Friday, December 31, 2010

The Year in Review

2010 was an interesting year to be sure. Many new and wonderful. Others not so hot. Here is a little taste of the good and the bad.

1. Robyn graduated from high school. We are so proud of her. She graduated 41st out of 489. Amazing. She is way smarter that I am. She is off to college now and experiencing college life.

2. Cara started playing the guitar. Phillip bought a guitar for me a year ago and I had never gotten around to playing it. Cara said she was interested in taking lessons. She is wonderful. I love listening to her although she does not like it.

3. Phillip continues to be busy at work. Good for us, but bad for his clients. People are still declaring bankruptcy big time.

4. I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I kinda felt I would get it and worried about it for years ever since a scare in 1988. It was a bit freeing to get it out there, face it and then kick it to the curb. The biggest pluses? No more mammograms and I had lots of time to knit.

1. I found out I had breast cancer. In the deepest darkest parts of my my mind, I knew I would get this one day. Chemo lasted 5 months. I lost my hair, my sense of taste (for a while), and have messed up finger and toe nails. I still have some neuropathy in my feet and a some of my fingers. I sure hope that gets better.

2. Robyn went to college. I know this is a good thing, but I miss her...even the messes she makes. Five hours away is too far for me to just jump in a car and go and see her. That fact would be on her "good" list.

3. I can't think of a #3. This year wasn't bad at all if you take out the cancer stuff. We are fortunate to have so much and have much to be thankful for. Maybe this should move up to the "good" list and be #5 there :D

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Thorpe

One of my sister's gifts was an ear flap hat for her to use when she was walking Hanna. I told her I could make her another ear flap hat and then she would have another option in a hat. One of the most popular patterns on Ravelry is one called Thorpe. I sent her that pattern a long with a couple of other pattern choices. She chose Thorpe. It was fun to knit and the yarn striped out nicely. She chose the braids instead of i-cords. I think it adds to the cuteness of the hat. I like this one.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas

Christmas is my favorite time of year. I love the lights, decorations, music...well about everything. This year we took things easy. I did almost all of my shopping online and we didn't do too much decorating around the house. I didn't get around to sending Christmas cards as I let the time get away from me on that. My next door neighbors have been putting up this star in their backyard for the past couple of years. I just love it. It brings me joy and a sense of hope. Christmas is like that for me. A time of joy and hope.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Rolling on the River

I got such a kick out of knitting this hat before, I decided to knit one for me. The other hat was knit in wool and lately wool is making me sneeze. I needed to use some good old soft acrylic for my hat. The pattern, "Ribbed Roll Hat", is fun to knit. It looks like a complicated hat, but it really isn't at all. This hat makes it look like I have mad knitting skillz.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Lunar Eclipse

This morning there was a lunar eclipse. It was was the first total lunar eclipse to occur on the day of the Winter Solstice since 1638. Pretty cool, huh? I took these pictures at 12:37, 1:24, and at 1:53. You can just barely make out the moon in the last one. It was fun to see the progression as it took place. Unfortunately I was unable to get pictures of the eclipse as it ended. The clouds rolled in and blocked everything soon after the total eclipse. I am thrilled we were able to see it before the clouds came.



Saturday, December 18, 2010

A Family of Hats

Phillip asked me to knit hats for a friend of his and his family. You know me...I don't turn down an opportunity to knit hats. I thought it would be fun to knit the ladies in the family a mother/daughter type hat in the same yarn, just in different sizes. I loved how changing up the needle size and stitch count changed how the yarn striped out. On one you can definitely see the stripes and on the other the colors pooled more than striped. For the guys, I made Saints hats. I used the same colors and pattern as I did with the other hats, but I changed up the striping a little as well as the sizing. I think they turned out pretty good.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Fall?

