After Midnight, We Gonna Get Our Shopping Done

Wednesday night (or Thursday morning, whatever), I was reminded again why I like to go shopping late at night.  I left the house shortly after 12:30, and by 3:15, I had been to Wal-mart, to the Post Office to mail a package (via credit card operated kiosk), and to Market Street, done a month’s worth of grocery shopping, got it hauled into the house and put away.  There were maybe fifteen other shoppers at Wal-mart, nobody at the Post Office, and two other shoppers at Market Street.  I didn’t have to hunt a place to park, and didn’t have to stand in line and wait to get checked out at either store.  The only downside was that the in-store bakery at Market Street was closed and there was nobody to run a loaf of artisan bread through the slicer, so I’ll have to slice it myself.  Zut alors.

I worked nights for nigh onto 30 years, loved it, and still have a hard time keeping myself on a daytime schedule.  It doesn’t take much to flip me back into third shift.  The nerves in the leg of the knee I had replaced are still healing and every time a new branch heals and reconnects, it has to yell at my brain for a while before it settles down.  Evidently, Tuesday night, a big branch reconnected and we got the electrified icepick jabs in the leg intermittently all night.  It finally settled down about 6:00 a.m., at which point I rolled over and slept uninterruptedly most of the day Wednesday, because I finally could (instead of going grocery shopping, like I had originally planned). Fortunately, this has been happening less and less often as healing progresses.

This time when I got groceries, I got some Truvia to try.  Yes, I will admit it.  Twinkle Tons could stand to lose some weight.  (Twinkle Tons could drop 50 pounds and never miss them!)  So far, so good.  The taste is not noticeably different than the genuine article, which is a big thing.  I haven’t used artificial sweeteners in the past because they have a whangy aftertaste that I find unpleasant.  Particularly saccharine.  So now the game plan is:  Less sugar.  Less bread.  More exercise.  (Dream on.)

In the knitting news, I finished the pair of baby booties that goes with the cardigan and hat.  I just have to block the cardigan and sew on the buttons and the layette is finished.  It’s done in blue yarn, and the baby is a girl, but I made a pair of pink booties for her, too, so that.

I’ve finally gotten around to proofing the pattern for the ball-jointed doll sweater (knitted on US1/2.25 mm double pointed needles), which has a cable down the front.   The stitch gage is 6 stitches/8 rows = 2 cm, which is tiny, and I had to go hunt up my tapestry needle to use as a cable needle.  For the proof piece, I’m using a cotton thread  in a light blue that doesn’t split as bad as the teal yarn I used above.   I also adjusted the pattern to do the cable crosses every other row instead of every two rows.  It makes a tighter cable and I like the look much better.  I was working on it, stopped to fix something, then spent five minutes looking for my fifth needle — which I was holding in my mouth all along.  Sigh.

My hair is finally long enough to pull back away from my face in what I call a “top pony tail”, á la “Witcher”  (which I’m looking forward to watching — mostly to oggle Henry Cavill. . . .) or Joe Cheng’s character in L.O.R.D. Critical  World.  (It’s still not long enough to all go back in a regular ponytail, though.) White hair is apparently all the rage these days, so I’m right in fashion.  (For once.)


The Branta canadensis, a migratory species of dinosaurs, have returned for the winter.  I passed this herd in the park near where my mom lives.   They’ve parked on the grass,  and obviously can’t read the signs.  T’is the season. . .

Note that the type of grass we use for lawns  here in the flatlands (Cynodon dactylon, AKA Bermuda grass) dies off in the fall (that yellow stuff on the ground), but regrows from the roots each spring.

Blueteeth and Rue, or Cheeta* Saves The Day

Went to the dentist Monday, as previously noted, when it was officially hotter than a $2 pistol firing uphill (109F/42.7C).  I have downloaded playlists to my cell phone, and listen to them through ear buds when I must endure the scraping of teeth with metal objects that is inevitable when getting one’s teeth cleaned.  I find the sound/sensation quite nerve-curdling.  The music blocks out some of the noise.  It was a Club des Belugas playlist and quite diverting.

