Tuesday, April 29, 2008

It's all good!

News, that is.

The wrist is healing nicely. I wear the brace only when the wrist "tires", and the inflamation is going away, I think. I might be able to drum at Kentucky after all!

I finished my Kumihimo, only to start another one, finished up my Inkle weaving, and started another (which is nearly done), and bought another MP3 player, that also plays radio, recorded my copy of the medley for the band upon it, and went outdoors to practice with both. My biggest trouble ATM is that the shoe laces I'm using for lanyards is acrylic and it cuts into my hands and doesn't really hold the knot as well as the cotton lanyards will (once I get them dealt with).

I've pretty much got the medley down and know where I'm supposed to come in--still having trouble with the last tune, but it's coming at least. I'm not comfortable enough with it to do it in my sleep, however, so I'll go to bed with it tonight.

You read that right.

I will go to sleep tonight with the ipod going, and listen to it over and over, until it hits the subconscious, then it will be in my memory forever. Right now, however, I know the tunes, and can sing along with the melody. There are a couple places where the tenor part isn't quite right in my mind and my senses slap me every time it comes. This is good! Means I am feeling the tune well!

So, when I go to sleep and relax, I will still hear it.

And learn it. The only thing I can't do is to visualize where the tenors are flourishing...but I will ultimately get comfortable with that too.

Kentucky is May 9 and 10. You might not hear from me until after, and I can let you know how we did.

See you soon!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Bracing for the cold

We are supposed to get snow next week, after 70+ degrees all this week.

I don't think I can deal with more snow.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Est Finalment! A diagnosis!

I have DeQuervain's Tendinitis.

This is not good news.
The doctor put me into a hand brace.
Makes it very difficult to type.
Makes it very difficult to write.
Makes it impossible to flourish tenor drum sticks.

So guess what?

I think that for the time being, I won't be playing tenor drum until the tendons between my thumb and wrist heal--and this could take some time. Considering how much my wrist has bothered me today, I consider myself lucky that I still have a hand--I've threatened to cut it off twice today.

So, that said, I seriously doubt that I'll be going to Kentucky. Unless God decides to intervene--which he usually lets things like this happen to me because I'm not paying attention to something I should be paying attention to--and frankly, that could be anything.

Unfortunately, I am usually so busy, that I can't hear that "still small voice"...so this brace on my hand is sort of a forced "you're gonna listen now" thing, since I can't knit in it. I can't spin, because I can't get my thumb and forefinger together to dis the fiber, and I can't do band. So I am literally limited to doing

basically nothing.

I'm bored. I decided to write in my blog. Typing is weird. I can't hit the spacebar with my right thumb, so I am hitting it with my LEFT hand instead. The brain is so conditioned to hitting it with the right hand, that I have to literally "halt" at the end of every word to remember to hit the spacebar. I have trouble keeping up with my brain WITH my RIGHT hand!

So, if the text seems a little terse, please forgive. I have a disability today.

I had tendinitis once before, but it kept me from being able to wash my hair and stuff--so it was further up my arm, but no less bothersome. I went to physical therapy for several weeks for it. It finally went away on it's own. I was so glad when I could finally get my hands up to wash my hair without feeling the sting/pain of tendinitis. I haven't felt it since then.

Doc said "no filing, no lifting, no pushups".



Yes, I do pushups!

Well, I'm going to take off. I hope that the halting to press the spacebar doesn't hold me back too much at the office.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


I find that sometimes, it's very hard to help people that don't really want help? Ever had that situation? I get it now and then--and since I'm exposed to many different influences, and since I'm as old as I am, and since I've always been somewhat of a "hope that helps" sort of person, I am fairly free with my advice--whether I use it or not.

But when it strikes me that someone is afraid or unhappy, as much as I, too, hate those feelings that I succumb to every so often, I tend to seriously identify with those who express similar feelings.

I figure myself to be a caring individual, even though there are limits to my caring. For instance, I do not appreciate it when I warn someone of the results of their actions, only to watch them stumble along the same path and fall down and get hurt since I once took that path and fell own and got hurt at it years ago. It sort of feels like a slap in the face. I suppose it's the human condition that we all have to die the same deaths in order to grow and learn...but it's frustrating to watch.

Do you know that I was told today that I'm chock full of negativity? I unsubscribed from that blogger's feed. I figure in this way, if I don't read about her troubles, I won't be inclined to help...a sort of "out of sight out of mind" sort of therapy for myself. It's okay, though, since I don't think that the feed was getting to me regularly anyway.

