Wednesday, December 16, 2009
This Friday I went to work as usual, and I started to cry, Grandma was in the hospital, and no one really knew what was wrong and I felt so disconnected. When my boss, Faith, saw me crying she said, Whoa! come over, tell me what's up!... I do not cry easily, and NEVER at work..
"Michelle, just go, you'll never feel right if you don't" Faith said..
And as it sometimes happens, everything just fell into place. John was able to have the time off of work, Faith arranged my days for this week so that I miss no work, I was able to get a flight out of Portland to Boise at 11:50 am PST on Friday morning (yep, same morning) and was in the hospital with Grandma by 3:30ish her time. (one hour ahead of us)
Now I'm not going to say that this was a pleasure cruise of a weekend, because, it was not. There were a lot of close calls, and we almost lost Grandma at least two times, but by the time I left on Monday morning, Grandma was tossing pillows at her bed, and getting cranky. (This made the family very, very happy!)
I spent a lot of time (almost all of this time I was there) at the Holy Rosary Hospital there in Ontario, Oregon. I know where the Chapel is, I know where the nurses keep the coffee on the 3rd floor, and the blankets and pillow cases for that matter... I was offered a job to join the night staff, only partial in jest I think. The staff was wonderful, but the time that I spent with my grandmother was a true blessing, for both of us. I was able to really understand her physical condition, and to translate that to family members if needed, and indeed to grandma herself. Although, she is the one that explained half of it to me. May I never stop learning from that amazing woman.
The point of all of this dribble is that, I was crawling out of my skin, unbalanced, ungrounded, feeling like I was flying apart, and when I stopped and listened to my gut, (and my boss, and my mom) everything just fell into place and both me and my family benefited from my trip to Eastern Oregon.
Grandma Alice is now out of the hospital, in rehab and starting her exercises for the first time today! She said that she is feeling great! She has a new lease, if you will.
See.. here she is with her Minnie mouse ears that my Aunt Linda and Cousin Jason just brought back to her. What a very loved mouse, uh, Grandma.
Sunday, November 29, 2009
The house still needs to be cleaned, the laundry is still calling out (only a few loads) and I think that I will go change out of my church going clothes and get into some sweats, sit in my rocking chair and work on a lace scarf I'm making for someone's Christmas present.. yep, that sounds like what the ultimate doctor ordered for today!
Saturday, November 21, 2009
But look at this!!
This screams out to me, can you see why?
I would love it in a dark color like this, but I think that I am going to do it in an aran (cream colored) super wash wool so that I can wear it all the time, and throw it in the washer and dryer.. but oh! If I were rich I would get more alpaca and knit this up in that.....
The big dilemma is this, do I wait on this one to get the perfect yarn? Or can you see this in the old fashioned cream color?
I think I need to play with it for a while.. oh well, I'm trying to bust out some Christmas knitting anyway.. but my fingers itch for this pattern!!!!
Thursday, November 19, 2009
I know I'm going a bit overboard on the pictures and detail here.. but I am SO excited about the finished sweater! The pictures do not do the crimson base color justice! There is a depth to the color with black undertones.. and the sweater is so warm! Oh, and it fits!
So you get the idea right?
It has been more than a little crazy here, we were all down with the ol' H1N1, let me tell ya.. I'm still coughing, and the whole famn damily was ill at the same time. Our doctor put us on Tamiflu right away, and I'm here to tell you, if you get the chance.. TAKE IT! Tamiflu really lessened the symptoms.
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Friday, November 6, 2009
They both look so grown up!
I have been so busy trying to get everything done (work, housework, knitting, homework, housework, dishes, cleaning, housework.....) I think I'm falling back into that never ending cycle of recriminations that I used to do before the broken shoulder incident... I am trying to pull myself out of that cycle and trying to give myself permission to do things just for me.. I am working to finish that sweater that I started before the shoulder surgery that I just now picked up again, maybe tomorrow I'll take a picture and show you how far I am.. really I'm close to being finished.. this year I will have a new, alpaca cardigan. Also, I discovered a spinning teacher here in Hillsboro, and I called her and promised myself that in the middle of this month I am going to take a couple of lessons so that I can move forward in my attempt to spin my own yarn.
