Tuesday, August 14, 2018
Other than the usual day to day shit, this week has (and will continue to be), one for the books. An ulceration opened on my left breast the other day. That meant an immediate trip to my GP. After looking at it, he sent me to a breast surgeon.
Surgeon? WTF? The last thing in the world I’ll do is more surgery but, like a good little patient, off I went yesterday with Mom in tow.
Come to find out, the lymph nodes in my left armpit are swollen, tender, and have lumps. So does the breast. Instead of just making an educated guess (and going with her gut), now I have to have an MRI. Tomorrow is the mammo/bone density/ultrascan. Along with the bruising and overwhelming tiredness, what does that tell you? Yes... cancer. It could also be the autoimmune disease kicked into high gear. Given my choice, I’ll take cancer. At least that can be treated. The other can’t be checked, treated, or even understood. I don’t have a chance with that one. I also got to read the hospital report from the intestines blowing. Guess what? I also have COPD and heart, liver, and pancreatic disease. Why I was never told is beyond me; I was shocked to learn all this. I’m a fucking medical miracle to still be upright and somewhat functional.
Thursday, I have to go to court. That’ll be another stressful day. So I’ve decided that come Friday, I’m officially on vacation. I’m locking the doors, not putting a stitch on (like I wear clothes much anyway), drinking coffee, watching all the crappy TV I want, and spinning and knitting when I feel Iike it. I think I may take the next week off, too, since it’s the only week with nothing in it. I need the rest, and I need the solitude.
Right now, all I feel is numb. I don’t know if it’s my brain’s way of dealing with everything, if I’m overwhelmed, or what’s going on. I do know that I don’t feel anything - no emotional turmoil, no noticeable stress, nothing. It’s like I’m in The Twilight Zone in some truly bizarre episode. Thank god I have my babies; they’re a huge comfort to me. Roxy has been jumping into bed with me every night, carefully inspecting my face (why, I don’t have a clue), and then laying her head or cheek on mine, and we both fall asleep together like that. Her gentle snoring lulls me into sleep, and the weight and warmth of her are so... wonderful. She’s an 80 lb. lump of love and concern. Millie is... Millie. She likes to wriggle on her side until she’s wrapped around my ankle, lay on her back, wiggle all over, wave her paws in the air, and is so funny that she always makes me laugh. When I do, she’s even more energetic in her antics. I think that’s her way of making Mommy happy, and it works.
So now I’m off to start drinking my second pot of coffee, watch Judge Judy, and maybe attack the other half of the French dip I’ve been dreaming of for months (we went to dinner at the hof brau last night; they’re so huge that I brought half of everything home). Then I’m relaxing. Enough is enough; my body is seriously damaged and is telling me it’s the day to do NOTHING.
You gotta do what you gotta do...
Friday, June 1, 2018
Anyway, I paid the shipping on her last night, so she’ll be delivered to my door in a couple of weeks. Come to find out, the airlines will no longer fly dogs in the cabin unless they’re trained service dogs (not those fake ones where you can buy the vests on Amazon), and they won’t allow any bullie breed (as well as a long list of others), in cargo. Since that wasn’t an option, I was thinking I’d have to drive down to Dallas to pick her up - a two-day journey - and then back home. Not optimal - she’d be in a crate for a long drive with at least one stop overnight, I’d have to try and keep her cool, and pay for gas, lodging, food, incidentals - not to mention the wear and tear on me, her, and the car. She’ll be arriving via a transport service which drives straight through, has two ladies who take turns driving, sleep on a cot in the back with the puppies they’re delivering, let them out to play, take them potty, and never leave them alone. All I have to do is get off my Jabba the Hut ass and answer the door. Perfect!
It’s been one of those days I can’t wait to see disappear. First, the pool filter exploded. Now the pool guy has to talk my landlady into putting in a new one, since I’m not responsible for the equipment. Then I found out that bitch next door trespassed in my backyard to get a football. Of course, the cops will no longer trespass someone - it’s considered a civil matter unless it’s criminal trespass - so I have to take steps, the first of which is arriving tomorrow via Amazon. Come tomorrow afternoon, there will be a huge, “NO TRESPASSING - VIOLATERS WILL BE PROSECUTED” sign which also has a space for you to write on. I’m going to put her name and family. Being considered due notice, if I can catch her or any of them walking in my yard, THEN I can call the cops - if I can get one to leave the donuts for a few minutes to come deliver the news. I’m a bit apprehensive about it - being the batshit bitch she is, that would spark yet more retaliation and threats. I almost bought the sign which said something like, “MY DOG CARRIES A GUN AND WON’T TAKE HIS MEDICATION”, but I thought I’d better stick to something which wasn’t funny and to the point. Even putting it up is going to righteously piss her off. If I didn’t have my babies, I’d just load the gun, walk in her yard, beat the shit out of her, and shoot her in the kneecap. Not that getting three hots and a cot would bother me, but I do have to take care of the kids, and I don’t think they allow doggie visits in the joint.
So now I’m hot and tired, so I took a bunch of pain meds and Valium and will likely piss away another evening. I’ve got spinning to do, so I might work on that - or I might watch Live PD and doze off. No matter - as long as I don’t pick up either crocheting or knitting where I have to pay attention and count stitches, it’ll be fine. No matter what, the sun is dropping, the temps will be dropping, and tomorrow is a new day.
Now all I have to do is find my Sharpie to write on the sign...
Friday, May 25, 2018
Depression. Imagine an endless, dark tunnel with no visible light at the end. Imagine barely being able to get out of bed in the morning, because facing the day and doing even the smallest of tasks is unbearable. Imagine all the dark thoughts which flit through one’s mind when they’re so tired, so in pain (both mentally and physically), that they wish the next day would never come.
But that day always seems to come, and you go through the same routine all over again. I’ve been in bed so much that my ass is threatening to fall over the sides of the mattress.
But finally, there is light at the end of said tunnel. Some money has come in, I have food to eat, medications have been phoned in for refill for the first time in two months, and I’m finally feeling like I can focus on things - like knitting a stupid simple pattern without fucking up the stitch count over and over again.
One of the blessings is that a lovely lady in the Dallas area has offered me an older English Bullie pup. Once I speak with her, we’ll figure out the best way to get her home. She’ll make a wonderful companion for Roxy (who has proven to be the best dog in the world), and an even more delightful companion for me. I’ve lived with EB’s for over a decade, and the absence of one is like being stuck in said tunnel.
So I’ve grabbed myself by the tits, pulled myself up as best I can, and now I have another focus.
Well, maybe not retribution - not exactly - more like justice. You see, my dear estranged husband promised - six years ago - to pay me half his salary. While I do indeed get a pretty good chunk of jingle every two weeks, it’s no longer enough to live on. So, after I get my June bonus, I’m hauling his muffin butt into court to seek a revision on the amount I receive. I KNOW he’s making far more now than he was those long six years ago, and I want what’s rightfully mine and what was promised. My hope is that he’ll settle without us even having to go to court because, should I lay eyes on him again, one of two things is going to happen - either I’ll crumble into a sobbing mess (how undignified), or grab his by now shriveled-up balls and squeeze them until he passes out. That’s even if he has any left - he’s never stood up to women - but if he does, I know from decades of experience exactly where they’re lurking in his 501’s. If he shows up and brings his whore, I’ve already prepared for a friend to bail me out, because I’ll rip her to shreds - then deal with him.
The second person I’m working on annihilating is that bitch next door. This is a more delicate process, but either me or karma is going to destroy her for what she did to my sweet Tillie. To me, that’s the lowest of the low - killing a sweet baby who never hurt anybody in her short little life, and all to hurt me. She did more than hurt me - she devastated and almost destroyed me - but now I’m PISSED. And when I hit the wall and get PISSED, all hell is about to break loose.
On a happier note, well... uh... hm. Give me a while to think about that one.
Oh, I know - the love and support of family and friends who have stood by me and made sure I had enough food to eat and enough love to realize I’m important to them. I’m not only talking about people I know - I’ve received care packages from all over the world, most of them from people I don’t know, but with whom I share a mutual friend who facilitated this effort. I have many blessings in my life; now it’s time to drop the self-pity, tie my tits behind my neck, and kick myself in my Jabba the Hut ass. Today is the day.
So, dear friends, enough whining and bitching. Enough of the “poor me” shit. I’m back, and with a vengeance the Goddesses would be proud of.
I hope y’all have a lovely holiday weekend, and a safe one as well. I’ll be working on my many projects, planning some things, and making something other than hot dogs for dinner.
The bitch is back yet again.
Sunday, May 13, 2018
Other than the obligatory phone call to my mom, I’m spending it alone with Roxy. It’s just another day - my days melt into one another, so I’m never sure what day of the week it is or the actual date. For instance, I’m going to a fiber festival next Saturday, but it surprised the shit out of me to learn it was coming so fast. It’s a good thing the lady I’m meeting there reminded me, or I would have completely forgotten.
I’m currently fighting with two lace projects - one, I keep ripping the whole damn thing out, and the other, the instructions are wrong. Since I don’t know how the pattern is going to shake out, I have to wait for the designer to let me know her latest corrections. Even as bad as my math skills are, it just didn’t add up to the required number of stitches, and I don’t want to mess it up beyond having to frog a row. Spinning is non-existent for the moment; since my sweet Tillie was taken from me, I’ve had a really difficult time getting the motivation to do much of anything. At this rate, my ass is spreading faster than soft butter from sitting all the time.
