Thursday, October 7, 2010

As The Aughra Turns

Aughra has had a busy summer and fall. Lots of stuff going on since our last update. Aughra spent most of the summer across the state with her Sunshine and his family. I think it was an enlighten time for all of them. Sunshine and Aughra realized that they really don't know each other. At one time I intercepted a phone call from him to Mama-san .  I don't really remember what he was calling about. What I do remember is that my very stoic uncle said to me "She's a lot of work, isn't she?" Yes, Dear uncle. Yes, she is. Aughra was in and out of the hospital a couple of times. She has trouble remembering that she needs her oxygen all the time.

Mama-san spent her summer getting Aughra affairs in order. Having a bit of a life. (Something she hasn't had for 9 years give or take.) Generally having a quiet summer. Then Aughra came back. She is different than when she left. More of her memories are gone. She is missing words. Which pisses her off and makes her mean. She cries more. She is almost childlike sometimes. If she thinks you are late coming to see her she panics and believes you aren't coming.  She really isn't who I grew-up with at all. Mama-san believes that the real Aughra still shows up from time to time but I haven't seen it.  She has lost a lot of weight. Basically she has become a tiny little old lady.

She had a really serious trip to the hospital for emergency surgery. Aughra had to have 6 ft of bowel removed. The Dr Feel-good prepared us for the fact that she might not make it. She did. Much to her annoyance.  So this is where we sit. All of us watching her slowly die. Depressing.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Sexism is alive and well and living in my town.

Periodically I forget that people really do judge others based solely on skin color, religion or gender. Then I smack head long into it and I am stunned.

For example, I recently got new tires put on my car at NTB, here in my fair metropolis.  They, as courtesy , checked out my whole car. Isn't that nice of them? They came back to me with $5,000 worth of stuff that was wrong with my poor car. That is 3 zeros there people. 3.   I was stunned. They wanted me to give them permission to do the work right there. I said I would have to talk to my husband about. Using the old "Gee. I need to clear all of these with my husband . I was only allowed to get tires, mister" thing.   All of a sudden my became a death trap. That's right if I drove off in my car with doing this work, I would cause and accident.  People might DIE!!  Are you scared?  Well, I did drive off without getting the oh so important life saving work done and guess what? My car passed inspection to get my tags renewed. 

Death trap? Not so much.

This whole thing remind me of when I was in high school. Oh so many moons ago. The men in my family were big supporters of women being able to take care of themselves. So before I could drive a car. I had to learn basic car maintenance. How to change a tire. Check the fluids. What type of fluids to put back in the car. Familiar enough to the engine to know when something is disconnected. That kind of stuff.

This 'cause no end of problems in my rural hometown.  It was my first experience with being completely disregarded because I was a girl.  See if you are female you can't possible know anything about the engine in your car. Nothing!  And after battling it for a couple of years, I started hiring guys to take my car to the shop when it needed to go.  Fun Celia fact.

Anyway I wanted to let all my friends know that NTB hires sexist mechanics who will try to take advantage if you let them. Thus ends Celia's Story time.  Tomorrow episode "As the Aughra turns"

Sunday, August 1, 2010

If you can't say anything nice...

HI. Remember me? Yeah. Well I have been keeping a low profile for last last 3 months. Everything I have wanted to say I haven't wanted put into print. More accurately I haven't wanted to have it out on the Internet for all eternity.

However, I think I can share again without overly offending anyone. I am a bit out of practice so I will leave this post as is and will think of something wonderful to talk about anon.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Death & Dying

So I think it is time for another Aughra update. This one will be a little different than others. See Aughra's body has decided not to wait for her anymore. When I went to see her on Sunday, I was shocked. I see her every week and in one week she had noticeably lost mass. The skin around her eyes was red and sunk in. Her forearms were smaller than my 9 yr olds. At the end of last week, they called mama-san and told her they were concerned with Aughra's kidneys. They seem to be leeching more water from her body than she is taking in. Also Necrosis specifically Coagulative Necrosis has begun in her legs.

Let's see if I can organize my thoughts into something you can follow. Aughra's mind still works, at least as well as it can with her low O2 levels. So She knows her body is crumbling around her and it scares the hell out of her. She never expected to live to be old. She had her 1st major stoke in her 40's. That is when they found the brain tumor. Which seems to be benign since it hasn't changed in 30 years. She has 4 major strokes and a ton of mini ones that she barely notices. Those, a heart murmur and 2 bouts of cancer have done nothing to make her believe she was ever going to live to be old. So she never thought about a lingering death. She thought it would be more of a bolt out of the sky thing. Now she is scared and small. I hope you understand what I mean by small. She seems to have drawn in on herself. She used to but this force of nature and now she is just a little old lady.

