Friday the 13th

I can’t sleep.

I have my ‘sound’ surgery tomorrow morning and it seems to be making me restless.

I’m pretty excited about it being on Friday the 13th. Always one of my favorite days. As a kid I remember hearing that 13 was such an unlucky number that buildings would just skip that number all together. So I decided it would be my lucky number.

As I’ve gotten older I’ve learned about the feminine power associated with the number and a link between the goddess Freya and the day Friday. So I look at it as a day of power and possibility.

The crickets are loud tonight. There was quite the rain and lightning storm earlier. There is something in the air. A change taking place.

Maybe I’ll go stand in the grass for a few moments and try sleep again.

Rabbits Review

That was one wild ride. My mom finished it before I did and so we haven’t really talked much about it yet to make sure I didn’t accidentally get any spoilers. The only thing she said was that she wasn’t sure how she felt about the ending. Now that I have finished it, I understand what she meant.

I really enjoyed the story building. If you’ve ever found yourself going down a rabbit hole of any conspiracy, like the Berenstain versus Berenstein and Mandela effect, then you might really enjoy this trip. I swung a lot between not being able to put it down, and needing to put it down to feel sane again and remember what reality is.

This is definitely worth the read and staying on my shelf. Even if the ending leaves you unsure of how to feel, the rest of the book is a page turning thrill ride full of twists and mind bending excitement. I highly recommend it.

His and My Cable Sweaters

I can feel my husband’s delight every time he sees me working on his sweater. I had been calling it my secret sweater and had, in fact, been working on it in secret for months before other things took over and it sat unattended for a while. Much like the sweater I had been working on for myself that I recently picked up again. With all our troubles, I decided to show it to him one day in the hopes of cheering him up. It worked for a short time, but as it continued to sit, the effect wore off.

Both have entered sleeve land and mine still has some rib edging to do yet. It has been very satisfying to work on something for both of us during this really tough time. I don’t even care about my mis-crossed cables on the back of my sweater. Or the too-short I-cord on his. They speak to the imperfection of our lives together and those imperfections make us who we are.

This is one of my favorite sweater edition magazines. I have many plan inside these pages. For my husband’s I have combined these two patterns to be able to knit in the round and use the fisherman’s rib. And since my husband knows about the sweater now, I’ve been able to have him try it on and know it fits. His smile is very motivating.

My sweater is this top down cardigan that I’ve added Viking cables to and will be making just a few tweaks to the ribbing set-up. It may be a bit larger than I intended, but I did want a big comfy sweater, so I’m happy. I’m hoping to inspire us to remember who we are and that this family can make it through anything. This is just another one of those trying times and things will be looking up soon. At least I hope they will be. I mean, I do have hope that they will be.

The Kidney Stone Sweater

I’ve been trying to listen to the big old ‘Stop’ sign I was given and really just rest while taking some time off of work. My mom and step dad came with their trailer to help take care of the girls while I was in the hospital. We have a spot for their ‘home away from home’ on the other side of our garage, which worked perfectly.

My sound surgery is scheduled and there is a bit of hope I can get back to normal soon. I had no idea how crazy kidney stones were. I’m not looking forward to the ‘night before surgery prep’, but I’m a big girl. If it helps break up these stones to rid me of this agony, I can handle it. Truthfully, I think I’d be going insane with anxiety right now if it wasn’t for my knitting.

It felt good to pick up my purple sweater again. To begin to make progress once more and imagining the finished piece has begun to help me heal a part of myself that I have been ignoring for a long time. Life has often been too busy for me to be creative. When I do find time, it’s often for someone else. I love giving. It does feed my spirit, but there is a magic in giving to yourself.

While working on my sweater, I kept staring at some yarn that I had been struggling with for almost a year to figure out what it wanted to be. Then it hit me. I began to picture a sweater coming together. To knit in the round from sleeve cuff to sleeve stuff and then the body in the round from some picked up stitches. I found a simple variation on stockinette stitch and set to work. My mom picked up some more yarn for me to be able to finish because it was working up quickly. She felt my need to complete my vision.

This sweater kept me stable when my pain medication made me sick and I had trouble focusing (I got more medication to help with that). I mapped out the shoulder, and chest and back construction while backed up from my medications (I’m taking something for that too). My hands found a spellbinding rhythm while I sat with my kids and pictured my stones shrinking and finding their way out. I clung to getting this done while I emailed my boss about taking another week off of work, while in my urology appointment discussing my options, while staring at our overgrown lawn fretting about all the things I suddenly couldn’t do.

