Saturday, January 30, 2010

Oooh, A List....!

My friend, Käthe, over at her blog, is compiling a list of her ten favorite children's books. A fair number of the ones on her list are books that I love, too. But it made me start thinking about my favorites. Off the top of my head, I can come up with the following list:

1. Finn Family Moomintroll - Tove Jannson
2. Marianne Dreams - Catherine Storr
3. Fair to Middling - Arthur Calder Marshall
4. The Five Children and It - E. Nesbit
5. The Diamond in the Window - Jane Langton
6. A Stranger at Green Knowe - L.M. Boston
7. Un Lun Dun - China Mieville
8. The Weirdstone of Brisingamen - Alan Garner
9. The Phantom Tollbooth - Norton Juster
10. The Thirteen Clocks - James Thurber

If allowed to add a few more, they'd be:

11. Eva - Peter Dickinson
12. The Various - Steve Augarde
13. Winnie the Pooh - A.A. Milne
14. The True Meaning of Smekday - Adam Rex
15. Walkabout - James Vance Marshall
16. I Am David - Ann Holm
17. Time at the Top - Edward Ormondroyd
18. Big World and the Little House - Ruth Krauss
19. Hob and the Goblins - William Mayne
20. The Little White Horse - Elizabeth Goudge

Mostly older books, mostly English. Two, alas, out of print and hard to find.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Hurrah, In A Somewhat Limited Way!

Yay. My good doctor just called and the MRI was normal! No trigeminal neuralgia. "At this point," she said, "I think you need to go back to your dentist."




Tuesday, January 26, 2010

MRIs Are Weird and Wonderful...Well, Mostly Weird

The MRI is all done and I have, because they gave me the films, a fairly thick stack of pictures of my brain. It's very strange to look at pictures of one's own brain, I find. Makes me feel a little creeped out.

It was mostly noisy. Very, very noisy. I lay there with my eyes closed counting the bangs of the MRI machine...there were different sorts of bangs. Sometimes it just went "BANG, BANG, BANG." Other times it would go "bangbangbangbangbangbangbang (pause) BANGBANGBANGBANGBANGBANGBANG." (That little two minutes worth wasn't sort of had a dance beat.) Then at one point it sort of sounded like the machine was saying "blood clot, blood clot, blood clot."

After the first few minutes I opened my eyes for a second and there was a funny smiley face in a top hat drawn inside the tube, smiling down at me...made me chuckle. I mostly kept my eyes closed but when I started getting a little antsy, I'd open 'em up and smile at the smiley face.

I was a little nervous about the dye injection since they make you sign something listing all the bad things that might happen. I had a bit of a headache but I think that was from lack of food rather than the dye.

And my step-mom had suggested I ask for a blanket. They actually offered me one and, although I felt pretty comfortable at that moment, I said yes please, as I thought the coziness would help. And by the end of the test, even with the blanket, my legs were sort of chilly (even though I was fully clothed). So thank you, Barbara, for that sage advice!

It's going to be tough getting up and going to work tomorrow. Not because I feel bad at all...just because these days off have been pretty nice...well, with the exception of the hour I spent at American Radiology. That I could do without.

Monday, January 25, 2010

A Hat And A Book

So, I got the Mister to take some pictures of the little hat I knit. He took four. One was useable. (He's not used to my little camera.)

He also didn't tell me that there was some sort of thread hanging on the fashion photographer, he. Still...I couldn't take a picture of the back of my head.

So there's the hat. I really like it a lot. The yarn is Malabrigo Worsted in some purpley-blue shade.

And the book?

Sometime back I read about this book on someone's blog and just had to order it for myself. It is adorable and sweet and beautifully illustrated and touching and if you know anyone who is a reader or who is raising a reader...well, this is the book for them.

One summer, Bear discovers a woman living in a cabin who reads under the trees everyday. He watches her and, oh so curious about what she is doing, moves closer everyday until she spots him and begins reading aloud to him. While he doesn't understand all the words, he loves her voice and catches the sense of the stories. One day, at the end of fall, he comes to the woman's chair and she has left for the winter but has left a pile of books for Bear. He carries them carefully, one at a time, to his cave, where he sleeps with them all winter. The last picture is of Bear and the woman, once more reading near her cabin.

Lovely book. Nicely written and the illustrations are wonderful.

Friday, January 22, 2010

I Remain Unconvinced

I dunno. The last couple days the pain has been better...I've been able to handle it with aspirin and ice. And it is centered almost entirely over my right cheek and the tooth that I have my suspicions about. And my sinus is filling up again and draining down the back of my throat in great rivers. I am still going ahead with the MRI, of course, but more and more I am thinking something bad has happened to this tooth.


Pain is so weird. There were times over the last week that the pain was so bad that I couldn't imagine that it wasn't visible somehow. I mean, it was so bad that surely people looking at me were thinking, "Why is hot lava pouring out of that woman's cheek?" "Why is she sending out bolts of red electricity?" "Why is her face swollen to three times its size?" But to look at it...nothing. And describing the intensity of the pain is difficult. If the scale is 1 to 10, with 1 being no pain and 10 being unbearable pain, I would say this went up to 9 a lot more times than I really care to think about in hindsight. Pain that makes you clutch the affected part (or hold an ice pack to it) and close your eyes and just rock, or jiggle your foot, or bang your fist against the arm of the chair. And there were times when I was having fifteen minutes every hour or two where the pain would climb up to 9 and then slo-o-o-o-owly creep back down to 5 or 6 levels.

