Wednesday, 17 September 2014

It is getting Warm in here...

Yesterday I went to Toronto to meet with my sisters for a collective birthday celebration.  Janice is 69, Kathy 62, Marilyn 61 and I just turned 52.  We went to the Mandarin, because one sister had Mandarin gift money and it worked out well.  Lots to choose from that was gluten free, and what a treat to have so much to choose from.  I have to admit that I could live on buffet, not gorging myself but choosing what to eat.  I tried lotus root, it was good.

Around 2 weeks ago I noticed that I was feeling feverish, off and on through the day.  And night.  And day again. And so on.  Took me a few days to figure it out.

Peri-menopause has set in.  I am not getting hot flashes like friends have complained about, but I get these warm flushes that come around my torso, and make me warm for about a minute or so, then I freeze.  The toe cramps I have figured out, just keep the feet covered up or wear socks at night.  I had wondered if I was going to miss the whole hot-flush/flash ordeal, but it appears not.

I have learned to dress in many layers.  And so far it is not unbearable at all, just weird.  Earlier in my office I shed my colourful scarf and sweater, and now they are both back on.  Life moves on.  This too is normal.

This weekend coming up we are heading north to Muskoka to a cottage with friends who live in Costa Rica.  They are visiting for a month, then go back to their business there, deep sea fishing tours for wealthy fishermen.  When I met Heather she had just left the fashion industry to do market gardening.  Now she co-runs a deep sea fishing company.  Life is interesting.


Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Finally! The Sock.

Finally finished, aside from the toe opening which I will do once sock 2 is done.
 A tad big, and certainly with some flaws!
But it is my sock.

Monday, 15 September 2014

The Gift of another Birthday

It is my birthday today and I am feeling oddly unconnected.  Yesterday I began a pile of different tasks and didn't fully complete any, and then out of the blue my back seized up and everything came to a halt.  Bits and pieces of my day were left hither-pither.  And I put my sore self to bed for a few hours.

The many people in my house keep asking me what I want for my birthday, and I keep saying nothing, but what I really want is someone to cook for me.  Cook me a meal, allow me to sit on my brown sofa with my nearly completed sock.  Let me put heat on my back, and don't ask me about whether we bought bread or apples or juice.

What I want for my birthday....  Is someone to scoop poops and wash the dishes, without my asking.

But actually, I feel blessed with this birthday.

Each year is precious.

And I need nothing but what I have.

Friday, 5 September 2014

Socks for Sanity

We have had one of those crazy work weeks, worse for Husband than I, but nevertheless, I am pooped.  Tomorrow he has an 18 hole golf tournament out of town, so I will be [blessedly] on my own for an entire day!  Hopefully I can ignore the three large adult-children who live with me.

Time to recharge my batteries.

I'll probably knit.  

What knitting is doing for me : it is releasing me from an online game that I have been [nearly uncontrollably addicted to] for a long time.  In the evenings, instead of burning my eyes out on my laptop, I am burning my eyes out knitting a sock.  I wish I had picked yarn and needles that were thicker / larger.  Less minuscule tiny stitches to count/drop/recover in the evening light.

Honestly, this has been a major challenge for me.  Every step/stitch of this bloody sock has been a learning curve.  From taking a lesson to get me started, to learning how to form a heel and gusset.  I have ripped out and re-knitted  miles of this thin, lovely, yarn until I was afraid for it's yarny-stability.  I have watched hours of heel-turning and gusset forming videos on U-Tube [at work!] and I have taken 'smoke breaks' when stressed on the job by knitting a row or two...  That works fine until I screw up and the knitting becomes more stressful than the work.

So, as I ease into the inches of rather normal knitting of the foot area, before I reach the challenge of the toe, I'm going to just breathe and mellow out a bit.

Then I have to do it all over again, with the 2nd sock.

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Welcome September... Soon to be golden.

Labour day weekend was full of Labour for me, as I picked up 11 lbs of tiny cucumbers on Saturday to be dilled and pickled on Sunday.  But first, the baskets of tomatoes from my garden had to be scalded, peeled, chopped and mixed with ingredients to be made into chili sauce.  Then I scrubbed the cukes, and soaked them in a salt water brine. 

The entire neighbourhood could tell what was happening in my kitchen.  It takes me back to memories of my parents in the basement with the old stove always bubbling with some spicy pickle brew in August.  My childhood home had a nearly permanent scent of briney vinegar.

This season I have done more than usual.  My energy is bubbling, the garden has produced more this, and I just keep buying more jars.  And I'm out again.  

