Monday, December 31, 2012

Well it certainly has been a robust 2012.
Happy New Year
Good Health
Peace and Plenty
Love and Fullfiment
Time to live your Dreams
And Time to Dream some more

Wednesday, December 19, 2012


Wreath with Nisse
I made this wreath from a piece of an army surplus blanket that I had in my sewing room. It had already been cut into pieces or I would not have cut into it. The nisse figure I bought in Copenhagen. I sat on the couch and rolled strips of felt into different sized flowers and sewed them down and stuck them on with hot glue. The litte felt balls I bought at Purl Soho. And the red buttons.
I reallly like the way it came out. I like to keep track of my finishes and so here it is. Official. FInished.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

december musings

so far I have only though of one resolution for the up coming new year and that is not to buy any knitting patterns and I think i have already broken that one-
In just 4 days the light will begin to last longer each day.
I am grateful for so many things in my life. 
All of my kids and my grandson are healthy and happy.
I love my partner and he loves me.
I have a warm home. 
My job keeps me on my toes. 
I am fueled by creativity and curiosity.
I live in a country where I can vote, speak, worship, drive, and live the way that is right for me and where 
reading and writing are the norm, making ignorance a choice, not the expectation.
I have enough art supplies and fabric and wool and knitting implements and space to create whatever I wish and I have friends and family to support me in this adventure.
I can buy books and read them on my phone if i want. 
Life is good. 

maybe a better resolution will be just to count my blessings instead of looking for things to fix. 

Monday, December 17, 2012

on friendship

I do not love that part of you that 
rages and snarls and stands hard against the injustices.
it forces me to look at them 
and rage along with you when I am wanting to be

drifting in the current
observing and analyzing and counting the days and moments

even in those counted moments are the frames of laughter and sheer glee and an understanding that this glee does not ever mitigate the truth and the hard actions that must follow and the cowardice that I would choose if ever I really had the choice

oh make no mistake
I have made the choice and I have chosen and chosen and chosen to keep my eyes open and my pen flowing and my colors true
and chosen to stand by you with my truth 
for we can never, even as the best of friends 
embody the other's truth .
we can only witness- and when asked, 
we can make the choice to remain friends even in the dark passage when fear stalks the true and the edges of truth are too hard to ascertain, we abide. 

and in those currents from which,
me in mine and you in yours,
we throw the other a life line, 

it becomes another strand in the safety net-switching metaphors here,
in the high wire act of life and 
the way we live it,
we all need that net.

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Today's catch

It's the season to over commit to making decorations! In our wanderings today we found ourselves on the street where City Quilter is and I could not pass up the chance to stop in. The first thing to catch my eye was the bag of red buttons, quickly followed by the felted balls and Sue Spargo book. Of course I could not leave with out some felt yardage to make into a wreath.. Or wreathes. The dilemma of a creative is to have enough supplies on hand in the fullness of time when the iron is ready to strike. Or something.
In a few short days we will be back home and the luxury of roaming the city will be bygone. We are grateful to have been able to stay in the city close to where I work, in a warm safe place. But we are ready to go home and will be glad when all systems are go. If you asked me tomorrow to pick where I might want to live, I would choose NYC. Of course that would change when the weather does. But it has been fun to be here during the holidays.

Saturday, December 01, 2012

End of November

Last day of November 
In the city gray and lovely brisk and bustling with holiday shoppers. 
Today we plan to walk in Central Park and window shop along fifth ave. it is a city tourist pastime. It suits my mood. November does. Ready to tuck in for winter sleep. Ready to dream smoky dreams ready to forfeit summer and bright spring promises. I am older now and for every promise spoken there has been one broken. For every green shoot pushing through the earth there is also an end. We are at the end now. We will walk through the park in our warm winter clothes. Behold the winter festivities. Behold the last wisps of autumn smoke curling into winter skies. We will trust in the promise of spring even as we count the steps home. 
hat pattern by wooly wormhead on ravelry
I finished my hat. 
We went to Saks on fifth ave and were galled by five hundred dollar Oxford shirts and dazzled by outrageous. antler chairs. We went to the Metropolitan museum  and  enjoyed art. 

