Tuesday, December 14, 2010

No... I Haven't Kicked The Bucket

Geez. I had no idea that it's been so long since I've bored you all with my ramblings. Quite frankly, there has been nothing going on to report, so rather than moan and groan about how shitty I feel every day, I just sort of drifted away from writing. I finally have some things to say, though, so here we go.

First of all, I've missed you. It's funny how the people I've met through this blog have become so dear to me. Having married someone I met online, it shouldn't surprise me. I hope you're all well and looking forward to the holiday season.

Next, I'm selling off my stash - finally. We've sold and/or pawned everything of value we own, and it's still not enough. We've come to the conclusion that we just can't afford to live here. Between the propane bill and the electric bill alone, that comes to about $600 a month - in the summer. Now that winter is almost here, I'm not looking forward to bathing with cold water when we run out of propane (they demand payment on delivery, and it's a minimum of 100 gallons each time). When you don't have the money, you don't have the money. So we're giving notice next month and moving back up to the Bay Area into that same shitty residence hotel we were forced into before. I don't care if we wind up in an apartment that's only large enough for a couch and a chair - anything has to be better than constantly borrowing money from my mother. Hubster has closed down the shop, so I can't sell the yarn through there, leaving me with only the blog to use as my way of getting the word out. I could use Etsy or eBay, but to photograph all that yarn would be impossible. So ...

All my indie yarn (all of it top-quality - you know I don't buy shit), is $10 per skein. For a grab bag of five (5) skeins, it's $45. If you have a color preference (or actually, a combination or main color preference, since they're all hand-painted or -dyed and have several colors per skein), I'll try to accommodate you. Since the stash is so large, I should be able to provide you with what you want. There's still plenty of time to get it to you before Christmas if you wish to give it as a gift. I also have blends (some with silk, cashmere, etc.), which I'm offering at the same price. I'll send it Priority by whatever method is least expensive (either bags, the pre-paid boxes, etc.).

For Lorna's Laces, it's $12 for a pair (or however many there are of that particular color). Since you need two of them to make a pair of socks, it doesn't seem right to sell them individually.

I also have about four skeins of Wollmeise, and several skeins of Koigu. The Wollmeise is $20, and the Koigu is $8.

I'm also selling my knitting bags. Every single one of them are Green Mountain Knitting Bags - you can go look at their website to see what kinds of bags are for sale there. I'm selling these bags for $75 - quite the bargain, considering they sell for around $150 or so. Many of them have never been used, and they're absolutely beautiful. Those will have to go in a box, but the postage is inexpensive. I have about 40 of those in all shapes and sizes, as well as a variety of fabrics. I'm only keeping a couple of them, so have at it.

I'm also selling my spinning wheel. It's a Majacraft Rose, never used (but assembled and ready to roll). Along with the wheel comes a Woolee Winder, extra bobbins, and several bumps of roving in all kinds of fibers and colors. I'm asking $500 for it and will have it professionally packaged to ensure it's safe arrival.

The knitting bags and wheel are negotiable, since I know many of you are in the same position we are. I'm just trying to raise money we desperately need at prices which are fair, but I know even those may not be affordable. Don't hesitate to ask if the need is there.

I have a shitload of Addi Turbo needles in a variety of sizes, although most of mine are for sock knitting (sizes 1, 2, 3, etc.). I have a limited number of larger sizes. All of them are circulars in the 24" length. I also have some of the Addi Lace needles. I'm selling all of them. I'm asking $5 each. I also have some straights with cute little polymer clay doodads on the tops. There aren't a lot of them, but I do have them in the larger sizes. I'm asking $5 for those as well.

I'm also selling my Debra's Garden needle sizers. They normally sell for about $15 each, but I'm asking $7. I don't have a lot of them, but I do have a pretty good selection of colors.

Also for sale are packages of Scout's Swag magnetic chart markers. I have a lot of these, most of them three sizes to a pack, but also some mediums packaged singly. The packages of three are $8 each; the singles are $3. Scout was kind enough to give them to me when I closed the shop, but I have so many that I can never use them all.

If there is anything else you need or want, I may very well have it. There are a lot of things left over from the shop - hand cream, sachets, roving, needle cases, etc. Drop me a note at pamtheknitter@gmail.com, and we'll discuss what I have and how much I'm asking for them. As I'm beginning to pack for the move, I'm finding more things which belong to former vendors. I'll send them as I can.

Now that the business portion of this missive is completed, on to the news.

Hubster got a call/text from his sister (the first one in about 10 years). She told him that their mother has Stage 4 cancer which started in her lungs (so much for giving up smoking). She's taking some pill which is designed specifically for the type of cancer she has, and it seems to be working very well. I even talked to her. What amazes me is that she's a trauma nurse and works in the ICU (she's been a nurse for something like 40 years), and she wanted to ask me if taking a narcotic would make her crazy. It seems to me that she should know what different pills do. Oh well. I told her that she wouldn't run screaming down the street naked, but that she would probably sleep a lot. That's probably going to be the last time I talk to her. She hates me, I'm not fond of her, and none of this really affects me other than what it does to Hubster. I'll stand by his side and support him no matter what, but I'm having a hard time garnering up any emotion for her and the rest of the family. I know that sounds horrible, and it probably is, but given our history ... oh well. I just thought I'd let you all know.

My mother has been cleared of her cancer and no longer has to see her oncologist. That was a bit of badly needed good news. My grandmother is doing well, too.

As for me, nothing has changed. I was put on an anti-depressant, but after one day of taking it, I had to stop. I've never been able to take them, and this one was no exception. It would have been nice to feel happy for a change.

We're going up to Mom's for Christmas, although it will be a short trip. We're planning on bringing the kids home with us so they can see the snow. If the weather continues to be warm, though, we may not bring them. We haven't even had any rain, and it's raining fairly steadily in the Bay Area. They always get the good weather. Ah well - in a month ...

Hubster's job is going well, and we're hoping for a raise after the first of the year. He's a project/team leader now; I've never heard the word "fuck" yelled into the phone this much in my life. My sleeping schedule has adjusted so I sleep for the mornings and usually wake up for the afternoons. That way, I don't bother him as much as I would were I up all day.

The kids are doing pretty well, considering their mother hasn't even bothered to call them in well over a month. It'll be interesting to see what happens over Christmas. The last time she called, they refused to get on the phone with her. We haven't heard from her since the court hearing. I don't know where she lives, what she does regarding work, or anything to do with her personal life. As far as she's concerned, we're apparently dead to her. When I do do pass, Hubster doesn't even have any way to let her know (not that she gives a rat's ass). It's not like she's getting anything of mine - what little I have left goes to the kids.

Emma now weighs 55 pounds and is happy as the proverbial clam. She sleeps with Hubster every night under the quilt with her head on the pillow next to him. The other morning, I looked over and caught her bathing his face and head. Try and stop a bulldog from doing what she wants, especially one as strong as her. Here's a couple of pictures of the fat fart for your enjoyment:



Well, my hands are cramping, so I'm going to close here. Please get in touch with me about the yarn, etc., that I have for sale. Should you wonder, it's all been kept away from the evil cancer sticks, so nothing smells like smoke. I promise that I'll get it to you in time for Christmas should that be your intention.

In case I don't write before the holiday, a very Merry Christmas to all of you, and may all the love I have in my heart wash over you and yours.


Sunday, August 1, 2010

Back in the Bay Area

I'll be gone for a week beginning today and returning next Monday. Hubster has to go to Chicago for a business meeting, and I'm going to stay close to my family in case anything happens. I'll be away from my mail, so I won't be able to answer anything until Tuesday. For those of you waiting on packages, I'll send out tracking info on Tuesday/Wednesday after we return.

Have a great week, and see you soon!

Friday, July 16, 2010

The Vacation - The Conclusion

Okay, Syd... I won't keep you waiting any longer for the outcome of the story. :)

Let's see... where did I leave off... oh yes. We were at the hotel for our last few nights, and then we were heading home. The big thing, though, was the court hearing.

First of all, it was in Berkeley. Don't get me wrong. I love Berkeley. The only problem is, I don't really know all the streets that well. I certainly didn't know where the courthouse was. So Hubster Googled a map, and off we went... late as usual.

Fortunately for us, traffic was light. We got there with mere minutes to spare and faced having to find a parking place. Since we were so late, Hubster dropped me off in front of the building while he went to find a parking space. I didn't have my walker with me, so I hobbled to the building as fast as I could. Uh oh... there was a dreaded metal detector which I had to go through. I was in a hurry - who wanted to bother?

