Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Sometimes Life Throws you a Curve Ball!

Every so often life can throw you a curve ball.  I have been retired for just 6 years now; and have become involved in a number of local non-profit community organizations.  In May I had the opportunity to take my first ride in an ambulance and spend 6 days in ICU.

Car Crash?  Nope.  Food poisoning?  Nope.  Heath exhaustion?  (that is what I thought - living in AZ).  Heart Attack?  Nope  Stroke?  Nope..... well what??????  Acute bi-lateral pulmonary embolisms.  Holy Crap you say what is that?   Basically, a blood clot behind my left knee ( they call it DVT or deep vein thrombosis and I don't know how that happened) decided not to dissolve but to travel up and  part of it stayed in both of my lungs.

This has slowed up all of my physical activities!  The good news?  My hubby added housework to his list of things he already did around the house.  LOL

More good news?  I have had more time to spend on my knitting and crochet.  I had added "Creatures for a Cure" and made some octopuses in all the colors of the cancer ribbons to sell for donations at the local Relay For Life here in town.  This extra resting time is allowing me to add other creatures to my list.

I was recently adopted (unofficially) by a couple of families who don't have grandmas here in AZ and I don't have any grandkids so it seemed a good match.  I made a grumpasauras for one of the little ones with a cute pout that seems to work getting what she wants from her family.  This got one of her older brothers to ask if I can make him a "toothless" dragon.  If you  haven't seen the movie How To Train Your Dragon - it is quite fun.  Of course I said  "Yes I Can!" and  then had to find a pattern.  Having found a few dragon patterns all the boys want one or another and so I have enough projects to keep me busy while in recovery.  It seems I am "grounded" until the blood clots in my lungs are gone.  Most of the doctors say it can take 6 months to fully recover and it's only been 2 1/2.  So these projects are fun to make and keep me busy.  I can also make others and add them to my "Creatures for a Cure" for the next Relay in 2016.

This curve has also allowed me to sympathize with elder folk who are no longer allowed to drive and have to  count on friends, family or public transport to get around.  It has helped me to work on patience, as there is nothing I can do to cure my situation.  It has also made me grateful for friends and my husband who have taken care of me during this "time out" in my otherwise active life.

When we have knots in our yarn - or YARN BARF -- we take the time to detangle  and save the yarn.  This is a a bit of a knot in my life but he beautiful creations that are coming out of it are bringing joy to others!

Don't let the Yarn Barf in your life get you down - take the time to detangle - it is worth the effort!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Local Yarn Store - Goes out of Business

One of the local stores has a split personality.  Downstairs is a store dedicated to all things embroidery; patterns, floss, lights, frames (you get the idea).  Upstairs was a lovely yarn store for those among us who knit and crochet.  This store was a pricey but had lovely things to look at and was well organized.  It was not the kind of place you can sit and knit and drink a cuppa coffee like my two favorite places (Blazing Needles in Salt Lake and Knit Wits in Sedona), but a good place to find that special yarn.

Well as the economic turn of events would have it... the owners decided to discontinue the yarn store part of the business and concentrate on the embroidery part.  This is sad  news in some way... but brought out a feeding frenzy of yarn buyers!  Word got out on the psychic yarn buying news that this store was going out of business, and the first week the yarn was 70% off!  Now, I have a stash of yarn, there is no NEED for anything.  In fact I recently bought more storage to keep my yarn organized; but I thought I would go check it out.  (of course)

At 70% off the prices of the really nice yarn were in my budget.  I found some lovely silk and wool blend that I'll be able to use someday, and some baby alpaca that I'll use for handwarmers.  It was a bit overwhelming shopping without a project in mind, but after an hour I managed to escape spending only a bit over a hundred dollars (discounted price). 

