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8th May 2022

Better

It’s Day 6 since I was diagnosed/day 7 and a half since I first started getting the first hint of symptoms. I am feeling better, so much better. I started feeling dramatically better on Thursday, after I took the 3rd dose of Paxlovid. Fevers stopped, congestion improved. The sore throat has completely gone this morning and while I still have some congestion/post-nasal drip causing a cough once in a while, it’s also improved. My rapid antigen test is still positive, although less strongly, so I’m still in isolation.

I guess I’m getting used to the taste too, although I’m going to be so so so glad to be done after tonight and I’ve sucked on so many mints and cough drops in these last few days. Honestly, if it wasn’t for the terrible lingering taste, I’d be all taking these for other colds/flus.

I haven’t done anything productive really. I was going to use my time in isolation to write or catch up on books or TV and I’ve barely done any of that. I’ve watched The Big Family Cooking Showdown and Heartstopper, shows that take little mental energy to engage.

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4th May 2022

Day 2

A sore throat kept waking me through the night. Today I’ve been dealing with a sore throat, raspy voice, increasing sinus congestion, cough, and aching ears, but the low grade fever is a little better. I’m just wiped out. The oxygen sats are remaining high, which I’m checking twice a day. Along with getting up every hour or so so I don’t get blood clots.

I started Paxlovid today and as warned, I developed a really terrible metallic taste in my mouth about an hour or two afterwards. Drinking mint and lemon tea helps; the taste just comes back when I’m done. I just had my sister go and get some mints and see if that helps. It’s bearable: hospitalizations are increasing again and I’m not going to be that person who says “I’m going to be fine!” and then find myself in the ED.

I cancelled all of my meetings today that I could have attended since they were virtual and have just been lounging around. I’ve had colds and flus where I’ve felt sicker and dragged my body to work AND I SHOULDN’T HAVE DONE SO. It’s 5 days off of work, somebody’s covering my weekend shifts, and I’m going to aggressively rest.

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3rd May 2022

Positively

I had a fabulous weekend at a Mormon feminist women’s retreat, where I was open and vulnerable with women whom I have come to love. I gave a devotional about my faith journey, which I may share here. I sang at karaoke night and again at the devotional and my throat felt just the tiniest bit scratchy. I took a Covid test and it was negative and I just caulked it up to allergies or voice irritation.

Last night, I was kept up all night with low grade fevers.

It was blatantly positive within 5 minutes of adding the drops.

So I’m holed up in my bedroom for the next 5 days. My sister is bringing me food and we’re really hoping that I didn’t exposure her. I’ve got a prescription for Paxlovid that I’ll pick up tomorrow, as hospitalizations are increasing.

I’ve got sinus pressure and low grade headaches and just feel wiped out.

Ugh.

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18th March 2022

Help Julia Paint Her House

Painting the house has been high on my list of must-dos since I bought the house – the wood is starting to warp and really, really needs a protective coating over it, or I’m going to have to replace all of the siding, which I’m not eager to do quite yet.

As a reminder, this is how my house is painted now (minus the replaced siding).

I don’t know what color it has faded to, but muddy pink brown is not my favorite.
And it’s faded unevenly as well.

I finally found a company to paint. They’ll be coming in June, but as there’s all of these world-wide supply issues, I need to be picking out colors soon.

I’m a very indecisive person. After much (so much) hemming and hawing, I finally decided on an ocean blue with white trim and sunny yellow door: something that would remind you of the sea on a perfect day. Something similar to this:

Only with a brighter, sunnier yellow door. Isn’t that cute?

However, when I went to get paint samples, they recommended very strongly not using those brilliant shades of blue on exteriors because they’ll fade within a year wherever there is sunlight and I have very uneven sunlight. Instead, they recommended “historical paint colors” that keep their colors better. Which are duller, at least on the paint chip.

So I got three samples to try out on stock paper and on the side of my house when it stops raining: a light blue, a mediumish fern green (which is lighter than I thought), and a dark purple just to see if I wanted to go dark.

I honestly thought it was going to be a decision between the less vibrant blue and the comfortable green. And then I painted the purple on my sample boards and it’s this vibrant, gorgeous color that made my heart go pitter patter.

