January 28, 2009

A Bean in Your Bra?

We are home. I was beginning to think it was never going to happen. What a long, intense few days it has been.
We arrived in Florida late Thursday night and the whirlwind began immediately. Family came in and out constantly. It was next to impossible to find a few minutes alone. It seemed that as soon as one meal was cleaned up it was time for another to be prepared. Nerves were absolutely frayed. By the time the viewing ruled around, we were frazzled. We got in our cars and headed for the funeral home. How difficult to see my FIL after two and a half years looking so different. We were all so upset and dealing with it in our own ways.
Now, I have the greatest two kids in the whole world and this has been the most difficult thing for them. Although they have been to a funeral or two, but they've never been to one for someone so close to them. The tears were flowing and the tension was very thick. I guess R knew it was going to be a very difficult evening, especially for L. Bless her heart - the kid planned ahead.
Have any of you noticed the mole on the side of Obama's face? R refers to it as a nostril knurl (For those of you who are like me and had no idea what a knurl is, according to the dictionary, it is a knob, knot, or other small protuberance). Ever since he has been in the public eye, we have been concerned that the man should have it removed. You might be asking, what on earth does this have to do with a viewing? What on earth does this have to do with R at all? I'm going to tell you! Since Obama was elected, R has been sticking a small bean on the side of her nose and waiting for someone to notice. When they do, she tells them she looks like Obama. Don't ask why - it's just one of those wacky little things our family does! So, knowing that L was going to be upset at the viewing, she stuck some beans in her pocket before we left the house. Sure enough, L was indeed upset and out came the bean. She stuck it to the side of her nose and broke the tension for L. However, it didn't stick to the side of her nose. It fell into her bra. Being into the 'moment,' I was very unaware of all of this. All of the sudden, R looks at me with this urgent look and whispering that she thinks she may have a bean in her bra. What? Surely I heard her wrong. But no, she is insistent that she go to the bathroom immediately because she's positive she has a bean in her bra! I'll be dipped! She did! Now, how many viewings have you been to where you end up in the bathroom with someone fishing a bean out of her bra? I have to admit it was a first for me!
My sister and I managed to sneak out for a few pictures. We haven't seen each other in three years, so it was great to see her again. We managed to sneak a few pictures in front of the funeral home - that explains the hearse in the background! (She's on the right, so that would make me the one on the left!)

January 21, 2009

The Call Came....

The dreaded phone call came in the middle of the night. You know, the one you are expecting, but hope doesn't come. The one that makes you feel sick every time the phone rings? Around 4:30 RL got the call from one of his brothers. Their Dad passed away around 1:00. We don't know details and are afraid to call right now for fear of waking anybody who was up all night. Tomorrow morning we head for Florida.
RLs Dad was diagnosed with lung cancer last year after the doctor accidentally found an aneurysm. The tests for the aneurysm revealed cancer. He finally quit smoking about five years ago, but he would have told you it was ten. He told us he started when he was six. Unbelievable.
There are many things I can tell you about him, but the most important thing would be that he was true to himself to the bitter end. He spoke his mind whether you liked what he had to say or not. He was bigoted some times, but other times he would tell you about one of his best friends who was black. He ALWAYS wore white socks with black shoes and black socks with white shoes! He loved babies and they seemed to love him too. When the kids were little he would just pick them up like he'd been doing it all his life. When my nephews would overeat at some of our holiday get togethers, they could always be found sitting on his lap with him rubbing their little extended bellies! Oh - and don't ever mess with that man's Lazy Boy! That was his chair and his chair only! If he was on the porch swing, it was fair game. Otherwise, STAY AWAY! I'll never forget the day he actually let me sit there. I was VERY pregnant and he graciously gave the chair up for me. He had two speeds - on and off. When a job needed to be done, he put the call out to his three boys and they were there to work until the job was finished. However, if he was teaching you how to do a job and it was frustrating him that you just weren't catching on fast enough, he would do it himself. He took care of his family too. His father had died when he was 17. He quit school and got a job to help out. When he married my MIL a couple of years later, he held down two jobs so she could stay home - he swept a body shop by day and drove a diaper truck by night. She never worked the entire they were married. (Next month would have been 55 years.) He got a reputation for his body work on cars and would have them sold before he could finish them! If they needed school clothes, he'd look for a car to work on in his spare time. Christmas? Another car. Vacation? Another car. RL told me about a job his Dad wanted, but to get it he had to be a high school graduate or have a GED. He remembers how hard his Dad studied so he could pass his GED. He got the job too! It drove me nuts when he was in his 'off' mode. He would sit on the porch swing or in a lawn chair and hardly move. I'd never seen anybody do that! He'd talk about the birds and squirrels and take in everything around him. There were times we didn't see eye to eye and I didn't know if we ever would. However, things worked out better than they had ever been before. I haven't seen him since Thanksgiving 2006. It will be strange to see my MIL alone. It will be strange to see his empty Lazy Boy, but I bet you anything - it will be empty and in more ways than one.
R took the above picture one of the last times she saw them in Cades Cove. It just seemed tthat she really captured him.

