Mother Update

The following entry is quite emotional & some of you may not want to read it. If you do remember I never promise to be the loving, gentle person. I earned my nickname of “Cold-Hearted Bitch” for a reason. My mother taught it to me very well.

Mom is about the same. They were supposed to move her to a nursing home last week, but the dialysis center refused to accept her as a patient so she is still at Select Hospital until the case manager can find a dialysis center that will take her as a patient. Since Mom refuses to even try to stand, she has to be moved with a houri lift & that is an extra liability for them. So she may still not end up in Springfield even though there is a nursing home that will take her. But otherwise she is about the same.

You can continue reading her update if you want. As always you are free to leave your opinion & I would welcome it cause I am having a really hard time coming to terms with my feelings at the moment.

[spoiler]
Well, Dad & I spent most of Friday through Sunday with mom as normal.  Though Sunday she decided that she was finished with trying to do any therapy or anything.  She informed Dad & I that if we couldn’t just come up to be with her without asking or telling her that she needed to be up.  Lecturing her is what she called it. Then we didn’t need to bother coming to visit her anymore. Excuse Me? You say? Yep, you read that right.  We are not supposed to ask her anything about what she has or hasn’t done, what she has or hasn’t eaten, whether she has done therapy or not, or even how she feels.  She just wants us to show up & sit with her while she stares at the tv or the ceiling.  Yeah right.  She wants me to sit around & watch her turn into more of a vegetable then she already is.  I refuse to sit around & watch my mother kill herself. I asked Dad if I was correct in the way that I understood was that Mom was letting us know that she was through being his wife & my mother.  Dad agreed & told me that yes that is what she meant.  So what am I supposed to feel.  If she refuses to be my mother why should I take the time to visit her. Why should I take the time to make her this damn shawl when there are other things I would rather make.  Why in the hell should I take time out of my life to visit this piece of human flesh that refuses to even try.  There is nothing wrong with her besides her not wanting to try. She doesn’t care that she is abandoning her husband & her daughter. The thing I refuse to believe any more is that I am supposedly the most precious thing to her. Ha! If I was then she wouldn’t do this. Yeah, I know I sound selfish but unless you actually understand the relationship between my mother & me you don’t understand. This is losing my mother, best friend, sister, grandmother all rolled into one & worse. If she refuses to see herself as my mother why should I see her as anything other then another person.

I know that this sounds cruel, but I spent three years feeling suicidal when my grandmother died in 1991, I always knew that when mom died I would have a good chance of feeling that way again. But the mother I know would never give up not her. This person that is in my mother’s body is not my mother. She tells us that she is tired & that it is nice not to have to do anything or take care of anything. Just to lie in bed & do nothing. What the hell? That isn’t my mother. I can not (plus I refuse) to sit around waiting & watching her die. By not getting up or even trying that is what is going to happen. By laying in that damn bed all the time, her lungs are going to fill up with mucus again & she will die. Her doctor has told her this, but she refuses to listen to anyone but herself. I told her that I couldn’t sit there & let her die, that she didn’t raise me that way. Next thing I know I am watching her cry crocodile tears at me (her wonderful manipulations) telling me that I couldn’t leave. I told her that why would it matter, she didn’t act like she cared for either of us anymore. She abandoned her husband, her beloved dog (that is still trying to figure out what he did wrong to make her leave him), & me. I told her that I never promised to “love & cherish” father until the day I died. There was nothing stopping me from walking out the door. I am not his wife that is her promise, not mine. I told her that I would continue to visit but that I wouldn’t be staying as often or coming as much. If she chooses to become a vegetable (which is the one thing she always told me to never let her become) then I am not going to watch it happen.

Do you think I am wrong?

[/spoiler]

Yarn! & other items

This is what I get to see everyday as I pull out of my driveway. Isn’t it pretty?
My view

This post is pic heavy of big pics!

