Archive for May, 2012

In Which I Audition for the Role of Pincushion

May 24, 2012

I’m still running through the list of pain management techniques recommended by the hip specialist in order to delay the hip replacement surgery.  Weeks of physiotherapy didn’t work.  Neither did the weeks of short wave and ultrasound massage, although that felt good for the 5 minutes it went on.  It just didn’t affect the pain in walking or standing.

Next on the list  –  acupuncture.  I went to the pain clinic, and met with a doctor there.  He recommended a combination regimen of acupuncture and Tui na, which is a form of traditional Chinese manipulative therapy usually used in conjunction with another therapy (such as acupuncture).  From what I understand, it’s a mixture of massage techniques using Chinese taoist and martial art principles in an attempt to bring into balance the eight principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine.   I’ve been scheduled for the acupuncture once a week, and the Tui na once every two weeks.

Yesterday after work was my first acupuncture visit and I got to play pincushion.  After a consultation, I lay on my side and got needles poked around my hip joint, down the leg to the foot, with a few in my back and my butt, and a couple in the other leg for good measure.  (OK, to maintain balance in the meridians…)  I felt them, but most didn’t hurt.  According to Tal, the acupuncturist, the majority of needles were at points in the Stomach meridian – brightest yang of the leg meridians – with a few in the Liver meridian – the absolute yin of the leg meridians.   He made sure that I had no stomach ailments before proceeding.  I lay there for half an hour,  trying very hard not to move and dislodge something – I’ve really got to take out the Kindle next time, since I can’t knit in that position –  then the needles were removed.  From my perspective, I couldn’t see any of the needles except for the ones in my thigh.  Truthfully, I didn’t try too hard to see any of the others.  And I deliberately blocked out the fact that just last week I was blogging about voodoo pins.  (^_^)

I was curious if there was any significance to the fact that none of the needles hurt at all except for the two around my toes (one on top of a toe and one between two toes).  He told me that it could be that my feet were more sensitive (not that I’ve ever noticed…), or that we are usually more sensitive at the end points of the meridians.  Makes sense, I suppose.

It remains to be seen if this treatment will work.  I didn’t notice any difference in pain level when I walked back to my car afterwards.  I wasn’t expecting any after only one session.  I’m really hoping it will help, though.  I’m coming to the end of the list.


Vampire Voodoo Bear

May 17, 2012

Still backblogging…

The April package of the Smart Ass Knitters World Domination Club was received with much anticipation and delight.

And yes, that’s a pattern for a vampire voodoo bear (Frankienstein) by the esteemed Sarah Jenkins.  The yarn – beautiful merino sock yarn in the colourway  Ruxpinosferatu.

I have to admit the cleverness of the colour name wasn’t immediately obvious to me, since Teddy Ruxpin was created in the US years after I lived there, and the character never made it to this part of the woods. The Nosferatu/Dracula/Vampyre part I knew but looked up just to make sure.

The swag included lots of  bits and pieces of really lovely yarn and a few buttons for all the detail work on the bear.  Oh, yes, and a set of voodoo pins.  One must have proper voodoo pins.  Very useful things, those.  Kidlet was ecstatic when she saw it, and kept chanting “voodoo bear” all evening.  I suppose that’s a hint that she would like me to knit it for her?  I may or may not, since I have a few other ideas about what I want to do with this yarn.  We’ll see.

I’m still in WIP busting mode, until the Ravelympics begin in July.  I’m team captain for Team Falafel, and I’ve already set some yarn aside for a perfect Ravelympic project.  Or two.  If I finish the first one I have planned, then I have a backup ready.

I’ve been working on some more row counter bracelets,  I’ll take them tomorrow to the annual Yarn & Falafel get together.

Can’t wait to see everyone and catch up and knit and maybe learn something and do a wee bit of trading and shopping!  Kidlet and partner may join me this time, which will be fun, if it happens.

Knitting and beading, beading and knitting…    If only work – and other random crises – wouldn’t keep interfering.

And now that I’ve nicely muddled past present and future…

Knit on!

                         (Knitting is just so rock and roll….)

Life can be crazy

May 13, 2012

And time passes quickly with the craziness….and blogs get neglected.

Independence Day came and went (we went again to the annual kibbutz picnic), and thus officially opened the mangal (barbeque)  season. Outdoor eating is a national sport in Israel, from Independence Day in May until well into October (when we have a holiday of a whole week when we’re required to eat outside).  The Israeli barbeque is known as “mangal” (both a’s have the “ah” sound), and during mangal season weekends every possible open space is filled with people and the smoke from the mangals makes a cloud over the country.  The cloud is traditionally the thickest on Independence Day, of course.

An essential tool of the mangal is the nafnaf, which is used to properly fan the flames/charcoals. Otherwise the food just doesn’t taste as good.  Mangal sets almost always include a nafnaf, here seen in  green.

They are generally plastic, in a wide range of colours and a few basic shapes…

From the beginning of May you can find bins of them in most markets and shops.

No self-respecting mangaler would be without a nafnaf, although in an absolute emergency a piece of cardboard will do.

And for the truly dedicated, there is an app called the Nafnaf Champion to practice that wrist action…


It is an odd facet of the mangal that it is perceived as primarily the domain of men.  Women may indeed prepare the food pre-barbeque, with the cutting and chopping and adding sauces and marinades, but when it comes to firing up the coals and cooking the food any men present will shoo the women away.  Only when no men are around will one see a woman wielding a nafnaf.

During the years that I taught English as a foreign language to adults, I usually taught vocabulary by subject.  When we would reach the unit on kitchens and cooking, there were invariably some men in the class (not all, thank goodness) who would laugh and say that wasn’t anything to do with them, since only the women in their family cook.  I would ask if they were in charge of the mangal.  They would say “Of course!!! ” Then I would say “Well, then, you do cook.”  “Absolutely not!”   “But you mangal.”  “Of course.”  “So you cook.”  “Never!!”   And again and around and so on.

It seems to be a peculiar short-circuit in the brains of some Israeli men.  Perhaps there is someone who will seek grant money to research the phenomenon.