Tangled String

“Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” G. Bernard Shaw

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Although I feel as if nothing has been accomplished (which I blame on the Resident Depression/Anxiety), there has been a lot going on.

Miss B and I went away to San Jose for an absolutely delightful evening of Messrs. Cleese and Idle.


The woman sitting immediately to my left never laughed once — did not even crack a smile — for the entirety of the evening.  It is none of my business, of course, but I found it perplexing in the extreme (and even a bit distracting).

They spent the evening reminiscing on their (mainly) professional lives, which have been, shall we say, notable, and I, unlike the aforementioned woman, laughed and laughed and laughed.

We generally stop at Casa de Fruta when we cross Pacheco Pass as they have bathrooms.  I was more than a bit surprised when pulling into the parking lot was made difficult by — not the enormous amount of traffic, which is the norm for the place — this:


I am the first to admit that I can be extraordinarily pedantic about, well, everything; but, what the hell???  Do people honestly think every single Native American lived like this???   Apparently, the Native Americans of the Great Plains traveled all the way to Casa de Fruta (which says it is in Hollister which it is not) to sell pumpkins just in time for Halloween.

For some reason, this offends the hell out of me.

In November, Miss B and I were off again to San Francisco to see Dylan Moran.  Miss B introduced me to the hysteria that is Mr. Moran’s humor and, since she had taken me to see Cleese and Idle, I returned the favor by taking her to see Moran.  Miss B found friends at the Regency Ballroom to talk to during Intermission whilst I looked about at the — I’m sorry to say — hygienically challenged trendy young people.  I have had no sense of smell since chemotheraphy.  I am frequently grateful for this fact.

Last June I spotted a cat outside looking rather the worse for the wear so I put some food out.  On 4th July we discovered to our surprise that she had moved her kittens to be close to the steady food supply.  Time passed and gradually everyone moved on, save one very sweet, very timid kitty.  I continued to put food out and Outside Kitty would play with The Widget through the sliding glass door and patiently await my arrival with food each morning.

Finally, in December, I decided to trap Outside Kitty before she could go into heat.  I also decided that, since I had made Outside Kitty dependent on me for food and, once we move into Fresno, said food supply would cease, she was going to stay inside.  The actual trapping traumatized all three of us, Outside Kitty, Widget, and me, but into the house she came.

Three weeks later, when I took Outside Kitty ( whom I had named Catniss) to be spayed, I learned that HE would be neutered instead.  He is still very sweet, very timid, and quite skittish — probably because The Widget has been less than welcoming, but he is now Aengys (Mr. B  calls him His Catness, Aengys Earl Grey and they ADORE each other) and he is here to stay.


Things between the two of them have been better the last couple of days.  Last night he even jumped up on the bed to sit with me.

I was seriously tickled.

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le sigh

There has been a modicum of knitting around here.

I started working on a remake of Kelly.  I got the back and both fronts finished and started one sleeve, only to discover, in the car, on the way to Arizona, and then Arkansas, that I had left the pattern at home.


So, I decided to switch to a sock, but the yarn was still in a skein.


So heading over the Tehachapi mountains to the Mojave, I wound it up.


I managed A sock over the next week and a half.  Pitiful.


It is actually finished, but I can’t find the photo I took.  Then my anxiety and depression said a big, friendly “Hello!” and I have done no more knitting.

Coming back through Oklahoma, where they photograph EVERY car that enters on I-40 (I was able to smile sweetly on the return trip because I KNEW), there was a tornado watch which made me very much not happy.

I thought I had seen thunderheads.  Hah!


I was very glad this was in the rearview mirror.

I was delighted to get back to California, as the trip was extremely stressful.

A week later, we were in Indio for Desert Trip!!!  I never thought I would actually share space with Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Roger Waters, The Who, Paul McCartney, and The Rolling Stones.  It was, to quote a young man, an epic weekend.  I have been a Beatles fan since I was 11, and I actually sobbed with joy when Sir Paul McCartney took the stage.


It was a tad dusty, what with 85,000 people and desert winds, but one adapts.


Maybe it was packing so much into three weeks of my life, but I have been totally exhausted to the point of numbness since.

And I still have Eric Idle/John Cleese, Dylan Moran, and Neil Gaiman in my future!

I gotta pull out of this funk!

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hello again

It has been a tough year so far.  It started out well enough, but it got bumpy.

I took a medical leave from work, went back for textbook return and end-of-school and retired.

I have nightmares about classroom discipline and lesson plans and apparently have a way to go before I finally let go of the stress.  I expect I will get there eventually.

