Thank you, Shriners Hospital!

A moment of gratitude here. On Tuesday, Ryan had his annual checkup at Shriners Hospital in Philadelphia.

I can never say enough wonderful things about Shriners. They’ve been wonderful to us. If you need a definition of serendipity, my grandfather was a Shriner. He worked for their charities for all those years, never once knowing his great-grandson would be treated there.

Ryan being 17 now, he’s been treated there for the past 13 years. It was one of my two biggest fears that he’d age out and we’d have to find another caregiver. My other fear was that Ryan would need further corrective surgery for the hip dysplasia he was born with.

Good news on both fronts! No surgery, and because Ryan’s a long-term patient, the doctor will try to keep him under their care ’til he’s 21. I drove home so relieved, I could’ve flown!

Thanks to my new smart phone, I could document our trip there. (I know my memory lately; I forget everything.)

Waiting in the lobby; guess the school’s summer reading selection didn’t tickle his fancy.
Smiling a little more in the waiting area at the Clinic
Ryan with Kris, the wonderful nurse who’s taken care of us since day one!
Ryan with Dr. Davidson! You can’t find a cooler (or better) pediatric orthopedist anywhere!

Heading home with the good news!

 I don’t want to think where we’d be without Shriners. Thank you!! 





Something Finished

Not a whole lot to report, life-wise, though I’m reminded of the lyrics, “Just surviving is a noble fight.” But I do have this to show off share:

I’m so excited! It’s the second Central Park Hoodie I’ve made, only this time I opted out of the “hoodie” part, for no reason other than, I don’t plan to need the hoodie. My first one was pretty cute too. (Think I can find the picture? Heck no.) It had the hoodie, but it was also 2 sizes too big for me, so when I wore it to Rhinebeck last October, I could’ve smuggled a whole sheep out of the festival under the thing. A live sheep would’ve been spotted on the bus…and promptly sheared and knit into something pretty by the bus full of knitters, but still.

Anyway, back on track. This CPH is a little shorter than I usually prefer, but I’ll adapt. It’s warm and toasty and soft and finished. I’m SO thrilled that the seaming class I took at Slip Knot stayed with me (though I haven’t seamed anything in 6 months). Even the sleeve seams are perfect. (IMO; your expertise may vary.)

Next up, I’m finishing the knitties I promised my critique group as prizes for completing the 100 Words/100 Days challenge. That should be done today. After that, I’m on my own (cough-ColorAffection-cough) until the 27th when the “Ravellenic Games” (fka the Ravelympics) starts. The moment the flame hits the cauldron, my needles start on Campfire Socks. The challenge there is to complete a project during the course of the Olympic games. For me, this is no small feat, as I’m prone to major bouts with Second-Sock-itis. I’m always excited to start the first sock, but bored to tears knitting its mate. But I really want these socks; I’ve used the pattern before and it’s simple without being boring, and interesting without being complicated; and the yarn has been in my stash for maybe 3 years, knitted and frogged because nothing seems to be quite the perfect project for it. If this doesn’t work out…?

But it will, and I’ll post pics when they’re done.

Late but not lost

I told myself Tuesday that I needed to get the blog together for today. I’d already posted to Chicklets in the Kitchen, but there was still mine, and I had every intention on reporting on the Color Run (pictures included!), and then life went on and I ran out of time, and I remembered again yesterday, and again this morning on the way to work, where the last thing I wanted to do was write where the people I work with could see it. Today was another busy one so here I am, after 10 at night, thinking, “Hey, I should post something.”

Oddly enough, I have a couple things in mind.

Firstly, I wussed out at the Color Run. Yes, I ran. I was in the 2nd wave (1K people at a time) and headed out at my usual warmup pace, and I got to the first checkpoint and saw the pink powder flying, and I thought, Holy carp, what have I done?

But when we crossed the Schuylkill to MLK Drive, I let myself stop to enjoy the view and take a few pictures. (Amen to the smart phone that arrived on Friday.) I covered my face with my rally towel and ran through, barely tinged. Good thing?

Four more color checkpoints later, I was still mostly white. I learned that if you *want* to get hit with color, you raise your arms as you run through. I’d also seen people on the other side of the color barrage, spitting orange. Didn’t look like a lot of fun so I kept my face covered, but I virtually asked for *some* marking to show I’d participated and didn’t just bogart my way through it.

Due to the heat, we lost a kilometer, which was disappointing because I’d looked forward to a Rocky-like dash down the Ben Franklin Parkway and up the steps of the Art Museum. Alas, maybe next year. Next year I plan to bring a LOT more friends so they’ll plaster me with color and I can do likewise.  So crossing the finish line was kind of a big “what, that’s it?” moment, but trust me, I didn’t hydrate enough the day before and cramped up before the first checkpoint. The water pit stop midway was a blessing.

So the race, for me, is over, and the other participants gathered in the parking lot at Eakins Oval, and every 15 minutes they’re given the go-ahead to send the contents of their color packets flying:

Awesome stuff! Except when I joined in, I ripped open my packet of pink powder, swirled it over my head…and got nothing. Barely even a scattering of pink on my Phillies cap and my still-mostly-white shirt. Trust me, next year I’m bringing a crowd and we’re plastering each other. Much to my surprise, the powder is actually quite soothing. It’s colored corn starch, and when it lands on sweat, it dries the skin. I was a fool for not diving into the stuff.

