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.
Saturday, August 6, 2011
We're living at Mom's now - have been since shortly after my birthday - and I can't wait to get the hell out of here. I had forgotten just how loudly and often my mother screams (and I mean SCREAMS) at everything she doesn't like - my grandmother, the kids, my TV programs, the very air we all breathe. Grandma seems to have become a nudist in her old age and takes off her diaper (and whatever clothing she happens to have on) several times during the night. She cries, she sees things, she thinks she has to get up and clean/cook/whatever, she yells, she falls out of bed (and looks like she's been beaten because of all the bruises on her face from smacking into the dresser), and exposes herself to Hubster every chance she gets. He, of course, is totally grossed out by that old wrinkled thing. I'm not sure how to feel. I know she's not my grandma anymore and can't really help herself, but it still bothers me that she's essentially hitting on my old man. Mostly though, I've got to get away from the screaming and the stupid Hallmark channel movies (and Lifetime movies, and tennis, and soon to be football, and tennis, and any movie older than the hills which Mom watches nonstop). It's gotten to the point where I don't care if we live in a studio apartment - just somewhere I can call our own. I'm going to start looking in a couple of weeks and hope that Hubster gives me the green light to go see some. Right now, Mom is sleeping on the couch with some stupid dance show blaring on the TV (but don't dare tell her that she sleeps during her TV time - she yells that she isn't and then won't talk to you). I'm telling you, she's an old woman with the attitude of a very nasty child. How did I ever manage to live here for the first 25 years of my life?
On the brighter side of things, we're going to some huge outdoor festival in Fremont tomorrow. Even though we're saving as much money as possible so we can get a nice apartment, Hubster senses that I need to get out of here and buy something totally useless. I'm thinking I'll get a nice piece of sculputure or wood carving (or anything to do with knitting) for our new place. There are about 650 juried vendors at this thing and tons of food (bless the Bay Area - I can get a linguisa sandwich from the Knights of Columbus). He's sticking me in the wheelchair since I'll never make it walking, and I'd like to see as much as possible. We were going to go today, but he was so exhausted that I thought it was better for him to sleep I was right. Now he's in a wonderful mood, is well-rested, and ready to go. I know he doesn't particularly like festivals like this, but he's doing it for me. Between his job and my grandmother, he's up pretty much all night. I'm sure glad he still has plenty of stamina, but he's going to wind down pretty soon.
I also bought this online sock knitting course from Crafty (advertised by Vogue Knitting). It looks really interesting. The teacher shows you how to do all kinds of heels, toes, cast-ons and -offs, etc. I like having things like that handy, especially with my shitty memory. There are also a lot of things to be learned from the course, and once you buy it, you can watch it as many times as you want. I've also gotten some new books - "Sock Knitting Master Class" and "Knitting Socks From Around The World". There are several others which haven't been released yet - that huge book on knitting (I have the original, which is in a white dust jacket) has been updated and filled with new information, Clara Parkes' book on socks, and about four others which are coming out at various times during the rest of the year. Oh... I also got Cookie A's newest book, "eat. knit. sock" (or something like that). All of them are really good. I just finished reading a book on the history of knitting (No Idle Hands?) and am reading "The Fleece and Fiber Sourcebook". Between that, working on socks, and smoking as much dope as is humanly possible, I'm managing to stay sane. And (happy day!) the old head shop in Livermore is still there, so I can buy any supplies which I might need. Oh fuck... I just lit a cancer stick and now have my mother on my ass about how many ciggies I'm smoking. SAVE ME.
One of my old swap partners dropped me a note last week saying that she's knit me a few things and also picked up some goodies which she thought I might enjoy. She's thinking she'll mail the package sometime this week. I can't wait! She couldn't have timed it any better had she tried. It gives me something to look forward to. I had knit her a sheep and worked with Tom Golding to design her a custom drop spindle (among other things) for the swap we were in, and she's become a good friend. I certainly didn't expect this, though.
Well, now that I've bitched, moaned, and complained, I'll bring this entry to a close. I think I'm going to have to start blogging more regularly instead of waiting months between entries. At least with all the shit going on, I actually have something to say.
I have to look for the silver lining, or I'll be eating the barrel of a gun.
