Monday, November 16, 2009

Good Lord ...

... where has the time gone?

I took a look at the last time I posted and damn near fell off the couch. Lots of things have happened, so I'll try to cover as much as possible.

Hubster still isn't working, but he has a really good bite. Some company has a job opening which is a perfect fit for him; they're also really excited about having him come onboard. He has to work a "test day" with them (hopefully tomorrow), and then we'll see. I hope it comes through; we're running out of money, and the thought of living in a refrigerator box on Skid Row isn't exactly appealing to me, especially with the rainy season starting.

Health-wise, things aren't great. My hands and wrists look like balloons, and it hurts a lot to type or knit. I have a LOT of emails to answer - most of them thank you notes for gifts of yarn, notions, and even entire stock from the shop - and I'll answer all of the letters, but right now, I can barely get a letter written. I felt that I had to write a post, though - I've had people trying to be tactful in asking if I was still with you all! I'm here, although a little worse for wear. The good news is that I went to a doctor who prescribes medicinal marijuana and now have my certification letter. Our first stop after seeing her was to a dispensary. It was really strange how it came about. We were in a head shop in Hollywood and met this guy who runs a dispensary. He gave us the card for a doctor who works with him and got us in the next day. Not only that, even though his dispensary isn't accepting any new members, he told me that he would give us a membership. I was blown away by the place; neon lighting everywhere, clean as a whistle, and arranged like a deli. The difference was, of course, that instead of roast beef and pastrami, there were different grades of pot and hash. I left about a bill lighter but with enough supplies to last a while. Once you know what you're looking for, you see dispensaries and doctors who give the certifications everywhere. It sure helps with the pain, so I've been smoking about a bowl a night and a little during the day (I have daytime and nighttime grades of the stuff). I feel like I'm 14 again. Yeah, I know... I was an early bloomer. That's not the only thing I began doing at 14, but I'm sure you can guess what that was. The problem was, I didn't know shit about how a dick worked. I thought it moved by itself - like a piston. The first one I ever saw, I thought was broke. That's a story for another day, though ...

The bike hasn't sold, so we're keeping it. Hubster is going to learn to ride, and I'll ride behind him. That wasn't the original plan, but it's better than nothing. We might put a sidecar on it, too. That way, I can ride alone. I told him that if we go the sidecar route, we'll get Emma a leather helmet and goggles, and I'll hold her while we ride. Talk about causing accidents on the freeway ...

What else, what else .... If we're fortunate enough to be able to stay here and buy this house, we're going to turn the downstairs into an apartment for me. There's already a full bath which just needs to be finished, another room which can be my bedroom, and the large room for watching TV. There's also a fire pit where I'd like to put a fireplace since it gets so cold down here in the winter. It would be ideal, especially since I can't make it up stairs very well. We'll see what happens. This house has so much potential that even though I'd love to move back home, we couldn't afford anything even remotely like it. I've got too much shit for a small house - and thanks to many of you, a fantastic stash again - that I need a larger house. I've also got the kids. Oh... that's what has happened. I am NOT pleased with this development ...

Our daughter showed up at Mom's house with her boyfriend, his parents, and the police and took the kids away. They were crying and clinging to Mom, terrified to leave. Amber didn't give a shit. I was right all along; she doesn't want them other than to use as pawns. So Mom has filed a court case against Amber to gain custody. They go to court next Monday. I want to be there, but if Hubster starts a new job, we can't. It's probably best, because I'd strangle her. Mom has only seen them once, and she said they were dirty, had lost weight, and were afraid to come to her. Then today, Social Services shows up at Mom's to check on Grandma. Another ruse; Amber is obviously trying to show that Mom is too old to take care of them. It backfired, though. Nasty little bitch will get hers.

I think that's enough for now. My hands are barely working, so it's time to go rest. I'll be in touch soon, I promise. Thank you again to those of you who have sent letters, shown your love, and been there for me. I won't forget it.

I think it's time to fire up a bowl, put "Up" in the DVD player, and try to knit. Of course, I don't know what the sock will look like.

Maybe like a penis that works like a piston ...

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

New Post to Come by Tomorrow

I'm so sorry for this enormous delay in posting, but I wanted to let you all know that I'll have one for you by the time you get up tomorrow morning. See you then!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Summit - Continued

I think I left out a bunch of stuff in my last post, so I decided to bore you further with some more details about my fun and games before, during, and after the show.

Most of you know that I'm barely able to walk most days, so first, I want to give big thanks and hugs to my beloved Hubster and my booth mate, Kate of Spindle Cat Studio, for not only setting up my booth, but also for all the help they provided during the show. I couldn't have done it without you guys (especially when we got really busy). I sat on my little folding chair while you guys wrote up orders, helped customers, and did the myriad chores that come along with doing a show. Don't get me wrong - I didn't just sit on my ass looking gorgeous uh... fat and dumpy... but there's no way in hell it was a one-woman operation.

That done... on to the dish.

It was absolutely amazing to me the number of people who knew who I was. To be sure, I kind of stand out in a crowd, but I was still floored by how many people came up to me and greeted me by name or told me that they were looking forward to meeting me in person. Talk about an ego booster! Then there were all the lovely people who read my blog and wanted to meet me, foul mouth and all. I was able to get up and walk around two or three times, and it was then that I met even more wonderful people. I would stand in front of a booth, wait until they looked up, and then watch the recognition dawn in their eyes. Lots of hugs, some crying, and people whom I've considered family for years. Too good.

I may have said it before, but a lot of vendors were complaining about the number of customers who came through the marketplace. We had heard numbers ranging from 6,000 to over 10,000, so I think many of us packed accordingly. I know that I brought way too many goods for the estimated numbers, but I would rather have too much than not enough. There were vendors whose booths were almost empty and others whose booths were bursting at the seams with items for sale. I also saw a lot of shoppers with no bags or goodies (other than the freebies) just walking around. I know that none of the people who put this thing together even know who I am, but I want to put in a good word for all of them. They accomplished an incredible feat - from getting all the teachers togethers (all that talent in one room!), to giving the vendors a place to shine, to offering goods not usually seen. This being my first show, I wasn't sure what to expect, but I was delighted with it. I even had the Yarn Harlot open the door and hold it open for me as I lurched forward into the room. I didn't know what to say, so I blurted out, "You're the Yarn Harlot", to which she replied, "So I've been told!". I loved it so much, in fact, that...

In a minute.

The couple of times I did get up, I managed to do a fair amount of damage (so it's a good thing that I couldn't get out more). I got a set (sizes 1 to 5) of Signature Needle Arts DPN's (even though I now use Hiya Hiya 9" circs as much as possible) because I've been drooling over them since they came out, and some incredible yarn from a couple of vendors (as usual, I can't remember who the hell I bought it all from). Then there was the mysterious skein of yarn waiting for me from Berocco when I returned. They specifically asked the lovely lady helping out in my booth to make sure that I got it. I'm not sure what they want me to do with it - whether they want me to try it out or just to see it - but it was a honor for me to receive it. It's absolutely lovely - beautiful colors, easy to knit, plenty of yardage - and I've got a pair of socks slated for it. I've got some other socks I have to do first, but they're in the queue.

So that was my experience at the show, and I hope that when/if we make it to Stitches West, it will be as much fun.

Back to home matters...

I intimated last post that I was getting another tattoo. I had no idea of where to look for an artist out here (it's amazing how many artists there are in LA), so I wound up on Yelp looking for recommendations. I found a place called Studio City Tattoo and, as usual, we were late, but off we headed. It's about a two-hour drive there (they're in West Hollywood) and we were terribly late, so I spoke to my artist about what I wanted, gave him the draft, and made an appointment for him to actually do the work. That appointment was yesterday (Saturday night), but we couldn't go because there's a huge fire at the base of the mountain we live on; in case we had to evacuate, we wanted to be home for that. Anyway, my new appointment is next Saturday afternoon. And what am I getting?

The Sock Summit logo. Right on my thigh. I was going to get it on my ass, but that's so saggy and wrinkly and bumpy that it would look like a cheap decal which had come off and been stuck back on. Why that logo? Because it was my first show, it was so wonderful for me, I made so many new friends and finally met old ones, that it carries enormous significance for me. It may sound silly to everybody else, but I don't give a shit. It's my body, and since I don't know how much longer I have to inhabit it, I'm going to decorate it any way I see fit. So there.

Hollywood is a kick in the ass, especially at night. People think that San Francisco is weird? Heh. Not compared to this place. Hit Hollywood Blvd. on a weekend night, and you see things that are just incredible. There are people who dress up like superheroes willing to take their picture with you (for a hefty price, of course), the Kodak Theater, Graumann's (now the Mann), El Capitan, and the Kodak Theater (where the Oscars are). Angelenos LOVE their donuts, it would seem - there's a shop on every corner - so I just have to find the best one and have Hubster bring a box to the parlor while I'm being worked on. And then there's Pink's, the famous hot dog stand which has been there since the 40's, I think, and who makes one of the best hot dogs I've ever had. I would love to walk up and down the street on a Saturday night, but there's that walking issue. Maybe if Hubster holds me up...

We're still sorting everything out, getting the shop put back together, getting payments ready for everybody, trying to get things ready to send out - holy shit, it's a lot of work. I have a meeting for the Haunted Town here this coming Friday night (leave it to me to open my big fucking mouth and volunteer for something), so I have to have some semblance of order in the house by then. That's okay, though - it will light a fire under my big saggy ass to get all this finished. So I think I'll knit tonight (I'm really, really tired) and get to working on it again tomorrow.