The cop standing behind the metal detector was a young guy, clearly doing his time at the court before they released him onto the public. He told me, very authoritatively, that I had to go through it. I lost it at that point and began yelling at him. I stuck out my arm and showed him my tattoo of my grandfather's badge and told him that Grandpa would never make me walk through such a thing (good thing, too, because I used to carry a gun and a blackjack), that he was a lieutenant at the station before he retired, that I didn't have on any underwear (so how on earth could I hide a weapon other than up my snatch?), and I was late for a court hearing. The poor guy didn't know what to do, especially since I was wild-eyed, handicapped, and clearly insane. He waved me through, praying, I'm sure, that I really wasn't packing anything up my cooze. I hobbled up the stairs as best I could and found the correct court. Thank goodness the judge was late; Mom was in there with her attorney, saw me, and waved me in.

About 15 minutes later, the judge appeared. By this time, Hubster had found a parking place right outside the courthouse and made it into the courtroom. Mom and her attorney went up to the podium and began talking to the judge. He was so soft-spoken that I could barely hear him. He asked a few questions, seemed to approve of the answers, and said, "Okay. So ordered.". The entire thing took less than 10 minutes. Mom looked at her attorney with a puzzled expression on her face, was told that she had won, and she grabbed her attorney with tears running down her face. Then she ran over and hugged all of us (Amber's soon to be ex-MIL and ex-SIL also showed up). That was it.

Mom has permanent guardianship of the kids. :)

And the most disgusting thing of all? Amber didn't even bother to show up.

After the hearing, we all went into the hall while the attorney went downstairs to file papers and get copies made. As we were talking, Melissa's cell went off. It was Amber, saying thanks so much for letting her know that the hearing was in Berkeley. She claimed to have gone to the courthouse in Pleasanton. What a load of horseshit. She had called Mom's attorney to ask where the hearing was and what time it got underway. Lying, as usual. We all just ignored it and sat there grinning like idiots. Even the judge had been grinning at all of us in the courtroom. I think he was happy he could make that decision.

So now, if Amber wants to see the kids, she has to give Mom two days' notice and is only allowed a one-hour supervised visit at Mom's house. She can't take them anywhere, either. So early this week, she called for a visit and set up the day. Then when the day of her visit arrived, she called in the morning to cancel it. She rescheduled it for today.

Mom called me this evening to tell me that she showed up, but that she didn't say a word to Mom or Grandma. Instead, she walked outside where the kids were splashing in their pool. Both kids totally ignored her until the end of the visit, when Daisy said a few words to her. Amber said she'd see them next week and got pissed off when Mom reminded her to call first. It hasn't sunk in that Amber has to follow the court orders. The one thing Amber did say to Mom was that she was canceling their health insurance and now had an attorney. Big deal. There's nothing she can do at this point, and we've heard the "I've got a lawyer" line before. She left in a beater of a car (nobody knows whom it belongs to - Amber's car was repossessed a couple of weeks ago). Amber also lost her job and will be kicked out of her condo at the end of the month. She has no money, no car, no job, no place to live - at 31 years old. She's filed bankruptcy twice and just had her second abortion. I'm not the world's best money manager, but this kid takes the cake. How on earth she ever thought she could care for those kids is beyond me. She's now really hostile because she's lost the only playing chips she had - the one thing she could use against us. You gotta love karma. The mother part of me is trying to feel sorry for her, but the rational part of me says that she's done nothing but caused the family grief and pain for more than 10 years. I'm trying to not worry about her because she's always used guilt against us, too, but it's difficult at times. Until I look at a picture of the kids, that is.

Hubster has to go on a business trip to Chicago the first week of August, so we're driving to the Bay Area once again (with Emma in tow). I was originally going to go with him (I used to go to Chicago every month and love the city) - he's staying in the new Trump Towers, and I really wanted to go to yarn shops in the area. We can't afford it, though, especially since the company doesn't pay for my ticket or hotel stay or even meals (I was so looking forward to a burger at Blackie's). He also doesn't want me at home alone. At least this way, if I run into trouble, I can call Mom and she'll be at my hotel room in five minutes flat. I've also got Emma to protect me (she's a very territorial little fart, although she's very friendly if one of us is with her and she senses there's no danger). I'm looking forward to it. The pool there is very small, but there are lounge chairs where I can sit in the sun and knit while I'm working on my tan, and there is also a hot tub where I can sit at night and enjoy the warm water with the cool air blowing against my face. It will also be fun to have the kids come over and swim with me. This is when I really miss my Sacramento house and the pool. I'd give anything to have them back. Stupid me, I did a Bing bird's-eye view of the property and saw what the new owners have done. It really made me sad. I have to stop doing shit like that.

Mom is scheduling a visit for Amber and the kids so I'll get the chance to confront her. Nothing would make me happier. Maybe she'll slap me and I can have her arrested for assault.

I've already got my knitting bag packed with traveling projects and the one test knit I'm working on, so I'll have plenty to do while I'm there. Mom and I are going to a fabric shop and getting a pattern for jammies for the kids which I'll make when I get home. We're also hitting up my fave knitting shop in Oakland (Article Pract) and having lunch. We haven't done that in years; it'll be a lot of fun. I'm also trying to get ahold of my cousin so I can go over and visit. His wife wants me to teach her how to knit.

So that's all the news. It's been so damned hot here that I'm sprawled in front of a big fan with my knitting and not doing much of anything else. It's even too hot to go sit in that little pool. It would cool me off, but I'll fry. That's unusual, because I usually burn once and then just keep getting darker and darker.

It must have something to do with being so much closer to the sun. Barf.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Still on Vacation - and Loving It

Here I sit in bed, watching the fog beginning to roll in and feeling the cool night air brush against my skin. Even this far inland from the bay, I can smell the sea air as it makes it's way over the Dublin ridge. It feels so good to be home, even if it is just a hotel room. At least I'm not in the mountains watching the latest horrible bug crawl down the wall or fighting off moths which have snuck into the house through a door which has been briefly opened. I have one more day of paradise, and then we head out Sunday morning. I plan on making the most of tomorrow.

It has been an exciting two weeks, though. It began a week ago Sunday when we first drove up here to pick up the kids. Of course, nothing is ever as simple as it seems...

We arrived late that Saturday night and checked into the same hotel I'm sitting in now. We then gathered up all our shit and headed over to Mom's on Sunday afternoon to get the little ones. They had been anxiously staring at the clock and pacing because they didn't quite believe we were coming. They were also afraid that they would have to go home with their mother on Monday, and that was something they did not want to do. We had many long talks about that, which I'll recount later. Anyway, we arrived, talked with the parental units for a few minutes, packed up all the kids' shit, stuffed them in the truck, and headed for home.

It's been a long time since I've traveled with small children, so I had forgotten just how many rest stops they require. They also require a lot of feedings. I am now intimately acquainted with every rest stop on I-5 between here and where they end down near Pasadena. Not only are rest stops unpleasant, it was about 112 degrees outside. I barely made it into the little building and back to the truck before I collapsed. They were so happy to be away from all the bullshit, though, that I would have walked into a thousand rest stops for them.

We got home that night around 2 a.m. I thought the kids would drop from exhaustion, but they were far too wound up for that. It took us another hour or so to get them into bed after we walked in the house. Once they were in bed, though, they were out like lights.

The next day was a day of rest and just goofing around the house. I didn't want to stick them back in the truck and take off again right after they had arrived home, so we blew up the pool we had bought for them, let them explore the backyard, stood outside while they jumped on the trampoline, and just had a lovely day. It also marked the first day we had some talks about the situation at home. Some of the things they told me broke my heart.

Both of the little ones sat on the couch, looked at me, and told me in no uncertain terms that they hated their mommy, didn't want to go home with her anymore, didn't like her boyfriend, were neglected when they were with her (not fed, bathed, or paid attention to), and a bunch of other things. She had even gone as far as leaving them alone in the apartment while she and Methboy went out doing whatever they do. God forbid that her own children should interfere with her plans for the weekend. I explained to them about the court hearing which was coming up after we took them back to Mom's and what it was for; they were afraid Mom would lose and they would be stuck with their mother on a permanent basis. The court hearing is for Part 2 of this post, though. I will say that Mom told me both kids had been acting out sexually - not with each other, but lying on their backs with some sort of object in their hand (you get the picture). To say that I was horrified is putting it mildly. Apparently, they had witnessed Amber having sex with Methboy and were imitating what they saw. Sigh. I did the best I could to assure them that they were safe, that she wouldn't try to come get them while they were with us. After a while, they believed us. The other thing they asked (well, Lily did) is why we gave them away all those years ago when Amber took them from us and dumped them at my mother's house and then wouldn't give them back. I explained what had happened. Nobody had ever taken the time to tell them that we didn't want them to go, that our hearts were broken for years, that we cried ourselves to sleep every night for a very long time. Lily came over and hugged me around the neck after I was through because, once again, I was crying.

