Friday, November 23, 2007

Being Thankful

Yesterday was Thanksgiving, and it was a very nice one. After several days of cleaning house, I brined and roasted my little 10-pound turkey, braised a brisket with red wine and mushrooms, made a German Apple Cake, my favorite cornbread dressing, cucumber salad, and pureed cauliflower. DD#1 showd up with her boyfriend, so there were 7 at the table. They provided bread, mashed yams with candied pecans, pumpkin pie, cranberry sauce, and wine. A simple dinner, and very relaxing, too. Lots and lots of conversation. Sorry, no pictures of the food, it did not stay on the table long enough to be photographed.

Entertainment provided by DD#1 and DS#3.

DD#1 is a professional musician. Some of her music is up on the web, so, please, give it a listen. She is very, very good.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

How Doth The Little Busy Bee

October and the first half of November have been busy times chez Deep South.

On the health front, DH has had (too many) things going. With his doctor's cautious blessing, he stopped dialysis. All was going OK (not well, but OK is also fine) for 9 glorious weeks, during which he had weekly blood work and office visits. It was determined that one of his hypertension medications contained a drug that retards kidney function. Since he needs all the help he can get, it was decided to simply use the other component of this medicine, which had a proven record of tolerance in kidney patients. HOWEVER, in a very small percentage of patients, this drug acted as a potassium retainer. I am sure that you can see what is coming, right? Less than a week into the new drug regime, blood work prompted an urgent-urgent-get-him-to-the-ER phone call. Potassium level was 6.8, which is pretty close to heart-stopping, quite literally speaking. The EKG was very disturbing. Massive doses of nasty polystyrene sulfate over the next 12 hours brought it down, but it was back to dialysis the next day.

The following week he got what we thought was the flu, and within a few days we thought it had turned into pneumonia. Back to the ER. Blood oxygen level was around 80%, not at all good. Also, he was severely aenemic. Chest x-ray showed no pneumonia, BUT it did show a huge amount of water surrounding the heart. DH was checked in this time (why, oh why does it take 9 hours to get from the ER to a room???) for dialysis the next day, treatment for the aenemia, etc.

Hospitals. Don't get me started. You have to be on top of everything! First the floor doctor asked me if he was "competent" to make any of his own decisions. I said OF COURSE, and how on-the-ball are you with a blood oxygen of 80% and hemoglobin in the toilet? They served him meals with tomato soup, mashed potatoes, honeydew melon for dessert -- poison for dialysis patients. It took 4 hours to get the meds sent down from the pharmacy. After dialysis (extremely well done, excellent nurse) it took another 6 hours to get the discharge (after a verbal duel with the same floor doctor). Finally, at 9:30 PM, I go to drive the car to the entrance to pick DH up and find a flat tire. AAA came and changed the tire, and we got home an hour later.

So ends the first half of October. Don't get me wrong, we had some excellent nurses and doctors during these two runs, but there are also incompetent staff and so much red tape that everyone trips over it. AAA is worth every penny.

At the end of October, DH finally had his cataract surgery.

Although my life seems to roil exclusively around DH, other Deep South family members also add to the turmoil, especially DD#2 who gives us no end of worry right now. No more to say besides that.

Knitting has been the savior of my sanity. Since my last post in September, I have done the following:

Oregon Vest in Passsport Dublin from stash. I still need to put in the zipper, but it is otherwise finished

A pair of booties in Mexican Wave from stash. I swear I used the same ball of yarn for both! This pattern was mentioned by Brooklyntweed (you can find a link on his blog).

His-and-hers IPod cases in various things from stash

Currently working on Solaris, a free pattern from the Berroco website. Classy design.

I am using Caron Simply Soft Shadows in the Autumn colorway, a gift from POPT. I really love the yarn and the pattern. Back and sleeves are knit separately. The you start on the bottom of the left side and knit up, across the back, and down to the bottom of the right side in one piece. The yarn has some wonderful color changes, as can be seen on the back

And a close-up of the stitches

Also on the needles is another pair of socks in Wildfoot from stash

The Faux Russian Shawl is currently on Sabbatical.

I acquired an IPod recently and have discovered the wonderful world of podcasts. There are some very good knitting podcasts out there, especially Sticks and Strings, the Knitpicks Podcast, Cast On, and a couple of others. What is really fun for me are the Lake Wobegon monologues from Prairie Home Companion, Wait Wait Don't Tell Me from NPR, free audio books and stories and the old time radio shows. There are tons of these, and they are terrific -- dramas, radio plays, almost anything your heart desires. I could listen to them all day long. The best part is that they are free. If you have ITunes, get them there. If you have a different kind of MP3 player, download them from the websites that feature them, or just download and listen to them on your computer.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Still Knitting

I will catch y'all up later on the past month. Life has been ueber-busy.

DH has been giving me grief over my knitting -- too much, not healthy to have such an obsession, not getting anything else done, spending too much $$$ on magazines, yada yada yada...

Then, just this last Friday he requested that I make him a case for his IPod. Something he can hang around his neck, is easy to pull the player out of, put back in. Masculine shape and color.

Sure, Honey, no problem.

Thirty minutes later it was done. Since then, no wisecracks or criticism.

Now for some quick Granny-bragging:

Charlotte (aka Charlie)

Armand (aka AJ)