Saturday, November 9, 2013

How does one find the time.....

June, July, August, September, October, November???? Yes (and I'm really saying this to myself) it's been that long since I've posted. Sometimes you have to acknowledge things in other ways than just thinking it or thinking about it. I had to actually type these words. Put them before my eyes in this manner.

Those months have been a blur of activity. Obligations. Family duties and responsibilities. Not surprising since I am a member of that Sandwich Generation I read about many years ago in a Social Psychology class. The reality of such a role so not on my radar at that time. Those months have been a blur of care-giving duties taking Mom back and forth for chemo treatments and doctor visits, getting grand kids anchored into the new school year, planning meals and cooking, laundry. Oh and did I mention housecleaning? Makes a knitter want to pull her hair out. Especially when you realize the knitting time you looked forward to at the end of the day is not going to happen unless you make extensive use of lifelines, tinking or ripping back. Have you ever proceeded with a chart row.....wait for it.....below or above the one you were supposed to be on. Yet, as Maya Angelou (or Dr. Angelou...come's an honorary degree) says Still I rise. Actually in my case it's Still I manage to finish a knit project or even a KAL on time. But believe me, it's not the norm!

So it's not so much a case of how does one find the time. It's more a case of making the time, even if it means only knitting 2 rows or pushing through a tiredness or knitting with grand kids around your feet. So more about what I've been up to knitting-wise next post.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

The Obvious

I wasn't going to, but I will state the obvious. Time flies!!! That's why it's been almost 5 months since my last post (sheepishly I admit). It is an understatement to say life is hectic; I've been busy. Not rocket science to figure that out since I am of the Sandwich Generation. I am digging myself out little by little and starting to find (though it takes tremendous planning) time to do some things just for me. I will come back and update with words and pictures!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Nothing special, just a quiet Sunday

It's Sunday. Quiet. Peaceful. In large part because all four of the Grandkids are out with their Mother at the pool. A rarity. My only demand is that she bring them all back the way they left, breathing! I've put up with the noise that comes with four young ones waking up, eating bowl after bowl of cereal; helping Mom to get her day started, which is no small feat as her caregiving needs are great. But that's okay. She had a lovely breakfast thanks to Chef Me. I have spent (and am still spending time) time on the computer, Ravelry, knitting, etc. As I helped Mom get from her bedroom to her wheelchair in the living room so she could sit by the open window enjoying the breeze and looking out it hit me once again how far she's come given her health issues since November of 2012. She is still receiving treatment and recuperating but on a different road than one I thought given what she's gone through. She's a tough old lady!!!!

But before I continue on about Mom and her being the inspiration for this post I have to tell you I got sidetracked as I pulled up the Internet to add the photos I just took of Mom to my Flickr account. News items pop up on my homepage. Several caught my eye but the one news story that pulled me in was the article about the wing walker who was just killed in the horrific crash the other day at the Dayton Air Show. I wasn't content with just the written article. I went to Youtube and viewed several videos of the crash as well as the interview with the young woman prior to her performance. I don't know if it's a curse or a blessing to have the ability to have such news in it's fullest at our fingertips these days. But the fact remains that it is there and I won't debate what draws us to it, but we are drawn.

At any rate, I thought what would this young woman be doing this beautiful day had things gone differently. She has two teenage children. Does she have any pets or hobbies? What would she be planning for dinner? Would she be on the phone with her parents or friends or siblings? Life is short. It doesn't have to be a stunt-plane wing-walking crash to take us out. It could be anything. There's no rhyme or reason for my including these wonderings in this post or for latching on to Jane Wicker's story and untimely (in our human understanding) and tragic death (these were her choices). It is just one of many possible stories that could make me appreciate the simplicity and blessings of this day as I focus on my 94-year-old Mother still being here, in my/our lives given the odds that say she shouldn't and Jane Wicker should be.

June 2013
November 2012

Saturday, June 22, 2013

This, that, and the other . . . catching up!

Catching up after some weeks is better than doing so after months or even years. Easier to get to the point or points without agonizing on what has occurred.

Mom begin gentle (if there's such a thing) chemo treatments. She's had about 3 weeks with a week off. Her labs (blood work) have been excellent. She has a wonderful oncologist, Dr. Haddad, who specializes in cancer in the elderly. A change in the home aid that provides services to Mom has been a blessing to put it mildly. The first aid was just too young at age 19 and did not have the experience to deal with an elderly person--not the skills or life experiences. She did not have the ability to anticipate a client's needs nor engage in meaningful conversation because of the huge gap in generational age. Mom looks forward to the arrival of Ann, our current aid and is more than willing to follow the aids suggestions, directives, etc.

