Sunday, August 30, 2020

Some thoughts on an (my) aging body

 Not Covering Up

I am not going to cover my thighs, but instead wear my short shorts.
These legs have carried me to where I am today. 
Through two triathlons
Two babies
Dancing the nights away. 
Yes, they are wrinkled like a shar-pei dog, or an elephant.
But they carried me when I was 
Seventy-five pounds heavier
Up mountains
And down 
They carry me now through my aging,
Through my life. 
Some say I should cover them up
Wear longer shorts, or capris, better yet full-length pants
But no - these strong legs deserve to be out in the sun 
To get freckled and brown (ish)
(I am fair of skin afterall).

I am not going to cover my upper arms, but instead wear my tank tops.
Some say I shouldn’t go sleeveless
I should cover up my bat wings.
I say
These arms have carried babies
Played tug of war
Swam for miles and miles.
Consoled the heartbroken
And held tight onto loved ones.
These arms are strong and deserve fresh air
So my shoulders can shine in the sun. 

A two piece? 
I dare.
What about the scar, and the skin that crinkles?
This scar is a reminder of a surgery that saved my life.
That extra skin used to wrap around two pregnant bellies.
That extra skin was a reminder that my fat was keeping me safe 
Until I didn’t need it anymore. 

That double chin of extra skin, and turkey wattle neck?
Some say surgery will take care of that
But I say each wrinkle and fold of skin is etched with all the smiles
And tears,
All the laughter,
And fears.
A reminder that there is less of me in stature, but
So much more of me in spirit. 
This is a face that people who love me love
So I will wear each wobbly bit with pride. 

If I offend you - look away.
This body got me here and 
I am going to celebrate it every single day,
Every jiggle and inch of wrinkled skin .
I plan to live to be one hundred and five
So get used to it.
I am not covering up any time soon.

Mary-Anne Taylor August 2020

Yopping Update #9 - Oh Gnome I didn't

 Short post today.  Not feeling well, but wanted to get this out so you can see my progress this week.

No picture, but I did work for two more days on Spice of Life before I ran out of appropriate stash.  I will wait until I finish the Wrapped in Jamie CAL because I am sure I will have leftovers to continue the SoL sampler blanket. 

I then spent three days on the fourth mini-sweater.  My mind wasn't too focused so I had slow going with the cables because I kept losing my stitch count (and also there were a few mistakes in the pattern.).  I am happy with the result though.

On Monday I was not feeling well at all, and waiting for the Doctor to get back to me, and, well, a little retail therapy happened. I bought four more of the Gnome patterns.  I am currently working on one, but I will wait until it is finished to post pictures. 

Tour de Fleece 2 started yesterday.  I was really feeling sh&$%y yesterday, but just before dinner I pulled out the samples I had won and decided to spin up the Swaledale.  It is interesting fibre.  It feels and looks like hair, and it seemed to have a long staple, but when I started to spin it I really needed to inch along or it would pull away from the hank.  I do love the look of it with the little hairs sticking out.  It looks very rustic and I think will do nicely for one of the shepherd's garments when I start my nativity scene.  I will chain ply it today, and then start on my sample of Jacob.  I am posting pictures and descriptions of the sheep in my Ravelry handspun notebook which is a fun project for me. 

The Doctor did get back to me on Tuesday night and took me off the second medication.  I was feeling much better on Thursday, but then by Friday afternoon the nausea was back.  I was headache free until yesterday, and today I am still feeling yucky so maybe it isn't medication related at all.  Sigh.  

I had a few lovely video chats with my daughter and grand-daughter and also a couple of skype dates with my son.  We do the New York Times crossword together via skype.  

I did get for a lovely walk on Thursday in the early early morning while my dh was having his second cararact surgery.  I went down to the seawall and watched the ducks and herons swimming at the mouth of the river, saw so many fishermen, and a murder of crows having their morning baths and drinks in a water bowl that is left out for dogs.  I am very thankful for that one good day, and dh's surgery went well and we were home by 9:30am. 

The yard work continues - and now all the large rounds to be disposed of are in the front yard rather than under the back steps.  It looks much neater in the back now.  

I spent quite a few hours in the sun on the backporch.  The evenings are much cooler, but the days are lovely with a wee bit of a breeze. 

Okay, I am off to research Jacob fleece and to spin a wee bit. 

Have a good week everyone. 

Sunday, August 23, 2020

Yopping Update #8 - It's all about the little things


Hi ho, dear Readers!  

It seems this week I have been just knitting the little things.  I finished the thing I cannot show because it is a gift.  However, I can show you the two Gnicki Gnomes I finished!

