Monday, May 22, 2017

Weekend?

Where did the weekend go?  Saturday I was up and dressed but didn't do a lot.  I crocheted.  I'm working on a kitchen set for someone.  Friday night I worked on dishcloths - lots of them.  Saturday I worked on pot holders.  Sunday I worked on a lot of different things.

It seems like my weekend flew by but I didn't get a lot of stuff done.  Sunday I helped Vicki in the kitchen with baking, prepping for the week and a few other things.

We're having a rummage sale next month.  I've been working on crochet items to sell during the rummage sale.  I've got a few dish cloths and I had some terry cloth.  Sunday I worked on cutting it up and prepping it so I could crochet around the material.

Once I'm done with the kitchen set I'm working on, I'll work on the dish towels and hand towels.  I think I might have some fleece in the craft room which isn't claimed.  If I do and I have time, I'd like to make up those so I could try selling them as well.

My goal for the rummage sale - make enough to get our dishwasher installed.  We're going to go look at the dishwasher this next weekend - during all the sales.  The hope is we will have a built in dishwasher by the end of June or mid July.

From there, we will tackle other issues in the house.  In the meanwhile, I'm crocheting a lot and hoping the items will sell.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Publishing Crochet Patterns

My day yesterday did not go as planned.  This is not a surprise to me - rarely do my days go as planned.  But last night I was kicking myself for taking a nap instead of getting things done.  Vicki went to bed early and I opted to work on the computer.

This meant the publishing I was going to do in the morning got done last night instead.  I have eight new crochet patterns out.  There are links to them on my website.  They are all on the Crochet Patterns page.

My niece asked me for headbands so I created new ones for her.  In doing so, I took pictures and wrote the patterns.  This means there's a new Half Dozen Thread Headbands available.  She also wanted a bandana which lead to me creating Bandana X.

I had two student workers graduating - one wanted an afghan and one wanted scarves.  The blanket is called Framed Tipped Lattice and the scarves are Climbing Vine, Lattice, Shades of Blue, and Sparkling Squiggle.  I finished an experiment for my daughter which is really a mini scarf - Puff Chain Scarf.

I've got a couple more in the works but they aren't quite ready to be published.  The patterns are done, I need to work on the components.

Today, I'm working on publishing stuff until my niece gets here, then I'll be working on cleaning and organizing my office and hopefully tackling some of the dining room.  It depends on how long stuff takes us.  I'm hoping we can get a long list of things done but I know my plans never work out.  I'm going to go with the flow.  Anything finished is an improvement.  If it reduces the chaos we're living in right now, that's all that matters.  I have two more places to market my stuff.  Then I'll be getting off the computer and start on the other stuff - I hope.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Mini Vacation

Ken has flown the coop to visit our daughters in Georgia.  This means I get the house to myself (mostly).  Our middle daughter has moved home so she's there when she's not working.  However, I have the next five days off.  I've got plans, so many plans - too many to get done in a matter of five days.  This means I'll pick and choose which of them I want to get done the most.

I've got household, publishing, crochet, and writing projects all on my list and all screaming at me.  My house is chaos.  I'm going to attempt to get one room done this weekend.  I've gotten through a large part of the sorting but need some help.  My niece is coming out to help so fingers crossed by the end of the weekend my office will be organized and clean.

If we actually manage to finish the office, the next step for me is the dining room.  My dining room table is heaped with stuff.  I'm hoping we can clear it off and maybe get the table out of the room.  It's an old table and too big for the space.  I'll have to see how things go but I'm hoping to get it out of there.

With any luck, I'll get a little bit done in each category.  I also have to pay bills, prep for grocery shopping, and do all the usual pay week errands and chores.  I need more energy and less pain in order to get everything done I want to.

Tonight will be crocheting.  I'm working on finishing projects and making things to put out when we have the rummage sale.  While I veg out in front of the tv tonight, I'm going to work on either a shawl or some dishcloths.

