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Archive for December 2022


December 31st, 2022 — 4:42pm

Didn’t even bother going to bed last night. Sat on the sofa, watched soothing YouTube videos, listened to audiobooks. Slept 4 1/2 hours in three separate chunks. Napped and zoned out all day. Best nap was an hour between 12:30 and 1:30. Would have kept sleeping but alarm woke me up to take my 1:30 meds, dammit. The coughing MIGHT be a bit better this afternoon? Not sure it’s worth starting the night in bed and then transferring to livingroom, but maybe I’ll pack up my stuff for an easy exit (the compartment under the seat of my walker is so handy) and give it a try.

Omg look at this amazing new way to chart knitting patterns:

Look! Just look! You can actually see the form of the knitted fabric despite increases and decreases! It’s absolutely revolutionary for those of us who like to knit lace and other fabrics that don’t translate to a regular grid. For example, here’s a star toe. You can see exactly what function each stitch has and easily visualize the finished toe.

Star Toe

So. Cool.

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December 30th, 2022 — 7:46pm

Same old song. Rough night. Napped most of the day. Took a nice hot bath and washed my hair in the morning so I feel more fresh anyway. Spent quite a while scanning the charts for my 100 Circles blackwork sampler and getting them all pasted together in the knitcompanion app. Yeah it’s embroidery, not knitting, but the app makes it easy to stitch multiple pages of charts together, keep the color key handy, and annotate the chart so I can put a red ring around the area I’m currently working on, for example, or shade out a finished area. It took a while but it’s all set now.

Please. Let me sleep tonight. Please. I’m begging.

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December 29th, 2022 — 6:22pm

Didn’t sleep last night. None of my cough remedies worked, and then once I did finally fall asleep, sometime after midnight, the smoke alarms decided at 4am that they needed new batteries. Dave got up and fixed them. He thought they were wired into the house power but actually they need batteries and are only wired to each other so they all go off at once. He says the batteries were still the original ones so no wonder they went flat after he set them off so many times making his Roast Dinner! My ears are weird. When I hear our smoke alarms they always sound like they’re coming from just behind my head and that’s never true.

Napped and zoned out all day. Knitted a little, listened to my AMAZING audiobook of “Written in Bone”, finished the first circle of my new 100 Circles blackwork embroidery kit (present from Mom) and ordered supplies for the 2023 Steady Thread Botanical Stitch-Along. Where has blackwork been all my life? It’s all geometric repeating patterns and is exactly what my brain loves to chew on. It’s like zentangle with thread and following a chart. The only problem is it’s not useful. I most often prefer to make useful things, but, you know, being decorative once in a while won’t hurt me and anyway it’s the process I love.

Eating two sliced kiwi fruits now, yum. They came in our veg box on Tuesday. So much good nutrition.

Please, virus, let me sleep tonight. Please. Please. Please.

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December 28th, 2022 — 5:14pm

Last night was pretty rough. The coughing, for one thing, and for another I’m going through another recurrent patch of THC withdrawal, I think. Freaky horrible nightmares for three nights in a row, bedtime anxiety, and last night just insane night sweats. Like I’d gone swimming in my pajamas. So awful! But at least it’s not happening every night anymore.

Anyway, today is definitely a Tired Day plus a Sick Day, although this virus is progressing nicely and I’m already to the Productive Cough phase, thank goodness, at least most of the time. That should make tonight a little better.

Stayed in bed all day and worked on my crewel embroidery kit from last Christmas. Nearly done! If I don’t finish tonight I’ll finish tomorrow for sure.

Listened to the Taskmaster Podcast and an audiobook that was recommended by a Mastodon friend — Written in Bone: Hidden Stories in What We Leave Behind by Sue Black, narrated expertly by the author. It’s about forensic science and is fascinating!! I’ve finished the chapter about skulls and am on to faces. The author is telling about forensic facial reconstruction right now. First she gave an overview of the technique and now she’s illustrating the topic with a real-life example of a case in which facial reconstruction was used in a criminal investigation. She has a Scottish accent and a beautiful voice, too.

