Monday, February 24, 2014

Let's See If This Works...

For what it's worth, the Nephew Afghan is done. Finished. Period. And I've got about 20% on the Teal Sock. 

It's DONE!!!
And I can't remember how to update that picture on the right!!! Anyway, it's sitting on the clipboard and I'll try to figure it out. It can't be all that hard. I did it once, right??

Here's the picture of the afghan, and an up-close of the edging. It's almost 5' long. I think it's fine. And I actually like the navy "single ply" edging as a "window" effect and then the doubled final edging. The stitch pattern is from the "8-hour afghan" book I have - called "textured" and you can see the raised rows. It's a modified basketweave, to my eyes. The edge is half-double-crochet. I like to mix the two techniques together, particularly in an edge. 

I have to do a care label and then I'm good to go. Even though it's machine washable, I still do a care label for everything I make. I should see if I have any of those "made by" labels. I should get more if I don't have them. 

And the sock: I'd say that's about 20% done. And you know what? I can tell the tension is VASTLY different from Sock #1. Sock #1 was "before death" and this one is "after death." So the first one was finished before my brother died, and this one I picked up just recently. To my eye, the tension is different and it feels different to knit on. 

Crochet Edge
Maybe it's because I'm knitting such radically different projects. Let's face it: the afghan was done on size 10.5 needles, double yarn. The sock is on size 2 DPNs, sock-weight yarn. Of course it'll feel different, but to me, it's also kind of an indicator of my own emotional state. The picture shows the sock slightly stretched. Again, to my eyes, it looks a little off, but I'm not going to frog it. It is what it is and it is a sock. 

Yes, we didn't get along; I'm up-front about that. But the emotional toll is there anyway. 


So Saturday, I had a "breakthrough" and it wasn't of the "Eureka!" type. It was the first breakthrough of such severity in about 2 years. I'd had minor "flutters" which is normal, but this one was scary. 

We had our Zonta Fundraiser (pics in a minute) this past Sunday and I honestly thought I wasn't going to make it there. Just for good measure, Saturday night, I charged the Kindle, fully expecting that Sunday would see me in the hospital.

Teal Ribbed Sock #2
I went downstairs to toss some stuff in the wash; mostly, I had a sweater I wanted to wear. I came up the stairs, walking (I don't run unless something's on fire or there's a dog fight) and at the top, I just got WHAM! - hit by extreme breathlessness. I had felt "off" all day, and I came into the front room, sat on my chair and just gasped. I took my pulse and said to him, "I'm in trouble pulse is going nuts."

Hubby was, of course, concerned. After a quick search (we can't find his stethescope...), he grabbed the BP meter and checked. Wowza. My BP was 128/90-ish and my pulse rate was clocked at 127. Normally, it's around 60-ish. Obviously, something wrong. He called Sis, because by that time, I was just trying to breathe and not get all frazzled -- or MORE frazzled. Sis had us call the cardio guy. I have a "magic pill" but she wasn't certain that my BP met the criteria for the magic pill.

And the instructions on the label said, "Take as directed." Yep - like I'm gonna remember the directions when my system is going haywire...

Cardio says "take the pill. If it's not better in the a.m. take another one, and if that doesn't fix it, come to the office." 

Well, long story short, I slept on the couch for a good chunk of the night; the fact that I was able to elevate my head made me feel better for some reason. I knew I was in trouble (among other ways) because I actually wanted to rip my Dr. Who t-shirt off. I normally like mock-turtle or turtlenecks, and I have no trouble with t-shirts. But since I've had this a-fib, I've really felt uncomfortable with anything touching my neck. And I felt strangled. 

And all regulated itself by about midnite. I ended up going to the event, even though I was rather tired. 

I didn't have to take pics (which was my original assignment). It was actually kind of nice to NOT have a job to do. For the first time in years, I could visit with the guests at my table and mingle when I felt like it. 