On Tuesday, we headed for the hotel and the big event of the trip, our day in Disneyland. Again, we got there late, and not entirely because of us, either. We had gotten halfway down the hill when we almost plowed into the person ahead of us. There was a dead deer lying on the road and a motorcycle halfway into the bushes. The CHP had blocked the road and were waiting for the Life Flight helicopter. Sitting there took about 20 minutes, but we were finally on our way. We had no sooner hit the bottom on the hill than I said to Hubster, "Did you remember to grab the Disneyland tickets?". The answer was no, and the tickets were non-refundable, so we had to go back home to get them. Back up the hill we went.

Hubster ran into the house, got the tickets, and we headed back down the hill for the third time. It was then that we discovered a secret about Lily. Halfway down the hill, I heard a horrible sound. She threw up all over the back of my seat, the floor, the seat belt, herself - anything within reach. We reassured her that she hadn't done anything wrong, that she wasn't in trouble... and then Hubster commenced to clean everything up. The stench was almost unbearable, but I didn't want to let on that we were dying. We bought her some Dramamine and she fell asleep. Whew.

We got to the hotel and checked in, then went up to our room. We had gotten them what the hotel called a "Kid's Suite". It was composed of two rooms - one for the kids with bunk beds and floor to ceiling windows, and one for us. A connecting door stood between the rooms which we could shut, but it didn't matter - the kids were out like lights once they explored everything. I put in a wake-up call for 8:30 a.m., and we tried to get some sleep.

The next morning, I opened my eyes and looked at the clock. Then I started blinking faster and rubbing them. What the fuck? The clock said it was 10:30 a.m.! It was also obvious that no call had come in. I was beyond pissed because I had wanted the kids to experience breakfast in the park. It sounds like a small thing, but one of my fondest memories is of having Mickey Mouse pancakes first thing in the morning. I called down to the front desk, got ahold of the hotel manager, and chewed him a new bunghole. By the end of my tirade, I had a free night at the hotel and a free breakfast in our room the next morning. I figured we could live with that. Anyway, we all got ready and headed over to the park. I had an electric scooter waiting for me at the hotel when we checked in, so I didn't have to worry about getting one at the park. The shuttle was also ADA equipped, so I rode it downstairs, the shuttle loaded me in, and off we went.

Seeing the kids' faces when they first saw Main Street was priceless. I got to experience the park again through the eyes of a child, and it was sweet indeed. While we didn't get to go on all the rides, we did ride quite a few. We told the kids that all the animals on the Jungle Cruise were real, and they were in awe. They were afraid of the Haunted House but enjoyed it all the same. They even went on Splash Mountain, which surprised me because I thought they would be terrified, but my grands are daredevils. We also all got ears - mine have old-style tattoos on them with piercings on the ear parts. I had "Grandma" embroidered on the back. :) We left the park at midnight when it closed and got back to the room happy and tired. Of course, they were also hungry, so we ordered room service dessert for them, then made them go to bed. They immediately turned their TV on (they don't have one in their room at home, so this was a huge treat), and it was probably two hours later by the time we got them to settle down and go to sleep. The next morning, we all had breakfast, packed our suitcases, checked out, and headed for home.

We also took them to San Diego so they could romp on the beach. They couldn't go into the water because of a huge storm in New Zealand which was affecting the waves on our coast, but they did get to see the ocean and build sand castles. The rest of the week was taken up with goofing around, going into town, and doing small things. I had wanted to take them to the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, but we didn't have time because of Hubster's work schedule. It was just nice to have them with us, to talk to them, to hold them, to know that they were in the house again.

We brought them back to Mom's last Tuesday but kept them in our hotel room overnight because of the late hour. On Wednesday, we brought them back, even though I don't think they were too thrilled about it. So far this week, I've been sleeping a lot, Hubster has been working, and it's been relaxing - all except for Thursday. But that's for the next post. I visited my friend and his family (the jeweler who makes all my jewelry - I've known him and his family for 30 years), and drove around the valley. It feels so damned good to be home. I wish I had the money - I'd buy a house in town tomorrow and leave all my shit in Idyllwild just so I wouldn't have to do that drive again. We were supposed to go home tomorrow, but I made a deal with Hubster. If I gave up dinner in San Francisco, we could stay one more night. I've had dinner in the City a thousand times, so I opted for one more night before we have to leave. So tomorrow, he's putting a new lockset on Mom's door, we're picking up the pictures we left for developing and sharing those with the family, and then we'll come back to our room for a relaxing night. I'll probably knit - I've been making really good progress on my projects. Then home we go on Sunday.

If possible, I'll post some pictures of Disneyland with my next post. I don't know if I can or not, but we'll see. Otherwise, it will be all text. I'll give you a little hint about it:

It's got to do with a court hearing.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

It's My Birthday... and I'm Bored

Yep. I made another one. Today is my 52nd birthday.

I think I've mentioned this before, but I so miss the birthdays of my youth. Since it falls almost exactly six months to the day from Christmas, I have two major holidays evenly spaced out. I miss the parties, all the family and friends coming over, pool parties, presents... all the shit that kids and younger people get. Then something happens when you hit your twenties. Birthdays begin to lose the significance they once had. I actually threw myself a 30th birthday party with about 50 people - Grandpa had just come home from the hospital, and I wanted to celebrate. Anyway, this downhill slide continues until, when you hit my age, nobody gives a rat's ass anymore. It makes it worse that my family is up north and Hubster and I (and Emma) are down here in the boonies. So what does that mean?

It means that I'll take a nap this afternoon, knit on some socks, and go gambling at an Indian casino tonight. I'd much rather go to Vegas (it's only four hours away), but we just can't afford it. That's the other shitty thing about birthdays now. We can't afford to do anything other than grab a Fatburger and drop about $50 in a slot machine. Sigh. I'm really trying to not get depressed like I do every year.

The good news is that we're leaving Saturday for the Bay Area and bringing the kids home with us. They'll be with us for a week, and we can't wait to have them. I'm sure I'll be totally wiped out, but I don't care. I miss them so much, and we're really looking forward to doing some fun things with them. We also have all this land that they can run around on, a trampoline to bounce on, and a cute downtown where they can get an ice cream at an old-fashioned parlor. I think they'll have a ball. Then it's back up to the Bay Area and testifying in court against the child.

Speaking of the child, she's on a campaign to get back in our good graces. She sent me a birthday card and Hubster a Father's Day card. She speaks of wanting to make up with us, to forget the past and get on with the future, to be a family again. I wish that were true, that it wasn't a scam on her part to get us on her side right before we go to court. But I know she has an agenda, and we can't buy into it. It really hurts me that it's come to this. I had such dreams when she was little, such hopes for having a friend when she grew up, dreaming of talking with her about boys and the other kinds of things young women talk to their mothers about. I had fantasies of us being close and talking every day. Instead, we got a child who hates us and only wants us to talk to her so we might not testify against her. I can't do it. I have the kids to think about. Amber is 32 years old and capable of taking care of herself. Our kids are six and deserve a happy childhood. They were interviewed by a social worker last week and told the lady that they don't want to stay over at their mother's house, that she doesn't take care of them, that she spends all her time with her crackhead boyfriend. I pray that my mother gets permanent custody of them, because if she doesn't, Amber will take the kids and won't let any of us see them. It's really stressful, and I can't wait until it's over. We have to go to court in Berkeley, so we'll be up there for a few days. Then it's back home to the heat. Argh.

I've been flip-flopping between sock projects lately... when I'm awake, that is. It seems that all I do is sleep. When I am awake, I've been working on a really cool pair called... uh... "Fishbone Gansey". It's by Knitspot and has highly detailed designs until you hit mid-calf where the design changes over to a K3 P1 rib. You do that until you get down to the heel flap, and the rest of the sock stays in that pattern. I'm going to do an Eye of Partridge heel because I think the design will compliment the rest of the sock. This is the pair I'm using The Sanguine Gryphon's Bugga for. That yarn is really lovely to knit with and shows off stitch definition beautifully. I've got two other skeins of it in a different colorway, but I'm not sure which pattern to use it for. It's got greens, browns, golds, reds, etc., in it and is on the dark side. Gorgeous.

We're not taking Emma with us on this trip because of the kids. She'll also be boarded when we take them back because we can't leave her in her carrier all day while we're in court. Grandma can't handle her (Emma is now over 50 pounds), so we think it's better to leave her with her groomer for a few days. Besides, she loves it over there. It gives her a chance to see all her doggie friends.

I'm getting sleepy again, so it's off to nap before I have to shower and get ready for tonight. It doesn't feel like my birthday, but maybe going out with Hubster instead of just snoozing in my chair will help. Please don't think i'm not grateful, because I am.

I'm still alive.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

I Think I Finally Might Have Something to Say

Wow. Over a month since I last posted. It's really difficult to think of things to say when your life is centered around your chair.

I actually have some knitting photos this time. Don't fall off your chairs. Keep breathing. Don't pass out from shock. I keep saying that I've been knitting, so I thought I'd show you the beginnings of some new sock projects.


