The Saturday Update: Weeks 37 and 38, 2021

Finally, finally the leaves are starting to turn in earnest and there is a rustling sound when they move in the breeze. The sky is now a gentle blue in the afternoon and there is a subtle change in the quality of sunlight as the sun edges further to the south each day; thunderstorms are a distant memory as the clouds adopt more benign shapes. I’ve taken to sitting outside in evenings to work on the computer listening to crickets while the cats romp in the house. The potted plants continue to show off late blooms but there isn’t much new growth appearing in the gardens. The baby bunny of the summer now looks all grown up, and there are low-flying flocks of geese passing over my house daily.

Fall has finally arrived!

Cats love fall! These two are rolling in personality these days.

Knitting

I’ve been knitting like crazy lately. Sharon from Security (Casapinka) took a week off from the Snark-O-Meter and I was left at loose ends: I cast on a new Rock It Tee and started knitting on that. I was really making great headway until… somewhere halfway down the body… I got bored. All that stockinette. Ugh. I began to day dream about other things that I could knit and somehow I decided that I needed to knit another little kitty to keep my knitted MacKenzie doppelganger company. You remember, my MacKnitzie that was created to look just like my personality (ahem… attitude) loaded cat that died just as Covid-19 appeared on the horizon. I still miss MacKenzie, and while I was waiting for the next clues of the Snark-O-Meter to drop, I couldn’t help looking at MacKnitzie on my shelf and wanting to make him a little friend.

Doesn’t MacKnitzie look like he is smiling?

I knitted up an Itty Bitty Kitty to sit with MacKnitzie on the shelf in my bedroom. I was thinking that the project would only take a day or two, but I had forgotten how fiddly the work could be if you wanted the final knitted cat to look realistic. I also was struggling with my old friend fatigue all last week so only a little got done at a time, but I’m really happy with the final product.

This little kitty is so fun when completed. It is designed to stand up balanced on the tail and two hind feet.

Now that I am done with the kitty for MacKnitzie I’ve gone back to knitting on the Snark-O-Meter shawl and I’m really anxious to get it done. Look at how well those classic colors go with the cats! (snark, people!!) Seriously, the cats are all over me while I’m knitting these days. Maybe they think that I should be making them cat toys or little itty bitty versions of them? Hmm… maybe I should be making little itty versions of Hannah and Mateo… or maybe a knitted mouse.

I’m now in clue 5, and since clue 6 dropped this morning I should be finishing up in just a few days. I can’t wait to show this finished project off as it just keeps getting better and better as I knit along.

Books

I am seriously reading lots of science fiction these days.

Through the fatigue of the last week I have just holed up and read lots of space opera. Today, while watering the lawns, I started to reflect on why I’m so immersed in space opera of all things.

I was in a book group that read lots of books that were suspenseful, gothic creations about women trapped in situations that were not of their own making, menaced by outside forces and individuals, and abandoned or betrayed by the individuals and/or agencies that should have protected them. Sometimes the women manage to escape their menacing entrapment, but just as often they come to a bad end. It’s a whole genre, and these books can be really popular, but I suddenly had an epiphany; these are not good books for a person struggling with a chronic, progressive disease. Okay, I’m not sure that these books are good for anyone, but they certainly weren’t good for me as I was struggling to get a diagnosis and help with my whole blue-lipped, panting for air, trying to not faint deal that I had going on. Doctors just kept reassuring me that I was fine; I was being dismissed, subjected to gaslighting, and unable to control my own situation just like some of the women in these books.

Oops. Time for a change in reading matter, I decided. I quit the reading group.

This month I am somewhere in the process of having my heart issues defined and a plan of action created. Things aren’t clear: I definitely have a pretty significant cardiac shunt, but they haven’t found it yet. They have a really good understanding of the direction of disruptive blood flow while I’m at rest, but they are trying to determine exactly what is happening while I’m up and active. I did a walk test last week (um… not sure I passed that with flying colors…) and will need to do a exercise/stress/echocardiogram test next week. This is all big stakes for me as it will determine my treatment plan going down the road…

Which brings me back to space opera. These books are all about desperate times and a scrappy group of individuals led by a strong and determined woman who is going to figure out what is happening and will eventually put things right!! The crews deal with every single emergency with creative, reality-based responses (well, using science fiction reality, that is) and refuse to ever, ever give up. They lose space ships, battles, body parts, and sometimes the future that they had envisioned, but they always, always make it through to the end with grit, determination, the support of their team, and the innovative use of technology. They are action-oriented and fearless. What ever is coming their way, they face it down, make decisions, and get to work with what they have. They are pretty much my heroes these days.

Be like Murderbot, I tell myself. If it gets bad, don’t forget to bring your blaster to the appointment. In this case, my blaster is a good understanding of my past test results and the diagnosis that they are considering, but you get the idea.

Space opera. I highly recommend it to anyone seeking resiliency in the face of an oncoming challenge of epic proportion.

Have a good week, everyone.