The cleaners came today YAY! I hid in the bedroom so it’s still dirty but the rest of the house is clean again, hooray. It took Dave two days to do the washing up from his big Roast Dinner but he got it done in time. Our cleaners don’t do the dishes, so if there’s a big pile the kitchen can’t be cleaned properly.

So tired. I wish I had something strongly-flavored to eat. Italian food would be perfect, but we have a fridge full of salad ingredients and leftover roast beef dinner. Ooo maybe I can make bone broth in the crockpot tomorrow.

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December 27th, 2022 — 7:46pm

Last night I remembered I have a vaporizer. Not a humidifier, a vaporizer. I mean, I also have a humidifier but I’m talking about my vaporizer here. It’s a small electric device with a cup in the base, which holds about a 1/4 cup of water and has a heating element in it. Then there’s a flexible plastic cylinder about 4 inches across and 6 inches high leading up from the base, which is flared at the top so you can rest your face on it and have your nose and mouth inside the cylinder.

You switch it on and the heating element boils the water, making steam which you can then inhale.

It is so dangerous in so many ways, I’m shocked it is even allowed to exist. It’s easy to spill boiling water on yourself. It boils dry in about ten minutes, leaving a boiling hot heating element just naked in a plastic housing. The steam WILL scald your face if you don’t adjust the vents properly.

However! I tried it last night hoping it might loosen the phlegm and make my coughing more productive and thus of shorter duration. Well it didn’t do that, my coughs were still unproductive, but it was very effective anyway! I think the steam relaxed my coughing-muscles and stopped the endless ENDLESS coughing spasms after only a few minutes. It was miraculous. I got up and sat on the floor by the bathroom sink for my first try, and after that I took it to bed and set it up on my nightstand. Rather than hold it on my lap (yikes) I leaned over my nightstand to use it, which was uncomfortable enough that I knew I wouldn’t accidentally fall asleep, and I refilled it from my water bottle.

I woke up about 6 times for coughing festivals but Steamy helped them end pretty quickly every time.

And THEN I put on an episode of this amazing bedtime story podcast that a Mastodon friend told me about: Nothing Much Happens Oh my god you guys this podcast is heaven-sent.

Busy minds need a place to rest. If you find yourself struggling to sleep, awake in the middle of the night, or just anxious as you move through the day, these stories can be a soft landing to you, a simple enjoyable way to focus and relax.

So get comfortable and let me tell you a story in which Nothing Much Happens, you feel good and then you fall asleep.

The narrator/author tells gentle stories in which nothing much happens. There’s no plot, no arc, but tons of rich descriptive language to keep my mind busy but not stimulated. (My friend described the podcast as a handrail that keeps your mind from spinning out.) The narrator, Kathryn, has a lovely speaking voice and delivery style. There is no music, no sound effects. Just a calm gentle human telling a calm gentle story. I swear to you I fell asleep before she got halfway through, listening to the same episode every time! (You know when you’re halfway through because at that point she repeats the same story a little slower). Last night’s episode was “Heavy Snow at the Cabin” and I barely remember anything about it, but I have strong images in my mind of a happy dog rushing out to explore the snow, the narrator feeding the dog, and the narrator considering what to make for her own breakfast. And none of it mattered. No crisis, no twists, no conflict, no conversation, nothing fascinating or stimulating. Just peaceful, gentle imagery. I am looking forward to trying a different episode tonight.

I’ve lost my voice entirely. My whole body hurts from coughing so I stayed in bed all day and did just about nothing. Very pleasant. The house cleaning team is coming tomorrow but I’ve decided to have Dave tell them to skip our bedroom, and I’ll just hide in here. Henry will vacuum for us next time he comes over.

Also I slept until 11 this morning! Miraculous!

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December 26th, 2022 — 9:02pm

Didn’t sleep last night, ugh. Terrible anxiety-insomnia plus multiple lengthy coughing fits. Gave up at 5:30am. Cough cough cough will it ever end? Totally lost my voice too. No sound comes out when I speak, or very little. Can only whisper. On Kathy’s advice I asked Henry to pick up some Fisherman’s Friend cough drops on his way over this afternoon. They’re nasty, so they should work! Heheh. Will try tonight. Cross your fingers.

