Yarn. I need to pack more yarn.
Friday June 22nd 2018, 1:34 pm
Filed under: Family,Life

I know I forgot something, I always do…

Everybody needs an Aunt Bonnie. A wise and kind and gentle soul who never said a single negative thing about anybody and who was always the first to volunteer to do whatever you needed for whatever reason.

Who met my uncle when they played in the symphony together.

Who taught me by her patience that I could laugh off–or at least not get mad at my big brother for egging on his cousins to tease me with him.

The cook who taught me, as a child visiting from across the country on that trip that yes, I actually not only do like salmon, I love it and would never forget how the sunshine lit it up as we ate and how it made her cooking so pretty.

The woman who laughed when she remembered my first anniversary–and I didn’t, till she reminded me. (Speaking of which, next week…) It’s been an in-joke between us for 38 years.

The aunt who did this.

There will be music. There will be memories. There will be cousins. There will be love and laughter and more love and I can’t wait to see them and celebrate her life with them. We all have so many stories to share.

I suppose we could have Richard guest-write my blog while I’m away. (He worked from 8:15 am yesterday to 11 pm, dinner aside. Work is crazy right now.) Or not. It’s just an overnighter. See you all soon.



Happy Father’s Day
Sunday June 17th 2018, 10:08 pm
Filed under: Family

Grateful on this Father’s Day to be blessed with such good ones in our family. Love you guys. You rock.



Would you could you in a box? Would you could you with a fox? Would you eat them here or there? Would you eat them anywhere?
Thursday June 14th 2018, 11:00 pm
Filed under: Family,Food,Friends

The weekly veggie box came.

He saw the bag and asked, Chips? (Why would they sell…? You’re not a corn chip fan, why did you…) He was about to reach for some. I headed him off, shaking my head.

Crickets.

??!

Only later did I see the word Chirps at the top, but yeah, those are chips made from a high protein source that happens to be, um, bird-friendly, other ingredients aside. One bug per chip.

The Imperfect Produce people were trying to close them out because they were getting close to their sell-by date and during the brief weekly glance at the offerings I’d thought, well that sounds curious.

And then spent the week wondering whether that was really such a good idea. It’s easy to be adventuresome when the adventure’s far away. Now that they’re here I…I…

I find that I just do not seem to want to open that bag.

It is safe to say I don’t think he’s in a rush to, either.

We’re going to a potluck dinner next week where I’m sure they could be the talk of the night. Better bring a chocolate torte–no, two! And peaches from Andy’s!–to make sure they forgive us.

“You know what bugs me about you guys?”

*crickets*

The puns, they await. We may never live this down….



Go green!
Thursday June 07th 2018, 11:05 pm
Filed under: Family,Knitting a Gift

A delayed flight, a late night, but let me just say I had one last skein of deep teal green Malabrigo Mecha that has been trying to jump the queue for a week, telling me I needed to make a green hat. For whom? I have not a clue. And yet it kept nagging at me every single day.

This evening I finally realized that if I’d just given in and started the silly thing this morning it could have been done by now, so now it’s 6″ along. Not done but close.

Then we collected the kid and I’m calling it a night.



Look! A newborn cowl!
Tuesday June 05th 2018, 10:41 pm
Filed under: Family,Knitting a Gift

Ah, they’re so cute at this stage…

And Happy Birthday to my Dad! 



Between a rock and a melted place
Tuesday May 29th 2018, 10:30 pm
Filed under: Family,Food

So USGS’s geologists were open to questions.

Leading to the BBC’s best-ever headline: Don’t Toast Marshmallows on Hawaii volcano, says US government.

On the other hand, if you want to go to London with 499 of your closest friends (at the minimum), then you can have basaltic rock melted into your own personal steak-charring lava. With, afterwards, (honeymoon story alert) marshmallows.



You dim sum you lose some you win some
Monday May 28th 2018, 9:27 pm
Filed under: Family,Food,Life,Lupus

We decided to go out to lunch. She picked out the (allergy-friendly) place. I hadn’t had dim sum in years–I was looking forward to this.

The food was very good, the place fairly formal and even in a long skirt I felt a tad underdressed. Quite a few of the patrons were on the older side, but not all.

There was a dad who picked up his adorable little girl of about 18 months a time or two and walked the aisle with her to keep her from becoming too restless.

There was another family in a corner in the other direction with a daughter of about nine and a boy of about two and I confess to wincing inwardly as he waved his chopstick with enthusiasm. His was blue. When he wanted to jump and down on his seat waving that baton his parents watched him carefully and finally put a stop to it.

Dim sum is not a fast meal, which was fine with us; we wanted time to catch up on things.

Back to the first family: the third time it was the mom that got up with her. By that point I had a bright-striped red/green/blue/white parrot at the ready. It had the most perfect face. (Chosen over the ones shown here.)

It was hard to tell which one of them was more delighted but it was clearly a great success.

It was a goodly while later and the other family’s dishes were still coming out but that little boy was quite done eating. I asked the maitre d’ as he was going by: was it okay to ask him to give these to those two kids over there?

