Saturday, April 26, 2008

Thank goodness for muscle memory!

Played in a golf tournament today for the first time in about 2 years. I knew it was coming up, but have been so busy that I didn't even get time to pick up a club to see if I could still hit the ball. We planned on getting to the course early to hit some range balls, but the weather wasn't exactly cooperative. It started raining about 2am and was still drizzly when we got there, then our team was running late, yada, yada. I hit 3 range balls before we teed off and almost broke my thumb I took such a divot with my 7 iron! Once we got on the course, that good old muscle memory kicked in and we managed to get around in 2 under par. Not bad! It's really funny how you can go for months (or years) without playing and the first time you go out, things just sort of fall into place. You don't play great, but you usually don't embarrass yourself either. But watch out the next time! All of a sudden your brain starts trying to think for itself and you aren't nearly as talented as you thought you were! In the end, the sun came out and we had a great time. And the only par 3 I hit was for "closest to the pin" (my ball was 3' from the cup), so I got a nice trophy (see pic below). The funny one next to it (the "Shirly Temple" award) was for shortest drive. I hit a long ball, but it was almost sideways and out of bounds.

Awards 4/26/08

Friday, April 25, 2008

Danger, danger, Will Robinson!

Seedless Grape, don't let Martin see this!

The fiber tools are threatening to take over our den! Came home last Saturday with a new-to-me loom! It's a 24" Ashford 4-shaft table loom with stand. And she threw in lots of accessories! The perfect beginner loom, and it is portable enough that I'll be able to use it for future workshops and classes. Right now, all it's doing it sitting there waiting for me to get up the courage to try warping it. I've got 3 good books that explain multiple ways to accomplish this, but how does one decide which method to use? So I think the plan will be to try them all! I’ll start out with the most understandable one, then work my way through. By the time I get to the last one, maybe it will make sense. I’ve got three big cones of cotton, so I should be able to get quite a bit done. Maybe everyone will be receiving placemats for Christmas this year.

My Space
This is my side of the room. My chair is directly across so that I can see all my stuff when I'm knitting or watching tv. The more I accumulate, the more vivid my dream of my own studio after I retire.

Ashford Loom
The new loom!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Monica & Art's Wedding

Saturday we drove down to Victoria for Monica and Art's wedding. Monica is my mom's husband's daughter, and so my step-sister. We've only known each other for a couple of years, and mostly just at holidays, but we just love her and Art both. They are a wonderful couple and just seem to belong together. The ceremony was held at the gazebo in the town square. As 2pm approached, the bride and her dad were driven up in a buckboard, waving at passersby on the street. She looked so wonderfully relaxed and happy, not the usual stressed out bride. I love going to weddings! They are always (well, most always) so romantic, and it's a nice reminder of your own vows. Always makes me happy to be married. I'm so sentimental. Anyway, here are a few pictures of the happy couple, and the few people we knew there. I even got a pretty decent shot of James and me. The polka dot dress was purchased for another wedding last year, but I ended up wearing something else. So I was thrilled to finally get a chance to wear it this year. Mom and I were the only ones wearing hats (as usual), so we really stood out from the crowd!

Neil & Monica
Neil and Monica coming up the walk to the gazebo.

Monica & Art
Introducing Mr. and Mrs. Henry

Mom & Neil
Mom and Neil in their finery

Theresa & James
Theresa and James

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Upstairs Studio expanded

This is probably not news to a lot of you in the area, but I'm so overscheduled that I don't get to visit our local yarn or weaving shops very often. Yesterday I drove down to Upstairs Studio in La Porte, Texas to take a template to Earl so he could make me some new leather bearings for Rapunzel. Wow! US has always been a good source for weaving equipment and materials, but now they are carrying a lot of nice knitting yarn too. Silky Tweed was on sale, so I bought enough for a nice summer sweater; and I also got some silk hankies to dye for a spinning project I have in mind. Don't hold your breath for details. Who knows when it will actually happen. Especially now!

I was catching up on all my list mail last night since I was woefully behind. And what should I find but an Ashford loom for sale in Austin. I swear it must be fate! I was just telling Clarice yesterday that I have really had the weaving bug lately, but have so far managed to keep it in check. Well, no more. I'm going to pick it up on the 19th! Thank God it's small and portable. It will be the perfect thing for me to get my feet wet to see if I really want to invest in something more (i.e. a floor loom) later on when I get my retirement studio. That's the dream anyway. Here's a picture of my new-to-me loom.
Ashford Loom

Saturday, April 5, 2008

What's your name's hidden meaning?

Just ran across the coolest thing! You have to try this out. Type your name it and it will give you a description of your personality. Sounds pretty good - at least it sounds the way I would like to see myself.

What Theresa Means

You are a seeker. You often find yourself restless - and you have a lot of questions about life.
You tend to travel often, to fairly random locations. You're most comfortable when you're far away from home.
You are quite passionate and easily tempted. Your impulses sometimes get you into trouble.

You are truly an original person. You have amazing ideas, and the power to carry them out.
Success comes rather easily for you... especially in business and academia.
Some people find you to be selfish and a bit overbearing. You're a strong person.

