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.