The stress of what’s happening with that crazy bitch next door has also kicked my disease into high gear. Tired all the time but not sleeping, a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach, and the accompanying pain - it’s all part of it. We won’t even talk about the amount of TP I’m running through...
One of the things that bitch did was to call every city agency she could think of to make my life miserable. I admit, my front yard was an embarrassment, so I got ahold of a fraternal organization called the Clampers who do things for people who can’t do for themselves. A lovely young man came out and cleared all the weeds. During his work, Gladys came out to spy on me (she’s even taking pictures and videos of my house), and he gave her a dirty look. When she still stood there (camera at the ready, I’m sure), he gave her the finger. I’ve stooped to her level and stood out in front of her house taking a video of the six cars they own and how they’re parked (especially the giant truck blocking our mailboxes, and the two parked between our houses - one of which doesn’t even run), and have forwarded it to Code Enforcement. They’ll be out this week to investigate violations (smirk). If they’re force to move that piece of shit Baja Bug, I’m going to sit in the driveway on a lawn chair and take a video of them moving it into the backyard - it’s the only place they have to put it. Retaliation will come, of that I have no doubt, but she’s dangerously close to harassment and me filing a restraining order. If she so much as farts in my direction, I’ll use my special skills to destroy her house. Yeah, there will be repercussions from that little maneuver, but I think at that point, it’s not just being mean - it’s self-preservation. And if something happens to Roxy, I’ll rip her to shreds.
So other than falling asleep and getting very sharp knitting needles stuck in my ass (and the stitches falling off said needles), making stupid mistakes when I’m awake enough to knit, and various and sundry other adventures in the my world of creation, there’s not a damned thing going on other than the shit from next door. It’s probably a good thing I’m not spinning right not - I’d probably flick the spindle the wrong way and have it shoot straight into my eye. Not that I can see all that well anymore, but that would hurt - and it would also fuck up my spindle. One can’t have that...
Sunday, April 29, 2018
You told my mother you wanted a granddaughter as soon as she got married. She obliged, and you were beyond delighted. You wouldn’t hold me because you were afraid you’d break me.
You were my entire world from the moment I realized who you were.. You gave me your steak bones to teethe on, and I inherited your love of very rare steaks.
You took me to the substation almost every night so I could go on patrol with you or hang out in the station with all the other cops. I sent teletypes to every agency in the country with a simple, “HI!”, and they all responded in kind.
One night, you told me to hide in an office under the desk and not stand up. I did, but as soon as you walked out, I stood up to watch. Two big cops drug in a man who was fighting. He saw me, broke free, and came at me at a dead run. You merely stuck your hand out, snagged him by the throat, and proceeded to bang his head against the wall until it split open like a dropped pumpkin. Then you came into the office and said, “Didn’t Grandpa tell you not to stand up?”. I was horrified and began to cry; then he took me by the hand and we went to get cheeseburgers. It turned out the man had just raped and killed a little girl my age.
I was with you every day, and you took me to the City every week to buy fresh crab off the boats, hot sourdough from the Toscana trucks delivering to the restaurants, and we’d go sit on our favorite pier slathering that hot sourdough with butter you always remembered to bring and eating our crab, watching the fog roll out under the Gate. That’s the very same pier my ashes will be scattered from.
You taught me to shave you with a straight-edge when I was three.
You taught me how to drive a car when I was 10.
You walked me up and down Broadway for my 13th birthday so I could see all the strip joints, and then told me not to tell my mother.
You drove me to the Castro district so I could see the sights there and drove right into the middle of the first Gay Liberation Day Parade. I wanted to get out and watch the parade; you were horrified, yelled at me to lock the doors and hide under the dashboard, and hung a U-turn right in front of a float and shot back down Castro Street.
When you bought me my Camaro, I wanted the version with the Phoenix on the hood, like the Trans-Am’s. You wouldn’t buy it because “only pimps drove those kinds of cars”. You paid $6K for it back then; it was still wrapped in plastic and had six miles on the odometer.
You bought me my first hookah from Cost Plus in the City when I was about to go into high school and took the flowers from the Hare Krishnas, mashed them up, and put them back in their baskets.
You brought me wine when I was in college.
You walked me down the aisle for my big formal wedding, and I had to nudge you to let go of my hand when it was time to hand me over to my husband. I wish I had grabbed you and kissed you at that moment. All the women at the reception asked me if you were available; I told them all no because I didn’t want to share you with anybody.
I ate lunch with you on a Friday and you told me you didn’t feel well. On Saturday morning, I got a call from the hospital telling me you were paralyzed from the neck down. I spent the next year visiting you every day. You wouldn’t let the nurses shave you or suction out your tubes - that was my job. When they did a tracheotomy, I walked into your room and you croaked out, “What the hell took you so long?”. I burst into tears.
You came home with me after that year on my 30th birthday, and I turned my family room into a hospital setting. I cared for you and took you out back in your wheelchair to get some sun. The wheelchair tipped over, I fell on top of you, and we both laid there in the grass laughing until my husband came home and helped me get you back in the chair. It’s a miracle you didn’t fall in the pool.
The day after New Year’s, you were staying with my mother because I had gone down to 95 lbs. and couldn’t even pick up your chair anymore. She called me to say that you had gone into a coma and to get my ass to the hospital. I didn’t leave your side; I even slept there with my head on your chest. Your intestines had burst - the same thing which would happen to me many years later - and I finally got a nurse to tell me you were dying.
Per your wishes, I took you off life support on a Thursday. Right after I turned off the machines (I wouldn’t let the doctors or nurses do it), you came out of your coma, looked right at me and, for about 10 seconds, you were my grandpa again. You said, “Grandpa loves you”, and went back into the coma. I came to see you that Saturday night and told you it was okay, that I was okay (it was all lies), and you died two hours later.
I don’t remember much of your funeral, other than my cousin having to peel me off your coffin and starting to rocket my fist in my uncle’s face before a friend grabbed it.
You came to me every night for a year, kissed my cheek, told me you loved me, and protected me from the other side.
Two years ago, when my intestines blew and I was in ICU for a month, I flatlined four times. The last time I was ready to go and relaxed, giving in to it. I didn’t see you, which surprised me. Then I got shoved hard in the small of my back, came shooting back to life, and all my vitals shot up to normal. The next day, they took out my intubation tube and I told the nurses I had been shoved back. They told me I was hallucinating until I told them to roll me over and look. Right where I said it happened, there was a palm-shaped bruise. I didn’t see you because you were behind me. I so wanted to come be with you again, and I was sad that you had decided it wasn’t time. You always made the decisions, and I respected them.
Too many memories to put in a blog post, some too personal to share. You were my universe, my life, the person I loved above all others and still do. Your badge rests next to Emma’s ashes, and sometimes you move it to let me know you’re here. I’m so looking forward to being with you again.
I love you, Grandpa and that will never change. My heart hurts every day that i was robbed of another 20 years with you. You left me the day before your 72nd birthday. Part of me died with you. You taught me so much, adored me, cared for me, spoiled me rotten - but most of all, you loved me with the same fierceness I loved you.
I wish you were here in person, not just in spirit.
Your beloved granddaughter.
Friday, April 27, 2018
They say there’s light at the end of every tunnel, and in this case, it’s true. That same Tuesday, I got notification that a bulldog needed a home. I sent in an application, saw her yesterday, and she was delivered with all her things last evening. Her name is Roxy, and I believe both my Emma and Tillie dwell within her. She’s an America Bulldog instead of an English and, while I miss those stumpy, snorting, wrinkly little creatures lumbering around the house, she’s absolutely adorable. She also falls down when I yell bang, knows all her commands, and is perfect in every way. We’ve already bonded in such a short time, and I know my babies sent her to me because they can’t bear to see me hurting so badly. She also licks away my tears when I cry for my Tillie. She’ll help me with my grief; I’ll give her a new, happy, loving life. It’s a win-win for both of us.
On other fronts, there isn’t much at all going on. I’m spinning, knitting (although the past few days, I’ve barely managed to get out of bed), and generally farting around. I’m also smoking like a chimney, but now that I have Roxy, I’ll stop again. My life is so boring, it’s a wonder I don’t fall down in a dead faint when I get to go to the grocery store from the sheer excitement of actually getting in the car.
Yesterday was also a banner day for gifts. Fiber, spindles, lots of other doodads from dear friends - it brought light into my life and made me realize that I have friends who care deeply about me. Sometimes, when all you see is black, the obvious goes unnoticed. That was the case until I got everything - including Roxy - as well as many concerned messages. I’m indeed fortunate, boring life or not. Maybe today I’ll actually work on my shit again, and I’ll definitely play fetch with Roxy and shoot her a few times just to watch her fall over. It’s hilarious, but a good tummy rub is expected after performing that feat.
I’m sorry to be so boring today, but after Tillie’s loss, it knocked all the wind out of me. I’m grateful I still have people reading this, and I’m also grateful for good friends, Roxy, my family, and coffee...
Tuesday, April 10, 2018
The patch is on my arm, I have one pack left (yes, I’ve already had... uh... four?), and I’m fighting the urge to light up another.
What, you say? The most devout of smokers is quitting? What in the hell is the world coming to?
It comes down to one word: MONEY.
Do I really want to quit? Sorta. Would I continue smoking if cartons weren’t $85? Most likely. The sad and simple truth is that I can no longer afford to chuck roughly $500 out the window every month.
But, you say, you’re NOT supposed to smoke with a patch on your arm. You’ll get nicotine poisoning. You have to fight harder. Do you want to wind up in the hospital because your body can’t handle all the extra nicotine from smoking real ciggies with the strongest patch on?
To all that, I say a loud and resounding BULLSHIT.
This is the woman who, during one of her hospital stays, was wheeled to the elevator by her pulmonologist to go sit outside, in the pouring rain, to have a smoke. Not only was it raining, and I was sitting there with a blanket draped over my head, I had two smokes - while wearing two patches. I seem to have survived quite nicely.
But I’ve also noticed that I’ve begun to cough - just a little - which, after 39 years of smoking two packs a day, isn’t bad. Add to that the fact that my SO is an ex-smoker. He doesn’t care if I smoke, but I’d rather spend the time with him than keep running outside to have a cancer stick. I’d also rather not eat breath mints like Cheetos to try and mask the stench of tobacco.
I have no illusions of my lungs “getting better”. The damage has already been done. I’ve seen X-rays of them and, for smoking as much and as long as I have, they look remarkably good. I just love smoking. I love the rituals, the taste, the relaxation - they even help with pain by constricting blood vessels - and I’ll miss it.
Had I been smart, I would have not picked up smoking again after my four-month hospital stint. But nobody has ever accused me of being such a thing. I mean, I lasted a week after coming home with several packs sitting there on top of the chest next to my bed. “I’ll just have one”, thought I. The really stupid thing about it was that I began to cough violently after a few puffs and wound up only taking those few. I taught myself to smoke again. What a dipshit.
Thank god for Valium...
Sunday, April 1, 2018
As always, I have to have everything possible to achieve my end goal. So do I start out with one spindle, one bowl, and one bag of fiber - just to see if I’ll like it? Oh no... that wouldn’t be in keeping with my wild and adventurous spirit. So, since I got a bonus, I decided to go shopping.
Within the time frame of about two weeks, I now have 18 spindles on hand (with five more on the way), a large box full of various fibers, six bowls, and every notion available for spindlers. Needless to say, the bonus disappeared rapidly, but it’s been so long since I’ve been able to just completely blow that much money, I had a blast.
These spindles are little works of art. The woods are exquisite, the spindlemakers whom I’ve been lucky enough to connect with are top-notch, and the fibers - those lovely ropes and braids of cloud-like softness - are a joy to work with.
Compared to a wheel, I find the process of using a spindle much more enjoyable. It’s more tactile, you have more control over what you’re spinning, and you can do it anywhere - the tools are portable to the point where you can spin riding in the car, waiting for a doctor’s appointment, or sitting on the john. Of course, I also had to get a suitable bag to transport the goodies I think I’ll need for whatever occasion I’m going to be spinning outside the house.
Now my house truly looks like a fiber mill - there’s bits of fiber floating through the air, all over my clothes, in my food - and combined with Tillie’s shedding makes for quite the mess. There I sit in the middle of it all, blithely unaware of just how shitty my house looks and merrily spinning away.
It’s like being in a state of zen - time ceases to exist, everything in my body relaxes, my breathing slows (yeah, the Fentanyl has a lot to do with that, but this helps it along), and the slowness of creating yarn is hypnotic. You can park and draft (which I do), or do a long draw, then wind on your finished single to the spindle, repeat. It really is relaxing and fun.
If you’ve not tried it before but have always wondered about it, I’d highly recommend you give it a whirl (pun intended). It’s not for the faint of heart, however - you’re going to spend a helluva lot more money than you ever imagined.
But so what? The old man sends me support checks, I have a freezer full of food, Tillie has everything she needs, and I’ve never been able to save money anyway. You can’t take it with you...
Monday, March 12, 2018
So there I am, sunning myself on the lovely beaches of Malibu (and watching Tillie look at the ocean with total indifference), when it dawned on me that Stitches was a day away - and I was going to be down in SoCal for another week or so. Shit - another year went by without attending the event.
Now I’m left to completely destroy my bank account on Etsy, the Loopy Ewe, and sundry and assorted yarn sites. And destroy it I am...
I’ve come to discover - rather quickly, in fact - that taking up the Russian spindle is even more addicting than knitting commercial yarn. First, there are the spindles themselves - lovely little works of art that I simply can’t live without. You need a bowl, and we all know I have a container fetish, so now I have two bowls on hand, one in transit, and one being made. Of course, to do anything with said spindles and bowls, you need fiber - lots of it. Not that the paltry amount I do possess will ever be spun in this lifetime, I MUST get more. Between Tillie shedding, fiber flying all over the place, and more things taking up room I don’t have, this house is ready to cough up a big furball.
Needless to say, I don’t wear black or any dark color.
Healthwise, I’m holding my own. Since the docs put me on the big boy narcotics, I feel better (read: much less pain), and am getting out to do things around town (which is the size of a cow pie). I got a Mini Cooper last year and have a blast driving it. I’ve also gotten involved in doing a lot of test knitting for designers, which keeps me busy, so between that, spinning, acquiring, Phil, etc., my days are no longer hard to fill.
Thank god I bought a robotic vacuum cleaner...
Wednesday, February 28, 2018
I’m delighted that a few of you are actually paying attention to my ramblings. Here’s some more for you.
Dating a man who makes the most exquisite spindles, bowls, etc., I took a look at his Russian spindles. For those of you who don’t know what they are, they’re a supported spindle (meaning you spin with the tip in a small bowl), and spin very fine yarn. Fine yarn? My interest was piqued. In true Pam fashion, I didn’t get just one to try to see if I liked it. I bought five... yes, count them, five.
So today, I decide I’m going to spin using one of these delightful little sticks. I get my fiber out, tease it a bit, get the spindle of the day and the bowl, plop it down in front of me, attach the fiber to the spindle, and give it a spin.
It flew across the room and dented the wall.
Okay, I think, this is going to take a bit of practice. I come from the spinning wheel world, and I rapidly realize that this is an entirely different beast. So I attach the fiber again, wind a bit on, draft out some, and give it another twirl.
I got nailed in the forehead.
Third time is a charm, think I, so I go through the entire ritual again. This time, the spindle stays in the bowl, it spins, and I think I’ve got it.
It sucked up the entire length of roving, unspun, onto itself.
So now I’ve put the entire package away to try again tomorrow. I’ve found it not prudent to try and do something when I’ve got a bandaid on my forehead, I’m pissed off and frustrated, and would like to break the spindles in half.
Think I’ll watch “My 600-Pound Life”, flop on the bed with a cup of joe, and eat Cheetos for the rest of the night.
Tuesday, February 27, 2018
So what’s been going on? I have a new love in my life (who would have thought?!?), went through an absolutely horrible four-month stay in the hospital, and continue to terrorize the world with my presence. Other than that, not a helluva lot has changed.
I do, however, regret to inform my dear readers that my sweet Emma crossed over last August. It was devastating. Fortunately, I had purchased a puppy a year prior to her leaving, so now I have Tillie. Poor Tillie was lost without Emma and continues to look for her sometimes, but she’s my little buddy and doorstop. I dearly love her.
As for knitting, etc., I continue to start a lot of projects and rarely finish any of them. I just love the process of creating, not necessarily the finished product. On the rare occasions when I do finish something, I tend to give it away. Come to think of it, the only thing I have which I’ve created is a lap quilt - unless you count the 100’s of UFO’s in the bedroom.
It’s great to be back, and I hope that my old readers (and lots of new ones), will be kind enough to read my ramblings...
Sunday, September 15, 2013
Tuesday, September 3, 2013
"SoberHope has left a new comment on your post "Holy Shit - She's Back!": Oh are you going to rip them off too, Pam? Too bad you didn't stay away. I thought you had finally died like you'd been threatening to do for years, but I see that, like everything else you do, is a giant lie. I'm sorry, did you think I'd forget about the money and merchandise you STOLE from me and just let it go? I haven't and I won't. Just like *I* promised all those years ago. Don't post this, I know you won't, but I am still here and I am still watching. Go ahead and block me. Baby, I got eyes all over this internet watching for me. And to answer your question, no, I won't let this rest. Not as long as you're active on the internet and especially not as long as you're active in the fiber community. YOU STOLE FROM PEOPLE. You are scum. I will never let you forget it. You're active in Linkdin now? Fantastic, so I am. I can see it's time to refresh the internet's memory a bit about you, Pam the Scam 'Artist'. I put the 'artist' bit in quotes because you're actually really bad at it."
SoberHope? Does that mean you're a drunk and sobriety is a far-off hope? Stay off the road so that you don't take the life of somebody who didn't steal your money. This is obviosly a reference to when I had my online store open. When we got back from Sock Summit, I lost some peoples' stuff. I've never tried to hide nor make any bones about it. I lost it. I'm sorry. I took a LOT of stuff up there and even took up stuff for people who didn't sell through the shop as a favor. I sent everything back I could find. I even lost some of my personal yarn - which, by the way, one skein of which was worth more than all of your crap. I lost the stuff of a few people. If you're the one who made the stitch markers, I can assure you that none of them sold. I couldn't even give them away, they were so hideous and poorly made. Every effort was made to find and return everything, and we found some things when we packed to move. Apparently, yours wasn't one of those items. If you wish to make nasty comments about me on LinkedIn, go right ahead. I'm not afraid of you, and it will only reflect badly on you. It's a place for professionals - you know, the kind of people who don't whine and bitch four years after the fact? Why don't you enlighten us all and tell us your real name? Eyes watching all over the Internet. Oooh. We're all quaking with fear and dread. And no... I didn't die yet. I don't think I will anytime soon, either, just to piss you off. For my friends, enjoy. You know the truth, and you're the ones who matter.
