Goal Trackers

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Changes to Prevent Future Damage

can lead to more expensive improvements then originally thought of! I have a back yard the sixe of a postage stamp and some idiot planted SIX trees back there! Several of the trees were diseased/dead and needed to be removed.

A huge Bradford Pear in my front yard. It was so big several branches were growing over the roof top and had pulled the gutter away from my house twice!


My back yard:
A Pine tree that is dead and leans toward my house. YIKERS!!


Next we this HUGE Maple tree. The roots were growing toward my foundation. This tree was so big that it drastically shaded my backyard to the point that grass just didn't grow!


Then come the 4 Hybrid Poplars. Three of these trees caught some sort of disease and were rotting out at the base! Very dangerous. When the arborist came out to my house to give me an estimate on the dead tree, he's the one who told me I had a bigger problem then the dead pine - the 4 Hybrids. He told me that these trees NEVER should have been planted in a residential neighborhood! They are very weak trees.

I had to go and present all this information to my HOA because I knew that the request to have 7 trees removed would never be approved if I didn't go out there and explain everything the arborist told me. In the end, my request was approved UNANIMOUSLY!! I was told that has NEVER happened before. The next day I called the tree removal service to get the ball rolling.


I went with Cutting Edge Tree Service. I highly recommend them if you live in the Baltimore/DC area. The price was good and the work were thurough and complete! I have them remove all seven tree, grind the stumps for all the trees and grind down all the surface roots in the yard.

They came out Monday morning and were at my front door at 7:50 AM. They marked every tree and ever root that was visible in the yard, even if that root was only 3" long. You can see all the major roots that were above agound in this photo (between the Hybrid Poplars) and you can see by all the bright orange marks in the photo that were growing all over my yard!


They started at 8 AM and were completely finished at 5:30 PM! Everything!!

Here's what my backyard now looks like:



I get so much more sunlight back there now!! Of course now I need to remove all the shredded wood, grate the yard, bring in top soil, plant grass seeds, cover them so the birds don't eat them and then water, water, water!

Here what my front yard now looks like. Removing the Bradford Pear now gives my front yard much more sun and gives me more growing option with the flower bed in front of my porch.


Of course, I can't do any of what needs to be done for several more weeks due to the surgery. So.... I'm trying to get my Dad to come down and plant my yard for me! *laugh*

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Over-doing It

Why am I not suprised! I have been cooped up in my house for almost two weeks and I have been going stir crazy!! KnitRedSox and Bri (Casadefred) had come over at night to knit and keep me company. It was terrific to have company, but I still needed to get out!

Saturday, a small group from my regular Wednesday night Sip 'n Knit group meet at knit at Kings Contrivance Court Yard. KnitRedSox lives right around the corner from me and lately she hasn't been able to attend the Wednesday nights meet-ups, so she's been going Saturdays and offered to drive me. I took the chance! I hadn't been in a car since Monday's doctor's visit, and that was NOT a fun ride. But when I got up Saturday morning, I felt good and REALLY wanted out. So, KRS picked me up at 9:15AM and we went. The car ride was much smooth than Monday and the wether was beautiful enough that the small group of us were even able to knit outside! It was GREAT to be outside! *I'm free, I'm free, I'm free at last!* The group started to break up around noonish.

I was still feeling pretty good. On the way home we decided to stop at Daedalus Books Warehouse Outlet, which really was on out path and not out of the way. Of course we hit the knitting section first. Here's what I picked up.


I also picked up a couple of audio books for $8 bucks each!! I also bought a Lucille Ball DVD collection and a Benny Hill DVD collection. Benny Hill will be part of Dad's Christmas gift.

Afterwards we stopped and had lunch at a terrific pizza place at the end of out street - Five Brothers Deli. Then I was dropped off at home.

A few hours later my sister called to day that her and the girls would be over around 3:00PM to help me with the laundry and cleaning of my house since I shouldn't be lifting things and doing the stairs too many times in a day. So a took a nap while I waited for them to come over. They didn't show up till about 4:30PM. Afterwards they wanted me to come to their house for dinner. My nieces had signed up for a Kids' Triathelon and they needed to go pick up their numbers and had to attended a quick meeting. The meeting lasted longer then they anticipated, so instead of going to their house for dinner, we went to Ruby Tuesday. I had my first steak since the surgery - DE-LISH!!

