Thursday, November 29, 2007

8 hours later...

John update! - Sorry for the duplicate post - if you read John's blog - you've read this one too :)

Let me first say that John is resting in his room right now and the surgery was a success! The tumor has been removed.

Now - this is not to say it was a perfect day. Let me walk you through the day from my perspective:
3:00 am - wake up - can't fall back to sleep - too nervous
4:00 am - actually get up and shower
5:00 am - leave for hospital
5:30 am - check in at at GBMC hospital
8:00 am - after several attempts to access John's port and a couple thousand papers to sign later (did I mention John forgot his wallet at home!!) he was finally ready for surgery and they wheeled him away.

At this point I retire to the waiting room. My in laws are there with me too. (Their day started out badly after being rear ended on the way to the hospital but they are both fine!).

Soon my friend Jolene and my mom arrive to join the vigil. We hear nothing until about 12:30pm when I get a phone call saying that the tumor has been removed and John is almost done. Yeah!

So I wait...

and wait...

and wait...

...until about 2:30pm when the phone is for me again and it's from the OR - they are still operating on John - but they assure me they are almost done and I should see the doctor in about half an hour. Yeah!

so I wait again...

and wait some more...

...and then another two hours go by - and I get another phone call. They had some complications at the last minute and were just now closing him up. They say Dr Grasso will be up to see me in 2 seconds. I don't believe them anymore by this point, so I prepare myself to wait some more.

But - in about 5 minutes Dr Grasso does indeed come out to see me! he explained to me what happened:

Basically, all was running smoothly until they went to put the staple sutures in his new "J pouch". when he noticed that they had all ripped! Apparently his colon and bowels were still very fragile and damaged from the radiation. So Dr Grasso says he only has two options in this situation:

1. Try to stitch it closed again
2. Put in a PERMANENT ileostomy bag (not a good option)

My breath caught in my throat at this point.... He then explains that he was able to repair the J pouch and save his lower bowels.


Dr Grasso was able to put in three miracle stitches to save his lower bowels and the day.

By the time Dr Grasso is done talking to us - I am so relieved, that I finally allow myself to fall apart a bit and get in my first cry. More of a release than anything else. He was OK!!!

Next came more waiting.... I wasn't able to see him until 7pm when they finally rolled him into his room. I saw him get settled after a very painful move from the gurney to his bed and then I left for the evening to try to get some sleep before heading back over tomorrow.

I'm sooooo tired and sleepy and slightly delirious at the moment, so I apologize if this didn't make complete sense. But at the end of a very long day - I'm happy to say John is ok and hopefully on his road to recovery.

Thanks for all the well wishes and prayers - it means alot.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Good things

OK - so I'm stealing my title from Martha Stewart... but I really do have some good things to show you.

I have gotten some really amazing packages in the mail lately. When I got home from Cancun - I found these pretties waiting:

Socks that Rock in the new Raven Clan colorways! I picked two - Pallas Athena and
Rook-y and I love them!

Socks that Rock Raven series!

I can't wait to make something out of them.

I also got my box of goodies a.k.a. - The Sampler! I have tried to get one of these packages several times, and they were always sold out. So I was so glad to finally get one! It has all kinds of handmade things inside. It's basically a place for indie artists to showcase their goods.


The holiday edition is availble now.

And finally - I got this new book - Last Minute Patchwork and Quilted Gifts by Joelle Hoverson. I love this book!

New book

There are so many cool things in here. I've already made a few (but they are gifts - so no pictures yet!) I can't wait to try some of the quilts in here. There's a nice blend of small projects and larger projects inside that will allow even the newest sewer to make some great things. I highly recommend it.

I don't know about where you guys live - but around here the leaves are just amazing right now. They are falling off faster and faster so I wanted to take a few last pics of the gorgeous Autumn leaves and I just happened to finish this handspun that looks so much like the colors of Fall.

Can you see it?

Autumn Handspun

How about now?

Merino Tencel

I love the colors of this fiber. It's a merino tencel blend by Mama-E from her Cyberfiber line. It's Summer Solstice.
Mama-E's Merino Tencel roving all spun up

Autumn Handspun

It's gorgeous!