And tell me if this is silly, but I really want to learn to play the violin. This is something that I have always wanted to learn, but I was thinking really? At 40 years old? Learn the violin? But then I thought, well... why not? Wadda think? Too much ?
With everything else that's going on in my life, taking on yet another task seems daunting. I wish, truly that I was born an organized person. I just do not have the time to learn all the interests that haunt me! Certainly not learn them and keep up with the laundry!
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Sorry about the quality of the scan. Any one of you who know me are going to laugh and would be right to say that this is an expression straight off of my own face.. Really this is 100% his mother.. poor kid.
Ben has not had his school pictures taken yet, which is really strange, normally this would be done by now, but picture day for him is not until Oct. 20Th.
The first part of the school year was horrible, everyone got sick within the second week. Sam's school had 55 kids leave the school on Tues of the 2ND week.. Not just calling in sick, mind you, but start throwing up in the hallways, classroom,bathrooms, or office, and be sent home. Luckily everything seems to be calming down.
Sam is loving his class so far, and I am thrilled.
Ben seems to be okay in school, but he is at that stage where, when you say anything at all to him, his response is "I know, I know" in an exasperated tone.
"Ben put your shoes on"
"I know, I know"
"Ben your sandwich is ready."
"I know, I know"
"Ben, get your head in the corner, you cannot call your brother a dick!"
"Mom!, that is so unfair!" (this is the other thing that I am hearing all day long!)
"Ben, in this house we are supposed to be respectful towards everyone and calling people names, even our brothers, when they are being mean, is not oka....
"MOM! I KNOW, I KNOW!! Can I get out of the corner now?"
humm. well, you all get the picture, right? I remember that Sam went through this at nine. Ben has it down pat. The rolling of the eyes, the disgruntled grunt, the shaking of his head as he walks away exclaiming,
"You just don't understand what I'm saying Mom!"
On to other things, the weather here is supposed to turn for a very fast drop in temperature this week and me and my shoulder are here to tell you that the weather channel is absolutely correct!!! Ouchie momma! I'm just going to make sure that I have a supply of pain medication on hand for the winter. But I will come in hand for the family weather needs.
I had a friend laugh at this the other day and say..
"Wow, that really sucks, that's like being the weather girl X-Man, and the only super power you got was different kinds of pain to tell you what's coming, but you don't get to move it around like Storm"
I have to agree.. If I have to be a mutant, why can't I have the cool super powers?
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
and like this...
Really these guys are so adorable... when they are not in front of school photographers they look like this...
Or like this..
So this morning, before Sam left for school, I started this conversation...
"Sam, I'm paying for these pictures, and every year.. really they are just crap"
"Why don't you picture the Photo guy in his underwear?"
"That really doesn't do it for me mom."
"How about a cartoon anvil on his head" *
No response from Sam so I say...
"Umm.. How about a bird landing on his head."
"How about a bird pooping on his head" (small grin escaping from his face... quickly drawn back in)
"Whatever works... You know, Sam, when I was in the 7th grade, I was trying to look all sexy for my photo, and it was the worst picture I ever had taken, it was like this."
(View mom bugging out her eyes, sucking in her cheeks, and ducking her head) **
"REALLY DUDE, every time your Amuma (Basque for grandmother) pulls that thing out I cringe.. I'm trying to save you that pain later in life..."
This gets an actual laugh.... I am hoping that he will think of that face when the Photography guy whips out his camera... failing that, I told the story to his amazing aides at school when I dropped him off this morning, I hope it works..
I get to have a similar conversation with Ben next week. Sigh.
* No actual School Photographers were harmed in the writing of this blog
**This picture is not available for public viewing...ever.
Monday, September 14, 2009
All by myself.
It is so beautiful that I was tempted to drive over to Amy's old house to introduce myself to the complete stranger that lives there to show off the yarn. (Old habits, you know...)
Amy said.. put it on your blog. Then I can look at it tomorrow. Well Amy, here it is, and it is a thing of beauty. Hard to see, but there is a dark and light brown, then a dark and light pink.