Way back last year when the Greyola took pickup damage to his starboard doors and I had to have him repaired, I had made the remark to one of the mechanics that one of these days I needed to get the manual down and figure out how to connect my cell phone to the car via bluetooth.  With the maddening alacrity of the young, he proceeded to take my phone and connect the two in a matter of minutes, et voilá.  My phone now automatically bluetooths itself to the sound system in my car when I turn the key and I can answer it from the steering wheel.   I knew there must also be a way to play playlists through the car’s sound system and had idly toyed with the idea of figuring that out at some point.  Well, I was still listening to my Club des Belugas tunes as I got into the car, but when I turned on the key to start it, my sound cut out, and the car radio/CD player/etc. read “Press Media.”  I pressed the media button and, mirabile dictu, I had Club des Belugas on the sound system in my car.  Apparently, wonders have not yet ceased.  The Belugas and I clubbed home by way of our friendly neighborhood Taco Villa where I picked up a set of crunchy tacos and a bean burrito.

Now, I have to say that as the family’s designated trained chimpanzee*, I am possessed of a modicum of tech smarts and am demonstrably capable of reading and following directions.  I feel confident that I could have figured out how to connect my cell to my car via Bluetooth, etc., by myself, but doing so was very low on my list of  priorities.  (Of course, the easiest way to get something done is to get somebody else to do it for you!)

Tuesday was much cooler than Monday.  I had hoped to stay in out of it. However, about 2:30, I got a call from my mom.  Her telephone number of ancient memory had been restored to its ancestral wire, and she and her friends had resumed phoning each other.  But, just when normalcy seemed to have beeen established once more, she got a voice mail.  She got quite exercised about it.  She was adamant she did not want voice mail, but wanted her answering machine back (which she already knew how to operate).  A goodly bit of gnashing of teeth and ruing of the day was also involved.  Her cordless phone has voicemail settings but you were advised to call the phone company (you have to program in the voicemail access number for your particular carrier).   I drove over and called the phone company for her to see what needed to be done to drag her kicking and screaming into the 21st century.  (AT&T takes their tech support from the Phillipines.  Even when my mom was not hearing impaired, she had trouble with foreign accents, like Boston, Canada and the San Fernando Valley.  Brits and anyone speaking English as a second language might as well be speaking Swahili.) We learned, to her immense relief, that voicemail could be deactivated, thus allowing her messages to continue to go to her answering machine. I got the tech support lady to do that, and there was great joy in Mudville.  I later was able to play her voice mails for her.  She had three.  One from an actual caller, and two from herself calling her land line from her cell phone to try to circumvent voicemail and get her answering machine.

Wednesday, I thought I might go out, but early in the day, the toilet in the en suite off the master bedroom malfunctioned — the lever attached to the handle that pulls the chain that lifts the flap and starts the flush cycle when you press the handle down broke off the handle.  One could flush the toilet if one removed the top off the tank and fished around in the water for the chain to lift the flap with, but this is highly unsatisfactory as a long-term solution.  The plumber was summoned, eventually got there and easily replaced the assembly, and that crisis is also resolved.

The missing ankle weights and hand weights are still at large.  I’m durned if I know where they are.  I will spring for another pair of ankle weights because I need them as part of my rehab process, but mark my words, three days after the new ones arrive, I’ll find the old ones.  In a place I’ve looked six times already.  (They’ll be in Plainview.**)

*If something is so simple a trained chimpanzee could do it, I am the one who gets to explain it to my mom.  