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Un sung heroes.

And the debris is being cleared from our street. These guys are out filling up huge dumpsters with the stuff that everyone has been piling up on the sidewalks and streets. Residents are very weary of navigating through the mounds of trash and it feels good to finally see some it getting cleared away.
We still have no heat or hot water and the house is chilly but what could be worse is the possible freezing of the pipes if the temperature goes down.. Since there has been no heat in the house the pipes will freeze in a jiffy. So mike is working on getting our gas burner and hot water system replaced. Trouble is, so is everyone else.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

For mark and nancy an li and billy et probably know one of these people

Starship Log Day: Whatever. 
Still holed up at mike's moms, hereafter to be referred to as mil. Mother in law. That fourth letter in the world Else is just too much. 
I continue to read and be mortified by people blaming the unions and power companies for the lack of commodities that exist post hurricane Sandy. I guess this is their first hurricane. They are hurricane newbies. They have never faced this before and they are having hissy fits all over the place. This may be the first time they could not use their hair dryers. 
These things, electricity, plumbing, central heat and supermarkets are commodities. They are not guaranteed to be in place in the event of natural disasters. They are not birthrights, even if you live in long island. They are man made and therefore fragile constructs and shall hereafter not be taken for granted. 
Nor should we take for granted the people who maintain them. And it is just plain ignorance to use this as a platform for union busting rhetoric. I see rumors-rumors! about how union workers are using this catastrophe as an excuse to rake in the big bucks. If they were making such big bucks honey, they would not need unions. How dare any one say that these people don't care. They are the ones out there in the storm, not sitting here posting to Facebook. It's time to put on your big girl panties and get out there and help. 
 It takes time and expertise to get things running in a safe and efficient way. I think it is offensive and ill advised  to rant that this whole thing is LIPA, ConEd or National Grid' s fault.  Who can we blame for the pile up of sand? Who do we blame for the sewage system? For the storm surge? The wind? Makes no sense to blame anyone. No one has walked off the job. They are earning their pay. And it is not easy right now. Those are the guys and gals up in the cherry pickers rewiring the island. Some of them have lost their homes and they are still out there working. They are not simply flipping switches. If it were that simple, we could do it ourselves and we would not be having this chat. We are all used to living in the first world and this is a good reminder of how a lot of the world's people struggle every day. 
Scientific American reports that this is an unprecedented disaster for our area. It is not time to post scurrilous ill informed rumors. There is always someone's who is worse off than me. Being in a disaster area is not fun or fulfilling or even entertaining, but I will not sit here and read how somebody thinks it is some disaster mongering LIPA workers fault that they don't have power yet. That is just dumb. Just plain dumb. 
And it really ticks me off. 

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

day five home #Sandy

     We have been back in New York for five days and have not gotten power or heat back yet. There is water to flush but not to drink or wash and there are no trains from long beach to get me to the city for work. Because it is cold at our house and we are welcome here,  Mike and I are staying at Else's apartment until conditions change in a favorable direction. Does not seem likely given the current nor'easter which is blowing more wind and water our way. Today, because of the storm, we have stayed in, for the first time since coming home, we not driving the 65 miles to our house. We figure it would do no good to bail out and then just have to do it again tomorrow. And there is the question of will we have enough gas to come back. Everything was pulled out of the basement and the cats have enough food to last a day or so.  It counts as a day of rest. Did I mention it is cold out?
     People who are not resting: the power people-LIPA National Grid, Con Edison, AT&T and Verizon- the police and firemen, the volunteers and co ordinators. FEMA, the garbage carters. All these people have been at work around the clock trying to restore us to what we consider normal. It is a shame they are not more appreciated and paid better. With out them we would be in a right fix. I do not like to see them maligned in the media, social and otherwise, when they are out there doing all this work while we wait. So just stop. All will be well, It was a hurricane. This is what happens in a hurricane. If you are safe and somewhat dry, you are ahead of the game.  Rant over. 
     Did you see my giraffe? Is he or she not adorable? I officially finished him/her today, riding out another storm, far, far away from normal. I packed a very ambitious knitting bag, so I will not run out of things to do which makes me happy. Happy is good. But I want to go home.