We had a birthday celebration on June 8. We actually celebrated two birthdays--Khalil turned 10 on June 9th, and Aiden turned 6 on May 22nd. I splurged on a cake for each of them ($25.00 a piece). Not until they couldn't blow out the candles did I realize in my haste I had bought trick candles! Duh me! We had a barbecue. Grandpa came over and manned the grill. The boys racked up with money and toys. I told the parents the 6:00 pm end time was not written in stone since it was such a perfect day (no rain, just right temps with no humidity) to play play play. Man kids can eat!!! There was no such thing as too much chicken, hot dogs, hamburgers, baked beans, juice, etc., etc. The boys both said it was the best birthday ever. I told them, just wait until next year! If it is God's will. They ain't seen nothing yet.

Finally, though my life seems busier, I am finding more time to knit!!!!! My latest effort involves 2-stranded color knitting AND STEEKING thanks to designer Deborah Tomasello. I voluntarily involved myself in a MAL (mystery knit-along--you don't know what you're making until the end or near the end). The pattern is given a clue at a time! Clues are usually imbedded in Debi's various projects that she directs you to. This is the first time I've attempted color knitting (Faire Isle), let alone steeking (enables you to cut your knitting at some point and it doesn't ravel. I really appreciate Debi's unique approach to teaching (not saying this is her only way). I'm the one who needs to be in a class with a teacher at elbow. I had a few missteps and start-overs (I could not stand the thought of incorporating the mistakes whether anyone else knew they were there or not--I would know). I've done a pretty good job if I must say so myself. It's nice that I've gotten a compliment or two from my teacher.

Before I show you my handiwork, here are a few links to Debi!

Debi's website:

The link below highlights her gallery on the Croton Council on the Arts:

You don't have to be a member of Ravelry to view this group.

That is all!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Can this be real?

What an unbelievably peaceful Sunday. At least for me. It doesn't take much these days. The weather is beautiful, hovering somewhere around 60 degrees, a bit over cast with a forecast of possible rain showers. Two of the grandchildren are sleep. The other two are outside. I hear a bouncing ball. The yard is enclosed and with windows open on both sides, the front and back of my apartment, I can hear most all that is going on. Yet I will still get up for a visual periodically. I've just eaten a!...didn't know this late, breakfast of blueberry (frozen) waffles and an all beef hot dog. My eating habits have been honed by years of feeding kids. If you are honest with yourself, you know Mac & Cheese and Chicken nuggets are the bomb

Bottom photo by Khalil Blakes
   I got up with the thought of getting eagle-eye focused when it comes to my crafts, knitting in particular. Motivated by the fact that I will collect my first social security check in September. That means more money (that I don't have to worry about where it's coming from) to spend on yarn, yarn, yarn, kits, knit classes, conventions, etc. So that means clearing out the old for the anticipated new stuff. There are WIPs and OTNs (works in progress and on the needle for you non knitters/crafters) to be completed. Thank goodness I take meticulous notes so that I can pick up where I left off, usually months (maybe years) ago! Case in point, the pink baby blanket pictured here, well the LYS (local yarn store/shop) has been closed for almost two years now. I bought the yarn a good 2+ years before it closed! The stash yarn (these are not no longer identifiable skeins) will now go for practice, making doll clothes for my Granddaughter's dolls, toys, etc. So, signing off and going back to my knitting now. That is really the cherry on top of the 'peaceful day.'

Thursday, May 23, 2013

A day late, but that's okay!

Yesterday was such a 'Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood' (a sun-shine filled day with near perfect temperatures). A day befitting the 6th birthday of my 2nd Grandson, Aiden.

I've always said I can't see/use the word job in the same sentence with the word child/children. Epiphany (favorite word thanks to 25 years of Oprah)! I can, however, see the word fight, or more appropriately 'fight for' in the same sentence with the word child/children. And no one should fight more fiercely than a mother, or WILL, than a grandmother! I am fighting now for my Aiden's right to graduate from Kindergarten. Yes, Kindergarten! It is a grade level that is not even mandated in the State of Illinois though some politico is trying to change that law. This post would be way too long if I spelled out the details and reasons I am I will just include a few links that highlight the lack of merit in retention at any grade level. A child who enters school for the first time at age 6 or 7 and/or 1st grade is at the same advantage/disadvantage of a child who does not graduate Kindergarten. Clearly with the spate of PreK/daycare facilities a child who does enter school for the first time until the age of 6 or 7 is probably at a disadvantage. But that's okay, because it just forces the teacher to do what they've been trained teach and to teach to the different ability levels, barring any real or significant need for special education intervention.;2-7/abstract

In spite of this little glitch which will not be allowed to be earth-shattering for Aiden if it does not work out the way I want it to, nothing, NOTHING could have made yesterday any less a 'Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood!'

