed to polycystic syndrome, but there's probably little difference since my hormones are definitely reacting according to PCOS symptomology (swings, acne, grr!). Polycystic ovaries are apparently created by immature eggs sneaking out and rather than traveling down the fallopian tube, they embed themselves in the outer layer of the ovary. Ovary becomes confused, shoots more hormones through the body, goofs up the cycle. Thank the goddess I'm not growing extra hair anyplace! Apparently that's a popular symptom (yeesh!). But instead of the "string of pearls" shape described in the literature, my results just talk about 1 cyst apiece. So either I caught it exceptionally early or it isn't quite the same thing. Either way, one thing's clear: diet and exercise are key. The only thing holding me back is me. That's more than a little frustrating, because between this and my age, it's had me thinking that maybe I should have let Dr. Kim-Ashchi start me on fertility meds like she wanted. But a) we're not trying yet, and b) it would be like giving me permission not to try as hard to get healthy somehow. I'm having a hard enough time wrapping my mind around it when the only thing blocking me is myself. For me, this'll sound extreme, but it's going to come down to every time I'm talking myself out of walking or talking myself into a Mallomar, I'm going to have to say to myself, how badly do you want a child? People always talk about needing to do something for yourself, not for anybody else. But for me, doing it for me isn't enough; I just don't respect myself enough. But I want a child with Les so deeply it defies words, so the prospect of creating a precious someone will carry me forward.

Friday, January 19, 2007

40 Years

Tim and Virginia Lyons celebrate 40 years of marriage on Sunday, January 21, 2007.

This still, as I write it, kind of baffles me. I remember my past with a child's subjectivity, and my memory never thought they'd make it this far. It's a relationship that's evolved, to be sure. Meara says that she was raised by two different people than Cyril and I were, and there's definite truth in that. I witnessed so much fighting, so much beratement and disrespect, that I wasn't sure I'd ever want to get married. I never understood how they could spew such venom at each other and stay together. To this day, Mom can go day after day hearing her own shortcomings, and I don't think she's ever truly conjured the necessary strength to say back to him, "if you don't have something nice to say, shut the fuck up!" And he's never left, never reached a point of no return on his frustration at her role in the lack of perfection in his life.

Because deep down, they are a good match, albeit a bit tweaked, and they've both evolved; she's developed a slightly thicker skin, he's gone a little mellow and a lot more fragile. Really, his health being what it is, there's no question now as to why they're still together, but to have gotten this far...I guess I still don't get it, because I'm very lucky in who I found to share my life with. We respect each other, try to treat each other as equals, our love surpasses our obstacles, and as a result we rarely fight at all, and if we do, it's not in a manner that berates or humiliates the other person. I'll occasionally pick a fight when it feels like we need to clear the air; otherwise we co-exist rather beautifully. I'm sure having kids will screw the hell outta that :) And then again, maybe it won't, because we've had all this great time together building such a solid relationship.

Anyway, some luck jumped into this weekend. My dad has 2 brothers now; Tom lives in Clearwater and Dan lives up in Norwalk, CT. Dan & Karen are visiting Florida, so Dad and Mom are going down to Tom & Denyse's to visit on Saturday, and then they'll come home Sunday, bringing Dan & Karen with them, so we can celebrate on their anniversary. Cyril will have Hunter that day too; looking forward to seeing my beautiful nephew!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Fiber on the brain

I've fallen in love with the Irish Diamond shawl from Folk Shawls (shown above, snuck them from http://www.jenipurr.com/knitpurr-gallery/shawls_and_stoles/irish_diamond_shawl.html and http://www.angelfire.com/home/avital/laceknit.html). This sucker's gorgeous, ginormous, and perfect for my 5 skeins of Grape Jelly Shadow. The color's actually a lot richer than what they have pictured in that link. However, I'm going to practice an interesting level of patience on this one. I'm not going to start it until I've finished the SSS. Why, you ask? It just makes sense to finish one big lace project before starting another, and besides, you start the Irish Diamond on size 7/24s and guess what the SSS is on...
Also, I'm thinking of doing Cozy with the Nutmeg Merino Style. Wow, again, the color swatch for Nutmeg on the site doesn't do it justice; this yarn has a nice softness and is the color of coffee ice cream. YUM! But I should probably be a good little doobie and finish the feather n' fan scarf and get further on mr. sock before I start something else new.
Cable capelet idea has gone on the shelf...I can work acrylic anytime. Also pulled out the needles on the purple thin chenille scarf that I started over Christmas, because I needed the size 9s and I couldn't remember what pattern I was doing there anyway. Worked and goofed a bit of the pie-wedge bottom of that bag last night (NCIS was distracting me), but I frogged it a titch and got back on track. Can afford errors here and there, since the whole thing's getting felted anyway.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007


That title line's my nod to Grey's Anatomy grabbing Best Drama last night at the Golden Globes. Also giving a shout out to the beautiful Sister of the Traveling Pants, America Ferrara for her Ugly Betty Globe, and the extraordinary talent that is Hugh Laurie, for his Globe for House.