I could hardly wait to share my creation with my friends and some knitting communities. The response has been amazing and I’m now spinning my wheels on writing a knitting pattern book. It will take a lot of time and some test knitters and editors and lots of work, but I’ve got ideas percolating. But for now, I present the original version of my first original design.

Knitting in the Hospital

One perk of being stuck in the hospital is time to knit. I wanted my most soothing projects with me and my purple sweater is definitely that. The poor garment has been sitting on the back burner for so long that it took me halfway through a row to realize I had forgotten to mark a row. So I ticked back and fell right into the rhythm of it. It felt good to just sit with my knitting.

I have definitely been enjoying the view and am so glad I got the window side of the room. Much less claustrophobic. It’s been really refreshing to just sit here, or shuffle back and forth, simply staring out at this beauty. I’m realizing how active I’ve been, and yet so unproductive. I’m disappointed it took a massive kidney stone to wake me up, but I swear I’m listening now. It won’t be fast changes, but I’ve laid a lot of groundwork in my past, so I should be able to implement some solid improvements soon.

This shawl is another soothing knit. St. John’s Wort stitch applied to a simple crescent shawl pattern. It’s repetitive enough to be easy on the mind, but interesting enough to not get boring. Watching the cows graze and the clouds float by while feeling my yarn and needles in my hands is so soothing. I may be in the hospital, but I’m trying to soak up this forced rest to the best of my ability. Especially now that I’m in a room alone and am not being checked on quite as much.

Well, That Was an Adventure

I swear I sat down every night ready to write a post, but it all just felt jumbled and forced. Life just kept coming at me faster and faster and I had no time to sort anything out. I did my workouts, I went to work, I cooked meals, I cleaned, I drove everyone to their appointments, the girls had their first sleepover (one kid could not stay because of a mild head injury received at our house while goofing around), and all while managing that awful back pain.

My birthday arrived and it was a pretty good day. Got my workout in, left for work on time, had a nice day massaging people, things got a little stressful at home, and a friend of mine was able to come over and hang out. Then I woke up the next morning. The pain was pretty bad. I tried moving to the couch. It got worse and I didn’t want the kids to see me cry. My husband tried helping me with massage, but he was barely awake and every time he stopped the pain was worse. Then we thought about driving me into the doctor’s office and then it was call the ambulance now.

My poor kids watched as I crawled and scooted down the stairs, threw up, and then got strapped onto a stretcher. The ambulance had to stop to pick up the EMT with the pain medication. We were all beginning to assume it was kidney stones. The rest is a bit of a blur, but CT scan confirmed the kidney stone. The x-ray verified where it was. A 7mm kidney stone just below my kidney and some smaller ones inside it. And yes, it hurts worse than childbirth. Childbirth was a 7 or an 8 on my pain scale. This was an 11.

I’ve been here for three days now and have a stent in my ureter. They’re waiting for my culture results to see what kind of infection I have with this. I can’t leave until they know what kind of antibiotics to give me. But between the back pain and now these stones, things need to change. I cannot keep up with chasing everything. Right now, I’m enjoying the rest (between the rounds of pain) and taking the vacation I had denied myself. Hopefully it will be the start of something better when I get out of here.

Bringing my Goddess Back

I’m going to do it. I’m going to get back on track and start doing the things I need to do to take care of myself so I can be here, fully, for my crazy family. My body has been begging for so long it has entered into an aggressive strike against my ‘hibernate until it’s over’ method of choice. I’ve lost touch with my personal power and have not felt goddess-like in quite some time now.

The strike began when I decided to have a big bowl of ice cream and suffer the consequences. The next day was spent lying around in agony which caused some back muscles to seize up, and now I can’t seem to shake this back pain at all. I know why it hurts. My hips are twisted and bent, my shoulders hunched and tight, my neck is shriveling into my collarbone, and my abs are being devoured by my pelvis. I have been clinging to my struggles so hard, that I have forgotten (once again) how to even breathe. Then I had ice cream and everything that has been holding me together threw their hands up and said “fuck it. Fine. Be a miserable wench!”

So after helping others feel better through massage, and working through my own pain while taking Advil, then running around to take care of our daughter’s probation stuff, and her therapy appointments, and errands, and… I think you get the idea, I have decided to start my routine again. It’s the only way I feel good regularly and the only way I can manage my life.

