Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Sneak Preview

My Ravenclaw sock yarn has arrived! It's been wound into balls and is ready to be cast on this evening and I'll be glad to put my feet up as they ache today. We have discovered lots of places within a short distance of home for a walk each day. Yesterday we walked around Hartlepool Marina (but I forgot the camera). Today we waked along what used to be the railway line at Wynyard Woodland Park.

I'm trying to explore other creative outlets in addition to knitting. I had a go at making ATCs. I'm a bit anxious about showing them or daring to swap them, but I've signed up for a swapbot swap with a newspaper background theme.

The article I picked was about deforestation, so I thought I'd add some recycled paper and an indian ink tree to each one. It's my first attempt.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

I am knitting, honestly.

Been trying my hand at making stitch markers in preparation for that part of the Hogwarts Sock Swap - seeing that the muggle mail disputes are holding up delivery of my yarn. I hope it will be here on Monday so that I can get started on the socks.

Can't show you any of my other knitting either as all items are for swaps...

Saturday, July 28, 2007

I know I said we wouldn't,

but how could we go to Gateshead Flower Show and not buy anything?

How could we resist puprple angelica?

Or this pelargonium?

We've been doing some more tidying in the garden yesterday and today. If we do an hour every day it will be manageable without J worrying that it's going to get away from him whilst he can't do everything himself.

Walking has settled into our daily routine. Today we were out on Seaton Dunes.
Warm and windy - great skies.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Did it rain on St Swithin's day?

Torrential rain again most of today. Only went out as far as the hairdressers with j. He's had about 10 inches of hair cut off! It's very nice now - quite odd to be able to see him again as he used to wear it completely over his face. However, I'm not allowed to take his picture.

Had a visit from J's community cardiac nurse specialist today. She was very helpful and was able to reassure him about all of his concerns and questions. She also managed to persuade him to join her excercise sessions at our local sports centre. Then she told me I could join too, so I will.

We're off to this tomorrow, weather permitting. I love flower shows. We are not planning to buy any plants this year as J isn't up to putting any in just yet. Hopefully there might be other nice things to buy!

We snatched this shot of the 'seaside' area of our garden as the last of the afternoon sun hit it yesterday

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Nowt but muck!

This morning we found a farm shop we'd never noticed before. J asked, "Is it all organic?" The owner answered "Nowt but muck here!" Very reassuring. Brought home far more fruit and veg than we intended. It's easy to get carried away in these places - everything looks so good.

So... organic vegetable soup (butternut squash, leeks, potato, carrot, turnip) with organic bread; organic stewed rhubarb and custard (not organic - Ambrosia from a tetrapak, my home made custard is vile) for dinner. Everything is washed and stowed away. Only got a big bag of peas to shell now.

Increased our walk to half an hour before dinner. We walked along the new coastal defences in Hartlepool. Parked in the car park were two small camper vans, not the huge RV kind, this kind. Both were driven by couples in their 60s. One couple were drinking coffee, the man from the other couple was walking the same path as us and his wife was knitting in the van. At times that seems like an idyllic retirement to me.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

I've got muscles

...in my bum that I haven't remembered in years! Nothing really exciting going on, I'm simply joining J on his daily walk and exercise. It's amazing how sedentary my life has become. Excercise is a difficult one with Fibromyalgia. I'll keep going while I can. If he can do it so can I!

Today we drove to Sleights and walked around Perry's Unusual Plants on the Riverside. It was a lovely sunny day - odly, down in the Esk valley, their plants seem a few weeks ahead of ours at home. Their phlox is nearly over and ours is just getting going.

Two slightly disguised tasters, just in case anyone from Crochet/Knitted Scarf Swap drops by:

I like swapbot, but I do miss the blog-along cameraderie of a blog-based swap, like International Scarf Exchange. I missed Round 4 but am watching out for Round 5.

Monday, July 23, 2007

On tenterhooks

The book is here, but I'm 3/4 of the way through another book at the moment! So, I'm trying to play it cool, but am thumbing my way quickly towards this one.

The lonely, empty needles are lying there awaiting the Ravenclaw yarn I've ordered to knit socks for Rowena Hopkirk in the Hogwarts Sock Swap 2.

I'm glad Rowena has smaller feet than these:

Home-from-hospital socks!

These were my hospital knitting. I don't think I've ever got along the length of a foot for J so quickly before!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

School's Out!

It's finally THE weekend - the one after the children leave school. I'll still be in on Monday to oversee getting the building and resources ready for next year, but I'm hoping to restrict it to just Monday. (Ok, and maybe bits of the last week of the holidays...but that's it.)

