Adventures in Dentistry and a Short Trip to Atlantis

“The land that lies between ‘Factual’ and ‘True’ is the undiscovered country wherein tales are found. One of the most delightful discoveries one can make in this uncharted land is that a story does not have to be factual to be true.” thus sayeth WOL.

I need a sign that says, “Let Sleeping Dust Lie.”

OK.  So off to this morning’s adventure in dentistry wherein I had to get up at ridiculous o’clock because I had forgotten to get any Ensure or acetaminophen 500 mg tablets, because instead of grocery shopping Sunday morning as I had planned, instead, I drove my mom to the ER because she got waylaid by the norovirus du jour currently making the rounds, had had most of the usual symptoms for four days (mercifully no vomiting), and she and I were both concerned that she was getting dehydrated.  Four Cotton-Picking Hours Later we had a brief glimpse of a doctor who told us these “stomach bugs” are usually self limiting, that for electrolyte replacement, she should have been drinking Pedialyte instead of Gatorade (which is loaded with sugar and only aggravates the diarrhea — which I could have told her without making her wait for four hours).  Totally derailed both our plans for Sunday.  I ended up not going shopping until Monday morning and had to wade through large crowds (including screaming preschool age children) to do so.

Anyway, I had to stop off at Walmart to get Ensure and acetaminophen on my way to my 9 o’clock dentist appointment, and then on my way home had to stop off at Walgreen’s to get $23 worth of antibiotics.

As I mentioned in other posts, after I got that lower molar ‘extracted’, the hole it left was bone grafted.  The graft “took,” and this morning I had the post for the tooth implant put in, which required that the gum be incised so that he could get to the bone, and then stitched back up afterward.  I’m supposed to baby the area and watch what I eat.  Naturally, since I can’t have them, I’m craving these really crunchy crackers I like.  This time, unlike when he “extracted” the tooth (read: drill out the root canal part of the tooth to get it out), his nitrous oxide dohickey was working, so I wandered off to the ozone listening to Kevin Kendle’s “Journey to Atlantis” and didn’t much mind that he was drilling a peg into my jawbone.

Of course, immediately I got home, I popped an antibiotic capsule and two 500 mg acetaminophen, and knocked back an Ensure high protein formula, and did what anybody would do — I took a nap.  The key to pain control is to take pain meds before you need them, so by the time the numbing wore off I had enough acetaminophen on board that when I laid me down to nap, I was comfortable enough to sleep for four hours.

In the meantime, the knitting fairie struck and I had two little outfits to give to the dentist’ s receptionist, who is due in November.  There were a couple of minor blips in that process, however;  one was that I had to rewrite the hat pattern to be knitted in the round.

There are some people who hate knitting on double pointed needles so much that they will knit a hat flat and then sew it up.  And then there are people like me who are unfazed by double pointed needles, but hate to sew knitting.

It seems that there is this whole school of thought that approaches knitting from a sewing standpoint.  In sewing you cut out pieces of cloth and then sew them together to make a garment, so they write knitting patterns like sewing patterns.  You knit the garment in pieces and then sew the pieces together.  No, thank you. I would much rather work out a way to knit the garment as a single seamless piece.

The other blip was that I made a boo-boo in the little pink sweater and didn’t catch it until I was about three inches beyond it.  For about 20 stitches on this one row, I purled where I should have knitted.  Even though this little sweater was knitted flat, I was using double pointed circular needles.  That made it easier to fix.

Allow me to digress into technicalities.  Some people would have ripped the whole thing out back to the mistake and reknitted everything, which would have entailed a lot of time, work, pejoratives and scatological language.  I just ripped out the bit that needed fixing and reknitted just those stitches.

Let me show you what I mean.  Recently I made a booboo in a hat I was working on, and k1, p1, when i should have p1, k1.  it was only 8 stitches, but I had knitted about 4 inches beyond the mistake before I caught it.  Rather than rip out all that work,

I just ripped out those stitches that I messed up — ALL the way back to the mistake. You can see how far I would have had to rip out, if I had ripped the whole thing back to where I flubbed up.  Instead, this way, I just had to reknit 8 stitches for four inches rather than 90 stitches for four inches.

I got out my trusty straight double pointed needles in the same size as the 16-inch circular double pointed needles I was using to knit the hat.  (I have a set of double pointed needles in each size that I have 16-inch circular needles, for doing the decrease to close up the top of the hat.)

I picked up the stitches on a double pointed needle.  Ripping out just those stitches leaves a “ladder” of threads, one thread per row.  I then use a second double pointed needle to  knit each “ladder rung” of thread across the 8 stitches I need to fix, being careful to take the rungs in order working my way back up, rung by rung.

