26 November 2008

BBEST, episode 2

My Dad's surgery is scheduled for tomorrow, he will actually get an ICD, a defibrillator. Pace makers are to make your heart beat faster, defibrillators can do that and can also get the heart back to beating slower or in rhythm again.
He was moved to a different room and was sitting in a chair, watching TV. He is already making jokes and complained that they took his glasses when they went in with a heart catheter. He wanted to see more :-)

But now: surprise number two arrived today and was dutifully delivered by a loving husband (because the mailman was even later than I was today!):

This envelope doesn't give away anything, does it?

It revealed a lovely card, which will actually be framed as well ;-)

This ACEO - my first one ever! - is stunning!
Before I opened my mail I had been chatting to my Mom about an old photobook we hope to receive. It once belonged to her grandfather, so my great grandfather. Opa Becker died when my Mom was 14, I never met him, but feel a close connection to him. I think we would have enjoyed each other's company.
So imagine my delight when I saw this beautiful old picture! It will receive a place at my "sentimental wall" (I have to take a picture of it at some point), it's rather interesting.

Instead of tea or coffee a glass of Belgium beer was had :-)


BBEST, episode 1

Not all was bleak yesterday! Well, the news that my Dad is doing fine considering the circumstances and while serious, it's currently not life threatening was good news already.

And then my first BBEST surprise arrived!

The envelop has arrived and opened!

An envelop inside the envelop!

Thank you, Judy!!!!

And of course, my ever nosy little cat Silly (name as well as character) had to inspect everything on HIS table.

You have no idea how soft this is!

And already in use today - off to the dentist. All teeth well, next full moon can come ;-)

Thank you very much, Judy! How did you know that my wintercoat is actually blue and temperatures are rather chilly lately?

Instead of tea - coffee with a dash of caramel chocolate powder was had for the party!

My Dad

Because I'm a daughter, too!
On Monday evening my Mom and sister informed me that my Dad has been admitted to ICU earlier that evening with serious heart problems. HE called the ambulance after feeling pressure on his chest and a tingling in his left arm. He also had breathing problems.
The medical team wasn't able to stabilize him completely, had to defibrilate him at least once to get his heart back into rhythm.
He was stable and conscious when my Mom left the hospital and remaind that way during the night.
Further examinations revealed two almost blocked coronary arteries (Atherosclerosis) with likely the first signs of an unstable angina pectoris.
He had no further irregularities since Monday, but will receive a pace maker as precaution.

He has high bloodpressure for years, and while this is not necessarily a contributing factor to the atherosclerosis his chain smoking is. There will be a lot of changes in my parent's life from now on.

I haven't slept much and I will be off to see my family. My Mom is understandably very upset and it would be too much if we all would be staying with her at the same time. My sister and her husband are with her until tomorrow, we will come on Friday.

And now I have seriously had it with 2008...

23 November 2008

Elves and knitting

Today we opened the curtains to this:

Which promptly made me indulge in coffee with a dash of cocoa powder, candles on the windowsill and cranberry oil in my little aroma lamp.

It didn't quite stop:

What it doesn't show you is the windspeed (force 7). I can hear it howling even now. We usually don't do snow here, we do rain.
A couple of brave souls have been trying to build snowmen, but the snow is too wet and it's too windy.

I continued my latest knitting project, a length-wise scarf (bad idea when 4mm needles and size 4 perle cotton are involved) inspired by not only the gorgeous colours dyed by Sassa Lynne, but also by listening to an audiobook version of Neil Gaiman's InterWorld.
Meet Bubble Hue. A MDLF. And most likely a she.

I have another hank of her viscose/cotton ribbon yarn and after watching Lord of the Rings two nights ago have set my mind on designing my own LOTR scarf. More precisely: an Amon Hen scarf. It is a key scene, both sad and very important. A wonderful place, both ancient and disturbing.
A not too wide scarf, cables and lace involved, possibly some beads.

Also inspired by the movie (and I can watch it time and time again, I still discover something new, still get inspired and still want to go on a holiday to Lothlorien and Gondor's White City) and a post on Ravelry I researched what my name in Sindarin or Quenya would be:

IRL my name is the Low German and Swedish form of Christina/Kristina - meaning Follower of Christ.
Christ (origin Greek) itself is a title more than a name, meaning Anointed One. Rub it in ;-)
Thus in Quenya my name could be translated into Laivine as translation for anointed one (or Elpinoine, but that would be the 1:1 translation again). Seems to closest match so far.