Hubster is still looking for work, and I'm beginning to get a little nervous. I've come to really love our home and this town, and I think we're going to have to leave it. Of course, if he tells me that we have to live near the ocean in San Diego, I think I can manage the transition, but I really don't want to leave the state. I'm worried about finances, about finding a house, about finding a new doctor... the list goes on and on. He's looking, but with this shitty economy, I just don't know. I don't want to have to live with my mother again (Hubster has horrible allergies to cats, and her house is full of them), but we'll do what we need to. Fuck.

I'm waiting on whether or not for word if I need to drive back up to the Bay Area for my aunt. I know that she's going to be cremated and laid to rest in the Pacific Ocean, but my cousin Glenn is having a get-together at his house. I would love to go and see family and friends whom I haven't seen in years, but I also do NOT want to see my ex-boyfriend (who remained a family friend), especially since I'm fat, bald, and look like a biker chick. Oh, to ride up on my bike and scare the shit out of the weasely little fuck...

So I think that's about all that's going on around here, other than the fires. There are three huge ones, including one at the base of the mountain I live on top of and one that now encompasses about 65 square miles (the Station Fire). We don't have the biggest one, nor do we have mandatory evacuations, but it's large enough to stay put and not go away from the house. At one point, one of the ingress/egress highways (there are only two of them) was shut down; even though it's open now, if we can't get to Emma to save her, well... I can't even go there.

Off to knit. I have a lot to do, and never enough time to do it all. Life is a whirlwind of activity right now, and I don't know which direction to turn. Add to that the heat (close to 100 degrees), and I'm not a happy camper most days.

But then again, I have a reputation to uphold. Happy?

Not if I'm going to retain Queen Bitch status.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Summit - and Other Stuff

Well, we're finally home from Sock Summit. What a trip, both figuratively and literally! Let's talk about it, shall we?

But first, more bad news. I just got a call from Mom telling me that my aunt has died. I called my cousin and talked to him for an hour. She had COPD and died peacefully in her sleep at 4:45 a.m. He's looking for her papers to see what her last wishes were. So far, he's found one from 2002 saying that she didn't want any services, just to be cremated and floated out on the Pacific Ocean. I don't know yet if I need to drive up there again or not. I didn't know she was so sick; otherwise, we would have gone to see her while we were visiting my mom. Glenn lives in the town next-door. We had left about two days too early. Glenn had moved her into his house and was using hospice. He was shocked when he found out I lived near Los Angeles. Anyway, I'll post if I need to leave again;

On to the show news.

Rather than rent one of those huge, uncomfortable trucks, we had a ball installed on our truck (it turns out that we had a towing package already installed on it - who knew?) and got a trailer instead. It was a lot less expensive, and Hubster was able to pack everything into it just fine. We bought those Space Bags - the ones you suck all the air out of with a vacuum cleaner - to put all the yarn in (worked like a charm and saved a lot of space), labeled the boxes we put everything else into, and just filled it up. Then we hooked it up to the truck and actually got out of here at a decent time.

We made it up to the Bay Area the first day and visited with my family. It was so nice to see them, and we got to spend a lot of time with the kids. Then it was off to Portland the next day. We made it up there by early evening, checked into our motel, and fell asleep pretty early. The next day, we slept in and then went over to the Convention Center to unload. I had a really difficult time with it. Hubster went over first to get started, and I tried to walk over (he got ready before me and wanted to started). I'm barely able to walk now, so I had to stop every few hundred feet to stop and rest. I finally made it over, and found that he had unloaded everything by that time. We went over so I could see the booth; I realized that we should have gotten twice to amount of space, so I freaked out about that. We were just leaving when I saw a petite, beautiful woman heading towards me. Who was it?


The first of my gang of miscreants had arrived! We slobbered all over each other, gave each other lots of hugs, and checked out each other's goodies. It was SO nice to finally meet her! We made plans to meet up the next day and headed back to our hotels.

The next day, we were at the Center bright and early to set up. This being our first show, we had no idea of what we were doing, but my boothmate, Kate of Spindle Cat Studio (also a show virgin) was there too; between me, her, and Hubster, we were able to get everything set up. I truly saw the need for more space then. Remember how I was so afraid that I wouldn't have enough stuff to fill the booth? Heh. I'll be renting two 10 ft. booths for Stitches West (yes, I'm doing that show). I think the booth looked great. Did I remember my camera? Nope. Did I remember my phone has a camera on it? Nope. Too much to think about. Then the classes let out, and it was show time for the students.

We had a good crowd, but nothing horrible. I figured the next day, we'd have a lot more people. Back to the motel for rest and then to the center the next day to meet the public.

I was shocked to find a huge line stretching down the aisle for my booth. They were there to buy the winning Ravelry yarn. I sold out of them in three minutes flat. Talk about bedlam! Then we got all the people who wanted it and whom we had to turn away (at least for those items). The booth was busy all day, though, and we sold a lot of things. Oh... you remember my using the iPhone as my credit card machine? It worked like a charm.

I heard a lot of vendors complaining about how slow it was, the lack of traffic and sales, and how the projected numbers were way off. What I noticed is that some booths had no business while others were constantly busy. I'm not sure why - there didn't seem to be any rhyme or reason for it, but it was true. We were truly blessed. In fact, I hardly got out to see any of the other booths. I did get to meet many of the other miscreants in my posse - Mrs. Q, Jen of Woolgirl, and a bunch of other broads (ladies? I think not), so I was a happy broad myself.

On one of the breaks I took, I ran into Ron from Buffalo Gold. After a smoking break conversation, he asked me if I would design socks for them. So now I'm the exclusive sock designer for BG and was sent home with a buffalo/bamboo blend to play with and come up with a design for them. I'll also be going to their ranch in Ft. Worth and to some other huge convention in Denver in February. Too exciting! I'm really looking forward to all this. Now I just have to actually come up with the pattern... I'll be doing lace socks in a very fine gauge for my first pair. I also met Cecil, his dad. They're a wonderful family, and I'm looking forward to getting to know them better.

Lots of other things happened, but I'll save those for my next post. I do want to say that we took Emma with us, and when Hubster took her out to go potty or just for a walk, he had women running up to him asking if that was Emma. He told them yes, and they went nuts meeting her! I was an afterthought - they asked if I was at the show since Emma was there - and she got more love and attention than she's ever received. I'm glad she was such a hit; she needs the socialization. Being such a loving dog, she was very happy to meet everyone. I kept telling Hubster that we should have said she was a service dog and put a back cover on her with our name and booth number on it. I really would have had good sales then!

I don't know what's considered a good take, but we took in about $6K. For our first show, I was thrilled! I can see why the other vendors were complaining, though - some of our lines sold very well, while others just sat there. All in all, it was a fantastic experience. I'll write more about it in the next installment, along with news of my new tattoo.

Off to work on Mt. Yarnsuvius. It's kind of like Chinese food - the more I take out of the pile to put away, the more it seems to grow.

It just doesn't taste as good.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Off to Sock Summit!

I just wanted to tell you that we're leaving tomorrow for Sock Summit. Wow, that snuck up on me! I'm not even ready or done with inventory. NOOOO!!!!!!! And here I thought I would be able to relax this weekend. Fat chance. I'll be tagging and bagging right up until I hit the show floor; then I'll be able to rest when we leave to go home. I think that a lot of the other show participants are in the same boat as I am. Now Hubster is sick from the stress. Great. I have to keep working, though. Oh well... I should be thankful that he's even helping at all.

As of now, the shop is closed down and will reopen some tine after August 12th. Please do not try to place orders during our absence; I won't be looking at email and will have the shop "with me".

Well, that was surreal. I was going to knit for an hour, sleep for an hour, and then get up. That was at 8:00 a.m. It's now 10:30 a.m., and I just woke up. So much for knitting.

Time for coffee and to get Hubster up. Hopefully, he'll be in a good mood. Today is inventory day, shrink-wrap the yarn, get a trailer hitch on the truck, pray that the trailer we rented is big enough, make sure we have everything, blah blah blah. Then it's to bed early tonight and hit the road by 9 a.m. Oh boy - road trip!

See you either at the show or back here on August 12th!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Projects Galore... and Some Other Things

I came to a decision the other day. Rather than work for hours at a time on Sock Summit, I'm going to work on it for a while, then knit, then work, then knit, etc. That way, I won't burn out on anything. Smart idea, huh?


It's been so long since I've actually had more than one project on the needles (and one of them a shawl, no less), that I'm having way too much fun for it to be legal. And that translates into wanting to do nothing but knit - no work on Sock Summit, no reading, no sleeping, no eating, nothing... other than knitting.

So what the hell am I doing that I'm finding so much fun?

Well, you all know that I have a dear knitting sister (the darling lady who started out as a customer) for whom I knit socks. She started the whole thing off because I was late with her order and put some additional skeins of yarn in her package. Well, she was so blown away that she wanted to knit me some socks. Then I wanted to knit her some socks (the pair that I posted a picture of earlier). Now I have two pairs on the needles for her - the ones you saw a picture of (I had spilled a cup of coffee on them, but luckily found another skein in my stash). The other pair is a surprise, but I will say that they're killer good-looking - a pair of a simple Fair Isle-type made with a solid and a variegated. They're just too cool. Then I have another friend I'm making a very special pair of socks for. She had helped me through a bad time a while ago, so I wanted to thank her. This pair is intricate and will take me a while. They're beaded diagonally on the cuff with about 700 size 8/0 glass seed beads. I've done a pattern with the colors of the beads (there are five colors to match the colors in the yarn) and have to be careful that both socks are identical. That means a lot of Post-It Notes on my pattern. But it's fun stringing them, and I think they'll be gorgeous. Since I know she doesn't read my blog, I can tell you that the yarn is Anne by Schaefer; the color is an ivory with splotches of gold, green, purple, and wine. The beads are the same color except that I also have clear thrown in there. When I'm done with them, I'll post a picture.