I got to thinking about death and dying. I remember me and my friends discussing our deaths. Do we want to grow old and dying in our sleep or go fast in some dramatic way? I know all of you, my dear readers, will shocked to find out that none of us picked and a slow wasting illness as the ideal way to shuffle off this mortal coil.

In this day and age we seem to have more compassion for our pets than for our human loved ones. If our dog/cat has something fatal and is in pain, we do something about it. We can't stand to see the poor thing suffering. If our great Aunt Sue is dying of incurable cancer and is in pain, society says we need to 'just be there' for her. Which means there isn't a damn thing you can do for her but wait like a vulture for her to go. the whole time quietly praying for an end to her suffering while feeling guilty about wishing for her death.

Why? Why do we do this? Is the last few months with this person, who isn't really the person you loved because the pain and drugs had changed them, that important? Is my sadness more important than Aunt Sue's pain? Well, I will tell you the sudden death of my paternal grandfather was a lot easier than this. I even found him all cold and stuff. The lingering decline of my great grandfather who had dementia.He didn't know where he was half the time and other half of the time he thought my Mama-san was his wife. Nothing to it. There was pain but the pain was short lived.

One of the hardest things I do is going to see how much of my grandmother, my Aughra, has disappeared in the last week and knowing that she knows how much she has lost too.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Lacey Lace.

I have 2 goals this year. To make a bunch of lovely lace and color working projects. For my first project I made Haruni outta some yummy new stuff my favorite Yarn pusher sent me to try out. WOW! I love this pattern. I love this yarn! I LOVE THIS PROJECT! LOVE! I really want to make it again out of the same type of yarn but bigger and OH JOY! the designer tells you how to upsize.

So Haruni is a pretty simple lace shawlette. A field of Fern stitch with a crazy beautiful edge. The designer made it fairly clear all the way. I think I might have had the duhs going while trying to make this. There were a couple of spots I was cornfused at. The first spot is "Continue Chart A as established until you have 12 stems in each half". She goes on to explains what she means by stems. However, I couldn't decide whether she meant total for the half or across the row. After looking at my 12 stem field, I decided she meant across the row. I told you. duh!

My next 'huh?' moment came while reading the directions for the edging. Basically you work the chart across, ending with just the leaves not the triangle decrease bit. If you look at the first picture in this post, it shows the center of the shawlette. Two sets of leaves separated by a single stitch. So you begin and end each half of the shawlette with leaves. Which the designer says. Which I didn't get until I did it. I know I was being dense. This shawl does need blocking. I chose to block my with scallops. I have seen it done with a straight edge. I think It is equally beautiful either way.

Now about this yarn. LittleFreak is opening a new online shop called Shameless Twist. Which she hopes to have open by the 1st of May. In this shop of wonders she will offer Murmur. That is what my shawlette is made out of. Crazy soft 100% baby alpaca fingering weight. Yummy. 1 skein is enough for this project. Just enough but still enough (I think I have 5 or 6 yards left)

I will let you in on a little secret. She will be keeping LittleFreak open as a testing ground for new colorways and guess what she has in her shop right now? Murmur! It is incognito as babykisses but I saw it there. And....It is on sale! I don't know how long she is running the sale. So hurry if you want some!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Cliff Jumping.

Most knitters/crocheters have go-to patterns that they pull out for gift giving opportunities. Something that they end up making over and over again because the pattern is easy and turns out great. I have a dear friend who found her go-to pattern for yarn. If she has a skein or so of yarn that she wants to work with but it hasn't told her what it wants to be it become the Storm Cloud Shawlette. She has made this pattern 4 times. FOUR! She would come to Saturday knit group and tell us all how easy this pattern was. Show us how pretty it was all worked up. We would all oh and ah over them.

One day Chelle decided to try it. [She has made at least 2. maybe 3]. She came back with this lovely green thing. Then Lorenia tried it [She has made 4]. The Storm Cloud Shawlette took over. Everybody was making them. So I caved. I admit it. I had this great handspun I didn't know what to make with and I just caved. So if mama-san asked me today "Would I jump off a cliff if all my friend were doing it?" The answer would have to be "Yes. Yes, I would."

Enough about my weak will power and the fact that my friends peer pressured me into this project. Peer Pressure? I'll be 35 this year. It never goes away.

This pattern is all that they,my peer pressuring bad influence friends, said. It is quick, easy and beautiful. It shows the loveliness of yarn off. It can go from Shawlette to half-moon blanket. And...drum roll please.. its free! So everybody go make your own. 'Cuz you know...All the cool kids are doing it.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Yummmy !

The Jones Clan is settling into our new digs nicely. Although the boxes seem to be multiplying when I am now looking. Anyway. We are starting to explore our new environment. So we decided to go out for Chinese food. As we pulled into the parking lot we saw a sign for the Bombay Palace Authentic Indian Cuisine.

Oh no. Now we couldn't decide which to go to. So we flipped a coin and Bombay Palace won. I must say I must say I am glad it did. The food was so good.

