Tuesday, July 28, 2009

One Compromise after another....

  1. Clean Fridge - both sections
  2. Sweep/vacuum/wash kitchen floor (whatever it takes to get it cleanish)
  3. Eat something
  4. Shower
  5. Groceries
  6. Laundry

I got the first three done...

Took two hours to clean the fridge! There was something growing in it, that was once an onion I think. ICK. I touched it bare-handed. I really need rubber/latex gloves! There was also a soaked towel's worth of water sitting in the bottom of the fridge. Yuck. Will have to talk to the super about that. This is the second time I've cleaned it up (at least this time the water was clear and not black) and it's started to leak on the floor even. Not cool. Anyway, after cleaning, my bad knee and my back are killing me!

I washed the floor by hand, since I had the bucket and rag right there. I did the dishes (not on the list but they needed doing), put some new potatoes in the oven to bake for dinner.

NEW potatoes! I'm soooo thrilled!! Squeeee!! I love love LOVE potatoes, and recently we've been getting bags of literally half rotten potatoes. It's criminal what they'll sell! So new potatoes have made me ridiculously happy! New! And they're just lovely too!! :D :D :D

So yeah, now my back is so damn sore, I don't know whether or not I want to lay down with my lumbar pillow to ease the pain or just have a shower and try to keep going.

There is a rain/thunder storm coming. I can feel it. My fucking head can feel it. The migraine is just at the edges of my consciousness peeking in, waiting, like doom. *sigh* I know there is only so much more I'll be able to do today before the pain takes hold in every part of me and I'll crumble. I just hate letting it win damnit!

I know the smart thing to do would be to shower, and start on the laundry. Chris needs clean laundry or he won't have anything to wear tomorrow. I also need to do a load of towels as most of them are dirty. I can skip groceries today, and we'll be fine. I can thaw some meat and we can have frozen veggies. Not the end of the world.

But Chris told me to get some exercise today.... And I know he's right, and I should.. It's just... I can only do so much. The poor man is on call, which means he likely won't get home until 7pm, he'll be exhausted and he'll likely have to deal with more work. If I do laundry it's just one less thing he has to worry about, ya know?

I feel like my life is a constant battle with the pain, forever making compromises between what I want to do and what the pain will let me do. *sigh* I really hate letting it win. Every compromise feels like a win for the pain...

But I'm just not strong enough any more to fight it like I used to! I spent years fighting chronic pain. Constantly battling just to survive the day. I felt like I won when I got up and went to work and barely existed. Staying sane was a huge win. Every day I would wonder at how I was still actually sane.

Perhaps I wasn't entirely sane. I mean, who goes to work and tries to do their job when they are in so much pain they feel they need to be in a padded room so they can bang their head against the wall??

Still, I wish I had that same drive, that same tolerance. These days, all it takes is 2-3 days of constant pain, and I crumble. I just can't get up and pretend like everything's okay, like I'm okay. I just can't. Because I'm not okay, damnit. The pain wins. I hide from the sun, from all light and sound. I curl up on my bed and try not to be conscious, because that's the only escape I have.

Doctors can't help me. I, or rather Chris, has spent over $1000 on drugs this year that have done WAY more harm than good. Fucking gabapentin has permanently fucked up my joints. I was fine until I took it. Now I can't sit, stand, walk or lay down without my freaking knees hurting!

I feel so trapped by the pain. I can't escape it. No matter what I do, it's still there. There in the background just lurking - and that's the good days! Bad days, pain is the entirety of my world. I can't sleep from the pain many nights. I can't even cuddle Chris, because I feel too claustrophobic! I panic when I'm trapped, and the pain makes me feel trapped. Trapped in my body with it and with no way out. Being touched becomes unbearable, just another straw closer to breaking.

I wish I knew how to manage it better. I really do. But almost nothing seems to help. Exercise actually does help the headaches. But when the pain is every day, all day long, it's so hard to force myself to go out and do something. Frankly, most days I just can't. I'm not strong enough. Now that both my knees and my feet are pretty fucked, it makes it even harder, because my favourite thing, the only thing that's ever worked for me is walking.. And now I'm like a ticking time bomb. There is only so much I can do each day before they start to ache. :(

Monday, July 27, 2009

Mom's Birthday Sweater (and Cake)!