Took a bath before the family got here which energized and refreshed me. Lulu loves the doll I made for her! She sat right down and started to play. *heart eyes* And Jayla loves her handknitted legwarmers, and it looks like I guessed the sizes right for the girls’ house socks and pajamas. I forgot to say yesterday that Dave’s house/sleeping socks fit him perfectly. He needs to wear socks to protect his feet at night from rubbing on the blankets, and store-bought socks are too tight, so I made his socks a little larger than I would have if they were going inside shoes. He wore them last night and they stayed on and didn’t cut off his circulation and the silicone I dabbed on the soles makes them totally nonslip, and he can’t believe how warm and comfy they are. I don’t think he’s ever worn wool socks before. He’s so thrilled. :) I just love knitting with Canadian Sock Yarn. It smells like sheep when you wash it and has little bits of straw you need to pick out sometimes.

Henry knows I’ll finish his cardigan before winter is over. I’m making good progress on the sleeves already. I baked him a big batch of mince pies, too, and he says they’re amazing.

Dave roasted a big chunk of very expensive beef and it was so tender and good! I had a little, but mostly mashed potatoes and peas. He set off the smoke alarms four times while he was cooking. The Yorkshire puddings didn’t survive but we had PLENTY of food anyway. Dave is accustomed to cooking for his three large hungry sons, and my family all eat like birds. He says his sons would have eaten every single thing and there would be no leftovers. As it was we sent lots of food home with the kids and we still have leftovers for us! I’m looking forward to making bone broth.

After the family went home I worked a lot on my house embroidery because I’m so eager to start my new blackwork kit and I don’t want to start the new one till I finish the old one! I estimate I have about three or four good long crafting sessions to go before I finish, but I still have some Christmas presents to make too — a big stack of cotton hankies for Mom. Need to stop coughing and start sleeping better so I can get to MAKING!

Oh Lulu’s new doll (her name seems to be Moonshine for now) needs a mermaid tail. Easy as pie.

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December 25th, 2022 — 8:24pm

Christmas Day!

Very chill, calm, quiet, just the two of us. An ordinary pleasant day with a few small gifts at the beginning and my fabulous leek and potato soup at the end. I spent the afternoon covering a sturdy shoebox with fabric, for Lulu’s doll to live in.

Dave loves his Sleeping Socks and the little Blue Peter badge I embroidered for him, and I love my cozy red leather Duckfeet boots and my Lego Christmas tree kit. And Mom sent me a blackwork embroidery kit I’ve been longing for!

Still sick, cough cough cough, but slightly better each day, I think. I just discovered that a rare side effect of guaifenesin is diarrhea. You don’t want to know how I found this out. Ah well, I took some extra loperamide.

And now my heart racing dammit. But it’s the 120 bpm afib that I can usually fix with diltiazem, not the 160 bpm SVT that means an ambulance ride is soon to come.

Anyway I’m gonna hope to just sleep now.

Oh! We started watching Only Murders in the Building on Hulu tonight. Very fun!

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December 24th, 2022 — 6:17pm

Slept surprisingly well last night. Had to sleep sitting up because the moment I lay down I started coughing uncontrollably. So I raised up the head of my bed (an adjustable bed is a lifesaver when you have breathing issues) and built a pillow fortress to prop me up from the side. And then I took an entire Benadryl, and some Tylenol, and some flonase for good measure. It took me a while to fall asleep but then I slept straight through till 5am, when I finally had a coughing fit and was up for the day. So I’m guessing I got eight or nine hours of solid sleep! Throat much less scratchy today, and minimal coughing/snorting.

Hey here’s some excellent jazz piano combo Christmas music!

Let’s see… I worked on my big embroidery picture — the house, if you remember, that Mom gave me last Christmas. It’s nearly done, which is good because I think I smell a new embroidery project or two nearby…

In the afternoon I pried myself out of bed and finally made some gift bags! I need a few more, and I have more fabric, so I’ll make some tomorrow. The kids are coming over on Monday so I have enough time, if tomorrow is a sewing day! I hope it is.