Thursday, August 15, 2013
Mr. Goddess is no longer Mr. Goddess. Hr. Goddess is gone.
You read that right. Mark left me.
One fine evening a year ago in June, he got up from his computer and announced that he wanted out of our marriage. Then he spent the next three hours telling me what a piece of shit I was, how I had ruined his life, how he had given me everything and I still wasn't happy, how he had only slept with two other women besides me (WTF? Snatch is snatch.), blah blah blah. Then he left for a few days to "think it over" - and over my birthday, I might add. He came home that Sunday and, on June 26th, a Tuesday, he packed a few clothes in his computer bag, kissed and hugged me, and left for work. A day like any other day, except that on this day, he didn't come home, nor did he come home ever again. The last time I saw him was last October in court, and he looked so bad that my cousin had to point him out to me. I still didn't recognize him. He said to me that we "were over", yet he hugged me good-bye like his life depended on it. I think he's afraid that if he talks to me, he'll "weaken" and want to come home, even after all this time.
My doctor put me on suicide watch because I got so depressed. Mark refused to speak to me, even though he wanted to settle all this between us and be amicable. I got myself an attorney because he said on the papers he filed that he would be responsible for her bill, yet he won't pay it. I lost her because I couldn't afford the bill. Why isn't the court making him pay it? Even though he left everything to me, the truck he left me with is a piece of shit which will cost more to repair than it's worth and no washer or dryer to do laundry. So, for about 10 months, all I had for transportation was my medical scooter, which gets a whopping seven miles per charge. I did my laundry by hand. Even though my next-door neighbor and best friend let me use her truck to go shopping and her washer/dryer to do laundry, I didn't want to take advantage of her. It took me almost a year, but I saved enough money to buy a washer and dryer, as well as a handicapped van so I can take my scooter with me to things like Stitches. Even though the van is old (it was made the year we were married - how ironic), it looks great, runs like a top, and the upholstery looks new. It has about $20K in handicapped junk on it - at the flick of a switch, the door opens, the van lowers to the ground, and a ramp unfolds out so you can drive your scooter or wheelchair into the van. Hit the switch in the reverse direction, and everything closes up, along with the van rising back to normal height. The lady I bought it from had purchased it for her father but he died unexpectedly, so she just wanted to find a good home for it where someone really needed it. All I paid for it was $4K. We've become good friends, and I often go to her ranch to go horseback riding (I have my own personal horse, "Dolly"). I thank her every time I climb into that van. It's such a blessing.
Even though I'm far from the only woman to go through this, when you're in the middle of it, it feels like you're the only one. Loneliness is a physical pain. Sometimes, I'll wake up, confused, and call out for him. Then when I realize that he's not here, the pain hits again. It's horrible. Now he's barely talking to me - only through email - and wants to work it out without court. I know why - I think he's realized that if we go to court, I'll take him to the cleaners But I'm playing along for the time being. My doctor - and everyone who knows him - are shocked by his behavior and are convinced that he's been off his meds for a very long time. There's no other explanation. He won't even speak to our grands, and he adores them; they think (or thought, because now he's just another person who abandoned them), that the sun rose and set on his head. Since I haven't heard from him in a while, I'm hoping he's reconsidering all this. Yes, I still want him back. The thought of spending the rest of my like this is unbearable. We'll have to go through a lot of counseling first, though. So that's it in a nutshell.
Then something remarkable happened last week. I had joined LinkedIn a while back and forgot all about it. Then I got an invitation to join someone's circle. I checked it out and became more active in it. As a result, I got an email from a lady who has a client who needs someone to design and create a dress for her summer line (she's opening an upscale gallery in Los Angeles). I got in touch with the lady and, after interviewing several people, she asked me if I would take the job. I'm thrilled. Not only am I the sole designer/creator/jack of all trades, when she has the gallery opening, I'll be like a guest of honor. It's very exciting and scary. We're in the process of getting the right yarn and lining right now. When it's done and after she's taken it (and some others we'll do) to a wholesale show to get orders, I'll post a picture of it. So now I'm a designer and true professional knitter (even though this is crocheted).
That's enough for this letter. I'm tired - I tend to sleep a lot these days - and need to save some things for my next post.
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
She's dropped off the face of the earth again.
Unfortunately for those of you who have to listen to me drone on and on about inane shit, it's not true.
In any event, I was waiting until I went to Stitches West this past weekend to post. That, and there was absolutely nothing going on prior to it, so I would have had to tell jokes or something. Since I don't remember any good jokes...
Anyway, this past weekend was Stitches West (I already said that, I know). I was going to go on Friday, but Hubster was so tired from the week's commuting that I took pity on him and decided to brave the crowds over the weekend. Then Saturday came, and I just didn't feel like dragging my lard ass out of the chair. So Sunday it was, come hell or high water.
Since we're not getting any rain, and since I don't believe in hell, I sort of had to go.
Hubster rented me a scooter for the occasion. It was one of those three-wheeled dealies that maneuvers on a dime. Well, it does if you know how to steer the thing. More on that later.
Because Hubster is who he is, he drove me to the Convention Center, got me all set up in the moving people mower, and drove down the street to the office to work while I spent money and played. He's such a good guy. After 21 years, I love him more than the moment we laid eyes on each other. (Handing out Kleenex so you can discretely go "eww" and wipe off whatever surface got covered with goo from coughing loudly.)
The scooter was a godsend. There was no way I could deal with hundreds of vendors and all those aisles even with the walker. So I set it on low speed and entered the place. Nirvana. Those of you who go/have gone know what I'm talking about.
I took a look at the program to see if there was anywhere I had to visit first and, since I wanted to see several vendors, decided to work my way up and down the aisles. That worked just fine until I hit the back section; then that plan fell apart, and I found myself drifting around aimlessly. That was okay, though, because it gave me time to figure out what I wanted to buy.
Since I have enough yarn to build a mountain range, I was looking for gadgets, patterns, books, or anything else unusual and/or different. If there was a yarn I couldn't live without, though, I wasn't going to let the fact that I could knit every minute of every day for the rest of my life and still have a respectable stash stop me.
What surprised me was how empty the place was. Yes, there were a lot of people. Yes, there were a lot of vendors. But I guess because it was the last day, a lot of people had already come and gone, and some of the vendors had already left. I was also surprised that some of the big names weren't there, like Signature Needle Arts. I've already got a set of their DPN's, so I wasn't looking to buy anything from them, but I was still surprised at their absence. It made it a lot easier to drive around, that's for sure. And that went well until I decided to go fondle at Windy Valley Musk Ox's booth.
They had their usual corner booth(s) in the same location as always, so it was simple to find them. Everything was spaced out for easy driving. But I learned a really valuable lesson in that booth.
No matter how large the space looks, it's never large enough to back up in if you're right next to a tall steel display stand holding baskets and baskets of quiviut.
Yes, ladies... yours truly hooked the edge of the stand with the back wheel and pulled the whole fucker down.
Balls of quiviut went bouncing across the floor. Balls of guanaco went shooting under tables. Balls of vicuna went rolling into the aisle. I was horrified, not to mention firmly hooked onto the stand. Fortunately, the lady manning the booth was laughing. She came over, picked up all the balls, and told me that it was great advertising. It was her hope that people would stop, pick up the yarn, fondle it, and have to buy it. It was my hope that I would suddenly vanish in a puff of smoke. She got me unhooked, moved the stand so I could get turned around, and we began a very long conversation about all kinds of things. She was delightful, and when she found out who I worked for, that opened the conversation up to all kinds of things. I was there for a good half-hour before I finally drove off, a little slower and lot sheepisher. That was the one and only accident, though.
I'm always in the market for new bags, so I was delighted to find my very favorite rolling monster yarn container at Purlescence, a lovely store next to Silicon Valley which I must visit some day soon. I bought a new khaki one, stowed it under a table at their booth, and took off to see what else I could find. And therein lay the problem.
It's difficult to buy shit when you already own every gadget known to man. I didn't find one single toy to buy, one single pattern that justified paying close to $10 for, or book which I didn't already have. Hubster wasn't coming until 4:00 p.m. to get me, and it was... 12:30 p.m. Oh shit.
Fortunately, I was able to kill some time at Anna's Yarn Shoppe, which is the place I used to hang out at in Elk Grove before we moved. It was SO nice to see Anna! She looked fabulous, and I was able to catch up on some gossip. It also made me miss home all over again and wish that things had turned out differently. But I tried not to dwell on that and just enjoyed being there again. I hope to go see her at the shop one day soon. When we get new tires on the truck, then I can drive over, but until then...
So now it was about 1:30. I started trolling the aisles, looking for things which I might have missed. That's when I ran into a woodworker who had drop spindles, shuttles, all kinds of other knitting/felting/weaving/spinning items, and... yarn bowls. I have a serious fondness for yarn bowls, and since I didn't have a wooden one, I had to go in there.
Did I find anything? Does a bear shit in the woods? I got this absolutely gorgeous, huge, heavily spalted bowl made of maple. Ken Ledbetter is the artist, although I don't have his card in front of me to tell you the company. It turned out that he knows the good folks at Buffalo Gold, so I wound up spending a good half-hour at his booth, first deciding which bowl to buy, and then talking about people we knew. It was a lovely time, and I highly recommend you look him up if you're in the market for any of the mentioned items. He's out of Tucson.