Last night when I couldn't sleep, I watched a show on the Spencer family in the UK (Princess Diana's family) and made 1 1/2 dish cloths.  It will be more of the same tonight.

Vicki's usually up around 5:00 and gets me up around 6:00 so I intend to stay awake and work on several projects.  While I'm alone in the house tomorrow, I want to get as much as I can crammed into the day.  It will be bill paying, organizing the office, and if my legs can manage it maybe some publishing of crochet patterns.  This is my plan.  Now the next question is - how well will this plan go?  I guess I'll see tomorrow.

Friday, my niece comes out.  Since I'll be doing some heavy duty cleaning with her, I might take it a bit easy in the morning before she gets there.  Vicki will have me up at 6:00 though so I could get more work in whether that's crocheting or editing in my recliner or publishing crochet patterns, I don't know yet.

At some point, I'll have to make a grocery list, set up a menu for the next month, and clip coupons.  I've got a lot to fit in over the next few days.  I might end up needing a vacation from my vacation.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Projects - Done and To Do

This week I've finished the scarves and the afghan for my student workers' graduation gifts.  I've given one gift which is why I'm posting the two pictures.  For the afghan, I need to take pictures.  I plan to publish four of the scarf patterns and the afghan pattern.  This adds to my list of crochet patterns to publish.  I have a bandanna, log cabin afghan, and set of headbands to publish.  

The collar or cowl scarf shown on the left turned out gorgeous.  I'm really proud of it because it was outside my normal and preferred type of project.  The smaller yarn and projects like this are hard on my hands but it was worth it to do and redo some of the stitching.  The other scarves turned out excellent and I'm excited to publish the four new ones.  The necklace type scarf I love making.  It uses up small bits of yarn but is stunning and versatile.  

Tonight I'll be working on dish towels and dish cloths to make for someone who is helping me out this weekend.  After I get those done, I'll be back on my other projects.  Currently I have bibs for a former co-worker of Vicki's, a skirt, a couple of afghans, and a few smaller projects which aren't designated for anyone yet.  

This weekend Ken goes off to Atlanta for twelve days.  I know he's excited to visit the girls down there.  It will give him a nice break from work and our messy house.  

Vicki and I plan to play a bit on Saturday.  Sunday we will have help with getting things organized and settled.  Next weekend will be busy with working on the house as well.  

However, I'm taking off work on the 11th and hoping to get some writing stuff done - like publishing patterns.  I'll have two days with no one in the house so I plan to get up and work on anything I have for writing - publishing, writing, marketing, editing.  I have a number of projects in the works so I want to make progress on them.  

Ken may be gone for twelve days but it will be a busy time for Vicki and I.  Hopefully by the time he comes home, the house is better organized.  I'm hoping this will lower everyone's stress levels.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Reader Conference

Vicki and I attended a readers' conference over the weekend.  It was interesting as I looked at it from a reader's perspective.  There were lots of free gifts - post its, pens, gadgets, and so on.  Books of course were high on the gift list.

I wanted to take aside the organizer and say - listen there are some basic things you should have going.  First an agenda of events - either handed out to people or posted in the hall.  Second, a map of where rooms are.  Third, set up early and be prepared for the long lines.

Something I want to say to hotels and conference centers.  I get they make the most money by jamming as many people into one room as possible but let's be realistic.  People are not child size.  They range in size from small to large.  Additionally, handicap people with walkers, wheel chairs, and scooters need to be able to get through.

One of the events was a signing.  In order to get to the signing, we had to go from a lunch to another room.  I told Vicki to go without me because there was no way my scooter was getting through the crowd of people and tables.  Skinny people were struggling to get between tables.

As a writer, I soaked in all the things readers seemed to enjoy.  I wonder if at some point I would do an event like this.  At the same time, I wonder if I would be able to do an event like this with my mobility issues.

My daughter suggested I donate items to one of the reader conferences.  I'm going to see if I can do this.  I can crochet something and add some of my books to a basket for one of the giveaways.  I certainly don't have the funds from my writing to be a guest author at an event but I can start small and go from there.

