Saturday, February 25, 2017

Just Asking

20 billion dollars to build a wall, massively increase the nation's nuclear capability and build up the armed forces so that they are unbeatable  -  who is going to pay for it all?  And the people were  promised tax cuts.

My outer bandages came off my leg yesterday, much to my relief as they were starting to roll up and get lumpy and very uncomfortable.  I still have the steristrips and the dissolving stitches and I still can't have a shower but I am not being quite so obsessional about keeping my leg up; it is very uncomfortable and sitting around was starting to annoy me. In six days I see the dermatologist again and hopefully I will get the all-clear and will be able to shower again.

 I am still re-reading my Terry Pratchett books  -  working my way through the Witches Series at the moment.  And I have been spending a great deal more time than usual online  -  hence my questions at the beginning of this blog  -  but now that I feel that I can put my foot down a bit more I can probably get back to spinning if I do it in small bites.

Today is GB1's 16th birthday and the 16th anniversary of the day I fell asleep as the wheel of my car and realised that I needed to do something about my RLS so that I could get an occasional good night's sleep  -  which led to a night in a sleep clinic.  Don't go there unless you are desperate  -  it was probably the worst night I have ever spent but it made the condition official and I was able to legitimately get medication to ameliorate the symptoms.  I have the opposite problem at the moment,  so bored that I keep on falling asleep  -  ooops  -  I keep needing power naps; but sleeping during the day has never been a difficulty it is nights which are hard.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow creeps . . .

. . . in this petty pace from day to day.

The bandages on my leg can come off tonight and I will be left with the steristrips and the stitches and I have another week of keeping my leg elevated whenever possible, although I forget and find that, especially when I am on my computer, my leg sort of ends up with my foot on the floor because it is more comfortable.

And I am spending a lot of time on my computer.  The political news from USA is giving me endless amusement but is all a bit scary.  The President has announced an upgrade of his nuclear arsenal . . .

A profound quote from Donald Trump  -

"You know what uranium is, right?  It's this thing called nuclear weapons, and other things, like lots of things are done with uranium, including bad things."

. . . and there is an agreement between USA and Russia that they will match each other's nuclear capabilities which means an escalation in nuclear weapons.  I hope that there is a system of checks and balances before anyone can press that red button or we are all in the poo.

And if you have not yet discovered Randy Rainbow  -  he is the one person who has constantly made me laugh over this very tedious time  -  and I still have a week to go before I get the OK to get back to any sort of normal life.  Thank you, Randy, I have you on Feed to Facebook.

I am still working my way through re-reading my Discworld books and am currently reading Masquerade which is a parody of The Phantom of the Opera.  I tend to find something new every time I read these books.  Terry Pratchett, as well as writing prolifically, must have read widely as his books are full of quotes and misquotes from other books.  There is an internet site called The Annotated Pratchett which gives the source of his quotes.  I have contributed one quote which was not listed and it was duly added to the page.  My favourite is 'Another shirt ruined' which is a recurrent theme in the Amelia Peabody series by Elizabeth Peters.

OK  -  so I am waffling; I'll go and put my feet up and knit *sigh*.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Immitation of Immortality

I am five days into the edict "Keep your foot up, do not walk far, do not stand for long periods, do not get your bandages wet and  DO  NOT HAVE  A  SHOWER  FOR  TWO  WEEKS".

By 10.000am last Saturday morning I was bored out of my mind and wondering how I was going to last for the two weeks of doing nothing.  Normally a day without plans is something to look forward to; I will never think that way again.  Imagine being forced to live forever after you have done everything you need to or had planned to do.

I have been hanging out on Facebook and giggling at the posts. It would appear that Facebook is strictly Democratic  -  or I just haven't found much Republican stuff  -  and I have discovered Randy Rainbow and all his works. I have read all the posts about the terrorist attack in Sweden  -  and some of them were real classics. As I understand from official Swedish sources it snowed and a rutting moose attacked a garden ornament in the shape of a moose  -  Oh, and a pony called Biscuit was rescued from a well.

I have tried reading and have finally finished "Baghdad Burning; Girlblog from Iraq" and have read the preface to the second book of Riverbend's blog "Baghdad Burning II" but that all needs to be taken a bit at a time and blog by blog.  I wish her well and hope that she is safe and happy wherever she is now.

I am reading a Gladys Mitchell book on my Kobo Reader but keep on falling asleep since it seems to be a guided tour around the Scottish Highlands with a murder thrown in for a bit of light relief, so I have resorted to re-reading Terry Pratchett's Discworld series of books and it doesn't matter if I fall asleep over them because I have already read them so many times that if I miss a bit I will know what happened anyway.  And of course, I can't get to sleep at night so I get up and read tomorrow's news which is already happening in USA or maybe it is yesterday's news which tripped over the international dateline.  Anyway it is all FALSE NEWS and LIES so it really doesn't matter.

