Saturday, September 29, 2007

Still Going Strong!

I thought the bean harvest was over, but, boy was I mistaken! This morning I noticed lots more pretty white flowers! I guess our lovely September weather has encouraged my bean plants to keep producing!
You can even see some tiny beans, already forming! If the weather holds out for a couple more weeks, I will be able to harvest these babies! Yummy! I foresee a stir-fry in my future!

A Philosophic Mimi Moment

Without a nap, life is like a long journey through a hot, dry desert!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

The First Day of Autumn!

Oscar is enjoying those last warm rays of sunshine for this year. Isn't he cute?

I Have Finished the Colourful Ripple!

This was so much fun to do! Each row was different (and colourful!) and I was able to use up a lot of left over yarn that was cluttering up my craft room. It worked up quickly too!

Here is a closeup.
I still have yarn left over.
Think I'll make another one of these.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The Ripple Afghan is Finished!

I finally finished the ripple afghan for my bed. It was a very easy pattern, but it took me a long time to complete it. I think it was a bit boring - I usually like a more challenging pattern! But it turned out very nice. Now I can take a nap without disturbing the whole bed. I can just throw this over me and be toasty warm! Mimi taught me that! Thanks Mimi!

Monday, September 17, 2007

The Night of the MRI!!!

I had an appointment for an MRI last night. I say, "last night" because it was scheduled for 1:30am. I know that sounds like a crazy time, but the MRI department is open 24 hours. So actually my appointment was this morning. But I hadn't slept yet, and therefore it felt more like last night. The hospital is strangely quiet at that time. Not too much happens at 1:30am and that is a good thing! Signs led us down the halls to the MRI department. It was a very long walk!

The staff at the MRI department asked me a gazillion questions, mostly about operations I had had in the past and if I had anything metal implanted in my body. They also wanted to know if I was claustrophobic. That's when I knew I would be in trouble! Nightmares of waking up in a hospital bed encased in a plaster body cast, images of being locked in the trunk of a car, the feeling of being paralyzed - and now they were going to put me into a machine, like a long tunnel with no escape. Was I claustrophobic? You betcha!!! Would I ever be able to get out?

When they were finally convinced that I had answered all of their questions, they showed me into the MRI room. The machine was an huge, imposing, grey monster. It practically filled the tiny room! A narrow 'bed' was attached at one end. I was told to get up onto it and put my head in a tiny 'head' space and my shoulders against the parts that held my head in place. It felt hard and unnatural. They propped my knees up with a sort of wedge-shaped cushion. My left leg was already going numb and tingly. Then they gave me a pair of bright, yellow ear plugs because the noise inside the machine would be very loud. Oh, great! Confined to a narrow tunnel with no escape AND subjected to loud noises at the same time! How would I be able to stand it? I thought I would get to listen to some nice music or something. Even Muzak would do! I was handed a round bulb-shaped thing on a cord and told that I should squeeze it tightly in order to alert the technician if I experienced any discomfort or problems. I clutched the device tightly in my left hand as close to the bulb as possible. What happened to the person who was going to talk to me while I was going through my torture! I guess at 1:30am there are not too many people around who have time to sit and chat. That's when I realized that I would be alone in that grey room with the imposing grey machine tightly locked around me! And what would constitute discomfort? Would they stop the test if I felt as if I couldn't breathe and wanted to get out as quickly as possible? Should I squeeze the bulb if my leg went into spasms? I guess I should have asked, but I was, for once in my life, speechless! They tested the machine - not so much to see if it was working, but to give me a chance to experience the sensation of being inside it, having it move around me and having it make noises as it sliced my body into nice, neat photographs. Then they stopped the machine and brought me out to make me think that it would be easy! See? I had nothing to fear! But I am skeptical and I feared the worst.

"Are you ready to begin?" The technician asked me. I heard my voice say, "Yes", but I am sure I didn't say that! The machine was already calling the shots! It was speaking for me! "I'm not ready", I wanted to scream! "I'll never be ready!"

"Okay, then", said the technician from the safety of his 'control' room behind the glass. He started the machine, raising my bed-like thing high off the ground, "I will be able to talk to you through the speakers. So let's get started". Even if I had wanted to I wouldn't have been able to get off the bed now! It was too high! I was stuck! "Whatever you do, don't move", the technician warned me! My life passed before my eyes!