I can't remember the name of most of these, but here's the first one anyway. It's being done in Dream in Color Smooshy. The entire sock is textural; those little swirls are sort of fake cables.


This one has offset ribs throughout the entire body. You can sort of see them. The yarn is by Alaskan Nancy (Etsy) and was custom-dyed for me. It's a pastel rainbow. I also noticed that I took the picture upside-down.


This pattern is called "Apollo and Artemis". The yarn is Fannie's Fingering and is actually what the pattern calls for. An unusual occurrence, since I rarely use what the pattern calls for.


I can't, for the life of me, remember what the hell this one is called (the yarn or the pattern). The top will be folded over (I don't know if you can see the yarn overs) to form a picot edge. I could have knitted it folded over and attached to the body of the sock, but it was a huge pain in the ass. I'll sew it down once the sock is completed.

I've got two more on the needles, both cashmere blends, but I forgot to take a picture of one of them (the yarn is by Spirit Trail), and the other is just a 2x2 rib at this point (how boring can you get?). The yarn on that one is The Sanguine Gryphon's Bugga.

I apologize for the poor quality of the pictures, but I shake like crazy when I'm trying to take a picture, I used my phone, and trying to get a closeup is damn near impossible.

While I was doing all that (and while I'm doing this, too), this is what the fire hydrant was doing.


She just got groomed today. She's also gained quite a bit of weight, so she's got to go on a diet. Bullies shouldn't get fat; it's really hard on their joints (I mean, their legs are only a few inches long) and causes them to snort and snore even more than they normally do. She's not going to like this, especially since this means she won't get any more dinner treats. I feel her pain. Anyway, she loves going to the groomer's and getting to play with all the dogs there (he has a room where the dogs are allowed to run free and play while they're waiting to be groomed, picked up, or if they're being boarded). Her coat is silky smooth and smells really good; she also had her nails done. He got most of her winter coat off. it's always amazing to me that dogs with hair as short as hers still get a really heavy, fuzzy winter coat.

I'm doing another test knit and will be working on that for a while. Once the yarn arrives, that will be the focus of all my knitting. I absolutely love doing that kind of thing; it sort of validates what I do. It also makes me feel like I'm not wasting my time sitting in my chair doing nothing but knitting.

So there are my pictures, lousy as they are. That's what I've been doing with myself.

Things are progressing pretty well on the store front. I've sent back a lot more work to vendors and paid out quite a bit of money to people who had things sell (that took up the vast majority of our tax refund). I'm just about done - there are about six more to do, I think. I do what I can as I can. Hubster is working so much (usually until he goes to bed, and he begins around 9:00 a.m.), that he's not able to help all that much. I still have to finish photographing the yarn for the shop, but I haven't been feeling up to sitting there and taking a lot of pictures. It'll get done when it gets done - I'm not worried about it. It isn't going anywhere.

Next month, we're driving up to the Bay Area for a few reasons. Hubster and I have to testify in the final court hearing to see if my mother gets permanent custody of the kids. Judging by how our dear daughter is doing, I don't think there's going to be any problem. Then we're celebrating our birthdays - mine and my mother's. Mom's is June 13th, and mine is June 23rd (yes, I'm happy to accept hand-dyed yarn dyed just for the occasion, gifts of any kind, etc.). And yes... I'm kidding about that. Then we're bringing the grands home for a visit. Let me amend that - the kids are coming home with us before we go to court (Mom wants them away before we all go to court because otherwise, Amber would have them - and who knows what she would do to avoid going to court), and we go to court when we bring them back. We're really looking forward to the visit. They have over an acre of land to romp around on, the trampoline is in the backyard for them to bounce on, and Mom is paying for us all to go to Disneyland. Hubster and I have saved enough of our tax refund so we can take them to the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach and maybe to Legoland or Knott's Berry Farm. We're also all going to the beach in San Diego (that means Emma is coming, too), so the kids can play in the surf. They've seen San Francisco Bay, but never the ocean. I'm trying to rest up as much as possible so I don't absolutely collapse.

I got my birthday present from Mom early - a 64G iPad. I told her I was writing a book, and I guess she figured that it would be easier for me to work on that, as well as play on the computer, if I could stay in my chair instead of trekking over to where the big computer is. I love the thing. There wasn't one available anywhere in SoCal (it seems you can only get them at Best Buy or the Apple store), and I didn't want to wait a month for it to arrive if I ordered it online, so she found one up there and mailed it down to me. I didn't need the big one, but it was the only one she could find. I can't say that I'm sorry to have it; I can put crap on that thing for the rest of my life and still not fill it up. Grandma gave me the wireless keyboard to use with it, and the kids gave me this cool case for the iPad. It's made by a company called Sena:

Sena Cases

They have the most beautiful cases - all leather - much nicer than the ones Apple and some other companies make. I got the one which zips all the way around, since I seem to have a problem with spilling things, most notably my coffee. It allows me to plug the charger into the device without removing it from the case and also has a stand built in to the back (it snaps shut), so you can stand the iPad up in landscape mode at an angle. It's really nice for travel, too, since it's lightly padded and won't allow anything to damage the iPad.

So I think that's about it. I'm watching "Billy the Exterminator" right now (there's a marathon going on) - talk about being grossed out! Hubster is just shaking his head at it. We're about to eat some hot dogs (with BTE turned off - even I can't eat while watching wasps and roaches), so I think we'll put "Gia" in the player and watch that instead. Thank goodness for Netflix. Then it's back to knitting and sleeping much later - most likely tomorrow. Emma has already conked out for the night - going to the groomer's always wears her out.

I can understand that. Walking across the room has the same effect on me.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Well... It WAS a Lovely Day


As I stated in the title, it was a lovely day. A perfect day. It started out with black skies which opened up and released, at various times throughout the entire day, snow, sleet, and hail. Fog rolled in and covered the surrounding mountains. The wind kicked up, but not to any damaging speeds. My kind of day, and a perfect day to sit and knit... which is exactly what I did, interspersed with periods of dozing. As I sit here and write this at 4:00 a.m., it's still snowing hard. There is well over a foot of snow covering the decks and everything on them.

It was a perfect day... but the night abruptly screeched to a halt when I decided to try and find my blog on my iPhone. I decided to use the Google app and looked up "Yarn Goddess". I found my blog just fine - and a lot of other things. The thing which floored me was an entry on a site called "RipOff Report". There, in living color, was my name, Hubster's name, my Ravelry name, my town and state, Yarny Goodness, Liar, Thief, and I can't remember what else. I had Hubster bring up the site on my computer. This is what he found:

"I am one of many who've been ripped off by this woman and her husband. Pamela contacted us all soliciting entry into her shop. She took thousands of dollars in merchandise with signed contracts, sold some of it, kept the rest and is not returning money, merchandise or email. She is not following the terms of her own contract. She and her husband respond to increasingly annoyed and frustrated emails with childish insults, empty threats and little, if any, action. Some of us have been trying to get our things back/money we're owed for a year now. They simply don't care.

Pam likes to play up her illness and her 'quirks' but several people who've had real life dealings with her have told stories of con games and lies that end with temper tantrums and petty revenge when discovered. Currently she seems to be engaged in smoking a lot of dope and giving tarot readings over the phone.

Steer clear of this woman if you value your business or finances! She and her husband both are shysters and have no remorse whatsoever about putting very small, women owned businesses out of business and ripping off fellow fiber enthusiasts."

It was written and submitted by "Disgruntled Artist (Nationwide).

If you wish to see the site and what the entry looks like, you can find it at:

RipOff Report

I have never held anything back on this blog, and I won't do so now. Trying to hide and hoping that nobody will see this is ridiculous. I've never been one to cower in corners and not put myself in the middle of things. Those of you who know me also know these things to be true. So, in the true spirit of who I am and what I believe in, I have copied and pasted this "anonymous" author's work on my blog for all of you to see.

I'm always amazed when people attack me but won't sign their names to the post. I have a really good idea of who this person is by the way she wrote the post and the language she used, but I'm not going to name names. Since you obviously read this blog, why don't you tell us all who you are? Or don't you want the spotlight falling on you? Fucking coward.

We're filing a rebuttal (just so you know, lady), but I'm also going to address her accusations here. Again, if those of my regular readers dislike rants, I thank you for reading this far and suggest that you might want to stop reading here. For the rest of you, here we go.

This bitch doesn't have the slightest idea of whom I've paid and what merchandise I've returned. Has she asked every single one of my artists who has been happy with the shop and/or me? No. She doesn't even have any idea of what merchandise I had, especially at Sock Summit. No... she seems to have talked to only one or a few people, disregarding what the others have to say. Do I still have merchandise? Yes. Do I still owe money? Yes. I send back what I can when I can and pay people as I can afford it. So far, we've spent about $500 in postage alone, not to mention the items I've had to purchase because I can't find them, as well as paying people for their sales. Those people who wrote to me and said they had shows to go to got their merchandise back first. Those people who sent rude and nasty letters are getting their work back as well, although not by Priority Mail. It will all get done.