Then, I really lost my head! This yarn store in Frederick - Eleganza, was having a Midnight Madness sale. 40% off EVERYTHING in the store between 10 PM - 12AM, *oh yeah, you know it* ExecutiveKnitter, KnitRedSox and I had talked about going earlier that day, and they would wait for a call from me, to see if I was feeling up to it. I was, so we went. *color me crazy* The place was PACKED!! When I saw the number of people in there I started to wonder if this was such a bright idea for me. I mean one accidental bump to my belly and I'm sure I would clear out the place with a scream. By some miracle, not a single person bumped in to me! I found a few things that I have been eyeing for a while and thought, 40% off, now or never! Then I was starting the feel the strain of the day, paid for what I had and went outside for air and a chair. Here's what I got: (top to bottom - Noro Silk Garden Sock, Jitterbug, Alpaca Soxs, Cascade Venezia worsted)


I got home at midnight and went to bed!

Can I just say, when I woke up this morning..... oowwiieee! I had over done it yesterday. I took it real easy today.

On the knitting front, I frogged the socks that I started for my father because they were too small and recast-on using the 2-at-a-time, magic loop method and so far I have 2" on both socks!


At the Sip 'n Knit, I had cast-on for the Moss Bark Short Sleeved Cardigan. I bought the yarn at MDS&W this year and I am determined to make something for myself while I am stuck at home resting!!


Thursday, July 24, 2008

Christmas in July

That's how it feels to me right now. Last week I got all those beautiful flowers to decorate my living room and dining room table *and Frisco got some treats to eat - hee-hee* I helped a woman in my knitting group destash some Manos del Uruguay yarn *I know, like I need more yarn, but the skeins she was looking to destash were all in the winter colors that I love*. Then yesterday I get two packages in the mail and another hand delivered by KnitRedSox (Ravelry link) when she came over to knit with me and keep me company!

Sorry, I did not take pictures of the Manos yet. I'm waiting to take that picture outside to get the true colors of those yarns. I'm thinking of turning those skeins either into this, this or this. When I get a picture of all the gorgeous colors, I'll ask you all again for your opinion :)

I also did not take pictures of the first package that was delivered. I had ordered some 16" circulars from KnitPicks to make some hats this winter.

Now for the goodies!! First up is the package that I received from my Secret Pal 12 pal!! How perfect is this in light of the fact that I was just in the hospital *laugh* An Emergency Knitting Bag!! Isn't that just a hoot!!

Check it out, there a zipper pouch right there in the front and in the back there's an open pouch. Sorry, didn't think to take a picture of the back.


There is a lot of room on the inside! There's a zipper pouch on one side and three mesh pouches on the other! Perfecting for holding this little notions!


Look what she packed inside!! Two 40" Harmony needles from KnitPicks *I have got to start knitting more socks!* Look at that mini-crochet hook. Isn't it cute!! And just what one needs when a stitch accidentally slips off the needle and starts traveling downward! *yikers*


Aren't these stitch markers kool? All different colors and all sizes!!


Of course, no Emergency Knitting kis would be complete without some yarn!! Isn't that color great!!


Even with everything inside there is still plenty of room for more!!


As if that wasn't enough, there's a great handle on the end to carry it around!! Thank you Secret Pal!!


Next up was a "Get Well" gift from KnitRedSox! Check out these goodies! In the back is a Reed Diffuser. There's a really neat ceramic container that you fill with the essential oil. The scent she bought me is "Calm" *lavender & Mint mmmmmmmmm* You fill the ceramic container with the essential oil and then you put in the reeds. The reeds slowly absorb the oil and scent the air.

There was also a box of Organic Chai tea, a book of crossword puzzles and a knitting book!! How kool is that!! Thanks KnitRedSox!!


I should get sick more often - JUST KIDDING!! I just hope the next time I have to endure this pain there will be a small bundle of joy in my arms that will make it all worthwhile!!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

SP12 Question of the Week #6 & 7

Week 6:

What is your favorite type of project to take along on holiday/vacation?
I tend to take smaller projects with me on vacation because I can take a few, you know, just in case you get bored with one, or finish one. I always tend to think I will do SO much more than I actually do! *laugh* I've taken socks, scarves, shawls, and baby things.

