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Sunday, August 28, 2005

Blogger and SPAM

Some changes to my blog… if you are leaving a comment you will now have to do one of those word verification things. I received my first spam comment and decided to try this. If I continue to get spam I’ll have to stop the anonymous comments. It just sucks that it comes down to this. I get so much spam in my inbox and then on my blog, enough is enough.

Has anyone else started using the Blogger for Word add-in? It allows you to post directly from Word with just a few additions to your Word tool bar. I may be way beyond the times but I like this feature. First of all, word shows misspelled words right away, secondly I don’t have to worry about blogger eating my posts and thirdly, if you didn’t have DSL it would be a whole lot easier to write and then post without spending all that time on the net. I’m just trying it out so I could find reasons not to do it later but for now, I like it.

I will be posting some actual fiber related content soon so please come back and visit:)

I'm Back Yet Again...

Hello to all. I’ve been back for a week now but just couldn’t bring myself to post. I really appreciate all the wonderful comments. I hope to respond to each person individually but finding the time is proving difficult. Please know that if you left a comment, sent a card or emailed that it meant the world to me. You are all so wonderful.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Tuesday August 16, 2005 4:45AM

That's the exact time my Grandma Bernice Mitts passed away.

I'm still in shock, working through denial and anger simultaneously. I'm alone, I sent my DH to work. We are so desperate for money that I didn't dare ask him to stay with me. He'll get 2 days of paid funeral time and he's going to ask for two days of vacation but I don't know if he'll get it. I'd like so much for him to be with me when I go to Arkansas but I don't even know if that's possible. I'm not even sure I should be alone right now.

I have a million thoughts swirling around in my head and a pain in my chest that takes my breath away. It's more of an emptiness really, you might even call it a hole. Perhaps it's the piece of my heart that my grandma took with her to heaven. My life will not be the same without her in it.

Thank you to everyone that shared this experience with me. Being able to "talk" to you has helped me more than you'll ever know.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Still holding on

My grandma was transferred successfully to Jefferson Regional Medical Center in Pine Bluff, Arkansas last night. This morning when my dad called he said her blood sugar was over 500 and that she was in a diabetic coma. As they are working to bring her blood sugar down her blood pressure seems to be bottoming out as well. It's hard balance all of her symptoms. They are also checking to see if she has had a heart attack. She is in really bad shape and she is so afraid.

The address to the hospital is:

Jefferson Regional Medical Center
1600 West 40th St
Pine Bluff, AR 71603

Her name is Bernice Mitts and she is in ICU. The hospital also has a page to email patients on their web site. We need a miracle at this point and prayers of comfort and peace would help more than I can say.

When I was explaining to my 5 year old twins how sick grandma was they tried hard to understand. Mitchell has been overly concerned about what will happen to her house. He says that he will pray for her in the morning, at breakfast, at lunch, at dinner and at bedtime and that she will get better real quick. Joshua asked if grandma had to go to Heaven alone or if God came down to get her. When I said that I thought Grandpa would come back for her he said, will he be driving a car? They make it hard for me to wallow in my misery for long.

I'll keep you updated as the day goes on. I may even post some knitting content on here just to take my mind off of everything else. Thanks again for listening and Tracy, I wish you lived closer too, I sure could use the hug!

It's me again...

2:16am and I'm still up. Today has been a roller coaster ride. I know my update earlier was positive and I'm keeping hope alive, but things aren't good. My Grandma "took a turn for the worse" in my dad's words. Her oxygen saturation is 72% when it should be like 100%. She's vomiting, and last night they were suppose to do something for her breathing when she slept but they didn't and now she needs a ventilator to help her breathe. She was suppose to be taken from Monticello to Pine Bluff around 11pm. That was the last time I was able to speak to my dad.

I feel like I've cried every tear that I could possibly have. I keep thinking that if I just stay busy enough I won't think about it. I'm afraid to sleep. You see, when I'm stressed I walk in my sleep and talk in my sleep and I've been known to cry in my sleep. I just feel like I should be doing something. It's so hard not being there. Like my knitting in some waiting room will make a difference, right? It's dumb, I know. Try telling my heart. It's just not listening to reason tonight.

Someone left a comment about how lucky I was to have had my grandparents around. You are absolutely right. I was lucky. I didn't lose a grandparent until I was 17 years old. As lucky as I was, that doesn't stop me from wanting to have another day. One more phone call. To be able to tell her that I love her. A hug. To just sit with her and hold her hand. To smell her scent. I know everyone has someone that they feel this way about.

