Sunday, December 30, 2007

Amigurumi Santas

I can finally post the photo of my Amigurumi Santas! I designed my own pattern for these guys. If I can find my notes, I will post the pattern later. Two of them were shipped to Japan as prizes for entering my blog comment contest. I took a photo of them all together, before I shipped those two out. I didn't want to post the photo until my winners had received their prizes in the mail. I didn't want to ruin the surprise for them.

Monday, December 24, 2007

The Train Quilt is Finished!!!!!!

I thought it would never happen! But, yes! It is done! There were many times when I thought that I would quit and never quilt again! The trains are cheater panels, but it was hard to go around each image with my machine. The whole thing is machine pieced and quilted. I think the little fellow who is getting this should like it. He loves trains!

Felix thought it was kind of cute too! He was right on top of it the minute I put it on the table to photograph it. He is not a good judge, though! He loves any quilt I make!
Now going to wrap it up. The party is this evening! I finished it just in time! Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Socks and Cats

Felix: These are cool! Are they for me? Can I have them, please?

Me: No, Felix! I made these especially for me!
Felix: Awwww. Please, pretty please! Pretty please with catnip on it!
Me: I just finished them. They are from the monkey socks pattern. I made them a little wider because my feet are swollen at the moment. They wouldn't fit you, Felix! Sorry!
Felix: Darn!
Me: Darn them? No way! I haven't even worn them yet!!!
Felix: Oh, boy! Very funny! Everyone is a comedian!

The yarn is Regia, I think. I bought it such a long time ago, that I really can't remember. I bought it on sale - very cheap! I guess I got what I paid for because the colour of the dark brown changed to a light beige halfway through the first sock. It is really not that noticeable and since they are for me, I won't worry too much about it. I really liked the pattern though! Easy and just enough of a challenge to make them interesting! Now on to other projects. Still have lots of things to finish before Christmas.

Me: What do you think of the socks, Mimi?
Mimi: They won't fit me! If I can't eat them or sleep on them, I am not interested!

Monday, December 17, 2007

An Early Winter Snow Storm!

We got dumped on! A storm blew over our area from Saturday evening through Sunday evening. The temperature dropped to -10C! The wind blew in gusts up to 70km/hr! Heavy snow fell, creating blizzard conditions! I could not even see the houses across the street from us! We even had a bit of thunder and lightening! The storm blew in from the south east, dropping 30cm of snow and creating a 1m high snow drift outside our back door. We had to dig our way out! It took all day to shovel the driveway and find our car!
Today the storm is but a memory! We have beautiful blue skies and a few light flurries. The snow looks very pretty on the branches of trees and bushes. Everything is sparkly! But it is still very cold and dangerous for walking! Soooooo...... The question is: What do you do when life gives you snowstorms? Do what I do! QUILT!!!!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Let There Be Cherry Pie For Dessert!

I was up early this morning - with nothing to do! Imagine that! A bag of fresh cherries had been sitting in my fridge for over a week. Nobody wanted to eat them! I couldn't give these little suckers away! Even my kids didn't want to take them home with them. I guess they didn't want to deprive me of the sumptuousness of fresh cherries at this time of year! But these things needed to be eaten or they would only be good for the compost bin! So I decided to bake a cherry pie! I know, I know! A cherry pie at 4:00am? But that is the way I do things! Because the recipe called for 4 cups of pitted cherries and I only had enough for 3 cups, I decided to use some apples to make up the difference. It turned out fantastic!

Thursday, December 13, 2007


I tried to 'sandwich' a charity quilt this afternoon. I had plenty of help, as you can see! Felix and Oscar were both sitting on the quilt as soon as I spread it out on the table. Of course, as with all photo opportunities, I did not have my camera handy! I ran to get it - well, maybe ran is not the right word! I am not doing a lot running these days! So, I 'walked' and got my camera, but by then my distrustful felines suspected something was up and they moved in a hurry! I guess they thought they were in trouble! But would I have thrown them off? Not when there was a perfectly good photo opportunity just waiting to happen! I could not convince them to snuggle up on the quilt top again. But maybe that is a good thing! Who wants cat fur inside their quilt anyway? Mimi just stayed on her pile of batting! It's a cat thing I think - camouflage!
Unfortunately I could not finish the quilt today. The batting I received from our guild was not big enough. So I will have to piece some and continue this tomorrow. Do I dare leave the quilt top on the table overnight? No, perhaps I'd better not!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Would the Real Felix Please Stand Up!

Sorry about this photo folks! I have nothing new to post about. And I didn't want you to think that I had abandoned you! I'll be back soon with some finished projects - I hope!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

The Christmas Ripple is Done!