**Whenever you lose something, you inevitably wind up finding it in Plainview.


I’ve been watching snibbets of video from the EV Nautilus’ channel on YouTube.  Fascinating.  If you’re into cool live shots of undersea creatures and that sort of thing (or your kids are), you should check out this channel.  Their ship has these remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) with lights and video equipment which they send down and explore with.  There is a live feed feature so scientists (and anybody else) can watch what’s going on in real time and make contributions.  So you have these scientists sitting in a room with all these monitors showing video feed of what the ROVs are encountering, and just geeking out over the stuff they’re seeing. (Oh, over there!  Can you zoom?  It’s a Tropiometra carinata, and, yes, look!  It’s being parasitized by a Myzostoma probably fuscomaculatum.  That’s so great!) There’s this one guy, though.  I mean, how can you get a PH.D. in marine biology and not learn how to pronounce “anemone?”!  He consistently pronounces it “a-nen-o-me” and it just drives me nuts.  (Life on the spectrum, ya’ll. . . .)

It’s been hot here.  Sunday’s high was 102F/38.9C.  Today’s high is supposed to be 109F/42.7 C.  Naturally, I have to get out in it.  I have an appointment to get my teeth cleaned at 3 p.m.   47% humidity.   Tuesday’s high is supposed to be 88F/31.1C.  Ridiculous.

I’ve been going through ice cubes a tray at a time in my stainless steel drink bottle.  It holds 40 oz — I fill it a little over half full with a packet of Crystal Light, and then dump in a whole ice tray.  Lasts me all day.

Last Thursday was my last day of physical therapy.  I have 120 degrees of flexion now (a straight leg is 0 degrees), and I can ride the exercise bike and get the pedals to go all the way around.  I have a pair of ankle weights (red ones!) somewhere, left over from when I broke that kneecap many long years ago.  I’ve been trying to find them so I can do my home exercises.  No idea where I put them.  Not a clue.  However, the hand weights I got around that time are probably with them, where ever they are.   I’ve still got residual swelling and numbness, but I’m only 3 months postop.  It can take up to a year for all the stiffness and swelling to finally go away.  I reckon I’m down to about half of what I had right after surgery.  Onward and upward.



Went to visit my friend LB again yesterday.  It seems any more that I only have enough spoons to do one major thing a day, like go to a physical therapy session, or do the hobbit journey (park in the parking garage, hike to the elevator to get to the 3rd floor sky bridge, hike across the L- shaped sky bridge that goes over the street and halfway up the block, take the elevator down to the first floor, hike around to the south tower elevator to go up to the 8th floor, hike halfway down a very long hall to my friend’s room, and then retrace the epic journey to return home) that is visiting my friend in the hospital.  She has gotten the NG tube out of her nose and is actually eating now.  There has been talk that she may be going home in a couple of days.  She talked about being able to come over and watch “Good Omens” (I have Amazon Prime, they don’t).

As arduous a journey as it is, I notice I’m walking faster and limping a little bit less.  My new knee is still stiff, and there is still significant swelling in and around the joint, sometimes more, sometimes less, depending on the time of day and my activity level.  They say that could take up to a year to completely go away.  But the big thing is, stiffness doesn’t hurt.  I can bear weight on that knee — stand on it, walk on it — and there is no pain.  This is such a big deal.  Yeah, it still aches and pains  when I move it in certain ways or try to bend it farther than the swelling will allow, but that’s getting less and less as time goes on.

The other day, mom and I talked about going to Pearland “one last time” (I cringe when she says it).  We’ll be driving down in late October to attend the annual big deal meeting of the Pearland Historical Society, visit rellies hand over fist and otherwise see everybody down there.  That’s where my mom grew up and where most of her relatives who are still alive still live.  None of her brothers or sisters is still living, but there are still some nieces and nephews, and “grands” by the dozens.  One of my dad’s nieces still lives in the area, and hopefully we’ll get to see them too.  Mom is the only surviving member of her high school graduating class (of 14).