It all seems so inconsequential. I mean there are people all over the world who are suffering and we just go on about our day. I mean I'm not a mother of an 18 year old that is risking his or her life in Iraq, fighting a war that is over. I'm not a child in Africa starving or watching my parents die of AIDS. I'm not a tourist that lost half of their family to a tsunami and had to walk away without even a body. I'm just a woman who feels lost tonight, waiting and wondering. Helpless to stop this out of control desperation, this feeling that my world is spinning out of control. It's almost more than I can take.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Asking for a Not So Random Act of Kindness UPDATED 8/14/05

****My Grandma is staying in Monticello and seems to be doing better. The transfusion helped and there is a new sense of hope. I changed the address for anyone that would like to send her a card. She is still in ICU, thanks for the wonderful comments, you are all wonderful****

It's almost 2am and I've done everything that I can to keep my mind and/or my hands busy. I spent the majority of the day crocheting pumpkin hats... 5 in total. We went to Church at 6pm and at about 6:30 my DH's phone rang.

No one calls my DH but me so he didn't even think to turn off the ringer (or rather he forgot). So when the phone rings at a time like this when no one usually calls... you (or I) panic. It was my mom calling from Arkansas. Seems they were transferring my Grandma to ICU.

She's just not improving and today she seemed especially out of it. They will stabilize her and then transfer her to a hospital in Pine Bluff tomorrow. Tonight they gave her a blood transfusion and she is on a respirator, or something similar, to help her breathe because she's having apnea when sleeping. Half of her heart is not working and she is filled with air(?) that is causing her to have trouble taking full breaths.

Tonight she had to stay by herself and she was really afraid to be alone. My heart breaks to think of how frightened she must be. I'm so not ready for her to leave this earth but I can't stand to see her in such pain. She's tired and she is now saying that she is ready to go.

I've probably said this before but my grandma is my best friend aside from my DH. She is the most amazing woman that I've ever known. She is my hero. You cannot describe her without using words like... strong, loving, kind, giving. I've learned a lot from her and I could selfishly wish for more time, she's only 74, I've only had her in my life for 34 years. What about my sons? How can they grow up without her? I know that I would not be the person I am today without her influence, I want that for my boys too.

I know that I have no control over when my grandma leaves us. It's in God's hands.

I can't tell you how much the kind words from you all mean to me. I received a Random Act of Kindness Friday from Sue in Lake Placid. I don't have her blog address here in the dark so I'll post it tomorrow. Everyone has been so wonderful. Thank you.

If anyone would be interested in sending my Grandma a birthday postcard, her birthday is Friday. You could mail it to her at:

Drew Memorial Hospital
778 Scoggin
Monticello, AR 71655
ATTN: Bernice Mitts

I don't know her room number yet but I would hopefully have it by tomorrow. I think it would be special for her to receive mail from all over the world and to know that there are strangers out there thinking & praying about her.

Thanks for listening to me ramble on in the middle of the night. If you have read this far you are a remarkable person and I can't thank you enough for listening. God bless you all!

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

When it rains, it pours...

An update on my Grandma Bernice... She was placed in the hospital on Monday with an infection in her legs that goes up above her knees, I can't remember what this is called. She had gained 10 pounds in water weight over a weeks time and was not eating. A cardiologist said she has blockages in her legs and upped her meds to try to rectify this. She is on Demerol for the pain and up until just this morning had not been showing signs of improvement. I guess she is a little perkier today so that is hopeful. I talked to her for a minute and it was really hard. I cried, of course. She just sounded so weak and worn out. She reminded me of my Grandma Louella a year ago just before she passed away. If you are a praying person, I would appreciate your prayers for my Grandma.

My Mom and Dad are heading out by car today to Arkansas to be with my Grandma. I wish I were able to go but I just can't afford it. I did just spend time with her over the 4th of July so at least I have that. I felt that trip was important for my boys to be able to get to know their Great-Grandma. She really is a wonderful lady.

While talking to my Dad today he got a call from my Uncle. My Dad's cousin Sue passed away last night or this morning. She had had surgery for an obstructed bowel and then started having more pain. When she went back in they found that her bowel had died. I don't know all the details but my understanding is that she was on life support and my cousin Whitney had to make the decision to stop the life support. I can't imagine having to make that decision and the pain that they must be in.

As I struggle with the emotions that are overcoming me, I'm thankful for being able to tell my story and for the kind words and understanding that I receive from you all. Funny how it's easier to write my feelings here under "anonymity" than it is to voice them to the ones closest to me. Thank you for listening.

Monday, August 08, 2005


Okay, it's been an hour or so since I ranted on Nextel and though I am still not happy with the situation I do have a different perspective. I believe that this whole phone thing is only the tip on an iceburg that has been building for quite some time.