While shopping I saw three friends who also got the psychic newsflash... then while checking out  I found 2 more people I knew.  One was a lady who had joined my bookclub the week before who is a snow bird from Chicago (she had come down to get away from the cold weather, but had left all her knitting supplies behind - she didn't know if she could take her stuff on the plane!) I had invited her to find the store! No knitter should go without yarn and kneedles.  It's inhuman!!!  Anyway, the other was another member of my knitting group.  Ahead of me in the check out was a guy who it seems had also been there the day before, buying for his wife's stash as a present.  Now that is true love!  The cost of his purchase before the discount???? $4,600.00  -- after $1,200.00.  

One of the ladies who had come to the shop because I had passed on the info, was a brand new knitter.  She didn't even have a stash -- but she does now!  She's been back at least 2 more times.  The store had a "fill the bag" day for $100.00 then a few days later the "fill the bag" day was $50.00 a few days later "fill the bag" for $25.00.  You can see how the buying frenzy exacerbates! 

Yesterday, one of the ladies at my local libary came to ask me about spare knitting needles.  Our library knitting group accepts donations of yarn and knitting needles that we use to help new knitters get started.  I went into the kneedle stash to get her some starter needles.   She doesn't knit (yet), but it seems that she had already been to the going out of business yarn sale ---- gotten some yarn to get started and was going back to get needles... but wanted something to start learning to knit with. 

The yarn sisterhood continuing to expand. One of us has learned that she loved making yarn animals for kids, one is getting certified as a crochet teacher.  Some of us just love touching the new yarn we have.  Our stashes are all bursting at the seams now.  I am sad to see the store close down, but glad that the lovely yarns have been spread out all over the community.  Helping new and experienced yarn people all over town!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

I think my phone is smarter than I am

I try to stay up with the latest electronic trends ... but today I got a new smart phone and I think the phone is smarter than I am.  It seemed to take forever for me to set up the phone and finally figured out how to set the ring tone (I like it to sound like a phone- go figure) and here is the biggest issue.  I opted for a virtual keyboard... and my fingers and the phone don't seem to be able to connect at the right place.  Now perhaps this is just a learning curve for me.. but I shouldn't have to retype my password 10 times just to get the letters correctly!  I may have to change to a REAL keyboard (sigh) to make the smartness work for me. 

I guess I'll give it one more day to see if I can work it out -- stay tuned!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

My Review of Hiya Hiya Interchangeable Needle Set - Red 4" Tips

Originally submitted at Alpaca Direct

Hiya Hiya Interchangeable Needle Set - Red HiyaHiya Interchangeable set includes: 7 sets of tips in sizes from 2-8US (2.75-5mm) Each set includes a practical and portable brocade case, needle tips and 4 cables (to make 16, 24, 32 and 40 inch needles)

LOVE these needles!!!

By AZ tinker from Surprise, AZ on 5/28/2011


5out of 5

Sizing: Feels true to size

Pros: Comfortable, Lightweight, Great for travel, Well Made, Smooth join, Practical

Cons: None

Best Uses: Knitting anywhere

Comfort vs Style: Comfort Driven

Was this a gift?: No

Well I checked that this wasn't a gift - but it was for ME! I have used the Hiya Hiya fixed 9" for socks, handwarmers, and more and the DPNS are lovely too ... so I splurged and gave myself a gift of this interchangable set. They are lightweight with smooth joins to the cables. They even include a little gripper! The container is well made and lovely to look at. I will use it even more when I travel!!! My friends are already looking to get a set for themselves. You will love these needles!


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

WHAT IF? Sometimes Life has suprises in store....

WHAT IF......

  • you were told you had an illness that would cut your life short? 
  • you are in an accident that prevents you from paying your bills?
  • you have an unexpected heart attack or stroke?
  • your parent becomes ill and cannot live alone?
  • your parent/spouse developes alzheimers?
  • you or your spouse get's laid off or forced into early retirement?
  • your kids never move out?

These are all examples of things that have happened. Are you ready for any or all of these things?  You can't prevent everything that happens, but you can be prepared for many of them. 