I do not issue childish insults or threats, and nobody knows what kind of action I've taken. I'm assuming she means sending items back. She has no idea of what other action I've taken, and I don't care to enlighten her. If you read some of the letters I received, it would curl your hair. If she wants to see what a childish insult looks like or hear what a threat sounds like (such as contacting the DA, police department, BBB, etc.), I've got plenty of those letters, too. She also has no idea if I care or not. It seems to me that if I didn't care about indie artists, I would never have opened the store in the first place. A lot of people whined about wanting such a thing but not doing anything to make it a reality. That's what I get for actually doing something to help people. Do I still care? Yes, I do. I don't give a rat's ass if she believes me or not. My life won't be impacted one bit by what she thinks.

I like to play up my illness and "quirks"? What quirks? Just so you know, you stinking bitch, I don't have an illness. I have a disease. Get it right if you're going to write about it. As for smoking a lot of dope and giving tarot readings over the phone, I still have the dope I originally purchased. I smoke it when I absolutely have to. I haven't given a tarot reading over the phone (or in person) for months. And I don't play up anything. I simply tell people what's going on with my life so they don't have to write me letters. Believe it or not, people do write me for the fun of communicating with me, not just to harangue me.

Con games? Lies? Petty revenge? Temper tantrums? What a load of horseshit. Just for your information, Hubster writes most of those letters because I'm too angry to write anything civilized. He's extremely professional and spells it out as it is - but without the swearing I would most likely put in letters. If I wait a while and cool off, then I write them. Even after I've told people to stop writing, they continue to bombard me with letters up the ass. That is precisely why I shut off my Ravelry mail. I got tired of receiving letters at every single email address I own.

The other thing which really pissed me off is that this useless piece of humanity put my home address on whatever form she filled out. I realize my address is easy to get ahold of, but that was just plain mean. Do you want any other information to put on there? My SSN? My measurements? My birthday? (Oh wait... that's on another blog entry.) The size of Hubster's dick? (I think I've mentioned that, too, and for those of you who do want that information, you have my email addy.) Just let me know, and after I have a temper tantrum and smoke a bowl, I'll lie to you about it.

I think that about covers it. Be sure you all steer clear of me, especially if you have a business. Make sure that you hide your checkbooks before you write - I might see them with my special glasses which I bought from the back of a comic book. God forbid that I con you into joining forces with me in some new business venture. I'd say that I'm sorry I ever opened the shop to begin with (and I have said it when I'm really upset), but at the end of the day, I did some good things for a lot of people and gave them exposure they might not have gotten otherwise. For that, I'm proud. I'm not proud of how things ended up, and I know I could have done things better and faster. But for whatever reasons, I didn't, so I'm trying to make it right now. As I said, it's a slow process, but it'll get done.

How I wish the Pony Express was still in operation...

(I just realized something. If you go to that site and look at the bottom of the post, there's a link you can click to see any other reports which have been filed on me. There is one additional one which was posted about two hours after the first one (if I have the times/days right). I won't copy it and waste your time here - go on over and read it if you're interested.)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like ... Winter?

Don't get me wrong. I love winter. In fact, it's my favorite season by far, followed by autumn, spring, and summer. So imagine my delight yesterday when I was sitting in the old chair knitting and looked out the window to see ...


Lots of snow. Big, fat, fluffy flakes of it. Then it hailed - lots and lots of little round ice balls (I've known some dudes who have ice balls, too, but that's for another post). Then it snowed again, this time with the wind blowing and making the flakes dance and twirl like they were in a ballet. Then it warmed up from around 34 degrees to 38, and the snow turned to sleet. This went on for most of the day, finally ending with another huge dose of hail. Today is sunny and cool, but the sunshine is rapidly melting the hail which coated the ground. Ah well. It was a lovely treat, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Hubster, on the other hand, is hoping that spring will hurry up and stay so he doesn't have to shovel the driveway again. I can see his point of view, especially since I'm not the one who has to do the shoveling, but I'm a selfish bitch. I can't stand the heat, so the thought of it returning makes me want to barf. I am definitely NOT a SoCal broad. They seem to worship the sun down here.

Hubster has been working on a huge project for work, so I haven't been seeing him a lot these days. Hopefully, he'll wrap it up today and things will return to a semblance of normalcy. The upshot of this is that I'm getting a LOT of knitting done, with a test knitting project about ready to hit the needles. I was fortunate enough to be asked to do a sample for Unique Sheep's Ram Club (I don't know if I can tell you about it or not, so I'll err on the side of safety and keep my big mouth shut), but suffice it to say that it's not socks. I've also decided to do something else that's crazy and may never get done, but I'm going to give it a shot.

I'm writing a book.

Yep, I'm going to try and get this thing finished before I'm finished. If nothing else, it will give my grands something to tell them all about their grandma. Racy? Yes. Full of foul language? Yes. But it's an autobiography, and that's who I am. Even if I have to self-publish two copies for them, it will be worth it. I don't know that I want my mother reading it - some of the things I've done are still unknown to her - but even at her age, she can take it. I just feel this need and urgency to do it, and Hubster has been telling me for years that I should do it. I told him it will have to be classified as fiction, since nobody will believe half the shit in there. Now I'm on a mission to get an iPad so I can sit on the ratty old chair and write with it in my lap. Hmm ... maybe he'll get a bonus for doing this project at work. I love spending money that I don't have.

I got two phone calls about the bike, and one of them looks promising. The dude is supposed to call today, so I'm really hoping that he'll follow through with it. He even has a trailer, so he can pick the beast up and trailer it home instead of riding something with outdated tags. We didn't bother to register it because it isn't being ridden (I'm supposed to let the DMV know about that situation and pay a non-registration fee, which strikes me as stupid for something that's just sitting in the garage), but if this dude buys it, we'll take care of all that. It would be lovely to have the extra money every month. I just wish we could keep the money from the sale - that's a down payment for a house, if we ever get our credit fixed - but, alas, we have to pay it off. Shitty loan.

The sausage has been acting more and more like a human lately. She sits on her ass with her front legs draped over the back of the couch and her back legs sticking straight out; she lays under the quilt with Hubster and snores almost as loudly as him; I have to share a bite from dinner (with her eating off a fork); and any other number of hilarious things. She guards me like I'm going to be attacked at any moment and uses Hubster as her personal toy. I'm so glad we got her; she's a tremendous source of love and amusement. I wish they lived longer, but they don't. That just means we'll have to enjoy her lifetime to the fullest.

I have a bunch of pictures on my phone, but I haven't downloaded them onto the computer yet. I'll have them for next time. Aren't you proud of me, though? Its been a week instead of a month since I blogged. Maybe I'll get back into my old habits and blog even more frequently than that. The problem is that I don't have a lot to tell you. I'm in the house most of the time, so I don't have any funny stories about my adventures outside. However, we have to hit a quilting shop later this week, so maybe I can stir up some shit. We also have to find a knitting shop. There are some good ones in San Diego, so I'm going to try and talk the old man into going there. Then we can grab sandwiches and eat on the beach. I just have to remember to not smoke there. God forbid that my smoke competes with the smog.

Tomorrow is Hubster's day for doing our taxes, so keep your fingers crossed that we don't owe any money. Nothing puts him in a worse mood than doing taxes, except for doing taxes and finding out that we owe. We have to get a house; that way, we're assured of getting money back. Besides, I want to go swimming in my own backyard again.

Speaking of swimming, my swim with the dolphins is coming up. I'm hoping to do it next month instead of June when all the screaming monsters ... uh ... lovely little children are out of school and running around like Attila the Hun's hordes. I have to wear a wet suit, which has the benefit of smoothing out all your bumps and bulges due to their snugness. I can groove on that. Hubster will be taking a lot of pictures, so you can all giggle like fiends at seeing me in the water with a bunch of dolphins sailing over my head.

And with that, I'm bringing this entry to a close. Forgive me for the boring content. I feel like a mother with small children who never goes anywhere and has nothing interesting to say. I'm going to finish up the cuff on the new socks I cast on this morning (I'm using a yarn by Selah, which I can't even remember buying, in a rainbow colorway), and then I'm taking a nap. I'm half asleep now, but I really want to get this thing going before the yarn for my test knit arrives. Once the club members have received it, I'll post a picture of it. Until then, I'll have to keep it a secret.

Bet you think I can't keep my big mouth shut, huh?