Getting ready for work today--one look in the mirror told me that I'm going to have to do something with my hair now. I got a perm, and the bottom line is "I can't do a thing with it". It's fuzzy, and while I was initially happy with the result, today is just not the day to ask me "do you like your perm?" HA! No, today I need "Hairapy". Now there's a negative thought. It's just not doing what it's supposed to do, so I'm going to have to go into the bathroom, and give it the "once over" with the curling iron and blow-dryer. It will mean I'll be a tad late for work, but I'd like my hair to start looking good for a change.

I didn't do any knitting yesterday, since my wrist still bothers me. The only time it seems to NOT bother me, is when I am off work for the weekend--I suppose I sort of "give it a rest" from work type activities. I'm still moving it, but my Monday morning, it's usually feeling better, then I go to work, and all that "good" feeling goes away. I'm frustrated with it. Soon, the doctor's going to get another visit.

Well, I suppose I'm going to go tackle this hair, then I'll get my purse, keys and coat and head out into this world and spread my negativity around so other people can be just as miserable as some folks seem to think I am. Imagine that? Me? Negative?

I wonder where the heck they got that idea?

Sunday, April 20, 2008

First attempts at weaving

Well I got out my inkle loom, thinking that I would try some weaving with the DMC thread I had been working on my Kumihimo with---well, apparently that's not going to work. I wanted something that was near to a shoelace and made of cotton. This strip that is the result of my weaving is hard around the edges--as if I've done it too tightly--so I'm going to need to talk with my friend Peg to see what I did wrong. She's sort of our spin group's "inside authority on inkle loom weaving", so I should be able to get some good instruction from her.

The new Tyler Fry tenor sticks came in the mail in like a couple of days. Now I can't find the cd that Ed gave me to work with that has all the tunes on it. I thought that I'd left it in the cdrom, but it's not there, and it's not on the table. I'm at a loss, now. I can't even find my ipod, and I know that it's in the house SOMEWHERE. I guess that's what I get for having lots of junk and lots of house to hide things in.

Anyway, there's a band practice today, I get to work with the tenor drum (I think), and I'm taking in my McLeod kilt to have it "let out" so that I can wear it to things like massed bands and the like. I have to clean out the drumming bag so that I can find things...this business of not being able to find things is the pits.

I found out that the Tyler Fry sticks work really well with the "In-Snap" for upward position. I worked a bit on that last night after sewing up the lanyard shoestrings. I left those long, too, so that if I need to make adjustments for "retaining water situations", it's an easy fix. No more of this wide shoelace bit--or the round stuff that doesn't stay on the stick. I suppose that I could try to remove the cotton core of the round laces, but I don't think the outer acrylic covering would last very long without it.

So now it's just a matter of learning the "bits" and playing for massed bands, which I'm looking forward to doing. Of course, some I still have from years and years ago, but some has changed, and I do need to practice it. So we'll see how that goes.

In the meantime, I sort of wish that once in a while my friend Ray would drive so that I can knit, right now, it's sort of a moot point, since I'm trying to relax my wrist. It seems to hurt more and more every day, and the pain seems to be moving up my forearm, which is unusual. I see the doctor in another week, and since it's not any better, perhaps he should schedule an MRI so see what is really going on in there. It's sort of a burning sensation--sort of feels like a cut with salt poured in. In fact, it seems to hurt most when my wrist is "at rest"...and of course that makes no sense at all.

Well, that's about it for today. Sorry there's no pictures of my work today, but there's really no time--between preparing breakfast and packing the car with gear to take to Flint, it's a real madhouse around here...add to that my stress over not being able to find the things I want, and you've got a hot bed for argument right around the corner.

I hope the day goes well. Later!

Friday, April 18, 2008

I've HAD it!

This wrist thing isn't going away. They're telling me that if it doesn't go away after another week, I might need an MRI!


I will tell you, though, today I took my brazziere off without taking off my shirt, twisted my thumb just so, and sent a shot of hot pain straight to the brain cells. Ouch!

Too bad I don't have the presence of BRAIN to stop tenor drum flourishing.

But the exercise is good for the arms, which look more like a wing-span these days....

It's one of those things that happen when women get older...everything you want big gets smaller, everything you want to stay small gets bigger.

I'm not sure which is worse??