And finally - I'm not sure if it will actually be done by the end of November - but I did start Ariann for NaKnitSweMo (knit a sweater in a month) this month. I'm about halfway done right now - I just bound off the armholes. Time to start the sleeves!

Ariann in progress

I'm using Classic Elite Skye Tweed:


Wish me luck in finishing! I only have 4 more days in November!!!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

I'm Thankful

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! (I was late getting this posted... I actually started writing it on Thanksgiving morning!)

I'm back from a mini break to Cancun! John and I went on a 5 day trip to Mexico as one last hurrah before his surgery next week. For those of you keeping track - John finished his chemo and radiation about 5 weeks ago and has been getting better and better (both physically and emotionally) ever since. He is feeling much more like himself again and we were so glad we got to enjoy a relaxing vacation together before he starts to feel like crap again.

We stayed at the Westin in the hotel zone in Cancun and it was beautiful :)

The Westin

The Westin

The Westin


The Westin

We relaxed by the pool, relaxed on the beach, relaxed in our room.... you get the idea.

I did alot of this:
Relaxing in style

and John did alot of this:

John chills with a Sol

I started a new sock while I was down there - because really - you need a new sock when you go on vacation!

A Sock and a Sol

We only left the hotel once - to see some of the shopping areas. We bought some souveniers and stuff - but the best thing I took home with me - are the memories of a great trip.

Cancun Sunset

Sunset is a magical time

Here we are flying into the sunset...


Until next time - Adios amigos!

Me and my shadow

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Favorite Photos

I was looking through my bloglines today at lunch and I came across one with a really cool idea. On Berlin's Whimsy, she posted a little 'meme' type entry where she talks about favorite photos. I admit - I'm often a blog scanner - if you don't have pictures - chances are I may not read the whole thing. I know - terrible! But it's true - so I thought I'd honor those photos here with this post.

Anyway - to copy her - I will ask the following questions:

1. What are your 5 favorite photos and why?
2. What is your favorite photo of mine?

I'd love to see what you consider to be your 5 favorites. I won't officially tag anyone - but leave me a comment if you decide to post your 5 favs. And check out some of my pics and leave me a comment to let me know which one(s) you like.

I went through my pics and here are 5 that I love. I think I'll make this a regular request every once in a while - just because I love looking at other people photos!!

1. Cemetery at Taos Pueblo, New Mexico - I love this photo because the pueblo was such a magical place. The clouds were amazing and the feeling you got there was other-worldly.

Cemetary at Taos Pueblo

2. Dahlias at golden gate park in San fran - this picture just brings back so many awesome memories. We were in San Fran for a wedding and we spent the day in Golden gate park. My favorite flower is the dahlia and as we were walking around, we came across an entire field of huge dahlias of all shapes and sizes - I was in heaven!!


3. Lone tree at the Grand Canyon - This picture is an awesome vision of the grandeur that is the grand canyon. The colors change from minute to minute - and everywhere you look there is beauty - even in a dead tree.

Lone tree at Grand Canyon

4. 'Punk you' in Camden - I can't look at this picture without laughing. I was walking around Camden Lock in London and there were masses of people all around. I just spotted this group of guys sitting across the road from me and snapped their picture. I didn't even notice until I got home that they were flipping me the bird. I love it!!

Punk you!

5. Socks in the air - These are just basic stockinette socks - but I just love this picture. I guess my feet were in the clouds that day (better my feet than my head!)

Plain and Fancy socks

I also looked at my "Favorites" folder on flickr - which are other people's photos that I liked... and here are my most recent selections. Sensing a theme here?

My Favorites

What are your favs?!!!

Monday, November 12, 2007

The Central Park Hoodie is done!!!

I started this sweater last winter. Um.... yeah.

Well it didn't take me a year to knit - but it did hibernate all spring and summer only to be brought back out again this fall when the weather started to get cool again.

Central Park Hoodie

Central Park Hoodie

That's alot of wool!