Obviously money is an issue, but it's only money, right? It really isn't that important in the long run. I mean, you can't take it with you. My DH and I have come up with a few ways to make some cash through our clutter and we'll see where that leads us. I know that my mom and dad would help us if it got that bad. After the boys go back to school I can work at least a couple days a week and I will be teaching more sock classes this fall. I'm just going to turn this one over to God and do what is in my power to do.

The thing that is weighing heaviest on my heart & mind is my Grandma. She will be 75 on the 19th of this month and she is not in very good health. It's hard for me to even think about her not being here. She has been a good friend to me for years now. I rarely go more than a week without calling her and I can talk to her about anything. My Aunt just told my Mom that it would be a good idea for her to come as soon as she could, as things are deteriorating quickly. It's hard for me to even write about this. My DH probably thinks I've lost it, then again he's used to me crying for no apparent reason. My Grandma is the reason that I am as creative as I am. She and my Aunt Polly were always crafting something whenever we would visit them in Arkansas. Some of my best memories of my time with her include learning something new. Just recently I started crocheting again because it made me feel closer to my Grandma, after all, she was the one who taught me way too many years ago.

The other thing that has helped me to put things back into perspective? Well, I read this article on the net tonight and it touched me deeply. I often think about all of the families that have lost someone to this "war" and my heart breaks. I won't go into my own views but I will say that any loss of life is a tragedy. It's hard to complain about my cell phone bill when there are men and women dying in the name of "democracy."

Nextel and mistakes made

We have had cellular service with Nextel for the last two years. We paid close to $100 for two phones and couldn't even get service where my mom and dad lived, a whopping 15 minutes from our home. We finally decided that we needed a change.

We checked out a lot of other companies and decided on Cingular. They had more coverage where we needed it, roll over minutes and my family would be able to call us for free, mobile to mobile, anytime. I went ahead and called them about three weeks before the end of our contract with Nextel. Cingular asked if I wanted to transfer our old numbers over to them and I said yeah. This was where it all went wrong.

It's not like I deal with cellular contracts all the time and I really screwed up. See, I thought that if I paid through the end of my contract it shouldn't matter the exact date that I switched. My DH called Nextel on the day we signed up with Cingular and the person he talked to made it sound like that would be okay. Just pay the last bill on your account and everything is fine. Problem is... everything is NOT fine.

Today I get a bill in the mail for $444.57. We are being charged late fees for both phones because we transferred the numbers before the right date. I am literally sick to my stomach. We are not in a good place financially as it is and this is more than I can even take. I don't know what to do.

The part that really makes me angry? Nextel calls and says if we come back they will wave the early termination fee. Why would we want to come back after that? It seems like such a dirty tactic. I have a much better deal with Cingular, 3 phones on their family plan with tons of minutes and long distance for less than I was paying Nextel for mediocre service. I guess you live and learn and then never use nextel.

Thanks for letting me vent. I know I would be better served by praying over this but I'm just not there yet. I'm too angry and hurt and filled with anxiety. I know, that's exactly the reason to pray. Thanks again.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

The Preemie Project

I joined the volunteers at the Preemie Project on Monday. I've knitted a couple of hats so far. It's been so long since my boys were babies that it's hard for me to figure out sizes. The two hats I have completed are very different in size but hopefully I'm on the right track.

This hat is called a Petal Hat.

With Halloween in mind...

a Pumpkin Hat.

For comparison

I didn't block the Petal Hat so it's a little smaller looking than it really is. I believe it will be okay. I told my DH we need a new baby so I have someone to try my creations on... medically that won't fly but it was worth a try. Feel free to drop off an extra babies you might have around though;)

I am a bad, bad blogger:-(

Why am I such a bad blogger these days? Well because I've been knitting of course. Not to mention trying my hand at a bit of crochet. I find that the less I blog the more I knit. Strange huh? I've finished several projects and have plans for more! It's nice to finish things for a change. I'm usually such a good starter that finishing is a challenge. This has been nice.

Anyway, I do have pictures to make up for it. I will break up my posts into smaller bites so I'll start with socks.

I joined the Six Socks Knit Along a while ago and procrastinated until the July 26th to start the Chutes & Ladder Socks. Part of it was just too much other stuff going on and part of it was fear. I haven't done a lot of cabling and the idea of doing it in socks was too much for me to handle. I had to work my way up to it. So I started on the 26th and finished both on August 1st. I did the magic loop technique, which I love, and I think they knit up considerably faster. This is the completed pair, a closer view of a single sock and view from my eye.

I worked out a lot of my issues with these socks. This weekend I will be teaching a sock class at a LYS. I'm kind of nervous but feeling a lot more confident after these socks. I'm currently working on a hand out with helpful tips so if anyone has any helpful tips I would appreciate it. I'd love to hear from other "sock teachers" as well. Feel free to send me good vibes!

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