Everyone needs a medical power of attorney with an advance directive.  It allows someone to make medical decisions for you in the event you are not able to make those decisions for yourself. I can hear you saying " my husband/wife/children/other will do that for me"; but based on the recent privacy laws if you are not able to tell the doctor/hospital/emt that they have your permission to tell your child/friend/other (this includes your "ex") your wishes without  a medical power of attorney your wishes may not be taken into account or they may not be able to get the medical information they need to make a good decision.  The classic case is the lady in Florida who was on life support and her husband and her parents were fighting about whether to take her off life support.  She was officially brain dead, but they still could not come to an agreement.

A woman I knew lapsed into a coma from an undetermined cause. The family said she had been having memory lapses and changes in behavior and her personality.  Everyone  assumed that it was a result of alzheimers.  Her husband colapsed and ended up in a mental facility and was not able to make decisions.  There were 4 children.  The doctors would not take a specific course of action unless all 4 kids agreed on the course of treatment.  You guessed it... the kids were not in agreement.  Some wanted surgery to determine if there was something besides alzheimers (which had not been diagnosed officially) and some wanted nothing done.

Of course that means that you need to download a form from the internet (each state has it's own form) and decide who is going to make that kind of decision for you.   Keep in mind.. WHAT IF.. you and your spouse are in the same accident and can not act for each other... and who will be the back up if you and your spouse are in the same accident.

Once the form is printed out signed and witnessed or notarized then you need to make sure that the person you have designated has a copy of that document.  It's a good idea for your primary care doctor to have a copy too.    This means you need to have a conversation with your medical power of attorney about what you do and do not want done to keep you alive. 

The medical POA does not allow someone access to your bank account to pay for expenses or to pay your regular bills.   WHAT IF .. you had a stroke and could not write a check or go online to pay your bills. A durable Power of Attorney is needed or a Trust is needed and these are best done before you are incapasitated.  I don't recommend you put your kids on your checking accounts there are legal issues there too

WHAT IF.... you die?  Do you have a fund set aside to pay the funeral home?  Did you know your kids can't access your money if they don't have a death certificate and the funeral home files the death certificate paperwork.. so they have to be paid first.  Do you want to be creamated? or do you want to be buried?  Where will your remains be kept?  A friend of mine was cleaning out her garage one day and I asked what to do with the stuff in a box.... "Oh" she said.." that is my husband Mike... I didn't know what to do with the ashes - so I've been keeping him in the garage". 

WHAT IF..... your parent can no longer live alone safely.  Are you willing to let them come live with you? Are you willing or able to pay to have them taken care of?  Do they have the funds to care for themselves but... are keeping that money for "when they REALLY need it" and you don't have access.  Our parents are not usually open to sharing their financial situation with us, and we don't really know how to ask the question either.

WHAT IF... a family member is diagnosed with something terminal but without a specific expiration date?  They need help, but because they are floating down the river of denial, they don't accept help and they are not willing to discuss their upcoming death with anyone.  How can you help them if they don't know how to accept their failing abilities?

WHAT IF.. your retirement plan assumes that your children will move out and get jobs and homes of their own?  Two scenarios play out here:
  1. They move out - get married - but then move back (eeeek)
  2. They never move out - because your house is nicer than one they can afford
How can you encourage them to move on with their lives so you can move on with yours without seeming to be mean or insensitive to them and their needs.  In Italy, a trend has occured.  Boys/Men are not getting married and moving out, because their grilfriends won't take care of them like their mothers do.  Can your kids cook for themselves? Do their own laundry? Do their own grocery shopping? Pay their own bills and balance their checkbook?  If not those are the first  things to make sure they know how to do.   Making them do this is not being mean or not caring for them, it is teaching them life lessons -- like teaching them to read when they are little. 

A lot to think about.  Of course, if you don't do any of these things, you might be fine....but....

  WHAT IF.......

Friday, November 19, 2010

Women Friends - Who needs 'Em?

When I was young ( under 13) I had girl friends.  My parents moved into a new development in 1960 and most of the families had kids some my age some younger but all  of us qualified as baby boomer kids. I had close girl friends through junior high school (some places call it middle school) and into high school.  I was more of a tom-boy growing up.  I played baseball in the street with the guys, rode my bike with the guys and even had a paper route.