Since we had never been before we let the proprietor decide what we wanted. He asked us to try some different relishes and tell him what we thought. I could for the life of me tell you what they were. All but one of them was fairly mild. When he came back Mini-me and I went for middle of the road medium. The 'Bum decide to test the fates and go for hot. Hehe.

While we waited we got Paneer Pakora (a home-made cheese, dipped in gram flour with Indian Spices) which was so tasty. Then our food came. All served family style but really elegantly. The basmati rice came in a raise covered dish. Each of the main dishes came in a smaller covered dish. All of them covered with Indian motifs. So I got Lamb Korma. There are not words in the English language to describe how good it was. Melt in you mouth. Seriously. Here is how they describe it: Tender lamb cooked in creamy tomato sauce with coconut, raisins and plump cashews. That really doesn't describe it.

Mini-Me got Butter Chicken (Rich Delicious sauce smothers boneless white chicken chunks). She didn't really care for it. She likes her food with a little more spice to it.

The 'Bum got Lamb Vindaloo(A spicy hot dish of tender, de-boned lamb. Which was so spicy, he almost choked. snort I shouldn't laugh. Poor Guy. But I warned him and the proprietor warned him. He was so sure he could take it. See Indian cuisine has a special kind of hot or so I have been told (by people who eat habaneros whole.)

Anybody who has eaten out with me will tell you I like to share bites with everybody. So everybody knows what everybody else dish tastes like. So we kind of did a fire drill for the 'bum. He took Mini-me's dish and Mini-me ordered another order of what I had. By the time we left we were full and mellow. You know the kind of mellow you get when you have eaten some really well balanced meal as far as textures and tastes?

So the whole bill came to $60. whew! But let me tell you everytime the wallet allows we will be back. Oh yes. We will be back.

Monday, March 1, 2010

The Odyssey by Me

Gather around all as I tell the tale of the month the CeliaAnne Clan tried to move.

Once upon a time, this lovely man that Clan CeliaAnne knew offered to help them get into one of the lands he manages. These were nice lands in a good part of the city. He even offered to give it to them at a lower rent. The Clan was excited and started making plans to move.

Landlord man came back to Clan Chief a few days after and said that he really need them to move in before the first of the month not 2 weeks away. Their leader pondered a moment and decided it was still do-able if they all buckled down. Then the lands the clan was living in said that they were fine with them moving but they would need to give them 30 days notice and pay the last 3 months on their lease. Still CeliaAnne's Clan persevered.

Then all of a sudden they had a clan member break ranks and not help with the move. Then another did the same. OOOH! What was their fearless leader to do? She struggled and she packed. She pleaded and she yelled.

Meanwhile the clan leader also tried to prepared the new homeland for the clan. She made sure the water was there and fuel for their fires. She made sure that they had lights to see by during the long dark evenings. Finally clan leader tried to make sure that Clan CeliaAnne would be able to communicate with other clans. Lo! She ran into yet another trap set out to ensnare our intrepid clan.

The Keepers of the mystical Internet/phone/cable decided to be difficult. So the clan leader went to the seers to confer with them regarding the Keepers. The 1st seer gave the clan leader high hopes that this would be resolved easliy but no. She told the leader to talk to The Keepers directly. So the leader did. After much discussion Keeper 1 sent the clan leader back to the house of the seers. At the House of the Seers, the clan chief was told to speak to a different seer than she saw the 1st time. So our heroine talked to 2nd seer. 2nd Seer looked at the message 1st seer sent to the keepers and discovered that 1st seer didn't follow the proper rituals required to get a favorable response. So 2nd seer resent the message supposedly with all the proper rituals observed. Alas! This message too was not properly worded to suit the Keepers. The Clan leader repeated this scene with different seers and keepers 7 times. Then she broke down and had a teeny tiny panic attack. Clan CeliaAnne's fearless leader was reduced a gibbering fool.

Finally The Amazon from a neighboring clan stepped in and told Clan CeliaAnne to back their leader and help her out. Her second in command stepped-up to help with The Keepers of the mystical Internet/phone/cable and also with Those who dispose. After 2 abort attempts by her second, The Keepers of the mystical Internet/phone/cable finally bestowed the wonders of Internet/phone/cable. So a month after our intrepid clan moved to this new homeland, they once more could trade with neighboring clans and it was good.

So did you like the story? It way more entertaining to read about then to live it. The truth of the matter is this: At&t U-verse is crazy good. I really like having it. However, they have a major problem with their information flow. If they tell you they will call you back, they won't. You never get to talk to the same person twice. Every time you talk to a new person they close out the old ticket and open a new work order ticket (that is how I ended up with 9 separate tickets). Also every time they open a new ticket, they hit your credit report. I now have 9 new credit inquiries. So on the whole I would not recommend U-verse to anyone based on my experience. They got a solid F- from me.