Thursday, November 29, 2007

Life Interrupted

Well, my vow to post daily lasted exactly two days. Life has interrupted. Or more precisely, a life has been interrupted. I received a call on Monday that my brother was in the hospital but he was refusing treatment. He will be sent to hospice care and will not return home. His story is so sad. It is unbelievable that someone has had to endure so much suffering.

12 years ago,when he was just 45, brother had a stroke that left him partially paralyzed and with short term memory loss. His left arm is paralyzed, and he cannot maintain his concentration long enough to read or watch a movie from start to finish. He managed to live on his own all this time, but his health has been deteriorating. Last year, his left leg was amputated above the knee. He has been fighting gangrene in his remaining leg, but he is losing the battle. He had a massive heart attack on Monday. The doctor's recommended treatment is that they amputate his leg and put a stint in his heart. If they do this, he may live for many more years. But what would his quality of life be? So he has decided to die.

I have been reluctant to blog much about my personal life in the past, but I want the whole world to know that I love my brother, that I will remember the happier years.

If you know someone who is a chain smoker, perhaps this said tale of what smoking can do to you will help them quit.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Prize Mittens

I vow to be a better blogger. Even if it is just a quick picture and note, I will post every day until I get caught up on my knitting news.

Here is my student, S., with the mittens that I made for her for completing her reading program. I only have 3 students in this extra-curricular class, so I decided I could make each of them a pair of mittens for completing the course. S was the first to finish. She seems to like them. Her Mom tells me she is learning to knit as well. I shall have the entire school knitting before I am done.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Teaching the Next Generation

Once again, I must begin my blog with an apology for not posting much. I actually have been doing a bit more knitting, having completed 4 sets of children's mittens, 2 hats, and another baby vest since my last post. But I have also been busy with work and Grad school, which started 3 weeks ago. I have a backlog of knitting posts to get to.

At the end of October, I contributed knitting lessons to the school student raffle fundraiser and am excited that I will be passing on my knitting knowledge to the younger generation. I offered 3 different knitting prizes -- a Knitter's Journey Knit with Wire Kit and knitted jewelry lesson for a middle school age student, Private Knitting Lessons (won by a first grader) and Mother/Daughter lessons won by a 3rd grader. I'm excited to share my knowledge with the young winners. But interestingly enough, all three of the prize winners already have some knitting experience--even the first grader! All are very motivated to learn to knit. The 3rd grader told me she was so excited to win the raffle prize that she screamed when her name was called. According to the 1st grader's teacher, she has been knitting since Kindergarten. Her grandma has already taught her the knitting basics and she knits lots of scarves, but I was her inspiration when I spoke to the kindergarten and demonstrated knitting in conjunction with our Mitten Tree student charity project. I look forward to doing my Mitten Tree schtick with the kindergarten once again within the next few weeks. This pic is from last year or the year before, but it's always the same . . . the students are fascinated that two sticks and some string can make so many things. I love young children. I love to teach. I love to knit. Teaching young children to knit it the greatest joy of all.