You’d never guess to look at her that she’s 95.  She gets around better than I do at the moment, and not only has all her marbles, but knows what to do with them.  That’s her at left with the mayor of Pearland.  (He’s older than she is!)

Predictably, my July electricity bill was higher than giraffe’s ears.  The August one, I’m afraid, will be higher than that.  We’re already had a couple of 100+ F /37.7+ C days, and we’re heading for about four more come the end of next week.  My response to temperatures like that is to stay in out of it as much as possible.

In the knitting news, sometimes you knit things just because you want to knit that thing.  The excuse comes after the fact.



Small Victories and Major Setbacks

So very concerned about my friend LB, who had emergency abdominal surgery Sunday because they finally decided that the reason she kept throwing up (for over a month!) was that she had some kind of blockage, and did a CT on her (which they should have done a lot sooner if you ask me). She had to have part of her stomach removed (because it was dead) and they did what is called a Roux-en-Y bypass on what was left of her stomach.  The cause of the problem is this honking great tumor snuggled up around her aorta and other such essential things, and it had strangled her small bowel.  They already knew she has breast cancer cells in her liver, and now this.  They want to put her on this new chemotherapy drug that’s just been approved (that’ll be $16,000 a month, thank you very much), that her oncologist is very excited about.  This is all a major setback for her.  With my background as a medical transcriptionist, this is one of the times when I can read the bad news between the lines and just have to keep my mouth shut.  It just breaks my heart.

I get to have a surveillance CT myself Monday to make sure some of my health problems aren’t acting up again.  But that’s Monday.

I did have this one tiny victory yesterday.  Each time I go to physical therapy for the new knee, the first thing I do is go on the exercise bicycle.  I push the pedals as far around as I can, gently forcing my left knee to bend as much as I can.  Yesterday, it bent enough that I could go all the way around on the pedals.  (Slowly, slowly, slowly, climbs the snail up Mount Fuji. . . . .)

This evening, to celebrate, I’m doing two loads of laundry.  Such is life.

Old Age Ain’t for Sisyphus

Pushing the rock up the hill again,  which is what rehab is feeling like.   I rehab-ed this knee after I broke the kneecap and had it surgically reassembled with a set of K-wires and a figure-of-8 cerclage wire and had to do a month in a knee immobilizer and wait for the bone to heal.  Then I rehab-ed it again after I had to have the hardware taken out because one of the K-wires twisted out of position.  Very safe bet that this injury and the subsequent surgeries set up the cartilage loss that led to my replacement surgery.  Now I’m rehabing following total knee replacement.  Hopefully the third time is charmed.   I am making progress.  I’ve gone from 82 degrees of flexion to 114 degrees of flexion (with a straight leg representing 0 degrees).

Monday, I went back to my orthopod and he was pleased with my progress.  Then I went hiking at Wal-Mart, came home, put all my groceries away, crashed and burned.  Was in bed by 8 p.m. While I was at Wal-Mart, I got a 17-oz stainless steel (double walled so it won’t sweat all over the place) water bottle that will fit in my bag. I made sure to get one with a neck big enough to fit ice cubes in.  I tested it today and it worked great.   (iced Peach Mango Crystal Light — Nums!) A high of over 100 F/37.7 C tomorrow and Thursday, which is going to be the first time our high has not been in the 90’s in weeks.  Humidity has been around 35%.  Today I went to therapy and then got my hair trimmed.  I’m trying to get it all one length again and am letting it grow out, but I get split ends so bad I have to have it trimmed regularly.  It’s grown out even more insistently curly than it was before I lost great wads of it from chemo last year.  Apparently, I’m going to be sporting a dandelion clock do until it grows out long enough to put back.  After I got my hair cut, I went to Market Street to get the things Wal-Mart doesn’t have.   (Rosemary olive bread, for one thing. . .)

Last Tuesday, was the appointment that TriWest (VA) got me with an optometrist to have my eyes examined and I got a new prescription for glasses.  Now I’ve got to call the VA and find out the hours the VA’s “optical shop” is open so I can turn in my prescription and get new glasses made.  Manaña.