Small talk is not my forte but is definitely needed at an event like this.  I'd rather have a meaningful conversation than do small talk.  Yet small talk abounded at this event.  Whether it was between fellow attendees or with an author, you have to be willing to talk about common topics which won't offend people.  This is quite a feat for me.

It was good to spend time with my daughter.  I didn't know any of the authors, don't read any of them.  But it was interesting to talk to some of them and to see the event.  As normal for me, I was not in love with the large crowd or the noise.  This is my introverted self screaming in my head to run from so many people.  I like the one on one or small group.  I'm glad I went.  If my daughter asks, I'll probably go again.  I should probably read some of the books by the authors who will be there before I go to the event.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Unexpected Day Off

Registration is done at work which means the stress level has reduced.  My house is still a mess and the next two weekends are full of activities.  We'll do the activities - paint nite this weekend and an author's event next weekend.  We need the down time to reduce our stress.

Ken leaves for Georgia in May.  This leaves Vicki and I hanging out on our own.  I've got a few days off during the time he's gone.  My goal is to get some publishing, writing, and crocheting done during my time off.  However, I also have some household things I want to get done.

This week has been crazy for me.  I had an allergy test done on Monday.  They washed my arms with alcohol which immediately started them itching.  Their solution was to wash them with soap and water.  I let them, though most soaps bother me.  Fortunately, this one didn't.  I didn't really find out anything new.  I already knew I was allergic to the things they told me but these were more specific results.

Tuesday I left work early to see my regular doctor.  He gave me my results for my MRI.  There wasn't anything to stress about - thankfully.

Today I am off to the dietician.  I've been seeing her for few months.  I like her and she has good suggestions for helping me balance out life and food.  I doubt I've lost weight.  It's been a crazy few months with lots of eating fast food while we moved Vicki and a lot of stress eating.  However, I've managed to stop eating out as much which is good for my checkbook and good for my body.

The elevator at work isn't working.  I spent yesterday at work but not in my office.  It made it difficult for me to be involved but the floor was quiet according to my student workers.  Today I'm hoping it will be even more quiet.  However, the elevator is going to be down for the first part of next week.  That will make it difficult on me and a number of my faculty.  These are the joys of working in an old building.

I'm working on two graduation gifts.  I'm creating new patterns for most of the gifts so this means new patterns to publish.  The first scarf I made turned out really well.  I like the design, color, length, and feel of it.  Now I need to take pictures so I can publish the pattern.  I started a second one last night and I'm hoping to finish it today.

This morning I'm spending a little time on the computer but hope to go back to crocheting shortly.  It seems like there's always so much for me to do with a day off and so little time to get it all done.  I have to remember to keep the to do list to a reasonable length and focus on one task at a time.  Part of me wants to get a bunch of stuff done but I'm waiting on things from other people to be able to do those things.  This means I need to pick something completely in my control and work on it.  Today, it will be crocheting and watching movies.  For a couple of reasons, one - it will lower my stress level, and two - it will get things done I need to get done which has a definite deadline.

Considering I have the day off, I was up very early.  I did go back to sleep but was still up by 7.  Ava does not know what to do with me.  She came and cuddled - yup the cat who hates me - with me for a bit.  Sasha always is looking for attention from me but Ava rarely asked for attention.

It's time to hit the recliner, find a movie and go back to crocheting.  Maybe with luck, I'll finish another scarf and start a third.. fingers crossed.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Crochet Savior!

My middle daughter moved home.  March was chaotic with her moving.  April is turning into chaos with getting our house organized - or reorganized and integrating her stuff into our house.

I'm finally tackling my office.  Currently it's in that state of extreme messy because I've been going through papers, shelves, drawers in order to sort out what we need to keep.  There's an ultimate goal in mind but for now, I want to get rid of one piece of furniture and move two others.  These means I'm taking decorations down from the wall as the furniture is going to cover up the wall space.