Pretty, Pretty, Pretty, Pretty, Pretty, Pretty, Pretty, Pretty, Pretty... you get it.
One of the many cool things about Amy, is that before she ever saw this yarn, when I told her that I had finally made self-striping yarn in my very own dye pot, she started, like, jumping up and down with excitement (of course you can tell over the phone!) like if she had been just four blocks away, she would have jumped into her minivan and would have been to my house before I could have gotten out of my driveway...
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Bake the cookies... check
Feed the children after they get home from the first day of school...check
Feed them again...check
Play "How long will the stupid human hold the door open for me" with Cloud...check
Get new glasses...check and check again!
Write a new post... ahhh..
Well, yes it is the first day back at school, and time to check in again here at the Kafooster household. Both boys are ready to sleep already (I'm so happy!) Ben is actually crying tired, if I can only keep him up for a few more hours, there is the possibility of a real nights sleep for me. Third grade has started out just fine for him, he is back with some of his friends from last year, and other than the need to sleep, he seems happy enough.
Sam started Jr. High this year and is very happy with his class. Sam is less happy with the ride home, his bus ride is over an hour because they go from his Jr. High, pick up high school students, and then he is the last to be dropped off. I don't really understand why yet, it is only the first day and I will have to watch and see how that goes.
Simple things in a simple life, (Simply crazy! Work full time, two kids in school~ A husband starting at the end of this month.. first time back in school for him since high school. 1979 is the last time he has walked into a classroom. Dear Good Lord, why am I still sane, Oh Dear Lord.. am I still sane?)
On to a subject switch. I wanted you all to get an update on Charlie. He is doing much better. You see, when you have children that are on medications for chemical imbalances, it is very, very important for everyone to watch them as they reach puberty. The hormones that start to course through their little bodies interact with medications differently, even if they have been on the same medications for years. When Charlie was hospitalized they took him off of all medications and he evened out. He just needed one. He was on more than one before. It happens so quickly in some children, this teenage change.
There were signs though, he sold his PlayStation, offered to give away his favorite video games, his mother and I spoke about these things the week before he tried to overdose. His mother took him to see his counselor just a few days before. CONSTANT VIGILANCE!
I try to get the word out to other parents that have their children medicated. By all means, medicate if that is what is best for your child, no judgement behind that statement at all. Each child is different, and no one knows them better than their parents. With that in mind, never let a doctor tell you that you should stay on course with the meds if you start to get that really bad feeling in the back of your head.. the one that wakes you up at 3:00 am. Really monitor closely the changes in behavior as your child enters into puberty.
I hope others read this, I hope teachers read this and pass it on, I hope parents pass this on to their friends. It's really easy to say "Well, duh, there is a higher rate of suicide for teens on anti- whatevers" but when you have Life happening around you, and you are around your own child everyday, the idea that they are "teenager-ing" at all passes you by.
geessh, I should have posted two different posts.. day and night.. say you still love me for all of my topsy-turvy ways!
Sunday, August 23, 2009
I say this because one of my elder son's classmates and friends. Charlie, just tried to commit suicide this month. Yep, a 12 year old boy. He was hospitalized in the Psych ward for two weeks, but insurance only covers so much. His mother, a wonderful woman, is watching him very closely. Now, Sam and I have been having this on going conversation about listening to other people and what they say about hurting themselves or other people. The fact is that my children, because they are autistic, are usually placed with students who are defined as "ED" in the school district..this is "Emotionally Disturbed"
Of course, autistic people are not generally emotionally disturbed... at least mine are not... My boys are funny, quirky, well adjusted Vulcans. However the school district has no nice, neat defined place for Vulcans, so they lump them together with all of the other quirky children that they cannot define...
These children are wonderful, but I realized early on that they will be more prone to hurting themselves or others because of the individual issues that they have, ergo, Sam and I talk a lot about signs to listen for. Paranoid you say? Well, obviously not.