I managed to go to Hobby Lobby, JoAnns, & Wal-Mart in Springfield all by myself with only one minor panic problem. :dance: So I am pretty proud of myself right now. Oh, I went because I needed to get yarn, stitch holders, & a 16in circular needle so I can start on Wesley’s clothes. I was a good girl & only bought what I needed *boring* but it was so very hard. They had so many colors I wanted, lol. Now, Meggan told me that Wesley wears a lot of blues, greens, & grays so the palette if chosen from those colors. When I got to Hobby Lobby most of the “boy” colors were picked through & I didn’t get enough to do the overalls, but I am hoping that either tomorrow or Friday they will get another shipment in & I get that last skein of the denim color I need. But I got 4 skeins so I will be making a very good start on it. For the overalls I choose Lily’s Sugar ‘N Cream Denim in Indigo.
The cotton for the overalls
Then I needed two 1inch buttons for the overalls. I went to Wal-Mart cause I knew I didn’t have that size at home. I found a pair of cute plain ones that will go wonderfully with the denim color of the yarn.  I couldn’t resist the monkey ones either so they had to come with me also. *I have no idea what I am going to use them for, but I couldn’t leave them.
The buttons for the overalls
Next with so few choices in the colors for the hoodie, I broke my cotton rule & went to look at I Love This Yarn section. I had tried it previously & liked it better then Red Heart (quality is better then RH anymore) & found the prettiest *or handsomest* variegated blue, cream, & brown I have ever seen. The yarn was soft & it passed my irritation test. So I found a solid blue that matched the blue in the variegated yarn & got it for the hoodie. Now you tell me, isn’t these quite handsome?

Since I choose blue for the main color I thought I would play with the six buttons it calls for. So I picked up some light blue & ecru buttons. I thought I would inter space the buttons, you know, blue-ecru-blue-ecru-blue-ecru. What do you think?
The buttons for the hoodie
I also picked up a metal US5 16inch circular & a US8 16inch Clover wooden *may take it back* needle to use for the overalls. Also picked up three stitch holders.
Stitch Holders
I saw these in the clearance rack & even though I normally don’t use double pointed needles for anything besides i-cords, I figured I would get them (even though they were missing one needle) just in case I needed to use them as a cable needle or make i-cords with really tiny yarn. These babies are tiny! They get lost in my hands. They are a US0 double pointed knitting needles.
US0 Needles

 

Found my test subject

If you follow me on twitter you know I have commented off & on about making clothing for me with knitting. I want to make cardigan & a full length skirt for myself. If nothing else the cardigan, I love them, but I can never find one exactly the way I want them. So I figured since I like the knit ones, I will knit me one but I don’t want to go & buy the yarn (large amount) for an adult size garment & have it be the very first garment I make. I would rather try some baby or toddler clothing first. Well, ok I thought. I will make it & donate it. But then that doesn’t help me when I need to work on making any modifications. So I went on the hunt for a mother that would let me borrow her child. Unfortunately, due to my tight budget I was limited to a certain distance away (sorry Jem). Meggan was my first choice. Meggan was nice enough to let me borrow, her son, Wesley for clothing. She wants winter wear in browns, blues, & greens. Ok, I have two ideas that I am going to pick yarn up for & a few others if the first two go ok. Wanna see? Of course you do.

Raglan HoodieIf I can find the right shades to match everything. I am thinking of doing the main part in a varigated cotton yarn called Countryside & the contrast in a light blue . But as always it depends on what I can find at Hobby Lobby. If nothing else, I will make the main color a blue & the contrast brown or green or maybe even a cream color. But I do know that it will be in a pure cotton yarn & made bigger. I will pre-wash each piece before mailing, lol.

Raglan HoodieThese are overalls that I can make per measurements. I tend to make things big (I think). So I know that these will have long legs so all Meggan will have to do is let the simple hem down along with the darts in the side to let there be more room. Hopefully, these will also grow with Wesley. But if they don’t then I still get the experience of knitting them. Though with the measurements Meggan sent me & the sizes of clothes Wesley wears, I believe that I will get it right. *hopes* These two will be my first experience into making clothes. I can’t tell you how much it means to be able to do this.

I am thinking that maybe down the road, a few months, I may have enough money to make a teddy bear. I don’t know though. I really need a 16 inch cable & the only way I can get one quickly is to buy a $17 Addi one (too expensive in my opion), magic loop the design (looking like my option), or trying to see if Dad can afford to pay $30 of the $50 Knit Pick order *free shipping otherwise $5), but to get the cables (mom’s shawl), sock needles (dad’s), the needles (my cowl & extra #7), plus the 16 inch circular it already would cost $33 so I don’t see why I shouldn’t just add the ball winder & make it $53 & get free shipping. But I can’t ask for this right now. So we will do the hoodie first & hopefully I can keep my hands out of the $33 I still have & then with the $40 from next month I can order my stuff. *hopes*. I only have two more weeks so if I can keep my strength up I should make it.

Stone the Gargoyle

This little guy is going to be my present to myself. You can put pipe cleaners in his body to make him bendable. Hee hee, he also has a big brother I am going to make. I can’t wait.

My running cost for making the two item of clothing for Wesley is approximately $9.95 each. That is just the cost of yarn & only because Hobby Lobby is putting Lily Sugar ‘N Cream on sale this week for $1.99 otherwise it would almost be doubled. No, Meggan, I am not wanting or expecting you to pay for any of this. You are doing me a favor. I just don’t want to make them out of Red Heart acrylic yarn, I think it is scratchy & not suitable for clothes. Plus, it will take a lot for Wesley to tear these up. I still haven’t tore my yarn bag up & I am horrible to that thing.

