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Sunday, July 23, 2017

Make haste slowly

In my childhood I distilled that often heard phrase to being deliberate in jobs that parents thought could be done quickly and efficiently. Walking home from school, for example. Stopping to look, play, visit could be fit in easily. Finishing reading, another one. What’s one more chapter.

My sock yarn, scrappy sweater has been on display a couple of times. It is now the epitome of slow haste. Haste in that I once was a speedy knitter. Even when my interest diminished, my fingers remembered, and I could always turn out a pair of socks for someone for Christmas.

Before the brain whack last spring, the sweater was finished, except one sleeve. However, when I showed it off to my knitting group, last meeting before I took granddaughters to DC, I was very unhappy with the ribbing I’d used to finish the neck, bottom and one sleeve. I used a double strand there, too, and it was just too bulky. The “haste” of making haste slowly.

At that meeting I said the ribbing needed done in a single strand, and I occupied myself unraveling the cuff and picking up the working row. But, worse luck, I dropped several stitches at the beginning of knitting, on size 3 needles. Too small and obscure to pick up in the dim light of the restaurant. “Well ladies,” I announced, “I need to go home and find these stitches under good light. See you in two weeks.” I haven't seen them since.

I picked up the sweater, and the stitches, a month ago. Home and Garden TV must be my background entertainment, and the reruns are getting old. Drew and Jonathon are still OK, and so are Chip and Joanna. Tiny homes is still new to me (like I don’t live in a tiny home!), and most of the ribbing has been replaced.

After Laura was roused from bed to model the sweater, I took the last sleeve stitches off the string and put it on a circular needle. I still need to redo the neck, but there is a hope before this winter of someone wearing the sweater.

I know some of you knit this raglan sleeve pullover. Until this sweater, I knit the sleeves when I reached that point in the sweater. I didn’t know what I would do for sleeves on this sweater, and certainly don’t have stitch holders that might work, so I pioneered and found the turkey string to hold the stitches.

Last fall, I think, I was talking sweaters with Ruth, my daughter’s mother-in-law. Ruth gave me some red wool, partially knit into a sweater. Beautiful red red. Serendipity came with it; I looked at a site that has hundreds and hundreds of old patterns. Not cataloged, just a link. Periodically I open a few more links, in my search for an old pullover pattern, with short row shaping. With the red yarn in sight, it was my first hit. I printed it and will make it next.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Problem solving

Today’s class in problem solving was far less valuable than the last. I looked at photos of problems waiting to happen and was asked to offer solutions. One photo was a child, maybe two, who was standing on a cupboard. No visual clue of how he got there, but what did it matter. Name me a child who has not figured out how to get up and get the good stuff and generally get away with it.

I’ve mentioned that more than half the population of Boston Township lives in my mobile home community. The number of children exceeds the number of children in the other school system. Yet the trustees ignore the needs of the community in favor of the rest of the community. Money may be a factor. Or its obvious absence.

There are almost a hundred children here. Laura is the oldest. She rode her bicycle once this summer. The other children on bicycles swarm the pavement. They race and dare and taunt. Or, they help the smaller ones. All in all, it’s a community of kids responsible for themselves, and doing a decent job of it.

Last night there was an over the handle bars accident when a front tire did not clear a hole. The EMS crew was half an hour getting the child on a board and off to the hospital for treatment of his road rash and stitches in his face. Poor child. He is swollen and cut and miserable today. His name is Nicoli, and he is a scamp. I love him.

I stopped at the library and reiterated to my trustee buddy (not you know who!) the number of people here. I told him what happened to Nicoli last night, and how in his family of several children, one parent is off on another assignment and one keeping house and home together. I’m sure Nicoli is riding a third hand me down bike, and there is not an extra penny in that house for a bike helmet.

I suggested that, at the food drive this year, the trustees put a word in the ear of big donors the need for bike helmets. The manager of the “estate” is willing to provide the names and address of the kids in the park old enough to ride a bike. My trustee friend thought it was a good idea. I may call my other trustee buddy, too.

Now, to get the kids to wear them. Since everything is distributed by police, fire and EMT, I think a little ritual at each house with helmets for kids: raise their right hand and solemnly swear to whatever uniformed official who gives them a helmet  to wear it , because they remember what happened to Nicoli.

Nicoli is shirtless. He and his buddy thought I would bust them for trying to climb the tree. I grinned and gave them a thumbs up, and we've been buddies since.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The good, the bad, the ugly this week

I was assessed in speech early in the month, then the lead speech-ist was on vacation for a week, so I got the assessment this week. Those women have the patience of Job. It’s the memory thing again, and their solution is for me to practice remembering something from a five line paragraph, then a slightly longer and a slightly longer and so forth and so on.

In the assessment I did well in regurgitating two concepts, three words, simple stuff. But a five paragraph story that had the reader telling me to remember about ten or fifteen words to repeat later didn’t go well.  Actually, without guilt, I recalled none of them. I find such exercises utter crap, and totally unrelated to what I want to remember. I want to remember important stuff, like what I’ll blog about today, or tell the doctor tomorrow.

The lead assessor said she kept notes on index cards. Fine for her, I suppose. Her assistant posts sticky notes.  I’ll be in the next county and the sticky note at home. It hit me: the notepad on my phone. I didn’t learn to make tabs on it for nothing. That was Monday, and I have opened seven tabs and used five, already.

Under “Blog” I typed a wonderful line about the Brexit talks in Belgium: Europe appeared with stacks of paper. The Brits have coffee and cookies. I also typed a line that cracked me up, but maybe you had to be there. When I showed up at outpatient therapy, long, long ago last May, my right leg was substandard weak and discouraging. I whined and moaned weekly about the state of it. On one of the machines this week I could lift five pounds with it. “Look! Look!” I shouted at Rhonda, the therapist. “Why didn’t you tell me I could do this again, way back when I started?” Rhonda rolled her eyes.  If threatened, yes, they probably told me weekly.

And finally, the scalawag doctor who prescribed the AFO spring release brace for my right foot, and the equally scali orthotist who made the device really are shameful. The American tax payers paid a thousand plus dollars for this brace. The company has “adjusted” the brace three times. In an eyeball to eyeball confrontation this week, the fellow shouted, “We’ve had this discussion before. Yes, your toe drags. Yes, your heel catches. The wrong brace was made.”

I asked how they would make it right. First, someone else had to verify to him that my toe dropped and my heel caught. That would be my physical therapist. “Tell her to call me and I will give her the new script numbers for Medicare to pay for a new brace.”

I am truly disgusted. Dana will call tomorrow and we’ll get the numbers. Of course, I went straight to the internet. There is the exact brace I’m expecting to get. It costs sixty dollars. I ordered a women’s small right. The last thing I will do, when the dust settles, is write a letter to Medicare. This needs reported.

Oh, yes—we got the band uniform today. First practice tomorrow.  Here’s last year’s demo of the uniform.