So Far, Still OK

Monday, mom and I went out to the cemetery where my dad is buried.  The cemetery people had put out little flags by the headstones of all the veterans, and all those who had vases attached to their headstones had fresh artificial flowers.

In this cemetery, all the headstones have to be flat and flush with the ground. If you buy a plot there, you have to agree to that condition.  You can opt for a brass vase that mounts onto the headstone and is removable, but you are not allowed to have any kind of a marker that sticks up.  This is so they don’t present any obstacles to the big riding mowers they use to keep the grass cut.  The cemetery is owned by the funeral home which has facilities including a chapel and viewing rooms on site.

My mom brought her whisk broom, a pitcher of water (which fell over and spilled in the car) and paper towels, because last time dad’s marker “had stuff on it.”  I suspect that the mowers they use suck up and bag all the clippings.   Mom was also perturbed that the grass “still” hadn’t covered the grave, but his grave is shaded by cedars on one side, and a large tree on the other.  Bermuda grass doesn’t grow that well in the shade, mom.

Later we went to IHOP and had our usual.  I still have to eat carefully and be sure I only chew on the right side in order to protect the membrane over the bone graft where I had the tooth out. Anyhow, it was quite tasty.  Owing to the amount of acetaminophen (325 mg) and ibuprofen (600 mg) I was taking four times a day up until Monday night, it was important to have food on my stomach when I took my next dose.  I’ve been pretty much pain free (touch wood) though, which is a great blessing.  Probably because the teeth on either side of the one that was extracted are also root canals of long standing.  All my jaw teeth are.  I’ve got more root canals than I have live teeth.

I had a dentist appointment this morning to check on my tooth extraction site and the bone graft.  When I got in the car to go, my eyes fell on the odometer, which read “8888.”  At first I thought there was something wrong with the display, but nope.  Actual mileage.  What are the odds?  Anyway, it reads 8913 now, after going to my dental appointment and back, and to knitting group and back.

Tomorrow, mom is picking me up and we are treating ourselves to a pedicure.  This is a really nice place we go to.  Not only do they trim your nails properly and attend to your cuticles, but they remove callus and rough skin from your feet, do an exfoliation of your lower leg, and then massage this wonderful lotion in.  It’s heavenly. They will also paint your toenails with the color of your choice, if you so desire, but we skip the polish. My mom keeps polish on her fingernails, but I haven’t used polish of any kind in forever.

I found this neat map the other day that gives you an idea about latitudes and what’s where.  It’s a map of the US and Canada superimposed over a map of Europe showing what parts of each country are at the same latitude.  You’ll notice that the bottom of the US is at the same latitude as North Africa, and that Britain and most of Europe are at the same latitude as Canada.  In fact most of Britain is farther north than Newfoundland, Quebec and Ontario.  And, but for the grace of the Gulf Stream, the norther two-thirds of Europe would have a much colder climate than it does because it actually is quite far north.

I’m So Hungry for Pizza . . .

. . . But I mustn’t.  Still too soon to be eating anything that “chewy.” (I like lots of meats on mine!)  Still restricted to soft foods and to “babying” that side of my mouth. But then, that’s why God gave us choppers and blenders.  I need to get down my blender and run some “chunky” soup through it, and then microwave it.  I need to get my food chopper down and make a “spread” with chicken and onions and black olives and pickles and mayo, and eat it on bread instead of crackers.  Maybe tomorrow.

Wrote up the pattern and posted it for what I’m calling the No Frills Toboggan cap (at right). Most of it is dead easy — stockinette stitch knitted in the round.  The tricky bit is the heming of the bottom, and the decreases.  But, if you know how to do a provisional cast on, a k2tog and an ssk, you’re home free on this hat.  Elegantly simple.

I’m already working on another pattern that will have a braided cable band around the widest circumference of a beret.   You knit a braided cable band, then pick up stitches on either edge of it to work the bottom and top of the beret.

I was having a hard time sleeping there for a while, but now I’m sleeping better.  Last night I had a couple of these long, “story” dreams like I have, that just seem to go on and on, and are fairly coherent in terms of “plot.”  The gist of the one I remember from last night:  I was going to get married, and my mom was all excited. She was in her “mother of the bride” dress, and I had this long, beautiful white wedding gown with long fitted sleeves and an elaborate hairdo.  The wedding was happening in this long, narrow church, and this was the first time my mom had ever met my prospective groom — only I had to ask one of the wedding guests what my groom’s name was, so I could tell my mom when she asked who this was I was marrying, because I hardly knew the guy! (He was cute, though, blond and handsome.)  He was just starting out as a preacher, but I am not “preacher’s wifey” material, and made that plain at the start.  It was really more of a marriage of convenience as we were going to share a house, and I was going to work all night as a medical transcriptionist, and he was going to be a preacher by day, and we were only going to see each other in passing.  It was, to say the least, a strange dream.