I've been working on some basic Kumihimo, making a bit of shoelace--but it's tubular, and really, I wanted FLAT, but it doesn't look like I'm going to get "flat" anytime soon. I have quite a bit of the tubular stuff, though, and it might work.

This in addition to the tenor drumming, the knitting on the hat and the fair isle sweater. I also was notified of a pattern/kit for a pair of mittens, which is just beautiful, and it's in my colors, so I bought the kit for $30. Here's the information if you'd like to look into it...

Amaryllis Mittens

Ya'll need to make a pair! I'll have mine done in time for this coming winter, and while they won't match my hat, they will be a nice addition to my winter gear.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

While the World goes to pieces...

Well, I had completely decided that I was going to finally retire from Bagpipe Bands all together--I even told my friend Ray that

"Tonight, I think, is the last time I'm driving to Flint for band practice..."

and then proceeded to tell him why.

But then, several people showed up for tenor drumming, and suddenly--it got "fun".

Never mind the fact that we're probably 4 weeks away from having it down completely--and there's a competition in 2 weeks. Perish the thought. So I bent the credit card again, bought some good tenor beaters (yeah, the kind I really DON'T like), which will be "in" in a few days to a week, and put the songs on my memory stick (since I can't find my Ipod, but I think I remembered where it went, and I'll find it when I get home after heading to work), so that I can at least "listen" to the beating at the office


In the meantime, I am feeling totally pressured into going to the Kentucky Highland Games--I just don't know how the band works that stuff out--travel expenses and lodging, I mean. I seriously can't afford to pay my own way to these things, and if it comes to that, I WILL need to quit. At least there are other women in the band that are probably willing to room with me. God help them!

Anyway, the prospects looked a little rosier, and I'm considering going down on Sunday, as well, to work on this little thing called "tenor". We'll see how it goes. If I don't start working on it seriously soon, I'll be leaving it behind as one of those "things that just didn't quite make it" in my life, and go forward into some new endeavor that brings even more joy and positive motion--though what that might be, I do not know.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Tax Day!

Well, just like the last 8 years, my hubby waits until the very last second to finish up the taxes. I've been waiting for at least 3 months for him to get the "tax bug" to get them out early. I'm a patient sort, but he waited until the night that I have spin night to finish them up.

"Where'd you put the taxes information?" He asks.

What do you mean! I put that stickie note right here one the table! What did you do with it? It has to be here somewhere! Tell me you didn't throw it away after I GAVE it to you to put with the tax information!

It's all your fault for losing it! You moved everything!

And these sorts of stress-filled, last minute arguments. I hate them. We have these EVERY year, along with the promise to each other that next year, we'll have them done professionally, but I have learned after my short 7 years (almost 8 if he LIVES THAT LONG!) with this man, that he is not about to throw good money after bad. He WANTS every nickel he's got coming to him back, and it really makes him mad that part of his deduction stays with the government.

Not that he's a penny pincher or anything, but you know how if you squish a grape it lets out a little "whine"? Well, pennies sit on every flat surface of our house. They become like furniture. He has quart jars (not just one, mind you--they are all over the house....) full of pennies. He even bought pennies on Ebay once.

Wait a minute...he bought pennies on Ebay???

The man needs some serious intervention.

Of course, the time will come when he will cart all these pennies to the bank and toss them into the coin sorter. The last time he did that he had something like $500 worth. That was a LITTLE visit to the bank. I think we had 2 white five-gallon pails both were half full. I think the cat went to the bathroom in one of them, and all the pennies at the bottom were rusted. We didn't turn those in--just gave them to the bank to retire, so the money back could have been a lot more.

In exchange for using the machine, they would let you use for free if you started an account for a kid or a grandkid, and as luck would have it, we had just been so blessed with a grandson, so hubby opened an account for him. How sweet. All that penny grubbling, and I don't get any of it? I could buy some serious yarn with that loot!

Well, enough of pennies and tax time. Today, I make the copies and send them out and it's done for another year, and I don't have to think about it again until late March/early April next year. Thank goodness they don't collect taxes on, say the 8th of August! Imagine the arguments when its hotter than an oven in the house to the point you can't breathe? My husband would go certainly apoplectic!

Got a few more rows done on the reversible hat yesterday, and the flower pattern is coming out nicely. I've had to make some corrections, but so far, they've ben pretty easy.

Something is going on downstairs, I need to check it out...if I'm not back in 10 seconds...call...the..

