Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Trekking socks are finished and as you can see from the photo they don't really have any repeating pattern, just gradual changes. This would be a good way to make interesting sock yarn and the colour changes all happen because one of the plies in the yarn changes colour and this happens in very long sections. I have cast on sock from the green merino & silk I spun not so long ago but I think they won't be for me. Think on this and cast on some cotton socks for the rapidly approaching summer. I also am starting a baby jumper for my English penpal's granddaughter and I am going to use some green variegated hand dyed (not by me) handspun merino with some leftover green superwash for ribbing. I am suddenly filled with a need to knit with my handspun which is A Good Thing.

So it's been a week without a blog. A week that has for the most part passed uneventfully. It seemed that last Weds meltdown knocked something loose, or the subsequent upping the dosage of Luvox helped (I'm back on my regular dose now), or something. I had been keeping a journal when I had a lot of pent up stuff I couldn't get out and I found that writing it became harder because it meant I had to re-hash those feelings of the day instead of letting them pass. So no more journal. I can now look at his photo on my bedside table and smile rather than sob. I've worked in the garden, thrown out 2 more boxes of paper, found that we really didn't need a 4 drawer filing cabinet (which is cleverly constructed of 2 2-drawers stacked on top of each other) so I can take one for my studio. There is a used book seller going thru boxes of books as I write, and I should actually get some money out of the hoarded mess.

I rented a storage locker for the loom and had to get a bigger one than I had thought because it wouldn't get through the door of the smaller unit. I hung around all weekend waiting for a call to say the movers were there only to log on to my email on Monday and found that they came but couldn't get the loom through the door of the truck. I had supplied the movers with dimensions but for some reason they tried to get it through the side door of a truck rather than the rear. So we are on for next Saturday we hope. I also sincerely hope M can help me take it apart to put into a smaller (cheaper) unit or even move it into the house. I went to the ANU open day and found members of the guild being shown the computer-controlled loom by M. I really hope the guild really becomes a true spinners AND weavers guild and not a ladies chat group. I bought an apron with the ANU logo and a celtic knot design screen printed in red on a black background.

I've been listening the Syne's Weavecast for the past day and have gotten really inspired to weave so I will really and truly warp the 4 shaft once a little of the clutter is gone. I hate to dump old computers in a skip, but what else can you do? I still have piles of floppies to look at to see whether there's anything important on them. I spent hours unintalling game software to sell, but was unable to find his book database. If it's there, it's hidden well. I also discovered by opened one of the boxes that hadn't made it to the shed that he had interfiled sci fi with other stuff, some of which I did not want to sell, so I now have to go through the boxes in the shed retrieving things I want to keep. Yes, this means when I cark it, somebody will have books to deal with but at least I don't have my college text books. Just LOTS of fibre.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

This has been a very difficult week. After I posted on Saturday I had another late night breakdown. Sunday I felt almost hungover, pressure-type headache, tired, etc. Monday I had to work a weird schedule because I just could not get out of bed to be at work at a normal hour. Yesterday morning I forgot to take my meds, a fact I didn't discover until much later. I felt typically miserable at work, was crying at times, finally went home with nausea and cried and cried and... Finally I called the social work contact at Canberra Hospital who promised she would pass on my needs to the community (Belconnen) client service people who would call me back. It's 24 hours later and I haven't heard back. After the phone call I slept for about 4 hours, got up, ate, read science fiction, read email and watched mindless TV (all comfort activities). By this time I had discovered why I had felt so awful all day. The person I talked to at Canberra Hospital questioned my ability to increase my anti-depressants and I told her how hard it was to go down that path and that it would take months just to get the appointments made. So I self medicated by taking another half dose of Luvox, and I do seem to be on a more even keel internally with that. I really felt out of control and the slightest thing would send me off. Today I worked a bit in the yard--hung out wash, cleaned up the last of the berries (but don't think I'm finished!), cleaned up the results of my rear neighbour's tree clearing (much welcomed), weeded a little in the strawberry patch, found a few spears of asparagus, and found mint getting into my raised veggie beds. Inside I brought in 3 boxes of Bear memorabilia from the Shed, and among very old and musty university teaching (I think) notes, lots of letters to Betty which I extracted for her, more notes of meetings 17 years ago, half written on pads of paper, etc. I will probably never need a pad of paper ever again. He often wrote on 2 or 3 pages and then it got bundled into a lot of other stuff. And throughout these days I have still been doing paperwork for him, like the car finance, and getting things ready for the last super claim. I have an appointment for someone to come and look at the books, am making arrangements to get the Civil War books moved and trying my best to get 2 J's to come over to my house on Friday because it will be our 16th anniversary and I don't want to be alone.

