Monday, December 14, 2009

More Mommy Math


plus 1 year =


Happy Birthday Squeak - here's hoping your second year sucks way less than your first one did.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thursday again?

It was just Thursday a week ago and now I have to be all thankful and shit again.

  • I am thankful that you people cut me slack when I say things like the above sentence.

  • I am thankful that I have y'all snowed enough that you think I'm doing well. HHHHHHHAhahahahahahahahaha.

  • I am thankful for comment wars, and also that I don't live in Texas.

  • I am thankful that I think I will finish the Karmic Yogurt scarf without having to use the part of that skein that has the yogurt on it.

  • I am thankful that most people I know have managed jobs or are generating some interest in their resumes.

  • I am thankful that my dad does not in fact have breast cancer.

  • I am thankful that Cookie lets me hassle her into posting and I live to tell about it (so far).

  • I am thankful that y'all knit a lot faster than I do or we'd all be freezing right now.

  • I am thankful that I don't have to type "I am thankful" anymore cuz I'm doing dinner at my house for my family next week and I'm SO not going to have time to blog.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Um, I have a blog?

Wow. And I still remember the password. Something to be thankful for on this Thursday.
So, I felt all sorts of guilt last week for not participating, but I think that wasn't the intention so I got over my residual guilt. Here are a few things I am thankful for today:

  • My daycare. They took extra care with Bug during the last months, gave me discounts when they knew we were unemployed, and really actively care about my kids.

  • Red scarves, IBOL, Claudia's fundraisers, Knitters without Borders, and the fact that I recognize that I can always do a little something, even if it isn't terribly dramatic to me, that might help ease someone else's burdens.

  • The friends, both online and real life, who listen even though they've heard it all before and OMGIsSheCryingAGAIN?, but don't let on, and who tell me it's okay to be sad when it is, or to suck it up and stop going there when it isn't. (Hey English majors, diagram THAT sentence!)

  • The fact that my cousin offered (and happily agreed when I accepted) to come down from Phoenix for the day and clean out my bedroom of Rick's things so I didn't have to stand there sobbing for hours over every pair of ratty shorts or holey socks.

  • The fact that I had almost ten years with an amazing man who gave me two beautiful sons and two amazing stepdaughters, plus a second father, two more sisters, a bushel of aunts and uncles and friends and countless life experiences I'd never have had the guts to try on my own.

  • That my knitting, which is at root a solitary activity, has such a great community with it.

  • That Marisa knows how to knit spiders.

Friday, October 16, 2009

The perfect storm

Sometimes in life, events conspire in such a way that the combination of their effects vastly outweighs the individual events themselves. You don't really see it happening until you're left in the aftermath, dazed and wondering wtf just hit you. You stagger around blinking stupidly in the sunlight after the departing clouds, and the most coherent thought you can form is "Wha....?"

Such was my life for the past 18 months or so. Things that would have been smallish, inconveniences... a few largish tragedies, culminating in the death of my beloved husband, and shortly thereafter, the deaths of two young friends of my stepdaughters. Life, my friends, sucked ass. And then my friends and family started pouring in. And cards, and phone calls. Neighbors dropped by with dishes of food. Friends dropped in with hugs and sandwiches and reminiscences. Loved ones tidied the kitchen and did the laundry. A box appeared, with goodies for me and my boys. A week later, another. And another. (And I'm ashamed to say it took me almost 6 weeks to notice the pattern.) Someone Evil (in a good way) masterminded the delivery of boxes of love to me and to my boys. I think the postman was starting to wonder, and I was starting to wonder how it was possible that anything else wonderful would fit in my house. Maple candies, cookies, fiber, Halloween goodies, fabric, funny little voodoo dolls, cow-tipping equipment, liquor, sweet books about kissy raccoons, stickers, cowboy gear, all the turquoise stuff you could imagine. Things that were sweet on their own, but combining had a warming, hugging effect for me and the boys that each couldn't have achieved on its own. And then the perfect storm.


This, my darling friends, is a blanket, made of squares solicited by yet another Evil Mastermind (Lynn in Tucson), and presented to me for my birthday. Beautiful warm stitches in fabulous patterns, sweet on their own, combined into a huge expression of love and support that no words can convey. There are squares from Oregon, California, Maryland. Wisconsin, Tucson, Finland. Hawaii. Maine. Alabama. Philly. Sewn together by Lynn and my other three local knitter friends, Andrea, Lisa and Stefanie. (Kept secret from me for two whole months!)
People, the tide has turned. I have felt the weight lift, the clouds roll back, the sun shine. My dear friends sent away the perfect storm of shit, with not one, but two perfect storms of love. It sounds incredibly cheesy, especially coming from my sardonic self, but I am so blessed, there just isn't any other way to say it.


Saturday, October 10, 2009

Splendor in the Grass

Okay, it's about time I introduce you to the new ladies in my life.

Meet Sage.


Meet Isolde. (Isolde is too much woman for me so I'm sharing her with Lynn in Tucson, who sent me with money to Taos and said DON'T BRING ME A FLEECE. So I only brought her half. So there.)


Sage is a moorit CVM from Windy Hill Farm (no site). When they shear, they shear down the middle, then down the sides, so her fleece was shorn in half. In the top picture, one half is tips up, one half (the taupe) is cut ends up. I was just going to take pics and blog, but she was so pretty lying there, I had to play with her some. Currently, she's soaking in a hot bath. She was a dirty girl (she was wearing a coat, but still) so she's changed a bit after her wash down. The brown is still deep and chocolatey, but her tips have washed out almost white, and her undersides are a beautiful silvery taupe, with some cinnamon bits. All in all, she's one sexy sheep.

