Family Planning

I had my tubes tied on Thursday.  The official name is tubal ligation.  I’ve actually seen it done, live in person.  I was sixteen.  I volunteered at in post-op at a same-day surgery center at a local hospital.  They allowed me to sit in the OR and watch whatever I wanted.  I saw many common procedures and some not so common.

I was sure that I would be a surgeon when I grew up.  Blood doesn’t bother me and I’m fascinated by the human body.  I still do wish it were my profession but I have no regrets.  I love my life and career and wouldn’t go back and change it even if you swore that time machine you were working on actually worked.

Nope, I’m extremely happy with my life and the fact that all my decisions good and bad lead me to this point.

I’ve wanted  be permanently sterilized before I gave birth to my son.  Him I do not regret, but I knew then that he was all I would ever want.  I felt cheated out of the entire birth experience as I was pushed into a c-section.  He was too big they said.  I’d have to have an emergency c-section when he was stuck they said.  Even my husband at the time agreed it was best as his first child had complications at birth.

I have the perfect pelvis for pushing out babies and I was really looking forward to the natural birth experience I had planned.  The only reason I agreed to not sterilize myself immediately was due to the fact that I wanted to experience birth.  Pain I can handle; other women have without issue since the first baby was born.

Children are an amazing blessing, but we have both been there and done that.  My son just turned nine and his just turned eighteen.  He also has a non-adopted daughter he raised with an ex for many years.  She is his daughter in every way even though they share no blood and he has no legal obligations towards her.

We love our life without children.  Don’t get me wrong, children are great!  If we had managed to slip up on birth control and I became pregnant we would have been overjoyed.  The issue is I don’t do well on BC and I also tend to be horrible with pills.  This means a lot of abstinence when I miss a pill.

I’m a married woman and sex is supposed to be an amazing gift between husband and wife.  It is hard to have spontaneity and enjoy when you’re constantly worried about being pregnant.  It was the one thing we agreed on before we wed, no children in our future.   We like getting up late on the weekends and not having to be responsible for feeding and clothing another person.

He could have just gotten a little snip-snip but he is overweight and his doctor told him during the consultation that it would be a tough recovery as a result of it.  So we skipped that.  I reviewed my other options.  Implants are a big thing but they are made to be removable and are not permanent.

There is also the Essure product my OB recommended, but after reading the pamphlet I knew it wasn’t for me.  I couldn’t repeat the pain and discomfort when they took a biopsy of my cervix less than a year ago.  Sure the recovery would be better but I knew that I would be nervous and unable to relax.  Plus it can take almost a year before you’re sterilized and you still need to take BC until you get confirmation from your OB that you’re good.

So I opted for the good old tubal ligation.  I knew what it entailed from my visits to the OR as a teenager to see the procedure and therefore I wasn’t scared or nervous.  The OB tried to talk me out of it as it would leave a scar and have a longer recovery time.  I didn’t care, I’ve had a c-section and survived so this would be a breeze.  Plus once I’m healed everything is good to go!

For those thinking about having the procedure, let me tell you about the recovery.  I slept on my back the first night an crawled into bed freezing.  I couldn’t get back out of bed to get a blanket because the pain was bad enough to prevent it.  I had to wait for DH to get done with the bathroom and by then I wasn’t cold anymore but he brought me a blanket anyway.  I woke up in the same position I had fallen asleep in. Getting up was okay.

Walking around the second day wasn’t easy, the same as the day of.  Since I had my procedure first thing in the morning on Thursday; waking up on Friday was 24 hours later.  I had to hold my tummy as I walked around as jiggles didn’t feel good.  I’ve lost fifty pounds in the past year, but I still don’t have the flat tummy and I’m not concerned if I never do.

Sitting down and getting up required assistance.  Not because of pain but because I didn’t want to use my abs and cause pain.  So I used my legs and braced myself with my hands on a surface.

Going to bed the second night was pleasant.  I could roll over on my side and sleep on my tummy.  I like to fall asleep on my tummy and sleep on my back.  I usually end up how you’re supposed to sleep; flat on my back with no pillow.  I just cannot fall asleep without Mrs. Pillow.

Waking up today was easy and I slipped right out of bed.  I had to be careful but it was totally easy.  I’ve been able to walk around and managed to do some laundry.  I refuse to pick anything up of the floor or lift anything heavier than my 34 oz Bubba cup filled with coffee goodness.  I also didn’t take any of the Tylenol with Codeine that was popping like candy the first two days.  Good thing too because it makes me feel sick without food and I haven’t had much of an appetite.

