Saturday, June 27, 2009

Fuzzy FlipFlops

Jo is into flipflops right now. I whipped up these on Friday. The blue and pink pairs are both for Jo. The black and orange are for Jo and her cousin Alexis. I am giving the girls those on the 4th of July. These crochet up very quickly. I think I finished all four in just a couple of hours.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Fixation Finis

The Croc Socks are finished. After the lack of cooperation by the improvised pattern yesterday all things were corrected and they proceeded more smoothly. I really like them. I like the Fixation yarn and the length which is just above the ankle. I think they fit well. The only thing I might change on the next pair would be to cast on with perhaps a 1.50mm or 2.00mm needle for the ankle edge. This would be to give it a little more snug fit at the ankle. I used a 3.25mm for the whole sock on this particular pair. That is what most of the Fixation socks I looked at called for but I may change the whole thing on the next pair. We will see. I do like them a lot and am going to cast on the next pair today. Hopefully any kinks in the pattern were worked out with this pair.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Ok, Come On Now...

How many socks have I made in the last year? I mean really, how hard is it to turn the heel? Well apparently since last night it is very hard. I know what happened. I got too confident, so impressed with myself that I was just flying along in this pair of socks. When I decided I wanted to make these anklet socks to go with my Crocs I wanted to find an easy pattern. Well, I guess I just wanted to find a good ankle rib and then do my own thing. So after smartly posting the cute sock yesterday I cast on the next one and zipped through the ribbing and the 14 rows of stockingette. I then went through the heel flap while watching "Army Wives". I was so confident. I was going to whip this second sock out by Monday night at the latest. If I say that I may still do that I will be taunting the knitting gods and the sock will develop more problems. Let me just say that I ripped out the stupid "turning the heel" at least five if not six times. Because I altered the pattern to what I wanted for some reason even though I whipped through the first sock I could not get this one to come out correctly. I was getting frustrated. I mean this is just a sock heel. I checked what I wrote down for my alterations and it all looked fine. The only thing I could figure was that I made a note that did not get on the paper. I counted, I recounted, I ripped, I reknit, I talked nice to the yarn and the pattern. Grrrr. I mean I just did this sock yesterday. Finally I said I am going to go get "Knitting Rules" by Yarn Harlot. She has saved my knitting sanity more than once when I was ready to throw my knitting across the room. I turned to the Basic Sock Recipe and just re-read it thinking that something would jump out at me. Nothing did. Relax, breathe in, breathe out. The solution is there. I looked at the stitch count. Then I refigured my count. (My apologies to my high school and college math teachers who I told that math had no relevance to anything I was going to do with my life.) Somehow something in my head said read slowly and reknit the sock. I did but when I got to the end I thought I had too many stitches. But in comparing with the Basic Sock Recipe heel turning I was where I should be. I have no idea what I did different and I have no idea why I had no trouble with the first sock. I made very bold notes on the revised pattern so that when I make the second pair of socks hopefully there will be no trouble. As to this pair, well let's just say there will be no sock celebration till this one is completely finished and off the needles.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Croc Socks

After reading on Ravelry that Crocs Relief were great shoes for foot problems I had gone a bought a pair. I was very surprised at their comfort and the cushiness. Since my back is a constant problem due to Osteoarthritis I thought these might help. Plus there is still the flare in the left knee from the plumbing issues two weeks ago so I thought they might help that too. Of course I have the foot issues that comes from having RA . Are those enough excuses for buying a new pair of shoes? I have heard you can wear Crocs with or without socks but this gave me an excuse, as if I needed one, to knit a new pair of socks. I have used Cascade Yarns Fixation before but not in socks. They are cotton with just a tiny bit of elastic so I thought they would stay up nicely. I hunted on Ravelry to find a more sport type sock and found this one, well sort of. Turtlegirl76 had the pattern on Ravelry and I altered it to suit me. A little bit turtlegirl76, a little bit Yarn Harlot and a little bit knittingyoyo. I think it turned out really cute. The second sock is already cast on, the ribbing done and I want to have the stockingette down to the heel flap done by tonight. For a change you can leave off the stockingette and go from the rib straight to the heel flap so I might have to try that on the next pair. I think I really like them.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Garden Day