I went outside for a cancer stick and saw a lady with the coolest boots on. They had long, curly white hair covering them (like my alpaca boots), but looked different, so I struck up a conversation with her. It turns out they were Uggs and the covering was cashmere. I have to get myself a pair. Anyway, during the course of our conversation, it came out that I do what amounts to professional knitting. She asked me to come to her booth when I was done. So I finished my smoke and went in search of her. Her company is called "The Knitting Ranch" out of Colorado, and she asked me if I would begin knitting all new store and show samples for her. This is going to be a long-term project, and it will give me the opportunity to knit all kinds of things out of several different yarns. So I picked up a new gig. I think we'll work in trade, at least until there isn't anything I really want. She has a shitload of good stuff, though, so this will go on a long time. I'm sure you can Google her if you're interested.
When I was done there, it was actually getting close to time for me to go, so I went outside, had another smoke, came back in, went to pick up my yarn caddy, and almost made it to the booth. I ran into this new yarn vendor I hadn't seen before, so I had to check it out. Again, I don't have their company name on hand (I'm so very wel prepared), but their yarn selection is quite large, and the bases they use are absolutely lovely. It seems that they have almost all tonal colors, which is good, since I have very little of them. I was good and bought only one skein. Then I went across the aisle to get my cart and drove outside. Fortunately for me, Hubster came a little early, so I didn't have to wait long. It was beginning to get chilly, and my ass was absolutely killing me. Hubster loaded up the scooter, I climbed in the Jeep, and off we went to the hof brau in Livermore. French Dip for me, beef stroganoff for him. It was a good dinner. Then it was home to the buffalo robe and dozing off while I was watching TV. All in all, it was a good day.
I do have to say, though, that I think the show was better last year. Maybe it was because I went on Friday last year, or maybe it was because Rabbitch was there and I got to visit with her. Regardless, some vendors I was looking forward to seeing weren't there, and one in particular, The Oregon Woodworker, either never showed up or left early, because his space was completely empty. There also wasn't a yarn winding station. But I did run into a lot of old friends, found out that I seem to have a reputation for my knitting (several vendors knew who I was), and just enjoyed being out of the house. I realized it was the first time in a month I had gone outside. That was a bit depressing, but once Hubster gets his pre-tax medical spending card, we're buying a scooter. Then I can at least tool around town, go down the bike path next to the Delta (if I'm not up to riding my bike), and have a bit of freedom. I think that next year, I'm going to go on Friday, which is the day I usually go on. There's a larger selection of things (for ins trance, several colors of the yarn caddy were sold out), and perhaps there will be additional vendors. No matter what, since I'm back in the Bay Area, it's a show not to be missed.
Here's a picture of the completed sock for Buffalo Gold:
I hope to have the other one done by Friday, so I can drop them off in the mail. I also have another pair underway for them, and for the new shop, she wants me to start with... socks. I've got enough Shibui and Lana Grossa to make a couple of pairs. It'll seem weird to use a commercial yarn after all this time using nothing but indies. The nice thing about those is that she gave me the Shibui pattern book, picked out a couple she liked, and told me to make a medium. For once, I won't have to rewrite the pattern. They're also very simple, so maybe these will go faster than the lace ones I'm working on.
And maybe that imaginary hell will freeze over, too.
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Yes, it is.
I haven't gone so far as to turn over a new leaf. I'm not stoned. I'm just... I don't know. I guess I'm just tired of the same old shit. So let's try something new, shall we? Well, not really new, but something you haven't seen on this blog in a long time.
Knitting. And the bulldog. What's her name again, you say? Oh, that's right... Emma.
Let's start with the knitting.
This is the sock I'm knitting for Buffalo Gold. It's out of their merino/buffalo blend. If you think you're seeing little copper dots on the stitching, you are. It's beaded, although not heavily. Of course, you can't see the lace pattern in all it's glory because it isn't blocked, but you can sort of get an idea of what it's going to look like once it's stretched out.
It's come a lot farther since these pictures were taken. I'm about halfway down the foot, so that means it's going a lot faster now. I hope to have it done by the end of the weekend. And since we're finally going to get rain for the first time in something like 57 days, it'll be wonderful to snuggle down into the buffalo robe and knit my little fingers to the proverbial bone. The lace pattern couldn't be simpler. What took the majority of my time was rewriting the pattern to accommodate a larger foot size. I hate patterns that only give one size (usually medium, it seems) and forget the rest of us big-footed people. Be that as it may, the repeat is only eight stitches, so it was a fairly simple matter to increase the number of repeats I had to do. The tricky part was figuring out how to get the lace to fall evenly on the foot. It took math. And we all know how good I am at math.
I've also ordered a sock loom just for the hell of it. It'll be a nice change of pace, something to dork around with when I get tired of actual knitting. How long I'll actually play with the thing is anyone's guess, but it'll be fun for an evening or two, anyway. I also bought some yarn from See Jayne Knit (you can find her on Etsy by searching for that name). I just ordered a delicious alpaca/silk/cashmere blend in a really interesting colorway to make Hubster a pair of socks. I guess it has charcoal, eggplant, and some other colors in it, but it looks mostly dark (at least in the picture). Because my sainted husband is such a colorful person, he loved it. I knew he would. Getting him into a tan shirt is like me in my tie-dyes.
So how is the four-legged creature, you ask? See for yourself.
That second picture isn't tilted. She is. That's her sleeping next to me (Hubster is a good photographer; he managed to completely avoid getting my big fat ass in the picture) in the buffalo robe-covered chair. She seems to love this hide even more than I do. Anyway, she likes to lean over against the armrest while she sleeps. I don't know why, but she won't put her head on my leg (I prop my legs up on the seat and curl them in front of her). That's reserved for sleepy-time at night, when she sleeps with Hubster on the couch. No... I get her ass firmly pushed against mine. So he gets the slobbering, snoring end, and I get the gassy, stinky end.
Life just ain't fair. And I know her farting on me isn't the same as my macaw barfing in my hand. The first time he did that, I was horrified. Then I found out that it's a sign of affection. Thank goodness people don't show their affection the same way. People think it's weird that Hubster and I sleep on different pieces of family room furniture, instead of in a bed, as it is. I don't want to get a reputation for barfing on each other in our fun time.
Back to knitting.
As you know, my stash has reached hoarding proportions at times. Then I sold off a shitload of it. Now I seem to have gotten into collecting yarn bowls, darning eggs, and nostepinnes. A lovely man named Phil Powell (Custom Wood Designs on Etsy) makes them, and his workmanship is superb. I love exotic woods, and that's his stock in trade. Check him out. As for the yarn bowls, I've bought them from a few different people, but my favorite by far is Jean Ann of Little Pig Pottery. The link is below.
Little Pig Pottery on Etsy
What follows are a couple of pictures of my latest acquisition. Her work isn't inexpensive, but in my humble opinion, it's well worth the price.
That tortoise is BIG. And he's heavy. I don't have my tape measure handy, but he's tall and long. The bowl part is also huge. I keep all my tools in there with the work. I've asked her to make me a buffalo. She's researching it, so hopefully, it'll be something she can figure out. I guess the front end is a bit problematic due to it's sheer size. I have complete faith in her, though. I'm sure she'll not only figure it out, but will turn out something that will be beyond awesome.
All my other yarn bowls, with the exception of one (it has an octopus hanging over the edge with some tentacles on the inside and the rest on the outside), are plain, so they don't warrant taking up space or your time with pictures. That's not to say that they're ugly or pieces of crap - they're not. In fact, they're all lovely. But you all know what a "regular" yarn bowl looks like. Jean Ann's work is extraordinary, so I had to have the Photomeister take a few shots of it.
In keeping with the upbeat tone of this post, I'll share one more tidbit of what's been going on.
You know that holiday we just had, the big one with all the gifts if you're a kid? Yeah, Christmas... that's the one. Well, Hubster and I haven't exchanged Christmas gifts in... uh... ever. So this year, because I got a checkbook app for the iPad and am actually keeping track of our money to the penny, and because of his new job, and because we're living like paupers (with the exception of the wild hairs I get when I buy my toys), we actually had some money to buy each other a gift. Not going apeshit in Reno (we went there for our anniversary, and if I mentioned it in my last post, I apologize - I'm too fucking lazy to read it to see what I said) also helped, even though we didn't win. I've already forgotten what I bought him, but I get my gift this Saturday. What is it? A horse? A Corvette? A bigger diamond?
Nope... although I'd welcome any/all of those things.
It's what amounts to a day of total and complete pampering at a swanky spa in Brentwood.
This place is cool. It's based on Native American spirituality (and you all know what I am and what I practice). I get a 1.5 hour facial, followed by a 1.5 hour massage, followed by a manicure, followed by a pedicure. Lunch is also being served somewhere in there. They have a hot tub in a garden which I fully intend to take advantage of, too (if I can parade around there in the nude, then I can sure as hell put on a swimsuit and plop down in a hot tub in public). Since it's supposed to be raining on Saturday, that makes it even better. There are few things I like better than either swimming or hot tubbing in the rain. I think I get there at 11:00 a.m. and stay until late in the afternoon. Hubster is going to go see the kids while I'm being kneaded, having sweet-smelling crap put on my wrinkled face, and having a Dremel taken to my feet. I can't wait. When we were pseudo-rich, I used to have a lady come to my house once a week and give me an hour-long massage in my bedroom. I haven't had a massage in years, since those days are long gone. The last one I had was given to me for my birthday by the gals at the yarn shop I used to frequent in Elk Grove. Even though it sounds like a true luxury (and it is, don't get me wrong), a good massage really helps with my joints and the pain. So I like to think of it as therapeutic. At least that's what I'm going to tell Hubster the next time I want one.
