Wednesday, February 28, 2007

And so life goes on... Part 1,356

I've had my engagement ring re-sized. A couple of weeks ago, I was searching for some legal document and came across the guest book from Adam's funeral. I looked through and was just completely overcome by all the signatures. God. There were a lot of people there. There were a lot of people who loved him. I loved him. Love him. Always will. Don't suspect that will ever change, and wouldn't want it to. I didn't expect to find this book, and it hit me like a punch in the chest. No one ever prepares you for how physically painful it is to grieve for someone you love, so very much.

So, I had a complete meltdown, and the next day I walked into the jewelry store, all set to have my ring re-sized. I've still worn my rings on my left hand. Boyfriend and I joke about it sometimes, because he doesn't have a ring, and so we wonder if people think he's having a scandalous affair with a married woman, and this makes me laugh. I have a sick sense of humor. That could be a post on it's own someday, and might well be, if y'all are interested in hearing about the way I torment relative strangers on an occasional basis.

Ok, I walk into the jewelry store, determined not to cry about this. It's time. I need to move this ring (engagement, wedding band being saved for diamonds I am going to have made from Ad's ashes) to my right hand. As any sane woman would, I begin by heading to one of my favorite parts of the store- the case holding tsavorite gemstones. I love Tsavorite. If you're not familiar, it's a green garnet. For more info on them, click here.

I try on a couple of gorgeous rings, briefly consider an antique looking square cut Tsav and diamond ring, but then realize I do, in fact, have to eat... and so I thank the nice lady, all full of that happy glow one gets from wearing, if only briefly, beauteous gems, and head to the service counter.

The woman who helps me is also named Anne, and asks me how she can help. I tell her I need my ring re-sized, and slowly remove it from my left hand. She remarks that it seems to fit perfectly, and I explain that I am moving it to my right hand, which is larger. Then, because I feel it's important to explain why I am doing this, that this is the only reason for me to ever do this, I explain that I was widowed and it is time to move the ring to my other hand. She proceeds to burst into tears. Oh God. Then she remarks to the woman working on something behind her that my husband had died, and how young I am... and this other woman, whose name I did not catch, also begins crying. I, miraculously, am not crying yet. But then they ask what happened- "was he in the service?" - which I get a lot... and I explained he was in an accident. And then the older woman, said, "Oh, I hope it was quick for him, then" and I had to say, no, it was not quick, and that got ME crying. So now the three of us a crying like idiots and there is a fairly impressive sized line forming behind me. But screw them, they're not here because some old lady killed their husbands. Ok, well they could be, but I doubt it.

I then explain what I want on the band... AJB, which was both of our initials, our wedding date 07-05-04 and then an infinity symbol. She didn't know what one was, and the explanation of "a sideways 8" didn't seem to cut it, so I drew it for her.

They sent it off, to be rezied to a 5 to fit my right hand (I've got small fingers), and that was that.

I picked it up last week, and it still feels strange having a naked left hand.

Here's the ring, and I'm impressed with the macro settings catching my fingerprint ridge details here...

When we went ring shopping, I tried this ring on, jokingly saying I'd wear it forever, and it seemed a perfectly reasonable amount to spend... It turned out that Ad got a very impressive bonus at work, and so he really shocked me when on Christmas morning, in front of my whole family (they knew, he asked for their blessing the night before), I opened this ring. And managed a "yes" once I stopped crying!

Here is a photo of the engraving. It's a little hard to see, but it was hard to photograph. I think they did a nice job with the infinity symbol.

So now I have it on my right hand. I love this ring. Love, love, love it. I love it for itself, for its beauty and scintillation, and the way the three diamonds are a Bostonian (De Beers marketed it as "Past Present Future")setting and we met in Boston, and how the three diamonds perfectly line up with the width of my finger... and how every time I look at it I remember the first time I put it on, and what it meant, and what it will always mean to me.

Jokingly I said I'd wear it forever, and it was worth every penny. But it was the truth. I will wear it forever, and to me, it's priceless.

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Monday, February 26, 2007

My Ass, Handed to me by a Sitcom...

Yeah. So, Grey's Anatomy kicked my fucking ass this past week. I love this show. I really do. And I've remained loyal, even though some people have suggested that this is insane, not because the show doesn't rock, because it clearly does, but because of the topics.


** If you don't watch YET, or you haven't seen last week's episode, then just stop reading, ok?? **

Ok, so here's the thing. Denny dies, and that night I get 4 or so phone calls of people calling saying are you ok??! and yeah, I was ok. I mean, it was sad, I was sad for Izzy, it was sad and horrid, but I didn't find it particularly hard to cope with. I mean, Ad didn't die that way. Denny went out really pretty quickly, and apart from the obviously craptastic situation of being stuck in a hospital bed waiting for a heart, he was compis mentis and had the woman he loved keeping him company and then BAM- he's dead. Ok, so yeah, it's sad. Really, sad. I get that, but there are worse things. Trust me, I know. Harder for me was her not wanting to get out of his bed. THAT I get. Losing my husband gave me a new empathy for people who keep loved ones on life support. Don't get me wrong, when there is no hope, then I do think the right thing to do is to let that person go, and that is what I did. But sitting with my husband, waiting for him to die so they could harvest his organs... that was rough. That was beyond rough. It really, really fucking sucked. So the whole Izzy not wanting to get out of the bed thing, yeah, that was hard to watch. I felt for her there. But then, she isn't real, and he isn't really dead.