We'll see.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Just Want That Old Time Rock and Roll

So the Hubster and I were sitting there yesterday afternoon around 3:30 p.m. when I noticed that my ass was beginning to quiver. Mind you, it doesn't take a whole lot to get any part of my body quivering, but this was weird - like I was sitting on a whoopie cushion gone wild. Then I heard it - that familiar low rumbling which I haven't heard in quite a while. I looked at Hubster and said, "earthquake". He looked at me like I was nuts... and then the entire house let out a huge creaking noise and began to shake.

It was slow at first, but then it picked up speed and intensity. He sat there with big eyes while I continued knitting. Emma didn't much care for it - it was something new and she couldn't control it. The house snapped, creaked, and shook HARD for about 30 seconds or so, and then it was over... but not until we heard a loud crashing sound from upstairs. "Oh shit", said the ever-diligent Hubster, who immediately ran upstairs to see what had fallen. I continued to sit in my chair knitting. It turned out that a porcelain pig chef holding a covered platter which was meant to hold votive candles (don't ask) had fallen off the baker's rack and smashed to a million pieces on the floor. Shit. I can't get those anymore (there's an entire kingdom, as it were, of this particular artist's work, and she doesn't make them anymore). My huge Shiva Lingham (it's a torpedo-shaped stone - mine is mahogany-colored with lighter brown splotches on the top - which is harvested once a year on the banks of the Ganges River by families specially trained to do it) had also toppled over and rolled across the front room floor. Fortunately, it weighs about 25 lbs. and didn't get damaged. They're meant to bring harmony and happiness to whichever area they're placed, and they come in all sizes from very small to the size of a torpedo (literally). I bought it when I owned the metaphysical store and got it wholesale; otherwise, I couldn't have afforded one that size. Anyway, that's all the damage we noticed, but aftershocks continued on and off during the rest of the day. The epicenter of the quake was around Calexico, and the magnitude was 7.2. We felt it at about 5.2, and we're pretty far away. We're on the fault, though, and it travels straight up.

This morning, I woke up around 6 a.m. to the sound of dripping. It had been raining all night, which I didn't notice because I fell asleep fairly early (for me), and the TV tends to mask the sound of rain unless it's coming down hard. Right now, at 10 a.m., it's raining/snowing pretty hard, the wind is blowing, and we're in the middle of a cloud (we're so high up that we don't really get fog, we get clouds). It promises to be like this all day. Happy Pam. :)

What else? That chick who wanted my bike so badly pulled out of the deal. Her boyfriend bought her one (yeah, right). Hubster sent her a letter thanking her for leading us on for three weeks. Oh well.

We're also making good progress on yarn/stitch makers/other assorted items which we still have left from that long-ago show we attended. Yes, it's been forever. Yes, I owe people a lot of stuff. I'm working on it, and we're also working on making payments to those folks to whom we owe money. Sigh. I really did try with that fucking store, and I still don't understand why it didn't take off. I noticed that a couple of stores which have the same concept I did are popping up. I guess I was ahead of my time, which is nothing new.

I finished the cuff on a new sock and have begun the leg portion. It's fairly simple, just an offset ribbing, but it's all knit into the backs of the stitches. That means I have to loosen up a little so I can actually knit it. I'm using a gorgeous yarn by... uh... somebody; the color is called "Mums". It's got purple, green, yellow, and a couple of others in it, and the way it's knitting up bodes well for a non-pooling sock. I've also got five others on the needles, and I switch off when I get bored. The other day, a needle case I ordered for the 9" Hiya Hiya circs arrived, so now I have them all organized instead of having a hundred packages laying around getting lost. I also found 50 sterling silver stitch markers I had purchased a year ago to sell in the shop, but nobody bought them (I think it was the price, although I thought it was reasonable), so I'm keeping those and have them all in a little silk pouch. I love those things - they don't leave ladders in your work.

While rummaging through my studio last night, I found a shitload of stuff I forgot I had, so I'm well-equipped to knit pretty much whatever I want. Between the stuff that was in the shop and paid for ahead of time, and the lovely things that many of the artists gave me, I don't need to buy another thing. I'm still selling the "old" stash (if we ever finish taking those damn pictures) and some odds and ends (including most of my Green Mountain knitting bags, since I now have the rolling Zuca cart), but all the new stuff (and the found stuff), I'm keeping. It was like Christmas, until my back went out from stooping over and looking in boxes.

I had a doctor's appointment the other day, and the news wasn't great. Apparently, the cartilage in my left knee is gone, so when I move that joint, I feel bone on bone and hear it snap and creak. The other new and fun thing is that bits and pieces of my spine are breaking loose and floating up into my neck on their way to my brain. The doctor told me that if too many pieces break off, or if the cartilage deteriorates up to my neck, it's time. The next stop is my brain and, as I've said, once it hits that, I better start saying good-bye to everybody. Fast. Do you remember that bitch who wrote me that horrible letter a few weeks ago about being hated because I was a lying, stealing bitch? Well, she had also told me I was a "poor me" sort of attention-getter, and that I had a cult of followers who believed everything I told them. I hate to say this, but I think she meant anybody who even remotely likes me, which would mean those of you who actually read this silly thing. I know who got her started on this rant (it's somebody whose stuff I had/have), and I'm going to have a polite word (or series of not so polite words) with her when the time is right, but if she knew me, she'd know I was honest to a fault. I think the broad needs a high hard one, although I suspect her bearded taco has moths flying out of it, which is a turnoff for any electric eels seeking shelter from the cold.

That's about it. It's been an exciting weekend, what with the earthquake and all, but now I'm getting sleepy from my morning pills and think I'll probably sleep for a while. I don't want to miss the rain - the rainy season seems to be pretty much finished down here as opposed to NoCal, where it lasts for another month - and I would be surprised if there were any more days filled with rain and darkness. Since I'm a witch, it's natural that I would love this weather.

Or is that a bitch?

Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Sausage Turns Two

I can't believe it, but today is the sausage's birthday. And that's not an April Fool's joke - we've really had her almost that long. We're buying her some sort of gift tomorrow night. I did have a doctor's appointment today, but it's snowing off and on, and I don't want to get stuck on the mountain roads if it decides to snow hard. So I'm lounging around in my ratty old jammies, knitting away on whichever pair of socks strikes my fancy.

The big news this past week has been Amber. As you all know, she left her husband and was living with some meth head. Well, she kicked him out and tried to come back to her hubby. Fortunately, he was aware of her proclivities towards lying and only doing what benefitted her, so he turned her away and wrote her a rather nasty letter, going so far as to call her a lying whore. He had a long conversation with Hubster, and I think that helped him realize that his decision was the right one. So what did the kid do? She moved the meth head back into her apartment and told her soon to be ex that since Hubster and I had chosen his family over her, she didn't want anything more to do with us, that she was doing just fine without us, blah blah blah. It's nothing she hasn't said before, so my feelings aren't really hurt. In fact, I'm not really hurt by anything she says or does anymore. I think it's a protection mechanism on my part. I had to do that in order to save my sanity. Otherwise, I tended to dwell on it and cry a lot. I've got enough going on in my life that's hurtful or painful, let alone having her add to my problems. I think she figured we'd come crawling to her. Since it hasn't happened, maybe she's finally realizing that nobody really gives a shit about what she's doing. It seems that she can't live alone, so she moves in whoever shows any interest in her. Of course, the kids are well aware that different guys are coming and going, and it's beginning to traumatize them. I'm really worried about them, and if Mom gets permanent custody, she's informed us that we'll be getting them soon because she's getting too old to raise them. That's great, except we've got that little health issue of mine. If we're able to qualify for a new house (more on that below), it's got to be a large house to accommodate them. Oh well - things will work out the way they're meant to.

As far as the kids go, Mom goes to court in July for the final hearing on custody. With Amber living with that creep, I don't think it's going to be a problem to take the kids away from her. We also found out that she was definitely pregnant and had an abortion - the ex took her to get the pills for it. That's going to hurt her standing with the court. It makes me really upset to think about the kids around that guy, so I'm hoping the court sees things our way. Mom has spent about $23K so far fighting this battle, and we can't help her monetarily. All we can do is stand by and wait to see what happens.

We did have a bit of bad news. As I said in my last post, we were trying to qualify for a house loan. Well ... we didn't get it. I wasn't surprised, since our credit report isn't up to date, and there's a lot of shit on there that's long been paid off. Now we get to go through the agony of trying to update the fucking thing. Our mortgage guy is really difficult to get ahold of, so I don't know when we're going to start the process. Fortunately, we love the house we're in right now, and I don't think our landlord is going to kick us out. There are worse places to be stuck, so we feel fortunate that we're here. It's just so difficult to save money, especially with Hubster's salary cut, but I suppose I should be grateful that he's even got a job. What pisses me off is that there are programs for people who are about to lose their houses and people who are first-time buyers, but nothing for people in our position. Once again, the middle class gets shit on. We make too much money to get help from any agencies and not enough to be rich. Oh well. At least we're not on skid row living in a refrigerator box on the sidewalk.