I'm not certain the way I want to rearrange the furniture is actually going to work so I need to try it before I decide whether it is how I actually want it.  Also all the stuff I want to put on the furniture is sitting around my office making it seem more cluttered.  I swear there is an organized method to the chaos at this point.

I started yesterday and made good progress but today I've spent running errands and prepping for the week.  There are some things I don't want to get rid of.  I look at them and the organizer in me is saying just let it go.  But the writer / mom / creator in me is saying NO!!!  I'm working on it.  I'm also looking at a row of books - reference type - which sit by computer.  Do I want to weed through them?  No but should I?  Probably.  I know some of them will stay.  I can look at at least six of them and know they stay but there's at least three times that many.  So reluctantly I'll look through these books to weed out any.

Then there's the recycle / garbage, sale piles to contend with.  I've got a box of stuff for a sale we're hoping to participate in later this summer.  Also while I remove and rearrange what do I do with all the stuff.

It's definitely been a weekend of chaos.  I'm not sure we're making it any better.  However, at the intermediate phase, it is so chaotic I'm not sure it's getting better.

We're doing all of this while I'm at my most busy at work.  Registration and scheduling for spring 18 are going on.  Lots of changes, problem solving, and stress at work means I need peace at home.  Right now, no peace just chaos.

This is where my crocheting comes in.  I've been working on a number of projects.  I finished an afghan, several headbands, and started a bandana.  This keeps me sane (ish) as it takes me away from the stress of both work and home.  It allows me to escape into my creative mind and work on patterns.  Right now I have several which I want to publish.

I keep telling myself it will get better.  I keep reminding myself it is the first weeks and I need to be patient.  However, the clutter is starting to wear on my nerves.  After I'm done in the office, I plan to hit the recliner and work on another pattern or three in order to calm and ease the stress of life right now.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Creating Patterns

The way my brain works often surprises me.  With my daughter moving, I took a friend to her (who doesn't drive) and waited while this friend helped my daughter pack.  Since my daughter lives in an upstairs apartment, this meant I was stuck in my car for several hours.

I'm rarely bored because I always have stuff to do.  So I took some crocheting - two projects - and worked on them.  While working on one project, I came up with all these color options and ideas for working with this pattern.  In reality I wanted the yarn there right then to work on it.  Instead I'll make note of it and try them out.

While working on these two projects, another came into my head.  When I create my patterns, I normally crochet and then write.  This way I'm not re-writing but writing it as I create it.  However, this time I didn't have anything with me to be able to crochet this idea with.  I wrote a pattern - full on all rows.  I loved getting it down so I could try it later.

My middle daughter has a million skeins of yarn in my craft room she wants me to make up for her.  My intention was to find a skein or two and try out this pattern.  Instead my niece was out.  We were chatting and she said she had a need for specific headbands for summer.  I immediately thought of this new pattern I'd written.  I made her pick some yarn and bring it to me.

While we chatted, I worked on a headband for her.  By the time I was done, my pattern had been tested and revised.  She liked the headband I made her but wanted lighter weight for summer.  I had her go back to my craft room and pick out thread.

I'm not a huge fan of working with thread - it's harder for me to see and harder on my hands.  However, this is a small pattern so I thought okay I'll give it a try.  My niece thought I'd have to reduce the width of the pattern but in reality thread is much smaller than worsted weight yarn, so all I've had to do is reduce the size of my crochet hook and thread to use the same pattern to create a lighter weight headband for her.  I'm hoping she'll like it.

While I came by this pattern in almost the opposite way I normally do things, I think the pattern turned out really nicely.  It isn't difficult or too time consuming.  It works up nicely both in worsted weight and in thread.  I'll be publishing it when I get the second project done.

This means I got a lot done while sitting in the car.  I worked on two projects, came up with ideas for other projects, and wrote a pattern.  Next, I want to get those ideas for the projects down and work on them.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Medical Bills

It's been a rough year for us with urgent care and emergency room visits, doctor's appointments, tests, and procedures.  Last year our co-pays were lower and a few years ago, we rarely saw a bill with our insurance.  We paid our premiums and co-pays and the insurance paid the rest.