Read a little, knit a little, and garden like your heart can’t live without it.

Author: Midnight Knitter

I weave, knit and read in Aurora, Colorado where my garden lives. I have 2 sons, a knitting daughter-in-law, a grandson and an exceptionally spoiled kitten. In 2014 I was diagnosed with a serious rare autoimmune disease called systemic sclerosis along with Sjogren's Disease and fibromyalgia.

15 thoughts on “The Saturday Update: Weeks 37 and 38, 2021”

  1. Amazed at the mental image of your sitting OUTSIDE and the kitties playing INSIDE: were it me ‘n’ the Boodster, there would be no such peaceful separation. In fact, he spends a very large percentage of his waking hours trying to entice me out onto the balcony so that he can roll and writhe and have me scritch his adorable white tummy. Odd thing is, Marilyn, that my beloved Lui Stringer, Boodie’s predecessor, the marmalade tabby of Large Size, used to do exactly the same thing when we lived in Sydney, in a flat with a balcony ..

    1. I live in a town where cats aren’t allowed to roam freely so going outside really isn’t an options for them. I trained MacKenzie to not jump the fence, but now that I have a pit bull living next door to me I don’t even let the cats into the back yard. You know, sometime I do need a little peace and separation from the cats, especially when I’m knitting.
      My son’s cats both roll around on the round as soon as they get out the door of his apartment. He thinks that they are trying to roll in the dust on the ground to get their coats clean (well, to manage oil in their fur) which kind of makes sense, but they cure are cute doing it!!

  2. I love the new cat you knit! The main fur is so gorgeous!
    Looking forward to seeing your shawl when it’s finished too, did you end up frogging the second one or will you still finish it once the first one is done?

    1. Thank you about the cat. I just threw the color together using scraps from other projects and made him a kind of ginger-ish cat. I think he is cute and now I’m contemplating how to make a Siamese version.
      I still have the second shawl waiting for the first one to get done. The stitches and colors are so varied in the shawls and people in the forums keep making modifications to their color orders; it made me think that I should hang back with the second, more colorful shawl, until the first was done so that I could make good color decisions as I finish it. Now that I can see all the stitches I think that was a good decision.

  3. Love your Itty Bitty Kitty – so soft and fuzzy! Mateo is getting so big – can’t believe that he’s grown so fast. Love your description of autumn – lovely.

    1. I can’t believe how fast Mateo is growing. He is almost as tall as Hannah when they are standing, but she is longer. He is a really good natured kitten, smart and easy to deal with. He does have a lot of energy, tho…

      The kitty is the same as the one that I made for Cathy but using different colors. I’m thinking of making more donate to the Cat Care Society and the next one will be a Siamese. As you know, I have lots and lots of yarn laying around…

  4. I enjoyed reading your description of fall. I love this time of year! I’m glad you are taking good care of your health, refusing to take no for an answer, and dropping out of a book group that did not support your mental health. Good for you. Those cats! My gosh you’ve captured some adorable shots. Itty Bitty Kitty is charming. I hope your fatigue retreats and that they find that troublesome cardiac shunt. You are strong and brave. xo

    1. This is seriously my favorite time of year, and I’m not just talking about the Pumpkin Spice Lattes, either. I think that it is the light and all the colors in the trees; the geese here make it pretty fun too.
      It has taken me a long time to realize that I just need to prune myself away from the things and people who are somewhat toxic. The book group was strange… if one person didn’t finish the book we weren’t allowed to talk about it. What?!! Things like that make me crazy and are a form of bullying. My fatigue is improving somewhat but my goodness my face is blue. Thank heavens I can wear a mask in public. I’m still hoping that I will get a prescription for day time oxygen out of this so that I can get oxygen-to-go to help me when I’m out doing errands. The next round of testing is in about 10 days and then maybe that will happen.
      I have been very lucky with the cats. They are both so sweet, social, and very well behaved. I try to carry the phone with me so that I can get good pics of them.

  5. As much as I love autumn, I desperately mourn summer. Your knit critters always have such personalities. All the best as you get to the bottom of your cardiac issues.

    1. Oh, summer has not been fun here. We had so much much smoke coming in from other states that we had air action days for more than a month on a row. Also, no rain and really extreme heat that triggered a lot of ozone. I am so over summer!!

  6. Love all of this post! It is always lovely when fall is falling πŸ™‚ Hannah and Matteo are both just adorable – thanks for sharing the pictures! Love your Itty Bitty Kitty – he is so cute, and is a good companion for McKnitzie πŸ™‚ Also, so glad you have found a more empowering and uplifting genre to read in – I think it will definitely help your frame of mind!

    1. Wow. Thank you for your kind feedback. It is a little bit of a struggle to hit the right “tone” to carry my posts through all the different topics. I’m so glad that it worked out this time. I’m trying to get more pictures of the kitties… the problem is that 1) they are mostly black, and 2) there is a kitten involved and they are rarely not in motion.
      I’m back to reading the Murderbot books: empowerment galore!!

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