Friday, October 26, 2007


I’m off to WeeM today – that’s the Chicago Area Mensa Regional Gathering. I’ll be taking my daughter, since I use WeeM as a senior year treat. We’re both looking forward to it – if nothing else, one of my favorite things about staying in a hotel is the unlimited supply of very hot water – I can have a hot bath that lasts a full day (with periodic reheating) if I want! Oh, the luxury. Plus, someone else worries about the cooking.

Anyway, I’ve been a naughty blogger. Here are some of the things that have been going on since I last posted:

My dad went into the hospital twice – the first time was when his blood pressure dropped really low and he was even more confused and tired than usual, plus the congestion in his chest got worse. Once he was checked in and poked and prodded, he and his blood pressure perked back up, but they still kept him for three days. Then, a day after he got back to the nursing home, he tried to get out of his wheelchair and fell and broke open the skin on his forehead, so he had to go get scanned, checked out, and sewn up.

Then, my dear knitting friend had a partial knee replacement, the “Oxford Knee” (Name brand surgery!). I had to go up to Fringe to pick up some special order yarn, and I decided I’d pick up several skeins in autumn colors for her, too. Then, while in traffic on the way there, I had a brainstorm – a yarn bouquet. The yarn store owners looked at me like they were wondering where I was hiding my third eye, so, as I sat in traffic on the way home, I decided to try my local florist. I know the owner there, and she’s wonderfully creative.

I stopped in, showed her the yarn, and asked if she could combine it, safely, with some autumn toned flowers in a basket for a unique bouquet. She looked thrilled at the chance to do something new, and said sure. I left it in her hands, and toddled home. I got a call from my knitting friend (OK, it’s Irene. I’ve outed your first name. Be afraid!) who was overwhelmed at the lovely bouquet. I couldn’t resist, so I went over and took a picture of it:

Faboo, eh? (I have it on good authority that the yarn was severely fondled before I took the picture, so It's not necessarily in its original state.)

Then, let’s see, it was let the dog out every two hours so she didn’t pizzle in my house, I had another 504 meeting for my youngest, and he had a dentist’s appointment and a med. Management appointment; I had four bouts of volunteer tutoring, two rounds of extended length private tutoring in German (excellent adult learner, though, which is cool), and one afternoon Spawn came home to announce that he was going to legally change his first name.

I could have gotten all worked up about it, but I decided that it was probably better than getting a strange piercing or obscene tattoo, so I smiled and asked what his new name would be. He wouldn’t tell me. So, I’ve been calling him “Spot” or “Fluffy” or “Lars” in the hopes of irking him into telling me. So far, no luck. My husband has not reacted calmly, even though Spawn fully intends on keeping the family name. Being a whimsical teenaged boy, Spawn didn’t do his homework and found out it would take six weeks to legally change his name, would involve a lawyer, a fee, and publication in the newspaper. We haven’t heard much about it since then.

And then there’s knit stuff:

About 10 years ago, I made my daughter a “hot damn” afghan from a pattern on the Knitlist. It involved multiple strands of thin yarn, size 35 needles, and muscles like Conan in order to tame the yarn and needles and wrassle them into compliance. I swore, silently, that I would never make another one, and, of course, it’s Bunny’s cherished blankie. Well, between 10 years of daily use and one new dogette, the afghan developed a huge, scary, tangled hole in the middle, and then somewhere midway between middle and end, in each direction, the yarn failed and there were two splits. Bunny wanted the afghan fixed. She moped; she stuck out her lip, she said encouraging words.

I bit my tongue, yet still managed to offer to make her a brand new one. She cried and said she just wanted the old one fixed. I pointed out there was no way I could ever hope to match the yarns again, showed her the only possible yarn I have which I could use to fix it, in the hopes of getting her to agree to a new afghan instead. She perked up and said they’d be fine; that she didn’t mind if her blankie had battle scars. So, I gave in.

And I began darning, and darning, and darning. The two splits weren’t a problem, but that big danged hole in the middle took me, well, several days to build up the courage to deal with it, then four days to – a) untangle the mess and find out what was split, missing, etc., b) knit back what had unraveled, as best as possible, and c) two days to darn the 12 inch by 6 inch remaining hole. The craftsmanship is fine, but, boy, oh, boy does the darn stick out like a thick, sore thumb. Bunny, however, is delighted. I may finally be over the throbbing headache that accompanied it.

Then the Doodle came to me after dinner one night, as I was meditating over a new sock, and announced (I think I have a family of budding Walter Kronkites – they announce stuff rather than just casually mentioning it) that he needed a new sweater. I asked him about the two sweaters I made him two years ago, which were very handsome -- made with doubled sock yarn for warmth and durability, and in masculine variegated blues, which he had been wearing quite happily up until his announcement. He said they didn’t fit any more, and I made him try one on.

He was right. He looked like Pappy Yoakum, with his belly showing and most of his lower arms sticking out. The width was still fine, though. I said, “Holy Crap! When did you grow so much?” He laughed and said he didn’t know and could he please take off the sweater since it made his armpits feel funny. Aaargh. So, he got measured up for a new sweater. The durned kid has pretty much grown three inches beyond the limits of the previous sweater in all vertical zones. We picked out a yarn, and I swatched and cast on. And, no, he doesn’t want any fancy stitches or stripes or patterns, he just wants a plain John Doe sweater made by Mom. That’s OK, everyone needs a little mindless TV knitting.

Then there’s Being On Hold, which should be a paid job. Or, I should at least get extremely valuable discount coupons because I think I’ve spent 24 solid hours either talking to people in India or touch-toning my way through corporate phone labyrinths over the last two weeks in order to: update two Tracfones, get a monstrously wrong electric bill straightened out, make a consumer complaint on a product, and making an inquiry on one of my Dad’s bills. I dozed off at the dining room table twice while waiting on hold, lulled to sleep by the sound of an electronic female telling me how important my call was.

Last night, I woke up from my unintentional nap on the couch, at 8:30, to the startling realization that the only clean pants I had were the ones I was wearing, so I headed down to the laundry room, where there was another startling discovery. My family decided to show me how much they’ll miss me by saving up all their laundry until the night before my departure. It’s piled on a waist high counter to a height over my head, and stretching about 7 feet wide. There were throw rugs, robes, uncountable towels, and, of course, all of my pants in there. I quirked an eyebrow at the mountain of pong, fished out a couple pairs of my and Bunny’s pants, and threw them in the wash. I did the same thing with underwear and shirts this morning. The rest of it can wait for me to get back, or for the weight of the laundry to turn the socks into diamonds; I don’t care. They all know where to find the soap and turn the dials.

So, I’m off to WeeM. I may never leave the room because I’ll be enjoying the hot water, the lack of phone duty, and the laundry being someone else’s business. Hope to see some of you there, and, if not, have a hot bath and a great weekend on my behalf!


Amber in Albuquerque said...

Oh! You've been on hold. Now I get it. And I was getting worried. I had a 'hold' experience with Comcast (cable TV and internet provider) that makes dealing with the school district a tiptoe through the tulips. I understand.

Seriously, glad you're back and sorry you've been swamped in the chaos...but really glad you're back.

Have a great time (and make them teenagers do some dang laundry).

boobookittyfug said...

"Spawn . . . found out it would take six weeks . . . involve a lawyer, a fee, and publication in the newspaper. We haven’t heard much about it since then."

It was great knitting and b-ing with you at WeeM. See you next year?