Central Park Hoodie


- Central Park Hoodie from Knitscene Fall 2006
Yarn - Araucania's "Nature Wool Chunky" - purchased at Webs online.
Needles - Knit Picks Options in sizes US 9 and 10.
Alterations - lots! I made it a size larger than the pattern and a bit longer too.

Comments - I am so in love with this sweater. I have been wearing it almost every day in place of a jacket and let me tell ya - it is warm!!! I have to thank Jolene and Amie for teaching me to seam correctly! It really made a huge difference on the finished project.

Wanna see the back?


Central Park Hoodie

Do I look happy?

Central Park Hoodie


Well, let me dance around for ya to express the joy of wearing my first handknit sweater!!

Central Park Hoodie

Thank god it's finally done!!

And as an added bonus - it fits!

Central Park Hoodie

PS - Thanks Jolene for the cool t-shirt from Rhinebeck. I didn't get to go - but I love my shirt!!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Punkin Chunkin

Last Saturday John and I went to Punkin Chunkin in Delaware with some friends. This was the first (and probably the last) time I've gone to this event and let me tell ya - it was quite an experience!

Now I don't normally mind long car rides. We all have our knitting after all - right? But when you sit in traffic at a virtual stand still for 3 and half hours waiting to park in a corn field to see pumpkins fly through the air - you get a little annoyed...

We did finally get there and I have never, ever felt more like a Yankee in all my life. I mean we were in Delaware - but there were more Confederate flag flying, red-neck, farmer, nerds than I've ever seen in my life! Everything had confederate flags on it - the hats (more about this later), t-shirts, blankets, everything!

photo by Charles Bartholomew

Am I wrong? Isn't Delaware a northern state? Maybe I need a new map....

Anyway - here's the scene....

Punkin Chunkin

There were people tailgating, playing football, drinking.... alot, eating, and generally milling around - while all around you cannons and catapults are launching pumpkins into the air.

It was also freezing!! Here's a picture of John bundled up.

Freezing at "Punkin Chunkin

It was so cold that I really debated with myself for quite a while over whether ot not to buy hat..... a confederate flag hat that is.... It was the only hat I could find. I really, really didn't want to buy that hat. But was so cold!!!

Luckily - I was saved by my friend Tara, who found these instead. Aren't we cute hat twins:)

New hats - cause it was cold!!

We walked around a bit to try to get the feeling back in our legs. They had an entire line of these huge air cannons. I thought it was genius that there were some built out of a school bus. I guess you use whatever you have and make it work! I mean how else would you get that cannon there?

Punkin Chunkin

This medieval looking thing caught my eye. It is called Yankee Seige. I was definitely feeling like a yankee at this point anyway - so I was intrigued. I stopped to watch their attempt.

Yankee Seige

They used white pumpkins - I guess they are supposed to be "better" for chunkin. You can see one of the crew setting the pumpkin in place - it's that volleyball looking thing he's holding!

Yankee Seige

and the launch! (if you look closely - you can actually see the pumpkin about to be swung.)

Yankee Seige

I don't think I ever actually saw the pumpkins from the cannons - they were going way too quickly - but I was able to see the pumpkins from this one.

We did manage to have some fun... here's John and our friend Tim getting fresh with a mannequin...

Monday, November 05, 2007

Mystery Stole

I finally got some pictures of me in my mystery stole! John took these of me on Sunday.

Mystery Stole


Pattern - Swan Lake (aka Mystery Stole 3) by Melanie of Pink Lemon Twist
Yarn - Jagger Spun Zephyr Wool-Silk 2/18 in Claret
Needles - Addi Lace size US 6
Alterations - none
Comments - This was such a fun pattern to knit. I took a lot longer than I expected to complete it because it was knit in bits and pieces while waiting for John at doctor's appointments etc. It definitely helped keep my mind occupied and distracted :)

Thanks Melanie!

I will let the stole speak for itself....

Mystery Stole

Mystery Stole

Mystery Stole

Mystery Stole

Mystery Stole

After the photo shoot - I had some friends who were anxious to see me :)

Me and Hurley

Bailey and me