Friday, November 23, 2007

Family Holiday Dinners - An Exercise in Overeating and Frustration

I hope all my fellow American friends had a lovely Thanksgiving. Ours was... uh... interesting. More about that after the eye candy.

First, though, I want to clear something up. There has been a little confusion about what kind of store I'm opening. This is going to be a real online store - NOT on Etsy - like Woolgirl or The Loopy Ewe. I need some more dyers and bag makers, as well as people who make stitch markers and other knitting notions. Please e-mail me - I'd like to talk to you about working with me. Keep in mind that I'm not looking for minimum orders or replication of work - I'm allowing control to the artist. Again, my vision is to have a store where people who can't or don't want to work with the larger stores can have a place to showcase their work. 'Nuff said.

I actually got this yarn the day before Thanksgiving, but since I was so busy working on stuff to take to dinner and knitting (not to mention getting up really late in the day), I didn't have time to photograph it. Two of the skeins are from my forays into Etsyland. The others are all from Woolly Boully. I had written to Jenny asking her if she had a certain colorway and ended up buying everything she had (well, one of each). Here they are in all their yarny goodness.


This first set is from Etsy. They are Twisted in "Sherwood" and Ancient Threads Farm in "Tri" (what's interesting about this skein is that all-natural dyes are used - they're gorgeous).


For those of you who read Jenny Boully's blog, you may remember seeing some yarn which she kettle-dyed. I saw that and fell out of my chair. It was the yarn I wrote to Jenny about, since she said she only had six skeins. I was fortunate enough to snag one. :) All the rest of the yarny goodness presented here are by Woolly Boully, so I'll just list the names in order. They are "Kettle Dyed", "Country Apples", and "Beneath The Cherry Trees".


Here are "Autumn Tremblings" and "Fishing With My Father".


Last but not least, we have "Supernova" and "Cherry Cola".

Getting Jenny's yarns is always like a breath of fresh air. They're so beautifully dyed with such incredible bases that it's like opening a Christmas present. With some of them, it doesn't look like she's reskeining, which is just fine and dandy with me. It turns out the same anyway, and I like being able to see the blocks of color which went into the making of the yarn.

Thanksgiving dinner. Why is it that just because a day has a label on it, it gives you an excuse to eat like a pig? Then we pay for it the next day and wonder why we feel bloated and fat. It's because we ARE bloated and fat. I'm no exception. I normally don't eat very much - one meal a day, and a small one at that - but on Thanksgiving, I load up my plate with everything on display and shovel it in like the next day is the coming of the Apocalypse.

We arrived at my mother's only marginally late (I'm one of those annoying people who always arrives late, no matter where I'm going), and before dinner got underway, my mother presented Hubster with one of his Christmas gifts. There was a good reason for this. She bought him a kitten (on my advice), and she wanted him to have her while she's still a kitten. She didn't come home with us - she has a parasite, so my mother is taking her to the vet and giving her some medicine - but she'll be here in about two weeks. She's darling - 10 weeks-old and mostly a soft gray with white on her face and paws. We got clawed to death as she romped around on our laps, playing with the ties on my sweatshirt and eating his fingers. I don't like cats, but I love baby animals. Besides, he misses Monkey (and I do, too), so I thought that another kitty would make him happy. He was a little ambivalent about it - he thought it was a little soon - but as soon as he played with her, it was all over. Love at first bite, as it were.

