Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Positive Attitude Quotes

"Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently." - Henry Ford

Every morning I look forward to receiving my Positive Perspectives Quote of the Day in my email. Yesterday, I had a pretty good day, and today has been productive. And I even worked on my Business Abilities course! So my post here today won't be a long one as I want to get back to it while I'm on a roll.

For those that enjoyed my Molly pictures on Sunday, I'll leave you with a couple more. LOL

Sunday, April 09, 2006

New things...

"Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new." - Albert Einstein

I've been trying all week to post something interesting but I just haven't felt very interesting at all. My pain and fatigue levels have just floored me and I'm trying to deal. And I'm feeling guilty about all the things I didn't get done.

Ok, so Monday morning I had a meeting at the hospital (volunteer work) and didn't get to the pool. In the afternoon, I was wiped and had a nap, did some knitting in the evening.

Tuesday morning, went to the pool, the water felt so good. During my hour in the pool I could literally feel the fluid moving up out of my legs. Such a weird feeling, but good. Tuesday afternoon, my scooter was picked up so they could check out some problems I've been having with it. They brought me a loaner electric wheel chair. It's so different than my scooter but it's only for a week, I'll manage. Late afternoon, had a nap in my rocking chair and did some knitting in the evening.

Wednesday morning, shopping day! HandyDART picked me up at 8:15 a.m. and took me up to WalMart and then picked me up at Extra Foods at 11:30 a.m. I was exhausted but the shopping is done for another month and I found my favourite bras on sale for $5 each. So I got 3 of them! The electric wheelchair was a pain in the butt, especially outside...I want my scooter back! Afternoon, another nap! I just can't keep my eyes open. I never sleep in the daytime and I want to get some knitting done and work on my Business Abilities course. Starting to feel very frustrated and guilty!

Thursday morning, 8:30 a.m., off to the pool. Home by 11:00 a.m., have some lunch, sit down with my feet up to do a little knitting. I fell asleep again! Did get a little knitting done in the evening though. Friday, same as Thursday, pool, lunch, nap in the afternoon and knitting in the evening. Still no work done on my course.

Saturday morning, went to two garage sales with my SO. One at the Catholic church and one at the Seniors Centre. Not much that attracted my attention but I did get a couple pattern books and the cutest carved wooden cat that sits on the edge of a shelf. My cat, Molly, was very nervous about this almost life-size, cat-shaped thing!

So Saturday afternoon I had another nap, then went to bed early (about 10 pm) and slept in until almost 8:30 a.m. I hope I'm slept out now and can get on with a new week.

So here it is a beautiful, sunny Sunday afternoon and I'm not sleepy yet! Been thinking about this past week and have come to realize that I'm going to have to take this in stride and move on. I really want to have my own little part-time home-based business and I WILL accomplish it sooner or later. But, as my doctor has said to me (several times) my full-time job is ME!

If you're interested here's a little reading about some of the health conditions that I have to deal with on a daily basis: Lipoedema, Type II Diabetes, Wheat/Gluten Intolerance, Osteoarthritis and Depression/Anxiety.

Most of the time I cope with my life in a fairly optimistic manner but occasionally I just don't have it in me to "cope well". A little rebellion perhaps?

I really do enjoy my time in the pool and it keeps me somewhat fit and mobile. I go for an hour, 4 times a week (Mon, Tues & Thurs, Fri) and do my Water Therapy and Deep Water Running. When I have to miss a session I can really feel it, both physically and mentally.

Well that's enough out of me for today! Talk to you soon.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

High Mesa Cardigan

This is the cardigan that I used as a winter jacket this year. I made it as part of the Knit-Along (KAL) on the Ample Knitters List last winter (Jan. 2005). I decided this morning that I should take some photos (only six months after completion). It was really difficult to capture the patterning on the front and back.

I knit this sweater with some Bouquet 4 ply Polar bulky weight 100% wool yarn that was waiting patiently in my stash for the right project to come along. I followed the pattern pretty much as written except I increased along the sides to accommodate my larger hips. The finished measurements ended up being 59" at the bust and 65" at the hip. I fulled the completed sweater just a little to make it more wind and weather proof then took it to my favourite seamstress and had her put in a heavy-duty two-way zipper. When I'm sitting on my scooter I can zip it up all the way and unzip a little from the bottom so the sweater doesn't make a huge bulge in front. I've got enough tummy of my own I don't need to make it look larger and it also keeps my legs warmer when it lies flat.

I also made myself a felted hat to go with my sweater. You can see me in my ensemble as I ride the lift into the HandyDART bus on my way home from the pool. I go to the pool four times a week and spend an hour doing my exercises.

Well, time to go and knit on my socks and plan my next knitting adventure! I have some Butterfly Super 10 cotton in a pretty coral colour that might make a nice summer weight High Mesa Cardigan.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Streakers Shrug

I completed the Streakers Shrug from the Spring 06 issue of Interweave Knits on Sunday and got some photos taken this morning. I used the end of the cone of yarn that I made my Fenna shawl with and had to finish up the cuffs and neck ribbing with another yarn from my stash. It even looks like I planned it that way! Anyway, I like it and it fits me well, looks pretty and keeps my arms and shoulders warm to boot. I think I'll make another one or two for this summer.

Pocketbook Slippers

Ta-Da! My version of the Pocketbook Slippers! Worn with my new handknit socks. The actual colour of the slippers is in the photo with the ball of yarn in it. The 100g ball of Patons Decor yielded two pairs of slippers. The funny looking little "purse" at the top of the photo is what the slippers look like before you put them on your feet. They are very stretchy and fit a variety of foot sizes.