Back to the book, it held me spellbound, it really addressed the feelings of the girl and why she made the decision she did, how seemingly little things effected her life in a big way. It also give the reader, and frankly the person considering suicide as the answer, the feelings of the boy who was alive and listening to the tapes she left for him and his reactions to her honesty after it was too late for him to help her, or to get help for her.
Do yourself a favor, if you have the time, jump into this very well written book. If you have kids you love, read this book with them, open the discussion, talk about other options, make them aware of other people around them, and what they can do if they think that someone is needing help. Not everyone will be as lucky as Charlie, and still be around after his first attempt.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
We moved into the house in 2001 and have never painted, this is a ranch style home that was build in 1960 and is all angles, and the last person painted the home in Winnie the Poo yellow (the Winnie the Poo that has been loved and cried on for years, yellow ) Midnight blue, grayish cream colored, and white... oh and there is an old 1970ish cedar wood panelled wall that will have to be removed before painting (the wood, not the wall... geesh) I took before pictures, I will post them when we're done.
I saw the shoulder doctor today, and was "fired" I no longer have to go back there. It was a year on 7-5-09 since the "shoulder incident" as it is known in my house. (I love living with Vulcans, they are highly amusing in their descriptions.. much more than understated, or over the top drama... never in between) I was also fired from the Physical Therapist. Kim said that I have all the tools I need to continue on my own.. frankly that means that I know how to do the laundry and scrub the counters like I've been doing.. wax on, wax off physical therapy... Kim thinks that's funny.
I'll post when I get pictures on the finished wall project. The problem with painting in the home is that the rest of the house needs to be done too, and you can see how badly. I'm quite sure that my kitchen is next, and because Sam is going all Asperger's over the fact that we are changing his decor, I do believe that the kitchen is going to be a yellow (of my choosing) and the horrible light, bright green cupboard doors that came with the home will be changed to a pretty country blue.... hummm Pictures to show you what I mean will follow..
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
One of my best friends, Amy, is heading to Texas to be closer to her side of the family on July 11th.
I am not ready for this. I don't have a lot of close girl friends. The ones that you can talk to two days, or two months later and pick up the conversation where you left off. As a matter of fact, when you meet it is like picking up the conversation where you left off from the last life that you knew each other in. Amy and I are like this. We call each other when our wonderfully strange family members do something funny. Normally these actions would not be funny to other people, but we live with Vulcans, so we have a twisted sense of humor.
I know that we have the Internet now, and the telephone, and cell phones where there aren't even long distance charges. I am secure in the knowledge that we will not lose touch with each other. BUT it is simply not the same as driving 2 blocks down, taking a left hand turn, driving 3 blocks down and 1 right turn and 1 block later I'm in her drive way.
Amy is also one of my knitting buddies. She took to it like a fish to water, she understands the amazing mathematics of it all, the pure logic of stitches per inch equals whatever you want to make it.
Amy also gets my lack of organization, she is the one who led me to the fly lady and her system of recapturing your house. I'm still working towards this, Amy is my inspiration.
Amy is moving for all the right reasons, she really is needed in Texas, way more than I need her here, there are better job opportunities for the family there. All of the things that we pull up roots for. Blah, blah, blah.
There is no one way to define a friendship. There is no one way to use words to describe the love and overwhelming dependence that we have on one person to be in our lives daily. I won't even try.
Sunday, June 28, 2009
There are still things to learn like braking, turning, starting on our own, watching out for cars, not hitting our father in the groin when we fall. These are lessons that we will work on in the next few weeks at the neighborhood school parking lot, so that we don't have to worry so much about the through traffic.
My floor is still not mopped. I got the sweeping done, so that's good enough for now.
Sunday, June 21, 2009
He really hates hearing that. Really.
So we road bikes, went swimming, then road bikes again. WOW! It is 6:43 pm and both of my boys have not touched a video game.. right now Sam is reading a book while I make Mac and Cheese... dinner of Champions.
I will pay with my shoulder tomorrow, I know, because I'm paying now.. and not a stitch of my house work got done this weekend, I still need to take the dog to the dog park. But this is a dawning of a new age at the Kafooster house hold, and the mopping of the floor will wait. Amen!