Then came the Izzy on the floor scenes, which also earned me some phone calls, and then HEY! George's dad has cancer, and wouldn't you know it, so does mine!!

Yeah, that sucked, too. Cried my eyes out when George's dad dies. That was awful. Fortunately, my dad seems to be doing ok and will continue to do so.

And so, now we get to stupid fucking Meredith. I mean, seriously, I was half hoping she'd just die, already. Seriously. But then what would they call the show? She's just sort of, there. And I don't find her that empathetic. I know a lot of people who have had it a whole hell of a lot worse, and they may be as slutty (not that slutty is bad, I embrace slutty, in the right context), but they're not all "woe is me"... Hell, I'm not very "woe is me" (though I have my moments, and yeah, technically I'm totally depressed, but what are you going to do, right?), and I have every right to be all woe and doom, because let's face it, I'm the unluckiest bitch you will ever know. Seriously.

So. When stupid, useless fucking Meredith falls into the water and gives up, and not just because she's lazy, which might be totally justifiable, but because she wants to die, well, die then. But then she does "die" and hey, Denny is there, and the scene ends. And I cry for an hour or so, because I think- yes. This is what happens when we die.

I'm not crying because I care what happens to Meredith, or because Denny is dead, but because the scene is a reminder of one of the deepest hopes that I have ever held; that when I die, Ad will be there to greet me, and I'll say "I told you there was an afterlife" and he'll admit I was right and we'll hang out with all the people we know and love who are also dead, and won't it be grand?

But then the people at Grey's had to go and fuck that one, because in the third part, they all wax poetic about how it sucks to be dead and you don't see your loved ones, and maybe, if you're lucky, it's just kind of like you hear their voices. WHAT??

Cried. My. Fucking. Eyes. Out.

For about three hours. That kind of choking, sobbing, might vom, sort of wracking, sobbing crying... do you know the kind? I'm pretty intimately familiar with that particular sort of crying, and let me tell you, it is no kind of good time.

So damn you, Grey's Anatomy. I mean, seriously- she's dead for what, 3 hours, and not so much as a stutter? I dated a guy in college who was hit by lightning and that poor bastard stuttered for about 6 months. Seriously.

They had better turn it out in the next episode to make this shit fest up to me.

I will, however, concede that Christina's dollar store expedition was fabulous, and Bailey rocks, full stop. But seriously- if anyone over at ABC is reading this, get it together!! Call me if you need story lines- if you want tragic crap, I got it. But no more of this dying but not dying, because, unfortunately, it doesn't work that way.

I also quite honestly thought, in the week following Adam's death that a witch, or a fairy, or an angel or some other creature would come and say we could change it, go back in time, bring him back, etc... and guess what. That didn't happen either. I really thought it might. Seriously. Something to do with shock and all the drugs they had me on to keep me from swallowing Draino or something... but the sad fact is that when people die, they die. And I know, there are things that happen, but if you're going to give us some miracle saga, then for the love of all things dramatic, at least make it something that makes us glad we watched.

Rant over.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Baby Blanket Woes...

So I've been knitting baby blankets like a fiend lately. And I'm not very happy with them. I am posting some pics here and I'm hoping you'll be honest with me. Even if you agree they look somewhat crappy, tell me. I don't care if you think they are the worst blankets you've ever seen- just tell me. Really, really- I just want to know.

So, blanket number one is an entrelac blanket I've been working on. The problem isn't the pattern, really... it's more the yarn. I do like this yarn, but it will snag on anything- even just a bit of rough skin, which is tough to manage in the winter. Also, I feel like the edges are not looking as neat as I'd like- the colors are showing through a bit too much- again, probably a symptom of stretchy ribbon like yarn. So. Here is the first photo- you can see what I mean- the edges look a little tired, and the alternate color peeks through more than I'd like it to.

See what I mean? It's bad, right? Be HONEST. Really. Because I'm getting ready to frog, frog, frog.

Here's another pic of the blanket, covering more area...

The second blanket is a Blue Sky Cotton blanket- the pattern is from Blue Sky.
I knit it using the Organic natural, and had planned to use the "sky" colorway for the ruffle. Couple of problems with this one, and I think it is, in part, the pattern. It calls for size 11 needles, which is fine, the loose gauge gives it a nice drape, but I think the eyelets on a size 11 needle are too big, and I'm not wild about just how loose the stitches are.

Here's a photo of the blanket, overall...