The green and yellow lizard and the banana-eating monkey swooped and giggled in his hands, imagination going full tilt, his parents playing with him, his big sister putting down her phone game to watch him with a grin and their meal transformed. They turned towards our table and we said, Happy Birthday!

And then went back to our conversation so as to try not to intrude overly.

But here’s the thing. The staff were in the middle of lunch rush in a busy downtown location running full tilt on a holiday and were clearly stressed. But now there were smiles all around where there hadn’t been before. At all.

The first family headed out, the little one back in her daddy’s arms. They paused just before our table and she waved bye-bye and thank you so enthusiastically with her whole arm waving side to side as far as she could go that it wiggled her all over, the parrot held out at the ends of her fingertips to show us her new toy, the parents grateful for older couples who remember how cute toddlers are.

Been there!

We were done and headed out.

Almost at the door, seeing the sun outside, I realized I’d left my new hat behind and was suddenly acutely aware of the time I’d done that and in just a few steps away from a restaurant it had been grabbed and vanished and was never seen again–just as today’s maitre d’ came rushing towards us with this one to try to catch us in time, glad to be able to give back.



Why there’s only a four-word entry tonight
Sunday May 27th 2018, 10:46 pm
Filed under: Family

Michelle’s home, Michelle’s home!



Feel like…letting my freak flag fly…
Friday May 25th 2018, 9:36 pm
Filed under: Family,Life,Lupus

There’s this big and I mean big-brimmed black wool hat that I bought when I knew I was going to be spending some time outside at noon at high altitude, lupus or no lupus. One does not miss the graveside ceremony at one’s mother-in-law’s; it was good that as a piece of clothing for such an event it seemed the proper thing, never mind the lupus.

Richard was feeling a bit cabin feverish and wanted to run a quick errand this afternoon: which meant me driving. That was going to be it, but then we both thought out loud more or less in unison that Costco today would be a whole lot better than Costco on a holiday weekend. (I did not say, but the sun at this hour…)

Somehow that big hat was the one that was in the car (there’s always one), okay then, nice and big and protective, and the only parking space we found was way across the lot. Good thing it’s such a cool day, right? Well we’ll just be a tad formal then. I put it on and then threw it in the cart after we got inside.

After the wind had thrown it off me a time or two as we walked in. That brim sure made for quite the sail. It made me appreciate how still the air had been, how reverent, when we were saying goodbye to his mom.

There was one woman in the store who looked enough like a neighbor I hadn’t seen in awhile that I noticed her–but she showed no flicker of recognition, just stress and hurry, so, no, and we went quietly about our separate business.

One of the first things I did was buy a new SPF-rated sun hat, right there on display right as you walk in the door. That one would stay on, and it looks a heck of a lot more like summer.

Why I didn’t put that one on to head back to the car I couldn’t have told you; it would have made a lot more sense, but no, even while telling myself this made no sense I decided I didn’t want the tag flapping at me before I could get it off–so I put the black one on again. Bigger brim equals more sun protection, right?

That silly hat flew off several more times again in the brisk Bay-side wind and after avoiding being hit by a car retrieving it I kind of clamped it down on my head to try to go load up mine. I could at least still see looking downward.

Turns out that woman had parked next to us. Turns out we got done at about the same time.

Richard cannot bend much right now and I told him not to worry about the groceries.

Airborne!

I caught the woman’s attention. Excuse me? Do you mind if I reach under–my hat just blew under your car…

It what?! She did a double take, then laughed and told me not to worry about it, she’d get it for me, but by the time she looked it was out the other side and heading for the belly of the next car over, more paper airplane than wool. She got to it in time and gave it back to me, much amused. And quite delighted to be able to be of help.

She’d looked so stressed. She looked so happy now. Hat’s off to her for stepping up.

I threw it straight in the back seat. Even if it was a nuisance and needed to be retired, that hat carried memories. It was not allowed to escape.

The new one is ready for duty.



Lava pie
Thursday May 24th 2018, 10:51 pm
Filed under: Family,Food,Life

The surgeon said to him afterwards, x-ray in hand, Did you know you broke your back? Apparently some time ago. Compression fracture.

Him: I what??

Me: So are you still 6’8″?

Him: As far as I can tell. (I took that as, doorways are still too low.)

To my astonishment he had me drive him in to work today.

I wanted him to have something to come home to to really cheer him on, then: thus this offering towards the mythical Pele of Hawaii. Photos of the first fissure opening up and after all heat broke loose. (Note that that top crust ended up really thin after I dropped half of it on the floor, which was clean but not that clean so I massaged what remained into whatever it could manage.)

Multi-berry pie, and it seems to have helped a little.



Stanford Ambulatory
Wednesday May 23rd 2018, 6:56 pm
Filed under: Family,Knit,Life

With yet more hours on my hands, I wondered if that enormous lighting display in the ceiling was a deliberately artistic echo of the ones in the operating room. Surely that must have been the thought.

Someone in scrubs was walking by facing the people beyond me, followed closely by the woman who’d checked my husband in at the far end of the hallway from here at the much-regretted hour of 6:50 a.m.

Who scolded me sharply: “He’s talking to you!”