I used my new Bryspun 4.5mm circular needle to knit these slippers. I hadn't tried the Bryspun circular needles before although I've been using the dpn's for a couple of years now. I'm quite pleased with the feel and weight of them in my hands.

And for those that are wondering, the socks were made with Confetti sock yarn on 2mm bamboo double pointed needles; with my own toe-up pattern that I concocted to accommodate my ever changing swollen ankles. I'm going to try my hand at writing out the pattern and posting it as a pdf document very soon. I have enjoyed downloading the pdf patterns from other blogs so want to give it a try with my own pattern. I haven't created a pdf document before but it can't be that hard, right?

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Mad Ethel Flint here...

As you can tell from my previous post, I've been working very diligently this morning. Well, I have... just not strictly on my Business Abilities course. I'm working on Module Two, Developing Your Business Idea. I've pretty much got the business concept part completed and have started delving into the marketing section.

So I decided to do a little "market research" and check out some of the websites I've got bookmarked, then I checked out a few of my favourite blogs, found the Pirate Name thingy and got myself sidetracked.

Now I'm working on some Pocketbook Slippers, while I surf the net (ummm.... do some "market research"). I do like this little slipper pattern though, I've just about finished the first one now. I'll do a fibre report with photos either later today or tomorrow. I finished up the Streakers Shrug last night and will wash and block it today and I'm just about finished a pair of socks for me too.

My pirate name

My pirate name is:

Mad Ethel Flint

Every pirate is a little bit crazy. You, though, are more than just a little bit. Like the rock flint, you're hard and sharp. But, also like flint, you're easily chipped, and sparky. Arr!

Get your own pirate name from fidius.org.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Fenna Shawl

I finished up my Fenna Shawl this weekend! This is the shawl from Myrna Stahman's Shawls and Scarves book and I actually followed her pattern without any deviations. A first for me! I always seem to change something in a pattern as I go along. So, here are some photos of me wearing my shawl after machine washing and drying, with no blocking.

I like it! It's really comfortable and soft.

The first two photos are front and back untied and the second two photos are front and back with the ends tied around my waist.

Yarn Details: A cone of fingering weight acrylic that has been lingering in my yarn stash for a while. I used a 3.75 mm circular needle to achieve the gauge called for in the pattern.

The cone started out at about 24 oz. and the shawl used about 16 oz., so that leaves me with about 8 oz. left to play with. I've decided to make the Streakers Shrug from the new Spring Interweave Knits magazine. I'm using the yarn doubled for this one with a 5 mm needle to achieve the gauge in the pattern.

The amount of yarn might be close on this one so I'll make the cuffs with a different yarn if need be. Well, I'm off to do a little knitting. Talk to you soon.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Volunteer Work

Volunteer work in my community has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. When I was a kid I always did the Y Walkathon every spring and sold raffle tickets and Girl Guide cookies too. When I was raising my children my volunteer work revolved around them and their activities.

I loved it when they were in the Nancy Greene Ski League and when they graduated to the local ski team as teenagers. I was the Race Secretary for the Downhill Event at Spring Break for a number of years, thus earning my "Downhill Junkie" nickname. Ahhhh, I do miss skiing!!

These days my volunteer passion is the Chronic Disease Self-Management Program (CDSMP). I am a Volunteer Program Leader and a Master Trainer and really enjoy working to promote this program.

Last summer I had the opportunity to create a presentation for a conference in September, 2005, the New Perspectives Conference. I created a poster entitled, "Nothing About Me Without Me - The Patient Voice". I've put a link to the pdf document of the poster in the links column if you'd like to read it. It is quite a large document, so be warned, it might take a while to download.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006


I want this blog to be a journal of my journey to self-employment. I got accepted into the Self-Employment Program for People with Disabilities through the BC Ministry of Employment and Income Assistance in the summer of 2005. It took a while to get my file underway as very few people have signed up for the program in this area.

Attending the local business startup classes in person was a problem for me so I was stalled again for a little while, not to mention I was committed to a lot of volunteer and family activities during the fall. By November I was getting pretty burned out and the weekend of my daughter's wedding on November 26, I came down with a huge dose of strep throat/pneumonia. It took most of December and January to recover from that and my energy levels are still very low.

Meanwhile, in one of the many email newsletters that I receive I found a link for the Business Abilities Website and checked it out. It seemed ideal for my situation so I applied and got the necessary approvals in place. I started the online Entrepreneurial Training for Persons With Disabilities course at the beginning of February.

The first week, as I was aquainting myself with the website and course material, I realized that I needed different glasses for working at the computer. My regular glasses are trifocals and work really well for my life in general but when staring at a computer monitor for any length of time I found that it was the narrow middle piece of the lenses that I was trying to look through to see the screen. So I checked with my Optical office about getting the middle prescription lenses put into my old frames. $150.00! And not covered by my medical....what to do... what to do...

Made a deal with the optician to pay $50.00 per month. Yes! So now I have computer glasses and no headache and only two payments to go.

Now I'm working through Modules One, Two and Three in bits and pieces until my payday at the end of March, when I can get some printer ink and paper, and print out some of the worksheets that I want to ponder over with pen and paper.

That's enough intro for today, more tomorrow...

Testing, testing...

I think I've got this figured out now! I've been playing with web design and blogging software the last couple of days and I should be working on my business plan. Oh well, the knowledge won't go to waste.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we're here we might as well dance!!
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