January 20, 2009

Brrr! Snow!!!!

Our first snow of the year showed up last night. It's only here and there, but it happened and we have proof!

I'm not so sure our cactus likes it too much. I haven't figured out why this cactus grows here anyway! Oh well, it's hardy - which this pictures shows.

The kids are outside throwing snowballs at the windows and then hiding. They have to be freezing their butts off! I think they are growing weary of the inauguration. I can't say that I blame them. I'm tired of seeing all the hoopla and that horrid gold dress with the even more horrid green gloves and shoes.

We will probably be heading to Florida in a day or two. RLs Dad has been moved to the hospice house and the doctor has given him three to five days. Such a hard trip to make. Please pray for his Dad first and then the rest of the family. Also, please pray for us to have a safe trip. Thank you.

January 16, 2009

Twenty-one Years Ago....

In a kingdom far, far away (Florida), a couple (RL and K) wanted to have a baby. After three years of marriage, they thought the time was right. Told they couldn't have a baby without some difficulty, they set out to prove the physicians wrong. And prove them wrong they did! Nine months later, with a fast approaching due date, the couple was sure they would have a male heir. Since the father had come from a family of all males and his brother had only produced male heirs, it seemed to be their destiny. To add to this destiny, the mother had a sister who had only produced male heirs. However, the mother's grandmother had a small vision that the child would be a girl and bought many, many pink things. Fearing the grandmother was wrong, the future parents set out to buy at least one outfit fitting a male heir. That night at ye olde mall while shopping for the soon to be male heir, the mother felt some discomfort and chalked it up to ye olde gas pains. But alas, it was not to be....for it was the start of labor. Sure that it was not labor and ready with a name for the male heir, she went to bed. Hark, some where around one, the mother was awakened with horrible pains in her lower back. Setting off to the living room so as not to disturb her sleeping husband, she lie on the couch in pain for three hours before she could no longer stand it. Waking her husband at a suitable time and waiting for a more suitable time before summoning the physician, they finally decided the time had arrived to make the call. The physician informed the mother that she was indeed in labor and had been for many hours. A beautiful baby weighing in at 7 pounds and 11 ounces was brought into this world shortly after 1:00 p.m. The family rejoiced. Yet, what was this? A girl child? How unequipped the family was! How joyful the family was for producing the first girl child! How proud the grandmother was who knew all along it was a girl! Many days passed with the new parents having no idea how to care for any child be it a girl or boy! Fear was their new friend! Sleepless nights and weary days were common with the screaming child! Rocking chairs were broken from ceaseless rocking - which was done in shifts. Physicians told the parents that the child did not have colic....there was no such thing! Where did they hear of such foolishness. However, a young physician took pity on the family and introduced them to a very expensive formula that eased the symptoms of the child and, in turn, the symptoms of the parents! (Side note: the physician who denied the existence of colic later had a child who had the non existent ailment - HA!) The child grew and grew and became quite adept at crafting, reading and all other fun. School became an endless source of joy until a troll disquised as a educator became a source of much stress. The child was brought home to continue her education and blossomed by discovering her own interests. Soon knitting became an interest. Finding no one to teach her due to her young age, she set out to teach herself. Now she is the knitting wizard around these parts and sought after for her education. Spinning soon followed and cocoons were spun into silk. The child has grown and enjoyed the company of a male sibling. Today the child is officially not a child anymore. But that's okay - she will always be my child! I love you R!!!! Happy Birthday!
Okay, now I can 'talk' normal! Things are still happening around here although I'm just not sitting here telling you about it on a regular basis. I got a great book - Socks A La Carte - and have been knitting a pair of socks...but you have to wait until I take pictures! R is knitting her Lady Eleanor (or is it Elinor?) stole. It's beautiful!
L is plugged into the Wii! I had to quit for a while due to a possible Wii related injury. When you really 'throw' yourself into the Wii sports game you open yourself to all kinds of injuries! They really should make you warm up before you play those games!
We are so incredibly cold here today! The windchill when RL went to work was 4! 4!!!!!! Can you believe that? Ginger didn't like it at all even though she's an indoor cat and meowed until I would get out of bed. Did she need food? No. Did she need water? No. She needed the warm spot where I was sleeping! Sneaky cat!
On a very joyful note - RLs Dad accepted Jesus as his Saviour yesterday. After years and years of indifference we were afraid he may never change his mind. However, the past few years have softened his heart. RL could hardly talk when he got off the phone last night because he was so excited!
Have a Happy Birthday R, have a great day everybody out there and stay warm and I hope to have pictures next time!