As for the shawl, it's for my grandmother. It's a deep wine color with gold running through the yarn. The pattern isn't difficult - it's leaves done in lace - and I think even I can memorize it The yarn is Dream in Color Classy (I think that's what it's called - it's basically Smooshy with the gold metallic). She'll like to have it to throw over her shoulders since she gets cold in the evenings. I'm brining all these projects with me to Sock Summit to work on during my spare time. Ha! I have a feeling that I won't have any spare time, even after the day is over. Let's hope I don't, anyway. Spare time during the day means no sales; spare time at night means that I'm not tired because I wasn't busy during the day. I think it's going to go well, though. Even Hubster is looking forward to it. I know Emma is, too. She has to have a good grooming this week - maybe on Friday - so she's pretty for when she meets all of you who are going. :) Speaking of the M, here's a picture of the human dog.


Hubster is sick as a dog (not Emma... just in general). I think the stress from the loss of his job finally hit. He went to bed at 9:30 p.m., and I doubt I'll see him any time soon. We have nothing to do tomorrow other than work on the inventory for the Summit, so he'll get a good night's sleep. We're also going to go look at houses for sale around here. I'm a firm believer in some people being able to manifest things (and I know I'm one of them), so I'm going to behave as if we have all the money in the world. I picked out about 10 houses to go see. Hell, I don't even know where we'll end up, but it won't hut a thing to go take a look. I think once he gets some leads, he'll feel much better. He has people working on his behalf at Cisco to bring him back, but we'll see. I think he should start his own company, but it's his career, and I don't want to push him into doing anything.

I had a bit of excitement this morning. It was about 5:00 a.m., and I was sitting in my chair merrily knitting away. It was then that I noticed a rather large bug crawl up the side of the fire pit (we have a big carpeted hole in the TV room in front of a gas wall fireplace where you can sit and knit, read, etc.). Anyway, this thing stopped when it reached the top, raised it's head, and arched it's tail over it's back. Then it hit me like a brick what it was.


I damn near shit my jammies. It was a baby, but they can sting just as badly as an adult. I couldn't believe it. We're way above the desert floor, so how on earth did it get up here?

I went running up the stairs as fast as I could and woke Hubster up. I don't think he believed me at first, but down he came armed with ant spray. He rolled the TV out of the way (I had thrown a book at the thing and missed, so it ran under the TV), and there it was. He sprayed the living shit out of it, then slammed a book down on it repeatedly until he was sure it was dead. Then he wrapped it up in paper towels and shoved it down to the bottom of the garbage can. Since Emma is now eating creatures and has always eaten bugs, he didn't want her to get it. I'm now creeping around the house because I'm terrified of them. In all the years he lived in Phoenix/Mesa/Tempe/Scottsdale, he's never seen one in a house or in the wild. I think he was ready to shit, too. They're evil-looking fuckers. Now I'm curled up in my chair keeping vigilant watch over the room lest another one comes creeping in.

In other yarn news, Laura of Drooling Over Yarn is knitting a pair of sockies for me. She's so sweet!! She's also a fast and excellent knitter, so I know they'll come soon. I plan on showing them off and letting everyone know who made them and what the yarn is. I have the privilege of showing off many of the contest entries for Ravelry in my booth, and hers is one of them. I've already made it clear that I'm purchasing it for myself. She dyes the most exquisite yarn. If you haven't seen her work, don't hesitate to go to my store or over to Etsy. I've felt like such a failure with the shop this past year - bad sales, no interest, spending every spare cent I have on advertising, etc., and not having anybody come look - that Sock Summit is my last chance to do right by all the artists who put their trust in me. I've still got boxes of work which some artists want back, and I want to get them mailed out, but there's money problems, the usual health problems, blah blah blah. Most of the artists have been very kind and understanding, although a few of them have been downright nasty. I guess I can't blame them, but when I'm accused of being a thief, that's crossing the line. I'm really hiding. Blow me.

One last thing - we may have a nibble on the bike! A man called last week and is very interested in coming to see it. He was coming Friday, but after he was about five hours late, I'm afraid I left a rather nasty voice mail message. Come to find out, someone in his family died. I felt about five inches tall. I'm writing him a letter apologizing for being such an ass. Since we're leaving a week from today (!?!!?!?!?!), I'm going to try and get him to come by later this week. That would be so wonderful to sell it before we leave. Then I can go shopping at the Summit!! Uh... I mean... we can save the money. Yeah... that's the ticket.

Off to go wind some yarn so I can cast on for another project. All I have to do is find the yarn I want. Unfortunately, it's right where the scorpion crawled out from.

It may have to wait until Hubster gets up

Thursday, July 16, 2009

I'm Ready to Explode

You know, there are days when things are so fantastic that you can't believe your good luck. Then there are days when things are so shitty, you can't figure out what you did for the karma gods to take a big dump on your face.

A few days ago, things were fantastic.

I got a call from the doctor - the long-awaited call with the results of my spinal tap. There is no indication of cancer (bone or otherwise), the things floating in the fluid are little pieces of the damaged discs (expected), and it appears that the auto-immune crap has stopped for the time being. What does all that mean? It means that I don't have cancer and am in remission. We were both so happy that it seemed as if we had finally made it over some hump. Then it all came to a screeching halt today.

Hubster told me last night that Cisco was giving a lot of people the axe today because they're trying to save money by getting rid of groups and highly-paid employees. He thought he was safe because he didn't get an email telling him to report to HR for a meeting. I guess whenever you see someone from HR in a meeting, it's not a good thing. He did, however, have his weekly one-on-one with his bitch boss. So at 11:30 a.m., he went into his meeting. At 11:35 a.m., he came back downstairs, looked at me, and said, "Well." Huh? Then he finished the statement:

"I lost my job."

WHAT? WHAT?????????? After giving 15 years to that fucking company, all the vacations we couldn't take because he had to finish a project, all the times he stayed up working all night, all the trips we had to take the computer on because he had to work... well, you get the picture. He developed a tool way back when which was meant just for him. It turned out to be something which the entire company used. Hubster tried to copyright it (that would have meant Easy Street for us), but we were told that since a year had passed and the company was using it, it was no longer available for copyright. That little tool is still being used today and has saved the company BILLIONS (yes, that is millions with a "b") of dollars. Did we see a cent of it? Nope. In fact, I think that year he got a less than stellar review. This year, he didn't even get a bonus because they were trying to save money so they wouldn't have to lay anybody off. I'm telling him to tell them that since he's been canned, they obviously didn't save any money, so he wants his bonus. Shit. We did NOT need this right now.

The only decent thing about it is that he gets six months of severance: two months of work and four months of job searching. As far as he's concerned, his job ended at 11:35 this morning. For the first time in years, he's not working. In fact, he's not doing shit tonight. Neither am I. We're both in shock. I think it will sink in tomorrow.

So I called my mother to tell her, and the first thing she said was, "What are we going to do?". We? I pointed that out, and she said that she didn't mean to sound cold, but we owed her money. I came unglued and told her not to mention certain things to Hubster, to leave him alone, and that he wasn't going to be talking to her for at least a few days. After that fiasco of a phone call, I told Hubster that now we know why we moved down here. Silicon Valley is going to be a sea of empty houses because there will be thousands of people with the same skill sets looking for work, and there are no jobs available. Most of the companies are outsourcing to India or bringing in unskilled young people. They're getting rid of women over 40 and highly-paid engineers like Hubster - the people who built the company. They raped us and are now disposing of us like a used tampon. The people coming in won't know what the fuck they're doing, and they'll get paid dick (but to them, it will seem like a fortune). Down here, there are a lot of job opportunities, and Hubster is also toying with the idea of starting his own company. We also have the option of moving out of state, which I would hate to do, but I go where he goes. This is just so fucked up that I'm immobilized.

Enough of that shit. Let's talk about something a little more enjoyable.

I just got approved for a credit card machine for Sock Summit today. I didn't go through a bank, which means I didn't get one of those portable hand-held machines. I've seen those things fail miserably, especially inside concrete buildings. No, I went with my iPhone. They have a contract with a company who handles the transactions. I just type in the numbers of the card, and it gives me instant approval/declined. In fact, it works just like every other credit card machine except that it does more. I can sync it up with my computer, and it automatically records the sales, removes the items from inventory, transfers money directly into my checking account, etc. I applied for it last night and was approved today, so I bought the applications this afternoon and downloaded them onto my phone. At least that went right.

I also got my bike listed. Sigh. At least I rode it onto the driveway, gunned the engine (wow!), and almost dumped the damn thing because our driveway slopes down, and I was sideways. But we got the pictures taken, I filled out all the forms, and now I just keep my fingers crossed that someone will want her. She's such a gorgeous piece of machinery. But especially now, with Hubster having lost his job, we need to simplify. So much for saving money and looking at other houses.


There's my hot bitch.


Another picture of the sexy beast.

I had to start that sock over - the picture in the post before the questionnaire - because I dumped an entire cup of coffee on it, and it was totally destroyed. It was okay , though. I'm using this killer yarn from an artist I found who is coming onboard in the shop - the colors are incredible, and the way everything blends and flows makes it look as if it's moving and breathing. With the design of the sock, it's going to be incredible. This is for a customer who has become a sister, and we seem to be making each other socks all the time LOL. I just got the final element for a really special pair for her. I might cast on for those tonight, as well as another pair (I can't say too much because she reads the blog). I'm in the mood to cast on a bunch of projects. I'm sure there are many of you who feel the same way.