Because the needles have a point at each end, when I got to the end of one row, I just went back to the right end of the needle and started on the next row. And with a little bit of patience and attention, there’s the goof all fixed!  This is one of my Toboggans with the internal ribbing on the hem.  The white bit at the bottom is the cotton yarn I used for the provisional cast on.  This whole little episode speaks to something I do not always do, which is stop frequently and check over the work to catch any errors before I get too far past them. If I hadn’t caught that error before I’d turned the hem, I would have had to rip out clear past the hem, and it would truly have been a big, loud PITA.

In other knitting news, I finished the twisted cable hat. I like the way it turned out.  I need to post it and the rewritten baby hat pattern on my knitting blog.  But not today.  I think I hear some chicken noodle soup calling my name. . . and I need to take my antibiotic dose and a couple of acetaminophen with something in my tum.

 

Advertisements

Aftermaths, Dentistry, and a Baby

Please, donate to the Red Cross.  Nobody is immune to natural disasters, and what goes around, comes around, folks.

Heard from my friend JT who lives in Key West.  They evacuated Thursday afternoon and were holed up in a hotel in Orlando for the duration.  I don’t think they thought Irma was going to track as far east as it did, and Orlando did take a hit, but not a direct hit like the Keys did.  They have the hotel room booked until Saturday.  They should be able to get back by then.  Hopefully, they will have something left to go back to.  I’ve seen footage of the damage in Key West, and it’s pretty bad.  The main thing, though, is that they’re alive and unharmed.

I got a CT of my jaw done this past Monday to see if the bone graft took where I had that lower molar pulled, and the graft has taken.  That means that on the 21st, a large gob of money will be given to my dentist to implant a peg into my jawbone.  Three months after that, he will be given an even bigger gob to put a tooth onto that peg.  I also learned that the dentist’s receptionist/clerk is pregnant with a little girl due possibly at around the first of the year by the look of her, so there will be baby things in the knitting news.

However, currently in the knitting news is that I have finished three hats and a shawl.  The shawl pattern is Malguri Morning, one of two I’m doing for friends in Washington State.  It’s done in Loops & Threads Charisma yarn, “Northern Lights” and “Electric Blue” colorways.  The other one has about a ball and a half of yarn left to go and has been bumped back in the queue again due to the fact that their kitchen is in the process of being remodeled, and BABY STUFF KNITTING!

I finished two ribbed toboggans and a Simple Pleasures hat, and I am working on a new pattern I’m calling a Little Twisted Hat (at right).  I’ll post that pattern when I’ve figured out how many cable crosses are needed before the decreases can start.

 

 

 

 

The toboggans are the ones above (camo chemo!) and the Simple Pleasures one is to the right.  I’ve got five other hats started, but two are stalled, one has to be half ripped out and rethought, and the remaining two just have to be finished.  They will be on hold, however, until I get baby stuff out of the way.  I’m going to see how many baby things I can knit between now and the 21st. They already know it’s going to be a little girl, and I have pink yarn and lavender yarn, and yellow yarn . . . I’ve also got a ChiaoGoo size US 11 (8.o mm) 60-inch circular needle on order and two big balls of a nice yellow yarn, so there may be a baby afghan at some point.  We’ll see.

Ooops!

The thing about “TV knitting” is that it needs to be knitting you don’t have to pay much attention to.  Also, when you’re doing TV knitting, it’s a good idea to periodically check what you’ve done (like during the commercials) to catch any mistakes so you can fix them before you knit too far past them.  (I started this Hemmed Tobogan with Internal Ribbing last night, and knitted about 6 inches on it this evening while I was watching videos on YouTube.)

Apparently ribbing (k1, p1) requires too much thought.  I was catching up on Pure Living for Life’s homesteading videos on YouTube and wasn’t periodically  checking what I’d done, so I had already knitted about 20 rows past the mistake when I noticed it.

Rather than ripping the whole hat back 20 rows to where I made the mistake, I just ripped out the 7 stitches I needed to fix back one row beyond where I needed to fix them. Each one of those “threads” going across the gap is a row.

Then I got out my trusty double pointed needles (DPNs) and picked up the seven stitches I need to fix. DPN’s are perfect for this sort of job because you can’t turn your work, or your needle, and DPNs have a point on each end — that’s why they’re called double-pointed needles!

You have to carefully select the next thread up, and use that to knit the seven stitches you’re fixing.  You take it up a row at a time.  Yeah, it’s time consuming, but it’s less time consuming than ripping out 20 whole rows and reknitting them would be.