I spent the entire first two days organizing my file and pictures.  I merged everything into Google Drive and backed that up with OneDrive.  Most of my blogging pictures are on Flickr already but I setup an automatic uploader on my phone so Flickr gets everything once my phone is charging and connected to WiFi.

I organized my Flickr with appropriate file names and descriptions and made sure all pictures of people were flagged as private.  I don’t share my image online or those of my family unless it is specifically chosen and done with purpose.  I’m a private person, even my Facebook has just 52 friends and no public access.

I also signed up for Offce 365 as this increased my OneDrive to 1TB and gives me MS Office on my laptop, computer, tablet, and phone.  DH can also have it on his desktop, laptop, and phone.  We’re set.  I’m just waiting on my Windows 10 to be ready to install.  I have been on the reservation list for months.  He registers and the next day is able to download.  I’m quite upset over his luck.

I haven’t ceased knitting and I’m working on updating my Zigzag blanket tutorial which has much demand.  Here’s a picture just to get you excited if you’re waiting on me to finish.

Zig

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TKGA MHKP Swatch One – Attempt One (Failed)

I have been a member of The Knitting Guild Association (TKGA) since January 15, 2015.  Almost seven months later and I have yet to start.

I mean I’ve started but each was frogged.  I’ve had the worst time figuring out how to increase by five stitches evenly after a k2p2 rib.  Something so simple has thrown me for a loop (pun intended) for at least five attempts.

Today is going to be the last.  I’m going to post my journey in this post and those who already follow me on Twitter @CrazyPurls with live updates #TKGAMHK.

I’ve previously mastered the long-tail cast on method, however my friend Polly who writes Knit Me For a Loop has told me she thought she knew too but perhaps wasn’t doing it the way TKGA would want.  So I’ll post links here in case they help someone else on the journey.  As usual, I’ll update my How to Knit page too.

Fair warning, the data below is live knitting data and therefore I cannot know for certain if my tips and tricks had their intended effects.  I might come back and update this post after I submit to TKGA but don’t count on that.

Speaking of that, here is the reference for my long tail cast-on method.  Long-Tail Cast-on (Howcast – Video).

Long Tail Cast On

Long Tail Cast On

For the ribbing I recommend K2P2 (Tricksy Knitter – Blog) to learn the stitch.

My biggest issue on this stitch is keeping a nice even tension on the edges.  What I do is knit the first stitch (in pattern) and then insert my needle to pull a loop through as to knit again; however you do not let the parent stitch fall off as normal.  First you pull your working yarn taunt.  Not too tight, a quick light tug will do.  Let the parent stitch fall off and then bring your yarn towards you for the p2.

K2P2 Rib

K2P2 Ribbing

Now time for the decreases.  For this I just Googled my question.  I’m not the first person to have attempted this and I’m certain that someone else will have solved this problem.  You see I’m on the gray line between perfectionism and OCD.  So it must be even.  How to add five stitches evenly to RIBBING is not a problem I’ve encountered previously.

I started at Stockinette Increase (TECHknitting – Blog). While that was a good demonstration it wasn’t what I needed.  Increasing in Ribbing (Knit Witch – Blog) had just the thing, even though it refers to 3×3 instead of 2×2.  I think the same theories should apply and therefore I’m going for her method.

I’m still driving myself crazy with the whole “increase evenly” thing.  Go from 20 to 25 stitches evenly in the same row.  I never end up with 25 is the problem.  I mapped this out and it seems like a good choice.  It compliments my perfectionism without being perfect.  I can live with that.

I started with this, just instructions for the row without increases.  (warning I did something wrong here; will update in new post)

k2, p2, k2, p2, k2, p2, k2, p2, k2, p2 (20 sts)

Then I added two lines | to signify an increase.

k2, p2, | k2, p2, k2, p2, k2, p2,| k2, p2 (22 sts)

I’m left with needing three more lines.  I decided to put one in the very center.

k2, p2, | k2, p2, k2, | p2, k2, p2,| k2, p2 (23 sts)

That pleased me with symmetry so I figured I’d break up the sections just outside the center in half.  I’m thinking this will work.

k2, p2, | k2, p|2, k2, | p2, k|2, p2,| k2, p2 (25 sts)

If I were to add m1 to each line above, then we’d have the following as instructions.

k2, p2, m1,  k2, p1, m1, p1, k2, m1 p2, k1, m1, k1, p2, m1 k2, p2 (25 sts)

I’m worried on how it will look so I’ve modified the stitches so that they match the stitch they are with.  So I’ve written down the instructions as I knit for accuracy.  Hopefully it helps someone else who is struggling the same as me.