Old Boss
New Boss






Here follows the obligatory Who reference.  Depressingly, the lyrics are as relevant today as they were when the song was released in June of 1971.

In the knitting news, I have two finished objects (FO’s)




A sparkly little baby beanie and a pair of baby booties.  They’re not cute or fancy booties, but with the ribbed cuff folded down once, they stay on.

So, after I got home from my errands this afternoon and was changing out of my slacks and into the cotton sleep shirt I wear around the house, I looked down and saw this:

It’s my right leg, and I’ve got bloody scratches as well as a pair of stonking great bruises, and no idea when I done the deed, never mind what deed I dood.  You’d think if I whacked my shin hard enough to raise bruises like that, I’d remember doing it.  No clue.  About a week ago I had this spectacular bruise on my forearm and no idea how it got there, either.  I mean, I’m not in the habit of pinballing off the walls or tripping over the furniture or anything.  Sigh.  Welcome to the wonderful world of blood thinners.


Independence Day

I was reflecting on the fact that yesterday was “Independence Day” and, in view of the current political climate, I thought this was apropos.   We’ve needed a day of reckoning for way too long on way too many scores.

I’m in pursuit of my own personal independence day in my quest to return to full mobility after my total knee replacement surgery.  The VA finally got its rear in gear and I had my “induction visit” for outpatient physical therapy Wednesday — only three weeks late.  Fortunately, it turned out that the facility I wanted was in TriWest’s network so I get to go to the one that’s literally right around the corner instead of to a facility that’s way over on one side of town, or one that’s way over on the other side of town.

I like it.  The therapist is not only professional but nice.  I was pleased to note that I did not lose all that much ground in the three weeks I twiddled my thumbs waiting for Godot. . .  I actually did gain some ground.  I went from 82 degrees of flexion at 18 days postop after a week in-home PT (which is really good, BTW) to 102 degrees of flexion at 6 weeks postop, which is past 90 degrees (a measurement of how far I can bend my knee, assuming a straight leg is zero degrees, and remembering that the furthest I can bend my good leg is 125 degrees because I’m a real woman with a real woman’s thunder thighs!, not some anorexic stick-figure of a fashion model, so there. )  Starting next Wednesday, I will have two sessions a week of PT for 7 weeks.

All since the surgery, I’ve been having intermittent nerve pain as part of the healing process — as nerves heal and reconnect, they yell at my brain, “Can you hear me now?!”  It’s like being savagely stabbed six or eight times with an electrified fork, suddenly and without warning.  Sometimes the jolt is so strong my foot even jumps.  Then it stops.  Not everybody gets this, but apparently I do, and it’s totally on the curve of a normal healing process.  Remember, I’ve done this whole thing, surgery and all, on nothing but a local nerve block for immediate post surgical pain, Tylenol and Aleve, that’s it.   Of course, I had no choice in the matter, because I’m allergic to practically everything else, but still.   I stopped taking anything for pain over two weeks ago.

The reverse osmosis water guy was out Wednesday afternoon for the 6-month filter change on my under-sink unit, and ever since, when I’ve turned the regular sink tap on, I get the spits and splutters of air in the line.  I let the water run for a good minute that first time, and that should have taken care of it, but when I ran water a couple of hours later, it spit and spluttered again.  It’s happening consistently.  I’ve got to try calling them in the morning and have the guy back out because something is out of kilter.   Bother.

For weeks now, high temps have been in the 90’s F(32-37 C) with lows in the low 70’s F (21-24 C).   Thankfully, I haven’t had to go out in it much.  We’ve been having thunderboomers intermittently.  Afternoon and late evening storm moves in, with a lot of thunder and lightening.  It rains torrentially for about half an hour with pea to marble size hail more often than not, then it quits.   Then for a couple days afterward we get 60%-70% humidity (stop laughing, you east Texans!) which is really high for us (39% to 49% is average).  (Where I live up in the flatlands is considered “semi-arid” with average rainfall of 16-17 inches/40-43 cm a year.)