After the nameless feline was put back in her playpen (formerly the grands'), I took Amber (the daughter) outside for a chat. I brought up the idea of me and Hubster adopting the grands. I explained to her that we weren't trying to take over her role - I wouldn't allow them to call me "Mom" or him "Dad", but that they needed father and mother figures as well as a stable and loving home, and we could provide that. She immediately went into defensive mode and said she didn't like the idea. She wanted to know what would happen when she got married, settled down, and wanted them back. I told her that if she was able to provide for them in all respects, we would transition them back to her. Then it struck me. Amber wants free babysitting, and she has this fantasy that she's going to get the husband, white picket fence, and fairy tale ending with the instant family. I didn't raise my voice, but merely told her to drop the attitude. Then she went on about how my mother and grandmother call her boyfriend "the asshole" (which he may well be) and how I didn't even know him and how dare I want to take her kids away and and and... I think I went through about six ciggies during her tirade. She also told me that she's filing for bankruptcy again (this is the second time) because GM is after her for $13,500 due to a car she defaulted on and which they repoed. She's a 16 year-old in a 30 year-old body.

We haven't even met lover boy, but if past experience has taught us anything, it's that he will be an asshole. What's even more troubling to us is that this dude is 39 years old, lives with his mother, and is raising a 12 year-old daughter. It's weird. He's one year younger than Hubster. Amber can't even match her socks, yet she's already banking on marrying this guy and raising not only 3 year-old twins, but a stepchild who's going to be a teenager next year. Oh lord. Then she told me that he works for some company which does "technical things" (for all I know that could mean he knows how to turn on a radio), and his company does work for the Lab (where I worked for years); the only bad thing about his job is that they're outsourcing to the Philippines, so he may lose his position come July. Oh boy. I asked her why he's living with Mama, and she said he's saving money. For what? I don't know any men who live with their mothers at that age. She said he needs help with his daughter. Yeah? Let the mother pick her up after school and watch her until he gets off work, then he can pick her up from Mama and go home to an apartment or condo or cardboard box.

But here's what did it for me:


I don't know why, but that made me want to upchuck all over my sandals. I don't like the fucktard already, but I couldn't let her see that. So I told her that we'll be happy to meet him next week (at a restaurant, like we've met all the other losers she's brought home - that way, I can get up and leave if this fool is manhandling her after I tell him that I'll kick his nuts up between his shoulder blades if he doesn't take his hands off of her). Amber is a bum magnet. My mother used to tell me that I was one, but I'm an amateur compared to this child. So we ended the conversation on a somewhat pleasant note, stating that we'd like to have a nice day and going back inside. Of course, my mother immediately cornered me as soon as Amber went to the bathroom to see if I had made any headway with her (I had to tell her no), and she just shook her head and began to tell me what they thought of him when Amber came back. Sigh. This means another crappy several months while Amber clings to this guy like a fly on a turd. I told her she'd better get on birth control - and fast - because my family is so fertile, if we see a picture of a swimming sperm on TV, one of us gets a bun in the oven. I also told her that if she gets knocked up again, this one is on her. I am NOT going to raise three children. ARGH.

Dinner itself went reasonably well. The turkey was done perfectly (Amber cooked it - the child actually paid attention when I taught her how to make one), the stuffing was decent (she didn't pay attention to that lesson), we burned the rolls (which is a family tradition - we usually burn them, but we always burn at least one item), and the rest of the food was good. I piled so much shit on my plate that it was falling off the sides. Then I realized that I couldn't eat even half of what I had taken. Mom sent turkey and ham home with us so we can have leftovers, which is the best part of Thanksgiving for me. I love turkey and ham sandwiches the day after. We also brought home some of my macaroni salad, so we're all set for the next two days.

So that was my day. When we got home, Hubster fell asleep on the couch and slept for close to four hours; the little ones wore him out. I dozed for a time and then picked up my knitting. I'm trying a new pattern with numma numma; that yarn is so fantastic, it ought to be illegal. This is for a swap pal, but I have lots of time to finish the socks before the deadline. My savior socks are also going well; when I get them done, I'll post a picture because I know that this particular pal doesn't read my blog.

And there you have it - the Pam family saga during the holidays. They're all coming over here for Christmas, which means that I have to actually clean my house. I'm afraid - I have dust monsters the size of VW Beetles lurking around corners and under the couch.

Who said that hardwood floors are easier to care for?

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