Monday, April 14, 2008

Back to Stumped

Even with a myriad of things that I COULD do, I am stumped as to what to do for my next project--

Should I make the April KAL for the Monthly Dishcloth Yahoo Group?
Should I take the yarn and needles in to the office to work on the Heere There Be Dragone shawl?
Should I take a ball of cotton string and needles and Princess shawl to the office (along with the border pattern and the dry erase marker and the last threads of my SANITY?)?
Should I start a new pair of socks?
Should I just continue to work on my double knit hat?

What to do! Decisions! Decisions!

Well, since the double knit hat is MOST portable, and "ready" to go (as in packed into a plastic bag with all the trimmings), I suppose that I will work on it, but I surely would love to take a dishcloth, which is usually even more portable, but it's just not in "go mode" yet.

I got a new book called "Kitty Knits" at the LYS on Saturday. I've been eye-balling it for a couple of weeks....coveting actually---only for a pair of socks that lurk within its pages. They are "kitty socks", a plaid pattern with little kitty faces around the top. This is a cool thing, because I can edit the kitties to make pig faces, and give them to my mother, little devil faces (or perhaps jolly rogers) for my son who likes that sort of thing, dollar signs for my husband--LOL! Of course, then he will know what I'm after when he's gone from this world...wait...what am I saying?

Anyway, the socks are cute, and I want to make them. I've also got another book coming from Ebay--another library book with stitch patterns in it. Don't know what I need THAT for--since I pretty much have all the stitch pattern books I could ever hope to knit something from every pattern before I died--should I be that lucky to live to 500.

I expect I'll be 5 times fatter and 5 times wrinklier and wait a minute. How can you be fatter and wrinklier at the same time?

So I ask the tarot cards when will my hubby sell the property he has for sale.

I get the King of Cups Reversed, the 9 of wands reversed and the Lovers Reversed.

Basically, it probably isn't going to happen.

What the cards mean is that he's being too rigid, and needs to be more flexible--which he's not being. That's the King of cups reversed. The 9 of wands reversed has something to do with his retirement--probably that he has to retire first to generate the actual "need" for the money, rather than just the "desire" for the money, and lastly The Lovers reversed means a bad choice made in too much haste, which may have much to do with retirement OR selling the property OR both. In short, retirement without selling the property first is a bad choice, and he should perhaps lower the price to sell it before retiring, or not retire and wait for the market to recover some--yet selling fast (lowering price) to retire earlier is the bad choice. So, I guess you know what that means.

Remember the dollar signs on the socks?
---------------- (note: change of subject matter begins here)--------------
I'm coming to the conclusion that I need to get my nails trimmed again. I keep missing the "e" key.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Class on Saturday

and a canceled band practice today--YAY! I can devote my afternoon to chatting with friends on inter-relay chat!

Anyway, the class was about DOUBLE KNITTING. Definitely not for those who suffer from brain farts every so often! LOL! That would be me, by the way.

We started a hat, which is reversible, one color one side, a contrasting color on the other. The pattern is the same on both sides, and it's knit in the round...

Therefore, it's like doing ribbing. All the time. In the round. With two colors.

You have to think about the pattern, and I have to count all the time, but the end result is really spectacular.

Here's the end result...
Beautiful, isn't it? The pattern is of one of those flowers you used to see on "Laugh-In". Oops. Careful. Showing your age, again.

Anyway, I'm enjoying the knitting, but it is rather fiddly. Works best if you continental knit which I do, but ribbing isn't one of my favorite things to do, as I throw with my right hand (really need to learn to pick), and it's putting some real stress on my right wrist, which isn't cooperating very well these days due to some sort of inflammation which is helped by Naproxin (Aleve), but not entirely. It makes me wonder how old my Naproxin is. Hrmm.

So I put it down every couple of rows and do something else for a while.

Right now, I'm going to make some bread in the breadmaker. Want some?

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Another Dishcloth!

Okay, so I lied. Here I am again, awake at 7am--although I've been awake a lot longer, since my alarm on my cellie went off at 4:20am--nevermind. I don't want to talk about it. I'm pooped! Nuff said.

Anyway, I worked on a dishcloth last night until well after 11. The border on the illusion cloth was quite fiddly, and I didn't want to forget what I'd been doing, so I just stayed up and finished it.

End result below:

and if you look at it sideways, here's what appears!

Everyone else in the group had white rabbits. Since I live in the country, I wanted a brown, wild bunny. So there! :)

Friday, April 11, 2008

More Cloths!