I finished the Christmas Ripple this morning. I thought that I wanted to finish everything quickly, so I worked feverishly on it, but now that it's done, I miss it! The weight and warmth of it on my lap were comforting and reassuring. I may have to do another one! But there are also some socks and other Christmas items that I want to finish before Santa comes! So many projects, so little time!

I used Red Heart yarn for this throw, which I got at Walmart in huge balls, so it was relatively inexpensive to make. The pattern is my own design. I did not plan for this to become an heirloom! It was just supposed to be a fun project for the season. I like to make something new each year and this year, this was it!

Mimi likes the afghan, I think. She was up on it as soon as I spread it out to take a photo! But then, she usually likes everything I make. In fact, she thinks that I make everything especially for her!

Mimi: Don't you?
Me: Not always, but you are welcome to sit on any afghan that I make!
Mimi: Thanks! (aside) Little does she know that I don't need her permission! I just sit anywhere I please!
Me: Hey! Don't think I didn't hear that, you little ball of fur! Good thing you are my favourite feline!
Mimi: Meow!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

It Snowed Last Night!

We got about 15cm of the white stuff! All of my neighbours are out shoveling their driveways! My husband is out there too! Snow doesn't bother him. He loves any excuse to shovel that stuff! Go figure!
The snow is not all that we will get today! As our temperatures warm up the snow is changing to freezing rain. In fact, it has started already! Later that should turn to rain and we are supposed to get about 20-30mm before the day is over! Good thing it is Sunday. We don't have to drive anywhere! I'm sure the roads will be treacherous!

While outside the beginning of winter is surging around the house, my cats are happily napping away in the warm solarium! They are not phased by all the snow at all! Perhaps I should take note and have a nap too! But.... Oh, yeah, right! I can't afford to waste even a minute! I am too busy trying to finish my UFOs! My Christmas ripple is almost done and I am furiously working on the train quilt for Xavier! Will post photos as soon as I am done!

Oh, and by the way, I found a home for the pink layette that I posted earlier! A very happy baby girl is now warm as toast, even though the weather outside certainly is not!
Thanks to everyone who left me a comment. I really do love getting them! You are all so very kind and positive!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

The Pink Baby Outfit is Finished!!!

Hooray! I finally sewed the buttons on and added the ribbons! Another UFO finished! I have no idea who this is going to. I just made it because I found some yarn at Dollarama for $1 and I wanted to try it out. I was pleased with the way it worked up. It's Phentex Merit. I wasn't expecting much, but I think the outfit turned out very well. The pattern is from the Leisure Arts booklet, called "Layettes". Now all we have to do is wait for someone to have a baby girl!

Friday, November 23, 2007


I am having one of those days. Get back to you tomorrow!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Oh, the Weather Outside is Frightful.........

But inside, my Christmas cactus are starting to bloom!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Cherry Tree in Autumn

This is a photo of our cherry tree. Very pretty, wouldn't you agree? Blossoms in spring - cherries in summer - colourful leaves in fall! Wow! What a great little tree! This winter I will hang a bird feeder in its branches and it will have served me well all year round!

We had a severe frost last night. The water bags holding the pool cover in place, froze solid! So everything in my garden is now finished for this year. I was able to dig up a few dahlia tubers this afternoon, but the tuberous begonias were not salvageable. They were sitting in the shade and the soil in their pots was frozen solid, so I could not dig them out. Too bad. I will have to replace them next year.

The winner of Mimi's 'comment draw' is Keiko! But Mimi thought that Rika should get a prize too! I think she remembers how nice it was when Rika was here last summer, petting and stroking her! So I will check to make sure that I have both of your snail mail addresses and send something off to you as soon as possible. Congratulations! And thanks for taking the time to leave a comment! Please, everyone, continue to leave comments. I love your comments!!! And you never know when Mimi will want to hold another draw!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Mimi and the Spirit of Christmas

Is it too early for Christmas?

My owner asked me that question this morning. What the heck is this Christmas anyway? It doesn't concern me! Meow!! As long as I have a nice bowl of Fancy Feast and some clean drinking water, a soft, warm place to sleep and maybe a pot of catgrass or better still, some catnip, I am a Happy Cat! But this Christmas thing seems to drive humans crazy! They start thinking about it for weeks in advance. As soon as Halloween is over, they bring out the Christmas decorations and start putting them all over the house. I don't really mind, as long as nothing sits on my favourite napping place! So far, so good.