That title line could also be a nod to how sick I am of myself. Seriously! You may notice that about 4 blog entries vanished from my Lighthouse. That's because I looked back over the ole blog and what I read made me furious. I have no respect for people who whine like that. Meds or no meds, there's no excuse for the level of "poor me" that's been occuring here of late. I'm overwhelmed at present, and my mood swings have more than 1 source, but you know what...I'm still me, and that's a me that I've been pretty proud of, the last 10 years or so. So I'm dusting myself off.

UFO party this weekend, so what do I do? Start more UFOs :) Last night it was the pie wedge bottom of a potential bag, as well as rolling the Colorwaves that was being difficult into a ball, so that I can start the large cable capelet tonight. Gotta do some gauge figuring on that one...Lion Brand calls Color Waves a bulky yarn, which is a joke, plus the pattern calls for 17s and I'll be using 13s. Thing is, their gauge formula's a shade confusing: 7 stitches @ 11 rows = 4 inches. So I actually knit that micro-gauge swatch (call the papers!), and on 13s, it's only 2 inches. Ok, so does that mean I'll be needing twice as much yarn? And how does that tell me how many more stitches I need to add to attain the necessary gauge with the 13s? I know it'll come clear when I'm focusing on it tonight, but right now, it's fuzzy.

The problem with all the "new" yarn I acquired at the stash party is that now I want to start all kinds of new projects, when of course there's still some UFOs in the background dying for attention (like the SSS, which only grabs my attention a row at a time lately, though in my defense, we're talking 400+ stitches per row). Spent yesterday looking for patterns for this or that, only to go home, look in the stash box and realize I was forgetting X, Y, and Z as well. I know that it's not like I need to knit everything all at once, but boy, is it nice to have some respectable yarn in the stash to brainstorm with. Also purchased the graph paper yesterday, so that I can start fiddling with the idea of my own pattern on the double-knit bag that we're thinking of for our next KAL. Leaves? Moon & stars? Sheep jumping over the moon? Can't wait to get out my pencils...

Not nearly as pissy about this weather now that the holidays are behind us. Looking forward to getting outside for lunch...

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Ramblings of a Tuesday

So I've decided that I'd like my work and home computers to be voice-activated, so that I can edit sites and knit at the same time. Does that make me spoiled?

Feeling better and quite grateful...candida is one of those critters that sneaks up on you. You plod along, work, come home, go about your daily rituals in a headachy, bloated fog until sometimes clicks in your head and says, "ding, fries are done!" And then it says, "stop eating those fries, you're burning sugar way too fast, and what you're not burning is increasing the yeast in your system." It's a really vicious cycle, and in my case, it usually involves jumping off that track, going to the cabinets to see what I can eat that's healthy, and saying, "dear god, there's nothing but white carbs in here." Ever really looked at how much wheat and corn are in your kitchen? And of course, when you're addicted to that food, it's not wise to cold turkey, but holy heck, it makes grocery shopping a challenge.

Luckily, it's been a little easier to change my thinking for some reason. Maybe I'm just sick of potatoes and corn, I don't know. Those were the only veggies in my house when we were growing up. My mom and dad were both raised in eat-all-the-food-on-your-plate-we're-at-war-you-know households, and they both bore memories of hiding peas in a napkin or slipping green beans into a pocket to be flushed when they were excused from the table. They vowed they wouldn't do that to their kids. It was a blessing at the time, but it's made learning to like vegetables a challenge at times. Marrying into a Southern family made the dinner table scary at first (those are butterbeans? and you cook them how? and why do you need the fat back? ::shudder::), but I've learned to enjoy broccoli, cauliflower, and green beans (not together), and while I still haven't made (collard) greens for the husband yet, I am learning. Is it possible to become more of a grownup in the way you eat? I know, I know, it's not about being a grownup; just seems that way to me. Been going through a phase with that too, like, never mind that my Lil Sis is 23 and now officially out of school and a working stiff like the rest of us (which certainly isn't possible 'cause she's just a little kid, though we've definitely become peers in adulthood and I wouldn't change that for anything, but still...)...I still go through phases where I stop and wonder how I got here. Wasn't I just running to catch the bus on Above All yesterday? How can I be the one slipping behind the wheel of my own car that I make the payments on, and going home to a husband and 2 cats in my very own place? Just nostalgia, or late-bloomerism, I guess...