Isolde is a silver Corriedale from Gleason's Fine Woolies. (No, I do not have another silver corriedale fleece at home. I do not know what you are talking about.) She has amazing crimp, and while she wasn't skirted as well as Sage, she's reasonably clean too. I expect she'll lighten a bit when we wash her. Lynn couldn't resist and took a bit of her home last week from knit night (why yes, I do bring 12 pounds of greasy wool out to the bookshop, why do you ask?) and washed, carded and spun her up. From Lynn's description, I'm going to get lots of pleasure from Isolde too.

Taos was wonderful - my stepdaughter met us there and took the boys so I could spend the whole day with Angie. We visited every booth, ogled the sexy cowboy spinning yarn with his boots off, ate cinnamon pecans and smoothies and kibbees and green chile and had more lemon drop martinis than this woman will admit to. (Angie stuck with the margaritas.) I got to meet Wilson, who seemed nice, although a little dazed by all the wool fumes in the air, and Bug got to see a shearing demonstration, and pet angora rabbits and pick out his very own yarn for a hat. (Pic of that later, I'm due back to rinse Sage in a bit.)

Saturday, September 26, 2009


Life is being lived around here these days. News and blogs bring lots of other horrible shit happening all around us, and I think there's no escaping it. When I rule the world, babies will be born healthy and on time, people will settle their differences by talking about it, or maybe with a good healthy arm-wrestling session followed by beers at the local pub, and no one will avoid going to the doctor because it will cost too much. In the meantime, though, all I can do is try to counteract the shit by being the best person I know how to, for my sons, for myself, and for all of you who have been so wonderful, supportive, and caring. I'd been wallowing in a lovely bout of self pity for a while, and then the IBOL guy linked to this site, and I started to realize that people came out of the woodworks to shower me and my little guys with love, help, prayers and hugs, and I was finally able to see that, while I miss Rick and my life will always have that scar on it, I am well and truly blessed by beautiful friends and family, both in person and on-web. It was humbling to sit back and think about the grace that appeared in my life when I needed it most. So anyway, thanks.

(Also, thanks for the birthday wishes for my little man. He's so big, I can hardly stand it.)

In other news, I can has a job! I interviewed for this position back in July and thought for sure they'd filled it already, but Tuesday I got a call from the HR Guy asking for my references. I sent them off, and last thing Friday afternoon, the hiring manager called and offered me the job. It's local, it pays the bills, it gets me out of the house and allows me to talk to new people, and I'm thrilled. I don't start for a few weeks, which gives me some time to get my house in order and get a few new work outfits and a haircut and such. To say I am relieved is the understatement of the century.

In addition, I am going to Taos! I'd planned to go months ago, when Rick was still in decent health, but thought that plan was gone because of all that happened. Since I still have a bit saved, and I know that I won't be homeless anytime in the immediate future, I decided I'd take my boys, meet my stepdaughter there, and we'd have a little vacation. Squish, Angie? Get ready, I can't wait!

In knitting knews, there has been some. B-side grows slowly, mostly because 280+ stitches per row + sport weight yarn + slow knitter = glacial growth. It is growing, though, and I love the fabric it's making. I'm ready to start the increases and hope to be ready to divide for fronts and back by the time I leave for Taos later in the week. This is relatively close to the color of the actual yarn, or as close as I could get it with my limited color-balancing abilities.


Now, if you'll excuse me, it's shaping up to be a beautiful day (the Sonoran desert has the inverse of everyone else's weather - we're just coming into the "outside" season, opening our houses to soft breezes and tweeting birds after the crushing heat of the summer) and I think I'll take my boys to the zoo. And maybe, if they're really lucky, to the carwash where the bunny lives.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Mommy math


+ 4 years =


Happy birthday, Bubba.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Yeah, well.

This blogging thing is kinda hard work sometimes. I used to think in status updates and blog posts, and now I mostly don't think in any technological form at all. I still waste time on the web, and have been enjoying my first audio book (after all, why not? I loved being read to as a kid), but mostly my life is pretty devoid of its public presence. I think it's natural. I know that friends and family don't want to dwell on Rick's absence, and talking about him is much of what I want to do, so instead I talk TO him, and spare them (and you). I never realized just how much of my social outlet he was - work was much of the rest of it, and now that they're both gone, I don't really talk to people much. I always knew I was a hermit at heart. ;-)
The thing I figured out recently, why I can’t wrap my head around the fact that Rick is gone for good, is that it was so ordinary. I felt like the earth should have shaken, or tornados and hurricanes should have raged, or something. I think we go through lives with this "it won't happen to me or my family" attitude, but OF COURSE it will. It makes me wonder if, in places that are not the US, where we’ve insulated ourselves from death, if death really is ordinary. I mean, it’s part of life, we all have to do it, but it was such a spectacularly awful thing that it really feels to me like there can’t be nice days without Rick, and the whole world should have stopped and mourned with me. The fact that everything just went on, except for our little lives, is so strange and unreal, you know? I wonder if everyone feels a loved one’s death like this, or if in places where people aren't so insulated, where they are more attuned to the whole life cycle of things, they say, “Well, that’s that. I’ll miss him, but I have to weed the garden.”

Anyway. Enough now. I have come to the conclusion that I couldn't bear to work on any of the knitting from "before", so I started some new things. (Oooh, lookit me, I'll use any excuse for startitis.) For a few weeks, I couldn't even knit at all, but my hands needed to do something, so I appliqued. You know, because nothing goes with a long, 100+ for-days-heat-spell like appliqued snowmen. This is as far as I got, because the siren song of new knitting called, and I answered.


