Friday, March 22, 2013

Another long time between drinks

G'day all!

Apologies.  I've been so busy!

But I bear news.  Good news.

One of the things that has kept me soooo busy is in the mail.  I don't know if he ever looks at my blog so I won't post pics yet, but soon.  Well probably after Easter given even with second top level express mail it isn't guaranteed to get to Oz before the third of April!  Boo hiss to that!  I have no idea why the post in Washington state takes an extra week to get out of the States but it is dreadfully slow from here.

So I have a little more time to do other things now that that big thing is out of the way.

In more important news, I had my 2.5 year checkup today.  They had forgotten to schedule me, so I am glad I rang last week.

Bloods, chest xray, mammo, nurse physician check up (no oncologist as she isn't available until May).

Bloods and chest xray are fine.

Mammo is fine, but then I get called back in.  They need more shots on the left side.

Oh dear.

And then MORE shots.

Oh dearie dearie dear.

And then EVEN MORE SHOTS.

By this stage I am freaking.  OMG, if I need to do chemo again, I'm going to have to go back home.  But DH is doing pretty well, mostly, at work, kicking goals and is mostly very happy there.  I couldn't go through chemo again with no family and very few friends.  I could cope with surgery and radiotherapy but chemo is brutal, at least for me it was.

So then I had to get an ultrasound, and I'm waiting for the biopsy cart to come in and freaking madly, almost blubbing.

The ultrasound calmed me down.  I could look at the screen and I couldn't see any black holes (tumours).  The only hole I saw was one of my ribs.  The sonographer saw nothing either and then the radiologist said nope, nothing suspicious.  The spot on the mammo looks like dense breast material (probably fibrocysts) and is an artefact.

My blood pressure was still 126 over 76 when I got to the nurse practitioner but they said that was fine, especially after the extra long time in the screening area.  They expected higher.

Bloods are good.  Chest xray is good.  Physical examination is good.

Now if only my stupid lower back would stop going into spasm, things would be totally grand.  Oh yeah, and my now a month overdue work thing was done - I have pretty much done all I can at this point, I only have about another three hours of work before someone else has to do the programming/functionality stuff.

So what have I been up to recently?

I've taken many lots of flower pictures.  Spring has sprung here,


the cherry plums are madly blooming, 



the daffs are amazing and I saw my first 



irises



anemones and 



(normal) tulip today.  



I saw these pointy, weird tulips on Monday.


Daffs by the shipping canal in Fremont
A rhododendron? Half mollis azalea
half rhodo?


The cherries are about to start and I have to go to the university and see if the cherries are going in a quadrangle there - they are quite spectacular in bloom.

It snowed on the car on the way to the check up this morning.  Little balls of puffy weird ice snow.  That was exciting, especially since I was inside the nice warm car and the snow wasn't sticking.

Last weekend we went to La Conner on Sunday afternoon to see a quilt exhibition (Kaffe Fassett and Brendan Mably).  That was interesting, seeing Kaffe's quilts close up and knowing that his sweat and tears, possibly even blood had been quilted into some by his very own hands!  Brendan Mably had some knitted garments on display too.  Of course the exhibitors were not on hand.  Then there was a fabric stash sale on across the road and I spent waaaay too much time and cash there, and then we walked along the main drag, absolutely starving because it was 5pm and we hadn't had lunch yet.  Alas all the shops were shut but not the taverns and grills so we found a place to eat.

Historic downtown La Conner


La Conner is pretty and would be lovely on a day when the wind isn't apparently coming from the Arctic (even though it was from the south west), and a total tourist trap.  My pics weren't great because it was too cold to hang around.  We will go back another day and explore.

zomg!  The frog on the toadstools!
zomg!  The frogs leaping at each other!

Oh, and if you can ignore the reflections, can you see the frogs in this pic?  I soooo want them.  They are glass I think.   They are so gorgeous!  Plus they remind me of one of my fave books, Threshold.

I have to go back and see what other things I've rambled about and when I posted last!  I thought I'd have socks to report, but maybe I've already done them. But really life has been pretty dull.  Work and quilting have taken up most of my time recently, and crawling around cos my back is playing up.  It really slows me down, literally.  I can't walk fast or anything.  I guess I now have to get onto that stupid tax website that we have to put all of our details into, all of them.  It is tedious and annoying - if you ask for help, half the time it logs you out and you can't log back in again for hours.  I am very over it.

Oh and happy two days past equinox!  I've not seen sunset for a few days now but the sun is really zooming up the Olympics now.

Goodness, it is a tiny pic!  Click to embiggen.
All in all, I am glad to say I am still here and probably will be for a while.  This is pleasing to me, and maybe to you as well!

Sunset over Olympics a week ago.

anon!

Saturday, March 02, 2013

A lottle of very little

G'day all!

I am still knitting - see?