Most places have their beautiful fall color in late September through October. Us...well sometimes it is December. The weather has been so wonky lately. Sometimes cold (lows in the 30s) and then a few days later warm (highs in the low 70s). I wish the weather would pick a more narrow temperature range and stick with it. For now, I will enjoy the beautiful Bradford pears and their lovely color.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Fingerless Again

Yeah well, I am still on the kick. I just like these so much. I decided to make a pair for my wonderful friend Cindy. Cindy brought us a couple of meal while I was going through chemo and since I found out the cancer, she would call and check on me and usually pull me out of some mental funk I was in. Whatever she did, it was just what I needed at the time. She even brought me a wonderful gift for my birthday. I know I have not told her how much I appreciate all she has done. I knit these mitt for her and I know she will read this post and it will spoil the surprise. Oh well...surprise Cindy. These are for you!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Countries Party

Cara has become quite the social butterfly. Well, she likes her friends to fly over here. She came up with the idea of having a "Countries" party. Each person attending the party was to choose a country and bring something that represents their country. It could be food, a dance, song, or just facts. I thought that was a great theme for a party. She also planned to have the "countries" compete in Wii Olympic matches also. Cara decided to go as Russia since Russia is one of the countries of descent on Phillip's side. When I asked her what she was planning to share about her country, she said she was going to tell them all about Russian Roulette. I had to have a little discussion with her about how that was not appropriate for the party. She did point out that she was not going to show them how to play it, just tell them about it. Um...no. She did find some other wonderful facts to share about Russia that I didn't know about. That kid...

Attendees at the party represented Slovakia, Germany, Haiti, France, Holland, and China. She has a great group of friends and they are fun to have around.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Owlings

With all of the fingerless mitts knitting going on, I knew I had to find a pair for Robyn. She loves owls and this pattern "Owlings" would fit her perfectly. I fiddled with the pattern a little in order to make a thumb gusset, but otherwise I knit it straight to the pattern. I like how it has the 4x1 ribbing throughout the mitt. She will love these.

Edited to add later: She lost one of these these the day after Christmas. Good thing I still had some yarn left :) The picture was actually taken with the replacement mitt since I didn't take a picture of the first set.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Dog Park


We are happy we have a dog park in the community. It opened last spring and it is a nice space for the puppies to run and act goofy. There isn't much shade, so we avoid it when it is hot. Today was a nice day to go to the park. There were just enough dogs to make it interesting, but not too many that things could get out of hand. Jasmine and Skittles had a great time. Everyone told Jasmine how beautiful she was (like her ego needs stroking) and Skittles received lots of pets and rubs. Life was perfect. As soon as the Saints game started, the park emptied fast. I found that very amusing.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Getting Back in the Saddle

Here's another post I don't have a picture for. I didn't really want to take a picture of myself on the computer. For a long time during chemo and until now, I didn't feel like posting. I didn't feel like doing much while I was on chemo. I didn't have the energy and didn't leave the house all that much. I am going back and posting some of what happened in those months between my last post in early July and now. Most of it will be about knitting, cause that was pretty much all I felt like doing. Just wanted to let you know...

Sunday, November 28, 2010

More Mitts without Fingers


I am still on my fingerless mitts craze. I am making several pair for Christmas gifts and I have to say I like making them. You probably picked up on that...

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Ren Fest


Robyn took Cara and Leonardo (Stephanie) to Ren Fest (Louisiana Renaissance Festival). They got a huge kick out of dressing up and going back in time to visit the Village of Albright. They came home tired and full of stories about all of the cool clothes, stuff to buy and fun shows. Plans are already in the works to bring a bigger group next year.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Bert's Hat


I love Robyn's buddy, Shelby, like she is one of my own. I wanted to make her a hat for Christmas. Shelby usually wears a pony tail and I thought it would be fun to make her a hat she can wear with her hair up. This is a great pattern. Most of the hat is knit flat and it is only knit in the round after the decreases for the crown start. I love all of this Christmas knitting...