Came home after and took a 2-hour nap... Back to work today and I'm fine. Will see how much more of this occurs. It may mean a change in meds. It may mean that I've had too many sleepless nights. 

A First-World Tragedy...

So this Saturday, we had a Great Loss in the family. Our 27-year-old Mitsubishi (tube) television gave up its soul and went to the Happy TV Grounds. Yep. It died. 

Old Faithful
Hubby did some research, and we spent a relatively quiet morning while he poked around to see what was available. 

Whew. We are now the proud (and poorer) owners of a 50" Visio (it's a Samsung private label) LED television. It sits on the stand for the old Mitsubishi and we'll be getting it its proper stand soon. 

Talk about shock.

Of course, the guy at Best Buy just goggled when we told him our TV died. And then revealed its age. 

He said, "Which TV is this replacing?" We said, "Well, our ONLY television." Crickets. I'm sure he didn't know whether to laugh outright or just keep his mouth shut. "Mouth shut" won, which was a very good choice. 

Hubby had to call Comcast and get the scoop on what we needed to upgrade to. For $10 more per month, we now get HD - and honestly, though I despise paying Comcast for seemingly the air I breathe, we do have to utilize the HD feature. Especially on something that huge.

Now, let me say: I never thought I'd have to deal with a TV that big. But having said that, since it's been YEARS since these kinds of TVs came out, they've improved over the beasts they used to be. 

Of course, we're not going to get 27 years out of this one. Five, if we're very lucky. And it does lots of crap that we don't need: 3-D (gives me a headache); games (don't have any); WiFi (that's why I have a laptop)... I just want to watch Downton Abbey, thanks. 

He tried to sell us a soundbar, but we didn't want one. I suppose we'll have to have it eventually, because the sound is a bit wonky. The background music comes in loud and clear, but the voices are muted and sound garbled. 

I guess I'd have bought the soundbar if I had won the Zonta split-the-pot, but that's going to have to wait. 

The guy at Best Buy is right. It's a totally different experience. Scary, if you ask me. 

The colors are cool. I can see what we've missed in Old Faithful. And I should've known he was going: I kept having to up his volume. This one, I keep lowering. Kid #2 made a crack about my other favorite show: NCIS. "Oh goodie: GIBBS close-up. And the gore." And he's got a point. Those dead bodies looked better on Old Faithful. Kinda gruesome in BIG TV...

I guess that means we're in the current century now. Except that it's still our "only" TV. And we're ok with that. 


So as I mentioned, it was our annual fundraiser. Our organization is international, so we chose "Celebrating Zonta Around the World" for our theme. We were able to pick a country that hosted at least one Zonta Club and decorate our table. My friend PM (as opposed to the two PSs I know...) helped provide some decoration. We chose Poland. The carved plates and the pierogie ornament are my contributions.

I took my mom and we talked about what else we could've brought, but you also have to think about how much you want to haul. She's got old Polish textbooks; I have a cookbook. We both have rosaries... But family heirlooms? Our guests are friends of ours, so of course, nothing would be lifted, but I just felt we did fine. 

PM contributed the cut-glass vase, the dolls and another carved piece, as well as a Virgin Mary (at the back) and a flag (which wasn't in this picture). 

I have to tell you, lots of people stopped by and commented on my pierogie!! I got one of the servers to bring me a plate and he just laughed. 

In retrospect, I could've done Greece, too. I have a lot of stuff from my ancient trip. There was a nice selection of countries. If you want to see the table decor, click "Zonta" here. 

The club members did some fantastic decorating jobs. 

And the food at the Patrick Haley Mansion was fantastic. If my nephew had any sense, he'd have his wedding HERE and not in the venue he's having it at.

But it's not my gig, so it's not my problem. 

Lifestyle Changes...

