Yoga Socks

yoga-socks-4_making-a-life

With every new year comes resolutions and I seem to make at least one similar resolution every year. Last year I resolved to listen to more music, and be more active. These resolutions went well together, and I did become more active while listening to music. This year I resolved to become a better listener, and to continue to be more active.

My resolution to be more active required the making of Yoga socks. I have been doing yoga in my living room but I end up with little people crawling under my downward dog. They also like to participate with me (really really close) by holding hands or sitting on me. My workout space is in my garage and it’s chilly, so I am thinking that if I wear socks maybe it won’t be so bad, and I won’t get interrupted by my little people. If you happen to have the same issues here is a pattern for yoga socks.

I was asked “what are yoga socks and why would I want them” by a follower the other day. In case you don’t know what, they are, they are socks designed to do yoga in. They come in a variety of forms but the main objective is allowing your toes to separate, and prevent you from slipping. You might want some if you are doing yoga in a cold space, or you really like to wear socks. I have a little issue in that my toes are attached, and the toe version of yoga socks will not work for me, so this is my solution.

Materials:

  • Fingerling weight #1 yarn – 3 stitches per inch
  • set of 4 double points and or 22″ circular needles – US 3/3.25 mm
  • large needle

Pattern:

  • ROW 1: CO64
  • ROW 2: Join and K2 P2* repeat to end of row
  • ROW 3-15: Repeat ROW 2
  • ROW 16-38: Knit desired length depending on the size of your feet (24 rows for my size 10 feet)
  • ROW 39: K2 P2* repeat for 32 stitches, K32
  • ROW 40-45: repeat row 39 5 times
  • ROW 46: K32, Cast off 32 (heel opening)
  • ROW 47: K32, Cast on 32
  • ROW 48: K64
  • ROW 49-63 : K64 – 15 times
  • ROW 64 : K2 P2* repeat to end of row
  • ROW 65-103: repeat row 64 38 times or desired length
  • ROW 104 – Cast off
  • Cut yarn leaving a long enough tail to weave in ends with a needle

This pattern is intended for personal use only. I offer this pattern for free but I request that you do not sell it or any product made from it.

Kayaking with kids

thetis-11-making-a-lifeWe are so fortunate to live surrounded by so much natural beauty. Thetis Lake is one such place just outside of Victoria. We made it to Thetis twice this summer, once for a hike and the second time for a paddle. The trails around upper and lower lakes are classified as moderate, and I was so proud of our youngest hiker who walked the entire trail without complaint.

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My brain-iversary

 

My Brain 1On August 7th 2015 I went into the hospital to have a meningioma tumour removed from my brain. The experience was no picnic, but I survived and a year later I am thriving. I blogged all about my brainy experiences pre and post surgery, and if you are interested in the gory details they are all there in the BRAIN TUMOUR tab at the top of every page.

I celebrated the one-year anniversary of having my skull cut open and Timmy the tumour extracted, on August 7th, 2016. It was a monumental occasion for me and one that I am thrilled to be able to celebrate. Timmy the tumour lived in the cerebellum region of my brain which is the part of the brain that coordinates muscular activity. Pre-surgery I had some issues with dizziness, headaches and was advised to limit my activities to those that would not increase my blood pressure. I also had to keep my wine intake to a minimum as my balance wasn’t exactly ideal.

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Peach Crepes

Peaches Making A Life 4I am a big fan of eating local in season food. Fresh local fruit just tastes better, especially when I grow it myself. Before you get the wrong idea and imagine me as a farmer tending to my acreage let me explain that we have a few fruit trees on our small postage stamp size yard in the downtown core. In our yard we grow peaches, plums and apples all of which were mature trees when we bought the house 5 years ago. When we made an offer on the house the peach and plum trees looked just like any other tree to me, I honestly had no idea that they were fruit bearing. Imagine my surprise when 4 months later we took possession and found both a peach tree and a rat eating peaches in the yard. Continue reading

Kayaking

kayak4When I was young, single and childless I would escape to the cottage frequently stopping along the way to pick up a rental kayak for the weekend. To get my money’s worth I would go for a couple of paddles a day. It has been at least 6 years since I have kayaked. Life got busy with kids, marriage, work, school and a brain tumour. So when a friend suggested that we get a group of people together and go on a kayak tour I was in. I even managed to talk my husband into trying it out, as he had never kayaked before. He has a good sense of adventure and is usually up for trying new things with the exception of sharing a kayak with me.

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Color Vibe

CB9We caught the Vibe this past weekend when my 7-year-old and I participated in a Color Vibe 5K run. Color Vibe or for those of us that are Canadian Colour Vibe is a 5K run with a splash of colour. We started the day by throwing handfuls of coloured powder at each other which was a fun experience to share with my son. At the start line you run through a cloud of coloured powder that is blasted at you by a leaf blower, we wore bandanas over our mouths and sunglasses to keep the power out of our eyes. The start line was the only place that we really needed the bandanas, but only because we were on the outside edges. If you were in the middle of the pack, then it probably wasn’t necessary at all.