Friday, June 24, 2011
I tried to knit, but I kept fucking that up. At least I got to watch my daytime shows - you know, People's Court, Judge Mathis, others of the same genre. I told Hubster that I was going to take a short nap before we went to dinner. Then I woke up... and it was after midnight. He woke up around the same time. So now he's fixing us dinner. The only exciting things that went on while I was asleep are that Emma peed on my pillow while I slept, and I put my ciggie out on the sheets. Oh... I also dumped a cup of coffee on the bed. So now I'm sitting on a pee- and coffee-stained set of sheets with holes and ashes on them. No gift, no balloons, no anything. I have to wait until the first before we can celebrate because we don't have any money. And even then, all we're going to do is go to the fair. I shouldn't complain, but nobody's listening anyway. Now that I've finished dinner, it's on to a hopefully somewhat productive night of knitting. Oh... and I just hit the keyboard with my ciggie, so the shift key has a burn mark on it. Just shoot me now.
As for the good news, we're finally in the Bay Area for good. Of course, the residence hotel we're staying at is making us leave on Saturday morning because the way Hubster's paycheck falls doesn't allow us to afford the bill. It's on to Mom's and more fun and games. Things over there aren't any better than they are here. I haven't lived at home since 1984, so this should be a hoot. Argh.
To put the icing on the cake, my grandma had a stroke last week. She's not doing too well - she's seeing things like ghost children climbing in the window, monsters under the bed, things like that. I guess she's also wanting constant attention. So while Hubster is working, I'll be entertaining her. Apparently, she's getting on Mom's nerves. Mom has about as much sympathy as a wilted head of lettuce and also the same amount of compassion because she's never been around sickness, but I can't do what I'd like to anymore - you know, simple things like sit and stand. It's going to be interesting. At least living there will allow us to save a lot of money fairly quickly so we can afford to get our own place again. I live for the moment.
As long-time readers know, I usually get maudlin around my birthday, but this one is different. It may well be my last one, and I had really wanted it to be special. I wanted to spend time with Hubster, maybe go out to dinner, perhaps even go to the fair - just be together and have some fun. None of those things happened. While we're celebrating on the first, it's not the same. I still miss having a gift to open, being fussed over, having people over for a party - the things that I used to love so much about birthdays. This one, though... I wanted to celebrate being alive. I guess when you get down to it, every day I'm given is a gift in itself, and I don't need anything to open to celebrate that. I really need to get over myself and just be thankful, period.
It would still be nice to go to Reno or something, though.
Seriously, after reading through this entry, I see that I do have a lot to celebrate. I'm still here. Grandma is still with us, even though I think the end is in sight. Hubster is still with me. We have a roof over our heads and food on the table. And I have you, my readers, some of whom have become good friends. Sometimes we lose sight of what's truly important in life until we're faced with the consequences. I'm going to try to do better and be a better person. Why?
Because life is a celebration.
Happy birthday to me. :)
Monday, May 16, 2011
Yes, good women, we are back in the Bay Area! After what seemed like an eternity because of Hubster having to pack the entire house by himself (I tried to help but was as worthless as tits on a goose), and a three-day pilgrimage to get here (we wound up staying two nights in a hotel at the far side of the Grapevine), we are checked in at our extended stay hotel for the duration. I have an appointment with a pain doctor tomorrow (since I'm almost out of meds) and a fresh stash of herb, so I'm good for now, but we can't stay here forever. I could, though, get used to having a weekly maid and no bills other than our "mortgage" payment. I've found a program where you put down some money and they take a small amount out of each monthly payment; at the end of four years, you have the option to get a loan to buy the house. I even found a house which suits our needs. Now I just have to wait and see if the guy from the company is willing to work with us because... well... we don't have the upfront payment. If he is, then home sweet home! Keep your fingers crossed. I would hate to rent and see our money just fly out the window when we could do this program. They qualify you based on what you can afford to pay, not your credit. Good thing, too, since we could wipe our asses with our credit reports.
Forgive me in advance for jumping around. I see it's been a while since I last posted, so this post will most likely be a stream of consciousness type of thing.
