It has been really quiet around this blog lately, and for good reason. I spend half my waking hours in the car these days, shuttling Piper to school, running errands, taking care of business. I will be glad when we can move farther into town, closer to everything.
You know when you hear stories about crazy families who scream at each other in hospital corridors and get into fistfights next to someone's deathbed and call the cops on each other and steal a dying relative's possessions just so the rest of the family can't get at them? Those people are my family. My mother's family, to be more precise. And all of those things have happened in the past two weeks. My grandma died the other day, and most of us found out from an aunt who called because she saw it posted on an acquaintance's Facebook page. It was all very surreal and the truth is I have been too busy comprehending the scope of the craziness that is going on to really mourn my grandmother. We were close when I was little - she always had root-beer barrel candies and she would give me some. She drove me around in her big old Buick with the green bench seats and sometimes bought me those wax-bottle candies with the syrupy stuff inside. She liked Rambo movies and told me that she thought Bruce Springsteen's music was okay, but that truthfully she liked him because he had a cute butt. One time when my brother and I were at her house, he actually stuck a fork in her light socket. She met my husband a couple of times and loved him to pieces. I wrote to her about once a month, letting her know what was new with me and how Piper was doing. Sometimes she sent things for Piper, coloring books or stickers or whatever she could afford. A couple of weeks before she died, I sent a hat I'd made her, to keep her head warm during the last of her chemotherapy treatments. I heard from relatives that she did receive it. I hope she got to wear it at least once.
We have carpet in our dining room, which you have to walk through to get to the entire back half of our house. I'd like to have a conversation with the idiot who thought it was a good idea to carpet a dining room. Between the eating and the constant foot traffic, it's in sad shape. We've made the decision not to replace the carpeting before listing the house, so I am just trying to get up the worst of the stains. Today I used a carpet cleaner that not only burned my skin and stank up the entire house, but stripped my fingernails of their lovely red polish. I would've used gloves, but our only pair of waterproof work gloves we have are bright blue, and I didn't think swapping red-velvet cake stains for bright blue smears of molten work glove was such a good idea.
For Christmas this year, we asked the grandparents for a family membership to the children's museums in this area, and that has turned out to be a genius idea. It was a gift they were more than happy to give, and which we use all the time, yet which does not take up any space in my house. And now I can just ask them to renew it for Christmas every year, thus heading off piles of crappy plastic toys and unwearable clothing for years to come. We've been going to the museum aimed at younger kids at least once a week, because it is awesome. The only way it could be better is if they put in a nice cafe like the main museum downtown has - lots of healthy options, organic and local ingredients, and super delicious to boot. It would certainly save me dragging a lunchbox full of snacks around the museum with us.
I have been knitting up a storm, but I've had to tear out the last four things I started. I just can't make anything work. I got 3/4 done with the 5-color yoke on a sweater for Piper before I discovered that I was doing the special stitch pattern wrong and had to tear it out. That dratted Tomten is still not done, because now I have to tear out the entire second sleeve because my decreases look like stair steps. I keep starting this sweater for Piper in a lovely gray merino, and I can't seem to get past the first row. I work sporadically on the shawl I started for my mom over a year ago, I keep screwing it up and having to frog every row I knit. Although I dearly loved this hat (so soft so warm so cute so perfect), I gave it to my mom because it was a smidge too big for me. It fits her perfectly, and she really loves it. Strangers keep walking up to her and asking where she got it or if they can buy it from her, which makes me feel pretty good. I'm making myself a replacement, in a different, not-as-soft yarn, and I am hoping that knitting for myself rather than everyone else will break the terrible knitting curse I seem to be under.