Kicking me out of that delightful blazing headachy fog may have been as simple as drinking cranberry juice twice a day. I've been watching what I eat too, but the big change in my diet so far was grabbing buy-one-get-one on the Northland cranberry juices at Publix late last week. Late Saturday I noticed I wasn't headachy, and I haven't been since. I'm off soda completely until we have money and I can buy Diet Coke with Splenda, but even then it'll be as a treat because with the exception of Thursdays, I drink my caffeine in the morning and try to stick to decaf the rest of the day. I switched from my standard Eggos with peanut butter (not nearly as gross as it sounds, so don't make that face) for breakfast to oatmeal with banana; that's a focus point this week, because I'm one of those people that needs breakfast, so I'm working on tweaking it so that I'm not starving by 10:30.

I think I've only got 5 UFOs at present (we KBs are counting them to assess which projects are necessary and which aren't). Unfortunately, 3 of them are scarves, which could be classified as a bit much for an unseasonably warm it's-not-global-warming-it's-a-cycle winter, but they're all different colors and textures so I'm keeping 'em on the needles. With the SSS still in UFO status, it's hard to get jazzed for larger projects right now. I take that back; there's a double-knit bag that's a potential KAL for us that I'm quite interested in investigating further, because the pattern calls for a skull-and-crossbones print, which I am totally not into, so I'm thinking of charting out my own pattern of leaf shapes. Getting excited just thinking about it...can't wait for Friday when I can afford to buy myself some graph paper just for my knitting!

We will now pause while Lil Sis shakes her head at me :)

Monday, January 08, 2007

Bored, bored, bored

Was thinking about how editing websites makes me feel like I'm wasting my life sitting on my ass, and it reminded me of one more thing I want to do, that belongs on the other blog: write cover letters for the 7 positions I want to try for in Columbia. It's stuff ranging from clerical admin. asst. crap to park ranger to meter maid. Looks like applying for anything for the city of Columbia is a big, furry process - they tell you straight out that if you don't hear about your app. in a 4- to 6-week time frame, then it's ok to call the particular department. 4- to 6-weeks! Gotta get out my tap shoes.

Gotta get walking too, because eating healthier is coming along but I'm still sitting on my butt. Been scaling back my portions, drinking more juice, and it's already made the headaches abate, which is a relief...my candida was obviously out of control again. And holy snikeys, but have you ever tried to purge yeast and corn products from your diet? Lower the ole glycemic index? Corn is only in like, everything! But exercise is a big key to losing some weight and getting healthier, and dammit, I don't want these cysts on my ovaries, so it's time to hit the road! Or the treadmill, whatever! I just won't look in the mirrors in the exercise room at the complex...looking at myself in my exercise clothes kind of infuriates me, and not in a motivational hey-let's-do-something-about-this way, more like a self loathing, don't-want-to-be-seen-in-public way.

I hate bras. And my coffee's too weak this morning. :(

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

New Years' ......... resolutions.....sort of.....

For the last 2 years, I was doing resolutions in October, the pagan New Year, at Samhain. About the same as regular New Year's resolutions except that if you have any improvements down regarding diet, they certainly get broken by Thanksgiving instead of spring.

This has been an out-of-sorts year, sabbat-wise. I didn't honor many of the 8 festivals, and though I wrote resolutions at Samhain, it was pretty half-hearted. Then in December, I had the OB/GYN visit and delightful medical epiphanies, which have left me a little scared (that we'll try for kids and be unsuccessful). I know it's too early to have such notions, but when you're childless at 37 and still planning to have urchins, the biological clock takes on an ominous tone.

So I've been pensive. About resolutions and how if I make them, I'd like to try something crazy, like not break them. My doc wants me to lose 20 pounds and see her in April. I have the ability to do that and more. I'd like us to move to Columbia at the end of April. There's a lot of roadblocks in our path, but it's still a realistic goal. If I'm going to make resolutions this year, they're going to be done with thought and planning, and it's perfectly ok that I didn't make them in time for Les's and my toast to each other on New Years' Eve (Dick Clark in the background, Ballatore Gran Spumante and apple juice in the foreground, our Waterford crystal Limited Edition Millennium "Peace" glasses, looking in each other's eyes...::sigh::)(::pause for the nonromantics to throw up in their mouths a little::). We're going on 10 years of knowing each other. I am so friggin' blessed it takes my breath away thinking about it.

So that's what I'm doing this week, in between reorganizing the bedroom to get a little more floor space while we wait (forever) for the damn apartment complex to replace our closet hardware. Also doing a little knitting, mostly of the SSS, which at 400+ stitches per row is only poking along, and mr. sock, which is beginning to show a shaft. Pondering other projects and looking ahead to the wonders that this year holds for us...