New Stuff, New Outlooks

I feel amazingly energized.

This has been one of those weeks when many, many good things happened, and I am very grateful!

#1 FIVE Years

It’s been 5 years since we were told that someone at Gerry’s stage of Multiple Myeloma probably had about 1-2 years.  That’s a 3-year win (and we are shooting for 30!)

Every day truly is a gift.  The fact that we all fully understand that just makes it sweeter.

Life is, indeed good.

#2 History on Two Needles Kickstart Project

I’ve been working on this book for almost the full aforementioned 5 years – and maybe Gerry’s health & recovery are part of the reason I’ve been dawdling.

But it’s time to crack down, get these projects & patterns finished, and get this book published!  With help from Cooperative Press AND my amazing backers who are helping through Kickstarter, it’s going to happen!

A Kickstarter project isn’t funded if you the goal isn’t met, so I aimed low.  My original goal was $8999 (still just a portion of the cost to produce a book), but I chickened out and went for $4999.

With the help of 100 backers, I reached that goal in 2 days (WOW!)

I will CONTINUE to raise funds until July 9th (I wanted to keep fundraising during TNNA) so go – look at my project – and consider becoming a backer!  I have some lovely rewards for folks… You can get one of the first printed books at less than the retail will be!

All funds raised will go directly into making this the best and most beautiful book possible!

#3 Car Loss / Car Gain

I love my PT Cruiser, you all know that.

I’ve loved it from the day I got it 7 years ago.  It’s been a damned good car.

But after a rather upsetting visit with our mechanic (many things hover at the point of fail, including the timing belt – ouch!) and realizing the PT can be hard to drive (terrible sight lines) we decided it was time for a change.

Last year an accident took our beloved Elantra Wagon, and we’ve been a relatively happy one-car family since then. (Have I mentioned that I bike?)

So we decided to return to what had worked for us – back to an Elantra!  As we signed the paperwork I told Gerry, “You DO realize this means you’re committing to being HERE for 10 years, right?”

A plain, sensible, 120K warranteed DARK GREY Elantra.

It’s a boring car.  But the fact we’re doing this speaks volumes about our hope levels.

#4 Bike Gain

To make parting with my Purple PT more palatable, part of the trade in was a gift card for a 7100 Trek bike from Penn Cycle (what the..?!)

I’m not complaining, as obviously I am the designated bike-ee.  I loved my old schwinn, but I will not miss it one bit.

The bike, I am happy to report, is BLUE.

So now we’re driving a different car, and I’m tooling around on a new bike.

And I miss my PT cruiser, but not half as much as I’d worry about Hannah driving it.

#5 Perfect Rose Cake

I’m the only one in our household who REALLY likes rose flavored stuff, but that’s okay.  I’m also the only gluten free chickie.

I perfected the walnut/rose cake this week, and have enjoyed it’s GF goodness for days.

A small thing, but it’s been quite a while since I’ve had unlimited cake – YUM!  I can’t do this all the time, but it’s been fun for a week!

For anyone who’s interested, here’s a link to a pdf file of the recipe.

#6 Refocusing

This may be the biggest of all.

I’m listening to a great audiobook about Roald Dahl (The Irregulars) and the British spy ring in WWII Washington.  It’s absolutely FASCINATING, and a casual reference to the fact that most spies were recruited between the ages of 50 and 60 hit me like a blast of fresh air.

I’ve been feeling SO old, so worn out, so sick and aching and feeling SO sorry for myself (not on purpose, I’ve been trying hard to shake it!)  It’s about time I moved ahead.

Hearing this one sentence made me feel – worthwhile? – again. In conjunction with a reading of  Madeleine Albright’s excellent book, Madame Secretary, I’ve been able to find a bit of perspective.

This was a refocusing that I needed, a looking ahead instead of looking behind.

In other news, I’m looking into a different kind of rear view mirror for my bike.  I’m trying the kind that attaches to the helmet – watch for updates…

16 thoughts on “New Stuff, New Outlooks

  1. So glad you husband is beating multiple myeloma. I lost an otherwise very healthy, young friend to that over 15 years ago. One of my cycling buddies has it and is 70 years old. He’s had his stem cell transplant and doing great. Biked through his chemo and radiation. He is an incredibly strong cyclist. His hematologist told him he could ride 2 miles a day during treatment but he logged in over 700 miles instead.

    I got a new bike in Nov and didn’t think I needed one. My TREK was top of the line in 1999 and I figured at my age, it would last as long as I was riding. Well, like you, I don’t miss it one bit and love, love, love my Motobacane. I’ve owned 3 TREKs and have nothing but great things to say about them. You will continue to love yours. I just got a much better deal on the Motobacane.