I went to The Ponderosa today. Usually we go grocery shopping on Friday but since I have been having an arthritis flare in my knee Allison said just to come and we would hang out at the house. We ended up putting up some squash and green beans from the garden. Jo and Henry went swimming. Evidence of Henry liking to get in and out of the pool is the dark brown water. Scout enjoyed her swing on the back porch. Supper included potatoes straight out of the garden with fresh dill, squash that was also fresh from the garden and pork grilled outside. We also had a chocolate cake that was outstanding. It was a fun day to be with my girls.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Ow, Ow, Ow....Ahhh, Remicade

The last couple of weeks have been shall we say stressful. First there was the week of plumbing issues when all I seemed to do was sop up water in various areas due to pipes breaking and handles getting stuck. I knew when I was sopping up the water with those five baskets of towels that I would pay a big price arthritis-wise. Then we had the thunderstorms that caused the power outage. As the week went on I could tell it was time for my Remicade infusion. This was unusual as most of the time I function at what I consider normal and make it through to the next infusion without really noticing any real pain. Before an infusion it is wise to drink a lot of liquid. No not beer or wine but water and Powerade. This causes the veins to "plump" up and makes it easy to for the IV needle to slide into the vein. So even in all the stuff going on I was very careful to spend the day before my infusion trying to make sure I had enough liquid. I call it my "drinking day". My doctor is involved in arthritis research and had ask me if I would participate in a study he and his associates are doing. The study is to help set markers for arthritis so that in the future people with the same type of symptoms can perhaps use a specific drug rather than have to go though several to find the one that helps them. All they do is take some extra blood at the time of my appointment. I adore my doctor. Because of him I am able to do most things I want to do. He helped me go from almost complete inability to walk or do normal daily tasks to functioning at a good level and not having intense, debilitating pain 24 hours a day. When I got to the office I filled out the paper work to allow them to take the extra blood. Then I saw my doctor. He asked how I was doing, you know the normal doctor stuff. Most everything is about the same except my left knee. This is the knee that caused me so much trouble in 2001. Interestingly I have Rheumatoid Arthritis, which is a systemic autoimmune disease but I also have Osteoarthritis in my knees, especially the left knee. There is a big difference between RA and OA but the explantion of that is for another day. I knew when I sopped the water up during the plumbing leak that I would pay a price and I am. Still it caught me off guard. I had been having a lot of pain in my knee for about four days some worse than others. He looked at my knee, snap, crackle, pop. He then said when the flare was over that he wanted me to do a couple of specific exercises to build up the muscle in my leg to help the knee. He gave me some cream that he said I could use if the pain was bad. Then he more stairs if there are elevators. I said ok but in my mind I was going, What? I mean you take the stairs for healthy reasons, blah, blah, blah. I am to the no more stairs level. Ok, I can do that, it is just,well, a marker. But life goes on and I can still do so much. So now if there is an elevator I take the elevator. So on to the infusion. I call it "getting my juice". Remicade stops the progression of the disease but like all strong, shall we say toxic, drugs it has to be carefully monitored. Before I was diagnosed with RA I had never had an IV. I mean I was a 70's girl, all my kids were "natural births" that being that I had no drugs. So I was a little panicy at the thought of needles and tubes. Today I just stick my arm out and say connect me up. Because I always try to "plump up" my veins I did not expect to have any trouble. Enter the new nurse. I had never seen her before. After two tries we still had no vein. Patience is a virtue. People have to learn and I have to have the medicine. She asks the other nurse who has been there a long time to try. The new nurse get is right off but apparently my blood does not want to flow backwards so they can get a sample. I always have to have that done for them to run a liver panel. Methotrexate and Remicade are hard on the liver. She just says we will get it later. Ah... sweet infusion. Actually getting an infusion is not bad. We have recliners to sit in and a flat screen TV we can watch. I usually read a book. It usually takes and hour and a half to complete the infusion. We then have to try to get blood again. The nurse says do you mind? We will have to stick you again. What am I going to say, I have to do it. So we go to the other hand which gives her no cooperation at all. I mean I am thinking what in the H-E double hockey sticks is going on? This is now 4 sticks, stabs, that have probed not just my delicate skin but my psyche. She says she is done, that I have to get blood taken for the research project and they will just get it and send it back to her. Let me make it clear that getting an infusion is not all that bad and that the nurses are great and very attentive. For some reason my veins were just not cooperating. So I walk across the hall to the lab for another stick. The tech uses a butterfly which is helpful in a situation like I was having. In about one minute she had take 8 tubes of blood. I mean once you are connected it does not make any difference how many they take. The one went back to the doctor and the other 7 were for the research project. RA is a pain. It is frustrating physically and emotionally. By the time I got home I was exausted. I am now ready to go for another two months, well except for dealing with the knee and various other assorted arthritis issues. I am very fortunate to live in an area of the country that has such great arthritis doctors. Mine has given me back my life in a million ways. If a few extra needle pricks and blood tests can help some other person in the future not have to struggle through various drugs before finding one that works, well hey, here is my arm. Even if it might take an extra stab or five.