Here is the knitting. This is a seriously long term project, since it is done on smallish needles with sport weight yarn and is knit back and forth in one piece. Lawdy I have got to get skinnier if I want more handknit sweaters. Anyway, it's B-Side, by Laura Chau, in the Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool that Joan sent me.

(Colors are so far off in this photo as to be almost completely unrelated.)

Finally, this is not a project, but a cool thing. I have a DARTH VADER TIN. Yes, it's true, I am the coolest space nerd out there. There is no one cooler/nerdier than I. My supercool nerdiosity is the greatest.


Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Back to the business of living

It's slow going, for sure. First, let me thank you again for all the wonderful comments. He was a great man, and he was loved by many.
Several people commented about how everyone should be loved like that, and I think that most people are. You just might not know it. So if you have someone special - a husband, wife, mother, father, aunt, uncle, child, friend, teacher, whatever - I'd like to humbly suggest you create such a list for that person and SHARE IT. I know Rick knew I loved him with my whole heart, but I also know he didn't know half of the whys, and I'll never be able to share it with him. Please, if you are inclined, don't wait any longer.

I also wanted to bring your attention to Iraqi Bundles of Love. Read the site for details, but the gist is that you make a bundle of sewing or knitting supplies, send it to the IBOL Guy whose unit is stationed in northern Iraq, and the local authorities will distribute the supplies to women in the area. Time is short - you have to have these things in the mail by Sept 7, but truly, we all have stashes we can dig into, I'm sure. Mailing instructions are there, and you just leave a comment to get the address emailed to you. I'll be sorting through my quilting stash this afternoon.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


(Thank you for all the comments. I can't bring myself to answer them individually, but I appreciated every single one.)
Three days ago, I wrote my husband's obituary. The day before that, I visited his body at the mortuary and selected a small stone vase in which to keep a portion of his ashes, awaiting the day they will join mine. A week before that, I left him alive at the hospital to pick up Bug from daycare, and returned to find him already gone.
In the nearly nine years we were together, I wondered if we'd make it for the long haul. I considered taking him out of the world myself on more than one occasion. I never thought he'd have to go so soon.
Here are some of the reasons I loved him:
We met on the internet. He told me all the sordid details of his past and never left anything out. His utter honesty, as much as his great personality, made our relationship work.
He would try almost anything once.
He loved me to distraction and routinely tried to find ways to make me happy. They knew him by name at the quilt shop because, despite all the complaining about my quilting and how much my fabric cost, he bought me a big ol' gift certificate for my birthday one year and never let on that he'd done so when I dragged him back there later in the day (the day before my birthday) to buy thread.
He viewed the fact that I cared for him and cooked for him during his illness as a huge gift and bragged about me to anyone who would listen.
He gave everyone a second (and third, and fourth...) chance to do the right thing.
He was a dreamer.
He worked his ass off all the time, mostly because that was how he took care of me and the boys.
He partied hard for most of his life, and at age 35 got straight and sober. He still bought me beer and knew where his friends could get the best weed when they came to visit, should they be inclined.
He travelled back to Montana frequently to help his dad replace his roof, because Dad had started the project when Rick was still living there and he'd told Dad he'd help. Didn't matter that he lived 1500 miles away; he'd said he'd help.
After his mom fell, he went back every year on her birthday because he knew it was important to her.
When we went to Montana, he took us to visit Gramma every night.
Even after almost ten years, he still recognized everyone's trucks and ex-wives in his hometown.
I teased him that there wasn't a car he hadn't driven, a woman he hadn't slept with, and a building he hadn't worked on in all of western Montana. And he agreed.
He gave me two beautiful sons and acted like the sun rose and set in their eyes. (Which it does.)
We could road trip anywhere and talk for hours. Some of the best conversations we ever had were in the middle of nowhere, Utah, coming or going to Montana.
He could fix almost any problem in the world just by holding me. Nothing was real until I'd talked to him about it.
He worked on his relationship with two of his daughters and told them all the time how proud he was of them and what great people they had become. When they came to visit him in the hospital, he told everyone it was the best 4th of July he'd ever had. And he meant it.
His eyes positively sparkled.
He had the best shoulders and biceps of any man on the planet. (He was exceedingly vain about them.)
His skin smelled like sunshine.
Until he got too sick to do so, he spent every Saturday morning with the Bug and let me sleep in. They'd go to the car wash, run errands, bring breakfast or come back and cook, and Bug loved it. He reveled in his daddy.
He won my dad over even though he was The Guy His Daughter Moved In With On Her First Day Of Meeting.
Watching him install and tape drywall was like watching a Master paint. It was seriously sexy.
He was friends with my brother who isn't friends with anyone. When my brother called after he'd gotten the news, he cried.
He was my best friend.

Rick Garrod, 01/10/1962 - 08/07/2009


Saturday, August 08, 2009

sad news

It is with deep sadness that I announce the loss of my husband Rick. It was sudden, and it was unexpected. I have family here with me, taking care of me and the boys, and someday we will be all right. I will be away from this space for a little while at the least. I thank you all sincerely for your kind thoughts and prayers during his illness.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

First of May, First of May, outdoor...

Ooops, wrong month. First of August. When nothing is done outdoors and even the snakes turn on the AC.

***** ***** *****

I sucked it up and pulled my sock club for August. I ripped April's Annetrelacs because I didn't like the way the yarn was knitting up. If the colors had progressed from light to dark, it would have been stunning. Instead, it alternated, which created a weird off-kilter stripy thing that was pissing me off. No way was I doing that amount of work for something I ultimately hated. I actually saved the ribbing and will probably knit something with little or no pattern since it is a busy yarn.