On the loom front, I have booked a mover and now have to rent a unit to put it in. I so wish I had it where I could see it, play with it, just know it was mine but I just have no room now. I am such am impatient person and that's one of the biggest character flaws I battle. I hate waiting. However, I would have waited years for the Bear, had we had them. Waiting the 5 months between when I left him after our pre-honeymoon and when I returned for our wedding was agony and lots of phone bills and online activity.

We have also had very bad behaviour by the Imp. She got out the front when I was taking things to the recycling bin and when I caught her I smacked her as hard as I dared along with much scolding. She got out the back when i brought the Bear's boxes in, and I chased her down and scolded her and gave her grass to eat. Then I made a second trip to shut the shed and she dashed out again and this time I smacked her till she squawked and told her how bad she was. I am torn about whether trying again to put a harness on her (should I be successful which is doubtful) would only encourage her in believing that outside is an OK place to be. Is it just novelty? The hunt for grass? Her general impish behaviour (I'll do whatever I like whenever I like)? Burmese don't live as outdoor cats and her inclinations to race off at high speed mean I can't let her to meander even supervised. She'd be off and up a tree or over a fence much faster than I could follow and she has no fear of anything. She is now asleep on my left arm but will be dislodged when I hit "publish post."

Saturday, August 18, 2007

I may have been a bit premature in my "light at the end of the tunnel" declaration of yesterday. I did my crying in the shower this morning with more of the questions "why him?" and "why me?" which are the continuing unanswerable questions. I don't believe that he was chosen by any higher power no matter how much I wish it were that easy to answer those questions. It is merely a fact that I am still struggling to learn to live with.

I know I talk about the running warfare between the Senior cat and the Imp. Then they go and pull a stunt like at right, where you might even believe they tolerated each other. Actually there was a lot of growling from the Senior cat (see her shaved belly?) and I think the Imp jumped up to blindside her and then decided to go to sleep. However, they are in my chair so this cozy scene will be disrupted. There have been no Swans reports because that's a still raw area and I can't bear to watch without him. J & I still SMS each other during the matches.

I told you how much I liked the Trekking sock yarn I was knitting and you see why you would expect the result on the right from the yarn on the left. If you like the colourway it's colour 101.

I was a little naughty in buying some sock yarn, but it doesn't count in the knit from your stash pledge. The top is Madelinetosh superwash merino in colour "bark" and the bottom in Schaeffer Anne (superwash merino, mohair and nylon) in a staggering 560 yds., colour "bright earth"

Friday, August 17, 2007

I feel very weird. I'm at the point of a cold when you don't really feel miserable but you aren't nearly back to full strength and you have this annoying cough. But that's not why I am feeling weird. I just balanced my bank account. My account. In my name alone. And I screwed it up the first time, but now I don't have anybody there to say "Help!" to, so I did it over and over until I got it right. (It helps to read the statement closely) The house is very quiet. No one will come home tonight and give me a kiss and a cuddle. And I can say that (at this particular point in time) without bursting into tears. I may cry in 15 minutes, but right here it's a tear-free zone and that's what's weird. I don't miss him any less but I am beginning to see that there is life. A very different life than what I had planned, but a life. I'll have to see what being a widow with two cats is like. I can eat broccoli and artichokes all I want and I will never have to watch someone make a cold baked bean sandwich. Well, never say never. I cannot imagine what man could fit into the impossibly big slippers of The Bear and I doubt there is such a person, but then I didn't know he was here until the internet brought us together. I sincerely doubt I will ever find another soul mate. They are unique by definition, aren't they? It would be nice to have him back, and healthy. No nasty livers and I'll tolerate all his mess in an instant.