As boys became more interesting though, I still had girl friends.  The primary function of girl friends at that stage of my life was to talk about boys and parents.  We seemed to be able to talk for hours in person and on the phone (they were land lines).  Some of us were lucky enough to have our own phone number so we didn't have to hear our parents tell us to "get off the phone - someone might want to call".  Of course no one ever called the house for our parents!!

After high school, things changed though.  I didn't go away to college, but I did move out of my parents house and worked days and went to school nights.  Somehow, during that time girlfriends became co-workers and the talk changed from boys and parents to school and work, boyfriends and if we would ever get married.

For the next 30 years, girlfriends became people I knew at work or the women in other couples, but  not really people I spent time with.

I retired 2 years ago, and many of my work friends are still working.  Their lives are still overwhelmed with the day to day issues of the job; while I have moved away from those issues.  It is not that I am not interested in the job; but as things change at work I am not involved in the politics of the work place,the daily stresses or even the accomplishments.

I am now able to spend more time doing the things I enjoy, and the need for women friends has become more important.  My husband is wonderful. My step kids are too, but being able to share experiences with women friends has become something special to me.  Perhaps it is because we women know the probability that we will outlive our husband; or perhaps we want someone to share our concerns about our husbands health issues or even our own aches and pains that we don't want our husbands and kids to know about.  Whatever the reason, having a peer group of women to talk with, share experiences and even complain to is a wonderful thing.

I am meeting new women here in Arizona; both in my knitting group and in my book club group.  These women come from different places in their lives with different backgrounds. Some are married; some not.  Some have children or step children; some not.  All have something to offer.   I have something to offer too; friendship, a sympathetic ear and a shoulder to lean on or cry on.  How wonderful that these women have opened their hearts to me.

Women friends - Who needs 'em?  I have found that I do!

Monday, October 25, 2010

A Friendly Ghost story

A follow up to my last post - finding the right home for the right thing! One of the items I had not been able to let go of,  was a set of my Dad's calligraphy pens. In going through papers in a box, I recently found my dad's will from 22 years ago. He had also named me as his executrix should he and my mom pass away together. He stated in his will that he wanted his calligraphy things to go to a school. I had not found the right place for his things, so they have been at my house for the last 8 months and had been in storage since he died.

My dad had taught himself calligraphy after college.  He became good enough that folks paid him to do awards, announcements for weddings and church events, letters of commendation and all things fancy.  He enjoyed creating these works and even made an alphabet book with his art and some cartoon like characters.

Our notes for high school were always humorously written and more like works of art then what most kids had to get back into school.  One time; after being out ill,  I  used a regular note written by my mom to return to school;  the administrator told me " Well, this will get you back in, but have your Dad write one of his notes, Please". Three of us attended the same school, and the administration office saved all our notes. They told my sister they were almost sorry she was graduating as it meant no more notes!!!

This week I was at a meeting for the local  Friends of the Library where we were talking about what kind of items we wanted in our display case, someone mentioned calligraphy work and items. While I was thinking about my Dad's stuff; two of the ladies mentioned they were taking calligraphy classes and they would be talking to their instructor about a display!  HMMMM.... a school?

Later that week I took my Dad's pens to one of the calligraphy students, and gave them to her.  The pens were beautiful to look at with blown glass handles.   I don't even know if my Dad ever used them. My friend tells me that she liked them so well, she would be taking them to her instructor to share with the class.

We were standing in an open lobby looking at the pens when she suddenly asked me "you don't smoke do you?"  I said no, but my Dad had been a smoker for much of his life.   At first I apologized for not spraying the items with Fabreze or Lysol as the items had been in storage for the last 22 years; but then I realized....

.......it was just my Dad stopping by to let me know that I had found the right place for his things. It made it easy to let go of them.

I've felt my Dad checking in or rather checking up on me over the last few years - each time with a wisp of smoke in a place where smoke would not  normally be found. 

This time I knew it was to let me know that he approved. 

I had found the right place for his things.