This month's pull was originally some that I'd dyed myself and intended to knit stockinette with the coordinating solid heel. The idea of yet another pair of stockinette socks OTN made me a little woozy, so I sent it back and got another. I'll be doing cabled socks out of some Nature's Palette in a deep plum. I'll have to alternate rows of interesting sock with rows of boring sock to get the boring ones done. I hope it gives my mojo a bit of a kick - right now everything I have OTN is a long slog, and it's hot and I only manage to knit about once a week.

***** ***** *****


Because an elegant font trumps spelling, syntax, and proper alignment every time.

***** ***** *****

DH is still doing okay. My SIL's mom loaned us her late husband's wheelchair and it has made a world of difference. Now that he doesn't actually have to walk, he can get about the house with relative ease, and when he overdoes it and needs a rest, he just stops where he is. He's spent more time with the family in the last two days than he did in any given week before the wheelchair. Oh yeah, and SIL's mom is a godsend. She babysat the boys both times we needed to go to the doctor, and she tidies up and cooks while she's here. I love my SIL (my brother finally exhibited some good taste) and the fact that she came with such a great mom is a total bonus. My brother even thinks she's great, and how many young guys think that about their only-child-wife's mom?

***** ***** *****

The AC repair didn't fix the problem completely, but it helped. Now, instead of setting it on 74 and getting the house to 82, we set it to 76 and get the house to 80. And it cools down faster at night. Not bad for a unit that outlived its effectiveness a few years ago and is really only operating because God knows I'll implode if I have to buy a new one right now and He doesn't want to have to deal with my whiny self right now.

***** ***** *****

Out of Catholic school for 22 years, non practicing for 10, and I still capitalize "He".

***** ***** *****

This is the time of year when the geckos gather on our windows near whatever lights we have on. Aside from a really intimate view of my local reptiles, I've noticed something: our geckos twitch their tails the way an about-to-pounce cat does. It almost looks like they're wagging. It makes me love them even more.

Friday, July 24, 2009

End of July

I can hardly believe it. I guess that is one of the advantages of having no sense of time and being busy all the time. We are through what is usually the hottest part of the summer already, though of course, now that I've said that we'll probably have the hottest August, September and October on record.
DH doesn't seem to be getting much better, though he mostly isn't getting worse, either. He'd tried to turn down his oxygen (3l is the magic number that will allow him a portable battery unit instead of the monster unit and portable, though limited, tanks) but he was feeling pretty rotten so he cranked it back up and is doing better. The tanks are enough to get him around town for appointments, but no way are they sufficient to visit with family out of town, go to his job in Show Low about four hours away, or travel beyond the immediate vicinity, so we either need to find a bigger portable unit or he's just going to have to get better. We've all been struggling with depression and all that, and unfortunately for DH, I am not the kind, nurturing type. (no kidding, eh?) I'm more likely to tell him it's time to get off his lazy ass and get working at getting better. Alas, while I'm sure that approach has a time and place, I'm not always sure when that time and place is. (I'm also trying like hell to remember that the doc said we won't see the full effects of his meds for a few more months yet, so it's possible that he'll make further progress. I tend to think however he is now is how he'll be forever. I don't think this is the "in the moment" thing they talk about when describing the whole feeling of zen.)
Anyway, we are trying to go about with our lives as we can. Yesterday that meant shopping. Baseball glove shopping, to be exact. Do you have any idea how difficult it is to find a lefty-glove to fit a four year old? Anyway, as my brother pointed out, it's not like he has the strength and coordination to really catch with the mitt anyway, so I got a larger one that he'll grow into. In the meantime, he shoves his hand into it and I toss the ball, aiming for the glove. So far I'm accurate about 50% of the time. Then I chuck it across the yard and he chases after it, and after half an hour he's ready to crash. Tired children are (mostly) good children.


I did a brief bit of spinning for the Tour de Fleece, too. It was the cheater plan, because I'd spun most of a bobbin already long ago. The TdF gave me a little kick to get it moving again, though. I have roughly sport weight, 2ply, roughly 230yds of some rough stuff I dyed with one pink and one orange easter egg dye pellet.


I think I'll knit some stranded mittens with it.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Effing ohs and late with the mail.

So, DH has been home for a few days now. That is my sole excuse for not posting since (checking) Wednesday. Huh, I thought it had been longer than that. Anyway, the first day or so he was home, I kept waiting for him to keel, and I think he did too. But he didn't, and each day he can do a little more, and breath just a little better. He's still very weak and sickly and on 5l of oxygen which limits his ability to travel (the tanks we have only last an hour at that rate of use, so we gotta hope the doctors are on time, for sure) but he's making steady progress. Even working on the computer a little bit and getting up for his own drinks and breakfast. (I still have to caulk the bedsore in his ass, though. I told him if he ever doubts my commitment, I will simply say, "ass caulk" and he will remember. Thank FSM it is almost healed.) (ETA to reply to kat's "shame on them": they treated it as soon as they knew about it, but he didn't tell them, he told ME. I found it while helping him shower, then reported it to the nurse over his objections. Then they got a sticky pad for him to sit on (he couldn't lay down at all or he'd drown in his own lungs) and I drew a face on it before they pasted it on. You might have an inkling why he didn't want anything said...)
In the meantime, as things are evening out and the boy is acting out much less now that daddy's home, I have had more knitting time. I effed an oh, people! I present my June PSC offering, Snow on Cedars mitts from a kit by Woolly Wonka fibers and Anne Hanson (details at the rav link):

(No, I didn't let my scissors disappear into the couch, and yes, I was indeed wearing shorts.)

Bad pics, but that's what happens when your backup photographer is sree(3).


(This is also why there are no modeled shots of the Mary Jane sweater or the Cookie lace. Those two deserve good photography.)

