Just pick ten.

I always blame it on chemo-brain… sometimes I struggle with finding words, organizing thoughts.  It seems to be confined to the language part of my thinking… I can still help with calculus and statistics… but it makes sitting down to write sort of stressful, worrying that it might be a struggle rather than just an effortless stream of words like it used to be.

So I was chatting with a non-blogging but very word-smart friend the other day, and she had a suggestion that I promised to try.  She told me to start at the most recent end of the pictures on my CF card, pick ten, put them up on my blog, and add words or not… she suspected that when the pictures were there, the words would fall out, just the way they’re supposed to.  Otherwise, just write a caption.  Here we go:

The yarn above… a team knitting project with my friends Elizabeth and Ann…  I’m spinning the cashmere, they’re knitting Easter sweaters for several small girls we know…  we started with pink but that’s all mailed off now, but you can see it if you go to Elizabeth’s blog and see her very first completed sweater ever…

I really like spinning.  You know how with knitting you can pick it up, do a stitch or two, and then put it down when somebody needs you or the phone rings or whatever?  When you can sit with your knitting for a bit, it can be so rhythmic and contemplative… like Rosary socks… but it isn’t that way as an essential part of its nature. 

Spinning at a wheel on the other hand, requires the spinner to enter into a consistent, steady rhythm.  Draft, wind on, draft, wind on.  It is, when you want to make smooth, even yarn, meditative whether you intend it to be or not.  Spindling is different… and we could chat for a LONG time about spinning wheel cultures and women’s work where spindling still is a major part of textile production…

But we can’t chat for hours about spinning if I’m going to “just pick ten” and still get George to bed to bed on time.  But speaking of textiles, Brian finally finished his Ottoman Empire costume, but took it to school and did his history/geography presentation before I got a chance to take a picture of him in it.  The sewing machine died, though, and Brian had to set in the sleeves by hand.  I really think that twenty years from now he might be using his new sewing knowledge more than his Ottoman Empire facts… 

And on the subject of learning, somebody got his permit the other day.   One year until his license.  Sam has been independent with his own transportation for a long time… bike, light rail… he has the entire metropolitan bus schedule on his phone.  But it is going to be SOOO nice to be able to send him to drive other people around! 

Sam and Brian aren’t the only ones learning around here.  Monique came over the other night to teach me how to make scientific fried chicken (her term, top secret.  truly.)  She and Danny made tempura to go along with it.

Did you know that Danny’s CP is caused, not by his prematurity, but by a metabolic disorder?  We have to very severely limit his intake of branched chain amino acids, which are found in almost all protein foods.  So Danny had never, ever eaten fried chicken before.  We did the math, checked his pH and ketones, calculated the leucine, isoleucine and valine, and decided that he really needed to try some chicken.  I think he liked it.

Another thing Danny likes:  reading to George.  George only likes about four different books, and the rest of us are sort of tired of them.  Danny’s not.  For this, I am truly grateful.

Another thing I’m truly grateful for:  that my children all have good, smart, interesting friends.  I love to listen to Emily and her friend Ann creating all their electronic words and pictures in my kitchen. 

One more thing I am thankful for:  that even 17 years later, the landscaping that the previous owners did around our house still blooms every spring.  I could “just pick ten” pictures of different flowers in our yard, no problem.  But these bleeding hearts remind me that I keep forgetting to update my blog with what’s new with me.  Sorry.  The only thing really new is that my pulmonologist says that my shortness of breath and swelling is from the adriamycin chemotherapy I had two years ago… congestive heart failure from the cardiotoxicity that adriamycin causes.  I have more testing next week to determine the best way to take care of it, and to see what else might be going on.  It sure would be nice if they could fix this shortness of breath, though, and I have this idea that if i was less short of breath I might be less tired, too. 

There you go.  I think that might be eleven pictures?  But 834 words that just fell out, no problem.  Guess it worked 🙂

13 thoughts on “Just pick ten.

  1. Can I tell you that you truly inspire me? I thought I had it bad with a preemie (who has been home for two weeks after a 2 1/2 week hospital stay for a lung virus) and with dealing with fibromyalgia at the same time. You’re fighting cancer, you have five kids (two who are special needs), and you’re living and doing amazing things.

    You are simply amazing.

  2. I’m so pleased you have such a dear friend to help you out in the blogging. I loved this post of pictures & words. She had a great idea. You are in my prayers.

  3. Hi, Elizabeth!! So glad to see this post from you. I pray for you and think of you often. Have a blessed day!

  4. Elizabeth, Your beautiful words did fall out. It was so good to hear from you. Congratulations to Sam on the driving permit; I’m glad you will have some help with transportation. The pictures are a wonderful additon to your blogs; they let us see how the kids are growing and learning. Please don’t worry about your language not flowing the way it used too. We are always happy to hear what’s going on in your busy lives no matter what. As always, love and prayers.

  5. I just love these glimpses into your daily life. I think of you and your family so often and get occasional updates and highlights from your mom. My prayers continue.

  6. Oh, I love the colour of your yarn – and your other happy 10 are great as well. I am hoping against hope to try to get to a spinning for beginners session in June. It looks so great.

    God bless.

  7. It is so delightful to hear from you and that you take the time to communicate with us even though you don’t feel well. I think of you and pray for you every day. I hope they find some help for your physical limitations. Your love is limitless.

  8. The “top ten” pictures is a wonderful idea. I loved seeing Sam driving down the street with you riding shotgun! Hope that makes life a little bit easier for you.

  9. Thank you for the wonderful photos and the words along with them. It was very effective for us as well.

    Congrats to Sam on his permit, Brian for actually finishing the costume the way it would have been done then, Danny for helping with dinner and his patience with George, Emily for her wonderful friend and George for being George.

    Please know that my thoughts and prayers are with you.

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