At dinnertime I realized I hadn’t eaten all day. Argh. I’ll probably be back down below 100 lbs again tomorrow. *eyeroll* Well I made some AMAZING soup for dinner, and it was ridiculously easy and fast. A couple cups of beef broth, a shot of soy sauce, a shot of sesame-chili oil, a few leaves of Chinese cabbage, a handful of spinach, a packet of Trader Joe’s Thai noodles (they’re similar to udon), and an egg for protein. So easy, so delicious! I could only eat half but it’s still early, so I’ll try to finish before bed.

I wanted to make peppermint bark today but making and eating soup was All I Could Do. So, let’s hope for tomorrow. Or even Monday morning.

Happy Christmas Eve, everyone. Don’t forget to leave out some carrots for the reindeer. Or apples, they like apples too.

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December 23rd, 2022 — 7:20pm

Ice storm last night. The world is covered with white that looks like snow but is really ice. I threw corn out for the birds and it bounced.

Tired of feeling sick. Throat still scratchy, little cough, little sniffle. Could be so much worse but it’s still no fun, and for someone as fragile as me every virus us a potential ER visit if my oxygen drops too much. I’m hovering in the mid 80 %s tonight which isn’t great but not ambulance time yet. I think I’ll crank my o2 concentrator up one notch to max.

Sigh. I want to MAKE things.

Feeling so down.

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December 22nd, 2022 — 7:14pm

Still sick but not miserable. Had a nice hot bath this morning and did my laundry, then started a little project (I don’t think Dave ever comes here but I’ll keep it secret just in case). FaceTimed Mom so we could listen to family favorite Christmas music together and then spent the afternoon napping and catching up on Survivor. Great season (43). All likeable people, interesting challenges and twists.

It has been about 20° F all day, and threatening to snow any minute but nothing yet.

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December 21st, 2022 — 5:17pm

Good ten hours of sleep last night with only a few awakenings. Throat this morning felt slightly less scratchy already, and cough/sniffle were still mild. I stayed in bed and napped and ate and drank and watched another Sad Belgian Drama, “De Twaalf” heheh. I’m watching on Walter Presents but a search leads me to believe it may also be on Netflix. Dutch sounds SO COOL.

Now, at 5pm, my throat is even less scratchy than earlier. Sniffle and cough are minimal. Maybe it really will be as mild as I hoped!

I did get up briefly to dab silicone sealant on the heels and toes of all the house socks I knit.

Now I’m hungry again! Absolutely eating like a horse today (in a Kara way, which is to say, I’ve actually eaten several things lol)

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December 20th, 2022 — 4:47pm

Hmm. Got super tired all of a sudden this afternoon, my face feels hot, and my throat is a bit scratchy. Gonna finish Red Light and go to bed. I bet I caught the cold that Henry and family just recovered from. We thought it had been long enough when they visited… oh well, I bet I won’t get very ill, just a few days in bed. Fingers crossed!

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December 19th, 2022 — 8:50pm

I just read two more chapters of P&P to Dave, including the fateful Visit to Pemberly. So good, so good. Dave admires and praises my reading skill every time I read to him and it’s terribly flattering. *blush*

Sewed some gift bags for Em’s gifts today and made a beautiful snowflake ornament for Kirsten and Marcos so that box is ready to ship.

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December 18th, 2022 — 5:29pm

Got plenty of sleep, not too sweaty, and felt pretty darn good today! Had a nice long lie in, and then Henry, Jayla, and little Freyja showed up to spend the day! Lulu was at her other grandma’s house having fun with her aunties so we were able to have actual conversations and togetherness, and Henry helped Dave a TON setting up his recording studio and moving stuff around in the workshop.

I made eggs on English muffins for everyone, cooked to order, which was so much fun. And then I made one of Mom’s Christmas presents, little comfy loose sleeping shorts, while they kept me company in the sewing/guest room. Then I made a batch of minemeat for pies, and Jayla and I had long conversations while the guys did guy things in the workshop.

Now I’m watching “Red Light”, a Belgian psychological drama, on Walter Presents and eating the last of the leftover mashed potatoes.

Ranger Hamza won Strictly Come Dancing! I am beyond thrilled!

One more thing — check out this amazing funk cover of Stayin’ Alive.