Saturday, November 03, 2012

London layover

So. Mike and I are at mike's moms in Riverhead. He is off to hunt for gas. We are safe and warm..our home is still standing but it is not habitable. We were there  yesterday, tossing everything from the fridge and the basement. Turned off the gas and power and water. FEMA has brought in porta potties for residents. There is no plumbing. No water. No toilets, showers or  drinking water. No fresh water. Water water very where and not a drop to drink. 
There are humvies patrolling the streets to keep order and a curfew in effect. There are no trains in or out and state police check your id to get over the bridges. 
and the drone of generators heard while people pump the soup of sewage seawater and rain from their houses. We have about a ton of crap covered crap to throw out. All of our neighbors cars were ruined. They are piled up on the median, the electronics are shot. There is a huge fortune to be made in waterproofing electronics. Ours was at the airport while we were away and is ok. 
We had some adventures while trying to get home. I knew my kids were safe so I did not worry. Still it was hard  to see all of the pictures and stay calm. 
Originally our travel plans had us in Copenhagen till tuesday. The plan was to fly standby from London to New York. We decided we needed to get back before the storm [insert why remarks here ] so we purchased full fare tickets from british airways. Not cheap. So much in fact that my credit card would only cover one.  We had to borrow money from our hosts to buy a second ticket. My affection for my bank has diminished markedly. Nuther story. Mike and Thomas had to go to the airport to buy  his ticket, only to find they did not want to accept a Danish credit card. It had to be an international credit card. In Denmark,  mind you. Fortunately, Thomas had such a card and further crisis was avoided..
So we arrived at the gate in Copenhagen to find that the flight was delayed, which meant that we would miss our connecting flight. All the while the media were hyping this 'Perfect Storm', this 'Frankenstorm'.  After arriving in London, we were told  that all flights to the east coast were indeed cancelled and British Airways would love to put us up over night and rebook our flight for four to five  days hence. Or fly us into bloody Baltimore where we could rent a car( ha) ( see previous  reference  to maxed out credit card) and drive into the hurricane to arrive home ( maybe) Just time to be evacuated, trapped or worse. 
The other option we were told was that since we had actually bought full price tickets ( first time ever not flying stand by to Europe) they would put us up in various hotels for the duration of our stay. Not a bad deal, except we had to go to the departure gate each morning to get our daily vouchers and, based on availability, we would change hotels. Kind of like the Tickets box in Times Square. Not so bad except it took three hours to get there and back and then you had to move all your crap, er bags, to the next place on a bus, or pay nine pounds for a cab, or walk. By the time you had accomplished this heroic feat the day was awastin' and there was that lunch buffet.....and it should and shall be mentioned here that other airlines did not give their passengers vouchers for more than two nights. British Airways was a class act all the way. And not back to my previous rant;
By day three, and one really crappy hotel, we decided we would pay our own way and stay where we wanted to stay..but British airways gave us the vouchers for the hotel we were any way and there we stayed for days three four and five..did I tell you about the laundry?  
So as it turns out London is not a terrible place to be trapped if you like  London. And we do. So we traipsed along with all of the other refugees to the city and got us some culture..we went to the Globe Theatre, we went to the Victoria and Albert museum. We went to St. Paul's. we went to the museum of natural history..,we perused galleries on the Thames. One was a british watercolor exhibit and the other a photographic shown on women in the army in combat in Afganistan. We ate pies at the Pie Ministers in a court yard filled with pigeons. Yum.  I bought some knitted gauntlets for my girls from a woman who operated her knitting machine in the courtyard. Very cool. 
On the odd day I stayed at the hotel and watched the news.  We were exhausted and needed to know what was happening. And on one day I sat and knitted the whole day. Which some may view as a waste of timeout to me it is merciful peace. Mike braved the tube and went to Harrods wherein he was crushed by the madding crowds and came back in tatters. 
Finally,  on November second before daylight, we bundled up all our stuff and took the Hoppa to then airport for the last time. We tried and failed to wangle our way to an upgrade to business class. Never hurts to ask. And away we flew.  Smooth sailing to JFK the gateway to Christendom. Or what ever.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

More from the wanderer NQR and long.

