It can be worse …

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About a month ago, I was sitting in the pulmonary (lung) clinic, waiting to have some tests done. Not feeling well at all, I was sitting in a wheel chair outside the patient rooms, slumped over, with a grumpy look on my face, feeling sorry for myself. (Two days later I was in the hospital with double pneumonia.) Soon a nurse came over and was helping a blind woman get seated. The blind woman sat down where the arms of the chair come together, rather than in the seat. She chuckled at herself and moved over. After the nurse left, she stood and hung her coat on the back on the chair – perfectly.

I kept watching. (There wasn’t much else for me to do.) Within a minute or so, she reached down into her huge bag, pulled out a lap blanket … then her circular knitting needles and started working on her blanket, ever so carefully feeling the yarn as it glided over the tips of the needles. Soon the needles were clacking away with the rhythm of the stitches. She, however, did not have a grumpy look on her face. She looked very content.

Why do I tell you this story. It is just this  — Life is what you make of it. Many people have afflictions that can be considered ‘worse’ that what you may have. Sometimes you just need a reminder.

What did I do? I told myself to sit up straight in that chair and quit feeling sorry for myself. Then I did the lung function tests. I didn’t do well – but I did my best. That’s all one can do.

A little side  note: I did take a photo of her blanket – not of her; however, my phone was deactivated while I was in the hospital (a much longer story that Apple does not want me to tell you), so i lost that photo. The one for this story is not the actual photo. 

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Saturday musings …

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Another week of healing has gone by. After last weekend’s stress – all related to medicine prompting nosebleeds, the last few days have been quiet – but – I realize that I haven’t written a blog in some time. Perhaps it was the chaos; perhaps I was too weak; perhaps I had nothing to say (not likely).

Today I am watching it snow – which is good because we don’t have much snow cover. For those of you that live in the city, when we – in the country – flush our toilet, it does not go into a pipe and is carried far away. Instead, it goes into a tank in the ground – tanks that can freeze up. We’ve already had that happen once this year. The snow is also not good – it brings the work of shoveling and plowing. But overall, the snow is good.

One of my techniques for healing is reading. I am currently reading “The Able Life of Cody Jane.” This book tells the story of Cody and her life with spina bifida. It was very ably written by her mother, Marly Cornell. I am striken with similarities to my recent medical experiences – the absolute fear when you are on your own, the vulnerability, and the hospital protocol that does not allow for adjustments to suite the needs of the patient. I am about half done with this book – so I may have more to say when I am done.

I also knit to heal. This was quite a productive week with dish cloths, spa cloths, scrubbies and significant progress on a ski mask. Knitting makes me stop and focus. It calms my mind – which is always racing from one idea to another. And it makes me feel productive. For someone who is used to being very active – and, at least for now – suddenly cannot be, this is important.

I also started a valentine craft project. There is something about creating and working with your hands that also promotes healing, Perhaps it is just that I have to pay attention to what I am doing. I can’t work as long as I  would like – shaky fingers are not good when cutting — but I can take it one step at a time.

And that is what I continue to do. One step at a time.

Thanks for reading. I hope you return. 

The scary part of Christmas …

As each year goes by, I get more and more nervous about getting the ‘right’ gift for everyone. In general, people already have a lot of ‘stuff’ – and it’s very hard to know – even if you have an idea of what they might want or need – which model, color, size, brand, etc. is the RIGHT one. In addition, it gets harder and harder to spend days shopping. And this year, the weather didn’t cooperate – at least on the days I wanted to go shopping.

What to do? I decided to make a lot of the gifts this year. That itself is risky business. Some people like handmade gifts; some don’t.  Now, for any guys reading this, you may think this a girly post – but just bear with me.

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For my friends, I made candy jars using pint canning jars decorated with ribbon and other decorations and fill with chocolate treats. Once the jar is empty, it converts to a low-light candle by inserting a LED votive candle. I used papercrafting and stamping sdkills and enjoyed every minute of the major mess I made to my desk.

For many of my friends and family, I simply gave a ‘cash’ gift card. Using papercraft skills, I created the holders, a ‘Happy Christmas’ tag for the front (which were hand stamped ) and a card for the inside (computer skills) which simply reads “Treat Yourself or Someone Else.” This gift was probably the best of all worlds – hand made but with cash that lets you get anything you like.

hatscollage.jpgFor family members, I put my knitting skills into high gear. This is also a gift for me – because I enjoy my time knitting. I made hats, scarves and doll clothes. The bonus – I already have requests for more – but chances are they won’t have to wait until next Christmas.

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Lastly, GUYS –  you, too,  can make gifts. Woodcraft gifts are always good. Or you can simply take some time to fix something or help with a household project. For those of us who aren’t as agile as we once were, a helping hand is greatly appreciated. As we get older, gifts of time often mean much more than a physical gift.

 

I hope you had a Happy Christmas! As for me, I’ve already started the next knitting project and have lots of other gift ideas for the next year. It’s never too early to get started.