So that brings me to the end of my happy crappy post. I can't guarantee that my next one will be as upbeat, but this is a good start. There just comes a time when you've bored the shit out of everyone - including yourself - and you can't stand to type one more shitty thing. I've reached that point.
For this week.
Saturday, December 24, 2011
When I was a kid (and still a Catholic), my favorite part of the entire holiday process was being with my family and friends. Don't get me wrong - the gifts were great (I'm a package shaker and have it down to a fine art), but it was always tremendous fun to go from house to house, eating a little at each place, being with everyone (some people you didn't see except at Christmas), and coming home to a big meal of linguisa and macaroni salad at midnight. This always took place on Christmas Eve. On Christmas morning we opened our gifts, and then I helped Grandma prepare Christmas dinner. A shitload of people would descend on our house, and the celebration would go far into the night. Those were great times.
When I was in high school, I added my best friend's family into the mix. They're Italian (I've had the same best friend for 40 years) and began the celebration a day or two before Christmas Eve. It would run until a day or two after Christmas Day with one long party. People would get drunk, pass out under tables, and whoever was the most sober in the morning would make breakfast for everyone. As people came to life, they would begin all over again. I would bounce back and forth between my house and theirs, and I always ate two Christmas dinners. Those were incredible times; I have memories which will last me for the rest of my life and bring a lot of smiles and comfort.
As people in both families began to pass away, the celebrations grew smaller and took less time. When I got married the first time, things had pretty much died down completely. I began having Christmas dinner every year and would do up my house as festively as I could. And so a new tradition was born. I had hoped to pass the torch to my daughter, but you see how that turned out. And all this brings us to this holiday season.
We were going to go to Black Angus this year (which I think I wrote about in my last entry), but at the last minute, my cousin called and asked if we would be willing to come to his house for dinner tonight. I was delighted. It's the first time he's done any such thing, and I know it's because of Grandma. So we're bringing dessert and spending the night, which I think I also wrote about in my last entry. Hubster and I have already opened our gifts to each other - we did that at the stroke of midnight - so we could have our own little celebration. I got him some Rush DVD's he wanted, and he's treating me to a day of pampering at a spa in Brentwood (massage, mani/pedi, facial). We got the kids their first watches, some books, and a few other small things, and I had a beautiful necklace made for Mom. To say that we really feel like celebrating anything toniight would be ludicrous; I would just as soon ignore the entire thing. However, it will be nice to be with Glenn and his family for the evening, and I am looking forward to it.
I'll write about my anniversary trip in my next entry, but for now, I just wanted to say a few things about Christmas. I want to thank all of you for reading what I had to say, for being friends, for sending me all kinds of loving letters, for just being there. You've all been a tremendous source of comfort during my Grandmother's decline and eventual passing. I'm grateful for having all of you.
So I wish you and yours the happiest of Christmases. May you enjoy being with your families; may Santa bring you the gift you wanted most. May your night tonight and your day tomorrow be the best you've ever had.
Until next time - Merry Christmas.
Friday, December 9, 2011
With that having been said, we survived the viewing and funeral (such as it was). The only people who came to the viewing were me, Hubster, the kidlets, Mom, my cousin Glenn, and his wife, Yvonne. I wasn't sure I could handle it, but I decided that I had to say goodbye. Otherwise, I might regret it, and there would be no way to rectify the situation once she was buried. So I clung onto Hubster's arm, crept into the room, saw her in the casket I selected in 1989 (we were looking for a casket for Grandpa, and I happened to spy this particular one and thought it would be perfect for Grandma. It was.), and promptly fell apart. She did look beautiful - very peaceful and like she was going to move at any second. I kissed her forehead, was shocked (as I always am) at how cold and hard her skin was, and fell apart again. Once we left the little room, I fell apart for a third time out in the lobby. My mother, who isn't known for being a touchy-feely sort of person, came over and hugged me tight. It was a truly horrible and traumatic experience.
I need to backtrack here. When we first arrived at the offices, there was nobody at the desk. We waited for almost five minutes and nobody appeared, so we walked down a hall looking for some help. There was a rope halfway across the hall with a sign that said "Employees Only", but since it wasn't completely across the hall, we thought it was okay to enter. Apparently it wasn't, for an employee suddenly materialized and said, "Apparently you didn't see the sign". Hubster took one look at her, stepped in front of me (I was standing there hanging onto my walker", and said, "You're a very rude woman". She protested, he began to argue, and I butted in, saying that we were there for a viewing. Her tone immediately changed, and she showed us to the room.
Then, just before we were to walk over to where the crypt was, another employee came in and said that the stone had been moved and a curtain put up in front of Grandpa's coffin (he had purchased a double crypt for them - my wishes). I immediately lost it and began yelling at the guy, for my mother had specifically instructed them to have the stone in place until we left. There was NO way I could handle seeing his coffin as well. So the guy hustled outside while the family tried to calm me down. The end result was that the stone was put back in place, and we proceeded to the crypt.
We sat there for a short while, and then I walked up to the coffin, laid my head against it, and talked to Grandma for the last time. Glenn, who is more like my brother than my cousin, was at my side the entire time. Hubster knows how close we are and stood aside. I spent most of the time with my arms wrapped around Glenn and my head buried against his shoulder. We cried together, and then we all said goodbye and left to go have lunch. It was as bad - or worse - than I thought it would be.
The thing about the casket - Grandma's favorite color was purple, and when we had gone into the room which contained all the coffins, I saw this casket with a purple tint to it and porcelain caps set around the sides with purple lilacs. She would have loved it, so we bought it that day. I know it sounds kind of weird, but you have to remember that I was crazed that day and didn't know what the fuck I was doing. I was also hopped up on a shitload of Valium and Percdan to dull the pain.
We buried her the day before Thanksgiving, so needless to say, none of us had any sort of Thanksgiving dinner. What the hell did I have to be thankful for? I now had no grandparents, and the holiday season seemed like a joke.
So here it is, with Christmas looming in a couple of weeks, and we have to be somewhat cheerful for the kids. They don't really understand what's happened other than Grandma isn't going to be with us anymore. The whole thing seems so pointless, but we have to go through the motions. We're also having Christmas dinner at Black Angus. I used to see people in restaurants at Christmas and feel sorry for them, that they didn't have any family to spend the day with. Now we're the displaced, the sad and lonely, and will be eating shitty food instead of the usual spread I put on. I did order a ham from Burgers Smokehouse (they have the best hams in the world) and will give half of it to Mom for her and the kids. I'm also baking her an apple pie and making a couple of other things so she has some homemade food for the days to follow. It's a surprise, and I think she'll be pleased.
Now I sit here all day, alone (well, Emma is with me), while Hubster is at work. I hate this part of it. For our entire married life, he's telecommuted. Now I see him for about four hours at night and early in the morning. He does get to stay at home on Fridays, so that's something. In fact, he's on the porch having a ciggie. I don't give a shit - I smoke in the house. I do, that is, until I paint the walls, which I had wanted to get done by now, but I just don't have the motivation to get it done.
So what do I do all day? I knit, mostly. At least I'm being really productive. I'm almost done with a test sock which I'll use to get an exact fit. Then I can compare future socks to it so I don't have to continually remeasure myself. I do have a binder with all those measurements in it, but I don't have a clue as to it's whereabouts. This will be nicer - I can just put a new sock up against it and see it if matches. It didn't start out as test sock, but since I can't find the other skein of yarn to make the second one, that's what I've decided to use it for. I'm also known to wear two completely different socks at the same time, so I might wear it once in a while, too. I'm also working on a hat to wear when I go bike riding. It's been too windy for me to go out, and since it's all I can do to keep my balance on the best of days, it's safer for me to stay indoors and just work on my shit.
There was a bit of excitement last week. I was out in the backyard checking on my orange tree, and the next thing I knew, I was floating in the pool in the deep end. I passed out and fell in, so I think the shock of the cold water brought me to. While I was paddling to the side to get out (not an easy task because of how cold the water was), I was dimly aware of Emma going crazy in the house. She knew I was in trouble. Anyway, she managed to shove the screen door aside and came bolting out. She must have gone airborne at the end of the patio overhang, because the next thing I knew, I was halfway out of the pool and got slammed in the chest by a 70 pound flying bulldog. The impact sent me flying backwards into the pool, and Emma bounced back onto the patio. I got to the side again, managed to get out, and Emma didn't leave my side for the rest of the day. In fact, she hasn't left my side since then. For those of you who aren't familiar with how bulldogs operate, they don't swim - they sink. Their stocky bodies just aren't built for swimming, and she's usually afraid of the water. But her fear left her when she saw me in the water. I guess she knew I wasn't in there for a swim, because she doesn't act that way in the summer. I'm amazed at the size of her heart and am in awe of her love and loyalty. She's been getting a lot of treats, but we have to cut back on that because she's getting a little pudgy. That's not good for her short little legs, so even though she's a hero and we adore her, we can't be sharing our dnner with her anymore. She will not be pleased.
So that's my joyful blog entry. Once I finish the sock and/or hat, I'll post some pictures. The pattern is called "Apollo & Artemis" by Through The Loops (if you want to see it, you can find it at the Loopy Ewe). That's the sock. The hat pattern is under a yarn bowl right now and I don't feel like digging it out, but it's from the Sanguine Gryphon. I'm using their yarns for both projects - Bugga for the sock and Codex (a fabulous silk/BFL singles) for the hat. I'll keep the colors a secret, but they're absolutely gorgeous. I'm sad that the company is breaking into two entities because it's one of my favorite yarn companies, but I'm hopeful that the yarn will stay at the same high quality it's always been.