The Council of Elrond suggests “Follower of God”:
Sindarin: Echileru - fem. Echilerueth, Echileruwen, Echileruien, Echileruiel
Sindarin: Aphadoneru - fem. Aphadonerueth, Aphadoneruwen, Aphadoneruien, Aphadoneruiel
which is only half true if you look for the meaning of and not just the translation of the name Kerstin.

I haven’t been able to find the Sindarin equivalent to “anointed” yet, and would then be adding a feminine ending, like -wen, or -hiril, or -iel.

My last name is equally fun and already interesting in itself - the Low German word for acorn, so “fruit, berry”.
So in Sindarin (not having found the direct translation) one could use doron (oak) and eridh (seed), so Doroneridh.

Fixed a lovely meal out of kohlrabi and mashed potatoes.
Had lots of coffee.
And my usual headache. I should go and have my eyes checked.

22 November 2008

A light from the shadows shall spring

Weather: see yesterday. Or look outside the window.

Just somewhat colder than yesterday, so warm measures had to be taken when we left to celebrate our friend Miranda's birthday.

I managed two hours of chatter and general party noise before caving in. Now the headache is almost gone again and I'm just tired.
But I wanted to be there and I was, this is what counts.

Before the internet decided to go for a walk I had promised a picture of my most recent WIP yesterday:

Taken with only my desk lamp on. Awful light. Wonderful yarn!

The name - Bubble Hue - is based on the audiobook I was listening to while winding the yarn. The project has grown somewhat in the meantime, I was able to do some more knitting while watching part one of Lord of the Rings on TV last night.
Sigh...I don't know how many times I've seen it, but I still can't get enough. I still discover new things, it still impresses me and I still love Legolas. Yep, the elf. I adore Gimli's braided beard. I laugh about Samwise's wisdom.

Still, knitting a scarf length-wise in size 4mm needles is NOT a good idea. What on earth have I been drinking when I made that decision? Oh, coffee...yes. Plain coffee. That's probably the reason. Coffee. Plain. I try Irish Cream with coffee next time. Might have less stupid ideas. Who knows.
But it's worth it. The yarns,(Sassa Lynne's wonderfully handdyed knitting yarn and at least two of her Medium Cotton Thread creations make a wonderful combination - and they fit my mental image of Hue. And since most people haven't either read or listened to Interworld by Neil Gaimen - Hue is a MDLF, a muddluff - a multi dimensional life form. It appears in the form of a bubble and communicates in colour. And it's most likely a she :-)

I also acquired another Sassa Lynne creation and after watching LOTR last night it will be a foresty scarf, embellished, with lace and cables. An autumn forest, Amon Hen like.

I just wish I could go and take a vacation in Lothlorien. I'm not a Rivendell sort of girl. And no, I don't want to go to New Zealand, thankyouverymuch! Middle Earth will do just fine.

Hmmmm...and I've just been fed an Oreo...

21 November 2008


Had a wonderful day today!
Outside, it's rain, storm and hail, interrupted by occasional sunshine. Winds went up to windforce 9 late morning, but died down somewhat.
Germany was hit pretty bad as well, I keep on following the news, hoping that my brother in law and my little sister make it home alright in these conditions.

My tummy is full of Dim Sums. I had some cassave, too.

The skinny scarf is finished and two hanks of wonderfully dyed yarn have been wound into balls, all while listening to my new favourite audiobook.

Project has been cast on on 10mm needles and is currently continued on 4mm needles, soon to be upgraded to 10mm again.

Behind me, I hear the sound of Daleks and my beloved 10th Doctor Who. In a couple of minutes I will cuddle up and watch (again) Lord of the Rings.

I fell in love today. With Hue. A MDLF. She has been the inspiration for my current knitting. And I doubt that most of you know what I am talking about. I love me some Hue!

My internet connection is giving out, so the picture I wanted to include will be uploaded tomorrow. Now it's time for some great costumes and one of my favourite movies.

20 November 2008

There are stars in the sky!