Here’s the light blue called Emily, with white trim and a yellow door. Not quite the “sea on a sunny day” but not terrible either.

Basically the original thought, only with a lighter and a little more muted blue. The blue does look more sky blue when dried.
I’m not sure about the white, to be honest. I think it’s all too pale.
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10th February 2022

a little less light (but that’s a good thing)

a little less light (but that's a good thing)

The rotting siding has been removed. The chimney was completely taken apart and cleaned and flashed properly – there were rusted holes where you could see the sun and where it was evident that water was just pouring in. The fresh air vent had a screen on it that had a hole the size of my fist in it – a hole where mice and ants could get directly into the house, and that’s been fixed now.

It was a 8 day process, 3 days longer than what the initial estimate was for (well, the first estimate was for 6-8 hours, but that quickly changed). The weather mostly cooperated (I won’t think about how that’s not a good thing for our climate or summer water supply). It was terribly expensive, but it’s done now and I can breath easier for a little bit.

Next up: getting a landscaper to put in a french drain and paver stones I think. I have an appointment to get the downspouts replaced next month. And I still have to get the house painted – I waffle about getting all of the siding replaced now and painting it afterwards, but I just don’t know. It would make sense from a maintenance perspective but just to have this small portion fixed was so much money that it makes me a little panicky.

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3rd February 2022

Testing crossposting.

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2nd February 2022

housing nightmare update

(This is long)

1) My washer decided that it wanted to be a helicopter this summer and started making “vroom vroom” noises and wasn’t cleaning clothes quite as well and then started leaking in October. Yeah. So I researched and got all kinds of contradictory information from friends about top loaders and front loaders and impellers and agitators. I fretted about it for weeks and visited Home Depot and Lowe’s and Costco to try out different models. I finally ordered a set from Costco that was on backorder. I knew they were bigger than my previous set, but they had the reversible doors that I needed, so at Thanksgiving, my parents came out and we tore down dry wall and moved the water faucet and the light switch so that they would fit.

They were supposed to be delivered the second weekend of December. The delivery truck arrived, some guy got out, ran upstairs to my laundry room and said that I had the wrong outlet for the dryer and that the space was too small and refused to deliver them.

My dad came out the middle of January and we installed a new outlet at the right amps and painted the walls. I ordered a new set, smaller so they’d fit into the space, so they’d be delivered while my dad was there, to ensure that we had everything right. Costco was out of the pedestals, so I picked up a set from Best Buy. Tuesday came. I heard the truck start down my driveway … and 30 seconds later, I heard it backing up. Their truck was too big so they had to postpone for a week.

A week later, they deliver the washer and dryer. It fits! And one of the pedestals was missing the installation screws. They installed the washer on the pedestal, refused to put the dryer on the pedestal, and basically left me a mess.

I nearly started sobbing on them.

I called up my parents and they offered to fly out on points for the weekend to help me get it fixed. We ended up having to get screws mailed from Amazon, because nothing was available at any of the hardware stores, and Dad and I jimmied things around with an appliance truck and got longer hoses so I could switch them around and finally got them in position – did I mention that I was working nights and had a really horrible weekend so was exceedingly sleep-deprived?

Behold:

2) As I mentioned previously, I found rotting siding where the back deck had abutted to the house in the fall. I was hoping to get it replaced in the spring, but we’ve had new ants in the house and it was making me really nervous that I’d be seeing more furry critters soon. So when my dad was here, I found a construction company who came out and basically said that just replacing that part of the siding was too small of a project, but they recommended residing the entire house – well not residing exactly, but replacing the rotting wood and then putting a composite plank siding over it all. I was skeptical and it was expensive for the whole project so I waffled and called a handyman company.

The handyman service took my information and said, yep we can handle this. It sounds like it’ll be a 6-8 hour job, we’ll have a technician out to do the work tomorrow. The handyman arrived the next morning, walked around, took some measurements for 4 hours, and at the end said that it was going to be a 40 hour project with two people.

They started Monday. They don’t think they’ll be done on Friday. There’s no vapor barrier under the siding. The windows and the chimney didn’t have flashing installed. The flashing over the foundation had rusted completely away and half of it was buried by dirt. I’m going to be hitting $15k easily just to fix this.