Late Wednesday night, after things cooled down some, I baked three potatoes in the oven.  The way I do my baking taters (wash potatoes, rub them with olive oil while still damp, cook at 360º for 1 hour) makes the skin tender and thin.  I had some of those Birdseye steam in the microwave packages of broccoli and cauliflower mix veggies which I nuked, and some thick cut deli chicken, and a green onion, and some Sargento sprinkle cheese to load my tater with.  I got one tater left.  That’ll be lunch mañana.

I thought I’d leave you with this little vault over the language barrier from a restroom in Japan (?).  Words to live by.


If You Can’t Say Something Nice . . .

We all know how that line finishes, which is why the VA is only obliquely mentioned in this post.  Also, this is a family friendly blog and my mom doesn’t know I know that kind of language. . .

Of the Steri-Strips that were placed over the incision on my knee after the stitches were taken out on the 10th, only about four remain.  The incision looks very frankensteinish*, but it will settle down.  This is the third time that poor knee has been operated on. (Each time they do surgery, they excise the old scar.)  Perhaps, third time is charmed.

Quote of the day:   “The muse in charge of fantasy wears good, sensible shoes.” – Lloyd Alexander

I’ve got another linguistic clanger to add to the collection.  It’s a new one I’ve just noticed.   First it was “in the meanwhile” which is a mishmash that hits my linguistic ear like a speed bump at 40 mph — It’s either “in the meantime,” or “meanwhile.”  Then, all of a sudden, and for no apparent reason, extinction went from being a state of being to a destination.  Species used to become extinct.  Now they go there.  Whatever.   The new one is “step foot” as in “He was a teetotaler and had never stepped foot in a bar in his life.”  I can see the logic of feet stepping, but as anyone who has ever read anything that was written before the school system went to hell in a hand basket, it’s “set foot,”  as in “A virgin forest is where the hand of man has never set foot.” (Be alert.)   It’s so annoying to be reading along and have someone bungle the verbiage.  They use a word that doesn’t mean what they think it means.  They mangle the grammar.  It’s bad enough that the author has done it, but what makes it worse is that at least one editor whose supposed to know better has let them get away with it.

My recovery from knee surgery was going great guns until guess who dropped the ball.  I’ve been hanging fire for two weeks now for  an authorization from a certain organization  to go to physical therapy, and all the momentum I had going on my recovery has now stalled out.  All I can do is keep doing the little exercises the home health people gave me, but I’m neither gaining strength and endurance nor getting rid of the swelling like I would have been if I could have progressed to the recumbent bike and other physical therapy equipment in a timely manner.  (*expletives, scatology and pejoratives deleted.* )

I did wander around the grocery store Friday morning .  As I mentioned, I have not regained much in the way of endurance.  That little 45 minute foray wore me out.  I was so exhausted after I got home that after I put my groceries away, I didn’t even bother with lunch.  I just went into the bedroom and took a nap.  Til about 6 pm. Which means my days and nights are mixed up again.  Bother.  I should walk outside up and down the sidewalk but I hesitate to do it by myself.  I have this dread of falling and lying there hurt. It’s called “having a reasonable fear to an unreasonable degree.”  Besides, I’d have to go out early in the morning to avoid the heat (and humidity!) and the mosquitoes would eat me alive.  (Insert video here of piranhas stripping some hapless animal to bones in 2.5 seconds.)

Speaking of videos, I was watching a video on YouTube about debutantes in England in 1939, and this was the theme song.  The song dates from back in the late Oleaginous** period when people knew how to write lyrics and compose pleasant melodies.   (The 9th Duke of Wellington in his youth looked a lot like the late Robert Addie in his.)  Show them how it’s done, Bing.