If you have managed to read down this far you have probably got the message that I am bored out of my tiny mind not because I usually do a heap of things but because I CAN'T do things.

The cats are no help either.  They see one leg up and assume that it constitutes a lap and object when they fall off . . . and Parsifal is learning to knit, I think.  He used l eat anything cordlike so I am treating his interest in my knitting with deep disquiet, keeping it well wrapped when I stop to read a book, fall asleep or haunt Facebook.

"Life gets tejus don't it."

Friday, February 17, 2017

I have joined the ranks of the Great Unwashed

Yesterday I had my pesky squamous cell carcinoma removed from my leg and for the next two weeks I am not allowed to get the area wet, not allowed to walk very much and need to keep the leg up as much as possible so I am sitting here with my right heel resting on a stool  -  and it is not at all  comfortable.

The cats, however, think that keeping one leg up constitutes a lap and I spent the morning trying to gently discourage them so that I could knit or at least read a book but they insisted on being tickled under the chin or between the ears and refused to desist.  They have finally settled down and gone to sleep but I am going to have two weeks of this.

After the hectic last two weeks I would have thought that a day when I was forced to do nothing would be welcome and wonderful but I was bored by 10.00am.  The outer wrappings can come off next Friday but the stitches and steristrips have to be left to fend for themselves and will come off in their own good time; the stitches are dissolving ones.  I will be going back to the dermatologist in two weeks and the nurse suggested that in light of previous experiences she felt that a quick shower before attending should be possible if I carefully patted the site dry in order not to disturb the incision.

However, I have managed without a bathroom before and do not doubt that I will be able to cope without becoming rank.  For the next two weeks I will be using the APC routine and I wash my hair under the laundry tap already so at least my hair will be clean.

There are layers and layers of dressings and bandages which are hot and tight but they can come off in six days now  -  and counting.

I have finished the cowl which I have been knitting and am very happy with it.  So far I have found six different ways I can wear it and I am sure that I will find others.  The pattern was a bit of a pain to knit and there are a few mistakes but they do not show in the chatter of the pattern so I have left them since they were minor and the pattern was a hassle to undo the few times I felt that I needed to.  Eventually I started putting in safety lines of dental floss which gave me confidence that I could undo it down past any mistake and pick up the stitches again.

Now I can concentrate on the 'Go With the Flow' jacket and maybe get back to spinning if I can manage it with one leg in the air.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Worse than the Bark

Today I took the cats to the Vet for their annual vaccinations and they were not amused.  Poppy was first and she allowed herself to be weighed but took great umbrage at her injection.  To make matters worse both of them had been given malfunctioning microchips so she had to have another one inserted.  I had taken her muzzle but forgot to put it on.  She bit me.  She only has two teeth but she made quite a hole in my thumb  -  blood all over the place.

Then it was Parsifal's turn and he was already revved up for battle.  He is usually pretty good but he lashed out at me and opened up my right thenar eminence; blood all over the place.  All over the floor and all over me.  I was swabbed with hexachlorophene and bandaged and the vet suggested that in extraordinary circumstances they did house calls but hopefully that is a year away so I will not have to think about it yet unless Parsifal's teeth start to give trouble.

They are both overweight and will have to be dieted; I can see trouble ahead.

Several of the women who attended the knockers knitting last week turned up again today  so there were twelve of us and all but a couple were still having knocker problems.  I am glad that I decided not to try them but instead got on with my 'Go with the Flow' jacket.  At home where there are no distractions (except the cats) I have been getting on with my cowl and only have about two more inches to knit in order to finish it.  I took it along today for a show and tell as did one of the others in the group and I think that one of our new recruits is going to knit it as she took a photo of the pattern.

One of the new recruits, who wanders around asking for information about obtaining knockers " for a friend" told me that she used to teach knitting and that I should place a red tick after each finished row.  As there are four distinct pattern rows and each had seven repeats and it will be 28" long it didn't seem to be a very practical idea but she assured me that all row markers slip.  I'll take mine along next week on the assumption that she is going to turn up again and will let her test the strength of the magnets holding the chart.

Tomorrow I have an appointment to see the oral surgeon but I can't think why as the biopsy she took was negative.  Cash cow mentality?  I shall refuse any further visits to her unless she can give a very sound reason for the appointment.  COTA on Thursday and the SCC is coming off on Friday.  So far next week is mercifully clear and I can get back to doing my own thing.

