21 Nov 2008

Bed Rest

I’ve always liked that expression, “Taken to my bed.” It lends an air of elegance to what would otherwise look like swanning around in one’s pyjamas.

I had a bit of a relapse this week – namely, pain that increased over 24 hours to the point where I had to call an ambulance. This sounds more dramatic than it was. People are always being “rushed to hospital” here, but my driver certainly didn’t rush. He sort of ambled his way there. I don’t think he even broke the speed limit. Or maybe it just seemed a long slow drive on account of the morphine.

I spent another night in the hospital, and had many tests and was given pain meds, and then gradually the pain faded. We never did determine precisely what caused it, but the most popular theory was “fluid trapped just below the diaphragm.” They assured me that death was not in the cards that day; a mistake on their part, as I promptly busted myself outta out the joint and came home. They would not send me home with meds (the slap on the wrist for being naughty and discharging myself) but I saw my real doc yesterday and we sorted it all out.

All is well that endeth well; I’ve reached that delightful point in my recovery where I’m well enough to make things again, not quite well enough to go back to work. I’m knitting furiously with Things On In The Background – movies, podcasts, web radio – but I’m, frankly, kinda bored by the offerings. I spent one whole day watching conspiracy videos on Youtube and am now persuaded that shape-shifting pan-dimensional lizards were behind 911, and actually are the true rulers of the world. People. Please. You must save me from myself.

I have a laptop with me in bed, and have wished many times this week that I’d not been so cheap with myself and ordered one of these :

This little number would have really come in handy this week, but I didn’t want to spend the money. Has this happened to you? Have you stopped yourself from buying something you wanted, because you didn’t want to spend the money? I read and listen to the radio, and I know we’re supposed to spend, and help keep the economy going, but I haven’t actually been able to bring myself to do it. Other than a few books from Amazon, I’ve been very frugal this month.

Oh, did I mention that Tesco, one of the big chain grocery stores here, has put security tags on meat? I haven’t seen it, but my daughter-in-law, Laura said she saw them doing it. Unbelievable, and yet another sign of recession. I’m just waiting for the stories about elderly people reduced to eating cat food, like we used to hear about in the early 70’s.

Anyway, the Internets are free, so please do send me your favorites to watch and read on the web. I’ll watch anything you’ve enjoyed yourself in the last 6 months; extra points if it’s longer than an hour.

Also, in case it isn’t plain enough, the podcast I had hoped to get out this week isn’t going to happen. For obvious reasons having to with pyjamas and bed. I won’t promise anything until I’ve had a few more days of steady improvement, but… next week is looking likely and, yes, there will be a Today’s Sweater. It’s fab. I luff it. There has been a serious amount of knitting happening since I’ve been home (again) all of which will find its way to these pages at some point, so do check in.

Finally, thank you for the lovely messages of support, and all the nice things you’ve been saying about the new look of the site. I can’t tell you how much your comments have helped my recovery this week. It’s really wonderful to know you’re out there, wishing me well. Thank you.

Posted on November 21, in Blog


  1. Rachele wrote:

    I really enjoyed these videos a couple of months ago when I was still tied to a computer in a cube for nine hours per day…and I am enjoying them again now that I am tied to the computer looking for a job at home for nine hours per day.
    They aren’t over an hour, but they are darn cute and there is a whole series of them!
    Hope that you feel better soon!

    Posted on 11.21.08 ·
  2. Gina wrote:

    Hope you get well soon! Love the new design of the website, and love your podcast 😀 Make sure you don’t push yourself too hard, but come back soon!

    Posted on 11.21.08 ·
  3. Liz wrote:

    I am so glad to hear you are on the mend. If you are feeling well enough to get bored, it must mean you are getting better.

    I also babied my gallbladder for quite a while before we parted company. I have never looked back. It was good riddance! Hopefully you will soon be able to enjoy being rid of yours.

    Posted on 11.21.08 ·
  4. Aloha,

    sorry to hear you’ve been ill, glad you are recovering. I have been an ardent fan of your podcast, it has gotten me through many a long bus ride. I always keep a few episodes on my ipod. When in the car I hand the ipod to my seven year old to keep her quiet. I should explain two things first. No one is allowed to touch my ipod without my express permission (and it is rarely given). I live on O’ahu, car rides are short, you really can’t go farther then 35 miles and have a destination in mind, most of our car rides are less then 10 miles. OK. So my daughter likes to listen to the ipod in the car. One day i hear her mumbling in the back seat, cast on. Then while i’m sitting in the kitchen knitting she says “knit like the wind” as she runs by. I’m thinking “what?” Later I catch her saying “where are your pointy sticks?” I asked her where did you get that phrase? She replied, “On your ipod, i like that lady who says “pick up your pointy sticks and cast on”.