OCD to the rescue! I bought a bunch of these accordion folders before returning to work in order to organize my workouts and recipes to make my life easier when I would be busier. One of my better ideas, if I do say so. Everything is sorted into its own section, easily found. I’m pairing some yoga and exercises in the morning with a yoga routine in the evening. And I am determined to stop being in pain.

I’m going to try to keep up with posting my efforts here. I know a lot of us have fallen out of good habits and into bad ones in order to cope with the craziness of these Covid times. Our lives had to adjust in drastic ways. Even if we were able to keep it together through the first several months (that was me. First several months were a breeze. Comparatively speaking), we are all growing weary under the weight of it. So, here we go! My millionth time starting healthy habits again. I’m excited.

A Bunch of Ripe Avocados

What do you do when you have a bunch of ripe avocados and you’re the only person who really eats them in the house? I have one a day. While waiting for the girls and their dad to get home, I made myself a snack. I mixed up some chicken salad and topped it off with sliced avocado and Kalamata olives. It was delicious!

Shockingly, I had some time to myself again the next day. This time I dished up some vanilla Greek yogurt and topped it with sliced avocado and honey granola. It was a perfect combination of sweet and mild for me. This avocados are just ridiculously perfect!

Today, I made us all peach smoothies with bananas, vanilla Greek yogurt, orange juice, and frozen peaches. Mine, of course, had avocado in it. I’m thinking I’ll pack a salad for work tomorrow and put some avocado on it and maybe Caesar dressing. Maybe a turkey and avocado sandwich the next day. That leaves me with one last avocado. If it’s still ripe, maybe I’ll make a scrambled egg salsa wrap. Yum.
I hope everyone is eating healthy and enjoying some avocados!

Feel Good Dinner

This evening was a nice relaxing finish to a busy day. Our dentist called and could fit our middle one in today. So off we went and my daughter was amazing. She’s usually really anxious, but was fantastic through it all.

Then home again to switch off kids with my husband so he could run his errands and I could take our oldest to her appointment. Finally getting her help again. Just being heard does amazing things to a person’s temperament. We picked up a few things on our way home and their friend showed up shortly there after.

Thankfully I had a plan for dinner with zucchini and Summer squash that needed cooking and some big bags of potatoes that needed to be eaten. So I sliced the potatoes and got them in the oven for roasting, seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic, and some paprika for a kick. Frozen chicken breasts into the pan with salt, garlic, tarragon, dried cilantro, and some chili powder. Then I sliced up the squash and put that in the oven too. Everything seemed to time out pretty well and I even threw some shredded cheddar onto the potatoes at the end.

The Three I’m Reading

I went to the bookstore when I should not be buying books, but I had been left in such a fog after The Sun is Not the Only Star that I had to find something epic to follow it. After wandering among the shelves and picking up this book and that one, only to put them back, I took an employee’s offer to help. He led me to another book by the same author and I usually need an author break. So I wandered with that book for a while, and then it hit me. I wanted more books by my new favorite author, Christina Henry. I read Alice a few years ago and absolutely loved it.

I went to her spot on the shelf, and of course they didn’t have the one I wanted, Red Queen, which comes after Alice. So, I went to the counter to order it and then asked if this employee had any suggestions. I see this guy at Barnes and Noble regularly, and he is always great at finding a good title or getting me or my kids headed in the right direction. So, after seeing the title I was ordering and saying I needed something epic to follow it with, he suggested Rabbits, which he hasn’t read. He said if you like Ready Player One, you would love this book, based on fellow employees’ statements. How many people even watched Ready Player One? I was excited.

The best label for this book I’ve seen is it’s a techno-thriller. The quote on the cover does a good job of giving a good impression of the book, too. I’m barely into it, but have to put it down regularly to make sure I still have a grasp on reality. Talk about going down a rabbit hole! I’m even more excited that my mom couldn’t resist buying herself a copy and she is reading it now too!

I’m currently bouncing between three books. It’s the mood I’m in right now. I’m just surprised that they’re all fantasy/fiction books, although, one is a teen read, another early adulthood, and the last is young adulthood (that’s what I’m calling the late 20’s through late 30’s years). The Girl in Red by Christina Henry (another wild ride especially since it came out in 2019-read it and you’ll know what I mean) and Life and Death by Stephanie Meyer (all the Twilight haters can keep it to themselves, the books were amazing. If I’ve read something more than once, then it must be amazing because I haven’t got time to reread bad books). I love revisiting the story in a new way and think Meyer has done that very well.

Anyone else reading something amazing that they want to share with the world? Fill me in! I’d love to hear all about it!