chicken little

Counting My Blessings: September 2014

Adding to the blessings of health, shelter, transportation, no consumer debt, and regular income there are several more that make my life sweet and beautiful.

1. I celebrated a birthday recently, and my yogis took me to dinner at a nice seafood restaurant. Everyone has their favorite spot in class, so they’re next to the same people all the time (including me and the front row students). We usually spend the few minutes before class talking about whatever is on our mind at that moment, but these occasional klatches shuffle us together in a different way, and we have new conversations with new people.

Judy is trying to talk her husband into a scotch-tasting tour of Scotland. Vickie deals with feral hogs making foot-deep holes in her back yard by involving her entire family in a divot-stamping party. And Kate acquired a taste for raw oysters as a child at her grandmother’s knee.

Unending stories.

I love these little glimpses into their daily lives, and I especially love watching them connect with each other through their stories.

2. My long-suffering BFF Tina, has been listening to me go on and on and on about my paranoid delusional neighbor and my conflicted feelings about whether to tough her out or sell everything I own and start over somewhere that has four seasons and trees. She offers practical advice (that I argue with), and helps me keep my own paranoid delusions in check when I start to chicken little everything.

3. Tina also sent me a beautiful card that I keep on my nightstand and some cher pickleball gear for my birthday. (Because pickleball is what I was on and on about last month. Perhaps she’ll send me a new neighbor this time? :-)

4. I was asked to give a talk to the local Lion’s club about the benefits of yoga. My audience was mostly men in their 60s-80s, so I knew it would be a tough sell. After we pledged allegiance to the American and then the Texas flag (I had no idea there was a pledge), sang the national anthem and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, listened to a joke about a three-legged chicken, and ate lunch, I was introduced to the group of about 30 people. As I described some health issues they might be experiencing and how yoga can help, everyone was sweetly attentive (not fiddling with iGadgets—a blessing in itself). After the Lion’s roar that formally ended the meeting, one of them came up to me and said he wanted to try yoga!

5. A woman I didn’t know gave me a bunch of nice yarn and vintage knitting magazines.

6. My Voussoir Hat came out in Interweave Knits, and is one of the three most popular patterns on the Ravelry listing for the issue.

Insert Sally Field’s 1984 Oscar acceptance here.

7. I spent a few evening hours with my friend Angie, catching up after seeing her only briefly this summer. We sat quietly on her couch, ignoring the noise and antics of cats, dogs, kids, birds, a ferret, and her husband and his friend doing electrical work on their new addition, drinking wine and talking about new jobs and plans for the future.

8. I received so many thoughtful birthday gifts: fat Turkish figs, organic raisins, a handknit scarf, and a handmade card from Hannah; a bottle of Cabernet and a lavender-scented eye pillow from Chris; a handmade blown glass ornament from Sandy; a Daily Bread booklet and cash from Paris; a gift book about how great I am from Jewell; a Visa gift card from Shar; an Amazon gift card from the yogis who took me to dinner; a green stone pendant necklace from Angie; and a rare book and handmade pearl necklace from Kate.

Kate attached pearls to knitted silver wire, making 50 wishes for me as she worked.

The gifts were sweet and perfect, but the true blessings are the people and thoughts behind them.

What are you counting as blessings these days?

To Ponder: When you rise in the morning, give thanks for the light, for your life, for your strength. Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies in yourself. |Tecumseh|


Ganglion Cyst

Doesn’t that sound disgusting? It’s what I have, though, on the back of my left wrist. Self-diagnosed, of course.

I noticed it a few days ago after knitting for a couple of hours. My wrists were hurting more than usual, so I did some stretching and circling. I saw a divot and a large protrusion when I held my hand a certain way. I assumed it was the end of a bone and figured the tendons and ligaments in my wrist were starting to atrophy, which led to the natural conclusion that I would never knit again and would have to stop teaching yoga.

I felt a little better after researching and finding out that this little sac of fluid is basically harmless, unless it’s putting pressure on nerves. It can be syringed by a white coat, or it can be waited out with ibuprofen and ice. (Self-diagnosis means self-treatment, so we’ll be waiting it out.)

These cysts are also called bible bumps because people used to whack them with a bible to make them burst inside the hand. (Just another way Jesus heals. :-)

On the bright side:

  • I’m not going to lose the use of my hand.
  • I have both ice and ibuprofen.
  • I have a bible, just in case.

Casino for Monks

Until I start making money as an independent knitwear designer, I teach yoga. Six classes a week at three different locations. (I have taught up to nine classes a week.) At the end of last year, I moved to a new studio. It’s a mobile home that has been split into two office spaces. For the past few months, I’ve been the only tenant, but that changed last night.

I drove up to find a monster truck, a dirty SUV parked crooked, and another truck with a trailer, also crooked, in front of my building. The red-lettered For Rent sign gone.

The new tenants are two guys, both named Scott, and Scott’s girlfriend Brenda, and their new venture is a game room. Except for horseracing and casinos owned by Native Americans, gambling for money is illegal in Texas. But some enterprising citizens have found a way around that by opening video game rooms that pay out in gift cards, and these places have been popping up like ganglion cysts.


My neighbor’s bright and airy competition.

I envisioned all sorts of ways this would intrude on my peaceful hour of class. I imagined that my students would take offence at the sounds, smells, and sights coming from next door, and they would all be gone by the end of the month, taking up pilates or Brazilian jiu jitsu.

I asked the two Scotts all manner of questions about their operation, and ending up not disliking their answers. The gaming machines don’t make noise. They won’t play music. They’re not serving alcohol or allowing byob. And smoking isn’t allow inside, although someone there smokes—Brenda, I think—because I could smell it when I toured the small, depressing room. Yes, someone might whoop if they win big, and “the ladies might get to talking,” but it’s mostly going to be quiet over there.

So, a casino for monks.

The only issue I can see is parking. Or one of their patrons realizes that the game room’s ATM machine is in front of the door between our offices and someone breaks in to my empty office to get to it. Or someone holds them up at gunpoint for all the quarters and Visa gift cards in the house and we have to run for our lives before we can do savasana.

On the bright side:

  • Both guys have the same name, so I don’t have to remember who is who.
  • Brenda might decide to stop smoking and get healthy, so I could get another yoga student out of this.
  • I can be concerned about parking because I have a car and a job to drive it to. (Yep, I dangled a participle.)