Do I have news for you...
The somewhat secret date was a job interview. I didn't get the job, for one of the most interesting reasons I ever heard: knowledgewise I could have started immediately, but I'm too similar to the people already working there, the manager is afraid that this will cause tension.
My personal opinion goes into a different direction: the manager is only six or seven months with the company, his senior employee 10 years. I already had a weird feeling and an alarm bell during the interview - that person seems to live for the job and would have gotten an equal - new, but with same knowledge level, therefore threatening her position as leader.
Their loss.

Still a lot of anxiety, I'm more calm, but anything out of the ordinary throws me off my feet. Sleep is getting better, but still not uninterrupted. But at least I fall asleep again without rotating for hours. Dreams are of the interesting kind - not nightmares, more absolutely abstract. Stairs have always been one of the main features, and I even meet people in my dreams I know in real life. That doesn't happen very often. I also managed to wake myself up laughing - that was a first. Still very easily reduced to tears. But the rebound is getting easier, shorter. Music helps a lot - Oysterband, Suzanne Vega, Tori Amos, Ayreon (prog rock of the Dutch kind).
Getting better, very slowly, but surely.

Have just finished my latest project - hot off the hook:

A neckwarmer matching my new dress. Also a first - I usually don't make things to match or compliment one specific item in my wardrobe, but this metallic cotton thread almost matches the magenta in the dress and I have some gray sock yarn and beads... Took me a couple of days only, and I like it a lot.

Also on the needle is an almost finished skinny feather and fan scarf out of Noro Kureyon Sock yarn and a scarf for my friend in Canada. The skinny scarf will be finished tomorrow, the Canada scarf in a couple of days. It's my bedside project, for the times I do watch TV (which isn't often).
Two hanks are waiting to be wound into balls and I need to hunt for the matching needles. A 4mm and a 7mm, I reckon. The colours are gorgeous, cold turquoise and magenta, yellow...a wonderful contrast to my usual wardrobe!

But the best thing that happened to me this week is this:

Tada - Winners

I'm still speechless and quite flabbergasted. Somebody is looking out for me! It's amazing, how much little glow worms nature provides in the dark, or how many stars there are, shining brightly and lightening up my sky! The BBEST team cannot imagine how I feel. I'm planning to have my own little party for every surprise that reaches me, I'm amazed by the love and creativity of the world around me. There is a huge thank you in my heart for all of them!

I'm going to crawl under the covers in a moment. The husband and the fluffy critters are all asleep and I'm going to join them.

16 November 2008

Can you?

Can you tell what I was doing?
How I was feeling?
Who my inspirations were?

Sunday at my place by Pixie Redhead

13 November 2008

Creative with Polyvore

Sometimes I like to waste time on Polyvore and after months of no inspiration the muse has kissed me...about time ;-)

If I could pull off red this would be a favourite for winter - it should even look good in plus size:

London Calling by Pixie Redhead

And that could be me on any given day. I own or use a couple of the chosen items, some not in the colour and all bought locally or like my leather handbag from the artist who made it (on a great market in Greenwich Village, London. Great place to be!).

Any given day by Pixie Redhead

12 November 2008

And even more good news

I got contacted by an online Guide website, wanting to the approval to publish one of my photos of the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh in their city guide.
No profit involved (and I'm not after profit), I gave the approval to use a small version of a picture in their Edinburgh Map.
The guide is not published yet, but will be eventually here

I'm double flattered - my favourite city and I made a picture worthy enough to be included!

Down memory lane

We don't have a movie tradition, but on Christmas Eve on those years my father couldn't be with us (he was working half a world away and not always would it work out for him to be home for Christmas) we would gather around the radio (yes, oldfashioned), his a small world radio, we at home in the living room and listen to the same program. A program where families would greet their family member sailors, or sailors greeting their family. It was always something like "Mom Miller and the kids would like to greet Dad Miller, mate on vessel , currently in the Pacific Ocean . There were little songs played - and you could just imagine the sailors being crammed around the board radio. I once dated a marine and I know how much these things are appreciated.
And even while my Dad wasn't on a boat, he was far away, and knowing we would do something in common made us feel closer to each other.

Anyway, that was our Christmas tradition for many years. I don't think that it still exists - mobile phones etc. have made it void. And I think it's a shame.