I finished Eloominator---pretty easy actually, and a variation on the old "Granny's Favorite" that had a cool twist. Then I did a butterfly cloth. I have to weave in the ends, but otherwise, it's finished.

Tomorrow, I learn how to do double knitting and make a hat. Then on Sunday, there's drumming to do. So it will be a busy weekend and you'll likely not see much of me.

Started an illusion cloth, but since I didn't care for the non-border style of it, I decided to do a border. Little did I know that I was going to end up doing a bit of intarsia...so here I am struggling with lots of bits of yarn. I made a lousy decision, but I'm sticking to it.

Storms all afternoon, but it's toasty warm outdoors, and I'm loving it!

One of my mice is preggers and nearly as big around as my fist! Poor thing. She's going to have fifteen babies by the looks of her!

And whilst taking pics of my washcloths, I snapped this precious photo!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Morning after

practice was fine--I can see I'm going to have to work my bunns off to get it in shape. The tenor lead and I discussed some issues, and I hope that I was helpful.

In the meantime, I'm also planning to braid my own lanyards for my sticks, if they ever arrive. First, Lisa Frazier has to reply to my email, as it is her sticks that I'm hopig to play tenor with.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Wrist Issue

Is a tissue issue.
I finally figured out what I did to my wrist.

No, it's not a cyst.
No, it's not carpul tunnel.
No, I don't think I broke it...though I did get x-rays taken today...

No to all of those...

I played with the cat.

Allow me elucidate (which is a big word meaning "explain"):

About a week ago, while playing with the cat, she clawed me and broke the skin in the last joint of my pinky finger on my right hand. Now, I didn't realize that this had happened until a day or so later, when it got slightly infected and started to smart, which led to turning my hand this way and that to try to LOOK at the damage (since, when it's on the far right in the joint where your finger meets your hand, you can't help but twist your hand into all sorts of crazy angles to try to get a look!)

I found a small sore that was very red, so I got a needle, and poked it, and swathed it in Peroxide and it bubbled like mad for about 3 minutes. So I doused it again to clean it out, washed with anti-bacterial soap, added some Neosporin and a bandaid, and went about my business. That night, I slept on my arm, which I normally do NOT do.

Two days later, I can't move my hand without pain, and I wonder WHY???????????

Well, I figure I sprained it trying to do all the medical know-how.

Doc said he thought it was "inflamed", and gave me Naproxin (Aleve) and x-rays (3 of them!).

Of course, not a bit of this came to mind while I was in the doctor's office...OH NO!!!! Perish the thought that I should remember something so trivial as a slightly infected cat boo-boo.

I remembered after my appointment, took an Aleve at the office, and will take another before bed, and while I'm not quite "FINE", I am BETTER. At least I can type and tell all my wonderful readers out there


That said, I can now move on.

Band practice tomorrow night--though I doubt I'll be doing much in the way of flourishing tenor sticks until my wrist settles down. But I can work on the 3/4 drum set with Ray and go for the gold and get the medley for the drumming for Flint. We'll see how that goes.

In the meantime, Ray bought me a new drum pad to match the ones that Flint Scottish uses. Not that we needed any, but 'whatever makes him happy', I suppose.

Then I can relax and knit on Thursday and Friday. Saturday, I believe that I have a class at Threadbear, and then I have Sunday to myself.

It's going to be a busy week. How come I feel like I never have enough time to do anything?

Monday, April 7, 2008

Monday, Monday

Can't trust that day.

Do you know how you get to a certain age, and you just finally realize that you don't seem to be able to keep up with the younger set anymore?

I think that yesterday was that day for me.

Things have changed so much in the tenor drumming world, and I just don't feel like I'm up to the challenge. Sure I can do a few tricks, but...well you know what I mean--I haven't kept up with the techniques for nearly 20 years, and the whole thing has changed. When I started, I was pretty much a maverick. Now I feel like a has-been that never quite "was".

But it's not just the tenor drumming world--it's everything about bagpipe bands. Today's grade 5 was grade 4 20 years ago, and most of the Shriner Bands weren't considered good enough for even Grade 5. Now, there's not a chance for them in the competition world. It's ridiculously tight. Everything is so exact, technically diverse and difficult that it takes even a reasonably good musician several years to move from beginner status to competition in grade 5.

sigh I think my time has passed.