    I would also like to thank you for introducing us to the “Cheerleader” song. I played it for my 16 year old who is a varsity football cheerleader (and the team is ranked second in the state division one play offs). We all know the song by heart now.

    nafisa on ravelry

    Posted on 11.22.08 ·
  5. Dear Brenda,

    Did you happen to catch the web video of Barack Obama on 60 minutes last week? He and Michelle took up nearly the whole hour. I thought you might like to watch if you haven’t. Here’s the direct link to the show:
    60 Minutes

    Then check out this enviornmental animation film made entirely of knit bits from the BBC:
    Don’t Let it All Unravel

    Also many of the US TV networks this year have gone to posting full episodes of current TV shows after they air on the web. If there’s anything you miss from American TV, have at it, though I doubt you miss much. But you might want to check out 30 Rock with Tina Fey. Very funny. (It’s on NBC).

    That’s what I can think of for now. Can’t wait for your next podcast. But rest up as much as you need.

    Also I love the new site. You’re the one that got me hooked on using the Mandigo theme. Cast On was the first place I saw it. Mine is pretty customized but I’m hoping to learn more about the backend stuff so I can expand the use of WordPress as a content management system for my clients.

    Get better soon!


    Posted on 11.22.08 ·
  6. Penny wrote:

    Dear Brenda,

    I’ve not written to you before, but I have listened to your mesmerizing voice since you began the podcast 3 years ago. I’ve listened to you in my favorite chair here at home, in the car, at the coffee shop, while walking, while exercising on the elliptical, while ironing, washing dishes – you name it, your voice has carried me through the day. THANK YOU. You have changed my knitting life!

    Penny from Connecticut

    Posted on 11.22.08 ·
  7. Sadia wrote:

    Hey Brenda…

    Sending good vibes and healing energy from list knitsibs, myself and Ann, from here in Southern VT.
    So you’re looking for interesting things to watch, listen to eh? 😉

    I won’t bother mentioning knitting podcasts, as you’re obviously all over them… but for those of us who do too much and would like to learn about being more efficient from a very funny and talented fellow in short snippets, may I recommend the Get it Done Guy’s Quick and Dirty Tips to Work Less and Do More (part of the Quick and Dirty Tips network of podcasts. I’ve seen him talk in person too and he’s a hoot. http://getitdone.quickanddirtytips.com/

    For music, I know you have eclectic tastes… and as you’ve liked at least one of my other recommendations, may I recommend opening the following website in another tab, and letting it run.. will play this musician’s entire album.. http://www.abigailwashburn.com
    Astounding stuff.. and a good 4 songs or so sung in Chinese. With banjos, and Bela Fleck. Just go there and let the album play.

    Another good place to get music (concerts this time) is from the Live Concerts from All Things Considered on NPR: http://www.npr.org/rss/podcast/podcast_detail.php?siteId=15842121
    I’ve listened to some great music thru this podcast and site.

    For an astounding video in the fiber world… have you ever seen the ‘Navajo ‘Ply on the Fly’ technique on a spindle demonstrated? Well maybe you want to wait until you can stand again to do this, but it’s fun to watch and be amazed as this gal both spins singles on a spindle and does a Navajo Ply technique in the same pass. http://rosemaryknits.blogspot.com/2008/06/tammy-rizzos-navajo-ply-on-fly.html

    Lastly, not sure if you have something like Netflix where you live, but I love the fact I can watch movies occasionally directly from my computer. If I were stuck in bed for a while, I’d probably be watching a mess of Bollywood movies.. my own guilty pleasure. LOL

    Heal quick and have fun…
    hugs from Sadia and Ann

    Posted on 11.22.08 ·
  8. Amanda wrote:

    Oh goodness! I thought you were feeling better after the surgery! 🙁 Poor Brenda! I’m so sorry to hear you’re still hurting so badly. I really, really hope you get better soon, hon! 🙁

    *hugs* I don’t have a whole lot of suggestions for the interwebs, just well wishes. Take care of yourself, and enjoy all the jell-o and ice cream 🙂 (At least that’s what they made me eat when I had my gall bladder out…..that and lots of chicken broth…)

    Posted on 11.22.08 ·
  9. Judy wrote:

    Brenda, I hope you are feeling better soon! It’s not a fun time that you’ve been having lately. I’m glad that you are on the mend. As my mama (a very wise woman) used to say — if you’re bored, you’re healing. Although, come to think of it, it was usually in the context of going back to school, which probably doesn’t apply to you. 🙂

    I love the new look of your site. Very nice!

    Is there any way to subscribe to a feed for your blog? Your current feed – at least the one I’ve been able to find the address to – only has entries for your podcast. Thanks.