And it's also hard not to feel, when it's really hurting like that, that things aren't fracturing and exploding under your skin, that real physical damage isn't being done.

No fun.

And now I'll shut up about pain.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

On To The MRI

Well, the doctor says the CAT scan shows no sign of an abscess....MRI scheduled for next Tuesday.

I went to work for a few hours this morning but got to feeling so dizzy and so sick that I cam home at lunch. I'm blaming the pain pill I took in the morning, so tomorrow I'll try again with no meds. Just my trusty ice pack.

Can you get addicted to ice packs?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

But My Cats Check Me Out Every Morning...

But apparently that wasn't enough for my doctor. I called her yesterday, telling her that I was still in a lot of pain. So she hauled me in this morning and looked me over. The news may not be good. She sent me for a CAT scan and there may be an MRI, drugs and possibly surgery in my future. She thinks it may be trigeminal neuralgia. The CAT scan was to look for an abscess of some sort and I guess at this point, that would be a good thing.

One nice thing? I got some decent pain pills and I managed a three hour nap this afternoon. Lying down, not sitting up, which was certainly nice. And it was heaven being pain-free for a while. I was sort of sorry to be asleep for it.

So...there's that news.

Though she did say that if I needed surgery, she'd send me to Dr. Ben Carson. Talk about being in good hands!

In knitting news...The red cabley Palindrome scarf is coming along. I'm just about through my second skein and got the extra balls I needed from Webs today. And bless 'em, their searchers found the same dye lot! Such good service.

And, finding myself a little bored by the scarf, I started a cute hat. Pictures later. It's a pattern that Rachel found. If I could remember the name, I'd post a picture. Oh, here's the pattern...Columbia Beret by Sarah Pope.

Okay...pain's getting worse and the cats are hungry. More later.

Friday, January 15, 2010

It's War!

Even as I type, the valiant soldiers of Azithromycin are battling the dread Monsters of Snot.

In other words, I think this gnawing ache that's been growing in my forehead, cheek and jaw over the last month or so is actually an infection, not just congestion. I stayed home from work today and called my doctor, figuring I would stagger over to her office. But bless her heart, she called in a prescription for antibiotics for me. I have to see her next week if I'm not feeling better.

So hurrah for drugs!

Had a lazy sort of day here, with lots of napping of a disoriented typed. Man, I had some weird dreams. I did manage to finish the new Joshua Ferris book. He wrote So We Come To The End, which I liked a lot. And this one, The Unnamed, is really wonderful. Sad and strange, but very good, I think. Now I'm in that stage where I need something else to read (and heaven knows, there are sure plenty of books around the house that I could pick up) but I don't know what it is I want. My friend Kat sent me a box of books, including some mysteries by a South African author she recommends.

Which reminds me...I need to send her a thank you email! Off to do that...and then collapse for the evening.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

"What's With All The Red Scarves?"

One of my commenters asked that yesterday. I forget that outside the world of knitters, the words "Red Scarf Project" probably don't have much meaning.

The Red Scarf Project is an effort made by the Orphan Foundation of America to send out warm red scarves in care packages to kids who are in college and who have aged out of the foster care system. Just a little something to let the kids know that someone out there is thinking about them...that someone cares enough to make them something warm and cheery. The scarves don't have to be red...but I like red a lot. It's certainly no trial for me to knit in red!

Monday, January 11, 2010

There Are Certain Advantages... having the kid home.

Exhibit A -

She made bread today. Yum. It's a recipe from Bittman's How to Cook Everything. She said it was easy. And it is certainly tasty. Very fine crumb. And one can cut very thin slices.

There was knitting accomplished this weekend.

This is Barbara's Christmas scarf...the one that might have been done on time if I hadn't cut the tip of my left index finger in just the right spot to make knitting rather painful for about a week. It softened up very nicely after a good washing. I hope she likes it.

And I started the first of the twelve Red Scarves I am going to try to do this year. This one is in the Palindrome pattern, a neat reversible cable. A little fiddly to do in this yarn (DiVe's Zenith) which is made of six strands that just don't want to hang that I am constantly knitting and realizing that I have only caught five of the six strands. But a nice squooshy pattern. This isn't very wide...I hope it loosens a tiny bit in the washing. This is an early picture. I've gotten through the first ball of yarn...about 17 or 18 twists.

And I had to order some more yarn from Webs as that first ball only got me about 12 inches.

'Scuse the lousy's hard to photograph red.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Thank You, Miss Volvo!

Had an exciting ride home this afternoon. We were toodling along the Beltway, fairly slowly thankfully, when suddenly.... WHAM!...we got rear-ended. Incredibly loud noise and I had visions of the rear end of the car smashed in. We worked our way over to the shoulder, as did the car that smacked us, and got out to see what was what.

And, blessings to the Swedes...Miss Volvo had nary a scratch or a dent. Not a mark. The guy that hit us pulled in behind us in his Mercedes and he got out. To give him credit, the first thing he did was apologize and ask was if I was okay (Mr. Pointy Sticks was still in the car getting insurance info), the second thing he did was to look at our car and ask Mr. Pointy Sticks if he was okay. And then he checked out his own car. Not a mark there either!

So we got back on the road and headed off. For such a loud and scary noise, it sure had a happy outcome!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

I Thing I'mb Gedding A Cold


And tomorrow we're back to work. Had Christmas yesterday with my Dad and step-mom. Gifts seemed to have gone over well enough...I still haven't finished my step-mom's scarf...gotta get that done.

But basically, I'm fishing for sympathy here. Rachel keeps coming down to tell me to go to bed. Perhaps I'll do that.