Social Distancing Gnome style

Waiting for the cactus bloom

Hiding in the Aloe Vera plant
Avoiding Otis (who couldn't care less)

So once the gnoming was over I got going on the Mini Sweater challenge by Wayfaring Yarns, and Sweater sisters.  The fourth comes out tomorrow and my yarn and needles are all ready.  

Number Three - pretty in pink cardi

Number One - Lacy pullover

Number Two - lace and fingering double stranded - feeling blue

I figure they will fit a barbie doll so I tried one on my artist's model:
She needs pants!  Just sayin!  I tried numerous times to add a caption to this picture but Blogger kept deleting it instead.  Grrrrr!

So there I was on Saturday with nothing on my needles.  I pulled out my Spice of Life crochet sampler blanket and did 9 more rows.  I am making this using leftovers, and I have to put it back in hibernation after today because I don't have any leftovers large enough to do a row.  Each row takes between 10 - 14 gms of worsted.  I might have some homespun that will work.  Stay tuned. 

On the health front the cardiologist put me on a 2nd heart med and I have been nauseous and headachy all week (except thursday).  I will email him tomorrow to see what can be done.  It is no fun and puts a kibosh on doing pretty much anything.  

We have been picking away at the yard work and it is starting to look more respectable.  At the moment the backyard has three big piles.  Give away wood.  Throw away wood. Saw up into smaller pieces wood.  The front yard has two piles - Take to recycling depot wood, and more saw up into smaller pieces wood.  
Ah, life of a property with thirteen very large cedar trees.

Tour de Fleece 2 starts next Saturday so I have sorted my fleece and I am ready to go.  I am going to spin up the sampler prize I won, and aim for fingering with the rainbow fleece so I can knit myself some socks.  

My next big project for the needles will be the nativity scene.  I think I will use a lot of my handspun because much of it is undyed and I think the natural sheep wool colours will be perfect for the shepherds and Joseph, and the donkey and of course the sheep.  I will stash dive (or stash dye) to get the right colours for the three kings, and Mary.  

So there we have it - another week in the books - and yes, my daughter has a new phone, with an awesome camera so I get photos like this:

A musician. Just like her momma and tata.  

Have a good week everyone.  Stay well.  Stay calm.  Stay safe.  

Sunday, August 16, 2020

Yopping Update #7- Fashion Show


Well, not only am I still figuring out the new blogger, but on Friday I realized that my computer charging system was broken so I had a limited time to get files off of it before the battery died for good. Now this means I have resurrected my very, very old, slow netbook (it runs on Windows Starter 7.1) while we look at getting me a replacement.  Shopping for a replacement (shopping for anything) causes me anxiety and for some reason looking for a new computer sent me pretty much over the edge.  When my anxiety goes on high alert I can't properly feel my legs, and have to keep rubbing feeling into them.  I don't know what brought this on so suddenly but it sure feels crummy.  

Update - I wrote this blog Saturday morning, and by Saturday dinner time I had a new computer.  Thank goodness for my son and my husband helping me to wade through all the options and the one I wanted was in stock in a store not too far from us.  

Ok,enough about my anxiety. I have been knitting mystery gnomes and gifts so I have nothing to show as far as wips go.  But, I do have a wee bit of a fashion show:

I am very pleased with this pattern, Dahlia, the fit is perfect. It is very warm, so I have to admit I am looking forward to cool evenings and fall days so I can wear it a lot.  

I have been writing every morning before I get on with my day and it seems to have motivated me more to get to some chores and errands that have been dogging me.  I cleaned the piano inside and out, dusted, mopped, cleaned UNDER the fridge (ewww) and we have been getting yard work done with the help of a university student. Through this CoVid lockdown it seems that despite being home all the time there isn't the impetus to stay on top of  the wild growth of morning glory, cedar fall, maple shoots, and grass.  It is starting to look better, and my husband, I think, secretly likes getting out his mini chain saw to cut up branches. We have six bins for next week's recycling, and there is still a few more piles on the front lawn.  

There has been a bear round our neighbourhood so we picked all our apples early, and I am bringing in the bird feeders and night. God forbid I should have  bear visiting us on our back porch.  Although last night when I went out to get the bird feeder I saw this little fellow creeping along the back porch.  How it got there I have no idea.  I am blaming Otis. 

Banana slug - about 6 inches long

Our porch is not at ground level, and I don't think he slithered up the stairs.  And this morning he (she/it) was no where to be found.  

We have gotten out  a little more this week - dropping off bottles and cans at the recycling depot, buying fruit from a little market stand, and taking our lawn chairs down to the beach to watch the seals and eagles and herons.  