Things are beginning to pour in for Sock Summit. I got about 10 packages yesterday (well, so three of them were for me), and I'm expecting about 30 more. I don't think I'm going to add anything new to the shop before we leave; it's a waste of time and effort, since I have to put everything in a spreadsheet for SS. If I weren't taking the shop, then I would; however, since the shop is going with me, it's double the effort. Besides, this will give me a lot more stock and will also sell my artists' work a lot more efficiently.

So that's what's going on. I've been sitting at this damn computer all day, so now I'm going to go knit for the rest of the evening. We have a new ant invasion upstairs and I can't find the spray, so Hubster will have to deal with it when he gets home. Poor guy. If he's not cleaning up a mess at work, he's cleaning up one here.

Oh wait. He doesn't work anymore.

That one is going to take some time getting used to. Shit.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

SP 14 Questionnaire

Okay, fun lovers... here is the information you've been waiting for so you can send me lots of lovely hand-crafted gifts and spoil me rotten.

(I didn't type that. Hubster did.)

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like? Indie yarns, usually off Etsy. My favorite is merino or merino blended with Tencel, bamboo, alpaca, or some other luxury fiber which still keeps it at fingering weight. No acrylic, please (not even in a blend). I don't care if it's superwash or not - I wash everything by hand anyway.

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in? I have cases for my DPN's and circulars which I stick in whatever knitting bag I'm using.

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced? I've been knitting for 49 years. I learned from my grandmother, my next-door neighbor, and other relatives. If I'm not advanced in both years and experience by now, I never will be.

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list? No.

5. What's your favorite scent? Lavender or patchouli.

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy? Never touch the stuff.

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin? I do, but I don't have time to do it. Besides, I have more than enough fiber. The only thing I do anymore is knit.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD) Classic rock, although I knit to TV, not to music, so no CD's, please.

9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand? I love all colors, especially those gorgeous indie blends. I like the glitz yarns, too - the ones with silver in them.

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets? An English bulldog named Emma. She likes to eat my DPN's, especially the black walnut ones which I can't get anymore.

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos? No.

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit? Socks.

13. What are you knitting right now? Socks.

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts? Yes! They're the best!

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic? I use black walnut DPN's (or the ones by Grafton Fibers - Pretty Petals or some such thing); I also use circs (Addi Lace Turbo or the 11" Hiya Hiya)... I've got tons of each, though, so I really don't need any.

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift? I have them both.

17. How old is your oldest UFO? About six months old.

18. What is your favorite holiday? What winter holiday do you observe? My birthday. We observe Christmas for the family, but both Hubster and I are Pagan. I follow Native American spirituality.

19. Is there anything that you collect? Yarn, of course! Fingering weight only, please. Oh... and any cool notion (although I think I have them all), hand-thrown pottery, and Green Mountain Knitting Bags.

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have? I think I subscribe to every magazine on the horizon (just check out my renewal bills). As for patterns, the last time I checked, I had about 300. I don't think I need any more. :)

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn? No.

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements? Yes. My foot is 10.5" long and 10.25" in circumference (at the ball of my foot); however, I usually make socks smaller in circumference (down to 9" or 9.25", especially if it's a lace pattern) so they're not baggy. I wear a size 10 shoe.

23. When is your birthday? June 23. Yes, I just had a birthday, so let the good times roll.

24. Are you on Ravelry? If so, what's your ID? Yes. pjyarngoddess

I also own Yarny Goodness, so I tend to buy a lot of things for myself from the shop. Maybe if I stopped buying myself so many things, I'd sell more.

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask me. I'm a smart-ass, but I did try to answer everything as accurately as possible.

Thank you!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

I Just Can't Catch a Break

So Tuesday was the third and last series of shots. We headed down to Rancho Mirage in 112 degree heat (god, I HATE the desert), got all signed in, and then waited a short time until it was time for the nurse to do my write-up. I answered all her questions, and then she asked me if anything was different or had changed in the past two weeks. I told her that I had lost 20 pounds in a week and was barfing every night - all night. She looked at me funny and went to talk to the doctor. Then she came back, told me to go have a ciggie while I waited for the procedure, and that was that.

I had barely finished my ciggie when the PA came out and told me they were ready for me. I was led into one of the operating suites and went to lay down on the table. That's when things changed.

I can't remember the PA's name, but I've had him before and he's really nice. He told me that they were doing another procedure and that I'd have to sit up with my forearms on my thighs. I asked him what was going on, and he said that the doc was going to do a spinal tap. I had to sit like that so my spine was curved, thereby allowing access to my spine.

A what? A SPINAL TAP???? Oh no. Oh no no no. I've heard those things hurt. I asked him if it was absolutely necessary and why the doctor was doing one. He didn't know, but he told me that the doctor was good at them and not to worry. Sigh. Why couldn't it be the band that was coming to play or something?

The doc came in the room all cheery and happy, and I asked him why he was about to torture me. You have to realize that this man is always happy and usually banters with you while he's sticking you full of needles. He got serious and told me that he needed to check something. Shit. Then he told me to breathe slowly and deeply, and to just relax and not move. Then I felt it.

I am here to tell you that spinal taps make those steroid shots feel like a massage. I thought I was going to pass out, but it was over in about five minutes. Then he held up the vial for me to see. The fluid was clear and viscous with little things floating in it. He went, "Hmmm" as he looked at it. I asked him what the floating things were, and he said that's what the lab was going to find out. Then he said that something was a definite possibility, and even if it turned out to not be so, he wanted me to be prepared. I looked at him and said, "Prepared for what? What do you think is wrong?". Then he told me.

Bone cancer.

On top of the other shit.


I sort of went blank after that. I didn't even feel the steroid shots. He wants me to see another doctor pronto and gave me a list to see if my insurance covers any of them. We'll find out in a couple of weeks if I do have bone cancer. If I do, then I have some hard decisions to make. In the meantime, I'm trying to ignore it. I'm actually the calmest one in the family. My poor mother is falling apart, and Hubster is having a difficult time, too. But I've sort of come to the realization that I'm terminal anyway, so what's one more thing? Besides, I may not even have it.

So that was the fun and games I got to experience at the doctor's office.

On Monday, we went to Sea World in the evening for my belated birthday outing. They have a new thing this year where they're open until 11 p.m. Because we got there late, we only got to see one show - the Shamu Rocks! show - but it was way cool. We went on some rides, got soaked, took the sky tram over Mission Bay (stunning - I'd sell my soul to live in San Diego), and looked at a bunch of stuff. The neat thing is that our tickets are good for the rest of the year. All I have to do is order an ECV and a parking pass online at least three days before we go (to ensure that I get a scooter), and we can go every day if we want and not pay admission. A lot of the parks down here are doing similar things. The economy has hit them all hard (with what they charge to get in, I'm surprised that they get any business at all), so they're trying all kinds of gimmicks. Southern California residents also get special consideration and special deals. I want the Disneyland pass - that's my happy place - but I won't go until the fall. It's too hot and there are too many kids right now for my comfort zone.

Emma is glued to me like flies on shit. I can't go to the bathroom without her suddenly bolting up from a dead sleep and walking ahead of me. What's so endearing is that if I fall on the stairs, she's right there licking my face as if I were a puppy, trying her best to save me. Then she walks ahead of me on the stairs in case I fall again. I guess she figures she can break my fall and protect me, and she probably can. Speaking of the M, here's a new picture of her:


I was sitting in my knitting chair right next to her. I had made a sound or something, and she went on full alert. She looks a little different than she did as a puppy, doesn't she?

My current knitting project is a pair of socks for a lady who was a customer (and still is), but has now become more like a sister. She knitted me two pairs of socks (I have to get pictures of them on here) and included two gifts with them. This is the third time I've started these damned things because I fucked up on frogging them (lace is such a bitch to rip back), and then got mad and cut the sock free from the ball - twice. This is why I always buy two skeins, unless the yardage is WAY above 400 yards. Here's a picture of the first one. Enjoy!


The yarn is by Neighborhood Fiber Co. I can't remember the name of the color, but it's her colors. I normally don't knit with a tight twist yarn, but it knits like a dream. Once you stretch it out, it looks totally different. I sent her this picture to see if she liked the colors and pattern, but I purposely didn't stretch it out so she has something to look forward to. I think she likes it. :)

One of the new artists who is coming onboard is called "lightbrownhare". Wait until you see her yarn. You're all going to shit a major brick. I've already bought something like eight skeins, I think. All but one of them is tight twist. Hmm... maybe I've turned some corner and am becoming something other than what I thought. Anyway, check her out on Etsy. She does two skeins in the dyepot of the type of yarn I've been buying - one with 400 yards and the other with 600 yards (you all know which one I bought), and each is different not only in design, but in saturation. I have to stop talking about her - I'm getting the urge to go shopping.

I'm also doing something new in the shop. I'm instituting an "Artist of the Month". My first artist is Laura Neal of "Drooling Over Yarn". There will be an interview (and hopefully a picture) of her on the shop site by the end of the weekend. Oh... and I extended the sale through Sunday night in honor of the holiday.

I can't believe that in a month, we'll be on the road to Portland. I've been getting stock for the show, and I think we're going to have more than enough. I'm also working on the shop this weekend. I should be out of pain from those damned shots by then. Tonight, I have to pull three orders and then knit on the sock.

I think I've blathered on long enough. I hope you all have a wonderful holiday weekend. This will be my first one without those damned fireworks blasting for four days and all night long, with the fear that a bottle rocket is going to land on my roof. Things tend to burn up here. In fact, there's a fire somewhere around here right now.

And no, it's not me getting pissed off and yelling at someone.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Yarny Goodness is OPEN!

It's about damned time. I've opened Yarny Goodness for business again!