Hello all. Thanks for thinking of us. We are all safe, all the kids and grand kid are on high ground.  And that is what is important. And I have enough yarn in my suitcase. Thanks to excellent enabling by Tilde. 
My tiny house has always been above any high tide so far,  but we do not know if this was the case this time as the tides were higher than ever before. And the cats are home alone. They have food. Currently the town is unlivable as there is no water or power. We know there will have been damage. But not to what extent. Funny. When I think about what I could lose,  I think of my paintings of my kids, my easel and my sewing machine. Trivial I know. I do not let my mind go further. 
Today we make the daily trip to the airport from the hotel to get our voucher for the night and meal. British Airways has taken very good care of us. We have a a new hotel each night. Lol. We are the diaspora of airport hotels. I took a picture of a bunch of women dragging their suitcases from one hotel to the next. It is on my camera and I can only get wifi on my iPad so I will post it later. We have been in a very good hotel and a mediocre hotel( no soap or wash cloths?) (really?) and our current one where we will try to stay until we are able to get a flight out. It is not too hard and not too soft.. It is just right.  But the policy of BA is to move us each night. Which does not add to our good mood. Wish us luck! Other airlines have been much less accommodating. 
London is of course wonderful and  today we will venture out again. Yesterday we stayed in our hotel and snoozed and read and ate. We needed it. And we watched the news which has had very good coverage if the monster storm which wiped out our little island after it took out the Caribbean. We tend to forget that..they were hit much harder and our losses are replaceable. So I am grateful and confident that we will recover. And what we do not recover we will do without! Minimalism! I'm in!
I wouldn't mind going to St. Paul's again. And the Victoria and Albert museum. We thought we might go for a ride on the London eye but there was a multiple hour queue and no thanks to that.  
So that is our story. I am going to go wander about. 


Monday, October 29, 2012

Safe from the storm

Spent the night in london at an hotel courtesy of British air. They have given us a reservation for a flighton November 2!! 
I am not un happy except that each day we have to travel to the airport to get a voucher for the next nights billet. So after we do that we will go and see what we can see. After what they charged us for the tickets it seems ok that they are paying for our lodgings and meals :) 
The kids  are all safe and away from long beach. Jen and jay and lucas have put everything up on tables and left the building. Katy and alex do not live near the water. So ...The cats are home but bailey put out food for them and the neighbor has a key to feed them if no one returns to the house in a couple of days. 
So. It was not meant to be that we got back today. 
Waving from heathrow !!


Friday, October 26, 2012

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Almost finished!!

Pattern by Susan B Anderson, Itty-Bitty Toys

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Thoughts on a train tide.

I am in the train at 7:21 on a Sunday with the other workerbees. Barbara once told me that I had to learn to be a worker among workers and so I am. I may be the only native English speaker in the midst. I make a mental note to brush up on my Spanish. So many things to learn in the world. Never enough time. Mike is relearning German for our trip. I suppose I should do that as well but I do not have a love for the German language. Spanish is more poetic and so much more salient in New York. I choose Spanish. And I know enough German to make a fool of myself.
The conductor is yelling at a guy on the platform to board the train as he is running to get on a car down the platform but this car is the only one with open doors.
He runs back.
You're welcome she says.
Thank you, he replies, out of breath.
Last night a guy gets in the train before it has left penn station and asks for a couple of dollars for his train fare. And no one responded. I wrapped my sweater around my heart and stared out the window at the darkness.
That's it huh? he muttered. That's it? He left the car.
It does not pay to be softhearted in the city. So many hidden dangers. In order to give this guy money I would have to un zip my bag and pull out my wallet and that would leave me exposed. So I chose safety. Today I will keep a buck in my pocket to give a busker. Someone who makes a joyful noise in the train station. Today I chose gratitude. I have graduated from forgiveness to gratitude. It has been a long journey.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