So far this weekend, I have slept and cried. Combination of a lot of relief at holding things (mostly me) together for the past three weeks since J's heart attack, terrible pain in my left foot and ankle and a slight general flare that always hits me when the adrenaline drops.

I've joined J on his daily walks - we've been along the seafront at Seaton Carew and across the beach at North Gare. We would have been in the garden if it had stopped raining long enough to cut the grass :( The garden is wild and jungly. We may have to get someone in to labour for J for a few weeks before it gets away from us completely.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Hogwarts Sock Swap 2 questionnaire

1. What Hogwarts house have you been sorted into? - I'm in Hufflepuff.

2. Shoe size? UK 6.5, US 9

3. Foot Length?9.5 inches

4. Foot Circumference?9.5 inches

5. List your three favorite double-point needle brands, including size and length.
a. Lantern Moon 7 inch Ebony 3.35mm
b. Brittany 5 inch Birch 3mm
c. Brittany 7 inch Birch 2.75mm

6. Would you like to try a new brand needle? If so, which brand? Size? Length? - I'll try anything. Not really keen on bamboo for sock needles.

7. If you are a RAVENCLAW, do you prefer the colors in the film or the book? Do you have a strong preference? - n/a

8. Allergies? Do you have any? Will your knitting be exposed to smoke or animals? No, none, no!

9. Are you an international participant (outside US)? Are you willing to have an international Hogwarts Sock Pal? - I'm in UK. I would love an international pal!

Glad it's the weekend

Recovery is going well. J is walking, exercising and getting through all those feelings of fragility that must accompany such an experience. It's amazing how cardiac rehabilitation has changed since I left nursing 7 years ago - not that I did much cardiology; I used to work on a surgical unit.

His daughter, K, came up to visit from Canterbury in Kent, where she lives with her partner and son. It was nice to see her - it's been a while. j enjoyed spending some time with her too.

My hospital socks are nearly finished. I must admit I put them asside a bit this week. I've decided to sign up for the Hogwarts Sock Swap 2 as I await the book and a chance to see the movie.

As we head towards the last week of term, I'm also planning for 6 weeks or R & R at home. I'm intrigued by chunky books. They seem to offer all the possibilities afforded by scrapbooking, but without the twee-ness of all that horrible stuff I've seen on QVC. Apologies, if you're into that, but I'm much more attracted by things like this. I'm hoping to join a swap, working on an Autumn-themed book, at swapbot, but if I don't get on it, I'll still do the book.

I'll finish with a picture of some wild orchids we saw this morning down at North Gare. Lovely!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Normal-ish service is being resumed

J has been home since Monday and is doing well. We have a heart attack recovery manual and a programme of increased activity each day. We're working on the stress issues in our life.
He's rescheduled all of his current work. All of his clients were more than happy to wait for him rather than get anyone else. (Even after he explained that he will not be working for some time). We're pleased by this - it's quite a touching testimony to his work and client-base.
I've been back to work this week, but working only a few hours through the middle of the day. That way I get to see J is ok, take j to school and pick him up again. I work for a Local Authority and the rule is: 2 days paid compassionate leave for the serious illness of a close relative. Big deal! If you need more you have to take it as unpaid or send in a sick note saying that you're stressed or something similar. I have had my two days plus much more - my boss is a man with a soul.

Time to sit back and smell the jasmine!

I'll post a picture of my 'hospital knitting' soon.

Friday, July 06, 2007


After a very rapid recovery so far, J was due to come home today. Unfortunatley, last night he had some more chest pain - well he said soreness, but the Dr said it was either pain or it wasn't. :)

Anyway, he had to stay in and undergo a stress test - running on a treadmill. That would put me in CCU... The results are promising - he may have a narrowing of his coronary artery but no blockage and no more pain.

With a bit of luck he will be home tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Doing well

J is doing well. He has been able to walk to the bathroom today, which is how he is measuring success :) He's pain free, but feels bruised. He has had an echo cardiograph which shows less damage than we thought. The clot has been successfully dissolved and we hope he may be moved from Cardiac Care to a ward tomorrow.

We are counting our blessings as a family and reassessing the way we live. J and I are 'workaholics', well, driven, he says. We need more family time and less hurry.

Today I went shopping and filled up a trolley with our new approach to eating. It looked fairly depressing, but I have no choice to learn to love it!

Thank you for the good wishes and prayers.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007


They have managed to dissolve the clot in J's coronary artery, which is really good news! This means we can move on to considering this a 'normal' heart attack!?
Thank you for the good wishes.


Last night, J, my husband was admitted to our hospital's cardiac care unit, from the emergency department. He has had a heart attack.
If you read this and you are the praying kind, please do.
I'm writing here as I need to keep busy. I hope this will turn into the first of a diary of recovery, but I daren't let any optimism surface yet.