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Archive for December, 2017

What I Am Knitting

First, it’s wonderfully cold here. 19 F / -7 C. With the wind chill it is 6 F / -14 C. I love the way it makes my bare skin sting. I am probably alone in this appreciation, but it is so much better than hot and humid. I’m sure I was a penguin in another life.

The other day The Skipper came out of his man cave to show me a pair of socks I had knit for him a few years ago. He was shy at first. Holding the pair up and looking like a six year old boy who did something really bad. At first I didn’t recognize what he was holding. Then I looked closer and realized it was socks.

“What did you do to them”, I asked. They were so misshapen and large, too large even for the Jolly Green Giant.

“They were always a bit large”, he said. To which I pulled out my laptop, booted it up, and showed him the pictures of the perfect fitting socks when they were first made and on his feet. “No they weren’t”, I said.

He looked chastened.

“I’ll have to look in the stash for some yarn,” I said, remembering all the complaints he had about the size of my stash. “Maybe Yarn Rascal and I can find something.”

It was at that moment I realized that I now thought of the stash as “ours”: mine and Yarn Rascal’s. It felt right. After all, Yarn Rascal is in the stash every night, making sure everything gets rotated.

Yarn Rascal came up with a dark, dark blue partially used skein of Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock. Of the various sock yarns I’ve tried with The Skipper, Shepherd Sock holds up the best to the beating he gives them. The Skipper’s feet are rather large. I only used about 100 yards of the skein for a hat project which roughly leaves me with 300 yards. I wonder if it will be enough to make a pair of sock for him.

So I have interrupted knitting the scarf I was so enjoying to play yarn chicken while knitting a pair of socks. If my luck goes as it usually does, I’ll get one complete sock and two-thirds of the second done then run out of yarn. The yarn was bought years ago. I think the colorway was Peacock. I don’t know if they still produce the colorway or not. If they do the chances of it matching unobtrusively are minimal. I have that feeling this is a doomed project, which makes knitting on it less than enjoyable. Additionally, I like working toe-up socks, but The Skipper’s need to be worked cuff down because he needs the heel flap and gusset for it to fit him properly. Yes, I can knit a toe-up sock with gusset and heel flap, but for some reason it doesn’t fit as well as the cuff down.

If this works I hope The Skipper will show the proper appreciating for the stash in the future. I don’t ask him to love it the way Yarn Rascal and I do, but I would like him to realize it’s importance. Especially now that so much yarn is on sale everywhere and there will be packages and packages of yarn arriving in the mail for the New Year.

Wishing everyone a happy, healthy and peaceful New Year.

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What’s Been Going On

It’s been awhile. I’m having a difficult family time at the moment that will not get better just worse. It’s clear that my parents are both at the end of their lives. My responsibility is to shepherd them through to the end. I didn’t understand that part about shepherding. I was trying to make it all better, fighting against what naturally happens at the end of lives, trying to “turn back the clock” so to speak. That all came crashing down around me and I kind of crashed along with it.

Mom and Dad both fell. They are 87 and still live in their own home. They are desperately possessive about their independence. When I got the hysterical call from mom that she and dad were hurt, Skip and I both got to their house in under 10 minutes.

Head wounds bleed a lot. Head wounds of people who are on blood thinners due to previous heart attacks bleed a copious amount. When I arrived I called 911. I tried to stem the bleeding. By the time the emts and the police arrived I had gone into shock. I was still functioning but in shock.

I spent the evening in the emergency room with them. The hospital said it would admit them. Of course. At 2 am I went back to their home and proceeded to clean all the blood up and out. I washed, scrubbed, scoured, made sure there wasn’t a speck of blood anywhere. I was still in shock of course.

The next day I was told by the hospital that dad had vascular dementia. Progression unstoppable. The forgetting, and misplacing of things was not somethingĀ little. It was part of a bigger disease that would take him down.

When the hospital released them I took them home. Things I hadn’t noticed about dad became more apparent. The vascular dementia was moving along. On the second day out of the hospital, dad started running a fever. Whenever he does that we have to get him to the hospital right away because it is a urinary infection. In the recent past, the infection has caused him to lose a kidney. Another night spent in the emergency room. He is still hospitalized.

Mom and dad work like a unit together. What one can’t do the other can. With dad in the hospital, mom can’t really function. She is in the middle of heart failure and all the symptoms associated with that. I have to be there for her most of the day. I run between her house and the hospital.

Yesterday I was so tired, I myself fell on the steps coming up into my own home. I thought the knee cap was broken, but it just seems to be terribly banged up. Today, I will do the same thing as I did yesterday. Take care of mom, then go the hospital and see dad.

Shepherding is not easy. It is so full of emotions I don’t want to feel: loss, fear, panic, despair. But I remind myself it is not about me. This is their time and I need to be fully present for it in a calming, soothing, positive way.

This is what I’ve been up to lately. Just trying to keep it together.

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