On a completely different note, the Imp is hereby put up for sale. Price TBD. Last night I looked down to find her wrestling with a tube of hand-spun singles. Then I went to take out the rubbish, in my dressing gown (bathrobe), and she decides running out in the dark would be fun. Cursing the darkness, a candle will not help you find a grey cat at night. So I had to find my way next door and borrow a torch (flashlight) and called her. By that time she had decided this wasn't as much fun as she had thought it would be and was up on the porch. Throw her inside, return torch, go back inside and crawl back into bed. What's the lure of Burmese again? Oh she makes an excellent hot water bottle, even if we do fight over who has the main part of the bed. And she's very cute when she asks to get under the covers and lies along my side with her head on my shoulder and goes to sleep. Then again she brings me twist-ties to play with on top of me at 5 AM. Fortunately she's seemingly unbreakable so throwing her off my lap means she bounces. She's very soft and loves me very much. Maybe I'll keep her anyway.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

I'm back! I'm sorry if I worried anybody out there by disappearing for almost a week. Friday my dear MIL told be she was coming down after a very erratic phone call with me on Thursday night. I knew I was babbling and out of it but couldn't stop myself and she astutely read that I needed company. She was here for two and a half days and simply having someone with me while watching TV was wonderful. I had a major meltdown while she was here but having someone to vent all my helpless and needing feelings to was probably life-saving. She also knows I will get through this because I am strong even if I don't feel like it.

One of the things I tried doing was ripping out superfluous hardware and other stuff but in the process I lost my internet connection. I am not supposed to kneel so I ended up with two bruised knees and several bruises on my arms from crawling around in the multicoloured spaghetti under the desk where the Big Computer sits. I finally gave up while talking to my ISP and they referred me to a wonderful service (CHCSS) who dispatched a wonderful person who spent 2 1/2 hours removing excess accounts, putting Brian's documents in my name, reconnecting me to the net, etc. There is a lot less in start up now so it doesn't take a year to start up any more. Any wives out there who rely on their husbands to make sure they are connected to the internet, force them, by threat of anything you think they value, to show you how the computer or computers are configured, what any passwords are that you may need should something happen to them, get them to put it in writing and update it routinely. Nobody should have to go through what I did for the past 6 weeks just because he thought he was immortal.

On Friday C and I went to the annual craft fair. I tried reining myself in on buying quilt stuff because I am a long way from making a quilt but the fabrics are so alluring. I only bought a few. I bought the Brandon Mably knitting book because I had been wondering about it for some time and wanted to see it before plonking down $35. It has several designs I'd knit in a flash and intarsia doesn't frighten me. If you like Kaffe Fassett designs, you will like this book. I want it for inspiration if nothing else. No, I won't be knitting them in Rowan but I should start keeping a list of what I need to knit one of them (a vest I think) on me so when I stumble across a sale bin, I'll know what I need.The nice thing about intarsia is that it does NOT end up double weight like fair isle does. I was thinking of using my stash of tapestry/needlepoint yarn to use up odds and ends of colours in a design like these. I also bought odds and ends like the pattern for the wire necklace that I bought the supplies for last year, some scissors, a compact fluouro daylight bulb in a wattage high enough to be of real use. There were no spinning supplies, but the ladies with the Procion dyes had a bigger booth this year. There was some yarn but mostly very expensive European lines. I got some Jawoll sock yarn because I liked the last bit if it so much; this time it's only solid camel brown but I need more brown socks (as well as more blue, purple and green socks).