Hubster has just left to get lunch for us, so I'll bring this really happy post to a close. Sorry about the morose tone, but I'm anything but joyful lately. I'm sure you understand. I'll be back before Christmas to wish you all a happy one (or whatever holiday you happen to observe).
Until then... knit on.
Friday, November 18, 2011
You quit your job when I was born so you could stay home and take care of me. You were the first person I saw when I woke up and the last person I saw before I went to sleep.
You chased me around the house when I ripped off my diaper and all my clothes so you could bathe and change me. Your legs were good then; you always managed to catch me.
When I pulled that pot of boiling tapioca onto my face, you grabbed me, wiped it out of my eyes so I wouldn't go blind, and then took care of me for three months while the burns healed and the skin peeled off my face like an orange. Because of you, I didn't scar or have hideous skin. You also kept all the neighborhood kids away from me so nobody would make fun of me.
You read to me every day, even though you hated reading, and taught me how to read for myself when I was three years old.
I slept with you until I was about 10 years old because I loved you so much.
When I got scarlet fever and was running a 105 temperature, you held me close, even though my body was like a space heater. You were also the one who plunged me into ice baths several times a day until the fever broke.
When Grandpa married that psycho who was always trying to kill me, you watched over me like a hawk and beat the shit out of her in our driveway.
You taught me how to steal grapes and other small fruits in the grocery store because "you have to taste before you buy".
We went everywhere together - the grocery store, the dime store, the bank - every day.
When Mike Madding pushed me down onto that broken bottle and it ripped my knee out, it was you who came to the principal's office to get me. You and Grandpa marched over to his house to bitch him out, and he apologized to me when I was able to go back to school.
You sewed all my dresses for school with matching bows for my hair. I hated them and longed for store-bought clothes, but now that I do all that stuff myself, I appreciate all the time and effort you put into them.
You always stayed awake when I was in high school and out with my friends and wouldn't go to sleep until I was safely home.
When I would come home drunk, you snuck me into bed so my mother wouldn't see me.
When I had my '55 Chevy and you were riding around with me one day, you were all jazzed when we saw my uncle at a stop light. When I gunned the engine and peeled out (it was a drag race, after all), you slid off the seat and wound up on the floor under the dashboard. You thought that was the funniest thing in the world - until we couldn't get you out.
When you got into your car accident and we came to the hospital to be with you, my cousin (who was an EMT) had already tended to you and took my daughter through the ambulance so we could talk to the doctor. I had a Camaro then, and you had an enormous cast on your leg. I managed to wedge you into the front seat, but I had to grab you around the middle to drag you out when we got home. You yelled at me the entire way in because I was crushing your ribs. Then, when I went to put you on the bedpan and you fell off, we both collapsed on the bed in peals of laughter.
You used to let me drive your Pinto before I even had a permit (since Grandpa had taught me how to drive his Cadillac when I was 10). We got into a bad accident and the Pinto looked like an accordion. We parked it out in front and hoped that Mom wouldn't see it. She did. We both took the heat.
When I was a freshman in high school and had to sew a dress for my final in Home Ec, you sewed it for me and let me pass it off as my own. You got an A on it.
You saw through all my teenaged lies, but never let on that you knew I was fulll of shit. I suspected you didn't believe me, but I pretended that you did. That arrangement worked out just fine.
When I snuck off to SFO with my boyfriend's mother to pick him up from a rafting trip he took, I told you I was going swimming over at my friend's house. She dropped me off at the corner, and I went to the drinking fountain, got my hair wet, and walked home. You picked me up by the neck with one hand and slammed me against the wall until I told you the truth. Then you got on the phone and yelled at Mike's mom for being a dipshit. I was horrified. You had called Mary Kay's house to see if I was really there while I was gone and found out I wasn't. That was the only lie you called me on because you had forbidden me to see Mike. I was 14.
You were the one I ran to with all my problems and listened, then held me close while I cried.
I picked yoiu up one day and stuffed you in the giant garbage can in the garage just to be funny, knowing that you couldn't get out without your stepstool (you were barely 5'0"). Then when I saw how mad you were, I ran out of the garage, leaving you there, until Mom came home from work and made me take you out. I was grounded for quite a while for that stunt.
You danced at my big formal wedding and cried when I left the reception.
I made you a picture quilt with pictures of all the family members who had passed, as well as wedding photos, baby pictures, and all the others which were so dear to you. I told you that you were being buried with it, and you had a fit. You thought the quilt should be passed down, but I was of the opinion that it was your quilt and nobody else's. I'm still of that opinion. You cried when you opened that gift and often sat in the room where it hung, gently touching all the pictures and crying for those who were gone.
You loved Hubster with a passion.
You loved Daisy and LIly with a passion.
You loved me most of all.
You were my friend, my confidante, my protector, the person I ran to before all others, the one who patched me up when I broke, the one who picked me up when I fell, the one who always stood up for me no matter what.
You gave me a lifetime of memories, some of which are just too painful to write down and too personal to share with anybody.
I wish I could have made the last four months better for you. But the strokes got more frequent and worse each time, and finally, you went blind and didn't recognize anybody except your Papa, who was waiting to take you over.
And take you over he did, yesterday morning at about 11:00. You were 93 years old. I wasn't there, but I wish I had been.
Now you're gone, and the realization that I'll never see you again is slowly setting in. As I type this and the tears begin to flow yet again, I'm dreading the next several days. You're being buried with Grandpa, which means that the crypt will be opened. I'll see his coffin and all the memories will flood back in. I can only hope that I pass out, because I don't think I can bear what's coming in the next day or two.
Rest in peace, Grandma. I loved you then, I love you now, and I'll love you always.
You're not here to fix me, even though I'm broken. I wish you were.
Your adoring granddaughter.
Thursday, October 20, 2011
In fact, I'm fairly bursting with news.
Let's see. I left off with the Grandma saga. Nothing has changed there, except that she's miraculously stopped falling out of bed. My mother also doesn't seem to need any more help in putting her on the pot. Amazing how that works when you have to do things yourself and can't shove all the work onto someone else. But wait, you say. Does this mean you're not there anymore?
That's exactly what it means. We've been in our new home for almost a month now.
It's small, there's no getting around it. However, it's darling. The layout is such that it doesn't feel as small as it really is. Hubster is using one of the bedrooms as his office and is actually using it. I've got an oversized chair which I practically live in. Our stuff still isn't here - we're still fighting with the POD people over the price, and we don't have a large chunk of change right now anyway - but I got some stuff off Craig's List to make do for the time being. I even got a plant off there - a truly gorgeous creature I've named Ophelia (she's a 4 ft. tall ponytail palm). I've never seen one that big, and the price was a steal. The other good thing about her is that we picked her up in Lafayette (which is surprisingly close to where we live), and we drove right past Blue Sky Alpacas (the retail shop). You can bet your ass I'll be going over there very soon. Their ranch is in Brentwood, which is the next town over, so I'm hoping to visit there as well. But I digresss. If you don't have the money to get your stuff, how are you going to go shopping at what promises to be a fairly pricey store, you say? Something just happened on Monday which is going to change our lives.
Hubster went to Silicon Valley to interview with a new company. He hadn't even gotten home when they called.
He was offered, and accepted, the job. (insert VERY happy face here)
I think that he'll love it. Anything would be better than his present company. We're going to have a celebration dinner (at a local eatery which has exceptional Italian food), and then have a REAL celebration in December.
Why December? Because December 12th is our 20th anniversary and, now that we'll be able to afford it, he's putting together a surprise. Hubster has always put together the best surprises. I don't know if we're going somewhere, having dinner at a nice restaurant in San Francisco, or what, but I'm sure it'll be killer. We've never really celebrated our anniversaries, never really taken a vacation other than a couple of days in Reno at a time, and never gone on a honeymoon. We've never had the money, and when he worked for Cisco and we did have disposable income, we tended to go to Reno (although that pretty much stopped when we bought the house). This time, we're going to continue living frugally, complete the purchase of this house, and do a lot of remodeling on it rather than move yet again and buy a larger place. There is a lot of potential right here to expand the living space (and put in my dream kitchen), update the pool, put in new flooring, paint, blah blah blah, that I'd rather live through the hell of remodeling and get exactly what I want rather than have our money eaten up by a huge mortgage payment, higher property taxes, and settle for something which is nice but still not what I really want. We're happy here, and we plan to remain that way. I kind of feel like we've made it - there's just something about being married 20 years that says we're not going anywhere - and besides, who else would put up with our nasty asses?
So that was the huge - or one of the huge - bits of life-changing news. Something else has happened, although this doesn't really affect us one way or the other.
We're grandparents again.
Yes, the kid went and got herself knocked up and had another baby. We don't know who the father is, what the kid is, when she had it, what it's name is, where they're living - to put it briefly, we don't know shit. The only thing we know for sure is that there's another rug rat out there somewhere who is our grandchild.
Part of me yearns to hold this baby. Part of me doesn't want anything to do with it. I don't think it's fully hit the kids - they're only seven, after all, and don't fully understand what's happened. I think it's a shame that they have a brother or sister whom they probably will never know, but maybe this will keep her away from them once and for all. She has another focus now. I'm about as maternal as a stone, so I don't reallly give it a lot of thought, but every now and then, I weep for this child. Amber has fucked up again, and it's obvious that she hasn't learned dick from any of the life lessons she's had. I'm keeping our location a secret so she doesn't turn up on our doorstep. I really don't want her here, and I certainly don't want another baby around, especially when I know it would kill our flower children (since they're not living with us yet). The whole situation is totally FUBAR, but I'm sure she doesn't see it that way. Oh well.