The hate mail continues to flow in, so I've taken to making Hubster read my email. Some of it I can deal with; some of it I just can't. The piles of shit I've got in my studio are slowly but surely disappearing, but it's the stitch markers I just can't figure out. Most people didn't mark them in any way, so I have no idea what belongs to whom. I just don't want to send the wrong things to the wrong people. That would be a nightmare. Then I'd have to have things going back and forth until I found their owners. Sigh.

That's really about it. Nothing exciting has come in the mail, my socks are making progress (but not enough to take any pictures), the sausage has stopped limping and has taken to barking all day because Hubster isn't paying her constant attention, and I'm exhausted. I think I'll go knit, take a nap, and then go rummage around in my studio. Maybe I'll have good luck and find things.

Now that's an April Fool's joke.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Spring Has Sprung ... and it's Going to be a Hot One

Geez. I just don't know where the time goes. The older I get, the faster it goes by.

Here it is, spring already. It was 80 degrees in the City of Angels the other day, and even though we're about 20 degrees cooler up here than in the flatlands, it looks to be a rather warm spring. I know what that means. It means a beastly summer is on tap. Fuck.

Those of you who have been faithful readers of my rather sporadic blogging know that I don't deal well with the heat. So what are we doing? We're looking for a house in the Delta region, where temps well in the 100's during the summer are common. We can't afford to move close to the Bay, so it's out in the mud flats for us. We're only looking at houses with pools, which is how I survive in those regions. We're also going through the pre-approval process for a loan right now. Damn... I knew we should have fixed our credit report before now. We haven't heard yet if we'll be approved or not (and if so, for how much), so keep your fingers crossed. We have to look at larger houses because if my mother gets full custody of the kids, that means we'll eventually get custody of them when she gets too old to take care of them (which also means that should be next year). I don't mind, though - as long as I'm still here and can take care of the little monkeys. They're already excited that we may be coming home. It's not me they're excited about - it's Grandpa and the pool that floats their boats. Oh well. The prices are amazing. We looked at a 3700 sq. ft. house (pool included) that's listed for $275K. You read that right. Of course, people are putting in offers like crazy on these things - the banks now have no vested interest in getting rid of properties quickly because of that stupid bill our president pushed through - so houses are selling for quite a bit above their asking prices. The deals are still good, though, so if we qualify for a decent loan, we should be able to get a good house.

Speaking of children, Daisy (our blabbermouth grand) told my mother that "Mommy is going to have a baby". Mom had her suspicions - I guess Amber's ass is as wide as two axe handles. I haven't seen her since she's cut off all ties with us, but I have a feeling that it's true. If it is, that bodes well for the court hearing in July. She'll be about eight months by then, and the judge isn't going to feel charitable towards her. This is the final hearing for permanent custody of the twins, and for someone who can't take care of the two she already has, it's not likely that a judge is going to grant custody of them to a pregnant mother. I just don't know where she went wrong. I regret the day I popped that monster out, and a monster she is. I may have been a wild child, but I never hurt people and always put my family first. Not Amber. She only considers us family when it suits her. Hubster and I have disowned her. We refuse to be hurt anymore. The one I feel sorry for is Amber's ex. He's a sweet young man with a lovely family, and I would have loved to be related to them. She seems, however, to like men who mistreat her. Sigh.

Not a lot has gone on in the past month, but we did manage to make it up to Stitches. I spent that Friday going through the marketplace with my dear friend from KaratStix, and then spent Saturday in Rabbitch's booth. I met some more people I've known for years online, and a good time was had by all. Saturday night, we took Rabbitch to San Francisco for dinner - we didn't have time for sightseeing - and had a wonderful meal full of great food, lovely conversation, and just plain enjoying each other's company. Hubster dozed off in the truck while we had dinner so we could spend time together without him. I'm glad I went - not only did I get to spend time with dear friends, I also picked up a few odds and ends, the most exciting of which is a rolling yarn cart with wheels that light up when they turn (I'm such a bag and bling whore). I can stuff more crap in this thing than I can in any of my other knitting bags. So, in addition to my stash, I'll be selling most of my knitting bags. We're still working on photography, but as soon as I'm done listing enough things to open the shop, I'll post it here. It should be soon because I don't want to haul a lot of extra yarn with us if we're lucky enough to move.

We have a good prospect for the bike, but I haven't heard from her for a few weeks. I dropped her an email last night asking if she's still interested in it, and I'm just waiting to hear back from her. I sure hope she still wants it. That would go a long way towards helping us qualify for a good loan, and it's one less (expensive) thing to have to truck up north. Again, keep your fingers crossed. Something good has to happen this year.

I've closed (or am trying to close) my account on Ravelry because I've had it with them. I posted an innocuous comment on one of the forums and saw the next day that it had been removed. When I wrote to the moderator to ask why, she wrote me back a horrible letter telling me, among other things, that I was a "lying, thieving, cheating bitch" (or words to that effect). She then proceeded to tell me that a friend of hers had been ripped off by me, that if I answered her letter, she was going to call the police department in my town, blah blah blah. I keep telling these snatch whores that we don't have a local police department, but they don't seem to believe me. It was a terrible, uncalled-for letter. Not only did she remove my comment, she deleted the entire thread the next day. Ravelry may have a lot of good things going for it, but it's changing from a knitting thing to a group of nasty women who form cliques and attack people whom they don't like for whatever reason. I thought I had left all that behind in high school. In any event, I'm tired of dealing with women like that and refuse to patronize a place where they congregate. So far, the powers that be over there haven't closed my account, so I'm just not logging in. I'm not impressed with the speed and/or quality of help you get when you log a complaint. I personally think that Ravelry has grown too large too fast, and whatever it was originally meant to be has long since disappeared. I think they've lost control of it, and when that happens with something that large, it tends to grow into something other than what it was meant to be. I don't see any way they could turn it back into a knitting/fiber forum-type place at this late date; it's already morphed into a living, breathing beast. I know a lot of people spend hours every day on it, and I also know that it has a lot of good qualities. I don't wish to partake of any of them, however. Please don't send me any more hate mail because of my opinion; I've also had it with that.

Emma is doing well; she's not limping any more. I got a really good referral from a good friend to a vet near us, so we'll be using him if anything happens. He doesn't take appointments, but we don't mind waiting. Anything for our Emma. She loves it here, but I think she'll love it no matter where we live as long as we're with her. She's gotten huge - big head, enormous chest, huge paws - and she's strong as the proverbial ox. She's also gotten in the habit of barking when she hears a noise and protecting me by inserting herself between me and the perceived danger. Whoever said that bullies aren't good guard dogs hasn't met the M.

I don't have any pictures for you this time, but I'm hoping to have some pictures of completed socks the next time I blog. I've got four pairs on the needles (I did have six, but got rid of two of them), and even if I only have one of each pair completed, at least it's something to show you. One of them is a plain pair, but the others are lace or have fancy features. I've got socks to make for friends (you know who you are), and a couple of those fall into that category. I'm actually using some yarn from my "new" stash (thank you, ladies), and have done really well with my buying habits. It helps that we don't have any expendable income and are also trying to save for the new house. Besides, I still have enough yarn to open another yarn shop. However, I have an army of people who are sworn to kick me in the ass if I even consider such a thing. While I loved my shop, I'm just not cut out to be a shop owner - not anymore. I met a lot of wonderful people, but it's just too much.

Nothing has changed in the health department. It's getting time to stock up on the magic herb again, which means I have to find a dispensary close by. Palm Springs has 27 of them, so I don't think it's going to be a problem. We don't want to drive all the way to Van Nuys, which is over a two-hour drive with traffic (and when isn't there traffic around here?). Oddly enough, there aren't that many of them in the Bay Area, so I need to make sure I have enough to last a while before we leave. I carry that letter from the doctor whenever I'm holding (I had the damn thing laminated), so we don't get pulled over and thrown in jail. That's all I need. I have a problem using the bathroom in other people's homes, let alone using an open toilet in front of a group of women and guards. I'd be plugged up for the duration.

One thing that's coming up is my "swimming with the dolphins" outing. I've always wanted to do it, and Sea World has a deal where you go to a class for a few hours to learn how to behave around them, and then you don a wetsuit and jump in the tank with them. I told Hubster to give me that for my birthday, so we're probably going to do it around late April/early May (before it gets really hot). I can't wait - it's a lifelong dream come true. Sea World is doing the "buy one day, get the rest of the year free" ticket deal again, so we'll take advantage of that. I love going there and seeing the whales. Now if only Disneyland would do that ...

I think that's all that's going on around here. I'll try and blog more frequently, more like I used to. I've been working with the voice program Laura told me about, but it takes time for it to learn your voice and mannerisms. You should see some of the sentences which pop out. It's easier than typing, though, and I might even get caught up on my email. Hang in there - if you have a letter coming, you'll get it.

