This morning in my first status post on Facebook I posted a pledge to myself that I was going to use the Advent season to find joy in my life. That I would face each morning with joy for the day and season. That might seem like an trite or shallow pledge, but really it is not as I am hard pressed to remember the last time I was joyful.
I have been away from this blog for a long time ~~ for almost 1.5 years~~ even though much has happened in that time, I did not feel like writing about it. In my last post in June of 2012 I noted that my husband’s cancer had come back and I will speak of that soon. In the meanwhile, I have been reading a blog The Habit of Being and am picking up the challenge they offer: to write daily. They offer a list of prompts and I am joining today. So as this is the beginning of a month there is a new list of ideas for a short write. Today’s topic is to make a list. Ah, easy to do. I make lists on a daily basis ~~ to do lists for my job, lists of books/movie/tv programs I want to read or watch, lists of places I need to go today. . .but that doesn’t seem to fit the spirit of the task at hand. But those lists have no significance; they are temporary. However there is a list I can make that is not temporary and will help explain my morning post on Facebook.
1. In 2011, my parents moved to the town where my husband & I live because my mother was showing signs of dementia.
2. In 2012, cancer returned to my husband’s lungs.
3. In April 2013, we placed my mother in a Memory Care unit of a local facility.
4. In September 2013, my dad joined Mom in the Assisted Living area of the same facility, but just 9 days after he moved in he died of a massive heart attack on 15 September.
5. On 20 September the doctor placed my husband on Hospice Home Care.
6. On 15 October, my husband moved to Hospice House.
7. On 22 October, my husband died.
In the short span of six months I lost three very important members of my small family. So where is joy to be found? After church I checked Facebook to see if any of my family members in other time zones were up and on line. One of my nieces had posted these words from the Sunday School lesson she was to teach today. . . Joy will thrive in life’s triumphs and endure through life’s challenges. Joy is a deep, sincere way to approach life that allows us to know that the hard times will make us stronger and draw us closer to God.
I have been thinking about that idea all afternoon. So that is going to be my approach to life, my challenge for myself. I will not allow sorrow to engulf me; even though everyone tells me that I will, should, must grieve. I will instead take joy from the lives of my loved ones, celebrate their memories, and look for the joy that God means for us to have in his creation and the birth of his son. Advent is the season of rebirth and joy: I will embrace it.
I have been knitting to soothe myself as sitting still is not part of my personality. I need the zen of knitting. So look for future posts to include photos of knitting. I have been reading; mostly audio books, so I can keep the needles moving. So there will be posts about books. I am looking forward to reflecting about my new life (making no mistake my life is radically different and the old life is gone) and sharing my interests.
We are now two weeks into the second session of summer school and my on-line Assistive Technology course. I like teaching this class as everyone who takes it wants to be in it. . . it is an elective. Tomorrow is the one of the two times we meet as a class. This is a field trip to the South Carolina Assistive Technology Project ~~ a lovely place full of technology devices created or modified to meet the living and learning needs of persons with disabilities. It will be fun for me and an excellant learning experience for them.
Meanwhile I have been working in the garden and knitting. Went on a personal yarn crawl in Charlotte, NC one Friday with a former grad student who is now a teacher-in-waiting (for a contract) and knitting friend. Over the next several weeks I will show you what I bought ~~ some great stash.
I do have a couple of FOs. I finished the Carybdis by Glass of Fashion (2009).
Buddy is enjoying all of the one-on-one time with his mom and the sunny days.
Sadly I have had quite a bit of waiting room time lately, at the hospital and a variety of doc offices. I have been waiting with my husband who is facing a recurrence of cancer. In the end, it will be okay, but I will have about 15 more hours of "wait time." I am planning my knitting now. So far I have a new sock almost to the start of the heel.
The pattern is Carybdis by Glass of Fashion (2009). The fiber is ella rae Lace Merino (color 106 Lot 90003). I am loving it; just enough pattern to keep me interested, but not so much I have to give it all of my attention ~~ so I can listen to an audio book while waiting and knitting.
Meanwhile I also have been knitting on the scarf ~~ Seattle Bloom Time Scart by Jennifer Chase-Rappaport in Sock Yarn One-Skein Wonders (page 104). I decided not to do the flowers in the corners. Too much fru-fru for my taste, but I love the seed stitch borders and the diagonal stitch. The fiber is Caper Sock (color Sherry; lot K867) from String Theory.
I should be able to show some finished work soon.
Buddy seems unconcerned about unfinished knitting as he lost all his hair yesterday. He wants to run free in the backyard, so that is the price he pays ~~ He gets matted so badly that we can't get them out without lots of pain and crying; that's my pain and crying.
I forgot to post a photo of the entire Honey Badgers that i finished last week; then I got too lazy to find the camera and put socks back on the stretchers. But finally, here they are in all their glory.
Since I was on spring break, I had some time to knit. So I have a new project. I am loving it. Not the casting on of 240 stitches, but how fast it is knitting up. It is Infinitude Scarf by Jeni Chase. I am using some very old Berroco Pure Merino, Nuance, in a verigated blue (found in my stash). The pattern calls for 300 yards of 6-ply cashmere, but I am going to use up all of my stash, just under 400 yards.
While I really, really love my job, I am sad that I am back to work today. . .But looking forward to topics I am teaching this week. We are talking about collaboration, co-teaching models, and project-based learning. Fun topics all.
Buddy wishes all of you a "fun" week at whatever you are doing as he keeps the world safe from his perch.
Yes, at last photos of finished projects. Finished the Honey Badger socks. Very happy with the results ~~ fit like a perfectly made pair of socks!
note the lovely Sweet Tomato Heel wedges. Cat Bordhi is genius! I had to rip several times to get them perfect, but think the finished product was worth the work. See details on Ravelry.
Buddy says that spending the day at the groomer's is not a reason for him to smile at the camera.
This morning I awoke to the sad news that a friend's grandaughter, Florence McDow, had passed away at age 6. Today I am reminded of the need for gratitude and to remember that each day is a precious gift. This short video is an incredibly beautiful reminder.
I call it the "mix-it-up" because I used 3 patterns (more photos at the Ravelry link). First, I am back to Wendy Johnson's Basic sock pattern from Socks from the toe up. I followed the toe construction and worked to the point where I needed to start the heel. At that point I use Cat Bordhi's Sweet Tomato Sock Heel pattern of short rows. I used 2 1/2 short rows to fit my foot. It WAS sweet and gave me the best fitting heel I have ever knit. I have used other short row heel patterns~~but those did not fit so well. These socks are snug and cozy. To make the socks and knitting them interesting, I used the pattern from Irishgirlieknits' Honey Badger. It hums along so that I can easily knit while in meetings, at the doc's office, or waiting in the pick-up line at Walgreen, etc. Here is a little photo of toe and heel as I was knitting.
In the future, I think I will be using that short row heel unless there is a compelling reason to use something else. My only concern is wear? How will it hold up? Anyone have a history with short row heels?