    Good luck with your new book. I’m in there for you too.

    I had a birthday yesterday and also feel old and worn out but keep on plugging away. I don’t know who that old person is that looks back it me in the mirror each morning.

    I’m due for a new vehicle soon. My husband wants to buy me a little 4-door truck so he can drive it when he wants to drive it 🙂

    As for rose flavor, I’ve never tried it but am intrigued and that may soon change.

    • I’m so sorry for the loss of your friend 15 years ago – that’s the thing about MM, if you can keep staying around, they just keep coming up with amazing new treatments (it responds well, so it’s MM patients are eligible for a LOT of treatment trials!) Your 70 yr old friend is an inspiration to both my husband and myself!

      Previously my favorite bike had been my motobecanes (one in 1992, one in 2005, both stolen…)

  2. Hi Annie-

    What a great good news week! You and Gerry are inspirational. Continued strength to you both!

    I love my Trek-it was my gift to myself when we moved to a bike friendly town in OR.

    Unfortunately, I then had my hip replaced followed the next year by foot surgery and it’s been over two years since I’ve ridden

    Now I’m inspired to get back on that cushy saddle, thanks!

    I also know the pain of leaving behind a beloved car. I had a big premium guzzling mountain climbing SUV, but it was embarrassing to drive, was top heavy in curves and got 14 mpg.

    Have had two Subarus since and they have been fabulous, but I still secretly miss the idea of the Land Rover! Only car love affair I’ve ever had! I think it’s a sign of wisdom and great character to choose sensible over passion, don’t you?? lol

    Well, maybe not in all things!

    Wishing you continued good things every week!

  3. Hooray for fresh perspectives. Life really is 10% what happens and 90% how you interpret it.

    I feel your pain about the PT. I have owned two — the first one was a 2001 that I ordered and anxiously waited five months before it arrived. Loved that car! When they came out with the turbo in 2003, I traded up to that. Had it completely customized with paint, undercarriage lights, a dual exhaust — it was awesome. Met tons of great friends through the local Cruiser Club and won lots of trophies and even some cash at car shows. I even had a business for a while selling blinking novelties at car shows — toted my entire 10×10 booth and products in the back of the Cruiser all over the Northwest.

    It was loads of fun. But then life changed and gas prices went up and I started needing to commute more. The Cruiser needed premium gas (turbo-charged power comes with a price) and didn’t get very good mileage, so I had to make a hard choice. Fortunately, the guy who bought it loves it just as much as I did. He had just totaled his own Cruiser when he saw my ad and bought the car. He brings it by now and then for “visits,” which is really nice.

    As for me, I’m now driving my second Prius — this time a Prius C — and loving the 53 MPG average I get on my commute to my yarn shop.

    Yup, trade-offs and perspective. That’s what it’s all about. I miss that car, but I’m so happy being in my very own yarn shop that it’s okay. 🙂

    Here’s to another 30 years for you and Gerry!

  4. Wow, I can hardly believe it has been 5 yrs!

    Mazel Tov! may you be blessed with many more!

    I also put rose water in anything I can. I am convinced it makes you feel like a decadent princess. It is perfect for tea parties with the younger ones as well.

  5. I am so happy that good things are happening for you and your family! Can you send some of your energy my way 🙂 Actually, I’m supposed to start taekwando on Saturday so hopefully that will help kickstart my energy. Take care, Cindi

  6. On the topic of bike mirrors:

    My husband bike commutes to work on a 25km (15 mile) round trip daily. He’s also training for a 300km (186 mile) “casual” ride … that he wants to accomplish in one day.

    He swears by the following mirror, which is very adjustable to give you exactly the field of vision you need. It clips to the temple of your glasses – he wears prescription specs but it would clip to sunnies just as well. The following link is to a Canadian retailer (since that’s where we live) but I’m sure you could find it in the US or on the internets.

    Bike Peddler Take A Look Cyclist’s Mirror

  7. I love your bike.
    I am happy to back HOTN. I would have bought it anyway and I think the backer gifts are a great bargain. Plus It’s fun to stalk the UPS/FedEx guys.

  8. So thrilled HOTN has been funded! It’s been an amazing journey watching it all come together since our coffee date at Wuollet’s so many years ago when you were telling me all about it. (next GF experiment should be a copy of the radio roll).

    And that bike is beautiful! Can’t wait to go exploring the trails this summer. Much love to you all!!

  9. A car dealership that gives you a gift certificate for a bike? Wow!

    Congratulations on the new car! May you drive many safe and worry-free miles in it!

    And love to you & Gerry. Keep on keeping on!

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