3) I have ants coming out from the side of my tub at the joints. I’m pretty sure that’s the next thing to fall apart.

I hate it all.

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31st December 2021

End of the year reflections

TV shows watched: The Great British Bakeoff, Shadow and Bone, Bridgerton, Avatar: The Last Airbender, Ted Lasso, Long Way Round, Long Way Down, Long Way Up, Star Trek Discovery, The Mandalorian (season 1), Wandavision, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Loki (am I missing any?)

Movies watched: Tick, Tick … Boom, Single All the Way, The Prom, Black Widow, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Come From Away, The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring, Love Hard. I did not go to the movie theater (they didn’t open up here until June).

Concerts attended: none (cries in pandemic forever). II know I did a virtual concert but for the life of me, I can’t remember what it was.

Musicals/Theater attended (masks and vaccination proof required): Jesus Christ Superstar, Mean Girls, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

Music listened to: I don’t do spotify so I have nothing “unwrapped.” Adele, Andrew Belle’s latest album, Darren Criss’s EP Masquerade and A Very Darren Crissmas, Lil Nas X’s Montero (Call Me By Your Name).

Favorite tiktoks/youtube follows: Dr. Glaucomflecken, B Dylan Hollis, Nerdforge

Fanfic written: I finished off the last 4 chapters of sure like never before in January and February and then I spent the rest of the year writing these inconvenient fireworks, which I finished the last week in November. 52,000 words this year.

Books read: Sometime near the start of the pandemic in 2020, I joined a facebook group dedicated to reading Rilla of Ingleside, which triggered a rekindling in my interest in books. As a former book worm, it’s rather astonishing how little books I’ve read in the last decade – I’ve read many other things, newspapers and magazines and fanfiction, but very few books.

I set a goal of reading 20 books this year. I surpassed that and read 49 books this year (I don’t think I’ll get to 50 by midnight.

You can read all of my reviews on goodreads.

Favorite book: The House In the Cerulean Sea. By far. I spent the rest of the year trying to recapture the feeling that that book gave me.

Book that I thought I had read before but most definitely did not and it haunted me forever and I’m still not sure if I understand what happened. Liar. No really, what was that ending?

Word I can happily never see again in a plus-size romance: voluptuous (I think plus-sized romances aren’t my thing).

Book everybody should read: The Sum of Us. Really well-written and researched.

Books attempted but did not finish:
The Gentleman’s Guide to Getting Lucky. I had forgotten how much I had hated the protagonist in the first book (I liked the plot! I liked the secondary characters. I hated Monty.) and couldn’t get through it. And I just got The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy from the library – we’ll see if the third times the charm.
The Essex Serpent. I tried. It’s going to be a movie. Maybe I’ll watch it and then try again.

Number of camping trips: 2 (Oregon coast and Wyoming).

Number of plane trips: 2 (Utah/Wyoming for camping with the family in July, and Arizona to see the family in October. Hopefully maybe more in 2022?)

Weather disasters endured: ice storm in February, heat domes in June and July, atmospheric rivers in September.

Number of houses bought: 1

Number of houses bought and regretted: …. zero?

Number of repairs still needed on house: *cries*

Number of items knitted: 3 scarves, the body of a doll which is still dismembered…

Amount of yarn purchased: *shifty eyes*.

All of the books by genre below the cut…

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2nd November 2021

the common denominator

When I was cleaning up the cross-post yesterday, because the wordpress plug-in I use always leaves all of these spaces between each paragraph, I accidentally clicked on one of the tag links on the side bar. Liz. My old college friend and roommate. Two posts down, I noticed that I had said something about how she was moving out.

I have absolutely no recollection of that happening. None.

My memory from those years, when I was in med school and trying to keep from drowning, was that she moved out when she got married six months when I was in Kenya, about 6 months before I graduated. The entries I made about her moving out were in May 2004, nearly two years before then.

I keep searching through my memories and I can’t recall where she lived. Did I visit her? Her sisters lived with me at some point, both of them. Was that before or after?

I don’t like these holes.