You are friendly, charming, and warm. You get along with almost everyone.
You work hard not to rock the boat. Your easy going attitude brings people together.
At times, you can be a little flaky and irresponsible. But for the important things, you pull it together.

You are wild, crazy, and a huge rebel. You're always up to something.
You have a ton of energy, and most people can't handle you. You're very intense.
You definitely are a handful, and you're likely to get in trouble. But your kind of trouble is a lot of fun.

You are the total package - suave, sexy, smart, and strong.
You have the whole world under your spell, and you can influence almost everyone you know.
You don't always resist your urges to crush the weak. Just remember, they don't have as much going for them as you do.

You are usually the best at everything ... you strive for perfection.
You are confident, authoritative, and aggressive.
You have the classic "Type A" personality.

Photo Documentation - whew!

I was having kind of a goof off kinda day and decided to get down my bins of finished knitted items and take pictures of the stuff that I did before I had a digital camera. Wow, did I ever take off a big bite! I spent the whole afternoon and evening taking pictures and uploading them to my photo site. It's going to take me a long time to go back and dig up all the pattern names, yarns, etc. to be able to add the captions. There was a lot of stuff that I had totally forgotten about. If you could add in all the things I've made and given away it would be pretty impressive (if I do say so myself). I started my knitting lessons in late 1996, so it's been 11 years. I would never have guessed that I had finished so much.

I still have most everything I've spun, so I guess that will be next in line. Thankfully, it shouldn't take nearly so much time!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Occupational Therapy Month

April is Occupational Therapy Month! For those of you who know me, I’m a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA). Usually the only people who are familiar with OT are doctors, nurses, and people who have been on therapy. So since this is OT month, I thought I’d take a moment for a little public education.

Most commonly, Occupational Therapists & Occupational Therapy Assistants work with people with disabilities to enable them to maximize their skills and abilities. Occupational therapy gives people the "skills for the job of living" necessary for living meaningful and satisfying lives. In the US, OT began as a profession in 1917 with the belief in the curative properties of human occupation (or everyday purposeful activity). It was found that when people were able to actively participate in a meaningful activity, they were more likely to improve not only their mental health, but their physical health as well. OT had a prominent role in the moral treatment movement within the large state supported institutions for mental illness that were found across the country in the early 1900's; and was also commonly found in rehabilitation facilities for wounded veterans. If you look at what is most important in our lives, it is the ability to care for ourselves independently and to interact with our world. When you read about OT, you’ll always find references to “activities of daily living” or ADL’s. These are the things that give meaning and purpose to our lives. The basic ADL’s include dressing, bathing, feeding ourselves, going to the bathroom, transferring (such as getting out of bed). Beyond that, our instrumental ADL’s are activities related to independent living and include preparing meals, managing money, shopping for groceries or personal items, performing light or heavy housework, using a telephone, participating in hobbies or other activities, etc.

Today occupational therapy is found in a wide variety of settings including, but not limited to, education, nursing homes, inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation, mental institutions, and home health care. I work in a long term care/skilled nursing facility in the rehabilitation department. Our residents generally range in age from 65-95, but we are starting to see more that are my age (mid-50’s). This is always disturbing to me because it shows how very important it is that we take good care of ourselves. If you weigh over 300 pounds, get sick, and wind up in a nursing home for rehab, the odds on you being able to go back home are pretty slim. Think about how difficult it is for a “healthy” obese person to get around, then imagine what happens after they’ve been flat on their back in the hospital for a few weeks with a medical problem. It takes a huge amount of strength and endurance to be able to move that much weight. In the 3+ years that I’ve been doing this, I’ve never seen a morbidly obese person over 65 return home independently. Even the people who are highly motivated and able reach a point of being able to get from bed to chair after months of work, just aren’t able to take care of themselves alone at home. This is the really sad part of our job. Nobody wants to live in a nursing home, and especially someone who potentially has many years left to live. The cost is so astronomical, that most people have to share a room with someone that they don’t know and may not necessarily get along with. What are the most precious things in your house that you can fit into a dresser, a small closet, or put up on one wall? And everything is regimented to be able to provide and care for everyone. Everybody that requires assistance gets up early to go to breakfast at a scheduled time, you get a bath on schedule, you attend scheduled activities, you go to bed at a certain time. It’s no wonder that there is so much depression in the elderly!

But then there are the days when you can see the effect that you have on people’s lives, the hugs from the ones that love you, the smiles and reminiscences. When a blind lady tells you she remembers you because you’re the one with the kind hands. When a person is able to feed themselves independently. When someone actually gets to go home, whether it’s alone or with family. The first time someone gets dressed and goes to the bathroom safely by themselves. When that head injured patient that couldn’t speak tells you, “see you later alligator”. Those fleeting moments are what keep us going to work day after day, despite the long hours and the never-ending medicare paperwork, having to beg and plead with the ones who need us the most to give us the opportunity to help, and the ridiculous productivity goals we are expected to meet.

So celebrate OT Month by taking care of yourself and doing something that is meaningful and fun for you! I'll be knitting, spinning, learning the cello, doing yoga, working out, and making more time for friends.

If you'd like to learn more about Occupational Therapy, here are some links:
The American Occupational Therapy Association
United States Department of Labor
National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT)