Thursday, January 28, 2010

... Just keeps pulling me back...

We had our Mayo day yesterday for Gerry's Multiple Myeloma check up. Let me just say, Gerry's pretty damned amazing. There was just a slight increase in protein and calcium in his test numbers, but otherwise he remain steady. YAY!

We got a HUGE thumbs up from the docs on our planned trip to Ireland. One of our docs, who's had her own cancer adventure, was positively giddy for us. (Extra bonus - with just a small amount of begging I was complimented for my weight loss.)

The trip just about took it OUT of me entirely, though.

I'd been feeling so hotsy-totsy, feeling SO much better than a month ago, sticking my face up in fibromyalgia's face and staring it down.

However, doing something like our round of tests and doctors visits at Mayo that I've done a dozen times before really highlights how diminished my strength is.

I'm getting stronger, getting better, but realism is a virtue as long as it's married with hope. Days like yesterday keep me honest about the effects of the fibromyalgia on my daily energy and pain levels.

When I got home I was SO exhausted (I do the driving, Gerry's concentration for long periods to drive isn't as good as mine is - we're a real pair!) and dear Hannah, who woman-ed the fort by getting Max up and ready for school (we'd left at 6:30 am), left a sink full of dishes, bowls and pans (she made pancakes for Max) which had to be cleaned up.

It seemed churlish to demand that she clean up the mess, especially when she'd been very responsible and had done exactly what we'd asked. (Besides, as any mom knows, we clean the pots and pans better...)

So a clean up of the dishes, a quick bite for dinner, then to my hour-long chat for the January Online Combo Class, which went beautifully. Sometimes we talk a lot about knitting, sometimes we just build our cohesion as a class, but it's always fun.

Then the Prez's speech (which I feel was exceptional - exactly what we needed to hear, with a masterful amount of push, stroke, admonishment and praise) and then to bed.

My reward? This morning I woke up with a clear idea for a new hat pattern and ideas for some other stuff. I was explaining to Gerry that sometimes taking a break from the designing is so good because then stuff will come to me without being forced. I can't blog about the hat pattern because it's for a magazine, but it's crocheted and will involve embroidered flowers.

Part of today will also be dedicated to creating a FREE online "how to knit" class, covering the basics of knit and purl (from a Western and Combination perspective) AND casting on and binding off.

It will be free for 2 reasons: 1) to get more folks knitting, and 2) to give folks a chance to take one of my online classes and see if it would be right for them.

So stay tuned. If all goes well I may have the class up by the end of the weekend, then those of you whose interest has been piqued can sign up, take the class, and decide if my online style works for you.

And we could always use more knitters, right?

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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Housewives of MN

I realized today that I'm living a dream. I watched those silly women on the Real Housewives of Orange County and - even though they wouldn't agree - my life is SO much FULLER than theirs seem to be. They don't have any pretty snow, for one thing...

With all the physical pain of the past few months, the unwanted drama (actually, it's been pretty drama free...) and other life events that have 'enriched' my life in the past few years, I am SO damned lucky.

But yesterday was a hard day physically.

YESTERDAY
I had planned to take my driving test. Then I thought I couldn't. Then I wanted to. Then I didn't want to. You see, I've failed it twice since we moved here from NJ. I allowed myself to psyche myself out. I kept seeing THIS



And Here was my horoscope for yesterday (Mr. Levine, are you watching me...?):
You can't decide whether or not to go ahead with your plans because the pros and cons seem pretty evenly balanced. But even if you finally choose against pushing forward today, you might surprise yourself and suddenly take the next step anyhow. Be careful; if you make a false start, you may just have to begin anew next week.
And damned if I didn't drive to Eagan, take the test, and score 100%!

But damn if I also didn't forget my 2 forms if ID... So back home I drove, picked up my passport, then returned and waited in line AGAIN.

The drive(s) to Eagan, the waiting in line(s), the test itself, it all just exhausted me.

When I got in the car to drive home I realized how tired I was. Across the street was a movie theater, so I figured I'd see ANYTHING just to sit down for an hour or two.

Happily, I saw most of The Young Victoria - it was lovely. I'm afraid I didn't like the bonnets as much as I'd hoped, but the dresses and men's clothing were brilliant. Sandy Powell continues to be my heroine. I am proud to have worked with her once upon a time (I knitted a sweater for Dennis Quaid for Far From Heaven back in 2002, she was the designer.)

Then I drove home and rolled into a little, tiny ball and wept in pain until I slept. A rich and full day. And that's the price we pay for 100% scores on driving tests in Minnesota.

TODAY
I started the day with a wonderful session with my acupuncturist at Crocus Hill Acupuncture.

