Settling In and Hunkering Down

So, my third go-round of chemo (second round of COP therapy) is behind me, but the COP cycles are every three weeks, instead of every four as the bendamustine cycles would have been. I got off easy this time. I managed to sidestep any upper or lower digestive side effects. Thing is, I don’t know how much of my wheezing and shortness of breath is due to the chemo and how much is due to the many dusty blustery days we’ve had lately and those dang Bradford pears.

I was able to stop off at the grocery store Friday after getting my liter of fluid. I got a small box of cherry tomatoes, a bag of baby carrots, a bunch of green onions, and a bowl of cantaloupe to make some dip salads; a box of spinach dip, and a box of 7-layer dip (bottom to top: refried beans, guacamole, sour cream, green onions, tomatoes, black olives, and grated cheese.) I also got a small bag of blue corn tortilla chips to eat the dips with. (Blue corn has a lower glycemic index and a higher protein content than regular yellow corn.)

Tuesday afternoon, I got on YouTube and found Mozart piano sonatas, and then Bach’s Well Tempered Clavier, listened to music and worked puzzles on Jigsaw Planet. It was very meditative. While my eyes and mouse hand worked puzzles, my mind just wandered off into the music.

Thursday I did something I haven’t done in a long time. I watched TV and knitted for several hours — I was working on the baby blanket. I have a pair of over-ear Bluetooth headphones paired to my TV, and my TV sound on mute, so I don’t have to worry about disturbing anybody with my TV sound.

Having been a medical transcriptionist for 27 years, I was always very protective of my hearing as it was my livelihood, and still am. Even now I don’t like to turn the volume up on the things I listen to. Headphones and earbuds allow me to listen to things at a very low volume because they cut out any ambient noise. One reason people turn the sound up is to hear dialogue more clearly (The higher speech frequencies don’t carry as well as lower frequencies.) Headphones/earbuds allow you to hear dialogue better at lower volumes because they cut out any ambient noise. (The other reason is that loud sounds give people an adrenalin rush — Which is why “surround sound” is such a big deal and why “blockbuster” movies that cater to the younger bunch always have either lots of explosions and crash noises or lots of “startle scares.” Every time I pull up next to a “thumper” — a car (usually driven by a teenage or young adult man) with a high watt sound system with huge bass speakers thumping away so loudly you can hear it two lanes over with your windows rolled up, I think, “Adrenalin junkie.”)

Anyway, I watched Magellan TV, a biography of Beethoven and a biography of Chopin. Then I flipped over to YouTube and had jellyfish and arpeggious piano for a while. The video of the moon jellyfish floating around full screen on a 55-inch flat screen is amazing. I could have a real Captain Nemo fantasy going with that video, looking out of the round window in the side of the Nautilus.

I have my little nook set up over in the corner, with my floor lamp and my little reader’s table with my bowl of knitting accouterments. I have one of those boxes shaped like a fancy leatherbound book for all my remotes — TV, VCRs, and sound bar. (We’re supposed to get a new internet service provider and the TV will have a cable box with one more remote. . . ) It saves me rummaging for them inside a drawer or having to keep up with them strewn about over this table or that.

The boxes came in a set of two and I use the smaller one on my chest of drawers for watches and jewelry and such.

The baby dress is the Rio Dress, a paid for pattern from Ravelry, which I’m doing in 6 month size, which puts it right around Christmas, hence the color — Malabrigo Sock’s Tiziano Red from stash. Something for the Christmas card photo of baby’s first Christmas. The hat is “Dear Liza” pattern, free on Ravelry in Paton Grace’s mercerized cotton yarn in lavender also from stash. It is supposed to be cast on “loosely” because the brim folds under and you pick up stitches on the cast on edge to be knit together with the stitches on the other end to make it double thickness, but I wasn’t going to futz with picking up stitches on a cast on edge when I could do a provisional cast on and have the stitches live, which is what the blue yarn is about. The holey bit about halfway up is a row of *k2tog, yo* which forms the “fold line” where the brim folds double, and it gives you a nice little picot edge. Texas babies need hats, too, — not warm ones, but cool ones that keep the sun off. This one is in mercerized cotton which means washer and dryer safe. The dress will have to be washed in cold on delicate setting (or else hand washed) and dried flat, but something that small shouldn’t take that long to dry.

I’ve started the dark rose pink yarn on the round baby blanket. Ideally, I’d put a knitted on edging on it because it’s stockinette and it needs some kind of edging to keep it from curling. I’ve found an edging pattern that is knitted over 9 stitches with a 4-row repeat that’ll work. The pattern as it stands is a “sew on” edging. I just have to play with it to make it knitted on — i.e., decide how I will knit two stitches together (k2tog? ssk?) at the ends of RS rows (one stitch from the blanket and one from the edging) and a slip stitch for the slipping of that two knitted together stitch at the beginning of WS rows. And end the blanket with a row count that is evenly divisible by 4. No biggie. It’s a 9-bladed pinwheel so, e.g., if each of the blades of the pinwheel contained 40 stitches, that’d be 360 stitches (9 x 40), which would be 90 repeats (360/4) of the edging pattern. Which means there is some binge knitting in my imminent future.

Author: WOL

My burrow, "La Maison du Hibou Sous Terre" is located on the flatlands of West Texas where I live with my computer, my books, and a lot of yarn waiting to become something.

2 thoughts on “Settling In and Hunkering Down”

  1. I’m just catching up; I made the decision to roam a bit last weekend, and that always throws me off. When I get home, I don’t want to do laundry or read blog posts or anything else. I just want to look at the photos and cull the bad ones as a first step toward selecting some to share. There were a LOT of bad photos this time. The whole time I was out the wind was blowing steadily between 25-35, with gusts to 40 or 45. Yikes! It was getting close to Panhandle weather.

    I didn’t know about blue corn’s lower glycemic index. That’s interesting. Of course, now I want some of that seven layer dip. In a couple of weeks, some friends and I are gathering for a potluck down in Galveston; that would be a perfect thing to make.

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  2. The jellyfish video on a large screen must have been just amazing! (The 7-layer dip sounds amazing too.) The *k2tog, yo* folded picot edge makes for a lovely hem / neckline as I recall. Hope you enjoy the knitting.

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