Ok, moved

I have gotten everything moved to Clook hosting away from holdfire. I am not even going to get into the nightmare it was to get Holdfire to let go of my domains plus they thought they would hold the site info until I paid for this month’s hosting fees. But the Importer for WordPress did a wonderful job at importing everything for me. The only thing I have to re-build is my QBee site & the links page, but those are quite simple & not hard. I should have most of it back up by the end of the weekend. So there will be a lot going on in the background. So I will see you all later.

An Extra Kiss Good Night – Kleenex Alert!

I am sorry, I bawled, but was moved. This needed to be re-blogged.

They Told Me His Name Was Reggie

They told me the big black Lab’s name was Reggie as I looked at him lying in his pen. The shelter was clean, no-kill, and the people really friendly. I’d only been in the area for six months, but everywhere I went in the small college town, people were welcoming and open. Everyone waves when you pass them on the street.

But something was still missing as I attempted to settle in to my new life here, and I thought a dog couldn’t hurt. Give me someone to talk to. And I had just seen Reggie’s advertisement on the local news. The shelter said they had received numerous calls right after, but they said the people who had come down to see him just didn’t look like “Lab people,” whatever that meant. They must’ve thought I did.

But at first, I thought the shelter had misjudged me in giving me Reggie and his things, which consisted of a dog pad, bag of toys almost all of which were brand new tennis balls, his dishes, and a sealed letter from his previous owner. See, Reggie and I didn’t really hit it off when we got home. We struggled for two weeks (which is how long the shelter told me to give him to adjust to his new home). Maybe it was the fact that I was trying to adjust, too. Maybe we were too much alike.

He Was Not Settling In

For some reason, his stuff (except for the tennis balls – he wouldn’t go anywhere without two stuffed in his mouth) got tossed in with all of my other unpacked boxes. I guess I didn’t really think he’d need all his old stuff, that I’d get him new things once he settled in. but it became pretty clear pretty soon that he wasn’t going to.

I tried the normal commands the shelter told me he knew, ones like “sit” and “stay” and “come” and “heel,” and he’d follow them – when he felt like it. He never really seemed to listen when I called his name – sure, he’d look in my direction after the fourth of fifth time I said it, but then he’d just go back to doing whatever. When I’d ask again, you could almost see him sigh and then grudgingly obey.

This just wasn’t going to work. He chewed a couple shoes and some unpacked boxes. I was a little too stern with him and he resented it, I could tell. The friction got so bad that I couldn’t wait for the two weeks to be up, and when it was, I was in full-on search mode for my cellphone amid all of my unpacked stuff. I remembered leaving it on the stack of boxes for the guest room, but I also mumbled, rather cynically, that the “damn dog probably hid it on me.”

Finally I found it, but before I could punch up the shelter’s number, I also found his pad and other toys from the shelter.. I tossed the pad in Reggie’s direction and he snuffed it and wagged, some of the most enthusiasm I’d seen since bringing him home. But then I called, “Hey, Reggie, you like that? Come here and I’ll give you a treat.” Instead, he sort of glanced in my direction – maybe “glared” is more accurate – and then gave a discontented sigh and flopped down. With his back to me.

Well, that’s not going to do it either, I thought. And I punched the shelter phone number.

The Sealed Envelope

But I hung up when I saw the sealed envelope. I had completely forgotten about that, too. “Okay, Reggie,” I said out loud, “let’s see if your previous owner has any advice.”

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To Whoever Gets My Dog: Well, I can’t say that I’m happy you’re reading this, a letter I told the shelter could only be opened by Reggie’s new owner.. I’m not even happy writing it. If you’re reading this, it means I just got back from my last car ride with my Lab after dropping him off at the shelter. He knew something was different. I have packed up his pad and toys before and set them by the back door before a trip, but this time… it’s like he knew something was wrong. And something is wrong… which is why I have to go to try to make it right.

So let me tell you about my Lab in the hopes that it will help you bond with him and he with you.

First, he loves tennis balls. the more the merrier. Sometimes I think he’s part squirrel, the way he hordes them. He usually always has two in his mouth, and he tries to get a third in there. Hasn’t done it yet. Doesn’t matter where you throw them, he’ll bound after it, so be careful – really don’t do it by any roads. I made that mistake once, and it almost cost him dearly.