But it might be, too that I am expecting too much from myself--being too hard on myself. I mean, I want to go right out there and WOW some people, and now, I'm thinking...time for my nap--do you know what I mean? But maybe I'm pushing myself too hard. I expect so much out of myself. I'm thinking "to get back into this, I'm really going to have to devote some premium time to it", and then ask myself, "but is it really worth it?"

Work hard, develop, only to be let down again?

I'm not sure that I want to deal with all that again. I mean my friend Ray has all the time in the world to practice all day if he wants to--he's retired and on disability! I still have to work for a living. Most of the kids in the band are in school, which doesn't compare with work in the real world. I just don't have that sort of time unless I really apply myself and listen to it consistently and constantly. I don't think that I have time for that either--not even if I put it on my ipod! Frankly, there's only so many times you can listen to a drum score before you drive yourself nuts with it.

So I ask the cards...what should I do??? The Lovers, reversed. The Ace of Pents reversed. The Moon. Okay, sure, I'm having trouble making the choice. Money (or the lack of it) may make it for me. The outcome is uncertain--perhaps a bit of depression (moodiness) to follow the final decision to retire from it forever.

My wrist is killing me--remember that cyst I had? It broke yesterday, and shot pain all up and down my forearm. I had an icy-hot patch on my arm ALL NIGHT. Today, it's just on my wrist, but it really hurts.

More later, after I work on my drumming.

Friday, April 4, 2008


Band practice was last night, and I was asked to come in on Sunday for the Grade 4 practice. This is going to be really interesting.

First of all, since I don't seem to be catching on with the drum score, they asked me if I would like to try tenor.

Um, sure. Why not?

So I walked into a different room and worked out with the tenor drummers. This was pretty interesting since the lead tenor was amazed when I told him I started out my drumming career with tenor drumming. He asked me if I could read music--I told him I've been in choir for like onto 40 years off and on, and that I've been drumming for 20 of those same 40 years, but only off and on..but sure, I can read music. I know whole, half, quarter, eigth, sixteen etc...sometimes I don't get the phrasing quite right, but I'm willing to look at it.

They put a couple of sticks in my hands, and while they weren't flourishing sticks, I played about with them. I don't know all the flourishing symbols yet, but what can I say---it's different now than it was 20 years ago.

When I was the only tenor, and I didn't have to play what everyone else did, and I could ad-lib to my hearts content.

That's when they asked if I wanted to come on Sunday for the special practice for Grade 4 AND a small tenor clinic with Pete Whalen--who will likely work with the bass drummer, and perhaps not so much with the tenors. Beyond which, I have never seen Pete play tenor, and I don't know if he knows all the flourishing techniques. Beyond that they were going to give me a dvd of Lisa Frazier who I met 22 years or so ago when I first started playing tenor. I had been at it about 10 weeks or so...and I'm out on the grass working out, and she walks up and asks me how long I'd been playing, because she'd never seen me before, and when I told her, she nearly had a heart attack--

"GET OUT!" she says "You've been at this for at least 5 years!"

I swear, I had only been playing about 10 weeks. We'd just had a competition 2 weeks earlier in Glascow, Kentucky, just 8 weeks after starting tenor, and was asked by the Glen Erin Pipe Band to play with them in competition.

It was the beginning of a long road of bagpipe bands. Anyway, I wanted to buy a set of Lisa's sticks, but was as poor as a church mouse at the time, and couldn't afford them. I haven't seen her at Alma, Michigan's Highland Games since that time.

So in the space of a couple of weeks, the band and one of the premier tenor instructors of my time gave me the two biggest compliments. These things have been what has carried me through my life in bagpipe bands.

I talked with my hubby about the clinic, and he's not really happy about it. He doesn't want me to get deeply involved with another band. He isn't the slightest bit interested in bagpipe bands, and I sure wish he would try. It would make my life just that much happier.

Something happens to me if I watch a bagpipe band from the sidelines. The blood starts to tingle, and something deep and primal rises up inside, and if I'm not playing with them, I start to cry. It's almost as if my blood is going back to the time of Culloden, and I'm out there with my fellows, dying on the field...or that I lost a husband there in a previous life. (Not that I believe in such things mind you, but the grief is so strong it's nearly stifling!)

So when I am NOT playing in a band, my heart fairly yearns. I miss Grand Rapids at times, but not one of them has tried to contact me--and only the person who booted me out has so much as emailed me back a thank you for a joke I sent him. I have no idea what their problem is.