January 8, 2009

NOW everybody is home!

Can you see the 'puffed up' cardinal in the bare tree? He was certainly feeling the dreary weather! Hmmm, I think I'm going to tell people that I'm just 'puffed up' to stay warm instead of admitting to this fat thing I've got going on.

This is the sun! R and I were out while the boys were still in Florida and the fog was horrible! We could actually look directly at the sun - it looked just like the moon at night. The fog sure made driving interesting...

Here's Gus, all cozy. He must have known that his Mom and Dad were on there way home. They got home late Monday night. What a welcome sight they were! It was such a rainy, foggy, dreary night when they got in. We went over early and turned their heat up a little so it would be comfortable after being out in the cold, wet weather. I don't know who was more excited to see them - us or Scout and Gus!

Here is the gorgeous yarn that a wonderful Ravelry buddy sent to me for Christmas. I've been waiting for a great day to take pictures so you can see the beautiful color. Now that I've taken these pictures, guess what -the sun came out! Oh well...you can get the general idea. She spun three skeins for me and dyed them. I also got a beautiful pair of the Harmony dpns from Knit Picks. She sent some blooming tea that I am so anxious to try! I might have to get a glass tea pot so I can enjoy the blooming of the flowery tea bag. Such a thoughtful Christmas gift! Thank you Aredhel so much!
As for my boys, well, they got home Tuesday night. What a sight for sore eyes they were! They worked their butts off in Florida taking care of RLs Dad and also doing whatever errands needed to be done around the house. Although his Dad has gotten weaker, he is still well enough to be home. Hospice has started their visits this week. Luckily his Dad has a good attitude about it all. He hates to be a burden, but we all need help at some time or another and we all have to help at some time or another.

January 4, 2009

Tomorrow They'll All Be Home!!!!!

Yeah! Tomorrow RL and L will be heading back home from Florida and Mom and Daddy will be heading back from Tennessee. That is not soon enough for me! Meanwhile R and I are keeping ourselves busy. We are the official kitty sitters for Mom and Daddy. Whew! What a full time job! Those cats are a handful! When we got to their house yesterday, R had to fight off Gus so we could get into the door! He was very excited to have company. Scout was her snooty self and acted like she couldn't care less, but she was the first one in the litter box once it had been cleaned out. I know the little snot was grateful. She also seemed quite grateful to have clean water and new food. She can't fool us! She left us alone most of the time we were there, but Gus felt like he had a captive audience and decided to show off a little. This picture below is one of the few times he actually sat still! R made some paper airplanes and would throw them for him. He would fetch them for her. I know that cat has some dog in him somewhere...
I've been sewing a little bit while the guys are gone. R likes to keep late hours, so I've had lots of sewing time trying to stay awake with her. She is wearing me out! Back to the sewing...last year RL and the kids filled my stocking with some pretty wild quilters quarters. Here's a sampling:
I cut them in 5x5 squares, following a really cute pattern I bought at one of our local quilting/knitting stores. I lined the bag in black.
Here's a funky purple button I found at Joann's.
This isn't a great shot, but at least you get a general idea of what it looks like. We had to hang it up because Gus is a wee bit nosey and decided he needed to rummage through it. Curiosity killed the cat, but satisfaction brought him back - I guess that's true in Gus' case. Hopefully today will go much better and he won't be as needy. Who am I trying to kid?