The vast majority of changes are internal; however, there will be three new fields added at the bottom of the home page: Coming Soon, New Artists/Merchandise, and Updates (for new work added to existing vendors). I'm also having a 15% off sale running through July 1st. Oh... those new fields will appear as I add new artists, which I'll be doing ever day or two and over this weekend.

I'll write a decent post tomorrow, but I just wanted to let you all know that you may now spend all your money with me. (snort)

Welcome back!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

It Looks Like I May Survive Another One (and general musings)

Yes, it's that day again. Today, June 23th, is my 51st birthday. (And Happy Bday to you too, Bezzie.) :)

There was a time when 30 seemed old. Then 40. Then 60. Now, 52 seems like a really wonderful age to attain. This birthday is meaningful for many reasons, not the least of which is that I'm still here. Things are on a downhill slide right now, but I'm here. So what's going on?

Well, I lost 15 pounds last week, I spend all night barfing (and not words on the screen), and I'm losing my appetite.

Don't get me wrong - I'd love to lose weight. Just not this way. But this is the way that it's happening, and I can only hope this is a phase I'm going through, not the next step of the disease. Hubster is terribly worried, but he tries not to show it. The same with my mother and grandmother. I see my doctor next week, so I'll talk to him about it then.

Emma has become my personal protector. I can't even fart without her barking, running right to my side, and gluing herself to my leg. If I sit on the couch, she either sits on the couch next to me or on the floor against my leg. It really doesn't matter as long as some part of her is touching me. When I fall and cry, she abandons whatever she's doing and runs to me, checking me out as if I were a puppy. And the ultimate sacrifice for a bulldog?

Hubster took her out to do her business while I was sitting in my chair eating a piece of cake covered with powdered sugar. All of a sudden, a moth the size of a B-52 began attacking my face and head. Logic and reason tells me that the moth was there because of the insanely bright light which shines down on my work. Hysteria and fear tells me that the moth was there to torture me with it's wings and nibble me to death. So I did what any sane woman would do.

I screamed. At the top of my lungs.

As soon as I began to scream, Emma, who was about to take a dump, stopped herself up like a cork, began barking as if an intruder (the human variety) was breaking in the house, and dragged Hubster inside (we have to take her outside at night on a leash because of the coyotes). She literally dragged him up the stairs of the deck and into the house, where she immediately stationed herself next to me. I was still screaming and waving my hands around wildly. Never mind the piece of cake which had fallen over, spilling powdered sugar all over the chair, floor, knitting, etc. Never mind that all the doors and windows were open. Never mind that it sounded like I was being beaten or murdered all the way to Palm Springs. I was terrified, and Emma saw it as her duty to save me. Hubster was NOT amused and began to yell, whereupon I began to cry. It was not a pleasant scene.

The upshot? The fucking moth disappeared and Emma is now constipated. Great.

I can't quite believe that I'm over a half-century in age. It seems like yesterday that there were gas lines, Levi's were $27, an 8-track was the epitome in car stereos, Senior Cut Day to Santa Cruz had just passed, and I graduated from high school. Then came college and work, and my daughter. Then I got married. Six years later, I got divorced and spent a year alone in my house because you couldn't give away a house anywhere in California. Relationships. Fights with the family. Illness and deaths. So many things, so many events, so many memories. And now I'm sitting here at 4:45 a.m. in a big cabin in the mountains of Southern California wondering how in the hell I got here. Life is funny.

I saw a picture of San Francisco yesterday. It was shrouded in fog and made me intensely homesick. I love it here and will die here (and now, that's not just me saying it). But it's been six months since I've been home, and I really miss it - and my family. I know my mother will call later today, and my daughter will probably call, too. But it's not the same. I crave the birthdays of my youth, when everybody fawned all over you, you got lots of presents, and the entire day was magical. Now, it's a day like any other day. I don't get presents from Hubster; we've never exchanged birthday gifts because I buy whatever I want. It's not a special day anymore. And yet... some part of me longs for it to be. Every year, I'm disappointed and wait until the following year to see if it will be different. And every year, it sucks worse than the one before.

Last year at this time, I was heading up to Folsom Prison for my visit. My boys bestowed gifts on me, and we had as much of a party as they could manage. Hubster picked me up, gave me a card with a baby English Bulldog on it, and had written inside that that was part of my gift. Then we headed to Reno and stayed in a tiny closet of a room. He gave me $25 and told me that we were broke, but that he had managed to scrape that amount of money up so I could gamble a little. At the time, I was a beast - depressed, angry, demanding to know why we drove to Reno with that tiny amount of money. I've been known to bet a helluva lot more than that on one hand of blackjack. But I soon calmed down and realized what a huge sacrifice he had made. Sometimes, I'm an ass, and I certainly was that day. As it turned out, I was able to gamble for hours on that money - I just didn't play my usual high-limit slots. And we had a wonderful time. I selected Emma the next day, and the rest is history. What I wouldn't give now to have a trip to Reno again.

And yet, not all is lost. I guess next weekend, I'll be whisked away to one of the local Indian casinos for a spa day. I think there's an overnight trip involved, too, where I'll be alone. That's fine by me - I can sit, knit, watch TV, and sprawl in a bed. A bed. Luxury. I'm so tired of sleeping in the chair, but yet, that happens every night. So far, I've not had to run upstairs to hit the bathroom, so I might have a decent night. We'll see. Anyway, I'm looking forward to next weekend, and we'll see what today brings.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I've been reflecting on my life, and it's been a damned good one. Sure, I've had terrible times - we all do. But I wouldn't trade any of it for anything. I've met fascinating people, traveled, eaten well, loved hard, had my dream car, my dream house, and always come out of adversity smelling like a rose. I've been with Hubster for 20 years. I have a snoring bulldog laying next to me, making sure that her Mommy is doing okay. And should I not make it to my next birthday, it's okay. I'd rather stay here with Hubster and my family, of course, but should that not be in the cards, I still wouldn't change a thing.

Well... I would like to finish this damn pair of socks first.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Secret Pal 14 Signups to Close Monday, June 22nd

Yes, I'm finally up and alive. I'll post later tonight or this weekend; I have a lot of people to thank and a lot of things to get done, but for the time being (today), I'm still under rest orders. My back is killing me; it seems that the shots aren't doing anything other than being a pain right above my ass.

This post is really meant for one thing: I have to let everyone know that if they want to join Secret Pal 14, they have just a couple more days to do so. Signups are closing this Monday, June 22nd. We've extended the signup time to see if we could get more participants, but we can't extend it any longer. So please... if you want to join what I truly think is the best swap going, sign up before we shut down and can't accept your application. We have to divide everybody up into groups, get a hostess assigned to them, and open the swap on July 1st.

Thank you, everyone, and I'll blab a lot more in the next day or two. Have a terrific weekend!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Letting her rest...

Howdy all -

Mark here again...

Pam is definitely trying to over-do again because she wants to do well by all of you... her artists and her customers. However, I've put my foot down again (and it is a very big foot), and I am having her rest. The shop will be up in the next few days -- in a week no one will even remember if it opened on a Thursday or a Saturday.

Thank you all for all of your kind letters, they've really made her feel better.

Take care, everyone.

The Sick Bitch is Home

I'm finally back home and safely ensconced in my chair with my knitting in hand (I'm working on a very special pair of socks for a very special friend). Well, that's not entirely true - I moved to the couch so I could write this post. First of all, thank you to everyone who sent me letters with such lovely sentiments. I was truly blown away, and my spirits were lifted high. You're all such wonderful friends; I wish I could meet all of you in person, but it really doesn't matter. I carry you all with me in my heart.

Things have gotten a little worse. Even though the discs are leaking, they're also swollen so badly that the doctor could barely fit the needle in. This time, I felt it slide along the vertebrae and heard the pop and crunch as it finally went in - four times. Sigh. At least he didn't do my knee again. I have to repeat this again in two weeks. Happy happy joy joy. Right now, I'm exhausted and in a considerable amount of pain. Emma is curled around my hips as I'm sitting here typing; she's trying her best to make me feel better. I was in bed sleeping, and she curled up against my back (right above the injection site). How in the hell she knows where I hurt the worst is beyond me.

I'll be working on the shop later tonight - I just don't have the energy right now - so we can reopen tomorrow (Thursday). I've probably already told you, but I'm having a 15% off sale. We have a lot of new artists and merchandise, so come and check it out! I even have that most coveted of yarns - Woolly Boully. There isn't much - only about four or six skeins - but if you're a fan, grab it while you can. Jenny dyed it just for me, so of course I had to snatch a skein for myself. :)

Signups are still open for SP14, so if you're at all interested, please go to the blog and sign up! Of all the swaps I've been in, this is my favorite. It's a lot of fun, and you make really good friends through it. A lot of people who signed up for the last round haven't signed up this time around, so I hope you come back and join in the fun. There are only a couple of returning hostesses - the rest of us are new - so look for lots of contests, games, and other fun things with great prizes to win!

My birthday is next Tuesday (June 23rd), so I'm already telling Hubster what day it is just in case he forgot. I love birthdays, and this will be my first one away from my family. He hasn't given me any clues as to what we're doing, but whatever it is, I'm sure it will be lovely.

My back is killing me, so I'm off to knit for a while before I work on the shop. It's good to be home, and I'll get a letter off to everybody who wrote in the next few days. Again, thank you - what a homecoming!

Hm... maybe I'll dose up on Dilaudid before I begin to knit. Then I can see how many stitches I can drop when I nod off and drop my sock on the floor.

Simple things amuse me.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Pam in Hospital

Hi, this is Mark (Hubster). I sent out an iContact newsletter, but then I realized that not all of you get the shop newsletter.

Pam had to go to the doctor's today for what she thought was just pain management. He gave her four shots in her spine again. She's in the hospital resting and will be home tomorrow, so we've had to postpone the opening of the shop since she's the one who does all the actual listing. It will open Thursday instead of Wednesday.