I got some bad news about the sock club, though. My July installment was lost in the mail. They have promised to send me another package in January of next year to make up for it. In the meantime, I am working on Madli and on the May PSC socks for the husband. It's nice to work on lace again, though I'm glad I warmed up on the mitts - the beginnings of that first mitt saw me tinking half a row for every two or three I knit. Now I have my lacy mojo back.
Not my concentration mojo, though - apparently I wrote this post, then wandered away before clicking Publish. Sigh.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

I can't brain today, I has the dumb.

Many thanks to Lene for that phrase. And for reminding me how cool vampires are. But NOT for not telling me about my newest obsession until just yesterday (after I'd emailed her about it!). Sheesh, woman.
We are hanging in. DH was getting worse and worse, and being threatened with the ventilator, the docs finally decided the lung problem from the autoimmune stuff was worse than the valley fever and brought out the big guns. He felt better almost immediately, and has been making progress in the right direction ever since. He thinks he'll be home by Friday.
Last weekend, though, both stepdaughters showed up, and one brought friends, and visited with their dad. (He can say it was the drugs that helped, but I know it was seeing his girls.) Not only that, but they babysat for me and allowed me some alone time, AND alone time with DH, which I hadn't had in ages. They cleaned my house. They shopped for groceries. They cooked for me (which is good because I'd finished the lovely roast from Lynn in Tucson). They brought me beer and drank with me. Then they left, which was the only crappy thing they did.
Knitting has taken a back seat to family life, and I'm okay with that. I'm pretending the mail was late for the July PSC club and haven't pulled it yet (though I am one thumb away from finishing the first of the Snow on Cedars mitts, which was my PSC pull for June.) I haven't even touched my spindle for Tour de Fleece, but also, don't care. I had a great time, I'll be forever grateful to the girls, and I know DH is on the mend because he wants to spend hours on the phone annoying me about dumb stuff. Annoying DH = healthy DH (or nearly). We're not out of the woods yet, but I can see the light, and more importantly, so can DH. Don't stop with the good thoughts yet, but I thank you most heartily for them all.

Oh yeah, and a quick, unscientific poll. I have an application in for a job at the dept of revenue in Montana. I WANT that job. I have no contacts in the dept of rev, but I have searched LinkedIn and found the account of the Deputy Director. I can't contact him directly without upgrading to a paying account. Lemmee ask you: if you got mail through this program from some woman you'd never heard of, asking you to please check out her references online and maybe put in a good word to the hiring committee, would you be impressed with her resourcefulness, annoyed at her presumptiousness, or have no feelings at all and ignore it?

Thursday, July 02, 2009

For Cookie

Who wanted happy food.


Tuesday, June 30, 2009


When did that happen, and who authorized it?
Do you like my new template? It's called Polar Bears but I refer to it as Wishful Thinking.
Anyway. DH is not great, but is feeling a little better. He finally had his muscle biopsy this morning, but we won't know the results for a couple of days. He's starting on a new round of meds tomorrow, but won't get his prednisone right away. I think the oxycodone hadn't worn off all the way when he talked to the doctor because he couldn't remember half of what the doc said. Anyway, doc thinks he has a few more days yet - he has an infection where they gave him an injection, and he's been having crazy nightly fevers, so they won't release him until those are resolved. They're thinking maybe Friday. Sigh. But, I have friends who've taken Eddie for a couple of play dates, and Lynn in Tucson dropped off dinner tonight (a whole roast and broccoli and bread), and I got my Cookie Lace in the mail over the weekend, so I'm feeling pretty pampered, all things considered. I'm a little concerned for when DH does come home, though - I was thinking once he got some meds he'd be back to normal, but I've learned that the weakness is a done deal - the disease ate his muscles, and he really is that weak and frail. He can build muscle back up with exercise, but for now, he's not going to be hiking or driving or taking the boys to the park anytime soon. (He keeps thanking me for doing everything, and I am wondering what he thought I meant when I said, "In sickness and in health". I think he's trying to say thank you, but when he starts expressing shock at how much I've been doing, I don't know whether to say you're welcome or be offended that he thought I might just let him suffer...)
In other whiny news, the AC has been fixed up a bit. It's not perfect (damn pigeons nesting in the attic a few years ago tore up the ducts and the AC has been killing itself ever since) but it's cooler in here and OH BOY IT FEELS GOOD. It's working well enough that I can turn it up a little and still be okay with fans. This makes me hopeful for future power bills.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Hanging in.

Barely. June is turning into one seriously sucktastic month, my friends. I suspect it would be less so if the AC didn't require servicing, but right now it's been running all. day. long. and it is 82 degrees in my house and the temp is rising. If I'd been smart I'd have turned it up ages ago to save the strain on the motor, but I am not smart.

In knitting knews, Mary Jane is finished. More or less. The ends are all woven in (by holding them together with the new strand and knitting 5-8 stitches) but this is somewhat slick yarn, so I am still considering whether I want to weave them all in further. The yarn was cheap on eBay (here) and had several knots per skein, but given what I paid for it, and the fact that the whole sweater took 3.5 balls and I bought ten, I'm pretty happy with it. I still think I'm going to overdye it because Lynn in Tucson and the other gals from the knit night think it's chartreuse when I know it to be gold. I'm thinking either black cherry kool aid or deep forest green jacquard acid dye. Anyway, I won't do a "reveal" until I dye (or not), weave in ends (or not) and block it. Plus I need DH here since my camera doesn't work so great on a timer, and he'll be gone for a while yet.