I’m … not doing well emotionally. Just this feeling that the earth keeps turning and I just … ride. I can’t separate out the years from each other – even this pandemic has now become where its existed forever.

I’m lonely. I live with my sister and we get along for the most part, so that’s a help in terms of being around other humans. But I only have one friend here that I see on a regular basis. Work colleagues I’ll meet up with dinner once every few months or longer and that died with the pandemic too.

Nearly all of my friendships from college and med school have withered and died. I’m still friends with Liz. I stay with her when I visit SLC, which may be why I was so stunned to read that we had had such a falling out 15 years ago. It’s a long distance friendship though and we’re not as close as we once were.

I haven’t heard from Chris in a year – I texted him a couple of times during those early months in the pandemic when he was getting slammed and he called once. His youngest was born with down syndrome three years ago. We talked a few weeks after she was born and he never mentioned it. I found out from a news article that his wife posted three months later after the baby had undergone some sort of medical procedure. It hurt too much to try to preserve that friendship, when it was all one-sided.

It’s been a year since my last conversation with Susan, where it felt like I had forced her into talking to me as a birthday present. I haven’t tried again.

They’re all gone now.

I had made my peace years ago about never having a romantic partner because I had been so richly blessed with these deep friendships. Just a few short years ago, I would make road trip plans, where I could see everybody and those plans would become longer and longer as I tried to fit everybody in.

I try not to dwell on the fact that there is something fundamentally wrong with me, but it’s been festering, destroying me from the inside. I’m the common denominator, after all. And I don’t know what to do about that.

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1st November 2021

I swore I’d never get a stash

Pictured: yarn I bought in the last 2 days

I also never thought that I’d have favorite yarns, but these definitely are very high up on the list. Rasta by Malabrigo, thick, bulky single ply merino wool in utterly delicious colors and feels like you’re knitting clouds. I made two scarves last year with it for my mom and dad:

The scarves were a lot of fun to knit – a simple pattern that knit up quickly but still looked complex and easy to tell where I made a mistake. I think I’m going to try some different patterns this time.

I can knit 4 scarves by Christmas, yeah?

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30th October 2021

Update

Update

Luckily, only about 15-20 feet of siding will need to be replaced, rather than the 50 that I had feared. The rest of the siding look okay – there was flashing over the foundation further down that drew a lot of the moisture away. I’ll be getting the siding replaced in late January. In the meantime, there’s now a railing so people don’t fall and some plastic to protect the foundation until I can get a landscaper to come in and build a french drain and grate it. I’m thinking about putting down paver stones or tiles, with planters maybe, to make the space more usable and attractive – give me your thoughts!

I had the back portion of the fence removed to access the area. I might put up a gate there, I don’t know.

I also installed a new bit of railing on the front deck. It looks a little awkward, but I’ve had three people miss the two steps when they’ve visited and fall and it’s only because they were friends/family that they didn’t sue.

The gutters got cleaned out thoroughly, though, which is a huge worry off my plate. It should help with the water that collected in the crawl space last spring (and probably collecting again this fall). The downspouts still need to be fixed as does the chimney flashing.

I got somebody to come by to give an estimate for painting the house. It’s been a week and I haven’t heard back. I messaged another company to get an estimate, you know, so I can make an informed, compared decision, and also have heard nothing. It’s majorly frustrating.

I just realized that I didn’t show you all pictures of the deck after it was power washed. It looks good. There’s still a few boards that need to be replaced but I should be able to replace those and get it stained and sealed this spring.

I’ve mentioned that my house is all deck, right?
Before
After
Back deck and landing

All this to just get the house to a “maintained” level.

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23rd October 2021

the rotting state

the rotting state

When we first moved into this house, on the inspection, I noted several boards that were rotting on the back deck. The deck was virtually unusable when it rained (which, since I live in the pacific northwest is often) because it was so slick and it was always covered coated with leaves and decaying matter (landlord had people come through and remove leaves once a year but stopped after I got angry that they were removing ALL grasses on the hill beneath the trees so it was just eroding away). Anyway, noted problems but my landlord didn’t do anything about them.

Last November, I looked out the window and noted that there was a hole in one of the boards and texted the landlord, who did nothing about it.