Monday, November 22, 2010

Soapy Sacks


I bought some wonderful New Orleans themed soap from Sweet Olive Soap Works to give to Cara's teachers this Christmas. I made some soap sacks to put them in. They can use them to wash with and hold the soap as it is being used.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Didn't I See You At The Roller Derby Match?

video
I don't remember which rock I have been living under, but I didn't realize that New Orleans had not 1, but 2 roller derby teams. I used to watch Roller Derby when I was little. It was a hoot to watch all of the wild ladies careening around the rink. Today's Roller Derby had some of the same fun and a lot of New Orleans flavor. Before the match, the Creole String Beans played some great tunes. All of the skaters had fabulous names and I loved saying each one out loud to get the full effect. During the match, members of the Krewe of the Rolling Elvi would run by the audience and throw candy. During halftime, the Creole String Beans played some more and a dance group called the Muffulettas did their thing. It was some of the best people watching I have had in years and I can't wait until the 2011 season begins...

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Alyce's Hat


I love Robyn's roommate. I have only met her once, but she and Robyn seem to have the best time together. I wanted to make her a hat to go with the fingerless mitts Santa is bringing her. I love how this yarn stripes up. It will go well with that mitts and keep her warm and toasty.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Hats for Ethan and Alyssa


I was looking through my projects on Ravelry and I realized I had not made hats for my friend Tina's grandchildren. I made some for Gina's granddaughters, so I needed to continue along those lines. I figured Ethan would like somethings Saints like and Alyssa something colorful. I hope they like them.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Kat Needs a Hat


I taught my best friend, Kathy, how to knit this summer. She took to it like a fish to water. She has become a great scarf making master. She brought me some leftover yarn and asked me make a hat to match one of her scarves. So I did and here it is. She wanted a simple hat and a rolled brim hat is what she chose. I love these hats. The are so quick to make.

Doesn't Linda look nice in the hat?

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Three Rivers Art Festival


This weekend is the Three Rivers Art Festival in Covington. We love going to this festival. There are so many talented artisans, the weather is usually beautiful, and best of all they have a student art show. In years past, this festival was very good for Robyn's art. She placed every time she entered. This was the first time Cara had a piece entered and we couldn't wait to see what it was. Her regular art teacher brought the pieces the students had worked on in her class. I was disappointed when I saw the piece she entered for Cara. It was no where near her best. When I asked Cara about how the pieces were chosen. She said that the teacher told the class to come up and pick which piece they wanted in the show. She didn't feel like getting up, so I guess the teacher closed her eyes and picked one for her. That's my Cara. Phillip bought a really cool clay piece. I had a great time looking at all of the art eye candy.

Now I know you are wondering why I have a picture of Chicken on a Stick for this post instead some of the great art I saw. Well, I was too busy looking at the goodies to take pictures, for one thing. When Phillip and I stopped to eat lunch, they had a booth that sold Chicken on a Stick. Chicken on a Stick brings back fond memories of another great art/craft show, one that takes place twice a year in Canton, MS. It covers the Courthouse Square, and several blocks of the nearby streets with wonderful arts, crafts, and the occasional junk. If you go up for the Canton show, you get to the show around 5am (well, the hard core shoppers do). Yes, 5:00 in the morning. That is when all of the best stuff is still there. The one of a kind stuff. You are walking around with flashlights and giggling as you pass others doing the same. The show doesn't officially open 7, but many of the merchants will let us buy early. Since you are getting such an early start, you start getting hungry for lunch around 10 or so. On several of the corners are booths selling Chicken on a Stick. You get a Chicken on a Stick and find a nice curb to sit on. Eating and people watching is a great way to pass the time when you are tired from shopping. At some point (and it has always happened), a 18 wheeler full of chickens will pass down the main street. A couple of minutes later, a fully loaded log truck will follow. We always get a kick out of seeing the "pre Chicken on a Stick". Until today I had never seen Chicken on a Stick anywhere else except at Canton. I had to take a picture of it and send to Mom. She likes it too. There is something special about chicken, pickles, onions, and potatoes dipped in batter and fried on a stick that stays in your mind.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

A Hat for Me


When I was making the hats to send to Zimbabwe, I gave them a couple of hats (unworn, of course) I had knitted for myself. When a cold front came through, I realized I needed a hat...stat. This is the same yarn I used for Alyce's hat (post to come), just in a different colorway. I thought you would enjoy seeing the top :)

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween at Our House


Cara invited friends over for Trick or Treating. I loved the costumes they chose. Of course, Colonel Mustard made another appearance as well as Frankenstein's Bride, a baseball player, the Butler (from the Clue Mystery party), Mrs. Lovett (from Sweeney Todd), and a psychedelic panda. Just another day at our house...