* While we're on the subject of grammar,  when a proper noun is used as a noun, it's capitalized (because it's a proper noun!), but it's not capitalized when it's used as an adjective, so Frankenstein (because it's somebody's surname) and Frankenstein's monster,  but frankensteinish.  (Do kids even know what an adjective is any more?)

** The late Oleaginous -- Just after sliced bread was invented (in 1928).

Resistance Is Futile

My bank has an app for PC that had a function where I could pay my rent by electronic funds transfer directly to my landlady’s account in about 45 seconds.  It was just great.   So Friday, the 31st,  I went to the app to pay my rent and promptly discovered that I couldn’t.  They’d changed the app so you can’t do the “People Pay” bit from the PC app any more, and it was apparently too much trouble for them to bother telling anybody they were going to do it.  Now you have to use the phone app to do it.  I spent most of the morning going round and round about it with my bank. (Like I really needed one more thing to sort out. . . .)

It was presumptive and high-handed of them to make changes out of hand and without warning, and I didn’t hesitate to mention that in the three separate phone calls I made to three different people trying to find out what in the Sam Hill was going on and how I’m going to get my rent money to my landlady in a timely fashion.

“Well, now that everybody has smart phones we’ve gone to this new app.  All your landlady has to do is download it and . . .”  Excuse me, but my landlady does not have a smart phone, doesn’t want a smart phone, is not about to fork over that kind of dough to get one, and wouldn’t know what to do with it if she had one.

“Well, you can drive down to the bank and set up an automatic funds transfer in person . . .”  Darling, I just had my left knee replaced, and I’m not driving anywhere for at least 10 days, never mind negotiating my way in and out using a walker, and my landlady would like her rent money now.

“You can mail her a check.”  My landlady has an invalid husband and doesn’t have time to be driving off to the bank to deposit the dang check, and doesn’t have a smart phone to do a mobile deposit.  See above.

I swear sometimes I feel like I’m channeling  John Cleese in the Dead Parrot sketch.

Anyway, I think I have it sorted now. Either I can mail a check to my landlady, or the bank can mail her one, which she still has to deposit.  So much for progress.  It’s been over a week now since I went round and round with the bank.  Not only is resistance futile, it’s bootless.   I’ve had time to simmer down now and I’m gradually lapsing into resignation.

Technology has brought me one nice thing, though.  My grocery store now delivers — for a $10/£8/€9 fee, of course.  You shop on line, pay on line and pick the best available delivery time for you (2-hour windows).  Two nice men in bermudas brought my order by this morning and even brought it in the house and put it on my dining table.  It was worth a 10-spot not to have to traipse around in a grocery store on a leg which still hasn’t forgiven me for what I put it through on the 24th.

I am walking around the house without a walker OR cane, trying to walk as naturally as I can.  I’m working on flexion and doing the exercises the home PT people showed me.   Don’t know exactly when I’ll start outpatient physical therapy — the VA makes you jump through so many durn bureaucratic hoops to do anything — but it will be soon.

I go to the VA tomorrow for blood test and checkup — I expect I’ll be retailing the tale of the knee for the edification of my VA medical data base.

In the meantime, I’ve gotten back into knitting.  One of the couples whose YouTube channel I follow* is expecting their first child.  It’s been a while since I knitted baby booties.  I remembered that Arne and Carlos did a tutorial demonstrating a variant of short-row heel without holes  and I decided to try their method, which works beautifully.  I call them booties, but they’re really more like baby bobbie socks.  The people I’ve given this style of booties to say they really like them because the fold-down ribbed cuff makes them harder for the baby to kick off.

I’ve also started one of Marianna’s baby tops in 6-month size.    They knit up fast.  Instead of binding off the sleeves, I put them on some scrap yarn and will make a long sleeved version.  I probably could have finished it today, but I got side-tracked reading blogs and watching videos on YouTube.

