Sunday, January 08, 2006

I have two smiles

This is Saturday night and I decided to start my blog now and post it in the morning. Tomorrow is church and I will be busy biting back my deep disappointment at the bishop's not showing up for his visitation (fires to be put out in another parish, apparently), dealing with a strange (well, unknown rather) supply priest and wondering why I busted my rear trying to get an organist for the bishop when he ended up cancelling after all. I succeeded in getting an organist...a good thing, since otherwise the bishop would have been treated to my one-handed rendering of the hymns on the organ...piano lessons were long, long ago and I can't really play the left hand very well. But all for naught...drat! I had a feeling of doom about it all along.

One good thing, though, is that the salad lunch we were going to have for the bishop has been cancelled. This got me out of making a large quantity of macaroni salad. Not that I mind making it, but salad in January seems unlikely somehow. You wants something hot in January.

BTW, I've tried to tell this software that I live in the same time zone as New York, but it persists in thinking I live about 2 miles off the California coast with the whales. While I may be the right shape as well as being a mammal, I definitely don't live in the ocean.

Tonight I knit and read more of the Yarn Harlot. I am gradually working my way forward through the archives. I'm anal particular about reading things in ORDER. It really makes me cringe watching my oldest daughter start a series of books in the middle and it makes me even more uncomfortable when she doesn't read one of the books in the series.

Me: Aren't you going to read Farmer Boy, Laurel? You really should!

Laurel: Nah, it didn't look interesting.

Me: You really'll understand so much more about Almanzo after you read it! It's a great book!

Laurel: Well, maybe someday.

Me, barely restraining myself from locking her in a bare room with a wooden chair and a copy of Farmer Boy with no food and only letting her out when she can tell me the name of Almanzo's pig that got its teeth stuck together with taffy: You really should...really.

She finally did read it and had to admit I was right...and I could breathe freely.

So I knit, read the YH blog, obsessively checked my own blog at intervals and I watched Sleepless in Seattle all the way through! (Dan had a gig.) I saw this in the theatre in 1993 when it came out while my husband and I enjoyed a pre-parenthood trip to Chicago. We saw two movies in a row. The first was Jurassic Park, where I distinguished myself by loudly screaming when the raptor ran into the stainless steel door in the kitchen. I was so freaked out by that movie that we went and got a stiff drink before we saw the next movie, which was SIS.

I've never been really impressed by SIS, I guess because it is very light-weight. I mean, I like it, it has some nice moments and I like both Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks. It's just now when I watch it, I am aware that this is one of those dangerous movies for me. It has a mother dying in it, well, actually she's already dead, but still. I find it hard to watch this, because I had cancer myself...thyroid cancer. This is why I have two smiles...the one on my face and the one on my neck where they took out my thyroid.

Before you start feeling sorry for me, don't. Because I feel really guilty about the fact that I hardly suffered at all with my cancer. It was just two surgeries and no radiation or chemo. I've been cancer free for almost three years now and it's not that big of a deal. People assume that it is when I tell them, though, and that makes me uneasy. I don't deserve the sort of sympathy that someone who has had any other cancer should have. They say if you had to pick the kind of cancer you get, thyroid is the one to pick because the treatment is relatively simple and the survival rates are really good, like 98%. So when people get that look on their face at the mention of cancer, I start babbling about how it's not that big of a deal, yada yada yada but they persist in thinking that I am very brave and putting on a good front.

