Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Fuzzy Headed Land

Everything seems a bit surreal. I, myself, feel as if I am functioning at half capacity at best. I hear what everyone says to me. I feel like I answer in an intelligent manner and then I promptly forget what I've said and how I reacted. For instance, my granddaughter #2 told me that her mother didn't allow them to cry. Inside, I'm screaming " that is stupid!". Outside I tell her "it's OK to cry honey". By the next morning I was sure I had to talk to her and apologize for screaming to her that her momma was stupid and that it was OK to cry. So, we got a few minutes of relative calm while I was making her dinner. Her brother was eating and her sister and dad were out. I told her that I didn't really remember what I said to her when she told me that her momma wouldn't let them cry. She smiled and said "oh, you just said it was OK to cry". Whew!

Everything seems to be going like that at this point. The same granddaughter told me last night that she wants to die so that she can see her momma. I have no recollection of what I told her. I was in shock, thinking of an older person saying this to me. Worrying and trying to figure out what to do -- right then -- to protect her and keep her here and safe. I'm hoping I said something sane and sensible. A quilting friend of mine reminded me that CL doesn't know what death is, she thinks it's a place. CL will be eight years old in July.

These kids don't understand death yet. They have never had a loved one die before. The only thing they have ever had die in their lives was a cat and that was several years ago. They were much younger and understood even less then. They've had to give away cats since them. To them, I'm sure, there wasn't much difference in the ones they gave away disappearing and the one that died disappearing. The concept of their mother dying and them not being able to go to her and see her is just not within their realm of thinking at this point. It's so hard to explain. I know the funeral will help to some degree. But I also know that all of this religion stuff about seeing momma in heaven when we get there is adding to the problem.

I want to do all I can to help my grandchildren through this horror that has become their lives. I know they'll come through it, forever changed, but they will survive. My son will survive and I will certainly survive, but I'm going to need a lot of naps. Dear Lord, help us all.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

My Daughter-in-law

My daughter-in-law, M, was declared brain dead and died on March 26. She is an organ donor -- of her heart, kidneys and liver. She has helped save the lives of others and bring comfort to their families and friends with her passing. It is a tremendous gift from her and her family. I am greatly comforted myself by this extremely generous, special gift of life they have bestowed on other families at this time.

We were told that there is a special float in the Rose parade each year dedicated to organ donors. My son and his children will be able to go put a rose in the float and a photo of M on it, if they want to each year. I will be sure to watch the parade from now on.

I cannot begin to express my gratitude for the Air Force family my son has. For the Red Cross and for our family and my own friends. Everyone has helped us in so many ways that are truly appreciated.

The girls are taking the news as you would expect them to --hard and seemingly well at times. It all pretty much comes in waves for all of us, but especially them. They need a lot of attention right now. Their son, who is autistic, is acting up some. He only understands that momma is not here and that something is very wrong and everything is different. He knows and loves me, so that helps.

To be honest, I don't know what else to say right now. One of my friends described M as a "tortured soul". I believe this is a correct and accurate way to describe her over the last years of her life, maybe her whole life. I'm grateful that she is no longer in pain. M loved her children with all of her being. I know this. She never intentionally hurt them in any way. I hope that she rests in peace and that her children, husband and family will also find peace and comfort.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Dark, Slippery Slopes

As I write this, my daughter-in-law M is in Intensive Care in California. I'm losing my mind in Texas, wanting to be with my son and grandchildren. To help them through this horrible, difficult time.

M overdosed on prescription medications last night. My son thinks it was an accident, but she has been suicidal in the past, so I'm not sure myself. I talked to her on Saturday and she sounded fine. I know that that doesn't necessarily mean anything. M is bi-polar and has many problems, to put it mildly. I know that there are many millions of bi-polar people out in the world who lead perfectly normal lives, if they are on their medication, maybe even if they aren't. They may even have joy in their lives. M is not one of those people. It has not been easy for her. She has not been stable. She is a troubled, unhappy, ill young woman with three young children. And I believe that her life has come apart at the seams. Unfortunately, her life coming apart at the seams also unravels the lives of her children and her husband.