The m1 I’m doing can be found in detail on Stockinette Increase (TECHknitting – Blog).  I won’t borrow someone else’s images, so you must review this post to understand anything I say below. For ALL increases, insert the head of the right needle into the red stitch and put the red stitch onto the needle exactly as shown in TECHknitting’s blog post.

k2

p2

pull up and knit into front loop of red stitch

k2

p1

pull up and purl into the back loop of red stitch,

p1

k2

pull up and purl into the back loop of red stitch

p2

k1

pull up and knit into front loop of red stitch (I’m sure this is where I messed up.  I will try the backloop next time)

k1

p2

pull up and knit into front loop of red stitch

k2

p2

Count up and make sure you have 25 stitches before you move on!  Here is what I ended up with.

K2 P2 Increase Row

K2 P2 Increase Row

Now on to work in garter stitch for some time, that should be easy.  This just means I get to knit each row until I have the prescribed length.  For help with garter stitch, see Garter Stitch (Dummies.com – Website) or Garter Stitch (New Stitch a Day – YouTube Video).

I couldn’t resist taking pictures in progress.  I think the increases I did will work but I had to knit a few rows before I felt more confident in that.  Thoughts?

RS Garter after Increases

RS Garter after Increases

LS Garter after Increase

LS Garter after Increase

I won’t know for sure until I block.  Now just to knit in garter for a bit to get the below.

TKGA Swatch 1 before Bind Off

TKGA Swatch 1 before Bind Off

I will have to reknit this and update this post with the proper increases.  It was definitely one I had wrong and I’ll need to review my notes in this post and correspond with the loose stitch.  since this is for grading, it has to be perfect.  I’d ignore such an error in a sweater.

Mistake in Increase

Mistake in Increase

There is always next time!

Sick Take 2 & Project Organization

The flu wiped out my department at work for a week just a month ago.  This week some head cold replaced it and it has taken us down one by one.  I went home at noon on Friday.  It was month-end and I had an AM conference call so I put in an appearance, having worked the two days before just as miserably.  My nose hurt from all the blowing and it was really hard to concentrate.

Having extra time on my hands for the first time in months, I started “Project Organization”.  This projected involved (notice the past tense) redoing our fail filing system so I can not only find what I need but get the paper clutter under control. I had piles strewn throughout the house.  I also wanted to start a home and budget binder.

I went to Office Depot and bought lots of goodies.  I should never be left unattended at a yarn or office supply store.  I tried to stall when DH asked me later how much I spent.  Let me say that every dime was worth it.  I made our files easy to move, since we will buy a house this year (if I state it as a fact it must come true).  So I bough multicolored hanging folders, binders, a labeler, paper, and other misc items for the chores ahead.

Our files are now in two file boxes, divided into color zones.  I will go into details of that in a later post.  I have a few sources I’ll share then to help anyone looking for a simular system.  I didn’t follow just one program and kinda made up my own with inspiration from others.  I also put together my buget binder and a household binder.  I have already advised DH that I’m tracking our finances and he has agreed to provide me the receipts I need.

You see, we have a joint checking and savings account we both contribute to, but we also have personal checking accounts that we use however we please.  This means no fights over the same pool of money.  It works for us and everything is paid upon receipt or is auto-paid out of the joint accounts.  We contribute almost equally and share any surplus.  We are a team, but lately we have been extravagant and I want to protect our nest egg before we do it any more harm.  It will after all fund our new house and renovations.

So a budget we will have!  I had to swallow my perfection and skip over January completely.   I started with February.  I plan on going back to January before the year is over if I find the time.  I will share my binders and the printanles I used and created for each.  As I go I will make modifications and plan on sharing perfected documents instead untested drafts.  I found that many existing printables don’t work well for our house and I had to make those used for my budget needs.

I also started on my TKGA Master Hand Knitting Level 1 project.  I read the directions for the second time and took notes, because I have to make a binder for that too.  I sketched out the sections and printables I will have to make for that.  By next week I hope to have started Swatch #1 research and attempt a cast-on for it.