    Posted on 11.22.08 ·
  10. Pam wrote:

    I hope your recovery is going well. I just found Hulu.com and allucanc.org. They both offer tv and movies streamed to your computer without charge. Be careful to use the .org and not .com on allucanc.org, as they charge you if you use the.com site. I just had my first outing today since surgery on Monday to the knitting store. I have determined that there needs to be special knitting patterns to use when on narcotics; as there is a clear distinction in my project prior to surgery and after surgery. Maybe a book could be made “Knitting with Narcotics.” Happy thoughts and positive energy is being sent your way.


    Posted on 11.23.08 ·
  11. livnletlrn wrote:

    I believe you mentioned a while back that there’s a ukulele in your life now. If you’re feeling up to it, could be fun to switch out the needles for some uke fun here and there. My 10 y.o. knitting dau. (see blog) is a recent uke enthusiast. When she’s not knitting like the wind ;-), she’s been practicing songs from her instructor’s website (www.doctoruke.com) and exploring ukuleleunderground.com.

    This mother-daughter knitting pair loves your podcast and hopes you’re feeling fully well again soon!

    Posted on 11.23.08 ·
  12. Rachel wrote:

    I hope you’ve already seen it, but if not, go to watch Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog. http://www.hulu.com/watch/28343/dr-horribles-sing-along-blog

    Otherwise, I recommend Pushing Daisies, which I think you can get on http://abc.go.com/primetime/pushingdaisies/index?pn=index

    Posted on 11.23.08 ·
  13. may wrote:


    I hope you are feeling better and enjoying a nice bed rest. When I want to procrastinate I always go to comedycentral dot com and watch the archive episodes of the Jon Stewart show and the Stephan Cobert show. Hilarious!
    Another recent favorite is the first season of Pushing Daisies, on DVD. Very unique and very funny!

    Posted on 11.24.08 ·
  14. Joan wrote:

    Brenda – quick question – are you saying you wished you’d bought the stand thingie for a laptop or the cute model?
    (OK don’t hit me….)

    Posted on 11.25.08 ·
  15. Janelle wrote:

    Hi Brenda,
    I wonder if something was whack with Bloglines recently, as I now have 46 new posts from you. A quick skim reveals I actually have not read these. Hmmm. Now I have some fun reading ahead of me!

    Posted on 11.25.08 ·
  16. Alex wrote:


    I thought you might like to know that you can go online to abc.go.com and they have full episodes on there if you want to watch any of them, although I don’t think they have back seasons… Also, if you go to myspace.com/sororityforever they have a mini-sode series that is pretty intriguing that would take about 3 hours to watch the whole thing, but each mini-sode is only about 3 minutes long, so it’s great for those who have ADD… (yours truly)

    I hope you have a swift recovery, and you are in my thoughts as us over here in the U.S. celebrate Thanksgiving.


    Posted on 11.25.08 ·
  17. Lee wrote:

    Hi Brenda,

    Hope you are recovering! The last time I had the chance to take to my bed, I was pregnant and had a two-year-old and no childcare. Bedrest is never as much fun as it sounds like it should be…maybe we should take to our beds before we’re sick?? Anyway, feel better soon!

    I love the podcast and often go back and listen to my favorite episodes (love it when you are wandering the local countryside). Many thanks for all you do to produce such a great show.

    No recommendations for web viewing, but if you can splurge, I recommend “Elizabeth I: The Virgin Queen” with Anne-Marie Duff and Tom Hardy (rawr! for either one of them, actually). I just bought myself a copy after suffering through bad VHS tapes for a few years.

    Best wishes for a speedy recovery and health enough to knit by!

    –Lee (workwoman on Rav)

    Posted on 12.2.08 ·
  18. Jenifer ( IsleofAran on Rav) wrote:

    Hi Brenda – I’m just meeting you really. I’ve begun your downloaded podcasts from the beginning ( look at the silly American trying to do proper grammar 🙁 – ) Anyway I’m only up to your first break, summer 2006 I think. I REALLY enjoy the obscure jazz (?) The podcast as I’m sure you know from so many people agreeing with me – is Fantastic. You keep me company at work- everyday- and I’m sure I will be caught up before too long.
    What I wanted to say is – get better, be healthy. It’s a Very odd feeling ‘knowing’ someone but being two and a half years displaced. Tiny bit sci-fi. I love your beginners tips and I think I’ve done nearly every one of them 🙂 But I’ve been inspired by you to ‘Just keep knitting’ and I have more finished objects and less objects likely to hibernate than ever.
    My recommendation for long internet shows is actually on nbc.com ‘Life’, from the beginning kept me motivated for six months while I was a ‘displaced worker’ (hate that phrase…)
    I wish you a whole and complete recovery, and I hope you heal well with little scarring?

    Posted on 12.31.08 ·

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