Next, commands. Maybe the shelter staff already told you, but I’ll go over them again: Reggie knows the obvious ones – “sit,” “stay,” “come,” “heel.” He knows hand signals: “back” to turn around and go back when you put your hand straight up; and “over” if you put your hand out right or left. “Shake” for shaking water off, and “paw” for a high-five. He does “down” when he feels like lying down – I bet you could work on that with him some more. He knows “ball” and “food” and “bone” and “treat” like nobody’s business.

I trained Reggie with small food treats. Nothing opens his ears like little pieces of hot dog.

Feeding schedule: twice a day, once about seven in the morning, and again at six in the evening. Regular store-bought stuff; the shelter has the brand.

He’s up on his shots. Call the clinic on 9th Street and update his info with yours; they’ll make sure to send you reminders for when he’s due. Be forewarned: Reggie hates the vet. Good luck getting him in the car – I don’t know how he knows when it’s time to go to the vet, but he knows.

Finally, give him some time. I’ve never been married, so it’s only been Reggie and me for his whole life. He’s gone everywhere with me, so please include him on your daily car rides if you can. He sits well in the backseat, and he doesn’t bark or complain. He just loves to be around people, and me most especially.

Which means that this transition is going to be hard, with him going to live with someone new.

And that’s why I need to share one more bit of info with you…..

Why I Lied

His name’s not Reggie.

I don’t know what made me do it, but when I dropped him off at the shelter, I told them his name was Reggie. He’s a smart dog, he’ll get used to it and will respond to it, of that I have no doubt. but I just couldn’t bear to give them his real name. For me to do that, it seemed so final, that handing him over to the shelter was as good as me admitting that I’d never see him again. And if I end up coming back, getting him, and tearing up this letter, it means everything’s fine. But if someone else is reading it, well… well it means that his new owner should know his real name. It’ll help you bond with him. Who knows, maybe you’ll even notice a change in his demeanor if he’s been giving you problems.

His real name is Tank. Because that is what I drive.

Again, if you’re reading this and you’re from the area, maybe my name has been on the news. I told the shelter that they couldn’t make “Reggie” available for adoption until they received word from my company commander. See, my parents are gone, I have no siblings, no one I could’ve left Tank with… and it was my only real request of the Army upon my deployment to Iraq, that they make one phone call to the shelter… in the “event”… to tell them that Tank could be put up for adoption. Luckily, my colonel is a dog guy, too, and he knew where my platoon was headed. He said he’d do it personally. And if you’re reading this, then he made good on his word.

Well, this letter is getting to downright depressing, even though, frankly, I’m just writing it for my dog. I couldn’t imagine if I was writing it for a wife and kids and family. but still, Tank has been my family for the last six years, almost as long as the Army has been my family.

Give Him An Extra Kiss Goodnight

And now I hope and pray that you make him part of your family and that he will adjust and come to love you the same way he loved me.

That unconditional love from a dog is what I took with me to Iraq as an inspiration to do something selfless, to protect innocent people from those who would do terrible things… and to keep those terrible people from coming over here. If I had to give up Tank in order to do it, I am glad to have done so. He was my example of service and of love. I hope I honored him by my service to my country and comrades.

All right, that’s enough. I deploy this evening and have to drop this letter off at the shelter. I don’t think I’ll say another good-bye to Tank, though. I cried too much the first time. Maybe I’ll peek in on him and see if he finally got that third tennis ball in his mouth.

Good luck with Tank. Give him a good home, and give him an extra kiss goodnight – every night – from me.

Thank you, Paul Mallory

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I Whispered His Name Over And Over

I folded the letter and slipped it back in the envelope. Sure I had heard of Paul Mallory, everyone in town knew him, even new people like me. Local kid, killed in Iraq a few months ago and posthumously earning the Silver Star when he gave his life to save three buddies. Flags had been at half-mast all summer.

I leaned forward in my chair and rested my elbows on my knees, staring at the dog.

“Hey, Tank,” I said quietly.

The dog’s head whipped up, his ears cocked and his eyes bright.

“C’mere boy.”

He was instantly on his feet, his nails clicking on the hardwood floor. He sat in front of me, his head tilted, searching for the name he hadn’t heard in months.

“Tank,” I whispered.

His tail swished.

I kept whispering his name, over and over, and each time, his ears lowered, his eyes softened, and his posture relaxed as a wave of contentment just seemed to flood him. I stroked his ears, rubbed his shoulders, buried my face into his scruff and hugged him.

“It’s me now, Tank, just you and me. Your old pal gave you to me.” Tank reached up and licked my cheek. “So whatdaya say we play some ball? His ears perked again. “Yeah? Ball? You like that? Ball?” Tank tore from my hands and disappeared in the next room.

And when he came back, he had three tennis balls in his mouth.