Friday, June 12, 2009


I have lived in Texas since 1963. I have to say that the thunderstorms that rolled through the DFW area yesterday are the worst I have ever seen. I mean I thought I was back in Southern Illinois where as a kid I lived though bad storms and flooding. It all started on Wednesday night when storms rolled though the area. We really did not have much rain just mostly wind. When I woke up Thursday morning the clock was blinking meaning that during the rain and lightning in the middle of the night the power had gone off but was back on. Around 9am the power went off again. At least the coffee had been made. It was very, very dark. Thunder and lightening occured almost constantly and the rain just poured down. I opened the curtains in the living room and figured I would just knit. I mean there was nothing else to do and I was not going anywhere. It eventually was dark enough that knitting became a problem so I had to quit. I mean I can knit when it is fairly dark but this was too dark. The power came back on around 10am soI figured I could grab a quick shower before it might start raining again. I decided not dry my hair but just let it air dry since there was still thunder and lightning periodically. I had not gotten on the computer as I figured there was too much bad weather. I sat in the chair and turned on the TV thinking I would check the Weather Channel radar and see if there was more rain to come. I had watched some lightning not too far away, just a few streets over, and thought I really did not like it that close. I kid you not, just as the radar came on there was a, well what is a better word that ginormously huge, clap of lightning and thunder I swear right outside my kichen window inbetween my house and the neighbors house. EVERYTHING went out, everything. The TV made this sick sound and I mean it was scary, way too close. Rowdy, one of the dogs, came running around the house looking like what the he - - was that! Duke, the other dog, man I went for an hour thinking he might have gotten hit by lightning because I never saw him. He did show up later after the worst was over. I guess he had hid under the shed. I looked out the front door to see how it looked out there, thunder, lightning, rain, and in the mailbox was the mail. I am thinking that guy is an idiot! Thank you for delivering my mail, but are you insane!! It is lightening!! Right here!! I am thinking what do I do for lunch. It is the end of the week so the milk is gone and the bread is dried out and there is no power to even warm up soup. I munch on comfort food, Nacho Cheese Doritos, and think maybe in a bit the power will come on and I will zap some leftover chicken in the microwave. At noon there is no power but I hear the trashmen collecting the trash. I have no idea if anyone else has power or who might be home at this particular time. I decide that since the rain is letting up I will call the electric company and report the power outage just in case. At 3pm my trust of all things computerized is telling me that even though you report stuff to "a computerized voice" that really you should never actually trust computers. Of course you punch in all the numbers, I mean if you do not have an account number you can even put in your driver's license or, get this, your social security number!! Ok, I digress. I am sick and tired of this number that we are supposed to protect and not let anyone have....blah, blah, always used to identify us, on computers, on the phone, for insurance, argh!!! Fortunately I had the account number but of course the phone number did not match, I am on my cell phone, the account number did not match the really do not want me to go here... I just think the heck with this. Well, by 4pm and still no power I am thinking I know they have a gazillion people that the power is out on but I wonder if our block has been reported. I called the power company again, I mean what else do I have to do but talk on the phone and knit. For some reason I got connected to a REAL PERSON. It was wonderful, I just hate that we don't get to talk to real people because it is more efficient for companies to have us talking to their computers. The "Power Girl" said they were working triple time and that it would be up as soon as possible but the storm had made a big mess here in the area. I just said thanks. That I wanted to make sure it was reported. Intestingly it took her several tries to find the account. At about 5pm it started to get dark again and I am thinking if it starts to rain Iwon't be able to see to knit. I ran to Sonic and got something to eat. At this point I saw a neighbor and he said that everyone on our block had no power but weirdly the street right beside us did. It seems everyone wanted out of their houses and since no one could cook a lot of people were going to get something to eat. I ended up thinking I just wanted a different view and since the power people were not coming anytime soon I ran to Wal-Mart. Well I guess everyone in my area was at Wal-Mart. We were not panic shopping, we were tired of being in the house. And when it is dark you can't see. So I picked up a few things and then ran by the Barnes and Noble to enjoy the air conditioning. Fortunately yesterday was not one of those 100 degree days we have usually about this time of year. At some point in the middle of the night the power came back on. I never heard anything but about 6:45 this morning was aware of a lovely cool breeze blowing down on the bed. Yea!! Now I can have my coffee. We were fortunate in that there was not any real damage in my area. The Weather Channel said that my area of town had 8.2 inches of rain and I definitely believe it. The DFW Airport only had just over 2 inches. Apparently there were 33,000 lightning strikes which they said was unbelievable. Also that this morning it was reported that 550,000 people were without power. As I said I have lived here a long time but this is the first time we have ever lost power due to a storm. The first two pictures are very similar and taken with a flash. I just thought they were cool because of the water drops. I like the third one the best because I took it without a flash. The hat is what I made yesterday for my Knit-A-Cap group, the one I was working on in the dark. The last picture, I forgot to mention that after I came home from Barnes and Noble it was dark. I lit several candles and got out the oil lamp. This is a lamp that I always use if we have a power outage. It belonged to one of the grandmothers. I sat the lamp on the bar and knit on a cowl I am making out of alpaca. In a way it was kind of neat because I was thinking that this was how knitting used to be done, late in the evening when it was dark, and with this type of light. I will tell you that I enjoyed it but I think if you did it for long it would really wear on your eyes. So our power is back on. Oh yes I forgot to mention that the lightning killed our cable box for cable but we were able to just run the line straight in to the TV. The TV in the computer room did not fare as well and will be out with the trash on Monday. All in all we did not have much that happened except the inconvenience of no air conditioning and no microwave. Oh, yeah, since there was no power I did not have to wash the clothes, until today.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