I received this email from an absolutely lovely lady (you know who you are) who asked that I copy it here for your reading enjoyment. I'm more than happy to do so, although I'm not disclosing her name out of respect for her.
I tried to put this in your comments but I don't have any of the required accounts (open id, google, whatever) so shall write to you directly. Would you mind posting this to your blog, including my request that you do so? My first comment is that regardless of what went on between you and "other", I really think it's very shoddy for "other" to invade your blog. I also read your comments about your SnB women being afraid of catching TB just because you tested positive for exposure. I find it odd that in this information age, anyone could be so ignorant of such basic medical information. Having said that, on to nicer topics. You include something about your hubby in just about every post, which is so sweet. I read in one post that you met him on the Internet. How long have you been together? When you write anything lengthy about him, I get the feeling that you two "fit". You said in one post that you never seem to fit in (I think it was to do with the SnB group), but you sure fit into his heart by the sound of it. However long you have been together, you sound very much in love. And, by the way, I do not think you are weird. I think you are unique, but that's not the same as weird. Living outside of the box is something is something that many of us would like to do but we don't have what it takes. As the younger generation says, "You go girl.""
I think that says it all. And in response to your question as to how long we've been together, we will be celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary in December but have been living together for 21 years. Egads... I used to have all my body parts in the right spot. Oh well... the old man still loves me, and I him, so everything is right with the world.
Having gone into my mail program to copy the above missive (blowing kisses at you), I found a letter from the housing company. No, he can't work within our parameters, and the house which I liked so much is in a town I don't want to live in, so the hunt continues. Sigh. Even though it's exciting to think of living in a new house, I hate the credit explanation. I can only hope that the right house falls into our laps during our foray into the rental world. While this room is adequate for the time being, sitting with one of those back rests in bed to sleep, knit, etc., is not optimal. If there's something to bitch about, I'll find it.
Now that we're back home (so to speak), I don't have to worry about my health suddenly taking a nosedive and not being able to get to a hospital quickly enough. There are even stores, McDonald's, other restaurants, movie theaters... imagine! And my mother, having gotten us back, is already bitching and trying to be "helpful". Goddess save us.
Speaking of my health, I'm not doing well. I have to use the walker to get around just about everyplace and, if not the walker, my cane. I did manage to find a dude who carves the coolest canes, putting a wood spirit on the front of each one. I wasn't keen on using a store-bought cane, so I was really happy to find this guy. If anybody needs a cane or walking stick for hiking, check him out. He's on Etsy and ArtFire - "Walker Canes", or something like that. At the very least, take a look at his stuff just for the visual enjoyment.
So what's the first thing I bought for our room? Yarn, of course! I actually had to, since Jenny Boully (Woolly Boully) is once again dyeing. She's on Etsy and has put her leftover skeins on there, so if she's a fave of yours, head on over. She also does those Imagumball or whatever the fuck those things are called, and you'll find those in her shop.
As for what I'm working on, I'm still plugging away on the swatches and also working on socks (including two pairs of baby socks) and two baby blankets. Why is it taking me so long to do the swatches? Well, there are a lot of them, and one of them is a lace weight which gets something like 2000 sts/in (not really, but it feels like it), and has to be knitted into a Feather and Fan pattern (it just screamed out that no other pattern would do). It's really cobweb and totally gorgeous, having been dyed into a tonal teal. Stupid me - I looked at the amount they sent and wondered what the hell I would do with so little. Heh.
And so I come to the end of my first post in ages. I'm alive (and will be alive and stoned off my ass as soon as I proofread this), we're here safe and sound, and I'm having a salami sandwich for dinner.
On real sourdough.
Friday, March 11, 2011
If you'll remember, Sock Summit was in 2009. These people still feel the need to bitch and moan about shit which happened back then. If I owe them merchandise, then tell me. Otherwise, address your comments either to me personally or use your real names instead of hiding behind aliases. I noticed that Ugly has a plethora of items in their shop (meaning that they don't have a single fucking thing), as well as a blog with NO entries at all. Maybe you should concentrate on filling up your own spaces with content instead of shitting on my blog.