Week 7:

What is(are) your favorite place(s) to knit?
Obviously I love knitting with my group. We meet at Panera's resturant on Wednesday evenings, and at King's Contrivance courtyard on Saturday mornings each week. Knitting with friends is always the best.

At home, I would have to say on my couch. Now that my spare room is a little more tidy I might start knitting up there since I have a lounger chair that is quiet comfy!

What supplies (besides yarn & needles) make the setting perfect for knitting?
Friends, friends and more friends :) But when I am home it would have to be a nice big mug of latte, a book on tape on in the CD player or the TV on, and I don't think it would be complete without Frisco somewhere around trying to steal my yarn *laugh*

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Mr. X's Little Girl

Better late then never. I'm still waiting on the picture of her in the dress I made for her.

She has her Daddy's eyes.


Hop on Pop!


This was one of my favorite pictures that weekend.



Look at those cheeks!


Monday, July 21, 2008

Unexpected Doctor Visit

This weekend I started having these strange pangs on the left side of my belly just above the incision. They sort of came and went, but sometime when they came they were real zingers! My mom planned to leave today, so she wanted me to call the doc and see what she said. I called and the squeezed me in at 11:30 AM with a partner in the practice since my doc wasn't in today. She took a look and removed the tape pieces that were over the stitches. She said I was healing up beautifully and that I just needed to take it easy. She thinks the pain might be from an internal stitch. She gave me more meds and I asked for something other than percocet because the percocet was leaving me a little short of breath in the morning at that gave me flash back to Wednesday morning in the hospital. It would eventally go away, but who needs to added anxiety when you're trying to heal? *NOT ME!* So, she gave my Tylenol w/ codine, Motrin 800 mg and told me the motrin will enhance the effect of the codine. *good to know!* She also prescribed these patches to wear over the incision site that should help with the burning sensations I am having when I sit for long periods of time. They wanted another urine sample and drew some blood from me today. Apparently my red blood cell count was low in the hospital and she just wants to make sure it's going back up.

I did find out today that they remove 16 fibroids! 16!! *holy crap* She said two of the were about the size of her fist! She said all 16 weighted about a pound, so no major weight loss for me from the surgery *darn* Anyhoo, I am happy they were all removed, and that I am healing nicely. I just wish these pangs would go away!

Here's how Frisco is helping me recuperate. Doesn't he look so helpful?


I did manage to finsh my sister's Luna Moth Shawl the day before my surgery! I just love how it turned out. If I make one for myself I would probably add more beads :)

Luna Moth Shawl 3
Pattern: Luna Moth Shawl (Ravelry)
Yarn: Bristol Yarn - Buckingham in a blue-green color (3 skein)
Needles: Knit Picks Options size 8
Modifications: Did more repeats, son't remember how many and added beads.

Check out the flowers that are decorating my living room! First up we have a bouquet from KozyKitty. She came to visit me Thursday evening as she was getting ready to head out of town for this week. Check out those sunflowers!
Flowers from Kozykitty

Next up is this gorgeous arrangement that I recieved from my knitting group. Look at how beautifully those roses opened up! And the lillies in both arrangement!

Flowers from Sip 'n Knit group

Last up is this arrangement I received from the staff at my NEW school! I couldn't believe it! I just love that hot pink rose right in the middle!

Flowers from staff at new school

As I was recuprating I was able to crank out one dishcloth and finally finish My So Called Scarf! No pictures of the scarf yet, but here's the dishsloth and it was a stash buster. That's the best part!
Chinese Waves Dishcloth
Pattern: Chinese Waves Dishcloth (Ravelry)
Yarn: no clue, left over cotton stash yarn
Needles: Clover Bamboo size 7
Modifications: None

Thursday, July 17, 2008


Afternoon all, I just wanted to let everyone know that I am finally home from the hospital. *no, I'm not doing the happy dance yet, but hopefully in a few weeks I'll be able to at least swing the happy dance* Thank you everyone for your kind words, well wishes, and prayers. It just amazes me that people who have no idea of who I am are out there letting me know they've been where I am and it will all be OK and that they are praying for my speedy recovery. Thank you everyone!