I'm sorry for the delay, but her health is my primary concern. I want to thank everybody for all the letters she's received. They have really lifted her spirits to know she has so many people who love her.

Mark (Hubster)

Monday, June 15, 2009

Time to Post!

I've really got to get my shit together.

Days pass and nothing gets done. No posts, no knitting progress, nothing. I've decided that I'm tired of being in a funk and have kicked myself in the ass. I don't know how much good it will do, but at least I'm giving it the old college try.

Oh wait... all I did in college was get knocked up. Scratch that.

I'm giving it the old uh... uh... hm. I'm trying.

I've got a bit of news for you all. The shop is finally opening! Come this Wednesday, June 17th, we'll be back in operation. It's been a long time, I know, but what with everything going on, it's been very difficult to get any work done on it. However, I'm going to be putting the finishing touches on it Tuesday, so look for it to be open Wednesday afternoon (in case I don't get all the little things done on Tuesday night). I'm having a 15% off sale on everything through Sunday, so come and see the new artists, the new merchandise, and go shopping! Please... I need the money. :)

I want to thank everyone for the comments they left about my condition. You don't know what those meant to me. I'm always amazed at the number of people who read this blog, and even more amazed at the number of friends I have and all the people who care. That's why I continue to barf out my life here - I'm talking to my friends. I see the doc tomorrow, but it's for pain management. At this stage of the game, there's nothing that can be done other than to manage the pain. I don't know if he'll put me on anything different, up my current meds, or what. As long as he doesn't stick that fucking needle in my back again, we're square. (shudder)

On a more humorous note, it's happened again.



"Hi! This is Adele! How do I pick up a stitch that I dropped six rows down? You know, it's the pattern with all the YO's and K2tog's and SSK's. I think it's on the section where the pattern begins to change and you start doing a lot of increases and decreases and picking up stitches and it looks like basketweave and..."

"Uh... I'm sorry, but this is WHO?"

"Adele! I'm the one with the long blond hair, kind of pudgy, I drive an SUV..."

"Uh... OK... uh... I'm sorry, but I really don't know what you're talking about."

"Oh, I'm sure you teach a lot of classes, so maybe you don't remember where I was on that particular project. I'm on Row 37 and ready to change to color 10."

"What class did you say this was?"

"Lace entrelac. So I tried pulling the needle out, and a bunch of the little basketweave parts fell out and the lace unraveled and I can't get them back on the needle and I cut all the yarn on each piece so I only have little pieces of yarn to work with and should I use a smaller needle?"

(my head is spinning and my eyes are beginning to blink rapidly)

"Uh.... how did you get my phone number? It's unlisted."

"Oh, I got it from another lady in the class, you know, the fat one with black hair. She's a lot farther along than me. So when I ..."

"I don't mean to cut you off, but I haven't taught that class for two years, I don't know who you are, I have no idea what pattern I taught, and I'm afraid I can't help you."

"What sort of lousy teacher are you? I paid a lot of money for that class and you said I could call you at any time and you'd help me and I need help and you have to help me because you said you would. So like I said, I think I'm on Row 37... no, maybe it's Row 47..."

"I'm sorry, but I have another call coming in. I can't help you. My advice is to throw it away, start it over, and pay attention to what you're doing."

"You're a rude bitch and I'm never taking another class from you again." CLICK.

Geez. Anybody who can't count shouldn't undertake a project like that. Whatever it was.

Then another call did come in.



"Hey pretty lady, this is Fantastic Frank. How you been, doll face?"

"Uh... who are you trying to reach?"

"The Java Lounge! You're just playing games with old Frank again. Hey, I need to reserve five tables for tonight. We're in a bowling tournament down in Hemet, and we want to come for coffee and fattening shit afterwards. Can you fix me up, hot stuff?"

(we have the number that used to belong to Java Lounge, a coffee place here in town which closed right before we moved here)

"Ohhhhh... Frank! I'm sorry I didn't recognize you. I'm busy with customers right now, but sure! I'd be happy to reserve five tables for you. What time?"

"How about 8:00 p.m.? We finish up at about 6:30, but you know it takes time to get out of the bowling alley and drive up the hill."

"Not a problem, Frank. We'll see you then!"

"Fantastic, honey pie! See you later!" CLICK

Heh. I'm going to hell for sure.

Then I decided to try out one of the knitting applications I bought for my iPhone. I think this one is called "Knitting Buddy". You can keep track of yarn, needles, projects, etc., on it. So I figured I'd put in one of the sock patterns I'm working on for a friend. I touched the screen under "Needles" and was presented with every size needle ever made. After figuring out how to use it, I got the needle size put in. Then it asked me for the type and length. OK... no problem. Yarn? Got it. Color? Uh... this is an indie multi (as are all my yarns). So I selected the most prevalent color (they give you a list). Picture - download or take one? Uh... well.... I do have a camera on the phone, so I touched "Take One" and the camera came on. I put the ball of yarn on my leg, centered it in the screen, held my breath, and touched the button. FLASH! Picture taken. Then I saw it.

A perfectly centered picture of my foot.

I took another one. This one came out better. Then it gave me a "Notes" section, into which I put the fact that the yarn is a multi and listed all the colors. There. One project down, four more to enter. At least I'm not inventorying my stash. That would take the new 32g iPhone with a memory card added. I've decided to keep track of my projects in this thing and take pictures of the finished items.

IF I finish any items.

I think I have about eight knitting applications for the iPhone, only one of which I've used. There's even a row counter, a gauge counter, a shopping list thing, blah blah blah. If it's a knitting gadget, I buy it.

I don't remember if I told you, but my Emma has been sick. She came in the house a week or so ago after going outside to go potty with poop and blood all over her butt. Since she's shaped like a solid fireplug, she can't turn around to clean herself. She stood there with sad eyes looking at Daddy (she knows that Mommy can't deal with doggie doo). Hubster cleaned her up and then took her upstairs to feed her dinner. Right after dinner, she had to go out again. Same thing. Fifteen minutes later, she had to go again. And so it went for two days until we could get in to see the vet whom our groomer recommended.

We finally found the vet's office in the middle of a grapefruit orchard (it smelled really good). He took all her vitals, examined her, looked at the poop sample we brought in, and told us that she either had a viral infection or an allergy to something. In any event, he prescribed sulfa drugs and told us to put her on a rice and cottage cheese diet until her poops were firm again. He also gave us a cream which Hubster had to rub under her tail a couple times a day for about a week (she had a skin infection under her tail that we didn't know about). Sure enough, she cleared up almost immediately. This guy is good - every bit as good as our vet in Livermore. He reminds me of the old-fashioned country vets you see on TV. We're keeping him.

And on another Emma note, she presented us with a totally mauled dead animal this evening. We think it was a squirrel, but we're not sure. Hubster took it away from her and threw it over the fence. Gack. That dog is more like a cat than a dog, from bringing things home to us to how she holds things in her paws to how she stalks potential prey (like the cardboard tubes inside toilet paper rolls).

Figures I'd get an identity-confused animal. There's nothing normal in this house.

Except me, of course.


Sunday, June 14, 2009

PLEASE Sign Up for SP14!

This is a plea, pure and simple. I hope you consider it.

Secret Pal 14 is nearing the end of it's signups, and we're way down in numbers this round. We're also low on United States participants. Please... consider signing up for it. There are three tiers of signup amounts: $30, $60 and $90. It's a three-month swap, so you have plenty of time to get to know your pal. Of all the swaps I've been in, this is by far the best. The hostesses are exceptional (we have a lot of new hostesses this year), there are contests, and it's just a whole lot of fun. I've made some incredible friends in the rounds I've participated in.

There's also a Ravelry group which is dedicated to discussion, and a blog for general and specific information. It's well-organized, and I think you would have a ball participating.

If you would like to sign up, the blog is at:

All the information for joining (as well as the swap rules) are there.

I'll be writing a regular post in the next day or so. I've just been too busy and tired to sit down and write something which you would enjoy reading, but I'll correct that. Until then...


Monday, June 1, 2009

The Curtain Has Begun to Fall

Lest you think that I'm a happy buffoon all the time, I have to throw in a serious post every once in a while. Actually, I gave this post a lot of thought before I sat down to write it. Is it the right sort of thing to blog about? Is it something you want to hear? I don't know the answer to either of those questions, but since I barf my guts out here anyway, I decided that you might as well know this, too.

It all began a few weeks ago when my pain doctor ordered two MRI's - one for my lower back, and one for my left knee. I had been having a lot of problems with both areas - lots of pain, falling down, etc. So I went and had the one on my back done, but had to reschedule the one on my knee. I had it done about a week ago. Then came the follow-up appointment with the doctor. He asked me to come in a little early. Huh? He normally only sees new patients early in the morning. So why was I being called in?

Hubster and I went on Thursday. He wanted to come back into the exam room with me to talk to the doctor, but I didn't want him to. So while he snoozed in the waiting room (this is in Rancho Mirage, right next-door to Palm Springs - think next-door to Death Valley and summer temperatures) enjoying the air conditioning, I went back to see what the scans said.

It was a little worse than I thought.

It seems that the disease has attacked my spine and popped three of the discs - the bottom three. There's fluid leaking out of them and, pretty soon, my spine may not be able to support my body weight without some kind of horrendous back surgery to get bone off bone. The same thing has happened in my knee (the other knee just has a lot of arthritis in it... oh goodie). So after staring at the doctor with a really stupid look on my face, paying attention to his explanation using anatomical models, and reading the radiologist's report for myself, he sent me next door to his surgical suite. I just had time to go out and have a ciggie. Why, may you ask, did I have to go next door? It's a lot more fun than you might imagine.