And there it is, all fixed. The knitting is a little uneven and the stitch along the edge of the “correction” is stretched out, but I’ll torque and twist the knitting to even it out.  Now I just have about three inches more to knit before I turn the hem. This is that Dazzle yarn in blue that the lady gifted to the knitting group from her mother’s estate.  That white bit at the bottom end is a length of cotton yarn I’m using for provisional cast-ons.  Let that be a lesson to me to frequently stop and inspect what I’ve knitted so far and catch any mistakes before I’ve knitted 20 rows past them!

We Can’t See The Last of Harvey Soon Enough

Again, please donate to the American Red Cross.  Every little bit helps.

A cousin CP in Pearland got water in the ground floor of her home.  We haven’t heard from another cousin and family in Clute, which is in the path of the Columbia Lakes levee that was breached. (My mom is the youngest of 12, so I have cousins whom I reckon by the dozens . . . ) We finally heard from my cousin WM in Rosharon.  Her house and car have been spared, but her land is all flooded.  She says they’ve lost all the hay, and the cattle (and wild life) are having a hard time of it.  She can’t get to them, and there’s no way to evacuate them or a place to take them to if she could.  She says they’ve gotten almost 50 inches of rain.

Harvey is heading toward Louisiana now.  At the Beaumont/Port Arthur airport (roughly between Houston and the Louisiana border), they measured 26.03 inches (66.11 cm) on Tuesday — that’s a one-day total!  Smashed the previous record to smithereens.  They’ve been keeping data since 1901; the previous record was 12.76 inches (32.41 cm) on 19 May, 1923.  This brings their 5-day total rainfall from Harvey to a mind-blowing 47.98 inches (121.86 cm!)!

Port Arthur is the site of our country’s largest oil refinery, which was forced to shut down due to the floods. Our second-largest refinery, in Baytown, TX, was also forced to shut down yesterday, due to flooding-induced roof damage. In all, at least 12 refineries are currently offline due to Harvey, so gas prices are going to be going up.   Fortunately, I have a nearly full gas tank.

These are the unofficial 3.5-day totals for 27-29 August, 2017:
61.52” (156.26 cm)  Baytown, TX (Country Club Oaks) (over 5 FEET!)
53.64”  (136.24 cm) Baytown, TX (Eastpoint)
52.30”  (132.84 cm) League City, TX (South League City)
51.69”  (131.29 cm) La Porte, TX (Westend LaPorte/SJJC)
47.79”  (121.36 cm) Dayton, TX (Winter Valley)
45.16”  (114.70 cm) Dayton, TX (Brookstone)

The above is the three-day forecast of rainfall from yesterday (Wednesday) to Saturday.  Somebody else’s turn to get nearly drowned.

Volunteer rescue boats make their way into a flooded subdivision to rescue stranded residents as floodwaters from Tropical Storm Harvey rise Monday, Aug. 28, 2017, in Spring, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

That blue sign that says “45” is pointing to I-45 — That’s the Gulf Freeway!In the knitting news, I finished another Fabled Cable hat.  This is that Lion Brand Landscape yarn.  Rather colorful.  I’ve gone through the pattern again and made sure I’ve made all the corrections and it is now posted on my knitting blog.

Better Put Yer High-Water Pants* On, Texas

I made a comment in an earlier post about us getting some rain because of swirly storms horsing around in the Gulf (of Mexico).  Yep.  We’ve been getting a goodly bit of rain here lately, real gully-washers, and one of them swirly storms name of Harvey is slamming into the Texas coast as I type.  It was upgraded from a category 3 to a category 4 just as it started coming ashore at Port Lavaca  (slightly north and east of Corpus Christi), which is mostly evacuated by now according to one of the masochists on The Weather Channel .

As my regular blog readers might remember, I have maternal relatives in the Houston-Galveston area.  They are not in any immediate danger from the hurricane, thankfully, but Jiminy Christmas, they’re talking 2 FEET (60.69 cm) of rainfall along the coast, including the Greater Houston Metropolitan Area between now and Tuesday, maybe as much as 30 inches. (76.2 cm).  Never mind your umbrella; better take your flippers and a snorkel.

And roll an eyeball over the rainfall prediction for the next 7 days.

Where I am is in the blue bit in the extreme upper left-hand corner.  But the worst part of all this hurricane business is that they think Harvey is not going to start dissipating when it makes landfall like most hurricanes do.  He seems to want to wander around a bit and may have a little sit-down first, so there could be widespread and severe flooding.  I hope my cousin WM can get her cows — and herself! — to high ground.  She lives at the edge of the flood plain of the Brazos River west of Houston.  My cousin EJ’s boy and his wife and little daughter Raelyn Rose (Little Raelyn is the one I made all those baby clothes for about two years ago.)  live in Galveston — in a brick 2-storey house, but only miles from the beach.  They don’t expect much in the way of storm surge, but they’re in that 2 feet of rain area. That whole end of Texas is going to be soggy and squishy for months.