There is not much new around here, but I am sure my owner would love for me to show you the Christmas pillows she has begun to work on. Yes - in anticipation for the day that the jolly fat man comes down the chimney! Crazy humans! The red one is finished and the white one just needs a red bow. There will also be a green one with a white bow and maybe a white one with a green bow. I must admit, meow, they are kind of pretty. The inspiration for them came from the magazine, Crochet Today! There was also a black one with a nice white bow, which I really liked. I guess that is because I like white! Maybe I can convince her to make one of those for me! Meow!

Only 42 days to go until the Ho, Ho, Ho season, but I certainly am not the one doing the counting! Oh, and by the way, speaking of counting, this is the 100th post on this blog. So leave my owner a comment and your name will go into a draw. My owner wants to see more comments - go figure! The winner will receive a nice prize, like a catnip mouse or something! I will personally pick the winner, so, Happy Commenting! Meow! Love, Mimi

Monday, November 05, 2007

Mimi and Oscar are Friends!

Mimi - NO way! Can't you see that glare in my eyes? I may have to call him my 'brother', but I don't want to be friends with this big ball of fur! I was here first!

Completed Socks!

Sitting, as I have been, in my recliner for the past five days, has given me lots of time to knit! I finished this pair of socks using some discontinued Bernat Sox yarn. At least I think it is discontinued! Too bad, because I really enjoyed working with it! It's a very thin fingering yarn - 60% acrylic and 40% nylon. I bought it on sale last year. This pair of socks cost me less than $4 to make! The colour is called 'hot tamale'. The pattern I used was 'lace panel socks' from the Patons book, "Pull Up Your Socks". These will keep my feet warm this winter! I have two more balls of this same yarn in a darker, purple colour, so I may just have to make another pair!

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Sometimes Things Don't Turn Out the Way You Want

I know Halloween is over, but I am sort of stuck in a time warp! I realize that I last told you that I was getting ready to fly around on my broom, scaring kids and painting Mimi black and eating chocolates, carving pumpkins and decorating the front porch and just making a complete and utter fool out of myself on Halloween! But, sadly to say, all of that never happened - except for the part about making a fool of myself. That I did! Big time! And after that, time stood still - for 5 days now! There are still uncut pumpkins sitting on my kitchen table! Unstuffed, old clothing and a smiling scarecrow's head lying on the floor. Lots of Halloween stuff that didn't get put out for anyone to enjoy! Only the bowl of candy is almost empty. I feel as if Halloween has not happened yet! It's like I'm still waiting for it! I was not able to take part in much of what went on this All Hallow's Eve! I could not do much more than sit in my recliner, with a bag of frozen peas on my feet! But now it is time to put everything away for another year and hope that next year will be better than this one was. It is time to get on with my life!

I think I am on the mend. At least I hope I am! Perhaps I should back up a bit and tell you what happened on that fateful day last week - Halloween day.

I fell that day - not once, not twice, but three times. The first fall was not too bad and I was able to get up and walk away. The second fall was a terrifyingly humiliating experience! I was going through the doors at the Y, into the parking garage. The door closed on me and knocked me off my feet. I leaned back against the door as I fell, but it opens inwards and I just slid to the ground, cane, heavy bag containing wet towel, wet bathing suit, wet pool shoes and all. The humiliating part was that I couldn't get up again! There was nothing to hold onto or pull myself up on. Luckily for me one of the aquafit instructors was just leaving and was able to help me back up onto my feet. She was terrific! Such strength! I didn't think anyone would be able to just pick me up and set me on my feet! I guess that's what working out at the Y can do for you! Incredible, isn't it? But before she was able to come to help me up, a dozen people converged on me and offered their help. I even heard a voice over the PA system calling for all employees to go to the parking garage to help out! How utterly humiliating! I wished I could just disappear! I don't know my rescuer's name, so I can't thank her personally in this post, but when I find out, I will let you all know who my hero is! She walked me to my car after she got me onto my feet. I was soon on my way home. There was not much time left before the ghosts and witches were coming out. And I still had lots of decorating to do. I was in a hurry! Too much in a hurry it seems!!!!