I had to have three injections of steroids put into my spinal cord/discs and one into the cartilage in my knee.

It looked like it was going to be a long wait, judging by the number of old people waiting in the office (am I REALLY that OLD?), so I asked the nurse if I could go have another ciggie and explain to Hubster what was going on. She squeezed my hand and sent me outside into 101 degree heat. I carefully explained it all to Hubster, who looked like he was about to collapse (and not from the heat). Then it was back inside to experience something which I was scared shitless of.

I had reason to be scared shitless. It hurt like a mofo, and I had to remain absolutely still during the entire thing. Those fucking steroids make you feel heavy and full, and the needle is the size of my thigh. It has to be strong and rigid so it doesn't bend when the doc inserts it, but Jesus... The only fun part of the whole thing was watching it go into my spinal cord on the fluoroscope, but he just felt my back with his fingers and deftly inserted it. You can tell he's been doing this a long time and is at the top of his game - there was no hesitation whatsoever, and he knew exactly how far to push before he backed off and pushed the plunger. Even so... He wound up putting four shots into my spine and somehow managed to hit the same hole every single time.

The one in my knee hurt every bit as much. I had to keep my knee bent (I was flat on my back with the fluoroscope on either side of it) so he could maneuver the needle under the kneecap and into the cartilage. He didn't even have the good grace to put Flintstones Band-Aids on the injection sites.

So I've been completely wiped out all weekend. I wasn't allowed to do anything on Friday, and Hubster made me stay home from work this weekend and rest. It was the best thing I could have done, really. I just wasn't able to do much of anything. So now I wait to see if the injections helped at all. If they do, then I get to have them done again in two weeks. I'm tempted to say they didn't do anything just to avoid that horrible feeling. He's talking about switching my pain meds to morphine (probably the pump they surgically implant) or Roxanol (pure THC), but he's waiting on that until he sees how I'm doing. We'll discuss back surgery later on, but only if it will considerably alleviate my pain level. A few things are certain: it isn't going to heal, it's not going to get better, this is all just to help the pain level, and I'm fucked.

With the biggest dick of all.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

I Can't Think of a Title...

but that doesn't stop me from blathering.

So what's new? My friend from England came over for two weeks, and we had a wonderful time. There was lots of knitting, a trip to Warner Brothers Studio, dinner on the beach at San Diego, bumming around downtown Idyllwild, working on orders for the shop, organizing my studio, and lots of other fun things. Hubster took her out some days because I was sound asleep, but they seemed to enjoy themselves. All in all, I think it was a wonderful two weeks.

On the medical side of things, I went to see my new pain doc. He has me on a new pain med (Dilaudid), and another new pill for fibromyalgia. He also ordered scans of my lower spine and left knee. His fear is that a virus has attached itself to my spine and is eating through the bone. If that's the case and it reaches my spinal cord, well... let's just say that i won't be writing many more blog entries. I'll find out the results when I go see him next week.

There was another contact from that bitch who apparently thinks she's hot shit in this town. This time, she left a message on the post that included the letters we traded, saying I had hand-delivered her items and not refunded her shipping. She also said that she questioned my business integrity. I sent her a reply, left up the comment until I got bored with it, and then deleted it. I also refunded her $7.00. Since I apparently talked about nothing but my health at the SnB meetings, she should have heard that my short-term memory has been affected by the disease and drugs. Heh. Like I give a shit. What puzzles me is why she waits a few weeks and then attacks. I had no idea I was so interesting. Unless the meetings have been moved to a secret place, they've been shut down at the coffee house; the blog has also been removed. Since there were only a few people attending each meeting, that seemed to be the most logical thing to do. Either that, or I'm Typhoid Pam.

Hubster and I went out the other night and returned with a new car (new to us, anyway). We only have the truck, and if it breaks down, we're stuck with just the bike (like Hubster would ever ride behind me). Being Memorial Day weekend (and a really sucky economy), there were sales galore. We found a Jeep Liberty for a terrific price; the thing looks brand new. I've claimed it as my own. It's a deep garnet pearl - my first red car. I just love it and can't wait to take it to work this weekend.

I think our daughter is coming this weekend, too. There's lots to do around here on Memorial Day weekend - art shows, a community-wide garage sale (complete with map so you can find all the houses having one), spaghetti dinners, etc. We're attending a few of the events, but since I have to work and the kid will be here... It'll be nice to see her. She's moved into a house with lover boy and his sister, so I'll get all the gossip.

We're also currently under an ant attack. The bug guy is coming tomorrow to get rid of them. We have these huge black ants and these red, hairy things (I'm not sure I like living in the forest yet). I'm also covered with bites from spiders and skeeters. So much for being Nature Woman.

The shop is close to being open again. I've been trying to get out vendors' packages (those who are leaving), and listing new ones. We're also changing the look of the shop. One new thing we're having are grab bags. For $50, you get five skeins of top-name indie yarns. I'm also having Opal grab bags and Lorna Laces grab bags. I have so much yarn that it just isn't feasible for me to photograph and list every one, so my friend came up with the idea of the grab bags. I'll try to honor color requests, but these are all multi-colored skeins. I think it will be a fun thing, and everyone will be getting a bargain on the prices. Hopefully, it will go over really well.

I think we're going to take a surprise trip back home next month to celebrate my and my mom's birthdays. I'm in the mood to have a good seafood dinner in San Francisco. I'm sure that Emma will enjoy the ride, too. She gets groomed tomorrow, so she'll be sweet-smelling and clean.

Knitting is going along really well. i have two socks on the needles - one pair for me, one pair for Hubster, His has a pretty pattern (stranded knitting), whereas mine is just plain and simple. I've decided to crank out a bunch of socks for both of us (well, some for him if I have enough yarn). I like doing stupid simple socks for me because they go fast; I can also talk and watch TV while I'm doing them.

I think that's all that's going on around here. I'll try to write another post next week; after all, I have to get in the habit for SP14. That's coming up next month, but I can't say anything more about it.

After all, I have that short-term memory loss thing going on.

Monday, May 4, 2009

I've Got a Ticket... and Not to a Ride at Disneyland, Either

Quite the provocative title, huh? Is it a speeding ticket? A lottery ticket? More to come in just a minute.

First of all, Sheryl arrived last Sunday after a horrendous 11-hour flight. It took her a few days to acclimate, but now she appears to be on our schedule. It's been difficult for me to get on a "normal" sleeping schedule, and since it's 5:10 a.m. (and I'm typing), it's obvious that I'm failing miserably. I've been getting up at a reasonable hour and going out to do some things with her, but it's been up to poor Hubster to take her into town and go shopping on those days when I've slept most of the daylight hours away. I feel terrible, but I'm doing the best I can. She's been a tremendous blessing - she got all the orders packed and sent out, is helping me go through the stash and sort it into piles (throw away, give away, sell, keep), and is helping me list new artists this week. She's also a lot of fun to just hang out with. I've yet to feed her a traditional breakfast, go to the day spa for a day of pampering, and do a bunch of other things - but she's going to be here all week (and maybe another week after that), so we've still got time. Unfortunately, we're about to undergo a big warmup - she doesn't do well with warmer weather- so there goes Disneyland. We've got a lot to do, though, so I doubt we'll even miss it.

Today, we decided to go to San Diego. After doing a bit of research, we found a yarn shop we wanted to go to. It was okay - kind of small - but we both found some things to buy. I wound up putting all my yarn back because I realized I had more than I would ever knit in a lifetime, so I just bought some books and patterns. The shop owner informed me that she was converting to all indie yarn and was quite pleased with herself... until I told her that's all I sell and wasn't doing well. I'll have to go back to see if she really does it. I saw several labels which I carry, so I know I've got some modicum of good taste.

Anyway, we went to Old Town afterward and found that a fiesta was still going on (I forgot that Cinco de Mayo is tomorrow), and a lot of street vendors were still open. I scored big at a pottery place, buying some new chimes, a hummingbird feeder, and a peacock for the front yard (don't ask). Hubster was less than pleased. Then we decided to head over to the main drag, where I found a Chuck Jones gallery. After seeing the prices on the cels, paintings, and sculptures, i found a little original drawing of Marc Antony and Pussy Cat (you remember that cartoon - Marc Antony the bulldog finds a stray kitten whom he adopts, only to get into a lot of trouble with both the kitten and his mistress) which I could afford. It now resides on an end table in my front room. Then Sheryl was hungry, so we grabbed some food at Pizza Hut and headed to our favorite beach to watch the sun set over the ocean and eat our dinner. That's when the trouble began.

After eating, I lit a smoke and sat there watching the waves. It was then that I noticed a truck driving across the sand. The truck stopped at the people next to us - they had a fire going in a pit - and then drove over to us. Huh? What did I do? It turns out that you can have a dog who shits on the sand, but smoking on a public beach is illegal. Instead of just warning me, the asshat wrote me a ticket for smoking. I couldn't believe it. So now we have to call the courthouse to find out what my fine is. Had I been thinking, I would have given him false information. So now I have a point on my record, got Hubster all pissed off, and had the perfect ending to a less than happy day. Sigh. I think today will be much happier, though - we're going to stay in and knit all day.

Speaking of knitting, we're both using these 9" circulars by HiyaHiya. I thought they were silly at first, but then I transferred my work to one of them. It's fantastic! Going round and round beats the hell out of dealing with the joins of each new DPN. I'm working with size 1 on this project (socks, of course, and basic ones at that), but I've got up to size 3. I was kind of leery of using them (that's the snob in me coming out - any needle which I didn't pay more than $20 for had to stink) - but I'm really happy with them. I got stainless steel instead of bamboo because I like the speed steel affords me... and I always seem to break bamboo or at least get them splintered. I bought a set for Sheryl and also got a set of Darn Pretty DPN's for other projects (from Grafton Fibers). I had to find a new DPN since Golding no longer makes them, and these are an acceptable substitute - they're strong, sharp, and... well... darn pretty. They're also inexpensive, which I know makes Hubster happy.