Well, after Napster/Rhapsody did me dirty, I decided to finally bite the bullet.  Consumer Cellular was having a really good sale on its Samsung Galaxy J3(6) phones.  I have been saving up for one for months now, foregoing junk food, cakes, cookies, ice cream and candy, and putting aside the money I would have spent on them.  It came Wednesday.  I ordered a little wallet for it from Amazon, and it came this morning — in the pouring rain, no less.  Changing to a smart phone is only going to up my bill about $3-$5 a month, depending on how much data I use.   I just texted my cousin EJ a while ago — now that I can! — to let her know I was thinking about her.   Napster has an Android app, and I can download music through it over WiFi, which doesn’t use up my data, and then play it through my phone, again without using data.  The phone only has 16GB of memory, but I have my eye on a 64GB memory chip that is around $20.  My mom is not going to be happy with me for getting yet another gadget, but there it is.

In the knitting news, I’m doing a toboggan out of some camouflage patterned yarn KC donated to my chemo hat efforts. (Chemo camo!)  It’s a regular knitting worsted weight (Medium:4) yarn, which I have not used for toboggans yet.  I’ve only used the Red Heart Unforgettable yarn, which is actually about halfway between a Medium:4 weight and a Light:3 weight. I think it’s going to take the lion’s share of the skein of yarn to make it, though.  I thought this style hat in a camo yarn was bound to go over big with guys undergoing chemo and needing hats.  Apparently in this part of the world, something that might be considered wimpy/sissy becomes automatically “manly” if it’s in camo.

I need to get all the donated Dazzle yarn knitted up so I can wash it. The yarn has been in storage for probably 30 years, and needs the dust washed out, for one thing, and it’s easier to wash after it has been knitted up.  I’ll set my washing machine on delicate and pour in hair (shampoo) conditioner at the point in the cycle where you are supposed to add fabric softener.  That is supposed to soften the yarn right up.  We’ll see.

Well, it’s after midnight now, so I’ll say goodnight, Gracie.

*high-water pants

Art, Both High and Domestic

The lovely little piece to the right is “The Madonna of the Yarnwinder” — It’s called that because “The Madonna of the Niddy Noddy” doesn’t quite have the same ring to it.  That little dohicky the Christ Child is holding is called a niddy noddy.  They’re used by people who spin yarn to wind their yarn into skeins, and measure the length of yarn in the skein, typically 80 yards.  It’s a very low-tech little gizmo — I’ve seen them made from PVC pipe.   The high-tech version is called a “spinner’s weasel” — The wheel is 2 yards in circumference, and 40 turns of the wheel equals an 80 yard skein.  Where the “tech” comes in is that some of them have a little clockwork mechanism with gears that turn a counter which will then make a clicking or popping noise when the wheel has turned 40 times.  — Yep.  You got it.  Pop goes the weasel.

In the knitting news, I’ve already finished a Simple Pleasures Hat with a ribbed brim out of the donated Dazzle yarn. Instead of just joining on a different color and carrying on knitting to make the stripes, I used a mosaic knitting technique of k1, sl1 (knit one, slip one).  If you pay attention to whether you k1 or sl1 as the first stitch when you start the stripe, and do the opposite when you join the background color after finishing the stripe, you get this zig-zag effect which I quite like.  I got almost 2 skeins of the pale orange, two skeins of the dark brown, and a skein plus a little golf ball size ball of the dark orange, as well as a skein of dark blue and four or five skeins of white as my cut of the donated yarn.  I don’t think I’ll be using the white for hats.  Maybe I’ll make another baby afghan for KC’s church group.

I’ve started another Simple Pleasures hat out of the dark brown and need to get the brim hemmed before I go to bed.  We’re having the eclipse tomorrow and I’m going to my mom’s to watch the important bits of it, and I can sit and knit while we visit.  Tomorrow would have been my dad’s 95th birthday.  Today when I shopped groceries, I got a big piece of carrot cake which i’ll bring to split with my mom.

I’m pretty put out with Napster/Rhapsody.  You can’t download music to your PC or to an MP3 player any more.  They say it’s because Microsoft removed the support for WMDRM tracks and offline playback.  I can still stream to my PC and to my Kindle and tablet.  I may need to check my internet radios to see if I can still use the Napster app on them.

I thought my $150 plus electric bill was higher than giraffe’s ears last month.  Guess what.  It was even higher this month.  Almost $170.  The thermostat is going back up to 80 F (16.6 C) and I’ll just sit around in my unmentionables with fans on.  I’ve been in these digs a year now.  I might can check with the electric company to see if I can go on average billing. (They total your usage for the past year and divide it by 11, and you pay that amount January through November.  In December, you make up the difference.)  I gotta do something.  It’s shooting my book budget in the foot.