Saturday, March 24, 2012

Sometimes, all you have to do is say so.

The next chapter in my life is still going to happen, but it's been delayed a bit. Though I wanted to make my change to a contingent position happen yesterday, or in this particular case, two months ago, it's now not going to happen until maybe May. I already have a replacement, but with one nurse going on medical leave and another leaving her position to go back to school (she'll need a replacement, too, and so will her replacement), the organization will be pinched for staff if we all make our moves now, so I'm going to have to wait and practice patience and tolerance.

The end of May is it for me though and I'm going to give them a date where it will be written in stone. Someone in our group is ALWAYS going to need a replacement and I want to have room for other things in my life--things I want to do and activities I actually love doing. It's time to put my foot down because I'm feeling an urgent need for change.

Birthdays and funerals do that to me, and this week, both have played a part in my life. I turned an age today I never thought I would when I was a really young girl, and yesterday, I went to the funeral of a woman who was only 62. The last time she and I spoke, she was talking excitedly about her upcoming retirement and all she would do with her free time. Time for herself. Time to pursue the leisure activities she enjoyed. Things she won't ever be able to do now.

Sue was the care coordinator for an organization that helps people with cognitive challenges live as independently as possible in real homes and in real neighborhoods. She first came into our lives about a year or so before we turned our own home into a supervised assisted living for our daughter and her roommates. Sue told me to trust her in the beginning and that she had only our best interests at heart. I placed all control into her hands (a very, very hard thing to do) and never once regretted that decision. Almost singlehandedly, this incredible woman changed our lives. As I walked into the funeral home yesterday, I was awestruck by the sheer amount of human beings congregating in one place to pay respect to a woman who very obviously knew how to take a noun like community and turn it into a verb. There were hundreds of people packed into that funeral home.

Sue's love and expertise will be sorely missed and I am saddened by her sudden death, but to me, the biggest tragedy here is that she never lived to see her personal dreams for her retirement come true. After a lifetime of giving of herself and caring for others first, she was cheated of a proper ending. What a shame.

After I left the funeral, I went into town to buy some Zauberball yarn. I'm on a mission to make a blanket that is so intriguing to me with its textures and color. As I spoke with the owner of the store, she looked up the pattern (Squares on the Roll) herself and immediately said she loved it, too, and thought this would be a great project for a weekly knit-along in the store. Where the words came from, I don't know, but in a very surreal moment, I took a step forward and told her I would love to lead this group. I heard myself saying the words that came unbidden from my lips and think my subconscious desires must have been hard at work in that very moment. I've talked about teaching knitting, but never dreamed a shop owner would jump on the offer. Well, she did, and since life is apparently short, I'm diving right into this with my heart wide open.

It's time. My time, and I'll be damned if I'll be cheated of that little bit of self actualization.

So, in June, on Tuesday evenings, I'll be leading a knit along for this project at the only yarn store in Berkley, and as soon as we've ironed out the details, I'll post the information both here and on Ravelry.

This, as I enter my 56th year, is going to be fun.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Just in time for spring

The weather has been glorious here in the metro Detroit area. We went right from winter to summer in a split second. It was so warm I had to bust out my flip flops. Yesterday I managed to do a little outdoor shopping, meet my brother and sister in law for an early dinner, squeeze in a trip to Barnes and Noble for some pattern books and then rushed up to the hospital to greet a certain someone who wasn't too happy to come into the world 4 weeks early.

While the doctors considered allowing the baby to stay in her cozy home for at least another week, Mom wasn't tolerating being pregnant very well and the only cure for what ailed her was an early eviction of her daughter. The two of them combined to give all who love them a big scare, but this morning all is well and somehow the Detroit area seems a little like paradise.

It was hours and hours and hours before anyone was allowed to hold this sweet little baby. We finally got this picture by text several hours after we were evicted from we'd left the hospital and that was enough to let us sleep like babies last night.

Even the electrodes on her chest are cute. Look! They're sheep! Now that's a perfect sign that she'll love all things hand knit and to that end, I'll be casting on a soft little monster for her to snuggle with. I'm really glad I slipped in that trip to B&N to buy The Big Book of Knitted Monsters.

I'm really thankful she hung on for as long as she did and very selfishly, long enough for us to host that baby shower for her. She's nothing if not considerate!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

If it weren't for bad luck...

