About Me

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Five years into widowhood, after one year of incredible happiness and nearly 14 years of single blessedness. Have given up perfect manicures and pretty hands in order to resume playing the soprano recorder and to see if I can figure out how to play bluegrass banjo. Singing in the shower. Still really, *really* love to knit!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Home-Dec Hallucinatory Hilarity

I saw this one first, on the cover. I know that it’s currently fashionable to decry the chair-and-a-half. And heaven knows I don’t have room for one. But this one is some serious good/bad, an ageing drag-queen’s take on Mae West, as interpreted for the boudoir. This is a chair in which to retreat at the end of a long and tiresome day, with an equally ornate footstool and HGTV [neither of which I have] and an evening’s worth of knitting. All that’s missing is my Red Hat and my Purple Boa [both of which I do]. Oh, and Sean Connery to read my grocery list to me, during the commercials.

This, on the other hand, I could earnestly covet:

Both, from the newest MacKenzie-Childs catalogue. The chair costs approximately my entire first year’s salary when I got out of business school in 1972. The dresser costs approximately what I earned the year that I left the typing pool to marry the children’s father.

But if I were to find an unfinished dresser of approximately the same size and shape, I could at least recreate the dresser. I got to be very good at painting checkerboards when I was painting abandoned headboards and footboards for Middlest, Fourthborn, and LittleBit, way back in 1994. And there are library books that would teach me how to do the faux tortoiseshell. And I could use wallpaper and decoupage for the red parts and something else for the painted scenes.

Champagne tastes, tap water budget. That would be me.

My wonderful sister sent me the following link: http://www.knitforkids.com/

After one of yesterday’s long soaks in the tub, I worked a cryptogram from the 2003 puzzle book that I found when I was packing for the move. And I had to laugh at its message: “Nobody has ever thought out anything in the shower, because it’s too fast and too efficient.” And it got me to thinking.

There is usually a spiritual reason why I get sick; the pathogen is just the means by which time to receive the message or the lesson, is delivered. I have long understood some of the reasons why I got hepatitis back in 1979. I am pretty sure why my gallbladder blew when it did. Once I learned that depression is buried anger, I knew why I had struggled with it for eight and a half years. [There is nothing quite as productive as examining one’s life and asking, “Is there anything going on that a sane, rational person would feel angry about?” and then making the appropriate changes.]

I suspect that in process of time I will look back at the past two years and my struggles with grief and pain and hampered mobility, and it will all make sense. And I will see how these slow-down times have been a true blessing, enabling me to sit still long enough to follow a thread of thought to its conclusion, to ponder from a more eternal perspective.

None of which is meant to imply that I am warbling like Snow White’s bluebird as I sit in the tub with a washcloth over my face. That scene in Shrek where the princess is warbling, and the bluebird explodes in a puff of feathers? Some days I’m the princess; some days I’m the bird.

I miss how busy I used to be able to be. I was the Queen of Cross-It-off-the-List; now I am the Dowager Empress of No-Thank-You. I haven’t been dancing in months, except for that night when MasonDixonKnitting had a YouTube of an octet singing Paul Simon’s The Obvious Child, and I played it twice and stood up and boogied at my desk. [October 22, 2007, right below “Dear Ann” and above the picture of Eunny Jang. The link to the post itself seems to have gone missing. When you click on her links within the post, you will also get a YouTube of the man himself. I’ll wait for you to stop dancing. BTW did anybody besides me notice that there were considerably more than eight people in that octet? Is this the New Math?]

I took a nice long nap yesterday afternoon; it was lovely. I woke up in time to wipe down the *container with an anti-bacterial wipe, and then I did a quick round of errands: the drugstore to spend my bargain bucks on stuff that we needed, Arby’s for a roast beef sandwich with Horsey Sauce because I wanted to taste something, Knit Night to return *Rebecca’s swabbed-down tube of blocking wires.