That's the main reason for June's suckitude. DH checked into the hospital a couple of days ago to try to get the autoimmune stuff and valley fever under control. Since then he's been told he has an enlarged heart, he doesn't have an enlarged heart, he has thrush, he has vascular blockages, he doesn't have vascular blockages, his heart is strong, his right ventricle is under strain, he has a node in his lung, he has a hole in his lung, etc. Currently he's there waiting for a muscle biopsy and the beginning of his autoimmune treatment. If the autoimmune treatment doesn't help his breathing, he'll be having a lung biopsy as well, but for now they think the breathing problems are due to the wasting effect the autoimmune disease has on the major muscles (yay heart and diaphragm) of the upper body. Emotionally we're in a better place today than we were yesterday, when we were thinking he had asbestos-related cancer or something.

In the meantime, I'm hoping this turns into something good.


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Running out of time!

Boys and girls, it's almost time for Claudia's MS Ride. For the last two years she was the #1 fundraiser, thanks to the generosity of knitters and their loved ones. This year the fundraising is lagging a little. The ride is this Saturday! Please oh please, click on the link and donate! Even a dollar helps. (You get entered in the prize drawing one time for each $10 you donate - if you are not a knitter and you donate and win some yarn, I will knit something for you out of it!)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

still here.

I thought I would post so I don't start getting those "did you really run screaming into the night?" emails. I am still here. DH is still here. Haven't killed him, he hasn't died from either an exuberant small boy climbing on his pain-wracked self, or from the pain itself. So far the docs are saying valley fever and some as-yet unnamed autoimmune disease. We hope that they communicate this week and get him involved in some heavy-hitting drugs because GAWD I am tired of unloading the dishwasher all by myself.
Anyway, there was not much knitting in the recent past. I have finished the body of Mary Jane, and I'm even shortening the sleeves, but I haven't really had enough time to knit more than about an inch of sleeve since Wednesday. (That's not true, I've been working my way through a sudoku book too.)
So. No photos, no news, no interest, no nothing. Oh, I should mention that Haloscan has taken to emailing me only a portion of my comments, so if I don't respond, it's not because I'm ignoring you, it's because I don't know you exist. Ha!

Monday, June 15, 2009

The time, she flies

Cuz yesterday, Squeak turned 6 months old.


For reference, here's the three month photo.


(It's entirely coincidental that he's wearing a version of the same sleeper in both photos. I am not nearly that organized. In fact, with Bug, I took a picture of him with the same little stuffed dog each MONTH to show his growth. With Squeak, every three months. If we were to have another I'd be lucky to remember his/her birthday.)

In keeping with brotherly similarities, they both fall asleep in weird places.



Squeak says, "Hey! Whatcha doin"?"


Thursday, June 11, 2009

Did I post yesterday?

What day is this? Um. Thursday? I feel certain I'm within at least 2 days of the right day. Anyway.
Still hunting jobs. New ones pop up here and there and I apply. DH's job is on hold due to governmental red tape issues, and the apparent issue that the one woman in the whole universe who can resolve said red tape is not answering her phone. Sigh. Anyway, I have applied for a couple that I am perfectly suited for, and some that would offer learning opportunities as well as interesting work. I'm hoping more for the learning opportunities, myself. Cross your fingers for me, please. One is a telecommuting position that would allow me to work anywhere.
In the meantime, DH is starting to see his specialists (he's with the rheumatologist right now) and is taking the forced time off to rest and hopefully kick whatever's got him. Bug doesn't know what to do with himself now that Mama and Daddy are both home all day, and it has seriously screwed with the schedule. (Well, it could still be the reentry suckage, but I'm blaming DH and you can't change my mind.) I'm just now starting to get a handle on things - the kitchen is clean, bread is baking, the yogurt was made yesterday (but is as yet untasted), and there's laundry running as I type. I'm still in my jammies, but we can't have everything now, can we?


In knitting news, I did next to none in Montana. I have decided that I don't knit well in the car. DH and I are great roadtrippers and we end up having hours-long conversations about everything and anything under the sun, and I tend not to knit when we're talking like that. (Interestingly, we don't talk nearly as much, or about anything as deep, when we're home. Roadtrips only.) Consequently, Mary Jane is still in the middle of the body and the anatomical sock is not far along. But really, is this not better? (Clickety for embiggenation, and I apologize for my ugly foot.)


Better, no?

Yes, it's true, I will end up with right and left socks, but heavens, people. If I were worried about extra time devoted to wearing socks, I would not be knitting them myself by hand, now would I?

Now I will leave you with a little mosaic (click each to embiggen) of my kids and Montana, and why I didn't want to leave...


Monday, June 08, 2009


And I'm not happy about it. It's nice to be back to normal since, due to the super-short trip, that was a whirlwind, but people? IT SNOWED. JUST FOR ME. The weather was perfect for the graduation party on Friday afternoon - cloudy and breezy but not terribly cold. Trina's friends have a lovely house and yard and we all hung out there, and Bug disappeared and I didn't see anything of him except for the occasional flash of his sweatshirt as he ran by, for hours. Someone showed him the pool table and the drum set and he ran between the two of them all night. There were several large dogs, tons of kids, lots of beer and soda and brownies and food, and it was absolutely the best party I've been to in ages. The next morning was graduation, and it snowed. SNOWED! IN JUNE! HOW EFFING GREAT IS THAT?!?!?! Seriously, from 100s to 40s is like my idea of heaven. Squeak HATED the graduation from the second DH wolf-whistled when Trina walked in the auditorium, so he and I sat outside (the only place to sit - who builds a building in snow country without seating in the lobby?) and watched the snow. We were in a sheltered spot and he had Aunt Cookie's BSJ on, so we were pretty happy. People looked at me like I was nuts, but I told them I was from Arizona and was storing up the cold to take home. Anyway, there was a great lunch with the grad and the family, there was the drive DH and the boys and I took up into the mountains where he used to live when Trina was little (the house next door was for sale and I was TEMPTED), there was the visit to Gramma where Bug ran for the swollen river that runs through her yard TWICE and I'm still having night- (and day-) mares. There was very little knitting (like, three rows) but I almost caught up on my sleep. Now that we are home, and it's bright and hot and dry, I am quite sad and wishing we could move up there TO. DAY. I mostly had camnesia but did take lots of pictures of Gramma's yard, and I'm waiting for the stepdaughters to send me all the great shots THEY took.
Usually when you ask Bug if he wants to go on a plane, he's thrilled. Yesterday when I asked him if he wanted to go on a plane back home he said, "No! Not home!" I totally grok that.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Communication breakdown