But I was fairly anxious about Pete Whalen coming to Flint to work with the tenors, because of course, he's going to see me there, and I can't control that he's going to tell people at Grand Rapids (since he lives there). I will ask him to keep it under wraps, but if someone is reading this blog STILL, after all this time (and I can't imagine why they would eavesdrop in such a way after what was done to me), they already know. So all the anxiety this morning was for naught, frankly.

Tomorrow, the plan is to work on taxes. Tonight is easy dinner night and I'm going to knit. At the office, I started a butterfly washcloth. I did another tribble today but the cotton yarn is indeed affecting my wrist. I have Icy-Hot on it as we speak...as it were.

So, I'm off to read some email, and then to knitting!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Topsy Turvey

Well, the world is turning upside down again, especially at the office. There are lots of special projects that have been put on the bottom shelf (or the highest shelf) for a long bit, and now, everyone is trying to gt some of them done.

In the meantime, I'm being trained on the complexities that our new programming made possible for us to be unable to do our jobs . They spent 6 plus years (and hoy, I wish I had the money that they wasted shoving idiot people on and off the job to get it only to "it doesn't work right" status), but it's only going to be used (they say) for the next year and a half.

Lot of money down the drain for a usage of 2 years, I have to tell you, but I've been known to complain a little about it.

That and the fact that while I'm being asked to do someone else's job, they're being asked to do this special project--which is fine with me. It's not so fine with other people, who think it will overload me and make me inaccessible to THEM. I suppose there could be some truth to that, but I'm not about to bog down my brain with a lot of details (grin).

But the whole office is that way--none of us can do our work with this system, and I'll be so glad when it's gone. Really glad. Then we can use a new system that doesn't work either!

I mean, it all works out in the end, right?

In the meantime, I come home and I knit my fool-butt off--Here's last night's foray into the knitting world. This is really coming along, and I keep putting it up to my body to see where I'm at. Somehow, I keep knitting on it, but I never seem to get past these boobs. Maybe I'm growing bigger boobs? I'm sure it's just that I'm realizing that I want it ever longer and longer...but that's just me. It will be to the underarms soon. Very soon.

But not tonight, as tonight is band practice.

Oh and speaking of band practice, I finally got an email from my erstwhile son--who apparently is furious with me, and probably never wants to speak to me again. I had hopes that he would be able to continue with his learning snare drum and go with us to Flint, but it means that he'd have to drive himself somehow (since his car's not drivable right now and it's not starting either) to our meeting place, and beyond that, because of his financial crush (not crunch, and he didn't use the term crush, either), he's going to have to sell the car because he can't afford the insurance or to have it fixed, and so he's angry with me for his predicament (he didn't use those words, but the idea came through loud and clear).

I told him that I was really sorry for his predicament, but I was not responsible for how he got there, and I wasn't responsible for getting him out of there. I also apologized for asking about the band to begin with, but my mother had told me that she was fixing his car at her own expense, because she can't walk anymore, and needs to have a car! I asked him if he's selling the car, how's he going to get Grandma around, and why is she still talking about fixing the car if you're just going to sell it out from under her? Well, in retrospect, he's probably selling the car to her for getting it fixed.

But he's angry with me. It just breaks my heart. Sort of like it did when he was screaming in a temper tantrum inside the grocery store when I wouldn't buy him that candybar. So please, feel free to ignore the dripping sarcasm display.

On the other hand, my doctor appointment went well. We got together and I showed her Ravelry, and this blog (even read some excerpts). She really thinks that I should be a writer. Man, I don't know about much else but my own life--which wouldn't make good reading---maybe television. HA! But seriously, I have no idea what I'd write about. There are some days that I really have to work to find fodder for this page.

You know, however, it's been a long time since I pulled a tarot card, so let's do that...Tarot card for today is.

The hanged man....ouch. Entitled "Sacrifice", and it's right side up. Usually means that I'm going to have to give something up. Well, that could mean the regular work that I do--in an effort to do the work that is being foisted on me, which really doesn't bother me, but it does "stress" me, some. It heralds a loss of control, but it's more about "letting go" so that you can move on to other areas. This might mean discussion with Ray about leaving drumming altogether--but I'm thinking that it's work related, since things are becoming pretty topsy turvey lately. We'll see what today brings in the real world.


Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Microsoft Wednesday

Today, I have only a partial day at the office because I have my regular "every two weeks" appointment with my therapist. This person helps me keep my head on straight and focused on the things I SHOULD be focused on.