As for the "poor me" aspects of your comments, I don't know where you got that from. It's not the first time I've seen it, but I don't recall asking for sympathy from anybody. Don't you have anything better to do with your time than follow what I'm doing?
Maybe you should consider why nobody wanted your shit to begin with. I think Ugly's alias is appropriate. As I recall, the crap you sent me was ugly indeed.
I removed the comments because this is not the place to air your grievances. That has been done plenty on Ravelry, which is partly why I no longer go on that site. My readers don't need to be subjected to your little hate campaign. If you have something to say to me, then write me a letter at my email address. Otherwise, either keep your opinions to yourself or go continue to bitch on Ravelry. If you do that, though, be aware that I've reported everyone who has seen fit to participate in this tirade.
I apologize to the people who read this blog because they enjoy it. As for those of you who come here to leave nasty comments, try to stir up shit, or say things to either piss me off or try to make me feel bad, it isn't going to work. If you're still grousing about something which happened almost two years ago, your lives must be empty indeed. Maybe you should use the time to learn how to make something that people want to buy, take a course in English so you can rake me over the coals in your own blogs without making spelling or grammatical errors, or find something to do which will benefit your lives. I've been silent on this topic for too long.
In other words, go fuck yourselves.
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
First of all, Hubster's mother died. She went peacefully with his sister at her side. He went through some mind-fucks trying to decide whether or not to go to the memorial service but, in the end, he decided to stay at home. His father has been less than communicative throughout this entire thing, and I don't think he felt welcome there (even though he didn't come out and say that). And here I even promised that I wouldn't start any fights! In my family, it isn't a wedding or funeral without some sort of altercation, but his family is a bit more sedate. How boring. Anyway, he did call, but we didn't send flowers. Apparently, donations to the Lung Association were asked for in lieu of flowers. His sister has called a few times (once just because she was freaked out about something and didn't have her mother to talk to anymore), but his father has resumed his customary silence. What a dick.
Hubster talked to our landlord yesterday and gave notice that we were going to be moving at the end of the month. Kevin (landlord) asked that we stay until April 15th, which is how our lease is written, and we have no problem with that (especially since we procrastinate so much and will most likely need the time for packing, cleaning, etc.). We both will be so glad to move back home, especially after what happened yesterday.
For you West Coasters, you know the big storm we just had? You guys in the Bay Area and the LA Basin got rain (with a bit of snow); up here above the smog line, we got snow. A LOT of snow. Suffice it to say that when Hubster went in the front yard to dig out the truck, the snow came up to his chest. But that wasn't the bad part. Nor was coming home from our little trip to a 45 degree house. Nope.
The bad news was the telephone pole laying across our driveway/bridge which had JUST missed hitting our truck and which took out the railings on either side of the drive.
Not only is it impossible for Hubster to dig out the pole (it weighs a ton and is covered with snow and ice), but it would have to be cut up with a chainsaw and removed chunk by chunk. Besides, it belongs to Verizon. So he sat on hold for about 45 minutes this morning trying to get some help. Finally, he was connected with the people who handle things like this, and they have assured us that the pole will be removed by 5 p.m. today. That did us no good yesterday (ciggies and food were running low). Poor Hubster had to strap on the backpack and hike to town to do some shopping. With our luck, the damn pole will be removed right at 5 p.m. At least we don't have to remove it ourselves. We didn't even shovel the snow ourselves - some guy happened along with a Bobcat and offered to remove it for a price. Any price was worth it to Hubster. Our driveway slopes down quite a bit, so the snow tends to pool at the entrance. When the plows come through, they create a huge berm which completely blocks us in. If you don't shovel it right away, it turns into a giant ice ball. I don't blame him for letting the guy shovel with the Bobcat. Other than that incident, the snow is absolutely gorgeous. The trees were dripping with the stuff, and for the past few days, it's been pouring water off the roof as the snow begins to melt. That doesn't mean it's all gone. The decks are completely covered up past the bottom rungs of the railings, and the ground has about four feet of what was powder. It's too bad that both of us have such big lard asses; we would love to go sledding in our yard (instead of sitting on the disks and sinking). I wanted to build a snowman and have a snowball fight, but I know my body couldn't handle the stress.