inklingo mojo

My mojo may have returned. 
Or at the very least it has been piqued by the wonderful blocks made by Carol in Linda's new Japanese X collection! Carol Skinner has done an awesome job on hers and I just know I have a whole boatload of Kaffe Fassett  Fabrics that would love to be used in such a fusion of color and light. 
That is my plan for the next hour. I have downloaded the Inklingo collection and will do some printing and add these shapes to my travel kit and thread by thread, block by block, who knows? a quilt may emerge. Please do go look at the links to see pictures. I do not want to lift them from the sites and they are worth the click. Linda's site also has a lots of freebies for beginners and there is a yahoo group as well where we cheer each other on.I am going to begin by printing some combo pages -pages that have several shapes on one page.I can mix and match them and that will give me a good idea of what to do next. 

I have two 'go' kits that currently both hold my equilateral triangle shapes that I am using to make hexagons, which will be used in an awesome quilt that is taking the long road-the very. long. road. to completion. But thats ok because it is not a race and I enjoy the process.This shape is available in the Three Inch Sixty Degree Diamond collection. Awesome.
Having a sewing kit packed and ready greatly increases the chance that this may be done. The key is to have everything in the bag, so to speak. Add some thread, a small pair of scissors, and a tiny pin cushion with a couple of needles and you are good to go.  I have a couple of (ahem)(maybe a few more) sewing kits that I have made over the years that serve me well. I have made book types, portfolios, and some box types but find that I tend to use a zippered pouch most often. 
These birds from a building in NY will be made into am applique block-someday. 
So that is my whereabouts, and wherewithals and whatnots. Anybody else recover their mojo lately? Do share your favorite sewing apparatus. I will happily send some fabric to the one that inspires me the most. what kind of fabric? don't worry I probably have something you like. lol.

Saturday, August 04, 2012

    I am completely uninspired to begin any new projects so I am toting my equilateral triangle bits to and from work each day and getting in a few threads. It is kind of relaxing and I feel like I am doing something at least. 
I have some things on my knitting needles as well and I have lost my startitis there as well. I guess this calls for finishing something. not a bad thing. it happens from time to time. (insert smirk)
     I have some applique blocks on my wall and I am avoiding them like all heck but there they stay, haunting me, whislering, 'just one thread'... Part of me wants to just do them on the machine and this part argues with the part that whispers "but you like doing them by hand" and, 'it will take forever...'  and they are at a standoff..

perhaps it is just august-that month when 
you just want to soak in the summer 
and avoid thinking about school starting
 in just one short month.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Dear Lucas,

Lucas Colin Gray Arrigo

Dear Lucas, 
Here are today's headlines from the CNN website. I thought I should make a copy for you. I don't quite know what to make of them all: whether you are being born in to a mess of a world or if that is just the paradigm of news reporting. I will leave it to you to decipher. 
Today I am thinking about meeting you and making sure your mom is ok. I know she is eager to be up and about and to be able to bring you home. Mom and dad have made you a sweet room and I will make some stuff for it! That is what I think about a lot, about making things. It is more important to me than the news headlines so don't worry too much about them. 
Presently you are still in the hospital where you were born and I am told you are beautiful. I know your parents are both very pretty so I know you will be too. And smart and kind. With all of those attributes I am sure you will be ok. I hope to be able to meet you soon and tell you some stories about people I have known-and maybe some cats and dogs too. Also I like to draw birds. perhaps I can show you one day, and then you can draw some too. There have been some very fine artists and musicians in your family as well as many others. I am partial to the more creative types. You have a good dose of that too in your genes. Genes are those squiggly things scientists make up to explain peoples personalities.
I am also partial to cats and I think you will like our cats. I hope you do not have allergies to them. I am sure we can work around it. I think they are looking forward to meeting you. 
Soon I will get to see you. I hope you are not too impatient…
your grandmother.

View from Roosevelt Hospital

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    Monday, July 02, 2012

    cloud watching

    Jen+ in the pool. Best 200 bucks I ever spent. 

