Well, it's been insanely busy and I'm trying to do a million things at once. Of course you know how that'll turn out!
So, first off, I had a private lesson with my yoga instructor. I now have a lovely 15-minute routine for my back. Actually lots of core strengtheners. And I've managed to mostly stick to it daily!! Yay... But I'm also going to go back for a few more lessons, because she and I are also working on getting me ready for the Avon 2-Day Walk - and I've got nasty-tight hamstrings. Even 7 years of yoga haven't fixed that --- and it probably never will.
Second, I did finish my MIL's mitts. Here's the picture, but they're not sewn up yet. Again, the Liberty Wool has pulled a stinky on me. These are from the same ball of wool. It's a good thing my MIL isn't picky.
And again, I love that the wool makes the chevron lace "pop." It's a cute mitt, takes probably a weekend's work if you do them straight through, and I will be trying to adapt this pattern to a skein of pale pink merino/silk that I have in my stash.
You can't have too many mitts, in this age of HVAC systems with minds of their own (as I sit here with sunshine and 66* outside, with the A/C blowing in my office).
Third, I have some really, really bad news. My friend Sonda, who owned the LYS where I re-learned how to knit and made some interesting friends, is now beyond treatment for her melanoma. They never found the original site; it's in her brain, and once it gets there, there's really not much to be optimistic about.
What's saddest for me is that we're the same age. It's not my first brush with death or death by cancer, but it's a friend who's my age, who's going to die well before her time. Her family was incredibly "up" about her chances, but when I was doing some research on the treatment, I came across the statement that all this treatment would do was "extend and potentially improve quality of life" but that it was "definitely not a cure." Obviously, I kept that bit of wisdom to myself. I'm not going to rain on anyone's parade.
The other stupid thing that's a result of this is that a couple of the "yarnies" (folks that would hang out at the store and knit - some of her regular customers) are now engaging in the totally ignorant spectacle of "who can mourn the most." Yeah, you read that right. "Who's known her longest? Who's spent the most time at the shop? Who was closest to her?" All that high-school crap that's totally useless and incredibly insensitive toward the family. One of them called me and told me "in confidence" that So-and-So is hysterical and can't cope, and yet she went over to Such-and-Such's house when she blah, blah, blah, blah.
STOP IT. For God's sake. A woman is dying far too young, and her family is in turmoil. When I last talked to Sonda's mom, I asked if she wanted visitors, and was answered with a quick, "No." And I assured her that I was totally cool with it. Which I am. This is SONDA'S journey. Not mine. Not even her family's. It's HERS. And she gets to call the shots. Nobody else. Period.
I can't begin to explain how mad this makes me. Grown women acting like hormonal teenagers, each with their own agenda to make the whole thing about THEM.
I am very sad that I'm going to lose a friend. We had different political views; we had different views on how to raise kids; we have husbands who are totally different (frankly, I'd have shot hers...) but we had common threads as women of the same age and as knitters. We could agree to disagree without too much trouble (wow - imagine that!) and be able to have reasonably respectful discussions, because the things we DID have in common made us realize how cool it was that we were friends in the first place!
The one high note of the past few days? Well, good old Tippi has done it again! We attended a "Stress Relief Week" event at our local college and Tippi was a hit as a therapy dog. Here she is with a couple of the students and a worker at the food court. We were interviewed by a student for the school's paper and the young man was quite skittish about Tippi.
Well, that's the kind of challenge Tippi likes! She sat on my left side, quietly, and the young man was talking away. Then, very gently, she insinuated herself between him and me, when he crouched down a bit. Soon, without him even realizing he was doing it, he was stroking her ears. He asked me, "So how does it work with a therapy dog?" I put my hand on his shoulder and said, "You're doing it right now! You're petting my dog when you really were reluctant to do it at first." He admitted that he "didn't really like dogs," but that "this is a dog I really do feel comfortable with." And there you have canine therapy in a nutshell. Tippi made yet another convert.
Here's another favorite shot. This was a young man who was missing his own dogs, and just after this, he and Tippi had a case of the "Zoomies" where she was scooting back and forth playing with him. After he was finished, he and I sat and talked. The student health coordinator just sat there nodding her head: "That is what I want to see!" she said. She wanted the kids to bond with the animals and start to talk.
Tippi was her usual well-mannered self, and I got to talk a lot about the responsibilities of a dog owner, how dogs enrich your life, and our rescue work. As well, we discussed her training and the various temperaments that made a good therapy dog.
They were so happy that the student health folks are going to talk about a "Tuesdays with Tippi" program to have her visit the campus on a regular basis just so the kids (and faculty and staff) have a furry friend to help them through the day.
Here's another shot that was a highlight. The girls just loved the time they spent with her and they asked me lots of questions about dog training. I love that we can impact the kids that way and I love that Tippi is my vehicle to do so.
Can't wait to see if "Tuesdays with Tippi" becomes a reality.
Sometimes, it's these bright moments that make me able to deal with the crappy moments.