I do not believe that she has ever intentionally hurt her children, but she has indeed hurt them very deeply on more than one occasion. Someday, I may get into the stories of those times, but this is not the time to share them.

My son found his wife last night, unconscious and not breathing. The nearest hospital is 45 minutes away. He administered CPR. When the ambulance arrived, they got her pulse back on the way to the hospital. She has not breathed on her own since. This morning he was told that her blood pressure is dropping and that they have given her all of the medication that they can. It doesn't look like she will make it. I cannot begin to express the depth of my sorrow over the probability of my grandchildren losing their mother. She loves them and they love her. This is so hard.

Friday, March 19, 2010

What's up with me?

Just wanted to give you all a quick update. The Dallas Quilt Celebration was great and odd (at least for me) this year. Saturday, I had a toilet spray me when I flushed it. I had to go buy a new t-shirt just so I could change clothes. Thankfully it was late in the day, so we were able to finish up with our work and I was able to head home for a shower and clothes washing. On Sunday, I locked my keys in my car as soon as I got to the show. My hubby was kind enough to forgo sleep in order to come unlock my car. Things got better from there. I'll tell you about my quilt trade when I can show photos.

On Monday, I started physical therapy for my right knee. Unfortunately, I hurt my back getting up from one of the machines. I went into extremely painful back spasms on Tuesday afternoon. I've been flat on my back taking muscle relaxers and pain medication since then. A second, even more painful spasm hit when I was in the bathroom peeing on Wednesday. I had horrible visions of having to call an ambulance to get me off the toilet. So, despite the pain and tears, I dragged myself to the bed, where I stayed until my dr. appointment yesterday. I was at the computer when the first spasm hit, so this is the first time I've even tried to get back on it. And I can tell that it's time for me to get back on the heating pad and away from it already.

I'll be back as soon as I can.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

All the News that is Fit to Print

Quite honestly there isn't a lot of news that is fit to print from here today. Of course there isn't much news that isn't fit to print either. I've spent the last couple of days making sure my entry for the Dallas Quilt Celebration (show) was "legal" and ready to go tomorrow. Sometime last night I realized that I didn't make sure that "Rage" was all cleaned of fuzz and dog hair before I sent it off. Being a quilt with a black background, that could mean trouble. I can only hope that if Judy notices that it's a mess, she'll take pity on me and clean it up a little or that everyone will think it was an artistic statement.

Thursday is "Preview Night" for members and their families and entrants. I've gone to it for years. It's a great time to take a photo of the quilts without someone standing in front of it. It will also be my 32 wedding anniversary. Hubby is not planning to attend the quilt festivities. We'll celebrate later.

As for today, I went to my first physical therapy session for my knee. She just poked and prodded and twisted and jerked on it today. It hurts, but I think the real fun will start on Monday. Apparently I have a problem with the meniscus in my right knee. She thought that was the problem and she went on to prove it. She had wicked, mean thumbs.

I'll report about the quilt show later in the week, if I have the energy. Last year, I saw bluebonnets on my drive in to the show. I don't think that will happen this year, but if it does, I'll let you know.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Chew Bones and the Odd Behavior they Inspire

As I write this, Barkley is eating his rawhide bone. Katie is trying desperately to bury hers with her nose -- in the fabric of the cover on the couch. We noticed this behavior, that we consider odd, but we realize is probably due her breed, the very first time she was given a rawhide bone. I've never seen her use her paws to bury with, just her little nose. That is what I consider so odd. She won't want to chew on this bone until Barkley is totally finished with his. Sometimes, he takes hers away from her at that point. He is much larger than her. She allows it with no fuss. Sometimes, we take it away so there won't be a fuss. Sometimes, we all forget about it and there is a fuss later. Sometimes, on rare occasions, Barkley will go to sleep and she will uncover her bone and chew it at her own leisure. Life can be grand on Chaos Ranch.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