Sigh. My computer is hosed. DH's computer is old and horrid, the laptop moreso. I can't even get it to boot into safe mode, and I don't have the slightest idea whether I have a boot disk or a backup or anything like that. Sigh.
I also don't have the time or energy to deal with it, because tomorrow we go see my stepdaughter graduate from high school. We are packed, have house-sitters, dog food, baby food, Bug food, enough diapers to wallpaper a house, and we'll be back Sunday. I doubt highly I will bother to even log on to a computer during that time, but don't worry about me - DH will be driving us all over his home state and I will be knitting in the car and reveling in cold, damp weather. (Seriously. High 50s and rain. It couldn't be more glorious. It will make me even more of a raging bitch when I fly home to midday June-in-Phoenix temps and my beloved, now dead, computer. I may wait a day or two before posting, just to spare you the brunt.)

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Late with the weekly post

Because I'm late with everything. Sigh.
Still hanging in over here. DH has had all the testing that his PCP (an internist who specializes in diabetes) knows to do, so he's been referred to three separate specialists in an attempt to sort out what various and sundry maladies he has. The internist currently suspects an autoimmune disease, and possibly other lung yuck, but as we just got the referrals, we have no news. My dad had his knee replaced yesterday (FINALLY) after much drama and hassle. Mostly emotionally. His girlfriend/ex-wife (yeah, it's weird) is having a few mental issues that we suspect are stemming from medical stuff, so combine the fact that she was flipping out about the recovery period and Dad was flipping out about the procedure itself, it's a wonder it ever got done. The surgeon said he had ZERO cartilage left and scolded Dad for letting it go that long. If the recovery goes as well as they predict, we're all hoping he'll have the other knee done and get back to his hiking regimen. Maybe he'll even feel good enough to hike the Grand Canyon again when his two little grandsons are old enough that I trust they won't fling themselves off the trail into the abyss. o.0
Anyway, I am hanging in. Trying to take Bug to the park with relative frequency to make up for the fact that I am considerably less fun than a room full of friends at the daycare. He seems okay with things, and while Squeak is still not mobile I am okay to take him and let him run. I've even been chasing him a bit, though last night he hauled tuckus so fast on his little bike that I RAN most of the way home, and ended up needing advil and ice packs on my knees. (Sad little knees have had a hard hard life, even before I slapped a hundred extra pounds on them. They used to dislocate with great frequency and now are mostly held together with scar tissue.) If he gets any faster I'm going to have to get my old hateful bike down and tune it up.
Things like this have been making my days a little easier:

From scratch sticky buns using challah dough, from 5-Minute Breads Changed My Life, or whatever it is.

The other day I made a coconut cream pie from scratch, too, but I didn't get a picture. I've been going a little insane with the dairy, too. I have all the stuff to make my own yogurt, and have been considering making butter and cheese. Seriously, I googled local dairy farms. (Turns out there are not so many in Tucson.) I wondered who I knew that might have a cow. I think this staying at home thing might be getting to my head.

In knitting knews, I'm still working on Mary Jane. I also (finally) started May's socks, ya know, just in time for June. I'll pull June's socks on June 1, but we're leaving on June 4 to go see youngest stepdaughter graduate from high school (holy shit, where did the time go?) and I'm only taking Mary Jane and the May socks. Here's a question I have, though. If most people's feet are (generally) shaped like


why do we make sock toes like




The fit, it seems not so good. I'm trying slightly more organically shaped toes on these socks. I have no picture and am too lazy to get one, mostly because Squeak is squawking which means I have to finish this post and go feed him. With the organic baby food I make myself. Somebody, seriously, stop me.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Christmas shopping?

Is done.

Courtesy of Lynn, no matter how much she denies it.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Another week.

People, it is RAINING in Tucson. Let me repeat, IT IS RAINING IN TUCSON. I know you people who come from places where water isn't a museum-quality oddity think I'm flipping out over nothing, but I can't remember the last time it rained in May. It is currently 64 degrees as I type. Yesterday's LOW was 78. Think about that one. COOL and RAINING in MAY in TUCSON. The zombies are coming, people, or the apocalypse, or the zombie apocalypse, or the four horsemen zombies, or something, because this is NOT NORMAL. (Please note: this is in no way intended to be a complaint. I am ecstatic. RAIN! I just worry that it comes across as complaining because this time of year, I don't know how to talk about the weather any other way.)


My knitting has been monogamous on Mary Jane. I have about 5 inches to finish the body, and at that point will need to finish the sleeves and pick up and knit the neckline. I'm pretty excited about this one and am at the point where, by the time I get sick of stockinette, it's time to do the serpentine stitch, and vice versa, so I'm still entertained. I think it will be nicely wearable and I'm excited to try it on.