I still wanted to make a couple of scarecrows out of old clothing and newspaper before the evening started - a couple of scarecrows to sit on my porch and maybe scare the little trick or treaters! I was looking for a straw hat, which I knew I once had, but couldn't find. As I went down the front stairs to look in the hall closet, I lost my balance and fell for a third time. This time I knew it was serious! I heard my ankle 'tear' or something like that. Maybe it was more like a 'pop'. I felt a sick feeling in my stomach. My toes sort of curled up and I could not put any weight on my feet. The pain was excruciating! I managed to crawl and slither my way up the stairs. Luckily for me there were only four steps! I crawled to the nearest couch in the living room and tried to pull myself up, but I couldn't. My feet hurt too much and my ankle felt as if it was broken! So I spent half an hour on the floor, waiting for my husband to come home and help me. After he got me to my feet, I still was not able to do much! No more decorating! No more pumpkin carving. Those thngs were out of the question! Dinner was a half cooked 'Transylvanian Ghoul-ash'. We ate it 'as-is' and miraculously, it was quite tasty! But my feet were a mess and I could not walk. My husband put the uncarved pumpkins on the front porch and turned on the light. The little ghosts and goblins came by the dozens - about 180 of them before the night was over - more than we have ever had at our house before! He handed out chocolate bars, while I sat with a bag of frozen peas on my feet and felt sorry for myself! I ate painkillers by the handful all night long and when I got up in the morning, my feet, toes and ankles were black and blue. Every bone and muscle in my body ached! I have been confined to my favourite reclining chair since then! Stairs give me anxiety attacks! I don't even want to walk past them, never mind use them!

So, I did not get any Halloween decorating done! I did not even start my broom! My DH handed out the candy to the kids who came to the door. I didn't even hollow out a pumpkin and carve a face in it! But I did have this lovely wooden scarecrow, which I painted several years ago. It served its purpose nicely. Isn't he cute? Mr. Scarecrow saved the day! He was put by the front entrance too! Not to scare anyone, but to welcome them to our house!! I have never posted a photo of him before, so I am glad to be able to do so now! He was the best thing that happened to Halloween! I love this guy and put him out on the porch every year! Oscar likes him too. Especially the raffia that hangs down. He likes to play in it - or just sit under it. Mimi likes it too! She was very happy that she didn't have to dress up as a black cat and ride on the back of my broom! So now that Halloween is over, I am going to put this guy back into a cupboard until next year. Then I will clean up and put away the other Halloween things. Halloween is 360 days away and I don't need these reminders! Next week, when I am feeling better, I will cut the pumpkins and get them ready for some serious baking! I think I will make a pie, some cookies and muffins. I also want to make some delicious pumpkin soup. But until then, I just want to get out of this time warp! Halloween is over - thank goodness! And I survived it, even if just barely.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!

Okay! Tonight is the night! I've been looking forward to this for a long time! My broom has had a tune-up and the oil has been changed. A few parts - mine - have been greased and lubricated for my yearly outing!!! Look for me as I fly by tonight. Brooooohaha!!!
I am planning to paint Mimi black and take her with me. She is not very happy about that! I may have a fight on my hands! I would take Felix because there is less to paint on him, (he is already mostly black) but he is also very heavy and I am afraid I would never get off the ground!
Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Yep! It's Officially Fall Around Here!

The weather has changed. And so have the trees! It sort of happened overnight while I was sleeping, I guess! Until now I thought we would have summer right into January. It's been so hot! But what a difference a day can make!

Last night the temperature went down close to freezing! When I got up the sun was shining and I decided that if I was to get any photos of our beautiful fall colours, I would have to take my camera and go out this morning.

By the time I got to the park, clouds had moved in, but I decided to forge ahead with my leaf photo quest. There would not be many days left in this short autumn season.

The first place I went to was Bluffer's Park. I have always loved this place and today was no exception! It looks so rugged. This photo really doesn't do it justice! A bit of sunshine would have been helpful. But there wasn't any and the temperature was very chilly down there by the lake. The thermometer in my car read, "7C". Brrr! I could see the waves of Lake Ontario breaking on the shore. Sorry, no photo. It was too cold to get out of the car and walk along the beach! Besides, I probably would have fallen and not been able to get up! Not a good thing! I decided to stay close to the car and parking lot.

There were lots of geese down by the boat landing area.

Someone was feeding them. I wish people wouldn't do that! Those geese will likely spend their winter half frozen in the cold waters of the lake, instead of flying to some nice warm place down south.

The trees in the park were almost devoid of leaves. But there were still a few nice specimens along the bottom of the bluffs. I guess the winds are stronger down near the lake and the temperature is much colder! So cold, in fact, that I decided to leave Bluffer's Park and drive to Morningside Park instead.

It was not much warmer there either, and there were not many leaves left on the trees.
Most had fallen, making a nice leafy path to follow through the trees.
I stayed close to the paved areas in order to make walking easier. It was a great experience to wonder around in such a natural setting. I hadn't realized how much I had missed doing that lately. I will try to get out more often now that my daily pool exercises seem to be working!

There was no one else in the park! I was alone with the squirrels and geese! It just doesn't get any better than that! I could actually hear the leaves as they glided through the air and landed softly on the ground.