When I purchased the house, the sale was delayed because the bank wouldn’t authorize the mortgage until the back deck was fixed, which landlord refused to pay for (it was an issue). In the end, I had the worst of the boards replaced and the house closed.

I always knew that I’d have to replace the back deck, so I hired a friend who came out this week and started on the project. He power-washed the front deck for two days and it sparkles – I’ll only have to replace a few more boards there and will get it stained and sealed in the spring and it’ll be nice. I’m excited about that.

But when he moved to the back deck, he noted an area where there was moss and rot into the siding. We removed boards and the rot is more extensive than I had feared. I’m going to have to replace the lower part of siding across that entire side of the house.

We’re removing the deck, all except for the steps down. I have to get a landscaper to come and grate it and put in a french drain to deal with the water and maybe put in concrete. It needs a retaining wall.

I had hoped to paint the house in the spring. But I can’t until these problems are fixed.

(The washer also started leaking and needs to be replaced, although I think I may be able to delay that at least another couple of weeks so I can look for the holiday deals).

(I finally got somebody to answer my emails/texts/voice messages to schedule cleaning my gutters this week. So there’s that at least.)

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24th July 2021

The years start coming and they don’t stop

The years start coming and they don't stop

It dawned on me a couple of weeks ago that it’s been 20 years since I graduated college, 15 years since I graduated medical school, and 10 years since I finished residency.

I honestly can’t take in those numbers.

Three of my college friends have kids who just graduated high school, the first of my friend group. Thankfully none of them have become grandparents yet , but that probably isn’t too far off.

I don’t like aging. My hips hurt, my back is a mess of clenching, radiating pain. My hand, injured nearly 5 years ago, stiffens when writing my endless notes and will never be back to how it was before the injury and surgery. I haven’t had anybody say in a voice of disbelief that I’m too young to be a doctor for years now. I’m firmly middle-aged now.

I was reading over some of my posts from back when I was in medical school and in residency today, when I flirted with Cute Intern in my sleep-deprived state and tried to figure out how to have a social life. I miss those friends. We are so far flung these days with only a few comments on facebook to keep us in touch.

I went home last week for a week of vacation – went to Wyoming with my family, including my sister and her kids, to go camping and do some hiking (well they did. My body does not tolerate much hiking in the heat), and then to Utah for a couple of days. I got together with my Plethora friends prior to flying out – getting together with them does feel timeless.

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11th May 2021

Here we go again

Ten years ago (what), I moved from Milwaukee and put my house up for sale, because I couldn’t afford to supplement the cost of owning a home while renting in San Francisco. It didn’t sell. It took 10 months of negotiations and finding another agent and the bank threatening me with foreclosure before I finally got closure through a short sale. It ruined my credit for years and was such a horrible, soul-sucking, terrible experience that I swore off home ownership forever.

Fast forward a year or so later. I got my dream job in Portland, OR, and I flew out to look at apartments and houses to rent in May before I started. It was really discouraging with not a lot of options in the neighborhoods that I wanted. The day before I left, I stumbled across a new listing for a little bungalow on a quiet street and I managed to tract down the landlord and rented it on the spot. It was a cute place, but quite small. Later, I would find out that it was a sauna in the summer with no air movement and had mice that haunted me and freezing toilet pipes and windows that didn’t close in the bedroom and a foundation that was sagging into the earth. Multiple problems. So many problems. A couple of years later, my landlord threatened me with selling it, didn’t, and then jacked up the price, making me start to look again to move.

When I moved to Portland, I drove with my parents from Utah with a UHaul and we leaped frogged with another UHaul the entire way – and then they turned down the same little road where I was moving, just a few houses up. And that’s how I first got to know Mitch and Julie and their darling little girls. Mitch had moved here for medical school and we all became friends. A couple of years later they moved to a bigger house just next door and one summer I watered their plants while they were gone and I fell in love with the twilight walk down the little driveway to the hidden house framed with trees. When we’d visit, I loved the lofted ceiling and sky lights and the much bigger size, so when Mitch matched for residency in Florida, I pounced on getting info from their landlord. Two months later, Karin and I moved in.