Favorite Wraps
So the dietary changes I've been making are good. I'm losing about a pound a week, which is healthy. I'm in my skinnier jeans...not "skinny" jeans, but jeans which didn't fit a few weeks ago. Still a size larger than I want to be, but progress nonetheless. And I don't feel "strangled" - which is a plus.

Here's a shot of my very favorite low-carb wrap. This makes a lovely turkey-and-avocado wrap sandwich and also is a nice holder for tuna salad. I get them at Meijer, which is sad because there's not one really close to us. But this is worth the trip. 

Of course, yesterday at the event, I kind of jumped off the wagon there, but I climbed back on - so all is well. 

Yoga tonight, and perhaps hula hoop after lunch. 

I also got some "restaurant blend" mushrooms. Once I make (again) the cauliflower soup, I'll add the sauteed 'shrooms. Kid #2 is lobbying for Canadian bacon... I think he should just make his own batch of potato soup! 

What this is is rather a "sugar detox" and eating about every 5 hours. It's a little problematic when I'm out and about, but it's manageable. I was always advised against a late-night snack, but the theory here is that it helps your body's sugar level stay the same overnight, so you aren't ravenous when you wake up. 

I'm usually NEVER ravenous when I wake up, but I get the chemistry idea. (May I just say that I love the "save" feature, since I just now hit a button and the whole post disappeared!!)

So for my night snack, I'm using Fage 2% Greek yogurt. This part of the dietary change is boring because it's all really low-carb, low-sugar stuff. Do you know how much sugar you eat???

The statistics say that the average American eats about 130 lbs. of sugar per year. ONE HUNDRED THIRTY POUNDS. That's a person... Here's a site from the Department of Health & Human Services in New Hampshire that states it's closer to 150 lbs. The figure I quoted was one from Prevention magazine. Either way. 

Holy high fructose!

As Americans, most of us don't really have a food problem. Our problem is in what we choose to eat. And how the food industry cons us into buying stuff laced with ingredients that aren't too good for us, and are basically chemicals. 

By changing up my diet, yes, I'm "depriving" myself of lots of the carbs I love, but overall - the fact that I'm getting "un-addicted" to sugar will help me in the long run. All I'm doing, really, is a "clean-up." I'm anxious to get to the part where I can start reintroducing fruit - back to my favorite green smoothies. This type of eating is truly easier in the summer, when you feel like eating stuff that's mostly raw, mostly chilly. A salad looks and tastes very inviting in August. 

In January and February? Not only does half the produce taste like nothing, but it's cold when you're craving Shepherd's Pie...

So I'm going to continue to munch on my flax crackers, celery and salads. And I'm good with that for now. Well, I also need to move more. In that regard, I just pulled out my timer (yeah, I brought one from home) and tried to set it. I figure if I can set it for every 20 minutes or 1/2 hour, I remind myself to move. I often get tied up in something and then I find that I've been sitting for a couple of hours easily. 

Well, the timer appears to have gone to Electronics Heaven with the old TV set. I could use my phone, I suppose. Even with a fresh battery in it, it doesn't want to go. I'll eat lunch (turkey wrap with cottage cheese) and then set the phone. 

Random Picture...

"Closer." This is the one shot I managed to get while I was laughing. Raisa did a head-first slow-roll next to Tippi, and Tippi didn't know what to make of it. She and Raisa are doing fine; the only issue we've had was when, in a fit of the Zoomies, Raisa jumped Tippi. That didn't go over well. 

When Tippi's had enough, she gets up, goes through the gate and takes a nap. 

With Quinn, we're getting there. In the kennel outside and on the leash, they're doing well. In the house, Quinn's still a bit territorial. And a tad freaky with Tippi still... 

But we knew it would be a process. So far, she's coming along well. I'd forgotten how much energy a puppy took. Glad we're doing this in our 50s and not our 60s. 

Looking outside today is deceptive. It's sunny and everything's melting. We're past the flood warnings, at least in our area, though the nearby river is still a question. But it's 22* outside. 

No comments: