Knit Wit Living

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“Have a Great Weekend!”

I still am a little angry with DDSO for getting colon cancer and leaving me. I know it’s not his fault he got sick although if he had had a colonoscopy at the age of 50, it might have been detected sooner. But then I tell myself that this might have meant that he would have started chemotherapy earlier and he would have died before we could spend that  little bit of extra time together.

And I truly believe that the chemotherapy helped kill him. I don’t understand how dumping poison into one’s body is supposed to make you healthier.

The poison is kind of like Round Up (made by Monsanto) which is only supposed to target weeds and keep the genetically modified seeds/plants alive.

Chemotherapy medicine is supposed to target the cancer cells and not touch the other ones?

In the meantime, there are horrific side effects.  The patient ends up taking a slew of other medications to combat all the chemotherapy side effects.  And then there are side effects to the medicines combating the chemotherapy side effects. It is a miserable existence.

I have a friend who was diagnosed with breast cancer, in one breast. She chose to have a double mastectomy, and had one dose of chemotherapy.  The treatment devastated her. She told me that she lay down on a chaise in her backyard after the treatment.  Her neighbor called the police because she appeared to be dead.  My friend decided not to have any more treatments, changed her eating habits to all natural and many vitamins, and take her chances.  In today’s world, run by pharmaceutical brainwashing, that was a brave decision.

She is still here and DDSO is not.

Yes, I am aware there are many different variables around the two cases.  It’s all about choices. Ones that we all hope we never have to make.

Weekends are the worst for me. DDSO and I spent Tuesday evenings and weekends together. We had plans to live together.  Then he got sick; his doctors were closer to his home, my children were still home, and then he died, so we never got to that Paradise. long as we're together...

…as long as we’re together…

DDSO used to say “It doesn’t matter what we do as long as we’re together.”

We were somewhat exclusive when we were together. We enjoyed each other’s company so much that we were fine not making social plans.  We did get together with friends every now and again, but it wasn’t necessary.

That makes weekends difficult.  Still.

I am going to pick myself up and go do the same, or the same type of, weekend activities that DDSO and I did together. Now I get to go to Trader Joe’s, do work around the house, garden, make gazpacho, etc. on my own, or with friends.   Even though the activities are the same, the experience is not. Life is different.

Disclaimer: This post is merely reflecting my personal experiences and observations. I am aware that chemotherapy has helped many people overcome cancer.  I do not intend to disparage anyone’s decision to partake in chemotherapy.  It’s all about choices.

It’s All About Choices

My Food Journey

My Food Journey

I am an advocate of the Real / Traditional Food movement. This means that I endeavor not to eat processed foods or GMO’s, rather sticking to food as it was originally created and prepared before industrialization.

I try not to shudder as my friends eat their low fat low sugar concoctions thinking that they are being healthy.  However, if asked, I will share my point of view.


Nourishing Traditions is the basis of much of my food philosophy, but when I’m looking for a recipe I more often go to cookbooks that were published before fake foods were invented. One of the cookbooks I like is The Blue Book of Cookery by Isabel Cotton Smith, published in 1926.  Inscribed in the front cover: “To Gertrude from Mamma…with the hope that she will bring much pleasure therefrom… April 1927”  Gertrude was my father’s mother. This is a treasure!

Real food includes organic, pasture raised and non-processed foods. I try to avoid gluten and carbs because I feel better when I don’t eat them. I do have organic sugar and dairy and follow the Primal Blueprint lifestyle.  The Primal Blueprint is a spinoff of rules based on how our early ancestors lived. It is a modernized paleo diet and includes lifestyle suggestions. The thing that I don’t like is that it really irks me to have someone remind me of basic things that I should be doing – that I know I should be doing – – – get a daily dose of natural light, move around more, etc.  It annoys me that this has to be part of a plan! But so it goes and so it is. I find that I feel healthier when I follow this program.

My overall message on all this is that you can only do what you can do.  I am convinced that in today’s society it is impossible to be completely organic. I also know that sometimes I eat wheat and other gluten and that it will all work out.  My general motto is that I try to be in charge of what chemicals go in and are around me, and to take it easy if I bend the rules every now and then.

An Honor?

Normally a “Sunday driver,” I have driven around 2,000 miles in the last two weeks.  A week and a half ago, I drove from New York to Charlottesville, Virginia to visit ES for a couple of days.  While I was there, we also drove to Richmond and back.  This past weekend, I drove to Philadelphia to visit a college friend.