In the meantime very little knitting has happened, although I did finish a scarf knitted to Mr. B’s exact specifications.

imageI got many compliments while knitting it which utterly perplexed me because I think it’s ugly.

It is not for me, so I don’t need to like it.

I am remaking my Kelly sweater because Version 1 was too big and sloppy.  I have only the sleeves to go, so it will hopefully be a finished object soon.

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The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.
Don’t go back to sleep.
You must ask for what you really want.
Don’t go back to sleep.
People are going back and forth across the doorsill
where the two worlds touch.
The door is round and open.
Don’t go back to sleep.
From Essential Rumi
by Coleman Barks

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a mermaid’s tail

I don’t think I knitted a single thing for myself last year.  It took an inordinate amount of time fix a sweater of Bob’s, as I learned only after I finished several years back that he doesn’t wear it because he likes his collars a bit more snug around the neck and I didn’t apply myself diligently because I don’t like knitting things twice.

I made an exception for jaunty berets for two-year-old twins — since they are twins, their hats match albeit in different colors.

I have been working on the world’s most hideous scarf for Bob.  I hates it with the heat of a thousand suns, but he picked out pattern and yarns and I only work on it in waiting rooms — where to add to my misery, I get tons of compliments — so it, too is moving slowly.

A former student wanted a mermaid blanket and her mother came to me with the request, which is odd because I knit, she crochets, and the pattern is for crochet.

She has a lot going on just now, so I said, “Sure!”  And had to relearn crochet.I had knit a granny square afghan many years ago, but since then, if I pick up a crochet hook, my brain says, “Put that down!  We’re a Knitter.”  However, I guess this one was met, because with a few bumps along the way, it went pretty smoothly.


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a wee bit of knitting

I have finally finished the second of the two jaunty berets.  This one in orange.


I was a bit worried about having enough yarn.


I was not wrong to worry.

It and its companion will go off in the mail tomorrow.

My mother-in-law is doing well. She came through the surgery with flying colors and is probably in better shape than she was before. She is certainly in better shape than I would be if I had spinal surgery.

However, not the sort of woman to take things lying down, she was trying to do something she shouldn’t and dislocated her shoulder.  They popped it back into place (which makes me whimper to even think about) and she should be going home from rehab soon.

She will like being home.  There is no one there to make her exercise for three hours a day.  I have to say I’m with her on that one!

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no answers, only questions

My mother-in-law lives three-quarters of the continent away and she will be 88 in early April.  About a week and a half ago she slipped and fell.  Nothing new.  Old people slip and fall.  I slip and fall.  And I don’t like it one little bit.  I slipped and fell on a rainy street corner in San Francisco six or seven years ago and when Mr. B and Miss B tried to help me up, I told them to leave me there to DIE.

I can’t even imagine what it feels like when you’re pushing 90.

It took them until the day before yesterday to realize that she’d broken a rib.  Really?  An 88-year-old woman slips and falls and it doesn’t occur to you to do an x-ray?  Oh and she fractured a vertebra.  I, too, have a fractured vertebra.  It’s been fractured for a long time and I knew my back hurt — only now I know why.  Oddly, knowing did not help.

Once again, I cannot imagine how that must hurt at 88, along with a broken rib.

They found the broken vertebra when they did an MRI yesterday (I guess the broken rib was enough to kick the level of care up another notch) and right there, putting pressure on the fractured vertebra is a meningioma, which they think is benign.

How do you tell by looking at an MRI whether a tumor is benign? Where were these people educated?

WERE these people educated?

Is it good that she slipped and fell so they found the tumor?  Are the broken rib and fractured vertebra worth this new, possibly frightening, information?

Tonight she is being taken by ambulance to the Big City to see a neurosurgeon to see what they can see.  I have a million questions, which I would not have had she fallen in California:  Are they going to do a biopsy?  Are they trying to manage her pain?  Are they contemplating surgery?  On her spinal cord?  How dangerous is that?  How dangerous is that for an 88-year-old woman?

She and I had an enormous falling out when Mr. B was going through cancer treatments, but we have done much to mend the fences in the five years since.  We’re not the best of friends, but she deserves better care than she’s getting although, to be honest, she’s probably getting the best care available in her corner of the country.

Which frightens me.

We are all worried, but I am the DNA outsider here, so my role is only supportive and I am very careful with not letting my thoughts turn into words — words like, “This is the United States!  We have health care here!  What’s wrong with these people?”

And my questions have no answers.