Then I come here and focus on other things that I probably shouldn't.

So last night I worked some on my fair isle sweater, but about 8 pm I got so tired that I finally had to just give up and go to bed. I slept HARD all night, and this morning I feel like I was run over by an 18-wheeler....not JUST some ordinary pickup truck. And it was a wide load, double bottom Peterbuilt.

In short, I'm sore. I've got a kink in my neck that's going to take at least 15 minutes in the shower to deal with, and my throat feels like I've been sucking on cotton all night. Let it be known, my readers, that getting old sucks brussel sprouts.

As I mentioned, I have my doctor's appointment today. She's a nice lady. She thinks I'm funny. She thinks I should write a book. I get flustered when people say things like that--because I'm no Erma Bombeck. So I thought that I would write a story here about something that happened a long time ago.

Yes, it's really true.

Randy, my son and I drove over to a friend's house to work on his car. It turns out that didn't happen, but I digress. We got to chatting in the garage, and the friend's son, we'll call him Bobby, because I don't remember his name, came and asked his dad if he could play in the hayloft in the barn, and he wanted my son to go along--who was only 6 or 7 at the time. I was not comfortable with the idea at the get go, but the friend assured me that his son was up there all the time and everything would be FINE. So, I relented against my better judgment, and let him go and play with his new pal Bobby.

After about 10 minutes, Randy told me to go and check on the kids, which I did--just in time to watch my son fall through the ceiling like a rag doll and fall to the cement floor like a sack of sand. He lay there pretty much motionless while I screamed for Randy!

You see, Randy had always told me never to move anyone who had fallen or been hurt in a car accident--neck issues, you know? I figured Randy to be the best one to meet with this incident, because he'd told me that he'd had EMT training when he worked for the Michigan University Search and Rescue. (Note: Later I found out that Randy was never in this group of people, it was his brother RICK--Randy just appropriated that part of his brother's life and lied to me about it.)

So I allowed this untrained person to roll my son over. He was out like a light. Two bumps on his haid--one on front, from hitting the concrete, one on back that happened when he fell through the ceiling. He was out for all of a couple minutes--no more than 5.

We got in the car and headed to readi-care.

The doctor's took all manner of x-rays. No skull fractures, thank god, but he did have a concussion. Poor kid had headaches for a week! I think he still does.

Closed head injuries are horrible things.

Now before you say it, I will. "Why would you let your 6 year old son do something like that when your gut reaction was---'it's not safe'?"

Because I was STUPID. When it came to Randy, I was stupid. Him and his friends would always override my own natural ability to sense DANGER and Hostility. Randy nearly killed us both on the motorcycle one day, and nearly killed my son that day.

I hope he rots in HE**.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008


Sounds a bit like "Terminator", doesn't it? But it isn't so threatening, really--just a Grandmother's Favorite Dishcloth with a religious center--read that HOLEY, rather than HOLY.

Kind of cute though, so here's the progress pic. I got this much done in about 3 hours--not to shabby eh? I like the openwork in the center. It's a little hard on the hands, though. It's made with a skp--slip 1 knit 1 psso. After that, it's just a standard Grandmother's Favorite. Really easy.

I got the pattern here, if I didn't tell you yesterday. Today, I'm going to make a few Tribbles, then I'm heading home to work on my fair isle--maybe do some laundry...you know "standard married fare".

This morning Mandy went outside and found a possum in our yard--big and all curled up. I'm not sure if it was dead, or just pretending, but it wasn't moving. Mandy was all over it like ugly on ape, sniffing. She didn't roll in it, thank god, which means it probably will move on once it realizes that she's not out there anymore. These possums are nasty and they have sharp teeth and can be rabid, but Mandy was circling and sniffing. If it's gone when I go outside, I will know that she didn't kill it, nor did the next door neighbor dog drag it dead into our yard. He does that sometimes--drag carcasses into our yard. I mean, why would he want to smell up his own yard, right?

Of course, the day is warm, and soon the little creatures--even the stinky ones (read that SKUNK) will come out and play, and Mandy will get her first skunk shot of the year, and be good to never let that happen again, huh? But it happens every year without fail. Just once--but every year. Sigh. She's a border collie--you'd think she'd remember!

Oh and before you go thinking I put my doggie in the shower with tomatoe juice, think again.The stuff doesn't work. You end up with a dog that smells like wet dog, skunk and spagetti sauce.

Um, maybe I'll pass.