I actually suffered more emotionally rather than physically, though not for very long. While the survival rates are very high, there is still that 2%, plus I had a rare form of thyroid cancer that not much is known about, so it's hard to tell how it will behave. I wasn't scared of dying, but I was freaked out by the possibility (however slim) of leaving my children without a mother. I seem to have retained some of this fear, because whenever I see a movie like Terms of Endearment or Steel Magnolias I have a hard time with it. That's when knitting comes in handy...I can concentrate on knitting and then I can get past the hard bits of the movies. The part that always gets me in SIS is where Jonah says about his mom, "I'm starting to forget her." Excuse me...I have to go blow my nose. [Sniff]


In case you're wondering, since no one commented to tell me what to do with the project from hell colorblock sweater (though I highly appreciate the other comments; thank you, ladies!), I went ahead and left it as is and knit on. There is already that stupid knot in the back trying to work it's way to the front of the knitting, not to mention the squatty heart error in the pattern thanks to evil pattern-writing yarn company scum! so it lost its chance at perfection a long time ago. I'm feeling a little nervous, though because the pink skein is shrinking rapidly and I only have the one thanks to the evil yarn company telling me that's all I would need. I have about an inch left on two blocks and there has to be some left for the partial block near the neck.


Since today I had to go photocopy the church bulletin, I was able to run to Mary's house to take her her scarf. This is what I put it in. Yes, it is a paint can. I taught a class in how to decorate them to make gift containers. This makes for a great gift package for a scarf, because it puddles up in the can and looks like the most gorgeous paint you can imagine. Mary has seen the can before, since I have them in my stamping class room and she is my downline and is in there a lot. So I thought she might be more in love with the can that she would be with the contents...a tense moment.

But...she loved the scarf! In fact, she told me that her dog had recently eaten her scarf and she was currently scarfless. She loved the colors, she loved everything. I told her I didn't put fringe on it because I really don't like fringe all that much and she told me she hates fringe too! It was truly meant to be, one of those massively intuitive moments that I have on occasion. Logic dictates that I would give her something scrapbooking or stamping related for Christmas, since that's how we came to know each other. But something said, "She needs a scarf!" Thank you, something!

Here's Mary...sorry the photo is so blurry. I think it's safe to say she likes it! She really likes it! In fact, she pulled out the leather coat she had recently gotten and showed my how perfectly it would go with it. And she told me she wanted hats and mittens next!


That might be a challenge. Because I only had one ball of this yarn, which would be good for a hat if I had any more, but it definitely would not work for mittens. So I would have to find something that would match one of the colors in the scarf and go from there. Hmmm...

Of course, I did freak out a bit when she said her dog ate her scarf. I immediately envisioned my lovely gift disappearing down the gullet of this scarf-eating creature (his name is Boomer and he likes to lick me.) So I got her to absolutely promise to put her scarf in non-dog-accessible quarters and to defend it against Boomer at all costs.

You may wonder why I would want to knit more things that could possibly be eaten by Boomer, but you've never had one of these. This was my Christmas gift from Mary. These are the apples that Mary makes and sells and they are to die for. I got my first one in July of 2004 when we went to the Stampin' Up! convention in Orlando, Florida. It's customary to give your roomates at convention a gift, so this is what Mary made, not only for the three of us who shared the room with her, but for the 3 other people in our group. They are huge (hence the Diet Coke can to show scale) Granny Smith apples, covered with caramel (this one has DOUBLE) and then melted chocolate or candy bars. She also does them with Nestle's Crunch bars and those are...well, words fail. This is my third apple and I have yet to share them with's mine...don't even think of asking for a piece! It's impossible to eat it all in one sitting. I've put mine in the back of the refrigerator so Dan won't see it when he comes home from his gig tonight. It's mine. I will do almost anything (except consent to be licked by Boomer, among other things) to make sure that the flow of giant chocolate/caramel apples continues to come my way. I guess I'll be taking that partial yarn ball to class next week to see what would match it....


Stephanie said...

I have to tell you that I read this whole thing and focussed on the only part of it that would really, really resonate with me. Getting out of making macaroni salad. Whee!

Very good to connect with you again.

Jamie said...

I know what you mean about movies with parents dying, children being hurt or threatened. My sister always recommends movies but forgets to mention things like that that may set me off and I get so mad at her. Did you ever see Where the Heart Is? Don't!!
When I found Yarn Harlot I had to go back and read about 8 months worth of archive to get it all. She's a riot. I hate days when she doesn't post. Enjoy her and go see her if she's ever in your area on a book tour.
Take care!