I'd have no luck at all. Never mind that the luck of the Irish is supposed to be with me today. I can assure you it does not abide here.

Mayhem has struck the Casa de Rudee. Again. Oh, I guess in the grand scheme of things, it's no big deal, but in my heart of hearts, it is.

When the movers brought the curio cabinet from my in law's house this week, I wasted no time at all filling it with the pieces I've collected over an entire lifetime. It was beautiful--just as I'd imagined it would be and I'm sorry I didn't think to take a photo.

Upon those shelves, I lovingly placed my grandmother's porcelain teacups from England (well over a hundred years old) that I have safely moved around 5 times, most of my very treasured salt and pepper shakers (including those cute little monks), very unique crystal and Murano glass vases, Lladro figurines (including the nurse I was awarded several years ago for a nurse of the year award) and pieces that were special to me because they had belonged to my mother (or her mother) and my mother in law.

Today, most of them are gone and what's left are shards of glass, porcelain and other odds and ends. The cascade of tragedy began when the top glass shelf spontaneously collapsed on the shelves below. I was at work when my husband called to break the news. Surprisingly, most of my religious pieces--all of Mary in some shape or form--survived. I'm beyond thankful for this because each one is very special. Oh sure she's scraped up a little, but somehow I think--in the grand scheme of things--Mary has survived worse.

Today I'll spend my day off sifting through the ruins and likely shedding a tear or two over the loss of what used to be treasures. I'll pick and choose from the detritus for what can go into our mosaic tables.

Leo, bless his little doggie heart, was scared to death when this happened. He spent all night going in and out of his crate seeking comfort and laying low. From what I was told, when the whole thing crashed, it made a terrible racket that scared him. He's still avoiding the dining room today.

You know...I think I need to ship those remains I spoke about the other day. Don't think it didn't cross my mind that he was behind all this and that somehow, he has slipped back in as an uninvited guest.. If I have to have a priest come here and bless this house to get rid of such spirits, I will.

Thursday, March 15, 2012


Hot off my needles...Stephanie's pattern

It should not go unreported here that the lunacy that is so common in my my father in law's family has once again reared its bizarre head. Mr. Larger Than Life has been gone now for 8 months and there is a relative who has been writing us demanding explanations and remuneration for something that occurred two decades ago. She wants to know why MLTL treated her so poorly ( she was the only one?) and what we're going to do about it. Apparently, she thinks she deserves some of his millions she was sure he had and does not believe MLTL pretty much gambled away outlived his retirement funds. Frankly, I think she has us mixed up with some other family and I plan on forwarding her the email I got telling me I'm in the will of Wolfgang Wiedeking and entitled to some of his millions. She can send them her bank account numbers and see what she gets.

I know I'm being too generous with my own inheritance, but I'll do anything to get her to stop writing and demanding money I'm a big person like that.

This long neglected chair will see a little TLC this month. The front porch is going to see a lot of knitting action since it seems to be the only open space. Good thing it's warming up around here.

Today we closed on MLTL's estate. All is said and done and while I only wanted a rocking chair, I got a whole lot more. There are boxes and boxes all over my itty-bitty house and furniture galore. I am now the owner of antique secretary that didn't sell--and I don't want--but we didn't have the heart to donate, a sofa table, a cedar chest (which is at least functional), more bedroom furniture than I have bedrooms to fill and as of today--to make room for my son--my yarn has been been ousted from my studio. For all those years he took care of MLTL, I can hardly complain...

How he got back here, I really don't know, but MLTL has moved in with us, too. His remains made it back where he'll stay until my sister in law picks him up. She plans on interring his ashes with my mother in law's down in Indiana. Instead, perhaps I should send send his remains to live with his crazy relative--allowing her to live with what's left if only for a little while.

Yep. With the loss of my yarn studio, I'm just that bitchy and half crazy, too.

Project notes on my Engulfed in Shadows scarf can be found on Ravelry. Thank you for this wonderful (and free) pattern Stephanie! It was fun to knit.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Rare animal spotted in Michigan

The Four Footed Sofa Hog

It's Saturday and I'm tired. Don't you think this creature--who apparently embraces only his Moochness--should at least share the space so we could both have a lie down?