Unfortunately that isn't the case.  Ken had a kidney stone this year.  The emergency room visit cost us nearly $7K.  The procedure they did to blast it was about $23K.  We paid our co-pays but we're still going to be left with $715 to pay.

One of the benefits for my job - a flex plan.  I set aside money every year for medical expenses.  This year we were going to do eyes and teeth.  That was the plan.  It won't be happening.  My flex plan funds have been eaten up with co-pays, prescriptions, and tests.  I don't have enough left to pay the hospital bill for Ken's procedure.  I'll be budgeting that in - somehow.

We aren't done either.  I'm supposed to have an allergy test and sinus surgery this year.  I'm waiting on approvals from the insurance to be able to do these things in the hopes I won't spend six months on antibiotic.

I guess paying off bills and loans is going to be slower than I hoped.  I look at my budget and wonder how I'm going to fit in yet another bill and the continuing costs.  I start to wonder if I should put off some of the procedures, cut back on prescriptions, and so on.  All in an effort to save funds.  But aren't I supposed to put my health first?

Next year the state is going to self-insure.  If I'm paying this much now, how much more will I be paying?  I already have a lot of money taken out of my check for benefits and insurance.  How will we manage if I need to set aside more?  These are some of the questions weighing on my mind.  It makes me wonder if I should cope with my health issues and not have tests done.  The allergy test is $1000 if the insurance doesn't cover it.  I won't be having it done if the insurance denies it.  The question becomes how much will the insurance cover?  Same with the surgery.  They'll be knocking me out which means a full day in the hospital if there are no complications.  How much of it will the insurance pay?  How much will go on our ever growing bill?  Makes me wonder if it would be better to wait.  Antibiotics are less expensive but the stress on my body is unbearable.

We're lucky in that we have good insurance.  I cannot imagine how bad it is for those who don't have - or won't have - good insurance if ACA (Obamacare) goes away.  I'm also very concerned with what happens next year with my own insurance.  With self-insurance, I'm betting we will end up paying more - probably a lot more.  This is one of the reasons I am going ahead with the tests and surgery this year.  It is an added stress for me, especially since working for the state means raises are rare and small if you do get one.  I'll hope we don't go too far into debt in order to get these things done.

The one good thing - I believe I've finally made the last payment for last year's medical bills.  Now I have to figure out how I'm paying this years.  Anyone want to buy a book?

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Riding the Waves

It's been an interesting start to the new year.  We've had a lot of going to urgent care and the emergency room.  Nothing tragic or life threatening but lots of trips with sinus infections, bronchitis, and kidney stones.  I'm ready for this to change.  It's expensive and stressful.

Monday I went to an ear nose and throat specialist.  He got me on a different antibiotic and scoped my sinuses.  I have more information now which is good.

Tuesday Ken got the all clear on his kidney stone.  It is gone.  Plus he has no stones in either of his kidneys.  All good news.

Now for the downside - after his appointment, we got supper and were settling in to our happy news.  Then my sister text to say my uncle was in the hospital.  Shortly after that text, she sent another one which said my aunt (not married to the uncle who was in the hospital but a different brother of my mom's who passed) was also in the hospital.

It's been a week.  No - really it's been a couple of months of this teeter totter affect and health issues.  I'm hoping things are evening out but I'm not holding my breath.

One of the brighter spots in my week / month is my daughter Virginia got notified she made the President's list for her excellent grades for her fall 16 schedule.  She also just finished her math class and got a 100% on her final as well as an A in the class - though this isn't official yet.  She's stressed with school but she's actually doing really well.

There's no choice but to ride the waves of my life right now.  At this point we're moving from the gully of the wave to the crest.  I'm just hoping there are no tsunamis in my future.  I'd be happy with nice gentle waves for a time.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Family Celebrations and Finished Projects

It's done!  I finally finished the big blanket for my youngest daughter.  It took a lot of work and time but her Packer emblem corner to corner graph afghan is done.  In the picture on the left it is laying on top of my king size bed and a few inches hang over on the left and right side.  At the bottom you can see the G better.  With it across my bed, it hung down about a foot on each side.  It was a big blanket.