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Colonel Mustard, I Presume?


Cara was invited to a Clue Murder Mystery party. Each person was assigned a character and had to arrive dressed for the part. Cara loved playing Colonel Mustard and had a great time at the party. I think it is a great party idea and the kids can't wait to have another one.

Hats for Zimbabwe


The DiLeo's are traveling to Zimbabwe over Thanksgiving break to the Melfort Orphanage to dedicate Jonathan's irrigation project. It was his request when asked by the Make A Wish Foundation. Cassy asked if I could make hats for the medical staff at the orphanage. I was thrilled to be able to participate in some way. I will not bore you with individual pictures of each hat. Here are all 14 hats ready to make the overseas trip to Africa.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Who are These People and Why Do They Live in My House?


Today was an eventful day at our house. Everyone had some place to go this evening. Lately, I have been the homebody, but this evening you would find me at the Ballet. Kathy treated me, as a birthday gift, to the Ballet to see MOMIX. They are a very cool, modern ballet group. You can pull them up on YouTube. The show we saw was Botanica. Wonderful! Phillip, Cara, and some of her friends headed out to a Halloween party given by our friends. Phillip and Cara decided to dress up. Phillip said he was a hippie. I think he looks more like Juan Valdez. Cara threw a cape on and she was set. They had a great time going through the haunted house and eating all of the goodies at the party. Tonight was fun for all.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Girls' Day


Both Cara and Robyn needed to spend time with their girls. Cara had her peeps over and Robyn had Shelby. Robyn and Shelby did their traditional "Let's make a cake while we hang out" cake. It was a "We Love College" cookie cake. Lots of silliness was shared and the cookie cake was history. I love days like this!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

This Just in...an Update on My Hair


Well, the hair is slowly coming in and it is still very platinum blonde. Now back to whatever you were doing before reading this...

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Have You Ever Been This Tired?


Cara came running in today to get me to come and look at Whiskers. She started coming out of her "Ker Cube" and fell back asleep before she was all of the way out. Now tell me...were you ever this tired?

Friday, October 8, 2010

Chemo is Done!

If I had a picture of fireworks, I would post it here. I am finished with chemo. These last 4 rounds were harder than the first 4. It is usually the other way with most patients, but then again I will find a way to be difficult.

The worst parts of chemo were losing my taste buds for the past 2 1/2 months and my lack of energy. Almost everything tasted like nothing and what little I could taste, didn't taste the way it should. It was the pits. Instead of curtailing my eating, I found myself eating things just in hopes I could taste them. The worst was not being able to taste donuts or a Hershey bar with almonds. I really wanted those two in the baddest way possible. There are supercentenarians with more energy than I have, but it will come back. I also have the lovely side effect of having blackened fingernails and toenails. All but one of my fingernails has a blackened area on it and both of my big toenails are black. I lost part of one toenail and will possibly loose the other. Oh joy. One other toenail has a tiny bit of black, but the rest are ok. My side effects could have been worse. I only felt nauseous twice and both times I forgot to take my medicine to combat that. I have some neuropathy in my fingers and feet. It is annoying and hopefully it will go away. I didn't have many of the other issues others had.

My greatest source of support was my family and friends. Phillip was amazing and did what he had to do without a single complaint. The Oncology staff at Ochsner Clinic Covington was wonderful. The nurses did a great job and I especially loved the nurse practitioner, Michelle Anthony. The ladies of the May Chemo 2010 group at BreastCancer.org were a tremendous support as well. No topic was taboo and believe me, there are some questions you might be afraid to ask. From here, I will be taking Tamoxifan for 5 years and then an Aromatase Inhibitor for another 5. At least that is the plan at this point. I will have periodic visits to the Oncologist and lab work and tests as well.