What A Day

Allison called and said she needed to come down this way today. She had some errands to run and asked if I wanted to go to the Croc store and check out the shoes. I had been trying to do this since I got the cold that lasted for two full weeks. After errands we were all going to go have lunch at Nana and Blah Blah's. I had crocheted Jo some new flip flops with eyelash yarn so I brought those to give to her. You can see them in the picture where she is sitting on top of a basket full of dogfood. It takes a lot of dogfood for two big dogs. Scout is trying to find a way to get rid of the drool that is constantly coming out of her mouth. My shirt sleeve and the front of her dress were soaked. I did get a pair of Crocs Relief. These are specifically made for foot problems. I have such trouble with my feet because of the RA. I have to have very wide across the joint area or they really hurt. I had never tried on "real" Crocs but from the moment I put my feet in them I was sold. I got a pair in Navy and wore them all day and my feet never hurt. We just had a round of thunderstorms roll through the DFW area with really bad rain and some winds clocked at over 80 miles per hour. They are gone now and around my area it looks ok. I also found out today that somehow I dropped a stitch in Scout's car blankie. Ok, this is a plain garter stitch. How can you drop a stitch doing nothing but knit, knit, knit row after row. So Friday I am going to have to catch the stitch and repair it. Scout does not want to be without her blankie. What a day.

Sunday, June 7, 2009


Henry is getting bigger. All puppies do that but not all are 12 weeks old and weigh 30 pounds. Being a mastiff he will be big so we have to look at the cute "baby" pictures now. I guess if you titled the pictures it would be "Smiling and happy", "Watching the cows", and "Deep in thought." Cute puppy.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

We Have Eggs

The Ponderosa now has eggs. Jo and Allison have been patiently waiting for the eggs to appear and now they have. So far they have had four. It is a start. As you can tell by the picture Jo was very excited. She loves her chickens. If you notice in the first picture her rooster Odd Ball is in the foreground. The green beans and squash are coming in and the cucumbers are almost there. What fun to live out in the country.