It feels odd not having a BIG project to do.  I've started an afghan for one of my nieces.  I have a couple of other projects but I'm starting to wind down on the crocheting.

It might be time to work on writing again.  I've started the next Wayfarer novel and am looking forward to where it will take me.

It's been an extremely busy few weeks.  The two daughters in Atlanta came home for a weekend.  We celebrated the youngest getting her master's degree.  We are really proud of her.  We had a family gathering at our house over the weekend.

It was good to have them home to get after Ken for doing too much.  He still hasn't passed his kidney stone.  He has good days and bad days.  I'm hoping it passes soon so he is out of pain.

I did the middle daughter's taxes while she was home.  This weekend I have more taxes to do.  I'll have to tackle ours as well as doing two other people's taxes.

This month is zooming by with one thing after another.  One of the things I'd like to stop is the ER and Urgent care visits.  It would be nice if everyone could be healthy for maybe two or three weeks in a row so we don't have to go to either ER or Urgent care... I'm not holding my breath.  

Monday, January 30, 2017

Silence

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." Edmund Burke

We have seen a lot of unrest and disturbing things in the last ten days.  It is difficult to watch our president take the same path as someone most people consider the epitome of evil - Hitler.  I really dislike comparisons between Hitler and other people - it is generally an over dramatic comparison.  Unfortunately, that is not the case with Trump.  As soon as he came into office, he started to create unrest with the Muslims (this would be the group comparable to Hitler's Jewish population).

Now there are hate crimes against Mosques.  I'm sure if you looked at the unrest in Germany prior to World War II, you'd find similar actions.  Here is a link to what Hitler did to the Jews once he came into power German History

So many things are headed in the wrong direction.  Too many things - it is overwhelming.  It is mind numbing.  All my daughter has to do is sigh at this point and I ask "Now what has Trump done?"  It isn't surprising to me but it is sad.  It feels like he is making us into pre-WWII Germany.  I do not want that.  We should know better and should behave better.

There is a feeling of exasperation, desperation, and powerlessness.  What can I do?  I don't have the ear of anyone powerful.  I don't have a huge following.  However, I believe the worst thing we can do is to be silent.  Some of our senators stayed silent on the Muslim ban.  If they stayed silent, they are endorsing what has been done.  We cannot stay silent when we hear and see wrong occurring.  If we do, we are part of the problem.

It's difficult to see large scale problems and not know how you can have any effect.  I write but I don't have a huge following.  Yet I'm speaking out.  I can't march but I can support.  I can tell people when I think they are wrong.  I can be vocal in my dislike of our president and his actions.  I can let my representatives know they are not representing me.

It's time for all the people to speak out, speak up, and stop being silent.  Silence endorses and encourages the wrong.  Take a stand to push back the hate and intolerance.  Speak up and stand up for those who are being persecuted.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Not the Plan

Apparently I'm getting to know the people at urgent care.  Yesterday Ken had an attack of kidney stones.  We spent three hours dealing with urgent care and then getting him prescriptions.  It was a long day.  He and I both napped when we got home.  His and my list of things to get done - didn't get done.

A good thing from yesterday - yarn arrived in two boxes.  One box was my order from Herrschners which was part of my Christmas gift.  The other box was yarn to finish a project I ran out of yarn for.

Last night after my napping and general grumpiness about the day, I organized the yarn.  I got projects organized for taking to work (for lunch hour and training crocheting) as well as got the yarn organized for the project I ran out of the yarn.  I even managed to get a couple of rows done on the project.  It has 15 or 16 balls of yarn attached to it.  My plan (and we know how well plans go in this house) is to work on the computer for a bit this morning and then go back to crocheting.  The blanket I'm working on is for my youngest and she will be here in a few weeks.