Last stop was at the grocery store, to pick up the makings for a couple of pumpkin pies, but they were all out of refrigerated pie dough, so I took the low road and bought three marked-down pumpkin pies and two containers of “lite” whipped topping, all of which are now in the fridge.

I called Secondborn on the way home, to let her know that we might be AWOL on Thursday, so she could get some store-made pies of her own if need be. They have this yuck too. I’m not sure who gave it to whom, I just want it to *go away*.

And then LittleBit came home, and she brought in the mail, mostly junk but one item I needed to do my church responsibilities, and a thank-you note from Secondborn for something I did for her awhile ago. How thankful I am for grateful children! This note is going into my collection of stuff the girls will have to dig through when I’m gone, or maybe I’ll use it as the basis for a scrapbook page.

I love being a mom. It’s by far the hardest thing I have ever done, particularly in those early years. I am sometimes amazed that we have all survived one another. But mostly I’m just glad that they’re all speaking to me, and vice versa, and [mostly] speaking to each another.

I flat lost it with their father the other night. LittleBit and I were in the left turn cut-out, waiting for oncoming traffic so we could enter the apartment complex, when a big old car swept up on the right and around us, into the cut-through, blocking my vision. LittleBit said, “That’s Papa.” And sure enough, it was. He completed his turn, I made mine, and I followed him over to his apartment, which is a couple of buildings over from ours. And I got out of the car, and I told him how rude he’d been, and how unsafe.

His answer? “Well, I missed my turn, and people were coming up behind me.” I told him he could have and should have gone on to the light and made a legal U-turn there. “That’s what a sensible driver would have done.” He didn’t get defensive or huffy, but he genuinely didn’t seem to understand what the problem was.

I told him he ought to be pushing a wheelbarrow [my father’s ultimate insult for bad driving]. Not my finest hour, particularly not in losing my temper in front of LittleBit and Fourthborn.

He is not safe to be on the road, and I am afraid that he is going to kill somebody some day. While all human life is precious to me, it had better not be one of our kids.

Must finish with happy knitting. A couple of weeks ago, I saw a neat sweater on one of the women who works in my building. Basic black Audrey Hepburn cowl-necked sweater, where the cowl comes all the way out to the shoulders like a tiara for the collarbone, and there are little wedges inside the collar that cover the shoulders. This is not one of those pull the sweater down off your shoulders and be Jayne Mansfield sweaters. This is something that, if it came in my size or I could figure out how to design it, would look as nice [and as modest] on me as it did on Miss Audrey Clone. She said she had gotten hers at Old Navy, but I did not find it online. I also checked The Gap and Banana Republic. Nada. Obviously, this will have to wait until I can rub two brain cells together and get a spark, not a slosh. So, not this morning.

Blame Angeluna, who is in my Knit Night group [yes the same Angeluna who test-piloted one of Anne’s designs]. I will cast on later today for the November Mystery Sock on Ravelry. I now know what to do with the leftover KnitPicks Gloss in “Serengeti”. And I’m close enough to finished with Sabbath Scarf II that I feel no guilt, whatsoever.

That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it! I’m off to soak my head, yet again, and then to spend the morning knitting and maybe catching up on the KnitPicks podcasts. Woe unto me, I am shamefully behind.


Tola said...

i like that chair. but of course, its pink.

Rorek said...

I like the width of the chair but nothing else. They just through together way to many different patterns and colors, and not in a clever way either. :P

Lynn said...

Like I said up in the post, some serious good/bad going on with that chair. Maybe we should start a new show called "How Not to Upholster"? But *we* would get the $5K to go shopping for furniture... In which case, two episodes and that dresser would be mine, bwa ha ha!

Jo at Celtic Memory Yarns said...

Beautiful chair, beautiful cabinet. Would love both, the first to sit in and knit (one would have to dress for the occasion, of course, long skirt don't you think?) and the cabinet to hold the VERY BEST yarn.

Angeluna is responsible for an awful lot of us casting on an awful lot of projects. How does she do it? Must be that steely eye...