11 November 2008

More breaking news

This time of the positive kind:
- I changed my banner! Why knit wonderful scarves when one can't use part of a picture for the blog? I like it a lot better!

- Keep you fingers crossed for me on Thursday. I won't say anything here until I know for sure if or if not this thing works out, but it should be a thing to help me out of the situation I'm in. But even if it doesn't work out, it's a good experience.

- I won! I'm not a winner sort of type, but this time I won. I don't know what yet, apart from books and treats, but The Witchy Chicks had a contest in October and I won. It couldn't have come at a better moment. Especially since my psychologist recommended reading, audiobooks and long walks. Long walks are more like a long swim in cold water - it's been rather stormy here and will remain like this until Thursday from the looks of it. So knitting, reading and audiobooks it is.

- I'm seriously considering growing my hair out. I'm currently not the tough and strong girl my short hair makes people think and I'm feeling soft and vulnerable. My outside doesn't reflect my inside anymore.

- I bought some dresses(!) yesterday! I currently have one, plus a couple of skirts, but have considered dresses for a while now. So my husband accompanied me and we got a dress, a nice tunic and a knitted dress/tunic! Plus leggings!
I'm not going to hotlink the pictures, they are copyrighted, so if you want to see what I got:

Flower Dress

Long Shirt, great with skinny jeans

I couldn't find the knitted ajour tunic - my big knitting project is a knitted dress and this little black tunic looks great! If my project, which I want to have finished for Christmas, turns out half as good looking I'm more than happy.

I need to get some boots now, too.

08 November 2008

Breaking news

From the looks of it I'm now completely out from work, for at least the next six weeks.
I have an appointment with the company doctor on Monday, but after my talk with my therapist on Thurday I cannot hold up this pretense anymore. I'm getting worse instead of better and I'm constantly in tears. My concentration is down the drain, for a woman who could multitask with the best of them and now can't even finish one item at a time this is the most shocking realization.

I had to agree with my therapist and making that decision was one of the hardest - giving in, admitting weakness.
But it was and is the best decision. I need to get back upon my feet and have to take care of me first.

There is a certain relief that quickly overcame the guilt.

06 November 2008


First worknews:
down to three days work, two days off for at least the month of November.
Not exactly what my manager had hoped for, but it might get worse for him.
Had some not so nice conversations with him, accusing him on drive by management. Instead of asking why I think this he went into defense right away, and I would be the only one saying that. That tells me enough, thank you very much. I rest my case...for the moment.

Relaxing isn't easy for me, though I try and follow all advises from my therapist. Talking walks, disconnecting all phones (which limits me, but keeps me save at the same time), listening to audiobooks and sleeping. It takes me 1.5 days out of the two I'm off to get to a calm state of mind - which then gets destroyed as soon as I go into work. Therefore considering to stop completely, before this burn out turns into burn out with depression.

I find peace in knitting, though not big projects. I need instant gratification, sort of.

Pudorose neckwarmer and a crocheted headband, both out of Noro Kureyon Sock yarn.
I still have plenty left, so I've started a skinny feather-and-fan scarf. I wonder if Noro has some more antique colours, creamy, gray, dusty... Or any other sock yarn, they mostly come in rather bold colours or are self-pattering.

I re-coloured my hair in the meantime. As in: two hours ago. The roots of all evil, goodness gracious!

I'm an avid reader of the Designers Block and one posting caught my crafty eye:
Strumpet and Pink take unmentionables to a completely new level. I'm especially in love with these two, practical or not:

My inner Scot is particularly happy to have stumbled across this designer called Anta
I'm especially smitten by the fashion, oh, and that throw Cairngorm - just my colours...
Next time I'm in Edinburgh I will go and spend some money there.

Talking about reading, my dear husband brought me The Graveyard Book by my favourite author (one of them at least) Neil Gaiman and I'm going to start it soon. It's a children's book, but if you are familiar with Mr Gaiman you know that you can enjoy his works, regardless of age. I understand that Coraline is being made into an animated movie and I hope it's going to be shown here.

And I have to get this pattern: Spindrift Capelet

Now I will return to my skinny scarf, some Loreena McKennitt and a mug of herbal tea. It's a surprise tea - I bought it on a medieaval fair and have forgotten about it. So I have no clue what I'm drinking, but it's nice and soothing.