Fast forward to the middle of February this year, (two days after a major ice storm that left me without power for 30 hours and dropped a tree that broke my driver side mirror, btw), my landlord informed me that he was selling the house where I’ve lived for the last 3 and a half years, which sent me into a panic.

The short story is that I ended up purchasing the house because in the end it was the best option of really terrible options. The housing market in Portland is insane and the rental market equally so and has gotten worse in the last couple of months and you add in a pandemic – well, you get the picture.

The house has flaws. It’s a quirky house with weird angles. I hate the stupid squatty garage that doesn’t fit my car. The little driveway is a beast to get out of when there’s the slightest amount of snow and there’s no real turning space so I have to back down it every day. The yard is all deck, layers of deck, so much deck that hasn’t been properly maintained for years. But I still love the skylights and the little window seat in the bedroom that overlooks the trees and I love my neighbors and I love the neighborhood and none of its flaws are as bad as that first house.

I’m not exactly happy about becoming a homeowner again. I think, and nothing has convinced me otherwise in the last decade since I had to short sell my home in Milwaukee, that home ownership is a sham. I don’t think homes should be this expensive and I’m a little mad that I’m getting into this again and hoping beyond hope that the housing market won’t collapse on me again. And even as the “best option” buying this house was traumatizing and horrible. My landlord, whom I had had a fairly decent relationship with before, in that he was responsive to things needing to be fixed promptly, became a manipulative dick. He gave me 2 days notice that he was coming by to take pictures of the place to list it with an open house that weekend, then did a “”I’d love to sell it to you but I need to see what I’m going to get and then we can talk,” changed his mind the next day and said “why don’t you just buy it and we won’t do the open house, etc,” gave me an offer, and then pulled a “oh hey the neighbors want to buy it and they’ll pay me $20,000 more” bullshit. The appraisal from the bank was delayed – first, the appraisal guy quit two weeks later, before submitting the report so the entire process had to be repeated, and then, the second appraiser stating that the dry rot on the back deck had to be fixed prior to issuing the loan. My landlord refused to pay for the cost of the repair (it eventually came out of my security deposit) and when it finally was “repaired,” it was shoddily and incompletely done. But it was enough that the bank finally approved the loan and I closed a couple of weeks ago.

I have to have the gutters cleaned and the drain pipes replaced because water is pooling at the edges of the house and there’s a small amount of water in the crawlspace. The decks need to be replaced, but with lumbar at such a premium price right now, I’m hoping to get a few of the still rotting boards replaced, and then the whole thing pressure-washed, sanded and then stained, so I can get a couple more years out of it. I need to repaint the exterior because it’s got algae and needs better protection and probably hasn’t been repainted in the 35 years since it was built. Maybe after that, I can relax a little bit.

Enjoy the pictures that were taken for the listing – we did a mad amount of cleaning for 48 hours straight to get it “open house” ready. The nicest thing about this whole thing was that I didn’t have to move again.

[Best_Wordpress_Gallery id=”4″ gal_title=”New” House”]

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1st January 2021

Happy New Year

Happy New Year

I have been looking forward to days of more sun for a while now. I’m a night owl in general and I find comfort in the night usually. I work so much at night and I love my drives home, especially when it’s a little foggy and the street lamps make halos in the haze. But this year. This year has been one of sleepless nights and bleak days, where I’ve struggled to connect or do anything important. It’s been hard to be positive about anything in a world of lies and conspiracy theories, when I’ve come to despise people that used to be family (it’s true that the falling out happened years ago, but it felt more “in my face” this year seeing how little they cared on posted on social media).

So this year, I lit a candle and watched the solstice dawn over Stonehenge and listened to Loreena McKennitt and the world has felt a little brighter since then.

A foggy morning at Stonehenge. Appropriate for this year, as things slowly become brighter.

Karin and I made a “Christmas tree” out of the yarn swift. I thought it was quite festive.

I’m quite aware that the marking of a year is an arbitrary thing, that the earth rotates around the sun, which rotates around the galaxy, which rotate around more galaxies, regardless of whether we humans acknowledge it or not. And yet, there’s is something hopeful about turning a page and starting afresh.

Happy new year, my dear friends. So glad to still be here, with you, on another rotation.

