The things we don’t think of ….

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This time of year always makes me think….I don’t mean about summer memories, warm weather all those things that you might think of. It makes my daughters allergies come to mind because this is the time of year that we go out to the allergist. It reminds me of one of my true fears in life….peanuts. Who would have thought right? Let me take you back and fill you in on the story.

When my daughter was young we found out that she was allergic to nuts, specifically peanuts and brazil nuts. We were very lucky we did not find out because she ate one but because someone who had eaten one kissed her cheek, this caused a swollen mark on her face. This led to a doctors appointment where we were all told to avoid nuts (obviously) and were referred to an allergist, not any allergist but in my doctors words ” I’ll make it so you can easily relate he is like the Wayne Gretzky of his field guys, why go to good if you have the opportunity to go to great” he made some phone calls and we were on the wait list for a phone call from “the great”. The phone call came and we were told our appointment date, she could not have any Benadryl, Claritin, any allergy medication for 10 days before the appointment. This was hard as she also had severe eczema which made her scratch until she bled, allergy medication brought some relief so she could sleep well.

So we stopped any allergy medication, hooked up our holiday trailer (we might as well make it a trip) and headed for a night at the lake in the way. Here it comes wait for it here comes the things we don’t think of……

We pulled in to a great campsite, checked in pulled over to the site we were assigned, backed in unhooked the trailer and took her out of the truck to play. Then we saw it……the whole campsite covered in peanut shells. It is hard to explain the fear that brought to us, remember we were new to all of these allergies. So we swept out the campsite and did our playing in the dirt that night on the beach instead. This made me first realize the changes in our lives we had done this before sat at the campfire and shelled peanuts to eat, heck sat at the coffee table and did that. We had already started to read the food labels but this one campsite made me realize all of the things I would fear.

We made it safely to the allergist, were told how to deal with the scratching and improve her skin, and went for a blood test to find out just how bad the apparent allergies to peanuts and brazil nuts were, then home we went.two weeks later brought a phone call saying the levels of antibodies in her blood for peanuts was off the charts. This means she was not just allergic but HIGHLY ALLERGIC to peanuts.

So we read the food labels, we pack an epi-pen, I have a written card that goes in her bag she takes to friends, to birthday parties those places she goes without me (now that she is 10 there are more of those places too) that has a list of contact numbers with her epi-pen. I’m sure that parents think I am nuts myself, the list has home, cell phone and work numbers for my husband and I, as well as my parents (alot of numbers I know). The things I never thought of though is the container of bleach and water in our camper so when we arrive at campsites I can spay the picnic table maybe they shelled peanuts here last night, when she comes home from school and says the new teacher this year forgot her allergy so everyone in class but her got a treat today, when even though all the parents in her class know her allergies someone brought cupcakes to school today and even though they told her up they were safe she was scared so she didn’t have one ( and I blink back the tears hoping she didn’t see them) . There have been so many things I just didn’t think of along the way and so many of these that are not obvious when you say peanut allergy are the things that scare me the most.

So I have to fit some knitting in on this post also sometime ago I found a pattern that I loved but did not suit me so I started anyways knowing I would find a home so I started a beautiful pale pink shawl with crosses made of cables and I knit. Finished it is wonderful I love the size, the color, the way it feels but alas still not my style so it went to a year end teachers gift as I knew it suited this teacher perfectly. I still can’t help but like the feel and look of this one though. Take care dear friends and I will try to have something more upbeat to say next time.

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Oh wait just maybe…..

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I am not really writing this post today to inform you of anything, or to make you cry(right mom?) I am simply writing something to attempt to add a picture to a post. Really? You might ask a blogger not trying to express something with words yeah really I have tried every way imaginable to upload a photo to is blog from my computer tonight I am moving on to more drastic measures I am trying to post from the iPad to see if I have any luck before I resort to asking on twitter for help.