I drove entirely different routes in my travels but noticed that both the New Jersey and Pennsylvania highways include a rest stop named for Molly Pitcher.  I wondered if she would have been offended by this legacy.

When I was in elementary school, I voraciously read a series of child biographies. I tried to find them now; this was the closest I came:


Molly Pitcher was the nickname of a woman (Mary Ludwig Hays McCauley) who followed her husband into the Revolutionary War and brought water to the men while they were fighting. Her moment of glory occurred when her husband was injured during a battle, and she took over his spot at the cannon to continue the fight.  She earned a Sergeant’s commission as a result of her heroism and is said to have been honored by George Washington.

While I initially thought that she might have been slighted at the “honor” of these rest stops, I realized that they are actually perfectly fitting!  The rest stops are the modern version of helping people and making sure they’re refreshed.

Now I can put my sarcasm to the side and believe that she would have been pleased with these honors.


It’s Addictive

I LOVE KNITTING. It’s addictive! The tactile sensation of the knitting fibers, the gorgeous colors, the ability to take a piece of string and make it into something useful, the combination of stitches to come up with new patterns, it’s exhilarating!

With all that said, I must tell you that I am not a prolific knitter.  I am a prolific planner. I love to think about knitting, be enticed by all the beautiful colors, and imagine all the possibilities.  I am also a collector of future projects (i.e. stash).  I love to read about knitting and look at other people’s projects.

Now don’t get me wrong. I do knit.  I have been knitting a cardigan for my daughter since…November? My goal is to have it done by the time she goes back to college in the fall.  I have been very strict with myself to not start any new projects until the sweater is complete.  That is not to say that I haven’t purchased yarn and patterns for future projects.  But I have steadfastly been keeping my word to only work on this one until complete.

I spend more time not knitting than knitting. I love to knit at meetings. I volunteer on the Executive Committee and Board of a local organization. I love to knit there. At the end of each meeting, I show my progress to my peers and remind them “at least I have something tangible to show for my time!”  Of course, we are volunteering for the greater good of the organization, but the meetings tend to go off in many tangents “at times.”

I would love to knit in meetings at work but it is frowned upon there. They just don’t understand that some people focus more on the conversation when doing something with their hands. Some training classes include fidget gadgets on the tables for this very reason!  But somehow knitting is perceived differently.  We’ll have to work on that.

Fair Isle Inspirations #1 (Because there will be a lot of these)

In January, I attended the Vogue Knitting Live conference in Manhattan. I participated in four classes and was inspired in each!
I was lucky to get in the Fair Isle Inspirations class with Debbie Bliss. I love Fair Isle. I love mixing colors and patterns – it is a perfect fit for me!  And Debbie Bliss is the master (mistress?)!
The class consisted of a short PowerPoint presentation of how she derives inspiration. Then she gave each of us some sample yarn, told us to take out our graph paper and get started. We looked at each other. This is it? This is the class? We were annoyed, angry, but wanted to make the best of it so started working.

Here are some of the samples she brought.

Well. We each did a couple of designs and then had the opportunity to consult with Debbie one on one to get her advice and feedback.
It turned out to be the best class of them all!
Here are some of the photos I took after the class. For some reason I found myself drawn to beiges and muted colors. Very unlike me.  An interesting turn of events.

Long Island Medium

My DDSO hated reality TV shows. After he passed away, I started watching Long Island Medium. I could feel his spirit next to me admonishing me for watching a reality TV show about spirits.  “You don’t need a medium or a reality TV show to know that I am with you!” he’d tell me. It was just like him. I’d laugh and cry at the same time.

Teresa Caputo, the Long Island Medium, would probably never be my friend. She would probably drive me crazy with her carrying on over her regular life.  But she moves me every time she does a reading and brings meaning to the person who is grieving.  She has helped me figure out what life is supposed to be like now.  The latest lesson I learned was when one of the spirits told a loved one to “Embrace Life.”

DDSO always wanted me to be happy.  He would sacrifice his wishes to make sure I was happy.  What a lovely man.  Since he was on chemo and then he passed away, I have been struggling with how to be happy.  Is it “moving on?”  “Letting go?”  I think “Embrace Life” is perfect.

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