Speaking of my body going crazy, we went up to the Bay Area for Stitches. Hubster's company paid for the trip because he was in the office meeting with people while I was out having fun and catching up with old friends. I had studied the vendor locations and mapped out which vendors I wanted to visit first, so upon arriving and buying my ticket (I would have bought it at home online, but we need a new printer cartridge), I headed for the Sanguine Gryphon's booth. I wanted to get some Bugga, and I knew the booth would probably be crowded. Heh. Crowded was putting it lightly.
While the Skinny Bugga wall was full (as well as all the other yarn types), they had already sold out of many colors of Bugga. I did manage to find two colors I couldn't live without (and which were sold out while I stood there clutching my skeins), and also bought a couple of sock patterns (and a pattern for bloomers; they'll be ideal for sleeping and lounging around the house in). There are only two types of non-indie yarn I use (meaning yarns made by more than a couple of people) - Bugga and Dream in Color (preferably the Smooshy with Cashmere). I heard that the exhibitors went apeshit on the booth the night before, so who knows what colors were no longer there. In any event, I was happy with my purchases.
The other booth I wanted to hit before I began to look around was Anna's Yarn Shoppe. She's my friend from Elk Grove and my Sacramento days whom I got into a fight with (I can't even remember what the fight was about). Anyway, I was warmly received, and our fight is at an end. I'm hoping to get up there some day soon so we can sit and talk. She's doing very well, and I couldn't be more proud. In fact, she's looking for a larger retail space, which in this economy is no small feat. The other yarn shop in Elk Grove has some rather unfriendly people working there (apologies to those of you who like the place), so I'm really not all that surprised she's doing so well. Her shop has always been warm and friendly. If you're ever in the Sacramento area and want to go to a wonderful shop, she's currently on Laguna Blvd. in a small strip mall. Look her up in that shop guide which comes out every year.
After visiting with Anna, I found the booth Rabbitch was in (Tactile Studio out of Richmond and one row over from where I was standing). I talked for a few minutes and then began to make my way around the show. It was crowded, but I was able to get around with my walker. I looked at a LOT of gorgeous yarn, patterns, notions, gadgets, etc., and went past my allotted spending limit. No matter - I had a ball. I had a two-day ticket, planning on splitting the show in half so I didn't get too tired, but I failed miserably at that. By the time I hit the final booth of the day (where I bought this ultra-cool light that hangs around your neck and has a telescoping lens with three settings which directs the beam of light right on your work), I could barely move. I shuffled over to Rabbitch's booth, where I plopped down and was fawned over by the absolutely lovely ladies of Tactile. (If you're reading this, Maia, I'll be back in a month and will get in touch.) Rabbitch was also her usual lovely self, and I spent the rest of the day visiting with them.
As I said, I had planned on going back the next day to finish seeing the show (and probably blowing more money I don't have), but I hurt so badly that all I could do was sit in the recliner in the room all day. In fact, I had tried to lay down in bed (bad idea; it's been a very long time since I've been able to lay down), and it just hurt me worse, so Hubster dragged the sheets and blankets off the bed and put them on the recliner. I was quite comfortable and knitted/dozed all day and night. I was also able to have lunch with Rabbitch on Monday before we both departed for our respective home bases. It was so nice to see her and the other people I only get to see once a year. At least next year, the show will be in my backyard and easy to get to.
I saw my doctor for the final time and got my meeds filled so I have enough until I find another pain doctor. I asked him for a prognosis, and it isn't good. He told me if I don't go back into remission, I have six months to a year max. I told Hubster that I have one to two years, but he's in denial about the whole thing. Why am I writing this if I don't want him to know? Mainly because he doesn't read my blog (I think he's afraid of what he'll find), and because it won't make any difference even if he does. I can feel the disease in my abdomen now, as well as my back. It's slowly encircling me, and there isn't a damned thing I can do about it. So why am I still buying yarn when I can't even get rid of what I have? It's a compulsion - you guys know that - and I find it comforting. Speaking of selling yarn, I know I owe some of you packages. Never fear - they will get there (I promise before you get arthritis in your fingers and can't knit any more).