My basic information is this shawl is probably my favorite thing I have knit, I knit most of it on my family vacation it was fun to knit! It is made of real wool, I had to soak, wash, block all of the things I have read about real knitters doing. Now it is done and it is beautiful I’m not sure it is my style but it is beautiful I love it. Oh wait to add to the things about this that make me happy someone who never met me read about my wish to knit this pattern and bought the pattern for me – how nice can people be a strangers gift made my day on a day I needed a hand.

Ok sorry I have gotten wordy and I guess I did have something to say and a point to be made again. Now wish me luck in trying to add a picture to it all.

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Knitting Heroes – My Grandma

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This week is Knitting and Crochet Blog week – what on earth does this mean you might ask. Well it first of all means I may be (ok I am) a bit of a geek for knowing this, but it is a week of daily prompts or topics that knitting or crochet bloggers are asked to blog about. This means a different blog post daily for many bloggers and there are many that are knitting and crochet based ( I know that this may shock my many non-knitting friends). I have had the opportunity to read some great posts so far this week – but I have not had the time or inclination to participate…… until today.  I read the topic this morning and knew that I had to post on this – how could I not.

My knitting hero is simple this is not a question I have to think about for a second, and there are not many questions like that in my life. It is my Grandma Avis – she knit a lot. That is probably an understatement she knit all of the time she had a chair set in front of their large living room window on a main street and everyone in their small town knew that she sat there and knit. She knit us all afghans, mittens, hats, baby sets for I think every new born in town, and sweaters. Now these were not just sweaters but the ones from the Mary Maxim catalogue that had designs on the back – siwash sweaters. We had them all of us grandkids our parents, friends and they all reflected our interests curling rocks, kittens, trucks, argos, snow mobiles, you name it we had it on a sweater and they were great.

I remember lots about my Grandma she was amazing, I remember every detail of their house, the smell when we got there, where the pictures hung on the walls, where the christmas tree sat every year (that is the only time her chair moved from the window so the tree could sit there for all to see) her chair with an ottoman next to it full of wool. All of these memories include her knitting in that chair I remember vividly every Saturday our world came to a stop while Stampede Wrestling was on TV as kids if we made noise my Grandpa would tell us to be quiet during this time or go out and play in traffic (somewhat jokingly) my uncles were there to watch and my parents and us grandkids were there doing something and my Grandma watched and knit. If you paid attention the clicking of her metal needles changed with the action in the wrestling match the more action in the match or the more controversial the wrestler speaking the quicker her needles clicked. Yet I don’t ever remember her missing a stitch or really ever looking at the pattern now that I think about it.

My Grandma taught me to knit every once in a while my cousins and I would ask she would then dig out some plastic needles, let us pick from the pile of yarn left overs and cast on for us. I don’t think we ever finished any of the half-hearted scarves or baby doll blankets we started but she always let us start. I never took to the knitting though always abandoned it when I left for the day. She has been gone now for over 20 years and I miss her terribly, even now I am crying as I write my memories of her. But if I go downstairs there is a cupboard of knitted afghans made with her hands, my kids have siwash sweaters with snowmen and kittens on the back. Not from her she never had the chance to meet my kids, but when they were little my non-knitting mother learned to knit just so that she could make them those sweaters that I remember from my childhood(I have spent many hours tonight trying to upload a picture of this sweater – but alas the computer is winning- I may edit. I have as an adult learned to knit with the help of you tube.  I have joined Ravelry, a facebook like page that is all people who knit and crochet with free patterns to look at and use, forums to ask for help in it is amazing the things you can see and learn.

Everytime I post a question for help with my newest problem (and I have  in my knitting)I wish I could pick up the phone and call her to ask. When I look through the pages of pattern I wish I could show her all of the amazing things you can see and have access to from other knitters all over the world now with a click of the keyboard. I imagine the things she could make and see with this technology – she had patterns from Mary Maxim and the local department store. That being said the store where she bought those pattern books is still open in the small town about an hour from where I live now.