There were some minor complications before and after the surgery. I was suppose to get a spinal tap instead of being put completely under. This would allow for total numbness in the area for a 24 hour period plus it would allow them to give me narcotics for pain and anxiety. They apparently couldn't get me numb enough for the needle and had to put me under. The procedure lasted three hours instead of two. The doctor was able to remove every last fibroid without complications, so that's the best news. The day after the surgery was not so good. My BP had drop low enough to throw everyone into a panic, like 97/42 low. They immediately took me off the morphine saying that this can be a side-effect of it. A friend of mine, who is a pharmacist said no-way it would have taken 24 hours, normally if morphine is going to affect someone like that it would be with in 15 minutes of the injection. I was pretty much in and out of sleep the first 24 hours, so I really didn't know what was going on. Then I was having a little difficulty breathing, taking deep breaths was causing me some pain. The O2 in my level in my blood had dropped and combine that with the chest pains I was complaining of and another panic began. They didn't think it was a heart attach or a blood clot, but they called in a respiratory specialist and she called for an EKG, CT scan and chest x-rays just to be sure and put me on oxygen. I just thought it was difficulty due to muscle pain in the abdomen from the surgery and the upper chest area from the strain of getting in and out of bed and using every other muscle to get me up BUT my abdomen. Wednesday morning I had my real panic attack though. I got up, went to the bathroom and went back to bed and couldn't catch my breath. It was maybe a total of 12 feet round distance. It was like I simply couldn't get enough air into my lungs. Now I was beginning to worry and was calling for the doctor. After the doc checked me, she told me all the tests from yesterday were clear - ruling out blood clot and putting the slightly collapsed lung issue back into play. There's a term for it, but I can't remember it. She said this isn't an uncommon occurrence after sedation and giving the location of the incision. She prescribed anti-anxiety meds to calm me down. She then wanted to make sure the nurses had me well medicated so that I felt no pain in order for me to work on my breathing. I was kicked out of my bed and told I needed to sit up in a chair all days and to walk around the hospital wing was much as I could in order to get air into the portion of my lungs that were slightly collapsed. She took me off the oxygen and really wanted me to work with the breathing tool. By 3PM, the respiratory specialist cleared me as I was maintaining a good oxygen blood level without the assistance of O2. She wants me to continue the breathing routine at home. At 4PM, my BP was up enough and had remained in that general range for the last 2 hours, so she felt good about sending me home. As of 5PM yesterday, I have been home, resting and doing my breathing routine.

So far my recovery orders are no driving till the doc says so, no heavy lifting or strenuous exercising for about the next 8 weeks, medication and lots of rest. Medication was holding the pain at bay a little touch-n-go today. Tomorrow, I will call the doc and see if I should still be feeling this much pain and if she could possibly give me something a little stronger. I don't want to push it, but at the same time I can't seem to find a comfortable position to sit-up in or lay down in. Not to mention that the pain meds say every 4-6 hours and at 3.5 I can feel them starting to wear off.

Mom has been a tremendous help. You just never realize how out of it you are going to be, till it happens. She's cooked me some deliciously health meals *I think my body is in shock will all the extra nutrition* and she went out to the store today to buy me a body pillow so that I could try and sleep a little more comfortably tonight. She even bought me pretty, pink, loose-fitting PJs so that I would have something nice to wear when people come visit me! *sorry friends, I just wasn't thinking of impressing visitors when I pulled out my loose fitting yoga pants and t-shirts. I was thinking - what is going to cut into my swollen belly the least!* She also cleaned the first floor of my house today! *Of course I thought it was clean before I went to the hospital, but now it has Mommy stamp of approval * I think she just needed something to keep her busy, but hey, I'm sure she cleaned the little cracks and crevices I don't get to in my normal cleaning routine. You know, those things you do when you do one of those "Ultimate Spring Cleaning" days.

I have my first home visit today! Thanks KozyKitty! She brought be these beautiful flowers and the new KnitScene magazine! I'll have to remember to bring my camera downstairs tomorrow and take pictures of the pretty flowers to share them with you! My gf Tracey came to visit me in the hospital on Monday and brought a huge "Get Well" balloon that Frisco is now enjoying and thinks is his new toy!

Anyhoo, meds are kicking in and the screen is getting blurry. I just wanted to update you all and say thank you again for the wishes, thoughts and prayers. Keep them coming!! *grin*

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Home from the Hospital and Feel Like....