It may be unintelligible, but you'll get something.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Sleet, Snow, and Sickness


If you choose to continue reading, I'm really happy to hear that. If you choose to shut this down, however, you will still show up as one of the cities who took the time to look at this piece of shit.

Thank you.

Hey! It's me! I bet you all thought I had finally kicked the bucket.

Nah... not this past month, anyway.

So what's new and exciting? Not much, really. The weather up here continues to confound the weathermen. They just can't seem to understand that we actually do exist and that our weather isn't the same as Los Angeles. I woke up to this the other day:


That's my front yard.


That's part of my backyard.


That's another part of my backyard.

As you can see from the date on the photos, this happened a few weeks ago. It happened the day before yesterday, too. And when it snows, someone goes apeshit.


Yep. It's the Flying Sausage. But she's just standing there, you say. She was taking a break from the racetrack:



She loves to run at full speed around the table. (You can tell it's really an action shot because her ears are flapping backwards.) She'll then run like mad into the house, make a turn around the coffee table, shoot back outside, and then race back inside, jump on the couch, and fall asleep for the rest of the day.

And then, at the end of the day when it stopped snowing this last time, this is what sunset looked like from my kitchen window:


That bright pink in the middle of the picture is the Pacific Ocean. People never believe me when I tell them we have an ocean view. You have to catch it when the air is clear, though.

Since only a few of you have seen my house, I figured I'd bore you with some pictures of it. This is the view of the stairs going down to the front room when you first walk in. If you go up the stairs to the left, the master and another bedroom are up there.


This is the front room looking out through the French doors onto the racetrack... uh... main deck:


Same room, different glass:


My fireplace, also in the front room:


That's where the wood is stacked. It even has a light in the top... why, I don't have a fucking clue.


What looks like a set of closet doors under the quilt (that's an antique - it's about 100 years old) is actually concealing a wet bar complete with a glass/booze cabinet and refrigerator. To the left of that quilt is the master; the other bedroom is to the right. The quilt hanging on the wall at the bottom of the picture was purchased at an auction to raise money for cancer research.


This is looking down the stairs leading to the lower level; i.e., the TV/knitting/sleeping/shithole room:



Some boring artwork:


And after chasing Emma, knitting, and watching court shows all day:


Whew. Enough of that.

Speaking of Emma, she's still limping. I think it's from all the activity. Bullies aren't known for their athletic prowess. We also just found out that our vet is a roaring drunk and mean to boot. I think we need to find another one. However, I do have some news which may impact our choice of vet.

We may be moving.

Come Thursday, we're driving up to the Bay Area for four days. On Friday, Hubster is going into the office and dropping me off at Stitches West (I'm going to partake of the festivities with a dear friend), so if you're there and I'm not on your shit list, come on up and say hey. Then we have to go to Mom's for Hubster's birthday dinner (his birthday is on Tuesday, the 23rd). On Saturday, I'm going back to Stitches and working in Rabbitch's booth; then Hubster is picking us up and dropping us off at some restaurant. I think getting plowed is also part of the evening's festivities. Then he'll pick us back up, take Rabbitch back to her hotel, and I'll most likely sleep on the drive to our motel. I'm thinking that going into San Francisco might be a grand idea. On Sunday, we're going to look at houses all day. I think we're looking in the Brentwood area - big houses with pools for reasonable prices and also home to Alpaca Direct. Finally, on Monday, we're going to see the kids and then head for home. The sausage will be with us, of course, although I don't know what we're going to do with her on Friday and Sunday. We might drop her off at Mom's while we're gone. Normally, we put her in her carrier, but we're going to be gone for hours. I don't like leaving her cooped up for that long.

I've got six pairs of socks on the needles for the trip, so I'll have a lot to work on. Only having one project going drives me apeshit. Hubster just looks at me in amazement and wonders how I keep everything straight (truth be told, I don't have a fucking clue which pattern goes with which sock - they all have the same number of stitches for the cuff).

The other big thing is that I dragged myself into the kitchen last week and fried chicken for dinner. We had two of our favorite people in the world over for dinner, and I wanted to make some comfort food. I wound up having to have one of them help me whisk the eggs, and I had to sit on my guitar stool in order to do the actual frying. Sigh. Things aren't going well with me personally, although our evening was incredible.

I'm slowing down. That's the sad truth, and I can feel it in every part of my body. My knees have arthritis in them and have been acting up (due to the cold, I'm sure). Headaches are an everyday occurrence now. I sleep in two to three hour bursts and rarely leave my chair. I'll be hobbling around Stitches with my walker, and I can honestly say that it will be the first time in almost two months that I've left the house. I'm depressed a lot of the time, but I try to not let on to Hubster. He's freaked out enough.

I'm so sorry for such a boring post (hence, the boring pictures to pad it). Otherwise, all I'd have to say is that I have a bad cold, feel like shit, am smoking more dope, and sleep/knit all day and night. If someone had told me that I'd be falling apart at this age, I would have laughed at them.

Better living through chemistry. And herbs.

Monday, January 18, 2010

She's Alive... Sorta

Yes, it's me. I bet a lot of you thought I had kicked the bucket. Nope, not yet. I'm too fucking mean to die before Stitches West.

This won't be a really long post because it's so difficult for me to type, but I was feeling guilty for not saying anything for so long. I'll try to do better in the future because I know how amusing I am and how much you all love reading my posts (snort).

I'll be opening the shop next week to sell the rest of the stash and my knitting bags, so if anybody wants a good deal on top-quality indie yarn and Green Mountain knitting bags, make sure to stop in. I've got too much stash left to take pictures of it all at once, but I'll put up as much as I can. Each skein will be $10, no matter what the yardage is, the fiber, or the artist who created it. As for the bags, I might set a price or take offers. We need the money, and I can't do any more shows, so...

Hubster was out of work for four months, but I'm happy to report that he started a new job a week ago. It was a large cut in pay, but at least we won't be homeless. I don't know if we'll be able to afford this house anymore, but I'm sure something will come up. One interesting thing which has happened is that my faith has increased dramatically. I'm sure that we'll wind up wherever we're meant to be.

Emma has something wrong with her legs - she's been limping quite a bit. We took her to the vet; he took X-rays and said that her bones look like shit (but so do most bulldogs), and is having us give her Advil or something like it. It seems to be helping; she's walking much better and is still my pudgy little helper. Right now, she's snuggled up against me and snoring like a thunderstorm. It's supposed to snow tonight - we're having a series of really intense storms all week - so I'm sure she'll be romping in it tomorrow.

My health is for shit, but what else is new? The dope I'm smoking (and the hash) help more than anything else I'm taking, but I don't use it unless I really need it. It does make watching TV a lot more fun. Gaining weight from all the cake, ice cream, Doritos, and other munchies I'm porking down is the bummer part of it.

My new tattoo is finished and looks great. I've decided that I'm going out with as much color as possible. It fits in with my flamboyant nature. Since this one is on my thigh, nobody can see it. If I'm still here next summer, it'll be visible at the bottom of the leg on my shorts - like I give a shit what anybody thinks.

Hubster did tell me that in August, we're going to Chicago for a week. I guess his new job has an annual meeting which he has to attend, so he's dragging me along. I haven't been there for 20 years, so it'll be a blast. I used to love partying there (and they've got the best cheeseburgers I've ever had, hands down), and I'm really looking forward to it. I have to find some good yarn shops, and if any of you live there and would like to have lunch, let me know. I think we'll be there the first week of that month. More details will follow.

I'll also be at Stitches West on the Friday of the show. I'm going with someone, but if anybody wants to meet up to say hey and maybe grab some grub, let me know that, too. I now have a stash thanks to some very kind and loving people, and I don't have money to shop with, but I want to see the show. It never hurts to drool. :)

So what else is new? Not a lot. We went to Disneyland for the day (it was great), had a nice Christmas (went to the Bay Area for a week), and I've been trying to knit. It hurts my hands a lot, but it's also good therapy. I owe some of you socks, so when you finally get them, they'll have a whole lot of love knit in them. My mom and grandmother are both cancer-free, so that's really great news. Oh! I do have news which I don't think I told you about. If I did, please forgive me for repeating myself.

It turns out that our daughter got married to The Lump and lost custody of the kids to my mother. Mom has temporary guardianship and has to go to court in February for permanent custody, and it looks really promising that she'll get it. Amber already has cancelled picking up the kids for one of her visits with them (Mom lets her have them every other weekend or something like that), so I think the novelty of having them has already worn off. She doesn't talk to us (Amber, not Mom), so I don't know what's going on in her life. Surprisingly, we don't miss her one little bit. Enough is enough.

My hands are about to fall off, so I'm going to close. I'll write more soon, I promise. I'll also confirm that the shop will be open next Monday, so save your pennies and help out an old, decrepit broad.

I love all of you. :)