It was a bad night for me with waking up a lot of times.  The weather is also very damp which means I'm aching a lot.  My gout and arthritis are not happy right now which makes me want to do nothing but sleep.  However, I have to go back tomorrow so I'll try to stay awake.

Once I'm done on the computer, I'll work on a crochet project and hope to find something interesting to watch.  I may have to resort to DVDs rather than tv.  It might be a good day for movies as Ken will be wrapped up in football.

The blanket for my daughter is heavy and warm - which means I sweat a lot while I work on it.  Each row is different so I can't just crochet and crochet.  I have to stop after each row to determine how many stitches of each color.  It's turning out beautifully but it is definitely time consuming.  The nice thing - I've got two more like this planned and I have already taken the time to write up one of them so I have the color changes already written up.  I am working on the second one in the hopes of making it easier to work with.

Hopefully my plan for the day works.  If not, I'll go with the flow.  However, it would be nice to have things happen the way they are supposed to - for a change.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Elephants Dancing Off (off off) Broadway

Since before Thanksgiving I've been sick.  Sinus infections which persist and won't go away have progressed into what I believe is bronchitis (no diagnosis other than for my husband and we have the same symptoms).

Ironically, my husband and middle daughter both went to urgent care on Sunday, saw different doctors, had the same symptoms.  My husband was treated with respect and due diligence, got his diagnosis and prescriptions.  My daughter was treated disparagingly, was told she needed to suck it up and just deal with her "cold", yet her symptoms are more pronounced with breathing being a significant issue.  She was given medications but had to fight for them.  What is wrong with our medical system?

When I went to ER because my bp was too high and I couldn't breath, the ER doc was rude, disparaging, condescending, and suggested I take a drug I've been allergic to for more than 25 years.  He also told me to go off my daily decongestant.  I did - it was a total fail.  On top of my symptoms I was already struggling with, I then added in more breathing problems - asthma attacks, more congestion, and more struggling with breathing.

One other thing this lovely ER doctor did, he doubled the dose of the antibiotic (one of the few I could take) which then caused me to have issues with it - similar to ones I have with other drugs in this family.  Now I'm not sure I'll be able to take this drug again because every time I've taken it since then, I've had some pretty severe side effects.

My daughter and I both feel like we have elephants dancing our chests and want this feeling to go away but the medical community don't seem to know how to take care of us.  It shouldn't be that hard to listen but apparently doctors don't know how - perhaps in all their fancy classes they should add in one about compassion, concern, and active listening.  

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Progress!

Seven crochet patterns have been published!  I'm thrilled to have finally had time to get them out.  These have been on my todo list for quite some time.

I was off work yesterday and was going to do it then but I've got upper respiratory crud on top of my gout flaring.  I slept most of the day - not even crocheting until evening.

Last night I was trying to sleep and couldn't breath.  I tried different levels of reclining but realized none of them were going to work.  I also tried having a cloth with eucalyptus, lavender, and rosemary on it to inhale but I couldn't get any air through my nose.  Eventually I got up and took a hot shower with the essential oils.  It helped a lot until I sat down to sleep again.  It was after 2 am before I got to sleep though.

Sadly, Ken has the same crud so we are both struggling to accomplish anything other than breathing, coughing, and surviving.

I've been working on an afghan for my youngest daughter.  I've got it about half done but I need to have Ken hold it up so I can see it.  I think the graph caused a flaw and I need someone to hold it while I look to see if I have to rip out some rows and adjust so it looks right.  It is a corner to corner graphgan.

For those who don't speak crochet, this means I'm working from one corner to the opposite - diagonally across the piece.  It also means I've taken a picture and made it into a graph.  This happens to be the Packer's G symbol.  The issue is the G is surrounded by a circle which is difficult to do on an afghan.  When I looked at it last night, I thought the circle part wasn't quite right but I double checked my row against my graph and they match.

The next step is to decide if I need to adjust the graph / pattern based on how it looks.  I might but I need to see it held out and a little away from me.  I can't really do that - so Ken will hold it up for me.