I have more knitting book reviews to come but whatever task I tackle, I get very tired very quickly, and any standing takes its toll on my legs. So now I will go lie down for a while and hope I get the energy to go grocery shopping either later today or tomorrow.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

I have surrendered to the pain and fatigue. I didn't go to weaving last night and have dropped the class. I just can't concentrate sufficiently for 3 hours to make the class worth either my while or have the instructor helping me all the time when there are other students to help. I went home after my Bowen therapist unlocked all my knots and got rid of the headache I'd had for 2 days by unkinking my neck and shoulders. I picked up a box of books from Amazon and one was Being a Widow by Lynn Caine and she lost her husband to liver cancer as well. Everything she said in the first 25 pages just rang in me like a bell. It was all exactly what I was feeling and going through. That's when I decided that I needed to get my body back under control. I tried to take a nap but was awakened by my SIL who was answering my email about coming to visit. I cried a lot to her and promised to arrange something. Now that my class isn't occupying one night a week, I can go whenever I want. I'd like to get some more of the paperwork sorted out, but maybe next month I'll have a handle on it.

This is the worst thing that ever happened to me and from the book I may have at least a year before I feel anywhere near human again. I am the grips of this horrible feeling which only another widow can really understand. Please bear with me. My fiber world does help me and I knit socks and watched TV last night with cats on my lap. That's my comfort zone.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

I don't want to worry anyone by going silent. I've been busier than a one-armed paper hanger, to use one of my mother's turns of phrase. I have also learned that one day of cleaning/sorting/filing/whatever leads to massive leg pain knocking me off my feet for my legs to recover. I have almost finished going through the books separating the sci fi, from the books in our general collection, from the books going to charity (remember he never discarded a book back to the the 1960's). The Civil War books are going to ADFA who are glad to get them. For some obscure reason, our public library refuses all donations so they will go to charity. I've been filling out forms, making phone calls to find out what forms I need to fill out, getting photocopies of documents to attach to the forms. I am astonished that some organizations require practically no documentation and others require everything and then some. I will have someone over to try and hack into the Bear's side of the Big Computer. I've made the first steps in sorting out finances, but all of this takes time. I haven't dealt with the car or real estate yet, partially because I don't know what will be coming in from his estate.

On the other side there is the loom in Melbourne. I am still trying to find out how to get it shipped from there to here. The only door that it will fit through is into the dining room which is not what I want. So it will go into storage while I play with the 4 shaft loom, refurbish the Bear's bedroom (which I can barely stand to look at now) into a proper guest room with new carpet etc., and turn the back (formerly guest) bedroom into my studio. I have a plan of how I might be able to get the loom into it, but I'll ponder that until I get other things under control. Once the books are out of the computer room and the Bear's former bedroom, I can rearrange things.

This may sound all very heartless to describe but believe me it is extremely difficult to deal with every one of these decisions and I cry every day. I still simply can't believe he is gone. I am always tired and try very hard not to think about him too much because I just break down and the pain is raw still. Going to work is almost a relief in that I have something to focus on for a those hours. Anybody reading this should immediately go the the person you love and tell them that they are loved and give them whatever the appropriate gesture is, whether it's a hug or, as we used to say, tonsil-sucking. What I would give for another cuddle, another kiss, another hand-holding.

I gave up on Conquistador and am reading The Prodigal Sun which is very good and even written by an Aussie. I have many boxes of books waiting patiently to be read.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

This has not been a very good week for me. I feel very zombie like despite enjoying a very pleasant night out with J eating wood-fired pizza and watching the new Harry Potter movie. I feel very disconnected, like I am going through the motions and the only time I am fully engaged is when I'm crying my eyes out (and there has been some of that,along with not sleeping). I am trying not to get exhausted so have cut back what I try to do in a day, but the paperwork is never ending and I have yet to do anything about his car or the bank. A lot of it involves walking from one end of the mall to the other, and sorting books and paper involve standing, and my legs hurt.

The Imp escaped today and I was nearing panic but didn't want to let it into my voice. I discovered that, instead of heading next door which she had started off towards, she went into the front yard instead. She squawked when I picked her up but seemed to be glad to be back inside as it has been rather raw and cold this week. Sunday is a Swans match here in Canberra and the high is expected to be 10C so I'm glad I had my Swans parka dry cleaned.

I have a FO and it's even a handspun FO. The ribbed hat is done and I have been wearing it this week. It is warm and soft and just covers my ears. Now that I have straight hair, I have no fears of hat-hair, and may knit another one in a different colour. My only other knitting is my Trekking socks where I have finished the gusset decreases and am onto to foot (of sock 1).