The first few swatches are really easy, but I want to do this right.  I was telling Polwygle at Knit Me For a Loop what I hope to get from this endeavor and I am now sharing that with you.  Obviously being one of the few to achieve the pin is an honor it itself, but I also have long-term goals for my future in knitting.  I want to design patterns and teach classes.  The TKGA program will do this by teaching me the basics in the way I learn best (self-teaching) by giving me a structured learning plan to complete at my pace.  There are no quizzes or tests, just swatches and projects that require research and detailed reports.  If what I submit passes, I move on.  Otherwise I correct my mistakes, lessons learned, and try again.  It will be a journey, but I’m lookong forward to it.

What are your knitting goals this year?

In Progress

I’ve made some progress on the shawl I’m working on. I’d post pictures but I’m sitting in a chair at the salon waiting for my color to develop. I’m going burgundy red and added a lot of layers to the cut so I have some volume.

My hair is naturally curly. Spirals. It took me a long time and many mistakes before I learned to take care of it. Curly hair specialists are far and few and I’m lucky that the closest one is near my job. If this one didn’t exist, I’d have to drive over an hour to another county.

I’m bored and left my knitting in the car and my husband took that to go get his hair cut. So I decided to write in my blog since I have nothing else to do.

So far we have managed to stay true to healthier eating. It just so happened that DH was hospitalized on New Year’s Eve and so this makes it appear as a resolution but it isn’t. He needs to eat better and lose weight. I’m cooking healthier and making him a packed lunch with snacks so he can eat without having to worry about the healthy choices.

Since I’m already making him salads for lunch, I make one for myself too. I dislike many lettuces but its my way of being there for him and I could stand to lose a few inches myself. I use a mixture if greens, spinach is my fav. I mix in a lean protein with cucumbers and tomatoes for me, peppers and onions for him. I cook chicken with a vegetable for dinner and make him egg white omelets the morning.

It has only been a week but it is working. I make the salads at night because my mornings are busy with the animals and getting them fed for the day.

Happy New Year

We rang in the new year with a bang. DH was hospitalized with chest pain Tuesday night. We also had gunfire in our neighborhood during New Year’s celebrations.

I’ll start by stating that DH is fine. He couldn’t sleep Monday night and complained about shortness of breath and a weight on his chest. He had a weird EKG at the Urgent Care clinic and they sent him straight to the nearest ER. We were out of the ER quickly and they did another EKG before assigning him to a room in the ER.

They admitted him for observation and testing. There was no place for me to sleep so I went home. I couldn’t sleep and finally closed my eyes around 3 am or so. I was up early and got to the hospital by 9 am. He saw a cardiologist and had an electrocardiogram. His triglycerides were bad and his bad cholesterol was in the safe zone but high in it. They released him in the early afternoon on New Year’s Eve and we went to bed early that night around 6 pm. Neither of us had slept good the night before and we were exhausted.

Fireworks woke me up at midnight, I know because I looked at the time on my phone. It was really loud and I couldn’t go back to sleep for a while. I heard the pops and bangs and the sound of fireworks exploding.

I also heard what I thought was glass breaking, but my dreary mind blamed it on the bearded dragons scratching on their glass. Turns out I was wrong.

DH was up before me and we only noticed the broken glass on the sliding glass door when I was making breakfast. I thought someone’s firework went off wrong and hit it. Turns out it was some idiot across the lake celebrating with their firearm.

We called the police to file a report and
They found two more bullet holes, one in our grill and the other in a satellite dish. We were lucky with the grill because it just missed the propane tank. We don’t use the satellite because we have cable.

DH will follow up with a cardiologist and do a stress test. He got meds for cholesterol and is feeling better. I don’t expect to hear from the police about our report but stranger things have happened.

We remain positive and are thankful no one was hurt. It had been a rough few days but we are alive and well with healthy New Year’s resolutions in mind. I plan on knitting more and cooking healthier. This year we will buy a house and I look forward to whatever 2015 has to offer.









Habits

I really do have the best blog thoughts while brushing my teeth.  It happened again tonight!  I was just standing there furiously scrubbing my teeth and my mind wandered. 

Sadly brushing your teeth prevents you from recording anything for later use and I often forget these brilliant ideas by the time I remember I had one.  I have what is called a very short term memory.  I am great at memorization by using mind tricks to make retaining the data easier.  Usually by associating that memory with another item so that one helps you remember or relate to the other.  Sadly this takes time and sometimes repetition to stick forever.  My mind wanders too much and too fast for any memorization techniques to take effect.