It is all up from here...

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A Hat for Ken


You have probably figured out by now that I love to knit hats. If someone needs a hat, I am your girl. Kathy mentioned that Ken's knit hats were wearing out. I was on the job and knit one up. I really like this pattern. It is called "A Hat Fit for a Boyfriend". It has some great decreases on the crown and fits great. It is one on my "go to" hats now.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Another Cat Hat


Cara's friend requested a cat hat. I thought it would be fun to make one black and white. When I was growing up, my sister had two cats named Puff I and Puff II. Black and white cats always remind me of our Puffs.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

The College Experience Has Begun


Robyn is off to college. She drove up to Tech on Friday and we followed with the rest of the stuff on Saturday. I don't remember the dorm rooms being this small back in the day, but I guess they were and I blanked out on that. Robyn had not met her roommate before arriving at the dorm, but the talked several times online and they sound like they will be a good match. Cyrus was hanging out with Robyn and helped us move her things into her room. I was grateful for that.

I was grateful I was able to go at all. My Oncologist was able to adjust my chemo schedule so I would feel well enough to make the trip. They moved it up 5 days. Since I didn't have the full three weeks between treatments, I got the lovely side effect of hand and foot disease and had some blisters on my hands and heels. A prescription of a steroid cream made it bearable and off I went. Blasted chemo interrupting my fun...

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

More Fingerless Mitts


I found a cable pattern I wanted to try and lo and behold, they are on a pair of fingerless mitts. I haven't gotten out of my need to make these things yet. I made a mistake in reading the pattern (really it was that I didn't read the pattern and started knitting what I thought I should do), but they came out alright. Have you picked up that I like making fingerless mitts yet?

Saturday, August 28, 2010

My First Knit A Long


Ravelry is one of my guilty pleasures. I can stay on the site for hours looking at patterns and yarn and yarn and patterns. One of the things that interested me was something listed as a KAL. Looking that up, I found out it was a Knit A Long. Groups of people knit an item at the same time. Some are mystery KALs and you are only given bits of the pattern at a time and you don't know until the end what you are making. For my first KAL, I was not that brave. I picked a hat KAL. I knew what it looked like before I started and I liked the look of the hat. I did do a modification of the pattern and changed it to a beret instead of the slouchy hat it was originally. I think it turned out ok.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Cat Hat


I saw this cute pattern and had to give it a try. Easy peasy. It is now the property of Cara. She wore it to school to participate in a fund raiser for Haiti earthquake relief. The hat was a hit.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

My Baby is What?


Who told her she could grow up? I know I didn't. She didn't ask me and went ahead and did it anyway. Bratty kid. She is 18 and in the eyes of the world, she is considered an adult. Not to me. To me, she is the little girl who had to reach up to hold my hand. The one who cried when she started preschool. The girl who would constantly demand "Read bookt!" and we would read books all day long. That girl is still here, but in a beautiful, different package. Happy Birthday, my Robyn. I love you very much.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Can I Pretend it is Blonde?

My hair. My hair. Well...it is starting to come back in, but it is white. I am calling the color very platinum blonde. I plan to channel Billy Idol or Annie Lennox.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Look Mom! I Can Knit Cables.

I present my final pair of mitts to be donated to the GSD rescue. I have been wanting to try cables and this was the project. It was so easy! It looks hard and complicated, but it isn't. Thanks to YouTube, I found a great video and was on my way.

Monday, August 9, 2010

First Day of School

School started today. Why does it have to start so early in August? The school board needs to check with me. Single digit dates in August is way too soon. Cara is now an upperclassman at her school. Seeing that there are only two grades at the school leaves upper or lower. I cannot believe she will be in high school next year. I am having a really hard time getting my head around that.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

More Mitts of the Fingerless Variety

I am still knitting fingerless mitts. They are so fun. These will go along with the other pair for the GSD rescue.