I found some nice purple coloured maple leaves. They reminded me of the time when I was still working in a Special Education class and we were discussing fall colours and the changing leaves. One boy insisted that the leaves turned purple. I let him have his say, but I was skeptical because I didn't think that I had ever seen a purple maple leaf! But here was proof! I wish I had some fabric in this lovely colour! What a gorgeous quilt that would make!

On the way home I drove past a fruit and vegetable market. The pumpkins were piled high on top of each other. Huge mountains of pumpkins! Their bright orange colour pulled me and my camera towards them. "Come", they called to me. "Don't you just love our bright orange complexion? Come and photograph us." I just couldn't get enough photos, but I will only bore you with one!
I thought about buying a pumpkin to take home with me - a sort of souvenir of my morning outing. And, after all, Hallowe'en is only a few days away. But when I saw the price tags - WOW! $19.99 for a pumpkin? I think I will get mine at Loblaws. I saw some rather small, misshapen ones there last week for only $1.99. Who needs a perfect pumpkin for a Jack-O-Lantern anyway? The odd shaped ones make the scariest Jack-O-Lanterns! Don't you agree?

When I arrived home, the sun had still not come out! In fact, it didn't make an appearance until late in the afternoon when I was in the pool at the Y. Too bad I didn't have even a small ray of sunshine to help me take my photos. But, oh, well. The sun reflecting off the waves of the pool water was nice too. I pretended I was on an island, far from the late days of autumn, enjoying the warm waters of a tropical pool.
A small urn of purple verbena greeted me when I arrived back
home. Soon these too will wither and die. But for now they provided me with some colour. And along with the colours of the beautiful leaves I saw today, will provide me with energy to carry with me through the long winter that is definitely ahead of us.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

My Blooming Yellow Hibiscus

In the past two days we broke records for the warmest temperatures on record. It was 26C on Sunday and 25.1C yesterday. We wondered if this summer was ever going to end! But today fall has finally begun. It is cold and dark and raining. Tonight there is a chance of night frost! But inside, my solarium is like a miniature tropical garden. I have organized and placed the plants so that there is still room for us and our felines - not an easy task! It is warm and dry in there, with peaceful places for cats to curl up and nap the day away - under green leaves and spreading branches. And, bonus! I found this wonderful hibiscus this morning - blooming happily inside, oblivious of the dark, dreary weather outside!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

The Princess and the Peas

Everything is being moved inside this weekend. It is getting too cold! Our summer is over! The pool is already covered and the tropical plants have been placed in the solarium. Last night the temperature went down to 4C! The beans have all been picked and we will have the stir fry I promised myself for dinner tonight! Most of the tomatoes have been picked, but I left some of them on the vines in hopes that they will grow a bit bigger, but I doubt if that will happen. I think we will have frost before then. We have already had to turn on the furnace! It is hard to believe that only a week ago we set a record for the hottest daytime temperature when the mercury went up to 32C! Mimi doesn't mind! She is taking full advantage of the chair cushions that will eventually have to be stored in the basement until next spring. But for now she is the Princess and the Pea, as she sleeps, high on a pile of cushions, in the back room!

Meow! Okay, don't bother to move these cushions! Just leave them here for me! I love the high vantage point! I can see out over all of my domain! And it is all mine! And bonus! My pesky 'brothers' can't bother me up here! Meow! Love, Mimi
PS. Oh, by the way, could you please remove the book that was lying on the chair before you piled the cushions on it. It is hurting my back! Thanks.

Friday, October 05, 2007

New Plants in My Garden

Toad Lilies - Tricyrtis hirta
Look what I found in my garden this week. Toad Lilies! Until last spring, I had never even heard of them. I found some plants at a sort of up-scale garden centre. They are considered woodland plants - that is, they do well in moist, shaded areas under trees and shrubs. Since I have lots of places like that in my garden, I decided to buy a couple of plants and try them out. They don't flower until the fall, but when they do, watch out! They are absolutely stunning! Each flower is only about an inch in diameter, but the plants are covered in them.
I will have to see how they survive our cold winters. If they do, I think I will add a few more to my garden next year. It is so nice to have something as pretty as these little lilies flowering when almost everything else in my garden has already given up and died back for the impending winter!

Feeling Blue!

Well, that just about sums up my mood today! But aren't these morning glories beautiful?
I planted them last spring, before I even knew anything about nerve damage, bulges in my spinal cord, MRIs and walking with a cane! But today these gorgeous flowers came in handy! I had to climb up part of a wall to get this shot. And I was able to do that - and get down without hurting myself! Hmmm. Maybe things aren't as bad as I think they are. Notice the sky! Even it is blue today - and not a cloud in sight!

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!