So I chanted “face” in my mind until I had a chance to sit down and write to you.  I even took a detour by pouring myself some cereal and chatting with DH.  I sat on the couch and watched the last 10 minutes of a show I started earlier, washed my bowl, and came here for the promised weekly post.

I may be a few days late on this post, but at least I’m here and that is better than my blog abandonment for the past months. Look ahead and not behind I say.

Onto the topic at hand…

I am lacking in habits and I’m really trying to fix that.  This is what I was thinking during my ‘inspiration’ time.  You see, I always have the best intentions but I never follow any routine for too long and my hard work goes to waste. 

Case in point.  I forget to wash my face one night and the next morning it looks like a minefield! This usually occurs because I was wearing make-up on one of the rare occasions I deem worthy of such preparation.  I know better and yet I do it again and again. 

So I thought out a game plan to force myself into such routines.  I would document the journey with pictures.   Maybe not to always show off but to have so I retain the motivation during and after. 

This thought lead to others and I started to make a list in my head of the things I want to add to my daily routines.  Since this blog is mine and I can do whatever I want with it, I figured I could use it to keep track of these goals and sometimes report results *cough* failures to you.

1. Wash my face every morning and night.  This includes extra diligence during the weekends because I cheat a lot on those. 
2. Apply lotion daily.  I do this this a few times a week but I sometimes don’t do it for weeks.  I have dry skin and I want to take better care of my largest organ.
3. Kinda with #2 but I want to track it separately.  I want to take better care of my hands and nails.  I have only recently experience strong natural nails with pervect cuticles.  A big part of this is moisturizing but also filing daily.  It also means I need to stop biting my cuticles.  I’ve done it before and I’ll do it again.

I’m going to leave the list at that.  For now.  It takes thirty days to create a habit and this list will keep me busy for three! I’m sure I’ll come up with more in the meantime.  

Hiatus

So I’ve been away.  Honestly I haven’t checked for how long because I don’t want to be distracted from my goal.

You see, I’ve put a lot of thought into reviving my blog lately.  It all started with a twitter message from the writer of Polly’s Blog.

Plowygle_blog updates

WordPress isn’t the only thing I left, Twitter was long forgotten as well!  I think I clicked on Twitter one day in mindless boredom and discovered I had messages.  Since then I’ve thought about blogging again because I really do miss it.

I started this blog so I’d have a history of me.  I wanted to post about my hobbies and just life in general when I need a vent.  The more I thought about it the more ideas I got for blog posts.  These were never recorded as they would come to me while brushing my teeth before bed or randomly during inconvenient times at work.

So I pushed it off until today.  While washing my face when I got home.  I did my entire evening routine chanting, “Blog Post,” in my mind.  From the moment my computer turned on I went straight to WordPress.  I won’t deny that I’ve had distractions while writing this post.

My mind floats and I guess this is why I figured I’d have a knack at writing.  If I let myself go I can just imagine the words in perfect order and write them down before the thought is gone.  This behavior is bad when you’ve thought to screenshot a Twitter post and end up Pinning something from Facebook that you’re significant other shared for you to see.  This lead into me logging into World of Warcraft, because that is how I spend most nights.

This lead on and on for a good 20 minutes before I finally arrived back on this page to upload a picture I had to snip, crop, and edit before uploading and linking.  And here we are now, with you reading the nonsense involved in writing this post.

So I bid you hello old friends.  I’ve somewhat made a goal tonight to post here once a week.  Because I want to and not because I feel obligated to.  This blog took up too much of my free time and I couldn’t figure out how to make it work.  I guess what I needed was to be less hard on myself and just post when I have time.  And that is exactly what I’m going to do!

I also decided, aptly while brushing my teeth, that my blog name is perfect for whatever direction I take.  I’m a bit crazed in the hectic and eccentric sense.  I hope you enjoy the journey 🙂

 

(Just so you know how odd I am; I was going through the post options, in the old editor because the new one is weird, and clicked on my Publicize Settings.  I saw a new social media app to publish to called Path.  Intrigued I signed up on the website and downloaded the app on my phone.  I was thrilled to see it supported Window’s phones because so many companies do not.  After typing my annoyingly mobile-phone unfriendly password without using my swipe keyboard I finally got in.  I’ve surfed the website a bit and haven’t found a way to do anything on a PC browser.  I did just allow WordPress access to my friends list and to publish to my Path.  Anyways, off to play WoW.  We’ll talk soon.)