I might do beets this coming weekend, because I love the colour.  I might find some trendy recipe in my new Bernardin canning book.  My old faithful, bought in 1993 was left out in the rain a few years ago.  I just cannot get into canning from the internet.  I need a book to write in.  I need to record quantities and alterations for future reference.  Stains and jot notes that record a lifetime of canning.  

Gearing up for soup season though, I am ready for cool weather suppers of spicy Kima and Chili.  I am looking forward to sweaters and socks.  Maybe even home-knitted socks!  I have reached the heel of my sock now, and am entering uncharted territory.  I am hoping to not have to take a 2nd private lesson, because I just don't have time to go for a few weeks.

My friend who moved to Costa Rica last October is back for a visit, and I invited her and her partner over yesterday afternoon for a visit.  Not supper, just some nibblers on the deck, and a glass of wine.  It forced us to rip through the house, and we did a good tidy/vacuum and now my home is soooo peaceful.  It is like tiny thorns have been removed from just under my skin.  Order has been returned, it is a good feeling.   

However temporary, today I feel in control.  

Friday, 29 August 2014

Long Tails and plans for Warm Feet

Knitting.  I have learnt how to knit in the round, and now I sit and knit in the evenings, imagining my warm winter feet...  I might take a 2nd private lesson to teach me how to 'turn a heel' but we shall see.  I am not completely lost with knitting instructions, just a little slow on learning unless I can SEE it being done, with a real person, sitting beside me.

Then it all makes sense.

Like this Long Tail cast on.  U-Tube had me so confused I thought I would never learn, but 15 minutes with a breathing person, and it was stuck well-enough in my head.  My mother taught me how to knit, but it was your very, very basic everything.  It took years and years of baby hats and booties, then cat mittens and dish cloths before I craved something new.  Seamless.

And now I am knitting in the round.  Only two immense disasters, one was catastrophic [Young James the Adolescent Cat] and the other was a dropped stitch which I didn't notice...  This first sock will certainly not be a perfect one.

Eldest and his Lovely Lu are leaving their mansion apartment, and have found a half-house to rent, in a lovely, quiet neighbourhood across town.  Soon we too will flee to a new home, next spring, I am so looking forward to the coming changes.  Between now and then is a lot of work, though, and I'm not sure if my energy level will ever be what it once was, but honestly it is so much better than even last year.

Now I look forward to our last Yule, our last spring, our last this and that, with no sadness.  Our tall skinny house has been a good one, these last 8 years have taught me a lot.  Surrounded on one side by pure evil, I still blame that energy for the cancer that attacked my kidney.  The kidney is a filter, and I was feeding the evil by reacting.  Poor kidney.

Now, we let it drift over us.  Mental illness is a harsh neighbour.  This man has terrorised the community for decades, and because he has no censor, no ability or desire to practice self control, the community has no recourse.  He has no reason, no ability to behave reasonably.  Anyway, writing about him also feeds his bad energy, so I will stop.

There is a lesson in my experience, maybe I won't know what it was until I have de-stressed sometime next summer.

Now it is all about the fantasy-new home.  So far it will have a large yard, a pool, a hot-tub, a garage, main floor bedroom & bathroom, the ability to ride my bike to [new] work....  Sending our wishes out to the cosmos.

A long weekend looms, dill pickles and chili sauce to make.  A visit with friends.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Revisiting the Secrets Long Forgotten

Strange things in the air.  In the last week I have reconnected with an very old friend that I have not seen since childhood, and found an even more so ancient relative living in the very house my mother grew up in in the 1920s.  He is the grandson of my grandfather's older sister.  This tall skinny house in Hamilton seems to have housed relatives since 1907.

He wants to meet...   I hope they are not buried in the cellar.

Delving into history really messes with your head because the past becomes nearly real, and the past I am dealing with is much, much older than myself.  My sisters might remember the names and faces, but I was born so far after they were.

Sometimes I think that this digging of the past is wrong.  Hard lives, sadness, grief, trauma...  Isn't it better to allow it all to fade away into non-memory?  Curiosity killed the cat, they say.  Who does it benefit to know that my maternal grandmother died of a botched abortion in 1924?  Who knew before I dug it up?  It was lost, her sadness and desperation had dissipated.  It was private.  90 years lost in time until one overly curious granddaughter thought to search out the death records in a hospital in Cleveland Ohio.

How could I not?  I am a product of the computer generation.  Information at my fingertips.  We do not even have to go to the library any longer to access information.

Secrets exposed, who will expose me someday?