Category Archives: Serious for a moment

One step up and two steps back.

Just when I’d gotten into my knitting groove again…*poof!*…it’s over.

I had PT today and there may be something else going on in addition to the twisted pelvis. My home therapy has changed: I’m now walking (or rather, gimping), stretching my back and lying on my stomach and back. I’m supposed to sit as little as possible. So, no more knitting.

I’m trying not to be too bummed out. My main goal in life right now is to get better and get my life back. Still, it’s disappointing that knitting is now off the table (since there’s no way I can knit while flat on my back; believe me, I tried). On the up side, it’s nice to be ordered to walk, instead of being told not to walk. That’s progress.

I did take some cool cloud pics on my way home today:

And the always adorable Miss Kish:

Hopefully the knitting pics will return soon. Cross your needles for me!

It is the month of June, The month of leaves and roses, When pleasant sights salute the eyes And pleasant scents the noses. ~ Nathaniel Parker Willis

I know a lot of bloggers say this, but I have the best readers. Thank you for all of the comments and emails I received after my last post. You were all so kind and encouraging. I was also so grateful to hear from people who have had this injury and have recovered. That’s just what I needed to hear. Thank you.

I’m able to sit up for short periods of time now and I’ve been using that time to work on my Tropical Monkey Socks.  I absolutely love this pattern.  It’s interesting enough to ward off boredom, but easy enough to knit while watching TV.   They are both ready for their heels:

Here’s a closeup of the pattern:

I’ve discovered the fun part of having a cane. I can lie on the couch and bug the dogs:

I wish I would have snapped a picture of the look on Kishka’s face after I did this. She seemed to be saying, “Listen, lady. If I had opposable thumbs I’d take that cane and beat you with it.”

The feast:

Appetizer
Name something you think is “the best.”
What? Are we in third grade or something? Silly question.

Soup
On a scale of 1 to 10 (with 10 highest), how stressed are you today?
Well, that depends. If I really think about everything going on in my life right now, it would be a 9. However, I’ve been avoiding reality so I’d say a 2.

Salad
What kind of cleanser do you use to wash your face?
Neutrogena Facial Bar. My former sister-in-law introduced me to this wonderful product many moons ago (1993?) and it’s all I use now.

Main Course
Tonight is a blue moon! What is something that you believe only happens “once in a blue moon.”
Once in a blue moon . . . I have good luck. Not to be pessimistic, but 2007 is not a banner year for me so far.

Dessert
When was the last time it rained where you live?

Last week sometime.

Health is not valued till sickness comes. ~ Dr. Thomas Fuller (1654-1734)

This is the most exciting bit of knitting that I’ve knit in a long time:

It’s just an inch of 2×2 ribbing, but it makes me exceedingly happy. It’s the only sock knitting I’ve done in almost a month. With the exception of the Rock-a-thon, it’s also the only knitting I’ve done.

I’ve been battling back pain for a few months and a few weeks ago it got to the point where it was disabling to every aspect of my life. I hobbled to my doctor, who referred me to a physical therapist. The PT declared me a classic case of a twisted pelvis.

Yes, it’s as painful as the description in the link makes it sound. I’ve broken bones before and had surgery. This pain is worse than any of that. So, I am a model PT patient. In addition to the formal therapy I’m doing my stretches, lying on my side as much as possible and walking with a cane (just call me The Gimp).

Up until today, I didn’t think I could knit because it hurts too much to sit. After my PT appointment today, I met Felicia at Pikes Perk. We spent the afternoon knitting, gabbing and watching thunderstorms roll over the city. I accomplished that tiny bit of sock knitting while relaxing on a couch. That inspired me to rearrange my couch pillows so I can knit and still keep weight off my problem area.

You have no idea how happy this makes me. Suddenly, being ordered off my feet doesn’t sound so bad.

Memorial Day.

Success!

As I mentioned a couple weeks ago, I spent last Saturday rocking and knitting for Warm The World. Emily of Colorado Fiber Arts organized a fantastic event. The sidewalk in front of her store was lined with rockers:

One of the local TV stations showed up to interview Nan, our founder:

I didn’t take enough pictures, but Felicia has a whole post full of pictures here.  Emily at Colorado Fiber Arts has more pictures here.

As I’ve mentioned before, WTW is a non-profit organization with 501-(c)3 designation and operates solely on donations. There are no paid staff members. Everything (yarn, patterns, needles, hooks) is donated to WTW.

Our first rock-a-thon was a huge success:

Money donations: $1010.26

 

145 pounds of yarn

 

1 pair felted slippers

12 scarves

10 adult hats

5 helmet liners

23 kids hats

58 squares

6 adult afghans

13 baby afghans

Thank you to everyone who donated to Warm The World. If you would like to donate, you can do so here.