Blink. (A silent, What? Hello?) I did not so much as see the side of his mouth move and he was in no way looking at me. Nor was he anybody I’d seen earlier. He was paying no attention whatever to me as far as I knew.

At that, the young surgeon rather awkwardly turned, maybe only just then realizing that I was the one who was the wife of his patient, and sat down to let me know (after I asked him several times to speak up–the waiting area was one great big noisy room) that things had gone well.

He had a rash of warts across his forehead that made him look like he was sweating profusely as he leaned forward.

I would be called back there in twenty minutes.

I picked up my phone forty-five minutes later, looked at the time, and shrugged. These things never go quickly.

I looked out the wrap-around windows at all the new construction. I saw that the place I’d done my brain rehab after my car was sandwiched in ’00 was, to my surprise, still standing, even though it’s only two stories high. Stanford likes to go big these days, but there it was, and prettied up, too.

I got halfway through another cashmere cowl and I have no idea who it’s for and really would rather have been making progress on the afghan for the little brother who’s been promising that Maddy will not have to be the baby of the family forever but was comforted at knowing that, whoever this bright little bit of soft scarfiness turns out to be for, I’ll be glad I did it.

I alternated between reading and knitting to keep my hands comfortable. I got sixty-five pages into a book on bird intelligence that I’d been quite looking forward to but that desperately, desperately needed a decent editor. Or at least for the writer to have sat down and read her own work cover to cover at the finish to find out for herself just how much she’d beaten the same, basic, boring, repeating points to death, page after page after page.

It matched the day.

At last an older man wearing a Stanford-red suit coat came from behind the desk to escort me and one other person to our spouses, chatting amiably along the way, quite making up for his co-worker. (He’d seen her.)

Coming into post-op, the first thing I saw was the hospital’s attempt at the usual requirement that the patient put on their non-skid no-falls socks. What you can’t quite see here is they’d even cut them in their efforts to make them somehow get over his big feet.

I decided not to joke about sock episiotomies. Yet.

It felt downright strange to be the one waiting for the valet to bring the car around so I could pick up the patient.

All went well, he is fine, and we are home.

 



There they are
Sunday May 20th 2018, 9:35 pm
Filed under: Family

Reading a silly book together.

(Note to self: sending the pictures works better when you turn airplane mode off on the phone.)



Early start
Saturday May 19th 2018, 10:52 pm
Filed under: Family,Food,Lupus

We read silly books, we played, we cheered.

Or rather he did, at least during the games. Since I can’t be out in the sun our daughter took me to her favorite dessert place downtown, and after we got back, the big screen got set up to show me some of the boys’ best moves so I could see them in action, too and their daddy could brag on them.

A little later, I pointed out the pretty orange flowers in the tree to Maddy and how the petals were falling on their swingset.

She did a double take at my audacity and corrected me: “Those. Aren’t. Flowers.”

I laughed. For that I had to step outside a moment with her, sun or no sun. “Yes they are!” I held her up high so she could see a cluster from quite close.

Nothing doing. Trees don’t have them. “They’re not flowers. And–they’re BLUE!” and she ran off giggling.

The logic of a three-year-old.

She might figure out now how the jacaranda trees are all purple right now. (In San Diego. Ours haven’t quite yet.)

When the last flight home for the day was coming right up, I explained to her mid-romp that we were going home to our house now.

She looked up at me, stunned, her face begging, WHAT?! NO!!

We got caught up in saying goodbye to Hudson and Parker and hugs and then we were off in their aunt’s car for the airport.

I only later realized I’d forgotten this time to promise them that we would come back. The boys are old enough to take that for granted but their little sister needed that reassurance.

But we will. I promise.



With multiple strands for extra warmth
Tuesday May 15th 2018, 10:33 pm
Filed under: Family,Knit

It took a random mention on a four-year-old Ravelry thread and then some searching, trying to track down where that picture had come from when there was no information with it, just a hey, isn’t this idea cool.

I saved the photo. It had a long .jpg number. I googled that.

Which of course took me right back to Ravelry.

This pattern. In those blues and white, like a fine Delft china plate. Wow. This is why I have a granddaughter–right? (In San Diego, sure, but hey, she has a cousin in Alaska. Right?)

Right. Right after I do that afghan, and all the cowls that are left to do, and and and.

Maybe I’ll knit the patterns into the baby’s blanket instead?

Like the littlest fingers wouldn’t yank and catch on those strands. He’ll be a newborn, not a responsible older brother. Okay, back to the cape idea then, three and a half is old enough to listen to you telling her why not to and then not to.

Right?

Yeah, yeah, I know. But some part of my knitting brain is suddenly fiercely wanting to do some fair isle work. I think it was those blues that grabbed me first.

Speaking of cool things found, there was also a mention of the floral bouquets, here. (Scroll down a bit.) Wiltproof.



Busy at Mom’s
Sunday May 13th 2018, 9:59 pm
Filed under: Family

Six kids, twenty-five grandkids, and voice mail was as close as I could get for today. Actually I really liked the idea of that–I could just picture all of us trying to call her at once to tell her just how lucky we are that she’s our Mom/Gram/Great Gram. Group hug! Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!