In the Works

This is the beginning of my second scarf! Isn't it wonderful? I love this yarn. Those of you who don't knit and don't give an owl's hoot about all of this, may want to skip this post. Sorry about that, but I'm yarn nutty today. This yarn was hand spun and hand dyed. The yarn gets thinner and thicker along the length at times, but most of the time is fairly consistent. There are little blips of fat fuzzy things every once in a while. It's great! When I rolling the skein into a ball, I literally had to pull it apart because it must have been wound when it was still slightly damp from the dye and the strands stuck together. It worried me a bit, but it all came out fine. It's a beautiful color and I what it's doing as I knit it. My favorite thing though is that it's so very soft. It's a Merino Wool and I may never buy anything else again. Well, in all honesty, I will buy cotton yarn for dish cloths. Other than that though, I may not want anything else to touch my knitting needles. This stuff is wonderful.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Primary Election Day

I've been of the age to vote for some time now, but I have not always exercised that right. I was in my mid to late twenties when a political discussion came up at work. I was not engaged in the discussion, but was listening intently, when one man, younger than me, asked the parties involved if they voted in the last election. At least one said no. He looked him straight in the eye and told the non-voter that he didn't have the right to complain if he wasn't going to vote to change what was going on.

I don't agree with that opinion myself. Part of being an American is being free to vote or not. And also being free to complain about your government regardless if you voted for them of not. But his statement got me to thinking. I had not voted up until that point. I didn't see how my one vote could possibly make a difference. I did vote in the next election and I've tried to make sure that I've cast an educated ballot in each election and primary since. I've missed one or two, I think due to illness and unforeseen circumstances. So, I now try to vote early on occasion, just to be on the safe side.

Nothing feels as good as voting on election day though. Especially not in a rural area. In that first election that I voted in, I lived in a big city and voted at the local elementary school. Not knowing what the heck I was doing, I attempted to hand my completed ballot to the man standing at the door. You would have thought I had just offered to have sex with him in front of his Sunday school class, he raised such a ruckus! It was one of the more embarrassing moments in my life actually. Here in my rural area I vote at the local community center, and I'm almost positive they took my ballot from me the first time or two I voted and placed it in the box for me. It was in front of my very eyes, so I know that everything was above board and honest. Just another example of country living being more simple.

I hope that all Texans exercised today. At least the right to vote. So many have give up so much for each of us to have the right to do it.

Monday, March 1, 2010

It's a Scarf!

It's a scarf! I finished it. It's done. I've made a real, honest to goodness scarf. From soft "lemon grass" colored wool yarn. To me, this is an amazing act. I can look at this scarf and see where I stopped stitching at the retreat. I was so tense and frustrated. I was not going to give up though. This was something I really wanted to learn, even if all I ever do is knit scarves and washcloths, at that point last weekend, I would have been happy with that and I wanted to keep going. Now, I want to make hats and maybe socks too, but I think I could knit for a very long time and be happy just knitting those four things for myself, loved ones and charity.

I can look at this scarf and see the mistakes I've made. I can see where I picked up a stitch somehow and when I knitted two stitches together to get my number of stitches back to the correct amount, it would make a hole in the scarf. I don't really understand it all yet because when some of the knitters saw these holes at the retreat, they thought I had dropped a stitch. Farther into the knitting, much farther, I can see where I finally mastered it enough not to add stitches. No more holes in my scarf! It looked pretty good from that point on. I got on youtube to find out how to cast off. I watched a video a few times, paused it and did it! I've got a small little piece of yarn on each end of the scarf to weave into the scarf and a little piece left over that I'll put out for the birds to use in a nest this year. What fun is that?

Do you see all of these wonderful knitting needles? This bounty came in the mail today as a complete blessing and total surprise from my quilting and knitting friend Micki! She said she didn't need them and thought I might like them. Wow! Do I ever. I plan to use each and every one of them -- eventually. Happy March to you all.