Monday, March 5, 2012

Good deed begets a world of misery.

It was cold a week ago Saturday--the day before the baby shower--so I made the effort to pull my car into the garage, clean out the hospice supplies and make room for all that was needed to throw a successful social event. I locked the gate and the garage door knowing all of our hard work would be safe during the night.

I never park in the garage. First, it's a pain to even get up the narrow drive with my wider Ford Escape and even harder to back out without hitting the house. Second, I am a person of modest means so I have no electronic gate like they do in Beverly Hills and opening and closing the gate is a hassle. Third, I have a dog who would love to lord it over all of the other neighborhood dogs, so the gate must always stay closed. And locked. Overall, it's easier to park in the drive.

Now you have the makings of this domino effect that landed my vehicle in the emergency room at the local Ford dealer. No worries I thought...the vehicle is still covered under warranty. If it's not, I had the common sense to buy an extended warranty when I purchased this little truck.

While I slumbered this morning, my husband had the vehicle towed (it died after the dealer had closed on Friday) and as I was just waking up, I could hear him on the phone, "chewed through wires?" "What do you think it was? A rat?"

Our town has a rodent (rat) problem, which I'd heard about before we moved here, but I've never seen one. Everyone is good about keeping their yards picked up and their trash contained. Well, everyone except the lunatic behind me. She'd be the one who allows the dog excrement to accumulate over winter and misses each opportunity to remove it when it's frozen (easiest way to pick up poo). She has two dogs so it's extra nasty. The only rodent type creature I've seen--besides the squirrels-- is a possum. Leo likes to corner him in the yard and when he does, the stalking begins, Leo's hair stands up on end and he snarls and growls. That bold little rat-like bastard stands up on his hind legs and hisses like crazy. I think they're hideous myself. Leo likes the game.

I think I know where that nasty little creature has been staying at night. And I think I know what he's been eating.

All told...about $600 worth of damage not covered by warranty. A big chunk of that money is coming out of my paycheck. The one with all of the mandatory overtime from last week. The money I'd dreamed of spending on two sweater's worth of yarn.

From spending one night in the garage? Talk about an indiscretion one lives to regret!

If it all weren't so ridiculous, I'd cry.

Photo: Wiki Commons

Saturday, March 3, 2012


In order to prevent bad luck, should the amount of salt you throw over your shoulder be proportionate to the amount of salt you spill?

Case in point:
  • Can't find my driver's license and credit card.
  • Tear house apart looking for these two items that I don't realize are missing until I'm walking out the door for work.
  • In my frenzy to find these things, I accidentally knock over the monk that cradles my overly expensive finishing salt.
  • Throw two or three grains of the precious French salt over my left shoulder and decide I will drive without my license because I've wasted so much time looking for it that I'm now late.
  • Pile supplies and my butt into the car and am now drenched because it's pouring rain and I couldn't find my umbrella, either.
  • Put key in ignition of two year old car and realize, oh-oh, she won't start. Huh. Say out loud to no one in particular (since I am alone), "I think my hospice-mobile is as tired as me."
  • Go back in the house and call Ford Roadside Service. Call husband and tell him to drive faster so I can get to work.
  • Decide to rip bedroom apart while waiting and find errant missing items on my bed under the blankets...don't ask since I have no idea how they got there.
  • Surmise I was not meant to be on time today because either the Universe and the salt cellar conspired against me, or less likely, I was not meant to be on the road at that moment in time and a guardian angel spared me more mayhem. The suspicious pessimist in me prefers the former explanation.
  • Half way through my shift I started late, get call from triage nurse to hurry up, drive across town and spend the rest of my shift with a patient. Can't leave until relief gets there 5 hours later.
  • Drive home at 3 AM slightly nauseous because the wind is steadily buffeting the car. It was said wind gusts were 45 miles per hour. Baloney...those weren't gusts, but steady winds.
  • Hear the news of all the tornados on radio and realize that as bad as my night was, it was much worse for many and think less of myself for my petty, self absorbed thoughts that have plagued me all night. Lay awake--though utterly exhausted--for hours.
  • Wake up early after what seems like only 3 minutes of sleep and notice the monk was laying where he fell with some of his spillage still on the table.
  • Finally put two and two together...I'd brought this all on myself. I don't think I tossed enough salt.