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THANK YOU

MM4Thank you to all of the people that donated to our walk for the Brain Tumour Foundation. My husband, son who requested donations in lieu of gifts for his 7th birthday and I raised a combined total of $2,395. We walked/ran the 5K route around the University of Victoria yesterday. I ran it with my 7-year-old trainer, while my husband walked with our 3 year old. It was an emotional day as I remembered where I was last year for the walk. Last year I had been recently diagnosed and was in the process of learning about treatment. I could not run because it caused a great amount of pain in my head. However, this year I proudly wore the blue survivor shirt and ran most of the 5K with my seven year old.

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A Year Later, I am a Survivor

A year ago today, on March 18, 2015 I was diagnosed with a brain tumour. It was a very dark day. The ER doc softened the blow as best as he could but I was still in shock standing in the hallway of the emergency department.  I remember walking out of the ER in a daze to wait for my husband who was organizing childcare for the kids. When he arrived I told him I had a brain tumour and he didn’t believe me. He tried to tell me that I didn’t, and I showed him the paper in my hand that said I did.

That was a year ago, and a lot has happened since. There were a dark few days but I was motivated my by children to get my crap together and get out of bed, which is where I would have stayed if I had my way. A craniotomy to remove the tumour was performed in August of 2015. The entire process was terrifying and painful. Six months later I have some very minimal side effects but nothing that stops me from living a full life. Case in point, this past weekend I went skiing (my tumour was in the part of my brain that controls balance).

Last night I read John Grisham’s “The Tumor: A Non-Legal Thriller” and bawled through the whole thing. If you are interested it’s available for free from Amazon. Thankfully I was reading it this year and not last year because that would have been a disaster. Can you imagine reading a graphic novel about brain surgery the day before you are diagnosed with a brain tumour? Talk about bad timing. If you are going for brain surgery soon do not read this book until you have recovered. After reading Grisham’s thriller I am once again reminded how lucky I was, because it could have been so much worse. SO MUCH WORSE.

Along with the pain and fear of the last year I learned some very valuable lessons.  In keeping with my need to make, I fashioned myself this bracelet just in case I forget that I am a ssurvivorurvivor. Although I am still reminded every time I look at myself in the mirror, and the area of hair that was shaved for surgery is about 3 inches long and sticking straight out. I have started a brain tumour hair trend, I hope it never catches on, I don’t mind being the only one with crazy hair.

It’s fair to say that this was the hardest year of my life to date, but as the saying goes “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” It didn’t kill me. I am stronger, but it’s probably just the titanium plate in my head 😉

 

The 90 day Lifelong Fitness Challenge

imagesWhen I turned 37 I wished for health for my birthday which in hind-site was like hoping to win the lottery without buying a ticket. My health wish was followed a few months later with a brain tumour, which isn’t all that healthy. Fast forward a year and a bit and the tumour is gone but my health is still a little dodgy. I love sugar, alcohol and carbs, and I am not a big fan of exercise.

Last year as in the start of 2015 I made the resolution to get healthy and I started exercising which is what led me to the brain tumour diagnosis. I am laying it all on the line by telling you that I started the “Bikini Body Mommy Challenge”. I can hear you laughing from here, don’t spit your coffee all over your electronic device. By workout number 2 I was lying flat on my back (it wasn’t part of the exercise regime). I experienced a pain in my head that was blinding. Which I now know was Timmy the tumour telling me that he wasn’t going to let me exercise.

For the 8 long months pre-surgery I limited my exercise to walking, lots and lots of walking. I threw in a reduced sugar, carb and alcohol diet. For the record it was my neurosurgeon’s suggestion to limit alcohol not mine, unless I am growing a tiny human alcohol and I are BFF’s. Post surgery I ate like I have never seen food and un did all my pre-surgery healthy habits. But I also learned how fast muscles atrophy from the 6 days stint I did in the hospital. My calves have never been so small (read jiggly).

Here I am now tumour free and recovered. I started the “Bikini Body Mommy Challenge” again (I can still hear you laughing) and have successfully made it past workout 10. I told my husband about my plans before I started and this is how the conversation went.

  • Me: I started that bikini body thing again, you know the one I tried last year
  • him: uh, hun
  • Me: it’s 90 days long, that’s a long time
  • him: you realize that fitness and being healthy is really a life long thing right (says the guy who goes to the gym everyday).
  • Me: oh crap (I know he’s right, just don’t tell him that)

He gave a rather short lecture (because he doesn’t ever say much) on the importance of exercising our aging bodies and the importance of strength. I know that this is not optional, if I want to be healthy I actually need to act, not just hope or wish. I am committed to the exercise daily and have reduced my carb intake substantially to one donut a day (just kidding, no donuts) but the alcohol stays.

HIITWish me luck on this 90 day (78 days left but who is counting) fitness challenge. If you want a good laugh come by any day around 4 I will be attempting my exercises with my trainers aged 3 and 6. One rolls on the ground by my feet and the other constantly yells “look at me mommy” while attempting to follow along. It’s a full on shit show and I am the star (at least most days).

P.S. Laughter is the best medicine. I hope you burned a few calories reading my post.