But it was a great time and I’m definitely doing it again. Next year I won’t come out of it this white, either: (taken before the race but really, not a big difference)

But the nice thing is that between the race and talking to friends and talking to my therapist, I’m coming to learn that even though I’ve been alone for the last seven months, in one way I’m not as alone as I thought, and in another way, I’m okay with being alone. As I sat down to write this, Josh Groban’s “Home Again” came on my iPod and I realized how much I can relate to that song. I feel like I’m home, and it’s something I haven’t felt for quite a while. I don’t feel like I’ve really *found myself* quite yet, but I’m getting there. I feel better about who I am. That’s been work, but it’s getting easier, and I’m glad I did it.

Next race in October, at the Runner’s World 5K. I think I need to schedule more of these things. I spent half of Sunday afternoon giggling, “Did I really do that?” But I did, and I’m glad, and from now on I aim to participate more, not just be a bystander. Get off the practice field and get in the game.

Like this guy. Think he enjoyed himself?! 🙂

Finishing Things

I’m writing this on the 4th of July, the day our country celebrates our decision to be free of the tyranny of taxation without representation. We won’t talk about how DC is in that same situation now. That’s a story for someone else’s blog.

Today I celebrated the freedom to do nothing if that’s what I wanted to do. I rolled out of bed at 8, went to the store to get the boys some bagels, watched “John Adams” on HBO, and knitted. Really, it’s too hot to do much of anything else, and the local parade is cute but it’s the same thing as last year. A town in NJ had a couple get married on the parade route, on the back of a flatbed tow truck, but that was there, not here. I could see the fire trucks just fine from my kitchen window.

Of course, while I was knitting and watching TV and pursuing happiness, my conscience whispered, “Finish the Boneyard.” It’s been sitting there for close to a week, waiting patiently for me to weave in the loose ends. Its patience wore out as I sat there, working on my Color Affection, so I switched projects and picked up the Boneyard.

Bear in mind, my friend Becky gave me the beee-youuu-teee-full yarn that I used on it:

The Unique Sheep, Tinsel Toes, Andrea colorway

It was actually handed to me at the beginning of a 3-day “continuous improvement” meeting, and while I’d been dreading spending 3 days in meetings—I still have no idea how I got through college; I have the attention span of a gnat—fondling that yarn for the first 2.5 hours made life worthwhile. Not that I could do so obviously. For a minute, I could use my hands. After that, the best I could do while sitting in polite company was to stare at it longingly.

During my lunch break, I searched Ravelry for a pattern idea. Nothing sang to me. It wasn’t ’til I got home that I found the perfect pattern: The Boneyard Shawl. In mainly stockinette stitch, it would show off the colors nicely, and the fabric was loose enough that I wouldn’t strain my fingers while knitting it. I wound the yarn and cast on when I got home from the 3-day meeting. It was my reward for having survived the experience.

I wish I could say that once I cast on, I worked only on it, but see that part about my attention span. The fact that I finished it in under two months is something akin to a miracle, however. This project went on the boat with us when we went fishing, and yet it doesn’t smell like flounder. Can I get an amen?

It still needs to be blocked, but I love it. If you could hug it, you’d see how soft it is. Yay!

With that done, I returned to my Color Affection, which I wish I could say I was happier with. I bought yarn that’s 90% mink (humanely gathered!) and 10% cashmere, and the burgundy yarn is soft as a cloud but the gray yarn is…not quite the same. 😦 I suppose once it’s washed and blocked, it’ll soften up, but so far when it becomes a new row, it looks like my white cat, Tillie, slept on it. The loose fibers aren’t the softest, either. The paperwork that came with the yarn said that when it’s been worked up, it develops a lovely halo. So far so good with the burgundy; not so much with the gray.

I’m still working on it. The next color to add will be black, and the skein itself feels as soft as the burgundy. I hope it balances off the odd-as-fish gray.

For what it’s worth, I ordered some more fingering weight yarn to try again (navy blue, pale blue, and silver gray). I do love the pattern. I can’t wait to wear it and show it off. I’m just a little iffy on the gray yarn.

The Color Run is on Sunday. I got the info packet. Talk about odd as fish. 🙂 But I realized that the race isn’t being timed. It’s a “fun run”, so I’m treating it that way. Training is fun, dammit. I took yesterday off from the gym because there won’t be any street sweeper pushing me along at the end of 3 miles. I’m also running 3 miles more often. Where I am now is all well and good, but I want to improve my endurance. If I lose what’s left of my sanity, I’ll see about signing up for the Philly marathon next fall. NEXT fall.

Speaking of running, GOOD ON YOU to Oscar Pistorius, the first double amputee to run in the Olympics! The fact that he’s running in the 400m brings tears to my eyes. My dad ran the 400m (would’ve been an Olympian if he hadn’t opted to leave East Germany instead), and my son is has a disability that doesn’t stop him from being the best person I know. Oscar’s success is like having both my worlds come together. I’ll be cheering the loudest for him come July 27th!!