On the knitting front, I've got a few pairs of socks on the needles, a baby blanket for the gal who makes my lime ices every day, and a bunch of swatches I'm knitting for the Unique Sheep. I'm about done with those (I'm sure they'll be delighted to get them). What's taken me so long is that I've tried to find a different pattern for each yarn (they sent one of each type of yarn they make, and, some of the patterns are a bit on the complex side), and some are crocheted. I wanted them to have a good variety of styles for their customers to see. As soon as I finish the lace samples I'm working on, they'll be washed, blocked, and on their way.
I know there's a lot more crap I could babble about, but my shoulders are hurting from hunching over the keyboard and it's time to watch my TiVo'ed People's Court while I knit. Best to work on the laces when Hubster is asleep; otherwise, I tend to lose count.
Let's hope I blog before another month goes by, although with us moving ...
Ah, it doesn't matter; the iPad and keyboard will be taken with us, not stuck in the giant pod for storage until we find a place to live. Keep your fingers crossed that something yummy comes along for us to rent (preferably a rent option; this will, after all, be my last home).
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
No... Hubster's mother is dying, and I don't think she'll last the week. She's in hospice right now, and while she's stable, she has cancer which has spread throughout her entire body. Her heart keeps going into spasms, she's had fluid fill her lungs and the pericardial sac, and breathing has become something of an effort. She's heavily medicated, so she's not really with us anymore - at least, not in the form Hubster remembers. I guess the cancer has ravaged her body, because his sister said she looks like hell. And even with all that, do you think his father would communicate via phone? Nope. Hubster gets occasional text messages from him (I think he's gotten three). We were't given an invitation to come and stay with him so Hubster could go see his mother. Nope. The Hyatt at the Mayo Clinic was the suggested place. We're flat broke, neither of our trucks are working well, and we can't afford to be stranded in the middle of the desert. Even though it's only four hours away and a straight shot from us, we just can't afford to go. There's also the small matter of them hating my guts...
Hubster left a message on his mother's phone (I still can't believe it) because she's not conscious for long enough to actually chat on the phone. That part I get, but the only family member staying with his dad is his aunt. They have a house bigger than the one we had in Sacramento, and you mean to tell me that there's no room for their SON? I'm really pissed off - just in case you couldn't tell.
The upshot of all this is that Hubster has decided not to go. He said his goodbyes in the voicemail message, and that's going to have to suffice. My family and his are SO different - my family would drop everything and be there until the bitter end. Not his. It really drives home to me just how different we are. Anyway, his sister didn't even know if there was going to be a funeral. We know she'll be cremated, but that's it. We can't even afford to send flowers, which makes us feel like shit. But Hubster says he's cried and done what he could. I believe that. He's one of those people who grieves and then moves on. Not me. I'm still grieving for Grandpa, and he's been gone for 22 years.
I'm sorry to rant and rave about this, but I can't do it with Hubster. Some of the thoughts I've had aren't exactly the kinds you want to share with anybody, and even though I truly don't wish this on anybody, there's the small matter of them ignoring us for a decade. I have a hard time forgiving things and carry grudges for a long time. I'm not proud of it, but there it is. Hubster has always been treated like shit, and I resent it.
On the happier side of life, thank you so much to the ladies who have purchased yarn and other goodies from me. It's much appreciated and literally put food on our table. We just can't afford to live here anymore. I've made hotel reservations in the Bay Area beginning April 1st for a month and a half, which should give us plenty of time to find a new residence. It's one of those long-stay residence hotels - the same one, in fact, we had to stay in when we lost the house. At least this time, we'll be there on a happier note.
Other than that, life moves on. I sit and knit, Hubster sits and works, and I play my silly iPad games when my fingers cramp up. It snowed the other night, which was beautiful, but we're back to sunshine and warm temps. Ugh. It's winter. I want rain and/or snow!
Back to the needles. I have swatches to knit for a company and a baby blanket to make for the girl who makes my lime ices every day. I'm using Dream in Color Baby in a gorgeous blue/purple color (I think it's called Dusky Aurora). It's great yarn, and I especially like their yarn with cashmere. It's one of the few non-indies I use.
I hope you're all well and enjoying the winter weather, although I understand those of you in the Midwest are about to be blasted. Be safe, and I'll try to write sooner.