My health is, well, my health. It hasn't gotten worse or better. It simply is what it is, so I won't bore you with that. The only thing I'll say about it is that I've decided against the wire in my spine. The PA I'm seeing instead of the doctor himself told me that it only helps for pain below the waist. Since mine is migratory, it wouldn't do a whole lot of good for me.
Emma is doing well and loves her new home. I think she's finally reached her full size, which puts her at about 60 pounds. I found some pictures of her when she was a puppy, and I fell in love all over again. She was so damned cute and fit quite nicely in my lap. Now she hogs the entire chair and knocks all the wind out of me if she decides to sit on my lap. I'm always amazed at just how strong she is, especially when she bangs into my legs and almost knocks me over. Then I remember she's solid muscle. She's also gotten very protective of me and is constantly by my side. She's incredibly comforting.
As for knitting, I've got the usual six pairs of socks on the needles and am knitting on my bloomers. I finally figured out the pattern (you know how you read something a hundred times and it just doesn't click?), so while I'm far behind where I'd like to be, at least the lightbulb finally went off in my pea brain. It was a wording thing that didn't make sense, but now that it does, I can't imagine how I didn't understand it. When this new yarn arrives, I have plans for a pair of socks which are essentially a Gansey sampler. The yarn is called Blue Scorpion or something like that and is a gorgeous bright, medium-toned blue which will show all the stitches off to their best advantage. I have the needles, so I must need to cast on more projects, right?
I don't remember if I told you (and am too lazy to read old posts to see if I did) that I've begun riding a bicycle. I found a beach cruiser on CL for a steal and have added a few things to it (a really comfy seat which is filled with gel and is large enough to fit my ass, a sheepskin seat cover, a wicker basket, streamers for the handlbars - yes, I'm really five - and one of those flags on a long pole so people can see me), and am blessed to have a beautiful bike trail just down the street which runs alongside the water (we're practically on the Delta here), so I'm taking it slow before I tackle that. Every day, I try to go a little farther. It's amazing how insecure I am about riding, especially with any traffic close by, but I'm sure that will pass the more I ride. It's fun, and it's also good exercise, especially since it's now too cold to go swimming. At least it's something I can still do.
It would seem that, once again, I've blathered on and on and bored the lving shit out of all of you. For that, I apologize. I'd rather do that, however, than try to come up with news. I didn't have to do that this tine. I'm also sorry that I don't have any pictures to show you. Once we get our cameras, I'll take a bunch, but until then...
You'll just have to filter out most of the bullshit I spew and focus on anything which seems interesting.
I hope there's at least one or two items you'll enjoy.
I've missed you all.
Sunday, August 21, 2011
I realize that many of you love watching football and wait for the season to start as avidly as any man. I am not one of those people. In fact, I dread the start of the season (which seems to be getting longer every year). If it's just me and Hubster at home, then it's okay because he doesn't watch it (unless it's the Super Bowl). However, I had forgotten just how obsessed my mother is with the game. It doesn't matter who is playing, where they're playing, or what night/day of the week it is. If it's a football game, she watches it. If it's the San Francisco 49'ers playing, though, all movement in the house comes to a grinding halt. She's been a Niner's fan my entire life and probably many, many years before I came along. This weekend was the Battle of the Bay - the Niner's played the Oakland Raiders. I especially dread those games - she yells at the TV, stomps around the house if the Niner's do something stupid (which is about 99% of the time - this is no longer the team Montana and Rice played together on), and insists on telling me about the players as if I know who the hell they are. I sit here, roll my eyes, try to knit, and generally ignore her. Then when a play is really fucked up, she takes it out on the nearest person. That's usually me, since my chair is conveniently placed right next to her couch. It's such a joyous thing to share the game with her.
Today was especially horrible. She's been watching tennis and football since 9:00 a.m. It's now 7:45 p.m., and she's watching Sunday Night Football. I'm sorry to say that this is the only working TV in the house. I'm even sorrier to say that she has complete and total control of the remote control. Sigh. I haven't been able to watch one stinking show all day and won't be able to until 11:00 p.m. when she goes to bed. I'm so overfuckingwhelmed with happiness that I can't even begin to express my complete and utter joy. (gag barf)
But all this is about to change.
You see, yesterday was something of a milestone. It actually began on Friday.
Friday, Hubster and I went to look at a house.
Saturday, we bought it. (g)
Yes, you read that right. Saturday, we bought it. (even bigger grin)
About a week ago, I was browsing through Craig's List looking for a rental when I came across this cute little house in a Delta town called Oakley. Those of you who live out here will know whereof I speak. It's about an hour from Mom's house (even though it's actually only 35 miles away). The house was owned by a company which buys distressed properties, rehabs them, and then either does a straight lease or a lease to own program with you. I talked it over with Hubster, and we decided to give it a whirl and see if we could qualify. Since the company bases their decisions mostly on income (although credit does play a role in the process), I had some hope. So we filled out the forms, submitted all our paperwork, and sat back to wait. This was on Wednesday.
We were approved on Thursday and made an appointment to see thiis house on Friday.
It's a small house - three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a very small kitchen. However, it's in a good neighborhood, has enough room for all our shit (I hope I didn't underestimate just how much shit we actually have), and came with some surprises which were unexpected but most welcome. One, in particular, sealed the deal.
It has a pool. A large, deep pool. (HUGE shit-eating grin)
So I told the realtor that we wanted to begin the program with the purchase of that particular house. We paid the money required (courtesy of my football-crazed mother - thank you), signed a bunch of papers, and got the keys.
It's now ours, and we've begun moving the stuff out of our trucks into it.
Hubster is going to call tomorrow to see how much it will cost to get that pod moved up here so we can really move in. For the time being, we're sort of in limbo, with some of our stuff there and us being physically here. I can't wait for the day (and may it be SOON) that we spend our first night there. It's right next to one of the sloughs of the Delta, so we get these lovely breezes. It will be pure heaven to be in a quiet, peaceful house. And for the first time since we lost our home, we'll have - I'll have - security. I won't feel like our home will be snatched out from under us. This is our home, and I still haven't wrapped my head around it yet. If I die by the end of the year, it won't matter - I'll die in OUR home. I haven't felt this kind of deep, inner peace in a very long time.
This company is a wonderful thing. They specialize in helping people with problems like ours to get back into a nice home in a safe area. They also have programs which teach you fiscal responsibility, help you clean up your credit, and work with you to come up with a viable budget. They also won't sell you a house if it doesn't meet affordable ratio standards. Fortunately, we could have spent another grand a month in house payments and still qualified, but we really don't need anything bigger or fancier. We both love this place and look forward to making it our own. I'm going to Lowe's or Home Depot tomorrow to look at paint cards so I can paint one of the walls in the family room (and one in the dining area). In fact, tomorrow will be very busy, since I'm taking the family out to see it, going to HD, hitting the DMV for a replacement DL and a new handicapped placard, and then have to call all the utilities to switch them into our name. I'll probably collapse at the end of the day, but it'll be a good collapse.
So that's the really huge news which I've been dying to share with all of you.
The other bit of news is neither good nor happy. It concerns Grandma.
In just a few short weeks, she's gone from being mostly lucid to mostly a stranger. She doesn't recognize me for several minutes; when she finally does, she bursts into tears, wants a hug, and proceeds to tell me that she's being abused. She also is seeing things running around her room - cats, mice, little black creatures, litte girls, a woman - doesn't comprehend anything you tell her - you can tell her something and think she gets it, but as soon as you leave the room, she asks you the same question - keeps us up all night with her screaming and calling for each of us, shits the bed (even though she has to wear a diaper, as I told you in my last post, she removes all her clothes), falls out of bed, blah blah blah. This is going to sound terrible, but I wish she'd have another massive stroke and just be at peace. My grandma is gone, and even though I'm already grieving, this nasty person is inhabiting her body. She's already beginning her nightly screamfest; this will go on until about 5:00 a.m. We get a two- to three-hour reprieve from around midnight to about 3:00 a.m., but then her sleeping pills wear off and she's at it again. It's truly horrible, and if I'm unfortunate enough to find myself in her position, I only hope that I have enough pills to do the job.
Speaking of medical shit, my pain doc wants to insert a very large needle in my spine, feed two wires next to my spinal cord, make a pocket in my hip for the battery pack, and wean me off the narcotics. I'm really leery of this whole thing and have a lot of thinking to do. It's supposed to send electric pulses up and down my back and block out the pain. I have two questions (Paula, please forgive me for repeating this, and if I mentioned it in my last post, just skip over it):
1. Do I turn it on by squeezing my ass cheeks together, or does Hubster spank me?
2. Do I have a really huge orgasm when it turns on?
All goofing around aside, I would be wide awake during the procedure, it would hurt like hell, and recovery takes about a week. There's also no guarantee that it would work (they do a trial run before they actually insert the battery pack). If he inserts the needle just a tad off center, though... well, let's just say that I'll get around town strapped to a skateboard or something.
The only decision I'm making tonight is to stop typing, drink my coffee, and watch a show I want to see from 9:00 to 10:00, at which time the football fanatic takes back over.
Home sweet home. Soon.