I’ve got to go empty the dishwasher of clean dishes, and empty the sink of dirty ones. . . and that will probably take the last of my spoons, so I’ll be crashing out after I take my evening dose of antibiotic and pain meds.

Still Doing OK

Went to the dentist for my extraction checkup and it was good.  I’m doing OK there.  Still not having any pain to speak of (touch wood!).  Since I’m not (can’t) taking opiates, I’m pretty clear headed, so I’m able to do something a bit more complicated than TV knitting.  My eating is still quite restricted to liquid and soft things.  I had a fried egg sandwich for lunch yesterday — on a commercial white bread hamburger bun, which is pretty much nothing but air and flour paste, so requiring hardly any chewing — so I’m gradually and carefully edging toward more solid food.  Again the dentist stressed “babying” the area and doing nothing that might disturb or disrupt the extraction site and the bone graft within.

Right now, the two most important things are healing without infection, and the bone graft “taking.”  Having the tooth implant requires that my body has made living bone out of the bone graft, and that requires healing without infection.

I made a pattern for a no-frills toboggan hat which has a deep rolled hem and which involves nothing more difficult than knit stitches and ssk’s.  I finished it a little bit ago.  I haven’t published the pattern yet, but I will.

So Far, So Good

Mom came and picked me up Wednesday morning and I got to the dentist with 5 whole minutes to spare.  He did me dirty, though, as his nitrous oxide machine was not working.  It’s not the pain; it’s the noise of the drill that just curls my toes.  Still I had my MP# player on so it wasn’t quite so bad.  As I noted, there was not much tooth left above the gum line, so he had to remove it piecemeal, but it went OK.  A headlock was not required.

My ice fingers were brilliant.  Three was just the right amount — a life hack to remember if you have rambunctious kids (keep a couple in the freezer at all times), or are anticipating a medical or dental procedure that require icing a body part:  Fill a snack size baggie half full of water and almost completely seal it, forcing as much air out as you can.  Then seal it completely and lay it on its side in the freezer and let it freeze.  Wrap it in a wash cloth to apply — not because it will leak, but to protect your skin. Once the ice has melted, just pop it back into the freezer to refreeze.  Another life hack to remember:  Icing a wound or injury is usually done 15 minutes on and 15 minutes off — which is about how often network TV programs break for commercial.  Apply the ice pack during a commercial break, take it off during the next commercial break, then put it back on at the next commercial break, etc.

I was supposed to take three 200 mg ibuprofen and one 325 mg acetaminophen every four hours for pain, and a hefty antibiotic every 6 hours.  Since I’m allergic to all the good stuff (opiates) that’s about all I can take anyway, and so far, that has done the trick.

Fortunately, I can eat oatmeal and soft foods, because the high-protein Boost doesn’t fill me up and popping that much ibuprofen and a dose of acetaminophen besides on nothing but liquid doesn’t work very well as liquids are rapidly absorbed by the stomach.

I noticed when I woke up this morning that the floor of my mouth under my tongue was puffy, but as far as actual pain, I have had very little so far (touch wood!).

He put a membrane over the bone graft and sewed that in to protect it.  The idea is that the bleeding into the socket will soak into the bone graft and the fibrin that helps form the blood clot will form a bridging matrix by which my own bone will grow out into the graft and incorporate it into new bone, which is the whole point of the exercise.

He wants to see me today at 11 a.m. and I need to go get ready.  More later.

Owwies Ahead

I got in to see the dentist this morning about the loose crown, and we talked over the situation. If the tooth had to be pulled (it should have been pulled 3 years ago), I was going to ask him to recommend someone who could do a dental implant. Turns out he does them himself. He has an opening Wednesday morning — yeah, like tomorrow!

So, bright and early tomorrow morning, my mom is picking me up and he will remove the roots — there’s not enough of the tooth left above the gum line to actually pull it out — which was the problem with the crown (there has to be some tooth left to put the crown on — besides a glob of cement, which is basically what it’s been sitting on for the past 3 years!) Then he will do a bone graft at the same sitting, because it’s a molar and my molars have big, long roots.  Without a bone graft, the tooth socket will be too deep and too wide to hold the part of the implant that goes down into the jawbone.  Fingers crossed the graft will “take”.