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Tired, but . . .

If you wait until you are rested to get things done, nothing will ever get done!

As my 94-year-old Mom's only caregiver, life is even busier these days. But with a first-time ever home health aid things should get easier--once I have refined schedules, tasks, and timeframes for what needs to be done. Mom gets 20 hours a week, I get 9 hours but what is done for one can not overlap what is done for the other! Now I will have some one to do some of the housework, run errands, do laundry, etc.

Though it doesn't seem like it, I have had some time freed up to spend on line with my favorite knitting community. I have had time to get some knitting done.

This is Super-Natural Stripes, a cute little top-down baby cardi that I am working on for a friend's 1st Grandchild who is a boy.

I plan to make a pink one but I won't be using the eyelash yarn in the garment.

So, as I said, I am tired, but . . . finding some me time. It's imperative!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

What's really free?

It is said The Best Things in Life Are Free (you know how the rest of the song goes but I'm ignoring that part). The best things in life are free, I truly believe this. As a Facebook post going around says, they are:

  • hugs
  • smiles
  • friends
  • kisses
  • family
  • sleep
  • love
  • laughter
  • good memories
From occurrences this morning I will add:
  • Watching my youngest grandson show me the fingernails he's painted blue . . . when I asked him to show me his toenails when prompted by his mother.
  • Watching Mom, who is in recuperation mode, eat ALL of her breakfast that I prepared for her (Jimmy Dean sausage, raisin toast w/margarine, buttery & sugary oats with hot milk added, orange juice, and eggs--and she's finicky about her eggs)!
  • Kibitzing with the guys behind the counter at the corner gas station where I go get my morning cup of coffee when I don't have any at home.
What are the "free" things in your life that bring you simple pleasures? Sometimes you have to just notice a little harder. They are there!

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Start where you are...the present

Trying not to fall back into neglecting my blog this early in my new start! I don't know what my posting goals are or will become, yet. I think part of what gets me bogged down when I come back to my blog is wanting to fill in the missing. That can be a lot when it's been months since I've blogged. Then it hit me, start where you are. Of course the past is important and there are memories to learn from as well as cherish. I can weave things that have happened in the past in with future blog posts to highlight, accentuate, and underscore them!

Don't let yesterday take up too much of today.

Our eyes are placed in front because it is more important to look ahead than to look back.

Remember the past, plan for the future, but live for today, because yesterday is gone and tomorrow may never come.

Soooooo, not going to worry about the past or setting specific blogging goals. I know I don't want to let months go by, and they won't. Life is so interesting and spontaneous (whether our choice or not; whether to a larger audience or just to oneself) until you can not encapsulate it in a schedule as you can/would the daily news.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Finding my way back to my blog . . .

So, because of my care giving duties to my dear Mother which have me more or less home bound until resources and homemakers kick in, I have more time to knit and focus on things that had gotten placed on the back my blog! I actually became excited about jump starting my blog again. So I knew immediately I wanted to merge my blogs into one. I managed that. Even generated some excitement among friends/fellow knitters one of whom said I must post. Uh oh, I started slacking already I realized as I just jumped up to compose this post. I'd jotted down a preliminary note or two. I'll get to that in a moment. I've renamed my blog, merged the older one (Look Gran'ma) with what was TheKnit HitsTheFan, and can't wait to make my blog as pretty and creative as those of the ones I follow. I think in my months of inactivity adding bells and whistles have gotten easier. I'd wanted to name my blog Life, simply . . . as well as change my URL address to the same but unfortunately all configurations of that name were just not available. Soooooooooo, I've settled for A Grandma's Hand . . . Simply my life! Grandma's Hand is the name of the Ravelry (you knitters know what I'm talking about) group I started for us Grandmothers and I used it at the urging of my friend Sue S. (thank you). I have so much to catch up on. I can't wait!

Now, for that preliminary enlightening epiphany!

The thought hit me that life can not be nutshelled. As long as someone has an opinion or question, life can not be nutshelled . . . in a few sentences, paragraphs, photos, or posts. Blogs are just the crack in that nutshell. This nut welcomes you to peep into that crack.