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December 17th, 2022 — 7:36pm

Exhausted but happy. Baked many batches of gingerbread cookies this morning. Family came over!! Henry helped with chores (clean sheets on bed!) while I painted icing onto cookies with Lulu and Freya marched around hooting and Jayla chased her. Cookies: (click through content warning, I put it there so as not to ambush people with food issues)

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December 16th, 2022 — 4:50pm

Slept late, felt pretty good! Made a double batch of gingerbread cookie dough. It’s chilling now, ready to be rolled, cut, and baked tomorrow morning. Hmm… I left my rolling pin behind when I moved. Well, perhaps one of our stainless steel water bottles will do the trick.

Also put away my clean laundry, flattened a bunch of cardboard for recycling, finished Freyja’s socks, and made leek and potato soup for dinner. All worn out now, watching Time Team Classics on YouTube (tons of full episodes!) and starting Dave’s socks. Feels like bedtime but it’s not yet 5pm…

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December 15th, 2022 — 8:57pm

A good day! I had a nice long lie-in and then I went to the fabric store and got several yards of half-price cottons in Christmas colors to make gift bags, and red ribbon to tie them, and some cute remnants to make hankies for mom, and some felt to make these great ornaments for the grownups:

Also stopped at Safeway for peppermint extract and candy canes to make peppermint bark. I think that will be a fun project to do with Lulu on the weekend. I almost came away without the candy canes because all I could find were gross fruit-flavour ones, eww, but then a nice man came past and got down on the floor to look on the very back of the bottom shelf (I couldn’t see down there from my electric cart) and found two boxes of mini peppermint canes for me! So kind!

And I stopped at the UPS place to drop off my most recent failed medication pump. Eyeroll.

Came home and knitted and watched the internet drana unfold (Elon is banning journalists from twitter now) and enjoyed the Major Announcement lololol. (Note to future readers: the orange clown is now selling NFT “collectible cards” with his face photoshopped onto superhero bodies with laser eyes. I swear to god I’m not making this up. When I first read the story and saw the image I assumed it was satire. NOPE.)

Then bath, hairwash, huge salad, slab of cheese, a little tv with sweet Dave, and bed. A good day!

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December 14th, 2022 — 5:20pm

Writing BEFORE I’m about to shatter from exhaustion. A tired day today. I had enough energy to do one thing, and it had to be the dishes that had been sitting there a couple days. So I did that and then I finished Lulu’s House Socks! It is way easier to share a link to my Mastodon post than to upload and embed an image separately. Here they are on Ravelry if you’re curious about how I made them . Now that I know my gauge and proportions it will be much much quicker to whip up a couple pairs for Freyja and Dave. Lulu’s were on 32 stitches; I reckon Freyja’s should be 24 and Dave’s 44.

I experimented with the new toe-up Fleegle Heel for Lulu’s first sock but I didn’t like it and ripped it back out. It didn’t have a sharp enough angle. I think a sock should have an almost right angle bend.

I had to take a nap this afternoon. I lay down for a few hours and even slept a bit. Definitely still working through withdrawal. I ate pretty well today so far — big bowl of oatmeal for breakfast, and leftover mac n cheese for lunch. Now I’m hungry again, yay!, and we got some green beans in the veggie box so I think I’ll make those with mashed potatoes for dinner.

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December 13th, 2022 — 8:03pm

Migraine misery mostly gone, only slight headache remains. I baked a big batch of Rosenmunnar cookies today, filled with homemade cranberry jelly (strained to removed seeds and skins). Dave calls them Jammy Dodgers and loves them. And that wore me out completely so I did nothing for the rest of the day.

We watched two episodes of My Mechanics on Youtube tonight — Seized Rusty Vise and 1930s Desk Lamp. So fascinating and soothing!

I lost weight again goddammit. Only weighed 99.8 lbs this morning. So, I ate macaroni and cheese for dinner instead of a big salad. And I’ll munch on hazelnuts now while I do my duolingo lesson here in bed. So tired I went to bed at 6:45pm.

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December 12th, 2022 — 9:05pm

Migraine. Not terrible, but I had to spend the afternoon in bed napping.

Dave went to Trader Joe’s and did a fantastic Big Shop. He got everything on the list, which meant I could have a huge delicious salad for dinner. Such an amazing feeling to not need to go to the store. He’s a keeper.

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