Thursday, December 31, 2009

Sadness amidst celebration

On December 19, 2009, our daughter, Kathryn Walker, went to be with the Lord after a long and difficult battle with cancer.
The picture shared here was taken on 8/12/08, the only time all five of my children were together.

Kathryn L. Perry Walker
1/3/1964 - 12/19/2009

Kathryn left behind her devoted husband, Andrew, daughter, Samantha (22) and son, Christopher (25) as well as a very large extended family. Kat, as she preferred to be called, had recently given her life to the Lord Jesus Christ and was excited about learning His word and was enjoying gospel music. She was very creative and enjoyed decorating her home. At one time Kathryn owned Kathryn's Hallmark in Wichita Falls, TX, she was also the manager of Sikes Senter Mall in Wichita Falls for several years. After moving to the Dallas, TX area she was a property manager for the Weitzman Group until the cancer required that she go on disability approximately a year before her passing.
In spite of enduring the extremely strong treatments in attempt to beat the very aggressive breast cancer she fought, she never complained. Kathryn was always upbeat, and had a smile on her face. She enjoyed helping others who had been diagnosed with cancer, and just months before her passing she acted as the honorary chairman of the Walk-a-thon in Wichita Falls, and also participated in the walk-a-thon in Lubbock, TX where her daughter attends college. She truly was the example of grace and dignity.

She will be greatly missed by family, as well as a great number of friends.

Friday, December 11, 2009

It's raining, it's pouring, the old man is snoring . . .

Yes, it's raining, but not really pouring, and unlike my hubby who is sound asleep I'm up dealing with a bout of acid reflux compliments of the onion I hadn't expected in the broccoli cheddar soup I had at our late lunch today. Fortunately it's a mild case and in an hour or two I'll be back under my new electric blanket snug as can be. Meanwhile it's the perfect time to update you all on what's been happening in our lives.

On Nov. 4th I flew to Colorado to visit my youngest daughter and youngest son and his family. I know that grandparents are supposed to be prejudiced about how adorable and smart their grandchildren are and I can assure you I'm no exception to that rule. Even though Brodie, my two year old granddaughter, was fighting a nasty cold when I arrived she was such a joy to be with. Already she speaks in sentences, knows the primary colors, counts to five, and knows her numbers up to 10 though the ones from 5 to 10 often don't fall in order. She also recognizes some letters and words. On the tv menu she can point out Dora and Wonder Pets. She only turned two on the 5th of October. She's got quite the attitude too . . . I dare say that her daddy will have his hands full when she's a teenager. I've been known to tell him that someday if there were any justice in life he'd get a child just like himself, and while he wasn't as advanced as she is at age two he definitely was bright and always kept us on our toes . . . and had more than enough attitude.

My favorite moment with Brodie was when she was playing with some coins dumping them from one plastic cup to another. Two of the coins fell out of the cup and rolled across the tile floor and she looked up with her big brown eyes and innocently said "Hey, what's goin' on?"

Scarlett turned 7 weeks while I was there and she is just the most contented baby. She's very alert and is a carbon copy of what her older sister Brodie looked like at that age. Of course she still was spending a lot of time sleeping. Fortunately she did not catch the cold that was passed on to all the rest of the family while I was there.

The day I arrived the girls mom and dad were catching it and by the 8th both my daughter and I had also caught it. It was definitely the most debilitating cold I've ever had in that it left me with absolutely no energy at all. The flight home on the 11th was miserable because I was still very congested so my ears hurt really bad when we landed in Sacramento. We had originally planned to do some shopping in town before heading home but I told dh to just take me home and put me to bed!

Of course I passed the cold on to him. It's now been over a month and I've only in the last week started to feel like I'm back to normal. I've still got a bit of a cough, but it's just one of those dry, very non-productive coughs. Hubby was sick for a bit over two weeks, and it wasn't so long ago that if he caught a cold it only lasted three days for him.

Meanwhile, other than knitting in the airport in Denver during my layover I did absolutely no knitting while I was sick. Finally on Monday night of this week I picked up the Noro Stripe Scarf that I had in progress and knitted a few rows. A few more rows on it Tuesday night and a long session with it last night and it's done! Today I worked on the diagonal scarf made of Vivace 100% bamboo that has been a project I've often carried with me in the car to work on because the yarn is so lightweight - I knitted about 4 inches, then pulled out about 5 inches because I had purled a row that should have been knit and it was just too glaring an error to leave. I've now reknit most of that 5 inches. When I tired of working on that one I picked up a yellow boucle scarf that I had on straight needles which started ages ago and did a few rows. I seldom ever work with straight needles but I like this pair, except for the length. They're a Boye product in a plastic of some sort, they feel almost like a slick rubbery material, and the tip has a bit of a dip to it making it easy to pick up the stitches. I'm sure I picked them up at a thrift store somewhere because I haven't bought a pair of brand new straight needles since I picked up my first set of circulars within days of learning to knit. If I could find more of these, and figure out a way to shorten them without ruining them I'd probably buy them for knitting scarves.

The above mentioned scarves are just a few of the many in progress scarves to be found among my knitting, and I have decided that I will concentrate on finishing all the scarves before I start a new one. However, that didn't stop me from calling my daughter last night to discuss a new one I want to start. I have some Diakeito Rococo yarn that graduates from a white, through the grays to black and I was thinking of doing a scarf similar to a Noro Stripe using a bright contrasting single color yarn . . . but then decided I wouldn't be happy with the color running up one side of it . . . so my thought now is that I may learn to do an entrelac design using an alternating contrast color row. I just have to decide what color I want to use, but I'm thinking maybe an electric blue. I asked hubby for a gift certificate to our lys so if I get it then I'll take my Diakeito with me and choose something that really pops against it.

Let's see, there are these scarves to finish first; Blue bamboo; Yellow boucle; Purple V lace; The one made from the yarn from England; and I'm sure at least two more. I wonder how long my reserve will hold out? If I work on my Green Tea Jacket in between so I don't become bored to tears, maybe, just maybe I can do it. We'll see!

Christmas shopping is done . . . of course we only shopped for the two daughters who will be home for Christmas . . . the others got money. This weekend or next we'll take our grandson who lives just an hour away out for dinner and shopping for his Christmas gift. While we're out with him we'll also buy a gift for his little sister. While she isn't technically our grandchild we'd never leave her out. I've not started wrapping yet, and I'm not doing much decorating this year.

We've purchased airline tickets to visit my oldest daughter in TX in mid-January. Her cancer is very advanced now and she's asked us to come for a visit. We'll only stay a few days as she doesn't have much energy these days. It will be a wonderful, but at the same time, a very difficult visit. Last month she spent a week in the hospital due to severe headaches and breathing issues. The headaches were caused by the swelling of the tissue around the site of the tumor they had removed a couple of weeks earlier. The breathing problems are the expansion of tumors in her lungs and a tumor that was partially blocking her airway. She was actually able to cough up the small tumor that had been blocking the airway, as apparently it was loosened by the tools used to look in her lungs. Still her energy is so low that her doctor has instructed her not to talk while walking, and to keep her conversations very short. Much of her communication is now done via email.

It seems the acid has subsided and I think it's about time I headed for that warm bed.

If I don't get back here before the holiday I'd like to wish all of you a very Blessed and Merry Christmas and a safe and happy New Year!