One of the things I’ve been trying is “knitting backwards” to do stockinette stitch.  In this method, the purl row is done by knitting backwards. It’s kind of the Columbus method (Going east by sailing west. . .) for doing stockinette, but that little top has five inches of stockinette at the bottom, which means you’re purling 130 stitches every other row. . . .  ugh!

Two things I wanted to mention.  If you use double pointed needles (DPNs) for things like knitting socks or hats or baby things, check these out.  When you put your knitting aside, you put all five needles into the case and snap the snaps.  The little case keeps your work from sliding off the needles, as well as keeping that fifth needle corralled so it doesn’t go missing.  (Somebody had their thinking cap on!)  The other thing is The Sock Ruler.  If you knit socks, you need one of these!

I’ve been gestating an idea for a knitted messy bun hat using one of those hair elastics for ponytails (of which I have a number).   It’s on the back burner for now, but stay tuned.   That’s all I got for now.

*On the linked video starting at about 6:24, you can see a very pregnant lady driving a backhoe.  We've come a long way, baby.

I’m Back In My Burrow Again

And it’s been so great.  I came home Thursday, so this is the third day I’ve been home.  I’ve been able to get some sleep and that, more than anything, has helped ‘knit up the raveled sleeves of care’ — to go all Shakespearean and English major-y on you.   The hardest part of my day so far, wounded knee not withstanding, has been positioning the pedestal fan to blow on me while I’m at the computer.

The physical therapy guy  came on Friday.  He helped me double check the house for “booby traps.”  He did end up switching my couch and my armchair in the living room so that my TV- watching seat is now the armchair rather than the couch.  (The couch was so hard for me to get up out of.)  One big point that he made was that my new knee is mine.  I can put my full weight on it and walk around on it right now without worrying about screwing up the implant.  I’m good to go.

What pain I’m having is 80% from the incision — which is over 12 inches long and has whacking great sutures in it, so duh!  — and 20% from postoperative swelling. The reason I’m having to use the walker is because of the swelling, which limits my flexibility and that messes with my balance; once the swelling goes down, I won’t need it.  I’m not pain free by any means, but what pain I do have is controlled by a couple of Tylenol (ibuprofen).  He says it’s very likely I won’t need the walker after about 10 days, and that it is entirely possible that I will be driving myself to outpatient physical therapy, which will start after I see my orthopedist on the 10th.  The risky bit is not the driving itself — my car has an automatic transmission — but getting in and out of the car! (In the US, the driver’s side is on the left, so the left leg is the major weight-bearing leg.)

We’re having a thunderboomer at the moment.  Line of thunderstorms moving across the city.   Rumbly, bumbly, rain.

When I sat down at the computer, I noticed this — it’s a collection of note cards that feature the art of Rima Staines.  I love the art so much that I put a loop of tape on the back of them and stuck them to some black posterboard and put them in an el cheapo poster frame.  It’s hanging on the wall behind my computer table so I can look at them whenever I wanted to.  It’s going to drive me crazy until I am able to get to where I can lift the frame down and fix it.  Sigh.

Last night I had one of those dreams that leaves you thinking, “Wow! Where did that come from?”  Part of it was about the Handel aria “Lascia Ch’io Pianga,”  A lot of Handel’s music, and 17th and 18th century music in general, that is now only sung by women (sopranos and contraltos) was originally written for the male castrati, and the only men who can sing it now are countertenors.  In my dream, though, there were two women singing it together in harmony — but Handel never wrote it as a duet!    One of my favorite versions is sung by Sarah Brightman, and I love music sung in harmony, so I guess my weird brain just dreamed up a harmony part and stuck it on.  It’s a shame I couldn’t remember the harmony part when I woke up, but I couldn’t have written it down if I had as I don’t write music, only sing it.  I’ve had the original version stuck in my head all day, though.   As earworms go, I’ve had far worse.