Friday, February 10, 2017

....... but it pours!

The rest of Australia is experiencing extreme heatwave conditions with power outages due to overload from air conditioners but here in the West we have had two days of pouring rain and yesterday was the coldest February day on record with the maximum reaching only as far as 14 degrees centigrade.  I even had the opportunity to put on one of my two unworn sweaters but not the one I have named Chunderup;  I am keeping that one for a special occasion.

The day before yesterday I saw a dermatologist about the squamous cell carcinoma on my leg and it is being removed next Friday afternoon.  I have been told to expect a long stitch line and that I will need to keep fairly quiet for a week or two  -  so no yoga for the foreseeable future until I have healed up.  I ascertained that this procedure would be done under local anaesthetic  -  I don't want the sort of problem I had when a lesion was removed from my eyelid and the surgeon was adamant that I needed a general anaesthetic and have a family member take me home afterwards and stay overnight.  This didn't happen, of course  -  D2 refused to leave work when they phoned her so I ended up having a quick prick into my eyelid and a fast and  painless removal after which I took a taxi home which is what I had wanted all along.

COTA has started again and yesterday both Himself and I each had two clients but Himself was unable to get the computer he uses to load so it sat trying to repair itself for two hours while Himself and his clients used the boss's computer.  She was providentially absent for the day.  Afterwards we went to a cafĂ© called Sassie's Cookies which is just down the road from COTA's rooms and were unexpectedly joined by D3 and SIL which was lovely.  Somehow they had neglected to book in any clients at the Clinic and since D3 had to write a submission to the APA they had a mostly free day and D3 got to write her submission  -  and I got to see her.

D2 is in Bali for four weeks being pampered and I still have two of her cars.  The man who recommended the degreaser which we used to clean up the mess left by the two incontinent cars I was babysitting has asked if he can come and have a look at the two which I have at the moment.  It is a shame that I no longer have the red one to show off but the customised VW is very pretty and I still have the silver one.

I only have about 20 cm of black possum cowl to finish knitting and am almost dreaming in blocks of 17 as the pattern is repeated seven times per row and there are four pattern rows.  At the knitting group on Tuesday we had someone come along to show people how to knit knockers (soft cotton prostheses for people who have had mastectomies).  I took along my own knitting since I knew that in a crowd (and there were over 20 people there) I would not be able to follow a pattern and most of the knitters were having problems  -  except the woman sitting next to me who wasn't even looking at her work and effortlessly knitted up the increases and decreases.  Hopefully she will continue to attend in the future  -  I liked her a lot.  it will be interesting to see how many come back next Tuesday.

Edited to say that today was the second wettest day that Western Australia has ever recorded and it isn't over yet.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Thank heaven for the tooth fairy

I have been knitting a lace cowl and have made a couple of mistakes which do not show so I have left them in situ but yesterday I realised that I had far too many stitches and far too many were in the wrong place.  However, remembering advice from lace knitters and since I was just about to reach  a major new stage in the knitting I had decided to run a lifeline through the stitches just a couple of rows before I ran into trouble.  The lifeline is dental floss run through the stitches on the needle so that if unravelling is necessary one can go back to the lifeline and pick up the stitches again.  This I have done; I had to unravel four rows and since some involved knitting four stitches at once normal unpicking was going to be difficult.  With my dental floss it was a breeze to go back and knit up again.

I am one row from the place where I have to join both sides of the cowl and start circular knitting so I will be running a few more safety lines as I go since the purl rows now have to be knitted as plain rows and I am not sure with the lace pattern although I have knitted, and loved knitting, circular previously  - but never as a lace pattern.

I try to stay apolitical in this blog but world events are very interesting and a bit scary at the moment and yesterday I was re-reading for the umpteenth time 'The Daughter of Time' by Josephine Tey.  It is one of my favourite books and I re-read it every so often.  There was one part which I came across regarding Mary Queen of Scots and I thought that it was very appropriate in the here and now so I decided to post it on my Blog to get it off my chest.  It seems to fit well with what is happening at the moment.

"Her tragedy was that she was born a Queen with the outlook of a suburban housewife.  Scoring off Mrs Tudor in the next street is harmless and amusing; it  may lead you into unwarrantable indulgence in hire-purchase, but it affects only yourself.  When you use the same technique on kingdoms the result is disastrous.  If you are willing to put a country of ten million people in pawn in order to score off a royal rival, they you end by being a friendless failure."             

Remembering the Chinese curse "May you live in interesting times" I think that is where we are  currently and goodness only knows what is going to happen in the coming months (years?).