    Although it is nearly in the nineties today, I finished adding the hardware to this bag and it is a finish!
    It is big and heavy and I will put it away for my winter commute when it will be appreciated. I bought it as a kit on our trip to the Sheep and Wool Festival in Rhinebeck two years ago,  from the wonderful Nora the proprietor of Noni Designs
    The hardware is stunning and she also has a book of exquisite  knitted flowers which is on the above linked website. I have made many of her bags and flowers form previously published patterns and they are in a class by themselves. Accessories are mandatory. 

    Other news finds us fighting the heat with a twelve foot diameter 36 inch high pool which is filling as I write. Mike says he now needs to build a pool house. To which I replied that this was my plan all along.
    Jen is now two days past her due date and tomorrow a doctor's visit (which coincides with the full moon)is on the calendar. hmmmm.... maybe splashing about in our little pool will make the little baby 'who shall not be named' want to come out, or maybe some spicy food will be the catalyst? Baby your time is nigh!

    Saturday, June 30, 2012

    Striped dresses

    We had a lovely birthday dinner with almost all of my children. Katy and Jason were unable to be there. I love these zebra striped dresses! 
    Today is the due date for the baby but it does not look like he is ready to join us. I can't blame him. the heat is brutal. But everyone already knows that. We are assembling a small wading pool in the back yard just to be able to submerge in cool water. If you have ever seen my yard, you know it will be tiny! We will enjoy it anyway. 

    Thursday, May 24, 2012

    The recent spring cleaning activity has uncovered various and sundry toys.
    Also I have enough art supplies, clothes, shoes, books, yarn, and sewing supplies. 
    for the moment. 

    Wednesday, May 23, 2012


    I tried to kill this sweater by felting it. It is wool and nylon and apparently will not felt. It may warrant another try. I do not hate the sweater but it seemed destined to make a great owl. since it has proven wash worthy, I may have to keep it. Well played, LLBean, well played. 

     This shirt was a gift from my brother in 1978. I do not actually wear it anymore, but it is not something I can part with. Every so often I come across it during a room purge and fondle it, remembering my younger brother. Then I fold it and put it into a new place until the next time. It is the only thing I have from him. I think I will keep it for a while.  
    The upcoming weekend is Memorial Day weekend here in the states. A day we put aside to remember our fallen soldiers. For those of us who have lost loved ones who were service members, everyday is Memorial Day.

    Tuesday, May 22, 2012

    I finished the Sky Ladder baby blanket tonight. It still needs to be washed but the knitting is done. Love the soft merino and pattern from Knitspot. This was the first pattern of the club. hmmm which one shall I do next? 
    Sometimes I feel like I am swamped with projects and I will never finish anything. I keep the list in the side bar to remind me of the things I do finish. If nothing else, I feel a twinge of pride as I add each item. In truth, the list is skimpy if compared with my projects that are in progress. But who is comparing? 
    Also. I would like to buy another spinning wheel. I cannot even begin to justify it but is it not adorable???? (my thanks to Franklin Habit leading me down this path.)

    Saturday, May 19, 2012

    what's poppin'

    Its nice when the garden just grows and all of the work you have done in the past years comes to flower. Then you get to enjoy it and bask in the color. We have a lot of weeds and some veggies in the raised beds but my favorites are the flowers that bloom year after year. Roses, Allium, Columbine, Dalia, Chives and an unidentified yellow bulb that spreads everywhere. The peonies are close to bursting and the Clematis is next but for now this is what's in the garden.

    Thursday, May 17, 2012

    Buttons have a distinctly utilitarian connotation. They are used to close unseemly openings and for closure. not the kind of closure that one needs when moving on from a 'what was I thinking' affair of the heart, or an ill conceived get rich quick plan. But closure that ensures our modesty will not be in question: an unsung, ordinary place in apparel. It might even be said that they are an afterthought.
    Biographies are but the clothes and buttons of the man. The biography of the man himself cannot be written.
    Mark Twain

    There are those who understand the importance of the humble button.I refer to several  members of my fashionable family, nay, not only fashionable, but arbiters of fashion, artisans who could glance at a ready to wear catalog and recreate the dresses on the page. in a snap. and then add the buttons. You have to be born with it, the ability to know the right button. It is a lost art.