Waaaaay back in December I cast on to knit my mommy a sweater. I finished it not a week or so before her birthday in March. I've been really lax in posting about it - I'm a bad poster, what can I say. Actually, I can say this, my lack of posting has absolutely nothing to do with the sweater itself! It was a joy to knit.

I used Cascade 220 superwash. It was the first time I'd used it, and frankly, it's lovely! It's even softer after it's been washed! I really loved the feel of it as I was knitting. Also, great stitch definition, and seemingly no desire to pile. The best part: it's actually affordable! I bought 8 balls of it, I believe, for $10.99 each, which was just enough for the sweater with about 1/4th a ball left over. I admit to freaking out about not having enough yarn, it really didn't look like it'd be enough, in the end, thankfully it was.

Vine Detail of Mom's Sweater

I used the Climbing Vines pattern from Interweave Knits Fall/Winter 2008 as a base. I didn't have the same gauge, I also wanted it longer, long sleeved, and a v-neck, since mom likes them best. I worked from my mom's measurements instead of any given by the pattern since I wanted it to, you know, fit her. I re-did all the math myself. The only place I used the pattern was when I was doing the sleeve caps and rounding the shoulder area of the body. I don't know how to do that bit, and I've yet to find a book explaining the technique, so I went by the instructions that matched closest with my starting number of stitches. All in all I think it worked out beautifully.

Neck Detail of Mom's Sweater

My mom really likes it, and actually wore it for her birthday dinner with the family, so I could not be happier. Without further ado, the finished sweater! (Yes, I still need to actually get a picture of her in it.)

Mom's Sweater

For some reason this sweater was terribly hard to photograph. The first two photos above do no justice whatsoever to the lovely colour of it! The one directly above is closest. It's a pale, bright blue. Like a summer sky on a clear, sunny day. Can you remember that colour? I know it's hard for me, we've has so few clear, sunny days around these parts.

Did I mention that I also made my mommy's birthday cake? I did. I used SmittenKitchen's Double Chocolate Layer cake recipe. OMFG, the best chocolate cake I have ever had in my entire life. Seriously.

Mom's cake in natural lighting

I used the ganache recipe for the filling. So simple. So good. So fool proof, or chocolate-impaired proof. Both my mom and myself love cream cheese frosting, so that's what I topped it with. I love the combination of sweet, rich cake, with the more tangy cream cheese frosting. So good. I tinted the frosting a robin's egg blue (or as close as I could get), as it's mom's absolute favourite colour. Then I tinted left over icing in a pastel green for the lettering. This is only the third time I've ever tried to do letting on a cake. Cut me some slack. It is not easy!

Top of Mom's cake

I was pretty pleased with how it turned out. The cake was huge. 9 inches around, and about 5 inches high. Huge. There were 35 people there (not that everyone had some, it was buffet afterall), but there was half a cake left over! Everyone enjoyed it; I know I sure did. It tasted flipping amazing! My mommy loved it, which is what really counts. She had been craving rich, moist chocolate cake, and I delivered! :D Baked from scratch. Yeah, that's right. Not from a box. Go me!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Finally got my hair cut!

This is my fave, not sure why

It's 3 inches shorter than it was when I walked in. I had to use the flat iron to get it to this state, not something I'll have the patience for every day. Will have to figure out a way to keep the bangs/frilly edges at the front from driving me batshit insane.

Considering it's a $15 haircut, it's pretty damn good. The only real complaint is the way it's feathered at the front doesn't allow for my natural curls to shine, instead it seems to be cut at just the wrong spot so they look sickly and messy. bah. In a few months it should grow out enough that it won't make me crazy. I hope. Since I can't even put my hair in a pony tail without giving myself a headache.

My allergeis are kicking my ass today, and making me feel like death warmed over. I'll post more soon about my lovely new sunshine shawl, and the yummy birthday baking I did. Shittiest birthday I've had since I was 14, but at least the cake was fabulous, even if I do say so myself.