On the last video chat I had with my daughter, my grand-daughter asked her ta-ta (her dada) to put on her sandals so she could head out the door and walk confidently down the street to her neighbours door.  (of course ta-ta was following her from a safe distance - playing border collie).  I snapped a couple of screen shots while this was happening.  

Isn't she an independent spirit?

I think we (I) can learn so much from this little girl.  

Have a good week dear readers.  I so appreciate you all.  Stay safe.  Stay kind.  Stay calm. 

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Yopping Update #6 - Another archived project sees the light of day

 Ok, I am still fighting with blogger.  If I make the header smaller then it won't center on the page.  Also it took me ages to convince blogger I didn't want every letter I type to be underlined.  I had to log out and back in to get it turned off.  Anyways.....

This happened this week:

124 locking stitch markers!! I am so ready for the next square in the Wrapped in Jamie CAL.  I blame my dear friend Susi.  She sent me a picture of her locking marker score and so I went on Amazon, and the rest, as they say, is history.  

I did finish knitting Dahlia on Friday night.  I had to frog the cuff of the first sleeve and reduce it another 9 stitches and was much happier with the fit.  It is now on the blocking mat, and once blocked I can finish sewing on the collar and bottom hem.  I am so thankful I have blocking wires.  I can't imagine how one would block a rectangular sweater without them.  


Pre blocking - Otis thought it made a good pillow

Of course finishing Dahlia meant my needles were empty as I did need to frog Amiga to have enough wool to finish the Dahlia sleeves. 

FitznStarts invited me to a Gnome mystery KAL that started on Thursday.  A clue is being released every two days - I can't show you any pictures until it is finished on the 19th of August - but I can tell you that two of the colours I am using are my own homespun.  If you want to check it out the link is here.  

I started another wee project from my list, but I can't say much more because it is a gift.  Let's just say I vowed never to make another - and yet.....

Before the rains came for three days I resurrected my coil basket project that my son and I started in Arizona in March 2018.  We each bought the same kit and would work on it around the campsite. I took a few minutes to remember how to do it, but then got into the swing of things quickly.  I have completed about 4 rows now and have two more before I do the finishing round.  It is a great back porch sitting in the sun project because you have to keep wetting the raffia which keeps everything nice and cool. 

When I sent this picture to my son he said that he was just thinking about getting his out of hibernation to finish as well.  Great minds think alike!

My daughter finally got her new phone.  We have had a few video chats and I am so happy the drought is over. 

I have been a bit under the weather for the last three days.  No fever, or cough, but my tummy is not happy with much except plain carbs.  Aw...what a shame.  

I will leave you with a cartoon I saw on facebook that pretty much says it all.  

I resonated with this a lot this past week as I do my homework for my 12 Step study group. Step 4 ain't for sissies - that is all I am saying.

Remember to be safe, be kind, and be calm. 




Sunday, August 2, 2020

Yopping Update #5 - Kool (Aid)

I figured out how to caption - Phew

Okay, let's see how my patience lasts as I navigate the new blogger platform.  Already I am having trouble adding captions to my pictures.  Sigh.  I hate change. 

I have been knitting endlessly on the Dahlia.  I am about half finished the left side, and then I can start the sleeves.  I am pretty sure I will have to frog Amiga to finish the sleeves but the Amiga was just a plain knit, so I am happy to sacrifice it to finish Dahlia. 

It has been a hot week, and the spinning wheel has been quiet, but I did decide to try my hand at dyeing three of the skeins I spun during Tour de Fleece with some Kool-Aid I bought in Arizona over two years ago.  You can't buy the unsweetened Kool-Aid here in Canada so when I saw some on our two month camper trip in early 2018 I bought a few packets.  Thanks to You Tube I ended up with this:

Not bad for my first two attempts. 

The big news this week is I received my wins from Tour de Fleece.

Now I am ready to spin some rainbow yarn for socks!

A breed sampler - 10 times 1 ounce - plus a diz.  I had to look up how to use a diz, but now I know and will put it to use to make some pencil roving so I have a better chance to make fingering weight handspun. 

It has been hot here and I have been living on the back porch chasing the early sun in the morning and the shade most of the afternoon.  It is a long weekend here and it seems like there are a lot of people not concerned about CoVid-19 - so I am staying home and steering clear of any public beaches or parks. 

My daughter's phone broke so I have no new photos to share with you this week.  If I don't get to have my daily fix whatsapp chats with her and my grand-daughter, then you, dear readers, will have to wait until next week for a photo update. 

Maybe by then I will figure out how to add captions to my pics. 

Arggggg!!  What happened to the 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it' maxim?