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Monday, April 18, 2011

Knitting for Sanity

When life throws me curveballs, I have several options:
  • Buy file folders, baskets, bags
  • Cast on something complicated enough to hold my interest, but not so much that I end up crazed
  • Eat chocolate
So, last week, while Dear Hubby was out of town, our last remaining Feline Companion, Emma, disappeared.  She is NOT an outside cat, is NOT savvy about being outside her/our house.  I was quietly frantic, alerting our neighbors, confiding my worries to friends.  This is the cat that just cost us $$$$ nursing her back to health, as we suspected that she was in the early stages of kidney failure.  And of course Ms Emma picked the week that I was also consumed with thoughts of a health crisis for a family member.  So, there I was, trying to remain serene on the outside, when teaching yoga classes, or working at the chiro office where I am one day each week.



So I did all three, and here's the knitting, in progress.  Top one is Lattuga (Ravelry link), middle one is Vortex Shawl (another Rav link), and the lovely blue garter (I do love garter!) is Corrine (Rav again!).  I will not show you the chocolate wrapper(s), or the file folders--suffice to say the chocolate was dark, with sea salt, and the file folders blue, with fleur de lis.

So, Dear Hubby is back in this country, the cat is home safely, the news is a little better about the family member.  Life is good, even though we woke up to snow this morning.  Cruel, cruel Midwest spring weather!

Stay tuned.  There will be lots of knitting in the next few months, as I'll have several trips to the Pacific Northwest.  Oh, and yes--drum rolls, please!  I've been accepted to the Essential Yoga Therapy 2-year training, which commences next month, link here!  I have tons of reading to do and details to sort out, but am thrilled to be continuing to learn more and more about the incredible healing tools of yoga.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Summer Cruise!




















Oh, I am still glowing from the fabulous min-cruise on our son Barry's gorgeous old 1942 Matthews 38' cabin cruiser. This boat has so much personality, which is enhanced by all the TLC that Barry, his girlfriend Tasha, and some other family & friends have lavished on it.

The photo at left was taken in the harbor at Poulsbo, WA, where we stayed on our first night. She looks so long & lovely! Said boat has no name right now, so chime in with some ideas.

Back to the cruise...we started in West Seattle, where "She the Boat" is berthed, at the Duwamish Yacht Club. Ideal location, provides easy access via the Duwamish River to the Seattle harbor, and out to Puget Sound. It is really interesting, put-putting down the river past all the commercial sites, seeing the huge containers that have arrived from all around the world. You emerge out to the Seattle waterfront, where you can see the ferries making their way to Bainbridge Island, Vashon, etc. How I miss those ferries! Sometimes you'll spot a big cruise ship, waiting to go on to Alaska--another dream trip for Dave & I.

Barry is a superb pilot. One of the photos shows Barry & Tasha up on the flying bridge, where we spent most of our time. The weather for our three days in July were not the typical Seattle summer. It was clear and sunny and warm. Yes, I was a good girl and wore sunscreen, my really big hat, and my SPF shirt most of the time, but still managed to get a nice summer glow. And there was knitting time, especially up on the bridge. I found that if I went downstairs to the saloon that I got a little queasy. My sis-in-law Cat was along, too, and we had such a great time just taking in the gorgeous views, and some wildlife sightings, like our friendly seal hanging out on the buoy, and the otter who entertained us on on deck at Blake Island. Raccoons are a big problem at Blake; the park ranger there reminded us twice to secure our coolers, as the 'coons go for them trying to get water, and food. The story is that the raccoons swam over from the mainland, as the deer do.

Following the cruise, we headed back into West Seattle, dodging a closing bridge on the Duwamish River by inches (well, maybe not--but I ducked!). I left Hubby Dave to make his way to his sister Cat's home, while I took the rental car to Issaquah to spend a little quality time with my fabulous yoga teacher, Robin Rothenberg, at the Yoga Barn. She gave me some incredible exercises to use for my chronic neck/shoulder issues. We followed that up with a delightful al fresco dinner with another yoga buddy. Life is good!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Summer Fun!



Ah, summer in the Midwest. There's been a dearth of fireflies so far, and way too many mosquitoes. Also, too much humidity. But for the last few days, pure bliss--cooler days, low humidity, really nice weather for being active outside. And no bugs! One of my very favorite things to do these summer mornings is waking up early with the sun, and then having a quiet breakfast on the front porch with Sophie the Wonder Dog and Chloe the Pretty Tabby. All is peaceful until Mel, the Labradoodle next-door, comes bounding up the steps, so excited to see her playmate Sophie. I do love Mel, but sometimes she is just so exuberant!

What else do I love about summer here?
  • Long days of light, time enough for a early-evening bike ride on nights when we're not busy.
  • Lots of fresh fruits & veggies!
  • Fruit sorbet made in our new Cuisinart ice cream freezer. Pineapple & champagne Sorbet--yum!
  • Looking forward to our trip West to see family & friends.
  • Morning walks in the coolness & quiet with Sophie by my side.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Core work pays off!




So, this is when over a year of Pilates classes and core work in my own yoga practice pays off. It really helps when getting up and down off the couch when you know that placing your left foot on the floor will cause one to scream and scare the !!##$$%^ out of the animals. Also, going up the stairs on my bum works the triceps. I'll be happy to get the loan of a walker from dear friend & neighbor Edie later today, as crutches are not easy.

