Monday, April 27, 2009

Bargains and blooms

Monday a week ago I awoke to this gorgeous bloom on my Three Oranges hybrid epiphyllum. It was about eight inches across and truly a work of God! It's growing from that 'branch' (improper terminology) at center top, and to the left you can see another bud that will bloom soon. There are well over a dozen buds on this plant that appear healthy enough to bloom and they'll probably bloom over the next few weeks. In addition, at least a half dozen other plants in my collection have buds on them. One, Orient Express, has over a dozen healthy buds on it that should bloom! I dare say it's going to be a bloomin' good season.

Speaking of good . . . the bargains were good this past Friday at our local thrift stores. Those of you who read my blog regularly know I'm talking about yarn bargains. Here's the tally for that one day, at three thrift stores;
26 skeins of a fingering weight labeled Dressy by Spinnerin, 1 oz/125 yards ea. of 100% wool in light brown, 6 skeins of worsted weight Nature Spun (no company name but made in USA) 100% virgin wool, 3.5 oz/245 yds ea, in rose, 1 large skein of lace weight yarn with a label in Chinese that I was able to weigh out at 265 grams. I just did a burn test on it and I'm confident it's a natural fiber but it feels softer than most wools to me. To double check I put a piece of it in bleach too, so if it disolves it's definitely a natural fiber. I can't guess at the length, but it's a lot. A completed baby blanket (preemie size) made from Red Heart baby print, plus 3 skeins of matching yarn. 1 skein Paton's Baby Coordinates, plus several balls of frou-frou type yarns. My total spent, just $21.50!

Amid the excitement of my epi blooming, and the yarn spree we've had some not so great news. My husband has been diagnosed with stage one Parkinson's disease. Stage 1 means it's currently affecting only one half of his body, his left side. We weren't terribly surprised at the diagnosis, as I had already done some research and knew his tremor, and some of his other symptoms were indicative of Parkinson's. There were a lot of things that could have been worse. But now that we've had a few days for it to sink in, it feels like someone has ripped the reins of control out of our hands. This isn't a death sentence by any means, but it does have the ability to change our lives completely, without warning. Still we have so much to be thankful for. It's just difficult to look at our blessings at this time instead of at the control we feel we've lost. We know God is in control, now we need to exercise our faith, and let go of this and thank Him for each day that dear hubby can live a normal life. Say a prayer for us next time you're talking to Him, will you?

Monday, April 20, 2009

A bargain isn't always a bargain . . .

Last week I was excited to find a scarf already in progress and still on the needles at a local thrift store for only 94 cents! It was nicely folded in the sealed bag, the needles were a pair of US11 Susan Bates needles. The yarn was a very pretty bulky variegated yarn. Ahh, no I didn't think to take a picture before frogging it because it was only about a yard long and 7 inches wide. So, to get to the point, I decided making it considerably narrower wasn't a good idea so I purchased yarn to add to it. The lack of a bargain is due to the fact that I actually ended up not using the yarn I purchased. I did end up finding something in my stash so my 94 cent bargain is getting used and I'll eventually use the yarn I purchased that has slipped in amongst the rest of my stash.
Also on my needles are the Wildfoote socks, which are to the point where I'm doing the cuffs in a k3, p1 ribbing, with about 1 inch of the cuff complete. Also the Noro Silk Garden stripe scarf. Up next another pair of socks, this time in Poem Sock which I just need to roll into two balls. I scored a really good buy on a digital scale today at Harbor Freight for only $20. I've got three colors to choose from and I think the eenie meenie miny moe game will be the way to choose because they're all so gorgeous. I have 952, 955 and 958.

More and more buds keep appearing on my epies. I was sure my Three Oranges epie would have bloomed by now, but obviously the hybrids take longer from the appearance of buds to bloom than my species, Oxypetallum, does. This very large bud on my Three Oranges will be the next bud to bloom. This plant has over a dozen buds that all appear they will bloom over the next few weeks. It looks like the bloom may be at least 6 inches or larger. Also in bud are my Orient Express, Sonoma Sunshine, Elise, Amber Queen and maybe Hot Lava. The growth on Hot Lava is very small and too difficult for me to tell. The Orient Express has over a dozen buds. It sounds like a bloomin good summer.
Dear hubby has been dealing with some loss of motor function in both his left hand and leg, among other symptoms. He's had two MRI's so far. The first one, of the head, ruled out the possibility that he'd had a stroke. This is excellent news as his mom had a very long history of dibilitating strokes prior to her passing. The second MRI, of the neck, showed a congenitally narrowed spinal canal and some bulging disks which could be the cause. That alone doesn't account for all his symptoms however so he will see a neurologist later this week. If it is just the bulging disks causing the problems then surgery is probably a good option. If not, hopefully it will end up being something treatable. Please say a prayer for him.