And here's the eyelet, with my finger up to it, showing how large the holes are. I'm actually a little worried that the baby might snarl his fingers in these holes- they really are big!

See what I mean? Arrrrugh. Also, I posted on the knitty board that the ruffle for this blanket is a nightmare- yarn overs every where, and they are just TOO big. I don't know what size needle they used in the photo for the pattern, but I'd bet it wasn't an 11! It just looks sloppy to me.

So, honest thoughts, please. I love the Blue Sky yarn, I'm just not so sure about the pattern.
Should I re-knit it with smaller needles?
Should I re-knit it using another pattern? Can you suggest another pattern? I think I have 5 skeins of cream and 3 of blue.

THANK you.

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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Yep, a boyfriend...

So. Here's the thing. When Adam was killed I never thought I'd really be interested in anyone again. I thought I'd be this eccentric old woman who would make eyes at the pool boy and whatnot. And I was ok with that. When friends would gently prod me about dating I would tell them that if there was anyone else out there for me, then Adam would find that person and send him my way. I didn't really expect for that to happen.

But then after Adam died, one of his best friends and I got to be closer. In a totally platonic way, but closer. And time passed and eventually, well, it wasn't totally platonic anymore. I wasn't expecting it, and neither was he. Kind of came to a shock to us. No one else seemed surprised, just us.

He loved my husband and Adam loved him, and I can completely see why he did. This is a pretty amazing guy. I mean, a really, really, amazing guy. He'd have to be, in order to deal with my monstrous load of baggage. And he is.

Sometimes when we least expect it, even sometimes when we maybe aren't totally ready for it, love, in all its wondrous and infinite manifestations will find us. It's never the same twice, which is pretty amazing in itself.

So yep. I have a boyfriend. And yep, he's wonderful. And yep, I do think maybe, just maybe, my Adam had a hand in this. Because he loved both of us, and I think he'd approve. And I'm glad to have him today, as all days, because hey, he makes my life a happier place to be, just because he exists.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

V-Day Considerations

I thought I'd just mention something, in light of the looming Hallmark Holiday, which falls tomorrow, sending many couples into a frenzy of overpriced roses, ridiculously long waits at restaurants, and the horror of women searching for just the right garment at Vickie's- the one that hides, pushes up, pulls in, flatters and conceals.

The first Valentine's day I spent with my late husband was very memorable. We'd only been together about two months, and he gave me a frog sculpture I'd been admiring at a local gallery, a VT teddybear with a really sweet card, and plane tickets for 10 days in the UK to meet his family and spend a long weekend in London. Very well done. He also cooked me dinner, and greeted me wearing a suit (I didn't realize then what a really big deal that was). I wore a sequined t-shirt with a union jack on it, and painted union jacks on my thumb nails, which he thought was hilarious. He took his favorite photo of me on that day.

And then we settled into the relationship, and said that hey, it was just a hallmark holiday, so let's not spend the money. We'd order some chinese take out and relax at home watching tv or a movie, and we'd just exchange nice cards.

The year before he died, I had been very, very sick with Crohn's, and the steroids had me at a grotesque size 20 -- not that a size 20 is grotesque in any way, but that weight when caused by steroids, is. We had once again agreed-- just cards. And I bought him a card. But because I'd been having such a hard time, he came home and with him he had a box of truffles, and two knitting books. Stitch n' Bitch, and Stitch n' Bitch Nation. I was floored. They were my first knitting books ever. I was a real novice, and hadn't really started looking into the possibility of books. He went to Barnes and Noble and poked around the knitting section, looking through all the books they had and settled on these two because he thought I'd like the stuff in them (and probably in part, because they said "bitch"). It was such a very, very sweet thing to have done, and I cherish those books as being my first and being from him.

It was also our last Valentines day. He was killed that following summer. And now, looking back, I wish we had done more for Valentine's day. Because yeah, it is a hallmark holiday, and it is a serious pain in the ass to try and get it together and find the right gift, make the right plans and so on. But the fact of the matter is, we just don't know how long the person we love will be with us. Things happen, life happens, and so why not take advantage of a day where you just make a big fucking deal about the fact that there is someone in the world who makes your life better, just because they exist.

You don't have to spend a lot of money. Hell, you don't have to spend any money. But acknowledge it. Make it special somehow. Because even if you say "I love you" every day, ten times a day, in the end, it never hurts to say it again, you know?


Thursday, February 08, 2007

Nell Doesn't Just Knit...

She rocks! This is a very overdue post. She sent these hats for my dad's agency and they've been distributed to children in need. The social workers were thrilled with them, and my dad was really impressed. Thank you again, Nell, for doing this.

This post is really, really overdue- I finally got my new laptop and then it's taken me a long time to sort out how to best post photos and whatnot.

Here's a detail of the gorgeous beret she made- I like this photo. Thanks again, Nell- I really appreciate you doing this!! If you haven't seen her blog, go check it out-