Day #3 on the couch: more knitting, a little TV/DVR action, and some more reading from my reserved stack of books on the table. Dear Hubby Dave continues to be a good nurse. Yesterday he picked up some yummy flatbread pizzas from our favorite Crystal Lake restaurant/bakery, Le Petit. Those were lunch; dinner will be stuffed baked potatoes with spicy chicken and vegetables, and maybe a little guacamole on the side.

I'll try to add a few photos to the blog today before the pain meds kick in and I get fuzzy again. We have some of Dave wearing his spiffy Xmas cabled vest, handknit by dear daughter Maja. She is truly a skilled knitter, and her finishing work is meticulous, too. And then there's a lovely skein of Madeline Tosh Worsted that came to me from Maja--part of our Christmas in February package that arrived this week. Maja has been so swamped at work that finishing the vest was a bit delayed. Oh, and I'd like you to see the great little project bag that is accompanying me up & down stairs during my convalescence.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

YogaNan knits on the couch

There's nothing like a period of enforced sloth on the couch to make one want to exercise what can move--like writing. The story is this: I'm recovering from long-delayed bunion surgery, and it is high time to attend to this blog that I began years ago, but have not (until today) published any entries to.

I will not give you gory details, as my squeamish symptoms will kick in. Suffice to say that when the nurse tried to start my IV yesterday morning @ 7AM, I probably would have keeled over if I hadn't been lying in a hospital bed! It has been a long time since I was a patient--nearly 28 years, with the birth of our son Barry. Anesthesia has changed--much more pleasant! The procedure was done by an amazing podiatrist in an outpatient surgery center. This is a nice way to go--low-key, less hassle than a hospital, and really competent & caring staff.

So for the next week or so, the couch in the living room will be my home base. Dear Hubby Dave is my nurse, cook, general dogs-body--filling the ice bag, plumping pillows, and escorting me on the long journey to the bathroom. It is only a few steps away, but it seems to take forever on crutches!

For knitting content, well, my bones are knitting! And the procedure is called 'scarf' osteotomy' from a carpentry reference to the z-cut, so I'm working on a scarf--Alhambra, out of some lovely merino and silk in my favorite soft teal color. Like most lace, it looks completely wonky until blocking, so just use your imagination for now! There's also a helmet liner, part of the Wool & Company project to send to our troops in Afghanistan. And a sample sock for my next class at the Fold, another of Cat Bordhi's genius designs, using the Personal Footprint guidelines, out of some yummy bright Socks That Rock. You can see the white cotton lifelines making the place where I'll snip a thread and then open the foot up to knit up the leg. I'm also contemplating what to cast on for the Olympics--a sweater or a shawl? Have yarn and patterns for both, but will decide later when my mind can handle it.

For yoga content, well, I'm practicing pranayama--long, slow breaths, and gentle toe and foot wriggling. Maybe tomorrow I'll do a little seated yoga. For right now, I'm grateful for all the core strength work I've done to help balance on the crutches for those journeys to the bathroom! The kitties Emma and Chloe are providing cuddle and kneading therapy.

And I'm exceedingly grateful for the prayers and kind thoughts and offers of help from my friends and family. I feel quite cherished. And speaking of that, my dear friend Catherine just stopped by with a lovely friendship scarf that I've got wrapped around my neck, reminding me of her prayers and support. No photo of that yet--you really don't want to see my unwashed hair and messy jammies!

I'll try to add a few knitting photos, and post those, too.

Signing off, trying to be a patient patient...

Sunday, June 29, 2008

a brave beginning

I tried to start this off over a year ago, and something made me hold back--insecurity, uncertainty, whatever. But after a stimulating encounter with two of my favorite bloggers, the Yarn Harlot, and Franklin Habit, of Panopticon fame, I realize that it's time I did my thing, too.

So, here goes...

Herein I will share the bits & pieces of my life: yoga, knitting, food, books, my pets, and family, and not necessarily in that order! I am a wife (of nearly 36 years), mother of two incredibe grown children (DD & DS), a yoga teacher, a knitter, a retired librarian, and someone who treasures her friends from all the walks of her life. Oh, and there are the dear animals who share our home: Sophie the Wonder Dog (brindle beagle/boxer mix), Chloe the Lovely Tabby, and Emma (aka Smooshed Prunes).

For yoga content, I am currently totally in love with the low back protocol developed (in part) and taught) by my teacher Robin Rothenberg. Check out her website Pacific Institute of Yoga Therapy http://www.piyogatherapy.com/, and also the site of her stutdio, http://yogabarn.com/. I was blessed to teach at the Yoga Barn for many years, with Robin as my primary teacher. Now that I've moved to the Midwest, I travel at least once a year to retreats with Robin to such locales as Guatemala, Mexico and Costa Rica, and also make trips "home" to study with her, as well as to visit family who live in the area. As I started to say, these low back practices are pure genius. This type of work, using the methodology of Viniyoga, is not new to me, as it is what I am certified in, but the way these sequences work together has taught me much about my own body, and about my students' bodies. I've been sharing them with my classes, and they love them, too. The CDs feature Robin's clear, articulate, and elegant language to guide you through the practices, and to clarify there is the accompanying spiral bound booklet with photos and text. Even if you don't have "low back issues," give yourself a treat and check them out. Do yourself a favor and order directly from the first website.

For knitting content, I'm currently working on too many projects, but the ones that have risen to the top of the knitting pile are the February lady sweater, a BSJ jacket for a friend's first baby, and the Apollo & Artemis socks from some hand-dyed yarn from Rock Creek Yarn in the Cherry Blossom colorway that I scored at the Yarn Harlot even in Chicago recently.

This will have to be saved until later, as Sophie the Wonder Dog is waiting for her morning promenade.