If you are in the area, you can drop off donations (yarn, needles, money, squares, etc.) at Colorado Fiber Arts.

Learn to be still.

Today’s Saturday Sky isn’t just the sky, it’s the squeal inducing sight I saw this morning when I climbed out of bed:

To understand why I squealed, I have to back up a bit, to Tuesday.

A fast moving, strong snowstorm went through on Tuesday. The storm started with ice pellets falling from the sky for several hours and this morphed into 50+mph winds and several inches of heavy, wet snow. During the storm, my power went out and I looked out my window to see a power pole snapped in two:

Power outages are common where I live so I had prepared by filling my washing machine with water and turning up the heat in the house.

When I saw the power pole was snapped, I knew I was in trouble. Once the storm cleared and ushered in warm, sunny weather, I discovered that at least five power poles right about my house were snapped and over 150 poles in my area had suffered the same fate.

This was not going to be the usual 4-6 hour power outage. I expected it to be about as long as the longest power outage I had ever experienced here: 26 hours.

I was wrong. So very wrong.

My power went out Tuesday afternoon. It did not come back on until late Saturday afternoon. For those of you keeping track at home, my power was off for 98 hours.

98 hours with no electricity, no heat and no running water.

The lack of heat was only a problem the first day. I spent Night One shivering underneath five blankets while wearing a sweatsuit, wool socks and fuzzy feet.

The lack of running water was a pain, but wasn’t that big of a deal. I keep ten gallons of drinking water in the house at all times and while I did make a Wal*Mart run on Day Two for more water and batteries, the critters and I probably could have survived on those ten gallons. I used the water in the washing machine to flush the toilet, so I just missed showering and washing my hair.

The lack of electricity bothered me a lot for the first day or so. I’m a news junkie and am always checking the cable news channels and websites to see what’s going on in the world. When I knit, I’m always watching TV, surfing the Internet, emailing and IM’ing at the same time. After a day without these distractings, I settled into a relaxing new routine.

I took time during the day to sit on my deck and watch the birds play in the trees. When the sun had set in the evening I didn’t immediately pull the curtains and turn on the lights. I kept the curtains open until the last drop of daylight had been squeezed from the sky.

Then I turned on my lanterns and began to knit.

I started with the Socks of Spring, but they didn’t hold my interest for long:

I was in a heel turning mood one night and turned four heels:

Finally, I cast on for the socks I’ve been thinking about for about a month:

I’m amazed at how much I can knit when I focus on just the knitting. It was a nice change to knit only to the soft snoring of dogs and when I felt the need to hear noise, I caught up on the many podcasts that have been languishing on my iPod.

I’m happy to be back in the 21st century, but I’m grateful for the time I had to slow down and appreciate everything around me.

Off my rocker.

 

Actually, I’ll be in a rocker and if you live near Pueblo and would like to rock with us, more details are here.

I will be knitting and rocking the whole day. If you’d like to pledge money while I knit and rock, please contact me. All donations will be given to Warm The World to support their fantastic efforts.

You can also donate directly to Warm The World here.

As my longtime blog readers know, I’ve been knitting for Warm The World for about two years now. Just last month, I was asked to join the board. The board is currently getting its sea legs (we have six brand new board members) and I expect that we’ll be off and running within the next month or so.

WTW is a non-profit organization with 501-(c)3 designation and operates solely on donations. There are no paid staff members. Everything (yarn, patterns, needles, hooks) is donated to WTW by knitters and crocheters like you. An overview of who we support can be found here.

How one woman is making a difference in the world.

You’ve heard me talk about Warm The World many times. Here’s the Pueblo Chieftain’s story about my favorite charity and the founder, Nan Sullivan:

‘Made with love’

Volunteer knitters Warm the World with hats, blankets

By MARY JEAN PORTER
THE PUEBLO CHIEFTAIN

Nan Sullivan was at “loose ends” when she knitted up her huge project four years ago.

Sullivan’s Warm the World last year gave 762 afghans and 1,875 hats and scarves to people needing a little warmth in their lives: hospice patients, babies born to Fort Carson soldiers serving overseas, homeless people weathering cold winter nights. All the items were knitted or crocheted by volunteers.

Sullivan, 45, a Canon City resident, started the project in 2003 when she was confined to bed rest and had made afghans for practically everyone she knew. She also was researching adoption and came up with the idea “to wrap each child in a blanket made with love.”

She found willing knitters and crocheters, gave them yarn, and the first year she sent 64 blankets to Romania for orphaned children. Today, 125 volunteers in Colorado and 69 in other states – plus 68 women at Colorado Women’s Correctional Facility – are knitting and crocheting for the project. Some of the volunteers make quilts as well.

The project works so well because most of the volunteers have lots of time and, given free yarn, they’re happy to create “softies” for a cause.