New socks for me!
These are my new socks.  I wish I could find the label of them - I bought them from a vendor at Knit Fit (my local knitting conference!!!  Like four small blocks from me or a bit over 5 minutes!) in November.  I call them Antidote because they are a nice bright pick me up for dull days.  Hooray - found the label - dyed by Deidra MacKimmie, Spinner's Candy, "Sour Skittles Splash."

See, there are two!
They are quite nice and thick and squishy and I like them quite a lot.

I'm knitting a smoke ring with some
lovely lovely MadTosh merino.
This smoke ring is quite quick to knit up - ok, I've been knitting it on and off over over a week now and I've only done 1.5 repeats (more than what the pic shows) but it is my knitting whilst thinking piece by the computer.

Plus I have another sock on the go - I got a whole lot of it knitted in the TWO HOUR LONG queue to get into Comicon on Friday.  I only cast on in the bus on the way there...  I am so glad that I had the sock to keep me entertained.

Jan 2013 sock club yarn from
Flamboyant Yarn. 
Blurry pic by me and my phone.
I wandered around Comicon and gawped at costumes and people and things, and talked to the Oatmeal guy - he's a bit of alright!  I bought his books and got them signed and all.

Costumes.  Emerald City Comicon.
But it didn't entertain me as much as it did some.  I thought about queueing to get a couple of signatures but really?  My B5 signatures that I went to so much effort to get have been in storage for so long I don't even know where they are, so why would I go pay for signatures that I don't really care about?  Also they wanted cash unless I waited for Wil Wheaton who was not charging.  Yay Wil!  But I had waited in line for long enough that day.

A lottle bit of Star Wars.
Today I went off to a craft fair in Puyallup.  It is supposed to be HUGE! but every time I go to something that is HUGE I find it relatively small.  Maybe I'm just used to Australian craft, quilting and knitting conventions, though Stitches West was pretty big.  Anyway, this "easy chair" amused me.

!!!!  !!!!!!!!
I did buy a few bits and bobs, like some extra material for my brother's quilt and some material because it was pretty, and a lot of people commented on my skirt, the skirt I still don't have pics of because the weather on the weekend keeps being manky - actually it is manky most of the time at the moment.  It keeps promising a bit of spring but we haven't seen much in the way of sun since Tuesday I think and I want my sun back!  Anyway, it is made of "upcycled" felted jumpers (sweaters in US parlance) that are cut up and then overlocked (serged) into a new form.  Quite a few people asked me about it.

Despite the manky weather, we are winding our way towards Spring.  Various plants are budding out rapidly and some of the cherry plums are in bloom in the city (downtown).  I give you a very small cavalcade of daffodils, like two whole pics of them:




The tete a tetes (mini daffodils) on my balcony are almost blooming too.

The days are getting longer - over 11 hours now, way up from the not quite 8.5 hours of midwinter.  It does make a big difference to moods, though when it just pours rain and then goes sullen and grey for three or four days in a row, or a week, it gets a bit sad-making.

Last weekend we went off to the Flower and Garden Show.  I lost one of my tops there, but picked it up on Friday when I went back there for Comicon - someone had handed my top in!  Last time I lost a top, I never found it again.  We wandered around and saw some amazing stuff and brought home a number of orchids (mostly Oz natives).

Love the beetles and bugs made by
Sean Goddard  (search SeanGoddardInsects)

Awww, almost fairy land.

Of course we liked this!  It won the peoples' award.

This certainly made a statement.
As I go back in time through my pics and the blog, I find that I've finished another pair of socks, technically for Valentine's Day for DH but only a week late.  That's ok.

Socks.  Two of them.
I was particularly pleased with the way the heels used a repeat of the striping so that they did not interrupt the pattern as it continued up the leg.  It was sheer luck, but I made sure it happened on the second sock.

And the other exciting thing we did was accidentally go to the snow.  DH didn't give me very good directions to Cougar Mountain, and eventually we ended up at Snoqualmie Pass.  I was very glad I'd worn my hiking boots and winter jacket but DH only had mesh runners and a cotton "fleecy" (plus trousers, of course!) so we spent about 10 minutes outside if that and most of our time there in an eatery.

The clouds sat down on the mountains
so we decided to leave.  We didn't have good
snow gear or chains/etc for the car.
We stopped in North Bend, technically for petrol but I drove straight past all the fuel stations without realising and then decided not to chuck a u-ey.  Wish I had've cos I ended up fuelling up on Mercer Island after driving in circles there...

Love the snow/ice line.
Now if only I could clear the decks on my work stuff - I am at the pointy end of the project now and argh, it is taking me soooo long to get it finished.   I have had enough of it but I must persist and get the blasted thing done so it can be tested and fixed and tested and fixed and then sent off to the big wide world where it can be a grown up training module.  And I will be pleased to let it go!

anon!