In DH's health news, the doc says no RA. He was tested yesterday and they're going to run for valley fever antibodies, and if it's not that, it's biopsy time. (Even if it is valley fever, he'll probably still need a biopsy because there was a "nodule" in the lung xray when they were looking for pneumonia. Oh, and he forgot to tell the doc about that time 10 years ago when he gutted a house and found out later that all that dust he was making was asbestos-laced.) The doc says he has no bacterial or viral infections (hooray, no swine flu, or bird flu, or deer flu, or whatever), and if fungal infection is ruled out, the doc is at a loss. He's due to see the pulmonary specialist in about 10 days I think - it was tough to get him an appointment because apparently there was some big pulmonary conference in SoCal this month so all the lung docs are all full up. Anyway, they're squeezing him in, he's reducing his smoking and still talking about quitting, and he's FREAKING ME RIGHT THE HELL OUT. Overnight he stopped talking about buying rims for his car and started talking about "making sure the family is taken care of". My mind keeps yelling at itself to stop flipping out because they haven't found anything wrong and it's probably going to be no big deal and treatable, but then he goes and makes some comment about running out of time and I get all flipped out again. I told him he's absolutely forbidden from having anything serious or untreatable, and if he dies young it will be because I kill him and no other reason, but you know, he's a contrary jerk and will probably get something insane just to piss me off. Because it IS all about me, after all. Anyway, more healthy lung thoughts for him, and healthy brain/heart thoughts for me. Bug is starting to wonder what's wrong with my eyes that they're always red and leaking. (DH told me not to go blogging about how he's dying or anything like that, but keeping it in my head was making it get bigger and scarier than it needed to be, so I figured I'd let you people textually smack me upside the head and tell me to quit being so dramatic because it's nothing.)
Anyway, it's already 9:45am and I haven't started drinking yet! I'm going to go make a margarita and knit some Mary Jane.

Thursday, May 14, 2009


My mood may be lifting, and it has little, if anything, to do with the giant bottle of tequila and unopened bottle of margarita mix I found stashed in my pantry. (Okay, it does have something to do with that, but that's just incidental.) My dear and long-gone aunt is visiting this week. Usually I complain about this one, but when she's late, I feel such relief that the bitch finally showed that I can't help but be in a good mood. o.0 Anyway, now I realize why I'd been so very darn pissed off and heat-sensitive the last week.
Yesterday I went outside in the heat of the day. It didn't suck as bad as I thought it would. I sat in the shade, even knitted a row, while Bug played in the dirt. It was too warm to stay out for long, but the sunshine and the breeze was nice. DH was late getting home from work, so rather than keep dinner for hours and hours, we went out and had some pasta. On the way home, whilst listening to DH complain about feeling crappy (more on that later) I spontaneously decided Bug needed a park outing. (I thought DH was going to kill me when I mentioned the park in mid-complain, but I asked him to drop me and Bug off and we walked home.) I thought I was a pioneer, but it turns out that I am just dumb. Tons of neighbors came out in the pleasant evening, walking their dogs, playing with their kids, and messing around in the park. I've been living in this desert for 29 years and only now just figured out that I can go out in the evening and not die. The slides didn't burn the boy child, and I could stand there and push him in the swing for what felt like hours and not wilt in the sun. All in all, an enjoyable time. Then we walked/jogged/sprinted home together in the twilight and waved at the neighbors sitting on their front porches. Seriously, if we get any more Norman Rockwell around here, I might gag. But I felt all relaxed in spite of my commitment to cynicism and bad attitude.
DH is having health issues. One would think that the inability to breathe and the fact that there is "something fuzzy" in his lung x-ray would be more incentive to quit smoking, but one would be wrong. He's thisclose but won't let himself make the final leap. The dummy. Anyway, he was tested for RA (no results yet), he's been given antibiotics for pneumonia (didn't work), he's been given a referral to a pulmonologist. Two separate medical professionals we know in private life suggested he get tested for valley fever, but one of them pointed out that it's so common around here as to be a standard test, so he'd probably already been tested and ruled out. Not sure, though, as his PCP is an internist who specializes in diabetes and may not know the local fauna (valley fever is a fungus that lives in the lungs) well. I may never know what he's been tested for because he is a stereotypical man when it comes to doctors, and he doesn't ask questions and only goes in when he thinks he's dying or he can't stand me nagging him anymore. (Seriously - last year he lived with double pneumonia for weeks and finally went to the doctor to shut me up - he SO thought the doc was going to tell him he just had a cold. My I Told You So dance was big and mighty that day.) Anyway, good healing thoughts for DH's lungs, if you please.
I managed to get the Bug sleeping in his own bed for the first time in about 18 months, and it's mostly glorious. The last few nights he's woken up in the middle of the night. This morning at 3:30 I actually heard noises and went in to find that he'd taken down the baby gate, turned on all the lights and was playing with toys and had woken Squeak up. SIGH. I scootched him back to bed, gave Squeak a bink, and bless the little boogers, they both went to sleep with nary a tweet after that.
Not much else is happening, really. I spend my days surfing for jobs (and it doesn't help that the same job appears posted by the hiring company and three different recruiting agencies. I thought the tech writing market in Sierra Vista was a-hoppin' until I realized I'd applied like six times for the same job through different agencies.) and cuddling my kids and mostly ignoring housework. There has been knitting, mostly on Mary Jane. Look! I even have a picture.


You know, as much as I whine about not being cut out for stay-at-home-motherhood, I gotta say that having this time with my boys is pretty excellent. I still start thinking about drinking at 9am, but god, they're great. Yesterday, Bug came over and leaned on my shoulder and said, "Mama? You're my best friend." *melt* I'm glad I get the time, because damn, this kid is getting big.


And this one gets smilier and bouncier and sweeter every day. (And MAN he loves his little satin butterflies.)


You know, I could get used to this.

(Oh, and a purely hypothetical PSA. When your kid writes on his face and says, "I'm a kitty cat," and you think, "WTH, they're washable," and fix him up a little, they aren't as washable as you think.)