Monday, April 29, 2019

Springtime In Illinois

I know this blog is long overdue for an update.
The last year and more have been full of mostly amazing changes.
My chemo was completed near the end of last May.  I'm still recovering from the effects of the chemo and the surgery that preceded it. I'm working hard to build strength, but it's a great challenge.
Most other aspects of my life have undergone tremendous changes as well. (My most recent CA-125 was about 5, which is even less than it was at the end of treatment.)
My daughter successfully defended her thesis for her master's at New Mexico Tech. She did so not only with solid knowledge but also with great poise. She accepted a position with Caterpillar in Illinois.
Over Labor Day weekend I came along to help drive the moving truck, although at that point I was still too weak to be of much additional help. We stopped to see a childhood school friend of mine who had put her home up for sale.  I made an offer for her home and returned to New Mexico to prepare for selling mine.  My mind is still boggled from all that happened and how it happened and how quickly it happened, since I had planned to put my house on the market about now and hoped to move this coming summer.
Suffice it to say I'm now happily settling into my home in El Paso, not in Texas; the other El Paso!
The downstairs will be my quilting/sewing/knitting/cross stitching studio as soon as I get it organized.  I do a bit of unpacking and organizing every day, but I still have a way to go to regain the strength I had before the cancer journey.

The only needlework I've done includes finishing stitching of one small piece begun during chemo and some knitting.
My previous post shows a chair of cross stitch floss. (That chair now resides with my daughter.)
 Here's a chair of yarn, although it's just what I have out to make some choices. (This is an antique oak office chair that I happened upon here in Illinois.)

My latest finished project is still unblocked, but it's a shawl using 150 gr. of yarn from Sweet Georgia. It's designed by Tabetha Hedrick, and the yarn pack and pattern are available only from shops.
 As I neared the end of the shawl, I grew very tired of the lace pattern, so I substituted other patterns from the shawl.  I bound off with a picot edge that was not part of the pattern rather than with the contrast yarn.
Here's what I have left.
I've also knit three hats since I moved here.

I realized I love my red sweater, but I do not have a shawl that works well with it unless I wear my deep blue one and go for a patriotic look.  These are yarns I'm considering, but they will be used in multiple shawls, since my swatch is telling me some give different gauges, although they are all fingering yarns.

While all the cross stitch shops are gone, we are fortunate to have two great knitting shops in Bloomington.

We're having another rainy day today; quite a change for me after 30 years in the desert!  I find I love Mondays during retirement.  I try to stay home and do things around the house as well as some knitting. Getting my huge studio space set up is still a goal since I lack the energy and strength I need, and the unloading people mixed boxes marked Master Bedroom with those marked Quilt Studio. The other days of the week get scheduled quickly and include chiropractor visits resulting from my unplanned attempt to fly across some ice at the end of January.  (Yes, I arrived just in time to  unload before the polar vortex descended with wind chills of -50F. In fact, the six guys I hired unloaded everything in less than three hours, and the rental trucks were returned as the snow and ice struck Central Illinois. My home is nice and cozy, so I didn't much mind since I had so much unpacking to do.)

I do miss my friends from New Mexico, and I'm enjoying connecting and reconnecting with people in the area where I grew up.  A lot of things have changed in my community, but a lot of things have endured and/or improved.
My 90+ year old friend Barbara assured me I was headed for a great and fun adventure.  She's right.  My days are filled with joy.

Happy quilting and stitching......

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