The woman is a genius. She cupped me - which my father-in-law would call toten bahnks - and oddly enough much of the continuing pain in my shoulders and neck was beautifully reduced. Huzzah!

Before I left, she put little 'beads' on points in my ears, stuck with clear plastic, so I can self-pressure -point myself to help with my breathing (she said one client kept them on for a month!) AND my breathing is so much better today.

Then home to work a bit - polishing up videos for my next online class, The Mitered Handbag - and then continuing my day of leisure for a massage in the afternoon.

Several years ago I got a pretty 'severe' haircut at a local salon. To apologize, the manager gave me a gift certificate for a massage, but their massage guy left soon after. The gift certificate sat unused for 3 years.

When I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia this past Christmas I dug up the certificate, saw that it had NO expiration date, and was gratified to learn that they now have TWO massage therapists on staff!

Let me tell you, aside from a massage I got from a friend in Colorado a few years ago (my first - thanks Ruth!) this was the BEST I'd ever had.

This, joined with the acupuncture, created the PERFECT day for a woman with Fibro!

TOMORROW
I miss travel. I don't miss the pain, the exhaustion, and I don't miss missing my family (what a dream it is to be able to hug them, kiss them, whenever I want...)

But I miss being on the road, and I miss seeing friends. So guess what Mr. Levine had to say to me TODAY?
You may be frustrated by the lack of fun in your life now. Even if you have attempted to make time for some pleasure, it's been hard to make much progress these last couple of weeks. Don't lose faith; things are going to loosen up very soon. In the meantime, try to get your ducks in a row so you are ready to fly when given clearance for takeoff.
My local knitting group is going away for the weekend, women who are good enough friends that I can just sit on the sofa and rest - they'll let me be a piece of broccoli and stare out the window. But it will be insanely good to be with friends all weekend. I miss seeing friends.

I'm going up tomorrow, back on Sunday, and I'm taking my gluten free snacks with me.

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Monday, January 11, 2010

Are You Watching Me, Rick Levine?

Okay. Rick Levine, you can be honest with me. Are you reading my blog then coming up with Twittascopes that match what's going on in my life?

Come clean, Mr. Levine!

Case in point - here's my Twittascope for today:
It's challenging today to know when to stop, especially if you fall into an enjoyable groove while getting things done.

Others might even think you're a workaholic, while the truth is that you're just having fun. Nevertheless, you can overdo it now and ruin a good thing.

low down or you could be exhausted by tomorrow.
When did I read it? At 10:40 pm, sitting in bed where I've been most of the day working on videos and promotion for the Online Knit Classes, and I realize that it's time to sleep. Yes, Rick, I hear and I obey...

I can see how easy it would be to fall into the bad habit of pushing hard on good Fibro days, then paying for it for the next 2 days.

Today I sent out my monthly newsletter, sent a blast out to my Online Knitting Class network and completed another video for the Universal Mitered Bag class. A few months ago that would have been a morning's work.

But today it took me many hours, and I'm exhausted. The fact that I did most of it from my bed makes it easier, but it astounds me how tired I get now after a few hours of concentrated mind work.

The good news is that the Vitamin D is working well, I'm sleeping a bit better (yay!) and right now the pain is pretty much centered in my upper back/neck. Yeah, baby, I know why you come here...

So, quickly before I slip off to slumberland, here's the news:


February Combination Online Classes
are
SOLD OUT!

But March & April are open, baby!

Because of my Summer schedule, I won't be offering the Combination class in May, June, August or September. So if you miss March or April you'll have to catch me in July or wait until October.
I'm just sayin'...


Here's what a current student says about the January class:
"I've been playing around with your videos this morning and I finally learned how to cable without a cable needle. Thank you!! I am thrilled. The only problem with not being in a class is nobody is around to see me do a happy dance!"
The four week class consists of 17 videos, many pdf handouts, and 2 mp3 lectures. During the FULL MONTH of your class you will have 24-hour access to all the class materials at our private Combination Class Network, as well as 2 live text chats per week.


And here's the MOST excellent news:

I've lowered the price for
ALL of the Combination classes to $50.


And further,
since YOU'RE reading my blog (and since I like you...)
YOU
can use the discount code "blog"
and get 10% off of the already reduced price!*

Visit
http://www.anniemodesitt.com/onlineclasses,
to register using Paypal or any major credit card.


*Yes, a similar offer was made to my Online class network and in also my newsletter, but I like YOU the best...

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Alison's Scarf
Link to pdf file of cable/trellis lace scarf


Hannah's Poncho
Link to pdf file of multi-sized poncho



Chullo-licious


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