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Today however, is a celebration, a celebration of Sam's 1st year with some main stream classes since 2ND grade, and with his success with said mainstreaming. Also quite the celebration of who Sam is becoming, a very intelligent young man with a sophisticated sense of humor. Case in point, when Sam was given his certificate of graduation today this is how he stopped in front of the auditorium.
Yep.. that is the international Vulcan symbol for "Live long and prosper" he definitely got some laughs. He said he did it for me. I love my kids. I love that Sam embraces his own inner-geek, and that his inner-geek reflects much of his fathers and my own.
Saturday, June 13, 2009
So back in November of last year, I made a key fob cover (the brown one) because my key chain part of the fob broke.. and here is where I would add a fancy link to that post if I knew how. I'm a master knitter folks, but I claim no expertise on this confounded machine. (However, any of you experts want to let me know how to do this.. please, please leave me a message)
Anyway, as you can see, my old covers' I-cord connection gave way, and when I went to replace it, I realized that the fading on the yarn was too much for me, so I cut the fob out of the old shell, and knitted another around it.
I started to write up a pattern, as it is really very easy, and significantly less expensive (scrap sock yarn) than the $75.00 they want to replace the fob, (which works fine other than the key chain connection thingy) but I'm not sure that it would be all that wanted..
Because there are so many different shapes to key fobs, the instructions would be general, very Zimmerman-esque.
So I'm thinking of sending the pattern off to Knitty to share with the knitting world. What do you think?
We are on a 3 day count down to summer time... We officially have no homework this next week, but we do have "graduation" from 6Th grade. I consider this a very good reason to take a Tuesday off. This was my first week back to work on a full time basis. On Monday I was completely wiped out... Heavens, I was so tired. Mind you, I had PHYSICAL THERAPY right after my first full day back, (yes, I know that I screamed it..) Oddly enough, by the end of the week (today, I had to work this Saturday) I'm feeling pretty good. Isn't it amazing how quickly we can get used to something we've done before?
Now some news and some socks.. Firstly, I had to take my wonder dog Oscar to the vet this
week, he has been panting, panting, panting, panting... poor guy. Oscar is overweight, and needs to be on a serious diet.. Also, Oscar has allergies and a staph infection in his skin due to the scratching brought on by said allergies. SO antibiotics for Oscar, 1 cup of food a day for Oscar, and daily walks for Oscar. Oscar looks like a stereo-typical portly English butler.. Or Hercule Poirot, chalk that up to the left over PB and J that is left around, along with gold fish crackers off the floor.
Secondly, these are the newest pair of finished socks.. I like them, but will not wear them until fall, because, oh boy are they warm! I'm starting a pair now that is a wool/bamboo blend.. very soft and light.
And here, I shamelessly used Cloud, the very relaxed, sleeping cat as a prop for the turquoise and gold pair that I had neglected to show you before (bad girl)
Now, I know that it is in bad form, but I will be posted another post right after this one, because I need to download more pictures.. and it is just not catch up stuff.. So see you in a minute.
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Now, I have finished that turquoise and gold pair long ago, I just realized while down loading pictures that I never took a finished shot of those. I have counted, I have completed four new pairs of socks, and just have the leg of my fifth to finish. I really want my sock drawer full of my own socks come winter time.. all wool, all mine! Some people want millions of dollars, I'm happy with warm socks.
On to the gnomes. I was at Joann's, (shocker, I know) anyhoo, I found these little miniature hanging gnomes in the 50% off section and thought, well of course, why not?
I decided that I was going to make up a game for the summertime. Random gnome sightings. This is how it works. See a gnome somewhere, get it, put it somewhere else. Don't tell. Let someone else find it and put the gnome in another place. Repeat.
This has already become one of the most amusing things that we have ever done as a family. Honestly. It takes imagination, but very little time and can be absolutely hilarious... Here is one of my personal favorites, this last Saturday morning when I went for the fat free 1/2 and 1/2 for my coffee...
yep, that's the sun tea jug, Sam put it there the night before.. brilliant
Then there is the gnome who wants back in the garden and is willing to ride on my hat..
The gnome on the mantle... just a little closer to the back door, and therefore, the garden..