    Of course there are many ways we can reuse something. We can dye it. We can cut it. We can change the buttons. 
    Issey Miyake

    I can hear my mother, my aunts, my grandmother and great grandmother say,
    "You can always change the buttons."
    That was the way of saying that a garment was redeemable, had some nascent value. the addition of the correct button could reinstate said garment to wearable, and possibly even proud status.

    Knitters know the importance of buttons. The resurgence of knitting as a cool pastime for celebs and  fashionistas alike, buttons are reclaiming their rightful place in the planning and construction of beautiful knitted objects. They are discussed and displayed on blogs. Artists are shown creating them in their studios, Etsy has dozens, if not hundreds of sites devoted to buttons.
    I say, if you believe what you read in the comic strips, then you believe that mice run around with little gold buttons on their red pants and drive cars.
    Mort Walker

    And then there are the vintage buttons and their collectors and recreaters. It is these that you see here. I will add them as an artistic stroke to the neck warmers I have made for gifts, (maybe even keep one for myself.) They are not afterthoughts, but punctuation. And closure, not simply to close the gap, but to announce the completion of a project and the invitation to go on to the next thing.

    America: It's like Britain, only with buttons.
    Ringo Starr

    Tuesday, May 15, 2012

    Catching my breath. A summation.

    It has been a long and devastating winter.
    Beginning in September, when Suzy died. My beloved aunt who embodied all that was good about my mother's family. When she died we lost our collective center. She was our girlish charm, our incisive wit and our always gracious and pretty, charming  Suzy.
    In September I also began a new job. Well the same job but in a new location and with new people. And horrendous commute. The commute has turned nine hour work days into twelve fourteen hour endurance tests and it has worn me out.
    In November I got sick and I was not well again until January. I was prescribed inhalers and four different kinds of asthma meds, antibiotics and steroids and had two chest xrays to rule out pneumonia. The PA said that even tho the X-rays were negative for pneumonia, she was treating it like pneumonia and that X-rays were not always the best indicator. If it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, does the X-ray always say it is a duck?
    In January I grew awful hemorrhoids, caused by the constant coughing. I took a few days off to treat them. I got written up at work for absenteeism My silly pride prevented me from telling anyone. I did not go to the doctor because I was afraid. Have you ever experienced hemorrhoid excision? I had. Not something that you want to repeat. Did you know that  50% of the population experience hemorrhoids? Mine were thrombosed, which is a kind of exploded version. and it meant constant pain. A week ago I had another excision which thus far has failed to resolve the problem and I fear I may need more surgery or at least continue to be in pain. Unhappy does not begin to describe the feeling. I fear more pain, I dread more surgery. I will learn more when I visit the doctor later today.  I observe that I have given a big part of this diatribe to the problems in my heini. Well? in truth it has been a constant underlying issue for months. So in the interest of truth and explanation, I expound upon the misfortune of my southernmost port.

    In February we learned that my dad had a terminal esophageal cancer and in April we lost him. He declined treatment and chose to die at home and in as much comfort as we could provide. I will be forever grateful to the Hospice organization at Bon Secour. They gave us the ability to help my father die in the midst of his loved ones and there is no better way to be escorted from this existence. 
    A  month has passed and it still does not seem real that my north star has been extinguished. I am awash in sadness that pervades  my very core. I am adrift on a becalmed sea. As new life indeed unfolds in the form of my still in-utero grandson, I mourn the loss of my dad. For all of our imperfect and constantly human and inadequate articulation, we did love each other. Of that I am certain and always will be.

    And now it is spring. Green shouts from every crevasse and every crack and cranny. Green drips and flies and spurts and dances and sneaks and dangles. I am grabbing onto it and hanging on for dear life. I am at a crossroads. I do not know how or why but I know it  as sure as I live and inhale green-and I am going to err on the side of optimism. wish me luck.