The Life and Times of Florence Knitingale

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

An Unfortunate Experience

Because I am a lunatic, I exercise for an hour every day. Even holidays. I would love to say that I do it for some high-minded reason, such as improving/maintaining cardiac health, keeping my cholesterol down, doing something wonderful about my free radicals, whatever. But the truth is this: I am 41 years old. While I know it to be a losing battle, I am nonetheless engaged in a bitter battle with time over possession of my boobs, butt, and waistline. Time is pretty adamant that my butt should be the size of a barn, my boobs should be going south for the winter of my life (way south…as in, I’ll need larger shoes to accommodate them if this keeps up), and my waistline should be a fond memory, like new crayons on the first day of school (which, coincidentally, was the last time my tummy was flat). While I understand that this is inevitable, that my boobs and my butt and my waistline are only humoring me at this point, trying to keep me from feeling too badly before they start defecting to points unknown (except the butt, which is staying put and inviting friends. Lots of friends.), I can’t keep myself from this little game wherein I sweat vigorously for an hour a day and pretend that time is graciously conceding instead of biding its time. Hence, the reason for this room:

A few pieces of equipment, some weights, some resistance bands…..and, out of the frame (because I like to pretend that I’m way cool and would never do something as plebian as watch TV….heh, I so crack myself up), a TV, DVD, and VCR. I’m obsessive—I’m not nuts. There aren’t many things I can do for a whole hour without some distraction and, if there were, exercise still wouldn’t make the list.

Another thing I do is unravel thrift store sweaters in a shameless attempt to get tons of great yarn for practically nothing (other than some frustration, a huge amount of profanity, a couple of scissor wounds and, depending on the sweater, my determination to never abuse substances of any kind. I could get into a serious chocolate bender over some of these sweaters). And I’ve learned that I can unravel sweaters on the exercise bike, the elliptical, and the stair stepper. I’m not just double tasking now—I’m TRIPLE tasking! And if hubby walks in, I can even quadruple task (although I fear that it gives my brain frown lines).

Now, you can take a sweater apart by patiently unthreading the seams after making one neat snip….or you can just snip the stitches all the way up the seam and have at it. Guess which one I do? Yep, rip that sucker right apart. Which is fine as it goes but has one little flaw: the little bits of yarn, the little cut off-seam remnants, stay stuck in the ends of the rows and then, when the sweater is being unraveled, these bits go flying every time I get to one (when I’m lucky and they don’t viciously create Gordian knots for the purpose of creating more brain frowns). I try to keep track of them, but the truth is that I have to vacuum in there at least three times per week to avoid having a loosely woven, multi-colored throw rug made of wooly confetti.

Where, you may ask, am I going with this? I’m glad you asked. I most recently have been unraveling a black cardigan made from a sinfully soft cashmere blend. It is heavenly and, for a change, it is a fairly easy unravel. So I went like the wind, happily yanking on the yarn and watching the bits fly. It was a bit like exercising in the middle of a snowglobe…..near a coal mine.

I didn’t try too hard to grab all the bits, so happy was I with the prospect of all this lovely yarn. But this morning, when I walked into the exercise room for the daily bout of (torture) invigorating exercise, I decided it looked dreadful and got down on my knees to start picking up the biggest ones by hand. There were a lot of biggest ones. Which leads me to two questions:

1. Did you know that a black spider can cleverly disguise itself as a piece of cashmere blend yarn fluff in a whole field of such fluffs? (I rather wish that I had.)
2. Does anyone know of an easy recipe for getting thoroughly smushed, pulverized, and generally ground-to-paste spider off of an ivory carpet? It’s pretty ground in….there was a 10-pound hand weight involved. There might have been a bit of overkill, too.

On another note, I wanted to thank Angie from the bottom of my heart for the so-kind comments. (She said she thinks I could write a book…..excuse me for a minute, though, because my head is becoming so large that it’s rubbing on the walls of the office). I would LOVE to write a book. Sadly, I am not talented with fiction, so it would have to be something non-fiction. If thinking about it is the first step, then I have an entire set of the Encyclopedia Brittanica in first steps….but still no book. I’m working on the idea, though, and I do thank you so much for the vote of confidence. I feel all warm and fuzzy inside! (And no, I did not eat my angora and lambswool sweater.)

Oh, and Charity asked about knitting Samus. The bands are a really enjoyable knit; the rest of the sweater is stockinette so pretty repetitious. I’ve not been minding too much, though. I’m working on several other things that require concentration so I kind of like having something mindless to do. In general, I’m really glad I decided to make it. I can’t wait to see what you decide to make.

I think I hit a nerve with my comments about Martha Stewart….I’m SO glad it isn’t just me! Some of you made me laugh so hard that I would have snorted milk out my nose if I’d been drinking it.

And my dear friend, Marianne, always has some wonderful things to say and I’m so grateful for it. Marianne, you know where you are…….right here in my heart.

I think there are more comments I was going to respond to, but I think the frown lines are starting to get in the way of brain function, because I can’t for the life of me remember.And yet, I remember every word of the theme song they used for the Road Runner cartoons when I was a kid. So good to know my long term memory is being put to good use.


  • At 7:06 PM, Blogger Peg said…

    I don't have a recipe for getting ground spiders off rugs! But I do have envy for finding black cashmere sweaters to unravel. My thrift stores seem to have a glut of acrylic or cotton (washed out) in just now!

  • At 8:32 PM, Anonymous Jill said…

    "Road Runner If he catches you you're through"

    Damn, I should not know that.

    Amazing isn't it?

    That Martha thing made me mad, I mean really, I'm a 22 year old(crazy cat lady). What does being a grandmother have anything to do with anything??

  • At 11:26 PM, Blogger Kit Is Knitting said…

    Ohhh, ew, spider!!! Grah, I have no answer for spider smear, but I think some vaccuum action and then that handy carpet cleaner thing with the multiple brushes and scrubbers that is hand-held and possibly made by Mr. Clean could help.

    I'm sorry, I'm coming back from a low-blood-oxygen swing with my menses. The stupid is almost palpable on my second day.

  • At 7:49 AM, Anonymous Marianne said…

    Dearest Flo, we've all seen photos of You...your breasts are not even close to your...what was that you
    said? Seriously, you are a babe and not at all weirdly lumpy and bumpy...please, just give yourself another 12 years, and then we can talk about 'battles'. Heh.
    Oh, poor wee spider...and cleaning spider-mud? I'd say you'd need to soak it with something safe..and hope that it dissolves enough to get it out.yuck

    You know where you are....same place over here...

    Kit is knitting...I so remember those days! Sometimes I would just look at whoever making requests and make the statement "Bleeding Woman", I dearly loved the space allowed.

  • At 9:54 AM, Blogger Marianne said…

    I forgot, but wanted to say... ya'll go to Fannie Pie's site and click on the link she has posted, yes, read the post then click on the link and leave a comment. Knitters do/will rule!

  • At 10:22 AM, Anonymous angie cox said…

    No it doesn't have to be fiction.I don't know who I could compare you to but you see things with a very amusing eye and it's great that you share .I think of a few female comedians are a natural. As for the exercise do keep it up Florence I find myself wishing I had gone swimming more as I am far too creaky for only 51. I don't walk half as much as I did as our town is so polluted I come back wheezing badly and I don't drive. I have remembered some exercises David Niven talked about on a chat show you do in the bath and they help.


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