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18th December 2020

a tiny morsel of hope

#notthrowingawaymyshot

Today may be the happiest day of this entire year.

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29th November 2020

Fiber arts and crafts

Fiber arts and crafts

About a year and a half ago, I took up knitting. I had try to teach myself how to knit several years ago and had started to make a scarf and hated it, so I stopped. But at my grandmother’s funeral, my cousin was knitting a hat and I was utterly mesmerized as she swiftly moved yarn across needles and created magic. And my therapist had suggested that I look into some creative outlets as she thought that creating something beautiful and keeping my mind engaged with the project might help me with my anxiety swirls (she was right). So I invested in some good circular needles and visited a local yarn shop and found some pretty soft yarn and a pretty pattern and taught myself how to do cables, which made knitting so much more interesting that my previous scarf. And I made myself mittens. And then a matching hat.

My first mitten. I’m still darn proud of those cables!
The hat is a little tight for my head and the gloves are a little big and floppy and I utterly love them. (it’s not very visible here, but the hat has the same cables as the gloves.
Me modeling my hat at Arches National Park – it does not go well with my scarf at all, but I love the cables.

I made my mom a hat and matching mittens last year for Christmas:

My second hat for my mom. It’s called a “honeycomb” pattern and was super easy to knit up.
Same yarn as the hat – lighting makes such a difference (it’s closer to accurate here).
Look Ma, they’re glittens!
My mom with her hat and glittens.

I started the year trying to make socks. My friends recommended that I start with baby socks. I had a co-worker who was having a baby, so I thought it would make a great present. My first sock would have fit a toddler. I ripped it out. The second who fit a 30 week old premie. I hated the cast on (always my least favorite of any project). I hated the knitting. The pandemic happened and I lost interest in knitting with all of the other stresses in my life as these socks were not bringing me joy. So I’ve put down the socks. Maybe I’ll come back to them because the yarns are so pretty.

So instead, this fall, I started knitting up this scarf with a variegated cotton yarn that I thought was going to be a lot more blue/brown than what it ended up being (it was a lot of brown/blue – but I had a lot of Qualms when I say that massive bit of yellow in the middle. I’m still a little uncertain about the colors but oh well). I’ve really loved this project, despite multiple times of messing up on my counting and having to rip out a row or two.

It’s called “Changing Staircases” as has alternating sections of stockinette and lacework.

My next projects are hopefully a matching scarf for my mom for Christmas (still deciding on a pattern), a cardigan for me with really really soft alpaca/silk yarn that was on clearance (also looking for a pattern), and an Anne Shirley like doll that I found on ravelry. I’m nervous about the doll, as it will require small stitches and a precise gauge and I tend to wing it. More techniques to learn. If it goes well, I’ll make a matching doll for my niece.

A recent pic of me. Who knew that. I would still be dealing with zits at 42?

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22nd November 2020

On Beings Friends

“A bosom friend–an intimate friend–a really kindred spirit to whom I can confide my inmost soul.” ~Anne of Green Gables

I know, I know, yet another banner proclaiming that “herein lie tantalizing secrets that you don’t know about.” I’ve been hesitant to “friend only” this journal, because I love wandering around the journals and reading about people’s interests and lives. It astonishes me how honest we can be in this forum – and with people that we have never met in real life. I love that, it’s probably why I am so addicted to lj.

However, I am also aware of how … perilous the internet can be; how that same honesty could have serious repercussions if I reveal too much about my personal life. And from the beginning, I’ve screened certain entries that I didn’t want the random stranger to see, or even the real life person who might take it in the wrong context. In the next (several weeks, probably), I’ll be going through and making more entries friends only.

So, please comment here, if we have shared interests and just tell me a little about yourself. I’m sure we are kindred spirits just waiting to discover each other!

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22nd July 2019

summertime sum-up

Hi friends!

Just popping in to let you know that I’m alive and around and still chugging along. My plans to catch up and stay caught up never comes to fruition. Someday, maybe?

My summer is busy. I’m going to try to go up for Associate Professor this year, if I get everything together, but honestly, everything has been falling apart and it’s really stressing me out and I’m not sure I’m going to go through it. Maybe. We’ll see.

