Wednesday, June 29, 2011

A Simple Note of Thanks

It's been a weird few days here. We got back from visiting Dave's parents in Cambridge on Sunday night. Monday, I had to be at work for most of the day working on some curriculum writing for the digital world (that would be for a cyber-school). It's a whole new beast, and it honestly made my head hurt at one point. However, the real fun was saved for Tuesday. Seems Dave's on-again-off-again "love affair" with gout was on-again . . . only it decided that their old meeting place - the big toe - wasn't painful enough so it picked a new place - the middle of his foot.

So, a quick trip to the doctor's to confirm that this new painful spot was the same old gout meant a trip to the pharmacy and the realization that the previous meds were no longer on the market since the drug companies had done a new study to "improve" them. At least his doctor gave him some sweet painkillers to take the sting out of that news.


By this morning, he was feeling much better but still not capable of walking or going to work. We spent most of the day reading, watching dumb movies, and basically doing absolutely nothing. But the mail brought the most welcome sight in a long time. A simple note of thanks from a woman I never met before and probably never will again.

Veronica was one of my fellow passengers stranded in Austin, Texas, after Continental decided to dump our asses there when a flight attendant called out sick. I guess getting you as far as Austin in a state the size of Texas was a pretty big accomplishment. But at midnight, it seemed like a death sentence. However, I overheard Veronica talking to another woman (her name wound up being Pam, which I learned after she was heaving her bags in the trunk of my rental car) about sharing a ride to San Antonio. My normal shy side took a backseat, and I volunteered to drive them to San Antonio because a) I had no idea where I was going, b) I needed people to keep me awake, and c) there was no sense in three people driving when one would suffice. Needless to say, we picked up another Continental cast-off (Addeline) at the rental car desk, the ride went very smoothly, and no one was harmed in their attempts to make it to San Antonio. Pam and Addeline each chipped in with some cash, but Veronica said she would mail me some. So . . . I gave her my address, never intending to hear from her, wished the ladies well, and went on my merry way to the Riverwalk where a soft, comfy bed and my husband were waiting.

Beautiful Creatures

But today, I got that thank you note from Veronica saying that she hadn't forgotten my generosity and was sorry for not writing earlier but things had gotten crazy. She also included $40 in the card, which was a fraction of the cost of a one-way rental. However, her generosity was the one that should be applauded. She was an excellent navigator and never once stopped chatting since sleep was something that neither of us had encountered for close to 24 hours. So for that . . . thank you, Veronica! Besides, that $40 will buy me enough yarn at the Fourth of July sale to make a new sweater.

- Jill

PS - Finished Beautiful Creatures this evening. It was pretty good . . . I'll summarize it later this week. 

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Admitting Defeat . . . What? It Can Happen!

Yesterday, I did something that I've never done before. Before you get all, "Whoooooo . . . true confession time!" it's really not that salacious. I simply took a sweater that I had maybe three inches left to go in a sleeve and carefully picked out the cast off end, attached it to the ball winder, and began cranking. In a nutshell, I frogged a sweater. The thing is, I'd never given in to that feeling of defeat in the past and ripped anything out. Sure, there have been stops and starts in the past, but this sweater was something that I knew wouldn't work for me, and I liked the yarn better for something else.

Center Of Attention Bench Monday
January: Center of Attention

I had started a version of the Hey, Teach! sweater last summer, but I don't like cotton, so I knit it in Cascade 220. And I don't really like short sleeve sweaters, so I decided to follow the directions for a three-quarter length sweater. Two strikes that coupled with a rather inappropriate-for-me waist placement made for a sweater that was destined never to make it to light. But yet I knit on . . . through a confusing pattern, through enough modifications to strangle a cow, through a summer when I could have been working on things I really liked.

February: Reciprocation

But yesterday, I needed sweater quantity yarn to make a sweater (like you couldn't see that coming). More importantly, I needed an idiot proof pattern so that I could knit and A) watch movies both captioned and not; B) read; C) be a supportive passenger in the car; and D) not have to stress out about charts over. Enter the Effortless Cardigan. Pretty, easy-peasy, looks good with dress pants or jeans. Effortless might be the understatement.

March: Stripes Alive

I also gave up on the Skacel 20 Years of Knitting patterns. After the first one, I wasn't really taken by any of the patterns. Shelby benefited from the fingerless gloves (still have to make her sister a pair), Mom got the striped "WOW! These look just like Jaywalker with a purl row" socks, I kept the ones from January and April, and the ones from May are still on the needles (note: the yarn is garish, I don't care for the pattern, and the front an back don't match). So . . . I gave up. I'll finish the May pair eventually and probably the June pair because I bought the yarn, but let's face it: the whole point for knitting them was to enter into a contest. And I'll never win that contest.

April: Cranked

So, I quit that sweater yesterday, and today I might just drop out of an on-line class that I think might be too much for my skill set. And I can live with that.

May: Lacery

- Jill

PS - Tomorrow is Erika's birthday . . . you might want to wish her a happy birthday or make a bowl of Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream from the cookbook. And if you don't have the book yet, what is wrong with you?