Thank you everyone for the well wishes and prayers. It didn't go so smoothly, but too tired to get into it all now. I am home now, Mom is with me and I think I'm going down for a nap. Will catch up tomorrow.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Today's the Day

I'm up, showered and waiting for Mom to pick me up and take me to the hospital. Needless to say I got very little sleep last night. No deodorant, no lotion, no make-up, no food, no drink..... check, check, check... ugh!

Thank you to everyone for your well-wishes. There's a part of my that knows everything is going to be OK. This is a procedures that is done alot now-a-days and I have a great doctor who is also an excellent surgeon. Then there's the other part of my that is still scared since I have never had surgery and never spent a night in the hospital.

See you when I get home!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

SP12 Question of the Week #4 & 5

Sorry with all that is going on with me I completely forget to post question 4!

1) What yarn (that you don’t have/haven’t used) would make your stash “complete”?
That's a tough one! There are so many!! Great Big Sea, Double Seasilk, Silk Rhapsody, and I'm sure I could probably list a whole bunch more!

2) What yarn do you never want to be without? I think after completely my first shawl with Handmaiden Seasilk, I would say that yarn. Since making that one shawl I have replenished my seasilk 4 times over!

1) Where is your favorite place to go for vacation/holiday?
I don't know if there is one specific spot, because to me what makes the vacation is the people you are with :) But anything withing walking distance to a beach is always a good thing!

2) Where is one place you’d like to go? ITALY! My folks took me back when I was 9 and I would love to return there one day. I was really hoping to go before my nonna passed, but I ended up spending saved money on my divorce.

Just 5 More Days

Well, Tuesday was my pre-op appointment. Turns out no miracles have happened to me because my fibroids are still there. *gotta keep a sense a humor about things, right?* So, we are set for an abdominal myomectomy at 8:45 Monday morning. I have to check into the hospital by 6:45 AM *yeah, I'm not getting any sleep Sunday night* The doc is pretty confident that she can remove all the fibroids that were showing up on the sonogram without any problems. She did warn me that there could be more than the five that were visible on the test. She also understands that preserving fertility is my ultimate goal, so if there are an unexpected fibroids that could cause problems in trying to remove them, she will leave them in. She said the only downside is that I will have to have a C-section when I get pregnant, due to the removal of 2 specific fibroids. I personally don't think that a tremendous downside, so I'm OK with that.

I will be in the hospital for two nights and as long as I don't have a fever, can keep food down and can pee, they will let me go home. Once home I will pretty much be confined to the top floor of my house with the bathroom and shower. I am told I will not want to be doing stairs for a few days. There's a good chance I will be cleared to drive at my post-op appointment 2 weeks later, but we will have to wait and see how I heal. She did warn me that even if she does clear me to drive after 2 weeks, I probably shouldn't go to far in the afternoon and evenings as my body is still re cooperating and I will get very tired in the afternoons.

As soon as I feel up to it, she said I can start my walking again. Shorter distances at first and working back up to my 4 miles. She doesn't want me going to the gym, doing any heavy lifting or having sex for 6 weeks. *sheeeeeeeeeeeet, I'm not having sex now, so I don't think that's going to be a problem for six weeks* Then she says, "and after about two months you can go for it and get pregnant." *sigh, if only* Though, if something doesn't change soon in my personal life I just might have to make the decision between being a single parent or never being one. Lord help me when I try to explain that one to Catholic Italian parents!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

As the World Turns...

Well, I am back from my mini vacation. I went to Chicago this past week and spent some time with Mr. X and his daughter. She is just precious! I was really nice to spend some time with him and relax before having to start a new job and my surgery.

I did manage to get the baby dress finished before the Sunday visit, but the little girl is teething and fussy, so I didn't get to try the dress on her. Mr. X promised he'd get me a picture on his next visit. When I get it, I will post - along with the other photos of her.

In some ways, I thought this trip was going to be hard on me - with his daughter and all, but surprisingly it wasn't too bad. Maybe because she looks so much like her daddy that I just didn't see "the other woman" in her at all. I think the harder part was actually his reservedness *is that even a word?? - I guess it is since spellcheck didn't catch it* I know he still has some things he needs to work through and stuff. It's just so hard to sit by and watch the person you love go through things and know that there isn't a damn thing you can do to make it better for them, except to just let them know you are there for them and to be there when they turn to you.

*God, if you're listening, I really do understand the lesson you are trying to teach, but could you just speed it up a little here - I know, that was counter-productive, so I will wait*sigh*