On a good weekend I get to drive by the house where she lived, see that spot in the window and if I have time go to that very store and pick out the yarn for my latest creation.

I realize I am lucky

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Ok so the following writing has been sitting here for some time, today is actually April 3- i think this post may reflect the date i actually wrote it, while I contemplated what I wrote. My stroke affected me and my family deeply and it still affects me not in the way it once did though. It is no longer about mobility or continued tests it is now about deeper things trying to take time for myself, to take a breath or a walk, to truly pay attention to my kids when they need me they are only this age for a short while, to try to show compassion to others, so many things that I have made a decision to try to change. I would like to make a difference in this world. So after sitting on the following post and feeling bad about already not posting often on a new blog here goes……..

Over a year ago I had a stroke, a mild stroke but still a stroke at a young age. It was scary and possibly more scary were the few tiny things I struggled to do with my left hand (the side that was affected) and they were small things, putting the back on my daughters earrings, buttoning tight pants things that most people never even noticed unless they were truly looking for it, looking for weakness. At the time it angered and saddened me but I taught myself to knit during that time to help my hand and calm my mind. Not that I hadn’t knit before that I learned from my grandma many times over the years with many abandoned scarves to show. This time I turned to YouTube and learned again.

I knit dishcloths, lots, then hats knit flat, then in the round, mittens, and most recently a sweater for myself. I can do up any small earring now a year later, button any button, and thread any needle. I know that I am lucky. What brings this to mind right now is visiting a friend who recently had a stroke and was dramatically affected by theirs instead of being so lucky. I visited the hospital today and it shook me to see my friend affected this away and I came home from the hospital, had a warm bath, then picked up my knitting to quiet my mind and comfort myself.

Looking back on the day tonight I simply think that I am lucky, and think I will knit a few more rows before bed.

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That all being said I promise to anyone who has taken the time to read this to post more and add some pictures too! Have a great day.

Well here goes…

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Well here goes nothing! So this is the first post on my new blog, once upon a time I loved to write I loved being able to inspire feelings, and ideas, and to trigger memories of others with the words I put on paper. So I am going to give it a shot again, only this time not the poetry and fiction I wrote as a teenager but instead a blog with the things that go on in my day to day life (or sometimes I guess just the thoughts in my head).

I will start out with the simple things like who I am for those who don’t know me I am 37 years old an live on an acreage in Northern Alberta with my husband who is my very best friend, my Dear Daughter who is the girliest girl I know, an aspiring performer I am sure, and my Dear Son who is a quick witted boy who like his sister never ceases to amaze me. My newest obsession is knitting so that is mostly what will be featured here – sorry for those of you who may be reading but have no interest in needles and yarn my deepest apologies to you. I am sure that there will be many other topics here but this will definately be a big part of what I have to say.

Now that we have gotten the introductions out of the way I have to say that this scares me but blogs(somewhat) and podcasts fascinate me – mostly podcasts as I can listen to those on the run and I am usually on the run. Of course it is also easiest to listen rather than read while knitting so podcasts fit well. But alas I am not equipped to speak into a mike yet so instead I will type out my thoughts for anyone who may be interested enough to venture over here and have a read. I have to admit this does scare me though – it scares me a little that people will read what I have to say and judge what I throw out there for thoughts and ideas. That being said it also scares me that no one will pop in to read that there will be no feedback or views and then what?

While I am listing what scares me I have started to knit my first sweater. Not the first thing I have knit by any means I have knit a ton of hats, dishcloths, scarves, even a pair of mitts or two but nothing with so many parts as a sweater. First of all there is a chance I will put all of these stitches and all of this time in to make a sweater I love that may or may not fit me (I’m not yet that confident in patterns to adjust along the way – I’m pretty sure I measured right and choose the right size). Secondly I don’t really have a very long attention span I am used to knitting one piece and being done this time however I have to knit a front, back and arms yikes! This being said right this second I have done a front and just about finished the back and I am still interested. So wish me luck and if you choose to follow along I will post some pictures next time.