The 'bed' moved me far into the bowels of the machine! I had said, "Yes!" Or at least a voice that sounded like mine had said "Yes". OMG! It was too late! The test was about to start! And just as the machine started to engulf me, I felt a tiny itch on the tip of my nose. It was just a tiny itch. If I could have scratched it, it would have disappeared in a second. But I couldn't move! I couldn't reach it with my hand or any other part of my body. I tried to blow it away, but it just kept on itching! The voice from the speakers said we were going to start! The machine started to grunt and groan and make 'popping' noises. It sounded as if I was caught in the middle of a war zone. Bullets were flying past my head! I couldn't duck them and had to trust that the machine would protect me. Another series of bullets and another set of whirs and groans. And all the time the itch on my nose got worse! My legs started to feel as if they would go into cramps at any time! More bullets! OMG! I think one of the bullets must have hit me! I could feel it in my leg! It was a hot, searing pain. Oh. That's right. This was the pain that I was there to have diagnosed. But my feet started to get cold. Maybe it was a bullet! Was I dead? No, I could still feel that damned itch! The voice started to tell me that the next part of the test would last three and a half minutes. Oh, no! Another itch was starting on my right shoulder! And now there was one on my right hip! The wedge thing under my knees made my legs go to sleep! Was the three minutes not over yet? They seemed to go on forever. How long is three minutes when you are being tortured in a small, dark chamber? It all became clear! This was an alien abduction! They were conducting their tests. I would have to check to make sure they hadn't taken one of my kidneys if this 'test' was ever over! IF! It was going to go on forever! More bullets! More itches! More cramps! I moved my big toe between whirs and groans and bullet blasts. I hoped they wouldn't see me. But they were aliens! They would see everything! I hoped they wouldn't be angry at me for moving and take a few other vital organs while they were at it - as revenge. It was getting hot in my contraption! Had I used up my air supply? I couldn't breathe anymore! The itch on my nose had eaten a huge hole in my face! The cramps in my legs would surely paralyze me for eternity! I thought I couldn't stand it any longer. I would have to squeeze that bulb! But my hand was holding it so tightly that rigor mortise had set in! "Get me out of here", I heard the voices in my head scream! "I can't take any more!" And suddenly there was silence! Was the three and a half minutes over? No! A half hour had passed. No more bullets flying past my head. No more whirring and groaning. The bed was moving. It was moving me out of the machine! I could see the light at the end of the tunnel! "Are you okay?", a voice asked.

"Okay? How could I be okay? I've been shot at, my kidneys have been stolen by aliens, my left hand is numb and my legs are paralyzed! And I have a hole in my face!"
I would never be okay again! But the itch on my nose was gone! Oh, miracle of miracles! The itch was gone! My head was dizzy and I had to get up slowly, but get up I did! I got dressed in record time and made my way to the waiting room, where my dear husband was patiently reading a magazine. I 'ran' for the exit as fast as my gimpy leg and cane could carry me! I was free! I wasn't paralyzed! And I still had my kidneys! And my itch was gone! But I wasn't taking any chances!
"I want to go home as quickly as possible", I said. And that is exactly what we did!

Monday, September 10, 2007

September Beauty!

Meow! My owner made another quilt for me! This one is gorgeous! Look, she spread it out on the loveseat in the solarium, just for me. I love it! This calls for some serious face washing. Meow! Don't want to get the quilt dirty - or do I? No, I guess I'd better not! But now I need to take a nap. Meow!
Ahhhh! There now! That's the ticket! Yawn, love Mimi
Pleasant dreams, Mimi!
Now back to my quilt. I call it "September Beauty". Why, you ask? Good question. I made it as a sample for a beginner quilt class last spring. I think I called it "May Beauty" back then. I was planning on using it to teach a beginner class at Ann's Fabrics, but unfortunately no one was interested in learning to quilt just as the weather was starting to get warmer and it was time to work in the garden. But now there are at least three people signed up for the course and I will be teaching it starting next week. The pattern uses Rail Fence blocks alternated with solid fabric blocks. This course is four weeks long. I don't think that it would be possible to finish a full-size quilt in such a short time. Even I couldn't do that! :-) This one is 59"X47" (120cmX150cm). Without the borders it could be used as a baby quilt or wall hanging. As is, it makes a nice throw for when the weather gets cooler. And yes! It will get cooler - sometime! Although I am not promising anything!

Saturday, September 01, 2007

At the Franklin Club

We had dinner at the Franklin Club tonight. Here we are in the clubhouse. I know we are all smiling, but the evening was kind of sad for me. You see, this was our last dinner together. Tomorrow the girls are going back to Japan. It's been a great month! We've had lots of laughs and good times and I know we will have many memories! I came to love these girls as if they were my own daughters! I will miss them. But who knows! Maybe our paths will cross again one day. I want to go to Japan in the future and see the country that turns their children into such wonderful, caring and polite young adults. I want to meet the people who respect each other and their environment. And I want to see all the sights, taste all the foods and experience all the customs that the girls have told me about. Most of all I want to see the cherry blossoms in spring time. One day I will do all that! But for now I wish them a safe journey home. Followed by a lifetime of health and happiness. Best wishes for your future, my Japanese daughters. I will never forget you!