The rest of today will be spent napping and crocheting until the daughter gets home.  Once she's home, we will see what happens.  It depends on what she needs / wants.  Unfortunately, she has the same crud we have.

For the crochet patterns I published today go to my web site to find links.  The Amazon links aren't up yet but should be by Monday or Tuesday.  My todo list is still quite long but at least I made progress.  

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Foolish Mortal Making Plans

Finished an afghan and started another, this was in my plan for yesterday but driving to Prairie Du Chien wasn't.  My middle daughter needed some help so we met her in Prairie Du Chien.  I woke up with a well thought out plan in order to get some tasks done around the house and with crocheting.  Before we left to meet her, I got some of the projects done - paid bills, clipped coupons, made out a grocery list.  The rest of my plan - out the door.

We got home early evening and I was able to finish off the afghan for my niece and start another one for my youngest daughter.  I did a sample, took pics, and sent it out for approval.  Then I tore it apart and did it for real.  What does this mean?  For starters, I had to make some decisions about how I was handling some of the yarn - it is multi-colored and the yarn can't easily be carried.  In order to use as little yarn as possible, I had to decide when I was cutting off and when I would carry it along.  Next I need to find a clipboard, ruler, and highlighter so I can keep track of where I'm at.  I've found a highlighter - multi colored so that helps.  Ken found me a clipboard just now.  Next is a ruler - I have a big one but can't find a little one.  I could improvise but I'll have to see what I can find.  I asked Ken and he is great at finding stuff.  He just brought me the PERFECT one.  He's so good!

Today I plan to have a quiet day.  I want to watch West Wing (yes this is my current binge watching program) and crochet on the afghan.  My daughters will all be home in a little over a month.  If I could finish this afghan for her to take home - that would be wonderful.  It's a corner to corner graphgan.  For those who don't speak crochet - corner to corner is like it sounds - instead of working across and afghan, I work from one corner to the widest point and then back to the opposite corner.  A graphgan is a picture which has been turned into a graph.  Each square on the graph because a stitch (or in the case of the corner to corner a set of stitches).  It will be my first of this style.  I'm liking how it's turning out so far but we will see how the rest goes.

Next I want to look up a temperature blanket.  This will require some research so I can find out the daily high temperatures for the years each of my daughters was born.  Then I will create an afghan based on the temperatures.  One row per day in a color designated for the temperature.  It should be interesting to see how it works out.

Ken was busy yesterday and today.  His list of things to get done was interrupted as well.  Still he managed to get a package to the post office, run errands this morning, and work on laundry and other household chores.

We're both hoping to settle in today to relax - him watching football and me crocheting and watching West Wing (or other stuff).  Oh and Sherlock is on tonight!  I can't wait to see the new episode!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Winter Projects

Marketing is a necessary part of writing.  I'm realizing that I need to have marketing tools in place before I normally do.  I've been posting to social media in an attempt to get my work noticed.  I've been getting published in other places to draw in people outside my social media.  I've been trying to get reviews (though I could work harder at this.)

Has any of it done any good?  Some has and some hasn't.  The thing is - with marketing what works today may or may not work tomorrow.  It's something I have to constantly think about.

I've got a weekend without anyone home besides Ken and I so I'm hoping to get some work done in the writing arena.  I have marketing, publishing, and writing to do.

Having said that - I'm definitely in a crochet mode.  I'm working on the projects I had going before I set them aside to do holiday stuff.  I want to get certain things done while I'm still in the mood.  I'm on the down side (or nearing the finish) of one project which means all I really want to do is work on it and have been every night.  Behind this big project, I have one more in progress and at least four more in the wings pushing at me to work on them.

I don't know if it's the cold weather or the pile of containers in my craft room but I feel the need to get things done - crochet wise.  I've got ideas in my head for projects and patterns I want to try out.  I've got ideas for articles on crochet.  I need to get focused and get things done.

Weekend?

Where did the weekend go?  Saturday I was up and dressed but didn't do a lot.  I crocheted.  I'm working on a kitchen set for someon...