So that's it for now. I've just fallen asleep and slept for an hour, so I'm going to wrap this up and do some knitting before I fall asleep again. I have lots more to tell you all, but that will wait for my next post. My lovely disease is attacking my left knee, so I can barely walk without excruciating pain. A day in sounds like just the ticket.

And once I find out the fine for the ticket, I may just be knitting and not going out for some time to come.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Wow - I Never Expected This

I truly don't know what to say. It was just what I needed to bring me back to my normal, bitchy, fighting self.

What am I talking about?

The overwhelming love and support which was extended to me over this entire mess with the knitting group.

I have never received so many comments, nor have I gotten so many letters telling me that I was clearly in the right and to not let it bother me. Between the private emails and the public comments, there were close to 50 notes. To a person, nobody could believe that such a callous, rude, nasty letter was sent. I can't even begin to express the love and appreciation I feel for each and every one of you. I wrote to as many of you as I could, but those who left public comments didn't always have their email addys listed. I left comments for some of those, but if I didn't get a note of thanks to you, consider yourselves thanked.

Anyway, the saga continues. This woman wrote me another email telling me that she needed me to remove her letter from the blog. What the fuck? What good would that accomplish? I told her I wouldn't do that. She claims that her email was private and that I didn't have her permission to publish it. I begged to differ, and it went downhill from there. I think there were two more emails with her trying to argue and/or intimidate me, but I refuse to be pushed around by anybody, let alone somebody who caused so much grief. If she didn't want anybody to know about this, then she shouldn't have written the damned email to begin with. I also told her to leave me alone and, if she continued to bother me, I would publish those emails on the blog, too. The strange thing is that I received emails from other women in the group who were as shocked as I was about the letter; they wanted me to continue coming to the group or, lacking that, to knit with them privately. It just proved that she acted either alone or with just a few other people in the group. I'm definitely not going back; I have far better things to do than sit down with a bunch of women who really don't want me there. I've been looking at the list of cities on the sidebar and noticed that there were people from my town and the surrounding communities reading it. I don't know if she's one of them, but I'd be willing to bet that she is. I also think that my language is a bit rough for their fair virgin ears, and they also probably don't much care for how I look or the fact that I'm a smoker. Fuck 'em. The ladies who wanted to remain my friend are different; the ones who think I'm a freak can go play with themselves and an unlubricated dildo for all I care. Heh... the spell checker doesn't recognize either "unlubricated" or "dildo".

Now that that little drama seems to be behind me, I've been working on Hubster's socks. In fact, I just had to frog all the slip stitch work I did because it was too tight. Then I read the instructions a little more closely and found out that I was supposed to change to the next larger size of needle for that part of the sock. Live, rip, and learn.

I'm dead tired, so I'm going to go take a nap. Tomorrow should be a big day in the village, what with the gorgeous weather we're having. I have a three-hour reading tomorrow, so I need to prepare for that. Hopefully, I'll get a lot of clients this weekend. Then I have to really work hard on the house next week - Sheryl comes a week from Sunday!!!

Thank you all again for your support. It truly made me feel loved that you all came to the forefront and stood up for me. It really helped me feel better about myself - I was truly down in the dumps over this whole mess. I love you all; if you ever need me for anything, don't hesitate to call on me. Most of us may be miles apart, but that doesn't matter. Friendship and love make those miles disappear.

And on that note, I'm back to my chair to sleep. Have a lovely weekend!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Pissed Off? Hurt? You Bet Your Ass

I just received this letter from one of the women in what I thought was my SnB group:

Hi Pam:
I need to pass on to you that your presence is killing the local group, just like you suspected.

These women just want to get together, knit and talk. They feel and believe that your behavior has threatened their ability for several reasons.

1) Your statement that you are dying and your constant reference to your health issues. They're just regular people looking for a place to knit and talk about their lives. Hell, they live w/stress & guilt all day. This is their outlet for their stress & you're bringing more stress & guilt.

2. Drama. How can their lives compare to yours? You alienated them.

3. TB issue. Some of them have little kids, and your arguments haven't made them feel safe. In fact, it insulted them for being cautious, considering your argument on your blog that made them look stupid rather than cautious.

I don't blame any of them. It isn't your appearance; it's your behavior that affects them.


Here is my response:

Hi Becky,

Well. How nice to know that I've been discussed, and behind my back, no less. Yet again. Just when I thought that I had found a group of women with whom to socialize, this happens. I know I had said that I would be happy to leave the group if it was my presence that was causing the lack of attendance. However, I never thought I would receive such an insensitive letter in my inbox. You have truly hurt me.

Allow me to address each of your comments.

1. I don't make constant references to my health issues. I was asked about it, so I told whoever asked what was wrong. It's not my fault that I'm the way I am. I feel sorry for anybody who is ill around the group. Are they also a threat, or is there faked sympathy, when all the while the group is threatened? And what do you mean by "regular people"? I thought this was an open town. I see now that the women here are no different than anywhere else - close-minded and narrow. How in the hell am I bringing them more stress - and guilt? What guilt? Have I blamed any of them for what ails me? Or do they feel guilty because they don't like to be around people with diseases, and having me there makes them realize that they're bigots?

2. It's also not my fault if they lead boring, mundane lives. They chose their lives, not me. If this is their outlet for excitement, then I feel sorry for them.

3. This comment is the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard. If these women can't research (and the Internet is a marvelous place to do research, since they must not have the time to go the library - they have those little kids underfoot, after all), then they are stupid. Cautious has nothing to do with it. If they don't believe articles written by doctors from such lousy, silly institutions as the Mayo Clinic, then there's nothing I can say that will convince them otherwise. Cautious my ass. They'll certainly feel and look stupid and ignorant when I write about this on my blog. I fully intend to publish this letter and the letter which caused it to be written on my blog as well.

I don't believe that my appearance has nothing to do with this. These women act like they're from the Midwest, not California. I'm being treated exactly the same way I've always been treated by women, which is exactly why I don't like women. They're catty, nasty, rude, and ostracize people who are different from them. Even though I don't like kids, I'm treated better by them than supposedly mature adults. I knew the drop in attendance was because of me; I'm not the stupid one. Fine.

You won't have to worry about me alienating your precious group. I don't go where I'm not wanted. You can all burn the things I gave away last week - just in case they're also infected with who knows what virus. I wouldn't want people to feel guilty for accepting things from a sick woman. Or maybe they can just wipe everything down with anti-bacterial wipes. That should kill any disease on them.

If I sound angry and bitter, it's because I am. It's always the same, no matter where I go or what I do or say. You can tell the group exactly what I said, because frankly, I don't care. Maybe they should put themselves in my place and try to see how it feels to be told that you're a walking death sentence to a group. All I wanted was to sit, knit, and visit. Shit... I hardly say anything to anybody and help where I can. If that's what scares them, so be it.

Have fun knitting. I'll be doing it alone at home where I can't infect anybody, including my granddaughters. How utterly pedestrian.


P.S. (from Mark) Unlike my wife, I'm at a loss for words in how to respond to such an ugly, small, and petty list of ignorant complaints. You have lost an opportunity to get to know and learn from someone who is incredibly interesting with more funny and true anecdotes than most best sellers on the bookshelf. I read your complaints below, and not one of them seems to have any substance whatsoever. If those items give any sense of the threshold of "other-ness" that your group is able to put up with, then you will always have a very boring, vanilla, and "stress-free" group. I suppose it would be best to end with a quote from the philosopher Judge Judy Sheindlin -- "Beauty fades... dumb is forever."

It would appear that Hubster is also pissed off, and rightly so. His wife has been violated.

You know, I've tried for years to belong to groups. In the past, these were quilting guilds. I was always somewhat forced to sit in the back of the room where the other members could pretend that I wasn't really there. Hubster would go with me so I wouldn't have to sit alone. Eventually, I just gave up trying to belong.

The reason I'm bringing this up is because I'm tired of trying to fit in. Shit... I've never really fit in anywhere. People are either afraid, cautious, worried, embarrassed, and any other number of labels concerning me. The end result is that I've had it. I'm done being nice and trying to be a part of the group. I guess I'm too flamboyant - or just too accepting- to be around such asinine people. What the fuck are they talking about with the guilt, my alienating them, stress, blah blah blah? Am I just too colorful to be around Puritans? What the hell is WRONG with these people? I haven't been this pissed off in a while, and the more I think about it, the angrier I get.

There was a comment above about the women feeling stupid rather than cautious. They should feel stupid. This is all about the TB shit. Had they bothered to read the articles which Google had on their home page - they had links, for chrissakes - they would have seen that exactly what I said was true. I'm less threatening to their or their precious children's health than the mosquitoes.

I need to stress that there are women in the group who aren't a part of this. I just received a lovely letter (which also made me cry - it seems to be my night for that) from one of them who apologized for what is going on. She isn't the only one. There are others who like me and enjoy my company. I'm not a fucking ogre - I'm just myself. I'm glad that some of the women have the good sense that Creator gave them, and I welcome them in my life.

That's really all I have to say tonight. I'm going to go sit in my chair and knit out my anger and sadness - that is, if Emma the Consoler peels herself away from me. She always knows when I'm upset and tries to cuddle against me to make me feel better. Or she'll lick away my tears. Anybody who says that animals are stupid and don't know your feelings don't know what they're talking about. They're more perceptive than a lot of people.

I think you know which people I'm talking about.