Tuesday, February 24, 2009

PPN's Anal Adventures

Horrible name for a blog post, right? Nothing good can come from a name like that. Well, yes and no.

I haven't mentioned it much here (if at all), but I'd been having some trouble with rectal bleeding off and on for the past... two years or so, and recently I actually got the balls to go see a doctor about it. No big thing, I figured. I'm not dead, so I must be fine.

The doctor felt a "nodule" when he did the Dreaded Finger Test (and let me tell you, I can now definitively say that anal sex is not for me), so he took some blood and suggested I see a specialist, which I did.

The specialist said that he wasn't too concerned about the rectal bleeding, since it was off-and-on and I wasn't dead, but the blood tests had shown that I'm anemic (yes, this was right before I got Balthazar), so I should get an upper-GI endoscopy, and a colonoscopy.

Yikes! I was terrified of this. I have never had a major medical procedure done, and never been under serious sedation. I don't even drink to excess.

Well folks, I went and had my double-team endoscopy and colonoscopy yesterday, and it sure was something. I was super-terrified of the whole concept, but my nurse was really nice, and the IV wasn’t terrible, and she let me knit until the doctor came in and it was Go Time.

At 3:35 she put the drugs in my IV (dopamine and something else), which made my head go all tingly, and asked me to roll on my side, and the other nurse had me bite down on this thing they put in my mouth (to keep it open). I closed my eyes…

…and Mr. Sweetie was petting my hair and asking me to wake up. The rest of this is a mix of what I remember doing, and what I’m told I did. Evidently I was astounded by the fact that I was wearing pants now - did the nurse put on my pants? Did the doctor put on my pants? Did Mr. Sweetie put on my pants (yes, he did). Apparently I asked him this a lot, as well as what time it was.

Then we were driving home, and I was hungry, and suggested we call two of our friends (Saint Pit Bull and Pit Beau) to come eat with us. I called them, got asked to hold for just a second, and hung up on them. Then Mr. Sweetie had a great suggestion - we should call our friends to come eat with us! I thought that was fabulous. And hey, since we were going out to eat, we should call our friends to come meet us! This went on the entire car trip, through the bank, to the restaurant, and up until the moment our friends stepped in the door. Then, hey! Our friends are here! You guys should come eat with us!

I ordered something to eat (evidently I ordered Tilapia because, and I quote, ‘catfish can kiss my ass’), and got up to go to the bathroom like 5 or 6 times before the food got there, then fell asleep at the table. Sometimes I would wake up and ask what time it was, or be amazed again that I was wearing pants. Mr. Sweetie boxed up my meal, and took me home, where my new drum carder was waiting in front of our door.

He put me to bed, where I slept until 6 this morning. I remember waking him up at like 4 to ask if my drum carder had ever come in, and he said yes, it had, and please stop waking him up to ask that…. so I must have done that a couple times.

I asked him this morning what the doc had said about my tests, and evidently he had answered this question like a dozen times already: I had a 3mm polyp, which they removed, yes that is the same size as the needles I’m using as the persian star shawl, yes he knows they let me knit with the IV in, yes he was the one who put my pants on me. I also had some hemorrhoids, which appear to have gone away, and I should eat a lot of fiber to make sure they don’t come back. The biopsy results have not come in yet, but the doctors will call when those are ready. Because of the polyp, I should get this done in another 5 years.

So that’s my story, bitches! I went in terrified, and it wasn’t horrible at all. I even finished the next section of the Persian Star Shawl, and I'm swatching the pomegranates on the way home.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Persian Star Shawl - Update

Guys, the Persian Star Shawl is turning out great. So far I've got it charted up to row 128, and knit up to row 32. I'm really quite excited, but the question now is do I release the pattern before I finish knitting it, or do I sit on it while I finish the actual shawl? I know I'd hate to buy something without a good photo of it, so probably I will sit on it until Persian Star Prime is done.

The section I was calling swirls, I've had to replace with rays, for the good of the design. It's not as true to the ceiling tiles as I would have liked, but it's turning into a better actual pattern for knitting so I don't mind that so much.

And in other news, I'm getting a DRUM CARDER! How awesome is that, right? I'm really excited about it, because I've wanted one for years and wasn't in a good enough financial setup to get one. I started getting me and Mr. Sweetie's finances in order after the wedding, though, and right now we are doing great. The carder started on its way to me last Monday, so it should be in by Saturday. I am going to be a carding fool!

Sunday, February 08, 2009

The Story of Balthazar

A long, long time ago I set up my google reader to let me know whenever the search terms "spinning wheel" got a hit on the craigstlists for Houston, Austin, and here. I've seen a lot of $300 wheels posted, and a few $200, and those I just skip over. A new wheel is like dessert - you want it, but you don't really need it. So I set myself a $100-150 budget on the off-chance that a good-looking wheel would happen to pop up for sale.

So last weekend, after I get back from some doctor-stuff (turns out I'm anemic, not a huge deal, seems to run in the family) I checked my google reader and hey - spinning wheel, $50, Houston! I emailed the seller and got a couple pictures. She said that the treadle worked, the wheel turned, and all the pieces seemed to be there.

The seller had said that this was her grandparents' wheel, and probably an antique, but she didn't know how old it was or what manufacture. I posted the pictures she had given me on Ravelry, and soon found out that it is a Canadian Production Wheel, which were made from the late 1800s into the 1940s. I was very excited.

So I ran by the bank, drove to Houston, and got me a new wheel. She was right, all the parts do work, the only thing that was missing was a drive band. He is a beautiful, beautiful wheel - but what an UGLY finish!

Well, I knew what I had to do. If this had been the original finish, I would have cleaned him up and could then have sold him for about a grand. HOLY CRAP, right? But from what I could see, he had been painted over in some orange color, and then had varnish applied over THAT, and THEN gotten covered in grime. So of course my best option was to refinish him.

It took two days and three bottles of refinisher to get down to the wood on all the pieces. There were some gouges on the underside of the base and under the metal treadle that needed to be repaired with wood filler, and most of the metal parts had been painted over as well, including paint in the screw holes and paint in parts that were supposed to be movable. I had to damn near fully dismantle the wheel in order to remove it all, but by god, I cleaned that wheel up good.

It was all worth it in the end, though. Balthazar the Canadian Production Wheel is happily restored and sitting in my living room.

Balthazar is definitely more of a diva than the Babe - as a double drive band wheel that only came with one bobbin, he has a ration of 12.5:1 and more take-up than I was really expecting. He's also much heavier than the Babe (wood heavier than pvc, who'd have thought), AND single treadle, so I end up having to treadle faster than I'm used to just to keep him going. It's a bit of a challenge right now, but when it works, we make the nicest, smoothest, thinnest singles I could ask for. And he LOVES woolen spinning! Go figure!

So I've been carding up some black shetland from Copper Moose, and some hand-dyed silk that ended up more red-pink in person than it had appeared on my monitor, and spinning an awesome, funky yarn that I'm privately calling Bubblegum Goth. My carding skills are not so great, but with a wheel that does so well with rolags, it's time to buckle down and learn. And I couldn't be happier.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Garden Adventure: 2009

So I want to grow things, now that I have a backyard. I thought about it long and hard, and these are the things that I would eat if I grew them.

- Onions
- Leeks
- Garlic (hell yes garlic)
- Sweet Potatoes
- Potatoes
- Spinach
- Ginger
- Fennel
- Zucchini
- Butternut squash
- Carrots
- Broccoli

I should read up and see if I can actually grow any of these things some time soon.