“We supply all the yarn,” Sullivan said. “We pay for all the shipping. This opens it to a whole new demographic of people who can knit for charity: the elderly, the homebound, people who might be on fixed incomes and can’t afford to buy a lot of yarn.”

Sullivan’s daughter, Erica Koenig of Pueblo, talked about Warm the World last week at a regular gathering of knitters at Colorado Fiber Arts, 121 Broadway Ave.

Koenig said her mother was visiting Denver and saw all the homeless people – including the children – outside Samaritan House. That old familiar feeling of “What can I do to help?” overcame her. The answer? Warm, handmade garments. Samaritan House joined the list of Warm the World recipients.

Koenig said she handed out blankets made for the victims of Hurricane Katrina, “and it was one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done.”

She showed brightly patterned socks that will go to Pine Ridge Indian reservation, a frilly scarf like the ones sent to Eastern European orphanages, and baby blankets and quilts destined for Fort Carson. And she said her mother’s goal for 2007 is 1,500 blankets for the babies of soldiers deployed in Iraq, Afghanistan and Somalia.

“It was really pretty much a small-time thing and now it’s global,” Koenig said.

Sisters DeAnne Atteberry of Pueblo and Chris Smith of Pueblo West have been crocheting for Warm the World for two years. They saw a newspaper article about the project, started going to meetings in Canon City and contacted several Pueblo agencies to see if they wanted knitted and crocheted goods.

“Just hearing the stories – especially from (Sangre de Cristo) Hospice – or seeing the faces of the volunteer coordinators when you deliver them or reading the thank-you notes Nan receives; the response just makes you want to keep doing for other people,” Atteberry said.

Smith said she continues to crochet for the project because she likes helping other people. She keeps track of the items she and her sister make, and the current tally is 150 hats, 25 to 30 blankets and 15 scarves.

Emily Barnard, owner of Colorado Fiber Arts, has volunteered her store as a drop-off point for donated yarn and for knitted and crocheted garments made for the project. And she envisions a rock-a-thon featuring knitters and crocheters in rocking chairs, making blankets and garments for Warm the World and giving the pledge money they raise to a local charity.

“We’re so lucky to have her (Sullivan) so close,” Barnard said. “She’s so into it and helps so many people.”

Knitters and crocheters can use any pattern they like and there are no size requirements, Sullivan said. Any type of yarn – acrylic, blends, wool, cotton – can be donated to the project. Cash donations also are welcome, which will be used to purchase yarn and pay shipping costs. Wal-Mart has contributed to Warm the World, Sullivan said.

More information, including how to participate, is available at Sullivan’s Web site, www.warmtheworld.org.

Among the agencies the project supports are: A Caring Pregnancy Center; Canon City Pregnancy Center; Sangre de Cristo Hospice; Catholic Charities, Diocese of Pueblo; Fremont County Adult Services; Loaves and Fishes Ministries, Fremont County; Pine Ridge reservation; Samaritan House; and Xtreme Response, which aids families in Africa.

 

The Giving Time of Year.

It’s been awhile since I talked about Warm The World. I’m still knitting as much as I can for them and earlier this month, I attended their monthly meeting.

Felicia and I set out on a Saturday morning to meet Nan (the founder and passion behind Warm The World) and some other volunteers. I’ve met Nan before, but this was the first time I’ve seen her set up and met other volunteers in person.

To say the least, I was impressed all over again.

Warm The World is an entirely volunteer operation. There are no paid staff members. Not one.

All yarn, needles, hooks, and patterns are donated.

Anything that you can donate will be greatly appreciated. Anything. You may not think that one pair of needles or a partial skein of yarn is worth donating, but think about if just a few people donated their leftovers.

Literally every little bit of yarn, every needle, every hook, every pattern and every dollar that is donated will be put to use helping others.

Warm The World is the real deal: a charity that does what it says it does. There’s no catch and no ‘funny business’. There’s just Nan and her team of volunteers.

If you’re going to donate to charity this year, please consider Warm The World. Take time to click around their website and learn about this wonderful organization. Their newsletters can be found here.

Felicia also blogged about our visit to Warm The World (she even took pictures!) and you can find those posts here and here.

For the past few weeks, it seems that every news story I see/read and every blog post I come across is talking about what presents a person is giving/receiving. That’s all fine and good, but please remember that there are people in this world who can’t afford something as simple as a warm winter scarf.

Let’s help Nan warm the world: one scarf, one hat and one blanket at a time.

Gratitude.

I want to thank all of you who commented and/or emailed me after my last post. Your kind words, virtual hugs and words of encouragement were so touching. Thank you so much.

Max is doing okay. He’s definitely deteriorating, but he still loves to play and run. That is the most important thing.

I’m been knitting a lot. I’ve posted my new FO’s here (scroll to the bottom of the page).

Again, thank you for your support. It means so much.

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