In four months, assuming the graft “takes,”  he will implant the shank gismo into the jawbone bone, and then at some point after that, he will put a tooth on it.  That’ll be a total of 3 grand, please. Thank you very much.

My pantry is already well-stocked with soup, oatmeal, and fruit juice, but on my way home, I stopped at Walmart and bought a 12-pack of high-protein Boost.  I have put some ice-fingers* to freeze in the freezer.  My Kindle is well-stocked.  I have DVD’s to watch, and TV knitting** to do.  I’m finishing up syncing my MP# player as I type to listen to calming music during the procedure.

I probably won’t be doing much of anything for the rest of Wednesday but sleeping.  Fingers crossed, ya’ll, that the graft takes, because if it doesn’t, we will have to pursue other, less satisfactory options, like a bridge.

*ice-fingers — half fill a snack size plastic baggie with water and squeeze out the air.  Put it in the freezer and let it freeze.  wrap it in a wash cloth (to protect your skin) and apply to the affected area.  When the ice all melts, put it back in the freezer and refreeze it.
**TV knitting — the pattern is so simple you don’t really have to pay too much attention to what you’re doing.

At The Beach

I haven’t done a Mag challenge in a while. Although she’s been on hiatus for over a year now, I still like the challenge of seeing what things a picture can inspire. There’s also a song in this one, way back in there somewhere.

At the Beach

Though I walk in brilliant sunlight
Along the treeless shore,
The light sifts down upon me
Through a canopy of years
Dappling the rocky path
With used to be’s and once there were’s
After a long, slow climb to the promontory tip,
Where sea and sky and land connect
Where every way from here is down,
I stand a long time watching
A shadow play of light and dark
Performed upon a landscape no one else can see,
By casts of faded photographs.
The sun is sliding slowly down
Behind a curly-headed sea
And darkness gathers in the east
As silently as clouds.
And there, upon the beach below,
Where the ever-busy combers flop and fumble,
A single question washes up onto the sand:
Who will remember them when I am gone?
Soon it will be time to leave,
And night will fall.
And all the grey-winged shadows
Will come kiting out of memory
To bat like moths around a solitary light bulb
Left burning in the dark.

Poem © 2017 by The Owl Underground, all rights reserved.

The song got me to thinking about the generation decimated by AIDS, the generation gutted by World War I, those battered few who survived the Holocaust, and the elderly of every generation, and how people deal with life when the number of their friends, lovers, family members, contemporaries, who are still alive is far, far outweighed by those who’ve died.

Got Me Where I Live

Well, with eating out on the agenda for Sunday, what happens Friday afternoon but, while I’m eating a very soft gummy vitamin, of all things, I pull the crown off the middle one of my left lower molars.  The last time this happened, just before I moved to the apartment, the dentist gave me the option of having the tooth pulled or he could try putting the crown back on.  I opted for the free solution.  He squirted some goo underneath the crown, squooshed it back on, we let the goo set and I was good to go.   He couldn’t venture to guess how long it would hold.  Three years is not bad for something he expected not to last three weeks.  Happened on a Saturday, last time.

Of course, my dentist’s office closes for the weekend on Friday at noon. This happened at about 3 o’clock. I left a message, called my dinner date and we rescheduled.

Having the tooth, a root canal, pulled would be a bummer unless I can get a dental implant, but one of those babies will run you a couple grand ($1000 to $5000 depending on what’s involved).

It may be that I’ll luck out and he can squirt goo underneath it and put the crown back on.  If he can, I’m game.

I heard a rumble of thunder while ago.  I’ll bet we didn’t get much if any rain out of it.

All Done Adulting

I washed a load of clothes and a load of sheets and towels, changed my bed, cleaned the pet fountain, and folded/hung up all my clean clothes.  The folded stuff is put up; the hanging clothes are still hanging in the laundry room because they weren’t perfectly dry when I took them out of the dryer.*

I am now done adulting for today. I’m also pooped. Tomorrow I have an appointment at the VA to go to, but after that, I’m done adulting for the week.

While clothes were washing and drying, I sat in the living room (where I could hear the washer and dryer) and knitted on a strip of Gowrie lace which is an alternate lace pattern for the Curved Shoulder Scarf. I’m test knitting my modification of her pattern, which has 22 repeats of the lace pattern instead of 21, and puts the extra 12 stitches in the middle section. I’ll be posting my modified pattern eventually on my knitting website. The Gowrie lace is a little wider than the Diamond lace she has in the pattern — 13 stitches as opposed to 9.  This yarn does not have a very soft hand, which is why I don’t think I’ll be knitting chemo hats out of it, but I do like the colors.