I just completed my 6th year working at OHSU. My neurosurgery interns that I taught my first year are now the chiefs and it’s just so satisfying seeing them become competent and thoughtful and compassionate physicians. Granted, I’ve had several years of residents graduate, but these two were my little nestlings. I keep holding onto that, rather than thinking about the next decade + of fighting about sodium levels.

I also got a new work title that comes with money (that doesn’t go directly to me – academics, man) and supposed protected time. I’m now with Epic Physician Informaticist for the critical care units, which means that I’m doing more training to understand the workings of our electronic medical record and to be the liaison between the computer analysts and the physicians. So far, it’s translated to a lot more meetings. But it’s really making me think more seriously about getting a graduation certificate or master’s degree in medical informatics, which I’ve been toying with for the last couple of years.

No real travel plans (see above about promotion), but I did get to go home and play with my niblings for a few days. We went camping and walked the creek and played Exploding Kittens over and over and over and over. Love them.

I recently recorded a podcast with A Thoughtful Faith about being a critical care physician and witnessing death and how it’s influenced my beliefs and faith that some of you might be interested in. It was a really lovely conversation with Gina Colvin (the host of the podcast) and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I unfortunately, am completely unable to ever listen to myself on audio so I don’t know how it all sounds, but the feedback on facebook has been encouraging.

Here’s the blurb:

What is death when you are on the other side of Mormon orthodoxy when the belief system you might have inherited might not serve you well any longer?

When our former stories of death and dying tire, what frames of meaning-making take their place?

In this reconstructing death series, I talk with a range of LDS spiritual, palliative and health care professionals whose work is with those at the threshold of death. Each of them explores their evolving understandings of dying and death as a result of both their professional work and their personal faith development.

My guests reflect on their refreshed understandings of death which we hope helps furnish us with new and enriched perspectives and stories about death that support our ‘falling upward’ (as Fr Richard Rohr calls it) into our second half of life spirituality.

You can listen to it here: Reconstructing Death. I really could have talked for another hour. I’d love to know what you think.

And that’s the sum up? How are you doing?

 

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22nd November 2018

2 score years ago

Today is my 40th birthday. I just completed that 40th turn around the sun. I celebrated it with my parents and my sister with good food – a Thanksbirthgiving Day is one of my favorite ways to celebrate my birthday. I won’t have another Turkey and Pie Birth Day until 2029 – over 10 years from now.

I honestly can’t quite wrap my head around it. I can’t say that I “feel 40” – if I were to put a guess on it, I’d put my mental or emotional age around 33 or so. But my body feels older – it doesn’t bend or recover like it used to, I have severe back pain that limits my ability to walk much, my fingers will never bend like they’re supposed to, etc, etc. There are lines in my forehead and around my eyes – my patients don’t ask me if I’m old enough to be their doctor anymore (I don’t exactly miss that). I’m surprised looking in the mirror at the weight that covers my cheekbones and my jawline and stretches out my abdomen – it’s been there for years, but I’m still not used to it being me.

Overall, it’s been a good life so far and I’d rather do this living thing for many years to come.  I have a career and a job that I overall love (which I need to remind myself right now, as I fight yet again with our billers, and spend too much time writing endless notes, and rounds that last forever). I have a family that I still enjoy, despite these 40 years together. They irritate me at times, but overall, they are wonderful people. I adore my niblings to bits and I’m so happy to continue to watch them grow and develop into unique humans. I have friends, close friends, who I think generally like me and love me.

Goals for my next decade of life:

  • Get promoted to Associate Professor (ugh)
  • Master’s degree?? (ethics, medical informatics, as well as additional courses in research, have been serious considerations
  • Take those voice lessons you’ve been talking about
  • Photography class
  • See all 60 US National Parks (Alaska’s dozen, US Virgin Islands and American Samoa may be difficult to get)
  • Visit all of the provinces of Canada
  • Travel to Greece, Japan, New Zealand/Australia, and Thailand. I’d also like to go back to South Africa, particularly to Cape Town.
  • Reconnect with friends. I feel like I’ve lost so many threads and connections over the years because of life and busyness, and I want to try to get that back.
  • Date? *shudder*

Me – Great Smokey Mountains National Park

 

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