What with all the adulting I did today, I’m ready to call it a night.  B’lieve I will.



*When you take clothes out before they are entirely dry and hang them up, any wrinkles hang out more readily and completely.  You must let them dry completely, however, before you hang them in the closet, or a musty smelling closet can result. .

As Time Goes By

Regular readers of this blog may remember that I acquired another first cousin twice removed in August of 2015, and baby clothes were knitted right and left in preparation for her arrival.

Please allow me to be a proud cousin.

Here she is at 10 months old preaching to the choir:

And here she is at 20 months running loose at the zoo:

Her name is Raelyn, and she’s cuter’n a bug.  “MeeMaw” is my first cousin EJ from whom this little perpetual motion machine is twice removed (granddaughter).  Authentic Texas accents provided free of charge.

Happy Mother’s Day

To all those in the crowd who have given birth — I started to say, “to all you mothers out there,” but somehow that sounded a bit off color (– or maybe it’s just me).

This is what my mom got for mother’s day.  It’s another Curved Shoulder Scarf like this one, but in a wine red metallic thread.  I think it turned out nicely if I say so myself.  Naturally, I thought of several modifications, so the next time through I’ll do up the modifications and post the modified pattern on my blog.  It’s actually a pretty quick knit, all things considered — like the fact that you do 21 repeats of a 12-line lace motif, but that goes fast as you only cast on 9 stitches for it.  I made two in four evenings’ worth of knitting.

I gave the other one to our dear family friend CK who had mom and me over for dinner last evening, for a delicious meal.  She just happened to be wearing a blouse that had that same peach color (which looks very good with her skin tones), and she has some gorgeous turquoise jewelry, so that colorway is perfect for her.

I spent most of yesterday futzing with a 1 Tb Western Digital external disk drive to use for an external backup device. I had a 500 Gb external drive, but it was too small.  (After my latest computer revamp, I have two hard drives now — a new 1 TB drive and  the old 500 Gb drive . . . ) First I had to back everything up individually by category on my set of six memory sticks, which took forEVer!  Then I switched out the backup drives and redid what and how I backed stuff up (every time I changed something)  That took some time, too. While I was waiting for files to transfer, I worked on the — are you ready for it?  — Dance Like An Egyptian Hat.

My version
Original version

It is Fair Isle knitting, which I had to learn to do, which means I’m working with two colors live and realtime, holding a color in each hand, and I had to learn how to “catch floats“.

It starts with a provisional cast on, and after a bunch of stockinette knitting, it has a row of these dancing ladies, which I modified from one I found that was put up for grabbies on the interwebs to anyone who wanted to play around with it.  Naturally, I modified it.   I added in a row at the top of her skirt so I could fix the design on it, and evened out the proportions of her arms by making the up-turned arm shorter in the upper arm and the down-turned arm longer in the forearm.  Then I made a  reversed version.

The hat will have one band of the lady facing left and a second band of the lady facing right. These will be interspersed between some rows of alternating stitches in each color for a checkerboard effect.  The brim is wide, and rolled by turning it under and knitted the provisional cast on back into the hat with a row of K2togs. It will have a standard hexagonal decrease on the top.  It’s slow going for the moment as I’m not used to holding my yarn this particular way in my right hand, but it’s fun.

This yarn is so shiny it’s hard to see the turquoise foot of the dancing lady.  You’ve got to knit 27 rows of stockinette before you even get to the two-color work because the dancing lady is 17 rows high and you’ve got to have enough brim to turn under and have a little bit of plain grey on the bottom edge of the hat. .

I’ll be taking step-by-step pictures of the process to post with the pattern on my knitting blog.

I’ll have enough yarn to do one where the variegated yarn is the background color, and the grey yarn is the contrast color.  That will give it a rather different look.  Oh, what fun.

At right, those long loops of yarn on the inside are the “floats” where the yarn not currently in use is being carried along behind the background color until it’s needed again.  When there’s a long “float” you have to secure it so they’re too short to get a finger through them. That’s a neat little maneuver.

Tomorrow when I’m out and about, I’ve got to see if I can find the new Pier 1 store and see if they still have bowls like I’ve been using (below left with the hat on top), and get two more.  Good thing I got that bigger table top for my computer, eh?

Here’s a little mood music: